The start of my recovery

On MOnday 16th February my wife found evidence of my gambling relapse. I had been clean for a year until I got an email giving me a free £10 no deposit bonus on an online poker site. Even though I have been battling online poker addiction for 3 years, having last over 25K and never cashing out winnings, I thought this time would be different. I turned the free £10 into £80 and then went up the tables and turned that into £250. All I had to do was deposit a small amount on my credit card and then withdraw the free winnings. Of course I didn't. I am a compulsive gambler. I went up the tables to win more and before I knew it I had AA. I pushed in, someone wet all in £300, I called with all of my £300. A34 on the flop. 5 and then 6. He tuned over 78 off suit. WHo goes all in with 78 offsuit pre-flop. Anyway, all my winnings were gone. I felt empty. Robbed. Deflated. I hated myself. I could have walked away. But I knew it was free money, so no harm no foul. BUt what did I do? I used my company creidt card to try and win in back. Luckily my wife, who works me at my company, went in to the office on MOnday on her own and found the site open. She already knew I was gambling as I had spent the week at the office playing the game trying to win back my money, not sleeping, with that faraway look in my eyes. I lied of course. I'm not gambling, I would say. But the truth came out.


It was always the same with previous relapses. But this time was the quickest yet. Before I know it from playing an hour here an hour there, I am playing all the time.


So now is 2 days clean, and I feel awful. My business is in trouble, not because I took too much money out, but because I have not been putting the work into the business. And I love my business. But I loved poker more, even though I hate it.


So this is the start of my recovery diary. I do not know who is going to read it, or comment, but I will read other people's stories to learn and gain knowledge. I have been to 2 GA meetings this week, Mon and Tues and will go again tomorrow. I am also attending the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London and signed up with gamCare. I have been diagbosed as clinically depressed, due to my gambling, and am on anti-depressents. I have a small 16month of boy who is the most beautiful thing in the world, and I am going to sort myself out. One day at a time. I cannot fix my problems all at once.


I wish all the love in the world to everyone on this site and I hope they sort themselves out.


Right now I am very low, very depressed because I can see that playing poker, gambling, is no way of life for me. It takes over every time. I dread to think what would have happened if my wife had not found out. I was gambling away both our futures.


I need to grow up, to mature and take responasability for my actions. It was me who did it, me who signed up. The sites know who we are and share the info. The only people who make money are the sites, I need to remember this. The rest of us are caught in misery.


Much love to you all tomorrow, I will be back.


Hey maverick, great post . We have all done things we regret when we forget that we have an addiction. You are taking great steps to get yourself back in the right path.

You have learned that us CGs can't gamble just a tenner .. Even a free one!!

Keep strong , keep posting !!


Although this is a new thread, I feel sure you are not a newcomer to this site, but it's good that you have told this part of your story and are setting out on the recovery path again. I can hear that things are feeling really bad just now, but you have reached out to the right people and places and can make a good future for yourself, your wife, your little son and your business with support of those who care and with your own determination.

You are right, you cannot change everything in a moment - it is step by step, one-day-at-a-time. But try not to focus too much on what has gone wrong, but look to what can be as you move gradually forward. You can learn so much from this painful episode, but I hope it will not weigh too heavily on you, now you have got your mind back on recovery.


Every good wish,


Monique


Its great you have come for help.. keep going, just dont gamble for today.. youve done it before.. just this hour even.. take it slow break it down into time slots.. just for this hour get busy if urges come, distract yourself, ignore, clean, eat, shop, cook, fix something, read, watch a movie, walk, exercise, talk, have coffee, go to a meeting, book in for counselling,.. anything but gamble for this hour.. and so on and so on.. the days will add up again and life will continue gamble free.. we are all here with you


P


Thanks for your comments they mean a lot.



Hi Maverick, It was great talking to you on the helpline 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.



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!


Really struggling today. This morning I have been very selfish. Everything has been about me and not my family. I have this urge to destroy myself and everything. I feel as if I cannot get better but I must. I must do it for the same of my family. My little boy doesn't deserve a dad as pathetic as this.


I have so much work to catch up on. The most important thing is to focus on my tasks and feel good about myself. To be proud of a god days work. It is such a long time since I have done one of those. The depression added on top of the relapse is killing me.


Any advice on how to get through today on how to focus and forget the past and just work on now is gratefully appreciated.


I will post again this evenng.


Love to all and thanks


Mav


So I am in the office and I have so much to do to deliver a big project that the relapse prevented me from doing. But the urge to find a new poker site which I have not self excluded from is enourmous. I really don't understand this addiction. I know I cannot play and I do not want to play - and yet I want to play. Why? What good can come from it? Can I win the time back I have lost? No! Can I win the money back I have lost? No, that is gone. Can I win back my child and wife's love? Of course not. Can I win back my self respect? Nope. Can I win back happiness? No. Infact, I will lose those things even more. I WILL lose money, I WILL lose time, I WILL lose my self respect.


Just writing this down helps so much, I wish I had done it earlier. But life is perfect with 20/20 hindsight.


I feel so down at the time and money I have wasted, the opportunities I have wasted, the situation I am in now is a direct result of not being able to control my gambling. I am must remember that it is gambling, not just playing poker. Becuase no matter how focused I was when I sometimes played, how I sometimes won, I never cashed out my winnings and I was alwasy chasing losses, getting caught up in tilt and then making stupid decisions, hating myself for it. And I never want to be there again.


When I get these urges I try to remember the bad times, how it felt to be losing, to know I was hooked again, 8 hours later with nothing to show for my time during work hours, hating myself for it, not eating, playing badly, desperate for AA and then going all in only to be beaten by JJJ on the flop and then depsoting again becuse I have no bankroll management.


I remember how obsessed I became trying to become a better player, and now I know you can never become a good player without losing huge amounts of money. What was meant to be a fun activity became so destructive.


SO I sit here at my desk, with my staff around me who know nothing about this, knowing I cannot. I know that this post has helped me feel better, it has put into perspective what I must do - and that is do an honest days work for an honest day's pay and pull myself out ofthis whining, selft-pitying hole which is pathetic. I am sick of being sick, I am sick of being depressed.


I know that if I can go today without gambling and I can get my work done I will feel happy. I am planning to go to GA this evening and continue my recovery.


At 3pm today will make 3 days bet free. And that feels good. One day at a time.


Thanks


Mav


Mav


I mentioned this yesterday... closing all your accounts is great but you've now started to search for new ones....


Why not install blocking software, reduce the urges and get back to the productive man I know you are.


For you this isn't just about the money you will lose gambling, its about the money you could lose from missing contracts


Come and chat anytime...


https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/gamblock


Take Care


H


I am glad you are here . I was once where you are now.My problem was mostly horses. I used to miss work all the time so I could go to the races. One of my biggest problems was also being selfish. Its was all about me. It is hard to break out of this, Some one once suggested to me to write down ways to be unselfish. Such as what can I do for my wife today to make today very special for her like maybe cook dinner for her or do the dishes. This also might help your urges by planning something for your wife instead of looking for ways to destroy yourself on the internet. Well hoe you are doing better today remember it can only get better. Keep going to meetings even if you think its not helping. at least if you are there it keeps you out of trouble.Also try to put your money out of reach. I am sure your wife would help you with this. My name is off all our accounts.This might be hard though if you are in charge of a business. Talk to you later my friend.


So, while trying to clean my computer of all gambling software etc I found an application. Out of curiosity I opened it, fully intending to bar myself. There was some money there. So I thought I would see how I felt if I played. It felt good. I won. Then said, cash it out now. BUt I didn't - lost that and then found myself putting more in chasing it. Lost that. Then I closed the account, which I should have done before.


Just had a great chat with Harry from the site - you are amazing, I know what I have to do now. Never Gamble Again.


NGA. It's such a waste of time and emotion, and sucks me dry. Even if I win I am not happy, as I want more. And if I lose I am unhappy. But what makes me most unhappy is that fact that it is the most stupid waste of time when I could be doing more productive things. Such as thinking about my life and planning for a gamble free future. No more lies, no more sneaking around, no more dreams. They are all empty.


I will dream of my son, my wife, my life. I will become less selfish and start thinking of others and those around me.


I accept, once and for all, I can not gamble. I am sick of this feeling. I hate it. I want to help others when I am better. I want to get a better perspective on my life.


I am going to take one day at a time.


I will tell the truth in all situations and avoid temptation.


I will be good and good will be me.


I will be back soon, and I love you all and wish everyone on this site a speedy recovery to full, happy and productive lives.


The more time I spend on this site, the more I realise I am a compulsive gambler. I knew this, but didn't accept it. How could I be? Why me? But I guess, looking more closely at myself, it makes sense. I was playing not to win money but because I was unhappy with my life. I was unhappy with myself. It is time to take a good look at my life and figure out what makes me happy, and why. And what makes me unhappy. I guess this is something that all CGs go through, but we have to go through it on our own. It is no good just to hear someone else's story It is something we must experience for ourselves.


For me, I know now I am unhappy. I thought playing poker made me happy, but it doesn't. It makes me more unhappy, because it means I am lying, cheating, stealing. It doesn't matter if I was a good or bad player. The point is I cannot play because it gets in the way of everything else.


I am not expecting anyone to read this, but if you do, great. I am doing this so I can get the thoughts out of my brain and onto paper, as it were, so I can re read them for myself. But somewhere public, so I am not hiding any more.


I am a compulsive gambler who, after 3 years, wants to stop. And stop I will. Looking at the balance sheet, there is no benefit in playing any more. There are other things in life infinitely more interesting, such as the growth of my son which I am missing out on. The earning of real money, real value. The development of myself as a person, to grow up and become an adult, have some fun in life. To stop this moping about and woe is me shit. ENough. It is boring for myself and everyone around me. Time to take responsability for my actions. I am my own man, and I accept I am a compulsive gambler and if I do not stop now, I will end up with nothing.


Hi just read your posts. I wish you well your doing right reaching out getting all the help you can. I know the feeling of self excluding from the sites and then its a mission to find a site that is not blocked. It can become an obsession. The hard facts are simply not to gamble but it is not that simple is it.


I feel you can overcome this ... you have time on your side. Not all is lost! Wishing you well


So today is a new day, and today I will not gamble. I will make myself useful. I will not ponder, or feel sorry for myself. I will apply myself to all my tasks.


It may be too late to save my relationship. It may be too late to save my business. But it is not too late to save myself. Because life goes on. People ---- up. I know other people who have ----ed up and have sorted themselves out. It takes time. i cannot fix it in one day, or 2 days. But day after day of humble, hard work on myself and focusing, letting go of the ego, I can fix myself.


I will probably never achieve my dreams now, but there are new dreams. Life must change. I have a young son who I adore, and this disease has gotten in the way of that. It took over everything. Even on my last period of abstinance I regretted never being able to play again - I think that's why i relapsed. I wanted it to be different.


I know now that it never will be. I am in the office early today. What I would normally do is, when alone, fire up the poker site and say "I;ll have a few hands". I might win some, I might lose some. But I would never stick to the time - or stopping when I had won enough. It was never enough. Then I would lose it - and then lose more. Then feel like shit and hate myself.


I want off that merry go round. Someone at GA said that he has to avoid the second bet, not the first. Because he can only make a second bet if he makes the first.


I know that the game of poker is circular and goes nowhere except wasting time. And emotions. And energy. And life. And I have nothing left to give the game. It gave me nothing, why should I give anything back.


So here I am in my office, with loads of work to catch up on. I cannot catch up on all of it so I must make decisions on what is most pressing and organise my time.


Today has to be the first day of the rest of my life - when at work, work. Don't kill myself, but be focused and, most importantly, enjoy it.


If any of you have any advice, I am happy to listen. I need all the help I can get to sort myself out. I want to be able to say in 6 months I made the right decisions now, and to be 6 months fully free of gambling, out of my depression, with a future to look forward to.


All my love


Mav


A Brilliant post... but this line is something that we all need reminding of...


"It may be too late to save my relationship. It may be too late to save my business. But it is not too late to save myself. Because life goes on."


If we dont make the chjanges we need every relationship we go into be it a personal, work, social can and will be impacted by this addiction


Great post to read... Cheers Maverick


A Brilliant post... but this line is something that we all need reminding of...


"It may be too late to save my relationship. It may be too late to save my business. But it is not too late to save myself. Because life goes on."


If we dont make the chjanges we need every relationship we go into be it a personal, work, social can and will be impacted by this addiction


Great post to read... Cheers Maverick


A Brilliant post... but this line is something that we all need reminding of...


"It may be too late to save my relationship. It may be too late to save my business. But it is not too late to save myself. Because life goes on."


If we dont make the changes we need every relationship we go into be it a personal, work, social can and will be impacted by this addiction


Great post to read... Cheers Maverick


It means a lot. I really does. But I feel terrible right now, and really struggling to focus on the work I have to do due to my self hatred. I think I have a ig issue with self-esteem but I need to make the changes - but feel powerless. I feel I am the biggest loser in the world and I cannot change - everyone has succeeded but me.


I will take deep breaths and try.


Love you all


Interesting statement Mavereick, you don't know everyone, you certainly don't know every gambler in recovery... but me, well I know so many its fabulous. Please don't generalise Mav... Youve made some fabulous plan, now its time to start seeing them them through


If nothing changes, nothing changes


The truth is, you can do this... I believe in you


I didn't mean every gambler, I meant all my friends have succeeded in their lives, or are succeeding. For years my life has been going down the tubes, and the gambling is the reason for it, along with other aspects. I have been punishing myself for so long in so many ways, that I feel the gambling is just one of them. I just don't know how to turn it around - my head is so cloudy.


Thanks for your kind words, they mean a lot.


Sorry for ending the sessions. I was drifting and I have too much work to do. I have to stop myself from the negative thinking, it is getting too much.


Thanks for your time, as always.


So I just told my parents I have gambled again. I can't see any future for me except for moving back in with them, and that makes me feel like such a failure. It's not the money I have lost, though that matters. It is the time I have lost in the last 3 week, putting my business at risk, putting my wife and son away from me. I feel like part of me has done this to punish myself and I do not know why. I do not seem to know myself. I know I can get through the rest of my life without gambling, but I do not know how I am going to turn my life around. I can't imagine feeling any different from this. All I feel is:


I lost my family, my son, my business. What more do I need to lose.


Maverick when you are faced with a big task (personal & work), it helps if you break the task down into smaller, more manageable parts. This will help you avoid stress and procrastination. People who procrastinate often comment that when they wait until the last minute, they feel overwhelmed, and the task seems insurmountable. By setting realistic priorities and breaking the bigger project into smaller tasks, the work is more manageable and less intimidating.


Here is one way to break tasks down.


• Look at the big picture; make sure you understand what the end product is supposed to look like.


• Examine the parts of the task. Figure out step-by-step what you need to do because it's not going to happen through magic.


• Think about the logical order of completing the pieces. What should you do first, second, third, etc.?


• Create a realistic timeline for completing your tasks. Having a deadline will make you more focused for each task.


• Have a plan to help you stay on track. Put the time you will spend on the project into your schedule so that you can set aside the time for it. Stick with this plan. A plan is only good if you see it through.


• Complete your task early enough to have some time left for a final review.


Have faith Maverick, this is a new start not the end, the above may sound almost clinical... but I know this works for so many... what's the harm in trying


Hi Ask yourself this ... is it all truly lost ? or is it the start of a new life ? Sometimes we need to reach rock bottom a very dark place before we begin again. You will never loose your son he is yours and loves you and needs you. Now is the hard time. Hard tough choices. Quitting and overcoming this addiction involves pain but through that pain comes liberty and freedom from the past.


It is good to you told your parents even though it wont feel like that now. Nothing is ever unfix able ever! You cant gamble not even 1 penny. Accept that and start to rebuild. Your business is at risk but is it lost ? Now is the time to focus plan and start to look at today and tomorrow. We can not change the past. You can do this!!!


I know this to to be, but thanks for pointing it out. I feel so low, so incapable. All I want to do is moan and complain - what I need to start doing is making action.


I know I can never gamble again so I am reaching out. I need to believe in myself again, to get some inner strength. To realise all is not lost - and I think deep down I believe it isn't.


I have very close friends coming to visit, so I can relax a bit this weekend and enjoy myself and not think about what I have done. And then on Sunday, plan for MOnday and make next week really count, one day at a time.


Thanks JOhn, your words are appreciated.


Hey Maverick, I just caught up with this thread. I've been gambling for decades. There were many years when I was a winning player - because the other players were really bad and I did nothing to improve my game, I got complacent and now I cannot win at poker any more. I actually haven't been able to win for the last 6-7 years.


When I think about gambling and all the losses I suffered it's mostly to things that really bother me. And none of them is money. Sure I lost a lot of money and if I had that money today my life would be easier.

But it's not so much the money as the time lost, precious time I wasted gambling, tons of lost opportunities. And the second thing is my brain deteriorated. Big time. I used to be a sharp guy. I know this will sound crazy, but my IQ dropped about 20 points over the last 15 years.

Also, I lost focus, I lost the drive. I cannot concentrate more than 1 or 2 hour daily. I'm so very unproductive. I know people my age (I'm 44) who're rocking and rolling and are able to be productive 10-12 hours when need be. Not me. I get tired after an hour or two of any intellectual work. I'm able to gamble 20 hours in one go no problems, but I cannot do anything meaningful any more.

That's what gambling took away from me and that upsets me the most.


Jansdad, thanks for the post. And also thanks for the gift, I will start listening to that this evening.


Dude, you're still young. I'm 42 for chrissakes. What you wrote in your 3rd and 4th paragraphs really ring true to me. I cannot focus on my business at all. Can't focus for more than 30 mins ata time, can't plan forwards or think of a future.


Have you quit gambling, I think on the last post I read you were 57 days clean.


I am trying to get perspective, and understand where I fit into this. I was walking the dog this eve letting my mind wander and I saw myself, fit as a fiddel, going into a casino with 500. NOt to play casino games (never got any joy from them, far too ramdom) but to play poker Mental. This is usual when I quit the online poker (which I have done well at but can never cash out). I find online so crazy, as if there are idiots you can win money. Then suddenly you get crazy bad beats. Players playing insnaely shit cards and hitting straights and on the flop. Stuff like that.


Your advice is gratefully appreciated - equally, anything I can do to help, I'm here.


Take care mate


M


Sometimes it is good just to step back and be in the moment. Yesterday I was in a very dark place. Came here, spoke to people. Spoke to family. Then came home. Ate some food. Got warm ... and watched a movie. Then slept. There is always another day .... it really is at times just being in the moment.


Block and make it as impossible as you can to ever gamble again! good luck!


So good to see you persevering.. Keep going, just for today look at what u need to do. Maybe write a little list of things to do and tick them off. Even if one thing gets ticked its a bonus. Delay that urge if u get it. Gambling will always be there. Wait an hour, just get through that hour, if you can do it, you can do another hour. Why should any other hour be different than that one. You are gamble free at this minute. You have stopped. Fill today with something you like. Do something nice for yourself. It's so easy to beat ourselves up. I have done it often but am becoming more aware of it when I do. you will come back to life. It's a journey, a process. You are doing well...


P


Hi P, thanks for the post. Coming on this site has really helped. I feel there are friends here, and this is pretty unqiue to these sites. The forum function and chat functions are excellent. Really well put together, making it easy.


I know I can't gamble all weekend as my best friend and his family are here, and he knows all about this. He is one of those guys that can do drugs and gamble and never go mad. Very balanced. Me? Drug addict, alcoholic, CG. Doesn't matter - if t gives you a high, I'll get addicted to do. Have done for 20 years. But he understands. He is here with his missus and 3 kids. They are playing now with my little one, so I should get off the site and spend time with my friends.


But at least I know I won't have any opportunity to gamble, and that is good.


Love to all


About poker, I was winning at it for years, like 2000-2007, not much but 50 to 80k every year. I wasn't a stellar player but other players were so much worse. I had a gambling problem even when I was winning and I did nothing about it. I often played badly, i chased and i was often steaming. And I remember thinking back then how good it would be if I played my A-game all or even most of the time. How much more I would win...


Guess what, nowadays, even if I played my A-game 100% of the time I still couldn't beat any games at a meaningful level. I mean I could probably beat 0.25-0.50 limit game, but I know I couldn't beat 0.25-0.50 plo or nlh games, no way. These games are infested with pros and regulars.


Guys like us, at our age, have no chance at poker whatsoever. None. Even if we played our A-game which we know ain't happening. It only takes a semi bad beat or two for me to start steaming out of my ears and do crazy crazy sh*t.


I've been clean 62 days and I'm happy about it, but it doesn't mean much. It only means that maybe, just maybe there's hope.

You know I always knew that gambling is a tough animal. I wasn't kidding myself. I knew it's hard to quit, I was never like "I will quit when I decide to quit, but not just yet". But I never realized until recently that "quitting" is not something you try and do and when you finally succeed you're done with it and you don't need to worry about it any more. I never thought I'd go gamble-free for 2 months and still fear every day to come.


62 days is awesome Jansdad. I understand everything you are saying. What rings true to me most of all is your honesty about your ability. I think that's where I fell down. I thought I was much better than I was. the truth is I am rubbish. True I can be patient when waiting for position and good cards, but after a while I would also lose patience.


Doesn't matter. What matters is I stay clean, focus on what maters in life. No game matters more than life.


There will be no gambling this week as my friends are down and the house is chaos. 4 Children including ours. Mental. Ranging from 9, 6, 3 years and ours at 16 months.


Good luck everyone, and Jansdad you are my hero right now. I applaud you and salute you.


Thanks for posting.

M


Hehe, thanks. But little more poker. Dude, forget about steaming. Let's say we never steamed and we always played our A-game - we would still lose.

As a matter of fact I say thank god to steaming, it makes me lose my money faster and then i can get on with collecting the pieces of my life and moving on. Without steaming I would still lose, but it would take much longer and I would waste A LOT more time.

Poker has evolved in ways that most people can't even imagine. It takes hard work to win nowadays. Talent is no longer enough. There are no more naturals among top winning players as was the case only 5-10 years ago. All top players online are heavy grinders who spend hours every day just analyzing the poker tracker and other data collecting software. It is hard work.

Poker is hard way to have an easy living. I know guys in Czech Republic where I live who are serious grinders. They're Poker Stars Supernova Elite players. So they basically play over 1 million hands every year. It's a full time job. The Supernova package, once you achieve the status is worth about $130K a year. Most of these guys break even on the games and net thus 130K a year. Not bad especially in CZ, but it is hard work. And boring work at that. These guys are not gambling - they're working. Not fun when you put it that way.


You and I, at our age and our mindset, we could never do that. So, we just need to stay away from it.


Good luck with the house full of kids that is sure to keep you busy.. I like how you are thinking, no game is worth it, you are..


P


So almost a week since the discovery of my last major relapse. I am no where near out of the woods, but I can starting to sense again what it means to be gamble free. I try to think back to before I had a gambling problem. I think I did enjoy life. I think I understand what gambling was replacing, and more than anything it was replacing responsibility. Sure, I thought I enjoyed it, but it was like an acid trips. My mind travelled onto a higher plane, but a destructive plan that constantly needed feeding. I also know that now when I play it eats my brain - I am axioms of getting caught, anxious of losing money then having to lose more money, anxious because I know it is doing me now goo, anxious because it means having to lie.


I don't want those anxieties anymore. I was a life filled with love, laughter, living in the moment gamble free. Not even thinking about gambling. It's such a stupid activity, one with no benefit or positives at all.


Gonna take the dog for a walk now, clear my head. There are things to do, tasks to complete. These are what matter in life.


Hi Maverick

I could have written your thread, except slots are my poison. I gambled a colossal amount of money one particular night while my little son lay sleeping beside me. I kept glancing at his innocent little face and thinking stop , but I couldn't once I started. My brain was fried and gambling was the only thing I thought about.


I managed to stay clean for seven months , and started paying off debts when I got a new credit card which I maxed in a night and chased that money for another seven months. Last September I made a huge effort to stop with several times daily support from this site and have had only two slips since ( very costly slips) . I have been gamble free since late December.

I'm explaining this because it is amazing how quickly life seems better once we stop gambling. All my debts are currently bring paid off ( quite slowly), the phone had stopped ringing, the threatening letters have stopped. I feel peaceful and determined.

However, I am few years older than you and I watch my friends drive good cars, have nice homes, upgrade to bigger homes or purchase a holiday home now that their mortgages are coming to an end, and it stings that I have nothing to show for all my years working. I walked past an electrical shop yesterday, and they had an unbelievable package of kitchen appliances at a superb price for people who can't afford top of the range, and i was stunned by the realisation that I couldn't even afford one of the appliances, never mind the package... Of course this triggered a huge urge to gamble ..


Despite all this I have peace of mind. My family has become happy very quickly now that I am present with them. The future is looking brighter.


And so it will be for you Maverick. As you stay away from gambling your brain will return to a more normal state. It may be difficult for you right now to plan stuff but that will come in time .

Possibly the best advice I have ever read had come from Mred on you thread..


"write down ways to be unselfish. Such as what can I do for my wife today to make today very special for her like maybe cook dinner for her or do the dishes"


This struck me as a brilliant way to take your mind off gambling , to put time into your family and to rebuild damaged relationships. ( not just for you but for all if us in here)!


Hope my post is not too long winded Maverick.. I just wanted to remind you that things start to look better quite quickly once we stop gambling!!


That's a lovely post, Sad68. Thanks so much. I just read your post to my wife, who is frankly sick of all of this. The one line she commented on was "My family has become happy very quickly now that I am present with them." That's my big issue - not being present. My mind is somewhere else.


My wife is leaving in a couple of months, going to back to Colombia taking Valentin with her. I feel awful about this, but she needs a break and if I am mature I have to accept this. She will be gone for 3 months. He will be almost 2 years old when she gets back. She is not sure she will want to stay with me. She suggested I take a holiday to Germany where my parents have a holiday home and I pictured myself there and guess what... I pictured myself on my laptop playing poker to my heart's content. It is insane how, even though I know that I have to stay way from gambling, there is a part of my twisted brain that still wants it. Craves it. But nothing good will come from it.


I know in time these thoughts will ease. I don't want to win money, I don;t expect to win. But it makes the pain go away. But I have to embrace the pain, because without pain there is no pleasure. That is life. I must accept that. Why do my friends and parents have homes and savings and things? Because they made the effort to change job when they were unhappy, to retrain, to start again. I find change difficult - I just want things to be the same all the time. That could be my depression. I am afraid of the changes that will come, because I tend to impolode at change. I am afraid of the full consequences of my gambling - loss of wife, son, business etc. But i am not the first and I am not the last and I am only 42. I still have a good 30 years of working life left - but I am halfway through my life. Time to start making it count.


Any stories from people who lost it all and turned their lives around would be welcome. I know I can do it, but I am scared.


Love and peace to all, and stay gamble free.


Mav


Just a thought, and this is more about myself than anyone else, but I think the reason I gambled was because I was unhappy with where I was. But instead of focusing on that and saying to myself, if you are unhappy do something about it, I found an activity that displaced the unhappiness and it replaced the thoughts of what I didn't have with what I might have.


I am sitting at home, feeling flat, thinking about what I have lost - but struggling to think about what I have. I have my health, I have a job (for a while unless I truly implode) I don;t have much money but I have access to some. I have an amazing wife who is fed up and a wonderful son who will always be my son. Do I want him to know me as a depressed gambler who threw it all away, or do I want him to know me as a man who took control of my own affairs, accepted my own weaknesses and failings and then turned his life around.


I want to be there for my son, to help and enable him to be the person he has to be. And to do that I need to be the person I need to be - and maybe that person is different to the one I imagined. Perhaps this is my lesson. I must be humble and accept myself, warts and all. And move on.


Love and peace


M


Here's a story for you.

My parents had a shop. A very wealthy man often drove I to our shop in his very big Landrover. He lived in an incredible home.. Very large and beautifully finished and landscaped ..

One day he started to tell my mum and I of how he had nothing twenty years earlier . He was a gambling addict and every last penny he had went on gambling . One day he decided to stop and worked hard and never looked back . He had a beautiful wife and happy kids .


Another thing to hang on to ... Pretend for a minute you hadn't gambled Maverick. Lets pretend you worked hard , saved , did everything right ... But your business went bust taking all your assets with it . You might now be kicking yourself for one silly investment or one wrong product line. Many people your age have found themselves in this situation. what would you do? You would brush your self down and start again. You would work hard to earn back everything. Think of Simon Cowell... He couldn't even afford to rent and had to move back in with his mum. Look at him now .

My own lovely daddy who never gambled or took a drink in his life found himself in this situation I. His late forties .. When he died he had so much saved, a beautiful home , etc...Everything!!

You can put his behind you and never look back Maverick .

In fact I know you will!!


Thanks Sad. That's a fantastic story. I like the one about the guy who visited your mum's shop. I honestly know deep down that if I stop gambling, then I can get on top of everything else. I just want to stop thinking about gambling,.


This site has really helped in so many ways. Just writing stuff down helps, but knowing there are people there as well means so much.


I can remember a time when I was gamble free, my gambling has only been a problem for 3 years (though I always played a little before then, it was never all consuming).


What I find most hard to take is the fact I can never enjoy a little game of cards with my mates again. I think that that is the toughest, that a part of my social life has to change. That I have ruined what was a harmless, enjoyable evening with mates. Because I, and they, would worry would that be a trigger. They have told me they will never invite me to play again.


But I suppose as an adult and a mature person I have to take that on the chin and live with in if I want the rest of my life to improve.


I have found this site to be invaluable, and hopefully tomorrow and the rest of the week I will be very productive. I am going to start by making plans of what I have to do, what is most pressing, and then planning how to achieve that. Settling clear goals etc.


Sad68, you are an angel. Thanks for responding.


To all your recovering gamblers, I send you all our love.


M


Same here. I can't be a recreational gambler. Which is a pity. All my friends are gamblers. All my contacts are gamblers. I lover gamblers. I feel comfortable around them, they're from my world. But I know I must give that away. One innocent game unleashes hell for me. Sad as it is. And it saddens me profoundly for I always enjoyed the scene..


@sad68, yes I too love Mred's post. What a great guy that is. Geordie too. Where are they? Haven't seen them in a while.


Feeling very low today. I didn't get the proposal done that I needed to, and it if wasn't for my amazing wife the business would be in an even worse state than it is. I just cannot cope, and it is not the gambling. I cannot blame the gambling. I am just very low, I hate myself for the life I have created.


I know that I could turn things around, but I just don't have the energy. Because I run my own business (business, ha. Businesses make money) I can't take time off work.


ALl I want to do is play poker and forget. Lose everyhing, throw everything away. Just destroy my life. I had lots of dream, nightmares. My wife told me. I don't remember them. I remember one dream about my childhood when everything seemed amazing - but here I am, 42 years old without a future.


NO money, no house, a wife who is sick of me (and I don't blame her) and I just can't get the energy to turn it around. I know I could if I had the energy, the happiness, the stamina.


I am so close to tears it is shocking - I am letting everyone down.


I so wanted to gamble yesterday but I didn't. It is almost a week now since my last relapse was discovered. I didn't even lose lots of money, but I lost time and self respect. I know I need to get my self respect back.


It's a beatyful morning here, I know what I have to do. But I just don't feel it - I just want to hide and run away, but I can't do that. Too many people depend on me. Christ I feel the prsssure.


Is what I am feeling because of the anti-depressents? What would I feel like iwthout them? How do I know if they are working? Is my gambling and the depression linked, or are they separate? Why can't I be normal? WHy does it look like I don't want to sort myself out when I do? How can I skip this painful stage and move straiught onto be happy and having a hgood life again. I am so afriad.


I am afraid of what has happened, what is happeneing and what is going to happen. My fears feel so real, but are they?


I am sorry to write such a depressing post, but I have to get it out. I know noone out there has any answers as no one knows me, but I am hyperventilating. The addict part of my brain says "poker will cheer you up" but it won't as I won't play well. I'll only be playing to feed some stupid addiction, using it as a drug as a drug addict takes drgs to stave off withdrawel. But this isn't withdrawel, it's depression. And a depression I must get out of.


Today, I have to: FInish the porposa, finish Rinkoo's film, got to GamCare for my appointment, organise catering for the cast and crew screening and start working on the industry screening. I also have to do the company VAT accounts (should have been done last week or 2 weeks ago at the start of Feb but I was gambling) and so many other things I do not know where to start.


I just want to feel so sorry for myself, but that is no answer either. It is boring for me and everyone around me. I am a man of 42 years old who feels like a lost 8 year old who doesn't know how the world works, with no sense of responsability. BUt I have responasbilities, but I am not taking tjem seriously.


Please help me God, as I understand you, just get through this day and make use of this day so that at the end of the day I can feel proud. I know I cannot fix my life in one day.


Just for today I will not try and fix my life in one go.

Just for today I will not critisize, I will look at what is good in the world and enjoy what is beautiful.

Just for today I will not gamble.

Just for today, I will try and find a quiet half hour by myself to think, to quieten my mind.

Just for today I will not think of ending it all.


Love you all


Mav


I am really struggling today. This morning my wife cried because I appear so incacapable of functioning. This is not a result of my gambling, it is a result of me. Has anyone else been through this, this insane lowness. Has anyone got out of this? I am seeing a Gamcare counsellor today because I know if I give in to the temptation of gambling thinking it will make me feel better it will make me feel worse. I keep trying to remember the times when I gambled in an unfit state of mind, how it made me feel worse.


What really hurts is that last year we had the biggest commission we ever had. It was supposed to solve all our financial problems and put the company onto an even footing, and my depression has not allowed that to happen. The commission is 4 months late, we've used the money just to keep going and I have not been able to look for more work. My wife hinks we need to close the business down, but that makes me feel like such a failure. Why can't I see what I have to do.


It is a week now since my last gamble, but I am not feeling better. I am not sure the pills are working, and not sure where to turn to. I also have HMRC chasing me for personal tax, my company owes money to HMRC (which this comissions should have paid) and unless we deliver we do not get the final payments.


I am losing my mind.


I am sorry to be posting all this shit on here, I just don't know what else to do. If I don't these thoughts out of my head I will explode. I need to breathe, to slow down - but all I can think of.


There is so much work to do and if it wasn't for my wife I would be lost. I would pronably be here gambling knwong me so I am going to take that as a positive. The issue is the cost of childcare and how I am leaving everything to my amazing wife. What happens when she leaves me, what am I going to do? Why does my life have to be such a craphole, how did I allow this to happen, what is wrong with me?


All my love to everyone out there, I love you all.


Just a quick update. I just had my first session with the counsellor from GamCare and I was able to verbally express myself to him. We talked through a lot of my feelings, and we agreed what I have to do - actually I came up with it.


1) Focus on 1 day a time

2) If I start thinking about gambling to escape, understand that it won't help me escape at all. Remember how I feel when I play and hate myself for it - do I want to feel like that again

3) DO something for my wife and child

4) Focus on my job and what needs to be done.


I actually feel better, so many the drugs are taking effect. Maybe it is just ornings I need to be careful of. I am going to try and go to bed this evening at 10 so I can catchup on my sleep, and see how that works. Maybe I can sleep 10-6 - that's a full 8 hours. Then take the dog for a walk, make breakfast for the family, get the baby ready and be in work for 9am.


I think I have to let many things go, and focus on what is important, so that I don't have other things to feel bad about.


I need to prioritise. My brother just said something interesting - That I do not know where I want to be.


Love to all, gotta go and focus.


Mav


Maverick , thank you for your post on my thread . Coffee sounds so lovely but I live in Ireland .. My timezone is London Greenwich .. But I do pop over to London sometimes ... So I will give u a shout when I next go !!


Thanks Sad.


I am sitting here, feeling overwhelmed again, trying to focus and i am so scared of the situation I have created. It is the start of the week, and it is so long since I did a full day's work without regretting, ruminating etc. How can I move on when I have created so much chaos in my family's life.


When I got this big commission in Jan of last year I promised that what is happened would not happen.

I would not gamble

I would plan, and work on the plans for theproject

I would watch the oney

I would watch my depression for signs of either over or under confidence

I would end the year happy, with a succesfuk project

The company;s debts would be paid off and we would make a nice profit


None of those things have hapened, primarily because of gambling


So if I stop gambling now, I have to move on. I have to accept I fucked up, and kept fucking up. I have to see that this is my chance to change, to recover.


I am trying to imagine myself in 2 mnths time, the same as I am, thinking this was the time to change.


So I have to have future past 20/20 vision. How will I feel if I don't sort things out from now - I just feel so overwhelmed and dissappointed in myself.


I am sorry to keep feeling sorry for myself it makes me sound so pathetic. And this isn't me - I used to be strong, focused, clear. What happened to me?


Take care all, last post until this evening


My wife thinks I am addicted to feeling sorry for myself and posting. I hope I am not.


Hi Mav, The group timed out, sorry it's on auto and I know you were busy at work so no problem.


If you click on the "About us" link. at the top of the page, and then on "My Profile" you can then view your chat history and see what I replied to you.


There is a Topic Group at 8pm (UK time) and then another group follows that, Hopefully see you later and I can expand on the subject.


Feeling Better.


I think - hope - the meds are working. While I am having feeling of regret of what I have done and how I have lived my life, not just the gambling, I feel not happier, but more normal. More like me. I don't have an urge to gamble, and I think if I did I could handle it in the same way as I will handle feelings of regert that worm their way into my mind. Accept them, and then refocus.


I will not feel sorry for myself today, there is no value in that.

I can't fix my life in one day, but I can do positive things today so that when I go to sleep, knowing what needs to be done tomorrow, I can be satsfied that I am making progress.


And who can ask for more than that


I think I understand the mantra one day at atime better know.


Good luck to everyone out there and all my love


Mav


So I thought I would just share some thoughts while I wait to see if my main working computer is working or bust. My wife and I have been in the office all day with the baby to deliver this big project. I am now here with 2 staff. This is a time I would normally think "ahh, I can play poker and no one will know". This is one of my triggers. I feel great that I am not doing that, that I am focusing on the task at hand as it means we get paid more money than I could ever make at poker, and it means I am thinking straight again. I do wish I could have had this mindset 3 years ago to the day, as then I would be in a different place. I had this opportunity to quit 3 years ago in 2012 - right at the start of my online addiction. That is when my problems started. I think back then and think "what a prick I was" and I try and think "and now I know what happens".


This is such an individual journey, but having access to this blog, even though no one might read it, is amazing. This is my blog, my thoughts etc. Shared only with those who understand.


I think the drugs, today, are working. My mood is totally different and I am curious as to how I will feel tomorrow. I feel like the real me is visible. That's a me who doesn't give a crap about playing poker, it's just a fucking game FFS. Nothiong to get bothered about. And I hope from here I make the irght decisions going forwards. I see a light at the tunnel, which one day at a time, is betting slightly larger and brighter.


Thanks all, back to see what is going on with the Mac.


I really like your "I can't fix my life in one day". I've been so impatient at times. I wanted it all and I wanted it now. Not just gambling (that too), but everything else as well.


Time to calm down, to reassess, re-evaluate...

It's the small steps towards a bigger goal that count.


And it's the little things that matter. I have often ignored them. There's nothing bigger than the little things in life.


Hi Maverick, it's great that you are feeling more upbeat.

I'm not a medical expert but I have been told that anti depressants bring you down at first and then gradually bring you up so maybe that's what is happening .


Well done on staying strong and not gambling .. You will be amazed how quickly you feel normal again. The urges will lessen and life will get brighter.

Keep writing ... It helps to sort out your thoughts . Your nice thinks you should close down the business. What do you think Maverick? What do you want to do?

Maybe those questions are too broad ... Especially as you are concentrating one day at a time .

You will see that life gets better and better as gambling fades into the past ! Onwards and upwards !


One day at a time is all you can do. I had urges last night in the office on my own - that's when I would gamble. If I had to work late and the office was empty. I would also gamble when there were people, and I would hide away.


I understand what one day a time means. It doesn't mean just live for today with no sense of responsibility. It doesn't mean don't think about the future and don't make plans. It means focus on what has to be done today, and the future will take care of itself. Nothhing will ever go totally to plan, there will be ups and downs, not everything will turn your way. But that is life, and I have to focus on being more mature.


I don't have much time to post this morning as there is baby stuff to take care of, and sorting stuff, but I felt I had to post while I could.


I have been thinking of triggers. For me they are when I feel confident and convince myself I can play normally. The thoughts are: you;ve been off a while, you've read what other gamblers go through. If you want to play you have to play with rules, and controls. Only play twice a week, only at these time, only with so much money etc etc. And while, like many, I can do that for a short while, the urge to play ALL the time, with more MORE money will always overtake me. I have to remember that once I became a CG I will always be a CG. That's now a personality trait of mine - compulsion and addiction. I have to accept that. I think that is the hardest thing, that I can never enjoy what is for many a harmless recreation.


Because it can never be recreation. If I lose, I HAVE to win my money back. If I win, I HAVE to win more - until it's all gone and more. This was my story and the story of many I have read here.


I post here to remind myself, because by writing it down makes it more real. Not just in my head. Here I can share my feelings.


The drugs seem to be working but I am still scared for the future because I do not know what it holds. My business is empty, I feel unemployable in the real world. I have to get rid of the office and the company money runs out in 6-8 weeks without further work. I am scared.


But as it says in the GA booklet. Just for today I will not be afraid. I might be afraid, but I will not show it.


Dog is whining, we are ready to go. I hope to post at lunch, and read what others have posted.


Thanks so much and lots of love


Mav


This is a partial repost of something I just posted on jansdads post, as I feel it should be on mine. Sorry for those of you who read it twice - but I am being selfish and posting for me, to get these thoughts and explore these thoughts to avoid another relapse.


I used to spend so much time gambling and thinking about gambling that now it is here my head has space to wander. I found I spent time regretting, living in the past, lamenting. This is unhealthy. I am totally afraid for my future, but I think I want to embrace that. My future is totally open and does not have to be the same as my past - but that means I need to live in the present and be here now.


Career wise I am in a precarious position. I don't really know my skills in the wider world having run my own business for so long and that enabled me to gamble. I feel it is time to work for someone else, to be put in a position where I am accountable. I think the freedom of running a business meant I could slack off, get my staff to pick up the pieces.


My plan for this year was so different to what is going on. We were meant to finish this project and then take a break to consider. Instead, everyrthing is going to shit - because I gave in to the urge and I gambled. And once I started I couldn't stop.


Thus it will ever be. Even now, I have having urges - pictuing myself slinking off to a cafe for lunch, firing up the site and having a few hands. But a few hands turns into hours. If I am up I cannot leave and if I am down I cannot leave. How can I ever play normally if everytime I play it gets out of hand.


Like many of you I am sure, althought I don't know, a voice in my head says it will be different this time. I know for a fact it won't, because if I play once, then between playing all I do is think about how to play again. And that means I don't focus on my job, because I am having gambling thoughts. And I think that's why i relapsed last time - I didn't deal with those gambling thought/ urges. I felt it has been such a time between that this time would be different. It was for the first week, I only played when I had time - but then the urge to play was stronger and stronger.


It's like smoking - you satisfy an urge, it goes away, but then the urges come again. I know if I accept the urge, they pass and my mind can focus. It's a mental trick. A mental trick played by my mind which I can play back.


Love you all, gotta focus now on finishing this delivery.


Mav


OK, so what are urges. This post is for me as suddenly I am getting mad urges to play. I am feeling quite stressed with how much work there is to do, and so I want to escape. Gambling did that, but made my stress worse.


There are people in the office but that never stopped me before.


My brain says that if I play just a little I will feel better. I know this not to be true. To be play well, you need time to wait for good hands. If you rush, you don;t win. And if I win I want to keep playing, and if I lose i HAVE to keep playing.


I am writing this only to remind myself the benefits of staying clean. My life is worth more than a game. Addiction is so hard for me to accept, I have never been able to accept who I am. I want to move on, but part of me wants to stay the same as it feels secure.


I feel all of your love and take strength form everyone here in recovery.


Thanks for letting me vent


Hi Maverick,

your posts are very honest. The back and forth thoughts were very much a part of the early days for me. I have never gambled on-line and after reading all the journals here, I am soo glad. When I think of how easily you can gain access, I cringe. Do you have a way to put blocking software on your system? Can you move your computer or work in the room with your employees? What can you do to change the visual or habit that pulls at you at work?

I have had a problem with procrastination on projects. I once attached a string of rubberbands to my stapler and my arm. Everytime I would have the urge to get up from the desk (procrastinate) there was the anchor pulling me to keep at the project. My employees laughed very hard at me, but they saw under the silliness, that I meant to stay on task.

Change it up! Work in the kitchen, work from the other side of your desk, but dont give up. You are doing well and have a life worth living. Gambling is such a waste of our lives. Poverty is too close to us gamblers, its just a bet away.


Wonderful post kpat, thanks. I wonder if you kept the business.


I feel worse now I have stopped gambling. I am turning into a pathetic wreck. Instead of being fired up by the changes I need to turn my life around, I am weighed down by my mistakes, my failures. The dreams I had feel like dust. All I can see is the devastation I have wreaked. How all my thoughts were of playing a stupid game, losing more time and money. And now, instead of helpful around the house I wallow in self pity. My wife is no seeing a song about it ;-)


I don't know where to turn. This is not me. All I know is that the meds might or might not be working. I prevaricate, procrastinate, am lazy, feeling low. I just want all these feelings to go away. I know if I play poker they go away for a while if I win, but come back if I lose. And then I feel worse, so I know I have to stay away from gambling as that is more self destruction.


I have so much to do if I am to close the office in an orderly way, but I feel overwhelmed with sadness for the hurt I have caused, the time lost. I need to move on but I don't know how.


I love you all and am very scared.


So, a new commitment. I am not going to think of the past, only the present and try and plan for the future. That mean I deal with urges to gamble, they are my depression talking.


I am going to focus what has to be done, to prioritise, to try and be responsible. I have used the depression as an excuse for too long. I can get better if I make the effort and do the right things.


gambling is in the past, so I won't think about that. I will place a blocker on my mind.


Mistakes re career are in the past


mistakes re drugs are in the past


that is done.


Tim to move on.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.


I cannot change the past, so therefore I accept it arts and all.

I can change my present existence through thought, planning, hard work and determination with a little bit of luck

I hope I know the difference.


Much love


Hi Maverick,


its so nice to read a positive post full of acceptance and more importantly the fact your going to focus on the here and now and not let the past drag you down. Depression is strange, it can be a chicken and egg... do you gamble because of depression or do you gamble to escape depression.. but either way Gambling could be replaced with something less harmful so it can easily become an excuse, well done for fighting through it


Lastly and some find this hard to see... you wrote


Mistakes re career are in the past


mistakes re drugs are in the past


Mistakes are such a useful tool, it allows us to learn from errors in our lives and move on, sure we can ignore them but again that's a choice... and a choice you've decided not to take


Take Care


Thanks for your post Harry. What I meant is that I will always live with the mistakes, but I want to see them in a psoitoive way. This is all about me becoming a better person, so hopefully in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years I can look back and say, that I gained from this.


I think I have alwasy been immature, not thinking about others needs. That has to stop. What does my wife and child need most of all, and that is a man who is unafraid. A man who can tale life's ups and down without resorting to escapsim. And the gambling became escapsim. An obsession. I think it is a long time since I believed I could win money because as long as I gamble, I will lose. It is so true that only by not gambling can you win.


When my wife said to me 3 years ago I would lose everything bacause I had an addicted personality I was way to arrogant to listen. Now I am humle and will work on this every day. And on that note, back to work and no more regrets.


Thanks mate. And love to all, god speed all our recoveries.


I know I shouldn't be posting while at work, but I am in bits. I have accrued a 2700 fine from HMRC because I didn't pay the VAT bill on time, and this is something I cannot affford. My company has debts coming out of its ears, and I can honestly say it is all because gambling took me away from running my business. INstead of working, I was gambling. I just don't understand why I have done this to myself, and I am terrified of the future.


I know I must remain calm, that businesses go bust all th etime, but I think that I am breakling the law keeping the business going. I think I have to face the fact that we are essentially insolvent and we have no work coming in and all the money from the last contracts (worth 250K) has essentially been spent. I am so stupid to have done this, I do not understand why i could not be happy with what I had, and take pleasure from building my business rather than running it into the ground.


If anyone out there has advice I would like to hear it. I really don't know where to turn, to be honest.


I know my reputation is going to be ruined by this, and that no one will want to work with me again. All I want to do is gamble to forget my worries, but i am not going to do that. The temptation to play is overwheling, because that would allow me to hide and forget - but now, I am going to face up to my life and move on from this.


Love to all Mav


Hi Mav


No one can really advise you. Its such an individual situation that requires specialist advise and not conjecture


Just doing a quick search I came across this:


HMRC Business Payment Support Service

Telephone: 0300 200 3835

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm


Also you have companies set-up to offer free impartial advise, it maybe worth talking to these first
http://www.stepchange.org/
https://www.nationaldebtline.org/


Mav contacting any of these will prove hard, but debts don't just disappear and in allot of cases the above organisations can make life so much easier.


H


SO my relapse has cost me 1 month. 1 month in which I didn't get loads done, and in which my self esteem dropped more. I am so lost in the past of could'ves and would'ves and should'ves, and if onlys etc etc. I am turning into the most pathetic person I know. I ask myself, what happened to me? What happened to the fun Maverick, who was chilled and relaxed. Who had a dream. Everything feels like dust. I am terrified of the future as I cannot see a future. All I know is that if I gamble it will get worse and worse and worse.


Going onto the group session now, see you all soon. Much love.


Hi Mav.


If your VAT has always been paid on time in previous years then you may be allowed a bit extra time to pay, but being HMRC you will have to be able to prove exceptional circumstances as to why you havnt paid it.


Dont lie to them about the reasons, they'll know anyway by your bank statements. They will only do this once, I know this because I had a friend with a pub and he was in a similar situation, if he didn't pay his VAT on this particular date they were going to close his pub down. However he rang them, probably on the number Harry posted above, and they gave him a stay of execution, cant remember if it was 6 weeks or 3 months.


I'm going to have to register for VAT in April and although life is all sing all dancing tickety boo for me, it does concern me that in a years time I might have 15 or 20K in the bank that belongs to the VAT man. I do have a plan but thats not going to help you.


Have faith in your higher power Mav, as serious as it is and as hard as it is dont let this bog you down.


Good look with it.


Geordie.


Hi Geordie, thanks for your post. The problem is it was 1 day late I did not contact that. Therefore, because I had some late payments from previous years, they put a 10% surcharge on the payment - and we had just been paid a lot of money and we paid 27K in VAT. That's the fine. I have appealed against, explaining about my mental state of health (depression etc). Probably won't make a difference and to be honest I have to man up. It makes everything even more precarious at the company.


I can't blame that all on the gambling though. I must take responsibility.


But I am feeling more hopeful for today. The sun is out, the meds seem to be working again and if I don't gamble, which I don't want to, then the day will be a good one.


The truth is, whatever happens happens. The past is the past, I must learn from it and move on if I want to enjoy the rest of my life. Many business go down, for a variety of reasons. Maybe I'll start another one one day, but for now, I want to finsih this project as best I can and consider my future, which I have never done. I think gambling roots you in the present and you have no thoughts of future apart from gambling - having a gambling ames it impossib;e to think of the future. Certainly for me, because all I would do is think and plan my next session.


Lots of love and thanks for reading.


Hi maverick, I hope you got on well with the vat people.

When we stop gambling we are faced with so many problems .. I can't advise you on business matters but I hope it a works out .


Lots of people lose a business and start. Up again successfully. Don't feel that you will have lost face or the trust of others . It is just a fact that businesses sometimes fail.

You have stopped gambling maverick. You are working through the urges. You are ready to pick up the pieces and build a great life .


Thanks Sad. I love reading your posts so much and chatting with you. I just had a great time with Harry on the forum now and he said something with is so true. Gambling is only part of my problem. The gambling is symptomatic of something else which has not been addressed, and perhaps the best thing for my recovery is to put the business to one side in an orderly manner, ready to come back to it later. Maybe it is viable or not but in my state, I can't see. The depression, pills, remorse for the relapse and the fact that I am a compulsive gambler all point to the direction that I need to reflect on my life so far.


I am unhappy, and I think I have been unhappy for years. I think I gambled because ultimately I was unhappy, and the rush of it addicted me instantly. I couldn't see that. I was so selfish, the arguments it caused between my wife and myself. I just couldn't see it - all I wanted to do was play. I feel like such a child now.


Doesn't matter, I am on the road to recovery and with honesty and integrity going forwards I can get better in all areas of my life. I know that to be true, even if I don;t feel it.


Much love


I have just read your post on my thread i'm glad mine helped you. I think all addictions are caused by something underlying and the sooner we all find that underlying reason we can get help and move on . Stick with what your doing you will get there and always reach out for help when you need it like my brother said to me no-one is going to shout at you just ask or tell someone how you are feeling . :)


Hi Mav,


You have taken a massive stride in addressing your gambling issue, you don't need me to tell you that gambling is the root cause of most of the negative stuff in your life right now, it certainly is in mine. Prioritising what is most important to you and your health is the important thing now. If you focus on everything that is negative in your life then you will get completely swamped, you'll get into a depressive state and who knows where that road will take you. One thing is certain, it will be counter-productive.


If you address your gambling issues and focus on that, a lot of other things will fall into place in your life.


If you fail to save your current business, you can always start another one, and if your gambling issues are behind you, any new business will thrive as a result. If your health suffers, that may be irreversible and if you lose the people that are most important in your life, you may not be able to get them back. In the whole scheme of things, your business, as important as it is, it is not the most important thing in your life.


I am a master of letting everything that is negative in my life bog me down. It's never done me any good, in fact it's given me an excuse to gamble, which has just compounded my problems. Honestly, your business issues may seem massive to you at the moment and yes, they will need to be addressed, but try not to get completely swamped and awash in negative thoughts, focus on the great strides you've taken in addressing the root cause of your problems.


If you're gambling free, your state of mind improves, your health improves and people will want to be around you, so that is where your energies need to be at the moment. That is how I see it from the outside looking in and from personal experience.


I have loved and lost twice, one a wife and another a long term partner and I'll never get them back. I missed out on my daughter growing up, she's 22 now, I lost my house and I am now in rented accommodation. Gambling was the root cause of all of this, but wallowing in self-pity and being awash with feelings of what could have been, feelings of failure, having regrets, always looking back instead of looking forward, also played a major part too.


It prevented me from focussing on the here and now and I totally lost sight of everything that was good in my life. If I carry on like this I'll just keep repeating the cycle and I'll never find peace and happiness.


Your business is so secondary in the whole scheme of things, even if you can't see that now. Your health and your family and staying gambling free is what matters now, so feel good about what you are doing to address your gambling issues, don't feel bad because your business may fail because of it.

If your family had to make a choice, have you back in their lives happy, spending quality time with them and creating cherished memories or having a successful business, they will choose the former. In an ideal World we would all like to have everything, but sometimes we have to settle for the things that truly matter, so please, don’t get bogged down in business worries, make a list of everything that is essential to keeping you happy and your family unit together and focus on those.


I truly wish you all the best


Charlster2


Charlster, that is an awesome post. I have read it and re-read it 3 times. I even sent the email I got informing me of your comment to my wife. That absolutely sums up me, but from another perspective. All I am doing is wallowing in what could have beens, instead of looking at the here and now and making positive steps and decisions going forwards.


I am trying to imagine 1 month's time and lookin back to now imahinging what I would be complaining about. What will I say "I should have done..." about NOW. And then I focus on that.


Spend time with my son before he goes to Colombia with his mum.

Be present - don't beat myself up over the past and don't worry about the future.

Deal with the anxiety. if I am anxious, what am I anxious about.

Deal with gambling urges and accept them, but do not act upon them. Thinking about gambling is normal and will probably subside. Acting on them is fatal.

CLose my office.

Make an inventory of all our assets.

Pay the freelancers who are owed oney

List all our IP - make sure we keep that.


The list could go on and that is something I will do this weekend.


My son is 16months old, he will be almost 2 when he comes back from Colombia. I want to be in a much better place for both my wife and him. I am going to try and live in the here and now, not in the past or the future.


I will cut and paste your post for easy access - it is so spot on.


Many thanks for taking the time to post.


Much love


M


Hi Mav,


Glad I could offer some support.


You're in a great position as your son is still very young, so you've got many fantastic years ahead watching him grow and develop a massive positive you can cling to during your low moments and times when your self control is tested.


Great conversing with you and I'll keep in touch.


Stay strong and have a great weekend.


Charlster2


Haven't written in a while, though I seem to be compuslsivelt checking the blogs. Now that I have stopped playing poker (and I think about how much time I spent playing) I think I am replacing that with the blogs. My wife thinks this is another compulsion. Maybe. Maybe I am just compulsive, and that is something I need to look at all aspects of my life.


I found myself thinking of playing today, and I found that my was trying to convince me that poker is not gambling. It is a game of skill, my brain was saying, with an element of chance. But mainly its odds, mathametics etc. But what is odds but gambling?


I think one of the reasons it took me so long to realise I WAS a CG is that in my mind gambling is the dogs, horses, sports betting etc. Not poker. But the truth is the game is like crack cocaine in my mind. As soon as I start playing, no matter my intentions to play when my initial stake is gone/ double my money/ the allotted time spent, after 10 mins all those ideas go out of the window. Just one more hand just one more all in to double up, just 5 more mins. There were time I would play for 2 hours saying these things, all the while getting desperate, or as Jansdad says, steaming. Making worse and worse decisions - calling 3 times the pot with 57o hoping foe a lucky flop knowing that would never happen.


I think I know the true extent now of the business issues, and that has more to do with the depression and not working focused last year, letting things slide. The gambling papered over cracks in my psyche. My wife thnks I might have had undiagnosed depression since my teens, but because I am stoical and quite a loner I never realised. It is only now as things reach a point that things in my life are getting clearer.


I think it's time to start putting my dream to one side while I focus on something more realistic. My recovery and development in all aspects of my life. I am scared of the unknown. And while I have been in bigger financial holes I had the strength to get by. I somehow managed to keep things going with a positive outlook. That is now lacking. I am mega aware of so many things it is almost impossible to be positive.


So, it's almost 2 weeks since my last relapse was discovered. I have had time to anylse what happened. I thought I was onot a fantastic thing and if I wasn't a CG I would have been. But, as they say, once I start I just cannot stop until I am trying to have a quick hand here and there KNOWING that to play poker well you need time to handle the fluctuations of the cards. That is what ismeant by a game of skill. Has what I have worth the size of the bet that someone else put in etc etc etc. I don't even want to think about it anymore. I want to think about getting better.


Welcome to all the new members, I read your stories and learn so much. I apply your words to my life, and use them as analogies for my life. I thank and love you all for sharing.


Keep up the good work, I will keep posting but hopefully less often. I am going to control how often I come here, timetabled, so I can focus on other aspects of my life.


love to all


M


So a quick update (more for me than anything). I've just got back from my GamCare session, where we talked a lot about my approach to life. I also carry the GA orange booklet with me which I read whenever I get the chance. I am coming to the conclusion that in addition to stopping gambling, I must change my life. It is not enough for me to stop gambling, one day at a time. Because I have always relapsed. I have to accept that I cannot gamble normally. The same things always happen - I spend more time/ money etc playing than I planned. And if I win and play well, I want to win more. And if I lose, I want to win it back, thus losing more. I can rarely walk away with winning and leave it. I am always thinking of when I can play again. ei


Tomorrow I am going to a meeting, if I leave half an hour earlier I can have a few hands etc etc.


I am challenging my gambling thoughts more effectively. I am not stopping gambling for anyone but myself. I will never make money this way, I will always lose time and while when I win I feel happier I feel like shit when I lose. It is a merry-go-round. Time to get off.


I have so much to say, apart from that I have no self excluded at all the sites I play at. But I know deep down, there is a part of me that already misses it. It is the childish part of me, the dark side, which wants to destroy me. Well, he has done enough damage over 42 years. Time to put him in a box.


More later, back to work and being productive.


Thanks


You are working incredibly hard at beating this, I'm loving your determination. You mention that you've just got back from a GamCare session can I just ask what that entails? Are GamCare sessions similar to GA meetings?


Regards,


Charlster2


SO I just relapsed last night and I almost lost 4300 of my companies money. What just happened to me has never happened before. I played blackjack in an online casino, which I NEVER do. I have been up all night and my wife found out this morning that I almost lost 4300 of my companies money. At one point I was 3800 down and somehow managed to win it back.


I am feeling very strange at the moment. At one point several hours ago I was 900 up of mu own money (in total I lost 10 of my own money) but instead of stopping and going to bed I just kept playing. I was unable to stop. It seems that the gambler urge in me is a separate beast. I honestly don't know how I ended up playing blackjack all night.


I am shocked at what I have just done. I was streaming an programme through an illegal streaming site and lots of casino sites pop up. For some reason, which I have never done before, I signed up for one. I started playing blackjack. Very quickly I was 400 up, and I thought - stop now. So I cashed out and chilled out. I couldn't sleep - I wanted to play more. I was convinced I could win more. Even though I know that is ridiculous. I have read everything here and I know I am a CG. So I reversed the withdrawel, and carried on playing. Soon I was up 900. I withdrew that and tried to sleep. Almost in a trance, that's the only way I can describe it, I reversed that and within 20 mins playing at 100 a go I lost it. Then I was angry. And that started the chasing. I took the company card from my wife's bag and deposited 300. I lost that. Then I deposited 500 - starting to get desperate - but knowing that if I was calm I could win it back. I lost that. Then I despoited 1000. That went n 5 minutes. I took a deep breath and thought of the ramifications. I knew I only had one choice - I has to win that ----ing money back. I deposited 2000 and started playing with a focus that scared me. At once point I laid down 1000 (----ing insane I have never in my life gambled like that) and hit a Blackjack. Then but by bit the cards went in my favour and I was evens.


That was when my wife came in and found me. She knew, and I knew I had been caught. While she was feeding our son I snuck another go and won back my original stake. So after 7 hours of insane trancelike gambling I was even.


But why the ---- did I do it? I don't play casino games. WHy now?


I think a part of me wanted to feel like what it was like - I only paid poker before.


Now, my wife told my brother and he is ----ing pissed off at me. I feel very strange - not sad or angry, but I feel as if I heave learned something vital about myself. I had the chance to walk away with winnings and no one would have known. But I got greedy and couldn't stop. I was ----ing hynoptised.


I thank whatever higher power is out there and I will give myself in to that. I know I cannot gamble, but a part of me wanted to do something like this. To see what it was like.


I was shitting my pants as I was chasing my losses. I have now closed that account and withdrawn all the money. I still feel like that because I got from 800 up to 4300 that I could win - but that just nuts.


I need help with this, it's getting worse. There is something in me craving self destruction, craving the brain rush when you win 2500 in 1 second. I have never experienced that before. Playing Blackjack laying down 1000 on a single hand was crazy.


But, and I am not sorry for this, I am sort of glad it happened. SO I could feel that. It was a different rush to poker. POker has nothing on that. I could never play poker with that much money, I would have to be on monster 5/10 tables. I have never done that.


There is clearly something in my psyche that is out to get me, and by god I am going to tackle that beast.


I am going to get something like netnanny on my computer, give all my money and cards to my wife, if she wants, and I am going to stay away from the gamble.


If anyone has any advice as to what just happened to me, please let me know. I honestly feel like I have just had the weirdest trip in the world. I can only say thank christ I am not 4300 down as then I would probably want to kill myself. The fact that the money is not lost is amazing and I am grateful.


Part of me feels relieved that i did it, relieved I didn't lsoe anything. The ----er is that I cannot go to my course I was meant to go to today because my wife wants to go through all the accounts, and that is fair enough. There were good people to meet, but I can meet them later. I need to attend to more important business, such as my helath and the well being of my family.


I will post later


Much love and thanks for reading


Mav


PS, I wrote this stream of conscious so ignore the typos


Hi cant write much as about to go out. But immediatly NOW hand over ALL access to ALL money to your wife. Cards / online banking and any other kind of access to money. If you do not do this today I can almost guarantee one of 2 things.

1 : You WILL gamble again and probably very soon

2: You will loose absolutely everything.


The writing is on the wall as I sat where you were some 4 years ago and yes I lost EVERYTHING. Please act now before it is too late. Time to play hard ball here and get real about this. The gambling will destroy you. Don't let that happen I implore you!!


Heres hoping you make the right choices TODAY! All the best John


Hi Mav,


Really sorry to hear of your gambling relapse last night/this morning. Again, I seem to have said it a thousand times, but I could have written that post. I've lost count of the amount of times I've stayed up all night gambling. I don't think it's anything that we haven't all done at some point and is something that we all could do in a moment of weakness.


You didn't lose any money which on it's own is a blessing, but what you have probably done is lost another bit of trust from your loved ones.


You know what you have done, you know the ramifications of your actions last night, if not you wouldn't be here seeking help. We wouldn't be addicts if we didn't have these mad destructive urges, so don't beat yourself up too much, I don't see what good that would do you.


As someone who is in desperate need of help myself, I am limited as to the advice I can give you, as I need guidance as much as you do. What is plain to see is that you still have access to large sums of money which is potentially dangerous. I think you need to cut off the supply that feeds your habit and ensure that you can't get to your cards and cash etc.


I'm hoping someone who's been through a recovery programme and come out the other end will post on here for you. Fresh ideas are what we need and someone on the outside looking in at our problems will be able to see things a lot clearer than we can.


You probably don't feel angry because you didn't lose and came out even. I very rarely feel angry if I haven't lost. What I do feel is fear, because I know that my next destructive moment of madness is just around the corner and inevitable unless steps are taken to stem my problem. I can honestly feel my blood running cold through my veins when I play online roulette. I gamble with such fear and trepidation, yet I have very little control to stop myself doing it, you're not alone.


We are both not that far away from receiving the help we urgently need, so all I can say to you is make every attempt to put restrictive measures in place, i.e. put all of your funds out of your reach, until you receive that help. Make sure you have absolutely no access to all cards and cash. Keep your loved ones on board, the fight and struggle that lies ahead will be a lot easier with their support. I know I'm stating the obvious, but if you're anything like me, I find it hard to see the obvious at most times.


The only certain thing here is that you will do what you did last night again and probably quite soon if you don't restrict your access to your funds and that of your business. Next time you wont be so lucky as to come out of it not losing.


Don't expect to win this fight without outside help, what you can do now is to limit the damage before you embark on the GMA programme which is a positive step in itself.


I'm rooting for you, I know what you're going through and most of us on here do. You're not alone, focus on convincing your loved ones that you want to stop gambling and that you want to put this nightmare behind you, without their support you'll just compound the problem.


I'll keep in touch, stay strong


Charlster2


Hi Maverick

Maybe writing on this forum is addictive but like so many other things in your life you can only deal with one at a time and hopefully this is one thing you are doing that will gradually lessen but for as long as you want support stick with GT, it will not hurt you, your life or the lives of those around you.

It isn’t easy, I think, to say out loud ‘I am Maverick and I am a compulsive gambler’ but just saying it is still, in my opinion, easier than accepting it. Last night you did not believe it and your addiction had a free-for-all.

In my view, after 7 hours indulging your addiction you were far from even. The session would have stoked the fire in your gamble-brain, your behaviour would have been affected and that means that those around you would be affected.

Those who love CGs usually talk about loss of money first – but it is never that loss that hurts the most. It is the loss of self-esteem and confidence that a loved-one feels because the addiction is more important than a relationship.

‘giving all my money and cards to my wife, if she wants’, is a step in the right direction but I suggest you ask her to do it because it is what ‘you’ want. Talk to her about your desire to change and ask her to support you but tell her how you want that support. Those who love CGs do not understand the addiction and don’t know what to do to help, with the result that they spend years (25 in my case) doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons.

I assume your wife knows you are going on the GMA programme but she will almost certainly not understand fully what it entails and she will be afraid of false hope. Would you consider telling her about the Friends and Family group on Tuesday evenings. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum and I can promise you that everything that is said in the group is said with care and understanding.

I have, in my opinion, the undoubted privilege of seeing the before, during and after of the addiction that you own. I use the experience of living with the addiction for reference only but I can talk happily about the ‘after’. It means that I ‘know’ the addiction can be controlled and that it takes courage and determination to do so but most importantly, I believe, it is a lot better for a CG to have good support when facing the unknown.

I hope some of this helps

Velvet


Hey Mate. I almost never play black jack, but when I did back in december I knew things are bad. Then I stayed clean for 2 months, relapsed and lost a bunch playing poker. 4 days later I relapsed again, lost some on poker and then lost a bunch more playing black jack. I didn't lose it all. There was very little left compared to what I lost that night (the night of 27/28 Feb), but as I was about to lose my last money I looked at the clock and it was 2.58.

I had already dealt another hand of black jack, 3 x $50. And then I said to myself wouldn't it be nice if this was the last gamble I every made. I played the first two hands and on the third hand I was gonna "stay" and I waited till the clock showed exactly 3:00:00 and at that moment I hit stay.

I lost all 3 hands, but I didn't place another bet. I wanted to stop that madness right there and miraculously. I didn't spend the rest of the money I had in the account, but cashed it out. Again, it was a symbolic amount, about 1% of what I had lost that night, but nevertheless it was a new experience for me.


So I'm on day #3 now and I decided not to post here too often until I have that number a little higher.


I want you to be wary however, if you opened a new account and you're trying to cashout 4300 the same day it's more than likely they will try and request some kind of account verification first. They'll want to see your ID, utility bill etc. This is nothing unusual, but in our situation it could be deadly. They might even make the funds available to you in the mean time.

Actually, you did mention that you blocked that account, so you should be alright, but just be careful.


I will write more in a few days / a couple of weeks when I feel more confident in myself.


Regards


If you self exclude they will return your account balance, then theres no going back and reversing that withdrawal.


I know, I've done it on many sites.


The counter is reset to 7am 3 March 2015.


Many thanks to all of you who read my post and especially those who took the time to comment and feedback. It means a lot. I am very dazed at what just happened, but weirdly I haven't felt happier or more like myself in months or even years. I am starting to think that last night I lanced a boil. It was painful, neceserry and could have led to an infection. But somehow, by the end, the operation was a success. I feel blessed.


I am going to write a fuller blog later, which goes into more depth of myself and my gambling history and it is just for me. If you want to read, please feel free. But what I am going to write is to get it out of my system. All my gambling, going back to childhood.


Many thanks and see you later


Mav


I've found it therapeutic documenting my thoughts and experiences on this site. I've always been economical with the truth about my gambling, both to myself and to other people, so it's a relief to be so open and honest knowing that everyone here can relate to your problem and more importantly understand and help you.


Speak soon.


Charlster2


You know Mav, I never really took your gambling seriously until now. I thought your gambling is just a small part of a much bigger and broader problem, but it in itself is not deadly as is the case with most of us here.

You mentioned you started gambling 3 years ago and you lost 25K. Big deal. If I had only lost 25K in my life I’d be well off now. I spent more than 25K on hookers in my life time. I spent more than double dating and dining regular girls. I spent more than quadruple buying things I didn’t really need.


Sure you lost some money playing micro levels poker and you wasted time, lost some business because of it, but it could have been something else too. So, although I never underestimated your predicament and always took it very seriously, I never really thought your gambling is a serious problem. But now that you almost lost $4K playing black jack, betting up to $1K a hand, I think it’s serious. The fact that you now “know” that you can win serious money playing black jack is no good news.

You seriously need to stop and think. I know you didn’t lose any money, no harm no foul you may reason. But you seriously need to start thinking before it gets too late. I’m writing this not only for you, but to reinforce the idea into my head too. Dude, we’re a couple of bad breaks from being homeless. And the easiest path down that route is to gamble. As someone already said here: we’re all one bet away from being homeless.


EDIT* This is a long rambling post. Read it at your peril, I am not sure how interesting it is ;-)


Jansdad (I want to call you by your first name as have chatted on Facebook etc but not sure of protocol) you wrote an interesting post, which pricked all kinds of reactions in me. I had to re-read it several time so that I was sure I understood what you meant by what you wrote.


I have always understood, and I believe this to be true, that the actual amount of money each of us has lost over time is irrelevant. What is a small sum (less than what you spent on hookers) to you, was my life's savings. Context is all important. What's true is that I have not everything. Yet. And yes, I was playing micro but the fact that playing c25/c50 or c50/d1 tables for such a length of time meant I lost 25K over 1 year (1K a month while running a business making 7 short films in 2012) shows how much time I was losing to it.


You cannot put a price on the damage we have wreaked on our psyche's, families, futures. That is priceless. My wife has no had enough. I have to move out AND pay the rent as well as rent somewhere else.


You say you never took my gambling seriously. That really got me thinking deeply about what just happened. I have spent the last 2/3 weeks in a deep funk. I lost a tiny amount of money previously, but tons of time and self respect. But after reading many of the posts here (and what I am about to write is meant in no way as critical except with regards my own faulty thinking) I felt I was not a real CG like everyone else. My losses were small, I wasn't reduced to penury, I didn't know what it was like to gamble serious amounts of money. Last night started innocently, but I believe it was the really childish part of me that wants to do what others do that took over. What started off as £10 with £20 free (which when I realised I would have ot gamble 40 times to access any winning I cancelled) and then through careful playing built up. But as I was playing i realised I wasn't going to stop. A part of me WANTED TO BE A COMPULSIVE GAMBLER IN FULL FLOW. WINNING BIG, BETTING BIG, LOSING BIG, CHASING DESPERATELY. This was very different from POker.


I think I suffer from obsessive habits, though I have never been diagnosed as OCD in any way. But I had no interested in roulette as you have no decisions to make there. That is PURE chance. Blackjack is a game I have always enjoyed. You believe you have some choices to make based on the information available.


As I was playing I got deeper and deeper into "action". I loved it. I have not had a rush like that since doing really good coke about 10 years ago, or really good pills. I was ALIVE. The money was numbers, I was up, I was down. I was round and around.


Last night I lived the life of the CG as I have read it. PUtting 1K on a single hand of Blackjack and hitting Blackjack was intense. 1.5K winnings plus stake.


At some point I believed I had mind melded with the algorithm and was timing small bets of just 10 or 20 when I though the dealer would win, and then timed bigger bets. Obviously this is insane, but sometimes that paid off and I am a lucky bastard to have come out with a 10 loss. I am astounded and grateful to the world and the universe.


Last night I managed to combine all aspects of CG apart from walking away with a really big win. I have thought about this. Part of me (a small childish part) wishes I could have walked away with 1 or 2K up. But I know that would be BAD, as it would encourage me to think about it again. I am very HAPPY I did not end up 4.5K down. I ended up £10 down - after a 7 hour spree. I do not know how that happened, I am just grateful.


ALl us CGs are the same I do not think I thought I was the same. I think I needed last night to confirm it. INterestingly I have no urges anymore. I do not feel sorry for myself. I have not been wailing like a 5 year old. Something resnapped in my head. The best analogy I can make for me is to compare it to a night almost exactly 4 years ago and I spent 7 hours all night consuming Nitrous Oxide on my own. I went through 600 cannitsors with huge balloons that could take 4 or 5 cannitors as a time. I have never hallucinated like that night previous or since - and I believe that night broke me. I encountered parts of my mind that should never had been encountered. I think last night fixed it. Don't ask me how.


I showed myself that, yes, I understanding what gambling is now at larger stakes. Still nothing compared to some people here, but it gives me a glimpse of that reality.


I want to help people, as well as help myself. My gambling is symptomatic of something in my life, but last night I needed to prove to myself I am a CG. Because I don't think I believed it.


My final point is this, and this is something I have just learned. I loved the rush. It was like drugs. I was in another world. Playing poker never really put me in the same world. That was something else. What scares me truly is that I have never been in a casino, and there is a part of me that wants to do that, as an experience. Like a holiday. Go in and suck it up. It's terrifying, but at least I am coming to terms with how this illness affects me.


I think what I did I did to be like others, and that is sad. I have psnet my life acting in ways that I think are cool when others do it. NOt doing it for myself. This is a ghost of a childhood that I realise is haunting me.


JD, I thank you for your post. I could read the love in there, also the cynicism and the casual acceptance of your degeneracy (no offense). I appluad you and want to see you and everyone here get better. You are very honest.


Please accept my love and thanks for taking the time to read y post and offer advice. It really means a lot considering you know nothing about me.


See you soon soon


M


I've been following your thread with interest Maverick!

Just a few quick comments.

Last night will either make or break you!

I felt for a while you were "aping"others. (I used to do that too-try to be a "big shot in the 'kips' they call casinos. The Big spender, The "whale") HA!!

Gambling has very little to do with money, Maverick. I won't type what I lost in monetary terms (I've learned that it can be a trigger for myself and others to do that on a CG Recovery site)

What I will highlight is my "real" losses!

My pride/dignity/confidence/friends/relationships/hope(sometimes)/health/self respect/trust/ability to sleep/enjoyment of simple things/real people etc etc.....

Get the picture?

It gutted me that you were having "another go" when your wife was feeding the baby this morning.....not judging, it just isn't fair and you know it!!

That's what gambling does to us . Turns us into selfish , uncouth brutes, and I can tell from reading your "blog" that that's not the real you at all, Maverick. You are gentle and sensitive ad caring... A blind man could read between the lines you have written! Maverick. Think how you would feel if your wife was acting as you are. I always say there is only one thing worse than being a CG, and that is having to live with one. I would not live with ME!!!

Look at the consequences now while you still have a roof over your head.

Forget about having a "casino experience". Yes, it will give you a buzz, a thrill, an adrenaline rush , but at what cost?

When we take the drug, we suffer the hangover Mav!

Believe me when I was the last customer, clinging on to the slot machines that had hypnotized me and drawn out my last cent, with the attendant calling time, I too often felt very like one of the hookers JD refers to.

Used and abused!

You and I have crossed the line Mav. There is no going back.

Raise your eyes to heaven and Surrender. Every word I say to you I also say to myself....

Words mean very little really

ACTION is what counts.

Draw a line under this madness Mav and move on

It will end in bitter tears!


I agree with every word you wrote. The gambling me is not the real me - its i the child trying to be cool, clever etc - while actually being a prick.


I believe now as I write this that what just happened is for the best. It has convinced MOnica she needs a break for me, we are shutting the office, and that makes me feel relieved. I am meeting someone next week about possible freelance work, and I know there is a future for me. I now truly understand what it is to be a compulsive gambler. The inabaility to stop. I knew this last night - I had a commentary in my head as I was doing it.


I did all the classic CG things - which makes me think that part of this is a weird act, a way of defining myself. Well ---- that. I need new terms of reference. The truth is, I just couldn't stop last night and part of me thinks I lost on purpose so I would have to chase my losses. I would lose to say I won a huge amount of money, but if I had I would be convinced I would win. As it is, the financial loss in minial, the emotional and familal loss massive.


That is the hurt and the damage.


Time to move on.


I believe what happened had to happen - last night was destiny, just as how I move forward is festiny.


I am off to GA shortly. I have had a mentor for several uyears who is always there and he has become secretary of the Tuesday meeting, so we will meet up. I love him loads, he is a great man. And I am going to speak with him about the steps.


This morning, as I tried ot recover from a deep hole, I ctually asked the higher power to let me win my money back. I didn;t want any more. But if I could recover my losses I would give in the ilness and surreder and start the 12 steps. That is what I am going to talk about.


Over the last few days I have been carrying round the orange GA book and reading it. Everything applies to me. So now I surrender. Gambling has beaten me, and I can't beat it in the long run. NO matter how much I enjoy it, it is destructive. And I don;t want to be saying in 10 years that I have been trying to quit for 10 years. Time to get off the merry-go-round as my mentor calls it. Time to own up to my defects and mature and grow up.


Much thanks


M


Hi Mav,


I think you are right when you say you don't think you can judge how bad a gambler is by how much they gamble.


The way I read it is that we are all here because we are all in despair and have been to dark, dark places. I honestly don’t believe you can grade a compulsive gambler based on the amount of money they gamble.


I’ve gone from gambling tens of thousands of pounds, probably 2-3 hundred thousand pounds over 30 years in total, to gambling £300 on average every two weeks. I gamble less now in monetary terms than I did years ago, yet I feel my problem and addiction has seriously escalated and is far worse now than it has ever been.


Let me quantify this. When I was gambling away tens of thousands of pounds I was still eating and I was not leaving myself penniless on a regular basis, I still had a slight element of control. Now that my income is vastly reduced at present, I gamble in the region of £300 every two weeks, a sum far far less than I used to gamble away, but now I leave myself without any food or rent money and literally penniless. I now play a dangerous game of brinkmanship with my very existence and regularly put my health and home at risk. Whether I eat or pay my bills is now very much dependent on whether I win gambling. That is a clear escalation in my addiction, even though in real terms I’m gambling less money.


No addiction should be underestimated, we are all here because most of us have nowhere else to turn, are at the end of our tether and have really deep rooted fears for our very existence. We are all in the same boat regardless of what we do for a living or how much we each spend gambling. We all have to pay the same price for our addictions even though the amounts we gamble may be different. It’s all relative.


Onwards and upwards, we're all with you mate.


Take care,


Charlster2


I sorted out all the id stuff before I started playing. Deep down I think this was pre-meditated on the part of my psyche. I checked - my withdrawel was pending when I closed the site.


I deposited 4300 on my company debit card amd eildrew 4300. I deposited 140 on my PayPal and withdrew 130. I am astounded it ended up like that - it could have been disastoerous.


I remember thinking when I was 2K in the hole I heard a voice - right then laddie, you are chasing, you have joined the CG group. Welcome.


This same voice was goadin me to quit when I was 900 up at the start saying "quit now and you're not a CG, If you keep playing you are a CG cause you know you'll lose it all, then more and then you;ll be fucked."


Somehow I did this on purpose - that was scared the living bejeesus out of me.


Right, off to GA and find out more about the steps and start to arrest this nasty little habit. I'm going to go out and get the weaponry to shoot a monkey. Except I don;t know what ammo I need, or what the monkey looks like.


Take care all, lots of love. And thanks for being interested. Once again my selfishness has dominated proceedings.


xxx


Hi good you are off to GA what ever helps I say! Although I am not a 12 stepper in that sense. I would though advise as much as not focusing on the losses we incur equally as important not to focus on the wins or those "get out of jail" breaks that we are given at odd times. Those thoughts will only lead you right back to gambling and as Vera said it could then all end in bitter tears.


Soon as I think of gambling I switch channel or try to. I can only focus on today and the next few days and I am building internally a hatred for my addiction. I always try picture a dog returning to its own vomit when I think of gambling. Which is basically what it is when we give into our addiction.


Remove ALL access to money. At the moment you cant trust yourself and neither will others. Have no point of entry. Then you work on yourself as you have already started and do what is needed to change from within. Good luck!!!


Mav you aren't any more of a CG now, to what you were this time last week. You havn't gotten any worse.


I echo what the vast majority of others have said here, the amount of money is not important. I'm really pleased that you didn't win because you most certainly wouldn't have been back here until it had all gone.


You say last night "had to happen". I cant agree with that, and yet, that makes me hypocritical because I have done similar things and thought similar things in my past. I now know, of course, that it's a complete load of bollocks. Last night didn't have to happen, its just that you wanted it to.


Vera mentions in her reply that she wont tell you the amount shes gambled because shes been told it can be a trigger to peoples gambling. I think thats wise.


I can see by your post above that you talk with Jansdad on facebook, for what its worth I think that it isn't such a good idea. You both may feel you are supporting and helping each other, but I would reckon it can be detrimental to both your recoveries. I would think, judging by Jansdads post above that your conversations on facebook would end up with you talking about the size and values of bets made, the amounts lost, the near misses, the lucky escapes the mammoth sessions. Big deal, here you are two middle-aged men on a therapy site, the near misses big wins and huge sums of money havnt done you much good have they.


I'm not going to name names on this thread but I remember a couple of years ago on this site two members who were trying to start recovery again after recent relapses decided to get together on facebook. Within 48 hrs they had both gambled.


Its your life, and your recovery mav, if you feel last night had to happen before you could start to get better, than thats done and dusted. Onwards and upwards from here on in.


Just remember this, I was told it by a wise man called Maverick many months ago. Just because you've got the monkey of your back dosn't mean the circus has left town.


However strong you feel against the addiction at the minute, dont be lulled into a false sense of security (or serenity), its there ready to pounce.


Wishing you well.


I didn’t mean to say that the absolute amounts we lose matter, it’s all relative. All I’m saying is, Mav, and I think you mentioned it once yourself, that you probably have other things contributing to your predicament - NOT just gambling. And although gambling certainly doesn’t help, I didn’t have the impression that gambling is the only contributor to your predicament.

I don’t want to diminish your gambling problem, but I did have the impression from time to time that you’re blowing it out of proportions and maybe neglecting some other issues in the process. I mean that was till you started playing black chips. Betting black chips in your position is A MAJOR issue.


About the amounts we bet: charlster2 made an excellent point. I too was betting a lot more when I had more money (and there were a few years when i actually was winning at poker). Back then I would not lose sleep over losing $3K, now it’s a major disaster causing stress, panic and nightmares.

And back then I didn’t have to worry about my bills, now I do.


And geordie is right about discussing our losses (although Mav and I never really went into any such details in our private conversations) - I think I mentioned it that my recent relapse had partly to do with a fact that I saw people here relapsing and i thought it was “ok” to relapse once in a while. I don’t want to mention names, but it was this Irish woman that triggered my gambling session on Feb 21 :D :D :D

Ah, I got only myself to blame, no one else. Ever. Only myself.


But the fact remains our relapsing does not help others here.


I do disagree with geordie where he says you aren’t more of a CG now than you were last week. I think the illness progresses. I think I’m more of a CG now than I was a couple of years ago. I exercise a lot less control, I start steaming more easily, I lose more (relative amounts, not absolute), I have less confidence, I’m sadder for a longer period of time after losing, gambling takes much more toll on me than it used to…


Also, Mav, there's NOTHING glorious in being a CG.

So when i said I didn't think of you as of a CG the way I think, say, of Vera as a CG - you should take it as a compliment :)


It is definitely progressive JD, however like you and I, mav was a CG last week, what he's done hasn't made him more of a CG.


The "medicine" he needs to make himself better is the same this week as it was last week, no more, no less.


I wish it wasn't past my bed time, because I dont know if you were joking when you say an Irish woman triggered your gambling, I hope you were joking. As you said the seed was planted on a previous trip to that club. When we gamble there's really ever only one person to blame. Sometimes we can be victims of circumstance, however anybody can, and we all have the choice of whether to weather the storm or gamble.


The depth in the conversations in these forums is amazing. Everyone contributing has said amazing things, and the level of thought on the subject is truly astounding. I thank and love you all.


No one contributed to my lapse but me. And it happened quite by mistake. A small £10 deposit turned into much more. An I watched myself do it, become more detatched from myself. Even when I neasrly 1K up from essentally a £10 desposit. It wasn't enough - and I said to myself. Prove you;re not a CG by takng the winning, and going to ned. If you;re CG keep playing because you'll lose it. And then when I deposited more and was chasing losses it all became clear to me. I have been lying to myself more than I lied to anyone. The reason I keep relapsing is because I do not take the condition seriously. That changes now.


At 9am tomorrow I will be 1 day gamble free. Properly free, of my own free will. No one in the world can make me stop gambling. if I choose to gamble I will. if I choose not to gamble, I will. My choice. That gives me power. if I have an urge, I will consider it and give myself 10 mins. Because towards the end of my binge yesterday, through depseration more than any skill, I turned my final 2K despoit into 4.5K a part of my brain believes you can win money at gambling. And that is true - but that makes me sicker. And if I had left the table yesterday 4,5,6K up, whatever, that would be the worst thing in the worst. Worse than losing it all. I had the best outcome - I ended up essentially at zero. For that I am grateful.


GA was good this evening. I was first to give therapy. I am going back on Thursday and then on MOnday again. 3 days a week until I hit 90 days. That is my target.


JD, Geordie, JN, Vera, Sad68, Seri68, ButchUgly, Adam, Charlster, Fritz and all the other amazing posters, I love you all and wish you sleep gamble free dreams

Gute nach, buenos noches, good night.


xxx


Hey Maverick, It has been noted that none of the staff are mentioned ion your good night... but Hey I'll forgive you


You wrote "That is my target" Mav another word for target is "Goal" by setting targets your potentially doing 2 things


1, Your setting yourself up with stress to meet a date that actually inst important.. today and tomorrow are important 90 days, 1 year, 10 years are just time... today with your loved ones and not gambling is what matters....


2, what happens when you hit 90 days... is it time to celebrate, set a new goal... both have there own pitfalls


Living one day at a time but also allowing the future to be real is where you will be in time if you commit... for now, look at today, look at the positives, don't bury your head, work on making the business as viable an option as possible, take the wife and your son to the park... rekindle the parts of your life you've neglected... 90 will come and go its your choice to be gambling, in abstinence or recovery


on a small note and you know my views on this... money and amounts are based on relevance not amounts.... missed time cant be replaced... money can


Harry, huge apologies for forgetting about you and the staff. Very rude of me.


I have been thinking a lot about why I gamble. I used to believe I could win money. Even when I win I lose it it again, so that can't be it. Do I enjoy the challenge of the game? Don't think so, I get bored of poker quickly and start calling random cards for a laugh. That night 2 days ago on BJ was the most I have ever 'won' even though the winning was recouping losses. There is part of my brain that is frighteningly intrigued by that.


I think I have continued gambling, despite knowing it is bad for my mental health, because i have nothing else. It seems to stimulate something and I think I am punishing myself as well. SO doing something that hurts me, AND losing money knowing that when I get caught I can feel sorry for myself again, woe is me etc etc etc. There is a strange cycle going on here and one I must break.


Which brings be back to GRT? What is my GRT?


Smokers have vapes, nicotine gum and various other things.

Smackheads have methodone.


What can I replace my gambling with. It needs to be something that gives me the same rush, endorphins.


Answers on a postcard please.


Try Starcraft 2 :)

I'll play with you any time you like :)


Just wondered if you are keen on any sport or think you could take up running, climbing mountains (I don't know where you live) or something else active that really gives a buzz too?

I may be completely on the wrong track for you, but just an idea.

Monique


I've got news for you Maverick!

NOTHING replaces the G buzz

for me

maybe you will find something

Good Luck if you do

The intense craving for that buzz does wear off though and you will need it less, the longer you stay away from the "drug"

Time heals

I found walking a great release in the beginning

Also recommended by psychiatrists for depression

Surrendering to the Higher Power is probably the only thing in the end

After a while you miss gambling less and less

Variety is the spice of Life

or I prefer the saying

"When you enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers, you won't miss the fragrance of one!"


http://www.nfattc.org/why-gamblers-never-win/


This pretty much sums it up.


I need a hobby. I will let you know when I get some ideas.


Thanks all see you soon


Mav


I'm gambling as we speak... :( :( :(

Up about a thou so not lamenting, but I would give the thou plus another 20K if someone could guarantee I'll never gamble again.

I thought about it, I must be doing something wrong. What's the point of not playing for weeks even months when I'll lose more in the end than I would have lost otherwise. I have to find a different way to go about it.


Hi Jansdad, I feel so sorry for you.i remember when I used to switch screens to gamble. It's such a horrible feeling when we are caught in the cycle. I too used to feel powerless over. Gambling . What I've learned is that we have the power within. We can commit ourself to it stopping by cutting off all access to gambling .

You have the power within you to do so, but perhaps you are not really ready to stop ??


Hi Mav, you are on your own personal journey of recovery. Please continue to use whatever support you can to stop for you.


How I stopped was I became as addicted to this site . I read posts every few mins, I posted onto lots of threads, I used the helpline and all the groups .

It doesn't matter where anyone else is . This is your journey and you can beat this .

I really thought last summer that I would never stop.

I felt I couldn't .

I didn't find new hobbies straight away and it's not easy . Even tonight I found myself thinking could I? Should I?

Thankfully I didn't.

Life has a way of filling itself once we stop. But it definitely takes a little time for our brain to feel normal.


The buzz... I think the secret is to let our brain "normalise " so that it doesn't crave the buzz.

You will realise this has happened when one day you, quite soon. You are doing something nice like having a meal out or a great conversation and u will think I am really happy!!

You won't need the buzz. It will be replaced by a longer lived contentment . Kinda like instead of burning an exciting firework, burn a big piece of coal which will give you a warm

Glow for a long time!!


Hope this all makes sense . Just remember others will chose to gamble or not, but you are master of your own destiny.. And I know you have a great gamble free future ahead of you


How about joining a gym? Most gyms have so many different classes and activities to suit most needs. Great way to lose oneself for a few hours at a time and will give you a welcome distraction. It's just a thought.


It's something I've been thinking of doing for a while. I used to be a member myself, but relocated a few months ago and haven't got round to joining a club where I live now. Great way to not only gain physical health but also a good way to gain a healthy mind and feel good factor. I've missed that side of it in particular.


Just a suggestion.


Keep the fight going and take care.


Charlster2


ok, ending now. another terrible loss, but to be expected...

Instaling the K9 webprotection software tomorrow. So much about doing it on my own "the easy way". I'm such an idiot. I'm glad I don't know any of you in person. I'd be even more ashamed. I know no one's judging me here, but still... i'm such a fucking asshole, i'm disgusted by my own self.


And I need to go into my wife and ask her to give me some money that we have in her account so I can pay my debts now. Do I hate myself! I don't even know how it started. I was more than confident last couple of days. It was like something had "clicked" in my brain and I was no longer addicted. HAHA. How foolish. What was I thinking?


The good news is I'm going to sleep now and I won't have to face any of my problems for another 6-7 hours. Am I pathetic?!!


Thanks everyone for your support I feel very clear headed this morning last night my wife had a great idea. She unhooked the router and hid it. We have agreed we will do this every night. I understand now why there can be no more relapses. Because one bet leads to another. This needs to be staunched like a wound. I don't want my future to be one gambling. It is ruining me. Will power is not enough. When I have a urge I am going to imagine me winning. But not stopping. And then losing the winnings and more. Because that is the pattern. No wn will ever be enough. So why bother. Let's look at cost benefit analysis. If I win I wil only lose it. If I win and cash out will I do anything with it? No. I'll play again. Then at some point I will lose with interest. There is no benefit in gambling. The house always wins. Why do I want to destroy myself? That's what I need to find out.


I thank everyone here offering their advice. I believe I have reached the end of this cycle. Lots to do to prepare for my upcoming stay at gma whenever that is.


I am going to stay off the blogs until tonight. Off to GA tonight. I know the urges will come but that's normal. I have so life to give and live .


Love to all



Morning Mav



Your line " I know the urges will come but that's normal"



Mav, I like many others compulsive gamblers own many crystal balls, we must all buy them from the same shop " The Broken Crystal Ball Shop", they predict outcomes, that have a habit of being wrong



You don't know an urge will hit, you've no money (assuming your wife has control), your wife has pulled of a cracking solution with the router... these are the things that reduce urges



Think positive, if you predict and assume it will happen, it may just



Enjoy GA... I did email you recently... did you get it



Take Care


So I just went and deposited some money in an old account I just found, and an email was sent to my email and my wife found it. I do not know why I did it. I am glad I did it so I got caught. Now we are installing NetNanny on my computer. I think I did it so I would get caught because I was clearly reluctant to stop gambling. I know I have to. But for some reason a part of me doesn't. I do not understand what is going on with me, it makes fucking sense at all. Has anyone here depsoited money, then forgot about it? When my wife questioned me straught away I did not know I had done it - and then I remembered.


I think I havr to be grateful. If I really wanted to gamble, I would have done it in a more sneaky way, not in a way that I got caught straight away.


I am very confused as to why i would do that.


What part of me is trying to gamble again and why. I do not want to gamble, yet I appear to have had a blackout. I genuinely did not know I had done it until Monica found out. This sounds like a cop out but is true.


I am very disappointed in myself.


I have an appointment with the psychiatrist on Tuesday of next week to discuss my meds.


I do not understand why I am still thinking about gambling when I have so much other stuff to think about. I truly am losing total faith in myself. Last night I had a session with my psychotherapist. We diiscussed my gambling, my unhappiness etc etc. Without going into details, he thinks I am trying to self destruct because my own father died when I was 4 months old infront of me, and he thinks that somehow this traumatised me and now I am trying to self destruct. It is true I have done some dangerous things in my life and for 20 years have struggled with one addiction after another. I know no one here can help me with this but I am losing patience with myself. I appear to be a one way road to hell and even though I am driving the car and appear to be pressing the accelorator pedal.


This site is a godsend for me to write my thoughts down. This is day 2 since my meltdown and my gambling is taking up so much of mine and my wife's time. Has anyone else found this internal resistance when they decided to quit? I read posts like Fritz's and he seems to be doing so well - there is clearly something wrong with me at a deep level. I should say "I QUIT" and then stop. Deal with the urges, accept them, and move on, knowing I want to quit. I will never make money gambling, almost no one does. So why am I persisting? I still think about 2 days ago how I rescued myself, and apart of me thinks that I could do it again. Part of me thinks that I could win - which is so much lies.


This is driving me insane - 3 years this shit has been going on. Am I really so stupid?


Netnanny works. All gambling sites blocked. No more temptation. Hooray.


We are going to install this on all our computers.


I don't feel qualified to try and work out what's going in your mind, but I can give you my humble opinion based on my experience.


I gambled and gambled and gambled while I still had something to lose. I have hit rock bottom and I am a rizla papers width away from having to sleep on the streets if I continue.


The way I see it, your mind is still telling you that you have lives in credit and therefore the urge to push your luck further and further is trying to control you.


You still have a lot to lose and gamblers do have self destruct buttons that they press and some don't stop pressing them until they have absolutely nothing left to lose, i.e. people like me.


Don't lose faith, all you've lost thus far is money and time, yes it's not ideal losing anything, but if you carry on, you'll lose your family eventually and then your resistance to the gambling demons will be greatly reduced. Now remember, I'm speaking from my experiences, but this is a realistic worse case scenario that may await you should you not stop gambling.


You have to stay positive, replace those negative thoughts and try not to let them dominate your life. Easier said than done, but it's what you have to do.


You need a hobby, maybe something you and your wife can do together. Some distraction. We are in the early days regards our attempts to stop gambling so don't beat yourself up because you still think about it. I've thought about nothing else for nearly 10 years solid, how on Earth can I expect to shut it out completely within one week. I know I can't, but what I can do is focus on my goals, make them realistic and achievable and take baby steps on that road to recovery. Don't try to run before you can walk. Remember every step taken away from gambling, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. These don't have to be giant strides.


Keep strong and get those negative thoughts out of your mind and stay positive. Every time you think negative thoughts, look at a picture of your son, if he's in reach, pick him up...


Keep the fight going, you can do this.


Charlster2


cheers mate. Net Nanny works a treat. Just testing it out now on all gambling sites.


From what I can see you're taking all sorts of steps to stop, so feel good about your efforts. You're working incredibly hard to stop, so don't be too hard on yourself.


Speak soon,


Charlster.


YOu say nice things, but the point is why can't I just stop. What is all this childishness. And self destruction. I don't get it.


I'm still looking for answers myself and still need help seriously, so I'll stop short of trying to analyse your problem, it may only muddy waters and be a case of the blind leading the blind.


A member of the admin staff will hop onto this thread soon I'm sure and the GMA will help you in that department.


I'll say it again, baby steps, make your immediate goals achievable and realistic and stay positive.


Take care of yourself and your family and I'll speak soon.


Charlster2


Maverick, I think we become tied to the things we renounce!

Ever take a toy from a child?

They will scream for it!

When they have it they throw it on the floor.

The Forbidden Fruit is always sweeter.

Read Allen Carr's book again!


Feeling depressed again at the car crash that my life is. 3 year son and off gambling has rob es me of my ambition. Even when not gambling it's all I seemed to think about. I struggle to see a positive future. Blyot loads to do at the office. 2 months gone this year. Nothing of note achieved. This isn't true but te how I feel. I need to move on.


Time for me to stop running away from life and embrace what needs to be done.


“What if evil doesn't really exist? What if evil is something dreamed up by man, and there is nothing to struggle against except out own limitations? The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?”

― Libba Bray, Rebel Angels


Depression comes with the territory Mav. I find it hard to remember the last time depression wasn't a part of my life.


If I were in your shoes I probably wouldn't be able to see the wood for the trees either. I'm sure other people reading my posts see things clearer than I do too.


It's only a short post, but you've just crammed in so many reasons why you should be ambitious, probably without even realising it.


It's time to move on and focus on today. You're looking back and all that's going to do is plunge you to the depths of despair, it does me anyway. You should have ambition because of your gambling. Surely wanting to be gambling free is an ambition, isn't it? Wanting to be happy is an ambition isn't it? Surely everything on the list I posted on my journal are ambitions, aren't they? If you sit down and think about it, it's not ambition you lack, it's the inability to look at the here and now. It's impossible to look forward if all you're doing is looking back, we can't change the past Mav, it's gone, the damage is done. Accepting that appears to be the one thing we need to do before we can move forward. We can determine the present and the future, but we can't alter the past. Stop cluttering up your mind with negativity, I know it's easier said than done, but negative thoughts will wear you out and achieve nothing.


Now all I have to do is go away and apply what I've just preached to you, to my situation!! :0)


Have a great day, keep fighting.


Charlster


Brilliant post C, completely agree.


Trying to find something that gives the same buzz as gambling?


If we tried to do that then there would be a big danger of finding another unhealthy option. A bit like swapping Heroin for Cocaine maybe? Not a good idea of course.


We all have our own interrests, things we stopped doing in the past, things we have always fancied trying.


Try new things, find a variety of things to do. Myself, I discovered the theatre, qualified as a scuba diver, got a dog among lots of other things. Go out there, try things, if you like them carry on with them, if you don't then try something else.


I actually did find a buzz that matched gambling even though I wasn't looking for it. Every now and then when I'm diving a shark appears. Only fish eating sharks I hasten to add but still one great healthy buzz. :)


Having anotar tought day mentally. I don't wanna gamble. But I do. The sick part of my brain is convinced I am due a big win. Afterall I won but the other night before I lost it. It says that this time I wold stop she I am up. But how much is that? What guarantees can it make it won't lose m initial deposit and the have to chase making reckless bets using the ********* system losing everything. The stealing money from my company again. So no I won't gamble today. Because I cannot see how I could control it. If I win a lot I won't want to stop. If I lose I won't stop. The only thing to do is not to gamble and try and do other things. This makes me feel so hopeless. Is there a part of me tht has not let enough already? I AMA compulsve gambler and the only bet to avoid is the first one.


CGs N E V E R win, Maverick.

If we did we would be in Bermuda on a private yacht living the life that casino owners live, not wallowing in our present misery and counting pennies.

Keep postponing the next bet! You won't regret it.

Remember, we all have "another bet" in us but not all will have another "Recovery"!


Hi Vera


Thanks for your reply to my post. Despite me understanding this and, having been through what I have been through the last 4 weeks, I know that everytime I gamble it gets worse. The intensity increases, the amounts increase, my moods change. Even though I want to gamble, when I do it makes me depressed. I am elated, but depressed at the same time.


I have been thinking about it all day, but I seem to be more aware of the voice of my urges. I seem more aware of how i am constructing scenarios in my head. Yesterday I went to see my brother in Derby about 150 miles away from where I live. This morning I drove back. The drive home was hard = my head was full of negative thouyghts about the mess my life was in, what kind of future do I have, will I find a job - and how will I gamble?


Luckily I did not have my computer and we installed NetNanny on my computer so when I got home I couldnt gamble. My wife also hid her computer which was great, so therefore there was no way could place a bet without going to a bookies, and I have never done that before and have no urge to do that.


It's monday morning now and once again I am full of regert and mistakes. I could have done so much more at the start of this year. I am in serious financial trouble, no work, worried, hating myself - freaking out about the future, frozen into panic.


Today is the start of day 6 of no gambling, so that is good. But it doesn't take away my depression or the situation I have created. I feel hopeless, frightened. I simply cannot gamble in this state as it will make everything worse. But there are mments that, similar to drugs, if I did gamble I would at least forget about my worries for a short while. Even though that would absolutely make everything worse.


Well done to everyone on the posts who have remained gamble free and are sorting their lives out. I truly hope I can start to have some good news soon as I piece together my life again.


Hi Mav,


You mention that you are in serious debt? Have you thought about going to the Citizens Advice Bureau and working on that side of things with them. I did that some years ago and it was a great help.


The reason why I say this is that you seem to be swamping yourself with all sorts of worries and from my view point you don't seem to have any structure. It's as if you're in a position whereby everything negative is coming at you from all directions and you don't know which way to turn next.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but just by reading your posts, everything seems very chaotic in your life at the moment. It seems to me like you're constantly trying to spin dozens and dozens of plates all at once.


You really need to sit down and work out a structure on how you're going to deal with what faces you right now. Make a list of things that need dealing with in descending order, starting with the absolute priorities in your life working down to the things that don't need your immediate attention. That way you don't have to focus on everything all at once. This will relieve the pressure, I know, because I've done it in the past.


It's very dangerous trying to deal with everything in an ad hoc way, you end up not using your time economically, you waste time and energy of things that could be parked for the time being and the absolute priorities could get neglected.


One thing you don't want is for unnecessary pressure to build, because you could end up making rash decisions and they could be the wrong decisions.


You're doing better than you think, keep going.


Charlster.


Thanks for that Charles. Everyone tells me the same thing so there must be truth in it. I need to focus on what I need to do. I am overwhelmed by everything but I look at you and see how well you are coping. I think there is a part of me that just expects me to be able tot do it and my laziness/ depression is stopping me from doing the work needed to put everything into place. I think I am scared of sorting myself out, because that requires effort and thought and there is a part of me so used to this chaos that it wants to stay like this. I need to fight through this.


If you have any tips on how to structure life going forward, any good websites you have seen, I would love to hear them.


Thanks for takiong an interested, as always.


You need to get the ball rolling. Depression has prevented me from dealing with many issues in the past. It has a way of making you completely give up at times.


However, I have found in the past that once you deal with one issue, the momentum can build and positivity takes over. The longer you leave your problems without giving them your attention, they more they tend to snowball. You must approach everything in a structured way though and use your time on the issues that really need dealing with now and park the least important. Depression tends to magnify all things negative in your life, even if a problem is relatively small, depression will try and convince you that the problem is insurmountable when actually it isn't.


11 days ago, I felt like I had just gone 1000 rounds with Mike Tyson and I've felt that way on a daily basis for years now, physically and mentally. I still face the same challenges everyday that I faced 12 days ago, but I really can't take anymore of feeling that way. If I appear like I'm coping, it's because I am and the reason I am, is because I have no choice, it's sink or swim for me now. I have truly had enough.


I have opened up my life on here to some extent, but I've held many things back until I get to my therapy sessions. It's a shame that I had to get to the stage I'm at now before actually taking action, but on the positive side of things, I thank my lucky stars that I have the strength to do something about it now. Long may it continue.


As mentioned earlier Mav, it may be beneficial for you to speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding any debts or money issues. They will help you structure things and you will feel like you've achieved something.


Be good and be strong.


Charlster.


I know what you are saying Charlster, but my problems seem so massive I do not know where to start. I just want to run away. I have waves of negative thoughts, memories, emotions - all from times when I should have made different descisions, and not all to do with gambling. It's mainly my lack of self-esteem and self-worth that has held me back all these years, which I have never recognised. I realise that my low self of self led me to becoming a gambling addict. And then I had the chance to stop very early on because my wife recognised it - and I didn't. For some reason I had an urge to keep gambling ever greater amounts, in secret, until that led to now. I can see that all my problems I face are directly to do with my gambling over the last 3 years, and especially in the last year when I should have been working. I have totally neglected my life, my family, my career - all to play a stupid game. And now that has led here. I can see that now - I just need to some clear headspace to work out what my priorities are before everything disintigrates. I have never felt this hopeless before. I am overwhelmed.


And I still have work to do, which I have been paid for, and it is hard to summon up the energy. I need some new techniques.


You are very mature and I appluad your honesty and approach. I wish we could meet face to face, as I now I would draw strength from you. It's probably not a good idea anyway, but I do hope you get on the course. Have you been given a date yet?


Keep up the good work


M


No I haven't had a date yet, so in the meantime I'm trying to prepare as best I can. I'd rather go to GM on a positive note so that I've got some sort of foundation to build on.


About your situation and prioritising what you need to concentrate on rather than be overwhelmed by everything facing you at the moment, I think you need to focus on fulfilling any outstanding work that you've been paid for.


It will be hard to get motivated, because you'll feel that you'll be working for nothing because you've already been paid and spent the funds, but the last thing you need is grief from unhappy customers/clients on top of everything else. If you can fulfil those contracts asap, it will be a major problem dealt with and then you can move on to the next issue on your priority list.


Take care,


Charlster.


So had an awful day today. Really struggling with anxiety, depression, the feeling of hopelessness at the totally hideous sitiation I have created. And it is all my fault. The fact that I have lost another 5 weeks becasue of gambling (getting caught, losing money, the feelings of shame this has brought) is not making it easier. My mind is a horror movie at the moment, tormeting me, stopping me from progressing. I am totally swamped and I cannot see a way out - all I see is misery. I am glad I stopped gabling, but I realise now the relapses were because I wanted to escape from these feelings. I know that to gamble risks everything, and the truth is I can;t if I wanted - but the urge to blot everything out woith a gambling session is overwheling. The fact that I can;t makes it worse.


Just doing some research I found this


http://www.alternet.org/how-gambling-can-kill-you-faster-drug-abuse-or-a...


I am sure I can get through this, but I am so scared by what is on the other side. I think it;s because I have to accept myself as a failure, as that is what I am. No career, business gone, wife gone soon, depressed, moaning, whining etc etc. I am the most shit person in the world. And I cannot shake this.


I am not sure that the pills are working, they may me making me worse. Although I had already lapsed when I started taking the pills, my gambling urges seemed to come on stronger after upping the dose. Is there a link? I am seeing the psychiatrist tomorrow to discuss it.


I need ot think positively again, but all I feel is a sense of despair, that I am lost forever and there is no way out. I try to let the thoughts pass but they are lodged.


i see so many great stroies here it makes my heart swell, and I think why can;t I be one of them.


Lots of love from the bottomless pit


Mav


The truth is I wasn't clear for a year last year as I wrote in my opening post. That was another lie. Just like all th eother lies where I promised my wife I was clean. I just became better at hiding it. The truth came out last night because she is using one of our work computers and she found a log from an old POkerStars and FullTiltPOker application in the documents folder, which had a list of hands from Feb of last year onwards. I didn't even know I had used that computer the gamble on. The truth is, I lost lots of time last year gambling when I should have been working, and while the monetary loss was not major over a period of 8 months (about 2K) the loss of time is priceless. That is why my company and the project I have been managing is where it is, and it is why now I am fearful of my future.

Gambling robs you of everything. I cannot gamble normally, once I start I cannot stop. I am on day 7 now, and that is the truth. However, if I didn't have gambling blocking software on the computer I would have gambled, I am sure.


I will lose my son now, I will lose my business. Myabe that was the subconcious plan all along. The only way my brain could stop me gambling was to take everything. I decide that today is my rock bottom. From here I can only go up. The sun is shining, the pills are working, I feel kind of hopeful I have a future because I can decide what future I have. And the first thing is that it is a future without gambling, whatever that takes. I believe the next bet for me, whether online, offline, on a frutie, the lottery, whatever, will be my death.


I must accept the harm I have done myself and those around me. I have destroyed a massive part of my life. I have lied, cheated, been lazy, stolen, committed fraud. I am a degenerate compulsive gambler and the sooner I understand that and accept the sooner I am likely to be able to have a fulfilling life.


What will I do for work going forwards? I don't know. I know I have some skills, but not sure how valuable they are in the wider work place. I will need advise on that.


But until I have stopped gambling for good, I can't move forwards. As the orange book says I have to make a fearless moral inventory of myself:


At the moment, I am lazy, I lie, I cheat , I am lazy and am doing nothing to sort myself out.


So this is where it has to change and move forwards. I have to do the right things where my wife and child are concerned and take care of them. I have to grow up and accept that this day was always coming as long as I continued to gamble, the losses would mount and the depression would increase. I do not believe it is possible to be a CG without getting more and more depressed because we hate ourselves for it. I am disgusted with myself, but I accept I am ill. It is a progressive illness which will lead in time to poverty, homelessness and suicide if I do not stop. I can stop the rot here if I choose.


I have never aken this disease seriously. I have always tried to gamble on the sly, as if that is my right. I so wish that 3 years ago, when my wife first realised I had a problem (after just 2 months of poker) I had seen the light.


But, and I do not mean this in a disresepctful way at all, I do not want to be saying this in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years when I am 50 and have nothing. I can still dig myself out of this hole if I work on it.


Today, I will not gamble. Today, I will work hard, be fosuced, treat everyone with repsect, not lie and go to bed satisfied with my performance. And then tomorrow, I will do the same.


Much love


Mav


PS, I am so impressed with the stories of recovery here and I am a little jealous that thus far I have not had their character to stick to it.


http://www.ncrg.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/monographs/ncrgmono...


It's an american PDF looking into the neuroscience of gambling. I have not read it all, but it is a real eye-opener. Prepare to have you brain and impulses examined for what they are.


I am going to continue reading, just wanted to share.


Love and peace


so on day 8 today but feeling terrible. no energy. no motivation. worried sick. Had a meeting with the psychiatrist yesterday and it looks like I have been differing undiagnosed clinical depression since my teens. I have poor coping skills and low sef esteem which have led me to be a gambling addict, as well as suffer other addictions. And I am now lost. I do not know where to go from here. How can I fix mself. Lets say I never gamble again - what future do I have?


I know that if I gamble it will be the end of me. But I feel like it is the end now anyway, so what would it matter? At least i would go out on a high as it were. But no, I cannot think like this. I must believe in a future. But I feel totally unemployable. What is the future? I'm losing the business, family, home everything. Why can't I cope?


I just don't understand why I didn't see this coming? Why did I continue to find ways to play, ways to get money, time that sould have been spent working/ with my family etc. Why am i such a fucking loser?


I know this is a depressing post but I am just trying to get my thoughts out. I feel like shit. If I had qquit gambling when my wife first saw I had a problem I would have quit 3 years ago. Or last year in January, I knew it was a problem again. And in June of last year, or October of last year, or January of this year.


I think I must be suffering from withdraweel as I do not have access to playing, which is good. But I am craving it really bad. I am craving the escape. Just to forget.


God, I am so pathetic.


I am in bits and am desperate to gamble only to destroy myself. My wife has booked her tickets to colombia for next week and I am not sure how I will cope on my own. My head is full of the most hateful thoughts, and when she said she had had enough and was booking tickets my first thouht was to gamble everything away. Just destroy myself to I could then kill myself.


I do not want to do this. Gambling has destroyed me over 3 years, the fact that I lied and gambled last year meaning that this project is now so way pverdue, added on top of that depresion and massive low self esteem I truly detest myself right now and I do not know what do to. I am crawling the walls. She is entitled to leave and its probably the bst thing for her and our son, but I do not know how I will cope.


I just found myself about to use her computer to find a new online site and play some blackjack. I managed to stop myself, but for how long. The gambling is no longer about money it is about self destruction. I realise that is what is has alwasy eben about - part of me is trying to destrouy myself and I don't want that at one level, and on another it would make all this pain go away. I know no one here can help me, but I feel so lost. So helpess. But all of my sorrow and misery is of my own making. If I Had been stronger and not gambled last year non eof this would be happening right now. We would have finished the project and owuld be getting ready for the holiday in Colombia we promised ourselves. But no, I am a ---- up and I have to destroy myself. How long amd I going to be like this?


I do not know if I can cope being on my own. It sounds so pathetic, but t is true. I hate myself so much.


Mav, is this a holiday your wife is taking in Colombia?


You have to continue to be honest with yourself throughout your recovery Mav. POINT 1. You are NOT pathetic in any way shape or form. Living with depression is hard and its not visible. If you have a dodgy leg or cancer, you can see the problem, so you can't hide it. With depression it takes a lot of soul searching and understanding-and those that don't suffer with it can only understand the pain to a certain level. POINT 2 you can live a full and productive life. Like I keep seeing on here...1 day at a time. Sometimes it is such simple things that are right in front of you that you don't appreciate. For example..when is the last time you ate one of your favourite foods and really tasted it? Making that extra effort to take in your immediate environment can help you to feel happier. Most people when they have a shower, they are thinking about a gazillion other things. Next time you have a shower... tell yourself before you get in, I am going to focus on the water...this is my time and all other thoughts are not aloud in. Next time your wife or child kisses you, concentrate on their lips and the love behind the kiss (or anger), its important regardless of the emotion attached .. its important to remind yourself of your current reality. That might seem trivial but it works. POINT 3. Your world of gambling is a form of self sabotage.. In your case by the sounds of it..as you have probably read, the endorphins released from gambling is the same as as when one would take heroin..hence it is so hard to quit..and why we chase to get that same feeling we did the last time..it has been scientifically proven. Some people have normal upbringings and some don't but both can become hooked. In your case, from what you have said with the death of your father...I don't believe that the death of your father had a direct impact as you were too young. But logically from my expertise, your mother may have indirectly had an impact as she would have been impacted by his death. It might be helpful you to read about attachment disorder...Bowlby is the first one to come up with the theory but Ainsworth took it further. People often think that from of attachment disorder, is an issue with forming attachments. This is somewhat true, however...it is a bit sneakier than that. there are several forms of attachment disorder. quite often it develops from inconsistency from parents. or even passive aggressive parenting (which often creates an insecure personality) though no fault of their own as they would not be aware they are doing it. There is so much to say about it to be honest so it would be better to read about it. It might help you understand. Point 4. understanding why, helps with recovering from depression in most cases. Self sabotage is often a direct result of having attachment issues because how we are nurtured is how our personalities develop.


It may be that the high from gambling, has helped conceal your emotions. I have found in myself that it has a numbing effect while I'm gambling not that I have a trouble childhood...but I have certainly had difficult times as an adult....not feeling was a relief for me..so I became hooked. If you can face your emotions (and understand them) I am confident that you will manage your depression.

On a final note....you have to look after yourself physically. That means eating, sleeping, fresh air.


You can do this mav. and for now, just focus on the little things. Bigger things will come from those little things.. And keep telling yourself.. If I won a million, I would lose two million because that is the reality of it. If you struggle with anxiety, please ask for help. I have some excellent tools that I use with my patients that can help with that. In the meantime, find one thing positive about yourself each day...and savour the things you used to like (e.g. chocolate). Create your own haven (e.g. the shower). Feel the emotions attached to those kisses.


Best wishes BU


That's such an amazing post BU. You are talking a lot there about mindfulness. The work on attachment is so true. I am only now coming to hard conclusions about my ability to connect with people and how I attach to them. I always thought I was sorted, but for the last 20 years have lurched from one crises to another and am now in the biggest crises of my life.


I know what I have to do, but getting the strength to do it is so hard. I just want to wallow in self pity, but that will take me nowhere. But the strength to climb out of this pit is insane. I feel like digging myself deeper.


Thank you for taking the time to read my post and answer, it means such a lot. I know you have experience of medical issues, so I take what you say very seriously. My big problem is that I am finding it hard to motivate myself to finish the jobs I have to finish, as there is nothing at the end of them. The gamblong last year has seen to that. I hate that I have not been able to give us. Sure I am 8 days in now, and I intend to stay away from gambling, but I am craving it like a drug right now. That it will make all mt worries go away for a while - and that is true. But I knowthey will be there for me afterwards, with avengeance.


I think I am very sick mentally, and the fact I have to keep working is not helping. I do not ake care of myself, eat every couple of days or so, do not excercise and am smoking a lot again. I am slowly killing myself.


This has to stop somewhere - a stand has to be taken.


Lots of love


M


How are you going to start burying this hole your in ....today? so you have a lot of catching up to do with work and you won't really reap any rewards from that work... I get it.. that is very demoralising. Unfortunately looking ahead at that isn't helping you really is it. do you think you can separate those factors you mentioned in your mind..I mean like creating a pile (of all the crappy stuff) and a small pile of good stuff...then when you take one thing off the pile of crappy, you can move it to the good pile...then you will slowly see the good pile grow? it makes sense in my head but not sure if i have explained it well.


in regards to YOU (physically)... baby steps?? something health to eat today? maybe a short 10 minute walk?


And yes I was stalking about mindfulness, its powerful stuff.


so its strange really, you already have the knowledge..as do I..I'm trying to apply it to myself,,,maybe you need to as well.

Its bizarre really.. sometimes I feel like Im in the eye of a tornado and all these things are spinning by me, my family, money, the beech, picnics, laughing and I'm just looking at it in this moment of stillness. Thing is I'm slowly starting to realise that I don't want to be in that moment anymore..its lonely!.. I would rather be in amongst those things spinning around me because at least I'm not alone. But its a huge leap really. At the minute I am at the bottom (the narrow bit) and thats enough for me right now.


Been having a tough day and I think they are going to get harder. Finding it so hard to relax. I just cannot get out of my head what a prick I have been. Thinking how it would be different. Last year when I knew my gambling was getting out of control a colleague (an employyee actually who has known me for 5 years) asked me if I was gambling again. I remember it clearly. I lied. I could have told the truth and then we could have talked about it but I was so ashamed. After that my gambling and depression, going hand in hand, got worse, and I reliase now they were and are linked. If I had looked for this site back then and stopped the gambling, and focused on my business, I wouldn't be in this mess. But that is me through and through. Always leave things until they are too late and fucked up. Well, the cat is out of the bag now. I have 2 months to sort this out. That sound slike a lot but 2 months has lareadt gone this year and I have got almost nothing done. I have spent 6 weeks since my last discovery in a state of almost constant terror and hatred.


Still, today is 8 days without a gamble. That is my longest self imposed break on gambling, not counditing holidays to isalmic countries where gambling is forbidden online. I tried this Christmas when we went to Abu Dhabi for Christmas and NewYear. Websites were blocked, thankfully.


Still, I didn't have to start again when I got back - but I did.


Sometimes I think I have more gambling memories over the last 3 years than I do other memories. And that includes the birth of my son - and while my wife was in hospital I was playing poker at home. He was 4 weeks premie, and over that Christmas (he was born Oct 20th 2013) while my wife tried to nurse him I played poker. I am such a degenerate. I am surprised she has stayed with me for so long.


This addiction turns us into horrible people, liars, sneaks, unable to communicate, always thinking of the next bet. Well now I don't think of the next bet, I think of all the shit I have done. I need to find a way of containing it, accepting it, and rebuilding otherwise I will never move on.


I was to say that I once had a gambling addiction, that I will always be a CG, but I have not had a bet in... years. And that the rest of my life is getting sorted - job, stable income, able to keep paying bills, outgoings, save money and feel like I have a future again. The disease robs us of the ability to enjoy what is good in life. I heard so many people say it but I am only just realising it. I think ut is worse than other addictions because it exists only inside your head and everything about it is based on a lie.


The lie is that you will win money - you might, but you don't see it. And then you lose that and more. I feel bad because I never won big, but the truth is I did have a winning streak 2 years ago which won me back almost everything I had lost up to that point. 3 weeks later all that was gone. There is part of me that craves the big win - but how much is big enough?


I have to stop here because I don't think if I do it will end. And then nothing else will matter.


I had to speak with the samaritans today. I was thinking of suicide. I worked out how to do it, and make sure it worked. I spent 30 mins thinking about it - and it made me feel worse. To leave my son without a father, to ruin everyone else's lives more? No, that's the easy/ difficult way out, and just leave sother people in the shit. No, man up and deal with. be a better man, for once. See something out. There are no shortcuts to this, and what I am feeling is what I feeling. I need to find other ways of coping. I need to start eating better, excercising, making an effort.


An effort. I have been so lazy, all I have thought about is poker for 3 years. And if I wasn't playing how could I play - how could I get away with it? Which cards could I use that she wouldn't find? How could I leave work early to get an hours worth of play in. All for what? I never won. What's the point if I am not winning? But the disease had such a hold on me, it makes me childish, petulant, irritable. And people know and when questioned I lie. It has made me hate life, as it thinks that without it there is no life.


My bad feelings now are connected to the no gambling - but that means the disease is winning. So why not say: Yes, my life is a mess. It is a mess because I made a mess. But it is still life, and that is prevcious. I am healthy, I have relatively intelligent, I am sure i can get some sort of a job in my field. NOt at the top, but somewhere midway, something I can work at, prove my worth again. BUt before that I need to work on me. The lazy me, the arrogant me, the gambler me. Because they are my enemy. Even if I do not want to do it, I have to. That's what we have to do. I am a long way from that person.


I think if I couldn't wirte on here I would go mad.


I know I need to sort stuff out here and with my business before I can go on the GMA course, which I so want to do, just because I need a break.


So last gamble was 9 days ago. Still very depressed but not trying to think about that past. What is done is done. I have to live with it. I will always have t live with the fact that by not being to stop this addiction sooner, even though I knew it was hurting me, it has truly wrecked my life. But at 42 everyone tells me I am young. I'll take that on trust. I feel like 80 sometimes.


9 days - and only now am I approaching something like acceptance. I am a CG. That's all there is to it. I couldn't give it up because I was addicted and I though I could hide it. Warning warning. To think that is a healthy way to live, that you have to hide an addiction that you 'enjoy', that you can't share this 'hobby' for fear of what people say? What kind of a hobby is that? That's shame right there.


I think of the amount of time spent playing poker when I should have been working, planning - running my own business. Instead, I was able to play all I wanted and no one could sack me. What a sad sack of shit I am. Pathetic.


Well, the truth will out as they say.


Today is day 10 - that is the longest length of time that has not be imposed on me.


10 days down now mate. You can do it...

Me and you can race each other to a year!

We'll not bet on it though...


Thanks mate. Doesn't change the reality of my life, but I am maybe a little but more clear headed.


I still cannot get out of my head that if I had stopped last year in jan when my wife found out, then I would not be here. My year would have been so different.


another tough day. I hope they will start getting easier. I have been reading so many stories on here trying to put mine into context. I know all our stories are different but the one factor binds us all. Compulsive Gambling.


Can I ask if anyone here lost everything, and didn't quit until it was all gone. How were the first few weeks? How did they muster the strength to sort out their lives? What does it mean looking at our defects. I am feeling very lost and full of grief, and need some strength here. I read about people going about their day to day life, but I have screwed my income stream (my business) because I neglected it so much through gambling. How can this one thing have such a hold on me.


I think I am spending too much time on the blogs. I know the answers are not here, they are inside me, but I am reaching out.


I hope everyone had a gamble free day today.


SO I am out walking with the baby, having a coffee while little one sleeps. I am thinking a lot about gambling, though I don't want to. Today is day 12. Part of me wants to gamble, for the rush - the other is petrified of it. I need to rebuild a life which doesn't involved gambling. I realise I am as addicted to gambling as I was to heroin and as I am to cigarettes. There is a part of the brain that doesn't want to let it go. I know I am not phsycially addicted to gambling. I know that I will never win my money back, nor can I ever hope to. I simply do not have the bankroll to try. I would have to start with 25K to win 25K back, and I would probably lose. Let;s say I play with £100 and lose that - then I chase. Let's say I win £200 - how long doe sthat last before I lose that again. All a win does is give us more money to play with, and then we are sort of satisfied with breaking even, winning our money back but maybe losing 8-10 hours of our lives. What the hell is the point in that? The only point is the rush, a rush which costs us £000s , families, jobs, careers, self esteem. When I first did the gambling clinic we had to write in 2 columns for and against. The against column is always longer than the for. So why did I continue? What did I hope to get out of it?


My wife has proceeded to tell all of her friends. That is her perogative. The secret is out. I can only not gamble one day at a time. Gambling makes me unhappy, so why does my brain still want to do something that makes me unhappy? This I find troubling. I cannot find the answer, except it is an addiction.


When I first started attending GA I never understand what it meant to be in action. Now I do. That is what the addiction means. Simply to be in action. No matter how many times I have been up and I have told myself to quit now while I am ahead, I can't. And then when I am down I chase.


I am sure this is the same for everyone - can anyone else confirm this? It is important for me to understand that it is the same for everyone.


I am sure I would have relapsed had my computer not been blocked. For that I am very grateful.


I wish you all a gamble free weekend.


Hi Mav,

I can assure you that it is the same for me, and I think all other recovering gamblers. We struggle to understand it because our rational mind says the cons outweigh the pros, it would be crazy to do it, we can never win it back, etc... but our addictive mind says let's do it anyway, to hell with all the logic.


I am thinking back to 2011 when I first started to kick this thing and I had the same tug of war thoughts, day after day. Why do I keep getting these urges? Why do I relapse? I don't really want to gamble and I know it will be bad, but I still want to do it! It's the addictive mind telling us that by going back out it will make us feel better. It will alleviate the nagging thoughts that we "need" to gamble. You are right it is the same as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, heroin, etc. That's why we need all of the blocks and all of the support early on in the recovery, because our rational mind is blocked out by the irrational addictive mind. The addictive mind will win the tug of war every time early in the recovery process. Back out gambling we go, and when finished, our rational mind is more baffled (and defeated) than ever. Addictions take on a life of their own, and need to be constantly fed. If they are not fed, they make us miserable until they get fed.


After being gambling free for a while (I think the timing of this varies a lot for individuals), our rational mind begins to take hold and stand a chance over the addictive mind. Gambling doesn't dominate our thinking 24/7 like it does early on. We begin to feel better, but we cannot let our guard down and must be vigilant, and must keep all blocks in place. Keep using the 12 steps, the GA meetings, counseling, daily meditations, or whatever other tools are out there.


At this point (again the timing varies for different people but for me about 4-6 months gamble free), I think we can see more clearly gambling for what it is, a psychological addiction. This is where I'm at in the process, without the constant nagging of the addiction, but a knowledge that it could hit me again at any time without warning.


I know now after 4 years of the recovery process, that the addiction wants/needs to feed itself. I know that the addiction deceived me into believing if I gamble it would make me feel better, or somehow solve my problems, or help me "escape" but I don't buy that anymore. I don't need to escape anymore.


I know you are going through hell right now, but it will get better if you keep at it. It is probably best that your wife told her friends, because it may help her to feel better, discussing it with others. She is carrying a heavy burden right now. It will get better, and easier, with more time. Hang in there, you do have a bright future ahead! Try to stay focused on all of the awesome things you do have, especially that wife and baby!

Cheers, all the best to you!


I hope you are ok Mav.


Hi End,


Thanks for asking. Had a lot going on in my mind recently. A part of me does not want to be a CG. It believes that I can gamble reponsibly. Past history proves that to be untrue, but minds are weird things. I want to gamble, win and then walk away my my winnings. I have fantasised about gambling this weekend and winning big - the truth is I would probably lose big, chase losses and then feel like killing myself. What happens if I win big? It will never be big enough? 1K, 2K. 5K? It;ll never be enough, I will always have lost more than I win? I just spoke with my sponsor from GA and he explained that the only way to win is not to play. To actually build a life without gambling. That sounds good? I think I am going to learn how to sing. And I have alwasy fancied being a stand-up, so I am going to try and learn how to do that. I like getting up on stage and talking. The question is, can I turn my experiences into funny stories that make people laugh?


I have certainly had my fair share of funny experiences as an addict. I am going to try and find somewhere I can learn - there must be books, websites etc.


The truth is I am a CG, Otherwise I wouldn't be here. It has played havoc with my inner life, made me be lazy at work, not do work, be distant always thinking about gambling.


I feel as if I am on the mend now, to be honest. I am getting better.


I ordered the book The Easy Way To Stop Gambling. I have an audio book version but I prefer something I can read and make notes in. It seems to be working wonders for Fritz. I need a sea change in the way I percieve gambling and other addictions.


I hope everyone here has had a good gamble free weekend.


See you all


Mav


Hi Mav,


I know exactly what you mean, the crazy fantasies of that big win, but even if that happens all that ever does is feed the monster again so you will lose it all again and more besides. The more you feed it the hungrier it gets, no feeding, it can only wither away and die, although that does take time. The one thing I do know is even with long gambling free periods, it only takes one bet to enliven the monster again. Logic says you should be able to win and walk away but the addiction has different ideas about that, the never ending cycle is proof absolute.

I have the Allen Carr book on kindle, some people swear by it, I find it repetitive which is strange since my life seems to be repetition same mistakes over and over and over...I agree with the concept you are not giving anything up but for me it does not in any way address the reasons of to why I have gambled my life away. Once that is resolved then there should not be a need to gamble, I hate gambling, yet I still want to do it even now, even though it has ruined my life and those around me, even though it is the most painful soul wrenching experience that I could never have imagined, cos the stupid mind says this time it will be different, NO, it will never be any different. It's like there is an alien dwelling in me that hates me so much wants to destroy me utterly, as I have good thoughts, I want to do good things, the alien says why am I not included in your list of good things? erm excuse me? who exactly are you, I created that alien and I have to be responsible for its death before it is the cause of mine.

Mav, I think your ideas sound great, why not try writing some of your material and testing it out with friends? I am so pleased to read that you feel that you are on the mend, its such a rollercoaster of emotions, hopefully in time there will be far more good days than bad.

enough waffle from me now :)


I relapsed over the weekend. I found that a new browser didn't work with NetNanny and I was able to open a new account. I came close to losing every bit of money I had. But in the end I finished up. I have told everyone. I wasn't going to tell anyone, but after speaking with friends and family I realised I had to tell everyone. The money will come in useful. But it means I gambled again.


We have put extra blockers on the computer and totally limited my access to money. I used PayPal. And then went and found where my wife had hidden my bank cards. I gambled all weekend but haven't gambled today. I managed to withdraw all my money before I lost it. That is the only blue sky. But the rest of my life is still shit.


My fear is that I am unable to tell the truth anymore. I feel like I have a really random relationship with the truth. Gambling has made such a sneak and a liar out of me that I find it difficult to tell the truth in other areas.


One thing I am starting to realise is that I must take account of my defects. This is something that is spoken about in GA.


I lie

I cheat

I am not honest

Gambling has come before:

1) Family

2) Home

3) Friends

4) Work

5) Ambition

6) General health and wellbeing


But stopping gambling will not automatically address these issues. Only I can do this. Fritz wrote an excellent post yesterday/ this morning which I am far from being. Fritz is really getting it, as are many of the other posters here. I am learning so much from being part of this blog.


I am at work now, so will have a fuller update later. But if anyone knows of a good book. website which can help one address defects in their life, such as a self help book, please pass on the details. I must learn, not be a loafer, focus, rebuild trust in myself and those around me.


I am so far from being the person I wanted to be. The truth is, I need to know work out ow to be honest again.


I am sorry for relapsing, but I think now I know. There is still a person in my head saying "You won a grand in a day, you could always win a grand a day" but that is not true. Next time I could run out of gambling money and then it is fucked.


I am going to keep reading the posts and keep posting.


Love to all


Mav


I feel saddened, Maverick and a little taken aback that you gambled over the weekend , knowing all the chaos that gambling has created in your life. Maybe, you are throwing caution to the wind at this point?

Of course I'm not judging you, or your actions. I am the very last/least person who is in a position to judge any other CG!

The well known passage from St Matthew's Gospel comes to mind, where Judas Iscariot betrayed his Master for thirty pieces of silver.

Sadly, Maverick betrayed HIMSELF for a thousand pieces of filthy lucre which will bring no joy....

Your posts are amazing, Mav. I read them every day but have not been in a position to post.

Have you applied for Gordon House residential therapy?


Hi Vera


I too am saddened that I looked for a way around the software. I know I am a CG and that I am in control of my actions, but part of me still wants the 'excitement' of gambling, the promise of winning money. I almost lost all the money I had in the world, but more importantly now I have come clean to my family I have more trust to rebuild. Today is now lost to doing the work that needed to be done. I am astonished by how stupid I am and continue to be. I have achieved nothing this year at all, except gamble, feel sorry for myself, gamble again etc etc.


You are right that the money I 'won' brings no joy. It did yesterday and now it feels dead. I will make sure I spend it properly on good things.


I have applied to GMA. I hope to start soon, after I sort stuff out here.


I feel like I let everyone down, not least my wife, son, family, friends etc. I have nothing left. I have to make this a new rock bottom. And rebuild from here, day by day. So this is a new day 1.


Vera, how long have you been clean for? What measures were you able to put in place to stay clean?


Again, thanks for posting, it means a lot.


M


SO as an addition, I want to say how sorry I am to myself. I know I looked for a way around net nanny, and of course I found it. And then instead of letting my partner know I found a way around it, I gambled. Because I am a CG, And even though I finished up and managed to tale the money out, more damage is done to my life. Another day lost feeling like shit. Why do I keep doing this?


I have ordered the EasyWay to Quit Gambling and other books, and I am going to make this a new RockBottom.


If anyone out there has any tips on how to cope with a relapse, I am all ears. I know I am in control, but for some reason despite knowing all of this I still give in to the urges.


I feel like such an idiot for doing this over and over again. I am ruining everyone's lives and I do not know why. Why can't I just stop and focus on what is important: family, happiness, achieving things. Why have I gambled constantly with such destruction for 3 years, when I KNEW I should stop. I knew as soon as I started online poker I was addicted, but I didn't take it seriously. It's as if I had to wreck everything before I stopped. I just don't get that. How can I, a relatively intelligent person, let it all go like that. And now I will soon have nothing and will have to start again.


I am going to GA tonight to get advice and start the process again. I think now I have to take this very seriously. My business will soon be bust, I will be bankrupt, I will be alone and all of this because of gambling and a very immature way of life.


I know there are people who have faced similar problems to mine, so any words of wisdom would be wonderful.


I wish everyone a gamble free day, and I promised to post everyday with news of my continued abstinence, and the rebuilding of my life.


Love to all


Mav,

There are a couple of positives that I see in your posts about this latest relapse. One, you came clean right away to your spouse. That is something that in the past you would not have done, you would have kept it hidden so you could gamble again and again. So kudos to you for that!


Secondly, you are reaching out for help right away. This is also a huge positive step. As I am sure you have heard/read, we must first realize we are powerless over this gambling addiction, and reach out for help. Reaching out for help immediately after relapse shows yourself and the important others around you that you truly want to get better and can't do it on your own.


In my experience, my early days of recovery/relapse, I would continue to hide it for a time before finally breaking down and telling someone. Or wait to be caught and confronted.


So although this feels like a very bad day I think you are making tremendous progress. Hang in there, it will get better!

Very sincerely,

Fritz


Hi Mav,


I'm gutted you relapsed, but it's pointless dwelling on it. You need to concentrate on getting your new gambling free run going again.


Sadly you think you've lost everything and that negativity is getting the better of you. In truth, you still have a lot more to lose if you continue to gamble. You have the roof over your head to lose, you have the opportunity of seeing your son grow up to lose, you have the years ahead of you to lose and I could go on. Sadly people with addictions push everything to the very limit and beyond.


You often post on here that you are depressed and in an extremely miserable place and I totally understand where you're coming from, we all do and we've all been there. You need to ask yourself, why if you hate the way you feel right now, do you do everything in your power to stay in that place or for that matter move on to an even worse place?


We've all done what you're doing Mav, but you have the wisdom and experiences of the people on here to help guide you, enlighten you and support you.


I feel I can see your problems clearer than I can see mine sometimes. I hope I don't sound like I'm preaching to you, as that's not my intention, but I do feel I can pass on what I've learned from my experiences and the effects that my actions have had on my life.


Stay strong and keep it going and always remember there's still a lot more that you could still lose if you continue to gamble, trust me.


Charlster


Thanks Charlster. I read you post earlier, I hope you are ok.


I understand that it needs to stop before I do more damage. If I get out now, I can still recover and maybe save a small amount of dignity. If I carry on on this merry-go-round, the wheels will come off. What I just went through over the weekend only CGs would understand. It was a 4 hour whirlwind of mentalness. But I think part of me craves the mentalness - it is what I got from drugs and other crazy experiences. I think I need craziness - I just need to find safer craziness. I need mentalness - I need safe mentalness.


Lots of love, stay safe.


Mav


Full of anxiety today. Want to gamble just to escape, I think. Just to destroy. I need to remember what Fritz said in his post, that the way forward is to make today better than yesterday. Things are very messy in my head, I wish I had no relapsed. I wish so much I had stopped last year after my big relapse around Christmas and I came clean. For some reason after a short break I thought I could handle it. I can only remember times of gambling last year, on the toiler, outside cafes with internet with the laptop perched on a bin as I slowly lost control - always sneaking, hiding, when I should have been working or with my family. What is wrong with me, why can't O just focus on what it is I need to do. Why have I slowly destroyed everything that is good in me, my life and my family.


I feel like a total loser. I heard the stories three years ago in GA about people who went too far and I promised myself I would not do that. It wasn't worth it, and yet I have been unable to control it and I have done that. I have done everything I promised I would not do. This makes me so pathetic.


Today will be a second day without gambling, I know this will be hard, but I need to set small achievable tasks for today, while slowly planning for what I need to do in the future.


Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The Strength to change those things I can

And the Wisdom to know the difference.


Just a quick thank you for Janey from GMA. I just had a 1 hour session, and I feel ready to tackle today. I can't fix my life in one day, but I can one day at a time. I know there are lots of things for me to do, and it won't be easy, and at times it will be hard to take, but I accept that. I am going to makle today a good day 2.

Thank you to all the people who have posted offering encouragement, it means a lot. I read everyones stories, and they have taught me so much. I need to put that into practice, one day at a time.


I have to go now, but I hope to be back later.


Love to all


Mav


Maverick, you ARE making progress!

That was a great post you wrote on Mark's thread.

We may be"up shit creak" but we still have the paddle! We just need to ROW the lifeboat!

Or as KenL said

"Just because we are on the refuse truck, doesn't mean we need to go all the way to dump"....or words to that effect!

I agree, that the more we gamble, the worse we will feel and the more we punish/torture ourselves. We begin to believe this is all we deserve..

more stinkin' thinkin'!

We need to change our mindset.

We can do it Maverick

Remember,

God is good!

Never give up hope!


Dear all


I just read The Easy Way to Quit. I didn't gamble yesterday and now I don't know why I gambled before. It gave me nothing but heartache, just a false dream I needed it / could win money. It twisted everything in my head. Why do I need to gamble when I have the potential of a wonderful life.


I have a lot to do to fix my life, and that would have been easier had I not spent this year gambling, feeling sorry for myself etc. But that is done. I now need to move on, speak with creditors, start organising myself, taking control of my life again. I honestly don't feel like the need to gamble again. I know I will get 'pangs' but so what. What has gambling ever given me apart from making me lie, making me stressed, making me hide and taking time away from the important things in life.


I feel calmer, more in control.


This has been a lovely place, and one I intend to stay and keep posting my recovery.


All my love


Mav


So I am having urges, but I understand them now. My urge is because I just checked my bank account and saw the money I 'won' in the account. I put it in my savings. But now, the gambler addicted part of my brain truly believes you can make money this way. I know this not to be true. Next time I could lose it. I think it will take a long time for this belief to disappear. They say the worst thing that can happen to a gambler is they win as that reinforces the false belief. Twice now I was massively down and twice now I have pull fit back from the brink. I believe that 3rd time will be unlucky. I remember the state I was in - I was frantic. I threw up when I stopped.


I was to stay gamble free, earn my money, not try to win it. No easy way of life.


I wish everyone a gamble free day, I will focus on my tasks and achieve more success in my new life as a non-gambler.


Peace and love


Morning Mav

The truth is so simple, an urge never killed anyone, an urge in my opinion is a warning sign saying "Hey" you need to act.. how you act is down to you be in positively or negatively, Urges can affect the way we focus, think, behave.. you may not gamble but an urge can produce negative effects or we can use to guide us towards making the barriers higher

Whenever I read your posts there is one common dominator.. your access to not only cash & cards.. but your access to your online banking.

If you hadn't have had access to your bank, I wonder if you'd have had an urge or a productive day ..

H


Thanks Harry. I no longer have access to any money of any kind. That is all over. My wife now has access to everything. I feel now I understand everything better, and part of me wants this to be the new process. To be kinder, more generous. To forget gambling exists.


Hi Mav,


When you do gamble, it usually follows an episode of negative feelings.


You should know, from past experience, that there will come a point again in the ne4ar future when you experience negative feelings. Maybe you'll feel depressed. Maybe you'll feel anxious. Maybe you'll feel hopeless. You might feel like a failure.


Using that knowledge, you could develop a plan of what you're going to do when you feel negative instead of gambling. It could include things like trying to stay focused on your work, getting in touch with somebody you know just to ask how they are, and going for a walk.


Then when you have urges to gamble, you can do something more positive instead. The more active you are, the less powerful the urges, because there isn't as much room or time for them to settle in your mind.


With the assistance of a plan, you will have something in your mind that you can use and allow to be more powerful than the urges the addiction uses.


Hi Waynes


Thanks for that. I was looking on the internet and I found this workbook.


http://problemgamblingprevention.org/workbooks/gear-workbook.pdf


It's American but I think it is useful for me. I am sure that I have come across most of this before. I am going through another low mood now when I think of the devastation I have caused in the last few years, not just in my life but for my family.


I am trying deep breathing.


I think what you write about there being room in my mind to settle hits the spot. I can't allow them to get a foothold. Today I started thinking about how to get access to money and I started thinking about those pre-load credit cards that you can't get into debt on. I would have to save my allowance, put money on, then find a way to open a new account, and then transfer any 'winnings' to my bank, or take it out of cash machine, but it means when I lose the deposit I cannot continueto gamble and chase losses, which would result in me being very depressed and probably find some other way. So stopped the thinking there.


This is crazy - I cannot focus on my work as I am obsessed with the gambling. It's all I talk and think about. Doing my head in.


Trying to refocus now.


Dear all,


Feeling very low again today. I guess that's normal and I have to accept it. Can't shake the feeling of what I have done to myself, my family, my business etc. I have so much to try and fix it seems overwheling. I have to remember what they say in GA - that I can't fix all my life's problems in one day. I need to take this one day at a time. The urge to gamble was strong yesterday, but I accept it. My brain will want to gamble when it is low, as Gambling always gives me a high.


I want to get a high from being with my son and family, but I appear to be empty.


I will be going to GA again this eve, so that will make 3 in a week. The rush from reading the EasyWay has faded now, and i have to remember I am in recovery. I do not need to gamble, it will only make things worse. I understand now how an alcoholic feels. The 'need' for a drink or whatever. But that will not fix my problems.


So off to work we go, and hopefully I can lose myself in my work.


Wishing everyone a gamble free day, and a continued progression on their recovery.


Dive into your work mate. I find nothing distracts my cravings for gambling well as day worth of honest work.


Getting yourself to start working is hard, but once you start it gets better and you don't even think about gambling after a few minutes.


Hi JD, thanks mate. I found this article.


http://knowtheodds.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/KTO_StayingSafeAfterPG...


I am going to do the exercises here.


Interesting Link, Maverick!


Dang, K9 won't let me open that link and i'm sure it's good stuff... :D


So yesterday I went to GA for the 3rd time in the week (Mon, Tues and Thurs) and today I am into my fifth day of not gambling. It has been hard this week, but my medication is kicking in and although I do feel down, I feel more able to work on what I need to do. I have so much wreckage to clean, but I can't feel sorry for myself forever.


I just read Tails I Lose by Justyn Larcombe, a guy who had it all and then went on a mad gambling spree and wrecked everything he had. The book is interesting how this smart, educated super successful man threw it all away, getting progressively worse. Luckily for him he had a good story, and was able to get published, but he seems very honest about it. There is a lot in there that every CG can relate to. I think I will write my story on here at somepoint, just to give me some perspective.


Right now I have all my blocks in place, no access to debit or credit cards, and now urge to gamble. My urges come when I am bored or uninterested, and so I would waste time gambling. Now I can't do that.


But my life is still a wreck, and I have to clean my mess up.


Lots of love to all


Mav


Off to work, no time to post but was reading your thread and wanted to tell you I am proud to see your progress, Mav. Really good stuff. Keep up the great work!


Thank Fritz, means a lot. Have a great day at work mate.


Two days ten hours is a long time with no update from you Maverick!

You OK????


Hi Vera


Thanks for checking in. Was trying to keep myself busy at the weekend. Today is the start of day 8. The time seems to go so slowly and I am so warcked with unpleasant feelings of myself of why I did it. This time last year I had everything - a big project, a young son. Everyone thought I had stopped gambling. The truth is I was still playing, low stakes poker. I wasn't winning or losing much, but I was losing time. Slowly, the obsession returned and i was spending more time, chasing small lossing playing on bigger tables I didn't have the skills for. And then I was getting to work late, having long lunches, leaving early. The project started to suffer in the sense that the person leading it was only half there. As a result we are still finishing the paperwork. Gambling made me so lazy with my life - all I wanted to do was play poker. I couldn't see how unhappy it was making me.


I am running out of time. Stopping gambling isn't enough, as they say in GA. I need to change my life in so many ways, I need to close so many doors for new ones to open.


My self esteem is still really low, 8 days is not a long time.


I can't gamble at the moment as I have no access to funds or websites, and I do not want to. Mentally I can't face it - I have to face up to the wreckage of my life. And start to fix it - but all I want to do is sleep.


I am very saddened to read of people's lapses, and my heart goes out to you. I read a new post today who had won 28K at one point, and then lost it all and more It saddened me. I never won amounts like that, and part of me, the addicted part, says that shows it is possible. That if I won 28K I would stop - but how much would I have to lose to win that much. Can I afford that? How long would it take? HOw much more damage to myself would that do? The answers are all negative - gambling will not solve any of my problems.


Living my life will solve my problems, one day at a time.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (the past and what I have done)

The courage to change the things I can (my life going forwards and how I cope with adversity and the shit I have created)

And the wisdom to know the different.


Just for today, I will not gamble.


I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but when I read of people having big wins it makes me really anxious. Why couldn't I have the big win? Could I have walked away with it? That is where my head is at the moment - could I have a big win then stop? How much is big enough?


The truth is, that that is not the problem. The problem with gambling for me has been how much it eats my time when I gamble. How I think about when I can play again, how can I keep it secret, how can I play better etc etc. This is very faulty thinking and I need to remind myself I want a like without any gambling at all. Because if I did win big I wouldn't want to stop, and if I lose, I will have to chase it back and will probably not succeed this time.


I feel very sad I never had the big wins that people talk about, but it is true that these big wins made people gamble more, so maybe I should be grateful?


Thanks


please don't think that you missed out on a big win, the site I used was running a competition monetary prize draw with no turnover restrictions could withdraw it immediately, I came home from work one Friday in end sept begin oct. O pened the site up sitting on my kitchen step, saw my new balance 10, 010 I had won the draw, had no effect on me whatsoever, just carried on making my cup of tea. Wins prolong the agony, even withdrawing today is only a loan a cg will give it back next week and more, I know I did time and time again , it was nth long ago that I had a ninety pound bonus which became 4700 in no time at all , what ai have won how annoying , I will just increase the bet it soon be gone and it was.

Big wins prolong the agony.


Maverick, I think when a Cg reads about a "big win" (sic),it not only makes us anxious,it also makes us jealous (Why that person,not me!) greedy,envious, and it can lead us to trying our luck again (another daft thought!).

Strangely, we hang on to the so called positives of gambling and choose to ignore all the losses.

If things were so wonderful in the gambling world, this site would be empty.

It is good to re visit the scene of the crime but hanging around too long searching for ways to undo the damage will lead us nowhere.

The only hope we have is strive for a better future. Nobody has the power to make us gamble but yes, reading about "wins" can provide us with a stimulus that , especially in the early days of recovery, we could do without.I have also said in the groups that reading lurid details can be a temptation but I was shot down. So now, I just wear my blinkers when I am reading!


Both great posts, and I see the value in each of them. I was really only trying to get my faulty thinking out into the open. The truth is that money can be earned, but mental health cannot. Trust and money are both the same. They take a long time to earn, but they can be lost in an instant.


Today is only day 8 for me, but I suppose because now I know I can't gamble, it's harder. I am reminded that I can't gamble, and I am reminded of all the damage it has done me, and my family. I see myself as a loser, an addict, someone who put the false priority over real ones. I ignored by business as it was more 'exciting' the play low stakes poker. The fact that in an hour I couldn't really win more than £10 didn't come into my thinking - but I could lose much more by playing badly/ on tilt/ calling with shit cards. And then I would get depressed and chase.


No, I know that if I gamble again it will be more than money I lose. I might lose whatever dignity I have left, and that's not much.


Vera and The End, thanks for posting. I will re-read them again. Of course now I want the big win to finish, but that is the addict talking. It's a common misconception, another gambler's fallacy. The truth is that wins are few and far between, and if you are gambling, you will never hold onto it. And the gambling companies know this.


Love to both of you and everyone else


M


I Just read this on one of the forums which are about advice. Ken L posted this, but he says they are not his that he was given them. I think I may try to adopt these rules on a day by day basis. They feel true.


7 Cardinal Rules in Life


1)Make peace with your past

so it won't screw up the present


2) What others think of you

is none of your business


3) Time heals almost everything

give it time


4) Don't compare your life to others

and don't judge them

you have no idea what their journey is all about


5) Stop thinking too much

it's alright to not know the answers

they will come to you when you least expect it


6) No one is in charge of your happiness

except you


7) Smile

you don't own all the problems in the world


So my last bet was in the evening of Match 15th. Today is the 24th. SO today is the start of day 9.


I've been reading an interesting debate on these pages about the counting of days. For me, at this early stage, I think it's important to know I have gone this far without gambling. This is where I usually relapse, as I get cocky. But i feel different this time. I know if I gamble again it will be harder - more intensity, more money, followed by more depression, more self hatred, self loathing. I have no reason to gamble, no one does. It is supposed to be fun, so how it did it become all consuming? How did I let it take away my focus from my dream? Why did I continue to gamble, even though I was hating it when I did it. And the last 6 months I have not enjoyed it at all. It was frustrating, dispiriting and I always left a loser. And even when I finished up I left it in the account to lose and then redeposit later. And the lies - the having to keep a face, the time spent thinking about playing even when I wasn't playing. The amounts of times I said, this is the last deposit. The last time I played. I would stop for a week or 2 and then feel better. But because no one knew, it was easy to say this time will be different.


I had so many chances to stop in the past, i have to realise this is a new one. there is only the present, right now. i need to make serious changes in my life and stopping gambling is the easiest. That is the root of my depression, I wish I had seen that before. But the results of my obsession to play are all around me. I am ruining the life of my wife, doing the family's heads in, I have ruined trust and possibly ruined my future. That remains to be seen. There is so much I don't know, that I need advice on.


My debt, my business, what happens to our IP, what will I do for a living? Will I be able to find a job I enjoy and which I can progress in, or will I have o do something more menial (and I don't mean that in a bad way) just to earn money. Or will this be a new chapter in my life, something that I had to do to learn and grow as a human being. Something I will be able to look back on with acceptance, from a place of happiness, so I can process it properly.


At the moment all I do is think about my gambling. I know I will never have the big win to solve my financial worries, that's gambling think.


I don't think I realised how much energy i put into gambling, instead of putting my energy into other things. now I feel flat because it is clear. I have made a big mistake by not admitting my problem sooner. i am a compulsive gambler, and when i start i just can't stop up or down. and now I notice bookies as i have no access online. i have started to think about casino's and poker clubs. i think i have a self destructive edge which i need to work on. why don't i want myself to be happy?

the only person not allowing me to be happy is myself - why?


what drove me to continue to find ways of playing poker, even though i knew i had a problem. and i did know. why didn't i stay stopped when i had 3 weeks away from it while on holiday over christmas. why did it spiral really badly this year?


I hope to be able to answer these questions in time, but for now, living my life day by day and not gambling is the focus. in time i am sure i will think about it less and less.


any advice from people who have been quit for a long time would be welcome. i find these forums amazing, and as long as i stay here and read people's success stories i know that can be true for me.


thanks


Hi Maverick!

I think we all need to take time out to reflect and evaluate. Sadly a lot of people wait until we are hit by a crisis, like death, illness and in our case gambling before we wake up.I think you are asking too many questions all at once. I tend to do that too. The impatience caused by gambling (or maybe it was already there before we gambled) creates a lot of stress and anxiety.You are expecting instant answers Maverick. You won't get them all in a flash. In my experience, I discovered the answers to some of my questions, not all, when I stopped asking over and over.Just listen and keep your ear to the ground Mav.Okay we have screwed up.Our prospects seem bleak now. Depression overshadows and magnifies all our worries. That will change given time. Everything changes. My advice to you and to myself is to bury the hatchet. Walk away and don't bother to mark the stop where it is buried. Dwelling in the past prevents us from moving forward. Things may turnout for the better for you Mav.Put this down to a tough experience.

"Pleasant experiences make life delightful; painful experiences lead to growth!"!


Is there some hobbies you can add in to your life to make it more enjoyable.. for endorphins, exercise is good.. says me haha, who at this time has been lazy but just starting and its a good boost.. are there things you can concentrate on and fill your life with other things.. new hobbies can fill the void left by gambling and take your mind off it a bit too.. too. Congrats on your time gamble free.. any time away from gambling is good, you are going into a new life without gambling.. i find talking about gambling in past tense is helpful too. I used to gamble, etc.. sometimes i will walk past a place that has gambling and in my head i will think i used to do that but i dont do that now.

Our gambling only leads to one place, destruction. Your addiction wants to do the most damage it can.. its very sneaky.. it will whisper to you, its very cunning. Those thoughts are between the addict us and the rational us i believe and its like a tug of war.. the more you give the addict the more it wants.. break things down into small parts.. just for this hour dont gamble.. get through an hour at a time if you have to. thats all you need to look at.. or a day only. if you can get through this day without gambling you can do the same the next.. its a very enticing addiction.. it can be arrested though.. it can. Keep going to your meetings.. keep trying anything you can. You will find your way if you keep putting in the effort.. you are doing well.. im not preaching, its taken me six years of being here relapsing to finally get some sense of this addiction.. i just share what helps me and that is throwing yourself into recovery as much as you would throw yourself into gambling..


P


So I am still here, and I am feeling better. I am still struggling to focus on the work that needs to be done, but yesterday I picked up another 2 week course of my anti-depressents. Since stopping gambling 10 days ago after my last binge I do feel I understand what recovery is all about. I am sick of thinking about gambling. It's all I think about, all I talk about. It has consumed me like nothing else, to the exclusion of EVERYTHING else including my family.


Gambling is the most evil, insidious addiction I have ever suffered. I have never known anything like it and I think the scars will last with me forever. But, and this is important, I think I see cause and effect. I am starting to realise that if I gamble, my levels of depression will return, I will lose self respect, I will lose trust again in those that love me and who I love. I may also win a huge amount of money, going on the levels I was gambling on my last 2 sessions.


What kind of a hold does gambling have over me. I can rationalise why not to do it, but I am getting all sorts of gambling thoughts. My wife pointed out that all I talk about is gambling, and that I am starting to spot bookies. I have noticed this and started thinking about FOBTs. I have started imagining what they are like to play - even though I never had an interest in them before, and I know how destructive they are and how addictive. Last night, after walking back from GA, I started imagining going to a casino - and I have never been someone who goes to casinos. My mind is playing tricks on me - I have to try and catch these thoughts before they balloon. Before I start imagining scenarios of how to make them come true. Yesterday I was daydreaming of going to a casino to play poker for about 20 mins before I caught myself. I imagined a whole scenario, how I would get money, where to go, what excuse to use. Then I noticed my heart beating faster and faster, my levels of adrenaline starting to increase. And then I caught it and was amazed. This is addiction, this is how the mind plays tricks.


I want to be someone that comes out of this alive, stronger, with wisdom and knowledge. I know it takes time, one day a time, and that I need to fill my days with constructive activites. The truth is I have not done any work on my bsuiness for the last 2 days - I just cannot concentrate, that seems so futile. It's like I have given up on it. The addiction is still so strong in my mind.


I am pleased with 10 days though (it will be 10 this evening) and it was on day 11 that I relapsed last time. This time I am determined to move on, to get myself back together. I have to be ready for when my wife leaves for COlombia, I simply cannot afford to relapse. The though of doing that makes me depressed, so I must accept the thoughts for what they are. The remnants of a dying disease rtying to fool me.


Thanks to everyone who reads my posts, it means a lot. I write this for myself mainly, to get the thoughts out, so they can't fester alone in my head. If I acknowledge my urges, my triggers, then I can cope with them.


I need to accept who I am, what I am - and only then can I move on. Get on. Get better.


5 Ga meetings this week so far in 10 days of rcovery. So on average of a GA every 2 days. Tomorrow it will be my 6th meeting. I am taking GA seriously in a way I should have done 3 years ago, if I had had the intelligence to see my addiction for what is was, and to undertand the conseuqnces. I think I underdstand better now what will happen if I relapse again - I will never get better. I can never have even 1 more bet, no matter how small.


Thanks


great post, one thing that stood out is 'if I had the intelligence...' Maverick, do not put yourself down this addiction has nothing to do with intelligence. I too get totally consumed with gambling thoughts and fantasies, but the good thing about it is I am aware of that now and being aware is my protection. The Meetings you go to are great, you are doing everything you can to be in control of your addiction, YOU are in charge and not it, I think the more it realises that then in time it will start to become less demanding of you, its like it saying come on Mav, I am here listen to me, tell it to do one Mav, remember how bad it makes us feel and it is not about the money winning big, it convinces us that if we have that big win then we can say goodbye forever, do you think we would all be here if that really was the case?

I always read your posts, I wonder about you if there are less posts so it is great that you post all about how things are with you, let the truth out, not allow the demon to hide, its like the old exorcism's , Satan get thee behind thee, sounds crazy but it helps me :)

Take care Mav, chat soon, you are doing really well.

( I used to be The.End but someone else joined with same name so changed it plus not a very positive user name for me anymore)


Hi Liberty (nee The End), thanks for your lovely post. I am now in a sitiation where in the past I would have gambled. The iwfe has gone out with Valentin (our son) and I would take that as a cue to gamble to my hearts content. Instead, I am going to comtemplate myself and my future without gambling. I feel I am close to realising this is like being an alcoholic. The thought of gambling makes me realise what will happen. I will lose control eventually, deposit more and more, gamble larger and larger amounts to chase because I always lose at the start. It fills me with fear, and yet I really want to gamble as I know it will make all my worries go away. The adrenaline rush is what my addiction is craving - but I see it for what it is now.


I love your new name, as that is what gambling takes from us; our liberty. It traps us in an addictive cycle, but I am closer to seeing the truth of that. Although this is not the longest I have had away from gambling, it is the first time I have imposed it on myself in my desire to be a non-gambler again. I just want top stop thinking about it and the damage it has done. All my anxiety and depression is related ot gambling. Without gambling, I will be normal. If I gamble, I will continue to be sick.


Take care and speak soon


Don't waste your time thinking about Land Line casinos, Mav!

All forms of gambling are equally evil.Like you, I used to conjure up how the PLAY would go.On my way to the casino(HELL) I would select my machine. I would prepare everything in my mind. First bet was always on max . In my (delusional) mind my First Win would be big. I would continue playing max to build it up then reduce my bets.Win a little. Lose a little. Collect and make a run for the door with my stash.

That was my imaginary Game, Maverick.The reality was and is and always will be different for you for me and for all who have crossed the line There is no going back.From now on it will always end in bitter tears

NEVER FORGET THAT Mav!

ALWAYS!

Bit by bit the glory will fade and your mind will become absorbed with other thoughts .The obsession lingers for as long as we give it power.


It was nice to see you in chat.. keep going on your recovery.. just for this day dont gamble.


P


Vera I have had to edit this post out. Come and have a chat in a group and I will explain how you can get this information to maverick.


Charles


So Day 12 starts today. To be honest I had no urges yesterday and have had no urges today. I feel I have reached a small milestone - this is the longest I have gone without gambling since Christmas, and the longest of self imposed abstinence. But as is usual with me, too little way too late. I needed to be on this site this time last year BEFORE my big project started so I could be clear headed about that. I don't know how I will ever forgive myself for the situation I have created here.


I had such a good thing going with my company, we have a 250K contract which had a good profit. Instead of being utterly focused on that, investing in develiping the business, I did the minimum, let the project drag on (this eating the profits) did no marketing and instead I played online poker and low stakes (couldn't even win a lot of money) which ate all my time. I played at cafes, on the toilet, on buses using a dongle. I couldn't stop playing that damn game - and I would always lose. Sure, sometimes the cards went my way, but then over a 3 month period I kept losing. I would lose with trips, 4 of a kind, full houses etc. I would always go all in with AA, and someone would call with Q9 and 999QQ would flop. WTF. I would hit a FH on the river, go all in but someone had hit 4 of a kind. The software was against me - I thought at the time it was a sign to stop playing, but I didn't listen. Then slowly I started playing higher tables, bigger buy ins. I would win, and then lose it all and more.


I am a CG. Gambling has destroyed me. I can live with the money, that's gone. I can never have the time back. I need to really look at my life and examine WHY I continued to gamble despite the damage it was doing. Looking back now the depression that started around July of last year was completely connected to the gambling. The constantly playing poker was making me very unhappy - and yet I couldn't see it. I never stopped for a moment to think about going back to GA or even looking for a site such as this. As usual, I stopped when I got caught and then I collapsed into a mental pit. I have had 3 relapses since Feb, the last was 13 days ago. I almost lost EVERYTHING I have financially, but I think I destroyed something important in my soul.


My company now has huge debts (which could have been paid off out of the profit of this job, which instead has been sucked into paying salaries as the project went over), I have debts (which I could have paid off my the company paying me a bonus if only it hadn't wasted the money), my wonderful wife has had enough, and I have been a mental wreck now ALL YEAR.


This has to change, step by step.


Step 1) I am powerless over gambling. It doesn't matter the amounts. The sheer act of gambling eats my time, my head, my self respect. There is nothing to be gained. One day at a time I must not gamble. If I do it will be a disaster,


Step 2) Take a moral and financial inventory of myself, including my business. I need to get advice of how to deal with the mess I am in.


Step 3) Take this as a positive. I am very childish in my outlook, I am not very smart, I do not know who I am. All I know is that I am a liar, a cheat, lazy, not serious about life. I have let so many things drag, not taken them seriously. I look around and all my friends are doing well because they approach life with the seriousness it deserves. That doesn't mean not having fun, but it means taking responsability seriously. I need to examine who I have become, and look at the steps I need to take to improve myself, as Fritz has been doing.


I will continue to work on these, but this is where I am.


Tonight in group I wanted to hug you Mav and say everything will be fine ... And it will be you know .. Being gamble free allows you to return to an easier life .. Stick with it .. Let the past go.. The rest of your life starts right now !!


Try volunteering Mav.!! You are kind .. I think you will be really good at it!!


Thinking you when I read KenL's email just now Maverick!

Very apt!

Did you receive it?


So, I am collecting new regrets. I started a post on this site on 18 Feb - and 6 weeks later I am still feeling sorry for myself. And in that 6 weeks I have relapsed 4 times, each time worse than the last - and that has sent me off worse. I am in such a mental state - my head is such a mess. I just don't know how I will cope with the mess I am have made of my life. I know I am not the only person to think like this, but why oh why did I not get help for my gambling when I first realised I had a problem in 2012. Granted I only just started gambling, so part of me did not think I had a problem, but Jesus - I knew it last year. how could I allow it it control me like this and ruin my life. I have to make something good come from this.


I cannot blame all of my problems on gambling, but I am sure if I had not been gambling i would have been thinking straight. I can remember when the gambling sped up a notch last year in July, that is when y decision making started getting very stupid.


There are so many things I could have done to have avoided the sitiation I find myself in - but I guess that is the CGs way. We will screw everything up. This is fascinating, how we destroy ourselves.


Anyway, I am going to start a new thread soon as I have hit 2 weeks now of not gambling. And It think it is the hardest 2 weeks of my life. I have gone longer than 2 weeks of not gamblin before, but in those times I knew I could gamble if I wanted. Also, I wasn't staring the end of everything I hold dear.


I really just want to get to grips with my situation, more than anything.


If anyone has any advice on how to deal with the regret, that would be amazing. HOw to move on.


Love to all


I think accepting and acknowledging our weakness and mistakes is the first step, Maverick.

Everyone here has done that.....


But I can say I'm feeling much like you right now with a lot of shame added to these emotions. I hope to see you getting better and feeling better because if you can then that means I can too. This weekend has been a particularly bad weekend and I've really struggled. So I hope knowing that I have been reading your comments regularly in hope of seeing you get better may motivate you to keep going. You know the saying ' misery likes company' this is the opposite.. Recovery likes company. So please accompany me through this because it friggen hard!


Hi Butch


Well done on telling the family. It's the hardest thing to do. It will leave you very low and ashamed. I still am. Today is day 15 without a gamble for me, but the hardest now is the wreck that my life is and how that has impacted on my wife and son. She works for my business and now we have no work due to gambling/ depression and a series of bad decisions I made last year - namely to gamble instead of doing the work and making good decisions. I am starting to remember all the time I spent gambling and it hurts me to the bone, how I was unable to think of the future. Even when I wasn't gambling, I think I was thinking of it all the time.


The most frightening part of this is that I do not know how I will earn money in the future. How I will close the company down, bearing in my mind the debts I have allowed to build up both personally and business wise. This is the worst illness in the world as it steals so much from us, not just money. It is the self respect, self loathing, and time spent away from the family.


I am having new episodes of self harm brought on the sheer self hatred I feel. I have started hitting myself in the face and head butting walls. This is no normal. I cannot get out of my head the the waste of time. I can clearly remember the time I spent gambling last year and how many times I said it was the last time. I do not know why i didn't seek help sooner - I knew I had a gambling problem.


I would be in a completely different place right now.


Stay strong BU, if you can do it we all can. I know I have to push through this one day at a time, and I have to let the past go and focus on the future, but thinking of the future is so difficult at the moment. I am consumed with self pity and regret.


Good luck


Ever consider bankcruptcy, Maverick?

Gambling or hitting our heads off walls doesn't solve any thing except create more bruises and it is very upsetting for all concerned.


I agree. I need to move forwards not backwards. Thanks Vera, that is one of the options I am looking at.


I knew somebody who took out his anger by hitting and punching himself, Maverick Like gambling it can become a very bad habit and a very unhealthy way of expressing your stress/fear. Please try to nip that in the bud. It's very distressing and makes others scared and feeling helpless. I'm not judging you in the least Maverick. I have done bizzare things to relieve gambling hangovers. Admitting my wrongs and throwing myself on God's Mercy is the only thing that really helps. It takes Faith to do that. Then comes HOPE and on we go....I pray for you ever day Mav. I know you are hurting badly. You will find solutions. Try to be patient! Small steps!


You need to stop now! Maybe find something else that's positive as an alternative. I'm going to start cooking. Try new recipes. Become a master chef. At least my family can enjo it too


So today is day 15, and I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Last night I was watching YouTube videos of poker. I didn't set out to, I was watching docs on compulsive gambling, but inevitably poker video came up and I went down a YouTube hole watching them. They didn't do much for me but my wife was very upset. She feels they will set off urges in me. Does anyone have advice on this? I was actually quite intrigued as they were all of very odd hands in poker tournaments with famous poker players. I no longer want to play poker, but I think the urge to gamble is now deeper and more destructive than it was before.


I have started self harming now in my frustration, slapping and hitting myself. I know this is bad, but I don't know what to do. I cannot shake the feeling that I am the world's biggest loser and so pathetic.


I really want to move on from here.


Hi Mav,


I am so sad to see that you are harming yourself. I hope you will see a doctor about this, it is obvious that this gambling addiction is too big for you to handle at this moment. I think you may need assistance beyond GA and this forum.


As for videos of poker, STOP! Do not use YouTube for anything gambling related, it is a massive trigger to watch others do what you are trying desperately to pull yourself away from. It is the same as going to a casino and looking over a poker player's shoulder during a game. It will pull you right back in, so please do not do that anymore!


As for the constant self loathing and fixation on the past, you need to let go. I know, easier said than done. I spent about 2 years hating myself intensely. I thought about everything I had lost, every day, and nearly every minute of every day. It was absolutely horrible, and debilitating. I don't want to go over it here in any detail, it will just bring you down. Suffice it to say that I understand how you feel now and went through those same feelings. I know from personal experience that it IS possible to recover and move forward, although it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience and a lot of work on your part. You will need to learn to forgive yourself. That is a huge hurdle, but you must work on it. Say it to yourself every day: I forgive myself! Even if you don't believe it right now, trust me, it will help you. Once you forgive yourself, you can begin to love yourself again. When you love yourself, you begin to do things that demonstrate your love for your family. Then your life can begin an upward spiral of redemption, happiness and joy, reversing the downward spiral you find yourself in now. This has been my experience, and I am a much happier person now. My happiness is beginning to reflect into my kids and my wife now. It's a great feeling, and I never would have thought this improvement possible 2-3 years ago. Yes I have had a few relapses over the past 4 years, but I am a much stronger person now, and I am much more confident in my recovery.


Each and everything you do every day, you must now weigh it carefully with this test: Is this thinking or action I am taking positive or negative for my recovery? If it is negative for your recovery, immediately stop doing it, and refocus on something else. This takes some really deliberate thinking on your part, almost like you are looking over your own shoulder and judging every aspect of what you are doing. Slow down, analyze each action, each thought, and weigh it with this simple "positive or negative for my recovery" test. I'm telling you, it worked for me and I think it will help you too.


I am pulling for you Mav, and I know everyone else on here at GT is too. Keep trying, don't give up. Remember, money is replaceable, loving relationships are worth more than all the gold or currency in the world. Money is just the stuff you use to keep food on the table and a roof over your head so that you can be with your loved ones and live your life. In truth, we can live and be very happy with very little money.


Focus on being honest and show your family that you are trying. Take it day by day and slowly but surely you will see progress. Progress not perfection, right? :) Take care.


Hi Mav,


Why didn't you seek recovery earlier? The simple answer is that you weren't ready to do so then, you are now. We can't change the past Mav, we can just learn from it.


Regrets? The serenity prayer helped me a lot, somewhat ironic for an agnostic lol One of the things we can never change is our past. Then, lots of things, finding things away from gambling to fill my time and thoughts. Making amends where I could, finding new interests, new friends etc etc


None of those things happened quickly.


Don't watch those You Tube videos, your wife is right. If we think of the addiction as a monster asleep in the corner then doing stuff like that is like poking it with a stick - sooner or later it'll wake up and bite our ass!!


Personally I'd cut out watching the stuff about compulsive gamblers on there as well. You go to GA, you come here, staying up till the early hours watching stuff probably isn't going to add anything to your support.


I know some great books that help with addiction. They are called thrillers, sci fi, horror, romance, crime etc etc Books that will help fill your time and thoughts away from gambling.


Anyway, those are just a few thoughts from me, hope they help.


See you in a group later maybe.


Maybe u could look into the science of it. You may feel less enclosed to keep punishing yourself. Also I read that with your playing or watching, it still causes the same reaction in your brain. So I'm guessing that you need to give it all up. To start your brain producing and storing dopamine and serotonin naturally. While your still doing that, watching videos, your not allowing your brain to recover. That's my take after all my reading today. I now know that I'm a solitary gambler. Therefore playing any game in solitude wone help me. Because while I'm doing that... I'm releasing dopamine. Plus I'm not recovering back to a social person I once was. Knock on effect.. If I'm not social, I'm in solitude, if im in solitude I'll want to gamble... At least for a while I think.


Hey Mav. You need to see a doctor and I hope you do as soon as possible. Your gambling problem might be just the tip of the iceberg. Gambling might be just one of your problems and it might not be the biggest one at that.


And that is what I meant before when I said I didn't consider you a gambler in the sense that I consider most people here gamblers.


Mav, you need help beyond GA and this forum. GA and forums are only good for what they're good for. If you needed a heart surgery you wouldn't go to your GP.


Dear all,


Thank you for your comments, the mean a lot to know how much love is out there. I am now in the system of Mental Health due to my self harming and though I do not feel like it now, if I start to think to my recent past the urge to hit myself comes again. I am seeking help for this.


I just had a meeting with Janey at GMA and it was wonderful - thank you Janey.


I have a feeling things will start to get better now, but one day at a time. I am working on how o forgive myself, but not forget, of what I have done. I am hoping this will improve me as a human being.


Taking the day off work today to be with my son, who has just started walking. Amazing. He can walk the entire distance of the living room.


Off now to Richmond park.


All my love.


Kudos on seeking professional help mate!!! Proud of you!!!!


Also, congratulations on your boy. I remember when my boy started walking, he was 1 year old to the day. Whereas I wasn't walking till I was like 16 months :)


Well done Maverick!

Learn from your baby. Small steps!

Up!

Down!

Up!

Hooray!!!


(JD, I BET YOU HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AT 16months!!!!)


Hi EVeryone


Thanks for the wonderful comments. I haven't yet had another episode of the self harming, though I have had urges brought on by the frustration I feel in myself. I actually think I have been ill for a long time in the way I see myself and the world. If I am honest, I have always felt strange, as if I don't belong and I have punished myself for many things in various ways. I think my gambling was another manifestation of that. I don't deserve good things so what can I do to hurt myself. These are issues I need to work through.


I look at my life now and I am starting to meet people I went to un with 20 years ago. They all have secure jobs, homes they own, career prospects. I feel I have nothing but devstation brought on by myself. Gambling was just my latest way of fucking myself over.


Had a great meeting in GA yesterday. Still have to work out what do do with my debts and the debts of the company. Still need to clear my head and find the strength to make positive steps. Still feel very lost - but will find the strength.


Am going to see my parents today, leaving partner and Valentin behind to give her a break. I will be back tomorrow.


Thank god I can't gamble with my computer, becuase I am sure I would have done these last 17 days. And I am sure I would have done a lot of terrible damage.


I cannot be complacent. I got a text message from a poker company I had signed up with offfering me a free bonus. Deleted it. Felt nothing for it.


Lots of love to all, thank you for being here. Means so much


Mav


Morning Mav,


I said it a little while back that you should go and see the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding your debts. They have specialist staff that can point you in the right direction and go through your options with you.


I feel bankruptcy may be an option for you. Two reasons why I say this.

1) An old boss of mine told me how everything got on top of him over a period of time and he was swamped in debt and he finally decided to go down the bankruptcy route. It gave him a foundation to build a new start with a clean slate. When I started working for him, 5 years had passed since he declared himself bankrupt and he was in tip top form. He and his family were happy, he had steadily built up his rating again and he had absolutely no regrets having taken that course of action. It sounds drastic, but you'll have a better chance of bouncing back and seems a much better option than living your life in shackles, drowning in debt. I'm not advising you to do it, but it could be an option for you to consider and I've certainly seen the positive side of doing that.

2) At the moment your head is being crushed from all directions by numerous major problems, all of them interlinked. It's a pressure cooker situation and what you need to do is release some of the pressure and you'll find that most of your other problems wont seem so huge and insurmountable. At the very least they'll ease somewhat. I've been there a 1000 times and as soon as you attack one major problem in your life, momentum builds and life doesn't seem as dark as it once did.


Keep fighting, after all, you've got a helluva lot to fight for.


Charlster.


When I read your post, Maverick, saying you are spending time away from home , I (CG mind) became suddenly alerted to the fact that you are now entering an unsafe zone!!! Are there unblocked laptops/computers in your parent's home?

As I mentioned earlier, Mav and I agree with Charlster , Bankcruptcy seems like a good option. Check it out!


Thank you Vera and Charlster. I am going to get advise on this next week after Easter. I found myself hitting myself again this morning, the sheer frustration at what I have done is overwhelming. I just cannot let go of the recent past as I am in the mess I have made. I have no distance.


Bankruptcy may be the best option, or so might topping myself. I am having the darkest thoughts possible as I mull things over. It doesn't help that old friends are popping up who are all leading good fulfilling lives. I know life is not perfect, but my coping mechanisms are so screwed. All I know is that today I haven't stopped thinking about gambling as a way of taking my mind off the mess my life is. I realise now that's what I was doing last year. I keep having a go at myself for not stopping last year, but I was deeply unhappy in my life. I didn't have the wherewithal to recognise my unhappiness, so I went ahead with my big project without tackling any of the underlying issues. And now that project is finished, having over run due to my laziness and gambling, I am now faced with what I have left.


I must stop living in the past, I know this. I need to make amends to myself moving forwards. I need to forgive myself. But how. I need to move forwards. I need to do things. But when it comes to the time to do them, I just feel empty. I want to give up.


Thanks for all your support here on the site, it means so much. I struggle to believe I have become this pathetic creature, this is not me.


Maverick, if you are experiencing suicidal ideation you need to seek instant help.

This Site is brilliant but some problems are outside it's scope.

Can you call your MH Community Team before they break up for Easter holiday?

'Seems you need extra "hurdle" help right now.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem!


Can i just say that what you are going through is temporary and things change.. you can turn your life around. Break things into small pieces, break your day down into manageable chunks. Fill your time with things other than gambling, and other than thinking about not gambling..

Fake it till you make it, just start doing things, you might not enjoy them at first but that is temporary too.. gambling messes with our minds, its just the addiction it stuffs our way of thinking up.. you can do this Maverick. It doesnt matter if you have relapsed its getting back up, moving forward and putting things in your day that help you not hinder you..

Put blocks on your computers, ban from places you gamble at, give someone else your money, have just what you need for the day, a coffee, lunch, travel etc..

Reach out to everyone you can.. find every source of help you can.. if you get those thoughts of suicide, tell people.. not just here, but in real life face to face go and talk to the doctor, get to a hospital, ring your counsellor, talk to friends and family, get it out and onto paper.. but do not think and think on it.. i have had people commit suicide in my life.. its not pretty for the ones left behind.. it devastates their life for the rest of their lives.. always asking what if i did this, how i could have helped more.. it leaves a scar on so many people.. forever. Suicide is not an option just scrap that one.. you can go to rehab eventually, check yourself into psychiatric hospital if you have to but do not do nothing about it..

Your situation is changeable it doesnt have to stay this way..

do you know how many years i have relapsed for? many many many.. just get back up and continue on, dont worry about days gamble free just dont gamble for this day.. today. Dont gamble for this hour.. make it impossible for yourself to gamble.. if you cant ban give someone your cash, your cards, get them to monitor your accounts, to dish out money when you need it.. would that be worse than feeling how you are right now.. if you dont have money you cant gamble.. ban everywhere you can.. keep going to meetings, go to more if you can.. just sit and listen if you have to.. its a safe place to go with people who get where you are.. tell your counsellor honestly how you are feeling.. honestly..

We are here for you Mav, you need to be here for you too.. there are many people who care about you.. give yourself a chance at recovery


P


Hi P,


I wish gambling was my problem. I think that JD is right, gambling is not really my problem. Gabling was a sympton of a deeper malaise linked to my low self esteem, self hatred. I am just worthless, and gambling was just another way of reinforcing that. Another way is to run my company into the ground instead of building up, just to prove I am more worthless. The self harming - just another way to show myself how worthless I am.


The truth is I think I have felt like this for my whole life, I just ignored it. I am undeserving. I just let people down, I cannot be trsuted, have no skills what-so-ever, and no futuyre. These are the thoughts running through my mind.


My head is ringing from hitting it so hard. I am upsetting all my family but I cannot seem to snap out of it, everything else seems so pointless. I simply don;t deserve the love that everone is showing.


I have no urges to gamble right now, but the only urges I get are self destrcutive - to hit myself, punish myself. I can't stop it - it's the only way I can feel something.


I think I am going to have to stay away from these blogs for a bit, I don't think they are healthy for me, reasing about other people's success. Gambling isn't my problem, it's a sympton of something else.


Lots of my love to everyone.


Many people are self-destructive to a certain degree. Many of us are afraid of success, afraid of happiness, afraid of living a good life. It's like we think we don't deserve it and we do everything in our power to ruin good things coming to us.


I have this too, but not at a drastic level as you. I think that's why I've never been really successful and never really made a lot of money. I have a certain comfort zone, and if I'm doing too well I kind of start sabotaging myself (be it through gambling or something else) until I'm back to my comfort zone. It goes both ways, if I fall below my comfort zone (i.e. lose too much, jeopardize my future etc) I all of a sudden become reasonable and I work my way up towards my comfort zone.

That's why I never had a lot of money. Whenever my cash starts piling up I subconsciously get nervous and uncomfortable and I start working against my best interest.


I was a few times in big poker tournaments and I was doing really well. Then with like 20 people left in the tournament (out of many thousands) I would have more than average amounts of chips and I would realize I have a fair shot at winning the whole thing. Those are tournaments where the first prize buys a really nice house and the 10th prize is only about 5% of the first prize.

And I would panic. It would almost be "what if I win?" And I would subconsciously start playing badly, taking unnecessary risks until I got eliminated and received only a fraction of the money I could have won.

I started analyzing myself after a couple of those situations and I'm fairly sure that I am subconsciously afraid of winning big and I probably think I don't deserve best things in life.


And it does not pertain to gambling only. Same with various business opportunities I have had. I get easily complacent and I don't push for more. It's like I'm afraid of succeeding big time.


Yet in some other areas, I was totally relentless, I wasn't afraid of success and I did very well indeed. I know I should apply the same to business and finances in general but I fail to do so over and over again.


Don't be too hard on yourself Mav. And make sure you seek professional help - DOCTORS that is.


Hi Mav,


There is always someone you can talk to, somewhere to get support. Gambling might not be your only problem but by staying gamble free you will be better placed to address other issues.


Use all teh support you have available, there are always options.


If you ever feel desperate then talk to the Samaritans, they are always there for people.
http://www.samaritans.org/


Today is day 1 again. I lapsed yesterday. Lost £280 in 1.5 hours. One of the computers in my office wasn't blocked properly. It was a test. And I failed. I am off to my parents now in Stoke to speak with them. My wife has had enough. I am now submitting to the disease. I am powerless. I am an addict. It is not possible to win at gambling. I was up but got greedy. It wasn't enough. So I deposited more. Was up - got greedy - lost that.


Then I left the office. Oddly euphoric. I know I knew I was a compulsive gambler but I don't want any more reminders. I have been asking my friends if they gamble and none of them do. Why do I? Why, when I saw the computer was not blocked, did I gamble? What did I think I would achieve. 2,3,400? 1,000? Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


On a positive note I have been given a date for Gordon Moody House. My 2 week assessment period starts on May 11. So now I have a deadline in which to start putting my affairs in order and making preparations. I am a broken mad - spiritually, emotionally, financially. I have a lot of work to do.


I have a new sponsor in GA who is a CG but also a counsellor. He has been offering me support, which is wonderful. Everyone at GA has been wonderful.


I want recovery. I need recovery. I desire recovery. And 1 day at a time I will work towards it, to finding out who I really am. I am not a degenerate, addicted gambler, drug addict etc. I am actually a nice person who just happens to have low self esteem and self confidence issues.


I have also gone 24 hours without physically punishing myself. NO more hitting episodes.


I am going to start a new blog this weekend, detailing, for my own benefit, my gambling history. It will be long, probably a novella, but it is for my benefit. If anyone else wishes to read it, be my guest.


I am wishing everyone a wonderful Easter.


So I didn't gamble all weekend. I had blockers in place everywhere. I spent time with my family and my friends. As long as I didn't have to come into my office i was fine. This morning I felt very low. I think it is because I lost the script for my anti-depressents and now have to lose more time getting another one. It is also because I saw my family and friends who have never had problems like me.


I am struggling to deal with what I have done with my life. The depression is so low inside of me. The fact I have thrown my life up to this point away. My wife, my son, my business, my dreams. How do I recover from that? What price recovery if my dreams are shredded. This was meant to be my year, the year I made my first feature. I chucked that away too. There is something wrong inside of me. Deeply wrong.


It is strange. I managed to gamble on Thursday because netnanny didn't work on one of the office computers. But this morning it was blocked properly. And wouldn't connect. So that is blocked. But wasn't on Thursday. What is that about?


Is some higher power testing me?


I will start my new blog soon.


Thanks


Mav


A big shout out to Harry, Happy, Liberty and Angie73 who I had the pleasure of sharing the support group with. My love to all of your, may we all beat this terrible disease, and move on with out lives.


I love you all and thank you for your love and time.


See you soon


Mav


it was my first time on chat, and thanks for being a part of it. it was such a releif just to talk openly to you all, early days yet, but i think this is a great start.


It was great to speak to you too and Harry Happy and Angie.

Every minute, hour without gambling is a moment that we have won back. We all understand Mav, all have lived through it time and time again. I know you keep saying you cant get past what you have done but now its what you do next that counts. Wishing you well Mav, as all of us to be well people like we deserve to be.


Hi Mav.. I came over to post u but u beat me to it . Wasn't that just a great group ?

I went into it feeling like such a loser ( well I did lose last night ) and I came out feeling motivated again!!


Looking back I have had many stressful periods in my life but they do go away and life becomes normal again.


You have a huge task in front if u Mav but u are up to it .

Closing things down will bring relief .

You are talented and resourceful and u will bounce back !!!


Hi Happy


Thanks for that. I know you can do it, as wel all can. I just need to face up to the facts of what gambling has done. But if it wasn't gambling it would be something else. I have been using various addictions to paper overthe cracks in my life.


I do hope that I can get through this, because if I can't it will kill me. Or I will kill me, and I don't think I want that.


I have broken a lot of myself in this process, I never once last year sat down and thought "what happens if you keep gambling, where will it end". This is where it ends.


I wish I was more self aware, smarter. I see on this posts lots of people giving up and working hard - I feel I have screwed myself doubly as I don't have a job. I think if I had a job it might be easier.


You have always been really nice, I hope you can stop gambling one day at a time.


Thanks and love


Mav


Hey you had always been really nice too.. I do find some people use the tough love approach and it just reinforces what a failure u feel when I gamble . It's nice to be nice . If we break it down ( I am a bit of a maths need) we have only gambled for a tiny percentage of our lives . We have used a much larger percentage building knowledge, skills , friendships , relationships both in and outside our work, helping others , partying , etc etc


This is a small part if our life but somewhere along the way it has grown huge for us ... Like a nail biting habit that has become a finger eating habit !! Lol.


We can stop . We will stop. We will brush ourselves down and start again..


About a job... U cud give classes in what u do ( which I don't quite understand ) cos it sounds really good . Ten people in a class paying £25 EAch or an hour or two...


You only need one lesson ready in advance and an outline for the rest !! You still have premises yes? You are still to the public a successful company . Diversify !!! I could help u with the with it if u wanted .


Think big , think small, but take action!!!!!


U can do it


I needed business advice last year and I had the money and never got it lol. I need to shut this place down so I can go to GMA. Thanks for the offer. Maybe when I start the next business. For now I need to fix myself.


It's funny, but I can express myself in these forums in a way hat is almost impossible when I talk. That's another problem of mine. I talk a lot but say very little.


Take care Happy, if you need anything from me just ask.


xx


I haven't been around this way for a while but have been reading through many many posts, yours included my friend, I just wanted to wish you well and to say keep at it, I am also a compulsive gambler and have been for many years fighting hard against this addiction, all I know is when I gamble my life becomes unmanageable and when I choose recovery I become my real truth self.


Take care and stay strong, "one day at a time" a better life is possible and I can promise you that, wish you all the very best in the world.


Maverick


Hi maverick . Wow that is weird to write. Like I am writing I myself.


Thanks for the post. I am doing better today. Ready to tackle stuff head on. No more time to waste. Do you mind me asking if that is your actual name?


Take care and good luck


Just keep going and doing the best that you can each day... maybe at the start of the day you could say just for today i wont gamble, and just for today i wont self harm, use it for that aswell.... glad to see you hear and progressing along., i hope i dont seem to lecture whenever i talk but i always just like to share what worked for me in the hope it would help others, took me six years of major relapsing to get there though and i still have to watch it im not cured. I know how hard it is.. i understand the being in addiction to run from life. ive done it all my life too.. i get you. That fear of success even.. when its good rip it down... but bit by bit we can change it Mav. Glad to read you post. Never give up on you, you are worth it even when you cant see that yourself, others can, you will see it too.. just give it time


P


I normally post on F&F, actually I don't really post anywhere any more! but I still read frequently and have been following your struggle with interest.

I would like to wish you well with your ongoing quest for recovery and all the very best for a life changing experience in GMA.


It must be hard not to keep reliving what this addiction has done to yourself and your relaitionships and keep looking back with regrets unless it serves as some sort of re-enforcement of course.


But just a little word of encouragement from me, there is nothing worse than watching someone you love destroy themselves, money also becomes somewhat insignificant in the scale of things.

All I ever wanted was to see the person I loved get well again, be happy again, with or without me, despite having at times a strong desire to knock him on the head with something ! Although we are now apart, I would still want that for him, the various incidents etc seem strangely not very relevant. It would have been enough for me to have seen a fight or a struggle going on.


So what I am saying (badly !!) is that you are doing all of that, you are trying, struggling and doing what you can do right now to get well and I hope go on to be happy, these actions should speak volumes and they say so much that is positive about you.


I for one take my hat off to you and wish you every success


Jenny


Hi Jenny


Thanks for your post, it means a lot that people are out there. I am really struggling with the shame and the guilt. I had so many opportunities to stop last year and avoid the situation where I am. I didn't hae to lose everything, but that seems to be my nature. I always hurt myself in one way or another as I have such low self esteem. I truly hate myself. Now I am not gambling it is even more clear to me what gambling has done to me. I never thought that something like gambling could be like this. Even now, I want to lose myself in it. To punish myself more.


I wish you a wonderful day.


best


Mav


Mav go into first Asian chat ... See u there


Hi Mav,


Hope you are keeping well my friend and staying strong, I don't mind you asking at all about my real name........my real name is Lee, hasn't got the same ring as Maverick but hey it is what my parents called me and I with christened with it also.


I hope things are going in the right direction for you and I promise you "one day at a time" things do get better and in truth it is amazing how quick they do get better when we choose not to gamble.


I wish you all the very best in your recovery and also life, keep sharing because that is a massive part of recovery, take care and wish you well.


Maverick.


Cheers Lee. I wish the same to you - funny you chose that name.


All the best


Hi Mav or lee ??

I'm kinda confused by all that but I hope u are doing ok!

Rest plenty .. Be kind to urself


Ah two mavericks !!

Phew ...

Was seriously confused !!


A chap at my Gamblers Anonymous wrote this poem and read it last night. He gave me permission to re-print it. It is very raw and he uses it to remind himself of why he stopped gambling. I found it very moving and powerful and that is why I want to share.


*EDIT. The system here is formatting it different and losing all the verses. I can't spearate them out which is frustrating. harry what is going on?


More Than A Slap

by Eddie C


I promise you riches and glory,

but only leave broken promises,

empty bank accounts and destroyed relationships.


It may be gradual or it may be quick

but I'll make you my play thing,

my little puppet

as I jump you up and down till you've lost all in town.


I will try and trick you into thinking you are normal

and soon that I don't exist,

and when that is so

you've let me free to take your dough.


I will be there when you're frustrated,

angry at the slow pace of life

and promise you a quick fix

and if you go along with me, I'll smash you up once again,

all the way till you can't pretend.


I destroy families,

dreams,

jobs,

lives

at the spin of the wheel,

the turn of a card,

the roll of the dice,

the price on a horse,

the wagering on stocks,

endless ways to get you to gamble your monies,

and the more you use me the worse it gets.


I'm pushing bets to alleviate the burden,

I'm saying I'm plugging the gaps in your life's jigsaw,

but the raw truth realised too late can saw through the bone,

as I'm selling lies and deceit and robbers on repeat.


I'm a drug that never ends well.

I will always be there to open a dialogue,

any time you feel despair,

if you're impatient, needing a way out through jaded means, you'll find me there.


I care how much you need that money, I really do,

the more you think you need it the more evil I think I'll do.


First it starts as fun, then it turns sour,

after that I'm looking to entrap you

with that rare win that almost lasted longer than the time it takes to earn a real wage.


I'll turn on you in a dime when the grapes stop making wine.

You can't afford to go on holiday,

forget you pay me,

you can't afford to action your dreams,

forget you pay me,

you'll have to borrow when you're supposed to be providing,

you need that money in your account to hide the loss,

forget you pay me!


I'm the devil incarnate,

I'm any thing you want me to be, but your friend.

I'm as clever as you, I'm you but the dark side of faith.


I'll block out your shine and if you let me make you mine,

by feeding off your impatient time,

I'll bleed you dry

till you'll feel you can't get by.


If any of this has happened to you

it doesn't have to happen to you ever again.


GA is your antidote,

regular members have stayed off for decades,

never gambled again

the only really thing that keeps the illness in prison,

is making the most of GA,

attend it and work it regularly

knowing life is only one day at a time,

and for those working the programme can and do achieve such great things,

so no matter where you are,

keep strong and positive,

for if you miss your therapy

the joker in the pack will single you out,

for more than a slap.


Good morning everyone. I realised over this weekend that if I had not lasped back on April 2nd, today would be day 29 and tomorrrow Day 30. But what this does mean is that today in the last 29 days I will have gambled for only 1.5 hours. That is pretty good - infact, it makes me feel very good. So today is Day 11 of NO GAMBLING AT ALL.


I am on a higher does of pills now which makes me sleepy, but seems to be better for my mind. But nothing takes away the reality of what I have done. Gambled my life away. There is no quick fix, and I cannot sweep this under the carpet.


We have childcare today to Monica and I are both going into the office to continue the process of shutting everything down.


There are so many positive stories on here, such as Adam and Fritz and Charlster all getting into or close to 40 days.


Love to all


Mav


Really struggling today. The depression is like a terrible black cloud hanging over me as my time ticks away and I cannot do anything. This is awful, I have never felt like this in my life. I have never been so incapable. I normally bounce back from things, but this seems terminal to me. I just don't see how I can do it.


I am sorry for such a down post, but I just need to write down how I am feeling. It all feels so hopeless.


Depression makes you feel hopeless and makes you only concentrate on the negatives, that's why it's called a depression.


The only way out of the rut or trough is to do one positive thing and build on it. It could be anything. Getting a date for the GMA residential treatment is a massive positive to work towards, you just need to do at least one positive thing each day leading up to your therapy. Once you have done a few positive things no matter how small, you'll have a foundation to keep building on. It's a slow process, but achievable if you make your target each day realistic and attainable and will provide you with a feel good factor.


I'm sounding like a stuck record here, but you can't run before you can walk. You could focus on something positive that you want to achieve each day when you wake up and spend the day working towards it. You could post what you want to do each day on here in the morning and then post in the evening on how it went. It will give you a welcome distraction at the very least.


Take care,


Charlster.


Just a suggestion but, maybe try and do something positive for yourself? Plan tomorrow today. It may distract you and lift you a bit. Simple things often help. Tonight, as I'm working tomorrow I am going to make myself an ultimate sandwich. I know it sounds daft but I know i will look forward to eating tomorrow when I'm at work. It's smalk, but something to look forward to. Plus it will occupy me briefly as I have also spent time thinking about what I will put in it.


Maybe you should see your doctor again Maverick, to have your medication monitored?

Walking helps depression. Its good that you are able to write about it here. It will pass Maverick. Everything changes!


Thank you all for your posts. The annoying thing is that I know what I have to do, I am just running away from it. I can't face the music, which is that I have ruined my life and my wife's life. That is such a heavy burden. I am glad I am not gambling, but that just means I see it all really clearly now, what I should/could/might have done if only I hadn't been preoccupied with gambling. I remember while I was gambling saying to myself " stop this, or you will truly ---- it all up" but somehow I managed to ignore that voice. That just led to the depression and avoiding reality increase. I realise now I haven't enjoyed playing online poker for years, it was just an addiction which I was unable to control. It controlled me, dominated me. I accept now I am a compulsive gambler. I don't gamble for fun, or pleasure, or to win. I have no control when I start and even now memories of the gambling dominate my mind.


I think it is time to let it go.


Tomorrow I am going to do 5 things:

1) Make my wife redundant

2) Contact HMRC re our debt and find out how we can put them on hold while I go into treatment so that if I want to restart the company when I come out I can

3) Pay some more bills and contact my accountants to let them know the score (and also discuss my debt with them)

4) Complete the budget breakdown for the client

5) See my psychiatrist at 1pm to discuss my mood swings, suidal thoughts and my medication


If I achieve these 5 things I will have had a great day. There is no reason why I can't.


Thank you for your support, it means so much that there are people out there who, even though you do not know me, you care. I dream of the day that this lifts, I am earning and have my dreams back. I have about 30 years of working life left if I retire at 72. Then I want at least 15 years retirement and die at 87. I'll be satisfied with that. To do that I must start excersicing and quit smoking. I am going to try and do both tomorrow. I have quit smoking before so I know what it entails.


I need to focus my mind and when the negative thoughts intrude, deal with them. Accept them. Accept they are not me, they are ghosts, they are not the truth. I am worthwhile, I have value, I can contribute and more importantly, since this has not killed me, it can only - in time - make me stronger.


Love to all, I hope to hug and kiss you all in person one day.


If you achieve just one of those things you would have had a good day, couple that with being gamble free for another day then it becomes a great day.


You don't have to do everything all at once. Try to make your workload manageable and realistic Mav otherwise you may put unnecessary pressure on yourself.


Hope you had a great day.


Charlster


'Hope your 5 Point Plan kicks in Maverick. It sounds more like a month's work, than a day's work. Take it handy(as my ex boss always said!)

I just heard a snippet from a Radio interview with a lady called Gretchen Rueben . She was referring to a book she has written about Mastering Habits (I didnt get the full title but it might be of interest to recovering CGs.) She mentioned how we fall back on our habits during stressful episodes in life. Therefore it is important to build good habits which will keep us strong during these times of stress. (I think as CGs , one of the reasons we screwed up so badly is because we relied on a (very) bad habit, i.e. gambling to see us through!). She also spoke about safeguards, learning how to cope with failure ..." learn to 'fail small not big'!" and went on to say those who "fail big" tend to overload themselves with more shame and guilt.......

That's it for now Maverick. I think I'll track down that book. It seems like an interesting read!

Be good!


Hi Mav .. U are so hard on yourself !!!

Give yourself five days for that list and when u do one say well done Me!!

U are under such a lot of stress

But things always get better


I also hear hope and determination .

You are making plans and looking forward.... For many years!!


Mav u will bounce back from this with lessons learned!!

Feeling proud of u!!! .


I read most of your posts and it's heart breaking , I been fighting this addiction on my own for 6 years . I haven't lost huge amount of money as of yet but I worry one day it might go out of control . This is what I have done to cope .

I shut down all my online banking accounts .

I cut all the credit cards and make sure I reduced all the available to spend amout .

I got a cash card account where my partner send me pocket money and I can only cash out cash I cannot use it online.

My problem is online gambling , no matter how much I self excluded my self with websites new ones a merged . Also these bloody tv adverts are not helping at all.

I personally blame the government for allowing these tv adverts to pop up during the day and night .

I also blame the government for allowing betting shops every two seconds on my street .

I don't blame my self for being a gambler I blame the government that allows it . Most of European countries donot allow it , most of Middle East countries don't allow it to be accessible on the internet but our greedy uk government allows it freely everywhere .

These gambling sites pay tons of money to psychologist in order to find out how to get us addicted to gambling. They play with our Minds so we go in to trance when we gamble therefore cannot think logical we are controlled by the casino it's a form of hypnotising. This is the reason I don't blame my self but I blame the people who use these techniques to hypnotise people like me and this is all legal .


It's a scary thought but it's true they control us over the internet .


I normally gamble in the evening when everyone is asleep as this is when gambling comes to my mind .


It's very hard to eliminate internet from our life's as currently everything is run by internet , you can't even tax your car without internet .


So my strategy is to eliminate money entirely from online access in my case . I have done this many times become clean for a while and than ordered my bank card and than I was at it again so I decided no card for life .

I pay everything by cash now and if I need to by anything on the internet my partner will buy it for me .

We are all intelligent strong people hence why we are easy to hypnotise by these casinos .


We should all get together and get it banned completely .

My dad was a gambler and he still is and now I am I don't want my child to go through this but he wakes up every mornning to sick gambling adverts.


Bad day. Couldn't sleep just thinking about how I have ruined my life. Felt better yesterday but didn't get anything done. Today I have tried to hurt myself again. Having suicidal thoughts. Spoken to MayTree Suicide retreat. Spoken to Samaritans. WHy did I do this? Has anyone else out there managed to get through this deep depression. This is more than the gambling. IN the last 32 days I have only gambled 1.5 hours but I am in a total shitstorm of my own making. If there is any advice out there of people who lost everything and rebuilt I need to hear it.


I love everyone out there but am very scared of what I might do.


So I spoke to a company today about my business and they are giving me free advice as to where I stand. I really need to get this focused. I have so much to do and time is running out.


I have to really accept what I have done. I am having all NEW thoughts about last year and how I could have done things differently. I still don't understand why i didn't stop gambling as I knew it was going to be an issue later if I didn't - I'm an addict and I guess I wanted it all. The big contract, the family, the success AND the gambling. The gambling won and ruined everything else. As I think back I am gobsmacked by how much I played. It wasn't even as if I was playing for a lot of money, but the desire to keep playing that game was so overwhelming.


had strong urges to gamble today but I can't for so many reasons - not just no access to money and online as it is blocked, but I know it would be so bad.


I need coping strategies to deal with my evil thoughts - my mind is my biggest enemy at the moment. All I can think about is what I have lost - not money, but the way I see it the future.


As I was looking for business advcie I kept finding websites to companies offering business advice with money from the givernemt on marketing, finding leads, building the busiess. All that time is lost - everything I have worked to is lost.


I have upset my wife so much today with my actions. I tried to kill myself earlier - a weak attempt, but an attempt. She had to slap me out of it. O spoke with my psychiatrist and tomorrow I am seeing my psychotherapist. I Really don't know what is going on with me. Is it the gambling withdrawel - this happened to me around the same time last time I quit - around day 14. Did I gamble that much that I am suffering serious withdrawel? I feel like I am waking up from a bad dream and what I see is carnage. Carnage caused directly by gambling and depression.


I realise my posts are not the most upbeat, but I have to get my thoughts out before they kill me.


Of the 5 tasks I set myself I achieved 1.5. I achieved a little bit more tomorrow and intend to smash them tomorrow.


I am going to froce myself to start excercising once a day to begin with and then twice a day. People say that it will clear my head - I have to see if that is true. I also need to start eating - haven;t eaten now for 2 days apart from glasses of milk and a chunck of cheese. That must also play a part in my moods - if I don't eat properly then how will I get better.


I am going to try and get everything done in the next 2 weeks so I can take a full week off before going to GMA.


If anyone out there had a massive loss (not financial) caused by gambling (divorce, lost business etc) and got trhough that and you have any guidance from your point of view I would love to hear it.


Tonight I am going back to GA - it is an open meeting celebrating lots of recovery so I am going to take heart from that. Gambling is the tip of the iceberg for me but I am sure if I can stay away from gambling my mind must clear up. I guess I will always regret what I did but I cannot let it define me. I must try and be defined now by recovery in all its forms.


All my love


Hi


I haven't lost huge amounts however after reading your post I think I have few strategies that may help you .


Have you tried meditating. ? . Meditating will help you to relax your mind and focus on positive not negative thoughts .

What's done is done you keep going back to it don't do this to your self . The more you think about the past the more depress you will get that's why you need to focus on changing your thoughts .


Try using affirmations every time you have a bad thought .


You need to reprogram your subconscious mind in order to win this battle . Casinos messed with your mind and hypnotised you only way to get out of this state of mind is to recognise it and work with it .


Us humans have incredible coping mechanism once we know how there is nothing we cannot achieve we just need to know what cusses this . Maybe spend your energy on reconditioning your mind .


I hope this helps .


You keep focussing on your business and past losses which is clouding everything else.


The biggest thing anyone can lose other than their life is their family and you've still got yours. You need to realise that what you have lost is nothing compared to what you could still lose.


There's nothing I can say here that I haven't said in previous threads to you, but if you lose your family, there's a long, long way back from there.


Businesses can be rebuilt or you can get a job, focus on keeping your family together and concentrate on staying gamble free one day at a time. That's all you need to focus on right now and of course getting to GMA.


As hard as it may seem, keep it simple Mav.


Take it easy,


Charlster.


Just got back from GA which was an open meeting celebrating many members abstinance of over 1 year. There were eople with 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 10 years gamble free, still going to GA. Added to that were friendly and families of members. There were 60 people in the room. It was amazing, supportive, full of love. I needed it so badly after the day I had today - all of my own making.


I had a chat with a member who has been free from gambling for 4 years and we discussed what is going on with me. I am looking to the past, instead of looking at the now and the future (which I know). He used the metaphor of a rearview mirror. The little note at the bottom "Things appear closer in the mirror than they really are". He suggested that I see my past in a rear view mirror. They are not as close as I think - and as I drive forwards, they will get smaller and smaller. It is important than I can still see them, to remind me what could happen if I gamble. What is behind me will suddenly be inforont of me - but in time they will recede to a distant memory. I don't need the rear view mirror that much, just the occiasonal glace - but at the moment i am looking at it all the time, and it means i can't see where I am going.


I am a visual person and this resonated with me.


I feel in a much better place now. I feel more secure in what I have to do. I accept what has happened, that actually there was no way of avoiding what happened. I am grateful the damage isn't greater, as it could have been if I had used company funds to gamble with - which I didn't.


i am still alive, I have a beautiful son, a wonderful family and great freinds. Everything else is fluff.


There are amazing people on his site, generous people who take the time to read my posts, which means a lot. I was lucky tonight that I was invited to give my therapy, which I needed. Amazingly many members thanked me for it, an d I met new and wonderful people tonight. I am grateful and thankful to them all.


One of our members is a butcher and I bought some homemade fresh sausages and 2 free range steaks from his butchers, in posh Hamstead Heath. Gonna cook a smack-up sunday lunch with maches potates, fresh veg and homemade cake for desert on Sunday to treat the family.


I'm gonna try and start living again, one day at a time. Things are not as bad as they seem - I am catastrophising, and I bored of it.


Thank you, have a wonderful evening, and I hope to see you all soon.


All my love, thanks and gratitude


M


Those sausages sound great!


Hampstead was an old stomping ground of mine. The Bull & Bush, The Hare & Hounds which was next door, but no longer there and Jack Straws Castle which has also been redeveloped and was a health club when I last saw it.


Things really aren't as bad as they seem to you at the moment. You will feel at times that you are trapped with absolutely no way out of a situation that seems impossible, but I can assure you there are ways out of the deepest, darkest places.


Don't beat yourself up for not being able to see a way out of your predicament, you wont be able to without time and help, that is why I urge you to focus on your family and staying gambling free day by day. In the whole scheme of things and at this present time, nothing else matters. You'll be able to deal with everything else when the time is right and when you are stronger and more able to see things clearer. It's all about prioritising and salvaging your family life, material things don't matter.


Just focus on having a better day today than you had yesterday and do the same tomorrow. I'll say it again, it's all about keeping it simple.


Have a good one mate,


Charlster


Thanks Charlster. I feel much better today, and will take it one day at a time. I took a huge leap yesterday with regards the business and found a company that are giving me free advice.


Just for today... I wil not gamble

Just for today... I will be happy

Just for today... I will have a programme. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.

Just for today... I will not gamble.


They are the 4 Just For Todays I will do today.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I CANNOT change, Courage to change the things I CAN and WISDOM to KNOW the difference.


Peace and love


Hi Mav. You have achieved a lot today.

....Some of the tasks you set yourself and you also attended GA!

Well done!!

I am sad to hear you lost perspective today ..as Charlster said, the most important thing you have is your life. I love the analogy of the rear view mirror !! I am going to remember that one.

I am glad you came back and posted . I look forward to hearing how things are going with you .


Mav I will say again.you are too hard on yourself. You are kind and helpful to everyone on here . We are all people who have made mistakes..we have all lost a lot..

You are a visual person. Maybe try to visualise yourself taking a big stick and drawing a line in the sand ... Put everything behind this line ... The gambling, the business etc...and walk away from the line to a new future.

Your dinner sounds fabulous . It's important to eat well.. It can be simple like banana or egg on toast for breakfast , and it will kickstart your day..

You deserve to eat well and feel well .

The past is the past .. The future is full of possibilities !


Keep strong my friend !!


Your line "just for today... I will have a programme. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it."


Plans are always good, little is spoken about recovery plans which is a shame and maybe something I should write up on..


My main point here is this, Plans need to be Achievable, Realistic and as such you should be able to complete them. This doesn't always work especially when your waiting for input from others so when making plans factor in extra time... not everyone makes plans so you cant always rely on others.


I agree. I am guilt of trying to achieve too much and then beating myself up about it. So today my plans are achievable, but if I do not complete them all, I know I can finish them on the weekend so they do not carry over to Monday.


Tomorrow I am going to the GA AGM and am quite excited. Am driving 2 people from my chapters down as well, which should be interesting. Going to keep gambling chat to a minimum - not interested in that. Am interested in finding out who they are, as much as you can on a 2 hour car journey.


Hope everyone has a great gamble free day


M


Hi Maverick I have not been here in a while but your post of suicidal thoughts caught my attention! This can never be an option. MayTree are a superb organization and even though I never actually went for the retreat in the end I spoke a number of times to them and I have only ever heard good things about Maytree. Reaching out here and elsewhere can really make a difference. I am LIVING proof of that not dead proof.


I will not preach to you as you are going through it right now but it passes and life can take on new shape! Maybe something like Maytree "could" help get things level in your mind. To be able to speak freely to a person face to face can this help ? I think so. Any talk of suicide worrys me. Please reach out and continue to reach out.


John


How are you since Friday ? How did the meeting go you was very excited so hopefully it went really well.


Remember everyday you don't gamble is the day of happiness

It's day 6 for me I never felt so good


How did the Convention go Maverick?

Hope you were ok on the journey and had a good chat with your fellow travellers and meet some helpful people there.


So today is day 17 gamble free and tomorrow will be day 18 - which is the same number of days I managed before my last little lapse. I cannot imagine gambling tomorrow. Apart from no online access and no money, I do not have access to my online banking, cards, PayPal or anything. So it would need a freak series of events for me to gamble.


On the other hand, my moods are still very low. Yesterday I drove down to Portsmouth for the AGM where the motion to remove God from all the Steps and the Orange Book was defeated. The gentlemen who put the proposal forward mad a spirited case, and made some good points as well, but ultimately they votes for what, for those who stay, works.


I met several nice guys. The demographic was very white, working class of ages between 40-70. There were a few women and a few black and Asian people, but mainly white. It found it quite interesting, friendly and full of good recovery, which is what I wanted.


Today I have been low again, lots of thoughts of what I have done. I know the past is the past, but the past for me is the present. The sitiation I am in right now is due to what I did in the last 6 months. I have to live with that, and work each day to move forwards into a new, better future. I don't know what the future holds. I have very little money and just 1 more paycheck before I enter rehab. I have no work lined up and cannot think about what work I will do. There was however someone at a meeting a few weeks ago who is a CG and who runs a recruitment consultancy who said they would give me advice.


I have work to do now which, if I don;t do it, will make me feel bad and regretful.


Love to all


Mav


How about the steak and sausages Mav!

Did you cook them today?


LOL Vera, you have such a good memory. I cooked he steak today for the family (with mash potatoes, vegetables, homemade gravy) the sausages we ate for breakfast yesterday. Lovely.


Thanks for asking.


Been having strong urges to play, thank god I can't. But they pass.


Love


Things are not getting easier in my mind. I didn't sleep well again, the thoughts of how stupid I have been running through my mind. How if I had stopped this time last year and focused on my family AND business, I would be in a different place right now. The amount of times I gambled last year. The problem with poker is that it can take sup so much of your time - you can spend hours at a table - so even play low stakes you can't lose much money, but it rots your brain. I played so much, for days and nights at a time, on the toilet, in cafes, on trains, on buses, in the park. Whenever I could. All I could think about when I wasn't playing was playing again. If I was down, I had to win it back. If I was up I wanted to win more.


Despite the fact I had my own business, playing that stupid game over-rode everything else. I was and still am truly addicted. I know if I played again I would soon slip into old patterns, but probably play higher tables. I know I can never play again.


I am with my son at the breakfast table this morning, trying to focus on him. My wife is running around being amazing. I will miss them both when they are gone. I feel very dislocated - I cannot believe what I have done.


I suffer from lack of honesty, low self-esteem, low self worth. I have always felt I am not worth it, and I think gambling has reinforced that notion in me. 3 years ago I knew I had a problem but I didn't take it seriously. I pretended to quit but continued playing sneakily. I kept getting caught as it kept making me depressed. I then became a better liar. I kept that up all year - it was clear to see something was not right in my but I blamed it on the fact that my wife and mum don't get on, problems at work etc etc. It was ALL the gambling affecting me. I blamed my moods on EVERYTHING apart from gambling. I remember being really worried about everything - because I couldn't think straight - because I was gambling so much.


Just for today, I will not try and fix my whole life's problems at once. I ca do something for 12 hours that would appal me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumed to be true what Abraham Lincoln said that "most folks as are happy as they make up their minds to be"

Just for today I will have a programme. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.

Just for today I will not gamble.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.


I cannot change the fact that I am a compulsive, addicted gambler. I cannot change the fact that over the last 3 years I have sacrificed by family, career and health to play a stupid game which resulted in my suffering terrible depression, monetary losses and, more importantly, the loss of my family.

I cannot change the fact that last year, when I could have quit for good and go help, I didn't.

I can change the future from one of bleakness by one of hope by focusing on what I can do each day. Today I can have a good day by achieving what is on my list - helping my wife close down the busiess and make sure she gets her money.


I love everyone here very much. Once I get to the end of today I will reach a new point in being gamble free. I lasted 18 days last time - now, I want to go for the rest of my life but abstinance is not enough. Not gambling is not enough - I have so much work to do on myself. I can slowly over time rebuild myself.


Where do I want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years. I have never planned before. But what I know is that I do not want my current life to continue, I want to make changes. And they are made slowly over time, not over night. There are no montage scenes in life as in the movies, we have to do everything the long way.


I hope everyone is good, and I look forward to reading other people's positive updates.


All my love


Mav


A toast to you matey. Today will be a great day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! You are on a bumpy road to recovery, as the rest of us but at least your own b that road which is nearer day by day.


Thanks BU. Really struggling with denial at the moment of what I have done. I am so dissappointed in myelf, that I have been so foolish. That I could have avoided all of this by seeking help last year when I was caught again by my wife. That I thought I was cured after not gambling for a few weeks, and starting again with 'free' bonus money in my account and then keeping it secret. Not realising that the depression I was suffering was caused and made worse by my continued secret gambling. I now accept I have a real problem with gambling which has truly destroyed my life. I am sure in time things will get better but I am in such a world of hurt at the moment, mainly because I don't have a job.


I am so upset what I have done to my family. I tried using images of my son not to gamble, but I always retreated back to gambling. I understand things have to get worse for me before they get better and that frightens me a I no longer have any addictions to run to. I am going to try and face everything head on, for better or for worse.


This addiction really does destroy lives. If only I could have accepted it 3 years ago when I first went to GA but I didn't accept I had a problem. I remember my 40th brithday in 2012 and I had been gambling for less than a year. I was on anti-depressents, pretending to everyone I had quit - but still gambled. I am a total slave to my addictions as I use them to escape all my bad feelings.


I wonder what the future holds.


All my love


It is good to glimpse into the past to remind ourselves of what we did Maverick.

I went to very few GA meetings. I do remember a guy shaking my hand as I left one of those meetings. He said "Keep looking forward, with only the odd glance over your shoulder to remind yourself of what has brought you here"!

In your case Mav you are doing more than taking the odd glance back......

Let's face it. We screwed up big time. Look at what you have left . Not what you lost. You have a wonderful wife and family. Give them time. They need a break. They have been seriously traumatized. Stay in touch with them every day Your son will always be your son He needs his dad! To hell with the business for now. Nobody could work in your present mental state. If you were in a regular job you would be signed off sick. You still have you physical health, You can walk, eat sleep, go to GA. Drive. Interact with people. You are a young man .Posting all your feelings here is a skill . you are a great communicator. These are wonderful gifts Maverick . Look on them as Blessings. Use TODAY to prevent you revisiting yesterday with regret in your heart!

Wallowing over past mistakes is like gambling.

It solves NOTHING!


I would like to make a few points


1. Did you chose to become a CG?

Ok so you've finally accepted you are a CG after years of trying to convince yourself your not.

2. Do you think that people should pay for their mistakes for the rest of their lives? ( I don't mean pedophiles or hardened murders) but just normal people?

3. Do you think I don't deserve the chance to make my life better, a chance to live and enjoy the smaller things in life? Because if you do think every person on here should be given that chance, why shouldn't you?

4. Do you feel sorry for yourself? Or your family and your mistake? It's all about reassessing how you feel. The key word is feel. If you feel sorry for yourself? You need to ask yourself why. If you feel sorry for your family and your mistake, then you are doing the right thing by trying to change and make it better. When someone tries to mend things, that usually means they are truly sorry.

5. Where is regret going to get you? Where's guilt going to get you? Just be sorry and make it better.

6. Do you want to be happy? I mean really happy? If so, what do you have to do to be happy? You've taken the 1st step by trying to stop gambling. Is it helpful to your situation to stop gambling? If so, what else would be helpful?

7. Do you want to forgive yourself? It's ok to say.. I got it wrong, I'm going to learn from this. I want to be a better person. I deserve some joy in my life. I want some joy in my life. I want to be trust worthy so I'm going to work towards that.

8. Is CG an illness? I believe it is. I did not want this ever! I doubt you do either. If you believe it's an illness then..

Ok no one made us gamble.. We chose that.. But some people can gamble safely. Because they are not compulsive. The compulsion is the illness bit. We did NOT choose that. We did not know what gambling was going to lead to.. Otherwise, we would have never gambled in the first place. We did not chose illness, it chose us.

But we do have a choice to fix it and make it better. You've made that choice. Be proud of that!

Yes 3 yrs ago, you knew there was a problem. But did you foresee the last three years since recognising the problem? No, you believed you could recoop some money, you could control it. Hence why you continued.. Like me. If you could foresee how you would feel now.. Would you have carried on? I doubt it.. Unless you have munchausen syndrome. You have an illness. People that are told that they need to watch there diets because they are developing diabetes very often go into denial.. And continue to eat inappropriately. Then suddenly BAM they end up with type 2 diabetes. Still doesn't mean they go on insulin, they can manage it with diet. If they carry on ignoring it then yes, they will have to be treated. Are they bad people? I don't think so, they just didn't believe it would get that bad. So then they accept treatment and get on with they're lives. They enjoy social gatherings etc.. But they don't eat sugary foods so they can live. Point is, your not a bad person. And you have an illness. So as Long as you stay away from sugar and accept treatment, you can and will have a full life. And you deserve it.

It's ok to make mistake, it's ok to say sorry to your family but most importantly, say sorry to yourself, and choose life. If your sorry... It's time to move forward, forget the past. It's time for a new and better you.

Take care


Hi Mav, Vera and BU have made some excellent points .

I will just add that you are doing really really well in your recovery . Give it time .. Stone has a wAy of healing.


If you were a practicing catholic I would advise you to go to confession, because then you could let the past go and move forward!


U are a good person. U have made mistakes.. I think that makes u human.

Hang in there Mav. You are getting there!!


Hi Butch, Vera, Happy and everyone else who took the time to read my post and reply to me offering their thoughts. I take something from all of them.


Today is day 19. That is a new record for me. Some people say you shouldn't count the days, but I think it is important for me to do so. I need to know that I didn't gamble, which proves I do not need it. I am so fearful of my future, but I have so much to do before I can go to Gordon Moody House. There is so much I need to do. Every morning I wake up and think "what have I done?" Why did I do it? It seems all I want to do is hurt myself. The gambling, the drugs, the stupid decisions. All of these have hurt my life. I haven't been really happy for so long I do not know what it means. I accept I will be a CG forever. I found myself imagining having a bet, and all I saw was depression returning and more devastation. I don't want that.


Right now I am completing a spread sheet of all the company debts, assets etc. I found a company who are helping us to do the right thing. I need to make Monica redundant, I need to close this down with the minimum of fuss and maximum effect.


I still struggle to understand why I was not on this site last year when I was caught by my wife in January 2014 before the big project started. Why didn't I go back to GA? I knew I had a problem, why didn't I want to sort it sooner? Because I wanted to have my cake and eat it. I wanted to be the big shot, succesful producer AND gambler. Even though I knew, just KNEW, that gambling would get out of control again. And when it did, I still did nothing, just hated myself more.


I suppose I knew this moment was coming.


I had an ok day yesterday, but I notice that the longer I am off gambling the more my thoughts are focused on my mistakes. I know I am human, but why did I have to be such a fool?


I do hope that I can turn this around. It is not enough just to not gamble - I have to take responsibility for what I have done, and I have to accept the consequences.


I never want to gamble again, I want a new life - and I know that that will only happen one day at a time. Maybe this is all positive, that this HAD to happen as I was unhappy anyway - the gambling only made that worse. Maybe, just maybe, the gambling has done me a favour and is making me look at my life, instead of papering over cracks.


Roll on Day 19


So another terrible day but I didn't gamble. The story from one of our fellow bloggers has reminded me, so sadly, of how close I am to ruining everything. My life is truly horrible at the moment, every day I have to deal with some new issue related to the wreckage that gambling has brought me. I wish it were only money. The fact is that by gambling all last year I totally neglected by business, and in the process made myself very ill. I did not realsie the mental damage that my gambling was doing - even though it did something similar before. It seems whenever I get caught my mind collapses. I just struggle to understand how I could be so short-sighted, how I couldn't see this happening a year ago.


Why didn't I pay off the company debts when we had the money (and we did have the money)

Why didn't I plan the big project better so it would be easier and faster

Why didn't I invest some money in a new website, marketing advice on how to build the business so this year could be a great year


Because I gambled ALL the time. I just couldn't stop. As I get gamble free time I am seeing just how much time I spent either gambling or thinking about gambling. It consumed me totally - warped my way of thinking completely. Everything I did was filtered through how I could play poker. I am so truly sorry, I just want this to go away but it won't. It needs to end here.


Every day I do not gamble is a small success, but the truth is I am a long way from being well. I am very unwell - my thinking is clouded, my judgement poor, my decision making is terrible. This year has been such a bad year, but I think things will get worse as I have to close the business down. I think my reputation is going to take a massive hit because of this. I don't know. I imagine I will get over it at some point, but at what cost. How could I have allowed this to happen?


I am angry with myself, so angry. I could never have imagined 3 years ago if someone had said I would gamble my company away, and my wife, I would have said no way. I had so many opportunities to quit before it got too bad, going back to 2012. But I just couldn't - I kept finding new ways to gamble in secret. ALl I cared about was playing that stupid game.


As I said this is not about the money - it's my self-esteem, self worth, my family, my future. Gambling when it becomes compulsive can take everything from us. Even our liberty for thos ethat end in jail.


When I get through this I was to help others, but I don't know how.


Right now I need to help myself.


There is so much love out there on these forums. I need these forum so much, just to vent. I know I keep saying teh same things, but i will know then when I get better and I start talking about other things.


I do not want to gamble ever again. I think about gambling and it just frightens me how much more damage I could do - not even financially, but mentally.


I hope everyone is having a good gamble free day.


Hi Mav. This addiction has cost you a lot .. It's ok to vent ..you are having a difficult time processing the huge change gambling has caused in your life and you are trying to make sense of everything .


I wish there was some way we could help you more . I know you are having a really difficult time with everything , but it will pass and then you will be able to look to the future!


Hi Happy


Thanks for your response. I am so gutted I have been so stupid to have lost everything. I can remember so many times I had moments of clarity and did nothing. The lying to my wife was making me ill, the losing of money (and I had some bad times when all the cards went against me) but I remember times when I was on a high after winning.


But I never knew or imagined this would happen - but looking at it what else could happen. I have ruined EVERYTHING good in my life. This is not just about gambling - this is about me being lazy, careless, decietful, full of ego. This is my punishment. And it is going to get harder, I know it is. My company is a complete and total mess as I had no idea how to run a company and I never set out to learn, and I never employed people who knew. I just thought everything was going to be ok. I am in such shit.


I just don't know where to turn to be honest, I have been a complete and utter FOOL.


I cannot imagine this passing for years - I really need to grow a pair.


Off to GA now - beginners meeting and then main meeting. DOing 2 meetings today.


Hi Mav, after reading your posts and seeing how stuck you are, I thought you might benefit from a book I have read. I may have posted about it before on my journal page. It is called "a spiritual renegades guide to the good life" by Lama Marut. It has helped me get unstuck from my regret and remorse.


The book has a lot of great points, but something that has stuck with me is that we can only achieve true happiness when we make it our goal to make those around us happy. It is amazing how when I started doing things purposely to help my wife and kids, and others in my relationship circles, I dwelled on my regret much less than before because I didn't have the time to! This has a double effect, because the people around you will respond with smiles and appreciation, positive feedback! It also is a way to make amends.


I hope you try the book, and I hope you can move forward soon.


Hey fritz, I also read a book which had a profound effect on my family life .. The book was really all about obedience to your husband which I find silly, but I tried a few things and really after reading your post i realise I put him first more... So it's kind if the same thing


MAv I think from fritz' I also get the impression you think you have ruined everything .


If your businesses is gone-its gone!!

Your family is still there.

Try for a day to put your wife first in everything.. Like every time u have a negative thought . Stop an d think now how does this help my wife.?

It might break the pattern of dwelling on your mistakes and also will make your wife feel loved and special!

You don't want to look back on now in six months time and think why didnt I do more about my marriage?


Fritz ' advice is sound... Look after those things you still have!!


I hope this helps Mav and doesn't sound like I know it all- cos that wud be far from the truth!!


I hope soon you will feel much better and embrace how far you come and how much you achieved so far whilst not gambling .

There is some great advice here for you and that book sounds great , I am going to try find the book .

I couldn't go to the ga meeting as I just realised it's Tuesday today when you replied to my thread . I was held captive at an Essex hairdresser they were doing a half price deal so I decided to use this offer and they kept me there for over 3 hrs my head hurts cus of pulling and continuous chemicals lol .

But I had a great day . I hope soon you will start having great days .

Please concentrate on your recovery you need to do this for your family and your self.

It's hard as I am having really bad urges right now . I promise to go to the meeting nextweek going to put a timer on my phone. To remind me .

I hope all of you along with me will win this addiction .


I am so scared, so angry at myself for the situation I have created. No with some serious gamble free time I am struggling to put the pieces back together. I really have broken everything.


My wife, my family, my sanity, my business, my income. Everything - all because I was lazy and thought I could coast through life without thinking or planning, just so I could gamble. Looking back I knew, and have known, it was a problem. I remember thinking what happens if I get caught - she'll leave me. I remember thinking, pay the company debts while you have the money. Then I remember thinking, just a few hands of poker, instead of working on the business.


When we got the contract I said to my wife I wasn't going to make the same mistakes, I was going to set the company up, create something for our future, never gamble again.


WHy did I do it? Not just the gambling, but the ignoring of the company. This time last year it was all in my hands, and now it's all broken.


I am so scared of what happens next and how to deal with it. All the people outside of my family I have let down. What kind of a father am I to leave his son potentially homeless, his wife without an income. WHy have I ruined everything - why couldn't I see this coming? It was so obvious now I look back.


I have so many problems in my life and they are all created by me not doing the work, thinking that somehow I can just coast along without putting in the effort. Well, this is where I have to put in the effort - my life is a train crash and it doesn't just involve me. It involves my wife and a little bot of 17 months old. What kind of a shitty man am I? How oculd I let this addiction wreak so much damage - the lying, the sneaking, the lack of work, the lack of foresight. The longer I go without gambling the harder it gets as I have nowhere to run to.


The thought of gambling horrifies me but I know if I went here I could forget for a little bit - but I would wipe myself out in so many ways.


I really don't know where to turn - my head is so clouded, my judgement so poor. I do not have the skills to cope in this situation. I am fearful of the consequences. Should I be punished, how can I fix it?


I know that no one on this site can help me, except support me, be nice to me. I didn't ask for this illness, but I didn't get help soon enough. I knew I had the illness as well, have known for years. But I let it get the better of me last year, and it really did destroy me. If I had stopped last year I could have avoided ALL of this. There really was no need for me to do this - it was wilful self destruction. I am culpabale. I had already sought help for the addiction, but I didn't accept how bad it was. I didn't listen - I don't listen.


What do I do - I am so close to doing something stupid again. I don't know where to turn for help, I really don't. What do I do about my business, the clients, my wife's redundancy. I am so lost, I am afraid I am going to do something stupid like try to hurt myself again. I don't want to do that, I really don't. I want to put my hands in the air and own up and say "I DID THIS".


I cannot sleep through worry, I wake up in the morning my head spinning with should have done this, why did I do that, how could I do that. It's not even just the addiction that did this, but me. I did not think ahead, I did not sit down and plan forwards. I just expected everything to be ok. I lies and lies and lies. The gambling took me further and further away from reality. I really have, for the time being, ruined my life.


This is the kind of sitiuation that makes or breaks you. I read stories of people on here who have overcome such things - do I have the character to solve this problem, one way or the other. What is the right decision, there are so many ways this could go.


I go to GMA soon, but I have to solve these issues first, otherwise I will not be able to focus on GMA, there will be too many open threads which will derail my recovery.


I know that dealing with this situation is part of my recovery, but I am so scared, so full of self loathing that I allowed this to happen, it is stopping me living.


Infact, I haven't been alive for a hell of a long time, to be honest. Not truly alive, relxaed, enjoying the moment. I am and have been a bag of nerves for many years, I have not dealt with the issues in my life.


I love my son so much but I hate the fact I have created this terrible world for him and his mum - he doesn't deserve that. Is he better off without me? Is the world better off without me? WHo do I turn to? I can call the Samaritans, they will listen, but they cannot help me.


I cannot remember the last time I slept, I have so many things on my mind, big things. Debts, historical debts, the company, the future, what I have done. What a terrible person I am for having continued to gamble. What a fool? I remember playing poker so much last year, way more than I spent on the business. Imagine what I could have done?


I remember when I first went to GA and I heard stories of people who gambled for 10-20 years, lost everything. Houses, businesses, futures, wifes, freedom etc etc. I remember thinking I will never be like that - but somehow deep down I knew I was and I had to do that. I HAD to be a proper CG. Why? Because I hate myself, and I have to do things which encourage me to hate myself more. And then I end up here, full of self pity, wallowing, no strength. I am such a waste of space, just drawing air. I have no redeeming festuares at all. I am pathetic.


What do I do now, how to do fix this one day at a time. What is my goal, how do I set a goal. How do I make everyday count?


If there is anyone here who has pulled themselves back form the brink - debts, loss of job, business, etc etc and they have succeeded please post here. I need encouragement. I need help.


Hello, from your most recent post, it is clear that your gambling has created several problems for you. It has affected your finances and your relationships.


Now is not the time to forget your problems; it is the time to face your problems. Using gambling as an ecape will only make the problems bigger.


Though your problems may stem from your gambling problem, they are separate from each other.


Your financial probloems may be eased through negotiation and you explaining that you are a recovering gambler and your gambling contributed to the problems.


Your relationship problems, with your wife and son will take time to solve. If you are trustworthy, honest and open with your family, and stay on the right track, over time, your relationship with them may improve.


You need to be patient. The problems your gambling has caused will take time to resolve. Getting stressed about them or overwhelmed by them won't help. Working with the people who have been affected by your gambling is more likely to work.


You could have a timetable for addressing different problems over the next couple of weeks.


Hi Waynes


Thanks for that. I am in a different mental place now than I was this morning. Nothing much has changed except I made some decisions, spoke with some people and realised I haven't had a bet for 20 days. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks, which is a personal record to deliberate abstention.


I feel stronger about what I have to do in the next 10 days prior to attending GMA. I need to make sure I have spoken with my credtors and they know what is going on, both personally and professionally.


This site is an amazing place where I have been able to share my darkest fears and people have written wonderful things.


I will be starting a new thread soon to reflect my new state of mind.


All my love


Mav


PS Harry, how can I save this thread for future posterity and research.


Mornings seem to be your bad time Maverick!

You always brighten up as the day goes on!

Keeping your thread in the archives for posterity made me smile in a way.

I don't think I need a "thread" to remind me of the havoc gambling has caused in my life!

I just need to check my negative bank balance,my debts and then look in the mirror!!!

It scares me!!

But you're only a youngster Maverick with many years ahead to make many many better memories !!

In ten years time you'll be looking back laughing!

Stay positive!


From your last post I can see you are in more positive frame of mind . Keep it up

You have done so well and you are going to do even better .

I just hope your new thread will reflect on positive things you are going to do and think.


Mav the stress u are under is clouding your judgement .


Think about this


Would my son be better without me?

Would you have been better with out ur mum or ur dad ?


Of course your son would not be better of without you .

We can't help you but we can maybe help you thonk more clearly when your thoughts are muddled


Now tell me one child you know who would swap their dad for a richer one ?


Of course you son needs you , whether you live in a doorway or a palace..


This time will pass.. The business at the end of the day is just a job... You can start again if you want ..


-----think of the things you did well in the past..

You got a lovely wife

You have a lovely son..


Businesses come

And go whatever the reason ... Look at tesco and its losses


You will bounce back from this older and wiser!!


we are all rooting for you


Oops Mav I write that this morning and it just posted now ... Prob cos I have no wifi all day ..

So great to hear you sounding more upbeat !!


the email wont send Mav

I' ll leave this here for a few minutes

............................................