Or perhaps I should say, “sorry to see you here” as your story is so similar to those of people with a gambling problem everywhere.
The line that stood out for me was, “I lost the value of money and motivation to move on.”
I felt exactly that when I was in action. Money no longer had any value other than as tokens which I could use to place my next bet. The fact that I could no longer afford decent food, go out to nice places, travel etc didn’t seem linked to my gambling – in my scrambled brain.
You also posted about your Uncle and what happened to him through gambling. He died of a heart attack. Brought about by stress? Gambling does not only affect you mentally, it has physical consequences too as many on these boards will tell. Perhaps his legacy was as a guide to you as to what might happen if you continue this behaviour. You need to stop.
Stopping gambling is not easy – and staying stopped is even more difficult – but it can be done. I am several years gamble free and I am not alone in that. If you read through the posts on the boards you will see there is a common theme for stopping gambling. To sum these things up – there are 4 things you can do.
1) Lose access to gambling. Ban or bar yourself from places where you could go to gamble – both online and off.
2) Lose access to money to gamble. If you can, get someone close to you to handle your finances until you feel stronger – a family member or trusted friend.
3) Find good support for yourself. Come to the support groups here and on other gambling support sites. When things allow, go to support groups like Gamblers’ Anonymous, seek out counselling to identify what is triggering this behaviour in you.
4) Find other (non competitive) ways of using your time. If you can avoid games which may lead to a gambling element – if you need to pit yourself against something – try and better yourself, through non competitive sport (cycling, climbing etc) or revisit a hobby you may have given up for gambling. If you need to binge watch netflix – then do it – don’t feel guilty in the short term – you can always pull out later when the strongest urges pass. And they will pass – the longer you are gambling free the easier it will become – but you will still need support etc for several months or years to come.
I hope you can follow this advice and take steps towards a new (gamble free) life. I wish you well.