16 July 2022 at 11:06 pm #159274
Hello everyone! This is my first time on any kind of therapy and/or consulting website. Reading others stories helped me feel like there is hope for me too.
My story started less than a year ago when I was casually browsing Twitch and stumbled upon Slots streamers. Not knowing what it was, I opened and saw one streamers overlay saying that he had deposited $150,000 today and while I was watching him play, I saw he cashed out nearly $4,000,000… Seeing that number, something clicked in my brain. I wanted to see if I could do the same thing.
During that moment, I had $10,000+ in my savings account and $5000 in my crypto investments. Salary that allowed me and my family to live a very happy life. Some say people gamble because of pain but for me, I was happy. I was a new dad to the most beautiful kid in the world. Happily married to the most caring wife I could ever hope for.
I deposited $200 on one of the crypto websites and really enjoyed my time there. Didn’t have any gambling addictions or anything. I honestly deposited because how much joy I was getting from spinning and discovering all these cool mechanics and beautiful artwork.
After depositing closer to $1200, I realized that something is wrong and I should probably leave the website and close this chapter in my life. At that time I actually managed to win $1200 back and it was perfect time to quit… I request a withdrawal but the crypto I had was going through maintenance and withdrawals weren’t possible. Instead of waiting for that maintenance to pass, I went back to gambling and lost it all.
Any smart person at this point would just quit and leave but I was afraid… Afraid of something so ridiculous that some of you might think I’m stupid (and I wouldn’t argue back). I was afraid that my dad would ask me about my savings (that he tends to ask quite often to see if I’m surviving fine in my adult married life) and I’d end up lying to him and then one day when we’d sit down to check it, he’d see my lies. I was afraid of being judged by my parents.. People who have trusted in me my whole life. I was afraid they’d think I’m a terrible head of the family for doing something so stupid when I just recently had a kid and I’m the only person working in the family.
Because of this fear, I went back to gambling.. I wanted to win my losses back and I was telling myself that I’ve been able to win a lot in the past so surely I can do that again.. That got me into losing my savings + crypto which was roughly $15,000.
At that time I discovered how easy it was to take loans with my income and took first $2,500 loan, then another $2,500, then $5,000 and eventually another $5,000. Now I was $15,000 in debt and $15,000 of my own money lost. Roughly $30,000 lost in about 3-5 months.
Shortly after such a bad loss streak, I managed to win $12,000 back and paid $7,000 of my debt back and kept $5,000 in crypto savings hoping that it would go up 2-3x and I’d be out of debt. Took my family on a nice mini spa vacation with the wins as I realized that I’ve missed nearly 5 months of my kids life.. I wasn’t there when my wife needed me… I wasn’t there to enjoy my baby’s new interactions how she was discovering the world. I wanted to fix that with my mini vacation.
Now that I only had $8,000 debt left with a monthly payments of $150, I was happy again for the first time in a while. I made a promise to myself that I will not let my gambling addiction I’ve acquired in a few months ruin me or my time with my kid. I self excluded myself from the casino and life was good for a short period of time.
After some time had passed, I went back to gambling on a new website thinking that I’ll just do a few small deposits to keep it interesting for myself at nights when everyone is sleeping and I have some extra time. This was probably the worst decision I’ve made during my life.
Very quickly I managed to lose that $7,000 that I had paid back to cover my debt and lost a lot more. I racked up $40,000 debt.
With everything combined now I was $55,000 deep and no light at the end of the tunnel.
A lot of dark thoughts came to my mind but I always said to myself that “don’t do anything stupid… Taking an easy way out will make your family suffer the most. I can’t leave my beautiful kid to grow without his dad.” So I never did anything but thoughts stayed in my head and they are still there…
During all this time, no one knew about my dark gambling addiction and I was too afraid to share it with anyone. I was again afraid that I’d be labeled as the worst dad/husband on the planet and afraid that my wife could leave me and take our kid with her. Which again I wouldn’t blame her for but I don’t want to lose her or my kid. They mean the world to me and I love them very much.
Last week happened something that I will be ashamed for the rest of my life.. It was my wife’s birthday and I opened my bank account to see that I only have $200 left. Making me panic and think what the …. have I done… How did I end up in a situation where I’m not even able to take my wife for a nice dinner on her birthday because I need to save the money to buy groceries next week..
Today I sat down to do some calculations on my debt and I realized that I’ve racked up nearly $1000 in a monthly debt for next 10+ years due to ridiculously high interest rates.. I realized that for next 10 years, I will not be able to save even $1 with my current salary because everything will go back to paying the debt… I’m not going to be able to buy fancy new toys or clothes for my kid… I will not be able to take my family even on cheap vacations.. My life is ruined for minimum of 10 years and I do not know what to do.
I thought about an easy way out again so my wife could sell the house, pay my debt and live her life without a terrible husband like me but I will not do it, I promise. That would just traumatize my wife and kid for life.
I closed all my casino accounts today and for the first time ever, I’m seeking help. My life is a mess, I see no way out and I’m hoping to find motivation from this website.
Please let me know how you fought your addiction. Please tell me what you did to make extra money to pay your debts… I’m already working 40 hours a week and I don’t want to take a second job and completely miss my kids childhood 🙁 Please motivate me to stay here with my wife and kid… Please tell me that my future will be better and I will be able to enjoy life with my family…
Telling my wife about my addiction is unfortunately not an option.. I know it might help me out and she might not judge me if she truly loves me but thats not the risk I’m willing to take. I’m not willing to lose my wife/kid… I just need to find a way to hide my debt and addiction for next 10 years 🙁
16 July 2022 at 11:07 pm #159277velvetModerator
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 🙂
The Gambling Therapy Team
17 July 2022 at 1:43 am #159283risingphoenixParticipant
I can relate to where you are. See my story here. It might give you some ideas on how I am recovering. There are many stories on here that you can get inspiration from.
The first thing I would say you must do is come clean to your family. Tell the entire story without leaving anything out. Bare your soul. It will be incredibly hard.
Then comes the recovery part, sell the house if you can and move to an apartment, move in with family if you can. Use the house equity to pay off your high interest debt. Then work your way towards being debt free. If you are spiritual or religious, believe in a higher power to help you through this . Miracles will happen. Join a GA club or attend some courses. You’ll see you are not alone in this.
Don’t take any drastic steps with your life. It is a dark place you are in right now. Many of us have been there and can relate completely. It is not going to be easy but there is a way out of this. Keep working on staying Gamble free. One day at a time. Good things will come. Keep posting your thoughts here. Get ideas, inspiration and support. There are many who have documented so much of their lives here. Please read and reflect as much as you can.
Link to my thread
17 July 2022 at 1:21 pm #159304LosingitslowlyParticipant
Ashamed, I am in the same sort of bind. I have gone from being the financially sound, resourceful and responsible head of my household to the one that has put us on the brink of ruin in 6 years of gambling. I am in debt and having trouble paying it back. I have two jobs and work 7 days a week in order to make my payments at this time. I have relapsed a few times I the past 6 months but have been putting more and more days in between them. When I first began recovery it was a challenge to make it one week without relapse. Then it was 10 days. I’m past the 30 day mark at some point ( I don’t like to count days anymore because it felt like it just kept gambling in my mind too much of the time. ) I have not gambled in a while and dont intend to ever again. I think about it occasionally but have put a number of blocks in my way so that I cant. I was an electronics gambler, not a casino gambler, as casinos are too far from where I live ( I did exclude from them as well) so it easy to gamble from the comfort of my home. I now cant gamble on laptop, phone or iPad because I have installed gamban. It is software that does not allow you to access any site related to gambling. It has saved me. Knowing that I cant gamble is making it easy to curb the urges. They come and go quickly when the front of my mind knows that I cant. Get software to stop you. It is all well and good to want to stop but like any addiction it is more helpful to block access for the first while until the urges and cravings stop. As for telling your family, that is a personal choice. I have only told my sister who has helped to bale me out a few times when times got rough, but I did not tell my parents or my daughter. I find it to be selfish to worry them with my problems as they have enough of their own and my daughter is on medication for anxiety and depression already. I will fix this myself and focus on being the best that I can be for the future. I have been a great provider in the past and been through rough times before. I will get there and so will you. Get the monkey off of your back that is weighing you down. Get rid of access to gambling, focus on a plan that will help you get back on your feet in the short run. Work on the long run when you are on more stable ground. I took a second job and am working on payment plans with various people to get caught up and back to regular payments. It is going to be three to four months of getting back to zero then I can look at a long range plan to get my savings back up and debt paid off. Throw yourself into this instead of gambling and you will be surprised and what you can accomplish
18 July 2022 at 4:30 am #159343jvr3419Participant
Hi ashamed I’m so sorry to read that your in the pain your in. We certainly have all been there. Like rising said I think it’s really important to be honest with your family. I no the fear of losing people is a driving factor for hiding the secret. I to did for awhile to well into addiction its scarey and the guilt and shame of being a gambling addict is so friggin hard. There’s a saying I use alot with newcomers to anytype of recovery is your only as sick as your secrets. Once the can of worms is out it allows you to start healing properly. Carrying that dark burden secretively is enough to drive anyone into a nosedive of unhappiness. I have read a few stories of people who choose not to tell family and that’s purely there choice. We all have our own paths and nobody nos anyone’s situation truly from another. I just found for me I had to be rigorously honest. My family were shocked but also very supportive. My partner and I split but in my case we needed to it wasn’t a healthy relationship anyways. I get that people with children its alot tougher and nobody’s going to tell you what’s right or wrong in that case the choice is ultimately yours. Putting up blockers and banning yourself is really important to keep from gambling especially through the withdrawl faze. I seeked out a gambling/trauma counselor and started doing 12 steps again. Since then I’ve been gamblefree. It takes alot of work but we can definitely help listen to you and offer as much advice as possible that helps us you are not alone my friend.
18 July 2022 at 7:48 pm #159285
Thank you Risingphoenix. I actually read your story before posting this and it did motivate me to try to become gambling free as well. Congratulations on fully paying your debt!
Problem with telling my parents is that they are very religious and gambling is considered as a sin. My dad especially is very conservative and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just blocked me from his life or disowned me for doing such thing.
Reflecting back, I do feel like if I’d be able to openly talk to my dad about this issue at the beginning with my dad, I would’ve probably cut my losses at a few thousand and be done with it. The fear of my parents being disappointed in me and blocking me from their lives is the main reason I kept going back to gambling chasing my losses.
Selling the house would actually allow me to fully pay my debt and be a debt free man tomorrow but my wife would find out about my debt if we’d sell the house and portion of the money would disappear. We also have family/friends living here which makes being a new dad so much easier as we can get help from them when needed.
I’ve done my research and it looks like if I sold my house and wanted to get a new one with the rest of the money, I’d need to move 50km/40mile-ish away from the current location.
I jokingly mentioned about this to my dad that I’d like to move a bit further away to a bigger house (as downtown is expensive) and his response was:
“Are you an idiot? Dont say stupid things. Are you going to travel each day 1 hour to a store? What are you going to do when you need to take your kid somewhere? Stop dreaming about stupid things”
I know I shouldn’t care so much about things he says as this is my and my family’s life but stupid feeling inside of me that is trying to please everyone cares about these kind of things. I want everyone to be happy around me at the expense of my own happiness.
18 July 2022 at 7:49 pm #159329
EDIT: Looks like my posts needed moderator approval which is why it looks like I posted 3 updates back to back.
Seems like we do have very similar issues in life but honestly if I knew it would take 3-4 months to pay it off, I wouldn’t be as depressed as I am now knowing that I’ll be paying my debt for next 10 years. Knowing that my kid will be 11 years old when I’ll finally be able to buy her nice things. I feel like I’m a terrible terrible dad….
Day 2 of being Gambling free:
My anxiety is killing me… I went to a grocery store today to buy food for my family and at home I checked my bank account to see that I have $50 left for the remaining of 13 days of this month before my salary comes.
I looked into what I could sell to make up $150-200 to survive rest of the month but I couldn’t find anything. Nothing that wouldn’t go unnoticeable by my wife.
I know I just need to survive 13 days and next month will be easier.. The reason I’m this broke right now is because I gambled and lost $700. I know if I continue my gambling free life, I will be able to pay my debts on time and survive the months to come even if I’ll struggle to have some joy in life.
I’ll keep you all posted on the solutions I found to survive this month.
Stay gambling free my friends!
18 July 2022 at 8:07 pm #159398
Day 3 of being Gambling Free:
I was reading one of the forum posts here when I stumbled upon a post that talked about having a spreadsheet with monthly debt payments visible and I thought it was a great idea. So I sat down and created my own spreadsheet that shows how much debt I have, how many years I need to pay it back and how does the monthly debt amount change as I close different loans.
I initially thought my debt was $40,000 (excluding my savings loss) but apparently it’s $2,000 less than I thought. So in total I owe banks $38,000.
I was scared to check my total debt before as I thought I’d have a heart attack if I knew the totals but I’m glad I checked it…. Big step for me as I’ve been avoiding it for many months now.
I also thought I’d be paying my debt back for next 10+ years but it seems that if I pay my debts the way I’m paying now, I’d be done in 6.5 years. However, if I close one of my loans and move the extra payment from that closed loan to a new one, I’d be done in about 4.5 years.
If I get about $200 salary increase during the next year, I’d cut down my time to nearly 3 years.
On average I have 10% increase in salary each year meaning that I should be done with my debt most likely 2-3 years. This was an incredible news to me.
Previously I’d celebrate it by going to gamble more because I’d think “oh actually I can afford a bit more of gambling” but today, I didn’t do that. I’m determined to pay my debt back in less than 3 years so by the time my kid is 4 years old, I could start treating my kid and my wife to nice vacations and gifts.
Stay safe and clean everyone. There is hope for all of us!
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by ashamedofmyself.
20 July 2022 at 1:47 pm #159503
Still gambling free but I’ve had some urges especially when I’m in toilet or relaxing on sofa. My brain keeps telling me that you need to do something fun to entertain yourself and for whatever reason that entertainment/fun activity triggers gambling in my brain.
Instead of going to toilet to lock myself up for 30-60minutes to gamble while hiding from my wife, I’ve now spent that time with my little kid. I’m trying to be there for her and occupy my mind that way instead of doing anything stupid.
I’m honestly not 100% sure if gambling urges ever disappear but I really hope they do… I can’t imagine living rest of my life convincing myself that gambling is not an option. It gets exhausting already on day 5 when I have to keep arguing with myself and justifying why gambling is bad.
Another news from me is that I took another small loan of $300. This is so I can survive this months bills and afford some food. Hopefully this is my last gambling related loan and starting from next month, I’ll start paying my debt instead of taking new loans. That was unfortunately the only option I had this month as I didn’t have any money left from gambling earlier this month.
I can’t wait coming back to this thread in 1-2 years time and quoting my messages & being proud of my situation on how I managed to sort my life out. Hopefully we all get there as soon as possible. Stay safe my friends!
23 July 2022 at 1:07 am #159732
Thank you for the support Kin!
Day 8 of no Gambling about to begin.
I still have not gambled any of my money. Its Friday night… this is the time when I usually stay up late and gamble my life away but I didn’t do that today.. Its late in the night so I’m going to sleep knowing that this is my first Friday in about 1 year that I have not stayed up until the morning gambling and losing a lot of money.
It is very very very difficult but I’m committed..
I did noticed that I ended up firing up a PC game (not casino related but it does have “fun/no real money” poker in it) and used the in-game currency there to play poker. Not my real money, but poker nevertheless.. I think this is cheating and could lead me back to gambling soon so I’ve decided to not play/watch anything that could bring my addiction back.
I’m going to stick to 8 days GF story because that fun poker didn’t involve any real money but I will definitely stay away from it as well in the future.
Im going to visit some of my relatives tomorrow for the first time in many months and on Sunday I’ll be going to pick Strawberries with my wife and kid. It should be a fun and refreshing weekend. Looking forward to it!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
27 July 2022 at 12:22 pm #159983LosingitslowlyParticipant
How are things going ashamed? I am hoping that it is not ashamed, but proud today. It is hard in the beginning to fight the urges everyday. Occupying oneself works for a while but then you have to watch out for those times when the opportunity sneaks in all of the sudden and you are powerless to stop yourself. That was my failure, thinking that if I just worked non stop that I would be able to stop myself and the urges would go away. The first opportunity I got that I was alone and relaxed, boom, I was gambling again. In time it is easier to deal with the urges and for me, my mind tells me that it doesnt want to because of all of the negative things that are becoming attached to it. The brain fights itself and then, in time, the no will become stronger than the yes. It takes time for the yes pathways to weaken and the longer you abstain and build up the no pathways, the easier it becomes. It has gone from just having the thought or memory of the music from the bonus round in my head and then I would be finding a way to play within minutes to not hearing it anymore and when a thought comes in, it is quickly ushered out by another thought. Give it time, like you would any new habit. You are developing new, good habits as well as trying to bury old bad ones. Stay vigilant.
22 August 2022 at 9:20 am #161450gustav101Participant
Your story was awesome and I can conquer that your story and my story are exactly the same, so as I read your story I know exactly what emotions you are experiencing and what thoughts are crossing your mind. I am $50,000 is debt and it all started as I didn’t want to disappoint my dad, $8k of the $50k is my dad’s money as well, so I am recovering from Forex trading, and no one knows about it all, but I am this time determine that I will succeed.
23 August 2022 at 11:20 am #161967gustav101Participant
Hi Ashamed, How is it going? Holding strong?
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