All about balancing it out? Day 1

Hi everyone,

My first post. I wish it wasn't necessary for me to come here today but it is.

I am not looking for support but don't mind a kind word but primarily here to see what am I doing wrong.

I apologize for the long story. I don't know why I even have the urge to sum it all like this or if it is good to think in this way about it.

I am in my 30's and have been a casino visitor every now and then through last 10-12 years.

I've never been interested in any casino games apart from el. roulette.

I am well aware that it is rigged in a way that it will payout a certain percentage out of all the money it gets.

To sum it up my feelings about it are that you can't win there, and even if you do what luck is that amount going to bring?

It certainly wont solve all my life problems, whatever you can win there, and am well aware you can loose a lot.

I started gambling when I was about 18 and lost couple of thousand euros since. There was a time when I was around 22 where I

had very little control over it and If I happened to have the money back then I would have definitely lost all of it, luckily I was out of job so didn't

have much to gamble, but what I had - I lost it. It was very serious, I came up with all sorts of ideas to get money to gamble it, had 0 understanding of the problem that I have and 0 knowledge on how to tackle it. I did feel very bad about it but I didn't see a solution. I hurt my family in the process. We don't talk to this day as I feel ashamed and that I've hurt them and their lives and thats something I KNOW I cant balance out, whereas unfortunately with the money bit I have that feeling deep down I can, although I know I cant and even If I did it wouldnt fix anything. Problem is when you get comfortable again.

Then comes a 2nd period of my gambling story and thats a 3 year break from this very bad stage.

After 3 years I went back to it again but with a lot more control, I kind of set up a concept in my head that I dont want to be seen there,

that visiting such a place is below my life goals, I kind of fixed it with these ideas, so even If I was going rarely I would not loose a lot of money, or

more precisely whatever I would loose in 1 night I left it at that. Would come back in at least a month or two, just too loose some more money again obviously.

This went on for couple of years and back then I finished college, started working, girlfriend the rest of it and I kind of appreciated more what I have to loose If I let it take over me. But still wasn't in full control.

After this I took another quite a long break, maybe another 3 years and last year around this time I was under a lot of stress and found myself visiting the place again, like a newbie won some money which tricked me into thinking I can win again. Ended up loosing half of my salary in a week. I felt so bad about this and that I let it happen that I actually decided to tell my girlfriend about this and that I feel it could spiral out of control and that I could loose more... gave her the ccards, worked overtime to get the money back and I was fine. I have however hidden the full extent of the issue.

I was fine (didnt think of going back or went back) up until this period of the year, 12 months later where due to work etc. I get a lot of stress. I've been feeling it for days now, piling up, like a devil setting up a trap for me to fall into, I felt I am walking towards it, I knew what's ahead and still kept walking towards it.

Due to stress etc. got into a minor car incident where I ended up loosing, you will laugh, 80 quid to pay for the repairs...

And that pushed me to go to the casino again, to try to win that amount back and balance it out. Needless to say I lost, couple of hundred, but it

it feels like a million, because I feel like I've let the devil win. Honestly I didnt go for the atm but just for what I had in the pocket, but I cant say for sure, that I was 100% not to do it. Now I feel like I've let down my girlfriend and her trust, everyone I know, that something bad is bound to happen to me, that I've ruined all the good I've built and jeopardized it. I told her I broke my 12 months period of being free of it, gave her the cards etc. again so I don't get ideas to try and win it back.

Thinking about this going forward I've come to conclusion I have a strong feeling of that whatever I do in life this thing will be left in my shadow as a winner and as a devil waiting for me to fall in its trap again. I have a strong urge to somehow balance it out although I know that even If I did it wouldn't change the fact that I could walk into that trap again.

I am here to ask how do you fight this, how do you stay out if it for good?

Even more so, If I bounce back again and stay out if it for a while I will again get comfortable thinking its not a big deal, but it is, like I did today, I forgot how bad does it feel.

Hi welcome to the forum. You say you don't need support but you probably do I think when we feel we don't need support anymore is when we are more vulnerable.

You have given up for long periods before so go for it again but keep visiting this site and read other people's threads. I have lost all my savings, others have lost homes family's partners.

Leave barriers in place even after long periods like giving your partner control of finance. Exclude from wherever you gamble.

If you put barriers in place it will give you time to stop and remember how sickening it feels losing hard earned money.

Stick around read others stories I'm sure you will find people who have been in your situation.

Good day jurhen2 Thank you for creating this journal man i relate to alot to what you have written. I had been down that same road with gambling roulette the part where you say you knew where you were heading yet you kept on walking to the place.... man i experience the same lost all the money except money to travel back home. Thinking hard about where i am gonna get money for the week to buy food travel and pay bills. After 5 yrs bro i quit on the 06 dec 2019. You can read my journal. Anyways this habit had plague me over and over relapses kicking myself when i lost money fighting with myself alone screaming cursing out in the car like a mad man  while i was driving.

Similiar to you i crash my vehicle a month before i actually stop gambling. I lost $6000. The day before i decided enough is enough no more. I woke up the next day 6/12/19 sat down behind my computer and typed in "gambling" and read people testimonies for about three hours. Rewiring my mind. I am now 40 days GF. I lost my wife and son because of this habit. Now i am living mybest life now. Brother once you made up your mind to seek help for this habit seek support and encouragement. If there is any GA meetings you should attend. Fri 10 jan 2020 was my first GA meeting. It was very positive. I found a good community of people to relate to. I am also seeking therapy. I am now in control my own finances. I know i said before i am going keep on going on my path of recovery and rediscovering my self worth. Brother continue to seek counsel get help. Read the forum postings and you keep on posting your progress. Welcome to a new chapter of your life man.

I am here to ask how do you fight this, how do you stay out of it for good?

I'm not sure I do fight it. I think I accept it. I have a gambling problem. I cannot gamble normally, once I start I am incapable of stopping without a lot of anxiety, support and inner strength. It is easier not to start in the first place. If I had an allergy to peanuts and realised that peanuts made me ill - I would just stop eating them. I might really love peanuts, crave peanut butter - I would also know that if I succumbed I would be really ill and might die.

So it is with gambling. You know you can live a rich life without gambling - that giving into urges when life is difficult doesn't make life any easier - in fact just the opposite.  You have shown yourself capable of stopping for extended periods of time, you can do so again and this time admit that you are a problem gambler and that it is not something you can even contemplate.

I just accept that I have a gambling problem - that it is not an option for me and deal with crises as they come up - usually by talking things through with friends and / or my counsellor.

I wish you well.

Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

As well as the forums New Members are invited to join Charles in the New Members Practical Advice Group On Mondays at 21:00 (UK) and Thursday at 19:00(UK)

And on that note....

I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you :-)

Take care

The Gambling Therapy Team

PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

Thanks for the comments. Its hard to say anything smart. Hate this period after you loose or better yet go again where you keep thinking about the failure you've made, I wish I had smt I could build with my own hands, something like idk repairing a car bumper myself. Am a software engineer and this whole virtual crap is sucking the life out of me. I am thinking wouldn't it be great if i was in some car garage or similar today, surrounded by hard working people, constructing something with your hands, would get such an injection of smt positive... idk

@Ryan, yeah, barriers would be the main thing, I had quite a few in place but they failed this time. Like numerous ones in the past, the only one that was left standing this time was not to go for more cash. I do have a limit there for years now which seems that I wouldnt cross ever again. The thing attacked me and its gone for now, there is no another ambush behind the corner. But not really proud of that because who knows, could have easily been different scenario too, how can I trust myself. I want to work hard on making sure smt like this doesn't happen again. I am seriously considering adding to what I have smt like regular Church visits, maybe some kind of charity work, animal shelter helping or smt, people can help themselves, I can see that as a resource where I would be feeling positive about what I am doing and at the same time in connection to harsh reality - not that im enjoying it. I think the main thing is to keep this sense of how dangerous this thing is, how consuming and deceptful it is. And thats what I have to say to people who have fallen victims to this IfI could say anything, its not your fault, this is some kind of evil's doing and it took you as a victim, stop serving it. Its gonna leave you breadcrumbs of all sorts but will drain the blood out of you. No matter how deep it took you there is a light on the other side waiting for you, every day without it, every smile is a point you scored against it - winning the money back isn't, it feeds of destroying you emotinaly not financially. Never forget how dangerous it is, its a monster and it will cloud your mind into thinking its not. It is going to call you back, if you resist it, its going to step up its game to lure you in... keep resisting it, next time it has you in the corner dont shut your eyes and let it scare you and win, resist it and it will go away forever... I know I am going to get into this situation sooner or later again, where it will somehow push me and Ill try to fight back... we all should. The deeper you are the bigger the achievement of fighting back will it be. Imagine one day coming to the doors of afterlife, and them asking you, so what can you do, what are you good for, will you, will I want to reply that I barely stayed afloat, alive and cornered by this thing or will you be able to say - I've defetead one of the strongest devils out there, I smiled in its face on its own playground, I've come so far that I managed to lead a good life after a period of complete darkness, and most importantly I didnt let it consume people surrounding me forever too. Its after them too.

*i apologize in advance to those who find spirituality annoying

Day 7 gone. Thinking about how do i make a year, 3 years like before a couple of decades if im lucky. cant ever go back, years are not enough, need the rest of my life without it.

Day 34. Can't say I haven't had any urges in this month to have a go at it, but just the idea of loosing another 50 cents is sickening. 50 cents or 50 million its all the same, I wont let it get to me. Will check back in on day 345 and hopefully stronger.

Checking back, 2 months 1 week ago after the initial post. I don't want to get comfortable with it. Want to read my feelings from that day so I don't come into a situation where I gamble away andother cent. Its a sort of defeat I even have to come back to this but its reality, it's as real as every wasted breath there, never again.

Adding up 10 days to the total gambling free days. 2 and a half months now. Today feel rather depressed, it's always the case when off work. I have some extra work to do and the bit where I don't like what I am doing is really kicking in so I am just not doing it which is killing me even more. I hate my job and career. I don't have a feeling I am doing anything meaningful, and I came to an extra realisation gambling is a resource where I can grab in to forget about that fact. 

You wrote: I came to an extra realisation gambling is a resource where I can grab in to forget about that fact.

There are many reasons why we keep gambling and this is one of them. When I am gambling I can block out anything that is causing me stress in my life. In my case it was a difficult marriage, grief that was not worked through and other personal issues. It seems for you it is a realisation that your job is not fulfilling.

If the situation is so bad that you are tempted to gamble to get away from thinking about it - then I would say it needs to be addressed. I used to work as a careers adviser in the UK and I know most cities offer a service to people, (though it may be suspended because of the virus.) If you went to University it may be worth getting in touch with them as they normally offer something to past students.

Alternatively you could start with a book such as "Wishcraft" by Barbara Sher - which gives information on using your community to help with careers advice. I wish you well.

It comes with a dessert in the end as well. You actually reset and in a strange way appreciate what 5 mins earlier was the exact same thing that was bothering you. How messed up is that... or could be that it is fear kicking in there then.