I've posted on here prior to this post about a gambling addiction that was beginning to take hold of me. Following advice from others, I've successfully gotten a GAMSTOP for 3 years and am self excluded from all online casinos. I even contacted my local casinos to ask for a self exclusion to stop it for good.
Great you might think! I thought that too, I lost a lot and was happy to now be thinking where my future money could go and the future it holds.
However, I've sort of gotten into a deep depression with the whole thing. Its almost like the only thing I ever looked forward to was going to the casino with my mates and gambling. Now that aspect of my life is gone, and I have no idea how to handle it. One of my friends plays online avidly and we always used to bond over it and have some good times. Now I'm banned, he is continuing to play and has won a LOT of money, like he can't lose. I wouldn't want to say I'm jealous, because I'm genuinely happy for him, but I can't tell you how much I want to play right now. Or play any form of gambling at all.
People will say this is a part of recovery, which I understand, but this feels a lot more than that. It is almost as if live is boring and meaningless without it for me, and that really upsets me, because it highlights how worthless I really am lol.
On top of this, I've had numerous health issues arise from pure unluckiness, as well as issues with work which I won't get into.
I'm not sure, but has anyone else ever experienced this?
Whar you are feeling is perfectly normal. Forget all the scientific reasons, you probably gambled for so long that it feels a normal part of your life, despite how you feel after playing, and now that part of your life is missing.
Just remember what brought you to the point when you decided that you had enough though. Your friend playing and winning won't last and if it was you then you wouldn't be able to keep your winnings. I never could and I guess you're the same.
I really wanted to address what you said about this being a part of recovery. It's not. You are feeling withdrawal, that's all.
Recovery is about changing yourself to be able to sit with your feelings in peace. Just stopping gambling is just stopping gambling and if all you do is stop gambling and not change anything you will be left with how you feel as you have no outlet for recovery.
Give the advisers a call for a chat or join GA and when they are open see about working a recovery program, commonly known as the twelve steps. It takes work but it's worth the effort. GA meetings because you'll be among others like you and there's a strength that helps get through in between meetings, often without the urges that you are feeling now. The twelve steps because it will help long term for your peace of mind and character and worthiness and will give you the tools to get through times like this.
Mabe read Duncan's diary on here as he's currently writing about his recovery with the steps, you'll find it useful and informative.
The brain has the most wonderful ways of turning things into positive. You may not remember all the times you felt like s..t because you see what everyone else is selling you. The adverts and the friends with huge wins etc and everyone is soo happy. But. Start peeling back the onion you will find reality there and that it ain't that pretty.
The wonderful bliss when we are all on autopilot letting our inner movie run itself. 95%is your reality 5% Is a reality. We drift in and out of it like the tide
Meditate, run, breathe. There are many ways we can become mindful and we need it to see things as they really are.
Thats a very good title bootman and an essential question that needs facing.
Its not a straightforward answer though because its more complex than people realise.
When I first started gambling there is nothing I would rather be doing. If my parents a said we are going to the beach I would rather have been on that machine in a chip shop. I had been sailing and exploring but nothing made me feel like the drug of gambling.
I knew i was doing something naughty something risky and It made me feel alive in a way nothing ever had...I felt totally alive and excited to be doing it. like Mr cool, mr rich... like a big wig of the village...suddenly someone important with forty pounds of coins in my pocket LOL. I was about thirteen years old and the truth is I was hooked within hours never mind days.
Gambling is a strong draw... a strong drug...its immensely powerful and I was vunerable...a natural victim in many ways. I was borderline clinically depressed...bored and jaded with life. I could have a smile but there was something wrong and I didnt fully realise what. I was shy with girls my own age and introverted when I didnt really want to be.
Its actually very sad that a fruit machine dominated my life but it did and I was hooked for the next forty years.
The truth is you should be doing something better to get healthy emotions and spirituality. You know gambling is a mugs game..look at your bank statements again.
Dont look up to your mate...its an illusion... a mirage and you know you are craving the drug of playing.. "like he cant lose"...thats a myth and you know that.
Gambling is not a cure for feeling worthless. Its not the way to combat jealousy or keeping up with the joneses.
The answers are within you. Gambling is not for you. You dont actually need friends who are gamblers.
Youve got to do the cold turkey to strengthen and heal your mind. Why would you chuck your money away and eventually you will just feel that clearly when a gambling thought crosses your mind.
Focus on what gambling has done to you! Do you want that again because its got that in store for you again and much worse
You just have to be so focused that its not an income scheme and you dont have money to chuck away. You have mistaken gambling for fun and entertainment because you were a drug addict to escape your life
Life is much better gamble free. You are not seeing life clearly yet
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
I am so grateful for this thread.
The title caught my attention just after I logged in to the chat room for this evening's 8pm session. I mentioned in chat room that I had seen and bookmarked this thread to come and read after and here I am.
Not only is this a topic and part of gambling that I can relate to so well, but the replies that follow are just wonderful and personally, so helpful to me as I can only hope they are for the original poster too. There's really so much recovery from those that have responded and they highlight, for me, the exact journey I now find myself on.
It is about meditation, sitting with yourself and your own feelings, whatever they might be. Life is full of distractions. For us, I guess gambling was the main one. Take that away, and for me, I am left with tv/movies, music, surfing the web (huge distraction), drinking coffee and alcohol to excess, masturbation (another big one), shopping, calling people on the phone and of course the chat room and forum here! In essence, a distraction is anything that keeps me busy.
However, the very thing I 'need' to be doing, is just sitting quietly to see what comes up and where I go; specifically what feelings I am in touch with and what am experiencing at the time. We can label this meditation, mindfulness, being, whatever. I usually always I find a way to not actually do these things. Fascinating! What's the fear?
Well thanks for this very wonderful thread and before I switch off my computer and sit in quietness for the next 20-30 minutes to see what I experience (my plan at least) let me say that of course we don't need gambling and all the points raised above are so valid.
I relate to the friend especially, as since age 17 I had a best friend who I gambled with right up until November 2019 when I decided to contact him no more. This wasn't a planned or conscious decision. I was with him and his girlfriend on my birthday having a meal and towards the end just decided on the spot to walk out of the restaurant saying to them, "...sorry guys but I can't do this anymore" and we haven't been in contact since.
Yes, its sad in many ways as he was my gambling partner and buddy, so not only a huge loss in my life from gambling (as the addiction would have me believe) but now a huge loss from not having Nick either.
At age 50, I now find myself on my own with the 2 greatest loves of my life now gone... and it is exactly this that I shall now sit with.
Thanks all and do stay safe.
Thanks for your replies guys, it’s been an eye opener reading through your replies.
I wish it was as easy to take all this advice on board, but as @simon50 says, my life is currently full of negative distractions. From my health, mental health and job issues the last few months have been an absolute chore to get out of the bed in the morning and have began draining away what should be the best years of my life. I really need to find the next thing to move onto and fast, as I fear for the future.
My other gambling friend is too close of a friend to cut any contact with, I’m not the type of person to put myself in front of others even in these scenarios for this, I think I’d rather lose every penny I have first.
This all started when I decided I’d try and switch career, as working in IT isn’t really working out for me. It’s then I realised that, no matter how hard I looked, it was really difficult to find anything I actually enjoyed doing, despite gambling and drinking (sometimes). Anytime I thought upon this, it just began eating away at me everyday, and I just kept questioning myself ‘is that really everything?’.
As I mentioned, I get quite upset and mopey about it, because I feel like even at 20 years old my life has already reached its peak and it’s on the downhill from there.
@joydivider my story relates to you quite well actually. I really need to find something in life to live for rather than just wasting younger years.
Best of wishes to everyone on the forum, I’ll sleep soundly tonight to know that I’m not alone and could of helped someone else with the same issue.
It’s actually crazy, this is the first time I’ve been on this forum after a big loss I had tonight of *** I don’t even know exactly don’t wanna look. The relation I have to this original post and all the supportive comments is immense because I have always felt like I was the only one like this. I’ve got a lot of friends who like to gamble but they don’t gamble 5% of the way I do they are happy to win £50 and walk away I can’t win £10,000 and be happy because I’ve already won more than that so I want more and more to even get any adrenaline pumping anymore and I find myself I enjoy losing more than winning sometimes which may sound weird. Sat here in lockdown feeling worry for myself with anxiety and chest pains running threw me because I’ve promised my friends and family what I was going to do with the money I just lost and the guilt of knowing they're gonna ask me where my moneys gone eating me away.
Im new to these forums and stuff I have been self excluded from all gambling in my surrounding areas for 2 years but always find myself sneaking in somewhere to get my fix I’m self diagnosed gambling addict for sure and I know what I do on a regular basis isn’t good or right for me and I hate it but I find the only thing that makes me happy to like you guys said. The lying to my friends and family and the guilt of everything is really getting to much for me also and reading threw this tonight after losing the last of my money I had to get me threw this lockdown has made me rest easy tonight and wanting to make changes in the foreseeable future for the better, but on the other hand I’ve now no money and I know any little bit of money I get In my head I’ll want to chase my loss of today because I’ve broken myself!
I’m not to good of a writer as you might be able to tell! Haha, but reading this tonight has given me another lease of belief because I thought I was alone and relate to everything here! Appreciate you guys thanks a lot, good luck on all your journeys I’ll be on here actively now!
also didn’t mention I’m young man like you mate, just 22!
All we ask from you guys is that you stay on the forum and keep talking it through.
You will find the forum and the chat a great help.
Its an addiction and you must tell people close to you if you can
This lock down and this virus is horrendous but gambling is just another drug to divert your attention or numb your senses for a while.
when your session stops all the uncertainty is still there but youve just added another loss to your financial problems.
I say again IT IS NOT AN INCOME SCHEME so you have to realise you are doing it to get a drug fix...yes it so complicated that you can be playing to lose because you dont feel worthy of anything
You have to make a change. There are a lot of depressed men and women self destructing and I was one of them. They are lost and depressed which I totally understand. You can get some peace of mind from life when you see life clearly.
A gambling addiction will ruin you. It progressively gets worse and it also causes big binges out of nowhere that you will never recover from.
Its a yes or no decision that comes with a born again moment. It often takes an extreme low before people take action.
Then the cold turkey needs backup and blocks to strengthen your resolve. We know its not easy but I would say its also not that hard when you are truly ready to do what is necessary
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
It's part of the psychological addiction for your brain to formulate these feelings . Thats how it draws you back into the horror . You have to have more interest elsewhere or its a never ending loss of time , money and mental health. Just stick to sobriety and look forward to be a normal person again.