I have been a member on and off here for a while, I have never posted anything, I just read peoples stories and relate in my head to them.
I am a recovering gambling addict, the last few years have gone pretty smoothly for me, the odd relapse here and there but compared to my life before, I feel in a much better place. I was listening to John Hartson speak yesterday (former Premier League Footballer) about his struggles with gambling and it frustrates me in this world, gambling addicts are treated the same as drug and alcohol addicts. I feel we are not understood, the greed and power of gambling companies completely overlook the mess that they create. How many football teams are sponsored by gambling companies now? How many adverts do you see on TV? You wouldnt see a drug dealer advertising on TV? You wouldnt see an alcohol company saying buy 3 pints and we will match you 3 pints? It infuriates me that the destruction that gambling companies cause just gets overlooked because the pay well and have Ray Winstone. But anyway a bit about me...
I started gambling probably at 16, horse racing and sports betting were my events. I spent every weekend gambling until I was 27, there were good times but there were so many bad and low times. Just like every story I read on here, we all have something in common, the bad times always outway the good times. I needed to change, but gambling isnt just a tap you switch off, its a lifestyle change. No more going to the horse races with the lads, no more usual r0utines on a saturday to go to the bookies etc. I probably lost about £15-20k through gambling in my time.
I dont think there is a one size fits all formula to this but we are all in this together and I wanted to share some tips so may help, may not but I helped me change my mindset:
- Use this website, it is an unbelievable tool to read other peoples stories, the sense of being together is a valuable tool
- Read, listen to famous people who talk about gambling addictions. I am a sport fan so people like John Hartson I found inspirational
- Download a countdown on your phone of how many days without gambling you have gone. Set yourself goals and aims, every day that it ticks along is a huge achievement. Be pleased with yourself, 24 hours is a long time. Let that be your focus
- Us gamblers are determined people, we want to win, chase the money. Try and turn that determination into other areas of your life. For me it was saving for a house deposit, everytime I thought about gambling I looked to see how much money I had saved from not gambling. I set myself a goal of a house deposit and never gambled once when trying to achieve that as that was my priority. It could be saving for a car, paying of debt, saving for a wedding. That becomes a priority.
- Keep yourself busy, I know at the moment that is hard with lockdown but things are on the horizon. Every Saturday, I needed to keep myself busy, whether that was painting the garden fence or going shopping with the Mrs, if you know a certain time of day/ week is a key point to gambling, make sure you are occupied. I found 3pm on Saturdays my most vulnerable time so I always planned something
- Talk, talk to your partner/ families. Not only do they help, provide support etc but I felt I put so much pressure on myself not letting them down, that become a non negotiable for me
- I developed this feeling of pure hate towards the end to Bookies and gambling sites. I hated them, I felt they are destroying peoples lives and they didnt care. I managed to translate this into, other places that I hated- a pub in town I always hated, I never went in there and bought a few pints so why would I spend my hard earned money in a gambling site that I hated too?
- It is a lifestyle change, being an addict you cannot chose to gamble here and there, you have to realise you are changing your life. You need to take away the parts of your life that have gambling related like no more going to the horse races, no more going to the pub where the bookies is next door, no more family accumulators, no more pound in the pot lotteries, no more stag dos to Vegas.
- Gambling takes over your life, you can make recovering from gambling a priority and that takes over your life. It is a very blessed feeling know that you can recover and will recover. As mentioned we are all determined people
- Admit you have a problem, it took me ages to realise I had a problem despite people saying I had. Once you admit you have a problem (even if you aren't losing a lot of money, its still a problem), then you can start being determined about winning in life
- Win in life, be happy, look after yourself. You dont need to win a jackpot to be proud of yourself -take a look around yourself, family, home, cars, whatever it may be- you are blessed in life and that is the important thing. Whether you win a bet/ jackpot in 5-10-15-20-25 years, you wont even remember that 13.15 at Sandown, you will remember the important things in life and that isnt gambling
- Use the tools in place, we are lucky that in this day and age there are some fantastic tools to help you stop gambling
- Lastly, believe in yourself. You always believe in yourself that you are going to win- so why not believe in yourself that are good enough to beat that horrible addiction. Wake up every day, keep your mind occupied and focused and if I can do it, you can do it.
I am just here to tell my story, provide support, any questions let me know but you can do it.
Hi, thank you for telling us your story and what you did and are doing to overcome your addiction. Very inspirational and honest that there have been relapses along the way. Posts like this are great for people just starting to work their way through and for people like myself 10 months gamble free but will always need encouragement and support from other compulsive gamblers. Well done for your achievements and I hope that one day your recovery can be without relapse.....if that's what you want of course ! Did you achieve your goal of a house ? If so any new goals? Is that how you keep motivated ? Best wishes
hi janning24 wow what a great first post that was amazing and its great that you have took steps for your issues relapsed and realised yiu need some support and finally messaged here they are lovely people and will have a lot of help and advice so good luck , i completly understand about the advertisements of gambling its evil not only for us gambling but for the kids who wear these football tshirts with betting sites sprawled across them ??? wow i cant believe the things i see are legal im obsessed with football never miss my fave team play and in the 15 min adverts which im guessing little kids watch there is always gambling and alcohol adverts its disgusting i wish there was something we could do about it personally adverts never made me gamble i must say tho not that i was aware of , but for other people and inocent children it makes my blood boil if any one ever has an idea of something we could do to change this i would most certainly love to be a part of it it has botherd me for years once again janning24 great post look forward to being with you on your journey to recovery ill leave you with my fave qoute as i do with everybody else
"addiction is giving up everything for one thing , recovery is giving up 1 thing for everything" stay strong your not alone xxx
congrats charlieboy 10 months something to be very proud of , very inspirational great to hear and very helpful for me 5 days gf feeling very hopefull tonight as im reading more and more from lovely people here so ty x
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