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    • #173551
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi
      First time on this forum. Been a compulsive gambler for many years. Just basically had a massive 5/6 month gambling bender. Blown thousands. Online roulette is ny downfall.
      A year ago I had cancelled gambling transactions on my bank card. I was in a great position. Plenty of money in the bank. Had told myself not to go back to it.
      However it may be a familiar story. I went back and chased losses. Twice I dug myself out of a hole. The third time I went back that was it. I blew loads. Chased to a point where I have emptied my account.
      Thing is I should have been content, but I wasn’t. Now I feel so stupid, i lie awake at night, I don’t eat right and smoke heavier than ever before. Any advice on how to let it go would be much appreciated. Take care all

    • #173556
      zoya
      Modérateur

      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 that 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 Thursdays 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!

    • #173580
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Start of Day 2
      Firstly I would like to thank Zoya, Charles and Slotjunkie for the chats they had with me yesterday. Particularly Charles who gave me plenty of ideas how to put things in place to stop and to put things in perspective. The chat groups are so useful.
      I have now registered with Gamstop and messages are coming through about accounts being closed down. I will also be self excluding from bookmakers shops. As that leaves potential to bet again.
      I will also be attending gamblers anonymous. I have done this before but paid it lip service. I never went on Gamstop back then, yes, I self excluded from a lot of sites, I put a block on my lap top. I blocked my bank card (this was able to be unblocked with a 3 day wait, not enough for someone with an appetite for destruction). But I never blocked my phone, or excluded from bookies.
      I realise I just wasn’t committed enough, guess I always thought I could go back. Control it this time, maybe experience the buzz of winning again.
      Now I have had a bit of a « light bulb » moment. I CAN’T control it, gambling controls me. I am not able, to have a fun bet, maybe that is sad, but at the end of the day I CAN be better off without the need to gamble.
      This time I can stop for good. I can’t look back. What is gone is gone. I can use this experience to be a better man.
      Those moments when I used to jump about the room and clench my fists after a big win (that I would inevitably give back) Can be replaced by a clenching of fists that at the end of the day I HAVE NOT GAMBLED.

    • #173604
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Early evening Day 2
      Trying to do things differently this time to put things in place for recovery.
      Registered with Gamstop today. To think I never did it before seems a bit crazy now. I thought I could be strong enough not to need it plus as it is a subscription service I didn’t want to pay for it! At £2.50 a month, less than the price of a coffee at most places! I now see it as an investment in my recovery and as I have spent hundreds on 1 spin of a wheel then it’s madness not too!
      I got through an important time after work. I would often come home, be in the house on my own before my partner returned from work for example and have that as betting time. Particularly if something during the day had wound me up or when I was chasing losses. Generally things got worse and it inevitably would affect my mood in the evening. Plus it was also time to look at tips for football matches later in the evening. This would leave some of my evenings watching a game I wasn’t actually that interested in, it was for betting purposes to generate excitement or constant checks on my phone to check the scores making me distracted from anything else going on.
      A big downfall has also been surplus money in my account. Right now I just can’t bet I am basically down to zero. So when hopefully I do build up extra I will put it in an easy access savings account. So I can get it when I really need it and stop any temptation for really big gambling benders on my bankcard.
      So today I left my phone in the car deliberately, went into the house and just sat down with a cup of tea. My mind is still obviously whirring like mad after a recent relapse but at least I was not actually involved in gambling or scrolling through sports betting tips. In future hopefully this can be a time when I just can learn to just chill out, read, exercise again, go walking. Walk into town, buy a magazine and sit in a coffee shop. Anything to prevent the urges.
      Life could certainly be more comfortable and fulfilling without gambling. I think we all reaĺly know that. It’s about stopping those little demons that encourage us to have that first bet. I am thinking just now that I don’t really care if I stay a bit skint forever and don’t try and win big to cover holidays or whatever else I convinced myself I could buy if I gambled. I would rather be skint and have peace of mind that I don’t gamble.

    • #173634
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Start of day 3
      So done 2 days without gambling. Been thinking deeply about the whole aspects of lots of issues about gambling and why it is a curse for those of us with a compulsive nature.
      A positive point is if I have 2 days without I can do 2,4,8 and so on. A gambler mentality when building an accumulator perhaps, but it shows it can be done.
      The negative slant on that is that I have little actual ability to place any bets, I have little money left and I feel so sick with myself that I just don’t have any interest in it right now.
      Past experiences have shown that I have often started betting again when I get to feel a little comfortable or complacent. I think there is that certain amount of money I could just bet that and have a win, then I lose and another slide starts.
      Like Snakes and ladders, but gambling is choc full of snakes for sure, with very few ladders. Yes, some people get to the top of the board and win big. Most slide right back down again. I’ve done it myself.
      Betting companies love to publicise a punter who won big from a small stake. « The punter who won £50,000 from a £5 bet ». Why? Because it gives us all hope. It’s that hope of the massive win that keeps us hanging on. Checking the football results, the lottery tickets and so on. The reality is it’s 1 punter in millions of us. The betting companies are not being bankrupted, they win, we lose.
      Most people can bet within their means and have a flutter on the football every weekend or buy a lottery ticket. That’s fine and dandy. But us compulsive gamblers can’t do that, gambling is far more than a flutter. We are often betting to try and chase a loss.
      Most people bet for a buzz of excitement or for taking a risk. Probably how we actually started our « journeys ». They can walk away though, we mostly can’t. Maybe we can leave it for a while, but then we are drawn back.
      We all need to look closely at the reasons why we gamble? Why can’t we just walk away sometimes? So I lost £10, £100, whatever amount, so what? Why do I have to bet again to chase that? It’s huge, the way are brains are wired, the psychology of it all. There is some deep stuff in all of us that needs really unearthing. Maybe like a plot of land. We need to really work on it. Pull out all the weeds, tend the ground before something REALLY GOOD can grow. We need to maintain that ground, KEEP working on it. Don’t neglect it to maintain the growth.
      That’s what I really need to do this time. Unearth the deep stuff that does make me a problem gambler.
      Why do I throw it away when I am in a great position? Why am I not content?
      I can do that by really looking at myself this time. By being on here and posting my thoughts, by reading how others are tackling it, by being in the chat rooms regularly. By attending GA meetings, counselling maybe too if I can’t get to the roots of it all.
      The short term will be tough. Unearthing everything and the groundwork I need to put in will be draining. It will be tough financially to build things up again.
      I will need to show proper self control this time and not be neglectful EVER.
      Short term pain for long term gain. The future can be so much brighter without gambling.
      At the end of the day money is money. So what! We have it or we don’t, so what! In reality there is a lot more problems in the world than that. We fall into are own little world, on our own chasing money, betting companies want us all on our own, like playground bullies, preying on us. Feeding free bets to keep our interest, advertising the big winners. We can beat it if we STAY strong, don’t get left on our own, strength in numbers, COME ON I/WE can do it!!!

    • #173669
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Closing out day 3
      No big urges to gamble as yet, still feeling sick about it.
      I am getting ready with a plan for Friday though. I get paid weekly and my money goes in.
      So in bed well before 12 tomorrow night, when the money goes in. I have blown that straightaway before. Not this time.
      Up early before work Friday, out for a walk, get back to some exercise. Shower, breakfast and go. No phone surfing and temptation. Not this time.
      Back from work, got a DIY job to do that I’ve been making excuses about for ages. Then a nice, undistracted evening with my partner. Phone upstairs out of the way. No evening checking weekend tips. Not this time.
      Gamban is in place, my card is also blocked. There is no betting again. Not this time.

    • #173696
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Start of day 4
      Been thinking about how my mindset can try and deal with letting go of what I have been through. Wasted days, hours, not putting 100% into relationships at times, the financial losses.
      I am going to tell myself I maxed out on a big trip away, a long trip. It was a reckless purchase, yeh. The trip wasn’t worth it, it took me to some crazy places, where I spent lots of money. So yeh, ultimately it was a waste of time and money.
      I learned things on the trip though. Things about myself. That I need to improve myself but not be too hard on myself all the time. I need to try and let go of things. Stop looking at what other people have got.
      I have learned some big life lessons the hard way. The most important thing I learned is that gambling gets you nowhere but down.
      I can relate it to other things I have done. Sometimes we visit places, hotels, restaurants, cafes whatever. If they were no good we don’t go back there right.
      Now I have returned from the trip. It’s time to rebuild some stuff, improve all the time, never ever, ever be complacent. Get on with living a life.
      Life is short. I have told myself that before. This time I want to try and make the most of it. Money or no money in my account it doesn’t matter. What matters is a healthy life in as many aspects as possible.
      Onwards and upwards. Maybe sideways sometimes! But never back down.

    • #173719
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Closing out day 4
      Big 24 hours coming up. Get paid tomorrow. So plan in place to avoid temptations.
      Easter break coming up and I have 2 weeks off from next week which is a twin edged sword. Great as I am off work, but problematic if I have spare time on my hands.
      Plan in going in place for that. A big DIY job at home needs doing. Then am going away for a few days with my partner which will be great. Something booked from before my latest bender.
      From past experience I know keeping busy after a binge can help take my mind off things.
      Past experience has also shown I can throw myself into other things then return to gambling again.
      After the Easter break I will look for a routine where I am maintaining my journal, dropping into support groups on here and attending GA. Really try and focus on my recovery and how to maintain gamble free status.
      Life could be a lot simpler and easy right now if I wasn’t a gambler. I really know I want that simple life now. Up to me to get there and stay there.

    • #173764
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 5
      Wages still in my account. Have kept myself busy and have no urge to try and gamble still.
      I’m thinking I am going to carry a scar from gambling exploits for ever, but I am hoping in time I can consider that scar as something to remind me of the harm gambling can do and how I am not going to go through that pain again.
      Real tough to manage regrets, what ifs, however nothing can be changed now. It could be even worse, so trying to focus on the things that I do have.
      Thinking I am not going to post for a few days. I am going to try and occupy myself in other things.
      Thoughts can be all consuming sometimes. Gambling ups and downs have basically consumed me for the last 6 months. I need to try and clear the fog in my head.

    • #173870
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 8
      A quick check in. Still gamble free so trying to give myself some credit for that.
      I try and deflect thoughts of damage done to my finances, the time I have wasted and tell myself I can’t change things now. I have to finally learn from it and NEVER go back.
      I still have some great relationships around me, if I continue I would be in danger of losing them for sure. I pushed my luck to limit really and lost.
      The future can be a lot brighter without gambling. I have slid to the bottom of a big mountain, I am thinking I am grateful to be still alive. I need to dust myself off and slowly pick my way back up that mountain, being far more careful in every step taken.
      So I am trying to wake up everyday, check in with myself and go through a plan for the day. Be grateful for the small things and look after those around me and myself too.
      It will be hard, I will not try do things all by myself this time. There are others around on this journey.

    • #173915
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 9
      Still going gamble free. Keeping busy. I know the crucial time will be later down the line if I build finances again. Right now I have little cash available and I know I just can’t gamble (It is possible not to gamble then or waste time searching for sports news and tips all the time.)
      Everything for a while will be needed for essentials basically.
      Gamban is working. I had a payment going to a lottery type site and it stopped that. I checked some gambling sites – honestly – and there is no access. I have excluded from local bookies too as they might tempt me in the future. Next week I will be attending GA again. Things are in place to stop another relapse.
      It is so hard to forget damage done to my finances. It is a sunny morning here and I am struggling to enjoy it because of the mess. Hopefully in time I can take these mornings in properly. That is what I want to aim for and never let it go this time.

    • #173957
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 10
      Just been watching a bit of breakfast TV. There was a guy on who was taken in by, and kind of brainwashed by a « cult » type organisation and ended up giving them thousands of pounds. He was initially led to believe it was a business venture. He described the experience as « a carrot and stick into oblivion ».
      He has cut links with thst organisation now (who face an investigation) and is hopefully recovering from the whole experience.
      Me thinks there is a parallel with gambling. For whatever reasons we stsrt, we are effectively brainwashed too, it consumes our thoughts. We give our money to them.
      I think sometimes we see gambling as our escape from reality, it’s a fix when we are bored or unhappy, it’s the only way we will win our money back.
      « A carrot and stick into oblivion » – time to get out and stay out. To cut links to it and move on for good.
      Some things I need to bear in mind :
      1. Stay in the real world
      2. Accept it’s ok to be bored sometimes, hoeever try and find different things to do
      3. Address my discontent and unhappiness sometimes. Can I make changes. I need to try and build more of a social circle for a start.
      4. The ONLY way to get money back is to earn it
      Going for another day gamble free.

    • #173993
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Closing out Day 10
      Formulating a plan for the road ahead. Last 10 days been a mind fog really, time to crack on.
      Concentrating 100% on relationships with others in my life.
      Checking in on here and updating my journal is something I will need to do regularly. To consolidate my thoughts. Once a week from now on, unless I am really struggling. Posting on here is something I must keep going, to become accountable for maintaining a journal.
      I don’t want to turn a gambling obsession into an obsession for posting on here ha ha!
      Getting onto chat rooms here if I can, regular attendance at GA again.
      Cutting down on bad habits such as drinking and smoking. These habits tend to escalate in line with my problem gambling.
      I don’t think I could ever go tea total but I want to really get in control of when and how much I drink.
      I will slowly cut down on smokimg again and give it up once more.
      Having some structure in my days involving time to be mindful of where I am and what I want to achieve. Involving exercise, eating well again, learning new things.
      Until Wednesday next week, which will be day 17.

    • #174306
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 17
      A week gamble free. Taking things day by day, trying to make small improvements each day to work towards a bigger picture of clarity. A picture where I know how to handle the demon that sits on my shoulder.
      I do have compulsive behaviours I know that. Gambling being the main one of course, that is why I am here posting. I need to forever control that, as that is by far the most destructive.
      Gambling affects my thinking, my feelings, my relationships, my time, it has decimated my finances.
      I have to rebuild from nothing yet again. It is something I can do, I have to try and remain positive. They say that « things happen for a reason ». I have to try and adopt this saying and use it to form a better me.
      Other compulsive and risky behaviours I have are drinking and smoking. I have cut down on these in recent days. Not gambling has helped for sure. After a gambling bender I would also inevitably drink and smoke more to add to my self destruction.
      Drinking and smoking are things I need to work on and control again. To drink socially ONLY. To cut right down on the smoking and give up again. If I don’t gamble then I won’t start again. That is how it can be.
      Cutting down on both can help me save a bit of money as a gesture towards the damage to my finances. I can use this as an incentive. Instead of picking up a few cans on the way home to watch a midweek football game for example. I will skip it, bank the money and do something more productive with my time. This will kind of change how I have often behaved. Maybe it is not much of an improvement but I am thinking that this just needs to be kept as a mindset.
      Watching sport would often lead to urges to bet. I thought I could control this one day. I now know I really can’t. I have to bite the bullet here and distance myself from being that armchair sports fan. It is so linked to my downfalls.
      The better me is a man who is ALWAYS in control of his emotions and feelings. Who recognises danger signs and doesn’t PASS them anymore. Who puts his full attention into things that he does and to those around him. Who can accept mistakes are made, the key thing for me is to stop making the same mistakes over and over.
      A new mindset needs to be developed. To accept who I am, what has happened and that there is a so much more of a better world outside of the bubble that I often seem to operate from.
      I have looked at things and can see that for the coming months, years even, things are going to be tight financially, such is the destruction I caused. Not much spare at all. But I can live a good life, things can pick up again in the future if I am more careful.
      There is a better world out there. One where compulsive behaviours are dealt with.
      Why dig a bigger hole than the one I am currently in? Why dig a new hole when I eventually clamber out of this one?
      In no uncertain terms gambling is like picking up a spade to dig your own grave.
      For me the « penny is finally dropping », it is starting to click that I MUST once and for all break free of a cycle of self destruction.
      EVERY day from now on I WILL wake up and be mindful of where I am at, what I am working towards. That there will be a day free of distractions. Why poke my toes over the precipice again? There is only one outcome.
      EVERY day I can improve in some way. Such as my physical condition, develop a new skill, learn a new word or two in a new language.
      I sometimes wonder and I have seen similar sentiments in other posts that as compulsives do we have to keep destroying stuff to finally learn something? Why is this? Why can »t we learn from our first mistake? Do we really have to back ourselves into corners again and again before we realise enough is enough? There is something in this I’m sure.
      For me the self destruct button is to be disconnected. This day 12/04/23. Until Day 24.

    • #175314
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 24
      Positive spins on the negatives!
      Still feeling bad really, or really bad more like. But I can put positive spin on this by thinking about the fact that I can see a pathway away from gambling. Gamban, attending meetings (on here, GA), keeping up with and developing other interests. Maintaining and developing relationships with others.
      But the thoughts of my mistakes consume me sometimes. However I need to flick a switch straightaway to turn these thoughts off. I just can’t change what has happened, it’s in the past. I can change my actions, my life in the future by staying away from gambling.
      The path away is long and hard. Howewer I need to just focus on one step at a time and not be distracted. I can get to a better place.
      Things are going to be tight financially for a good while. However I can have more time for other things (away from the thoughts and actions of gambling). More feelings of self worth. Be more frugal and inventive with the money I do have.
      Why could I have not done this before? Without the hurt I feel now? Because I needed a real kick in the ass to get going.
      Until day 31.
      Good luck and all the best to anyone who might read my post. Maybe add your thoughts to this thread and we can walk that pathway out of here together.

    • #175470
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 26
      A weekend to be careful.
      Saturday morning now. There is a bit of money in my bank account.
      I have to admit now I have had urges to go and bet again. Have a win and there you go, set off again.
      My partner is away on a trip this weekend and I am at a bit of a loose end.
      Gamban is installed on my phone and that is a big thing. Without that I could easily fall into the old trap at this point.
      I have also excluded from local bookmakers shops.
      However it would still be possible for me to go to a local shop and buy lottery tickets and scratchcards and start a new spiral of decline. Jump a bus or drive to a nearby town to watch the racing this afternoon.
      I have to make a plan for today and tomorrow. Keep occupied, stay strong, look after myself.
      So I am targeting tonight first, Keep busy today, eat well, go for a walk, have a couple of beers and watch a movie with my son. Enjoy the present, the here and now.
      Then to Sunday evening, try and relax, go for another walk, do some jobs around the house, a bit of reading. Thinking about when my partner returns and being able to greet her totally happily, not with a tinge of being distracted by a gambling loss.
      During the weekend to look at my budget for the next month. I can get through if I am careful and I don’t gamble.
      Next month I can hopefully do a bit better, put some money aside in a savings account, so it’s not instantly accessible, won’t be much (but it’s about rebuilding). If I don’t gamble.
      The following month could be better again. If I don’t gamble.
      Thinking very much about the consequences of that first bet. Teĺling the devil on my shoulder to shut up. I am not going back to hell, I am making my way out.
      Stay strong, stay vigilant, enjoy the here and now. I can live ok, don’t have to spend much.
      From the poem Invictus
      I am the master of my fate
      I am the captain of my soul

    • #175515
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 27
      Yesterday was a bit tough, that is why I am posting again.
      There were many thoughts about going out and buying scratchcards and lottery tickets. Sport was on TV in the afternoon, I was flicking through channels and thinking about betting. Putting Gamban on my phone is one of the best decisions I have EVER made.
      I turned the TV off, tried to read but nothing was really going in.
      I got through though, I need to give myself credit for that, it can be done. Didn’t achieve much during the day but not too bothered now, at least I didn’t gamble.
      Went out to buy some food, still in a bit of a daze about everything, looking at prices of things in the supermarket. It’s crazy how prices of things have increased recently. I haven’t had to worry about spend for a while, but now I am in a position where I have to be far more careful.
      Cooked a nice meal, had a couple of beers and watched a movie with my son in the evening. He is at university and it was good to spend some time together.
      Today I am going to go for a decent walk out in the fresh air, do some jobs, avoid sport on TV and be ready for when my partner returns from a weekend trip.
      Next week start to get more into a routine. A bit of exercise in the early morning, work, a bit of relaxing time in the evening away from my phone, focus on shorter and longer term goals for my recovery.
      Day by day, week by week and so on. No more slips. Going alcohol free for a couple of weeks before a wedding we are attending. Then will have some drinks there, but not go mad, check in with myself after every drink and know when to say no (this has always been a weakness, I need to be far more aware of my weaknesses, keep working on them, my complacency lets me down a lot of the time). Decided that I will only drink socially and try to be far more controlled now. Have more periods when I don’t drink at all. Drinking definitely contributed to my recent downfall, firstly when I drink too much I start feeling bad about myself, then I drink more because of this. Secondly a few drinks leads to losing discipline and then more chance of uncontrolled gambling.
      I have to be more careful with my money now, maybe in a crazy way having blown a load of cash I can improve my lifestyle habits for the better.
      Still been cutting back on the smoking, so this week I can ease that down more. Again I have to look at affordability.
      Smoking or eating? I need to quit.
      If in the future I could look back at recent events and think I finally turned things around and became a far more controlled and a better person because of what I have been through that would be quite something I think.

    • #175559
      charles
      Modérateur

      Well done Marcus, awareness is key. Keep doing the things that are working for you.

    • #175624
      rami92
      Participant

      94 / 5.000
      Resultados de tradução
      Resultado da tradução
      Great!

      Your new priorities will make you happier.
      We’re here .
      Best regards.

    • #175627
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 31
      Thank you for your messages Charles and Rami. Your support keeps me motivated. Best wishes to you both.
      So 1 month done. Been hard and have mainly been in a daze.
      The path ahead is becoming clearer though.
      Starting to accept the money I lost is gone. I will not get it back by gambling, I will only make things even worse.
      I can use what has happened to make and maintain a better version of myself. Be better at dealing with life’s ups and downs.
      Right now it is pouring with rain on my journey but I have protection from wearing the right equipment.
      It’s only rain though. I can still try and make the most of things.
      The sun will shine again and I will make the most of every moment.
      It may well rain again too so I need to stay prepared for that too. There may be storms, I can take shelter, they will pass. I will not leave myself exposed.
      I believe this journey will be lifelong but it will take me to a place where there are far more sunny days than rainy ones.
      Until day 38. Keep going, one foot in front of the other.

    • #175966
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 37
      Posting a day earlier than planned as got a busy day tomorrow.
      I know I will never shake off the regret but I have to use it in a positive way to be a better person.
      In control of my actions, in control of my life.
      The changes to the gambling laws were long overdue but too late to save some of my heavy losses. That has bugged me but there you go, maybe I would have still blown all my spare cash, only more slowly, and lost even more time.
      It’s so hard to forget but I must. Day by day, try not to look back, only forwards, no more slip ups. Be grateful for what I do have.
      Gambling is a curse for those of us with a compulsive nature. It’s a no go zone. The only way is down.
      I look forward to a new chapter in my life. I am a bit skint but I don’t care, I can make do, things can hopefully get better again in the future. I will not lose my way again, just stick to the path, keep going, I will get there.

    • #176071
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 40
      40 days of daze!
      Often I have felt unable to do anything, just sitting and wondering what have I done? However if I continue to do this it means gambling still has me in it’s grip.
      Those feelings are lessening and I need to try and keep telling myself the money is gone now. I blew it on a big trip, a business deal that went wrong, I got scammed, I had to pay a huge fine. It happens. Move on and rebuild.
      Carry the scar, but learn to live with it. Use it to remember the consequences of my actions, always.
      So treating 40 days as a bit of a milestone. Giving myself a bit of credit for staying out of further trouble.
      Slowly establishing some positive routine in my life. Exercising again, eating regular meals and taking more sustained interest in cookery. If I eat well, I think well. Cutting right down on drinking and smoking.
      Establish some proper, sustainable, positive habits. That’s what I want long term.
      Short term, keep going day by day, stay gamble free. Try and enjoy the simple things, Pick up further interests.
      Keep posting my thoughts and use the drop in chats on here. Thanks to Charles and Slotjunkie for your support and positivity last night. Recovery is not something we can do alone, I have finally sussed that out!
      Work towards another 40 days, if I do that things can be better again.
      If I can do 40 days, anybody can. Keep doing the right things, make the right choices.
      Stay committed to the best version of me.
      Good luck all, we can’t change the past but we can change our future.

    • #176313
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 45
      Still going gamble free. Not had any significant urges to gamble. Still rebuilding my life, my inner world. Starting to become more settled again.
      I know those urges could come back anytime. If I become more settled I am more likely to get complacent. So I will always need to be aware. I am a compulsive type of person. I am « wired up » that way. I can accept that now, learn to deal with it.
      Just been watching the news. Highlights of The Eurovision semi final were on. During the interval there was a touching duet between a singer from Liverpool and the Ukraine. They sang Ordinary World by Duran Duran. Some lyrics from that song really resonate with me now:

      « But I won’t cry for yesterday
      There’s an ordinary world
      Somehow I have to find
      And as I try to make my way
      To the ordinary world
      I will learn to survive »

      By understanding and dealing with my demons I can live in an ordinary world.

    • #176833
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 57
      Checking in. Spent a good few days trying to forget about the damage done. Focus on the good things I do have in my life.
      Monthly pay has gone into my account. Paid off some money I had to put on a credit card when I was at pretty much zero in my bank account.
      Should have enough to see me through the next month.
      Staying aware of where I am at, the worst enemy I can face is almost certainly myself. If I don’t fall into the traps, recognise the consequences of having another bet, no matter how small I can be ok.
      Laying solid foundations this time. So that when the urges come things stay solid.

    • #177137
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 65
      Checking in. Know what I have to do so got to get on and do it.
      Sunny weather has helped and been outside in the fresh air a lot.
      This has helped me with the those times when I fiddle about on my phone and have been drawn towards temptation. Might not have been as the same if I spent more time indoors.
      I know that when I get a bit bored, a bit complacent that leads to trouble. I know that if I am looking for a rush then gambling is NOT the answer.
      Looking to Live my life and find other things to fill my time, learn the times when I just need to chill out. Recognise that even if I feel a bit bored it is better than blowing loads of money!
      Gambling is not living, it is more the opposite, it sucks life out of you.
      65 days done, keep going, repeat the mindset each day. I will not gamble.

    • #177406
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 73
      Feel good that I managed to get through the Epsom Derby weekend gamble free. I was tempted for sure and found myself on my phone flicking through sports pages. I stayed strong and found other things to do.
      Sometimes I still find myself staring into space thinking what have I done, how did I manage to be so stupid?
      Thoughts still torment me that I should be so much better off if I had never gambled.
      Bottom line is that gambling had a big hold on me. A hold I couldn’t break without help.
      I gambled when I looked for excitement, when I felt low, when something had happened that wound me up.
      Now I need to deal with those times in a better way. Do things that make me feel better. Do more things for others, go for a walk, do exercise, learn something new, meet or phone someone, post on here, feel good about gamble free days. Learn to just have a bit of time to relax away from distractions. I need to be less hard on myself at times.
      To be fully aware, always, my thoughts about gambling are the start of a slippery slope.
      Finally learn that gambling is not an answer to anything. It doesn’t help, it only makes things even worse.
      I feel I have 2 clear choices:
      1. Continue gambling, waste more money and time, have a poor state of mind.
      2. Stay away from gambling, rebuild myself and my finances. Have a better state of mind and be the best version of myself.
      I will take choice 2. Good luck if you read my post, take care of yourself.

    • #177712
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 80
      Starting to get some positive things going. Returned to doing physical exercise, other old hobbies I neglected, doing more tasks around the house, cooking decent food.
      Simple things to take my mind, my actions away from gambling.
      Feeling more positive that I can change and STAY changed this time.
      Learning to take things day by day. Each day I am more aware of trigger points.
      For example today was a tough old day at work. Previously I would have come home, surfed the internet for 5 minutes but would have ended up playing roulette.
      So today I am posting on here then will find something positive to do.
      It’s not easy and I guess things never really will be easy but by repeating mantras like « today I will not gamble » and « I can’t change the past but I can change the future » do help.
      I am feeling that reaching 80 days is a bit of an achievement but I so know one slip takes me back to zero.
      I am a gambling addict, I am in recovery, the path ahead is long but achievable in small steps.
      ONE DAY AT A TIME.
      All the best everybody, stay strong.

    • #177747
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Thank you for posting. I have read all of your post and so much of your thoughts/beliefs/actions ring true with me as well. You said, « Gambling is not living, it is more the opposite, it sucks life out of you » – which is completely true with all of us addicts I’m sure. I’ve been struggling with sports wagering for many years, actually a decade easily. Gambling does such the life out of me. It changes who I am as a person. It impacts my relationships and it impacts what I do with my life each and every day. I’m so much more positive and willing to live life without gambling. When I place a sports wager, is not just 1 wager. Its 1 wager after another after another. My life feel so hectic because anything other than placing that wager is impacting me feeding my addiction.

      You stated « Thoughts still torment me that I should be so much better off if I had never gambled. » This really is a tough pill for me to swallow as well. How do you manage? This is one thing that hunts me daily. I’m ashamed of where I am at in my life (no its not all terrible but it should be much better) and I understand I am the only one to blame because my addiction created the mess I am in. But how do you get over this? Is it as simple as not being so hard on yourself?
      Thank you for posting. You have definitely helped me today. Stay strong and I look forward to your next post!

      NO gambling today. One day at a time!

    • #177759
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi CraigMac
      Glad my post helped you. Guess that is what it is all about on here. That reading other posts and online chats can definitely help us to stop. I have found inspiration from that.
      About letting go. That is hard for sure. I guess I will always carry a scar from gambling.
      I am trying to tell myself I will need to learn to live with that scar. Tell myself I got scammed, blew the money on a reckless purchase. It happens.
      What happened has gone now. I will not get the money and time wasted back. But what I can do is to live a better life now.
      Yes. Not being too hard on ourselves is important. We got sucked in. It happens to some people, usually addicts of course. We can break the cycle. Then maintain what we do using the day by day mantras.
      If I continue to gamble the same things are going to keep happening.
      Invest my time into positive things. Relationships, personal interests, etc.
      Imagine fulfilling our real potential. As gamblers we are going through life so distracted by our own thoughts. So if we could get rid of that imagine who we could really become.
      Ultimately in the future I would want to look back at this time and think. Yes it was a terrible time, but I found a way through and now I am a much better person for that experience.
      This time I am totally committed to stop. I have put all the barriers I can in place and will always need those barriers. I recognise the triggers so much more and try and find other things to do.
      Yes, I find myself staring into space sometimes wondering what have I done but I then try and use positive self talk to come round. I can be a better person for what has happened.
      All the best. Keep going day by day. No more gambling. Repeat, stay strong.

    • #177767
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Hi Marcus,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond back. You spoke a lot of truths. I completely agree with living with the scar. For myself, I just know my family would be so much better off had I never started or stopped many years ago. I have caused my family so much, mostly not allowing us to live a better life (nice house, car for my 16 year old, maybe even some vacations) because I am constantly losing every penny I have on gambling. I do believe the toughest of times can also be the greatest times for self growth. When one is knocked down and they get back up fighting and stay the course; the bounce back will be greater than ever imagined. Maybe if we lived a life without gambling we would just life a moderate life; but now with the addiction impacting us so greatly we want the best life possible; a motivator per say.
      A few more thoughts I’d like to share. The daily mantras: one of my favorites is « I will not gamble today as it impacts my life negatively. » Which it absolutely does. If we continue to gamble our lives will continue to have the same bad things happen, you are absolutely correct. Personally, I know my sick mind will tell me; I can just place a few bets that I’m very confident on, win and cash out. That is so far from the truth. Some people can do that. Those people are much more disciplined and don’t have an addiction like I do. Thus, that is not me and it will never be me. There was a time many years ago I had a sports parlay bet that netted me over 10K on 3 games. It was a miracle night and bet; but from that 10k I saw not a penny because I just played reckless. I played reckless and it soon became my life. Reckless!
      The second thought I had while reading your post is the future and looking back on this time of our lives. I know one of my motivations is when its all said and done and its time for me to leave this earth, I know I will had a bunch of regret if I spent nearly all my adult life as a gambling addict because (as you said) it doesn’t allow us to live our lives to our full potential. I know I would have a life full of regrets if I allow this addiction to control my every move and control my every relationship. For that, I will stay gamble free today.
      Sorry for the rant. I do enjoy your post! Stay blessed!

    • #177776
      lizzy
      Participant

      Wow, I so relate to your story. Believe it or not, I have blown thousands on one simple slot machine. I have no interest in anything else at all at the casino and can walk away easily except for this one. I’m sick to my stomach. I’ve finally come clean about it. Sadly, I lost interest in everything else that was going great in my life and am trying to regain that sanity back. (hugs)

    • #177882
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi CraigMac, lizzy, kin

      Thanks for your posts. I can sense we are all the same journey. We are on here because we want to stop gambling.
      It is good to know that others are going through the same thoughts and have had similar experiences.
      Kin, you have said to me before on this thread that everyday we are all at the same starting point, we must not gamble today. I have followed that and it has helped me so much in my recovery. Other stories like the monkey and the banana – where the monkey is trapped because it won’t let go of the banana – have inspired me greatly. I have a little monkey on my keyring now to remind me. I thank you and wish you well on your journey.
      lizzy, stay strong and stay committed to the reasons to stop gambling. We are so much better off without it. Each day is a new day on the path to recovery and as you say to regain our sanity. Rediscover the things that make you happy inside and keep you grounded. Hugs to you too.
      CraigMac, you don’t have to apologise for ranting! What you said makes a lot of sense. I believe the greatest success CAN come from the worst of times.
      Let’s make the most of everyday. Gamble free, with clearer minds, focus on the important things in our lives.
      Have no more regrets only positive memories.
      As a gambler sometimes, well quite often, I would have a losing bet, then wager more on my next bet to make up for it and so on and so on. You maybe know how that story goes.
      Can we kind of use that mentality now? We have had losing bets but instead of continuing to up the stakes we are going to invest the next bet on ourselves to make up for it. Make up for it by overcoming the gambling addiction. To create a better version of ourselves. Do things we never did before. To really listen to and care for others that we couldn’t do before because we were distracted most of the time. To take in each day, live in the moment. Learn to be just glad to be alive, REALLY just appreciate simple things.
      I have had times before, when I have been gamble free, when I have appreciated those around me and life in general. They were good times. But soon enough I have been drawn back into my inner world of gambling. Of the « just a fun bet’, or for the thrill of the chase.
      This time I have to keep to the path. Never deviate, stay strong when the urges come. I like your saying « I will not gamble today as it impacts my life negatively ».
      Too many times I have gambled before and ignored the consequences.
      There has to be a new version of us. A rebirth if you like, a new chapter. It uses all our experiences – both positive and negative – to create the best version of ourselves.
      What has happened has happened. There is a saying that things happen for a reason. Yes, unfortunately we have had a real kicking to reach this point. But now is the time for change. All the best buddy.
      Day by day, it can be done, stay strong, stay positive. I look forward to hearing about all your journeys. All the best wishes.

    • #178022
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 89
      Still going. Still have bad days, remorse of course. That will always be there but use it as a reminder of the damage that gambling causes. ALWAYS.
      Cut right back on smoking and drinking. Feel better about that.
      When I feel bad about myself I have always smoked and drank more. Often triggered by gambling.
      Got to find ways to deal with this. Have a much different mindset. Control my actions. Stay positive.
      I am definitely feeling like I am back to square one. Back to the start. I have played snakes and ladders and slipped right back to the bottom level.
      I can work my way back up. Set myself rules to live my life by and not waver and be weak. Avoid the snakes that have haunted me.
      Working on things day by day but can see I am approaching 100 days. That would be an achievement but not something to be complacent about or celebrate. But hopefully I can learn to start to feel good about being « clean ».
      I know I need to keep changing for the better. Learn to let it go, move on, be a better man for what has happened.
      At 100 days I will set some short term and longer term goals for myself. Use it as a marker to clear the daze in my head.
      Learn to take each day in turn but have a clear picture of where I want to be.
      To take control and not let other things control me.
      Day by day, tread the good path, stay strong. Best wishes to all.

    • #178166
      Don14765
      Participant

      1st off …thanks for all your posts..
      I find I have the same issues….
      I find it really difficult to “let go”
      Of the control factor :
      I wanna be in control of how much I spend
      On gambling, etc …
      But every time
      I do…gambling always controls ME 😮
      Doesn’t help when I win some money…
      I get
      This feeling I’ll win again
      I end up
      Spending more in the long run….
      I have other hobbies I like…snooker (although there are not too many tables where I live here in Ontario /Canada ….
      I used to
      Be on a league ….
      Anyways …
      Thanks for identifying
      That we all have
      The same desire to control
      And enjoy gambling…
      But we are unable to do so 😒

    • #178209
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Thank you for your post. It is truly amazing to me when I read our stories of just how addictive our minds are. Many years ago, I quit chewing tobacco. I chewed from 1998 to 2015 and have been quit since. The interesting part is right around the time I quit chewing is when my gambling addiction began to rev-up and get out of control. My chew addiction just transferred over to my gambling addiction and went full throttle into a destructive life. Now that I am not gambling I am looking for healthier alternatives to feed my addictive mind. Now that we took gambling out of our lives our minds are racing trying to find the next addiction for us to grasp onto. I’ve been going to the gym, and personally it has helped me a lot mentally. I wouldn’t be so upset if I became addicted to the gym, I could use a few less pounds 🙂
      Nonetheless, I think it is important to know our brains are searching for something to be addicted to, thats just who we are, and we have to make sure that our gambling addiction just doesn’t shift over to another destructive addiction (alcohol, drugs, etc..)
      Thanks for posting and I look forward to hearing from you again. ONE DAY AT A TIME!

    • #178227
      njchoppers
      Participant

      Hey Marcus, I relate to you more than anything else I’ve read. Is there any chance you’re looking for someone to talk to and vent with? Sorry if that sounds silly. I’ve hit my rock bottom and this is my first day trying to stop. I attended two GA meetings today, and I’m trying to find my way to how to come back from this pit I’m in. Would love to have a dialogue if you are interested. If not, I wish the absolute best of luck. Stay strong.

    • #178280
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 96
      Getting more level headed now, Knowing more about what I have to do to tackle addiction.
      To break free from my addictive, compulsive nature once and for all.
      Traded smoking for vaping, now to quit completely. I will feel better for that and save money.
      Drink socially ONLY now. Be in control more. Feel better for that and save money.
      Use the money saved to pay off the debt I built up. That would be positive.
      No more beating myself up. It happened. Now I want to live a good life.
      Yes, maybe some of my carefree way of doing things will go. The reckless, excitement seeker will go.
      The guy who gambled to escape life needs to go. Replaced by someone who takes life for what it is and turns obstacles into challenges.
      Maybe I will find things boring? But I tell you what. I would trade boring everyday for being in a gambling storm.
      I trade carefree for responsible. Reckless, excitement seeker for knowing when I can enjoy myself – at the right times with the right people. Trade excitement for simple pleasures.
      The fog is lifting, the route ahead looks clearer. Day by day, stay on the path. Don’t deviate, regather my strength, get stronger still, develop my way of thinking.
      Be strong, stay strong all. There is a path to follow for all of us. Best wishes.

    • #178292
      Dark Energy
      Participant

      Hi Marc,
      congratulations on your 96th Day, keep it up.

    • #178301
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Great job Marcus!

    • #178451
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 101
      Thank you so much for the messages of support there CraigMac and Dark Energy.
      So passed the 100 day mark. A bit of a milestone but guarding against any complacency.
      I feel drained and tired but by getting myself in better routines again hopefully my energy will return.
      Every day is a new day. To do more positive things, not fall into the old traps.
      Some points I would like to make though. If I can do 100 days then anyone can. So keep going all. From a pit of despair I am slowly rebuilding things. I am not going back to where I was. I can do that if I don »t gamble.
      If I can do 100 days I can do another 100 days and so on.
      Whilst I will always need to take every day in turn, each day I need to keep my guard up. Setting things to work towards will help me.
      Shorter term goals are fully concentrating on the relationships in my life. Rebuilding my finances by saving money by being more frugal. Eating healthy, giving up smoking, drinking alcohol in real moderation. Developing a much wider range of interests to occupy myself. Not to divert my obsessions into just one thing, because what happens if I get bored of that, or have to stop doing it? Not to be so hard on myself, sometimes life doesn’t pan out as we would like, sometimes things aren’t perfect. I need to let some things go. Not react negatively – gambling, drinking, smoking!
      Maybe in a year or so those things I can be more confident with. Confident but not complacent, to have a good balance in my life.
      Longer term I want to look back and say what happened was the real motivation to sort my behaviours and attitude to life out. The motivation to seek inner peace and happiness. I don’t know when and if that will come but that is what I strive for now.
      I feel now that the path I was walking is a wider track. I have more confidence to follow it. It is going in the right direction. I am not leaving this track now and I am not going to look back so much. I am going to seek support at times, I am not doing it all on my own.
      It is going to be a long journey but I believe it is ACHIEVABLE, it is REALISTIC for me to do this.
      Best wishes all, day by day, be strong, be positive,
      There is a story about 2 wolves that are inside us, a good and an evil wolf, there is a fight, the wolf that wins is the one we feed.

    • #178714
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Day 108
      Absolutely true Kin. Thank you so much for your message. I take each day in turn and will always have to now.
      One slip takes me back to zero, takes me back to the downward spiral. This affects my mood, my relationships. It wastes my time and my finances.
      Right now I am developing positive routines. More quality time with my partner, with family and friends. Exercise and other interests.
      I guess for me a real structure to my life is needed. I have been disciplined in my life before but once I slip I fall far. Gambling, drinking too much and smoking.
      The structure I need to develop needs to have some flexibility though. I can’t get obsessive about stuff, if something goes wrong I need to be able to dewl with it better and hit a reset button much sooner.
      I am reaching depths of my psyche that I haven’t ever done before. Learning to live my life in a better way.
      Yes, I really wish I had done some real deep thinking before but it’s ok I am doing it now. Before it really gets too late.
      I want to do more positive things and feel good about that, get the « buzz » from being positive, being « clean », really enjoying simple pleasures.
      More things that involve laughter, proper laughter I mean. Did I ever really laugh when I was gambling? I don’t think so. Maybe there were like sarcastic, « I don’t believe it » type laughs. Nearly always it wasn’t actually enjoyable, just a nerve wracking experience. I don »t need that in my life anymore. I don’t need to chase dreams, I need to be happy with what I do have.
      Things are changing for me, yes slowly, but I am getting there. I am moving away from where I was before.
      No more chasing fantasies, no more being reckless.
      One day at a time. Be strong all and keep working towards a better life.

    • #178765
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      I’m late but congratulations on the 100 day mark. Thats quite an accomplishment. I really like your outlook when it comes to how negatively gambling impacts our lives. It truly does. While the finances are in ruins from gambling and thats always tough; but the biggest thing I fear is how gambling takes away from my life. Like you said, whens the last time we laughed when we gambled? Like a true laugh of enjoyment? i know for me, i just had a one track mind. Place a bet, watch the game; place another bet watch a game; barely sleep, work my life away to pay for the debts due to gambling; ughhh what a depressing life!
      Thanks for your post, thanks for your positive spirit and thank you for leading the way for us newbies.
      Well done, sir!

    • #178955
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi CraigMac and Kin
      Thanks for your posts. Best wishes to you both and anybody else who is fighting a gambling addiction.
      We are all in this together, one day at a time, no one is leading, as I believe you have said Kin « everyday we start at the same point ». That is what we need to remember. Keep taking small steps, be aware of the triggers and CHOOSE other things to do.
      It is in our control, if we place the first bet we are not in control.
      I had a good weekend thanks, spending time with my partner and family.
      Thoughts about the destruction I caused in my latest gambling episode are slowly getting less. I am more focussed on the future.
      At the moment I recognise I am in a position that could actually be far worse.
      I have been careful with my spending over the last 3 months or so and also received a bit of money back from the taxman so I have paid off credit cards that I stacked up a fair bit when I emptied my bank account. I am not in debt like I have been before.
      It is amazing how much further money goes when you don’t gamble and are a bit thrifty.
      However I am more aware than ever that it is when I have money in my account that I am far more likely to get involved in gambling.
      This time gamban is in place, I am keeping the block on my bank card, I will be putting money into a savings account when I can that I cannot access instantly.
      I feel different this time, I am committed to quitting once and for all.
      Before I was never FULLY committed I always thought one day I can go back and control things.
      I can’t control gambling, it controls me. End of.
      Time to bite the bullet. No more sports betting, no roulette.
      There is a better life out there. Gambling does not make me a happy person, maybe for a while I feel the high, but then chasing the next high consumes me. Overall I am not taking life in, life is passing me by.
      One day at a time, be strong, stay strong.

    • #180060
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      I am not counting the days any more. Everyday is a new day, bringing new challenges. That is how I am looking at it.
      Maybe if I keep on the road to recovery I might be able to look back and say that’s about 6 months done. We will see.
      It is so easy to relapse as I have seen in other posts. I have relapsed many times. It is when I get complacent, when I have a bit of money in my account that are very dangerous times for me.
      This time I am trying to do things differently. Learn from all my previous mistakes.
      Life is better without gambling. Stay strong.

    • #180215
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Key things to focus on:
      Mindfulness
      Health is wealth
      Self discipline

      To take in what is around me without judgement.
      Live in the moment, to try and have 5/10 minutes everyday free of distractions.
      Look after my lifestyle and diet. This definitely helps with productivity and decision making. When I feel healthy, physically and mentally I feel so much better.
      It is impossible to feel healthy as a compulsive gambler. We are distracted mentally and we neglect our physical condition.
      Focus on my self discipline. Learn to be more assertive, learn to say no to some things.
      I can be in control of my own destiny.
      If I gamble then gambling controls me, my decision making, my lifestyle, my mental health, my physical health, my productivity.
      Just one bet would allow gambling to start controlling me again.
      No thanks. Take care all.

    • #180367
      Don14765
      Participant

      Hi Marcus… thanks for
      Your post ….
      What resonates with me is the self discipline..
      The discipline to say “no” to EVERY gambling thought …
      Why? Because cannot control the amount I spend….
      I
      Constantly go way over
      Budget of what I allow myself to bet with …
      I constantly wish I
      Would NOT have bet…
      Then that way I would not have lost money that I wagered…
      Only way I see out of this mess
      For me
      Is to be disciplined to say “no”
      To every gamble thought 🙂

    • #180507
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Don
      Thanks for your post.
      Yes, I think the way out revolves around self discipline.
      I can show self discipline and patience in some areas of life.
      However with gambling I cannot, one bet leads to another. I cannot just walk away.
      So to not have that first bet is so important. To be strong and say no, be fully aware of the consequences and not be complacent, to find something else to distract our thoughts.
      It’s a bit crazy, we are the masters of our own downfall. But we can be the masters of our recovery and regrowth.
      Take care all.

    • #180633
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      No problem Kin. You take it easy on yourself.
      I am on holiday from work at the moment and have decided to head off on a camping trip with my partner for a couple of weeks.
      Looking forward to spending time with her and being out in the open air come rain or shine.
      Also thinking about using some of the time to try and « reinvent » myself a little.
      Keep what were good chararacteristics but try to rid myself of the bad characteristics such as easily distracted, easily led by the bright lights of gambling, complacent, greedy … maybe you get the picture.
      Just been looking at Kin’s post about remaining focussed and positive. So thank you Kin. I want to return after 2 weeks with a very focussed and positive mindset as to leading the rest of my life in a good way.
      Take care all.

    • #181018
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Got back from 2 weeks away on a camping trip. Was great to be in the outdoors. Do lots of walking, swimming in the sea. Felt like I have reconnected to things that are positive and beneficial.
      Quit smoking, I took a vape that ran out after a few days. When you are staying on a campsite miles from the nearest shop then you kind of deal with it. Yeh, got back and have urges to smoke but going to try and stay strong there.
      Been about 5 months gamble free now. It has been tough but I am definitely looking more forwards than backwards now.
      To use the whole experience to create a better outlook on life.
      A lot of things are in my control so I need to make the right choices.
      If things happen that are out of my control I have to be accepting and deal with that positively.
      I feel things are starting to click in moving forward. However, complacency has been my downfall in the past. I must be wary of that.
      Best wishes all.

    • #181024
      Dark Energy
      Participant

      hi Marcus,
      congratulations on your 5 months free of gambling.

    • #181258
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Thanks for your message Dark Energy.
      Another week goes by. Time is moving fast. I can’t believe it is September.
      Makes me think that time is SO precious. I really don’t want to lose any more time gambling.
      It’s not just the gambling either, it’s the hours, days, weeks, months that I feel bad for after a gambling relapse.
      I am starting to choose fulfilling activities again, exercising and socialising for example instead of making excuses to hide away in my own little gambling world.
      Hopefully I am starting to finally change for the better. Need to stay on track, stay strong and focussed.
      Ultimately it’s down to me. Hopefully I can live an OK life from here. If I mess up again life won’t be OK. Fact.
      Take care if you read this post. One day at a time.

    • #181360
      Dark Energy
      Participant

      Hi Marcus,

      I am like you wasted a lot of time on this addiction and I will not lose any additional minutes gambling. Remembering lost time and opportunities in my life over years of addictions is much more painful than remembering the lost money.

      whish you all the best in your recovery.

    • #181517
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Hi Marcus.

      I hope you are doing great.

      Be well.

      Craig

    • #181635
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Thanks for your messages Dark Energy and CraigMac. Hope you are both doing ok.
      Been a busy couple of weeks for me. All good though. It has helped me take my mind off gambling related thoughts.
      I am in a better place mentally and physically now which I feel good about.
      I feel I know what I have to do to stay away from gambling. That is always keep barriers in place, be productive and positive with my time, but also try and learn to relax sometimes. I must be aware of triggers and my old bad habits. I need to KEEP on doing these things.
      There can be no more complacency, no slips, no just a little bet. No, no and no.
      My overall goal is to create the absolute best version of myself. That I think would help me massively in my struggle to let go.
      All the best if you read my post. Keep on going, one day at a time, small steps can lead to enormous distances,

    • #182612
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Been just over 1 year since my latest relapse. I really hope it is my last and I am committed to this.
      Just over 6 months gamble free now. Have rebuilt things a little but there is much to be done.
      What have I learned so far
      1. Put barriers in place and keep them forever.
      2. There is no such thing to a compulsive as « just a little bet »
      3. Find SEVERAL other things to do. Don’t turn the obsession for gambling into an obsession for something else.
      4. Eventually we might be able to let go of the lost time and money if we can turn what happened into a brighter, new life
      5. Take in everyday, when we gamble life is passing us by
      Good luck all

    • #182618
      Don14765
      Participant

      Thanks for your post Marcus…
      Yes- no such thing as just a little bit…
      Also-when I bet it starts the ball rolli
      H again
      Which has been nearly impossible to stop
      Once it gets rolling 😒

      Putting up
      Barriers and concentrating on other things
      Besides gambling
      Is very important
      To recover …
      Thanks for the reminder and your input

    • #182821
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing. 3 through 5 very very true to me.
      I know my brain is looking for the next addiction. It’s clear as day! Make it a healthy addiction!

    • #182890
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      I am glad if the post was of use to you guys. We are in battle (mainly with ourselves) to recover and stay recovered from gambling addiction.
      I know another thing I must guard against is complacency. Having money and time to bet has been my downfall before.
      Right now I do keep myself busy but there will be days soon when maybe I sit at home and get bored, maybe there is a bit of money in my account. These times will be very dangerous. I have to stay on the right path.
      I want to aim for improving myself in some way everyday. If I stay the same that’s ok. As long as I don’t regress again things can be good.
      To reinvent myself, take forward what was good and rid myself of the demons and bad habits.
      Onwards and upwards, one day at a time.
      Best wishes, recovery is hard but a gambling spiral is much harder.

    • #182893
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Thanks for your post. Keep fighting the good fight.
      Awesome stuff brother!

    • #182981
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Many thanks CraigMac. All the best to you. Keep going, keep believing you can quit, keep doing the right things and making the right decisions.
      Be ready for the times gambling can be triggered.
      I have a few days holiday from work so getting away for 3 nights with my partner. Looking forward to some quality time together.
      I have found I am enjoying simple pleasures again. Being out in the fresh air and stuff. I want to keep it that way. Not be consumed by thoughts about gambling.
      Thoughts of gambling are slowly getting less, but I know they will always be lurking in the darkness.
      No complacency, one day at a time, repeat and repeat ….
      Best wishes all.

    • #182996
      needhelp
      Participant

      Hello,

      First day on here and definitely long overdue. I just spent some time reading through so many of your stories and I’m glad I found this place. I am 29 years old and have been gambling here and there since I was in college. My big problem started during Covid lockdowns where I discovered online casinos…

      I have completely lost control! Playing blackjack and slots have been my go to. There have been several times where I go up big and then manage to blow it all within a matter of minutes. Within the last 2months I have maxed out all my credit cards and dug myself into a huge hole. I ended up winning BIG two weeks ago…enough to pay off all my debts and put plenty in savings and for some reason that wasn’t enough for me. Within 2 days I blew it all and was left with absolutely nothing.

      I am getting married in 6months and have no words. I have told my fiancé about my issue and if I don’t get help I’m afraid she is going to leave me. She deserves a lot better and someone who is responsible and not a liability.

      I have currently blocked all access to my accounts and will have a long road ahead to pay off my debts. I know this won’t be easy as addiction runs in my family so Would greatly appreciate any advice anyone has / additional support!

      Much love 🙂

    • #183095
      sarahluna88
      Participant

      I know your situation very well.. maybe it might be the right decicion to tell your girlfriend about, your problem. Cause she probably feels that there is something wrong with you, and youre hiding something. My boyfriend feeld aboutly that something ist there, that i am not showing to him. This topic creates a emotional distance between you and her. As i told my boyfriend, it felt like a big wall broke down that i have built up over the time. It makes it more Real. my mom told me once, « Truth can always be told to everyone everytime ». Everything else is an Illusion. To stop gambling, one really important step is to show your problem to the people arround you. I read a lot about it, and that is the point i always read by everyone who got away from problem gambling.. my english is not the best im from Austria;)

    • #184193
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Yes, you were right to tell your fiance.
      So now is the time to take positive steps to recover from gambling addiction. It is a horrible addiction that takes our money and our time. We are so distracted when we gamble that we are a shadow of what we could be.
      Definitely put as many barriers up as you can. As you said block bank cards, get gamban or similar on all your devices, self exclude from any local casinos/betting shops (you may not have visited them before, but if urges to gamble come, they almost certainly will, then you will not have access to them),
      Get yourself on the support groups here. You will get great advice.
      Try and look at why you gamble, when you gamble. Try and find triggers. You might need counselling here or keep posting and reading other peoples journals.
      Finding other things to do is massive. Revisit old hobbies you have neglected, take up new interests.
      There is much more but this can definitely help.
      There is a much better life out there without gambling.

    • #184202
      kin
      Participant

      Congratulation on your clean and sober days!

    • #184490
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Thank you very much for your message Kin. All the best to you too. Keep up the good fight. There is a better life out there.
      I can see Christmas is looming large. Last year my Christmas was overshadowed by being in the middle of a massive gambling bender.
      I was pulverising my earnings and savings. I was still able to buy some decent Christmas presents for people, but throughout the build up to Christmas and on the day itself my mind was whirring with thoughts of gambling.
      I want to enjoy the whole time this year, take it all in. I can’t be too lavish with presents but I can buy some nice things.
      If I gamble I could completely ruin things.
      NOT THIS YEAR.
      I want to enjoy it, I want to enjoy my life, that has to be a life free of gambling.
      All the best wishes.

    • #184670
      kin
      Participant

      Take one baby step at a time
      Stay gamble free one day at a time
      Add up all the baby steps
      It can bring you very far
      Christmas is around the corner
      A time to be merry and celebrate with love ones.

      I read all your posts.

    • #184953
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Thanks for those kind words Kin. Much appreciated.
      Bèen 8 months gamble free now. I am very pleased to have made it this far but I am certainly aware that one slip takes me back into another downward spiral.
      I am very much work in progress. Still changing my outlook on things, my habits and attitude for example.
      Yes, the money and time I wasted fills me with regret. But I CAN and MUST move on.
      Gambling again will not make everything better, it will only make things even worse.
      Using what happened to spur me on, to make the most of my life is the way to look at things.
      One day at a time. We can all get there.

      • Cette réponse a été modifiée le il y a 4 mois et 2 semaines par marcusmaximus.
    • #185045
      rubenbowers
      Participant

      One step that could help is seeking support from a therapist or a support group specializing in gambling addiction. They can provide guidance and strategies to help you let go of this harmful cycle.

    • #185298
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      I am really looking forward to read your next post.

    • #185320
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Rubenbowers and Kin
      Thank you for the advice Rubenbowers. I have used support groups and also had some great advice on this site. If I feel the need I can join other groups too.
      Good to know you look out for my posts Kin. I have found your posts to be highly useful as above. Thank you.
      Looking forward to a gamble free Christmas. I have bought most of the presents that I need to.
      I want to take it in this year and NOT be distracted.
      Take things day by day still, keep on the right path, use my time effectively and properly, it can be done.
      Hopefully relax a bit too. Things have been pretty busy. I am getting better at relaxing and switching off again. Doing simple things like reading or watching movies and tv.
      Best wishes all.

    • #185678
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      I read all your post and always looking forward to the next one.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • #185951
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      So, 4 sleeps until Christmas !! Presents bought and wrapped. Christmas cards sent. Most food and drinks sorted, just some fresh stuff to get.
      Finish work tomorrow then looking forward to some celebrating with friends and family. I want to enjoy this time of year.
      This is very different from last year when Christmas pretty much passed by in a blur as I was so consumed with gambling actions and thoughts.
      It shows how things can change.
      I feel that I have been through hell. I have been tormented by gambling itself and have also tormented myself over gambling. Why would I want to go back there???
      There is a much better life out there if we can stay away from gambling.
      One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. Keep going, stay gamble free. Small steps.
      Do positive things, get some good feeling about doing that.
      Happy Christmas all. Best wishes.

    • #186311
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      You have not updated your journal since 21st Dec 2023
      I really hope you are keeping yourself safe in this holiday season.

      Cheers!

    • #186450
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Kin
      Many thanks for your latest message. All is ok thanks. I hope you are doing well?
      I have been busy over Christmas and New Year. This year I have had a good time and taken it aii in. Spending good quality time with my partner, family and friends.
      Last year I went into the new year hell bent on chasing gambling losses and by March was in a much deeper hole.
      If anyone is reading this and still gambling please think about stopping now. Things can get worse. I do wish I had stopped last Christmas time.
      I think I needed a real bad kicking to finally take action.
      Now I am 9 months gamble free and going into the New Year in a much better state of mind.
      This year I will be doing the following
      1. Keeping barriers in place. I am using Gamban and have blocked my bank card from gambling transactions.
      2. Using my spare time effectively. I am terrible if I am a bit bored – I get myself into mischief. So exercising, jobs on the house, doing up old bikes, learning a language, reading and others …. Just stop useless scrolling on my phone!!
      3. Taking things one day at a time, trusting in the process, TODAY I WILL NOT GAMBLE
      4. Maintain my journal on here
      5. Looking at ways to improve myself and my outlook. My ways of reacting to different situations.
      So onwards and upwards. Best wishes to everyone in 2024!

    • #186465
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      I am happy to see you posting again.

    • #187159
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Everyday we begin the day on the same starting point. Everyone do it one day at a time.
      I look left and right, I did not see you posting much recently. Looking forward to read about your day in recovery.

      Thank you.

      Best of wishes to you.

    • #187334
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Kin
      Many thanks for your wishes. I have been reading your posts and particularly like your way of looking at being grateful for small things. It is so important to be grateful for the little things as it helps us feel « grounded ».
      Things going ok, been about 10 months gamble free now.
      My thoughts at the moment focussed on building a better me. I will admit I have had thoughts about gambling again. I have built up a bit of money in my account again.
      However at the moment I distract myself by doing other more positive things such as going out with my partner, exercising or jobs on the house.
      I know that devil on my shoulder will always be there. I need to keep telling it to shut up!
      At the moment I don’t post so much. I am aware that I must not get complacent, but I don’t feel that I need to get as much « out there » as in the very early days of recovery.
      I do realise that it is STILL early days in recovery and that the simple thing to remember is to take things one day at a time.
      One slip and I go back ho square one or worse!
      The path I feel I must take is one of continual self improvement.
      As a gambler I believe I became lazy, wanted a cheap thrill, wanted money for nothing, for no real effort.
      I want to be better than that. Onwards and upwards.
      Best wishes one and all, we can beat this, one day at a time.

    • #187361
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Congratulation on your 10 months gamble free day.

      As your gamble free days grow, your bank account is growing.
      What are you going to do to protect your money from gambling?

      I cannot guarantee that I can stay gamble free for the rest of my life.
      I cannot guarantee that I can stick to the plan all the way to the end for the rest of my life.

      This is a happy problem.
      How are you strengthening the barriers on your money?
      How are you removing the risk and staying away from danger on your money?
      What changes are you making to your lifestyle? If nothing change, nothing changes.

      • Cette réponse a été modifiée le il y a 2 mois et 3 semaines par kin.
    • #187460
      kin
      Participant

      You posted on 5th April 2023 – “Back in 2018, I obviously thought I didn’t need to post anymore…there we go I slipped again, further and harder than ever.”

      You posted on 23rd January 2024 – “Things going ok, been about 10 months gamble free now…At the moment I don’t post so much… I don’t feel that I need to get as much “out there” as in the very early days of recovery.

      Hi marcus,

      I have read your post and hope I was wrong. Both messages seem to say the same thing.

      After you are able to stay gamble free, you do not like to put in the extra effort to journal.

      I hope that reading your previous post is helping you to stay vigilant and alert as you made progress.

      Best wishes from kin

      • Cette réponse a été modifiée le il y a 2 mois et 3 semaines par kin.
    • #187747
      kin
      Participant

      A famous man’s final essay:

      “I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes my life is an epitome of success.
      However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.

      At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and
      wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

      You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.

      Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.

      When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life.”

      Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

      Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
      Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

      As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that —

      • wearing a $300 or $30 watch – they both tell the same time…
      • Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag – the amount of money inside is the same;
      • Whether we drive a $150,000 car or a $30,000 car, the road and distance is the same, and we get to the same destination.
      • Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $10 wine – the hangover is the same;
      • Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq ft – loneliness is the same.

      You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

      Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – you go down with it…

      Therefore.. I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, …. That is true happiness!!

      Five Undeniable Facts of Life :
      1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price.
      2. Best awarded words in London … “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”
      3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up he or she will find one reason to hold on.
      4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.
      5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, You have to manage!

      NOTE: If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!

      Six Best Doctors in the World
      1. Sunlight
      2. Rest
      3. Exercise
      4. Diet
      5. Self Confidence and
      6. Friends

      Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy a healthy life.

    • #187748
      jasmineisme
      Participant

      Life’s about more than just the material stuff. Chasing losses can be a tough cycle, but realizing the importance of love, relationships, and well-being is a huge step. It’s never too late to turn things around. Those six best doctors – sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence, and friends? They may not solve everything, but they’re a great place to start.

    • #187761
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Kin
      Hope all is well with you and you are using your gamble free time with other far more useful things to do.
      I will be maintaining input into my journal, just not as regularly as in the very early days of my recovery.
      The previous time I used this site I stopped journaling completely.
      I have a look at the site on a regular basis if I just have a spare minute or two. Just so I can read other posts and keep myself « on track ». This is normally 2 times a week. Then I will write something in my journal when I have a bit more time or feel the need.
      In terms of where I am at now then things are a lot better than 10 months ago. I have built up my finances a little. Any extra from my everyday needs I put into savings accounts where it is harder to access it on a whim.
      I have a lot of barriers in place however there are ways I could gamble such as going to a shop and buying a load of lottery tickets or visiting a racetrack. However I do think I am in a better place now to be assertive with myself and say no.
      Now and in the future I know I must always be vigilant to the traps.
      Still taking everything one day at a time.
      Best wishes.

    • #187764
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Thank you for sharing your plans.

    • #187798
      jayleenmoody
      Participant

      I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with compulsive gambling. It’s a challenging situation, and you’re not alone in facing it. The first step is acknowledging the issue, which you’ve done. Consider seeking professional help or joining support groups for gambling addiction. They can provide guidance and a support system to help you overcome this challenge.

    • #188412
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Jayleenmoody
      Thank you for your kind words and advice. I am going along ok at the moment but am aware where I can get further help if needed.
      Looking more forwards than backwards now which is good. The wasted time and money is in the past.
      I can change things in my future but I cannot alter the past!
      The best thing I can do to have a better future is not to self destruct.
      The biggest factor in how I have previously self destructed is gambling.
      So today I will not gamble. Tomorrow I do the same. One day at a time.

    • #188951
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Another week passes by. Time goes so quickly.
      Time is so precious. I DO NOT want to waste any more time gambling or doing anything else related to gambling.
      We cannot buy time, we have to let go of money and time wasted in gambling activity.
      If we move on, make the most of everything we do have then there is a future.
      Gambling was kind of like being in a prison. Now I am feeling free.
      Make the most of everyday. One day at a time.

    • #188992
      Don14765
      Participant

      Hello Marcus…thanks for your post…
      I’ve not posted on the forum for awhile now…
      I guess part of me is frustrated and embarrassed that I am still failing…

      But your post caught my attention with the words “we have to let go of time and money, wasted gambling”

      That really spoke to me, because in the last couple years, I do believe that is what I am trying to do, to win back, the money that I lost:(

      I find it hard just to let go of the money that I’ve lost over the last few years, and I want to win it back, so bad, and then quit gambling!

      Part of me wishes I would’ve never opened up that box called “gambling “because it just set me back and I’m sure that most people feel the same. It’s not easy to win no matter what you pick or choose to gamble with,

      Be it sports, slots, lottery, even stock trading..

    • #189024
      maverick.
      Participant

      Hi Marcus, I hope you are keeping well, you are 100% correct when you say « gambling was kind of like being in a prison » never a truer word spoken, it consumes us, controls us and takes over our lives, keep staying gamble free one day at a time, all the very best.

      Maverick

    • #189268
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Don and Maverick
      Thanks for your posts and hope you are both keeping well.
      Don, we have to let go. It is very difficult, I know that for sure. I still and always will have regrets.
      However I am trying to turn the negative into a positive by becoming a better person.
      Now I want to make the most of everyday, have better relationships, look after myself more amongst many others.
      I still have urges and thoughts but barriers are in place and I come on here and add to my journal or read other posts.
      If I can ultimately live my life in a better way then I will try and look at the losses as the price I paid to do it.
      Maverick, stay out of the « prison ». Gambling enslaves us, We know we are better off without it but it does have a magnetic draw on us. We have to recognise our triggers, stay strong, get through each day in turn.
      11 months gamble free now. Some of the pain of the losses have gone now, I don’t think about it so much.
      As mentioned I now want to use the losses as a spur to live the rest of my life in a good way.
      Best wishes to all.

    • #189287
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Thank you for your post today.

      You have help me to remember that staying gamble free gives me the freedom to do whatever I like but I need to be extra cautious and careful.

      -freedom to do whatever I like does not include compulsive eating, drinking, gambling, sex and drug.

      -freedom to do whatever I like does not include giving up doing the things that has help me to stay stop in gambling.

      Be kind and humble always.

    • #189552
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Another week or so goes by.
      Getting more organised with moving forwards.
      Better with managing my time again. Not being so distracted by thoughts of gambling and the damage it has done.
      I will admit that some thoughts about gambling have popped up this last week. Here in the UK we have the Cheltenham horse racing festival next week. This is an event that has always previously dominated my thoughts. I have taken time off from work to watch it before, made time when at work to watch races before etc….
      This year I intend things to be different.
      1. I have identified it as a major trigger and distract myself when thoughts do creep in
      2. I am avoiding sports websites, newspapers etc
      3. A plan is in place to keep myself busy next week
      One bet, if successful would lead to another, then another ….
      One bet, if it is a loser would lead to another then another
      Avoid, avoid, avoid. I am a better man without gambling.
      One day at a time, best wishes.

    • #189598
      Don14765
      Participant

      Thanks for this update , Marcus…
      What you’ve presented is a
      Great recipe for success! I am currently
      Seeing a gambling addiction
      Counselor.
      She says the same thing you do…
      But in a different explanation:

      It’s like a vicious circle:
      I lose a bet….
      Then I want to get back as soon as I can so I can get a win from my loss, if I keep losing, I keep playing until I win:(

      On the other side of that coin;
      If I win a bet….
      Then I want to keep winning bets…
      A losing strategy 😒

      Also… you’re 100 % correct-
      It’s very important to avoid
      Triggers as much as possible….. but

      As much as I think I can control the urges
      And what I spent on gambling…
      I never can…
      Thanks for shinning this light
      Of realization….

    • #189625
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Don
      Yes, we have to avoid that first bet. We are compulsives and unfortunately we have to accept that if we place a bet we cannot control the consequences.
      I have done a lot of thinking about my own gambling.
      Fundamentally I was not happy or content. My self esteem was low, I was often looking at what others had or what they were doing,
      Also I have a poor relationship with money. I can be scrooge like one minute then reckless the next??? I had thoughts money would make me happy. I had wins but it didn’t make me happy.
      Look at some lottery winners, they have relationship problems, drug/alcohol issues and are sometimes back to square one soon enough.
      Money helps in life for sure. Paying the bills and buying nice things. But it does not guarantee happiness.
      I gambled out of boredom, to seek some excitement too. I need to get my « kicks » elsewhere.
      So now I am on a quest to find true happiness and contentment.
      There are many good things in my life, I need to be grateful for those. I need to be grateful for the simple things in life.
      Looking more closely at betting being a situation that we are sucked into and can be tormented. Sometimes if I won I still was not happy because I would think I should have put more money on that or got better odds!! If I lost I would chase, chase, chase to get it back.
      Winning made me greedy, seeking another high sometimes too. Chasing losses made me totally obsessed.
      If I am even thinking about placing a bet now I come on here and post myself, read what I have written previously or look at other posts.
      Best wishes.

    • #189803
      Don14765
      Participant

      Hello, Marcus…
      Some very good thoughts and advice….
      I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said…
      Low self-esteem…..thoughts of gambling because I’m bored….
      Chasing losses(that’s a big one for me)

      And if I won (hey! Why didn’t I put a higher wager on that?!)
      And then I’d want to win again…
      Greediness!!!

      I came up with a new saying last night that I think could help …
      “I’ll will always keep 100% of the money
      That I DO NOT gamble with “

      I may not be able to win anything…
      If I don’t gamble …
      But then I won’t lose my money, either …

    • #189848
      CraigMac6
      Participant

      Hi!
      I hope you are doing well.

    • #189648
      patrick35
      Participant

      I believe I’ve come to the right place to share my struggles with gambling. It feels like I’ve fallen into a hole so deep, returning to my former self seems impossible. After losing my job last year, I turned to gambling with my savings, hoping for a change in fortune. Eight months have passed, and my occasional betting has spiraled into an addiction I can’t seem to break free from. Despite my efforts to stop, I find myself constantly drawn back. My savings are now depleted, and I’m facing the dire prospect of losing my home. With a wife and two children to consider, the thought of us being evicted is overwhelmingly distressing. How can one overcome this addiction to gambling, which truly feels like a disease?

    • #189951
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Thank you for sharing.

      Looking forward to your next post.

    • #190150
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Don, CraigMac, Patrick, Kin
      Thanks for your posts.

      I like your line on keeping 100% of the money you do not gamble with Don.
      For me I try and concentrate so much on avoiding any opportunity to place the dreaded first bet. Win or lose it doesn’t end well. Just keep what we have, sounds so simple really !!!!

      Hey CraigMac, good to see you posting again. Keep fighting this addiction, there can be a way out, stay positive.

      Patrick, we do get drawn into this horrible addiction. There are things we can all do to stop. Using blockers such as gamban, self excluding, blocking bank cards, handing over finances for starters. Then look at what triggers the gambling and try and avoid those situations. Do positive things with your time, seek counselling, join a Gamblers Anonymous. There are many things but I have found being 100% committed to stopping, staying positive, strong and taking things one day at a time have helped me immensely.
      Reading other posts on here is also really helpful. I would recommend that you start your own « thread » on here. That way more people may correspond with you.

      Hey Kin, hope all is good with you. Keep fighting the good fight. One day at a time.

      So another week goes by. Really proud of myself that despite temptation I DID NOT gamble at the Cheltenham Festival.
      March 27th is 1 year gamble free for me. I am nearly there. Eat, sleep, do positive things, repeat.
      Best wishes all.

    • #190157
      kin
      Participant

      Hi marcus,

      Good job! It was a joy to read about your progress.
      I really look forward to your one year gamble free time.

      You cannot give what you do not have.
      I hope your story can inspire many others to stay gamble free for more than a year / multiple years.

    • #190384
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Kin
      Many thanks for your encouragement!!
      Yes, March 27th. One year gamble free for me.
      Things have got better since I quit gambling that is FOR SURE.
      I would like to encourage anybody else who may read this post it can be done. If I can do it from the point I was at then ANYONE can.
      I also know my work is far from complete and infact it won’t ever be complete. I still will need to keep my guard up and continue to work on myself and my behaviours.
      As compulsive gamblers I have come to the conclusion that we must eventually face the facts.
      We cannot control our gambling so we must STOP.
      NEVER place the first bet.
      There is NO such thing as a fun bet for us.
      Further gambling will only make things WORSE.
      On the plus side. There is so much more time to focus on positive things and our relationships with others. To get back to enjoying life without being distracted.
      It is SO much better.
      Best wishes.

    • #190391
      kin
      Participant

      Congratulation on staying gamble free for 1 year and 1 day.

    • #190636
      Don14765
      Participant

      Hi Marcus…congratulations on your great sobriety:)
      Yes … you have proven it can be done, and it is definitely an inspiration to all of us!

      You’ve made a great point when you say we can never enjoy a bet…

      It’s too toxic:
      If we win a bet, we want to win again! If a bet is lost, then for sure, we want to get back and bet again to make up for our loss, it is always some kind of revolving door or a vicious circle🙁

      But the good news is once I/we know this ..
      We can work
      On not making that 1st bet; distracting and denying that bet
      By keeping busy with hobbies..:
      Talking with people..posting here…

      Having said all this…
      I should follow my own advice….
      Anyways!
      Congrats on a great milestone…
      And thanks for proving good
      Sobriety can be
      Achieved!

    • #190703
      marcusmaximus
      Participant

      Hi Kin and Don
      Many thanks for your well wishes. Best wishes coming back to you both.
      I feel after 1 year that I am coming out « into the light ». Out of a black hole of thoughts dominated by gambling.
      My life is no bed of roses, there are lots of things to sort out. But my mind is clearer to deal with life and what it can throw at you.
      Gambling is just another problem we inflict on ourselves methinks.
      Why would I now re-enter the black hole????
      Best wishes to all.

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