I immediately felt like a huge weight had been lifted when I registered with Gamstop last September.
As I clicked submit on the registration form I knew that the endless roller coaster of emotions had finally come to rest. My finances would be stable for the first time in years and I had high hopes that my entire life would improve.
In many ways, it has. I no longer wake up thinking about how much I won or lost the night before. I no longer have to worry about bills getting paid or loved ones being affected by my addiction.
I had wanted to escape from the clutches of my VIP accounts for several years, but huge monthly bonuses made it very hard to find an exit. Now that I had, I was excited to see what would happen next.
What happened next was a strengthening of relationships, a massive improvement in financial health and in some ways my mental health too.
If only the next line read "...and he lived happily ever after."
It doesn't, but it's not for the reasons you might expect. There are no horror stories of unlicensed online casinos or visits to bookmakers. Gambling is not the problem at all anymore. It's the deep, dark boring void that it has left behind.
No one warns you how dull and boring life can get when the wheel stops spinning and the cards are no longer being dealt. I don't know where to start to replace the excitement, the feeling of being alive and knowing that any chance of the next big win has gone forever.
Those who don't really understand would suggest finding a new hobby or taking up a sport, but neither of those suggestions are at all tenable to someone who has experienced the best that life has to offer through gambling.
That's what Joe Bloggs does. He's bored so he makes new friends, joins a club, takes up a new sport, finds a hobby or starts collecting something. A hardened gambler doesn't. He or she isn't interested in trying to replace the irreplaceable.
It leaves me with one question that I'm afraid I already know the answer to:
Is it possible to live without gambling, even though you definitely can't live with it?
To anyone that has made it this far, I cannot recommend Gamstop highly enough to anyone struggling with online gambling addiction. It's the perfect first step in changing your life for the better.
Hi, I'm at the start of my long journey and reading this has gave me inspiration. And well done on how far you've come. For the living with and without gambling, I personal think it's a fine line and us on here know it. Over time with the dedication and determination I think you can live without it, you'll find your purpose I suppose in time, even helping others is good starting point for people well within there journey to recovery and freedom. Stay positive
Thank you for your kind words. I would say that the journey doesn't have to be as long as you think. I went from gambling thousands of pounds every week to not gambling at all after registering with Gamstop.
If you are from the UK, this is almost the cure all.
There are sites not registered with Gamstop but there is absolutely no point in attempting to play. They are unlicensed, will not pay if you win and are likely to steal your personal details upon registration. Only the very foolish or unwell would even consider it.
That just leaves the offline temptations to deal with. Information found here can help you stop that too: removed link
As for life after you quit, maybe you can come back and tell me what I'm supposed to be doing. I feel lost, despite conquering what I thought was the biggest hurdle.
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