What a strange chat this evening. Folk claiming to have been banned, others exchanging harsh words & messages being removed almost as quickly as they were posted. People leaving the chat rather hurriedly. Quite a contrast to the warm welcome I received over 2 years ago when I first came on the chat.
I've no idea what's been said recently, whose been hurt or offended & I honestly believe no-one should be judged, insulted or verbally abused in any way whilst visiting the chat. I've no idea what's been said to who recently, maybe it's because I wasn't on the chat on that occasion or perhaps I was so deeply engrossed in a chat with someone that all the other individual conversations went over my head whilst I was oblivious.
I do know tonight I found quite hostile exchanges at times & I stress there is no excuse for anyone abusing or being unsupportive towards another user. Beneath this I also saw a culmination of frustration. Frustration of fighting an addiction, trying to keep relationships together and dealing with work related pressures & problems. I'm not sure what Gamcare's policy is in regards to dealing with these issues & I pray it isn't banning them forever.
I didn't see someone who's inherently bad tonight I saw someone who's desperate, angry & struggling to cope & should he be cast aside I'll personally worry about someone who I know has many good qualities & so much to give in life. If we turn our backs when someone displays the same imperfections many of us have on here what will become of the people we leave to fend for themselves. I do hope there's a process where on the one hand it's made clear that insults and abuse are not acceptable, there is a way back to find help & support rather than just banning everyone that has a moment when addiction raises it's ugly head in anger & frustration.
Oh dear Al that is such a great shame because we are all in the same boat fighting the same addiction.
I was not in the chatroom this evening so do not know what transpired but do hope that issues can be resolved in calm, fair and orderly manner so nobody feels upset or alienated.
We have all said things on the spur of the moment that we might regret saying afterwards so the chat moderator really has a job on their hands knowing whether to allow freedom of expression or press the delete button. A very challenging job I imagine.
An interesting topic and I look forward to reading people's comments.
I want to tell you I Do. I think the Bals of this world do. I think the Joydividers of this world do. Take notice there's a common theme HARSH WORDS but hope of a way out if anyone's prepared to listen to those who can talk the talk, walk the walk. Have you ever noticed a common theme between the 2 of them ?. They don't say too much, but if asked give advice unconditionally, and they never judge anyone. At first I used to think no-one can be that perfect, now I know THEY AIN'T. They just didn't worry too much in over investing in other peoples recovery to the stage where it become detrimental to their own. Joydivider never comes on the chat ( each to his own ) but Bal does. Name me one occasion when he's refused advice to anyone who's asked for it. Look at how long he's been in the trenches ( hope you don't mind me mentioning your name Bal ) but he says nout, doesn't judge & continues his own personal battle. Certain people rub me up the wrong way, but guess what ?, I'm 832 days clean. I love & respect you Stace but please don't get distracted about what others say that may offend you. This is YOUR recovery not theirs, YOUR chance for a better life not theirs. If someone comes on the chat & tells me what I may or not talk about I log out & find another opportunity to join in & chat to those who have my well being at heart. You're a lovely girl but you need to toughen up & find the wisdom to see that there are others whom you consider to be unkind who are actually crying out for help as much as we are. This addiction makes ALL of us do & say things we don't mean. HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.
Best Wishes & Good Luck Tomorrow
Slowlearner.. And all I don't visit as much these days but you know you all have a place in my heart. And no there was no anti when I frequented. Raw emotions at times. But wisdom and comfort. You know slow you are the Zeus of gamcare to me.. All my love and thanks to you all.. One very honoured to have shared my journey with you boo 😘
This addiction results in total confusion anger and sheer misery. Of course there will be misunderstanding and friction. I know its the addiction talking and I have learnt not to be offended and to look for the greater good.
I've faced other gamblers away from the forum and been met with anger, derision and vile mickey taking when I have mentioned they have a problem. They had all the reactions to make me feel small. Ive even had veiled threats so its not an issue to be taken lightly. They were not ready to even listen and I just got called an interfering loser, sad geek and that's putting it politely
They are so lost in the gambling world but I accept that is a defense mechanism and the addiction talking through them.
That's why I like the forum because people join to seek help and start to listen...well in most cases....not all unfortunately
So when they do start to realise they need help, taking an addicted gambler through the forum stages is not always going to be a smooth ride. Some people seem more ready than others to adopt an open mind about it. Again I remind myself we are dealing with a devastating mind altering addiction
I will visit the chat room again. It is a good idea and it will be of help to many people. Whats good about it is that people want to chat in real time and get their thoughts out.
I will always be honest with you all when asked. The reason I haven't been on for a long while is that I found it a bit confusing who I was having a conversation with and they seemed to be rapidly overlapping each other. I couldn't get my thoughts down fast enough. I was typing very short replies and was not really sure where it was going. I found it a bit distracting an overwhelming finding the right moment to jump in.
I just need to hone my chat skills and get with it. I'm not attempting to write an essay on recovery but found it all a bit fast moving
The moderators do have a job to do and its not easy.
I cant help everybody. Sometimes I haven't a clue what to say that may help. Ive been in recovery a long time and it can be quite stressful getting the brush off from people in the early stages. Not everybody likes what I want to say or the way I say it....thats totally understandable and I have no problem with that .
They are scared, lost hurt and very confused. When I joined I didnt particularly want to hear about born again moments,drug addictions dopamine or mind altering mental illness...it conjured up thoughts about joining religious sects or living in a straight jacket
To be fair I have to think of my own mental health and I cant take the burden of an exponential problem on my shoulders. I want to help where I can but if I start thinking Ive got to be perfect in helping everybody...thats a ticket to my decline and mental issues. Does that sound pompous or selfish?
So Friction is understandable and I would say more normal in this situation. I hope there have not been too many harsh words but I know the moderators would not put up with that.
Best wishes to everyone on the forum
You're right, you can't help everyone but I think it's fair to say you've helped many on here. I think this place is so much richer for having you around. In order to break free from an addiction I think it's necessary to listen to things you don't want to hear sometimes, no matter how much of a bitter pill it is to swallow. I'm sure there are many on here who have benefited from your strength & wisdom. Myself included.
Toad was in a bad way looking at his diary over the past week, and people often make mistakes and say the wrong thing when down.
I was on the chatroom that closed early and gamcare have emailed me to say that as its a closed form I can't speak of it freely so I won't toall about it.
However what was the reason behind toad being banned so I can not make a mistake and be banned the next day myself?
All the best Adam
Please post us guidelines gamcare
Eg no swearing , no warnings it will mean being banned straight away.
This is a thoughtful and considerate post. I went on the chat, to try it, within 10 days of my recovery in October. I quickly realised that it was chaotic with some strong personalities taking over and the chat quickly degenerated thereafter. I maybe come on here once a week to read posts where I empathise with people's plight, take tips from people's fortitude in getting through every day without gambling. From Joy Divider I employ a mantra about 'complacency,' which is the biggest trigger when it comes to gambling. He is 100% correct and conveys that in his posts simply and elegantly. Slow Learner is a great empathiser. We come on here for help and succour and when someone shows it we are eternally grateful during our darkest and loneliest moments. Bal's long term success is an inspiration for those of us struggling during these early days, but he proves it can be done and the fact that he still sticks around when most people think they've cracked it and can quietly vacate the scene is admirable. So, cheers. The chat is the wild west, but just keep posting your nuggets of wisdom for the rest of us. It's appreciated.
@adam123 as Lou mentions there are guidelines on the Forum and the Chatroom and you can find them here: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-support/group-chatroom/chatroom-and-forum-etiquette/#.VGOJC19FC71
Thank you all for a really interesting debate, there has been some really good points made here and what is clear is how positive and supportive the Chatroom and Forum are on a majority of occasions. The support you guys give is truly life changing and I thank you for that.
But you are also right that on occasion things can be more challenging, Although we are unable to talk about personal cases or what happens in the Chatroom as that is a private space and the Forum a public space, I would like to let you know that the banning of anyone is always a last resort and often after we have exhausted all other options. Having to give someone a time out is not something any of like doing as we do understand how difficult it can be for users who are in crisis, feeling angry and/or frustrated. But at the same time we need to ensure this remains a place where people can come for support, a safe haven and a respite, a place for people to share and get peer support to aid them on their recovery.
We genuinely care about you all, your wellbeing and supporting your recovery. On so many occasions I've been humbled by the support and care that you've provided to others to help them through such difficult periods.
We will always remain open to suggestions on ways we can improve the running of our Forum and Chatroom as this is your space, you are always welcome to email us as [email protected] with your ideas.