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Quit & couldn't be happier

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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 17:58

nothingisfree

Joined:
2017-06-25

Hi all,

I have been wanting to post this for some time, but haven't found the time. 

I had been addicted to FOBT roulette during my first year at university, which was in 2011. I would gamble with my student loan, but not to the extent that I lost everything. Some days I would win, some days I would lose. In my final year of university, I had been more emboriled with gambling, and eventually this thought of making quick money would overtake my focus and need to study. Summer 2014, I graduated with a lower second class honours and missed my opportunity to participate in a graduate scheme that would have given me a very secure job (£40,000 starting salary, with bonuses, etc.). 

I came from a poor family, and did not grow up with any parents, so lacked regulation growing up. The idea of winning several hundred pounds, in the matter of minutes, was something that I experienced and became hooked on. It is a shame that when I was this young I had no remorse for my own stupidity.

I eventually found my first job after graduation several months in, and this is where the problem started to get worse. There would be times I would gamble on payday, and lose my entire salary within 30 minutes (circa £1600), having to borrow from payday lenders or use credit cards to finance my living until the next paycheque. 

I would live through this cycle for the next two years (mind, there would be some months that I would actually win and not have to borrow, but these wins quickly turned into losses in the coming weeks). Eventually, with the amount of borrowing that I did, and my reluctance to pay the lender back I had started to become emboriled in debt. It hit me - I was 22 years old with £8000 debt, and I was still gambling at this point. I had no savings and wasn't purchasing clothes, financing nights outs, going on holidays, buying a car, etc.

My money for the month would only go on food, cigarettes, rent and gambling.

Fast forward to 22nd of December 2016, I got paid my basic salary with a marginal bonus (so, around £2200 for the month). I was off work for two weeks and on the same day decided to go into ********* and try my luck. I ended up losing the entire £2200 and recouping some £800 which I put back into my bank account. 

I was still yet to buy Christmas presents for my nephew and niece, and I knew that I promised this to them. Throughout all of this time I had hid that I had a gambling problem from all of my friends and family. I had experienced worse before (e.g. no money for food for 1-2 weeks when losing all my money), but there is something about gambling that when it starts to affect others you feel a bit more guilty. I knew my sister, nephew and niece would be furious if I came to them empty handed. 

I eventually (without telling them why) managed to get some money from a friend to help finance the purchase of gifts just before Christmas, and from this day vouched that I would never put myself in this position again. Since then, it has been exactly 6 months that I haven't gambled and I have no indication to myself that I will ever go back.

I feel that if you want to quit gambling, something has to happen to your brainwashed psyche to help you change. There has to be some kind of a watershed moment, where you say "enough is enough" and then you don't go back. You need to start to understand that bookmakers aren't your friends, they aren't there to help you make money, they're there to help take money away from you. Once you start to train your brain that the bookmaker is the enemy, your process of recovery becomes much more tolerable.

Since I have quit gambling I have moved to a better job, at a corporate company earning a decent salary of £35,000 a year & benefits and paying off £250 a month towards my debts. I always have money in my bank account, I always have money for food, I treat myself to clothes every month, and my social life couldn't be better - I am going out on a weekly basis and getting back what I missed in my early 20's. 

There are a few things you have to live with once you stop gambling; that is the memory of how much money you lost, the hypothetical situations you put yourself in, e.g. "where would I be if I didn't gamble", but you need to ensure that you take this experience as a learning curve, and try to better your character from it. There is no point thinking about the past when you can't change it. If you beat gambling, your mental becomes incredibly strong, for this is not an addiction that everyone is capable of overcoming, and furthermore it is an experience of pain, torture and suffering that many people do not know about.

Once you quit gambling, give yourself a round of applause, but do not talk too much about it. One of the reasons why I do not go back to gambling is because I ignore it - I do not pay attention to the adverts, I do not really get jealous when there are articles on the DailyMail of punters winning several hundred thousands and I certainly do not even talk about gambling in my rhetoric. Once you train your brain to think of other things, and occupy yourself with other pleasures, forgetting gambling is not much of a problem.

I turn 25 next month and I felt that this is something that I just wanted to get off my chest. I wish everyone on this forum the best of luck in overcoming problem gambling, for this is one of the worst, severe addictions that is often overlooked by much of society; however please do not give in to the bookmakers, be strong and good things will come.

 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 18:23

Gazza1971

Joined:
2017-06-19

Very helpful forum. FOBT have been my problem but likely you have now realised enough is enough. It's not been easy but now 13 days GF but taking your advice to keep strong.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 18:31

nothingisfree

Joined:
2017-06-25

Gazza1971 wrote:

Very helpful forum. FOBT have been my problem but likely you have now realised enough is enough. It's not been easy but now 13 days GF but taking your advice to keep strong.

Glad to hear that you're 13 days in, keep it up pal... keep strong!

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 18:47

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

What an inspiring story ! I'm kinda in the same situation although I'm not in debt . I've decided to clean up all the mess in my brain and live better without gambling in my life ! Lost 3 grand 23 days ago but I'm lucky to admit that I have a problem . Still feeling guilty that my hard earned money went to online roulette ! I'm so lucky to have a great wife ! I'm definitely gonna look after our 45grand savings and learn from the mistake that I've made ! I'm only 27 so this is not the end of the world but I will be if I have not realise my problem soon enough. Thank you for this lovely story got me more focused on my recovery ! 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/06/2017 - 23:40

nothingisfree

Joined:
2017-06-25

Sars27 wrote:

What an inspiring story ! I'm kinda in the same situation although I'm not in debt . I've decided to clean up all the mess in my brain and live better without gambling in my life ! Lost 3 grand 23 days ago but I'm lucky to admit that I have a problem . Still feeling guilty that my hard earned money went to online roulette ! I'm so lucky to have a great wife ! I'm definitely gonna look after our 45grand savings and learn from the mistake that I've made ! I'm only 27 so this is not the end of the world but I will be if I have not realise my problem soon enough. Thank you for this lovely story got me more focused on my recovery ! 

You are very lucky to have saved up £45,000. Many people do not learn their lesson until they lose everything. Please do your best to stay as far as possible from roulette. That £45,000 can be gone in a matter of months, weeks, minutes. It's a scary thought.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/06/2017 - 17:47

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Well done.  Keep it up but don't forget this addiction doesn't forget either. tri

Posted on:
Tue, 27/06/2017 - 19:16

conradnose

Joined:
2017-06-21

Well Done nothingisfree. 

You're right we do waste time thinking where could I be if i didn't gamble but after a few months I realised I could learn this lesson and become stronger and create a better life for myself. Which sounds like you've done.

Stay strong!

Conradnose

www.conradnose.com

Posted on:
Mon, 28/08/2017 - 20:46

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

This story sounds almost a mirror to mine. Very eerie.

Unfortunately I haven't quite been able to hit that lightbulb moment yet. Here's hoping this time I'm lucky.