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      OK – I have made a few topics already, but don’t believe I was using this forum properly. I would like to start fresh with this post and keep this “topic” as my one and only journal.
      My name is Matt and I live in the U.S.. I am 29 (almost 30) and have been gambling since I was very little. I have been fighting my addiction (i.e. admitting I have a problem and seeking treatment, etc.) since I was 19. Currently, I have not placed a bet since late Monday night (11/14/11) giving me 4 days of clean time. I feel pretty good and have been visiting this website every day. I have gotten very good support and responses in my previous “topics” and have taken a lot from others’ posts/responses as well. I read a great article on “urge surfing” in someone’s journal (I apologize I don’t recall which one or who posted the article). I have gotten several urges since Monday but have been able to see them for what they are, urges, and have been able to ride them out and know they will pass and they have. I have accounted for all of my debts and although it is discouraging to look at the numbers and the recent damage my relapse has caused, I am still hopeful and confident and excited to pay off my debts and someday be debt-free and gamble-free. I do know that temptations are all around and I will never be cured of my problem. I have to sharpen my tools constantly and be prepared to tackle any obstacles in my way.
      I have set up some good road-blocks and am working on more. I have installed K-9 security on my computers and am working on putting all of my “extra” money towards debt so I am not tempted to gamble with it. I hope to post my progress regularly on this forum. Although I appreciate feedback, etc. I will be doing it for myself. I look forward to using this tool to track my progress and record my thoughts and experiences.
      I have done many forms of gambling in my history. I have gone to casinos (blackjack), played poker, and bet on sports. My recent relapse (lasting from Jan 2011 until Nov 2011 after nearly 2 years of clean time) has been online blackjack and sports betting. I have banned myself from the websites I used online. The next several months will the very tough, because college football in the U.S. is reaching the “playoffs” or bowl games, and there is a lot of NFL left which are huge gambling events for me. I am confident right now and hope to stay that way.
      A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

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