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    • #30483

      Dear everyone,

      I have missed you all. I am just catching up on all the posts. Wow, so much activity. I haven’t read them all.

      So, how am I? Well, as you know from my last post which I wrote as I was waiting for my brother to collect me and drop me off at GMA for the residential. I always understood it would be 2 weeks assesment and then 14 weeks treatment.

      I got there early on Monday 11th, signed in, handed over all my stuff and understood there would be no internet, phone etc.

      I won;t bore you with a day by day account, but I met the other residents, we played a lot of darts and pool and scrabble – I shared my story and they shared theirs. They were a diverse group from mid 20s to mid 50s, all long term gamblers. They explained that that in the first 2 weeks you did very little. I tried to settle, but suffered from night terrors, waking people up on 3 or 4 occasions with screaming in my sleep. People were very generous, I learned to shop on very little food, signed on for Housing Benefit and ESA (Employment Support Allowance) and got signed off from the doctor.

      On the first Saturday we did an outing to a local pitch and putt and the Thursday before house 3 cooked for everyone. I was just settling in when on Wednesday last week I completed my paper life audit and then had a 2 hour meeting with the head of the service and one of the main counsellors. I told them everything of my life form my family, early school life, high school, the bullying, my world view, my gambling history, subsequent drug addiction and other addictions, depression etc. After that meeting they said they didn’t think the course was right for me. My gambling was only 3 years old and was linked to depression – not the other way around. I already knew that gambling was not my main problem, and they confirmed this – my gambling was a symptom of other mental health issues. Also, my gambling patterns did not fit the usual gambling patterns of people they treat. I didn’t start at an early age having a gambling addiction, I didn’t sell stuff, didn’t steal. Also, I had been free for 39 days prior to starting – almost everyone else, apparantly, gambles up to the point of entering.

      On that Wednesday night I broke the rules and managed to ring my wife by using the payphone and making her ring back to an unfamiliar number. She did. I broke down, telling her I had failed even at being a gambling addict. I have always felt like a misfit, an outsider – and even here, I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t the right kind of gambling addict. She accused me of doing it on purpose, but I didn’t.

      For the rest of the day after that meeting I was quiet and withdrawn. I told a few people and they said not to worry, everyone passes the assessment. I went to bed early. The next day, as everyone went in for the Thursday 10am meeting I was pulled aside and had another meeting. They explained that they felt they couldn’t help me. The course might make me withdrawn, it might be too much for me, I may suffer. Also, I am a baby when it comes to gambling addiction – people they treat have usually been suffering since teenage years. Mind started properly when I was 39.

      So I packed my stuff, said goodbye, collected my new prescription of meds and then caught the train to my brothers in Nottingham. Interestingly I got a packet from my ex with new photos of my son. It made me cry when I realised I would see him again soon.

      I stayed with my brother for the night, still shellshocked and then on Friday morning he dropped me off at my parents. I looked after their dog Betsy as they went to a friend’s wedding.

      Since then I have stayed here. I could not use my computer as NetNanny is installed and it needs password to open access to general web browsing. I do not have the password as it is the login password. Lastnight my wife sent it to my brother as a text and I went to his house. He unlocked the internet, but all gambling is still blocked. Actually, after I tested it it did allow access to gambling sites so I restarted the computer, he unlocked web browsing and now gambling sites were blocked and still are blocked.

      Funny thing is that my mum has a very old computer in the guest room which is unblocked and so if I wanted to gamble I could. But I don’t. I am too far into my recovery. I like the way this feels.

      I realised something on Friday – if I gamble there are 2 immediate outcomes:

      1) I can lie about it and pretend I have not gambled. This is was I always did before. This feeds more gambling, more escaping the self loathing I feel for lying. So I wouldn’t lie.

      2) As I did 54 days ago when I lapsed, tell the truth. Restart the counter. Suffer the shame, self hatred etc etc. I know it’s only a bet, and many people do it without harm, but I have passed that point. I would HAVE to tell the truth.

      I do not want to have to do either of those things. So, to avoid being in that position, making that choice, I can make a 3rd choice – not to gamble. And I realise I do have that choice not to gamble.

      Also, if I gambled there are 2 unpleasant outcomes:

      1) I win. How much do I win? NOt a life changing amount. At most, a grand, but to win a grand with the money I have to start would be hard, I would need to bet either on very long shots or lots of money on 2 or 3to1s. if I win, I will continue playing, wanting to win more. If not then, then later. Then I have to make the choice outlined above. The cycle starts again.

      2) I lose, that means I hate myself for being stupid, why after being off for so long did I do it etc etc. And then I chase and either lose everything (very likely) or I end up evens (less likely) or I end up ‘up’ (very unlikely) and that means I gamble again.

      I cannot win at this thing. It is totally circular. I see it with so much clarity. I know that the danger comes later, 100,200 days in. A year etc. That’s why i am going to continue with GA.

      There is one meeting a week in Stoke, tonight, 15 miles away just past Hanley. 8pm. I am going. I have to make the effort. I know I will be pleased with myself for going. Next week I get my 60week keyring. After that I hit 90 days – then I start on the 12 steps in earnest with my sponsor.

      I would like to thank all the staff and residents at GMA for making me feel for welcome and being so honest. It hurt at first to be rejected, but now I have thought it through it has to be for the best. I would not have come to the realisations that i did without leaving there.

      Interestingly, old clients are contacting me re: work and on Thursday I am in London with my son for the day without the misses (taking him to the Science Museum) and then kipping at a mates Thursday evening. ON Friday got meetings regarding possible work – I hope to do maybe 7-10 days in June, but am looking for something more full time from mid July – that gives me tome to find my feet.

      On the weekend going down to Brighton to spend the weekend one of my closest friends and his family who have supported me throughly and I am lucky to have him and his family. They are like an extension of my own family.

      Well, this is a long update post. To all my friends on the site I hope you have stayed gamble free. And if not, I hope you see every lapse as another step towards recovery. I know I am done with my lapses – and I see how since Feb the length between lapses got longer and longer until, for now, it is unbroken. It went 5 days, 11 days, 14 days, 18 days and now 54 days and counting. Hopefully I do not need any more lessons.

      Love to you all and also to new members whose stories I have read to read. Give this site a chance, share, be open, get to know us, let us know who you are and what your story is. It has worked for me because I wanted it to.

      See you all soon


    • #30484

      To say I’m shocked to see you posting on here is an understatement! I’m not an expert, but I would have thought you were a prime candidate for therapy, still, what do I know.

      I feel quite nervous and anxious now. I’ve sacrificed a lot to put myself in a position to go to GMA, I just hope I’m right for therapy and vice versa. Not sure where I’d go from here if I wasn’t.

      Normally I would be glad to hear from you, but I feel a bit disappointed that the programme didn’t fit your needs. You sound quite chipper though and you appear to have quite a bit of support around you which will be crucial.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to find some work soon, so onwards and upwards as they say.

      Take care,


    • #30485

      That was an ordeal for you Maverick and an anti climax to say the least. After all the build up , you must have been taken aback when you were told the programme wasn’t suitable for you. What a pity they can’t do the assessment prior to “admission”. It would have saved you some stress. Anyway, I’m sure they have set protocols in GMA that they need to follow even if it causes some frustration for clients who don’t meet the criteria.
      You didn’t fail in any way. You tried your best. You are still trying. Well done on planning to get back to GA. You are a true gentleman, Maverick!
      Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    • #30486

      Reading your post totally scrambled my head!! I forgot to say that I was looking forward to meeting you, I didn’t think for one minute that I was replacing you on the programme.

    • #30487

      Hi Mav
      Not fitting the criteria for being a compulsive gambler is a tremendous message for you to receive at this important time of your life. Believing yourself to be a CG could seriously distract you from dealing with the deeper issues in ‘your life just as taking the wrong medicine would do more harm than good.
      You have not been rejected, just redirected towards dealing with the deeper issues that affect you because that is what is right for ‘you’. Take your experiences with GMA and this site and use them as references –– you haven’t failed Mav, you crossed a bridge – now don’t look back.
      I wish you well

    • #30488

      Thanks for the messages. I take what happened as a good sign. I got 11 days away. I met some lovely people, I got to chill out and relax and wind down. That was probably the most important thing. I must stress that I wasn’t told I am not a compulsive gambler. I am. The way I gambled over the last 3 years was nothing if not compulsive. But the gambling is a symptom of a deeper malaise. It was just another addiction I used to medicate, hide, avoid reality. I do not believe for a moment that I can gamble again. Ever. I can’t.

      Velvet, thank you for your post. I am and always will be a compulsive gambler. It is just that it was felt by the people who run the programme that I am not the kind of gambler suited for the programme. I totally accept that. I haven’t been gambling long, it is not part of my life. Sure, I did tremendous damage with it, but the need and urge to gamble was less that the kind of gambler who gets treatment.

      Charlster, you have been gambling for 30 odd years. Obviously I don’t know you, but I feel that you are the kind of person that can treat and treat well.

      I had a good day today, made an appointment to get my hair cut, washed some clothes. It is weird to be back in the family home on my own as my parents are away in Germany. I grew up here, it has always been my home, and I feel very relaxed here. But I am sleeping in the spare room as I obviously do not have a room. I do not feel like a child. This is perfect – everything happens for a reason, we just might not know it at the time. I HAD to become a compsulive gambler. I had to do what I did as I am learning new and important lessons about myself, which I HAVE to learn. It is vital. If I don’t, my life will stay the same.

      I am happy to be on the journey I am on. It has been very frightening at times, and I am sure it will be hard along the way. But now, I am excited. I see new opporttunities, new possibilities. And that is a world away from the posts I made in Feb/ march or how I was feeling towards the end of last year. I am gaining some perspective.

      Charlster, when do you go. Be open minded. It works, I have seen it working with people who has been there 8, 9 weeks etc. These are professionals. They will give you valuable tools and help you move on. You take care.

      Peace and love.

    • #30489

      I too was shocked to see you had posted, at first I thought it must be the other Maverick.

      I think you are a very brave man and I really think you have dealt with the situation so well.
      I loved the way you say
      “I realised something on Friday – if I gamble there are 2 immediate outcomes:”
      Listing the outcomes that is fantastic as it shows how far you have come during the last 54 days of your freedom from gambling.
      Mav, you sound positive making plans and I expect you are so looking forward to seeing your little boy on Thursday.
      You have done well Mav and I am sure you will continue to do so with the plans that you are making, you are getting your life back Mav.

      See you in a group soon x

    • #30490

      Hi mav, what a lovely surprise to see you back so soon. I think the time out will have done you do much good after your recent stress.
      I am delighted to learn you are staying gamble free.
      Keep us updated!

    • #30491

      Hi everyone,

      Thanks for the messages of support. That’s why I love this place. It is so awesome to hear from Vera, Happy, Charlster, Liberty, Velvet and to read the new stories. This place is working for me.

      I just got back from the only meeting of GA in Stoke, 15 miles from my parents house. The journey there was a real trip down memory lane, and I even drove past my dad’s old Cinema, and saw places I used to hang out. I even got lost driving home thorugh the back country roads.

      I met nice guys at the meeting, only 6. It was in a church hall that was also a children’s nursery. So very apt I thought a great metaphor as gambling addiction turns us all into children.

      I enjoyed the meeting, reading the book, sharing and listening to therapies. I really like GA. That’s my first GA for 3 weeks exactly, but I am in such a different place than I was. GMA, even though I didn’t complete the course, has meant so much. The build up, the packing, the moving of my stuff out of the family home. I am now homeless, which is liberating. Being at the family home on my own is lovely as it is a big house, a freezer full of food, I did a shop for fresh food. Big garden, fields all around, countryside. This is obviously meant to be.

      Got a lot of organising to do tomorrow, making plans day by day, a bit at a time.

      Just for today I will not try to fix my whole life problem at once.

      At the GA meeting we read the book almost cover to cover, whereas at my meetings in London we jump around. There was one new guy who looked shattered, just lost loads, been gambling for 15 years. I reccomended GMA to him. The guy who took the meeting went to GMA 10 years ago in Beckenham – he was clean for 8 years or so when a family trauma set him off again. He is just off a relapse 10 days ago where he almost lot a lot but ended up evens – but was mentally shattered afterwards. I know that story.

      I am going to try and catch up on all the old guard’s stories and also get to know the new members, and contribute where I can.

      I want to say how good it feels to be posting again. GA and GT are what I need obviously. I am of course sad not to be at GMA, but that’s been decided for me and I must accept it and I do.

      End of day 54 – can’t wait for 6 days time I get a new keyring at my GA in London for 60 days. 30 more days for 3 months – I am loving this recovery. I have said it before and I will say it again – abstinence is not recovery. I intend to be in recovery for the rest of my life, and slowly over time the gambling will become a memory – but i will always remember that I can never be cured. I am and always will be a compulsive gambler – when I start I don’t stop until everything is broken. That is the cycle that needs to change.

      Love to you all, sleep well peeps.


    • #30492

      This is exactly where you need to be. You haven’t got everything on top of you and the pressure has eased. The road ahead wont be easy, but at least you can plan and have a strategy without having all of the other burdens you had only 3 weeks ago.

      I used to visualise you in this position without all the clutter bogging you down.

      Things do happen for a reason, I strongly believe that and you’re not devoid of a support network which is vital. Whether you use GA, GT, family and friends or a combination of all of them, you’ll be fine and you’re in a good place to rebuild your life.

      Take it easy mate, I’ll post again before I go to GMA.


    • #30493

      I have read through your thread and feel inspired by your positivity and new found freedom/outlook on life. Every post from every person on this site gives me a glimmer of hope for my own (hopefully clean) future.

      In one of your posts you say “just for today I will try not to fix my whole life problems at once”. I can totally relate to this. I am only on Day 3 and yet my head cannot stop spinning trying to find a way to make everything better over night. One of the many reasons I gambled I suppose – I stupidly thought it would be a “quick fix” solution.

      Patience is not something I am very good at, but I shall have to learn very quickly in order to get myself out of this financial, emotional hole that we all find ourselves in.

      Anyways, thanks again for your thread – just like many others it makes me smile and gives me hope.

      Sending love and strength x

    • #30495

      Mav, you are doing exactly the right thing – concentrating on what you CAN do, using the support that IS available for you. Well done.

    • #30496

      I want to write allot but I though if I write a quote might explain better what I want to say . So here it is

      Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be

      Alan watts

      I am glad you are in much better mood and still gamble fee , your life will be so much better now and stronger . Live your life to the full without anything controlling you . I would suggest to listen some of Alan watts lectures on you tube it’s pretty interesting . X

    • #30497

      Hi Mav

      Been thinking of you today, hope yours and the little ones eyes were truly lit up at the museum 🙂

      Speak soon x

    • #30498

      So a quick upfdate.

      Apologies to everyone for whom I have not yet posted and read. Since getting my computer back I have been trying to focus on catching up my life and also use the computer less. Prior to going to GMA I was always on, so now I try and limit my use online. A new personal goal, and so far working. Yesterday I times myself for about 25 mins online all day.

      Thanks to everyone who posts here on my forum. I will get round to spending a few hours to properly read all the new posts and all the new blogs. I am so inspired at the moment, but I will go into that later as my head slowly gets everything in the right order.

      I just wanted to let you know how good my last 2 days have been. I left my mum and dad early at 6:30 and got to London at 10am. As I got out the lift in my old block there was Valentin waiting, saying Papa and he ran to me so I could gather him in my arms. My heart broke it has to be said. After spending a bit of time in the house, feeding him and playing, we left and went to the science museum. We had a awesome day. with him running, playing with exhibits. Eventually I knew he was tired as he wanted to be carried rather than run (he only started walking 8 weeks ago) and then started to nod off in my arms. 5 mins after getting him the push chair he was out like a light.

      A quick thanks to all the strangers who helped me carry the push chair up and down stairs on the London Underground.

      I got home, spent several more hours with him, fed him and then went to my usual GA where I was welcomed back. I told my story and listened to others. Then I stayed with a good mate from Uni. He bought me breakfast and then I went back to my house to drop the suitcase in my car and went up to see Val one last time until next week. I had a meeting in town with a photographer who is a smart businessman and wants to add Video to his services – and wants me to manage that. he is great at marketing and has amazing clients who want him to do their videos but he knows nothing about video – and he has put his clients to me before always with great results. We are meeting again next week. He also tole me the most amazing story which I will pass on later as my battery on the laptop is running low and if it runs out I have to get someone to put the password in – I do not have it. Long story.

      So now I am only my way to Brighton – I am up. Not crazy up, not druggy up. But just up about possibilities. The mess I made is still here but now, with 56 days gambler free AND the positive steps I am taking working out, I feel able, stronger, day by day, to make the right decisions. I will still —- up, but I can cope with that. Things can, as they say, only get better.

      I just posted a long post on Charlsters post as he is going soon. I love him so much, he has posted so much encouragement for me when I was so low (as did many people) and I feel so great that me leaving freed up a space for him. Charlster, dude, go forth. Recover, you are worth it. I will miss you, but you will be gone for the full amount. I know it.

      One final thing. When I applied for GMA I also applied to the National Problem Gambling Clinic. They had a waiting list of about 20 weeks. When I went to GMA I never cancelled the NPGC. I have done CBT with them from Dev 2012 to Feb 2013. But I didn’t take it seriously as I did not know ho progressive this illness is and how much worse it would get. Anyway, in October I went to an open day and they said they were starting a new treatment which was psychodynamic psychotherapy – looking into the patients past to look at the core issues which lead to compulsive behaviour. This is for me, I thought, but they said you need at least 80-90 days gamble free time as you need to be able to think and prior to that the brain is still scrambled from compuslive gambling with all the dopanine etc running riot. I called them today and left a message. They called back and said I could have an assessment on 22 June and that I would qualify for the psychodynamic treatment. By 22 June I will be 78-79 days gamble free and the treatment would start within 2 weeks after that – I hit the 90 days. This is the treatment I need. My gambling stems from deep issues of my self image, how I see myself, how I ultimately do not like myself for many many reasons. This can help me unpack this. This is the treatment I would like to try and now it is available.

      All good things to those who wait.

      Tomorrow is day 58, Sundday is 59 and MOnday 50 – another keyring from GA.

      I have everything I need in place to not gamble, and also I have work stuff to build and new opprtunities. Everything I read in the GA handbooks is true, and I just need to trust now. I need to work hard, and expect setbacks along the way, but things can’t get worse as long as I do not gamble. And when not gambling I can work on recovery.

      Love to all, this site has helped me so much, as has everyone else here. I hope to post again maybe SUnday evening.

      But from me, I want to wish Charlster a very successful treatment in Dudley, the ugliest city in the world, but in the GMA programme full of the loveliest and most special.

      Over and out


    • #30499

      Hi Mav just wanted to say thanks for the post on my thread, it’s good to get positive posts , thank you . Also well done on your 60 Days , i’m on 24 days 🙂 M.

    • #30500

      Cheers Micky. I should have written 69. 3 weeks today is my 90 days and then I can start my 12 steps. I have never been so serious about anything as I am about this recovery, which will be for the rest of my life. I have kind of idealised recovery, but it is working. I feel so much better, my memory is coming back every day, I am fitter, I quit smoking (starting Vaping but that’s diffferent).

      I am off to my brothers shortly as he needs to change the Netnany settings (still blocking gambling but it;s blocking a few non gambling websites) and then I wil post a nice update.

      I am catching up on lots of threads – had some time off but weirdly I feel I have a responsibility to read ALL the posts that have accrued while I have been gone. How mad is that?

    • #30501

      Thanks for your post on my thread and the positive feedback for my poem; I was quite chuffed with it 🙂

      You are totally right, the very short lives thrill that gambling brings me is sooo not worth the aftermath of destruction. Must keep looking forward.

      Glad to hear you’ve got a day with your son to look forward to, children make the world seem so much more simple. I don’t have kids myself (yet – hopefully some day) but my young niece and nephew being me so much happiness. Everything is so black and white, and so very innocent through the eyes of a child. It’s so refreshing 🙂

      Keep up the positive energy Mav, it’s infectious!

      Speak soon, J

    • #30502

      Hi everyone,

      I just wanted to check in and say I am still wading through the huge number of posts I missed while I was away. I have had my parent’s house to myself for the last 2.5 weeks – they return today. I am collecting them from Hanley Bus Station.

      I have loved chilling out here and exploring Stoke again. I have met up with old friends, found a new GA chapter both in Stoke and in Derby. It means 80 miles round trips on Monday and Tuesday evening but compared with the effort I put into gambling (the lies, finding ways and places to play, new credit cards, swapping money from accounts) it is well worth it.

      I have moved out of one spare room with a single and into another spare room (actually my old room when I was 16-18) as it has a double bed and the dog has to sleep with a human being and the single was not big enough for the both of us. I am loving having my dog back.

      Since getting back I have not posted as much as I have been super focused on slowly working my mind back into doing stuff, setting small goals and achieving them. Before I went away i was sometimes posting 2 or 3 times a day as I was going mad, truly. Now my mind is calmer. I am a long way from being recovered, I don’t think I ever will. they say you never recover fully after an addiction such as gambling, it makes such a mark on your psyche. But recovery is a process one day a time, making better choices, thinking things through, being good to yourself. I used to have a HUGE beard as I could not be bothered to shave. When I went to GMA I shaved it off and since then have been cultivating 2 70’s style mutton chops and a rather fetching tache. It’s looking good now and when I wear my pork pie hat dressed in smart clothes and a nice jacket I look good. I haven’t felt that for a long time. I like the way I look. I am going to find some new clothes and refine a new identity. I do not want to be the old Maverick. that Maverick was a mess – lying, compulsive, lazy, scared, isolated, panicky, depressed. This is a new Maverick, but not TheNewMaverick as that was my poker name. No, this is Maverick_2.0. Taking on board all my dreams and fantasies, which are a part of me, with a new dose of realism and acceptance. And recovery is a blanket I am draping myself in. Life will get hard, there will be tough choices, but as long as I am not gambling and confusing myself then I can look to my higher power and make what I hope are the best choices. And if they aren’t i will learn from them, and keep learning. I used to say the moment you stop learning you might as well be dead. Well, emotionally and intellectually I have been dead for the entire time I was gambling and before when I was taking loads of drugs. This is the cleanest I have been for maybe 25 years. I haven’t even had a drink since 2nd Feb. I have stopped smoking, switching to a decent Vape product. It works fine. 2 days I have smoked only 1 cigarette which I cadged when my battery died last night. Must remember to buy a spare batter to avoid that going forwards.

      Going to London on Saturday to see my boy. Just FaceTimed with him just now. I love him so much. I am so much more present with him now than I ever was. Perhaps I had to go through what I went through the experience what is going to happen to me going forwards. There is so much positive stuff happening but I must never get complacent.





      On Sunday I get Valentin all to myself all day. We are driving to a good friend’s house who lives in a village in the South Downs just off the A3 about 30 mins before Portsmouth. We are going for a walk in the woods. He has 2 small daughters who I know will enjoy being with Val and Val will enjoy them. I have not met his daughters and in fact he came into my life just as the gambling was reaching its end point this year and he has been there on the end of a phone whenever I needed him. We were very close at Uni, did lots of mind altering substances together and laughed a lot. When I am with hi, it is like time melts away and the old jokes return. I am very excited.

      I would like to extend the arm of friendship to all the oold guard who have always been there for me such as but not limited to Happy, Vera, Liberty, Adam, Fritz, Jan’s Dad, ButchUgly, SlotJunkie, Liberty, TheEnd, Seri and so many others, as well absent friends such as Charlster who is getting the treatment he deserves at GMA, and our new member Jenny, Gov and so many more I cannot remember. If I forgot your name I am sorry but i do not want to break my stream of thought going back and checking.

      I cleaned the house today, washed the sheets and everything is pristine. I am looking forward to my folks coming back. I will no longer have the house to myself but I have shown i can now handle my time on my own and be productive. I could gamble if I wanted to as they have an internet TV, but to be honest it is the last thing on my mind. My computer which I use most of all is properly blocked and that’s what matters.

      I wish everyone well in their own personal recovery, and I pray for everyone struggling with this insidious illness. And it is truly and illness and it makes you very ill. gambling does crazy things to one’s mind, it distorts everything, changes the way you see the world, yourself. I am starting to get glimpses of how it changed me as my mind continues to clam down.

      Love to all, gotta walk the dog.


    • #30503

      It’s a shame I can’t reply to these posts on my phone , admin should look in to this 🙂 .
      Great to see you are on the road to recovery maverick , I can see lots of positive energy flowing all over you please keep this up . Gambling is a nasty addiction and it is certainly very very hard to kick as you know I relapsed very recently .
      But life goes on and we all have so much to look forward to.
      Living with the parents is not that bad at least they are kind enough to open their doors for us , I had to move in with my parents few times it’s not great but nice to have the support right next to you should you need it .
      Hope you have great trip with val on Saturday spending more time with your son will give you lots of positive energy I love my son to bits and he is really my inspration to carry on .
      Keep it up you are doing fantastic x

    • #30505

      Hey Mav,

      What an interesting journey it has been for you. I dont normally read other gamblers post only because I don’t get much time to do so. I come on to check in every now and then so everyone knows I am ok. But your story just caught me off guard and I was so compelled by your journey at GMA. I cant believe they turned you away, your still a gambler even if it might be a smaller part of a bigger thing. I like your perspective on it though, being grateful for the experience even though it was short. You have the right attitude and I sense you have a lot of hope and stamina to keep going and to keep fighting.

      I am in my 30s and have been giving myself such a hard time lately because I realised the years I wasted gambling. And its felt like I have literally thrown everything out of the window. And I just haven’t been able to see any light in the midst of realising what gambling made me become. But you young man in all your honesty and wisdom put a smile on my face and has brought me the hope I need to move on.

      I am very proud of you, keep going, it most certainly can be done. I am a couple days away from being 9 months clean and I am ecstatic. I dont even really think about gambling anymore. But I don’t let that fool me, seeing a counsellor and staying accountable to friends and family, so that we never forget how much the past has affected our present.

      Lets continue to dream again together my friend.

    • #30506

      Hi Mav thanks for your post they are always positive, i’m really looking forward to going to the CNWL and kick starting my life with the help of therapy/ treatment . In the mean time it’s one day at a time on my recovery journey . M.

    • #30507

      Hello Maverick.
      I woke this morning from a dream. I dreamt I was in my old haunt gambling but not totally absorbed. I dreamt I went to the ATM and took out €50×2. I tried to insert one note into the machine but it was too wide for the slot. It was a FAKE note. I woke up when I got bored standing in the queue to get to the cashier to complain about the fake note. ….It was only a dream, Maverick but I woke realizing how easy it would be to slip back into that dreadful scenario. The same people who gambled in that casino were in my dream. The cashier (called Marie) was as real in the dream as she ever was. She was wearing the same tee shirt with the name of the “casino” (glorified arcade on it). The power of the human mind, even at an unconscious level never ceases to amaze me. I think the fake note symbolizes the “fakeness”of Gambling. The minute I woke up I thought “Maverick will soon have a 100 days behind him”….then I turned on the laptop and saw lots of posts from you! Mental telepathy ,methinks!
      The reason my dream was so vivid was because I am trying to wean myself off a sleeping tablet which I have become too dependent on ( you know how “drugs” play tricks on our already fried brains!!) and I took a substitute to replace the original poison. I am highly sensitive to all chemicals. Legal or illegal. This other drug really wrecked my head. I won’t name it. Suffice to saw, I wont take the same dose tonight. Gambling masked a lot of my issues. Without the props we have to face Life single handed. I think lots of CGs use alcohol , cigs and RX medication to soften Life’s blows. The real boxing match begins when we find ourselves in the ring without any gloves. Sometimes we need to fight this addiction bare knuckled. When it fails to get us in reality, it will try to posses our minds in our dreams…..I hate those G dreams!
      Saturday will be your 100th day, but it really is only today that matters, Maverick. I think of you a lot. You had a real hard struggle. I know that. Your posts are calmer now. What a difference in 97 days Glad to hear the Therapy in London is working out for you. When you make more progress who knows what will happen with your wife? Maybe it would be good to put things on hold before you make any permanent changes. Life can be full of surprises!
      I hear a hen squaking! That means another egg! Hubby brings me home made brown bread and a soft boiled egg in bed in the mornings (or afternoon) when I wake up. I make the bread. He makes the marmalade. The joys of old age!!!!

    • #30508

      Well, I didn’t actually expect to get to my thread quite so quickly. Even if I do not post here as often as I once did I think about this place a lot and about everyone who has taken even 1 minute (usually longer) to respond to my posts. IN the early days they were mad, full of self hate, self loathing. Then fear. Now, as I start posting a bit more regularly, I intend them to contain little nuggets of my recovery and the knowledge I am gaining in what recovery means.

      First of all a big shout to all my old friends and to my new ones. I see there are new members here as well as regulars – big up to you all, and well done for coming here. This is a good starting point for recovery via abstinence.

      I have so much to post I am actually going to spread it out. I am making a schedule for myself and am going to programme in upto 1 hour every 2 days to post, read and contribute.

      The only thing I want to say right now is I finally found a sponsor to work with me on the 12 and recovery programme. Taking advice from an old timer in my London GA I went to NA. He said they are more together about recovery and step work, that GA is not the best place to do the steps and they are all the same and anyway, as I have said many time, drug use/ abuse was my first addiction/ compulsion.

      I knew I was in the right place as soon as I walked in on Friday near Tottenham Court Road. A fella came up and spoke with me and welcomed me. We connected immeditaley and when I asked him if he had done sponsor work and he said yes I asked him if he would be my sponsor. He said he felt as soon aas I walked through the door he was going to sponsor me. Timing. Higher Power. Giving in to the addiction. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my life and I am not religious. He has 20 years of recovery and he is fantastic.

      I am so happy to be back, I have so much good news to tell. I am not recovered. Infact I might have 97 days clean time G Free, but I have no recovery in terms of the personality change I want to make one day at a time. I have no or almost no gambling thoughts, as I know if I gamble I will lose even more than last time as one bet leads to another to another.

      Things are tough with my soon to be exwife and on Weds we had an argument that was not helped by the fact that I have nor ecovery so I become petulant, manipulative and alround shitty making her cry. I was selfish, self centered and totakllky lacking in empathy. That was when I realised I have no recovery and hence me asksing advice at GA and getting the NA advice.

      I’ve started steps 1 and 2. Step 1 is sorted but I keep reminding myself every day. I am powerless over gambling AND my life is unmanageable. I am now starting to wrap my head around my higher power, but some really strange and fortuitous things are happening. I had 3 day work last week filming, and possibly more coming up and maybe some amazing opportunities on the horizon. I have my desk set up in my old bedroom and the relationship with my parents is improving as I am making the effort.

      I know things will not be easy going forwards, but as long as I do not gamble I can cope.

      I go to GA in Derby on a Monday, Stoke on a Tuesday and London on a Thursday followed by an NA in London on a Friday. I am working on my honesty, listening, empathy and understanding. Not letting my ego run me.

      I am going to sign off here so I can read some more posts before the group starts at 3pm.

      Love to all, I am happy and grateful to be back, that a site like this exists. Without it I do not think GA would have been enough in those early days of Feb/ March this year.

    • #30509

      Hi Vera

      You are one of the people here I think about a lot for a whole range of reasons. When I wrote my post your post did not exist, but you posted just before I did. Will you be in the group at 3? I wish I could get some of your eggs for my son. He loves eggs and I love to buy local eggs from hens one of our neighbours keeps here near my parents. SO free range they join you for a cuppa in the kitchen.

      Glad to hear you’re doing well and that a dream is only a dream.

      See you soon, you’ll ee more of me now that I kind of understand what my recovery involves and how far I am from any kind of real recovery.

      All my love as always chicken lady.

    • #30510

      Hi Mav,

      It is 2AM here and I couldn’t fall asleep. I felt like lonely, bored and gambling. But instead, I come here to watch your post. Thanks for welcoming me yesterday when I first joined the chat room. I am a bit enlightened by your post.
      1) I have to say that I am blessed that my brother supports me and he didn’t made me feel ashamed. My mind is stronger when someone understands me.
      2) I have the same choices as you mentioned. no matter how lucky I would be, I can’t win the amount back which could cover my loss. You had a really good point.
      3) mostly, I have other mental problem as well. Gambling is simply a symptom. Telling others or myself that not to gamble wouldn’t really help in the long run. I really have to solve the root cause of my depressing and unhappy life.

    • #30511

      Hey Vilkku, you have no idea (and nor do I) but I think we have a huge amount in common. We are not alone. But from what I have gleaned about you we share LOTS of things in common.

      Write your story here, share it with us.

      In the meantime, I have taken more massive steps to recovery. I had another argument with my (soon to be ex) wife last Thursday. Again at the end of a very long day which started at 4am with the drive to London, and ends as I try to leave to go to GA after dropping off our son. I know when the arguments stop it is because I am UNable to sit back and take whatever criticism she has. Also we may have more work from our client who funds the Deaf films, and she has been working for them while I have been off sick. SO if more work comes in it is for us and not just me, so we do have to find a way of working together as well as sharing our son. Perhaps that is our destiny, as we always used to work really well together.

      I hit day 100 on Saturday and went to Brighton to see my best mate and his family. There was a barbecue on the beach in Brighton. It was bloody windy. On the Sunday morning we FaceTimes my (soon to be ex) wife who put Valentin on so his kids could say hello. They treat our son as their little brother which is so awesome.

      Today I took another massive step. As I explained I bought myself an iPod Touch so I could use the running app which is a couch to 5K app which has a voice which tells you when to run and walk. It is an old iPod so cannot run the latest os. This means you cannot download the latest software. Everything written now on the App Store runs on iOS 7 and my iPod only runs iOS 6. This is a protection. However, I can download old versions of software which I had previously bought and there were 9 poker apps on there. They were not all money apps, some were only ‘play’ money but I know now I cannot ever play poker again. I have so far resisted downloading them but I know how devious this addiction is. I can only delete them in iTunes but NetNanny blocks access to the iTunes store. My mum has the NetNanny password so this morning we disabled the computer, logged into iTunes, deleted the apps and then protected the computer again, testing it out. At first the gambling sites were not locked, so it took 10 more mins but we did it. To download any new software I have to first download it from iTunes so that then I go to the cloud in my iPod and it will download the old version that way. This means that to download and install any new software I have to go through iTunes, which means I need my mum to disable iTunes. This is extra protection and now makes me very happy. I made the right choice in getting the iPod as I am running 3 times a week with it. I download Radio programmes from the iPlayer and listen to them while I run. Mainly science programmes.

      I am off to the gym now, then off to GA in Derby tonight where I will take the meeting for the first time. I am speaking with my sponsor from NA every day, doing a gratitude list and starting the 12 steps soon. I am so glad I have started to go to NA as I found myself thinking about drugs (mushrooms and ecstasy and dope primarily) wondering if the time was right for me to get high again. But that was my first addiction. I didn’t just do drugs to have fun in the end, I used them to destroy myself. Back when I was 24 in 1998 I ended up again at my mum and dad’s due to heroin addiction. Funny how things repeat. So now I am addressing the fact that my name is Maverick and I am an ADDICT.

      Love to all, see you soon


    • #30512

      Hi Mav thanks for your post on my thread, as usual very positive. I am making lifestyle changes like you and feel 100% bettter for it , onwards and upwards my friend 🙂 M.

    • #30513

      Didn’t manage to make the gym yesterday as I decided I would go running after GA. I did. I am on my 3rd week of running Mon, Wed and Fri. I was properly sweating. I am off the opticians today, but before that I will go to the gym and then I will go to GA. Today I am working slowly but steadily on untangling the financial mess I am in. This is not just due to gambling, but due to not taking things seriously.

      The meeting at GA went really well last night. I took the meeting which was amazing. I was on a high when I left. Everyone thanked me. Usually this meeting does not so readings from the Orange Book but yesterday we read 3 and finished with the Just For Todays. Everyone got a lot from that and people were happy.

      I feel I am making small bits of progress, just got to keep it up. With the help of GA, NA, my Sponsor, This site and soon the National Problem Gambling Clinic I will arrest this illness one day at a time.

      I did an gratitude list last night and this morning. Wow they have power.

      My love to everyone here, be good.

    • #30514

      What a lovely word picture you created on Happy’s Thread of you and your darling son sitting near Hyde Park, Maverick.
      As I close my eyes I can visualize you both. The angelic baby on the verge of becoming a boy. The loving daddy gazing at his own image and projecting his dreams, hopes and worries on to an uncertain future in a world that is fragile and unpredictable and I thought of the Heavenly Father and how he must be gazing at each of His sons and daughters , shielding and protecting us from every harm and danger, yet allowing us the freedom to stray if we choose to disregard His Will.
      This is what the “Higher Power” means to me Maverick. A Loving Father always there to welcome us back when we stray. ‘
      ‘Hope the weather in London is better than it is in Ireland. It’s more like November than July here!

    • #30515

      Hi Mav, thank you for your post on my thread. i don’t know why but i have been going through a dry spell when it comes to posting. i am currently doing ok, thanks to a supplement which i am on called really curbs urges.
      so nice to hear about you out and about with your little son..those are great days when the are so little. you are a obviously a great and caring dad ..our kids opinions of us have nothing to do with money . How often have you heard people speak with pride about their parents , of how much they did for them despite having so little?
      Keep making being a dad your number one priority in life Mav and then you will have a friend for life!! you are so worth it!!

    • #30516

      Hi ijust wanted to stop by your thread and say how well you are doing, how far you have come. Well done Mav. Life is sounding so much improved from where you were. Enjoy that family time when they are little, it goes so fast. Wonderful to see your progress


    • #30517

      Just a quick check in. Day 115 since my last bet. My life is still a wreck, still living at my parents, still driving to London for a few days at a time a week, spending more time with my son, focusing on recovery. As long as I do not gamble I know I am put the pieces back together.

      I am attending at least 1 or 2 NA meetings a week and am working the steps. I can’t afford for that addiction to make a reappearance in my life, so heading that one off at the pass. NA is an amazing fellowship, similar but very different to GA. I am almost at 30 days since joining and do not regret it for a bit.

      Love to you all, not much to report except to say that my life goes on, one day at a time.

      I am grateful that this site exists, that GA exists, that NA exists, that I want recovery, that I am loved and I love back.

      Most of all I am grateful that with recovery, I can have a life which is truthful, honest, open and fruitful.

      Love to you all


    • #30518

      Good to see a post from you Mav. You’ve been on my mind this weekend. We had a friend here visiting yesterday. He reminds me of how I visualize you. ( I always conjure up mental images of people) . His wife left him. He shared the whole story. He was stunned. Sat there for hours sucking his e cig. I fed him well.

    • #30519

      great to see you are sticking with your recovery and addressing other issues that may rear their head again. A top effort that you should be proud of.

    • #30520

      Thanks Vera and Angie and everyone else who reads my posts. Today is a weird day. Feeling low, unmotivated. A real struggle to get stuff done. I was in a good mood last night after I got back from NA, but last night I had a dream of gambling. First one. I have read other people having similar dreams. The oddest thing abouit this one was that the dream of gambling was a dream within a dream. A bit like inception. I was gambling, but like in sludge. It didn’t feel like me, like I was in my own head but only able to watch. I don’t know if I was winning or losing, I was just playing. But I knew I shouldn’t but then I ‘woke up’. I was confused as I was somewhere I didn’t know, and then I really woke up at home. Very odd.

      The weather is now starting to get me down, and the enormity of what I have done is getting to me. I have been thinking of not going to my GA meeting tonight but I know that that is the addictiomn talking/ So I will go, as I don’t want to. They say those are the most important meetings.

      I got an email on Saturday with the copmanie’s corporation tax bill. Another 10K of company debt. I guess that puts the stake through the dying vampire’s heart. That makes over 30K of debt for the company. There’s no way I can trade out of that so this week I am seeing my accountant and finding out what we can do. I want to keep the rights to the films. It’s gonna be messy but I know I will feel relieved when that is sorted. Except I cannot be arsed. I just want to bury my head in the sand. This is my lowest day for months.

      The urge to forget it by getting high by either gambling or taking drugs is quite strong, just to forget my troubles for a short while. Except i will know they are always there and the highs will be empty. That’s why I started NA, to head that off at the pass as it were.

      I will join the open group at 1pm today if anyone fancies joining me.

      God bless you all


    • #30521

      All of the above can play havoc with our moods, Maverick.
      Just sit tight.
      Can you call one of your NA/GA buddies for a chat?
      Seeing the consequences of my actions always made me feel like running to the “comfort zone”.
      Only problem is when we drag ourselves back from Hades the thing that drove us there will still be waiting.
      Deep breaths Mav!
      Better days ahead!

    • #30522

      You are so right dearest Vera. This is a hangover of the damage done by gambling. The low mood is needed for me to realise how much damage I have done and the state of my life. It is in my hands, I just need the strength to do action.

      I will not gambling as there are now answers there.
      I will not take drugs as there are no answers there.
      I will set myself 5 simple tasks for today and be grateful when I achieve them.

      See you soon and all my love


    • #30523

      Must be the day for it, feeling low. I noticed P has mentioned she has been low too recently. And so have I today. The hard thing to remember is that the feelings do pass, and I can see that you are aware of your emotions at the moment, and what you can do to keep your recovery, so well done. It is not easy, and I admire the strength you are showing and the huge effort you have put in to getting the life you deserve.

    • #30524

      I like that post, you are honest and you are talking through urges and desire to fix things with a fix. You are aware it’s short lived and that fix soon comes to an end with double the consequences and angst than before. You have come such a long way Maverick, really well done on your progress. Is there a nice non addictive reward you can give yourself now and then, a movie, a nice take away, whatever is a little treat to you. You need treats too sometimes.


    • #30525

      Thanks P and Angie for your posts on my thread. It always warms the cockle of my heart when people make the effort to respond to the drivel I sometimes write on here.

      I am back in London and sleeping in the car tonight. I have it all organised. I was gonna stay with a mate but he failed to tell me he has to leave at 5:30 in the morning for an early shift, and I would have to leave at that time too. Now I have to be at Monica’s by 7:30 but 5:30 is too early for me to get my shit together. I told a lie and said I had somewhere sorted. No need to worry him. He knows I sleep in the car sometimes. He thinks it’s funny. What’s useful is that his shower is buggered anyway so I asked Monica if I could shower at her place and that’s fine. She doesn’t know I sometimes sleep in the car as she’ll think I do it to have a go at her. the truth is I enjoy it. I actually get a good nights sleep. It’s my car and my space. I have a quiet car park and I get wifi from the local pub. With my inverter I can watch TV on the laptop and not kill the battery.

      The last 2 days have been stranger. Have not really been here. Right now I feel much more on top but the truth is I do not trust any of my emotions. I think i was sort of numb for so long gambling I have forgotten what true, real emotions are. I have traced it back to my medication. A few weeks ago I forgot my medication and spent 6 days without it. During those 6 days I started to feel I was coming out of a dream. Then I had a meeting with the doctor who said that was bad. She prescribed me a lower dose. The truth is with this anti-depressent is that the lower the dose the more it makes you sleepy. Since then I have been sleeping longer, deeper, and been really wooly during the days. So I have decided, as I am seeing teh doctor next week, I am stopping again for a few days to see how I feel and how my energy levels are. My reality won’t change but hopefully my approach on my reality will.

      There are lots of positive things floating about and I need my full consciousness. I need to be alert to the changes that are about to take place. Finacially I am in a shit position with no or little money coming in and the overdraft almost maxed out. However i will keep faith with my higher power. I feel that things are about to change. If I need to I will speak with my parents about borrowing some money off them until I find work again, which I feel will happen soon. I just need to decide what kind of what I want, and when it comes I need to be on full form.

      My heart goes out to those who are struggling to kick this awful habit. I am so glad that even though I could have gambled I truly haven’t. Today is day 118 since the last bet. That is a drop in the ocean but almost 4 months. 2 more months to get the next keyring. I get my next keyring with NA on Sunday evening marking 30 days since my first NA meeting.

      I know I am doing the right things but I also know that recovery cannot and will not be rushed. It cannot or it is not true recovery. This will take years. That is a hard fact to take. It will take me a few years to get back on a sound financial footing but hopefully when it does I will be smarter about the way I live my life and interact with others.

      I think I do not see the world in the same way as others. I do not see myself as others see themselves. I am going to find out what is wrong with my mind and why I think the things I do, and why I believe the things I do. There is so much for me to learn about myself, and I am happy I am on that course again. Gambling robbed me of curiosity. It blanked me out. All I wanted to do was gamble, play a game which had no end except ruin. I lost I always lost and if I gamble again I will lose again. It is impossible to win. I know that now.

      So, to finish, I am grafteful for my health, my parents, my family, my son, the good weather, my overdraft, the fact I ate, I have somewhere to sleep, and I have a future. Which for a long time I didn;t, I only had a miserable present. And that is good.

      One day a time onwards and upwards.

      All my love


    • #30526

      This thread started when I cam out of GMA a broken mad. But I knew what I needed to do. NOT GAMBLE. Everything else would take care of itself.

      1) Find more GA groups. DONE. I go to Derby on a MOnday, Stoke on a Tuesday and London on a Thursday where I do a steps meetng followed by a meeting. I have kept that up until this week when I was in London for the Tuesday because of work. So I did 2 meetings in London on Tuesday and I am doing 2 this even. I need the medecine. GA reminds me every time I go what will happen if I relapse. Someone just relapsed in my group. He lost a lot of money but more than that he is suicidal again needing lots of care and attention.

      2) Get back on the National Problem Gambling CLinic waiting list. Done. I ahve had 2 assesment and have another on on Sept 11th, and hopefully treatment starts towards the end Sept.

      3) Start looking at debts. I have no almost completed my list of all my debts and then I speak with Business Debt Line to deal with the company and personal debts

      4) Work. Work is trickling in without making much of an effort. When I start putting myself out there I am sure it will come.

      5) Always be there for my son. Depsite living 160 miles away form London I am spending at least 3 days a week with him and loving every minute

      6) Start my steps. I am doing that with NA as I swapped drugs for gambling and do not want to go back to drugs.

      Not had a drink since 1st Feb 215, not gambled since 2nd April 2015 and not taken a controlled susbstance since new year when I had a spliff. Have been in NA now for 33 days so I get a new keyring next time I go.

      7) Treat myself fairly. I have done what I have done, its in the past. By focusing in the here and now I can start to fix and repair things. It will take time – infact the rest of my life, but that;s good.

      8) Keep going to GA even when I don’t want to. That’s when I most need it.

      9) Just for today I will not gamble. And so far I haven’t.

      I love this site I love everyone here. RIght now I am up but tomorrow I could be down, and infact if I think too hard about the past it makes me go down. Self pity soon sets in so I have to be aware of that as when I start feeling sorry for myself I feel the urge for my crutches such as gambling or dugs to escape the pain. For now I want to feel the pain as it is real and real is good. No more plastic fantastic escapism.

      Today is a good day, and I am grateful for that. I have a car to sleep in, I can afford food, I am showered and brushed my teeth and I have some satisfying work on for this weekend. My son is healthy I am healthy and slowly good things are happening again. But if I am not careful bad things will happen and sometimes they will happen and I have no control over them except how I react.

      God (as you choose to understand him/her/it) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
      The courage to change the things I can
      And the wisdom to know the difference.

      Love to you all


    • #30527

      Hi Mav .. Great post. Sorry we got cut off in group so fast.. WOuld have been nice to catch up. Great to gear you are doing so well. Kinda hard to catch people now in the open groups as they seem to be just about to end when I log in .. Take care!!

    • #30528

      Have you changed your name again? Not sure I like the new one, I preferred the last one you had. You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

      I hope you’re ok, trying to catch up on all the forums while still getting other stuff done.

      See you around

    • #30529

      What a marvellous accomplishment, not only to yourself but to those around you. No drinking, no drugs, no gambling. You are a new man Mav. So fantastic to read your progress. All those meetings are your medicine , I agree, I see them like that too. If you want to stay well, take the medicine. Well done Maverick, be proud of you!


    • #30530

      Long time no speak! Hope you are well.

      I notice you haven’t posted for a while, maybe it’s because you’re unable to.

      Be good to have an update on you and the family etc.

      Take care,


    • #30531

      So I am on day 156 now. I had totally forgotten about you lovely people. Of course I think about you and think i must write something, but then I forget when I have the time.

      My last post was actually almost a month ago. Wow. Doesn’t time fly.

      Since then I have shot a produced a music video and slowly been getting on top of the chaos. Have been seeing lots of my son Valentin, and have worked out and invested in kit I need to live in my car. That’s write. Not just sleeping in my car but living in it. It’s the only way i can afford to stay in London AND pay the money my ex wants to hep her look after Valentin.

      I am installing a leisure battery, split charging system, I’ve taken out 2 back seats, got self inflating mattresses, 3 camping stoves, fridge. I LOVE it. I have my spots where I stay where I can get free wifi to check emails.

      I have almost no thoughts of gambling as I know that it would be pointless. I still do GA 3 or 4 times a week wherever I am and have not missed a week since getting out of GMA. I also do NA as well as you know and ust got my 60 days since joining NA. I am doing my steps, looking at my defects, doing my gratitude list. Work front is amazing. Our clients want a new series of films which, if I play my cards right with HMRC, totally saves the business. I am starting with a rented desk in a hot desking office and then we’ll get a short term office. Some amazing film opportunities including a series of 5 min films I am developing about gambling with another well known ex gambler who wrote a book. That is going well.

      The most important thing is I am taking my time. It is just over 100 days since I left GMA earlier than I thought but I am so proud at how I took that. I didn’t relapse, I didn’t start gambling again. I have embraced recovery and will continue on this path, one day at a time, for the rest of my life.

      SO good to see Charlster is out. Thanks for emailing me fella and bringing me back. Awesome what you wrote about your daughter. It’s funny how stuff goes. I had to leave so you could get the care you needed and that makes me happy. I was not meant to be there. I was meant to be out here. My treatment with National Problem Gambling Clinic starts soon so I will get the treatment I need.

      I love you all, and I will see some of you in the groups next week.

      have a great weekend


    • #30532

      I cannot imagine ever gambling again. But I am still a long way from recovery in terms of dealing with my defects of character.

      I couldn’t sleep last night, tossing and turning, strage thoughts through my mind, strange idea. All because of what I am doing right now. I am at a garage having a leisure battery fitted in my car so I can live in my car more effectively and be able to charge my laptop/ phone etc without draining my car battery. This will make it easier staying in London.

      So I listened to some film podcasts from radio 3 as I stared out the window at my parents house watching the sun rise. And then Matthew Sweet, the presenter talking about fairytale movies, mentioned 2 words:

      Nominative Determinism

      The Idea that your name plays a large part in who you become. That some professionals end up in jobs that fit their names.

      eg: Pole Positions — The Polar Regions and the Future of the Planet, written by Daniel Snowman

      So being called Maverick, has that made me: be very independent to the point of craziness, as well as fostering in me a desire to play cards and gamble, leading me to where I am.

      I have a meeting with National Problem Gambling CLinic on Friday and my treatment, which is not CBT but will be psychodynamictherapy, and will raise it there.

      I hope everyone is well, and that you can cope with the urges when they come. I have very few, but to be honest my life is such a mess that gambling would make it worse:

      1) NO gambling
      2) NO drinking
      3) NO drugs

      One day at at time doing that means I can cope with whatever life throws at me better and better.

      See you soon


    • #30533

      You seem to be dealing with a lot of upheaval in your life at the moment, but you are handling everything with a presence of mind that wasn’t always apparent a few months ago. You are a survivor Mav and you will get to where you want to get to.

      Living in your car so that you can accomplish what you need to do, going to numerous GA and NA meetings every week, seeking help from the National Problem Gambling Clinic and utilising this site, are all indicators that prove how hell bent on survival you are and how determined you are to get through your challenges.

      Adversity can be a major trigger to gambling addicts, so you deserve a huge pat on the back for how you’re handling your life during these challenging times.

      Keep doing what you’re doing, stay strong and that light at the end of that tunnel will get ever closer. You deserve to find that stability and happiness in your life and we’re all rooting for you.

      Take care,


    • #30534

      Hi Mav great to hear you are doing so well , my treatment with the NPGC should be starting at the end of september they are very busy hence the long wait for me, sounds like something out of a film living in your car so you can achieve your goal of paying off your debts and getting your life back on track , well done you at least we are trying and not giving up because once you do that you lose everything . M.

    • #30535

      SO today is day 173 since my last bet and would you know it is as clear as day in my mind. It is also 82 days since I started going to NA. A week on Friday will be my 6 month date since my last bet. 10 days away and i get a new keyring for 6 months. I have been invited to talk at my GA on 29th Sept as we are having an open meeting to celebrate clean time. I will be just 3 days short of 6 months then.

      Oddly I have been having gambling thoughts but I understand them now. They mean nothing. A voice tells me I can aort out my finances thorugh winning, or it tells me no harm will come of it, who would know. I would know and that is enough. I know that the lies are what tear me up the most.

      Life is tough at the moment as I rebuild. I have had electrics put in the car and I have a nice nest sorted out. But things fluctuate between the ex and myself, but I love seeing my son.

      I have my dog in London again as my parents are on holiday. I am still proetcted and I could gamble if I wanted. That encourages me to not gamble as I know I could.

      I have still not had a drink, so that is now almost 8 months as well. My last drink of alcohol was on 2nd Feb this year.

      Wow, gambling addiction really fucked me up. Looking back I am staggered by how much time I spent gambling, thinking about gambling or looking forward and working out how to get money to gamble with. And how much time I wasted doing it.

      However, I believe it has to happen to effect change in my life. I was stagnating in a big way, and so something had to create change. Addiction does that. Something in me was very unhappy so it found a way to change it – destroy it to rebuild.

      Am making plans with the business, it looks like there is work out there. I just need to work out how to survive until that happens.

      I love you all and will catch up on the stories. I hope everyone out there is Gamble Free and that life is going as well as it can.

      Over and out


    • #30536

      That is how long it has been since I had a bet. It feels amazing. It is also 94 days since I started going to GA and I last had a drink on Feb 2nd of this year, 8 months ago.

      I am free at the moment from my multitude of addiction and negative behaviours, but I know any or all of them could come back at any time. I pray that this is not just a lull away from gambling, with more heartache and pain to come. That this period away from gambling is not forever.

      I hear stories in GA of people who were away from gambling for a long time, stopped going to GA and then one day, for a reason they can never really explain, they placed a bet. That bet is then followed by another bet, and another and before they know it they are back in the cycle of problem gambling. Usually with more venom and ferocity than before, as if the addiction has just been waiting, that now it is stronger. The chemicals rush through the brain, and suddenly they are borrowing, stealing, lying, not working, feeling suicidal, sinking lower and lower.

      I do not want that to be me, or anyone else. But I only have control over my own actions, and only through my own actions. One day at a time if I do not gambling, do not drink and do not take any drugs (apart from nicotine either through smoking or vaping) then I know I can rebuild, as I am doing.

      My life is slowly coming together and I am having some lucky moments. The best moment that has happened to me was on Thursday, exactly 26 weeks after ly last bet, I got the keys to a council garage. I had been on the waiting list for 4 years or so.

      Last week a letter arrived at the house I used to share with my wife about my garage application, asking if I wanted to stay on the waiting list. I emailed straight away saying yes. 3 days later I got an email saying I was number 31 on the list. Do I still want a garage. I emailed within 10 mins saying yes. The next dayu I got an email saying a garage was available. And it was available on the 1 street I wanted. If someone had asked me exactly where I wanted the garage I would have said here. Infact I could have pointed at the one I got. So now I am moving everything from storage into the garage (which is 70 a month cheaper than what I was paying at the lock up) and I am putting in camping mod cons. Yes, I am moving into the garage on the sly. Obviously this is a secret 😉

      I will be storing all my stuff, but using the space to sleep using a camping inflatable mattress and slwwping back. It is WAY warmer than the car. Now the temperature is dropping I was noticing it. Last week, because I was warm and the air in the car was cold, I had a coughing fit. Suddenly everytime I coughed my left hand side exploded in pain. I coughed so much I has fractured a rib and muscle. The pain is now subsiding but that was a lesson to me. I cannot afford to get ill so I must dress warm, eat well, excercise.

      The garage is really warm because it is under council terraced housing and the heating and hot water pipes run above and behind the garage. It is warm enough to walk around in sleeping shorts. I will get a gas powered camping heater.

      I have brushed it out, pt down dust sheets and then 3 layers of cardboard to make a wall to wall carpet. The best thing is it is twice as large as my lock up so even with my stuff I will have room to make a nest I can easily put away and hide so if people do look in all they see are boxes and stuff. That is important.

      Life is good. And that is because I am not gambling. I realise when I gamble it scrambles my mind, distorts my thinking so that all I think about is gambling – but gambling badly, losing money, self respect etc etc. We know the patterns don’t we.

      Tonight I go to NA and get my 90 days keyring and tomorrow I go to GA and get my 6 months keyring.

      I know it is down to this site, GA, the short stay at Gordon House and my upcoming treatment at the national problem gambling clinic that have become my cructhes and that is good. GA is medicine. If I do not go at least twice a week I feel it and have distant gambling thoughts. They have always gone by the time GA finishes. That is why GA is my chemo, my insulin, my statins. It is my medicine and without it I may get sick again.

      Thanks to all my friends on this site who have, over the last few months, taken the tome to answer my posts, write to me and well as sharing their most painful throughs, for me to learn from them. I will name only the few that I can remember without looking them up.

      In no particular order:
      female gambler
      And everyone else whoI cannot remember right now. Please do not be offended.

      I pray, my friends, that you can come through this and experiebce what is beyond. These are my refrains:

      Abstinence is not recovery, but without abstinence there can be no recovery.
      It is easy to quit gambling, the hard part is staying quit.
      I am not defined by my addictions, they are a part of me and as such ass embrace and accept them as they are a part, and only a part of me, and in time they will lessen and other aspects of my personality they have smothered will rise.
      I am a good person who sometimes makes bad choices. But that doe snot make me a bad person.
      Today, i will love me for who I am and not hate me for what I am not.

      Peace and love

      (From my nuclear bunker. I miss windows….)

    • #30537

      Very well done on your 6 G Free Months, Maverick and on all your other achievements. I was thinking of you this weekend, and wondering how you were faring out sleeping in the car . (I must say it sounds dodgy to me!) The temperatures have dropped and the nights are foggy so that makes a big change from getting eye shut in the summer at say midnight and wakening to sunlight streaming in your car window. I’m glad to hear you have “upgraded”. The garage sounds like a gift for sure Maverick but I guess it’s not designed for human habitation. Especially if you are rigging up gas to cook on!! Be careful, Maverick. I like taking risks but sometimes we need to check out the finer details. God forbid that anything serious should go wrong, but apart from that, it might be just a matter of time before some of the other garage users become suspicious and report “unusual activity”. What do you think yourself of the likelihood of that happening?
      I’m really happy that you are not gambling, Maverick. It was playing games with your head . Worse than any drug. You know that. ‘Don’t need this ol’ doll to tell you. As for me, I am NOT 6 months G, free like you. I’m still dabbling , supping with the devil and losing the little sanity I have left; clawing money from the wrong sources and discarding it in the blink of an eye as if it were going out of fashion. How crazy is that! Today is Day 3 for me! Like you, I have that spluttering/bursting cough. I too thought I had ruptured a blood vessel or part of my gut during the night and the wheezing was so loud, I got no sleep. Well, even less than usual. It sounded like a sewing machine. Sort of a musical sound which I would have enjoyed if it hadn’t been coming from my own bronchial tubes. Today, I spent €50 in the Health shop buying natural anti inflammatory/soothing products. I found it hard to pay so much for so few items . The Manuka honey had 33% off , so that was a bargain. Strange how we could shove ten/twenty €50 notes into slot machines knowing the poor return and yet cringe over buying a few health products that will help us to breathe.
      We are not BAD, Maverick. I agree, but are we MAD?
      Always in my prayers Mav.
      Be good!
      You deserve the best for your huge efforts. Take a bow!

    • #30538

      To all my friends, it is a year since I first came to this site. I was a wreck, as are almost all CGs when they realise that they’ve reached what they pray is the last rock bottom.

      Thanks in no small part to this site, Gordon Moody, GA and the National Problem Gambling Clinic, as well as NA and on my part a determination to enter a period of recovery that will last the rest of my life, I am now 10.5 months gamble free.

      I have had a quick scan through the posts and I some old familiar names and new one. I will take some time to get back into it as I feel now I have lessons to share.

      On Feb 2nd I celebrated a year without drinking alcohol. I could not have stopped gambling if I had no stopped drinking. I have spent the last 5 months sleeping in a garage (which I made very cosy) but for the last 2 weeks I am looking after my exes flat 9where I used to live) while she is visiting family n Colombia with out son.

      So much has changed. I have changed and I change every day. Right now I am grateful for indoor plumbing and running water. It is a real luxury.

      Quitting gambling was the best thing I have ever done, but oddly i am grateful for having been a CG because without that I would never have realised what an addict I am in so many areas of my life.

      Not gambling is easy now, what’s the point. I never win and even when I win I still lose. I would rather spend my energy on positive activities. I am now 6 days smoking free (though not nicotine using the ECigs as I do).

      Work is ok, I spent LOTS of time with my son when he is here. Every day is a new adventure, I achieve small things, I relax, meditate, tae the do for a walk and try to learn from what I did but not wallow in it. A year ago I had to quit gambling, and it took 6 weeks of insanity. I still remember my last bet.

      I work the steps in a random order, but that works for me.

      I used to use this site every day and post crazy stuff, but it allowed the stuff out of my head.

      To all my old friends who are still on the site, I love you all and hope you are all ok. To the new people who have found this site, I hope you find your way through. Life AFTER gambling is fantastic. And it gets better every day. Life is not a bed of roses for me, I am in huge debt and have lots of work to fix things – but I have time and as long as I do not gamble, drink, take drugs etc, then I have the headspace to be able to approach these tasks with strength and believe knowing that tomorrow will be here soon enough so lets make the most of now.

      Al my love


    • #30539

      Dear Mav
      What a cracking post. Thanks for updating I am smiling from ear to ear just thinking about you.
      I think I understand what you mean when you say that you are oddly grateful for being a CG because I am oddly grateful that I have a CG in my life. I learned so much from him, GT, Gamanon, GA, and it seems to have been an on-going education that affects every part of my life now.
      I have heard others say that every day is a new adventure; your senses that were blunted by addiction have been re-awakened – wow!
      Fantastic – thank you Mav for the difference your posts have made to me

    • #30540

      Gutted to see you changed your name back.

      I was gonna wait until I did a year, but something told me to check in. I hope you are ok. I’m a little bit sad to see a number of the same people here still struggling, but it is worth it. It is however a daily thing. The biggest lesson so far for me is that recovery is not an event, it doesn’t just happen overnight., It is a process which takes the rest of your life, and it can include lapses and relapses (though its better if it doesn’t). It’s all part of the process. Giving p booze and going to NA has helped me hugely, and I am now on my therapy at the NPGC (though in all fairness I am not sure how much use it is after 5 sessions, but I am giving it my all).

      Gotta walk the dog now, but I was thinking of popping into a group this week.

      Take care Sad, see you around.

      All my love


    • #30541

      You have been on my mind a lot, Maverick.
      I’m so happy to hear you are doing well!
      Stay focused.

    • #30542

      I did disappear for a long while without posting, but I still always think of all of the wonderful people on this site. Maybe I just ran out of things to say for a while. Anyway, just now going through some of your thread, and wow, what a transformational year it has been for you! You seem so much more accepting of your life and your situation. It also seems like the whole ordeal has helped you dig down beneath all of the layers to discover what is really going on. That is huge. I’m genuinely so happy for you and all that you have achieved! You are an inspiration to me.

    • #30543

      A lot of what you wrote in your update rang true with me. My relationship ended but that was probably for the best. In truth we get on so much better now and I am develping a cool relationship with my son. There are bright spots on the horizon, which would not be there if I as gabling. I know that.

      Sorry for spelling errors, tired and off to bed.

      Take care eeryone.

    • #30544
      female g

      you are really an inspiration to the oldies and the newbies and I speak for all of us working away at recovery. Its no easy task doing the really important things that constitute real meaningful change. You have shown us what can be achieved and what continues to be achieved with the right direction and commitment. You found what works and see the rewards that you have received and continue to receive through your efforts. I congratulate you and look up to you for what you have done. We all want what you seem to already have and that is a certainty that life is only going to get better if we learn from our mistakes and admit to our problems. Well done and may you see more and more reasons to keep doing as well as you are FG

    • #30545

      Today is a good day, and recently I have been having more good days than bad. Life is not perfect or a bed of roses. I have debts, not much work, but thanks to the fact i am not gambling I have a future and that is exciting. I can take life one day at a time.

      Today is also day 9 without cigarettes. I am saving just £5 a day I do not buy a pack of cigarettes. Tonight I will have £45. NOt a huge amount, but that is a geniune saving. I am spending about £5 a week on the eCigs. 2 cups of coffee, which now I am in a house temporarily, I am not buying as I cannot spend the day in my garage.

      On May 11 I will arrive at the cannes Film festival to take part in the producer’s workshop. I also have a film I produced in 2014 playing at the cannes disability film festival which takes place at the same time (but is nothing to do with the main festival).

      On May 11 2015 I entered Gordon Moody House in Dudley. If someone had said that i would not complete the course at Gordon Moody but, by attending GA and staying committed to the dream of stopping gambling i would be at the Cannes Festival exactly 1 year later (for the first time since 2006) I would have laughed and said you are mad. But that is what has happened. I have met a writer and development executive and the work has started on my gambling recovery feature film. I will share more about that in time. But instead of making a film about just gambling addiction, this is going to be about the process of recovery.

      This site has been a godsend over the last 12 months. I know I have not been here much but we must all find our own path to recovery and I had to to it on my own. I go to GA, NA and therapy at the NPGC. But none of this matter unless I WANT TO STAY STOPPED, ONE DAY AT A TIME.

      In a previous post to another member I talked about the thought experiments I play when I get gambling thoughts. These help me a lot. I imagine myself gambling, and no matter how hard I try I cannot ever imagine a positive outcome. I can imagine winning money, but I always keep playing until I lose it. Or I spend it and then gamble again and lose. Because you lose more often than you win, that’s the business model. if it was any other way they wouldn’t be in business. They wouldn’t have glitzy casinos, or the owners wouldn’t own football teams (Stoke City, my team, is owned by the founders of Bet 365). I saw an interview with the owners of the company, Peter and Denise Coates. They don’t gamble. Funny that.

      It’s a terrible illness, gambling addiction, as there is so little understanding of it., But it’s as powerful a drug as cocaine, crack and heroin. Trust me, I’ve been addicted to them all. Gambling was worse in almost every way. Except no one could tell. When I was a junkie people noticed. I got ill. No one could tell I was a gambling addict, not even the woman who was my wife at the time. I became a brilliant liar, but the lies warped my mind and robbed me of me. I am still recovering and I will ALWAYS be in recovery and that’s why I go to GA. I want to help others, but I need to hear the stories of the newcomers and also the people who relapse after a period of abstinence. I cannot afford this to be a calm before the storm. From what I can tell gambling addiction is much much worse after a period of not gambling.

      If I can be of any help to anyone, please ask. I do not know everything, I am early in my recovery, but I have learned a few things that work for me and if they might work for someone I want to share it. I only have what I have because other people gave it to me, and I can only keep it by giving it away freely.

      have a beautiful and serene and I wish you all my love in your battles, maybe they be positive and successful.


      All my love

    • #30546

      So yesterday my higher power took care of me again. I got a call from a company I called 2 weeks about about a room in a shared house as a Guardian. Then I forgot about it. They called yesterday to say they had a room in a house in Greenwich (about 3 miles from where my ex lives wth my son). I had already resigned myself to going back to the garage if I couldn’t find anywhere as I am powerful over it and I must fit myself to what happens.

      I usually go to GA on a Thursday eve but wanted to join the groups here, so decuided to stay at home. Then I got the call, to look at the room. I took it. Large room, window view of the Thames, good price from London.

      Takes 30 mins in Traffic from there to my exes. In London that’s nothing. ON a bike would be 20 mins or so. Amazing. I have always wanted to live by the Thames.

      So from a garage with no windows, no running water, no leccy – to my exes house while she is away, to my own room, with 3 windows, 1 of which facing the Thames.

      Thanks you. I did the legwork, found the company, rang them, left a message. And I got the call on the one day I could go and loo at it as I chose not to go to GA but to use this site.

      This is all part of the mystery of recovery, that strange shit happens once you stop gambloing and start to bring order back to your life.

      I wish everyone the best

      God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change
      Courage to change what I can
      And the wisdom to know the difference

      Pace and love

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