Firstly, Thankyou to the Gamcare lady that sent me an email a while ago. I'd forgotten to reply, which is not good. Thankyou also to the advisor that I "live chatted" to a while back now in the early hours of one morning when I felt in utter despair and thanks for arranging for a counselling service to get in touch with me.
I spoke with this counsellor for the first time this week. Other than this forum, not another living soul knows of the gambling thing. It's brilliant to have this forum but the emotional release gained from simply verbalising things is on a completely different level. I had a few "wake up and smell the coffee" moments in my first session. They were not things I hadn't thought of myself but to hear another person saying them provided some much needed clarity. My counsellor suggested I started a journal but as well, I may start a diary here. It will be the most boring diary ever, but that's ok I suppose. It gives me a bit a sense of accountability in a way so I'll be back!
Keep safe everyone and if anyone has read this, hello and thankyou and take care.
Pleased to see you have started a recovery diary and I love the flowers which brighten the place up.
To be honest, it makes me want to Samba 🕺 watching rambler Amba 🏃♀️ up the mountain clamber 😂🤣😂.
And I believe it is like climbing a mountain for as you progress on your journey of recovery, the air gets fresher and the view improves greatly.
Pleased to see you amongst us on this journey to freedom.
Best wishes from Stephen
Aum Aum Aum
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I have decided to use the above title as that is what I need to do. Exercise some accountability. I don't know exactly why "now". Maybe it's because I want something positive to tell my counsellor, maybe I'm scared of getting knocked down crossing the road and leaving behind a stack of bank statements on which all my gambling misdemeanor's are laid bare in black and white, for all to see. Possibly it's because gambling is making me so unwell emotionally. I can't decide.
I started gambling in secret in mid 2017 after a significant bereavement. I never stopped after that. Shortly after my loss my Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's which by the nature of the condition has worsened. I look after her. Added to this as well is that I'm struggling to cope with my emotionally abusive sibling. So its all about loss in some form. The attraction of gambling for me is that it completely removes me from the reality but it's also one of the worst aspects of the gambling as you simply end up detached from life in general. It doesn't feel nice..
My first task is to try and work out my loss for each year. It's all been online so I'll have records. Some may wonder if that's even necessary, it's just something that I think would benefit me personally. (As if I don't feel bad enough already.) The first year was only 6months long but I'm truly sickened as I see rows and columns full of deposits to various casinos. This will take ages. At least it's a constructive step.
I haven't self-excluded yet. The anxiety of cutting off my "escape route" fills me with such fear but I know it's the only way to go forward.
I didn't gamble on Friday, nor Saturday so I'm hoping I make it till Monday. It's a huge relief to have a counsellor. Especially one that I think I will feel at ease with because that is never a "given". I'm glad I took the step of tapping that "Talk to Someone" icon.
You are here amongst caring, understanding friends.
We are your fellow travellers who, along with the wonderful people in Admin may offer advice, support and encouragement but nobody here will ever judge or condemn you because we know how difficult is this journey of recovery from gambling addiction.
We will share your laughter and smiles along with your tears and you will always get a mention in the prayers of gamcare friends who walk beside you. However, it is your challenge and it is you who will have to stand proudly and say no to temptation.
You are a gamcare warrioress.
Deep down in your heart and soul you will find the courage, strength and wisdom needed to take you back to where you belong.
There is no doubt in my mind that your angels will be looking down and cheering you on throughout your journey of recovery.
And always remember:
"There comes a time in every Amba's life when an Amba's got to do what an Amba's got to do."
Wishing you every success as you go forward with hope in your heart and a smile on your face
Aum Aum Aum
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Well I have to say I failed. I wanted to at least write down my losses for the first year of gambling but unfortunately "life" things got in the way and I haven't managed it. At least it's an improvement on 'gambling' getting in the way which has previously been the norm.
Today I don't feel very well at all, physically or emotionally or spiritually. This time last week I felt the same and my then solution was to take a paracetamol, go to bed at midnight and deposit to play on my favourite slot. Totally immersed in some other seemingly island of paradise far away from stress, trouble and strife. Things didn't feel that idyllic when at 4am I was "chasing", knowing I'd have to be up less than 2hours later. Once up I'd feel as if I was in a trance, or hung-over, or both. Not nice. Even saying all that I still wanted to "play" tonight. Just a tiny amount of money to "settle" my craving. I even talked myself into thinking I "deserved" a little "play" on the online slots.
I managed not to play. I didn't deposit, but I still would like to. Thankfully time is against me at 1.30am - and I'm knackered, so I have to be truly thankful for small mercy's.
Hi amba. You are struggling very badly and you need to make things easier for yourself. Self exclude....I do understand your reluctance but no good will come of this self torture. You need time away from gambling to start some healing of your mind. The escape route is just an illusion created by your mind the reality is gambling losing more money is hurting you more. Prior to self excluding I couldn't go 24hrs without gambling if I got to 48 hrs I felt physically ill, sweating, mind racing etc etc. The self exclusion takes the temptation away and knowing you can't gamble really takes the pressure off, it's a tried and tested ways of quitting. Is it easy....of course not...But it's much easier than the constant temptation at your finger tips. Prior to quitting I lived on fear and anxiety, now 4months on I'm living with normal amounts of anxiety that is appropriate to situations...You know the odd covid pandemic here and there !! Seriously though I read how much stress you have had and I get the need for escape but the escape brings more distress it's not worth it. Don't fixate on totting up loses its not helpful can make you feel like chasing all over again, write about your feelings not just about gambling about anything that's bothering you, writing it can take the power out of it. I hope that you can get through this and be gamble free because gambling is an extra stress that you don't need