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Taking back my life

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#1 Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 19:37




Hello All,




Pretty sure my story will be no different to all other stories here, amounts may vary but we are all the same.

As you can probably guess I am writing this after a bad loss. I'm not going to post amounts here but it was enough to bring me here.

I have been a gambling addict for about 5 years now. Same old story, started with small amounts then it grew. About 18 months ago I got myself in trouble with payday loans, credit cards and all other various rip-offs. I was in university down in manchester and on my final year I spent my time in the betting shops rather than in lectures. The inevetible happened- I failed exams. Eventually I scraped a 2:2 which for my field of work made it unlikely I would get a job offer. The summer after that year I hit rock bottom. I got to the point where even the payday loans were rejecting me. I became depressed, irritable and untrustworthy. When I say untrustworthy, I dont mean I began stealing. I became a liar. Infact gambling gave me the ability to lie like it was a second language. I always had a reason why I would need to borrow money. I began borrowing from friends and on my way round to pay them back I would pass a betting shop and lose it all. I would get ready for a night out and end up not going as I would lose my drink money. 

I got really bad anxiety and would take panic attacks.  Eventually I was on antidepressants. when I was prescribed them she had asked me if I was drinking too much or had been addicted to drugs. No question of gambling. A point worth considering.

I was applying for jobs and getting nowhere I felt like a had destroyed my life.

The day after I got paid my monthly wage( from a part time job)  I lost it all. I had loans to pay and no way to pay. I broke down in work and finally sent the text to my brother. I have a problem with gambling and need help. 

By the time I got home my brother was at my house. No one made me feel shame or anything like that. They took control of my bank account and began working out the sum I owed. It was around £7000. My uncle stepped in and paid the amount. Told me we can all make a mistake once and that he didnt want the money back.

I got my life back after that. I had my money took off me and was drip fed little amounts that I needed. I realised I actually spent so little when I took away gambling. I was happy. For 11 months I didnt bet. It was great. I would get offered free bets and just ignore them. 

Then an amazing thing happened. I got a good job using my degree. It felt like my life had been saved.

One day I put the lottery on for my friend and decided to put one on for myself. I felt guilty-like my streak had ended. Whithin three weeks I was betting again. Small amounts but still betting.

Now here I am again. A gambler. A loser. Someone who was given a second chance and blew it.

I now have £300 in my bank- £220 will go on bills. I get paid in 2 weeks.  I owe the equivelent of 4.5 months wage. This is on a bank loan and credit cards though so is not a harmful as the pay days last time.

Every time I stopped the first 14 days were the difficult part. After that the streak would keep me going. I can not tell my family this as they have already bailed me out once.

Today is day 0. I need your help. For the next 14 days I would appreciate if anyone out there could ask for the post to be updated to keep me motivated. Do you think it is possible to get out of the debt without telling everyone? I have told one friend. 

Thank you for reading my story. I hope all of us find some help in this site.

Best Wishes,






Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 19:49

Who am I


Tony sorry to hear the situation you are in. I am just glad you have enough to pay your bills and can manage to eat. You have quit before and you can do this again. 

It sounds like you have a lot of positives in your life, a supportive family, a good career, a friend who you have opened upto.

Your head will no doubt be all over the place at the moment, but just to let you know I am thinking of you. 

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 20:20



Thank you. I see you are on day 7. You are doing great-Good luck

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 20:34



Hi Tony, welcome to the forum :-)

Good to see you here whilst you're still dangling over the edge of the abyss...Do NOT let go!  4 1/2 months wages is a position many people here can only dream of but I'm afraid to say, this problem runs way deeper than money!  You say 14 days but as compulsive gamblers, the pilot light is always on hence why a solitary lottery ticket allowed addiction to get back under your skin & drag you in...There's a reason why GA say not even a raffle ticket.

There are 2 reasons for telling your family...The one you are alluding to is a bail out & that is a very bad idea!  You can get out of debt alone but getting the addiction under control is a whole other ball game :-(  The right reason to tell is to get real life support on your journey.  

You did amazingly well to get a 2-2 (again something many people can only dream of) & a massive congratulations on landing the job :-)

The doctor was close with the drink or drugs huh?  The treatment for this is the same...Counselling and or group meetings such as GA where people know what the madness feels like!  I spent a very long time convincing myself that my problem was the money, it really isn't & we can't win because we can't stop.  Taking away our access to money is no more than a barrier, getting to the root of why we do it is like treating a septic wound rather than sticking a plaster on it.

You are so young, with a clearly intelligent mind & a bright future ahead of you, don't be the mug I was & wait til you are in your 40's to get yourself on track.  Take control now - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 23:19



Thanks for the support. I know 4.5 months worth of debt isnt that bad in comparison to what it could be. I know i need to get this in control soon before i end up in further debt.



When I talk about telling my family I dont mean to get a bail out. I would never do that again. I feel like I couldnt tell as it would then mean the money that bailed me out the first time was for nothing. I have friends who know about my gambling and feel that they could be support enough. I may even try and get myself out of debt then tell my family what had happened.

The "can't win because we can't stop is something I can really relate too" I have won big before twice- enough to clear all my debts and more. However I couldnt stop. The cancel pending withdrawel feature would get me each time. I think thats what makes it harder, knowing one more big win would sort me.

However I know that isnt true. Gamblers can never walk away on a high. It takes a low to stop.

Tomorrow is always the day I dread. I can deal with it quite well when I lose, it motivates me to sort my life out. The moment I hate is the realisation of the loss the day before when i wake up tomorrow. That destroys my whole day.

just out of interest... does anyone else have gambling dreams? I dream about the roulette wheel for the whole night and instead of waking up rested, I wake up stressed. Or even worse I wake up having dreamt that I am up thousands and then the truth hits hard.

Gambling is literally making me go crazy.

Anyway its nearly day 1. I will update tomorrow- hopefully good news.

All the best to all of you.

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 17:59



Day 1-



Its officially now 24 hours since I had my last bet. So many times been tempted in that short time. Was busier in work than usual which helped but every couple of hours I would suddenly remember how much I lost. Can't wait for that feeling to go. 

First 14 days are always the hardest. Once I get past that the motivation of keeping the streak going motivates me.

I have always used gambling as an escape. When things get hard I would gamble to take my mind off things. All I would care about is what number the ball lands on. I can honestly say I was always hurt more that I had lost my last pound and couldnt gamble rather than hurt at the amount I lost. 

One thing I am trying to tell myself is people have it worse. I dont mean to be selfish saying that. But i am healthy and for that I should be happy. Debts can be solved where as others have much sadder problems than money.  It is not fair me to sit in self pity feeling sorry for myself when my miseries are self inflicted. 

One common thing I see on these posts are people being gutted about the fact that it will take months/years to repay what they owe. Time passes so quickly when we are gambling yet we are scared of it being so slow when we are not. My Goal for a better life is Xmas. This will be the last year I feel this ****. Ive wasted so much time already.






Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 21:15



Great start to your diary Tony.

You have identified that you have a problem, that you cannot stop and that money is certainly not the problem. It is now up to you to take control going forward.

Try and work on your underlying issues. Continue to talk to your doctor and take the counselling on offer This addiction is very tough to defeat alone.

It is great that you have job on the field of your degree. Do not let gambling take that away from you.

There are people on this forum with dozens of times the debt that you have and scrape by on soul destroying jobs. Do not be one of them.

You clearly have the intelligence to rebuild. Do so. Do not allow yourself anywhere near rock bottom. Keep posting and embrace the support of this forum. We are right behind you buddy!


Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 23:27



Thanks Mark. 


As you say the debt level is easily recoverable at the moment and I need to focus on that positive point. It annoyed me thinking It would be at least xmas before I'm in a good position again but how many times have I thought that and then increased my debt trying to win the money only to wish I was in the position I was 24 hours ago.

Spent today reading other peoples stories which some things shocked me. I would stumble upon stories with people in 6 figures of debt and yet they were posting that there session in the betting shop was roughly the same amounts as me. It showed me where I could end up.

Also wrote a new thread on why fobts are dangerous in the debate section. This was helpful as it allowed to me reason out why I have been stupid for playing them.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Posted on:
Tue, 18/07/2017 - 23:43




Im 28 been gambling since the age 16/17. Its taken me this long to want to stop gambling and its been a problem since i was 18 .

As gamblers we masters of manipulation, ive created lies saying im in more debt then I actually was just so i had more money to gamble. Its shameful to say!

A couple of points to keep in mind on your journey

1. Hand your finances over to someone else (which i see u have). Its been my greatest help

2. Always remember why you needed to stop in the first place. We can't win because we can't stop.

3. Self exclude wherever you can

4. Gambling and winning/losing obviously isn't making you feel happy. So stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it.

Good luck on your journey!!!

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 19:34



Day 2.

Busy day in work again. That really helps. It also hasnt been too stressfull which means when I leave I dont want to use gambling as an escape. If I am honest though a few times I've thought about trying for one more win which could knock time of paying back debts but I know that wouldnt work and quickly put they thoughts away.

Bop5times- Your points are all great. good luck on your journey also.

With finances I found when I stopped before that one of the best things that worked for me was to use my purchase only credit card. I would pay all bills/debts or hand my money over to someone, keep £20 in my wallet and carry a purchase credit card. This card would not allow money to be lifted from an atm nor would it work on gambling sites. This meant I could only spend it on things I needed. The limit was also very low- £250 which protected me to an extent from buying items to sell.

The worst thing about gambling isnt the money though, its the time. It pauses your whole life. For me its all I thought about. I would sneak away from the pub to go next door and gamble. I would miss events to gamble, I would even be checking my phone for scores/playing casino when on dates.

I look forward to beginning to get on with my life.

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 23:21



Hi tony

Thanks for popping by. You're doing great. 2 down now nearly on day 3. I know what you mean the first few weeks are hardest then the fact that u will lose the streak helps me also. We all have different struggles/stories. Just keep trying. Don't give up on giving up. Take it one day at a time x

Posted on:
Thu, 20/07/2017 - 19:04



Day 3- Easy day again. Said it in my last 2 posts but work got busier again. Not enough hours in the day. Maybe it was always this busy I just never paid much attention as my mind was other places. Maybe my moods changed a little bit which has meant others are more comfortable to approach me. A lot of my work revolves around people in other departments needing me for parts of their projects.

Or maybe its just busier haha.

Few times I still find myself thnking about having a bet, snap myself out them pretty quickly. Tomorrow is the biggest test. Weekends I tend to gamble a lot of money. Love horse racing. Then I drink which in turn used to make me far less careful and gamble more.

Only out with 1 friend tomorrow though which means I cant sneak away from him to bet. Much easier to sneak to the bookies when its a group night in the pub.

Second night is a late one. Out after 11pm so bookies wil be shut. 

Don't really have the money for both nights but will sort something out. I would spend much more if I was gambling anyway.

Posted on:
Tue, 25/07/2017 - 21:41



Day 8- What a rough weekend. Drank from Friday 2pm through to sunday with not a lot of sleep between. Spent around £250 which I definitely cannot afford. But I didnt gamble.

Was definitely tempted though. Sitting in the pub on friday night  with a bookies next door is always going to be a struggle. 

Yesterday was a rough day in work. This made me tempted to gamble to escape for a bit. Went to sleep instead. Woke up in a better mood. crisis averted.

Today was a better day in work. Although today I had money come into my bank account and an old betting account reopen on the same day. Thought about it for ten minutes and moved on. Started focusing on my diet again which I want to stick with.

Posted on:
Wed, 26/07/2017 - 22:05



Day 9