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Change in 2018

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#1 Posted on:
Fri, 08/06/2018 - 23:39

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

After a period off the forums, I think I'm ready to come back and start a proper diary.  I've had periods of abstaining and periods of gambling on and off for three years since I started this 'journey'.  I'm better off mentally and financially than I was when I started but it could be better and really it should be better with some of the committments and promises I've made to people on this forum... I just couldn't stick to them.  Am i bad person?  I don't think so.  Am I troubled and struggling to manage an addiction?  Yes.

I need to improve my level of accountability to people.  I have an 'off' switch with gambling as I never get myself into serious bother.  The converse of the 'off' switch is that I also have a very large 'on' switch that I can't seem to resist.

My story is that of a sports betting addict which can be summarised as follows:

-  My dad letting me place 50p and £1 bets on football coupons as a teenager; I mainly placed these on Italian football as that was the only football on free TV at the time; note - I don't subscribe to the idea that this had any impact on me being an addict; there was no addiction at this point; if my dad wasn't going to the bookies one weekend and didn't offer me a slip I didn't care.

-  I turned 18 and it was legal to gamble for me; there was no crazy shift to being in the bookies every day; to be honest I don't even remember the first bet I placed myself as it was a total non-event in this story.

-  I can remember being at uni and having £10 or £20 in the roulette machine to try and win my lunch; again no addictive characteristics here; no chasing and no resentment if I lost.

-  I got my first proper 'career' job as opposed to the weekend jobs I'd have previously and started to make some money; I was more focused on going out clubbing then gambling so no addictive characteristics but I'd place weekend footbally accumulators.

-  got my first online sports betting account and again no real issue; moderate gambling and I could take it or leave it.

-  I can once remember putting £200 on United to win a Champions League game in a Fred bookies around this time; I think it was the first time in my life United didn't progress out the group stage or lost in last 16; I can't remember who they were playing but it was a lot of money for me at that time; it did not create a 'chase' scenario though

-  discovered exchange betting and this is probably where the story really starts; studying form was massive for me; I enjoyed it a lot and I had this system where I'd look at the percentage of home matches a home team had won and the percentage of away matches an away team has won and that gave me an overall percentage chance of winning for the home team; I'd compare that to the odds and if it was 'value' I'd bet on it; I got from £100 starting deposit to £1,200.

-  I was bored at work and looking at odds on my phone; I placed £800 on Andy Roddick at 1.20 to win a tennis match; he lost; I blame all of what happened subsequently on Andy Roddick!

-  I lost the remaining £400 and was very annoyed as that £1,200 had taken months of form reading and calculations; I put £1,500 savings on a League One game (all I remember was Oldham were playing and it was a Sky game); I bet on over 2.5 goals; there was an early goal and then the second goal around the 70 min mark; no third goal came; in my eyes I was now £2,700 down!

-  I think I pulled back at this stage and realised it was too ridiculous; I excluded from the exchange for 6 months and left it at that; no gambling.

-  exclusion finished and I was back on (note - I don't think I was back on as soon as it finished like I was waiting for the day; I just went back on one day and it was open); I cannot really remember the facts properly now as it's all joined into one big lump of mess; all I know is I can remember looking at the exchange front page where it told you the total deposits net of withdrawals and I was about £20k down

-  I put £500 on a 5 or 6 team both teams to score acca and won £15k; I was getting married around this time so it's probably 3 years since the Roddick bet; I gave my mrs £11k which was the sum of a load of bills we had for the wedding and honeymoon etc and the I think I withdrew another couple of grand but left a couple of grand in there; the bookies was the one with three number eights in the name; they were sending me VIP gifts galore!

-  I lost whatever I kept in the account and I think I was probably betting on tennis more more at this stage; tennis is on nearly every day of the year and there is a good variety in the odds plus it's relatively easy to study form; so in my head now I'm probably about £10k down

-  as I get paid a bit more money each year I continue to gamble more each month and a few days after payday I could have lost my whole wage (note - I always paid bills first!); if I went on a good couple of months run I'd make no deposits so my current / savings accounts could recover; I defintiely had those spells; I wasn't losing constantly.

-  my main issue in this period was steadily building up an online betting fund; £100 to £200 to £500 to £1000 to £2000 and then coming down to £1,500 and chasing to get back to £2000; losing the lot and then placing more bets to try get back to £2000

-  I did the above too many times to remember

-  got to three years ago and it's start of the year and my wife has just got pregant and I'd lost £1,500 on a tennis match; I can't remember who was playing (probably Berdych or Mona Barthel as they are my arch nemisis); I phoned my wife on the train home and said I'm not coming home I'd going to a GA meeting and she was totally shocked; she never really supported me in this process as she did not see I had a problem; I was always covering the bills and going on holidays etc; she used to nag me as the meeting was on a Friday and she didn't want to be on her own on Friday nights and she was pregnant etc so it wasn't great as I'd leave in the morning at 6am and I wouldn't get home till past 10pm; I stayed free from gambling though! I got accountability from GA meetings!

-  fast forward 5-6 months and my kid is born 12 weeks premature so instantly I'm not going to GA meetings as I'm in hospital; this horrifies me to say it but I started gambling again; I was on my phone next to the incubator gambling; if you haven't been in that situation you cannot judge as it's fxxxxxx terrifying!; I just needed something to take my mind away as it's 24-7 torment; the hardest period of my life

-  I can remember once saying to my wife I needed a night off and I went to watch my team playing on Friday night, again a Sky game; I stopped at bookies on the way and bet £800 on them; they drew 0-0;

-  I stopped gambling again

-  I started gambking again

-  I stopped gambling again

-  I started gambling again

-  at this point I'm probably £20k down in my head; I can remember once being in London on a course; it must have been around November as it was the ATP Tour Finals; I was waiting outside the Lad bookies for it to open at 8am; I'd withdrew cash out for the previous 3-4 days and placed a £1,500 bet that again lost; if you've ever bet large sums in a bookies there is a 'dance' you have to do; write it out, write the odds, write the amount, go to the desk and let the cashier gasp, let the cashier phone for permision to lay, stand and wait, hand over the cash and run with the slip; that dance is horrible; the cashier knows it's madness and I know it's madness but it's business for them and it's addiciton for me;

-  I stopped gambling again

-  I reckon it's probably mid- 2016 now and I've been on and off these forums watching people abstain and others fail;  I've kept trying and kept getting sucked in

-  next two year are long and short periods of asbstaining intertwined with short periods of 'binge' gambling; I've even walked away 'up' a couple of times albeit I'd rather never have placed the first bet; I got a new job so had more income to gamble and also hide gambling losses from my wife; sadly I can't bring myself to tell my wife I'd been gambling on and off since our first child was born but she sees me with betting coupons and never says anything; she will not appreciate the extent as she's never been able to relate to it; I just can't tell her and don't want to tell her; I just want to quit now and not me wrestling with putting bags of sand on a football team, a tennis player or a snooker player.

Anyways that's enough tor now... there's probably tonnes of bits I've missed.

Posted on:
Mon, 11/06/2018 - 07:55

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Morning Change buddy,

You might be back at day dot on the day count but you’ve got some good periods of abstinence over that time. You know what to do get back to basics. Hopefully the little guy is doing well I remember the late night chats we had about him. Have you considered getting back to GA and not sure if you will have seen Gamstop that stops you signing up to new accounts give it a google. 

Im not in here as much as I was but do pop on a few times a week so will keep an eye out for you. 

KTF 

Posted on:
Tue, 12/06/2018 - 22:58

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

Change,

Many thanks for your post the other day. I really cannot express my appreciation for your kind words enough. They really picked me up.

That is a very honest diary entry of yours and I think its length clearly echoes how long you have suffered with addiction.

I can relate to what you say 100%. Like you sports betting is what nearly destroyed me.

I started on the football about 15 years ago. Have lost similar amounts. I can remember certain losses while with my kids in the park, or at a party, or even sitting with my phone in the bath.

My little girl was a couple of months premature which was scary. Luckily her mum was on steroids for most of her pregnancy so she was born ready to go! That was 15 years ago. I knew I had a problem when my boy was born. He is now 10.

Like you I tried the exchanges. I have also done the same "song and dance" but never once went back to collect. I tried tennis. Have bet on most players you can name. I likewise have my nemesis players - Mona Barthel being one!

I remember once missing out on a massive payout because Elena Baltacha retired with one game to go. I bet against her and she was losing comprehensively. She just had to stand still for 4 points on the other girls serve. I was so cross for what I though a dishonourable act. I remember wishing she was dead. That is how crazed I was. Needless to say she died of cancer a year later. I do feel bad even now knowing that was likely why she retired.

I think it goes to show how addiction brings out the worst in us all.

I will wrap it up now.

I hope all is still well with you and that you remain gamble free. As you say, happy to beat this together.

Best wishes,

Markman

Posted on:
Wed, 13/06/2018 - 22:27

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Markman - thanks for your honest and thought provoking response. It also picked me up tonight! I’m on to 5 days and doing ok. I need to make my life easier as it all becomes too difficult with gambling... it’s hard enough some days. You’re truely a great person. It shines through in your posts. Take care friend!

Posted on:
Thu, 14/06/2018 - 20:14

dylan11

Joined:
2018-06-14

hi all..wow never thought i would come on here and post. im 35 and been gambling since 16.. my worse years were from 20-25 then calmed down a few years and now again since 32-35 all downhill. you name it ive betted on it. casino was my worse loses.. then roulette machines fobts.. plus horses football etc. i must have lost 200k to date.. my jobs throughout my life have been high paid sales roles so right now i couldve probably had no mortgage and money in the bank. Instead i owe bout 20k still in debts ..behind on everything. . recently i got a logbook loan £2500 lost in in two days. i so need to stop. ive read so many stories on here and i know many of us have been through this but i couldve saved so much...
my job now is still ok but not as much bonus as the years just gone. .so i always think one win I'll be ok... but it doesnt happen. . two months ago i had £9000 as won in the casino.. i thought i was invincible. . since then lost all that plus this recent logbook loan.. can it get any worse??? i just dont know wat to do now...
ive let alot of people down. ive resigned from casino and will never play fobts again but still do horses and football. i cant believe ive gone through every avenue to get cash but then lost it all within days...
i pray one day i can totally stop. . now its just a case of the odd fiver here or there as i am skint.
like i said literally lost about 200k and i just cant mentally get over how much ive lost and how addicted i got...
i want to stop i do. . my advice to anyone else who isn't as bad as my situation STOP you will lose everything i wish i listened years ago to people who told me to stop

Posted on:
Thu, 14/06/2018 - 20:15

dylan11

Joined:
2018-06-14

just to add i promised my wife id quit many times yet i havent.. i promised her two years ago when my situation got bad and her family helped me out.. but since then ive lost another 20-25k... if only i stopped then right now i wouldve been ok :(

Posted on:
Thu, 14/06/2018 - 20:22

dylan11

Joined:
2018-06-14

when i had that 9000 in april i thought wow i can easily get to 15-20k.. never happened. lost it in a few days on roulette in the casino. . i just dont know what to do anymore. No one will give me money to even help with bills etc.. my credit rating that bad that i can't even get a mobile phone contract..i think to myself i could've been so so so well off without gambling.. now i dont know if i will ever build my life again or if i will ever have savings

Posted on:
Fri, 15/06/2018 - 10:18

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi Dylan you need to start a new topic for yourself, maybe new members section. Bottom of page is 'new topic' button.

Posted on:
Sat, 16/06/2018 - 21:41

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Got serious bout of manflu so stayed in bed bored. Not so good as feel down and mind drifts. Hope I improve tomorrow.

Posted on:
Mon, 18/06/2018 - 21:18

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

One thing I learn more in recovery stints is that patience is key. My mind is programmed to want everything now... mostly that I want my losses back now. It doesn’t work like that and that mindset creates massive problems. Got to use cliches and take it one day at a time.

Posted on:
Tue, 19/06/2018 - 08:02

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day 11 - at the point now where I need something to fill the time void or I might as well just go from bed to work back to bed and repeat all week to get myself safe. Don’t want to waste life worrying like that.

Posted on:
Thu, 21/06/2018 - 11:14

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Some how seem to keep getting in arguments with Mrs? Dunno what it is... think it’s just part of the cold turkey from gambling process. Irritable.

Posted on:
Fri, 22/06/2018 - 08:04

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day 14 - still trying to immerse myself in as much anti-gambling and pro recovery literature as possible.

Posted on:
Sat, 23/06/2018 - 07:25

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day15 - let’s do this!

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 18:38

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Did another run on the weekend and got lot of decorating done. So much more to do but gambling thoughts are gone. I won’t allow myself to look at odds websites.

Posted on:
Mon, 25/06/2018 - 20:47

mylesworthe

Joined:
2018-06-25

Hi Change.

Read your diary and can identify with most of your gambling habits. Keep going and well done!

Myles

Posted on:
Thu, 28/06/2018 - 22:08

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day 20... decent initial stint but let’s keep going. Got a bus lane charge this week and my initial thought was to bang some money on a short favourite to pay it... I let it simmer and just paid the fine and forgot about the rest. First little win.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/06/2018 - 21:22

mylesworthe

Joined:
2018-06-25

Brilliant reaction to the fine. Exactly the same thoughts would have come to me but as long as we remember we'd lose in the long run. 3 weeks now? Myles

Posted on:
Sat, 30/06/2018 - 23:58

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Thanks Myles. I had so many urges to gamble today whilst watching the footy. I even tried to log in to an account but I’m blocked. I went for a 10k run at 6pm knowing when I’d be home I couldn’t make it to a bookies to try and place a bet on the late game. I then ate and went out with a mate to watch second half and keep me straight. Got through Saturday but not without challenge.

Posted on:
Tue, 03/07/2018 - 12:29

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

Change, thanks for the shout out! All is well in the Markman corner. Just very busy with work and family. I am still 100% gamble free. A big well done on your run of abstinence and also your run! I am very envious of your being able to run 10k. Very proud of you.

Best wishes,

Markman

Posted on:
Wed, 04/07/2018 - 17:57

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

 

Hi  Change,

Thanks for posting on my diary, the support means a lot. Well done on your run, keep strong and don't give in.

Paulds 

Posted on:
Wed, 04/07/2018 - 18:28

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Up to day 26. Was away on work this week with a bookies right opposite the hotel. I just got my a takeaway, went up to room, watched the Belgium Japan game and I forgot it was even there.

Posted on:
Tue, 10/07/2018 - 08:22

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day 32 now! I’ve had some thoughts of gambling along the way but managed to distract myself sufficiently at the correct times. It’s so close to going bad at any point so got to stay strong.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/07/2018 - 22:00

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

36 days and I’m buzzing off it. No gambling on Wimbledon whatsoever which is amazing progress for me. Keep the faith.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 20:26

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Day 39 and couple of things I've noticed change in me - few examples:

-  Mrs bought some stuff for house and put it on credit card and asked me for the cash.  This time I transferred her the money straight away.  Normally I'd say "I'll log on and do it in a few days" and I'd procrastinate probably 2 weeks whilst I tried to win the cash.  Mrs was taken aback this time when she didn't need to ask twice and really thankful.  It kind of shocked me into realise what a complete idiot I must have been in the past... would seem like I'm power tripping and holding the cash back that I owe her.

-  I got an email saying my broadband offer was ending and charges increasing etc.  I looked on line and could sign up again and save a couple of quid but I thought I'd phone up and haggle a bit... I've got the patience and free time now.  It took me a bit of waiting on line etc and a few awkward silences but I basically halved my charges and saved close to £300 a year with a new deal.  I probably would have been so far in a daze in the past that this would have passed me by and I was easily gambling £300 on a tennis match so saying that over a year meant nowt.

Just a couple of really simply examples but not sure if I was the same person a few months ago and would have acted as I had done this week.

Posted on:
Thu, 19/07/2018 - 14:10

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

Change, just keep doing what you are doing. You are already a different person to who you were five weeks ago. I am sure time has flown for you like it did for me and look at the rewards. If you have it spare, keep a few notes in your pocket - nothing makes you feel more like and man and provider when Mrs or the kids needs some cash and you can just whip it out! Love reading the optimism emanating from your post. They do me the world of good. Just keep it up!

Best wishes,

Markman

Posted on:
Sun, 22/07/2018 - 21:46

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Cheers markman!

Day 44 and can’t believe it if I’m honest. Something has changed in me and don’t know what it is. Just not interested in gambling. More focused on decorating and making a home. Feels good. Just watching the darts and it’s nice to be able to watch it without an agenda.

Posted on:
Mon, 23/07/2018 - 12:59

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

Well done Change, stay strong, nice to enjoy sport for what is is.

Paulds 

Posted on:
Tue, 24/07/2018 - 22:33

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Thanks Paulds. Getting near to 50 days and feeling good. Things are just getting better for me. Feel like I’m doing more jobs at home and more focused at work. Much happier.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/07/2018 - 22:07

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

49 days!!!

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 09:39

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Hi buddy nice to see you racking up the days again. A whole Wimbledon with out a bet! That’s a great effort pal, it show you can do it keep going catch up soon 

KTF 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/07/2018 - 21:07

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

Thanks Oldham! 52 days now.

Posted on:
Tue, 31/07/2018 - 11:48

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

Well done change, a great half century. Keep on keeping on.

Paulds 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/07/2018 - 13:34

Reminder

Joined:
2018-07-18

I can really relate to the way you used to gamble on sports. I also had times where I would bet 150 euro's or something on some random game in the Finnish second division because I studied the form chart and I was chasing losses. Sports betting really messes with your mind and you are checking your phone every second to see how your bet is doing. It's terrible. Like you, I also did this in situations where I should have been enjoying my time with what I was doing at that moment.

Since I gave up sports betting I feel much better. The constant pressure of chasing losses, finding (what you think are) good odds, checking the results, it is gone now. Another big plus is that I can actually enjoy watching a game again, without being worried about my bets.

As for advice, I would recommend revisiting the crappy feelings you know you had when you are tempted to place a bet again. Win or lose, in the end it doesn't matter, the stress you feel is the same and it all leads back down the same path eventually.

Stay strong and keep going.

Posted on:
Wed, 15/08/2018 - 22:55

Change

Joined:
2015-01-30

68 days! Still going good!