I am posting this I guess as a log and a marker to look back on for progress but also welcome any feedback or advice anyone feels like sharing.
Today after probably the best part of 12-13 years I have finally decided it’s time to stop gambling particularly betting on sports. It’s ruined me for a long time while also destroying relationships with friends & loved ones.
It has forced me to be someone I am not particularly lying to cover my losses and defer paying back people I’ve had to borrow from to cover those loses. I seemed to do ok in the beginning often making large amounts of money and very rarely losing but somewhere it all changed. It’s gotten particularly bad over the last 8 years as I moved to a country where gambling is not legal and therefore almost all of my betting has be done with credit lines and credit lines far higher than anyone should ever have (my largest bet ever on one game was 20k) and I barely make 5x that in a year.
As the losing started and not gambling with my own money the debt mounted and has run up to a ridiculous amount across the board.... cash loans, loans from banks, running up my credit cards while paying off other debt it’s actually quite unbelievable. How it took this long for me to really want to do something about it is pretty embarrassing! I’ve not bet for periods of maybe a few weeks a few months here or there sometimes by choice and probably mostly by being cut off by a bookie who had a heart, gotten sick of slow payment or a friend who had set me up with that stepping in.
I was on track about a year ago until some financial pressures built up and of course I thought ah I’ll just win some bets and help ease the financial stress... problem is it doesn’t stop win one, two, three pay some stuff and just keep on going until eventually I’m digging another hole often a deeper one or there’s already five holes that aren’t yet refilled.
I think I’m pretty great at picking a game but it just doesn’t stop there, the next day or same night I’m just betting to bet and betting on things I know nothing about.
Anyway the damage it’s caused is horrendous and I’m slowly starting to realize if I don’t stop it’s just a never ending cycle that I want no part of. I want to own a home, I want to have a family I want to provide for them, I want people to trust me, I want people not to lose respect for me. Hell I want to not wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning checking betting accounts or not be able to eat and sleep due to the stress and worry of the money I’ve lost. As I said I owe friends, family and unfortunately still owe multiple bookies money from this last weeks gambling, I’m beyond tapped and I’m going to have to figure out a way to convey that paying them back is going to be a bit slow regardless of what the threats or consequences are.
I’m going to try sticking to it and try hanging on to the proud and good feeling I get when I clear debt and eventually work on saving some money to feel proud of haha try and get addicted to that feeling instead!
As for the burnt relationships and lack of trust/respect left I guess that’s going to be a long road but hopefully with time that will change, I can’t expect much and don’t but I’m going to work at it.
I’ve been to GA twice probably 4 years ago as things really started getting bad but didn’t like it at all ( maybe it was because I didn’t want to stop) but I’ve chosen to strategize by using this site, the chat room was short but useful and I’m looking at other options outside of GA for support and possibly therapy.
If anyone has ideas or experiences they’d like to share they are very welcome otherwise I guess I hope someone reads this and finds the confidence to do something for themselves and at least try to make a change.
Let’s break the chains stop the hurt, stop the embarrassment, stop risking our freedom together or take that freedom back!