Again, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve checked in on this forum and taken the time to read others’ stories. 53 days ago! I’m now 140 days. 4 months!
It doesn’t seem like a huge amount of time, but the change in my life and my mind is massive.
For anyone new here, or struggling, the best advice I can give from my own experience is to focus your mind on something you really want. For me, it’s been building up my finances, watching my bank account grow and doing anything I can to increase my credit score. I don’t earn a huge wage, but even the smallest increase is so motivating. Something that can NEVER be done when gambling, we will never win.
I still think about gambling sometimes, usually when I see adverts pop up, but I can get rid of the thoughts fairly quickly. Gamstop, bank gambling freezes, self exclusion are life savers.
One thing i’ve found hard while fixing my finances is going through old bank statements etc, seeing all the gambling transactions make me almost cringe. I can’t look. It’s probably guilt, or shame perhaps. It’s just another realisation that gambling is not something I enjoyed or want to do again. I want to keep that in the past. Hopefully one day I can look at it and feel proud of myself at how well i’m doing now, but i’m not there yet.
My life is looking up and I now look forward to my future and what could be. And I put it down entirely to stopping gambling!
Hope everyone is doing ok x
Any tips on the first initial weeks after a big loss and dealing with withdrawals and the feelings of loss ?? How did you get through those feelings? What helped what didn’t ??
Hey Thomas, I gambled for years until I had nothing left. My payday covered my rent and some other bills, sometimes I didn’t get as far as paying all my priority bills before I blew it all on slots. Then I spent the rest of my month miserable and desperate for the next payday, struggling to get by (actually buy food, pay bills etc.). Payday came, said i’d be different this month.... same thing happened.
So 140 days ago was my last payday that I blew, I signed up here, and Gamstop and put restrictions in place. The first weeks were hard but nothing I hadn’t dealt with before (with most of my months having these withdrawals for weeks until the next payday came).
That next payday was the hardest, when I did get paid... but I paid all my bills and it felt great. I had money to spare in my bank account... I felt like I had control again. That was my initial realisation that having money and working on my credit/finances would make me feel more motivated in life again.
Gamstop saved me in the first while, physically being unable to get on even if I wanted to. I came on here and I caught up on the forum and involved myself a bit on other peoples’ posts. I made it a regular thing to come on here and remind myself why i’m doing this. If i thought about gambling, I came on here and read a few posts. It really helps.
I know the feeling of a big loss too well, but I try to keep all of that in the past. Like i said looking at my bank statement and all the gambling transactions made me cringe!! But It’s gone now. All we can do now is avoid letting it happen again. We’ll always be losing when we gamble!
If you can, try and put your focus on something else entirely. Exercise, building finances, work, hobbies, a relationship? Whatever works for you, and realise how good it makes you feel! Gambling never truly felt good, not for me anyway!
Well done on 140 days. You mentioned you can’t bear to look at your bank statements, it’s tough isn’t it? I’m not sure if it was curiosity, punishment or to remind myself of the costs but I made myself go through all last years statements and add up how much I had spent on gambling last year. I was amazed to find it added up to 5 months worth of wages...5 months worked for nothing. There were some payouts in there which reduced the losses but in terms of money out 5 months worth of wages. Getting over those losses is the challenge for me, realising it has gone and wondering what I could have spent it on instead.
It’s good advice you’ve given in how to try to move on.