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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 10:46

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Good morning all,

Some of you may remember me from the distant past. I would like to apologise for my sudden departure a while ago. Whilst I do not wish to go into this in detail, I felt that GC was no longer a tool for helping me in my gambling recovery journey. I am only back to post on someone's diary and to update my current situation for my virtual gambling friends, old and new.

DFD stands for 'debt-free date'. Since leaving GC, I started my own diary on my PC. This diary is saved in the Cloud which means that it can be accessed via my portable computing devices at any time and I have found this to be a most useful tool in my continuing battle against those gambling demons. Writing this diary has meant that I am able to share anything without the fear of anyone else, particularly from my workplace, knowing of my 'secret' addiction. There are nearly half a million words in that diary, it is password protected and I will be very happy for it to be shared should my life end unexpectedly.

It has not been a gamble-free zone for me since leaving GC, unfortunately, with the last event happening just under two weeks ago. However, I have managed to sustain longer gamble-free periods and gambling episodes have occured less often than in the past. This has led to my DFD being just over six months away. Yes, this would be the first time in my adult life that I will be free of any loans or credit cards. The first time in around thirty years.

Six months. Under 200 days. With the New Year and new resolutions coming up once again, this is great timing for me to be able to achieve this. I have always found the start of the New Year the easiest to remain gamble-free and I managed a 162-day gamble-free run at the start of this year. My vices continues to be the bookies on the high street and their lack of compassion and effort to help problem gamblers continues to frustrate me. I have had recent communications with other organisations linked to problem gambling, particularly with the lack of access to deaf people, and once again, these have come to nothing.

I have learnt not to get frustrated when these things happen and this has really helped me with having a DFD being just over six months away. This why I am not going to log in from the moment that I click on 'Save'. However, I will come back in just over six months' time and hopefully share that fact that I am, indeed, finally entering a period of my adult working life where I can say that I am debt-free.

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone on here every success in the choices that you make in your quest to be free of the horrible gambling world. Enjoy your Christmas and make 2018 the year that you make huge strides in your life.

NT

x

Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 19:00

Crossintheroad

Joined:
2017-11-03

Good for you NT. Look forward to you checking back in debt free

Posted on:
Mon, 01/01/2018 - 20:09

milkman

Joined:
2011-10-09

Hello GT. NT, and, I hope, soon to be 'T'.

How nice to read a post from you after all this time. I do hope that you update your diary in 6 months' time, it would be really cheering to see a success story.

 

all the best,

 

Mm

Posted on:
Sat, 10/02/2018 - 10:58

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Good morning all,

This is justa quick update to say that through my hard work in saving as much money as possible and by not gambling, my DFD has now moved forward a month. I am now just over 100 days away from my DFD which is something that has never happened before in the past 30 years of my life. There is still a possibility of a large, but important, bill coming in the next 100 or so days but this would just put my DFD back one month.

Yes, being a compulsive gambler has meant that I have had to really look after my money in the past but there have been far too many occasions where I would gain £20 or so through selling something online only to lose hundreds or even thousands by gambling. I have many achievable targets for 2018 and one of the most important ones is to never, ever get complacent. We are all just one tiny, tiny bet away from disaster.

I have seen comments on here and elsewhere about this new FOBT law coming in where they are planning to reduce the £100 (or £50) stake to as low as £2. This does absolutely nothing for me as 95% of my gambling episodes have come from playing on the slots on the FOBTs on a £2 stake. The deadline was a few weeks ago and I have heard nothing since but I am secretly hoping that some sort of account will be needed for anyone to play on a FOBT anywhere in the country. This would make it so much easier for compulsive gamblers to self-exclude.

I am fully aware of what is going to happen after my DFD as I would then enter completely unknown territory to me. Yes, I will treat myself to a holiday in the summer and a nice gadget or two before the end of the year but I will also need to tackle the long-term aspects of my mortgage. Not having any loans or credit card debts will make it so much easier for me to deal with this then.

Until my next update, please can you all make all the right choices for yourselves. I know how difficult those choices can be but trust me, where I am right now is a nice place to be.

All the best,

NT 

Posted on:
Thu, 15/02/2018 - 22:18

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Less than one week after my last update and I have made the wrong choice yet again. It is so disappointing especially as I am so close to reaching my DFD. 

The DFD is now back at its original date and I am now really desperate to make it. 

New day tomorrow. 

Again.

NT

Posted on:
Fri, 16/02/2018 - 12:27

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Hi NT,

It is a new day and you are being honest with yourself and the forum so well done and you are determined so you will find some strength from somewhere.

Keep up the fight!

Wilsy

Posted on:
Tue, 27/02/2018 - 18:42

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

It's nearly March and nearly another month gone in 2018. It's also another month less to worry about before I reach my DFD.

Things have been absolutely fine since my relapse nearly two weeks ago. However, I remain extremely cautious as the next wrong choice is only just around the corner. 

Those wrong choices may seem impossible to an ordinary human being but to a problem gambler, they will remain forever hanging around. 

Onwards an upwards once more. The dream date remains in my vision.

NT

Posted on:
Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:24

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

This time last year, my DFD was to be next month. This date is long gone but it was a target for such a long time. 

What a far cry from the horrific times of the past when my debt-free date was years away.

Then another additional few months.

And another few months.

And repeat.

I went for a walk this morning with the knowledge that I am in a good position right now. I say 'good' as I believe that I am far from gamble-free issues. After all, my last gambling episode was just over two weeks ago. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that my DFD is just over 100 days away and I have already got big plans on what to do afterwards, both financially, socially and as a way of rewarding myself in the right way.

It remains to be seen what life will be like being totally debt-free. This has never happened in the whole of my adult life and I think that it is very important for me to make concrete plans on what to do once the DFD has been passed.

As for the previous comment about me being 'There' instead of 'Nearly There', I know that this won't happen. Once a problem gambler, always a problem gambler. The nature of this horrible secret addiction remains by and large unknown to the masses and I will include gambling organisations in this group. I know what it's like and so do the majority of you on here.

It's all about how you deal with being a problem gambler. Apart from one bad decision this year, I have made all the right choices in 2018.

Onwards and upwards as ever.

NT

Posted on:
Sat, 03/03/2018 - 21:41

Boro

Joined:
2012-07-01

You have been on here a long time giving people a lot of advice. But you never stick to it. Being debt free is brilliant mate. Enjoy it look forward to the day. I’m like you I never totally stop gambling but I deal with the little I do plus I don’t lose much.

Posted on:
Sun, 04/03/2018 - 10:11

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Thanks for your post, Boro, and you are right. I never stick to advice. Harsh words but very true.

This is another reason why I don't post on other peoples' diaries right now.

Never say never, however, as I simply have to stop. This won't happen this year as I have already gambled once. It may happen next year or the year after that. What really matters is that I am on a downward trend in terms of the number of gambling episodes.

Whilst you may be able to carry on gambling and not lose much, this simply cannot happen in my end. Once I start putting the first note inside a machine, I become a totally different person - a person who simply does not know how to stop.

The DFD is at the forefront of my mind every single hour of every single day at the moment. I am still able to treat myself at certain times in the next few months but every other penny is going towards the DFD. It is the few months afterwards that I will really be able to treat myself - I can wait a few months for that.

After all, I've waited for the whole of my adult life.

NT

Posted on:
Sun, 04/03/2018 - 16:28

Boro

Joined:
2012-07-01

i have self excluded from all the betting shop in my local area and off all online accounts. The only time I gamble is if I get my brother to put a £5 or £10 on a horse I can’t go in the betting shop because if I go in with every intention of just backing a horse  I end up putting it in the machine. Which ends up with me losing a lot of money. Enjoy being debt free nt when the time comes. I was over £13000 in debt now I have none and it feels great.         Good luck 

Posted on:
Mon, 19/03/2018 - 18:06

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Dreadful day today. 

It's a £30 maximum bet from now on. If I can almost ruin my life and have had to scrimp and save for the most part of my adult life whilst still being able to hold down a pretty good full-time job due to gambling on £2 spins, then I really fear for the future of my country.

I am just flabbergasted that nothing else has been mentioned with regards to gambling controls particularly with FOBTs. My suggestion of having to open an account and sign in each time you play on an FOBT thus making it so much easier to self-excluded have continued to be ignored. This is coming from someone who knows what it is like to be a problem gambler and I know that there are many, many others on here who would echo my concerns. 

But I am not going to let this get to me. I am now on double-figures. Double-figures of the number of days before I can say that I will finally become debt-free for the first time in my adult life. We are talking about forty years here. 

In the past, I would let something like this invade my desire to stay gamble-free but not this time. I am so close to achieving my dream whilst still realising that there is still a very long way to go.

I'll get there. I just have a real fear for the future of the vulnerable young people of our country.

Sheer, real fear.

NT

Posted on:
Fri, 23/03/2018 - 16:50

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

It's really hard to take the news from Monday in.

I just cannot believe it! It's just so awful for the future of our country and our soceity in general that this sort of thing can continue without proper and efficient controls. We have now had thirteen awful years of the gambling problem escalating and I have been very unfortunate to have been sucked into this.

But this has made me more determined to reach my DFD. There is light at the end of my tunnel. It's a very small light as I haven't reached that date yet and I have never reached that date in the 30 years of my adult life.

I'm home now after another very busy week at work. It was the type of week where I used to have a real need to 'entertain' myself by feeding note after note into a machine before coming home hours later with a Pot Noodle for dinner. 

Not today. No, those days have long gone. Thank goodness. However, I am far from free from the evils of gambling and the one gambling episode that I went through in 2018 is proof of this. 

It's just so awful to see bookmakers' shares go up and the fat cats of those companies booking their next holidays at the expense of all of those vulnerable human beings that they have preyed on. Why can't the people who run our country see the real damage that these gambling opportunities are inflicting on ordinary, hard-working people like myself?!

Rant over.

Have a good weekend all.

NT

Posted on:
Thu, 29/03/2018 - 18:10

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

A quick update for me just to say that things are still going exceedingly well, like those cakes of the past.

All because I haven't gambled since my last entry.

Yes, I am still peeved off about the FOBT decision but there is nothing that I can do about it. I just have to really concentrate on that light. 

The light that is at the end of the tunnel.

The tunnel is getting shorter and shorter by the day.

I am now less than three months from being debt-free for the first time in my adult life. 

That's all I wanted to say for today.

Have a great extended weekend, all.

NT 

Posted on:
Sat, 07/04/2018 - 14:26

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

The gambling establishments called in the past week or so and once again, I listened. I don't want to give any details of what happened in case it triggers anyone's thoughts but I ended up down after the three visits. There is no point in me venting any anger towards the gambling establishments with regards to their morals, values and compassion - or the sincere lack of. 

They called me.

I listened.

I could have said no.

I should have said no.

But I said yes.

It's back to the recovery journey for me once more and I am just eternally grateful for the fact that this has not affected my DFD. This remains the same and the countdown, the number of days before I reach it, remains unchanged.

However, this creates new thoughts (I was going to say 'worries' but I am trying to be positive and pro-active here) as to what life will be life for me once I get past the DFD and start to build up a nice bank of funds. I am trying to counter this with a list of gadgets and nice things that I am planning on buying over the next year or so but a thirty-year gambling 'career' will be very hard to stop completely.

The proposed large bill is now going to materialise and there is no way that I can move the DFD a month forward. That's absolutely fine by me and it's a very important large bill to be paid. I have always had the DFD set and at least I can now fully concentrate on that. Plans are already underway on how I intend to celebrate that day and it's nice to know that it's during a weekend when I will have more time to be able to celebrate. No, there are not going to be huge parties or shouting from the rooftops - just quiet contemplation and thoughts whilst enjoying fine food and drink.

The fight continues. The dream is still there.

NT

Posted on:
Mon, 30/04/2018 - 19:00

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Recent developments has meant that my DFD has been bought forward. 

Assuming certain credits are cleared in the next few days, I will be debt-free with the massive loan finally being paid of on...

...this Friday!

I am beyond excited about this as this would mean me being free of all gambling-related debts for the first time in the whole of my adult working life. Like I said before, I'm talking around thirty years. Thirty years of being saddled with gambling-related loans to absolutely none. 

This, of course, will mean new challenges for me in my new life. But I'm ready for this. I have been waiting for so long for this moment and it's almost here. 

I will certainly update this Friday.

NT

Posted on:
Wed, 02/05/2018 - 06:40

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Today is the day that I can finally close my final, huge loan. Certain payments towards it materialised during the night and the balance is now down to three figures, from what used to be five figures.

I am now in a position to close it but I can't do anything about it until I get home from work later this evening.

I will update later.

NT

Posted on:
Wed, 02/05/2018 - 18:16

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Well, the deed has been done.

I am now officially loan and credit card debt free for the first time in my adult working life. And how do I feel? Very strange. It's a strange experience and I do feel that strong barriers have been constructed in my continuing battle to stay well, well away from gambling. It has certainly been a real, hard slog to get to this point and I do feel that today's achievement is one of the greatest that I have done in my near half-century life. 

I have a glass of bubbly with me right now to celebrate and I spent £5 on a couple of really nice starters from the local supermarket. But what am I having for my main course? Just the normal Wednesday evening meal where the ingredients will cost around £1 in total. It is still a very nice and tasty meal, don't get me wrong, but I'm definitely not ready to splash out on expensive meals just yet. The Bank Holiday weekend is coming up and plans are in place to have one or two meals out which includes the classic English fry-up.

I have been on these forums for many years now on and off and it has been a really emotional and rollercaster journey. The journey certainly does not end here as I am still a serious problem gambler who is just one tiny, tiny bet away from disaster. It is vital that I remember this at all times otherwise I will be back to where I started and this is where I will - not if, but will - lose my flat and my job. This is a definite as I am coming up to the mature years in my life and I am desperate to make the most of it. Whether this will include a partner or a family, I really don't know. One step at a time, eh?

I have noticed that no-one has responded on my diary for a while. That's fine. I understand. I don't post on anyone else's diary so why should anyone post on mine. These diaries are no longer useful for me to post every single thought of mine as I now have a 671-page and 570,000+ word diary on Word which I have posted on for over a year now. I can post anything I like on that diary without any words being asterisked out and I can talk about anything I like without worrying about anyone else finding out about my personal life and battles.

To anyone who thinks that I should now be called 'T' which stands for 'There', definitely not. This problem gambling addiction will be harnessed in our bodies for many, many years to come and we all have to make the right choices in order to combat this.

To anyone who is jealous of my achievement today, I completely understand. I have been so jealous of posters in the past who have posted similar achievements and I have often wondered whether I would ever match those.

To anyone who feels that they will never get to where I am today, yes of course you can! As long as any debt that you have is reduced on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, this is GOOD! Money isn't everything, of course, and I have constantly been jealous of others who have a lovely little family of their own. Make the most of this, please, and the money issues will take care if itself as long as you keep making the right choices.

Thanks for listening, I'm just off to make my little meal. I suppose that we all have to be grateful that the money-saving skills that we have harnessed due to our addiction do us good in the long-term.

NT :-)

Posted on:
Wed, 02/05/2018 - 20:25

jamdownunder

Joined:
2013-08-21

Great work, NT. Now to put those extra funds to good use. Who knows what lies ahead for you now. Well done, mate!

Posted on:
Mon, 07/05/2018 - 21:18

milkman

Joined:
2011-10-09

Congratulations, NT. You may not be 'T' in terms of gambling addition, but you are 'T' as far as your finances go. You've been talking about this moment for many years, and it was always being pushed back. What you've done is no small achievement, and I raise my glass to you (just beer but I mean it literally and have just done it) . I know that you know that this is a time to celebrate, but also a time to be careful. Complacency is the enemy. I am not immune and have suffere recently, and I must update my diary. Please keep posting, because I'm sure there are many like me who take inspiration from your struggle and empathise with your falls. I truly wish you well, and congratulate you.

 

Mm

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 01:36

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

 

Hi NT,

Good to hear from you, you are an old warrior who never gives in. Your DFD target is a fantastic achievement and is evidence that it can be done! I find my self counting down again and am happy to tick of the days as they take care of themselves.

Treat yourself now as you deserve it. That is a mammoth diary you have going, as you say no censors or risk of offending. No annoying captcha either.

Stay vigilant as the gambling demon is never far away. Keep fighting the good fight.

I am sure you still listen to good music so here is one for old times sake.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yfySK7CLEEg

 

Paulds 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 17:33

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Thanks to all for your lovely responses. 

It's not even been a week of being DFD but life, for me, has seen a totally different outlook. Being free of debts and credit cards simply means that as long as I continue to earn money on a regular basis and as long I make all of the right choices when it comes to gambling urges, I have plenty to look forward to.

It's this 'look forward' that has been on my mind a lot. I can now start planning for both my short-term and long-term future. However, as milkman says, complacency really is an enemy to be wary of. I have gone through this so many times in the past when I would get complacent whilst in the middle of a long gamble-free run and thinking that I have nailed this. It's time to bring back what I have always thought...

...the time that you can be confident that you are free of the gambling addiction will be the time that you get through a period of time gamble-free which is more than the time since you started gambling. In my case, this will be forty years. This will be something to really celebrate on my 90th birthday...!

 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 22:29

Boro

Joined:
2012-07-01

Well done mate. Complacency is the key. We all think a £5 or £10 makes no difference but it can lead to devastation 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 22:52

PositiveAction

Joined:
Before 2009

Deleted

Posted on:
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 17:44

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

I had always thought that I would really splash out food-wise on my DFD but as it happened during a working week, I thought better of it. I suppose that we will never be rid of our penny-pinching skills that was have harboured throughout our gambling 'career' and this can only be a very good thing for our DFD future.

Don't worry, I intend not to worry about what I am spending on my meals when I go on my holiday in the summer! This is when the penny-pinching has to take a momentary break and in any case, it will feel really good to spend my money to the right people.

NT

Posted on:
Thu, 17/05/2018 - 16:27

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Well, it seems that the FOBT maximum stake has now been reduced to £2. Some people are revelling in the news and rightly so, especially if playing £50 or £100 roulette spins was their problem in the gambling world. 

But not me.

Yes, I have played a few spins of roulette of over £2, mostly £5, but my main problem was the £2 stake on the fruit machines - first on the fruit machines in arcades then in bookies where there are dozens of them. 

This hasn't changed. Trust me, you can still lose thousands of pounds on them in a few hours. And with the loss of high-stake roulette bets, I am sure that gambling operators will try and find way to get around their losses. They always have. They are always the winners.

So peeps, beware. There are still tough times ahead.

NT

Posted on:
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 13:23

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

A little update from me. 

The month of May has seen a stop-start in my new debt-free life. Yes, I have gambled a few times and this included one little blow-out a few days ago, the first for a while. Overall, in 2018, I am doing so much better than this time last year but the right choices need to be made now.

So why? Well, it's the money part of the triangle. Now that I am credit card and loan free, it is easy to think that I have more money to throw away. In reality, I don't as I really need to start focussing on the other big thing in my life which is my mortgage. Building up some savings has been my priority since May 2nd when I paid off the last of my loans. This hasn't happened...

...yet.

The month of May has now gone and it really was a mad month. It culmulated yesterday when I wanted to experience time in a bookies for the last time (famous last words...) and I spent nearly four hours in there. At one point, I was even thinking about taking a £1000 loan just to tide me over for the rest of the month but I managed to leave £39 in profit. When I am in gambling zombie mode, that £39 is an incredibly small amount of money but as soon as I left the bookies, I had many ideas of what to do with it. It really is a lot of money when you think about it and a good top-up of food and car petrol was done this morning.

Of course, I knew that this would happen. I knew that having more money at my disposal would make life much, much harder. June is a month where work is incredibly busy and there has never been a better time to start my debt-free life for real. June is going to be a month where I will be saving every penny that I can. The food in my cupboard and freezer is going to be used up and hopefully by June 30th, I will be in a much better position to tackle the very tricky months ahead. I am also going to save as much money as I can for my holiday this summer. It is somewhere in the UK where there are absolutely no opportunities to gamble (apart from online, of course). Unfortunately, I cannot say where on here as I know that there will be gambling companies lurking around to see a market opportunity but it really is a rare chance to spend a relaxing few days away in such a lovely location full of gambling-nothingness.

I feel fine. Yes, I still have that problem of mine and this is simply because I am a recovering compulsive gambler. I will be a recovering compulsive gambler for probably the rest of my life but the main thing is that I have reached my DFD and I am on track to make the most of the rest of my life.

NT

Posted on:
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 14:58

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Afternoon NT,

Nice to see a familiar name around here even if it has changed a few times over the years lol, Congratulations on become debt free.

I’m not telling anything you don’t know but being debt free is dangerous for a compulsive gambler, I’ve heard it said many times in the past that debt is good for a CG, I suppose it gives us a focus and once that focus has been achieved it leaves us vulnerable. You set yourself goals to reduce that debt down maybe you need to put some goals in place for some savings, think of that holiday all the nice things you can do the extra little treats that you can have without having to worry about if you can afford 2 flakes in your ice-cream.

Also remember they’re  3 sides to that triangle get the other 2 broken get yourself busy fill that void get the self-exclusions done in the bookies and if you have already and your sneaking in tell them to be extra vigilante makes sure they know you.

It sounds like you had a lucky escape when you managed a little profit, probably a good thing you didn’t win big as you would only have continued till it had gone and then probably would have taken that loan out chasing the money you thought was yours.

Don’t ruin all your hard work in getting the debt down, you know too well its will take minutes, hours and days to fall back in a hole full of debt but it will take weeks , months and years to climb out of that hole

KTF

Posted on:
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 23:52

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Whilst it's good that you are less in debt, your success is rather limited giving that you seem to be quite actively gambling.

This is the problem with having what in my opinion is the wrong target. Yes, you're meeting your target, for now. But it's paper thin as you're a whisker away from anhilation.

Surely the target must be to never gamble again. Or to not gamble for, say, the next 3 months (then 6, then 9 etc). Obviously the debt is then taken care of.

Posted on:
Sun, 03/06/2018 - 11:40

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Thanks to Oldhamktf and Cardhue for your thoughts - always appreciated.

Oldhamktf - you literally took the words out of my mouth especially with the reference to the two flakes in an ice-cream! I already know that this period since becoming debt-free is probably the most dangerous and you are right, setting some goals to aim for is important. I have already done this with a countdown of around five months before I can think about tackling my mortgage and I already have a list of gadgets that I would like to get.

carhue - I agree. My 'success' is not quite where I would like it to be due to the fact that May has seen a few visits to gambling establishments. It is very difficult to have a target never to gamble again as I have had that target so many times in the past only for it not to be reached. This is why I have set June as one of the most important months of my gambling recovery journey. Once this has been achieved (positive thinking there...), then I will tackle the summer months. One step at a time, eh?

June has started extremely well for me with only fleeting gambling thoughts. Those thoughts will not go away for a very long time and they were brushed away with relevant ease despite the lovely sunny weather which is usually a trigger for me to go out for a drive and gamble. 

But not today.

NT

 

Posted on:
Sat, 09/06/2018 - 07:37

NT

Joined:
2017-12-16

Just a quick update to say that June is continuing to go as well as expected. My post-DFD recovery is back on track.

Have a good weekend, all.

NT