Gambling Therapy logo
Viewing 20 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #13379
      Clarity
      Keymaster

      Hi everyone,
      I’m not sure what i am doing here. I’m almost scared to tell my story as it would be admitting to myself what a loser I have become.I hate myself right now. 
      I started gambling because it was a social thing to do in the pub with friends after work. It was enjoyable, and it wasnt for big money. We would all stand around a fruit machine competing against each other. After a while I looked forward to it too much and would spend more and more not giving up till i saw the flashing jackpot lights. Thats my weakness.
      I realized I had a problem and moved away from everyone I knew who gambled, thinking this would help me.I lost friends and became a social recluse. This became worse as I stumbled across another place to gamble and then it took hold of me again. I ended up lying to friends and family and playing fruit machines alone. I would spend hundreds of pounds and countless hours chasing those flashing lights and blue sevens, only to find myself walking home broke and unable to pay my rent. I then would lie and borrow money to cover my rent. When I should have paid back the borrowed money I gambled again to try and get back the original money i had previously lost.
      I ended up getting a loan and a racking up credit cards to fund my habit. I worked as much as I could just to have money to gamble. I couldn’t think of anything else. At first it was all about trying to get the money back, but I soon realized I had an addiction to gambling,not because I had great grandours of being rich, but because I was continuosly trying to recoup losses. I lost 7,000 pounds in my first year away from my friends. I knew I had to do something drastic, so I told my brother about my debt, but not how I got it. I told another lie, because I couldnt tell the truth. He helped me to work out my finances and consolodate it all into easy payments. I moved into my parents house and started to repay my debt as quickly as I could. I’m not saying I was perfect, I did slip up a couple more times, but eventually after 2 years it was paid off and I even had some extra saved. I was still anti social as I wanted to save every penny to pay off the debt, but at that point, having the debt paid off was a huge accomplishment. I was ready to make bigger changes.
      I decided to travel. I wanted to get away from everything. The UK was draining me off all ambitions and I left in 2007.
      I travelled all over Asia. Never once did I think about gambling. I didnt gamble once in about 4 years.
      I ended up in Vietnam, got a good job and started my own business. I loved the place and the people. I thought I had finally conquered my addiction and at last had a life which I knew I should have.
      At the beginning of 2011, my friend said we should go to the local casino. I said I didnt want to, not giving a reason other than that it wasn’t my thing. He persisted as he didnt want to go alone. After countless beers,and hours of persisting we went. We ended up playing for hours. I got completely hooked again and started going without him because I didnt want him to see how much i was spending. I lost so much and started chasing again. I went to work looking forward to the time I could finish, so i could go back to the casino.
      Over the course of this year, my gambling has got so bad that i’ve lost everything. I’ve lost my business, my girlfriend (because i was always making excuses so i could go to the casino) my closest friend (because I am always in a foul mood and never social) and almost my mind. I considered ended it all after a big loss that left me with empty pockets 2 days after payday.
      So, right now I am sitting here writing this after yet another loss and the strongest desire to stop.I cant explain why i keep doing it. I no longer enjoy it as i know before i go that i will lose. Its a vicious circle and its draining the life out of me. I want to stop,I have to stop and I will stop. I just dont know how.
      I have got 20 days until i am heading to another country to take a month off work to try and get my life in order. I have very little money now but it is just enough to survive a month. My concern is that i will go back to the casino during these 20 days and lose again, leaving me unable to go. I am unable to control the urges and find myself on auto pilot heading to the casino with cash in hand.
      I want to make a fresh start. I want to be able to put this all behind me and live my life again, happy and full of ambition. I need to make a change and need to do it fast before i ruin my life for good. I keep falling into the same trap.
      I would love to join GA groups but being in Vietnam makes that difficult. That’s the reason I am here making this incredibly long cry for help hoping that there are others with the same problem out there, with advice on how to get beyond this gambling groundhog day that is my life.
      Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Also hearing other accounts of how you got into it and more importantly what steps got you out of the routine would help me out so much!
      FOR ANYONE THAT HAS MANAGED TO READ THIS FAR i apologize for writing so much and thank you for sticking with it.
      Tomorrows another day

    • #13380
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Well, today is the first day of the rest of my life. Tired of having a roller coaster of emotions, so my aim is to think positive and stay positive.
      I woke up today in the usual way. Not remembering the financial damage I have done to myself, and then it all came flooding back. I managed to clear my mind of everything negative and start to think productively. I know that I am the only one who can change this situation, so I am the one who is in control. I made a list of things that needed to be done. Anything that has been affected by my cg .
      Some things on the list:
      Go to the Casino (without money) and self ban myself.
      Contact the friends that I have been avoiding for so long (non gamblers)
      Clean my house and try to be more organized
      Write in my journal (Here I am)
      Set myself a realistic target and reward myself. (Buying new shoes if I can get through this month)
      Go the day without telling a ***. (This is important to me. I seem to *** to avoid be social)
      LASTL Y, stop thinking about what I have done and focus on what I will do.
      So, I have been to the casino and didn’t take anything with me except my photo. They agreed to ban me. Was so embarrassed as there were many people there to see, but I think that’s better. I know now that I can’t go back there…ever.
      I have arranged to meet my friends on different days this week. This will give me the chance to get out there and break the habit of staying home and feeling sorry for myself.
      I am setting myself a target of 20 days. This is realistic for me as I have never been more than 4 days without gambling. It’s a start. Once that 20 days is completed (and I am positive I will do it) I will set another target.
      So this is day 2 of my road to recovery. Today I feel good I keep finding myself smiling at the prospect of changing my life once and for all. Although I have been catching myself happy and that little demon in the back of my mind is saying “what would make this even better would be to win some more money’’ but now I know that I have been here before and I already know the outcome. I will not be greedy and I will certainly not gamble today.Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13381
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Well, I am almost through day 2 and I have to be honest, this hasn’t been too bad. Urges have been there but I have managed to pin them down and keep busy. I think thats the key for me, keep busy and focus my mind on something else.
      I do have one question though… I want to give up smoking and I am not sure if it’s good to do it now. Will the added pressure and cravings be too much to take and therefore compromise my road to recovery? Anyone else tried giving up multiple addictions at the same time? My theory is that it might be like a band aid..do it all at the same time.
      Advice appreciated. ThanksTomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13382
      sunny123
      Participant

      well dont luke and you are doing all the right things.. the feelings of despair/remorse and repentance will be there, but as you have put physical barriers in place, these feelings can not lead you to gambling and with each day your urges will get weaker and you will become stronger..
      i also have similar list as yours and i hope and wish that we continue our journey to freedom from this disease. tomorrow will be better than yesterday.

    • #13383
      sunny123
      Participant

      and wishing you are very happy new year my friend. tomorrow will be better than yesterday.

    • #13384
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Sunny,
      Thank you for your words and support.  HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too.
       Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13385
      gunner27
      Participant

      Hi Luke
      Welcome to GT, just read your first few posts and it is great to see you taking such positive action and making positive plans, go for it Luke!
      The smoking question will be different for each person I guess, I attempted to give up earlier in 2011 when I was still in the early stages of recovery, and I found it was too much to take on, I felt doubly-deprived. I subsequently had a very bad gambling slip. Now I’ve been clean a few months I’m having another go at giving up the cigs for 2012, starting from today. If you do not feel you are being overly deprived then why not give it a shot, it is mainly a psychological hold that the cigs have over us and they certainly dont give us anything positive.
      I would only say dont overburden yourself in the early stages of recovery, you are making a great positive step forward and it is quite an involved process, as one of my favourite posters on here Bettie told me it is ‘peeling the onion’ : relearning financial responsibility, finding out more about what sort of people are CGs and the similar characteristics we share, discovering the triggers you personally are susceptible to and how to minimise these, and so on. Here’s to a better 2012. Jim
       

    • #13386
      erin
      Participant

      Hi Luke.  You are doing great with going to ban yourself from the casinos and the list you created.   In an ear***r post you asked for advice to help you get past your gambling groundhog day.  Here’s what has helped me….Come clean.  Tell your family.  Tell your friends.  Letting go of the secrets is an enormous help.  In a way it helps you feel more alive.  It helps you feel real.  Living this *** is a lot to handle and it is a great re***f to let it go.  Your family and friends may not understand the addiction, but more than likely they will be supportive. 
      Secondly, about quitting smoking right now.  I do know you can do it.  I’ve done it.  (and I chained smoked every chance I could.)  Just do it.  (by the way… that’s the title of my post.)  Don’t think about it.  Throw that pack of smokes away.  Don’t smoke one "last" cigarette.  It’s like quitting gambling, you really can’t go gambling one "last" time.  Quit.  You can do it.   If you’re like me, I loved to smoke while gambling, so if you quit smoking, it will help you to quit gambling.  I threw  my last pack of cigarettes out the window of my car on my trip back from the last time I went to the casino.  That was two months ago.  The urges will come, but they will go too.  Then they will come less frequently.  I know you can do it.
      The best to you!
      Erin
      We can’t go back and make a new beginning, but we can start now and make a new ending.

    • #13387
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Day 3… Haven’t and will not gamble.
      Woke up today WITHOUT the flooding ill feeling and memories off loss. Actually felt like it was going to be a good day. Going to stick with it and see where it takes me.
      It’s 12.40pm now and I’ve not had the urge, but know it’s going to make an appearance at some point today. I am prepared for it.
      Spent last night thinking about what I want out of life and what could be accomplished if I controlled my addiction. I kept thinking “Why can’t I have those things, be that person? The only thing that is stopping me is the vicious circle of gambling” I know I have a long way to go, but having an ultimate and realistic goal is something that will help me get past this.  I may be setting myself up for a big fall, but I feel I need something to work towards. A point to get to where I can say ”I’ve done it” or “Look at me now”.
      ‘’Erin’’ and ‘’Gunner27’’ … Thanks for the support. Both of you have different but valuable pieces of advice.  I know myself well and have tried to quit smoking in the past. It will be too much for me and I don’t want to do anything that pushes me back to my old ways. I will quit once I have a better grip of my cg recovery.
      Read another post that said something about them wishing there was a magic pill that would stop cg’s from ever gambling again. I expect there is, but why would they tell anyone they had it. Gambling is such a huge business and they want us parked on those seats all day everyday if possible. So, to anyone who slips up and goes to the casino, remember this. Those smiles they give you and the free drinks are because they KNOW you are giving them money. There can only be one winner. Winners never gamble.
      Plans for today… research more of this site. Maybe post some words to help someone else in the same boat, and search for my higher power.
      Don’t laugh but I’m going to look into meditation today. Want to see if I can close off all thoughts and find my “Happy place” (quote- Happy Gilmore) Will post again tonight to let you know how I got on.
      The most difficult thing about these first few days, is that I have been off work and usually this is the time when I gamble most.  I have had to make the effort to keep physically and mentally busy. GT has helped so much. All of the support from other members (now friends) has been overwhelming. This site is such a great place and it works! Helps to get you through the hardest part of recovery and I never expected to find as many caring and supportive people out there as I have. Thanks everyone!Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13388
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Well, It’s the end of Day 3. Didn’t gamble but wanted to so badly. At one stage the demon in me almost won, but I ended up calling a friend. We spoke about nothing important, but we laughed. I felt the urge go and I carried on with my day. I hope it gets easier as I am finding the urges are stronger every time. Maybe it’s just giving itself one final push to get me to go, but I won’t give in. I just can’t…
      I tried meditating today. Didn’t work. Just gave me back ache. Couldn’t remove all thoughts from my head.  In fact, I ended up getting more stressed coz I couldn’t do it…
      Wasn’t all a complete loss, managed to find my Higher Power.
      Music is my Higher Power. Never believed in God or other powers of faith, but music always brings me to a state of peace. It allows me to focus only on the positive and lock away the negative.
      I listened to some music that I had listened to before I became a cg. When life was an adventure and I had no problems at all. I brought me back to those days, the same feelings. I felt in control and alive again. These certain songs and albums will be played anytime I have an urge from now on. I know is an even Higher Power out there for me to discover, but for now, this will do the job.
      Tomorrow is judgment day for me. (I have never got past 4 days) If I can get past it I will know there is hope for me yet.Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13389
      soppy
      Participant

      Doing good Luke, I have just finished a heated discussion with my father,I like u have found comfort in peoples help on here, it’s nice that people can share all the terrors that come with being a cg ,if I feel **** at home or at work I just read these posts.. Wishing everyone well let’s all keep up the good work

    • #13390
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by luke*

      … Didn’t gamble but wanted to so badly …

      Good morning Luke, my name is Larry* and I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009. You have been here a few day but I would like to welcome you just the same and say well done of achieving the gambling free days that you have — recovery takes time, it is a One Day At A Time process.
      I would also like to try and encourage you to get past your "judgement day" and make it to all the following days being gambling free; encourage you to once again call a friend before you give into an urge, call and just talk about the not so important things, things that in reality are the most important things, and the things that our compulsive gambling has taken from us, including reasons to laugh.
      You made it through other days wanting to gamble but didn’t, you can make it through more of these days too. Work at not gambling each day as you live them, and not only the days that you want so badly to gamble, but the days where gambling may only be something to do out of habit, boredom, or false hope that you could once again try to control an addiction. I have found that after I accepted the fact that I could not gamble for anything, that I could not gamble at any time, the hard days were easier to get past than the not-so-hard ones; the ones that I did not have urges planted ideas that I could gamble, that I could control my gambling.
      Use your days to work on changes to less admirable character traits, like ***** and deceit, character faults that the addiction feeds on. Now that an attempt at meditation has let you find your Higher Power (music is not just entertainment, the right music can act as a a source of knowledge, thinking, and comfort), use your days to improve your conscious contact with that Power through continued meditation, and even prayer if need be, a more secular one that ask only for knowledge and strength, not salvation or forgiveness, or the Serenity Prayer that offers guidance in getting through daily life. Meditation does not have to be done through physical acts that can cause backache; yoga or prostrating oneself are selected tools to help in opening the mind, meditation is using the mind and concentrating on knowledge, if certain actions distract you in this effort, put off the physical rituals, not stop the mental exercises.
      Keep logging in, reading, posting, participating in all of the services offered here, working diligently and and taking actions daily; use what others have to offer in different ways and means to keep you gambling free and to show you the way to a more normal and better way of life.
      God’s speed, use your Higher Power to guide and strengthen you.
      * While my name is Larry, my screen name is Paul, a name with a spiritual connection the represents a man changing his way of thinking and living.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #13391
      Anonymous
      Guest

      well i’m rooting ya make it through day 4 and its a breeze for ya.

    • #13392
      vera
      Participant

      Well done on resisting the urges Luke!
      Whether it’s day 4 or day 4 hundred , they can come from nowhere "like a thief in the night"!
      Keep setting up things to do. Make plans. Arranges "dates", frequent short trips, meeting with friends. Time fillers to replace the action. Meditation in a group might be more successful than trying it alone. One of the after effects of gambling is restlessness and impatience with everything . We miss the fast action and the buzz. Walking releases stress but be careful what direction you take! Music can be consoling, but certain music reminds me of the casino and I associate it with my "good *****" there…in short, everything can act as a trigger in the early days.
      The main aim is to make it impossible to gamble, Luke. Having NO MONEY in my possession and not being alone for too long are my best alibis!
      Time and money are the main gambling ingredients.
      Glad to see you’ ve joined the pact. It’s just another way of staying interested and accountable! A useful recovery tool for some!

    • #13393
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Day 4
      ‘’Larry’, ‘’sucks2bme’’ and ‘’Vera’’… your support means so much to me. I can’t express in words how they have helped me this morning. I have so much to do today and such little time. I almost fell back into my old way of thinking and the urges were there as strong as ever. A little stressed out today and I turned to GT for support. Noticing 3 posts on my journal with such profound words of encouragement has given me that boost to challenge this day head on and NOT gamble it away because it’s the easier option.
      ‘’Larry’’ in particular. Your words hit home. I know now, however bad it gets, someone has been there before and has been through it.  If it can be done, I can do it.
      Well, can’t write much now as have a lot to do.
      My life is no longer a game. I am going to do everything that is needed of me today and not get stressed (much) and certainly not gamble.  For now, I consider myself not be a gambler but a cg in recovery.
      Hope everyone has a great gamble free day, hope to post again later tonight.Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13394
      Anonymous
      Guest

      End of Day 4…
      Did everything that I needed to and everything with a smile on my face. I hit today with the attitude that was over positive and determined that I would not gamble. I went the rest of the day without even thinking about it (which is a first for me). Kept myself busy and social. Feeling really good about myself today.
      Kinda like that movie "Yes Man" where he says yes to any invite. I had coffee with a friend and then dinner with some neighbors who kept on inviting me,but was always too busy (gambling) to accept the invitation. Had a great evening and am entering into day 5 feeling like my life is returning to some kind of normality. It’s strange but, it’s only when you come out of the cg pattern that you see how much is going on around you. Time flies when you gamble. The feeling of ‘existing’ really comes to light when you stop and take a good look around you. I think back now to when I would sit at the machines hours on end. I must have looked like a zombie…
      Anyway, I am actually exhausted and I feel good. I’m exhausted because of a natural exhaustion and not from staring at  a screen all day with my brain switched off. Hope to fall asleep quickly tonight and not have the same dream as last night. Last night i dreamt that i was ‘there’ again. I was winning throughout my dream and walked away with loads of cash. I woke up and was dissapointed. Not dissapointed because i didnt have all that cash, but because i had gambled. **** subconcious, give me a break tonight please. I have earned a good nights rest!
      Tomorrow is another day and I am looking forward to making it another gamble free day.
       

    • #13395
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by luke*

      End of Day 4…
      … Last night i dreamt that i was ‘there’ again …
      Tomorrow is another day and I am looking forward to making it another gamble free day. 

      Good morning Luke,
      Well done, you have passed you judgement day; you are now able to look forward to making the following days gambling free.
      I see dreams like your as being  our addiction subconsciously tempting us and trying to regain control, control that is being lost to our resolve and determination to live gambling free. Keep working at keeping the addiction at a disadvantage.
      God’s speed. Stay strong.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #13396
      desdemona
      Participant

      Hi Luke! I tried quitting smoking in early recovery and at almost a month of smoke free time, I caved, Not smoking brought out urges to gamble and to smoke, so I choose to smoke again, as I didn’t want to risk my gambling recovery. I thought it would be cheaper too. LOL! Some people can manage both addictions at the same time, but I couldn’t. I needed time to learn about the addiction and to learn new coping skills for recovery. If you’re like the rest of us, you will start experiencing raw emotions that you haven’t felt in a long time. I didn’t have the coping skills to manage these emotions in early recovery, so it was important that I put in barriers such as banning myself from the casino, lowering the limit on my debit card to an amount that wouldn’t interest me to go gamble with, making sure I carried a credit card that did not allow me to access money from, and a host of other things, like making a list of bills to pay and upcoming expenses such as gas, groceries, for the next two weeks. Lists of all kinds were helpful to me such as the pros and cons of gambling, recreational activities to participate in when my brain screamed to gamble, etc. When my addiction tried to highjack my brain, I wouldn’t be able to think about anything but gambling so the lists displayed prominently reminded me of why I shouldn’t gamble and what I could do instead. Read other people’s posts and keep posting yourself because you are in the honeymoon stage of recovery where you feel that it isn’t so difficult to work recovery, but as others have said, overwhelming urges can overtake you at any time of recovery, so be prepared. Work your recovery one day at a time. Carole

    • #13397
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Carole,
      I decided not to give up smoking just yet. I agree with you totally. I couldn’t manage everything at once. Will give up later down the line. Gambling is having a greater effect on my life, until that’s been put to rest I will not stop.
      Day 5 today and still with it. Have had the urge already and was a tough one to battle, hence being on here now. I do feel better when I post in my journal and then read other peoples posts.
      As Carole said, this is the honeymoon period and I am experiencing days when I feel it is easy to recover, but I am not being complacent. I have tried before and I know this stage well. The real test is when I have an urge that is at a time when I am having difficulties in my life. Maybe this won’t soon, maybe it will be in a week, month or even a year, but I WILL battle it and continue in my recovery. My confidence to beat this is stronger than ever. Today I have no access to gambling as I have self banned every option previously available to me. I have all my money in places out of my reach and goals set for the next 2 weeks.
      Larry, thanks again for your post.Tomorrows another day. Just hope I don’t gamble it away…

    • #13398
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Didn’t get a chance to post here yesterday. Was so busy. I am enjoying being busy and focusing on other things for a change.
      Today I don’t have much to do, so normally a trigger for me, but I am avoiding all thoughts of gambling.
      It’s been a week now of being gamble free. I’ve had my ups and downs, but stuck with it. I know that however much I want to gamble, I just can’t and won’t.  I have been feeling good this week and more importantly, feeling good about myself. The challenges I am facing feel like they are beyond my control, yet I know that they must be in my control for me to succeed.
      I don’t have much else to say today, except that I will continue each day at a time. Feel content and happy with everything I do have and not chase materialistic dreams. I found a quote today that I wanted to share…
      "Understand that most problems are a good sign. Problems indicate that progress is being made, wheels are turning, you are moving toward your goals. Beware when you have no problems. Then you’ve really got a problem … Problems are like landmarks of progress." – Scott Alexander

    • #13399
      erin
      Participant

      Way to go Luke!!!!  One week and doing great!  Keep it up.  I’m rooting for you!  Each and every day that is gamble free is another day to celebrate.
      Also great quote.  When going through tough ***** and problems, it’s hard to see a positive side of things.  I’m printing it off and hanging it up on my wall to remind that problems aren’t such a bad thing.  Thank You!!!  🙂

Viewing 20 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.