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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 07/06/2010 - 01:37

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Hi all
As of today I have gone 21 days without a single bet on anything, online, on land, not even lotto or village tombola...I have decided that this is how it is going to stay!
I have had a diary on here before (it is currently in the doldrums on page 7/8 - if anyone wants to read it is called Breathing Space) but have decided to start a new one as in the last one I was still undecided about whether to stop all forms of betting.

For those who kindly read my diary before I will update. My preferred form of betting was online mostly slots and that is where I lost most of my money before. I decided to stop and self excluded for a month and after the month was up carried on for a couple more weeks without turning to a bet. however at this time I never said to myself I would not bet again (just putting it off...)

There were two triggers which lead me back. One was having a bet on the Grand National which lost. One was then going to a night at the Dogs where I broke even. I have never had a problem as such with these sorts of bets HOWEVER looking back I was caught out by being complacent. What happened was because I was able to stay in control with these "social" bets then I decided I was OK to start back online...

Well soon enough I was right back to gambling heavily every day and everything I had decided I could do without was BACK. Gambling was once again sucking my time and my life away. This time was worse than before involving payday loans and risking everything time and time again. I was back in the cycle big time.

I do not like the person I become when gambling.

In the end I managed to recoup what I lost but I do not want to go through the stress and pain of risking all I have EVER again. On that day I said to myself, right, that is it, if you ever have one more bet you might as well kiss goodbye to any money you will ever have. I have seen how for me I cannot gamble at all, ever, even on the lottery as it is feeding something which I would rather starve out of myself.

I have been reading and following all of your diaries for the last three weeks and they have been a great source of support so thank you all. I wanted to post on day 1 but for some reason have been hanging back. Well I am ashamed that I gambled but I am proud that I am saying good bye to it FOR GOOD.

4D

Posted on:
Mon, 07/06/2010 - 08:25

Recover

Joined:
2010-02-12

Hey 4D;

Good to have you back, and needless to say I think stopping for good is a very good decision. You sound so clear about what you aim to do and not fussed about it, so I have a good feeling about you staying clean! Lets do this together:o)

Cheers

Posted on:
Mon, 07/06/2010 - 08:37

leedso

Joined:
2010-02-27

Well done 4D,

I see you've come to the same conclusion that I did after years of gambling. Any kind of betting for me will just lead to further problems throughout the other areas of my life.

Hope you can succeed in your aims, and I agree with Martin that it was a good decision.

Ryan

Posted on:
Mon, 07/06/2010 - 19:43

freda

Joined:
2009-06-24

Hi Pencil!

I have had similar experiences to you in that I quit, thought I was cured and got lured back in.

Welcome back, good move :-)

We will beat this mo fo!

F x

Posted on:
Tue, 08/06/2010 - 01:53

seanostars

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi,i recall posting on your previous diary 4D,i'm glad that you have decided to quit for good,interesting point you make about a couple of sports bets that lured you back to online slots,my drug of choice when gambling was horses and greyhounds.....,i've never been interested in slots or fruit machines,however i am sure that i could become addicted to that form of gambling as well!!!....,as compulsive gamblers we cross a line in the sand from which (in my view)there is no going back,after that point we will gamble until we have lost everything....and lie, scheme and do anything we can to raise more money to repeat the cycle....,the debts spiral....,well ,you know the score!!!.You have made the right decision.
Best thoughts.
Seano.

Posted on:
Tue, 08/06/2010 - 04:12

Anonymous-user

Joined:
2014-10-23

Well done on 21 days without gambling from someone on 72 days.

Just make sure that we always have a 51 day gap between us, eh?!

All the best and keep on posting.

Posted on:
Tue, 08/06/2010 - 09:15

winningpost

Joined:
2009-12-15

Good on you 4d im like you the tiniest of bets will potentially make me fall from the great Heights i am hopefully gonnae scale :-) well done impressive reading,we can do this

Posted on:
Tue, 08/06/2010 - 15:20

Jasmine

Joined:
2009-04-23

Hi 4D,

Well done on deciding to come back to your diary. It's a great place for support, guidance and friendship.

Online was my thing and my goodness how I racked up the debts through it. It's not worth it...it's not value for money. We are all better than this. Keep going and make sure you have blocks in your way for when the gambling Gods decide to strike again...and they will, because they are very, very patient!

All the best, love from Jas xx

Posted on:
Wed, 09/06/2010 - 00:35

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Thanks guys for your posts, they are appreciated. I'm doing OK at the moment as urges not too bad. Making sure I check in here each day to at least read or ideally post as well when I can.
The laptop is blocked so I could not go on and gamble even if I wanted to - this is the number one step for me and I put this in place 3 weeks ago. I'm very glad that I did as well as despite having the desire to stop completely I doubt I would have made it to three weeks without that as the sheer habit is so hard to break.

The other thing I have done is started going to the gym again, this has been a massive help and it was reading diaries on here (like S.A's and others) where people talk about this that inspired me! I realised I needed to do something to release stress which wasn't escaping to gambling, but since I hadn't exercised in so long I had forgotten how good it makes you feel. Realised that getting fit takes a while since you first have to make the changes to lifestyle and stick to them and eventually your body adapts...same as getting to be an ex-gambler takes a while and you have to make the changes first before you start to feel the benefits.

so all in all..feeling good at the moment, I'm going to make sure it stays that way by not gambling
4D

Posted on:
Fri, 11/06/2010 - 01:47

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Just logging in to report no gambling for today. I've been reading the diaries and getting some inspiration - thanks ppl. A short post tonight as not feeling too good (physically - mentally am feeling happy due to not gambling)
4D

Posted on:
Sat, 12/06/2010 - 23:03

Anonymous-user

Joined:
2014-10-23

Well done on joining the gym - this will certainly help you to blow away any cobwebs and thoughts that you may have of the g word.

I find that running does the same for me and joining a running club was the best thing that I have ever done - I just wish that I did that years ago.

Keep up the great work mate, onwards and upwards!

Posted on:
Mon, 14/06/2010 - 00:00

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

I'm pleased to say today marks 28 days of no bets for me.
Feeling positive still about it all. looking back at the month, the first week was definitely the hardest after stopping in terms of urges and it was mainly the blocks which stopped me, but for now I do not actually feel like I want to gamble...I have been reading on this forum at least once a day, catching up with diaries, posting when I can, and this is helping.
Talking to my partner has also helped.
However I am aware that I managed to do a month before without too many problems. And then complacency stepped in. I am hoping that this time will be different as I will be keeping the blocks in place!!!
I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT LIFE..EVER!!
4D

Posted on:
Mon, 14/06/2010 - 08:03

leedso

Joined:
2010-02-27

Hey 4D,

Well done on getting through the first month without the gambling mate, as you mentioned yourself, the first week is the hardest, and after that it is a case of gradually training yourself not to dwell on gambling. I can't say I don't think about it, because I do. Very often. In terms of complacency, I think I'd be concerned if I didn't think about betting every now and again, because I know it can hit almost without any conscious thought going into it.

Keep up the good work,
Ryan

Posted on:
Mon, 14/06/2010 - 12:15

Jasmine

Joined:
2009-04-23

Hi 4D,

Well done you...28 days is brilliant :-)

Keep all the blocks in place, keep yourself busy, keep posting and stay happy :-)

love from Jas x

Posted on:
Mon, 14/06/2010 - 21:51

Curly10

Joined:
2009-11-17

Hi 4D,

Nice meeting you in chat earlier.

Sensible decision you have reached in deciding to quit gabmling full stop. As Stumper always says, we cannot win because we cannot stop. Simple words but so very true.

Keep making the right decisions and you will be just fine.

Posted on:
Tue, 15/06/2010 - 01:05

Lili

Joined:
2010-05-15

Hi. 4D
Thanks for taking the time to post on my diary. Yes, I will start to insist on bill splitting as I do seem to feel all the burden. He doesn't even know what bills are paid and what still needs to be paid. I take on board what you say about taking on 2 recoveries. I will concentrate on my own. Must be a bit selfish with that I think.
You please stay here now you're back cos you give good advice!
Well done to you for getting back here and starting over again. It's not about the times we fall, but about the times we get back up and try again!
Best wishes
Lili

Posted on:
Tue, 15/06/2010 - 14:33

freda

Joined:
2009-06-24

Congratulations on your 28 days 4D

HIGH FIVE!!!!!!!

Glad the urges are easing for you. They are easing up a bit for me now too thankfully.

Take care,

F x

Posted on:
Tue, 15/06/2010 - 23:55

Yorkie360

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi 4D,

Thanks for the post on my diary. I really like that poem. Good to see that you've been gamble-free for a month now. Superb stuff, keep it up.

Stay Strong
Steve

Posted on:
Thu, 17/06/2010 - 23:39

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Not much to say tonight so I just wanted to post a note to say no gambling for me. I've got a few busy days coming up so I won't have time to post on here until next week. My next aim is to get past 6 weeks free as that was my longest time before, I have about a week and a half to go on that. Right now I do not feel tempted to gamble although I still think about it every day. Just passing thoughts...hard not to really with adverts and reminders all around us. I find my eyes being drawn to every bookies and amusement arcade I pass by! Although I find I am not so much looking at their "offers" as the people going in and out of the places.

The other day I was with my friend and she was talking about a WC sweepstake she is doing. I didn't say anything about my problem as nobody really knows only my partner (who is supportive) and one of my close friends who I have confided in. It is not that I don't want anybody knowing, more that I don't see the point in discussing it/dwelling on it at the moment. Who knows maybe that will change.

I am still finding the gym helpful as I think it has really provided an outlet for stress in my case. I can't prove it but I feel sure that its reduced my urges as when recalling the feeling I would get before gambling it was quite physical, a sort of restlessness/unused energy. I don't know quite how that was satisfied by sitting like a zombie for hours in front of a screen but there you go!

The other day at work I was thinking about what I needed in order to gamble...three things: motive, opportunity and time. Recovery has been all about removing these. The easiest ones to do are opportunity and time. Removing opportunity for me = online blockers. Removing time = keeping busy, going gym, seeing friends, second job, planning ahead, planning activites and treats. Not allowing myself to dwell on thoughts of...
The hard one is removing the motive. I don't know if I will ever eradicate this completely but I am certainly going to try.

OK well thats it from me. (Thought I was just gonna post a quick note haha) Wishing everyone here a great weekend!
4D

Posted on:
Fri, 18/06/2010 - 00:22

dervkidd

Joined:
Before 2009

Gambling burns a lot of kila calories I heard?...especially when you sweating buckets...However, it is so unhealthy you can have a heart attack (to much sympathetic activity).....Anyway, I too enjoy training (it uses the same systems) and I am adamant that I will not put a single bet on (not even lottery) for the worry of letting my gaurd down and eventually giving in to my old ways...
If you overdo it in anything you become stressed!!! moderation is the key to good health (with the EXCLUSION of gambling)...and the secret to longetivity is BE RICH!!
Stay strong!
£fast life.

Posted on:
Sun, 20/06/2010 - 10:24

Recover

Joined:
2010-02-12

Hey 4D,

Just checking in!

So good to see you staying focused:o)

Cheers M

Posted on:
Wed, 07/07/2010 - 03:16

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Just a short post this morning from me. I'm going through a low patch right now but haven't gambled. This Sunday will mark 2 months so I am aiming for that, and gonna try and get kickstarted about things from there. I've not really thought much about gambling since I last posted but I haven't thought much about recovery either.. I need to remember that this is what got me last time and avoid this trap.
4D

Posted on:
Sat, 24/07/2010 - 02:01

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Things are still not going well for me (work troubles) but I have managed not to gamble. I seem to have blocked it right out of my mind even to the extent that I did not want to come on this site as I did not want to think about it at all. As long as this was working I reckoned it was OK but the last week or so I have had some urges return.
To begin with I still get emails from gambling sites and usually delete them without even looking at them but for some reason I read one or two this week. I thought there would be no harm in this as I am still blocked from playing online. Then tonight I read another one saying I had won free money and my mind started thinking of ways I could get to the site to log in etc....I think this is a warning sign!!!! I do NOT want to gamble.
I came on here instead for the first time in a while and read through a few diaries, lots of new names on. I need to remember why I don't and won't gamble.
I WILL NOT GAMBLE.
4D

Posted on:
Sun, 29/08/2010 - 05:35

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Well over a month since my last post, been busy with work related stuff and not too tempted to gamble, but thought I would note here a strong urge I had yesterday...

Without being too specific, I was tempted to make a bet on something I would not normally bet on. It was on something I feel I know about and I saw the odds which were really long...in my view, the odds being way out, OMG I thought - that is an ABSOLUTE STEAL!!!

Then I remembered that I cannot gamble anymore in any form! And yes, it does count even if it something I wouldn't normally be tempted by...so 2 things stopped me;
1. I would be undoing all good work so far, as I have gone over 90 days, the first 30 days being the hardest...I don't want to go through all that again
2. It was after closing time for bookies: I still have blocking software on pc

I would like to think I was more stopped by no.1 but honestly, in that moment, I was probably more stopped by no.2.

This was also the first time since month 1 that I felt really wound up and ANGRY that I couldn't have a bet. Like I was angry at myself for being a cg in the first place, otherwise I probably would be able to have a little bet now and again when I see a really good chance!!!Don't know if this makes sense or not.

Woke up today and told partner about it, I was still wound up but we talked about it for a bit and I am quite glad not to be starting day 1 again.

This also made me realise something. My addiction was never about sports bets or bets involving bookies odds etc as I was addicted to online slots/bingo HOWEVER I have had to decide on complete abstinence from all & any sort of gambling as for me it is the easier route (trying to block it out of my life completely as explained in my 1st post). So far this is working for me as the urges to go back to my old ways are less and less and more manageable as time goes on.

But in a way I now wonder if it is harder for those who are eg. into football in a big way and have to stop gambling but still watch footy. As I do not have to go into arcades or watch bingo being played it is much easier for me to block it out of my head! I have read on here the difficulty with seeing the odds come up on the sports coverage but I don't think I really appreciated the urges this can trigger.

One other thing to note in diary. Recently whilst on a short trip to seaside I went into one of the old fashioned penny arcade with my husband. Never been in one of those that I recall and had some fun with the old What The Butler Saw and ones where a ghost appears behind a curtain etc. Well I went to the next one, not quite sure what it does so put a 10p in and its a sort of skill game with a ball bearing...goes in a hole and uh oh...two 10ps come out and only THEN do I realise this is a gambling machine! Well as soon as I realised I stepped away so I am not counting this as a gamble as it was totally unplanned!

Well its funny but even a little thing like that can play on your mind. Since I decided to go down this road of never gambling in any form it seems like I have realised just how many things are gambling related. Now I would not go broke playing a 10p ball bearing machine or a 2p push em up (& my temptations never were with these things) BUT by refusing them I think it reminds me about my determination - never AGAIN to go back to the old demons.

To everyone fighting this - all the best, stay strong, you can beat it x

Posted on:
Sun, 29/08/2010 - 07:22

Ex-gambler jeff

Joined:
2009-10-05

Hi 4D

Yeah i would agree with you not to count that as a slip.You havent knowingly decided to gamble i anyway at all. But yes as you say there are lots more things out there which we dont count as gambling because they just werent our vice.
From reading your last post i can see that you have decided that the way forward for yourself is not to gamble on anything at anytime.I have also decided this for myself.
What is a gamble?
Is it a something that is only chance.?
Is it sometimes a game of skill?
Well i myself say it can be both.
I would say its when you put up a stake hoping to improve improve it either by luck or skill.
To me poker is a game of skill and i used to enjoyed playing it ,but i can no longer play as i am risking my stake.
I am glad you couldnt put on your bet 4D and im sure you are also glad now.Well done.You have come a long way keep it up Jeff.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/08/2010 - 11:55

Anonymous-user

Joined:
2014-10-23

No, don't count that as a slip as it certainly was not unplanned.

But this is how gambling problems start for a lot of people like myself. Kids go to these seaside arcades and spend their summer pennies trying to win more. When they don't, they pester their parents for more and as the parents are on holiday on a break, they give in and the kids may win some.

But they will put it all back.

In the years to come, they will progress to upping the stakes and losing very big and getting into huge trouble with debts.

Sad isn't it?

Parents really need to be warned about the dangers of those seaside arcades. Yes, they are fun but I think that with all the consoles that are now around with excellent graphics, the value of the arcade machines (the non-gambling ones) are much lower. So they are introducing more and more machines which are gamble related.

That worries me.

Anyway, rant over and back to our current situations!

You are in a much more positive position now than when you started to come on here. When you had that temptation (and betting small is a real no-no) you were confident and honest enough to tell your partner. Did that happen during your gambling days?

Well done on making absolutely the right decision and keep it up!

October (55 days to go)

Posted on:
Tue, 28/09/2010 - 03:40

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Can't sleep tonight so going to make an update on my progress. There are a couple of milestones I want to note for reading back...

1. About 2 weeks ago I had an email from a gambling site I used to use "you have been credited" - I read the email and thought did cross my mind whether I would be OK to use this money. However I cannot go on the site due to blocks on the pc so forgot about it. Yes FORGOT. To me this is significant as a few months ago there is no way I would have been able to put that out of my mind, I would have been battling the urges or playing the money - either way it would have been on my mind constantly.
I only remembered when I got a reminder from said site and told my partner (who knows about my gambling problem), I said I knew I would not be able to play this money so did he want to? Quite sensibly he said NO, brought me back to my senses.
I did not feel I wanted to gamble as I did not want to throw away the time I have racked up NOT gambling. However I did feel like it was a waste not using the money. Then I thought to myself that these sort of "offers" are designed to suck us all back in...the withdrawals on any wins t&cs make it difficult to walk away again...its just not worth it...
I have ignored this email and it has now expired.

2. I have told my good friend about my problem and am planning on telling another friend/s. Even fairly recently the idea that I would be able to talk openly about being a cg was incredible to me, as I felt very ashamed about it. However I am gradually feeling my confidence returning. Now when I talk about the time I was gambling, I find it difficult to explain the attraction fully. It's like I am gradually losing touch with that mindset. I fully believe the only way I have been able to do this is to commit 100% to never gambling again on anything ever. There was a time when the idea of that was impossible...it was so painful to relinquish the hold that I had to promise myself the "treat" of a scratchcard or something to get through the day without my main drug online. But it is much easier in the long run to let it all go because I don't have to think about gambling at all now. The only thing I have to think about is recovery.
I know I will always have to live with this in the sense of being challenged by the world we live in which has so many opportunities for gambling. & I guess they will no doubt think of new ways to gamble in the future! But I am going to think of it as a choice, and I choose not to. My aim is for this choice "not to" to become like a non-smoker's choice not to smoke, rather than an ex-smoker's choice not to smoke (temptation TO smoke.)

Just read back what I wrote about choice and that feels quite different from a few months ago. As early on I wasn't "choosing not to gamble", I was desperately clinging onto any ledge not to...and would not have got through it without blocks and partner's support..but I have to say that today, it does feel like a 'choice'. As an informed choice that I really don't want to. I'm really happy with that.
However I will keep the blocks in place as a safety measure.
to anyone struggling right now I want to say PLEASE keep going as it definitely gets easier and the number one place to start is putting barriers in place. Love to all,
4D

Posted on:
Tue, 28/09/2010 - 04:06

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

THE NEGATIVES
for some reason I find it more difficult to write about the negatives than positives. Looking back I did not write this diary during the first 3 weeks of quitting as I found it too difficult and I was afraid every single day that I would not make it!!! & worried I would end up abandoning the diary again in shame.. daft.. anyway I want to try and keep a full record so I do need to write down negatives as well. At the moment I would say these are

1. I have still not learnt to budget my money, I feel I am spending too much and sometimes buying things to compensate for boredom. When gambling every spare penny was needed so I didn't really treat myself for over a year (didn't even want to as needed the money to gamble anyway). Now I have gone a bit too far the other way, although I do think this is better than gambling it, I also do need to get control over finances. Been putting it off.

2. Compulsive behaviours. I have to watch this as my mind seems to seek out things which I can 'lose myself' in or get addicted to. I have tried to replace bad ones with good or harmless ones i.e. collecting/watching box sets and going to the gym. I'm not sure that this isn't a deeper issue though. Its not so much what I do as the way I do it, getting immersed in things and losing track of the time. To me, that smacks a bit too much of the escape I got when gambling, I think this was my main motivation. I have to figure out if this is just my personality and if so, how I can channel this. I do worry that I could end up with another addiction.
4D

Posted on:
Thu, 30/09/2010 - 14:31

tommi200561

Joined:
2010-04-20

hi 4d, thanks for your post on my diary.
I was reading with interest your last post, where you talked about compulsive behaviours - it is certainly something many of us in recovery are familiar with.
For me, i've spent all my life fighting one addiction or the other, and occasionally have 2 going at the same time !, and the strange thing for me is that whilst i would be in denial to other people about it, i was always honest with myself.
Nice to have you back my friend, and hope you can enjoy being a better man.
all the best
tommi

Posted on:
Fri, 01/10/2010 - 10:39

BlockedOut

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi 4d thanks for the post on my diary. It did make me think about taking the money off others even if i did win! Like you say it can be seen as "dirty money" You seem to be putting alot of thought into the reasons behind gambling and this can only be a good thing. Learning what the causes are can assist in the long run in overcoming this addiction. Wish you well keep going - all the best Blocked

Posted on:
Wed, 06/09/2017 - 15:27

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Well, I am resurrecting this diary as after so many years away and no compulsive gambling for about 4 years I have been there again. Last gamble was early hrs of this morning. I'm not ready to write more yet.

Right now I pledge I will not place another bet today.

4D

Posted on:
Thu, 07/09/2017 - 19:08

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hiya 4D. Thanks for your post on my diary. I have also read through your diary and realise of course that you've been around a while. Seven and a half years is a long time since your last post, but hats off to you for being GF for four years!

It's clear that gambling has been a distinctive part of your life and affects your motivation, wellness and purpose. Just because you've gambled again doesn't make you a failure. On the contrary, your willingness to come back on here to share is a show of Strength. Nobody ever said life would be plain sailing but we will keep the determination to find a better way.

Posted on:
Thu, 07/09/2017 - 23:35

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 1 today I did not gamble

Posted on:
Fri, 08/09/2017 - 11:08

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Well done. Today we wasted not, or caused any turmoil within our minds.

Posted on:
Fri, 08/09/2017 - 11:11

degenerate

Joined:
2013-05-10

One whole day is a great achievement. You may not know how important the day becomes at this moment. Hoping you reflect back on this day in the future as the first of many many gamble free days. 

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 12:00

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Thanks degenerate and changemylife, I appreciate your support.

Day 3 underway and no gambling.

Many, many thoughts and urges but I am glad to say I've put blocks in place to prevent me acting on them. I knmow blocks aren't 100% the answer but also I remember last time they were very necessary for me especially in the first few weeks and for moments of weakness.

I've also been to GA and going to give it a go. Bearing in mind I have had a good few years gamble free and then gone back I think this time I have to use the opportunity of real change. Not quite sure what this will entail yet.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:23

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

I'm going to use this diary as a record of thoughts, behaviours and emotions. If I have a successful strategy for me I will write it here so I can refer back.

Will offer encouragement to others if I can, not feeling like I'm able to do this yet, my head still a bit all over the place.

The main thought I have today from the gambling demon is "I need to see just one more winning spin, then I will be happy"

This is a thought I have had many times gambling and it never was true.

The main thought I have today about recovery is: patience is a good virtue to get comfortable with.

I'm not impatient about everything in life, but I am very impatient as an active gambler. I don't want to be impatient in recovery. Its hard not to want to be free of money problems, debts and urges straight away. But that's the cg talking. That's not how positive change happens.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:48

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

no compulsive gambling for four years?  as in you have gambled on and off throughout? 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 16:22

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Hi compulsive, I have been gambling online since last year 2016 and only been gf for 3 days. Before that I hadn't gambled online since, I think, 2012, although haven't counted days or anything. It was about 4 years I think although my memory is bad so there may be a time I've blanked out. I've never had the temptation in real life so apart from occasional lottery/scratch cards (I mean like 1 every month or 2) I was able to avoid gambling. Was I cured? Obviously not!!! I'll try and put down my story at more length at some point.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 22:48

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Still on day 3. It's felt like 1000 days long. No gambling but lots of urges. Been on a casino site today and played through a demo play on one of my favourite slots. Felt nothing. This is a site I wasn't able to exclude from before, although I have blocks so I can't deposit money. I've now contacted them and closed the account. I need to get over this love affair with slots. I have favourites and I get obsessed with them...weird. I need to remember I did this before and I was able to forget them, different ones.

When I get an urge I'm going to come on here and read through one or two of the diaries instead. There are many helpful insights on here.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 22:58

Xenedra

Joined:
2017-08-16

Hi,

Fellow online slot addict here...it's awful but we can get through this! I am also day three, would have been a lot more if it wasn't for my recent relapse! 

I also know what you mean about certain slots!! I felt attached to them

Good luck! 

Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 17:55

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Thanks Xenedra. I will check out your diary when I have time, its good to have someone making the journey alongside. Slots are such a lonely, solitary thing I think. I watched the panorama programme about FOBTs and how they 'train' the brain and it makes sense re online slots as well.

Well day 5 no gambling and less urges today :)

Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 20:56

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi 4D and just a few comments about your recent post.

Please, take it from me, I really know what you're going through. You are in the think of it, and, in these very early stages thinking/dreaming/playing slots - albeit for 'free' over the last 5 days or so. I've been there! But let's take a 'time out', just for a moment, to see where you really are right now.

Frustrated and angry that you've started this again. You stopped for 4 years, but, unfortunately it's come back with a vengance, and I'm guessing with some very bad binge losses. Now, you know you've got to stop because (a) chasing is futile (you know that) and (b) you'll go skint anyway and make things worse.

Now, something triggered your return to gambling and, whatever it is, you may or may not need to deal with it. You know the answer. But if you need to talk it through, in confidence, don't forget you are wleocme to chat to Gamcare and they can arrange counselling. (it's free.) Remember, counselling is there to help you help yourself, reflect your thoughts and get your head straight. It might be just the thing to help you springboard into a happier 'you' and a 'you' that's truly ready to go gambling free.

The reason you're thinking about slots so much is because it's an 'escape' from your problems. It's easy to escape to flashing lights and whatnot, but it isn't going to improve matters. Whether you're playing for money or, right now, for free, you know this deep down. Slots are solitary, as you acknowledge, but it's more than that. You can 'retrain' your brain, but by playing them, as you're doing, even for free, won't help you, in my opinion.

 

Remember, this isn't about the money (although it certainly drains our finances because we always lose). 

You're making a good start, on Day 5. Your destiny is in your hands. 

Here's a suggestion. It'll cost you £3.60 or so, but there's a great e-book (for Kindle etc) - 'Stopping Gambling', by Allen Carr. Read it from beginning to end, pace yourself. It's interesting and might help you think about changing your mindset. My suggestion is, given it will take you a few days to read properly (because it shouldn't be rushed) is not to gamble during that time, read it, and let me know what you think. I think it's a great book, personally, because it isn't a "traditional" stop gambling book; it turns convention on it's head and I think it might help you.

All the best 4D, and keep posting !!!!!

Posted on:
Fri, 15/09/2017 - 19:35

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 9 without a gamble.

I've been OK so far and for the last few days, have felt very resolved.

However, I've been without money so far and today have had some unexpected funds available. My first thought was, I'm NOT going to let this throw me off!!! I don't want to gamble! But then, I felt that urge coming..."yes, but what if...?" It was sort of a relief to remember I'm excluded from all of my favourite sites. Yes, I think there is probably a way I could find to gamble that money if I was determined to. But - I don't want to do that. I want to get to 10 days. Double digits. I want my life back.

 

I can feel that itchy feeling though. Restless. Vague stirrings in the lizard brain. This is the feeling I get when the addiction is hungry; it's uncomfortable. I've logged into here, I'm reading the posts and I'm trying to stay with it, be conscious of and aware of what my brain/the addiction is attempting. I won't be ambushed. If it gets worse I'm going to download the Allen Carr book Mixer has recommended.

Today, I will NOT gamble.

Posted on:
Sat, 16/09/2017 - 18:57

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 10. I will not gamble.

Urges were strong yesterday but here is what helped: going in the Chat group last night and today. Reading on here. Telling my partner about the funds that I had unexpectedly in my bank so I'd be accountable.

It also helped me thinking that I was on day 9 and I really wanted to get to double digits. When I first came on here and stopped gambling, quite a few years back, I never really bothered with day counts, it didn't appeal to me. This time round, I'm thinking it could be another tool to use - I'm willing to try anything and see if it helps. I'm going to join the day count challenges and make myself do check in's.

This in combination with GA as I've made a promise to myself to give GA 90 days as recommended. As far as the steps go, I am still struggling with step 1! But will persevere.

The rest of my life is pretty stable at the moment so that's a good thing. Money issues that need sorting but it's not like I have a good credit score to worry about - I'm not even eligible to be allowed on the joint bank account. Partner is helping by looking after my finances. I know that things can get better if I continue in recovery.

Posted on:
Sat, 16/09/2017 - 20:01

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi 4D

You've asked about Allen Carr's book on another thread. I thoroughly recommend it; its only £3.60 or so as a Kindle book so readable on any smartphone via the Kindle app.

It's not for everyone, but I'll say this: it helped me. It puts a little twist on conventional strategies; it will make you think.

So worth buying, £3.60; what's that? One pathetic spin of the reels....

All the best 4D,

Mixer

 

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 17:52

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 14 no gambling.

Urges are getting less now, still taking it one day at a time though. Busy busy busy! Starting to feel an interest in things creeping back and I'm thinking of rejoining the gym when I get paid..

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 22:56

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Jotted some thoughts down last week when I was fighting the urges. I'm going to record them here so I can find them again.

Questions I was asking myself:
1. Is there a difference between abstinence and recovery?
2. What need did gambling meet for me?

Found the above too hard to answer for now so tried asking:
3. What did I feel when gambling and what did I NOT feel when gambling?

What I felt when gambling (at different times) -
Absorbed
Excited
Bored
Comforted
Breathless
In control/loss of control cycle
Angry
Numb
Despair
Sadness
Lucky/unlucky, special
Persecuted
Superstitious
Envious
Superior
Physically stimulated
Anxious
Guilty
Triumphant
Sneaky
Competitive

What did I NOT feel:
Intellectually/emotionally challenged or stimulated
Ambitious
Satisfied (real)
Inspired
Spiritual
Curious
Libidinous
Changed
Healthy
Generous
Clarity

Posted on:
Sat, 23/09/2017 - 16:51

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 17 today no gambling for me.

I had to check on here what day I was on as they are starting to slip by faster now, I'm not thinking about it every hour any more and reality is starting to intrude...a good sign?!?

The urges are much less visceral. The first week and especially first few days it was non stop, physical urges, slots flashing through my mind, tormenting!! Now the urges come but they feel much more...distant. Like voices caught on the wind.

Day 15 I was on the way to work though and I had this one voice in my mind saying "oh F it. Aren't you bored of this recovery lark yet? So much effort! Why not just accept you are a gambler, its what you are and what you do, why not just relax and let yourself have some enjoyment even if it is so bad"

I was shocked this mindset was creeping back, but just shows I can't afford to get complacent because of my devious thought processes!!! I'm nervous about payday coming up next week and anxious to make sure all financial blocks are in place, because I don't think I can cope yet with having any opportunity to gamble.

4D

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 00:07

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

So, it's three minutes to midnight on day 20. Nearly day 21, three weeks, since I stopped gambling. And it's payday. Here you all are, all my familiar urges! Gambling whispers like water seeking a path. Seeking a way in; looking for where you will be received. You are testing my defenses and trying to leak back into my life. You are a foul, evil and dank stream. You are a malodorous, treacherous drip. You are *not* an ocean, not unless I imagine it so. You will NOT wash me away.

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 00:34

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

So, what practical measures are in place. B. has access to my bank accounts. All spare money has been transferred to the joint account, to which I don't have the pin. My day to day money is given over and will be doled out as needed. This feels really odd as previously, I was always the one managing money and bills.

First payday for quite some time where I've not had plans to gamble. And I'm getting actual physical urges again, like the first week. I can feel the excitement building, fluttering, breathless - as if I'm going to get on it tonight - then I keep remembering I can't!!! Part of my brain or body obviously hasn't caught on yet!! It feels like when I had a bad tooth and I kept feeling it with my tongue without thinking. Or like I wrote above - like water trying to find a way through a dam.

I know this feeling will pass. I have to consent at some level to translate into action and I know that when I do that, I switch off all the other parts of consciousness that strongly object.

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