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  • in reply to: The Days After Residential Treatment #30715

    I’m not going to lie, I was full of positivity since I left residential treatment and was convinced I’d never gamble again. My son was supposed to take my bank card off me, but he forgot (duh!). My salary was due to go in at midnight yesterday. So I made it my business to stay at a friends house on Wednesday night. I promptly fell asleep on the sofa early, about 9.00! ! Old habits site hard, I suppose, but I suddenly woke and sat bolt upright, asked him what time it was. …and. ..It was exactly midnight! And my God, it shocked me how strong those urges to gamble came into my head. There I was, my body and mind knew it was time to start gambling as my wages had gone in, exactly at the right moment! I felt like a heroin addict must feel if they are really strung out and someone is tempting them with their drug, but not giving it to them. I had palpitations, and a feeling of excitement, for some bizarre reason. But yet, while i had no “desire” to gamble, urges still tried to take over any rational thought. I threw my phone and my bank card at my lovely friend and told him to hang onto them, which he did. And I made it through the night gamble free.
    Yesterday I went to lunch with some friends who have invited me back into the fold since I sent them a message explaining why and how I’d gone out of my mind recently. But I felt uncomfortable, and it was like I was itching to do something. I didn’t want to, and anyway, my friend still has my bank card, though I was aware all day that I could gamble if I really, really wanted to.
    I don’t want to ever gamble again. When I say I left rehab full of positivity, I really did. And that was all well and good until pay day arrived when I was left to my own devices and really, what I’m trying to say is, I was slightly shocked at how powerful the inner child in me tried to become when it knew it could have the wherewithal to play up! It’s also slightly shocked me how physically addicted my body had become to gambling! The fact that I woke up the minute my salary hit my bank account, the palpitations, etc. How consumed I’d been by this thing over the years! It was a struggle, I have to tell you!
    On top of that I have dumped the on/off boyfriend for good. Looking back on that relationship, I really don’t know what the hell I was doing there in the first place! It goes to show you how clouded my judgement was by gambling. All my intuitions about him were right, he’s a bastard, and only after rehab could I see clearly enough to confront him and not listen to any bullshit, and discover that I was right all along, but I had been on another planet and not paid attention to the alarm bells in my head for so long. This “new” me, was the last thing he was expecting, but I discovered his true colours, and then I discovered mine, slapped him hard in the face and flounced off, never to return!
    Not that I’m a violent person! But when you come out of four days of rehab, full of positivity, and you’re supposed to be returning to a loving, supportive environment, then you discover he’s been stalking his ex for the last six months, you just can’t help yourself! And not only that, but she’s reported him to the police for it, he was just using me as a substitute until he could get her back, and I had let this happen! !!!! It’s just a shame I didn’t knock him clean out! !
    I’ve also had several people chasing me for money that I’ve owed since before rehab. That was pretty harrowing. Unfortunately, one of those is the bastard! Well, he can just wait. To eradicate his threats of telling the whole village that I’m mental with gambling problems, I decided to get in there before him and confessed to all the people that matter to me around here, so that should take the wind out of his sails!
    So, all in all, it’s been eventful since I left rehab! I’ve had an awful lot to deal with, a lot of confessions, a lot of rekindling of friendships, a lot of soul searching about my life in general, a much better relationship with my son, and the obliteration of a bastard!
    I still have not gambled. I feel so relieved and although my positivity took a bit of a dent on pay day, all I have to do is think back to those dreadful dark days when I was so obsessed with gambling and escaping from the world, and I realise I never want to go back there again.

    in reply to: The Days After Residential Treatment #30713

    Well. …Happy Father’s Day to those of us to whom it means something. It doesn’t to me. ….as I don’t know who mine is.
    Or does it? I wonder!
    Gambling trigger = yes, this subject is definitely one now that I look back on it.
    Inner child can be quiet today. ….not getting the better of me!
    Day ten gamble free since residential treatment. ….and that’s the way it’s staying! !!

    in reply to: The Days After Residential Treatment #30712

    Thank you Micky, Harry and Liberty,
    Residential therapy really was an eye opener and all of us considered ourselves very lucky to be there.
    One of the things we did the most was laugh! Believe it or not! ! In fact sometimes it was hysterical laughter! Most of us had forgotten how! This played a huge part in releasing all the bad stuff that we’d built up inside ourselves over the years. When we told each other tales of things we’d done when at our most desperate, they actually seemed funny and we could not believe we’d even done them!!
    It really proved to us how much we’d been consumed by gambling. We had tears too, plenty of them. But they were needed just as much as the laughing.
    On a serious note, none of this would have worked had it not been for Ruth, Jane and Liz and all their expert hard work. They’ve made us see the world in a different light. Almost like we’ve been reborn.
    Which we have.

    in reply to: I won the Jackpot! ! #30693

    I know! I detested it myself. …but you know what? I’m trying to disassociate myself from any words like that to gambling, if that makes sense?
    I thought it would be a bit controversial, and probably very selfish of me to use it for my own purposes, but I was thinking the other day. many times do I hear the phrase “I bet”?
    My friends and family all constantly say things like bet it’s going to rain, or bet you won’t ring, or bet you won’t this, or that. My standard answer used to be. I will!
    Now, another phrase I hear often is “what’s the odds on that? “! Or the word “lucky” even. All these everyday words which I used to associate with gambling, I want to fade into words of non meaning ….even jackpot …believe me I’ve been chasing the wrong one for years!

    in reply to: I won the Jackpot! ! #30689

    Thank you so much! Yes. ..It will be a struggle, I know that. I know I said something miraculous happened, and it did. The miracle being that I can now see the light. It won’t be easy. …I mean, I only left there on Thursday, so this is really only day 3 since I left rehab, but it’s day 3 of a new life. A couple of us who have been talking on the phone since we got back have said it’s like waking up in a different world to that what we left behind.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hiding from people I owe money to, the cupboards aren’t full of food yet, the pile of unopened letters is still exactly that, but I am different. It doesn’t all seem so insurmountable now. I know I can do it. And I have to believe I can.
    Going into rehab was a life changing experience. I discovered a lot about myself, why I did it, how I was slowly tricked into being a slave to it, and it was sometimes quite emotional and tough. But by day four the muggy, murky mess that was in my brain had cleared and I could start to see a future.
    My previous thread was entitled Salvation. It was something I never thought I’d get.
    Thanks to GMA and Liz, Ruth and Jane, also Amy who organised my itinerary so professionally, and Harry who was there for me on day one, I have had salvation. The above mentioned are true “savers” of lives.

    in reply to: Salvation #30638

    Hi Vera!
    Thank you for thinking about us and inquiring as to how we got on!
    I can safely tell you that it was the best thing that’s ever happened me! So far so good! I couldn’t post sooner for some reason, and I have so much to write, but I haven’t got time now. I will tomorrow!
    Suffice to say. …I’m a different person now! Standby for the details tomorrow! !!

    in reply to: Salvation #30634

    OMG. ….well I’ve been busy with the grandchildren for the last two days. …amongst other things.
    No money to gamble. …so haven’t done so!
    Suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion and wanted to cry, but stopped myself. …This time tomorrow I’ll be on the train to residential treatment. …I’m scared, anxious, glad, curious and a whole host of other feelings. I cannot believe I’ve got to this stage in my life!
    This afternoon I shall be packing some things in readiness for the next four days. …I’m really hoping that this experience sets me back on the right track. …I’m ready for it!

    in reply to: Salvation #30633

    Thank you Lauren and Vera,
    Vera. …you’re probably right. …I’ve shut an awful lot out over the years. …and maybe I wouldn’t have noticed. …
    My daughter lives with her boyfriend now. …I had her when I was very young. Long story.

    in reply to: Salvation #30630

    Liberty, thank you. I know, you are right. ..I do use other games as a substitute. …In fact it’s the exact same habit /pattern. …like a ritual. ..prepare myself, make a cup of tea. ..settle down and then blow everything!
    Today has been relatively drama free! Touch wood!
    I’ve also read your story. …there’s a lot of similarities! !!
    Here’s to a happy life for both of us. ….eventually!

    in reply to: Salvation #30628

    Thank you Lauren. …you’re a very kind person.
    Well. ..I do not know what on earth is going on in my life right now. If I didn’t know any better I’d think the end of my life is nigh ! They say your past comes back to haunt you and you make peace before you die, but whatever. .the strangest series of events has occurred over the last 24 hours that it makes me wonder! !
    So. . I decided to tell my son on Tuesday about my gambling addiction and the fact that I would be disappearing for a couple of days. He always knew I liked a gamble but not how serious it had become. To be fair to him he listened and when I’d finished he asked if that’s why we’re always “broke”….so I said yes. …then he gave me a hug and told me he was proud of me for telling him and doing something about it.
    An hour later he was snatching my phone out of my hand to see if I was “at it” again!
    I wasn’t. …I was simply popping a few pandas!
    He’s twenty, in case I haven’t mentioned that already. Anyway, we got over that and I went upstairs to watch a bit of telly. The next thing I know he’s come in the room asking me if he can change his name by deed poll!! I said what on earth are you talking about? Now, our surname is pretty long and ugly looking to tell the truth. . .so when he tells me he’s always hated it I can see where he’s coming from, because I’ve always hated it myself! I was adopted into it and it was always a source of embarrassment to me too, plus it sounds nothing like it looks, so it’s always mispronounced wherever you go. But he says he’s thinking ahead and when he gets his own van it’ll be too long, look awful and cost a fortune in sign writing!
    Well. ..I had to laugh at that one. Off he goes again busying himself with cooking up some protein shake or something.
    I’m still playing Panda Pop when he’s “back in the room” ! This time he tells me that he wants to meet his dad. His dad and I split up when I was pregnant and neither of us have seen him since. Though through some research I was able to get a mobile number for him six months ago which I passed onto my son but when he contacted him he told my son he doubted he was his and that he had “nothing to offer” him at the moment and that he’d give it some thought!
    Like I say. ..that was six months ago and not a peep since, clearly because I was so wrapped up in my gambling I hadn’t realised how much this had been bothering my son. I told him I’d try and establish communication with his father for him.
    Then. …remember I said I thought the bf was acting a bit strange? So Tuesday evening he “forgets ” to pick me up, which he normally does on his way home as he passes my house. I was kind of expecting it and was getting even more paranoid when about an hour later he texts me to say dinner in the oven, come round when ready. So I did! Absolutely nothing was mentioned by him about his forgetfulness and I couldn’t be bothered making an issue out of it. it was left.
    Well that was Tuesday night. ….
    Wednesday brought a whole heap of fresh issues!
    Unbelievable and you couldn’t make it up!
    I came to this country in 1988 from Ireland. I had a six year old daughter at the time. I won’t go into all the horrible times we went through when we first came over, but they were none too pleasant. After about a year I met some Irish girls and stayed with them for a while. ….and in the meantime started a relationship with their brother which came to a rather unpleasant ending emotionally, not physically. I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship. That all happened in about 1989/90.
    Yesterday……guess who tracks me down on Facebook? Him! !!
    That brought back some buried memories.
    So there I am still reeling from the shock of the above when the next thing I know my ex boss texts me to say he’s passing my way and did I want a fag. ….We used to chat a lot in the smoking shelter at work. So that brought back memories.
    Memories, memories.
    We’re in the afternoon now. …another text. Didn’t recognise the number. It was telling me that they were driving down the road I used to live on when I lived in London and how it was still a shit hole and nothings changed. Who the fkn hell is this I thought to myself! So I said I don’t know who you are, but rather you than me! When he told me who he was I was floored again!
    In 1993/94 I fell in love with a Greek waiter who worked in a wine bar near to my office in London. It was him! !!
    This was getting bizarre. Three blasts from the past in one day!
    My son comes home from work wanting me to start working on getting his dad to meet him. That would be the fourth.
    I did get in touch with him. …that’s a whole other story. He’s not very “forthcoming” shall we say as he now has a family which know nothing of me and my son. I told him we weren’t interested in money (as I’ve never once bothered with him or the CSA for a penny), or disrupting his new family, but that all his son wants to do is shake hands and have a pint with his father and get the “wonder what he’s like” thing out of his head. So. ..we’re going to have to wait and see on that one!
    If ever there was a day that would have driven me to gamble it would have been yesterday!!!!

    in reply to: Salvation #30626

    Thank you Harry and Lauren. ..wise words. ..and very kind of you to take the time to write them.
    I’ve been busy most of the morning, time has gone rather quickly today. …met an old colleague for coffee this morning, had a bit of a catch up. Then home again to try and sort some finances. It didn’t go well. ..and so I’m getting irritated. For sure, if I had money I know what I’d be doing now.
    Anyway. ..I haven’t and I’m not!
    I am getting paranoid now though. …I don’t know whether it’s because I got my paperwork through for next week and it’s hit me over the head a bit, or what!
    Or maybe it’s because I’m going to attempt to tell my son this afternoon when he comes back from work, or perhaps it’s because the bf has been giving me the cold shoulder all day! The reason for this I do not know! I think maybe the initial feelings he had of sympathy and protectiveness have turned into “Jeez, do I want to be stuck with this issue for the rest of my life! ” But maybe fears he couldn’t dump me until after next week in case it sent me right over the edge. He went to bed early last night because he was “tired”….so this morning I just asked out straight. .”Are you planning on dumping me after next week? “. The response was “No”….but it didn’t ring true to me.
    Oh well! This could of course be “all in my head”, but when you don’t get a single text message all day. kinda know there’s something up!
    All of this is leading to frustration and irritation! Why can’t these people just say one way or the other? !!
    God dammit! !

    in reply to: Salvation #30623

    Lauren. …I am actually overwhelmed , not only by all you wrote above, but by the time people take on this site to respond so supportively. One day when I’m better I hope I can return the favour.
    I can only think of myself and my issues. ….at the moment. ..which typifies the selfish cow I’ve become.
    If I get through this with even a modicum of success I vow now that I will do my best to support others.
    I’m off to read said poem now!
    Thanks Lauren. ..x

    in reply to: Salvation #30620

    Thank you M….I only hope this determination stays with me.

    The next thing I’m going to have to do is tell my son. He’s going to be wondering where I’m off to next week.
    I’m in two minds whether to tell him or not. I’ve denied I had a gambling problem for so long to him, even though he has had suspicions and he’s suffered from the fallout of my disease. …he’s always been anti gambling. Now his life is going good. …he’s got a good apprenticeship and a lovely girlfriend. However the other week he told me he won 160 on a football bet, which was all well and good until the final sentence he uttered was “It was my last tenner and all! “.
    I said nothing at the time. ….but now alarm bells are ringing.
    What if he takes after me???
    So. ..probably best I come clean and at least warn him of the possible consequences of betting your last tenner on something!
    I don’t think I have any choice but to nip this in the bud now. …or try to. Another life I’ve possibly ruined. Well I know through the years of my gambling I’ve ruined a lot of his years by not being there mentally or financially whilst I’ve been gripped by this thing. Repercussions are far and wide. …
    As for the bf….it’s always been an on/off relationship over the last year or so. ….but now listen to this. ..This is why I am convinced I am mental! !
    Ok. …so he’s a very nice solid man. …not without his own emotional issues. . .His father died of a heart attack in front of him seven years ago and he has been beating himself up about not being able to save him ever since. Long time I know.
    But here’s the thing. ….Since I’ve told him about me he’s been ok about it. …In fact he’s been very understanding. …now I’m thinking to myself well he should have dumped me there and then. …He didn’t, so I’m supposing he hasn’t got the heart to do it until after next week….when maybe he thinks I can cope alone. I don’t want him to be in my life under duress and nor do I want to become emotionally dependant on him. He really hurt me last September. ..and has apologised since. …but that was one of our “off” periods. We don’t talk about that anymore!
    So, when I’m with him . ..I’m constantly thinking that he’s only with me because he could see how difficult it was for me to tell him, and he feels sorry for me now. Coupled with his guilt over last September and now this. …He might be confused! I’m assuming he is. …because I’m not very lovable at the moment. ….more emotionally needy I’d say. …and who wants that? !
    It’s patently obvious to me that I feel I don’t deserve to be loved.
    I don’t.
    And he doesn’t tell me he loves me anyway. …nor I him.
    No doubt I sound like an ungrateful bitch saying this after him helping me out, not once but twice.
    I suppose it’s a different kind of security I’m lacking.
    I don’t know.

    in reply to: Salvation #30618

    I AM powerless over my gambling and my life has become totally unmanageable!
    However, things do not seem so dark today. …This is only day two that I haven’t dabbled in some form or other. …but as we know. ..This is no test whatever due to lack of funds. I am still scared that if I had access to money. ..It would be gone. I’m coasting along at the moment. …In that period where the severity of it dissipates because I can’t afford to hurt myself at the moment by losing more of my life. This is a regular pattern with me. I know I have a huge massive overwhelming problem. ..yet when I can’t let it in through lack of funding. ..It seems to shrink until the next payday.
    So. that I’ve been accepted for residential treatment I am definitely feeling more positive. I’ve been doing an awful lot of soul searching and thinking about various events in my life over the past day or so. Haven’t actually come to any conclusion as to why I’ve let this dreadful illness take me over completely as yet though. There’s rather a lot of past history!
    The main thing is that I’ve shocked myself!
    When I read some of the things that I have written here, I can’t quite believe that I am writing about myself! I am also shocked that since I’ve joined this site I’ve logged on and written something everyday. ..I did have a nagging doubt in my mind that it would dwindle and I’d give up!
    But I haven’t. …and it’s my determination this time that is shocking me!
    I haven’t got that voice telling me I’ll find a way to wriggle out of this mess myself. …and see nothing ahead but a black hole of despair. ..
    I’ve well and truly thrown my hands up in surrender. I cannot do it alone. I’m grateful I’m getting much needed help.
    The bf has paid my mortgage arrears. …so the house is safe for the moment. Repossession was due this week….
    He told me on Saturday this was the last time he would ever help me financially. ..I said good. …that’s the way it has to be. ..otherwise I’ll fall back into the trap of assuming somehow I, or someone else, will always get me out of the messes I create.
    Well I’ve excelled myself this time and created the mother of all messes….
    I’ve got to make sure it’s the last. …

    in reply to: Salvation #30615

    Thanks. …I will. …though since I set up a debt management programme with another company a year or so ago. …I’ve managed to borrow more. ….much more. ..To be honest I actually have no idea how much I owe companies. …never mind individuals. ….
    Guess I’ll just have to start opening the post! !!
    The table it’s sitting on is about to collapse! !

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 34 total)