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Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Hi all,

I am on the verge of losing everything. I have been a CG for most of my life. I was introduced to gambling when I was about 12 at dogs and have been a CG ever since. My wife has for the second time today, told me she wants to separate. We have 2 kids aged 12.

This happened before and I promised to change and failed. I do want to change and I am at my wits end. I fear there is no fixing it this time and the thought of losing my kids keeps me up at night, but for some reason I cant stop gambling.

I have been told the only way to stop is to go to meetings but I am a manager in my job and I am terrified my work finds out, as I could be demoted or let go. I know they are supposed to try and help, but they would push me out.

When I tried to stop before, it was the boredome and depression that got me. How do I overcome the gremlins and fill my time with enjoyable stuff?

Please help. What can I do to keep my family.

This topic was modified 8 months ago by Forum admin
Quote
Posted : 15th April 2020 9:41 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Hi  Wanttochange1234,

Thank you for sharing your story here on the forum. It sounds like you are very worried about the future for yourself and your family so I am glad you have reached out to look for some support. 

Going to meetings can be a good way to tackle a gambling addiction but it is not the only way. What works for one person might not work for another. 

We are here to support you through this. GamCare provides a range of short- and longer-term treatment options, either over the phone, face-to-face or online. Our treatment is free, flexible and confidential. I see you are worried about your job and them finding out about your gambling. You may want to have a look at our policies around confidentiality on our website

You mentioned that you mostly gamble when bored and that this leads to feelings of depression, I am sure that other users here on the forum would be able to give some great advice on how to fill your time.

We also have some good information regarding mental health and depression on our website that you might like to take a look at. Just scroll down the page to find information that could be useful for you. 

You are also welcome to call our HelpLine to talk more about this on 0808 8020 133. We are open 24/7 and also have Livechat available. 

As you are new here please feel free to introduce yourself on the new member introduction page here on the forum. 

Take care, 

Rebecca 

Forum Admin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th April 2020 11:47 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

Hello wanttochange1234,

I understand how you feel. I wish I could tell you my story of success and triumph but as many times as I promised my wife and kids I would stop and change, they were just hollow words as I always relapsed. I always thought I'd be able to talk her into my way of thinking. Unfortunately one day I couldn't and that was that!

My advice is through my own experience. 

You can only do this for yourself, not others, but if you're doing well then others should be doing well too.

Join GA. The meetings are anonymous, what is said in the room stays in the room. The people in there are a mix of people from all backgrounds including managers. Your company shouldn't need to know but even if they do, how can they not support you trying to turn your life around? I was a senior manager, it never made any difference to my job.

Before the meetings restart though as they are currently under lockdown, there are a few practical steps you can take. On the GA website in the literature section take a read through of  the orange and blue books. 

Going out on a limb here but I'm going to guess that some of your gambling was online. You can self exclude from all sites which also automatically close your accounts. Gamstop is the site which will help with that. Gamban is just one form of software that stops any gambling sites on your phone, tablet and laptop. There are others too.

Give all money over to your wife and only have what you really need. You need to be accountable so receipts are a good way of showing that. You probably spent a lot of time being secretive and lying so try and be honest.

Finally for now, start talking to your wife. Tell her everything. Have no secrets. If you get it partly out of the way now but keep something back it will be harder for her to deal with in the future. Secrets also act as a way back to gambling so for your own benefit tell her everything. You've already said she's mentioned leaving so you've got nothing else to lose. It will be a weight of your shoulders too.

You could call the Gamcare advisers for someone to talk to. Just being able to talk and not be judged is such a relief. That's really what the GA rooms do for you as well. You are not alone.

Try and get on the forum too and hopefully chat about how you are feeling with others who understand.

There are no shortcuts here, no easy way out. This takes hard work but it is worth it.

Good luck.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th April 2020 12:10 pm
RouletteRegret
(@rouletteregret)

Hi Wanttochange,

Welcome to the forum.

I won’t add much to what has been mentioned already other than to say one thing. I had the same fears that you have about GA. I have a senior job and wasnt just concerned about my work finding out I was concerned about meeting anyone I knew. So, I drove many miles away to a meeting way outside the area that I lived. I’m not saying that you have to do this but I was desperate after failed attempts on my own and was willing to try anything.

GA was marvellous. I had University lecturers, business owners and even a footballer at my meeting. I never told anyone including my wife about the people I met there. It is an anonymous group and wouldn’t work without trust.

Not only did I enjoy going I learned an incredible amount from experienced members. Also, I had members regularly call me for a 5 min chat looking out for me. An incredibly supportive bunch. The feeling of being in a room full of people who have went through what you are going through is very powerful.

Ultimately, you’ll be afraid walking in to the room. I was but within a few minutes I felt perfectly at ease.

Go for it buddy. You won’t regret it.

RR

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th April 2020 1:54 pm
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Thank you all,

I went on the chat over at GA and since then I have self excluded from all sites for 5 years. I have also blocked any gambling transactions via my bank. 

Someone mentioned being honest with my wife. She knows everything and always has. We have been together 12 years approx and she has tried to support me, but has terrible spending habits herself (not gambling).

She has said it won't matter if I stop, and I don't blame her tbh as I have had plenty of chances, but I am determined to stop for me this time. 

I will see how it goes with everything blocked and take it from there. I will be sure to pop on when I have low moments.

Thanks 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th April 2020 4:14 pm
trizzybee
(@trizzybee)

Just remember you have made huge steps in blocking yourself from gambling, also be proud of the great example you'll be to your kids when they grow up knowing gambling is a bad thing.

Well done

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th April 2020 11:04 pm
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

Well done for the steps so far and I wish you well with your wife.

Try not to just use the sites or forums when you feel low, but at all times. If you're doing well then say so. It can show others that there is hope. If you need to get something off your mind before it gets you down then use the forum then, don't wait. Even if you keep a diary and just check in it's a good reminder for you.

There's a saying in one of the GA books. When do I need a meeting? When life is bad, when life is good, and all the times in between. 

All the best,

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 16th April 2020 12:08 pm
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Thought I would update. I will try and do it each day or every few days. So I'm now almost 2 days gamble free.

Aswell as self excluding everywhere online, I have now also signed up to gamblock. 

My wife and I had a bit of a heart to heart this morning and the jist of it is  she feels the spark is not there anymore, however she says we will continue to try and reevaluate when lockdown is over. My day has been spent with her and the kids mostly doing chores and we went for shopping etc. We also made dinner together and ate together. Its not much but its a start. I am writing now tonight as the atmosphere has changed since the kids went upstairs. She became distant again and she was watching TV with me but making it clear that she felt the same. End result is I have come upstairs to bed early and she is sitting up. We have shared a few cuddles through the day, so I think I need to give her space and time. 

I know this is a gambling issue site but it helps to get it off my chest and although I think there is now deeper issues in our marriage, I do think they have been created by my gambling.

Thanks again for all the encouragement.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 16th April 2020 8:48 pm
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

Good to read your update.

Just to give you a little bit of an understanding about gambling, to a lot of addicts who come to sites like these, they tend to think that gambling is the problem and therefore the talk is all about gambling and how much money they've lost. In truth gambling is the symptom, you, or I, the compulsive gambler, is the problem. Only when we look at ourselves and make changes to ourselves does it really help to stay away from that first bet. My point. Continue to tell your story, talk about how you are feeling. I don't care about how much money you lost but I do care that you are coming out the other side of a depression or that you had a good day, and the longer you are away from a bet the clearer your mind. No one can ever promise life will be perfect just because you stopped gambling but you've got a better chance by putting gambling down than if you continue with it.

Keep sharing.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 16th April 2020 10:51 pm
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Hi all,

Just another update. I'm now into my 4th day GF, which for me is good. Things have and are improving with my wife. We are now spending time together and she is beside me as I write this.

I had money going into my account and we have everything we need and money left in the bank.

Gamstop has been a huge breakthrough for me, as I now know I can't gamble so the urge and emotions are not there to do it.

I appreciate that it is very early and I have spoken openly with my wife, that I expect to feel low at times, but she says she will support me.

I feel like a new man. I am exercising each day now and feel so much better mentally too.

I will continue to update this if thats OK, as it helps me focus and is like a diary for me.

Thanks 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18th April 2020 5:04 pm
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Hi all,

I am now 8 days GF.

Firstly is there any way this thread can be moved to the diaries section? I don't want to lose they first few initial posts I made as they will forever be a reminder of how much gambling ruined me.

So things with my family have massively improved, even in just 8 days time. My wife and I are getting on great and are now intimate again.

We went a 15 mile walk yesterday as a family(my body still aches today), we stay very remote, and it was a country walk, so no other people around.

Physically I am feeling great and mentally.

There was one issue I had last night. I dreamt about gambling, which is scary. I am determined and have taken away the means to gamble but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what it means?

I am also considering attending a meeting once able to. I have restrictions on this as my wife doesn't drive and my kids have football training and dancing etc, so I do have a busy schedule so was wondering where I can find out when and where they take place?

Thanks again.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 20th April 2020 10:01 am
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)
Posted by: Wanttochange1234

Hi all,

I am now 8 days GF.

Firstly is there any way this thread can be moved to the diaries section? I don't want to lose they first few initial posts I made as they will forever be a reminder of how much gambling ruined me.

So things with my family have massively improved, even in just 8 days time. My wife and I are getting on great and are now intimate again.

We went a 15 mile walk yesterday as a family(my body still aches today), we stay very remote, and it was a country walk, so no other people around.

Physically I am feeling great and mentally.

There was one issue I had last night. I dreamt about gambling, which is scary. I am determined and have taken away the means to gamble but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what it means?

I am also considering attending a meeting once able to. I have restrictions on this as my wife doesn't drive and my kids have football training and dancing etc, so I do have a busy schedule so was wondering where I can find out when and where they take place?

Thanks again.

Apologies, it is 6 days and not 8 days. Took the date from above my previous post and not below.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 20th April 2020 10:38 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Hello Wanttochange,

Thank you for posting on the Gam Care Forum; I am pleased to hear that things sound like they are in the main going well for you and a big well done on 6 days GF! 

It sounds like you are keeping busy, which is good for distraction and for your continued recovery. As you mention being interested in attending some meetings, if you have a look online at the Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and/or UK Smart Recovery websites you will be able to find information about online groups/meetings running; in fact there is more that usual at the moment due to the current lockdown.

We also have the following Gam Care chatrooms running at the moment:

  • General Chatroom: Everyday at 1pm and 8pm.
  • Chatroom run by Peer Aid: Tuesdays at 3pm, Wednesdays at 10am, Fridays at 10am and Fridays at 3pm. Peer Aid is a volunteer peer support service, provided by individuals with lived experience of gambling harms.

 

If you have not already done so and would like to speak to an adviser for any further advice or support including referral to treatment support (currently telephone or online) which will allow for further exploration of any contributing factors to your gambling we are available 24 hours a day on our helpline 0808 8020 133 or our live chat.

Finally, (hopefully) this thread should now appear in Recovery Diaries as requested.

Wishing you all the very best,

Helen

Forum Admin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 20th April 2020 12:05 pm
Wanttochange1234
(@wanttochange1234)

Good to report the dreams had no bearing on my day. I talked to my wife about them and we came to the conclusion that it was just a dream, so no harm done.

Anyway, 7 days gf now and things are great. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 21st April 2020 2:19 pm
packer86
(@packer86)

Congrats on getting to 7 days gamble free. I am nearly 4 weeks gamble free and while we may leave a trail of destruction behind us. The mere fact you can stop soon enough you can reap the rewards by feeling happier and hopefully that will include everything surrounding your marriage too.

I don't attend GA meetings but have therapy with a counsellor over the phone, it's of great help to me and thus forum a place we're we can speak openly and honestly about everything. Nobody is here to judge but just support ☺️

Good luck with your journey

Packer

ReplyQuote
Posted : 21st April 2020 2:38 pm
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