Well, I'm still feeling positive and haven't had a bet for about two months. I can't go back there and I don't want to!
Although the debts have accumulated significantly over the past year (partly due to gambling), and have put a massive strain on finances, I have to accept that the tipping point was with regard to my project investment. I still firmly believe that in life we have to sometimes bite the bullet and go for it, regardless of the potential pitfalls. So anyway... income was being swallowed up by the huge outgoings and something had to change. Either the step change route or a new mortgage, and luckily, we still had a good credit rating. So when the new loan is finalised (with an extended term) they'll be a chance for stability, affordability and control. But this really is a final chance... No more gambling. No more wasting money. And ultimately, learning to say no to financial outlay or commitments which are clearly unaffordable.
I have to say that the burden of being in debt with financial strain is one of the worst feelings ever (most C.G's will associate with this)! And the effects that accompany can be devastating. Tiredness, depression, irritability, desperation, sadness, irrationality, poor sleep, breakdown of relationships and hopelessness.
I've been through all this and more. And I vow never to return to that dark, dark place where everything seems pointless. Life really is for living and I also hope that others will have the opportunity and hope to find a better way.
I wanted to post an update to state that I remain gamble free, for what feels like a very long time, but is perhaps only 5-6 months. Just getting on with my life quite content and in control of my finances. Gambling rarely enters my thoughts and the pain and torment that consumed me in the past is sealed away in a safe place. Memories of dissolution, anxiety, desperation and anger held within a clasp and bound together out of harms way.
This Gamcare forum will always have a fond place in my heart. Genuine stories of sorrow, struggle, determination and success. Real people with serious issues and I am grateful for the connection between others, helping me on my road to recovery.
That is a long time, but it will never leave you, something we all have to accept, the what if theory. When you realize that your mind consists of many voices good, bad, indifferent, whatever, and you know the gambling one is a very devious voice, and you have to be strong to resist it, because if you side with it, you may get that big win and think how easy it is, but we all know how the story goes and seen it so many times over. As far as what your doing never give up on it, and listen to no one but yourself, myself personally I don't want more than to earn just what I earn now but doing something I like, instead of something I have to do.
Thanks Smashed. As always, you give heartfelt, honest down to earth advice. As you say - always be on guard. Recognise the signs of temptation and stay in control.
And I agree that the key is to be happy within ourselves. Content, without just 'making do'. Ambitious, whilst being realistic. Appreciate every aspect of your life that creates wellbeing, nurturing and positive emotions.