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Ben's end hopefully

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 16/11/2017 - 10:54

ben83

Joined:
Before 2009

I didn't see this part of the forum so posted it onto my recovery diary but have copied it here aswell....

I last posted on here over 6 years ago and thought I would post an update as there was a story about gambling prevailance on the radio this morning. I never managed to completely stop gambling, by that I mean that one day I didn't simply say "that's the end of it I will never gamble again". However, I  do now feel gambling is not a problem for me. The big change for me was that about 5 years ago I asked my wife to marry me and to save for a wedding I couldn't afford to lose any money and was always scared of her finding out the true scale of things. The following year we had our first child and the sense of guilt I would feel if I gambled would outway the enjoyment of gambling. Gradually I gambled less and less to the point where I no longer have a problem. Make no mistake, I am still a gambling addict, in August on a long journey I stopped at a service station for dinner and allowed myself to put £10 in a fruity, the difference was I ended up losing £20 instead of the £100+ I would have lost 6 years ago (and kicked myself hard for allowing myself at all), there was also an incident last year where I spent £30 on an online casino, but again six years ago it would have been £300. However, this is extremely rare now and the fact these stick in my mind is a good sign, though incidents like this make me realise how easily I could slip back into bad habits. I don't have any good advice unfortunately on how I got it under control, but mostly it was the fact that I would feel to guilty towards my children, I can't conceal my gambling now as my finances are visible to my wife and I simply can't afford to gamble (I can't put it on a credit card any more and those nursery fees are high!). I will always have a gambling problem to some degree and it will just be a case of managing it for the rest of my life, but I no longer feel that sense of anxiety as I approach a service station that tells me to just pop into try a lucky fiver. For me it was a 25 year battle, I wouldn't say I've beaten my gambling addiction, we've just called a truce for now that's all.

Posted on:
Sat, 18/11/2017 - 03:35

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Full post on your diary but I have to question why you believe this to be a success story?

False hope for a lot of people there Ben methinks!  Sounds to me like you would have lost more had you been able to get your hands on it...That’s not controlled gambling that’s a semi broken triangle affording you damage limitation.  

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 13:21

ben83

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi ODAAT, I guess you're right it's not a success story, I didn't attend counselling to stop, get a tattoo to say "Never Again" or ever say that today will be my last gamble (well actually I did in the past, many times over), I don't know how many days since I last gambled, nor do I know how many until I will again (though I'm sure I will at some point!). I've gambled since a very young age, probably with an addiction for 25 years plus, that's along time for my brain to wire itself into believing that gambling is 1) important for my survival 2) an enjoyable experience. It's going to take a very long time for those little neurons to fade away completely and apply themselves to something more useful! For me it's a success because I no longer have to worry about it and it doesn't hinder my life or make me worry about me or my family's future. There are days, probably weeks where I don't think about gambling or feel a painful urge to do it. I think for a lot of people who have had gambling addictions and stop, they don't find some miracle cure, they just gradually decline, not neccessarily just from their own willpower or strength, but because of change in circumstance and eventually over time their brain just forgets. I'm not trying to get down on conventional help such as counselling, getting a tattoo or marking on the calendar every day you are gamble free, those things all helped me in my darkest days to survive and limit my losses. I guess I'm just confirming what we all know, that the best way to overcome gambling in the long term is not to do it, and in time your brain will lose interest in telling you it's good for you when you know so well it isn't.

Posted on:
Thu, 28/12/2017 - 21:19

murkymark

Joined:
2017-12-10

Ben, you seem determined to dispute the GA evidence for the next bet to be an escalation & reading between the lines it sounds like you're more interested in sounding smart than actually offering us something that might help others. I'm 67, gambled for 45 years, now have 7 years clean time so do have a little experience and lots of listening to others but there is nothing whatsoever worth hearing in your evidence. Best I can say is that you got caught with your ego showing.

Posted on:
Tue, 02/01/2018 - 21:52

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Dear all, 

Just want to remind everyone that there is room on this forum for many definitions of success, and for different ways of finding that success. We don't advocate any one particular approach here.

Please remember that although it's fine to disagree with someone's views, please remain respectful towards each other. 

Many thanks,

Deirdre

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Tue, 02/01/2018 - 22:14

Fighter_1

Joined:
2014-01-07

Hi Ben,

 

 

Parts of your story do resonate with me to an extent.

I’d always thought I could go back to small bets...how wrong was I!

The nature of the addiction means you will also be prone to making irrational decisions when it comes to gambling.

I’d hate you to be posting here in a year saying you’ve racked up thousands in debt....you say you don’t have access to funds....again there will be a time rational thought is lost.

I wish you luck but can’t help but feel that you are walking on the edge of a cliff with a path that’s getting thinner and thinner.

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 14:50

Big_Brad

Joined:
2017-12-22

I don't think people should shoot down Ben. He's obviously recognised the error of his ways and know knows when to stop. 

The issue is most people on here find themselves because they've accepted they have a problem and don't want the problem to get any worse. I applaud anybody who has refrained from gambling for years after suffering from this addiction. 

However I feel we should also applaud anybody who has restricted or controlled it, as in Ben's case. If somebody can afford to gamble and they know how much to spend on it, they don't chase losses and it doesn't affect their relationships then I don't see an issue. Like anything - it's ok in moderation. The issue is though if you've spent £300 on something before, there's no reason why it can't get to this stage again by starting with £30. Potentially a vicious circle. Gambling starts off as a hobby but can turn into a very expensive one once you've caught the bug.

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 15:13

Bal

Joined:
2015-04-18

Hi,

Many individuals have arrived here and claimed they are a controlled gambler. So was i then it became a compulsive habit which drove me to suicidal thoughts, lying, cheating etc.

For what it is worth Ben if you feel you can control it are you an addict? Or do you still want the buzz on lower stakes?

I have read your opening post a few times and am not really sure....lol.

Brad - likewise if you feel someone who posts on here as an addict then can turn into a controlled gambler is good then perhaps further exploring of why someone gambles conpulsively is required.

Best wishes