Phil Mickelson is opening up about his gambling addiction and how it has negatively impacted his and his family’s lives over the past decade. He has long been known as an aggressive sports bettor and, while he has more money than most people (most athletes, even), he admits there’s a line and he crossed it.
“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,” he wrote in a four-slide Instagram post on Monday (Sept. 18). He was honest with himself and his fans.
He reveals that he won’t be betting on sports this year because he ‘crossed the line of moderation and into addiction, which isn’t any fun at all.’ While he admits money was never an issue and his family’s financial security was never threatened, he says his addiction distracted him from what’s most important.
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“I was so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I love and caused a lot of harm,” he said – primarily referring to his wife, Amy Mickelson, and their three adult children (Amanda Mickelson, 24, Sophia Mickelson, 21, and Evan Mickelson, 20). “This lack of presence has been so hurtful,” he said.
Phil Mickelson alluded to a one-sentence phrase that he has heard often ever since his sports gambling turned into an addiction – “You’re here but you’re not with us.” He was so distracted that he was unaware of how his gambling was affecting those around him – likening it to being in a hurricane, but being sheltered from it.
“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,” he wrote. He ultimately came to his senses and has been working on overcoming the temptations.
Mickelson first opened up about his gambling in June, when he admitted that it ‘got to a point of being reckless and embarrassing’ about 10 years ago. He revealed that he’s been addressing it for a number of years and has spent hundreds of hours in therapy to better himself – adding he’s happy where he’s at.
Phil Mickelson Credits His Wife for Her Continued Love and Support
In the third slide of his Instagram post on Monday, Phil Mickelson said he hopes others who are facing similar problems have a ‘strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you through being your worst self, and through your worst moments’ – crediting his wife, Amy, who has always stayed by his side.
He praises her for loving and supporting him through his ‘darkest and most difficult times’ – adding that he couldn’t have gotten through those moments without her. “Because of her love, support, and commitment, I’m back on track to being the person I want to be,” he concluded in the third slide – which is good to hear!
Now that Phil has been away from the gambling scene for several years, he says he’s finally able to ‘sit still, be present in the moment, and live each day with an inner calm and peace.’ While he still has ‘a lot of cleaning up to do,’ he’s more committed to doing right by those he loves than he ever has been before.
He ended his Instagram post with a simple message to all those who will partake in sports betting this football season – do so with moderation and don’t let it distract you from what’s important. “The moments with the ones you love will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.”
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