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#1 Posted on:
Fri, 27/05/2016 - 12:25

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Hi here's my second crack at diary writing. I've got a ton of stress on at the moment - family squabbles, have to have an operation on my hand in a few weeks, feel very anxious a lot of the time but none of these are an excuse to gamble. What would it achieve if I did? My defences are in place and one day at a time the journey continues. Just hope I can relax sometime soon!  Phil

 

Posted on:
Fri, 27/05/2016 - 13:04

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi there Phil and welcome back to the diary page , great to have you back on board !.

Stress is something that always used to make me run off and seek the arms of a loved one , ( A Fob't in the bookies ) , I'd spend hours telling my little programmed money sucking machine my woe's , did it help ? briefly if I won but that wouldn't last long and would always end in more misery and bad feelings.

Your right Phil , whatever is stressing us out , needs to be met head on and dealt with , it then doesn't become the catalyst to fuel our addiction .

Relaxation will come sooner , doing what your already doing my friend instead of seeking comfort in the shape of gambling !

IRecoveries working for you Phil , so relax and enjoy !

Take care buddy and stay safe !

Alan

Posted on:
Sat, 28/05/2016 - 11:06

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Morning. Still feeling super stressed out but no urges or desire to gamble. I've been reflective recently and what I now want is not to bicker, not to react, to listen, not judge other people's views on recovery (hard sometimes!) and continue the journey one day at a time. I have many issues in my life that need to be dealt with and I will tackle them. Have a good gamble free day.

Posted on:
Tue, 31/05/2016 - 10:58

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Morning. Yesterday was a weird one. I had to go into the city centre and when I walked past a particular bookies my heart started pounding - not through any desire to gamble but the fear again. I've self-excluded from the shop (which begins with C and ends in L!) anyway but when I'm away from my comfort zone I can feel extremely anxious. Anyway it's lovely and sunny here and here's to a bet-free day. Best wishes, Phil

Posted on:
Tue, 31/05/2016 - 19:04

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I am loving the journey. Not about abstinence but the way I feel. Every day just gets better and better. I posted on new members earlier. This new life is amazing.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/06/2016 - 20:30

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Evening. I was just reading other posts. I know in my heart that even in the grip of the addiction I couldn't recoup the money I had lost but something was driving me. My head was a mess - I started the day looking at forthcoming meetings online and then like a robot going to the cash machine then l,brokes (lol) with money I could not afford to lose/waste. What a s hit way to live. The money I lost is irrelevant. Getting my life back is amazing....one day at a time.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/06/2016 - 22:21

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Hi Phil... my vice was / is sports betting.  I found that I needed to cut out the first step in the process which is the research of the bets.  I made a conscious effort, as I went for my phone to open up the browser, to put it back down pause for a minute and refrain from looking at what events were taking place that day.  It is a massive step.  If you dont look at the events you won't know what's going on and you won't place that bet.  So maybe tomorrow see if you can do a day without looking at the meetings at any point during the day.  Then try two days, then a week, then two weeks etc etc.  It's difficult... I know... but you won't break the cycle if you don't try it.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/06/2016 - 10:22

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Hi Change, Thanks for response. I was talking retrospectively. I should have made that clear. All the behaviour I mention above I don't do anymore and have no desire to do. I haven't gambled for almost four months. One of my rituals - a personal thing - is when I buy my daily paper the first thing I do is rip out the racing pages which is just part of trying to stay "safe" in the early days of my recovery. So in a nutshell I'm not looking at anything to do with gambling apart from involuntarily seeing those stupid adverts on youtube or TV! Best wishes, Phil.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/06/2016 - 11:05

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I have some issues with anxiety that I am trying to address one of which is agoraphobia to some extent. When I was offered counselling by GamCare it would have meant travelling 15 miles to see the counseller and it might seem pathetic to some but I couldn't face it. Anyway just had an online chat with a GC advisor and discovered they offer online counselling. Had no idea! Pleased as punch. Made my morning in fact. No desire to gamble - BIG desire to work on self-improvement and continue the journey one day at a time.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/06/2016 - 11:19

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I agree. For example, you are watching something on Youtube and Ray Winston suddenly appears and says "don't you dare press that skip button". Makes me want to punch my laptop!

Posted on:
Fri, 03/06/2016 - 10:28

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Liked a post I just read about GA which was very informative. I live in Cardiff which has a population of 400,000 and yet only one GA meeting a week. I've felt reluctant to go - I'm not sure why. Can you incorporate some of the 12 steps into your recovery on your own I wonder? I'm certainly aware on a day to day basis what my behaviour was like when I was gambling (I feel like I was a bit crazy to be honest) and really and truthfully want to be a better person and "make amends". One day at a time life just gets better and better.

Posted on:
Fri, 03/06/2016 - 12:35

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Hi Phil,

I would suggest plucking up the courage to go to a meeting give it a go. As for the steps I'm not actively working through them but is something I will be doing in time, you can find literature online and there is no rule that says you can't do them yourself but I would suggest you would be much better to attend GA and find a sponsor who can work through them with you. There experience can only benefit you. 

KTF 

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 11:18

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Thanks for the response. A guy on the GA forum said he would meet me before the meeting as I told him I was extremely apprehensive. I work as a journalist but ironically hate speaking in public! I know there is no obligation to "share" but I have so many issues with anxiety at the moment. But hey! Life is getting better day by day bet-free.

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 11:25

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Good stuff Phil I think we we all had the same feelings but it's worth pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone. 

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 11:48

[email protected]

Joined:
2014-12-31

I hear often that anxiety about speaking in front of strangers given as a reason not to attend a meeting. Recovery is about tackling our emotional issues. So what better way to begin the process than to go into a socially scary environment, where at least there will be no awkward silences because you all have something in common. No one will force you to return. No one will force you to speak & no one will tell you how to think.

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 11:50

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I understand that completely. Abstinence is one thing but changing one's attitudes and feelings is another. Question: How many people on average attend a meeting? Obviously I'm sure it can vary but a rough estimate?

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 12:01

[email protected]

Joined:
2014-12-31

I cant say with certainty but Cardiff between 10-20 i would think

Posted on:
Sat, 04/06/2016 - 12:07

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Me main meeting has on average about 15 but I have been to meetings with as few as four and as many as 30 all different. 

Posted on:
Sun, 05/06/2016 - 11:26

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Morning. I understand quite a bit about the 12 steps as I have had friends in AA and the principles are pretty similar I think? Not dissimlar to gambling but one of my friends told me this woman hadn't drunk for over 30 years YET was still going to a meeting every day in Brighton. Is that recovery? Fear? Guilt? I know they are different issues to do with addiction but the basic principles are similar I think?

Posted on:
Sun, 05/06/2016 - 11:42

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

The Twelve Steps originated from AA and were adapted by the other Anonymous programmes. I read a theory that the Steps were discovered rather than created and it makes sense to me. 

The point is maintaining recovery, attending meetings has been found to do that. Perhaps it's a new way of life among like minded people, rather than trying to be a non drinker in a pub. Perhaps to do with the idea that addiction can be arrested but never cured? 

BW,

CW

Posted on:
Sun, 05/06/2016 - 11:53

[email protected]

Joined:
2014-12-31

It has nothing to do with fear or guilt. It is about the 12 & 12s programs primary purpose. Unity Step 5.
Just an observation & not a criticism. You seem to be doing what most addicts who havnt been to a meeting do. You seem to be looking for reasons it wont work rather than be willing to try things that might work

Posted on:
Sun, 05/06/2016 - 18:57

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

[email protected] Yeah I'm definitely looking for reasons/excuses not to go a meeting. You don't know me. I worked full-time as a journalist for 12 years and the reason I am now a freelance journalist was because I started having panic attacks especially on the London Underground which made it extremely difficult for me to go and interview people for this article or that article. I work from home now. I've struggled to access appropiate treatment for my social anxiety issues. Sometimes it takes me hours to get out of the house. That's the main reason why I haven't been to the one and only meeting a week in Cardiff. I didn't want to go into my personal issues but your post (again) got my back up. I don't want to snipe, bicker or be petty but you do seem to be very judgemental. Did you actually read my post when I apologised (anonymously) about my 13 step comments? I was disgusted with my self.

PS I'm not an addict - I'm a recovering compulsive gambler or whatever terminology you want to use. I don't gamble, I don't want to gamble, I don't judge people who are struggling or have "relapsed". I listen to the advice other people longer into their recovery than me or people whose partners have done whatever they have done. I'm not interested in posts like "poor me, I lost 7 grand on the England game. How do I get it back." To me and I think you will get this - recovery is about a change of mindset, different atttiude, behaviour - yep making amends. But people who have been                                                                                                                                                                                        ree bet free for a long time which I am not one of them should not be sanctimonious or self-righteous and I know you have a lot of good words of wisdom but that's how you come across sometimes. All the best, Phil

 

Posted on:
Mon, 06/06/2016 - 20:02

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Very stressful day. Still have financial issues to tackle plus other c**p with my family. I didn't gamble and didn't want to. Clarity is returning slowly. I really want to go to the meeting on Thursday but I'm held back by the fear of having a panic attack. I have three days to work out a strategy. Phil

Posted on:
Tue, 07/06/2016 - 16:52

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Just go to the meeting.

CW

Posted on:
Tue, 07/06/2016 - 19:26

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

OK I will pop to my GP tomorrow and ask for a couple of valium to get me there and back. I'm sorry for the sarcasm but the panic attacks I have recently had have been horrendous and as I previously posted it can sometimes take me hours to get out of the house. This is why I now work from home as a freelance journalist because accessing appropriate treatment for anxiety issues in Cardiff is a joke. I'm not looking for sympathy but am saying just the way it is right now. PS Please do not - ANYONE - say I am making excuses. Along with my marriage, staying bet-free is the most important thing in the world to me. BW Phil.

Posted on:
Wed, 08/06/2016 - 08:39

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Hi Phil

I get why you're saying it's hard and for me what you're saying isn't the same as general excuse making.

Although not the same thing, my social confidence was very low through gambling and this created social anxiety.

Don't want to overload you, but I found ACT to be extremely helpful.

You might want to consider it..it's a totally different approach from cbt style and based around acceptance/openess towards difficult feelings (anxiety) ,with a view to taking committed actions in accordance with your values.

Hard to explain without writing an essay but it's particularly strong in terms of changing your relationship with fear, and a very compassionate approach too.

Best

Louis

Posted on:
Wed, 08/06/2016 - 10:23

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I WANT to go but I have incredible feelings of anxiety in "social" situations. I even have to take anti-anxiety medication which my GP is slowly helping me to wean off. Yesterday was one of the worst days of life - I cried in front of the GP, in front of two of my friends and in front of my wife. I've never felt so awful  in my life and a lot of it is down to the medication I have been prescribed for panic and anxiety. I know this is a website for people trying to stop gambling etc but I just thought I should explain what hell it is coming off the medication I have been taking for quite a long time. My stress levels have gone through the roof even in the three days since I started to cut down.

Posted on:
Wed, 08/06/2016 - 21:42

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I've been reading the diary of someone who has been getting a lot attention. I'm egotistical so I wish I was getting so many responses! Kidding! What is obvious to me and I've emphasised this as have others that it is not just about lost money which of course is a factor. Compulsive gambling messes your mind up, you feel anxious, angry, uninterested in other area's of life, lie, get payday loans, pawn things etc. The mind is where the problem lies to a large extent in my view. Barriers in place all the time. Anyway last bet was on February 9th so that's four months. I didn't think at one time I could do a day. One day at a time.....

 

Posted on:
Thu, 09/06/2016 - 13:25

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I've just broken my pledge not to be judgemental but my god some people need a wake up call or a competent therapist!

Posted on:
Thu, 09/06/2016 - 17:22

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Well done on a third of the year gamble free hope you find the strength if that's the right word to get to the GA meeting. From what j know if you I think you would benifit from GA greatly and will only add another tool to your toolkit. Keep on keeping on. 

KTF 

Posted on:
Thu, 09/06/2016 - 21:01

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Phil , just caught your post to Mr T , It's quite frustrating for many of us on here ,myself included and I feel kinda sucked in by the whole thing and should really know better to be honest , I'm wondering if his last post is genuine and if it is then like yourself I would really feel for the guy , that being said it seems more like a convenient smokescreen for the last few days but I still hope I'm wrong , anyway I'm not going to waste anymore time worrying about someone who clearly doesn't give  a damm . 

Concentrate on the things you can change Phil and I'll do the same my friend .

Wishing you well and conghratulations on your 3 months !

Alan

Posted on:
Thu, 09/06/2016 - 21:34

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Dude you are great - Alan - and I am telling you from the heart Stopping gambling is the best decision I ever made. If you have read my other diary entries I know I have other issues to address but one day at a time I have no urge to gamble
PS You are the coolest guy on this forum!

Posted on:
Thu, 09/06/2016 - 22:07

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Oh I'm going red now Phil , that usualy only happens when I stand to close to my frying range in the chippy :)).

I'm really glad your feeling the benefits of being gamble free mate , I've read your posts of late regarding your anxiety issues and really feel for you , sometimes we can't just deal with everything at once it's just not always possible  , so maybe just go at your own pace for a while then see how things pan out , you'll know when your ready to tackle other issues in your life .

I think at the mo , just draw strength from the fact that this is working for you and already your seeing big changes and getting huge rewards from it , which in time I'm sure will spur you on to tackle life's other problems , lkie you said Phil " One day at a time " My friend !!.

Have a great night fella ! 

Posted on:
Fri, 10/06/2016 - 11:05

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

It has been a horrible time - panic, tearful, highly anxious. The good thing about the "anonymity" of this forum is that you can go into details about certain things. I've been reducing the amount I take of an anti-anxiety medication for a few weeks slowly and with the supervision of my GP. The withdrawal symptoms are horrendous but this is the process I have to go through. Anyway thanks for your support - appreciate it a lot.

PS It's been 4 months!!

Posted on:
Fri, 10/06/2016 - 11:32

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Morning Phil , I can't empathise with you my friend as I've not experienced what your going through , I will however just say that your doing well working through things , one day at a time and my support is  always there.

Keep fighting and keep winning Phil and well done on the , sorry ! 4 months :))

Posted on:
Fri, 10/06/2016 - 12:29

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Cheers Alan. Ditto. I'll just be damn (I bet that gets ****!) so proud of myself when I'm off this horrible drug. Anxiety or not, no desire to gamble and as we say one day at a time. Cheers.

Posted on:
Fri, 10/06/2016 - 19:42

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Another daily realisation: Don't bet because you have had a bad day at work. Don't blame your partner for your gambling - a load of rubbish. My wife is gentle and so kind and loses her temper about every 6 months - usually because of me being a ****! Listen to the kind people on this forum who know the score regardless of the route they are taking. Make your own mind up about Gamblers Anonymous. Exclude, exclude and exclude from phones, tablets, computers and shops. Don't think you are missing out on something "pleasurable" because you are not. It is a horrible addiction but recovery can be a happy experience whatever choices you make. As I have posted I have lots of issues to do with medication withdrawal, anxiety, panic, amends but hey! Rome wasn't built in a day. You genuinely want to stop - try and be a little less hard on yourself. Another great bet-free day hanging out with my gorgeous wife. Take care y'all.

Posted on:
Sat, 11/06/2016 - 10:38

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Morning. I was just thinking about when I was a regulat at BF. I used to watch my mate - the manager - emptying the FOBT machines in the evening and I was gob smacked how much money was coming out of them. Another thing I noticed was that the people who were hanging round the shop all day (not judging them) used to bet pretty small amounts of money - it was like they had no were else to go or something. I didn't see that many people putting big amounts on horses but I did witness punters losing a LOT of money on those machines in a relatively small period of time. Boy am I glad I never played them even when I was offered a free go.

Posted on:
Sat, 11/06/2016 - 11:58

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

LOL ! Not too bad thanks Phil , ther winds blowing away from me at the mo so I cant smell the Sh't :))

Posted on:
Sun, 12/06/2016 - 10:58

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Just had a dream in which I won a grand on an FOBT. Never even played the damned things!

Posted on:
Mon, 13/06/2016 - 11:14

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I have a mate who is a bit dim when it comes to using the internet on his phone. He asked me yesterday what WERE the odds on Wales beating Slovakia. I said find out for yourself. He goes why? I replied I aint looking at anything to do with gambling on my phone thank you very much. When I first stopped gambling I still looked at the results on horses. Not sure why. Maybe in those early days I thought I was missing out on something? Not now. No way. Stay safe amigos - one day at a time.

PS I Like the Serenity Prayer. Is it from the bible?

 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/06/2016 - 11:17

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Phil , I think it was first used by AA then adopted by GA ? 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/06/2016 - 11:33

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

Oh ok thanks. I like it a lot.

Posted on:
Mon, 13/06/2016 - 12:29

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Phil_72 wrote:

I have a mate who is a bit dim when it comes to using the internet on his phone. He asked me yesterday what WERE the odds on Wales beating Slovakia. I said find out for yourself. He goes why? I replied I aint looking at anything to do with gambling on my phone thank you very much. When I first stopped gambling I still looked at the results on horses. Not sure why. Maybe in those early days I thought I was missing out on something? Not now. No way. Stay safe amigos - one day at a time.

PS I Like the Serenity Prayer. Is it from the bible?

 

Good choice Phil

Posted on:
Mon, 13/06/2016 - 23:03

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

 

Hi, Phil,

My husband used the wonderfully fair site that you mentioned in the other thread. We wrote to them by snail mail quoting his name, address, DoB, saying that he was a problem gambler, asking for no further contact by any media for any purpose. It's been almost a year during which time they have respected that. The helpful furniture has a physical office location in Hertfordshire but it did take me a full fifteen minutes to find the address on the website, if you do write, get someone else to find the address.

BW,

CW

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 10:49

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

How did they get my details though?

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 10:55

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

They must share customers' info, my husband had offers from other spread betting companies which again we declined by mail.

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 10:57

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Morning Phil 

Don't get drawn in, it's not worth it no point ******* in the wind. 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 11:00

Phil_72

Joined:
2016-05-21

I know. It just gets my back up when people are mocking those of us trying to change our lives.

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 11:14

ITDamo

Joined:
2016-01-26

Hi Phil,

I second oldham...commenting is only giving the user the attention they are craving. 

Spend your time commenting on the people that deserve it.

All the best.

Damo

 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/06/2016 - 11:17

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Morning Phil , like Martin said don't get sucked in , Everyone's tried to be supportive but exactly the same thing happened last year.  He' ll come back on in a few days or a week saying "His med's weren't right or something " it all gets a bit sill and tbh I'm fed up with bothering now ! Focus on you mate and have a good day !         Best wishes. AL 

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