I read all the stories on here last night after blowing a substantial amount of money over the weekend, not everything i've got, but enough to make me question it all and it's strange how you can relate to every single one of them.
I've always been a gambler since I was about 18, growing up in around pubs (my mother was a manager at a pub), it started with watching my dad on the fruit machines, then starting to playing them and thats where it all began. I always tell myself i've got an addictive personality, but sometimes I wonder if I was born that way or whether I just became that way over time the more I gambled.
I am a very competitve person, and I also wonder is it that will to win why i gamble? To show people that I know more than them, or I can beat the bookie. We all know thats not the case, but sometimes when i win I can't wait to tell people.
Most of the money I waste is with the bookies, online and in shop but I have also wasted money in other areas such as out at the casino, online games (mainly FIFA/Loot boxes) etc.
I don't know how much i've wasted over the years, but it's definitely tens of thousands, luckily for me I haven't built up a load of debt doing it - probably around 10k at the moment but some of that is gambling, some of it is just everyday costs. What I do know though is that if I wasn't gambling i'd have a lot more money in the bank, so I guess you could say all of that debt is linked to gambling as I wouldn't have it if it wasnt for gambling. I don't drink, don't smoke, don't drive a nice car (out of choice), so my expenditure in general is low, but all my disposable income goes on gamlbing. I am in a relatively well paid job so shouldn't take my too long to clear the debts and finally build up some savings.
I don't gamble all the time, and if I have a decent win I can often just stop there and not gamble for a a few days, , the big problem is when I lose, I can't help but chase my losses and thats where it can sometimes get bad.
I have recently started to do everything possible to help myself - gamstop(a few weeks ago), betblocker (last night) and got a monzo account (a few months ago) which lets you exclude gambling transactions. I have also moved to a more rural locations with no bookie within 20 minutes drive (that was just a co-incidence, not linked to gambling but it was in the back of my mind), so when I woke up this morning I thought i'd come on to the forum to have a bit of a release and start to document my journey. I do genuinely feel confident I can do this, and it's probably the biggest steps ive taken so far before it really spirals out of control.
I'm sure there's things i've missed in there, but thats my story in a nutshell.
Good luck to everyone else on their journey already, or starting one 🙂
Welcome to the forum! Thank you for sharing your experience and a massive well done for the steps you’re taking to overcome your gambling.
It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of reflection and thinking about why you gamble. If this is something that you would like to explore further, you may really benefit from engaging with some treatment to look at these issues and to give you ongoing support.
You can read about the free treatment you can access here:
Or get in touch with one of our advisers to discuss the options and they can make a referral for you, either on the Helpline (0808 8020 133) or Netline (our webchat).
All the best,