2 May 2022 at 7:00 pm #153642richvParticipant
Hi, I am a 42 year old male who has a compulsive gambling addiction. For the past 3 years I have battled somewhat unsuccessfully with getting help and support. For myself like many others it started out as just a bit of fun, the odd five quid on a football bet, a couple of quid of the slot machines which inevitably turned into bigger issues. Those of you reading this will no doubt associate with what I am about to write, so here is my story.
Like I said I am 42 I work full time in what can be a pressurized and demanding job, for me gambling started as a bit of fun on a Saturday doing the odd football acca 5 quid each Saturday. Back then it didn’t matter if I won or lost because for me it was just a bit of fun…..until….
One Saturday I had a good win and thought ooooh nice, that was the start of where things went wrong.
Betting turned to gaming, gaming turned into slot machines, slots machines turned into hell.
I soon became addicted to online slot machine games inparticular a game called Cops and Robbers, 5 quid turned into 10, 10 would turn to 20 and so on, you all know how it works I’m sure.
Don`t get me wrong, at the start it was manageable, I would always ensure there was enough money to cover bills, debts etc but the deeper it got the worse my behaviour became. Over the course of the first year I dread to think how much I had lost because of this….
One year after starting to gamble is when my life completely changed. One day whilst at work I had a phone call from my ex wife to say my mum had been rushed into hospital, as I got to the hospital she had suffered a massive stroke and sadly 2 days later she passed away. I spiraled in the worst way possible turning to my addiction to cope with the grief I was going through.
My then wife filed for divorce citing unreasonable behaviour, I lost my wife my house my friends and went on an absolute bender. The rest of my family turned their back on me, work was just a daily chore of grind and toil, all I could think about was getting online to gamble, at this point nothing else mattered to me.
Moving on to the present day and nothing has changed in terms of the gambling, in fact it is worse than ever, I have a new relationship with the most wonderful person, at the start I was completely honest with her about the gambling and it started off really well, the gambling had resided a little and I was happier than I had been in a long time…but as you all know it never truly goes away and now it is worse than ever. I am in debt so much and pains me to even think about trying to sort it, our relationship is completely strained and damaged all because of the compulsion I have to gamble. For the past 2 months every penny of my wages have funded my addiction and I’m talking thousands of pounds. By writing this it is a start of my journey to stop gambling but I am not so stupid to believe that this changes anything overnight. I guess what I really want right now is advice and support from other compulsive gamblers and to offer me help and guidance in how to beat this and start living my life again.
There is so much more I could write but in time I hope to continue my journey with some of you.
Currently I am 3 days into not gambling.
Thanks for reading
2 May 2022 at 7:00 pm #153765charlesModerator
Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums. By posting to the forums you’re allowing the diverse and caring Gambling Therapy community to help support you through the difficulties you’re facing.
This may well be a tough time for you – particularly if you’re new to recovery, so we encourage you to post here as often as you need to, as well as making use of the online groups and the live advice helpline if you’d like some one-to-one support. We’re all in this together! If you’re a new member, you are warmly invited to join Charles in one of the New Members Practical Advice groups (Mondays at 21:00 UK Time and Thursdays at 19:00 UK Time).
The forum is a great place to share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. By writing it all down you can start to build a record of your progress that you can look back on – particularly useful if you’re ever feeling stuck. Share as much or as little as you like – but you’re encouraged to stick to keeping to just one thread in this forum – so people know where to find you to check in on your progress or to share something with you.
The Gambling Therapy staff team don’t generally post to the forums as it is a peer support area of the site – so we’ll hand you over to the community from here.
The Gambling Therapy Team
3 May 2022 at 12:09 am #153791jvr3419Participant
Hi richv welcome and I commend you on taking the first steps towards your recovery. Your absolutely right that it doesn’t happen overnight. Alot of my gambling spiraled out of control because of grief to so I understand where your coming from. The first place I had to start was getting myself banned from all online sites. Then i got a gambling counselor. He specializes is gambling and trauma therapy. The trauma therapy is whats really helped me to get a grip on my addiction.I then proceeded with recovery based programs. I’ve been in other support groups for along time so I started doing stepwork and reaching out to other recovering addicts for support. Some people find that rehab works better to because your forced to remove yourself from all temptation and life stressors. But basically without support white knuckling it doesn’t work. I wish you all the best and sending you lots of strength
3 May 2022 at 10:07 am #153808sjc1Participant
Hi Richv and jrv3419. My story is so similar – the more stressed I feel about life events the more I gamble and get self-destructive. I know I mustn’t spend the money I cant afford anyway to gamble and yet I just cannot stop. I’m helpless. It spirals out of control. No amount of self control is enough. If I limit my gambling and feel controlled it seems to ebb away when ‘life’ comes up to bite me. I know that the only way to stop is to cut out the gambling completely. But I feel powerless and scared to take this decision. Its like taking a step back in time to when I didn’t gamble. Its scaring the crap out of me that I am no so reliant on it.
5 May 2022 at 12:16 pm #154012LosingitslowlyParticipant
Richv, sounds like a very bumpy ride to get where you are today and it sounds like you are wanting to get off of the ride. Good. The best way to start addressing recovery is to admit that you have a problem, which you have and then remove the problem substance from your life. I am a big fan of blocks – not building blocks but blocks that stop you from gambling. If you play online then get gamban on your devices. If you go to the casino have yourself excluded from their premises so that if you are caught there, you can be arrested. Do what you can to help yourself out in the first weeks by restricting your behaviour any way you can. Remove immediate access to funds so that it is harder to act rashly. I’m sure you can think of a number of ways to block your behavior but be aware of the discomfort that you will feel. Your brain will try to stop at least one way to block so that it has an out. It’s too hard for it to quit right now so it will try to stop you from doing af least one. It will have good reasons, it always does. Do yourself a favor and dont listen to it. Stop your ability to gamble and the rest will come later. Hope that you heed this and have a good day.
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