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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 17/11/2018 - 15:53

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Afternoon all.

I've been on here twice before, but am now back for a 3rd and final time, after what has been my worst relapse/period of gambling to date.

I've been gambling on and off for 10 years now, since I was 18 and never really saw it as a problem until about 3 years ago.

I recently came clean to my wife about a £2500 bill I racked up on a credit card. Before this its been 300/400 before i realise how mucg ive wasted chasing a loss. This has to be the last time now. I know I've said it many times before, but for the sake of my marriage and young son I have to stop.

The wife now has access to my banking app so she can control and see what comes in and out. I have self excluded and completed the gamstop online form. I'm going to aim to read a few stories every day and keep on top of this.

Today is 1 week. Day 7.

Cheers.
RA.

Posted on:
Sat, 17/11/2018 - 19:32

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Hi,

If you're serious what further barriers have you put in place? I know you mention the banking app, does this mean you're still carrying cash, debit and credit cards? Gambling site bans etc.

To manage the urges and to ensure you cannot do any further damage I'm a strong believer in that all debit and credit cards are given up and when handling cash (minimum number of times) receipts are produced. In turn regular (monthly) credit searches are available to partners to ensure no further credit taken and existing debt is being reduced and not circumvented.

In respect of recovery, something clearly isn't working, I'm told the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result. If not already tried, how about attending GA?

Would also run alongside a daily diary on here, just gives further impetus in respect of your recovery.

I'm assuming your partner knows everything, remember you can only build on a good foundation.

All the best.

Posted on:
Sat, 17/11/2018 - 22:05

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hi RA1990,

You do sound very motivated to stop gambling which is excellent. As well as refining what has worked well for you and what has not worked as well for you in the past you may wish to contact us on the Helpline 0808 8020 133 or Netline for some one-to-one advice. There is also the comparatively new Workbook with the Self-Help worksheets on the GamCare website that may have not been available the last time you were looking for support.

Best Wishes

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Sun, 18/11/2018 - 11:31

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Thanks for your reply ALN.

I still carry a debit card, but I would say I'm no longer in total control of my finances. My bank account is checked every few days, and I've never really been big on actually going into a physical bookies (it's a good mile away to the nearest one) so I don't think carrying cash for me is much of an option.

The last two times I had remained in control of my finances and that clearly didn't work, so for me this was the main thing I have to change and I have.

Transparency is also very key I believe. We have sat down and gone through bank statements and totalled up how much has been lost to this additiction and it is shocking. It was horrible to do, but now there are no more secrets. I was feeling sick and loosing sleep over this loss, and although there was arguments and tears after I came clean it was a huge weight off my shoulders.

It now feels like a fresh start. We will make sure we both talk about it often. I will make sure I log on here regularly as well, and hopefully watch the gamble free days climb up.

I will beat this.

Cheers

RA

Posted on:
Sun, 18/11/2018 - 12:30

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Hi RA,

A good start. The foundation of honesty is needed as well as sharing your feelings with your partner as well as her own. I don't have to tell you that this is very much an emotional illness.

I'm not in agreement with carrying any cards, that said I would not force my opinion on anybody and after all it's something that can be revisited along the way.

No mention of GA? I take it that you don't buy into this? As mentioned previously it may be refreshing to try something new. That said it's all on you in the end.

I've given up watching and talking sport, I'm doing everything I can to stop my gambling, which has helped significantly. Maybe it may work for you too? Just a thought.

ALN

Posted on:
Mon, 19/11/2018 - 10:20

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

I appreciate all the advice and opinions ALN, I know you are not trying to force anything.

I must admit I haven't really looked into GA, and don't even know where the nearest one to me is. I don't like the idea of it. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of embarrassment, or the fact I think I can deal with this within my own house. That being said, it clearly didn't work before did it, so maybe something like GA is needed.

I will certainly give it some thought.

Cheers
RA

Posted on:
Mon, 19/11/2018 - 11:37

Johnny57

Joined:
2018-02-01

ALN wrote:
Hi, If you're serious what further barriers have you put in place? I know you mention the banking app, does this mean you're still carrying cash, debit and credit cards? Gambling site bans etc. To manage the urges and to ensure you cannot do any further damage I'm a strong believer in that all debit and credit cards are given up and when handling cash (minimum number of

 

times) receipts are produced. In turn regular (monthly) credit searches are available to partners to ensure no further credit taken and existing debt is being reduced and not circumvented. In respect of recovery, something clearly isn't working, I'm told the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result. If not already tried, how about attending GA? Would also run alongside a daily diary on here, just gives further impetus in respect of your recovery. I'm assuming your partner knows everything, remember you can only build on a good foundation. All the best.

I totally agree Credit / Debit cards are the worst things to have. They allow you to gamble. savings account is thre best way you can have anything payed into into a savings account. This is the only type of account i have from now on much safer

Posted on:
Mon, 19/11/2018 - 11:37

Johnny57

Joined:
2018-02-01

ALN wrote:
Hi, If you're serious what further barriers have you put in place? I know you mention the banking app, does this mean you're still carrying cash, debit and credit cards? Gambling site bans etc. To manage the urges and to ensure you cannot do any further damage I'm a strong believer in that all debit and credit cards are given up and when handling cash (minimum number of

 

times) receipts are produced. In turn regular (monthly) credit searches are available to partners to ensure no further credit taken and existing debt is being reduced and not circumvented. In respect of recovery, something clearly isn't working, I'm told the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result. If not already tried, how about attending GA? Would also run alongside a daily diary on here, just gives further impetus in respect of your recovery. I'm assuming your partner knows everything, remember you can only build on a good foundation. All the best.

I totally agree Credit / Debit cards are the worst things to have. They allow you to gamble. savings account is thre best way you can have anything payed into into a savings account. This is the only type of account i have from now on much safer

Posted on:
Tue, 20/11/2018 - 11:33

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

11 days today.

Still a long way to go, but taking 1 day at a time. First target is to hit one month gamble free.

I can do this.

RA

Posted on:
Thu, 22/11/2018 - 15:55

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

Best Wishes RA on your new journey which will bring happiness to all your loved ones.Every problem gambler wants to reach the top of Everest.In gambling term is winning back all the money you have lost with £xxxxxx on top so you can proudly say I beat my demons.My monthly wages are not going to get me to the top of Everest.It is 8 years since I had a 3 month winning streak.The rule of not borrowing money to gamble with is forgotten due to desperation.Anyway RA I hope you stay away from Everest and realise that life is for living.

Posted on:
Fri, 23/11/2018 - 14:51

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

A good week in terms of getting my denture fixed and keeping all appointments.Have been sleeping better and trying to keep everything in the day.Have not got enough oxygen to make an assault on Everest on Friday 30th November.Will contact Stepchange with all my details on Monday.I have no other options but to set up a DM Plan.I used to deal with the payday loan companies directly but I have not got the energy to face them hence the DMP.My credit rating is wrecked so my wages will have to get me through the month.

 

Posted on:
Sat, 24/11/2018 - 00:47

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Just over 2 weeks GF.

I'm still thinking about different aspects of the addiction. Today I was thinking about just how much time and attention it takes from you.

My main issue was with tennis betting, particularly in play. When I think to what and how I used to bet it's crazy! I would log on and go straight to the in play tennis and pick a random match. 9/10 times I would have absolutely no idea who either player was. They could have been made up for all i know. I would then bet on who would win that match, or set without doing any research or even checking the pre match odds.

Then i sit there watching the little virtual tennis ball go back and forth on the screen until the score changes. If I was out, or I was with the wife I would constantly be getting my phone out to check the scores, making sure I could quickly open up a social media app if someone was to look over my shoulder.

It's not until you stop to think about it and actually write it down you realise how sad it is. I could have done so much better things with all that wasted time (and money obviously)

It's depressing, but it's these thoughts that need to push me to abstain.

I must remember that I can't win as I can't stop.

RA.

Posted on:
Sat, 24/11/2018 - 13:57

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

Hi RA your post sums up the madness of this addiction.You probably had a love of sports when you left school but gambling turns every sport into a slow roulette wheel.My madness was goals in football matches.I would use the live score app so that every time a goal went in my phone would beep.My mind did not care what was going on around me I was only focused on my phone.I was escaping from reality and putting myself through an emotional rollercoaster.If the goals came I would feel good but if they did not I then had to put my acting skills into practice.Your correct that winning just prolongs the length of time till you lose it all.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/11/2018 - 13:28

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

There is a match on tv about to start but I will not be watching as it brings back to many painful memories of Sunday afternoons desperate for goals.Am aware that I am too unwell to watch sports of any description as my losses are still so raw.Am feeling stronger by making this decision.

Posted on:
Sun, 25/11/2018 - 17:50

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Good idea DG. If you feel in anyway that watching sport can cause a relapse then it's best to avoid it.
I watched parts of each game and it is crazy how many adverts there are for gambling. It's no suprise people hey hooked.
I'm a big football fan and although I bet mainly on tennis I did do quite a few over 1.5 goal accas. The amount of times I would get let down by 1 result was unreal. It wasn't uncommon for every game in a league to have over 1.5 goals apart from the one I bet on. I was hopeless. I do still try to think if I would have had a winning or loosing bet when I look at the scores.

I'm guessing this is something all gamblers must think.

RA

Posted on:
Sun, 25/11/2018 - 18:54

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

Agree RA that we look at the scores different from non gamblers.Its 7pm and for the first time since the Premier League was formed I do not know this afternoon results which I find liberating.Anyway tomorrow is Stepchange as I am not willing to use my debts as an excuse to gamble come Friday.I am no one special there are thousands of people in financial difficulties and I just have to set up a DM plan and let go.No problem gambler stops when he has available funds and I used Payday loans to feed the habit.Mental health and physical well being are my only goals now.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/11/2018 - 11:13

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

G is for Gamble A is for Away M is for Money B is for Before L is for Living and finally E is for Expensives.GAMBLE AWAY MONEY BEFORE LIVING EXPENSES.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/11/2018 - 11:21

Desperate Gambler

Joined:
2018-06-20

Feeling ok today in preparation for phoning Stepchange.As I am not obsessing about Sports I feel more relaxed.There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/11/2018 - 16:55

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Nice one mate that's good to hear. Phoning stepchange is another positive move in the right direction.

It might be easier for you to post on your diary as well. That way you can easily keep track of your progress. Just a thought?

Posted on:
Tue, 27/11/2018 - 06:54

Onwardsandupwards

Joined:
2016-11-16

Hi Ra, 

Thanks for your post on my wall. It’s mean so much to know someone on here is looking out for me. I wish you all the best and am always here (even if it’s days between log ins). Let’s keep making the right steps and doing everything we can to beat this. We are so fortunate to have the wife’s we do and even though they are hurt and we are gambling addicts over time we can prove this to them and not only them to ourselves that we do not need to gamble and that the devastating loss of family is a million times worse than losing a bet of any value. I’ve been listening to after gambling podcasts this week. It’s been helpful in my start to recovery and hearing me up for my first ga meeting. Take care.

Posted on:
Tue, 27/11/2018 - 08:09

4th time lucky

Joined:
2018-11-06

 

RA1990 wrote:
Just over 2 weeks GF. I'm still thinking about different aspects of the addiction. Today I was thinking about just how much time and attention it takes from you. My main issue was with tennis betting, particularly in play. When I think to what and how I used to bet it's crazy! I would log on and go straight to the in play tennis and pick a random match. 9/10 times I would have absolutely no idea who either player was. They could have been made up for all i know. I would then bet on who would win that match, or set without doing any research or even checking the pre match odds. Then i sit there watching the little virtual tennis ball go back and forth on the screen until the score changes. If I was out, or I was with the wife I would constantly be getting my phone out to check the scores, making sure I could quickly open up a social media app if someone was to look over my shoulder. It's not until you stop to think about it and actually write it down you realise how sad it is. I could have done so much better things with all that wasted time (and money obviously) It's depressing, but it's these thoughts that need to push me to abstain. I must remember that I can't win as I can't stop. RA.

Morning RA... it’s actually crazy reading your story, it’s almost identical to mine, even with regards to mainly betting on tennis and watching every point as a single score without knowing anything about who or where the tennis was even being played!!! Absolutely crazy when you put it into words. It feels great to not be doing it and even better that I don’t have to worry if someone is looking over my shoulder! The fact that our story’s are exactly the same, proves that we are not alone, we can do this together. One thing I would say, from previous relapses, try not to look to far ahead. Constantly just take one day at a time and you’ve got this man! Good Luck R

Posted on:
Wed, 28/11/2018 - 21:08

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Day 19.

No real cravings, but this is nothing new. I was never one to gamble daily, I was a binge gambler. Sessions could last a few days, or weeks. Then I would go two weeks without placing a single bet, and then I'd jump aboard the train and that would derail as per usual.

Trying to take one day at a time. Spending a lot of time on the forums. I will try and join in the chat room one of these evenings.

All the best guys.

RA

Posted on:
Sat, 01/12/2018 - 09:56

Onwardsandupwards

Joined:
2016-11-16

 

 

 

 

RA1990 wrote:
Day 19. No real cravings, but this is nothing new. I was never one to gamble daily, I was a binge gambler. Sessions could last a few days, or weeks. Then I would go two weeks without placing a single bet, and then I'd jump aboard the train and that would derail as per usual. Trying to take one day at a time. Spending a lot of time on the forums. I will try and join in the chat room one of these evenings. All the best guys. RA

Hi Ra,

I’ve been exactly the same with gambling sessions and by it not being everyday and then on runs when I won, I soon forgot the losses.

Have you any plans this weekend? Have you checked out the podcast yet?

OAU

Posted on:
Sat, 01/12/2018 - 11:39

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Morning OAU.

Yea I've listened to 6 or 7 episodes of the podcast. Really enjoying it, and although it's a different type of betting to what I did, all the principles are the same, and I can relate to pretty much everything he says.

Quiet weekend for me. The wife was out last night so I was home alone with the little one, which normally would be the perfect time to have a flutter as I wouldn't have to worry about being caught but blocks are in place and I stayed string so I'm happy about that.

I wish you a good gamble free weekend mate.

RA

Posted on:
Sun, 02/12/2018 - 08:42

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

RA. Just want to say well done to date. Now approaching 30days and I guess thought processes are getting a bit clearer.
Enjoying reading both your own posts and Desperate Gamblers at moment. DG has cut all sport out just like me and I'm very interested to see whether this works as it's working for me.
All the best.

Posted on:
Sun, 02/12/2018 - 13:53

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Hey ALN.

Yes the days are starting to mount now. I wouldn't say it gets easier as such. We all want to stop for ever after a big loss, so those first few days (for me especially) are easier as its fresh and raw. Once this clears and things are less raw that's when I find the hard work really starts and you need to make sure all barriers are in place. It feels different this time around. I've mentioned it on a few others diaries about how much being honest has helped me. The fact I can talk about it with my wife will be the key thing that helps me.

Not watching sport is a massive commitment. How are you finding it? Do you still keep in the loop or have you ruled it out of your life completely?

RA

Posted on:
Sun, 02/12/2018 - 14:31

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

Honesty is the foundation. Just like you it works completely for me. Even if there's something that I want badly but can't afford it we talk it through. Sometimes I get the nod that if we don't spend too much in a few weeks I can have it. By far more worthwhile.
In respect of sport, I haven't searched any sport out but sometimes you can't avoid people discussing it in front of you or appearing on the news, when this happens i just walk away or turn over the channel. Initially I got a bit annoyed but you can't control other people and it's best to just let it pass over.
I'm becoming more of an advocate of our stance in respect of sport as the days now turn into months. It just adds more barriers against future urges. That said I can't remember the last time I had the urge to gamble, seems a distant memory now.
Keep up the good work.

Posted on:
Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:42

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Life is a whole lot better when you are not having to hide things and living what is essentially a secret life. It really is tiring.

Me and my wife both work together and I used to dread that when we got home I would have a bank statement. I remember on one occasion I knew I would be getting a letter from the bank about my overdraft any day. For all of that week I would rush to get through the door first when we got home. She would always ask what my letters were, so I had to quickly scoop it up and put it in my bag so that she wouldn't notice. My heart was racing as I knew I would have been caught out big time if she read the letter. I'm pretty sure I waited until she was busy and then went outside and put the letter down the drain! The things we do to not get caught hey.

I managed to change my debit card to paperless correspondence which was ideal, nothing else to then worry about. However when I started using a credit card (I took one out when we went to the US, and totally forgot I had it until I stumbled across it) I had no option for paperless, so all statements would come to the house again. This was when I started to think about coming clean. I just couldn't keep it up.

Mid October i think it was, I got an unexpected letter from the bank offering me an increased limit on my credit card (at this point I was about £20 under the limit). My wife saw this, and as she was totally unaware I was even using the card I managed to blag it and lie saying that they must just be offering me the increase because they want me to spend more money. It was horrible doing it, but I would say anything I could to avoid being caught.

The bank was automatically going to increase my credit limit in two weeks unless I told them I wanted to cancel it. Obviously I was never going to call them and do that. I was already set in my head that the day that increased credit was applied I would gamble. I looked forward to that day for 2 weeks. How sad is that!

I woke up early that day and you guessed it. I deposited and bet. I lost that money in a day, and after that I knew I was done and I had to change.

Anyways sorry for the rant and the long old story, but I'm hoping that in writing this down I can read back over it and see how stupid and sad I was. That can only act as a deterrent.

Cheers.

RA

Posted on:
Tue, 04/12/2018 - 01:22

JLH198

Joined:
2018-12-04

 

Desperate Gambler wrote:

Hi RA your post sums up the madness of this addiction.You probably had a love of sports when you left school but gambling turns every sport into a slow roulette wheel.My madness was goals in football matches.I would use the live score app so that every time a goal went in my phone would beep.My mind did not care what was going on around me I was only focused on my phone.I was escaping from reality and putting myself through an emotional rollercoaster.If the goals came I would feel good but if they did not I then had to put my acting skills into practice.Your correct that winning just prolongs the length of time till you lose it all.

This is literally my life right now... every day.

Posted on:
Wed, 05/12/2018 - 10:10

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Fast approaching 4 weeks, wow where does the time go.

Been spending a lot of time thinking about old habits and how day to day life is different without gambling.

I used to lay in bed and gamble while my wife was asleep. I would have the brightness turned right down on my phone, and have my back to her so that she wouldn't notice. If she moved slightly i would quickly shut off the screen. I could quite easily lay there for 3 or 4 hours until the early hours just watching the scores change on a random tennis game until I ran out of battery or fell asleep. Then I would wake up shattered in the morning.

I do not miss those days.

RA

Posted on:
Thu, 06/12/2018 - 22:17

Onwardsandupwards

Joined:
2016-11-16

Hi RA,

 

Almost getting to the end of another week that’s been gamble free so far. It’s crazy how fast time flys by, but when your in that gambling bubble time felt like It went even so much faster. Our minds just revolve around gambling once we are on that dangerous track, everything we do. But I’m glad to be off it at the moment and you too and many others here. It’s just staying off it for good. I see you said you would give ga thought in maybe attending it. Have you considered it? Or been to any therapy etc? 

Keep going

OAU

Posted on:
Fri, 07/12/2018 - 10:32

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

Hey OAU.

No I must admit I haven't yet seeked out anymore info regarding GA or therapy.

I feel in a good place at the moment. I can talk openly with my wife and she's in control of all my finances. I'm not saying I definatley won't seek further help, it's just that currently things seem good.

Christmas is fast approaching, so the next goal is to get to the start of 2019 without another bet.

RA

Posted on:
Sat, 08/12/2018 - 21:54

RA1990

Joined:
2018-11-13

I felt like I had a mini win today.

I took a walk into town by myself and walked past a bookies. In days gone past I would have popped in and may be put a quick in play tennis bet, or an over 1.5 goals acca. But today I just walked past. I even felt a bit sorry for the young lad who walked out with his slips.

I only really went into the bookies when I knew my missus might be checking my bank account for gambling transactions. I would try and rush in and out just incase I saw anyone I knew, and that could lead to word getting back about my antics.

But not today. I did not gamble.

RA