I signed up in January 2018 saying to myself I needed to stop gambling after losing about £25k over the course of six years in football betting (2012-2018) and saying I have lost everything. Just over 2 years since my post, I have rocketed that amount to £110k - absolute madness. I have remained in a VERY TERRIBLE financial position during this period and I kept saying to myself I would stop gambling once I am able to sort out my finances and my income is more than my outgoings (very big lie). Recently, I have taken up a second job, got some refunds from loans and I am in a place where I can say, ok, I can forget my losses and start working to pay back my debts (Approx £60k - Shouldn't take more than 2yrs if I don't gamble), but No, I still gambled yesterday and now waiting for payday, it's eaten up my brain completely. The mental side is this hardest for me. Now, I don't want to care about anything else, I just need to some time off gambling to get my senses back (2 months minimum as I have gone weeks and didn't work). I shall be investing in the latest play station game and try and get addicted to that. I believe once I am able to think properly, I can start attending GA's and trying other things people have suggested here that helps. At the moment, I can gamble away anything including my manhood, it's really that bad right now.
Hi frogman. I would love to say that 2months off gambling is ok and then you can go back to it. But the harsh reality is you are an addict and you are ruining your life. You need to stop now block your access to gambling websites / bookies etc and or ask your bank of they can block transactions from your account. I really don't know how much money I've lost, 20 years gambling last 2 years compulsive destructive gambling. I'm now 24 days gamble free and I am starting to accept this being a lifelong addiction same as alcoholism. I have all the blocks in place my husband has full control of finances I have no access to bank accounts,cards etc. I don't know if I can ever be trusted again but time will tell. I'm taking it one day at a time I'm thankful for each day without gambling. Don't give up hope frogman start by getting some good advice via phone line or live chat. Have you got someone you can talk to who will help you? Support you ? Keep posting people will reply give you advice.
Welcome back to the forum.
This may sound harsh but your priority right now, in my opinion, is to seek immediate help. I know it’s difficult during a lockdown but whatever help you can get you should take it. I would act on this as a priority. I understand if you don’t want to because a long time ago I didnt want to but eventually I needed to and my gambling stopped for over 4 years. I had time to reset, learn, pay down debt etc.
Many on here will say that amounts gambled are relative but I dont always agree with that. At the end, I was capable of doing serious harm in the space of a few hours. I only stopped because I ran out of funds.
The good news is that you can stop. There is a way. Once stopped your life will improve immeasurably and you will start to clear off debt at a manageable rate. In order for this to happen you need to search deep within yourself to ask if you can do it on your own. If you can then fine. If there is any doubt go and get help you won’t regret it.
My heart goes out to you. I wish so much that you stop and recover. I wish you well.
Keep posting, keep reading.
I can only see one other post from you two years ago so I guess you came on here, wrote your post and disappeared until today?
I'm always sorry to hear of the stories of those who do come back as it seems everyone always thinks the stories on here are for other people and "you" couldn't end up like others. There is always another rock bottom to be found!
I can tell you that I know exactly how you feel, I do, and I would suggest GA as soon as the meetings reopen or find a zoom meeting from the ga website. It's in there that you'll be able to sort your mind out, not outside, as everyone there understands and you can just get a massive amount of help through experience.
I know it's always easy said than done but do try to forget about the money for a small while and just get some time away from a bet to get your head clear, and even when you do start repaying the money have a plan that doesn't break you.
Have you told your wife again and/or have you done something illegal to get the amount of money you mentioned over these last two years? Is she still with you?
If you do find a GA room, if you can get through a few months can I suggest you find someone to work through the twelve steps with.
I was you probably four relapses ago and it got worse and worse and worse, and the one thing that has helped, other than very regular GA meetings, was working the steps recovery program which was something that I didn't try before. I've subsequently been in situations that I know previously would have sent me back to gambling and I haven't. If in a few months it's something of interest let me know and I'll guide you in the right direction.
Thanks very much Charlieboy, RouletteRegret, and Chris for the quick response.
I have tried all the blockings, signed up with gamstop but I have been finding ways around it just to bet on tennis, it's madness. I have completely turned into something else. Previously, I have been able to stay away for long periods (pre-2018) but not anymore. I attended GA once in mid 2018, the lady I met talked about my brain and how I needed to gradually unwind everything. To be honest, I was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time so that one session didn't work for me. It's unbelievable because despite the fact that the damage it's doing to my life is obvious, I keep going back, I am sick. I just hope the lockdown comes to an end soon so and I can get back to it.
Chris, that's correct, I wrote that one post and ran away. I visited a few times but never posted. The story with my wife has gone to another level. Our relationship has been rocky from the start, before she knew. She supported me when the problem surfaced but as I continued gambling, she turned her back and exposed me massively. It was in her interest to hang in there as I am the main provider at home (we have kids). I have always wrongly thought the debt is what keeps dragging me back to gambling. With my wife, I cut all financial ties with her in other not to cause any more damage and I now owe her about £7500 from £20k (Loans she took out for me). I haven't done anything illegal yet, just using my limited company to do extra work. I should be out of debt now but it's just impossible with amounts I am losing. I have discovered I am naturally an addictive person. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do this by myself. I have tried to do it alone the last two years but no way.
My biggest fear now is returning to those very very dark periods, so I am open to the twelve steps you mentioned. I am convinced within myself that if I can go a few months without gambling and actively engage in meetings and other recovery programs, I can gradually start thinking right. How does the twelve recovery program work? Do I have to get myself to a sane place first? Just today, I have tried to overdraw my account to gamble. I am going away for two weeks commencing upper Monday so if I can get over this week (No penny in account) and the two weeks, that makes it three and I can start with the program.
Once again, thank you all for the advice.
Why are you putting off GA for another couple of months? Have you signed up for Gamcare counselling? You need to identify and address whatever it is that's driving you to gamble to destruction.
Two months off isn't going to cure this. It's never going to be possible for you to gamble 'responsibly' (whatever that is supposed to mean). If you want to stop the destruction you need to stop permanently. Use the resources available to you right now. You don't want to be back here in another two years with debt doubled or tripled.
Thanks very much. I absconded after one session of counselling, I am now trying to sign up again. The one I attended previously was only 10mins drive from me so I am going to try that again.
Yes, I definitely don't want to come back with more stories and I am not trying to gamble responsibly. I just want to try and get some senses back in my head, just to start somewhere. I am currently badly sucked in. I may well be wrong with how I am approaching this, but what I meant with the two months is that if I could stay away for a slightly longer period, I may be able to start reasoning properly. To give you an example, despite earning a decent amount, tucking away all monies to creditors the moment pay comes in, I still end up at the pawnshop every month to borrow money with my necklace to gamble, and then retrieve it the following month. This has been going on for months now. I have had to tranfer my V5 to my brother as I kept going for logbook loan every month too.
The GA books say give us 90 days and then decide if it's for you. I'm of the same opinion that the 90 days is a good time to get a clearer mind and then start something like the steps. Of everyone I've known to go through them though no one comes out the worse for doing them.
As I also said, it's saved me more than once having done them and so I'm a big advocate of the process alongside GA.
Once you are able to get a payday or two behind you hopefully you'll not have the pawnshops to worry about and slowly but surely it'll get better. It can get better, it did for me and it can for you.
Any questions or if you just want to offload then please do.
I am so sorry to read the problems you have had in your post and I thank you for sharing what have been very difficult experiences in your gambling history with the forum.
You have had such a lot of quick and supportive responses on the forum and I see that these are already proving helpful to you which is so positive.
One thing that I would like to add is that it is so important that you look after your health, both mentally and physically. You mentioned in your original post that you are struggling with the mental side of what’s been happening, so I would urge you to talk to your GP about how your gambling and debt is affecting you and making you feel. They will be able to help.
Can I also suggest that you talk to our Advisers on our netline or helpline on 0808 8020 133. We are here for you 24/7 to offer our support and give you information and guidance and to talk about other options for counselling treatment.
your choice of post title speaks volumes and the reality is a lot of people do underestimate gambling but worse still they try to claim they are powerless to do anything about it
the reality is we have a choice everyday do we log in and place bets we cant afford and spend hours obsessing over results we arent really interested in ? or do we choose to ignore the urge and get on with living a normal life ?
that is the fundamental decision you must make each and everyday
with regards to the debt i would advise it is better to set realistic expectations of course i do not know your financial circumstances but realistically to pay 60K worth of debt in 2 years is a tremendous ask and will add too much pressure to your recovery
I'm so sorry to hear the turmoil you seem to be going through in your mind to do with this awful addiction that's got us all in such a sorry state off affairs. I really hate gambling as all it's done to me is eat away at my life and everything in it. I hear you say that there ways around blocking tools. Well let's face it there's ways around everything in life but the whole idea as I see it is limiting the chance off harm you can do if you relapse. I see you've reached out for help and I know how hard that is , but at the same time frogman you've got to be ready for change and use this site as your stage because gambling isn't just the money we lose but it's what it's doing to our mental health. I know everyone is different and you can see by reading the posts in so many ways the same. I know I need to stay away from gambling for life as I'm an addict. I can't just bet a certain amount and leave it, I went over a year without gambling frogman and I got an email on the 24th of April from a certain gambling website so I thought I can just put £10 on roulette no one will know it can't do know harm! For me a very terrible mistake that took 1hr out off my life and cost me nearly £8000 my life and my family, and all that I mean! Well frogman I was in hospital for 5days and when I got out I had to face up to what I'd done. Was surprised my partner even wanted to let me in the house but soon found out it was only for the kids. I know deep down my partner does care but things are very awkward at the moment and financially I've left us with nothing even having to use a church food parcel service twice. So yes I'm still at home and gamble free but I can't say I won't gamble again as I've said it so many times before I don't even believe myself. So I've put so many blocks in place if I ever did relapse the damage I could do would be minimal, apart from it would damage my mental health problems more than it has already. I'm talking it one day at a time and understand I've got to stay away from gambling 365dys of the year the gambling company only have to grab me that once. I know they don't give a hoot what my problem has put not me but my family through, if you can get away just take it one day at a time.
Thanks very much for the advice, I am of that view as well - that we can actually do something about it. I believe the first step is actually wanting to stop within ourselves. That was not the case for me until recently that the cycle is now becoming mentally unbearable for me. I have my first counselling on Thursday and will see how that goes with the mindset of wanting to stop completely. Two days now not gambling but that's purely because I don't have the means, I cannot trust myself one bit. The one that drives me mad the most is that before money comes in, I say to myself, No gambling, the next time I'll remember saying that to myself is after I have lost some money. It's crazy.
On the debt repayment target, you are right that it's a tremendous ask but the reality is that that amount is about what I have lost in the last two years. I worked like a lifeless goat, one decent Mon to Fri job and another consulting job (evenings, weekends and all 28days annual holidays + christmas and new year). Absolutely nothing to show except that I managed to avoid bankruptcy. Literally just wasting the life in me. I will put the debt aside and focus on myself first. This website is really helping get by atm. Thanks all
Thanks very much for the advice and I am sorry to hear about your story. It's incredible what damage a single bet can do. I totally agree that the key is trying to stay away completely. I am starting my journey and will try to be active here to see what others are doing to keep themselves away.