This is day one. I have milestones in mind to get there, one week, one month, 3 months, one year etc. Going forward to keep consistency I plan to phone Gamcare at the end of each 3 month period to quickly tell them how many days I've been successful. I also at some point in the future want to help people more with gambling, I do some voluntary work just now but want to do more, I need to wait until I am stronger and have managed to be more successful with this.
I have too much to lose in life and I have too many ambitions unfulfilled, gambling is just another thing that will get in the way of these.
All the best everyone.
Hi Chris, thanks for asking. I have a good life, lucky start with good people around me, very good. I've done OK at life and most of what I've got I have because of good decisions and good effort. I always take responsibility for my actions, I have a job I love and I'm to be married next year.
Gambling... I only ever put £2 on a football coupon, I though £10 was too much age but enjoyed it very much, too much looking back than I should. I won £10,000 at fantasy football and thought I can make big money from betting. I was so wrong, as soon as money, potential loses, chasing loses and the urge to gamble on things I truly didn't believe in game into play I had no chance. I lost it all and an extra £10,000 and was skint and in shock.
Will power... I didn't gamble for 8 years once I got my head around it and help from family. I decided I didn't want to be going to meetings as part of my life, I done it all myself really.
It returned... I began to justify playing free poker and for a year I'd use any winnings to place a bet, small amounts I was determined never to deposit and use my own money as this went against the long run of principles being gamble free, 12 months later I got weak and I only had myself to blame for the bug coming back. I hit a low had to borrow money, miss a mortgage payment, blew my wages, needed help.
Will power... I went 3 years gamble free but have started again recently with bad results.
That's my story, I know I can never get complacent again and must add reminders into my monthly routine instead of sheer will power.
I hope you are doing well?
Thanks for the share. As a GA member I follow their guidance. I don't think will power alone is enough and I don't believe in making big statements.
The reason will power isn't enough is exactly what your share has shown. Willpower worked until it didn't. For me there are two parts to this. The first is abstinence, just staying away from a bet. That's great initially to get a clear mind and recover some of the mess that this gets us into. Blocks and things like GA or Gamcare can help with abstinence.
The second part is change. Looking at ourselves, our defects, how we cope with our feelings. If we don't change anything we'll keep getting and doing the same thing. It's not for everyone but like you I had good periods of time away from the misery of gambling only for something to draw me back in. I learnt that it was how I dealt with situations and I normally escaped into gambling rather than face them. Once I placed that first bet again I was done for!
The twelve step program I work has helped keep me away from the first bet in some really bad situations where normally I would have lost it.
I mention big statements because honestly I found your 10,000 days dream just a ridiculous thing to say. Don't take me the wrong way but most people can't get by week to week, let alone 27 years! Nothing wrong with having a target but make it doable. Aim for that week, then month, three months and so on. If you said you were going to build the Great Wall of China on your own it's too big a challenge, but put one brick in place a day soon adds up.
Good luck though, you sound like you have had enough which is always a good place to start.
Wise words Chris. I just focus on the now, today, making sure I get through to tomorrow gamble free. Some days are easy and some are really hard but waking up the following morning knowing I have added another brick to my wall of China is a good feeling, then focus on the day ahead.
52 bricks in the pile now 💪
Thanks for the time in replying Chris. I totally take on board what you said about feelings, you are right. It is something I need to work on and it is linked into gambling and gambling replacing something that is maybe missing in that moment and being weak and then gambling. I agree with your advise to set small targets and don't get too far ahead - that is what I'll be doing. I'm also glad you thought setting a 10,000 day target as a dream was ridiculous, I want to hear all opinions and it helps my thought processes. I know you genuinely believe this being ridiculous and I know you clearly wouldn't recommend it to others.
I don't agree it is ridiculous however. I am setting that as a target to get to. If I put boundaries on my ambitions I will just keep feeling that getting by a day then another day or a week then another week is all I can do. To help you understand I believe I can reach the target not from naivety but the fact that I have gone through a spell of not gambling for more than 8 years.
Would you then tell me not to target 8 years and one day? Of course I want to beat that, as it was the most useful period of my life in regard to finance and being pleased with myself. A gambler with serious weaknesses who can only set day to day targets I have total respect for and admiration for if they manage to not gamble in 24hours. But if they thought, in a similar way that you do, that others shouldn't be setting longer targets like a month target or a year was ridiculous we really wouldn't all be recognising that everyone thinks differently about their situation.
Again thanks for the direct, frank and honest reply to my post as it's good to talk through these things.
Keep fighting the good fight. Steven.
That's excellent, never underestimate how well you are doing. Get cement on those bricks! Well done. Can I ask do you find you can talk to friends or family members, do they understand and I was also wanting to find out from some fellow addicts have they told everyone in their extended circle and I just feel like I want to do that and take the judgement that comes my way but my mum wants to keep it all a secret and I respect and understand where she is coming from.
Hi, only my wife, 2 kids and their partners know so far, well not kids, they are 25 and 27 but you know what I mean. Maybe someday will tell other people but my feeling is why cause more stress than needed at the moment until I get things sorted with my immediate family and know what the future holds for us.
There is no right or wrong answer to dealing with this, just do what's best for you and keep reading other peoples stories to pick up tips on how other people are coping.
All the best
I fully endorse your right to have a target and having done eight years before is some achievement. If you should beat that then you're in for a great life.
My experience through GA rooms in particular, says that I've heard a lot of people over the years talk the big talk. They'll never gamble again, that's it for them, blah blah blah. You see them for two weeks and then they disappear only to come back years later with more time spent gambling because they weren't ready. A bit like on here. How many people post they need help, struggling with losing money, that's it for me, and they never reply to any comments on their own posts, or if they do they last a couple of months before disappearing.
A lot of the time it's because the size of the task at hand is too big to take on.
My comments were meant to help others based on your comments. The GA book states in its just for today section that "I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life's problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appal me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime".
Basically you can stop for today. Don't worry about tomorrow or next week or next year. Just today. Slowly the days add up.
As for me I've learnt the hard way not to get complacent and not to believe my own hype. I'm just trying to help others not make the mistakes I've made. I've learnt that I could gamble again, I just work hard everyday not to.
Good luck to you though. I look forward to reading about your progress.
Thanks for tha dvise Bladesman, I am torn between the peace you have with close family knowing and telling everyone. PROS of telling everyone (1) I like proving people wrong and being the underdog that will fire me up to succeed and show my worth (2) Without going too deep the meaning of life is truth and it will be closer to truth and honesty and that helps in the fight v gambling. CONS of telling everyone (1) My mum would not like others knowing the attention it would bring her, she's not convinced it would strengthen me either. (2) People may always see me as 'a gambler' and despite my best efforts might judge or treat me differently.
I'm leaning to not telling people at present, thanks for your time in replying, it helps. Good luck!
Thanks Chris, glad you are doing better and have clearly put the right amount of time effort and thought into your recovery. My big statement was big and would only work for a select few, I'm the same, I know I could gamble tomorrow and I always have taken responsibility for my actions and will in the future. Thanks again.
Your welcome, whatever sits comfortably with you is the right thing for you to do, no one can tell you any different. Whatever target you have go for it but it will only build one day at a time, the main thing is waking up each morning feeling positive that you can add another day towards that target.
All the best