GamCare Logo
Login / Register

A new start

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted by
Messages
#1 Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 07:42

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

This is my first attempt at a diary after a failure to conquer my compulsion to gamble. After another massive blowout, this is me saying "enough is enough".

Came clean to my parents the other day, but couldnt bear to face my wife, which I feel terrible about. The truth is I've let confessed all to her before, made promises I didn't keep and so let her down massively down. I can't put her through that again, particularly as she's been so supportive of me in other aspects of our lives recently.

My parents have bailed me out a hole i needed bailing out from and agreed a replayment plan with them. Ive also agreed total disclosure with them, involving them checking my online bank statements whenever thet ask - something I've not done before.

I've also self-excluded from bookies and online accounts.

These feel like positive steps.

Day 3 GF at the moment. Zero inclination to gamble at the mo, but absolutely sickened by the money I've lost. I realise I have to let it go and accept the losses, but i was a very good financial position before the latest blowout, and now starting all over again (or rather in a negative position with the money owed to my parents).

Feeling really low at the moment, particularly knowing that I'll only be able to put away a measly sum each month due to min-wage job - £25 or something pathetic like that.

The warning signs were all there - I could've done something about it, but I chose not to.

Now I face a long, depressing road ahead.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 12:15

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Further reflections on day #3: I am completely physically and mentally drained today, struggling to get myself off the bed/sofa today - just want to crawl into a ball somewhere, anywhere. The money lost and the opportunity that this might have presented (in terms of what I could've spent it on with the family) are occupying my thoughts endlessly. I'm starting to wonder whether I'll ever forgive myself for this

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 15:10

duncanmac

Joined:
2012-01-26

What's wrong 

Fella welcome to the forum, a place full of like minded folk who have a wealth of knowledge and won't judge you. 

For me I will tell you that today addiction will be riding through your mind, it will see the fact that you haven't been honest with your wife a victory, I wonder if it's been whispering the same old tune it did me, that in some twisted way you have won,you have dodged the bullet by getting bailed out and that you can sit quietly until the coast is clear and without suspicion get back at it. 

My advice tell your wife, in fact tell anyone who will listen, it will bring you short term pain but it will shut down addiction in its tracks. Addiction is progressive, my inability to be honest about how it ruled my every thought took me to a truly dark place, a place were I didn't want to live anymore. 

Take the help on offer, phone gamcare speak honestly with them, find a GA room, seek advice from your gp,all these things will help you. 

The losses, write them off,they are gone, addiction will tell you that you will eventually win them back and some because it wants you, it will take all you have to give and some. 

We all live by the same mantra whilst active 

I CANNOT WIN BECAUSE I CANNOT STOP 

you have gifted yourself an amazing opportunity, an opportunity to turn that mantra upon it's head 

By abstaining we actually win,a 100% pay rise of your own making. 

I wish you well and truly hope you fully commit because 

Nothing changes if nothing changes. 

Abstain and maintain 

Duncs stepping forward never back. 

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 15:51

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thank you duncanmac, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I'm sure you're right about confessing all to my partner; I'm just not sure I can at the moment.
I'm terrified of the repurcusions and the likely fallout, emotionally and trust wise. The disappointment this would give (to her) is more than I can handle - I'm feeling so low at the moment, I don't think I could pick myself up from that. I realise that screams "me, me, me", but thats just now I feel.

As I mentioned I've opened up to my parents, which I feel is a positive step in tackling this head-on and agreed to be an open book on that front - happy to share my bank statement etc with them on a regular basis. Also self-excluded online and offline, which I also feel is a positive move.

I feel like I've hit my rock bottom, I can't imagine feeling any worse than I do right now.

To be honest, im not even remotely thinking that gambling is a way out at this stage. It's burnt me far too hard to think otherwise; it repulses me to the core.

I won't have access to funds for quite a while either, which might prove a blessing in disguise at this stage.

Sorry my posts seem so despondent, I'm just at that stage of my recovery. Hopefully some positivity will show itself in the coming days/months/weeks

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 18:11

duncanmac

Joined:
2012-01-26

What's wrong 

Fella never apologise, there's no right or wrong way to do this, it has to be a journey of your making, me I am just talking from my own experiences and nothing more, as I said nobody is here to judge you. 

Just be aware that you have to be concrete in your actions, I know through experience how my wife felt when she discovered that I had talked to my Ma instead of her,without doubt I put a strain on both relationships through my actions and when the truth surfaced it was difficult for everyone. 

I used to think that I was protecting my wife by not telling her, in fact I was hurting her more, because the signs of my losses were written all over my face and over my twenty year active gambling life she said it was like living with two people in one body the way my moods went high and low like a roller coaster. 

Lastly with regards to not wanting a punt today, I get that, we have all worn that shirt.

Addiction will lay dormant,  my own waited two and a half years for me to be enabled to gamble 

What did I do at that opportunity?  Gamble.

There's a triangle time-money-location If you take one away at all times that opportunity to gamble will be eradicated. 

Often in the GA rooms I have heard the question asked 

If you had money right now where would you be? 

For me all to often I would have answered 'in the bookies' I had abstinence forced upon me through lack of funds many times and the moment funds became available I would run back to the open arms of addiction.

So keep putting those blocks in place, now that triangle is broken keep it that way. 

For that be proud. 

Regards Duncs.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 18:26

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thank you duncs. It's great to hear other people's experience and I appreciate you taking the time and effort to share yours - it's really helpful and just the kind of support I need at this stage.

All the best

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 19:01

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

Welcome to the forum.

Good on you for opening up to your parents... a very difficult step and from my own experience whilst it can cause initial hurt, over time that will fade and the love will win through.

Something to keep in mind, again I talk from experience... having your parents bail you out will be a big relief and will have instantly released some pressure off you, but I urge caution... the way we think about gambling, not having to get the Mail first and bin it, field daily phone calls from debt collection agencies... we can be fooled into thinking that our debts have been paid, the slate is clean. Just something to be mindful of mate.

I think allowing your parents to check on request your account is a great idea, again not easy to do.

Regards telling your wife, perhaps today is not the day, but in time you may find yourself at a point where you are ready to tell her not only what you done, but what you have done since to help yourself, be that going to GA, counselling, coming on here, the control you have put in place with your parents. 

The important thing is that you are seeking help for your problem. Continue to do so and you can take back your life.

Stay safe and GF mate.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 19:03

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Hi whatswrong,

The above posts have hit the nail on the head really. All I can say to you is that I am 33 days gamble free (after many failed attempts), and my life has had SUCH a huge improvement. I'm still gonna be in debt for another few years, and the after effects of gambling are quite evident - BUT even in that short space of time my life has improved SO much.

All I can say is focus on the today, and tomorrow. Before you know it your life will be starting to improve and get better. You just need to take it day by day. As long as you've got those blocks in place as a "just in case" you will be fine. 

Best of luck!

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 19:26

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Hi ste_ven and adam808. Thanks for posting and for the words of encouragement.

I thought long and hard about the "bailout" option - I appreciate that it can often facilitate a relapse, plus there's the shame of needing your parents help at my age, but the funds were soon diverted elsewhere (to replay what needed repaying). No that that's an excuse of course, but really the money had to come from somewhere. It's not a freebie either; theres a repayment plan in place so I'll always have the reminder of my actions hanging over my shoulder for the foreseeable future, which perhaps I should treat as a positive.

Perhaps ste_ven you're right re the wife - my road to recovery may well involve that in the future.

Adam_808, I appreciate the advise about taking one day at a time and its great to hear that after you're seeing some great results after 33 days GF.

Best of luck to all in your respective recoveries

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 22:16

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

I am a wife who wasn’t told, my son inadvertently exposed his father’s gambling and the fallout was dreadful.

Your recovery is your business but my experience is that not telling did not protect me or our children. Not telling allowed the addiction to continue. And as others have said, not telling is a form of control - I thought I was going mad when the evidence of my eyes was denied. I also can’t see how someone who respects me can possibly fail to tell me what I need to know. My experience was that my marriage, based on lies as it was, had become totally dysfunctional.

It’s not what you want to hear but honesty is the way forward.

CW

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 07:30

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thank you cynical_wife. I think I know deep down that you're absolutely spot-on and that's exactly what I ought to do. In truth I lack the courage to do so. That's a weakness on my part I make no bones about it. I feel terrible not confessing to her; we're going through a significant change at home at the moment and the timing is not great. I guess the timing is never, and never will be, great for an admission of this magnitude though.

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 08:56

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Morning, WW,

A few thoughts, to take or leave as you will. People with courage don’t lack fear but they act where they have to despite their fear.

GA literature refers to bringing about a change in personality. That’s long term but it’s based on the idea that a functioning and well adjusted person doesn’t need to use. Shorter term, if you do the same old thing, you’ll get the same old results and despite the title of the diary, nothing changes if nothing changes.

No one on the forum has a stake in whether or not you tell your partner. It’s about your commitment to changing you and your life and taking the responsibility of an adult for what you do or don’t do as an adult. Addiction happens but your actions are your own.

Wish you well.

CW

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 09:57

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Whatwrong

Well done on what should be day 4 GF for you.

It is positive that you have put some blocks in place and now have the support of your parents.

I went through the same turmoil about telling my wife once I realised I had a problem and came up with all sorts of reasons why it was best not to tell her, pretending in my head that it was for her benefit whereas I knew it was my cowardice. I also considered confiding in my parents (I am 48 and they are in their 70s so you can imagine how desperate I was to consider that as an option). In the end I decided against it as these things will always come out one day and I thought it would probably hurt my wife even more if she thought I could confide in my parents but not her.

Everyone's circumstances are different and you need to make your own decision so do not feel pressurised by anyone on here. Telling my wife was without a doubt one of the worst days of my life and whilst we are trying to work on our relationship, it is obviously never going to be the same - not because of the lost money in my case but because of the realisation I had effectively been living a double life for four months and whilst not directly lying to her, was deceiving her by not telling her what was happening. By not telling your wife, you are also risking her finding out herseff which will be worse and if you chose to tell her in say 6 months, she may be even more upset that you carried on deceiving her for a further period of time.

There is no painless solution here but coping with this yourself is making this even harder. 

Good luck with whatever you decide and keep posting.

Muststop123

 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/10/2017 - 16:11

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thanks MustStop123 - I appreciate the support and the advice.

Day 4 down and back at home for the day. Started a new job today, but annoyingly, my thoughts kept drifting away to the money lost in my most recent splurge. Had trouble sleeping last night for the same reason. I'm hoping that money-related negativity will pass in time.

Onwards to day 5...

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 07:14

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Day 5, another night of disturbed sleep, waking up at 4-something am and not getting back to sleep - annoying!!!

2nd day in the new job. The job is out in the sticks with no bookies around for a couple of miles (excluded from those, even if I were close anyway) which helps on the "location" part of the triangle. Not that I'm tempted to go down that path mind - last week still lives fresh and painfully in the mind. Online accounts cancelled too.

Decided that when I do finally start saving again (it will be tiny amounts of £25-50/month I reckon) I'm just going to transfer it straight into our joint savings account - something my wife has thankfully always had sole access to

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 09:00

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Well done, the days are stacking up.

The lack of sleep and feeling sick about the money did gradually fade for me to allow me to function normally although I don't think you can realistically ever forget about it completely but maybe that is not such a bad thing.

Best night's sleep I had after finally admiting I had a problem was a week after telling my wife and then having my first one to one counselling session. Came home at about 8.30, had something to eat, spoke to wife and was sound asleep by about 9.30 and slept for 9 hours solid. Think I just finally felt I had started down a better route and no longer had any secrets to hide.

Keep up the good fight.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:44

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Day 6 going well. Starting to feel a little better about the losses - still not great obviously but managed a full night sleep for the first time in almost a week. Onwards and upwards...

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:45

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Day 6 going well. Starting to feel a little better about the losses - still not great obviously but managed a full night sleep for the first time in almost a week. Onwards and upwards...

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 20:29

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Just checking in - 7 days GF, feeling like I'm in much better head space today

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 14:49

velvet7

Joined:
2017-05-26

Well done WW, keep going! glad to hear you're feeling a bit better.

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 17:26

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thank you velvet7 for your words of encouragement.

Day 8 done and dusted. Onwards and upwards...

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 11:02

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

 Good going on what will now be 9 days GF.

To to stay focussed on today and the short term future - thinking too much about the past, about mistakes we cannot change can make us feel depressed, likewise thinking too long into the future about the monies we owe and will have to pay back over months/years can cause anxiety.

Easy for me to say and type the above, but very difficult to stick to. I regularly have thoughts about past mistakes, believe no one will ever kick me as hard as a kick myself sometimes, but I know that I am on the right path now, over 30 days GF and my life is feeling like life again.

Take care and stay GF mate.

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 10:37

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Not much to say today other than that today marks 10 day GF. Early days but filled with some optimism. The real tests are yet to come I suspect (usually the case for me is 6 months - 1 year, letting guard down) but feeling pretty good so far

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 12:53

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Well done so far Whatswrong.

One day at a time its all anyone can do. Once we accept where we are its about where we move going forwards!

Money comes and goes just make sure its going on the right things and it'll all work itself out in the end.

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 14:29

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Thanks sjwsjw. You're right - one day at a time and the rest takes care of itself. I see that you're doing great in your own recovery - 40 days is impressive and something I definately aspire to

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:47

gamblerjames

Joined:
2013-05-15

Hi Whatswrong,

Thanks for the post on my diary. From reading yours I can see the similarities. For me this last time has been not just about the money lost but the time leading a double life as well. I'm certain thats were the mental aspect comes in. We change as people when we gamble and I don't like that person when gambling. 
Over the weekend, I was a man possessed, driving miles from one bookies to another spending hundreds in the process, then scouring hundreds of online casinos to find one that I'm not self excluded from. Its sounds so sad to the non-gambler but so familiar to the CG.

To solve the depression I found exercise is the best cure but any hobby will do. We can create so much spare time to gamble that its a void that needs filling when we stop. 

I wish you all the luck and will keep checking on your progress. Well done on 12 days, onwards and upwards

James

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:51

Joanne Isla

Joined:
2017-10-17

Thanks 'What's Wrong' for your encouraging words on my diary.  No two  days are the same when trying to overcome this addiction so I agree, it has to be 'one day at a time'.   Truly wishing you all the best, keep going .............

 

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 18:52

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

Sorry diary, I have neglected you of late - been busy with work and other commitments. 15 days in now, had a few little thoughts about my money situation but nothing about gambling. It still feels like its something I don't want to touch ever again, but keeping my guard up nonetheless.

Have a good weekend all!

Posted on:
Sat, 11/11/2017 - 23:15

gamblerjames

Joined:
2013-05-15

Over two weeks, WELL DONE! 

Keep up the good work, stay vigilant, you can do this!

 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 15:05

WhatsWrong

Joined:
2017-10-26

31 days in now, and still GF. Feeling good about this, but finding it more difficult that I hoped to let go of the losses. I know that it's gone and not coming back etc, but it still leaves an emptiness i cannot shake. In previous relapses, I've been able to get over these much sooner, but I think the scale of the last one combined with my current status (low paid job, struggling to make ends meet) has made it much harder.