I thought I would share my experience when I was working of how my sick mind operated. After blowing most of my wages in the first few days of getting paid, the first stage was anger at myself and the world for making me the country's most unluckiest man. Angry that the gambling industry is corrupt and generally detesting myself, promising that there's no way I'm making that mistake again, losing my wages in such a quick time. By the time payday eve came along, all I'm thinking about is having a small bet on my phone when the money came into my account. Sometimes this would be 2 am and I'd have to be up early. The relief and excitement when the wages appeared and off I went, straight onto roulette or the slots. I'd only gamble a small amount. Then I get a run of bad luck and I'm fuming. I'm not stopping, I want my money back. After years of repeating the same behaviour and now feeling absolutely crushed, I end up losing my rent money for the first time. That wouldn't be the last. My mind is now obsessed with new strategies to beat the bookies and win that amount that will pay off my debts and give me some money to enjoy. I stop seeing friends and hardly ever talk to my family. Things are getting bleak now, loss after loss after loss. No matter what I do, my losses increase and my debt gets bigger. I start snapping at my colleagues at work and suicidal thoughts appear. I end up homeless, sleeping rough. Surely this will stop me gambling for good?
Right now, I am in a circle that's been going round and round since my teens. (I'm 43). At the moment, I'm not gambling and because of that, slowly, my hope is returning that I can actually go on living, that ending my life might not actually be the answer? As my self-esteem improves, I start eating properly, going for walks, looking after myself and seeking support. Now that I'm out of the crisis stage, I can see that actually, I stopped gambling for 8 months this year and there is something to be positive about. I'm thinking about going back to work. I've had over 35 jobs in my life including voluntary. I fear I will relapse once again, quitting my job and being in that crisis stage once again. God I hope not. I'm reading 'Overcoming problem gambling' by Alex Blaszcynski. It's giving me hope again that I won't ever gamble again.
Hi stuart... I relate to a great deal of what you say. We have a lot of similarities. Men of a similar age with similar gambling and life experiences.
Ive been paid monthly for the last 2 years and its been a disaster every month (every month!!). A typical scenario is, pay rent and crucial bills as soon as the money lands ie just after midnight... Iv'e already decided to gamble of course but I think that am not out of control because I think "look here I am paying rent". However at this stage it doesn't cross my mind that all that's gonna happen next is that i will gamble the rest of my money away. Despite years of evidence to the contrary I still convince myself that somehow this time will be different. This time I will win a bunch of money and pay the rest of the "not quite so crucial bills" and also be able to enjoy a more comfortable month going forward.
It never works out this way... even when on a couple of those months I have managed to turn a small amount of money into a relatively larger amount of money because all that happens then is that i become euphoric and with a skip and a bounce am running towards the next machine where it all goes back in. Even on those even rarer occasions when I do walk away and do something constructive with "some" of my winnings you can bet your bottom dollar that i was back at the machines within a few days to finish doing the money in.
As you say the process would reach its end within a few days and at most within a week at which point I would have left myself with a tiny amount of money to last 3 weeks until the next pay day. Sometimes I would gamble to almost zero and have to hope and pray that i'd be able to get another pay day loan or find some other to get money so that I could eat!!
I usually wouldn't then gamble for a week or two cos things were so tight, but once pay day was in sight once again I might then gather up what little money I had left and be found at some machine doing 20p spins in the hope of a big win that does just occasionally happen from a very small stake (these machines are cruel are they!).... nine times out of ten i lost straight away and that 5 pounds I had to last 5 days would be gone.
Its very sick what we do to ourselves. Addiction such a powerful force. But we can over come it no matter how long we have been "at it" for.
Anyway thats my pay day story.
Regards to all
I can so relate to this, every week on payday exactly the same. It got to the point where I was loosing my whole wages without paying any bills or barely eating
I then thought well if I pay my bills first, then gamble the rest that would be ok (in control).....not!
17 days gamble free, I'm now paying bills, eating and actually having a little treat each week, buying myself an item of clothing or going out.
I know it's early days and I can't get complacent, but my god my anxiety and tears have become far less already
I have been reading your stories Canterbury and must say how much more positive your posts are becoming
Well done to everyone fighting this awful addiction
Thank you Tracey. I'm pleased to hear you too are doing well. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that actually, I am blessed. I have my health which is priceless. I enjoy a walk in the countryside or by the sea, watching a box set or going to the cinema. Even reading a paper in a coffee shop, the little things in life are very enjoyable. I've never respected money. I may pay for that if there is an afterlife. Some people have literally nothing and I squander money, easy come easy go. I wish I could stop that. I'm trying. I'm searching for a reason other than being an irresponsible a******e for my gambling. Childhood trauma and head injuries are too causes of addiction. My twin brother and I spent most of our childhood's in care. My brother doesn't gamble but is an alcoholic instead. I try not to make excuses or play the victim but I also fractured my skull when I was 18 months old.
Right now, today, there is no danger of a relapse. I don't know what I'm going to do to stop a future relapse at the moment but I must take action instead of burying my head in the sand and lying in bed all day. On Monday I felt dreadful, without hope despite not gambling for a week. Somehow I must go again and try and put the past behind me.
With recovery you will get out of the cycle that Payday is a big occasion.
Its a key moment for an addicted mind and someone in the cold turkey stages of rattling.
Its also indicitive of a struggle with money...the aim here is to have a cushion of savings which will happen when gamble free. I know that can seem easy to say but it does happen with the right mindset and the money does mount up.
That might sound glib but I stress that its about not letting money worry or rule you. I dont have much but most stuff I dont need anyway
With the right blocks in place and by telling people close payday will fade as a big moment which is what it should do. It should be more of a casual nod that you have earned another months money.
Ive been very ill with it when addicted. Gambling was never the answer to what comes in on pay day. Life can seem tough but gambling was never the answer to a worried soul. Its a short term escape and acts just like any drug addiction. It is a drug addiction to the endorphins which are the opiates within our body.
I would say to anyone the aim is a serenity where counting the days is not such a big issue. The blocks must be in place though with restricted access to cash
Anyone attempting this with willpower alone is unfortunately in for a rude awakening about the power of this addiction
Best wishes to everyone on the forum
Yes, willpower is only used when there is a conflict of will. This is an addiction! So it makes no sense to use willpower. Gamblers have a VERY strong will, indeed. They will wait away their lifes until payday, and then gamble the whole night before going to work. They will steal, lie and manipulate. That indicates a very strong will to gamble. They key is to lose the desire to gamble by seeing this evil as it really is. Stop deluding yourselves, guys. We have been there time after time, and we get the d**n same results every time. Doing something over and over expecting different results is sheer insanity. "This time I will win". That is the most dangerous thing that can happen to a gambler, because that reinforces the illusion that we are in control and that we can beat the casinos odds. It gives us a false sense of pleasure. This gives us the reason to continue to gamble. But, the longer we keep on, the more we lose. Then the chasing begins. This is the moment when it all is lost. When this begins our minds are deeply deluded and twisted. The only way out then seems when most/ or all of the money is gambled away. Key is also to NOT make that first deposit. If we do, we again fall into the clutches of the trap. Gambling is only for people who want to throw away money, and no one wants that, so rewire your brain and see it as it is!
Payday, payday for the on line site and government. That feeling of checking the bank every ten minutes after midnight, waiting for that money to go in. Then what, pay the rent and bills, NO I would start with I have thirty quid spare after I pay everything out, it's ok to gamble that. Hours and hours later the rent the bills have been gambled in a spin of the slots. Then the panic of how I am going to survive for 28 days. The all night search for a payday loan or anyone else that would lend me money. Then when the realisation that my credit score was beyond repair, came the lies to family and friends borrowing money. This month on payday I never had that panic and stress. Haven't spent the last few days in the depth of self loathing and depression. so do I miss gambling?? . Your post was inspirational Canterbury and you should be proud of yourself for the help and advice you give. Shows your inner strength that even though you are fighting your own demons you still have the compassion to try to help others in a similar situation.