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Over 50 and gambling for 35+ years

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 09:43

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Gambled at school, nearest the wall with coins or the arcades on Saturdays.  Gambling always have me a massive, heart beating out the chest thrill.

It's pretty much consumed me ever since - and its not just the money (although I'm more than £35k in debt), its the sheer amount of time gambling, thinking about gambling, planning gambling, then having to juggle things to cover it up.

I first attended GA in Leeds at the beginning of 1988 - I wish I could have stuck with it, but I just didn't manage it the first time (or 2nd, 3rd or 4th). My love goes out to anyone who attended at the time (and are still alive !), as I had nothing but honest support.

Anyway - 30 years later, and in many ways I feel I have wasted much of my life - and that's worse than the money if you know what I mean.

On the upside I have a loving wife (she doesn't know, although I'm sure she suspects), children and a home - so appreciate some are in a worse position.

Haven't gambled since 30th Dec 2017, so 16 days clean, a day at a time.

 

Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 10:04

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Welcome to the forum and congrats on 16 days clean that is a massive achievement alone. You have a loving wife like you said, children and a home so a lot to keep hold of there.

All the best in your recovery

Wilsy

Posted on:
Tue, 16/01/2018 - 10:27

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

thanks Wilsy.

Posted on:
Wed, 17/01/2018 - 09:27

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Haven't gambled since 30th Dec 2017

17 days.

 

Posted on:
Sun, 21/01/2018 - 14:42

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

21 days clean

Posted on:
Mon, 22/01/2018 - 17:35

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Have at least juggled most of my debts onto interest free cards for now.

I know its not ideal having access to credit, but have cut the cards up to stop me using them to withdraw cash, which I used to be a terror for. Frequently took out £400 or £700 in an afternoon to gamble.

A shade under £35k in debt - all down to gambling. Will probably take me 3-4 years to clear, but I'm not stressing too much about it at the moment - just concentrating on staying clean, doing some exercise.

 

It's been 22 days since my last bet.

Posted on:
Mon, 22/01/2018 - 20:48

Little miss lost

Joined:
2016-05-24

Hi KST,
Congratulations on 22 days.
If there's ever a statement to recall which should help you to resist temptation, it's the one where you said . . . 'I feel I have wasted much of my life.'
The future is yours now. It sounds like you have a lovely family - time spent with them is never wasted.
All good wishes x

Posted on:
Tue, 23/01/2018 - 23:33

Crossintheroad

Joined:
2017-11-03

Kst I was exactly the same to begin with. Don't get bogged down with how much you owe that's irrelevant at the moment. Stay off the gambling and things do get better. I'm almost 3 months in but am saying improvements and feel so much better. Your debts will never go if you continue there is light at the end of the tunnel if you can stick to it. Well done the hardest part I found was the first few weeks

Posted on:
Wed, 24/01/2018 - 13:33

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Thank you Crossintheroad.

Just read your diary and so many things resonate.

Betting on sports your not otherwise interested (Rugby, R League)   check

Over eating as a result of a bad day   check  (not takeways, but would wolf down 6 bags of crisps after a bad loss)

Lack of exercise    check

Checking credit cards and realising there is more on it than expected check.

I remember going to GA (this was 1988) and thinking, "I'm not as bad as these guys", and my stories didn't compare to them.

Looking back its probably because I have been able to function fairly normally, always worked, almost always carried large gambling debts, despite being utterly compulsive. When I say function normally, I have lost well paid jobs because I've wasted so much time gambling, I neglected work.

Stress was always a big trigger for me. A bad day at work or home can be blanked off by a couple of hours in the bookies, at its worst I would call in to the bookies everyday on the way home.

 

Will be a while until I trust myself coming to work with a wallet - I just take enough money to get a paper and bits for lunch.

I'm not sure that the first few weeks are the hardest for me. I think its making lasting changes to my life that is the hardest part. There is almost a euphoria in getting past say 10 days. I may use this diary to try and remember all the bad times, as its so easy to put them out of your mind.

 

24 days clean

 

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:19

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

33 days clean

 

First time I have had a calendar month without gambling in 27 years.

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:29

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Well done, KST, that is quite a statement to be able to make.

Good luck with your recovery.
 

Posted on:
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:29

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Hi KST

Really very pleased and proud of you for remaining free of gambling for 33 massive days. Well done and keep up the good work

Wilsy

Posted on:
Sat, 03/02/2018 - 02:23

weweewewewewe

Joined:
2015-04-17

Hey KST,

Good to hear you're doing well. I literally said the same thing today you put in your post; it's not just about the money. 

For me, it's more about the quality of life that goes with it. Not just gambling, but it occupying your mind even when you're not gambling!

Keep on keepin on buddy!

Posted on:
Mon, 12/02/2018 - 17:37

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Thanks for all the kind words.

Been a good week. No desire to gamble and debt is a fiver under £34k. That's going to be a long, long road - but that's ok.

The bigger relief is the amount of time freed up not gambling, thinking about gambling and studying form.

44 days clean

 

Posted on:
Tue, 13/02/2018 - 04:21

geordie

Joined:
2009-08-17

The title of your thread caught my eye. It’s identical to my situation, I’ve gambled since my school days, it’s been a living nightmare. I’m in my 50’s now, first went to GA in 1983 when I was 17. I never in a million years would have thought I’d end up like the sorry looking bunch of blokes sitting around telling how they’d wasted their lives through gambling.

 

I wouldn’t say gambling had become second nature to me. It was me, it was my life. 

 

It’s great you’ve gotten through a month, it requires a big change and steely determination.

 

I’ve recently passed the one year mark. I’m not celebrating the fact after all it’s only ever one day at a time. But it is possible to live without it and that’s what we’re doing.

 

I don’t worry to much about my debt either it is what it is, a consequence of a lifetime of gambling. If that were the only consequence I’d be a happy man.

 

Well done on turning yourself around mate, I’m full of admiration for anybody who does. But I do have s genuine empathy for you I know after such s long time at it, how bloody difficult it is to finally stoop.

 

All the best.

 

Geordie.

Posted on:
Tue, 13/02/2018 - 11:45

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Thanks Geordie,

its taken me 30 odd years to realise that us addicts come in all shapes and sizes.

Ive always been lucky to have worked and earned reasonable money over the last 25 years. Not that I have much to show for it. I remember going to GA and thinking I could never hit a rock bottom as bad as some of the people there, and maybe I didn't, but there have been some pretty depressing and self destructive times.

I have lost at least 2 really good jobs & wasted 3 years at University as well - but always managed to fall into something else quite quickly.

I don't really want to think about the impact its had on my wife and kids, but I know I'll have to address that at some stage.

 

Arrogantly, I always saw myself as a 'clever punter'. A typical year would see me staking £400-500k maybe more and losing maybe £20k.

I'd say typically I'd spend at least 40 hours a week or more 'studying' form, planning, thinking about and actually gambling.

Obviously that amount of time is going to hugely impact on anyones work or home life - regardless of the monetary losses.

The majority of my friends gamble and its sometimes difficult being in their company, and maybe I'll have to find new friends in time.

 

At the moment, I haven't had any urge to gamble over the last 6 weeks - but I'm fully aware that just one bet, win or lose would see me back in the spiral.

I'm just taking things a day at a time.

Posted on:
Sun, 18/02/2018 - 21:33

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

 

50 days

Pales into insignificance when compared with 35+ years of compulsive gambling but enjoying the little things like a day out with my wife. Nothing special but I know in the past I’d have avoided it or been distracted by thinking about gambling most of the time.

One day at a time.

Posted on:
Sun, 18/02/2018 - 21:48

sjw

Joined:
2017-10-27

Hello KST,

Well done on 50 days. I have to say that days out with loved ones are actually special though. Its that quality time that makes life worthwhile. Keep moving forwards one day at a time =)

Posted on:
Fri, 23/02/2018 - 14:16

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Just checking in.

54 days.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 23/02/2018 - 14:46

burko26

Joined:
2017-06-16

Well done KST, 54 days a great achievement

Posted on:
Fri, 23/02/2018 - 14:58

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Same as Burko, 54 days is very, very good, be proud and push on forward. 

Wilsy

Posted on:
Wed, 28/02/2018 - 11:57

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

59 days and about to enter what will be the most difficult time of the year.

Normally at this time of year I would have been utterly obsessed with the upcoming racing at Cheltenham.

Almost all of my friends gamble and I know I will be bombarded with emails and text with their bets.

Even when I have not been, the week would have been spent glued to the TV in the afternoon, having spent the morning reading the papers.

On the upside, I have self excluded with every account I have held, and there are probably few online bookmakers that I havent had an account with.

I will be continuing to come to work with a few quid just to get lunch, to help avoid temptation. It will be a mammoth relief if I can get through the next few weeks, not just betting, but avoiding it in conversation.

 

Beware the ides of March indeed.

 

59 days.

Posted on:
Wed, 28/02/2018 - 12:24

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Congrats on 59 days GF that's brillant and thanks for posting on my diary.

Wilsy

Posted on:
Mon, 05/03/2018 - 21:47

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

 

65 days.

Things going slow on the debt front but I can accept that going to take at least 2 years to break the back off.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 05/03/2018 - 23:32

Gamblingfree

Joined:
2016-02-19

Keep strong! Your post is inspiring me to stop also despite thousands in debt, I know I am not alone

 

Freshhope  

 

Posted on:
Wed, 07/03/2018 - 22:08

Gamblingfree

Joined:
2016-02-19

Gambled again because money was pending and it was 6 days and I caved in! I lost another 2k eveything I have, I feel so suicidal, I'm in bath and only reason I'm staying alive is for my son and husband, 10k in debt and devastated totally killing myself here :(

Posted on:
Fri, 09/03/2018 - 10:52

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

69 days.

Worst week of the year coming up, hard to avoid news about racing - and although I gambled accross the spectrum more or less (no bingo !), racing has always been my worst failing.

Will be on maxiumum guard, not just to avoid betting but avoiding news, TV, radio etc.

 

Posted on:
Fri, 09/03/2018 - 11:50

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

Hi KST, congrats on 69 days, remain positive and you'll be fine next week because you aren't interested anymore and are striving for a better life. I used to love my horses I just don't pay any attention to it anymore, it isn't worth teasing myself with the temptation.

Have a safe weekend.

Wilsy

Posted on:
Mon, 16/04/2018 - 08:30

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Relapsed.

So ****** off with myself.

Back to Day 1

Posted on:
Mon, 16/04/2018 - 16:26

Took a wrong turn

Joined:
2012-02-22

I relapsed too KST after 153 days, don't be too hard on yourself, it's not easy but yes very annoying when we do relapse, we lose all confidence and concentration and currently I am finding it hard to get back on track.

 

Posted on:
Thu, 19/04/2018 - 10:40

burko26

Joined:
2017-06-16

KST - sorry to read that you relapsed. I know that it sucks. Please though, take huge amounts of heart from the fact that prior to relapsing you went around 100 days gamble free. That is incredible. You have been gambling for over 35 years and to break that, even though you relapsed, is a great achievement.

We can do this.

Lets get back on the horse and go again.

Keep Fighting

Posted on:
Fri, 14/09/2018 - 11:02

KST

Joined:
2018-01-16

Yet another relapse, culminating in losing £1040 in a ******* on august bank holiday monday.

I was the only person in the shop - which stunk of a mixture of urine & disinfectant, someone had ****** themselves in the shop the previous evening apparently.

Finally excluded myself from online using gamstop.

 

17 full days

 

A start at least

Posted on:
Fri, 14/09/2018 - 13:01

Rainman

Joined:
2017-03-18

 i have been gambling for decades, i was one of the ‘faces’ at the tracks and in the shops, i gambled hard and was patient with my bets, i had a name and could make a phone call to bookmakers on the rails, just call it, i had the lot, . i spent much time studying , until I got ill, my middle money went and i had to start again, ,, i started gambling again where i left off but with out back up, a couple of called bets gone astray and i was owing, i was on the back foot now , and making mistakes, losses mounted and debt soared, i introduced myself to the fobt, worse thing ever. Now I’m on my own and skint, .. I actually joined this site a few times and back in 2014 it helped me a great deal, i relapsed afew times but always got back on the wagon, i left the site and asked for my diary and account to be removed, what a big mistake, i thought that i was over  it and i wanted to cut  myself off from that time of my life  , forget, destroy it. Well that was a lot of shxx . Relapsing back into gambling became the norm , acceptable, ffs, what was that all about, kidding myself, . Stick with this site and keep posting on your diary, good or bad, stick with it no matter what. I am a C G , that ain’t going away but i can stop myself doing it and so can you,. Guard Up. Rainman

Posted on:
Fri, 14/09/2018 - 16:38

tara2

Joined:
2013-01-27

Hi.  I stopped by because the thread caught my eye.  I am also over 50 and have gambled compulsively for a number of years that I am not even certain of the exact date of starting. It's been close to 13 years?  I found some resources 6 years ago.  Let's just say it's been a long grueling experience and I relate to all the comments on this thread.  I'm afraid , personally, at a little of 3 months.  I've had so called clean time many mnay times over these years.  How is this 90 plus days period different.  I do not know. I am worn out.  I am excluded at casinos within 1 1/2 and closer .  I'm weary.  I'm embarrassed of some of my behaviors while in the gambling zone of slots.  I don't have a lot of matierial things.  I'm just here saying , hey, I'm with all of you.  Just for today I will not gamble.  And then tomorrow I'll say the same phase.  Good luck.  tara2