I’m a new member to this site, but not new to gambling. I’m 26 and have been gambling on and off for 10 years. I’ve lost huge sums of money over this period and got myself into horrible cycles of debt and depression as is so common with this horrendous addiction.
27th November 2015 was the day I finally stopped gambling... or so I thought. I went to GA meetings, had multiple counselling sessions and had a full network of support from all friends and family, I told everyone. I ticked the days off one by one, everyday was another day free from addiction. Fast forward July 2017, nearly 2 years without a single bet and no need to lie. I found myself withdrawing money from a savings account and standing in a bookies. I had a decision to make and I made the wrong one. I then gambled and lied for the next 15 months until the savings account was empty.
Every coping mechanism I learned during my previous relapse I ignored, I chose to bet knowing the distruction it would cause. So here I am, trying to crack it for the 4th and last time. I want my life back and I’m going to get it.
I have told my parents and dispite their obvious anger, they are again willing to support me through this hell. I know from my previous relapses that the first weeks are the hardest as the emotion is still so raw, but I’m 4 days in and I never want to bet again, it’s taken over all of my adult life and I won’t let it happen any longer.
I’ve created this post as I want support from others, but I also want to assure anyone that’s experiencing this for the first time, it will get easier, we can all do this providing we want to. I have no access to any online sites and I plan on banning myself from every bookie I’ve ever been in. I’ve handed all control of my finances back to my parents, I feel like a child again but I know it’s the only way as I currently cannot be trusted with money. I hope one day I can trust myself and people around me can again trust me...
7 days down and with the weight of the lies lifted, I feel somewhat better. For all of you going through the same, please reply to this and we can help each other, one step at a time.
Hi 4th time lucky. I’m in a similar position to you. I am 27 and started gambling about 8 years ago when I was at uni as I was panicking about paying for things and back then I didn’t think it was a problem. I used online slots,odd scratch card and lottery tickets. I stopped for a bit as my then boyfriend(now husband) found out. But then it started again on online slots and I won 10K. I used it to pay for some debts and paid half to my husband but we kept it a secret from friends and family as we both knew it was “dirty money” and not something to be proud of. I told my husband I wouldn’t do it again and that was it but it didn’t take long and I was back doing it. He found out just before we married and I thought that was it but he gave me a last chance. We didn’t tell anyone and I went 11months without thinking about it but then I was panicking about how I was going to afford Christmas and a holiday we had booked as I was on a rubbish wage and I felt like a failure for having gone to uni got into debt and still on a rubbish salary. It all started again and got worse. I took out loans, pay day ones as well to get through the month chasing that big win. Everything spiralled out of control. I had since got into a really good job with a relatively high paying salary but here I was in debt supposedly to all my friends and family saving for our 1st home. I was so scared of telling my husband but 12 days ago I told him everything and I am incredibly lucky he has stuck by me. This time it’s different as I have triply realised I have a problem. He has made me tell my family and his family all know and I have spoken to them at length about it. I have self excluded myself from all websites I used and registered on Gamstop. I joined on here and am having my first nhs online therapy on Monday. I am determined to beat this this time and stay gamble free forever. It is hard and I have a stressful job but I am finally talking about my feelings and being open and am staying positive. I wish u all the best for your recovery and everyone else who might read this. It’s hard admitting to people you care about what u have done, what u have lost, but it is inspiring to know how supportive people can be and how u really can beat this if you want to. I know I am at a very early stage in this but today I am 13days gamble free.
Hi Hhyatt, thank you for your response and it sounds like your taking all the right steps. How did your online therapy go? I am going to see a specialist private gambling counsellor next Monday too. It’s good that you have spoke to your husband and both of your families, it’s hard and people will never understand the shame we feel. I take my hat of to your husband, he sounds like a great guy and you have to do everything you can to not let him down this time. I let my guard slip last time and I got complacent, it’s cost me another 18 months of my life, but today was another day gamble free and that can only be a step in the right direction.
I too told my girlfriend (of 10 years) yesterday, I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to. She was understandably upset and angry again, but she did feel for me, she sees the pain I’m in and she’s seen it before. She has asked for space and that’s all I can give her. I need to get better for myself but it will break my heart if she isn’t by my side, but that’s what gambling does to people and has done to me. It destroys people and we need to keep that at the front of our minds every single day. I hope I’m as lucky as you and my girlfriend does stay with me. I’d love to hear about your journey and hopefully in years to come we can look back on this and see it as the start to our successful journey in life, beating this ####ing addiction once and for all. I hope you’ve had a good and GF day and I hope your online therapy was helpful....
Hi 4th time lucky. Thanks for your reply. Online therapy was good today I opened up about triggers and it made me think about issues and the way I had behaved in a different light. Next week I will be learning about different ways to combat stress. You should be proud of yourself for coming clean to your gf. I know how difficult that would have been. I’m sure in time she will be able to forgive you and give you the support you need. Just keep talking to her about how much you want to and how much u believe u can beat this. I do still feel terribly guilty and sad about all the lies,the lost money and time and know it will take a while to get the trust back but I feel so much better that it is out in the open. Plus I’m still young enough to start fresh and have a great chance to rebuild a positive future and so do you. My husband went away for a few days this weekend and whilst I told him I would be fine, I know he was worried and tbh I was a little bit nervous as well (even though I have self excluded and he has control of my money so I couldn’t gamble I was worried the thoughts/urges would be there) but I kept myself busy and also used the Chatroom on here for the 1st time. When you are gambling and living a secret life and it’s eating u up inside it’s amazing how alone u feel but just reading posts on here and you realise how many people, good people, are affected by this horrible addiction/disease. I hope your gambling counselling goes well and I hope your gf comes round to forgiving you so u can move forwards towards a happy gf life. Wishing you all the best and be proud of another gf day.
I’ve just joined today after gambling since I was 12 years old and now I’m 44 my life has been hell to be honest which doesn’t make much sense when you consider I have a successful business and make a lot of money , I lost 5k yesterday on an online slot machine and although I don’t need the money it just makes me so angry , not sure how to stop it so I know how you feel
Hi Steve, sorry for my delay.. as you can see from my story, I’m definitely no expert. But in my opinion, if you really want to stop (the fact that your hear suggests you do) then you need to block yourself from all online slot machines that you play. In fact blocking yourself from every gambling site there is. This obviously isn’t going to cure you, but it will stop the ability to gamble. Which in turn will stop you feeling like you do after you lose. I today am 18 days gamble free and I feel so much better. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in this mess, what matters is looking forward, we can all beat this if we really want to.. all the best!
Hi HHyatt, how did you second counselling session go? I had my first session last night and it felt good to talk and really be honest without hurting anyone or being judged by anyone. I find it difficult to open up, but I feel I made a good start last night. My girlfriend is still unsure what to do, we haven’t seen or talked much of each other the past couple of weeks, but all I can do is give her time and hope for the best. How is your partner feeling about things now? How are you feeling about everything? I hope your doing well and I hope you have a GF day today.
Hey man thanks for stopping my on my diary.
Like you say it's good to know that others are in the same position as you. I'm a tennis fan anyway, but I guess I was drawn to it because of the quick turnover in points thus a potential quick settlement of a bet. Not like football, when nothing could happen for 90 mins.
Good to see you are on 25 days and going well. I'll take your advice on board about taking 1 day at a time and not looking too far ahead. Makes sense to me.
Have a good one mate.
Hi everyone. I’m afraid I am a complete idiot who has ruined my entire life again! How could I be so stupid. I used to gamble when i was in my early 20s I had nearly 30k of debt from credit cards. I got my life back on track a loan and paid it all off with the help of ppi claims. I was also so sensible with money. Fast forward to last year I started gambling again. I had £20k in savings. I spent most before winning big! I paid of my car and was on top of the world. I self excluded myself for a lot of casinos so I wouldn’t get caught. But I am a weak fool. It didn’t last. I am now sitting today with nothing but debt to the eyeballs. I am living right on the edge of the end. The one thing stopping me is I have a 3 year old Sonia also have a 5 year old. If I end this hell now he will never even remember me. How was I such a complete fool. Why why why why. I didn’t enjoy playing slots but I couldn’t stop playing slots. I would sit up to all hours on my phone in the hope of winning big. If I spent a lot I would spend more with bigger wagers. If I tried to withdraw I would then get caught by having it pending and be able to cancel it. In the last 4 weeks it sky rocketed. I went madder and madder. I sat in the corner of my room charging my phone gambling feeling physically sick I even was physically sick. I knew it was wrong. I knew it was going to ruin me. But I couldn’t stop. I hoped the casino would decline my money or be offline. It never was. I had a life I had money I had it all. I now have nothing. I hate mysef on Friday I got a call from the casino just to check my gambling was under control. I let out my emotion and they closed my account. Never to hear from them again. They told me when the fun stops it’s not a good idea. Why did they never contact me when my spending habits changed. Never once did they check on me until it was to late.when they closed my account I was so happy. What a weight was lifted even if to late.if they got me 8 weeks ago. I would of been in a great place. If they got me two weeks ago I would be delighted and have a life. Today I have def excluded with GameStop. No one has a clue about this. When they find out it may be to late. I have let down my entire family again. What a waste of a life I am.
This is what this evil addiction does to us, but you are not a waste of a life. You have made the right move, you’ve self excluded and you’ve sought help. Believe me, I know just how low and worthless you feel. But you can make a life for yourself, you’ve proved it once and you can prove it again. Yes your family and loved ones will be disappointed, but that’s a consequence of our actions. It doesn’t mean those relationships can’t be repaired. You have to be proud of the fact that you have commented on my forum. That is a huge step. I totally understand your feeling of dispair, but you can arrest this b*****d, you can continue to live out your days a happy man! I am here for you brother and I 100% feel your pain. But I’m 25 days gamble free and already my pain is easing. We have to remain strong. Your son and daughter have there whole lives ahead of them and you want to be gamble free and happy to witness that. And I promise you, you can be. You’ve made the biggest step already! I’m here whenever you need someone... good luck
Hi mate. Please do everything in your power to never gamble again. I have been trying to kick this horrible addiction for countless years. So many relapses. My problem is I can’t get over he losses. I know it’s gone and I won’t get it back but it’s just so difficult to look forward. Have stupidly blown 4 figures last few weeks and get paid tomorrow and then one more wage before Xmas. I just feel like I have ruined xmas this year having blowing savings few weeks ago. I stop and then replapse after a few months of savings. Lost my mum to mental health issues 2 yrs ago and the gambling has got progressively worse. It’s an escapism for me, but a truly horrible one which causes me so much distress and sadness. I wish you well on your journey. And everyone else who posts on here
I fully feel your pain brother. I’ve lost thousands over the years and it sickens me. But the money is gone, I know gambling isn’t ever going to result in getting it back, even if I won 100 grand, I know that would all disappear and I would end up in debt again. The winning does nothing except feed the habit for longer. You need to seek some professional help would be my advice. I’ve been seeing a counsellor and although I’m paying, I’m spending far less that I would be if I was gambling. The only way you’ll get the money back is by working hard and NOT gambling. Gambling will only result is further debt and misery, I promise you this!! And I’m sorry to hear of your mum, but she wouldn’t want this life for you. Make her proud, kick the gambling. Be good and don’t gamble... if online gambling is your thing, ban yourself from everywhere, use Gamstop so you physically can’t do it. Make it impossible for yourself
Hello ruined again.
Well done for joining the forum and posting here. You may get more responses if you create your own thread, to do that just go to the forum section where you would like your thread to appear and click on the blue button 'New topic'.
You mentioned that you have debt now. Some of our forum users have posted positive feedback about using free professional debt advice services, such as the National Debtline 0808 808 4000, StepChange 0800 138 1111 or PayPlan 0800 280 2816. In the future, you might choose to arrange your finances in ways so that your access to money is limited or supervised by someone close to you, like a family member, as a way to protect your recovery.
Well done for registering with GamStop. If you like, you could also look at adding an extra layer of protection by downloading blocking software on the devices you use to go online https://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-advice/what-can-you-do/blocking-software#.VCA52fldXww
If you are unhappy with the way the gambling company operated, you could look at the Gambling Commision website where they offer a webpage with guidance about how to make complaints. https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/for-the-public/Your-rights/Complaints.aspx
It sounds like this is a challenging time for you, so please consider using our free support locally and by telephone. If you call us on our freephone 0808 8020 133, or try our netline, we can help you access free treatment appointments near your area, or appointments by telephone, or appointments online by videolink. We are available on our freephone 8am to midnight every day.