When I went to see my GP, he was like, “You need to go talking therapies, or you need antidepressants,” and I’m thinking like– Obviously, at the time, you just accept it because he’s the GP, but looking back, I think I didn’t need that. I was on antidepressants for two years, I’ve really just come off them recently. It was the meetings that I needed. People to speak to, like-minded people.
I feel like if GPs have the Gamblers Anonymous meetings, leaflets, or something along them lines, the gambling clinics and stuff like that, then it means that– Because if you’re going to go for help, and then you get disregarded, it means you’re having to look for help two or three times. You should just be able to come for help once, get the information you need, and then decide where you want to go from there.
In regards to banks, I know that they’ve got the gambling blocks on the apps, but it only lasts for 48 hours. If you are putting a gambling block on your card, it should be for a lifetime, or it should be until the expiry date ends, or something like that. Because what’s the point of putting a block on for two days and then turning it off, and then two days later, you’re allowed to bet again? I understand that they’re trying to do something right, but it’s a very small thing, and it’s something that– If you’re going to do it, just do it right, I suppose.
My friend groups aren’t the same as what they used to be. You could look at that being a positive and a negative. Positive in a way that I’m with like-minded people now, people who can help us, people who can support us. In the other respect, I’ve known these people for 30 years, like my friends from school, they all still drink, they all still gamble… I’ve had some really good times with them people. At the same time, obviously, when I told them I had a gambling problem, they were like, “Oh, it’s not that bad, man. Surely, you can just spend £20 a month,” and I’m like, “You just don’t understand. You just don’t have a clue.” Obviously, when I’m with these other people, it’s just like, “Do you want to go for a coffee?” Then we just talk about our experiences, and it’s just brilliant to have.
I play 11-a-side football, and I just love football, I would play it every day if I could. There’s a team based around recovery, so basically, everyone on the football team is in recovery, whether that be doing drugs or gambling. We call them barriers, when you give your cards up and stuff like that, it’s like it’s just another barrier for me being in a group, and it’s so nice.