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Emily82
(@emily82)

Hey Everyone

my names Emily and I was a member here many years ago. I’m a mother, a partner a business owner and I have had a serious gambling addiction since I was 16 (I’m now close to 40). I must of *** in this time. With the help of this forum I managed to stop gambling for 4 years but over a year ago I relapsed and have been in a downward spiral since then losing probably in the region ***

I’m going to start my own diary thread now but wanted to introduce myself again here.

last night something terribly happened and I’m going to need support to get through this as I’m utterly lost right now. 

Am going to start a diary thread now where I hope to get to know a few of you and not feel so alone anymore.

Em  x

This topic was modified 1 month ago by Forum admin
Quote
Posted : 23rd February 2020 1:01 pm
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Dear @emily82,

Thank you for your recent post and welcome back to the forum! Please do continue to keep accessing the support from our forum, you may also want to join in on our chat rooms for peer to peer support. These open twice a day from 1pm until 2pm and then again at 8pm until 9pm with an extended closing time of 21:30pm on a Sunday evening.

I'm sorry to hear of your recent struggles and that you feel lost right now, please remember that you're not alone with this and that we're all here for you.

I understand that things aren't going the way you would like with regards to the relapse, I must remind you how amazing you did to stop gambling for four years and what an excellent achievement this was and still is. This relapse does not undo all the hard work, commitment, time, effort and devotion that you put in to the four years that you was gamble free for.

It also doesn't mean that you can't achieve this again, you've already proved that you can do it so please believe in yourself and your ability to overcome this once again. We can work through it together and discuss any other issues that you may have going on, if we can’t help you directly, we can provide you with details of other organisations that can help you instead.

Perhaps a visit to your GP would be beneficial too so they can support you with how you’re feeling at the moment? It may also help to open up to any support network that you have around you and feel able to trust so they are aware of the problems that you’re currently facing.

If you would like to talk to us for further support and to discuss different ways that you may find beneficial on your journey into becoming gamble free then please either call our helpline on 0808 8020 133 or access our Netline (web chat) via our GamCare website. We're open day and night.

Alternatively, you can email your details to [email protected] and we will arrange a call back to you at time and day that suits you.

Well done for reaching out to us, sending you all the best.

Kindest Regards

Joanne

Forum Admin

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23rd February 2020 2:53 pm
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Dear @emily82,

Thank you for your post. I really am sorry to hear you're struggling so much at the moment and I want to reassure you that you're really not alone with this.

I've replied to one of your previous posts, I thought you may find some links useful of where you can contact for support with debt and financial matters.

https://www.payplan.com/

https://www.nationaldebtline.org/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

https://www.stepchange.org/

We could also make a free referral for some counselling sessions for extra support if you feel this would help?

Please keep posting and remember we're always here on our helpline (0808 8020 133) or our Netline via our GamCare website.

Kindest Regards

Joanne

Forum Admin

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23rd February 2020 3:19 pm
Antswifey0
(@antswifey0)

oh Em,

Im so sorry you're feeling so bad right now.   You wont think it today but turn this horrible episode into a positive thing.... It probably needed to happen to give you this wake up call. I honestly understand and in same boat.

Please spend a day getting all your debts in order- i use payplan and they have been great. Took some pressure off.

You need just take each day at a time. sometimes each hour at a time.   No you cant win back so let that go. None of us on this site ever win back but all lose, the strong thing for you to do now is to rebuild.   There are some pretty inspirational stories on this site and thats what i'm holding onto.

Please please get big win out of your head.... i've won BIG a few times over the years and it always went back in! 

Take care, 

You're not alone.

x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23rd February 2020 4:00 pm
Walliss77
(@walliss77)

Hi Emily82, 

Sorry to hear that you are suffering badly with this addiction.

I can't answer the question as to why you gamble as that can be driven by many factors. For me I gambled for the way it made me feel psychologically although I didn't know it at the time because I was so deluded by my addiction dialogue that I didn't know truth from distortion. The bottom line was that no matter how my addiction rationalized things I could never come out on top. I can't win because I can't stop, no matter how many lucky wins I have.

Once the feel good chemicals got activated in my brain then the obsession/compulsion was overwhelming. 

The key to stopping for me was working out what was driving my desire. I had to work with a counsellor to find out why I needed to change the way I feel. When I sought out help I honestly believed there was nothing wrong with me other than gambling but with time I realised that I was emotionally illiterate all my life and had alot of internalized emotions that needed to be released and develop better emotional coping skills so that I didn't use gambling to escape. 

This is just my opinion based on my journey and may not be true for yourself. 

Thanks for posting and I really hope you feel better soon with the support of others.

Kind regards

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23rd February 2020 4:05 pm
Emily82
(@emily82)

Hi Joanne

Thank you for your response. Can you please tell me why my new member intro and diary thread have been bunged together here?

Things have really changed here. I’ve come back because I need help. I’m in a terrible place, non stop crying, no sleep, no food, no appetite. Yesterday I joined chat and was hoping for support. I was made to feel pretty terrible for trying to explain what had happened. We used to be able to write down how much we’d lost here. I didn’t know that giving actual figures could be seen as triggers. I removed myself from chat and tried to introduce myself here (new members) and start a diary thread. I’ve come back here at 4am needing to write in my diary and I don’t have one! Instead Gamcare have copied some of diary insert and just pasted it here in new members. 

Am I not allowed a diary thread either? Perhaps I’m being punished for mentioning figures? Either way I’d really like my own diary thread because despite not wanting to get involved in Gamcare politics, I know there will be amazing people here with inspirational stories and advice to get me through this extremely emotional time. 

could I please therefore be allowed my own diary thread?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 5:45 am
Emily82
(@emily82)
Posted by: Antswifey0

oh Em,

Im so sorry you're feeling so bad right now.   You wont think it today but turn this horrible episode into a positive thing.... It probably needed to happen to give you this wake up call. I honestly understand and in same boat.

Please spend a day getting all your debts in order- i use payplan and they have been great. Took some pressure off.

You need just take each day at a time. sometimes each hour at a time.   No you cant win back so let that go. None of us on this site ever win back but all lose, the strong thing for you to do now is to rebuild.   There are some pretty inspirational stories on this site and thats what i'm holding onto.

Please please get big win out of your head.... i've won BIG a few times over the years and it always went back in! 

Take care, 

You're not alone.

x

Hey, 

Thank you so very much for posting to me. Could really do with a friend right now. 
I know you’re right in relation to getting ‘wins’ out of my head. But it’s all I’ve dreamed about since I was 16. I thought it was now the reason I gambled, I thought if it happened I’d stop gambling forever, I wouldn’t need to anymore. Realising I have been lying to myself for 22 years is soul destroying. I feel like I don’t even know who I am. What I stand for, why have I been doing this if not for the the get out of jail free card that I thought a big win would offer. 

I’ve booked into one2one counselling first available session is 5th March. I’m also going to check out this pay plan thing.

thank you so much for your kind words and advice.

Em x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 5:53 am
Emily82
(@emily82)

Hey Walliss

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

I feel emotionally illiterate and like you now need to seek out the true reasons behind my actions as money can’t be it. I will have my first session on 5th March and cannot wait to get started on dealing with the internal issues I must have. Until then I just need to stay close to my diary (when I’m allowed one) as I feel like I could go into serious self destruct mode at any moment and I currently have access to too much that I could lose.

i always thought the “I can’t win because I can’t stop” meant that even when wins happen ‘ultimately’ you’ll end up losing it over time because you’ll never stop gambling. I’m a binge gambler, I will gamble whilst drinking 5pm until 8am the following morning. During that time I’m in a trance but one I stop, my brain works normally. I actually don’t personally find it that difficult to not start gambling. However, once I do it’s curtains for me and my finances. 
So I always figured if I won ‘big’ Once it’s in my bank I’d be fine and wouldn’t find it hard to not gamble again. How wrong I was, I won’t even take it for 5 mins.  After a day of reflection and talking to a few specialists in this field, I wonder if I’m addicted to the chase. I know this must sound crazy but I think I maybe sadistically want to lose just so I can chase. I feel comfortable when things are wrong in my life and extremely on edge when everything’s going right. 

Probably ramblings of a crazy person whom is still in shock. Thank you again Walliss.

Em x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 6:08 am
Walliss77
(@walliss77)

Hi Emily82,

Thanks for the reply.

It took me a long time to realise why I did what I did and I would have never have found the source of the problem without guidance from a counsellor that was specialised in childhood development/trauma. 

I didn't realise that I was so lacking in emotional skills and that I had internalized everything that I had ever felt. It was the processing and releasing of past emotions/feelings that enabled me to slowly empty my emotional wellbeing cup so that I wasn't so easily overwhelmed in everyday living. 

I also had very controlling/critical parents which conditioned me to be extremely hard and critical towards myself and others. It was impossible for me to build self love whilst I still had internalized anger/pain within. 

I thought I was a lost cause because I gambled constantly for 23yrs and lost an obscene amount of money but as I tried everything that didn't work I became closer to the answer. I'm blessed now to have a life that I never thought possible as a psychotherapist taking others on this amazing journey of recovery/self discovery.

It seems like you really want to change and if you put in the hard work with the right support then there is no reason for you to have a very bright future.

Kind regards

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 7:53 am
Simon50
(@simon50)

Dear Emily,

Thank you for posting on my recovery diary and for creating your own so that I and others can learn about your experiences and journey with gambling addiction.

I have read your posts several times and for me, I think you answer a question that we have both been asking ourselves for many years in your very last post, "I feel comfortable when things are wrong in my life and extremely on edge when everything’s going right."

I have drawn the same conclusion for my own behaviour and you sum it up perfectly and have excellent awareness and personal insight getting in touch with this aspect of yourself.

You then go on to say, "Probably ramblings of a crazy person whom is still in shock." I suppose when we are gambling we behave completly irrationaly so yes, I guess there is something crazy about that. However, thats only a temporary state of mind and being during our gambling so I think it important that we don't get fixated with thinking of oursleves or calling ourselves crazy as that wouldn't be helpful and could potentially fuel more gambling as we just write ourselves off as crazy people. But hey, there we go... that's what we like to do isn't it? Just as you described in the previous statement. That would be the comfortable place you mention, the easy place to go to. Doing something different such as posting on here, pouring our heart out, desperately seeking 'something' to learn and change about ourselves etc, thats the "...extremely on edge when everything’s going right" part, which probably scares the hell out of us since that is not our comfortable place.

Perhaps, today... we can join together and see that we are deserving of a life that goes right and that there is nothing to fear. While we could give in... again, why not make a different choice today? I think the real 'big win' is stopping gambling and reaping the true rewards life has to offer, the beginings of which we are experiencing right now on this forum, meeting and relating to others.

I think we are both doing so well and should acknowledge our achievements of stopping for the days we have and really sitting back and taking in the significance of that. It's life changing for an addict. I am a binge gambler too and in many ways I can do far more damage that way than if I wasn't, at least for me.

Have a great day and do please keep posting.

All the best, Simon.   

This post was modified 1 month ago by Simon50
ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 8:00 am
Emily82
(@emily82)

Hey Wallis

I too had very strict parents. Father was extremely critical and I did everything I could to get approval from him (which he never gave me). He was also violent and I often watched him beat my mother. Memories I’ve suppressed.

i feel extremely overwhelmed and am apparently emotionless, my nickname was ice queen. I’ve lost obscene amounts of money... OBSCENE. I’m close to losing everything. I thought a big win would change everything. It was my get out solution for the last 22 years. Now what?! I need this appointment on 5th to come quickly. I’m pacing the house, can’t work on my lap top as I fear I’ll just load a gambling site. 

your story is really inspirational! Thank you for your time. I’m usually a good writer but I my brain is so foggy right now I honestly am struggling to string a sentence together so I apologise if I sound like I’m rambling or not making sense.

just thank you for your time. I really need it right now

Em x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 9:32 am
Muststop123
(@muststop123)

Hi Emily

Sorry to hear you are feeling the way you are and that your recent experience of this forum has not been as  good as you hoped. I would say hang on in there - there are some extremely supportive and helpful people on here and the support from Gamcare themselves I have found  to be excellent. I am not "cured" from gambling but I know without the support and guidance  of this forum, especially in the early weeks when I truly thought I was the only person who could possibly have got themselves into the mess I had, I would either continued gambling or done something worse. 

As far as the "big win and then lose it all again" is concerned, I know you will struggle to accept it now but at some point in the future you may be able to use it in a positive way. During my second relapse I won an amount just under twice my annual salary but proceeded to put it back in over the course of a week. I was broken with the thoughts of what I could have done for my family with it and all the "what ifs" of if I had just stopped at various points I could still have had a decent amount left. However after the initial pain subsided and with some advice from people on here I have now learnt that I was never going to stop while I had "gambling tokens" to use and over time I was always going to lose it all again. This has really helped me realise just how pointless gambling is for me as I can never actually win so the whole exercise is really completely pointless. I am now nearly six months on from this relapse - I have still got some fairly strong practical blocks in place and will keep them but I don't really get any urges now as it all seems so pointless.

Good luck and keep posting.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 9:33 am
Walliss77
(@walliss77)

Hi Emily82,

Thanks for your reply again. 

There's no need to apologise for your perceived rambling. 

It's a pleasure to be able to point you in the direction of the likely source of the problem. Even though our actual experiences will have differed to some extent throughout our crucial stages of development the damage to our sense of self and the behaviours/coping strategies that follow in adulthood will be very similar.

It was extremely liberating finding someone who held the key as to why I felt, thought and behaved in such a detrimental way. 

During my recovery journey I've laughed, cried and screamed in abundance and the most important thing is that I've healed the pain of the little child (me) who felt abandoned, fearful, lonely, and not good enough.

In my past failed attempts I tried so hard to love and accept myself with affirmations but in my soul I was riddled with pain and hurt which had to be released in a healthy way before there was  any space available for self love and self acceptance.

One thing I would say is that this journey in to self healing is slow going and painful but the alternative of not facing the truth leaves a very uncertain future.

It took me several therapists to find one that I could relate to and could offer me the help I needed. Trust was also a big issue for me so I opened up slowly over a period of time to my therapist. 

I'm really excited about your journey going forward and hope you continue to post your progress.

 

Kind regards 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 12:49 pm
SB28
 SB28
(@sb28)

Hi Emily,

 

Welcome to GC! Glad to see your diary is in the right section. 

 

GamCare and it's rules may of changed however the core platform (us, fellow soldiers)are still the same. Advise, support and space to express yourself is here. Use the space Emily as its there for you.

 

Hope you're finding your journey at least a little more calmer today. It does take time to recover from initial crisis so allow yourself some time...and a lot of care! It starts from within...baby steps.

 

Keep building that bridge...brick at a time.

 

Stay close by, keep recording your thoughts and be proud for reaching out again.

 

You can and WILL do it!

 

S&B xx (Sandra....reckon not the same you were buddies with 😉)

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 2:08 pm
Murlo
(@murlo)

Hi Em,

It was great to see you in the chat room again today. I am sorry that your first visit back was not a good experience. Hoping that today felt better and you find it somewhere where you are welcome and belong. It’s there for us all. 

I recognise much of what you describe, I was in a similar place. A serial relapser tbh. Things feel different for me this time because I actually recognised what you have. It’s not about the money. It’s been a s**t journey at times. I am only just passed my century mark gamble free but what is different this time is that I have realised that I have to work at recovery. It doesn’t just come. There are many people on here who have supported me along the way and we will all be here for you too. Wishing you all the best x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th February 2020 2:17 pm
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