GamCare Logo
Login / Register

Time to start my diary ...

234 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Posted by
Messages
#1 Posted on:
Mon, 23/10/2017 - 00:08

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

0 days gf.

I really hoped I could crack my roulette habit without having to start this diary. But I've realsied that there's no chance of that happening. So it's time to face the music and start my diary. 

Woke up this morning 2 days gf - but knew that my 6 week cool-off from a couple of online casinos were due to expire. I was barely out of bed before I'd lost a painful sum of money. Damage done in 5 minutes or less. All before my morning toast and tea. 

Felt the all the usual stuff - repulsed at myself, angry at myself, shameful, seeing something pathetic, almost comical with my desparation to chase a loss. While many people wake up to a lazy Sunday morning, I pictured myself, perched on the sofa, laptop balanced on my knees, pretending to check emails as I tried to predict how some ball would eventually land, hiding the pain of each wrong guess with my best attempt at a casual face. 

Picturing that, I decided that I'd had enough of that me - so swore that was it. Enough is enough. No more roulette. I tried and failed. 

But a couple of hours later I get the bright idea - maybe try them lucky online slots. Never tried them before and I've heard they have big payouts. This was just dumb move ten thousand for me - and I lose another chunk of money in minutes. And it was a totally joyless experience too. I didn't even know what I was looking for when the wheels came to rest. Glad when it ended. 

Same again. Enough really is enough. No more gambling. 

An email arrives a few hours later - another cool off period has expired. And this is my 'lucky' casino. I swear this'll be the last shot at recouping all my loses - I'm genuinly convinced that a final couple of spins of the roullette make things right. All my money gone in five minutes. 

Back to the predictable enough is enough pattern. But this time I really want it to be true.  

The bottom line is I can't afford to lose any more money. I just don't have the money to burn. Or more accurately, I just don't have the money. I'm broke. 

That's why it's dear diary time for me. 

So diary, I'll be back tomorrow.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 23/10/2017 - 15:39

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

So far so good - although it's less than 24 hours since my first post. 

I've come to realise that since starting gambling my idea of money is all topsy turvy. A couple of quid in real life seems a lot, but on the roulette table seems totally insignificant.

I had to go to the dentist for a check up this morning, expecting to pay the £21 NHS dental charge - but it turns out I've got some credit on my account from a previous overpayment, so I came back with the £21 in my pocket. I felt rich! Even though yesterday I squandered massive amounts in comparison on a roulette table and hardly batted an eye. 

The problem is, when I gamble - I always think about the amount I'm going to get if I win rather than what is being risked on the table. It's like I automatically think best case scenario. Only when I log out does the real world value of the lost money come thundering back into focus. 

Lesson for me today is follow the advice - don't chase losses - accept the fact that a lot of my money has gone. 

I've moved what's left into a basic savings account with no card or online access. I've just kept enough to cover this month's bills in my bank account.

I left a good job about a year ago - since then I've been self employed.  I always knew this was going to be a risk  - but now that I don't have a regular wage, I've got to respect the money I've saved so much more. 

This year - after expenses - I've honestly earned nothing. Knowing I'd be leaving my job, I saved enough to last over a year of my share of the bills. So it's idiotic to squander what's left of this money. 

Working from home is part of the problem - my son was at college and my wife is at work. There's so much opportunity to settle in for a mega session with the online live casinos. But today, I've busied myself with work work work. And feel so much better for it. Tonight, if I stay up late - I'll read something. 

See you tomorrow, diary. 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 10:39

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

This is morning of day 2gf. 

Just had my breakfast tea and toast - but no roulette. 

Although yesterday evening, I could feel the pull of the roulette table return ... even though I was trying to busy myeslf with something productive, I could hear little whispers in my mind, tempting me back with the idea that if I could get the money together for a big final gamble, everything would work out fine. Poisonous thoughts really. There is a twisted half-logic to it, but it's built on the foolish assumption that I'm going to win (unlikely) and that I'll be able to leave the table forever if I do win (highly highly highly unlikely). 

I didn't act on the impulses. Not sure even if I could, because I've lost track of which sites are on cool down and until when. Plus, there is an underlying feeling that 'I'm done with it'. Like a bad relationship, my heart says enough is enough. 

But the dangerous thing is that even at these early stages, the idea of gambling is being sneakily re-framed in my mind as something that could offer a solution. But I know it's a big fat lie, so I just have to keep reminding myself that. The sole reason I'm here and writing this diary to myself, is because gambling wasn't a solution - gambling proved to be the very opposite of a solution. 

I remember reading a comment in someone's recovery diary that if we could bottle that feeling of loss, and take a sip of it everytime we were tempted to gamble, it would stop us. I think that's very true - because just a few days away from the tables and my mind seems to want to do tricks and gloss over how awful that black feeling is when I leave a table destroyed ... shamed, regrets, lies, secrets, greed, desperation, resentment, self-loathing, panic - these are the things I need to remember. 

My cat has just unexpectedly vomitted on the floor, I'll take that as a handy metaphor for the poisonous nature of gambling and clean it up. 

See you tomorrow, diary - or maybe later tonight. 

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 10:50

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Why are you 'cooling off' and not self excluding for the maximum amount of time available? Leave loopholes and the temptation to use them is always there. Permanent SE is an option on at least some sites even if they don't advertise it. A blocker to all your devices would also be a good idea. If you haven't got anyone who can set a password for you a random letter/number combo or a barcode you won't remember will do the trick. If you can't block devices, do without. The inconvenience is far outweighed by not being able to gamble.

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 11:04

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Lethe wrote:

Why are you 'cooling off' and not self excluding for the maximum amount of time available? 

Thanks for the replly - and you're dead right about the cooling off - it's a half-hearted move - and a risky one. But what normally happened was I could get an instant cool off from the site just by clicking a few buttons, whereas exclusion was harder to activate/find. The cool offs happened at that spontatneous moment when I just wanted out from the site, usually after I've been reminded how wasteful gambling is . Admittedly, that sounds lame even to me as I write it. 

I'll look into self-excluding while on cool-down. 

Edit: I've just emailed a gambling site I"m on cooldown from asking how I go about closing the account. I'll see what they say. 

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 11:11

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

If you're SE'ing you may find they try as hard as they can to stick obstacles in your path. They don't like losing their cash cows. One site tried to claim Mr L (the CG in the house) was instructing them from an email address not associated with the account and therefore they couldn't act. We found a threat to report them to the Gambling Commission for being in breach of their own responsible gambling policies got them back in their box. It's also worth telling the head office by post they are not to contact you again for any reason by any means. Mr L was sent offers by post despite being self excluded due to a convenient 'database malfunction'. It's amazing how prone the industry can be to those.

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 11:48

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Thanks Lethe - I should check over my Paypal account to make a list of all the sites I'm registered to. I don't think there's too many, about 10. Then I'll know who needs to be contacted. 

To be honest - and this is where my weakness is - part of the comfort of just time-outing for 6 weeks was in the fact that maybe my gambling just needed controlling rather than avoiding. But I can see that's plainly the compulsive in me talking. 

I need to establish a solid definite bottom line for myself - asking the question - do I want to gamble ever again? Yes or No. 

Truthfully, it's hard to give a difinitve 'no'. I don't want to sound defeatist but that's where my mind is. But even typing this is helping me to see that I need to point my efforts towards a simple and brutal 'no'. Feeble as it is, I'm probably in the 'well of course I don't want to gamble, but maybe ... blah blah blah... in the future blah blah blah' phase of dealing with this.

I've had addicitons or compulsions before - most have been productive and genuinley helped in life. Addciton is like a focus, but the 'bad' addictions put you on a steep decline quickly. Drink was one of my worst - I'd never catagorise myself as alcoholic, but I got to the point where every day I would need a few drinks. About 5 years ago, I managed to give up for 2 years. Then a one-off drink led to the return of a daily habit. I'm now 4 months drink free - and I'm assuming becoming gambling free will be similar for me. I can only speak for myself - but if I can deal with it just as a mindset. Knowing that there will always be temptations around, but it's just somehow finding the strength to see the temptation for what it is and not to engage with it. 

But thanks Lethe for making me think more deeply about my hesitancy towards self-excluding. It's been a big help.

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 10:38

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Day 3 starts. Still feeling very positive about this - but my head seems a little more contradicted. 

Although I don't expect losing my urges to gamble to be simple and easy - I realise there's going to be all sorts of internal struggles and foolish contradictions going on while I work my way through this. 

It might help if I list my positive steps first:

  1. I'm writing this diary, having admitted I've got a problem. Good good!
  2. This site provides a truthful counter-balance to the fantasies I tell myself about gambling. Good good!
  3. I've got blocks and cool downs on all my gambling sites as far as I know. Good-ish - but I should self-exclude ..
  4. I'm beginning to enjoy the sense of mental 'lightness' that not gambling brings. Less heavy self-loathing. Amazing!!
  5. I've been reminded of the real value of money - last night I bought a box of four Tesco Salted Caramel ice creams as a sore throat remedy.  They are absolutely gorgeous and only cost £1.55! Much cheaper and much more enjoyable than my recent visits to the roulette table.   It's a small thing, but it meant a lot to me - it was an eye-opener. I'm lucky to live the centre of the city, I enjoyed the 'mindful' evening walk to the store, seeing all the happy chatting people (I assumed they were all gf) and then paying with cash from my pocket.  Wonderful - and there's still 3 ice creams left!!
  6. Working from home throughout the day, I managed a full day without wasting hours logging into online gambling sites. Perfect!
  7. I feel much better for it - and I'm happy that I'm questioning the items on the next list. Very good. 

Now the negatives:

  1. I've got an unexpected £50 floating in my Paypal account - and I thought it might be an idea if I use this account for gambling in 3 weeks when a cool-off ends.  Convincing myself it would be just this money and nothing more. - Red Alert. This is where it all starts again ...
  2. At the back of my mind, part of me still quietly befriends the idea of gambling - but gambling with control. Maybe for others, but I've proved time and time again, a controlled gambler is something I'm not.
  3. I did log on to one gambling site - just to see if it allowed me access - it didn't, but if it had - I'm not sure I could have stepped away from it with the money sitting my Paypal account. This is dodgy, scratching at the wound - ready to re-infect myself again after just 3 days​.

I need to be as honest as I can be with this diary. Writing my negative list has helped to show me that I'm treading a real fine line. But I shouldn't make more of it than necessary - everything is choice - and today I'll choose not to gamble. And gradually the urges, if not fed, will fade. 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 23:21

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Equinox wrote:

 everything is choice - and today I'll choose not to gamble. 

I need to remind myself what I wrote a few hours ago.

Just joined a live casino site - played pretend roulette with imaginary money. This really came out of left field - I really didn't see it coming. It was triggered by an unexpected conversation about a news item about a poker player who'd gone to court to claim huge winnings .. and it prodded the gambler in me to wake up. I watched the roulette for about 10 minutes playing my imaginary money, keeping a track of my imaginary winnings and loses. I lost it all and it brought back lots of unpleasant feelings. 

I needed to log on to this site to put me back on the tracks.

Looking on the positive side: what I did was natural - not such a big deal - no different to playing an app. Don't make a catastrophe of it - so far no money lost, which is the main thing. Admittedly, not ideal behaviour - but not destructive either if it stays this way. Not much difference to playing Monopoly. I should consider this to be the silly dying actions of a habit I want to kick. It's still very early days and I should expect this kind of behaviour. Just don't bet with real money. 

Looking on the negative side: Here we go again - it's the same old same old and it's starting up again - the addiction is trying to fool me - or let's be honest here - I'm trying to fool myself. I'm looking for ways to gently dip my toe back in the water after just a few days of being gf and feeling all virtuous and in control. In a couple of days it'll be the full plunge. Why - because part of me is still excited about gambling and because a couple of days have passed since my last loss, I'm back to deluding myself with the lie of a big make life easy win. 

It's getting late - but I'm going to do some work now and listen to some music and promise myself I'll not visit the casino before I go to bed. I'll read this tomorrow to see how I feel about it. 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 00:07

DeterminedDan

Joined:
2016-09-08

Going off past experience, this doesn’t end well....

After a week or so of my abstainance (about 9 months or so ago) I downloaded a free app which allowed me to play roulette with pretend money. It worked!... for about 2 days. Then I started to crave the real thing. Don’t go there mate! It’s playing with fire. You need to get yourself out of the firing line. 

I think you know that deep down too. 

I’m still getting those urges in the early days of recovery but I’m making sure I keep myself busy. 

Set yourself some realistic, non gambling goals for you to achieve in the mean time. 

Mine are to lose a stone in weight and to get myself fit again. Fit enough to be able to contemplate being ready for a half marathon. 

I’ve also set myself the target of being gamble free at Christmas time. So that I can enjoy Christmas without the cloud of gambling and anxiety hovering over me. 

Find something that you wish to achieve. Both short term and long term. It’s about keeping your mind active and not letting it dwell on the evils that gambling has brought us. 

Keep positive mate. You can do this! 

Moorey

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 09:12

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi Equinox, welcome to your diary :-)

You sound pretty clued up regarding your compulsions & know full well that, like alcohol, this isn’t one that is going to serve you well!

I’m not going to try & dissect your posts further but I am going to say that our pilot light is always on...Don’t stoke it by playing demo games, stick to Monopoly!  Also, it sounds like you just quit alcohol...Any chance that gambling is a cross addiction, a replacement crutch if you like?  If you haven’t already looked @ counselling or some sort of support group like GA, I would thoroughly recommend it.  Being self employed is pretty stressful & finding safe ways to manage that stress is vital.

On the point of cooling off...I harboured the delusion for many many years that I could control myself, in fact it was looking for support for that very same thing that bought me here to the sanctity of recovery.  I never wanted to stop gambling, I loved it.  I don’t think many compulsive gamblers want to stop the gamble, they just want to stop the losses & the pain of those losses...It takes work to see & accept that the pain isn’t financial, it’s in us!  I was horrified reading that there is no such thing as control for a compulsive gambler but I’m grateful for that sound advice because drawing a line under my horrendous losses & kissing gambling goodbye has literally saved me.

Time to stop accepting the gambling lies & choose life - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 09:20

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Moorey631986 wrote:

I’ve also set myself the target of being gamble free at Christmas time. So that I can enjoy Christmas without the cloud of gambling and anxiety hovering over me. 

Moorey

Big thanks Moorey for the support and wisdom - especially the line about Christmas not being clouded by gambling. I'd really hate a Christmas stewing in my private misery while trying to look all cheery and festive. Something tragic and unnecessary about that image. 

I know I was perhaps foolishly playing with fire last night - but Im glad I didn't follow the impulse to put money down. Three days ago, gambling would have been a no brainer and I'd be either smiling now because of a short-lived win or kicking myself for being a total fool.  It does feel good to wake up with a clean slate, without the regret of a midnight loss hanging over my head. The days seem fresher without the smog of gambling. 

Yesterday, I started imagining the people I was talking to were secretly gambling using their iPhones while we chatted (which is something I was guilty of, embarrassing to even write that) - and when I projected my behaviour on to them it made them seem rather desperate and sad. 

I think this site has really helped in that way - it's getting me to look more objectively at my behaviour, rather than just acting from a blind spontaneous impulse. And I think that's where gaining control over my actions will begin. 

Thanks again, Moorey.

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 09:26

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Got to say going back on an online gambling site and playing even with pretend money really does set the alarm bells off for me. You are going back into that world of bright lights and spinning wheels with the lure of easy money. You are probably 2 or 3 clicks away from depositing "just" £10 and we all from experience where that goes. You are skating far too near to the fire for people like us.

My mind set, for what it is worth, is the gambling industry is far too big and dangerous for me to have any sort of interaction with even if it is playing with pretend money. I am also pretty sore about the amount of cash I generously donated to it so don't want to give it any more even if it is via click/advertising revenue on free to play sites. Fortunately the thought of playing any sort of online gambling (real or pretend) still makes me feel sick so no real probalem resisting.  

I would take Moorey's advice and find something else to do with your time and set some specific targets. You say you are now self employed - don't know what sort of work you do but you could set yourself some sort of additional work related target like contacting 5/10 potential new customers every week or do one extra job a day? That would have the additional benefit of potentially bringing in extra cash which might take some of the pressure off the losses. Alternatively something in your private life. I started going for a walk during the evening - started on a route that my wife and I used to take about 1hr 20mins to do and last night for the first time did it in just under the hour by focusing on walking really fast (too old and lazy to run). Don't think it really matters what you do but I think the "complusive" part of our personalities like targets.   

Good luck and keep up the fight.

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 09:49

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

ODAAT wrote:

, it sounds like you just quit alcohol...Any chance that gambling is a cross addiction, a replacement crutch if you like?  If you haven’t already looked @ counselling or some sort of support group like GA, I would thoroughly recommend it.  Being self employed is pretty stressful & finding safe ways to manage that stress is vital.

Hi ODAAT - thanks for taking the time to drop into my diary. A lot rings true there - and there's a good chance the gambling is a cross addiction. When I gave up alcohol, gambling really took over.

I know I've got a tendency towards addictive behaviour - and once something gets me, it gets me completely. That's why I know I have to be careful what I let into my life. Although I didn't see it coming with gambling. Gambling, like for many, just started with a few quid and a sense of 'take it or leave it' - but soon escalated to big numbers and a relentless compulsion. 

In my mind, once I started gambling with larger amounts, I was gambling just for money - not for any thrill. Because money's now very tight for me since leaving my regular job, I saw it as a way to risk a months bills to try to win 3 or 4 months back. Worked for a bit, before I was chasing the months I'd lost. 

It's hard to read your line 'I never wanted to stop gambling, I loved it' - because I think you're right. Gambling is an intense love/hate relationship that is every bit as kind as it is cruel. And we just tend to remember the kind moments a lot of the time - that heavenly rush of a win that re-sets the burden of a loss. It seems comforting to never say never to gambling, because of that love/hate - but I know, logically and from my experience and the knowledge of others, the only way to really safeguard from disaster is to completely cut if from my life. 

I might look into addiction counselling - but I did 12 weeks of CBT and also have been trying my best to meditate my way through this to get a clearer perspective on my thoughts, as I know the answer is in me and my head - it's just having the strength/will to just say 'no'. In principle, it should be as simple as ABC.

If I ask myself - would I gamble if everytime I put money on the table someone punched me hard on the nose. The answer would be a simple no. I just have to shift the idea of the punch on the nose, to the wrecking of my relationships, finances, home, self-esteem, etc - which is much worse. All I have to do is not be seduced by 'the gambling lies'. 

I find the reading the diaries and gettng the support from people like yourself invaluable. It gives me a place to go when the urge hits and helps to create a moment of pause.

Thanks ODAAT - genuinely appreciate your advice. 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 10:26

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop123 wrote:

Got to say going back on an online gambling site and playing even with pretend money really does set the alarm bells off for me. 

Thanks Muststop - and you're dead right, the alarm bells are ringing loud for me this morning. Even if - and that's a big if - was a harmless dalliance, it was pointless and dangerous. It seems a bit silly now to pretend to play roulette.

Although - I remember doing this about a week ago, when my accounts were still linked to my money - and I lost everything. Every penny of my savings in 10 minutes doubling up my losses - and that really had a good effect on me, it made me realise just how lucky I was that it was fiction rather than fact. It was like miraculously being granted a second chance to go back in time after a disastrous stint on the tables. And even though, it's just 'play' - I still got that ugly and sickening feeling as I waited for the ball to come to rest. It tends to be the moments before I log on when I feel most hopeful and excited - after a few minutes on the table, I'm normally closing my eyes or looking away unable to see the ball hop onto the wrong colour. My 'fantasy' roulette helps to remind me that I'd be parting with my money pretty quickly, even after a run of lucky rounds - because I only know when I should have stopped with hindsight, long after the my money's gone. 

But you're right - the gambling industry is too dangerous to play with - after all, that's why we are all here. So I'll take your good advice and today, my challenge is to stay away from a quick 'ghost' bet on the roulette tables. 

I'll think about some targets - I normally go to the gym about 5 times a week, and I'm putting a lot of focus into my business, also now teetotal, meditate even - but I'm sure I can think of something productive.  Last night, I did write a list of the books I've bought but not got round to reading - there was over 60. So maybe the solution is just to relax and indulge myself in a good story. If I read one a month, it'll keep me busy for a good few years.   One of them is Dostoyevsky's 'The Gambler' - that should be either first or last on my list.

Thanks again Muststop - and it's good to hear that you're doing so well with your gamble-free life.  

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 11:22

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Yesterday wasn't a good day - let myself down by putting some money on roulette. I told myself, it was a one-off and was my level headed choice - and I'm still trying to tell myself the same thing. But it's not what I was aiming for yesterday. 

A couple of unexpected things triggered it.

A few of months back when I told my loved one of my gambling - I told her I think it was getting a 'bit out of hand' - so I gave her £1000 of my winnings and told her to keep it safe (I'd only gambled with my money and I was 'up' at the time). She hasn't spent the money yet, and yesterday she said shall we use some of the 'gambling money' to buy some general stuff. I'd just met her after work for a lovely coffee and we were being all light-hearted about it (she doesn't know I've been back on the gambling sites as much as I have and I've lost all my winnings plus a chunk of my savings). But maybe it was just talking about the 'winnings' and the general sense of them being acceptable, got me all revved up to the idea of repeating my luck. I think that would have remained an 'idea' but - and this is the big 'but' ....

.. earlier in the day I got a letter from the Inland Revenue saying I'm due a tax refund - because I packed in my job last December and haven't hit a profit since starting being self-employed, I was due a refund on some of my PAYE tax. This cash boost was totally unexpected and amounted to a few hundred pounds. 

So no prizes for guessing my next thought. I deposited a £100 - then it was the same predictable story - a bit up, withdraw, a bit down, cancel withdrawals, a bit up, withdraw, a bit down, a bit more down - cancel all withdrawals and then all money gone. 

I don't know what to think. It's bad, there's no doubt about that. I'm back to feeling like s--t. A real sense of betrayal. But I want to keep looking at this objectively and honestly. 

Bad points: Like an idiot I auto register to a 'new' casino to try to relive the good ol' days. Like clockwork, all goes wrong and I end up wondering what the hell I was thinking. I feel a renewed sense of shame, betrayal and embarrassment having to write this - I feel as if I'm letting down the anonymous people here  on the forum who've offered support and strength to me. I was tempted to just 'forget it' and not mention it in my diary - but that would make this diary as pointless as my roulette dreams. My money situation isn't good - I'm running off radidly evaporating savings - when they're gone, I'm going to be in hot water.  I painfully saved for years to build enough to allow for the slow earnings of self-employment, and I'm currently living a very basic life with minimal spending (but happy with it) - no new clothes, holidays, luxuries - but don't want to blow it all on my reckless roulette habit. That would be totally moronic. 

Not so bad points: It was only a part of the tax money (so far...). I know 2 weeks ago, last night I wouldn't have been able to walk away and I would have chased using all, or most of the tax refund, convincing myself that it was unexpected money that I didn't have a few hours before - so it's no 'real' loss. Also positive, is that I'm back here - still trying to tackle my habits - facing my own music, much more aware of my actions and still looking to kick the habit - something that wasn't happeing 5 days ago. Thankfully, the bulk of the refund is still in tact, and let it stay that way - because it will go along way to help pay some real-life bills. 

I need to really put some time into thinking about this habit. And also sorry to the people who have offered their support in my diary. I did watch a youtube video last night where some guy suggested that everytime you want to gamble - you just replace it with another activity. Without fail, you have to do this. I'm going to give that a try. I really like Slaughterhouse 5 - so I'm going to dip into that novel, every time the urge returns. I'll take it with me wherever I go. 

I'm still trying to feel positive - and I'm hoping this was a relapse. Yada yada yada. I know that sounds lame. 

Also, it's worth mentioning that I had a second, less celebratory, conversation about my gambling to J a few weeks back - telling her that I'd blown a lot of my winnings.  She did give me a ton of warnings, advice and support. Her career has involved working with people with serious drug and alcholol addicitons - and she knows how addiction ends unless you take ownership of your actions. Earlier the better. Talking to her was like talking to my very own Yoda, and she warned me to take control - and I promised her I was done with gambling. And I really want that to be true. 

So - 0 days gf. 

I'm going to log on again in 1 week's time - and if I can't say that I've haven't gambled: I will tell J about the difficulties I'm having and I will go for counselling.

I'm also going to remove my credit cards from the house. I've got about 5 or 6 - I've not used them for gambling yet (thank god) - but I'm at the point now where I don't fully trust myself. Because my credit rating was good and I was earning when I got them - they have about £90,000 available credit - I'm getting nightmares just thinking how badly that could end. I'm heading up to visit my mum in a week or so (she lives 200 miles away) - I might leave them all up there, out of harms way.  Or just cut to them up might be easier. 

I'm going to do some work now and stop focusing on me and my damn gambling. 

Edit: I've just cut up my three main credit cards and put them in the bin. I've closed the accounts of another 3. In a few days, I'm going to cancel my bank card and get a new one a remove the 3 digits on the back so it's stops me making online purchases. I'm going to try to be cash for the forseeable future - and buy Amazon and Netflix gift cards and stuff like that for a lot of the things that are linked onto the card. Feeling much more positive and it feels wonderful to shut down card accounts - it's like building an immunity from disaster. Still a long way to go though. 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 11:12

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Sorry to hear about the relapse/blip/mistake, not sure best description.

No one is judging you, we have all made mistakes or we would not be writing these diaries.

Sounds like you are trying to put some more barriers in place so just make sure they are strong enough for you.

Keep positive and try not to dwell on yesterday.

Muststop123

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 13:30

DeterminedDan

Joined:
2016-09-08

Get yourself back on that horse mate and go again.

Relapses will happen. They happen to the best. It’s how you bounce back that is important. 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 16:32

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Recommended option would be to come clean properly. Telling just half the story leaves you accountable only to yourself which is a weak position to be in when the urges hit.

Have you looked into counselling? Gamcare offer free sessions which seem to be well thought of here. You will need to identify and address whatever it is that's driving the compulsion.

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 18:08

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

How many times do I need to be punched, smack bang on the nose, by a big loss to finally get the idea that gambling really doesn't pay? It's like a groundhog day that I just don't learn by. 

I'll should copy and paste this each day until it finally begins to sink in. Because it's absolutely pointless posting anything else until I do something different. LIke not gamble, to be more specific. 

Thankfully, today was controlled damage. But damage, nonetheless.

And, to be honest, I feel as bad as if it was 'big damage' - because of a kind of nagging  'hindsight' self-betrayal - I, deep down, realised it wouldn't pay. It's easy to say that after losing. The voice of 'come on, just one more bet will make it better' has now made a quick exit, and is now replaced by the self-loathing voice, lashing out 'you effing dumb eff-er, don't you effing ever effing learn?'

Total jerk. Only positive is, I've just arrived in London, as good as on the doorstep of a temping casino, but jerk me, tonight, will definately be giving it a miss. A small mercy. 

Don't know how to end this diary entry - except with didn't the world and its wife say 'didn't I tell you so'. Sorry if that's a bit of a sexist phrase.

From experience, I know the anger/pain/loathing/etc etc I feel now will die down tomorrow. Main thing is not to gamble. Duh. 

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 20:51

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Equinox

Thought it was better to reply to your comment (on my diary) on your diary as you are more likely to see it. Still not sure of the correct etiquete on all this but don't suppose it really matters.

Hope you got home without falling for any temptations. You sound a bit down. Not sure you are going to find any logic in any of what we do when we gamble. It is totally illogical thing to do - I actually checked what the payback odds on the game I used to play were, saw they were rubbish yet carried on playing. I was virtually guaranteed to lose over time.

Keep fighting it.

Muststop123

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 22:21

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

Equinox

It is time for action. You are repeating the same mistakes that I and many others have done for years.

You said you would have a list of all websites you are registered with on your PayPal account. Get a pen and paper out and write them all down. Once that is done, go to the first one and find out how to self exclude. Forget the cool down option, you know deep down that doesn't work for you. Start self excluding from each one. There is software out there that you can install and it will block gambling websites, I suggest you look into that also.

I'm sorry to come across as quite blunt but sometimes we need to hear the harsh reality of where we are and what we need to do. Self exclusion is a relatively easy step and will definitely help when the urges become too much. 

The road in front of you is a damn difficult one to walk, with many hurdles and temptations... but by being proactive you CAN walk it! Today I make the conscious choice not to gamble and it makes me feel great. You have that inner strength inside you as well, I'm sure of it, you don't leave a good job to go it alone if you don't have drive and determination... you need to channel that into your gambling demons.

I wish you well Equinox and I look forward to reading about your progress. Take care and stay GF. 

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 12:20

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Thanks Ste_ven and Muststop - I really appreciate input. 

Today feels much better - I shouldn't believe this too easily, but yesterday something deep down and internal seem to 'switch off' from gambling - and I genuinley feel like it's a significant shift in how I tackle this.

It's not really a great comparison, but I remember having the same feeling about a pint of cider - I drank much too much of it one night at 18 years old, and never ever went back to it - the very thought of it turns my stomach. My reaction to gambling is beginning to feel similar. 

Just over a week ago  - I did self-exclude for 5 years from all my registered money-sucking online casinos - I'd clocked up 19 ... but the other day, I shamefully just joined a new one - crazy, mindless and almost unbelievable. Then self-excluded after a loss for 5 years. 

But, to be positive, let gambling be my new 'cider' - something that has zero appeal for me. 

Another big plus - I gave up my job to return to life as an artist - a risky move, and it's been patchy to generate a good income these last few months - but yesterday I got 2 new commissions, totally out of the blue - and this did seem like a 'sign' - this work will cover my last loss and helps me to realise that I should put all focus back into my art work, rather than try to quick-fix my finances using a doomed and miserable roulette wheel. 

Thanks again for the people who contributed. It helps being here and I feel more determined than ever to beat this.

Posted on:
Wed, 08/11/2017 - 16:42

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Equinox

Good to see you back and more positive. Good news about the new commisions.

Shame about the cider because I quite like a pint or two occasionally but I understand what you mean about the reaction to gambling. Anything to do with gambling (especially roulette tables/slot machines), even just the names/logos of some of online casinos I used makes me feel sick and I am happy to use this as an additional block. This may sound crazy but just writing that and thinking about it make me feel slightly queasy.

Let's keep this going

Muststop123

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 23:07

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop123 wrote:

Hi Equinox

Good to see you back and more positive. Good news about the new commisions.

.. even just the names/logos of some of online casinos I used makes me feel sick and I am happy to use this as an additional block. This may sound crazy but just writing that and thinking about it make me feel slightly queasy.

Let's keep this going

Muststop123

Thanks Muststop - I'm trying to feel that way about the online casinos. I'm only on day 3 of my gf life - but today has been the easiest for me so far. 

Part of me thinks this compulsion - or addiction - to gambling is nothing more than a simple choice with me. I hope I can switch it off as easily as I switched it on - admittedly, there's a really good chance that this is just pure denial and wishful thinking on my part. A thought every out of control gambler has had. 

I don't know whether to try counselling - but I hope I can knock this on the head on my own. I don't mean that sounds presumptuous and arrogant but I think I should give it a go.

Although 3  days ago I reached a new low with the speed and attitude in which I gambled. After making a fresh deposit to a new casino, I just wanted it over. After my money had been deposited - accompanied by that familiar burst of self-loathing - I knew that there was no way I'd be leaving in profit. If I was lucky enough to win, like clockwork I'd just gamble it all back again. Or maybe I'd kid myself with a temporary withdrawal but reverse it within a couple of hours. Probably at 7am as soon I wake up, I'd turn on my iPhone and log back in. But that night felt like a turning point for me (yeah, here we go again) - but I knew that any money I deposited, would just be lost at some point. Losing was a given. Previous to this, I believed that maybe I'd be able to recoup my loses carefully over time through some lucky and strategic play. I'd even started on Blackjack. 

It took maybe 3 minutes to lose hundreds of pounds. The experience was one of the dullest moments of my life - I had zero excitement, I had zero hopes of winning. Logically, I knew that should just withdraw the money - avoid the agony and resentment of a further loss - but genuinely felt I couldn't leave that casino until the money was gone. Or, more accurately, I thought I couldn't leave. I didn't put much effort into trying.  I just did a series of big and disastrous bets and then I self-excluded for 5 years to casino number 20 on my list.

If, on that night, I could have stepped out of myself and watch my behaviour - this pointless, wasteful, destructive, comical man tapping away on his computer... tragic ... but the worst part was my son started talking during the gambling session - my computer carefully angled away from his eyeline and sound muted. Almost unforgivable if I think about it. But I'm not going to compound things by giving myself a unnecessarily hard time over it - I did it, and I just don't want to do it again. I simply want to change my actions - no more gambling - and focus on the good things. 

True, I've said it before - and it's never worked before - but let this be the game changer moment. Why - because I'm just bored to death of online gambling. It's had enough of me.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 16.0px 0.0px; line-height: 18.0px; font: 16.0px Arial; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}
span.s1 {font-kerning: none}

Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 23:58

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

No gambling today.

I did read a few more recovery diaries today just to remind myself that we are all here to bring a permanent stop to our gambling habits. 

Today's good:

  1. No gambling. It's a relief not to carry the burden of a recent loss. 
  2. Did plenty of productive stuff - work, excercised, family time. 
  3. Unexpectedly decided to listen to a Patti Smith album I have always avoided for no good reason - but ended up really enjoying it. Plus it didn't cost anything thanks to Apple music. 
  4. Working from home each day, I have the luxury to pop out and head to the shops to get some food for lunch. I got bread and tomatoes (for a ham and mustard sandwich) - I was going to buy the cheaper cherry tomatoes - but soon decided that after the thousands I've thrown away on roulette, I can easily pay an extra 70p and get the best cherry tomatoes. It was a small thing, but life suddently seems a whole lot cheaper without dealing with the impact of a daily gambling loss - even when I'm treating myself to tomatoes. 

Today's Bad:

  1. Reluctant to say this - but reading through some of the recovery diaries reminded me of the 'buzz' of gambling. I need to be careful about my 'selective' memory which is keen to paint a beautiful rosy glow over my bad habit. 
  2. In my wallet are still the membership cards to 3 land casinos. I haven't self excluded from these yet - I think there's still a part of me that's reluctant to.  Although I don't live in a city that has a casino - so the danger isn't on my doorstep. But I do go to London quite a lot and that's were they're going to be waiting. I persuaded myself that I know (or at least I think I know) that I'd never spend the same amount in an actual casino that I do with an online casino. Online spending is too easy - it's just clicking digits into a deposit screen - but if I had to withdraw and convert proper paper money - there's no way I'd hand over the same amount. But I should look at self-excluding from those casinos. This gets an orange-alert on my gamble alarm. 

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 11/11/2017 - 23:03

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Another day gf. 

Not much to say about today - I didn't feel any strong urge to gamble.

Got another commission for work - again, this was totally out of the blue by someone who'd seen my work online - making it 3 jobs in 5 days. This will keep me busy for a while. It feels good to have money coming in that, if I can kick this habit, isn't going to disappear in a few spins of roulette. 

Still find myself watching a few YouTube videos of gamblers that regularly upload - I felt sad for them. This is new. 

I'm taking it a day at a time - and glad to have clocked in another day on my gf timecard. If I'd have carried on these last 5 days, I'd now be well over £1000 down. 

I genuinely feel so much richer just by not losing money day after day - which makes little sense, really. 

Still need to feel as if I can treat myself. I really wanted to read Sam Shepard's The One Inside - so ordered it from Amazon about 20 minutes ago, just in time for tomorrow's Sunday delivery. It was £20 - a sum that wouldn't even register on my roulette spending radar - but I ended up cancelling the transaction in a bid to be sensible with my cash. Telling myself I've got a book I still need to finish so this one can wait.

Pity I didn't have this sort of careful spending logic when it came to my gambling antics?

Posted on:
Sun, 12/11/2017 - 23:18

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Still gf! But still early days. 

When I was walking back from the gym today, I remembered that I often played roulette when I was working out. Or if the internet connection was dodgy, I'd log back on the very minute I'd left the building. It's beginning to sink in just how much I couldn't shake gambling from my head. Even though its presence is still there, the thoughts are nothing like they used to be. All consuming - as good as every minute of every day I was thinking about gambling. During conversations, during tv shows, during work, during journeys, during reading, during a shower. I remember taking a pee and used the opportunity to quickly go for a spin on the roulette wheel. 

But walking back from the gym today, I felt so grateful that I've removed that constant dialogue about gambling from my thoughts. There's still much work to be done before I'm a free man - a lifetime of work maybe - but taking one day at a time, this day was a great success. 

I did watch another Youtube video from one of the regular gambler/streaming sessions. I don't mean to sound judgemental with this - but it was a 3 hour stream (I dipped into to maybe 10 minutes) - and the poor bloke sounded so bored as he clicked spin after spin after spin after spin. Watching someone else gamble helps me to see it for what it really is - a fool's game and a waste of precious precious time. Fun at the beginning - yes, no doubt about that. But long term? It's just an expensive torture. 

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 10:32

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Well done, another day mentally and financially better off by not lining the pockets of our "friends" in the gambling industry.

Just interested, the youtube videos you have been watching, are these a good thing or not? Not sure what purpose they serve, for me they would like torture just to watch and make me feel sick. Just worried they are keeping you too close to the idea of gambling?

Muststop

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 11:00

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop123 wrote:

Just interested, the youtube videos you have been watching, are these a good thing or not? Not sure what purpose they serve, for me they would like torture just to watch and make me feel sick. Just worried they are keeping you too close to the idea of gambling?

Muststop

Thanks Muststop - and as for me watching of the Youtube videos ... I think it's good for me- because I'm finding them quite deadening and painful to watch - they're like reminders of the the relentless up, down, up, down, up down cycle of betting that I was caught in. It's a way for me to see objectively - in very real terms being an unedited live stream - that gambling ultimately leads nowhere - it just wastes time and money and kills something of the human spirit. 

Most of all these videos seem to lack the warmth of genuine 'human' connection. The gambling is all that matters at the expense of everything else. I now find that scary to watch, having been there. Gambling puts you in a cold and unloving place - both to yourself and those around you. 

So for the moments when my gambling voice tries to tempt me to take another final bet - watching one of these videos instantly kills that voice dead.

But I'm improvising my way through quitting - not really sure what I'm doing, I'm just convincing myself that it's as easy as making up my mind up not to gamble. I accept and expect that there'll be moments I'll be tempted again - but if I can live with the agitation that this brings - and not blow it up out of proportion as some irresistible force, then I'm assuming it'll work for me. I honestly don't know whether quitting will be easy or hard. I don't know how deep the addiction is embedded in me and I feel very much like a novice when it comes to being sure of my quitting strategies. 

 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 11:29

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

8 days gf. 

But nearly reset that to 0 last night. But maybe I'm exaggerating as it's difficult to know how close I was - all I know is that I didn't gamble. 

Out of nowhere - right at the end of the evening - roulette thoughts came popping into my head. Positive-ish ones where I thought I could stick a single bet down and hope for the best. I'm self-excluded from every site I've been on - but that's not such an obstacle to dart around if the impulse is strong. I got to a registration screen, toying with the idea of joining - but all said and done, I didn't. 

This is what confuses me about the power of the addiction or compulsion or really bad hobby depending on how I look at it. I'm not sure how strong it is for me - I know I've been totally out of control spending as good as everything that I ever deposited, unable to break out of the 'just one more bet' pattern until a new deposit is needed, with a rinse and repeat following. I know gambling is bad for me - I know it made me despise myself, it made me feel as if I was letting others down, I felt I was hiding a dirty secret, I was wasting my life ... 

But last night the urge returned - but I decided to allow it - and in a way accepted it - (trying to be all mindful!). I accepted that I'm going to get plenty of these episodes. And that's when I really began to analyse how badly the pull was for me to gamble - looking at how my mind was, body was, behaviour was - and it really wasn't all that bad. I wasn't shaking or sweating or unable to think or I didn't become highly irritable  - yes, it wasn't pleasant - I felt a kind of niggling restlessness, I felt a bit conflicted with part of me thinking I'm denying myself a moment of excitement - but another part of me warned myself not to be so dumb and don't dare stick any money on a roulette table.

This is slightly off topic, but sometimes if I've waited in all day for a delivery, in one of those horrible anytime from 8am - 7pm time slots, but it just doesn't arrive - I think that experience was about the same level of discomfort of last night's toying with roulette. 

I'm not sure what I'm saying here - I think I'm trying to say that the rush of thoughts and feelings that are triggered when gambling wants to have its way with me - might seem all powerful because I perceive them as powerful - but in actuality they might be no stronger than the sense of restlessness I get whenever Amazon don't live up to their delivery promise. Which is really no big a deal. A momentary discomfort that passes within a short space of time. 

I'm only speaking for myself here - but I'm worried that by framing my gambling as this super powerful lifetime struggle with a big charming beast, I'm giving it more much more weight that it actually deserves. And by doing that, I end up thinking about gambling much more than I should - rather than just leaving it be. 

I sometimes feel like such a novice when I write my diary, fumbling through my thoughts. 

Although if I'm to end on a downer - it's not good that only after 8 days, I'm nudging towards the edge again. 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 16:18

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Well done on resisting when you got as far as the registration screen but I don't want to think about you getting that far.

You seem to be saying that you are allowing the gambling urges to become these big powerful things when in reality you are just getting a bit restless. Come on! Go take a long walk or something away from your phone/laptop - you need to fight them, not allow or accept them into your mind. It sounds almost as if you were doing some sort of pyschological test on yourself, whereas you should be running away from the beast, which, by the way is not a charming beast! It is a disgusting ugly thing.

Remember in one of your earlier posts you spoke about taking a sip of the feeling of loss? Think you need to take a gulp.

Just had a look at my calendar - you make it to Christmas and you will be over 50 days GF. You up for it?

 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 21:11

marson_123

Joined:
2017-11-02

Hi Equinox,

Well done 8 days its an achievement. Im 16 days today. You must distract yourself from those urges dont let yoyrself get to a registration screen thats far too dangerous. Have you managed to hand over yoyr finances to anyone? My wife has complete oversight of all my finances and tbh its made it a lot easier knowing that if i did gamble even a little bit i would have to explain myself to her as to why i did it and i will be honest thats not what i want to be doing. You have to want to do this for you but to have that help and that block there helps first off. Ill check in on you time to time see how your doimg. For now remember each day is a good day when GF and stay positive.

Cheers

Mick

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 22:25

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Genuinly, a massive thank you Muststop and Mick - I know you're right. Thanks for stepping into my thread to knock sense into my stupid head.

It's just plain dumb of me to get so close to registering. Thankfully, tonight feels very different to last night. It was getting late, the house was quiet and I'd just made back all the money and more that I'd lost the previous week (by working, not gambling) - and that's when the voice makes its return, saying 'just gamble the excess'. Not that there is any excess, I need it all.

But that's the stubborn roulette idiot in me refusing to die off so easy. What I did last night is now foolish in my eyes.

Tonight, there's 2 hours to go before I go to bed - and I'm as sure as sure that there's no way I'm going to gamble tonight. 

GF is the only way, I do get that. I just need to watch myself when I start acting so stupidly - but this diary is helping. I get to read and remember all the errors I'm making - and just having Muststop and Mick give me a kick up the backside has worked wonders. 

The good news is I'm beginning to enjoy the stuff I used to enjoy. When I woke up this morning, a happy man for not gambling the night before, my wife had just gone to work, my son was still snoozing as he's in gap year bliss, I listened to a Paul Auster interview on my iPad. I'd not listened to it for 7 years and I enjoyed hearing every single minute of it. And it was all free! It's like the smog of gambling is clearing from my life - there I was, sitting eating my toast and tea, with a beautiful day ahead working from home, idly listening to a great writer talk about his work. Bliss. That is the opposite of a week or so ago - I'd be thumping my knee hard every time I lost on red black odd even or whatever, like a bratish child not getting the sweets he wants. 

I'm so glad for this site and the people here - because I know without it I wouldn't have had the beautiful morning I had today - I'd be on a spiral down to somewhere ugly with a very swollen and bruised knee. 

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 22:42

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop - I did realise in the post above that I conveniently skirted around your Christmas challenge by not mentioning it. Part of me felt that if I said I'm up for it - and failed - I'd be letting you down and all the shame that goes with it. But I suppose that's nonesense - time for me to commit - so, yes, I'm up for it!

Your recovery diary has really helped me and I'll give it my very best shot.

Now I just need to shut that irritating gambling voice in my head, that thinks he's some sort of lucky cowboy, who's now shouting no no no no no!

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 22:53

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Equinox wrote:

Muststop - I did realise in the post above that I conveniently skirted around your Christmas challenge by not mentioning it. Part of me felt that if I said I'm up for it - and failed - I'd be letting you down and all the shame that goes with it. But I suppose that's nonesense - time for me to commit - so, yes, I'm up for it!

Your recovery diary has really helped me and I'll give it my very best shot.

Now I just need to shut that irritating gambling voice in my head, that thinks he's some sort of lucky cowboy, who's now shouting no no no no no!

Yes, I did notice you avoiding it but now you have committed so you have no choice.

We can both do this because we want to. 

Muststop123

Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 23:02

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop123 wrote:

Yes, I did notice you avoiding it but now you have committed so you have no choice.

We can both do this because we want to. 

Muststop123

If only you could hear how panicked the voice of my cowboy gambler now sounds in my head. But yes, looking forward to sending him off to Boot Hill as a Christmas present to myself. Thanks for your support Muststop, I really appreciate it. 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 15/11/2017 - 17:00

marson_123

Joined:
2017-11-02

Thats it Equinox you know what you need to do and your doing the right things. Keep up that hard work keep yourself busy and distracted youll be at christmas before you know it.

Posted on:
Wed, 15/11/2017 - 22:19

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Thanks Marson - keeping busy and active with the better things in life does seem to be the way forward. When I think of myself gambling, I picture a really static me, plonked on the sofa clicking away at my laptop, going nowhere fast and doing nothing of value whatsoever.

Today was an easier day - my resolve not to gamble seems to be getting that little bit stronger each day. Really glad I've self excluded from all my sites. It's so much harder to make that psychological jump to register with a brand new site than it ever was to easily log on to an existing one. 

The best bit for me so far is not having a fresh regret living with me throughout the day. 

I think even if I won money by gambling, I'd feel tainted, as if I've let myself down. Winning or losing are beginning to seem one and the same. 

The cowboy gambler in my head did make a little appearance today - wanting me to try Blackjack. Trying to convince me that this isn't as foolish a gamble as roulette, as if somehow Blackjack has skill. Lasted about 10 minutes then my mind moved on to something else.

I think ended up buying the BBC show, Tattoo from iTunes for £9.99. I thought I'd give it a watch and listen to some of the podcasts about it while I work. I'm enjoying how far a tenner goes these days. This will take about 30 hours of my time to finish, instead of 8 seconds on a roulette table. 

So glad I found this site. I'm going to keep saying that. 

Posted on:
Thu, 16/11/2017 - 21:58

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Clocking in to Day 10 gf!

Nice to hit double figures. Just another 90 and I get to see triple figures. 

Even though it's just 10 days, it seems longer since my last gambling spree. The agony of the gambling, for the most part, has died away. This could be as much a blessing as a curse. 

I was going through my iPhone today, deleting unecessary files to free up some space and when I searched through my photos to see what could be trashed, I unexpectedly came across a screen shot from an online withrdrawal of one of my big early wins.

I hesitated for a moment deciding whether I should delete the photo or not because it did bring back a stab joy, reminding me of the time when I thought I was magically jinxed by a permanent good fortune. The voice of the cowboy gambler in my head made a little appearance, telling me there's no harm in keeping the photo - just for ol' times sake - as a kind of reminder that that the good old days of big money wins are still possible if I ever wanted to chance my luck again.

But I'm learning not to listen to the cowboy, so I quickly deleted the photo. 

Still keeping productive and looking forward to day 11.

It would have been my dad's birthday today. I might talk about this in tomorrow's entry because thinking about him today strengthened my reslove to live a more moderate, gamble free life. 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 00:37

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Day 12 gf done. 

Not happy with the way my thoughts are beginning to bend back towards gambling. 

But I'm not going to panic about this - if I had to give up some comparatively trivial habit like coffee or tea, I'd expect coffee or tea thoughts to pop into my head. So I've got to remember that it's not the thoughts - it's the giving into them I should worry about. 

When the thoughts come, there's something bratish and expectant about them - so when I imagine playing roulette again I'm more than ready to win but far from willing to lose. 

But the value of money is coming back to me - just over a week ago I was happy chance hundreds in minutes, now I'm feeling a bit Scrooge-ish when it comes to the thought of parting with my cash. Fifty pounds would be painful. So maybe this is a good sign. 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 09:59

marson_123

Joined:
2017-11-02

Hi Equinox,

Well done on 12 days. I know what you mean by the thoughts of gambling and winning. I have the same thoughts each day but they are just thoughts reminders of a feeling that you think will make you happy. The truth is that were you to gamble then that feeling would soon turn to anger frustation and straight back on to chasing money thats not there. I myselfuse those thoughts to stop myself from doing any form of gambling as the pain and suffering it will cause far outweighs the sense of happiness a quick gamble may bring.

Another day down keep going strong and remember your not the only one dealing with this and people are here to support you when you need it.

Cheers

Mick

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 23:04

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Thanks Mick - you're dead right about the pain and suffering outweighing the happiness of the lucky quick gamble. That's what I'm trying to do now - is remember the awful miserable feelings, which was the majority of the time, that gambling triggered. Plus, I know deep down that I won't withdraw until I've lost it all - I've proved that time and time again. 

I did mention to my wife tonight that I was feeling the urge to gamble again - and she did a brilliant, gentle calm talk down, which removed the urges completely. 

But dear diary - I've been bad. I think. The other day I registered to a new gambling site. It's like revisiting a crime scene. The good news is I didn't gamble and didn't deposit. In fact I didn't want to gamble or deposit. It's like a kind of therapy just seeing that roulette wheel spin and ball land and the coloured number appear on screen - it did fill me with a kind of dread, it brought back those awful awful awful awful feelings of desperation, that sickness in the stomach that came with each spin on a losing streak.  

But what am I doing? Is this me just kidding myself again, tip toeing back to the game? Maybe - but I honestly don't think so. 

Today is the longest I've ever been gf since I developed the expensive and soul-draining habit.

A bit of a side note - my headphones stopped working on the way to the gym today, so it was nice to just buy a new pair without feeling stingy about it. I'm beginning to enjoy spending money on useful stuff rather giving it to a some business based in Malta.  

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 08:58

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Talking you down is all very well but what proactive measures are you both putting into place to block your access to gambling?

Your wife could set passwords to blockers. K9 is effective and free and once you're blocked the temptation to play with fire (you are) is gone leaving you free to concentrate on other aspects of your recovery.

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 10:24

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Hi Equinox

Good to hear you are continuing to resist the urges. I think having someone to talk to is a huge benefit in fighting this - I know deep down that I would probably still be gambing if I had not confessed to my wife as I would have continued the irrational thoughts and been unable to put the physical blocks in place myself.

Still worry you are putting unnecessary extra pressure on yourself by continuing to skirt around gambling throughout your recovery. The previous gambling with pretend money, watching youtube videos and still having ability to register on new websites just seems to be extra temptation that none of us need and it feels like you are almost testing yourself to prove how strong you are?

On the radio this morning they were discussing the approach people should take to terrorist attacks and I know this is a bit of stretch but maybe the Run-Hide-Tell approach to gambling urges might be more appropriate rather than the Bruce Willis poke it with a stick and fight it on your own approach. I just feel gambling is just too big and powerful to go anywhere near so better to do everything in my power to keep away from it.

 Keep strong and GF.

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

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Hi Lethe - the measures that both of us are putting into place are not many, to be honest. I know it goes against all good advice but there's still a part of me that's not ready to fully hand over everything and admit I'm at that stage of addiction. And maybe that's playing with fire. 

The only money I have access to is the money that's saved for my business, which includes some spare spending money - so there's no way I can damage the 'house' finances. I've as good as shut down my credit line, with accounts closed or cards shredded. 

Understanding how addicted/not addicted I am is something I need to understand about myself.  I did call it quits quite early on in my gambling life with access to money that could have easily been blown on further gambling, but I didn't. I never used credit and, by pure good fortune, I've made back all the lost money by selling some work. 

When I look back at my time gambling - it's like I made a stupid mistake, I was suckered in by something that's designed to sucker people, but I want to question whether it runs as deeply in me to make me a compulsive gambler that needs a high level of monitoring. 

But, I know Lethe, you're approach is the safest and I really appreciate you prodding me in the sensible direction. Most addicts will convince themselves they're not addicted. 

But I know my daily drinking habit - which was deeply embedded from the age of 18 - with me moving to a bottle of wine at the end of each day, ran much much deeper than gambling.  Smoking, the same. But I feel as if I've genuinely knocked them on the head by making a singular choice without the need to remove alcohol from the house, or not by not going into shops or pubs in case of a relapse. It's hard to explain in bite size posts, but I feel as if I know how I deal with things and once I make a choice, I tend to stay faithful to that choice. This is all very fuzzy and vague, I know - and I know I shouldn't apologise for my own diary - but sorry if I sound like a dipstick with this complacent attitude, which I know goes directly against most all the good and proven advice here on the forums. 

As a plus, I woke up today feeling so happy and grateful that I didn't wake up with a gamble hangover and it's this simple and honest feeling that I will continue to focus on. That's what helped with drinking - I just got tired of the morning after feeling, added to the fact that I knew it was bad for my liver, just like gambling is bad for my wallet and my state of mind. 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 11:35

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Muststop123 wrote:

Hi Equinox

Good to hear you are continuing to resist the urges. I think having someone to talk to is a huge benefit in fighting this - I know deep down that I would probably still be gambing if I had not confessed to my wife as I would have continued the irrational thoughts and been unable to put the physical blocks in place myself.

Still worry you are putting unnecessary extra pressure on yourself by continuing to skirt around gambling throughout your recovery. The previous gambling with pretend money, watching youtube videos and still having ability to register on new websites just seems to be extra temptation that none of us need and it feels like you are almost testing yourself to prove how strong you are?

On the radio this morning they were discussing the approach people should take to terrorist attacks and I know this is a bit of stretch but maybe the Run-Hide-Tell approach to gambling urges might be more appropriate rather than the Bruce Willis poke it with a stick and fight it on your own approach. I just feel gambling is just too big and powerful to go anywhere near so better to do everything in my power to keep away from it.

 Keep strong and GF.

Thanks Muststop - always grateful for the guru to pass on advice. I've self-excluded from that casino. I'm no Brucie.

I do feel as if I'm tackling this in a topsy turvy manner at times - but the pretend gambling really did help me to see that I always lost and it did trigger a similar gut reaction. I imagine it'd be like a trainee pilot flying his virtual reality plane into a cliff face - it seems very real. If I left my imagination to do the winning and losing, I'd be a rich rich man, hitting the right colours and the right numbers most of the time. 

It was good to speak to 'Mrs Equinox' about it - we do have a very close relationship and her job involves dealing with all sorts of mental health issues including addictions, so I'm blessed to have such a level headed person to support me. All I've kept from her is the 'extra' gambling sessions I did after I told her enough was enough. And I'm reluctant to uneccessarily land her with the baggage of me being a problem when her work involves dealing with other peoples problems. That's why I feel as if this could be a 'controlled explosion' (I'm beginning to use Die Hard language!) - because I only lost my money, and I've now recouped that. It was a mistake but I've made plenty of silly mistakes and I don't want to unecessarily blow this one out of proportion for me. I think I bailed at the right time. 

So if gambling was just a mistake - then hopefully this is no different many from many of the other mistakes I've made. Like buying a Sony P Series + accessories after drinking a little too much. 

Thanks again Muststop. I'm determined to not gamble and I'm still well aware of our Christmas challenge. My vision is clearing daily, I'm happier without gambling,  and I'm beginning to feel I can move away from it - even in my clumsy, Brucie W way. 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 12:10

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Equinox wrote:

Thanks Muststop - always grateful for the guru to pass on advice.

That made me laugh, guru? It's only been 47 days, not sure they hand out awards quite that easy!

Have good day

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 18:38

marson_123

Joined:
2017-11-02

Hi Equinox,

Well what can i say its a little worrying that you registered however i understand that each person deals with this in there own way and reading your diary clearly you have a lot of coping mechanisms that have worked for you. One thing i would say is that you must be careful as this is an addiction and you are a gambler, you will try to talk yourself around it and once you have its a slippery slope. Just keep the blocks up and talk its important to talk about it on here, with loved ones just keep doing your best.

Cheers

Mick

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

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

Hi Equinox

More harsh reality from me.... from your recent posts it looks like it's only a matter of time before you stumble again...

Signing up to a gambling website is never, ever a good idea for people like us - I think you are self justifying by saying "it's ok, I didn't gamble, I just watched the ball...." sorry but that cuts no mustard with me my friend, it sounds like that little gambling voice is chipping away at your resolve. In my last post I suggested blocking software for your computer... I make the same suggestion again and also close the recently opened account asap. 

I've done the watching YouTube video thing in the past as well - want to know where that ended up? Yep, by me gambling again. I don't prescribe to the GA approach but I do agree with not testing ourselves, and watching these videos, signing up to a site.... sorry but it sounds like your doing exactly that.

The good thing however is that there is still time... YOU and only you have the strength of mind and willpower to do something about this. I really hope you at least consider what I've said, because we both know that the pain we have caused ourselves in the past by going back to gambling is acute, not only for ourselves but for our loved ones too.

I wish you well, stay safe and stay GF. 

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 22:31

Equinox

Joined:
2017-10-18

Thanks Ste_ven - I'm more than happy to receive another dose of harsh reality from you. I did do the 5 year self-exclusion from the site earlier today. I can see that I get no Blue Peter badge for registering to a new site. 

I don't have the blocking software yet. I did install K9 on my laptop - but I've got a tablet and 2 phones that the software didn't work on. I also looked into something that blocks you for a subscription - but I'm not sure if it was a licence for a single device and the cheapskate part of me thought it'd be cheaper to go the willpower option.

Thanks again for your support and I'll do my damnest to resist the urge to be a roulette voyeur if it happens again. I can see it's totally unecessary. 

A good thing is that it's now nearly 11pm and this is usually my roulette witching hour when the damage is done - but I'm confident I'm not gambling tonight. No way am I going to greet the morning with an early dose of guilt, shame and less cash. 

 

Pages