My gambling started over 20yrs ago with a simple church bingo. Then our state brought the lottery in 5 days a week once a day Then came the casinos, my husband of 30 yrs took me there for my birthday it was FUN, nice lunch, won a couple of dollars, but I got to like it a really lot. I continued to go and play the slots and of course with the mind set of a slot player the more MONEY you put into it, it has to hit right! Well I ran out of money and my friend an neighbor who introduced me to the casino was going on vacation and asked if I would watch her house. I said of course never with the intention of doing anything wrong, and again with the mind of a gambler I borrowed 3 checks and 3 deposit slips because I knew I was going to win and I could put the borrowed money back, and of course that did not happen.
Four weeks later at 10 P.M there was a knock at my door and three police officers were there, I knew them as I had run for public office in my town and invited them in not knowing why they were there. They had asked me about the checks and of course when you are a gambler you learn how to tell lies and stories very well and at that point I was good at what I did. “No, I don’t know about those checks” well they had pictures of me cashing them. I was arrested and ended up in the hospital psyc unit. When I was released, I turned myself into the police dept. was processed and started a year long once a month court date. I was given A R as a first time offender and two years probation. During those two years I continued to gamble, tried suicide three times and on my release from the hospital the 3rd time my husband of 36yrs informed me we were getting a divorce. He went out one door and I the other and went to the casino where I didn’t have to think about what was in control of my life because I was out of control. after playing 48hrs straight I left the casino driving home I fell asleep at he wheel and woke up just before I hit the car in front of and an could have killed an someone who had nothing to do with my addiction. Connecticut has what we call the BETTOR CHOICE GAMBLING TREATMENT program. I did get into one and it worked for over a year and today I am 21yrs gambling free. I work at a non-profit that works with gamblers and family members affected by the gambler. I also do out-reach programs in our community as well as programs in Connecticut correctional facilities for those who have committed gambling related crimes. I also have another full-time job staying gambling free, I got thru yesterday, working on today and hope to get through tomorrow.