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S.A
 S.A
(@s-687)

My personal view is that people should be able to freely say what they want on this forum as long as its not offensive or hurtful towards others. Cos at the end of the day its what is going on in our brains and in our thoughts that gives rise to our addictive behaviours. If I just allow my thoughts to swim around my headspace (however deluded they may seem to others) and with nowhere to go, then i know I am in trouble.

In these difficult times, people are spending more time alone and it will be no surprise that peoples anxieties and mental health will deteriorate. We need to able to write about these things as a way of coping. However personally i think that the hand of censorship has gone too far. Like I say allow people to go a bit crazy, cos we live in crazy times.

Am a bit of a conspiracy theorist. So what? another example "suicide". If I was feeling suicidal (am not) then I should be able to write that on hear that am feeling suicidal without fear that's its gonna get removed because it makes someone else feel uncomfortable.

Thoughts welcome

 

 

Quote
Posted : 29th March 2020 12:50 pm
S.A
 S.A
(@s-687)

P.s have just had an email from admin, addressing my concerns on censorship, so thanks for that.

I will try to be good 🙂

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29th March 2020 1:22 pm
Joydivider
(@joydivider)

I know where you are coming from SA but the site does need moderation

I dont think we would like a totally unmoderated site because there would be very dark and confused posts with an addiction that knows no bounds.

To a point we need it flowing in an upward direction of help. I understand about freedom of speech an expression but there would be many posts of gamblers banter with people just tired of losing and never wanting to stop.

In a worst case scenario could end up as pages of gamblers tips and banter. I know how addicted and totally delusional people get before they write their first post. Ive had people in gambling dens threatening me because I didnt tell them I had been on that machine before them. As an addict I was very confused so I do see a need for some guidance in how to word things or what can be said on here

I feel some posts would get very dark with suicidal thoughts and its not entirelyhelpful to others seeking some hope out of all this.

I know people need to see reality but an uncensored forum would go too far down that path in my view.

What do you and others think? The only thing that irks me sometimes is words blanked out which are not rude or troublesome.

Best wishes

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29th March 2020 5:34 pm
S.A
 S.A
(@s-687)

Thanks for your thoughtful reply Joydivider.

Yes i agree the site that the site does need moderation for many of the reasons that you describe.

Must admit I wish that i had never started the thread. All it was was a knee j**k reaction to my diary thread being moderated, which upon reflection was a necessary thing. I seem to be going through a phase of slightly angry depression, probably a reaction to the current crisis situation and all the restrictions.

But since the thread has been started it maybe interesting to hear people's opinions

This post was modified 5 months ago by S.A
ReplyQuote
Posted : 29th March 2020 8:46 pm
RouletteRegret
(@rouletteregret)

I have many views on this which might upset some. I certainly hope not.

For the record, I think there is too much moderation and, as a result, I think the forum has went in a different direction.

Ive been on here for years. Regrettably, When the forum changed lay out a while back I couldnt log on so left for a while and finally came back with a new user name and fresh diary. 

Years ago, peoples diaries were full if gambling horror stories and raw emotion. It was easy to form relationships and to relate to peoples emotions and stories. I find that diaries now, including mine, just post about what our day was like I.E. go for run, what work was like etc. This makes it hard for me to get involved on other diaries.

A while back I tried to post a horror gambling experience from my past which was horribly modified. Figures deleted etc. The story didn't read the same. I think new members need to read stories about gambling addiction and where it can take you if not worked at. I know I benefited from reading stories about online gambling and the amounts that could be lost and how it was different from gambling in a bookies.

I agree with SA. This is a community of support and we dont know each other personally only the power or horror of our words can warn us that someone needs support.

In summary, I think the forum is different and as a result I find it hard to make connections. My biggest connection is SA and Duncs because Ive been following their diaries for about 8 years. I know their journey and I know the hard times that they’ve experienced.

RR

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th March 2020 8:46 am
Bal
 Bal
(@bal)

Good morning all.

Fantastic response RR and one that i agree with 100%. 

It feels we are not allowed the raw emotions on our diaries / chat anymore for fear of offending. We cant mention lost cash amounts or football in case someone goes off the deep end.

Like you i have been around for a few years and refer people to diaries such as Duncs, Dan and KTF which show the addiction at its worst and the steps they have taken to deal with it. As you saw raw emotion.

The forum has changed dramatically and i think we forget the real reason why we are here.

In all essence we seem to be happy with abstinence but not recovery.

We are happy with day counting but not that we are powerless.

Due to the censorship are we not being 100% true to ourselves.

Best

 

This post was modified 4 months ago by Bal
ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th March 2020 9:57 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Dear @s-687 @rouletteregret and @bal,

thank you very much for your contribution and thoughts on our moderation decisions.

It is very helpful for us to know that when we are trying to protect members, we sometimes inadvertently omit an important element of other members journeys. 

We will very much take this on board and we are trying to keep a balance and consistency so that we can keep this space safe and free of triggers but also allow people to express their experiences warts and all.

Thank you very much again, and please rest assured we are working on this.

Wishing you all the very best,

Eva

Forum Admin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th March 2020 11:12 am
Joydivider
(@joydivider)

I do understand SA and I know where you guys are coming from. I agree with you to a certain point and we would need to discuss examples

Yes raw is reality but it can also be confusion on a recovery forum. Yes I would like people to express things as they want to but mentioning loads of amounts like it was going their way at some point just isn't that helpful.

Even when they mean well it can be hard to read because its long past being about the money.

Ive seen posts that just read like an active gamblers diary with all the banter and misconceptions. Heck Ive seen posts asking for tips so somebody has to step in and moderate

I just feel they need some guidance as to how to put it..as little as possible preferably but you all know that some people are posting and they dont understand how deep the addiction has them and are nowhere near ready to act on the tried and trusted advice.

I dont always get it exactly right so I'm open to moderation of my words...Im not above anybody in that respect

Therefore their posts can cause more confusion and is destructive to the whole ethos of the forum

The addiction is long past whether someone had a good start to the week. I understand there can be ups and downs in gambling but at this stage all control has been lost and for a compulsive gambler there are no upsides really

Ive seen some bleak and heart wrenching posts so I dont think its moderated too much in most cases.

Its just my opinion as a member of the forum. Im not a moderator but Ive certainly seen posts that do require moderation as they are getting complaints.

I feel a totally unmoderated forum would be something that we would not like. Its just a question of where the balancing line is so yes it may not please everyone

Take care in these strange times..all the best

This post was modified 4 months ago by Joydivider
ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th March 2020 10:25 pm
S.A
 S.A
(@s-687)

I think one positive of greater scrutiny is that you don't get those really angry threads anymore. The threads where somebody says something obviously very controversial and then within 12 hours its a hundred replies long and finishes up with people swearing at each other. You see this on unmoderated forums and its very unpleasant.

Like others have said, it is a fine line and a constant balancing act. Over doing it leads to a very bland forum but under doing it leads to a lot of hurtful things being said.

I think one area that could be up for debate is around people talking about amounts of money involved. For those of us whom have been around for a while (or a millenium in my case) we can appreciate that the money thing is the tip of iceberg and its all the stuff thats going on within that leads to the addiction. however for some people that are just beginning to reach out they may see there gambling purely in terms of money won and money lost, the issue being the money lost. The point being that when you read someones intial post and with all the figures replaced with xe's it kind of loses its punch.

I kind of appreciate that it may well have to be this way, for the protection of all, but just thought i'd open it up for debate.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st March 2020 9:29 am
Lost and Found
(@lost-and-found)

I've been on forums which are unmoderated and yes, it can get ugly. There are always people ready to just stir up emotions out of boredom, anger and regret. 

There are always those that post frequently about wins and rile everybody up with figures that feed the monster inside. Yes, we all won sometimes, that's why we are here but when you are abstaining, facing debt every day, and trying to focus on the horrors of gambling, the last thing you want to hear is someone winning large sums of money and getting all their losses back.

The issue I have with unmoderated sites is that people often post sometimes in the heat of the moment. I did it too, straight after a loss. My pain is all over the page. No anger is directed at anyone except myself and I never use abusive language, but the hate and self loathing make for difficult reading. It is pure emotion. There is talk of self harm and self hate and wanting for it all to just stop, one way or another. Addiction is not pretty, why should our words be? It devastates lives and sugar coating our experiences sometimes seems like we have to mask over the pain we are really feeling when these places really should be the one place we can really say it how it is. But yes, it also means that this can be exploited and that same freedom can lead to people being targeted for abuse or trolling.  I bottled my emotion for years around my family. It made me ill and I ended up in hospital. I buried the pain of my addiction in smiles and good parenting. I was overly attentive. To the world, I was just fine. On the surface, I had my act together. Underneath, I was falling apart and every huge loss was a scream for someone to please notice and help me. I couldn't ask for help, but I desperately wanted someone to notice. I would not have gotten by without the ability to post my pain to those that knew what I was going through. Even though they weren't my loved ones, it helped just to vent my suffering in a place where my actions were understood.

If you can't say the things you need to say to loved ones, then you need to be able to say it to someone, anyone who will listen and who best really, than someone who is going through the exact same thing.

Yes, censorship is hard, but it has its place. I know that in the past, when I would have suffered a huge loss and my pain is raw, it was not my first thought to write grammatically correct sentences and sugar coat my words because I was posting from a very dark place and I also think that people need to know the horrors of this disease. Yes, this site focuses on recovery, but it is not just about recovery. It's about regret and remorse and some days, you just need to say it how it really is, so that others can share their experiences so that you need not feel alone. There is an ugliness which is left behind that doesn't stop just because the gambling does. Stopping gambling might fix the bank balance but it doesn't help the addict recover. There is a need for more support but the focus is nearly always on just putting blocks in place and counting days like that is going to make all the pain go away.

I know one thing, giving up gambling doesn't make you any less addicted. My pain is still raw after all these years.  I do not bet anymore because I can't.  I still think about gambling. I just don't gamble any more. Simple as. 

Two years without a bet and I am still battling debt, still unable to truly move on because the challenge is still ahead of me. I am still tethered to my mistakes. I do what I can for my family because they invest so much time in me and have stood by me but gambling destroyed my spirit and my sense of self. Gambling defined me for 20 odd years and I am still trying to find out who I was before all this happened and who I am without it. I still cannot connect to things, to people. I still never really laugh. Not genuine laughter. This is the true side of addiction. Yes, I could post that I had a good day, went to the gym, lost 2 stone, went for a meal, that I've done 2 years GF.....and that might help other people feel more positive but I would still be censoring my own pain and in doing so, not really being honest with myself or others. I personally, don't think that is good for recovery and it doesn't help other people who start to think that stopping gambling is going to solve everything because there is still a lot of work and a lot of rebuilding to do that has nothing to do with counting days. 

I have earned my family's trust and some days, I am so very proud of myself for what I have achieved. But on other days, I can't quite look in a mirror. I don't like what I see. Sometimes, I really need to just say that I am hurting and not feel ashamed or weak for doing so. It doesn't mean I'm not fighting. It just means I am human. I carry 3 people's pain as well as my own.

There just needs to be a line and with this disease, emotions run high, so keeping the negativity down helps the site focus on the positives and it is hoped that people will deal with the emotional and mental health aspects on sites more suited to that particular part of recovery. It just kind of feels like the site picks the prettier, more productive parts of the addiction and leaves us to deal with the darker, more grim side of what this addiction really does to people.

The problem is, that as addicted gamblers, we have already censored so much of our own lives, more than likely lived a lie and sugar coated every huge loss as 'just a few quid'. We more than likely say we are fine, when we are not and bury our turmoil for the sake of our families and loved ones. People still need to be allowed to be who they are because I may not actually 'say' anything to anyone, the only thing I might 'say' are the words I type and you might be the only person to 'listen', so it is very important that people can post their pain without having that pain censored because that pain is part of a real human being and to deny it, and sugar coat the effects of this addiction is adding insult to injury for addicts and just another win for the gambling industry.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st March 2020 4:41 pm
RouletteRegret
(@rouletteregret)

Hey L&f,

I just wanted to say that your post was an excellent read. Thank you for sharing. Its the first deep post Ive read in a long time. Really got me thinking about the pain and suffering of gambling addiction and how I would carry this burden with me at home with family in work and at meetings with colleagues. A huge burden and weight to carry around. 

RR

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st March 2020 10:02 pm
Lost and Found
(@lost-and-found)

Thank you for saying that RR. I think with too much censorship, we can lose the human being behind the post. There is a lot more to every story that cannot be told. That is what makes powerful reading and a deterrent to those in danger of heading down this path. It's not just about how well we recover, it's about how we got here and what we went through, no matter how difficult it is to read.

That's what people relate to. 

Recovery is not just about counting days, being positive and supporting others. That is great and it is a beautiful thing to see. But there is an inner turmoil in every gambler, and that pain runs incredibly deep. For me, it has not stopped because I have stopped gambling. I see the affect of my actions every day, especially on my daughter whose university money I gambled away.  She had to take out a loan because of me, to see her through the academic year but she is so wise and forgiving and knows my story now. She laughs with me that she is poor, and I laugh back but it hides a deep pain that is still raw. I am so proud of them. They definitely deserved better than this. 

As addicts, we don't just gamble. We ARE gamblers. It replaces us. We become someone else with it and without it.

 I used to see myself as weak and self loathe because of it. But you are right. The burden we carry around is HUGE. We often carry it alone, trying to shield our loved ones from our actions, never wanting to hurt anyone, hoping for a chance to make things right, always, always being torn and pulled apart inside with a disease that knows no bounds for its host.

Looking back, I realise that I was stronger than I thought I was. I could lose 3 grand and still come downstairs, smile, get the tea on and watch a film with the family. I would be crying inside and racked with worry but the fact that nobody knew was a testament to how strong I must have been to hold all that inside.  

I went through an ordeal for decades, and I fought tooth and nail the whole way. I tried so hard to protect my family. In my mind, as stupid as it may sound, everything I did was for them. I wanted to stop desperately but I carried on torturing myself in the hopes that I could get the money back for my family. I was misguided, but never malicious. Some people say gamblers are selfish but there is no self in addiction. You lose that very early on. I was addicted because I had no sense of self, I had lost who I was and I wanted it back. I thought I could find it in a machine, but I was wrong. Instead, the machine took what little was left of my spirit and when it was done with me, I could not recognise what was left behind. I am still trying to rebuild myself but it is hard because I don't have all the pieces to put myself back the way I was.  Giving up gambling doesn't fix everything and that is a hard truth to face.

Addicts are neither weak nor selfish. The turmoil and pain you are capable of carrying, grows every day. You outdo every loss with one even bigger. You can take more suffering than you ever thought possible and every session raises the bar. I took so much that I shut down eventually. I became numb and I knew that I was capable of destroying our finances and putting us all out on the street. I knew at that point that I needed to come clean. On that beautiful day, I finally put my burden down.

I have this saying now, when things go wrong, 'I'm a recovering gambling addict, I can take anything'.

This post was modified 4 months ago by Lost and Found
ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st April 2020 1:04 pm
S.A
 S.A
(@s-687)

I hear you Lost and found. I think our capacity to store our pain and present an image to the world is boundless, but it always finds a way to come out eventually... usually sideways and its called gambling. In my opinion that is a big part of the addicts illness, a part of my illness. Its stuffing my emotions inside and bravely soldiering on until the time comes when  i can't soldier on any more and it all comes out. I find its happened in my work several times over the years. End up sitting some office, floods of tears.  The real strength comes through dealing with our internal struggles before they reach crisis point. I am still very much a work in progress on this.

I think that this is where the forums can help. Its like a half way house between speaking to someone and not speaking to someone. If ya can't speak at least you can write it, warts and all. Better out than in. I often feel that if someone writes that they are feeling suicidal then that's a positive thing in the sense that they are making effort to reach out and to deal with how they feel. To keep on topic... if those words then get censored because it makes someone else feel uncomfortable then it kind of devalues the person. Its like society coming along with a big waggy finger and saying, sorry, its not acceptable for you to say that you don't want to be alive anymore. maybe others will disagree with my thoughts.

When I use to go to GA, long term members, those that had been off it for years, would sometimes say why they kept going. The answer was ususually two fold. Firstly.. to give back and to help others, in line with the 12 step philosophy and Secondly, it was to listen to the pain and suffering of new members a reminder of what they had long since forgotten. The human capacity to lose touch with our own pain and suffering is boundless. personally I think that there might be a genetic component to it. We are designed to overcome and move on from physical and emotional pain. I have had many painful times as a result of my gambling but I soon start to forget.

Anyway as RR says, your thoughts are an excellent read. You haven't gambled for quite a length of time, so whatever you are doing, your clearly on a positive path. I intend to stay on a positive path myself.

Just for today

ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st April 2020 4:41 pm
Lost and Found
(@lost-and-found)

You are right S.A. I can see that positivity and encouragement are essential on these forums, but it is also important to be able to express something that you can't express to those closest to you. Despite many improvements, there is still taboo around the subject of mental health and a gambling forum needs to find a balance so that people can reach out in those darkest of moments, so that they too can begin counting days and feeling positive, in turn, offering support and encouragement for others to do the same. The truth is, an addict in a horrible, dark place is more likely to search out a gambling forum than they are to talk to Samaritans or anything like that, simply because they know that we will understand. It's not just kind words, it's real empathy that comes from knowing exactly what it's like to feel so trapped and I think it is hugely important that that moment of reaching out is not quashed out of a need not to offend others. What brings us here is just as important as what we do next.

And yes, you are right about the need to remain on target, to be reminded of pain and suffering so as not to lose sight of why we are leaving gambling behind. It is that same need to carry on and suppress pain that enabled me to continue gambling too. No matter how many times I swore I could not go through it again, I would make the same mistakes, lose thousands after putting it all back in the bank and then despise myself for thinking it would be any different. Even after six months clean, I would go back to it because I felt better and lost sight of the pain. Yes, human beings are very adaptable and we overcome and move on faster than we give ourselves credit for. Even just a couple of days after a huge loss, I would start to feel empowered and positive that that would be the last time. But that's the whole thing with gambling isn't it....it's not the outcome of the last bet that matters, it's what could happen next. That's where they always get you and it's that mentality that keeps us pouring money into these machines, despite losing thousands, because despite a horrible losing streak, there's still a chance the next bet could win...

It is so important to keep the pain fresh in our minds, at least now and again. As time moves on, your outlook can become more positive but so can the prospect of gambling again. For this reason, I now keep a note on my phone of something I wrote during my last relapse. I won't delete it because although it is painful to read, it keeps me focused and doesn't let me forget what gambling did to me.

No matter how far I go, the figure I have lost will always be greater than the gamble free days I can possibly build up....that is a good reminder to me that no matter how long it has been since your last bet, you need to stay focused because with this addiction, it is never really over even when it's behind you. 

We live on average 29,854 days. Let's make good use of them. 🙂

 

This post was modified 4 months ago by Lost and Found
ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st April 2020 5:51 pm
holycrosser
(@holycrosser)
Posted by: Lost and Found

I've been on forums which are unmoderated and yes, it can get ugly. There are always people ready to just stir up emotions out of boredom, anger and regret. 

There are always those that post frequently about wins and rile everybody up with figures that feed the monster inside. Yes, we all won sometimes, that's why we are here but when you are abstaining, facing debt every day, and trying to focus on the horrors of gambling, the last thing you want to hear is someone winning large sums of money and getting all their losses back.

The issue I have with unmoderated sites is that people often post sometimes in the heat of the moment. I did it too, straight after a loss. My pain is all over the page. No anger is directed at anyone except myself and I never use abusive language, but the hate and self loathing make for difficult reading. It is pure emotion. There is talk of self harm and self hate and wanting for it all to just stop, one way or another. Addiction is not pretty, why should our words be? It devastates lives and sugar coating our experiences sometimes seems like we have to mask over the pain we are really feeling when these places really should be the one place we can really say it how it is. But yes, it also means that this can be exploited and that same freedom can lead to people being targeted for abuse or trolling.  I bottled my emotion for years around my family. It made me ill and I ended up in hospital. I buried the pain of my addiction in smiles and good parenting. I was overly attentive. To the world, I was just fine. On the surface, I had my act together. Underneath, I was falling apart and every huge loss was a scream for someone to please notice and help me. I couldn't ask for help, but I desperately wanted someone to notice. I would not have gotten by without the ability to post my pain to those that knew what I was going through. Even though they weren't my loved ones, it helped just to vent my suffering in a place where my actions were understood.

If you can't say the things you need to say to loved ones, then you need to be able to say it to someone, anyone who will listen and who best really, than someone who is going through the exact same thing.

Yes, censorship is hard, but it has its place. I know that in the past, when I would have suffered a huge loss and my pain is raw, it was not my first thought to write grammatically correct sentences and sugar coat my words because I was posting from a very dark place and I also think that people need to know the horrors of this disease. Yes, this site focuses on recovery, but it is not just about recovery. It's about regret and remorse and some days, you just need to say it how it really is, so that others can share their experiences so that you need not feel alone. There is an ugliness which is left behind that doesn't stop just because the gambling does. Stopping gambling might fix the bank balance but it doesn't help the addict recover. There is a need for more support but the focus is nearly always on just putting blocks in place and counting days like that is going to make all the pain go away.

I know one thing, giving up gambling doesn't make you any less addicted. My pain is still raw after all these years.  I do not bet anymore because I can't.  I still think about gambling. I just don't gamble any more. Simple as. 

Two years without a bet and I am still battling debt, still unable to truly move on because the challenge is still ahead of me. I am still tethered to my mistakes. I do what I can for my family because they invest so much time in me and have stood by me but gambling destroyed my spirit and my sense of self. Gambling defined me for 20 odd years and I am still trying to find out who I was before all this happened and who I am without it. I still cannot connect to things, to people. I still never really laugh. Not genuine laughter. This is the true side of addiction. Yes, I could post that I had a good day, went to the gym, lost 2 stone, went for a meal, that I've done 2 years GF.....and that might help other people feel more positive but I would still be censoring my own pain and in doing so, not really being honest with myself or others. I personally, don't think that is good for recovery and it doesn't help other people who start to think that stopping gambling is going to solve everything because there is still a lot of work and a lot of rebuilding to do that has nothing to do with counting days. 

I have earned my family's trust and some days, I am so very proud of myself for what I have achieved. But on other days, I can't quite look in a mirror. I don't like what I see. Sometimes, I really need to just say that I am hurting and not feel ashamed or weak for doing so. It doesn't mean I'm not fighting. It just means I am human. I carry 3 people's pain as well as my own.

There just needs to be a line and with this disease, emotions run high, so keeping the negativity down helps the site focus on the positives and it is hoped that people will deal with the emotional and mental health aspects on sites more suited to that particular part of recovery. It just kind of feels like the site picks the prettier, more productive parts of the addiction and leaves us to deal with the darker, more grim side of what this addiction really does to people.

The problem is, that as addicted gamblers, we have already censored so much of our own lives, more than likely lived a lie and sugar coated every huge loss as 'just a few quid'. We more than likely say we are fine, when we are not and bury our turmoil for the sake of our families and loved ones. People still need to be allowed to be who they are because I may not actually 'say' anything to anyone, the only thing I might 'say' are the words I type and you might be the only person to 'listen', so it is very important that people can post their pain without having that pain censored because that pain is part of a real human being and to deny it, and sugar coat the effects of this addiction is adding insult to injury for addicts and just another win for the gambling industry.

One of the most thought provoking, insightful posts I’ve ever read on here, I get all of this regrettably so so me.I wish I knew who or what the real me is, I feel I will never know now.

the lost years hurt.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 8th April 2020 3:06 am
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