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    • #52999

      I recently lost a couple of thousand a few days ago. The feeling subsided and I went back today, got 150 up to 800 and lost it again.

      I’ve been gambling for 15 years, I’m 29 now. Have a great job and nothing to show for it.

      The messed up thing is, I can have the winnings for a day, maybe two or three if I’m super lucky. But I only feel the anxiety go away once I’ve lost all my money. Then I know I cannot do it anymore. I feel the sense of calm knowing it had to stop then.

      And then a few days pass and the feeling starts to fade again. And I rebuy.

      I’ll explain a bit about my situation, I work in a cruise ship. And I’m allowed to play in the casino, effectively I live in a casino.

      I currently lost about 2.5 weeks wages in a day a few days ago. And I have months left to go. So if I want to actually work for money I have to stop.

      I really need help forming a routine, a healthy one and not the vicious one of winning, playing progressive blackjack and then losing again, and repeating.

      I have access to a gym which I don’t use, I have a LOT of free time which makes it harder. This is probably one of the worst environments for me to work in, but the sad thing is if I pulled myself together it could be one of the best. I travel and earn money, free food and accommodation, and play music for a living.

      I need to start a daily routine/ritual and was wondering what the people who have been clean for a good amount of time do, and how they do it. I’ve been doing ships for 2.5 years now and haven’t managed to save a penny. Next year I want to get married and eventually leave the ships to start a job on land for a bit more routine/normality.

      I’ve looked into the 12 steps, these seem like the way to go, there’s an AA meeting on the ship but nothing for gamblers. One of my colleagues is a recovering alcoholic so she goes to these meetings, has a great routine and a sponsor. I just feel helpless with my addiction as at the moment it’s only me who can help me. But I’ve read that’s broken brain can’t fix a broken brain, so what do I do? Can I work through the steps alone without meetings? Form some sense of a normal routine?
      Looking through my phone notes, laptop notes, journal I can see dozens of entries in which I’ve lost a lot of money and am telling myself to stop. But then a few days past and the fog clears and I go back, again and again and start the cycle all over again.

      Any input you could give me would be wholeheartedly received. I’m ready.

    • #53000

      Hello Lydian 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.

      As well as the forums New Members are invited to join Charles in the New Members Practical Advice Group On Mondays at 21:00 (UK) and Thursday at 19:00(UK)

      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!

    • #53001

      Hy Lydian
      The gamblers I know who have been controlling their addiction for several years are all living lives without the confusion and heartache that gambling losses bring. They are living the lives they want to live and liking who they are.
      They have followed different paths to achieve their control but they all had to start with Day 1. You have reached out and been heard so this seems to be a great day for you to start your new life.
      I have a few friends who go on cruise ships and they talk about table-tennis and other sports, what else is available to you on the ship?
      You could use this journal as a sounding board; keep track of your recovery by recording your progress here and tell us what you have been doing – the gym sounds great. The facilitator for our Problem Gambler group is a GA member and he would love to support you, try our Helpline, you will be understood and welcome, you need not feel alone anymore.
      I look forward to reading your journey.

    • #53002

      Hi Velvet, 

      Thanks for your reply. Can I check by what you mean by the facilitator? I would really like to get a firm grasp on how I can recover one step at a time and maintain it.

      Maybe daily routines. The helpline sounds like a good idea. The issue is I can only use things like WhatsApp whilst at sea, ie. call through the internet. 

    • #53003

      It’s only been 2 days and already the urges have returned and I want to go downstairs and play. It really does suck living on a ship that has a casino in.

      I want to go to the tables and try my luck with a few hundred again but I know it’ll turn into a thousand +

      Trying to take it one day at a time but it’s so hard being alone with so much free time.

    • #53004

      So I just succumbed to the urges. I don’t even know how much I lost I’m still on the shake come down part. It was over a thousand. That’s 3 grand in about 3 days now.

      I just signed the self exclusion waiver in the casino. Fee slightly better about it. And feel sick and ashamed at the same time.

      I don’t know why it takes so many times for me to screw up and not get the message.

      By the end I was just doubling up again and again trying to win it all back and obviously lost it all.

      Just want to cry now. I can never stop. I’m going to be dealing with this for the rest of my life.

    • #53005

      I would go crazy if I had access to gamble every day. Good that you self excluded. It would never gave worked out otherwise.  Are there any steps that you could take to have them limit your access to your funds for a while so that you have a double barrier in place? Take whatever steps are necessary to keep access to a minimum and you will be much better off both financially and spiritually in the end. Good work. It is hard. 

    • #53006

      I think letting our emotions out is a healthy response and you will feel better afterwards. You may also be able to think more clearly. You have taken an important step in tackling your gambling issue – and as Berta says restricting your access to money would help even more.

      The 12 steps of GA are based on the 12 steps of AA – so it may be of some use to you. You can find the 12 GA steps on-line
      Could you attend some of the AA meetings to see how they work (you would need to get permission from someone in the fellowship as the meetings are only supposed to be for people with an alcohol problem.) Then if you feel confident enough try and start a meeting if you can find just one or two others in the same predicament on the ship?

      Do others know of your problem? Is there someone you could confide in so that you don’t feel so alone with it?

      The final thing I hear is your wanting to divert your interests away from gambling. I get a sense that you are not wanting to do table -tennis or go to the gym or you would be doing that. I wonder if there was any interest that you gave up for gambling … or anything that you have always wanted to do but felt you haven’t had the time for – no matter how far fetched it may seem, the starting point is the first small step and you may be able to take that now.

      I think longer term you need to think about the environment you are in and whether it is worth the anguish it is causing to remain there. Is there any point in earning this good money if you are going to lose it all in the casino. You say you want a more settled life anyway – is this something you could be working towards now … small steps?
      Keep posting and maybe talk to some of us in group (see the link for times) and keep strong. I look forward to further posts.

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