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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 18:13

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Starting my diary after reaching day 35 GF. Got to this point before but this time i've taken action.

Currently have a 10.5k debt.

Started gambling when i was about 15 on fruit machines, always lost whatever money i had and left.

A few years later i found poker. During my early years playing poker online BOOMED. I joined in as soon as i was 18 and donated whatever spare money i had every pay day. Aged 19, working part time i won 5k in a tournament one eveving, i was buzzing. Told everyone about my win that evening, by the end of the next day i was broke. I felt gutted and ashamed but kept it a secret that i had lost it all. Poker begain my addiction with online gambling. I carried on playing losing the odd £100+ every month after i got paid. After a few year of this i decided that i would take out a £2k loan so i could play with a bankroll i would be able to stand the variance the game has. I stayed within about £500 either side of this £2k for around 6 months. It was at this point that the site i was playing poker on added the option to sports bet. I've been a big football fan since i was about 8 years old and the chance to bet was too tempting to me. Unlike poker i had much more control over the amount i could bet and the markets i could bet on. I quickly lost the 2k i had in my account. I borrowed a little more and kept going. I was gambling easily 5-7 days a week between poker and sports betting.

My debt stayed very level until this year, i was in around 3k debt though this was not going down by anything as i was still gambling to a point where any payments i made were then one way or another reused to gamble. Around 8 months ago i thought i would deposit £1k and find a 3/1 sports bet to "clear my debt and stop gambling", i lost, i chased and it continued. I would stay up 40+ hours without sleep betting on any football i could around the world, even on nights where i then had to work a 9 hour day without sleep. I had always placed a lot of acca's every week before this but this time the amounts where rapidly increasing. Just 2 months after starting with a 3k debt i had tripled that to 9k. I'd taken out 2 loans, maxed out 2 credit cards and was scraping by each month using every penny of my overdraft.

Even this could not stop my need to gamble, the month after i was paid i lost £850 of bill money in an evening betting. My mum came over and i came clean to her, i had to i needed help. She lent me the £850 to pay my bills that month and told me to stop, i said i would. I told her to not tell anyone and keep it between me and her. She did and i gave up, for a month. Then, the month after that i again lost all my £850 bill money. What did i do? I applied for another 1k loan to cover it and hide it. Only this time i got flat out rejected for it. It took me getting to this point to FINALLY reach my rock bottom. When i had first lost my bill money i admitted i had a problem, however i wasn't willing to admit my gambling had defeated me and i didn't put ANY blocks in place or look for any help, i was sure i could do this alone, i couldn't. The second time i came clean to every person i am close with that i could trust. Opening up about my problem and every £ and hour that gambling had cost me was a MASSIVE weight of my shoulders, really can't underestimate the sense of release this gave me. If i need to speak to them about any issues i can and more then that they feel they can now ask me anything they want to know to better understand what this is like for me. They understand my problem better and that means they understand me better!

I have now given over my bank and credit cards, i self excluded from all sites and i arranged counselling (had 2 sessions now).

Having just passed the point i got to on my own without any help i have decided to log this journey from here on. I have a totally different feeling about myself and the gambling this time round. I have begun working on improving myself and the areas in my life that i am not happy with that have driven me into this state of wanting to hide in the gamblers dream world.

This site has helped me to focus and i just wanted to add some content that might help someone as others have helped me to this point. I've joined the christmas challange on here and look forward to working my way through the rest of this year with the aim of making 2018 a gamble free one!

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 18:45

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 35

Had a good day, no thoughts of gambling and get paid friday

I've managed to transfer some of my debt over to a 0% card for 12 months so that'll save me some of the high interest rate im paying on 1 card, also have one loan that was for 1k ending with tomorrows final payment.

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 20:47

Bornagain

Joined:
2013-12-14

Well done for hitting 35 days and from reading your first post it seems like you have really got yourself together. I look forward to reading more about your journey and hope you continue to progress. You have some good solid blocks in place, keep up the good work!

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 17:12

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 37

Definitely a tougher day today. Was thinking about what the debt means to me in terms of time paying it back. Don't like to dwell on it, i think its just the fact that tomorrow is pay day for me so it kind of re-focuses my mind on my issues with money. I've spent very little on myself as "treats" or even as money socialising over the past 10 years. Money has only ever been a tool to escape the real world and gamble. For sure this addiction costs much more than money. It has isolated me pretty badly. I've moved 30 miles away from my home town 2 years ago and apart from people i work with i just don't really know anyone at the moment, need to work on this.

Regardless, i am still gamble free and we look forward to the next day.

Thanks bornagain, lets keep going!

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 21:27

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 38

Payday! Had a really good day. Got a small bonus from work so managed to pay an extra couple of hundred off my debt. This is my second payday since i stopped gambling though really the last payday did little for my finances as i had again lost £850 of bill money the previous month.

Don't have any access to my credit or debit card still and this has really brought some peace to my situation. I actually know what money i have and one of my loans has ended as of 01/11/17 so i have that money i can now add towards a different debt.

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 20:37

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Hi sjwsjw.

Thanks for the post on my diary, appreciate it.

Nice one on making payday, always a bit of a worrying day isn't it. Glad you have been given a bit of a luck with that bonus. I managed to get some interest back from Santander this week so that portion of my debt will be paid off 3 months earlier than planned (although my debt is still years away from being paid off...)

I'm glad things are looking up for you. Stay on it, and one day at a time you'll get there.

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 12:32

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 40

Thanks Adam. Yea i think like i said payday is just a reminder of money and my issues with it. Nice little bonus with the bank mate! All helps. Im the same im in this debt for a couple of years to come but hey, its going down and thats something i have honestly never said since i've had the means to gamble.

Feel like getting to day 40 is a nice marker, another small goal in every 10 days i guess.

Still feeling good

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 20:19

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 43

Gambling honestly feels like a long time ago already. I've been proud of my 100% commitment to change putting in all the necessary blocks and going from a person who hardly has a word to say to anyone to opening up to several people over the last few weeks. I've no longer been afraid to show my vulnerability and for the first time in years i've actually felt emotions. Gambling held me in a stone like trance. Nevermind anyone else, i didn't know when i was happy or sad.

The only issue i have had so far is spending money! I now have a small budget to treat myself with after paying my bills, but im honestly struggling to part with even small amounts. It's strange what gambling has done to my view of money and maybe even my worth to me financially.

I think part of me was afraid to try to quit before this because i didn't think i was capable and didn't want to fail. I think yes, also i enjoyed some parts of gambling. It was comfortably uncomfortable.

Im really enjoying the sense of freedom even this far and i still have a reasonable debt as well as the mental scars but things are looking up.

Today, again i will not gamble. All the best everyone

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 21:57

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Really inspirational reading through your diary sjw and appreciate your post on mine amigo. Let’s rise up from this and be better than we’ve ever been before. Your comments about how this allows us to take a long hard look at ourselves and address areas of our character really resonated with me. Day by day we can constructively add to our lives whilst not gambling which did nothing but deconstruct our lives. 

All the very very best, on we march my friend.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 19:37

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks MF. Sorry i took so long to reply! I do read the forums daily on my mobile but i only log in to post/reply on my PC and im not on here all the time now :-D

Day 48

Had my 4th phone counselling session tonight. If im honest for the last 2 sessions i've been worried i really don't have much to say since the last one but somehow keep managing to fill the hour call with talking things out so i guess its all good. I just feel like things are ticking along at the moment, but in a positive way for a change.

I still get thoughts about bets but i don't feel the urge to act on them. Things are adequately out in the open with my close family that i feel i can turn to any of them should i need to. I really feel like i can talk to them about any even "stupid thoughts" i don't even understand myself with them.

I said tonight during my counselling that i feel like the pressure is off me now. I have blocked my access to online gambling through SE and blocks. As for money, i still don't have access to my debit/credit cards. This helps me forget about the debt and brings me a real sense of calm about it. Although i know my debts exist i can leave them to look after themselves now i've had a small amount of time for the dust to settle. The truth is yes i will be skint for a few months to get to a point where the pressure with them is off a little but hey, gambling has left me broke for over 10 years anyway! Not adding to my debts for the first time i can remember is a change that has opened my eyes up, showing me i can get myself out of this if i can focus on stopping for good.

2 days away from 50 days, looking forwards.

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 23:32

YorkshireLad

Joined:
2017-11-07

Sjw, firstly congrats on nearly reaching the 50 day step big achievement. You've come along way since that first post just reading your attitude and mindset has completely changed and I think your surprising yourself everyday. Keep going buddy!!

YorkshireLad.

Posted on:
Wed, 15/11/2017 - 17:25

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks YorkshireLad. To be fair to myself i am the sort of person that throws themself fully into whatever they are doing (unfortunately that did very much include gambling). I have surprised myself in the fact of opening up emotionally though! Im happy i feel i can just HONESTLY tell people how i am (not just the small talk of saying im "good" when asked if im ok).

Day 50

So 50 days have passed since my last bet. Yes its taken me the best part of 12 years to get to this point but im on my way to a better life, though its still early days things are much better than they have been!

Been a little bit down the last couple of days if im honest. My boss said to me "i didn't think you had any emotion" the other day at work when i showed some (i've said even on here i feel thats very true). Work doesn't know about my problems. It did hurt a bit to hear it out loud from someone else. Even in the darkest times of my gambling i've always tried to be an outwardly positive person. I constanstly just try to makes people smile with my humour. For the most part i feel im the sort of person people will speak to me about most things but yea, nothing emotion related at any point i can remember of in the last decade.

I think my main issues right now are my lack of self worth. Never felt good enough even when i've clearly made the effort in a particular area of my life. Haven't up to this point spent any real money on non-essentials. I will be sharing my money with the people i care about rather than the bookies from now on though.

No real issues with gambling thoughts, i do get the odd "if i put XXX amount on this bet i could pay my debt off a bit faster" but i no how wrong that thought is. I have no feelings of acting on these thoughts (and i couldn't because my blocks are in place anyway!) That train of thought got me here, and very quickly over the last few months of my time gambling.

I like not having money to worry about so im still very comfortable to not have access to my funds so this will not be changing anytime soon.

Will continue to reads post on here daily on my phone and will update this every few days.

All the best everyone, stay GF!

Posted on:
Fri, 17/11/2017 - 21:40

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 52

My blocks are really doing their job and i head into another weekend (most peoples, always my worst time for binge gambling) positive on the gambling side of things.

One thing that has really come to light for me this week is i have a REALLY big issue with punishing myself with regards to spending money. I have been living within a budget for food for a long time now. I have a bugdet that allows me to eat good food. This week out of the blue i have felt the need to start looking into spending less money on food to "give me extra money". I have no rational on why i want this extra money. i think its purely a thought of depriving myself and now i don't have gambling as an outlet it seems my brain is trying to find another way of showing my lack of self worth.

Its going to be a long tough journey. I am finding issues i'd never considered before but i can work through this and come out a much better, more aware person.

Have a good weekend everyone and stay GF

Posted on:
Sat, 18/11/2017 - 04:09

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi sjwsjw, just wanted to say a huge congrats on your journey so far & stick with the counselling!  Lack of self worth is a huge part of addiction & now that you aren’t self harming with gambling your mind is indeed finding other ways to attack you...Stuff it, it doesn’t control you.  Pretend you’re being treated to dinner by the owner of your local gambling establishment (that way you don’t need to worry about looking greedy) & go out & buy yourself the ingredients you would have chosen (unless it’s Lobster because that’s just daft, unless you live near a beach of course or something really difficult to cook, in which case, pick something ready made)!  This journey is tough enough without our brains (the crazy things that got us into this mess in the 1st place) making it harder.

My recovery journey has been a shocker but as you say, I’m way more aware & already a marginally better person for looking in that mirror.

Have a good GF weekend yourself - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Sat, 18/11/2017 - 18:33

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks ODAAT appreciate every comment that helps me through this journey.

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 20:57

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 55

Another phone counselling session tonight (5th). Lost my way a little the last week with my daily routine (gym, eating well, sleep etc). Feel like gambling is a secondary thought as the moment, that side is going well. Its dealing with the other parts of my recovery that i need to focus on right now. I have strong blocks in place and feel like i have accepted the only way this can end well is for recovery to contiune as it is.

Need to get to grips with spending money "normally" and not feel so guilty about treating myself to the odd thing within reason. I've made a big effort to move my debt around to pay it off enough over the next few months to atleast take a little of that pressure off of myself. Looking forwards to Christmas and the new year.

If i can re-focus on my routine and getting that back on track things will be in a good place for me.

Posted on:
Sat, 25/11/2017 - 17:38

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 60

The weekends no long worry me regards to gambling. My blocks are strong and i've not even thought to test them. I have no interest in betting now. I will keep my blocks in place as i see no reason to change something that is working for me. It could be a different story should i actually have the option and means to be able to bet, though i doubt it why chance it at such an early stage?

Feeling a little better about myself but i need to start this coming week as i mean to go on. I've not been on it regards to a good solid routine and any treat i have managed to allow myself has only been food related to this point.

Its a very busy time for me over the festive period so i have plenty to keep me focused on outside of gambling. Looking forwards to Xmas and starting a new year fresh, gambling free.

Take care everyone

Posted on:
Sat, 25/11/2017 - 18:54

The fun has stopped

Joined:
2017-11-03

Well done getting to 60 days sjw! I've been reading through your dairy and think you've done great, hope you manage to spend some money on treating yourself as you deserve it. I'm sure you'll have a great Xmas and fantastic gf 2018!

Posted on:
Tue, 28/11/2017 - 20:01

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks TFHS i hope so too, and the same for everyone here fingers crossed. Lets try enjoy it properly for once!

Day 63

Not much to add today. Tough day at work, very busy but the day flew by which is aways nice.

Posted on:
Tue, 05/12/2017 - 17:18

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 70

Had a really great week since my last post.

Have since been paid again. I went out for my Christmas meal with everyone from work at the weekend. I went out and bought myself a new outfit. Looked sharp and felt great for it =D Had a really good meal and a few drinks, was nice to get out with everyone for a social event, work with some really good people.

Had another counselling sessions today and i basically spent the hour saying how good im feeling and how my self worth and confidence has noticably really come back to me. I feel a lot happier and more at peace with myself as a person. Im more aware of people and their emotions and much more interested in hearing and talking to people. I was so depressed while i was gambling if im honest i didn't care to talk to people. I didn't want to hear how good their life was going when i felt so low and lost in mine.

Christmas is fast approaching and im looking forward to it for once.

Take care everyone.

Posted on:
Sun, 10/12/2017 - 08:47

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 75

Had a really lazy day yesterday. Watching the football and getting my hair cut was about all i managed but had a good rest up too. Work is physically hard this time of year.

Had a thought about the last few months i was gambling. About how i felt such relief when i had lost all the money i had for that month and how that ment my addiction wouldn't bother me anymore until my next payday. It was almost like i had excepted the money was going to go and that once it had i was "free" of the feelings it put me through for the rest of that month. It was a sad state to be in. I felt at peace once it was lost, yes i felt sick about throwing it away still. I knew i was getting deeper in debt because of it.

When i had reached rock bottom and put the blocks into place, told everyone i needed to tell and seeked help here and from counselling i again found that peace. Being aware i was fully blocked from gambling gave me that relief again. It was like i knew i had no funds to put me through the pain again.

Its early days but im learning and although im coming up with more questions than answers im working through things.

Hope you can all enjoy your weekend too.

Posted on:
Mon, 11/12/2017 - 21:22

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 76

Seems i've lost track a little. Just finished another counselling phone call. 10th session already! Wow.

Got some money to treat a few people just to some small gifts this Christmas. Its nice to have a little bit of money to spend showing people you care. I've always left it to the last minute, normally just to see what if any money i actually had left to spend after gambling.

I have my bank card back and yesterday was the first time i have entered my card into an online site (to order some personalised gifts) since i gave it up 76 days ago. I feel ok about having my card, i had to take it back a couple of weeks ago because it wasn't possible to withdrawl my money when i got paid at the time. Im still just withdrawing cash for a budget and to feel and see its physical value. So much of that side of money is lost as "numbers on a screen" when you have gambled online for so long! I mostly leave my card at home. I have a pre paid card and take just a few pounds a day with me incase i need anything (though i don't always even spend that).

I used to worry about leaving the house without my wallet but i've now come to see that i don't need as much as i ever thought i did. Normally a couple of quid in the bag i take to work is quiet enough.

I have a good support network in place and im feeling very positive. Still checking back here daily even though not always posting.

Take care people.

Posted on:
Mon, 11/12/2017 - 21:48

adam123

Joined:
2015-06-09

76 days boy that's a good start, I'm on day one today even tho ive been on here two years. I also played poker and see a lot of similarities in ur story. I also transfer all my money out my account on payday and take a couple of pounds to work. I like to keep my debit card with me incase I need cash but that's a hindrens isn't it. Hope to stay just behind u

Posted on:
Mon, 11/12/2017 - 21:57

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Hi Adam,

I think we honestly worry too much about not having enough money on us. Honestly once i had opened up to people about what i was going through that was the next biggest feeling of relief for me. Handing over my card. Be honest with yourself, how often do you NEED to have that level of access to money.

We aren't great money managers i just found i was adding unnecessary pressure on myself simply by just have it on me 24/7.

I hope you find the blocks and measures you need to get control of your addiction. It feels weak at the time to admit defeat to this but i haven't felt so much control for many years.

All the best mate, i will keep up with your diary :)

Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 20:31

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 81

Ment to post on here yesterday but i was woken up at midnight after falling asleep on the sofa in front on the TV some time around 9pm. Been a long week but a very happy and productive one. I've managed to buy loads of Christmas gifts and i've really felt the Christmas spirt for the first time in 10+ years.

It's the weekend and i used to dread the end result of one of these but gambling thoughts are currently well under control. To be fair it's once things again to begin to slow down and get back to normal that the real tests will show where im at. Work slows down a lot, its cold and everyone is skint (but hey what CG isn't used to that).

Christmas day will mark 90 days GF that will be a nice point to reach, one day at a time.

Posted on:
Sun, 17/12/2017 - 17:58

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 82

Turns out i have to file a tax return for the tax year of 15/16. An unexpected bill, shouldn't be more than a couple of hundred pound because it was less than a months work back when i was self employed that ran into that tax year. Add it to the pile of money to pay back.

Its easy to get down about our situations but i am moving forwards and this would have happened gambling or gamble free and i know which one needs to be the me of today and beyond.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 10:07

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 89

Such a long, busy week but its the weekend once again. Christmas eve and i am feeling in a good place to enjoy this one. Heading out to stay over with family for Christmas today. 8 days left of this year. Its been a strange one really but it will end positively and when the new year rolls around it'll be my time to really push myself towards the life i truely want for myself.

Im in such a better head space at the moment then 89 days ago. I wasn't sure how hard i would find this but its felt like the right time to do this for me personally. Im starting to forgive myself and love the person i am. I don't need to hide anymore.

Wishing everyone all the best over Christmas. Back soon.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 17:58

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 94

Got a long weekend off now going into the new year so looking forward to that "starting a fresh" feeling that brings. Lots of football on over this festive period and into the new year but i haven't struggled to watch sports since stopping. Been a football fan over 20 years so it's just been a case of loving the sport for what it is outside of results betting. Mad things happen in sport and instead of destroying my £100+ stake, last hope to break even until broke for another month, 15 team acca im able to enjoy these moments.

My last bet does feel a long time ago but i have a couple of years worth of monthly reminders coming out of my bank account to remember what it did. Good to feel strong mentally for a change heading into a new year i intend to enjoy for lifes real winning moments.

If not before, i'll be back here to post for day 100. Happy 2018 everyone.

Posted on:
Tue, 02/01/2018 - 19:04

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 98

I might be a few months into being GF but this was the time i was expecting to be a little harder and it has been today.

Over the Christmas period i was able to pay off my debt a little faster with an extra pay packet (get paid 13 times a year, twice in December) and still spend a reasonable amount on gifts. As the new year turns over its very much back to the monotonous, slow chipping at the debt. My outgoings are reasonably high before even paying off my debt. I've been paying off as much as i could over the last couple of months just to fight back the interest im paying on them and bring the totals down. Im going to need to work out a plan as to how much to commit towards debt payments vs allowing myself some money to live beyond just the basics. I don't wanna keep being the isolated person i allowed myself to be while gambling. It was ok the last few months when i was so busy and tired over Christmas but now I need to put myself out there and if i keep at the level im paying back then im basically gunna be spending the next 2 years at home everyday after work.

I need to find the balance between the 2 and not yet knowing where that sweet spot is is stressing me out a bit.

It hasn't make me think about gambling, just a bit of a lower mood today.

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 19:27

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 99

Definitely hit a bit of a mental wall the last couple of days. Been ill for about 2 weeks but feels like its got worse in that time and i think i've been feeling a bit sorry for myself. The buzz of Christmas has gone and a feel a little lost and empty again. Don't feel up to much. Have just been working then physically crashing out once home, don't have any energy right now and it is affecting my mental state. For the first time in a while i am feeling a bit down about things. I have 99 days under my belt and that can only help things in real terms but im not much on the reflecting on the days that have pasted right now.

Right now, just like work does it's feeling like a tough grind.

Don't feel like gambling which is one good thing but i try to be a postive person even in the face of tough times, im struggling ATM.

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 19:42

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 100

Not as sick as i was yesterday and thats helped me to be more positive today. It's always nice to hit milestones and this does feel like a good one. To see the counter hit 3 figures is motivating. I have a long way to go more than just financially but im 100 days closer to where i want to be and i have to travel this path to get there. Better now then later.

Facing up to our gambling problems often brings a lot of other life issues into focus and it is at times uncomfortable. To grow we have to have resistance though and i do feel like i have grown a good deal in just the 100 days i've spent GF.

Heres to a new year full of possiblity, one day at a time.

Posted on:
Tue, 09/01/2018 - 01:03

Stephen 67

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello sjwsjw. Congratulations on 105 days gamble free. I have read through your diary and was really impressed with your approach to recovery. The gambling really took you to hell and back so it must have taken a lot of courage to get your life back.

Many thanks for your post on my diary. It was day 1 after my stupid relapse and the support of friends like yourself really helped me to gather my strength.

Sorry you was a feeling a bit down last week. I imagine after getting ourselves focussed on christmas and new year it can feel a bit of a let down in january. But we can get through bad day's and in time we will feel better for it.

Wishing you well in 2018.....stephen 

Posted on:
Tue, 09/01/2018 - 17:03

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks Steven,

I read every new post on here daily via my mobile (i don't log in on my mobile so only reply from my PC). I've seen you helping so many people in the time i have been on this forum, myself included. I don't always get chance or have anything to add but people like you give people like me the support needed to do my best for my future self, gamble free.

Relapses show its not easy and we really must be careful EVERY day.

 

Posted on:
Tue, 09/01/2018 - 17:35

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 105

So, today i was thinking about money and what i actually "have". It's true that since being gamble free i've been throwing a massive chunck of my wages (after bills) towards paying down my debt. Monthly im being left with a modest £100 a month "free money". Like most gamblers i want more and i need more, right?

The truth is 106 days ago i wouldn't have dreamed of "wasting" £100 on myself in 2 months nevermind 1. I never had £100 of credit left nevermind £100 of what was my money earnt for the previous month. Though i have a long way to go i have "available credit" (no access though) far larger than i've had for 8 months+ ASWELL as the £100 to do with as i wish, yet money still feels much tigher since i stopped. Its a strange concept.

I feel like gambling gives you the false belief that we always need more money. After all thats a perfect reason to keep in the game. When i look at what i need and the cost of that on a day-to-day basis i can manage and oddly i've never been drawn to a big flashy lifestyle anyway. I can, and have been very happy for the majority of my time gamble free. Happiness comes from within and while not everything is perfect i am starting to except it doesn't always have to be.

After 12 years in a gambling haze i have a lot to catch up on and its going to take time. If i am doing something positive with a reasonable level of regularity i can start addding in the real things i want to make my life more complete, piece by piece.

Only by moving forwards, one day at a time.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why we call it the present"

Posted on:
Fri, 12/01/2018 - 19:28

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 108

I'll be honest i had to check the day count as im losing count since i got past 100. Everyday GF is as good as the last and i do like to see the days tick over so will keep counting for sure, works for me.

So after over 3 weeks of the flu i finally feel like i am getting over it. I've had a few fasle dawns along the way then seem to have added another symptom to get over. Sleep has been really bad the last week espically and i am feeling pretty exhausted as a result. I had to take a few days off work and i think i will lose the money from them. This is probably going to mean i have to pay a bit less off my debt next month and have a tight month but i'll assess this once i get paid in a couple of weeks.

Haven't considered gambling just gotta work through it. Have thought about my job and if its paying enough for me. Its not all about money, i do enjoy my job most of the time but the pay isn't great to be fair. I have been a bit bored but that could definitely just be becuase the Christams rush has passed and i've been ill.

So not sure on the work front. Will carry on as i am and just look around. Always worth looking. I have some time off work coming up next month, its been pretty full on for many months so will be nice to have a little break and take stock for a few chilled days.

GF still going one day at a time

"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday"

All the best

Posted on:
Sat, 13/01/2018 - 23:07

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Hi again , I just caught up with your diary . I read most of it before but updated myself. It’s not that easy to track people on here or remember what you have read or not read . To be honest most of the stories are the same with slightly different numbers and method of betting but we all want to stop. You are doing great and are still young . One of the things you said about gambling was it was uncomfortably comfortable. That’s so true and a lot of things that you said I could relate to with feelings . You are right we are pretty similar in that way . One thing I stressed about at work was my earnings. As a Sales Manager a big chunk of it is commission that varies from month to month . Used to stress that it was feast and famine and having a bad month was awful. In fact by stopping gambling I have had a massive pay rise and I was just kidding myself about it. Think about that yourself . Once you clear the debts (make amends) then it will be like having a big pay rise . If you can do the job you enjoy and can be more than comfortable perhaps stick with it for a while as too many changes in your life could potentially be a problem at this point . Just a thought 

Posted on:
Sun, 14/01/2018 - 18:49

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks Vulture. Its true that the chances are i wouldn't walk into a similar job that i enjoy quite as much. I do work with a good team and its generally a very positive atmosphere. I have to work out what i really want from my working life before i do make any call either way.

Day 110

Closing in on the end of another very calm weekend and i am very grateful for that. One thing i have and will continue to try work on in the coming weeks and beyond is to try slow things down a little. Now im more aware of what i am truly doing i have noticed that i try to rush to the end of everything i do. Silly things like walking as fast as l can anytime i walk somethere. I never slow down and give myself a chance to take anything in. Eating quickly, not really slowing down to enjoy what im eating. Same with drinks, i never seem to be able to just sip and enjoy it. If i have a drink in front of me i seem to HAVE to drink it ASAP.

It seems like silly pointless things to point out but there are other areas in my life that i also seem to want to rush to the end of. We all know our ultimate end. Am i really wanting to race there without enjoying whats right here infront of me? I need to better manage my time. Be more productive with my time and have reason behind my choices that support me in slowing down and enjoying this ride rather than looking ahead to where i get off.

I need to be more in the moment and "stop and smell the roses".

Not gambling gives me the awareness to know what i can do to better myself. Its up to me to work on it and add another piece to my recovery.

Slow Down!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RtGuUAQOC4

 

Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 00:22

46 and out

Joined:
2017-08-08

Hi sjwsjw

Thanks for your post on my diary the other day, I really appreciate it.  Well done on 111 days gamble free :-)

I can totally relate to doing things too quickly, walking, eating, drinking etc.  I too need to slow down but I guess one of the reasons why I am like this is because my mind was always so active when I was gambling (30+ years) and I don't think it has had enough time to adjust to a happier, less stressful and calmer me.  I was on a training course at work a few weeks ago and one of the things they covered was something called Mindfulness. I'd never heard of it before and the part of it that struck a cord with me is that it can be used as a method of bringing your attention to experiences occuring in the present moment. Now when I am out walking and when my mind is drifting all over the place as it does frequently I will focus on something to bring me back to the moment, enjoy the scenery, listen to the birds etc.  I find my mind drifts a lot when driving and techniques they offered was to consciously grip the steering wheel or to put the window down and feel the fresh air on your face.  I am only just starting to experiment but it does seem to make some difference in slowing me down and stopping my mind racing.  I may not have described it very well but an internet search would reveal more.

Keep up the great work and keep looking forward.  ODAAT

46 and Out

Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 20:06

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks 46 and out. That sounds like something i might get something positive out of will defo look into it. I have been doing meditation on the evenings and it really helped me get some good quality sleep. Im always open to suggestions like that.

Day 112

Another day GF ticks over. Not much to add today. Im still tired and it just feels like im going through the boring motions of eat-sleep-work-repeat at the moment. My work "pattern" is all over the place and my head feels a bit fried from working the last 5 months solid (last annual leave). Not able to take any time off this month due to short staffing so i've still got 5 weeks until my next break. Most things are feeling like a real effort at the moment. I'd like to be more active and positive outside of work but it doesn't feel like that is as achievable in this job as i might have hoped.

No thoughts of gambling, just need to seek a better long term payment solution as im paying some heavy interest rates. I didn't care what the rates i took out were at the time to be honest. Just clicked the buttons that allowed me to keep gambling.

Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 21:29

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Thanks for the post on my diary and it’s humbling knowing that people like your good self are investing their time in people like myself despite their own issues . For that I truly thank you . Not sure what advice I can give to yourself that you haven’t heard before . What I can say is keep positive , think positive and good things will happen . This disease kicks us in the guts and warps our minds . I’m here to support you 

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 20:49

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Hello Vulture, thanks for the support. Sometimes that all we need to hear.

Day 114

Slightly better mindset today. Still exhausted but im not gambling and things will get better. See how things are after i can have some R&R in 5 weeks time with my week off work. I have struggled to get a good work-life balance since i joined my current job. Not sure if i used this as an excuse to just keep doing nothing outside of work back when i was gambling. Its not easy when working FT with early mornings and a physically very tough job. Its rare i get 2 days off together to recover much and it makes me just what to chill out on a day off instead of enjoy my free time.

Been thinking about learning something new and i might use this weekend (actually do have 2 days off together this week, and its the actual weekend days! =) ) to look a bit more into it. Not sure if it'll be educational or maybe learn to play an instrument or something.

Just need to find a way i can make things a bit more interesting outside of work and thats something i can do even when tired.

Early night for me. Lets see what tomorrow brings.

All the best to everyone.

"Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change".

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 21:23

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Thanks for commenting on my dairy . What works for me is to make sure I’m busy when I am not at work immersing myself in other hobbies / people / this website . I think you can be a gambler who just stops gambling for a while . If nothing changes nothing changes . What instrument were you thinking of learning ?

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 21:28

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Im not sure tbh. I feel like i just need to pick something new to throw myself into. Im a very all or nothing person. Speaking to my counsellor she said maybe this is why i take so long and go over things i want to do, because once i pick something and make that choice, i go for it with everything i have.

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 21:32

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Very similar myself when I learnt to speak Polish . All or nothing . It can be devastating when used in the wrong channels , but channel it in the right things and we are unstoppable . I’m sure you will succeed at whatever you choose , hell we were expert gamblers when we applied ourselves in that !( apart from the devastation we caused ) channel it positively 

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 21:38

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Yea, totally. Im a lucky guy really. Im naturally intelligent (not boosting, i've been lazy with my talent for a long time), i pick things up fast. I am proud of my work ethic though. I have always been a hard worker.

I think its another reason i gamble. Im not pushing myself and i get bored quickly as a result.

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 21:42

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

You know what to do then don’t you and it doesn’t involve gambling . Will keep watching your updates thanks for the chat ! By the way the work ethic is like most gamblers , it funds the addiction but not wanting to take anything away from that 

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 20:49

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Day 120

So as you can see from my diary the last few entries i have been a bit up and down the last few weeks. One thing im learning to do through these times is talk it out. I might sound like im moaning but im just releasing that negitive emotion. In the past i very much kept everything in and im learning its better to release small moans then to hold in what becomes a big issue. I think in general life people don't talk their problems out loud enough. Its ok to not be a perfect person, none of us are.

I decided to start applying for new jobs and found a couple that sound like something i would really enjoy. Both with much more sociable working hours vs what im doing now. Would be good if i hear back from them but if not there are many more out there and one will come up. I wasn't sure at first if deep down that is what i wanted to do but after starting the process of applying i was actually buzzing with excitment from the potential change so that to me has put my mind at ease that this is what i want to do moving forwards.

The usual gambling thoughts but nothing more. On to tomorrow.

"Lets talk"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH9meoWmAOM

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 22:14

Stephen 67

Joined:
2017-05-10

Congratulations on 120 days gamble free.

You have certainly come a long way since you made the decision to stop gambling. Having just read your post of 31st October I can appreciate the challenges you have had to cope with. The addiction certainly had you in it's grip and it doesn't like to let go.

Hope your search for a new job is successful and you find something suitable. Having started a new chapter in your life, you can now make use of your talents in a positive way.

Talking is good, bringing things out into the open let's us see more clearly.

Great music choice.

Wishing you well ...stephen

Posted on:
Thu, 25/01/2018 - 10:55

RSmith39

Joined:
2017-12-24

Thanks for posting on my diary the other day - enjoyed reading through your diary, and can't believe how well you've done.  Good luck on the job search ... I need to do something similar myself as I think stress (or boredom) at work has been a big trigger.  I have a good degree in history from Oxford ... most of my peers have high flying jobs in the City, while I headed home to Leeds and have been trundling along in the last 20 years.  I think I gambled partly to try and make up for some sense of a life wasted/ financial inadequacy/not fulfilling my potential ... in reality, I talk to them and they are jealous of me ... they earn loads, but London is expensive, wives don't work, kids in private school, working until late every night ... grass isn't always greener! Sure you'll find something great though ... you've managed to get through 120 days without gambling, and that's a great achievement.  Rich

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 21:04

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Thanks Stephen, its a bumpy ride but its worth it. I have peace of mind in ways i never could have while gambling. Im also a much more confident person which is great.

Hello Rich. Yea i get some of them thoughts myself. Ironically money isn't a big driving factor to me. Right now im just trying to find some balance in life. Since quitting gambling i've really started to see how much i am living to work. Im feeling so tired physically and that tires me mentally too. Not had an annual leave for what will be 6 months once i finally have a week off, 3 weeks into February.

Day 122

Payday, usual routine now. Paid all the bills that i can in advance. Payday doesn't mean a great deal it just resets the money counter and pushes the debt down a little more. A month feels like a long time but working through them the way i have to. Still paying pretty high interest on my debt which is pretty annyoing. 2 steps forwards 1 back but its progess. Hopefully i can get this debt shifted to a better (or 0%) rate but this isn't going to happen just yet. Payment progress will slow down so im actually going to post the progess i have made so far just as a reminder to myself that it is going down. The amount i've paid off would have been lost gambling 100% so its a running total of "savings" as much as a reminder of just how much i was wasting.

Total debt at start = £10,504

Current debt = £8,266

Total paid = £2,238

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 00:49

Ineffable

Joined:
2015-02-21

Thanks for your note on my diary sjwsjw - I am deffo going to find some better ways to more fully occupy my spare time.  

Congrats on nearly 4 months GF and nearly a quarter of your debt paid off! Good progress.

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