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To a happier and debt free life...

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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 19/08/2017 - 06:17

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Well we have all been here before.

The morning after the night before, last night wasn't pretty and it usually isn't. To be fair it's been happening a bit to often and I've been spiralling for some time now.

Last night I lost a large chunk that I can't afford, a huge binge pretty much betting on anything. Football, roulette and blackjack and to honest I didn't care if I won or lost.

I've woken up now with that numb feeling that comes along with the gambling hangover but there is some relief there as well.
It sounds a bit messed up but I am happy I've lost because gambling is not fun anymore.

The stupid thing is I have a great life, I have a great girlfriend and two kids. I have a solid job and have just bought a new flat, I enjoy my hobbies and have a nice set of friends but this gambling is making me turning me into someone I don't like.

Away from gambling I am an easy going chap who loves sport and playing sport and enjoy being around my family.

When I enter one of these binge sessions I completely different, a complete and utter idiot. All I care is about gambling, I'm ignoring my family and just in a trance.

This makes me upset, I have got to sort myself out and I know I can do it.

In regards to the money, I don't even know why I bet because it's never enough. I always end up giving it back anyway.

So here I am Day 1, today I will not gamble.

Posted on:
Sat, 19/08/2017 - 11:16

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi Breakfree,

Welcome.

Yup, know the feeling - the gambling hangover's not nice and it can put a cloud over you that appears difficult to shift. I was in the exact same position last week (I'm 7 days gambling free - GF).

My suggestion is that you plan a practical step today, it won't take long (20 minutefs), and will let a peek - just a peek - of sunshine though that cloud.

You owe this not just to you, but your family. It is not fair on them. They don't ask for this.

Here's my suggestion, and I'm assuming that you go into bookies.

Phone this number - 0800 294 2060 - and ask to be self-excluded from all the bookies you use and beyond. I don't know your circumstances but this could be around where you live and work. Don't miss any out, the person you speak to will guide you. (Mon-Fri 9-5pm, so a 'date for your diary'!)

Then, send a smartphone picture of your driving licence or passport, and faceshot back in reply to the e-mail you'll be sent.

If your 'bag' is online gambling, systematically ban yourself from every account you've got open, and consider blocking software, details can be found around this site.

For casinos, phone them up and ask to speak to the manager, he/she will be able to exclude you from every casino in the U.K. Just phonecthem up!

These are practical steps that you should seriously consider NOW whilst in the throes of your gambling hangover.

It shows you mean business.

Aside from that, it's important to build some GF days in the 'bank'. 

You're on Day 1. So let's get to Day 2. Probably easy, still 'hangovered', but it's critical you don't do a 'hair of the dog' and chase your losses - just about the worst thing you could do right now.

Keep writing and keep focused, you did the right thing starting a diary! You may feel, in time, exploring the reasons why you gamble - because there's usually a reason why we're self-inflicting this 'pain'. But one step at a time :)

All the best, Mixer

Posted on:
Sun, 20/08/2017 - 17:17

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 2

Firstly thank you Mixer for some excellent advice and tips.

I have made the first steps and blocked all on my online betting accounts so this has put me at ease.

Today has been a great day, spent the day playing golf with a mate and we had a perfect round in the sun.
Just made a spot of dinner and spending some time with my son so no thoughts of gambling today.

Onwards and upwards, looking forward to a clear head next week and no gambling.

Posted on:
Sun, 20/08/2017 - 22:00

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

 

No problem, my pleasure.

And good to see you've already taken positive practical steps, enjoyed the weekend and also taken stock of where you are and what you feel you need to do (My previous guidance might well help you!)

At the very least, keep GF on Monday. And if you want the cherry on the cake, you might find banning yourself from the bookies a very compelling proposition ...

All the best for a fantastic week, perhaps the week that will really change your life ... for the better!

Mixer

Posted on:
Mon, 21/08/2017 - 11:26

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 3

Trying to keep busy today, I have three days off from work to take my son to his new pre school each day.
Nice to keep my mind off betting and already are starting to feel better only after 3 days.
The gambling hangover from Friday is almost gone and I know I do not want that feeling again.
I work too bloody hard just to give my money away, I have set myself a target and that is 50 days without a bet.
As you can see I've been here before and started a diary that lasted about 70 days then I lost interest and guess what I started thinking I could have the odd bet.
I don't want to get sloppy again and this time I need to stop for good.
I've seen the saying "I can't win because I can't stop" well that very much relates to me so I plan not to start gambling again.

Anyway I guess that's enough rambling from me, have a great Monday everyone(said no-one ever;-)

Breakfree

Posted on:
Mon, 21/08/2017 - 17:31

TulsiT

Joined:
2015-07-08

Nice one Breakfree. Keep it going. I can relate to your opening post a lot. I have a beautiful wife, two amazing beautiful kids. I have so much to be grateful for in my life. I'm easy going too - although I have found that this can be a good and bad thing in recovery.  One thing I will say - maybe your target should be just for today. Keep it simple. Trying to do 50 days in one go is a real problem gambler trait. Easy does it. 

Anyway - not a criticism - only trying to help. Well done on your days off gambling. Keep on the freedom path. It's much better! 

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 09:54

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 4

Thanks for your comments Tusli4, I agree that maybe the 50 day target is getting a bit ahead of myself. Let's just take this one day at a time!

I took a look at your diary TusliT and I think we are very similar.
When you describe what type of person you are when on the gambling and non gambling path.
This was like someone describing me to a T!
Your diary definitely left me with some good food for thought, I need to stay on the right path which is not to gamble.

Anyway sun is shining here and I'm still off work, got a few jobs to do and picking up my son later.
Have a good day everyone:-)

breakfree

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 11:15

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi breakfree,

Tusli4 is on the money; it's about one day at a time - keeping our targets manageable.

And as you rightly say - it's sunny, and, although off to work, you'll be cracking on with some tasks and the pleasure of seeing your son later. And gambling free, too. Sounds to me like a perfect day!

Have a good one mate.

Mixer

Posted on:
Wed, 23/08/2017 - 09:16

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 5

Last day off work and I feel like I need to be on my guard today. Not picking my son up until later and the missus has the car so I need to keep busy to keep the mind off gambling.

Normally I'd hit the golf course but that's not possible today so plan to do a few DIY jobs that I never have had time to do while I had my gambling head on.

My big loss from last week is still lingering a bit but I can pay that off if I just don't bet anymore.
I know I will have more money and be happier if I just stop betting full stop, I've got to stop chasing money as I don't need it.

I'm starting a new evening course to be more qualified in my job next week l and doing some research about booking a weekend away with the missus in November.

Trying to keep the mind busy and have things to look forward to :-)

Posted on:
Thu, 24/08/2017 - 13:42

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 6

Nice productive day today, been at work so now on my way home.

Bought the missus a few presents for her birthday. Isn't it funny when you buy presents that you think they are expensive but we all have blown insane amounts on gambling and not even thought about it.

I have gone really into lockdown mode now and it feels nice I'm only using money for the essentials like food, bills etc.

Tomorrow will be a week free of gambling and I'm feeling good about this achievement.

I am feeling a little bit of withdrawal from the no gambling but I guess that is natural.

I've bought a nice bottle of Rioja for the weekend so plan to watch some series with the missus tomorrow night.
Anything non gambling is good for me right now, normally I'd be ignoring everybody and be following my bets so this is an improvement.

Hope everyone is having a great day :-)

Posted on:
Thu, 24/08/2017 - 16:39

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi breakfree,

How profoundly true when you consider presents expensive and yet we blow so much more on gambling... it makes no sense! However, we are on the OTHER side of the fence now, using money for what it SHOULD be used for, and not for throwing down the drain. We know that's what happens because whether we win and lose, we always give it back, and then some more, so we always lose.

You're doing excellent as you hit a week GF. This is fantastic, a line in the sand and a marker you can build on. We have a BH weekend coming up - let's get through it, day-by-day, GF and not waste a single penny on this total waste of time, money and emotion and concentrate on what we know it really important - ourselves and our loved ones.

Here's to a fantastic Friday and long weekend ahead!

Mixer

Posted on:
Fri, 25/08/2017 - 08:57

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 7

One week! A small step I know but it is step in the right direction :-)

I'm off work today so I'm looking at buying some new blinds for the flat, I find that DIY jobs around the house are a healthy distraction.

Anyway, i'm looking forward to a gamble free weekend with the family :-)

Posted on:
Sat, 26/08/2017 - 11:38

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 8

Just checking in here and happy to report no gambling!

The gambling fog or black cloud is disappearing from me and I am feeling much better.

Now I've past one week I'm looking to end of September as my next step.

I'm really determined to get to Xmas so I can start 2018 with real optimism.

Anyway hope everyone has a great Saturday.

Breakfree

Posted on:
Sat, 26/08/2017 - 11:42

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi breakfree

I am truly delighted to read your update; your positivity underpinned by gritty determination is shining through. My target is Christmas too, incidentally, that I am determined to reach one day at a time- it's always requires daily effort as we both know. Enjoy what will always be a better weekend, when we're GF!

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 27/08/2017 - 12:12

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 9

Plan for today is spot of dinner at the local Indian restaurant, finish putting up new curtain rails in all bedrooms, watch Arsenal v Liverpool then off to the driving range for an hour.
No thoughts of gambling today, have a great Sunday everyone.

Posted on:
Mon, 28/08/2017 - 04:43

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 10

5.42am and on my way to work, going to be a busy week until Thursday.
Plan is head down and get to the weekend with no gambling.
:-)

Posted on:
Mon, 28/08/2017 - 12:46

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Great to read about your determination breakfree. Have a great week - with you all the way.

Posted on:
Tue, 29/08/2017 - 13:38

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 11

Quick post as busy day today with work and evening study class.

Still on the straight and narrow with no gambling :-)

breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 30/08/2017 - 13:35

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 12

On my home, been away for almost 2 days with work and my evening course.
Physically and mentally I am knackered but feeling very content and happy with the path I am on right now, i just have to ensure that I don't de-rail.

It will be good to get back to family and spend some time with them, still no thoughts of gambling as I've been too busy!

Normally when I have some "down time" I would reload my betting account but I have no desire to do this at the moment.

Going to plan a round of golf on Friday, golf is like yoga to me and is a healthy distraction from gambling.

Friday will be 14 days without a bet that is something I will celebrate with some nice IPA from a local brewery!

breakfree

Posted on:
Thu, 31/08/2017 - 09:22

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 13

Still going strong :-)

breakfree

Posted on:
Fri, 01/09/2017 - 15:14

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 14

Well it's been two weeks today since I done my brains in a stupid online session.

This is a start and I'm taking it one week at a time.

Had a great round of golf in the sun today and I'm looking forward to the weekend with no gambling.

Hope everyone is staying strong out there.

breakfree

Posted on:
Sat, 02/09/2017 - 14:23

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 15

I'm struggling, when life gets busy and stressful I normally turn to gambling as a escape.

Right now I don't have that escape and it is a bit daunting so thought I'd come on here and get my thoughts down.

Right now I know that gambling will be bring me nothing but another dent in my bank balance and a step backwards again.

Plan is get home from work and be content with what i have in life. I dont need to chase money anymore.

Looking after the boy tonight as the missus is out. So will just look forward to some family time for the rest of the weekend.

I can't win because I can't stop.

Breakfree

Posted on:
Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:06

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 18

Had a few days off the diary, not sure if posting every day is beneficial.

Anyway I'm still on the straight and narrow keeping busy with work and my studies.

One day at a time.

breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 06/09/2017 - 12:30

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 19

Absolutely shattered but quietly content with myself.

Been working and studying like a dog, yesterday was a 16hr day then up at 5am for work again today.

It is satisfying as it's dragging in money for my family not wasting money gambling.

Today I've come into some money and tomorrow is pay day so the account will be fairly healthy so I need to be cautious.

I can't win because I can't stop.

Breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 06/09/2017 - 16:23

mrhonest

Joined:
2017-08-22

Hi Breakfree..

Keep up the great work, you are a few days ahead of me in your recovery and seem to making great strides and staying positive! I'm amazed at how quickly the first couple of weeks have rattled off.

It seems we like the same kind of stuff such as sport, bit of TV.. not to mention a drink! Ha ha! It's nice to keep yourself busy in these early days. I guess the trick is, keeping this going!! And don't let the fact you have a bit of money tempt you. Do you have any barriers in place just in case?

All the best buddy.

Posted on:
Fri, 08/09/2017 - 07:45

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 21

Firstly thanks mrhonest for your encouragement. I have put barriers in place, I've blocked all my online accounts.

Today is 3 weeks since my last blowout, it still seems pretty fresh but I'm just taking a week at a time.

Today I've got a day off and I've been paid so need to be careful. I'm with my son today so will definitely be kept busy!

Have a good weekend everyone and stay strong :-)

Breakfree

Posted on:
Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:38

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 22

I knew today would be a test and it is. All the triggers are there.

My golf has been cancelled as it's raining, all my mates are talking about the Saturday afternoon football and I have time on my hands.

Going to stay strong though, few pints and watch the footy is the plan.

To be honest I am quite enjoying my fantasy football and not feeling the need to get some bets matched.

I can't win because I can't stop.

Breakfree

Posted on:
Sun, 10/09/2017 - 09:14

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 23

Sun is shining and i'm still on the straight and narrow.

That is all that matters.

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 13:04

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 24

Start of a new week and already I am noticing an improvement in my mood, mental state and bank balance!

This is how I want to live my life :-)

I am so fed up of giving away my hard earned money and plan to travel more, spend time with friends and family and play more golf!!

breakfree

Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 14:09

mrhonest

Joined:
2017-08-22

Sounds like you're doing great breakfree..

Keep going and keep us all updated!

Posted on:
Tue, 12/09/2017 - 07:28

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 25

Mini milestone today with 25 days, just a small step to where I want to be but a great start.

Posted on:
Wed, 13/09/2017 - 11:14

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 26

Today I've paid off more debt, paid my semester fee for my studies and bought some clothes for my son.

Feels good to use my money wisely not like an absolute idiot.

My longest stint being free from gambling was around 60 days then I stopped posting and you can guess what happened next.

My is goal is to get to Xmas then I can really enjoy the festive period with family and friends.

breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 13/09/2017 - 11:54

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thanks for the post on my diary breakfree, much appreciated. You seem really up for it so wishing you well, christmas is a great goal and only just around the corner, the fat cat bookmakers will just have to get by without your cash.

Going to include your name in my music selection tomorrow so get the vacuum cleaner out ! 

Posted on:
Wed, 13/09/2017 - 11:55

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Breakfree

Thanks for your comments on my diary. I am always encouraged by others reading it and taken a little bit from it for their own journey.

May I ask, have you told your GF about your problems? If you read my diary you will know I kept mine a secret for 15 years plus and maybe the biggest part of my recovery was letting my secrets finally out of the very big bag they had been kept in. The relief and response from my friends overwhelmed me. I no longer carry the shame that gambling brings to the table. No more secrets or lies that gambling inevitably brings.

I also went to councelling which really set me on my path to freedom, maybe something you should consider. We all gamble for a reason whether we know it or not, getting to the route cause is a big step in recovery.

Well done on your 26 days, next up a whole month gamble free. Enjoy it and I wish you all the very best in your continued recovery.

Matt

Posted on:
Fri, 15/09/2017 - 08:27

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 28

4 weeks GF :-)

Thanks Matt and Abstainer for your comments, yes my missus does know the extent of my gambling but not the latest blowout.

I can't deal with it right now so I plan just to work hard and earn some honest money.

I'm off into town to buy my son a fireman Sam toy, he's obsessed with him!

I've been feeling guilty this week when reflecting on how much money I've lost over the years.

Normally on a day like today(Friday) I would load my account with a couple of hundred quid.

It is a relief not doing this anymore and buying my son some toys for 40-50 quid instead.

Maybe I shouldn't be buying toys but it feels good watching his face, maybe it could be seen as a replacement for gambling but I'm fine with that!
I know which scenario is better.

Have a good weekend everyone:-)

Posted on:
Sat, 16/09/2017 - 07:21

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 29

Good morning!

Spoke with my missus about my gambling this morning, something feels different this time and I really want to knock it all on the head.

Next target for me is 50 days which will be some achievement for me.

Here is a list of things that have improved and feelinga/emotions since I've stopped gambling.

* Better communication and relationship with the GF
* Spend more quality time with my son
* No mood swings
* Far more relaxed and no shirt fuse
* Realising what I want from my future
* Less greedy, sick of chasing money.
* Having money to travel, this is super important for me as I love travelling and visiting new countries.
* Debt reducing each month
* More disposable cash each month.
* Having time back on my side

I feel like I could just keep writing and writing but I feel that us enough for now.

As you can see I don't need gambling in my life anymore as this list gives me everything I need from life.

Looking back I've been a selfish idiot for many years, I'm 33 now and this is the time to stop.

I've got to step up my game and be the Dad, partner and friend I want to be.

Have a great Saturday everyone :-)

breakfree

Posted on:
Sun, 17/09/2017 - 07:28

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 30

Sun is out and I am off to play some golf in a few hours :-)

Stay strong everyone and keep your money in your pocket.

breakfree

Posted on:
Mon, 18/09/2017 - 12:41

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 31

Not much to report here, pretty standard Monday.

Work then pick up the boy from pre school and make dinner.

Life is simple at the moment and it does feel like a void without gambling being a part of my daily routine.

I need to keep posting here and grinding away.

I can't win because I can't stop.

breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 08:07

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 33

I'm feeling complacent and I need to be my guard.

I can't win because I can't stop.

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 09:13

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

Your doing great breakfree. Just enjoy day 33 and worry about day 34 tomorrow. Before you know it you'll be enjoying a gamble free christmas without the gambling spoiling it all...stephen 

Posted on:
Thu, 21/09/2017 - 05:59

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 34

I'm finding the tactic of using all spare money I have on my debts is working.

I can see my debts reducing and the urges to gamble are not there due to the lack of funds.

Have a good day everyone.

Posted on:
Fri, 22/09/2017 - 09:21

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 35

Well let's be honest, this week has been tough and although I still remain free from gambling it's been a test.

I've had a bit of time on my hands this week and I've had the gambling gremlin on my shoulder many times. He's been egging me on to get back in the game and I've said no many times this week.

Now it's Friday and with a full weekend of sport ahead I need to remain strong.

I've gone through many emotions in the past few days, feeling sorry for myself that I'm not gambling(stupid I know), very restless as I can't play golf(damaged by finger at work), bank balance is low making me want to chase that "win".

I've been in this situation before and folded, telling myself it's "ok" to gamble as I have "control" now. Looking back over the years the truth is I have NEVER had control.
This is just an excuse I make to myself so I can deposit and start punting again.

Sorry there is a lot of rambling here but good to get some thoughts down.

I'm taking a deep breath now and an will remain gamble free today.
I can't win because I can't stop.

Breakfree

Posted on:
Sat, 23/09/2017 - 07:02

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 36

Good morning Gamcare!

Woke up a bit more positive today, going to enjoy the day with my family and watch the sport. Stay strong everyone, weekends are always a test for us so let's remain GF!

breakfree

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 10:04

truthful93

Joined:
2017-09-23

Keep going breakfree.

You are doing so well. I am at the start of my journey and know that my life will be better for it once I get some more GF days under my belt. Keep inspiring and fighting the good fight. Do not let gambling defeat you. If we do not stop today, when will we ever stop?

Good luck my friend, do it for your son. 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 12:07

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 37

Just got home from playing 18 holes of golf.

Great to be on the course again, breathing fresh air and getting some exercise. Actually played some ok golf as well!

Golf has saved me a fortune looking back, my advice to anyone reading this is get yourself a hobby.

When you stop gambling feels like you have a lot of dead time so it's healthy to fill that time with something positive and a hobby you enjoy.

Thanks truthful93 for your comments, wish you all the best on your GF journey.

Posted on:
Mon, 25/09/2017 - 08:23

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 38

Back to work and start of a new week, plan is to grind out until Thursday then I have 3 days off :-)

No access to "easy cash" means no urges to gamble for me, I'm living on a tight budget due to repaying debt.

Feel like things are moving forward and there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Hope to be debt free by 2019 :-)

Posted on:
Tue, 26/09/2017 - 09:37

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 39

Tuesdays I need to be on my guard, I have a lot of dead time between work and my lecture so I need keep occupied and mostly importantly free from gambling.

I've been feeling a bit down and edgy of late, I know this is the side effects of stopping gambling.

Anybody else feel like this around this stage of recovery?

breakfree

Posted on:
Tue, 26/09/2017 - 13:26

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Breakfree

The stage you are at is kind of the calm after the storm. The last brutal binge left some devastation and this is where you maybe wake up from the hangover and assess the damage knowing there is no quick fix. Focus now on the day to day, find something to take your mind off of any edgy feelings. Something simple like go for a walk, read, do some exercise. Just remember we cannot win when we gamble and each day without gambling is a day richer financially and mentally.

Stay strong,

Matt

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 08:41

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 40

Thanks Matt for your advice, appreciate it. I plan to play as much golf as possible in these early stages.

Another day at work for me, just for today i will not gamble.

breakfree

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 09:29

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

Congratulations Breakfree 40 Days. Been following your progress and your doing brilliant....stephen 

Posted on:
Thu, 28/09/2017 - 09:45

breakfree

Joined:
2011-01-01

Day 41

Thanks Abstainer for your continued support, I really appreciate it. You are also doing fantastic with your own gamble free journey.

Last day of work and looking forward to a long weekend.

Golfing early tomorrow and spending some quality time with my son at the weekend.

Life is simple at the moment but I'm quietly content with my progress and this forum is helping me stay on the right path.

Stay strong everyone.

Breakfree

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