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new member 7 days gambling free

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 17:14

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Joined today following 7 days GF. The first 7 days have been very challenging fighting the urges but the forums I have been

 reading have helped. For too many years I have been playing the FOBT's but over the last 3 months the frequency has increased along with the stakes! 

 

Time to take back control but even when you think you are a low to moderate gambler the road to recovery is harder than anticipated.

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 18:41

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

Well done on staying off gambling for 7 days - no easy feat for a problem gambler, but things will begin to get easier in some respects and maybe more difficult in others. Boredom, complacency and a short memory can tempt you back, but with the right support and taking on new interests and pastimes, there is every reason to be optimistic about the future.

Support groups such as GA can be very effective, but some are much better than others, so do shop around if you have a choice. It takes a lot of courage to go to your first meeting, but as soon as you find a good one, you will find inspiration and motivation to help you over what is likely to be a few tricky months. If you don't feel comfortable saying 'My name is Gazza and I am a compulsive gambler then **** it, say someting else. You can, of course, do it on your own, but I tried and failed too many times before eventually deciding to bite the bullet.  

I have now been four years gambling free, after being hopelessly addicted for many years. It was far from easy; in fact, it was the most difficult thing I have ever attempted, but it is so worth the effort. I never realised that life had so much to offer.

Take care my friend.

Ken 

Posted on:
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 19:47

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Ken, thank you for your reply and words of encouragement it's reassuring knowing there are genuine and kind folk out there offering help and support.  I appreciate your comments regarding GA and will bear this in mind as I continue my journey.

The forums have been very inspirational providing a great deal of advises on how to get started with becoming GF. Here are a few things I have done over the first 7 days GF:-

Admission to myself there was a growing problem - Plenty of sole searching

Discussed the issue and my concerns with my lovely wife, who not surprisingly had noticed the increased frequency on FOBT's. I have also mentioned it to some friends and also my daughter. 

Self exclusion 

Putting £1 in a jar for everyday GF - a little way of rewarding a GF day and in a strange way somewhat satisfying

I have wasted money playing FOBT's which would have been best spent on enjoyable family time; fortunately I have not got myself into any sort of debt but I have limited the amount of cash on me and I have been leaving bank cards at home. I have asked the wife to keep an eye on the finances.

Every day I have been reading the forum along with lots of other useful information on the Gamcare - today I became a member!

I'm under no illusion of the challenge ahead and at this moment in time fighting the urges, I understand total abstemious is a must if I am really going to being GF for good.

The next step, I enjoy cycling so I am getting on my bike; it's healthier and cheaper! 

Posted on:
Mon, 19/06/2017 - 22:17

Bal

Joined:
2015-04-18

Many thanks for your kind words on my diary and well done on your 7 days.

The FOBT was my nemesis and giving up cash and card access helped me.

Get into a habit of posting on your diary daily and just take things one day at a time. Cant change yesterday but you can influence tomorrow.

Best wishes

Posted on:
Tue, 20/06/2017 - 18:57

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Day 8 and despite very strong urges I'm GF and looking forward to putting another £1 in my jar. Decided to met the wife for coffee at lunch and when walking back to to work went pass the regular bookies and decided to walk on bye. This journey is not easy by a long shot but the forums are a great help

Posted on:
Sat, 24/06/2017 - 21:05

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

It's been a tough old 12 days but still GF. Love reading the success stories they are very inspirational. Starting to realise again what's  important, health, friendship and love ones 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 01:29

terricarter

Joined:
2017-06-25

these are great stories

Posted on:
Tue, 27/06/2017 - 07:53

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

Hope you are doing well. I was very encouraged by your post as it sounded like you have some good measures in place.

1) Soul-searching: I think it is essential to question your past behaviour and to continue to ask yourself if you are behaving in a way that you can be rightly proud of.

2) Discussing your problem and worries with others: The support of others is crucial to succeeding. In addition, problem gambling is almost exclusively a secretive thing, so to be completely open and honest with those we love can be difficult. It is important, however not to pass the burden of our problem onto those supporting us, as they will inevitably be striving to deal with many mixed emotions themselves.

3) Self-exclusion: A necessary safeguard to have in place. My own gambling addiction was fueled by online activity and by downloading blocking software on all my devices, I was able to prevent all access. Without this software, I would definitely have failed and in all honesty, it probably saved my life.

4) Putting £1 in a jar for each gambling free day: This is a great idea provided that it does not beome an obsession to protect this money. The money that you put aside must be used to reward yourself and others for the progress that you make and not hoarded until it becomes a tempting pot with which to gamble. I struggled to spend money in the early days, because as a gambler my instinct was always to try to win back any money that I spent. I eventually took the attitude that everything I bought was being paid for by the bookmakers, because if I was still gambling I would not have that money. We often feel that we do not deserve to be rewarded, because of our past behaviour, but it is imperative that we give ourselves credit for what we are achieving. We shoud also feel proud to have recognised a problem and done something about. My anthem in the early days was a track by Heather Small called Proud. It provided me with motivation when I learned to understand that every day that I did not gamble was a day that I could feel proud.

Take care Gazza.

Ken

Posted on:
Tue, 27/06/2017 - 21:51

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Ken,

Thank you for message -  Now 15 days GF and looking forward - I now remind my self "I don't gamble".

Friends and family have been great support and I very much welcome your advise as not to pass on the burden. It was the admission and letting go of the secret which was necessary and a great relief.

I'm still building the barriers; self exclusion online already in place and today I plucked up the courage to visit the regular bookmakers near my work and completed the self exclusion. The chat with the Manager was helpful and really supportive. Surprisingly whilst in the bookmakers I did not have any urges to play the FOBT's. I'm going to extend the exclusion to bookmakers near my home and will be calling the multi-operator scheme.

Having done some research it is clear I need to take steps to overcome the impulsive behaviour and recondition the thought process  - I'm starting the cold shower challenge which is going to be fun!

I read repetition trains and conditions the brain so basically I'm looking to establish a better balance to my days which incorporates better family/social time, healthy eating, exercise and interests. Always wanted to play the piano/keyboard and my wife has told me its never to late to learn.

As recommended I'm now off to listen to Proud by Heather Small.

Kind regards.

Gazza

Posted on:
Sun, 02/07/2017 - 06:00

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

HI Gazza

I am greatly encouraged by your post. It sounds as though you are doing many of the right things. I remember saying to my wife in the early days that if I was to be successful in beating my addiction, then I needed to retrain my brain so that it functioned differently. I think that over the years gambling behaviour had become hard-wired into my psyche. I learned new skills and although my brain struggled at first and the effort caused me headaches within minutes, I soon began to master these new healthy skills and they in turn became part of the new me. I think learning the piano absolutely ticks all the right boxes.

Well done on 15 days gambling free, (hopefully now 20), and don't forget to acknowledge your achievements and be proud that you have made a decision to become a better person. The changes take time and are small in the beginning, but in a years time you will have noticed some profound changes in strength of relationships, your own personal wellbeing, how you deal with stress and much more.

I hope you enjoyed Proud, I found the lyrics inspirational because in the early days when I didn't think I was achieving much, this song made me realise that if all I had done that day was to have not gambled, then that was something to be so proud of.

Take care my friend. I look forward to following your progress.

Ken

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 22:01

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your message and continued words of encouragement, these are most appreciated.

I am pleased to confirm I am still GF for now 27 days, its not been easy but I am determined to stay motivated. Like you I have found understanding the impact gambling has on the brain functions interesting and in someway aiding the recovery process. Sometime our brains are like dealing with a bully but I am confident in time I can reset the system and learn the skills which will help in many aspect of modern life.

At the start of the process I found the forums very useful and spent a great deal of time trawling through may of the stories etc... and from time to time will continue to post an update.Gambling and thinking about the subject is going to be confined to my past and is not going to define my future. I will however never forget why I took to decision to stop. Interesting when you do a list of the pros and cons of gambling the cons significantly out-way the pros, actually I struggle now to find 1 reason to gamble. The cravings continue albeit less intense this list helps and reminds me why gambling is just not for me.

I am now exercising more, spending more time with family and friends, daily meditation, eating a more protein based diet and daily cold showers! There are still a number of other changes which I need to implement including learning to play the piano and will post a progress report in a few weeks when I return from holiday with the family.

Take care my friend and again thank you.

 Gazza

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 10:21

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Coming up to 7 weeks GF and determined to stay that way. It takes time to rest the brain but need to stick at it. Garry

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 10:22

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

I trust that you have had a great family holiday. I hope that you have returned with the same strong resolve and strategies that you had a few weeks ago, because life is infinitely better and will present you with greater opportunities if you can remain gamble free. Gambling once controlled my life in so many ways, that I now feel I have escaped from a cage that once imprisoned me.

I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing of your progress.

Ken

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 10:26

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

How bizarre that we both posted simultaneously.......music from the twilight zone...

Great news and well done on 7 weeks.

Ken

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 20:54

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Hi Ken, good to hear from you. We had a lovely holiday thank you and I have returned with the same  resolve. The urges are getting less and less but Gambling as a subject can still play on my mind but hopefully in time this will reduce and eventually disappear. Kind regards. Gazza

Posted on:
Tue, 01/08/2017 - 21:13

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

I remember having a very vivid dream after about 4 months and waking up convinced that I had gambled. I lay in bed mortified for several minutes, before realising what had happened. I guess it was just part of clearing out my system.

It wasn't until 7 or 8 months that I felt confident that I finally had total control over whether or not I would ever gamble again. I sometimes consider it as an option, but it has nothing to offer me other than the potential to destroy my life. The reality is that I have learned so much about myself over the past 4 years that I am just not that person any more.

Take care my friend.

Ken

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 18:57

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

65 days GF and keeping strong

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 20:59

Goodbye my husband

Joined:
2017-08-06

Well done Gazza! It's great to read some of the success stories on here. You're doing brilliantly!

I hope I'm not going to upset anyone by asking what are FOBT's? Does anyone think that gambling is now a massive epidemic and do any of you think there are more gambling addicts out there than alcoholics?

Im the wife of a cg and I had no idea how big a problem it was until I signed up to this forum. 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 21:13

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

FOBT - fixed odds betting terminals

the amchines you find in bookmakers - max four per bookie and most shops you go in there will be people waiting to play - also known as the crack ******* of the gambling world

it's possible to gamble £100 per spin, you can spin approx every 10 seconds and it's perfectly feasible to lose £2-3k and still have time left on your parking meter many of us have done it.  The 'jackpot'/ maximum payout is limited to £500 on each as well.

yes there is an epidemic and it's only going to get a whole lot worse - effecting people from all walks of life

none of us will win because addicted, like myself, do not stop

today I will chose not to gamble

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 21:13

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

Well done Gazza, long may your abstinance continue

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 23:40

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Thank you for your continued words of encouragement it is most  appreciated. Together we stand and win 

Posted on:
Thu, 17/08/2017 - 02:09

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Just reading your diary sounds like you have done really well

Posted on:
Wed, 23/08/2017 - 23:53

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

What a 10 week journey its been. Never going back, a bet which is guaranteed a successful win (sorry for the pun but humour sometimes helps and strangely feels normal). Stay strong everyone 

Posted on:
Thu, 07/09/2017 - 06:26

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

You are within a few days of the 90 day milestone that GA likes to honour. Well done my friend. Every day is an achievement and something to be proud of.

Ken x

Posted on:
Wed, 13/09/2017 - 07:43

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Thanks Ken and good to hear from you. Now heading to the 100 days mark. The urges and preoccupied mind are better but remaining strong and PROUD. All the best Gazza

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 08:45

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

100 happy days GF

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 14:32

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Congratulations Gazza on your 100 days! No taking your eyes off the road... and here's, one day at a time, your 200 :)

Posted on:
Wed, 20/09/2017 - 21:22

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Wow congratuations on 100 days. Have you got any tips for a newbie like me to starting out? 

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 09:11

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

Hopefully you are now around the 120 day stage. Great effort mate. Stay positive and focussed and remember to appreciate and cherish your loved ones and the things that are yours.

Ken

Posted on:
Mon, 09/10/2017 - 15:51

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Hi Ken, thank you for your kind message. Still GF but felt a bit low recently so your message is good timing. It is comforting to know support is our there. Kind regards Gazza

Posted on:
Tue, 17/10/2017 - 17:58

sunbeam

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Gazza

Sorry to hear that your spirits have been low; hopefully things have improved now. I found walking a great way to destress and I believe it is a greatly underestimated exercise. A couple of hours alone with your thoughts in relaxing surroundings, pursuing a healthy activity certainly worked for me and still does.

I guarantee that even if you haven't noticed it yourself, others will have seen positive changes in you and these are for keeps as long as gambling is off the agenda.

I don't know which part of the country you live in, but if you live anywhere near London I can recommend a really good support group for you. It's a long shot, but also a small world.

Stay strong my friend, the rewards are almost unimaginable.

Best wishes

Ken

Posted on:
Tue, 17/10/2017 - 22:27

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Hi Ken, thank you for keeping in touch. Still GF and reached the 4 month mark and just like you mentioned in a previous message had a very vivid dream of gambling on the dreaded FOBT. I appeared to have won the jackpot but was mortified and got no sense of enjoyment from it in fact totally the opposite. As my wonderful wife told me it's just a dream and just that. I have no intentions to ever play these silly things again but the fear of a moment of weakness sometime looms, I guess this is part of the recovery process and hopefully like the gambling carvings have done will subside in the fullness of time. Generally getting over the recent low feelings and enjoying the good things in life, I'm surrounded by loving and caring family and friends and determined never to let myself or them down. Thanks again and best wishes, Gazza 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 12:55

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

20 weeks GF and determined 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 06:05

Letshope

Joined:
2017-10-30

Hi Gazza,

I have just read your story/ journey and found it inspiring, also it gave me a strong sense of hope, and for that i want to thank you.

Well done you for 20 weeks GF.

I am the partner of a CG that used FOBT amongst other things to gamble.
He has started his journey of recovery and is 8 days GF.

Each day he is GF makes me proud of him for having the courage to face it, and the strength to fight this addiction. Your wife & family equally must be so proud & excited for a GF future.

(Sorry i am waffling now) Keep up all your great efforts to stay GF, and i wish you and your family a happy bright future.