I haven't gambled for over 4 years, I can't even remember the exact date that I stopped, is that shameful? Life is certainly better now, good even. 4 Years ago, that was impossible to imagine. I look back and honestly think that a temporary madness took over me - temporary, but it lasted for 5ish years. 5 Years of being constantly stressed 5 Years of being constantly skint. 5 Years of feeling like a failure. 5 Years of self-imposed exile from normal relationships. I told myself it was my only enjoyment (it wasn't enjoyable). I convinced myself I would win big enough to live the life I dreamed of (there was no 'big enough', it was never enough, no matter how big the win). Now my life is safe, full of love, stable, happy in the main. Why then, does gambling still tap me on the shoulder every now and again? I rejoice at the betting shops going out of business, at Gamstop (which I truly believe to be a life saver), at the new imposed restrictions on stakes and bonus buys etc, why do I feel the need to keep checking up on what is being done if I'm so happy? Why do I still look on this site, even though it's often not a pretty sight? I don't know, I wish I did. I suppose I can't change the reality - I did what I did, and whatever I do going forward, I will always have done 'that' in the past (gambled money that should have been spent on my family and bills). That's hard to stomach. Down days come and go, I just wish I could banish my past completely.
And a grand time for being gamble free.
Agreed, sometimes not pretty but an interesting and sometimes over emotional site. Guessing that's what you get with us addicts.
Thinking regarding your last sentence that it's not so much about banishing your past completely but taking it as a lesson and forgiving your self with regards to your past and possibly that's where your stuck at ? Only thoughts
All the best
Dont be too hard on yourself. Its natural that it will cross your mind and you cant banish the past completely so you will never remember.
That person wasnt you...it wasnt the healthy you...something took you over and thats the part that takes a long while to come to terms with.
It does fade and if you are doing good things you wont be thinking about it much if at all.
However like an alcoholic or substance user there is no room for complacency. It got into us and you have to turn the fact that we can never be complacent into something positive to know.
I have found that healing brings strength when I choose to think about it as my brain becomes crystal clear. I know many answers about the illness and why I was prone to a gambling addiction I dont think I could actually calculate the amount Ive thrown away by gambling.
Its done and you have to let it go with a calmness and serenity because even mildy annoyed is destructive. Im interested in what happened to me and thats not a bad thing. I channel my energy into helping others and trying to change the law related to this
Your achievement is to be applauded. Im sure you are now clear you dont need it in your life. All it ever did was harm me and cause untold misery
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Thanks for the replies The Revanant (ditto on the cool name), Lonelysoul and JoyDivider. That's what's amazing about this site, complete strangers offering support and a few wise words. I really appreciate it.
I'm still a bit itchy, not to gamble, just being haunted of memories past. Rev hit the nail on the head, I haven't forgiven myself, I don't know if I ever will. I can make excuses for myself, but forgiveness is a whole new ball game. Something to work on.
Redundancies are looming at work, that, I am sure, is what has triggered my unease. Life has been good the past few of years, aside from the odd feeling that I don't deserve my 'new' life, I embrace it. Any potential wobble, like this redundancy business, puts me on edge, like life is giving me my just desserts. Logically, I know that's not the case so I have to get a grip. I will be ok. I am ok. I'm not a victim, I'm someone who made terrible decisions for a few years, who is trying to make it right to the casualties of my idiotic war.
Bad news, discovered redundancies are definitely looming in Jan, I am under consultancy, so am in the mix. I won't let it be a reason to drop my guard. What would gambling do? Lots of cons, no pro's whatsoever. Trying to focus on the many positives in my life. The thought of job-hunting exasperates me, especially at this time of year. 4 Years ago I would have used this as an excuse, I'm not even tempted today. To anyone reading this in the early days, please do persevere. The longer the distance between you and your last gamble, the better clarity to your thinking, I'm not complacent but I am confident that I won't saboutage the progress I've made for a hour (or 3) of zoning out in front of spinning wheels.
Sorry to hear that you may be facing redundancies in the new year. Please do not be discouraged as it also seems you are doing well being gamble free. This is really encouraging for our users and we hope you will continue to share your experiences here at the forum.