Hi everyone, long term compulsive gambler - 20+ years, dozens and dozens of relapses, usual , rock bottoms, suicide ideation at times, desperate calls for help when at the bottom- claw your way out, pay off debts, get support, self exclude, counselling, all the tricks, feel good, then.. relapse, hit new bottom, rinse, repeat.since the age of 18 to age 40...
Recently debt free (yay), relapsed again- I'm in the middle of a 7 day gambling bender..100k has at least passed through my hands, back and forth, up all night, no sleep, staring at screen.. the usual scenario.
Right now I'm even, I haven't blown everything away, but I know how this ends typically..... keep going till its all gone.. and every time I try to talk myself out of placing another bet.. I don't even need the money right now, theoretically I'm afloat.....but just an hour later I have convinced myself to bet again "oh this will be the last one".. but it only ever stops when I have lost everything, self destructed, in tears..
This time I'm trying to somehow prevent that inevitability... talking to myself doesn't work, because the gambling demon still hovers over your every thought and icant hit the reset button where I'm feeling normal again.. I think it's because once the gamble demon is in you, you can't pull it out yourself and a cycle of guilt and self shame compels you to go further for one last buzz...
I'm writing this message in the hope that by typing this out, and rationalising it with someone who is reading, it might just prevent me placing another bet and getting out of this relapse, hopefully with all the money have worked for intact..
Thanks for being there... here we go, this has to be one minute at a time, one hour at a time so I can make it to day 1....
Here's the thing. There is no easy fix, no reset button that will delete gambling out your brain. You brain is conditioned to be stimulated with gambling. You have to desensitize it slowly from your brain. One hour at a time, you are right, choose to do something else in that one hour like you have written your feelings in this post than giving in to those feelings.
Do you understand the chances of you winning? it is always going to be less than 100% in the long-term and that lottery win, don't think about it cause you will lose it all after anyway. Think about it, over those 20 years, you haven't actually won more than you lost have you. Understand the technicalities of gambling will help you.
I used to be gambler but not for over 20 years. That means there might be an underlying problem with you or maybe your personality is built for riskier gambles. You should understand why you gamble in the first place, why you can't stop even if you know the signs. I encourage you to seek help as well as professional help, try the gamcare course here and go to gamblers anonymous meetings where you can talk about your problems in public. It will really help you get your problems out there.
Hope this helps you.
Thanks, yes have been through all the channels and professional and other forms of help over 20 years. Congratulations for getting to your position and I hope each time I'll get there too.
The first urgent step is to get out of the gambling phase for me - which is, as anyone knows an extreme period of self destruction til you run out of every possible fund to gamble with.
This time I'm trying to break *** that before I lose everything.
After this week of carnage, my finances are all over the place, as you can imagine- money flying from every account all over the place. Thankfully if I pick up the pieces, everything is still intact - whereas usually I only stop once it's it's gone.
So it's been a few hours since my post. I have feel bad and have a raging headache but no gambling (even though I have access to a fair amount of funds).
So far so good, I need to get to a position where I can start rebuilding, and first step is stopping and breaking out of this phase. Normally takes a week before the extreme urges stop and I can then look for answers again.
3 hours in...fingers crossed. Posting here is an escape and gives me something to do with my mind and fingers rather than turn back to gambling sources.
Thanks for the support.
Lots of good stories were people have been in hard situations and called out for help and when they realised it was not coming... they found it surprisingly less hard to make those changes all by themselves to get better.
Look.. Change comes from you making those changes. Help comes from you by simply helping yourself to make that change. Choice comes from you in how you make choices and what outcomes you will receive from them and how you see your environment, comes from you in how you chose to entereperate it all in your mind.
Sounds like a harsh truth? Well it is. All of this here will keep you occupied for a while but you are the one driving your ship regardless of what anyone else says, you will make your own choices. No one is coming to save you. Only you can save you.
So with that in mind. Ask yourself. How hard is it to walk away? You have already proven that you can as you may still have some money in your bank to prove it. How hard is it to chose another activity than gambling and fixing that feeling of being bored for the moment? It is making choices to do something else. So chose to do something else. Chose to get help. Don't brand yourself as hopeless. You have already kicked this a few times earlier, you said so. Take away the branding from the equation. Start building that personal growth. Change comes from that groth and we can all do it. The gambler says we can't but you know that he/ she is a liar anyway.
You can reset now.
Yup, thanks, I know its all within my own actions and getting out of the acute severe phase of manicly gambling is key to the rebuilding process. Sometimes you think you have convinced yourself to stop then just a few hours later your mind has convinced you to go again... til you have nothing left to play with.
This circumstance I do have lots left to destroy and I'm using this platform to type out my thoughts as a way to try and gain control of the acute situation rather than let my compulsive behavior beat me again. I don't want to find myself back at the screens in 2 hours time...
I managed to sleep a good amount, and i feel a little better. I know the severe urges will be coming through the next few days so just gotta hold tight - as you said, keep distracted, focus on other self improvement stuff and keep occupied.
Sleep has helped, I'm a few hours away from being 24 hours gamble free which is always the first milestone to recovery...
This forum allows me to belive that I'm joining everyone else's journey and somehow the community is with me too. That makes me feel less lonely in this internal battle.
I don't want to hit rock bottom this time curled into a ball crying and thinking how am I gonna get out of this mess... this time I need to get out of this relapse intact.
Thanks again everyone.
My successful bosses used to tell me if you want something done, do it yourself. I found out why he said that. Because begging, waiting for people who might come to miracle "rescue" you or give you enough advice will probably take too long, and by the time these people come to you, you will have gambled everything away.
It takes time to change and if you truly want to change, then value your time and money. That one hour can be spent on going to an gamblers meeting or doing an extra hour of work. The reason I say this is because there are so many homeless people sleeping in the cold streets, people around the world in poverty that would love a better life. They don't even have money for food, let alone gamble. People in dire situations and it breaks my heart knowing there are worse people than gamblers, those that have nothing, so you feel empathy for them and want to become a better person yourself. All I did was walk around outside and i saw the world with my eyes. I wanted to help them but I had no money to give because I gambled it all. It made be realise that i must get over the addiction myself in order to help the poor. Slowly and surely, my mindset changed and I don't feel anything for gambling anymore, but I feel good when I help people. Nowadays, I like to use my time to help people like writing here and I started to giving out money to the homeless and it felt good to support them.
So I guess the moral is even if you have no money, you have time. Spend it wisely and better yourself. There are worse people than you and you are in your own race, your own lane. Travel upwards and help those in need from time to time, get yourself back up the ladder and destroy this addiction 🙂
Go utilize that time!
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