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    • #30439

      Hi everyone. I have spent the last few weeks reading through many of your journals and can relate to each and every one in some way or another.

      Online slots are my vice. Have been for about 5-6 years now (started when I was 20-21). A friend introduced me to online bingo but when I got bored of that I started playing the slots. Started off gambling about £20 a week and it just got more and more as time went on. When I realised that the bigger the spin bet the much greater the POTENTIAL winnings, I went from pressing 20-50p a time to £5, £10 or even £20 a time. My first big binge was about 3-4 years ago, I did awful things… I pawned my late grandmothers jewellery and I stole from my own mother. I’m ashamed to say it but I did. I had got myself – and her – into so much debt that eventually I had to come clean. She was totally heartbroken. Not just for herself but for me too, I know she wished she had the money to bail me out but I was in about £15k of debt at this point and she didn’t have anywhere near that going spare.

      The shock and disgust I felt by what I had done made me despise myself, so much that I thought in that moment I would never spin a reel again. And I didn’t for about 18 months.

      Then near the end of 2014 the nightmare started again. I cant even remember what it was that made me want to gamble again, boredom probably. I had spent the previous 18 months getting my debt right down, working hard and going without luxuries to pay off as much as I could each month when I got paid. I was actually happy at this time though, I remember just liking myself more as a person for not gambling. But in the last 6-9 months I have managed to pretty much undo it all. Back to where I started yet again. Overdraft, credit cards, loans. Its’ never ending. Fortunately this time round I have managed to realise I need to stop, again, before I stoop so low as stealing.

      I cannot win because I cannot stop.

      I just feel really lost and alone. I cant bare to tell my mom that I have relapsed and undone so much hard work. I just know the look on her face would kill me.

      The most frustrating thing is that i’m nearly 27 now, I have a very good job and earn a lot of money for my age, I should have bought my own house by now and be loving life with my boyfriend in a financially comfortable position. But instead I still live with parents with no savings and nothing to show for years of hard work. I feel like a complete failure at life. I never go out because I either want to stay in and gamble or because I have no money because I’ve gambled it away.

      My boyfriend doesn’t know anything at all about my gambling and I know he has a very firm opinion about it… he has said before that gambling to excess is ridiculous and people only have their own stupidity to blame (i’m sure he wouldn’t have said that if he knew about me). Nevertheless, I love him so much and don’t want to lose him, we could have such an amazing life together but he’s just so sensible with his money there is no way he would understand what this disease does to a person.

      Anyway, day 1 is today. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. The sleepless nights, the worry about paying bills, the panic of losing people I love so dearly. I’m not living my life right now, i’m just existing day to day.

      More than ready to take on any advice. Love to you all my fellow CG’s



    • #30440


      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!

    • #30441

      Hi Jenna, well done on looking for help. You can stop gambling I promise you. I facilitate some of the groups here,

      I’ve just started one of several that are running this evening. If you are still reading now maybe pop in and have a chat. I am a Compulsive gambler myself though haven’t had a bet in a while now, hope to speak to you soon.

    • #30442

      hi Charles, where do you run your groups? or are they on here? (new to using the website so a bit rusty)

    • #30443

      Hi Jenna, it was good to meet you, if only briefly. Speak to you later hopefully.

    • #30444

      Still in the ’hangover’ stage. No urges to gamble at all but feeling very fed up about the financial position I’m in and all the time I have wasted over the last few years.

      I confided in a close friend this morning and whilst he’s quite supportive he doesn’t really understand what it’s like for is CG’s.

      I think I am beginning to realise some of my triggers; boredom and the desire to get out of debt. I stupidly thought that I would be able to have a ’quick fix win’. Impatience is the problem. I know that in a year or two I’ll be in a much more comfortable position than I am now (as long as I don’t gamble of course). But a year or two is a log time to wait for someone as impatient as me.

      Didn’t sleep very well last night, was just praying that is wake up today and it would all be a big nightmare. But I’m awake and the nightmare hasn’t ended. I’m afraid it never will.

      I cannot win because I cannot stop.

      Today I will not gamble.

    • #30445

      Well done for posting. It will be a great release for you and you’ll find a lot of much needed support here. It’s so great being able to communicate with people that understand us, something which is hard to find in our everyday lives.

      It’s difficult to know what to do for the best, but it might be a good idea to sit your boyfriend down and explain things to him. I would hate for him to find out about your gambling from someone else or in some other way as you may have some serious trust issues develop as a consequence. It will also take a lot of pressure off you if he knew. As you know, relationships are built on trust and are a lot weaker without it. You’ve got a family and friends section on this site which will help anyone connected to you understand what we go through and why we do what we do. Something for you to bear in mind anyway.

      I wish you all the best in your recovery and keep posting.


    • #30446

      Installed a blocker on my PC so now I have eliminated money and access, just time to deal with. Working on that though, have plans to set myself a fitness regime for the next 6 months and start doing the things I used to enjoy. I loved reading in my short periods being gamble free over the last few years so will download some free kindle books this evening.

      Thanks for your post Charles and I appreciate your advice dearly… But I’m still feeling too ashamed to admit 100% to my fella. Many reasons but the main ones being: it’s still fairly early days in the grand scheme of things, I dont have the courage to face feeling him yet and I’d like to put my focus into recovery rather than breaking g the best relationship I’ve ever had. Perhaps I’ll have the strength when I’m feeling g a little better about myself and comfortable enough I my own skin. I still can’t accept what I’ve done so how can I expect him to?

      Anyways, still feeling very low, very stupid and very broke. Learning to exercise my patience and cleanse my mind of this wretched addiction.

      Love to you all my friends

    • #30447

      It takes time, Jenna. Recovery does not come with a Magic Wand.
      Well done on installing the blocker.
      Having no money in your current account will help too and you can self exclude from all those sites. A Lifetime Ban will be easy to do. Better to stop NOW before you give the fatcats any more of your money.
      As for telling your ”fella”, my suggestion would be to hold off. If he does a runner you might find yourself turning to the ”Old Flame” for solace!
      Play your cards close to your chest until he gets to know the real you!
      Why sell yourself short?

    • #30448

      As much as I respect Charles’ advice to be 100% honest, I don’t want gambling to be who/what I am – just a part of what will some day hopefully be my distant past.

      The way I see it… We all have skeletons in our closet – every living person. I wouldn’t expect him to list out all his past mistakes and wrongdoings; so why should I.

      The gambling part of my life has only affected me personally, if it were to ever (god forbid) affect him then I agree that I should tell all.

      Take the CG part of my life away and I’m a very selfess, funny, successful young businesswoman. This is the woman he fell in love with. I have lost my confidence on myself recently and don’t particularly like myself… If I also had him looking at me differently I’m not sure id ever learn to find and love the REAL me again.

      I will not let the addiction win. I will not let it determine the rest of my life. I will work hard to make myself the person I know I can be.

    • #30449

      Jenna, I am not advocating secrecy. Just prudence.
      As time progresses and you feel less vulnerable, maybe you could broach the topic of gambling and mention it is one thing you need to avoid.
      Be careful about confiding in friends.
      Some people love passing on news!
      You certainly don’t want your boyfriend to hear this on the grapevine.
      If he ever mentions gambling, come clean immediately.
      One lie will lead to another.
      You will know when the time is right to tell him.
      In the meantime, make sure you protect yourself. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can rewind it. You are blessed to have your whole life ahead.
      Make it a G- free Life.
      The Gambling Life is not worth living!
      Well done on seeking help!

    • #30450

      What Vera mentioned in her last post was actually the point I was trying to make. If your boyfriend does find out, he needs to here it from you, not from any other source.

      Take care,


    • #30451

      I slept a little better last night, not necessarily because I was feeling any better, just exhaustion finally got the better of me.

      I’m finding that every waking moment and most of the sleeping ones are still consumed by thoughts of gambling. Although not actually wanting to gamble, just everything that has happened as a result. My mind keeps spinning and spinning… What if I hadn’t of done this and why didn’t I just do that. It’s sending me potty!

      When I read all of your threads I see that I am quite young compared to many… And whilst you lovely people would take that as a positive, in that ’at least I’ve realised and sought help now’… It actually makes me more scared. I’ll tell you why, I look at what I COULD have later in my life… My own lovely home, marriage, family, savings, nice holidays. And I think to myself, I’m sure all my fellow GT members had the same hopes for their future, but this disease has eventually ruined their chances or taken it all away. I am petrified that I’ll look back in another 25 years and still be in the same position I am now – if not a lot worse.

      After all, the lower our expectations, the lesser our disappointments. This addiction makes me want to have no hopes and dreams and no expectations from my life on this earth at all. It makes me want to continue to push people away from my destructive ways and tell them to stay away for their own good.

      I have got a glimmer of hope on he horizon as far as my financial situation is concerned. With no help or windfall it would likely take me a good 5 years plus to pay back what I owe. But I was in quite a serious non-fault car accident last year and am due to have operations next month on my ankles. I’ve also had to have many other treatments for damage to my neck, shoulders and back. As a result, I could be due a fairly decent compensation payout in a few months time; this could potentially clear my debt and leave me with a little bit to put away for a house deposit. In an ideal world it would have all been towards a house but clearing the debt is obviously my priority. I will have never seen that sort of money in my account before, I really hope my plans for it go ahead, I’ll never get that sort of lump again in my life and I don’t want this addiction to steal it from me and what could be my future 🙁 I think I’ll ask my mom to hold the remainder in her account for me once all my debt is paid.

      Most people look forward to their future, but mine scares me senseless.

    • #30452

      Jenna, you are still in shock and it seems all the worse case scenarios are playing havoc with your mind. It is overwhelming when we suddenly come to our senses and begin to scramble for damage control. I would suggest you separate the things yo CAN control from the things you can’t. Take a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the centre and write a few bullet points. It will help to put your thoughts outside you and also you can use it to gauge your progress.
      Your priority , Jenna is to keep your compensation payment secure. I would suggest putting it into a joint account in your mum’s name your yours. Otherwise it will vanish.
      Jenna, in you present state of mind you are bound to be fearful for your future. These feelings will pass. Lots of people here have overcome huge financial loss, restored broken relationships, started new jobs, dealt with health issues etc etc.
      One day at a time is the only way we can combat our demons. If we try to defeat them all at once we haven’t a hope.
      Would you consider going for a few counselling sessions with an addiction counsellor to reveal to yourself why you gambled ?
      I knew we all say we started for fun etc etc but there are always deeper issues underlying behaviours such as gambling.
      Maybe you need to deal with those issues now to empower you for Life’s future events.
      Unfortunately our ”weaknesses” can become the ”crutches” we fall back on when we are faced with challenges. Knowing those weaknesses now will be your trump card later on in life.
      Awareness is the key to recovery.
      Slow down. It’s early days. Things WILL improve. A few weeks will make a huge difference. Try to have hope and confidence. Never give up!
      You are not alone.

    • #30453

      Thanks for your kind words in the early days of my recovery.

      I have thought about seeking psychological help, I would like to know the underlying cause of my gambling… although i’m pretty sure I have a good idea where it all stems from.

      I am the youngest of 3 children and yet I’ve always been the shoulder to cry on, the ”strong” one. Not only for my brother and sister, but my parents too. Every one of them have dealt with huge issues in their life (drugs, jail time, affairs, alcoholism) and yet miraculously I did well in school and managed to pave an amazing career for myself.

      By 20 I was invincible. Nice car, great job, plenty of money to enjoy by treating myself to expensive hair do’s and designer clothes etc. To everyone on the outside I had it all. Yet the second I got home, it was a different story. SO many issues with all my family members and because I was the only one that was ”doing well” in life, they used me as their emotional punchbag.

      I love my family to the end of the earth and back, and I would do anything to help/support them for the rest of my life. But when I look back, I know that getting into the grips of gambling was my escape from them.

      Six years later and they have moved on with their lives, no more jail time, affair is forgotten, no more alcoholism or drugs etc. and yet I am still paying (in every way) for the emotional burdens I took on to help them.

      They know i’m in debt because of gambling, and i’m sure they would write me a cheque if they could but that’s not the case. I don’t think they realise that being a CG is a progressive illness though; I have tried to explain many times but they cant quite grasp it.

      Either way, I have decided that now is the time I be a little bit selfish and concentrate only on myself. I simply cannot take on more than is already going on in my head.

      Look forward and never back.

      Wealth is not measured by your bank balance

      We’re here once, make it count

      I cannot win because I cannot stop

      For today, I will not gamble.

    • #30454

      Jenna, I would recommend tonight’s Group to you. Look up the times. I think its at 8pm
      The facilitator is a counsellor.
      See you there.

    • #30455

      Hi Jenna,

      Like you I was always trying to analyse what leads me to gambling as an escape and coping mechanism. I know that when I am vulnerable I gamble, when I’m sad, I gamble and when I’ve been in an argument or anything that is detrimental to my self worth and self esteem, these are triggers when I run to escape and find the thrill of gambling taking me away and dreaming what my life would be if I just won or had this money.

      I knew I was in debt and always broke as a result of gambling but never realised it was an illness that got progressively worst especially after I found online gambling which was so accessible and made me lose so much in such a short space of time. Money I had worked for all month was reduced to zero in ONE day !

      My sister pointed out that gambling addiction is a sickness and a chemical imbalance that requires treatment as we cannot help ourselves to get better and it is not us behaving this way. Gambling changes our persona, our lifestyle and feeds off self interest at the exclusion of everyone else, just what we want to escape from our situation or effects of what we’ve been through all the way from our childhood.

      I’ve chosen to go into rehab to stop this addiction and cycle and understand the psychological effect and reasons that have led me to escape to my dark secret world of safety but gambling does the reverse by changing me into someone I don’t like or even know.

      You have come to the right place and have the right perspective. This is about you now. This is your time now.
      And you will find the answers and work through things for yourself as you walk this road.

      We cannot reverse what we’ve done or may not recover what we’ve lost or change our past but we can change our future by living for today cos that is all we have. The future is not ours. We can only live in the now.

      We cannot take money with us when we die but we can take character, integrity and strength with us when we do and become a beautiful, caring and loving person and help others and be who we were meant to be and reveal the real you.

      Your only win is to stop gambling and shut the gates BEFORE the horse has bolted. Self -exclude from all the sites and put those barriers in place to make you a winner.

      Be strong and stay focused and keep posting.

      Take care,

    • #30456

      On the face of it I’ve not had a bad day; banter with my colleagues, productive with work and even got a little early finish for the day.

      But behind the eyes I have been pretty numb. I’m getting so tired of the constant self-loathing, from the second I wake in the morning i am cursing myself and hating my actions. It’s like the rational part of my brain has taken a step away from my body and is now looking down on the mess, pointing and grimacing.

      Tomorrow for me is payday. This would be scaring me senseless were it not for the fact that I have barriers in place that make it close to impossible for me to gamble. It’s so odd, I can’t remember the last time I got paid and didn’t log on to play slots the very same day… It’s kind of like a relief though. At least I know I’ll have money to last the month, not a lot but it’s better than nothing at all. My boyfriend and I are going for a curry with another couple on Saturday night, it wil be nice to not have to make excuses for noting going… I don’t feel well, I’m seeing a family member that night… I need to look after my mum she’s sick…

      Actually speaking of money (or lack of) I have put together a repayment spreadsheet for the next few months to try and stick to. I’d like to get out of my overdraft first whilst still keeping up payments on loans and credit cards (minimum payments usually!!) I have calculated that it will take about 5-6 months before I won’t need my overdraft and can cancel it – do any of you know if my bank can cancel my overdraft if they see that I am knee deep into it every month??

      Anyways, I hope you are all having a good day so far and are continuing to stay strong. Thinking of you all whilst on this crazy journey of discovery x

    • #30457

      ok so it’s payday for me today. I got up early and paid all my bills, calculated how much I would have ”spare” to last me the month and then wondered if I might be able to double that somehow. Triple it even. Maybe I could even find a way to make all my debts disappear. Even as I am sat here typing this I can see the reels spinning in my head.

      But I know I mustn’t. I know that the only way I can get out of this hole filled with debt, despair and disappointment is by being patient and doing things the RIGHT way.

      I keep trying to remind myself that the buzz I get from depositing and spinning in no way compares to the hell that follows. When i’m in the grips of this addiction, I barely eat, I barely sleep and I don’t look after myself at all. I would hide away and stay up til all hours in my room spinning away. I would switch all the lights off so nobody could see that I was still awake at 2am, 3am, 4am.

      I’m feeling very vulnerable right now. I really want that escape. The mental strength that recovery takes should never be underestimated, I like to think of myself as a strong minded woman in nearly every aspect of my life. Apart from this one of course. I have no control. No strength. No power from within.

    • #30458


      You’ve done very well to hold on to your salary and pay your bills. I’ve got paid yesterday and also paid my bills and know what you’re going through. I know about that buzz and do exactly the same as you by switching off the lights so that no one sees I’m up till till 4am spinning away in my own world.

      I am desperate to gamble with the last £200 credit on my OD to turn this all around. I only have this £200 but it’s a lot more than nothing I’ve had for this whole month till now. I hear the voices urging to open new doors and dent my debt with a big win but I know it won’t happen but I so much want to try. I miss that buzz. I feel so empty and bored. Nothing satisfies that craving and feeling we get from gambling. Yet we cannot bear that awful aftermath of low, sick feeling and depression that follows cos we won’t stop and cash in even if we are up.

      I can’t fathom how strong women like us who can take on challenges and deal with them in life are reduced to nothing when it comes to gambling. It is indeed a very tough decision requiring all your inner strength and determination to recover on a moment to moment basis. So, so hard.

      Just try to distract yourself, delay it and tackle something that will occupy your time and mind. I speak for myself too. I’m working away feverishly with lots to do for work today but every time my mind wanders and I dint myself coming back on my personal laptop. It’s so much easier…. what I really want.

      But we are strong and need to let our true selves focus on doing what is right.

      Stay strong.


    • #30459

      Despite writing here this morning and being so determined not to do it, I gambled today. I paid my bills and I still have a little money to get me through the next few weeks til the next dreaded payday, but only enough to scrape by.

      I put blocks in place but they were not enough. I feel like such a failure, could last 24 hours after being paid. Pathetic. We are in exactly the same position Lauren – about £200 left in OD credit to see me til the end of June.

      I want to hide away and sleep for the next few weeks. To exclude myself from all life. But I know I can’t, I have a boyfriend I adore and he deserves my weekends after working away every week. I must make the effort with him. I want to make the effort with him.

      I also must go to work. I have bills to pay and unfortunately despite my hopes for a massive win today, they won’t pay themselves.

      Starting over again. Again.

      So disappointed in myself.

    • #30460

      No need to beat yourself up, Jen. You’re not a failure. This is not the real you. Just wrap it up, scrumple it and toss it. Fling it behind you and walk on by. You’re a lot further and better than you were last month. You have made such good progress.

      Look forward to your weekend, go get a cuddle from your boyfriend, be nice and enjoy your weekend. You deserve it. You’e a lot closer to your recovery than you were before.

      Stay strong an just shake it off. You still have enough to see you through this month. You’re no better off than I am and I didn’t gamble. 🙂

      Today is done……enjoy the evening.


    • #30461

      Hi Jenna, would that boyfriend be able to look after that £200 for you? Well done on getting back here and posting, maybe see you in a group in a while.

    • #30462

      How are you feeling today, Jenna?
      Gambling again, after we resolve not to is very disappointing. I makes us lose self trust and even lose hope.
      I have been there many , many times. It’s awful!
      You have two choices now.
      Lick your wounds and move on
      Hope you enjoy the chinese meal with your boyfriend and friends tonight.
      Can you pin point where you were when you gambled and ask yourself if there was anything that could have prevented your ”slip”?
      I know when I gamble I always plan it in advance.

    • #30463

      Hi all

      I’ve not been on here for a little while since my last lapse on payday… I gambled for a couple of days and I know exactly why it happened. It’s so easy to notice when I look back with a slightly clearer mind, but that never helps at the time.

      A week or so ago, after I had promised myself I would no linger let this wretched illness control me, my amazing boyfriend of 18 months asked me to move in with him once he is settle into his house after Xmas this year. So in about 7-8 months time. I was so thrilled, he’s always struck me as a bit of a commitment-phobe so this gesture meant so much to me and filled me with happiness, hope and excitement for the future. For OUR future. I would be able to leave my parents home for the first time in my 26 years on earth. Independence and a loving home with my man 🙂

      But the excitement soon wore off and the dread began to settle in. How on earth would I ever manage, in 7 months, to drag myself out of the £3k overdraft I constantly live on and pay off another £20k in CCard debt? There had to be a quick way out. any easy option. Patience and perseverance was not an option. I simply had to get myself completely debt free before I moved in with him and had contribute towards bills, food, furnishings etc. And of course we would want to save together so that we can buy a home of our own a few years down the line…

      I had already self-excluded from my usual online slot haunts and blocked access on my pc. So i went onto my phone apps. found a site, registered, deposited and started spinning. £100 turned into £1500 – excellent, halfway paid my overdraft. But that’s not enough, I need more. Maybe I can double that and clear the overdraft altogether! Maybe I can even pay off one of my cards in full. Maybe I can clear all my debts!!

      Of course not. Never ever ever. I cannot win, because I cannot effing stop!

      All I am ever left with after one of my many many binges, is a racing heart, sweaty palms, headache and empty bank.

      The ’winnings’ went, as they always do. And I was back to square one with only a pocket full of change on the first of the month and 4 weeks to wait until my next payday. Fortunately I had some expenses due from work so this couple of hundred should see me through June. Just about. Until next payday, when the ”adding, subtracting, moving, borrowing from one to pay the other” process starts all over again.

      Surely this cannot be what the rest of my life has in store for me? If it is, then I think i’d rather just give up now.

      I have thought about debt management plans and what not, but if I go down that route I haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of getting a mortgage in the next 5 years and how would I explain that to my fella? (I know we all have different views on who to speak to and when, but I simply cannot tell him. He is an amazing guy but i just know he wouldn’t understand this. Depending on how my recovery goes, I know deep down I may never tell him.)

      So the only way for me to get through this is commitment, perseverance and patience. That elusive patience… I have very little. But the possibilities for my future are potentially endless! It could be incredible! But it could so very easily be a complete disaster. And that’s what scares the hell out of me. It’s too easy to ruin everything in and instant.

    • #30464

      Welcome back, Jenna!
      I was looking out for you.
      Moving in with someone will change a lot of things.
      Think long and hard!

    • #30465

      Thanks for keeping an eye out, this place is full of support, I shan’t be neglecting it again!

      Yes it does change an awful lot… I stay with the fella most weekends anyway and some nights in the weeks when he’s not working away. I have never ever gambled when I’ve been with him or in his house… It’s like I feel more relaxed in his space than I do when I’m at my parents house. It sounds really odd but it’s like my parents house is already full of my secret sins. It’s tainted. It’s a place where I can self destruct and not really give a damn.

      But when I’m at my fellas house it feels sin-free, innocent and full of hope. Untainted by my secret binges. I feel so much more comfortable there and happier with myself and who I am.

      I never want that to change. I never want what I have got with him to change.

    • #30466

      Feeling a little more optimistic as the days are passing me by, which is strange considering I am awaiting dates for a couple of pretty serious operations. As i’ve mentioned before, I had a pretty nasty car accident in February 2014 (not my fault) and as a result my ankles are pretty messed up. So the upshot is that I need each ankle repairing and metal pins put in place. They’re going to operate on one at a time and leave about a six month gap in between, just waiting for a date for the first one, should be within the next 6 weeks.

      Whilst i’m obviously apprehensive about the actual operations, i’m actually looking forward to the fact that i’ll be in different casts for 9 weeks following. This will mean that I have a good 2 months of relaxing and rehabilitation, as well as two months where i’ll barely be spending any money!! I haven’t had that much time away from my office for 10 years! Excellent. Of course i’ll need to make sure that the barriers I have in place are watertight – i’m an onliner so being at home and potentially a little bored for such a long time could involve unprecedented amounts of damage. But I am working hard to make sure there is absolutely no way I will let that happen. I’ve got Netflix at home so I am planning on getting stuck into a good drama series.

      Had a lovely chat with the fella last night. He came round to see me at my parents house for a couple of hours and bought Krispy Kreme doughnuts with him!! Naughty boy. so we had a cup of tea and shared the sugary snacks whilst talking about all the decorating we’d like to do in his house when I move in after Christmas. It was so nice to have a normal adult conversation and actually get rather excited about colour schemes and furniture styles. 7 months and counting – I can do a fair amount to dent the masses of bills before then. I have done the sums and it is totally achievable. As long as and only if – I do not gamble!

      I still very much miss spinning those reels though (last spin was 01.06.15 so we’re on day 9). Whilst my reasoning (in my head) was always to try and ”win back” my losses to pay towards debt, there was definitely a part of my brain that thrived on the rollercoaster of emotions that I would ride for hours on end. I certainly do not miss the aftermath of depression and self loathing though. The pounding heart, sweaty palms and headaches. The nights sat up in my bedroom til 3am with the lights off. I really don’t want to be back in that place, I have so very much to look forward to if I can just focus on the real life that is staring me in the face right now and the the online cyber life where I win millions in jackpots and live in a mansion.

      Thing is, if I can stay on the right track of recovery, there’s no reason why I can’t make my own very real fairytale. I have all the ingredients for a happy, comfortable life with my amazing chap. Just gotta keep remembering that every time I feel an urge to feed the addiction. I cannot win because I cannot stop. Ultimately, no good can ever come from those spins.

    • #30467

      I am currently sat in my office at work just wishing the time away. I have noticed that since the ”cloud has lifted” I find myself desperate to spend time doing things I actually want to do and being around the people that I really care about. Funny how when I was in the depths of gambling it was the only thing that mattered to me. Nothing and nobody could come close to my bestest friend, the online slot.

      Perhaps it’s partly because I feel I have wasted so much time, precious time that I could have spent doing something productive or helping others. So now I find myself wanting to make up that time and continuously clock-watching until I can get out of here!

      I’ve not tried any form of creative writing before, but reading some of the posts in the poetry section has inspired me to see if I can get some creative juices flowing. So here’s my first attempt, it’s called ”Time”…

      We cannot see, smell, hear or touch,

      But we can feel, cherish and waste so much.

      No amount of money will ever be able to buy this,

      Not a diamond, not a prayer and not even a wish.

      It will always be priceless and must be handled with care,

      It is something to keep and yet something you must share.

      Some say it has a magical power and that it can heal,

      Others want more if it and will even resort to steal.

      We are not all given the same amount, in fact some very small,

      Which is precisely why we should try and remember it all.

      It will seek to pass you by in the blink of an eye,

      It will come and go without a chance for your goodbye.

      But whilst everyone on here has such a mountain to climb,

      We can all be grateful that we still have precious time.

    • #30468

      Hi Jenny

      Just caught up with your posts. Utterly devastated that you succumbed to the lies that this illness tells us, this troll under the bridge. You have so much going for you and you know it’ll never happen while in the grip of the evil disease.

      I thought it was a lovely poem, and you should publish it in the poetry section. I loved the last 4 lines:

      It will seek to pass you by in the blink of an eye,
      It will come and go without a chance for your goodbye.
      But whilst everyone on here has such a mountain to climb,
      We can all be grateful that we still have precious time.

      That was happening to me whilst I gambled. It’s not worth it – it wastes our mind, our energy, our will to live The rollercoaster is not worth it. I am glad to hear how excited you are to move in with your fella – exciting times. And yet scary too. I’m scared now I am separated and am missing my little boy to death. The time cannot come quick enough for me to make my trip back to London. I have him all day Sunday.

      be good to yourself. Recovery is worth it, I am feeling it.

      I look forward to you new posts.

    • #30469

      Day 10 today, I quite like that number. It’s nice and round, although i’d of course prefer it to be as round as 100…. one day hopefully, that’s certainly the plan anyway!

      I have started to learn quite a lot about myself over the last few weeks (on this journey of ”self discovery”)… one of which is that I have quite a controlling nature. This is something that my fella pointed out the weekend and i’ve noticed from other people’s threads on here, that it appears to be quite a common trait of CG’s. How ironic is that!? I clearly give off the impression to other people that I am in control of my life and I like order, planning, precision (which to be honest, is probably quite true). Yet delve a little deeper into my brain and you will find a whole section that is completely scattered and in no control of anything whatsoever! So strange.

      Today is another really quiet day in the office which sucks massively, time drags when you have nothing to do but clock-watch! The weather is so beautiful today too, I sooo wish I was at home in the garden reading a book, or going for a stroll and parking my bum in a beer garden for some lunch. Funny how we start to appreciate these little things when our minds become clearer. Feel like i’ve been living in a dark, silent, lonely hole for the last few years! It’s great to be alive again. I may be broke but I am not broken.

      I am looking forward to this evening, I have got a physio session on my back after work (still as a result of my car accident – haven’t had a date for the first op on my ankles yet though) which always releases a lot of tension, and after that I shall go home and have a good chill with my mom. I have an older brother and sister but they have both moved out, so it’s just my parents and I left at ”home”. Dad goes out to play snooker on a Thursday night so it’s always a good opportunity for me and my mom to have a glass of wine, natter and perhaps stick a film on 🙂

    • #30470

      Well done on day 10. I remember my last day 10 – it felt so massive. I couldn’t wait for the days to pass, not realising what recovery actually meant. Day 70 now and I am starting to get a sense of what recovery really means and it is true what they say – it is for the rest of my life. Roll on 20 more days and I start my steps.

      Have a lovely evening with your mum and you glass of wine. Something I heard in GA twice this week is that we have to reward ourselves, otherwise the absintence feels empty. Treat yourself to a 10 day reward.

      Keep strong and hopefully your back and health will improve, one day at a time.

    • #30471

      Not feeling very strong today. I would say that over the last couple of weeks, I have thought about gambling up to 80% of the time. Not necessarily having urges to actually gamble, just thinking about what it has done to my life and what it means going forward. I’m still young and potentially have lots of things to look forward to. But these things cost money. And at the moment, I have none at all. Whilst I know that wont be the case forever (as long as i stay ”clean”) my patience is close to non-existent and I find it tough to just take a step back and look long term. I want everything to be ”fixed” and I want it to happen now. I very nearly broke my run this morning as a result of these desperate thoughts, but managed to walk away this time. Perhaps that wont always be the case. I hope it will be though! For today, I will not gamble.

      I had quite a realistic feeling dream last night that I was having a baby lol. I’d love to have children some day, but i’m in no rush and more than happy to be an ’older’ mom. In the dream I had just found out that I was pregnant, my family and my boyfriend were absolutely ecstatic about the news. And on the surface, so was I. But in my head i was screaming, loud and hard and frantic. I was having an internal panic attack that only I knew about. I had no idea how I would look after and care for another life, when I had no control over my own. I felt like I already knew I would be nothing but a disappointing failure to this little person for their whole life.

      When I woke up, I was so so very relieved. But also quite disturbed. I have been trying to stay strong through this horrendous period in my life, but I realised this morning that no matter how much I put on a very convincing brave face and try to think positively, deep down i’m struggling and i’m hurting. I’m sick and tired of doing nothing but secretly worry all day every day. I hope at some point in the future I can get through a day or two at a time without the constant burden of what I have done hanging over me like a relentless black cloud.

    • #30472

      If you ever do become a mum, and there is nothing wrong in what you call the ’older’ mum as both my ex-wife and I were in our forties when little Val was born and i would not change it for the world. Even if I do not see him in person everyday we FaceTime every morning and most evenings. As soon as he sees me he says ”Papa” and it breaks my heart. But the time I spend with him means so much more to me than it did when I was gambling and when I was going through withdrawal.

      Right now you might be going through withdrawel. Your addiction wants to be fed. That leads to lapses and then relapses. Accept you want to gamble, you have done it for so long it is a deep groove in your psyche. But also know that you cannot rush recovery. At day 71 I feel great but I am not complacent. Hence I travel a 50 mile round trip to Derby on Monday to go to GA and then 30 miles roundtrip to Stoke centre to go to GA on a Tuesday. And Next Thursday I will add my London meeting, so discounting I am in London to see my son that would mean over 400 miles to do GA. And my god it’s worth it. Just being around the other members, sharing the thoughts in my head with people who understand, and seeing the pain of new members reminds me of what could be if I ever get cocky and think gambling was not that bad. It was. It broke me mentally, spiritually, physically, professionally and emotionally.

      You’re doing really well, coming on here, sharing, getting those nasty thoughts out of your head.

      One day At A Time.

      Rome was not built in a day.

      Abstinence is not recovery, but without abstinence there can be no recovery.

      Find things to do, things to think about. The addiction will make you feel pain, want to be fed, try to convince you that a gamble will make you feel better. That’s why i lasped 18 days ago – I thought it would be me feel better, just a little bit of the sweet sweet sauce. But it made me worse but more determined to stay away from and forever and since then there were no more lapses.

      Charles writes that for some people lapses are a part of the recovery process, they were for me, but they are not obligatory. You DO NOT have to give in. YOU CAN GO WITHOUT GAMBLING.

      I trust you and I send you all my positive thoughts. Think of the child you will one day have. You dont want him having a gambling mum – I don’t want to be a gambling dad. I have met people whose parents were CGs.

      They couldn’t be trusted, they couldn’t love, they ahd no time or money for their kids, they lied, they were unreliable.

      Neither you nor I want that. But you do want to be able to say you found recovery and when he or she finds temptation as they get older (which they will) you will have more tools to understand when they go down dangerous paths and, without preaching, will have a better sense of how to deal with it.

      have a great weekend. I leave at 4am tomorrow morning and in less than 12 hours I will be playing with by boy. It has been 9 days since I saw him in person and i am so excited.

      take care


    • #30473

      Maybe your dream of having a baby signifies the New Life you are planning and dreaming of, Jenna. Because you don’t trust yourself at present, you feel you could not be trusted to look after a baby.
      Could you discuss that dream with your B/F?
      When we are burdened with debt and past misdeeds (gambling) we feel vulnerable.
      Not trusting yourself is scary.
      I know that feeling. Strangely I often dream I have just given birth. At my age it will always be a dream but some day, when the time is right, hopefully your dream will come true Jenna. CGs are very impatient. Did you read your poem to your B/F?

    • #30474

      Hi Jenna, by happy coincidence the Topic Group this evening is on Patience 🙂 Maybe see you later.

    • #30475

      Hi Mav – thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy response of home truths and encouragement. I admire your commitment to your recovery and the lengths to which you will go in order to carry on progressing with your life in a positive way. It is truly inspirational and makes me believe that if I put in the effort that you do, I will be able to beat this vile addiction. I know I need to exercise patience and realise that ”good things come to those who wait”, but sometimes it’s a lot easier said than done. I’m sure we can all relate to that at points.

      I’m really pleased that your recovery means that you get to enjoy every second with your son, it is very clear to me that regardless of your past mishaps, you are a very loving dad and your little boy is very lucky to be surrounded by so much love. Because lets face it, kids don’t thrive off the nicest clothes or the most expensive gadget, they blossom as a result of care, love and time. All of which you have plenty 🙂

      Hi Vera – I never really thought about my dream in that way, that it could possibly be a sign of new life, of MY new life. I quite like that interpretation… it’s much more positive than the conclusion that I so readily came to on my own!

      I haven’t read the poem to my B/F, he doesn’t know about my illness. But I did read it to my mom yesterday evening after I left the support groups, she was really shocked and surprised at how deep this illness cuts into our confidence, self-esteem and self worth. My mom is like my best friend, there is nothing we would not do for eachother. She has even told me she would sell her own house in order to give me the funds to clear my debt and have a place of my own. But that’s not what I wanted, I need to go through the painful process of dragging myself out of the financial mess or there would have been no real consequence to my despicable actions. I love her so much for offering though.

      Thanks for letting me know about the group Charles – I shall definitely be in attendance!!

    • #30476

      Not posted here for a few days, not for any sinister reason, just that I’ve not really had the chance. Had a lovely weekend spending time with my family and my boyfriend. We got up really early on Sunday and went for a morning stroll round a local farm which is popular with dog walkers. It was such a pleasantly warm morning, we chatted and giggled and drank in the smell of freshly cut grass. I love living my life with him 🙂 and that’s the difference when I don’t gamble – I actually appreciate being just being alive. A morning walk and conversation with my amazing chap cost me absolutely nothing, and it was so much more fulfilling than spending hours spinning reels waiting for the bonus rounds.

      What the f*ck has been wrong with me all these years? Why did I think I needed to gamble to feel alive? Or what was I running away from? Maybe it was my form of self-harm, but why? My life, when I actually take a step back and look properly, has so much potential. Could’ve had even more had I not been such a raving f*ckin idiot! So very annoyed with myself. What an absolutely disgusting waste of my time.

      Hmmmfff. As you can see… feeling a bit of a mixture between appreciating my life as it is now and mourning the years i’ll never get back. I hope the self hatred will some day fade.

    • #30477

      Hi Jenna

      I think its normal to feel the way you are, the good thing is it sounds like your mind set is in recovery and out of addiction at the moment because you can see the insanity that gambling was. The serenity prayer is a good one for the situations where you think of the past and you cant change it. It was teaching you to get to where you are now. Maybe had you not gambled and been through this you may not have appreciated those little things nearly as much today. Just a thought. You are doing well.. keep going. Dont be hard on yourself.. addiction doesnt discriminate. You have done well to stop and use support.


    • #30478

      Hi Jenna How are you doing> I;m back on the site and remember you as you just joined as I came out of GMA. I hope you are good and G Free. Hope to see you around. M

    • #30479


      I’m back too after my stint in rehab. It has done me good but the real work starts in recovery. I share your frustrations of the wasted years and money lost which cannot be recovered. I long to own my own home but have to walk this journey to hopefully get there one day. I am in a better place.

      Your feelings and understanding of a lack of self esteem and confidence is the root cause for leading to gambling. But you have a wonderful loving circle of family and an amazing man to make you feel alive and good about yourself. You are blessed and loved and need to cherish each day and live in the present.

      You are a beautiful, kind, loving person and can achieve all you want without gambling and with clear head space to do those things that make you happy and are free, it doesn’t cost a cent. But walking through this middle road to get there will encounter feelings of despair which is natural but don’t linger there for long cos you have so much more surrounding you to be all you ever wanted to be.

      Be kind to yourself and not hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up, it is counterproductive. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be today and that is fine. Enjoy today cos it won’t be back ever again.

      Big Hug and Lots of love,

    • #30480

      Hi everyone

      I haven’t posted on here for a little while now, but I have been reading through all the other journals, old and new.

      So much has happened over the last few weeks that it’s all been a little overwhelming! Fortunately for me, it has all been really positive which makes a very welcome change from the usual shower of sh*t that tends to follow me around! As some of you will know from my thread and conversations in the group chat, I was in a pretty horrific car accident last year… and whilst I would never wish to be involved in such an accident again, my injuries entitled me to an amount of compensation. Well my claim got settled a little earlier than expected and the amount i received was a little higher than i expected. As a result i have been able to pay off every single penny of my debt and still have a little bit left over to put into a savings account. this is the first time in my adult life so far that i have been debt free.

      I was so overwhelmed with relief that i just cried when i got the money. I cried because i was of course happy, but also because were it not for my gambling, that windfall would have been a very decent deposit on my first home. So i suppose i cried a little out of frustration too.

      On top of all this, i am moving in with my boyfriend next week, whilst will be the first time i have ”left home”, never mind lived with a partner. I am so excited, i love him dearly and cant wait to spend more time with him. But i am also a little scared; always living with parents has meant that whilst i was in a total mess with debt for 4-5 years, fortunately i never had a house to think about and all the financial commitment that comes with that. Even though i now have very little outgoings (after clearing all my c/cards, overdraft, loans etc.) i’ve never really had to worry about household bills before. So this will be a learning curve for me.

      Also, my chap works away an awful lot during the week so i could potentially be spending 3-4 evenings a week on my own… which may get a little boring… which is very dangerous territory for me and my recovery. I have already attempted to take steps to avoid too much time alone – i have joined a gym so I can pop there for an hour after work.

      It sounds odd when i say it out loud, but i think the further into recovery that i get, the more scared i become. The only explanation I can find for this is that I now have more to lose than i ever have before. I’m finally at a point in my life where the potential is sky high; and it terrifies me that my guard may slip and i could lose everything that i’ve worked so hard to put right. I know i cannot lose my focus for a single moment, i really don’t want to end up feeling the way i did when this thread was started.

      I hope you are all having a good day and succeeding in your journey to beat the rotten addiction.

      Love to you all xxx

    • #30481

      Hi Jenna, That is great news that you received your settlement and were able to pay off your debts and put some in savings. Your life seems to be going in a positive path. Please watch the alone time, when your boyfriend is working. The gym is a great idea. Have you ever thought of GA meetings? Keep that in mind if the gambling urges start. Have a great gamble free day!!!

    • #30482

      ’Delighted to hear your claim was settled,Jenna. (I thought your original quote was very little considering your injuries)
      Two major events are taking place in your life. Moving from home and securing your finances.
      Both can be triggers for gambling.
      Maybe now is the time to come clean with your ”chap”?
      Secrecy doesn’t help relationships to stay healthy.

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