I want to start off by saying, I'm 30k in debt, actually £30,032 to be exact, and that is ALL from gambling.
For a bit of background I'm 35 - and have gambled for as long as I can remember, usual starting place really of the arcades, then gradually was able to get served in a bookies (at 15 I might add) then turned 18 and was able to go to casinos. The debt over the years, has risen, risen, then risen again. Loan after loan to dig myself out of the hole I was in. Then of course your mind thinks you can win it all back, but as well all know this is just not the case.
I used to go to GA meetings, and been to many over the years, but would stop going as it actually got in the way of my gambling, that is a disgusting thing to say, but it's the truth. I think in the back of my mind I used to think that my problem wasn't that bad, I'm not like these people as GA - but of course, I was wrong.
My debt is now that bad that, to be honest, I'm at risk of losing everything. I have a house, car and a wonderful family - but the gambling/debt has been kept a secret. I haven't told anyone about this, I'm too proud to say anything in person, I reckon a lot of you can relate to that as well. I have the intention of telling my family, but now is not the right time and I don't want to go into that.
Today I sort my life out for good, I have now blocked all of my gambling accounts (believe me I had a lot) put gambling restrictions on my debit cards, self excluded myself from all the bookies I can. There is no way I can think of that I can gamble.
I'm going to keep this as a journal and document my feelings, emotions, debt balances and hopefully you can come on this journey with me, to a non-gambling, debt-free life.
Debt - £30,032
All the best,
Get Gamstop on mate best decision I have made. Been on for a few month now few relapses in bookies but the damage limitation from having it on is a lifesaver. I was in a similar position to you - finally down to 11k and can see the light at end of tunnel. Am no person to give advice as just starting off again myself but the mental stress of it all is too much for me. Don’t rock the boat with ur family mate not worth it.. for self help download the Allen Carr book and follow online hypnosis on YouTube. Working for me 👍
Thanks for your response. I have since taken your advice and done Gamstop, 5 years - done. I feel a sense of relief doing that.
Have searched for a few hypnosis vids on youtube and looks like there is a lot out there that can offer help. When I get a spare half hour later I will definitely do 1.
Well I've now got day 1 in the books, don't feel any urge to gamble at the moment. I know it's only a day, and that's not impressive, but I'm someone who has gambled in some shape or form every day for as far back as I can remember.
It's odd to say, but I had an epiphany yesterday morning when I totalled up all my debt - and it hit home, and I mean REALLY hit home that gambling did this to me. The thought of me being debt free, well, feels euphoric. And that is the feeling I'm going to think of when I next get the urge to gamble.
Debt - £30,032
Well done for being strong and picking yourself up again. One thing that Marty mentioned that got to me is that you should rock the boat with your family. He is absolutely spot on, definitely not worth it. I am probably in a similar situation as you in life, 36, two young kids etc. Please try and get back on those GAs, speak out and try and sort yourself out. If I am to give you a personal advice (one that I did not take myself) it would be that you forget the £30k completely, try wipe it off your memory and start clean, especially now that you have energy and will in you. I lost £25k gambling between 2012 and 2018, it was pretty much controlled during these periods but I then went aggressive, chasing the money, I couldn’t get it off my head my how I had lost. I tell you what, between then and now, I have rocketed that amount to £109k. I keep a very good record of my loses just like you but it’s not helped me at all and I am now gradually leaving it behind. I am still in a debt of approx £60k but It’s coming down and will get paid off some day. I am about 3 weeks now off gambling myself.
Stay strong Tobi and let us know how you get on. My kids are 2 and 4 and I want to quickly get this stuff behind me before they get older.
It looks like you really want to stop and that's a good start especially as you've put everything in place plus your not under the illusion that you can chase your debt and win it back, as you've got to put it down to a loss and it's in the past and now your going day by day gamble free. I know this is a horrible addiction not easy to shake, but as you've put everything in place you've set up for damage limitations so the less harm you could do if you have a relapse and that's all any off us can do. I know your debt is high and will always play on your mind, therefore the best thing to pay it off is to get advice so as you've got it under control known that this is being paid at an amount you can afford will set your mind free and not having to hide it and lie all the time. As when you lie all the time it's stressful plus can push you back to try and gamble your way out if your mindset isn't as strong as you are today. I look forward to watching your journey and see you live your life gamble free
Thanks very much Frogman and Kev for your responses much appreciated.
Frogman - Yep we seem in a similar situation, I also have 2 young kids they are my absolute world, I will do anything for them, and that's extra incentive for me to kick this horrendous addiction. That's great advice about forgetting the 30k, I agree with that - however easier said than done, I just keep thinking about the lovely things I could have bought for my kids, nice car for me and the wife etc etc That said, I'm hoping over time I can forget about this, just feel so bitter about it.
Kev - Thanks, I can't really explain it this time, I feel different about giving up from other attempts in the past. The bitterness, and the sheer sadness of what's happened has hit me, hard. I will attempt to pay 1k back a month, I don't earn massive money, but with everything paid and a lot of cutting back, I reckon that's what I can afford to pay back. The debt itself is built up of loans, credit cards, and overdrafts - now got most of it on low interest, so that's a small thing to be positive about I suppose.
Ok - day 2 in the books, so we go to day 3. Honestly say zero urge whatsoever to gamble, no real test yet though as not been in a gambling environment, that will be the big test.
Looked at my bank balance this morning, and it was the same as a few days ago, and had a little smile to myself. I don't think it has been static for that long, ok the balance was overdrawn, but it's not gone further south so I'm taking that mini-positive.
I don't know how many people read these forums, but I wish every single 1 of you all the best in recovering from this addiction.
Haven't updated in 4 days, happy to say still gamble free, been crazy busy with work not had time to even think about gambling which is all good I suppose. I think that's the only bit of advice I can offer anyone else at this stage, keep your mind busy on other things so you don't even get the chance to think about placing a bet.
I still haven't said anything to my family about the debt, and I think at this stage I don't intend to. I can only see negatives about doing it now.
Also paid off some debt so now under 30K. This is a long road ahead of me and I'm so determined.
Debt - £29,855