Hello and welcome to our new website, I’m so glad you found us! My name is Stella and I am Head of Learning and Development at Betknowmore UK.
I would love to hear more about how you arrived here, but first I would like to tell you a little bit about my journey and how it all began.
My dad was a compulsive gambler, no one can tell me when it started, I just know that is the way it was. It was in the DNA of our family, like a curse the reason that everything was how it was. It consumed him, it took his time and money, his liberty several times, it took his pride and it robbed him- it robbed us all.
Living without money was never the issue but living trapped in a poverty of love was profound and devastating. He was absent, missing, taken. Like a gaping hole that no one and nothing can fill.
I don’t know if he tried to get help, I don’t even know if help was available. There are so many questions unanswered. Where was he? Did he love us? Why didn’t he just stop?
At Betknowmore I started to unpick some of these questions and to place them in the context of gambling addiction. Understanding the neurological impact of gambling addiction on the brain and the compulsion that triggers and drives these behaviours has helped me make sense of what happened to our family and to thousands of others. It has helped me understand that I am not to blame, but neither was he.
The numbers of people like me, those affected by gambling related harm are limitless. But so are the possibilities for change. Let me share what I have learnt in the hope it might help others.
People can and do change their behaviour, that is why we at Betknowmore exist. Lived experience is at the heart of everything we do. We believe in change, both yours and mine. Our pain is our power too, we can transform.
Real and genuine help is out there; it is here at Betknowmore and it exists within us. It takes courage to reach out and to open up, but a simple conversation can be life changing. Whoever you aspire to be, don’t let gambling rob you of the person you are about to become.
Our stories connect us; we are all unique and complex, the billions of information pathways and emotions we experience belong only to us. Just as there is difference there is similarity too, there is connection between us. Our lives are not scripted, there are multiple opportunities to rethink, recreate, rewrite.
Your story is not yet finished, you can re write it.
Thanks so much for reading my blog. Next time I will be sharing news about the launch of our learning and development hub which we are just a little bit excited about! Until then, stay safe everyone.
Get help for a loved one or someone you know who is suffering from gambling-related harm.