Hello everyone…. I’m Lyndsey and I’m a gambling addict.. (Never actually said that before)
So this all started for me around 5 or 6 years ago…. Gambling had never even crossed my mind until I met my ex-boyfriend. He used to place bets on his phone for Football and one day he needed to use my phone.. I then got left with the app on my phone and was curious to see what it was all about.. I was drawn to Bingo (Worse mistake of my life) this is when the nightmare began ..
I loved it and seemed to always win, I loved the buzz and thought to myself why have I never done this before.. so it was all very harmless at the beginning and then I started to lose which then I started to chase my losses, then win, then lose again. It was such a vicious circle.
I then went on to play online slots.. same thing happened again.. why didn’t I learn?
I took out pay day loans, bank loans, 3 credit cards and I was declared bankrupt (even this didn’t stop me) my very supportive family have bailed me out numerous times and I have caused so much upset and pain to my parents.. They almost threw me out only last week. Thankfully my debts have been paid so I do not have to worry about that anymore.. I’ve never been more grateful to get this last chance to make things right..
I have registered with GamStop and placed myself on a Ban so I can safely say I haven’t gambled now for about 3 weeks. I do miss it I’m not going to lie. I am just trying to keep myself busy.. I however downloaded a colour happy app on my phone that I am really enjoying and its takes my mind off Gambling.
There is lots more to my story .. but I would be here all day. Any kind words of support and advice would be really helpful.
Lots of love.. Lyndsey xxx
Congratulations on your journey so far. I'm only in my first year of recovery and it took me ten months before I stopped thinking about gambling during this time. I had self excluded myself, handed over financial control to my partner, did everything I could, but my mind would still venture back to gambling. It's very hard to switch something off that you've obsessed over for so long. I was in the exact same boat as you with the credit card debt, the bank loans, credit union loans and the pay day loans. Unfortunately for me I never sought help when I was drowning and I now have a lot of debt to clear off which will take me a number of years. However it's been a year now and I have not put a cent on a bet in this time and I have taken a massive chunk out of that debt now. If I keep to what I am doing, I'll get to where I need to be.
As I said above, I'm only a year into my own recovery but I do think the fundamental challenge in the recovery from this particular addiction is to have the attitude that you want to stop gambling. Without that resolve you won't get very far in my opinion. 85% won't do it, nor will 95%, it has to be 100%. Because without that full commitment, as a gambler, you will find a way to get yourself to a bookies, open an account, get a friend to place a bet etc etc. So once you turn that corner of wanting to quit, then with the correct help, it is possible. I found gamblers anonymous to be very helpful and even the support network that you build up from that group is invaluable. Being able to talk to like minded individuals who are going through and have gone through what you are experiencing was a massive help for me. But everyone is different, I can only say what's worked for me. I wish you well in your recovery and there's a lot of people in this forum that will try and help you too if you need it.
Firstly may I congratulate you on taking the positive step of registering with GamStop.
Reading your post was like reading about my own personal experience; re the bankruptcy, pay day loans, credit cards and bank loans.
3 weeks gamble free is a fantastic achievement and one in which you should be proud of yourself for. It is totally natural to miss gambling and in time it will become easier.
I had gambled almost every day for over 20 years, and lost approximately 150K, before I admitted to myself that I am a compulsive gambler in need of help. It has now been 2 years and 8 months since my last bet, something in which I would never have believed possible. But I have managed to do it, and you will too.
You’re not alone, I don’t even know you, but I mean it when I say ‘I am proud of you’.