Today is my 45th Birthday. This is in many ways is just another birthday, especially when you get to middle age. Part of the significance of this, is that at 45 you have to undergo a medical to keep your HGV/PCV driving entitlement, in which I did and passed. Only 3 years gone I never even thought I would get to this age to undergo said medical. In November 2016 due to poor mental health and an overriding feeling of guilt, emptiness and lack of self worth, I calmly walked into a quiet wooded area, armed with a tow rope and subsequently climbed a tree to end my life. I had a sense of composure and acceptance that this was the right thing to do for myself and my loved ones. Years of hurt caused by my destructive gambling spree and constant lies.

To my dismay as I sat high up on a branch, I heard rustling and a dog appeared soon followed by the dog’s owner, he looked up at me and I will never forget his face. He calmly spoke to me and after 5 minutes convinced me to climb down. He was an elderly gent, but he spoke gently and made me feel at ease. We talked more and that was the starting point of my true recovery, my journey had nearly ended and now it had really also just began. 

We talk so much more about mental health now and that is a great thing. Today as I write this we are in unprecedented times,  where most of us have no idea how to deal or cope with the coming weeks or months ahead. I try to give advice on my gambling experiences and how certain situations can be used as triggers to increase our gambling and become out of control.

As we go into lockdown many will use this as a trigger, many will be vulnerable to the constant flow of adverts from an industry that is relentless in their pursuit of profit. Some due to job losses, which chase money and I understand that, the sad part is that you will fail and the gambling operators will win. This particularly will happen more as the digital world and their addictive products are programmed for you to lose. I say to you, please talk to us, please seek help, it is here and available with no judgement just empathy and compassion. I/we don’t want you to be that next person sat in the tree thinking about the unthinkable.

Don’t let the industry win, they do not care  but we care. If you feel you need help I/we can help you. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Nick x