Always remember the goal. Own money, no debt, sat on the beach with the kids, eating Ice-cream, playing games, watching the sun set.
Whatever challenges come, whatever obstacles are still to be hurdled they can and will be overcome. I am not going back. I no longer gamble.
A new diary, I've stopped opening my previous diary as I have a lot of memories in there. I felt uncomfortable coming on this site again as it used to submerse me in gambling stories, all that I relate to so well. This time I have found the friends and family stories so useful. They hurt like hell. The pain and anguish that we must inflict on others is horrific. I have always been strong in my belief that i don't care what others do, the can drink, smoke, take whatever drug they wish, they just must not cross the line and impact me in doing so. Yet actually that it what I have done to me amazing wife and gorgeous children, the damage to my mum and our relationship is frightfull. My sister has been great recently and I hope I have the strength to really control this once and for all. Debts three times my annual salary, not all in my name have taken their toll. There has been huge progress recently and the urgent debt - that owed to companies and not family was £27,000 and is now £10,000. Many factors have helped that and the next £10,000 are going to be much tougher to pay off but it is doable. The rest owed to family is any inheritance already spent, gone. I need to chip away at repaying it and will do so.
Ive been in the same house as before though, thankfully all in my wife's name but that's done now. She told me today that she doesn't like what she sees when she looks at me. Said she has tried with us. She hasn't shot the wounded animal yet but it's going to have to be done.
It's taken me back to thinking about suicide, yet I know I'm not really suicidal, I don't know why but I do. It's genuine though, the thoughts, I have an active, creative brain so that's not great as it runs away with itself.
I have the most amazing children though, I have f****d up their lives already through the choices I made but I need to accept that, I need to be the best I can be for them now.
Of course, over 20+ years of hardcore gambling I have stopped before, I have ruined relationships before, i have ruined myself. My body, my mind are ravaged. My concentration span is virtually zero, how I have kept my job and even been promoted is beyond me, I guess I should stop moaning about the muppets in life and thank them for making me look half good at what i do. They might be annoying, lazy and sometimes ridiculous but have they gambled away everything their family own. Have they really had to sweep their hands under the car seats, trying to scramble together enough loose change to put the minimum amount of fuel in their car. Come on hands up, whose used the line- oh ive forgotten my wallet, had to put £3 in so i can drive home and pick my cards up
I am nearly forty, I sat at work, in my responsible job and I cried today, in my office - with its glass window - I cried.
I'm upset, I know now I have damaged my marriage to such a point I can't see it surviving. I should let her fly, my beautiful (she really is and she doesn't read this website so I'm not trying to communicate through this page with her) so yeah, I should let the beautiful lady I was fortunate enough to marry, the wonderful mother to my amazaing adorable children, I should let her fly. set her free. It will hurt, she will be gutted at the idea of divorce, it goes against her beliefs but I have a battle on my hands here. The toughest one of my life. I don't know whether I like the song on the radio or not. I don't remember what it is I want from life, what do I want to do, i don't know. I'm not two weeks away from peak physical condition any more, I used to tell myself I was. I ran a marathon with no training, I played rugby at twickenham but now, my teeth are rotten, the hair has gone, the belly has grown. The laugh and the smile have gone, the mischevious, spontaneous cheeky chappie that could find happiness in a chocolate biscuit or peace and tranquility in a bulk standard sunset has gone. Eaten up and destroyed by the challenge of gambling. The dreams of making money continue, they are exhausting in their own right, everywhere you look - an opportunity, redesign this, do that. What makes me happy now, If I dont know, how can anyone else.
By the time I actually cashed out £XXX I had somehow spent £XXX. The figures are irrelavant though, immaterial. The lies, the deceipt, the mind lost to a secret world, that's the damage. Will CBT help, I don't know but I'll certainly try.
I confessed this time. I was desperate I grant you that but I didn't get found out. i didn't try and stop becuase I had no choice. I had access to money - it would of added to more debt but I had access. I haven't finished my self exclusions yet, I need to because one day I'll get that 'free-funds' email. i have never self excluded from physical shops. What was my vice? real-life greyhounds oh and online real shops, FOBT's - scratchcards, I have scratched a fair few of those in my time as well and service stations. In fact I don't think there isn't somewhere I could gamble that I haven't. Casino - yeah done those too. poker with friends, yeah plenty.
roulette, slots, dogs, horses, sports, games - I've smashed thousands through them all.
There was one shop that once refused to pay me on a £X bet - said it was too late but they had taken the money and not said anything but when it won they refused to pay, gave me my stake back. I was about £Xk to the good that day, cahs in hand, i felt righteous and confident enough that I walked out and despite passing that shop hundreds more times - I never went back. Funny really because that just confirms no matter what I let myself think my brain is telling me, no matter how controlled and addicted I think I am - I wasn't really. There were days that shop was my only way of gambling. On those days I didn't gamble. I chose not to. Not becuase I didnt want to gamble but becuase I couldn't. yet I could. but I didn't. So it is possible, I do have a core inside of me, i am able to not gamble.
Some may question but I know I genuinely stopped enjoying gambling years ago. i felt dead towards it, yes sometimes my heart still raced but my mind was always flat. All I was thinking about is how to make money.
The answer to that was always there, earn my wage, pay my bills and enjoy the sunset.
I'm an a**e, a nasty bit of work, I'm exactly the sort of person I hate.
The traits in other people than I moan so verciferously about, well they are the ones I share.
I don't blame my wife for not wanting to be with me. I'm not the man I was, I'm not the man she thought she was marrying. I'm a liar I'm an addict, a compuslive gambler.
I'm also 112 gambling free and I'm going to win this fight. I'm going to buy my children that ice-cream. i'm going to watch the sunset and I'm going to f*****g enjoy it.
So many similarities, so many differences, so much pain 🙁 I don't know what makes me happy yet either so having the ice-cream & sunset goal still seems a million miles away for me. I didn't enjoy gambling towards the end of my pathetic gambling career, it was just something that I did too but it isn't anymore & whilst I may have objected to that when I 1st started recovery, I know now it & it's fine. I thought for a while the world may stop turning if I couldn't gamble but it hasn't. I had also convinced myself that gambling multiple times the jackpot value would somehow put a dent in my monumental losses but again, not so much. We can only control our own actions & if that means GA or CBT or paying for therapy to help us do so then it's up to us to accept that help because gambling has had our souls for way too long!
A couple of years ago I ran a half marathon on no training...On Monday I stopped & walked (I have never done that before) after about 3 miles of flat! I'm not the person I was anymore, I may be sprouting new grey hairs everyday & the rest of me becoming more hursuit with every passing second but it's what inside that counts.
Thank you for writing this post...I'm gonna win it too - ODAAT
wow, this is so hard isn't it.
115 Gamble free
I don't miss the gambling, not for one minute. Strangely I quite liked watching some of the youtubers out there. a hidden community almost. I do miss watching those but I'm in control enough at the moment to realise that is a massive encouragement, 100% abstinance - which is my only option - doesn't fit with anything like watching others.
anyway, the hard bit is just facing the damage caused. my marriage is in absolute tatters, wife went out this morning with the children because i'm 'hard work' and I need to 'snap out of my low mood' yet i also need to do more, i need to exercise more I need to keep my job, i need to help more at home, i need to finish the jobs on the house, i need to take more time to do things for me, i need to eat healthier and sleep more
I just can't do it all. I need help and support but asking her to do that is just unfair and unrealistic. so whilst I wait for my referrals to come through I take a battering, every day in one way or another.
I shall be OK, I shall win this fight, I don't know what's the other side of it and I just hope that I can straighten my mind enough to trust myself and then find enjoyment in life again. Living under a cloud of gambling debt is certainly not enjoyable.
anyway must get myself off to work. another six days, 70 hour week ahead. if only I was paid hourly!
121 days of total abstinance, not a fake bet or free money
There is a glimmer of light and I need to keep clearing my mind, I am desperate to reset my brain
I don't enjoy the pain ive caused but i am enjoying watching the debt go down
The excitement of think I might see a bank balance go up in the future is just incredible!
Thanks friend for the post on my diary . You seem to have had a real battering from the addiction over the years but you remain upbeat and philosophical , good also that you have not lost your sense of humour and warmth .
What also shines through to me is that you haven't given up hope . Hope for what is a little bit hazy but maybe soon you will see things with more clarity . Sometimes we can't see the woods for the trees . Compulsive gamblers are good at seeing what we want to see .
I went to the zoo yesterday ! It only had one dog in it ! It was a Shitzu .
Take care my friend . Enjoy your freedom , enjoy your life . Be happy , be sad whatever .You can be sure of one thing : none of us is going to get out of this alive ....... stephen
I went to the zoo yesterday ! It only had one dog in it ! It was a Shitzu .
haha, I like that, sure ive heard it before but I just read it in serious mode!
day 124 now.
the thoughts come everytime I think of something that I can't have. It's not that i want to gamble just that I want xy or z. i guess its harder when you know that you could easily have these things, if it was not for the debt. polar opposites right now too, I can sense and smell the freedom of massive debt reductions over the last few months, my wife can only see the aftermath, the wasted money, the crazy debts that still remain. I have to remind myself daily that have a cc limit of £4,500 doesn't mean I have £4,500 - it just means I could borrow that much! In my gambling world, which I truly hope to never revisit, any available balance becomes 'my money'. its sick. very very sick.
keeping the journey going though.
Coming out the other side, I wonder what my time will be spent doing
still need to close an online account, I've not even signed into it for 125 days and I had 'VIP' status so im pretty certain there will be 'bonus' money in there. Just told my wife i need to do it but when she is around. its a big company but they have made self exclusion really difficult so Ive been avoiding it.
Scary I can feel my mind wandering to the 'waste' that would be (closing without using any free bets) tried to be honest and told my wife that is what i was thinking, I could even feel the manipulation kicking in - almost suggesting she gambled anything there is as it's no lose!
I've admitted to that to but my word it makes me realise just how many vines gambling has grown in my brain!
Anyway, Matt24 will be in my mind next time I feel an urge - he has successfully booted gambling in the shins this weekend just gone (recovery diary, Help - well worth a read) - I take inspiration from that.
My credit file is due to update tomorrow - if the companies have done what they should then it should take a nice step forward tomorrow and if it does then it will mean a big default will finally be showing as fully repaid - the six year countdown then begins.
I have demons to face into, I need help and support - I am reaching out, I want that help - I want to understand what makes me think gambling is acceptable and I want to keep choosing to not gamble
Life - isn't easy - but it's a darn sight better without spanking whatever credit I can get my hands on
a few family days ahead - I dont deserve them but I will cherish them.
By tomorrow I will possibly have no debt in my name by official records, there will remain however a lot in my wifes name, through her decisions as she has qualified for 0% transfers etc
It also means we are looking at the total amount owed on a daily basis. No update on my credit file which is frustrating and realistically I will struggle to gain a mortgage until im too old - I have to stay clean, I have to never gambel again and I have to concentrate on every penny so that i reduce my debt. I've already spanked any possible inheritance and I owe family members a lot of money too.
I am selfish as I am enjoying the debt reductions, the stress reducing - actually all i have done is pass that on to others. I don't deserve it and I knos they have not done it for me, I have been helped because of the damage i have donre to my children and their futures. I can't change the past, the actions and choices ive made but I can choose to not gamble, I do choose to gamble and I must do all I can to be a better husband, son, brother and father from here on.
Total abstinance for 126 days - I'd like to type 10,000 days in the future
This feels different, I don't want to be complacent, I'm one 1p bet away from failure and from disaster - It would be easy to slip at any point but I can see life again. I want to chose life
I'm a gambling addict but I no longer gamble
tough day today with car MOT smashing just over £500 - I do 25,000 miles per year so I need the car but still a difficult bill to swallow, just had to pay for car tax, new license and insurance due in a weeks time
I dread to think where I would have been had I not been GF for the last 131 days but it's a constant reminder of just how much I've poured down the drain
So much strain on my wife, I'm now apart from my wife and children for a few days as I need to get some DIY completed on the house (more expense!). I wouldn't have to do this if I hadn't gambled. We'd be in a different, much nicer house by now or at the very least I would be able to get someone in.
My kids miss out on beach time with daddy, we are staying with relatives, my wife has no support with kids, I'm stuck indoors, spending money on DIY, stressing because I'm ok but not brilliant at it. I've bare minimum in cupboard for food/drink and will have to drive to family tomorrow night at 50 because ive got virtually no petrol in car.
All this because I chose to gamble.
I deserve the suffering, my children and wife don't. They did not chose to spent the family money on gambling. I need to get my head down and get on with these jobs now, I need to use this hurt, frustration and timealone to fuel my fight against gambling.
If I had chosen not to gamble, I wouldn't be in this mess right now. But I did chose to gamble, it's my fault, I have made a lot of bad decisions. Today I will make a good decision, today I choose to not gamble.
A step backwards today but I'm still looking forward to my ice-cream on the beach.
We all like to beat ourselves up over our past gambling antics don't we ? I know I did all the time to start with !
Your family did suffer because of the gambling just as mine did , not in the suffering sense but because the family money could have been more wisely spent and I totally get that but your different now my friend , youv'e put a halt on what's been going on and as the old sayin'g goes " What's done is done " you can't change the past , you can only shape your future .
There's a lot to be said for good ole Diy ! , It keeps you busy , focused and once the job is done then you can sit back and admire the result's , There's alway's something positive to gain from anything we achieve .
Cut yourself some slack and " Whistle while you work " :))
All the best for now .
Thanks Alan, appreciate it - I think you may finish your DIY better than I - if you're able to sit back and admire it! I think I just aim for it to be a bit better than it was before! haha - I don't mind doing it but I don't have the patience to finish the jobs well - there's probably a connection with days of wanting money yesterday but I shall take your advice and relax in front of the tv for half an hour - a small luxury in it's own right these days