16th Day 1 since I joined Gamcare - 6 1/2 years ago, although there have been plenty of other Day 1's. If I can get through the 1st week, I'll have beaten 6 previous attempts. If I can get to the end of the month, then I'll have beaten 10 previous attempts. At the minute, I'd give anything to be 1000days gamble-free again. One day...one day.
Quick entry this evening. Feeling better than I did yesterday, and twice as good as I did the day before. Spent the day pulling myself together. I need to re-energise and re-focus. I need to get out of the rut I find myself in. Sheer boredom is my trigger point and I need to get away from that. I have one or 2 ideas which I'm working on, which I'm going to focus my efforts on for the remainder of this year and into 2018.
Another day - can't believe what I was doing to myself on Monday. But 3 days on, feeling a little bit more relaxed about things.
Started using down-time at work to start studying for some industry qualifications. I need to be ready for a possible redundancy coming up in the next year or 2. Also, trying to get the jobs finished at home so I can divert my attention to family-time and getting myself back in shape. Baby steps.
I fail to understand what just happened there. I’ve ran out of superlatives to describe my irresponsible and shameful behaviour. All of the self-put downs, pick me ups, the “come on you can beat this”. 1200+ gamble-free days and I can’t even string 4 days together now. It’s pathetic even more so when I remind myself over and over and over again what I stand to lose. Well today I took another step closer. There’s no more words I can say.
I know you’ve gone long periods without gambling before using willpower alone, but I would suggest getting some blocks in place to help you.
I’m guessing you do all of your gambling online? Here are some ideas to make this more difficult.
- Self-exclude from everywhere for the longest possible time. If you aren’t a member of a new casino join and self-exclude immediately. Time consuming yes, but you are trying to avoid losing your house and family...
- Bet Filter or some other blocker. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you said you worked in IT and would be able to get around such blocks? Maybe so, but it might take 5 or 10 minutes to do and that might be enough time for you to come to your senses and not place a bet.
- Cut up credit cards. Don’t want to do that? Scratch the 3 digit number off the back so you can’t use online. Or, leave credit cards in a locked drawer at work.
- Come clean to family or a friend and get them to look after your finances. I’ve done all of the above apart from this last one.
I don’t want to sound harsh but I think you need to do more at the moment. Posting on the forum, reading books and using willpower alone isn’t working.
Many years of gambling now, and I know you’ve been a member of this forum longer than me and I know you have been around the block as well many times. As you say, willpower alone will not get you there. At the moment I’m in a dark place, but it’s a hole I can get out of ... just. And yes, I might get through the next few weeks, even months, clawing back the debt, feeling good about myself. But whose to say that the demons won’t strike again 2-3 even 10yrs down the line. In March I’ll be getting a lump sum payment, which will clear 1 or 2 of 9 credit cards I have. There’s a chance I’ll get a Redundancy payout in 2 or 3 yrs time. Also lump sum when I retire in 20yrs, and also, inevitably an inheritance, but hopefully not for many years yet. I’m terrified of what I’m capable of, and god forbid, the money makes it through to the Casino’s. The outcome would be unimaginable.
Today I worked an hours overtime, earning around 1/200th of what I managed to blow yesterday in 2hrs. I’m terrified of what stupidity I’m capable of, so yes, I need to put blocks in place. Self-exclusion is the first port of call, also, limited funds, I need to reduce overdraft’s and lock away bank cards in my desk drawer.
As for telling someone, I just don’t think I can. I just can’t bring myself to rock the Apple cart, letting down so badly the very people who helped me back on my feet the first time around 10yrs ago. Home life is blissfully settled and at the moment, I can’t risk destroying this. Kids are happy and I have a great relationship, 20yrs marriage this time next year - nothing could be better. I can’t contemplate life without that.
Anyway, I have another extremely boring day ahead at work tomorrow - we’re in a state of change at the moment, so we’re twiddling our thumbs. Need to seize the opportunity to learn and prepare for possible future Redundancy and possible new job.
Just checked and my last bet was 16:42:17 on 16.12.17. So far, 22hrs gamble free.
I understand what you say about going months or years gamble free and then succumbing again. I’ve said it before, but I think once you’ve been bitten by the gambling bug it’s always with you unfortunately.
I’m 70 odd days gamble free, but it makes no difference. It could be 700 or 7000 days. The next bet could be just around the corner, and it would ultimately lead to devastation. It’s a horrible addiction and I don’t know the answer to beating it long term. All I try to do is accept I have this major (potentially fatal) problem and go one day at a time without betting. Sometimes it’s easy to go one day without it, sometimes it’s not. Blocks help because they make it difficult (but not impossible) to place the bet which buys you a bit of time. Sadly, gambling is a choice we make. No one puts a gun to our head and makes us do these stupid things.
Take positive action today and get self excluding. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow!
Yeh, I’d agree with you on that. In a lot of respects, winning is the worst thing that can happen. I remember laying my 1st bet, a £20 free bet, and the worst possible thing happened ... I won. I think it was a few hundred quid. Thought “this is easy”, then proceeded to lose the lot + about £700 - I was horrified with myself even then. Try to win it back, lost some more then some more and so on and so forth - 9 years later, I’ve lost £700 100 times+ over. I don’t think Gambling is something your born with, more a trap which you fall into, and once you’re snared that’s it. The CG’s beat themselves up about it, the non-Gamblers try to but I don’t think ever understand, and all around I see ads everywhere to snare unsuspecting punters in the hope they succumb.
But, as you say, Gambling is a choice and we only have ourselves to blame, but I’d challenge any Gambler to put themselves in our shoes to see whether they’d also fall into the trap.
My son is an avid football supporter and follows his team and Home and some away games. He is exposed to a huge number of Gambling ads, his team is sponsored by a Gambling firm, there are gambling ads all around the pitch, at HT on Sky, b****5 are trying to entice you. I’m terrified that he gets snared like his Dad did, and the cycle starts again.
Anyway, now over 1 whole day since my last gamble.
Day 2 ... continued
Something I haven’t done for 6+ months...running. 20mins of HIIT running the morning ... I could hardly breath - it’s amazing what 6 months of Gambling does to your fitness levels.
Anyway, next on the list, get into work early enough so I’m not leaving late this evening. I’m finding the last hr at work after 6 is when my mind starts wandering the most...need to start getting in at least half an hour earlier so my mind has less chance of wandering.
Tonight, I’ll continue to self exclude and look at limiting my finances.