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#1 Posted on:
Wed, 09/01/2019 - 12:25

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

 

The past year

It's very sad that I've been a member here for 9 years now, and here I am returning again.

In the past year I've lost around £4000, which is a lot of money especially as I earned less than £15k last year.

Things aren't great, but not terrible either. Despite gambling here and there to let off steam, I don't spend very much so my savings have actually gone up, albeit slowly. The stress of uncertain employment brings me back into the bookies.

Christmas Eve I won £300, great bit of cash. I tried to buy some grocery vouchers with that money, but the damn system was down. You can guess what happened. I headed to the shops on Boxing day, determined to spend this money on whatever the hell I wanted, but I couldn't bring myself to spend it, and I went into the bookies and lost it all.

-

Two things happened recently that made me realise it's still a very bad habit I have. 3 months ago I was in the casino and maxed out my card and even went into an unauthorised overdraft by several hundred pounds. I have never done that before.

Today, I spent every bit of available cash I had on the FOBT. Again, I have never done that. I have always made sure I have money for food and bills. I walked back in a big pickle, literally no available cash, and I was already thinking of wys to tell my family and friends why i can't do this or that.

I have had to increase my overdraft facility online, and thank goodness it worked straight away. I have a £100 to last me till the end of the month. The bad thing is that increasing my overdraft was instantaneous and it is a danger now as I can increase it to 5k.

-

I had some gamcare counselling last year, the notes are still in my cupboard. I know what I have to do, but it's terribly hard to break lifestyle habits.

-

I will begin to update this thread, just so I can track my habits...

My current situation - Self excluded from all physical casinos in my city. I have actually requested a self exclusion removal at one place, don't ask me why. Self excluded from the nearest bookmakers near my house. I do not gamble online.

Current weakness/problems/triggers is I struggle to walk past a bookies these days, so when I am in the high street it is tough to walk past. Current job uncertainty, earning a low wage, no social life.

Posted on:
Thu, 10/01/2019 - 15:38

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Welcome back Urgh.

Sorry that bad times have brought you back, but glad you are addressing it and asking for help. I am wondering what happened with the request you made to end your self exclusion in the casino? Sounds like it would be a good idea to get that back in place. And do you think self-excluding from the bookies in your High St would help? 

Please keep posting and letting us know how you're getting on.

Posted on:
Sun, 13/01/2019 - 16:30

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Forum admin wrote:

What happened with the request you made to end your self exclusion in the casino? 

I have been emailing them but they are not replying. Probably a good thing. I have been self excluding and removing them on and off for a few years, and they are getting the the point where each time they are saying this time is has to be permanenet. I guess they are taking things a little bit more seriously now with legislation and things.

To be honest I am fantasising about taking a 1k and just having one last try to get something.

I am 4 days free but today I am dreaming about gambling, I would really like to go.

I have done stints of 5-9 months. I will not be too saddened if i do slip up, as long as I am reducing my gambling, it is always a bonus.

I don't gamble online, haven't done so for may years, but I am thinking about it only because I cannot go to a casino anywhere in my area. I really don't trust online and won't use them again.

Posted on:
Sun, 13/01/2019 - 17:03

rupidoda

Joined:
2017-01-27

Hi urgh,

Whatever you do don’t start online . Its much worse than a physical casino as the chips don’t feel like cash - the money goes straight from your account and you don’t stop. My physical casino habit was bad but each time I went my losses were limited to the ATM limit....whilst online I’ve blown 20k one night. Register with GAMsTOP so you never go down this route.

I hate the way that online gambling’s is advertised everywhere - there is no way the majority of people will be betting for fun on sites, sure it may start off as fun or curiosity but it ends up being somewhere you think you can win big in the comfort of your own home....obviously not something that is gonna happen and you end up losing everything. I can understand why physical casinos could be justified as entertainment, night out with the boys etc , but online is purely to line the pockets of those big companies.

 

Posted on:
Thu, 17/01/2019 - 22:44

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Gambled today, celebrations!

I was up £200, a nice little bit of cash to help cover bills etc etc. I always make the mistake of not using the money straight away for things. I put it in my bank accoutn and lose it.

I left with £60 profit and I bought my travel ticket with it. 

I don't know what to think now.

Posted on:
Mon, 21/01/2019 - 19:06

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Lost £200 today in the bookmakers. I was so depressed, because I had managed to make my money back but then I lost 5 straight spins.

 

Really dejected. I am so strict on myself with my bidget but when I lose, it makes me even more strict. 

Fed up.

Posted on:
Mon, 21/01/2019 - 21:15

tara2

Joined:
Before 2009

urgh, Forgive my graphic example:  If a person is shooting up heroin or meth. can they pull the needle out of their arm in the middle of the injection?  I see gambling to be somewhat like this example.  When you start playing it's like injecting a substance in our bodies and because it's an addiction alot of compulsive gamblers will play until extinction of funds which is like playing until there are no drugs left .  compulsive gambling may give the illusion of being about money and find logic around how we play but it's more drug like in my opinion.  It's easier for me to digest not going back out if I think of it like a drug addiction.  Really, science shows that it chemically effects the brain similarly to cocain.  tara2

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 18:09

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Went to the casino to talk about Reinstatement. In retrospect I do not think I will get reinstated, I absolutely forgot to lie about how I am all in control now.

It's been five years since I was last in this one. Looks exactly the same.

I am ashamed to say I have nothing in my life to look forward to, and the thought of one last go with 1k or something like that is worth a try.

Someone give me a slap.

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 18:59

Boro

Joined:
2012-07-01

Life will be even worse if you lost that £1000. How sick would that make you feel? How would you feel if you won? If you won you would eventually lose it all. Any winnings is just a loan you always give it back plus more 

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 22:55

Frozen

Joined:
2010-11-22

Good luck mate I  know the feeling, at one stage I used to walk from bookies to GA meeting back to bookies.  I am free one day at time, at the moment and for all of us that is all we can hope for.  Listen to people on here, stick with the gamcare regardless of how bad it gets. I wish you the best in your recovery you can do it.

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 17:03

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

I went gambling today.

I spent last night watching videos on youtube and must've spent 2 hours watching FOBT videos until 4am. I had the day off today so I slept in late and went out to get some fresh air. I knew I was going to go. I was kidding myself when I said I was going to buy food.

I gave myself a £* budget. I won today and I didn't make the same mistake of putting it all back in. 

I think I won £* today, which is incredibly rare, that was a culmination of going into 3 different bookmakers.
I have thankfully spent £* on myself on things I have wanted for a long time, and a few more expensive food stuff i've been too stingy to treat myself to. I bought some supermarket vouchers which means my groceries are paid for the whole month. I have paid £* in bills, leaving me around £* in my pocket. I have thankfully spent the majority of my winnings on good things. 

I am hoping I can socialise a bit more this month and meet new people. I haven't much else to do and days off work are a nightmare for gambling.

I cannot wait until payday, I will transfer the majority of my pay packet nto my savings, and I will leave my debit card at a friends house so I won't have access to it.

I hope I don't trigger any people who read this. the truth is that since December 26th I am still with a loss, and lets not go back the previous year where I probably lost around £* in 2018. All of this **** urges I've had have recently gone back all the way to Christmas so it feels like this chapter is finally closed.

I am disappointed I went back but can't help but feel like I needed that money and i was a great feeling. i think I am screwed but it will be easier for me to stop for a when I am not int he "chasing losses" mode.

Posted on:
Thu, 31/01/2019 - 01:41

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Oh god, can't stop fantasising about goingn to the casino and winning big.

I lost £100 yesterday. Didn't lose it all back.

Left my card at home, so that was a good thing.

I'm 100% certain if my self exclusion gets lifted, I will be heading to the casino. I am awaiting the result, but it looks like I won't be let back in.

Payday tomorrow, will transfer the bulk of my pay into savings, to live off peanuts. Same thing every month.

Posted on:
Thu, 31/01/2019 - 11:49

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hi urgh

Thank you for re-joining GamCare and starting another diary. I note that your diary at this point is very pro-active towards writing of your current gambling and desires to gamble, and you mention that you hope the content of your diary 'does not trigger people to gamble'.  I am not sure what other forum users will think but we try to keep the focus on recovery talk in the forums.  It sounds as if you're stuck in a cycle of chasing losses and finding it difficult to give up the fantasy of gambling being an answer to solve your debts rather than the cause of them.  I note that you are particularly vulnerable due to the fact of having an uncertain work situation and I do empathise at the same time as being concerned that this is one of your triggers to continue gambling.   Therefore if you are ready at any point to get further help and more advice from us please do contact the free HelpLine on 0808 8020 133 and talk to an advisor.  We perhaps can help motivate you to strengthen your self exclusion before the financial situation further deteriorates for you.  Well done for leavng your card at home and recognising that to change gambling habits requires making other changes such as strenthening social life and addressing the trigger of boredom, and I wish you well in your pursuit of getting out and about and meeting new people.  

Warm regards

Leigh 

Forum Admin 

Posted on:
Thu, 31/01/2019 - 23:46

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Urgh,

Disappointed buddy in your recent posts, as forum admin advise this forum is for recovery and you know this re your advice given to others.
Time to take stock and really draw that line. You either accept that you're powerless over gambling and your life is unmanageable, or you don't and let this illness degrade you further until you're no longer here. Progressive spiral pal leading ultimately to death.
Time to take this seriously, hand over all cards and cash, come clean to family and friends or anyone of trust, build that solid foundation to move forward on. Use GameStop tools. Discuss any debt issues. Find something positive to do with the spare time. Do GA.
Time to get your life back on track no matter how low you feel.
Guess I'm saying in my straight talking style. Manup.

ALN

Posted on:
Thu, 31/01/2019 - 23:51

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Just to be clear you can't have a foot in both camps. There's a lot on here that are advising they're controlling their gambling.
Quite frankly that's a con trick.

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 08:13

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Thanks for the replies.

Hopefully this bad period this will blow over. The main trigger has been leaving my full time job and the stress of potentially being unemployed, and trying to restart a career path (which I am finding very hard as noone seems to want to employ new trainees unless they are young).

Ideally I would like to stop completely, I am of course always trying to not gamble. I am under no illusions that we can, I know we can't control our gambling, I just try to minimise it as much as possible and be realisstic and realise I will slip up here and there, it is an eventual goal as I have gone 9 months gamble free before. From my worst point I was gambling 5 day a week so I am thankfully a lot improved from that.

Despite having bad gambling issues, I have been able to save a chunk of my salary each month for the past 4 years The problem is that when I do gamble I cover it up with overtime, or by living on a very low budget for myself.

Maybe that is how I justify my relapses subconsciously, because I have never gotten into debt in over 12 years of gambling, but it is problematic as I don't want to gamble AT ALL, and I have empited my bank account at times.

I had counselling last year with gamcare, I still have my notes so I will look back at those. I have also been rewatching some youtube videos on addiction.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 17:27

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

The subject of controlled gambling does cause a lot of controversy here on the forum. Some people on the forum are attempting to reduce their gambling gradually, some to maintain a controlled level of gambling, and some feel strongly that the only option is complete abstinence. 

All options are up for discussion on this forum, but we do intervene when content about gambling becomes triggering, and where it sounds like a forum user is no longer focusing on recovery, we will draw it to their attention. So, Urgh, thank you for being honest about what you're struggling with right now. Thank you to other forum users for responding with their views. 

Deirdre
Forum Admin

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 22:09

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

I am trying to stop fully, but the reality is that most people fail to do that. Realistically like trying to stop any habit like smoking , or addition to drugs or anything similar, I am going cold turkey, but slipping up.

The thoughts I've written here are thoughts every gambler wrestles with. I think it's also important to not censor things, especially in a diary where I can look back on my thoughts and reflect on them.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 22:30

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Urgh,

I say this with compassion, but treating this as an habit is possibly where you're going wrong, this is an addiction that gets progressively worse. Whilst I appreciate you are managing without debt issues, unlike many on here, how much of your life and time are you wasting?
Also how is your mental well-being?
For an addict whose life is in pieces through gambling I find it very hard to understand how anyone can advocate controlled gambling, especially this website, but each to their own.
At this moment in time I just feel from what you say is that your life is on hold, the question I ask is for how long, 1year, 2years, 3years, 5years, 10years, 20years, or a lifetime?
Really hope something clicks for you buddy.

ALN

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 23:23

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Thank you for your replies ALN. I am trying to stop desperately, I am going through a tough period. I really hope I can find a permanent job, that would really improve my urges.

I have previously gone 9 months gamble free so I know I can do it again.

As I said, this month I am putting in hard stops again. I have put my grocery cash into a gift card and I am going to put my debit card at a friends place so I can't have access to it. This has always helped me when I have have tough periods, and when things settle down I can be less strict on myself. The problem with that is it restricts me access to even spent money to treat myself. Any advice on this would help. I had counselling for a few months with gamcare and the counsellor said I am too strict on myself and I need to be more kind to myself. I think a lot of gamblers are probably similar. I need to allow a bit of cash to treat myself, though I find it really hard.

It has really helped that I am banned from all casinos in my area and also local boookmakers. Just making things as hard as possible for myself to access gambling. My slip ups are defintiely when I have my debit card on me and I am walking around in the town centre and see those damned places.

I hope to do a solid month gamble free and go from there. 
 

Posted on:
Fri, 01/02/2019 - 23:33

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Hi Urgh,

As mentioned earlier, I really hope something clicks for you.
Also I can fully appreciate the down times. I know from personal experience desperation can fuel the urges.
Try to put a line underneath it, and above all try to be positive. It's funny how a smile can brighten the day.
Started listening to music myself and going for a good walk to tackle my own depression. Sometimes helps.
All the best.

ALN

Posted on:
Tue, 05/02/2019 - 21:14

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

I have been strict and given myself £35 to last me the month for fun. So a takeaway here or there.

I have been told previously that if I want to get over gambling I need to be less strict on myself.  I find it very hard, and maybe being strict is a form of punishment, that eventally leads to me slipping up.

My card is at a friend's house, so I do not have access to anything other than £35.

WIsh me luck

Posted on:
Thu, 07/02/2019 - 23:52

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Coming up to 5 days. Going a few weeks at a time is not unusual, but 5 days marks a good point in recent months, as I have been going through a really bad period.

I am confident I can make a month and from there I will keep going.

Posted on:
Sun, 10/02/2019 - 23:41

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

7 days done, coool.

 

My biggest problem is I need to find a job as my fixed term ends soon, but am struggling as I don't have any real skills. I really need to bag a decent job, I am not askng for much, just pay me £18-20k I will be very happy with that...

Posted on:
Fri, 15/02/2019 - 18:55

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

12 days... Thinking a lot about the casino. They have not got back to me at al about removing  self exclusion, i believe they have blocked my emails.

I think they are doing me a favour.

Posted on:
Fri, 15/02/2019 - 19:33

Self Sufficient...

Joined:
2017-05-10

Well you have certainly got me baffled!

In one post you claim to be desperately trying to stop gambling and than in another you are on about trying to get your casino self-exclusion lifted.

Stephen 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/02/2019 - 23:14

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Unfortunately fighting addiction is a struggle and I think it helps myself to talk about the good and the bad. I am currently gamble free but I still have feelings of wanting to go gamble in a casino. 

Of course there is always a tussle within all of us to go one way or the other. Fortunately as I have said before, I have made enough blocks so that I immediately don't have access to money to gamble.

As a diary I have found it is useful to not censor feelings and thoughts either. This is precisely how a diary should operate I believe, as a chance to reflect.
 
Onwards and upwards. I believe I am in a good position to hit my short term target of 1 month free.

My goal for the end of the month is to remove the £200 overdraft facility I have in my current account, as that is something I could take advantage of. It does mean I have to be extra careful to not go into arrears, though I could keep an overdraft of say £10.

Of the £35 I have myself to spend this month, I only have £15 left :(

Posted on:
Sat, 16/02/2019 - 08:31

Lil30

Joined:
2018-09-12

Hi Urgh, I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination and can read how much you are struggling with this. .i just wanted to stop by and say well done on your recent 12 days, and hopefully give you a little more strength to get the next day under your belt, and then the next day, and then the one after that until you feel a little more in control. It's tough when other things are going wrong. I too have only £20 left for the end of the month. But I'm counting my GF days and hoping that will keep me strong! 

Posted on:
Mon, 18/02/2019 - 18:07

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

15 days, come at me!

Thanks for your reply Lil30

Posted on:
Sun, 24/02/2019 - 11:51

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

3 weeks today!

It is payday week so I have retrieved my debit card. Not only that, I have £300 in cash on me, so this week I have to be really careful and get through it and then take my card and cash away while the bills get paid.

I have had gambling thoughts, especially heading out to the casino.

Hopefully can stay strong. I'd like to get to a month, as I don't think I have had a month free in a long time.

Unless I find a job soon, I will be unemplyed come 1st April, so that is playing on my mind a lot... Lets not think about it too much. Job hunting needs to ramp up..

Posted on:
Wed, 27/02/2019 - 11:09

Frozen

Joined:
2010-11-22

Self Sufficient Stephen wrote:

Well you have certainly got me baffled!

In one post you claim to be desperately trying to stop gambling and than in another you are on about trying to get your casino self-exclusion lifted.

Stephen 

I don't know where your at mate but I have this issue loads of times, thanks urgh and your diary for getting me through today.

Posted on:
Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:05

dustyfairy25

Joined:
2019-02-18

Yo, re your enquiry re lifting your self exclusion, it has to be for a min of 6 months . Unless you stated longer . To be reinstated after 6 months plus , you will need to have a meeting with a manager who will then recommend or not depending on your answers . This is the guidelines set down by the gambling commition. Thought I would tell you coz it may well help you stop having urges , as you have little or no chance of being reinstated . Head forward into the light , fight the urges and have a happier life . Gambling became habit , the longer you go without it , the habit becomes a distant memory hopefully one you realise you are better off without. Not easy I know, but you can do it , believe .............Shiny :-) 

Posted on:
Fri, 01/03/2019 - 06:06

Lil30

Joined:
2018-09-12

How you doing Urgh? I too battled pay day this week, and now have barely any money left over, yet still entertain thoughts about just 'trying' my luck with the last ten pounds... etc.. etc...hope you're feeling good today!

Posted on:
Sun, 03/03/2019 - 01:11

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

dustyfairy25 wrote:

Yo, re your enquiry re lifting your self exclusion, it has to be for a min of 6 months . Unless you stated longer . To be reinstated after 6 months plus , you will need to have a meeting with a manager who will then recommend or not depending on your answers . This is the guidelines set down by the gambling commition. Thought I would tell you coz it may well help you stop having urges , as you have little or no chance of being reinstated . Head forward into the light , fight the urges and have a happier life . Gambling became habit , the longer you go without it , the habit becomes a distant memory hopefully one you realise you are better off without. Not easy I know, but you can do it , believe .............Shiny :-) 

There are 3 casinos in my twn, self excluded from all of them, each one twice. So trying to reinstate membership again they start asking questions a bit more. So yes, I did go to the one casino to have a meeting, but I guess the feedback wasn't great as no matter how many emails I was sending, I ws getting no reply from head office x, so I assume I am blocked or whatever. So that did me a favour.

A casino opened in a neighbouring city, I had joined late last year and a month of gambling I believe I eaked out a gain of1k but lost it all back, I do remember that sickeining feeling of being in the casino for 10 hours straight and working on nervous energy. No food at all. The shame of moving away from the table to the machine so no-one can see what I'm playing. 10 hours of gambling I was fed up and put all my money on one spin. You know how it went.

I self excluded after that. Despite losing that money I remember befriending some holiday goers and saw they were gambling for a while (I was there longer than everyone else!). I told them to enjoy their holiday and don't waste it in a place like this. They toook my advice and left.

I remember the manager was a real ******** and told me to get the hell out of the casino on my way out after self excluding.

Not all managers are like that. One place the manager was quite nice. It's plain to see they keep track of how much you spend, and they could see I'd lost quite a lot of money compared to most people.

I am 28 days free, or pretty much a month. I have a lot of anxiety related to my personal and working life, so that has taken over any idea of gambling. I fear once that period of worry goes I will be left with that feeling of wanting to relieve pressure and take my mind off things.. 

I am in a good place right now though. I have a lot of money on me right now, but no strong urges right now. If I did slip up it would be a shame, but gambling only once in a month would also be progress.

I really appreciate everyone's replies, hope everyone is doing well.
 

Posted on:
Sun, 03/03/2019 - 23:14

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

A day later and feeling quite anxious. The kinda anxious that makes me want to gamble. I haven't quite got my card away from me. I am treating some family next weekend and need money to hand. I kinda wish I could save that money, because I will be experiencing lean times ahead as I will be unemployed a month from now.

I need to try and be strong, but the anxiety is quite tough tonight. I dread going to work, it is the main source of my worries right now.

Posted on:
Thu, 07/03/2019 - 23:37

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

33 days. Last day I went was 3rd Feb. This is for my record so I don't have to keep figuring it out.

Lots of work stress. There is a potential for that to spill over, but I realise the root of my problem isn't neceasarily stress related, as right now I am firmly in control of my gambling habit despite feely very anxious.

All I can think of is that gambling is like an itch, you can aggravate it, but like an itch, it can get better, and that itching gets less and less. unfortunately like any rash it can flare up at the smallest of strokes, so it is important to remain vigilent.

I have cash on my person, but to be frank and honest the stress I am feeling right now has zonked me out, I spend my days after work sleeping or lying around in my bed. That is noway to live I need to sort a lotof things out.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 01:04

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

40 days

Still thinking about that one big win. Going to London with 2k? Winning 10k would be nice.

Its all a fantasy though. Need to keep strong