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!
£4k loss in a year is absolutely nuts.
I wouldn’t use comparisons with people on HERE as a barometer of health.
good you’re debt free but what about opportunity loss?
i don’t really see a set ‘type’ on here- but very different stories and degrees. There’s no ‘thing’ to fit into.
In my experience grandstand departures turn out badly. I really hope yours doesn’t turn out that way.
I do wonder if in fact the issue is that you’re not connecting with people in a way you find satisfactory on here?
That might not be to do with how addicted you are. But to do with openness and honesty. Over-sensitivity is rife in addicts.
Not to say you can’t leave. Of course you can-GC is not a cult. But this feels more like a call for help.
Why can’t you meet with friends and not gamble? Because you’re a gambling addict.
in spite of your protestations to the contrary, you ARE distancing yourself from people on here with the end game of.....wait for it....... giving yourself a green light to gamble.
Hi Louis, thanks for your reply on my diary.
Firstly, yes, £4K in a year is a heck of a lot of money to lose and is a red warning light. But 99% of that money was lost online. Which I’m now completely self excluded from. Yes, you could argue that I could try and get my fix elsewhere, but the truth is that the bookies have never really interested me. Even more so now that the £2 fobt stakes are in place.
Secondly, it’s not a case of me being desperate to gamble when I’m out with friends. I’m very much a man of routine/tradition. I love tradition in life. I’d feel exactly the same about not being able to have our traditional pre match drinks in the usual pub before the game than I would about not having our traditional Saturday accumulator, and in no way am I an alcoholic or even an excessive drinker. It’s simply about the tradition element and being able to have a laugh and a good time with my mates. Yes, if it got to the point when it would begin to kickstart some stronger urges to gamble/chase my losses, then I would be stupid not to put aside those traditions. But for me, it’s like doing the lottery on a Saturday. I have no problem doing that. (Though I don’t often play the lottery). It’s more about the time, enjoyment and experience spent with friends, than it is about winning any money. I guess it’s how ‘gambling’ should be done.
So in some ways, that’s why I’m struggling to fit in and belong here. Because most folk would even see playing the lottery as an absolute no go area. For me, that’s not the case. Online gambling, or more specifically the casino element, is where I’ve had all my problems. Doing ‘lottery style’ accumulators with my friends every now triggers nothing and again is something that I don’t want to have to constantly justify to myself and others.
I simply don’t want to give off the wrong impression to others on here who are really struggling with their gambling. Both online, in bookies, scratchcards or whatever means of gambling there is available. It’s not fair on those.
I don’t want it to be a ‘grandstand’ exit. I’ve no doubt I’ll be back on here sometime in the future to check up on others and to give an update how I’m getting on. I’m certainly not doing it to give myself any green light to go and gamble myself silly. In some ways I’m doing it to be open and honest with myself and others on here. I can’t/won’t hide things from people on here. Some may be able to have the odd sneaky bet/lottery and think of it as no big deal and not worth mentioning it on here. I can’t do that. If I’ve had a £2 lottery bet, then I have to say.
I guess sub consciously, my ambition for this year was to stop the bleeding of my gambling. So far this year I’ve probably spent about £100 on gambling related activities. Compared to this time last year, it was probably nearer to about £3k. So I’m heading in the right direction. Or you could look at it and say that I’m still gambling. I’d prefer to look at it as I’m making progress. But I’m aware that most people on here wouldn’t view it the same way. That’s why I feel this isn’t the right place for me at the moment.
Just a quick update on how I’m doing....
Great, in simple terms. We’re 9 and a half months into 2019 and this year (so far!) continues to be the turning point in my life. I rarely think about gambling these days. To think where I was this time last year, making deposit after deposit into online betting accounts and feeling under pressure to try and win my money back and to explain where that lost money may have gone.
I have my life back again. I’ve saved up an awful lot of money this year already and have begun putting it to good use and treating myself occasionally too. I actually feel like a normal person again for the first time in about 14 years. I can look people in the eyes and feel no guilt.
Yes, I have had the occasional bet over the last 9 and a half months, but I am not treating those as ‘slips’ because I’ve been well aware of what I’m doing. These have all occurred in social situations and have been on football accumulators only. No more than £5 a time.
Eventually I’d like to phase even that out completely but for now, I’m happy that 2019 is a year where I stop the financial and gambling bleeding and get things back on track.
I have no interest in playing things like Roulette anymore. I’ve really begun to HATE losing money and spending money. Roulette, to me, feels like too much of a fast way to losing money. So I’m simply not interested and I don’t think I ever will be. I’ve seen the light and realised just how much in favour of the ‘house’ it is. I’d rather avoid!
Overall, I’m very happy with life. Gambling stinks! Sticking myself in front of a computer, watching a wheel go round and round for hours on end, stinks. I’ve got better things to do, better places to be, with REAL LIFE people who make me laugh, make me smile and make me realise how lucky I am in my life. I don’t need to try and force the issue by generating some luck in my life. More often than not it ends in bad luck and misery.
I’ll continue to live my life, the 2019 way. I’ve done some great things and been to some lovely places, not just because I could afford them, but because my ‘mind’ was up for it too. I was with people, both in ‘mind’ and ‘body’.
I hope others have been able to win in life too. I’m just going to read through some diaries on here to catch up.
Thanks for all your support, Dan
Hello diary - just a brief entry for today.
I’m two weeks shy of my birthday, or as I remember it, my £1,200 (roughly) loss. Safe to say it was my most upsetting birthday to date. Since that day my life has gone from strength to strength.
I am no longer suffering due to gambling. I have finally forgiven myself for what I did and have done to myself over the years and I am in a really healthy position. I no longer have guilty feelings, my banks account looks clean and I treat myself to lots of nice stuff that would have otherwise been spent on gambling whilst also making sure I have some money set aside for a rainy day. This has all been possible by stopping gambling! Yes, I have had the occasional blip during the last 12 months, but they have not been followed by a series of further blips. I’ve reset, accepted the loss, acknowledged the fact that I don’t want to throw away all my hard work and generally moved on.
For anyone reading this, there is hope! I never thought it was possible but I have found out that it is!
Keep believing, keep persevering and things can turn around.
Happy Birthday and congratulations on an excellent year. During the last twelve months you have really turned your life around and are now reaping the benefits.
Overcoming gamble addiction is a massive achievement and it just goes to show that you are a very strong-willed man who possesses great courage, integrity and self-discipline.
When you first came on the diaries I referred to you as "Dan The Man" who was going to kick gambling in the can and that is exactly what you have done.
Thanks for your lovely message Stephen.
Yes, I’ve surprised even myself on how well 2019 has gone for me. It’s been beyond my wildest dreams really.
I’ve been able to do so much this year and have money leftover, and that has all been down to recovering from my gambling addiction.
Although I believed it was possible, I truly couldn’t see it happening as I’d tried and failed so often. But persistence pays off and I’m now reaping the rewards.
Do I get urges? Honestly, not really? Not anymore. During the Summer I got a few but by September it was like gambling had never existed in my life.
I developed more of a social life and got myself out more. Doing things I should have done a long time ago.
There are still a couple of days left in 2019 but I think it’s safe to say I’ve won this year. 2020 is a new battle. I’ll look to maintain my good life and steer clear of gambling.
I’ve calculated tonight that it’s well over 400 days now since my birthday weekend in Dec 2018, whereby I realised that things had to change. I wouldn’t even say I was on a downward spiral because it was the same old story for me. Gamble to the point of having nothing really left and then saving that money back up again, only to do exactly the same. I’d been doing that for about 3 or 4 years. It was getting pretty tedious and more so frustrating. I didn’t have much in the bank for a rainy day. What I feared more was that family and friends knew I should have had some savings and I would have found it pretty hard to explain why this was not the case.
So having blown a lot of money on my birthday weekend, I decided enough was enough. I was going to change my approach. I wasn’t going to count my days gamble free as consecutive days. I would firstly try to concentrate on cutting back on my gambling.
400 plus days later and I’m in a much happier place with my gambling recovery. Whilst I’ve not totally abstained from gambling during this time, I’ve not beaten myself up about it either. It’s still very much a work in progress but I can honestly say that I’m not gambling even 5% of what I was doing. It doesn’t interest me anywhere near as much. In particular, I’ve lost total interest in playing any casino games. I haven’t done so since December 2018. If I do have a football bet, it’s usually sociably with friends. Whilst I realise that’s still not ideal, particularly as this is generally seen as gambling free zone for the majority of people, it’s working for me. When it loses, I get on with my life and don’t give it a second thought. Chasing losses doesn’t interest me anymore. To be honest, gambling in any form doesn’t either. It’s not what I call ‘fun’. I’ll do it often out of habit and routine with my friends. I don’t feel the need to try and force myself to stop that because I’ve found some self control that I didn’t realise I had.
If I’m honest, I can see myself stopping completely in the future, simply because of losing that habit. It’ll probably end up fazing out altogether.
Overall I am so much happier than 13 months ago. I’ve so far achieved what I was trying to do when I first signed on here in 2016. It’s been a battle over the years, and one I was determined to eventually win, no matter how long it took and how many attempts I made. I got there eventually.
Unbelievable, we'll all cut back on our gambling & everything will be rosy in the garden. Thanks for sharing Dan, already i feel that born again moment where i can put on a 50p lucky 15, enjoy watching every horse get beat & think to myself "oh well i won't gamble for a few weeks & i won't chase my losses " instead i'll be just like Dan.
Mod/Admin Do Your Job Please
Sorry you’ve taken it to mean that, Slowlearner. Obviously that’s not what I’m getting at. If you read my message properly, then you’ll see that I’m not promoting gambling, but rather slowly cutting down to an eventual end where I’m hoping to completely stop. As opposed to attempting to go cold turkey which I’ve tried and failed at for the last 4 years. In the same way that someone might gradually cut down on smoking to an eventual end.
Sorry I’m not doing it your way, Slowlearner 🙄
Thanks for sharing your progress on here.
It's great to hear that you have accomplished the goal you set out when you joined. It's amazing to hear that your life has improved overall and you've managed to reduce your losses by 95%.
This way of recovery didn't work for me but I also know the decreasing process has worked for others and it's not a one way fits all.
Well done on your progress so far and your honesty in regards to it not being totally ideal but working progress towards the end goal of stopping all together.
Why do you think you need to still dabble with a few small bets? Do you struggle with your emotions/feelings regarding life in general?
Hi Wallis, thanks for your reply on my diary.
To answer your question, I’m not really sure if I’m totally honest. I think the pressure I put on myself to stop altogether was perhaps a bit too much for me, and that at times it felt a real struggle when maybe most of it was in my head. I think the changing ‘too much too soon’ strategy never really worked for me.
I think the only reason I still dabble in the odd bet here and there (and it really is that these days) is simply down to a certain connection it gives me with my friends. I don’t really do it for the will to win some money as in truth, I don’t need it. I live a fairly simple life and I’m happy with it. I have more than enough to live on with my job and I get my kicks from the simple pleasures in life. Going for a coffee on a Saturday morning, watching my local team on a Saturday afternoon. Visiting family on a Sunday etc. I see my friends quite often too and the topic of a bet will crop up now and again and I feel comfortable to go along with it. I enjoy the fact that it’s something I see as a social thing rather than hiding in my room behind my phone, desperately trying to win back my losses on roulette.
I just don’t do that anymore. The thought of it sickens me because I enjoy being able to hold my head high and not feel as though I’m living a life of lies and fear.
I’ll say again though, it’s certainly not for everyone and I apologise if I’ve P***** a few people off. But I’m just trying to be honest with myself and others. For me, it’s so much better that I’ve changed my life in this way than to carry on as I was before. Why would I carry on trying something that hasn’t worked for 4 years? But this clearly is working and has done for nearly 14 months now.
I can’t even say that I’m looking to stop completely in the future because that would be putting that pressure back on myself. I just think it probably will fizzle out. It already feels that way at the moment anyway.
Thanks for your response.
As far as I see it you have no reason to apologise to anyone for following a path that is right for you. It sounds like it has had a big positive change for you and you have every right to be proud of yourself for what you've achieved.
Take care and all the best for the future!
The time I created this diary feels like a million miles away now.
To recap, in December 2018 (on my birthday weekend), I lost total control of my gambling and managed to lose around about £1,200 in roughly 24 hours. £100 here, £100 there, and again and again and so on. It had been a steady decline from around about 2013, never having gotten myself into any trouble/debt but needlessly wasting my savings and money that could have been put to better use.
However, on the 2nd December I felt like I was losing control. I needed a sudden halt to stem the flow of gambling. That was when I signed up to GamStop. For 5 years. It’s coming up to 17 months into my time on GamStop and whilst I have had the odd bet here and there, both in bookies and on online sites that weren’t previously signed up to GamStop (but are now), it was nothing to the extent of what I experienced on that December weekend.
Whilst I wasn’t overly thrilled with my gambling in 2019/early 2020, I had made huge progress. For example, 90% of my previous gambling damage had come via casino games such as roulette, blackjack etc. I still haven’t gambled via that mode since that December weekend in 2018. 17 months ago. The only gambling I’ve done since then is the odd sports bet here and there.
However, since late Jan 2020, I haven’t even placed any sports bets (Yes, I’m aware that a part of that is because since Mid March, there have been very few sports to bet on and no bookies open).
I’ve always maintained, that for me, it was all about moving away from gambling, one step at a time. Gently easing away from the interest.
Yes, I’m aware that it may return again when sport is back with us, but one thing is for sure, I have absolutely zero interest in playing games like Roulette anymore. The very thought of risking my hard earned money on watching a ball go round and round a wheel and potentially losing lots of money in the process, just makes me feel sick. It may not seem like it for some, but for me that’s a huge relief and a massive win for me, knowing that’s how I now feel about those type of games. Because that’s where most of my damage came.
I hope to eventually lose ALL interest in every form of gambling in the future but for now I’d have gladly taken this particular mindset that I’m currently experiencing today, when I was bleeding money. My money feels safe and secure. Whereas 18 months ago, I could feel flush one day and then skint the next day. High as a kite on the Monday and lower than a snakes belly on the Tuesday. I never want to and never will go back to those days.
I’m aware that despite being on GamStop and bookies being closed, I could still probably find a way to gamble if I really wanted to. But the truth is I feel like I’ve finally outgrown it all. The uncertainty, the heavy losses, the sleepless nights, the constant lying and covering up, the worry and anxiety, the sacrificing nights out because you’ve blown all your money..... To me now, it really isn’t worth it. There’s a life out there that needs to be lived.
I’m just very proud of where I’ve finally arrived, after 4 years or so of trying.
If there’s one piece of advice I could offer, it’s never ever give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Recovery doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s very much a work in progress and it does get easier as the months pass by. I never thought I’d see the day where I was this far away from gambling but it’s happened.
Before anyone comments, I’d just like to say that I DON’T believe for one minute that I can now bet responsibly, on things such as sports betting. Just because I managed to, on the occasions that I did have a bet in 2019, show some element of control, doesn’t mean I’ve cracked it in that form of gambling.
I’m 100% well aware of that and I don’t want people to feel like I’m saying that I can now gamble responsibly in that mode of gambling. I know that if I did try to do that, eventually it would probably escalate again.