This is extremely difficult for me. Starting from midnight of today, I’ve vowed to start getting help to best overcome the addiction that has ravaged my life over the past few months.
I’m a University student. I’m not from a well-off background and I’ve always stuck out like a sore thumb for one reason or another. I work hard and am a very cautious guy. I know the value of money and have always looked to be careful with it. But I have a gambling problem and it’s starting to ruin my life.
This all started in January. I was with friends and put a pound into a bandit in one of my local pubs. A *** stake and an immediate *** win. I went home happy and in pocket. The next day we went out again to a different pub, and the next; another *** profit on both days. At this point I started using them more often until I lost all of my leftover winnings. I stopped gambling for a while.
Cue March. My first experience using online betting. What started off as a genuine love for sports took a u-turn into my real problem - Virtual Sports and Roulette. I made so much money, amounts I could’ve only dreamed of, often in four digits from *** I had deposited just hours before. I’d made this with a level head. Yet each time I relapsed into a state whereby it just wasn’t enough and twenty minutes later it was all gone if not back to the amount I’d started with. Withdrawals reversed or just from the balance straight down to near zero. I’m scared of how this has turned and am terrified of it getting worse.
I currently have *** to my name. Fortunately I have a little part-time job as a bartender and that’s what’s saved and currently saving me. I have bills to pay and have been getting them paid but then I’m left with hardly anything again which is where the gambling has started to kick back in again. I aim for this not to happen and this is my way out of what I can only describe as torture. I want to be myself again and do the things I truly want to do.
I hope I’ve made some sense with what I’ve said. I appreciate anyone reading this and any advice you can give as I embark on this journey to kick it out.
I’d like to offer my public thanks to the adviser who has directed me to various services to alleviate my current problems. I’m fortunate enough to be getting paid tomorrow from my part-time job but I am aware of how fortunate this is for me. I have the utmost respect for you all, every member of the forum and every admin and want to offer my gratitude to everyone of you.
Thank you so much, I am truly grateful.
Keep going mate! 15 days for me now had some rough days, lots of ups and downs and I know I have a long way to go but together we can do this! Be strong you deserve to give yourself the best chance at life possible
Cheers my friend! Going into day two now and I’ve just been paid from work, it’s not much but I’ll make it last. Together we stand, I’m excited for the both of us and the progress we can make.
@kp99 , reading through your story has really resonated with me, as its a very similar story to my own.
Personally my problem became 100x worse after leaving Uni and all of a sudden having so much more disposable income (read through my original post and you will probably find many similarities to your own story!) I honestly hope you can continue and get rid of this awful habit before it gets any worse!!
It is now 14 months since i placed my last bet and i can honestly say i have never been happier.
The way it was described to me is gambling requires a combination of 3 things, if you take away anyone of them you will be unable to gamble;
Gamstop is a way of self excluding from online gambling sites, its one simple form that you fill in, select amount of time you would like to be excluded for (I highly recommend the maximum of 5 year) and next thing you know you cannot access any gambling sites.
If your like me you will instantly try all the sites you can find to "check" its worked when really in the back of your mind your hoping it hasn't so you can continue gambling.
Along with self exclusion from physical bookies or casinos I can honestly say this was one of the biggest factors in me being able to quit, at the end of the day when you know theres no way for you to gamble the thoughts do eventually fade.
By no means it quitting an easy thing to do, and to this day it still crosses my mind now and then, i often have to turn down things like going to the races with mates, or nights out that could end up in the casino but its the price i have to pay.
I really do wish you all the best mate, hope you can make it through today without spending that pay cheque!!
@blackjackproblems It’s all going very well so far. After paying my parents rent and setting aside money for my driving lessons I have enough for a few little priorities. Next month should be better with student finance dropping at the same time as payday, but it’s all about the struggle to resist my temptations.
I feel relieved that there are people like yourself who went through this whilst at the Uni stage. Found the stress building up and this was somewhat of a relief until it turned away from the football I love to virtuals and roulette.
I’ll include my daily update here. Day Two as a non-gambler has been very difficult. Have been looking into local GA meetings and products to stop me. Have deleted every single bookies app on my phone today and put blocks on them on the App Store. I found myself tempted to reinstall one to see what I could do with a fiver but resisted the temptation which is a major step.
I’m going to be signing up to Gamstop for six months tomorrow morning as I don’t want that bookies’ app option available to me. If when that option expires I’m still having urges then I’ll renew it, and if not I’ll do so as soon as an urge to gamble kicks in.
I’m also proud of myself because I’m starting to say no to physical temptation as well. Never set foot in a bookies in my life so they’re fine, but bandits in pubs often have a few quid. Resisted that and was able to treat myself to a guilt-free drink. I’m already feeling so much better about myself. Another update tomorrow, GB.
Mine started the same way... except it started as a house we would all go down to the bookies every Saturday morning stick a couple of quid on an accy maybe a tenner in the FOBT and it escalated from there.
Out of curiosity is there any reason to only exclude for 6 months?
One other suggestion that i resorted to is have your student loan paid into a parents account and ask them to set up a standing order to send you money weekly, temptation can be unreal when you have more money than your used to sitting in your account!
There was a ross kemp programme on ITV about problem gambling last night... maybe worth watching it on catch up, really sinks in when you see other peoples experiences.
Keep it up mate
Really good to hear how you are taking this seriously and taking steps to begin your recovery. Whilst I waited until I was a lot older than you to have a gambling problem I similarly did not gamble for long before I realised I had a problem and needed to stop. Good thing for you is you have not accumulated a load of debt so providing you never gamble again you can put this behind you and have a great gamble free life.
Two points from your last post that are really jumping out of the page at me. Blackjackproblems has already mentioned them but they are so worrying for a recovering CG to read based on what has happened to me that I have to emphasis them again.
Signing up to Gamstop for only 6 months is a real pointer to me that you think you are going to be able to return to responsible gambling again at some point. The many examples on this forum suggest that once we have become problem gamblers it is like a switch in our mind and responsible controlled gambling is never possible again. That £10 weekly bet will never be enough - you will soon be back to chasing and carrying on until your bank account is empty.
Secondly having your student loan and pay all sat in an unmonitored bank account this early in your recovery seems like a big risk. Access to money is a big trigger point to many of us. The temptation to just take a little of it and try and win another chunk just like you were able to in the past will go through your mind. What will happen when you lose just a little of it? Will you chase that little loss? What happens when you have lost half of it? Will you decide you need to carry on because you must be due a bit of luck so you can win it all back and then of course tell yourself you'll stop and put it back in your bank account? Been there, my friend, and does not usually end well. Is there any way you can limit your access?
Just my thoughts, from some random guy on the internet and you'll take from it what you want. However I would plead that you read a few of threads on here from those that have gambled for many years and had multiple relapses. It does not generally make for happy reading.
Good luck and keep posting
Rest assured, I’ve chosen a longer option on Gamstop. I have no intention to gamble again and aside from one acca I’ve had on for a month covering this football season there’s nothing coming from me every again. I’ve gone in for a year and will renew it on an annual basis, but I’ve just checked and it hasn’t kicked in just yet. I’m assuming there’s a 24-hour period for it to kick in and will let you know when it has.
As for student finance, I’ve taken care of that. Visited the bank today and had them block any ability to make deposits to the bookies via my card on a permanent basis. I’ve never used the card for it anyway but better to be safe. As for the method I did use, I’ve barred PayPal as a payee from my bank and called them too telling them to restrict my account from depositing on sites without a verification code and a call from them. So I have no way to deposit.
Day three as a non-gambler. Finding myself drifting towards my reading again and delving into my University work. I’m working a long shift this evening into the early hours of the morning which has always been a way for my to escape the addiction.
I’m very pleased to say that I’ve had no thoughts about virtuals or roulette. I’ve also been able to look at this weekend’s football fixtures and not thought once about having a punt. Progress is coming.
As mentioned above I’ve joined GamStop for a year to be renewed every year. I’ve never like thinking too far ahead into the future and want to take this a day at a time. I’ve also gotten any methods to deposit into a bookies in the future blockaded by my bank and PayPal. I want no way to spend money on it in any capacity.
I’ve started planning out a little project too. With the money I’ll save from not gambling it away into oblivion I’m going to build a little bar on wheels. It sounds funny but it’s a step in the right direction.
Day three has definitely been a leap forward. Hope everyone is well and good luck, have a good rest of the day.