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    • #27719
      jackwilson
      Participant

      Hi all, my name is Jack Wilson and I’m a compulsive gambler. This is my third and final attempt at stopping on GT. My last bet was yesterday, on December 9th, 2014.
      Today is Day 1, and I will do everything in my power to protect my one life.

      Attempt 1: https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en/end-and-beginning

      Attempt 2: https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en/last-beginning

      I wake up every morning hoping that I wouldn’t wake up because I cannot face the pain of the day. I have emotional and psychological pain. The pain of thinking I should have or could have bet on a different team the night before and have a different outcome. The pain of looking at my bank account with no money in it despite making well north of 6-figures. And worst of all, the pain of having to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life from the gambling carnage.
      All this eats at me. I cannot stand thinking that I wasted half of my life on earth gambling, and losing $250,000 in the process. I cannot quit when I’m behind, and I certainly cannot quit when I’m ahead. I’m the prototypical thoroughbred degen. The more money I make at my job, the more money I lose at gambling.
      Over the past 15 years, gambling has taken everything from me: joy, happiness, money, productivity, health, sanity. My game of choice is everything except horses and slots. I’ve binged on blackjack, craps, sports, stocks and poker. I’ve been to GA, seen specialized therapists, posted on GT–nothing seems to work.
      This is my last shot and I MUST accept the following undeniable truths:
      1) I am a compulsive gambler. I can never gamble again.
      2) I cannot win. Period. It is impossible for me to keep any winnings. Even if I win, I will lose in the end. I have never been able to keep a single penny of winnings.
      3) Gambling destroys my life. I live with a thermonuclear bomb inside of me. Gambling activates it and obliterates me and everything important to me.

      -Jack Wilson

    • #27720
      jansdad
      Participant

      Hey Jack. My story is surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) similar.
      I’ve been gambling my entire life (started as a kid, was always fascinated by it) and have been fighting the demons that come with it for decades.
      I too earn very handsomely and I too estimate my overall losses at about 200K euros. That’s not counting the time lost, aggravation, the toll it took on my health, and so forth.

      The only time when I was successfully able to fight the urge to gamble was when I had a deal with a friend. He would “pay me” one euro not to gamble and if I did gamble I would have to pay him 20K euros. That worked like a charm for months on end. I would go months without even thinking about gambling. But every so often the urge would come back and I would ask him to let me play, I’d tell him there’s a good game and I’ve gone so long without gambling so I can keep my demons at bay. He’d give in and I’d gamble and usually lose, but then would not gamble again for weeks or months. Then January 1st this year when my “ban” expired I didn’t extend it and I went back to my old ways. I would lose constantly, but not to the point where I couldn’t pay my bills or be in debt. Then about 2-3 weeks ago I lost a lot and had to lie to my wife about some saving money we had. And hated myself for that needless to say.
      I asked my friend to “ban” me again and he agreed. It all worked fine till 2 days ago when I asked him to “let me play”. He said no and I started nagging him. Then he said ok, but if I do play he won’t cut that deal with me ever again and it’s up to me to decide. I knew I mustn’t agree to that, but my urge brought the worst in me and I succumbed to my addiction and my urge to gamble.
      I played poker online, I was only gonna play with $200. I had a good run and won $1400 the day before yesterday. Then yesterday I played again and won another $1500. Started playing again today, of course, and started well off, was up $1200 in matter of minutes. Then I took a bad beat, and lost a $2700 pot to a hand that was far worse than mine. At that point I was about even for the day and I knew I should stop because I knew I would start steaming.
      I didn’t stop of course. I lost all the money i had in the account and that brought me to -$200 overall for the last 3 days. That wasn’t enough and I put in another $1700, so now I’m down $1900 for the last 3 days. That’s from being up like $4k, you do the math.
      But it’s not only the money. It’s the slavery, the powerlessness, the incapability to stop, the self loathing, the overwhelming feeling of helplessness…

      I know I can’t win at poker any more (luckily I don’t play any other games any more and haven’t been for 20 year). I was able to win at poker until about 7 years ago, but the games were far softer than. Nowadays I know I cannot win, I know I’m destined to lose and yet often times I have this urge, this uncontrollable and overwhelming urge.

      My wife wants to see Japan and South Korea and has been talking about that for years. I looked it up and a nice 3 week trip for 3 of us would cost about 15K euros. It is a lot of money, but she’s been wanting that for years. But every year I tell her we can’t afford it. And yet every year I lose excess of that. Year in, year out. And it is so much money, I’m sick of myself even thinking about it.

      So, obviously, for me “1 days at a time” mantra doesn’t work. I can go weeks without gambling, but then when I do gamble I will just lose all the money that I accumulated in the mean time. I have to stop once and for all. Not refrain from gambling today and tomorrow, but I must never gamble again.

      I’ve said this too many times and I’m not kidding myself that this time I really mean it. I meant it every single time I promised myself and everyone willing to listen that I’m stopping.

      We need to reprogram our brains, but how, I don’t know how. I do know it’s possible though.

      If you want to work out a plan together, chat on skype or whatever, email me

      Good luck in the mean time.

    • #27721
      jackwilson
      Participant

      Reading your post was like reading something that I wrote myself. I would not gamble for weeks or months on end and then I get the itch that i “KNOW” this game is going to win. It’s interesting that I only remember the times when I “would’ve won” and not the times when I would’ve lost. I began taking notes of the urges, and amazingly (or expectedly), my winning rate is <50%.

      Like you, years ago, I played poker. Everything would go well and I then one single bad beat, and BOOM, there goes the bankroll. It didn't matter how much money I had it in, whether $500 or $50,000, it would be gone within 48 hours.

      I will email you and try to plan this out. This has been a lifetime battle for me.

      -Jack

    • #27722
      jackwilson
      Participant

      It feels good to leave the past behind and I was able to do that today. I’m not thinking about the losses or chasing. When that happens, I usually have a good day. I was able to wake up in the morning. I am trying my best to appreciate everything in this life because that’s all I’ve got.

      Money comes and money goes. My sanity is what’s important to me. I will do my best to realize my potential.

      Just a short and sweet note. This much is true. Everything else might be going badly, as long as I haven’t gambled, that’s a good day.

      Last bet: 12/9/14.

    • #27723
      charles
      Moderator

      Hi Jansdad.

      As Jack has it now I have deleted your email address. At Gamblingtherapy we would strongly advise against posting personal contact details on an open forum. It is the world wide web after all.

      Hopefully you and jack will be able to support each other, keep posting.

    • #27724
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi jack great to see you back on here. Gambling is the hardest addiction to break but people do it all the time and you will too jack.

    • #27725
      jackwilson
      Participant

      I’m feeling a bit anxious today. It’s around this time where the withdrawal symptoms kick in. I have my barriers in place, and I will remember that as long as I don’t gamble, it’s a good day…no matter what happens.

    • #27726
      kpat
      Participant

      I can relate to your post about withdawal symptoms. I could always seem to manage one week, then on week two things would get ugly around my house. If I couldn’t get my gambling fix, everyone around me suffered for it. I am glad you have your barriers in place. For me, if it wasn’t for those barriers, I would still be riding that crazy train.
      Stomach all swirly for the excitement of betting; stomach all sick, sick, sick afterwards. Emotional Jail!
      Wishing you a calm and peaceful day, without the Mania or Depression that gambling creates.

    • #27727
      jackwilson
      Participant

      I’m not gambling, so that’s good. But nothing else in my life seems to be going right. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I guess this is the toll that years of gambling have done to me.

      I will remain strong and not give in. Thank you for all your support and for reading. My plan is to not post as much, but I will come on here from time to time to check in. I need to remember my worst day not gambling is still better than my best day gambling.

      -Jack

    • #27728
      jackwilson
      Participant

      Hello all, I want to wish everyone on this forum a Merry Christmas and may you not gamble today as a gift to yourself.

      I’m doing okay. Not great. Although I’m not technically gambling, I’m still feeling the effects of withdrawals and they are brutal. The mood swings are brutal. I just have to remember one fundamental thing: I CANNOT WIN. No matter what I do, if I’m in action, I’m going to squander my life. If I’m in action, I will lose a lot more than money. I will lose my sanity.

      This is more of a pep talk for myself because I haven’t had a chance to journal in a week or so. I have thoughts of gambling and have started to check online. It’s a very dangerous slope and I’m fortunate to have GT to note down my thoughts and feelings. My barriers are in place. I cannot think about anything else.

      Thank you and Merry Christmas.

      -Jack Wilson

    • #27729
      jackwilson
      Participant

      I haven’t gambled in 33 days. It feels good but I’m not sober. I find myself making mental bets when watching games. I find myself restless and irritable. All my barriers are in place so that will prevent me from gambling but life is not going well right now.

      One day at a time is all I have.

      -Jack

    • #27730
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Good work on the 33 days.

      Wanted to comment as my story is similar. We around the same age, my life time losses are close to the same and my income is also north 6 figures. One of the things that was a big wake up call when was I realised a guy I used to hang out with was earning about 1/3 of my income but had a higher net worth. How the hell does that happen? GAMBLING!! It took the bleeding obvious to make me realise. But of course my solution was to gamble more.

      Anyway I just wanted to add you need to really check out a book by Allen Carr called ‘The Easy Way to stop gambling’. Check out my other posts as I elaborate more on it. I have tried countless times to kick the habit. This is the first time I can honestly say I have totally different perspective on gambling. Don’t use willpower alone – you will fail! Instead the solution lies in how we see gambling and why we think we keep needing to have a bet. Once you change your perspective and realize the urge to place a bet is just our psychology trying to get us back to the ‘normal’ state of mind, the urge just goes away. The contentness we think we feel when we gamble is how non-gamblers feel all the time!! Please, if you are serious about your recovery, read this book.

      The other part of this is getting past the losses and putting some financial controls in place. For me this was hard also. The constant thinking about what if? What if I had done this, what if I had done that. You need to forgive yourself and accept the loss. Make small goals, get gazelle intense about achieving them. Maybe set a savings or investment goal. If you have debt, list them all on paper smallest to largest and just snowball paying them off – one after the other. Live on a written budget, cut up and close off the credit cards (research and go listen to Dave Ramsey) and just work your butt off to make up those lost years. This is the only way – there is no easy way out of this, it is going to require hard work but the pay off will be worth it!

      Imagine how different your life can be in just 6 months from now if you stop gambling. In a year or two, this may all be just a bad memory.

      That’s how I am choosing to deal with it. I intensely believe my life will be so much better and different (in a positive way) 12 months from now, that this horrible period in my life will be nothing but a bad memory.

      Good luck this time around.

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