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Posted on:
Sun, 15/04/2018 - 22:22

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Hello Bryan,

Hope you had a good weekend. Been really busy the last couple of weeks, lots of changes happened/happening over the next few weeks, all good. Still been keeping up with anything you have written here. Cya soon mate.

All the best.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/04/2018 - 17:22

a new start

Joined:
2018-03-31

Hello Bryan

Huge congratulations on over 100 days gambling free, I one day hope to reach that milestone myself. It’s a great achievement and a day at a time it shows it can be achieved.

I read some of your early diary days to draw on for inspiration, it really helped - thankyou.

Good luck and well done.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 22:08

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 114

Just touching base with everyone . Firstly thank you for all of your recent comments it’s good to know that I may have helped some people along the way so far will carry on doing what I can to assist . Not going to monopolise all of the new members just as and when as I don’t want to be classed as the only “greeter” although it is important to respond to people quickly . One of the things I have thought about is that each recovery (is it really labelled that ?) or changing their life habits is that we are all the same yet different . Some swear by total blocks , never handling money , counselling , GA , the list goes on . I’m sure that all of these or a combination work. I haven’t got all of these in place . I have never had counselling , don’t go to GA , still have some access to money . Haven’t got around to self excluding myself at bookies or a casino. I’m telling everyone this because I think whatever I am doing works for me . I’m not going to be a victim of it and my mindset is strong . I am so far away from what I was that I am never going back . You see , I could self exclude myself from a bookies , but another outlet could be available . I could do more casinos but there are other methods of temptation . Do I bar myself from all pubs , lottery ticket outlets , scratch card vendors ? We all need to live in the real world and accept there are still things you can gamble on if you really wanted to. Physical blocks are only so good for so long. My mental resolve will mean I will not gamble in all of those pre mentioned places . I’m going on holiday to Weymouth in August , arcades galore . I’m going on business to Holland in June  where I have gambled in the past .I think for me it’s being aware of these places but not even having that urge or want to do it is stronger for me than any blocks. Anyway got that off my chest , I’m not suggesting this works for everyone , some people it does some it doesn’t . No thoughts of gambling since my last post . Another payday around the corner . My life is good , just booked a second holiday this time in July to Europe to a camping park we can go to a theme park , dolphinaroum , and explore Holland with my family . New boiler arrives next week , another small victory . Still get a buzz out of seing people on here doing well . I read all of the new member posts every day to remind me of what I could be should I ever have a brain freeze and want to destroy what I have spent the last 100+ days building for myself . 

Posted on:
Wed, 18/04/2018 - 19:44

greenflash

Joined:
2017-12-31

Hi Brian

I've not checked in lately, great to see you're doing so well. Agree with what you say, I also do not do counselling or G A, in fact I am also handling money again, I still provide receipts for everything as I feel it is right that my wife is aware what I'm spending.

Reading the forum since January has taught me that there is no 'one size fits all' cure to gambling addiction. We know there are many stories of people here having counselling, doing GA, the lot, but they still end up gambling and just can't beat it. There are also people who have quit for years. I do believe to beat it requires being mentally strong, as there is so much in life that could easily tempt us back in if we allowed it to. 

Glad to see you have got family holidays booked too, remember the bad days of resenting spending money on normal things as it interfered with the gambling. Keep on rolling Bryan, 100+ days now, you must be proud.

Posted on:
Fri, 20/04/2018 - 10:35

RSmith39

Joined:
2017-12-24

Hi Bryan,

Great post and well done. Think we are very similar in that I know I could gamble if I wanted to ... I haven't self excluded from bookies, as on-line was the problem.  Whilst I have opened accounts with dozens of on-line bookies and then self excluded, I'm sure I could find some more if I wanted to, and I'm also back with money in the back ... I can't hand it all over as I would end up resenting my other halfs on line shopping addiction.  I agree that different things work for different people, but keep handing out the advice to everyone.  I think you need to take ideas from everyone and just see what works.  Holidays sound good and its amazing how the mindset changes ... I could even pay £20 for burger and chips in Disneyland without crying whereas six months ago I would have resented it, whilst putting £5k on a hand of blackjack.  I have found myself thinking about gambling a bit recently, so going to take your lead and make sure I keep actively reading the diaries.  Also going to read my own from the start, as never revisited any of it, and think it will be helpful to look at the position I was in a few months ago, and how easy it would be to end up back there (and it was a horrible place).  Cheers.  Rich

Posted on:
Sat, 21/04/2018 - 00:54

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 118

Just wanted to give an update to anyone who has been following my story . I have a big black mark on my credit file that was holding me back when I am looking to remortgage . I was in a debt management plan that I finished last September but Argos had played havoc with it. It turned out that they had put missed payments on my file even though I increased my payments . They claimed because the payments didn’t match the agreed amount they put the account into arrears . In addition all of this was done via the Debt management company . So what actually happened was that Argos took my off the debt management plan and hurt my credit file . Had a ruling back from the financial ombudsman service today that Argos has treated me unfairly and that they need to mark on my credit file that I was always on a DMP. Now that doesn’t sound much to the average Joe but it means a massive thing to me .It means in December at remortgage time my credit file should be squeaky clean . I can clear all of my debts now (sorting a 25k loan ) at 9.5% . When I remortgage in December I should now have available a 2% mortgage instead of a 5.5% mortgage I am currently paying . The new loan will free up around £700 a month . When I remortgage with the new rates it will clear this loan , yield some equity but means my current mortgage payments will be even less . In a nutshell I should get to the stage in December if around £850 a month better off , a mortgage payment of even less than I am paying now with no debt . It’s all in the interest rates available to me due to this credit score. In addition my cycle to work scheme is finished next month, I will have finished paying a debt to my dad and my company car is changing to a BMW hybrid , these 3 factors will free up another £300 a month . All of this would never have been possible had I still been gambling . I hoped the day would come but it is not that far away . Thanks for bearing with me on the figures but to be honest , I still have a cheap lifestyle . I can’t comprehend what all of this extra money will do for my family or myself . My relationship with the wife is great , she knows my story and will assist in investing and saving this extra money . Sorry to harp on about it but it’s a masssice part of gambling in the sense of denying myself and my family a comfortable life . Once again to those who have taken the time to post on my diary , thank you . I hope I can reciprocate back to you . To those who haven’t , why not ? I’m happy to engage and offer any help or assistance that I can . I feel a big part of this community and have been buoyed by a few people who have taken some of my advice and heeded it . It’s good to know that you can influence people in a positive way 

Posted on:
Sun, 22/04/2018 - 16:50

Emptyp2

Joined:
2018-03-11

Bryan , Thanks for the update 

Wishing you and the family well. 

Sam x

Posted on:
Sun, 22/04/2018 - 17:34

Progress

Joined:
2018-03-15

Great to hear you are starting to reap the many benefits of standing up to your demons. The thing is when we say enough is enough and sit down and truly reflect we give ourselves the opportunity to become who we’ve always truly been before this crud took over.

Congratulations Bryan, long May your progress continue.

Posted on:
Thu, 26/04/2018 - 18:38

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 123

Just subscribed to Gamstop that’s 5 years self excluded now from all UK licencesed operators . One thing I don’t need to think about now . So today is my 4th pay day since I decided to quit . Paid £1600 for a new boiler today that is now fitted . Mixed feelings on that . Feeling a bit down because it’s quite a lot of money and doesn’t give me that much left until the wife gets paid once all of the bills and loan payments come out . However I have put this off for over a year so had to be done . Company paid for my new company car today so I get it on Sunday . More savings to be had on car tax and a nice new motor so all good . Treated wife to some flowers and a box of wine today , small things but making progress . Been the gym this week so trying to get my mojo back with it . Gambling wise I think this site is my bible , new stories are all cautionary tales as we often forget what it’s like . So all in all ticking along nicely 

Posted on:
Sun, 29/04/2018 - 21:12

Crossroad

Joined:
2018-04-09

Hi Bryan,
Just want to say well done on 126 days GF mate. £1600 alot of money but it's going towards something that we can't live without. Good boilers should last you 15 years so it only works out to about 100 quid a year, doesn't sound as bad when you put it like that :)
Nice one on the new company car, hope you're enjoying driving around in it.
This site has helped me so much, and if you didn't stumble across my thread I don't think I'll be 8 days GF. It doesn't sound like a long time to most, but it's a big feat for me. 
Good luck Bryan, I look forward to seeing those GF days going up and up for the both of us :) Thankyou again for taking the time to give me the advice I needed

Jereimah

Posted on:
Thu, 03/05/2018 - 22:52

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 130

I guess this is my weekly update . Had a bit of a problem as the wife has her sister over from Holland with her two kids for a week. I told her about my gambling problem in the past and my wife is angry . The fact that I didn’t keep it a secret . Tried to explain to the wife that it’s part of my recovery to be honest but she didn’t like it . Had a message that we will talk later but frankly i don’t care . New car is great feel a million dollars when I drive it . Loan company has been in touch to clear all my outstanding should be sorted in a week or two which should free up a lot of money . Played snooker tonight with my friend for 2 hours and won . A few beers too something I couldn’t have done before . Other than that , all fine and dandy no gambling thoughts . As always offering support on here as and when . If I think I can help I will . Again , feel free to say hi look forward to any new entries on my diary 

Posted on:
Sun, 13/05/2018 - 23:27

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 140

Can’t believe it’s day 140. Everything good not sure what to say really for once . Money situation sorted purchased two items this weekend on impulse , a dyson cordless hoover and a cordless strimmer . Over £320 for the two which would have been unheard of when gambling . These were impulse buys because we had a need and in the past we would have been borrowing the items from friends and family . Just need to be careful I don’t overspend like a kid in a sweet shop ! Work going great the best sales month I think we have ever had so will be able to put a lot of money to one side . Just booked a flight to see my friend who lives in Magaluf for 4 days in September without the rest of the family . Been promising my friend for years I would go and see him (he lives there and is a resident DJ). So finally I made good my pledge . Cost of the flight I could have lost on 4 spins on the slots . Family life is great spending more time with kids and wife . Been playing a lot more pool and snooker . Not had any gambling thoughts . As I said last week I self excluded via Gamstop . No idea if it worked as I haven’t tried to join or log in anywhere . Certainly know I’m not cured but a long way away from last xmas eve when I told myself enough is enough . I’m still visiting this site chipping in as and when . I guess we can say same old same old for me at the moment . Will update when I have something constructive to say !

Posted on:
Sun, 13/05/2018 - 23:47

DeterminedDan

Joined:
2016-09-08

Hi Bryan, I’ve just spent the last 45 minutes reading your diary. Congratulations on 140 days of being gamble free. It sounds like you’re really enjoying life at the moment and it has given you things that wouldn’t have been possible had you still been gambling. Keep up the top work mate. Your diary tonight has provided me with hope that things can and will get better if you kick the gambling into touch. Thanks for your inspiring diary. 

Dan

Posted on:
Sun, 13/05/2018 - 23:48

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Bryan congratulations on 140 days great to read your positive posts. Our relationship with money changes so much when GF, I would happily gamble awsy 50 a day and more but wouldn't buy a new pair of shoes if I needed them. ...insane! Just shows me that 'virtual ' money meant nothing to me even though it was pouring out of my account. Take care S :)

Posted on:
Mon, 14/05/2018 - 09:28

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Congratulations Bryan on 141 days GF. A true warrior who is supportive to his fellow travellers, a man of his word who is fast becoming a gamcare legend. With sensibility and a scintillating style you you have shown courage, compassion and a strong desire to be free from the tyrannical rule of gambling addiction.

Respect to your wonderful wife who has given you support and helped keep you on the straight and narrow.. I imagine she has found it difficult to understand why you felt the need to gamble but she has been sensitive to your plight and has also been your friend and confidant.

I found Sharon's above post quite thought provoking. Compulsive gamblers, in the mix so to speak, have a weird attitude towards money. Having frequently felt reluctance to spend money on worthwhile things (that I needed), i would than proceed to throw money away on pointless gambling. Quite bizarre really and it doesn't make any sense to me. Take care my friend and keep up the good work ...stephen 

Posted on:
Wed, 23/05/2018 - 23:13

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 150

So I guess you can call this a milestone if you were a cricketer . For an ex gambler it’s just another day clocked up , no more no less but I thought it poigniant to give an update . Bridging loan until the remortgage finally came through . Took 10 weeks but will free up around £1000 a month of my wages . Means that total pressure is off and that ok I lose a bit of equity but out quality of life will improve . No gambling thoughts had quite a few emails with the new EU laws on personal details but didn’t bother me . Delete and repeat . On the right path of finally sorting myself out for good . Argos haven’t updated my credit file yet since being forced by the FOS to do it . Won’t make any difference to me now until December so have time . Felt great to press cancel overdraft on halifax that we’re charging me over £7 a day fees . Rack that up and it’s a complete scam . So still going the gym , playing pool and snooker and generally getting on with things . Must confess haven’t logged into here as obsessively as before but still am aware of me and my previous life . 

Posted on:
Thu, 24/05/2018 - 00:23

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Cracking updates there my friend & really proof that there is life after gambling!  Ironic isn’t it that the financial woes that hit us daily whilst we were in action, attempting to become zillionaires can be dealt with when we’re not topping them up!

My GamCare activity has also been reduced of late as I learn how to live a life with my addiction beaten into submission, but as you say, in a much more eloquent way, no point letting complacency jump up & bite us on the rse!

Keep enjoying yourself - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Thu, 24/05/2018 - 00:58

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Congratulations Bryan. 150 days gamble free and you are in a very positive state of mind. 

I am taking a spell off from the diaries so this is my last post for a while.

Wishing you success and every happiness ...stephen 

Posted on:
Thu, 31/05/2018 - 23:54

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 158

Must admit I haven’t been on this site much . Been away in Scotland on business and that was normally a time when I persuaded my colleague and friend to gamble with me . He knows my story and if I pushed him he would have complied but I didn’t want to gamble at all. Got to yet another pay day and spent some money on myself . New clothes and watch , also treated the kids on various things and felt good . Biggest thing I have done is booked next summers holiday to the Caribbean . Instead of being driven by sales at work to get funds to gamble I have a new target and that’s paying lumps off the holiday balance . My plan is to get it paid by xmas and that’s what’s going to happen . It’s grest to have a goal and this kind of holiday was something I could never do if I was still in action. Already managed to pay for two holidays this year albeit not as expensive as next years but it is all progress . It’s strange because I still feel buyers remorse. So yes financially we are good . Mentally well I’m not going to lie . I had time money and opportunity (well almost ) last week when the wife was at work. Some advert came on the tv about gambling and for a few seconds I did think about online gambling . Not in the s ense of doing it and depositing but the actual game play and hitting a feature . Then my practical mind kicked in and know that with Gamstop I couldn’t even do it if I wanted to .So please let this be a warning to anyone that you really don’t know when it can creep up on you . I guess old habits are hard to die BUT with blocks in place you can definitely keep on top of it . So yes , that’s me on the update . No gambling but a warning that even though everything is moving up we all can have some self destruct button built into us and it’s our choice if we decide to press it . I didnt and will still try every day to keep putting more distance away from it 

Posted on:
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 21:05

greenflash

Joined:
2017-12-31

Hi Bryan

As you know, I don't post often here but I check the forum frequently. I'm pleased to see you are still gamble free and living a normal life. Booking that holiday has given you something to strive for. Since I joined the site 6 months ago, my life has also improved dramatically, still gamble free and in a much better place.

I've also noticed so many posters have either relapsed or disappeaered altogether in the last 6 months.  It seems that we are doing well so far. It also proves how difficult this problem is to beat. I've not had counselling or ga meetings as advised, but I hit rock bottom which meant I never wanted to go back there and lose everything.  My sanity and family, finally became more important than roulette machines. 

All the best to you and everyone here still fighting this cruel addiction. 

Posted on:
Fri, 08/06/2018 - 23:42

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 166

Just returned from a work trip to Holland . Went with my normal colleagues . They asked if they minded if they gambled at the airport . I said it’s not a problem , I went for a walk and they played on the machines . It didn’t bother me and my good friend pointed out that I never even flinched . You see these things will happen and you will be tested sometimes . I had an hour to myself whilst in Holland and normally would go to a certain bar and play a machine . This time I changed my routine and didn’t go into the bar . Progress it certainly is . Last thing on the subject is I have been working for the company for 15 years and been to holland with work maybe 30 times . This was the first time I had been and had money and access to money . I went to duty free without a problem , purchased a couple of things and came back happy . So to conclude , no gambling thoughts since the last update . The opportunity was there but I wouldn’t have done anything and I have changed my “habit” of going to places to gamble . Yes I’m quite pleased with myself right now 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 12:15

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 183

The reason I am posting today is that it’s 6 calendar months since I decided to change my life

I kind of had an epiphany moment where I just couldn’t carry on how I was living . I haven’t had any kind of wobbles or regrets since . It can be done if you want to stop. I have taken advice on here and hope I have also given out support too because that’s what this is all about . I’m exposed still to gambling situations , so my mental blocks then work over my physical ones and I’m fine with that . I play pool for a team always in pubs with slots so found a way in my head to associate this with pain and bad things and I have been fine . Everything online is closed and excluded . So yes , all good and long may it continue 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 19:42

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

6 months, wow thats gone quick. I feel the same about so much you say and have done to stop gambling. Stopping and accepting the recovery process really is life changing. Great job, so good to read.

All the best mate.

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 22:00

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Congratulations friend, you have done really well to reach half a year gamble free. Courage, common sense and tenacity has helped bring you to this milestone.

I really admire and respect people like yourself who keep their resolve and stick to their word. I salute you Bryan, you have stayed strong and to me you are a gamcare warrior who has shown that life doesn't have to revolve around gambling.

Wishing you every success as you carry on journey...stephen 

Posted on:
Tue, 26/06/2018 - 08:01

greenflash

Joined:
2017-12-31

Great job Bryan, that means it is 6 months for me on 28/6/18. I joined a few days after you. That is why I followed your diary and RSmith 'out in the open'. Life has improved so much in that period of time. Not sure what has happened to RSmith, hope all is ok there. Keep going and keep posting. 

Posted on:
Tue, 26/06/2018 - 10:43

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Bryan great to see you smashing it on day 184! That moment when you realise you can't carry on gambling is a point of the worst/the best. Knowing I can never gamble again fills me with nothing but reassurance and joy. Take care S :) 

Posted on:
Thu, 12/07/2018 - 17:38

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Day 200

Another milestone I guess . Absolutely nothing negative to report . World Cup almost over managed to watch most of the games and when I went out to a pub to watch it didn’t have to worry about a budget . Mortgage advisor says that come December I can move to a bigger house now my Experian has gone to excellent from very poor in the last 200 days . Bank statements are clean so moving in the right direction . A couple of flashes in my head about online gambling but other than that I’ve seen the benefits of stopping and I’m never going back . Had a World Cup sweepstake at work and pledged at the start if I won anything it was going to a girl at works charity as she is doing a mud run for cancer research. Already had donated but this would have been extra . I had England by the way and Brazil so no payout was necessary! Home life good , still sleeping properly and not waking up with stress . Not been on the forum much as there is not much more new advice I can offer anyone or indeed take from it . I felt myself repeating again and again my advice which could come across as boring . I will still keep checking in now and again but so far so good 

Posted on:
Thu, 12/07/2018 - 19:32

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Nice one Bryan, keeping enjoying that GF life mate.

All the best.

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 19:16

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Belated Co on 200 days Bryan, your sound advice and realistic words go a long way. I do wobble(but don't act on my thoughts) sometimes and look for guidance and reassurance on the forum. Take care and enjoy your GF journey S :) 

Posted on:
Thu, 19/07/2018 - 00:14

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Today’s a good day . 200+ days that’s decent I can’t do anymore than I have so far since I stopped . Looking at moving house again early next year but my credit score has been hammered. My score on Experian was in the 600’s and poor . Today , finally it’s at 999 maximum . I have been obsessed the last few months to get everything better and believe it or not it takes hard work to get there . Corrections , disputes (some poor credit lenders report your score wrong ) and stress . Just wanted to share that . So anyone out there who has been doing the same and damaging your credit file , this has taken 6 months to get to perfect . We couldn’t be trusted with credit before and I know I can now . Wife is completely aware of everything even though I have access to cards (always have ). You do what works for you . She just admitted tonight she almost left me before (thanks Marta !) but I guess fate and a willingness to change has helped me . I am going on holiday on Friday with spending money I actually have saved , not living on credit cards or cash advances or dodgy loans . Or worse than that a dodgy casino where you won online but are now waiting for their security to pass the documents before being paid . I remember clearly those horrible times where I had lost £1000 that was taken instantly and waited 72 hours in pending then the 5 working days just to get a proportion back . That’s crazy when you stop and think about it 

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