GamCare Logo

Error message

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$field_banner_image in gamcare_preprocess_page() (line 61 of /data/websites-live/www.gamcare.org.uk/public/sites/all/themes/gamcare/template.php).
86 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 00:51

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Feel scared and vulnerable about the future. I keep remembering some of the really bad times from the past. Lying, stealing and deceit. Also remembering terrible times when gambling, when I was crying while doing it and shouting at myself but still couldn't stop. OK so not really something I want to write about but on the plus side, probably one of the reasons I never gambled in public.

Day 21 and I am going to get through today and do it without gambling

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 01:16

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

OK so calmed down a bit although its starting to sink in what an absolute @#£&&* idiot I have been to allow this back into my life and now got to go through cold turkey all again. Can't skip forwards to the good bits like watching a film. I am telling myself there is something I failed to find out the first time and this is an opportunity to learn it. I've got to change otherwise I'll never get out of this.

Right calm down, cup of tea and signing out.

Posted on:
Thu, 28/09/2017 - 00:03

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 21 nearly over and I'm happy to say I made it through the day without gambling. Urges coming into my head at odd times but kept busy at work and went to a meeting. Everything is still feeling a bit odd, distant and unreal but I do feel a sort of relief that I don't have access or control over my money right now. Would I have slipped last night if I had? I don't know.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/09/2017 - 00:30

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 23 begins. Urges not too bad today but a flat empty feeling and very tired all day at work.

Had a dream last night about gambling, only it wasn't about me gambling which is new. Instead I was with some people, and a guy who I haven't seen for years in real life was doing slots on his phone and people were telling me he had a problem. (He's someone who I associate with teenage sexual feelings). I remember him saying the slots were wondrous things or something like that, we were with other people in a bar and I was urgently trying to take him aside to have a word and was trying to persuade him to go to GA. He was still playing slots and only half listening, we were in a crowded noisy pub type place and kept having to move because of eavesdroppers - frustrating.

Day 23 I choose not to gamble.

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 01:37

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 25 and I am pleased to say that gambling is not going to be any part of it. Recovery however is still the focus of most days at the moment.

The dramatic, physical/emotional urges from payday have subsided for now and the idea of playing slots feels ludicrous at the moment. I'm still thinking about the subject of gambling everyday but trying to read and research recovery and focus on that. Coming here reading even if I don't post. The fact that I'm accountable for every penny to my partner is a big relief. In my head it means I can't gamble. Its given me a breathing space. I thought it was going to be much more difficult and humiliating than it was and I didn't want to take that step...didn't think I needed to. However, right now its the most effective block for me.

I have 2 goals this week as I aim for 30 days.

1. I'm going to rejoin the gym. This is so I can de-stress when needed, and have ongoing fitness goals. Something that's worked for me before. Plus I am out of shape and not in the best health so its needed. I will start slow and take my time!!

2. I'm going to write my story on here. Looking over my old posts from 2010 I realised I've never done this. Part of it is shame and I've never liked putting personal stuff online. I'm quite paranoid about it! But I think I should do it for a couple of reasons. One, for me to read over if/when I get complacent and start thinking I have control over gambling. This isn't true and my own history should prove it. Two, and this is the reason I will post it here, is that it might help someone else realise they have a similar problem. Most of the posters on these forums recognise they are compulsive gamblers and need to stop. But many of those who read and do not post haven't yet accepted it. I know because I was one of those who came here to read other people's stories for a long time before posting. There are so many different stories and if you want to just convince yourself "I am not like these people - I don't have a real problem - I'm not powerless over MY gambling" then you will. You will just focus on the differences, types of betting, or the amounts lost.

Well its taken me 7 years but I'm finally recognising the similarities between all compulsive gamblers. I think its because I now see this addiction as progressive which I never really did before. It makes me look at it like we cg's are all in the same boat, different stages of addiction/recovery but the same boat.

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 19:23

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 30 woo hoo and I'm feeling great at the moment.

Super busy all week and not had time to post but made time for ga and writing a few thoughts down off the forum.

So 30 days and apparently I'm officially a 'striver' (thanks Mixer!). I'll use that to build on and move forwards in recovery.

4D

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 19:40

46 and out

Joined:
2017-08-08

Well done on being 30 days GF 4D - keep up the great work, keep busy and most of all enjoy life being GF.

Best wishes, 46 and out

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 19:41

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Just been catching up on your thread. Congraulations for getting to Day 30. Mixer is such a legend to these forums. Those little statuses to aim for are such a motivation boost. I can't wait to officially become a striver.

Stick at it, will try and drop in a few times to see how you're doing. 
 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 08/10/2017 - 04:07

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 32 no gambling for me :)

 

You gave me your number and told me to call

for a good time. I was flattered; there were those in your thrall, but I -

I was the one you wanted.

 

We had flirted, you & I, for most of my life

(I had no idea you were holding a knife)

You were cheeky. Fun. More Mistress than Wife -

And I was the one you wanted.

 

Oh, how I remember your very first kiss

on my lips. Saccharine on my finger tips.

I swapped working for winning, and money for chips -

You were the one I wanted.

 

But your touch turned cold and your kiss turned dead

And I woke up one day in your stone hard bed

You'd skinned me, desouled me, left herpes instead -

And I was the one who wanted.

 

The world greyed darker. It didn't end soon.

Under my skin, an infection bloomed -

Pulsating, inflating - a diseased balloon

of Want. The only want wanted.

 

Now I must live with the pox scars of you.

I must keep you at bay with the mind's voodoo

And never forget my medicine. Who -

if they knew - would want this?

 

Sometimes you still whisper and tell me to call

Like the old times. As if, when it mattered at all

you'd be different. But Humpty

has taken this fall. Your number's deleted; completed: the wall.

And you -

are no longer wanted.

Posted on:
Mon, 09/10/2017 - 09:53

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi 4D

Thanks for posting on my diary and I am pleased to read you have made it past your first month gamble free. I hope those days continue to pile up.

There is book "The easy way to stop gambling" by Allen Carr, well worth a read. Also maybe take advantage of some Councelling, to find maybe the reason you gamble. That was a big key to my recovery.

Keep going and good luck.

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 10/10/2017 - 02:01

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hi 4D. 33 days without a bet. Well done.

Sometimes we have to fall further in order to see the light. And it sounds like you're drawing strength from the past in order to make the future better.

Posted on:
Wed, 11/10/2017 - 23:54

Abstainer

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello 4D. Congratulations on 35 Days GF. 

Great attitude your showing, very positive. I imagine your partner having total control of the finances could be a bitter pill to swallow. To be prepared to do that is a very brave and responsible thing, it takes maturity and courage to admit we are powerless over gambling and need help - well done.

Good idea of yours to rejoin the gym, maintaining a healthy lifestyle improves confidence and 'working out' can make people feel good about themselves.

I like your intention to monitor your recovery in your diary. I believe regular updates in our diaries can help to keep us focussed.

On 7th September you wrote " Day 1 - Today I did not gamble ". If you can go into your diary every day and write the same thing than you will get your life back. We all get urges to gamble but they do pass. As an example of this you wrote in your diary on Day 25 "The idea of playing slots feels ludicrous at the moment"..... Thoughts come and than they go, that's just what thoughts do.

Wishing you a happy gamble free life, sometimes peaceful and contented but now and than wild and adventurous. Not gambling gives us more scope and increases our options ...stephen 

Posted on:
Thu, 12/10/2017 - 18:19

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Thanks CML, Matt and Stephen. I appreciate your encouragement. Day 36 and not much to report at the moment except that I am still gamble free and plan to remain so.

Life is very busy at the moment, work, socialising, ga, lots of things on the To Do list. I wonder sometimes when or how I found the time to gamble, but I used to - hours and hours. The answer is of course that I was neglecting everything else to do so. Not any more!!!

Posted on:
Thu, 12/10/2017 - 19:39

paulll

Joined:
2009-10-16

Hi 4D,

Well done on getting 36 days GF under your belt. It must have hit you hard getting sucked back in after 4 years. I’ve been trying to stop since 2009 and the longest I’ve gone GF is about 18 months. Like you I’m now trying to address why exactly I keep going back, and have also begun to research topics relating to destructive behaviour, thought patterns and mindfulness. Like you say, something has to change or else we’ll be trapped all our lives. 

Best wishes, keep posting! 

Posted on:
Thu, 12/10/2017 - 20:04

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Reading stories like this when you go so long gamble free, reminds you that you have to be constantly on your guard and that the curse is never truly lifted.

Posted on:
Wed, 18/10/2017 - 00:54

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 42 and thoughts of gambling are far from my mind today.

Posted on:
Tue, 24/10/2017 - 00:02

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 47 and right now, its really easy.

47 days ago, I couldn't really remember what this felt like. I knew, theoretically, I could do it - because I'd done it before, lived a day without thinking about gambling. Lots of days in fact. But it's hard to imagine that mindset when you are deep into it and the rhythm of your days is built around when, where and how you're going to gamble.

That is how it is for me. If I allow it, it gradually spreads its tentacles into every part of my life, like an alien lifeform that gradually kills its host. One day I look around and think: is it living off me, or am I living off it??

So when I first stopped, every other thought was still about gambling. How to avoid it. How to fight it. When, where and how not to gamble. I had to supplant gambling thoughts with thoughts of recovery and switch my mindset.

And yes - now this is paying off. I've gone days without thinking about it. I've kept busy, let the days mount up and distraction has become immersion...in other parts of life.

So, 47 days. I could walk away now and not look back. I could try and complete the mindwipe - stop going to meetings, step away from this forum. I know, I've done it before. I put gambling behind me. I convinced myself I was an ex gambler. Hell, I convinced myself I was a NON gambler!!

Well, that's how I did it last time. And I won't say it didn't work, because it did...for a while. This time round, I recognise this is a dangerous path to choose. This path convinced me, after several years, that I didn't have a problem and that I wasn't addicted. I don't think recovery is meant to be this easy...I can't just walk away. Can't leave it half done.

So this time, I'm going to enjoy days, or even weeks, like this for what they are. A pause; a rest. A break from self discovery and a chance to switch off. But knowing that the mountain is still there, and it waits for me to continue the climb, after I've stopped to take in the view.

Posted on:
Wed, 25/10/2017 - 01:41

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

49 days today and I'm determined to get to day 50.

I've still got debts to sort out and I know I could do more to strengthen the blocks I have in place (I'm self excluded for set time periods but for some reason haven't been able to ban myself for life) - I'm working on it. I want to get there.

Its good to come on here and read a few diaries, people are putting heart and soul into this.

Today I will not gamble.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 00:39

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 51. Payday. Gambling is not gonna have one. Single. Penny.

What are my plans instead, I'm going to be cooking a nice meal for my lovely B. And we will have a few drinks and a cosy night in. I'm really looking forward to this as we've both been really busy lately and not spent much time together.

How different to a couple of months ago when I was secretly gambling on my phone whilst we were on holiday and B was asleep. How different to the times I've pretended to have a conversation whilst my mind and my attention was elsewhere. My attention on spinning reels while my life, my actual real life was passing me by...moment by moment, day by day, month by month. We all need to escape and switch off sometimes, but somehow I *switched off* for over a year!

The worst thing is, when gambling, I would never be looking forward to a night in with B. I love him, but I'd encourage him to go out, so I could gamble. Gamble without anyone restricting me or cramping my style. I wouldn't be interested in going for a drink, or I'd say I was sick. Anything to spend time with my addiction, my compulsion.

I'm starting, now, to see glimmers of what life could be without this dragging me down and its good. Its really good. When gambling and when first stopping, nothing feels pleasurable or exciting for me. None of my hobbies or interests appeal. Everything feels a bit flat and try-hard. But I guess its like getting your tastebuds back after having a numb mouth. It takes time and patience. Now I am starting to take interest in and enjoy things again.... It makes me think: if this is what 50 days feels like then bring on 100. Bring on 1000!! For now though, I'll take day 51.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 00:48

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

I should note for the purposes of recording my strategies: all my salary was straight away transferred to the joint account, to which I don't have access. Bills to be paid tomorrow with B. So far, this is working well and a definite weight off my mind, worth the hassle of having to ask for and justify any spending. Just seeing 0 in my bank seems to be helpful so far in controlling urges and splurges. And frees my mind up to think about other things. I'm really grateful to B for helping me with this.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/10/2017 - 10:37

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hi 4D,

It's amazing to hear that you are getting your zest for life back! I hope others can find encouragement in your story, when they can't imagine life without gambling. So glad your recovery is going well. 

Best wishes

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Sun, 29/10/2017 - 18:51

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Hi 4D,

Thank you for the comment on my diary. And congratulations on hitting day 51. What a brilliant achievement. How was the cosy night in?

You've hit the nail on the head for something I've been wondering. About the tastebuds. I've noticed that (I'm on Day 33 now), I've started to become a bit confused about the way I'm thinking. And I think it's the tastebuds finally coming back for my life. I'm sorta sat here thinking...wow, I have a whole new lease of life. Where do I start with it? It feels a little bit better to know you are having similar-ish feelings. I guess all we can do is slowly rebuild our lives and get back to some degree of normality. 

Good luck with the next week

 

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 00:41

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 57.

Last week the rollercoaster was up, this week its been down and I'm finding it tough. Two steps forward and one back.

I've had a few days of illness and been really down for a couple of them, not wanting to do or go anywhere...life feeling pointless and absurd. I guess we all go through this and I'm very lucky that for me, it has passed. A dark place, not wanting to get out of bed etc. My heart goes out to those who suffer serious depression, I am not in that boat, but it must take serious strength.

I hope people can be kind to one another. Today I will not gamble, I will remember that the cosy promise of a little bet is a false friend, a dead end. I will remember that money is nothing more than a symbol, and compulsive thoughts about money are a symptom of my addiction. The things that make me happy can't be bought by gambling wins because the time I bargain away to the demon is time robbed from my own life. Satisfaction can never be bought only earned. So I refuse that path today.

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 20:04

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 58 I have not and will not gamble.

Awful day at work and in the past, tonight would be a prime time to 'indulge'. The thoughts creep in, but I am aware of them and face them down and know them for what they are....poison.

Every time I get a thought to gamble, I'm going to try and associate it with a sick and ugly image, thought or feeling. My own version of aversion therapy!!

Urges are still there but what is also helping is knowing that if I bet, I would be found out...I would have to confess to my group...my partner would know as soon as he looked at the bank. The massive hassle of trying to find a way round exclusions and blocks on top of that adds to the reasons Why Not. These are all factors, no one method is 100%, but it all helps, although I still wish the urges wouldn't even come into my mind at all but hey.

Its hard for me to accept this as an illness/mental illness sometimes but that is a debate for another day.

Habit, illness, addiction, weakness, compulsion...whichever it is, or I am, I am going to continue with my strategies so far because they are working. Today I will not gamble!!

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 20:45

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

58 days gamble free is incredible. I'm glad you chanelled those negative thoughts into something that wasn't gambling. It's so easily done. 

Take it one day at a time, maybe in future you can come to a more comfortable understanding about what gambling is to you long term. For now, another day gamble free.

Take care

Posted on:
Sat, 11/11/2017 - 15:06

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 66, no gambling and no urges :)

Posted on:
Thu, 16/11/2017 - 00:10

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 70. Feeling more stable emotionally this week. Keeping busy and avoiding temptations. Most of the day is going by without urges or even thoughts about gambling, except for checking in on here and going to meetings, it's not painful to think about at the moment. Went through a bit of really hating and feeling sick about the thought of doing it, every advert boiling my blood, a few weeks back. Now I feel very disinterested in it and it seems like a boring, pointless activity. I am keeping my blocks in place though because I know a weak moment could come again. Right now, today, I'm happy to say I don't even WANT to gamble. I love days like this - no matter how crappy the day might be in other ways, its a small victory that I'm in that place of no compulsion.
I need to remember this because its took me a while to get this back and I don't want to screw up again. Can I trust myself - NO. Should I keep blocks and barriers in place - YES. Am I cured - NO. Can I feel a difference between day 7 and day 70 - yes. Life is not magically better but I'm not enslaved and wasting 50% or more of my brain every day thinking about the next bet. I'm not going to sleep and waking up with thoughts about money and spins. I'm not feeling sick and panicky about how I'm going to juggle my finances yet again to cover up the latest loss, cursing myself for not being able to stop on a 'high' for longer than a day. No more of that for me, its no way to live.

Posted on:
Thu, 16/11/2017 - 19:00

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

Hi 4D, congratulations on getting to Day 70, that's a fantastic achievement!

I feel like we have a lot of similarities with our thoughts at the moment. I'm in the same place as you, I don't really have any urges but I feel quite self aware at how this can creep back up on you.

I'm so happy you've finally started to find some peace and can work on rebuilding your life.

Take care

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 14:51

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

 

Hi 4D,

Thanks for posting on my diary, I have just been reading yours and there is a big change in your attitude as you build up the gamble free days. Life is never easy is it? Some days it really does make me question what is the point, but here we are fighting the good fight. Life is the only one we have so I have to make the most of it. As each gamble free day goes by our armour becomes stronger and our hearts begin to open again. 

Keep fighting the good fight 4D you are doing a great so well. Stay safe and strong.

Paulds 

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 15:25

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Well done 4D for your continued fight against the addiction that has no mercy. I am sure that you have both the willpower and knowledge to put gambling to the sword for good!

I believe you are a deep thinker like myself, which can be an advantage or a hindrance. Nevertheless, perhaps we cannot be any other way. We analyse with mental torture, whilst trying to keep our emotions in check.

75 days GF is excellent. A platform to build on. Many would say that the first 2-3 months are the hardest because we have to retrain our brains to think differently, whilst building strategies for coping with the evitable gambling urges.

Keep thinking positively and leave the gambling firmly in the past.

Posted on:
Thu, 30/11/2017 - 00:37

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Day 85. I've not updated for a while as been super busy but I'm still plodding away gamble free. Not much to report atm except life is pretty stable, doing lots of hours at work, still reading on this site most days. What I'm doing is working right now so I'm going to keep doing it:
Blocks in place, self excluded
Bank accounts shown to partner whenever requested
Not having access to wages, carrying small amounts of money
Going to meetings
Reading about recovery at least a few times a week
Keeping mentally occupied
Reading forums
Ignoring stories and adverts for gambling
Reinforcing to myself how boring, time wasting and pointless gambling is
Noting any good effects of being gamble free
Small targets and day at a time
Feeling grateful to get to the end of another day gamble free
If tempted by thoughts of particular online slot games (former favourites) or tempted to try demos again - I think about the Pokie Nation documentary and all the other stuff I've read about how slots turn you into a lab rat and train your brain till you are a slot zombie.
If tempted by thoughts about winning money, I think about all the ways this can go wrong and wonder why be so materialistic anyway when it is time and peace of mind that are more important and these cannot be bought. I did not have peace of mind when actively gambling, not even when I was "up" because the thought of having money in the pot was like a little mosquito that won't leave you alone....eventually you have to scratch and dip in...so NO to that!

Posted on:
Mon, 04/12/2017 - 14:51

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Thanks for your post on my diary. You quite rightly say that we do need some form of escapism. Whether that be an engrossing book or film, a new project or a walk along the beach.

Well done with your continued recovery which you reaffirm with a list of things that helps keep the gambling firmly in the past.

Posted on:
Thu, 07/12/2017 - 20:41

Slot Fool

Joined:
2017-09-20

Thanks for your message 4D, seems like your doing really well with your recovery journey and the big 100 days is in still. Awesome work.
Wishing you all the best

Posted on:
Sat, 09/12/2017 - 02:37

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Thanks Changemylife and Slotfool. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my diary :)

Day 94. On day 90, I had an email from one of the many sites I used to go on. I logged in and looked at the slots...thought about what I would be throwing away for a momentary thrill...tugged at the string to see if it would tug back. (It did. Faintly.) I thought about having to explain a transaction on my bank and having to say at my meeting and going back to that sad, deceitful life. I choose NO. I downloaded gamban on my phone as a present to myself for 90 days. The gambling side of my mind feels sad at the finality of it because that part of me hates closing another door. Hates it. 90 days ago that part was strong and powerful, now it is a tiny little green demon in a box. I can't even hear the words because its squeaks are so tiny and ridiculous. Sorry gambling but I ain't listening!!! Sorry slots but you can do one!! Life isn't perfect but its my life and I don't need or want you in it, soul sucker.

Putting another barrier in place gives me a sense of relief and I feel confident I can say just for today I will not gamble x

Posted on:
Thu, 14/12/2017 - 17:49

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Well done 4D for forgetting about the gambling whilst you were playing in the snow. This is completely acceptable!

Pages

Pages