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    • #51058

      I am 44 years old. I started gambling in 2004, i bought a bank financed car that i could not afford. One day after I got paid, I went to Casino to play roullete. That day I won ZAR 5000, and that was enough to see this as my solution. Fast fwd to 18 months..I lost my job because I pawned company equipment amongst other things. And I was in R30 000 loans and credit card debts. My rock bottom. I spent 2 years looking for work..though I am an engineer, no one wanted ro hire me. Until one day a telecoms company was desperately looking for temp staff. I got in and started building up again. At this time I had done a self-exclusion from all casinos, just before I was fired from my previous job. So I was not gambling at all. After receiving my first salary..the cravings came i will sneak to a nearby casino when i get a chance. I was losing most of the time. One day i got too confortablr and tried to swipe for chips using my bank card. I got caught and was about to be charged for trespassing..but they decided to let me go. A few months later I got a better job and moves to the big city…to cut a long story short I unbanned myself and now I am in R650 000 debt in 5 years. I got a wife and two kids now and i think I have run out of lifelines with my wife. Last nite I lost R20 000 on black jack..the money that o was supposed to use for business travel. I dont know what I am going to do..but first thing is that I am going to ban myself again. God help me, if I loose my family, I dont know how i will deal with it. So it is Day 1 for me.

    • #51060

      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!

    • #51061

      Thank you for messages of support.

      I self excluded myself from all Casinos in Gauteng Province. I felt really good about it. But I had a tough day, emotionally full of anger and easily getting iritated. It got better by the day, though.

      My wife is so upset with me, and unfortunately we could not speak yersterday. I tried to apply for a loan, my speciality, to cover our this month expenses and to cover the business trip cost..she called the bank and cancelled it. Now I had to use money meant to cover rent, bcos missing this trip will seriously compromise my employment. So before I left home I put the confirmation of self exxlusion and a letter asking her to reapply for the loan and to give me a last chance. I hope it is not too little too late..but after reading some of the stories here, i feel I will accept any eventuality.

      The rest of this week, I will be in different Province, and then in a neighboring country…where my self exclusion will not apply.
      But I dont feel the cravings..i feel so much hate towards Casinos right now.

    • #51062

      Hate is a very fleeting emotion. It is strong but will pitter out before you know it so don’t let it be the only fuel you use to run your recovery on. You need to find where you want to be in 10 more years and let that guide your decisions. Do you ever want to retire? You wont ever if you keep going. You will keep working forever to fund the casinos.You are in a tough spot at this point with so much in jeopardy. Is it really worth losing everything you have for one more trip to the casino?

      Fear can be a great motivator as well. If you read the stories on this site you can see that they are in or have been in the same place as you. In debt. Relationships in tatters. Bleak outlooks. They also have the desire to stop and the need to put the gambling out of their lives. Fight for what you really want. A job,a family, a home that is yours? It is plain to see that you will not be able to have all of those WITH gambling. It will have to be without .

      Good luck on your travels and use this period as the trial. Put it to good use. Start a new habit. When your not working go for a walk or to the gym if at a hotel. Swim. Read. Each day that you are gone and do not gamble post here. Make a record of your success. It works.

    • #51063

      Yersterday was a really tough day for me..I was just an emotuonal wreck and easily breaking down. I dont know how many times my eyes were full of tears while attendinf the conference. Triggered by many things. I met some of my varsity friends..they have made so much progress in thier careers..executive head of this..chief technical what what..and i t got to me..feeling sorry for myself. There was also a social media article about a former soccer star that askes people to pray for him because he is a gambling addict..he was just mocked and laughed at by so many people. It just brought tears to my eyes.

      I want to get out of the emotional down I put my best outfit to the conference and looked really clean. The way delegates responded gave me some boost. I also worked on building and improving my relationship with my boss..send a couple of emails apologising about non submission of some tasks..and thanking him for sending me to this conference..he must have been really suprised..we despise each other..but i am going to commit myself to resolving that.

      I sent a “Hi” message to my wife..ifcourse she did not respond..I I felt so empty in the evening. I was supposed to attend this dinner..but i just could not. I also wantee to avoid alcohol..bevause i have already noticed where the casino is. I missed my familt so much..i called my niece just to speak to my kids..hearing the voices..and them being so happy was awesome. Atleast I was able to havr some good 8 hour sleep.

      For now, I am going to focus on getting myself out of this negative emotional state. I do small good things that makes me day at a time.

      Thanks for the message of support.

    • #51064

      Yertserday was a much better day for me, emotionally. I did not break down or dwell on negative thinking about debts and past. I made a significant contribution to the conference and influenced it to adopt a certain proposal. It felt veey good. One of our delegates did not attend this conference and the head of delegation asked me to fill for him. So I will be making a presentation today..i am hoping to ace it..just to help give me more confidence and uplift my spirit. There was anorther dinner last nite, it was my intention to attend and network, but I found out the venue has a casino. So I just ate at my hotel and spend the rest of the night preparing my presentation. I could not handle not speaking to my wife, so i decided to try and call her..this time she answered…I have never said so many sorries inside 10 seconds..i did not anticipate she will pick up, so i did not prepare a proper speech..she did not make any conversation but I was glad to hear here voice. This months bills are beggining to come..but i will just deal it when I arrive back thing I learned about gambling is that somehow a solution always comes. One day at a time..i will get there. Thanks for the support.

    • #51065

      The past fout days have been very busy for me. I am now back in Johannesburg from the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The good thing is that I have not set my foot in a Casino for black jack. It was not without temptations though. Yet anorther event was hosted at the Casino..again i did not opt to go, but i could not stay in a hotel room again, so i decided to go to local pub, I met a colleague who also did not want to join the rest of the group at the Casino. Later on, some other delegates joined and we must have dranked the whole night. In the morning after realisng how much I spent, that feeling creeped in is like i wanted to win back what i spent the previous night, but i did not give in. On the second occassion, i was noticing that i am running low on cash and had that feeling to go and play. But I am happy I did not give in. We are now talking with my wife, but things are not 100%. She agreed to take a loan to cover our montlhy expenses and that took a lot of weight off my shoulder. The next loan I take will be for my own house. I have a long way to go, but i feel very optimistic about my future. Now that I am safe around Gauteng, i will be concentrating on my work, my family and debt rehabilitation. I feel so much different from 8 days is still early but i am excited about overcoming all my challenges.

    • #51066

      Hi Austin,

      Simple steps – if you only want to drink x amount and spend x amount…… just carry the amount of money that you need for that number of drinks.

      It would also mean you can’t get tempted to go to the casio after consuming alcohol which of course can weaken anyone’s defences.

      Keep posting.

    • #51067

      I have been thinking a lot about my past and how reckless I have been with my finances. So, sometimes I feel optimistic and other times I feel so down and discouraged. My moods swings so often in a day. I am now out of cash, we have some money in our joint account, but asking my wife for some pocket money just brings her sadness all over again. We are really not doing well but i know it will improve in time. She is a very beautiful woman and I can see how my actions have brought tremendeous sadness to her throughout the years. That is the thing about my gambling, the worst thing will not be about loosing money, but keeping a secret about the money I lost. Then after telling the truth there is a transfer of negative emotions from me to her..I will really feel ok and look at her face overwhelmed with deep sadness. Very unfair. I am very happy with my kids, two daughters and the love I have for them has scored me some extra credit..Without them I am not sure if we will still be here. I have not seen my boss in over 2 weeks and my work is a bit behind with all the travelling I have been doing. I have already seen some of his negative remarks on emails and his attitude on video conferencing yersterday. At this momement I need to hold on to my job with everything I got, so he can bring his worst I can handle it. I am really prepared to try and improve our working relationship as hard as it will be. So, I am still doing small things that makes me feel good inside..i look clean, I am always on time and above all I am not gambling..not even sports betting. Thanx for you message Charles..

      One day at a time.

    • #51068

      I had a goo day yesterday..I managed to do a lot of work that I was falling behind with and fortunately my boss was not here. He is not here again today, but I have just discovered that he has given one of my project to my colleague, honestly he made it extremely difficult for me to get it started and I always felt like he was setting me up for failure. Now I know he will have a field day in months to come and even go extra length to make it easy for my colleague to complete the project. But in any case, I am ok with it and will thank him for taking it off my plate. Today I asked my wife to give me the bank card because I need to pay for my daughter class photos. She left it for me and later called to ask if I received the pin. I think she is trying to come around. But just holding that card in my hands reminded me of the casino. I know that if I have not self-excluded myself, somehow before this day is over i will be sitting on the tables. I am so grateful that I swallowed my pride and self-excluded. I do not have any trip outside my Province or country for the next few months so i feel safe. I also do soccer bets, but have avoided them since i took a decision to stop with casino…i know as a compulsive gambler i should stay away from all form of gambling, but i know deep down that i will put a soccer bet in the near future. I shoud’nt but i feel i am not read to give it up yet. That is me just being honest with myself. But as for black jack.. i dont ever want to put a bet on it because i am not able to stop the chase..i can play 24 hrs non-stop. I once lost R 90 000 in one night. My head was spinning for weeks. I am going through my days trying to focus on the now and as difiicult as it is, forget about my past and not think too much about the debts , but just do the best i can on the day. I have also being reading a lot of other peoples journals..some are very sad stories and God bless of of you. One day at a time.

    • #51069

      I had a really quiet weekend, spend most of the time with my family indoors. I kept myself busy with some cable installations for extra TV point upstairs. We have also being bothered by pigeons on top of the roof, so I put a dummy owl to scare them away and it worked, for the first time in 6 weeks we slept very peacefully. But on Saturday morning I was really down for no reason, i did not like it and that early in the morning i had my first drink. My wife was away for a greater part of the day, attending a baby shower,and i stayed with the kids. So I took them to do their hair at the salon and while we were there I felt so drunk and exhausted. Only the younger one saw how uncomfortable I was, and I did not like that she saw me in that state. I was really drunk, i would have thrown up if I had something to eat, I was just throwing up air..and my young one was looking. eish! But fortunately no one else noticed. i never want be like that again.

      i hoping to complete lots of my work this week and just hoping that God give me the strength to resist the temptation of getting into an argument with my boss..I have committed myself to making our work relationship work and will actively take the lead in that. I do not want to see myself to having reacted badly after his usual insults and negative insinuations.
      Today is also my brother’s birthday, me and him have not being talking for a few months primarily because i had a fallout with his wife. In one of those Christmas lunches, she was throwing insults and really bad words to my niece for no reason, she is type of person who like to look down on the less fortunate and she has been a common factor in all the Christmas fall outs. i dont even know how to describe her..anyway I defended my niece and after a couple of weeks my brother was trying to defend her, obviously. I mean all my family members knows what type of person she is, only my brother sees otherwise..In any case we stopped talking after an argument and haven’t spoken has been about 9 months..i chose not to attend the following Christmas lunch. But I decided to send him a happy birthday wish, just to try and pave the way to us mending things again. He was very happy with my msg.

      After having watched the comrades marathon this weekend, I have decided to start focusing on being physically fit as part of my rehabilitation goals. My tummy area is just out of proportion and I want to start digging it down. I must eat better, reduce my drinking habit and exercise more.

      One day at a time

    • #51070

      I have been keeping myself really busy and trying to get more work done. I am happy about the progress I have been making and hoping to gain more momentum. I have resisted to have any negative confrontation with my boss, he knows how to rub me off the wrong way, but so far I have resisted any temptation of back insults or complaining about the load of work he is pushing my way. My other colleague has taken full advantage of the rift between myself and my boss..and he has become the favorite go-to-guy. I would have preferred a different working environment, but until I can find another employment I have to be strong enough to make it work.

      My wife and I have been really distant since my last casino outing 17 days ago…we have been very quite and hardly ever had a conversation. For some reason I feel really down when I am around her, she has tried to make a conversation and I have just cut it short for some reason.

      I dont like the state I am in, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed about my situation and other times I am upbeat and actually looking forward to overcoming these challenges. I would like to know how to overcome these swing of emotions.

      I have managed to take a 5km jog, which felt very good. It is so cold i have not been able to take any is one of my best medicines to let negativity off my my system. But i need to be careful not to over do it and wake my calf although i fell i can do 10 or 15 k..i need the discipline to nurse my injury.
      But i am doing much better that 15 days ago when everything was just dark and directionless. I believe that so long as my pocket is not leaking because of gambling I can overcome whatever financial challenges i currently find myself in.

      I am praying for better days, I hope I can find a new job soon and I would like to return my relationship with my wife back to normal.

      It is really tough..but I am taking it one day at a time. One small positive step at a time.

    • #51071

      I was a bit angry in the early morning, but today was a good day. I did well at work completing one of my projects in time and making contribution to other team projects. I need to keep operating at that level. I am still working on my relationship with my boss..i know how to rub him the right way..and bit by bit I will get there.

      I agreed to go to a birthday celebratuon of my brother in law this coming saturday , even though um not in mood to mingle. But not going will put more drift between me and my wife and going may bring us a little closer…or may be disastrous

      I also met a guy..a mechanic, he noticed a funny sound from my car’s engine and told me what it was..he seemed very knowlegable..we exchanged numbers and i hope he will not cost me an arm and a leg…i was happy we met.

      It was a very good by day..i will get there….

    • #51073

      Thank you RG for reading my story and for your comments. I gave my home situation some thought, so in the early hours of this morning , while we were in bed i touch her feet with mine..she dis not react positively but she did not back away either. I waited a few more minutes and tried again..this time she touched back..and the rest was history…it is not like us to be so distant for such a long does not solve everything but we are atleast chatting again..i need to apologise properly for what i have done..but i must demostrate my abilty to resolve first. So it looks like things will shape up here as well.

      I had anirther good work was only about this meeting and i was making good contributions. I know my boss does not like being overshadowed, so i made sure he gives approval fir any proposal that I far we are still good. I will continue to work on this.

      I tried to go for a jog, but my legs were just to heavy. On tuesday i went for a walk around lucntime, just to clear my head off office was about 1km single way. And later went for 5km jog. Then yersterday lunch time i took the same walk again..but this time i went twice because i thought i lost my car keys..long that day i did 4km walk. So today my legs were just too heavy and decided to stop running…and instead made a braai for our supper…which everyone in the house enjoyed.

      I feel really good..there were no mood swings today and I am looking forward to tommorrow…and may be tonight as well :))).

      I still have a long way to go and there are big challenges ahead..but i feel i am on my way to giving the best version of me yet. It is only 18 days..but today is much better than day i will build on it and take it one day at a time.

    • #51074

      I have thought about it..i think when the time is right i will go..but i had a not so nice expirence years ago. All my counsellor could focus on was my debts and how to pay sounded more like financial advisor than a counsillor. And again if i attend six sessions, then I am eligible to uplift my self exclusion, i dont wanna open that opportunity currently. But in time when certain things in my life are in place..i will go for counselling. Thanx.

    • #51075

      Anorther good day for me, at work and at home. On Monday it is a public holiday and this long weekend, we have been invited to two events. I was not looking fwd to a couple of days ago..but now i feel up to it…I just hope no one ask me that dreaded question have you bought a house?..oohh why cant they just mind thier own business. I am approaching my life one day at a time, naturing what i love and what i need most, accepting the depth of the challenge and looking to the future with more optimism. It is a tough challenge I am facing, that much I admit..but i will not face it with a defeated all in God’s time.

    • #51076

      Last night we went to visit my wife’s sister to celebrate her husband’s birthday. We had an awesome night out with great food, alcohol and was really good. I still managed to wake up to do my morning jog, it was a great run, i did 8km and my leg did not have any issues afterwards. I then spend the rest of my day just lazing around..i have learnt it is ok not to be always on a i took a nap and just woke up to watch TV. I am not allowing anything to drive me into a self-pity mode..there are conversations or things on TV that triggers those feeling of regret or sudden realisation of the reality of my situation..but I fight not to dwell in it and find a way to direct my mind to escape it. It is almost the end of Day is still early days considering the road ahead..but I am doing day at a time. Thanx GT.

    • #51078

      Thank you very much RG. I had an awesome long weekend, spent with my wife’ sister and her family. Although i was hesitant to visit, I am glad i went because not only did we have a good time, I feel me and my wife are closer than before our visit. So it was good. This morning I found a new email from my boss..he was assigning a huge task..and i felt he was up to his old tricks again…i was so disappointed and felt sudden stress because we were doing so well. I held my response to avoid sying something nasty..and i prayed that i have the strength and energy to accept and look fwd to this new assignment on top of everything else. So later on he started a conversation which i did not entertain..i think he realised that and he started talking very professionally about this new task..i was happy about it because we have made so much progress and i have realised he want this relationship to work as much as i do…so we ended the day well. I have had some low momements..but day by day they became few and far apart. So one day at a time, I am becoming stronger and stronger and my positive outlook and attitude is making every day a little better than the day before. One day at a time.

    • #51079

      It has been a sluggish few days, especially at work. I have not done as much as I would have liked in the past two days. I hoping to have a better today.

      My niece wants to study teaching, but her grades where so low she could not be admitted into most programmes. So I enrolled her for a certificate course in early childhood development. I have just discovered that it will not help much, in terms of admission into further tertiary programs. This got me a bit stressed out and I spent a few days searching for alternatives.

      Other than that, all is going family is very happy and I am not gambling, ofcourse.

      one day at a time.

    • #51080

      The past few days have been a bit of a drag..I have been really low and hardly been able to push any work. I am not sure what is it, but I know that in times like this I am so grateful for the self-exclusion, because I would have definitely ran to the casino for some Adrenalin shot! So I will take this low moods over black jack anytime.

      On Saturday I was invited to a 40th birthday celebration of a colleague..I was so looking forward to it during the week, but when the day finally arrived I was just not in the mood. So I stayed at home on Netflix the whole day.

      On Sunday my mood still had not changed, so I took my family to a different church than ours. A more upbeat church..with live bands..surround audio and high projectors. I enjoyed it a bit, but they did not. But even that could not do the trick..I was still very down spiritually.

      So today it is back to work I have been here for about two hours already, but i am still not in gear. I have just opened up my journal and realized just how much progress I have made in the past 28 days. Not only have i not played black jack for the entire month, I have spend so much time with my family, my marriage is well on its way to healthy status and I have made tremendous progress to improving my work environment..something I have failed to handle in the past three years.

      So, I will take these low moods anytime, just to make these little advances that improves my living. It is hard but I have to stay day at a time.

    • #51081

      I feel a little better today..I needed payday to uplift my spirit a bit. This is another milestone, my first salary after deciding to come on this self-rehabilitation platform. I have already spent most of it, making sure that all the bills are paid up, debts are paid with a little bit extra and left something aside for family nice time. My goal this month is to struggle through the month and hoping to get to the end of it without having to go for my credit card or even worse ask for more money from the bank. The past few days having been emotionally bad for me, I could not even come to work yesterday. I went to do our monthly grocery list and after which had to take my niece to catch her long distance bus..she is visiting her mom for a couple of days about 450 km from our place. After that, I bought some takeaways for our evening meal as there was no electricity due to some substation maintenance. It has been so cold for the past few days, but this morning I managed to wake up and went jogging for about an hour twenty minutes. I have not done a morning run in a long time and it felt amazing. So today I am at work, i feel a little bit better and I am hoping to get some work done. Some days are very good, some days are good, some days are just okay, some days are bad and some days are very bad, but i am taking it one day at a time and dealing with issues of that time. So long as i am not on the tables, playing black jack or anywhere in the casino I am making progress. Thank you GT.

    • #51082

      I am having a better day today, I have been able to do some work yesterday and today. But I keep on getting more work..I dont know how this man thinks I am going to do all of this things. But I have chosen not to complain anymore..just record how i spend my time at work, because really he has been very unreasonable the way he distributes work between myself and my colleague..but i dont have the energy to keep fighting it..i will just do the best I can until I can find another employment.

      After work, I just wen straight home, helped with the cooking and relaxed watching the African Nations Cup, then off to bed. I am having good has been a while since one of those awful nights when one is tossing and turning thinking of how stupid can one be. Never is a very long time, but i do not wanna put my soul in the hell hole again.

      Today is a much better day than yesterday. I arrived on time and have been on top of my work ever since…taking a couple of small walks to stretch my legs..i am hoping my next run will be as good as my last. so i carry on one day at a time and I will get to that special place that the almighty has in store for me..I believe that.

    • #51083

      I discovered that a certain position that I used to hold in my previous organisation has been advertised. So, I spent most of my evening thinking of whether to apply for it or not.

      I was one of the best performers in this organisation, started in this advertised position and then promoted to manage a different division within two years.

      I do not want to apply because of a few reasons. Firstly, It will be emotionally taxing for me if I am not the selected candidate. If everything was fair, I will get this job hands down. But since leaving that organisation I have tried a couple of times to return without success. There are senior officials who are blocking my way because they were not happy about how I left the company three years ago. I hoping they can overlook that because this is not such a high position.

      The second reason is, obviously I will have to give up a few thousands rands a month because of the salary drop.

      Thirdly, I will have to face the humiliation of returning back to where I is in a sense a demotion.

      I want to apply for it because I know the environment and i will be more happier there. The closing date is on July 11 and I will toss and turn about it for a few more days.

      But in way this job advertisement got me thinking a lot about how I got to my current situation..again i realize how much gambling has negatively influenced my decisions. I would have not left my previous fact, even in my previous organisation, I dont think i would have wanted to apply for the manager job that i was given..because I was so happy doing what I was doing then. But because of gambling debts I kept on making decisions based on how much money will i get if a take a certain position.

      So yah, all these thoughts about this position and my past and my current situation got me into a mild low…but today it is Friday and that is just good enough.

      We are still day at a time.

    • #51084

      If you are then read on … if you are not, then just ignore the rest of this post.

      For a start you listed first the 3 reasons for not going for the job – then followed up with only one reason for going for it which was : “I want to apply for it because I know the environment and i will be more happier there.”
      Now do you know this to be true? If you last worked there several years ago it will not be the same environment and things will have moved on without you – so you will be coming into a different environment perhaps thinking nothing has changed. You can of course do some research to see if things have changed for the better or for the worse and then make a decision.

      If you then make a decision to go for it – I would then think “what is the worst case scenario?” Which I guess will be being turned down for the job. Could you live with that? Most importantly, for you is, would it lead to gambling thoughts …

      Do the research – decide with your head not your heart and live with the outcome whatever it is. I wish you well.

    • #51086

      Thank you RG for your message, you have been a good friend to me and i am very happy to hear you are still fighting.

      Hi Steev, thank you for your message. Most of the time I am just documenting my thoughts ,daily events and challenges in my life and this journey to recovery. It is not necessarily to seek advice, but really any comment from a fellow member is always welcome, if anything it may help provoke a certain thought that help in my decision making or recovery progress.

      I had an ok weekend..on Saturday I decided to clean up on the cable installation that I did a couple of weeks ago, making sure it is tidy and there are no cables hanging loose on the wall or ceiling. I spent the rest of Saturday with my wife and kids just watching Netflix and lazying around.

      On Sunday I went for an early morning run, again I had a very good run. I noticed it is better when I skip a few days in between than to try and do it every second day with bad runs now and again. I love it! Later we took the kids to theme park and we had a really good time. The kids were so excited and i just realized how quickly they grow up. My oldest one was not allowed in many of the kiddies she used to a year or two ago. It was just a great day.

      We have decided to let go of our wife has been wanting to do for a few months now..i was against it because, although she had good reasons..terminating employment is not a nice thing to do. But it had to be done. We have also put in a notice to terminate my youngest one’s nursery school..she hardly attends it and when she does..she can hardly go through the entire month without getting sick. So i am initiating a home development program ahead of her Grade 0 next year. So, I am expecting to have more ammunition paying up my debts in the next couple of months.

      I also decided not to apply for my previous work situation is currently not good for me but taking this step will just be a short term solution for my current situation..but my career progress will suffer some detriment. I dont want it hanging over my thoughts for long and I will stick it out with my current boss until I get the job that is suitable. Or who know, the situation might even change inside my current organisation. So I am leaving it in the hands of the Lord and will hang in there for as long as it takes.

      It is day day at a time I go forward with the believe and hope that HE has not brought me this far to let me fail.

    • #51087

      I have not done much in the past two days, just going to work and back home. I have not been thinking about the cards at all, just the thought of entering the casino makes my heart beat fast. My moods and emotions are now very stable, i hardly turn from hot to cold like in the first few weeks of my recovery.

      It feels good to have a “normal” life for a more lies, sneaking out and spending nights and nights away from my home. Yes it feels good to be “normal”.

      It is long way from home, but one day at a time, i will get there eventually. I got to there!

    • #51088

      Wow..40 days and 40 nights. I am very happy to be where i a at the moment. i look back to day number one, when I felt like a piece of it and everything was on the brink of breaking up. Today I am in a much much better mental and spiritual place. Bit by bit i will put my life together.

      it has been an easy two is freezing there are no edges to go out or anything..just going from work and back to be with family is good enough.

      A couple of days ago as i was scrolling Facebook, I came across a quote ” The point of Buddhism is to teach us that we are all capable of much more than we might believe we are” ~ Mogan Freeman. So I Googled a bit about Buddhism and come across one of Ajahn Brahm’s youtube video–The four ways of letting go. It was so inspiring to me and in a way has validated the principles I have used to get to day 40.

      Firstly, I have stopped to beating myself up about how much I have lost, what i could have done with the money, how far behind I am compared to my varsity friends and son. I have choose to let go and deal with the issues of the day..and so far it has worked for me. I used to feel so awful that, although i have earned more than an average South African for the past 8 years..i have nothing tangible to show for it except huge debts..i have never bought a house and this was killing me..but today I have accepted it and moved on. When i pray, I say God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change. I think God has granted me that serenity and I am so grateful about it. The other good thing that I loved about this video was to work on changing my attitude so that my work environment is not my prison. He taught me that, no matter how hard it is..or what anybody does, I can be able to rise above any matter how bad it is.

      I will recommend it to anyone, not only recovering addicts, but these are amazing amazing teachings ( or google “Fourways of leeting go”.

      I am looking forward to the weekend, nothing major planned but just to sit and hangout with my family is something to look forward to.

      One day at a time, we will get there eventually. God bless you all and have a wonderful weekend away from gambling.

    • #51089

      I watched the video and found it really useful – so thank you for sharing.

    • #51090

      Hi Steev, I am happy you found the video useful and thank you for reading and commenting on my recovery journal.

      It has been a fairly quite week for me just spending a lot of time with family and on my work..and both of them are going great.

      A few days ago, my boss asked me to make arrangements for business trips for the remainder of the year. There are only two major ones, one is in Province K later in August, it will last one week and another one is in Country E north of Africa and will last 6 weeks.

      The first trip in Province k has been on my thoughts for a couple of days and for two reasons. Firstly i realized how far i have come. Just 47 days ago I was willing to throw this man out of the third floor window, today i have no issues at all to go together with him, sitting on a plane , sharing a rented car and staying in the same hotel. I cannot believe it, my colleagues cannot believe it. I once googled..”will I be arrested if I beat up my boss”. Seriously!! I was willing to get fired..if that was the only punishment I will receive for beating him up. So i thank God, I thank this platform, because right now that sound like so absurd. I could not even bring myself to call him my boss.

      The second reason this trip has been on my mind is that I know, almost certain that I will gamble if I do not make prior arrangements or put up mitigation measures to prevent it. It has been on my mind for such a long time and i know it will happen. The stage is so well setup, it my most favorite place in SA, my self exclusion does not apply, I played there before, I will be away from family probably with some cash..and things are starting to take a good shape in my life. I have toyed with the sitting on the black jack table..having fun, smoking, drinking and laughing..I know for certain that I will be defeated. I have been thinking about my options….and non is as water tight as extending my self exclusion to cover the entire country, something I should have done in the first place. So I will do that before my trip.

      The second business trip is to highly religious and Islamic country and i have not thought of it as much of a thread, at the moment. So I am not so worried about it and in any case I will be in a very very busy conference and hopefully there will be no time to wonder around.

      Two days ago I was informed of the passing away of one of my high school teachers, A man who contributed a lot towards my upbringing, he was a really good person and we were all very shocked about it. So I will be attending his funeral in the weekend of the 20th which will be held in Province O, again where my self exclusion does not apply. I have also played in the Casino there, but somehow, I do not feel that edge like I do with Province K, but one will never know, so I would like to have this self exclusion done before Friday the 19th.

      Other than that i feel so good, I have so much time on my hands, my mind is never intensely stressed, family is great and work is begging to shape up. I have avoided thinking too much about creating another income stream to help tackle my debts more rapidly. I did not want to overwhelm myself thinking to much about my debts at the begging, but I am much stronger now and I will put some attention in to it.

      So back in Day 1, my most primary concerns were family, work and debts…it is just day is is shaping up and debts will follow…who knows what I will achieve by day 1000…

      It is a long way to go still and I am very careful not to let my guard down, every day that I am not at Casino it is victory for me..but only for that day…tomorrow is a completely different day and I know too well that this monster has many tricks up her I just take it easy and one day at a time.

      Lastly, thank you to everyone who has contributed to the development of this platform. I dont go to GA meetings for my own reasons and I am avoiding professional counselling for now..because once you attend six sessions you are eligible to uplift self exclusion..and that is a no-no for me. So this is my only real refuge and thank you so much.

      God bless all of you in your recovery journey.

    • #51092

      Hi RG, thank you for your continued support and it is also good to see you fighting back, we really can and will beat this thing.

      It has been a long week for me. I found out on Friday the 12th that my teacher’s funeral was on the 13th and not on this coming Saturday as i anticipated. I just felt I wanted to go pay my last respect to the man who has contributed so much to my upbringing. Back then, good teachers were hard to find..and he was the best. May his sweet soul rest in peace.

      So off i drove, about 400 km away from my home. Driven the early hours of Saturday and I was constantly thinking about how am I going to avoid gambling in that province. After the funeral I immediately wanted to drive back to my province, first to avoid gambling and secondly because I did not want to over spend. But my sister called me to join them and other high school friends for “after tears”. So I went and boy did we have a lot of was really really nice to see so many people I grew up with, they were so equally happy to see was great. I was not thinking about gambling anymore and I was happy to have gone to bed without hitting the local casino. But in the morning, I had that “gambling-like” hangover..i guess it is because I spent far too much than I planed to, I dont know why, may be because I am chasing the same “kick” out of spending and drinking as I would get playing cards..i felt a bit irresponsible, but that bad feeling was gone in a couple of hours. Happy i did not gamble.

      Unfortunately I hit a hump on my way back and now I am not only broke but I have some radiator leaks that has be quoted at around $1600 to fix. I am not letting it pull me down, though.

      My relationship with my brother and sisters has been on my mind a lot lately. I wish we can find time to sit together and be like family. Me and my younger sister we have a very good relationship but I foresee complexities because her husband, i think, wants to act like an agent for my son who is on the brink of signing a football contract with a professional soccer team. I advised him (my son) that he must send me his contract and the contract of his development team to avoid any potential legal issues. My brother in law comes to me and repeats this same advise to me as if he is the one that gave to my son. I kept quite but it bothered me that he acted this way. They have a kid, almost the same age as my son so i guess he (my son) has always been close them. My bro in law is also into development soccer so they interact more frequently. I dont know hey, I have not been an active father to him and feel like my motives will be questioned if I want to get involve it is tough and i have at the back of my head a voice that is telling me to stay out of it.

      My older sister, I am staying with her daughter for the past 18 months. I really wanted to take her out of the area that she was staying in, for safety reasons. So even if I was not prepared, I took her in and enrolled her for studies in early childhood development. She wanted to study teaching, but she did not score enough in her exams so we were trying other avenues to get her there. Now she has completed this course and in the next six months she will have nothing to do. I planned to take my youngest daughter out of nursery school for various reasons, and my niece can look after her for the next few months, since her course was related to early childhood development…and we will pay her. But I think she spoke to her mom and they think I am turning her into a nanny or something, so she turned my offer down. Now she is just sitting at home and my wife will not like that for long, I will not like it for long and we will have to send her back home…that will open another can of worms.

      And my brother, we have not been that close ever since I had a word-fight with his wife about two years ago. We have not talked much ever since.

      So for the first time since my journey started, I feel a little bit of stress. I think these things could be sorted out just with communication and open-mindedness but yeah, it is tough.

      The weather is clearing up a bit, we are starting to have more frequent sunny days so I will be running more frequently to offload this things that are weighing down sometimes.

      I did not manage to execute the national self-exclusion, but it is very high on my to-do list.

      Another week has gone by without gambling, it is now day 53 and the lord is still with me. I leave all these negativeness in HIS hands and take it one day at a time. If I am not gambling, I am winning, I am making progress.

      God bless all of you!

    • #51093

      Another week has passed and the journey continues.

      I was affected by thoughts of my relationship with my siblings earlier in my week. This was further enhanced by my niece’s unexpected announcement that she has decided to return back home next week and she will be spending this week with her cousin, not too far from here. As the week went by started to recover from it and accepted that the situations is what it is. So we are staying only the four of us for the first time in like six years..we have always had our helper staying with us to help with the kids. It is awesome..we enjoy each other so much and although it is tough to prepare kids for school and handle all domestic requirements..i think we wanna give it our best shot and not look for a helper for now.

      I have not had thoughts of the casino at all, it is slowly beginning to feel like a distant memory. My car still has radiator issues, and I have resorted to public transport to limit its usage. Fortunately my insurance agreed to a payout to have them fixed…yey :-) it wont hit my pocket as hard. As a result, I have not being able to do the self exclusion thing. But it ain’t no big deal at the moment.

      Those were the highlights of my week..i accept things i cannot change, i stay the hell away from the casino, i have my priorities straight, i take it one day at a time and I pray. still a long long way to go, but i can see and feel the progress. God Bless!

    • #51094

      Hi Austin,
      You have made amazing progress and it strikes me you are doing some things which others could learn from. I have just read your thread from start to end.

      1. You have been honest with your wife
      2. You trust in God for the things you cannot control
      3. You journal about your feelings
      4. You prepare in advance for times you may be tempted
      5. You try to see the good in others rather than blame them
      when things go wrong.
      6. You are so focused on family.
      7. You are solution focused.

      I am going to try practice these things also – thank you so much for sharing .

    • #51095

      Thank you i did it for reading my journal and I am happy that you found some of the things I do useful for your own recovery.

      I have been battling ill health for the past week or so and have been bed ridden and not able to go to work…killer flu it is and I am relived that it is the only problem. I have been on blood pressure medication since 2012 and doctors have always predicted that i will eventually suffer some kidney complications..I thought it is finally happening, but after some blood tests..both kidneys are perfect. I was not able to sleep for 4 nights, I have never suffered such torture in my life, so the doctors advised that i stay off antibiotics and was finally able to get some sleep. Good health though, it takes priority over everything doesn’t it? It was really a wake up call and I have to take better care of myself. I am still not fully recovered but i am feeling much better.

      My car insurance made a payout of about $1600 towards damages on my car, i was able to fix it for a fraction of that payout and the car is working fine. The most responsible thing was to put most of it towards my debts, but after what i have put my family through this year, I have decided to spoil them with a vacation in the next few weeks..we cant wait. And there was also a bit left to fix some minor issues on my wife’s car as well.

      So a few weeks ago I decided not to apply for my previous positions, well my old friend called to tell me that he had been invited for the interview and knowing that i used to hold that position he asked me to help with with the preparations. We spend a a couple of days going through possible questions and what the position is all about and he called to tell me that it went very well..i am keeping my fingers crossed for him.

      Gambling has been the furthest thing on my mind, I have not had a single thought or cravings about it…so that is always good.

      I keep going one day at time, baby steps until I get to my destination.

      God bless all of you

    • #51096

      What a great post !
      Can you believe that just 75 days on you are going on holiday.
      I think spending the money on family is a great decision .
      Keep strong

    • #51097

      Hi Austin! I was just reading some of your post. 75 days is Great! Be proud and keep going strong.

    • #51098

      Thank you I did it and Jen for your lovely comments, they really mean a lot to me.

      The week did not start that well. On Saturday my wife took the kids to do their hair at the nearby salon. I normally drive them around on weekends (well since my non-gambling days), but because I was nursing my flu, i decided to stay in bed almost the entire day. They all come back crying, including my wife, my heart was pumping so fast as they all walked into my arms. I thought an accident may be..but then my older daughter starting telling the story in her cry. Two men walked into the salon, one had a gun, they closed the door and ordered everyone on the floor, searching their bags and pants and taking whatever is available. From my wife’s bag, they took about $150, her phone, and two tablets that belong to my kids. And then she said one of them hit mommy on the face..i just went furious, took the car and went looking for those blood was just boiling. Needless to say they were gone..I am still so mad just writing about it. Crime is just a stats until it happens directly to you..then it is something so unfair and outrageous. At the end of it, we just have to be grateful that no one was hurt and everyone seems to be over it except me. I am still tracking one of the tablets and as soon as it is connected, i will be able to see its locations. Damit!

      Other than that, I suffered one of the most horrible flu ever..i honestly thought it was more than it..i lost about 7 kg in a space of 10 days..I wanna loose some weight but this is not the way..i think i must have went for four days eating only one apple a day because I did not have any appetite. But I am now fully recovered and feeling my old self again. Boy that was horrible.

      As we approach the weekend, I am feeling good, my family is fine, my work is so unbelievably fine and i am getting stronger and stronger by the day. So this really works, staying out of the casino, dealing only with issues of today, baby steps, and taking it one day at a time. God bless all of you and have a great weekend!

    • #51099

      Just think, even with all those things happening, your life is still so much better than when you were gambling. Stay strong, stay the course and be thankful for what you have.

    • #51101

      How are you doing Austin?? Truly sorry about what happened to your family. Uggh! I am so glad they are ok. Prayers for continued strength in your recovery.

    • #51102

      Thanks, Jen, RG and Hambone for your wonderful messages and support.

      I have had a relatively quiet time over the last 11 days, just spending time with family, being there for kids and doing normal routines.. This too is ok, just to do basic stuff and doing them really well.

      I am away for a week on work, i really miss them. I am in one of the provinces were my self exclusion does not apply. I really should have attended to it by now, but since I have been using public transport I have not being able to. This morning I searched for Casinos in the area, not only that I checked to see if they have black jack tables and the times that they operate. I felt really bad just doing that, it is like I have gambled already. What a monster this thing really is.

      A few days ago I had a really bad dream..I had gone back to my old ways. I lost my entire salary (as I have done many times) and had to go to the bank to seek a new loan to cover my monthly expenses (again as I have done many times). It was such a painful dream, I woke up still feeling the pain..i was so disappointed in myself and worse I did no longer think that I am capable of hurt so bad.

      I will use the pain I felt in this dream as a reminder of how it will feel. When I am tempted I will not entice myself with the possibility of winning, I will remember this dream and how it really feels to gamble. And this is how I managed to snap out of the temptation I felt this morning.

      I have been gambling for 15 years. Today i have not been in the casino for 93 sound very little by the scale of things..but it has been the best life i have had in the past 15 years. I have never been able to go so long without hitting the tables in 15 years. In these few days, my wife loves me again, i have spent so much time with kids, I have not had a single loan, all my bills are paid on time, I have managed to improve my work relationship with my boss (something i struggled with for 3 years) and I am happy for a change. So I will continue to abstain, do simple things, take baby steps and pray.

    • #51103

      Part way through a really positive post was this: “This morning I searched for Casinos in the area, not only that I checked to see if they have black jack tables and the times that they operate. I felt really bad just doing that, it is like I have gambled already. What a monster this thing really is.”

      Please be careful, Austin – you are in an area where you can gamble and it would be easy for your defenses to go down whilst you are in a different environment.
      Someone on another thread quoted an academic as saying that relapse happens before the first bet. In other words it is a process and the contemplation of gambling (which I think is what you were doing) is the start of it. I know when I had my last few lapses – they were to test out if I really am a compulsive gambler or not. I found out I am – but I could have done without the pain and anger (at myself) that I felt to find that out. So just a little warning. If you can bar yourself from casinos in this new area – please do so and continue to have a great gf life. I wish you well.

    • #51104

      Austin, you are doing great don’t end up back at square one. My last couple relapses were while I was working out of town. I would definitely take Steve’s advice.

    • #51105

      Thank you Steev and Jen for having my back! much appreciated 🙂

      I am happy to say that I did not gamble while I was away, within a day or two i was over the temptations and focused on something else, enjoying the beachfront, conversations with colleagues and morning runs. But a few days later, i another serious cravings. i was attending a function on Saturday night and at one point towards the middle of the night I felt a bit out of place and was seriously thinking about heading to a nearby Casino which is on the border of my province and another province. The Casino is actually located in my province, but no one will argue with me if I say I thought it was in bordering province. But again I managed to get hold of myself.

      It feels good to be beyond a hundred days. I am feeling very strong and I have developed goals for my next hundred days.

      I have not really been paying my debts as much as I should, now I feel like the time has arrived for me to do the best that i can..i have not missed any of my bills or taken a loan in the past 100 days, but I know I can do better than i have been doing..

      i have to get my weight to healthy levels and levels that makes me look good. It really bother me, I dont feels excessively over weight, but i wanna look better and i wanna be within healthy BMI. So, I have to commit myself to the effort that is required.

      and finally I would like to bridge the gap between myself and my brother. It is really a tough one , but I dont feel ok to leave the situation as it is for a life time. It is the toughest of my goals, I feel, but i have faith that, if i try, God will give me the wisdom for my resolve.

      So on top of maintaining what I have already accomplished so far, good family, good work relation and being gambling free, I d be very happy to add just these three things and sort them out in the next 97 days.

      It is a tough journey..but it is still a journey and with the right frame of mind it can actually be an enjoyable one. Great stories are not those of smooth rides through life, but great stories are those of people who have overcome difficult challenges. Bit by bit, I am writing a great story.

      Good bless you and do your best to stay gambling free.

    • #51106

      I have just read most of your thread and salute you for not one relapse. I truly tip my hat off to you as I have relapsed so many times during my recovery. One thing that really stood out to my was your last post . You said “It is a tough journey..but it is still a journey and with the right frame of mind it can actually be an enjoyable one. Great stories are not those of smooth rides through life, but great stories are those of people who have overcome difficult challenges. Bit by bit, I am writing a great story.” And that really spoke to me. Life is a beautiful struggle and once we get through these stormy rainy days and come out in sunshine it will make the story that much greater. This motivated me to get my life back on track without gambling and paying off my debts so this year next time I too can be 100’s of days gamble free like yourself. Thank you for sharing your story and I truly wish you the best in your recovery. Keep on keeping on!!

    • #51107

      Thank you Murr for your comments, yes this is my 10th day of my second hundred days and i have not had a single entry into the casino. fortunately for me, online gambling is not my pill. I am very happy with my small achievement. It was not without many attempts though. I cannot even begin to ***** how many times I left the casino and said this is the last time, i cant do this to myself anymore..only to be back within three days. So this platform has been the key to my recovery so far. Like you, I also saw a post from a recovering addict here, doing what I am doing now, and I told myself that is how I am also gonna do it…and today I am on day 110. So I hope it also works for you.

      I have had a good week. I stuck to my diet plan (Banting) and have not drunk beer as part of my commitment to reduce my weight. Boy, this is even tougher than quiting black jack because there are temptations everywhere…i mean everywhere is food or beer adverts, especially because we are now well into spring. I am avoiding the scale, but I am feeling very good about myself.

      I am a little bit disappointed that I had to increase my overdraft..yyaah that sucked a bit, but looking at the money we have now and our holiday coming in week, we were just not gonna get to the end of the month..i felt so bad, but i will be ok.

      I have hardly thought about gambling this week, i hope to stay that way forever. I hope someday it is just a distant memory and something that i hardly ever think about..something that is completely in the another lifetime, i wonder if anyone ever gets there…may be in a 1000 days??

      So all is well…family is is good and I am on day 10 of my 2nd century.

      All the best to everyone out there and God bless.

    • #51108

      It is now day 17 of my second hundred since the last time I played black jack or entered the casino door.

      The past week has been “normal” doing mostly routine staff, going to work and looking after family, with really no major highlights.

      I have spent a lot of effort on controlling and sticking to my diet. Big mistake I decided to go on the scale yesterday and found that I have only lost 1 kg from the last tie i went up on the scale…really?? after so much effort??..I planned to go on the scale only after someone, other than my wife, notices my progress… really discourages. But I kinda like the challenge and even though the progress is mynute, the feeling is huge and it is rewarding waking up in the morning knowing that the day before I have eaten only the things that were in my plans. I also like this challenge because it has taken my focus away from “not gambling” and into something else that will also yield positive results.

      I was hurt a couple of days ago to hear learn that Jen has relapsed after 40 or so days. I hope she gets back in her and i hoping to find some time and words to put on her thread.

      Another 7 days gone..and I am still committed to taking small, fulfilling steps.

      God bless!

    • #51109

      Way to go Austin! I am so very proud of you! Happy for you and envious of course. I am ok: I am somewhat disappointed in myself but I got up, dusted off and ready to keep fighting. Not beating myself up. It does no good. I am recognizing where I failed and putting more things in place to prevent it from happening again. Keep Going strong. I am 114 days behind you and I hope we keep it that way. Wish I was closer but what’s done as done. I can let it bring me down or use the relapse to my advantage. I choose the second option.

    • #51110

      It has been 14 days since my last post, i think the longest time I have not accessed this platform since the beginning of my recover. Which is good..the longer I can stay away without support, it means the more “normal” I am becoming…i think!

      Finally our vacation came and gone and it was too amazing (with a capital A) for all of us. For a good four days we had nothing but fun, water slides, beach swimming..more swimming, ice cream, alcohol, nothing to door..four amazing nights… was good!

      I came back to a lot work waiting for me back at office, i might need to spend some time this weekend trying to half it..unpaid for that matter. So one gets the leave days..but the work still needs to be done..

      So all was good..the casino has not been on my mind, i have had no cravings. In fact there were times when I knock off early from work..the feeling of wanting to gamble will come..because that is what i used to do before this recovery. It will be the perfect time for me because my wife thinks i am still at work. Those feelings are not so intense anymore..i dislike that it still crosses my mind..but i am happy the edge is not that overpowering.

      ..and my weight loss efforts…eish!..I will start again on Monday..i have a vacation for a good excuse and it is so difficult to start again..but i will keep is for my own good.

      Apologies if you notice my broken english…it is not my mother tongue..but I am trying.

      Day 131 done! is still baby steps..but i will get there God willing.

      God bless you all.

    • #51112

      Another 14 days have passed in my recovery journey and I have not been to the casino for 145 days.

      It feels extremely good to be at this point. I have had an ordinary two weeks with mostly just attending to routine activities.

      I have had bad moments though..there were a couple of days when I felt that I really want to go play black jack. At some point it was almost certain that i will go. I had to fight really hard avoid state of first I went for a jog and later on when the edge was still there I went to visit a friend of mine that I have not seen for a while..and took only enough cash for a a bottle. I realized that it was the fact that i was by myself for sometime on a weekend that created those edges. A situation i used to exploit to the fullest before my recovery journey. I was able to survive..this time..i hate that i still have these thoughts and still entertaining them.

      My weight loss efforts are showing good dividends..i feel so good about my progress and am currently lighter than i have been in a very very longtime. i have stayed strictly on Banting diet and also complemented it with regular exercises..i have not yet received an acknowledgement from anyone (except my wife) so I ll assume it is all in my mind..i feel so good though.

      it is still all so good and the journey continues. One step at a time!

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