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Messed up again (trigger warning), blew it  

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After a few months of not gambling and slowly paying off debts I ended up depositing a couple of thousand after a stressful situation. This is no excuse, I should be able to deal with stressful things like normal people instead of logging on to a casino, but anyway - over a week I managed to build that amount up to pay off all my debts and leave a bit more. All credit cards (some as high as 60%), loans and the loan in my parents name . By far the most amount in my s**t gambling 'career'.
I kept thinking about how everyone would say on the forums that you'll do it all back, that you can't end up 'up'.
When I went to withdrawal all of these, I could only do it in batches and they said they could only pay out X each week. Meant that I had (HAD) all the pending withdrawals there all the time. I had to wait up to 6 weeks for it all to go through.
After holding out for a measly 2 days, I did bits here and there and actually increased the balance. But yesterday night I did the majority of it back. I couldn't seem to win at all, it was like a switch was flipped.
Paying off these debts would've meant I can find a new job, get an apartment by myself (I'm 37) after 2 years living w/ parents and leave this town. It would've also given me more flexibility choosing a job as I wouldn't have 5 figure loans over me. I still would've been depressed (for other reasons), but f*****g hell. Absolutely gutted, and I told people I won including the amount. Now I have to stay in my same job still living with parents for yet another year. Did basically 2 years savings in one night.
I still have 7k left (out of much more) in pending withdrawals which won't go out for a week. I don't want to ban it yet as I'm concerned they won't pay. Not sure what to do
This topic was modified 1 year ago 2 times by sardo122
This topic was modified 1 year ago by Forum admin
Posted : 5th January 2020 3:14 pm
Lost and Found

Had the same thing happen to me. Pending withdrawals are a casino's best friend. They are designed to sit there and torment you into sending the funds back to your balance and losing it again.

The longer the wait, the more chance you will get bored and want to play again. I had a similar situation and I wanted to self exclude during the period so that I wouldn't be tempted to bet again. I was told that I could not do so unless a withdrawal was pending and that I could only request one withdrawal per day which meant I had to maintain contact with the account while the funds were 'processing'. Since the remaining balance was open in my account and could not be requested for withdrawal at the time, I was told the account could not be excluded while there was a credit balance.

I think you know the rest.

It's a classic case of how much is ever enough? No amount of winning can satisfy and as soon as we realise that, we can walk away empty handed and be happy again. I have a lot of debt too, about £20,000 still to pay off and I have been paying down another £20,000 over the last few years. I want nothing more to do with gambling and I will not go crying to it and looking for it to save me because I know that it is the gambling that put me in this mess in the first place.

Don't look for happiness in the same place that you lost it.

Walk away from this and start fresh. Debt is not worth dying over and I'd rather owe the money and know where I stand than risk another penny by gambling.

With so much debt, why are you even still drawn to gambling? Surely you can see the effect your gambling has had over time? What makes you think that gambling will ever change? You say it was like someone had flicked a switch and you are right. They did. That is what always happens. They make winning look easy, they let you build it up, then when you get complacent or greedy, they will take it all back from you and you will not see it coming because they have taught you that you can win. You will trust that you will win again and they will have worked their magic well. You will give them all the money back and if you are not careful, you will give them more on top just like I did, still trusting that the win will come.

I once built up several grand too over a few weeks playing. It came so easy. I thought that it was always going to be that way. Then something flipped and my luck ran out. I couldn't handle it. I was arrogant and expected to carry on winning. I gave them all the winnings back and £3500 of my own money on top.

You know what your triggers are so you need to think about the ways you respond to stress. You have to see that all this winning has unsettled you terribly and caused all sorts of stress for you. You will find it extremely hard to even see the seven grand you have left as winnings when you will be tormented more so by how much you threw away. Don't you see, this is how it always is with gambling. There is never contentment. Whatever you win, you could have won more, whatever horse you pick, it's always the one you were going to go with, whatever number you pick, it will be the one next to it. Why did I do this, why didn't I do that....? So many parameters. It drives you nuts.

The only way to be content is to forget gambling. Close the laptop, go outside and look at the sky.

Gambling is a disease and it is killing us everyday because it doesn't actually ever kill us! It stifles us till we can't breathe then it throws us a lifeline, we take it and we trust it again and then it does it again...

It creates a constant state of limbo, torment and pain, somewhere between dead and dying and for 20 years of my life, I even missed my kids growing up. 

No amount of debt will ever make me hurt myself or my family ever again.


This post was modified 1 year ago by Lost and Found
Posted : 5th January 2020 4:37 pm

If I said you are tricking your mind maybe you would believe me. I have been in that situation so many times. That is why I would only play on instant payout casinos as I could not stand to wait for the money and I rolled it back more times than I can count.  

Hard truth. That money was your ticket for a new job a better life and independence right? Wrong.

It is just simple fuel.  The truth is hiding inside the desperation you feel. What if, and If only I had... But it won't change anything because it tricks your mind to the very edge of madness. So all those ifs and butts are actually just as important to the casinos as your pending withdrawals. It is all part of the big lie and the fuel that keeps you ticking for more and better things.

This illness is nothing but a habit. The money was not real because you did not take it out to use it on something else.

Your fight is with your mind. The casinos will just give you more of the same. No wins on the planet will change anything only changing your habit will make that change. Chasing losses is a waste of time if they just go back to the casinos. 

These are harsh and tough truths but they are the medicine to something else. You can beat the casinos by not playing. Nothing else works if your hooked it just goes back regardless of what your brain tells you. 

Call the hotline and remember. This illness has an end and can be beaten. 

Good luck with your recovery!



This post was modified 1 year ago by c43h
Posted : 5th January 2020 8:21 pm

Sardo..... Welcome!

Please get them out of your life. Gambling is killing you!

Gambling is not the answer to what you seek. Its created chaos as you can see. Its become you..... its in your bones...its a deadly addiction.

Now the reality...Its not an income scheme...its not a lifestyle and its not a debt clearance scheme. Please tell your parents or someone close that you are a compulsive gambler.

Get some support and build up to telling these gambling den sharks you want your withdrawals and you are self excluding. Pending withdrawals is a trap they set up. Take the fight on...they are legally obliged to pay and then you shut the account down. For now you have to concentrate on a proper born again moment

They are your enemies ...Is that clear?? far from your friends...what does that make them? are funding their lifestyle...if they could reach through the internet line they would stamp mug on your forehead...a punter mug they laugh at on those odds.

This is now about saving your life first...forget thinking about flats etc..your mental health needs sorting out. Is that very clear or do you get offended by that? Im telling you the truth.

You need help and there is help for you. From the doctors to finance advice cant pay debts you cant afford...gambling wont pay them for need it all rescheduling or even writing off as you get yourself better.

Your parents deserve to have to sort out square one before you can think any further are rushing ahead of yourself because your mind is a whirlwind of depression confusion debt and worry.

Deep breaths because its you and your parents that are important..everything else gets sorted when the gambling ENDS.

For the rest of your life you will be a recovering gambler but that's a positive statement you can turn into pride and rebuilding your life.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum


This post was modified 1 year ago by Joydivider
Posted : 5th January 2020 8:49 pm

I had the same problem but with a much smaller amount. I’d just won on the roulette so went to withdraw the money but a tech problem wouldn’t bring withdraw button up. I tried and tried again but nothing was happening. My mind told me put a few quid back in and make that withdrawal bigger. A few minutes later I had nothing left but the withdrawal button mysteriously appeared straight after I’d lost it all. Tech problem or online casino pulling a fast one. 

Posted : 6th January 2020 10:13 am


I could of wrote this.  In the end is only one winner..... The casino! It's designed to take it not give it

Take the £7k AND RUN, forget the rest.  Get a debt management plan talk to stepchange, don't worry about debt. 

Once withdraws are  gamban itprocessed, install be the best £25 you've ever spent.


Good luck!!! 



Posted : 6th January 2020 3:56 pm

Hello Sardo.

Some excellent responses to your dilemma with spot-on information and first class advice. Many gamblers have been through a similar scenario with a winning streak that ends in throwing it all away. And it truly is the worst feeling in the world.

But there always remains hope for the future which does not involve winning money.

By gosh, the designers of these intelligent, robotic cold-hearted computer programs must be laughing all the way to the bank. 

Posted : 6th January 2020 5:20 pm

I appreciate all of the responses. I'm not sure I can get over the 'opportunity' I was given though.  

Also had more than one chance to take it but didn't (different sites). I was also drinking at the time, I don't think I would've done it sober (or would I).

Have to work this S****y job 7:30 - 6:30 for one year+ just to be able to move out at age 37. Also still on probation after 7 8 months. How can one person be more of a screw up. Could've taken xx after going down to x as well. Nope not good enough, had to do it down to a £1.66 balance. Had a smaller chance after.

I've been to the Doctors for 14 months, they can't help me. They're only willing to offer crappy SSRIs at a push (been through 5 of those). No MAOIs or tricyclics - I have to buy them myself at a cost of 300 a month. Counselling didn't help, my work counselling said I'm not suitable. And I tend to agree.

Turns out I was I was  xx in as well. No moving out, just working some job and then back to the room for at least 10 months.


This post was modified 1 year ago by sardo122
This post was modified 1 year ago 3 times by Forum admin
Posted : 10th January 2020 10:19 am
Lost and Found

I am really sorry for your struggles. I can see how you will feel so trapped especially with your depression and the fact that your medication is not helping you. I am sorry the doctors are not willing to offer you the support you need and that your counsellor sees fit not to support you. This is very upsetting.

I know what you mean about feeling like you have wasted this 'opportunity' but I can tell you that this is just the addiction talking. It is highly likely that at some point you would have played this money away over time. It's a shock because it happened so quickly but as I say, no matter what you think you MAY have done with the money, your addiction will more than likely have caused you to lose this in time.

If you can try to relate to that, it will help you to accept this. You think your situation is bad now, but suppose you had lost that amount of money without winning it first? Imagine then how bad your situation would be? You never really had that money because you were still gambling with it so all that balance ever meant was gambling credits. It is highly likely that if you don't come to terms with this, that you will end up losing your own money on top and you will spend the rest of your life chasing that big win that will never come.

That is what happens when you win and lose it. We can't come to terms with the loss, even though we haven't really lost anything and all we do is end up giving them thousands of our own money trying to get it back.

Why do you think you got back up to 20 grand, they are constantly messing with you and letting you think you can get back the lot. They draw you in and tease you, all the time conditioning you to think the win is possible. You won't take the 20 grand because you had more before and then you end up back to 4 grand. You will struggle to even take that, knowing what you could have took and your ego will make you give that back too. That's how it works. We can't ever win at this game. It is futile. 

I think you should really assess how likely it is that you would not be able to keep that money, even if you managed to get it into your bank account. Remember that it is the act of gambling that is addictive, not winning. Otherwise, we would all have stopped long ago.

So no amount of winning or losing can make you stop gambling. Winning doesn't satisfy and you can't stop because you still want to gamble. Money is only the way we get the high. It is not what we are really searching for. The high is more important than the win and you will pay anything to get it. Even if you win thousands, it will not be enough because having the money there in your balance is not giving you a high, playing on is giving you the high. 

What I am trying to say is that you did what any addicted gambler would do. You played on and you lost it. You would do the same if you were 100 grand up or a tenner up. It makes no difference. Money is just numbers on a screen. It is just gambling credits. You would most definitely still have gambled while sober. Common sense does not factor in to addiction.

Don't keep beating yourself up about this and forget the illusion that you could have changed your life with this win. You couldn't, because you never stood a chance. When you can see that you are not playing for money but for medicine, for the high, for the therapy, the distraction, the relief, then you will be able to walk away from this. Gambling is like being on anaesthetic when we have so many problems in our life. It is a safe place to forget everything. Of course you wanted to keep gambling because you are under the illusion that money is going to make your life better. What will make your life better is getting your mental health back and that will never happen while you are gambling.

Please see if you can get more help and support for your depression as this is causing you to gamble in an attempt to relieve your symptoms.

You think that if you had taken this win, that you would clear your debt??? You would actually be in debt to gambling for the rest of your life and you will cement your fate as an addicted gambler. Gambling would become your saviour and you will be forever tied to it. Just like anyone that ever had a big win. It always ends badly, so you must let it go.

There is no way that you would have kept the money, it may have been a day, two days, a week, a month down the line, but it would have eventually gone back.

Find peace with that and get back to living a gamble free life.

All the very best to you. 🙂


Posted : 10th January 2020 11:24 am
Forum admin

Hello Sardo

I would echo much of the above response. thinking a lot about losses can keep you stuck and unable to move forward. It is one way the compulsion to gamble can stay strong in your life. It sounds like you'd like to move past this and get on with your life, and not gambling will have a positive impact upon your wellbeing and mental health too.

If you can, try and focus in the here and now, you feel trapped in a work and living situation that are both unsatisfactory to you. Gambling is not the answer to either of there and in fact make you even more trapped. 

However there are things you can do to help yourself with both situations, but they are long term and not instant fixes. Talk to friends and family, evaluate your options, seek out professional advice etc.

You mentioned that you had been drinking - is this something that you may also need some support with?

Finally you said that counselling didn't help, then you mentioned work counselling- have you had a treatment /counselling referral from us- for free support? If not please consider it and contact the HelpLine for a referral and to see what other help and support is available. 

If you have had counselling with us and you felt it didn't 'work' have a think about why that is and what would help, for example is it that you are struggling to stop in the first place and need to work out how to boost your motivation or might it be you need higher intensity support/rehab like that offered by Gordon Moody Association .

Wishing you all the best with your recovery

Forum Admin

Posted : 10th January 2020 12:00 pm

An update guys. I did take the 7k, but spent pretty much... 7k on my bank balance/overdraft some of it while boozing. I can't describe how much it meant for me to move out and not have to wait here for another year in 50-55 hour a week job. An awful mistake and a bad mindset.

So I was waiting for this 7k for almost 2 weeks. I sent all the docs, they said we'll still verifying them.

Today I gambled and lost this money.

I am now in the same amount of debt I was last August after working a b******t job all that time while living with parents. About 40k.

To think all of this could've been gone if I handed everything and I mean everything over  when I won the 35k is crushing.

I can now barely pay my bills and am maxed overdraft and paying, once again 700 interest a month. Stepchange can't help. I live at home and feel really bad about not paying board or priotising what I owe back. But if all your wages go to interest and repayment then there's nothing they can do.

Another thing happened: when I lost I overheard a conversation at work about gambling and said about 'that time' when I lost my wages recently. Someone overheard and told my bosses' boss and he temporarily took away my clearance (I work at a company with government contracts). I know have to do the financial part of the clearance again. I may lose my job because of my stupid mouth.

I don't even care at the moment, having some wine. I'll be here forever now, at my parents on the internet and playing videogames at age 37-38-39. Been drinking for some months now. The MAOI antidepressant I'm self medicating with is too expensive, I really will be at my wits end if I quit that.

I guess I'm just going to have to accept I'll be working the 50-55 hour week job and coming back to play videogames for the next 2 years. Haven't had a girlfriend in over over 15 years and am pretty sure it's not going to happen now. By the time I can get a one bedroom apartment in the coastal town I'll be in my 40s, still renting.

Hasn't sunk in yet. I don't need to be alive really. 

This post was modified 1 year ago by Forum admin
Posted : 18th January 2020 3:51 am
Lost and Found

I think it is time for a reality check. You are young. You have a job. You have a place to stay. You have people who care about you. Have you taken a look outside recently? Have you seen how many young men your age are sitting in shop doorways? There has got to come a time when you stop blaming gambling and start looking at yourself.

Of course you are still in the same amount of debt. What have you done about it? You are still gambling. You are still drinking. You are still self loathing. Try having £40,000 worth of debt and no job, nowhere to stay, nobody who looks out for you. You are focusing so much on all the things that you hate right now and this is making you want to gamble to change your situation. The only thing that will change your situation is changing yourself. Gambling won't save you. When is this message going to sink in? Do you have to end up on the streets for you to realise what you have?

Of course you are still depressed. You are gambling and you are drinking. Alcohol negates the effectiveness of your medication. You may as well be throwing them down the drain. Being at your parent house, being in debt, hating your job are your triggers. They are NOT your problem. Your problem is gambling.

Stop gambling and these things you hate so much will resolve too. You hate that things are still the same but of course they are. You haven't changed, so nothing else will. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Gambling didn't give you an opportunity to get you out of debt, or out of your parents house, or in a new job. It gave you false hope and fuelled your addiction. Surely, after such an ordeal you can see the futility in gambling? No amount is ever enough because it isn't about the money. It's about the act of gambling. You think you are gambling for money, if so, why didn't you take it? You are gambling to self medicate and to relieve your symptoms. Symptoms which gambling itself has caused.

Wake up to what gambling is doing to you. Stop trying to magic all your troubles away. Debt will not kill you, living at your parents won't kill you and hating your job won't kill you.

Gambling will. 

Put down the wine and pick yourself up.

The only thing stopping you from being happy is yourself. 


Posted : 18th January 2020 10:01 am


I couldn't of put it better myself. It's not harsh you speak wise. @sardo122 listen to advice here. It will save you

Spend x 

Posted : 18th January 2020 10:09 am
Lost and Found

I kept myself in a similar situation for nearly 2 decades, moaning that the debt was so high, moaning about the interest rates robbing me blind each month. Because of all that, I kept gambling and I kept myself firmly rooted in that same situation. I kept coming on sites like these, looking for comfort, and complaining about how bad my life was, not really able to see that I was the one making it that way.

One person who spoke tough to me really got through to me. I can still hear his words in my head. I know it is harsh and the hurt and depressed person in me suffers for being so blunt, but I can see that it is really needed and I hope it will get through.

I sincerely hope that you too are doing okay. I know you have had struggles with urges recently. 

Posted : 18th January 2020 10:21 am

Lost and Found - I appreciate it, don't worry about potentially sounding harsh, it's not. I've come across some of your thoughts on here and you seem to have a keen wisdom for this issue that we're facing on here.

I wanted to take those withdrawals (instead of reversing the payments after them sitting there) to pay off loans. Instead of the having the withdrawals as 'pending' and reversible for weeks, they would've gone straight in. Now I know there's a good chance I would've done the funds back again but my credit rating is trashed and paying loans off would mean that I can't get them again now. I know that's 'gambling talk'. And I could give my parents all of the loan they have in their name. That would've meant that all the debt I could accumulate further, whatever it is, 40k, 60k and so on is mine alone. I know this sounds incredibly greedy (and I actually do think one component of compulsive gambling is greed, trying to win money back the 'easy' way).


As an aside I don't think gambling is a disease or something that's out of your control. That takes away your autonomy and every time you slip up you can blame it on your condition. It does have its upsides, mainly reassurance and possibly a better remission rate. I believe that it's a choice and is more like a very bad habit. I've notice I get more urges and gamble more recklessly when drinking. I would've have worked up a balance of 25k on my income without being reckless (I had no big win to push me up there, it was bit by bit).

What follows is a self indulgent, whiny tl;dr dear diary that I've included to give some context to my seeming obsession with 'moving out'

I started gambling problematically in july 2018, when the world cup was on to take advantage of the promotional offers. I did OK with the offers but then I started on roulette and ever since it's been chasing back losses. Was up and down, but ultimately down.

At that time I was unemployed and in slight debt, having moved back into my parents after a failed business venture as such with friends. Before that I was at a job (paying 50% more and had fewer hours than my current job) in that coastal town. At the time, I had a low level depression and didn't do anything. My main routine was to go to work and come back and browse the internet. Occasionally I'd meet someone for drinks or visit friends I knew from other places. In the last year of that job I was saving maybe 1k a month.

When I was fired from the small business with friends and I was in another town and reflected how much I screwed up. I didn't have a girlfriend for 14 years, I never did anything - although I was sociable in my 20s, I screwed up my degree and never liked the job, but it was fine. No failures, no wild youth, no big successes and failures - nothing. But I had an opportunity at that last town, details I'm not going to bore you with.

I was 34 when I got fired, couldn't find a job, thought I'd try to go back to the old town and 'make things right'. Had a idea to 'settle down' and time was running out for that. I didn't know. But 100s of applications later and moving back with parents in debt, I got very depressed. Have been through 5 anti depressants and NHS counselling (to date though). MAOI anti pressants that I had to dself medicate with because they scroffed at my definitely help with the background depression, although I still have suicide ideation moments, it's just not everyday. There were also other things going along at this time, with family members. I felt I wasted my young days and had no more to show for things at 34-35 than I did at 17. I wanted to go back and make amends before I got to middle age 'proper'. 

Then I started gambling.

So the issue is not just gambling, gambling has compounded the problem, to a large extent. If everything goes brilliantly and I don't spend a single pound on online roulette, it will not provide an 'onwards and upwards' in my thought process, admittedly that is gambling influenced too. It took me 2 years to find an related office job and I failed to get one back in that town. It's going to take 6-7 months to get back the 8k and I may get fired because of the out-of-the-blue security check I might need to do. In that case I'm looking at bankrupcy and not being able to pay my parents. And there are certain things that have come and gone, that's the reality of getting older.

You're absolutely right that it could be worse - I could be homeless begging for coins to gamble in the arcades. I could've lost my marriage, my house. I could be £100k in debt. I could be disabled, have a serious chronic illness. However I don't think 'it could be worse' is an ideal tactic in these types of things. Mostly the person is blaming themselves not environmental effects, and you can only go so far with it. Imagine a person telling a homeless person in the UK, 'it could be worse, you could be in Africa starving to death'. Now there are limits to this, telling a depressed billionaire 'it could be worse, you could only be a millionaire' and it is true that once you reach a certain standard of living it really could be. If you're in a situation where 90%+ of people would find undesirable, I don't think it's the greatest tool.

Anyway, once again I appreciate your replies. My concern now is possibly having to do this security check again (because someone over heard me saying a lost in a conversation about gambling). The manager evidently thought I was a concern and has made me do it again. No clearance - no income.

This post was modified 1 year ago 4 times by sardo122
Posted : 18th January 2020 6:36 pm
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