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    • #27953
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Hi,

      Just wanted to write a quick piece about me just so I can contribute and be accountable. I’ve read through alot of the posts on here and share the pain of many of you.

      I’ve been gambling on and off the last 10 years, but the last 3 have really progressed to the point where it is becoming a very serious problem for me. It truly is a progressive and insidious disease which takes so much more from you than just the money – but just sitting here looking over my losses – they are shocking and make me feel quite ill.

      I have been trying to quit for the last year and it’s been less than successful to say the least. The difference is with each failed attempt I am trying harder than ever before. Reading new books, cutting off credit cards, popup reminders, journaling – basically everything possible to remind myself of how bad I will feel if I gamble.

      With all the mess I’ve made it’s easy to get depressed thinking about the ‘What if’. What if I never got into gambling? how would my life be different? Would I own a home? have investments? be better at my job? This year however I’m trying to move forward and focus on a more constructive and achievable goal. 30 days. My goal is to get to the end of January without a drink or a bet. I am hoping to use that as a foundation for another 30 days after that and so on.

      Remember how I used to feel and live my life before gambling is my biggest motivating factor. I want that back again.

      Thanks for reading. I hope all of you out there find your success too in 2015.

    • #27954
      micky
      Participant

      Welcome killing it. Sounds like a good plan 30 days and then a rolling 30 days , so today is your first day in recovery well done 🙂 micky.

    • #27955
      charles
      Moderator

      <

      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.

      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!

    • #27956
      charles
      Moderator

      Hi Killingit and welcome.

      My advice would be to just take it one day at a time. Setting targets is tempting but can also be dangerous – a lot of people struggle after hitting a target.

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

      keep posting and I look forward to reading your journal here.

    • #27957
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Thanks for the replies guys.

      Just finished reading the Easy Way to Stop Gambling by Allen Carr – I recall it was recommended by someone else on here. It was a great read and has totally changed by perspective on gambling and the difficulty in trying to use will power alone to beat this addiction.

      Early days, but I have made it to the end of the weekend without a single drink or gamble. It’s only day 4 – very early days of course, but the significance for me is to make it through a weekend without either a drink or a bet. For me that’s a great little win.

      Will post an update next week. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

    • #27958
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Killingit, well done on getting through the weekend. Everyone on here realises that s a big achievement. We have all struggled through those first few days.
      Keep strong, keep working at it . The days will soon add up and life will be brighter !

    • #27959
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Killingit! This truly is an insidious baffling disease. I think I might have the record for relapsing. Its embarrasing! 20 plus years gambling on and off. At times I quit for months but than always find myself reliving the same nightmare. Going back out in to the gambling world gets worse and worse each time. I am now going through the “gambling hangover” ugggh! I never want to be here again!!!! I hate this feeling but yet when it goes away I find it hard to remember the pain. At times I don’t know what to do anymore. Maybe I should move to Utah, one of only 2 states where gambling is illegal. Lol. I am gonna still get back up and fight some more. I am going to read that book. Going to the bank first thing tomorrow to figure out away so that I can not use my debit card to get money. I always manage to loose way more than I have. I hope you stick around. This site really helps. Best of luck to you.

    • #27960
      jansdad
      Participant

      How true. Remembering the pain is hard if not impossible. And it amazes me how something that brings so much pain, suffering and self loathing doesn’t stick in our mind at least a little bit longer.

    • #27961
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Hey guys thanks for the replies. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you – I know you have all struggled and have your own story of loss and pain, but have faith – this demon can be beaten I am sure of it!

      Well I’m about to enter day 9 gamble free….not too big of a deal but I wanted to share nonetheless. My longest stint was about 9 weeks out of the last 3 years, so I am determined to go way beyond that!

      I can’t sing enough praise for Allen Carr’s book – for those new reading this post his book is called ‘Easy Way to Stop Gambling’. Oh no not another book you ask? This guy is the real deal. His clinics have helped millions of compulsive smokers around the world with a 90% success rate. The premise of his book is remarkably simple – using willpower alone to try and walk away from addiction usually results in failure. It’s only when you change your perspective on what the addiction is and how it impacts your psychology, you can finally see things differently.

      It might sound like a simple idea but it is immensely profound. Think about all that great feeling when you gamble and relieve an urge – that is what normal non-addicts feel most of the time! The urge to gamble is just your mind thinking that it needs to gamble to feel that level of normal again. The book can explain it much better than me, suffice to say that the whole thing is a con. We don’t need to gamble to relieve that urge and feel normal again. Once you can convince yourself of that, I am sure you will feel different.

      Anyway I’m still a way off my initial 30 day goal, but the last few days I have started to feel a real freedom. The pain of past loss is still there sometimes, but I just keep reading my goals and focusing on the future.

      There is no reason any of us have to give the monster one more cent or one more minute of our precious time.

      Best wishes to everyone this week and going into the weekend. Be safe and when presented with the opportunity to gamble – choose to do something else!

    • #27962
      Anonymous
      Guest

      For me finding that book was like finding my cure for cancer. (Thanks Jansdad)

    • #27963
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Hey Jen,

      I’ve had my share of embarrasing too don’t worry. I grew up with a gambling addict father, swore I would never touch it – and I didn’t for a long period of time. Then I made a commitment when I was 30 to change my life and head in a new direction. My losses up to that point over the preceeding 10 years would be about $20-30k I would estimate, nothing life changing considering my income.

      The next 3 years turn into a complete nightmare – losing an amount totalling many multiples of that, losing all my friends in the process. That’s what get’s me so down and honeslty so terrified – how quickly things can just go down hill if you let it. I am telling you there is more to this addicition than psychology. There is just something so insidious and evil about gambling – it takes so much more than just the money. I have had many very strange things happen during those gambling binges I can only describe as supernatural I am sure you can relate as well. It’s all designed to bring us back to take everything from us – ultimately our lives.

      Anyway, enough of the drama from me 🙂 Listen, forget the years – I know you have been stuck for 20 years, but it’s irrelevant. Nothing is going to change unless you change your perspective – I know you have read the book. But you also need tools to support you. Cutting access to cash is perhaps the most important, because while you can keep accessing that level of cash – it’s not real. It’s not real because you have desensitized yourself to spending that level of money – believe me I know.

      You have to own this and make the tough decisions. My method was to cut up and close the credit cards – I’m in Australia, the bank system is probably different here – we can’t get lines of credit. So perhaps you need to close that account. I opened a brand new savings account and make sure there is only enough in there to cover my expenses for a few days at a time, never more than $200 unless I need to purchase something or pay a bigger bill.

      Hope that helps. I’ve read a lot of your posts on here I can see your regret and pain. Set some goals for the next few years. Make the next 5 years of your life so remarkably different that all this will just be a bad memory. A story that can have a happy ending!

    • #27964
      Dunc
      Keymaster

      Hi killingit2015

      Im sorry something went wrong with the helpline… we’ve rebooted everything so please if you can try again

      Kind Regards

      H

    • #27965
      killingit2015
      Participant

      About to head into day 12 – the weekend’s are the biggest danger zone for me as I am pretty busy working during the week. I am just so happy I have made it through another one, though 3 more left this month!

      Put myself in a stupid situation yesterday by associating with someone who is a heavy gambler. Thought it would be just a catchup for lunch, but ended up down at the betting shop. Didn’t feel the urge to gamble though which was good – but I know it’s just asking for trouble by putting myself in that situation.

      Lesson learnt!

    • #27966
      jansdad
      Participant

      One analogy I particularly liked in the book is where the author compares gambling to visual illusions pictures. Once you see what’s really in the picture you can never unseen it.
      Once you manage to see gambling from a different perspective, for what it really is, you can’t go back thinking “it gives me pleasure, it’s a great escape place etc.”

    • #27967
      WesternCanuck
      Participant

      Great thread. A lot of similarities in our stories. My gambling has also recently increased to the point where I am desensitized to betting large sums of money. Yesterday I told my AA sponsor how much money I had lost the day before. He couldn’t comprehend. I literally left him speechless. I thought I could apply the principles of AA to this addiction but, alas, I cannot. It is a different beast all together. Looking forward to picking up that book. Keep up the good work and stay strong.

    • #27968
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Oh I hear ya – those losses are so ridiculous just looking at my spread sheet makes me asked myself WTF???!!!! Seriously, the numbers are mind boggling. I have to just tell myself I was not of right mind because there is just no other excuse. I am afraid to tell anyone face to face the amounts because it’s just so damn embarrasing. I’m talking like 3 months of a mortgage repayment in one night!!

      It’s bad, but hey – that money is gone and we can never get it back. I’m just working my butt off to make up those lost years.

      Don’t hesitate in grabbing the book seriously – it is absolutely the only thing that has kept me gamble free from my binge in the last 3 years. Only at Day 12, but I feel so confident I’m going to be gamble free at 30 days. It just feels great.

    • #27969
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Hey everyone!

      Heading into my 15th day gamble free, it feels bloody awesome but this week has been just a tad challenging. Had a really minor urge the other day. Good news is I just applied the principles from Allen Carr’s book and it faded just as quickly as it came on. I think the little monster is gasping for breath!

      Aside from that the only downer has been the feeling sorry for myself routine. I commented on another post just then about setting goals – it was jlunuz1 I think. There was a period earlier this week where I beat myself up a bit for the lost money and opportunity associated with it. In my case, no small sum as you all know – over 6 figures. I just sometimes think I could have my own house paid for by now instead of paying rent for someone else’s mortgage.

      Sometimes I just think about starting fresh in a new city or country. I tried Canada in 2013 for a few months, but ended up back in Australia. I’ve thought about trying again – but maybe I just need to stay here instead of running away. Just lots of bad memories.

      But thoughts are things as they say – maybe the best thing is just to move on and stop giving life to the past!

      15 more days till my first 30 days!!

    • #27970
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Killing it and welcome to GT!
      I just read your Thread from start to finish and found it both interesting and exciting! Interesting, because you give a very accurate description of what gambling does to a CG and exciting, in the way you hold out hope for yourself and others!
      Without hope, none of us can continue our journey!
      I’m an old timer here in more ways than one ! I joined GT in 2008 when I realized I had gambled more than I could earn in what was left of my working career. When I was down 20k, I blinked my eyes and another zero, plus 5 years had been added to my debt and to my life! At that point I hadn’t started to reckon the havoc which was eroding my relationships. I was too busy securing ammunition for my next bet! As you aptly describe, CGs become desensitized to huge losses. In the early days I could go to a casino with €50 and spend the day “having fun”. Nowadays, I wouldn’t bother venturing in with anything less than five hundred! Yet, if I could save €5 by using a shopping voucher, I would be first in the queue! Does that make sense?
      Herein, lies the first method we can use to stop gambling. DO NOT CARRY MONEY OR CREDIT CARDS. You have referred to that in one of your posts.
      I have stopped gambling and started again many times! I “white knuckled” my way trough 2010, only to explode at the middle of January 2011 and I never succeeded in getting that much G -free time since. My experience would serve to prove that what Charles has written about setting goals to be 100% accurate. “What we renounce, we are tied to” is a quote from Anthony de Mello’s book called “Wake up to Life”. I would strongly recommend that book to you. In fact it comes on CD (several cds actually , so days /weeks of enjoyable listening !). It is based on a four day conference held in the ’80s. I would go as far as to say, that finding it was one of the best experiences of my life. Like Allen Carr’s book, it changes your perspective , not only on gambling but on LIFE!
      Gambling, as Allen Carr says, is an illusion. It traps us and enslaves us and although I am very impressed with his alternative techniques (I’m reading his book for the last few days), I think we all know that no book can stop a compulsive gambler in his/her tracks until the right time comes. For me, that comes by God’s Grace!
      We really need to make it impossible to gamble especially in the early days. Having NO money, LIMITED time and even less opportunity will eventually lead us to a place and a mindset where we will ask “why do I need this ‘demon/monster’ in my life?”
      De Mello highlights many similar illusions and shows us how to drop them, one at a time. I think you would find him very interesting.
      Awareness is the key, he says.
      Writing and reading here is a great way to heighten our awareness and bring clarity to our thoughts and find reasons for our actions.
      There was a time when we never thought of gambling. Then the time came when it became the foremost thought for us! What happened to bring about that change? Food for thought!
      Come to some of the Live Chat Groups, Killingit and maybe we can tease out some of those topics instead of wasting our precious time and money chasing the wind!
      When I have a toothache it overwhelms me. When I don’t have a toothache, I forget I have teeth!!!
      I think we need to look gambling in the eye. SEE it for what it really is. Cut our losses and walk away FOREVER, one day at a time!

    • #27971
      frozen
      Participant

      Just wanted to chime in and say hello to the person that also wants to end the stupidity in 2015. I’m encouraged to find the book online and read while on vacation for the next 5 days. What you say? A vacation? Yes, the 16 days that I’ve not gambled have allowed me to take a vacation and not worry about what I spend. I know you will make it to 30 and then much more. Don’t let the preachers bring you down and know that I’m excited that you’re pumped about day 17 ! 17 days is a big deal so keep on being proud! peace

    • #27972
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Hey Vera – thanks for that post was a good read.

      I agree with everything you say. Perspective and awareness is how we can beat this thing. Willpower in my opinion is totally useless and a fruitless endeavour. How do I know this? I have tried to stop 100’s of times – literally and never had real success. I beat myself up so much because I had such an awesome plan for just living life 3 years ago when I turned 30, but my gambling just destroyed my confidence over time. The last 3 years have without a doubt been the most painful in my life. I almost lost it all. I know I will get over it eventually, but I never want to forget it – I want to use it as a reminder to never let myself get in this situation ever again.

      The combination of my awareness to the problem and my perspective change is how I know I will beat this. I know habits take time to break, I’m not naive. The perspective change is one very powerful tool, others I use in include zero credit card access and only living expense access ($150 – $200 in my account at any one time), daily exercise and a solid studying/reading routine. I have also had to stop catching up with a person who just wants to gamble constantly non stop whenever we go out for a drink.

      Anyway I’m moving forward, heading into my third weekend without gambling confident I will come out the other side OK. Good luck with your journey keep posting let us all now how your getting along! I think you have another long thread I’ll check it out.

    • #27973
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Enjoy your vacation – it’s a great opportunity to just relax and get through that book. Make sure you get it you won’t be dissapointed it’s a key tool to use in your arsenal to slay this beast.

      I know it’s early days – I have gone longer than this before. The 30-60 day period will be the real test for me. But you know what as I wrote earlier it’s different this time around. It’s just that perspective change and level of awareness. I have to keep reminding myself, but it’s there and it’s real.

      Looks like your a couple of days ahead of me – You will have to tell me how day 30 feels – I will see you on the other side of that number!

    • #27974
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Still gamble free – so happy!

      Just over 7 days left till I hit my 30 day first goal! I’m stoked! Can’t wait!!

    • #27975
      JohnNobody
      Participant

      Hi Killingit just read your posts and others who have contributed here. Some good reads on this thread! Your story is too familiar and painful to read at times with the losses and they way it totally overtakes of life. It is superb you are moving forward. Days turn into weeks and so on.

      I have battled with gambling for at least the past 18 years. The last 12 of those it has been heavy. Lost hundreds of 1000s if not more. Throw in also a number of cars a house repo a very successful business and we go well over the golden 1 million mark. All chasing what ? The big win ? The thrill ? The escape ?

      These days I walk around in tatty clothes do a job I dislike but it pays and struggle to cover even the basics of life. But am determined as you are to fully overcome this addiction. It starts in the gut and the mind. Getting control over those elements that control us. Like today I so wanna deposit into a casino. My mind tells me I can win. Im ready …. I have some money … I can pay my rent when I win ? I can buy a flight ticket to see my son when I win ? ……..

      Then I stop and decide no thanks. I will work a few extra hours and see what gives …. keep fighting and moving forwards. And defo keep posting you write well!!!

      All the best John

    • #27976
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Thanks John, it’s great to get some acknowledgement from those who can relate!

      You have obviously been at it longer than me, but in my opinion that’s irrelevant. We all suffer from the same problem and while everybody has a different story, the common thread of regret, pain, loss, depression, etc. etc. is always there. Did you read my posts in detail? Make sure you get your hands on that book I mentioned – it will change your life.

      It sounds like you have lost an awful lot, and I feel your pain I really do. It’s never too late, you can turn it around. You just need to change your perspective on gambling – sounds too easy right? but you know it! It’s that false belief system that keeps us trapped running the same old circle for years.

      Remember you were successful once – you can be again, but also remember it took years to get where you are now. It will take some hard work to unravel the mess and get some direction. Can I suggest setting some small goals? Are you in debt? Maybe just focus on the first 30 days and build a target amount in savings. I’m telling you once you get one or two small wins under your belt the momentum just builds and it feels amazing.

      Think and grow rich my friend – It all starts with that one little step. Make 2015 different. Let me know how you get on.

    • #27977
      vera
      Participant

      Glad to hear you are still around and making progress through awareness and a change of mindset, K!
      The “Can’t wait for the Thirty Day Goal” concerns me a little…. Remember, I waited for over a year and exploded!

      Just focus on today!
      Rid your thoughts of gambling and focus on the alternatives!

    • #27978
      p
      Participant

      Well done on your gamble free time.. its good that you are setting little goals for days gamble free but really all you need to focus on is not gambling for today.. just this day.. dont worry how many days you accumulate just not placing that next bet… for today. It is fantastic that you do have your days adding up not discounting that but sometimes.. it can be a little trap in itself.. so i found. I seemed to slip many times when i hit a time i had given myself to reach, thats not to say you will or what you are doing is wrong at all its wonderful, just sharing what happened for me in the hope that if it were to happen again it could maybe prevent it.
      I get up in the morning and i think just for this day today, i wont gamble.. i cant look too far ahead.. just this day is all i can handle.. sometimes i would go just for this hour!!
      Well done on your progress. you really are going well, just keep moving forward a day at a time..

      P

    • #27979
      frozen
      Participant

      Cheering you on from the sidelines and keep doing what you’re doing. It works for you and motivates me. So there’s that. grin

      frozen

    • #27980
      Dunc
      Keymaster

      Its so lovel;y to see you back, you have been missed.. your wit, humour, support has always been a great help to many… so please dont cheer from the sidelines… get in the middle and cheer from there

      Take Care Frozen

      H

    • #27981
      killingit2015
      Participant

      5 days away from my original 30 day goal. I just re-read my first post in the thread and all the comments. Wow I feel totally different than I did when I wrote that. Can you sense the despair, the pain, the regret in that post? A lot of that has already faded away.

      Not 30 days yet, so don’t want to get ahead of myself!! However I just wanted to touch on how things have changed for me since that first post:
      – Estimated $4,000 saved by NOT gambling (my average 2014 monthly loss was $4,000 – disgusting I know)
      – Healhier and more energy. I am back to working out almost every day, eating more home cooked meals, getting lots of sleep
      – Improvement in my work. I’m not sitting there freaking out over how much I lost over the weekend. Not getting anxious. Just focusing on doing my best work for today.
      – Less Anxiety/negative thoughts. Something I think goes hand in hand with a gambling addiction is depression and anxiety. I am feeling more self confident now and just ready to attack life.
      – Control over my money. My strict financial controls not only including cutting up the credit/debit cards but living on a strict financial budget. Every dollar has a job – I use YNAB for this. Investments, savings, debt payments, groceries, rent, fun stuff, etc ,etc. I have a bunch of categories and every dollar is assigned something. About $100 over budget this month – still learning. It’s a great feeling when you get a bill and know the money has been set aside!

      That’s just after 26 days. I hope that encourages some of you who are still trying to quit and eliminate your addiction. In case you don’t want to read through all the posts – summary what works for me:
      – Read Allen Carr’s ‘Easy Way to Stop Gambling’ NOW – this book will change everything for you
      – Put in the effort and put in the STRICT financial controls. Cut up/close the credit cards. Deposit paychecks into another (safe/untouchable by card) account immediately. Keep only a bare minimum in your debit card account at any one time – for me it’s around $200.
      – Finally set some written goals. Don’t go overboard, do anything – just write it down. 5 days, 10 days, 30 days, 100 days. Start small and work up. I know some people here say only this day counts, but you do need to look further than just 1 day. Give yourself something to aim and fight for. Fight for you!!

      Have a great weekend.

    • #27982
      kpat
      Participant

      Loving this post! You really are killing it:)

    • #27983
      killingit2015
      Participant

      Thanks kpat – how are you going? Are things positive on your side?

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