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    • #26471


      I’d like to share my story from a different perspective. For my story, rather than talk about x dollars and telling the story from an event base level, I thought I’d rather share my story from the perspective of what is going in my head and what I’m feeling whilst I gamble. Why do I gamble? In the moment, when I gamble – it just happens. My mind will make an instantaneous decision. One minute, I’m talking to a friend; next minute, I’d place a bet on. Something will trigger me and the next thing you know, I’m gambling. I’m into online sports gambling, cfd trading and the casino, shifting from one to the other depending on my mood at the time. I’m in great pain right now because I have lost a lot of money. No gambler will realise they have a problem until they go bust. Upon reflection, I call it “the illusion of having control” – until the day you go bust. This illusion of having control will build back up after a period of non-gambling until another relapse occurs. Gambling for around 10 years now, I have gone bust probably 30 times over the last 4 years swearing after each time I will never gamble again. I understand now there are days when I feel like I’m in control is all but an illusion. I am a dollar away from my next bust. I don’t have control over gambling.

      Understanding your triggers is one thing but understanding how my mind works and the thought patterns leading up to it is just as important. I have debts up to my ears and the more I think about it, the more pressure I feel. This pressure leads me vulnerable to gambling. Pressure can be created from debts, it can be created from the loses you’ve made, the expectation of where you should be in life financially, it can be created from a bad living environment or even basic everyday problems. These life pressures lead me to a point where I am susceptible to gambling. Pressure doesn’t cause me to gamble. But what it does do is make me vulnerable to my triggers because my mind is in the wrong state. The more I think about life, the more pressure I get. Avoiding triggers will partially solve the problem but not the root cause. The underlying root cause is still there waiting for the next trigger to start my gambling binge again. When I make that choice to gamble, that pressure is lifted, my mind slips into a dreamlike world where anything is possible. I am not addicted to the gambling act itself. I’m addicted to the state of mind or feeling that I get from gambling. A drug where suddenly all my problems seem to disappear. Where I could hit a winning steak and solve all my life issues, regardless of how improbable the odds are. That adrenaline rush when you’ve got massive coin on a game is like nothing else in the world. That “in the zone” or mental rush that you get cannot be studied and measured. You only get it when your own money is at stake. I laugh at gambling studies that study gambling in a controlled environment. Gamblers know when their own money is at stake. Your brain is not going to react the same way in a control environment vs you gambling with your own savings on the line.

      Ultimately for me, I gamble because I see it’s the only way out of this mess, even if the odds are against me. Your survival instincts kick in, and I will gamble at whatever cost. I will lose my family, my friends and my life savings to feed this habit. Everyone reacts differently with pressure and not everyone is a gambler. It’s either fight or flight. But for gamblers, its flight – flight from the pressures of life. I deal with life and its pressures via gambling. Some people can control the amount and the time they spend gambling. I cannot. I do not have control.

      It has taken me 10 years to realise this now – the illusion of having control. I am a compulsive gambler.

    • #26472


      Hello Hitmanlam 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!

    • #26473

      Hi and its nice to see your post here.. i really enjoyed reading that.. i like how you described that illusion of control, that is exactly what it is, its just an illusion.. and a delusion we delude ourselves into believing in that control that just doesnt exist for us when we are compulsive gamblers..
      I hope that you keep coming here and posting.. all the best and hope to see you soon


    • #26474

      Just another little welcome. That is a very graphic description of how gambling is for you – the underlying issues, the pressure, the triggers, the ‘illusion of control’ etc. I am not a gambler, so these sorts of descriptions help me understand the addiction more. I am the mother of a gambler, a counsellor and a volunteer on the team here.

      I wish you well. I hope you will find a lot of help and support here.


    • #26475

      Hi Hitman
      In your penultimate paragraph you accept you are a compulsive gambler and that you cannot gamble responsibly – that knowledge of yourself could be the difference between losing your family, your friends and your life savings and saving yourself.
      It makes no difference whether you have been active in your addiction for 10 months or 10 years, you can control your addiction – if that wasn’t true I wouldn’t be writing this to you now.
      You are aware that thinking about the way your mind works is important, you are trying to understand your triggers. Understanding is the first step to acceptance and only with acceptance can there be a recovery.
      I hope you speak soon

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