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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 08:06

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

So here I am again, same old story. Stopped gambling for a few months, thought I was ok and then somewhere something happens inside my brain that says ‘one go won’t harm’ but of course, it does.                                                   

So much has changed since I joined the forum, in a way I’ve grown in so many ways, but actually, I’ve still got the same problem. In the time I’ve been signed up to the forum, I’ve got married, somehow managed to buy a house (was lucky that I had stopped gambling in just about the right time that they weren’t able to see it on bank statements) and had my first child. I’ve changed jobs a couple of times and at times, things have been good. For some unknown reason when things become good, that’s when I gamble, it’s like I have to have some sort of crisis to be able to focus and get back on track. I can’t just be happy or content with myself. 

This time I have blown £5,000. My wife is on maternity and I have put us in a pretty rubbish situation. We have zero savings and now I have a £4350 credit card debt, along with other debts like mortgage/car loan etc. My credit card was already at £2000 debt but the painful thing is that I have lost all of our savings that was meant to keep us ok until the end of my wife’s maternity. Now we have to struggle and get through the next few months because I wanted to have a gamble. Which obviously is incredibly selfish. I have lost amounts in the region of £2000 on 2 or 3 occasions in the past and promised to not do it again. It’s demoralising when you keep to your promise for a long time, get yourself into a good place again and then destroy it all. But here we go again, I guess losing £5000 (the biggest amount I’ve lost so far - all done in a week) has really panicked me. I always thought that losing £2000 was my stopper, but clearly not. I’ve read a lot on the forum where people say that if you can lose a certain amount and think that it’s bad, that you can certainly lose more and I guess that has rung true for me now. 

This time we have actually been to the bank, cancelled my card, cancelled my access to internet banking (I’m only going to be able to view our account with my wife’s supervision - just so we can atleast budget the next few months together). I’m only going to be given £20 at a time and I’m hoping with these blocks in place and restricted access to money, that I won’t do it again. I have to stop as I now have a mortgage, a baby and responsibilities. Losing my wife should have been enough of a reason (she said last time I did this that she would leave me) This is what’s upset her so much is that not even her saying that has stopped me from gambling. 

 

Going forward I need to understand what triggers my gambling and talk to people when I feel like I want to gamble. I’ve not brought it up with my wife when I have felt like gambling because I didn’t want her to feel like I was a lost cause and weak I guess. But I know I have to talk, it’s clear that I have an addiction so I suppose she knows now after this latest stint that it will always be the case and it won’t be a surprise to her if I do say months down the line ‘I have an urge to gamble, please help me’ - rather than telling her after I’ve done it and lost loads of money. 

My triggers for gambling recently has probably been the grand national. I’m starting a new job soon and I’m always a bit nervous when I start a new job. I start to question whether I can do it, start questioning my ability, worrying that I’m not going to pick it up quickly and what people are going to think. I then start questioning my self worth and put myself down. Self-confidence is constantly low and other that my wife, feel like I have no support. My mum is a state and my dad didn’t want to know when I was very young. I’m an adult and should have got over the need to lean on people, but I think because I never had the ability to lean on people or have help from people that, in normal people lives, they do have help from family. It’s meant that I’ve turned to gambling as a means of escape. Also as a means to make myself feel good, the rush of winning. But as others have explained, it’s like a toxic relationship, it keeps you there with the small wins but hurts you with big losses, to make you feel things that you wouldn’t normally feel. 

All I know is, is that I’ve got to sort myself out (again). Not make empty promises, have blocks in place and always know that it can creep up on me (even if I go a few months without doing it). I’m not cured if I don’t gamble for a good amount of time, I’m an addict and it will always be there and I need to accept that I will get urges, but I need to talk about it, and not just keep it to myself. 

The other focus is to try and get through the next few months of my wife’s maternity and survive basically. When we gamble, the focus is always on the money, to clear debt, to pay our bills and I know in the short term that’s what’s going to make me buck my ideas up. But I guess I need a long term goal as well that I’m going to stick to. To know that I cannot put my family in this stituation again. That I need to be content with what I’ve got and o speak out when I need to. All in all, I just needed to get my feelings off of my chest, hopefully I can stick to it this time. I don’t have a choice, I don’t want to keep feeling like this and I don’t want to lose what I’ve got and in order to do that, gambling needs to go.

Posted on:
Tue, 08/05/2018 - 07:10

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

So the bank holiday weekend is over, I’m back to work today. When looking at my posts from previous years, there seems to be a pattern, I’ve tended to gamble after the grand national. There has been a lot of triggers this time around but I guess that’s where the pattern is. I will lose a lot of money and then not gamble for months and then do the same thing the next year. At least this time I’m at rock bottom and I can’t do it again. I’ve affectively stolen from my wife and baby to help us get through the maternity period which is low. By my wife taking control and me cancelling my card and having no access to the bank account and just having limited money, I can’t gamble, I also signed up for GamStop for 5 years, haven’t heard anything back after the automated email but hopefully I will do at some point.

Another thing that I’ve done from previous years is actually tell a few more people that I am a gambling addict. I’ve felt that it’s time that I admit it aloud now rather than keeping it secret. I have told 2 close friends who have been supportive and not judged, they are good people and I respect them. So it was hard for me to tell them as I didn’t want them to think less of me but they have been really good. I’ve also told my wife’s sister and Mum, they have also been good and just want me to get help. It was hard telling others and I did consider just putting a message out there to everyone that I’m an addict but I think that would have been unnecessary. I wouldn’t have been scared to do it but I thought it was best not to, I’ve already done more than previous years when I have tried to quit by telling people that are close and at least it’s out there. I also told them the amount I’ve gambled and lost as I felt it was important to tell them so they have the full details. I didn’t want it to look like I was playing it down.

Also different from previous years, I have decided to get some anti-depressants. I’ve never wanted to take them as I saw it as a sign of weakness, but to be honest, gambling £5000 is weak, me trying to sort it out isn’t. I never understood what a pill could actually do to change your mindset, so I was never too keen, but apparently there are things that it does that can help combat negative thoughts so it’s worth a try. 

All in all, progress has been made, albeit small, I’ve been in this position a number of times where I’ve said that I’m going to stop, but this has to be it now, otherwise I’ll lose everything and I don’t want that.

Posted on:
Wed, 09/05/2018 - 07:05

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

The last few days have been incredibly difficult to process what I have done. In the past, I would have convinced myself that it was a bad experience but it’s ok, I’m on the road to recovery. I think now I truly understand the gravity of my actions and what the consequences are, and also if I don’t stop, that the consequences will be even worse.

I can’t seem to shake feeling low. I keep trying to think how I’m going to sort our finances for the next 8 months, I keep going over and over it and thinking how we are going to survive. The thought of not being able to do anything and just existing is a horrible feeling also. I keep coming to a point where I think I’ve worked out how we can get through and then I realise that there are other bills/expenses that I didn’t consider. I keep trying to think of amounts of money that can be saved here and there but then it just seems so pointless, the thought of saving £50 somewhere, in comparison to blowing £5000, it just feels whatever I do isn’t going to make up for what I’ve done in any way, shape or form.

I know the money is gone but I can’t shake the guilt and I just don’t know how I’m going to get through this.

Posted on:
Thu, 10/05/2018 - 10:03

c43herb

Joined:
2015-03-28

Hi.

A short note to say people are reading your posts. Keep it going. Ultimately we are all on seperate journeys here and what you do and how you own the problem will allways be your cross to bear. There are resources here to find out more about what triggers you so spend some time and you will find usefull things comments people to connect with etc. 

Now a word on your situation.

Look up skinner boxes. Operant conditioning. Addiction by design by Natascha Dow Schull. If it is only horses  you do you may need to think about your thoughts on skill games vs reality checks etc. There are hundreds of ways to go here. But money is almost a guaranteed trigger to go get more money. We work out patterns in our minds to fix problems to create new ones to start to fix the next set of problems etc etc. And in the end of the day our whole life becomes a repeat of the same thing happening over and over.

Some words that have helped me.

You can have more than you got because you can change who you are. But if you do not change who you are you will allways have what you got. 

For things to change. You got change.

For things to get better. You got to make it better.

Direction determines destination. A few degrees left or right will bring you to a new destination and this

will be a story past that will give you some new strengths and advantages you did not have before.

Best of luck in your recovery.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 11/05/2018 - 07:35

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Hello C43herb, thank you for commenting and offering me some advice.

I’m not wallowing as much today, my wife spoke with me and said that it’s making it worse being down and she just wants her husband back. She’s very good at moving on from things and saying what’s done is done. I’m not programmed that way and go over things and feel guilty a lot but I need to get over this because the more I wallow the worse it will get. I think the fact I have fixated on past losses has always driven me back to gambling so I need to forget about the losses and focus on changing, as you say. 

It’s mad to think that I first came to this forum in 2013 and it’s taken me 5 years, clearly knowing I have a problem, to truly start trying to fix it. I can’t waste another 5 years making the same mistakes otherwise my life will just pass me by and I’ll be old and all I would have truly ever focussed on was gambling and that’s sad. 

I will not gamble into my 30’s, this is stopping now. I will focus on my family and making myself better. Maybe I will learn new skills because of this experience, who knows. As long as I don’t gamble, my life will be a lot better and that’s got to be the focus. The way I’ve felt these last few days and how I’ve felt after previous losses is not worth putting that bet on. I need to remember that, which I know is obvious, but I guess for us addicts, that feeling is forgotten when the urge comes. At least there are proper blocks in place this time and I will be signing up to Gamban which will be another block. 

Thanks again for offering your advice, those quotes are very useful and I shall try to remember them and apply them.

Posted on:
Fri, 11/05/2018 - 13:15

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Dude

As feelings fade you won't be able to 'recall' the negative feelings of despair etc, should you be inclined to bet. You might get a faint trace but emotions can't be switched on and off like that.

My two pence. Your poor impulse control, prioritisation of escape (gambling) over wellbeing - this is all a signal. Your addiction is a sign, telling you something is not right with how you see yourself.

Turn this into a positive. Follow where the sign leads. Be honest with yourself as you follow it. Then take actions to bring about change.

You deserve better.

Louis

Posted on:
Fri, 11/05/2018 - 20:38

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Cheers Louis for your advice. 

I’ve been there many times now where I’ve given into gambling and totally forgot about past emotions of despair due to large gambling losses, so all I can do is put better blocks in place (which I have) not have access to money and sign up to GameStop and Gamban. This is all preventative measures and not necessarily sorting out the real issues as to how I see myself, as you mention.

I’ve tried counselling, I can’t afford anymore, I haven’t got the answers as to how I can change myself for the better but by not gambling, that will be a start. I’m starting a new job and have got the focus of getting ourselves through my wife’s maternity and then paying off debt after. I’ve always been able to not gamble when I’m in a rubbish situation and have to focus. When things are in a good place, I find I turn to gambling, it’s like I want my life to be a crisis. That has to change and all I can do is commit to that because I’ve had enough of this all now.

Cheers again Louis, all the best.

Posted on:
Sat, 12/05/2018 - 07:58

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Day 9

The sun is shining and we are going out for a walk today. I start my new job on Monday so I’m a bit nervous. It’s a bit gutting that I’m affectively working the first 4 or 5 months for nothing (the amount I gambled) but I guess I can’t change that. 

I need to look forward rather than back, yes my past has been soured by the amount of gambling I’ve done and although my near future is a bit clouded due to my gambling and the debt I must pay back, atleast it will be rosier by me not gambling.

Like a lot of people say, you don’t just lose money when you are gambling, you lose time, self respect etc. I guess our situation is a bit rubbish but atleast I can concentrate my time and energy on my wife and baby, rather than trying to chase losses. 

Have a good gamble-free weekend for anyone that is reading and beyond.

Posted on:
Sun, 13/05/2018 - 17:48

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Day 10

I’ve read a lot of posts. The main theme from what I’ve read is that money isn’t the only thing that’s lost. Relationships, houses, self worth, self respect etc etc. It seems that to help some people, forgetting about the money helps. At the moment, I’m still struggling with the amount of money lost but I know this isn’t healthy. There isn’t anything I can do about it. It doesn’t mean to say that I’m thinking of gambling, because I’m not. I’m just feeling very low.

I have self confidence issues, I over think, I question my abilities and I feel like I’m a failure. I went to counselling before and they did try to make me think differently about myself. But I’ve forgotten everything. I can’t get over what I’ve done to my family and what we are going to do over the next few months. It’s a weird feeling because I would get premonitions that is put myself in this position. I would hold it off each day and then the day finally comes. We work through it, get to an ok place then I do it again. I don’t know how I’m going to shake these horrible feelings.

Posted on:
Thu, 17/05/2018 - 06:39

gamparentanon

Joined:
2016-04-22

Jez

he problem with gambling is that it does eventually ruin your confidence and self esteem. The trick now is to build all that back up again. What you have done and lost in the past has happened and you cannot turn the clock back. So the more you dwell on all of that the harder it will be for you to move forward. You are capable of securing your future if you go through the right channels. i.e. get advice on any debts etc., budgetting, work hard at your new job, invest your time in your quality time with your family, save for a little holiday (a target to look forwad to). It sounds like you have a supportive partner which is such a bonus. And it sounds like you really want to lok after your family. Stay talking to Gamcare for moral support and keep talking to your partner. You should be proud of the effort you are making to solve this problem and you are also helping others in your situation by sharing your problem.  Good luck with the job and your future.

Posted on:
Sat, 19/05/2018 - 18:10

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Hello gamparentanon. 

Thank you very much for your advice, I really appreciate it. You are completely right with everything you said and I know deep down that is how I should tackle things. Negative thoughts do take over but I guess every day gamble free is a positive, and that’s a start. 

I’m pleased with my new job, it’s a job that really helps people and hopefully I get a sense of pride from it. I have a very supportive wife and I don’t want to keep hurting her with my addiction. It’s mad what we went through to have a child, I didn’t think I would gamble once our baby came but I guess addiction knows no bounds. All I can do is not gamble anymore. Which I’m determined to do. 10 years is too long.

I am dwelling on it a bit still, but as the days pass, I’m trying to stop doing this as it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to keep concentrating on it, because my family need my attention and I’ve got to stop being selfish, wallowing and self pitying. I’ve got to face up to my mistakes.

It’s going to be a long road but I have no choice. I’m determined to be better and try and make myself a better person. Thanks again gamparentanon. Day 16.

Posted on:
Tue, 22/05/2018 - 07:17

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

19 days have passed since I last gambled. I had a nice weekend and we went out and made the most of it without doing anything expensive. Which was nice. It’s still difficult to think about the money I wasted and what it could have bought. I was in the supermarket buying some bits yesterday. I only had £17 cash, no cards on me. I’m only having small amounts of cash because I need to have blocks in place. The shop came to over £18 so had to put a couple of bits backs. I wasn’t so much embarrassed to do that but I guess it showed me once again what my actions have done and the value of money. Having wasted £5000, I was in a position where I could have bought a £100 shop and not have been worried. I blew it for nothing, I don’t know why I did it, maybe I was being greedy, who knows. All I know is that I’ve put us in this situation, it’s going to be difficult to work our way out of it, but I guess if and when I don’t gamble again, at least I won’t have to experience these bad feelings due to my mistakes with gambling. Eventually, after a couple of years, we’ll be in a position to build some savings up, but my actions has meant that we cannot think about a second child for a long while, which is sad. I guess all I can do is move on and try and be a better person for myself and my family. 21 days is my next milestone.

Posted on:
Mon, 04/06/2018 - 22:25

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

32 days. Over a month since I last gambled. I’ve been busy which has been good. Next goal is 50 days

Posted on:
Sat, 09/06/2018 - 14:30

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

37 days

Posted on:
Thu, 14/06/2018 - 04:20

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

42 days

Posted on:
Fri, 22/06/2018 - 21:45

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

50 days! Made it, now for another 50 days

Posted on:
Fri, 22/06/2018 - 21:51

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Well done on 50 days! Keep taking it one day at a time. Some days are harder than others. Have a good weekend.

All the best.

Posted on:
Sat, 23/06/2018 - 08:52

gamparentanon

Joined:
2016-04-22

Congrats on 50 days -  be proud.  Good luck.

Posted on:
Sat, 23/06/2018 - 10:02

cassie51

Joined:
2018-06-21

Well Done. Onwards and Upwards x

Posted on:
Sat, 23/06/2018 - 11:59

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Dear Jez89

Great to read you've achieved 50 days.  Be proud of this milestone and keep up the great work.

All the best

Leigh, Forum Admin

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 06:26

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

Thank you for your kind words. I do appreciate it. My mind isn’t on gambling at the moment. Feeling safe in the knowledge that I can’t gamble, even if I wanted to, is helpful. I guess I’m looking forward now, and seeing what my life is like without worrying about placing my next bet and whether it wins or not. I feel a lot more at ease and just want to make more out of my life, whilst being happy with what I’ve got. My overriding goal is 1 year to start with, but I’m taking each day at a time and celebrating milestones when I reach them. Thanks again to the people that are supporting me, it’s very kind.

Posted on:
Sat, 07/07/2018 - 22:29

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

65 days

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 21:36

Jez89

Joined:
2013-06-08

75 days, next goal = 100