Posted by: breathliftlive | 03/12/2011

Radio interview

I was very fortunate to be contacted by Glenn Wheeler from Radio 2GB to do a radio interview. Glenn has been discussing problem gambling on his show over the past weeks and had been researching the issue when he came across my blog! I spoke with him tonight about our story and the blog….. I was nervous to say the least.

I’m incredibly appreciative of his time and hope that perhaps some listeners were able to identify with our story – whether they have a problem or know someone that does – and are able to find the courage to seek help.

Remember, please share your story or email me at breathliftlive@hotmail.com

Kate

Posted by: breathliftlive | 28/11/2011

Almost a new year….

Hi everyone.

Please accept my apologies for the lengthy delay between posts. This year has seemed to go faster than any other and before we know it, it will be a new year! I’ve been flat out with my course (which is almost completed!), family life and some health concerns but I’m back.

I’ve been replying to some emails I’ve received this morning so if you have sent me an email, your response is waiting for you.

Problem gambling has been mentioned frequently throughout the news and media lately. Whether or not you agree with the proposed reforms, I’m happy this problem is actually being discussed in the public.

Please send me an email or post a comment if you’d like to share your story and experience, I’d love to hear from you.

Take care,

Kate

Posted by: breathliftlive | 07/06/2011

A self help guide for families

Gambling Help/Gambling Impact Society NSW have brought out a fantastic guide – ‘Problem Gambling – A Self Help Guide for Families’. The guide contains relevant and important information on gambling, the effects of problem gambling on the community, individuals, families and children; the cycle, risk factors and signs to look for, looking after yourself, steps toward change, tips for protecting yourself, healing relationships, personal stories and of course, getting help.

I highly recommend visiting this site and either downloading a copy or requesting a copy be sent. Click here to visit the site and scroll down to the bottom left corner of the page for the link to the guide.

A big thank you to those responsible for this guide and to Julia Gauci from the Responsible Gambling Fund for bringing this to our attention. Ever little piece of information like this helps.

Remember, if you want to ask questions, share your story or if you would like more help, please email me at breathliftlive@hotmail.com

Kate

Posted by: breathliftlive | 01/06/2011

Guest Blog from Sondra – Gambling Help Counsellor

I’ve been fortunate enough to have Sondra, a Gambling Help Counsellor from Hope Street Inner City Gambling Counselling write a guest blog for you to read.

Gambling and families

Jan, a 70 year old woman came to see me in an extremely distressed state. She was worried about her son Mike. Recently, he had started borrowing money from her for what seemed like a variety of reasons.  Mike had three children, a loving wife who worked, and a mortgage to pay. Jan was reluctant to refuse him.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 27/05/2011

Denial

I’ve received a few emails lately from loved ones of problem gamblers who are trying to work out how best to cope with their situation. These people are amazingly strong and are standing by their loved ones even though it’s one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing they’ve had to endure.

It’s been mentioned to me a few times now how when the topic of their problem as approached, they lash out or immediately find fault in their loved one. Each time I would bring it up, I remember Tim would look at me like I was crazy, like I actually had a problem and then he would turn the conversation around to something I had done wrong. Every single time it would end up being about me and what I had done wrong, instead of the problem we were trying to address.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 07/05/2011

Response from David Gallop – NRL Chief Executive

After reading an article in a Brisbane newspaper a couple of months ago in which NRL Chief Executive David Gallop commented on his concern regarding the increase in gambling promotion I decided to email him. I explained my story and that from a spectators point of view, the dramatic increase in gambling promotions throughout every single game was of great concern. There’s promotional material on the ground, now sporting bet companies have there own ‘commercial’ type sections throughout each game and the commentators even discuss it.

I wasn’t suggesting to Mr Gallop that they remove it, not at all. I just wanted him to be aware of the harm it can cause and that they are in a position to show some level of responsibility. Here is his response:

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 04/05/2011

Email from Margaret

I received an email from Margaret yesterday, the loving mother of a son with a gambling problem. Margaret has allowed me to post excerpts from her email and my response in the hopes it will help others and encourage them to write in too.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 21/04/2011

Happy Easter

Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and Happy Easter. However you choose to spend the break, enjoy it with loved ones and stay safe.

Take care,

Kate x

Posted by: breathliftlive | 11/04/2011

Please just ask….

It’s funny how things change. We were at a friends for dinner over the weekend and they had invited another couple. For one reason or another, the topic of conversation was about when we were first pregnant. This new couple was telling us their story then it was our turn to share and I began our story and then paused…. I fell pregnant right when Tim was in the middle of his rehab stint. Not exactly the best timing as I’ve mentioned before, however, that’s our story and I wouldn’t change it. I wasn’t sure how to say to these people I’d only just met that my husband was in rehab for 9 months due to a gambling addiction. Everyone reacts in their own way, mostly good which is nice. Anyway, I’d paused trying to find the right words and Tim steps in and says it for me. It’s taken him such a long time to be ok with it all and I was quite surprised that he just announced it to these people. I was so proud of him. Afterall, this is part of our story. For better or worse, whether we like it or not, this is who we are and how we came to be.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 23/03/2011

Inspirational organisation

I was honoured to receive an email from Sondra Kalnins who co-ordinates the Inner City Gambling Service for an organisation called HopeStreet Urban Compassion.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 12/03/2011

Eggshells

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. Things have been a little hectic with family and starting my new course!

Someone recently commented to me that stressful situations made their partner gamble and she was worried that recent tensions between the two of them, that weren’t gambling related, would increase the chances of her partner relapsing. I can completely understand where she is coming from with this one!

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 15/02/2011

Strength

Strength is something you need to have an amazing amount of when dealing with a loved ones addiction. It’s an uphill battle that can, at times, seem unending.

Dealing with the addiction can be tiring and will trigger many emotions like anger, hurt and sadness. If you can see even a glimmer of hope, hold onto that and try and keep going. The situation will always remain the same unless you can try and implement changes, no matter how small. You need to be patient, consistent and unrelenting. There will most definitely be times when all you want to do is pack up and go.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 14/02/2011

Pre-commitment petition

I received the below email from the Gambling Impact Society (http://www.gisnsw.org.au) and think it’s too important not to pass on to you.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 12/02/2011

Resentment

Ok, honesty time.

If I am guilty of anything throughout all of this it’s resentment. To this day I think I’m still a little resentful and it’s something I need to learn to deal with. I’m sure it’s a normal thing, after all, dealing with the stress and hurt associated with your loved one’s gambling problem over long periods of time is more than enough to make a person angry.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 11/02/2011

My first response :-)

I received the below email yesterday from someone who found my blog and took the time to write to me. I wanted to share it with you too.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 09/02/2011

Turning a negative into a positive

I thought I’d share that I’ve made the decision to really turn all the years of negativity into a positive. I’ve decided to return to studying and next week will start a Diploma of Counselling!

There are a few key aspects that helped me make this decision. I’ve always been interested in helping others, mainly children, but for various reasons I never really thought it was a career path I could follow. I witnessed, like everyone else, the trauma and tragedy of the QLD floods and knew of friends and family affected by extreme loss. Then there was Cyclone Yasi and now the WA bushfires. I sat back and watched these events unfold and felt completely helpless. I signed up to be a volunteer but that didn’t feel like enough. Then with my blog, with the aim of trying to help others in the same situation, I realised that trying to help others cope with whatever issues and tragedies they face is something I need to do.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 31/01/2011

Positives

Some more positives to not gambling became apparent to my husband over the weekend. We sent away for his credit report to see how his ‘bad credit rating’ was going. A few years ago we received the same document and it made for pretty sad reading. He had borrowed so much money to fund his habit and when he wasn’t doing that he was purchasing things like furniture etc on credit because he didn’t have the money to actually pay for it. It’s amazing how far the problems associated with gambling stretch.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 22/01/2011

Protecting yourselves

When your partner or family member is gambling, it isn’t necessarily just with their own money. It can be yours, a family members, a friends, a co-workers. It could also be stolen or money they have received as a result of selling personal items (again, not necessarily their own).

It’s a good idea to ensure you protect yourself and your family from finding yourselves in financial trouble. Here are a few suggestions that may help out:

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 18/01/2011

When they relapse…. and they will

Relapse was (is?) a word I cringed at and hoped I wouldn’t hear. Every day I would hold my breath and hope that I wouldn’t need to hear that word. I would literally walk around on eggshells every day hoping against hope that Tim wouldn’t come and home and tell me he’d gambled again (or that he did gamble but lied to cover it up). It became a bit of a pattern with us. Things would go great for a little while… no gambling. Then all of sudden, just when I’d start to get a little more comfortable he’d come home with that look on his face and I’d have to hear that word again…. relapse.

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Posted by: breathliftlive | 12/01/2011

Counselling for both of you

The one thing I truly believe worked for us was counselling for both of us, together. When someone has a gambling problem, the whole thing can be so secretive with the lies that are told and the secrets that are kept. The gambler has access to (whether they utilise them or not) a range of outlets for help whether it be GA, counselling on their own, rehab etc which are all fantastic. The only thing is, we still don’t know or understand what is happening. They may be feeling better or more positive about things after they seek help but we’re still in the dark.

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