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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 21/01/2018 - 14:42

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I was here many years ago. I am an almost functioning pathological gambler. It is not despair that brings me back here but the simple realisation that a diary is, amongst other changes, of importance at a critical time for me in my life.

Today and over the next few the main task is a financial makeover, pulling my head out the sand to take ownership of my incomings and outgoings and the debts that I have. 

Improvements I need to make everyday. Chaos is the friend of the addict and only in order do I stand a chance.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 22/01/2018 - 06:20

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I am trying to avoid being crippled by guilt but also guilt for not being guilty enough. The only way is to keep doing something, moving forward, taking some sort of action that betters my life and those dependent on me.

I have gambled since childhood. I have had periods of abstinence but gambling has blighted my life. My good fortune is that I have a wife and family who are a basis of a good life.
It's been 2 weeks since I last gambled but it's progress I will be counting, not days.

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 10:53

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I know it has to end but is this what I am really doing here? My finances are in a mess. With the remortgage and money and balance transfers and a tax return due in a few days for which I dont have the required money to pay, I have an instinct to just shut down, to hide and more. My head hurts.

Am i a fraud or an incurrable? From GA meetings in my early days to Gordon House, Rational Recovery, Smart Recovery, Gamcare to the National Problem gambling clinic in Fulham and much much more, I am still the pathological gambler with a loving wife and beautiful family who I betray to this affliction.

A depressing post maybe but more a cathartic release as I refuse to give up on myself just yet.

 

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 10:54

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Just carry on not giving up on yourself, I can imagine what you are going through but still you don't give in. Keep fighting!

Wilsy

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 11:01

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Thank you Wilsy,

I have first hand experience of how others are affected when one gives up. This will not be my legacy and i say that without judgement as I know only what goes on in my mind.

I was just reading your diary as you posted here.

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 20:25

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I went through everything with my wife. She knew about the debts but this time everything was added up together. I looked for disappointment in her eyes but she must have hidden it well. Not just the thousands I am in debt but the many thousands I have spent since we married. In the hundreds, it makes me sick. Not just the wasted money but the time spent pursuing what?

 

Is this really the beginning of a new age?

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 11:46

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

We had an important meeting today. My wife came out visually less stressed as it  gave us hope that our lives can more or less carry on as normal.

All that is required is for me not to gamble. It is as easy as that

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 12:40

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I came to the Gamcare forum many years after talking with a poster in Safe Harbor, a Us recovery site. I made a friendship with someone who now has not gambled for around a decade. One of things she did was immerse herself in her "recovery", spending day in, day out in meetings and internet forums. We had many laughs and arguments along the way.

I am following her lead and enabling small changes on my life because as the old slogan goes and believe me I am no friend of slogans but

" Nothing changes, if nothing changes".

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 20:31

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I dont feel like gambling but as a friend just reminded me , the beast will come calling and I have to be ready. 

Only 1 step from hell I stand . 

Posted on:
Thu, 25/01/2018 - 07:40

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I am not meant for this world but I have to carry on for others. The sweet release of death will come eventually. I hold on to that. 

The next few days I will be away, on my own. I don't have access to cash or cards that I can gamble with. It is a struggle but I must not fail.

Posted on:
Thu, 25/01/2018 - 09:41

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

Thanks for your post yesterday IBALLT. We both know any friendly voice is very well received in these darker moments.

Not much I can say that will make you feel any better. We both know how low a person can feel early on in recovery.

All I can do is remind you that there are many open ears here on the forum and many people who will offer support and wish you well. Post as often as is necessary to keep you focussed. Right behind you.

Markman

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 25/01/2018 - 17:10

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Markman

I appreciate your understanding.
All those wasted years so close behind are weighing heavily on me right now.

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 08:36

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

From.a very early age I was hooked on the thrill of the seaside arcade. Then i discovered house racing and bookmaking . I was a natural with numbers and patterns and although gambling was not a fit with a young idealist it was something I could not escape from. It's always been in me, there is no before.
My greatest time of abstinence was using rational recovery philosophy. The beast I thought I could kill and I was devistated when I let it out after a year or so. It was alive and thriving.

I have reached a crossroads. For me and my family i have to take the right road as the alternative is grim.

My recent abstinence is intact

Posted on:
Sat, 27/01/2018 - 14:08

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I love Saturdays. Studying the form, taking an early price and watching the racing on TV.

Today I feel slightly uneasy but my abstinence stays intact .

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 00:24

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I am tired, I am weary, I could sleep for one thousand years.

I have always gambled out of choice and have always been in control until one or a combination of circumstances happen. A common example is a near miss. Control is lost and money will be gambled at disproportionate levels to bets I was having leading up to this. I'm unsure if this has always been the case or if the addicts brain changes after a time and it is too long for me to remember before this.

I' wonder if abstinence can change the brain but what I'm certain of is that it gets easier the longer you sustain it but only if one understands the bigger picture of who we are and why we might do it can it be forever.

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 00:47

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Hi . Your posts are very deep which I would say reflect on you as a person . That’s not a bad thing by the way . I am similar to you in the way it started for me with arcades . Would imagine also we have a lot in common like wife , kids , probably university educated and a good salary . However , the addiction has no boundaries . We sometimes think we are superior to it but in reality it’s on the contrary . I would suggest reading posts on here , diaries etc . You mention that you have been on many recovery forums , places , etc . Treat this as a new start . I guarantee after a short space of time the fog will clear . I have used this quote before but it is a good one . Stop looking for happiness in the place you lost it . There are always people on this forum including me who are willing to offer help and support . It’s catharic to know that you are trying to Aide someone and also we hope that the advice is taken on board . Good luck with riding without stabilisers and if you need any advice just ask 

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 00:57

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

And ask I will.
What do you mean when you say good luck with riding without stabilisers?

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 01:03

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

It means that you have probably been gambling for so long , it is ingrained in your life and without it , possibly scary and definitely holding you back. Removing gambling is like removing the stabilisers and you have to move forward and become free 

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

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Ingrained in my life yes but it's not fear what stops me.
Btw I am not university educated as I was far too busy with my addicts lifestyle at the time. Going to a school next to a racecourse probably didn't help.

Posted on:
Sun, 28/01/2018 - 08:04

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I think it's 20 days since I last gambled.
I was thinking about my last bet. I arrived early ( as I always do unless I am in full gambling can't leave the premises mode ) for a new job. It was my first day. It was far too early to go in so I walked around a little passing a betting shop twice and after an inner debate I went in and placed a 5 pound bet on a dog which lost and I left.
There is lots for me to take from that experience and even more from the 20 days. It may have been 2 years or more since I last achieved this.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 03:51

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I have passed a marker. One where for me it becomes easier not to gamble. Only abstinence seems to bring me this. I know not to become complacent and also to watch and plan in my mind how to avoid huge pitfalls like the Cheltenham festival.

This is very positive for me.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 21:06

Bryan

Joined:
2017-12-24

Good news , keep it going you will feel so much better for not gambling 

Posted on:
Tue, 30/01/2018 - 09:09

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I never posted yesterday but that is because I slept through much of it.
To feel good idea have to concentrate on the now and look forward to the future. No glances at the past.

Posted on:
Tue, 30/01/2018 - 18:05

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I can't be complacent. I have many roadblocks as they are called but today when alone I was thinking of a way around them so I could gamble.
It was a bad train of thought and it took too much time to wake myself up.
My abstinence is intact

Posted on:
Wed, 31/01/2018 - 20:51

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Another productive day.
It's been a long long time since I have had meaningful abstinence.

Posted on:
Thu, 01/02/2018 - 21:35

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Another ok day

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 09:48

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Looking back at what one has lost can be food for the beast.
I met my wife as an addict seeking help. She was my teacher.
The rest is history they say and when I look at her now I still see the same beautiful woman that I love. The spark has not diminished in the slightest.
She does not ever try to make me feel guilty. Is it because she knows I am fragile and castigate my actions to the point where I am.unable to cope.
I wish the younger me could see me now. How harder I should have worked on myself. The bs to avoid and those i should have listened to more. What I would become.
I will not gamble today.

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 10:41

harry33

Joined:
2009-11-24

Hello Mate,

Had a read of your diary and your story seems quite similar to me, i seriously wish you all the best on your recovery and it seems you have a wonderful wife on your side to help you, grasp it fully.  My wife is still with after so many relapses but she is finding it very difficult to forgive me or give me any words of comfort, but the fact i still have my family is more than enough ..and i fully intend to turn my self around slowly but surely..

good luck mate.  Harry

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:15

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I read a little of your diary harry and will read more when I have the time. You are right about it being about not just stopping gambling. That is just what gives us the opportunity to make ourselves whole. There are many things we can do to achieve this. Doing nothing is not an option for me and for you.
We have the same amount of current clean time too.

Posted on:
Sat, 03/02/2018 - 05:07

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Although I try not to let guilt rule my world but I have a realisation that certain behaviours of mine get worse the more I indulge so I can never claim to be totally helpless. Our brains may be changed but the disease notion I find ridiculous.
I can't excuse myself. I have betrayed my family. I could have stopped sooner.
Yet I know that feeling when i gamble everything I can. I don't stop till my money supply is exhausted. I max my cards and would bet my house on the toss of a coin.
It's hard to come to terms inside this paradox.

Btw the words may not read well to many but some may understand that it's the way I am going to control my life. Live with some pride gamble free.

Posted on:
Sat, 03/02/2018 - 05:08

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Although I try not to let guilt rule my world but I have a realisation that certain behaviours of mine get worse the more I indulge so I can never claim to be totally helpless. Our brains may be changed but the disease notion I find ridiculous.
I can't excuse myself. I have betrayed my family. I could have stopped sooner.
Yet I know that feeling when i gamble everything I can. I don't stop till my money supply is exhausted. I max my cards and would bet my house on the toss of a coin.
It's hard to come to terms inside this paradox.

Btw the words may not read well to many but some may understand that it's the way I am going to control my life. Live with some pride gamble free.

Posted on:
Sat, 03/02/2018 - 21:55

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Another Saturday where the desires to gamble had faded .
I'm reminded the last time I smoked after giving up for two years. It took three years to stop again.
I have to break these connections in my head. For me it's a mixture of philosophy, action and cbt. That's a simple description.
I have to succeed.

Posted on:
Sun, 04/02/2018 - 07:27

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Last night the beast showed it's ugly head and more by circumstance than judgement my abstinence stays intact.

Posted on:
Sun, 04/02/2018 - 15:56

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Today I have taken action so I will be safe.
I have many "roadblocks" in place.

Posted on:
Tue, 06/02/2018 - 03:41

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I'm not an angry man. I'm just very disappointed.

Posted on:
Tue, 06/02/2018 - 10:01

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Keep strong buddy

Wilsy

Posted on:
Tue, 06/02/2018 - 15:46

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

When I first went to the NPGC, the only dedicated NHS gambling facility in the whole of the UK I saw the consultant who's baby it is. She is a crusader and no doubt has done some good.
Yet she did not listen to one word I said and presumed so much. I felt she used my sadness, my disappointment and I felt so wide open . When I left I had to fight the strongest suicidal thoughts.
She saw my disappointment and I found that so hard to take.

In my darkest hours when I believe I am incurable I am wrong.
Chairman Mao cured many millions of addiction. From that extreme to many moderate ways there are many roads that lead us away from our suffering.
It is all about finding the way and facing that gambling can't be in our lives no longer.
I mourn that I can't gamble again but I will get over it.
It's been 29 days since I gambled.
As they say across the pond.
WTG!!!

" it the ramblings of the crazed "

Posted on:
Wed, 07/02/2018 - 08:53

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Deep depression is setting in . Questioning of the pointlessness of everything. Like Sisyphus repeated.

Now I am not gambling all that I avoid when I am is like a tsunami in my brain.

Posted on:
Thu, 08/02/2018 - 11:48

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

The power of emotion drives me not to question gambling but existence itself .
Life is too difficult, too problematic. Might as well die but I know it's the beast which rumbles in my brain. It's trickery at its best.
That's why a declaration of its my last chance or never again is fuel for the laughter of the beast. Death it dangles in front of you knowing, and so far it has been right, that I am not finished with gambling.
But it is wrong.

Posted on:
Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:09

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

One month.

Let me not be so doom and gloom and see that for what it is. I can't remember the last time I was 1 month GF. And all that troubles me right now is always what I must deal with after a long session gambling. Through the other side then there are real prospects to live my life not as a slave to something I hate and adore.

Posted on:
Fri, 09/02/2018 - 12:14

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

We live beyond our means. It's a combination of a new job and a reduced salary but mainly because of a remortgage and balance/money transfer repayments due to gambling debt.
If I went to manage my debts in another way the first casualty would be 2 of my children. They are at a fee paying school of which I pay only a small part but added with travelling costs it is simply unaffordable. Only because I have gambled and owe many thousands of pounds.
I have betrayed my family.

Posted on:
Sat, 10/02/2018 - 10:11

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Despite all the good work I still have a voice in my head telling me how good it would be to gamble on this Saturday.
It is unconcerned how I will feel afterwards and the damage it will do me.
The beast is very much alive but it is primitive and I mock it by saying to myself that I will never gamble again. It hates that.

Posted on:
Sun, 11/02/2018 - 13:57

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I have broken the back of this insanity and now it is what I choose to do what matters. In the 35 plus years I have been gambling I have been in this position about a dozen times.
If I gamble today it will probably be years not months before I get significant gf time again. My life is affected more than ever and I'm not sure I could deal with the shame.
I don't think it's healthy for me to say it's now or never but this has to be the time.
What do I do next?
What do I do differently from the last times.
Those are the questions.

Posted on:
Mon, 12/02/2018 - 14:44

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I have to beat the feeling that I was never really meant for this world. The absurdity of suicide I hold on to. The making of a meaning in a pointless world.
Yet in comfort I know the place where I'm likely to die. A security blanket to wrap myself in against the world, against the hopelessness inside me.
I refuse to gamble.

You know this time I stopped because my finances reached rock bottom. Only then did I start riding a wave of abstinence
I will surf my way to a relative sanity.

Posted on:
Mon, 12/02/2018 - 17:35

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Someone has given me some money to help us through these difficult times. It was not expected and I called them to thank them and I felt rotten inside. They do not know I am needy because of gambling.
Not that I will see a penny of this money, it is my wife who deals with finances but still in my head I was planning to gamble before I had to check myself.

Posted on:
Mon, 12/02/2018 - 18:16

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hello Itsbeenalongtime

I can hear that you are really struggling at the moment with some very strong urges to gamble. You mentioned feelings of deep depression setting in and feelings of 'not really meant for this world'. You sound very low and I am concerned that you need to get some help for how you are feeling. 

Please contact your GP today and let them know that you are struggling with strong suicidal thoughts. If you feel that you are in a place where you are unable to control these suicidal urges then please call 999 Emergency Service right away.

You can also speak with the Samaritans on 116 123 they have a 24 hour confidential helpline to support you.

https://www.samaritans.org/ 

Do you have anyone that you are able to speak to and share how you are feeling right now. It may help to ease some of your overwhelming feelings.

You mentioned your children earlier and you sounded very proud of them, sometimes holding onto what is most valuable in your life really helps to keep things in perspective.

I will email you now to make sure you get this response.

Kind regards

Cade 

Forum admin

 

Posted on:
Mon, 12/02/2018 - 20:23

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

Hello itsbeenalongtime,

A little bit lost for words as been a long day, yet I’ll try. I follow your posts and find them very real and full of emotions, also relating to where you are in your head. 

I get the thought very well of not feeling a part of of this world and agreed a very uncomfortable emotion that your going through. But, there is a light and without being flippant but something which helped me when also having similar thoughts is ‘ what makes you so special ‘ , these may sound harsh words and when said to me I felt the hairs on the back of the neck raise but after time I realised that they were said in a caring nature and that’s how I’m tending to come across. Their is a lot of help out there, and even this not real world of gamcare is a start just by reading around and taking nuggets where you’ll least expect to find them. 

Believing may not be easy at the moment but just by that moment of kindness from your friend shows what this world can be like and there’s no coincidence in life that the act of kindness was afforded to you because you deserve it and would no doubt reciprocate it if you were in the other shoes.

Not sure whether I’ve articulated myself well but I wish you well and keep on keeping on.

Posted on:
Tue, 13/02/2018 - 02:23

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I appreciate all your kind words.

To admin. Thank you but I am OK. Apologies for going beyond what maybe you have to take action on.
I am an absurdist. I will never bring forward the inevitable.

Posted on:
Wed, 14/02/2018 - 18:14

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

I have so much to say it's better if say nothing except acknowledge I am around

Posted on:
Thu, 15/02/2018 - 04:09

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

There is so much good in my life yet I have reached this age and have wasted so much time and energy.

Posted on:
Thu, 15/02/2018 - 21:02

itsbeenalonglongtime

Joined:
2018-01-21

Sort of feels like I have been stopped in my tracks. Why would I expect anyone to understand. maybe it would be best to do this in an unmoderated blog so I can say how I feel.

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