I’m 42 and gambled all of my adult life. I can recall going to the bookies in my teens to put on football coupons and whilst there having a few bets on the greyhounds.
Looking back, I had a problem then. I could easily bet half my weekly income (part time work) in a morning and as I got older fruit machines in pubs were also the cause of wasting parts of a night and with it cash.
The real problems started in my mid 20’s with online gambling. I ran up quite of bit of debt over a number of years but managed to get my self straight, paying off the debt and generally abstaining from online gambling which has always been the issue. I would still bet but mainly if I was at a horse race meeting.
Getting debt free was almost the catalyst for betting again. After a few years of big outlays, house buying, engagement and marriage, I suddenly had more disposable income and with it the gambling increased until I hit rock bottom about 5 years ago running up around £60,000 of debt.
I finally opened up to my wife 3 and a half years ago and sought help through GA. I regulatory attended meetings for around 18 months and I was in a good place. But I got complacent and , with travelling more with work, attended less meetings.
The gambling returned on and off but lockdown has seen it go into overdrive. I’ve been fortunate enough to been working throughout and the combination of more money and time as well as some mild mental health issues has been a bad combination.
So today I contacted GamCare and but a freeze on my bank account to prevent depositing into online betting sites and the recovery starts again. It’s a relief to get it off my chest but I know the hard work starts here.
I’d already been in touch with the NHS Northern Gambling Service and have some therapy with them in the coming months.
I just want to get back on track, gamble free and with it the husband my wife deserves and the Dad my young son deserves.
Wish me luck .
I wish you the best of luck Sanpablo. Lockdown has been hard on a number of individuals starting to appear and reappear on the forums. You've done this before and you can do it again. I don't really need to tell you it's a tough road to recovery and the progress you make partly depends on the effort and commitment you're prepared to put into this.
Just remember you're at the start of the process and try not to beat yourself up too much because that is often a counter productive emotion. Stick to the positives. The positives will come along with the progress you make. And you will still get urges however committed you are. Remember why you are doing this and the person you want to be. It's not a failure to feel an urge to gamble, that's inevitable as we all try to re-wire ourselves from a hardcore addiction. The failure is using the urge as an excuse... the success is dispelling the urge and going another day gamble free.
It’s one whole week since I last gambled. Relatively , not a particularly long period and even when I was gambling I often did abstain for days and weeks even months at a time, but I feel in a wonderful place.
Its been a week that’s got better each day. A week ago, I wasn’t sleeping well because of the worry of having blown a lot of money I really couldn’t have afforded to and not knowing how I would get out of it. During the week, my sleep and mental health has improved, my mood has improved and a I’ve probably been more fun to be around. I know I enjoyed a few drinks and food with friends on Saturday more than I would have done if I had have been checking my phone to see how my I play bets were going.
This forum and chat room have been a huge support and in the space of week I’ve chatted and interacted with some wonderful people on here and whilst thanking you all ( you know who you are) equally I’d like to think I will have been a small help to some of you as well. From a selfish perspective, I always benefit from trying to help others be it with encouragement or experience based advice.
Having been here before it’s very much one day at a time, so not getting carried away. The big test will be payday in just over 2 weeks time but I have things in place to hopefully keep me on the right path.
Life is definitely much better gamble free and I fully intend to continue in this vain.
Today marks 10 days gamble free for me today. A relatively short space of time and even when I gambled I could go days and weeks without gambling but 10 days in recovery feels worthy of mention.Double figures and hopefully plenty more to come.But I’m not getting complacent and will still be taking it one day at a time.
A lot has happened in those 10 days and mostly for the better. I had some short term cash flow problems due to my gambling and I managed to find a solution, I had some sleepless nights but I can now rest a bit easier, my mood and general wellbeing has improved as has my exercise routine of getting to the gym, when previously a bad days gambling and I would miss the gym because I couldn’t face it if focus on it.
Then in the last couple of days I found out I am getting a bonus in Nov which wasn’t expected and we’ve had the mortgage approved for our new house (I say we, it’s in my wife’s name due to my bad credit rating) The bonus scares me as having cask available will bring temptation but with the house move likely to be in Dec or Jan and lots of work to be done on the new place, I know I need to keep straight and don’t slip up.
I’ve said it previously but this place has been superb. The folk on here and all the GamCare mods are very supportive abs although it is a cyber support group, it’s great to have a feeling of belonging and a network. The chat room especially has been great.
Early days in my latest recovery but I have a new positivity and determination and day by day it’s feels tangibly better.I fully intended to keep this going and look back in these posts in the coming weeks and months with a smile remembering the early stages of being gamble free.
Great chatting to you in chat rooms. I wish you all the best in your recovery.
I see similarities between us. I'm 45 and I ran 60k bills up and that was payday loans only which excluded 8 credit cards, three overdrafts, two loans and debt owed to friends and their friends!!!
Life can be better by the pond. Stay safe on your lily pad and enjoy a life without gambling.
Hi sanpablo. You should be pleased with 10 days gamble free . Now stay strong and keep going. Could you give your bonus to someone for safekeeping ? I find money in itself a temptation I think a lot of compulsive gamblers also have a poor relationship with money. Think of what the money means for the new house and a lot to keep your mind on the straight and narrow !! You're doing good
Thanks Charlie for your kind words.
I do very much intend to stay strong and stay on the current path.
Yes, I will consider handing the bonus over and indeed any other surplus ,only I may have in the coming months as I know if I return to gambling it is will have a major impact on our plans for the house and that would potentially ruin things with my wife and son which is the ultimate price to pay and I can’t afford to do.