Hi everyone, I've only stopped gambling 3 weeks ago, I used to spend £100s a week on football bets, I'd bet every day, the urge to gamble was strong for the first 2 weeks but it's really eased off for the last week, I don't want to gamble now, I know I'm nowhere near over my addiction I've been doing it for 18 years, but for the urge just to go away I'm wondering am I just being complacent? Has anyone else felt like this? Thanks
I would say pretty much every gambling addict at some point has become someway complacent and thought the urge was gone/going. I would just say make sure you do everything you can to stop yourself in preparation for if your guard drops, even once. Make sure the blocks are there, Gamstop, self exclude and through banks. I would also say keep reading these posts, because they remind us all what can happen if we let our guard down. I am glad you’re not feeling the urge to gamble atm and hopefully it will stay manageable.
All the best,
Hi Pm21 and Welcome to the forum.
To make you think I would say yes. That is because with our history of gambling its not an addiction that wants to leave us easily. It was in our bones and it bides its time to come at us out of the blue...it will given half a chance and you need to be fully aware of that. It relies on multiple complex triggers and even happiness can be one of them.
I wish it was simple to use a bit of casual willpower but I learnt to both fear and respect the power of this addiction as an adversary. I will never be complacent for the rest of my life.
I realised I had to tell my family because it was about protecting everyone around me and not just myself. It added layers of real protection and a true test to make the addiction cower.
It can be done and I dont want to worry you. With experience I would say it takes a matter of years to feel really secure rather than months or weeks. I realise that I am in a better place now than even after my first second or third year free.
You will feel better after weeks and months but give your mind a real chance and plan everything for a lifetime without fear or complacency. Its about getting your pride, dignity and self respect back because that is also what the gambling dens took from you
With strong blocks and a healthy attitude to reporting how you are doing you wont count the days as much as just let the days rack up.
Its about a surrender coupled with a positivity that there is no shame in openly recovering . You can learn about the addiction and even learn all about yourself which is very helpful
Im telling you that you are better than gambling and you dont need it in your life.
How you recover and find positivity is up to you within the trusted framework of strong foundations, blocks and a belief in yourself
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Thank you for posting and for sharing your experiences with the forum.
Well done on being 3 weeks gamble free, and for managing those urges that you mention. Urges can be the hardest, especially in the early part of recovery, so I’m really pleased to hear that you have done so well by being able to overcome these.
I can see that you have already had some positive responses from other users of the forum and I’m sure that you will find their thoughts on your query about complacency useful and insightful.
Please know that our Advisers are here 24/7, on the helpline or netline, should you want to talk about your gambling and the options open to you to help you in your recovery.
@pm21 Thought I'd just add a little to your question.
For some the initial putting down of gambling for whatever reason can be an easy thing to manage. That is normally only a short term feeling though and you think I'm okay now, I don't see what the problem was. Boom, back on it!
After 18 years of gambling, three weeks , although a great start, is nothing in terms of recovery. It's not recovery yet, it is abstainance. It is still early says but what it does say to me is that you are aware that you could get complacent. I would take this feeling for as long as it lasts but watch for when it goes or stops feeling easy. If it stays easy then fantastic, but be aware.
You haven't mentioned anything about what you are actually doing to help yourself? Is it willpower or have you certain blocks in place?
I have no blocks in place, I never gambled online just done the bets in the bookies, my wife knows everything about my problem she now has full control off my finances, if I get over Saturday I seem to be fine for the rest off the week but last Saturday was particularly easy. I know I'm along way away from recovery I just imagined it would get a lot harder as the weeks went on, I'm not taking nothing for granted I log on to the gamcare site every day and night to read the stories just to keep it fresh in my head that I'll always lose on the long run.
Good so far then, just remember to be careful when the bookies actually open again. It's easier to not do something when you physically can't, it's another challenge when they are everywhere you go.
There is a scheme called MOSES which will help you exclude from bookmakers if you wanted to help yourself a little more. Google it to see the details.
All the best
I can completely relate to what you are saying here. My timeframe is a bit different though to give you the context that it really is peaks and throughs in recovery. It's 18 months since I put a cent on gambling but the last month or so I've found the hardest. I can only speak for myself but I've found myself being complacent and thinking thoughts like "I'm cured", "I'll phase back on GA", "I'll just watch this race" etc etc.
I also just seem a bit worn out with all the preventive stuff. I have been attending GA and listening to a lot of podcasts on gambling recovery and maybe it's also with the latest lockdown but I'm just worn out a bit with it all now. I'm up to my gills in advice, examples, experiences etc. However, I'm not taking any chances though as I've blocked myself online and the missus looks after the finances so there's no ammo there to pull the trigger so to speak.
I am 99.99% that I won't have a bet, I think what I need to rediscover is wanting to not have a bet rather than just staying away from a bet.
Wow, 18 months gamble free, I hope I can be as strong as you, I know a big urge will come soon feels like this is the calm before the storm, but I'm going to stay strong and not give into temptation like I would off done before I joined, your feed back really helps me it gives me hope that someday I'll be 18 months gf aswell.
Thanks. Good luck
Thanks for sharing your story.
Relapse happens to the best of us. It is not how often you fall that counts, it is how often you get up.
1. Only way to win at gambling is to walk away from it, entirely for life
2. Life will become boring, however, it will not harm yourself financially and emotionally
Stay sane, safe, calm, and take one day at a time