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End of long road reached  

 
JohnMac
(@johnmac)

Hi All,

I would like to write my story here, after recently joining and reading several others. Many that resonate with me.

I feel like I've been a gambler all my life, and I'm now 50. Besides the gambling, I'm also a little shocked to write down my own age, must admit!

There has been gambling in my life since I was about 15 years old - bookies taking bets on horses and football in those days, amazing really when I looked about 13. But they did. As I grew up I carried on betting throughout a lengthy education (I'm pretty well qualified), and different career and life stages - I'm still well employed, and have a family (wife and my two children).

Gambling as a problem has fluctuated, but always been around. As a student losing all my funds for several weeks, living off toast etc! Later, with the family and jobs even, the much worse scurge - credit cards. Immense difference in many ways. I could not longer just spend and overdraft. This varied in damage, but essentially gradually piled up. When I left a stressful job several years ago, I also left paying my cards, tried debt management. That was fine for a while, got different employment and income, was paying into it. I didn't tell my wife however about that - she'd already paid off some previous debts for me, and I was terrified. I just though, I'll sort this she won't know. Mad plan I know. Because I carried on gambling.

My finances fluctuated crazy - sometimes great, others dropping back into further debt (above the previous that I was paying)! Madness. But I kept a mask, a face, so often - I even kept paying my wife decent money every month - that was something of a cover, I suppose. A trick to tell myself it was fine. I really planned to pay off all my debts, eventually.

The end of the long road was very recent. It eventually hit the worst patch that I could no longer cope with. I realised all my new debts (spreadbetting firms mostly) were impossible. I couldn't cope, I did have a tiny amount of fluid funds, but amazingly didn't gamble it. I just stopped. A mountain of debt, but worse was not being able to share any of it. I finally told my wife all the current situation. It was not something I wanted and I still feel a little sick in my stomach thinking of it. But she was amazing. A bit of anger, of course, but basically she has planned with me how we can beat it all - the money, the gambling activity, basically my life.

There is so much more details I'd love to share, but that is where I'm currently standing at the end of a very long, lonely, hard road.

Best wishes all,

Mac.

Quote
Posted : 3rd July 2020 6:00 pm
JohnMac
(@johnmac)

So, update in my very early days without gambling.

Had an insightful conversation with my wife yesterday. She thinks I need counselling, but I felt I was unsure. I'm not sure what others would say on that issue here...? Is it an essential, or is it fine to discuss like forums such as this instead?

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by JohnMac
ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th July 2020 10:53 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Welcome to the Forum JohnMac and thank you for sharing.

It does sound like you have a very supportive wife who has been amazing during some really difficult times for you. I think it's great that she has put the ideal of counselling on the table as it is definitely something that is worth considering.  

 The decision though has to come from you as to have real benefit it needs to be something that you want to do. So I'd explore those feelings you are having about being unsure, where are these feelings stemming from? Is it that you feel you can manage without it, or is it the thought of opening up to someone else? It can certainly seem a daunting prospect at first. But there are many of our Forum users who have had counselling or some form of treatment that have found it really beneficial. 

My best advice would be to talk to one of our Advisers either on the Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via our NetLine

You'd be able to talk more in depth about your situation, how you are feeling in the early days without gambling, are you still getting urges to gamble? and do you know your triggers to gamble? An adviser would also be able to go through all the options for treatment available to you, including: face to face, over the phone, via webcam or our Gamechanger course that you can complete online in your own time. The most important thing is finding something that works best for you and your recovery.

The Forum is a great place for peer support, but lots of Forum users find it's a great resource alongside other forms of support too.  The treatment on offer is free and our Helpline is 24/7 so anytime you want to talk, explore or just ask questions please feel free to contact an Adviser.

Kind regards

ChrisK

Forum Admin

 

 

This post was modified 1 month ago 4 times by Forum admin
ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th July 2020 11:35 am
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi John well done for owning it massive step. I'm doing the counselling and finding it really helpful. It's talking to a stranger and being able to say exactly how you feel without judgement . Men often have an inbuilt problem with opening up feelings and emotions so maybe that's why you are reluctant. Sharing on here is a very good start and being truthful I have found it equally as good as obviously this can be accessed 24/7 counselling session will be once a week for an hour. You have taken really good steps and I wish you all the best for your journey. Sorry I haven't posted for you before for some reason I didn't pick your thread up before now. Please feel free to ask me anything I'll always try to give an honest answer

ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th July 2020 12:13 pm
JohnMac
(@johnmac)
Posted by: Forum admin

Welcome to the Forum JohnMac and thank you for sharing.

It does sound like you have a very supportive wife who has been amazing during some really difficult times for you. I think it's great that she has put the ideal of counselling on the table as it is definitely something that is worth considering.  

 The decision though has to come from you as to have real benefit it needs to be something that you want to do. So I'd explore those feelings you are having about being unsure, where are these feelings stemming from? Is it that you feel you can manage without it, or is it the thought of opening up to someone else? It can certainly seem a daunting prospect at first. But there are many of our Forum users who have had counselling or some form of treatment that have found it really beneficial. 

My best advice would be to talk to one of our Advisers either on the Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via our NetLine

You'd be able to talk more in depth about your situation, how you are feeling in the early days without gambling, are you still getting urges to gamble? and do you know your triggers to gamble? An adviser would also be able to go through all the options for treatment available to you, including: face to face, over the phone, via webcam or our Gamechanger course that you can complete online in your own time. The most important thing is finding something that works best for you and your recovery.

The Forum is a great place for peer support, but lots of Forum users find it's a great resource alongside other forms of support too.  The treatment on offer is free and our Helpline is 24/7 so anytime you want to talk, explore or just ask questions please feel free to contact an Adviser.

Kind regards

ChrisK

Forum Admin

 

 

Thank you for all the advice - there are many issues around my head as you suggest, specifically how I'm feeling about being out and away from it, and I am very early days I agree. I can see that talking some of these issues through could be a good step. Thank you.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th July 2020 1:28 pm
JohnMac
(@johnmac)
Posted by: Charlieboy

Hi John well done for owning it massive step. I'm doing the counselling and finding it really helpful. It's talking to a stranger and being able to say exactly how you feel without judgement . Men often have an inbuilt problem with opening up feelings and emotions so maybe that's why you are reluctant. Sharing on here is a very good start and being truthful I have found it equally as good as obviously this can be accessed 24/7 counselling session will be once a week for an hour. You have taken really good steps and I wish you all the best for your journey. Sorry I haven't posted for you before for some reason I didn't pick your thread up before now. Please feel free to ask me anything I'll always try to give an honest answer

Thanks Charlieboy, and for relating how it's going for you as treatment. I can see the 'male' thing in  myself too in terms of opening up. Part of the problem for me to start with I'd reckon! I will aim to keep sharing here, like you say. It does feel beneficial.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th July 2020 1:30 pm
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