Hi everyone im new to this site and I'm 26 years old. I started gambling at the age of 12 (ridiculous) and by the age of 13/14 I had developed a serious gambling addiction. Ive gambled for more than half of my life and its all that ive ever really known as i can't remember life without gambling addiction. I started of when i was 12 years old by playing fruit machines and as i got older that turned into football betting and playing roulette. As time went on things only got worse and worse for me as i was losing more money due to bets being increased over time. I also got caught in a payday loan cycle borrowing several different loans just to purely gamble and in doing so i wracked a few thousand pounds of debt not to mention by ruining my credit score in doing so. Believe me, ive been through it all with gambling addiction. If i could somehow find out how much ive spent through gambling i would refuse as i wouldnt want to know. It would be at least five figures if not closer to six. Not only have i been negatively impacted by the financial aspects but i have been impacted by the mental side off things that come with it such as stress, depression and not to mention essentially turned into a compulsive liar. Lets he honest with ourselves here there is no middle off the road with gambling addiction, you cant take it or leave it and there is no odd bet here or there. If you lose then as a gambler you only go chasing and if you win then thats even worse as it only gives you false hope that you can win and then you go back to the bookies with your winnings and spend the lot plus whatever extra is in your bank account. The only way to win is walk away! Finally after 14 years of hell the penny has finally dropped and i have seen sense on gambling addiction in general. I havent gambled in 31 days today and i know i wont ever again.
If anyone reading this is really serious about quitting gambling then i want you to know that it is completely possible. I would put it down to the way you think about it though. Here i want to give absolute credit to Allen Carr whose book i read called Allen Carr easy way to stop gambling. I would strongly recommend for you to read that book as it will completely change the way you think about gambling in general. I think you can buy it in the playstore or appstore for £4.99. Its the best £4.99 that ive ever spend and to think i used to spend four times that at least on one football bet. If we think about it the whole gambling industry is one big lie. The adverts make you think that its cool, trendy and will make you happy but in reality its the complete opposite for people that have gambling addictions. Think off it similar to how cigarettes used to be advertised in the 1950s. The adverts dont explain the risks why? Because the gambling industry is worth billions worldwide and every single penny of that is taxable to the government therefore why would they tell you if their making money from it at the end of the day! Also that little bit of a buzz or happiness you get from gambling doesnt even exist. You didnt feel the need for that buzz before you gambled and you're only gambling to feel the exact same way that non gamblers feel naturally.
For anyone that is giving up gambling i would say to you just make sure you do it in the correct way. If you try and do it on willpower alone then im sorry to tell you that you're more likely to fail. The reason here is that on using willpower you still see gambling in a positive way and you almost still see it as a friend therefore you feel that you miss gambling and its almost like depriving yourself from it. The best example that i can give here is think off an itch on your leg and you cant scratch it. Mentally that will frustrate you because you're constantly thinking about scratching it and you're depriving yourself from doing so which will eventually result in you giving in and scratching it at some point. This is the exact same as using willpower to tackle your addiction. If you train your mind into truely believing that nothing good has ever came from gambling for you and that gambling isnt your friend then you wont feel deprived from it and it will be a lot easier to give it up.
I just wanted to share some information and methods off thinking to hopefully help other people out there like myself. Gambling addiction has been hell for the past 14 years but now i can finally say that i'm not a slave anymore to it, it doesnt control me and i can finally look forward to a life without addiction. If i can do it then you can too. Just remember if you really want to stop then whats to stop you and theres no time like right now to give up. There is light at the end of that dark tunnel and to whoever is reading this, i believe in you that you can find it too.
Thanks for reading my story. Now now gambler Craig Smyth.
Reallly interesting what you wrote mate, I’m 22 and been through all the payday loans etc which destroyed my credit score etc. These companies are a joke and a complete set up for people like me and you.
ive been gambling for nearly 8 years now and only stopped last month, just need to build my credit score back up and hopefully get a mortgage in the next few years hopefully addiction free.
take care, Jack
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for posting your story , It shows how gambling can affect children and become part of your life at an early age . Sorry to hear that you went through this and the financial and mental struggle it caused.
You are right that for compulsive gamblers there's no middle ground . You have to stop completely (an alcoholic wouldn't have the occasional shandy)
31 days is brilliant and it's really positive to hear that you are the right steps in your recovery journey , the Allen Carr book and other books have helped a lot of people and it's great to hear that it also helped you.
Please feel free to contact the GamCare Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or Netline to explore the additional support available to you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you would like to talk to one of the GamCare HelpLine advisers.
Thanks for your positive story and words and all the best , it can be a great inspiration for others to see this kind of thing.
Thegersman, yeah getting into a payday loan cycle is so stupid but we all know the thinga gambling addiction makes you do. I was 22 when i started getting the loans out and look back now and realise it was completely pointless and stupid. My best advice for you at the minute would be to just completely knock it in the head. I gambled for another 4 years excessively after i was 22 and got the loans and have nothing at all to show for it. You have the opportunity now to save them 4 years+ for yourself that i wasted in my life. Nothing gets better and you wont win anymore money without giving it back to the bookies straight away. You're still young mate dont waste anymore years of your life like i did. If you can learn to look at the addiction in a different light you'll do well. The gambling industry in general is one big lie that gets people like you and me brainwashed. It almost rewires our minds into thinking thinking positively about it then bang you're roped in with an addiction. Honestly mate theres no time like right now to give it up dont waste any more time. Just keep imagining a life were you arent a slave to gambing and you can have a happy life without it controlling you.
All the best and good luck mate.