4 February 2022 at 7:18 pm #147997
So, for an hour or so I tried to find a way to deposit into an online casino using my credit card. When I think of all of the time and effort that I wasted….. I’m usually not that patient. But the addict isnt really me, is it,? I keep thinking over and over how I let it get the best of me. I can identify the cues when they come. I start to feel the lull that I feel when I play. It’s like my mind is craving the fix and it’s starting to fool with me so I will play. It allows me to pick up any implements necessary so that I can play. It makes me crave the excitement. It encourages me to make just one deposit. It’s never just one. After the first spin I am hopeless. I feel lost and empty when the money is gone and can only think about how to find more – just like a drug addict or alcoholic. The only difference between them and me is that I dont have to have it, I choose to. I have an addictive personality that over indulges at anything that gives it pleasure and it’s been an issue with smoking, food, alcohol and relationships for my entire life. I’m in my 50’s now and should know better, but this is different. Its something I cant fix on my own. I’m waiting for an email back from CAMH to try to get some real constructive help. I will try to post daily to make it clear where I am with myself and anyone who reads this. Todsy is a wash, tomorrow is another day. So much for “dry February “.
4 February 2022 at 7:52 pm #147999vintagehobyParticipant
Hey,its good that you wrote here,you will realize that there is a lot people like you,myself included.I think gambilng is the worst legal thing thats happening right now.It is advertised and promoted everywhere.Dont be ashamed of yourself,we are humans after all.Iv been in this cirlce for more than 2 years now,it has truly been a hell for me,as you said,there are much better things in life to do and be happy about.Hope you will feel better while you are here,after all we are here to help each other with words and give a portion of hope that we will beat this one day.
4 February 2022 at 11:23 pm #148011
Thanks vintagehoby. I am too aware of the number of people afflicted with addiction in my family and out there, and I never thought that I would be truly ADDICTED to anything again after I quit smoking. I know the reason why I started, I understand the biochemistry of my brain once I begin to gamble, I just can’t figure out why I continue when it makes me so miserable. I always thought that I was strong. I feel so weak and pathetic. Why do I continue to cave in? What is going to have to happen to me to get me to stop? I need yo figure out what exactly I have to do ( medication maybe?) to stop my mind from being able to trick me onto thinking that I can gamble “just a little” at any point in time.
5 February 2022 at 4:40 am #148027Cruising247Participant
Welcome to the forum Losingitslowly!
5 February 2022 at 6:41 am #148028sjc1Participant
Losingitslowly – it’s a constant rollercoaster that thunders up & down. One minute I can feel strong and dedicated to stopping and the next minute I’ve gambled money that was needed for an important thing. I actually despair that I’m so weak. I did it last night. So angry and upset with myself.
5 February 2022 at 8:20 am #148030
As I read your posts I recognized exactly how my brain works. I always want to no exactly why everything works the way it does. I always figured with me it’s a form of needing control and a mix of intellect I guess. Gamblers tend to be highly intelligent people were not dumb by any means.The addiction itself is what’s making you go back each time. Your brain has developed a “need” to gamble. It’s just like needing to eat we do it because we have to stay alive. You said you understand the biological effects happening. What’s happening there is like how using cocaine works. Your own brain stops being able to produce its out dopamine because we’ve been using a reward system like gambling or other stuff. We start using substances or behavior related rewards because we have a chemical imbalance, most of the time caused by some kind of psychological event thats happened in our lives. In order to truly stop you need something to reset inside of yourself. Our brains are like computers we can add and delete programs. I look at addiction as a virus that needs to be deleted. For visual representation lol if youve ever seen a virus program delete stuff you will notice how many “bugs” are found in a big list. I look at it as knocking out those program bugs one by one when getting rid of an addiction. How I have finally stopped is through getting help for my PTSD. One reason rehabs work to stop to is because your forced to be removed from your addiction and work on your stuff. I’ve personally never gone to rehab for any of my addictions but I’ve thrown myself into recovery rooms or counseling everytime I’ve had an addiction this has worked for me. Get to the route of why your brain is escaping and needing that dopamine hit thats the key. Start talking about your inner pain and releasing those “bugs”.
5 February 2022 at 10:36 am #148037
Thanks sjc1 and jvr3419. I woke this morning feeling the despair and with all of the determination of a prize fighter to fight this thing with all of the strength I have – the same as every other morning after. I am a strong and determined woman. I know that. The problem lies in that my mind becomes “determined” to do a lot of things, and one of them is gamble. Like everyone else out there, I am great at abstinence when there is no time or opportunity. The problem lies in when there is time and opportunity- my mind quickly turns from determined not to gamble to determined to just play a little. Jvr3419, I know that I have had many issues in my life that stem from lack of impulse control. I do know that i need the dopamine fix that comes from rash and impulsive behavior and have been in many dysfunctional relationships as a result. This is the latest situation that i have been needing to get myself out of and sometimes i wonder if the actual need to save myself is part of the problem as well. Do i create the “drama” so that i have something to work on? As with you, I should most likely be treated for PTSD as my life has been a series of traumas from a relatively early age, but reliving it all at this point in my life seems redundant. I feel that, if I’ve made it this far, even if it’s simply been by shoving it all way down deep, I should be able to get through this too by finding a new coping technique. I need to find something that will work with me and my needs. I did have a call from CAMH, which is a centre for addiction. I will touch base with them and try to find a way to use their services to help. Good luck on ne more day gamfree everyone.
5 February 2022 at 1:56 pm #148044
If music is any inspiration to anyone reading this, I find encouragement in the music of Breaking Benjamin. The content deals with addiction and pain, something lead singer has been dealing with for years. “Torn in two” and “the dark of yoy” are two of the later songs that hit home with me and sometimes it’s a bit comforting to know that others, including incredible musicians, fight the same fight we do, albeit a different affliction. Stay strong.
5 February 2022 at 3:52 pm #148049
Hey again I no exactly what you mean by the redundant feeling of reliving the trauma. Unfortunately I’ve gotten worse because it’s never been treated properly. The entering unhealthy relationships is because of your traumas probably. It was for me anyways. We unconsciously gravitate to what we no. I remeber seeing somewhere once that said in that “victim mode” I’ll express it as, is easier because its what becomes comfortable. We only no disfunction as traumatized people. The only way to end that cycle is to undo that stuff. I always prided myself on knowing I can do everything myself which is technically me just controlling everything. Because of this I just end up retraumatizing myself over and over. Hence the wonderful addiction to gambling and horrible relationships I’ve had. As someone who has been through every form of abuse or negative bs that can probably happen in your life I understand that reliving it is far from being a wonderful experience. Right now I’m doing a form of EMDR treatment. My therapist specializes in taoism based EMDR treatment so it mixed the rapid eye movement with Chinese medicine and philosophy.I had the worst session yet yesterday and it was the worst memory to want to relive. As a women yourself to you probably no what I’m talking about on which senerio you don’t want to relive the most. I haven’t met one female addict who hasn’t gone through it anyways without having to spell it out. Does it suck? oh hell yes, is it beyond painful to see again, yup, but I’m dealing with it and by bringing it forward consciously I have the ability to get it to f*ck off from destroying me with more and more with addictive behaviors. I thought my problem was grief because ive had immense loss turned out it was the abuse my body and mind held onto the most. I wouldn’t of fully known that if I didn’t start the process. I no its hard to take that first step and I wish you all the strength you can possibly retain to get through this. If I can do this so can you. Feel free to talk to me anytime if you need to I have my own “novel” posts on here under new here.
5 February 2022 at 7:23 pm #148061
Hello again. I am aware that the “trauma” to which you are referring has shaped me both positive and negative, but I am fairly sure that the incident that pushed me into gambling was a more recent one. I am (was) a workaholic for many years and thrived being a very dedicated and strong employee. It was my identity for a very long while. About 14 years ago our very large company changed leadership and the resulting turmoil is very much as most people experience. New people meant change, and while I was not bothered by change itself, the very fact that those who had been stellar employees fell into disfavor very quickly, and the fact that my job was in real jeopardy, changed me for the worse. I lost my only identity ( other than being a mom) at that time. I have never been the same since. I have lost my confidence. I have lost the one thing that drove me to achieve. I have gained weight. I dont sleep well. I am constantly afraid of disappointing my bosses, something that never would have been a part of my being back before this. Gambling came as a way to put it all to rest in my mind. Now it has taken over and I cant seem to get back what I lost. I want to be the old me. I want to reel confidence but the fact that I am an addict undermines any chance of that happening. I need to address this, yes, I understand, but knowing what it is surely is a step in the right direction.
As for the old trauma(s), yes, more than one, I will get to those once I’ve got the biggest burden of my life under control. Hope you are strong and well.
6 February 2022 at 3:53 am #148081
You got this 😊your taking all the right steps especially by coming here and letting this stuff out. Your gonna find that women again just like I’m finding myself again. Patience with the process is the hardest part but I promise this shitty part of life is going to get better. I believe it can for me so I no it can for you to.
6 February 2022 at 12:35 pm #148106
I’m an early riser. The thoughts that go through my mind as I wake are unbelievable. If I have had a good day the day before I wake with energy and enthusiasm that many find annoying. I tackle the day like it’s my mortal enemy. I can achieve an unbelievable amount of work and still work 2 jobs. Then, when I’ve had a bad day, I cant even get up. The day is too much. I dont finish anything. I have found mysel calling in sick to work or being incredibly late because I’ve started gambling in the morning and cant stop. It’s not until it’s all gone that it’s over and then my next few days are hell. I want to ride the wave of enthusiasm that I have when I dont gamble but just as many of us do, i let my brain start to think about it. I get the “lull”, it’s the relaxed feeling that i get when i gamble, and i dont get it anywhere else. My mind teases me with it and then i go looking for more. I know all of the cues. I am able to avoid it at certain periods by not going directly home after work or leaving the house to go shopping. My phone is my enemy. I have installed blockers on it but accidentally found a way around it and it cant be blocked anymore. I am starting my day two. I have been up for hours and am strong in my resolve TODAY. I am working job #2 today,which I took for the money and to get me out of the house on the days that I am not working job #1. The next 4 days look good. I work job #1 each day so that I have no opportunity to play if I don’t let myself slip first thing in the morning. I have self excluded from all the sites I am on. The issue will fall on day 5, friday, when i am off of job #1 and maybe job #2. Its usually then that my resolve dissipates and i find myself wanting to “relax”. I know that i am fine today, which i guess is all that we can really strive for, one day at a time, but i am looking ahead to the sink hole that gets me each week, friday, and hoping that i can find the strength to mark a 7th day as free of this week.
7 February 2022 at 7:08 am #148153Cruising247Participant
Go ahead and plan out your day for Friday, schedule things to do that you use to enjoy, but stopped due to gambling.
Treat yourself to a nice lunch.
You got this. I recently had to start my days over, but it’s ok. It’s better to start over than to keep digging that hole deeper.
7 February 2022 at 12:05 pm #148165
Funny you should say that because I sat down with me daytimer, as I do each week, and put in my work schedule (which can eat up all 7 days, if I’m lucky) but am unsure if I’m going to be working a couple of days. That scares me. I know it wont, in time, but at this point, free time costs me big. I have planned to do some grocery shopping and some cleaning, but the challenge is getting past the 10 a.m. mark, when I have done a few chores but want to sit and RELAX and enjoy a coffee or two. It is then that the creepers start and o seem to have no logic or self control. I always pick up my phone to check something else and end up on a new site that has sent me an email. I’ve done all of the logical steps to try and prevent it but it always comes down to thos- I have to sit down some time and I cant avoid the situation. I need to be able to act lime I do without ending up on the same situation. It’s like smoking after a meal. If you are trying to quit smoking you cant avoid eating forever. I need to be able to harness the thoughts that lead to the behavior and take control of them. In the short term it may be necessary to just avoid the situation, and I might try that this week. Let’s look to another gambling free day today as we all look to add one more day to out tallies. Keep strong everyone
8 February 2022 at 11:42 am #148209
Well, I got through last night, which is great, and am adding one more day to my tally. I’m on day four now. I said to myself this morning that I will make 7 days this time. I say it every week and i am praying that, by joining this forum, I will feel that the accountability will help. I was all alone last night when I got home from work, save for the two yipping dogs, and this would usually be a time where I would cruise the internet for casinos to join. I am lucky that I have self excluded from most, so I need to find new ones all of the time. It takes time, and effort, and sometimes stops me from even trying. There are the ones that send me emails in my spam files every day. There are always 5 or 10 offering me free spins or something, and sometimes they are the ones I try to join. I have decided that during the day, when I am at work and unable to give in to any urges that may arise, I delete all of those emails every day so that there is nothing left to tempt me when I get home or the next morning. I am finding that if I do some preventative measures in the times that I am on track and have some strength I am better equipped to handle the urges when the opportunity for me to gamble is there. Last night I didn’t allow myself to access my phone. It stayed in my purse and i had a list of small chores for myself to do after work to keep my mind occupied. I also had dinner already ready for myself, as for some reason, I am less likely to gamble if I have eaten and am satiated. It is a small victory for some, but it is a step in the right direction for me so I claim one more day.
8 February 2022 at 1:08 pm #148211
Great job on fighting through that alone time. That’s the hardest part is getting through the thoughts that creep it. Especially if depression, or a stressor is starting to eat you up. There’s a saying to in recovery its called HALT meaning check if your hungry,angry,tired or lonely. Those are the trigger times for people. With those emails if you scroll all the way down to the bottom in very small fine print there is an unsubscribe button from those casino sites that send those emails. My emails have become much fewer these past few months since I’ve figured out how to Unsubscribe. It’s super tiny on some of them it’s not where it typically says to unsubscribe its literally at the very bottom where nobody ever scrolls to. Lol the assholes no how to hook people in thats for sure. Wishing you a great day 😊
8 February 2022 at 4:26 pm #148225
I have found that , even if I unsubscribe to one, the sister casinos start with another name and send me one. It never ends. To me, the act of deleting is an affirmation that I’m not giving in. It empowers me. I cannot go to any land based casinos in my province because I have self excluded, in person, so that the very act of going in could get me arrested. It was when I thought that I had said enough is enough. I found the casinos so depressing afterwards that I would be in a funk for a week. I hardly ever went for that reason but the temptation was there and I have to rid myself of all possible means to gamble. I have blockers on my laptop that are quite effective but not so much on my phone. The next couple of days will be tough for me but I am leaning on you and others to give me the strength to get through. If you need anything just post and j will try to get back asap.
8 February 2022 at 10:53 pm #148249
I understand about the physical casinos. I went in one time buy myself where I live and never went back. I felt so disgusting and uncomfortable being in there. The only other time I was is them was when I had my vacation in Vegas about 2 1/2 years ago and man that place made me paranoid as hell. I felt watched 24/7 because we are lol. Same goes to you if you need anything just ask. I no the down times are the hardest but you sound like your getting a good grasp of triggers and how to handle them. You got this😊 just keep posting constantly even if you gotta do it all day to stay accountable whatever works.
9 February 2022 at 1:48 pm #148278
At this point, the only therapy that I can access daily is this site, and I think that it is probably the most effective. I read the despair of others and their feelings of hopelessness and it helps me identify with mine. I am so good at masking my own pain that no one would ever know that it exists. It fools me sometimes and I try to believe that everything is just fine. It’s not. I am entering into my day 5, working later today as we are on shifts and feeling the “tingles” as I picked up my phone. I could play for a short time before I go to work, my mind says to me, and I try to disregard as I access this site. After reading and responding to you and others the tingles go away and I am stronger. I will not gamble today and I know that for a fact. I will put down my phone when I am one this post and move on to sometime more constructive than gambling and I will feel good about my decision. Thank you to everyone for being there for me. Hope that you are strong today
10 February 2022 at 12:35 pm #148351
I was right. I did not gamble yesterday. I made it through the morning and got into work on time ( which never happens if I am engaged in a morning bender) and although I had a bad day with one of my co workers ( who is a total ass and likes to try and vent all if his pent up anger on me constantly) I stayed at work, finished my day and came home. My issue started when I came home. I am a bit of an odd duck when it comes to my home. I spent some time in my teen years in foster homes. I had a point in my life where I was homeless at 16 and living in a hostel in Toronto. I finally found a place where I could stay but had to pay rent and so I have been working to support myself for most of my adult life. I consider my home as my sanctuary. I dont like people to just drop in. I can have people over but it takes a bit of mental preparation and usually a lot of fussing before I feel comfortable. If I need something fixed, it takes a while before I am comfortable with having someone I dont know come in. It’s my “thing”. I have a daughter with multiple “things”. I came home yesterday to find that she had had someone over to the house. She knows how I am and still disregarded my feelings. I came home to a place that I could not feel comfortable in and did not sleep well. I am still dealing with the feelings today and realize that my gambling has made these feelings even more intense since this is the place where my secret is. I gamble at home. My house is in a bit of a disarray at this point because we had covid last month and hadnt taken down the Christmas tree and decorations and they are now waiting to back in the garage everywhere I need to vaccuum badly but havent had much time lately working the two jobs and gambling when I had spare time. I realize that I need to get some things done and started this morning but I cant shake the feeling of being violated. If my daughter has this little respect for the toll having someone in without me being prepared has, how do you think she would treat me or respect me if she knew about my addiction? I will stay strong today. The feelings I am still processing have left me unable to even think about trying to relax and that is what I need to do to get my mind into gambling mode. Perhaps she did me a favor? I hope everyone is strong today.
10 February 2022 at 2:11 pm #148361
Good on ya for getting through another gamble free day.
Letting go of “controlling” situations is the hardest. I have severe control issues from how my past shaped me so I get it. When I feel a loss of control in my life or when others maybe trigger me is when I start being more controlling and I’m not a nice person when I’m like that.It’s one of the many things therapy eventually brings out of you is seeing behaviors and trying to figure out how to change them for the better. I was forced to write out behaviors years ago during a course I took. I had this one where I became obsessed with little dirt specks being on my windshield and I ended up burning out my wiperblades all the time. I didn’t consciously realize that behavior till I really looked at it. I was in an abusive relationship at the time and constantly felt threatened and attacked so I was trying to control the dumbest shit like a speck of dirt being on my window lol.
10 February 2022 at 8:40 pm #148380
Its obsessive compulsive disorder with a smidge of anxiety issues blended in. I am fully aware that I tend towards the obsessive side of the spectrum and I try to balance things as best I can. I’ve been responsible for myself and my environment for so long that I NEED to be a bit on the far side of things in order to feel safe and prepared. For the most part it has worked out for me because I am an incredibly conscientious employee and mother. It doesnt work in some social situations and a few mundane everyday things like having people over to my house. My house is my personal space to me, not just a structure. I need to have a bit more coaxing when it comes to having people over, quite like trying to get someone to have intercourse. I need time. I know it’s most likely a function of abuse,as we have concluded, but it is present nevertheless. Work on it I will when I get the other thing I’m woorking on sorted out.
10 February 2022 at 9:27 pm #148383steph40Participant
Great job on staying gamble free. Besides this site, I also use a few apps on my phone “gambling addiction calendar” and “gambleless” which has some great information to through and worksheets etc..the more supports the better
11 February 2022 at 7:02 am #148403ujju197Participant
Just to write and share, whatever we used to call our gambling addiction ” an illness or disorder”, but the bitter truth is we are the one who are responsible for this and we are the only one who can cure ourselves.
So request all my friends here, just stick to the plan don’t let the guard down. And, try to save others who are new to this addiction if someone in your social circle.
I, myself is in lot of pain and guilt for my evil activities in last 2-3 years. I have literally ruined my family life, but by grace of god and blessings of you all guys here got to know that “Its only me who can fix this, but this fixture will require patience and time” may be double or triple of the time which is been taken to ruin the same.
So request all to keep your guard On, think of beautiful future which is waiting for us ( we just need to pass this messy road, and we will be in valley of happiness soon)
Almighty will grace all of us with strength and immunity to stay away from this evil demon.
11 February 2022 at 11:12 am #148415
When I look at the nuts and bolts of gambling I am trying to think of it as something much less sinister. We are all confronted by an activity that we must avoid. If this was not going to a particular store, not eating a particular food, or not speaking to a particular person I believe that we could do it. We could rationalize with ourselves that the activity in question is not good for us, is too costly or leads to otherwise bad results. Why is it that our brains can rationalize that kind of avoidance but not gambling? What does it provide for us other than an escape to an even worse reality than the one that we exist in currently? We never walk away with money, contentment or pride. We hate ourselves afterwards. It depresses us and gives us yet one more thing that we must hide and lie about. It doesnt make us feel any better about who we are or what has happened to us. It only lets us escape from our grim reality for just a while, then it drops us right back in, only the situation is worse and so are we. I am strong today. I am like an addict. My nephew is a heroin addict and when I first found out I thought ” well gee, all he has to do is kick the habit. He has to pick him self up, dust himself off and start treating himself with more respect.” Same goes here. All I have to do is nothing. Not play. Not give in to a mental craving, which is easier than a physical one. I have to be thinking, all of the time during the times when I am most prone, that I cant do this to myself anymore. I have to remember the sorrow and pain of you, all of you, and think that if I can overcome, we all can. I have spent the last week being more of me than i have in a long while. It’s been refreshing. I liked the old me and i think i really do want to start liking me again. I’m tired of feeling so different from everyone around me. I’m joining the human race again today. I’ve been on the outside way too long. It may take a while to begin to find a source of a dopamine high, but the feelings I have in its place are so much better than the loss that I feel the other 95% of the time after I gamble. It’s a trade off I’m willing to make. I’m going to mark today as my day 7 with confidence as I know I will not gamble today. Hope you all are strong today as well.
11 February 2022 at 7:17 pm #148474
What did I just post 8 hours ago? I screwed up because a casino told me I still had money in and I fell for it. I must start again. Sorry to you and myself for thinking I had this licked.
11 February 2022 at 11:06 pm #148483
They will do anything to get you back. They sent me a 2500 dollar apple giftcard last month after I asked them to never contact me again. Block the emails by any means and make sure your self exclusions are made forever not just the 180 days that some of them do. They are literally just drug dealers thats it they no who to target and it’s gross. You can start again that’s the main thing. I tried a few times to stop before but didn’t really try that hard the first few times. I made the self exclusions but didn’t try that hard to work on the recovery part. Once I had my gambling counselor I had one relapse and that was purely because I was holding on from self excluding from one site knowing they still owed me cash and one of those stupid 15 % payouts. Going back and even looking will retrigger us to play.
12 February 2022 at 10:51 am #148504
I have trouble self excluding from some so they make it so difficult to do it. They make you contact support and when you mention that you want to self exclude they just leave you hanging indefinitely. Then when you do finally get hold of someone again they say it will be for one day and then they will send you an email and then you have to reply to it to make it permanent, but that email never happens. I have, on some that do not have an auto self exclude buttons, put in limits to my deposit at the lowest amount possible. I know that I felt so strong in the morning, I wanted so bad to hit the 7 day mark for the first time in a long time, and I thought that I had it under control. I thought that I could go back to that casino and just get the $75 that they had put into my account. When I saw the games and felt the rush, that was it. I was a goner. The feeling in my stomach of the adrenaline was too much to resist. I thought that I could just play out that money and be done, but I was wrong. The end result is that I am still not as strong as I need to be to be confronted by the temptation at this point. I am an alcoholic 6 days sober who walked into a bar, sat down and had a drink right in front of them. My game plan didnt work this time. I need to adjust my game plans from now on in to include total evasion. I will need to make sure that I do not expose myself to the temptation when I am at my most vulnerable, which is in the morning on my “day off” . Here I sit, at day one again. I am disappointed in myself. I hope that by being honest with you I can no longer hide being at day one again and that my shame will put this failure in the front of my brain. I did not win the fight. I lost. Hard to say to oneself and to others, but in pain I will find strength. Hope you all are strong today.
14 February 2022 at 12:07 pm #148612
Entering day 3 with hope. It’s funny, but the things that most people take for granted as being part of every day life have become things I must make sure to write down and schedule. I put hem in there as road blocks to block me from taking the wrong path again. I try to fill my day with activities that really should just be part of what I do to maintain my existence, but because gambling has taken away my sense of normalcy and inclusion, I feel like I need to write them down to account for my time. I look around me sometimes and see only the people that seem to have it all together. I’m a mess. My house is in disarray and so am I. I stopped taking care of myself when I started this ride to hell and I need to get back to the land of the living. It Is Valentine’s day today and my daughter is celebrating with her new boyfriend. I’ve been married 3 times. I’m good. I dont miss the relationship part of life at this point because I would really have nothing worth offering to anyone else. How could I share with someone when I can’t give myself almost nothing worth taking? I need to be more like the old me, which means tapping into what made me unique and strong. It’s a day for love, and today we should all love ourselves. I know that today I will see lots of people who look like they have it all, but I know, that if you look really close, you will see the cracks, the faults, and In there will lie the truth. I am not alone. There are many who strive to be better, more, happier. Hope everyone is strong today.
14 February 2022 at 1:51 pm #148625
Yes loving yourself that’s the hardest part to learn. Yesterday my sponsor held her arms out like she was going to hug me then pointed her fingers back toward herself making a heart shape. She said this is what you need to do for yourself. I’ve never made that heart shape with my arms before acknowledging it was pointing toward nyself. Though it’s just a physically expression it’s a powerful one.
18 February 2022 at 2:05 pm #149165
I’ve been having a bad week. That is all inclusive, but my self control seems to be at an all time low. I came home last night from work where, by all accounts, I had a good day. I had the house to myself and there was a storm brewing outside which was dumping freezing rain and lots of snow. I had my odd little dinner of bits and pieces and for no reason at all, started to surf for online casinos that I could play on. I didnt even bat an eye. I have noticed that my ability to focus and process things had been much slower lately, and I’m not sure if it’s because I am trying to do too many things at one time and age has hampered my multitasking abilities, or if I have just lost that edge that makes it possible for you to stick with things for the sheer joy of being consistent. I am and always have been a list person. My daytimer was my bible. I would write not only everything I had to do, but everything I have done as well so I could check back and see how much I could accomplish in a day. Last year, in January, I tore out my kitchen floor a bit at a time every day after work and on my day off, reinstalled the sub floor and retiled, all while working every day. I have lost something this last year and I believe that it has something to do with my brain activity and gambling. It is actually harming my brain!!! I still have a daytimer but will go days without even opening it. I start all kinds of projects but never finish them. MY CHRISTMAS TREE IS STILL UP. what has become of my will? Gambling is robbing me of one of the things that has allowed me to be me. I cry at that. I am not old enough to have my abilities taken away from me. I have become an average employee on a good day. I used to be one of the best. I am not always there for my daughter. I am jeopardizing our future financially. I am not the person I used to be before gambling and it has taken a long time for me to realize it. I am at a point where I am not going to be able to exist like this anymore. I am very tired and very concerned about where i am headed. It seems as though the last few days are an indicator of hat my life shall progress to if i dont try to focus more on myself and start to challenge myself to be more restrictive about what i do. I talk about the journey and life. My journey is one of distracted driving. I’m doing all things at the same time and am headed for a crash soon if I dont get control of the car back. It’s all fine and good to be talking about looking ahead, but I have my eyes closed. I need to practice what I preach and to all, I hope that I can reach out to you daily for strength and guidance because I know that I will need it.
21 February 2022 at 1:48 pm #149336
Today will be a good day…..
That is my hope. I am on day 3 and am planning to make this a day 3 gamble free. I am trying something new this time and it seems to be making it easier. I am making myself accountable for my actions on a daily basis. My pattern, as of late, was to just excuse myself for not doing things I should do such as cleaning or missing work after feeling guilty for a few minutes. I no longer give myself the permission to do so and must make amends the next day in some manner. It is keeping me busy and keeping my mind on what I am doing on an hourly basis, instead of the routine of just sliding through my day. I have taken away the lull that I could hide in to gamble. No more wasted time. I hope that this is a way to cope with the “relaxation” gambling that catches me off guard most of the time, as I am continually falling victim to the times that I have just sat down, nothing to do, and given in to the urges that are ever present. I hope that the next week of planning will yield 7 days, something I have had a lot of trouble achieving. Here’s to getting my first 7 days in a long time!!
22 February 2022 at 12:13 pm #149403
Success!! I had a day at home and I avoided gambling all day. I did a lot of kitchen cleaning and some much needed vacuuming, and yes, sweet mother of pearl, the Christmas tree is down!!!! It feels good. I saw my family yesterday for 6 hours and it was bittersweet. I haven’t seen my sisters in over a year due to covid and didnt really try to. I see them and see my faults. They are all doing so well and I am struggling so much that I cant really say that I enjoy spending time with them at this point. It felt good to spend time with my parents though and that was the reason for going. I am glad that I went as I was occupying time with something more rewarding than fighting the urge to “relax , so this morning I wake with both the pleasant feeling of knowing I abstained yesterday but also the feeling of having done something that, while not all that rewarding for me personally, was good for the family as a whole. I am tired today and not looking forward to working, but I know that a day at home is a day of temptation and I dont need that at all. You are right, kin, when you say to run from the danger. I have been complacent for too long about what the dangers are for me and recovery. Being at home is dangerous. It’s where I gamble. I need to spend as little time there as possible during the most vulnerable times of the day. It’s my only way to chalk up 7 days. I feel once I hit 7 days I will have the wind under my wings and can go from there to even more days in a row. Here’s to success.
23 February 2022 at 1:12 pm #149472
Oh, what a horrible day I had yesterday. I am so happy that it is over and a new day is starting but I am still left with the lingering of failure and despair. Work is what started my gambling and its what continually keeps me on a constant state of “triggered” . I hate my job so much that I cant even begin to Express it. In terms of trauma, I have been violated in the many ways by the people I work with. It’s not a physical violation. It is mental. It is emotional. It turned me into someone I thought I would never be. I have worked for the same company for 30 years and loved the first 20. It was who I was. I was incredibly dedicated and loyal. I worked 6 days a week every week for over 20 years. Sometimes even 7 days. Then, new management took over and I lost it all. They treat people like crap. They backstab and humiliate. They took from me what it meant to be a good employee, which is the feeling of dedication and satisfaction. I really despise the people I work for and with, for the most part. I took a new position in 2020 because I thought it would get better. The manager there promised me the moon and I gave up all of my comfort and seniority in my department of 28 years to go there. I am faced daily with miserable misogynistic ×××holes that try to make my life hell. Upper management is little help because they tried to fight the transfer and am happy I am miserable. It triggers me every day. I know that I could leave but why should I? I have retirement around the corner and dont feel like starting over somewhere else. I faced a horrible day yesterday because the manager changed my schedule without notifying me and I was late because of it. Then I was assigned a project I have no knowledge of because they have not updated me on it in the past month. It was a hard day and I face them today. Again they changed my schedule for today but I will be ok and on time since I knew to check. I need to develop a thicker skin regarding my work but it is taking time. I need to look for other things to help identify who I am and what I want to be important in my life now. I did not gamble yesterday although I had opportunity. I am getting better. I have to hang in.
26 February 2022 at 12:29 pm #149629
And today is a new day…. I havent posted for a couple of days and now I have a bit of time so I will do so. I would like to say that today is day 9 because I held out and was strong, but that would be false. I am at day 9 because of a software update to my gamban has made it impossible to gamble on my phone anymore. I didnt do it on my own, but i did it. I have been thinking about going to casinos nice they begin their opening again without restrictions. I just cant fathom not gambling at all ever again. I have been feeling ” the itch” lately and have to try to make sure that i have no days that i can go. I know that it will get easier with time but the call of the slots is strong when i think that i cant do it anymore. I need to retrain my brain to want something else and the feeling of having a little money this week has been nice. It’s a good thing that i work 7 days a week at this point and i need to stay focused. I’m going to start planting seeds soon for growing in my grow room so I’m thinking about summer and my garden. I’m looking forward to a productive summer so that my time at home can be better spent now. It’s funny. When i found that i couldn’t gamble anymore on my phone i felt free. I felt a weight lifted that had been sitting on my back for years. Then i felt fear. Where would i go when the feeling is strong? I need to deal with that. Thanks and I hope everyone is strong today.
27 February 2022 at 12:41 am #149653
Congratulations on your 9 days😊
1 March 2022 at 12:08 pm #149576falling38Participant
Hi. I am new and also feeling the same way. I do the same except I go to pubs and play the machines. I didn’t go for almost 2 years but this last 3 months I do about 2x a week. I will go till my daily limit is maxed then head to the bank.
I then lose and try to justify that it’s ok I blew that money because pay day is coming or I will say well I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs so this is my vice. I’m always trying to make it sound better. I banned myself out of the casinos and can’t play online. But small pubs don’t check ID or scan so I feel it’s alright even though it’s not.
How is it normal I can’t justify an oil change but can throw 2000 in the machines in one day and feel fine?
I’m now slowly going into my savings. I need to stop I need a friend something…. thank you for listening.
2 March 2022 at 11:28 am #149830
Welcome to the forum and well done taking a positive step recognizing and acknowledging the problem.
You may find it helpful to start your own journal/thread where you can get advice and encouragement from the community.
2 March 2022 at 1:47 pm #149837
Hi Falling, nice to meet you. When I wake up each morning I usually sit for a spell and ponder all things big and small, as I did this morning, and thought of how blessed I am that my blocking software on my phone decided to update. It has now blocked all access to gambling sites so no more temptation while I am home. My home feels different to me now. I thought of you and the temptation you face and when you go to pubs and thought ” well, just dont go to the pubs then”. I’m not sure how close they are to your work or home, so I am not making light of this, but using my phone as an example, if you are not faced with them, it is just so much easier. I do not have anything resembling a casino near me. There is a gaming house about 40 minutes away or a really big casino even farther that requires me to travel at least 90 minutes one way. In the time it takes to go to either I have the chance to change my mind ( which has never happened because I am usually so pumped about going I can hardly contain myself) so the only answer for me is to not have the time to go. I took a second job to help with finances and to keep me busy on the days off that I had from my full time job. It limits the amount of free time I have so that I cant go and even if I can go, I have self excluded from both of them years ago. I do think about going but will not entertain the idea for long because I would have to call in sick to one of my jobs to do so and miss a days pay, and I try to revive the awful feeling that I have when I leave. The desperation that I feel when I have lost it all. The horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I cant play anymore because all of my money is gone and the desperate feeling as i think about trying to get more. It’s like drugs. I dont want that anymore. If you try to revive the feelings at the end of your gambling instead of the excitement at the beginning before you enter then maybe you wont go at all. This is the first time in a long time that I am celebrating double digits gamble free and it is only because I cannot physically do it anymore. Give yourself the chance to get some time under your belt by not being able to physically gamble. No pub, no chance. Stay strong.
4 March 2022 at 5:39 pm #150067
Day one again. I found a loophole in the gamban umbrella and dove right in. I was very disappointed in myself last night and this morning I came to the realization that the journey to be gamble free had become so all consuming that my life has become otherwise empty and lopsided. All my focus, every thing I do, has been to become gamble free, nothing more. I do not take care of myself or my appearance, I am no longer social, and I feel that this is contributing to my problem. If I have nothing else to be proud of or strive for then gambling will still have a hold on my life, its just a different one. I need more balance. I need more feelings. I am going to try to instill a little more balance in my daily activities so that I feel I am moving towards something instead of just running away. I dont have the plan laid out quite yet, but a balanced diet, exercise and some recreational activities might be in the mix. I hope that everyone is strong and feeling good today!
5 March 2022 at 12:46 pm #150112
Today is day two. How many times have I woken with that number sticking in my brain? Too many times to count. I am full of hope and energy today. I am trying to start more than just day two without gambling. I am trying to start a new attitude of living more than just a life restricted. For too long I have been shut in, not by covid, but by my secretive addiction. I have not done much else other than gamble and work and just exist from day to day. I have let my appearance go, my health and my social life as well. I am starting to believe that gambling is like an abusive partner- it takes you from anything else that may give you pride and happiness, and degrades you to a point where you forget what other things life has to offer. I am replacing the gambling in my life with other things that are going to give me pleasure and not just living to not gamble anymore. I am on day two and looking forward to this day. Work may be a crapshoot today but I know that I will get through it and find something good to live for. I am full of hope and I hope everyone else out there is too
6 March 2022 at 2:29 pm #150165
Today I am on day three and feeling hopeful. I saw a Robin yesterday morning and it was a sign to me that spring was coming. Something new in the air makes me feel like change is good. Spring brings new growth, an end to the dark and lifeless winter is upon me now and today is glorious. It is warm and sunny. Its windy but i like wind because it carries scents that spark feelings and memories which often bring good feelings with it. Today I did my work around the house and must get ready soon for job #2. I dont mind though because it gives me a reason to go out and spend some time away from the house. I will be gamble free today and, more importantly, I will have some time outside in a good day amongst so many cold ones. I hope that wherever you are, you find some time in nature to refresh your soul today and revive. I hope that you are strong and gamble free.
7 March 2022 at 12:01 pm #150231
Today us day four for me and I am tired but glad to be everything that I currently am today. I work soon so i did my morning chores and am trying to get some journaling in every day to keep my motivation up. I am trying to read everyone’s posts daily and respond to how great everyone is doing. Not too much to say for the moment except that I hope everyone is strong and has a gamble free day.
8 March 2022 at 10:38 am #150304
Well done on Day 4, and great to see the daily updates on your progress. I look forward to continuing to follow this thread and all going well see that number climb higher and higher.
8 March 2022 at 10:38 am #150305
I passed the small daily test yesterday of being at home, alone, and not giving in to the urge to “relax” after a hard at work with a little recreation. I instead did dinner and some much needed vacuuming, and even washed my front hall floor. I followed up with vacuuming and washing my kitchen floor this morning. The feeling of small victories and a clean kitchen is enough to get me through the day, and even though I know I have a nasty bill downstairs that I have to take care of today, I will get through. I am going to get through my day 5 with hope and a clean kitchen. What more can a girl ask for? I hope everyone has hope and strength and is gamble free today.
10 March 2022 at 1:09 pm #150453
Every now and again I begin to realize that I am in a bit of a pickle financially and the creditors start to call. I have been trying to pay them all a bit at a time but when I relapse I fall behind and then they start calling again. I dont owe more than I can handle IF I STAY GAMBLE FREE. You would think that that would be enough of a deterrent but it is more of a trigger. I need to face the mess i have gotten myself into every day so that i am engaged in the process of recovery and not sticking my head in the sand so that i will, at some point, think that i am in a good place to gamble again. I know that i will survive this if i stay strong. Today is day 7 for me, again, but in retrospect, I had not hit 7 days in a long while before last week so I am making progress. I will get through today knowing I have paid a few people what I owe and hoping that I can keep the wolves at bay for one more week. I hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today.
11 March 2022 at 2:48 pm #150542
I said it was a trigger, I knew it was a trigger and I let it trigger me last night. I have been reading other posts and have decided that I am angry now. I am no longer sad, upset or disappointed with the situation. I am angry. I didnt even make dinner for my daughter when she came home late last night from work because I was too “busy and tired” to get up off my ass. I am losing what I call life. I am not able to do things because I am burdened with this hunk of crap that pollutes my brain and fogs up my mind. I am going to think of gambling as a hunk of crap in my head that is growing every time I gamble. It will shrink if I abstain and so every time I even think about it, it gets stronger. I know I was triggered by the smallest thing yesterday, it was a treasure chest in an online zen matching game that reminded me of one on one of my favorite slots. I recognized it right away because it made me want to play. I thought about it and it made it stronger. I dont give the triggers the importance that I should and I need to be extra diligent when I realize that something had triggered in my brain. When the hunk of crap in my brain is shrinking it is fighting back and trying to get me to.play.I need to fight back as well. I am finished with being disappointed. Now I am fighting back!!!
11 March 2022 at 6:30 pm #150559
Sorry to hear that you were triggered last night, and the knock on effect that had.
It sounds like it is currently very easy for you to place a bet if you give in to an urge/trigger. I can associate with this from past experience, in similar situations, I have found the following questions helpful. What barriers/blockers have I in place to make it more difficult to gamble? Are there any additional barriers that would help? and What need to happen to put these additional barriers in place.
12 March 2022 at 5:03 am #150598
Hi losing in slowly I feel alot of empathy for what your going through. I remember those times of feeling angry when I would have a lapse. The expression hunk of crap really resignated with me because that’s what I used as an expression in my first treatments with my counselor. Basically with the type of therapy I’m doing is you visualize an image and do this rapid eye movement throughout your brain then you do it with all your organs its part of a Chinese medicine approach to EMDR treatments. But the very first thing I said is I just have all this crap in my head there’s so much of it. So we started with a visual of the statement and ran it throughout my system and that opened the flood gates to the rest of my trauma stuff over time. It really is just alot of crap floating around inside when being trapped in an addiction cycle. I remeber my counselor saying to me for the first while is that while your in your addiction cycle you can’t believe or pay attention to anything you say or do because your not right in the head till you have some proper clarity away from the addiction. Hence that brain fog feeling. What made me stop for good in the beginning is I locked away all my electronic devices at night when I was bored or alone. Opening the cupboard I put then in was a reminder to not open that pandoras box. I did this till I had some good time in with my counseling and got to the route of my issues.
12 March 2022 at 2:00 pm #150608
Thanks Grec and jvr. I have lots,of blocks in place but am very resourceful in life and can find ways around anything. I am trying to limit my opportunity as well, hence the second job, but as we all know, we can find ways around that too. I am serious about quitting, in my mind, but there seems to be a part of me that still has a grasp on my will power at certain times and this is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I am short on impulse control, plain and simple. I need to work on that in my life as a whole and gambling in particular. I am trying a more rigid schedule to try and reduce my opportunity to act impulsively and am paying bills from my accounts first thing when I get paid to not allow access to cash. I did self exclude ftom the one casino I could play at so that is gone as well. I am a work in progress on many fronts and today is another day to begin some minor repairs. I hope everyone is strong and gamble free today.
14 March 2022 at 10:30 am #150704
Glad to hear that you have many blockers in place, it sounds like you still have access to unaccountable funds however, if you are having impulse issues, this could be a very bad thing.
Have you anyone you trust who can help with your money management, for example have someone else manage your funds, in this situation, you still keep control of your funds and where they go, transactions just have to go through this person first making it more difficult to spend gambling funds
14 March 2022 at 11:29 am #150706
Thanks g rec. I dont really have unaccountable funds at all, I just use the ones meant for paying necessities to gamble. I am in a position where no one else could be responsible for my funds. I am single and no one except one sister knows about my issues. I am better now that I have self excluded from the one casino online that I could actually get through to with my blocks in place, and the trick is to now stop myself before I search for another. I am easier to stop if I know that I do not have easy access, so the trick will be to just keep my mind on the art of avoidance. If I know that I cannot, I dont have issues not gambling. I only have issues when I know I can and that leads me down the rabbit hole. Today I resolve myself to think ” I cannot so I will not “. I have the house to myself tonight so I might just go do a bit of shopping after work to avoid being here for too long alone. I am pretty tired so I will hit the hay early for some much needed rest. Hope everyone is strong and gamble free today.
14 March 2022 at 11:33 am #150707
I will short post today. I am on day 4 and feeling good about achieving better this week. I have been making plans with my sisters to throw a surprise birthday party for my mom this weekend so I am happy that I have clarity and time to take part in something constructive for once. It’s been a long time since I have done anything other than work and gamble, so today feels good. Hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today.
14 March 2022 at 7:05 pm #150738
How about asking your sister to help with accountability? When I first stopped I had all bank statements etc sent to my mum’s address. Knowing that IF I gambled she WOULD know about it was a big deterrent. These days with internet banking we can be pretty much instantly accountable.
15 March 2022 at 11:17 am #150794
I would not dare ask my sister to be the one to take charge of me. She lost her husband two years back and is alone. She has a stressful job and has been forced to work from home so is isolated. I could not bare to have her feel that she has more responsibility than she already has. I have borrowed money from her that I must pay back although she will never ask for it. I must carry the burden myself because I have gotten myself into this. Thanks for the suggestions though. I got through last night alone in my house my doing extra chores and preparing meals for the next couple of days. I like to be busy and organized so it’s a benefit/benefit for me. I am in my day 5 now and feeling good. I did a little housework this morning before I get ready to go so I feel the day has started well. I hope that you are strong and gamble free today.
17 March 2022 at 1:18 pm #150918
Working late the last few days has given me some much needed relax time but u find myself stuck on what I can do to fill the void in my life. I have tried cooking and baking and have gained 10 pounds in the process. I am hesitant to try too much in the way of fitness because i already ” enjoy” sore feet and knees. I am working so much these days that I dont want to tire myself out too much by overdoing it, so I am looking for other things to do. The weather is getting somewhat nicer so I can start to think about my garden. I should start my seedlings soon!!! That’s a good thought to have. I am on day 7. Does it count as a day 7 if you were trying to find ways to gamble but you couldn’t? My blockers are working great and I cant do a thing. I could go to the casino but with all of the time I spend going to or being at work, I dont have the time. I guess I can say that I am on day 7 today and feeling good about it. I just wish that the urge to try to find a way to gamble would leave. I am having trouble digesting the idea that I will not be able to do it ever…. I guess that is what recovery is about. I need to purge the urge. Today is about paying bills and getting myself back to where I can feel secure. I hope that you are strong and gamble free today.
17 March 2022 at 8:19 pm #150942
Hi, taking thigns one day at a time is important – “never again” thoughts can be waaaaay too scary. The urges aren’t the problem – it’s how we act and deal with the urge that is important and you haven’t gamble. Maybe think about banning form that casino, then if the day comes that you do have the time you are less likely to get the urge to go.
19 March 2022 at 12:59 pm #151040
Because I have been trying to quit for so long I realized aged ago that u had an issue. I have banned myself from all of the casinos and gaming houses in my province and cant even stay at a hotel that has a casino attached. I have not gone to a land based casino since any before covid started. They are not really my weakness ( so to speak) since if I wanted to go to one I would require an entire day to do so. My weakness is usually the one you can go to any time you are home, and even some times when you arent. The online are way to easy to access and require nothing more than an electronic device. I had many of those in my home so quitting has not been easy. I am trying to move past the feeling of never being able to gamble as a bad thing since I felt the same way when I was quitting smoking the first time. It was the best thing I’ve ever not done anymore. I have to be more positive and forget what I am “missing” and think more about what I am gaining. It is getting easier with time. I came home last night to an empty house, thought about trying to find gambling sites not covered under gamban and just thought it not worth the trouble. It’s a start. I hope everyone is strong and gamble free today.
19 March 2022 at 1:23 pm #151043
I sometimes have bad days at work. Its probably the same for everyone, but with two jobs, I get twice the chance. I have a weird relationship with working. I was raised in a family environment where your work ethic was everything to the family reputation. When I started my first job at a store where my grandmother frequented, the only thing she said to me is “dont embarrass me”. I have always been a hard working and conscientious employee. I have received many promotions and new positions because of my work ethic. When I got married, I did it mid week at a chapel so that I didnt miss too much work. For 15 years I worked 6 days a week and did all my paperwork at home or on my lunches. I was an employers dream employee and I loved every minute of the recognition. Then I lost it all. Not the job, the love and recognition. To make a long story short, I worked for someone who abused me, for lack of a better expression. He took all that I gave my job and used it as a weapon against me. He tried to get me fired as a way to save his own ass and it was then that I lost all confidence in myself. It was then that the gambling started. I have never been able to get back what I lost, what he took from me. I cannot separate myself from my work. When i work with an idiot i feel it on a level that is bizarre to most, like it is somehow my fault he’s an idiot. I NEED to be appreciated and well thought of. It’s like a drug to me. My second job is just a menial job working two afternoons a week. I am there for 12 hours a week. I work with people much younger than me sometimes and they are easily ruffled and sometimes very bossy. I worked with one last night who muttered under her breath “why are you talking”. I wanted to smack the little sow. I was trying to help her with an error that she had made and couldn’t resolve. I guess I wont do that again, right? Wrong. I am just the type of employee that will always step in and try to help, even if it is never appreciated, because that is what team members do. I am at a point in my life where I should be retiring soon. I have another 8 years or so to wind down. I am at a loss at the idea because work is all I know. I have been at the same company for 38 years. While I know that it has been the source of much of my joy and confidence over the years, it has also been the source of the anguish that started me on the road to being an addict. I need to examine my relationship with this entity and perhaps change the dynamics. It’s a dysfunctional relationship that I cannot get out of quite yet, so I must learn to adapt it to be more healthy for me in the short run. It is something to think about for sure.
19 March 2022 at 6:27 pm #151053njp31322Participant
So glad to hear you are staying strong and while the urges are still present, the deterrents you put in place are doing their job. All we need is a delay, a moment, another second of thought that keeps us from making that first bet and what you have done is doing that for you. Very proud of you!!
Also, us addicts, are not just subject to gambling or alcohol. Work is also our addiction and while it has a much better social image it can be just as damaging to us as we put our all into it and get crushed just the same with the downs it may bring.
I love that you mentioned gardening!! We need to find the many joys in life that are not tied to obligation and try and put more effort into those.
You are obviously intelligent and I am sure you can figure out how to communicate your knowledge to the younger employees in a more synergistic way. And while it may not be fun at first, the long term results of their admiration and respect for you help and expertise will be much more satisfying than any initial frustration that occurred. I am only on day 5 and 22 hours but find truth that I am 100% normal when I see everyone’s stories. We are all normal and have obstacles to fight, daily! I don’t think of it as forever, I think of it as today and that helps me push forward. Sending love and respect to all out there going through the struggle as the struggle is real but we, my friend, are stronger!
20 March 2022 at 12:35 pm #151099
Thanks njp for the encouragement. I took a much needed day off yesterday to spend time with my sisters and parents as we executed a surprise birthday party for my mom. It was like a military exercise. My mom is always in charge of everything that goes on with the family and didn’t want a party this year so we went against her wishes and did what we wanted and she loved it!. I have not spent a lot if time with my sisters over the last few years due to my gambling, and it’s nice to spend time with them until the inevitable happens and someone starts talking about how well they are doing. My brother in law was showing pictures of the new renovations he is making to their bathroom and the green eyed monster reared its ugly head. I am barely keeping my head above water due to my gambling and although things are getting better, I still feel like crap. I hate that I cant feel happy for my sisters when something good happens to them. I feel jealousy. I wasnt like that to this degree before, but my addiction has made my self image and self confidence plummet to almost zero. I have gained weight steadily over the past few years and feel ashamed of this as well. I need to start working on making me feel better about me so that I can feel happiness for others as well. It’s TRUE that you cannot love others until you love yourself. I woke this morning with all of these thoughts present and swirling and it is making me dizzy. I have work today in the afternoon and am going to put that in the place in my mind where it belongs. It is 6 hours of this day, no more and no less. I will not think about it after that. It is not important enough to occupy more than that. I am going to try a more rounded approach to my day and my life each day by making me a part of the planning. I am trying to lay plan to paper so here’s hoping I can do it. I hope that you are strong and gamble free today.
20 March 2022 at 5:48 pm #151110njp31322Participant
Love that you threw you mom the birthday party! Moms can be so selfless, sometimes we have to take the reigns and allow them to think about themselves!
Don’t be so hard on yourself about the jealousy, it may even be you beating yourself up for the gambling mistakes when you see what you could have done and not necessarily jealousy. Also, you are now several days closer to those types of goals rather than where you were which was putting yourself farther away daily by gambling.
You are doing amazing and should be. ETG proud of yourself, I know i am! Cheers to another gamble free day and better yet to getting through the doomful weekends.
22 March 2022 at 9:34 am #151184falling38Participant
Sounds like you had a nice visit and party.
It’s normal to not be able to be happy for others because our lives are in such turmoil.
I had 2 slips since I started on this page and I’m so embarrassed. I did leave with what I had brought with me but I felt sick after. I banned myself out of the casinos and knew damn well I wasn’t supposed to be there but tested my luck. Didn’t get caught the first day but the second day they caught me. They told me this would be my only warning as I know it’s trespassing and next time they would call the cops to remove me. How embarrassing. I don’t even know how to stay away. How to stop having all these weird feelings. I’m slowly starting to loss it.
22 March 2022 at 11:03 am #151221
Falling38, those feelings are addiction and nothing more. I was at the party with my nephew who is a recovering heroin addict. He is not yet 30 and has been on methadone for 5 years. We were talking about him getting a job at a clinic helping other addicts and my sister posed to him that he may be around others who still use. Would it be a problem? He stated that if he is around others who still use or talk about it he is fine, but put it in front of him (heroin) and his palms will start to get sweaty. I couldn’t help but identify with that part of what he said as we are no different. The only way to stay “sober” is to avoid it altogether. It’s harder for gamblers and food addicts because it is everywhere now and at our fingertips. I am on day 12 and the only way I got that far is my technology is totally blocked now. No way to get on no matter how hard I try. I could go to casinos but like I said, it would require an entire day and I dont allow myself that amount of time due to other work obligations. All you can do is make it as hard as you can for yourself to slip up. All addictions are disabled by abstinence so we are no different. Stay away. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. I had a dream last night that I was at a huge casino. I tried to play one game but couldn’t understand the games rules so I left. Then I got caught on an elevator and got stuck in the restaurant area, then the video game and kids play area. Everything was preventing me from gambling so I just left. What does that mean to me,? That blocks are in place and they are working so I might as well just leave well enough alone. I wont go to a casino. I too am banned from the ones in my area so I wont risk getting caught. I’m hoping that all of the urges dissipate eventually and that it will get easier not to gamble than to even think about it. It’s a lot to think about so do your mind some good and find something that relaxes you and do that as often as you can. I’m enjoying preparing for gardening season soon. It’s almost spring now, the start of a new season of growth and promise. Put you in the mix and start fresh and new and grow stronger. Hope everyone is strong and gamble free today.
24 March 2022 at 12:27 pm #151329
Its day 14 and I must say that it is a first. Two weeks without gambling has been hard and easier than I thought. It’s been hard because I have so wanted the buzz I get from the slots and the unknown and easier because if I had only found a way to put better blocks in place months or years ago I would have totally prevented all this mess. The loop hole that I had been using has been blocked by a software update so I cant gamble on my phone. I will admit that over the last two weeks I have tried to find a way through it to, but alas, I have failed. So I sit at two weeks gamble free and catching up a bit on my bills. I’m still in a pickle but if I can just learn to look at the long run with a bit more hope, the short run wont be quite as scary. I have started a diet as well and am trying to lose some weight, so that is something else for me to focus on. I am feeling a bit elated at the two week mark as I dont think that I have reached this point EVER, so here’s to a bench mark day for me. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today as well.
25 March 2022 at 11:54 am #151369
Thanks kin. I hope that you are well today and feeling more hopeful. I am starting to reroute the energy I used to place on trying to find ways to gamble and using it on better things. I am starting my seedlings today before I go to work at my second job so it gives me hope. I was looking at the property today, placing plants here and there in my mind, thinking of all that I could actually accomplish if I put my time into planting and being outdoors instead of sitting on my butt indoors playing slots. I love my garden and growing things and it makes me feel alive. I am hoping for that to flourish this year instead of doing a half ass job like I did every other year and feeling the joy of growing both plants and myself. Its day 15 and it is getting easier. All I can say is that blocks that work and stop me from gambling are the what I should have done long ago, and thanks to the makers of gamban for your latest update. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
26 March 2022 at 11:56 am #151422
Day 16 today and I would like to post that I’m not trying to get around my blocks now, but that would be lying. The emails still come from new sites and I delete most if them immediately, but once in a while I try to see if I can get around my blocks. Happy to report that i cannot and because of that i am gamble free for one more day. People, if you are having trouble quitting on your electronic devices i have one word for you…. GAMBAN.get it and forget it. I hope that you are strong and gamble free today
27 March 2022 at 2:05 pm #151487
Day 17 and still gamble free. I am fighting the urges daily. They sneak up on me when I go to sit down on my couch all of the time. That little voice in my head that reminds me of how “relaxing” it is to play slots on my phone is here now, every day. I am still good with the blocks so I cannot give in because I CANNOT give in. I am waiting for the day that I just say no because I dont want to. How long does that take? I was listening to the single guys at work talking about the plans for vacations this year now that covid restrictions have been lifted. I am feeling that pain in my heart when I think about failing myself and my daughter financially. I as so good before this and I want to be good again. I will keep trying to not want to gamble and until that comes into play, gamban will have to be my hero. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
28 March 2022 at 12:17 pm #151516
Thanks kin. I need all of the help that I can get. My prayers are including your health and safety as well.
28 March 2022 at 12:34 pm #151519
Day 18 and I am tired today. I woke late and am not even going to shower this morning so that I can have an extra 30 minutes to rest. I have a few days off planned in the next couple of weeks and it looks like I might need them. I know I am burning the candle at both ends, so to speak, but I need to do what i have to because I got myself into this mess. I will be patient and am seeing the benefits financially of almost 3 paychecks not going to a casino. That will be multiplied each time i get paid and pay down a debt. I had enough money to buy my daughter a little easter gift yesterday that she loved (gave it to her early in case i had to exchange it) and it felt really good to be able to do it again. I Used to buy her all kinds of things before this mess hit me, and now i can slowly start again. I’m doing what makes me feel good and that is what is necessary if I am to combat the monster in my head. That is what I am calling it from now on. I need to stop feeding the monster until it decides to go somewhere else to feed. It will get easier as I find other things to feed, like giving and gardening, that will take my attention away from the monster. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
29 March 2022 at 12:08 pm #151584
Day 19 and I’m almost losing the need to count. It is true that the longer you go, the more the urge diminishes. I came home tired and didnt even try to find a site to try to gamble on yesterday, which would have been my go to when finished work and really tired. I didnt really even make dinner, I just snacked, watched t.v. and fell asleep early. I went shopping after work to try to find some herb seeds and ended up with some shade cloth and some butterfly garden stakes for my daughter ( she loves little decorative things for the garden) and that made me feel hopeful for spring and new things to come. Today is another day of hope and energy and although we are simply counting up the days that we dont gamble, it also represents another day alive and able to change the path that we take. Not all days are created equal, so make the best of the ones that start out fresh and full of hope. I pray that you are all strong and gamble free today
31 March 2022 at 1:31 pm #151704
Day 21, which is way longer than I have ever gone before. I have been battling with some gastrointestinal issues the last day or two, which have left me feeling sore and gross, but I am hoping to come out of this week with a clean slate and a new found respect for the gassiness of cauliflower. I am finding it easier, day to day, to not think about coming home to gamble, but still find myself occasionally trying to open an email that is from a casino to see if I can beat gamban. Thank the lord that I cant. I could and will never stop singing the praises of gamban for those of us who use electronics to gamble. It is going to help me get past the markers in time that will allow my neuropathways to change and make it easier to stop. I hope that all of you who are having trouble like mine will try this technique if you are serious about quitting. It will work. It’s removing the temptation and allowing me to get back to a more normal life and I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
1 April 2022 at 9:51 am #151768
Well done on 21 days Losingitslowly I look forward to continuing following your progress
3 April 2022 at 1:33 pm #151869
Thanks grec. I am now on day 24and looking at 3 weeks in the rear view mirror feels great. It’s been a long time that I have gone this long without playing something for money. I am finding that things that I think about doing are actually getting accomplished in good time these days. I am caught up on laundry EVERY WEEK, not just once in while, and I am on time to work every day. I am working 7 days a week, which may seem excessive, but I am trying to get myself caught up financially and it’s good to keep myself busy, just in case the urge to go to the casino rears its ugly head. Its only been 3 weeks and I am getting a bit impatient with a few things, as patience is not one of my assets, but I keep telling myself that things take time. It took me years to get myself into this mess, it may take years to get out. I look forward to reading posts each day and would like everyone to reach out to wewinwhenwedontplay. Support is needed and let us show that we are all understanding the point at which they have reached. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
4 April 2022 at 12:20 pm #151949
I have always been a person grateful for what I have and I have fought hard for it all. I am a person who likes to see results quickly, like when growing seedlings, I want to see the sprouts right away to feel the joy that comes with success. I know that I must be more patient to see the results of gambling both personally and financially, but I want to have the feeling of vulnerability that goes with living on the edge of disaster gone. I want to be happy and to work on more than just existing without addiction. I am trying, as we all are, and today I am one day closer to one month gamble free than I was yesterday. Of that I am most thankful.
5 April 2022 at 4:18 pm #152023
Day 26 and having a pretty bad one. There are some emotions raging in my family right now that are bringing a lot of stress to my day and feelings of desperation and anxiety are ruling my otherwise peaceful demeanor. The outcome if a very stressful situation will be later today and it is a horror of a day waiting to find out. It seems that every te I get to a smooth patch the world turns it upside down and waits for me to smooth it out again. I’m not going to do the pity party for myself and I know that I am inevitably in charge of my own destiny and how I react to this will determine the path I am on in a week. I am better equipped today that a month ago to handle this so I must keep good thoughts on my head.
6 April 2022 at 3:46 pm #152078
Thanks kin. My daughter, who suffers from depression and anxiety and a few other mental ailment, has just been “dumped” by her boyfriend and is devastated. I had just thanked God a few days ago for him because it was the first time in a long time that she had been happy. She is devastated and so am I. I dont know why she has to suffer so and I believe that it is my fault. She is paying for my sins. I hope that she can move past this but it will be very long and difficult and heart breaks to see her so sad. My gamble free days dont seem so important to me now. I want her happy again.
7 April 2022 at 12:46 pm #152128
Again, thank you kin for your concern. I am on 4 weeks clean and not going to jeopardize that, but it just seems petty to be so worried about myself when my daughter’s world is falling apart. I should know that I am not responsible for her boyfriend’s behavior but I often feel that if and when something is going well in my life the universe seems to even it out with something terrible to make me remember that life is not good to me. It has been the story of my life since I can remember so I seldom celebrate the good things because I dont want to wake the universe to cause it to even the score. I celebrated my daughters happiness and days later it was over. I am staying as hopeful as I can that things will work out in the next few weeks but I feel her pain so deeply that is difficult to focus on myself at this point. Thanks for your post
7 April 2022 at 2:17 pm #152135
Congratulations on staying away from gambling for a month that’s a huge milestone to hit. My dad said to me when my partner and I broke up that when I’m in pain he’s in pain. I think its only natural that you as a parent feel that empathy and pain your daughters going through. Your comment that the universe likes to even out the good with something bad resignated with how I used to think alot of the time. Since I’ve been finding a spiritual outlet and trying to find some gratitude everyday that thought process has diminished. I no longer gave that mentality or expectation that somethings going to go wrong. Life just does that because nothings prefect but anticipating negative events sets us up to constantly be looking for it. I’ve seen you write before that your a positive person alot of the time so maybe you just need to try and find some gratitude in certain situations. For instance this one because your gamblefree now you get to be a more attentive mom to your daughter and help her through this so she can find someone better down the line. You get the quality time and life teaching moment of showing her to find self love and not need that from a guy. Because your doing the same for yourself right now to as well. Sounds like the universe gave you an opportunity to bound and take a negative and make it a positive.
8 April 2022 at 1:36 pm #152194
Thanks jvr, and I am thankful everyday for all that I have. I have worked hard, very hard, to have what I have and had put it all in jeopardy with gambling. I am working two jobs now to get myself back to a place where I can feel comfortable again and fight off the anxiety and worry that comes with my thinking, and I am making progress on that front. I once worked with a guy who had a drug addiction, which he received treatment for, then an alcohol addiction developed and he received treatment for that as well. It finally culminated in a gambling addiction which was the worst of it all. He lost everything and was sleeping in his van. I know that the drug and alcohol took a toll on him physically but emotionally he was worse losing everything he owned due to gambling. He eventually received treatment for that as well and with time was able to save enough money to buy a home and start over. Time can heal all wounds and my daughter is no different. If is tough now because she has serious depression issues already, and this is not helping with that. I have always just wanted her to be happy, like any parent does, and was thrilled when she had found someone I thought would help her out of her situation. He simply made things worse. Time time, time. For me and for her. For us all. I am thankful for all of the time I have with her and hope that I can be an inspiration for her as well. Hope that you have a great day and the power is back on.
9 April 2022 at 2:01 pm #152248
I am taking a day off today to go and visit with my sister and am taking my daughter as well. Covid has done a number on the fabric of our family and I have not been able to visit with her for quite a few months, so I took a vacation day from job 1 to take a few things to her and to spend some time catching up. My daughter took a turn for the worse yesterday and was crying for most of the time after I left the house to go to job 2 and so my mom stepped in and spent some time with her. It’s at times like these that I appreciate being gamble free because I can be there for her more emotionally if not physically. I think about all of the times that I was there, home, and would not take a moment away from my slots to even have a real conversation with anyone. I would turn off my phone so no one would bother me and I was unavailable so often that people stopped trying. I am hoping now that this has changed and that people will come back to me and my circles will develop again. I dont have a lot of time to spend with others outside of my immediate family and work, but I am willing to try to spend the extra time that I have with others instead of by myself with the slots. It is officially 30 days today and I feel like I ha e hit my first milestone. I am concerned that I still try to open emails from casinos to see if I can play, and thankfully I cant, but I still try. I still want to gamble. I am missing the feeling. I am hoping that I never can get through and that my own resolve not to gamble becomes even stronger as time passes. Have a great weekend and I hope you are all strong and gamble free today
10 April 2022 at 1:32 pm #152304
I have noticed, since I have stopped gambling that is, that when I notice something needs to be done I just do it. I had become one hell of a procrastinator when I was gambling, putting so many small, incidental things on my lists of things to do because my mind was so occupied by trying to find time to gamble. Once my mind was freed up I found that there seemed to be more time in the day to get to those things that sat on my list, and developing a routine for chores that I could stick to has lightened my mind as well. I am no longer pestered in the back of my mind by things that I need to think about finding time to do. It was exhausting. I just do things now when I have time or make time on a day in the week to get them done. It sounds so easy now, and was the way I had run my life before gambling, but I had lost that crucial part of my working brain during. It is one of the successes for me that is most notable. My performance at work has changed as well. No more sick days because I hit a good spin and thought I was in for a good day on the slots. No more lates due to the same. I am present in both mind and body and feel rejuvenated each morning when I wake. No more regrets for the day before. No more trying to figure out what lie to tell at work because I was absent or late. The web of lies was overwhelming. It’s all gone now. I have my mind and my time back and have set up bill payments again on a weekly basis to try to catch up on some debt. It’s all starting to fall back into place for me and it’s only 31 days in. I cant wait to keep finding ways to improve my life after I spend more and more time gamble free. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today.
12 April 2022 at 3:00 pm #152434
Thanks for your concern kin, I am fine today. Enjoying a day off and trying to get some chores started/ finished and some plans are in the making. Hope that you are well today. My daughter is coming back to the land of the living, but it is hard for her as this is her first real heartbreak and she is dealing with some pretty intense emotions. The good news is that I am here for her in both mind and body and it is only because I am gamble free.
13 April 2022 at 12:00 pm #152473
Not much to post about because I am feeling guilty. I relapsed yesterday. No excuse this time since I know better, it’s the same story everytime. I had some down time because I had a headache and thought I would surf on my computer and managed to find a place that i could play. Not as bad as it used to be when I play but I still couldn’t sleep at all afterwards and am going to have a hell of a day today. Starting back at day 1 sucks and yes, I have a firmer resolve this time. Down time is still my enemy and I have to make sure that I am on guard more when it happens. I hope that everyone else has a good day today and is gamble free🙄
13 April 2022 at 3:20 pm #152486
sorry for your relapse, I hope you all the best in this fresh start.
14 April 2022 at 10:01 am #152546
I wanted to write this to you as I see that you have relapsed. An older wiser woman from my Gamblers Anonymous once said this in regards to relapsing (she may have directed this comment towards me after a relapse, I don’t remember for sure, but), she said, “Even when we relapse, we don’t lose our clean time, and that clean time was still clean time.”
When she said this, it helped me feel better, because I would beat myself up (mentally and emotionally) every single time I’d relapse. Her comment is accurate though. If we would have gambled instead of being clean on those clean days, we would have caused so much more destruction than what we already had caused on our non-clean days.
I share this not to encourage relapses nor to lessen the negativity of relapses, but instead to share that we should be graceful towards ourselves as we are working to get rid of this demon/addiction. The goal is still to quit for good, but when we stumble, we should not view that stumbling as a reason to give up the fight and throw it all away and let the addiction win and just gamble for the rest of our lives (that is what we should not do). We should instead, look to pick ourselves up, see what we can do to better our lives that doesn’t involve gambling, and appreciate what we have (as there are always people out there who have less than us).
14 April 2022 at 8:16 pm #152574
Thanks we win,I needed the absolution. I went home yesterday to an empty house again but didnt even consider touching my computer again. I’ve unplugged all my devices,at home so that they are dead and that will be my sign if I pick it up that I should let it lie. I am back to day two today with a renewed effort to stay clean because now,I can be certain that it will take,lo her than 30 days to affect real change in my thought patterns. I hope that you are strong in your resolve these days and I will think of what you said when I feel a bit hard on myself. Today is a day before out Easter holidays and I hope that, if you celebrate, you have a great easter weekend with people who you trust.
16 April 2022 at 6:43 pm #152679
Hi losingitslowly. I’m sorry to read of your relapse. I no how hard it is to take those 2 steps back but at least you no what you have to do with the blockers and self exclusions to stop. We also need alot more in recovery, abstinence is not going to be the only step to staying away so I hope one day you find those next steps to keep you away from relapse. We’re here for you and many of us can help teach you or guide you in those directions if your willing to look at the other tools nessicary. Wishing you strength today.
17 April 2022 at 11:49 am #152707
Thanks to all who have been checking in and posting on my thread. I have been busy busy busy all weekend with projects that have me sore and happy to have a few days off. I am doing some landscaping while the weather is nice and some redecorating and decluttering of my daughters room while we are both home. I am sad by my relapse but not beaten. I know that I have the strength to do 33 days again and more. I’ve always said that down time is my enemy and it proves that it is still true even when I have had 30 days clean. I am back on the straight and narrow now and will be busy back to both jobs again next week so the down time issue will once again be fixed, but yes, jvr , you are right, I need to fix the issues that surround my down time relapses. I need to find something that I can do during those times when the house is quiet and I cant make much noise and I need some relaxation. Reading is a love of mine but as I have been getting older I have found that I need to wear glasses to read and I cannot wear them for long or I get a headache. It is something for me to start doing again, perhaps in small stints of time when I am without a major project at hand, and I am going to try it tomorrow. Today I am at laundry, my daughters closet and dressers, a stone retaining wall and easter dinner at my moms. Happy easter everyone.
22 April 2022 at 12:50 pm #153083
Thanks again kin for your concern, and I’m sorry that I didn’t get back to you sooner, but everything is back to busy busy again with work and I struggle to find time to get everything done sometimes. I check posts in the morning while I have coffee but lately I have been waking a bit later than usual so have no time to post in the morning. I am unsure how many days it has been since I last relapsed- I just checked the posts and it is 10 days again. I am trying to forget about gambling altogether while I run my daily life, like a non addict would most likely do, and just get it out of my head. I must say that it is easier to do this this time than before I relapsed and with each time it does take less and less mind power to avoid the thought process. I am hoping this will be the time that I find my way to the path that leads me to a life of gamble free days. I hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today
23 April 2022 at 10:12 am #153122
My days are getting back to busy and I feel good about it. They say that idle hands are the devils tools and of that I am guilty, so if I keep my mind and hands on things that are productive and push all of the funds that I have to debt repayment (when I have funds available) I will be in less of a position to cause myself more financial harm. I dont feel like counting days anymore because I feel like if I get to a certain number that I feel too good about where I am and dont want to feel complacent about it. I am gamble free today, so far, and that’s all I can say to make myself feel better. I hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today as well.
29 April 2022 at 1:03 pm #153574
I’ve been back to the 2 jobs again this week and with a schedule change at my full time my week has been rough. It’s the start of vacation time for others at work so I dont always have the same schedule and since I am a creature of habit, it throws a wrench in my daily routine. I have been reading posts and want to comment on each thread when I can. For me, I am still gamble free and not having as much of an issue staying that way this time. I have found that, when I was sticking my head in the sand about all of the financial mess I was in, it was easier to ignore the consequences of my actions. Once u started to address all of my debt and the mess, i couldn’t even begin to put a cent into any slot since i dont have any freed up funds and i am otherwise focused on my mess. It’s like a wet blanket thrown on a smouldering fire. Nothing is happening at this point. I am happy that the urges are not as annoying anymore and i hope that they will continue to dissipate until it’s the last thing i will think about doing in any given day. I still have associated memories that come in flashes once in a while that are a bit bothersome and hard to ignore, but they are usually related to going to the land based casino and since I self excluded, it’s not happening either. All in all I’m not posting every day but I am checking in daily with your posts and hope that all is well today. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
2 May 2022 at 12:19 pm #153727
Its Monday morning and the start of a new week and month for me ( and you of course)and I am struggling to make all of the financial payments required at the first of the month. I have a deep sadness at the lack of funds on hand for my daughters birthday coming up and for mothers day and 3 more birthdays this month. The expenses seem endless and then I remember my relapse. I lost a bunch if money that I had put aside and I then feel more determined to make it through this month somehow. I know that I have less funds because I am paying off debt. I know that I am catching up on outstanding amounts and that I will have a better month this month and next if I stay away from the slots. I know that I dont have one penny to put into them at this point and I feel a bit of relief. I have family that can help.if times get too rough but I wont ask them. I must ride out the hard times because this is what will keep me realizing what my actions have done to my situation. It is not without hardship and I almost enjoy it at times because it takes my focus away from gambling and keeps it on recovery. I am going to be gamble free today because I have no choice and because I choose to be. It can be noth at the same time and knowing that is calming. My regard s to everyone who has to make it through the end of the month financial crunch and if it causes discomfort, use this to propel you into a month of recovery. It will get better in time. You didnt get this way in one month and it will take more than one month to get yourself out. ( me talking to myself) . Happy Monday everyone and may May be a month of triumph.
2 May 2022 at 12:49 pm #153729
You are not alone. I too, recently relapsed after multiple clean days. At this point I just feel like maybe I have to accept that I’ll be a gambling addict dealing with relapses for the rest of my life. It’s not a positive thing to say but honestly at this point it’s the truthful thing to say.
I had gotten some money from unemployment finally after waiting several months to see if they’d even approve me. I paid off some debt and wanted to get a car off the lot that I could drive Lyft/Uber with, but I couldn’t even get approved for the most basic loan that would allow me to make monthly payments on the car (due to having very poor credit). This hurt because I was determined to execute this plan.
Of course, my mind convinced me to try those “strategies” again at the casino/cardroom (to possibly win enough for the car and/or to possibly win enough to fix my credit), and of course, it worked only a couple of times again before it backfired and costed me not only what I had won, but my own money.
This actually happened less than 24 hours ago (the losses). It’s funny how we, or at least myself, doesn’t think I am doing anything wrong, doesn’t admit to dealing with a relapse, or doesn’t post when I am not losing, and assuming there is no problem until I lose (although sometimes I don’t post even when I’m losing / have lost due to feeling too low).
Here I am back at square one. It’s funny you mention Mother’s Day. My mother is one of my motivations for trying to win money, so I can get her nicer things. I had no idea that Mother’s Day was this upcoming Sunday. Here I am, pretty much broke once again due to gambling. I am not a good son.
I appreciate God for the basic things though such as having a roof over my head, but living this life of a gambler with no other kind of financial plan for financial growth is very very tiring.
4 May 2022 at 1:43 pm #153888
I had to make a payment plan with a few of my debtors this week to get caught up and it is incredibly sobering how far behind I have managed to get on some of my bills. I will work on this tirelessly because that is how I do things, and the lack of money to gamble will help in my recovery. It’s like losing weight when there is not a lot to eat. I will make some choices and others will be made for me but that doesnt devalue my progress or recovery. I read what @dark energy wrote about paying off debt then relapsing and so I will make sure to be aware that this could retrigger me. I want to get to a point where gambling ( and it’s horrible after effects) do not take up all of my mind. I want to start living, planning, doing things that other people consider normal. Start an exercise routine to get into better shape. Save money for new furniture. Go to the mall and buy a new pair of Jeans. Anything but gamble or skrimp to make ends meet and pay my obligations because I did gamble. I want to stop thinking about how to live like it looks like I have no money issues. I want to stop being worried about paying my daughters tuition. It will all stop if I do. I just have to stop being a dork and throwing money at a company in Malta. It’s easier than we think and the hardest thing that we have ever had to do. Or is it really? As with @kin, we just have to deny ourselves the pleasure that we crave, deal with a little mental discomfort at the thought of not being able to do as we crave, put on our big boy pants and stop digging ourselves into the quick sand. That is what gambling is to us. Every move we make digs us in deeper until it will eventually swallow us up. The only smart move is to avoid the sand altogether and that is what I plan to do right now. How I feel tomorrow may not be in line, but I hope that reading your posts will put me back on the straight and narrow of I falter. I wish you all strength today.
8 May 2022 at 2:33 pm #154269
Happy mother’s day to all that it applies, and I hope that all of the rest get to spend a happy mother’s day with theirs. I am getting ready for this evening when I will be getting together with my family to spend mothers day with my mom. I made some banana muffins and bread for my daughters birthday as well and feel like I am on top of all that I need to be. I have to work today and welcome the routine. I know that if I work every day then I can pay down my debts more quickly, and I think of you all when I am there because it is in this frame of mind that I find peace. One might think that working every day would get tedious and tiring. It does, to a point, but it also serves as a reminder of the new path that I am on and it gives me a newly defined purpose that helps to motivate me. I will work until I am better and my finances are better. It is the path that I decided was my penance for all of the harm that i have done to myself. I will walk it happily and with purpose until o am sure that i am healing. I hope that everyone is well and strong and gamble free today. If you are wondering why i am not posting how many days i am gamble free it is because i do not think about them anymore. I keep all thoughts of gambling as far from my day as possible, and counting them only reminds me of them. I have not gambled since my relapse almost one month ago. I will not gamble today
8 May 2022 at 5:17 pm #154280
I will stop counting days as well. I think it is not that helpful to keep me reminded of how many days have passed since the last relapse. I have to focus on today and the days that will come.
happy mothers day to you and glad to see you are motivated and happy.
12 May 2022 at 12:50 am #154558
It’s funny how the little things can seem so big. I have always felt a bit outside the norm since I was very young. I was always bright and enthusiastic but awkward and shy. I love numbers and order and organization. I have always been creative and resourceful at the same time being obsessive and neurotic. It seems many sides of me are part of the reason that I started gambling and the only reason why I am an addict. It pains me to know that my inability to merge the different sides of me into a cohesive, functional individual can open me up to causing so much turmoil. I know that I need to call upon the sides of me that are able to fight with the addiction. I need to call upon the functioning, rational and problem solving being that lies underneath the mess that has ensued to come to the surface and fix what I have done. Only I can fix this mess. I need to fix it so that I dont end up here again. If I get out of this and then start back on the path that led me here I know that I will have to get a second job again. I will not be able to afford many of the things that I want or need. Fear will be my constant companion. I will question my worth and my decisions. This is not something that I want to do now or in the future. As much as trauma and hardship.lead others to addiction, my own lack of self has led me here. At 56 I still have not been able to know who I really am and it looks like it’s going to be an important part of my recovery to find out. Today I am panicked for many reasons. I feel like the ground beneath me could come away at any time. It is me who.makes the ground unstable. If is me who brings fear and panic to my mind. It is me who makes the choice to gamble or not. It is all me. It is me who must fix this and it is me who will jeopardize my recovery. I have stopped looking to the casinos and the internet as the enemy. It is not their fault that I cannot say no. When I look to myself as the problem then I also give myself the power to be the solution. I am the only solution. I will use the blocks to help me until I get stronger, but I will keep in mind that they will not always be there. I must learn that I need to be responsible for what I do and what happens when I do it. Gambling is not without recourse.
14 May 2022 at 12:17 pm #154825
Thanks kin, you are always so supportive. I hate to admit that I had relapsed yesterday but it is true. I was enjoying a relaxing morning when I got an email from a site that I had self excluded on and I had some free spins!!! Sadly, that is all it took to get the juices flowing. It just shows how avoiding all triggers is important, even when the urges and thoughts have been diminishing. I am avoiding all emails now while sitting at home ( I was having to look for a specific email that was important regarding my daughters tuition) so that this does not happen again. It is unfortunate that the self exclusions only last for a year and then they are back at you. I have opted for no emails on all of them but some still stick reminders when the exclusions are up so I will have to avoid them when I am most vulnerable. It is good that j had limited funds at that point so that the damage, financially, was limited. I am hopeful that I will do better now that I have a better plan and am learning my ins and outs to success. I hope that everyone is strong, avoids their pitfalls, and is gamble free today.
14 May 2022 at 5:32 pm #154839
sorry for your relapse, stay strong and start over this is what we can do, we learn from our relapses and finally, we will win, and even if we didn’t win at least we are trying to win and this is enough for me. we should not feel defeated and stop trying to recover we have to continue trying.
regarding the emails, you can add them to the block list in your email, so any email you receive from that email address will be blocked automatically this could help you. if you don’t know how to do it I will guide you it is simple.
14 May 2022 at 7:34 pm #154847
Thanks for the offer. I have blocked so many and sad any that come to my spam folder, the problem is when a new “sister casino opens up I’m fair game. I will only look at my e.ail folders now when I am at work so that I cannot act on any great “offers” that I get. I will start over knowing that I can keep adjusting my behavior to beat whatever obstacles come my way. Thanks again. Hope that you are well and feeling better these days.
14 May 2022 at 11:15 pm #154861
Thanks kin. I am still navigating my way. All the streets look the same and while some look like I’ve been down them before, it seems that I am not as well travelled as I might hope. I will keep looking for my street that is free of quick sand and try to stay on it. Glad you are well. About the eczema have you tried a gluten free diet? It worked wonders for my daughter.
17 May 2022 at 12:10 pm #155074
Back on track and keeping busy. I dont worry too much about the gambling urges on my busy days but am facing them again on the not too busy ones. I am facing some financial crunches this month and next but i am hoping that my periods of abstinence will help with the bills being paid. I hope that you all are well and enjoying the spring weather. It’s been nice here and we need some sun and fresh air to draw us outside and away from the evil that lurks inside. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today.
18 May 2022 at 12:16 pm #155185
Feeling a bit like I need to do something different with my life. All I do is fight every day. I fight too hard to get nowhere but when I let my guard down I slip back in. I am tired of standing on the edge of the quicksand, pulling hard to just stay out. It takes all of my thoughts, all of my energy, and it gets me no where but on the edge of the quicksand. One wrong move and I slip back in…..I want a life away from the edge. I have to think about something else. I need another goal. I want more. I am thinking that I need another routine. A routine that includes doing more than simply surviving this horrible addiction and doing something meaningful. You know it’s bad when you mark the time in your week by the number of days until garbage day. I am doing that. I stand in my kitchen thinking that, geez, it’s two days until garbage day, boy the week went fast. Great life, huh?. I do not want to be the food for this addiction because I am nothing else anymore. I cry as I write this because I relapsed last night because I was alone. All I could think about when I got in the house was a try at a game. I Wanted to have something else in my day other than work and dinner. It shows me that I need something else other than gambling as my only out from my pathetic day. I am going to think.long and hard about what else I need to do to get my life on another track. Have a good day everyone.
20 May 2022 at 2:55 pm #155370
No more crying kin because I have had a bit of a breakthrough. I relapsed again yesterday and for the love of all that is good I could not figure out why. I called in sick to work so that I could play and that is something that I haven’t done for a long time and by mid day I was out of money and so disgusted with myself I reached out to my sister (who has a strong background in psychology, shes actually a psychologist) and I spoke to her about my day. It seems that the “suit” that I put on every day, the busy, organized outgoing person “suit” that is put on when I leave the house is just to cover the me that is hurting. I am depressed, or so it sounds, and I do not know how to deal with the feelings when they happen so I gamble to forget them. I have an issue with negative thought patterns that are “instant”. Its like when you see a picture of something that reminds you of something bad that happened to you before. My thoughts are instant, as they pop in to my head from seemingly nowhere, cause an instant reaction, and then I react instantly in a way that either deals with or, in this case, doesnt deal with the feeling I’m having. I’ve always had an issue with being focused in my thoughts. I get weird, unrelated flashes of thoughts that I cant pin down sometimes, and it has been causing me a bit of trouble. I realized while talking to my sister that I have been depressed for a long time now, mostly because of my job changes that happened about 12 years ago, and I havent dealt with the feelings that have occured in the deepest part of my identity since. Without going into a long story, my whole identity was wrapped around two things- my work and my daughter. I was an employee and a mother and basically nothing more. It has defeated two relationships in the past because I had little left for anyone else. At some point 12 years ago there was a shift in my company and I was mistreated. I fought back to save my job and in the process ruined my reputation. I have never been able to get it back and even changed departments to get away from it. I lost without being that person. That leader. It was who i was for over 30 years. It happened on the cusp of turning 50 and losing the last long term relationship I was in. That’s exactly when the gambling started. I know now that I am in a state of depression that has been going on now for quite a while and I’ve never addressed it because I never wanted to admit that I was vulnerable. I am starting a new road today. I need to think about how I feel and learn to deal with the feelings that arise instead of burying them and refusing to allow bad emotions to surface. I dont always have to be in a good mood to everyone else. I can need like everyone else and take time to heal like everyone else. I am no different from others and that’s not easy for me to admit. I started today by going outside to work in my yard, painting some ornaments given to me by my mom. I usually associate negative emotions with outside the house because of my neighbors. I avoid the neighbors and now have learned that it’s not because I don’t like them, its beause I feel judged at the one place I should feel peace. I need to deal with the feelings that occur because I feel vulnerable at being judged and that has to do with my own feelings and insecurities and not the neighbors. Its things like this that mess you up and make you act in ways that dont make sense. I need to deal with the thoughts that drive my behavior and I’m making steps on that direction today. I am rambling on but it feels cathartic to write this so kudos to jvr. I am going to start to deal with all the mess that is in my noggin and try to make myself a happier me. I’ve learned that it’s not enough to just keep myself busy and to deflect all of the thoughts because they will find me sooner or later. I need to scrape out all of the crap that is clogging my head. Using a metaphor, it’s like a pipe. I’ve got so much built up inside that occasionally the contents begin to spill out. I have been putting a pin hole in the center hoping that it will help things to flow through, and it does for a while, but eventually the contents back up and a spill happens. I need to snake the drain, get it all out and then stop it from clogging again. I’m feeling hopeful today that with knowledge will come power. With power will come healing and with healing will come peace. I wish power to everyone who reads this.
21 May 2022 at 1:07 am #155423
This made me so happy to read. Nice to meet the vulnerable side of you 😊. I’ve wanted to comment on your other posts alot but I didn’t feel my words would really do much as I could tell you still weren’t ready to fully surrender yet to this part of it all. Letting go of the need to control is really tough its a security net for protecting oneself as I’m sure you already no. I’ve seen alot of the things you write other people and you no what to say to others all the time. Your a smart women I can tell by the way you write and I’ve said before I see alot similarities to how I am through how you write. We’re the type that have had to survive life on our own terms. I admire that you never give up that takes so much courage and strength. And what you just did talking to your family member and realizing you needed more help that was really brave of you so I commend you on that. I will say one thing when you said you realized your depressed I haven’t met one person in the last 10 years of being around recovering addicts who wasn’t depressed. That’s what addiction boils down to in the end. Depression takes many different forms and we all experience it in different ways. Alot of people I’ve met including myself have had a hard time being “labled” by some psychological term because I/they have felt even more defective by the terms used in the dsm books. But realistically were not defective were just wounded people that need to do some serious healing.the healing part takes surrender and it does require finding some kind of spirtual outlet whatever that might be to take us outside of ourself so we’re not trying to control and run the show. That’s the toughest part or me anyways. Especially when I feel powerless that’s when I try to take control back even more so. I think that’s why people relapse that’s why I did anyways because I needed to feel some kind of control and whenever I do that it always ends up destructive as shit. You got this I believe you can beat this addiction.
21 May 2022 at 12:00 pm #155443
Thanks jvr. I will admit that it does not feel good to be on the vulnerable side of life, as the last time I was actually vulnerable was when I was in my early teen years and shoved into foster care, and I don’t have to tell you about that kind of hurt I suppose. I should have seen the signs long ago of depression because the easiest way to tell that something isnt right with me is the state of my house. It’s not filthy by any means, but it is disorganized and in need of a good dusting, and that tells you that I have lost focus. I always blamed the clutter and the mess on gambling because I would spend my free time doing that instead of cleaning, but I guess it too was a distraction provided by gambling. It is hard for me to be depressed in my current situation because I have a daughter who suffers from and is medicated for chronic depression and I always have to be the rock for her. I guess that my first steps are to examine my thoughts and the patterns and to find out why I have so many negative thought patterns that ultimately lead to me feeling so lost and alone. I had always thought that I enjoyed the solitude of being alone and still do, but I am thinking that is a defense. I have started talking to more of my neighbors as I spend time outside so that I am not always alone in my thoughts and am making some connections with others. It’s not always fun, but when I do I feel less judged by them and it relieves some of the negative aura that seems to surround me when dealing with others. Baby steps. It’s also a bit of a relief for me to know that I am “simply” depressed. It is something that now has a name and is not some weird personality disorder that cannot be fixed. I have always been the same person but i picked up some negative thought patterns that lead me to the darker side which has lead me to the even darker side of life, and i am hoping that the light that has been thrust upon it now with a “diagnosis ” will lead me out. I am still watching the gambling urges with care, but now i am watching even closer the thoughts that seem to lead me to the urges. I’m cutting to the quick, so to speak, and i hope that everyone does the same.
24 May 2022 at 12:15 pm #155638
It’s so hard for me to come and admit to.you all that I am screwing up so often, but I am. I dont know what is getting me to relapse so often. I am a mess at this point and will not be able to make my financial obligations this month. I was fine and I had just enough to get by. I had a calm feeling about it and then I gambled yesterday and blew all that I had to pay some bills. It’s like I want to hurt myself. I want to cause myself stress and anxiety. I need to look a bit harder into the logic of why I do what I do. Am I hurting myself on purpose? What am I guilty of? I know that I was feeling some hurt over not being able to afford some things that I wanted for outside, but then I go and make my situation worse???? Any clues?
24 May 2022 at 2:00 pm #155646
I was doing the same stuff last year when I couldn’t stop. I’d be doing fine then all of sudden I’d be back playing again. Its that dopamine hit, the obsession instilled in your mind. It numbs you out from the racing thoughts,anxiety,depression. The trigger of wanting more momey to afford things seems to be a reoccuring theme among us gamblers. If You really want to beat this youll need to go to counseling and start doing stepwork or maybe even rehab at first since you can’t stop relapsing. You may need to be taken away from your own environment to save yourself. I no thats hard for someone that’s by themself and independent to admit but it might be nessicary. Most people I no in recovery had to go to rehab. I didn’t go because I through myself into 12 step programs. That’s the only way I was able to quit gambling was because I new I had to throw myself back into working a program and getting major counseling. White knuckling it thinking you can do it alone doesn’t work at all. I’ve never seen anyone successful beating addiction without other help. You have to really want to stop and put just as much effort into recovery as you do your addiction. Those times where you’d be gambling you could be at a meeting, doing stepwork, going to a counseling session, doing online meetings maybe if you have home obligations, reaching out to other recovery people to go for coffee ect. It takes alot of effort and it’s exhausting sometimes but thats part of recovering and staying that way.
25 May 2022 at 1:27 am #155704
Idk if you’ve tried this, but it’s been helping me stay clean during days I’ve had strong urges. I’ve been going to a GA Meeting (virtual) as often as possible (on average, daily, or at least as often as possible when I’m not busy).
I’ve also contacted multiple people from meetings (many through text messaging) when I’m dealing with feeling lonely or when I’m dealing with withdrawals (or dealing with urges to gamble/relapse). They don’t judge nor do they respond in a mean/judgmental way because they understand the addiction from an empathetic standpoint, as they’ve also been addicted to gambling.
These are the two suggestions I suggest if you have not done them or are not currently doing them.
25 May 2022 at 2:33 am #155710Berta24449787Participant
Thanks to both of you for your replies. There are no ga meetings where I am ( that I know of) and really wouldn’t have a chance to go even if there was. I am working out a way to be a bit more in touch with how I am feeling when I relapse, as it seems to be related to down time when I have time to think and there are things in my mind that I would rather not deal with. I have swallowed up a lot of emotions over the last 40 years and it seems as though I have finally got indigestion from it all. I am now vulnerable and not happy with that at all. I need to let myself feel some of the more unpleasant after effects of not dealing with life when it slams you in a corner, and it’s time to deal with my addiction. I’m taking it day by day, white knuckling for now, but looking to see what’s available for me at a later date. I am trying to see the big picture, the long road, the epic journey ahead, and I know that they all begin with one foot in front of the other. One baby step at a time.
25 May 2022 at 5:12 am #155725
There are multiple GA Meetings every day that can be attended virtually with Zoom. All you need is a device and the Zoom app downloaded/installed on that device. In my opinion, if someone can find a way to gamble, they can definitely find a way to attend a virtual meeting. The information to join the meetings is below:
25 May 2022 at 12:11 pm #155733Berta24449787Participant
Thanks we win. I’m not making excuses, I promise, it’s just that with working 2 jobs and little to no privacy in my house it’s hard. I had tried to do meetings in the past but they were always at 7 p.m. just after I get home from work, dinner time and my daughter is usually home. I also have 2 or 3 days a week where I work late so I cant attend those either. I will try to find a way to reach out to a professional organization of some sort, its just not working really well at this point. Hope you are gamble free today.
Thanks again kin for posting that autobiography again. I love it. It is so insightful and really hits home every time I read it. I may just have to put that on my laptop home screen. I hope you are well.
26 May 2022 at 12:09 pm #155811
Today I am on chapter 3/ 4 of @kins autobiography. I was in chapter 3 at the beginning of this week but am trying to stay in chapter 4. I walk the same street at this point and I see the hole daily. The last 2 days have been good. I see the hole in the distance as my thoughts are not gambling ones. It comes and goes but the thoughts are really not there. I want to progress to chapter 5 but I am not ready yet. I had a bad day yesterday working with the moron I must endure and he shakes my confidence in myself which is festering ground for gambling thoughts and feelings. I came home to an empty house, which again promotes those feelings, but I did not give in. I am holding strong to seeing the hole but walking around it. I want to be walking down another street come the beginning of June. I want to be in the next chapter of my life. Chapter 5. Thanks again @kin for giving me an analogy that so fits my life that I can plan my recovery.
27 May 2022 at 5:46 pm #155932
Today will be good. I had the morning off and had no inclination to gamble at all. I planted some herbs and made lasagna. I will work tonight at the second job and will get home late so I know that today is a good day for me. These are usually the hard ones, when I have time to myself and the memories hit a nerve. I took myself outside, talked myself into working even though there were others out as well, felt good about what I had done and squashed any need for gambling. I need to tune up my routine not just to keep busy, but to make the ground in my mind less fertile to grow thoughts of gambling. No thoughts, no actions. I dont “feel” much today that is not comfortable and the weather is cooperative, as it’s cool and overcast, just the way i like it. I am good today and I hope that you are too.
1 June 2022 at 11:59 am #156287
I cant believe it’s been four days since I posted anything on my own thread and so here it goes. I’ve been gamble free, no thoughts or urges for a week now or more. I am not counting the days because then I keep gambling in my mind. My goal this month is to have one month of no charges to my bank accounts for gambling. It is a stretch making the financial obligations again this month but i will hopefully do it better. Not much to report other than the squirrels demolishing all of my seedlings.
2 June 2022 at 12:07 pm #156358
I have noticed that the more that I try to monitor and curb my behavior these days the more paranoid I feel about controlling what is going on around me. When I was gambling I was slowly losing control of every facet of my life but didnt seem to notice or care. I have stated contacting all of the companies that I owe money to because of missed payments and arrangements are being made to catch up, which is great, but I am starting to feel nagging paranoia about anything I feel outside my control, and it is making me feel a bit off kilter. Anyone else feel that when they were starting recovery? I have always been a bit (ok maybe more than a bit) of a control freak and his is making the ground under my feet feel a bit more unstable. I am hoping that it goes away in time because I do not feel good being this hyper vigilant all of the time. Perhaps it is for the best so that I am much less likely to relapse. Hope everyone has a great day.
4 June 2022 at 7:29 am #156514
I can say control for me has been a reaction to fear of losing control. Ive struggled with the need to be in control often because I had fear of being at the mercy of other people and this has stemed from trauma that left me feeling helpless and vulnerable. Because of this control has become really unhealthy in my life.
The need for control has made me turn to the external world in order to find things to control. Like I’ve felt compelled to micromanage my life like having rigid rules regarding routine, diet, and really anything I do. Ultimately it stems from what’s happened in my life of not trusting people, and not wanting to get hurt again. To some degree everybody needs to feel some sense of power in there lives but it does get to a point where it’s more of a hinderence that pushes connection to others away. It also can make us really sick. That’s where the surrender to life and finding a more spiritual outlook comes into play.
6 June 2022 at 12:21 pm #156656
The same goes here kin. Its always nice to feel some contact with others that understand. I feel that I not only have an audience for my posts but understanding and empathy from those who truly understand what it’s like to be an addict of any sort. I hope that whatever is bothering you will disappear from your mind and free it for some more of your inspirational messages that I find delightful. Have a good day.
9 June 2022 at 6:49 pm #156932Don14765Participant
Hello- not sure where to post for a newcomer – thought I’d post here….
I’ve had numerous times where
I’ve tried to budget my gambling…
To always over-spend my budget
And fall behind on bills ….
Lately I’ve been trying so
Hard to “control”
And enjoy gambling
From going to
The lottery terminal for
This week’s lotto
To betting online ….
Same result always happens:
I over spend and rarely win anything significant
Maybe $5 or $10 here and there
I’m stubborn, and am desperately trying to
Find a way to control and enjoy
And the withdrawal symptoms
When I try not to gamble ?!! Wow…
Very strong and difficult
To avoid …
Other people do in this position
To get success?
Any replies or help is greatly appreciated 😀
9 June 2022 at 8:28 pm #156933
Hi Don and welcome to the site. I think if we wee the type of people who could “control and enjoy” gambling then to be frank we wouldn’t have the problem in the first place. You can stop gambling I promise you.
Start by starting your own thread. Just scroll to the bottom of this Forum and type in the “Create new Topic” box. I can reply more there but things would just get confusing for all if I try and give you advice on someone elses thread.
I will watch out for your new thread. 🙂
11 June 2022 at 11:52 am #157046
Hello again kin. I am fine, thank you, and have been reading the posts every day just not a lot to report, fortunately. I am doing well, both with gambling and otherwise and am finally able to go from day to day without as much trouble from the urges. I have had a few occasions where I have had the opportunity present itself and have thought about going online to play, but I am at the point where the hassle just doesnt seem worth it. JOY. It would take too much effort to play since I am banned from all of the sites that I know and the time it would take no longer seems worth it. It took a while to get here but I am hoping that this is the point where I am able to move the idea around in my head and say no to it instead of being its slave. I hope that you are well and have put this addiction behind you as well. Take care.
14 June 2022 at 12:26 pm #157250
Thanks kin. I have been trying to do what I thought was impossible by thinking about my favorite games and picturing the bonus and the wins and then shutting it down in my mind. I had a therapist tell me that it is important to rewire your brain into thinking no to the urge so that it will no longer associate certain feelings with playing those games. I allow myself to want to play but do it at times when I know I have more control or no real time to.play and then I just dont allow myself to play. It is working so far and the urges have stopped. The only time I really think about gambling is when I force myself to and it hasnt come up in my mind as a defence or replacement for negative feelings lately. It seems I am on the mend and am using this time to get my finances back into good standing, which only helps to reinforce my good decisions. I hope that you are well and experiencing the Joy’s that life has to offer.
22 June 2022 at 12:31 pm #157795
Hi kin. Good to hear from you again. It’s been a tough few weeks for me. I am doing ok on the gambling front but am dealing with lots of feelings that are hard to.process and my daughter is going through a rather deep depression that seems to be harder to shake than usual. I am keeping busy and holding strong. I am not without guilt but am doing much better than I was a month ago and a month ago I was doing better than I was a month before that, so I believe that the progress is cumulative and I am edging towards a gamble free life. I have some work issues that are proving to be rather bothersome to my feelings is pride and self worth at this point in my life, and I must work through those feelings first before I can make any progress. I also had a moment a few days ago where I had to duck and hide from someone who I did not want to see because I was embarrassed at what I have become. It’s a harsh state to be in and I am trying to find a road that can lead me to someone that i am proud of being again. It’s a tough house to be in at this point in time. I will keep trying and looking for who I am. Thanks for asking
25 June 2022 at 12:12 pm #158012
You are right of course, but waiting for things to pass can be a grueling time to endure and while waiting for issues to surface it can be terrifying. I am not sure why I gamble these days since my abstinence is the most important thing to keep in my mind, but other things must be bubbling underneath, making it hard for any real progress to take root. I am at the point now where I am in real jeopardy, financially, and have to start a new route to make up for all the harm that I have done. I am focusing on being resourceful and creative, financially, so that I have not done permanent damage. It takes a lot of my thoughts and energy these days and that is good because the feeling of success and the actual success are something that I can hold on to and use to lift myself up. I sometimes feel that, because I had struggled all of my life to beat the odds and be in a place that was comfortable and moderately successful, I created a circumstance wherein I had to start over again to give myself purpose. I’m not sure if that is the underlying cause of all of my issues, but I am here now, in that circumstance, and am in full gear getting myself out. I hope that you are well and I will keep posting.
27 June 2022 at 6:53 pm #158161
Great weather today and I cant actually believe that I will have 3 days off- actually off of both jobs this week. I am puttering around the house today watching some t.v. and washing the floors in my house. I made my daughter lunch to take to work today and will be attacking a few things on my to do list. Days off used to be a trap for me but I am hoping that with no access to funds and some willpower I will get through this week. Hope you all are g.f. today.
29 June 2022 at 11:37 am #158253
I feel like I had another setback and motivator all at the same time. I posted yesterday that my and my daughters phones were cut off yesterday because i owed money. I owe money everywhere, as most of us gamblers do, and had been ignoring it up until recently. I also have a problem with shopping- mostly grocery- and have a house full of food and necessities to last a while. I have been trying to budget and stop shopping so much the last couple of weeks and have been doing well, and have been starting to exist on the stockpile that i have in my house. The feeling I get from being able to pay down part of an outstanding debt is a powerful one and is motivating me to budget even more and be more resourceful so that I can get myself back to the point where i actually am paying current bills and not old amounts outstanding. I used to have my bills set on auto payments so that each bill was paid in part each week, with extra being paid on the accounts so that i never owed. I had an excellent credit score and lots of available credit. That is not the case anymore and i will have to try very hard to repair the damage I’ve done over the past 5 years. I have a strong finance background, believe it or not, and have the capabilities to make a budget and stick to it but it’s a struggle because of my impulse control issues. My entire life is in need of an overhaul and that’s what I have begun to try today. I am regimenting my day a bit more so that I am accountable for what I do. I feel that I need the feeling of success on a few levels to help with the crap that keeps flying into my life, so I will create it in any way I know how. I hope that you all are g.f. and happy today.
2 July 2022 at 12:17 pm #158424
Well, I had three days off this week and what was usually a time of relapse and depression has now become triumph and reflection. I always dread the days off because I know that the triggers will always be there, but this time I took out my day timer in the morning, first thing, and made a list of what I needed to do that day. Organization and sense of purpose are always good motivation and it works for me. I managed to get all of my floors washed and cleaned and it felt good. The second day was laundry and bathrooms and a little food prep so I was really feeling good. Yesterday was some things off of the list of “to dos” and I am up and feeling good about my progress. It’s all well and good to not gamble when you are physically unable to but it is harder, for me, to not gamble when I am not restrained from doing so by work or other responsibilities. This was a triumph for me and a marker in my progress. I have also taken the only means of gambling – my daughters old laptop- and put it in the garage. It is in a container with some other old things and it is out of reach. It is harder to justify picking it up if I have to go outside and into the garage and dig for it. I am hoping that the extra effort will give me time to change my mind. I am feeling good about my progress this last few weeks and I believe that I am on my way to a more permanent recovery path than before. My brain doesnt think about gambling in the same way it used to and that gives me reason to feel good about my thought patterns. I am using my time to do things that will make me feel good about myself and being creative at righting my previous wrongs so things are good at this end. I have stopped counting the days that I am gamble free and started counting the things I am feeling good about. It has been over three weeks since I have gambled and I believe that I am very happy about that. I hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today
3 July 2022 at 1:27 pm #158478
I got some great deals on shrubs and plants from the garden center and decided to spruce up the garden a bit more this week. I love to watch things grow and when I see plants that have little veggies growing on them I feel more connected to life and my world. I am an earthy being and love fresh air and green spaces and I just dont get enough of either these days with all the time I spend at work, so I am trying to spend a little time each morning tending to my small space. I am happy and gamble free today, and that’s all that matters to me.
3 July 2022 at 5:46 pm #158493
Glad to see your doing well losingitslowly I agree that nature is the best medicine. Wishing you a great day 😊
4 July 2022 at 12:26 pm #158533
I managed to spend one and a half hours planting yesterday and spent a bit of time this morning planting some more. Little jalapeno plants with little peppers already sprouting. This gives me joy. I am attending to the things that I must do every day so that life runs a bit more smoothly. I believe that, for me, the calm of a routine existence will help the flow of mind and body so that there are few highs and lows. I have begun to hate the anxious feeling of ‘needing” to do something. I am much more content with a list of things to do that gets done a bit at a time, so I chip away at the list until I regain the feeling of control and accomplishment again. It is boring, perhaps, but the roller coaster ride of gambling and ignoring the rest of my life has left me in need of calm and predictability for the time being and it is what I will use my time to strive for. Today I will work, make dinner and tackle a few odds and ends. I will journal my work, tick it off my list and enjoy a good sleep that comes with it. I hope that you all are happy and gamble free today.
5 July 2022 at 12:31 pm #158582
I’ve started to feel the urge peeking through all of my daily routines. It’s like a tiny little itch that you cant scratch (because it’s in a delicate area) and you try to just forget that it’s happening. It goes away and then reappears at another time. On and off, not really needing attention but lurking. You know it’s there when it is but you forget about it totally when it’s not. Online gambling has become totally legal in canada now and the ads are running non stop on the t.v.. Every time I watch any station I see them and, although I’m not driven at that point to gamble, its putting the seed in there that presents itself at other times. I am not going to give in. I am journaling every day what I do and achieve and I dont want to write that in, that i have failed again, so i am putting it out to you, today, and hoping that this will help scratch the itch and it will be satiated for a while longer.
6 July 2022 at 12:46 pm #158630
All kinds of new thoughts are coming through these days. I was on my way home yesterday, feeling a bit blue because of the financial mess that I am in. I know that with some focus, restraint and patience, in time, I will be back on track. I was looking at about 2 years of no gambling, paying regularly on my debts I will be out of trouble and back to a more normal format of financial thinking and goals. It’s a long time when you are looking at things day to day, but as time goes by and the gambling urges are pushed to the back, I am hoping that it will be easier. As i was thinking of all of this I noticed others. I take transit (I live in a major metropolitan area) and I looked around me. Not far from where I live there is a government subsidized building. The people that live there are, for the most part, living either in poverty or close to it because the building is used for those who cannot afford housing under traditional methods. I see the same people everyday coming and going to work and I begun to think about their predicament, and the fact that they can barely afford housing costs. I have a good job and make a decent wage. The only reason I am in any sort of trouble is because of gambling and I felt very small. I put myself in this financial crunch and thank God that I have the means to try to get myself out. I am more determined and have an even stronger resolve at this point to act in a more responsible way and make the best of what God has given me. That is how I feel today and I hope that you all can understand my position and find some comfort in yours. Have a great day.
7 July 2022 at 12:30 pm #158677
I know that I am facing this obstacle alone because I choose to. My sister knows of my situation and is there to help if necessary but I choose not to include her. She has her own life and troubles and I know that she needs to focus on herself. In keeping things to myself, not only do I face the enemy alone but I fight the enemy on my terms. I got paid today and almost every cent i made went to bills. I am on a few repayment plans since I got behind on a few bills so the amounts are a bit steep, but I know that this will not last forever. In a month or so I will be back to regularly scheduled payments in reasonable amounts and the feeling of drowning will leave, if only for a moment. I plan to be on repayment plans for a while and on weekly payments forever because that’s how I used to do it. When I was right, that is. I try to remember when I had it all down pat, smoothly running through life instead of jumping from one obstacle and emergency to another. I am trying now to keep the reigns on. Keeping things under control may not seem like fun, may not seem like a long term solution, but I am a person of extremes. If I can now keep myself under control I can right the wrongs that i have done to myself and get back to a place where I can look myself in the mirror and smile. I need to swing to this extreme, for the time being, so that the pendulum can once again sway closer to the middle. I am hoping for fee ups and downs, only calm and predictable times for the next year until I am calm and predictable and better. I am hoping that you all are happy and gamble free today
8 July 2022 at 1:25 pm #158730
Thanks kin. I read yours as well and your responses to others. I have begun to feel that I need to journal the good as well as the bad days and that if anyone can glean something to help them in their journey then it is good. All of our roads are different but our destination is the same and I have begun to see that it is hard to give others directions when you arent travelling together. I will only tell of my travels and hope that the content will help me and others map out how I got there. The one thing I take with me is your analogy of “walking down a different road” because it is one that we can all use and one that commits to my mind a mental image that befits this predicament. I “see” that hole in the road and I dont want to fall in again, knowing that the result is always the same. Thanks for that, kin. I hope that you are well, employed, and gamble free still. Have a great day
9 July 2022 at 11:01 am #158781
I had a reason to worry yesterday for my second job. There are a good number of people now available to work hours and I was afraid to be losing the hours that they are giving me. It made me feel different about working when I was there. I will usually feel a bit of resentment while I work because I am working on my day off. It is a menial labor position and pays minimum wage but it is providing me with both extra income and distraction on my days off. I need the second job to help with the payments that i must make to get back on track and the only time that i seem to value something these days is if i am in a position where i may lose it. It is disheartening to feel that way as I dont like taking things for granted. I have struggled a long time to get all that I have and I fear that my gambling is, in part, a way of putting me back on the edge so that I value what I have. I am in full response mode at this time. Survival mode. I have to look to see that this is or is not the case to help with my recovery.
9 July 2022 at 2:11 pm #158788
Survival mode is our trauma response its how people like us function. But it’s not exactly living either it is just that surviving. I no you mentioned not wanting to do the trauma work right now from what you’ve said in previous writings but I promise from my own experiences with healing it does help to change the way you live. It sets a part of you free from exactly what your questioning. It’s hard to change what feels normal and familiar/comfortable. I’m still in therapy because well I have alot of shit to undo and I have to force myself to unlearn my survival based behaviors so I can somewhat live a more healthy life. I guess thats why I post honestly about my progress because it gives me something to look back at and see if I need to reevaluate how I handle those situations or things occurring in my life. Recovery is a never ending growth experience. Once the addiction has been lifted then getting to the foundation and core of what put us there is nessicary to move forward in a healthy way. The hard part is life is always going to throw us curveballs and stressful stuff like money issues, shitty relationships ect. But we need to as addicts learn how to handle that stuff without going postal and distructful. I’m glad to see you posting more wishing you all the best
11 July 2022 at 12:47 pm #158889
I’m not sure what to make of the fact that I operate best and feel the most alive while in survival mode….its the reason why I am so concerned that I keep screwing up my life so that I put myself back in it constantly. I remember when I was in my teens and going through the foster care experience, I used to break up with guys that l liked and was dating just to feel the pain. I was so numb from the crap that was going on in my life that I created emotional pain for myself so that I had feelings that I could control. I ignored all of the rest and was just in survival mode, taking great satisfaction in just getting through each day still with a roof over my head. I had always been in the same mode until 10 years back when I had gotten a bit complacent and that’s when the trouble started. It’s a bit of a pattern that is not serving me well and I do suppose that now that i am more aware of it I should work on it. Revelations are a bit of a bitch sometimes. I’ve also decided to lose some weight. I’m trying to work it into my day a bit at a time, which is totally not like the way I do things, but I need to start incorporating more constructive ways in my life. Hope you all are happy and gamble free today.
12 July 2022 at 1:50 am #158935
My friend send me this article the other day. I thought it was a good read. Might be helpful for you as well. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/lifting-the-veil-trauma/202006/why-survival-mode-isnt-the-best-way-live
12 July 2022 at 12:23 pm #158954
Thanks jvr. I am all too familiar with the effects of long term excessive stress. About 16 years ago I was in a position at work that involved incredibly long hours ( no day off for weeks at a time and on call when you were) horrible conditions and intolerable people to work for. I had a young daughter and a new boyfriend at the time and was trying to be everything to everyone. It was an elite position that i had inherited and I wanted to rise to the challenge so i maintained it for the duration of the contract. I had been afflicted for the last year of it with “stress related food intolerances” that resulted in an intolerance to dairy that was so severe I had to eventually carry an epi pen. The allergist warned me of more that may develop and told me that stress itself is not real. I was creating so many harmful responses in my body that it was rebelling against me. I had to either quit the job or learn to deal with the “stress” in a healthier way. Eventually the contract ended and I was back to my regular job again, but the memory of the effect still remains. I am in survival mode in a healthier fashion now ( maybe survival mode is the wrong term) . My survival mode allows me to be more alert and conscious of what i do and when. I make lots of lists, journal obsessively and plan all of the time. I am about as spontaneous as a clock. I avoid stress by planning everything and since my memory is not so great, I write down almost everything. No stress to try to remember. I appreciate the article and will keep it in case I do start to feel overwhelmed. Congrats on your sobriety. I am striving for as much.
13 July 2022 at 11:51 am #159028
I awoke early today feeling fresh and renewed. I have begun to feel that the situation is not hopeless and that, due to covid and all the crap that comes with it, I am in the same boat as many, struggling to make payments and looking for a bit of time to make things right. I am hopeful that i can make things better and am taking the steps to do so. By focusing on making my life right I am taking the time away from making it worse. I dont have the inclination to gamble anymore because my brain is much more focused on making my life better. I guess i hit my rock bottom at this point and am starting to climb back up. I have taken the only means of gambling and put it away so that any effort to try to gamble will be a bit laborious and give me time to change my mind. I dont have the time to go to casinos because I am working 7 days a week to make things right. I am making payment plans with creditors and adhering to them so I have no cash available to gamble and have the entire picture of what I have done to myself, financially, in my mind every day of my week. I am making my amends and facing up to what I have done and it feels good and bad at the same time. I no longer have the fear and dread lurking below the surface. I face my fears and deal with things and it empowers me. I hope that anyone out there who is having to face the fight everyday finds strength in facing their enemy and their fears and has the hope to be victorious.
14 July 2022 at 12:48 pm #159112
Got paid today and used it all up to pay bills. It’s a good and bad feeling. I always have anxiety when I dont have money available to buy things I want even if I dont really want or need much. When I pay bills I feel good for living clean and paying my dues and it’s a good counterbalance to help with the anxiety of not having excess funds available. I was reading today about inflation and the bank interest rate and was thinking about when I have to renew my mortgage and that’s not for a couple of years. I them started thinking about the fact that I will most likely be in a better position if I keep myself on track, and that makes me feel better. I need to hold onto the hope that things will get better for me and that it will not always be like this. Recovery will make my life easier to manage both personally and financially and I need to keep that in mind during the worst of times. Have a great day
16 July 2022 at 11:52 am #159234
I am a person of extremes. I swing from one to another and get totally enveloped in the mood and devote very much time and effort maintaining my extremes. I have learned to avoid certain situations because going to extremes in them can be dangerous to my health. I am in an extreme mode now to deal with my finances and am enjoying it to the full amount I can. It gives me focus and relief knowing that I can try to undo all of the damage that I have caused. I was thinking back to only 7 years ago when I had no debt and had savings and lived a relatively stress free life (financially that is) but was in absolute hell in the rest of my life. One of my extremes is relationships and I was ending a 7 year live in relationship that was getting messy. My job was hell and was making me sick. I was a walking time bomb. Gambling came in at about that time and was my escape for a long time. I am out of that relationship and out of that job and dont need to gamble to escape anymore. I must make sure that I keep my life clean and devoid of excess stress and then I can heal and focus on my new life, job and health and put that part of my life behind me. I will pinch my pennies and make my amends and be the person that I know I can be. Its inside us all to be gamble free, we just have to find the part of us that is stronger than it is and bring it out. Walking down another street, having a new focus and letting the things that drag us down go is part of our healing and a part of life in general. Absolution for our mistakes is something we must give ourselves in order to move on. I was in a bad spot doing bad things for 7 years or so, some years worse than others. I will spend the next 7 being mindful and respectful and treating myself better. Here is to the next 7 years without the crutch of gambling to get me through.
18 July 2022 at 12:19 pm #159361
Thanks kin. I read your posts every time I can and see that your journey is a tumultuous one. I wish you peace and happiness always. It reminds me that each person will find their strength from within, and each person has to decide where they will find their answers. It may be with a higher power, a therapist or from within. I take a little of all three and blend them to find my strength to battle the demons inside my head. My life has to be about something greater than instant gratification and mind numbing addictions. I was complacent in the past when I let my addiction happen and, because addiction is an issue in my family, I should have been more cautious. I stay away from alcohol and any type of addictive meds because of it and didnt even consider that this type of addiction would happen to me. In retrospect, I guess none of us did. I try to move forward every day, sometimes I am a bit impatient that the journey goes so slow, but one day at a time is all we can do. You are doing so well now and should be proud of your progress. This is a journey that is well under way for you and I hope that the demons that tempt you stay quiet. Rest, rejuvenate and reflect. Have a wonderful day.
19 July 2022 at 11:57 am #159444
This morning is fresh and quiet. It rained for a good part of the morning yesterday so no need to water the green spaces today. I look at all that I have tried to grow and am disappointed at the results so far, as I thought that once I was gamble free that everything else would somehow magically work out better. I dont have a lot of time to dedicate to my garden because of the two jobs and so I cant do all the work that I should to keep up the gardens. It is just an example of how we set standards for ourselves that are out of attainability and so we set ourselves up to disappoint. I am a bit disappointed but will have to be content for now knowing that the debt must come first and perhaps next year I will do better. The garden is a metaphor for the rest of my life – I have aspirations, intentions and hope. I will try to do as much as I can with the time that i have. There are many things that i will be able to do and others that i cannot. Each day i will add on to the progress of the day before and push myself further ahead, hoping that at the end, i have reached something that i am happy with. I still have time each day to do a bit of work on my gardens to get closer to my goals. I cant give up just because its not everything I dreamed of. Anything worth having is worth working for. I must work a bit more. Have a great day everyone.
20 July 2022 at 12:29 pm #159498
Hot, hot, hot. It’s very hot here these days and the windows were closed last night so that means not a good sleep for me. I am anxious these days. I am on payment plans all over the place and am looking at at least two years to get back on the right track. I will never recover the savings that I have lost, or so it looks, but at least I have a projected date to look at. I will need to have the second job for at least that long and it scares me. I know it is unreasonable to think in these terms but my mind has little time these days for more logic. I am living a life of extreme frugality. I justify every expense. I pinch every penny until it is battered and bruised. I was just put onto another payment plan to cover a tax reassessment yesterday and it will stretch the budget even further. Its necessary and not wholly unreasonable and it is what I must do. This is the time for doing what I must do because gambling had me on a path of doing whatever I felt like for 6 years. I have ignored my responsibilities and must make up for it now. To me, this is reasonable and justified and it makes it easier to deal with. I am all about accountability. I will not smile the whole time while getting this debt paid down but I will not complain either. I will do what I need to because that is what reasonable people do. I would expect no less from a stranger. I hope that you are all strong and gamble free today.
20 July 2022 at 1:37 pm #159502ashamedofmyselfParticipant
I feel you Losingitslowly. My future looks grim as I have to pay back my debt for 3-7 years depending on my payment capabilities. It is very discouraging knowing that it will take many years but I keep myself motivated remembering of days when I had no debt and how much I enjoyed living.. How many nice dinners I was having with my wife.. Additionally when my debt has been paid and I’ve managed to survive with debt payments, it means that I’ve become smarter with the usage of money and that means I’ll hopefully have even more money to spend on my family. That is my motivator. Best of luck to you! We will beat our addiction!
23 July 2022 at 7:24 pm #159779
Thanks kin and ashamed, I am well. I have just posted to jay’s thread. To give you a bit of a picture of what you may be in for ashamed, I just received a call from my ex regarding my overdrawn chequing account that the bank has seen fit to notify him about. We have been separated for over 20 years and I thought that he would never find out about my gambling and I have narrowly dodged a bullet here. If you keep it up and things get worse then others will find out. Take care of it now before the cat is out of the bag and you have it all to pay back and others are watching you for relapse. I did explain it away and it may be ok for me at this point, but the scare is there. I just got the kick that I needed to keep my urges in check. I hope that it won’t come to this for you.
23 July 2022 at 10:06 pm #159785
I have a day off today and just binged watched 4 ted talks about addiction. Very enlightening and hits home on a few fronts. When I watched about the different addiction groupings I see that I have two of the three groups as afflictions and seem to have a foot into the third ( food/ eating disorder from one, gambling from the second and I really do try to be overly helpful at work. They call me mom….. I am unsure of what is the best way to approach all of them so that I do not end up with another “need” being met but I have a better understanding of the odds of things becoming addictive and that I need to find alternative things and ways to promote dopamine response in my brain. One speaker was comparing the dopamine loads that are delivered by our brains doing normal activities and those delivered during activities that people become addicted to ( alcohol, drugs and gambling) and noted the release was 10 times greater than the dopamine released by your brain on the best day you ever had. It is something to think about.
26 July 2022 at 12:32 pm #159930
I took a holiday day yesterday to try to get a few things done and get a bit of a break. I am getting tired. Working two jobs can be tiring and when you add on summer, heat and gardening in any of the spare time that I have, I am feeling like a break is necessary. I have an adult daughter who is acting out a bit and it affecting my sleep. I found out last night that she is seeing someone new and has been lying about where she has been going and spent the night at his place. I’m pretty liberal and not prone to judge these kinds of things but I do insist that she tell me where she is going and whom she is with when she is out as well as when she will be expected home. I dont ever stop her from going anywhere she wants and find her sneaking around to be unnecessary and irritating. I understand that she wants to develop a relationship more before she tells me but I feel that she still needs to be careful….anyways, the urge to gamble was quite strong yesterday as my mind was dealing with the lack of control and uncertainty of the situation. I was in the garage for other reasons and even looked at the container where i have the laptop that i can use to gamble but did not open it. I walked away, closed the door and am happy i did. If this was two months ago, i would have been playing to forget the things that made me feel out of control. Today I try to deal with things head on, try to identify what is making me feel stressed and deal with it as soon as possible. All of the bills, all of the companies that have been calling, I have called them back. I have payment arrangements and am making amends for what i have done. I guess it’s like the twelve step program, just my own way. I am quite proud of myself. I had the opportunity and the stressors but did not cave in this time. This is real progress for me. Today I am tired, but I am happy and satisfied with my day yesterday. I hope everyone is strong and gamble free today
27 July 2022 at 10:33 pm #160020risingphoenixParticipant
It’s amazing to hear the self control and restraint you are showing. Keep your guard up always. I am cheering for you!
One day at a time!
27 July 2022 at 11:18 pm #160026
Thanks Phoenix. I feel the self control getting stronger than the urges with each passing week and just wish that I could make it easier for those just sober. I think of all of the people on the site every day struggling and succeeding and I want to share in that feeling of triumph as well. I wish that every person that thinks that they will never beat the urges can hear that it can be done. It does get easier and it wont be long, if you abstain and white knuckle it for the first month, before the last thing you want to do is gamble. Stay strong as well.
28 July 2022 at 2:05 pm #160077
I’m facing the next three weeks with some hope and dread at the same time. My daughter is going away for most of the next three weeks with friends and family and I will be seeing her for only a few days in between. This would have been a lot of trouble for me in the past as the time alone would signal a gambling binge , but now I have to find other things that are much more constructive to do to pass the bit of time I have that I will be alone. I will be working most of the time between the two jobs so I have plans to stay busy, but I will be alone and at home for one day next week and I must keep my mind on what could happen and takes steps to prevent it. I get fleeting thoughts of gambling every now and then, when home and relaxing, and I must keep the associations between relaxing and gambling separate so that I dont relapse. I am happy that she is getting away and seeing family and friends as she tends to get depressed just working and being home. I am excited that she will get to see family that live somewhat far away as her aunt is hosting her for four days and she hasnt seen her fathers family in quite a while. I am dreading the time all by myself because it will cause gambling urges. I am hopeful that I will be able to abstain and will do whatever it takes to make sure I do. I am grateful that I have a community that understands and will support me. Thanks and I will post daily. Hope that you are all strong and gamble free today
28 July 2022 at 3:52 pm #160084louissaffiParticipant
estoy en la misma situacio, 2 semanas sin juegos on line , y con tiempo libre, pero voy ocupando mis tiempos , solo por hoy no jugaremos felices 24hrs
29 July 2022 at 12:29 pm #160152
Yesterday was a close call for me even though I kept vigilant and busy. I was ok in the morning because I was busy getting my daughter ready for a short work day and then off to her aunts house later in the day. We got her on the train ( I accompanied her to the station at her request) and then I met up with my sister for dinner and a bit of shopping. It was so humid out that I decided to come home at around 730 and had a long walk from the station. I was thinking about how nice it would be to relax on the couch and play a few games online, and had the intention of doing so when I got home!! Luckily for me i was so hot and tired when i got home that i just changed and had a drink ( half of one actually) and fell asleep. I didnt think that i would actually entertain the ideas still and am happy and surprised this morning that it can still occur and i can just not do it if i find something else to replace it ( even hot and tired will do) . It is important that i keep this last close call as a reminder that the brain is still craving it and i am not in total control of my thoughts yet. I celebrate today but it could have been the other way if the situation had been a bit different. Have a great day everyone
31 July 2022 at 12:59 pm #160283
I new that the time alone would be hard and I was correct. I had a close call again last night as I came home from work to an empty house and lots of time to relax. I tried to keep busy but an email from a casino got me thinking and I actually tried to access it online. Thank God my computer has gamban on it and I was unsuccessful, and I did not entertain the idea of getting the one in the garage out so I was safe. I am unsure if I would have actually gambled had I been able to access the site the first time, but it felt like a close call to me. I got up after that and started some laundry and surfed foodies sites later to distract myself. It is simply a matter of getting past the hurdles and making it to the next day. That is all that recovery is. It’s all about just ” not doing it ” , whatever the it is, for long enough that it becomes relatively effortless. We are all in our early stages of “not doing it” and it is not effortless yet, but hopefully it will be soon.
1 August 2022 at 10:46 am #160332
The time alone has been a challenge, and it will continue intermittently over the next 3 weeks. My daughter will be home for a few days here and there but will be gone most of the next month. I am so happy that she is out with friends and engaged in all kinds of activities that will help her fight her depression and never wanted her presence to be the only thing that stopped me from gambling. I must be able to fight this myself, and have found that staying busy and having a routine has proven most helpful. I dont seem to have the urges as much when my mind is busy with task lists and things that have been done. I’m not sure that it would be as useful for others, as I have always been a task oriented, list writing person, but it has been a saving grace for me. I am more engaged with my immediate world and am organizing myself daily so that I can keep the hounds at bay. It has worked so far and although I know that I cant keep myself busy all of the time, i can use this to help retrain my pathways so that gambling is not part of my daily routine and therefore not part of my daily thoughts. I hope that everyone is strong and gamble free today.
5 August 2022 at 12:14 pm #160669
My daughter was briefly back and is gone again. My life trudges on, always the same. Work then home. I’m doing ok but need a change to be fit in the narrow spaces in my life that will allow for it. I guess that, without my daughter around, there is a bit of a gap in my life that I feel. It’s not for long so i am just getting through it. I wish I could offer more inspiration to others but it is just not that time for me. Have a good one.
19 August 2022 at 1:44 pm #161666
Thanks for your concern kin. I hope that you are well. I am going through a bit of a self discovery phase and have been reading about cognitive behavioral therapy. I had a relapse last week and am trying to understand why I am putting myself in harms way repeatedly. I know that I am depressed, and am trying to deal with the thought process that takes me from point a to point b, which is gambling. I am feeling like I have not much to post at this point but will be back when I can verbalize my thoughts and this process more effectively.
19 August 2022 at 6:18 pm #161685
don’t beat yourself up for this relapse, it really something from the past and you just need to learn from it, we can’t change the past.
frankly, I was afraid you will relapse, after reading your post few days a ago, you wrote that your daughter is going on a trip for a few days and you were expecting some hard time fighting the urges during her absence. this is the point that you need to focus on what you could have done to prevent yourself from gambling knowing that you are going to face a situation that will trigger a lot of gambling urges.
a few days ago I find some patterns in my records when I write something like “thankfully today I had a huge urge to gamble but I overcome them” I found myself relapsing the next day or maximum within a week period.
relapse is not coming out of the blue, there are some signs that we can detect before the relapse happened,
it is like we have a certain threshold after which we break, a period between having the money+ the access to the gambling sites+ and the free time to gamble once all these 3 prerequisites are there it is just a matter of time, it is a question for how long we can withstand the urges pressure, from reading my records some times one day some times one week, the inevitable relapse will happen.
once this resisting period starts I think there is no way back, “at least for me” so this time I am taking extra measures to avoid reaching this high urges pre-relapse period.
I wrote this in reply to Don a few days ago and I feel it is worth repeating it here:
“I am quite convinced now with what I am reading about gambling and our brain, it is like we have two distinct ways of thinking. System 1 is automatic, quick, and involuntary. System 2 is effortful, slower, and deliberate.
gambling comes from system 1 and trying to stop gambling comes from system 2. both are in there in my brain, both are me”
it is like having two persons inside your head, one of them convinced that gambling is wrong and trying to prevent you from doing it, and the other convinced gambling is a way to make money.
and you have to help the rational part in you in his fight against the irrational part.
regarding CBT, I read a book discussing the current treatments for compulsive gamblers, and it looks like MI is the best Motivational interviewing therapy,
below is a link to the type of therapy that mixes both CBT and MI. which looks like the best approach for the gambler, unfortunately in my case I have ruined myself financially so I can’t afford the cost of therapy, but if you can, why not. it will help.
21 August 2022 at 4:29 pm #161845
Hi losingitslowly I’m so sorry to hear of your relapse. That’s awesome your looking into CBT thats what I’ve been doing mixed with EMDR treatments. It’s definitely saved me big time. Sometimes we have to screw up enough times to finally surrender. It took me awhile to push myself into that help to. Since I have though alot of people have noticed the change in me. And I’ve even had many friends, coworkers, and family members start seeking out therapy to seeing how’s it helped me so if anything we get to be an example to others to which is really rewarding. Wishing you all the strength you can to get through this rough patch.
30 August 2022 at 4:22 pm #162443
just checking on you, you didn’t post for a while, I hope you are doing well.
10 September 2022 at 6:41 pm #163187risingphoenixParticipant
Hope you are doing well. Sending warm wishes
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