Phil Mickelson has revealed the harm and hurt his gambling addiction has caused to those closest to him.
The 53-year-old six-time major winner, who opened up about his addiction in a lengthy post on social media, claimed it affected those he cared about “in ways I wasn’t aware or could fully understand”.
Mickelson wrote on X: “I won’t be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn’t any fun at all.
Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment. The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you. I wont be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and…
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) September 18, 2023
“The money wasn’t ever the issue since our financial security has never been threatened, but I was so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I love and caused a lot of harm. This lack of presence has been so hurtful.
“‘You’re here but you’re not with us’, is something I’ve been told often throughout my addiction. It affected those I care about in ways I wasn’t aware or could fully understand.”
Betting guru Billy Walters opened the lid on Mickelson’s gambling habit in his autobiography, claiming the LIV golfer had placed bets of more than one billion dollars in the last 30 years.
Mickelson paid tribute to wife Amy for her support and urged gamblers not to “confuse your enablers as friends like I did”.
He said: “It’s like a hurricane is going on outside and I’m isolated in a shelter oblivious to what was happening.
“When I came out there was so much damage to clean up that I just wanted to go back inside and not deal with it.
“If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did.
“Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have.
“But hopefully you will have a strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you through being your worst self, and through your worst moments like I have in Amy.
“She has loved me and supported me through my darkest and most difficult times. I couldn’t have gotten through this without her.”
He added: “Because of her love, support and commitment, I’m back on track to being the person I want to be.
“After many years of receiving professional help, not gambling, and being in recovery from my addictions, I’m now able to sit still, be present in the moment and live each day with an inner calm and peace.
“I still have a lot of cleaning up to do with those I love the most but I’m doing it slowly and as best I can.”