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Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 14:31

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

I started this diary when I was 25 years old. I'm now 28 and I'm still a gambling addict. Life hasn't really gotten any easier. I've wasted a lot of money in these last 3 years. As of today, I'm struggling to live with the regret of having lost tens of thousands of pounds to gambling.

But, I'm still determined to make things work. I'm still employed in a decent job. I can still make back a lot of the money I have lost over the years. I have no debts to my name. I'm still relatively young.

Onwards and upwards.
 

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 18:45

gamparentanon

Joined:
2016-04-22

Hi

Reading your post with interest.  You sound quite complacent about being able to recoup any losses and staying out of debt. I hate to sound like the grim reaper but if you carry on as you are somewhere down the line the debts will come and the pressures will be greater.  However, if you are determined to recover you are in a prime position with having no debts and a  job.  In other words you have the potential to have a bright future.  Trying to recover on your own is sometimes hard and also if you are keeping this a secret.  If you can confide in a friend or family etc and ask them to help you check your spending etc. it is a deterrent to gamble - we have proved this at home.  Or just ring Gamcare and talk to them, if you have not already done so.  I hope you make today day 1 of that bright future. It can be done.  Take care.

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 19:20

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Thanks for your post gamparentanon. I've been gamble free now for a few weeks, but admit that complacency has been an issue before. I am very much determined to make it work and live a gamble free life, but I doubt that I will fully overcome this addiction for quite some time, if ever. I know the temptation will likely always exist in some form or another.

I've talked over the phone to Gamcare before and found it very unhelpful, but appreciate that's my own personal experience and other people may have benefited from their help.

Posted on:
Thu, 20/07/2017 - 19:30

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

I'm going to keep this diary updated as much as I can again. I'm not sure if it helps or not, but thought I would just splurge some of my thoughts down here.

I'm not sure exactly how long it's been since my last bet, but it's been a few weeks. It was on roulette and I lost over a grand. It was money that I didn't feel I could afford to lose, but it didn't stop me from pressing that deposit button every ten minutes or so. Like most gamblers, I didn't stop when I should have and I paid for it.

Since stopping gambling again, I've had very severe mood swings. I'm not that surprised by this. I've been gambling pretty much non stop, with the exception of a few months here and there, for the past ten years now. I'm used to these mood swings being brought about by wins and losses through gambling, so it's going to take a while for my brain to re-adjust to life without those highs and lows. The first week or so was the toughest. I'm starting to feel a little more "normal" now, but I'm really struggling to sleep at night despite being tired. I then struggle to wake up in the mornings as I've had a bad sleep the night before.

I expect these things to pass in time. Weaning yourself off of an addiction is tough for any addict. Gambling is no different.

I've been listening to some podcasts relating to gambling addiction. I would recommend "The Broken Brain" podcast from 2015 if anyone happens to read this. I found it quite insightful and there were some things mentioned there which I hadn't really considered before. It gave me a fresh outlook on some things. For example, one of the guest psychologists made the point that older gambling addicts potentially struggle more financially because they no longer have those working years ahead of them to recoup losses, so if they get into a deep gambling problem and things spiral out of control, it can lead to utter devastation due to entire savings being wiped out without any prospect of getting it back. This was something I had never really thought about, probably because I'm viewing things through the prism of a "young" addict. It made me somewhat appreciative that I still had a lot of years ahead of me and despite losing a lot of money over these years, time is still on my side to a degree. But life is short and there's no room for complacency.

It's the golf Open Championship this week. As someone who used to love betting on sports, it's a tough week. I can't honestly say I "fancied" any particular golfer to win this week and I didn't look at the odds. But it's still somewhat galling to watch it without having a bet. Needless to say, I'll not be watching it as much for that reason.

Overall, I'm feeling fine. Right now, I'm taking each day as it comes. I get paid again in a week. I'm trying to rebuild.

Good luck to any addicts who happen to read.

Posted on:
Sat, 22/07/2017 - 18:50

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Another couple of days gone by and no gambling.

I had a good time with a few friends last night. The gambling regrets are still very much there, but I'm trying to avoid thinking about that too much.

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 13:53

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

It's been about a week since my last update. Things are going relatively well. I've had very few gambling related thoughts and the mood swings are happening less often. I've been paid since I last posted, but there hasn't been any temptation to waste it on a gambling site or a casino. 

The new football season will be starting up soon and no doubt there will be a few niggling thoughts at the back of my mind, but I'm confident I'll be able to avoid those and work through it. I've also started running again to regain some fitness and get in a better shape physically as well as mentally. 

Posted on:
Tue, 01/08/2017 - 15:10

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Another day or so has passed without much incident. My emotions have been a little all over the place at times, but went out a run last night and felt better for it. Taking a break from exercising tonight, then will get back to it tomorrow. 

I also have an important work related meeting tomorrow. I'm visiting an important client and need to discuss an upcoming project. It should be okay, but obviously with something like this comes stress and that has been a trigger for me in the past with relation to my gambling addiction. 

The self exclusions do work well though. There was one particular site I gambled on and it feels good knowing that it's out of my hands. Even if I wanted to, I coudn't gamble there. 

One day at a time. 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 02:24

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Another few days in the bag. I've been a little up and down, just as before. The regrets are still very much there, sometimes prominent in my thoughts and sometimes just lurking in the background. I'm getting frustrated at the lack of progress I'm making financially, but I know that panicking or worrying about that at this stage is unhelpful.

So, I'm still grinding. Hoping that as each day passes, it gets a little easier. I'm still hopeful I'll be able to work through this. 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 18:47

Magsy

Joined:
2014-02-02

Thanks very much for your post on my diary Martin, it meant a lot ot me. 

I hope you still grinding on x

Posted on:
Mon, 21/08/2017 - 17:29

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

A couple of weeks since my last update.

Still no gambling. I feel okay, but hope to make a bit more money with my monthly wages over these next couple of months. I want to see my savings go up, especially after stopping gambling. 

Posted on:
Sun, 17/09/2017 - 08:07

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Just checking in because it's been a while since I posted. I'm still not gambling. Things are okay. My savings are relatively poor. I have a target in my head for the end of the year. Not gambling will help me get there.

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 20:38

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

 

Coming to the end of the year now and I still haven’t gambled. I can’t say it’s been easy. I’m still getting the urge. It’s been months of going complete “cold turkey” but I still get tempted. Financial position is decent. It could be better, could be worse. I miss the ups and downs of gambling.

 

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 08:48

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Still no gambling for me. I'm proud of that and I'm pleased that these past 7 months or so have been pretty smooth sailing. My savings are back up to a position that I'm reasonably satisfied with and I don't have any financial concerns. Having said that, I still miss the thrill of gambling and I'm surprised that 7 months down the line of going complete cold turkey has not diminished my addiction feelings at all. 

I can't hide from the fact that gambling, specifically sports betting, was a big part of my life. It was something I looked forward to. I enjoyed placing the bet and winning/losing, but more than that, I enjoyed doing my research beforehand and looking for value in a football game or another sport. 

I've replaced that by doing other things, like going to the cinema, playing video games, spending a lot of time with my SO. But hand on heart, none of it compares to the thrill of gambling. That's just something I'm going to have to live with if I want to remain gamble free and keep my savings where they are. 

Posted on:
Tue, 27/03/2018 - 16:16

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Still plodding along. Taking one day at a time. No gambling. No losses. 

Posted on:
Mon, 21/05/2018 - 05:45

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

It's been over a month since my last diary entry.

Things are still going well. I’m managing to keep a lid on things. The addiction isn’t getting the better of me at this moment in time, but I know there’s no room for complacency. I’m slowly building up my savings as well, which is making me happy. It’s a further sign that I’m making progress in this ongoing battle.

Gambling has been in the news a lot recently because of the stake restrictions put in place for the FOBT’s. It’s weird seeing gambling on the news because this is something that as an addict, I’ve had to live with daily for the past 10 or so years, yet it’s only at times like this, that it enters other people’s minds. There still seems to be a strange taboo about even discussing gambling in the UK. People still seem perplexed that someone could get addicted to gambling or confused as to how someone can ruin their lives in a single day by playing roulette or some other “game”. Yet that is the reality.

With regards to the new ruling on FOBT’s; I’m not convinced that it will do any good. I think that’s an opinion shared by quite a few people on here as well. I had a look at one of the threads on the “overcoming gambling” section and someone was suggesting that bookmakers will be quite pleased with this outcome and I can see where that person is coming from. Some shops might close on the high street, but that’s about it. I never played on FOBT’s but I have played on the online equivalent. The sad truth is that addicts will find a way to gamble one way or another. The people who staked up to £100 every minute in a betting shop will find another way to gamble that same money.

In general, I’m not a fan of stricter legislation by governments. I don’t think it does any good. You either divert the current problem or you drive it underground.

Posted on:
Tue, 22/05/2018 - 18:36

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Another day without a bet. I've not been keeping a tally on the number of days since my last one but has been quite a while now.

My sleeping pattern is still all over the place. That doesn't help with my overall mood I guess, but right now I'm in a positive frame of mind. 5 a side football tomorrow, so looking forward to getting some exercise. I find doing the odd light jog and football once or twice a week helps with my addiction.

Posted on:
Sat, 26/05/2018 - 16:41

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

With the Champions League Final on tonight, I hope everyone on the forum can stay away from any sports betting and stay strong. I wish everyone all the best. I've always been of the firm opinion that we each need to take responsibility for our own actions and gambling habits, but I do think the gambling adverts during televised football matches are overkill. It's disheartening to watch a game of football on television and to see adverts being displayed around the stadium and at half time. There is no escaping it. 

It was a decent week for me personally. Not too much to report. It had it's usual up and downs but nothing too serious. Work can be a little stressful, but that's to be expected to some degree. Football was good a couple of days ago. It was good exercise, although I paid for it the next day. My recovery time seems to be getting worse, even though I'm still a young guy!

Posted on:
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 12:02

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Still going strong. 

For me, the most difficult spell of abstinence was not the initial period after my last bet. Don’t get me wrong, that was still tough, but I found the middling period just after those initial couple of weeks, to be the toughest. That’s when reality hits. When you’re sitting at home after a long day of work, there’s nothing on television, you don’t have many other meaningful hobbies and then the mind starts to wander. You start to wonder “what if…?” “This time it might be different” “£100 won’t make a difference” and thoughts along those lines. That’s when discipline needs to come in to play. I needed to get out of the apartment at times like that. Just do anything. Go for a walk. Go for a coffee. Go see a relative. I needed to keep my mind occupied and distracted from gambling.

I’m now months down the line and the good news is; it gets easier. But it’s not easy if the temptation is within reach.

 

Posted on:
Wed, 13/06/2018 - 12:53

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Still going strong. Work can be a little stressful but nothing out of the ordinary there. World Cup is coming up this week so looking forward to watching that. 

Posted on:
Sat, 16/06/2018 - 19:00

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about money recently, specifically how much I’ve wasted over the years on Gambling and what I could have done with that. I know these thoughts aren’t helpful but I can’t help think them from time to time.

In about a week, I will be paid and will go up to £18,000 in my savings account. I’m happy with this as it’s significantly more than I had when I first made this diary. I have no debts. But I also can’t help but compare myself to others of my age and wonder what the average 29 year old has saved. I’ve been looking online and it doesn’t help my confidence too much when I see people talking about having saved £40-60K by this age but I think they’re maybe the exception rather than the norm. At the same time, could I have saved that if it wasn’t for my gambling addiction?

I’m still staying positive though. Self doubt and worrying about what’s gone before won’t help with my future.

Posted on:
Sun, 17/06/2018 - 11:03

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hi Martin67, 

First, congratulations on your ongoing recovery.

Compared to the average 29 year old (or even the average 40 or 50 year old) having £18K savings is quite a massive achivement. As you can see here on the forum not having debts due to your gambling problem is quite exceptional as well.

In summary your ablity to exercise financial control appears to be outstanding. It sounds to me that it would probably be helpful for you to look at your relationship with money and what value it has overall in your life.

In your earlier post 177 you mention not having any meaningful hobbies and it sounds like it would be a good idea to start to experimenting around and see if you can change that. Having a project or a hobby that you are really enthusiatic about is a good way to shift focus away from your gambling. Have you had any thoughts about any hobbies or any interest that would keep you occupied and focused?

Just a few ideas, mayby some food for thought.

Keep up the good work and keep posting.

All the best, 

Ty

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Sun, 17/06/2018 - 12:10

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

Ty, thank you very much for your kind words.

“It sounds to me that it would probably be helpful for you to look at your relationship with money and what value it has overall in your life.” I agree with this and have often thought about the relationship I have with money and the importance I put on it. On the one hand, fear of going in to debt or not saving enough has probably helped me in my recovery. But on the other, I probably think too much about my position, especially compared to others as outlined in my last post. I’m trying to strive towards a healthy balance.

Posted on:
Wed, 11/07/2018 - 05:37

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

I’ve been in a little bit of a “funk” recently. Nothing too serious but struggling to clear away some of the fog lingering over my brain. I can’t seem to really relax or be at ease. I’m finding myself relived to be in the company of others because I can at least engage with them and not have to be left with my own thoughts, which can sometimes inevitably lead to something gambling related.

I’m not a big fan of counting days, whether it’s the number of days since I last gambled or the number of days remaining until I reach a specific landmark, but I’m going to make an exception as I feel it will help me focus.

So, my target is November 1st, at which point I’ll reach my next savings landmark of £20,000. I would be able to save more normally but I have some things to pay for over these next couple of months, which will reduce my ability to save. So, that’s roughly 113 days away. And today can be the start of the countdown on my diary.

England play tonight in the World Cup Semi Final. I’m not English myself, but good luck to all England fans on the forum. Wishing you all the best and remember that it’s not worth having a bet on the game. Nothing good can come from it.

Posted on:
Thu, 12/07/2018 - 10:19

Martin67

Joined:
2010-08-17

I’ve been reading a few diaries and have been encouraged by some of the good advice given by other members. A special mention to gamparentanon and geordie. Hopefully they stick around for a long time and continue to help addicts that come to the site in desperate need of help and guidance.

I feel okay today. I would say my anxiousness has gotten a little worse recently. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but just the feelings I referred to in my last post. I’ll keep an eye on it.

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