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hi geordie,
ok first let me say thanks for taking the time to write all that despite it not being the most pleasant to read. when i first started reading i’m not sure how i felt but i wanted to log out and never return, like my pathetic attempts to give up weren’t worthy of this site, i felt defensive about what you was saying BUT i know those are mostly the feelings of the addiction inside of me that looks for any excuse to empower itself within me and luckily your post was long enough to stay and get past that and get more of a grasp of what you was saying.
maybe i am using the term “relapse” a bit loosely, i think i find it the easiest word to use based on how it feels at that point. when i gave up for 175 days i naively thought that i was “cured” that the longer time went the further from the addiction i was, it’s the first time i had really committed to not gambling and i wasn’t prepared for dealing with the urges that came that led me to gamble again, it came out of the blue and hit hard and the rate of how quickly that spiralled out of control scared the crap out of me but you are right, i am not quite at rock bottom and i am trying not to get there. i am also aware that i can easily start replacing the gambling with a different addiction so i really have to be careful about that also.
the payday loan was purely to cover some bills that i hadnt enough money for as i had chased my losses into bill money and yes i agree, it shouldnt be used as bail out or back up as it becomes another debt, another stress, another trigger to want to use gambling as a way out.
i probably haven’t done enough to build up a support network and took enough actions to prevent…..what word shall i use?….slipping but i do find this site a big help, more so than a secondary support as it was someone here who actually put expectations on me to exclude from bookies which was the first step to the 175 days of not gambling.
i know it can be frustrating listening to someone stop/start with their gambling but if you had of asked me 18 months ago what my goal was i would have said “to be at a place where i can put a bet on Saturdays, enjoy the banter and accept the losses” that was never going to possible and now my goal is to be in recovery, accept that recovery is for life and find the right tools to deal with negative gambling thoughts. i have shifted my mindset and the rest is a working process that i am still committed to.