Relationships are build on trust. This is a great responsibility. Why? Because sometimes it's way more simple to abuse it than to protect it from your own selfishness and greed.
We all (should) have some wonderful relationships in our lives. I do. I have loving parents, an amazing family and for more than 5 years, I have the best girlfriend I ever could imagine. They all love me and they support me, in many ways.
My parents worked hard in the past and still work hard every day. This gave me the opportunity to study and live on my own. I have my internship, thus I am not able to earn money at this point. I will have to study for more than 20 months before I can start to earn my own money. Untill that day, I am very grateful they are willing to support me financially. They trust me that I will work hard and study. A great responsibility.
My girlfriend is more than just a girl friend. She's a soulmate. She would do anything for me to make sure I'm happy, knowing that I would do the same for her. She trusts me. A great responsibility.
When I was 18 I started gambling, online, very simple. I would win some, I would lose some. But one day I wasn't losing, I was winning. The dopamine in my brains increased - it gave me a great feeling. Soon, I was gambling with way too much money, losing, thus trying to compensate with more money. My girlfriend didn't really know with how much money I was gambling, but she warned me and advised me to stop. I wanted more dopamine, more money. But at the end of the day, I broke even and decided it was better to quit. I told my girlfriend I wouldn't gamble anymore.
Months later the urge to start gambling again rised. I didn't tell my girlfriend. I started of with only 10 euros. I would win some, I would lose some. And lose some more. Another deposit of 30 euros to cover my losses would do the job, and maybe another deposit. Then my girlfriend found out and she was angry. She knew how I couldn't cope with the losses and that I was prone to getting addicted. She had all right to be angry. She trusted me and I damaged that trust. I stopped for more than a year.
Two weeks ago me and my girlfriend somehow ended up talking about gambling. I told her I kinda felt the urge to gamble again, because the football season started. She knows I'm a responsible guy and, like she always does, trusts me. So she told me maybe I could deposit only 15 euros to spend for the whole season. Yes, that sounds fun, I might do that.
A few days later I deposited 15 euros. Increased dopamine in my brain, but no increase in my bank account. I started to deposit more money to cover my losses and eventually ended with a huge bet on a football game. 200 euros, but I knew for sure I would win this bet. I didn't.
Maybe it was my own stupidity, maybe it's the dopamine in my brains, but I thought I could get my money back, as I did before. I just wanted to break even and then I would quit. So I deposited 400 euros, which I would use for a bet the next day. But that evening, I was trying my luck with blackjack. I used only 1 euro at a time and my balance ranged between 397 and 403 euros. I won, I lost some money. So I increased the bets and as fast as my heart rate increased, my deposited money dropped to 0. Panic.
I lost 700 euros all together. I stopped gambling a few days until I came up with a great plan. I would simply play roulette and start with 700 euros. If I would win, I had my money back and I would never gamble in my whole life. If I would lose I could bet with 1400 euros to cover my losses. Chances were 50/50, I only needed to win 1 time. That must do the trick, right?
Yesterday, my heart rate rised as I opened the roulette online. I would bet 700 euros on red, but would clear the bet just before it was final. Shit, 20 red. I did it again. 32 red, damn it. I was right, all those times. But I wasn't right when I finally placed my bet: 22 black.
More panic. I felt emotions I never felt before. But I needed to win back my money, and I would win it back. After that I would come clean to my girlfriend. My last money, on red. 32 black. Black.
I was walking circles in my room. I lay on the ground. I cried. I laughed. I cried. I died inside. So many thoughts and realisations. Why?
Is it the money that I lost? The money I worked hard for, the money I saved to buy a new phone, a new computer or new clothes I really wanted. No it's not. I don't care about that, I don't care about my money.
But is it really just MY money? No, it is not.
This is the money I could save because my parents worked hard to pay my study, to pay my room. It is also their money, their trust in me.
This is the money I was saving to go on a holiday in 2016 with my girlfriend. A holiday she's incredibly looking forward to, because she deserves it. It is also her money, her trust in me.
I am yet facing the most difficult conversations of my life. Tell my girlfriend I damaged her trust in me. Tell my girlfriend I crushed her dream of going on a vacation with me in 2016. Tell my parents I disrespected them by throwing away my money, which I only had because of their hard work. I am very ashamed, I am scared. But I will have to face them, I need to win back their trust.
This thursday I will see my girlfriend and I will tell her. This weekend I will see my parent and I will tell them. The prospect of crushing their expectations and trust in me is killing me, but I deserve it.
Why am I raising money? Am I CRAZY? Do I need money to gamble again? Do I need money so I will be able to buy that phone, that computer or those clothes I wanted, like before I wasted my money?
No, not at all.
This money is not for me. This money is for my parents, for my girlfriend, for my family. I owe it to them. More than ever I realised yesterday that the loved ones you have are more important than all the money in the world. But I wasted 3200 euros that belonged to my loved ones, I really hope I can at least redeem them of this burden, the money I lost. The emotional damage is something only I can redeem.
Please share this story, even if you don't want to donate money. Share it with a loved one who also might be struggling with gambling problems. Remember: the damage you do to yourself by gambling, is nothing compared to the damage you do to your loved ones. Don't try it. If you are allready in it, tell your loved ones, as they are the only ones who can help you. I wasn't on time, but you still have a chance.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart if you donate. It's an investment in trust.