Gambling Therapy logo

Hey Ray,

Great to hear that you’ve self-excluded. That’s a great first step. Now one thing to keep in mind is that online gambling has SO many different options. If you even have an inkling that you might open up another account elsewhere, I highly recommend installing Gamblock of Betfilter (for less than $100 it probably saved me many thousands during those first few months after I installed it). I also encourage you to confide to a few people because let me tell you, those closest to you already know something isn’t quite right with you or that your behaviour is odd, they may be surprised as to the nature of what you’ve been doing but they won’t be surprised that you’re currently struggling mentally.

As for the losses, I totally get it. It’s the hardest part about staying gambling free. I was actually going to touch on it in my previous post but I didn’t want to make it too long. The thought of the losses was also the main factor which caused many of my relapses. I know it sounds cliche but time will indeed help. The first few month or so is the absolute worst. You will constantly be beating yourself on it, self-hating, replaying those nightmarish nights over and over. Thinking about why I hadn’t have stopped there or why I was so stupid not to walk away when I was up at that time. It will tear you up inside. But over time, the thoughts will become less consistent. If you just think about your life and what you still have, your health, your family, your partner and your great job. It will help to ease the pain. Now even as you get better mentally, every now and that that figure of your loss will come back like a ton of bricks, you’ll sometimes wake up in the middle of night and think about it. You’ll have moments at work where you just cannot function. It’s times like these that you need to stay strong. Trust me, the longer you can withhold yourself from gambling, the more positive things you can do in your life, the easier it will get.

Try to think of the loss as a business venture that didn’t work out. Alternatively, think of it as a life lesson to NEVER EVER touch gambling again, ever in your life. For us compulsive gamblers, that demon was always inside of us and it just needed for us to get the right exposure or to be in the right circumstances for it come out and take control of us. Learning it at a young age (and if you actually learn to fight it and to control your triggers) can be a seen as a lesson learnt that will prevent you from ruining your life at a worst time – what about when you’re married and have kids of your own? What about when your 30-40 and earning big $$$? You will have A LOT more to lose then. Money comes and goes, yes 50k is a very large sum of money, but consider this – during your life time you will earn well over $1 million dollars. As a doctor if you progress well in your career you will earn well over $2 million dollars in your life time. I know it’s not easy to think long term but dwelling on losses will simply drag you back to more relapses, and take you into a darker and darker place. The light is dim now, but if you can stop now, you can turn it around. The money is gone and it’s not coming back (through gambling). The addiction is the one that’s telling you to keep trying. I know, we gamblers don’t want to give up, we want to recoup our losses now. Well the reality is that’s not going to happen. Science has found that once we ACCEPT our reality, no matter how dire, we can deal with it mentally much better. So you must accept your losses and move on. There’s no easy way around it. I wish you the best of luck.