21 July 2022 at 12:27 pm #159560
I made a journal here few years ago and I was able to stay away from gambling for 2 months, then I had a relapse and I have been gambling on and off since then. A lot has changed since then, I was able to control my gambling habit to some extent. I was able to save $25-$30k in 2020 and closed down on the house in 2021. It’s been exactly one year in this new house but ever since I got this house, my gambling is out of control again and I am struggling to save any thing because what ever I have extra for the month, I just gamble it away whether it is $3k or $4k or less on a monthly basis. I am sick and tired of this as this is giving me a lot of anxiety and frustration. I lost around $2800 in the last 2 weeks and this is the highest I have lost in 2 weeks during these last 2-3 years and I just remembered that I had an account here and it helped me out a lot at that time and there was so much support here. I don’t know what happened and how I got back into this cycle again. One of my capital one card has a credit limit of $800. During the last 6 months, every time I max it out, then I try to recover these $800 from slot machines and I end up losing more. this cycle has cost me more than $10k. I am probably at the lowest point from financial and mental POV. I want to take control of my life again. I still owe capital one $800 and I barely have any savings. My next deposit won’t come until next month 13th and I have to pay mortgage next month as well. I should have planned this out and saved at least a year of mortgage by now or pay extra each month to pay off mortgage quickly. I remember the last time I stayed off gambling, those 2 months were very peaceful and my life was straightened out. I feel like giving up on life some times but I have a loving family and I think about them a lot. I need to do some thing before it’s too late :(. Today is the first day of sobriety and I will be writing here daily/ weekly. I have to be honest with myself. I have an issue because every time I get upset or some thing doesn’t go as planned, my escape route is slot machines. I have other leisure activities too but they are not some thing I do when I am frustrated or when I am having an off day. This is it. I am never gambling again no matter how much I am in debt. I will pay off my credit and close that card as I am not using that card for any thing else other than gambling. I have mostly used debit all my life. I just built credit for mortgage loan. I have never used more than $100 on my other credit cards because I don’t like to be in debt. I don’t want to get used to being in debt with credit companies. I am already in a lot of debt with the mortgage company which is what I need to pay off as soon as I can. I could have paid an extra 20-30k this year If I wasn’t gambling this year. Why didn’t I ever think of this until now 🙁 This is it. Day 1. I will be reporting here regularly and I apologize if this is causing any inconvenience for any one.
21 July 2022 at 3:49 pm #159578Don14765Participant
Thanks for your rigorous honesty, JayMay22…
Are times when I believed I could “control”
Gambling- try and enjoy it ….
Sometimes I had really good weeks, everything seemed to be in “control“
Then I hit a wave -a wave of “ this person is making me angry, or I don’t like working with this person or some thing about my job or people that I didn’t like“
Then I would fantasize about winning the lottery so that I could retire ,and then I got the silly idea of “I am going to make it happen“
Well hundreds or even thousands of dollars later …
I’ve NOT won the lottery …
I have surrendered my journey
To winning anything substantial
And I try very hard
To look at my good points
And also to perhaps realize that
That triggered me today or yesterday
Is having a bad day
And inadvertently took their frustrations
Out on me….
Of course this all sounds great if I am having a good day and I feel positive and strong! But when I feel sensitive, it can be a challenge ;but then I try and realize what happens when I do decide to gamble my money that I sometimes end up in a worst spot than I was before and even more broke…
So yes- one day at a time
Always remember where my gambling got me ….further in debt!!
21 July 2022 at 7:36 pm #159603
Thank you, kin and Don, for words of encouragement. I need to take baby steps and one day at a time. I know I am not the only going through this and I know I can do this. I have done it before, but I am determined this time. I am not being shy away from getting help and probably help others by sharing my story.
21 July 2022 at 8:05 pm #159605charlesModerator
Hi Jaymay and welcome back.
I am glad this site helped you before – it can again.
For me the important thing to remember is that if we need help to stop gambling then it is also wise to continue to use support to maintain recovery – we are never “cured” but we can have a great gamble free life. Using support is more likely to keep it that way.
22 July 2022 at 8:38 am #159633
it’s been 24 hours since the last time I touched slot machines. In the last couple of years, the most I have stayed away from gambling was probably 2 weeks’ time, but it wasn’t because I had the will to stop myself rather the main reason was that I didn’t have enough funds or budget to feed this addiction. My real test will be when I get paid from my primary job on 13th. I am expecting another payment around 5th or 6th next month. that will be a smaller payment and I usually blow smaller payments away within a day or two. I feel so irritated even thinking about it because it takes a lot of effort and hard work to make this money and I blow it away in few hours. I work remotely for two companies (employee based and as an independent contract both). whenever I lose money to machines, I always find comfort in binge eating and just shutting down for a day. I feel like the problem with me is more than just a gambling problem. Is gambling addiction a mental illness? I honestly feel that it is because the day I get paid and If I have some money sitting in my account, I cannot focus on my work and I can usually spend long hours sitting in front of the computer when my account is on low funds because I know If I don’t work, I won’t get paid and I won’t have my fixed bills paid on time. I don’t know where to find that motivation to work with money being saved in my account every month. I have forgotten how this feels like. It seems like my brain is wired in a way that it only wants to work when I am in need of money and not want to work when I’ve got money. More than 50% of my income comes from an independent contractual job which means that I can set my own schedule and work as little or as much as I can and how ever I want. I got to stop relating money savings with work. Yes, I want to work as much as I can to save but I don’t want to overdo it and feel exhausted and find slot machines as an escape route again. It doesn’t make any sense now that I think about it. What am I putting in this effort for? I don’t want money to be the driving factor in order for me to put in work hours. I want to work because I love this work and I want to work to have a better future. Let the day 2 begin. I am ready for this challenge. It’s going to be hard next few weeks. IF I can break this 2-week cycle, this will be a big win for me as I haven’t had a break longer than 2 weeks in 2-3 years. I have also been reading some of journals here. I am sorry that I am not that active on other posts, but I will try to respond and encourage others when I can. I appreciate everyone being here and reading this. I wish everyone the best in their journey.
22 July 2022 at 12:13 pm #159640
It’s always just one day at a time for anything Jay and its no different for addictions. What you need to do is want to quit. If you dont want to then it’s going to make it all the more difficult to stay motivated. I fully understand the desire to use gambling as a means to reward and escape, as that is how I got myself into the financial and personal mess I’m in now. It is not an escape, it’s just an avenue into another, bigger problem that will slap you in the face a bit later. As Kin alludes to, gambling is like a big hole in the street. How many times are you going to keep falling in the same hole before you learn to simply take another route? I was a workaholic for many years and when I no longer got what I needed from work I searched for something else to fill the void. I found gambling, debt,a new bad credit score and ended up having to change jobs anyways. It’s not enough for me to simply say find another way to reward yourself or console yourself. I need to say that what you are doing is hurting yourself and eventually, those around you. It doesnt ever end well for anyone so you have to skip to the ending, where you are losing everything and everyone in your life. I am at the point where I am teetering. I quit just in time to not lose my home but am working two jobs to make enough to cover bills and get back to where I need to be to feel secure. I now see gambling as a means to destroy my life, one that I have worked very hard to build, and that was not what I wanted to do. If gambling was alcohol or drugs, and you were using those to escape, would you see the problem then? Take whatever steps you must to put blocks in place so that you cannot access funds or slots. I’m not sure what is available where you are or how you play, but make it hard for yourself to play instead of hard to stop. You will be surprised how much easier it is to quit when it is harder to do, and if access to money is the only thing that is stopping you, do whatever is necessary to limit your access to your funds while you are vulnerable. Take it gamble free today and let’s see about tomorrow then.
22 July 2022 at 11:32 pm #159725
@losingitalways. Thank you for your message. It seems like I am seeing my future in your story which is kind of scary to even think, but I really hope and believe that this is my lowest point even though it may not be the lowest point for others. I have never missed any payments and I would like to believe that I am taking good care of my people, house or anything that needs taking care of in my life, but I know now that I can get to another lowest point If I don’t stop right now. This is why I am determined this time. My first goal is to get through 5th or 6th and pay off $800 that I owe to capital one. I will close that card once I have paid that off, so that I no longer have access to that card. In terms of my other credit cards with larger credit limits combining around $25k, I will simply give all my credit cards to my parents until I am confident and will only use my debit card from now on. I need to plan this out from now. the other step I am going to take right now is transfer money to my father’s account every month until I am sure that I can handle my money. My father probably has an idea that I gamble but we don’t talk about it. I used to feel that it was enough that I was paying off the mortgage and taking care of some of the fixed expenses but in the hindsight, I believe that I am not being fair not just to myself but to my people as well. I work hard to earn this money and I could easily save $4-5k every month after all expenses paid which is almost equal to the maximum jackpot of the slot machine’s games where I regularly pay. We don’t have any big casinos near our house, so my go to place is rather a small place with limited players and jackpots. I am somewhat relieved today that I am still positive on day 2 of gambling free thoughts. I just need to instill these positive thoughts into my mind every day, so that it becomes a habit. I don’t remember where I heard this, but someone said that it takes 30 days to break a habit and I can’t wait for Aug. 21, 2022 to come.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by jaymay22.
23 July 2022 at 8:15 am #159757
Hi Kin! hope you are doing good! Thank you for the important message. I needed to hear this because it is true. Gambling thoughts can come at any time.
23 July 2022 at 7:18 pm #159777
Hey Jay, good to hear that you are making plans to limit your access to funds if that is what will work for you. I had never missed a payment either, that is until all of my savings were gone and I had to start using credit and then, as it usually happens, the money that was earmarked for bills. I had the rudest of awakenings today when my ex husband called me (via my daughters phone which made it even worse) to ask me why he got a notification that “our” chequing account was overdrawn. He told me that he thought it had been hacked or something ” because I was the most responsible person he knew ” and I wouldn’t let that happen. Uh huh. I managed to give him and my daughter a story that was believable and it gave me a kick in the ass that I needed. I have always thought that I can keep this all to myself and no one else will ever find out, but eventually it will happen if I dont watch it from now on. I was having gambling urges lately and that squashed them quick as a bunny. I have to get the person back that used to run the show. Enough of trying to escape. What am I trying to escape that is worth all of the panic and anxiety that this is causing? Kins analogy of the hole in the street proves most useful for me because I can picture it. I am in a funk with my job. I dont like what i am doing and dont really like the people that i work with anymore. I must face the issue and resolve it and that wont be done by gambling. I add a problem to the problem and by now I’m working with a problem to the tenth power because of all of the times I tried to escape. It wont be solved by anything less than earning money and paying things off. It’s no wonder or mystery or something different than anything else you or anyone on the site has to do. I just have to stop gambling, save some money and pay things down/off. I’m sorry if I am ranting but the embarrassment and reality have hit hard here today and I need to calm myself down. I am gamble free now for over 40 days (I think, it could be more) I have stopped counting because I found that thinking of the days that I last gambled got me thinking of the last time I played and then the games and stuff so it actually got me to crave the games again and it is counterintuitive to count them for me. I will continue to be gamble free because it is what I need to do. No more, no less. I hope that you find something in this rant that you can use because it has been good for me.
24 July 2022 at 9:22 am #159803
@LosingitSlowly, your rant was very valuable. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. You and so many others on this forum give me hope of better and bright future. I am taking this challenge one day at a time. I am not thinking too far ahead now. You are right about everything you said. I can relate to most of what you said. Hopefully, one day I will have made enough progress that people can also look up to me as an example and that it is possible to live gamble free life. These are testing times for me, and I have to come out on top. I won’t lie I did get some gambling urges and thoughts today, but I quickly distracted myself and they went away. I tend to visit this forum few times a day for few minutes, so that I keep getting inspired and keep reminding myself of all the beautiful things I can do If I just don’t gamble.
25 July 2022 at 9:12 am #159865
It’s been a really productive day today. I helped few friends with their moving today and I just hung out with them for most of the day. I didn’t get any gambling urges today. I was really missing this social aspect from life. I figured that there’s so much to live for than just gambling. IF you can get occupied with friendly company and IF you take interest in your own family and surroundings in general, this is so much better than gambling where you feel all alone even if your friends gamble with you. You still feel alone because you are putting your own money on the line, not them. Normally, I tend to gamble on Sunday since I take off from work on Sundays and I usually gamble to relax or so to speak kill time, but I didn’t do that today. I am back home now, and I feel good about how my day went. I am going to watch a movie, some show or documentary for a bit and then go to sleep. I hope everyone is doing great and I hope they find interest in their social circles. It’s important to be surrounded by positive and friendly people. This is my lesson for today.
27 July 2022 at 12:09 pm #159979
Hope that you are doing well and that you post another great day. I just wanted to pass on a tip that was passed on to me regarding credit cards. If you are having a hard time not using them once you pay them off or down just call them in lost or stolen. They will put a stop on them and send you new ones in a few weeks. I just did that and then did not open them once they came. When I finally paid them off in full I then canceled them so there was no repeat. Hope that your day is good.
28 July 2022 at 1:44 am #160039
Hi @Losingitslowly, I am doing well thank you and hope you are well too :). I am still on track, and I believe today is my 6th day and I’ve already forgotten the feeling of sadness from when I lost last time and it’s a familiar feeling and I am consciously aware of this now and I am preparing myself for the day when I will get a deposit because that will be the hardest day for me, and I have no choice but get through this speed breaker. Thank you for the tip on closing credit card. As soon as I pay it off, I will most likely close it or just give the credit card to my father. this is my oldest or the first credit account. I am not sure how it will impact my credit score, but I am 100% not using it and will most likely be closing it. If they are going to give me hard time, I will use your way.
31 July 2022 at 7:57 am #160260
Hello, it’s been a minute since I posted here. I am on day 10 and I am still gambling free. There have been some positive developments in the past couple of days in terms of my work life. I have been so clear headed now that my focus is on the job these days and I truly feel from inside that I am no longer working for the purpose of having gambling budget. I added more responsibilities and projects into my work schedule, and I feel good about it at the moment. I can visualize my goal now and I am working towards the goal. I hope everyone is doing great and striving to do better.
31 July 2022 at 9:45 am #160268
31 July 2022 at 12:37 pm #160279
Hi Jay, it’s funny that you say that about being clear headed at work. I had never realized how much my gambling had affected the way I worked and the amount that I accomplished until I stopped gambling and focused on my life more. I love the clarity that I feel now. It’s like I have started a new job. When my gambling stopped me from missing work or being late or even leaving early my relationships with my boss and my co workers changed as well because I was more reliable and present when there. My work was the reason I started gambling so I felt that I didnt care if it affected it at all. I feel a bit different about all aspects of my life now and I believe that, like other substance addicts, I looked at the world through glasses that only favored those things that helped me gamble and tainted the view of those things that stopped me. I was so surprised that I was actually that far gone that it made me depressed to even think about it. We are all functioning addicts to a larger degree than substance addicts so we think that we are better. We are not. When I think of myself as an addict like the alcoholic then it takes away the allowance that I was giving myself to keep on doing it. I have cheered on my nephew for years as he tried to kick an opioid addiction and am disappointed in myself that I let myself think that I was any better. I must cheer myself on in the same way and stop to think about it on those terms when the urges rear there ugly head. I had a test of it last night and I passed, but am fearful that the urges will keep coming back and I will weaken. I have strength and you have strength, we just have to tap into it at the best time possible to kick this thing to the curb. Have a great weekend
4 August 2022 at 8:29 am #160566
hello, just an update to what has developed so far in my journey I got one of my small payments today. Eventually, I decided to pay nearly half of what I owed to capital as discussed previously. Usually by this time, I pay off my smaller credit card in full and then go on to gamble the credit card’s money plus my own money, but I haven’t tried doing that tonight. The reason why I paid off half right now, not full is because I didn’t want to feel as If I lost a lot of money from my account, and this could potentially trick my mind into thinking that I have to recover this money back from slots and I know this story has been played over and over in my mind and the result is always the same, lose it all, then put more out of my pocket and then play every week or two from other direct deposits until I hit the wall. I want to break this cycle by doing something different. I will pay off the other half either next week or before the deadline. I read about the pink cloud syndrome in one of the other posts and I could relate to that. I have had good and positive feelings ever since I decided to be gambling free. I am not sure how long this feeling will last but I will do everything I can in my power to limit my access to money and to places where I could gamble. I am almost 2 weeks in without gambling. Cheers to everyone who are striving to do better and who have been successful in their journeys of gambling free life.
10 August 2022 at 12:47 pm #161001
Hello, 20th day here without gambling. I was feeling a bit down couple of days ago and my mind was instantly switched towards finding comfort in gambling but then another thought came across my mind ” If I don’t gamble, I won’t have any financial issues” and this thought put a brake to my initial thoughts. Yesterday was also my most productive day of the year in terms of work. I need to find more hobbies or activities that I can do in times of hardship and mental stress. Any ideas? I used to exercise but haven’t been exercising for quite some time now. I think I have put on a lot of weight due to binge eating, work stress and financial stress which are probably exhausting me mentally as well. the saying, ” you are what you eat” is true. My first step was to quit gambling, now I have to take control of my health, start eating healthy, and be more physically active.
10 August 2022 at 2:03 pm #161014
For how long one day at a time? I think staying gamble free won’t matter much if I lose control of my health and end up sick. I am only asking for ideas to stay active, not asking for the reminder of one day at a time with all due respect.
10 August 2022 at 2:16 pm #161015
I should probably move on from this forum If I keep being told “one day at a time” every time I try to share something vulnerable to me. I would like to request the admin to please remove my thread as I am logging out and won’t be signing back here. Thank you to everyone who have helped and been well-wishers. Good luck to everyone on their journeys.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by jaymay22.
15 August 2022 at 8:17 pm #161379charlesModerator
It would be a shame if you moved away from the forum. If any of us could do it on our own then to be blunt we wouldn’t be in the $88t in the first place.
Stopping gambling is a day at a time. But living life isn’t. Stopping gambling allows us to plan things knowing we wopnt have blown our money the day before the plans.
What to do to fill your time? We all have different interests. Was there anything you used to do but have stopped since gambling took over? Anything you have always fancied doing but not got around to?
When i first stopped i used to go to the cinema on a day off and watch any old rubbish to fill me time. It gets easier though – gardening, running, scuba, theatre, exercie, reading, walking the dog……. Pick an interest and google it adding your local area. There will sure to be groups of people doing that interest.
If you do decide to move away from the forum then email the office – https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/about-us/contact-us/ Though then I have a question for you – what support are you going to use instead? Coz again if we could do it on our own we wouldn’t be here.
I hope you keep posting and let us know the positive steps you are taking to both not gamble and to fill your time.
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