Great to see your positive attitude Rob.
I am hoping that this can be the time when you, like me and many others, can finally put a stop to the gambling which has caused us so much strife.
We are, like you so rightly say, compulsive gamblers but I feel we have what it takes to overcome the urges to gamble.
We will all, no doubt, have good and bad experiences but if we refrain from gambling than our lives must surely improve.
Some people find it beneficial to engage in other hobbies, pastimes and interests.
It is good to stay positive. We might feel remorse and regret for our foolishness in the past but we need to let it go and move on. You are a good man who has the potential to live a happy life, contented and at peace with yourself and the world around you.
I wish you well in all your endeavours ...Stephen
So reflecting on the last 50 days, it has been tough. Not because I wanted to gamble but because of what it had done to me, financially, emotionally and mentally.
If I am honest I’m still not right. I am not dealing with my relationships well and put off things I need to do, avoid friends and watch far too much TV or just put myself into work.
As I have said before- for some people when they recover it seems they have enough in place or around them to adjust quite quickly to ‘normal life’.
For others, like me change needs to be more transformative. Perhaps I am scared of real personal change and healthy relationships. I need to soon somehow get to this big stuff and face it.
I suppose for now, it’s okay to have stopped gambling and to at least be thinking about stuff. Gambling isn’t an answer to deeper problems. I know that. I just need to keep telling myself that.
So one day at a time. Best to all.
Hi Rob & welcome to GamCare! Don't think I spoke to you before.
Thank you very much for the post on my diary and you're very right - forgiveness is massive part in this journey. Also followed by self love & care. Letting go of burden and pain and allowing ourselves to breathe and enjoy peace again.
This is long journey with many bumps along the way however absolutely nothing comes as bad as the pain we choose to put upon ourselves by bad choices we make.
I hope you're keeping well and are looking after yourself. Don't forget to apply your wonderful advice to yourself too.
You're loved, you're cared for, you deserve the best 🙂
Have a wonderful Sunday and keep up the good fight - day at a time!
Thanks S&B for your lovely post. I am the artist formerly known as Down and Out but following Stephen’s wise words I decided to give myself my proper name.
I haven’t posted for a while. Not because I have gambled - in fact no urges at all. However I have felt like a fraud. To put it bluntly I have been a complete and utter a**e for some considerable time at home and haven’t even begun to really start dealing with my character defects. I am so far away from being normal in my personal life. I have continued to live dishonesty and secretively and have been unkind, unhelpful and lacking in empathy. Living life like this it is not surprising that I have gambled, to escape myself and to find a high to replace my emotional emptiness. I find myself now behaving badly and riskily in other aspects of my life.
I am not wanting to gamble, but not complacent, but know that I have to leave my selfish self behind and to at least really try to be a decent partner and family man. If it fails then it fails but I have to do something. I have been so far away- sometimes immersed in gambling- for so long that I am finding it hard to know where to start. I have to start though and tomorrow will try to be a kinder, better man.
For me stopping gambling is the start. I need to change. I might even like it...
Sorry for the heavy confessional guys. Needed to be said.
Keep strong all. If you are here you know gambling doesn’t help.
I hope you are all doing well.
I think so much of this addiction, for me at least, is a consequence of not wanting to accept good things including healthy relationships with myself and others. Gambling gave me a place to run from all of that. That’s why for me it’s such a tough journey. But I am getting there!
Best to all
Great progress Rob, keep it up. I like your positive attitude.
I have just been thinking how it is helpful to focus on the here and now and to let go of the past. We can't change what has gone before but we can certainly change how we choose to behave now and in the future.
Unfortunately I recently had a stumble and gave some money to the machines. However, I am now back on my feet with a new diary and a renewed sense of purpose.
Take care my friend and keep blazing that trail.
From an admittedly quick perusal of your diary, I feel you're being really harsh with yourself. Perhaps I identify.
Yes, you've made some bad choices. But rather than see this as being some kind of inherent dark aspect to your personality - it seems to be that some of the choices you make - well, they're your mind's way of trying to protect itself from hurt. There have been lesson learned along the road - which whilst well-intentioned, and offering short-term relief, are to your detriment.
But this doesn't mean your bad - you've just developed some unhealthy default modes.
So when you get some insight into yourself, and try and effect change, it works, to an extent, but then you come against that deep, reflexive position which can kick in all too readily.
So your trying to use reason and knowledge, which is powerful but also un-sticky. Particularly when up against more deeply ingrained ways.
But these deeper systems will be overcome by knowledge and effort so that your better intentions now become deep-rooted.
I've also wondered 'why me?' - when there are no obvious historical or recent trauma which appears to have led me to addiction. But be careful with this line of reasoning - as this can become yet another stick to beat yourself with. At the end of the day - it's about you, not about you in relation to other addicts.
You've got this sh'eite to sort out. You've done therapy which worked wonders. I've recently finished a series of therapy sessions which been hugely helpful - they really gave me a lot clarity of thought. You've got insight which a lot of people won't ever have - but you need to push forwards and keep pushing.
You said that some people can just stop gambling and everything else falls into place. This is almost certainly a fallacy. No one becomes addicted in a vacuum. Such a serious self-defeating addiction as gambling is always the sign of some deeper internal struggle - it must be. I've mentioned previously the famous tests on rats - they used to feed heroin to rats and observe how they became addicted quickly.
But then they wondered that - hey, maybe the fact we're giving this drug to a rat, in a cage with nothing in it, in isolation, is relevant to the results. So they changed the conditions so that there were other mice around, a mate, obstacles and stuff of intrigue for the mice - and lo and behold! The mice would no longer be addicted when fed the drug.
This shows that stuff like gambling and drugs aren't inherently addictive, but they can become so when set in contrast with our own lives, and the levels of well-being, meaning, love etc we are experiencing in our own.
So it also makes sense that if you simply remove the buzz, that you're automatically removing the fertile grounds for addition, which I'm sure you know. You do have to work for it. Do therapy, do whatever pushes you out of your comfort zone.
All the best
Well done on your progress and more importantly your desire to beat this.
I personally believe me need to also forgive ourselves for out debt situation or at least look at it differently to try and prevent relapses ...as we all often regret this debt and it drives us to think of daydream of that big win to help clear it...bit in reality very few of us would withdraw and pay our debts....it would be a daze wanting that bit more...lose the lot and feel like c**P.
I'm trying to view my debts in another way, attempting to ignore how I created them and focus on the fact that alot of society have debts to pay, for holidays, cars, etc.
I am not trying to forget the gambling experience but just forgive myself and remember that people can accumulate debts in all sorts of ways, so although we made bad choices we are not bad people, just entrapped by our choices.
Focussing our minds on gambling debts is a huge trigger.
Forgive yourself you are a good person and keep your amazing progress going.
You can absolutely beat this
Hi Rob .
Just wanted to thank you for your kind post on my diary .
I think it helps us as individuals to put down our thought's someday's , then to read it back seems to help us understand our inner working's a little better ? .
Dealing as we both do with our character trait's and defect's is so difficult , I honestly felt when I stopped gambling and the initial euphoria stopped like I was this " Empty vessel " that just had a bit of stuff swishing around in the bottom if that makes sense ? , everyone else seemed to me to be just getting on with a " Normal life " but mine was akin to a kid turning up to his first Rugby game where everyone else knew the rules except me ? .
I guess we both just have to keep pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone until it becomes the norm and we learn to integrate ? .
Wishing you well my friend and keep pushing through 🙂
So it’s 100 days today. It’s something, and yet, at the same time nothing, because I am in it for the long run. I cannot win because I cannot stop. I know that from many failed attempts in the past and the state I have ended up in on countless occasions. I hope I am here in the next 100 days and that I am making progress in other areas of my life as I move on.
Best wishes to all. You can overcome the addiction but you have to commit and, as I know, it is not easy.