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    • #143324

      Hi, I’m hootee and I’m a gambling addict.

      My career started way back around 2005 as a poker player – but I soon found myself using all the winning in slot machines instead of getting anything withdrawn. I was hooked on my first “big win” that went “all the way”. As we started calling them with my friend years and years later, but I digress. The hook was there and I took the bait. Or should I say I ate the whole hook and never even got to taste the bait?

      In 2012 my father passed away suddenly and the first real signs of a problem emerged. I took a huge amount and in 15 minutes with high stakes it was gone. *poof*. Just as I had planned in my mind, I thought and went out on a cigarette. You see, I’ve never been good with money – so I never felt that heritage was mine in the first place. I felt no “attachment” to it. At that point I was reminded of my easily addictive behavior – I’d dropped alcohol just a few years earlier – and was aware of the 12 step program. Heck, I had been working on it for years, but never had it crossed my mind to use it against my gambling.

      The thing with addictions is, that one can rarely get by on their own with it, so around 2017 I found myself back at the tables. This time, though, I paid no attention to poker, but the slot machines took all of my attention. And heck, why wouldn’t I spend all the money from the job I had just gotten, that paid decently? It was mine to spend, wasn’t it? But it wasn’t enough. I had to take loans, quick loans, with tremendous interests. And this is something done by junkie teenagers in my country, who are in their twenties at max. I was almost 35, for Pete’s sakes! I kept telling myself “I’ll pay it all back – once I hit big” – which I never did. And that’s what we’re good at – lying to ourselves, “I will when…”

      Instead of the “big one” all I got was debtor’s letters, which I eventually stopped opening altogether.

      And I kept playing – counting all my money to the cent; eating only porridge for days if need be. Just that I could gamble just a bit more. Until last summer – something had snapped and I started to talk to other’s with gambling problems about not playing anymore. And eventually to be the master of one’s money again. Well, it’s been a few weeks now and even being on “step Zero” still, I’m feeling refreshed, a-new, full of hope and anticipation of things to come – better things – that is. I’m fortunate enough to live in Finland and to be under a certain casino’s jurisdiction, which offers their players a “guarantee” – free counselling when one admits to having a problem. And I was approved just days after I’ve given them a call! This will mean months of therapy via Teams, but am willing to do everything – to be free to do anything again!

      Better things are coming, I know that much at this stage.

      Just bit off-topic; I’ve managed to make a whole turnaround on many things in a short period – diabetes under control, weight-loss, gave up smoking and what else will follow?

      TL:DR – Hi, I’m hootee and I’m a gambler – but I’ve started to fix that and better times- they are a-coming!

    • #143326

      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!

      • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Dunc.
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