6 July 2023 at 9:59 pm #178515canadaguyParticipant
I wanted to post here to share my story as i read many of the posts on here and can relate. I have been going to casinos for years but never gambled for long periods until about 10 months ago it started like many gambling addicts with a big win and “easy money”. I have always had an addictive type personality. I have drank heavily as a young adult but was able to beat that pattern. I have always been good at saving money and not recklessly spending most of my life. I found out this year I have ADHD which makes sense. My jouney with gambling addiction started about 10 months ago. I won about $1000 at a local casino, but I was shocked to see over a 2 hour span i plugged in about 10K to get that progressive jackpot. I quickly found that “advantage play” was a way to make money at the casino and I was going to at least one casino every day. There are 4 casinos within an hour drive and 2 in the city i live in less than 10 minutes form my house. I was winning most days and I hit some major jackpots including one for 12K. Within 3 months i was up 30-35K and started to bet large amounts…eventually it got up to $45 a spin and I had my “favourite” slots and would have to play until i hit the bonus and most of the time i was winning at this point. I wa son top of the world- i made more gambling than my actual job and i thought this was the answer to makign money and i was happy and felt on top of the world. Then I started to make riskier bets to “keep in the game” this is when i think my brain chemistry and self control started to slip away. Almost every night i would be “up” and then lose it and eventually it was getting to the point I was gambling until my wallet was empty and had gone to the bank machine/ cash advances. I can remember some sessions plugging in almost 30K at $45 a spin, getting thousands in cash advances and ended up with a $6900 jackpot….at the end of the night i was still down 1500. I continues to go to the casino every day – multiple times a day and often multiple casinos. Some days I would be in there for 8 hours or more. After work it was common for me to be there form the time i was off work till 11 or 12 or till it closed. A few weeks later i won 6K and the next day i went to the casino with 7500 in my wallet. I chased a jackpot till it was all gone and then pulled out 2K on a cash advance and ended up walking away with 4kK but lost more than 5K . This was affecting my moods….i wouldnt see friends or family as i was at the casino and lying to hide my addiction. I often go to vegas- last trip i controlled my gambling and came out ahead about 3K or more. There was always slots that had AP so i was not acting deperate and i was setting limits. Fast forward i have been losing daily for more than a month….all my winnings gone almost. I am to the point even if i am “up” i need to keep playing until all my money is gone…chasing a big win/dopamine hit. One night recently i went to casino with 1500, won 2K, was down to 400 …i literally wasted 3K chasing one “red pig” that was maxed out in 3 little pigs if anyone knows the game. I ended up leaving with 1300…..only to come back later, win 600 then about to leave, decided to have a “few more spins”. I kept saying “this is the last 100…everytime i thought to myself “it has to hit” ,,,at 9-12$ a spin whatever it was i basically left once my wallet was empty….at one point i had over $3000 in my wallet and went home with nothing. So many nights i remember driving home yelling in the car in frustration….feeling helpless…angry, sad, depressed…at some points hopeless and almost suicidal but not really to the point i was going to take action. I was always thinkign about gambling…fantasizing about big wins, feeling depressed about my losses and what i had….skipping work or going right after work to the casino….My last trip to casino i was playing a game with a must hit feature by a certain point…I tried to set limits by restricting my access to funds…only had $400 in wallet…was i was up 2-300 and didnt hit feature yet…got $700 out of bank machine…again was up about $600 and i left a machine, next person sits down and wins $1500 first spin….i wanted that big handpay…i continued to play at $5 or $15 a spin until all the money in my wallet was gone…i just knew that was going to happen….i know that the RNG is random and i might not have won that $1500 the guy won on the same machien seconds after i left but it fueled me to gamble recklessly…I know that i can’t seem to control my gabling…i have the illusion i can go back to making money and then it seems i cant help but gamble … i have lost more than 15K in the last month and I can see how peopel lose everything…from their savings to their house, rack up debt, hurt those they love, screw up their work and relationships and destroy themselves….I can see this will be me as well if i dont stop but it is so difficult to stay away and i always think “i won on the past i just need to be discliplined and set limits ….easier said than done.. I used to be a huge hockey fan, i missed most games in playoffs as i was at casino….i feel ashamed, stupid, didnt appreciate what i had and didnt stop while i was ahead..now i fear i wont stop till i have hit rock bottom and have lost it all…self exclusion i think about daily…i liek the freeplay , free food and want to go to vegas again this fall…i dont seem to have the same problems with impluse control in vegas….there is a meeting in my local community tonight…I see others at the casino and can tell most of the “regulars” have soem form of mental health problems or gamblign problems …i think i am different and was for some time , now i am also a gambling degenerate and have spend basically one million dollars on slots and 1000’s of hours of my life in the last 10 months…and now lose 1000 or 1000’s everyday and am numb to it or feel sad and angry and depressed about it but pretend i am ok and go to work and pretend i am ok….if i stop now i am not “down” any of my actual savings…im still on my winnings for now…at this rate that will be gone soon and I will have nothing..i can me gamblign away my last penny with my lack of self control and living on the streets…i dont even get joy in anything i used to as i am consumed by gambling…i also spend endless hrs on forums like these after each loss…also affecting my work…i am not sure why i wrote this but hope others can relate and offer support. I think i will go to the GA meeting tonight…ironically same time the casino has an “exclusive party” i am invited to with free food and hot seat draws etc….i am tired of living this life of stress…i get so down when i lose or feel nothing at all and feel numb and process it later and feel terrible with regret and guilt …i dont even get the huge rush from wins anymore even the big ones….i can now relate to there is no such things as wins…just future losses…i cant tell my friends, partner or family the full truth as i am so ashamed….thanks for all who read this and i hope to hear some responses…I need to get out now to get my life back…while i still can ..i can feel my life slipping away from gambling and it scares me
6 July 2023 at 9:59 pm #178520zoyaModerator
Hello 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.
As well as the forums New Members are invited to join Charles in the New Members Practical Advice Group on Mondays at 21:00 (UK) and Thursday at 19:00(UK)
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 🙂
The Gambling Therapy Team
12 July 2023 at 2:33 am #178708CraigMac6Participant
Hey Canadian Gambler,
I hope you are still trying to get your life back together without gambling. This addiction is so difficult and I have said “this will be my last deposit” more than one hundred times. It’s a sickening addiction. However, I have come to the conclusion that my life will never get better until I quit gambling. It will always be a roller coaster with more terrible days than good. As you said, that good day might get us a 2k win, but we are still down 1.5k over the course of the week because we continued to seek the thrill of a “big win.” We truly will never get back to even; we will just keep digging ourselves an even bigger hole to get out of. LIFE will never get better living like that! NEVER! The ONLY way we can get a better life is by quitting gambling. Yes it will be hard but living that reckless life is even harder because their is never an end in sight. Its just a continual cycle of reckless behavior and choices. I hope you are still around.
30 August 2023 at 1:27 pm #181036canadaguyParticipant
Thanks the the reply CraigMac6. I have been trying to control the compulsive gambling but still find myself at the casino(s) daily pretty much. Big wins, followed by big losses….the only way out seems to be to quit cold turkey.
31 August 2023 at 3:43 am #181089Rosey PoseyParticipant
In Ontario you can self exclude from all land based casinos in the province. They were easy to contact (Playsmart is the name), very respectful, discrete and super helpful. I think there is something like that in every Province.
Next, get blocking software on all your electronic devices. I recommend you start with BetBlocker or GamBan.
It felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders when I did this. No system is perfect and it didn’t stop the urger to gamble. It did give the the time I needed to deal with the withdrawl and start putting my life back together.
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