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My struggle

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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 25/02/2018 - 11:45

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

 

 

This is the first of my diary posts. I am currently 2 days and 17 hours gf.  It is not yet pay day though. I owe my bf some money which is almost all I have until Wednesday and have at least managed to not gamble that. He doesn't know about my most recent relapse  

I am 32 years old and have been gambling for 4 years and have lost everything I worked for and more, have worried and upset my mum and partner, destroyed hopes I had on my career which I needed my savings for, and I am no longer a home owner. 

I have mentally and physically destroyed myself. From hysterically crying, shouting at myself to literally pulling my hair out and not eating. I used to be very fit and healthy but now feel exhausted.

The reason I am still tempted backto gambling is the debt I'm in. I have t yet accepted it but have recently added to it. I have a plan this year to cut it in half but it will take a lot of will power. I will post here to update my progress. 

My partner comes home from holiday tonight. I have had a productive weekend with work and housework. This afternoon my plan is to get back to the things I enjoy. I'm going to tune up my guitar for the first time in months and roll out my yoga mat. 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/02/2018 - 14:27

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Welcome to the diaries Lizzie. So sorry to read of the misery you have experienced through 4 years of gambling. It is imperative that you draw a line under it now or it will drag you down even further. 

Pay day wednesday is fraught with danger. Install blocks to stop you gambling. Maybe ask your mum or partner to help in managing your finances. Put yourself in a position where you cannot gamble because we are very vulnerable especially in the early days. Get things in place before wednesday.

Losing the months wages on the day we're paid is absolutely soul destroying and leaves us struggling to get by. All that for the sake of a little excitement. We know without doubt that we will lose because we can't stop. We obviously are not gambling to win money, we are simply gambling for the buzz, the rush of dopamine which floods our minds whether we win or lose. 

You mentioned doing a big grocery shop on payday. I always top up my Asda Gift Card so that I don't have to worry about having no money for groceries.

You are a young woman and can rebuild your life, restore your self esteem and find peace, fulfilment and happiness.

One day at a time you can reclaim your life and free yourself from this insidious addiction. It is good to concern yourself with the here and now because tomorrow's another day and it will present us with it's own challenges.

Wishing you well on your journey. We are all on the same road, gamcare friends lending support, offering advice and giving encouragement...stephen 

Posted on:
Sun, 25/02/2018 - 17:19

Cookie12

Joined:
2018-02-19

hi Lizzie.one day and one step at a time. well done for planning your day out.when I'm not at work I plan 3 things to do a day so that I can feel a sense of achievement .take care and keep posting

Posted on:
Mon, 26/02/2018 - 18:07

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

 

Thank you Cookie. I feel it's important to keep occupied.

Day 3.

I don't actually feel much sense of achievement as I literally have £6 in my account so I couldn't gamble if I wanted to. However I am feeling quite peaceful and enjoying the lack of stress and anxiety. I was actually in a pretty good mood today at work, and now making a lovely dinner.

My bf came home from holiday last night which is a great thing as being home alone is definitely a trigger. 

I feel good. But it's still there, I'm not tempted as such but it's definitely still there and still strong. I need to be stronger.  

Posted on:
Mon, 26/02/2018 - 20:32

Jayden

Joined:
2011-09-01

Hi Lizzy

​Well done on coming on here, we're all here to support you. 

​Just take it one day at a time, be honest with everyone and I'm sure it'll get easier.

All the best, Jayden.

Posted on:
Mon, 26/02/2018 - 21:23

Lulubobs1966

Joined:
2015-07-19

Hi Lizzie well done you for three days gf every day gf is special and precious even though you’ve no money (like me) you’ve achieved everything each and every day gf is an achievement. Keep posting we’re all here for you x lulu

Posted on:
Wed, 28/02/2018 - 11:54

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

 

Day 5 - Pay day

Pay day today. First day I've had any money. All bills and debt payments have already come off. I'm going to take out some cash to keep for the rest of the month and change some currency for my holiday. 

I felt so anxious last night, not specifically thinking about gambling but just generally anxious. Not quite so bad this morning. It was a bad day yesterday, thinking of regrets, what I've lost, how I'm stuck in my job and threw away all of my options and plans. This is what keeps me gambling, wanting to give myself my life options back. I feel so stuck now. 

Posted on:
Fri, 02/03/2018 - 18:33

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

Day 8

Doing well so far! I'm pleased I've made it to the end of the week. I have never gambled on weekends as markets are closed. Small blessings! 

This week I've just been working, nothing very exciting. I've cooked some nice meals in the evenings. I've always paid for the food shopping and am doing it on a budget now. I've told my partner I still want to buy all the food and yo let me do it my way on a budget! As that's part of my contribution to our home. Also I pay the utilities, which I bit a bullet and updated my meter readings (knowing they were off!) resulting in a larger bill, and rather than gambling to try to win the extra I just went straight online and made an extra payment. 

It may seem minor but I'm quite pleased with myself for that. 

Weekend plans look to be cancelled due to weather. Maybe a blessing as it saves money and I'm going on holiday in one week. My holiday is paid for including meals. So won't need much spending money, budgeting £300. And budgeting £50 per week for the other weeks this month. So £450 and I have £600 left. Whatever I have left at the end will pay to debt. 

Apologies if I shouldn't include my budget in my post. But I'm hoping to use my diary to document my recovery (hopefully!) which also includes my route out of debt without turning to gambling to try to pay it. The possibility that I can pay my debts from my actual pay instead of hitting the big win to pay it all off! 

looking forward to a nice GF weekend. 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 02/03/2018 - 19:03

LHN-050793

Joined:
2017-01-01

You should be so proud. I always found the first week to be the hardest and you’ve passed that. You seem very similar to myself. Does your partner know?

My other half is out with mates at the moment and that was normally my time to gamble without being found out. I’m now 187 days gamble free. You’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I too used to have the issue with the extra utility charges but not anymore! Always happy to have a chat if you need it. Don’t come on here too often but let me know! 

X

Posted on:
Sat, 03/03/2018 - 12:50

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

Thank you LHN. Well done on 187 days. 

 

My boyfriend knows but not about my relapse. He's very supportive but also quite cut throat and tbh he just wants an easy life. He's generally a positive person and wants a positive life! So I feel awful for taking that positivity away from him. 

I'm starting to feel acceptance for my new situation with the new debt I've accumulated. I just want to pay it off asap though because I know my downfall is trying to gamble my way back out of debt. 

Hope you maintained the strength when your partner was out and you're enjoying the rest of your weekend GF. I'm always around and welcome a chat too xx

Posted on:
Tue, 06/03/2018 - 17:41

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

 

Day 11

I really struggled over the weekend. Not wanting to gamble but feeling really very low. No motivation at all. What makes me so low is my wasted opportunities. I had the chance to do whatever I wanted, to do a career I'd enjoy and have a great life with it. But I threw it all away. Now I work in a job that I don't want to do. Went back to a career I said I'd never go back to and I feel trapped. I think about it constantly and it gives me horrible anxiety. 

It gets me down so much. I've also lost a lot of hobbies, I used to be so creative with hobbies and work and have no outlet for it now. I want to sort myself out and do something about it but I'm just not interested or motivated. The only way I could see out was gambling and I think now I've stopped again it's like I'm giving up on any hope of change. 

Posted on:
Wed, 07/03/2018 - 11:27

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

12... 

Not feeling quite as bad as on the weekend. Still have money in my bank account so that's progress! Going on holiday for a week this Saturday, really looking forward to it. I have set my budget of spending money, anything I don't spend will be going to pay debt as soon as I get back. I don't want it in my account. I don't want the tempttatuon, but also still want to control my own finances. 

I've been cooking a lot, made some lovely meals in the past 12 days. But apart from that I haven't done much other than working. This needs to change. After my holiday (which is a sports based trip) I need to get back to my yoga practice, find a new creative outlet and pursue the sports I enjoy. If I can't find the motivation for these I will just crumble. I'm hoping this trip is what I need to sort me out. 

Posted on:
Wed, 07/03/2018 - 11:36

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

I've also deleted my social media apps. Not my accounts as I still want to use it, but I want a break from it. I find I compare my life to others, and also waste time scrolling mindlessly. Hoping that limiting my use of my phone will also help with breaking the habit of using it to gamble. 

Posted on:
Wed, 07/03/2018 - 11:52

Lulubobs1966

Joined:
2015-07-19

Hi Lizzy I get where your coming from about no motivation etc that sounds like a bit of depression to be honest. Even though we want to stop and have obviously it’s still very early days where the dopamine hits you were getting while gambling are now really low. It takes a bit of time for the natural dopamine to balance out. That’s what I’ve read anyway and it makes sense, gambling effects the brain just like drugs. I’ve felt that way too and resigned myself to waiting for it to pass. It does pretty quickly. Your holiday will definitely help. Well done on 12 days, stay strong and be happier gf! Lulu X

Posted on:
Wed, 07/03/2018 - 13:00

Lizzy32

Joined:
2018-02-09

Thank you Lulu. You're right it does feel like depression. I'm very stoic and never seemed any help but have had bouts of this before, sometimes unrelated to gambling. I always get through it but I think I need some counselling to deal with everything. It's hard to admit that but I hold so much inside and always pretend things are fine when I'm torn up inside. 

Hope you are doing well x