Holy f”[email protected] this is hard!!
I have been kidding myself that I was merely someone who was missing a bit of a buzz in life, and that the buzz I chose was betting and more recently online slots. The thrill of a big win is no doubt an unbelievable high, which I can see with hindsight gets more intense the more you chase your losses.
I have always had an issue with gambling in the background since I was around 16, playing fruit machines in the arcades started as fun but quickly got out of hand and I upset an awful lot of people close to me (1 in particular my mother who died before I could really tell her how sorry I was for the hurt i’d Caused as a teenager)
As always, I got caught out spending money I didn’t have and all hell broke loose, I swore myself off such extremes and for over 10 years was happy with the occasional couple of quid in the pub if I had change from buying a round, if I lost I lost, if I won great.
The real start of my problem as it is today was online betting, I opened a sky bet account with the purpose of sticking an accumulator on the football on a weekend, maximum a tenner a month, this was also fine.... for about a month! I landed a big win on my second bet and felt invincible! I was the king of predictions and could make a living out of it if I wanted, fast forward 2 months and I had lost all of that and thrown up a couple of hundred quid of my own money chasing that buzz, as this was on our joint account my mrs got wise quick, and I staggered myself with how elaborate the lies I was telling as to why this was happening. Fast forward a couple of months of me abstaining, and after a row and a lousy day at work, I got blind drunk and ran through £300 in a bout an hour, she was devastated and I swore I would never gamble again, and self excluded from all accounts I had.
Act2 scene 3, here I am, we opened separate accounts to keep what little spending money we had in, and I have racked myself up a healthy little overdraft on slots, again had some big wins and thought “right I’m done, clear off what you’ve spent and get on with your life, but the draw was too great. On Sunday morning after revering a large withdrawal and losing it all in about 10 minutes, I looked at my son playing in the lounge and it dawned on me what I was doing, what impact it was having on me, and what danger I could be putting my family in by carrying on this madness.
I self excluded from the site I was on, signed up to gamstop and here I am, thinking about nothing else but gambling but determined to beat this.
Anyone who thinks this is easy needs to be educated, I have never experienced urges like this, thinking ‘just throw a tenner in you could easily turn it into a couple of hundred but so far I’m holding firm. With careful day to day spending my overdraft will be clear in a few months tops, and that’s when I can look at the next step on the road to healing the hurts this addiction has caused myself and those closest to me.
This forum is a godsend, I can’t tell you what a weight it is to really say what I feel about this problem, and these pages have already been a huge source of strength over the last few days. I will keep updating this throughout the journey I am embarking on, I will beat this!
Day 4, busy day at work which has helped but still the urges are strong. Biggest plus was having access to the joint account today as wife was working late and I needed to get some shopping, had at least 3 opportunities to gamble between work and home and didn’t take any of them, confidence in my will power is growing by the day, I know I won’t gamble today, and will start the same process tomorrow on day 5
Day 5, again really busy at work and urges have been there although not really had time to think about it too much. Brain is focused on the negatives of the situation I’m in, which if anything has left me feeling very down about myself but has re-enforced the decision to stop. Looking forward to the weekend when I can put some more lost money back. Starting to see how much more I am accomplishing during my working day which is a big positive. Bring on day 6
So, here I am, sat in exactly the same place as I was a week ago, except this time I don’t have a crippling and all to familiar sense of loss and worthlessness.
I have put back the amount of the money I have lost back into my account that I set myself as a challenge, through doing nothing other than not gambling.
I would be lying if I said I haven’t been tempted to gamble, on a couple of days in the last week the urges were almost crippling!
But not giving in and hitting my first gamble free goal has given my a bit of pride back, and also the belief that I can really kick this for good. Long, long road ahead, but priorities are in the right order now and I’m looking forward to another day not gambling and starting the 2nd week of the rest of my life
so, day 51 GF!
I have a real sense of achievement on a personal level, I haven’t felt the urge to try and gamble for at least a couple of weeks now, and more importantly over the last couple of days all my secrecy and money losses have been brought out into the open.
I am clearly an extremely lucky human being; despite being incredibly heartbroken and upset my incredible wife seems prepared to give me one last chance to beat this once and for all.
This is so much more than I deserve, my behaviour is the literal definition of divorce worthy, however I have a chance to put it right over time and hopefully (this is not a given by any means) give her reason to trust me again.
Our joint finances are solely hers to control for the foreseeable, and my individual account will have amounts put in, with my duty being to show her weekly off my own back, and any time she decides to want to see them.
long road ahead, I don’t honestly think you can ever be cured of this addiction, however I now have a rock solid belief that you can go and stay in remission from it.
I have all the motivation I need to stay healthy in my incredible family, but most importantly perhaps, although forgiving yourself feels like a crucial step on the road to kicking this habit for good, the devastation this causes to the ones closest to you should never be forgotten, and remembered every day to keep your mind focused on why you never need to gamble again.
look forward to updating on day 100