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The Devil on my shoulders

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 30/01/2017 - 08:06

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Tomorrow I will be two weeks gamble free . I have previously posted in the new members forum but thought it was time to write a recovery diary as I find the process of writing down my gambling jibberish quite therapeutic. 
A little about me - I'm 37 and have been gambling for at least 10 years - currently over 50k in debt and begining to pay it all off in loans which won't leave me and my family (wife and 2 yr old daughter) with any money . How awful is that. My wife and family don't know about my gambling, and I know people on here will have various feelings about that but that's the way I'm doing this for now. My habits gambling wise are quite universal but I guess mainly it's sports betting football and horses - although I've been known to gamble on pretty much anything at times - what's the old saying 'he'd bet on two raindrops going down the window' - yeah that's me! 
At my lowest I've stolen £2000 from my daughters savings - that's how much of an fing scumbag I became - just writing it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Always thinking this will be the time I win big , or I'll double it and give her more money - it of course never happened or it did and I spent it! 
I'm under no illusions I've got a long way to go and I've found the last two weeks hard going - it's often on my mind and it's the devil on my shoulder. Weekends in particular with all the sport action are very tough. I've said previously that I love gambling which some people took exception to and rightly so - I don't 'love' it but it was a big thrill in my life that I enjoyed a lot . As I've said previously if someone gave me a million pounds I'd try and make 2 million , then lose a million chasing my losses I'm that much of a plonker and when I'm gambling I can't see the wood for the trees. 
By not gambling I properly feel like I'm denying my self something and I find myself feeling very sorry for my self . I'm very conscious that I sound like a loathsome selfish individual but that's exactly what this disease does to you. I hope these feelings fade and I hope you don't judge me too harshly fir the things I have done . 
I think for now that's all I want to say. Need to stay positive and strong and keep the motivation one day at a time . 
All the best . 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/01/2017 - 08:58

Gavinb

Joined:
2016-12-06

Hi Pwm101 it's good to be honest on here mate. I was the same sports betting. 25k in debt. I'm not going to go on about it but to put things simply. It's no accident you feel this way about gambling. Your just like all us other mugs who are broke. Miserable and lost our family's. But we *love it*. The betting industry knows exactly how to get optimistic people like us almost in a gambling coma. Wake up and get out now mate. 55 days gf.

Posted on:
Mon, 30/01/2017 - 09:11

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Play this through to the end. What are you missing? Why does abstaining make you feel like you're denying yourself something?

Have you signed up for Gamcare counselling?  Free and with sessions available online if you can't make face to face. Have you found out where your nearest GA meeting is?

Abstaining is only part of the story. identifying and addressing what drives the compulsion in the first place is key and counselling and GA could help with that.

Posted on:
Mon, 30/01/2017 - 18:19

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks for the support guys really appreciate it and gavinb well done on 59 gf. Make it to 60 and that's two months . Great stuff . Iethe I will think about the counselling if I'm struggling but I feel okay for now thanks for reminding me that it's there . I haven't don't so yet but I'm going to put a block on a certain website that lets you bet all year and all day if you know what I mean - that seems to be my main downfall and I see other people have done so. 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/01/2017 - 22:07

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Emily for your kind words means a lot . Another day down and feeling confident . Your right I've got to put my feelings across it's the only way I can understand this problem. Hope all going well for you to . All the best 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/01/2017 - 08:46

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Going to smash it today - not going to gamble and will make it to 2 weeks GF by the end of the day ! Come on ! 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/01/2017 - 13:02

chartom3

Joined:
2015-03-11

Thanks for the post on my Diary .... Well done on 2 weeks GF hard day today with plenty of football on but we both know we cant let are guard slip Keep up the good work mate

Posted on:
Tue, 31/01/2017 - 17:09

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Chartom yeah it's a big night footy wise and I'd normally be keeping an eye on every score . Tonight I'm just going to let the results happen and not worry about wether I would have predicted it or not ! Who do I think I am Mystic Meg ha ha . No way I'm gambling tonight but it will be hard I can't deny that 

Posted on:
Wed, 01/02/2017 - 13:13

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Two Weeks gamble free - boom ! Feel good about that - want to make it to 30 days next. One thing this website has taught me is that I think my gambling is quite specific . I see loads of people have problems with FOBT and online roulette etc... I've never had that issue it's always been sports betting for me . I've never really been in a bookies much. Someone once said to me once 'how many millionaires do you see coming out the bookies' that always stuck with me and I never fancied it (shame they didn't say it about online sports betting! Ha ha) also I've been in casinos and played roulette and blackjack but it's only ever been social and they genuinely hold no power over me . However get me to a race track or placing football bets and I'm nuts ! Isn't that strange ? I also only really ever used one site - (which I'm now excluded from) creature of habit I guess. I have no desire to set up accounts or go on other bookmakers websites. Really feel like I'm coming out of a fog and seeing this gambling for what it is - a sure fire way to lose money ! Anyway just my thoughts at the mo. Hope everyone okay . All the best 

Posted on:
Wed, 01/02/2017 - 15:08

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Well done on your gf time but the Devil would shift easier if your family knew. Part of recovery is a whole new approach, doing things differently, honestly, particularly in regard to relationships. Open and honest relationships with excellent communication and secrecy about finances and gambling just don't go together. The other aspect is that if you are only accountable to your addicted self, it doesn't help you or your family.

There is a thread in the Debstes section entitled "To tell or not to tell", worth a read. Also a read of the Friends & Family posts, most OHs don't walk away immediately they find out. But all agree that the lies hurt more than the financial losses. You don't know what your wife would do, you haven't given her the chance to make her own informed decision. Might suit you but is it the right thing for her? 

CW

Posted on:
Fri, 03/02/2017 - 15:48

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

17 days GF what's changed - feel calmer. Much calmer. Not frantically searching for the Israel second division results ! (I kid you not) I'm much more focused and less distracted . Living in the hear and now a lot more. When I had a bet on (which was most of the day) I was constantly distracted - half there eyes in phone . There is a level of boredom which is hard to address - I'm missing the 'buzz' as it's called.  I don't want to replace that buzz I think I need to get used to this new found calmness and well time on my hands . The devil makes work for idle hands - very true . 

Posted on:
Sat, 04/02/2017 - 22:32

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

God weekends are tough. The temptation with sports betting is everywhere. Genuinely feel okay. Still calculate odds make little bets in my mind but I'm nowhere near physically placing a bet. Plus Im excluded anyway. Feel okay GF 18days 

Posted on:
Sun, 05/02/2017 - 01:19

I will save mys...

Joined:
2016-06-15

Keep up your resolve

Exclusion is great ! I must admit it was not enough for me and had to hand my finances over to a family member.

Eventually over time you will see sport for what it is, maybe even drift away from it unless you support a football team etc ?

Will look out for you. Keep strong, you can do this

Posted on:
Sun, 05/02/2017 - 11:17

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks save myself appreciate the support it means a lot . Gunna to have to go back to looking at sport again in a different way ad for what it is rather than looking for every possible angel and advantage which lets face it is generally nonsense ! Should just be able to enjoy it for what it is . Cheers 

Posted on:
Sun, 05/02/2017 - 19:23

chartom3

Joined:
2015-03-11

Thanks for your post on my Diary Pwm 101, Yea the weekends really are hard with so much football on ( used to love a football bet) but i am now starting to enjoy the matches for what they are again  instead of willing for another goal, corner. card etc. Well done on your 18 days gf and keep up the good work

Posted on:
Sun, 05/02/2017 - 19:46

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Chartom - was just thinking then it's the Super Bowl tonight and if I was still in the midst of my gambling fuzz I would have placed several bets - now looking at from the outside that is mental ! I know nothing about the American football I don't even like it ! But I would have woken up at 4:00 am checking my bets like a Moran ! How mad is that . Tonight I'm going to enjoy a good nights sleep - and I couldn't give a toss who wins the Super Bowl ! 

Posted on:
Mon, 06/02/2017 - 22:22

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

It will take me 5 years to pay off all my debts that's 1825 days I need to stay gamble free. Shiit

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 07:33

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Need to remember that I used to have to win at Gambling to be able to pay my mortgage! How stupid is that! Day 21 GF - not gambling today 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 11:26

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Just worked I owe £46 feel sick . The reality of what I've done and how long it's going to take to put right is really hitting home 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 12:29

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

Stay strong and you will get there, remember you are winning every day by not gambling,

Malc

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 14:28

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Malkie really appreciate the support right now . Moods are up and down. Bit down at the mo as the reality kicks in about what lies ahead. Will be fine thou . Thanks 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 14:41

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

Same here mate, only thing that will make it better is by not gambling, I am still in single figures but aiming for double figures in the next week or so roll on.

Malc

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 14:47

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Best of luck Malkie . If I can do it you can to . It really is one day at a time and keeping busy. Some days are hard some are easy . You just got to tick em off and make that your new challenge . First stage =double figures. All the best 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 14:48

brandon

Joined:
Before 2009

You can do it mate, the longer you go without gambling, the clearer things become. I've paid around £5k off my £30k debts, over an 8 month period. The wife is fully behind me, we are working hard together. Not a great situation my any means, but the support is amazing. Head down and crack on, try not to overthink things. 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 15:44

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Was thinking that Brandon your right.  I need to stop fixating on it and focus on something else . I can't be looking at debt for 5 years I'll go under. Or even worse think I can win it back ! Encouraging to hear you've paid that amount off well done . Thanks for the support. 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 17:52

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Sorry put this on someone else's diary and need to remind myself what I was saying as I think it helps ......

Wow I can relate to your last post so much - I'm going to read the rest of your diary tonight for inspiration. However I had a similar situation the other day where I was convinced Swansea would best Liverpool 14-1 and as you may know they did . Big voice in my head saying put a grand on it ! Was gutted for a while but then actually thought about it . Number 1- I don't really have a grand spare at the moment ! Number 2- I would have cashed out at 2-2 (Swansea won late on) I bet you would have cashed out at the playoff hole stage ? Number 3 - if I m honest with myself I had other 'hunches' that day that I would have put money in that didn't come off . Number 4 - even if I'd win £14,000 I know what I would have done . Banked £10,000 played with £4000 . Eventually lost £4000 then dipped into the £10,000 - keep dipping in till I was down to my original stake - and then lost that. What's that phrase I keep hearing on here . We can't win coz we can't stop . You wouldn't have just won your golf bet and stoped and I wouldn't have done the same with my football bet. Your an inspiration to me . Four years is amazing please make it 5 (that's how long I have to do to get out of debt) I need to know it's possible 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/02/2017 - 22:12

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

 

This is stolen from D123's diary but is so true to my thoughts that I have copied it to mine so I can remember it - that pretend that your doing something productive, for your own good, is so powerful and so not true ! .......

The perverse thing about this situation is that I almost crave it because it feels like something 'productive'. When I feel low, depressed and aimless (as I have these past few weeks), gambling almost feels like I am doing something (i.e. trying to win money and improve my financial situation). The fact it gives me an incredible buzz alongside is just a bonus. Of course, the reality is it is the LEAST productive thing I could do in the world. I have proved time after time after time its completely destructive nature. One thing is for sure...if I start again I will not stop until I am completely ruined. When I think of the places I have been - both physically and emotionally - I am not sure I have the strength and resolve to drag myself back from there all over again.

 

Posted on:
Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:09

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

So So true

Posted on:
Thu, 09/02/2017 - 13:34

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

23 days GF - feeling better a bit more thoughtful - times a great healer and all that. Don't mind admitting I've had thoughts about the odds on sports events recently but I don't think I can help that I'm always going to do it . I'm not near placing a bet in any event. Reading other people's diaries is helping a lot reminding me that boredom and complancence are two lethal mindsets going forward. I've blocked the one site I ever used I'm not tempted by any others . 

Funny how I've been doing better at work and how I'm more interested in my wife and child's lives . I think that's something we forget . How selfish you can become . I pretended I was winning money for the family - trying to give them a better future , justifying each bet by saying if I win big I would treat them . Of course I was doing the exact opposite - I was doing it for my 'thrill' and I was losing the 'family' money - but when your in the thick of it you will justify everything somehow . 

Not gambling today . 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 10/02/2017 - 10:11

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

It's just greed isn't it? I'm just fing greedy . 

Took out reasonable sum of money today from the bank for various things (you know essential life things and not gambling) and with the money in my hand the thought came over me - I'll just treble this . Go in the bookies (which I never do) 2-1 odds and treble it. Ridiculous why can't I just be happy with what I've got! Why am I always striving to have more than frankly I deserve.

Anyway it was just a thought I didn't act in it and really I was disgusted at myself for let's face it being a greedy ****

Still gamble free

 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 10/02/2017 - 10:27

whatami

Joined:
2015-06-03

Hi Pwm101! I have to say, I had my heart in my mouth when I read the, "Go in the bookies (which I never do) 2-1 odds and treble it." I am so glad for you that when I finished reading the paragraph, I could see it was 'just a thought'. It's the nature of the beast, sad though it is to say, gambling can have been our best friend and the lure of maintaining that bent relationship is very, very strong. Conditioning ourselves to think rationally about our choices is difficult, but the more you do it the stronger that thought process becomes and the weaker the gambling link. We know it won't be over in a day, a week, a month, or longer, but we are lucky, we only have to beat this addiciton one day at a time! All the best, whatami.

Posted on:
Fri, 10/02/2017 - 13:58

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thank you whatami. 

You are of course correct . I'm just going to take heart from the fact that I was just thinking like a greedy gambler and I was actually pretty disgusted with how I was thinking - I think I've got split personality going on - it's like a constant battle between the side wanting to take me back to gambling and the other keeping me away . 

Thanks for your help :-) 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 11/02/2017 - 08:28

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Really beginning to dread Saturdays at the moment - so much sport and very hard not to feel sorry for myself - like I'm denying myself fun all day! - I know that is warped logic it's just how I feel. Will get through. Will not gamble today 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/02/2017 - 07:02

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Made it through the weekend. I fear others probably didn't . 27 days GF here's to a GF week . Best of luck everyone 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/02/2017 - 11:54

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Posted on:
Mon, 13/02/2017 - 12:01

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

I wanted to share the above post as it was the story that made me think about stopping . This guy had everything going for him and was actually a lot better off than I am now . It is heart breakingly sad and I use his story as a motivator for myself to stay in the straight and narrow . I can relate personally to the story and you never know what people are going through . Gamblers don't always look like the people you see down the bookies they come all shapes no better or worse than anyone else . This afflication can hit us all. If ever we need a reminder of the reality of what we're doing I think back to that poor lad and his family and encourages me to go on . Hope it might help one or two you out there . All in this together 

All the best 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/02/2017 - 12:25

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

Poor Lad what a shame gambling a dark and deep place so so sad.

Malc

Posted on:
Mon, 13/02/2017 - 18:27

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Malkie. It really touched me and has stuck with me . I don't think we should ever forget what this disease can do . Appreciate you commenting 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/02/2017 - 08:41

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

28 days Gamble free - come on !!!

Posted on:
Tue, 14/02/2017 - 08:45

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

 get in there thats a month in my book well done great job.

Malc

Posted on:
Tue, 14/02/2017 - 09:54

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Cheers malc much appreciated 

Posted on:
Wed, 22/02/2017 - 08:59

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

36 days -GF 

Just checking in really - best thing I have been able to do is stay away from the sports betting as I realised this is my downfall. The other forms of gambling don't have the same grip on me. Thinking about it now the arrogance and madness to go through almost every league thinking I knew better or I could magically pick the result is nuts and I have to keep remembering that. 

The financial side of things is depressing the hell out of me I think I need to look into debt management etc because I'm paying too much back at the mo and I know that could lead to me trying other avenues . I have seen others on this site talk of pay plan and stepchange ? Anyone had good / positive experience? 

Anyway hope everyone okay

All the best 

Posted on:
Wed, 22/02/2017 - 11:01

whatami

Joined:
2015-06-03

Hi! I've used both StepChange and Payplan in the past and found they are both good at what they do. I would probably see StepChange are a little bit more professional, but the idea is just the same, because creditors are generally much more interested in dealing with them because they know it's their best chance of getting their money back, albeit it might take some time.

Posted on:
Wed, 22/02/2017 - 12:06

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Thanks Whatami I guess it's best to have a look at both and see what my options are . Thanks for the advice . Hope your doing okay 

Posted on:
Wed, 22/02/2017 - 15:33

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Had a look. Going to ring pay plan on Friday and see what they say. I must be paying around 2/3 of my wage in debts at the mo. Coupled with a mortgage on top I think the temptation to gamble to sort myself out for the month will be there. I need to be more realistic about debt 

Posted on:
Fri, 24/02/2017 - 13:27

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Rang pay plan. 

From a personal point of view it was a humbling and upsetting experience not because of pay plan but because I was saying things out loud which made things hit home more than ever. I'm glad I have done it But Christ my debt is worse than I thought £50k owed. How oh how oh how did I get myself into this mess ! Soooo blinded by gambling not thinking it was bad, justifying every bet. Stupid stupid stupid . 

I have an appointment next week to fully go through finances and maybe a debt management plan as I can't carry on paying off what I'm currently paying off . Still feel sick with worry about the amount I've got to pay off but if I can reduce it and live properly it will make it a lot easier . 

Its defo a motivator to stay GF if nothing else 

Posted on:
Fri, 24/02/2017 - 13:56

Malkie76

Joined:
2017-01-19

You will get there it is amazing how fast the debt gets when your head is in the cloud of gambling. You will get there the only thing we can do is stay G/F and take every day at a time.

Stay strong

Malc

Posted on:
Fri, 24/02/2017 - 14:06

Tom_2015

Joined:
2015-12-22

Stick with it. Keep gamble free and over time debt becomes easier to deal with especially when you see that it's going down.

Posted on:
Sat, 25/02/2017 - 11:16

whatami

Joined:
2015-06-03

Great to hear you got in touch with Payplan and that it sounds like a positive move for you. You're right, on one hand you have dues to pay, but you also have to live your life, so must make sure you and honest and don't leave yourself short. All the best.

Posted on:
Sat, 25/02/2017 - 23:18

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

Whatsami , Tom , Malkie as ever appreciate the support . I'll let you know how it works out . Got through another Saturday and do you know what surprise suprise it was slightly easier . Slowly but surely I'm fogetting my old gambling self . 

All the best . Let's all make it to Monday and start a fresh week 

Posted on:
Tue, 28/02/2017 - 07:38

Pwm101

Joined:
2017-01-23

I am not going to gamble today . I don't care about tomorrow I just want to not gamble today 24 hours that is all . That's the mantra this morning folks 

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