It’s taken me a long time to get to the point of writing on this forum. I’m 27 and have struggled with my gambling (started in the casino and this has turned to sports) for the past 10 years or so. It always starts small as I feel I have a control over it, only for the bets to get bigger and more frequent until I’m out of control.
I have the career I’ve always wanted, a wife I love (of course we have our problems) and a beautiful little lad who is coming up 18 months. However, I’m ashamed to say that betting on football has become such a big part of my life, particularly over the past year. I am desperate to get out of the cycle, but every time I break the habit for a week or two, I am back at the bookies or finding some way around the blocks I have on my phone.
I was in debt (predominantly due to gambling) which was causing me a great deal of anxiety about the future - I came clean to my wife and she took out a loan to pay off my debts, which I pay her back monthly for. However, knowing the almost unbelievable sacrifice she has made for me to help me out, I can’t help but return back to my betting ways. I find it crazy how one day I can be so dead set against not betting again, then a match comes on and I physically can’t imagine not betting on it.
My wife is not aware that I have been gambling since she took out the loan and it breaks me to think how much I am letting her down, as well as my little lad. My mood and focus have obviously been affected, which has subsequently had an impact on our relationship - I hate the person I’ve become.
Very sorry to ramble on, but it’s taken me a long time to write on this forum and I really need the support of others who are struggling with the same problems I am.
Well done for making the decision to get help, the low moods, lack of focus etc is common for most in this situation, try and focus on all the great things about what you have, your little lad and your loving wife, its hard and sometimes unimaginable but taking this step is only half of the job, coming clean again with your partner is a important one as then you are not carrying that secret with you still. obviously timing is not great right now but that is for you to decide. this forum is great to be able to show you that you are not alone and you are not the only person who is going through this so its a great tool for some healing.
again well done on taking the big step to seek help
glad to know you're finally admit you have a gambling addiction problem, that's a great first step.
Next, I'd suggest you look at gambling differently, not as something you enjoy, definitely not as something you can't do without but as cancer that keeps destroying your life. I know this mental switch may not be easy, but i suggest you try nonetheless.
It's important you try because it helps to make staying away easier, because now it doesn't feel much of a sacrifice staying away, but a logical no-brainer decision that comes naturally. Would you keep placing your hand in fire?? Hell no, fire hurts, so does gambling. I suggest reading Carr Allen's book, "EASY WAY TO STOP GAMBLING".
Once again, kudos to you for taking the decision to be better.
Thank you for sharing, I was also in a similar position I came clean to my partner in September 2019 and then worked towards sorting my finances and life out. Come December time I relapsed and carried on gambling without her knowing until March 2020 when it all came out (again). I felt I let myself, my partner and family down again.
All I can say buddy is to talk about the issue with your partner but I 100% understand that it may apply strain on your relationship and that element of trust is broken again. It’s a horrible place to be in but we all have to remember that we are responsible for gambling and should be the better person to own up to the problem than for it to eat you up.
Despite how hard it is to swallow, it’s for the best IF you want to work on overcoming the addiction. I’ve been clean for about 9 months and life is great, well as great as it can be under lockdown. Of course I miss the buzz from gambling but I don’t miss the empty pocket, anxiety and stress it caused.
Please reach out and remember we are all here to support.
Thought posting would provide me with some greater level of fortitude but I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve fallen off the wagon without even properly getting started.
Think I’ve spent so long making pathetic decisions and then justifying them to myself. Instead, I need to accept the decisions I’ve made and turn all the talking in to action.
I am determined to be a much better version of myself . Although he is too young to understand, I made a promise to my little lad that I would stop - I absolutely intend on keeping that promise to him.
Tomorrow Day 1 starts again..
Today has been so much harder than imagined.
Started the morning feeling very strong and determined - spent afternoon with the family and no thought of the football even came in to my head.
Since coming back, urges have come in waves - really struggling with the idea of the losses. Very much in the ‘chase the losses’ mindset; ‘one big lump and that’ll claw me back a large amount’. However, I know full well that a win will eventually lead to losses and a loss will make the situation so much worse. Having all this logical thought, and yet I’m still having such a battle to not place a bet this evening.
Need to keep remembering - if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll keep having what I’ve always had. Also feeling at the moment that every hard decision I continue to make will only give me strength going forward.
Ashamed at how hard I’m finding this though.
This won't be the hardest day of your life, believe me you'll have worse ones. What you wanted to bet on came in ?. Imagine you won a grand ( a win in a CGs eyes ), it's never a win it's a teaser, a short term investment for the bookies & online casinos to make you think that they're vulnerable. They know in no time at all they'd have their initial investment back plus a fantastic rate of interest because CGs can't stop. If you want to sicken the layers there's only one way to do it, starve them of their easy money from mugs like us.
Thanks Al for the insight.
Agreed, definitely wishful thinking that yesterday would be as hard as it gets - today has been a rough one but I’ve managed to avoid a bet.
Think I’m struggling with the feeling of being consumed by gambling - in my head I’m spending time with my family and knowing how lucky I am to get to do that. However, my mind is elsewhere.
Think at the moment, I’m experiencing the urges as well as dealing with the habit that I’ve been doing for most days of the past 10 months so I need to remember it’s not going to come easy.
Day 2 almost in the books..
Day 2 GF in the books.
Very pleased to have got through today as it was a real struggle at points.
Unfortunately I put measures in place to enable a gamble today, but didn’t follow through with it. Therefore, I realise there is so much more work to do and I won’t be giving myself too much of a pat on the back but it’s a second day GF.
I started in 1970 and my last bet was 9th August 2018. It ain't easy, don't do as I did & waste 48 years on an untreated addiction. What measures did you put in place today to enable you to gamble ?. Some two bit foreign site with withdrawal limits that leave you with no legal rights if they refuse to pay out ?. Let me ask you this, do you think you've got a 50/50 chance of beating these people ?. You ain't got a prayer the odds are all in their favour. Once you begin the journey of chasing losses THEY'VE GOT YOU & escaping from their clutches gets harder & harder.
Day 3 and feeling stronger. Obviously not getting carried away because my will seems very fragile at the moment, but feeling so much better than 2 previous days.
Again Al, thanks for the perspective. Basically made funds available and as you say, found a couple of dodgy sites.
Think that is the most frustrating thing that I know all the logical reasons to not gamble, and yet all logic goes out the window when you’re in that horrible, lonely downward spiral. Having gambled for 10 years on and off (to varying degrees of severity), I have never been able to win and walk away - so I’m not sure why I suddenly think that I would be able to if I did place a bet and win now! Baffling, but I guess that’s the nature of the beast.
Day 4 GF ✅
Crazy what difference a couple of days can make. Under no illusions of how fresh and new this all is, but not getting that ‘all-consuming’ feeling.
Actually able to focus and enjoy doing everyday things without thinking (too much!) about a bet.
Heading back home tomorrow with the family so will need to be cautious of boredom and complacency setting in - feeling positive though.
Hope anyone that may be reading this is having a good time of it.