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Staying positive, remaining committed

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 18:37

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Good evening ladies and gentlemen 

I’ve lurked these forums for a number of months now. Often visiting to read other people stories and insights after the inevitable heartache hits after a loss. I’m 22 years old and first gambled on Cheltenham races at 18 whilst at work with colleagues. Like most people who get gripped my first bet was a winner on the gold cup, IIRC the horse was many clouds. I then used the sign up bonuses to lay some football accumulators, a couple won and I’d turned a £10 deposit into well over a hundred. At the time you obviously feel euphroic but I believe this is the time we get hooked, our brains crave that quick easy thrill. It’s there somewhere at the back of our minds always, urging us to go again. Since then it’s been progressing over the course of 4yrs. What was initially a pastime and a way of earning a few extra pennies has gradually developed into an unhealthy obsession where I go on multiple hour long binges betting on any sport under the sun. I have good knowledge of sports and I’m a keen follower of the NBA, world cricket and tennis. I’ve turned small pots into well over thousands many times. The only issue is even when it occasionally gets withdrawn it inevitably always ends up back in the bookmakers hands. A saying that has stuck with me from this forum is “we can’t win because we can’t stop.” I believe this is always the issue and is routed somewhere in our psychology. Even when we are winning we are so wrapped up in the thrill of it all that we continue until we have lost it all. If I stuck to the sports I had genuine interest and understanding of and was disciplined with my staking maybe just maybe could I have made a wee bit. But would that be worth it? Absolutely not it’s a horrible way to spend your time and devalues what life is all about. When in the zone and reluctant to come down I’d bet on absolutely anything and suddenly become an expert in baseball, NFL and random other events that were knocking around in-play. This process warps our thought patterns and makes us irriational losers, we shouldn’t give it the light of day. I haven’t gambled since Friday when I lost a grand over the course of the day. I’ve been to that dark place one too many times now, when you come around from that zone and human emotion returns. The feeling of regret, self loathing and guilt. Today is day 3 for me and it was good to not be reaching for my phone every couple of minutes at work to see if the score had changed on some random Lithuanian basketball game. That feeling of anticipation is so addictive yet I’m sick of it. I felt calmer today at work, I’m quite an anxious guy at times any way and gambling definitely makes that more prevalent. Time to pack this in, gambling has shown me the darkness, but without darkness there can’t be light. I’m done with popping to the loo to check my bet slips and whether I should cash out during a tie-break. I’ve done this on nights out, at parties. Why? This habit disconnects us with everything that matters. Messes with our emotions and our bank accounts. I’m determined to get through this month and get back on my feet. I have ambitions to move out and that’ll never happen if every time I get financially stable then gambling comes through and sucker punches me. Why did we buy the lie? I need to accept what is lost is lost. My stakes increased gradually as the addiction sunk its teeth further into my mind. I’ve lost thousands but I’ve got to let it go and take this as a valuable lesson. How we respond to adversity defines our character. I’ll take it day by day and post updates. This forum is great so to connect with some people on similar journeys would be very beneficial.

Thanks for reading

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 21:59

Ak95

Joined:
2016-11-14

It's good that you've realised your problem and are so determined to get rid of it! I was the same, I suddenly became an expert on the Icelandic premier football league because of so many in play games. I've only just started my journey too from beating this horrible addiction but you can do it! Think of the house you're saving for and other things. Good luck with your journey :) 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 17:44

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Thanks for the reply AK49, It’s madness isn’t it? I’m aware the majority seem to struggle with FOBTS and casinos but with sports it’s no different. Today is day 4 and I’ve given my debit card to a close relative who will withdraw the cash each Friday and keep it safe for me. It was a long day at work today and the thoughts of how stupid I’ve been are still there. As some say only time will heal, I’m going to live on a very strict budget before I have to pay my rent at the end of the month. I aim to at least have over thousand by Christmas so I can enjoy it and buy my family nice gifts. That means living within my means for the next few weeks and getting back on my feet and beyond where gambling has put me. 

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 18:20

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

I also urge anyone reading this to YouTube - ‘The role of dopamine in gambling addiction’

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 18:05

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Day 5 GF today and another long day at work where I’ve felt down, I’m at the early stages of rebuilding from zilch. I know that I can get through this but I’m disheartened by the fact I know this month will be long, probably the longest of my life in terms of how it will feel. I know things will start to look up once November is out of the way. I’ve got to stay committed to this, true commitment is staying true to your word way after the mood has passed which you set your goal in. I need to push through to the weekend and relax. I’ll minimise my spending and then rinse and reapeat. l will feel better once I’ve made it to the end of the third week, when the ‘finish line’ is In sight for partial fiananical recovery. At that point will I have enough expendable income and I can begin to enjoy the finer things of life again. It won’t be the finish line for me to get complacent about gambling though. I won’t go back to that life, I just wish I could zone out until Christmas but this isn’t supposed to be easy. I’ve got to prove to myself for the first time in a long while that I can achieve what I set my mind to.

anyone else in the early days of their recovery?

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 20:16

The fun has stopped

Joined:
2017-11-03

I'm also day 5 after gambling every penny I had over 2 days last week, sounds like we in the same position, gonna be a very long month for me aswell, worrying about how I'll manage to get my daughter's Christmas presents. Having a bad day today, was really postive up till now thinking of the money I'll save over time and trying to forget the money that's alrady gone, but today all I've thought of is how I can get one last win to see me through, not going to give in though I know there's no such thing as a win anymore! I've got help from family to get me through the month and can't wait for pay day so I can pay off my bills then spend the rest getting as many Christmas presents as I can! good luck to you, hopefully this time next year we'll both be enjoying a gamble free life !!

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 20:43

sjwsjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Keep your head up mate. You know what you need to do. Think about it, you wait this out GF and your finances will begin to look up or you continue to gamble and the months tick by and your still in this hole.

It hurts to accept we messed up but it also takes great strength and courage to open up and admit defeat. None of us beat this until we get to that point.

All the best

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 18:39

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

I’d like to wholeheartedly thank you both, fun has stopped & sjw for your recent comments and support. I read them today at work on my morning break and they instilled great strength in me to push through to the weekend. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t another extremely long day. I’ve been thinking quite clearly since I’ve removed betting from my lifestyle. I thought about one of my best friends today and his current situation of coming to terms with the fact he will lose his mother soon to cancer. We are so wrapped up when risking our money as if it’s a toy that we forget about what’s important, we disconnect from the people around us. We must continue to abstain my friends, tomorrow I will be 1 week gamble free. I want to say a few more but again will check myself before I wreck myself. This is a day by day thing, being shortsighted is what caused our gambling mistakes. We must forgive ourselves and take this gradually. Take strength from each other and we will remove this burden together. Christmas will be merry and we will be around those who we care about the most. No distractions or lingering negativity, we will be the real us this Christmas, no excuses. 

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 20:16

Melonade

Joined:
2017-10-31

I too am in early days, I'm on day 9 and I've had a good day today. No urges, but I don't have the money to gamble even if I wanted to. The last few months I took a turn for the worse, in denial I was addicted and convinced myself I was in control. It took spending 3 lots of wages in 30 minutes and no money to pay my bills to realise it and eventually face up to the fact I'm not in control. I won't just deposit once, I'll keep going until it's all gone. If I have a win and just throw that away trying to get more. I wonder at what point would I actually be satisfied with the amount won? Would I ever be?? 

I'm now at a point if I carry on like I have I will loose my house as there is only so many arrears a mortgage can go into. 

Why did I put myself into a state where each time I lost I was rocking, in tears still pushing the god damn spin button and muttering "please please please" in desperation. If I had looked in I would of thought that girl is nuts. 

I don't come out of that till I've lost. Check my bank and there is nothing left, apart from misery, self loathing and anger. 

When do you stop self harming by gambling? What good does it bring? You have to change your mindset and almost retrain your thinking. That's what I'm trying to do and I have a bad day, where my brain is resisting, telling me lies, trying to convince me to deposit and my life will change. It will change that's right... but not for the better.

I'm trying to remember this negatively and concentrate each time have the urge to go online to remember my lowest point and try and reassociate this feeling with gambling. So eventually hopefully I won't even want to think about it anymore as brings too much pain. 

Sorry rambled on. Just be strong and take a day at a time or even an hour by hour. 

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 21:38

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Not rambling Melonade, very interesting post. I never suffered with slots, casino or flashy light games. But the anticipation you get from watching sports with bets on certain random outcomes is no different. It’s taken me some time to realise this and shut off the arrogant part of my brain which thought I could use knowledge to my benefit. Even if I did utilise some of it I’d soon be betting on something I didn’t have a clue about. The odds are calculated with house advantage, just like in any form of gambling. I’ve been on knees watching scores on my phone change, I can relate to begging to a higher power for something out of your hands to fall into place. I’m not sure if I even believe in a deity yet when we are in our escapism gamble induced haze we make irriational decisions and like you said, we self harm and punish ourselves. This process overrides our character and we make reckless decisions, the only way we can stop is by never starting again. How will things look for you by Christmas if you abstain Melonade? A lovely Christmas where I can focus on being a pleasure to be around like I used to be is my main motivation to continue with vigour.

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 22:30

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

I was also thinking today about how betting companies congratulate us every time we “win” in some manor. This got me thinking about how in my mind I’ve under achieved a bit since leaving school with good grades. I’m happy with my current life but somewhere in my psyche I’ve got this feeling of disappointment I believe. I’m going to try and deal with this over time, start to love myself again and be proud of who I am. But back to the congratulations point I think I used to feel a sense of achievement when gambling and winning. I’d long for this feeling so repeatedly play the game until I had nothing left. I’m going to note down quite a lot of things down in this journal when they occur in my mind. I hope that doesn’t tick anyone off, I’ll try not to make them constant hahaha

Peace & love 

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 06:58

Melonade

Joined:
2017-10-31

I think it's great to note down how your feeling and your thoughts in your diary. I've been doing the same and it's very up and down at the moment. I also use as a reflection as I started it feeling my lowest after loosing my wages again. I was shocked and disgusted with myself. I came on here as enough is enough. I thought I was in control. Clearly I wasn't.

Christmas isn't really a massive deal to me (sounds a bit bah humbug!! I'm sorry!!) but if I can keep my wages and my bonus would be a start and lead me into a positive new year. The debt I have is one of the drivers for gambling as it's a quick fix in my mind. I know deep down it's actually making the situation worse. And has. 

To know I'm not alone with the feelings and understood also is a massive help. :)

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 15:34

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

You are definitely not alone Melonade and I’m surprised to hear Christmas isn’t a big deal to you. I can agree about the festivities to an extent but who doesn’t enjoy time of work and space to meet up with those dearest to you. Today is 1 week gamble free for me and it’s been a long one. But at the same time I think if I have a quiet weekend and dust myself off and go again next week I’ll be able to see the end of the month, I can’t wait until December is here and I can see the finish line to feeling like I’ve rised above the point I was at financially before my most recent binge. I then can build on that after Christmas/new year and beyond without gambling halting my progress not only fianancially but with my character/well-being.

I hope you all have good weekends, mine won’t be eventful but I’ll try to take pleasure out of the smaller things in life.

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 16:07

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

I took a moment outside in the garden just now to reminisce after finishing work for the week. I finish at 3PM which is quite nice on a Friday afternoon. I was reflecting on things when I realised I’m an incredibly deep thinker. I often get trapped in my own mind, the constant commentary at times is needless. I took a few minutes to look over the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the view I have is something to be thankful for. Why would I want to hide away and gamble when the world is outside, not on a screen. Life is beautiful and gambling is not.

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 21:47

Melonade

Joined:
2017-10-31

Sadly I don't get time off at Christmas apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day... :( I don't have a huge family and I see my closest friends regularly.

I suppose not a huge family takes the pressure off buying lots of presents and finances!

I too am a deep thinker, sometimes the smallest things just put a smile on my face.

The world feels such a dark place when I'm gambling. I cannot see anything positive. I don't want to be in that situation anymore. I've still coming to terms with grieving over the losses. I wish I could just push a rewind button and start again knowing what I know now. It will probably take me 10/11 years to recover from my financially damaging year thinking I was invincible and I could get one up on Gambling sites. Feel like a mug. 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 13:41

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Hello all, I hope you’re all well 

I made it to 22 days without a bet but relapsed this weekend and lost £150 of my savings. It’s not the end of the world as my relative still has £350 kept aside for me. It’s irritating that I slipped back into old habits though and found myself repeating actions, betting on similar markets in a similar fashion yet expecting a different outcome, of course it always ends the same way.

Trying not to be too hard of myself this time as have a feeling that dwelling on the situation tempts us back to try and make amends. The only way to make amends is by staying away completely.

The next time I get the urge I will repeat to myself, “I don’t do that anymore.”

Right then day 1, this can’t become a cycle.

 

Posted on:
Wed, 29/11/2017 - 18:19

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

4 days GF, still experiencing urges but determined not to slip up again. I’ve self excluded from the gambling site I used when I relapsed on the weekend. It was one where my exclusion period had ended and my details were previously saved. Reading back on this thread makes me pretty disapointed in myself though. It’s so strange how our addiction can override clear memories of how we have felt utter heartache and we take the risk all over again. The consequences are not worth the experience. Gambling is a mugs game and will result in misery. I know and acknowledge this now but still have betting thoughts. I suppose as it’s something I spent a lot of time on over the duration of years I’ve reprogrammed my brain somewhat. I assume this will mean it will take a long period of abstinence for these thoughts to leave my mind. The only issue is I’m extremely impatient. Going to revert back to the day by day advice and try to remain active on the forum as it’s a huge help. I stopped posting for a fair while before my relapse. It’s important to remind ourselves of the reality of gambling daily.

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 23:03

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Relapsed again and so fed up of doing this to myself. I've noticed I almost always gamble when feeling down. I’ve got to fix a few things in my life and I know this. I’m not happy with where I’m at and I gamble to escape. It works for a short while but I continue until I’ve done as much damage as I possibly can. Then I think to myself, why did I just do that? But I’ve done it over and over again. When the pain fades I go back rinse then repeat. It’s like we are masochists and take satisfaction from inflicting pain upon ourselves. It’s madness, right now I feel like I never want to gamble again. I must remember how this feels and not let the addiction cloud the painful memories. What has gambling done for me? Offered me temporary thrills in exchange for inevitable heartache. It’s essentially a trap that I keep falling into to time after time. I’ve got to wise up and rise above this. I’ve got to believe in myself once again. I’m better than this, we all are.

Posted on:
Sun, 17/12/2017 - 00:55

Lh8609

Joined:
2017-11-20

I was 5 days gf and relapsed. Lost almost 2k in a week. I still feel sick and disgusted now but the money I can replace. My dignity and self worth however is going to take time. I'm on day 2 again now. The last week has seen my biggest loss and has been absolutely rock bottom for me. It has shocked me and really opened my eyes to what I have become.
I'm going to beat this one day at a time I will repay my debts and I will replace the money I have squandered. 12 months from now I will be living a different life gamble free.

Hang in there, pick yourself up and dust yourself off and try again. It's all we can do. Good luck