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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.