GamCare Logo
Login / Register

Gamble no more

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted by
Messages
#1 Posted on:
Tue, 06/03/2018 - 00:22

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Hi everyone

Thought I would start this to hopefully keep myself accountable!

Today marks 70 days gf. I'm feeling quite happy about this and have only had one real urge to gamble so far. Apart from this occasion, I feel physically sick to my stomach at the thought of gambling, and long may this continue!

I have managed to accumulate quite a bit of debt through my stupidity, and I'm a coward who hasn't told their partner yet. I have a plan to clear this in the next 13 months (already completed 3 months) however things will be tight if I am to meet this goal.

What do you guys do for fun to fill the hours spent gambling? And when did you tell your partner about your gambling?

Posted on:
Tue, 20/03/2018 - 22:40

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 84 almost complete. No urge to gamble but a bad day feeling really down about my debt yesterday. Still on track and sticking to my plan to pay it off, but getting harder emotionally to keep it to myself.

Posted on:
Thu, 22/03/2018 - 00:54

tara2

Joined:
2013-01-27

congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe at 90 days you can treat yourself to a special meal or something else that your like. tara2

Posted on:
Mon, 02/04/2018 - 20:02

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

 

 

Day 97... it feels great to be nearing day 100. Not really having any urges, but using any spare cash to tackle debts, so don’t really have the funds to gamble even if I wanted to. It also feels great to have free time and not spend all day/evening thinking about gambling or checking bets!

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 14/04/2018 - 17:18

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 109 and for the first time since I quit I have a real urge to gamble. A bad day at work combined with too many conversations focused on the grand national has made me feel like this. I know I won't do it however, or I will feel 100 times worse. Makes me think that stress or unhappiness has definitely been a main trigger in my compulsion previously. Will have to watch out for this feeling in the future...

Posted on:
Sun, 15/04/2018 - 17:46

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 110

I feel like the grand national has been a trigger for me. Not a trigger to start gambling again - I just know I can't unless I want to ruin my life - but it has brought the bad decisions and debt gambling has caused to the fore of my mind once again. For the past 3 months I have been feeling positive and motivated to clear these debts, but since yesterday I feel like I have a dark cloud over me again. I will keep following my plans and be debt free by next year, and I hope I can shake this feeling soon enough.

Posted on:
Thu, 19/04/2018 - 16:10

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 114

Feeling a bit better again, what's done is done, and at least I have a plan to sort it that I'm sticking to. No urges the past few days.

Posted on:
Tue, 24/04/2018 - 19:29

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 119.

Really tempted to put a bet on the football tonight but I know I can't or I will feel terrible. If only I could have stuck to small bets in the first place lol.

Worried that I'm now starting to 'miss' having an interest during the football, but also lucky that I still feel sick at the idea of placing a bet.

Posted on:
Thu, 26/04/2018 - 15:40

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

4 months ago today since I placed my last bet! So pleased to be taking this positive action and moving towards a better life. Still not told my spouse, hopefully after another month I will do this.

Posted on:
Mon, 30/04/2018 - 11:07

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Another full calendar month of 2018 almost complete. Really beginning to come to terms with the fact that I won't be able to gamble again. Occasionally this makes me feel sad because I think of how much 'fun' it used to be, but then reality comes back into play and I remind myself that this 'fun' has caused nothing but worry, secrets and hidden finances. 

Hopefully will be debt free by March 2019, so it also feels nice to know that it will be less than a year now rather than the 16months when I first gave up. Really can't wait to have this burden lifted from my shoulders and really start living life. I can totally resonate with those out there who won't spend £1.50 on a loaf of bread because it's too expensive, but have no qualms spending £2k gambling in a few weeks! It's ludicrous when you think about it; so in control of finances in every other aspect of life, extremely frugal and give off the outward impression of being great with money, but no one really knows the secret part of  you that is reckless and destroying your future.

Still haven't confided in anyone about my gambling problem/debts but I am building myself up to telling my partner. I want to get another month of payments and gambling abstinence under my belt to be able to show them that I am able to deal with this and won't let it ruin their life as well as mine. I know they would support me, at least I think they will, but I am so scared of dissapointing them. They know I like to bet but will have no idea to what extent and the level of damage I have created. Maybe I am dreading the aftermath, and my loss of 'control', or maybe I am just terrified they will think lesser of me, who knows? I do understand this is an important part of recovering and that I WILL have to tell them, to help me have someone to hold my behaviour to account. I guess a big part of me will be glad to be able to lift some weight off of my own shoulders, and share this big secret that has kept me awake for years. One recurring fear I have is that I will die without anyone knowing about the debt I have created, and then my disgusting reckless behaviour will come to light then. 

Previoulsy in the past I have had panics about my gambliing and the debt I had created, but never enough to actually stop. Something has been different this time, and I am so so glad. Maybe I'm reaching an age that I realise that my actions don't just dictate my future, they affect my spouse and potential future children too. This time I've also realised that gambling is something I can easily live without, and just serves to waste my time, and means I am not always 'present' with my family, rather than be of benefit to me. I wish I could find a time machine and go back to whenever I started gambling more than deemed normal, and get a grip, but hindsight is a wonderful thing lol!

Posted on:
Mon, 30/04/2018 - 13:13

ITDamo

Joined:
2016-01-26

Hi Neveragain,

Thanks for your post on my page.

Yes the people in my life (Wife/Partner/friends) now all know about my gambling/gambling history. My one piece of advice to you is that the longer you leave it the harder it gets believe me.

Reading your posts its sounds like you still have the whole weight of the world on your shoulder...its a feeling I remember well, but it does get better and honesty is a big part of that.

If you flicked this over the other way and your wife was gambling then you would want to know right? I am sure there will be some tears if/when you told her but I’m sure she will be just as upset that you didn’t’ feel you could go to here and you were dealing with it all on your own.

Can you start by telling someone else, a friend a family member etc. I would guess that nobody will be able to think any less of you than you do yourself just now. Or even better talk to a counsellor or get yourself to GA. Give it a go…what harm can it do?

Damo

Posted on:
Mon, 30/04/2018 - 14:00

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Neveragain

Well done on your recovery so far, you are doing great.

Re telling your wife I can only speak from my own experience but the thing that hurt my wife the most was not telling her earlier about the mess I was in.  It is never going to be easy to tell your wife but it was really day1 of my proper recovery. Maybe put yourself in her shoes - would you want to know so you could support your wife if it was her that was trying to stop gambling?

All the best

Muststop123     

Posted on:
Mon, 30/04/2018 - 16:53

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

 

Thank you for your advice ITDamo and Muststop123. I totally agree that if the roles were reversed I would want to know and it is really unfair to keep this secret from her. My mistakes affect her (and our) future, so she deserves to know. It will probably again take even more stress off when I tell her, as it will mean I can explain why I have been working so much OT and yet appear to have nothing more to show from it (paying extra towards debts).

I have a really busy 2 week period coming up, so I feel like I have to wait until this is over, but I definitely plan to tell her after this. The thing that worries me most though is that I really can't imagine saying the words out loud, and trying to explain this out loud. I am leaning towards writing a letter as I can articulate my feelings better when written down. I may also attach copies of my CC and loan payments to show that there has been no spending, and significant progress has been made over the past 4 months towards reducing them. 

I'm terrified to tell her because I know she deserves better than this. She would literally do anything for me, and is always there to help me out. Yet I repay her with this stupidity, and make it even worse with my secretive behaviour, so she doesnt find out until the problem is out of control. 

Maybe I'm so worried because I know how I would react if the roles were reversed. Yeah I would stick by her and support her, but I know I would make sure she knew how ludicrous her behaviour had been, and definitely not let it pass lightly. Maybe the sooner I let her know and get this dirty part of my character out in the open the better. It would seem that I still get to portray myself in a better light than I deserve and that's perhaps what scared me the most about admitting this, when in reality it's no one's fault but my own and I do deserve to be punished or at least experience dissapointment towards me for what I have done.

Posted on:
Tue, 01/05/2018 - 09:33

ITDamo

Joined:
2016-01-26

I dont think there is an issue with a letter, it may seem cowardly to some but I think doing it that way is better than not doing it at all.

Your posts sound very like mine were in the first few months but I can really sense the determination in you to stop gambling. By telling your partner you are just putting anothjer blocker in place.

Good luck

Damo

Posted on:
Wed, 02/05/2018 - 11:26

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 127 complete

A little bit of temptation has reared it's head today, but certainly not enough to tempt me back. An account that I haven't accessed in over a year emailed me to let me know that I still had money in my account. I did log in to check out of curiosity, and there is £5.50 in there lol. Had a slight moment where I thought I could just use it and no one would know, but I know I can't, and the thought of placing a bet still feels very uneasy. So I don't know what I'll do about that account, maybe I'll leave it until I've told someone and then just let them use it. Only thing I know is I don't want any part in placing the bet. 

Posted on:
Wed, 02/05/2018 - 16:59

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Thought I would try and make a start on typing up the letter that I will eventually give to my partner. Can't stop crying as I begin typing. Maybe the idea of letting someone know is the first time I am properly facing up to the consequences. Yes, I have stopped gambling for 4 months, but I still am the only person who knows that I had a problem in the 1st place, let alone about my level of debt. I know I must do this, and I know it will be better for me, but I am so so afraid to lay this out into the open. 

Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 09:15

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 130 complete... still no major urges.

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 21:31

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 133 complete

Not had a great few days, I just can't stop focusing on how much my debt is going to hold me back over the next 10 months. It almost feels like I can't begin to plan anything or make strides forward with my life until I have this cleared. 

Also found myself waking up last night in a terrible downer, focusing on all my negatives and wondering if really I deserve to be able to tackle this and have a good life. I am lucky enough to have a wife who is great, but then I think maybe I really don't deserve her if I am capable of this. I also am lucky enough to have a job that I enjoy and be gaining an education on a course I love, but that little voice in my head keeps telling me that you will never amount to anything, and you are already a failure. 

I guess I will probably have a lot more of these days than I first anticipated, but I wish I was able to take the positive outlook and see that I am trying to repair my mistakes, which will mean I will have an even better life in the future, but it's hard to win against those negative voices.

 

 

Maybe I would struggle less if I had someone to talk about it with, maybe I'd feel better if I told my wife, but I just don't feel like I can burden her with this yet. She would be so shocked at the amount I owe, and the amount I have spent over the years that I feel like I must wait until I have paid a bit more off. 

However, as I try to think more positively, it is good to be able to say I am 19 weeks gamble free. I have noticed a few more urges recently, and still 'miss' gambling to an extent, but I am still very aware of what this addiction has done to my life and know that I cannot risk destroying my life anymore than I already have. 

On a final note, as I try my best to tackle this I find myself trying to pinpoint when I moved from the realm of gambling for entertainment to problem gambling. I still do not feel brave enough to check my bank/credit card statement to try and find out when it happened and why. I remember when I would just place a £1 accumulator bet at the weekend, but I cannot remember when this turned into easily £200 wasted a night betting on any and every football market, and staying up past 3am to bet on the Brazilian leagues. How do you go from a weekend gambler to a 5 figure sum on your credit cards gambler? I know I have been like this for years, I would guestimate at least maybe for the past 3.5-4 years maybe longer, and there have been a few occasions that I wished I could confide in my partner to help control me, but it turns out I obviously wasn't ready to stop in any way or I would have came here and started my journey then. Oh how I was I had hit my 'rock bottom' 10k earlier lol! 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 22:30

Ukds69

Joined:
2018-04-28

You are doing amazingly Neveragain! I would love to be able to get to the number of GF days as you have.

Don’t let your guard down. When vulnerable, your brain will be looking at trying to justify a ’harmless little gamble’. Fight it, you know how it will end. I should know, it’s been my rinse wash repeat cycle for the past few years. It’s only now I have come to accept that life has to be gamble free for good. The smallest innocuous £10 pat on the back for being so good bet never ends there.

Posted on:
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 20:22

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Thanks ukds, I know what you mean about letting the guard down, this is something I worry about but I am hoping I can avoid. Realistically I know how important it is that I clear this debt to be able to live the life that I want to, so this keeps me going just now.

Still feeling in a bit of a downer, maybe I’ll feel better when I get paid soon and have a bit of spare cash.

Also, I had a quick glance at your post on how do you replace gambling and this is something I am struggling with too. I am a bit of an introvert so maybe I have to try and push myself out of my comfort zone. Have you found anything that replaces it yet? 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 23:04

Ukds69

Joined:
2018-04-28

To be perfectly honest, no, I’ve never found a suitable direct replacement. 

Gambling seems to give me something completely unique. It can’t be the sheer amount of dopamine and endorphins released, as I have engaged in a fair few high adrenaline sports through the years that must’ve given me much higher doses.

“It’s not the winning, it’s the possibility of losing it all” to paraphrase a quote on the TV programme Billions. Sounds crazy but I think there’s a heck of a lot of truth to it. It’s all about the anticipation, the near misses. Winning is only important to provide fuel for the fire. Tokens to play with.

Posted on:
Tue, 15/05/2018 - 01:46

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Day 140 

What a difference 20 weeks makes! Currently not having any desires to gamble and when I hear of people talking about bets I don’t feel that same urge to join in  I had before. Feeling glad that the giving up gambling has been so ‘easy’ so far, but just wish I’d had my lightbulb moment so much earlier!!! 

 

Debts Are still really getting me down, but on the plus side 1 of my credit cards will be at 0 next month and my debts are now into the 4 figures (exc savings I have borrowed). I will be debt free by February if I keep up payments. I just wish I had the courage to tell my partner. This is a long stressful road and thoughts of my stupidity and debts fill my head for at least 50% of my day. Keep waiting for the right time but I doubt there will be one. 

 

 

Ps... the last time I was on the forum so late at night I was full of self hatred and despair and thoughts of my worthlessness consumed me, but tonight is different... I feel a sense of calm and maybe I am beginning to accept that I’m doing the best I can on this journey. I’ve punished myself for the past 4 months, and dare I say even more so during my years of gambling, so maybe it’s time for me to accept my faults, work on them, and try and be my own friend again. 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 26/05/2018 - 22:20

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

5 months gamble free today!

Kept on top of updates for the champions league final and didn't feel an urge to bet. Pretty pleased with this.

Really feel like I'm completely on top of this and hope that nothing pops up to unhinge my progress. Yes I do occasionally 'miss' that excitement of a bet, but I know that I cannot go back to that life. Whilst gambling, every hour of every day was consumed with some thought regarding my next bet or following my next bet. I would even bet during work, at obscure times (3am on Brazilian league 2... come on what's that all about?!) Or during important events in my life.

Now when I look back I am disgusted with how completely obsessed and consumed I became with it.

I have a lot more free time now and feel happier for the most part (debt still gets me down) and don't have to deal with that resounding guilt of knowing that I've just blown £500 in a night and no one is any the wiser.

Debt however is still an issue that plagues my thoughts for a large amount of my day. Starting debt was 18.5k now sitting at 8.5k (borrowed 5k from savings). I have a clear plan to clear this by February hopefully and I am now really believing this will happen. I am coming to terms with having just a little disposable income and learning to stop recklessly spending. Can't wait to see how it feels to be more financially secure each month!

Good luck everyone and keep going on your journey!

Posted on:
Tue, 05/06/2018 - 19:14

NeverAgain6789

Joined:
2018-02-27

Today marks 23 weeks gamble free! Wow, when I think about it in terms of weeks it feels like such a long time.

Told my spouse finally, and it's great to have such a weight lifted. It also means I have someone I can talk to about it at anytime which will be a good support mechanism.

It's a great feeling to know I haven't placed a single bet in 2018. Long may it continue .