We’re now into 2019 as 2018 passes by into the distance.
Like many on here, 2018 was a tough year. For me, it was divided into 3 parts. The first 1/3 of the year was bad. I lost about 2k. The middle 1/3 I abstained totally from any sort of gambling and managed to save a lot of money. I was happy and at peace. I had such a great Summer with friends and family. Even work seemed great!
Then finally the final 1/3 was where I lost all my Summer savings (and some). Overall I reckon I lost about 4k due to gambling in 2018. It’s crazy when you write it down in words. 4k is a lot of money to some people, but to me it’s a huge amount! I must have staked around about 15k-20k in those 12 months. Again, utterly ridiculous! I guess I’m lucky in a way to have not come out of it much worse!
So, 2019 is the year that I strive to sort myself out. I have all the possible blocks in place that I can have. I have set myself some realistic and achievable goals for the year for me to focus on. Now it’s time to prove to myself and others that I can change.
Sometimes, bad things can happen which make it a bad year. Things that are totally out of our control and that we can do nothing about. But gambling is something that we have the power to control.
It’s time to give yourself the best possible oppourtunity for a great year.
Let’s do this!
I’m determined to make 2019 my year!
I deleted a ‘Note’ tonight off my phone which kept a track of how much money I’d spent/lost on gambling. On 13th May 2018 I stopped gambling completely until the 22nd September 2018. 131 days to be exact. Then from the 22nd September until the 13th December (84 days) I went on to lose £2,598. I cringe when I look at the figures written down but maybe that’s no bad thing.
The last 20 odd days have been calming and a reminder of how life should be spent.
It’s still very early days but I’m feeling really positive about my recovery this time around. I have more blocks in place, a new resolve and a positive attitude towards making 2019 my year.
The success stories that I’ve been reading on here are going to be my inspiration to go on to bigger and better things. I’m in the fortunate position in that I’ve only ever gambled using my savings and deprived myself of nice things for myself. Extra holidays, clothes etc. My bills are never in danger of being missed and are always paid at the beginning of the month.
I hear people often talking about having to reach “rock bottom” before realising that things need to change and actions need to be taken. Over the years I’ve had some pretty low moments when gambling where it has felt like MY rock bottom but I’m not sure that I’ve ever experienced rock bottom like others on this forum. Is this why I’ve always veered back towards gambling over the years when abstaining for long periods of time?
I guess I’m in a small minority of compulsive gamblers that hasn’t quite got the nerve to go “All in” and risk going into debt. I seem to be able stop at a certain point. Debt frightens me and is perhaps the only single thing that can physically grind my gambling to an abrupt halt when I’m in the middle of a crazy session.
But now, I want some action in my life. I don’t want to just survive month to month on a bit of savings that’ll see me ok for the odd rainy day. I want to gain some experiences in my life. I want to visit places that I’ve never been before. All this can be possible if my gambling stops. I’m fed up of worrying about money and if I have enough in the bank etc. It causes me so much anxiety and for what? It’s time for me to live a life worth living.
I’m ready for the challenges that lie before me. It feels like the penny has finally dropped. There will be urges, of that I’m sure. But it’s how I deal with them that count the most.
Off to bed now to dream of a better future. It’s out there for us all.
You should be proud mate that you haven't gambled yourself into oblivion like me and many others, in a weird way that's testament to your character. Also you're realising now before everything falls away beneath you that if you continue on this path, eventually it will all fall apart. Good on you. You're a better man than me that's for sure... Kudos to you!
People (including myself actually) speculate that you need to experience certain depths of pain before you finally put gambling behind you. For you to have the presence of mind and self-awareness to want to draw a line before sinking to those depths is a superb show of foresight. You will never win with gambling if you're an addict. From what you write gambling has already robbed you of so much - time, self-worth, personal development - you can't buy any of those back no matter how much money you win... Ironically you can get those things back by throwing in the towel and earning them back through taking responsibility, increased self-awareness and discipline. They don't cost anything... Just effort and dedication.
Thanks for your reply, Signalman. It means a lot mate...
It’s been a real tough and busy week at work and we’re not even half way through. Friday can’t come sooner. Still, it’s left me with no time to develop any thoughts towards gambling which is a positive. I’ve no desire whatsoever to lose more money to it. Instead I’m quite happy to think about building my future and dreaming of all the possibilites that could await me.
I must admit to being surprised when reading your post Dan. It made me feel sad to think that you were leaving us but you must do whatever you feel is best for your self.
Many thanks for all the encouragement, support and advice you have shared with your fellow travellers, myself included.
Take care my friend. There is a lot of skullduggery in the world and things are not always what they seem. Take good care of yourself. Keep smiling. Never give in and never lose hope. We will always be here for you and when you return, you will be welcomed with open arms...stephen
Not sure if you've left already but just wanted to say a massive thanks for all of your wonderful words of encouragement, you don't realise how much they helped me. Despite the many downs I know there is light at the end for you I really do believe that, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I wish you all the very best and to let you know you will be sadly missed 🙁
Take care hun and always keep fighting!
Thanks Sharon, Caughtup and Donna for your lovely messages.
Just a quick update...
Firstly, I have to admit that I have sort of gambled since my last post. I say ‘sort of’ because it’s not me that has actually gambled. My work friends have a joint football accumulator going on and a lot of people are involved in it, even the non interested football fans. So the last couple of weeks I’ve given my entry money to the guy who runs it because I don’t want to arouse any kind of suspicion amongst them about having a problem with gambling. I also don’t want to be left out of the group ‘banter’.
I know some of you will think it’s lame and an excuse to keep my foot in the gambling corner but I’d prefer to keep it under wraps at work. Truth be told, I’m not that interested in doing it, but it’s cheap and cheerful (to those who aren’t compulsive gamblers anyway) and my work mates would find it extremely odd if I didn’t participate.
I don’t even know the actual bets placed so I won’t be following them tomorrow. I’ll just wait for a message on Whatsapp.
Obviously there is always the risk of being drawn back into that awfuk kind of destructive gambling but I’ll cross that bridge if it comes to it.
I could lie and ignore the work football accumulators as ‘gambling’ but I refuse to be dishonest on here as it totally counteracts the whole reason why we’re on here in the first place.
I don’t recommend this to anyone or defend it in any way. It’s just my own personal circumstance. I love football and Saturday’s are about my love of football in general, it wasn’t just about betting.
I’m pleased that I’ve not actually placed a bet of any sort, myself, during this time. Neither have I been tempted.
I did try to log on to a couple of well known betting sites to test out Gamstop and it worked a treat. So I’m happy with that.
I’m pleased with how things are going and I can only see my personal financial situation improving over the coming months.
I’m sorry if this causes offence and I’ll delete it if people wish for that. I’ll totally understand.