For the last 19 years life has been one big lie. Lying to avoid paying back debts, lying to borrow more money to gamble or lying to cover up where I have been or why I'm skint the day after pay day. 19 years of spending a weeks or a months wage on payday! Christmas and birthdays where family expects very little because they know where all my money goes. Any gifts I'm given taken back for refunds so I can gamble some more. I must have blown 500 thousand pounds in the last 19 years and I've got nothing to show for it other than one big fat lie of a life. I can lose 2 grand on payday and act normally infront of friends, family and when I'm in work. I'm not even bothered about the amount, I'm numb to it all.
I've tried self exclusion from bookies, but I just travel further. I've tried self exclusion to online bookies, but then I search for new accounts. I've even given up control of my money and got it paid into my parents account, but this doesn't stop me lying to them and making up old debts that need clearing in order to get a grand here and there to lose in 20-30 mins gambling mainly on horses, dogs, football, tennis, virtual racing etc...... Got to 150 days without a bet once and the best thing about it was that I wasn't having to lie to people and I could treat myself to new things like clothes and also a new laptop.
For the last 19 years I have had no life at all. A handful of nights out, no holidays, no friends, blown it with every girlfriend, lost out on career opportunites, no car, broken dreams...........................all thanks to my gambling addiction. Yet I still make the same destructive choice month after month. I know how it ends and I know that no matter how much I win it won't be enough.
Yesterday I lost 3 grand, today I'm lying again, brave face in work, nobody knows how I truely feel inside. Its been hard posting this as I'm resigned to the fact I can't beat my problem but I would love nothing more than to stop gambling for good. I just want to be normal, no lies, money in the bank, enjoy a social life etc............ But for now I have nothing, numb, skint, depressed and a lying deceiving piece of work!
Today is day one without a bet.......................
You can beat your problem though! It's hard when loved ones have our money because they still want to be our loved ones & so regardless of whether they believe you or not, they will hand over your money because that is what you are asking!
I didn't realise it @ the time but this addiction needs more than just barriers...It needs respect! I drove miles to get to new locations to gamble once I started self excluding! Thank goodness I never figured it out when I tried to gamble online instead but there are blockers for this!
You got to 150 days doing something right but beating this long term means accepting that you can't control it & never betting again not feeling cured & going back to it!
You haven't given up giving up so get yourself & your parents some counselling through Gamcare, go to GA, do whatever it takes to get back into recovery & then give recovery the commitment it needs! One Day At A Time move towards a better future!
You can do this - ODAAT
Big thanks for the feedback, I'm going to post a few things on here for me to read back if I'm feeling an urge. Maybe I need to remind myself of the lows that I've reached due to gambling. So the first thing I need to remind myself of is this....... 'The Ring'
My ex girlfriend fell in love with an engangement ring and I said I will have to save up for it (a little silly when I've not saved for anything in 19 years!). She got a quote on finance and it was going to cost 50 pounds a month, this seemed reasonable so I said ok go for it. The finance was in her name as my credit rating is terrible. So a few weeks later the ring is ready and the jewellers ring me to pick it up. I now have the ring and I'm supposed to pop the question at some point in the coming weeks. First thing thats comes to mind is why don't you pawn the ring, you can win big and then buy the ring back. So off I go to the pawn shop, they give me 800 quid for a ring that cost 3300 pounds. Off to the bookies I go and I have a crazy hour where I turn 800 into 3000 pounds, so I go and buy the ring back, I go and spend 500 on clothes and then I have 2000 left when I get home. The crazy thing is that I can usually never go home before the bookies have closed, I guess on this day I did so because I had an expensive ring on me and I just wanted to get home and put it away safe. I then go to the supermarket and treat myself to the finest food for dinner and loads of alcohol. That night I plan a date to pop the question and tell my girlfriend we are going somewhere fancy for dinner on the date (she knows what I have in mind). Next day I go to the bookies and the 2000 is lost on the morning dogs, not one winner! I go home depressed, that walk of shame and sinking feeling, I tell myself I'm never gambling again! Half an hour later I'm on the bus into town to get a refund on my clothes and to pawn the ring again, few hours later and I've blown the 1300 I got for ring and clothes! I go home and think to myself what am I going to do now, shes expecting dinner and a ring and I can't provide either. Payday comes before planned dinner so more gambling tokens and this months goal is to win the money to buy the ring and pay for dinner, sadly the usual happens and I blow all my wages. Then a bit of luck, my dad wins a huge amount gambling and gives me 2 grand, I rebuy the ring and then lose the rest in a bookies. Fortunately I scrape enough together for dinner and I manage to keep the ring and I'm all set to pop the question. The night before dinner my girlfriends relative suffers a huge stroke so that scuppers my plans, I spend the next day in hospital. Once that is over I then pawn the ring again and lose all the money very quickly. I find myself in a limbo now, my girlfriend is week by week expecting me to propose, but week by week it doesnt happen, after years of lies she doesnt trust me and asks to see the ring. I make an excuse about wanting it to remain special and only wanting her to see it when I propose. I'm constantly thinking about what to do to get out of this position, paydays come and my money goes and I have found a new way to borrow money and despite borrowing enough to rebuy the ring I want to win more to cover all the other losses that I've had. The money borrowed spirals out of control, so much so that I don't even want to calculate just how much I owe. Then one more loan and I turn 100 pounds into 5000 betting online, it won't clear the debts so I say to myself I will stop when I reach 10 grand. The winning run ends and 24 hours later without any sleep I have blown the lot. I then spend 2 months contemplating suicide, I'm in big trouble, I owe thousands and have no idea where I will get it from, the ring issue is a constant problem and is causing a lot of tension between me and my girlfriend. For me now from when I wake up till when I go to sleep I'm worrying and under huge stress. I confide in a friend and she tells me to calculate how much I've lost and go to my parents for help. It takes me hours to piece it all together, then I get to the figure. In the chase to get together 1000 pounds to rebuy the ring I have racked up 19 grand of debt. It took me a week to tell my parents and they bailed me out. I still didn't have the ring and in order to repay my parents I moved back in with them and split from my girfriend. The ring had been a final straw, it was a huge mistake buying it as we had such a bad relationship and would have never worked. At the time I thought it would fix us, that thought was a huge mistake. I continued to see my girlfriend and try to keep things ok because I still hadn't returned the ring, she would ask for it back but I would say let me keep it incase we can fix things. Another couple of months went by where I blew more wages in the chase for a big win to buy it back. There was one occasion where my ex put me on the spot and demanded it back, that few hours was horrific, how am I going to lie my way out of this? I hated confrontation and things got so heated, I will never forget the drive round to my parents to 'pick it up'. One last lie to get myself out of it and then I got paid that week and bought the ring back on payday at 9am and took it straight round to hers. The chase to win back 1000 to rebuy the ring cost me well over 20 grand and gave me insane amounts of stress. You would think that episode would be enough to make me stop, I did stop for a while afterwards, but then that crazy thought came back and I ended up back in a bookies. Theres easy money to win I told myself.......what a fool I am!
So its day two today and I have a few easy days ahead as I'm potless, end of the month is payday and I need to list an event everyday between now and then to remind me of why I shouldn't gamble. I also need to put as many blocks in place as possible and search any other means to stop myself gambling. I don't want to be a lying piece of s**m anymore!
Lots of effort, lots of deceit, lots of stress & nothing to show, I sure remember that film reel!
Well done on Day 2 🙂 I know you are broke but we are dab hands @ finding gambling tokens so don't worry how you got here just be proud you did!
I know you did something before that helped you stop but have you considered why you gamble in the 1st place? I'm no professional but I'm going to have a stab @ suggesting you begrudged spending that many gambling tokens on a ring for someone you weren't too keen on anyway? It's very difficult to treasure anything when we are in the throes of our addiction...I begrudged people taking up my time, spending money when I could have been throwing it away, losing, you name it, it all made me mad. I was horrible 🙁 I still am but now it's only sometimes & now, I have a little conscience to go with it & a lot of compassion!
Phone Gamcare, speak to your parents about being stricter with your money (if your Dad is still active, & your Mum isn't, look @ helping support her for a change), get to GA, it's all out there & recovery is possible (Ade2 told me) - ODAAT
Great post & thanks for sharing.
What you have described was my life for 30 years.
Its easy to stop. Staying stopped is the problem. You mentioned earlier about self exclusions but nothing else. Maybe its time to try something different?
GA & counselling are both very effective in helping us overcome our issues. Perhaps show your parents that last post & get their emotional support rather than their financial help. To get the things we have never had we need to do things we have never done, because without change nothing changes & we will always feel how we have always felt & always get what we have always got.
Life can be good we just need to find the courage to go live it
A truly sad story. However, I picked up on one line you said; "how do I lie my way out of this one".
You need to figure that out. If you have come here it means you want to stop lying. You cannot be helped if you can't be true to yourself.
I wish you the best, but you need to stop appeasing the CG, admit you need help and stop awaiting a bail.
Thanks for reading this and putting your take on things. Its day three, barriers need to be put in place to help me to change my behaviour. Self exclusion from the few remaining online bookies is something I need to do. Although I'm unsure if I can self exclude from sites that I'm not a member of, anyone know if I can? Theres two local bookmakers I also need to self exclude from so this is a must before payday. I'm looking into attending GA, its hard for me to make a meeting, might at a push be able to attend on a Monday or Wednesday night. So onto another of my gambling memories that I may need to read back to stop me slipping up 'the date'.
This isn't one story its a few similar events. I guess we all want someone special in our lives, personally I stumble from one messed up fling or brief relationship to the next. So my relationships/dates seem to follow this path......... meet someone, like someone and arrange a date.................... date day arrives and its payday so I have funds, sadly I can't avoid the bookies, after all I can win free and easy money to pay for the date. I enter the bookies and lose, so from bet one I'm chasing. The day follows the same pattern as almost every payday and I end up skint after a few hours. So I cancel my date and never hear from her again.......... The odd time i actually survive a payday with funds I get to go on the date and it goes well, we arrange another date but by date two there is simply no way I have any funds, so its either a case of a short term loan or I let her down. I don't generally get too far as most girls run a mile when you constantly let them down and thats what I'm good at. I may see a girl a handful of times and then I usually put them off. Then there is the more forgiving girl who tries to see good in everybody and believes my 'stories'. She lets me get away with letting her down and is happy to have nights in together rather than expensive dates so then I can actually start something leading to a relationship. I start off happy, I enjoy female company, things are going well, but then she wants me to go out for the day, not a problem at first, but then a planned day out falls on payday...............I can't cope, I don't want to be with her when I need to be in a bookies, why can't I just go to the bookies tomorrow and enjoy a date day? I have no idea but I just can't, its pay day and I need to be in a bookies, I need my fix! So I go to the bookies before the date day, get a few morning dogs in, quick win and I will leave. Quick win never comes, I spend the day chasing and put my phone on silent. Few hours later I'm miserable, potless and go to see my girl. Shes teary eyed and I spin her another story to explain my absence. I lost my wallet, my car broke down, I was mugged, family problems..................gosh this desperate loser will say anything, my life is one big lie! Eventually the relationship breaks down and boy has she had a lucky escape! I want to be normal and have normal relationships but they always follow this pattern. So for now dating is something I need to avoid, I need to fix myself as I've hurt too many people in the past 19 years.
I'm still here gamble free, a few urges have come to mind regarding a way to get some money to gamble with and win back the money I lost on Monday. However that win just won't happen, it always ends the same way. I've been invited on a weekend break, sadly I only have 40 quid on me which just isn't enough, again the crazy thought comes to mind, one little bet and win enough for the weekend. No thanks I would rather keep the 40! So onto todays past event which is more than one put together 'Day at the bookies'
Its pay day, I have spent the past 30 days saying I will never bet again following the last months events when I end up potless by 3pm on pay day. I wake up and my mind has changed, I can and will win big today, I will have more control and avoid the dogs and virtual that are often my downfall. Stick to the horses I tell myself, I can win on the horses I tell myself. I always wake up earlier when I have funds so its 7.30am and I'm on a racing website studying the form. This is so easy there are so many winners that stand out and I'm going to clean up. Its now 9am and the racing doesn't start till two, those pesky morning dogs are on my mind, so often my downfall, but I'm unable to wait till the horses start. I have a bath and contemplate which bookies to visit. Not easy as I'm self excluded from a fair few, but I decide on a trip to the city centre, there are so many there that I can slip in and out without anyone noticing. I'm thinking what can I do to kill time till the horses begin, going in at 11 for the dogs has been a mistake on so many previous pay days and there are so many occasions where I've blown all my wages without even lasting till the horses begin. I can't kill the time, I must gamble ASAP and I head into the city in time for the first dogs race, I'm due some luck!
I arrive in the city and withdraw all my wages from the bank and head to the nearest bookies with 2 grand in my wallet. Just a few cheap dog bets I tell myself, just some fun before the lucrative days horse racing begins. I have a few 40 quid bets, then a few more and more and more and more. Two hours has passed and I'm down 600, my stakes are now 100 a race and I'm putting 50 pound bets on the virtual racing that fills the time inbetween the dogs races. I have the odd winner, but mostly losers and survive till 2pm with 800 pounds left. In the first four horse races I strike some luck and my 2000 pounds is back neatly in my wallet (I hate folded notes and all my notes should be crisp and facing the same direction in my wallet). I'm so relieved to have won my money back, but also seething because had I stuck to the horses and left the morning dogs I would be ahead. I then spend the next few hours winning a few, losing a few and at 5.40 the British horse racing is done for the day, a rare day without any evening meetings. So its 5.40 and I have 2600 in my wallet, not a bad days work I tell myself, I know its now time to go home. However I'm unable to do so, I kid myself that I can win at the dogs, theres three meetings tonight, a dog race every 4-5 minutes........perfect! 7pm and I'm down to my last 1000, I can't pick a winner and I know how this goes, I already know I'm going to walk out the bookies potless. Despite this I don't take my 1000 and run, my bets go up to 200-300 a race and very quickly its game over. I walk out the bookies ashamed, feeling numb and telling myself this is that last time I will gamble again. Sadly in 31 days time I will repeat the pattern and this cycle of pain and shame seems impossible to break!
NOTE TO SELF. Next time you want to gamble read what you just wrote as this is what today has in store for you! You will lose all your money if you gamble today, you will feel worthless, you will feel numb, you will continue to be that lying piece of filth that you've been for 19 years!!!!! Beat the urge it is worth it.
Hi Living a lie, different poisons (mine was machines) but I really can relate to all of that! But, & here's the good news...Now that I'm not devoting my whole life to chasing Mr Gamble, I have been able to commit to a relationship 🙂
My sparkling gambling career spanned about 3 decades & although I didn't realise it @ the time, the highlight was my last bet! If I can do it, anyone can!
Welcome to recovery 🙂 A place where we win everyday - ODAAT
Thanks ODAAT, day 5 and I was looking forward to watching the golf this weekend, can't believe the wind has stopped play, isn't that the point of links golf? Going to be really annoying to miss the end because I'm in work on Monday, I was hoping to watch the climax tomorrow. Should be on a weekend away but its another that gambling has taken away from me. Can't really say how I feel urge wise as pay day isn't till the end of the month, but I hope this diary helps me and I will be seeking any other ways that can help me. So onto todays refelection 'the online punt'
I'm on a bad run of luck, I have lost a fortune and I'm up to my eye b***s in debt. I get a text, a friend owes me 100 pound and has transferred it into my bank. I wouldn't take this small an amount into a bookies so I load it up onto an online account. The horse racing has begun and I place a 50 pound bet which wins, good start for me, its so much more fun when I'm not chasing my losses. Its a good day I'm on a roll and by 5pm I'm up to 1500 quid. The evening racing folllows and its up and down all night, the last race is over and my balance is 1600 pounds. I look through the football fixtures, are there any events in South America I can bet on and watch live, or do I do some US racing. I'm unable to accept I've had a good day and withdraw my winnings or even wait till the next day for more British racing. I have to keep betting, I have to win more. I crazily log onto virtual racing, this is instant, so many races going off close together, perfect! Like the dogs in a bookies are my downfall this is my online equivalent, so many times I have deposited online and lost 1000 in 20 minutes on virtual racing, I know how dangerous it is, yet I can't help myself! Deep down I know I only ever win on British horses, but its 10pm and I simply can't wait 14 hours to bet again.
So the madness begins, I have a pattern bet on the dogs, then quickly log onto horses and then quickly log onto motor racing and you can bet on three virtual races every 4 minutes. Start with a few 40 pound bets, winner here and there but then the slump begins. I'm down to 1000 and betting 100 a race, loser, loser, loser................. I'm screaming at myself 'you idiot why couldn't you just wait till tomorrow for the horses'. I'm down to my last 100 and have been backing the fourth lowest odds in each race, I stick with this and wow I get a winner, 850 pounds thanks to the virtual motor race, more wins follow!!! I'm very quickly up to 2500 pounds, but I keep winning....... in about 40 minutes my balance is 6000 pounds! This is the first time I have ever won big on virtual betting. I desperately need this money, I'm in so much stress and this can wipe out a big chunk of my debts. I don't stop and I carry on betting, its now about 6am and I'm still on 6000, I can't seem to get higher and I'm winning a few and losing a few. I've been betting for 15 hours! I keep telling myself to get to sleep and wake up for the racing. I can't stop, but I can't pick winners anymore. Its now 9am and I'm down to 3000, I turn my laptop off and lie down on the sofa to get some sleep. 5 minutes later I tell myself just one more win and then I will sleep, I log back on and by 11am I have spent the last of my money. What have I done?????? 20 hours constant gambling, total madness, this behaviour just isn't right. This mad man needs help! I felt horrible after that experience, empty inside, numb...............but the next time I got money I gambled again, it seems I never learn.
2 days later I managed to borrow 600 pounds, loaded my account and in 10 minutes lost it on virtual racing. I have never won on virtual racing. I have never in my life withdrawn a penny from any online account. All my money goes one way, I'm simply unable to withdraw it and once the racing is over I will lose the lot on virtual punting. Yet this crazy man will still deposit more onto an online account knowing its only going one way!!!!
NOTE TO SELF. Read this through, don't deposit online again, you know how it ends!
Thank you Balvaird. I self excluded from a local bookies 6 months ago and they have sent me a letter giving me the date that it runs out and the date 24 hours later that I can start punting again in their shops. This makes me mad, what help is this to me? I've sent them an email saying that I'm a compulsive gambler who has no control of himself in a bookies. I've asked to be permenantly excluded from their shops as my problem gambling is ruining my life. I don't want another 6 month self exclusion, which is the most they offer, I need permanent exclusion!
Next task for me is to self exclude from as many online sites as possible, I'm going to list all of them, or as many as I can find and self exclude from them all. If they won't let me self exclude due to not being a member I will register and self exclude as soon as thats complete.
If I am to have some sort of life I need to stop gambling now, I can't keep repeating the same patterns over and over again. I work hard for nothing, I want to start getting some sort of enjoyment from my hard earned cash.