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Joanne Isla's diary!

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 23/10/2017 - 15:38

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Day 60 gamble-free!

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 07:23

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Well done on your 60 days it feels good to get to the 50's 60's its like every 10 feels closer to 100. Keep going. Well Done.

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 14:30

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Another week survived!   67 days gamble free.

Thanks Smashed for the encouraging words.  All the very best to you on your continuing gamble-free journey.

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 11:26

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Another 'zero' notched up........ 70 days gf   Keeps getting better and better! 

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 12:51

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Always get my strongest urges to gamble on a Sunday (boredom) and Monday (banish the start of the working week blues).  Just posting this to remind myself to stay strong.   Got to stay strong.  Can't let that 'old devil'  back in, ******g up my head and my bank balance ! 

Day 73 .............

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 17:22

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Well done Joanna isla - great work!

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:32

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

 

Really struggling .  That sly old son of a gun, 'gambling' has been doing his best to lure me back into his clutches, ....    doing his best to convince me that I'm due some luck, reminding me of my favourite games, that feeling of anticipation when you hit a bonus etc.   He's got me to the point where I've re-opened an old account, I can play again on Thursday, after a cooling-off period.

After 74 days of being gamble-free, there is no rhyme nor reason as to why my mindset has flipped .  74 days ago I stumbled across the video 'Kerching' on this forum and it convinced  me that playing on-line slots was a losing game.  I've eased through the last 70 days but for no apparent reason I can feel myself being tempted back.

I have to stay strong.  I've been trying to free myself from this addiction for over a year, 74 days has been my best effort, there's too much at stake.   After 4 years of being caught in the gambling bubble ,   losing all my savings  and 4 years of earnings,  it dawned on me around this time last year that I was a gambling addict.  I was a stone's throw from getting into debt because of gambling.  On my first attempt at being gamble free  I managed 53 days but crumbled on Boxing day 2016.  I lost £1,500 (overdraft) playing on-line slots.   On the 25th January.  I bought 1000 pounds worth of lotto tickets , there was only me in the syndicate! lol   I won a 'free lucky dip' ticket!  On the 26 th February lost another 2 grand (wages and overdraft alowance) to on-line slots. I managed to be gf through March but on the 26th April lost £3425 playing on-line slots.  I started playing around 7.30 in the morning when my wages hit my bank account, checked out on a zero balance at around 10.40 in the evening.  My brain felt so weird the next day that my main concern wasn't the financial loss but my health.  I decided enough was enough.  I managed around 50 days gf but crumbled again mid June losing around  2 grand.  Gambled on and off through July/August until the 25th August when I lost 600 pounds.  It was then I stumbled across the video . Since Boxing day 2016 I've lost in the region of 12,000 pounds mainly to on-line slots although I also have a problem with lotto/scratchcards.  I'm trying to remind myself of this by writing it down here. If I return to gambling I know I will lose the little savings I have built up over these past 2 months.   I know the score so why in the hell am I even contemplating it.

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:57

S B

Joined:
2017-11-01

Hiya,

Fellow CG here. Thank you so much for sharing this. Some insight of the destruction we create upon ourselves.

Gambling is progressive. I didn't fully believe I am such addicted until few months ago. It has gone from tens, to hundreds and now thousands. Just like that. The more i started to lose, the more I wanted to win back..merry go round. What I have to show for my "desire of escape", "greed" now?..debt, struggling to make ends meet, anxiety, bigger depression, worthness.

Gambling brings us big fat *****.why? Because we can't stop. No win is enough and never will be. Accepting this is most important tging.

Like great poster on Duncs said few times..(or something along the lines).."how to make a gambler a millionaire? Start him/her as billionaire". ..

We can't win...we can't stop.

Look for extra support! You're doing great and there is no reason why you can't make yourself proud ☺..give yourself that chance, be free!

S xx

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 00:49

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I got to your nearest highest total and relapsed it's a horrible the other day I was walking along a cliff and I thought to myself jump off might be way out then I thought to myself I love my family too much keep going you

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 00:50

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Is kerchin film

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 11:01

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks What's Wrong, S B and Christer 1 for posting on my diary.  I'm new to the forum  so it's great to get some feedback.  Like you say S.B. those 10 pound deposits soon become hundreds, in over our heads before we know it.  I thought I was having the time of my life, playing those slots into the small hours of the morning, money lost all value, I poured it down those machines like it was going out of fashion.  Then the cold, hard truth,  an empty  savings bank account , no financial security and the realisation that  I was a gambling addict.    Back to reality with a bang and an on-going struggle to try and get control back of my life and my money.

Really sorry to read Christer 1, that this addiction took  you  to such a low point , I truly hope you are feeling a lot better within yourself.  Remember to take real good care of yourself.  Do't be too hard on yourself, this addiction crept up on us, we didn't ask for it, we just got caught in the trap.

The video I mentioned is 'Kerching'.  I stumbled across it on this website and if you are a slot/pokie/roulette addict I would highly recommend that you watch it.  You will find a link to it in the 'New members intros forum' (page 1) under the heading 'View this if you are a slot addict'.  It's a bit dull to begin with but well worth persevering with.  Hopefully it will help you with your recovery.

I shall look out for your posts,  wishing you all, all the very best.  Take care..

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 16:14

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Reading stuff on here makes you realise your not in a minority with this addiction. Thankyou for your advise i seem to better nowadays and good luck to ur self

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 09:47

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

I've been tortured with thoughts of playing the slots this past week. I spent 3 hours (what a waste of b****y time or should I say sleep) playing pretend slots into the small hours of Tuesday morning.  The reason behind this was because I knew my 6 month self-exclusion was due to be lifted on my favourite on-line casino. I knew I was weakening, isking to play my favourite games again.  However fate intervened.  My account re-opened ,  I was about to crumble yet again!  I tried to deposit, but couldn't and then my account was disabled.   I contacted the on-line casino through live-chat, I was annoyed that I couldn't play.   However, they informed me that they had noticed that I had permanently self-excluded because of gambling issues from one of their sister sites so they (the management)  decided to shut down my account.  This has brought me back to my senses. thank goodness, so I have told them to never allow me to re-open my account again.  I feel  I have dodged a bullet.  When I managed 53 days gf, I did spend endless evenings opening on-line accounts just to immediately self exclude myself from them on a lifelong basis.

I'm just writing this down to remind myself how good it feels this morning to have made the right decision to close that account down.  I can't leave myself open, I need to put in place every possible barrier in my bid to free myself from this addiction.

77 days gf and feeling relieved !  

All the very best to everyone ............       

Posted on:
Sun, 12/11/2017 - 11:17

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Just going to write down some thoughts  to keep me on track.  I've managed 79 days now outside the gambling bubble and feel greatly relieved .  I spent the day in the city yesterday, browsing the shops looking for ideas for Christmas presents.  I didn't buy a single scratch card, changed days for me.  Before I discovered on-line  scratchcards/slots I had a big problem with buying scratchcards.  I would go into the city and spend a whole afternoon searching for outlets that sold them so I could buy hundreds of them.  Instead of looking for nice clothes etc to spend my wages on I prefered to spend my money on scratchcards.  It was not unusual for me on payday to buy 4-500 pounds worth of them.  I'd buy them in different outlets and carry them around in a plastic carrier bag.  I would be really excited at the prospect of going home and scratching them.  I was hooked on that rush , that feeling of anticipation that you get when you are about to scratch one, excited , not knowing if they are going to be winners or not.  I don't think I was bothered about the outcome, it was all about the 'anticipation'.  How sad does that make me sound.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the memory of it.  Then I discovered on-line scratchcards which in turn  led me to the slots and financial ruin.  Anyway, what's done is done, all I know now is that if I don't stop gambling I will risk losing absolutely everything.

Keeping busy  working today , doing some overtime to earn some extra  money.

Harsh as life may seem at the moment, stay strong, don't let those gambling demons lure you back into the 'gambling bubble', things can only get better if we abstain.

Wishing everyone all the very best.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 23:57

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

80 days gf.

I shall check in once a week on a Sunday to keep me focused.

Wishing everyone continued success on being gamble-free.

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 09:24

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Joanne Isla wrote:

I've been tortured with thoughts of playing the slots this past week. I spent 3 hours (what a waste of b****y time or should I say sleep) playing pretend slots ...  

... I'm just writing this down to remind myself how good it feels this morning to have made the right decision to close that account down. 

Hi Joanne - congratulations on staying gf for 80 days. Hopefully more by the time your read this!

I found it very helpful to read your diary - I feel like I'm at the 'torturing' myself stage. It's odd how feelings can flip so dramatically because earlier in the day I was totally against gambling ... but come late evening I began to tempt myself with thoughts about roulette. I even got very very close to registering to a new site but cancelled on the final click. But I'm so glad I resisted and woke up today guilt free and and less poor. Not having that terrible burden of guilt and regret to deal with feels like a huge win in itself. 

Thanks again - and I'm glad life is improving for you without the drain of slot machines.

 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 09:28

Wilsy

Joined:
2012-02-22

Congrats on your success so far, great example to many others, keep up the good work!

Wilsy

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 04:54

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

It's around 4.30 in the morning and I've just relapsed after 85 days gamble free.  I've been burning the midnight oil playing on-line slots, lost a lot of money.  I'm absolutely gutted.  Gonna grab some sleep, my heads all over the place.  Report back later.

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 10:53

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

I've now had a couple of hours sleep so my brain feels a little less fried!  Last week I was feeling so confident having reached 79 days, I decided I would only update my diary once a week ie a Sunday.  I can see now that was a bad decision, I should have remained more focused on being gf.

2 weeks ago my uncle died suddenly so I had been kept busy with arrangements, family reunions etc.  All went quiet  again and by Saturday evening  I found myself alone . I don't know whether it was boredom or if it was because the last 2 weeks had been so emotionally draining  but I found myself thinking about gambling again. I realised that I could access an on-line casino and just found myself gambling.  On Saturday evening I lost 330 pounds.

On Sunday morning I  woke up feeling awful at throwing away my progress at being gf.  In my head I thought if I could win back the losses I could pretend it never happened.  Played on and off throughout Sunday and ran out of money at around 4 o'clock in the morning.  I lost 1800 pounds, 300 pounds emergency money (I live alone so I like to have some emergency money in my current account) and 1500 overdraft facility.  At several times throughout my gambling binge I was in profit but I just could't stop playing.  Once I get into that slot zone I just can't stop, money loses all value until I run out of it.

I feel absolutely gutted that I've failed yet again.  I just don't seem able to reach 100 days gf.   Total losses this year alone 13,800, plus the 100 thousand pounds I lost over the previous 4 years. 

The only thing I can take from this is that I've come to realise in order to overcome this addiction I have to remain totally focused on being gf, can't  even drop my guard when things happen in life unexpectedly as they do.  I think I may have been feeling emotionally drained and I guess the gambling demon caught me off-guard.

I feel really gutted at throwing away my progress and now have 2 weeks with no money until pay day.  I'm really disappointed in myself.  I'm dreading looking at my bank statement when it updates in a couple of days time.  I was so proud of it these last 2 months, no gambling transactions!

I don't know if I want to try again. I'm so tired of failing. So I've decided  I'm not going to start counting my days again, I'm just going to aim for being gamble free one day at a time.

Thanks to everyone who has posted on my diary, wishing everyone all the very best.  Joanne

 

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 11:06

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Joanne

Really sorry to hear about your relapse after so many days. Sounds like the emotion of your uncle has pushed you over.

You are going to have to dig deep again and get back in the saddle. Maybe as you say forget about counting days and just treat every day as one to get through GF.

I know you are probably not in the right mindset right now but can you add any additional blocks to stop yourself from being able to access websites?

Good luck and look after yourself.

Posted on:
Tue, 21/11/2017 - 00:36

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks Must Stop 123 for your kind words.   I did place a gamblock on my laptop but found it seemed to 'mess up' my laptop so I removed it.  It's hard for me to break the 'triange', time , money , location because I live alone and have always kept my gambling a secret.

Still feeling fragile and disappointed after my relapse.  This one seems to have hit me hard , I think after being gamble-free for 85 days I really thought I had put gambling behind me.  Gonna put some thoughts down here , help clear my head.

I think being around my family these past few days has highlighted to me what a mess I've made of my life these past 5 years.  Just how much time and money I have lost to gambling.  However, that's nothing compared to how gambling makes you feel as a person.  I feel so foolish for throwing away so much money. , a complete  failure compared to my successful siblings/family.  I've never felt so worthless in all my life.  Folk I hadn't seen in a number of years told me I was looking well, that I was wearing well!  I'm in my mid forties.  God I thought , if only they knew what was going on in my head, total chaos , all thanks to this awful addiction.

Gambling weakens you as a person,  that's what I hate most about it, what it does to you mentally. Like others have often said on this forum , it's like being in a relationship with someone that you know is not good for you but you keep going back to them.  Despite the fact that gambling has made me feel so foolish and worthless I still went back to it for some kind of comfort when I was feeling low.  I seeked comfort in the very thing that made me feel so miserable.   I have learned a great deal from this relapse so hopefully it will help me to do better in the future. Gambling shows us no mercy, it will take everything from us, catch us off guard when it knows our defences are down , when we are feeling vunerable.

To all those who have just relapsed or starting on their journey, I know how you feel, with you every step of the way.  To all those doing better, keep going ..........  wishing you continued success.  All the very best everyone,   Joanne

 

Posted on:
Tue, 21/11/2017 - 10:21

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

So sorry to read of your relapse Joanne. Remember you are here with like minded people who can empathise with your plight. We are all together in this battle and can gain strength from each other.

We have to let the past go, draw a line under it and start to live a new life free from gambling. It is the only way we will ever find any peace in our lives. From the bottom of my heart I wish you success in your recovery. Whatever unfolds it has got to be better than the life of a gambling addict.

I recommend a browse through Sharon's diary, she has endured emotional turmoil, regret, shame and taunting from the addiction. However she has remained defiant and today is 250 days gamble free. Take care. Stephen 

Posted on:
Tue, 21/11/2017 - 23:20

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks Stephen for taking the time to post  such a lovely message on my diary, it makes all the difference when you find some kind, encouraging words from others. (Thanks also to all the others who have left messages)  I've had a quick peak on your diary, sorry to read like me  that you've had a relapse recently.  Take strength from the fact that you managed 6  months before your blip.  6 months gf is a great achievement.  My best attempt has been 85 days so you're doing much better than me!   It does hurt when we relapse  but  we can learn from them,   those gambling demons are out to get us , but if we remain vigilant and focused we can outsmart them.    They ain't catching us out  next time!

Feeling a bit skint,  goodness knows what weird and wonderful concoctions I'm going to come up with from the scraps in my fridge/freezer over the next few days until I get paid. lol Thanks for the tip regarding your friend Sharon's diary, hope she doesn't mind me having a peak.  I very much hope that anybody who reads my diary gets some benefit from it as well , makes them feel that they are not alone with this addiction.

 Good to read however that you've managed to pick yourself up,  hopefully marching on to victory.  All the very best to you  and everyone on the forum.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 00:08

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Day 4.

No thoughts of gambling although the weather has tested me these past couple of days ,been on flood alert.  My house sits a couple of metres away from a stream. The stream can quickly change from a trickle to something sounding and resembling  the Niagra falls.  I go to bed and as the noise of the water gets louder, I panic and have to go out and check it in the dark, as it  inches towards my patio doors!  Go back inside, cross everything humanely possible, crawl back into bed and then find mysef doing it all over again as the noise of the water gets louder.  Anyway, I had just checked the water level out at bloody 4 in the morning  ,was just about to go up the steps leading into my back door when a mouse who was sheltering on the doorstep ran over my toes.  Now I'm petrified of mice so first of all I completely froze, then I rushed inside and locked all the doors as if my life depended upon it!      Went back to bed and the fear of another encounter with the mouse was greater than the fear of being flooded out!    so I thought sod it, what will be will be, hid under the bedclothes and fell asleep!   Woke up in the morning , the rain had stopped and the water level had dropped!  I swear that bloody stream likes tormenting me ! 

And now it's gambling tormenting me!  Still feeling upset  by last weekend's relapse.  I really thought I was starting to get it out of my system as I inched towards the 100 day mark. When will I ever learn, I can't win because I can't stop.

Apologies for rambling, just trying to knock some sense into myself!

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 09/12/2017 - 15:25

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Hi all,

 Hope everyone is doing well.   Day 20 gamble-free.  I have been busy preparing for Christmas so that's helping to keep my mind off gambling.  We've got lots of snow where I live so it feels very festive!   We did have a storm and the electricity got cut off.  A bit extreme but that's one way of not being able to access the on-line slots!!!  lol 

All the very best everyone, check back in again soon, Joanne

Posted on:
Sun, 10/12/2017 - 13:33

Chris30z

Joined:
2017-10-15

Hey Joanne,

Well done on this picking yourself back up and getting to 20 days GF. It sounds like you need to perhaps try and put the block software back on the laptop if possible or an alternative. I really admire the honesty in your posts, gambling really is like a partner that we know is bad for us, that perhaps has beaten us and has psychologically tortured us at times, but we often go back for the promise of the good side of him/her, the times when they are nice to us.. it’s very apt. Hang in there Joanne, keep checking in to your diary and you continue to have our support. 

I hope you haven’t been atracked again by any streams or mice recently, hehe. Chris

 

Posted on:
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 04:12

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks Chris,  you're last comment made me chuckle. I've had a quick peak in your diary, you're doing fantastic!

Unfortunately, I've just relapsed AGAIN,  I've lost 300 pounds.  I'll expand tomorrow once I've had a few hours sleep!

All the best everyone, Joanne

Posted on:
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 05:41

Norland27

Joined:
2017-12-07

I’ve gone weeks without even thinking of gambling and then once payday eve shows up it’s like nasa countdown until my wages clear in the bank and then.... hold on to your knickers cos we’re off on a crazy roller coaster ride on the slots. Usually end up sick afterwards knowing I’ve been cleaned, or conned yet again as I say. I’ve even dreamt about playing slots and even winning a big jackpot, that’s how scarily deep it’s got into my subconscious. However, I’ve given it all up, completely and unconditionally. Sometimes wanting to do something or wanting to stop something isn’t enough, you’ve got to demand it off yourself. Even if you fail along the way demand that you start again and again until you get it right.

Posted on:
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 08:12

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks Norland for your support.   All the best to you.

I had some money from ebaying in my current account, went in search for a site and as always I found one.  Seek and you shall find.  I deposited a fiver, I thought I'll just play some 50p games, no harm done!   I started winning so I upped the stake to 75p , got into profit of around 220 pounds.  I couldn't be sensible and walk away , oh no, just couldn't stop playing until I lost it all.  One half of me was screaming, withdraw, withdraw the winnings but I just can't stop pressing the spin button until the money runs out.  I then started chasing the loss, which of course was only a fiver but in my head was £200!   Ended up depositing and losing £300.  It could have been worse, it was the bank that stopped me depositing.  At 3 o'clock in the morning I was cursing the bank for declining my deposits, I guess I should be grateful.  I'll go put a self-exclusion on that casino site.   I did have a gamblock in place but it just seemed to play havoc with my laptop.  I'm so tired of this gambling s**t.

All the very best everyone.............

Day 1 

Posted on:
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:08

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Joanne Isla wrote:

 One half of me was screaming, withdraw, withdraw the winnings but I just can't stop pressing the spin button until the money runs out.  I then started chasing the loss ...

Hi Joanne Isla - so sorry to hear about your relapse. It's crazy how much control gambling has once we step back into it. We're like vampires trying to resist blood. It's just not likely going to happen. I suppose a small mercy is that your bank declined the withdrawl - which will go a little way to reducing that gambling hangover.

I've relapsed recently and I've found that the relapse stings so much more. Much more disappointment and regret - not so much the money - but in myself. Although I'm determined to beat it. And with your impressive previous track record of clocking up 80 days (I've never got anywhere near that amount) you know that you can do it. 

I think there are so many triggers and temptatations around - from sad life events to seemingly innocuous Ebay accounts - that we just have to be constantly vigilant. 

Your day 1 gf looks small, but it is still an impressive figure - because hidden in that number are the other 100+ days you didn't gamble. Best of luck resisting any urges and to staying strong if they decide to pay a visit. 

Take care

Equinox