3 April 2022 at 7:38 am #151694jcp600Participant
The number of times I have been to this point I cannot count. Each time is the same feeling. Immediate feeling of anger, followed by a sense of calm. Its almost like I chase that feeling after. The feeling of hitting rock bottom where I have had enough; like what happened was a life changing moment. The proceeding hours, days, and sometimes weeks have a thrill of optimism, almost blissful. I have a spike in confidence and begin to form habits I know are conducive to success; change up my diet, start new projects around the house, create lists, go to the gym… catalog how I will move forward with my finances and fanaticize how my life will unfold from here on out. It would be worth all the money in the world to ensure I can keep this state of mind throughout the rest of my life, but even in the moment I know it wont last. Through my unwavering conviction as I tell myself “its finally over… the last time”, the clock is ticking until I lie to myself… “this time is different”
This is the first time reaching out for real help. I have thought about the avenues I can take with the least blowback. You see it on TV and movies… the group of people sitting around in a circle trading stories and handing out sympathy and support. The head of the group giving the usual line; “accepting that you have a problem”. This line never resonated with me because in my head I have always known I have a problem. Accepting to myself that I have a problem seems the easy part to me. I knew I had a problem since my first stint of gambling when I was young. Stealing my mothers credit card to play the next online poker hand. The order of events is the same each time. Searching online for help; tips, tricks, strategies, resources for fending off your addiction.
What makes addiction the worst are the secrets. Getting help seems daunting when you are hiding your addiction from your friends, family, and significant other. The internet makes it easy, almost effortless, to play your next hand, place your next trade. Sitting on my phone or computer allows me to hide my addiction in plain site. No late nights at the casino or phone calls to your broker to explain away. I have denied myself help for so long simply out of fear of being “found out”. How does one visit therapy or gamblers anonymous without the eventual question “where are you going” or “where have you been”. I guess “accepting you have a problem” includes allowing others to see who you really are, but that is the hurdle that seems to high to jump.
Tomorrow will be day 1 again. This is my first time put my thoughts in writing. I have yet to have a real conversation about my addiction, and don’t know what my next steps will be. As usual I will ride this high of optimism as long as I can. Hoping to find something to prolong the optimism, to stave off the inevitable. The odd thing about addiction is there is never a sign or event that causes my relapse. At times it lasts a few days, and others times 6 months or longer, but always, seemingly random, that switch in my brain sends me right back to square one. I look forward to reading and learning from everyone here.
11 April 2022 at 10:41 am #152348LosingitslowlyParticipant
Jcp, I am sorry that I did not reply earlier as I had missed your post all together. When i read your post it was like I had wrote it myself. With the exception of stealing my moms credit cards, which wouldn’t have worked since they were usually maxed out anyways, your story resonates strongly with my behavior. I, too, would get the calm afterwards because I was sure now that I would be in control. It is easy to be in control when the emotions that keep you there are stronger than the urge to gamble. I, too, would make lists and projects and think that I would be improving, changing, growing, now since I decided to quit. It was always the final straw. I, too, would relapse a short time later at my phone or computer with no warning. It’s like I was in a trance. Then the excitement of depositing a small token amount to see if I could hit on it would take over. After that, all hell would break loose and there would be no stopping me.
You are right as well, that getting help when you dont want anyone to know is tough. I have a grown daughter at home and would have difficulty explaining where I was going as I dont do anything outside of work and gamble at home ( 31 days gamble free, but it was my behavior) . I cant even do video conferencing or phone interviews because my daughter has an ever changing schedule that I cant anticipate so alone time at home is hard. I find that this forum is my only place to go and hearing others stories, like yours, helps me to identify the issues and signs. If you want the best advice that anyone will offer you at this point, it is gamban (or the version offered where you live). I was not even remotely successful for any stretch of time until gamban took control of my devices and limited my ability to gamble at home. I, fortunately, do not live close to a casino so land based are not much of a temptation, but I have many devices upon which to ruin my life. If you start by limiting your options you will make it easier to abstain in the moment, and self excluding from land based will make it harder for you to go (since if you get caught and arrested you would have to explain to others the situation) . Put as many barriers in place so that your resolve can stay stronger in times when your brain no longer can help you . I hope that you are well and gamble free today.
11 April 2022 at 12:37 pm #152356wewinwhenwedontplayParticipant
You have written some of the best stuff I have ever read on gambling addiction. I have been gambling since I started in elementary (on and off, and of course it got more serious when I got older and the wagers grew bigger), and I started looking into ways to escape the addiction when I was maybe 19 years old give or take.
I have to say, your writings are some of the best I’ve read. Not only are you very honest, but you are good with putting your thoughts into words and then writing them here.
Some of what you have written has helped me stay clean. I have only been clean since April 2nd, and I have to say, part of the reason is because I thought about some of the stuff you wrote when I had relapse urges.
I appreciate you and hope that things get better for you, as you have used your pain and experience to help others. Thank you.
11 April 2022 at 1:52 pm #152361Dark EnergyParticipant
As losingitslowly mentioned. reading your post it was like I had wrote it myself.
I can’t really give you an advise because i am like you still struggling. But you are not alone and many in this forum achived it. And we should keep trying.
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