My name is John am 49 and I am adjusting to fact I have gambling problem. I have gambled for last 36 years and started to accept I have gambling addiction. With Covid19 I found my self unemployed. I have debt of around 3 thousand and growing. I have overdraft am struggling to pay off of another 3 thousand and anytime I get money. I find my self chasing after the win to try and clear my debt. I started gambling when I was 13 year old , started with pitch and toss , switched to horses soon after. Like many gamblers I like to think am lucky. Clearly am disillusioned , when I win , over time bookies get it back. My horse racing addiction was never as bad as it has been last few years. With online gambling. I have lost control. There no exit until I have lost everything. I find my self staring at monitor lost in belief , I might get nice big pay-out. Never happens and I just find my self unable to step away until am skint. Even if I win few £££ , I quickly lose it. This addiction seem to have me well in its sights. I can go weeks with out bet , but min I have money boom , addiction creeps up and thought of winning takes me over. I have no self control, any advice would be great
First thing I would recommend is not to panic. This change you have realised is a slow and winding road that will give you a lot of insight into yourself and your own behaviour. It is not just simply now I am going to hang up my boots. It is getting to know yourself on a whole new level. Then I would start to think about practical things. How much you want to stop varies but a good gage is to put gambling blockers in place so you can not access your gambling because you will be amazed how the brain shifts gear when you have a paycheck in your pocket. You will need support and the admin here will point you to online call this forum and chatlines. They work with cbt and that is an excellent tool to start a new way of thinking. This forum is good because it puts you in contact with people of similar backgrounds and histories.
We tend to look at our own addictions with some fast morbid fascination that we will make it all right with the biggest win ever or we will die trying as we think life is short and horrible. Then we get mesmerized when the world keeps on turning the same way with us broke in the process. We are habitual beings with low or no impulse control. Mugg punters that blow all we have because we have eradicated our brake system. See we are all this way more or less. You are in good company and there is a way to relearn how to live life but you will need to accept a period of rehabilitation before that is done. Start to believe that you can and make small changes. You will be amazed by the results.
Look up your nearest GA meeting, there should be a virtual one available using Zoom. Got the meeting, listen to the people there as you will hear some similarities in there stories, be totally honest and get it all off your chest. Listen to any advice you get and commit to recovery.
I have been in the same boat mate, it took me hitting rock bottom before I finally admitted I had a problem.
keep posting on here, even if you relapse keep updating and going to meetings. You can do this.