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Posted on:
Tue, 25/07/2017 - 09:29

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 295

Thanks Sharon, as ever I appreciate your kind words. It has been an emotional journey and I just felt I wanted to make peace with my past a little and just close the door behind me in the right way.

Itmattersmore. I appreciate that too. I hope that people can take a little bit of optimism from my story that they too can turn life around. At times I feel like I have been dragging a wheelbarrow uphill in deep sand but I have got to the top now and do believe that the life ahead will hopefully be the one I have always wanted.

Thanks again for your comments.

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 25/07/2017 - 19:51

Little miss lost

Joined:
2016-05-24

Well matt, who'd have thought it, what a difference a year (well nearly!) can make.
Remembering your story, your friends have been amazing, your challenges have been a struggle, your honesty has been heartbreaking to read at times but the determination to get to where you are today has carried you through.
The life experiences of this last year should help set you up for a lifetime.
All good wishes
Lml x

Posted on:
Wed, 26/07/2017 - 08:57

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 296

Hi LML,

Been a little while. Yeah I am a world away from where I was and have indeed had unbelievable support from those close to me. I do feel that nothing could ever break me now, I truly hit my rock bottom and bounced back. Still a way to go, re-building my life as a fully autonomous human being is a little daunting, even now.

There is a hint of loneliness and what now? This, I guess is natural as the largest parts of my life are no more (My ex, her daughter and of course gambling). However the path is completely clear for my new adventure and I plan to make the most of it.

I hope all is good with you LML.

Matt

Posted on:
Fri, 28/07/2017 - 14:08

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

DAY 298

Busy weekend ahead but another one I am looking forward to and in turn should help me sail through the 300 day gamble free barrier.

Tonight I am out for dinner locally, tomorrow I am heading back to my old town and visiting a friend and his GF as they have just bought their first home together and moved back from London. Be good to catch up with them. They played a little part in my recovery and rememeber belly laughing for the first time in a long while on a night out with them the last time I saw them.

Locks are now changed on my house so no potentially unwanted visits and life has very much just changed gear. 

Stay strong and I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Matt

 

Posted on:
Fri, 28/07/2017 - 18:32

Self Sufficient...

Joined:
2017-05-10

Well done Matt . Enormous respect for your achievement to date , it must have taken a lot of courage .... stephen 

Posted on:
Fri, 28/07/2017 - 21:46

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Nearly there matt ! Like what they say on 300 (movie) " they will be no glory in your sacrifice " only if you gamble ! Stay strong and GF . 

Sars 

Posted on:
Sat, 29/07/2017 - 13:35

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Thanks guys.

I believe that total abstinence is the only way to recovery so you definitely chose the right username Stephen. I wish you well in your recovery.

I don't really see it as courage that got me through it more necessity. I got beaten up emotionally but stayed true to myself and my recovery.

299 days gamble free and the light is firmly switched on at the end of the tunnel. I appreciate your comments they really help keep this diary alive. I have documented everything these past 8 months and reading back is pretty eye opening what I went through.

stay strong everyone

Matt

 

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 09:23

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Well done Matt 300 days a great achievement. How far you have come, those first 100 days where tough mate and you never thought you would get here. I told you things would get better and you couldn't see it then but you certainly can now. I don't want to say I told you so but I told you so lol. 

To watch your progress has been a joy to watch to see you blossom and grow is an inspiration anyone starting out or at anytime in their journey. I'd recommend anyone to read your diary and see what a difference stopping gambling can make. 

Keep going the way you are Matt and that year will soon be here. 

KTF 

Posted on:
Sun, 30/07/2017 - 20:04

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 300, I can hardly believe it.

KTF you did indeed tell me so! I won't lie, I really could not see the woods from the trees at points and never had the faith I could truly get through that painful, traumatic time. Your diary was an inspiration and one I took some heart from that it could be possible to end the gambling hell.

I am sat here so thankful for everyone's help, empathy, insight and advice. Without you and this site I don't think I could have got to where I am today.

The journey continues tomorrow, day 301 and hurtling to my first full year without a bet.

Thanks again to everyone again who reads, comments and continues to keep this alive. I am committing to a lifetime of abstinence and as long as possible this diary will live with that.

Matt

 

Posted on:
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:49

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

DAY 303.

Nearly 10 months since my last bet. Football season just around the corner. I would usually be frantically reading forums and trying to get a head start on the bookies to see who's teams are potentially looking good and placing season long bets. Then when the season arrived I would think nothing of spending £££'s on accumulators etc. This time last year I was planning a holiday with my ex and her daughter to Tenerife. It would turn out to be our last holiday together.

3 weeks tomorrow I was due to be getting married, what a strange thought that is now. I still have thoughts and feelings towards them, mainly wondering if her daughter still thinks or asks about me. I know maybe these thoughts are a little unhealthy but I am confident they are natural. I have had an extremely busy time with work recently but having completed the task and obviously with my house buy out completed, I am finding myself with some time on my hands which leaves me with my own thoughts. My mind wanders off into the past and the future.

I will however now plough into the next true goal, a whole 365 days gamble free.

Posted on:
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 22:55

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Matt, fair play I don't think you would be human if you didn't have these feelings and thoughts. Understandably you are grieving for the relationships and set up that isn't there anymore and no one can put a time limit on this. You've been through so much and have totally changed your life so please be kind to yourself. Take csre S:)

Posted on:
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 23:19

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

a painful but great read

aside from the 365 target - what other goals do you have in life Matt?

Posted on:
Thu, 03/08/2017 - 08:59

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

 

DAY 304

Hi Sharon, yeah I know it is natural but it is a little hard still at times, I will get there though.

Hi CG. I have a bucket list drawn up which I have started on. 100 things to do before I die. Next up at the end of the year is Whale watching and the Northern Lights. 

Posted on:
Thu, 03/08/2017 - 14:10

TM1985

Joined:
2016-05-30

Hi Matt, natural to look back. It helps us learn and evolve. I've still been following your story you continue to go from strength to stength.

Amazing my friend. Well done for now and the successful landmarks still to come!

Posted on:
Thu, 03/08/2017 - 22:44

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Your journey still amazes me buddy ! Who would have thought 304 days just went like a blink of an eye ! Keep up the good work :) you're awesome matt ! 

Posted on:
Fri, 04/08/2017 - 14:35

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 305

I don't think I am amazing or awesome but thanks! I do however know coming this far gamble free is an achievement, especially with how my life has been over the past months.

Another weekend is nearly upon me. I plan to crack on with some man chores (treated myself to a new cordelss hoover lol) and then for some drinks I think tomorrow evening. Sunday I have no plans at all. I might go for a walk, I might have a bbq, I might do both weather dependant. Very weird knowing I can literally do whatever I feel like, no ties, commitments etc. I know I need to take advantage of these times as life isn't always so simple.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Matt

Posted on:
Fri, 04/08/2017 - 16:29

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

On day 4 of my recovery I wrote the following. 

You do not realise who you become when you are gambling. Yes the thrill is there but other things get put to the side. You don't realise you neglect other things. My missus and I have been having small arguements recently and she said that she felt that I have not been there for her recently. Her words....you are there in body but I feel like I am talking to myself and all you care about is football. (I haven't told her about my problem which I know is wrong but she is also now my motivation to get better). We sat down and played a board game and had a glass of wine and the buzz of contentment I got from that outweighs any big win.

My ex never knew how much I truly loved her and wanted us to be a family, I was doing all I could to recover, fighting a lonely battle. I covered up my secrets so they wouldn't hurt her and tried to move forward. The moment she found out I was troubled and I had wronged her she ran for the hills throwing grenades at me and tried to destroy me. I will come back to this post reguarly as I now know what I deserve in life.That is someone who will accept me, support me and my past and encourage my recovery. Not attempt to stamp on my head and twist an emotional knife deep into my soul. I know what love is, I know what emotional pain is, I know what addiction is and I know what caused mine. I also know I fully deserve to be happy and the strength I have gained will live with me forever. I have made mistakes, I have learned from them and I am a good person.

Matt

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 05/08/2017 - 13:38

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

Whale watching and the Northern Lights. 

LOVE THESE!!!

what a difference - to past choices! - I can't wait to read your posts about them both

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 09:11

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

DAY 309 and possibly my most difficult diary entry since my break up.

I guess here is the place to confess. I got a big urge to gamble at the weekend.  Not a major stakes one but a season long bet as the football season had started, what stopped me?   Initially I made a call as a self excluision period was up with an online bookie, I started to go through the process of re-opening but then thought, jeez what am I doing? I thankfully had the self awareness and knew that it could potentially open up a can of worms and probably give me the bug again. I broke free from the urge, that little nagging monster was put to bed before he woke the huge monster up.  Realising how far I have come I do not want to go down a path of potential self destruction. I managed to refrain, instead I did some gardening, cleaned the house and felt a sense of achievement once all was completed.

I didn't know whether to write this on here because in some way I felt huge disappointment in myself for nearly breaking. However I feel I need to document this as I want to be honest with myself and to everyone here who has supported me and look at my diary as a little bit of inspiration. I want everyone to know we are only a moment away from a relapse and that is something we all need to realise. Yes we are in control but you can never be complacent.

Stay strong all.

Matt

 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 11:29

Compulsive Gambler

Joined:
Before 2009

Matt, 

That is bloody fantastic fella - I was dreading the next sentence but no, you didn't go there!  Well done, inspirational indeed.  that's a big f### off to gambling!  enjoy today and enjoy day 310 etc etc - great strength and thanks for sharing

 

Dan

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:15

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Dan

Thank you. I appreciate the support and encouragement. I am pleased to read you are also keeping the demons at bay. 124 days for you nice work.

Yeah really looking forward to the whale watching and Northern lights, I am a bit of a nature geek :-)

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 15:08

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Hi Matt 

Damn right this the place to share your concerns over urges and you should of done it on the day rather than waiting. Your diary it to show the ups and downs of recovery not just the ups which are now out waying the downs. Keep posting good and bad bud. 

Posted on:
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 16:48

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Hey buddy , 

Massive respect for abstaining and sharing your experience ! You've done so well and worked so hard where you are now ! Only one little slip can cost you everything ! Keep it up bud ! 

Sars 

Posted on:
Wed, 09/08/2017 - 09:05

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Thanks Guys

Day 310, no more urges so I have definitely ridden the wave.

Stay strong all

Matt

Posted on:
Wed, 09/08/2017 - 19:01

Self Sufficient...

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hi Matt . Know exactly where your coming from . Part of me keeps thinking I could have a few carefully chosen bets on the football if I judged the odds where in my favour . How crazy is that . Fortunately my GamCare brain knows better .

I was over the moon that you stuck to your guns and chose not to gamble . 310 Days is such a long time into your recovery and it shocked me you came so close to disaster . I would have been less suprised seeing the pope in a mankini playing beach volleyball.

Like Sharon said we put it all in our diaries even though we have never seen our GamCare friends . However these friends are amongst the best friends I have ever had . For 90 days they have supported and encouraged me . They have shared their wisdom and given me good advice . They have never abused me or criticised me , in fact they have always shown me respect . They have shared happiness and sadness with me . 

Take care Matt ..... stephen 

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 08:03

Annie_25

Joined:
2017-07-05

Hi Matt 

 

Well done on 310 days, think you are a testament to what can be done with this horrible addiction if you stay strong and work hard and never give up.

Annie x

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 10:42

Jayjam

Joined:
2017-08-09

Hi Matt,

I am at day one and I must say that reading your diary helped me to take the plunge and do one of my own. I relate to a lot of your gambling highs and lows. Good luck on reaching your year, you must feel a great sense of achievement! I can't wait until I reach a similar milestone and to see what doors open up as they have done for you. Again, amazing job mate.

Jay

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 11:58

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 311

Thanks all for your continued support, encouragement and positive comments, they mean a lot.

Stephen, Mankini's should be illegal, even for the Pope so if I ever have the urge again I will think of that image, refrain and throw up a little in my mouth :-). Regards this forum, you have a friend here in me here whenever you need it.

Annie thank you, I am no quitter so I hope I can beat it forever.

Jay, congrats on your Day 1 mate, that is the first BIG milestone. I wish you all the best in your recovery and will keep an eye on your diary.

Stay strong all

Matt 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 12:22

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

I second Sars respect, takes a lot of strength (whatever stage your at) to fight off the urge to gamble. Scary though that these urges can pop up at anytime.I sincerely hope that you know no one is ever going to judge you whatever you put on here, you have been a rock and an inspiration to so many and the support goes both ways. Take care S :)

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 13:02

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Thanks Sharon,

I won't lie a big part of not placing that bet or re-opening the acct was pretty simple....I do not want to go back to day 1, I have come so far and would be letting so many people down., including people on here.

I hope all is well with you and your journey.

Matt

Posted on:
Thu, 10/08/2017 - 14:32

Jayjam

Joined:
2017-08-09

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the post on my diary. I have indeed read your diary from the start; What a rollercoaster and it is so satisfying to see you coming out the other side. I was routing for you as I was going through it and to see you still on the wagon and going strong really was inspiring. Like I said, it has given me the nudge to start my own! I am going to take your advice and write a bucket list right now too. Great idea. Small goals and big goals are the way to go.

Cheers, Jay

 

Posted on:
Fri, 11/08/2017 - 10:38

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

 

Day 312

Like it Jay and good luck getting stuck into it too.

Currently on a train on my way to Leeds to visit my best friend for his Birthday. Looking forward to catching up again. Nice to be away from work for a few days too, feeling very much like I need a holiday now!

Have a good weekend all.

Matt

 

Posted on:
Sat, 12/08/2017 - 17:54

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Enjoy your well deserved break bro ! Stay gambling free ! Whooooop whooop!

Sars 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 15/08/2017 - 09:32

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 316

Great weekend, many laughs and good times. I also ticked another one off my bucket list. Sing karaoke in a room full of strangers. We were in some randon pub on Friday night and they had karaoke on so got up and performed ha ha. That will be my one and only go at doing that :-)

Stay strong all

Matt

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 14:38

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

DAY 317

Next part of the bucket list booked. I am officially going whale watching and to hopefully see the Northern Lights in Tromso in December. The price of the whole trip is something I wouldn't have thought twice about gambling on Tennis, the horses or football, what an absolute waste of a life I could have been. Incredible what we can truly experience in life when not gambling. I cannot wait for it, I am a massive nature geek.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Matt

 

Posted on:
Wed, 16/08/2017 - 18:25

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Wow how exciting, I know when gambling money seems to have no value just numbers on a screen!! Great to have some the to look forward to! S:)

Posted on:
Thu, 17/08/2017 - 10:30

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Sharon

Yep we have all been there, numbers are very real now and it's good to be back in the room so to speak.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 18/08/2017 - 14:42

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

DAY 319

So today my car has a problem, I take it to the garage and they estimate the repairs are going to cost £850....ouch!! Now before when this would have happened there is a massive possibility I would look to gamble my way out or not have the money at all to spare and have to make up some bull sh#t why I didn't have the money. Today as horrible as it is I know when I get paid next week I will have the money to repair my car and no bull sh#t needed other than cursing my bad luck.

Stay strong all

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 10:14

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Matt hope you're ok? S:)

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 10:44

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Hi Sharon

All okay thank you, hope you are too!

Day 323 today. Had a mad busy weekend. My friend came down from Leeds and my dad threw a retirement party in a local pub. Was a really good night and he was taken back by all those who attended.

No gambling, no urges. This Thursday would have been my wedding day, very strange thought indeed. I have booked Thursday and Friday off. I am going to spend one day with my Mum and take her out. I am not sure how I will feel about it all but with the bank holiday coming I thought I would use a couple of days holiday to give myself a little extended break. It will be nice to have some time away from the office, chill out and maybe reflect on how far I have managed to come.

Stay strong all.

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 15:41

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Glad you had a good weekend and have a long weekend coming up! Take it easy on yourself, you've been through so much whilst battling gambling. Have a lovely time with your Mum S:)

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 16:31

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Hey bud ! You're doing amazing 323 days wow ! Heading towards the 365 ;) . Have a great long weekend with your mum . There's better things out there for you brother :) stay GF 

Sars 

Posted on:
Tue, 22/08/2017 - 16:53

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Thanks People appreciate your kind comments as always.

Also glad to read you're both going strong :-)

Matt

Posted on:
Tue, 29/08/2017 - 09:35

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 330

Busy and really enjoyable few days off. London on Thursday for a show and drinks. Friday my Mum came down to help with my garden and then we went for lunch on the sea front, she loved it and it was nice to spend some time together. Friday night I went out for some drinks and pub sports.

Saturday I went to the football, my team lost but it was good to catch up with a couple of my friends. On the way back there was sadly a suicide so all the trains were delayed. There was a little reflection there because as little as 7 months ago I was nearly at that point, what a terrifying thought. However I am concrete proof that at your lowest ebb there is a way back.

Sunday I headed to a house warming party with a lot of my old football friends, that was a really nice day/evening. I stayed at my parents and then headed back in the morning to my house. Yesterday was spent mostly listening to music in the garden chilling out. Then in the evening I headed out for a BBQ.

All in all a highly enjoyable gamble free weekend.

Stay strong everyone

Matt

Posted on:
Thu, 31/08/2017 - 21:27

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 332 almost done

Transfer deadline day in the football. My friend just text me saying "Not same as last transfer deadline you were living here then.  See how far you come.  Nice work". Again that painful time feeling a long time ago now. Sat here in my own home looking forward to the future.

Matt

Posted on:
Sun, 03/09/2017 - 11:04

Self Sufficient...

Joined:
2017-05-10

Happy sunday, hope all is well in the land of Matt . Thankyou for your continuing support and good advice , really appreciated .

You have been to some dark miserable places in the gambling hell hole , faced with sadness regret and heartache you've battled on for 335 days and here you are . Anyone who thinks it can't be done has only to look at the challenges you have overcome . A great example and living proof we don't have to bow to the gambling addiction , any hold we feel the addiction has over us is only in our minds . To beat it we only have to say NO , I'M NOT GOING TO GAMBLE TODAY , that's what your doing and your life is  going to be a lot better for it .

Keep it up Matt your a wonderful role model . Exercise caution and always be diligent , them pesky gambling demon dudes never give up , always in the shadows and eager to catch us off guard ......stephen 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 04/09/2017 - 09:22

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 336 

Hi Stephen, no problem at all, your doing a great job in your battle and the support you have given others on here second to none.

Appreciate your words. I am now a month away from a whole year gamble free, at times it has felt like the worst year of my life, where I did truly hit my rock bottom. To use a Cliché here but that rock bottom did become the solid foundation where I have started to rebuild my life. I went to hell and back on repeat at times but now those experiences have given me a new beginning and one where I will appreciate every moment where possible. I have accepted I am an addict, I have accepted this illness contributed in some reckless decisions and mistakes were made. I have learned from these, I am a person of value and I have more determination than ever to live a life full of happiness, honesty, love, friendship and fun. Ultimately I want to be the person I always wanted to be and not be defined by my past. I am well on the road to doing this and it feels good.

I truly feel honoured and would love to know that my journey can help others in some way and if I could contribute in just one persons recovery and give them the belief and motivation to stop then this diary and the pain I endured will be worth it.

Stay strong everyone, there really is so much life to live.

Matt

Posted on:
Mon, 04/09/2017 - 10:15

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Matt, nearly a year is quite something and what you have been through has explored every emotion available. I sincerely have the upmost respect for you, at times you must have felt like giving in to gambling but didn't. You more than deserve the life you want and the person you want to be. Including myself you have obviously helped many others here, great stuff. Have a great GF week and future take care S:) 

Posted on:
Mon, 04/09/2017 - 12:20

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Thanks Sharon

You too, life is to be lived so lets enjoy and share our GF achievments together on here. I am glad I may have helped you but your achievments are just that, Yours keep going girl and give yourself the credit you fully deserve.

I am off to watch the England game at Wembley tonight with a friend of mine who I lived with during my break up. The support I received from my friends was overwhelming but I never want to need them again the way I did previously.

Stay strong everyone.

Matt 

Posted on:
Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:16

Matt 24

Joined:
2012-04-25

Day 338 begins

Life put firmly into perspective as a good friend of mine in hospital for a kidney transplant operation. Keeping everything crossed for him and his family that it all goes according to plan. You have nothing without your health and to think I took so much for granted and didn't value my life previously is a little wake up call.

I will never place another bet again and really will appreciate everything I have around me now.

Stay strong everyone.

Matt

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