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Living with my biggest mistake

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 12:08

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Never really gambled much in the past. Lottery, small bets (£2-5) on world cup/euro football for a bit of fun at home and few small bets at the horses. All completely in the open, with my family and with wife’s full knowledge and usually participation.

I started using online gambling when the French tennis open was on this year. Got hooked in with a free bet offer which I managed to gamble up to about £100 gambling really cautiously on low odd sports bets. Then I saw roulette on the site and thought it looked like fun and given the £100 was “free” money did not see the harm. Only betting a £1 a go but soon started winning a bit and started doubling my bets when I lost – thought I was really clever. As I was up a few £100s I started betting higher amounts upto £25 a spin but it was never a problem because I kept winning. Got upto about £2700 after about a week and told myself I would round it off to £3000, withdraw it and tell my wife how clever/lucky I had been and take her on a holiday with the cash. I was really impressed with myself. Then the losing started and did what everyone does and tried to chase my losses until I was placing bets of £200-£300. Lost it all and felt really stupid but told myself I had not really lost anything as it had never actually been in my bank account so just a lesson in life and try and forget about it.

Then the problems started. I convinced myself that if I had won once, I could do it again, so started with £100 and lost it all so convinced myself that I needed a bigger stake to deal with small losing streaks so started depositing £250 a go and then £500. Lost it all. Now I was £2000 down which I thought I might be able to cover without my wife knowing, maybe sell a few things. But of course I wanted our £2000 back so I carried gambling and somehow managed to get almost back to £2000 but blew it all again. Kept going and started using our joint savings. By this stage it made me feel sick just playing the game but I was desperate to win our money back before anyone noticed.  Of course I did not and I ended up £4000 down. Managed to stop and convinced myself I could somehow hide the £2000 I had taken out of our savings if I could put a bit more away for the next six months or so. After being physically sick in the car park at work after losing more money playing at lunchtime I figured I was done.

Roll forward a month and I started on the roulette and on-line slots again. Had a bit of luck and actually won about £3500 which would have put me virtually back where I was. I was so happy. The dark thoughts and unhappiness lifted and I just thought about how incredibly lucky I had been to be given a second chance and an opportunity to put it all behind me as a huge stupid mistake. It was like a lottery win. Two weekends ago I lost it all and more. I spent the whole of Saturday night/Sunday morning until 6.00am in the spare room (said I had a cold and did not want to keep my wife awake with coughing) trying to win back our money. Got within a couple of £100s and instead of just accepting a small loss, tried to get it all back and lost it all.

I understand I am lucky that this is not debt like many others have incurred but it still something I need to deal with. At the moment I am trying to carry on as if nothing has happened, going to work and doing the normal things couples do all the time but inside it is all I can think about and keep bursting into tears whenever I am on my own – pretty pathetic for a 48 year man and definitely not normal behaviour for me. I have a fairly responsible job and I think most people who know me would consider me a fairly cautious and sensible person, I am not a normal risk taker in any other part of my life, which makes my behaviour even more out of character and probably difficult for my wife to understand.

I have now lost £5000 of our savings which I have no way of recouping. I have self excluded myself from the sites I was using and given it made me feel sick using them I don’t have any desire to gamble anymore. The last 4 months just seem to have been a bit of a blur with a completely separate gambling life going on alongside what appears to be a normal one. My wife is unlikely to find out in the short term but she might notice at some point whether it is next week or next month or next year.

At the moment I am just carrying on smiling and pretending everything is fine and planning things for the future together (even holidays!), whilst feeling sick and like a fraud the whole time. I am struggling to sleep and as soon as I wake up the first thing that comes into my mind is what I have done and it does not leave me all day. Last night my son came to me and said he wanted to start up a hobby we used to enjoy together and instead of being really happy I felt like breaking down at the thought of where I was going to find the money which would never have been a problem just 4 months ago. Ended up going for a walk in the dark just so no-one would see how I was emotionally and when a car went past at speed, just for split second, thought how it might not be so bad if the driver had lost control and hit me. Cowardly, I know, and not something I am going to dwell on. Came back in and son is watching a comedy on tv so I sit down with him and laugh along as if nothing is wrong and I am not completely ******* (sorry) up a great life.

I know the right thing is to tell my wife but the shame and fear of how she might react is stopping me. Obviously if she finds out herself it will be even worse. Even though I know I am making the wrong decision not telling her I tell myself that telling her will definitely have bad outcomes whereas not telling her I might just possibly get away with it – childish logic.    

Not sure if I consider myself a compulsive gambler (is that a potential problem?) as I have no desire to gamble in any way but it has only been 9 days. Guess if I get the desire again then I really have a problem.

Really sorry for length of post and thanks if anyone actually got to the end. I think I just needed to get it all out.  

I will keep this diary going so I can keep my thoughts in some way straight. Even writing some of the above has got a few things a bit clearer in my mind.

Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 16:52

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

Welcome.

You’ve said that you don’t think you’re a compulsive gambler but reading your post you seem to tick all the boxes. Admitting to having a problem with gambling is step one in overcoming the problem. Denying it gives the addiction power.  

Right now you’re not going to want to gamble you’ve just had a heavy loss. But give it a few days weeks months that loss disappears almost like it never happened. And that’s when the real guilt will come when you start getting desperate lies start coming out that fast you lose track of reality.  That’s when the gambler runs back to the one thing they think can solve all the problems one big win. I told myself that one many times it never came. For me I started winning when I started saying no.

If you believe your family will find out sooner or later why not do it now on your terms?  You’re one conversation away from releasing the weight that is currently on your shoulders.

I’ve read your story countless times and even lived it. One thing that partners always say is why didn’t you come to me sooner and tlthe thing that angers them the most is not the money as such it’s the countless lies we tell. 

5k is a serious sum of money but without some serious help now that 5 will be 50 in the blink of an eye believe me. 

That’s just my advice and you can take what you want from it.

Regarding the initial wins consider it the hook. Similar to how drug dealers operate basically giving out the good stuff ie easy wins making you think this is easy and then once your hooked giving you the rubbish stomped stuff knowing you’ll be back for more and more. If the sites showed there true colours straight away know one would play them after they’ve spent the free money would they? 

I’ll leave it there for now as I imagine you have a lot to think about. But well done for reaching out.

Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 18:43

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Telling your wife is going to result in some pretty bruising conversations, yes and very likely a fair amount of inconvenience when it come to you having access to money but not telling her takes away her informed choices and leaves you open to the very real threat of talking yourself into chasing your losses further once the pain of this episode fades as it will.

Having been in your wife's position I can 100% assure you she would rather know now. She will find out anyway. Tell her while the losses are limited to savings and before the destructive spiral of debt sets in.

Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 21:11

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hello Muststop123. Welcome to the GamCare forum and sharing so honestly what has happened and how you have been feeling. You have said you are not sure whether you are a compulsive gambler. If you're not sure, you could try the Self-Assessment tool on the front of our website. Or you can give us a call on the freephone helpline 008 8020 133 or chat to us on the NetLine. We won't pressure you to take any action you don't want to, but we can offer you free, confidential, 1:1 support to help you talk things through and, if you want, we can also offer face to face counselling to help you decide what you want to change and how you want to change it.

I know you said you don't want to dwell on your thoughts about the car hitting you, but it's worrying that your thoughts went there. If you find your thoughts going in that direction again, please, do seek help. You could contact your GP, or the Samaritans on 116 123. 

Keep posting,

Deirdre

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Wed, 04/10/2017 - 09:38

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Thank you all for taking time to reply.  

Actually starting to talk about it (albeit through an anonymous forum) makes it feel even more real. It is still too easy to think about it as some kind of nightmare that I might wake up from. Unfortunately not and again wake up this morning and bang, first thing I think about and three hours later at work not stopped thinking about it.

I have done an online questionnaire to help indicate if I am a compulsive gambler and it does suggest my behaviour could be that of a compulsive gambler. I have no doubt that at many points during the last four months I was behaving as one – chasing losses, not stopping until I had lost everything and secrecy all seem to be significant pointers to this. I still can’t quite believe that I wait until I am 48 to suddenly start behaving like this with no prior addictive traits to anything but I guess everyone is different.

Going to have to leave this now. At work and getting upset and someone is going to notice.

Thank you, need to think

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 09:25

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

I now know I am a complusive gambler.

Last night I got sent an email offering me some free money basically because I had lost so much in the previous month but came with 5x wagering. Should have just ignored it but didn't. Played with it, lost it. Deposited more money, got back up to £2000 ahead by about 3.00am (great plans of using this to replace some of savings) then by 4.00am this morning had lost it all again. Am now another £1000 down.

Looks like everyone's words were correct, just thought I had a bit more time to work out what to do. Will be telling my wife tonight and next steps will depend a bit on result of that. I will seek help for gambling but may have other issues to deal with if she needs some space and I have to move out.

Today is probably going to be the worst day of my life and it is all self inflicted.   

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 10:24

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

Hi again that’s 2 positive steps one being you now admit you have a problem.  So now you can start doing something about it . Second positive step telling your wife. 99 percent of people can’t do it alone. And you’ve just proved that by jumping on the first free bet that came your way.  I use the word “free”  lightly, 

Worst case scenario you may split from your wife for some time but again that’s worst case. But if you don’t speak up now you’ll be dragging your family down with you for no reason other than being scared.  Chances are she will stick with you and help you overcome this addiction. Instant weight lifted from shoulders.

Ps change your email address and leave the old one behind 

Posted on:
Sat, 07/10/2017 - 13:52

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Chickened out telling my wife yet again on Thursday with an excuse of us both being too busy driving our son around in the evening

Yesterday I finally did it. Waited until she came back in after seeing a friend and just did it as soon as she came in before I could chicken out again. Was pretty horrific from my perspective and hardest thing I have ever had to do. Pure shame over both what I have done in terms of losing so much money in such a stupid way and then failing to tell her until it had got so far out of control.

Could not have been more supportive and made me realise I pretty obviously don't deserve her but guess I should just take that as a blessing. She has accepted the lost money is gone and is not coming back which she is obviously pretty annoyed about but happier it is £6000 and not £60,000 which it could have been if I had carried on. She is more upset that I could not talk to her which I need to be better at and stop saying everything is fine when quite obviously it is not. 

Think her main emotion is shock. She can't quite believe I have gone from almost no gambling to out of control in just four months. Not thrown me out and agreed not to tell our son which to be honest may well have pushed me over the edge. She admits the anger may come later which I will have to take on the chin.

Transferred all savings to her this morning and set up some rules for other accounts. 

Have booked a counseling session for later next week which initially my wife wanted to attend but asked if I can go to this one on my own to start with and look to have some joint ones afterwards, maybe alongside some individual ones for either or both of us.

Feeling pretty raw at my stupidity and the permanent damage I have done to my marriage. Struggling to be very positive at the moment and really don't like myself very much. Hopefully time and counselling will improve three.

Into 3 days gf and no urges at all to gamble.

Posted on:
Sat, 07/10/2017 - 19:02

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

I'm not sure what you mean by rules for other accounts. The only access Mr L has to bank accounts is via a bank card on the joint account which I look at daily. Everything else is in my name and inaccessible to him.

It's good that she's supportive but she's in shock at the moment. She needs to understand it would be very unwise to trust you around money both now and ongoing. It's very easy for gamblers to tell us what we want to hear and we fall for it because we're desperate for it all to be over when the reality is the addiction can be arrested but never cured. Has she got support for herself? It's a lot to cope with alone when it comes out of the blue.

Keeping a gambler's secrets often doesn't end well. I didn't tell the kids first time round and both they and I lived to regret it. If your son is old enough I would suggest telling him. It protects both you and him.

Is your counselling via Gamcare? They offer free sessions which Mr L found very useful. Look into GA too. Many here will tell you stopping gambling is easy. It's the staying stopped that's the challenge and you will find the support and advice from people who have been there and get it in a way non gamblers never will invaluable.

Posted on:
Sun, 08/10/2017 - 19:08

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

Well done you just achieved in 3 days what some people take a lifetime to achieve. Hopefully the counselling will be of massive help going forward. 4 months isn’t necessarily a long time in terms of addiction so you touched the fire and it burnt your fingers.  Just make sure you don’t forget how hot the flame was.  To give a little advice terminate the gambling from here on in . Don’t get to some point next year and think you’re cured you won’t be . You’ll be just as bad once you cross the line to compulsive there’s know going back . Good luck

Posted on:
Mon, 09/10/2017 - 11:35

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Thanks for comments and advice both.

Just to be clear, Lethe, my salary now leaves my account the same day it goes in and goes to a joint account for monthly household bills and my wife’s account for savings. I have access to a joint credit card and the joint account but we are going to review these daily online. I have access to no other money. She has been extremely supportive but any gambling going forward and I am out the door as it is not fair on her or the rest of the family.  

I think the analogy of touching fire is pretty accurate, Wentworth, some people can deal with playing around the fire whilst others just get sucked in and get burnt. I will have permanent scars from this due to the hurt I have caused my wife and the utter humiliation to myself over what I have done but I don’t think remembering how I currently feel will do me any harm in terms of making sure I never go near the fire again.

Actually looking forward to counselling in a perverse sort of way. I know it may make me face up to some pretty unpleasant truths about myself but it is the next step after telling my wife and handing over control of our money.

Weekend was a bit odd as had some really great time with eldest stepson coming over for a family dinner on the Saturday which was really nice and out Sunday morning with family and then a board game with youngest and wife before bedtime. Felt really lovely and then in between having to deal with practicalities over finances and dark thoughts when on my own.

Have started going for daily 45 min speed walks to focus my energies. Must look a bit of a sight ploughing along the pavement as I am not the most athletic of people but pushing myself a bit physically feels good. Have started eating again after a virtual 48 hour fast when I could not face eating as felt physically sick the whole time. Still no actual appetite or desire to eat but ate a meal last night and  breakfast this morning – will just eat at normal times whether I am hungry or not.     

Thoughts for the day are:

  1. Still don’t like myself very much which is a bit of a problem as I can’t very easily get away from myself by going into another room. It is like being stuck with a really unpleasant person on a long, long car journey – you can turn the radio up but they are still there. Waking up is currently still the worst time when it hits me every time what I have done.  

 

  1. Really hate some of the marketing tactics being used by the gambling industry particularly online. I appreciate gambling in some form has probably been around as long as man has been a social animal and that the enjoyment of gambling should not be stopped for everyone just because a minority like me can’t control themselves but the ability of anyone with a bank/credit card to gamble away £1000s in a few hours from the comfort of their own  home seems wrong. I have never been inside a betting shop and never had any desire to go in one but wonder if the act of having to walk to a cashpoint and then walk into a betting shop and hand over £500 in cash to the guy behind the counter might have felt a bit different. Well,  I am pretty sure it would have for me. I do remember going to a work Christmas lunch years ago in a local casino with about 30 others. It was some deal like £25 for a meal, couple drinks  and a £10 “free bet”. Seemed really good value. Looking back, can’t believe how naïve I was. Most people (including me) had a couple of goes on the tables, lost their £10 and walked away. I saw a few win a little and cash out and a few more paid cash to play more. Realise now how good an investment it was for the casino – sell the meal and drinks at little profit but get the opportunity to hook just one more gambler and they get their money back multiple times over the next months/years. Really pray no-one did get the bug from that one session who could not control it.      

 

  1. I am going to beat this. I have far too much to lose, a beautiful and kind wife, a wonderful family and otherwise great life.

 

Day 5 GF with no urges to gamble. I know it is really early and so the desire not to gamble probably comes the pain of the last few days. I am on the lookout for any little indications that I might even have the slightest thought of gambling and I am going to be fighting the little **** with everything I have. Actually starting to feel quite angry about the thought of the urge to gamble and imagining it at some sort of slimy weasel animal with big teeth and eyes (I’ve read too many trashy horror books in the past I think!) trying to get its teeth into me. I am going to rip it apart with my bare hands if it comes near me again.  

Posted on:
Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:20

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Intro day 6 GF and no urges to gamble which is the main thing.  

Spent the whole of yesterday thinking about what I have done and the consequences and then again wake up this morning in it is first thought that explodes into my mind with my stomach turning over and can’t stop thinking about it. Getting ready for work, driving to work, sitting at desk trying to work, going home, cooking dinner, going for walk, watching television, trying to do a bit of one of hobbies I used to enjoy, trying to read a book, trying to get to sleep.

I know I should feel regret for what I have done and remembering this feeling will hopefully help me if I ever think about doing anything stupid again in the future but this is a bit all consuming at the moment. Hopefully time will ease this. Telling myself to snap out of it and concentrate on something else not really working as I can’t stop myself thinking, I just do the other thing poorly. I can be with people at work and home and will smile and say the right things but I don’t really feel like I am in the same room as them.

Thinking about taking a couple of days off work (Wed and Thurs) until my first counselling session on Thurs evening because I can’t really concentrate at work but this will just give me more time to think regardless of what I do with it. I could go for a really long walk or do some chores around the house but that is not going to stop me thinking.   

Just wish I could switch off for a bit.  

Just re-read the above and this all just sounds pathetically like self-pity for something I am 100% responsible for. Arrrrggggg. Must stop the self-pity bit whilst still taking responsibility.   

Am eating at normal meal times although still no real appetite or desire to eat. Forget your dieting fads, just log onto an online gambling site, secretly gamble away a few thousand pounds of your families money and see the weight fall off. I can maybe see a commercial opportunity here if I link up with my best buddies the online gambling industry? Sorry for the sick humour (especially if you are suffering with diet/weight issues for real), but sometimes it’s all I’ve got. Last night I booked some theatre tickets for my wife and I (joint credit card, she was sat next to me and agreed to the purchase) and got to the end and had the option of getting them sent to us for £1 or pick up at the box office on the evening for free. I actually said out loud to my wife “there is no point us wasting a £1, we’ll pick them up”. Last week I lost £1000 of our savings. Now that is a sick kind of humour.

Still coming up with mental images of what I would do to any urges to gamble if they ever came near me and they are pretty graphic. Quite happy with this.

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

Sha999

Joined:
2017-08-29

Hi muststop 

The next time you have a thought about gambling think about the sick feeling after a big loss.

Shaun

Posted on:
Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:04

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Thanks, Shaun, am hoping by writing down how I really feel now I can use this diary to remind myself of the despair I felt each time I lost if I ever get tempted again.

Huge congratulations on the 43 days. 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 11/10/2017 - 09:53

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 7 GF.

Not feeling much different to yesterday but did actually start thinking about something else for about 15 minutes this morning so that is positive.

Thought about having a couple of drinks last night to relax and take my mind off things. I am not a heavy drinker or even a moderate one really, probably half a bottle of wine or two or three bottles of beer is probably an average week. Drink was not a trigger to out of control gambling previously but decided it was not worth even the slightest risk. Alcohol is not a big part of my life and could probably quite easily cut it out completely if I wanted to.  

Going to continue with the “speed” walking each evening. An average day in the office plus my 45 min walk equates to about 10,000 steps. Going to use this an a target each day even if it means I have to go out late after anything else I have on in the evening. Probably better to do it late at night anyway as I probably look a little daft and least chance of knocking over anyone who gets in my way!

Thoughts for the day:

  1. Think 2 weeks in may be a time I need to be particularly careful. Seem to be about 2 week cycles between feeling bad about losses and then trying to recover my losses. Going to be watching out for those slimy evil little weasels of urges.
  2. Counselling tomorrow night so tonight is last chance to talk to wife about what we both ideally need me to come out of the first meeting knowing. Starting to put a lot of hope/expectation on this one hour and bit worried I will let us down.
  3. Need to work out a balance between feeling like I need to punish myself and therefore stop doing anything I enjoy doing on my own (hobbies, seeing friends etc) and making myself so miserable that I do something stupid. Bit of a balance between selfishness and trying to keep myself positive.   
Posted on:
Thu, 12/10/2017 - 10:49

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 8 GF.

Last 24 hours been a bit of a double edged sword. Feeling a little better about the future and actually thinking about things to look forward to in my life albeit thinking about how I might need to deal with them differently to how I might have just 4 months ago.  

On the less positive side, although I have not had any urges to actually gamble, last night just as I settled down to go to sleep I had a sudden thought about how not all the gambling experience was bad and remembering the feeling when I sometimes won £1000 on the spin of online slots. For the last couple of weeks I have only had bad thoughts about gambling. Gave myself a talking to about it and reminded myself of the despair I felt at 6.00 in the morning after losing thousands after gambling all night, the horrific and humiliating experience of having to confess to my wife and of course the consequences of gambling again. I have some fairly vivid mental images I use to help me with this and of course the practical blocks I have in place mean I have no access to money to gamble anyway. Just rather not have these thoughts at all. Just a reminder that the evil gambling demon is perhaps not going to give up that easy.

Still went for my walk last night despite it being a bit drizzly and *** but a bit of rain never hurt anyone. Almost overtook a couple of very slow joggers speed walking which made me grin. Had to do an extra lap of the block to get to my 10,000 steps as must have had a lazy day in office and not walked enough. It is important to me at the moment to hit this target.  

First counselling tonight. Nervous but still positive about going. No one is going to do this for me and it won’t resolve itself by me sitting back and making no changes so I must take positive steps.  

Posted on:
Thu, 12/10/2017 - 10:52

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Not entirely sure why a three letter word for moisture begining in W and ending in T has been starred out but someone must think it is inappropriate!

Posted on:
Fri, 13/10/2017 - 09:16

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into 9 days GF and no urges to gamble.

Busy this morning so need to keep this brief but still want to keep this up daily at the moment.

Had another brief thought about how not all of my gambling experience was bad when I woke up this morning. Soon put that one to bed with stern talking to myself. Seems a bit like there is just a little bit of poison left in my body that just needs work itself out.

Had first counselling session last night. Guy that did it was excellent and plenty of things to think about not all directly related to gambling but maybe about how I deal with things internally which made me behave so badly during my hopefully (no, definitely) brief gambling spell. Will go back next week with positive attitude.

Came back from session absolutely physically shattered though, quick chat to wife and then off to bed when I slept better than I have in many weeks. Feel a bit bad that I did not go for my walk that I told myself I needed to do every day. Going to see if I can fit 15,000 steps in today and tomorrow to compensate.

Wife away for a couple of nights this weekend. Offered to put her plans on hold and not go but feel no need for her to do that. I am not going to do something stupid just because she is not in the house.

Good luck everyone who is struggling.

Ok, I did not keep it that brief.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 10:52

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 10 GF, still a small number but there is no magic way of making it go any faster.

No urges to gamble which is great although those little thoughts of how not everything about gambling was bad still occasionally try and force their way into my mind but have enough mental images and other memories to quickly deal with them. Really like to get rid of them permanently but I am plenty strong enough to bat them away if they want to hang around.

Had chat with wife before she went away for weekend. The thing that is hurting her most at the moment is how sad and unhappy I have been over the last week. We talked it out and from her perspective, I hurt her by losing a chunk of our savings which she has forgiven me for and accepted is gone, I hurt her even more by the lying and secrecy over the 4 months I was gambling and not feeling I could tell her until it had finally got so far out of control which she had forgiven me for on basis it was a one off mistake and now I am continuing to hurt her by not being able to accept what I have done and continuing to be miserable and sad rather than trying to be a better husband who is there to support and look after her when she needs it.

So, time for wallowing and self pity is over. Can't change the past but I can change the future and be a better and more positive and supportive person.

Today going out with son to play golf and maybe cinema tonight. Tomorrow morning will clean the house and get some washing done so wife comes back to a tidy house and we can do something together.

Managed 16000 steps yesterday so just need to do 14000 today to catch up.

 

Posted on:
Sun, 15/10/2017 - 10:32

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 11 GF and no urges to gamble.

Kept busy yesterday doing things I wanted to do and enjoyed rather than hiding myself away losing money and giving myself huge amounts of stress and worry. 

Attacking a few household chores this morning  - can't pretend they fit into the category of enjoyable but need to be done. Don't feel like I am trying to keep myself busy to stop myself from thinking about gambling, just seem to be in a phase of wanting to get on and do stuff and not waste my time. 

The last four months and particularly the last week or so still don't generally leave my thoughts for very long but not with anywhere near the same level of dread. I am more thinking about how I can be a better person going forward than i was before all this rather than wallowing in the past. 

The thought of coming up on 2 weeks gamble free during the week has occurred to me a few times over the last day as I know this could be significant in terms of my two week cycle of big loss, despair and grief, forgetting about it and then trying to chase my losses again. Pretty sure too much has changed during last 11 days for this to happen again but will be on my guard.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/10/2017 - 09:34

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 12 GF and no urges to gamble.

Keeping up my guard and very happy to have blocks in place. Mind has occasionally wandered into the future and thought about whether I will always need these and will I always consider myself as someone who has a problem with gambling or whether in say 10 years time I will think back on it as a stupid mistake I once made and just be one of those people who choses not to gamble. Not sure how useful that type of thinking really is given how few days I have been GF since my problems. Think I am getting a bit ahead of myself.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 16/10/2017 - 22:24

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

Hi must stop 

I’d say it’s human nature to look to the future, thinking about it our life is based around making a better life for our future self. Sometimes we look to far and others not far enough. Will you look back in ten years at this and see it as a stupid mistake? Most likely but that’ll depend on the work present you will be doing for future you. Gamblers have a tendency to stick their fingers up to future you and live entirely for the moment. Groundhog Day. Eat sleep gamble repeat.  You mentioned will you always need your blocks. Now blocks aren’t something you should base your recovery on they’re something that should the urge arise and you become weak are like opening a door and finding a brick wall. Bash the wall hard enough cracks will appear so it’s important that blocks are more a side dish and the main is why did I gamble and what can I do to make sure I’m never in the situation where I want to gamble again.  As your gambling commenced and ended in a short period looking at the reason why and how you went so out of control should be an easy answer to find.   Although it won’t be yet you’ll know when you no longer need the blocks don’t sweat the small stuff as they say.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/10/2017 - 22:25

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

It posted twice.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/10/2017 - 00:32

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Stopping gambling in the early days is definately day by day, just focus on not doing it, not thinking about it as much as you can, gambling is such a waste of time, say that to youself every day.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/10/2017 - 10:26

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Thanks Wentworth and Smashed for your comments, I think the mantra of one day at a time is probably best at the moment and stop worrying about 10 years time!!

Agree about the blocks. Let’s be honest, if I really wanted to gamble I could get access to money and find a way to gamble – I know some people may not want to hear that but that is the reality. I need to continue to either not want to gamble or have the willpower not to, I only really see the physical blocks as a short term inconvenience to help overcome moments of weakness (should they occur), and a safety net for my wife, not a long term solution. Not sure I can realistically spend the rest of my life treating myself as if I cannot be trusted with money.

Day 13 and still not had any urges to gamble and at the moment can’t see it happening. Some may see that as complacency or arrogance or naivety but that is currently how I feel.

Stopped having thoughts about how some of my gambling experience was actually fun. Instead, woke up about 4.00am this morning with a sleep induced belief that I had gambled and lost another chunk of money. My stomach turned over and I almost broke down until I woke up properly and realised it was just my mind playing tricks on me. The mind is a wonderful yet occasionally vindictive thing.   

Second counselling session on Thurs. Like to work out why I started gambling so relatively late in life and got out of control so quickly. My own simple explanation is I did something I was not really comfortable doing (hence the secrecy), it got out of hand and because I had kept it a secret to start with, I panicked and tried to fix the problem with the only option I saw open to me which obviously did not go too well.    

Posted on:
Tue, 17/10/2017 - 10:35

gambler999

Joined:
2017-10-05

Keep up the fight Muststop123 - we're at a similar time in terms of GF, I'm day 12 and feeling motivated too. I'll continue to read your diary.

Posted on:
Wed, 18/10/2017 - 09:48

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

gambler999 wrote:

Keep up the fight Muststop123 - we're at a similar time in terms of GF, I'm day 12 and feeling motivated too. I'll continue to read your diary.

Thanks gambler999, into day 14 GF and no way I am going to be even thinking about gambling today. You keep up the good fight as well.

Actually thinking about work challenges this morning getting ready for work which is a lot better than regrets and worries of the past.

Did get a bit annoyed with myself driving to work when I thought about something which would have been really useful to have (not a necessity) and would have just gone out and bought a few months ago but not really in position to buy at the moment. Not life changing but a gentle reminder that even though I managed to stop gambling before I got into debt, it does still have an impact. Not going to let it get me down, that is in the past and I cannot change the past, only learn from it.

Muststop123

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 19/10/2017 - 10:09

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 15 and I do not want to gamble. The thought of it makes me feel ill.

Stopped getting the thoughts of any part of gambling being fun. My fear of the two week cycle of gambling, losing, feeling terrible, forgetting how bad I felt and then trying to chase my losses again has not materialsed which must mean the actions of the last two weeks must have had some affect - I certainly hope so because I certainly do not want to go through that again.

Mind has introduced a different feeling this morning and that is fear. Fear of going online again and gambling and the consequences to the rest of my life of doing so. This is odd beacuse I have no desire to gamble so don't know where this is coming from but actually sat at work being scared of something is not an experience I am really used to. Last few weeks have been a real eye opener in terms of the emotions I have felt which I don't think I have really experienced for most of my adult life.

Very busy day today at work so hopefully can keep my mind off this and have counselling tonight so maybe discuss this if I still feel the same way.

Keep strong everyone and don't give in.

Posted on:
Fri, 20/10/2017 - 09:55

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 16 GF and I do not want to gamble. This is not some sort of mantra I quote everyday to convince myself, just how I feel.

Second counselling session yesterday and spent most of it trying to discover the reason I started gambling. Not there yet but it has certainly provoked a few thoughts about my life in general. Quite an uncomfortable experience as it has bought up a few issues that I have probably been subconciously ignoring and pushing to the back of my mind as they aren't things I really want to deal with. The counsellor seemed to pretty quickly see through my simple "oh, I just made a mistake and did something stupid" explanation.

Not sure how I currently feel but confident I am not going to gamble so that is positive and main point of this diary.  

 

Posted on:
Mon, 23/10/2017 - 11:16

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 19 GF, gambling is not on my mind. I am not having to take any actions to prevent myself from gambling because it is just not something that I do, just like it was 4 and 1/2 months ago before my "episode".

Physical financial blocks in place and I could always bring up my mental reminders/memories if I wanted to but not letting my thoughts go there as it is currently unnecessary and they are pretty dark and negative images so not particularly positive thinking.   

Last week's counselling session and starting to tease out why I did suddenly start gambling is probably the thing most on my mind at the moment as resolving that would obviously mean the likelihood of it occuring again should be reduced. Not very comfortable dealing with these questions as they seem a bit too close to relationships/marrriage counselling/mid life crisis territory and "what is my purpose in life". All scary stuff for someone who generally bottles stuff up and hopes it will just go away. If it is a mid life crisis I really wish I had blown £6000 on a bright red sports car rather than giving it to on-line casinos - I might have looked stupid driving it around but I could have sold it once I had got it out of my system. 

Great weekend away with a few friends so no time to dwell on anything.

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 09:26

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Into day 20 and no desire or even thoughts of gambling so that is main thing I guess.

Yesterday wife had a long day at work as she had a business trip. Got home before her so I made dinner and tidied up house a bit and welcomed her at the door. Feeling good. Unfortunately she was not as she had hardly slept the previous night as she did not know where my tablet was (I usually leave it downstairs but had tidied it away in a drawer when I went away at the weekend) and had spent half the night worrying where it was and what I was doing with it. Immediately wanted to see bank statements. We went through them online and obviously nothing to see there.

Really bought back to me that whilst I may have tried to move on and look towards a positive future rather than wallow in the past I may have done too much damage to our marriage. She may have forgiven me (I honestly believe she has) but trusting me again is obviously a whole lot harder. Of course, I start hating myself again for what I have done to her, close up emotionally and end going for an hour and a half hour walk. She gets upset that I seem to be giving her the cold shoulder whereas I really just don't even want to spend any time in my own company let alone expect anyone else to spend time with me. 

It really is **** what we do to those around us. Going to have to knock myself out of this as feeling very negative again.

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 12:07

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

21 days GF and don't want to gamble. Yes, I'd like my money back please and not to have caused the pain to my wife (and myself if I am honest) but don't see see gambling again as a solution to any of this.

Had another chat to wife about the previous day and her coming home worried I might have been gambling again. She said she acknowledged it was totally unfounded (her words) and that whilst she might not have liked my reaction of wanting some time to myself afterwards, she understands it is not helpful for me to hide my feelings and just suck it up to keep her happy. Obviously I understand she needs to be wary of me at the moment and obviously has little trust in me but it does not hurt any less.

Two main thoughts going around in my head at the moment:

1. I have caused this and there are reprecussions around how much my wife will ever trust me again and therefore how much she will feel comfortable me having any control of our finances/assets in the future. Not sure I can live the rest of my life handing over my salary each month and being given "pocket money" each week and having to ask for permission/money to do anything. I can hear the screams of the those who have been on the other end of this saying "yes you do, because of what you have done" but actually no, I don't. I did not do anything illegal and have not run up debts or prevented any of my family being able to do anything they would have otherwise. I did something incredibly stupid that I regret immensely but I can't or rather won't spend the rest of my life being unhappy as a result of it.

2. Counselling sessions trying to identify why I did gamble so far seem to be leading towards boredom/lack of fulfilment in life/feelings of lack of control. Not very pleasant issues to deal with and discuss but if I don't resolve these issues then whilst I am extemely confident I will not go down the gambling route again I think the likely outcome will be another risky or ill-advised course of action.

Next counselling session tomorrow so need to see where that goes.

Starting to feel that this diary does not fit on a problem gambling forum. 
 

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 14:05

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Hi Muststop - I just want to thank you for your diary entries.  It's a real help. I've read through them and your story holds a lot of similarities to mine - and no doubt many other compulsive gamblers.

I too was shocked how quickly gambling took over my life - it was like a 0 - 60 in 2 seconds flat from trying my luck with an occasional lottery ticket to spending every single spare moment online playing roulette. Absurd when I think about it -  I’d have a bath playing roulette, I’d be at the gym playing roulette, at dinner parties playing roulette, talking on the phone playing roulette … that's the trouble with having a smart phone, a casual thumb tap is all it takes.

I applaud your courage for telling your wife and hope you beat this together. That’s something I’ve not done - yet.  A cowards move I admit, but I’ve given myself a ‘get out of jail free card’ on this as the damage I've done so far is just to my own finances and hopefully, fingers crossed, it ended before it could spread to hurt others.

Although my 3 days gf is hardly a badge of honour and security.

I too share that terrible dread you have about the 'fear' of going online at some point in the future to suddenly drop the bomb back into your life. Maybe foolishly, I try to convince myself that's just me catastrophizing worst case scenario. I want to lay this addiction to rest and be done with it. I’m reluctant to empower it and make myself afraid of it. But, again, that could be a foolish novice move on my part.

I’m glad your life is regaining a sense of control and I really hope it works out for you and your family. Take care.

And thanks again for your candid diary entries.

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 16:01

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Just a few things. Well done you for stopping and yes I understand how hard it is to tell the partner I went to mine over a minor amount and she threatened she would dump me Imif I done again so it's been hard to stay 64 gf ree days also yes I think it's wrong how online are so easy but end of this year you can self exlude all by making one phone call good luck and keep going

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 11:10

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

So day 22 GF and I don't want to gamble which is good.

Not much to say today after letting a lot of feelings out in my diary yesterday. Re-reading it today, bits of it seem a bit selfish and arrogant but starting to realise that you can't spend your whole life doing what you think you ought to do or what others think you ought to do if it is not making you happy. You may be able to do it for a long time but eventually you will subciously rebel even if you don't realise you are doing it.

Counselling tonight and for the first time I am not really looking forward to it as I think I may have to admit some things it is a lot easier to ignore.

Thanks for the comments Equinox, your examples of when you would be playing roulette rang true with me. At my lowest I would be hitting the spin button in between putting on each of my socks or as soon as I got out of the shower before I even dried myself. Sometimes I struggle to believe I got so hooked so quickly and hard.

Well done on what must be 65 days today, Christer1. Being able to self exclude from everywhere with one call is definitely a step forward, just need people to realise they have a problem as early as possible before too much damage is done. Online gambling is just too easy.

Muststop123

 

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 09:28

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 23 GF and as determined as ever I will never gamble again. Online gambling has had its pound of flesh from me and may consider it has won but I can ensure it never gets another penny from me. 

Third counselling session last night and did not want to go. Sat in car before going in trying to think of excuse not to go in as feeling fairly uncomfortable about where I thought conversation might go. Persuaded myself that I should go even if I did not want to as a punishment for my previous behaviour and hurt I have caused.

So glad I went, came out on a bit of a high, conversation did go where expected in terms of why I started gambling (not quite ready to start documenting that in this diary) but instead of coming out feeling bad about it, we discussed how we could come up with solutions. Basically I need to learn how to talk to people about how I feel rather than holding it all in.

Feel slightly ashamed of my post from a couple of days ago just because I was feeling a bit sore about my behaviour and the consequences  just three weeks after admitting it. A little bit more honesty and actually bothering to find out what my wife is feeling at the moment might be more appropriate. I will leave the post up as it is as a bit of a reminder to myself that there are actually two people impacted by this situation. 

Overall feeling positive. Did my new walking circuit in under an hour on Wed (59:17) which I had been trying to achieve for a few nights - all this exercise must be doing me good. Golf this afternoon with my son and then out with friends tonight. 

Keep up the good fight everyone and remember you aren't on your own.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 11:49

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Thanks for posting on my diary Muststop123, we have to realise what we did as your right it affects more than us. I think when you stop you definately change as a person for the better as if youve been so low down in the gambling mire there is no further down to go, smile tell your wife how much you love her everyday, tell her she looks good and keep smiling and leave gambling buried where it deserves to be.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 11:22

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 24 GF and gambling not going to happen.

Still fighting internal battle in my mind accepting the consequences of my actions. They are relatively minor compared to what they could have been but I am impatient to have my life back to how it was even though i know it is far too early to ever expect that. Totally unreasonable for me to expect it but does not stop me thinking about it. Blah. 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 18:15

velvet7

Joined:
2017-05-26

Hi Must. Well done on day 24! I'm a few days behind and, like you struggling a bit because I'm inpatient , I want a quick fix to feeling normal again. Do you think it's an inherent trait of compulsive gamblers to want everything immediately?

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 16:48

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

velvet7 wrote:
Hi Must. Well done on day 24! I'm a few days behind and, like you struggling a bit because I'm inpatient , I want a quick fix to feeling normal again. Do you think it's an inherent trait of compulsive gamblers to want everything immediately?

I definitely think we have short memories - three weeks ago I would have considered it like winning the lottery (ok, bad example on a problem gambling site!) to be where I am now but still I get annoyed with the consequences I have caused.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 16:54

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

So day 25 GF.

Made fatal error of asking my wife how she felt last night. Got a bit more than I bargained for. People tell me it is good to talk and keep the communication lines open. Not so sure myself. 

Result has been a bit of a subdued weekend. All very polite but underlying tension. 

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 10:28

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

So day 26 GF and have no urges or thoughts of gambling being in any way fun or pleasurable. I see it only as negative with horrible consequences and a pretty intense dislike of any of the businesses involved in it. Don't watch a lot of sports on television so probably not bombarded with quite as many adverts as some but still feel quite angry when I see a television programme being sponsored by some online casino with pictures of happy smiling people winning money. These businesses don't make their huge profits from happy smiling people winning money, they make them from making people miserable and depressed. Rant over.

On a happier note, 18th wedding anniversary today and I am a very lucky man to still be married to a wonderful lady. Everything is not perfect but then again whose life is but I think we care enough about each other to work our way through this.

Talked more last night and I am not saying it is 100% a healthy thing to do (and not sure counsellor is going to agree!!) but sometime I think you just need to accept things/siuations for how they are rather than continually pick at them - sounds a lot like bottling issues up and putting them to the back of your mind but maybe that is a way to a less stressful life. Ignorance is bliss? 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 09:38

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

27 days GF and still pretty confident I can keep this up but a couple of others on here who have unfortunately wobbled recently makes me realise this is not a given and I need to keep my guard up and not get complacent.

Driving into work today and there was a piece on radio about review of FOBT maximum stakes in betting shops. These were not my downfall as it was online betting for me but even the discussion of problem gambling and the gambling industry started to really upset me to point I thought I was going to break down in tears and started feeling sick in my stomach. Switched it off obviously but my physical reaction to anything relating to gambling now is quite startling. £100 a spin every 20 seconds though - how can anyone defend that? How many people do the gambling industry think can afford to "gamble responsibily" at £100 a spin that need the terminals in every corner bookies? No different to me spinning away £250 on a roulette wheel online but not sure that was very responsible either. Ah, but of course we should not stop everyone else having "fun" because we can't control ourselves - we are the problem, not the gambling industry who are just trying to defend jobs (sarcasm, the lowest form of wit). I need to stop thinking about this. Gambling industry is a big powerful evil thing that I can't fight so run and hide is my best defense.    

Lovely meal out with wife last night for anniversary. Back quite early as I am old and it is a school night but we seem to be getting back on track and planning stuff for future together again. Think we are going to get through this.

Been rubbish at my speed walking last few days as too busy.
 

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:46

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 28 GF, nearly a month or 25% of the period of time I gambled irresponsibily.

So impatient to put this behind me and just consider this is the point in my life I decided I will never gamble again. I am so certain and my willpower is so strong that I won't touch the flames of gambling that it is difficult to explain. 

Went to cinema last night and on way to car my wife popped to the ladies which happened to be in the foyer of a 10 pin bowling centre. I stood for a moment waiting and then suddenly realised I was stood in an area full of arcade games including fruit machines, slot machines and what looked to me as FOBTs (probably lower stake ones?). I had no urge to play any of them, never been my thing even when I was out of control, but I did move away from them immediately, felt something along the lines of guilt being seen near them by my wife. I stood and watched the people bowling instead. Wife came out and made some offhand comment like "did you win then?" and my mind instantly thought she was referring to the machines. I went to start denying I had touched them but before I spoke realised she had probably been joking about the bowling. Paranoid or what?  

Keep strong everyone - this whole forum is enough evidence that gambling is pain, despair and wrecked lives.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:56

Guest_User

Joined:
2017-10-29

Hello, everyone. I'm sorry if I am posting in the wrong place but I am new to the site and figuring out how it all works. I have come over from Rethink Gambling, another self help forum which has recently been took offline. I am 80 days gamble free. 

I really hope everone sticks with it and I wish you all the very best in your recovery.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 08:54

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Lost and Found

Welcome to the forum and well done on what must now be 81 days GF, that is a tremendous achievement. There are some people on here with a lot of experience of dealing with our problem and I am sure they will be able to support you with advice and suggestions on where to go if you need more professional help. I have found the help and advice invaluable.

If you do want to start your own diary, if you go to the main Recovery Diaries index and go to the bottom left of the page there is a link to start a new topic.

Good luck and keep strong against the evil poison that is gambling.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 09:11

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 29 GF and don't want to gamble so I won't.

Counselling tonight and have mixed feelings. Guy at counselling is excellent, sees through my clouded thoughts and really helps me understand why I do/think things and has offered to help come up with approaches to dealing with them better. Unfortunately my ham fisted attempts to broach any of these issues with my wife has just caused more upset and left us in a position where I think we both are happier to leave them where they are - basically forget about them and get on with our lives. As I left this morning wife said "don't envy you tonight going to counselling, don't forget everything is alright really" as if she really does not want anything to change. 

Having read a fair few diaries on here, I think the one thing we all have in common is we may think too much.

Good luck everyone today, fight those demons and keep GF for another day. 

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 09:16

Guest_User

Joined:
2017-10-29

Thank you MustStop123. I am so sorry for posting on your diary! The forum I am used to was very one dimensional and linear. You just post in a continuous thread. When I came on here, I was like, 'wow, where do I go!'. I will start my own diary, thank you for the support. I have edited down my post so that it does not take up as much room on your page. It would not let me delete it fully. Really sorry about that. I really hope you are well and I wish you the very best in beating this addiction.

All the best and keep going. There's a better life out there.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 09:27

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Lost and Found wrote:

Thank you MustStop123. I am so sorry for posting on your diary! The forum I am used to was very one dimensional and linear. You just post in a continuous thread. When I came on here, I was like, 'wow, where do I go!'. I will start my own diary, thank you for the support. I have edited down my post so that it does not take up as much room on your page. It would not let me delete it fully. Really sorry about that. I really hope you are well and I wish you the very best in beating this addiction.

All the best and keep going. There's a better life out there.

Hi

Please don't apologise, there is no need, I was pretty confused about where to post when I first came on here!

All the best

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 10:44

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 30 GF and I am counting that as a month despite there being 31 days in October! 

Time for a stocktake on where a month has got me.

Felt like an incredibly long month and if I was a minor celebrity on television I am sure I would be talking about an "emotional rollercoaster". Not embarassed to say I have cried more in the last month than I have previously in the whole of my adult life and felt such incredibly strong emotions of shame and self loathing initially that completely overwhelmed any logical thinking and let my mind wander into some pretty dark places.     

Feel in a much better place now. My hatred for anything to do with the gambling industry and my physical revulsion to even the names and logos of on-line casinos means I am not suffering from any urges to gamble is an outcome which I am glad to have because I appreciate many here have to fight strong urges.

The money I lost is gone forever and just have to accept gambling has won that battle but I can win the war by never giving it another penny. I am 48 and with a bit of luck I could have another 40 years in me. I lost £6000 and if I had not given up gambling completely and tried to gambled responsibily as I used to I could quite easily have lost £200 a year on days at horse races, ocassional football bets, roulette on holiday, sweepstakes at work etc. 40 years at £200 = £8000 I could have lost without even really noticing. I win, gambling industry you lose. 

Relationship with wife is good at the moment but we can make it even better. Maybe this was the kick I needed to try a bit harder to be a better person. Counselling good but if it is to have any impact I will to turn words into actions which is the hard bit.  

Going to keep this diary going and try and post and give encouragement to others where I can. 

Good luck everyone

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 10:13

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Day 31 GF so that is definitely a month in anyone's eyes!

Not going to gamble today because I don't want to. 

I still spend quite a lot of time thinking about what I did but not with anywhere near the same amount of despair. A lot of regret and shame but none of us can change history, only the future.

Busy weekend ahead.

Keep strong everyone and if you are struggling with urges just take it one day at a time - go to bed tonight as a winner because you did not gamble.

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