I need advice and help

Hey guys this is my first ever time on this site. I came here because i just lost everything in my bank account again. Im completely addicted to slot machines. I have played poker now and then throughout my life and lost more money than ive wanted to but its never ever been to the point im at with these slot machines.


I got introduced to them about a year or 2 ago and won a jackpot, and ever since then i have lost thousands and thousands of dollars. I lost everything i had about a year ago. Lost my car due to not paying payments, pawned everything off. Lost everything and put it all into gambling. I ended up fixing my life up and stopped playing for a few months, worked hard. Bought me a cheap car for work, had about 3k in my savings and then boom i got drunk and started gambling again. Lost my entire savings in 2 weeks and then sold my car and used that money and lost it too.


Could not believe it. So i quit gambling AGAIN and managed to stop for a few months and saved up about 4k this time, got me a very nice car now and and saved up another 2k. So had a flash car with 2k in savings. Low and behold i started slot machines again and found myself going back trying to chase losses and lost my entire savings again in 1 week. Now i have spent the last month using my entire pay check on slot machines and quitting gambling, just to return again the following week when i get paid again.


I now just lost my pay check again and im trying my hardest to quit. I have no money left but still have my flash car. I am now paying bad credit loan which is only 50$ a week for the next 7 weeks which isnt too bad but i had got the pay advance to buy food since i didnt buy any before i lost my money. Now im broke and used that pay advance to gamble aswell.


I just need advice on how to stop gambling. Why is my brain so hooked on it? One day i can say im quitting and the next im losing everything again. Is this some sort of mental problem i have and do i have to spend the rest of my life trying to not lose everything i own to slot machines. Does the urge ever go away or is this a fight im stuck in for the rest of my life. This all started from that god dam jackpot i won and i wish i was never introduced to slots now. It has ruined my life. I want to stop playing slots forever, i can have so much money saved up but i keep going back and im tired of it. So sick and tired.


Sorry for rambling on so much and thank you to anyone that took the time to read through it all.


Hello Relapsing 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!


In the short term - the advice is to put barriers in the way and get good support for yourself. In the long-term, I feel it is looking at what has led you to gamble in the first place and totally changing your life to that of a non-gambler.


Let's just tackle short-term. Your problem is slots, I assume that is not online. If so you need to lose easy access to money - because no money no gamble. So can someone else ( a partner, family member, very trustworthy friend) handle your cash until you are strong enough to take back control again (which might be a few years!) If not - try to make access to cash as difficult as possible. When you get paid buy gift cards that you can use at supermarkets - you can't put them in slots. Only carry with you as little as you need for day to day expenses - the very act of having to get cash out might make you think again. The second thing is to get local support - check to see if there is a GA meeting near you - http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/locations or another support group for addictions or personal growth. Talk to a medic about the possibility of group or individual counselling. Come to the group sessions on here for new members on a Monday and Thursday evening (click on groups for times) and you will get good advise from others using the site. Keep busy - don't make the time for gambling. If boredom becomes a problem pick up another (non gambling) interest or just log on to a forum somewhere and chat. I wish you well.


Hi, i have read through your story and i can really relate to your situation. I was addicted to the slot machines and i soon moved on to the tables and online betting which is where i am right now. Today i discovered this site while searching for help so i really do not have much to offer you at this time but only encouragement. I believe it is possible to STOP and regain control. I have decided to do the same. Today i lost so much to online gambling and it is a turning point for me. I have closed the account and i am determined to burn myself in all the casino's i visit. I am determined to focus on my life and start attending my debts instead of waiting for the big pay that will take care of everything. I haven't been here long but i have picked up on one thing "Gambling is not the solution but the problem". I am holding on to this thought as it resonates very deeply with me. Most (if not all) of the problems and debts i have right now are as a result of gambling so further gambling will not solve them but further escalate them. I know it will not be an easy journey but the stories of the people here has given me a renewed hope and believe that i can do it. I hope it does the same for you.


Kelvin


Thank you for replying on my thread guys. I play online and at my local pubs, and have lost so much money to both. I have self excluded from the last online site i used. Maybe we can go through this together since we have both only just quit.



Its not a nice feeling knowing how much money i have earnt lately and have none of it left. I have a little more confidence in myself though after visiting this site. I dont have anyone to take control of my money for me because i cant trust my mother with it (she will probably start spending it without my permission) and my father is going through a rough break up at the moment with his ex partner so i dont want to burden him with my problems. I will have to do this on my own. 



I always hear people say that we gamble because there is another area in our lives we arent happy with but what if im not sure what that is? I consider my life fine and cant think of a reason as to why i continue to throw all my money away. I had a bad break up a few years ago which led to a bad year or 2 of being hooked on weed to the point i became dependent and depressed but since i stopped smoking i have felt good. I haven't had a partner since then and wonder if maybe deep down its to do with something like that.  Thats the only little scenario i can think of anyway that might be wrong with me possibly. Maybe its a subconscious thing but consciously i feel fine.



Can this be done without going to g.a meetings? I live in a small country and not sure we have them here but also this is my hometown and i feel i would be ashamed and embarrassed to be seen at a meeting by family or friends


It is a pleasure to meet you.


I have never attended G.A meetings and I am not the best person to advise on this. Whatever you do decide to do, the solution is “you”. It is good to have like-minded people here who totally understands the disease and the addiction. I think it is important to keep this resolve and to always be on guard. There are traps everywhere and one bet can quickly become 100 and then a thousand. It is a terrible feeling to forget the value of money. To only remember the value after you have lost it. While we gamble, we miss out on the good things in life, we are always chasing something, a big win, a loss or something else. Time to take back control with action.


Nearing the end of day 3 gamble free today. Got paid from work and havent had any urges so far. Have put majority of my money into savings after paying bills. Feeling good about myself knowing i have money again and dont want to waste it on slot machines. Have spent the last few days reading stories from people on this site and really seeing how much gambling is affecting so many people from different walks of life.

It is very sad to see how many people are struggling with this even when we break down and dont want to gamble anymore, we all still relapse and lose everything.


It is a cruel addiction that can happen to some of the nicest and even most intelligent people. I thought my story was bad but there are people going through a lot worse. Although the money i lose is a lot of money to me even though it may be nothing to some of the people on here, i believe that we all feel that same empty feeling when we lose everything.


I will keep posting here as it helps me stay motivated and i am hoping to go the rest of the year atleast gamble free. I want to go the rest of my life gamble free but just going day by day for now so the task doesnt appear so out of reach.


I am not one to give love advice, but the common denominator between the love effect and gambling is the dopamine. If you have been single for a while your brain could be missing the rush of dopamine that comes from the brain when you feel love and is replacing it with the rush when you gamble. I am not saying to go and try to fall in love right now, but perhaps chasing the different kind of rush may help with your gambling. I am an all or nothing kind of gal, so I feel things very intensely. You could be the same and need to find other ways to give your brain  its fix, especially if you've been self medicating with weed and have been depressed. I have been trying other things to give me a bit of a rush and  to focus my attention in more positive ways and it has been successful for me in the short term. Good luck and keep your focus on not gambling instead of gambling. BTW, gamban on your devices to stop you from going back to online. I know it's a big step, knowing that you  cant gamble anymore is hard, but it's something that you get used to and after a while it comes brainless. You just  cant do it at home. Self exclude from any place that has slots so that it would be too embarrassing to get caught if you try. Take away any access and you would be surprised how easy it becomes to stay gf. Good luck


Hey thanks for your reply.


I think you might be right with the whole dopamine thing. After my break up i didnt want to be with anyone else and i used weed to feel better. Stopped smoking and then quickly moved onto gambling heavily so yeah now that i think about it, i have most probably been hunting for dopamine fixes. 



I admit i have thought about having another partner now and then lately but i would never want to commit to somebody when i had my weed problem and now again with my gambling problem. Im only 26 so i still have time but i feel i should be able to find happiness first within myself before looking for a girl to make me happy. I wouldnt want to take any of these addictions or problems into a relationship. Weird to think i havent been in a relationship in years now though and ive had problems ever since.



How are you doing and how long are you gamble free? Would be more than happy to listen to your story if you wanted to share.


I was on day 4 and ended up stumbling across some videos on facebooķ of people winning big on slot machines. I sat there for an hour straight just watching them and it triggered me to give it a go myself. Have been self excluded from all the online sites i used so ended up looking for new ones which took me a long time to find 1 that seemed ok. Finally found 1 and lost 100$ and then self excluded myself.


Was only $100 but still feeling guilty about it and have to start day 1 again tomorrow. Atleast i still have money left. I guess this is going to be more of a challenge than i thought. To be honest, i probably wouldve lost a lot more money if i enjoyed the site more. I wasnt familiar with any of the games on there and didn't enjoy any of them so it was a little easier to stop.


I got away with only a scratch this time but i do see the potential in how bad it couldve been. I might post here daily for the next 7 days to try my hardest to stay away


Hi 



i have done done the exact same thing but playing demos. I ended up gambling and losing money.


To break the habit I realised I absolutely should not watch gambling of others nor play any sort of games that reminds me of it or imitates such games.


even if the money isn’t wagered it’s the conditions of gambling that ends up making us put money down and feed the addiction 


Please do come back over the next 7 days. It will help 


If you look t the big picture, which I need to do or the battle seems to be an endless stream of "hopeful tomorrow's" , I would see the picture like this: you went 4 days with no betting. That's a start. Now, you stumbled with $100 you wagered, but the reaction wasn't to get it back by wagering more, it was to self exclude. That's great. If you had Gambian on your devices, that wouldn't of happened at all, but sometimes you need to crawl to the sweet spot. I did the same thing. I would keep looking and looking for the one site that would take my money and I didn't care if there seems to be a way to cash out. I would be so happy that someone would even take my money. I would self exclude right after. The times between got longer and longer. If I could save you a lot of aggravation- get Gamban on all of your devices, even for the short two weeks. After the two weeks you will find it easier to say no. You most likely will sit at your devices for long periods and try different sites until you find another one, and there will always be one more to take your funds. As Running girl says, it's a devious, cunning and merciless beast, online gambling, because you can never seem to get away. It's on your computer, tablet and phone. It's going to bellow from the electronics to get you back, so either get the exterminator out (Gamban) to get rid of the vermin on your devices, or get rid of the devices. You can't win in the short run if you don't. It's like moving into a hotel room at a casino. Would you expect to be successful if you did that? You sound like your headed in the right direction. Keep in touch and I will tell you the long story of my life at another time. Try keeping busy, then try posting your success early in the day before it gets to late. If you tell us you were good for today, perhaps you could convince yourself not to lie to us and gamble after that. I have been gf for almost a month ( with the exception of being treated to the casino for my birthday, and that wasn't really a cheat since it wasn't even my desire to go). I find the desire to gamble less with each day, and although I do watch the YouTube videos from Life of a gambler and Neily777 every day that they come out , I don't find that the reaction is to want to gamble more than I used to, it seems to give me the little fix that I need and then I am good. Keep trying, and one day at a time is the best that anyone can do


It ended up taking a turn for the worst. I tried to go to bed after the message i wrote, couldnt sleeo because my mind kept thinking about how disappointed i was for losing 100$. I ended up going on the hunt to find another site, found one with games that im familiar with and just like you said, i wasnt even sure if i was going to be able to cash out but i was just glad they would take my money. 



I blew my entire pay check once again in less than half an hour. Kept depositing 100$ each time to make the money back and making bullshit excuses to myself for why to keep depositing. Did it over and over and over till my account was cleaned out. Then i definitely couldnt sleep and am just finishing a 12 hour shift at work now after having 30mins sleep before. Been in a decent mood today though since ive been busy and i know where i went wrong. No more watching videos of gambling, no more "little" deposits as im just going to end up trying to make it back no matter how small the loss is.



Also i checked out the gamban thing and looked at the list of sites it blocks but every site ive ever used are not on the blocklist. I am from new zealand so maybe its a U.S thing?



Thanks for your reply btw. I think ill be okay next week. Taking it day by day


If you cant get gamban then try gamblock. It is most important that you prevent anymore relapses by blocking the availability. Your gambling sounds just like mine and if it is, it is the only thing that will work. I went from my laptop, which I actually broke on purpose to try to stop, to my phone  which I eventually put the gamban on,  then to a tablet, which I put gamban on, then to my kids laptop (the older one that they don't use for school) which I got gamban on now. It is funny how, if you dont have access  after a while you learn to just stop trying. Its like when you are on a diet, dont have the food you are trying to avoid in the house or you'll end up cheating on your diet. If you do more to block the sites at home you will have to do less to stop yourself from gambling in general. Give yourself a fighting chance by taking advantage of what's out there to help. 


You have a very good point. It would be easier i was unable to access the sites due to something like gamblock. I just had a look into it though and it costs money. Do you know if theres any that are free? 



Gamblock actually looked perfect and i went to download it and then realized i have to pay for it, i have quite a few things i have to pay for in the next few weeks which should already have been paid but ive been losing all my money so really need to get it done. So i dont think i can afford to waste money on an app, which is ironic since ive been fine with wasting it on gambling. Have you been paying for your gamban?


The thing about getting gamban is it pays for itself in a very short time, maybe 1 day if you relapse. I cancelled all of my credit cards so I couldn't use them online anymore so I went and bought a prepaid card and used if to buy an annual term for gamban. I then used the trial download for either 90 days for my laptop and 2 weeks for the iPad. If you are like me, you have more than one email address which I used to gamble, which you can also use to get multiple trial periods of gamban on different devices as well. Make the investment if you cant get them free. I had the same issue at first, and I believe that in the period that I waited to finally get the free period or purchase it for my phone, I spent about 100x the price on slots. In a previous post you said that gamban does not block sites that you visit regularly. I'm in Ontario and havent found a site that it doesnt block. Irregardless,  if you have self excluded from the sites, no problem anyways. I made a lot of excuses in the beginning not to get the blocks on my devices and it cost me dearly. Know that you cannot do this without something  to stop you and that this is the best first step you can take if you play online. Running girl offered me the same advice and I resisted, initially, but am so glad that I did it. Not having the option, the access, is annoying at first, but it becomes brainless afterwards. You just cant play online anymore than you can go to the gas station and play slots there. It's not an option so you dont even think about it. I haven't played online in a month now, and have found it easier every day. I even forgot about it totally yesterday when i was home. Do it today and start an easier road to recovery. 


Just read your entire thread and I can relate to everything you typed. You are like me, we are so hard on ourselves for what we have done. You have to give yourself a break man, you are not a bad guy. You are not a murderer, criminal, woman beater etc, you just have an adddiction like all of us here. Listen man I been going to councilling one on one for addictions because GA did not works for me. A little bit about me I was not only addicted to gambling but also drugs and alcohol, so you can imagine the damage I was not only doing to finances but also my brain with substances on top of the gambling. You have to forgive yourself and realize this is not you vs you. It’s you vs your brain. Your brain got addicted to the dopamine rush that gambling gives like when you got that jackpot. I was the same. My big wins though, never came again since May.. lost every single time.. not even win once. I don’t even remember what’s it feels like to walk out after winking, that’s how much I lost consistently. Once you realize you are powerless over this addiction, you can be more at ease with yourself. We have to stop beating ourself up. I know you are a good guy just from your posts. You wil overcome this demon, you will come out on top and this will be a distant memory. There’s is no winners in the end, and if we stop now, the rest of our lives are ahead of us to make it right . Happy and gamble free. Do you remember how life was before gambling ? Just think it can get back to that if you truly believe. I’m rooting for you man, the saying goes we are either working on recovery or working on relapsing, let’s work on our recovery and be absolutely OBSESSED with recovery even more than being obsessed with gambling. Let’s have dopamine rush from gamble free days.. instead of slots or cards.. keep fighting man. We’re gonna get through this.


Thanks for your kind words man. Its funny you say you haven't won in a long time because now that i think about it, neither have i. 



Its been a long long time since i won anything so what really was the point of even playing right? Im on day 3 again now and already feel much better. You do actually get some satisfaction as each gamble free day goes by. Since i relapsed a few days ago ive been super busy with work. Which has made it much easier to not think about gambling. I feel really good about getting through next week when i get paid and think im ready now more than ever to not gamble. But its always easy to say when you have no access of funds right? 



I hope youre doing well murr, was happy to see you comment on my post after reading through you entire thread the other day. Felt so much of your emotions in your story and am highly rooting for you. The future seems so bright when i think about being gamble free for even just 30 days. I think just the first week is the very hard part which im determined this time. I will be checking out your thread again after work tomorrow. I will be keeping up with your progress and updates. We got this man!


Its day 7 gamble free today. I have money in the bank again. Feeling good and havent thought of gambling. Have been busy with work though. Still taking it day by day, hoping to keep going gamble free


Keep going man. You’re doing great.

Stay busy, remember what’s important in life, remember how gambling made you feel. I never want to feel that ever again.

We got this man...


Onwards and upwards !!


Thank you man and congratz to you on an entire month wow. The keyword you used was stay busy. Have been busy all week with work and have barely had spare time to even think about gambling. Am now on day 9


Hey guys just checking in to say im 14 days gamble free now. Feel good about myself. I have money in the bank and have been much too busy with work to spend it or gamble it. Gambling did pop into my head before going to sleep but only briefly. So i thought i would come on here to refresh myself. Just need to keep busy, looking forward to my first month of being gamble free


You're doing great and the fact that you are dealing with the thoughts instead of just keeping busy is a sign that you may be in it for the long haul. My first few attempts were only successful because I was too busy to try to gamble and it didn't work once I had time to myself. The second time was not successful because I had blocked on my phone but then I found the,tablet and failed again. If you can keep busy, block all access and deal with the thoughts in a positive way instead of just avoiding them, your concocting a success story in the making. Keep it up.


Half way to a month gamble free. Amazing man. As you know I had a heavy relapse this week so im back at day 1. I actually just re read your initial post and that’s how I’m feeling

Right now. Fast forward to your 14 day g free post and not even knowing you or seeing your face, I can tell through your words how much happier , less stressed, finding your old life again. It’s crazy was just 14 days can do and I can’t wait to be back there. Keep going man, stay busy and if you get the urge you’re smart to come on here and post, I really wish I did. Post when you get the urge, not after you relapse. That to me is a victory by itself. Keep going man, we’re all rooting for you. We will eventually re wire our brains to the point that gambling is an

Evil distant memory. Have a great weekend !


Hope you are doing well buddy, havent been on here for quite some time due to being busy with work. I stopped counting the days as they went by but judging by the date, it looks like im now 42 days gamble free.


Reason i came back is because i am now injured and have to have a month off work which was taking up all my time. I have found that ive become bored and looking for something to do since having this spare time. I ended up trying to log on to 2 of my old gambling sites yesterday and asked them both to lift ny self exclusion which i was declined from both as they said im permanently banned due to me telling them gambling is affecting my life. Then today i tried another site, and they made me email them to say im fine now and not having any problems gambling. Which i did and am now awaiting their response to see if they unban me. I think im going to gamble if they unban me so thought i would come here for some advice hoping it might change my mind before they get back to me.


My mind tells me I'll be okay and will just put on 100$ and call it a day. But a quieter voice in the back of my head says ive done this before and i wont stop at that 100. Its almost like i know the answer to my question but have this feeling inside me that it will be so satisfying to gamble again. 


I hope it's not too late for you by the time I write this. You've achieved 42 something days gambling free by staying busy at work or whatever. I'm not going to discount any of that, it's amazing and that's why I want you to keep building on your progress. Stop romancing and entertaining the thought of gambling again. Inside you know where it's gonna lead you. You already realize this, which is the first step. Now you must ACT on it - you can do it! Do whatever you must to break your train of thoughts regarding gambling again. Go for a walk, call somebody, make plans, just do something for yourself, or better yet, go do something for SOMEONE ELSE. You'll feel amazing, and it will give you an escape route from the dangerous thoughts about gambling again. Keep yourself busy with anything else than gambling, just as work has kept you busy for the last 42 days.


I hope you pull through.


- Chris 


If they do unban you - BAN YOURSELF AGAIN!


Is it really worth all the pain and anguish - both mentally and financially to feel as if you have escaped boredom for a few minutes.


I remember posting something a researcher in addiction said:  "relapsing doesn't start with the bet.  It starts with the contemplation of it - the making plans for it - working out how you are going to do it.  You need to break off from this relapse NOW whilst you still can.


Also as much as anything - think of all the time you are wasting - coming on here, reading people's stories, deciding not to gamble, posting on here and then going back to it - only to follow the circle all over again.  I am 62 and if I could get the 20 years I spent gambling and the 10 I spent relapsing back - I would bite your hand off.


As Chris has said - please talk to people - use the 1-2-1 on here or ring a local help-line.


I will be writing a post on being a non-gambler soon - but in short ... you need to find something else which takes over your life.  Something other than work, that you feel excited about and gives you some purpose.  This could be setting challenges for yourself in fitness, education, the arts, languages ...  Think about what you gave up to make room in your life for gambling whether in reality - or a dream you had that one day I will ... 


I hope you can get through this.  I wish you well.


Thank you guys for taking time to reply to me. I sort of waited for the site to reply to me today and they havent yet. After reading what you guys have said, im going to email them again and say to cancel my request and dont unban me. It is the last site ive found that i had a chance of using, im pretty much banned from every other place and dont trust any other sites.


I think work did have me distracted so i found the 42 days easy to get by but this obviously means the addiction is still alive and well inside me waiting for a moment of weakness. Its the end of the day now and time for me to sleep and im glad i didnt end up relapsing even though i intended to if i had the chance. I think i need to read through this forum again to remind myself of the pain gambling gave me because at the moment i don't feel any. I will spend the next few days on this site since i nearly ruined my progress today.


Thanks guys hope yous are doing well


Why do you still gave the ability to gamble online anyways? Why torture yourself when gamban or gamcare is just a click away. Stop giving yourself the choice. No choice means no choice of a yes or no. Do it quick and you will never look back 


Proud of you dude...

Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I haven’t been as active as I should be. Day 33 over here also, feeling a lot better without the anxiety and stress gambling brings. Glad you came here before a relapse and not after. You made the right choice with some sound advice from other members. Hope all is well!!


Keep going


Hey guys, wondering of any of you are still active here.

I havent been on the forums for 5 or 6 months i think. Im back because i have spent the last few months losing everything again.


The last 3 weeks as soon as I got paid, I went to the slots and lost my entire pay immediately and struggled to eat during the week because of it. Each time, i promised myself i would quit and started counting the days but then as soon as i got paid again i went straight back and gambled.


Its been 4 days since i gambled but then i borrowed 70$ off my friend today which was meant to be for food and i pay him back next week on payday. I ended up gambling that 70$ and lost it and now all i can think of is finding someone else to borrow money from so i can gamble it and hopefully get the money back i just lost. If it wasnt the weekend, i wouldve gotten a pay advance from a high interest pay day loan company which is a terrible idea.


As im writing all this, i feel like it all sounds so pathetic and maybe this is what i needed. I have been thinking about these forums for the past month or so but kept telling myself i am quitting gambling and it just doesnt seem to work. So after losing my mates money i decided it was time to come back.


I just wanna see if there's anyone that might have some words of advice for me, why do i keep changing my mind as soon as money shows up in my account again and what are steps that people take to stop this irrational behaviour.


I consider myself quite intelligent yet i continue to lose everything i own to a game that was invented to take money from people. How am i caught up in this nonsense, i come across dumb people that even look at me like theres something wrong with me. It now seems they are the smart ones and im the idiot, how did i get to this point..


Sorry once again for just spewing words out, i am going to make it a habit of checking back here every day in hopes that some advice might sink in and i might be able to move on into the next stage of my life. I have been doing this for too many years now. I am also sorry if this all seems pathetic to the people that have lost way more than me, although i do feel like ive lost everything including my own sanity through all this.


Looking forward to reading any help out there


Yes - I am still here and sorry to hear about your pain.

It took me many years from making the decision to stop - to actually staying stopped. I had relapse after relapse, so I can empathise with where you are at.


You have had lots of advice here already. Scroll back up and read it and think about how much you have taken on. If not - why not? The advice is given by people who have been where you are now - and are now at, (or aiming to be at) the place you want to be in ... gamble free. Not all the things advised will work for you, but you have nothing to lose by giving them a shot. Take Gamblers' Anonymous as an example. You said you were concerned that you might be embarrassed if someone recognised you. Is being embarrassed more of a problem than you have now? Or counselling - you don't feel there is any underlying problem causing you to gamble. Part of the counselling process is to find out what IS underlying - if you could see it, things would be much easier for you ...


I took a decision to put as much effort and time into my recovery as I did into my gambling - and that was a LOT. I became identified as a recovering person, not just recovering FROM gambling, but recovering my life. Now I see myself as a NON-gambler, it simply isn't part of my new life anymore - and I am a lot happier with a lot less stress. I have a simple lifestyle and just enjoy what life brings even in these difficult times. I hope that you can join me.


You describe the classic symptoms of the addiction being in control. I too used to wait for my monthly salary to go in and as soon as it did, the whole lot would be gone in one night of compulsive gambling. Then it was dodgy payday loans. We do it until we are absolutely sick of it, until we hit our own personal rock bottom of what is in fact a bottomless pit. I agree with steev, I gambled five and a half years of complete obsession with it, I stopped many times, went into recovery programmes a few times, and still didn’t stop. Then one day I was sick and tired and ill, and in humongous debt. About to lose my home. That was it. No more. I really hope you don’t have to get to that point. When the addiction really has a deep grip,on us, things happen. From being highly employable I could not get a job and became destitute. That was necessary for me to learn something and go through the recovery process.

Not every counsellor I have seen,and there have been three or four over time, was I able to gel with. When you find a programme and counsellor where it works it can really help. Because there are always underlying reasons why we gamble compulsively the way we do. And there are often more than one reason, for me it was a few affecting me spiritually, emotionally, mentally and eventually physically.

The steps we take are that we need to accept we are powerless over gambling, because when we get to the point that we immediately start as soon as the salary hits the bank, we are genuinely powerless at that point and we are in the grip of the most insidious and ugly addiction. Then we need to be,i eve that a power greater than ourselves can bring us back to sanity. And it can. But we have to go through the recovery process. Abstinence does not work, we have to move through the issues as to why we do it. Are you not sick of a repetitive cycle Playing out relentlessly over and over again until we get the message?

Oh, and change your name, relapsenomore might be more suitable than the relapse king. It just perpetuates the whole miserable cycle.


Thank you for replying to my thread. I hear it a lot that people have underlying reasons why they gamble but cant seem to pin point why i do. Are you able to tell me a few reasons that you gambled for if you dont mind? For me its like i know i shouldn't but the second my mind thinks "maybe one more time", it ends up guaranteed to happen, it's like a switch in my brain goes off and shuts down any logical thinking.



I do feel like im in that deep pit of it because of the control it has over me. Im getting to the point where i feel like reaching out to god to ask for help out of desperation hoping something might give me the strength even though i dont normally pray or even know how to. I feel like gambling is hell on earth and everytime i lose all my money again, i get evil thoughts like hurting myself or stealing my money back from someone else. I wouldn't ever act on these thoughts but the fact that they even jump in my head for even a second shows me the evil in it. 



Any tips or just thoughts you have in moments of weakness? I just returned to work today so it has helped my mental health a little but i get paid tomorrow so will spend as much time as i can on this forum before that to try and keep myself from making any bad decisions


I was also thinking of the why. Why me why not someone else why why why. But all these questions, even if I get an answer, won't change anything to the situation I'm in now.


What you are seeking is rational answers to something that is not rational. Even if there was a reason, would it matter for the situation you are in now?  This is your brain trying to rationalize its own behavior (cognitive dissonance).


Your brain is a complicated thing, but basically you have a primitive brain and the thinking brain. With this and more situations those are in a struggle with each other. Your primitive part is driven by emotions, the rational part by reason.


Hence when you place a bet, your primitive brain wins the battle from your rational brain. When the high is over your rational brain is back in action and you think why why why. 


In no way I'm trying to say you should not pursue your quest for answers, just don't forget you live in the now. 


sorry to hear about your slip. well done for coming back here to keep your recovery in mind and seek support 


Ok so there are a lot of things you can do today BEFORE you get paid.

Get excluded from the sites you gamble at.

Get a blocker for your devices.

Make yourself accountable and tie up your finances.

Maybe a family member could help with that or maybe the friend who leant you money.

You can also ask your friends NOT to lend you money in the future. It would be a big deterrent knowing that if you gamble you won't be able to get other funds to live on.


Words and promises never stopped any of us gambling, what actions can you take?


Take them now, before you get paid. Keep posting


I didnt read this till now as i already lost yet again, another pay cheque yesterday. Something that sunk in was you saying words and promises wont do it, what actions will i have in place. It made me realize that's all ive done lately is talk to myself and promise myself no more gambling and it hasnt hasn't worked at all. 



So you are right, i need to put in action. First one is getting rid of my debit card and changing back to an eftpos card. Second one is contemplating telling a family member. Then i need to find other actions i can take. 



Last person that told me to get everything blocked, insisted on a certain program which would block sites on my devices but was gona be very expensive to buy. Do you know if any free programs thatdo this exist or are they usually all paid?



Thanks for taking time out of your day to drop me some help, its much appreciated


Sorry to say but I always find that xyz program is very expensive a useless argument. We wasted ridiculous amounts of money in slots, and a program that can prevent that is always cheaper then waste your money again. 


Anyway try : https://betblocker.org/


Ok, this probably won’t help you but as you asked:

I was 55 when I developed a gambling addiction.

It all started innocently enough playing bingo whilst recovering from major surgery for kidney cancer, avoiding the slots, having an early 2k win on a scratch card, and then graduating to the evil slots 3 months later.i had gone back to work two months after surgery, was still unwell and had to take another two to three months off. Work had always been my refuge.

My partner left me physically and emotionally when I came out of hospital which lasted for years until he moved out at my request after counselling. We have subsequently got back together and it is completely different to what it was

I lost my faith in God and started to self destruct

I had supported many people in life, including my family but this was not always reciprocated. I was always the one that people turned to for help but had very little help myself. So that was unbalanced and I was questioning as to whether life was worth living.

It was an existential crisis of faith and of life itself in that I felt that very little had worked out well in my life, it had had a lot of trauma and unhappiness aside from work, which was my refuge.

Bye the bye, I do not feel that way any more and have not for a long time. I worked through recovery. I prayed to god for help and I got it although it wasn’t easy for the first few months, I was ill physically, emotionally and spiritually. There is far more balance in my Iife now, although not perfect.

Incidentally, you can just ask God to help you, there is nothing special about it. Talk to Him as you would a trusted friend, because that is indeed what He is. Just my take, it can be your higher power, however and whatever you believe that to be.


Hey Monica, all your messages have been very nice to read. You sound like youve had your fair share of experience and also obstacles in your life so its very inspiring for me to read.



Ive been thinking of reaching out in prayer for a long time because i come from a christian upbringing and have found a few times during my life when things were very bad, i i reached out to god and everything eventually fell into place and worked out in the end. Something holding me back is i didnt want to do it like that again, it makes me feel like i only decide to learn more about god or start praying when things arent going good for me when i i should be learning when things are good and i dont anything in return. Feel like its a selfish act on my behalf like im just doing it for someone to bail me out, not on purpose but subconsciously.



Im gonna read through this entire thread to see what i said back when i was more active. Thanks for sharing personal info about yourself to help me in my situation. I appreciate it more than you know. Do you have any threads yourself on here that i can read through read more into your journey? 


I find myself a little irritated with the response to my post. It feels like you picked out one thing I mentioned (counselling) and instead of considering it - you asked what I got out of it, as if it would be the same for you. No - I am not sharing. Your thread is headed "I need advice and help" and yet when people have given advice and help you have not acted. Charles has now added to things that you can do ... but will you? What about looking into GA - if not why not? It is only by taking action that you are going to move on from where you are. I hope you can find it in yourself to take action. I look forward to hearing about the results.


Sorry steev my message was actually directed at the person who commented below you. You are right though, i have been given a lot of advice and not really put in the effort to try them out. 



I dont want to annoy people that tell me to go to a GA meeting as i live in a small town in new Zealand where everyone knows everyone and I feel like its guaranteed ill bump into someone i know. I know it sounds pathetic but a meeting i have to show up to in person is something i really dont want to do hence why im trying to find other means. 



I spent most my pay gambling again. But i withdrew what i had left in cash, and am getting rid of my debit card so ill need a new one but going to get an eftpos card instead of debit so I can't use it online. Im spending the next few days wondering if i should tell my mum about the problem and send her my pay everyweek then she can just send mr what i need for groceries etc. The problem there is that she use to have a gambling addiction too and i i worry about the safety of my money with her. I feel if i stress it to her that I need her to look after it and to promise she wont spend any then it might be fine but i know gambling can make you do things you wouldn't normally do.



Im also very busy with work now since ive returned and dont find myself with much spare time now. I will be making good money again now so have a few days before payday next week to put some things into place to increase my chances and not gambling next week. What i havent done yet is go and read other stories since ive been back on this forum so will look through when i wake up.im writing this comment late at night lying in bed as i just got home and am going to sleep


The thrust of my previous post is that you need to take action.  I am not having a go at you for gambling again ... we all have a gambling problem and that is what we do - but what ACTION are you taking.  If you have gambled again (I was not sure from your post) why are blocks not in place?  Has your mother recovered from her gambling problem.  If so, she will understand your situation better than most and will do all she can to help.  If not, then you are right - it might be too much temptation for her.  Perhaps there is someone else.



As for the GA thing - I get that you don't want people to know - but have you explored the possiblity of remote meetings - especially at the moment, in most countries GA does not have physical meetings (although they may in NZ.) Check out if there are meetings via zoom or skype in locations closer to your time zone (Australia) where there is little chance of meeting someone you know.  There are also support group meetings here - although the facilitated ones are probably through the night for you - but check the timetable ... there may be some you could attend.



Do things NOW to stop the next cycle of gambling, otherwise you are going to be in this loop for a long, long time.  Something I experienced and would not want anyone else to go through.  I wish you well.



Hi Relapseking,  


GA is only one road  to recovery- I was in a similar situation and when I eventually made it to GA I absolutely hated it.


There is no one route to recovery.


My mum also has a gambling addiction and although I would give her anything, I would not trust her with my money.


However, as Steev has rightly said we do need to take actions to stop gambling - this sounds rich coming from me as I had every  excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t !


I will tell you some of the things which helped me to become gamble free.


I got Gamban for my phone - it blocks all gambling sites on internet devices.


I cancelled my bank cards , ordered new ones , got someone else to open envelope and scratch off last three numbers before giving it to me. Our addicted brains will memorise the number almost immediately so we need someone else to help.


These two barriers prevent me from gambling - even when willpower alone doesn’t!


Hope this helps!


Hi Relapseeking

I just remembered there is another online support which I have used in the past - at that time I didn’t think there was a group out there matched my way of thinking. This is online support called SMART recovery. Here is their philosophy which I think supports all we have learned through research and experience.


Our Philosophy

People make a choice to engage in addictive behaviours and can make a choice to stop.

Everyone has the power of choice and can choose to change unhelpful or harmful behaviours.

People are not their behaviours, so stigmatising language like ‘addict’ and ‘alcoholic’ is not used.

People seeking recovery are empowered to choose what works best for them from a ‘tool box’ of methods demonstrated in meetings and also available online and in manuals.

Participants are free to engage with any other services or mutual-aid groups which they find helpful; there is no one path to recovery.

Once a healthy, positive and balanced lifestyle is achieved participants are free to move on and pursue other goals in life. Some may choose to volunteer and train to become Meeting Facilitators.


I hope you are busy trying out all the suggestions that have been made to you, but it would be good to hear how you are getting on.


Hopefully you have tightened up your defences against gambling and have ensure your blocks etc are in place.


I hope you are getting good support for yourself, there is a lot out there now - with meetings and one to ones in several countries being accessible on-line. Please avail yourself to as much as possible. Plunge in and leave your worries and concerns about things behind - revisit them if you need to once you have some days of sobriety behind you. I wish you well.


Thanks for the words mate. I swallowed my pride this week, snapped my debit card and cancelled it and then rang my mother and told her everything that is going on and she was super supportive and i sent her my pay this week. I've been very busy with work this week which has made not gambling a lot easier.



Im very proud of myself this week even though its only early days but these small steps i have taken, have been something ive been avoiding for months now and finally got the courage to do it. What is strange is that when i got paid, i sent the money straight to her easily and thought to myself "this was easy, im done with gambling and couldve done it without her help" but then the next day i found myself very close to gambling the little money i had left in my account which was for a bill going out later in the day and then remembered that i cancelled my debit card so it would not be possible. 



So it gave me relief knowing i couldnt do it but also quickly reminded me why i took these steps and how disgustingly quick my mind was triggered back to thinking like a gambling addict.


So i guess things will be like this for a while and my mum will be holding onto my money for a while until i can sort myself out. This is the beginning of a long but worth it journey. Thanks for reaching out mate, its nice to know that people out there actually care for the progress of other members. Are you a recovered gambler or still fighting urges?


And great that you took the action you needed to.  You know now that the difficult part of taking action is the lead up to it.  Once we take action there is a relief and that thought "it was so easy why didn't I do it sooner!"  I know this is just the beginning for you - take action if you do find yourself relapsing, (maybe as Monica suggested you could start by changing your posting name!)


As for me - I haven't had a bet for several years - over a decade, but then I am considerably older than you.  Am I recovered?  Do we ever recover?  I know that I can never place a bet again and have no intention to.  That is recovery enough for me.


thanks mate its been great hearing from you.


why do you still post in forums like these after being away from gambling for so long? do you consider gambling to be one of those things that can easily creep back up on you even after nearly a decade of stopping? i ask because that is a scary thought to me that I'll be spending the rest of my life trying to stay away from this addiction. i went the first 20 years or so of my life looking at gamblers like "youre stupid if lose your money to gambling, how dumb can you be" but then later on found it was so much easier to fall into no matter how smart you consider yourself.



I had hopes I would fall back into the thoughts i originally had about gambling eventually but have a feeling its going to be a battle for the rest of my life. its a strange thing how gambling can change the way I think so abruptly and destroy my life in a single moment. do you still have moments of weakness or you know you are fine now? i look forward to the milestones of time as a non-gambler I can announce on these forums.



I play online games also and find myself gambling for ingame wealth on a certain game (which cannot translate to irl money) but its still to succeed through the game faster. would you consider this cheating? as i have not gambled since last week but I did do some in this online game i play which made me feel guilty like a gambler. i feel like I should reset my non gambling streak even though it wasnt for real money. Would you agree that it is still a form of gambling and should reset my counter? because i did also feel the heart rate go up like it would in real money gambling. i guess im answering my own question but would also like comfirmation.



thanks for your time steev


I'll take the easier one first.  I post on the forum to give something back.  So many people helped me in my quest to end this behaviour - that I firmly believe this is pay-back time.  However I only started posting here 18 months ago.  I took quite a break from gambling - even stuff to do with recovery because I needed to work my own way out and I found that hearing other people's problems with it was a trigger for me.  As part of my journey, I did study psychology and counselling and I did work with addiction issues - but with drugs rather than gambling (I have never used hard drugs) and with families rather than users (I have no family) so I was able to double distance myself.  After so many years of not gambling I now feel I can work with gamblers without being restimulated.


Do I feel it would easily creep up on me?  Yes, I don't believe I can ever gamble on slots again.  I know that my brain is wired to keep playing and the only way to stop this is not to start.  That is no great hardship though ... most people don't play slots and so I am just joining the majority.  Gambling plays no part in my life any more - other than discussing it on here and occasionally through social media.


Do I feel playing games for virtual wins cheating?  That is a difficult question - and there is some discussion of issues around alternatives to gambling on my thread at the moment - which you might want to visit.  But my honest opinion is for people to do what works for them.  I still play the odd computer game (free and without any money award) - not often but occasionally.   I remember when I had been stopped for a while, playing pinball which was a little disturbing because it was putting money in a slot - but apart from free games there was no monetary reward - and I did not find it "addictive."   I think the important thing is to focus on our recovery from gambling and one of the ways to do this is to find other uses of our time.  Yes it would be nice to think that that would always be useful things like arts and crafts or learning a language or creative writing ... but the truth is that sometimes we need to pig out by binge-watching Netflix or playing computer games. 


In the post on my thread - I tried to compare it to giving up caffiene, where the sensible thing to do is not to give up suddenly, but gradually over time.  I think maybe the same could be done with games where we use it as a way of weaning ourselves off our destructive behaviour and if we feel that this in turn is becoming destructive - then we use the tools we have learnt to wean ourselves off that as well.  However, I am aware that this is a controversial view and others may have more to say on the subject.


Congratulations on your gamble free time.  Keep doing what you need to do to stay stopped.  Don't forget that you can get support from others online through online meetings such as GA or SMART or counseling and I hope you get a lot from your journey of recovery.


Hi RelapseKing

Your post has really lifted me this morning.

Somewhere along the way I discovered (and I was a much slower learner than you) that the difference between recovering or not is taking action or not.


Well done on all the action you have taken. The urges will lessen with time. You should be really proud of yourself - you have taken some really difficult steps. Every time you say no to gambling you are changing how your mind works.


Keep strong .


thanks for your message, you put a smile on my face saying this.



i have been worrying lately about the urges and just hope to myself that I can stay strong when they come on heavy. "the urges will lessen with time" really hit me. because i know you are right and its just because im fresh in recovery right now. it made me realize that 7 weeks ago i had quit smoking weed which i was doing every day, all day long. and the first few weeks without it was dreadful. but now i have absolutely no urge whatsoever to smoke weed so this should also be similar to stopping gambling. I need to look to the end goal and know that it gets easier, the longer away from it I am. 



you have motivated me today to keep doing what im doing and I thank you for that. I look very forward to payday this week and sending that money to my mum again as that will be 2 weeks of money saved which is an accomplishment for me. I use to be so good at saving too so i cannot wait till re-gain that mindset and lose this gambling one. we can all do this and I see now more than ever that it is a lot easier to do with the help of others and talking to people who can relate as i know if i was to tell a non-gambler, its something they wouldnt understand just like i wouldnt have back before i started. 



i have been looking at life more positively lately and telling myself that this was the journey I had to go through to grow as a person so I cannot be mad because we all have a different process and this was mine. Years from now we will look back and smile at how far we've come just as Steev does who posted above. take care mate