I'm 22 years old and addicted to gambling. I have been gambling since 18, it was the usual few quid accumulators here and there, spiraling into more amounts of money and a variety of different sports usually betting on anything, that was on to try and win money while inevitably losing it all. Several times I have been on this merry go round of losing all my disposable income/savings then stopping for a month or two and trying again to win some more money and of course losing it all. This has been on and off for 4 years and I have decided that enough is enough. Losing the money isn't what necessarily bothers me, its the mental effects it has on me and gambling makes me a much worse person. I have signed up to GamStop, so I now can't gamble online for 5 years. I've been in a bookies a handful of times, they are not how I gamble as I actually see the money I waste, whereas online it just looks like a number...very stupid reading that sentence back! I think I will self exclude from local bookies though, just to close another door, this addiction can make you do very strange things. So Day 1 is today, without constantly looking at my phone gambling.. I should have lots of spare times to do other things which will be so much more productive for my physical/mental health. Also I have opened up to my girlfriend about all this, she has been so supportive and now she knows fully, I know I can always talk to her when I'm struggling.
Day 1 - I opened up to my girlfriend this morning, we agreed we are a team and will get through this, I showed her I couldn't gamble online and she will now be keeping a close eye on me. I'm currently working, then going to a friends garden shed to watch the football. That will be tough not to bet, but I should be able to socialize without the thoughts of gambling being constantly in my head.
Hope everyone is having a good day
Hi Nathan well done for joining us and owning being an addict . This I found the hardest part and took me years to do it so it's brilliant that you have done this. You have correctly identified that gambling greatly affects your mental health and in fact turns you into someone that you dont want to be. One line in your post stuck out for me, when you said reading back looked stupid that you said " online just looked like a number" I used to feel like that a lot almost like one of the sites where you play with fake money just for "fun" I would keep depositing almost like it wasn't out of our bank account. This came crashing down around me one day when my husband found out that not only had I spent our savings but run up £14k on a credit card. So I haven't gambled since 36 days now and (as you will find) I now go hours without thinking of gambling and when I do it's fleeting thoughts. And I tell you I feel so much better I think that gamstop was the gamechanger for me and this site . You have youth on your side and with hard work now you can change the course of your life and he a happier person with happier relationships . I'm 54 so masses of years on you but I'm enjoying life more even though me and my husband s relationship has been affected and I'm feeling stronger that one day I will be able to talk to my teenage son about gambling. You will go through bumpy times use this site in those times for support and you'll get through. Best of luck and best wishes with your journey
Hi, well done for making the decision to stop. I am now 28 days gamble free and feel good about not gambling after keeping it secret for 5 years before my wife found out. You are only young so great that you are getting your life back on track so early and opening up to the person closest to you. As well as registering with Gamstop I have put Betblocker on my phone which denies access to any gambling site and i have set it to the max of 5 years and once installed you cannot delete it. Good luck with your journey from a 60 year old who should know better!
Thank you Charlieboy and Bladesmen for your supportive words. It really did feel like I wasn’t spending money that I was...it’s hard that sometimes I couldn’t justify going out for a meal with my girlfriend but would happily put a bet on that was triple what a meal would’ve cost, just shows my priorities were all wrong and I was well in the gambling bubble. It’s easy to have this resentment for gambling now as I have only iust stopped, I know the tests will come further down the line when these thoughts start to fade as gambling really does prey on you when you are vulnerable.
Hi, have you spoke to anyone at Gamcare, they arranged some counselling for me and i have had 2 calls now and find it really helps talking to someone about how i feel without being judged. It may not be for you but worth thinking about to help you through. Have a good day
Thanks, id never really thought about counselling, I really struggle sometimes to express myself through words, I often prefer typing, that may actually be for most of the younger generation in a lot of things haha! But I will bare it in mind I think it would always be the 1st session that would be the hardest but then after that it would probably be a great help, it’s just having the courage to attend the 1st session!
Good evening TimeToStopNow,
I can understand that at times it may be difficult to express yourself through words, but if you did opt for some treatment they would look to work with you in a way that works best for you. This is so important for your recovery, making it about you and finding out what works best for you.
You've already taken some big steps forward, in self excluding with Gamstop for 5 years and also telling your girlfriend. As you are contemplating some treatment can I recommend you talk to one of our Advisers, they would be able to go through all the options of treatment that are available to you. This could be face to face (when restrictions are lifted) Over the phone, or over webcam. If this seem a bit too daunting for you, we also run a Gamechange course which you complete at home in your own time.
You can either speak to an Adviser on 0808 8020 133 or if it's easier for you via a NetLine
You've taken some really positive steps already, it would be great if we could support you in taking the next step forward.
Hi Nathan, i know what you mean about counselling. My sessions are by phone as no face to face at minute. I was really nervous before my first one but we just talked about anything really and was good to get things off my chest about why I started and how i was feeling about everything. The second call i was a lot calmer as another week had gone by gamble free so was feeling a lot more positive about the future. Counsellor just listens and gives tips to help you, there is no judgement. Have a good gamble free weekend. Up the Blades!
Thank you Bladesmen, I’m also a fellow Yorkshire man from Leeds. Happy to see Sheff Utd punching above there weight in the premier league. Day 2 today been a really tough day with work which has kept my mind occupied and not thinking about gambling. Quiet weekend this weekend really I’m on call with work have been since Monday and have been up every night doing some sort of work. Hopefully I can get a good nights sleep tonight and I’ll be ready to attack the hardest day of a gamblers week, Saturday. Happy days.
Well done Nathan
You've started in the right way my friend and comming clean means you don't have to lie or chase your money and I think you know that and from the sounds of what you say you really want to stop and that's the most important thing, just take it one day at a time and you'll get there and be proud off how far you've come no matter how long it's been I've got faith in you and will be looking out for you
Hi, day 5 today Saturday went better than expected was keeping my mind occupied throughout the day and I didn’t even check the football scores once I’m still not sure how all the games finished up which is very unusual. Sunday was the same really, I can say hand on heart I didn’t once think about gambling this weekend which must be the first weekend in I’m not sure how long. Today I have been for a run this morning, I am currently working and when I finish work, I am going to a boxing gym. Tonight I will be watching the football as my team Manchester United are playing. Long may being gamble free continue. Happy Monday everyone!
Hi Nathan, well done over the weekend, sorry, but how can you support Man United when you are from Leeds!
I think exercise helps take our minds off things and I'm sure hitting a punchbag would get some anger and frustration out. I am hoping to get back to the gym in a couple of weeks but have been cycling instead during lockdown, 13 miles this morning.
Keep going, 5 days will soon turn into a week.
Day 12 today. Another weekend done and dusted. Few drinks on Saturday with my mate. Few more yesterday with some friends who were celebrating Leeds promotion (excuse for me to drown my sorrows) then a bad performance from my team to top it all off! Not many gambling thoughts really since I last checked in, although I get paid on Friday which will be a test as the “destruction” from my previous gambling seems to be temporarily masked when I get paid. But I have all the blocks in place and I am more than aware at what could happen.