I first managed to ‘properly’ quit gambling just over 3 years ago, for any significant amount of time. Days, months, weeks would pass and it wouldnt even cross my mind. I actually remember thinking at one point that I had actually lost interest in gambling (I was in the casino, despite being self excluded, with a friend having a drink watching boxing and I wasn’t even interested in the tables which was odd) but i was pleased to have moved on and to not even be interested in gambling any more.
In January of this year I had no idea the mistake I was about to make. I foolishly thought i’d be fine gambling after it had been so long, and I ‘only’ spent £100. I only deposited £10 initially (which is very small to the amounts I’m about to mention) which I chased down to £100 as I couldn’t bear the loss, so broke even. I was actually about £30 up so thought id put the winnings on football and call it a day there. The bets lost, but i slowly carried on gambling with smaller amounts.
After about 2/3 months of continued gambling, losing about 3k of winnings, I had a freak set of luck and won about £7k (‘profit for the year’ driven by one freakish win on a side bet on blackjack. After such a big win on the back of previously losing the winnings, I quit. And lasted about 3 months. I was content stopping there and knew if i continued I would be a fool and give it all back.
About 6 weeks ago, i foolishly went into the bookies with a mate, with a mere £27 on me to gamble. Just a few hours later I was £2,500 down. Over the next 6 weeks, culminating this Sunday, I lost around £12,000, so net £4k down or so. I cant believe how I’ve managed to do that. The worst thing is just last week I won £6.5k of this back on a freakish football bet after already being £12k down. I swore to myself I would stop, but literally the next day I left £100 of my winnings in my account and just 5 days later I had lost the lot.
I feel do down about the mistake I have made and not having the sense to stop when I was so far up. Fortunately i’m not in any debt, but i simply just cant bear to tell my parents (i told them after last time and they were so dissapointed, saying i could never do it again). I just cant tell them, I will in the future eventually i guess but not for now. They think ive got a load of money but ive barely got anything.
i just wanted to share my story and ask for any advice on coping or coming to terms with the lost money, or why i didnt stop when i had countless chances? I hope i never ever do this again. Im so dissapointed in myself, but i wanted to move on with my life. Day 3 and struggling.
Hiya my friend
You know why you kept betting as your like us all on this site your a problem gambler who'll never be able just have one bet. Don't get on to yourself to much as your an addict my friend and to a powerful demon who can take your soul in 30mins. I'm having to take my lad out now but there so much more to say especially the loss is over your not getting that back look to the future one day at a time
Hi twizzler. I'm sorry you have found yourself in this distress but you really need to accept some harsh realities. The money has gone it hurts I know it does but unless you try to put it behind you you will ultimately try to chase again. You need to take some steps to stop yourself from gambling , block your access to websites self exclusion at the bookies. Gamcare give excellent advice non judgemental and will give you all the different ways of blocking / self excluding. I was an online gambler I use gamstop and for me it's great. You are struggling with why you do these things and unfortunately the answer is is that it's an addiction, from the beginning of your post it seems gambling has been quite a problem for a long time and that you've never really accepted it as a bad problem. Not being in debt is a positive but it won't last unless you get help to stop now. Gamcare advisors are there to talk things through as well as give advice. Gambling as I know and everybody on here knows is a progressive addiction gets worse higher deposits, higher bets higher loses so arrest it now don't give any more of your hard earned to gambling companies. Keep posting , get help I've just started GA as well I'm 63 days gamble free and I intend to do everything I can to keep that figure ticking up, I've lost that distressed feeling but I'll always remember what it was like. Best wishes for your recovery
When we win and are comfortably up it seems so easy. Our brains trick us into thinking that actually it’s quite easy, we’ve made some significant profit so keep going and there is a great chance of increasing the profit further. Besides as we are so far ahead of the game we can take some hits and still be up.
Conversely though when we are down it’s vital we make the loss back so as at worse we break even. We can’t possibly go to bed that night knowing we are down, even if it is a tenner. So the loss gets chased and we try to win the initial loss back quickly, in and out job. But the chasing bet loses too and now we are a little further behind than is comfortable but our bad luck can’t last forever. So we go in hard to get the loss back and then we can quit, but we lose again and now the panic sets in because of double trouble, we are now down a lot and we are starting to understand we are mentally a little out of control. So now logical thinking goes through the roof and we put on a crazy and ridiculous sum all holes barred to get it all back in one go . It is now real Russian roulette. Do you remember those occasions when it worked, against all the odds our crazy reckless gamble came off and we got it all back? How relieved we all were as we logged out and thought oh my god, the sweating, the heart rate...we will NEVER put ourselves in that position ever again. We escaped! And let’s be honest, when the heart rate returns to normal, although we scared ourselves silly...boy what a rush! That’s the dopamine hit in your brain rewarding you for all the excitement.
But we are sensible intelligent people of course. So we don’t go back to gambling for a short period of time because we really did scare ourselves...but we also remember the buzz and our brain wants to give us another dopamine hit of excitement. And after all, we didn’t lose a penny last time so we could go in small and look for some more profit.
And the whole thing begins again. We recycle the whole experience again but eventually, second or third or fourth time around we do not get out of jail and we log off from the sites with that gut wrenching feeling of severe loss and incredulity as to how we could possibly have put ourselves in this ridiculous situation which now affects your every waking hour and often those of the people we are supposed to love.
Sounds familiar? We have all been there. We know how you feel and it is awful but time does heal. You probably need to put some blocks in place now to assist in your recovery. Everyone suffers losses. Even professional gamblers lose from time to time but they have the mentality to take the hits knowing they have the skills to win the long game. We don’t have the mentality to cope with losses. We don’t look at the bigger picture. We don’t like losing even if it is a fiver or tenner. Barney Curley is a famous professional gambler in horse racing. People used to see him at the course and would know he had a bet on but would never know from his facial expression after the race if he had just won half a million or lost half a million. This is because he was a guy that knew what he was doing, trusted his judgement, but also he played the long game and looked for the profit at the end of the year not from race to race. He never ever chased a loss.
And then there are us! We can’t cope with a loss and we therefore have to chase and it is chasing losses which explain why the majority of us are here.
We are what is known as The mug punter. The bookies rely on us in order to make their annual accounts look good and encourage shareholders. The bad news is if you are reading this then you are likely a mug punter. The good news is with hard work, concentration, an understanding of why we did what we did, and never having a bet again...we can revert from a long-standing mug and become a smart cookie. Bookies hate smart cookies because there is no money in a smart cookie! Be a smart cookie 😀
Losing any amount of money is a bitter pill to swallow, leading to experience extreme raw emotions.
Throughout your life money will come and go. If you can draw a line in the sand now, over your financial loss; in the fullness of time it will become easier to accept.
A bigger tragedy will be if you don’t draw a line under the loss, and harbour a desire to have that ‘one more big win’ to make everything right again. At present you’re not in debt, but through gambling you are standing on the cliff edge, vulnerable to plummeting into debt.
‘… or why I didn’t stop when I had countless chances’
Because my friend, like myself and countless others around the world; you are a compulsive gambler; there is no shame in that.
Many compulsive gamblers hit rock bottom before they can accept that they are powerless over gambling and their life has become unmanageable.
I am really sorry to hear of your experience, however, I congratulate you for reaching out for help; trying to make sense of your experience. There will be lots of practical advice on here, from people’s personal experience. Would you consider attending GA meetings?
Be proud that you have asked for help, and please know that you are not alone.
I am a compulsive gambler… in recovery.
Mythedunk the more I see your posts the more I understand how wise and insightful you are, have you been here before my friend. You do help me along my journey especially when I'm feeding down
Thanks Kev. I didn't know I was going to write so much in the post but I added my words to a new thread just because it helps people to understand those horrible feelings when it all goes wrong are actually very common emotions that we share. This forum allows people not to suffer alone or in silence but collectively. And as we know, a little bit of suffering is usually required to allow us to then start dealing with our recoveries. We will all get there eventually and become 'smart cookies'!
So on to day 5 today...feeling up and down.
Yesterday i felt really low about the losses, and i priced up a bet on the europa league last night which would have returned £10k off £500. I didnt think about it for too long and thought i’d feel so s**t if it lost, so i didnt put it on, but low and behold it would have won, so im just feeling like kicking myself a bit today, could have been sitting with most of my losses back in my account and moved on with my life.
Part of me also thinks its a good thing i didnt put it on and didnt win...as compulsive gamblers whilst I might have been able to quit for a short while I wonder what the long term impact would of been on me? 3 months down the line that trip in the bookies seems okay as my lasting memory of gambling would of been a £10k win rather than all these losses.
Either way i didnt gamble yesterday and this is the 5th day. I’m trying to do a fresh start, i’ve opened a new bank account (blocked gambling on it), signed up to gamstop So i pretty much cant gamble unless i go in the bookies - I wouldnt even bother any more with the fobt stake getting so low even if i went and had a big win it wouldnt touch the sides of what id lost.
hopefully things will improve as time goes on
Twizzler you have won because you didn't bet, I feel your distress be honest with yourself and us what would have happened if you had put the bet on and won? I know what would have happened to me if I won a reasonable amount , it's on my thread. If you need me to tell you I will but you know deep down now much worse things would have been today. It will get better I'm 64days today gamble free and I gambled every day. Life is more calmer stable happier. I know how easy it is to be fooled by our addiction, join me in saying today we are going to stay gamble free !!
So i’m hours way from completing a full week which is an achievement based on my track record the last 6 weeks but still feel like s**t. I priced up a bet again the other night which I decided not to put on (I need to stop doing this) and that would of dug me £3,500 out the whole, kinda ruined my night friday. The only thing that made me feel better was that I priced up again last night and wouldn’t have won.
More than anything, it’s the guilt that’s eating away at me. I know I’m very fortunate in some sense, I’ve got a mortgage to pay but I earn a really good living and no kids or debt to think about. My parents have financially supported me so much for years but I just can’t bear to tell them, the anger and dissapointment it would bring. I need to get over the money that’s gone, maybe thats just a time thing but any advice is appreciated.
The guilt hole is just massive. This week I’ve took some good actions in sorting a new bank account, a 0% interest credit card to allow me to build savings and signed up to gamstop, which i’d never done before. But the guilt, I spent today with my mum and she could tell something was on my mind but I just blew it off and said nothing. I’m just not ready to tell them until i’ve made some significant progress a year or two down the line. Does anybody have any advice?
Well done for the progress that you've made so far. You're on the right track, which is the path of recovery. It can take a little bit of time for the changes to start to make a difference to how you're feeling. It's good that you're posting here and expressing what's going on for you. It would probably help to talk further. Our helpline (0808 8020 133) and netline (www.gamcare.org.uk/netline) run a 24 hour service if you would like to talk to an adviser for support and guidance. Free treatment is available which would give you ongoing support with a trained practitioner to work through how you're feeling and any barriers you're experiencing.
I appreciate that you're not ready to speak to your parents about your situation just yet. Is there anyone else you could open up to? We always advise people to open up to someone in their lives if they can and feel safe doing so. It's something to have a think about, friends and family can be an amazing source of support.
I notice you've mentioned a couple of times about pricing up bets and the emotional impact that's had. This will be triggering similar responses in your brain as gambling and may be keeping you trapped in that same head space. I would recommend trying to move away from this and from looking at fixtures if you can. If you've got any hobbies or activities that you enjoy, maybe something that went by the wayside as gambling became a problem, it could be helpful to re-engage with these. A lot of people find it useful to have something to fill up the time they used to gamble in, or even something that you can pick up as a distraction as soon as you start getting urges.
There's lots of support available and you're not in this on your own.
All the best,
The most pertinent words in your last post after 5 days gamble free were 'I could have moved on with my life'.
This suggests to me that you are struggling to understand how much distance you need to put between yourself and the bookies. To be blunt, and I accept I do not know you, but based on your gambling past I would respectfully suggest you would not have moved on with your life. You would have given all your winnings back to the bookies within a reasonable amount of time. I'm genuinely interested in knowing if you honestly think if that bet had come in that you would never have had a bet ever again?!
I think the best thing that happened to you was deciding not to gamble because you have given yourself the chance of avoiding a whole further heap of distress in the near future as you watched yourself uncontrollably giving your winnings back to the bookies and then proceeding to chase the loss and giving even more to them too.
ps.. you really need to stop pricing up bets my friend
Until you accept with grace that the losses are lost then you remain in a very dangerous zone and I would strongly advise blocking all sites and taking some control of your emotions and avoiding any bookmaker.