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    • #24313

      My name is Jonathan and I am a compulsive gambler. Like many of you, I started at a very young age. My problem grew and grew and grew. I am very big into sports betting and its funny that I realize I dont even care about sports really if there was no action on the line. I hope that could help my recovery in the long term.

      Every year around this time(End of football Season) I find myself in the same dilema. It is sad that I am used to it because it happens every year since I was 12. I can not bet anymore because I owe a different bookie large sums of money. Every year that dollar amount grows and grows. Each year I think I can not lose more than the previous year, however I more than double it. This year has been the worst and because of the signifcant dollar amount, it has been eye opening and made me realize I have a lifetime problem and I need help. I won $25,00 on a pool in July and go figure in the last month lost $35,000 leaving me in over $10,000 debt due to careless spending when I collected my winnings.

      Since my work bonus and tax season are comming up I will be able to pay my debt, however I know tha will only fix my problem in the short run. I need to stop gambling for good!!! I am glad that all of this happend to me before I turn 30 as one day I will want to get ready to start my own family. I want to be able to send my kids to college and retire and live the rest of my years gamble free. I know thats when I am happiest because during the football off season, my life cant get better. I could only imagine how great life could be gamble free. I really want to stop, but have noone to have these conversations with. If I dont stop gambling then I know where my life is headed based on all of your stories and I need to cut it now!!

      I am submitting myself and admitting that I can not change the past. I really care about my future and do not want to ruin it.

      Can someone who has been in my shoes please respond and point me in the right direction?

    • #24314


      Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

      Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

      Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

      And on that note….

      I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂

      Take care

      The Gambling Therapy Team

      PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
      privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    • #24315

      Hi Jonathon and welcome to the forum. Hopefully you are also reading some of the other stories here, you will read a lot you of stories similar to your own. You will also read some of the success stories – what are they doing that you can apply to your own situation?

      I am a Compulsive gambler myself as well, I couldn’t stop on my own either. Luckily we don’t have to do it on our own these days, there are a lot of places around where we can get support. Here and sites like this, Gamblers Anonymous meetings, counselling etc Use that support, keep posting and reading here, check out your local GA meeting. You will then have a lot of peole you can “have these conversatuions” with, lots of peole who can relate and understand.

      It sounds like you can’t bet at teh moment because of your financial situation? Good, now use this opportunity to put things in place. What barriers can you put up BEFORE you get your bonus?

      Keep posting and let us know what positive steps you are taking. One day at a time.

    • #24316

      Hi Jonathan
      Its really good you have come to get help. I came here many years ago, my journey hasn’t been the smoothest but i have not given up trying. I have managed some good gamble free time with some relapses but mostly my life has really improved over time thanks to here and GA and counselling.
      I was thrilled to receive a post back when i first came here. So i can do the same back now.
      I hope that you continue with your journal here and record your progress. Just take it one day at a time or one hour at a time if you have to. Find GA meetings in your area, try to take only the minimum out with you for the day. Depending where you are you can exclude yourself from venues, you can give your finances to a friend or family to handle.. Any or all of these suggestions are up to you and only suggestions by what has worked for others.
      For me what works is posting here, going to GA and going to counselling. It might be different than what works for someone else and now you are on this journey you can find what works for you. Congratulations on being brave and stepping into this little community of recovery. Its quite non judgemental and we all want the best for each other and we all understand because we have been where you are and trying to live a gamble free life the best we can. Find other things to fill your time with too, try to put off the urge when you get it by doing other things . Join in the chats and chat one on one with advisors, pretty much do anything to keep yourself in recovery. My number one piece of advice even though i am no miraculous recovery person I’ve had my relapses, but what i have found over years of trying and falling down and getting back up is the number one thing above anything else is to want recovery and to make recovery your absolute number one priority in your life. i try to put the same effort into my recovery as i did into my gambling !!
      You can do this and you know coming here you are not alone.


    • #24317

      Thank you for reading about my situation and responding. I am excited to have joined this group and will try my best to transfer the energy I gamble with into posting and proper therapy.

      Due to work constraints and limited GA programs where I live, I can not commit to a weekly meeting. However I am currently looking at moving to get away from a 4 year relationship(nothing to do with gambling) I have been looking into the meetings at other cities.

      I plan on treating this like a journal and will track myself daily to ensure I stay positive and focus on my life one day at a time. I know I can not change the world today, however there is a reason for my existence and I will find it.

      Are there any specific counselors that anyone suggests? have researched and not many specialize in gambling, however lots do focus on addiction.

      My girlfriend is at her grandparents this week as I couldn’t get off for the holidays. Work consumes a lot of my life which wil help me stay away from gambling, but will hurt when I try and settle down for a long term relationship. I need to find a work life balance, now that I am planning not to gamble when I am off from work. My life as of last week was work and gamble that is it. I did not life live to the fullest. I was only a physical element as my mind was not into anything I was doing except gambling. I didn’t gamble today and I pray not to gamble tomorrow.

      Good night!

    • #24318

      It is good to see you back on here after your initial post. Do keep writing, especially when you are stuggling with the temptation to gamble again. People here will have an understanding of what you are going through.

      It would be good if you can get to one or more of the online groups here with Gambling Therapy, especially if you do not have a local support group.

      You are right that you cannot change the world in a day – the part of the world you have to concentrate on is you and the resolve each day not to gamble. One Day At A Time.

      At this point, try not to worry too much about the long-term future, whether it is about your career or your relationship – of course it is good to have goals, but stopping gambling and maintaining that each day is an absolute primary and worthy goal.

      Wishing you well.

      Monique, Gambling Therapy Team

    • #24319

      Well today is 1 week since I last gambled!! Since it is on a football Sunday my stomache is crunching and turning. I am trying hard to not follow the scores and see what I would have bet on. I am at work trying to keep my mind occupied.
      My girlfriend is coming home from her Thanksgiving vacation and I know we need to have the conversation of breaking up. I am sure we will still live together for rent sake and financial purposes until the end of the year, but who knows. I have lots of anxiety right now, and I am sure most of you get that as well. Its almost like I can feel something bad about to happen. Typing this is making me feel a little better, but I know it gets worse before it gets better.

      I was bored and didnt want to follow sports last night after work so I joined an online dating website preparing for whats next after we break up. I know I shouldnt focus on that and I need to focus on myself right now and take life one day at a time.

      I dont know why I want to keep fast forwarding life. I am pretty sure that was the gambling affecting my brain. How long till it stops and I could think like a normal person?

      Anyways, back to work… Hope to hear form someone soon.

    • #24320

      When your mind has been taken up with gambling for quite some time, it is not surprising that you will find it hard work to focus on other things and to perhaps slow yourself down mentally and emotionally – to get to a calmer place. But that is an important goal for you, maybe?

      You find writing helps, so keep on doing it – you can keep adding to this Journal and you could even have another one by your side just for your own notes? Talking things through can also help to calm you. It is often difficult to find counsellors who specialize in gambling addiction and, unless you know someone who can make a personal recommendation, you may have to question any potential counsellor carefully and make your own judgement. Right at the beginning, before you even book an appointment could be the time to ask specific questions – it could be wise to write down for yourself what you think you need and have your notes to hand if you call someone or email them.

      I wonder if you can think of barriers, as Charles mentioned already, to ensure you do not falter when your bonus arrives. Another positive task to focus on.

      I wonder what interests you have had in the past? Are there things you have put aside as gambling ‘took over’ that you could now return to? I also wonder what your girl-friend knows about your addiction? Have you thought about what effect your gambling had on this relationship? You don’t have to explain anything you wish to keep private, of course, but these are things that come to my mind as I read your story, so maybe you will go over all that in your own mind at least?

      I wonder what you think it would it be like to try to start a new relationship at the same time as you just starting out on the road to live a gambling-free life? Would you talk to a potential partner about your problem? Are you trying to rush ahead?

      I hope some of this helps you as you move forward.


    • #24321

      I want to say congratulations on going a whole week gamble free that is fantastic.. keep ignoring those games, i know i follow the advice now that GA gives and that is don’t tempt or test yourself. Stay away from the games and the scores and find new things.
      I hope that you continue to post and stay gamble free a day at a time. When we start getting time up we often think we can go back and try again but its usually worse off than the time before when we start again. It never changes, once a compulsive gambler, will never be able to gamble again normally like a social gambler as we have crossed that invisible line into uncontrolled gambling. Keep going Jonathan.


    • #24322

      Thank you for your post, as it really opened my eyes. I need to put myself first before anything right now. I should not be focused on starting a new relationship. I need to focus on bettering my life one day at a time. I am trying to slow down emotionally as well as mentally and I could only do that by not gambling and putting that energy to the tasks at hand. I am going to put off hobbies for the short term until I can get a grip on life, and really figure out what I want to do with my work situation.
      I am in the process for looking for new jobs outside the city I am currently living. I work in the hopsitality field and sometimes, to move up you have to move on. I have a couple of great opportunities that I am researching and going through the interview process. Once I figure out my professional situation then I will be able to figure out my relationship situation.

      Writing definetly helps and I will continue to use this as a tool to keep my mind busy and as a form of therapy.

      I didnt gamble today and I am thankful for that . 9 days removed from gambling and counting!!!

    • #24323

      Hi i was just wondering how things are going for you? lets know how you are doing


    • #24324

      Yes, Jonathan, I was wondering how you are, too. I hope you are continuing well. The journey will not always be smooth for you, but don’t let ‘bad times’ stop you from sharing with us here – in fact, the tough times can be huge learning opportunities and I think you will find acceptance and understanding here when you need it.

    • #24325

      Hi Jonathan! I have been utilizing the GT gambling site for the past 2 1/2 years and have been in recovery for close to 3 years. That site was a Godsend to me! We judge ourselves so harshly when we slip in our recovery. When I would come back to post about a slip, I received nothing but unconditional support and some needed advice on continuing to work recovery. I have had many slips in my 3 year recovery, but have to say that most of my days have been gamble free. The only advice I can give you is to never give up on recovery, as there is a sane way to live out there, and it is much more rewarding than living in anxiety, fear, and depression. One day at a time! Such a brilliant concept! Carole

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