Recovery from addiction is never linear. Sometimes, you think that you’ve taken two steps forward only to take three steps back. That’s normal. If you’re struggling to keep on the right track to recover, remember these 3 ex-gamblers who took that road before you and emerged as new, clean men.

Phil Mawer’s Story

Phil Mawer is a successful worker in the oil industry in the Middle East who had 2,000 employees under him and 6,000 clients to service. He was a highly-educated fellow from Tauton and was known as the captain of his rugby team. He had a happy and stable life at Cyprus with his family. Although, he had to work abroad from time to time. Everything was going dandy until he had his first game of blackjack on the internet. This began his dangerous dance with online gambling.


Over the course of 20 years, he lost 50,000 Euros and spent 9 hours of gambling through the internet every day. He was too far into his games that he didn’t notice or care about it. It was only when his wife calmly confronted him with the five years’ worth of bank statements that he finally told his wife about his addiction. Years before, his wife thought that he was having an affair since his efforts to hide his gambling addiction made him appear to be a cheating husband. He became emotionally barren and would experience high and low waves of mood.


Mawer was able to recover from his addiction. After the death of his wife, he was inspired to write the book “Overcome Gambling”, a self-help book for gamblers that detailed the ways he used to help himself get out of his gambling addiction.


Stephen M. Block’s Story

Stephen Block’s gambling addiction only started when he was 10. It was only a simple game of cards. But over the years, Block gambled his way through different ways.


Block worked as a graphic designer. He got married to his wife Gloria and had two children. However, his relationships with these people and his performance at work was heavily affected by his gambling. He would bet his money in TV game shows and horse race tracks with a ritualistic and loyal fervor. Moreover, losing wouldn’t deter him. He would always promise himself that he would stop when he finally wins. But if he wins, a small voice in him would say that he’s on a winning streak. If he continues, he can win back his losses. But, most of the time, that wasn’t how it works.


After losing 20 or 30 dollars’ worth of money in an old TV game show called “You Bet Your Life,” he sat at Belmont Park and recollected his thoughts. At 30 years old, he finally told himself that he will stop gambling. Then, he did.


Now at 71, he is still happily married to his wife and works as the President of the New York Council on Problem Gambling. While he and the council don’t protest against the expansion of casinos, which Block describes as “inevitable”, he, as an ex-gambler, knows that increased gambling would result to more problems for individuals and their families.


Lion Angus Reid’s Story

Former CFL player Angus Reid has a dark secret: he was a gambling addict.


As he was one of the best players in the seasons of 2007 and 2008 to the public, he was struggling with his marriage in his private quarters. In order to relieve this stress, he would go to casinos and play blackjack with his teammates after football practice. His coping mechanism quickly became an addiction.


Starting from $100 or $200, he started betting four-digit amounts. He was as hyper competitive in gambling as he was in the football field. During his free time and if he had enough money, he would go to the casinos with or without his teammates. He lost approximately $50,000 from his addiction and almost missed a game. Seeing that as the last straw, his wife left him.


It all went out of control after that. His health was rapidly deteriorating to the point that he wasn’t fit enough to play in the games. Moreover, he was lying to everyone about his situation. He was very broke to the point that he was bankrupted and had to live with his parents. But, with the support of his parents, he started his road to recovery after enrolling himself into the BC Lottery Corporation’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program.


After four years, Reid is now re-married with a four-month-old son. He also has a promising career as a commercial broker and football analyst. He came out about his former gambling addiction at a Leadership Lunch hosted by Surrey Board of Trade to inspire struggling gambling addicts to find light at the end of their tunnel.


If these people can get out of their addiction, you can so too. While it may not look like it right now, but things will get better. As these people have proved the world, it is your time to prove the world that you can get away from this cesspool known as gambling addiction.