Well its been a while since I last posted in here. I think if am honest I went in to a little deniel about my problem because financially (with help from husband) I managed to fix a very dire debt situation so it didn't seem so bad that I gambled away my 'spare' cash and as you all know 'spare' cash suddenly turns in to all cash and before you know it debts are mounting again.
I cant understand my thinking and why I am here again. I was so so low the last time and yet I dive straight back in to the pits of hell. I feel so angry with myself. To make matters worse I have had another baby (6 weeks ago) but the stress of my situation is overtaking all my thinking and I can't even enjoy my time with new baby. Being now on maternity pay has led me to need to really tighten up on my spending as I have had a 70% drop in my usual pay but of course I haven't tightened up on the gambling and instead I spent both the rent and council tax. I feel sick and disgusted and I just don't know how to tell hubby I have done it again... he is literally cutting back on everything to save a tenner here and there and taking on every overtime shift he can get to try and cover my drop in pay and here I am spinning away our rent and council tax in one evening. I spent most of yesterday wishing I was dead and crying in the toilet because am so ashamed...
It was then it hit me, gambling really is an isolating addiction. I gamble alone and secretly and I have told no one except my hubby when I needed help with debts but he thinks that is in the past now. There are no other hardships I've faced in my life in which I cant just call a friend or family member during a low moment to get advice/support but with the gambling im just too ashamed to tell anyone. I dont know how to explain it and dont think they would even understand because I don't understand it myself. The saddest part is I've had to sit through half a days training with my colleagues on gambling awareness and how it affects people... my line of work means I have supported people with addictions including gambling but sitting in that training with my friends and colleagues being shocked and confused at the lengths people can and do go to to gamble made me feel more alone than ever. I feel gambling is still very stigmatised and misunderstood and I just don't feel strong enough to 'expose myself ' in front of people who just clearly don't understand it. So it leaves me trying to talk to myself but I only ever have bad words and anger for myself and it makes the whole thing worse... I want and need to tell hubby but I'm not even sure he can handle the stress of this again.
I just needed a place to get this off my chest because its eating me up...
Thank you for sharing that. I know how you feel! I have had a problem for years and your right it is totally isolating. I am a single mother and the thought of anyone finding out about my addiction terrifies me! I rang this number for the first time yesterday and he told me about this forum. And just reading what you have written made me feel less alone, I’m not the only one going through this! There have been many times when I gambled my last penny and wanted to end it all! And I felt like no one would understand why I was so sad so it’s a shameful secret I’ve had to keep!
But just reading what you have written has made me think maybe I can stop one day even though I can’t imagine it right now! I would just like to be free of it!!
Well done for getting help before, I think you can do it again if you’ve been brave enough before.
Good luck in your journey and with your family x
I want to let you know that we're here to support you and that you can contact one of our advisers any time that you need to talk, 24 hours a day, on the Helpline (0808 8020 133) or Netline (our webchat). You can use the service to get things off your chest to a non-judgmental ear, and we can also help you get linked into support and make a plan for your next steps.
You're absolutely right, gambling can be so isolating and some of the biggest harms come from this. We generally advise people to open up to someone in their lives if they can, but recovery is a journey and sometimes you need some support to process the things that you're feeling first. Talking to our advisers can help with this, and we can also refer you to have ongoing support with a trained practitioner.
I hope that posting helped relieve some of the pressure for you. It's clear that you're experiencing a lot of huge emotions right now and that must be overwhelming. You've done brilliantly by sharing here. There is a path forward for you.
All the best,
This is what I do I gamble alone. Put as many blocks in place you physically can. Banks offer the option to block gambling on debit cards, it takes affect immediately but has 62 hour cooling off period if you decide to take the function off and by then your urges should have subsided. Sign up to gamstop and exclude yourself for the 5 years and this will block you from nearly all UK licenced online casinos. Don't be scared to put the blocks in place once you've done it you'll feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders. Good luck!!
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I think I am ready to seek professional help now, I always convinced myself I didn't need it but I know now I do. I will make contact with helpline when I get a chance (6 week old and 22 month old constantly fussing or hubby within earshot). Im not ready to "out" myself yet to family or anyone that feels too big of a step for now. I think I just want some kind of counselling so I can at least start getting things straight in my head. There is a chance hubby will find out but I'm hoping to try set up arrangements with landlord etc first to take some pressure off.
I have Gamstop in place already but have been using my sisters account (she too has a problem but she nowhere near ready to acknowledge it). I might try speaking to my bank as was not aware of the card block - although I often transfer the money to sisters acct anyway. I need to put the block on my phone so I can't access the sites and it some point I need a convo with hubby about him taking over the finances... baby steps
There is no shame in reaching out and admitting you have an addiction. You will be confused at the moment because its a complex addiction which controls and twists the mind. Please dont let the addiction keep you in its comfort zone of secrecy
It is a drug addiction above all else and is now being treated that way in medical textbooks
The truth must come out. You can not live a lie and your husband deserves to know. I know what you fear because we have all been there.
The reaction is reality to counter the delusion. What seemed to make sense when you started a gambling session will sound like fairies, leprechauns and aliens at the bottom of your garden to a non gambler...those are the exercises you need to do until your mind gets healthier
What you should be fearing is secrets eating you up inside. You will need a born again moment of getting the words out as you have done here. This forum is great but it still leaves the truth hidden from your loved ones.
You need reality check after reality check and you need to be ready to be living on a sandwich/petrol allowance. Forget the trust for now and for a long while...That is nothing compared to an addiction that was destroying you. You actually dont want full trust again...do you understand?
Partners do generally want to help and they can help if you follow the tried and trusted advice here. There will be shock just as you are now feeling the reality that you have thrown important money away
If you word it that you need help and will have your wages transferred for safekeeping or paid directly to your husbands account it may ease the situation.
Its not about treating you like a baby or wagging an annoyed finger at you...its about saving your life. You will look back on this and realise how ill you were.
Other family members who gamble is not good so all buddy buddy transfers must be shut down now. It may be that they need help but sort yourself out as a priority...you can not be around other gamblers especially when you start to see gambling as the extremely dangerous activity that it is
Gambling is a mugs game and mainly a tax on the poor. Gamblers seek escape and often dont realise how depressed or stressed they are inside. Its not an income scheme free money or an easy way up.
You are not alone...its has affected countless millions.
You may need financial advice and there is a way through this. Only you have to stop the gambling and make sure people know so they can monitor you.
You can never be complacent about this addiction again and neither can your husband. However you turn that into a positive statement for positive living.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Absolutely spot on, I have never giving it a thought before, but yes you gamble in secret, I have recently started again after being able to stop for the best part of a year, I have reached out in the chat room here today for the first time ever, as I am so ashamed of myself for relapsing and for the excuses I am giving myself for gambling, after all I am not telling anyone else the reasons why or when I lose or when I win.
I think though that if I put some new blocks in place along side the ones already there I can make a better effort, though first I have to grow a pair and tell my partner I have been gambling again (no ones knows or as far as I am aware no one knows).
I hope that you get all the help and support you all need it can be very lonely without it, and near on impossible to achieve,
sorry just rambling a bit here