GamCare Logo
Login / Register

Nearly 30 years...

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted by
#1 Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 22:39



Hi Everyone!

After nearly 30 years of highs, terrible lows and half hearted attempts at quitting, I’ve finally had enough of gambling. Having cost myself relationships, top jobs, houses, money, my freedom for 12 months and suffered in silence (until being exposed) whilst maintaining a happy exterior it all ended with a £5.85 bet on trap 1 in the 6.18 at Sheffield...Led by 3 lengths going down the back straight only to fade badly into last place, it ran like it had been fed a meat pie before the off and after the initial pleasure immediately got heartburn. It probably was fed a pie and we’ve all experienced the side effects...

The £5.85 was my final stake as it was the last £6 left on my credit card after the 2.5% charge on********. The straw that broke the camel’s back? Or maybe it was the previous £5 million staked and over £600k lost? Either way, I’m done. It was all a buzz at first, standing in the bookies with your mates at 17, then standing in the bookies with randoms who became a kind of friend, then depositing cash online and losing sight of it’s value. The rise of online did me, both the bookies and access to my own and others cash. You simply couldn’t stake the money I did on the high street, they used to phone through a fifty quid greyhound bet, but traders happily accept a grand bet online. That’s not to blame the bookies, they lay the odds and I took them, or my bank and employer, who trusted me and I threw it in their face. Gambling makes good people lose sight, judgement, their mind and many other things.

You’d think having disgraced yourself with family and friends, lost everything and more through dishonesty and spending time at Her Majesty’s pleasure, gambling would be a poor option? Not for me. I know right from wrong, I had destroyed everything, I knew what the cause was and that only a fool keeps doing the same thing and expecting a different result...Gambling takes over you, your life, your thoughts and stops rational thinking. I don’t even know why I do it, I’m not that interested in money, which is clear as I’ve gambled everything I can get my hands on without thinking about bills, eating or anything else! When I’ve got it I’m generous to a fault but more often than not I now hide myself away as I can’t afford a round...Anyway, I digress!! The fact is gambling ruined me and others, yet I kept going back for more, until now.

There have been few highs or lows involving a single bet for many years, a win or loss felt the same, no buzz, I think you become numb. When you place so many bets during a day, week, month, the low normally comes at the end of a period when you have no stake left. I’ve exhausted all credit, monies, payday loans available to me again until payday, which is 3 weeks away, and I’m in a hole again. This is not an unusual position! I’ve been betting small stakes as fortunately this is all my circumstances now allow, but something happened with the £5.85 bet the other day which changed my mindset, I was done!! Sick of it, after nearly 30 years, millions in stakes, thousands in losses, heartache, prison, bankruptcy, suffering for all around me, I was done with it. I’ve been down to nothing thousands of times before and as soon as money came available, I gambled. My eBay app pinged minutes later with a sale for £66 for a signed Liverpool football which even as a United fan was way under priced! Stake money, no, not this time. My last remaining online account, after self excluding from everywhere else years ago, was about to be excluded...Many of us have done it, we’re all in the same boat, self excluded but kept a sneaky one open? Well it went and the eBay money stayed with me. When you’ve blown all that money, 60 notes is chicken feed I guess? It’s not and I’ve felt great the last couple of days.

As you’ve probably gathered, this moment has been coming for sometime. I’ve been a “voyeur” of this forum for a little while, admiring from afar the efforts of all those registered and having had counselling from Gamcare myself, I wish everyone well with their efforts. Writing these few lines has been therapeutic in itself and although I may not report back everyday, I will update from time to time.

Keep up the good work folks, we all know it’s tough!!






Posted on:
Fri, 10/11/2017 - 12:22

Forum admin


Welcome Rich27!

It's good to see you posting on the forum, and we're glad that reading the forum has been a support to you. We're happy for anyone to get inspiration by reading the forum - that's why it's publicly available and you don't even have to register to read the posts. 

Your story will no doubt be familiar to many here. Whatever the straw that breaks the camel's back, whether it's a £5.85 bet or a financial crisis, the important thing is that you are seeking help for your addiction. It sounds like you've already had support from GamCare but you are welcome to contact us again, either on the HelpLine or the NetLine. We can always fix up counselling again for you. 

Best wishes


Forum Admin

Posted on:
Sat, 09/12/2017 - 00:37



Hello Rich. I'm kinda surprised that you haven't had more response to your incredible post. Hey, I thought that I got it bad, but yours truly is a bridge too far.

You've detailed just how destructive this addiction can be, whilst highlighting the mind games and torture endured. I do hope that you have found a way forward and would be interested to know of your circumstances and current status. I wish you well.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/12/2017 - 02:50



Wow. I don't know what to say Rich, I've done much of what you've done (apart from prison luckily) since I was 16, standing in the bookies lying about my age. I'm 34 now and sick to death of the horrible and disgusting effects of gambling. Keeping going stick to it. All I can say is try to find something you can get some buzz out of and do it to replace the buzz of gambling. It could be helping others on here, giving the benefit of 30 years experience. Good luck.

Posted on:
Sat, 09/12/2017 - 22:23



lHi Rich,

Very honest post there,  seems you've taken this addiction we suffer to every extreme possible.

I wish you all the best with your recovery and I will look out for your updates.

I'm back again after a relapse and sick of the feelings too.  I hope your wise words will help me also

All the best 

Posted on:
Sun, 17/12/2017 - 20:44



How’s it going Rich? 

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 15:59



How's it been Rich??

Posted on:
Tue, 19/12/2017 - 23:22



That was a great read, hoping to see you check back in sometime Rich. 

Posted on:
Wed, 20/12/2017 - 07:52



Hi Rich, hope you are reading and staying gamble free.  It's no harm to write your thoughts down good or bad.   Your not the only one and while we my not realise it we are all in this together.  Stay Strong and Gamble Free

Posted on:
Wed, 14/02/2018 - 22:33



Hi All

I’ve read the forum on a daily basis since my initial post, empathising in silence, and thought it was time to update! I’m nothing to social media, no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, possibly brought on by my gambling secrecy and the whole thing passing me by whilst studying football acca’s and dog form, although it’s more likely I don’t feel the need to tell the world I’ve just cleaned my teeth! This forum and it’s members give me strength, so it’s time to send a little back...

I’ve been depressed for some years, covering it up with a smile on the outside whilst miserable on the inside. It’s all brought on by gambling and as we become better actors, covering up money woes, lies and internal misery, many times I’ve actually convinced myself something will turn up and all will be well in my world. I now know that if you take positive action, change your ways, your ingrained patterns, your lifestyle, good things start to happen.

Gambling had to go, my head was fried along with my finances and although I couldn’t tell my family and friends that I was still addicted, having caused so much suffering and worry over the years, it was time to do it alone and regain some self respect. This forum helps so much as it’s like having an anonymous family, all understanding and right behind you!

So I called my creditors, landlord, payday loaners and asked for help...Which to my surprise, they all did! Now don’t get me wrong, the amounts involved were nothing like what I’d been into prior to bankruptcy and prison, but it’s still about £10k which when your credit lines have dried up and you’re not earning as much, means you’re going to chase the only way you how on payday. It was going to be tight for a few months but it was the start I needed.

It was time to abstain and having had a couple of false starts, relapses on a very small scale, I’m now gamble free for six weeks. These small positives have had a great effect on my mental health. I’m no longer trying to kid myself into thinking I’m good, I feel good, my smile is now genuine, energy levels are rising and sleep patterns improving. I’m still officially on the bones of my **** in monetary terms but have enough to buy the odd Costa and hold my own in a small round! It seems ridiculous having been prepared to waste hundreds and thousands on single bets that such small increments could bring so much positivity, but they do and maybe it’s the journey to being normal again?

I’ll see how it all pans out and will post again shortly but if you can manage a few days, weeks, months without a bet and allow some positives to grow, you’ll be surprised by the turn around. Patience isn’t a trait of us gamblers and it was only forced upon me whilst waiting for payday or a new line of credit but if you can break the chain, you give yourself a chance.



Posted on:
Wed, 14/02/2018 - 22:37

Compulsive Gambler

Before 2009

check out debt camel - sounds like it might be worth it - only if you are not gambling though

Posted on:
Wed, 14/02/2018 - 23:12



Its great to hear you talk so much more positivly about thing Rich! You are right, there is a path out if and when we want/have to take it. Gambling takes a massive toll on our mental health and being able to step out of that even for a few weeks at least gives us some time to see that. Its not easy and its not a smooth road out but there is life outside of our addictions and it really can force us down a road of personal re-discovery and self awareness that many "normal" people don't travel.

We can take positives from the strength we show by not gambling and by working recovery, finding peace we who we really are and want to be.

All the best =)

Posted on:
Thu, 15/02/2018 - 04:14





There is much I could echo about your original post. It is very well written. It is the road I was heading down as a young man. Would it have made any difference if I could see that then or was the lure of gambling just too much for reason.

I wish you well Rich

Posted on:
Sun, 18/02/2018 - 19:48



Hi Rich

Just read your post and can fully appreciate everything you've been through. Even spending time away at your majesty's pleasure.

It's strange how we operate. I like you had everything. A fantastic family, great job, wonderful house, cars etc and threw it all away. I've relapsed again and cannot believe it.

One thing I have been thinking about is why we do this as someone mentioned that I might be bipolar. I looked into this and saw comparisons to myself and why we behave the way we do.

Keep strong and you can beat this. I'm planning my recovery again and will beat it.

Posted on:
Sun, 18/02/2018 - 21:51



A very honest account Rich and lots of thing resonate.

I’ve probably gambled as long as yourself, not massively different stakes over the years. Not been bankrupt or in prison but have a fair amount of debt.

The thing I regret most is harm caused to my family, lost jobs, lost chances in life and the sheer amount of time wasted.

My debt will take a few years to clear, and I guess yours will too.

However I’m not stressing over it as long as I chip away a little each month.


We will never get the money back & never undo some of the harm but we can live the rest of our live the best we can.

I’m just enjoying every clean day.

Good luck