I have now been gamble-free for 2 months.
I feel more myself and have had a positive-balance in my bank account consistently for the last month without temptation to gamble it. I have bought the odd Euromillions ticket here and there, but if this is the limit, I can handle that.. it is a drop in the ocean compared to the damage I did in the past so I don't consider it "gambling" in the same sense that I would count it against my "gamble-free time".
(Just for context, I maxed out credit cards, loans, overdrafts, all on gambling.. 25k+ I would say). Whilst I am not in the clear, I am making good progress with monthly repayments on all of my accounts and I have a buffer in the bank. I no longer spend my whole salary from work within 48 hours of receiving it and I have bought myself some nice things to have a feeling of what it's like to get something physical with my money. I have gone through real lows in the past. I am only 29 (30 in the summer) and I feel like I have so much more to live for, than to go through sleepless nights worrying about how I'll pay the next bill. I really got to a scary point where I didn't know what to do anymore, and I couldn't even think straight because of the problems that the gambling had caused.
In the long term I have created a savings plan where I hope to fully repay all of my debts and get onto the property ladder and put a deposit on my own place. It is nice to have a long term goal and something to save towards.
Anyway, I am just rambling on. I wanted to share my 2 month achievement and hope it would create some encouragement for others. Feel free to share your own success stories to spur me on and keep me going, I like reading them.
In case anyone is still at the beginning: for me, the problem was online gambling. Seeing as I had already registered on almost every casino/gambling website going, I went through and self-excluded myself on all of them for 5 years. There were a couple of times when I tried to get back on, but the system kicked me off, luckily. I feel happy that I did it and I don't regret it at all. I highly recommend to block yourself from all of these websites too. With the lockdown, I have not been able to enter any land-based casinos or bookies so I am also thankful for that. I hope by the time they reopen, there will be no temptation there at all to go back in, I am getting there!
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