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Starting over again after 18mth g/f ...

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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 21/01/2018 - 16:51

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Back here with a new recovery diary - with my tail between my legs.

After a year and a half gamble free, I relapsed in November. Since then I have been gambling again. The first relapse I lost quite a bit in one day, I stopped straight away for a couple of weeks to take stock but then over the course of the next few weeks I started again and somehow recouped that big loss. Until one day last week when I couldn't stop chasing a small loss. Lost more than I had lost on that first relapse day - making all those weeks even more pointless!

So I am now even more in debt than I was when I first came here back in April 2016. I'm trying to not beat myself up too much at moment. I'm in clean-up mode now. Moved debt onto an interest free account and starting to take it a day at a time. I am quite fortunate in the sense that my debts are all interest free - so at least that is one small consolation I can hold to at the moment whilst I get my head sorted out. Also closed new accounts I had managed to find somehow and re-installing K9 software.

I know deep down that I got lazy, complacent, I stopped investing in my recovery putting it down to being too busy. But then I found time to gamble these past few months so I wasn't too busy to drop in here like I had been doing.

I need to go back to basics - checking in here everyday again, and maybe reaching out to gamcare to see if I can get some online counselling again.

Just trying to breathe and sleep at the moment, refreshing on what I learned in the past and reading as much as I can doing this one day at a time again.

Hardest thing for me is accepting that I can never gamble again, letting go of something I have done so much of for more than half my life.

This is the first step - I don't need to tackle everything today but long-term I do need to tackle my compulsive gambling addiction or I risk losing everything good in my life.

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 10:05

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Had a really low day yesterday - hadn't slept well on sunday evening and found it hard to get any motivation yesterday. Think the reality of my latest loss had started to sink in. Also then I thought, "well it's monday, alot of people I guess are feeling the same!" 

I soldiered through the day at work and had a good sleep last night so feel much better today. I struggle to deal with anxiety and I have quite alot on at the moment in work, personal life and voluntary work also. I'm looking back now at what worked for me the last time I went 18months gamble free and it definately is the opening up and sharing your feelings part that I struggle with. 

So gonna share more and also get back into habit of joining chat rooms a few times a week at least starting today.

Not trying to tackle everything at once but doing a small something positive everyday will help...

Onwards and upwards.

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 10:16

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Hi TM1985

relapses happen it shows strength to confess and do something about it afterwards. You are human like the rest of us, people make mistakes and we shouldn't be crucified for slipping up, what do people who haven't got any form of addiction know, they are judgmental and niave people who don't understand gambling is an illness.

Sorry to hear you had a low day yesterday, you sound more positive today so just keep putting one foot in front of the other my friend, we do beat ourselves up that is natural but as long as we keep trying, we will see improvements.

Will support you when I can.

Wilsy

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 10:38

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Thanks Wilsy. Much appreciated. And likewise I'll do the same for you as I'll be a regular again on here.

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 17:25

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Had a much better day today. I had a meeting last night that I was quite anxious about which went better than I had been expecting. Facing difficult situations head on in life isn't something we enjoy but when you come out the other side you feel much better having dealt with it with a clear head. Gambling doesn't make these hurdles disappear - it piles on even more pressure but somehow we use it as an escape.

Anyway, I am being more productive as the week goes on and it's a naturally mood-lifting process. I have a nice stress-free weekend ahead and I'm looking forward to it - and also being a week gamble free.

Onwards and upwards.

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 12:50

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

A whole week now gamble free. It has got better as the week has gone on... had a really productive week in the end.

My debt is my debt - I know if I stay gamble free it will 100% go down in time. If I choose to gamble again it will 100% increase - simple as that. I need to focus on living life again not trying to cheat my way out of this mess I created from one disastrous day 3 years ago (I'm aware that was inevitable given my compulsive gambling problem but still that's where financially it hit me most hard). I have since had at least another 3 of those days - just repeating the pattern ie. doing ok not really up or down much then a chasing day where I couldn't stop resulting in thousands added to my gambling debt - which I keep seperate from other finances.

Listening to advice over the past 2 yrs I won't let this be a strangle around my neck any longer. I can pay this back pretty much interest free over a period of so many years (3-5) which I know many people cannot so I am lucky in that respect. It;'s what I did successfully for 18 months so I am just  trying to back on that path - to do the right things making that monthly payment commitment which is a way of paying back. It's probably less than I was gambling anyway so I should look at it as an investment in my wellbeing - being able to enjoy life, sleep and not be scrambling around damaging my mental health.

I know ultimately stress and anxiety lead to my gambling bouts so I will look at ways to better manage that from happening. I haven't been doing much exercise of late so gonna start with that. Increasing my time walking initially getting out in fresh air then some running again. Small steps doing this one day at a time again...

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 16:24

brandon

Joined:
Before 2009

Sounds like we're in the same boat! I'm back on here, did a year gamble free then drifted back into old ways. Same as you, got lazy and complacent.

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 16:34

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hey Tommy, sorry to see you back here under these painful circumstances :-( & hoping with everything I have that your little boy was born healthy?  Don’t underestimate the pressure you & your wife have been through these past couple of years & please do everything you can not to exacerbate your anxiety with gambling.  Baby steps my friend - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 08:31

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Hey Kelly. Thanks for your post. Yes, we had a healthly lovely little boy. He's precious. With all the excitment of him coming along and all the changes in routine etc I neglected to find time for recovery for a few months and the inevitable happened. Back here with renewed focus, always learning. Hope you are doing OK.

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 11:59

Bumblebee

Joined:
2017-07-31

 

I feel for you. I too have gone back to gambling after a period of abstinance. I am beginning to think that this is my life now. I am 47 and am almost accepting that i will never have money. I will lose my job, live in rented all my life and be alone. I have already lost my wife and an awful lot of self respect. How can we stop this monster taking over our lives. I'm too lazy and had everything too easy to take responsibility. I keep self excluding from online and High Street bookies but i keep opening up new accounts. Can you self exclude from every possible online bookie???? If not you should be able to!!!! Keep up the good work. I wish you all the best. Perhaps we could report in a few times a week to see how we can conquer this together. 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 13:34

Ineffable

Joined:
2015-02-21

Hey TM, we have posted each other before - unfortunately I have become a serial giver-upper - something I dreaded becoming -but it has arrived - I have a good GF run then end up gambling online - it sickens me and makes me feel worthless. I am back on the waggon and it has been much harder this time than any in the past. I have tried counselling twice - my fist was good my second useless for me -just finished with that person last week - put me off counselling completely. Currently reading the Allen Carr gambling book to get a different perspective - only on page 50 but some good bits in it - have you read it?  I was going to say keep strong but Allen is going to make it easy :)   ..... so I will read on.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 15:26

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Thanks Bumblebee. I know what you mean - it is hard to imagine a life with no gambling but it's what I crave for! I don't think you can exclude from every online gambling site - god I wish you could. People have been campaigning for it but it would be a huge task I guess to monitor etc. I guess the closest thing is the blocking software. I really liked the gamcare chatrooms which are closed at moment but once they are up and running I hope to get back into habit of joining a few times a week - hopefully we can chat there too. All the best.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 15:36

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Hi ineffable, thanks for reaching out. I haven't heard of that book - I'll check it out. Besides counselling which I had a positive experience of one of the best things I often watch is the documentary by Alexis Conran (Real Hustle) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W2HqF4x8Bc - explores gambling addiction, an affliction that ruined his estranged father, and seeks to understand how and why this compulsion destroys people's lives. It's an hour of your life that will be really useful. I'm gonna re-watch it again today as my positive action...

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 16:26

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Had a rough morning yesterday - got into big arguement with Mrs ended up going for a walk on my own for enough time to gamble and in an area with bookies. I did think about it and wanted to but in the end battled the urge. Fixed things with Mrs and had a really nice day in the end. Think the stress of everything I have going on and my relapse caused it. I'd been building things up which I tend to do. Know I need to deal with things instead of bottling up but easier said than done. Feel good today. Got a busy, stressful week ahead at work but gonna just take it a step at a time. Can only do what I can do ;-)

Onwards and upwards.

Posted on:
Tue, 30/01/2018 - 16:38

Bumblebee

Joined:
2017-07-31

Well done TM1985 for resisting. It just goes to prove how good life could be without gambling. I realise now that i cannot touch any form of gambling or i'll be back on it. I'm almost rock bottom, but a lot better than some still. I cannot allow myself to go even further down, nor can you!!!! Lets change or lives for the better. I'm three days in and regretting my last stupid session when i blew £4000. We cannot let it send us to the gutters. 

Good luck...

 

Posted on:
Wed, 31/01/2018 - 23:22

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Thanks Bumblebee. You are right - let's keep on this path. Had to really fight off strong urges last night. Glad my blocks were in place as I really wanted to gamble. But I didn't and got through the day - that's what it's always about in the end - a day at a time. And you always feel better the next day when you didn't give in to the little devil on the shoulder!

Posted on:
Thu, 01/02/2018 - 03:00

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Aww, so lovely to hear you had a healthy little soldier...Congratulations to you & Mummy :-)

Listen, don’t under estimate the stresses of parenting & keep fighting that devil, he is after all only as strong as you let him be! 

Posted on:
Thu, 01/02/2018 - 14:36

Bumblebee

Joined:
2017-07-31

Well done for resisting. I am tempted today, even after losing £4000 in a week and potentially really ******** up my life. How stupid are we????? As soon as i get it in my head my chimp takes over and it is almost inevitable that i will waste more of my hard earned money. I am trying to put as many barriers in place, one of which is to self exclude from every gambling webiste out there. This has taken years of opening and self exluding after spending £1000,s in each one. Not a route i would recommend. Giving my cards and money to my son to protect it and will try to keep busy. I have been gambling for 25 years plus, so am i in a good position to give advice not to touch it with a barge pole if you can;t control it. 

Keep up the good work, one day at a time. Choose life!!!!!

 

Posted on:
Sat, 03/02/2018 - 17:43

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Thanks Kelly & Bumblebee. 2 weeks gamble free now but really struggling to come to terms with recent relapse. Fog starting to lift but really stressed and anxious at the moment. My path back to gamble free ways coincides with the most stressful period of work I have had in many years. It's good but I'm working all hours, sleep deprived and my head is all over the place. I'm taking it out on person I love the most, maybe it's the guilt I dont know but when you stop gambling the reality sinks in. I can't believe the double life I've been living for so many years. I need to find a way of managing my stress and anxiety better. For years any downtime has been filled with gambling binges which do the opposite - only pile on more anxiety and stress. If anyone has any ideas fire away? Issue is I have struggled to find something to fill the void that gambling did. Exercise, reading, watching movies I struggle with as I can't relax. But thinking back I was like this the last time and in time I did come to enjoy simple things again. Instead of working tonight I'm going to spend a few years reading on here - something I've not done much of recently. Tomorrow is a new day as the saying goes, for now I need to just not gamble.

Posted on:
Wed, 14/02/2018 - 17:41

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Happy to say I haven't gambled since my last post over a week ago. I'm starting to sleep better again as my workload has eased a bit. Spent the weekend in Amsterdam with work colleagues but wasn't quite my usual self which was probably a good thing in a city of various vice's! Starting to realise I need to look after myself better - in body and in mind. To learn to be at ease with oneself isn't the easiest thing for me - I like to keep busy to avoid confronting certain things.

Anyway I'm in better spirits and in more control of my workload and routine from the past few crazy weeks.

Onwards and upwards.

Posted on:
Sat, 17/02/2018 - 08:45

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Pretty much a month gamble free now and feeling so much better for it again. Coming to terms with finances, realising again that if I dont gamble then I will sort things out eventually over next few years but if I gamble most likely I'll repeat the same pattern I have been doing the past 3-4 years and never get rid of my 'gambling debt'.

Had a really good week, got lots done and looking forward to spending a few days away with family at a hotel. Need to relax. Going to try and switch off a bit more so taking a book with me I've wanted to read for ages and not going to look at my phones so much - might even chuck in the safe most of the time so I can't look at work stuff etc.

Will also be able to go swimming, walking etc with my little boy so cant wait!!

Onwards and upwards!

Posted on:
Fri, 02/03/2018 - 09:13

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Slipped again, been gambling a bit the past few weeks. Fortunately no losses encountered actually up a little but I staked far too much again and risked further big chunk of debt. Know the money is irrelevant, I need to stop. I'm starting again, blocks in place really need chatrooms to open again and get back into habit of getting on here daily. I want to get back to place I was when went 18months g/f (not so straight forward) where I mentally told myself I cannot ever gamble again dispite the fact I really want to. 

Small steps for today getting back to one day at a time. Really need to let go. Think it's time to reach out to gamcare again for some help. It worked well last time I REALLY took recovery seriously.

Yesterday was a gamble free day, committed to making today the same.

Counter adjusted so starting from March 1st.