I also love this thread. I use it a lot just to read through it. It brings me the strength I need when i'm feeling weak.
I have another post to add to this thread. It comes from Lucy's dairy and it is a very recent post. I guess it means a lot to me knowing the entire context it comes from but I believe that if you don't know the full story just reading this one paragraph can be enough inspiration to get your b**t in gear! Thanks lucy for being a light in my recovery.
Lucy has got her life back and it took 12 hours.. never ever doubt your recovery because your day will come..
Bloody hell.. I am so doing this.. I am changing my life.. Am in shock but a nice shock.. I feel inspired right down to my little toe....
Change is ggod face your fears and it will happen xx
I think I'm taking over this thread, but then -hey- I am passionate about getting myself and others to reflect on best ways to avoid/quit gambling.
Here is a brilliant post from Alf which sets out practical strategies for quitting. Follow these and be on the path to salvation!
If your family sees that you have done something to help yourself stop gambling they are more likely to support and understand you.
Can you book into to see a Counnselor? If so, do it and tell your Husband what you have done. Can you go to your Husband and say, "Can you help me stop gambling by taking control of the money until I have things under control?"
You need to stop thinking about gambling and think about changing to a happier lifestyle.
You are trying, you are thinking about stopping, you have posted here. That's a good start.
Here is a list I made for myself and for anyone else interested. What from the list below (it can be added to) are you prepared to do to help yourself stop gambling?
Self exclude my self from gambling venues
Close my betting accounts
Restrict my internet access
Restrict my access to money
Hand over control of all my money to a partner/friend
Cancel my credit cards
Write down a list of all the problems gambling has caused me
Book into Rehab
See a Counselor
Go to a G.A. Meeting
See a Physiatrist/Shrink/Therapist
Attend a problem gambling workshop
Start a personal diary
Start an online line diary
Tell my partner
Tell my parents
Tell a friend
Tell someone online
Reassess my financial position with the help of a financial advisor
Keep a record of how much I lose
Study the mathematics of gambling types/machines so I understand why I can't win
Ask a friend to phone me everyday to make sure I have not gambled
Phone a friend everyday and tell them I have not gambled.
Email a friend everyday and tell them I have not gambled
Every time I gamble I will mention it in my online diary
Every time I gamble I will tell a friend.
Every time I gamble I will write in my personal diary
Pray for help
Walk past a casino, have a good look at it, and say to my self, вЂњI'm not going in there they are not getting any more of my moneyвЂќ.
When lying in bed before I go to sleep if I think about gambling it will be about not gambling
Replace thoughts of gambling with thoughts of not gambling
If someone asks me if I would like to come to the casino or betting shop with them, tell them, вЂњI no longer gambleвЂќ or вЂњI'm trying to stopвЂќ.
Become an antigambling crusader.
Join in or watch online chat discussions
Know exactly what I am going to do with my pay before I receive it. i.e. Pay bills, buy food, give my self a treat. I'm going to put my money to good use before I have the chance of even thinking of gambling it away.
Plan what I am going to do tomorrow, today.
My Favoutite Post from Gamcare are the Diary Titles of everybody as they show much hope and it gives me stength and I tell myself yep that is what I want.. Also there are sad titles and that re-afirms what sadness gambling brings.. There is hope, beleif and warmth in so many peoples words..They are words of encouragement there is laughter and sometimes pain - but that pain is about us all growing but pain turns to joy as we all see each other grow and overcome our problems..
Anybody reading this think of the life problems you have faced over the last few months and be proud that you have dealt with them..You have had teh strngth to deal with what comes your way - Why becauce you no longer gamble and you are YOU..
Have Listed a few but there are so many..
Anna`s fresh start
Alive and kicking a**e
The start of my new life
No Bets...Progress made
Taking My Life Back
The first day of my new life
Going to beat this
We fall down we get up
So all in all its about a NEW LIFE and that feels exciting to be seeing it and living it for real ..
Love to All
This helped me when I first logged on here and I live by it.
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry: two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities, its blunders, its large promise or poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds - but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only; one day - TODAY. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and i add the burdens of these two awful eternities - yesterday and tomorrow - that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad - it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Willie`s diary - read it from start to finish and you wil have insperation and belief and hope right down to your little toe.
Willie has done it Gamcare style and is proof that this can be done and life does get better and life becomes full of joy..
Take little steps, strive for progress, let it happen and what do you get - you get the world. priceless
Strategies for Quitting.
*Start a diary. People offer up great advice.
*Self-exclusion - if you really want to stop then self exclude which in the bookies (where they have those s**t £500 machines) means you take a photo which you can sign. You can exclude straight away. I tested this once and it worked - as long as the staff recognise you. Anyways, sel-excluding is more about making a statement to yourself that you no longer want to gamble. If you have tv then self exclude on that too. Plus any so called amusement arcades.
*I then got rid of all my cards except two. It is a debit card with a set overdraft that I cannot go over. My other debts I consolidated and paid off over time.
The other card I can deposit in and get money out from an autobank buit it has no credit or overdraft facility so I can only spend what's in the account. No more, so I can't take out ВЈ300 quid in one go. I usually just take this with me in case I need emergency £10 and leave the debit card at home.
*Always carry the money you need for day to day expenses and no more.
*re-learn the value of money ie buy something tangible like a new DVD player - something you use and get pleasure from.
*take up a hobby - sport is good as you will get the same high as in gambling when you release the endorphines.
*make no excuses. Say this is it. Affirm it in writing, keep a diary, or make a note of the days, or the amount you have saved.
*confide in someone you can trust and have them monitor you. Preferably someone who doesn't gamble.
*Imagine your cash beingtaken out of the machine by a greasy fat bloke/woman who smiles and sticks a finger up at you then gets in his/her mercedes (paid by you) and takes an equally destestible kid to private school, paid also by you.
*believe in yourself and take comfort from others - read the 'favourite posts' thread on the OPG section.
*Get strategies to ignore urges. There are plenty on here. I see an urge as something that passes - it can't make you actually ebt just messes with your mind a moment. Let them pass - they will get less in time. I can vouch for that.
*don't substitute one type of gambling for another - ie no scratchcards - wean yourself off it - at least for a bit.
*Never give in - but if you do don't beat yourself up too much. Just acknowlegde how and why you slipped and start again. read diaries of others - that'll help.
*Set yourself goals - a week a fortnight etc - and watch the days pass. You will sleep better and eat better.
*Join GA if you feel it is something you can't do alone or you need some higher 'power' to respond to.
*Read about the successes on this site and take note. Also empathise with those just starting out on their recovery - do you/did you share the same pain?
*Each day is more distance from when you last gambled so enjoy the feeling. Be happy that you have made even just one day of non-gambling.
*Take note of the guilt you feel regarding the way your actions have impacted on others, but do not let this guilt hinder your recovery. It is really a sign that you are now more self-aware and in touch with people around you.
*Stop gambling - and only when you have halted the torrent of addictive behaviours consider possibly gambling responsibly. For most of us who have hit the compulsive stage we lack the selfcontrol and should never gamble again.
*Relax and enjoy the site. It will provide comfort, hope and advice though sometimes there will be disagreements over recovery paths. We are all on our own journeys and so may go on slightly different routes but the goal is the same - to one day take your life back, and become the loving, generous person you once were.
*Don't worry if at first you spend a lot of time on here - it will balance out. At first you will be wanting to share your story or simply drop in on the stories of others and feel that you are not alone. There is comfort in this and you should never feel guilty.
*Believe you can do this- why? Because you can. You learned a bad habit and bad habits can be unlearned.
* There's always someone worse off than yourself. Indulge in a bit of wallowing but at some point you need to start looking and moving forward in order to get stabilised and happy again.
*Never be complacent. Watch out for possible slips around the first month or so. Just think what you want from this site and how best to get it. Small steps.
Hope this helps. JG
So glad that I am now in control of myself... makes life so much better. Just needed to be patient - like our dog!
An informative post from Moneyfiend:
I have not seen a post that simply outlines in a clear form every helpful idea that can go towards stopping problem gambling. Please feel free to add/correct anything I've said. I've only got so far as step 1 so far so I am by no means a role model but I know if i manage to do all this I will dramatically reduce my problem.
The steps will cover online and highstreet bookmakers. I suggest if you don't bet online or vice versa you still implement every step for added security.
* While you are implementing the listed steps, if possible transfer your money to someone you trust as soon as possible. This will avoid you relapsing before you have taken the nescessary steps.
1) Buy Gamblock and install it on every PC you are likely to use. Yes each copy costs around 20-30 quid but it is very obviously a worthwile investment as the gambling losses of most on this site are usually many many times greater over the course of a year. Gamblock is nescessary as self-exclusion from a specific site, in my opinion, is very rarely effective just for the fact that there are around 3000 licensed UK gambling avenues on the internet and you cannot possibly self-exclude them all manually. And yes you may think, there will always be another computer etc. Yes that is correct, Gamblock in itself is not the full solution but it can dramatically reduce your gambling.
2) Open a bank account (such as a post office account) where the money is not readily accesible by a card and keep the vast majority of your money in it. A good example of this is a post office account where you have to through a few hoops to get your money out. For most this is an inconvenience, for a gambler this is a life-saver. The delay in getting the money gives you time to think about what your doing and stop. You can also set up direct debits with these accounts to pay your bills. I am no bank manager so if you could suggest some suitable accounts it would be helpful.
3) For the everyday money you do need for shopping and everything else, open a debit card such as the one from Citibank which does not allow online gambling. For every gambler this is an absolute must. I think they also offer credit cards with the same features.
4) One of the hardest parts, self exclude yourself from the local bookies and casinos. You may feel embarassed doing this but to be honest it's not big deal for the staff. They are trained in this sort of thing and working in a bookies or casino it happens from time to time. The larger bookmakers, I have heard, offer services to forward your photo around to different branches. If you are simply too ashamed to do this, think of the money you have lost and the money you could (or should I say will) lose if you don't take the required steps.
5) Unfortunatley this step is not available to everyone, I do understand some people just cannot tell those around them about their problems either because they are too ashamed or, sad as it may be, they just haven't got anyone that they are very close too. If it is shame stopping you, you must swallow it. If you can tell just one responsible person such as a parent or girlfriend it can do a world of help. If possible give them access to your statements at all times through internet banking so they can keep a check on you. If you genuinely dont use your debit/credit cards for anything but gambling give them to the person you trust, but obviously this is not the case for many of us. The support of a loved one knowing can be a lifesaver, and I find knowing that a loved one would no i have relapsed, the shame, would prevent me from gambling. So if possible just do it, it will be hell at first but it is worth it.
Ok so by this point you have taken basic steps to:
A) Prevent online & high-street gambling
B) Slow down your access to money giving yourself time to get a hold of yourself and not doing anything silly.
C) Informed someone or several people of your problem to get the support you need.
Let's be honest, if someone is determined enough to gamble they will probably find a way as many of you no. These are preventative measures that will help. They are though just a delay, you cannot gamble as fast as you hope, and you hope during this delay you will snap out of it or give up.
This alone is not enough though. To truly overcome your gambling you need to address the psychological side. Take some or all (preferable) of these steps in an order that suits you.
* Get to a local gamblers anonymous meeting
* Go to see a counsellor such as those offered at www.aquarius.org.uk
* Take up a hobby or hobbies. Physical excercise is an excellent way to let of steam built up by the need to gamble. General socialising, getting out of the house meeting people is also good and finding an activity that you really enjoy is a great way to fulfill some of the rushes you require from gambling.
*Learn the value of money: some of us are in huge debts or with tight money but if you get the chance, save for something you really want but usually never can get because your money is wasted on gambling. Whether it be a new TV or a holiday for the family, it will feel incredible and even better knowing you have it because you had the restraint not to gamble
*Self reflection - You may do this during GA meetings or with a counsellor, but it is always helpful to try and pinpoint what has triggered you to gamble. Sometimes it is just greed a hunger for money, but it is usually an escape. Look for other healthy ways to "escape" .
This method whilst i have kept to it in the past has helped me a lot. I stopped recently and wished I hadnt.
Basically get a time period, 1,2 years or whatever and calculate how much you have lost. Divide the amount you have lost by the number of weeks you lost it in. This gives you what you have on average been losing gambling per week. For each week gamble free you can say this is money you would have otherwise not had. The more weeks the better as it just keeps growing.
Hope I have not dragged on and have helped, feel free to add anything
Good luck guys stay strong, it's never too late.