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Lights Out for 4 years (diary)

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 23:22

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear All,

Lights out for 4 years. That is what it has felt like. I am so tired, low and ashamed. My self-respect is in tatters.

I need to become more accountable for my behaviour as I am just sinking into self-pity. That is why I decided to start this diary. I think I need to write out my story also, to stop hiding this monster. It is too late to get much written now, but I'll come back to this.

The first time I gambled was the evening I heard of my father's death. And, naturally, I hit a big win. This irony has both troubled me and deluded me over the last 4 years. 

I see others on here doing so well, it inspired me to join. I feel so far from the strength I see other members expressing, but I must try.

I have self-excluded from my favourite site. There is one I am still going to, my plan is to self-exclude tomorrow.

Posted on:
Tue, 20/06/2017 - 18:46

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

So, Day 1 is almost over. I made my last bet yesterday. I self-excluded from that other site yesterday evening, no putting things off to tomorrow. My thoughts today have been focused on kicking myself for not requesting a ban from the slot sites instead of the self-exclusion for a few months. I need to get real, it has been 4 years of this.

My feelings have been that of just feeling free. Now I have no access, I feel released from the anxieties about money somewhat as I know I cannot lose any more. I never realised just how trapped and smothered I felt by this obsession until today, when it is no longer an option. I have a long way to go, I know that, but for today I am just thankful for this feeling of freedom. It was a most pleasant surprise, and far nicer than the obsessive thinking and worrying.

The fact that so many people on here got their lives back is keeping me going. Thank you to all who have and are sharing their journeys.

Signing off, free for today.

Posted on:
Tue, 20/06/2017 - 21:47

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

I have had some thoughts this evening about the money I have lost and urges to gamble have come right on the back of those thoughts. I know this is normal for a compulsive gambler. Can anyone tell me how long it took for the urges to separate from the thoughts?

Posted on:
Tue, 20/06/2017 - 22:13

Glint

Joined:
2016-01-08

Hello Lightsout

Welcome to the forum.

Well done for successfully navigating your way through day one and self-excluding.

Very good to set goals to help your progress.

It might be possible with a well-worded email to turn the self-exclusion into a ban or you could install some blocking software.

GamCare offer free counselling that might help you understand better why you gamble. Fully utilize any help available you feel might help you.

Good idea to try to keep yourself busy. Reading and getting involved in the forum is one way to productively use your time.

Keep learning about yourself and the addiction.

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 08:51

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Glint,

thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and give me support and advice, I really appreciate it. I am on live chat with another site that was playing on my mind, they are sending me a self-exclusion form as I ran out of chances to reset my password to do it myself (couldn't remember the password). I had 3 sites of preference, this is the one I haven't used in a while, but it is also the one I hit the biggest 'wins', so I'm getting rid of it, I woke up with it on my mind. There is no win big enough that can recoup the money I have lost now. 

I am considering counselling, many thanks for your suggestions Glint.

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 09:00

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

So Day 2 is here and I have not gambled. It is morning and I have a day off work - two triggers for gambling, read: losing a whole day and any disposable income. Today I am going to get out of the house. Unfortunately, my funds are so low I am relying on my credit card at present, but without any further gambling, this should be paid off in a few months. I am lucky that I never started using my credit card for bets, considering the interest rate for cash, I would use all my money then live off the card. However, I did come close many times. I am thankful that I never started that cycle, as it would have ruined me totally.

Some urges to gamble are present this morning, but as I said earlier, I just need to remind myself: there is no win big enough to recoup all the money I have lost now. In addition, the risk of losing further is too big a risk to take at this stage. My mood has been lower than it has ever been, to lose further is to lose my mind, I know this deep in my heart.

Wishing everyone a gamble-free day, we can do this!!!

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 14:11

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Lightsout,

Firstly thank you for the comments on my diary, they really help me to keep going and if anyone can take something from my journey it is a plus.

I have a few pieces of advice. Firstly get some councilling, my therapy saved me from complete disaster, we gamble for a reason (you may not even know what it is but it is true). Secondly tell your nearest and dearest about your problems. I kept my secrets for over 15 years until my life imploded. 3rd, go get yourself the book The Easy way to quit gambling. It is by Allen Carr, I got a lot from this too. Finally, keep documenting your thoughts and feelings on here, it helps. Remember we can never ever win when we gamble, even if we are winning we are not becuase it consumes your life.

The only way to a better future is to NEVER bet again, you will start to reap the rewards that life can bring.

Good luck.

 

Matt

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 20:25

ItMattersMoreWh...

Joined:
2017-06-02

Hi Lightsout, let those days rack up and you will see that life is better without gambling.  Despite only being on day 18 GF I can honestly say I feel a lot better already.  I am still in the early stages so you wont get many words of wisdom but try to occupy yourself - this is what got me through the first couple weeks.

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 20:32

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Lightsout ! Every single day you're  not betting you're a day richer not only financially but also physically, mentally and etc .. keep up the good work I'm only on my early days too 19 days GF and I'm feeling hella better already although it's still very challenging! We can do this together and we'll done ! Remember one day at a time . 

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 22:30

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Matt,

many thanks for your advice, counselling is something I am considering. I have insight into my behaviour though. One of the main driving forces was that big win that distanced me from my grief the night my father died. It created a powerful association between gambling and relief from sadness and loss. I do have other coping strategies though. The problem is the cycle. Once in it, other strategies go out the window. So I agree with you that total abstinence is the only way forward. That is my goal. 

Dear ItMattersMore,

thank you for your positive vibes. I am very happy to hear you are feeling better already, and it is encouraging to me. Well done, 18 days is awesome!

Dear Sars,

you have done brilliantly on 19 days, be proud! Thank you for your encouragement. I am looking forward to feeling better. I'm starting to see how sharing this with others helps so much, I feel so much less alone with this post from you and the other members. Let's get this done!

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 22:35

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

So, it's the end of day 2. It has actually been quite a good day. I have had *thoughts* of gambling, but they passed and no serious urges. I had a slight urge when I was home alone and ruminating on money lost, but I just got involved in reading something and it passed without much of a peep. I'm sure many before me have said this, I am not taking my eye off the ball for a second, but I really feel like a light has went on inside me. A switch flipped. I feel utterly done with it.

However, that is obviously easy to say on a good day. I received some good news today, so I won't credit my strength too much for today's achievement. 

Anyway. Day 2 - I win! 

Posted on:
Thu, 22/06/2017 - 09:23

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Lightsout

Yep get yourself to a councillor, you do seem very self aware but the more help and understanding you get the more power you have. Day 2 will soon become day 7. Day by day and week by week it will all improve. The money has gone, forget that. Every day gamble free is a day wealthier as Sars said.

Sars and Itmattersmore are good testament that the early days, although tough can act as a spur for you. They are at days 18 and 19 and both speak positively about their thoughts and feelings now just a couple of weeks since quitting. You will fell all this too.

Good luck all.

Posted on:
Sat, 24/06/2017 - 21:57

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Hello Matt,

thank you for coming back to offer support and encouragement, I really appreciate it. yes, I have been reading others' diaries every day at some point, and it is helping to spur me on.

So, it is Day 5 gamble-free. I have had the occasional fleeting urge, but nothing major. Probably because I have self-excluded, I know there is no point in trying. I don't think I would go to other sites, I may be wrong, but much of my delusional thiinking was attached to certain sites, and other gave me a bad feeling. I know how faulty this logic is, what I am trying to say is that I had tried many online slot sites and stuck to the ones I won the most and that looked 'reputable'. How ridiculous, they are all robbers!! Anyway, I feel safe being barred from the ones I 'trusted'. It's really hard not to slap myself in the face right now, writing out the drivel I believed.

Anyway. The REAL test has yet to be set before me. Payday. If I continue to feel as detached from gambling as I do just now, I think it will be fine. My future is looking brighter in other ways and I really don't want to mess that up. A dream could come true and I would not want to live if I lost it to gambling.

Day 5, and I've got this.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 08:08

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Day 6,

I am still going strong. Fleeting thoughts of recouping losses stamped out as soon as they arise. There is no slot that can save me, only abstinence can do that. My health and wellbeing and that of my family cannot be counted in pounds lost or gained. We are worth more than that! I choose to live!

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 19:24

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

 

Keep going mate your doing well. Get yourself self excluded from as many as possible, just take those options away. Together with your determination to quit that is a cocktail that won't be beaten.

Good luck

Matt

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 20:53

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Reflections on Day 6.

I have realised I am impatient. I have a couple of no-risk things in the works to make a little money. I did not completely wipe myself out this month, I never do really. Bills get paid, essentials get bought, etc. But it is the holidays, and there are things that would be helpful or nice to be able to buy. So I have been working on small business ideas (can't go into details - too private - and no it is not in anyway illegal or rude!!) And all my recent urges have come when I have thought about how long it will take to make a decent amount of money in comparison to how rapidly you can with gambling. *DELUSION ALERT* The losses are just as rapid, of course, far more likely and ultimately inevitable. Because I just. can't. walk. away. Anyway, that warped excuse for a thought has just been burst.

This clarity thing is useful. I can see how the lack of clarity when spinning leads to more spinning. You don't stop to think, and even if you did, your brain is like mashed potato that's been on the high spin cycle!

Another thought is that when it's all up there in your head - the delusions - it is very difficult to organise thoughts logically and separate them from the emotions of the gambling. It's overload. You can't moderate your behaviour in that situation because you are flooded with adrenaline and your brain is drowning in endorphins following a win. You no longer have the capacity to judge clearly. The loss, WHEN it comes, is so far to fall from the high that it is like falling forever into an abyss. Hitting the ground. Then falling some more. This is why I think we need to write, write, writer about the addiction, because it is easier to organise your thoughts, and you can read back and reflect on them.

Yes. Abstinence for sure. I am feeling much better than Day 1 already. End of Day 6 and I am crawling out of the abyss.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 21:06

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Well done you lights out! Us compulsive gambler has a characteristic of being impatient hence we want things to be instant and easy - my opinion of course . By taking our recovery in small steps we're getting better results rather than rushing it because we're more likely to slip/trip again ! Good job and keep going .

Sars 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 21:31

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Yes, I agree Sars. We have become so attached to the instant gratifications. Isn't it interesting how we selectively forget about the long weeks in between, effectively slogging at work for nothing, scrimping a penny here and there, running up credit and debt to live on. Those false senses of exhiliration and instant reward are no longer worth it to me. I have things in my life that I love with every fibre of my being, that are sure and constant. Not unpredictable, mean and volatile like gambling. I choose my life!

By the way, how do you put a days gamble free ticker on your profile? I think that would be handy.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 21:56

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Gambling is just a downward spiral in every aspect our lives ! All computers & machines are  manipulated by abysmal devils of the industry. Everything about it is flawed and biased ! I hate you gambling ! I just hate you ! 

With regards to displaying your gambling free days on your profile you have to click edit profile then and the bottom part you can put the last date you gambled and tick the box for displaying your progress :) 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 22:08

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Yep! Robbers! Every last bookie and casino! It's an ilusion anyway. Real life is love, friends, passions, expression. Even the lottery can't buy those things. I join you in your hate Sars, let's reject this poison. We wouldn't willingly drink bleach, would we??

Thanks for the tip on the ticker, it will help me keep track.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 23:29

Glint

Joined:
2016-01-08

Nice to see the day count up and running.

Some relatable reflections Lightsout.

Impatience is certainly something that drives my gambling. There's a long upward slog ahead so I'm always tempted by the easy shortcut which inevitably leaves me even more lost.

Just to pick up on #13: "Anyway. The REAL test has yet to be set before me. Payday. If I continue to feel detached from gambling as I do just now, I think I will be fine."

Perhaps the 'if' and 'think' should have also been in block capitals.

Is this the first time you have told yourself you will stop?

Those fleeting thoughts can very quickly takeover. Happened to me plenty of times.

Keep thinking, learning and stay open-minded to anymore options that might help you tighten your defence Lightsout.

Look forward to seeing you complete your first week tomorrow.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:40

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Glint,

thank you for your continued support and it is encouraging that you can relate. I never realised what a lonely road this was until I started reading the diaries and receiving responses to mine, and recognising the major similarities in gambling triggers and behaviours. This gives me all the more faith in recovery.

Yes, I would say this is the first REAL commitment I have made to stopping. Although, just to explain, it has not been a linear path to rock bottom. There was a time period in my 4 years that I never gambling, I just 'fell away' from it, for almost a year. I actually just lost interest in it. I guess I was not fully in the grips of the addiction at that point. I also had periods early on of being able to walk away. However. I thne developed the perception that gambling could help me pay for things, that it could become a source of regular income if I just 'done it right'. *DELUSION ALERT* That was the tip of the slippery slope, and of course for the next 3 years approx. I slid farther and farther down that slope. That is the period I began spending more and chasing losses. I would speak to my deceased father and ask him to help me again, as I carried a delusion that winning on the night of his death was somehow his gift to me and that if I could only make that connection with him again, it would work. This delusion has haunted me throughout. Somewhere over the last year I began to realise that I was delusional. Not only that, that I had developed a serious problem. I could no longer simply walk away. The addiction was now cemented.

For the last couple of years, most of my gamble free periods have been because I could not lose anymore money. Not because I chose to stop or beat the addiction. I did make attempts at moderating my behaviour, damage limitation, if you like, by playing low wagers on more community-feel sites, such as small bingo organisations with a small selection of basic slots. This limited the damage for a while, however, within months my wagering and losses were as high as it was when I was playing the 'big slot sites'. That's when I realised I could not control it while doing it. I had to stop completely. I have now totally accepted that I have to be abstinent. 

So, I have had many periods of trying to control it, stop it, or forced periods of abstinence, and one early period of just not caring about it anymore, so I wouldn't say this is first time I have tried per se. This IS the first time I have had the epiphany that there is no safe way for me to gamble AT ALL. The first time I have realised that I can't win because I can't stop. I did not think that was me before, I was deluded for a long time before I realised that, but now that I have, I know the only way out for me now is to never gamble again.

But yes. Payday is a worry. For the last few months I have sworn I would not throw away my disposable income, and yet I did. I did not have blocks in place though until this month, so I do have more protection than I did before. My diary will help me to stay accountable and real, as I can look back and see how low I was at the start, and re-absorb all the kind messages of hope and encouragement from compassionate Gamcare members.

I have a couple of weeks to think on it, but I am considering a total block with Qustudio on my computer. I will probably do this, rather than risk having to start over. From what I have been reading, the first few months appear to be the hardest, so I should probably get as much protection in there at the start as I can. 

WELL. I do believe I have made it to my first committed week of gamble-free. Day 7 - you belong to me!

Posted on:
Mon, 26/06/2017 - 20:40

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Well done on your 1st week Lightsout :-)

I concur with Glint, as I always do & think you are right to add the extra security measures, especially helpful in these early days when addiction is clawing away @ our mashed potato trying to suck us back into that spin cycle.  My history of gambling & then recovery follows a similar pattern of surviving on the edge, denial & promises albeit over the same number of decades & not years as I have been consumed throughout.  Interesting that you "fell away" from it for so long & I was wondering whether you could pin point this to a happier time in your life rather than simply not being so ill then?

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father and am minded to say, they cannot control our financial destiny but loved ones like that can give us a sense of love & support.  People we care about & who care about us, wish us well & we can take strength from this to help us follow the right path.

Onwards & upwards to week 2 & a better life - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Tue, 27/06/2017 - 09:11

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear ODAAT,

many thanks for your support and empathy. The period I fell away... I had a lot going on in my personal and professional life, and my time was very limited. I think it was a case of being very busy and I had not yet developed the delusion that I could supplement my income. After my initial foray into gambling following my father's death, I kind of went into a state of shock (my first stage of grief, I guess?). I was numb and didn't feel much of anything. I was on auto-pilot trying to deal with everything else on top of his death. When things settled a bit and I started processing the loss though, I started to feel again. I think it was at this point that I became more vulnerable to the emotional component of addictions. Money started to become a worry again and I never forgot that big win on the night of his death (one of the few I walked away with). And thus the delusions formed: the win was his gift to me, he had somehow controlled the forces of the universe in my favour and helped me out and maybe I could improve our lot with a few more wins *DELUSION ALERT*. All downhill from there really.

Thinking back, he would be horrified at the amount of money I have thrown away on gambling and would probably be angry with me that I ever considered this as something he would *gift* me or encourage me to do.

Well. Day 8 - you are looking bright. I am present and life is not looking so bad. Funds are low, but fixable with some patience. Emotions are relatively stable. Mood is far lifted from day 1. I am learning every day.

Posted on:
Wed, 28/06/2017 - 13:14

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Dear lightsout ,

Thank you for all the support and guidance that I'm receiving regularly from you .You're a trooper ! And yes we will definitely defeat this addition once and for all. Keep going and never look back . 

Sars 

Posted on:
Wed, 28/06/2017 - 14:36

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Sars,

no problem at all. I am finding that supporting others is also spurring me on. We have all been in the same sinking ship, and now we swim to shore together! The support from yourself and the other compassionate, determined Gamcare members is really helping me also. 

So. Day 9 is here. I feel strong and in control. My little money-makers are doing just fine. I'm still swatting off thoughts of how long it will take to recover financially, and remembering it will take FOREVER if I continue to gamble. Gambling is no longer an option for me, ever. again.

I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been supporting me either by sharing their diaries, commenting on mine or the amazing admin who maintain this invaluable corner of the web. The kindness and acceptance of this community is second-to-none and I feel so much safer being a part of it.

Posted on:
Wed, 28/06/2017 - 16:29

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Hi lightsout. 

I've been following your diary from the start and you've made a great start. Double digits tomorrow another little milestone keep going odaat and they will keep coming. 

I think at one time or other we have all tried to control our gambling for a while we kid ourselves into thinking we are doing great but it's just keeping them embers burning inside eventually they will relight and a raging fire will take hold. I would recommend slamming shut all the doors out there be that self exclusion or blocking software if we keep the doors ajar eventually we will take advantage. 

It's great you're a reading it can be s great source of inspiration and keep engaging with others ypull find if you support others you will receive the same support back. 

KTF 

Posted on:
Wed, 28/06/2017 - 19:36

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

 

Hello Lightson, a flyer as I fly around. It's superb to read your insightfullness with this gripping insidious addiction.

Trauma needs to be processed, so I love seeing you realise this at an early stage. This place can be superb, but it also goes great hand in hand with some external 3D help.

I like the way your using your diary, sharing your thoughts can be cathartic and a good way to compartmentalise them. 

Wishing you well

 

Posted on:
Thu, 29/06/2017 - 00:36

ItMattersMoreWh...

Joined:
2017-06-02

Day 10 is here - keep going your doing an excellent job. Take in all the advice and give yourself the best chance to succeed. You are also doing an excellent job of supporting others!

Cheers

Posted on:
Thu, 29/06/2017 - 09:39

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Oldham,

it means a lot that you have been following my diary, and helps me stay accountable! Thank you for your advice and support, I appreciate it. I am staying aware and not getting too comfortable in my newfound freedom, as I know it can change in an instant if I take my eye off the ball. I am still getting the occasional email from casinos offering bonuses, etc, however, I am blocking them without a second thought, thankfully, I have not felt tempted. Unsubscribing and blocking (or 'junking') these emails and texts is going to be an ongoing task. I am even receiving communication from sites I haven't even heard of, they must share your information. Nasty business they are in, I don't know how they sleep at night!

Dear Volcano,

thank you for visiting my diary and offering support. Yes you are right, unprocessed trauma can manifest as any number of unhelpful behaviours as we try to block, cope or process the emotions associated with it. I'm no stranger to trauma recovery, I have a difficult past. But many things I learned from that recovery are helping me now. My father's death appears to have led me to deeper issues that I possibly missed first time around. I am seeing this fight as an opportunity to heal those issues. Thank you for the well wishes!

Dear ItMattersMore,

Yes! It is! Double figures feels good indeed. But I have done this before when I have ran out of disposable income, so I am not out of the woods yet. The difference this time is that I am not simply waiting for payday to roll around again to start gambling like before. This time I am waiting for it to roll around so I can batter hell out my compulsions and show myself that I can beat this! For once, payday will be a welcome day, a victory. Not a day filled with dread and foreboding and shame. I don't have much to offer others in terms of personal achievement over gambling specifically, but I know a bit about the mind and addictions, so hopefully, I can offer something of worth to others. But I guess the best thing I can offer is to walk the path I am encouraging others to. Otherwise, I am a hypocrite, no?

So. Day 10. No thoughts of gambling or urges rising spontaneously. I was reading someone else's diary earlier and they mentioned the name of an online site I was aware of and little thought arose that I hadn't played that site in a while. * DELUSION ALERT* Time is of no consequence! It is not a reason to *try* just one more time. Time was in fact one of my core delusions when gambling. I thought I had nailed the perfect times to win the most on certain games on certain sites. But the goalposts always seemed to change, and then one day I seemed to never be able to stick to my 'gambling windows' because of the losses I was just gambling any time I could. But even the windows weren't bearing fruit anyway - bang went that supposed 'secret'. I recognise it now for the delusion it was. Clarity is beautiful and safe. I like the feeling of knowing I am returning to reality. I am becoming a real girl, not the ghost I have been for too long.

Day 10 - you belong to me!

Posted on:
Thu, 29/06/2017 - 12:38

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Does anyone feel like there is so much more of the day left? I lost days in a fog of gambling. Full years have passed in the blink of an eye. I thought it was a consequence of getting older, but now I know better. It is not like I didn't have other things I should/could be doing, I have many irons in the fire! But I neglected these other, more fulfilling and healthy pursuits in chasing the snake oil. I am loving this feeling of a full day ahead with which I have choice in how to spend. I can blink, and there is still some day left! 

Posted on:
Thu, 29/06/2017 - 18:49

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Major realisation. The reason it has taken me so long to deal with this is that I did not realise I had an addiction, or at least, I wasn't calling it that. 

That is embarrassing, considering my knowledge on the subject. Oh well. I guess you can be so close to the enemy, you cannot see him anymore.

End of Day 10. Humbled by my naivety (stupidity?), but staying free.

Posted on:
Fri, 30/06/2017 - 00:16

Magsy

Joined:
2014-02-02

Well done on getting to double figures Lightsout x

Posted on:
Fri, 30/06/2017 - 13:59

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Hi

Re last few posts. I somehow managed to pretend I wasn't an addict, for 14 odd years. Now, that's just insane. Amazing the power of denial. Makes me wonder if I've got some other huge denial I'm lying to myself about?!

Same - addiction was a fog and once i lifted out of that, I appreciated time more. You also expose yourself more to life. You reconnect with emotions, 'good' or 'bad'. More experience and less hiding=more alive.

Realise the 'bad' emotions aren't as harmful as what I thought. The Demons turn to paper tigers when you stare them down.

Best wishes

Louis

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 14:31

Mac1989

Joined:
2017-06-06

Hi Lightsout,

Just realised i had posted on mine and not your discussion, hope your still keeping strong, i literally forgot about everything until i clicked on the Gamcare on my PC. i have two blockers on my pc and laptop and now banned from all local casinos. I never played slots,dogs,horses or even bandits ever so im hoping this is a fighting chance. Hope your weekend is going well and keeping strong :) 

Mac

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 15:44

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Magsy, Louis and Mac,

thank you for your support and empathy. These connections with others who understand are really helping my growing clarity. I appreciate that you have taken the time to write to me, it means a lot.

So. Day 12 is here. I don't really have much to say. Gambling is moving further and further from my thoughts with each day. I think the grieving for my losses is lessening also, which is great because I think if anything were to lead me back to hell it would be that. So yeah, not much share really. Feeling strong, real and in control. No gambling for me!

Wishing everyone else a peaceful, gamble-free weekend! 

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 18:07

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

Also not mush to share this weekend apart from don't waste grief on gambling loss's. That's not being flippant, but just pointing out a potential trap which I'm pretty sure your aware of

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 18:11

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Voilcano,

a good point indeed. I'm staying aware. I think the grieving process is almost over, thankfully. And I do not have any interest in gambling at all just now. Thanks for your advice!

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 20:47

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Awesome achievement lightouts ! 12 days ! Wohoooo ! We can have a high five on that one! Take it one day at a time ! slow and steady :) 

Posted on:
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 20:38

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Sars,

thank you for your encouragement and support! I do believe I am at 15 days now - two of the best weeks I have had in a long time. I feel far more in control being gamble free than I ever did deluding myself that if I could only win back my losses I'd be in control * DELUSION ALERT *. Yes, this is true freedom. I can get my kicks from other things in life that pay me back far more than gambling ever did or ever could. I prefer my gamble-free life and mental health! My anxiety is so much lower, my mood is lifted, I have more motivation to enjoy other pursuits and I wake up looking forward to the day and I know the feeling will not be taken by any big losses because I no longer gamble with my life!

How are you doing Sars? 

Posted on:
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 23:06

ItMattersMoreWh...

Joined:
2017-06-02

Going strong still LightsOut I am pleased to see this 15 days and counting. The longer you go the less the urges rear their ugly head. Just take it ODAAT and keep on your guard.

Cheers

Posted on:
Thu, 06/07/2017 - 09:12

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Thank you for your support ItMattersMore. 

So, on day 17, this is what I am finding. The seemingly unbidden thoughts about gambling have left me for the most part. I no longer feel the urge to chase losses. Despite having a busy life, I have had some brief periods of feeling at a loose end and a little thought crept in then, but it was easy to bat away as gambling is simply not something I do anymore in my mind. It is not a part of my life. I no longer view it as an acceptable behaviour for me, so I guess my value system has changed to support my gamble free life, which is good. I am aware of the dangers of complacency though, and I just have to remind myself of the abject misery, shame, anxiety and hopelessness gambling brings. 

Thank you to all the Gamcare members and admin who have been so generous and compassionate to help us who are fighting this condition. Hope everyone is still going strong!

Posted on:
Thu, 06/07/2017 - 20:41

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hi Lightsout . Well done on 17 Days , the first few weeks of recovery can be very challenging . Love the positive attitude to your recovery , your insight into the addiction and coping mechanisms are splendid .

I am now on Day 56 . The words on your first post strike a chord with me , a good reminder of life in gambling hell ...... " I am so tired , low and ashamed . My self respect is in tatters . " ...... A great reminder of how I used to feel .Thank you so much my friend , fellow travellers on the recovery road have been my rock and inspiration .

 

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 21:54

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Thanks Abstainer, I am glad you can relate to my diary. Yes, I always read my intial post from time to time. Those feelings are gettin further from my mind now, but I never want to forget how bad it feels, or I am at risk of the 'just one...' delusion. 

Well. 20 days!!! For some reason the number 20 looks really exciting! I continue to feel better as time goes on, hardly any urges to gamble. Still soul-searching, but nothing new there. Wishing everyone their freedom!

Posted on:
Fri, 14/07/2017 - 10:11

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Day 25,

lovely to meet you gamble-free. Payday has also been and gone without a hitch, no urges to gamble. The occasional thought about gambling, but more observations than thoughts of recouping losses or winning. I think I am resolved that gambling is not something I do anymore. It is not for me. It never brought me what I sought and it never will. Only a clear perception can do that - one of the many things gambling took from me. 

I hope my fellow Gamcarers are doing well. I will have to do some rounds on the diaries, stay strong folks, it is worth it!!

Posted on:
Fri, 14/07/2017 - 16:25

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Nice one Lightsout, keep it up.

Nearly a month GF for you, the days are piling up.

All the best

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 20:44

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Matt,

thanks for your encouragement and I do believe today is 29 days - I have done over a month gamble free! How are you doing?

I still have some regrets,; but I feel miles better than 1 month ago, and it has gone so fast! I thought it would seem like a long road to this point, but it hasn't really. The first week was hard, but since then it has been smooth sailing. I like this life far better than the one gambling was slowly swallowing. 

Sending strength to everyone.

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 22:02

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

I'm so proud of you lightsout ! I'm very very happy with all your progress ! Keep fighting ! We ain't backing down . 

Sars 

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 09:59

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Lightsout

Don't hang onto those regrets, what's done is done. Put the stick away, stop beating yourself with it and pat yourself on the back for achieving your first month gamble free. It can only get better from here, I can vouch for that.

Stay strong

Matt

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 11:42

Lightsout

Joined:
2017-06-19

So I have been pretty busy with life (still amazed at how much time I have to do other things now that I no longer gamble), checked my profile and I am 41 days gamble-free! Swiftly heading for the two month mark. 

Dear Day 41. I find you just fine. I have not had urges to gamble for weeks now. Passing thoughts, but hey, I also have passing thoughts about quitting my career and joining the circus! If I am honest, I do not even miss gambling now. I am far better off financially, and I am paying back any credit slowly, but consistently. My little income supplements are enough to keep me from feeling deprived and lets face it, as a gambler, I have lived on far less. Even without them, I know I would be fine. I am not even buying lottery tickets, because the website has virtual scratchcards and I've blown too much on them before, same mindset as I took to slots. I also haven't even noticed missing that. 

Hope everyone is doing well, or reaching out if they are not.