Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum My Journal Sick and Tired of Doing This

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  • #10962
    libbie
    Participant

    Hello–I am on here for the first time..I am trying to quit gambling for the umpteenth time and am really doubting I will be successful at this point..I have been gambling for 30 years..I started lightly, going to Bingo for fun..and my husband (I’m divorced) even encouraged me to go more because he saw how much I enjoyed it.
    Years later I left a stable but at that point boring job (where I should have stayed) to become a stockbroker..Big mistake..It became my everyday casino..I was trading my own account and got into options and the numbers became huge..I am not even sure how much I lost over time..I was making good money..but I know it was in the 6 figures..I ended up having an affair and trading in an account with this person which although is not breaking a law ..it is breaking a rule and they asked me to resign..I was stunned but it was the right thing to go..My husband found out about all the money lost..Our marriage had not been good for a while and it finally led to divorce..At the time my son was 19 and I felt huge guilt regarding him…and still do…All the money I had could have gone to him now or later and now I have nothing..
    I was able to get another job making decent money but at this point I was in debt..I had this epiphany that if I did not quit gambling I was going to die..and I quit on my own for 1 1/2 years..My life got better and met a new man ..About a year in, he wanted to go to a casino and I thought I could handle it..That was it..It was like I had never quit…I liked it more than he did..The business I was in started going downhill and I had a bipolar boss and I quit, thinking I would have no problem getting another job..Big surprise..the economy turned, my age became a factor and I could not get the kind of job I was used to making decent money..
    The addiction was and is so strong for me, that even though I did not have income coming in I kept going to the casinos..using cards and writing checks..Staying all night..loving the free rooms and making myself sick on the way home and days after..
    I now work part time for low pay and supplement my income dealing in antiques online..I had $80,000 in debt 3 years ago and am now down to $13,000, struggling all the time..I had hidden everything from friends and family..When my family found out, they withdrew all financial support..My credit cards were all closed and I have worked out payments on all of them but I have no savings and no retirement…I come from a a family with many wealthy members and I cannot bear to be around some of them because I feel so ashamed and so awful to see what they have and what I don’t..all because of this addiction.
    Lately I have lost friends as well..Maybe they know..maybe they don’t but my lifestyle has become so isolated..I sneak around to go to the casinos and lie about where I’ve been. My relationship with my son is very strained..I become a different person when I am gambling, snippy and aggressive and angry and I fight with everyone..I am not like that when I am not gambling…
    I met a new man almost 2 years ago..in a casino..! He likes to gamble but is not a compulsive gambler and is disciplined..He does not like me when I gamble and how much I go (he lives out of town)and cannot understand how I cannot just go once a month..After I gamble and decide to quit..I can go about 4 days and then I want to go again..It’s my coping mechanism and erases my loneliness and boredom when I am there…but when I leave…well everyone knows what happens then…Lately I just think that maybe I will never be able to fully quit..I feel so pessimistic and low..My mother committed suicide when I was 15 and I have some depression but the gambling makes it temporarily better and then much much worse..I have lost self esteem and confidence and feel so resigned that things are not going to improve..I never was like that years ago..
    Today is Day 4 not gambling and I really want to go so badly but so far I have not..I have banned myself from close in casinos but now travel more and even went to one that I had banned from a few years ago! I must say I do get some comfort from reading everyone’s stories..
    So here I am

    #10963
    vera
    Participant

    I hope you are feeling better today Libbie and that you had some time to reflect on your " slip!"
    I don’t like the "slip" word because it seems to gloss over the facts.
    For me (and I am repeating myself here), gambling trips are ALWAYS planned. I work it out in advance. Set aside a day where I can sneak off alone,under the pretext of going somewhere else. I made sure I am free to spend as long as it takes to "invest" whatever money I can lay hands on with the (false) hope of doubling that money. Of course I always leave the casino empty handed.
    Even though I’m going through a "G Free" phase right now, I can still hear the whisper deep in my mind "someday soon  we’ll meet up for our secret rendezvous". The idea is always lurking in the background, so today I will distract myself in everyway possible. I am at home. Hubby is here (in his own world in the garden) . My son will be my "minder" . We have planned to watch DVDs, go for a walk and eat a simple meal. My daughter sent me a present of the Box Set of Mad Men so I intend getting engrossed in that series ( we just finished the Sopranos). That means Today will be a G free day. Thats all I can predict.
    Libbie, were you planning to gamble in advance?  Did you line up the cash? Set aside the time and excuse yourself in advance by pretending it was just an innocent outing with B/F?
    Just wondering if other CGs think like me!!

    #10964
    libbie
    Participant

    Oh my dear–I think EXACTLY like you…The thoughts may creep up slowly…out of nowhere and at any time..I do not even think I am conscious of exactly what the triggers are at the moment…When I was in new York, I was not comfortable at all *****…so I started thinking I will go home and take a mini "gambling vacation"…really..it’s just like taking a ****..I may as well be a **** addict as it has the same effect on me…
    As for this last time..I had just come home from NYC..no time to myself..The boyfriend came in from out of town immediatley and I think I was not ready for his arrival (that’s another whole story)..So I was snippy to him the time he was here and was kinda wishing he wasn’t there even though part of me DID want him there…So on the 3rd day, I said "let’s just go for a few hours"..I know he didn’t want to …we agreed we would stay no more than 2 hours…and really–I was not gambling manically…but I was happy for the escape..he really did not want to be there so when he wanted to go and I wanted to stay, he got angry…I stayed another 15 or 20 minutes..No communication on the drive home…Came home and he left…I think he "got it" that the gambling was more important to me than he was at that moment..and he was probably right..
    Now I am out of town..in Pittsburgh visiting 2 elderly aunts and having a jolly time…No chance of gambling here..My one aunt is wealthy…had lent me some money a few years ago and when she found out about my gambling was furious…I am not sure how I will be when I get home…I really do have to change some things in my life besides just putting up barriers…but I even need more barriers too..
    Down here in the computer room in my aunt’s building..Cannot stay online..Good for you Vera..that your are in a G-free state right now..and nice to hear from you! Keep it going girl!
     

    #10965
    libbie
    Participant

    Back to Day 4 (I think)..Have been ****** low…Again..the first 2 days were absolute **** -so why do I subject myself to this…sleeping a lot…staying busy…not too much social interaction.mostly working.I am driving to Pittsburgh about 2 hours away today for some business and will be close to a casino so am posting in hopes this will help me in fighting my urges to go..I am leaving all my cards at home except one which I need..I have a little money which is always bad..Any other suggestions/tips would help..1/2 of me has this extreme hate for gambling and keeps me on the straight and narrow and 1/2 of me feels the pull so strong..I have these thoughts of big escape into that world..But I am glad I have at least SOME days clean…so which side is going to win here..I guess my next step is to exclude myself from this last casino…but I have been reluctant to do so..Wishing everyone a peacefull gamble free day

    #10966
    vera
    Participant

    Could you call that casino and ban in advance, Libbie? Will you be alone? Phone GA in that area and request one of the members to meet you and ask him to walk in with you and ban yourself BEFORE you play.  Ambivilence towards gambling is what poses the biggest danger to a CG. It allows our twisted minds to magnify the "good" aspects of gambling and play down the bad. If we didn’t experience these emotional  extremes our attitude to gambling would be more balanced.
    I m reading between the lines Libbie. I sense you ARE planning to gamble in Pittsburgh?
    Do you really need to carry cash?
    Why chance spoiling your trip.
    Build those barriers before you go. Expressing it here is the cry for help. I never reach out for help before I gamble. Too proud and selfish. Just want my own buzz when the opportunity presents itself. That ***** to be addressed…– 05/04/2013 11:57:01: post edited by vera.

    #10967
    libbie
    Participant

    I have to think about banning before I go…never thought of that..I don’t think you can do that..I could go there to ban..and have done just that at every casino I have banned myself from..and it has worked..I just hate to close this door..but if I am serious, I must!.No–I was not planning on gambling..I actually don’t know what I was planning..My thoughts are so scattered!.I am going there for business…need to do my business and get in and out..I guess in the back of my mind, I know I will have free hours after my business is done and I’ll have the opportunity. I do have to carry some cash for buying while there…but I could use it up while there.My business is in Pittsburgh and the casino is in West Virginia which is less than an hour drive from where I will be…I really have to plan this out…I am going to try writing this all down..
    I don’t reach out for help before I gamble either..Maybe you should try it one time..I guess the worst that can happen is you will gamble anyway!..but maybe it will change just one thing..even if making a path for doing things differently in the future..We must try anything we can!

    #10968
    libbie
    Participant

    OK–I made it to Pittshburgh and back home without visiting the casino..Had to argue with myself several ***** during the day..The pull was strong at various *****..I am relieved I did not go..It would have been awful..I had money and cards with me…This casino is 2 1/2 hours away from home..I still find ways to get there..I will pick a time to exclude myself from here…It’s funny (not)..I thought as I said that that I was giving up a lifeline if I exclude from this casino..SOME lifeline! One more day behind now…yay..

    #10969
    vera
    Participant

    Well done on getting back from your business trip without gambling Libbie!
    Easier said than done, but you DID it!

    #10970
    libbie
    Participant

    Thanks Vera..Yes–glad I did…Had another very rough part of the day today..I was exhausted after my travels yesterday, went to bed late and had to wake up early for work..I am really noticing I have to get enough rest while fighting this thing…After work, I really wanted to go gamble and I was feeling so resentful about all the struggle…BUT I made arrangements to go to an auction with a friend…Once there, all the thoughts of gambling left my mind and I was able to buy some antiques …and I will actually MAKE money instead of losing it..Another day behind…Fighting…but hope I can stay strong and not weaken!

    #10971
    neva
    Participant

    Every day you make it without gambling is a victory.  Keep moving forward ODAAT.

    #10972
    libbie
    Participant

    Thanks Neva–I know every day I make it without gambling IS a victory…but I have to admist that I do not really feel GOOD..I feel proud of myself for not gambling …but still feel so very low…not ALL the time…but quite a bit (like right now)and the bad thing is, it makes me want to go gamble to see if I can feel better

    #10973
    libbie
    Participant

    I live in a lovely little town with a waterfall..about a mile walk to the falls…I am going to get dressed and walk there…something I talk about doing but hardly ever do..It’s sunny out so will give this a try to get the gambling (and pity party) off my mind..

    #10974
    icandothis
    Participant

    Hi Libbie, Good for you for not gambling when you went out of town.  I know leaving town alone is a big trigger for me.  I also think feeling low is part of the withdrawal process.  I have had quite a bit of it, especially last month.  I think one reason I felt even more low than usual is because of my determination not to gamble.  I knew I wasn’t going to find relief by gambling.  Thank you for helping me see that.  Good for you in taking positive action to find relief from those blues by doing something beside gambling.  I hope your walk does the trick.  It does sound lovely.  If you find you still have urges, find something else to do.  You can do this one activity at a time!

    #10975
    libbie
    Participant

    On my way out now..Thanks for the encouragement..I guess feeling low IS part of the withdrawal process..I think it is about 10 days in, and I was hoping I wouldn’t feel like this by now..This feels like a job..and I’m looking for more of a vacation!

    #10976
    vera
    Participant

    Enjoy your walk Libbie! Wish I could join you! Im ***** here in bed at nearl 2pm with NO motivation to do anything. I phoned a Counselling Service for an appointment which is a HUGE step for me…I feel a bit weird now because he asked me "what is the payout like on the machines?!" Is that a strange question or am I missing something??!!
     

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