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Does it always have to be destructive?  

 
SJAnon
(@sjanon)

Hi - I'm new to this forum and last placed a bet on 03/08/20, so less than a week. Reason for that was I'd been keeping it hidden from my wife but she accidentally opened a letter which showed loan repayments. I'd had financial issues about 8 years ago that ended in a default and I worked hard to repair my credit rating. Gambling has always been part of my daily routine over the last 10+ years, but hasn't always caused financial harm.

Now I'm sat here at home on a Saturday thinking it's odd that I haven't placed any bets. It's not that I feel irritated or like I'm missing out, just feels different. Got me wondering if  I could control my spend could I actually do it sensibly and would I enjoy it more and take away the anxiety?

Does gambling always end in destruction or can it be controlled with deposit limits and constant monitoring of bank accounts etc?

Quote
Posted : 8th August 2020 4:36 pm
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

@sjanon

I think every compulsive gambler has sat thinking if they could control it then it would be different. Maybe it'll be fun, maybe you'd actually win. The trouble is if you could do that you would have already done that.

I believe you are sat there trying to work out how you continue to gamble while justifying it to your wife.

It is a simple enough formula but it does involve honesty with yourself, and I imagine you haven't been honest for a while now. If you believe that gambling is causing a problem in your life then you need to stop. If it's not causing a problem then look at ways of reducing your gambling with limits. Gamcare do actually offer this reduced gambling as one of there therapy services but personally, from experience, it's total abstaince or not. Once you place a bet then it opens the door for the second and so on.

If it helps, everything you gamble for you can have by not gambling. Sounds easy but it's not.

Good luck to you coming to your own conclusions though.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 8th August 2020 8:24 pm
SJAnon
(@sjanon)

Hi Chris 

Thanks for your thoughts. You might well be right, it's a big sea-change for me so I'm dealing with a number of feelings and emotions at the moment.

For me, its never actually been about winning money- aside from the equation that winning allows future betting. I enjoy the analytical side of horse racing and testing my selections - appreciate this sounds like I'm trying to justify it, and maybe I am, but way back when I happily gambled around £50/week and no more for a number of years and got alot of enjoyment as I always view it as 'entertainment'. Somewhere along the way it turned sour.

I've been trying to journal my feelings to work out what it gave me that was positive (satisfaction, excitement etc.) versus the bad stuff (anxiety, shame). Despite all my failings I'm usually a structured individual, but I do worry if there is something 'addictive' in my nature. At this moment in time I understand that being dishonest again will cost me everything, and that's all the ammo I need to keep me straight.

Perhaps it's fanciful, but I do see a future where I have full financial transparency with my wife and I set limits/controls and stick to an agreed limit and day. However I am genuinely concerned that if it's in my DNA to either deceive or be addicted then it will be a matter of time before it goes wrong.

I don't think I'm one of the worst cases on here, so I'm just trying to make sense of this and work out what my future will look like.

I've given up or withdrawn from pretty much everything else I used to do that would occupy my time outside of work so naturally I have a void here and I can't get my head around how to fill it.

On one hand I don't want to just bin 10+ years of study and knowledge of horse racing if I could use it in a non-destructive way, but I don't know if that's possible. I guess I'm really annoyed with myself it's come to this- my debts total just over £2k from gambling over the last few years and I feel guilty that the money could have been spent on the family. But, additionally everything else goes on my family and I pretty much neglect myself- haven't bought a new t shirt in years!

Sorry for the ramble, I'm just trying to make sense of this all so any comments and thoughts are really helpful.

Thanks 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 9th August 2020 9:14 am
Joydivider
(@joydivider)

Hi

For a compulsive gambler there is no control and it is highly destructive, Its a progressive addiction until total destruction. It will hit new lows until the gambler finally gets the help they need.

It is/was our drug of choice. Its in our genes......in our bones that we cant leave it alone. We wont go into the depths of learned behaviour and how the hook comes quickly. Its a complex addiction attacking from all angles. It hooks people who would otherwise be careful with money and it hooks people who have vunerable issues within their soul.

Its a drug of escape and also hooks people on the desperation of trying to make things right again. The quote that inside every gambler is a miser holds true. Maybe its not quite as simple as that but it is a delusional illness.

In no way can gambling be called an income scheme because there is no reliability based on its random and haphazard nature. The odds are set by people who want our money and they want it fast.

Nobody stopped me or protected me because they didnt care. The pushers dont limit their income. I was given the means to stand in an arcade or bookies all day blowing everything I had. They could clearly see I had a problem.

I realise now how ill I was. I couldnt have just one go just like an alcoholic cant have one drink and leave it. Limits didnt work as I never set them or immediately reset to the default of no limit....limits that the addict is allowed to set is pure nonsense .

Once abstained I wouldn't want to continue with limits because I began to see the reality of gambling which is a mugs game. 

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

This post was modified 1 month ago by Joydivider
ReplyQuote
Posted : 9th August 2020 9:31 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

@sjanon 

All the things you've thinking I did too. I loved horse racing, the form, the breeding, statistics, owners, jockeys and trainers I knew them all. I'd buy the racing post and sporting life, occasionally a time form card and there really wasn't anything I couldn't tell you about the sport. I worked in l*******s and c****s, I worked for an on course bookmaker. I tried to work for channel 4 racing, SIS(I don't even know if that still exists), the national stud and the jockey club. To throw away ten to fifteen years of knowledge seemed such a waste. But, and it's a big but, it was only my way of holding on to it so I could gamble. On course I'd lose five times what I actually earned for my days work. In l*******s I'd be placing my own bets when there was no one around. I ended up under ringing bets just to get money to go to the casino with after work. 

Plus, despite knowing how to read form and so on, in between horse bets on every race I'd also be doing dog bets or virtual bets. The fact that a controlled gambler probably has one bet a day, week or fortnight yet there I was scrambling up to a counter just as they were off! Once online the only thing form that mattered was a few numbers but if I traded it was irrelevant. Another fifteen years on top of my expertise and I could probably name you two or three horses. Everything else was just a number or a name on an app which I spent seconds choosing!

i was talking to someone today about their golf membership of £1000 a year. So your debt through gambling is the equivalent of paying for two years of golf. I imagine it's cost you quite a lot more than that but if you want to accept the debt, just put it down as a membership fee. Don't try to get it back, it'll never end well.

As I said before, you have to come to your own conclusions but in my experience, if I could have controlled it with limits or only at weekends or whatever you feel appropriate, you would have done so already.

As far as your future, if you are like me and I believe I was born with it, I just have to accept it. The past has gone, I accept I can't place that first bet. It's cost me a lot to get to this point, more than money, so much more than money, so if you can take something from this it's that you'll never beat it, you'll never win, but that's okay because there is so much more to life than a bet. You just need to see it. I'd start with your wife and truly look if you've neglected her over gambling.

All the best.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 9th August 2020 11:03 am
SJAnon
(@sjanon)

Thanks Chris - really useful and I appreciate you taking the time to respond again. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 9th August 2020 12:39 pm
laird1988
(@laird1988)
Posted by: SJAnon

Hi Chris 

Thanks for your thoughts. You might well be right, it's a big sea-change for me so I'm dealing with a number of feelings and emotions at the moment.

For me, its never actually been about winning money- aside from the equation that winning allows future betting. I enjoy the analytical side of horse racing and testing my selections - appreciate this sounds like I'm trying to justify it, and maybe I am, but way back when I happily gambled around £50/week and no more for a number of years and got alot of enjoyment as I always view it as 'entertainment'. Somewhere along the way it turned sour.

I've been trying to journal my feelings to work out what it gave me that was positive (satisfaction, excitement etc.) versus the bad stuff (anxiety, shame). Despite all my failings I'm usually a structured individual, but I do worry if there is something 'addictive' in my nature. At this moment in time I understand that being dishonest again will cost me everything, and that's all the ammo I need to keep me straight.

Perhaps it's fanciful, but I do see a future where I have full financial transparency with my wife and I set limits/controls and stick to an agreed limit and day. However I am genuinely concerned that if it's in my DNA to either deceive or be addicted then it will be a matter of time before it goes wrong.

I don't think I'm one of the worst cases on here, so I'm just trying to make sense of this and work out what my future will look like.

I've given up or withdrawn from pretty much everything else I used to do that would occupy my time outside of work so naturally I have a void here and I can't get my head around how to fill it.

On one hand I don't want to just bin 10+ years of study and knowledge of horse racing if I could use it in a non-destructive way, but I don't know if that's possible. I guess I'm really annoyed with myself it's come to this- my debts total just over £2k from gambling over the last few years and I feel guilty that the money could have been spent on the family. But, additionally everything else goes on my family and I pretty much neglect myself- haven't bought a new t shirt in years!

Sorry for the ramble, I'm just trying to make sense of this all so any comments and thoughts are really helpful.

Thanks 

If it is only about testing your selections then why the need to place a bet at all? If the answer is that the thought of not placing it and it winning is a terrible option then I would suggest that you do have a problem like the rest of us.

£5/£50/£500 a week, its irrelevant because you will always lose. No betting is in the punters favour, for any wins there will be more losses and you will be down. Maybe not that week, or the month but overall, you will end up down.

Hope you come to the same conclusion for your own sake. Good luck

 

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 9th August 2020 9:42 pm
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