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Had my first minor thought about gambling just about 15 minutes ago. Thought “hey feeling a bit bored today why don’t I jump on a poker site and play a bit for fun?”. However I quickly realized that I’m self-excluded from literally every reputable online casino available in this country. Secondly I knew it was a trap. The fun/excitement lure of gambling is but an illusion. Sure I could win but I’ll give it all back. When I played it was about 20% fun/winning and 80% stressfulness/mental torture/losing. The addiction tries to make me remember the former which is by far a minority of what gambling actually is. I will not let it trick me again. Going to enjoy the rest of my day with my family.

Edit: have self-excluded from the final remaining website where I wasn’t 100% sure I was still excluded from (because I closed my account a while back and have since moved address). My last 2 relapses were both preventable had I taken preventative action:

1) A sports betting site I wanted to do matched betting on – after contemplating it for weeks I finally gave it and had 3 bets before closing the account. Despite winning here I didn’t feel good about it.

2) A casino in a different city. I had been thinking about playing at the casino there months before my planned trip and if something similar was to happen again in the future I would either book my hotel far from the casino/don’t even go there at all OR self-exclude from there in advance.

I have learnt that we must take PROACTIVE steps to control this addiction.