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#1 Posted on:
Fri, 15/02/2008 - 16:34

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Members

Please paste those posts that have most inspired you here!

Makes them easier to find.

To copy and paste, go to the top corner of a post and hold down the left side button the mouse. Drag until all the required text is highlighted. Let go and right click. Selct copy. Open your new post. Right click in the box and select paste.

It would be nice to include the author names of any posts that you add here.

Michelle

Posted on:
Sat, 16/02/2008 - 18:51

Rusty

Joined:
Before 2009

Posted: Thu 29 Nov 2007 21:41:51

Rusty

The Rules of Being Human

You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for as long as you live. How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life.


You will learn lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called Life. Each day, you will be presented with opportunities to learn what you need to know. The lessons presented are often completely different from those you think you need.


There are no mistakes, only lessons.

Growth is a process of trial, error and experimentation. You can learn as much from failure as you can from success. Maybe more.

A lesson is repeated until it is learned.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it (as evidenced by a change in your attitude and ultimately your behavior) then you can go on to the next lesson.

Learning lessons does not end.

There is no stage of life that does not contain some lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn.


“There” is no better than “here”.

When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply discover another “there” that will again look better than your “here.” Don’t be fooled by believing that the unattainable is better than what you have.


Others are merely mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. When tempted to criticize others, ask yourself why you feel so strongly.

What you make of your life is up to you.

You have all the tools and resources you need. What you create with those tools and resources is up to you. Remember that through desire, goal setting and unflagging effort you can have anything you want. Persistence is the key to success.

The answers lie inside of you.

The solutions to all of life’s problems lie within your grasp. All you need to do is ask, look, listen and trust yourself.

Posted on:
Tue, 19/02/2008 - 12:05

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

Posted: Sun 16 Jul 2006 19:36:11

How to cope with urges.

For many individuals, the crucial problem is coping with urges. In order to cope well with them, it is usually necessary to understand them accurately, rather than in the distorted manner of many addicts. Some common distortions about urges are that urges are excruciating or unbearable, that they compel you to use or act, that they will drive you crazy if you do not use or act, and that they will not go away until you use or act. Some individuals are confused enough about their own thinking that they have a difficult time identifying distinct urges, and simply think of themselves as behaving a certain way "because I like to."

In actuality, urges can be uncomfortable but they are not unbearable unless you blow them out of proportion; they do not force you to do anything (there have probably been many instances where you had an urge but did not act), they have not driven you crazy yet (and will not), each urge will go away if you simply wait long enough, and there are periods between urges which become increasingly longer if you stop.

Although during the initial days or weeks of abstinence or moderation, especially after a long period of daily addictive behavior, you may experience many urges of strong and even increasing intensity. Recovering addicts of all types report that urges eventually peak in frequency, intensity, and duration, and then gradually, with occasional flare-ups, fade away. How long it will take for urges to peak, and how rapidly they will subside, depends on many factors, including the specific addiction, the length of the addiction, how successful the program of abstinence or moderation has been, and the strength of the developing alternative lifestyle. However, as a very broad guideline, within six months to one year most addicts will report only feeble urges (for instance, one a week, lasting a few minutes, a 1 or 2 on a 10 point scale).

It is also crucial not to take responsibility for the occurrence of the urge, but only your response to it. It is normal for any addict to experience urges, and just because on Sunday you decide to stop does not mean that on Monday you will not have urges. The fact that urges occur does not indicate that your motivation is weak, but that your addiction is strong. Because all habits have unconscious components, of which the urge is one, it will take time for these to die away. What is within your control, however, is how you respond to the urge. An analogy could be made to someone knocking at your front door. All sorts of individuals might knock at your door, but it is up to you to decide with whom you will talk. Their knocking is not your responsibility, but to what extent you choose to speak with them is.

Specific techniques for coping with urges include the following.

When an urge occurs, accept it, but keep it at a distance. Experience it as you would a passing thought, one which "comes in one ear and out the other". Detach yourself from it, and observe and study it as an outside object for a moment. Then return your attention to what you were previously doing. If the urge is intense, remember (and perhaps picture) your benefits of stopping/cutting back (which can be carried in your wallet or purse). Recall a "moment of clarity", a moment when changing your addictive behavior seemed almost without question the right course of action. Think your addictive behavior through to the end:

When an urge is present, you tend to think only of the Benefits of the Addiction, but completing the image to include the negative consequences that follow will give you a more accurate view of the whole scenario. If the urge is very intense, engage yourself in a distracting activity, one which you have enjoyed before and which will take your mind off the urge, or use a specific distraction technique, such as counting things (e.g., leaves on a plant, books on a shelf), doing arithmetic (e.g., continually subtracting 7 from 1000, 993, 986, etc.), or focusing on alphabetical/verbal games (e.g., saying the alphabet backwards, reading signs backwards, searching book titles or license plates for the alphabet, etc.). Any simple activity conducted at high speed can fill up your attention, thereby allowing no attention for the urge. Any thought or activity on which you completely focus your attention is all that is needed, because if no attention is paid to the urge, then it will no longer exist. Although another urge may come along at any point, that urge also can be dealt with in a similar fashion. Over time the urges come less frequently, as already stated.

To summarize these urge coping techniques, all urges should be accepted. Low level urges can be observed but kept at a distance. Attention can then be re-directed to whatever one was paying attention to prior to the urge. More intense urges can be "counterargued" by reviewing in some fashion the benefits of not engaging in the addictive behavior, and the facts about urges mentioned above (e.g., all urges go away eventually; they are uncomfortable but not unbearable unless I blow them out of proportion;). Very intense urges can be dealt with using some form of distraction, repeated as necessary. All urges eventually go away.

Posted on:
Sat, 01/03/2008 - 12:39

alf

Joined:
Before 2009

Good one Michelle, excellent idea. Some might find the post I have chosen, disturbing, so be warned. Alf

It was posted by Kim on the 30th April, 2006

Hello to everybody,
Aside from everything else thats discussed on this forum what strikes me the most is the openness and honesty that is shared here, as most of you know i came here for different reasons, but there has always been something that ive held back,and if i am to continue to be part of this community then it's time i came "clean"
Here is my "story"

When i joined this forum 2005 there were just a few members, and i like those few had come looking for answers.
Not answers about an ever growing gambling problem,or how i had lost everything on the turn of a card, or even how my family had threatened to leave me if i didn't stop.
Answers as to how someone, anyone, could sink into the depths of despair over something thats supposed to be fun?
Thats how it all started, not for me , but someone close, a good friend, the best of friends, you know the kind that picks you up when your having a bad day, the one who makes you laugh till your stomach hurts, the one who's secrets you keep with you always.
What started out as a bit of fun turned into just that, a secret, but not one of those that i promised to keep, but a secret not to be shared.
Soon part of the secret revealed it's self, "THE BIG LOVE AFFAIR"
But not in the normal sense, no, this affair was between a man and a machine.A big chunk of metal with flashing lights, and a big open "mouth" into which it was "fed".
It was a greedy machine, not only did it take every penny earnt by my friend, it took away so so much more than that.
First it was his sense of humour, then the smile that had shone like a beacon for 15 years of my life,then slowly but surely the very soul of my friend was gone, till all that was left was, this robotic person that was unaware of anything and everything that was going on in the "real world".
Yes, we were the best of friends, did i try to help him?
In all honesty, i was jealous, yes JEALOUS, of a bloody machine.
Sure i pleaded , begged even for him to stop feeding this already obese machine, to stop filling the already overflowing coffers of the bookie, and on the few occasions i managed to drag him away for a swift half in the pub it was like being in the company of a zombie.
I knew that he was longing to go back to "her" even though "she" was destroying him.
Selfishly this wasn't about him or "her" it was all about ME ME ME.
The good times had stopped rolling, I wanted to have fun, I wanted my friend back, and I wasn't prepared to compete with a MACHINE!
For two long years this continued, the friend i had known , that was always turned out well, was no more, in his place stood a man that didnt bother to wash, shave, and sometimes even eat.The other friends he had, were by now long gone, his family struggling day on day, week on week to make ends meet.
March 2nd 2004
This is one of those days that will stay with me FOREVER.
He stood on the same spot where he had stood for the last 2 years,
when funds would allow, and placed what was to become his last £5 into "her" in the blink of an eye it was gone.
He sank like a rag doll, screaming and crying uncontrolably, i tried to comfort him, to get him to see that he needed help.
His words?
"No one understands, and nobody cares anyway"
He turned and looked at me, and just for a split second i saw the person he used to be.
I never saw him again, March 4th 2004 the Fire Brigade were picking up the bits of his broken body from the underground.
For the next year or so I lived my life full of guilt.
I wasn't a true friend, a true friend would have seen what was going on and tried to help.
A true friend wouldn't have been so wrapped up in their own "pity party".
If your still reading this you maybe saying " there was nothing she could have done" " no one understands a gambler like another gambler"
Well i have been surrounded by gamblers for 23 years of my adult life.
Behind the bookies counter , day in day out, surely i would know how to spot "the signs"?
Being honest, until i was presented with it in my own life i never gave it a 2nd thought.
So as it started, i came to this forum looking for answers,and again being honest, to "right my wrongs".
I guess i became a little too enthusiastic, i wanted to ease my guilt.
Two years on , i understand more,sure i will never fully understand
But
Im glad that there are places like this, where everyone is batting for the same side, where people from all corners of the globe can come and just be.
Wishing you all well on your personal journeys.
Take Care, keep sharing
Stay Strong
Kim x

Im sorry if this has upset anyone, this is/ has never been my intention.

Posted on:
Sat, 01/03/2008 - 14:15

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

JACKG's favourite posts Volume 1:
Hope no one minds that I have trawled through some diaries to find these truly motivational posts.

Lucy: My husband gives me a goal to fight towards and for that I am glad.

Lucy: I went swimming today the first time in many many years and did 20 lengths and enjoyed every one of them, a semi clear head and wanting to swim made all the difference (wouldn’t have found teh time before)

Rusty: you are hitting the nail on the head by saying that it doesn’t matter about the label, but just to realise that gambling isn’t good for us, and to recognise the need to stop.

WB: Now I read something, somewhere that said that people who give up because of hitting "Brick walls" simply don't want it enough.

Alice: Since I have been looking after myself physically (regular meals, bed times, exercise) I have noticed that I have a lot more energy which helps with the whole mental stuff! I think i said in my diary a few weeks back that how can we expect to be healthy mentally if we are not physically healthy. Also through doing these things we are learning to look after ourselves and we will naturally become more positive in our thinking.

Rusty: This time i have learned that i don’t need the gambling stick to beat me up with, and i think the penny has just about dropped that i don’t need to beat me up with anything.

Keith: At the end of the day there are 1000s of reasons to gamble, but the real reason is we want to, simple as that. Everyone has traumas in their life, happy days, sad days, hard times, sometimes lots of money but unless we grow the strength to resist these urges we will fail.

Keith: Staggers me when i see people talk of watching racing or poker on the telly then wonder why they get urges. FFS it aint rocket science, give yourself a chance. Then they give advice to others on how to stop them or others gambling when they are still doing it themselves.......get real. Guess its the nature of the illness that sometimes we cant recognise the obvious.

JackG: The biggest of the 12 steps is taking the first one and never looking back. Well, look back if you like but just stay walking forwards.

Keith: You are right, when i stopped for that year i was active in GA but got complacent. I was even Secretary at one meet but in my heart i know i didn’t want to stop and used the anniversary to pat myself on the back and start again. It was almost like i had deserved it, dumb or what.

Quote from Charly: I can always take strength and comfort from knowing I belong to a worldwide fellowship. Thousands just like me are working together for the same purpose. None of us needs ever to be alone again, because each of us in our own way works for the good of others

Lucy: Boring is good, boring is normal, boring is fanbloddytastic xx

Anna: Get out and make some friends, surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, and most of all, remember that you are never, ever alone.

Charly: Once the demon 'gambling' is no longer with us, it is surprising how much we haven't dealt with. It seems every day things can be too much sometimes. Focus on reading or finding a hobby which holds your interest to get you out of the 'I'm feeling down in the dumps' feeling.

Doodle: It's good to see that you are doing well coping with your gambling thoughts. Thoughts are thoughts, they are not actions. As long as we ensure we don't follow through with our thoughts there will never be a problem.

Keith: The choice is clear, to give up gambling and develop a new spiritual way of life full of love, honesty, and all the good qualities in life...........or carry on and end up in the gutter, no friends, no love just full of self pity.

JackG: Today I am NOT a gambler and I don't want to waste my time or life doing worthless things.

Charly: Because we always want to control, we have trouble letting go. But only by letting go, can we move forward and truly recover.

Quote from Rusty: Resentment is a kind of attachment. It builds a strong connection between you and the person you resent. Is that really what you want? The time and energy devoted to resentment are your own. Is that really how you wish to spend those precious resources? Ralph M.

Lucy: There is a fire in my belly ok its not burning bright but you are right its there and its going to reignited and give me back that glow in my tummy. I can picture it I can see it.

JackG: instead I will think about the good things that are here right now - my health - my wife - my friends - my handle on gambling - my increasing + bank balance - my returning sense of humour - my liking of me again - my honesty - my excitement at new beginnings

Kim: I hear what your saying about certain things (coping , strategies, ect) being available at the click of a button... but... and this is just a suggestion - Why not make your own, you know the little wallet sized ones you can get in card shops that say inspirational things........

Williebhoy: found having things to do, keeps me from thinking about gambling. I use ******* (Selling) Learning a language. Exercise Visit friends Watch a film Listen to some music

Jan: When the "real" world seems boring because I am missing that fix, I will remind myself that at least I can hold my head up and be honest with myself. No more lieing about where I have been and no more leaving the arcade hating myself. I want to like myself.

Williebhoy: A few positives. The low days make us appreciate fully the UP days. There will ALWAYS be more UP days than low ones now. Your friends are ALWAYS going to be here for you.

Doodle: We learn more and more about ourselves during each and everyday of our recovery. Believe in yourself, you have shown great spirit and fight before, this time you can beat it once and for all...

Posted on:
Sat, 01/03/2008 - 17:09

Jac

Joined:
Before 2009

Taken from gull's diary :

If you always think how you have always thought
Then you will always feel how you always felt
If you always feel how you always felt
Then you will always do what you have always done
If you always do what you have always done
Then you will always get what you have always got
If you always get what you always got
Then you will always think how you always thought

NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES

Posted on:
Sat, 01/03/2008 - 17:11

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

A great post from Kim:

Tools for dealing with feelings. Since negative moods raise one's vulnerability to relapse, it's important to develop some ways of coping with them--ways to relieve the intensity so that feelings can be tolerated.

1. Just let it be. When a feeling does come up, just let yourself sit with it, become aware of it, and go through it. Remember that you can't die from a feeling, and healing takes place just in feeling long-denied emotions. Remind yourself that you are safe.

2. Keep breathing! When you have a difficult feeling, take several slow, deep breaths. This helps you "center" yourself, to regain the sense of honor belonging to your true self.

3. Remember that you don't have to act on it. Having a feeling doesn't mean you have to do anything about it right now--or ever. A feeling can just be felt.

4. Reach out. For most people in early recovery talking about what they're feeling with someone supportive is the key to coping. It helps to diffuse the urgency of the feelings and put them in perspective. Instead of seeking to change the mood with your gambling, let your support group be your mood-changer for awhile.

5. Don't judge feelings. There are no "shoulds" when it comes to feelings. They are neither right nor wrong. Your feelings are automatically justified, just because you feel them--even if no one else validates them.

6. Notice negative tapes playing in your mind that reinforce the negative mood. Are you telling yourself that you're a "jerk", "stupid", "worthless", or otherwise verbally abusing yourself? If so, take a moment out to reprogram your internal computer. Tell youself the kinds of things a loving parent would tell an unhappy, upset child. Try it, and see what a difference it makes to be respected.

7. Stay in the moment. Many of the addict's painful feelings are related to past hurts or fears about the future. That's why bringing yourself back to the present can help you cope better too. A baby does this automatically. She can be crying one minute from a *** diaper and smiling the next, as the diaper is changed. She's not hanging on to the past, or worrying about the future.

8. Check out reality. Because our most difficult feelings often stem from primitive, irrational beliefs and fears, they can have little to do with our current reality.

9. Remember, "this too shall pass." Feelings, like cravings, are always temporary. No matter how uncomfortable, they do pass in time. Feeling something right now does not mean you will feel it forever from this moment forth.

10. Let your feelings thaw out. If you blocked off your feelings in childhood, you may be emotionally numb now, not even aware of what you feel anymore. In recovery, you may be in for some surprises. Getting in touch with your feelings again will be a process, not a one-shot event. As one recoverying person puts it, "When you've been numb all of your life, it takes a while to thaw out."

11. Take it slow. You don't have to feel everything you've stuffed for the past thirty years--right now. In fact, in early recovery, it's best to avoid situations guaranteed to elicit intense feelings, since enough will come up on their own.

12. Own your own feelings. Blaming someone else for "making" you feel something is adictive thinking; it's giving others power that's not rightly theirs. "But," you ask, "shouldn't other people be held responsible for their actions?" Yes, but how you choose to react to them is up to you. Far from letting others off the hook, you gain freedom with this new approach; you're no longer tossed about by everyone else's behavior.

13. Use your feelings as signals. Negative moods exist as a signal that something needs attention and possibly some action. They're like the fever that comes with a flu and tells you to take time out to heal yourself.

14. Write. Writing is a good tool for discharging overwhelming feelings. Write a letter to the person you're angry at or the person you feel abandoned by. Plan ahead of time not to mail it. That gives you a focus for articulating your feelings, with the freedom of knowing you're not going to have to deal with the ramifications.

15. Guard against relapse when you're in a state of heightened emotional vulnerability. Post on these boards and/or call someone you feel you can trust and talk with them.

16. Watch out for self-pity. Of course, it's possible to get stuck in a negative mood, to wallow in it unproductively. You may prolong a dark mood for secondary payoffs such as sympathy from others, t0 avoid taking the necessary actions to resolve it, or even to build up an excuse to gamble again. If you become aware of your mood, you can move on.

17. Change the way you review pain. Addicts, and indeed our whole cuture, look at pain as something that should always be avoided--at any cost. Yet it's the resistance to pain that's often the most painful. That's what addiction is, and look at the pain it has brought. In recovery, you can learn to meet pain head-on and, through meeting it, excperience personal growth that is ultimately freeing.

18. Do something nice for yourself. Nothing helps soothe sore feelings like T.L.C., and don't always wait for someone else to give it to you. Give yourself a bubble bath, a nap, a manicure--whatever is nurturing for you. It reminds you that the " child within" is not being abandonded. And nurturing yourself is different from indulging: indulging is eating a whole box of cookies when you feel bad. Nurturing is make a delicious meal for yourself.

Posted on:
Sun, 02/03/2008 - 15:28

ramboss

Joined:
Before 2009

i tried to copy and paste the post ALF put in this for favourites post by KIM,but no success at copying and paste.first time ive read that post by KIM that ALF copied and pasted . i am not ashamed to admit it tears were running down my face,honestly the tears are still on my face,stay strong everyone.

Posted on:
Sun, 02/03/2008 - 16:12

Alice1

Joined:
Before 2009

Each one of the following quotes are my favourite for the same reasons. They all highlight how much better our lives are now we don't gamble. Read them through and remember that we are all so much more happier now that we aren't gambling. I think that I could have put a quote on from everyone who has a diary on this site but it would've turned into a very long post so have just chosen a few! Remember a gambling free life is a fulfilled and happy life!

Lucy: Got through today.. Bring on tommorow I am ready for another day of not gambling..

Teresapb: I am glad to say that the scratch cards remain in the shop for some other poor soul to purchase and I FEEL GREAT

Cazza: hi people,this is my 4th day now without goin anywhere near a fruit machine. i had my best day so far yesterday, i was just soooo busy, the fruit machines never even entered my head.

Kerrie: LOST NO MONEY OR SELF RESPECT TODAY!

Alice: Well yesterday felt good waking up realising i hadn't gambled the night before.

Steve: i feel great no money spent on gamblin and today is pay day.

Chances: So, on to new, positive, productive choices with healthy rewarding consequences.

Rusty: This year, i am in a much better place emotionally than i was last year, and most certainly the year before that, and the year before that i was still gambling.

Scouse: 7 day's and feeling quite good

Anna: which I never could have done when I was gambling. I remember so many occasions when I used my comp points at the casino gift shop to get little crappy gifts because I didn't have any money. This feels so much better!

W: This is day 4,haven't gambled since Monday morning and feeling very positive.

Cashed in In the USA: I am happy for the first time in my life, I know now I have a fighting chance against gambling

Posted on:
Sun, 02/03/2008 - 18:25

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

STRATEGIES TO COUNTER THE ADDICTION VOL 2:
I hope it's okay to take great advice from others on this site...

Doodle: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it - but all that had gone before."

Jane: today I’ve gone back to the accounts that I had deleted and excluded myself as well, I’m also changing passwords for my partners site so I can no longer use them.

Williebhoy: I read you are struggling to fill your time. Well if you were anything like I was it will be a lot of time to fill. I have found listening to my fav music incredibly relaxing, especially when the wee urges start. Sure if you put your mind to it you will come up with so much more, reading, visiting friends, maybe some volunteer work so many things to see / do and all much more worthwhile than gambling.

JackG: Yesterday I walked away from the counter where I was about to buy lottery tickets saying I am NOT a gambler and for one moment I wasn't a gambler - just a bloke wanting to keep his money in his pocket for a while longer. I felt great as I walked out and that banished any urges (which came back later but I was miles away from temptation then).

Doodle: Try to keep posting, or being in the chat, use whatever seems right for you on any given day. I have discovered more about myself over the past few months than in any given time in my life.

Kim: To attain success or to reach your goal, don't worry about having all the answers in advance. You just need to have a clear idea of your goal and move toward it. Don't procrastinate when faced with a difficult problem. Break your problems into parts and handle one part at a time.

Anna: Way to go on finding another way to occupy your time! I've driven more miles than I care to admit sightseeing and keeping busy, and it's working. I'm having fun, AND I'm not gambling.

Sillyfool: I really feel self-exclusion is the way to go for me. It just takes away the option which would always be the option I would go for! They were all so nice when I did it too - which helped enormously.

JackG: Think of the most precious person too you (alive or passed on) and imagine what you could give them if you stopped gambling... or pick on someone you really admire and imagine yourself in your place being given advice in a warm tone.

Lucy: There is chat that is moderated by Gamcare here on this site it is open at set hours and. Click on the online support at the top of the page and it will tell you the times.. When chat room is open if you go into Overcoming problem gambling (see left hand side of this screen) and follow the link.

Alice: Beating this addiction isn't just about giving up gambling, it's also about changing yourself and your actions. You don't want to start by lying. We all know that relationships have to be built on trust and trust is definitely not built on lies.

Dave: Day 4, I ripped up my Timeform 50 horses to follow publication yesterday and that was my bible!!

Charly: When you go to your G.A. meeting, go with an open mind. Not everything that is said in the room is going to help you. But you can take out of the room what you need for your own recovery.

ThereIsLight: You have been gambling long enough to realise that this is a tough illness to recover from and by just saying I’m going to stop is normally not nearly enough, we need to get honest with ourselves and grow up. I think most CG are immature and still live the easy dreamy existence. Life is tough we need to work hard at our recovery and part of that is swallowing the pride and shame and admitting our addiction.

General: Self-excluded myself from ******* and ******* and cut up my account card with *********. Paid £100 off a gas bill which made me feel better and arranged to see my bank tomorrow to sort a couple of minor account details tonight.

LittleMitzy: The best bit of advise i had was off Kerrie (a member off this site) that was don’t look at the long term just take it a day at a time. Its a bit of a cliché but it really helped me in the first week. Just say to yourself "no gambling today" and that will motivate you everyday.

ARNIE: NOTE TO SELF: Write a hardcopy log/ journal/ diary of my feelings towards gambling, myself, and the relationship between the two. Read it anytime i feel the urge to gamble.

InDenial: When an urge occurs, accept it, but keep it at a distance. Experience it as you would a passing thought, one which "comes in one ear and out the other". Detach yourself from it, and observe and study it as an outside object for a moment. Then return your attention to what you were previously doing. If the urge is intense, remember (and perhaps picture) your benefits of stopping/cutting back (which can be carried in your wallet or purse).

Kim: Trying not to dwell on our "mistakes" but to learn from them and try to move on. Whilst in the process of learning , ACKNOWLEDGE the things we do RIGHT.? BIG accomplishments CAN be made out of little ones ......right?

Stephen: Channel that anger in the right direction so that you no longer want to be a customer of these gambling machines. Sort of in the same way you would no longer patronize any restaurant that serves high priced meals which give you food poisoning. Don't use anger to try to get revenge against them and try to win your money back, because that won't work, and actually that's what they want us to do.

Rusty: You do not need to be affected by your thoughts. You are more than your thoughts. If you can acknowledge the thought, and respect it, but allow it to float on by, it then takes the struggle out of the equation. The more we struggle with our thoughts the more likely they are to be turned in to actions.

Pablo: You need to be totally committed to giving up in my eyes, not have any part of you hanging on for another last go and have the motivation to succeed.

Rusty: while you are still using the word gambling in your thoughts, its the word gambling that gets the emphasis in your thought programme. The 'not' in the sentence could easily be over looked. Howz about changing that whole thought pattern to something like 'I am living a successful and meaningful life'

Alice: That is a great question "if you could define how you are succeeding in a few words what would they be?" I'm not sure how to answer that but will give it a go - Self exclusion from casinos. Looking back over the last few years and knowing that i can't continue as I have been. Support from people on this site and from GA. I guess sheer determination - the hatred of failure!

JackG: Self excluding from bookies, taking control of my cash, thinking about why I gambled and how it has hurt me and others, knowing I find gambling too painful to continue and that I prefer the honesty and freedom that not gambling brings, having support from strangers on here, and that I can be moved by the stories of others.

Deeds: I get on and live rather than gamble now, which is what 'normal' people do. Do you ask someone who has never gambled, how they fill their time? No. It is called 'life' and 'living', and it can become addictive as well, you know!!. 'Life' is something none of us have when we are in the grip of addiction.

Doodle: Coming here doesn't hold me back, in fact at times it motivates me to push on in my life. Gambling was all about me, it was individual, lonely and selfish. Coming here is about sharing, helping and opening up. Even if this replaces a small fragment of our gambling time, it can only be a positive. This site the fantastic support will always be here for us, whether we move on or not.

Posted on:
Sun, 02/03/2008 - 19:58

kim

Joined:
Before 2009

Posted: Sun 18 Dec 2005 15:05:28

I'm starting this thread to give new and existing forum users an insight into the full extent of the damage that a gambling addiction can do. In my experience, this habit can penetrate so many different parts of our life – here are a few areas that I'd like to highlight. Some will be familiar to you others may not have affected your personal life. I’ve come up with 10 different areas – if anyone can add to these then feel free.

(1) The obvious one - your bank balance. If you're a compulsive gambler, you're likely to be skint most of the time.

(2) Your partner - How many of us neglect our closest friend while we are deep in gambling mode? Our so called 'soul mate' can quickly turn into someone who we hardly know at all. Eventually, they may walk. Especially if the household finances are in turmoil and your partner does not understand why you are skint all the time. Some of us will even steal from our partner to fund our addiction.

(3) Your children - Just an hour spent at the casino or online gambling can deprive your children of that essential time that they require with their parent. Most of us will in fact spend much longer than an hour.

Another point to note here is that whilst the casino or bookies is out of bounds to children, they are still (for some unknown reason) allowed at the dog track and the horse races. This is no place for a child and is more likely to turn them into a gambler when they are older. If you want to take your kids for a day out, there are cheaper places than the races.

It’s not uncommon to hear of gambling addicts stealing from their children as well – many of us intend to put the money back when that ‘big win’ happens. This very rarely happens.

(4) Your credit rating - Following on from number 1, if you gamble long term, you are eventually going to get into financial difficulty and your credit rating is bound to be affected. This, in turn, will mean that you may have difficulty getting credit in future (even as little as a mobile phone contract or a monthly gas bill agreement) and will mean that you are likely to be spending more money on essential products over time.

(5) Your family - Covered already in 2 & 3 somewhat, but what about your parents, your siblings are other family members? You will inevitably neglect them and when it comes to Xmas time or birthdays, you will be unlikely to be in a position to shower them with gifts.

There's a deeper issue here - how many of us have lost the trust of family members through lying about our habits or even stealing from them? This trust can take years to build back up.

(6) Your employer/colleagues – How many of us have found that our work has been affected by gambling? Some of us will gamble in works time, others will take time off as sick to gamble and there may even be some who steal from their employer or colleagues to fund their gambling addiction. Either way, the only loser will be YOU when you either lose the trust that you have built up at work or get the sack. Big Brother is always watching as well – how many of us have got into trouble at work for ‘internet misuse’ for going on gambling websites in works time? I know I have.

(7) Your health – How many of us have suffered from genuine illness brought on by the stress of a gambling addiction? I know I have. The constant worry of being skint, the panic every time the phone rings, the fear of a knock at the door from the bailiffs – we are only human, this sort of lifestyle will eventually manifest in illness.

Another issue here may be the fact that we are reluctant to use gambling money for anything else – even food, sometimes. I had a friend who used to rely on free drinks and sandwiches in the casino – when they stopped doing them, he lost about 2 stone, because he would always rather spend the money on the tables than anything else.

(8) Your sleep – Following on from the health issue, your sleeping patterns will inevitably be affected by your gambling habit - Especially if you gamble online, where you can gamble around the clock – 24/7. With the growth of internet betting, more and more people will neglect themselves and end up going to work not having had enough sleep. How many of us can confess to having gambled for far longer than planned. I know I used to play for 12 hours at the time, sometimes longer, when I was gambling.

(9) Your ambition – As a gambler, you will probably have a distorted view of the world and possibly even ‘delusions of grandeur’. Your ambition in life, both at home and at work, may suffer as a result of the constant losses. Aims that you had previously may no longer be possible – financial constraints now mean that there are certain things that I can no longer do - All because of gambling.

(10) Your freedom/Your Life – There are many addicted gamblers in prison. We’ve probably all heard of ‘Nick Leeson’ and some of you may have seen the film ‘Rogue Trader’. Some gamblers will end up gambling to such an extent that they end up committing a criminal act and this can result in the removal of their freedom – prison.

Other compulsive gamblers, sadly, do not seek help, but instead choose to commit suicide. The guilt and shame affects them so much that they feel that this is the only way out. This will of course impact of their friends, their family & colleagues.

Just for today I will not gamble – Just for today, I will try and become a better person.
Ben
User Posted: Sun 18 Dec 2005 15:13:39

Posted on:
Sun, 02/03/2008 - 22:02

cbd

Joined:
Before 2009

A very recent post from marks. Superb!

Indebted, alot of people, i have come to realise do not have much financial sense.

Lets tell a story:

Ignore gambling for a moment and lets look at the average joe, and when i mean the average joe, i mean your general ordinary guy who's sweeped floors, cleaned **** out of toilets and (in general) got his hands dirty. All the while keeping his mind active with the world of imagination and DREAMS, he's thinking of the high life, that he has not attained in his miserable life earning a pittance.

Joe buys a lottery ticket, ok he does not expect to win, but he dreams of the win, and for this time it comes true, Joe lands the jackpot £1 million.

Joe immediatly stops dreaming and starts turning his fantasy into reality, so he eats into this £1 million capital, buying a big house, nice car, living it up with chapaign and caviar, having maids clean his floors, a big swimming pool using lots of water and requiring cleaning, hes having a heck of a time, and it's all great, all go good for maybe 10 years, then it's all gone, and joe can only dream again, dream of that win.
Dream he may just get it all back.

WHAT THE HELL WENT WRONG????

Ok Joe made a big mistake, he spent his capital and had no income, he did not know that £1million buys you a £52,000 a year income without spending capital, and even if he did, he wanted to spend spend spend, borrow and borrow, he figured £1million now is better than a few grand a month more than he earnt from working.
He could have had a £4.5k income per month and just kept an ordinary existence, without touching the £1million.

There is a lot of joes around, many are celebritys, many are lottery winners, they all crash and burn because they want everything today and to hell with tommorrow.

Do you want to be Joe?

I sure as hell don't, joe's a loser, and will always lose, because his financial IQ is zero.

People assume tommorrow isn't here today, on the contrary, everything you do now affects tommorrows outcome, therefore tommorrow is here today by the choices you make now.

Posted on:
Wed, 05/03/2008 - 23:54

Dave7

Joined:
Before 2009

I think this post is one of my favourite posts i read today, its from anna to steve, Posted: Wed 05 Mar 2008 03:31:31
its so inspirational. well said anna x

Steve,

I want you to repeat after me -- "I believe in myself. I believe in myself, I know I can do this. I am strong, I am determined, and I CAN do this." Just keep telling yourself that over and over and over. You are doing so well, Steve, and from the heartbreaking honesty in your posts, I can tell that you really WANT to do this and you don't want to let your wife down.

Posted on:
Sat, 08/03/2008 - 11:00

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

JACKG's fave posts
VOL3: Emotional strength

I hope people don't mind but these really help me

Keith: yes it feels strange saying you cant ever gamble again but its this acceptance that paves the way for the future....remember its "just for today I will not gamble" don’t think of it as a lifetime, just a day at a time, its easier that way.

Lucy: Am ready to dig a little deeper as to why I gambled but if there is no answer then so be it...

Doodle: I have seen you discover and embrace so many new or hidden qualities during your recovery, the non gambling ‘L’ truly is a wonderful person to know. "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us".

JackG: Have no fear that you will become complacent because when you feel afraid come back and people on this site will reaffirm your strengths. Depression is fine - you are responding to your situation and you are currently looking at the negatives - the depression will lift when the positive thoughts come in. You want a positive thought ? I AM at this moment rooting for you mate.

Anna: I know it feels like you've blown it, but the others are right. This is not the end of your hard work, merely a learning experience. Take all you have learned thus far, and celebrate the days you have been gamble free, and keep on looking forward, never back!!

Charly: Some clever person once wrote "When I allow myself to dwell on the problem, the problem will worsen. But when I dwell on the solution, the situation will improve"

Rusty: Being able to see progress that you have made is something that is so good for us to be able to do. At the beginning it just feels impossible, but slow sure steady progress is the key, and that is exactly what you are doing.

StephenJ: I discovered that the more people that are behind you and supporting you the better things will get.

Deeds: Life doesn't suddenly become a bed of roses the day you stop but I just found I was so much better and stronger at coping with things and living in the 'real' world. Like you, I found I also got a lot healthier both mentally and physically once I was free of its grip, and enjoyed decent sleep again.

Ukboxer: I’ve made so many changes even just this morning, its incredible how much a gambling addiction holds us back but equally incredible how quickly we made positive changes. You and everyone else here are a credit to the human spirit. This brave recovery is truly one bet you will not lose.

Susie: …at first you feel like you will never ever be happy again, and that you will feel miserable all the time. But then, after a while, you might one day have a few minutes where you forget. The misery bit might come back, but for a few minutes it's not there anymore. And then, a bit later still, it might be an hour. Then a day. Then a week.

CMBURT: I have this little theory, i believe that there are no mistakes in life just experiences, whether they be good or bad experiences as long as you learn from them they were all worthwhile :-)

Carol-Ann: one of the best ways to stop this downward spiral is to share these angry thoughts with someone who can unconditionally accept you where u are, and listen to you and be there for you, and help you to come to terms with what is going on for you just now

51neverlookingback: I equate it to when I have had each of my pregnancies, going through labour I vow I will never want to go through it again, the pain etc but within giving birth my brain forgets all the discomfort and I bet there are lots of women out there who have said like me "I cant wait to have another one!" I find when I have spent out gambling I swear I will never want to feel the pain again, but it only takes a few days before I start wanting to feel that rush again. But I know I have to muster up all my willpower this time and I constantly remind myself of those bad feelings.

Ben1973: I have acceptance...... complete and utter acceptance of what I've done. I'm smiling more now than ever. There are no more "what ifs". . .

‘O’: Doing a few sums in my head and I realised that this is rapidly becoming one of the most successful 'recoveries' that I've ever had, even with the one day slip in late July. There is no doubt in my head that this is mostly due to this magnificent site...it keeps me occupied, keeps me grounded, and reminds me of why I joined and how low I felt back then.

Peg: Life can be better than it has ever been...it really can. For me, several things had to come together all at once in order for me to 'get it' for recovery to really 'kick in' but...if I wasn't TRYING then it would not have happened.

Josh66: For me, I realise that addiction is a choice. Believing it is an illness makes me feel powerless. This was particularly bad when difficult times came along. Why? Well because you have been trained to be "powerless of course"! I have not been here because I am dealing with the REAL problems. The gambling is a symptom of my problems and I finally see that. The bottom line for me ..."get real". I had to see reality.

Anon: (On self-exclusion) I did it!! Hardest thing ever. Felt horrendous but as I walked away I felt brilliant.

Tel: That bit about looking back a few months to the competent capable person you were and beating yourself up for what happened since is sooo familiar. Remember the competent capable person you still are. The fact you have had the strength to break away from the gambling is testament to that!

Anna: My great uncle is a very wise man. He and my great-aunt live in a small house that's always been too small for their family of 5, but it was what they could afford when they were first buying. He told me during my last visit "We could afford a big grand house now, but we'd rather spend our money to travel and enjoy our family than to have a big fine house. A comfortable one is so much better."

Rusty: You say that you are feeling more comfortable with yourself. I think that this is a major point in this recovery thing. when we are continually fighting ourselves then the struggle gets more and more difficult.

NoCasino: It is such a relief to get the money situation sorted out that you kind of relax and ..... gamble again. Watch out for that, that is my advice. Good luck.

Posted on:
Sat, 08/03/2008 - 11:02

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

dupilcate of one above

Posted on:
Sat, 08/03/2008 - 11:05

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

Duplicate

Posted on:
Thu, 27/03/2008 - 11:31

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

bumping this up as it's important to reflect on good things and good thoughts

Posted on:
Fri, 28/03/2008 - 13:50

Anna1

Joined:
Before 2009

(((Jack)))

You are absolutely right, and I have just read through these posts again for strength. Thank you SO much for this thread!

Love, Anna

Posted on:
Sun, 30/03/2008 - 18:10

Alice1

Joined:
Before 2009

I also love this thread. I use it a lot just to read through it. It brings me the strength I need when i'm feeling weak.

I have another post to add to this thread. It comes from Lucy's dairy and it is a very recent post. I guess it means a lot to me knowing the entire context it comes from but I believe that if you don't know the full story just reading this one paragraph can be enough inspiration to get your butt in gear! Thanks lucy for being a light in my recovery.

Lucy has got her life back and it took 12 hours.. never ever doubt your recovery because your day will come..

Bloody hell.. I am so doing this.. I am changing my life.. Am in shock but a nice shock.. I feel inspired right down to my little toe....

Change is ggod face your fears and it will happen xx

Posted on:
Wed, 02/04/2008 - 11:14

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

I think I'm taking over this thread, but then -hey- I am passionate about getting myself and others to reflect on best ways to avoid/quit gambling.

Here is a brilliant post from Alf which sets out practical strategies for quitting. Follow these and be on the path to salvation!

If your family sees that you have done something to help yourself stop gambling they are more likely to support and understand you.

Can you book into to see a Counnselor? If so, do it and tell your Husband what you have done. Can you go to your Husband and say, "Can you help me stop gambling by taking control of the money until I have things under control?"

You need to stop thinking about gambling and think about changing to a happier lifestyle.

You are trying, you are thinking about stopping, you have posted here. That's a good start.

Here is a list I made for myself and for anyone else interested. What from the list below (it can be added to) are you prepared to do to help yourself stop gambling?

Self exclude my self from gambling venues

Close my betting accounts

Restrict my internet access

Restrict my access to money

Hand over control of all my money to a partner/friend

Cancel my credit cards

Write down a list of all the problems gambling has caused me

Book into Rehab

See a Counselor

Go to a G.A. Meeting

See a Physiatrist/Shrink/Therapist

Attend a problem gambling workshop

Start a personal diary

Start an online line diary

Tell my partner

Tell my parents

Tell a friend

Tell someone online

Reassess my financial position with the help of a financial advisor

Keep a record of how much I lose

Study the mathematics of gambling types/machines so I understand why I can’t win

Ask a friend to phone me everyday to make sure I have not gambled

Phone a friend everyday and tell them I have not gambled.

Email a friend everyday and tell them I have not gambled

Every time I gamble I will mention it in my online diary

Every time I gamble I will tell a friend.

Every time I gamble I will write in my personal diary

Pray for help

Walk past a casino, have a good look at it, and say to my self, “I’m not going in there they are not getting any more of my money”.

When lying in bed before I go to sleep if I think about gambling it will be about not gambling

Replace thoughts of gambling with thoughts of not gambling

If someone asks me if I would like to come to the casino or betting shop with them, tell them, “I no longer gamble” or “I’m trying to stop”.

Become an antigambling crusader.

Join in or watch online chat discussions

Know exactly what I am going to do with my pay before I receive it. i.e. Pay bills, buy food, give my self a treat. I’m going to put my money to good use before I have the chance of even thinking of gambling it away.

Plan what I am going to do tomorrow, today.

Posted on:
Mon, 07/04/2008 - 13:52

steve 50

Joined:
Before 2009

Posted on:
Mon, 07/04/2008 - 17:38

Anna1

Joined:
Before 2009

Bump

Posted on:
Tue, 08/04/2008 - 00:15

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

My Favoutite Post from Gamcare are the Diary Titles of everybody as they show much hope and it gives me stength and I tell myself yep that is what I want.. Also there are sad titles and that re-afirms what sadness gambling brings.. There is hope, beleif and warmth in so many peoples words..They are words of encouragement there is laughter and sometimes pain - but that pain is about us all growing but pain turns to joy as we all see each other grow and overcome our problems..

Anybody reading this think of the life problems you have faced over the last few months and be proud that you have dealt with them..You have had teh strngth to deal with what comes your way - Why becauce you no longer gamble and you are YOU..

Have Listed a few but there are so many..

Anna`s fresh start
Alive and kicking a**e
The start of my new life
No Bets...Progress made
I Will
Taking My Life Back
The first day of my new life
Going to beat this
We fall down we get up

So all in all its about a NEW LIFE and that feels exciting to be seeing it and living it for real ..

Love to All
Lucy
xxx

Posted on:
Fri, 11/04/2008 - 08:42

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

This helped me when I first logged on here and I live by it.
God Bless
Charly

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry: two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities, its blunders, its large promise or poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds - but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only; one day - TODAY. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and i add the burdens of these two awful eternities - yesterday and tomorrow - that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad - it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Posted on:
Fri, 11/04/2008 - 10:06

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

That's a really nice one Charly. Do you know who the author was?

Michelle

Posted on:
Sun, 13/04/2008 - 19:15

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

Willie`s diary - read it from start to finish and you wil have insperation and belief and hope right down to your little toe.

Willie has done it Gamcare style and is proof that this can be done and life does get better and life becomes full of joy..

Take little steps, strive for progress, let it happen and what do you get - you get the world. priceless

Love
Lucy
xxxx

Posted on:
Sat, 19/04/2008 - 15:55

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Michelle
Sorry for late reply
Only just read your question.
Don't know who the author is, but Jac might know.
She posted this in the GA and Gam-Anon info section and titled it
Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow.
Hope you're well
Love to all the staff
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Fri, 25/04/2008 - 15:21

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

Strategies for Quitting.

*Start a diary. People offer up great advice.

*Self-exclusion - if you really want to stop then self exclude which in the bookies (where they have those **** £500 machines) means you take a photo which you can sign. You can exclude straight away. I tested this once and it worked - as long as the staff recognise you. Anyways, sel-excluding is more about making a statement to yourself that you no longer want to gamble. If you have tv then self exclude on that too. Plus any so called amusement arcades.

*I then got rid of all my cards except two. It is a debit card with a set overdraft that I cannot go over. My other debts I consolidated and paid off over time.

The other card I can deposit in and get money out from an autobank buit it has no credit or overdraft facility so I can only spend what's in the account. No more, so I can't take out £300 quid in one go. I usually just take this with me in case I need emergency £10 and leave the debit card at home.

*Always carry the money you need for day to day expenses and no more.

*re-learn the value of money ie buy something tangible like a new DVD player - something you use and get pleasure from.

*take up a hobby - sport is good as you will get the same high as in gambling when you release the endorphines.

*make no excuses. Say this is it. Affirm it in writing, keep a diary, or make a note of the days, or the amount you have saved.

*confide in someone you can trust and have them monitor you. Preferably someone who doesn't gamble.

*Imagine your cash beingtaken out of the machine by a greasy fat bloke/woman who smiles and sticks a finger up at you then gets in his/her mercedes (paid by you) and takes an equally destestible kid to private school, paid also by you.

*believe in yourself and take comfort from others - read the 'favourite posts' thread on the OPG section.

*Get strategies to ignore urges. There are plenty on here. I see an urge as something that passes - it can't make you actually ebt just messes with your mind a moment. Let them pass - they will get less in time. I can vouch for that.

*don't substitute one type of gambling for another - ie no scratchcards - wean yourself off it - at least for a bit.

*Never give in - but if you do don't beat yourself up too much. Just acknowlegde how and why you slipped and start again. read diaries of others - that'll help.

*Set yourself goals - a week a fortnight etc - and watch the days pass. You will sleep better and eat better.

*Join GA if you feel it is something you can't do alone or you need some higher 'power' to respond to.

*Read about the successes on this site and take note. Also empathise with those just starting out on their recovery - do you/did you share the same pain?

*Each day is more distance from when you last gambled so enjoy the feeling. Be happy that you have made even just one day of non-gambling.

*Take note of the guilt you feel regarding the way your actions have impacted on others, but do not let this guilt hinder your recovery. It is really a sign that you are now more self-aware and in touch with people around you.

*Stop gambling - and only when you have halted the torrent of addictive behaviours consider possibly gambling responsibly. For most of us who have hit the compulsive stage we lack the selfcontrol and should never gamble again.

*Relax and enjoy the site. It will provide comfort, hope and advice though sometimes there will be disagreements over recovery paths. We are all on our own journeys and so may go on slightly different routes but the goal is the same - to one day take your life back, and become the loving, generous person you once were.

*Don't worry if at first you spend a lot of time on here - it will balance out. At first you will be wanting to share your story or simply drop in on the stories of others and feel that you are not alone. There is comfort in this and you should never feel guilty.

*Believe you can do this- why? Because you can. You learned a bad habit and bad habits can be unlearned.

* There's always someone worse off than yourself. Indulge in a bit of wallowing but at some point you need to start looking and moving forward in order to get stabilised and happy again.

*Never be complacent. Watch out for possible slips around the first month or so. Just think what you want from this site and how best to get it. Small steps.

Hope this helps. JG

So glad that I am now in control of myself... makes life so much better. Just needed to be patient - like our dog!

Posted on:
Wed, 30/04/2008 - 09:00

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

An informative post from Moneyfiend:

Hi guys,

I have not seen a post that simply outlines in a clear form every helpful idea that can go towards stopping problem gambling. Please feel free to add/correct anything I've said. I've only got so far as step 1 so far so I am by no means a role model but I know if i manage to do all this I will dramatically reduce my problem.

The steps will cover online and highstreet bookmakers. I suggest if you don't bet online or vice versa you still implement every step for added security.

* While you are implementing the listed steps, if possible transfer your money to someone you trust as soon as possible. This will avoid you relapsing before you have taken the nescessary steps.

1) Buy Gamblock and install it on every PC you are likely to use. Yes each copy costs around 20-30 quid but it is very obviously a worthwile investment as the gambling losses of most on this site are usually many many times greater over the course of a year. Gamblock is nescessary as self-exclusion from a specific site, in my opinion, is very rarely effective just for the fact that there are around 3000 licensed UK gambling avenues on the internet and you cannot possibly self-exclude them all manually. And yes you may think, there will always be another computer etc. Yes that is correct, Gamblock in itself is not the full solution but it can dramatically reduce your gambling.

2) Open a bank account (such as a post office account) where the money is not readily accesible by a card and keep the vast majority of your money in it. A good example of this is a post office account where you have to through a few hoops to get your money out. For most this is an inconvenience, for a gambler this is a life-saver. The delay in getting the money gives you time to think about what your doing and stop. You can also set up direct debits with these accounts to pay your bills. I am no bank manager so if you could suggest some suitable accounts it would be helpful.

3) For the everyday money you do need for shopping and everything else, open a debit card such as the one from Citibank which does not allow online gambling. For every gambler this is an absolute must. I think they also offer credit cards with the same features.

4) One of the hardest parts, self exclude yourself from the local bookies and casinos. You may feel embarassed doing this but to be honest it's not big deal for the staff. They are trained in this sort of thing and working in a bookies or casino it happens from time to time. The larger bookmakers, I have heard, offer services to forward your photo around to different branches. If you are simply too ashamed to do this, think of the money you have lost and the money you could (or should I say will) lose if you don't take the required steps.

5) Unfortunatley this step is not available to everyone, I do understand some people just cannot tell those around them about their problems either because they are too ashamed or, sad as it may be, they just haven't got anyone that they are very close too. If it is shame stopping you, you must swallow it. If you can tell just one responsible person such as a parent or girlfriend it can do a world of help. If possible give them access to your statements at all times through internet banking so they can keep a check on you. If you genuinely dont use your debit/credit cards for anything but gambling give them to the person you trust, but obviously this is not the case for many of us. The support of a loved one knowing can be a lifesaver, and I find knowing that a loved one would no i have relapsed, the shame, would prevent me from gambling. So if possible just do it, it will be hell at first but it is worth it.

Ok so by this point you have taken basic steps to:

A) Prevent online & high-street gambling
B) Slow down your access to money giving yourself time to get a hold of yourself and not doing anything silly.
C) Informed someone or several people of your problem to get the support you need.

Let's be honest, if someone is determined enough to gamble they will probably find a way as many of you no. These are preventative measures that will help. They are though just a delay, you cannot gamble as fast as you hope, and you hope during this delay you will snap out of it or give up.
This alone is not enough though. To truly overcome your gambling you need to address the psychological side. Take some or all (preferable) of these steps in an order that suits you.

* Get to a local gamblers anonymous meeting
* Go to see a counsellor such as those offered at www.aquarius.org.uk
* Take up a hobby or hobbies. Physical excercise is an excellent way to let of steam built up by the need to gamble. General socialising, getting out of the house meeting people is also good and finding an activity that you really enjoy is a great way to fulfill some of the rushes you require from gambling.
*Learn the value of money: some of us are in huge debts or with tight money but if you get the chance, save for something you really want but usually never can get because your money is wasted on gambling. Whether it be a new TV or a holiday for the family, it will feel incredible and even better knowing you have it because you had the restraint not to gamble
*Self reflection - You may do this during GA meetings or with a counsellor, but it is always helpful to try and pinpoint what has triggered you to gamble. Sometimes it is just greed a hunger for money, but it is usually an escape. Look for other healthy ways to "escape" .

Final tip

This method whilst i have kept to it in the past has helped me a lot. I stopped recently and wished I hadnt.

Basically get a time period, 1,2 years or whatever and calculate how much you have lost. Divide the amount you have lost by the number of weeks you lost it in. This gives you what you have on average been losing gambling per week. For each week gamble free you can say this is money you would have otherwise not had. The more weeks the better as it just keeps growing.

Hope I have not dragged on and have helped, feel free to add anything

Good luck guys stay strong, it's never too late.

Posted on:
Mon, 12/05/2008 - 17:38

Cashed In in USA

Joined:
Before 2009

I believe the willpower method to be like treading water fully clothed, incredibly hard work!, surely if we can get an understanding of the origins of this destuctive behaviour we can 'shed these clothes, and swim ashore'.

Posted on:
Sat, 24/05/2008 - 16:11

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

Great post from Rusty:Hello and welcome to the forum, can i make the following suggestions for you??

1. Close all on line accounts.
have your self excluded from the online casinos, and ignore all bonuses that they want to send you

2. Really good move is to block your sites, and prolly install specific non-gambling software A good example for you to have a look at is gamblock
http://www.gamblock.com/

Cyber patrol and net nanny also get good write ups

http://www.cyberpatrol.com/

http://www.netnanny.com/

3) Have someone close to you and someone that you trust take control of your money and credit cards.
No access to cash = no gambling

4. Contact the helpline: 0845 6000 133 and talk to them about how you want to give up gambling, and talk with them about how you might put in place as many barriers between you and your gambling sites.

Alternatively, contact netline available between the hours of 10am and 7pm Monday - Friday and is staffed by a team of GamCare advisors with a broad and significant experience in the provision of advice, information and support to people affected by gambling problems.

To access the Netline follow this link http://secure.gamcare.org.uk/netline/

5 Keep talking even if your having "one of those days" Come here to get things of your chest. Posting your thoughts is very therapeutic.

6. Think about contacting a counsellor. The chaps on the helpline maybe able to put you in touch with someone in your area. If you cant do that, then online counselling may be a possibility for you. you can organise that through Gordon House Association http://www.gordonhouse.org.uk/ , you might even be able to organise online counselling at Gamcare, why not speak to the advisors about it?

7. Make use of the support groups offered. Details can be had on the sticky at the top of the page. These groups offer you the opportunity to speak to like minded people in real time, and give you a chance to talk about the things that are troubling you

8. Believe in yourself

'Only you have the power within you.
Just believe in yourself -
The sea will part before you,
Stop the rain, turn the tide.
If only you use the power within you
Needn't beg the world
To turn around and help you
If you draw on what you have within you
Somewhere deep inside.'

Quote: Rusty - Starlight express

Good luck, hang in and stay safe

Posted on:
Fri, 16/01/2009 - 08:05

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

Originally posted by Rusty

Posted: Mon 12 Nov 2007 17:43:17

just wondered if you thought that these lyrics could be applied to getting over a gambling relationship?

I Will Survive

Gloria Gaynor

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed my stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me

Posted on:
Fri, 16/01/2009 - 08:07

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

Originally posted by Rusty
Posted: Mon 12 Nov 2007 18:43:08

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side

that was how it was for me at first. The thought of never playing again did scare me, i didnt actually think i could make it.

But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on

it took a long time for me to reflect on how damaging gambling was for me, eventually the penny dropped

and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face

the relapse perhaps, and how sometimes you find yourself in the situation where u remember the good times,and perhaps want to try it out?

I should have changed my stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me

barriers and blocks!
so important to have them.

I got caught out, and regret it.

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore

and so say all of us??

weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die

its tough stopping gambling, and its tough not to crumble in that resolve to stay gambling free, and sometimes it just feels easier to go back to gambling, because facing the real world is just too difficult. So much easier live life with that crutch? Well, i have had those thougths anyway, wonder how many of you have had them too?

Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive

i dont need to gamble, not now not never. I know that is my reality, and i also know that i am a survivor, yes things get tough and difficult, but i have clawed myself this far along the road, so no reason to think that i cant claw my way along the road some more.

How may diversions? who knows? but the important thing is the survival

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart

the beginnings of recovery?

That broken heart is the most difficult thing to repair isnt it?
The regrets, the broken pieces that feels as though they will never heal, never mend.

I think stopping gambling is easy! The difficult part is staying stopped, and mending the broken pieces of the broken heart

and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry

dearie me, and how many of those nights have i shared with you guys?

Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new

I do that 90% of the time, and the other 10% is work in progress

I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you

No i am not that chained up little person, i do not need to gamble, but i have had relapses, and i should know better.

and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me

yeppers - onwards and upwards eh??

Posted on:
Fri, 16/01/2009 - 08:10

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

I remember when this post went up. I'm sure everyone was humming this for weeks.

Posted on:
Mon, 19/01/2009 - 10:37

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

stevenlost?
User Posted: Fri 16 Jan 2009 04:49:16

You will see me walking with a swagger down the street.
Harder to find a broader smile on any one, that day, you will meet.
For its pay day and your hopes and dreams are alive
Today all those losses you shall recover, well you’ll try.
Into the bookies, instantly forgetting all those dreadful times
The heavy losses that have made you cry and give up in life.

You nestle yourself in the bookies seat
As the program loads your pulse picks up its beat
Shortly the frantic pressing will begin
Perhaps at the start you may win
But as the luck starts to turn
You miss the hint to get up, leave and never return.

The urge to win back what you had not 30 seconds ago
Leads to all common sense going out the window
Your bets will get larger, your desperation grows
Who you have become when you are ‘playing’. You do not know.

Soon you have reached the limit of £100 a spin
From what started at £10 and the outcome not a big thing.
In less than a hour you have lost the lot
All that hard work and for what?
The ‘joy’ of feeding all that money in
Because you believe you can only win.
Now you will leave with dejection on your face
Having nothing left leaves a bitter taste.
Home, Todays loss you can’t escape
To lie to those you love fuels the hate
And intensifies the urge to win back whats been lost
When really the only way to win would be to stop
To take the loss and call it a night
But we feel compelled to carry on this unwinnable fight.
So you log on to an online gambling site
When your finances are too tight
But nothing stops the Credit card in hand
With this illness you should be banned
Chasing only leads to one outcome?
2 hours later further indebted to Someone.

So you go to bed but cannot sleep
Your wife has to put up with you as you weep.
In the morning you think- visiting a online loan company will make everything alright.
When really gamcare.org.uk you should type,
For united, this illness we can fight.
For carrying on alone only furthers the plight.

Posted on:
Tue, 16/02/2010 - 18:39

Rob

Joined:
Before 2009

Bump.

Posted on:
Sat, 23/07/2011 - 11:44

Michelle

Joined:
Before 2009

"It's still action, isn't it?"

JamesP
User

Posted: Fri 17 Jun 2011 15:28:11

I don't really believe that gambling is about winning money.

Nick the Greek, probably the world's most notorious gambler historically who won and lost somewhere in the region of $500 million dollars in the 1950's and 1960's, was interviewed at his retirement home, virtually broke and playing poker for $5 a go. The interviewer asked him how he could play for such small stakes after being such a high roller and he answered "It's still action, isn't it?"

I once won around £4000 playing roulette in the Bookmakers one evening, more than I had ever won. I treated myself to the best hotel in town, an expensive meal and some good quality wine - I felt like I was on top of the world. But, around 10pm, I was very full, slightly tipsy and began to feel quite down - I couldn't understand it and went to the nearest bar for more alcohol where "a quick go" on the fruit machines turned into £700 - it was a total waste of time as all three were only £35.00 jackpots and that money wasn't coming back; the futility of it all just pulled me down harder. The next day, still feeling down and with a slight hangover, I lost the other £3300, back on the roulette, in about an hour.

It was then I realised that it wasn't the money; it was the buzz, the excitement, the thrill of the chase and when that stops, whether you are significantly up or down, it slowly dawns on you that the fun was in the action itself and having money or not having money is irrelevant. Even if you win big, enormously big, the money becomes "stake" - and you can't buy things with "stake" - you can treat yourself, spend a small amount but no gambler will ever spend any significant portion of it. We are all completely deluded when we look back on all our winnings that we have subsequently lost and wonder what we could have bought, where we could have gone; it was never, ever going to happen and it's something to draw on we we think back to those times.

It took me a long time to realise this and fight to replace the buzz I got from gambling with something else. I probably drink more, eat more junk food, I probably have more down days than I did previously but I go hiking, play computer games, anything that comes close to replacing that feeling, that excitement.

It doesn't come quickly; the problem is that gamblers are probably some of the most impatient people in the world. But if you can hang on, get some money behind you, whether that takes months or years, the rewards are there to be had. Get active, make sure you can keep your mind occupied during dark or vulnerable times - I recommend a Laptop, Ipod, PSP; something that can give you a bit of a lift or buzz when you need it most. That won't work for everyone obviously but we all need to find our way and this is my way.

Posted on:
Fri, 26/08/2016 - 16:30

alainepo

Joined:
2016-07-27

-

Posted on:
Fri, 26/05/2017 - 07:35

Liset Blixt

Joined:
2017-05-25

Thanks for the great info.

Posted on:
Thu, 08/06/2017 - 09:16

Gun_Hjerpe

Joined:
2017-04-27

Inspiring posts indeed!

Posted on:
Wed, 21/06/2017 - 03:28

Rusty

Joined:
Before 2009

gosh, just had a wee walk down memory lane.  what an inspiring read.  Wonder how all the folks featured there are doing?

love

rusty

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 19:37

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

Thats a great post above that Michelle has highlighted from James P.

It backs up what I feel about playing for the thrill of the chase or expectation. It wasnt all a thrill as it soon turned into a trance of cold sweats and desperation. It was actually more a desperation to keep having the money as tokens to keep playing. When my money was running out I would not be able to play anymore. I realise now that was more a driving factor than winning money to spend on other things.

I would experience mood swings even on the extremely rare occasion I did leave with something. Later in the evening or early the next day I would feel down and empty as if gambling was the only thing I wanted to do again

Only was when my pockets were empty and the bank account drained, normal thoughts started returning like the blood flowing into a numb arm. As my mind corrected  I realised I was in real financial trouble

When playing I physically couldnt leave a machine..some thoughts of I must go now crept in but I couldnt leave. Only a short trip to a service till would break the flow but I was fixated on returning with more cash.

There are action gamblers and escape gamblers but both are addicted to the action and/or escape in varying degrees.

Im calmer now but I had to replace it with a renewed interest in computer games and other interests. A lot of what we do is for some escape but I dont binge my money away now. I go to the gym now to counter the effects of some comfort eating and drinking. Im not saying that every gamble free day is euphoria but Im certainly in a much better place now and I like the feeling of being in control.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum