CGM is a palentino by birth, but vallisoletan by adoption, who decides to remain anonymous to tell us his story. He assures, in statements to EL ESPAÑOL – Noticias de Castilla y León, that he is not ashamed of having been addicted to drugs and gambling, but prefers to keep his identity, although he tells his story to help himself and also others who are instead.
At 43 years old, this man confesses that “His relationship with gambling and drugs has been continuous since he was 18”. Now he wants to enjoy a new life. Having overcome the nightmare of drugs, she has decided to go to AJUPAREVA (Association of Rehabilitated Pathological Players of Valladolid) to overcome her gambling addiction.
“I came to the association to leave the game and, now, I am finding a wonderful community”confess.
Q.- Your life has been marked by drugs and gambling… Tell me a little about it.
A.- A little before I was 18 I was already taking drugs. I have always worked afternoon and night in clubs and bars in Valladolid. At the age of majority I left the city. My relationship with gambling and drugs has been continuous since I was 18 years old. Playing bingo whenever he had the chance. It wasn’t until I was 28-29 years old that I started taking drugs in a more antisocial way, more alone, in my style. At home, something more marginal. Drugs, as long as they are social, are great fun, but when you reach an age where consuming just starts to become a pure vice. At 32-33 years old I hit rock bottom, I decide to quit drugs. I rehabilitate. I manage to leave them and from there my contact only and exclusively with the game begins. There are two phases in my life: one related to drugs mostly, from 18 to 34, and then a life more dedicated to gambling, almost entirely.
Q.- A nightmare, drugs.
A.- Drugs have given me problems since I can remember. With 17 or 18 years, already, fully. At first I didn’t see it as a problem, I loved it. It drove me crazy and I had fun on a social level. I have been aware that I was losing control when I went further. In the whole path of drugs, any person lies, manipulates, betrays, makes all kinds of moves and creates all kinds of illusions to justify their addiction and so on. I was aware when I was 28-29 years old that I had a real problem with them, although I continued with it until I was approximately 34 years old, when I hit bottom and solved the issue to the letter. I went to ‘Proyecto Hombre’ and although I didn’t finish the program, I did manage to get out of them. He was very convinced. I never felt identified with that project. I went, got what I needed, and left.
Q.- How did you overcome the problem? Did you tell his family and did you have their support?
A.- Yes. I was obliged. When I decided to leave them, he had lost everything and he was in A Coruña. I remember that I went to “Proyecto Hombre” there and they told me that I had to go with the family. I told my brother, he came looking for me, and he brought me to Valladolid. There, with my parents, I felt supported. My family has always been there.
Q.- Are you proud of having overcome drug addiction?
A.- Yes, you feel proud because, really, any type of addiction puts you in a situation of slavery. I am one of those who think that, although this is a disease, one has to be responsible for their actions. Those of us who are exposed to these addictions tend to make bad decisions and behaviors. When you quit, you do feel proud, but above all proud to finally start making good decisions. Both when giving up drugs and gambling, you know you are doing the right thing and doing the right thing makes you feel good, especially because when you put addiction aside, feelings begin to flourish, behavior changes both with yourself and with those close to you that They produce a high that gives 1,000 turns to the person who produces the game… and look, I learned it at 43 years old, I wish I had done it much sooner, but it’s never too late.
Q.- What did you play?
A.- I have always been a bingo player. Years later, when the betting boom took place, already in my thirties, I started playing bingo and sports betting. It is what the online world has, that you can do it at any time. When there was no bingo I focused on sports betting. Since you can go from tennis in Spain to ping-pong in China it is a fantastic option for the player.
Q.- What did you feel the first time you played?
A.- The first time I played was bingo and I went with such enthusiasm that I don’t remember. In general, in the game I find a total escape from my life. I have never been happy with her. Nor who have I been with. I have always wanted to be more and have more. That’s why I’ve never been comfortable with myself. With the game I forgot everything to focus on the antics, the prize and so on. My personal feeling was escaping the discontent I had with my life.
Q.- When did you start in sports betting?
A.- The life of a gambler is very blurry. There are many things that you do not remember because, perhaps, they do not have any kind of importance. All the memories are bad of all the evil I’ve done. I imagine that when the betting houses began, the online houses. I, at the age of 26, went to live in Australia and bet on greyhound and horse racing. I’ve been hooked on the game my whole life. Since I had the chance, I did. As I am an inveterate player, I did not care about one thing than the other. What was open, at any time. I have put the game above anything.
Q.- What does betting mean to you? What generates you?
A.- I don’t know what meaning betting has. What I do know is what I get when I make any type of bet and so on. I couldn’t explain it. A complete escape. I forget my life and think about the pleasure of deleting numbers and so on. Looking back, and thinking, I was a person with many complexes, who think very badly of myself because I have done a lot wrong and that leaves a mark on you. It is something that I am trying to overcome in AJUPAREVA, erase that trace to enjoy again and be a person to love, laugh, feel, get excited…
Q.- How much money have you lost? Do you have debts?
A.- From the age of 18 and up to now, among all that I have played, I can have lost 250,000 euros, calmly.
As for debts, the last gambling moment of my life got a little out of hand. I have a debt of 6,000-7,000 euros right now. The bank has done a restructuring and I have to pay it in 60 months, about 100 euros a month. For me, the economic debt is zero, it means nothing. What I have lost is the illusion, the opportunity to have friends, family, to be a person and have peace of mind. The biggest loss I have in gambling is my life.
Q.- When did you realize you had a problem?
A.- Really, I have always known. I know and am aware that gambling is a problem and I have never wanted to quit. I have always had work to carry my rhythm of life. I didn’t feel like leaving it because it was an important part of my day to day. Now, I want to have a quiet life and have all these things that I have missed, fulfill my vital objectives. That’s why I’ve made the decision to quit.
Q.- When do you go to AJUPAREVA?
A.- I’ve been here for four months. I say: up to here. I go voluntarily and I think about it a lot, since I don’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s. I think I should get out of this alone. I look on the internet and the best review is from AJUPAREVA. When I go, María Jesús welcomes me. I go very convinced, but without knowing what I am going to find. I came to leave the game to AJUPAREVA and I have found a wonderful community. I like to compare it with the Formula 1 pits, where they change the damaged parts, and the wheels… but not only that, they also teach you to drive well, the only thing you have to put is the gasoline, the desire.
Q.- Everyone highlights the human warmth generated by AJUPAREVA.
A.- From Ángel, the president, to the entire Board of Directors and volunteers, everyone contributes something, and what about the team of professionals… Dr. Bombín, Sandra, Elena… Their interns… always guiding you, advising you with tremendous sensitivity . It’s funny, but you don’t just want to heal yourself, you have a terrible desire for the person next to you to improve, for him to do well. We are not bad people we come to be good people. We are people who come to overcome an illness. Each of us who enter through those doors, whether voluntarily or forced, is a little broken, we have done a lot of damage to others and to ourselves. I recently read a phrase from a French writer who said: “life shrinks or expands depending on the courage of each one”, well, I think that those of us who join AJUPAREVA have a shrunken life with many limitations. This community gives you the tools and guidelines to give you back the courage you need to face and fight a situation as limited as this one that involves being able to return to the right path victoriously and regain control of your life.
I came here to quit the game and I’m finding myself. I know that little by little I will find myself completely, I have time and a whole life ahead of me.
Q.- In sport you have found another escape route.
A.- My relationship with sport is very important. I’ve been doing between 8 and 12 hours a week for years, quietly. I get up, I run, I teach, I do training. Anything that has to do with sweating, I like. Sport has been fundamental to my life and in my rehabilitation.
Q.- An objective and a desire
A.- The medium-term objective, between ten and twelve months, is to rehabilitate myself, to fulfill the program. In the long term, help others to achieve it. The wish, that at least one person who reads this interview and has problems with addiction contacts AJUPAREVA.
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