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Well I can hardly believe it's been nearly a year since my last post - it seems like two!

Unfortunately, I've been kidding myself for some time that my 'real & proper' gambling was all in the past. I convinced myself that: a) the small stakes I was betting were basically insignificant (although I still managed to lose about 3 grand more)! And b) perhaps one day I would get lucky and a big win would give me some financial help.

I've missed you all more than I can say and have looked in on the forum from time to time. 'Smashed', Kelly , Sharon and Stephen. You are full of heart, soul and determination.

I would be lying if I said that the gambling was ever really put to bed. Extinguished. Bannished to the past. For it has always been with me and always will. But now I know, in my heart of hearts that I must not gamble for it is negative, soul destroying and detrimental to my wellbeing.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone on the path, in the grip of uncertainty, because ultimately we are all going through the same process.

Posted : 2nd February 2019 1:02 am

Wow. d**n. Gosh. Mr Changemylife I always wondered how you was getting on as you helped me massively when I thought there was no end to this gambling carousel. And as my days ticked by I thought I too should get off this Gamcare boat, look how many days I have amassed. I read these diaries for years before I even posted or even admitted to myself I had a problem, and now I think do I really need a recovery diary anymore, but I know what voice is saying that. I don’t post much anymore but like a favourite pair of shoes or a lucky pen, I need it and I always need to have it. As you know your gambling mind never gets eradicated it will always be there waiting for you, morphing itself into any shape shifting mirage so it can to pull you back in, like it did with you, in the tried and tested small stakes card method, its just fun, you are in control. Going to a pub, go on its just a pound, what’s a pound, for old times sake, let’s have a go. I’m glad you realised and came back as you realised gambling was getting the upper hand. And I for one am glad your back. Don’t forget Tenerife

Posted : 2nd February 2019 7:32 am
Compulsive Gambler

changedmylife - what exactly do you want to achieve? I can't quite read if it's total abstinance that you want or you are just hoping not to lose any more money - there is, in my opinion, a difference between those two things?

Posted : 2nd February 2019 9:41 am

Welcome back Martin.

We all have our journey to travel and can shape our lives as we choose. Although some things are out of our control we can still do a lot to help ourselves.

The big question is: What do we want from our lives and what are we prepared to do to bring it about!

I have been keeping well and am now gamble free. You could say I have seen the light and have embarked on a journey of discovery. Life should be adventure and that is the way I'm going to live it.

Whether we like it or not, this is it. It's not a dress rehearsal! ...Stephen

Posted : 2nd February 2019 1:11 pm

It'S really good that you have come back to connect with others on the GF journey but sad to hear you are struggling. Even though I haven't gambled for so long and don't post that often I do check in everyday just to keep me on the level. Hold on to the thought that no good can come from gambling and before you make that spontaneous deposit ask yourself what positives will come from it, we know the answer is there are none. Take care S 🙂

Posted : 2nd February 2019 6:13 pm

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush

Posted : 3rd February 2019 1:10 am

Thanks for your meaningful and helpful responses. My journey continues to evolve with the outcome very much depending upon self-control and positive mindset.

I have to say that I'm so proud of you all for your impressive tot up of gambling-free days. You're walking the walk! And what's more you continue to give vital input on the forum.

Well Smashed I haven't forgotten about Tenerife, and it's still a beautiful memory. The plan is still etched into my mind.

And Kelly, you sure know how to move a mountain with just a few words. "Don't Give Up". A meaningful song with gamcare memories tied in!

Without going into too much detail at this stage I just wanted to divulge my status and intent. I have been stupid, nieve and haphazard over gambling. Failing to face the facts. In denial. And still clinging onto the faint hope of a miracle.

But now I know, as Stephen says: let's make the most of every day. Gambling destroys lives. And it does it in such a secretive, sly and manipulative fashion... Deep breath.

So yes I really do intend to abstain. For better or for worse.

Posted : 3rd February 2019 12:29 pm

I agree with you 100% Martin. You have been very foolish but what's done is done and now is the time to move on. Fortunately you are an industrious man who is not afraid of hard work and also you have courage, wisdom and understanding which will help you to succeed.

You can't make a new suit with an old pattern so back to basics....... {{{One Day At A Time}}} and always remember that if you don't make that first bet than you won't make the 2nd or 3rd bet.

I think Sharon summed it up very nicely ...."Hold on to the thought that no good can come from gambling and before you make that spontaneous deposit ask yourself what positives will come from it, we know the answer is there are none."

I sincerely hope that life treats you kindly because you are a good man who simply lost his way ...stephen

Posted : 3rd February 2019 3:17 pm

I got them from your diary my friend 🙂

Miracles happen everyday when I don't gamble...& perhaps more importantly, my eyes are open enough to witness them now.

Posted : 3rd February 2019 10:16 pm

Thanks Stephen. I also agree with Sharon's comment about knowing that there cannot be any good outcome from gambling.

When people lose their way it's often a case of dispondancy, desperation and thoughts of 'What the heck!'

My guesstimate is further gambling losses of 2-3K during the past few months. Hardly the result of small insignificant stakes! Ok, the majority of bets were ВЈ5-ВЈ10, but there were also bets of ВЈ350 and ВЈ400 when I was on a roll. Maybe ВЈ300 on the Lottery and a damaging £550 outing to a casino.

So what now... I feel hurt and pity and anger. But none of these sentiments work in our universe.

Did I have a another light bulb moment or simply run out of money?

Well the truth is... I'm done with gambling. I have to forget about the losses and live each day with the knowledge and respect for the blessing of life, health, family and opportunities.

No point in bitterness or thoughts of injustice. Life is tough. It's a challenge and a quest for more. But now I know that impatience, jealousy and unrealistic goals may lead to heartbreak.

Instead I have to watch the pennies, work hard and go with the flow.
Whatever will be, will be.

Posted : 3rd February 2019 10:50 pm

Nice comment Kelly. I like that: 'Miracles happen every day when I don't gamble and my eyes are open to witness them'!

Okay, it's time for a few more truths. Although I've been involved with gambling most of my adult life (with the odd year of abstinence, now and then), there have usually been significant factors for relapse. So, even considering my recent long spell of abstaining (over 2 years), and in view of my research and knowledge of gambling, it may seem unbelievable that I would allow myself to be drawn back to it.

Two words would sum up my situation: need and desperation.

Circumstances dictated that I needed more money (don't we all!) And my gambling brain told me that there was no other way...

Basically, as some of you may recall I have been working on a project for the past 15:years (on and off). It's something I am passionate about and have dedicated hundreds of hours to. Eventually it could become a successfully product worldwide. In short, the costs for production of the prototype have escalated and I needed a further ВЈ4,200! - in addition to the £6,500 I had already spent on the project.

Very much a case of 'in too deep'.
Pressure, commitment, expectation and a lack of other career options. So obviously, once again gambling didn't provide the solution - instead it was another costly episode on top of everything else! Eventually I took out another loan for 5K (I can't believe that I still have a decent credit rating).

I must and WILL complete my project. Anyway, the project is on track for publication/marketing in Apr/May this year, and I have once again put the crazy gambling activities to bed.

I'd like to shout from the highest rooftops "I WILL NEVER GAMBLE AGAIN"! - But as we all know - talk is cheap. We are judged by our actions...

Posted : 5th February 2019 9:01 pm
guest account

You're right, talk is cheap. What really matters are the actions and choices that we take.

With regards to your first post about small stakes. In a way, this is worse as gambling using small stakes takes away even more of the valuable time that you have left in your life for yourself and your family.

Keep the strength.


Posted : 6th February 2019 6:40 am

I know you will get there youve put a lot of years into it, the old gambling mindset of I'll nick a few quid here and use this for this and that for that, seems oh so familiar to me. Things can turn around so quick so never give up, at the begining of this year all I saw was dead ends and then within the space of around 10 days things just shifted, new job, and different mindset and forward thinking. Next is to get out of London hopefully by the Summer, what am I talking about, I dunno, is set goals and stay focused, dont gamble. One thing you said a long time ago you said the only debt we should have is our mortgage or our rent and then anything else if we cant afford it we have to save for it, and in this society of credit and stuff where its so easy to rack up massive debts, especially gambling, ive still got a way to go before mine is cleared for a mad addicted week in 2017, but I know ive learned from it and hopefully made me a better, wiser person.

Posted : 6th February 2019 7:31 am

Thanks NT and smashed. Good sensible advice and encouragement.

Of course my previous comment that we should not really have any loans or c.c's was based on an ideal world, or starting over again from scratch.

I am under no illusions regarding my dire financial status. Joint outstanding loans of over 40K (not all gambling debt), a big mortgage, c.c's, overdraft and an income defecit to outgoings.

My wife knows about everything but she 'buries her head in the sand'. She's no better, having racked up a further 3K on c.c's. I guess the writing is on the wall for our relationship.

A time bomb on standby.

I need some good things to happen this year... For otherwise the consequences are all too obvious. Divorce, bankruptcy etc would be inevitable. But I've got to stay positive. Put on a brave face. Hope and strive for improvements and prolific change. I've got to keep all thoughts of gambling at the farthest reaches of my mind. And maybe, just maybe...

Because I really am walking a tight rope. Living on a knife edge. My head just above water. It would be so easy to crash and burn.

I've been in debt all my adult life. Financial stability is alien to me. I've suffered 6 bereavements of friends and family in the past 5 years which has obviously effected me. But I must keep on believing in a better future, even though sometimes I feel that I am living on borrowed time.

Posted : 7th February 2019 3:39 pm

I'm sorry to paint such a picture of doom and gloom. I was in the depression mode - tired, anxious and full of self-pity. Exclosure of facts and figures only serve to clarify the situation.

But now I'm back in a more positive frame of mind. After all, people don't want to read about doom and gloom.

There's always potential for a brighter future without gambling in our lives - even if we have to 'start again from scratch'. On the forum some time ago, someone said: "WE CAN AND WE WILL" in respect of abstinence from gambling. True.

Posted : 9th February 2019 12:12 pm
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