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  • in reply to: Valentine’s Day ! #49645

    It’s day 2, a new day. Still have this hollow, aching sombre feeling in my stomach of heaviness and feeling low. But I live in the present and appreciate the sun shining, having a job, working from home. I can’t look to the future. I have to live in the now. I feel so alone, so off track while others have got their lives together. But I will fight and get past this. I am determined. I have set myself goals to accomplish today. I’ve neglected important issues like doing my company tax but that becomes due now.

    Today, I will walk down the road and join the gym. I will throw myself into the activities that I enjoyed and made me feel better. I have put on more weight and feel ugly and fat about myself. I’m trying to like myself and be kind to myself. I rob myself of things to use my money on gambling. I have nothing to show for my earnings. I refuse to work to gamble all my money away. These early mornings, nights away to work abroad are hard to earn my money but amount to nothing when I resort to this bad habit.

    I have to save my money, I need to save my money. I need to feel I’m worthy and valued. I am here for a purpose, not a lost cause. Today is a one step in that direction to know that purpose, to be happy, to enjoy life and be loved. Today, I have focus but I have a heavy heart and feel so empty, stripped of everything. I need to stop placing such a high value and importance on money.

    in reply to: Our story. #31016

    Alison, you have made the right decision to come here. I understand your pain and guilt for not being able to do what you could for your son. Gambling and money are never the real reasons we gamble. We turn to gambling to satisfy the void, the pain of our situation and sometimes not being understood and hope that the illusion of gambling with one foul swoop will take us out and give us the power to make the choices we want. But it doesn’t happen that way. In fact gambling controls you and robs you of everything; your self worth, your kindness, your honesty, your joy.

    I became addictive with online gambling too which was so easy to do and could not get out. Money burnt in my hand and I would sacrifice all my time, money for bills and eventually all my salary to feed my habit and urge for gambling.

    I have found that taking my focus off myself and me and focusing on others gave me focus and a better perspective on life. Your little boy needs you. He should be your focus. Don’t waste time and years and loss of dignity on gambling. I couldn’t stop or help myself for 20 years and only now managing to take control of my life by doing simple, normal things that matter and learning to be content and deal with my situation and massive debt. That scared nervous little girl inside you will always urge you to gamble to get rid of your situation and try to make things right quickly. But that little girl is not responsible and your adult self needs to silence her and speak to her so that you as the adult take control to manage your finances.

    It is not easy and we have a mountain that faces us. But with God’s love and strength we can slowly get there and gain back our self esteem and chip away at our debt and feel more happy within ourselves and start enjoying life again.

    Don’t beat yourself up, Alison. It is done and you are where you are. Be kind to yourself. Guilt and remorse will only make things worst. You have made a start. Move on and put it all behind you and don’t focus on that mountain. Just focus on each day only and replace it with good things, even chores around the house, reading or playing with your little boy.

    I pray that the fundraising will be successful and you will achieve your target. That is in itself will help you towards your goal. I have also joined a charity race to raise funds for disadvantaged children and that resets your compass inside.

    Stay strong and focused but just get up, brush it off and move on when you do fall or get down but don’t dwell on it or give it more attention than it deserves. Learn to love yourself again.

    God bless and lots of love.


    in reply to: Here I am #31032

    Well done for self excluding permanently from those accounts. You have a mind shift when you do that. You’re telling yourself you are not going there anymore and this is for good, for real now.
    Yes the devil finds work for idle hands. You have treated this as a hobby as I did and think you’re in control and just having fun. But that is the illusion. You’re not having fun, you’re seriously playing to win only till you lose all cos you can’t walk away.

    Find constructive things like going for a walk, potting in the garden or something you enjoy doing to take up this time which was spent with your ‘hobby’. By doing these simple things, we learn to appreciate life and feel normal again and start learning the true value of life, those close to us and money.

    But there is always a sense of void, something missing, even lack of acceptance and not being content that led us to gambling in the first place, to give us that high and illusion of being accepted and being in a world where we have power. But money is not power. Wealthy people are unhappy so it does not bring you happiness. You need to find your authentic self that makes you happy, what you enjoyed, what made you laugh and happy before gambling, even when you were young. That was a time when you felt accepted, enjoyed and liked who you were and money did not give you that.

    Enjoy the company of friends and family are very comforting and heartwarming but things we have to get used to again after cutting ourselves off in this dark, secret world of ours.

    As Charles suggested, plan your time, your days with constructive and simple things that make a difference to help you get out of this hole and stay out.

    Stay strong and focused.

    All the best.


    in reply to: A better life right now #27192

    Pat, so good to hear you’re getting on so well and managed to buy your son a car. What a lovely position to be in. That’s all due to you turning your back on gambling. I’ve found that when you get those urges, it is the little scared girl inside you trying to take control to get you out but she doesn’t have the adult experience or knowledge to do that. You need to speak loudly and clearly to her and let her know that you as an adult are to make adult decisions and choices to manage this. By responding to the inner child and being kind to yourself, will help you to think rationally and be an adult in this and not succumb to that nervous scared girl inside you.

    It’s never going to be quick and easy. That way we fall and relapse. We need to learn that this road does get dry, barren and very dusty at times but it’s by walking this road, reaching out and evaluating ourselves that we can beat this. I find that God has been my strength along this road and led me to become a better person, changed my way of thinking and the more I walk along with Him at my side, I change. My thoughts change and I become content and don’t fear facing the future.

    This is the process we need to go through, going through the furnace as dross and coming out as refined gold.

    When you focus on God and what really matters in our lives, that temptation goes. The little girl inside is calm and we feel safe cos we know it is not all about us. Just as you focused on your son. This will pass, Pat. Keep trusting and enjoy every moment of the day without looking to the future. That will all fall into place when our eyes are focused on Him and living just for today.

    Lots of love,

    in reply to: Life in the stop lane #28195

    Hi Liberty, hope you’re feeling stronger today and not so sad today. When we’re down, things are magnified and somehow that inner child brings to mind things in our life to make us worry more and feel overwhelmed with life. I was there a few days ago but learnt it is ok to feel down at times.

    We’ve come a long way and with this huge change that little girl still cries out for attention and we need to find ways to pacify her and settle her down again. Like you I am sensitive and take everything to heart. I can’t compartmentalise things. It is not as much about being confident or courageous as being accepted and you accepting and liking you for you and where you are now.

    You need to learn to be kind to yourself and not hard on yourself. That way you learn to pacify and grow that inner child into an adult with strong feelings. Don’t criticise yourself or compare yourself to others and feel weaker. Your adult self is strong and confident but at moments like these, it’s the inner child crying out and feeling scared, afraid and worried. Just accept that time and do what you need to to pacify her and be kind to you but then move on and make tomorrow count with new perspective and hope.

    Stay strong….. this is normal. It is all part of the process. you are exactly where you should be today.

    Warm Regards,

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30394

    Hi Liberty,

    Thanks for your post. You are so right. I find the simple things in life so precious and worth its weight in gold. Like going for a walk, pulling up alongside a field with sheep on a beautiful summer’s evening that make me realise how blessed I am. I can see, feel and be at peace with myself and for the first time in my life, I can enjoy my surroundings and environment with the lovely hills, views, forests and country walks.

    I couldn’t see this before let alone appreciate it. Yet it is the simple things in life that we treasure and remember most like that walk on the beach or loving words said by a loved one on a stroll. It is never that expensive romantic dinner at the most expensive restaurant that one remembers, yet we place so much emphasis on money as if it equates quality and value.

    How right you are. Money never solves our problems cos if it did, there wouldn’t be so many unhappy wealthy people. That’s very good, Liberty. Our gambling was never about the money yet I couldn’t understand that and would get angry when I was told that it is not about the money. I didn’t get it. I used to think it is EVERYTHING to do with money ! I need that money cos I am worried sick and miserable when I am broke. I need money to get to work, to pay my rent, to clear my debt, to claw back all my losses, to get where I want to be in order to feel good and on a high and to make my life good and fulfilled !

    But it’s so good when we stop, reflect and realise this and can work through our true issues of what motivated us to gamble. Cos when we delve deep, we open ourselves up to understand who we really are and can learn to like ourselves despite our shortcomings. It keeps us humble so that despite being rich or poor, our true qualities of goodness which comes with integrity, dignity, kindness, caring and honesty are portrayed and makes life all the more worthwhile.

    We learn to appreciate our families, friends and others and not try to think we are better than anyone. We are all the same and with God’s strength and unconditional love for us, we can still become all we ever wanted to be and have hope cos without hope, we perish. Our best years are yet to come !

    Hang in there, Liberty. There is a beautiful life after gambling.

    Lots of love,

    in reply to: scared #30479


    I’m back too after my stint in rehab. It has done me good but the real work starts in recovery. I share your frustrations of the wasted years and money lost which cannot be recovered. I long to own my own home but have to walk this journey to hopefully get there one day. I am in a better place.

    Your feelings and understanding of a lack of self esteem and confidence is the root cause for leading to gambling. But you have a wonderful loving circle of family and an amazing man to make you feel alive and good about yourself. You are blessed and loved and need to cherish each day and live in the present.

    You are a beautiful, kind, loving person and can achieve all you want without gambling and with clear head space to do those things that make you happy and are free, it doesn’t cost a cent. But walking through this middle road to get there will encounter feelings of despair which is natural but don’t linger there for long cos you have so much more surrounding you to be all you ever wanted to be.

    Be kind to yourself and not hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up, it is counterproductive. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be today and that is fine. Enjoy today cos it won’t be back ever again.

    Big Hug and Lots of love,

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30392

    Dear Vera, Micky, Pat, P, Jenny, Liberty and others….

    Your love, support, care and mostly your prayers have carried me through to keep me strong and make it this far.
    Appreciate your postings and words of encouragement. Just hope that my experience so far would help you through, too.

    Let me know how you are doing.
    Would love to hear from you.

    Love you all,

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30391

    Post Residential Treatment…..

    I don’t know where to start but need to say that I looked at the residential treatment as my only hope of hitting this CG troll cos I was a real goner and couldn’t help myself. Money and I went all the way to the last cent to CG, without a single thought of any responsibility or consequence.

    At GMA, it was a slow and painful start of having to look back and mark the times in my life when I could recall I was happy and sad times that stood out in my life. My life started taking a nose dive with peaks and troughs to overcome my true underlying issues which drove me to gambling as a coping mechanism.

    Facing one’s fears and painful experiences in one’s life which reared its ugly head as you dig deep to extract these issues, totally exposes one where you felt scared and needed to run for cover but that cover was no longer there. The gambling was gone and I had to face the reality head on.

    The programme was very well structured in exploring how gambling distorted one’s thinking and driving us further away into or own dark secret world of deception and lies. We could see how gambling totally disregarded anything in our lives even to the extent of harming our families, relationships and health and at the expense of who we are, by saving that last cent for gambling rather than food or necessities. We continued to gamble without getting up to eat or drink, only to feel awful the next day cos we lost it all AGAIN ! We became totally reckless and lived on the edge exposing ourselves to great danger just to gamble but we will continue to be in denial to ourselves and to others, thinking we can still control it, if only we stopped at that big win and didn’t play on and all the rest of the lies to convince ourselves. We just always seem to rationalise why we gamble or have to gamble to ourselves.

    We then looked at changes we need to make in our lives to create a gambling free life. These all made sense and were logical and rational. Our phones were taken away from us so there was no chance of gambling as some use their phones to gamble but I didn’t. Having no TV to watch and no phone made one do simple meaningful things like going for a walk, thinking and hearing one’s thoughts, chatting and sharing with others of similar mind in a very caring and safe way. That was the beauty for all. Being able to be completely open and honest for once with yourself and others who played the same tricks, was in itself satisfying and a relief. But one also shared an affinity with the group as others had very painful and self destructive experiences which one could only reach out and support and admire others for coming this far.

    My breakthrough came when we looked at our self esteem. We uncovered issues that created a low self esteem, mostly stemming from childhood or earlier on in our youth. I found that I was always accepting, trying to please and doing things even though I didn’t want to or wasn’t happy to do, just to find acceptance and seek approval to the extent that others would use me and bully me. So I’ve always put others’ needs and wants over mine and totally lost liking myself or who I really was, just for acceptance and approval.

    That was when the light came on for me, my breakthrough. I learnt that I became this little shy, scared, frightened girl that needed support and gambling was my escape; my way of living in a deluded world where I believed that money would take me away from all this and achieve the future I imagined which I felt I deserved and gambling was the tool to get me there. A world where I can be the person I needed to be, accepted, liked for who I am and not for what I can give and debt free with financial freedom.

    So my inner child would continually drive me to gambling and bully me with that inner voice letting me know I am useless, I have no life or purpose and these intrinsic thoughts of despair and feeling low and a nobody would lead me back to gambling, caught up in a vicious cycle that was triggered by any negativity in my life.

    When I left GMA I was on a high. At the end of the month, I had little money left, was still broke but serviced my debts. I was still broke with minimal to spare but I had been there before for the wrong reasons and knew I could make it through to payday as before.

    I was so driven, was so busy with activities, taken back to cycling, being constructive at home, working in the garden, unpacking boxes and leading a very structured super busy social life, entertaining at home while riding the crest of the honeymoon wave. Nothing could stop me. Gambling didn’t cross my mind and I was well on my way to recovery. I had it made !

    My sister still tried to control me but this time I pushed back and was told to remove the rest of my things stored in her warehouse. I managed this with the support of my neighbour and felt good, another one knocked off my bully list. I was making progress.

    Till the trough came this week….. the true test……
    At the beginning of the month, I had a substantial amount of my salary taken out of my bank for a standing order which I forgot to stop after paying the card in full. I was told it would take 10 days to refund it from the card company to my bank which I accepted, didn’t like it but I couldn’t do anything about it and wasn’t going to allow it to me get down. But when it didn’t come through on Tuesday this week as expected, I called them, only to find that they hadn’t processed it !

    Trying to behave in an adult fashion and not allow the inner child to bully me, I lived with the fact that my debts and card payments would be overdue and a utility debit order returned. But the same day my neighbour called to say he was at Halfords and said he would buy the engine oil which he used for my car and which I had to replace and I could just pay him back. That was the last drop of water that tipped me over the edge to spilling. The little girl stepped up to say, ‘that’s ok’ because the adult person couldn’t bear the shame of letting him know I don’t have the money to pay him back and tell him not to worry, I will get it ! It only cost 30 quid but it was 30 quid I didn’t have and that drove me way down into a trough…….worrying, anxious, feeling hopeless and hating what gambling has done to me and being constantly broke even when not gambling.

    But I’ve had to walk this middle road now as jumping from a CG to gamble-free and living on a high from peak to peak doesn’t gell and will send one into a relapse. I’ve also learnt that replacing this low down feeling with cycling or another activity is good to increase your wellbeing but does not address the issue with avoidance. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to feel this way when I have no money but I can use my adult professional self to help my weak inner child to grow up and behave in an adult fashion. I can have a dialogue with my inner child to let her know it will come through later and be an adult in taking action to speak to my neighbour and let him know I’ll pay him at the end of the week which I have and has removed the worry and anxiety.

    Learning to be honest is healthy. It is good to talk to yourself in the mirror and pat yourself on the back for coming this far and making good progress, to see the change in your behaviours and the positive things that have come out of not gambling. Being able to feel good about oneself a lot more and taking the power back, learning to be kind to yourself and not beating yourself up for failure but rewarding yourself with time, head space and peace of mind. Spending more time reading the Bible and getting the strength from God to carry on and have hope, to stay positive without any fear for the future. Just being able to live again. At times after my quiet times, I find I am so happy, have a joy for no reason at all, just feel blessed with who I am and what I have and liking me. It is such a good place to be.

    Gambling plays mind games with your head, is so destructive and abusive and impacts every area of one’s life and emotions. I strive to live in the present. Appreciate and be thankful and content with what I have now. And so I wait till the money comes through and learn how to grow this inner child and pacify her till I get there.

    I’ve also learned and found that gambling is not an illness that cannot be cured. You’re not a compulsive gambler for life ! It is dealing with our internal issues that requires addressing and getting to the root causes for gambling that will lead to a safe gamble free life with no risks or fear or relapse. But we need to walk through that middle road to get there and cannot skip the middle road from all to nothing, that’s when we can relapse.

    Hope this would provide some insight of my journey I walk and hope you can take some courage and hope for your future too.

    Stay focused, live in the present and stay strong. It IS possible.

    Love you all,

    in reply to: New and feeling alone #30649

    Mama, we all feel alone as we hide our dark secret and not let anyone know cos we hope to get that big win. Unfortunately, that never happens and even when we do win, we play it all back. I’ve got yo the point of no return. I cannot control my gambling or help myself so I suffer in silence with the guilt and remorse and loss of time and wasted money. However, when we’re vulnerable it only leads to more gambling cos we get taken out of our situation with excitement, adrenalin rush and an illusion.
    Just take it one day at a time. Don’t look back or beat yourself up. This is an illness we cannot control. But with each day we can learn to change how we behave or think and keep busy to help reduce the urge. Often anything that makes us feel bad, drives us back to our ‘comfort’ and ‘ happy’ zone.
    Just hang in here as Sybil says and you’ll find the support and help you need. Write how you’re feeling, how you’re doing and how your day is going in your journal, it all helps to vent and come to terms with this demon and get to beat it. I’m going into residential care next week to conquer this do that my life and next decade will not be what is has been for the last 20 years or more.

    Stay focused and keep posting.

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30382

    Thanks, Mick.
    Feel like I’m grabbing the last and only lifeline I have with only my head just above the surface taking in gulps of water as the waves hit me with my body being dragged along. Lost in despair and hopelessness. Damned if I do gamble and damned if I don’t. Just going nowhere and it’s only the 5th today. I don’t see the difference.

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30380

    Indeed, Micky. The three of us will have to live on love and fresh air…..well for me it will just be fresh air….
    I get charged with over £100 for bank charges every month as it goes over my OD limit and I’m working out of my OD. And you’re right there’s nothing I can do about it. I dare not pquestion as I fear my OD will be removed and then I’ll truly be stuffed. I’m also just keeping my head down till the end of the month. I have no choice. Had the energy direct debit returned and could do nothing about it when the bank suggested I deposit money to avoid the unpaid fee. So I just have to take this all on the chin.

    Tough one, Vera that your hubby doesn’t know about the lump sum and hasn’t asked. You’re blessed that he’s paying for your physio. Hope you feel better.

    I filled up my tank with petrol when I got paid which is slowly dwindling which has to lget me to GMA. I paid my credit cards which has little bit of credit after also been hit with almost just as much interest as I paid on the card so plan to use that for the trip back as I don’t think I have enough fuel for a return trip.

    Micky, thanks for your support on my stay at GMA and this journey. I have 12 week online support program on here after that and another 2 day stay after the 12 weeks. So it’s some journey. Received a courtesy call from them today and will get the agreement in the post tomorrow.

    But I’m as miserable, agitated, anxious and frustrated as hell like my hands are tied. Just wonder if I did gamble if I may have won some to get over this hurdle and have to remind myself…. I’ll just get the same outcome.

    Still think of the amount I’ve spent on gambling in the last year and realise I would’ve won more than I expected to win gambling if I had not gambled, if that makes sense. What I spent was more than any win or amount when I was up.

    Micky, you’re blessed with such a serene and scenic surroundings. It’s a place to go,when you’ve got no money and makes you appreciate life and brings peace and solitude amidst all this noise and madness we’re in. I used to love walking along the coast to Helen’s Bay and back,. It made me feel alive and anew.

    So it looks like we’re going to have to take turns to paddle our slow boat to China, guys. We’ve run out of fuel, we’re drifting cos there’s no wind and would be lucky to see any life or another vessel passing by anywhere near us. There’s not even any sea life about. Just hope we don’t have to scoop out water along the way to stay afloat.

    Just feel so disillusioned , fed up and depressed. I like being a recluse so I don’t have to pretend or put on my mask.
    Neighbour started mowing my front lawn today and when I went out to thank him, he offered to do the back garden as well. Feel so rotten that I cannot offer to take them out for a meal and they’re looking after my cats while I’m away, too. He knocked on my kitchen window after 8pm to call me to see the hedgehog he feeds in their garden. I thought that was nice but felt and looked like a tramp with unwashed hair tied up, tights, t-shirt and trainers, unkempt. Haven’t been outdoors since Sunday and don’t want to be seen.

    Fortunate to be working from home. May have to go to do a job in Germany when I get out. Just as well my company card is paid up to pay for the travel or I would have been done and thought of suicide before asking my family for a loan to pay my card.
    Just not in a good place now. Can’t think, can’t sleep, don’t know where the hours go or what I do during the day except for work but still go to bed so late at night without any household chores or cleaning done. Just don’t get round to it and the day is done. But have to do it all before next week. Hopeless, destitute, dismal, doomed.

    in reply to: Salvation #30631

    Talk about your past visiting you but all in one day! Couldn’t believe as I read your post it just got worst like what more could hit you. It never rains, it pours.

    So happy that you stayed grounded and didn’t turn to gambling, only cos you self excluded. You were so strong. Well done, Andrea.

    So good you took the moral high ground with your bf and there you see he invited you for dinner. My son is 23 now but would’ve reacted the same as yours if he was with me. They really mean well and want to help. They’re so innocent in their thinking but had to laugh at his reason behind the name change. Just hope that your son’s father gets back to at least meet with him. He’s still his father and owes it to him.

    My father always warned me to make amends with my ex as when he got older, he would go looking for him and may leave me to stay with his father. They need that role figure in their life. Fortunately my brothers and father played that role for my son.
    Glad today went better.
    Just put down that blinkin’ panda ! Lol !


    in reply to: Salvation #30627

    Andrea, so much going on and having to deal with before you go. I went into a flat spin when I received my letter. All kinds of thoughts, insecurities and doubts went through my head.
    Don’t become anxious about the relationship. He may not know how to deal with it, too. He certainly won’t be comforting you. My ex was the same. They’ll just keep quiet and are also trying to come terms with it but don’t interpret it or doubt what he told you. Just accept and believe it. You have enough on your plate and need to focus on you now.
    Don’t make it any harder on yourself by reading into things.
    Did you manage to speak to your son ? Holding you up in prayer.

    in reply to: A new day is dawning……. #30377

    Feeling, flat, disillusioned and ugly today.Mostly cos I know I have to do something to lose weight but have no motivation.
    Just feel at a loose end. Don’t know why ?
    I went back to Jan 2014 on my bank statements and added up ALL the money I’ve lost to gambling. The long statements with reams of gambling transactions starting with £100 the bigger and bigger amounts desperately trying to recoup. I could feel the desperation in those transactions. I refused to be beaten yet I could never beat the house. If only…….sooooo much. I couldn’t bear to go back any further. A year’s worth is enough to make me sick to the core. I could never have that again or get it back. Have to write it off. All is meaningless. Waste of time, money, life and opportunity. Reduces one to nothing. Such a waste and here I am, gamble free and still broke. Got a text from bank to deposit £140 to cover debit order or I’ll be charged £8. Couldn’t do anything about it. I have a £10 debit order on 10th too but haven’t got that either. Over my overdraft limit, too. Guess the only positive is, it hasn’t gone on gambling.
    Filled up car and is only means of getting to GMA next week. Only have £4 in my purse. These long empty, skint, drawn out months are taking its toll on me. 4 days into the new month with not a dime to spare. 24 more days to go to payday. Becoming the story of my life…. with or without gambling.
    Just hate it. Hate myself for getting into this. Just have to see that next year this time God willing I have paid up debts and a nest egg.
    Just another day…..

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