Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • williame
    Participant

    Went thru your posts, and wanted to take a brief moment to give some advice that may help. I am a compulsive gambler, in and out of recovery for over 30+ years. Im married with 3 boys ages 11, 9 and 6. Here’s my thoughts :

    Start by reading the Serenity Prayer : “God grant me the serenity, to ACCEPT the things I can not change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference. I suggest writing it out and posting it by your bed, then simply say it out loud every morning. It truly is powerful.

    Next, I dont know your age but you sound much younger than me (Im about to be 50 next week). I know its painful to love someone with this addiction, Ive put my wife of 14 years thru alot of pain as well. The main difference is I 100% knew I was powerless over my addiction, and put alot of effort into recovery. Ive had several years of sobriety, then relapse, then recover again. Your husband and I will ALWAYS have this disease. Make sure you understand this clearly and honestly. You are fortunate not to have children with your ex, since they would now be innocent victims to his disease as well. You deserve someone who truly loves you and would love your children should you decide to want to have them. You ex doesnt love you or himself right now, the disease doesnt make room for love.

    Lastly, some advice. Actions speak louder than words. He 1) Broke the marriage over a text 2) Took off to Hawaii and left you alone in Vegas far from your home country and family/friends 3) Stole from you and lied to you, then blamed you for his actions. That isnt love, that harmful manipulation which us CG’s are experts at. 4) Doesnt respond to your texts 5) Continues to gamble. 

    I know this is hard to accept (hence get strength from the serenity prayer) but this is not the actions of someone who loves you. You need to find the strength to love yourself and as hard as it is to read cut the “cancer” being your ex out of your life. I admire you take your vows seriously and want to help, but honestly most of us arent open to help. Your ex is a full blown CG and an expert at escaping. He escapes to gamble, go to strip clubs, even runs to another state. Do yourself a huge favor, google “gam anon meeting Las Vegas” and get to one as soon as possible and DONT HESITATE. There, you will find others that have been thru exactly what you are experiencing and will give you much needed support and advice. I wish you nothing but happiness and someday your own personal freedom from this horrible addiction. You cant save someone who doesnt want to be saved. Start with saving YOURSELF. 

    in reply to: I am blindsided and confused. #4929
    williame
    Participant

    You escaped a life of heartbreak and financial ruin. Find a good man hopefully without a horrible addiction. Wish you all the best.

    in reply to: Addicted sports bettor needs help #31107
    williame
    Participant

    I’ve been where you are at the highest levels of gambling. I lost during my gambling addiction probably well over $1 million dollars (basically whatever I earned during my @ 30 year addiction). I’ll point out what I have learned while going to intense gambling therapy for 2 years and staying clean. First off, if you genuinely don’t want to gamble anymore, you will need to be able to find another career like I had to. Commodities trading is a form of gambling in itself, and you were quite successful at it. I was a professional poker player, and very successful at it as well. There the problem we both have lies, since like myself, you are now wired in your brain to need this “rush” of dopamine to feel satisfied/content in life. You got it while trading commodities, I got it winning almost $1 million playing poker. The problem lies in your case that you found an alternative that gives you even a bigger rush in betting sports, and I found mine betting on sports/horses you name it. Basically what happened to me is I was a problem gambler since I was 16 years old, and get real heavy into betting on sports thru illegal bookies at a young ageof @ 21 (was betting $2000 per game which was the max action he would take, and lost $16,000 one week and couldnt pay). Then in 2004 I discovered online poker, won a seat to the world series of poker and won $175,000. Thus started my “career” in poker. Now, I did make great money at it. But it was also pointless, since all it did was give me the ability to place much larger bets on sports and horses and simply lose everything I made playing poker. So, the real major struggle for me was acknowledging/accepting that I would have to give up poker if I was ever going to recover from my gambling addiction. It was very difficult I’m not going to lie, but when I got to the point of losing everything I had made and having to come clean with my wife with 2 babies to provide for at the time, I just didnt want that feeling of despair/worthlessness/shame and being out of control with this disease anymore. So I made the decision myself and went straight into counseling and received treatment from an excellent gambling counselor and learned alot about myself. See, I always thought is was about the money. But in reality, it was all about the escapement from my trauma as a child inflicted on my my my mother as well as other painful memories. Once I worked thru that which took many sessions to finally see clearly and say out loud that I genuinely forgive you mom for what you did to me as a kid, a huge weight was lifted. Now, I obviously dont know your story, but I will say with confidence that the main reason you got into commodity trading/sports betting is due to a form of escapement from something that pains you from your past. I didnt see it myself when I was in my addiction, but if you do seek counseling and allow yourself to dive deep into your past and allow yourself to finally be honest with yourself (a huge step which takes time), you may be surprised at what you find is fueling this behavior/addiction. One last note, if you truly want to find recovery, be prepared to make a complete lifestyle change including type of work/friendships you are involved in. Unfortunately, there will always be that part of your brain that craves the rush that we have both experienced for the rest of our lives, but learning to recognize these as urges and finding healthy alternatives to replace them will allow you the peace you are seeking. Hope this helps, and dont feel alone as others like myself have felt the pain you are feeling today. There is a way to relieve yourself from it if you are genuinely ready to accept it, and do what it takes to achieve it.

    williame
    Participant

    Just realized that its been over 1 1/2 years since my last wager on 9/2/12. Havent been to therapy in a while, but I honestly don’t feel the need for it presently, and its not cheap (I spent several thousand on intense 1 on 1 therapy to find recovery from this horrible addiction). Must tell you though, I have had a harder time dealing with life’s “bad days” and find myself getting aggravated more by these things. Ive been told that I had gambling in the past to escape to from this, so I wouldn’t have to deal with these things in my past. Now, life without gambling is no easy walk in the park, its just better to live without gambling taking away from it. Have 2 vacations planned for my wife and three boys ages 7/5/2 now in April and August. We also bought our 1st new Dodge Caravan this week. These are things you can afford when gambling isn’t eating away at your finances. Wishing everyone still suffering to seek help like I did, with some genuine commitment and a good form of therapy you can actually recover from this addiction. Feel free to start at the beginning of this story, which I started back when I was in the very beginning of recovering from my gambling addiction. Wish everyone here the best and hoping me sharing my story helps someone.

    williame
    Participant

    Wow, cant believe so much time has past since my last post. Just want everyone here to know I am still gamble free. Struggling with dealing with the stresses of life, but that’s just life. Hope all is well with everyone, and wishing everyone here sobriety from this horrible addicition.

    williame
    Participant

    Havent been here in awhile. Just wanted to update everyone that I am continuing to live a gamble free life of 11+months with my 1 year date coming up on 9/2. Been doing alot of vacationing with my wife and kids (getting ready to go camping as i type this) and living a clean gamble free life. Still get the occassional urge to play poker, but learned good lessons on how to put those in check. Simply not worth the risk of losing all I have. Dont miss the stress of my addiction and thru alot of very hard work i am enjoying the rewards. Got a little money saved in the bank, and am putting it to positive things. Hope all is well with everyone, and pray for those still in the grips of this horrible addicition that you find the courage soon to truly surrender to it like I did and seek proper counseling that works best for you.

    williame
    Participant

    Today marks 9 months gamble free!!! Celebrated with a vacation with my wife and 3 boys to Virginia. We had a wonderful time swimming, going to the zoo etc. In the grips of my addiction, Id be at an online poker table or at the racetrack. Instead, I had a week of laugher and joy with my family, and for that I am truly blessed. So happy to not feel the need for escapement thru gambling anymore. Recovery is there, you just have to be ready to surrender to this horrible addiction and face your underlying reasons that drive your desire to gamble. Life is so  much richer without gambling in it. I pray for everyone who still suffers from this addiction.

    williame
    Participant

    Happy to check in and report I am 8+ months gamble free. As a reward to myself, I bought a Playstation 3 with the money I would of wasted on gambling, and it felt wonderful. Still off the prozac going med free, feeling better each day. Depression has lifted for @ a month now and am acomplishing much more. On break from my therapy for now, planning on sitting in on some GA meetings (since they are free) for maintenance.Thanks Neva for the kind remarks, Im proud of my sobriety, felt good to sleep thru the Kentucky Derby this year and have no wager on it 🙂
    Wishing everyone here at GT a happy gamble free day!

    williame
    Participant

    Id like to PROUDLY announce that I am now 6 months free from my gambling addiction! Its such a wonderful feeling to be free of this horrible addiction. I reflect back to where I began 6 months ago and am so blessed to find a great counselor who specializes in gambling addiction. Plan on celebrating my sobriety this weekend with my wife and 3 boys.

    in reply to: I am so very close to the edge #11324
    williame
    Participant

    Hi Crushedsoul and welcome back!
    I check almost daily to see if you came back, and am happy you did. Thanks for the kind words on 6 months gamble free, Im proud of them. I see by your last post that you are still suffering severely from your gambling addiction, and im sorry to hear it. The good news is there’s HOPE and TREATMENT for your disease. I have a wonderful counselor who specializes in gambling addiction and is AMAZING (she really "gets it" since she is a CG herself). I have been seeing here for 6 months now, and the difference she has made cant be overstated. I see you are also from the USA as i am. I would be happy to send you her contact info, she does live skype sessions which work very well for me, as well as live 1 on 1 in  upstate New York. Im very confident you talking to her would change your life, like it did mine. It took me a LONG time to find the right person to treat me, I spents countless days searching the internet for treatment. If you want to set up a consultation with her, contact me via email and Ill send you her contact info. Im 100% confident that if you do and begin to treat the underlying reasons that drive you to gamble compulsively, you can be free of this addiction and find inner peace again. Personally i found it FAR more effective than GA. Feel free to email me at skiboardguru@yahoo.com and Ill send you her info as well as a few youtube links for you to watch of her. Until then, I hope you find the self clarity in that you deserve to be happy and hopefully you will soon decide to take on this horrible addiction with some help. Its the most important decision I ever made. Hope to hear from you soon, hang in there. Recovery IS possible if you WANT it 🙂

    in reply to: I am so very close to the edge #11318
    williame
    Participant

    Hey Crushed,
    Hope this helps….
    Ive been where you have been, even to a deeper level financially. Ive lost $1,000,000+ to gambling in 30 years. I once lost $16,000 in one week to an illegal bookie with NO money to pay him. As you know, this doesnt go over well and dont know to what level of organized crime your bookie is involved, but mine was VERY connected. To the point when I manned up to my mistake, I had to get in a Lincoln with 2 VERY scary men in the back seat strapping guns. I confessed that I screwed up bad but made a strong point that I was a man and not running from my mistake and wanted to make it right. They werent happy and I got yelled/cursed at alot initially, but in the end they even said they respected me doing "the right thing" and set up a weekly payment plan. Their "collection man" (he was 6′ 6" and probably 350+ pounds) came to my job every Friday to collect $200 from me. About a year and a half later, I made my last payment, and shook the guys hand and said "I hope I NEVER see you again". He replied "I hope I NEVER see you again either, but I respect you for repaying your debt and being a man". So, bottom line I read you have a large debt with a bookie. Its up to you how you want to handle it, but like they told me it’s not like the movies where they kill people over a gamble debt, they just want to be paid". Id man up and tell them that you have an addiction (they are used to it, most of their clients are CG’s) and want to end the nightmare. Request a permanant cutoff from any future action and set up a weekly payment plan. Just some advice from one who used to bet dimes on many games weekly. You can also try GA (which i have done) but honestly what has really changed my life and was more effective is going to a gambling addiction specialist for therapy. You will come to find out that there’s an underlying emotional pain that is driving you to gamble in a compulsive/extreme nature. Trust me, it works but at the same time its not easy. Then again, there’s no greater feeling than not feeling the urge to gamble anymore and not feeling worthless/******/depressed/suicidal. Wish you all the best, and if anything else I hope this helps in the simple fact that yoy arent alone in what you have done, there’s other CG’s out there that have walked the same painful walk. Let today be the day where you say "I done torturing myself and I deserve to be happy". One day at a time at first, and set simple goals maybe make your first goal to not gamble for 30 days. Looking forward to reading how you are doing, keep us all posted on your progress.

    williame
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies and advice 🙂 Feeling much better today, my therapist suggested cleaning my home to create a more positive living environment so i spent the entire day cleaning. Suprisingly, it helped quite a bit, and I suggest it to everyone 🙂

    williame
    Participant

    I am now 5+ months gamble free. Thank you sherry123 for your response, it helped alot. What Im learning now and I hope it helps other CG’s is that I was very sick emotionally from abuse as a child from my mom. Now the gambling is gone, but all the years of pain and sadness are still there and now without the gambling to escape I am now forced to face a strong case of depression, which was the driving force behind my compulsive gambling (which i didnt realize till now). Trying to be patient and continue therapy, which helps. Im currently on an antidepressant (prozac 40mg) and it helps, but not that much. Will continue to work on myself to allieve this depression, any advice would be appreciated.

    in reply to: HUGE Setback over Holiday……Support Needed! #11782
    williame
    Participant

    Read your post and want to comment. First, I want you to realize that you didnt have a HUGE setback, but a short relapse in your addiction. It happens to virtually every CG who decides to abstain from gambling, so dont be so hard on yourself. A huge setback in my eyes would be you started gambling again and it progressively got worse and you suffered thru it for years, or possibly for the rest of your life. Look at the positives, you realize you have a problem, you currently realize that your defenses are very weak against the addiction and that you need help. You can gain online support here, but it seems to me you need more hands on support such as GA or a therapist (I do one on one therapy and it saved my life). You also need to reestablish stronger barriers since your defenses are very weak right now and put your money in control of a loved one or a friend you trust (you should have NO access to money right now). Self ban from all acessable casinos and install software to block all online gaming sites. Once you strengthen your defenses to your gambling addiction, the ability to begin recovery will be easier. Im in New York (not far from you) and know an awesome therapist who specializes in gambling addiction if you want a reference (she does skype sessions online as well as live sessions). She has taught me alot, one of the fundamental lessons Ive learned is not to be so hard on myself and dont set your early goals too high. Take baby steps early that are attainable and build on those. Make today the first day of your "new life" and make some progress today to recovery. Dont let a relapse get you down, they happen. Just brush yourself off, learn from your relapse and set up your barriers to make a future relapse more difficult to occur.

    williame
    Participant

    Nothing feels better than to start the new year gamble free. With a commitment to treatment and a desire to be free of this gambling addiction, a bright future is now possible. Want to thank my therapist and those here on this site for all your help, I wouldnt be 4 months gamble free without your help and guidance. Happy New Year everyone 🙂

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)