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    • #68162
      steph40
      Participant

      I am on millionth attempt to try and stop gambling. I am 42 years old, 4 kids- ranging in age from 12 years old to 21 years old, as well as grandchild that was recently born. I come from a family of gamblers- my grandpa loved the casino, however he could afford to spend thousands of dollars. My dad spends hundreds on the lotto and has also struggled with the casino as have two of his brothers. I was in my early 20s when I first tried a slot machine and really didn’t struggle with any type of gambling issue for several years- if I played it was for fun and I would never spend more than $100.
      nI won a few times and would use that money to cover a bill or buy something extra, this happened more often than not and soon gambling seemed a perfectly reasonable way to earn extra money when it was needed. With 4 kids, money was always a need so I found myself going a few times a month.
      nThen 2013 hit. My daughter wanted to go on a dance trip to another country. I have a difficult time saying no and despite knowing we couldn’t afford it I said ok. She had just been to Disneyland a few years before which cost us $3000 for cheerleading. September, 2013 to June, 2014 was extremely stressful- my husband was not working full time and I was. To deal with the stress I started gambling a lot and missed rent payments and other bills. I was able to borrow money and we went to her dance trip. By then, our landlord had lost close to all patience with us and I knew I had to keep my payments up. But, 2 weeks later I gambled most of the rent and he had enough and told us we needed to find a new place to live in the next few months.
      nI convinced my husband that the best plan was to move in with my parents and save enough money for a downpayment and to pay off bills. However, I know now that I just wanted more money to gamble. In the 7 months we lived with them I spent most of our income on gambling and payed very little off. We found a place to live and I was able to get my gambling under control for a bit. I purchased a van and then got gambling (slot machines are all I play) and didn’t make payments- my van ended up being repossessed so we bought a cheap vehicle. During this time, to avoid coming home to my angry husband I hooked up with another gambler that I met at the casino. This resulted in my husband coming looking for me (using find my iPhone) and him being charged for making threats- he ended up spending the night in jail. We were able to work things out and I stopped gambling for 7 months. When covid happened I was so excited that I wouldn’t have access to the casino, I felt it was a good way to get in the right head space to be gamble free. My grandpa passed away and left me a chunk of money and I did well with it. Then the online casino thought popped in my head. I knew that I shouldn’t start and that I was just opening a whole new can of worms but I convinced myself that I was in control and I could handle it. I couldn’t. I went on a winning streak and was up quite a bit and then I lost a lot. Gambling has caused me so many issues and I hate what I have put my husband through as well as my kids. My gambling has caused us to lose a home, lose a vehicle, my husband to end up in jail for a night, as well as many hours that could have been spent with my kids. Yet, I keep going back to it. I am so impulsive- as well it is boredom, stress, and the thought that I might win big that lead me to gambling. I just want this to stop.

    • #68545
      lizbeth4
      Participant

      Welcome to GT! The first step is coming here. There are a lot of things you can try to refrain from gambling: Gambling Anonymous, meetings here (online), counseling, self help books, keeping busy till the urges pass and posting here on GT. It is like a journal that you can re-read and the support that you receive is invaluable. I’ve tried all of these examples and many combinations also. You will find what works for you. Don’t give up! It didn’t take long for my gambling to escalate but I’ve been gamble free for awhile. Just keep trying. Stay strong.

    • #68546
      dunc
      Participant

      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.

      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!

      n

    • #68547
      steph40
      Participant

      The longest I have gone without gambling in the last 10 years is 7 months which was about 4 years ago. The last few times I have quit for any length of time (2 + months) I have always started again by being invited to go to the casino with a friend, thinking that I have quit for awhile so I will be able to handle going back to gambling socially. And each time, I have had a good win which of course, gives me that rush and I am right back to square one.
      n I have read many theories on treating addictions and I believe that I can’t just reduce my gambling that I need to completely quit any type of gambling.
      nAt this point, due to covid, I have no desire to set foot in a casino due to risk, however I now have to deal with the online gambling world that is so huge. I have self-excluded from several, however there is always more waiting and there is 24/7 access. I am trying to figure out the banning software for my phone.
      nI have read Allen Carr’s book “The Easy Way to Stop Gambling” and there were some good points that I liked. The idea of attending a GA meeting in person scares me as I worry about running into people due to my profession. Maybe I should consider counselling.
      nI haven’t gambled since yesterday morning. I do have money in my account, however I am going to pay my bills tonight and again tomorrow night when I get paid. I handle the bills and my husband works out of town so there is now way I can block access to my money.

    • #68548
      Steev
      Participant

      You wrote: “The idea of attending a GA meeting in person scares me as I worry about running into people due to my profession. Maybe I should consider counselling.” At the moment – most GA meetings are online zoom meetings – so you can choose to attend one far from where you live. I am guessing you are in the US – so you could attend one in the UK – where you are unlikely to meet anyone you know. There are details of the link to meetings on the thread started by Charles in this forum.

      Having said that, I would recommend counselling as well as I feel it does go deeper than attendance at GA (useful as it is) will.

      I wonder if you have spoken to your husband about supporting you by handling your finances for you until you are strong enough to resist looking for outlets online. No access to money means that you cannot bet. He can get support here too via the families and friends forum and the separate support groups. I hope you can get good support for yourself and your family and can keep strong. I wish you well.

    • #68552
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you for the feedback!! I’m an introverted person so struggle with group meetings so feel I would do better 1 to 1 counselling vs GA- I would like to work up to going to a GA meeting eventually but I am not ready. I did not gamble yesterday or today. When my pay hits this evening I am going to immediately pay my bills so that I don’t have the opportunity to gamble. I am trying to focus on one hour at a time and right now I just need to get through getting paid and following through with my bills.

    • #68559
      Enough808
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing. I struggle with an online gambling addiction too and have been trying to quit without any success. May I asked what worked for you during the successful 7 months of no-gambling?

    • #68562
      steph40
      Participant

      When I quit for 7 months, things had gotten really bad… I had hidden everything from my parents and they found out, as well our finances were really bad. I did lots of reading, online support for 7 months and then one moment of driving by where I used to gamble led to me going to spend “just a bit” and soon I was gambling all the time.

      i “discovered” online gambling in April- what a nightmare!!! I am more hopeful today about being able to quit.  this is day #3 of not gambling.

    • #68567
      steph40
      Participant

      I am struggling not to gamble today. I babysat my baby grandson last night, what was supposed to be 2 hours ended up being overnight so I am tired and not feeling like doing anything. I went on one of the online casinos today and just looked at the different games but didn’t play anything. I will try and find something to distract myself maybe. It’s funny how memory works- my brain always focuses on how it feels to win and skips over how low it feels after losing a lot- I am trying to focus on that.

    • #68571
      steph40
      Participant

      Today is day 5 of not gambling and I am feeling more positive and feel like I can do this. I have not joined a zoom meeting yet for GA but I clicked on the link and plan to participate tomorrow morning as the weekend is so busy. I have blocked all the online casinos I was gambling on. I have noticed on tv there are way more commercials about online casinos so need to put blocks in place.

    • #68577
      maggaddog
      Participant

      Hi.. I have had about a 10 year battle with gambling. With about 6 of those years being really bad both loss of time and money. I found the greatest success by using guided meditation on you tube. I used guided meditation for gambling addiction. It’s crazy because I have been to gambling counseling and regular counseling. There is a specific video on YouTube that really spoke to me. Also I just had a small relapse but feel better than ever even with my relapse. I wrote this this morning and maybe it’ll help. All I can say is keep trying. Maggie
      n
      nHi, I am a recovering gambling addict. I stopped logging my time but it had been about a year since my last gamble. The longest in some time. A few days ago I had gotten a little bonus at work and decided I wanted to gamble. It wasn’t so intense, I could’ve overcome the urge, but didn’t. Despite my being at the best place I can remember with my addiction I took $200 to a bar that has lottery machines. Had a mimosa, lost $185 and left an hour later. The old me would’ve gotten more money, spent more time, and wouldn’t be thinking about much else than chasing my losses.
      nThe next day my spouse (who I didn’t tell about my binge (lying was the old me too)) and I were out purchasing a couple things at the nursery. I had been proudly telling myself when I bought some expensive dog food and a new dog bed we didn’t necessarily need that it felt nice to spend a little bit of money Willy nilly since I was no longer losing mass amounts of money gambling… $200 here and there was nothing compared with the $500+ binges I was regularly having at the casino (though of course I’m still paying off significant debt due to my gambling (5+ years).
      nAnyway my spouse and I got a tree and a plant at the nursery, and a new hummingbird feeder. The total cost was $165. I thought to myself how absurd it would be if I were to go home, plant the tree and plant. Hang the new bird feeder… then go out there with a saw and chop down my new tree and my new plant and break my new hummingbird feeder.
      nWhat a ridiculous waste of time and money. How very dissatisfying. And if my neighbors saw.. they would think I was mental. It was the first time I’d seen this analogy with gambling and I’m not thinking of chasing my losses (I did slightly for a minute). I’m moving on and next time I have that wise idea of gambling I’m going to think about cutting down my tree and plant and visit a nursery instead!
      nHope this insight helps someone out there struggling to beat the urge.
      n

    • #68578
      maggaddog
      Participant

      Hi.. I have had about a 10 year battle with gambling. With about 6 of those years being really bad both loss of time and money. I found the greatest success by using guided meditation on you tube. I used guided meditation for gambling addiction. It’s crazy because I have been to gambling counseling and regular counseling. There is a specific video on YouTube that really spoke to me. Also I just had a small relapse but feel better than ever even with my relapse. I wrote this this morning and maybe it’ll help. All I can say is keep trying. Maggie
      n
      nHi, I am a recovering gambling addict. I stopped logging my time but it had been about a year since my last gamble. The longest in some time. A few days ago I had gotten a little bonus at work and decided I wanted to gamble. It wasn’t so intense, I could’ve overcome the urge, but didn’t. Despite my being at the best place I can remember with my addiction I took $200 to a bar that has lottery machines. Had a mimosa, lost $185 and left an hour later. The old me would’ve gotten more money, spent more time, and wouldn’t be thinking about much else than chasing my losses.
      nThe next day my spouse (who I didn’t tell about my binge (lying was the old me too)) and I were out purchasing a couple things at the nursery. I had been proudly telling myself when I bought some expensive dog food and a new dog bed we didn’t necessarily need that it felt nice to spend a little bit of money Willy nilly since I was no longer losing mass amounts of money gambling… $200 here and there was nothing compared with the $500+ binges I was regularly having at the casino (though of course I’m still paying off significant debt due to my gambling (5+ years).
      nAnyway my spouse and I got a tree and a plant at the nursery, and a new hummingbird feeder. The total cost was $165. I thought to myself how absurd it would be if I were to go home, plant the tree and plant. Hang the new bird feeder… then go out there with a saw and chop down my new tree and my new plant and break my new hummingbird feeder.
      nWhat a ridiculous waste of time and money. How very dissatisfying. And if my neighbors saw.. they would think I was mental. It was the first time I’d seen this analogy with gambling and I’m not thinking of chasing my losses (I did slightly for a minute). I’m moving on and next time I have that wise idea of gambling I’m going to think about cutting down my tree and plant and visit a nursery instead!
      nHope this insight helps someone out there struggling to beat the urge.
      n

    • #68579
      steph40
      Participant

      These 3 words perfectly summarize how I have been feeling the past few days not gambling… I am on day 6 without gambling.

    • #68580
      Meghna83
      Participant

      This is an incredible post. It helped me so much in making sense of the amounts I threw at gambling. I love your tree and bird feeder analogy. gosh it really is useful in keeping me gamble free.

      ty 

    • #68584
      steph40
      Participant

      This is very helpful, thank you!!

    • #68595
      steph40
      Participant

      I have gone 9 days being GF!! Today is another payday so I am planning ahead to make sure I don’t have access to money for gambling. It is hot here and the long weekend so we are going to the lake.. I’m feeling a lot less anxious and positive about things.. i am looking forward to my life being gamble free!!

    • #68597
      Enough808
      Participant

      Rooting for you! 9 days is awesome!

    • #68615
      steph40
      Participant

      Thanks so much!! you as well!! These 11 days have been difficult as I do have money in the bank.. in the past I have always quit when we hit rock bottom and every cent had to go towards living – it was a lot easier not to gamble when I had no money.. i keep reminding myself of the things I will be able to do (like going to the lake) because I am not gambling all our money away.. i need to start group/ individual therapy to d al with why I gamble and get tools in place to stay gamble free

    • #68616
      alex277366
      Participant

      I’m on day 2 of resolving to quit, so 9 days is a goal for me- don’t forget that no matter how little time it seems like you’ve gone without gambling, you’re an inspiration to the people behind you! Enjoy the lake, it sounds like it will be really nice and peaceful!

    • #68645
      steph40
      Participant

      Thanks for the kind words!! I’m on day 14 being Gamble free and feeling a lot more optimistic than I did last week. I feel like I can do this. The lake was amazing and the weather was hot. going forward I know that I need to continue to keep myself busy which takes my mind off gambling. I am still working up the courage to attend a virtual meeting.

    • #68653
      Sarah202092
      Participant

      Hi Steph,

      I am from Pa and we also have online gambling. I’ve been addicted to gambling for about 7 years. I was doing good for a while and actually banned myself from online gambling for about 3 months. But when the time expired I went back to it. I’m really proud of you for going for two weeks without gambling. I am starting tonight and I hope I have the strength that you have. I gamble like you do because of the stress with my children and its always an excuse I have to escape. I hope we can both get away from this hell! 

    • #68658
      steph40
      Participant

      Hi Sarah,

      Gambling is definitely the worst kind of hell, yet I always go back to it…August is always a tough month for me as the kids are getting ready to go back to school- so there is school supplies to buy, new clothes, shoes, as well 3 of my kids have birthdays in August and September… I find myself thinking I could spend $100 and cash out more to help with everything. I know I am lying to myself as an excuse to gamble and that it is not about the money but those gambling thoughts keep creeping back in.

    • #68665
      Enough808
      Participant

      We’re almost on the same length of time, being gamble free and I am rooting for you! 

    • #68671
      steph40
      Participant

      I am off on holidays this week and am managing to stay gamble free. At the end of this month I go back to work (have been working from home since March) and my kids go back to school (school has also been out since March) so I know September will be a stressful month for me and I need to work on coping strategies to handle stress better instead of “escaping” to gambling.

    • #68687
      steph40
      Participant

      I am grateful that I was able to stay GF in the last 24 hours.. I received an email yesterday afternoon saying that my “cooling off” period was over at one of my favourite online casinos, even though I am certain I did a self-exclusion for 5 years.. yesterday was a pay day so a lot of damage could have been done.. there was an online group on here so I went on and got great advice which led to me not gambling and going back in the site when my husband got home to permanently self-exclude.

    • #68692
      Enough808
      Participant

      Very happy for you and the good decisions you made. Have a great weekend!

    • #68709
      steph40
      Participant

      This weekend ended up being a good weekend. I was able to pay the bills I needed as well as buy some clothes, shoes, and back to school stuff for my kids and a book for myself. Life is so much less stressful without gambling and I will work every day to keep it that way. I am currently working out how to tell friends “no” when they ask me to go gambling as well as get ideas of other fun things to do instead. I need to be prepared for every situation as otherwise I am super impulsive.

    • #68712
      Monica1
      Participant

      Ty for your post on my thread. Yes, getting treatment helped me work through the issues I needed to but I was already six months gf when I did it. I had to do it though as when we stop for any length of time those issues will come up as well as initial mood swings. Getting support is very important whether it be GA, counselling or on this site. For me Gordon moody and the site were sufficient.
      nI am very pleased you did your essential shopping and bought yourself a book. Recovery means that we should do things for ourselves. For me it was facials, eating good food, nails and pedicures. Right now maybe we cannot do those things but we can have a pampered bath, face packs, a visit for a hairdo etc. It was very important to me to feel good about who I am, both internally and externally, to forgive myself for the financial mayhem I caused mostly myself and to accept I will have a lifelong problem. I will never be cured. I can only make the good choice not to gamble one day at a time.

    • #68724
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you for that advice Monica. In the past when I have quit I have always “punished” myself for all the money spent so would not spend anything on myself. I am going to work on doing something for myself every week. I am on day 22, which means I have made it past the 3 week mark!! This week has been extremely busy with work doing an adoption placement and I have another one to do next week. I am very grateful that my gambling has never affected my job directly as I find it very rewarding. Gambling has affected me financially, in my marriage, and time spent with kids. My biggest regret is all the time missed with my kids- which I can never get back. Last night I dreamt about gambling and a few times in the last week I have caught myself visualizing my big wins and the games I was playing. When that happens I have been re-focusing on all the negatives that will happen if I gamble again.

    • #68730
      Monica1
      Participant

      yes, dreaming of gambling both while gambling and in recovery is common. I certainly remember those dreams while I was in recovery. They don’t last long. Today you have hit three weeks and exactly today I have hit three years gf! Very well done for your three weeks,
      nWe do not have time for regrets in life, I just take it as a hard lesson learned and then each and every day, do better. Forgiveness of yourself so important or else we carry a burden of guilt and our shoulders we were never meant to carry that. Acceptance of where we are each day.
      nVisualising wins is also common, it is the addiction, saying hey what about me, and we just say to ourselves that it is a big lie, which it is. Compulsive gamblers never win, that is the nature of it.
      n

    • #68732
      steph40
      Participant

      Monica, thank you. I have not gone this long without gambling in almost a year so I am feeling hopeful. This is the only time where I have reached out for help and participated in groups to help stay gamble free. Every other time I have tried to do it on my own and failed. I know this time will be different as I cannot live that life again.
      nI need to learn to forgive myself as does my husband as he throws my gambling and the money I have wasted in my face all the time. I don’t know what the future will hold if he can’t get past it.
      nCongratulations on 3 years!! What an accomplishment. That gives me so much hope.

    • #68738
      Monica1
      Participant

      Doing it in On our own will never work. The reason being that we enter a period of abstinence which is never recovery. I had a five and a half year gambling period and in that time entered long periods of abstinence, sometimes as long as nine months after counselling with Gamcare. But this never got to the real roots, was superficial andonly when I entered into recovery on the gma women’s programme did that happen. Recovery takes work on ourselves, acknowledging our issues that led to the gambling and working through them and that can be emotionally painful sometimes. Get as much support as you can.
      nYour husband throwing gambling in your face is never going to help you. He probably needs support and Velvet on here has a friends and family group. However, if he is like most of the alpha men I know, he won’t do it! My family never interfered with my gambling and helped me in recovery only in practical ways when I was destitute by bringing me food etc. Otherwise, in terms of emotional support there was nada. Sometimes we can’t expect our families to understand or support, if they do I consider ourselves fortunate. Even now my elderly mother asks me to go and get her daily scratch cards when I see her. They just don’t get it.
      nRegaining trust is done by Remaining gf one day at a time and working the programme, . Become aware of your emotional triggers. HALT, hungry, angry, lonely, tired and even being happy can be triggers.
      nThe voice in our head saying, you can do it once more or visualising those little reels on our favourite slot is just the addiction speaking. We starve that beast one day at a time and eventually it shuts up..

    • #68757
      steph40
      Participant

      Monica, thank you for the information about abstinence vs recovery, that makes so much sense to me. I know at this time I’m not in recovery, I am just abstaining from gambling. I need to work on the issues as to why I started gambling. I feel like I am making small steps towards recovery but at the same time not taking the big ones, like therapy, be it individual or group. I am working towards it though and I feel that I have good barriers in place to stay gamble free. I am now on Day 27.

      My husband will definitely not be supportive in recovery- he is more of the “this is your problem deal with it” kind of person. Even when I talk to him about handling bills and payments so that I don’t have access, his response is “I shouldn’t have to do that”.

      This weekend was so busy with kid’s birthdays and work stuff. I love being busy as then I don’t even think about gambling. I am still visualizing some of my favorite games and the big wins but not as much. This week will be busy with work and then on Saturday we are having a small burial service for my Grandpa who passed away in March. My parents are also planning a small, immediate family service for my brother who passed away by suicide 24 years ago- they have never been able to bury his ashes and this year they are finally ready. I have committed myself to dealing with the emotions this will bring up and not avoiding/turning to gambling to shut everything out.

    • #68761
      charles
      Moderator

      Hi Steph, well done on your gamble free time.
      n
      nWhen it comes to your husbands comments often it helps to agree!! Something along the lines of…..
      n
      n”Yes, I messed up!! We can’t change the past. But now I am doing x,y and z to address things. Is there anything else we can be doing now?”
      n
      nHard to keep an argument going when someone agrees with you.
      n
      nStay strong over the weekend.

    • #68774
      steph40
      Participant

      That is very helpful as I tend to get very defensive and it turns into a “well remember when you did this…”and we both remind one another of all of our shortcomings. So I will definitely be trying your suggestion.

      Work is incredibly busy, I have so much going on. I don’t have a physical job but it is mentally draining. I often wonder if my gambling became an issue as an escape from my job. I worked in child welfare for 16 years. A psychiatrist that I talked to told me that anyone that works in child protection for any length of time is going to have some type of post traumatic issues. When I finally left it took me about 6 months to get physically healthy. I used to come home from work and need to just not think for an hour or so, so gambling at the slots became the perfect escape as I didn’t have to think I could just put my brain on auto pilot.

    • #68778
      Taylor09
      Participant

      I have read many posts, and this is one of my favorites. Would you be able to share the title of the YouTube meditation video?

    • #68796
      steph40
      Participant

      I am trying to plan ahead for tomorrow evening as I have to go out of town for work for one night. I am excited to stay on my own at a hotel with no kids or husband which hasn’t happened in a long time. However, in the past whenever I have gone to this city for work I have gambled at the casino for hours on end. I am going to plan my night so that I don’t give myself the opportunity to gamble. Perhaps being on my own will allow me to attend an online meeting with no distractions.

    • #68802
      Enough808
      Participant

      Hi Steph, glad you are going strong with being gamble-free. Instead of dreading going to that city because of the casino, you could look at it as a nice get-away from all your stress of housework or worrying about the kids.  Treat yourself to a nice dinner and enjoy the “you” time. 

    • #68814
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you enough! It ended up being a good trip- it was nice to eat out where I wanted and watch what I wanted on tv- which never happens with 4 kids and a husband!! I have made it through my trip away as well as my grandpa’s burial without gambling. I am on day 33 and feeling good. Today I had a lot of thoughts about how fun it would be to just gamble a little bit but I have been down that road to many times. Looking ahead to my second month of being gambling free I want to start counselling, continue to read addiction therapy books, as well as continue to post on here and take part in groups.

    • #68819
      BEEM
      Participant

      Welldone Steph40 I found councelling and CBT helpful coming to the group here and smart recovery. I find exercise helpful this can be body weight weights or going for walk whatever works for you to distract you from gambling and give you purpose is good

    • #68824
      Enough808
      Participant

      well done Steph40! Keep up the good work

    • #68837
      steph40
      Participant

      I really appreciate the feedback!! I have been feeling pretty good about everything, I think I’m on day 37. I find myself starting to do more “normal” things that I used to do before gambling took over my life. I do think I am struggling with depression right now but I feel it is more situational due to COVID and stopping gambling. Tonight has been a bit of a struggle as I am getting my “justifying gambling” thoughts… so far I have been able to talk myself through them and I know there are two outcomes- I will either win or lose… if I lose I will keep playing to win back the money.. if I win I will cash out and enjoy my little “high” but then get the “I can win again itch”. Either way I will come out on the losing end. I will not gamble today.

    • #68861
      steph40
      Participant

      I’m so glad that I am still gamble free! This past weekend was tough and I was able to make it through and also reflect on some of my triggers. I have two weeks of holidays and have been loving having time to myself to read- I am on my 3rd book since Friday.

    • #68866
      Enough808
      Participant

      You’ve inspired me to pick up another book. Keep up the amazing job

    • #68888
      steph40
      Participant

      Thanks Enough! I have always loved reading so it has become one of my main go-tos when I feel like gambling.

      I am on day 48 of being gamble free and feel like it’s getting easier.. I know I still have lots of work to do on myself and supports to get in place to ensure I don’t gamble again but am making progress every day.

      My kids start school this week and these past few weeks have been so much less stressful than this time of year typically is as I had the money to buy their new clothes, shoes, and supplies… in past years I would be broke due to gambling and have to borrow money to get the essentials. It is honestly such a relief to not be gambling and I am starting to feel a lot more happy with life.

    • #68891
      BEEM
      Participant

      Well done on your gamble free time you are  doing really well. Best wishes onwards and upwards 

    • #68892
      BEEM
      Participant

      Well done on your gamble free time you are  doing really well. Best wishes onwards and upwards 

    • #68908
      steph40
      Participant

      I am on day 51- which is a great feeling- I didn’t think I would make it this far.
      nI have still been getting emails from 3 online casinos. I was able to self- exclude from one yesterday and am still working on how to self-exclude permanently from the other two as it obviously didn’t work when I did it in July.
      nI made myself a vision board of what I want to accomplish in the next 7 years- I did it on my phone with a photo editing app and made it my background so that I have a constant reminder of what I can easily achieve if I stay gamble free.

    • #68909
      Steev
      Participant

      I love the vision board idea … I might try that myself!

    • #68931
      steph40
      Participant

      Thanks Steev! I am finding it very helpful and anytime I am feeling a little low or thinking about gambling I will look at my board and take a few minutes to re-focus on my goals.

      I am a reader and I am finding it so helpful to read threads on here. Everyone’s personal journey, their struggles, and inspirational thoughts on this forum are so invaluable to me and part of the reason I have remained gambling free for almost 2 months.

    • #68950
      steph40
      Participant

      Today marks day 60!!! I am proud of myself for making it this far. I am being careful not to let my guard down. For the last few days I have made jokes about going to the casino and I know from past experience that those casino “jokes” trigger me. I am not thinking about gambling as much as I was last month and haven’t been playing back my past big wins. Working on getting to the root of why I became a compulsive gambler.

    • #68961
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you kin! Yes I agree, I don’t know how many times I have quit in the past for a period of time and then talked myself into thinking “this time will be different, this time I will gamble in moderation” but it will never work as I will always be a compulsive gambler. I can never gamble again

    • #68970
      Enough808
      Participant

      Very happy for you to have made it to this milestone.  Keep on counting those days!

    • #68985
      steph40
      Participant

      I have not gambled since July 21 which is such a big accomplishment for me. I am working towards recovery whereas in the past when I quit it was always about abstaining from gambling without putting supports in place. Every day I feel more and more confident in my ability to stay gamble free. I know I still have a ton of work to do on myself but I am no longer feeling the desperation and preoccupation with gambling that I felt after I decided I needed to stop.
      nKin’s thread has been so helpful to me in his posts about how once you are a compulsive gambler you can never gamble responsibly. I believe this 100% and know from past experience that this is how I have always justified gambling again (“I had my timeout and my brain is good, I can spend $60 and then walk away”). Because I am a compulsive gambler, I will never be able to just walk away from gambling a little bit.

    • #69007
      steph40
      Participant

      I haven’t been posting every day, but have been coming on this site at least once a day to read posts which I have found so helpful. I have not had a lot of gambling urges and it is not on my mind as much as it was last month. I am continuing to put blocks in place to stay gamble free and will be starting counselling in October. With being gamble free I am realizing that my marriage is not healthy- there is a lot of blame coming my way (which I take responsibility for) but I can’t continue to be reminded of my mistakes every day.. I guess time will tell if we can move past it.

    • #69028
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you for this encouraging post Kin. this is very helpful for me. I really Hope we can work past this, as my husband and I have been together for 22 years.

    • #69085
      steph40
      Participant

      I haven’t posted on my thread for a few days, however I do come on the site several times a day to read and occasionally comment on other’s threads. I have not been having many urges to gamble. I was able to buy myself some new clothes this past weekend (although I have been working from home for the last 7 months so who knows when I will get the chance to wear them). It is nice to have extras again- which would not be possible if I was still gambling.

    • #69088
      kathryn
      Participant

      I just wanted to congratulate you on your gamble free time!
      nI had the same thing with my husband, the little remarks now and then. I let it go for 2 years (probably too long but I felt I deserved it) After that, I said no more! I wouldn’t let this be thrown in my face anymore. Yep I made some terrible mistakes while in the grips, but I felt he had punished me enough and I said one more word and I’m done. The only time we have spoken of it since was when I bought it up. We punish ourselves enough and while I 100% get the anger, breach of trust, sadness etc, we can’t help them move through that, all we can do is keep working on ourselves and hope the changes in us are proof enough. Just keep going, you’re doing great!
      nLove K xx

    • #69132
      steph40
      Participant

      Kathryn, Thank you so much for your post!! I have read through your past few threads, as well as many others, which I have found so helpful as I can relate to so much of what you and others are saying. It is inspiring for me to see people still posting on here that have been gamble free for several years so thank you for taking the time to come back and share that it is possible to have a gamble free life. It is also helpful to know that life’s problems do not magically go away once we quit gambling. I am hopeful that I will be able to work things out with my husband. At times, I get quite resentful as i have quit gambling while he continues to smoke and buy a case of beer every weekend. I know that my gambling was much more destructive than his “bad habits”  – I have decided to put aside the same amount he spends on smokes and beer and spend it on myself or save it. Otherwise, I know my resentment will continue to grow and i will end up gambling just to “show him”.

      I will be gamble free for 3 months on the 21st. This is exciting for me as i have only gone this long without gambling one other time in the last several years- when I quit gambling for seven or eight months. I am continuing to recognize my triggers. Last night, I babysat my grandson while my daughter and her boyfriend went to the casino. I was happy that I didn’t have any desire to go with them. 

    • #69162
      steph40
      Participant

      I am now at 91 days gf, which is the longest I have gone since 2016 (which was after things got really bad for me as a result of gambling-definitely my rock bottom). I am excited to keep going in the right direction however need motivation to continue on my recovery process. I have been telling myself that I am going to get individual counselling, which is covered by my private health insurance, since July. I have been telling myself that I am going to take part in a GA meeting on Zoom since July. To date, I have only taken part in one group on here in August. I read lots of the threads on here, try to write regularly, read lots of articles online that discuss problem gambling, as well as a few self-help books around addictions/gambling. As well, I have banned myself on the online sites I was using. This is more than I have ever done before so I am proud of myself for getting as far as I have.
      nMy goal for the next month is to get counselling set up and try at least one zoom meeting.

    • #69166
      G Rec
      Participant

      Well done on the 91 days mark, and the 4-year peak. Keep it up. I have only been to one Zoom meeting but I did find it very useful, and I will definitely attend more.  You don’t necessarily have to share or say anything in the first meeting. If you feel more comfortable, you can just join and listen, that alone is likely to be a help, and then you can share when you feel the time is right. 

    • #69188
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you for the encouragement! i don’t know if a group type meeting will be my thing but I have committed to myself to try 1 meeting. I was cleaning up my email which I haven’t done for months and it makes me sad to see how much money I was wasting online gambling…there was one night that I deposited 32 times in a 3-4 hour period- what a waste and I know that night was not my worst night. It felt good to delete those reminders of gambling. Every once in awhile I will think about games I liked to play but I am able to occupy my mind on other things. I have been organizing my digital pictures. I have my albums done up to 2009- with 4 kids 11 years of pictures to organize on the computer is a huge undertaking. i am working on photo books for each year- kind of a highlight- rather than printing each photo out.

    • #69190
      G Rec
      Participant

      Occupying your mind on other things should certainly be a great help. 

      You mentioned not being sure if a group type meeting will be your thing, while I still recommend giving a GA Zoom meeting a go, you could also try the moderated groups that they have on here (if you haven’t already). While they are called groups, in my experience so far, they generally have much smaller numbers than GA (mostly less than 4 and at times it can be 1 on 1 with just you and the moderator. This allows for an experience that is much closer to a 1 on 1, they are also written forums which you may feel more comfortable with than talking for now. 

      If you do want to give those a try, the new member’s groups on Monday and Thursday could be a good place to start.

    • #69213
      steph40
      Participant

      100 days feels like such a big accomplishment for me. I have not stayed gamble free for this long for a long time. I have not seen drastic improvements in my life but definitely feeling much happier than I was 100 days ago- I’m not feeling guilty all the time, my bills are paid, I have made small dents in my debt, my credit score has improved, I’m able to buy “extras”, and I am learning to respect money again.
      I do still feel depressed at times when I think of all the time I have wasted gambling but overall am feeling optimistic about the future. I can concentrate better and actually have the patience to help my son with his grade 7 math homework. I can’t wait to see where I am in another 100 days!!

    • #69222
      Enough808
      Participant

      On the 100 day milestone. That is huge! I know what you mean about thinking about past losses and the “what ifs” of had you not ever gambled. It can be hard to block those thoughts out but the future is so bright and there is so much to look forward to! 

    • #69280
      steph40
      Participant

      Thanks for that!! Congratulations to you as well- I think we stopped at around the same time… I am looking forward to reaching the 4 month milestone next week. I am 112 days gamble free and really feel that gambling is taking up much less space in my life and in my head. There are days when it doesn’t cross my mind. The symbols from slots that I played used to be very vivid in my thoughts and would play over and over at random, now I have to put in effort to remember them. 

      I was really struggling with attending a GA meeting because I felt that that was what I was “supposed to do”. After doing a ton of reading I have decided that it is not a support that would be helpful for me.  My recovery includes continuing journalling on here as often as possible, as well I have been using alot of online CBT tools and workbooks, and am focusing on individualized counselling. I have been reading alot of books and my next goal is to start re-learning to play piano. My 11 month old grandson fills up much of my time as well. 

      I have noticed alot of my friends have started creating facebook pages to playing bingo for money. Bingo has never been something that I played or had a problem with but I am staying away from it as I know it would take one small win at bingo for me to be wanting more. 

    • #69303
      maverick.
      Participant

      Steph really well done on your gamble free time, its like you say do what works for you its nothing to do with anyone else , what works for one does not always work for another, taylor make your recovery just for you, so pleased you are gamble free and enjoying life its the only way.
      n
      nTake care and keep heading in the right direction
      n

    • #70928
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you for the encouragement maverick!! I really am slacking on logging in here and posting. I have been working from home since March and feel somewhat closed in. My mood fluctuates from one week to the next.. I am grateful that I have employment but also anxious for life to go back to some kind of normal. With all the restrictions due to COVID increases it is going to be a long winter so counselling remains importan. 

      i have stayed gamble free and for the most part have no desire to gamble. I have noticed many friends/family on Facebook sending me invites to their private pages where they have bingos for money. I am staying away from those pages as I know how quickly that could turn into a gateway to online slots or going to the casino. I can’t go back to gambling – it has already stolen way too much from me. I feel like my husband is starting to trust me again- when he talks about how when I was gambling it was the worst time in his life I am able to feel guilt and remorse for the effect my choices have had on others instead of getting defensive-  this isn’t something I have really been able to do when I was actively gambling as gambling made me a very selfish person.

    • #73279
      Enough808
      Participant

      stopping by to say well done on keeping up with being gamble free. happy holidays!

    • #73287
      steph40
      Participant

      Yesterday I gambled online. I would love to believe it took me by surprise, but I think it has been building for awhile. I have been spending a lot of time alone usually on my phone, sometimes reading. I have been down and very negative- I can’t seem to stop complaining. I had been thinking about gambling for a bit, usually just random thoughts and rather than acknowledge how I was feeling and getting support I moved on. I am an expert at avoidance and procrastination. Nothing eventful happened yesterday to trigger me, I was really tired so had planned to go to bed early. I went on facebook and there was friends posting for bingo games so I played 3 games and “almost” won the last two. From there I decided that I would win if I tried online slots and there went the next five hours. I have been stressed about money as my husband hasn’t been working since the beginning of November so I told myself that this was an easy way to make money. Which I know isn’t true because we had enough money for our monthly bills and Christmas. I am so disgusted with myself for going so long and then messing it up. I am determined to get on track immediately. I have unfollowed all of the bingo groups that my friends added me on facebook. I have closed the online account I used last night to gamble. I am going to set limits on my phone as I spend way to much time on it.

    • #73502
      steph40
      Participant

      Kin, thank you so much for replying to my post with your helpful advice and information , it was so helpful! I have been having troubles logging on and posting on here – but your words gave me so much insight that has kept from me gambling. It has been been 4 days since I gambled and I know that I don’t want to have the horrible feelings of guilt and regret that come after gambling ever again. I like my life when I’m not gambling although I have to work through my issues of depression/negativity. I was talking to a friend the other day and I was telling her how I just can’t stop complaining about everything. I don’t want to live like that and need to work at being more positive. I am working at putting more barriers in place as I am obviously not strong enough to fight my gambling urges still.

    • #73512
      sunny
      Participant

      Stay strong Steph! Keep posting and never give up!

      Will be keep you in my daily prayers and look forward to keep hearing on your progress!

      Let’s do it together and Sunny will always be there for you 🙂

      • #73615
        steph40
        Participant

        Sunny, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. I am committed to staying gamble free and journaling mor often. I hope that you are doing well!

    • #73989
      sunny
      Participant

      Hi Steph, how is it going. Hope all is good. Looking forward to hearing updates from you.

      God bless! 🙂

      Sunny

    • #74941
      steph40
      Participant

      This is such a busy time of year and I have not had time to post in awhile. Christmas was much less stressful this year as I haven’t been gambling. My youngest son is now 12 so Christmas is alot different than when all 4 of my kids were young and excited for Santa to come. This year, we had to wake the kids up to open presents. It was still great- Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I have been GF for 28 days now, and have only gambled the one time when I slipped on November 30. When I look at the big picture- in the last 160 days I have been gamble free for 159 of them. It is important that I stay accountable to myself by continuing to post and work on the issues that led me to gamble.

      • #74945
        maggaddog
        Participant

        Hi Steph,
        I saw your post as I get emails sometimes when people post. I just wanted to tell you how happy I am for you. This is my first year gamble free at Christmas too (in at least 5 years). I save all year for Christmas and every year I’ve spent all or very nearly all of the money I saved on gambling then hate myself and scramble for funds. This year (partly thanks to Covid) I spent the money on Christmas and it felt amazing. I’ll be thinking of you and wish you well. Stay strong. Thanks for the post.

    • #75447
      steph40
      Participant

      I am back to day 1. I wish I could take back the last few weeks- I have gambled on 4 occasions. I need to get back on track and make the changes I need to make- I know I can do it. My husband doesn’t know I have been gambling so I will start by coming clean to him tomorrow.

    • #75455
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you Kin, I read your message earlier and really wanted to think about this because it is such an important question. 1) I need to have better barriers in place and 2) not get complacent about recovery. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, I need to keep barriers in place. It is almost like being hijacked when I get the urge to gamble and I talk myself into it. If I had barriers then it would force me to slow down. I did a lot of damage yesterday and I know I can’t gamble for fun, which is what my thought process was yesterday and the other days.

      Kin, your questions and feedback are so valuable to me, thank you again.

    • #75714
      steph40
      Participant

      I haven’t posted in awhile and am struggling to get back on track. I have made some big gains including installing Gamban on my phone as well as an app to help me track my progress in stopping. What a relief it was to know that I can’t accesss gambling websites. I have let my husband know about my recent relapses and am restricting my access to money.

    • #76001
      steph40
      Participant

      Since I posted last, I have gambled twice.. one being on my daughter’s laptop and the other “with” my husband.. somehow I talked him into a “fun” evening of online gambling and it would be “just for fun” (which it wasn’t, he fell asleep and I stayed up all night). It makes me so sad how manipulative gambling makes me and the position I put my friends/family in- I did apologize to him for this and I know I have to earn back trust.

      I have been gamble free for 10 days and am feeling focused on staying gamble free. I need to get through this next week.

    • #76008
      sunny
      Participant

      Happy to hear that u are GF for 10 days. Keeping it going Steph!

    • #76097
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you sunny. So far I am doing well. I still have Gamban on my phone and my husband is holding me accountable with our joint account. I am on Day 13 and have been keeping myself busy with reading, walking, working, and spending time with my 1 year old grandson. I have not gone to a casino or gambled in person in 13 months.. I am still kicking myself for ever trying online gambling so just need to continue putting blocks in place so I don’t have the opportunity to even log in to an online casino. It drives me crazy how many advertisements there is on tv for online casinos… before COVID I don’t remember seeing any..

    • #76163
      steph40
      Participant

      This weekend was tough as I really had a lot of urges to gamble, I kept playing different scenarios in my head of how I could gamble. I was able to talk myself out of it by reasoning that even if I were to win, I would just play more and then end up further behind financially or if I lost I would keep losing. My brain tries to tell me that this time I will be able to play just a little bit for fun just like everyone else, but I am getting stronger at reminding myself that for me there is never going to be a little bit of gambling for fun. Having barriers to make it more difficult to gamble is really helping. I read 2 books over the weekend to occupy my mind and spent time outside. On Saturday and Sunday morning when I woke up I initially had the extreme feelings of guilt that I usually get after I gamble, so it was a great surprise to remember that I hadn’t gambled. I am glad I was able to make it through. On my gambling app it provides me with a notification every day with an inspirational quote, today’s is “Nothing will work unless you do” (Maya Angelou). I am on day 17.

      • #77235
        CraigMac6
        Participant

        Hello Step,

        After reading your post I had to respond to this one. Like you, I’m an addict to gambling and I have no control over it.
        I used chewing tobacco for many years and I’m nearly 6 years quit this August but I can totally relate to you about waking up, not being sure if you relapsed. I had several times during the first year of my dipping quit where I work up and thought I had caved. I was so pissed, it was surreal. However, after some time passed, I was grateful it was just a “dip” dream. Like anything, they won’t last. We only get better with our addiction with time.
        Keep on keeping on!!

        Be well.

    • #76180
      steph40
      Participant

      Thank you kin. I spent a lot of time yesterday re-reading about relapse and the 1st two stages definitely fit in with how I was feeling on the weekend.. I am feeling much better today. I know that the pros of gambling are very small and short term and the cons could fill pages… this is the longest I have ever gone of holding myself accountable and trying to stay gamble free so I am proud of myself for that. I also find my point of view has changed from a “victim” of gambling to taking responsibility for my actions and the effects it has had on others. I have lost many friendships as a result of borrowing and not paying back when I said I would. Most importantly my family has suffered as a result of my selfishness. I can’t turn back time, but I can make sure they don’t suffer anymore.

    • #76473
      steph40
      Participant

      The last week has not gone well for me. I have been caught up in a horrible cycle of online gambling and I haven’t been able to stop. I installed Gamban but cancelled it after a month as the VPN was slowing down my phone- or so I told myself. Because I was paying for it by the month I was able to cancel my subscription. I don’t know where to go from here, I just feel like I shouldn’t even bother trying to quit gambling. When I wasn’t gambling I was reading 3 books a week and now I can’t even read a few pages without losing focus and feeling like I should gamble. I haven’t gambled since yesterday (technically it was about 5am this morning when my last binge ended).

    • #76475
      markwi27
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing

    • #77230
      steph40
      Participant

      Kin,
      I am doing well, thank you for checking in with me. The post you posted on murr’s page about gamblers anonymous was very helpful so thank you for that.
      I have not been gamble free since I last posted but I really do feel like I have made huge gains in learning to work on my emotions and not suppress them as well as figuring out my triggers for why I gamble. I have been gamble free for the last few days, which does not sound like a lot but I am working on it one day at a time. Despite my recent gambling, I feel like I am in a much better place emotionally than I was when I was gamble free for 5 months. I am working on getting barriers in place again and connecting with gamblers anonymous meetings. I hate this addiction.

    • #77841
      steph40
      Participant

      It has been over a month since I last posted and it has only been in the last 4 days that I have gotten back on track. I was doing quite well and then a few weeks ago my mother in law passed away. I have realized just how easily I am triggered to gamble- any negative emotion at all and I want to gamble to forget about it. I cannot continue like this though and need to stop making excuses as to why I “should” gamble. It has made me so conniving- like my thought process is always justifying why I deserve to gamble. Today I watched a tik tok video where a mental health therapist was listing the top 5 devastating addictions in his experience. 5. Opiates 4. Crack cocaine 3. Crystal meth 2. GAMBLING and 1. Anorexia. He explains that gambling wreaks havoc on your brain’s reward system, has the lowest rates of recovery, the worst consequences he has ever seen including utter financial ruin and damaged relationships and has the highest suicide rate of any addiction. He says the worst, most common, and insidious form of gambling is slot machines at it targets our reward systems with “laser-like precision. If there is a devil he created slot machines”. This blew me away and really gave me the kick in the butt that I need to start taking this seriously and put all my efforts into putting the road blocks I need.

    • #77960
      Dolly
      Participant

      Hi! I don’t your history, but if you want to do this together, I will do it with you. Now I am going to read through your journal. I have been gambling 9 years. I need support. Would you be willing to do that so we can be a success not a failure. I’m considering quitting, and tried many attempts.

    • #77961
      Dolly
      Participant

      Hi Steph, I thought it was short for Steve. My apologies. I have been gambling today. I drained my account. I have a hard time not doing it. I’m addicted to games. I’m trying to repay my debts too. In the same fashion,I’m still gambling. I tried online therapy,quitting, and now I’m stuck. It doesn’t stick. The help doesn’t seem to sink in. Anxiety is real, I want to quit. In GA they started. and did it with someone a stranger. That’s how it started. Would you be willing to pledge with me not to gamble this week with me? I don’t have money card saved. So I cannot gamble or play games, my substitute.
      I started gambling because I had other problems, just as GA says, please respond.I would like to partner up, as I feel and have been told it cannot be done alone?
      I even gambled before surgery once and with a broken finger.

    • #78047
      Enough808
      Participant

      Hi Steph, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you feel better and remain on track with being gamble-free. It would be a lot to have to deal with both the loss of a parent and the addiction coming back around. Give yourself time to heal. We all believe in you!

    • #78074
      steph40
      Participant

      Hi Dolly, I hear you- this addiction is so horrible. Over the years I have made half-hearted attempts to quit gambling but never really stuck with it. For the last year, I have continued trying even when I have relapsed. Even though it has only been a few weeks since the last time I gambled- I feel further ahead than I did when I quit for five months. I am open with my husband about my addiction and I have also been open with two close friends about my addiction. This is huge for me as I have never admitted to anyone else that my gambling is an addiction and not just a “spend a little too much once in awhile, but I have it under control”. I continue to read and look for support. I am learning to have patience and take it one day at a time. I have switched my bank account so that I am not able to use my bank card for online purchases- which includes online casinos. I have closed all of my online accounts. This sounds silly- but I don’t leave my house alone if I have my bankcard. Either my husband or one of my kids comes along. I know how quickly the compulsion to gamble can come and I am putting as many roadblocks as possible in place. I hope to hear from you soon. I apologize for not responding sooner but my 2nd oldest graduates Grade 12 this week so we have been busy!!

    • #78456
      freebyrd3
      Participant

      Steph,

      I have been reading many of your posts. You remind me of myself. I am 50 with three sons and my wife has one. I am a compulsive gambler. Online casinos and slot machines. I self excluded this morning with my state. This is probably the 30th time I have tried to quit. This time feels different, but they always feel different after a big loss. I am remorseful, ashamed, embarrassed, etc. My wife is pretty much over my lies and promises. It is always “this time I am really quitting”. I just want you to know I connect with you and understand.

    • #138156
      steph40
      Participant

      It has been awhile since I posted. I have been doing well and have stayed gamble free for the last 3 months. Working on catching up on debt slowly and learning to be patient with how long it takes as one of my impulses to gamble is the feeling that I will win big, pay off my debt, and get a fresh start. I am trying to be less obsessed about money, learning to pay my bills on time, and looking forward to the near future when my debt will be paid. Even though I haven’t posted in awhile I come on here often to read posts which I find so helpful as well as some other resources. I’m working hard on identifying my feelings and getting a plan in place for when I feel overwhelmed and stressed as that is a big trigger for me.

    • #148260
      steph40
      Participant

      It has been awhile since I last posted. I wish I could say that I haven’t gambled at all but this would be a lie. I did well until October- gambled a bit- stopped until after Christmas and then have been gambling every week or so since January. My addiction said I could keep it under control and I told myself that I had learned to control it and had I could be a “gambling for fun person”. But I know I can’t and it is only a meter of time before it is completely out of control. I have taken steps to keep myself away from gambling and be accountable.

    • #148277
      Losingitslowly
      Participant

      Hi steph,
      It’s ok to relapse. It happens to all addicts so give yourself permission to be pissed with yourself and then start again. The worst thing you can do is let it fuel the despair that will keep you n the cycle that brings you back again and again. You can celebrate your time of abstinence as well as kick yourself in the butt for relapse. Remember how it felt to be free of that monkey on your back. Know how miserable the relapse has made you feel and move on. There are so many times in a persons daily life when they do something that they said they wouldn’t do- eat a donut, buy something they shouldn’t, forget to exercise- and this is just like that. Learn what made you start again and adapt your life again to avoiding it. I admire you so much for being able to do 3 months. I can’t get through 7 days at this point. I will vow to try to do 7 days and you start on your 4 month goal??? Starting again is all you can do other than dwelling on a mistake and letting it take back your life. What’s it going to be?

    • #148382
      steph40
      Participant

      Losing it slowly, thanks so much for your post. I have learned the need to let my guilt/anger/remorse go after a relapse and focus on what I can do better and what blocks I can put in place to prevent myself from gambling. I do allow myself to feel those feelings and how low I am in that moment and vow to not put myself in that spot by gambling again. 99% of the time I don’t want to gamble, it’s that 1% that does so much damage. I need to figure out how to have more blocks in place to get over those urges to gamble during that time. I really do feel like I go 7 steps forward and then 6 steps back each time I stop gambling for a time and then slip, however I am still 1 step ahead and I need to appreciate those small gains and keep working towards staying gamble-free.

    • #148670
      charles
      Moderator

      Hi Steph,

      I’ve just looked back over a couple of pages and noticed across a few posts….:

      “….It has been over a month since I last posted….”

      “…..It has been awhile since I last posted….”

      “…..It has been awhile since I last posted….”

      Now, you KNOW you can stop gambling, you have done it befroe, my advice would be to keep using support to maintain recovery, not just whn you have relapsed and are hurting. That will make thise relapses less likely.

      Keep posting, maybe get to GA meetings as well. Lots of support available.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by charles. Reason: Edited to corrct typos!
    • #148729
      steph40
      Participant

      Charles, yes I 100% agree. I need to stop making excuses and stay focused on keeping supports in place ongoing. I have been able to quit for months at a time and because I don’t continue to access those supports I relapse. I was recently reading about the “Swiss cheese model” for protective barriers against covid and it reminded me of the numerous supports I need to stay gamble free. Alone each Swiss cheese slice (barrier to not gamble)has holes in it to allow you to gamble but when you pile numerous cheese slices (barriers) together those holes get covered making it difficult to act on those gambling urges. I will stay gamble free.

    • #149521
      steph40
      Participant

      I am continuing to stay gamble free and am on day 16 but life has been crazy. My husbands dad recently passed away- his mom only died months ago so it’s all been a shock and there is much to do in cleaning out their home and planning for the funeral. Gambling would be so easy right now and would take my stress away for a short time. But that relief would be very temporary.

    • #149620
      jvr3419
      Participant

      Hi steph40 I’m sorry for your losses. That is alot to deal with when trying to stay away from gambling. I wish you all the strength during this difficult time. You can do this 💪

    • #149627
      Losingitslowly
      Participant

      Hi steph. The only thing worse than going through what you are going through at this point is to do it with the feeling of failure looming in your head because you started gambling again. I know for myself, anything that I have to deal with during the worst if times has a little less “dark” on it if I’ve been able to abstain. Keep the fact that you are managing to stay gamble free in the back of your mind as a trophy and let it help guide you through the negative feelings that you are experiencing. It’s probably also a good thing that you stay as busy as possible when you are starting to have these feelings so that you won’t. Stay strong.

    • #73614
      steph40
      Participant

      Kin, this all helpful information that I was not aware of. I am going to do further reading on the 3 stages of relapse so thank you for that suggestion. It is very helpful. For me, the biggest triggers would be anxiety, worried, and boredom but I can relate to all of the feelings you have listed. I read a quote today that really stuck with me “The victim mindset dilutes human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” Steve Maraboli. This is so important for me and something I need to work on.

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