I have been listening to The After Gambling Podcast since I began my recovery from gambling. I don’t know how many will be familiar with the podcast but to sum up it is about an American called Jamie. He is in his mid-thirties and at the start of the podcast is about 7 years gamble free. His addiction was poker.
In the podcast he talks about a number of things and I would highly recommend people in my position (just starting in my aim to stay bet free) to give it a listen as there are a number of tips in there.
The one that has helped me most so far is the idea of telling yourself the ‘Whole Story’ when having urges to gamble and I will apply this to my situation. Usually, I would talk myself in to betting or chasing losses by telling myself ‘if I place this bet and win £XX I can stop and not have to worry about money for the rest of the month‘ this would make perfect sense and I would bet. Now when I have the urge I tell myself the whole story which is ‘if I place this bet and win £XX I can stop and not have to worry about money for the rest of the month.......but I could lose and the will chase that loss and will lost a lot more than I already have. Plus, even if I win that money after a few hours I will get itchy fingers and place more bets until I lose one which will leave me chasing and back to where I started, which will make me angry and I will chase even further and still end up further down than I am now’
Once you tell yourself your full story you realise that win or lose, you have lost because once you place that first bet the outcome is inevitable, how long it takes for you to reach that low point might vary but it will happen again and again.
I have written my full story down in more detail personal to me and I read it to myself once a day for now (I am sure it won’t be as often in the future) to remind myself why I am remaining free of gambling and that I will never be a person who can just place a bet for fun.
We have a similar saying in GA which is to play the whole tape through. Same thing really, don't stop at the optimism to win but where you ended up time and time again.
Nice advice though.
Yes because its an addiction that works on many levels to control any sensible part of the mind.
To an addicted mind it makes perfect sense to give it another go to chase the losses, seek the highs and of course lady luck is winking today
The sensible part of the mind if sheepishly saying well if you must but only a tenner so be good now...knowing really that there is no hope of that but limply trying to assert itself
You see I never really liked losing money...money dropped in the street would have me scrambling around for ages trying to find it. I was careful with money but became hooked on an addiction that likes to waste it for some sort of chemical fix.
I had no control so the outcome was always the same. I was actually addicted to the escape act of gambling. I ignored the odds and the risk with my chosen method...The strange thing is that other forms of gambling seemed too much like reality to me...too real...too risky... so the slot machines were my drug of choice.
Even the flip of a coin with its 50% odds seemed too real to me. To pay for the month would mean risking the best part of a months wages.
Instead I would often put a months wages and much more into a slot machine on a drip feed of images and emotion which would soon overwhelm me. To say they are the CC or crystal meth of gambling is very true.
My targets were meaningless and in terms of money, I was playing for amounts that would have made no real difference to my life anyway. An amount would just be something depressing like my council tax arrears, so it would just go back in the machine. On a blue moon when I did get several max amounts it all went back in anyway...because if it didnt go back in immediately, it went back in over the next couple of days.
I do tell myself the full story and I am a person who just cant have that first bet...just like an alcoholic or class A user who obviously cant have one more little go.
The full story is very important and it includes looking at me as a person. I can be a very nice and personable individual but have huge holes in my soul which have made me my own worst enemy. I spend my life trying to make others happy but seem never to find happiness myself...again that can be a delusion but its another example of how twisted up the mind can become
I am calm enough to now find it interesting why I reached out for gambling. Talking through my emotions is a work in progress
Best wishes to everyone on the forum
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