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    • #30324

      Hi all,

      I’m new to the site after been guided here while on a waiting list for Gordon Moody. I was reluctant to register as I am a very private person and didn’t want to be known or share a very private and dark secret to the world. But I was most encouraged to read some journals where others felt this way too but found this to be a ‘safe’ place and the group to be supportive, caring and mostly understanding.

      So here goes……longwinded but a Journal to remind myself.

      I have been gambling for 20 years. I’ve had the opportunity to work in many countries due to the type of work I do and have always played slot machines at big Vegas type casinos and even went on holiday to Monte Carlo with my son just for the casinos. I got divorced when my son was 2 years old and gambling at casinos was one thing I felt that didn’t affect anyone except me. I had many big wins and played high bets and felt ‘safe’ in the exclusive private VIP area for members only where no one could see me. I did lose but seldom risked money I couldn’t recover by payday or didn’t win back. So I felt good about myself, being able to do and go places which children with two parents couldn’t afford, particularly since I received no support from his father.

      But that all stopped fortunately when I immigrated to the UK and there weren’t any of these big time casinos, so I wasn’t interested. But in 2009, my father who I was very close to and was my support structure and confidante after my divorce, died within 6 months after being diagnosed with cancer. I was devastated and went on a downward spiral of depression, shut out the world and became a recluse. At work I displayed my friendly smiley face and through myself into work but at home, I crawled back into my lost, meaningless unhappy self.

      At the same time my son who was also very close to my father, met some public boys who befriended him at the skate park and was impressed with his performance. They looked up to him and he received the attention and acceptance he was looking for but they led him down the wrong path and soon he was getting in trouble with the police. The police was quite tolerant with him as he was an obedient child and very respectful of authority and kept bringing him home when he got caught stealing with his peers and ‘counselled’ him too while I had words with him. He was a different child at home. But chasing after him, not going to work and stop his truancy from peer pressure after being advised by his friends he was of age and school wasn’t compulsory and I had no say, took its toll on me. After he arrived home with the police again, I sent him back home to his father.

      It was during this time of being all on my own for the first time in 16 years and still being depressed and unhappy, that made me think of gambling and the adrenalin rush and attraction it offered, that I searched for casinos and found online gambling.

      It was the start of my addiction. It was so exciting as I didn’t have to leave my house, no one knew, I could play anytime and as long as I wanted and was accountable to no one but myself. It was the one thing that lifted me from my depression and made me feel powerful and better about myself. The stakes were much higher than I’ve ever played before but so were the wins. I got the biggest wins I’d ever had in my life and I even took pictures of the wins. But it led to my downfall too. I started playing reckless with no regard for reality or consequences. I met my boyfriend who lived in Ireland the year before, so it suited me as I still had my independence. He always questioned or tried to work out how I never had money when I was on such a good salary but that only annoyed and angered me more. He made me feel inferior because I didn’t own my own home and could. I eventually had to admit my addiction to him after I needed his help to bail me out with my rent and move into a smaller, more affordable place. That didn’t help and caused more problems as I had more money to gamble with and didn’t stop and eventually I had to move in with him.

      I tried to stop but still went on behind his back and got found out when he noticed my moods and how miserable and irritable I was after losing. Gambling destroyed my relationship and I had to admit to my sister who then also helped me out and move out from my boyfriend in Ireland and moved in with her in England. But I still played at night in bed, with no light on so they couldn’t catch me. I got a win and managed to hold on to it to move out and into my own rented place where I am now. I was very happy to accomplish this but after the newness and novelty wore off, the demons were back luring me. I thought I would just try again to pay back my sister but control myself. I did manage to pay my sister back after a win but many more losses and the painful feelings of remorse and guilt to hard to bear.

      But it has got to the stage where I cannot stop no matter how big the win is. Enough is never enough. I just keep chasing my losses now. I don’t have a cent to get me through to the end of the month. Fortunately, I am stocked up with food. I gambled everyday. I wait for my salary to come into my bank after midnight to gamble and by the morning, it’s practically gone, except for my rent. I received a bonus and thought I am not going to gamble this away as I did last year but it came and went in 2 days just as before. I haven’t gambled now since Friday only because I don’t have any money. I don’t want to gamble but can’t stop those voices and demons in my head and the lure of a big win as before. I feel I am a hopeless case.
      I’ve been attending GA and also 6 weeks at Breakeven which hasn’t helped me. I’ve found this site to be more personal and better in understanding this illness.

      After reading the Journal from Charles, I’ve seen that one can stop, there is hope and I can become free of this stronghold. I take strength in my faith as I believe I can’t do this in myself and only God can give me that inner strength to free me.

      So from today, I am starting this journey and hope that at the end of this month, I can have all my salary to pay my debts without one cent lost to gambling. I hope I can get the support I need with this tough decision and help with the difficulties I face. I want to recover from gambling, learn to like myself, be happy again, be able to laugh and smile again, socialise, have a zeal for life and accomplish my goals.


    • #30325


      Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

      Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

      Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

      And on that note….

      I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂

      Take care

      The Gambling Therapy Team

      PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
      privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    • #30326

      You can stop. I won’t lie, its not easy. But there is no shame here, just honesty. Honesty of others really helps. If you have urges, or follow through with the urges, just post on here or seek help in the chat rooms. My story isn’t far off from yours, with the secret online gambling and mine has developed over many years. I’m nearly two months gamble free and life is definitely getting better. I am enjoying simple things in life again, such as having roast dinner or watching tv.. It felt weird at first which maybe feel like I would never get past it. Figuring out what to do with myself day to day when I would’ve been gambling. It just got easier as the weeks have gone on. Keep posting : )

    • #30327

      Butchugly, thanks for the encouragement and support. I can’t even see myself stopping but I so much want to. That’s why I’m taking one day at a time. For now, I am not gambling only because I have no money to gamble, so it is no test for me. My biggest test is when I get paid again. I’m struggling with managing to address the non payment on my company card which I should have paid from my expense payment but through it right back in to gambling. I have no control. I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my life and be realistic about my future. I just want to be normal again and enjoy the simple things in life like cycling and gym I was passionate about. Needless to say I’ve put on weight from the binge eating as I’m a comfort eater and my pain, guilt and shame results in this.
      I hope it gets easier…….

    • #30328

      Today I woke up thinking this is a new day and I must focus on being positive. I reflected and had my quiet time with prayer and planned to do some neglected chores around the house and clean to make me feel better as I cannot abide an unclean, disorderly place. But as I was quietly doing things and walking in the garden these demons were reminding that I could only get money to pay my debts from just going back on the site. I was tempted to just look to see if there may be a bonus to play with as I haven’t got any money but I refrained ! I told myself I will not listen to the lies and deceits of the demons and devils on my shoulders.

      But I have to keep occupying my time, being productive and keep my mind busy to avoid being tempted by the attraction and lure of those bright light attractions. I’ve taken pictures of my very big wins and they always play on my mind to remind me how often and how big they were. I tell myself I did when I played, I just was never able to stop because I kept playing for a bigger win and then lost it all down to the last cent, in the hope that my luck changed. I just couldn’t settle for less than that win and tried to get back up again.
      I have to let go of these thoughts……. For now, Im going to unpack some boxes I’ve haven’t opened for 6 months since moving in as my time was totally dedicated to gambling only.
      I also plan to just do some ironing while watching TV to fill and bide away the time tonight. I know I will go to sleep around
      2 am and have to form a normal sleeping pattern again.
      Hope tomorrow gets easier……….

    • #30329

      I called my son today, he’s 22 to follow up on his health after he was hit by a drunken driver while on his motorbike at Easter and was hospitalised. He’s on crutches now with plates in his legs but is paying half his salary to get to work by taxi and doesn’t get paid when he doesn’t work, another story. He mentioned the financial problems he’s having and said I think I’ll just take some money and go to the casino ! Obviously, he knew I used to go. I then ended up begging him not to even think that way. His birthday is on Wed and I said I’m sorry I won’t be able to send him any money for his birthday but I would when I could. He then asked me the big question everyone asks….. mom, what debts do you still have when you have such a good job ? It threw me but I ended up admitting the extent of my gambling and how I am addicted and felt so hurt I couldn’t be there for him and help me out. I burst out crying but he was very supportive but it made me feel shameful and despicable.

      I’ve always lived for him and supported him all my life. His hospitalisation cost a fortune and is still racking up a huge bill but fortunately his father is paying for it but I have to contribute too. Anyway, we chatted and I said I was dreaming of us going on holiday together to Hawaii or somewhere as we did before and was so encouraged and blessed to hear how keen he was on doing that with me. He has a girlfriend who I haven’t met yet but he is prepared to go alone with me. It’s something I should set as a goal and try to work towards achieving. That would make me ecstatically happy.

    • #30330

      You are not alone in disappointing yourself by not being able to provide financially for your son. It is so hard when the results of gambling affect those we love. I think some of my own biggest shame revolves around my children.
      I believe we can change. I believe that when we seek to change there are obstacles that seem to come out of nowhere too. Early on there was a heavy feeling of despair and my finances seemed to actually get worse. It wasn’t true, the truth was the financial crisis would have been even more severe had I not stopped when I did. With a good income coming in you will see a difference so quickly. I have a good income, my husband works too. Six months without the continuous drain (I have gambled at least three times) has made a monumental difference.
      You mention prayer and that God can help you. I believe He is essential to my own recovery. Please find a way to secure your next paycheck. With our pay safe from ourselves, things can get better so quickly. I want to read more from you and want to see you put this addiction under your feet.
      Make a footstool of your enemy!

    • #30331

      You’ve done the right thing by being honest and open.

      When we try to keep our gambling a secret we end up weaving a web of deceit which just puts us under more pressure. All the constant questions about why we never have any money to do anything or go anywhere just pushes us deeper into the gambling World. I used to panic if I had a social event on the horizon and didn’t have the funds to go. I always saw gambling as a way out of every problem I had.

      Being open is painful and the initial reaction is to feel shame, but long term everyone will know your problem so the questions will stop and with it the need to lie to everyone. You’ll also get the support you need if you look for it in the right places. It really will be a weight off your mind.

      Your story and journey is all too familiar. It was only 2-3 months ago when I thought I was unique and the only person to have been on this journey. This site has really opened my eyes and though I don’t wish what I went through on anyone else, it is comforting to know that I’m not alone. I can talk to people for the first time in my life that can actually relate to my experiences. Being misunderstood in everyday life can be the most frustrating experience and really used to send me to dark places.

      Keep posting, you’ll get no end of support here and I wish you all the very best.


    • #30332

      Thanks for your support, Charlster. I felt I was the only one in my world and for years no one knew the dark secret I had and the only hope of getting somewhere and having money. I totally believed and trusted gambling more than anything else. No one could convince me otherwise. That was my escape, my saviour, my life. I felt I was self sufficient having gambling there.

      How wrong I was ! It changed me as a person. I lost my purpose in life, meaning and didn’t enjoy any normal simple things in life. It had to be big, not simple. I couldn’t spend time with friends or hobbies as that inconvenienced and robbed me of my gambling time. When I was out, the voices in my head danced around even more and became more and more attractive and excited to me that I couldn’t wait to get home to get that win. That turned me into a liar and being dishonest when being asked to go out or questions about my lack of finances. It infuriated me. I didn’t think it was any of their business anyway. I was only accountable to myself and was destructing myself no one else. But I was destroying everyone around me too without realising it. I lost my partner of 6 years and damaged close family relationships.

      But for the first time I feel surrounded by people who understand what I’m going through and has been there. I can’t just stop as I’m told to and stay stupid by throwing money into a dark hole and fund some wealthy person while he sits on sandy shores in the Caribbean with a pina colada. Most of this only drove me further and deeper into my dark secret world of gambling which one day I would show everyone I’ve got it all.

      That day never came but only destroyed my soul more and more and sent me on a downward spiral of guilt, shame and remorse which resulted in depression with no money and no value of money. A vicious cycle.

      Thanks for your support and reading my post.
      All the best for you, too, Charlster. You are a real stalwart and warrior !

    • #30333

      Thank you for your support, Kpat. Yes, to me the shame and guilt is mostly around my child. I wish I could just do it for him. He has turned his life around and is so responsible and I receive such positive comments about him and his caring nature, that I feel so ashamed. All I’ve taught him has made him a lovely likeable, good person and look at me, selfish, dishonest and a failure.

      I has been long lonely journey of struggle and torment where one feels you’re all alone. I used to look around at my colleagues and Clients on site and think none of them know what I’m going through or are ignorant enough to do this. They’re all professionals. Yet I am mature and more senior and have lost the plot. I used to listen how my colleagues and people on junior levels speak about their holidays or going on their next planned holiday to a country they’ve never been and I used think I can’t believe this. Here I am earning so much more than them and when I took holidays, I stayed at home, only to gamble as I didn’t have money to go on holidays anymore like I did.

      I can’t achieve half the things I need to do because gambling has captivated my time and my life. So many things I could do and have but never had the money to do which was well in my reach only because I gambled all my salary away in the last few months.My money was gone before the end of the month and I wasn’t even in the new month.

      But I have realised I can’t win this battle by myself or within myself. I am not strong enough. My faith in God is strong. If I remained faithful in doing what I know I should do to keep on the straight and narrow and trust God and stop relying on my self efforts, I will overcome. This battle has already been won and overcome by God. I need to accept, believe and trust God.I’m glad to hear you find Him too, essential to your recovery.

      It is very encouraging to hear how stopping over the last 6 months has made a huge difference. I need to learn that this will apply to me too if I stop. I can win and get into a better financial position if I stop gambling, rather than the reverse.

      I’m still thinking of how to secure my next salary. I have so much to pay and have to pay my company card too which is arrears and I can’t use, so I just have to. My clear, right, normal mind tells me what I know I should do but heaven forbid these evil demons convincing me and leading me down that dark track with again.

      Funny, my daily reading today was….’One step closer’…. One day closer to getting a glimpse of the ‘summit’. It’s like a guide leading the way and shining a torch on the path in a jungle in the dark but I veer off into the dark jungle to find my own way. I’ve been deceived into thinking that money is the answer to all my needs and lost my character in the process.

      All this must change. I want to be recover, get my life back and be normal again and value and appreciate the simple things in life and know that I am blessed.

      Stay strong and focused.


    • #30334

      I’ve just received a call from Gordon Moody that I have a confirmed placement for June ! Whoa !
      Shock, Horror, Fear ! I don’t know now……

      My head is in a spin…. I feel so nervous. I have a battle going on. I must do this. It is my only chance yet the demons are fighting back cos they know I’m going to war with them now !
      This is not easy. I feel maybe I’m not ready.

      I’ve just started this big journey. I haven’t done enough yet. I have to face my payday at the end of this month. I haven’t blocked or self excluded from sites. I’ve always kept a backdoor open. I am in a tizz.

      I have to do the right things to snap out of this and do what I know I should to secure my salary and take action to STOP for GOOD ! This has come so soon. I was expecting it but maybe it is a good thing that I don’t get a chance to fall off the wagon again ? Struggling to come to terms with this today. It’s like giving up my favourite toy that I’ve been hanging onto for years and has been my comfort, my escape, my life !

      Appreciate any support I can get now…..please….. I am so scared…..


    • #30335

      If you can, jump on the helpline. You’ll find it on your log in page/home page in green.


    • #30336

      OK.. Thanks, Charlster. Will try that.
      Just have a business meeting now.


    • #30337

      Keep posting your thoughts it’s freeing to write all you feel, there are chat groups here you can join. Make a plan for your day, if you get urges delay them. Put them off, don’t gamble just for this day, this hour.. I find distraction good with urges get busy straight away so urges have less chance to build. Write about why you don’t want to gamble, what brought you here. Think of new things to add in to your life. Keep going just for today.. And no matter what. If you fall get back up and continue on but look at what can prevent you falling before it happens. Are there GA meetings you could attend. Counselling? Whatever works for you, hang on to it


    • #30338

      Thanks for your support, P. It’s not easy writing so honestly about how I feel but it certainly has helped and been received well as we all have been through this. It is also a journal to remind me of where I’ve been. I’ve tried keeping busy as I have loads to do since neglecting my chores and projects but my thoughts are still rife and raw. But I’m hanging in there for now.
      Thank you……. Hope you’re doing well.

    • #30339

      I called the helpline as Charlster suggested and was so pleased I did. Never thought or tried it before. I learnt that I was fearing my escape route being taken away and that going on this program will teach me why I needed to escape and to deal with those issues that led me to gambling.

      Change is the other thing that frightens me because I know I have to stop completely what I’m doing and learn to lead a new life where I can enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate life and start liking myself again.

      Gambling has turned me into a self-centred, selfish, ugly, unfit person. I was a passionate endurance cyclist who did many challenging road races, one where I was the only woman with 2,000 men as it was so challenging, probably a man’s race. But I’ve lost all my excitement for life. Gambling has ruined any motivation or interest in anything I’ve had.

      When I admitted to my son about my gambling, he listened and said it’s OK, mom, don’t worry about me, just look after yourself. He said when he needs money he sells some of his things like he’s selling the iPhone 4 I gave him and suggested I sell some of my furniture as I’m on my own and don’t need all that furniture. I felt so bad.

      But when I told him I don’t go out anymore or exercise, he chipped in quickly and said, ‘What mom, you’re not cycling anymore ?’ with all the shock and surprise in his voice that it stopped me in my tracks. I can still hear his voice now. That made me realise just how much gambling had robbed from me, so much more than just the money which was huge in itself !

      So I’ve decided to embrace this opportunity of being given the opportunity to become ‘ clean’ and going into rehab where I will have experts to deal with the source and causes and get me healed with tools for ongoing recovery.

      I took action and decided to go to my Lifegroup meeting from my church tonight which I’ve avoided for weeks and lied about excuses for not being able to attend. It did me good as they were so welcoming and I met new people. They were celebrating a Dutch lady’s birthday who I befriended when sharing a room with her at the church’s ‘ Girlz Connect’ spa weekend away.

      I felt good being there and even contributed when before I just sat there and thinking what a waste of time, I’ve got better things to do ! ….. Yes, gambling….

      I’ve got home and spent most of my time reading kPat’s journal and was amazed how familiar it all was. We all do the same and go through the same cycle and find ways to go back or keep the door open.

      But it made me see what happens when one does fall and reminded me of the pain, remorse and guilt feeling which hangs over one like a thick dark cloud about to burst with rain with not a penny to my name. It made me realise I can’t go back there. I will never recover my losses and I will never get out of my debt and only get into a worst situation of probably being homeless.

      I read of how the casinos lure you with VIP dinners and entertainment which cost you 100 times more in losses than their offer and how they play mind games and set the scenes even in decorating the casinos to make you comfortable and lose all sense of time. In fact they know who you are and when you win or lose. I remember my VIP manager calling me to congratulate me on my wins when I cashed out and then would call or mail me to let me know he’s given me a bonus to help me out when he saw how much I lost !

      The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I was notified that he was viewing my LinkedIn account ! The nerve ! He was probably trying to find out what I do for a living to see how much more money he could trick me into giving away !
      I cut ties immediately with that online casino. They’re crooks and will do anything to turn us into addicts yet be subtle enough not to be blamed.

      This forum has helped me to re-focus and accept this is serious business and I must get out now. I’ve been going around in circles far too long and have nothing to show for all my years.

      The only way I will be able or at least try to achieve to own my own home again is if I stop gambling. Gambling is not going to do that for me no matter how much these demons try to convince me and come as Angels of Light !!!

      I must STOP at all costs !!!!

    • #30340

      I am soo excited for you! You are going to be just fine. This time away is going to help you. I am praising God that you have this opportunity to get real help. You are going to overcome, just like you wrote, the outcome is already written. Whoop whoop! I am pumped up for you.

    • #30341

      KPat, those words are so comforting and makes me realise what a great opportunity I’ve been given. I’m so happy to hear how excited you are for me. True Christian love…..

      It’s only a 4 day overnight stay in the program for women so I can fit that in, with a 12 week subsequent program. I applied for this cos I felt I was such a hopeless case and had no control. Their is always a way back in and we know so well where to find it. So I need to overcome and get it out of my system.

      Thanks for your love and support.

    • #30342

      Today I feel so overwhelmed with all the pressures from my personal and work life. Today I’ve been pushed to take on more assignments at the same time when I have deadlines for my current two. And I’m being pressured to get something out in drafts today for the existing two. Truth is I haven’t started anything. I have to work on that tonight in my time now.

      My head is in a spin and I cannot focus so I’m looking to my coping mechanism again for help. Only beauty is I haven’t got a cent to play. But I’m not going there.

      All this is getting too much for me. I booked my time off from work in the system for when I go into rehab and just as well as work had booked me for an immediate urgent assignment without my notification which clashed with my placement. So I’m pleased that I crossed that hurdle with my employer today.

      Had a chat with helpline today which helped me to stay focused and take it one day at a time. I need to get my head around this. I feel I’m throwing myself into work to cope with my anxiety but I am not concentrating and spending hours doing nothing and not getting any results. Just responding to my team and management at work to keep them happy and let them know I am working on it.

      I’ve got such a headache. I need to eat and drink. My body is aching. Maybe I should go for a walk but I can’t afford the time cos I have so much work to get out for tomorrow. Story of my life. That’s why I gambled late at night as my form of relaxation and entertainment and went on till the early hours of the morning or all night when I lost.

      I’m going to bed too late at night, too. Went to sleep at 2:30 am again last night. I have to break this cycle and pattern. It’s not doing me any good. I stay tired and feel bloated and fat. I’ve got to start to learn to like me again. I seem to have changed for my ‘gambling partner’. I became a different person but not a nice person. I’ve lost all my inner beauty and values.

      Have to stay strong and focus and spend time in prayer and mediation for strength and to learn to trust again.

    • #30343

      I can relate to the work stress. I have a quarterly project that was due on Mon. Hoping to get it completed tomorrow and submitted (Thurs.) Late……..
      On top of that a nearby branch is short staffed and they have asked me to cover there on Friday. Sure… why not? They’ve just added 3 hours of driving to my day. No problem (sarcasm)!
      Then next week is a short week because of Memorial Day here. They want me to send one of managers to help that branch for two days next week and I have already approved for one mamager to have those same days off ( her son is graduating high school). No problem, I will have the short staffed branch, ha!
      So like you have said, life is the same the world over. But there is a truth you and I can find here. GAMBLING DOESN’T HELP! I can’t even remember the last time I walked away even, let alone up. I can’t win anymore, because I can’t stop until all available money is gone.
      I look forward to hearing about the new tools you add to your arsenal after this trip to GM.
      What are you doing to secure your pay? If you don’t make plans in advance, I forsee you coming out of counseling worrying over that company card. Pay it! You will have to eventually anyway, you are too much the professional to not feel stress over it.
      Praying for you and asking for clear thinking for you.

    • #30344

      Kpat, thanks for reading my post and for your support.
      Oh, I can see and hear exactly what position you’re in just as me ! We’re like the packhorse, gofer and never fail to deliver even at our own expense and time ! Just pile it on, we can do it, no problem…. right ! We have a short week next week too.

      But running to our friend for comfort more and more often than before to cope and escape has just the reverse effect and we end up in worst pain and lows than ever before. Like you, I just can’t win or even breakeven anymore, it’s just loss after loss after loss but I cannot stop or control myself like a person obsessed (possessed, my mother would say) to play the last penny in the hope that the tide will turn.

      But I just don’t learn and pardon the expression but like a dog returns to its vomit, I go back again. Hate it ! Hate it ! Hate myself for succumbing. But I feel a bit free since not gambling since 16 May – 6 days now. Monumental for me who played every single day.

      But I feel stronger and focused to hold onto to my salary this month (she says in her ‘right’ mind) and pay my company card FIRST. I made the dreaded call to the card company and prayed, Lord please help me cos I can’t do this call, to let them know I would be late and couldn’t pay on time. I was taken aback when he butt in to say ‘no problem, I’ll make a note that there’ll be no restrictions on the card, thanks for letting us know. ‘ Thank you, Lord, !

      That was a miracle as I’ve been down this road every single month and threatened that my card would be suspended or taken away but would not be available for further use until I brought it up to date. So I quickly went online to book a train ticket in advance for next Wednesday to attend a Client site and it still worked. I am holding onto the only and last exact amount of cash for the taxi there, too.

      What shocked me into reality today and gave me a rude awakening was a message I received from another gambler who I met at a GA meeting. She said. ‘Oh, Lauren, I am so stupid. What possessed me to do it again ! Got paid already overdrawn and lost everything in half an hour. Not even end of month, let alone have all of next to deal with, don’t know what I am going to do. Stay an idiot. ‘

      It was like I was reliving my past monthly experiences and seeing myself next week if I were to even think of going there when I get paid. What a startling reminder to place me on guard and not for a moment to think I’m ok and let my guard down. This evil monster appears to me as an angel of light but I must not be deceived. Its all lies, lies, lies ! Gambling will never help us. The only win we will ever have is by NOT gambling.

      So come payday, I cannot, cannot afford to mess this up. I’ve been given an excellent golden opportunity to turn my life around and must embrace this and will definitely share the tools with you.

      I plan to pay my bills on payday and any surplus money…..really overdraft credit, I need to move to the savings account so it won’t be available on my card. I need to hold fast on to my money and made a promise to myself not to spend one penny on gambling which will lead to the rest of it going too, before going in and hopefully for the first time in years, not have a single transaction for gambling on my bank statement !
      I’m surprised that the bank has tolerated this and even increased my overdraft when all one sees is transaction after transaction of cash payments for gambling sites !

      Thanks for your prayers, I feel it and praying for you and many others on here who touch me with their distress and struggle.

      Take care and stay strong.

    • #30345

      Today, I am suffering from no sleep at all night. I couldn’t focus on my deadline for work and did everything yesterday to distract me from doing it while keeping colleagues happy with progress, so they would not be alarmed. I even sat and watched TV till 11pm.

      Then I went to do my work but still avoiding this major complex proposal I had to do, went on my personal laptop ‘to block the sites’ and ended up going on the sites and gambling in demo/practice mode with no real money till 2:30 am !
      How sick is that ?

      I seen how it would take me up then right down to the last bet before slowly turning around again. This went on thrice till it ended up with zero after £5, 000 win ! How have I been taken all this time but just could not see it and think normal. But I am not cured and my weak self will and could trust and succumb to the lies of this demon in me again.

      Then slowly I tackled the task before me and worked till I finished the document at 7am ! Tried to sleep for 2 hours but got woken by my work phone asking about the document. I didn’t want to send it at 7am or they’ll realise I’ve been working till late on it, so sent it then.

      I had loads of ‘interruptions’ from work and didn’t get a chance to get some sleep. I was walking around like a zombie till I chatted to my sister in another country on Skype for our daily ‘catch up and support session’ and was advised to have a shower and attend a meeting and tea with the ‘Bomber boys’ which I had booked for. Bomber boys were war veterans who flew the bombers for the air warfare in WW2.

      Had a shower at the last moment and walked to the village hall. It was so wonderful being outdoors in fresh air and feeling the lovely fresh spring air and warm sunshine with the birds singing happily in the lush woods on my way. I really enjoyed my time there listening to the Bomber boys now in the 90’s and appreciated how much was sacrificed and given to give us the freedom we have after the war.

      I left early to get back to work and realised how wonderful and precious life is. There are so many things, simple things we have to enjoy and given for our pleasure and delight , yet we totally spurn it and seek for pleasures that only bring destruction and heartache. I felt for the first time that I was being normal again and realised I could be happy and laugh with others even much older than me. It was a good moment in time. I must learn to value more of these simple things in life with no cost or very little cost which have far reaching results and are more lasting.

      Life is good. Live it to become your true self again and develop your character, strength and inner beauty; qualities that make you happy and love others and make you a better person but cannot be bought with money.

      So just for today. I did NOT gamble.

    • #30346

      Big God we have! You know we don’t surprise Him. He is not up there shaking His head at us. He really, really loves us. He wants only good for us.
      I heard an anology the other day, when some people train dogs, they put the master on one side of the room and the dog on the other with a bowl of food in the middle. If they can teach that dog to look only at his master, then the dog is good to go. If the dog looks at the food his training is not over, he will go to the food. Keep your eyes on The Master, don’t look left or right.
      Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
      Do you know that song? It is a terrific one for what we are fighting. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”. Beautiful old hymn.
      Hugs and prayers!

    • #30347

      I could listen to veterans from WW2 talk all day, though not often had the opportunity to do so. So much respect for them. So many came back from the war and had to suffer in silence. They had to put on a brave face and had nothing resembling the counselling network that we see available today, yet they got on with everyday life. They don’t make them like that anymore. The Grandfather of a friend of mine fought in WW2 and he would never speak about it. He was obviously harbouring some terrible experiences, so would never speak about his time as a serving soldier, sad really.

      Back to gambling. We beat ourselves up so much and I think we all see ourselves as weak. I’ve had so much time to analyse my situation and I think the last thing we are is weak. We as addicts have to endure so much more than a “mere mortal”. The ups and downs of our mood swings, daily despair and everything else destructive that comes with being a compulsive gambler. We have to put on a brave face at work, try to carry on as normal sometimes harbouring desperate situations behind our outward smiling façade. I like to think that we are actually strong people even though we do all have an Achilles heel. The saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” is so true and I think it applies to us.

      I’ve read many times on here that we will be better people for our past experiences when in recovery. We have to learn to like ourselves again. We’re not bad people and making peace with our inner selves is a vital part of the healing process.

      Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve learned over time that beating ourselves up all the time is incredibly counter-productive. We are people that need outside help with our situation and we need to realise that relying on help from time to time makes us human, it doesn’t make us weak.

      You’re doing brilliantly, keep it going and make your recovery manageable. Don’t set unachievable goals, keep it simple and you’ll get there. You’re doing exactly the right thing in asking for help and so long as we condition ourselves to share the burden of our addiction by utilising all the help available to us, then we’ll get to our desired destination.

      Take care,


    • #30348

      Indeed, listening to war veterans makes one feel small and places things in our lives in perspective when we know we don’t half hear the horrific experiences they carry and never had the support structure we have today.

      Yes, it’s so hard leading a double life hiding this secret and having to be ‘normal’, efficient and professional at work, with friends and family. We do have to endure so much more the struggle going on inside and the emotional downward spiral that surfaces in moods and flying off the handle for the least thing. But you’re right we are strong people, warriors and survivors with an Achilles heel.

      Thanks for pointing out not to beat myself up as it is counter-productive and doesn’t help. We have to use the tools we have to narrow down the chances of gambling and take steps to our recovery.

      My faith in God is still my one and only strength that gets me through and keeps me strong. I have to keep looking up. I always think of how Peter could walk on the water as long as his eyes was on Jesus but when he looked down and around him at the waves and the storm, relying on himself, he sunk.

      Pat, yes I do know that song. It has beautiful words. I was fortunate to be brought up in a committed Christian family and know many of the songs and hymns off by heart. When I’ve been really low, the words of some of these golden old hymns came to mind and it has just the words to lift my spirits and speak into my situation.

      I was reminded to give praise and sing and it made such a difference. It is very difficult to sing and stay unhappy and low. The verse of scripture is true……’put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ Most times we have to decide not beat ourselves up or feel down and make choices to be happy and not give in to our urges. It is a matter of choice and a decision, not following our feelings which will succumb to that demon and will screw up our head.

      Stay focused…..look up and ahead and not at the past which you cannot change and will call you back to keep you from moving forward.


    • #30349

      On Friday I received my GMA letter in the post with the details for my residential recovery at GMA’s lovely Victorian country house with peaceful surroundings. I’m preparing my mind and have to get my things sorted and organise my life. This is it now.

      8 days and I’m still gamble free but it is no test as I have no money to gamble. The test will be when I get paid next week. Keep telling myself I will not give one cent of my salary this month to gambling. Strangely this demon actually learns to leave me alone when he knows I don’t have any money to play ! How ironic is that ?

      The thoughts are still rife tho’ but I speak to myself each day to make me stronger in believing and telling this demon he is not getting one cent of my salary this month !

      I bought my train ticket for work next Wed on my overdue company card and only have the £14 for the taxi to get to the Client site. For the rest of the week I can work from home on other assignments, thank you Lord.

      I went to bed late last night again. Can’t get to bed before 2am and then sleep till lunch time every day. Not doing me any good. So hard to break the cycle I’ve become used to.

      Yesterday I noticed one of the gold fish in the pond lying on his side displaying a shiny gold underside and I knew something was wrong. I’ve been watching the gold fish in the pond every day which the landlord told me I don’t need to feed or care for but I have and even tried cleaning the pond following my research.

      I watched how this poor fish battled to breathe and swam on his side but kept struggling. I sat and watched him helplessly for hours, dying. I found myself praying for this poor creature as my broke my heart to see it suffer and I had no way of helping.

      I was so annoyed at myself of gambling again. I planned to get the pond water tested a week ago as I knew the water balance would be out but didn’t do so as I didn’t have a cent to pay for any remedial treatment. I watched the fish swim into a crevice and almost lift his head out of the water either for air or to die quicker and found him dead in the crevice today.

      But today I also seen another goldfish lying and swimming on his side. I dressed and dashed out with a water sample and photo of the pond to the pond expert at the garden centre about 40 minutes away. I couldn’t bear see these fish die like this. I took my last £14 but prayed that I wouldn’t have to pay for treatment. The consequences of my actions a stark reminder of my gambling addition.

      The water was tested and found to have a very low ph and very little oxygen due to the moss and algae on the surface of the water which the fish fed on and covered the pond. I was advised to empty 50% of the water, skim off all the algae and slowly run tap water into the pond which has a high ph. I rushed home and skimmed off all the algae on the surface with a net, then filled 2, 10 litre buckets of pond water and walked to the top of the garden to empty it on the shrubs. I did this with over 20 trips of 2 buckets of pond water. I felt like Jill walking up the hill with two pales of water.

      It was heavy and I was sweating walking up and down but I was praying to save the fish. My emptying the pond didn’t drop the water level very much but then I thought I’ll run the tap water in so at least I could increase the ph of the water and hopefully save the fish. I also removed a load of sludge and silt from the bottom of the pond and continued to try to empty the pond water.The fish were nowhere to be seen. I just hoped that they had not all died.

      But what a surprise after I stopped to see a frog sitting on the side of the pond with his head above the surface. And then suddenly all 6 fish starting doing a marathon in single file around the pond, swimming fast and madly, then darting off in the opposite direction in single file again !

      I couldn’t believe my eyes. They came alive and seemed as if they were dancing and swimming close to the surface so I could see them as the water was murky from the sand, to thank me. They always swim away and hide when I’m there as I understand they are shy.

      I was wet, sweaty and dirty with my wellies but I felt so good and made me realise how I’ve lost the joy for the simple things in life and this brought me so much joy. I even found newts and other creepy crawlies which I caught in my net and picked up in my gloves and threw back in the pond, something I’d never do as I’m very squeamish.

      So today was a good day and not once did I think about gambling !

      One day closer to my recovery.
      So just for today, I did not gamble.

    • #30350

      That is a lovely post. I love that you have thought of ways to turn your mood around. It is not easy to stay in a positive frame of mind. It is especially hard when we are condeming ourselves over and over again. I am trying to look in the mirror at myself and say positive things. Things like, you are beautiful to God, you are a child of The King, you are an overcomer, you are loved….. I need to do it more often, it is so easy to feel shame and despair when I know how badly I have behaved. There is a bright future ahead. One day at a time! 🙂

    • #30351

      KPat, thanks for your post and support. Indeed that is true. We must believe who we are in Christ and be positive and speak out loud with words positive things over our lives but more so to ourselves in the mirror. My sister says to me everyday…’you are kind, you are gentle, you are loving, you are generous, you are smart, you are intelligent, you are blessed, you are loved. I love you.’ She tells to say that to myself in the mirror and learn to love myself first so that I can learn to love and give to others.

      Yes, it is very easy to feel the shame, guilt and despair when we keep doing what we do, pray for forgiveness and go back and do it all again. But if you truly believe you are forgiven, I’ve found the aching pang deep down inside me, filled with remorse and shame, leaves the moment I pray for forgiveness and believe cos then you are clean as if you’ve never done it. If God forgives and forgets, who are we to remember and continue to live with that burden ?

      Accept it and you WILL feel a new person with hope for the future but also more confident to trust His promises.

      One day closer…..
      Bless you…..

    • #30352

      Can’t say I had a thought for gambling today but then I’ve had so much to do.

      Checked to see if the fish were still happy and alive and ended up emptying another 20 buckets of pond water, cleaning the silt and sludge from the bottom of the pond and running tap water into the pond. Mr frog raised his head and body out of the water, rested on the side of the pond, above the water surface camouflaged and stared at me, thinking I couldn’t see him. It was good to see that my efforts paid off and there is still plenty wildlife in the pond. But that hard work left me sweating with backache and a strain on my troubled shoulder.

      The prospect of going into GMA has kicked me into action and got me to spring clean the house and attend to long overdue tasks, neglected from gambling which I’ve never had the inkling or motivation to do.

      Somehow it seems as if my world is changing to ‘normal’ and I need to take care of all these things and put things right. So I worked till midnight doing as much as I can. Tomorrow I hope to continue to tackle the chores around the house.

      I hope I get the chance to unpack the many boxes and cases with clothes which I haven’t touched since moving in 6 months ago. My main priority was gambling and anything that required too much effort was never going to stand in my way of gambling. I seemed to have done just what I had to around the house to keep me from content and not overwhelmed by the state of the house. My normal self always needs to have my house clean with things in place or it tortures me and I can’t go out before doing so. Strange how I adapted to accommodate my gambling, changing how I lived and who I was, even my lifestyle.

      The thought of going to GMA has changed my perspective and I’m getting back to being prim and proper and need to get my house in order and things sorted. I could never bear my neighbours coming in to look after my cats with everything disorderly. I plan to confiscate any letters or signs of my troubled gambling life. They do not know and will never know. They will always see my ‘happy go lucky’, ‘got it together’ face.

      So I continue a day closer to my summit……..onwards and upwards……

      Just for today, I’m still gamble free.

    • #30353

      Reviewed and worked on my sister’s presentation to her Client tomorrow after I got kicked into touch. Worked on it for 5 hours, including an agenda to get it more structured, updating with additional slides, creating a slide master etc and doing some research to make it succinct.

      I was in work mode and didn’t eat or get up for 5 hours just as I do for work, not a good thing. But was very pleased it was done and I felt satisfied and good that I could help her. She takes time everyday to Skype and text me and tell me I am loved and holds my hand through this process. It is the least I can do to show her how much I appreciate, care and love her.

      Learning to care and value what I have.
      I am blessed.

    • #30354

      That is a wonderful post. I am amazed at your energy. I always think I love home projects and cleaning, but after a half hour or so, I am wishing I had never started.:)
      Your frog sounds like a character. It is a good feeling to gige back to our family. I think the good feeling is a great reward.
      You are doing this!!!!

    • #30355

      Hi Lauren, well done on your gamble free time. I’ve noticed a couple of comments about “the real test being next week when i get paid.”? Use that knowledge Lauren, what things can you put in place before payday so that you are less able to gamble your money? Barriers aren’t the answer to addiction of course but they do give an important breathing space so that we can start work on things.

      Keep posting.

    • #30356

      Indeed, I am amazed at things I’m accomplishing around the house with working and supporting others. But after a busy day’s work and being productive with distractions, these little devils still won’t allow me to retire before going back on the sites and checking for bonuses or foolishly playing in ‘practice mode’ without money till 4am for the last for nights !

      It has showed me how gullible they’ve made me with an incentive and near misses till we play and it takes one down to nothing with no wins after those lovely BIG wins ! How easily we fall for it yet we know their game plan…. ?

      Last night I was given a small bonus of £25 but it was good to playing with real money and I was taken over by my ‘Lauren Bigtimer ‘ and felt all the trappings and expectations of winning again. I played very small bets so I could play longer but was blown away when I got a win for £300 from a small bet ! That was so much money to me when I didn’t have a cent and I was over the moon. Thought how I could buy wet food for my cats now as they’re not happy and are whining for food cos there is only dry food and getting myself some eats too etc. But then true to form, it wasn’t enough…..I have in to the demon ‘just try to get £350 and then you can stop’ but when I got that, just try for £400 and got that too and then £450…..that led me all the way down to playing to zero. So what’s new ? I do it all the time ! Enough is never enough. Even if I win, I WILL lose cos I have to get more and more ! It is an never ending loser’s game and no one ever truly wins or beats this game !

      So Charles the real test is coming up soon this week with payday. I have thought my head is right and I’m determined this time but since being exposed to these flashy, tantalising, tempting colourful and musical slots, I am not so sure. I even worked it out in my head that I would pay all my bills as soon as I got paid and transfer the ‘credit’ from my overdraft to my savings account so I couldn’t use it. But these demons have got into my head with that bonus and the tempted whispers in my head of ‘you can win just as you did now, you just need to stop and cash it in.’ Right ! Do I ever ? No ! I can’t remember when last I cashed money in. I play all winnings down to nothing. I’m not good at this, can’t win this or take it on, so I have to admit defeat as I do not have the control to STOP.

      So, I have blocked myself from these sites now to safeguard myself and put some barriers to deter me and secure my income this month. I keep telling myself I don’t want to give them one cent this month. It will be such a treat to even have any money the day after I get paid. That would just be sweet heaven for me…..

      So with your support, prayers and me looking up and not trusting in my efforts, I hope to salvage my income this week.

      Thanks for your support and posts.


    • #30357

      why don’t you Self Exclude now, when you’re broke?
      Before your salary hits your bank account.
      After I was totally cleaned out, I emailed the Site, I now call “HELL” in my memory and they were very courteous. They offered me a choice of bonuses over a three day period to “try my luck again” or Exclusion offers. I opted for the latter. I self excluded FOR LIFE!.
      You KNOW you will never withdraw money no matter how many wins you get.
      You KNOW you will never really win because you are a CG.
      You KNOW it’s all a hoax.
      So why waste another minute of your precious time torturing yourself and throwing away your hard earned money!
      It’s all one big illusion.
      Every word I write to you, I also address to myself.
      ‘Nuff said!
      We have given the fatcats ENOUGH!

    • #30358

      I’ve had a productive bank holiday. I did sleep late but when I opened my back door, my neighbour popped his head out and asked if he could look at my outside tap for me which had no water pressure to water the garden. He came round and found that the tap which was part of the extension of the house was connected to the water tank and not to the mains.

      I mentioned about the pond and asked him if there wasn’t an easier way to empty the pond without Jill carrying two pales of water up the hill. Of course there was, we girls just don’t know these things. He said, yes you can syphon it with the hose. Still looking duh, I said how cos’ it doesn’t have drainage system ? He said you obviously haven’t had to syphon petrol and then it clicked ! LOL ! Anyway, he took the hose and tried sucking the water through but each time, it only trickled. My neighbour on the other side also joined in and gave his advice and after immersing the hose in the pond, the water ran out of the pond.

      But then the drain was blocked. He removed the drainpipe to lift the drain cover and I cleared the muck from the drain. The other neighbour aid he wasn’t surprised as from his side he could see all the leaves on the roof. That led to my neighbour clearing the leaves from the roof and gutters with a homemade tool (long stick with a T at the end) from the other neighbour, to get the leaves down the pipe on the roof and into the gutters while I held a bucket on the step ladder for him to sweep the leaves from the gutter into.

      The wife came out and seen this and offered us ‘workmen’ a cuppa. So we went next door and sat in his lovely overgrown dense vegetation garden having tea, watching the birds and wildlife and had some banter. Both men are much older than me, the one is 69 and the other well into his 70’s but I enjoyed it so much.I just felt myself and was laughing and chatting; something I missed and haven’t done for ages. I really enjoyed the ‘tea break’ and the banter.

      I felt so blessed that I had neighbours who would give up their time to help and support me, living on my own, something I’ve never known before. Wherever I lived before, the neighbours would barely greet or look at you cos’ they were such toffs.

      After tea, my neighbour came back to my garden to collect his tools and from our banter I told them I was going to kill the squirrels coming into my garden. My neighbour and his wife enjoyed watching how I chased and had this ongoing battle with the squirrels in my garden with the plenty bird feeders and different foods which kept the squirrels out of their gardens.

      Anyway, my neighbour fetched some galvanised wire and tied it around two trees, hung a hook on the wire for the feeder, so the squirrels couldn’t get to it as it was too thin to walk on.
      He also fetched his new toy, a hedge trimmer while I got the extension lead and he cut the hanging branches from the many trees which hung over my washing line and also blocked the sun. And today he came and gave me a stick with a screw at the end which he had made, so I could unhook the feeder as it was too high for me to reach. How kind and considerate. I thought of my father who did things like that for me and felt sad he was no longer here and how I missed him.

      I sat on the garden chair and realised that this is what life is about. Helping, sharing and giving to others and enjoying each other. I have completed lost the plot in wanting more, being greedy, selfish and dreaming of a high life with illusions of grandeur and trying to achieve this with this self destructive dark, evil secret tearing my life apart and changing me into someone I no longer know.

      I ran water in the pond, the fish were swimming around together so lively and fast like one happy family on a day outing, it was so rewarding. I did my washing and hung it out. I sat in the sun in the garden and just felt blessed.

      My partner of 6 years was an engineer and also very good at fixing and doing things for me. I always wondered how I would manage not having him around and have to pay just to get hep with little things around the house. Seemed that was all part of God’s plan in finding this place for me in an area totally new and unknown to me, with such friendly and kind neighbours all around me in the estate.

      As I sat there, I looked at the heaps of sludge from the pond I removed and thought I better put them in black bags as it was a sight for sore eyes. Next thing I filled 4 bags with the sludge and picked up the branches cut from the trees yesterday and ended up sweeping the garden patio area, watering the plants and pulling out weeds and eventually taking the washing off the line at 21:30. I sat on the garden chair and looked up to the sky and seen a full moon.

      It was a good productive day. God was shining His love on me.

      When I went indoors, I seen I had a text from my new found gambling friend. She had just got home from a counselling session and was feeing really down. She had so much to do after moving in but was worrying so much about her finances since she gambled all her salary in a half hour last week the day she got paid. She explained how she can’t stop beating herself up about what she had done and she was back to where she was, skint, with no one to ask for help and her mess getting bigger.

      I called her to give her some support and offered to take her out for a meal this weekend if I still had money (from not gambling) to try work things through with her. Part of me says if I don’t gamble perhaps I could help her out with one of her bills or something but I fear I may just be giving her the means to gamble again.

      Like me, she knows she should stop but always finds a way or backdoor open like all of us have done. Her daughter has taken over her finances and blocked her computer but she played at work and the credit cards which were paid up, she ran them up without having the cards as the sites have the details are set up.

      She asked how much I earn but I couldn’t share that with her as I do have a good job but it is something I’ve never done with anyone I don’t know why she keeps asking me tho’. She knows I have an expensive car as I give her a lift home from the GA meetings. I do feel so bad for her but the other part of me says I could just be funding her gambling again.

      She has lost so much in less than a year after online gambling with big bets from her inheritance and huge profit from the family home which she sold recently after being divorced and is determined to get most of it back. She knows not to chase her losses but she is good for while but then just goes back again as I do. We’ve all been there. I’m still there and not out of the woods myself. But knowing this compulsion, the urges and the extent she has gone through, I don’t know if it is wise to help if I can. She says she knows she should go to debt management but is delaying this, too.

      I’ve asked her to forget about beating herself up and enjoy each day and the weekend as these bills are not due yet so need to worry and that there is always an alternative. There are always options. She is very determined to help and support me not to fall in that same trap and made me promise that I would self exclude myself so that I would secure my salary.

      So I have self excluded and pray that I stay gamble free for two more weeks before I go to GMA. It’s been such an eye opener for me yet when I realise I’m getting paid and will have money again, the right perspective and focus somehow gets blurred and grows strangely dim.

      I must STOP ! I must STOP NOW ! I can’t give in now !!!!
      DO IT, you can ! It’s your only hope to suffering defeat, depression and destruction with nothing to show for myself for the next decade !!! You can’t continue this way !

      I have sheet of paper which I did after I lost all my salary and bonus in March and then again in April with a heading ‘Downspiral’ and different coloured ‘D’ words depicting my state of my mind and emotions the next morning. I keep it on my desk as a reminder to STOP me from wanting to go back and experience that awful guilt, remorse and depressed feelings if I was ever tempted again. Strangely how all the words I felt started with a ‘d’. I’ll write it down as a reminder :

      – Demon
      – Doom
      – Damnation
      – Dark
      – Depression
      – Destroy
      – Dread
      – Devil
      – Dismal
      – Dejected
      – Destitute
      – Destruction
      – Dire
      – Distress
      – Devastation
      – Downhill
      – Drained
      – Down
      – Dreadful
      – Disrespect
      – Desire
      – Derailed
      – Defeat
      – Detriment
      – Disdain

      But then I felt it was so negative and may be counterproductive. But I can’t bring myself to destroy it though. I was in a very dark place then.

      But for today, I am gamble free. I am happy, I am blessed, I am loved. God loves me. We all experience storms of financial troubles, disappointments and loneliness but Jesus stills the storm and says ” Peace, be still ! ”


    • #30359

      Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you so much, Vera !

      I needed to hear that. Those words are so powerful, so true and I still try to fool myself. My friend made me promise to self exclude just of one month, just to get through this month and into GMA. In other words, still keep the backdoor open. But your words have hit me between the eyes !

      I needed to hear that. I needed to hear that you have done that too and know this too. That it is all an illusion. A fool’s paradise !
      I can’t stop reading this, Vera. I never wanted to believe it or know it cos I would always like to think I am in control but these are the facts ! I KNOW what you are saying is true and is me, every single word. It’s come like a revelation. I was saying it but never truly wanting to believe it. You have been my trigger to do it for life. Wow ! That is HUGE for me and must’ve been even bigger for you. If you could do it, so can I !

      Vera, I keep scrolling back and re-reading this. Straight and to the point. Direct like a spear through my heart.
      And so you are right. We have given the fatcats ENOUGH ! Just what my ex used to say to me all the time. It didn’t make sense to him.

      That’s it. Time out now for good !

      Thanks so much for your love, support and post !


    • #30360

      I have self excluded NOW from all the gambling sites I’ve used.
      Thanks to Vera’s support and bold and powerful message and facts.

      Strange how doing this was even a problem. When I selected a lifetime break, the site froze, script stopped running and I had to force quit to go in and try again. Other sites only gave 5 years or 6 months but I don’t care. I am safe.

      I feel so liberated now ! A weight is lifted off my shoulder. My hard earned money this money, will be mine, every cent of it.
      And I will be going into GMA knowing I have shut the gate this time BEFORE the horse has bolted !

      Thank you all for your care and support on this site.

      I would not have done this without your support and encouragement to help me reach my summit and recover.


    • #30361

      Well done you!! That’s a huge step. We normally try to kid ourselves that we are closing all the doors to gambling, but sneakily always leave one or two ajar so that we have that avenue back in if we want it.

      Have a great day,


    • #30362

      I still can’t believe I’ve done it ! I dreamt for this first time last night in a long, long time and it’s as if my last resort and backdoor if all else fails has been shutdown.

      When it sunk in what I read, I thought this is it but something I would never do. I took a cooling down period before which got me right back on the day it was over but I would never consider self excluding. I tried that once before for 6 months but it was such a mission to get back on the site with interviews and calls etc. During that time I still could not control my urges and found new sites to gamble again. We are our own worst enemy. We know what to do but WON’T, that is the bottom line.

      I feel so relieved now as I know that my going into GMA will reverse and restore my life now. I have done all I need to do to make this a priority and truly mean it this time. This is such a golden opportunity for me to get my life back on track but more to face my future with confidence that I can overcome this vice and get as far as I can up that ladder to make the rest of my life better with something to show for it this time round.

      Who knows I get back my drive and spirit and with God’s help, hopefully own my house one day. If not, I would have lived a more meaningful, worthy life and achieved what I could by the means I have and be happy and content. I can’t take it with me when I go but what I can take will be my character, strength and integrity.

      Charlster, so pleased to hear you go a clear bill of health. You’re doing so great and I take great encouragement and support from you. Here’s to making a HUGE difference to changing our lives for the better. I feel a million dollars today. I feel like I’ve won the lottery !!! 🙂

      This is wonderful. Life is so precious and beautiful if only we take time to appreciate and cherish it and what we have and smell the roses along the way. We are blessed.

      God bless.

      Take care.

      Onwards and upwards……!


    • #30363

      It took me a day or two after my last big loss to finally self exclude! I kept trying to tell myself that they owed me that money back! It wouldn’t have mattered if I did win it though – it would have gone straight on more spins and the whole cycle would start again.

      May I suggest you put some other blocks in place? I am only on day 3 clean at the moment and very much still in the “bad hangover” period of feeling utterly terrible. I know this feeling will eventually fade so have put other measures in place – cancelling use of my credit cards and putting a gambling blocker on my laptop. I will also be making sure that if, by some miracle, I come into unexpected money – it will be going into someone elses account where I cant get a hold of it.

      One thing I have learned after 6 years of binge-quit-relapse-binge-quit-relapse-binge etc., is that we cannot let our guard down. There is no “cure” for us unfortunately, we have to show this addiction that we mean business and never EVER make that first best – because you can guarantee it wont be our last.

      Keep your chin up and look forward to a brighter, happier, more sociable gamble-free future… I know I am 🙂

      Sending strength and love x

    • #30364

      Well done on self excluding Lauren.
      You are a swift learner.
      It took me much much longer before I banned myself from my favourite land based haunts.
      When I first came here in 2008 there was a lady called Linnie (Hi Linnie if you’re still around!) who haunted me, kept pestering me to self exclude. I can still recall the posts she wrote to me but I would literally cover my ears…..I didn’t want to hear! Then one night I was sitting in a casino at closing time. It was December 8th @01:30hrs. I had €34 left in credits out of €600 and I was exhausted from playing the same machine for 13hrs without a break. Like a dog chasing its tail! I suddenly realized they were calling Time Up. I had been in a trance for hours. I jumped up, pressed “collect” and joined the long queue of “winners”, all congratulating each other on their “luck”! When my turn came to collect the “crumbs from the rich man’s table” I told the woman behind the desk (She knew me well) that I wanted to “ban myself” . There is no Self Exclusion Policy in Ireland but I made a “contract” with her and never set my foot in that or its two “sister” casinos since.
      Pride is really what kept me away. I would never lose face by being refused entry or being asked to leave!
      Self Exclusion is really A Mental Exclusion, Lauren. You will learn (after your initial relief and jubilation) that you will gradually be presented with new opportunities to gamble. After 14 months I returned to the “scene of the crime” in several new hellholes and everything began to go downhill again. Fast forward to March 2015,- having lost enormous sums and creating huge debt and serious health issues, and being forced to take early retirement on ill health grounds and securing a decent Lump Sum which I swore I would never use to gamble- I discovered online gambling and in less than a week my Retirement Fund was cleaned out. I think I will never recover from the shock. Two and a half months later, I still check my accounts online to see if it was all a terrible dream. Sadly , it is true!
      Immediately, by the grace of God, I took action and my Online Gambling came to a sudden end! Its over now but it almost killed me!
      Didn’t mean to whinge on your thread Lauren, and I congratulate you warmly for having the courage to take action and I think it is wonderful that you self excluded, just be warned that” just because the monkey has jumped off your shoulder, the circus still hasn’t left town”!
      Its great that you are going to GMA.
      Stay focused.
      Keep posting.

    • #30365

      I was writing a post on your journal and came here and seen you had written one on mine. Thanks for your support even when you are in the doldrums and dealing with your own pain and sick to the soul remorseful aftermath.

      Indeed, that is the problem, we are incurable and we cannot let our guard down. I know I cannot make a blip and think I’m ok now cos I am a CG and that comes with the territory.

      But for me that was such a huge thing to do as it was the one thing I refused to do. I would try anything but I didn’t want my longterm partner and teddy taken away from me without any recourse back to it. I just couldn’t do that. After all like you say, they owe me my money; loads of it, years worth. I can only get it back from them and it was the only way I could turn things around quickly from that big win over night cos I am an instant, impatient person and I want it now. Just as quickly as they took it from me I wanted it back and would keep trying regardless of the pain or losses or detrimental effect it had on me as a person.

      It’s a vicious cycle that comes around and goes around the same for all of us. I haven’t got other barriers in place. I’m paying off big debts on my cards so I can’t use them anyway. Besides I found that one of the cards will not allow credit to gambling sites. I will see if I can get the others to block this transactions, too. I don’t have gambling block as I tried K9 and it just took over my whole computer and scanned and blocked anything I searched, in addition to gambling sites which was a pain as the performance was so slow.

      I’ve got this golden opportunity now to change my life for good and I can’t and won’t mess it up. The only way I can stay on track is to acknowledge I have this weakness and problem and live each day at a time with the aim of not gambling just for today.

      Thanks for your strength and support.

      Stay strong and focused. Just for today, I will not gamble.


    • #30366


      Thanks so much for your support and post again with a new take on the pitfalls if I sit on my laurels and live in the jubilation moment. I am certainly not a swift learner as it has taken me over 20 years to get here.

      I’m so glad that God put you in the right place to give me that kick in the butt at the right moment where I was ready to accept and embrace it and do what I’ve never had the nerve or will to do before. I can’t stop thanking God for leading me there and for my ‘angel Vera’ to enlighten me by being forthright and bold and not holding back !

      But Vera I am sorry to hear about your relapse and can’t believe how after abstaining for 14 months you were led right back to the ‘scene of the crime’. We just cannot afford to lose focus or let our guard down. I found online gambling when I came here too and that was a slow, progression at first with an acceleration when my father died in 2009.

      Then last year when I took so much my flack from my boyfriend because I was a gambler, it drove me further into gambling. I’m not blaming him but how I felt triggered my escape to gambling. Amazing how an agnostic loves pointing out when one is a gambler and a Christian and he is not a Christian but would never gamble ! He knew how to turn the knife when I was already reeling with the guilt and remorse anyway.

      By March this year I ended up throwing all my salary plus bonus over to the wolves. And if that wasn’t enough, when the pain subsided and the loss forgotten, I went back in April and did the same ! What I fool I was. I even went on to gamble my business expense money which I had to pay on my company credit card.

      But I don’t think I could even begin to imagine your pain with your once in a lifetime lumpsum. That is a hard knock to take and accept. I am so sorry for you. I am so happy to hear that by the grace of God you’re done with the online gambling.

      I met a woman at GA who I’m trying to support after she lost over £500k in less than 9 months from her parents inheritance and sale of their family home and had to admit to her young daughter and move in with her. But she will not let go and lost all her salary on the same day it was paid in again this month. All because she can’t accept it and move on so keep chasing her losses even though her daughter has her cards, her money and blocked her computer. There will always be a way back in.

      Appreciate your warning and support so much. You have really taught me and shown me things I would never be aware of. Thanks for sharing your lessons learnt with me so that I can learn from your mistakes too and keep my focus upward and not downward or on my own self efforts.

      It’s all about trusting God even when the strong winds blow and the storms are closing in on me, to remain in Him and not try to paddle my own boat.

      Many thanks, Vera.
      God bless you.


    • #30367

      So pleased with myself that I got through payday yesterday without gambling. I paid all my bills the morning before leaving for work; well almost all, I forgot to pay the council tax; can’t afford to have it on debit or even standing order anymore, so have to remember but that would have left me with almost nothing. My rent came out the same time my salary came in. I set it up that way on a standing order so I was initially shocked that I had less salary than I expected.

      My biggest payment was paying off my company card in full, almost £2,500. Just as well as I received a mail from work later informing how serious this was. I couldn’t be bothered to pay what was only due now and put myself at risk . At least next month I know that I don’t have to pay out any such large amount and it can go towards bringing down my OD.

      I went to Costco after work to stock up on food and household goods for that ‘rainy day’. I seen a pressure washer on special for £250 which I checked was almost £400 at Homebase and toyed about buying it. I ended up buying it as my gambling acquaintance offered to loan me hers as she does’t have any space in her new rented home and I could store it for her but I don’t want to go down that route. Besides my late, wonderful dad always taught me… ‘neither a lender or a borrower be’ ! Well, not that I haven’t done that with the banks now !

      But I’ve got a gut feeling about her and want to distance myself. I’m not feeling safe confiding in her after the questions or statements she’s making. At one time after GA I felt that she would call my company and let them know I was using my company card for purchases (food) which would get me fired.

      She has been telling me she has no one to help her and constantly asks how much I pay for my rent and how much I earn. I know I’m a sucker and so gullible, it’s written on my forehead and will help anyone out if even if I don’t have to give but I get the feeling she is expecting me to be there for her and help her out after she gambled all her salary which I have thought of doing but I know it will just be funding her gambling. I guess I know now how my ex felt about me ! But even if I pay her credit card, she will use that credit to gamble again. I know she is not happy for me that I’m fighting to recover.

      She has relapsed again and I’ve bought some odds and sods from her to help her out when I had no money, too and took her a bag of toilet rolls, kitchen towels and some food which was all I could offer with no money and she was very thankful as she had nothing. She always plays the ‘victim’ and I’ve offered to help her in the past. But since I let her know I self-excluded for life, I haven’t heard from her.

      Well, I getting back…… I ended up spending over £600 at Costco and only have £200 credit left on my OD. I was so shocked and wondered about taking the pressure washer back but I’ll ride the tide. I’ve had less (i.e nothing) during the month for the past 3 months and somehow managed to survive and get through. At least I have food and household items for 6 months now !

      I was quite proud of myself, portioning the bulk packs of meat and fish etc into single portions in freezer bags and labelled them to store in the freezer. It took ages but a worthwhile job rather than defrosting the whole pack and not being able to use it all.

      For the first time in 3 months I’ve kept my salary. At least I have something to show for it now, paying my bills and getting groceries even a new pressure washer for my garden. 🙂

      But after the thrill at self excluding and having my salary and ending up with £200 in credit OD and it IS FRIDAY night, the voices have come back… I’m shutting them out and been keeping busy. Good to get little chores, no matter how small done. It makes me feel good to get my house clean and sorted again. But boy, I am so bored, restless, wasting away cos I have nothing really exciting to do that gives me the buzz…… ? I would like try going back to gym and cycling but that motivation is not yet there. I need to lose weight to be happy about myself, too.

      I’ve read Happy’s thread and took encouragement from that and how we can even have some laughs at ourselves. I can relate to how my ex- boyfriend liked the fact that he had this power of me when it came to money. He was controlling without that already and a perfectionist, so boy, did I fall far short.

      One good thing I can say of him is that he pushed me to get my Master’s degree which he had, so I could study with him while he studied for his doctorate. He sent me a mail recently to say he’s got his doctorate and wants me to attend his graduation. Right ! Not after he spoilt mine last year and I ended up moving out during my graduation time. That’s the ugly side of me coming out…..Retaliation ? We did make a pact about 4 years ago that we would both try to get our doctorates by the time we’re 60. I still have that ambition but lost the motivation as it requires paying for uni fees for 6 years which I don’t have and taking 6 years to do it part-time as I have to work and can’t afford not to and study full-time which will still takes 3 years.

      I’ve also written down Pat’s suggestion of watching ‘Stop It, Skit’, a Bob Newhart film. I need to watch or do something that would make laugh or motivate me out of this lull I’m in. I dare not think of that buzz or allow that thought to linger as it will captivate my thought process and lead me by the hand willingly, back to where I’m trying so hard to steer away from.

      So for today, I will NOT gamble and be one more day, gamble free !

    • #30368

      Great to hear you used your salary for non gambling purposes, Lauren. Hard to believe we went through so much money when we gambled and still managed to pay bills and debts! Don’t know how we did it! It creates a lot of stress when we have to “rob Peter to pay Paul”. It sure cancels out the buzz gambling gives us when we think of the hangover it brings.

      I know the feeling of contentment when you have paid up everything for the month, filled the freezer and have no money left to gamble with. The temptation diminishes when we know it can’t be fulfilled. Being in the overdraft reminds us that we are not free to gamble. When I was cleaned out online I also faced over limit bank charges due to some sinister method the Gambling Site used to make withdrawals vanish and then reappear in my bank account. I won’t dwell on it now, but revisiting my bank statements online shows me the reality of gambling, Lauren. Can you look back on yours when you feel you are missing the “buzz” to refresh your memory of what gambling is really all about?
      That gambling friend of yours makes me feel uneasy. I would give her a VERY wide berth. I like the sound of your ex boyfriend, however. I think I would turn up at his graduation, dolled up to the nines as a token of gratitude for his help in attaining your Masters. Congrats on that achievement! I regret not doing further studies when I still had a sharp mind. Another thing gambling stole from me.
      Time to focus on NOW and leave the past behind.
      Would you be entitled to a back to education grant? Look into it. There is no reason why you can’t do a doctorate or a PHD. Why not, now that you have stopped gambling FOR LIFE!!

    • #30369

      What a great post! You won’t regret the pressure washer. I still think of purchases is relation to how many machines I might play. That new toy is cheap! Your garden will look great and you have a new project to do. Winner!
      that video is only a few minutes long, you could watch it on your phone. It shows what a bad therapist might do. Itbalso reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I have had to take meds in the past for anxiety. Sometimes I think I give my fears too much power. This little clip reminds me not to dwell there:)

    • #30370

      Hi Vera,

      I see enough single transactions on gambling in my current bank account and don’t want to go there to look back online as it scares me to think of the magnitude of what I just literally through away. Like you say, the withdrawals would disappear on the site and not appear on my bank statement, then re-appear and my debt is worst that I thought. But I can’t think of gambling as I’m running in overdraft now so I don’t have it. It’s not my money. A very different song to what I sung before.
      I’m thinking of enquiring whether the banks can freeze my charges on my credit cards but don’t want to go into debt management. Sure, I salvaged every penny of my salary this month but I am still broke ! Only positive being that it went on paying bills and not gambling. Where did all the money come from that we could gamble with and we have so little to spare for paying bills ? Baffles my mind.

      But the gambling acquaintance (not a friend) I’ve let go but not before I went all out to help her…. normal, silly me, always feeling obligated. I had to see her on Sat to pay her the £25 for the odds I bought from her after she text me on Friday to remind me cos she’s skint. One can’t move in her house for all her furniture and boxes and of course her head’s not in the right place from gambling away her salary, so I decided to take action. I asked what she didn’t want and was giving away and told her I’m taking them to the charity shop half hour before they closed.

      She wanted to walk down to the high street with one plastic bag ! I packed my car full and drove her down. Unfortunately, 2 of the charity shops were too full to take anything. I prayed so hard to get rid of this car load. She told me there weren’t anymore charity shops in the high street and she would take it back next week when they had space. She insisted there were no other charity shops. But I wouldn’t give up. I drove along the high street and searched each window for another charity shop while I prayed while she went on about how I stubborn I was. 🙂 And I found a very small cancer charity shop. She ran in and guess what, they took all the boxes at closing time. Thank you, Lord ! I felt so pleased I could get that done. Job done.

      When we got back to her place, we had a cuppa and I had to hear the sad story of how her son couldn’t come and help her as he has no transport and her daughter hasn’t been around and ignoring her after she asked for £500 as she ‘paid all her direct debits’. Just felt sorry for her but also disliking the ‘victim’ role she played and ‘woe is me’ cos she won’t self exclude or try to stop…. just like me she she always tells me. I’m just like her, in denial. She knocks me when I try.

      When I got home about 19:30 she text me and said that I had inspired her and she had started to clear and sort some items. I thought ok, I really want to help her and did feel sorry for her (well gullible me fell for her line) but if she was willing to help herself, I will help her out one more time. I told her I’ll come and help her out after church to get things into the loft and she mentioned that she would make lunch. She even mentioned that she would go to church too but when I offered to come with me, she backed down. 🙂

      She stays quite far from me and I filled up my tank which had to last me for the whole month. So I decided I would got to her after church as it was halfway to church and offered to bring the lunch. I stayed up late cooking and making a very nice lunch and extra meals with dessert and scones for tea till 2 am before getting up at 7am to finish it off before church.

      Anyway, I helped sort and clear most of her things and lifted heavy boxes up the ladder into the loft with my weak aching shoulder. She thoroughly enjoyed the lunch and couldn’t believe the lengths I went through to make such a special lunch and she couldn’t remember when last she had salmon. She had gone ‘vegetarian’ cos she couldn’t afford any meats.

      I left it all with her with meals for the week including loads of fruit salad, bottles of drink and water. I gave her one of my bottles of washing liquid as she hadn’t washed her clothes cos she didn’t have any detergent or soap. I also gave her a tonne of groceries and household items including toilet paper the week before when I had no money. But she always used her last pennies on a bottle of red wine…..

      We chatted over tea and I showed her the skit on ‘Stop it’ with Bob Newhart which Pat mentioned. It made her laugh and I hoped it pushed her to rise above her ‘victim’ status. But after I showed her the skit on my iPad, she said she must get one, too and scrolled through my photos to look at ‘the size home I live in’ and gasped at the size of the garden and the hard work I put into the garden that made it look so good now. I was horrified and embarrassed as my photos are personal and I am a very private person.

      I was asked how many rooms I had and was told how I didn’t need that many for one person as if she knows what I need. The question of how much I earn soon followed again. I quietly mentioned that I am an accountant and working in IT now which she exclaimed and looked at me gobsmacked. I again felt I had said too much when she dug deeper and deeper as in an inquisition. I thought to myself I worked hard all my life after getting divorced when my son was only 2 with no support from his father and managed to get 3 degrees, two of which was done part time while working so it didn’t fall into my lap. I didn’t know why I always felt I had to justify myself to people. But it was enough to seal the deal for me and shut that door. I did my bit to help without the need to be judged. So my whole weekend till late 10pm last night was taken up with helping others and I felt good about not focusing on me and the anxiety of going to GMA.

      As for the ex, he sent me a mail yesterday requesting my attendance at his graduation. I hear what you say Vera and part of me wants to attend and be there for him cos I know he won’t have anyone but I can’t get over wanting to pay him back and letting him know how I still feel about what he did to me and then chose not to attend my graduation. I can’t come to terms with this even tho’ I know I should take the moral high ground and be better. Somehow I still want to get this off my chest and let him know. Why should I attend for him when he didn’t attend mine cos he’s got a doctorate and is more important ? It will also come as an expense to me as I have to fly to NI for his.

      But you have sowed a seed for studying for a PhD. I’ll give it some thought and thanks for letting me know there are grants out there. I wasn’t aware of anything like that.

      I look forward to your sound words of wisdom on attending the graduation. 🙂


    • #30371

      Pat, I just loved that video. I couldn’t stop laughing and showed it to a gambling acquaintance in denial. She laughed and found it funny too but she plays the victim and I want to like tell her…’Stop it !’ and then laugh again when I think of it. It is so brilliant. Thanks for sharing that. I watch it too to take myself less seriously.
      I can’t wait to use my new pressure washer. I spent this weekend helping this gambling acquaintance but it rained anyway so probably wouldn’t have had the chance.

      Thanks for your post.

    • #30372

      I LOVE your poem Lauren.
      It’s brilliant!
      I wrote a few “stanzas” and before Christmas I had them published in Booklet Form and gave them as presents to some friends and family members. It was my way of “coming out” as a CG. Most people I gave them to knew I had a problem already but allowing them to read the thoughts behind the action was an eyeopener to them.
      There are some people I wouldn’t dream of sharing those thoughts with.
      I’m reading how you gave over your whole weekend to this GA “buddy” yet you seem to resent doing all you did for her. I have often done things like that.i.e. Allowed myself to be emotionally, physically and financially drained by “friends” then resented it madly! I wonder why we do that? Is it because we need approval? Or is it to punish ourselves? Worth thinking about.
      I have less toxic people in my life these days. Partly because I refuse to allow myself to be manipulated and also because I keep my distance from people in general. I think I’m becoming a sort of a recluse. Also I don’t say what people want to hear and that scatters a lot of so called friends.
      I have a soft spot for your “fella”, Lauren.
      For all that ever was between ye, could you rise above past hurts and attend the Graduation as a gesture of forgiveness? He would buy your ticket of course. All on your terms and conditions and with no strings attached!
      I’m very interested in your relationship with your son. I have two sons. I would need the whole night to share my tales of woe. I also have a daughter who is in Australia.
      I have learned never to expect anything from my children because it brings disappointment.
      “What never made you laugh, will never make you cry!”
      Keep writing that poetry. It’s really really good.
      Consider having it published. I have contact details for a published in NI. Very reasonable prices. The nicest man I ever “met”! He emailed me for days after I submitted very inferior work, not realizing I was dealing with a literary genius! Very humbling but he didn’t humiliate me in the least. On the contrary, he wrote a wonderful introduction to my booklet and treated me like a potential writer!
      Charity is a rare and wonderful God-given human quality, Lauren.
      Apply it to your decision regarding the Graduation!
      Pray for the wisdom to act kindly towards the friend who hurt you deeply.
      God won’t refuse to guide you.
      He is LOVE!

    • #30373

      Hi lauren i have read a few of your posts , having read the last one on Bonobo’s thread i was touched by how you empathised and explained lots of things in a few sentences it was very uplifting and i could read it over and over 🙂 Plus the video was excellent i stated laughing after 1.09 minutes , i haven’t laughed properly for 16 days. Thank you . M.

    • #30374

      Hello Mick,

      Thank you for such an uplifting post that helped you too.
      That’s so good to hear but laughter is the best medicine and I find that we’ve lost our humour to gambling.
      But I loved that video. It is so good and speaks so clear and direct to us. We always make excuses, keep the back door open cos we don’t really want to give up gambling. We’re not ready to shut that door cos we still want to chase after our losses and hope to recoup something. But we’re just chasing our tail and getting nowhere cos we will never win cos we’re past the point of no return and will play back every cent the same day or the day after if we managed to cash out which we’re far gone past, too.

      We feed our greedy desire and are forever in a vicious cycle like a hamster running round and round the spinning wheel hoping for a different outcome by doing the same thing ! We are so weak and foolish at times. So just ‘Stop it !’
      LOL !

      Thanks for your post.
      Have a gamble free day….
      Bless you.

    • #30375

      I enjoyed reading your long post Lauren.
      Sorry to hear you lost your dad to cancer in 2009. My sister died in 2009 . She too had cancer. She was almost ten years my senior but I was probably closer to her than other family members in many ways. She was a very distant person. Spent a lot of her time reading and painting. Life drawing and music were her favourite pastimes. She lived a frugal life in many ways but travelled a lot and enjoyed nice things. She knew about my gambling but in her innocence she offered me 20k when she heard I was in debt. Little did she know I had lost ten times what she offered. Thank God I didn’t take it. Her anniversary is tomorrow. June 3rd. We went to the Isle of Wight last year in her memory.
      It seems your son was very shocked by his grandfather’s death, Lauren. Did he have Grief counselling? Sometimes it helps but we still have to go through the stages alone, sooner or later. Was it after his death that your gambling escalated? I hope your son will recover from that accident. He seems to be a real warrior and a fit and determined guy. That experience with a 14 year old girl could have ended in tears. Does he forgive you for not allowing him to return to the UK? It couldn’t have been easy on him going back to his father after all those years. It seems you gave him a great life. Compared to you Lauren I have lived a very mundane life. Gambling provided some excited until it threw me into serious debt and it sure didn’t help my health.
      I spent today baking. My friend is coming to visit tomorrow so I wanted to make an effort for her, even though she wants to avoid rich food and is always trying to lose weight. She is only about size 10 but has three adult daughters so competes with their slim figures. She also knows about my gambling history but would have absolutely NO tolerance for what she sees as selfish indiscipline. I avoid the issue now because when her son told me he goes to a casino I mentioned to her that it could be the ruination of a young person she lost her head and said “not every one who goes to a casino is a compulsive gambler”! Sometimes it’s best to say naught!
      I’m glad you are considering taking a break in NI, Lauren, to include your friend’s graduation.
      I’m sure he will be very pleased! When is it?
      Google Lapwing Publications and you might look them up when you visit.
      Bedtime for me now. I have eaten far too much today. Everything I do has a compulsive trait. A friend (ex work colleague) was texting me earlier to say she is not feeling well and intends calling in sick tomorrow and wishes she could come and stay in my house. I know she would not fit in with my visitor tomorrow, so instead of doing what I would have done in the past I told her “sorry, it’s too far to drive to collect you and I’m driving a rented car”! I felt a bit selfish turning my back on her but she can be VERY draining.
      Now I feel guilty for saying that!
      Nite Lauren!
      God bless!

    • #30376

      Vera, I was very close to my dad. He became my advisor, my confidante and friend. He filled the role of my ex. in helping and supporting me with my home and troubles. I would run to him or call him with my problems. He would always spend hours talking and making me laugh. I have never laughed so heartily since. Really miss him. Yes, I downspiraled after he died and hid behind shut blinds and didn’t go out. I became a recluse. My ex-bf noticed I was suffering from depression even with him. Gambling was the only thing that gave me the thrill and excitement and filled the void and desires I had.

      Wow, Vera your sister and my dad died in the same month too, he’s is on 19th June.

      Be strong tomorrow and think of her, Vera; how she would have given her last to get you gamble free and not see you struggle or go through what you are right now and have over the many years. Indeed, no one knows the extent of our addiction and the huge sums we have lost nothing in comparison to what they offer or loan us to help.

      I plan to destroy my bank statements so that no one gets to see that in my lifetime or after. But I don’t want to look or add them up. It will be mind boggling.

      My son never went for bereavement counselling and neither did I. But he has forgiven me and just hugged me when he saw me when I visited him. Yes it was hard but harder for me to let him go after those many years. But it was the only solution. That also affected me as I was suddenly on my own with no one there. My father died in June and he went back in Dec.

      He could have been linked to that girl for life if she fell pregnant. No, he’s not mad at me and thanks me now. He said he doesn’t do anything of what he did out here and didn’t know what he was thinking to do that. It got out of control just like me and my gambling. Just hope he doesn’t have a compulsive disorder from me but he is quite strong minded.

      I’ve have been blessed with opportunities in my life and enjoyed it as I had a good job. But even if I won a million pounds now, I have no desire or thrill and excitement to go anywhere or do anything with it. So why was I gambling anyway ? It changed me and made me lose my zeal for life ! I’ve put on so much weight and dislike who I have become. Even after stop gambling this time, I have no motivation to do anything to eat healthy and exercise. I enjoy cooking and baking for myself but even tho’ I only eat one meal a day cos I get up so late and have to work from home for now, I don’t lose weight. I make up for it when I have my meal late at night, then go to bed at 2:30 or later.

      I know I must get my house in order before I leave next week for GMA but not doing it. Its doing my head in now as well knowing I have to go next week. I’ll be rushing around on the last minute and then work through the night to get it done. I need to as my neighbour will be looking after my cats and I couldn’t let them see how I’ve neglected the house and just did what I had to.

      This was a good day for you today, baking. It makes one feel worthy again and you’ll enjoy your friend’s visit. But no one will ever understand gambling addiction. Yes, most times it’s best rather to say naught. I am a CG but didn’t know half what was happening to me till I came on here. It’s the ruin or will become the ruin of anyone’s life. There is no way that those gamblers playing on their own at casinos till late are recreational gamblers. They’re just in denial like I was. You cannot go to the casino that often and play all night or day by yourself and tell me you’re not addicted and can walk away.

      Anyway, the graduation is on the 1st July. I think it would be somewhere in Belfast, may be at Ulster University. I was at Magee campus in Londonderry. But now I have the pressure to lose weight before then. Can’t let him see I let myself go.

      Thanks for the publication name.

      Be proud of yourself Vera. You have told your friend what would work for you, not for her. You should not feel guilty. (speak for myself) This is a terrible burden we bear and drains us emotionally, so we need time by ourselves to manage and cope and sometimes that means saying no. We’re not good at saying no. I know I’m not. Besides you are having a visitor so why would you have both at the same time ? I know the feeling as my gambling buddy drains me emotionally.

      Good night, sleep tight.

      Give some thought and do something you know your sister would’ve liked you to be…… gamble free, on 3rd June. We should make that our goal, never to gamble on their anniversary, out of respect.

      Take care, Vera.
      The best years are yet to come. Look up, not down at the storms around you…..

      God bless.

    • #30377

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

    • #30378

      Hi Lauren
      Just about to turn off the laptop when I saw your post.
      I’m equally “skint” until the end of the month. Hubby thinks I still have my Lump Sum. I’m scared in case he mentions it. I have to pay €65 for physio tomorrow, I told him I haven’t got it. He will pay. I hate being so sneaky and my neck is killing me.
      I get a weekly and a monthly payment. I’m way overdrawn on my current account. I paid €110 bank charges last month on my unauthorized overdraft and guess what?
      There is nothing I can do about it!
      I’m just hoping to keep my head down until the end of June and pray that nothing crops up that will cost money.
      Seems you will have to do likewise Lauren
      How will you get to GMA?
      By car?

    • #30379

      Well that makes three of us practically skint 🙁 On a happier note yes your right i can see scotland and the isle of man on a clear day , i love the sound of the waves at my favourite place st bees and it’s only about 6 miles via the cliffs away 🙂 I hope your stay at GMA goes well for you and it’s the start of a gamble free life 🙂 M.

    • #30380

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #30381

      Your going through alot right now lauren, but it will all be worth it in the end three words “EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH” AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST YOU DO HAVE “HOPE” . You have made the decision to go to GMA. because you want to , YOU ARE DOING IT . 🙂 M.

    • #30382

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

    • #30383

      Hang in there! Psalm 30:5
      Joy comes in the morning
      Romans 8:31-39 More than conquerors
      Psalm 121
      Where does our help come from?

      Praying for you to find your joy this day. XOXO

    • #30384

      Hope you’re feeling a bit more upbeat Lauren
      Another day gone
      Good to say it was gamble free but scary to think we will never get this day back
      If you are stuck for petrol Just fill your tank and act shocked when your card refuses to register. I had to resort to that once or twice. The garage were lovely about it when I said “o dear!” or words to that effect!
      Anyway, I called back when I had the money and paid them.
      Do it ONLY if you’re badly stuck

    • #30385

      Hi Lauren
      Nobody could ever say that facing your addiction was going to be easy. Fear of the unknown is scary but soon it will be a friendly place and you won’t be a stranger to it. If you were blasé and super-confident I would far more worried about you.
      I took my CG to the GMA programme nearly 9 years ago and I watched him doubtful and afraid but what a fantastic return he got for going that extra mile. Take care on the journey.
      My thoughts will be with you tomorrow and in the coming days.
      Best wishes

    • #30386

      Hi Lauren

      Been thinking of you. I’m guessing you’re at GMA at the moment? Hope you’re keeping safe and starting to feel a little better. Time is a great healer, things WILL get better.

      Onwards and upwards, J

    • #30387

      Are you still in GMA, Lauren?
      I don’t know how long the Womens’ Programme runs for. Just want to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • #30388

      Just to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers, Lauren

    • #30389

      I hope that things are going well for you today.. cant wait to see a post to update us


    • #30390

      I have read your posts since you joined the forum and followed your journey, identifying with so much of your gambling despair, mirroring a lot of my own life.
      I hope things are going well for you, I know you are probably working through a lot of things in your life after the residential treatment.
      A lot of folk here care about you and would be really kind of you to let them know you are ok when you have the time.
      We all need as much support as we can possibly get to win our lives back, it is not easy and you have been really brave in doing all you have done so far to get your life back on track.
      I hope you are well today Lauren.

    • #30391

      Post Residential Treatment…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Love you all,

    • #30392

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

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

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

      Love you all,

    • #30393

      I just wanted to say how insightful your post is about your time since your GMA stay.
      Thank you for sharing your journey, I have read it several times.
      You are working hard at your recovery, you should be very proud of all you have achieved so far and I love the way you are embracing the small things in life and realising that life is far more precious than money can ever be. If money solved our problems then there would not be so many unhappy wealthy people, I think whatever life we live rich or poor, it will always have it’s problems. The solution is in how we face things and you certainly seem to be doing that with honesty and confidence.
      Fabulous post Lauren, so pleased for you.

    • #30394

      Hi Liberty,

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Lots of love,

    • #30395

      Just wrote you a long post and the cyber ghost zapped it.
      I won’t repeat every word. It basically said, when you are at peace with yourself and with your Maker you will find true happiness.
      Did you go to the graduation?
      Dying to hear!
      ‘Hope your son is okay and that his health issues are improving.
      GMA seems like a good place. It happened at the right time for you.

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