Writing this from a position of shame and embarrassment to be honest...
Got to work today and found out one of my colleagues has moved out of his rented apartment with his partner and got on the property ladder. On hearing the news my initial reaction was to fake a smile then start brooding about my own situation and how the gambling has put a major spanner in my plans.
Resentment reared its ugly head, as did self-pity... Which is ridiculous really as I really like the guy for one and also he is the hardest working person I know (he works 3 jobs) so deserves everything he gets!
Plus I have a nice house with my wife and have been on the property ladder for some years now! So it's not even a competition or anything like that!
I began obsessing about the extension I had been saving up for - I was a quarter of the way there before destroying my funds via one fateful gambling binge that I'll never forget (see first post)... Now I live hand to mouth and it will be that way for a good few more years while the debt clears... And that timeframe includes a probable remortgage at some point next year to reduce the debt further.
Why couldn't I just be happy for this guy? Why did I have to bring it back to me and my (self-inflicted) woes? I went to a GA meeting last night so should be topped-up with good will and compassion...
It seems pathetic to me that I was use someone else's achievement to revel in my own misfortunes... I thought I was over this sort of behaviour.
They passed me the phone later so I could congratulate him in person, I did so through gritted teeth.
I feel ashamed for the way my internal workings conducted things today.
I have resting on my laurels since giving up gambling, just happy to exist and still be in the game so to speak, however people all around me are getting on.
I think this is the crux of the issue. It does not excuse my behaviour though. Im scared if I push myself too hard again my world will come crashing down again and this time it will be a write off.
Please chuck in some words of wisdom if you have any.
Thanks in advance 👍
Feeling really down about the way I behaved. I don't even need an extension to be honest, I just wanted one to show off to people.
Thanks so much for the supportive post, it was well received and brought me back to earth a bit.
The whole thing bothered me most of the day, felt like I was slipping and all this was a sign of slowly but surely returning to old mindsets and old ways. However going home and seeing my son for a bit was the best remedy, he was dead pleased to see me today.
Yeah it's funny you mentioned about my colleague possibly having similar thoughts, thinking about it you're probably right and perhaps looking at people in my situation spurred him on to get things going in his life, if that's the case then I'm happy to have helped in some way as he really is a top bloke and deep down I am actually happy for him.
I think today has something to do with that particular work environment, I really don't like it there and it does tend to bring out the worst of me. When I have breaks from working there I really do feel the difference, more wholesome, serene and content... There's a lot of twits that work there. Staff leave all the time.
The debt rolls on, to be honest I am amazed I have managed it thus far, a lot of thanks goes to my wife I guess... If I can just continue now for another year and a half then my wife has agreed that we can wipe the rest out with a remortgage and then after that I'd have a few years of paying her back money borrowed.
Writing all this makes me shudder. Online gambling is DEADLY when the CG is left untethered in the arena. I did all the damage listed above in half an hour 😔
Anyway as mentioned I think all these feelings had something to do with not making the most of my life these days and settling for less... It's not that I'm not motivated, I'm just scared to take risks now.
Thanks again for the message, I really do appreciate it ✊ much needed lift today.
Wasn't any better than you, never wanted to go out with family members, ( but deep inside was jealous of that common bond they shared ) now honesty time, I longed for it but just couldn't afford the waiters tip yet alone the meal. Towards the end they stopped asking me, birthdays anniversaries & all the other celebratory occasions. Did it ever occur to me it was ME not THEM who was wrong, HELL NO. Gambled everything i had earlier in the day, whilst they embraced, treasured & enjoyed everything that's good & healthy in life whilst i sat being bitter & twisted alone. Friendship same story, phone stopped ringing asking if i fancied a pint, or if someone wanted to pop in to see me. Your posts are a fantastic read, even if they do make us confront the past in all it's ugliness. If i give up facing & trying to rectify it i've nothing left to believe in. Thanks for a blast from the past.
Let me see if I can make any sense.
When we are feeling insecure (scared) our base instincts come to the fore, such as jealousy.
These are instincts which judge, compare, fight and flight - originally for survival and serving great purpose.
In today’s society these deep level processes are redundant and problematic.
This is perfectly natural. In a very real sense it’s good that you’re experiencing the discomfort you describe. This means that you’re using your rational sense of self to challenge these core systems.
It takes time to change the base instincts but you can do it
This is a slightly different point but using materialism as a metric for success, or happiness, really is a dead end.
But if materialism’s hardwired into you from a young age it’s hard to get off the wheel.
Youll never have enough and one-up-manship will only give you fleeting satisfaction.
i don’t ‘suffer’ from materialism. But I have other metrics to beat myself up with.
When Im ‘on’ I can get jealous and insecure around people who are self-actualised, ‘out there’, funny, engaging.
In that situ I get really self-conscious and debilitated - the opposite of what I admire and aspire too.
So different metric but same process.
But i can challenge this by effort - I could call it rationalism but that sounds dour. I mean challenging base instincts with my values, who I am, what I want to stand for.
Thanks a lot for the responses guys, some useful and deep insights that I will take on board.
After yesterday, I do feel genuinely happy for my colleague now, perhaps it's because I'm away from the work environment now and at home or perhaps I've given myself an 'out' by writing down how I was feeling and receiving advice from good people like yourselves which helps to demystify what was taking place.
Had a weird dream last night about times when I was 19/20 years old, completely out of nowhere... That period of my life was pretty patchy to begin with to be honest so the dream moved sporadically, more like a series of snapshots... However a lot of it was scenes with friends when I lived in the Westcountry, and also scenes when my girlfriend (now wife) would visit and we would all do stuff together.
When I woke up I realised I was probably taken back to a time when I was happiest in my life. In comparison to today there was a clear winner. I also realised today I only have one friend but back then I had dozens.
Anyway like you say Al / Louis we need to challenge these processes when they arise and be a bit more rational, in this case I was successfully able to by seeing my son and realising he makes me happy, he is worth a thousand friends and in many ways post-gambling life is this blank canvas that I am free to design whichever way I want now, even better than the old days if I want - or maybe that's the point isn't it Louis, why do I automatically default to it having to be better which apparently leads to me being automatically happier? Maybe I just need to work on feeling secure in myself and at peace, despite everything that is going on around me, external environments and current situation...
Anyway thanks guys for taking time to get back to me, I'll bear in mind what was advised and be watchful of these patterns and belief systems arising again in the future.
You probably never really wanted that blasted extension!
It’s wonderful how you work things through and come to a better place at the end of it.Many of us can relate to you and truly appreciate your ability to express yourself so well.
I too struggle with looking at my debt, especially after pay day. It goes down a bit each month but it’s kind of a reminder of how I lost thousands in the course of a night, risking, losing, winning and then really losing! I do sometimes feel full of regret and also envious of others and their apparent perfect lives.
But life goes on. In a month I’ll be a grandparent for goodness sake. Obviously a very young grandparent but one all the same! I will be there on a journey supporting my son. A journey that I wasn’t expecting but I do feel it will give some greater meaning to my life and I am now looking forward to it. So keep looking for some meaning, follow your talents and as Louis infers forget the materialistic stuff. In fact I am absolutely sure that you are not really that bothered about things despite the clothes you bought in your gambling days! Enjoy your son, family and music. And you are only human so sometimes we do compare- but you have rationalised it.
Best as always
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply rob. Good to hear from you as always.
Very good point re. people and their 'apparent' perfect lives - t'is the reason I don't engage in social media and the like, nobody is perfect are they... In fact you reminded me in my early days on here of how many people gave up gambling then relapsed after a Facebook binge i.e. coveting, envying, aspiring to have what the others have... And instead chucking away what they do have down the trap door 😔
I'm on a night shift and just had a gambling 'thought' - not an urge, just a thought I guess. There is another guy that works here who has a stinking gambling problem but won't address it, sometimes when I see him in the mornings it is obvious he has been up all night gambling - that's what I used to do to be honest (once my work was completed).
Anyway he crossed my mind just now and it made me think about the lure and the power of the gamble, how it can take over your body and mind and before you know it youve been up for a whole night and probably no better off than when the night started money wise...
It made me wonder if I'd ever be stupid enough to try that again, I hope not. I'm glad I have blocks like gamban, Gamstop and no financial controls in place, if I ever succumb to this whim then they will protect me. I'm sure this thought has only come about because I'm skint at the moment and debt is nagging me as a result.
I did a lot of my gambling here at work on a night shift... Bizarrely I've never felt vulnerable here at work since that fateful day a year ago when I blew everything, until tonight? Like I said, thank god for blocks anyway. Gambling is a very patient adversary it seems!
Anyway well chuffed for you re addition to your family. It's quite heartwarming to hear how you will devote yourself to helping your son on this journey... Our son was the first one - we were both frightened, my dad has been pretty much a dud in my life due to his own battles with addiction, we sort of tried leaning on him for help and support when we first became parents but he didn't want to know.
Now he is trying a bit, I recognise that and don't really blame him for his initial stance - as a fellow addict I'm just in awe of him that he managed to see parenthood through until the end, took me a long time to come to this realisation though!
Anyway my point is your son is really lucky. I'm not sure if it's his first or not but to have your commitment and support available will be a blessing for him no doubt, it will make bringing a new life into this mad and confusing world that little bit easier for sure mate 👍 respect ✌️
I look at my in-laws and my parents now when they see my son and it's like they have been reborn, they are invigorated, I'm sure it's going to be the same for you so you enjoy it! It's a beautiful time in your life and it seems you got out of the madness just in time 😉 now the experience of having that new face around will be pure ecstasy and not hampered my the prospect of the next bet or the outcome of existing ones 😌
Take care mate, all the best.
Many thanks for visiting my diary - you really are a gent
And now that you don't gamble your money is well spent
An outstanding man of signals who is really quite a whizz
And when it comes to good advice you really know the biz
340 days without a bet so please stand proud and tall
For you have shown true courage and are a noble soul
Go forward now with head held high and trust in a better tomorrow
Enjoy the days when life is good and live with occasional sorrow
Hello Signalman. Just popped by to wish you a good week.
Thankyou for the support, encouragement and advice following my recent relapse.
I am struggling to come to terms with my gambling last Thursday and just thinking about it makes me cringe. However, what's done is done so I will just have to learn from it and move on.
I am struggling to come to terms with my gambling last Thursday and just thinking about it makes me cringe.
Its ok to cringe... It's ok to be hurt - you are a human being.
But that's the point, you are a human being and you deserve the best possible life a human being can have. But you need to engineer that, noone is going to do it for you, willpower is not going to do it for you, optimism is not going to do it for you (exclusively).
If you continue to gamble you will never get to that point. You may think your life has peaked at this point in spite of the gambling (that you'll just live with and constantly battle with) but step out of that mind of yours where all your escape routes lie and let's do this proper this time.
When you genuinely get to a place of serenity you won't have to convince anyone (least of all yourself) that everything is different this time, IT WILL JUST BE PLAIN TO SEE, AND FEEL.
For you, and those around you.
Giving over your card is a great first step. Make sure that happens at the end of the month, regardless of what gambling tries to tell you nearer the time. If you've stepped out of your mind by the end of the month then gambling won't be able to reach you at that point anyway.
Life is for living, not for lusting.