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    • #54784
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well here I am writing my story. ( Thanks to Charles in the Group)
      30 days gamble free tommorow.

      I know the exactly when i started. I was sitting in some bar where there was a slotmachine sitting in the corner blinking its light. I put 2 euro’s in and lost. Put another 2 euro in and I won 40 euro’s.
      Paid the drinks for the night and everything was well and good. Afterwards I went a couple times back to that place and played the same machine. But this was all pretty harmless.

      But then at one point i found an online casino and in my mind this was THE perfect thing. I could play and didnt even have to go anywhere to play. I could play everywhere and anytime.
      Fast forward a year. I get a pretty large sum of money from my father, which he worked really hard for. At that point I made a deal with myself to not play away this money.

      Well anyone on this forum knows what happens. You take a tenner from it , you take twenty from it…. Well this went on for a year. Until (still my) Girlfriend finds out. I wasted 75% of that money.
      The remainder i transferred to here. My mind was at rest.

      Fast forward three months. I sitting in my room and I was a bit restless and bored. Thinking maybe I can gamble this time, waste a small sum of money and be done with it. Well deposited 30 euro.
      This was the beginning of a rapid decent.

      I took out a student loan without anybody knowing and was using that as gamble money. Furthermore i worked in a groceries store and had some interships combined. My income combined was higher then some families.
      But i wasted it all on slots. Then took out a creditcard which I had to pay montly ( no intrest). I maxed that one out but had no money to pay it. So i had to ask my bank if I could go in the minus.

      Then the visious cycle begins…… Creditcard full > Bank already maxed out > Salary > Pay bank > Not enough money > Use creditcard > Creditcard full….

      This went on for 3 or 4 year. My girlfriend ask me a couple of times I was still gambling but never really kept asking, so i could be vague and all was good. But of course it wasnt.

      I was restless when I didnt gamble. I started when i opened my eyes and stopped when I closed my eyes. The only time I was calm was strangly when I did not have any money left. My mind was at rest for a short time.
      I was hiding my gambling from everyone and that is the problem you can hide it. You have no visual markers , no needles , no stinking ect.

      But I was far from okay.

      Now my girlfriend finds out again. Strangly I was very happy she did. Finally the secret is out, again.
      All I have to do now is tell my parents what is happening under there roof for the last 5 year.

      I remember that we where sitting happily at the table eating our diner. I was already thinking of excuse to not tell them. „Everyone is so happy now , I can fight this alone“.
      But this secret is killing me for the past 5 years and I’am sick of it. So i walk down the stairs crying and I say to my Mom :

      „Mom, I’am a gambling addict“

    • #54785
      i-did-it
      Účastník

      Hi Joe,
      Well done on your honesty .
      Now that people know they can help you.
      Now that you truly understand that you are addicted to gambling you can help yourself.
      Once we become addicted we will never win.
      Even if we win for a short while we will soon gamble it away.
      You have probably noticed this pattern yourself .

      30 days gamble free is a really terrific achievement.
      You are probably starting to feel the positive benefits already.
      Keep strong, keep confiding in those nearest and dearest to you, and keep following the advice of those who have managed to stay gamble free.
      Onwards and upwards Joe !

    • #54786
      vera
      Účastník

      Hi Joerdj
      You have my admiration also.
      In your very first post you have summed up the history of probably every gambler who has the courage to admit that gambling has beaten us to pulp.
      Time to take back our power now and say because of gambling.
      „I was far from OK“.
      WELL DONE!

    • #54787
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well i already sound like ages ago. But today 30 free of making any bets. But this time I took more drastic steps then I did the first time.

      1. Finances.
      I copied my banking app to my girlfriends phone. I still can see the availalble balance but I can’t login without her knowing. Every 0,01 cent I spend , she will get a notification. She will keep that banking app for at least a year, but possibly forever.

      2- Access.
      Blocked all the sites a frequently visited. Furthermore most of my account where linked to one Gmail account. I threw that account away( avoid temptation from email offers)
      Further more I changed my phone number. I get SMS messages from Time to Time with some offers. Just to avoid any temptation. After that I removed all the screenshots I had saved over the past 5 year. Again to avoid any temptation. Also installed betblocker on my phone to strengten the safety net further.

      3 Time.
      Whenever I get urges I visit the forum to read trough some journals. Further more I am working on a setting up an emulator so I can play some of the classic games whenever I get some urges. Just to kill a little of time.

      Today is 30 days, I wish I could celebrate and take my girlfriend out for dinner. But this (smart) lockdown is making that impossible……

      I think flowers will do 🙂

    • #54788
      i-did-it
      Účastník

      Joerd, You have taken several brilliant steps- I think I prefer your FAT to Charles’ MAT ( money access time).

      I am not an expert in this field, so forgive me if I sound preachy, but you are working so hard at this I feel it would be remiss of me not to mention the following.

      I am not sure which games you are planning to play but during my “treatment”, we were advised to play zero competitive games for now and especially not computer games as they activate the same part of the brain as gambling.

      Anywhere we could have a “win” was discouraged for now.

      I do play scrabble (which I have actually found I like) but it is so slow it really doesn’t give time any kind of “buzz”.

      That’s about it- keep strong and keep those posts as positive as the one I have just read.

    • #54789
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well mine FAT was meant to be the MAT.

      But anyhow, My emulators are playing old games like Nintendo 64 or some old SEGA systems. Furthermore I play some battle royale games with the likes of Fortnite.After the odd 2 hours of playing I’m mostly done with those BR games. Have been gaming since I was little but in that field never had a problem. Actually I stopped gaming when the loot boxes ( call them childeren casino’s) came into affect. They never really pulled me in with those things.

      I have more problems with certain songs that I know from slots that are still in my music playlist in my phone. Or a bell that is ringing. Strange how that works in your mind, but it might have to do with the Pavlov’s dogs AKA conditioning. 

    • #54790
      LSA
      Účastník

      I felt really sad for you when I read the initial story. It is really difficult to stop gambling after 5 years. Habits are difficult to change and the excitement is very addictive.

      You have taken the right steps. I like how you have taken very serious steps instead of just small ones. It is the best solution – to take it very serious and really do anything to prevent any relapses. Congratulations!

      We never gamble again!

    • #54791
      joerdj
      Účastník

      I came to the conclusion then when I typed my first message it was „only“ 28 days after my last bet. Anyhow, nice weather here but sadly with this Corona not much to do. Went out for an ice-cream with my girlfriend and we enjoyed the sun for a bit.

    • #54792
      Monica1
      Účastník

      Well done joerj.
      This is a trap that perpetuates the cycle of gambling. When you can say no, don’t want to know, that is progress. And as you so rightly say, we all have kept that backdoor open. When you can tick the five year exclusion or however long their maximum is, that will shut the door. Better still to back it up with an email to support to say u have a gambling problem. Most will shut the door on you quickly although some unscrupulous sites won’t.
      Well done for not falling into the bonus money trap.

    • #54793
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well day 36 today. Went to spent my money wisely with a home dinner from a local restaurant. Because of the Corana I gave a nice tip.

      It is  better  to spend my money into some local business then put in into the slots. It gave me a nice feeling.

      Still keeping strong 36 days and counting.

      Much love for everyone here

    • #54794
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well, tomorrow my salary will hit my account.
      Normally I would sleep very poorly the day before. Just because of being restless and wanting to place a bet.

      Hopefully, this night will be better. Still gambling free for 48 days. I have decided to give myself a present when I hit 100 days.

      So to do that I will, from the 50-day mark onwards, save 2 euro a day, so when the 100 days are due I can buy myself the present.

      I still have money leftover from my last salary, so that’s for the first time in a while.

      On to the 50 days and onwards

    • #54795
      Nick
      Účastník

      🙂

    • #54796
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Thanks Nick , I’am doing wonderful 🙂 

    • #54797
      joerdj
      Účastník

      „You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore“

    • #54798
      joerdj
      Účastník

      „Factum fieri infectum non potest“

      I love latin phrases 🙂

    • #54799
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Almost at the 100-day mark.

      All things have only improved after the first time I wrote here ( 64 days ago)

      Also, quit smoking in the meantime. I haven’t had a cigarette in 33 days. Been using a vape though. My own made flavors are getting better and better over time, but it turns out it is a very slow process ( just as recovery). Some flavours really need 3/4 weeks to come to fruition. So with everything in life sometimes all we need is patience.

      Also cut down the alcohol use to 0 for the rest of the month, cause I was getting a bit fat ( and it is useless anyway)

      Still going strong 🙂

    • #68295
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well, I made it into the triple digits.
      n
      nLife is good at the moment 🙂

    • #68296
      dunc
      Účastník

      Hi joerdj
      n
      nWell done on a fantastic achievement
      n
      nGlad to hear life is good and your still working Recovery
      n
      nTake Care

    • #68297
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Thank you Dunc 🙂 

    • #68450
      joerdj
      Účastník

      In this world we’re livin‘ in, we have our share of sorrow
      n
      nAnswer now is don’t give in, aim for a new tomorrow

    • #68532
      joerdj
      Účastník

      You can’t keep dancing with the devil and ask why you’re still in hell

    • #68636
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well, today I hit the 150 days milestone.
      n
      nDid life get better?
      n
      nYes and no.
      n
      nThe decision to end my relationship after 6.5 years has put a strain on me. Did I make the right choice? Is there even a right choice? Sometimes I feel like a prick, other times a feel fine. But I never feel a sense of satisfaction. I’m going through the motion of life, instead of grabbing life.
      nGambling put me in a sort of survival mode which had some (silly) sense of purpose. It gave me a goal: Get money and play….
      n
      nNow I work, save money, play some videogames, make some walks, hang out with friends. No extreme highs, no extreme lows. It all feels so boring at times.
      n
      nBut maybe it is a positive effect of no gambling. I just need to make space for my feelings and emotions, instead of burying them with gambling. Sometimes I feel so disconnected from myself. Just as if I’m looking at myself in 3rd person.
      n
      nGambling filled a big part of my mental capacity. No time for worries when you are playing. Not thinking everything over a 1000 times. Just me and the slot. It felt peaceful at times and horrible at others.
      n
      nDo I want to go back to gambling?
      n
      nHell no.
      n
      nI’m confident that life is way better without gambling. I need to find a sense of purpose now. Find my meaning, set goals. Get my satisfaction from something else. Deal with the feelings and emotions that are coming back.
      n
      nI rather am bored with money in the bank then being bored without money and a lot of worries.
      n
      n“By gambling, we lose both our time and treasure, two things most precious to the life of man“

    • #68858
      joerdj
      Účastník

      6 Months GF today 🙂

    • #68860
      dunc
      Účastník

      Fantastic achievement joerdj you should be proud of yourself 

    • #68863
      Rosey Posey
      Účastník

      I just read this thread.  Thanks for sharing your story and giving me some insight into what may come next.  I too have been playing classic video games and find they are good distractions but not triggers.

      Congratulations on 180 days and everything else you accomplished on you journey.

    • #68872
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Thank you 🙂 Things go way smoother without all the sh*t gambling brings. 

    • #69113
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well after 7 months GF if have fallen off the right track is was on. Been gambling for the last 10 days. Was trying to save money this month by myself. Things did not turn out this way.
      nFinancially nothing bad happens because of my limited access to funds. (By some miracle I even „won“)
      n
      nIt gave me some insight: Without gambling I’m fine, but as soon as I start I can not stop. So the solution is to not start.
      n
      nBack to 1 again.

    • #69115
      Amber_Disfordone
      Účastník

      Good for you for coming to that conclusion even tho you win!! That’s amazing! Thanks for sharing your story and your truth.

    • #69116
      dunc
      Účastník

      Hi joerdj

      I want you to consider something

      Back to 1 again

      When you started to walk but fell over did your family say hes walking… No hes not walking

      when you were at school and got an answer wrong did you go back a year

      All through our lives we’ve learnt through mistakes, Recovery is a process or learning about ourselves, our traits, our perceptions, our characters… everything we are, say or do can impact our recovery its a learning curve that your relatively new too.

      You say „Without gambling I’m fine, but as soon as I start I can not stop. So the solution is to not start.“

      This to me sounds like a lesson many have to learn… this isn’t back to day one you’ve just passed a new milestone in your recovery

    • #69123
      joerdj
      Účastník

      I never thought that recovery would be a steady line upwards. There will always be dips and highs. 

      So now when I think about it, indeed not „Back to one“ again. Cause that would mean the other 200 or so days would have been for nothing.

      But on the other hand, I’m a bit pissed at myself. I always had it in the back of my mind that a relapse would happen so I already had peace with it( before it happened) Silly me knew it, and I still did it anyway.

      I guess that is what we call an addiction 

    • #76190
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Well, this should have been my 1-year gamble free. I did not make it.
      The relapse was almost as long as my gamble free time.
      I keep repeating the following sentence in my head.: My life, My responsibility.
      I’m done being pathic and wallow in self-pity. I have a problem and I have the responsibility to fix it.
      I have been reading the 12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson. An exceptionally well-written book with a lot of useful rules and stories.
      Rule 2: Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
      Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
      But more important for me:
      Rule 6: Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.
      It is easy for us to blame everything on everyone else.

      Why did I gamble? Is it my fault or my addiction’s fault? In my head, I always downplayed my responsibility. It was not my fault, but my addiction’s fault. Everyone’s problem except mine.
      Well, now I’m taking charge of my life. Done is the self-pity self-loathing sorry excuse of being addicted. I have free will if I believe it or not.

      My life, My responsibility

      Not to say everything is bad at the moment. I have more money saved than ever and got a promotion at work 🙂

    • #76507
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Pg 94 The past is fixed, but the future could be better. The present is eternally flawed but where you start might not be as important as the direction you are heading. Perhaps happiness is always to be found in the journey uphill, and not in the fleeting sense of satisfaction awaiting at the next peak. Much of happiness is hope, no matter how deep the underworld in which that hope was conceived.

    • #76508
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Pg 228 : Things fall apart. What worked yesterday will not necessarily work today.
      We can open our eyes and modify what we have where necessary and keep the machinery running smoothly.
      Or we can pretend that everything is alright, fail to make the necessary repairs, and then curse fate when nothing goes our way.”

    • #76546
      joerdj
      Účastník

      „When you have something to say, silence is a lie.”

    • #76576
      joerdj
      Účastník

      P311
      „King Arthur’s knights sit at a round table, because they are all equal. They set off to look for the holy grail – which is a symbol of salvation, container of the “nourishing” blood of Christ, keeper of redemption. Each knight leaves on his quest, individually. Each knight enters the forest, to begin his search, at the point that looks darkest to him.

      “In sterquiliniis invenitur” – in filth it will be found. What you need most is always to be found where you least wish to look. This is really a matter of definition. The more profound the error, the more difficult the revolution – the more fear and uncertaintly released as a consequence of restructuring. The things that are most informative are also frequently most painful. Under such circumstances, it is easy to run away. The act of running away, however, transforms the ambivalent unknown into that which is too terrifying to face. Acceptance of anomalous information brings terror and possibility, revolution and transformation. Rejection of unbearable fact stifles adaptation, and strangles life. We choose one path or another at every decision point in our lives, and emerge as the sum total of our choices. In rejecting our errors, we gain short-term security – but throw away our identity with the process that allows us to transcend our weaknesses, and tolerate our painfully limited lives“

    • #76899
      joerdj
      Účastník

      Reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky ( really really enjoy it, great recommendation)

      This sentence in the book really struck me:

      “Your worst sin is that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing.”

      Think this line can speak to all of us.

    • #76924
      Dark Energy
      Účastník

      hi Joerdj,
      I believe he had a gambling addiction as well.
      and he wrote a short novel ( the gambler ) it is on my reading list. I thought you would be interested in that as well.

      • #76950
        joerdj
        Účastník

        Hi Darkenergy,

        That is correct. The Gambler is not really interesting I must confess. It was a fun read but it doesn’t go that deep. You can read it ( its only 120 something pages). The ending of that book sums it up pretty nicely. It ends with „tomorrow everything will be different“ ( without saying if he’s quitting or going to gamble)

        Dostoyevsky was indeed a gambling addict ( or problem gambler). But I would suggest you read Crime and Punishment 🙂

    • #76955
      Dark Energy
      Účastník

      Hi Joerdj,
      actually, I read it long back, it is a very long novel. but is a must-read one. enjoy it.

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