My story and an attempt to a fresh new start

Hello Friends, i read most of the journals in this forum and i see many different stories like mine, some worser, some better and i would like to share my story too.

English is not my first language so please try to ignore my mistakes. Before writing my story with gambling, i want to share my current situation. After quitting for almost 3 months,

I started to gamble again on a website, it lasted about 10 hours and i lost about 2.800 usd. After that i ate nothing, drunk nothing, just stayed in the bed until this Sunday morning,

the emotional pain is so hard that i can not explain. I lost my focus on everything in my life. In the last 15 months i gambled around 4 times, each lasted only 1 day and each was about

2.800 USD. In the other months, i was always very sparing with all of my expenses. I earn enough have a nice life but a bit stressful about work. Other than that i am happy.

But this feeling killing me. As it is described in the compulsive gambling addiction websites, this feeling gives me suicidal thoughts on the top level, loss of appetite, loss of interest to

people around me all i do during this period is laying in the bed and watching the ceiling. I even don't want to check my bank account in order to prevent seeing the truth and how

weak and stupid am i. I earn a lot compared to people around me and still i lose that amount and thinking how they work hard for this money makes me ashamed.. All my body shivered

almost two days long.. I hope to overcome this situation and reach to my normal mood again. I hope this is the first day of the coming good days.

It started around 9 years ago. I started to bet on football and various sports, i lost some, won some and it was some fun. Also, it was almost under my control and i was doing this only sprecial

occasions like Champions League finals, Wimbledon semis etc. One day, a friend of mine invited me to a Casino and there i learned how to play blackjack. It was end of 2013 and i found myself

visiting casinos regularly. I was playing Roulette and Blackjack. All of a sudden i found myself in a severe depression because of the money that i lost. I started to drink, smoke pot, just to ease

the pain. I was very normal in my daily life. I was doing successful at the job, never missed an responsibility and continued to be successful. On the other hand, during the period i lost about 25K usd.

I was visiting the Casino almost everyday. One day after a big loss i decided to self exclude myself forever and this is still valid. Because i was visiting almost everyday, i think my brain become addicted

that's why i found myself in really cheap places, betting on horseracing or some football games. I was losing around 500 on a week and i decided again to control this and quitted.

After a while, I understood that i need the real casinos not bookies, only thing that satisfied me was the real tables. So on the weekends, i traveled to Amsterdam and played a lot in Casino Holland.

On night i lost about 7.000 EUR and all left with me was 200eur. In the morning, i went there with 200 and won 8000 eur in Baccarat. God was again playing with me.

In the meanwhile i met a wonderful woman, we were understanding each other very well and we were very happy. But i visited Amsterdam again and lost a lot and i self excluded myself from all holland casinos.

In the meanwhile she left me. Then i started to play online.. I was in a full of debt and lost around 40K EUR in total.. It was almost equal to my yearly income. Each time i played in an online casino, after a loss, i immediately self excluded myself. On Dec 2015, i was in the deepest depression, i had no money, smoking pot everyday, gained 20KG and i was almost unrecognizable. During that time, i was attended to a evenings course of Spanish in order to distract myself. I never thought that it was another game of god to me when i suddenly rushing myself to buy a paysafe card. At that time i blocked all my internet accounts. But i was so intelligent and always try to found new ways to satisfy my hunger of gambling.

I barely afforded to buy 200 EUR of paysafe card and directly came home. I was some kind of hypnotized. I registered a random website, loaded the money and started to play baccarat and blackjack. My balance was reduced to 20 EUR and it was the same routine. But somehow i caught some winning streaks and i was playing like crazy. I ended in 2 hours with +44.000 EUR profit. I immediately withdrew the money. I paid my debts, i bought the same car that i sold because of my debts. I was the happiest person in the world and i appreciated this second chance. I organized nice trips to my family, tried to make them happy etc. I said this is enough i am out.

After some months, In 2016, i went to Monte Carlo with my girlfriend and i visited casino when she was sleeping and lost every single penny and then i was in a so desperate position that i needed help so in the morning i told her everything and of course reduced the losses and i promised her not to play anymore. She convinced my to go to a psychologist. I kept my promise, i visited a consultant. She left me by the way, because i was having too much mood up and downs. Because of smoking pot and gambling. I was again all alone.

After started to visit a psychologist, i found out the severe depression of mine. As an ambitious person, i decided to fight with those addictions of mine. I studied a lot during that time and i was accepted for a Masters program in 2017 which lasted around 2 years. During that time i smoked pot only twice and gambled only three times and i lost in all of them. The thing is that the amounts that i lost and playing frequency of mine was lower compared to early years of mine. However, i felt this self destructive, very high depressive and suicidal thoughts in myself. It was not same feeling like in the early years. Although, i was playing once in a month and lost a lesser amount, the pain i was facing with was irresistible. After each loss, i texted old friends, ex-girl friends etc. to have their mercy and i received no response or just ignorance. At that time i understood that we are all alone in this world. I never told my family because i knew that they will not understand. Another fact is that my father suicided because of this.

In Dec 2019, i went to a short holiday and found a casino and lost about 4K eur and faced same feelings and quitted for 3 months where i played and lost in bookies in March 2020 and yesterday. After this post i realized my patterns. I mean in almost every year i have a story and i am not successful with quitting gambling. I even quitted pot but not gambling. I am completely sane, focused and determined but i don't understand why i did this. I try to use exercises provided in this website in order to overcome this and i promise to keep an update post once in order to show that this urge can be beatable. I hope i can do this.

I appreciate any suggestions, advices etc. with my story. Actually, i'm telling all of these first time in my life..

Please seek professional help. You need to start somewhere.

Could you please advice me what kind a pro help i need to seek

Trained psychologist and counsellor in addiction can be a great help.

Setting up barriers help us stay stop in the early stages. 

1. not having access to excess money

2. applying for self exclusion ban from gambling website and land casino

3. keeping yourself busy with healthy alternative activity, fill up the void left behind by gambling and attend support group meeting such as Gambling Anonymous and Smart Recovery meeting.

Pick up recovery knowledge from recovery program and therapy such as 12 steps recovery program, or smart recovery program, cognitive behavioural therapy or rational emotive behavior therapy. These information can be found online.

Pick up new recovery skills by practicing what the recovery program and therapy teaches you

You will gain experience after some time and it will help you to know what to do next.  

If you are in a hole, stop digging. Do not place the first bet. You only need to stop gambling today. Tomorrow we repeat the same thing. We do this one day at a time.

Keep going back to attend recovery support group meeting and keep a recovery journal, these are very therapeutic and help you stay vigilant.

Do not test yourself - Flee from temptations, do not place the first bet, do not pick up the first drink, do not smoke the first puff.

Have you been listening to yourself? Did it work? Did it get you into trouble all the times? How about trying out a new and different way? Time to give up your old ways and follow a new way! 

If all this person did was just "stop gambling", there is no change in the person. His or her old ways will return him or her to gambling one day.

Recovery is like climbing up an escalator moving downward. Once I stop climbing the escalator, it will bring me down. I need to keep climbing and working my recovery. 

Once I become complacent and lose my focus in recovery. I am just as vulnerable as anyone to fall back into gambling, drugging, alcoholism and over eating.

"Easy does it" means to do it "slowly and carefully."

Chapter 1

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in. I am lost, I am hopeless.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I did not see it. I fall in again. I cannot believe I am in the same place.

But I believe it is not my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there. I still fall in. It ‘s a habit. I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

An elder Apache was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me; it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person too."

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Grandpa simply replied, "The one you feed.

Are you feeding your addiction or your recovery?

The story was about a mountain climber, who wanted to climb the highest mountain.

He began his adventure after many years of preparation, but since he wanted the glory just for himself, he decided to climb the mountain alone. The night felt heavy in the heights of the mountains, and the man could not see anything. All was black. Zero visibility, and the moon and the stars were covered by the clouds. As he was climbing, only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped and fell into the air, falling at a great speed. The climber could only see black spots as he went down, and the terrible sensation of being sucked by gravity. He kept falling... and in those moments of great fear, it came to his mind all the good and bad episodes of his life. He was thinking now about how close death was getting, when all of a sudden, he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard.

His body was hanging in the air. Only the rope was holding him, and in that moment of stillness he had no other choice but scream, "HELP ME GOD!!"

All of a sudden, a deep voice coming from the sky answered, "What do you want Me to do?"

"Save me God!!"

"Do you really think I can save you?"

"Of course I believe You can."

"Then cut the rope tied to your waist."

There was a moment of silence and the man decided to hold on to the rope with all his strength.

The rescue team found the climber dead and frozen on the next day. His body hanging from a rope - His hands holding tight to the rope only 10 feet away from the ground.

I take your advice and got an appointment from a addiction trained professional psychologist. i will get over this.

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!

Hi there,

I was again beaten by gambling, since my last game and highly devastating situation i played and lost another 2k usd. Actually i don’t know what triggered me but i now promised myself for the last time and did the following actions;

1) as a start i closed all my credit cards,

2) i reduced overdraft balances of my accounts

3) at the month i will be working with only 1 bank and only 1 credit card with a limit if 500.

Those are the preventions to limit my reaching, altough i am not sure if i’m an addict or not.

4) i will start to read 12 steps everyday morning and before sleep

5) i will medidate

6) i will do sports in order to increase dopamine levels

-> however, perfect solution is to find what triggers me. Am i an addict or i do this because of my depression?

I will update here once in a month if it’s successful if not i will come with my failures again and hopefully not.

Hi What kind of a Life,

Please see a doctor for your depression.

I have two serious problem. I had both depression and addiction more than 20 years ago. I know what it was like. It was hell, dark and painful. Depression screw up my thought, feeling and emotion. It did not help me in my recovery from addiction.

However, after I seek help from the medical professional and fully recovered from my depression. Things start to change, it become easier.

I only have one problem now and only need to deal with my addiction. I have a lifetime to deal with that, I can do it slowly and carefully. I start to see little progress. Add up all the small baby steps I took over the years, it brought me very far.

This my real life story. I can only speak for myself and not others. I am still work in progress and under construction.

Good luck and best wishes to you in dealing with your depression and compulsive gambling.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand

This time i feel very good and confident! What i learned is that i must quit everyday in order to recover. I would never say that i’m done. Thank you for this website and thanks to fellowship.

You have to make a decision everyday. You have a choice and need to choose "not to gamble today" everyday. It is not a one time thing.

People relapse because they allow it to happen. They decided and do not want to "stay gamble free today."