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    • #37517

      Hi everyone, this is my first post here. My mind is in a million places right now and I wanted to talk about my struggles, and I ended up here.

      Where to start..

      I was first introduced to casinos when I was 20 when I just started seeing my now ex at the time. He was really big into casinos, both him and his family and friends. In fact, our first ‘date’ was meeting him and his friends at a local casino. Not knowing what I was doing, I tried $20 at the slots and lost it within minutes. I thought this was the stupidest waste of money ever, and just watched them play until they were done and left (nobody ended up winning, shocker).

      Throughout the coming months I progressively was asked by my ex to tag along with his outings to the casinos. At first I declined entirely as I was just not interested, but eventually I started tagging along as a means to build up my social life at the pinnacle of being 21 and in college. At the time I was in school and worked full time but didn’t have much money, so it started small; $40 budgets when I would tag along and I lost that $40 almost every time. More months went by and I still strictly went to the casinos only with ‘the group’.

      Everything started to go downhill when my relationship with my ex started becoming gradually worse. We fought more and more frequently, but things were still good enough to when my landlord sold the property and gave me the 60 day notice of my lease being terminated, I thought it was a good idea to move in with him as a quick means of finding a new place to live and avoid the stress of apartment hunting again (worst. idea. ever.). It took no more than a few weeks for the arguments and fights to get really bad, really bad. Being under the same roof now I had to place to get away from, no place to ‘escape’.

      That is when I went to the casino by myself.

      At first I approached it the same way I did when I was with the group, a couple $20 bills and minimum bets. Then, one night, for the first time ever I won ‘big’, about $900. The excitement of it happening immediately had me going to the casino by myself to escape the rest of my life, especially when I didn’t want to deal with my living situation. I should’ve known the red flags appearing at this point.

      Fast forward a little bit, I wised up and got out of that toxic relationship, a new place of my own, graduated from college and got a once and a lifetime offer on an entry level job at an IT company with a $60,000 salary. I was so happy to have such an awesome start at 23 years old. Unfortunately all this did was give me more income to have as a buffer for my increasingly frequent casino visits.

      I started to bet higher and higher, which of course caused bigger losses per visit. I started frequently losing more than what my disposable income could provide, so I began dabbling into credit cards/lines of credit that, with my income and credit score, was able to pull a total of $35,000 of credit. It took me 8 months thereafter to eventually utilize all of this credit, and now the minimum payments on them are creeping up to my income to where I’m not sure how to make ends meet. Having such high usage on my credit cards has obviously dragged my credit score so low that I can’t consolidate the debt to something more manageable. I’ve never missed a payment in my life, but now I’m fearing the realization that I can’t pay back my debts and it is stressing me out immensely.

      I don’t know what to do at this point. I feel absolute shame and dread that no 24 year old with a great job and income should have. I’ve become very introverted and lacking of motivation, gained weight (I’ve been quite fit most of my life), and just feel so anxious and unhappy with the prospect of my life right now.

      My only hope is I have an Aunt, who is pretty well off, whom I’m going to reach out for help, and if she can, pay her back at a very manageable $1000 /month and be debt-free from this nightmare in a little over 3 years. If she can’t help me I face much worse outcomes, and that is where I am right now; fearing the uncertainty of the near-future.

      I haven’t stepped foot in a casino for almost a month now. I pray I keep the strength to fight any urge to go back, which is why I am here.

      Thanks for listening

    • #37518

      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!

    • #37519

      Hi 0bryc30, well done on looking for help.

      Read the other stories here, you will see a lot of things that you will relate to. You will also see the success stories – what are they doing that you can apply to your own situation?

      Well done on not visiting the casino in the last month, you will read how important barriers are so I would advise getting yourself excluded from your usual/local casinos.

      If you are able to ask your Aunt for help then you can also ask her for support in tackling this problem. She can help you with accountability and financial barriers so that you can’t access funds with which to gamble.

      She isn’t your “only hope” though, there are a lot of financial options these days – from repayment plans through to bankruptcy. There are also a lot of advice agencies around, many of them free, to help get things to a manageable position.

      Use the support that you have, keep posting here, check out your local Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

      keep posting and let us know the positive steps that you are taking.

    • #37520

      Thanks charles for the sound advice. I meet with my Aunt tomorrow to discuss things, I’ll give you an update on how it goes *fingers crossed*

    • #37521

      So I met with my aunt. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the means to bail me out like I had hoped (she just bought another house), but she did give me $2,000 that she doesn’t expect back, which helped make ends meet.

      Going forward, my budget shows around ~$1,600 in payments on my cards, definitely a big chunk out of my $3,200 monthly income. After living expenses I’m looking around $400-500 to live off of (ramen noodles here I come), which will be tough but manageable if I stick to it and do NOT gamble a dime of it.

      This horrible financial situation has made me resent gambling actually, hopefully that helps with any urges to gamble in the future. I haven’t been back in over a month now, and I already feel more level-headed despite my financial struggle.

      I’ll post later on my progress soon, hopefully in less debt and many more months gamble free

    • #37522

      Where is the 2k that your aunt gave you? I hope it’s in safe hands. Compulsive gamblers can’t handle large sums of money. We ALWAYS gamble it.

    • #37523

      I paid off two of my smaller credit cards with it! Every penny went to pay them off, closed both of them right after. It felt good to get a head start back to debt-free rather than gambling it away; and trust me the urge was there, I’m glad I overcame it. I hope I keep this strong mentality going forward, these forums really help.

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