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ItsTime
(@itstime)

So this is a way I'm going to record how I feel each and everyday as I start my  journey to be gamble free. I'm going to teach myself to control my urges and prevent triggers. 

 

I have gambled since I was 16 nearly 20 years, ignored friends, family and work. Racked up too much debt to handle, took payday loans, credit cards and personal loans. I never stole but I imagine it was not too far away! So 6 years ago I managed to abstain for 2 years, I dug myself out of debt, I bought a house, I created a successful career, I now have a family. Life is good, well life was amazing, however I started gambling again 6 months ago. Lied to myself that I had it under control, and I did, but as I know and understood from my recovery last time gambling is a demon just waiting to let your guard down. I am now relieved in a way today. I lost, more than my intentions, I lied about where I was going and once again today I neglected my family and work to focus on feed an urge which I do not need. The relief is that somewhere in my head I remember the abstinence stage of 2 years, I felt better happier and I want to get back there, the relief is that even though I thought I had it under control, my real undeniable though is that I am a compulsive gambler and I will never have this demon under control once let out. So day zero of gamble free, day zero of my new journey.

I have once again self excluded from all bookies and online. It's wierd last time I hit rock bottom before seeking a recovery path, I was scared, I was not in a peaceful state of mind. This time I am, I am ready, I am willing, I know I can because I remember how much better life was before gambling. I'm not looking for advice as such, I'm merely looking for a place to put my thoughts and use this as a place to remember my journey and reflect on the good to come and the bad that's been. 

 

Cheers

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Posted : 5th August 2020 6:38 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi itstime as you've discovered and most of us on here have as well . control of gambling is just an illusion. You did really good stopping for 2years, do you know what prompted you to start again? Have you gone for the maximum amount of self exclusion this time ? Have you thought about counselling or GA meetings? Just some things for you to mull over. I wish you all the best with your recovery

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Posted : 5th August 2020 11:07 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Cheers Charlie boy, yeh I had self excluded for the max period and started a trigger diary. I got so bored working from home that I needed something that would bring excitement rather than the same mundane repetitive day. But I have created plans and put some adhoc things in and spoke to my employer about mixing up my work, so hopefully that will aid along with the will to stop. I did GA last time and it worked so will seek that route again. Thanks for your tips and hope alls good with you

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Posted : 6th August 2020 3:33 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello diary, day 1! Still feeding off the excitement of starting my recovery and the relief that I have again decided to put this demon back in a cage. Feel good and happy about it. Luckily I stopped this time before I had eaten into my savings, so instead of spending money on gambling I'm using some to buy some new cloths and woodwork tools. Focus on enjoy the money I earn and create new things for myself and my family. Feel happy, the urges have come but I have battered them away with the currently greater overpowing thought of successfully being gamble free. I know at some point that the urges will overpower my will, but I have complied a list of quick things to do to distract myself and as mentioned self excluded from pretty much a 30mile radius, including online. I have set goals and my greatest satisfaction comes from achieving them. One downfall for me was that during my abstinence I created a savings goal, when I could achieve that quick enough I though let's top up with some winnings, yup we all see the problem with that, and ultimately the goal got bigger not less. So I am in a lucky position, differing from last time, that saving money and paying off debts does not have to be a goal for me, so I can concentrate on living life. Like I said day 1, happy, relieved and ready for day 2.

 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 6th August 2020 3:45 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 2, well still feeling good today. The urges came far more strongly than yesterday, I think it's because I checked my bank and saw the payments go out and I though, well I cant lose again after such a big loss. But... Yes I can I looked further back in my statements to show how much could be lost in a row. I knew this but had to tell my brain I knew this. That's what I find really interesting I'm telling my brain to not do something that my brain is wanting to do. One day soon I will have them both batting for the right team. The team that is gamble free. Anyway got out for a jog, with no money or cards obs, and the urges went away. Just about to chill down for a Friday evening with my fam and take pleasure in the fact that this may only be day 2, but today I stopped myself from gambling. If I keep doing that day to day the rest will follow.

So day 2, urges came, urges left, I feel happier than if I gambled, bring on day 3.

 

See you tomorrow 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th August 2020 3:34 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Doing well keep it going. I've turned winning into I've won today because I didn't gamble so I've won 65days in a row yeyyy. Best wishes to you

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th August 2020 4:49 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 3 of gamble free. How do I feel? Pretty good, no real urges today, I suppose I never really gambled on a weekend because I spend the day with friends and my child. I couldn't gamble on a weekend as I didn't want them to find out and realise the truth that I would rather waste money on that than spend time and money with my family, the shame and anger I feel when I write this. So no real urges, which got me thinking... I remember this feeling was everyday not just a weekend, I remember in my abstinence the urges subsided and my thoughts were enjoyable rather than anxious and fearful. This has driven me on once again to commit to being gamble free. The thoughts related to gambling today were analysing the reasons why, boredom seems to be a reoccurring theme, at weekends I wasn't bored and enjoyed the time I had with my family. The key thing withing my plan is to keep myself entertained and busy. Easier said than done, but with plans and hobbies this should be achievable. I can and will get back to my thoughts being mine like today, and away from my thoughts being the demons.

 

So day 3, happy, no urges, time think clearly and reflect on the bad times gambling brought me. 

 

Roll on day 4

 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 8th August 2020 8:04 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 4 and welcome. You have been a good day and today again I have won and am gamble free. I spent the day with friends at the park. There was a strong urge though. I used to gamble alot at service stations and ultimately there was a service station on the motorway on the way. The urge was strong but went very quickly, the reason because I had put blockers in place. I had only taken my phone, no cash and no way to withdraw, I had also hit my friends with my live location so they could track me. Even though I am in a happy and strong willed part of my journey I believe I wouldn't have gambled anyway. But with these blockers in place I couldn't and so the urge retreated very quickly. I feel proud I have used a skill I mastered as a compulsive gambler and turned it into a skill for recovery. Instead of making a plan and putting things in place to deceive, lie and gamble I put a plan and things in place to be gamble free. This plan has led me to another day won, the old plans would have sent me down a path to anxiety, fear and depression. The plan I chose was the right one, the plan I pick tomorrow and the day after and the day after will be the right one. I owe that to my family, my friends and most importantly myself. 

 

Day 4, happy, urges came, plan and blockers worked, feel proud of myself. Rock on day 5.

 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 9th August 2020 10:01 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 5, quick one today. No urges, still filling my time with tasks and feeling proud of what I have achieved, gamble free wise and jobs on the house wise. Life is good, take pleasure in the small things and really enjoy them, a decent cup of coffee, a nice lunch with my kid, pushing her on the swings. These are what are important to me. Obviously not in that order she comes first before coffee! But learning to take a step back take my time and enjoy those things means my boredom trigger is further away. There were no urges, but I know not to let my guard down. Writing and reading on here reminds me to never let my guard down again. Been there done that and am worse for it. Enjoy life, I really do feel like it's time, time for me to stop and never return. The thoughts are strong and positive towards this.

 

Day 5, no urges, educated myself on enjoying life, reminder to not let my guard down. Day 6 I got you too.

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 10th August 2020 5:48 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 6, you have been another good day. One day closer to being a week gamble free. 

 

Today I went on a long cycle, one of my new hobbies to fill the time left from gambling and to keep me entertained. It worked and was fun, although there was a small urge every time I cycled past a bookies. Which must have been hundreds! It's disgusting to think of the amount scattered throughout wrecking people's lives. The scary part for me is the more noticeably deprived areas seem to have far more in numbers. Praying on the weak and vulnerable. It was these thoughts that overpowered the urges, thoughts of disgust towards these companies and the proud realisation that for the past 6 days I have not contributed to the profits and therefore the continued funding to wreck other peoples lives. I did have all my blockers in place that I mentioned in a previous day, so like I said even if I did I couldn't. But with a little soul searching while cycling lung I am still in a strong willed happy place enjoying the routine things of life.

So day 6, long cycle, swapped urges for sole searching, took pleasure in not funding the companies wrecking peoples lives. I'm sorry they have caused so much pain and depression for people and thier families. Roll on day 7, one week and will not be getting a penny. 

 

See you tomorrow 

 

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Posted : 11th August 2020 10:09 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 7! One week another day won not gambling and my first (second time) week competed.

Today I did jobs round the house and went to the pub for a pint. It was a lovely hot day, got my jobs and plan finished a lot sooner than I anticipated. The old me would have taken the time to head off to the slots and whittle my money away. Not today though, today I rewarded myself by having a pint with my wife and talking to her about her day. I have missed out on these times through the years to sit and talk and watch the world go by. I have missed out on so much. Still fuelled by my reflection yesterday, blockers and my continuing strong will I will beat this. One week done I am proud, but I know not to let my guard down, I have competed 2 years previously and the demon crept slowly but ever so surely back. Not this time not today and not tomorrow. Enjoy life and enjoy the excitements that can come with other people who live you.

 

Day 7, no urges, changed my usual thinking, enjoyed and appricated the support and company of my wife. I'll see you tomorrow day 8 with the same will.

See you tomorrow 

This post was modified 1 month ago by ItsTime
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Posted : 12th August 2020 9:21 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 8, will have to be a quick one today as it is very late. Still good, still happy, still strong willed, still gamble free. 

 

Quick note to say that there were some urges when I was sat at home on the sofa, instead of acting I read through other people's stories and diaries on here. Well done gamcare and everyone who has posted today you all kept me gamble free and away from pain. Hope everyone the best. 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 14th August 2020 12:07 am
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 9, welcome and gamble free. Today a good day, life is so much better without gambling. Enjoyed the company of a friend that I would have never met up with while gambling. No urges just enjoyment and fun. 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 14th August 2020 11:46 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 10, well you are here and as the other days I have not gambled. Blockers are working and even reducing urges because of them. My mind is starting to become mine again. Funny I never wrote a diary last time but this really does help, reading back along what I have already achieved drives me in for the next day. 

So day 10, no urges, appricated the platform to reflect, looking forward to Sunday with friends.

 

See you tomorrow 

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Posted : 15th August 2020 5:36 pm
ItsTime
(@itstime)

Hello day 11, welcome, come in, sit down and enjoy my company. Another gamble free day. And another day of enjoying life without gambling. 

 

Cooked a Sunday roast, never would have committed time to that while I was gambling, would have said I would have cooked made up some lie, bought takeaway and wouldn't be happy sat eating a lovely meal with my fam.

 

I'm winning I'm happy, I'm living a good life. The support around me from my family is incredible. I thank all of them, if it weren't for them I would be at rock bottom again. Having a rum watching the rugby and in pure bliss off my daughter. 

So, no urges again, committed  my time to making a meal, appricated my family, got thrills off the laugh of my daughter. Nothing, not gambling will take those smile and laughs away from me. 

 

Your already defeated day 12.

See you tomorrow 

This post was modified 1 month ago by ItsTime
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Posted : 16th August 2020 7:36 pm
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