Life has been hard recently, but rather than stay strong to deal with it all, I have reverted to my old way of burying my head in the sand.
This includes my form of self-harm - gambling.
No need to go into all the financial details, suffice to say it hurts and has serious ramifications.
On the 9th of September 2020 I decided to address the inactivity, the booze, cigarettes and recreational drugs, and am confident that I have at long last gotten my head in the right place and am making great progress.
I feel strong enough now to add gambling to the list of things I recognise as damaging and inevitably destructive.
I refuse to allow myself to continue to go round in ever decreasing circles and commit to myself (and my family) to take every necessary step to beat this addiction.
Let today the 22nd September 2020 be the first day of the new man I aspire to be.
Excellent and in this moment of strength you must have the blocks in and the monitoring processes in place.
It is a drug like all the others. A very heavy harmful and addictive drug to the mind and body. We start it recreationally thinking its a bit of a buzz and become hooked on it.
I take great pride in living a healthy life now. Its not square or nerdy to be free from gambling, drinking and smoking...it makes great sense and I feel good
To be gamble free is a great freedom despite what the addiction tells recovering gamblers in the early days. There is actually no excuse for not finding enjoyable things to do as there are plenty of them to lead a full life.
It will take more than your willpower so please get some monitoring and support from people close if you can
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Thank You Joydivider,
Your message made me *** the bull very much by the horns this morning.
I have Self Excluded from all of my on line accounts and have given my details to the self exclusion team identifying ten high street shops nearby which I can no longer frequent (I didn't intend to but this slams the door shut).
Feeling very positive even taking my first steps.
Thats great. Believe me its what you need to do and I followed the tried and trusted advice that was given to me. You need that door shut and to discuss your feelings
If you keep talking it through you need reality checks to get the mind thinking straight and back into healthy behaviour. Take pride in your recovery. Try and explain a gambling session to a non gambler you love and trust. What you have done will just sound very alien and it will give you focus.
If you can analyse yourself and get some therapy its part of becoming a bigger person more at ease with youself. Personally I was vunerable because I was trying to escape from life and substitute missing emotions with the gambling drug
My mind is now firm that gambling just equals misery. However I respect the power of the addiction and keep talking through any vunerable points I renew my blocks every year because its something I like to do. I have never abstained for this long before and it took a full recovery to do it
I finally realised I was a total addict and couldnt go near it again. I dont think its all my fault as it was pushed at me but I do take full reponsibility for my own actions in order to recover properly.
All the best...keep using the forum read the stories and give your input...its very theraputic, helps others and focuses your mind on the misery it causes to countless people
Yesterday was the most industrious day I have had in months. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I have put blocks on my phone and computer in addition to Self Excluding on-line and at the High Street.
I am not ready to analyse why I chose to gamble just yet, but i know it is borne out of unhappiness, frustration and escapism.
I find it strange when I look at what gambling has given me, unhappiness, frustration and entrapment, so not only did it not fix the first two, it made the third even more debilitating.
Played golf for the first time in years this morning, and plan to read and relax this afternoon...sport free and gamble free.
No cravings or urges, i am just happy to have put the wheels in motion.
A long long road ahead, but i'm smiling 🙂
Looking at sport without a bet on felt very strange last night....not sure exactly what I was feeling, but it did not hold the same appeal.
I'm not in debt, but have blown a fair bit of what I had tucked away.
Today is about accountability, making a income and expenditure tracker and making plans to recoup my losses through prudence and moderation.
There really is no short cut to finance.
Gambling has made me numb to many emotions, I give myself permission to allow them to all return.
If they are difficult ones, I will address them and if they are positive ones I will celebrate them.
Cest la Vie.
Thank you Charlieboy,
Yes that numbness is one horrible non-emotion I never wish to encounter again.
I have been reflecting, but do subscribe to the old adage of not crying over spilt milk.
Where I have been, what I have done and what I have spent cannot be altered.
I intend to draw on the pain they have caused as a stark reminder when required. But otherwise they are behind me and my better future lies ahead of me.
Today I am going to back up the high street shop exclusions by printing off copies and handing them over face to face.
I know they are sent electronically, but I want to take personal responsibility and let them see the white of my eyes.
I don't feel in any way ashamed, I feel proud and strong for recognising my addiction and taking actions to address them.
Starting to make other positive changes in my life too, small steps, everything takes time and commitment.
By starting my day with a few thoughts here, hopefully it will help focus the mind for the challenges of the day ahead.
And there it is - one week in without as much as the bat of an eyelid.
Once the true blocks are in, it becomes so much easier.
I have told my kids, my friends, paid for a block on my PC and phone, backed up my self-exclusions with paper copies handed into each shop...and rather than feel embarrassed feel like a guy released from a prison cell.
I am however still viewing sport as 'opportunities', as an example when I saw the golf last night i still mentally picked a guy a bit off the pace and wondered what odds he would be and rooted for him while watching.
This acts a as a reminder that I have a long long way to go, and am only really out on parole.
I have therefore taken the decision to seek out a local GA meeting and attend this week.
I have to stop thinking i can beat this alone as everything on here that i read tells me otherwise.
I am ready for the week ahead, and am going to make it the best i can possibly be.
Hi ssb. Taking away the temptation is the first and most important step towards recovery leaving avenues open to gamble leaves you relying on willpower alone I have yet to speak to or read a post of someone who has managed on willpower alone. Prior to installing gamstop I lasted less than 48hours on willpower and I am not ashamed to say that and that time was spent sweating, irritable because I needed to gamble and knew that I could. Taking the temptation away has allowed me to redirect my life and I'm 4months gamble free, I gambled for 20 years from my first trip to bingo when it was for fun !! I doubt since that first gamble I have gone more than 4weeks last 2-3years was that horrible gut churning compulsive gambling every day. Funny thinking back then 20years ago I didn't view bingo as gambling ! . Have you thought about doing GA meetings via zoom it's not the same as face to face meetings but it's a very good alternative and keeps you grounded in your recovery. You've made a good start keep going
@skyblueblue Where about in the country are you because there are some GA meetings open with more to open soon. They are just limited to certain numbers and you might need to call or message in advance to get a seat.
I can find out for you if you aren't sure.
I don't fancy any Zoom type calls, i think i would be more comfortable if i had been attending face to face previously, but to just jump on to a Zoom call is a bit daunting right now.
I am in Edinburgh, but would happily travel to West Lothian or Fife for a face to face meeting - any help would be greatly appreciated.
Why did I go there when things got bleak?
Blowing hard earned money week after week.
What was I feeling? Was I feeling at all?
When time and time again I used to fall?
Fear and self loathing, the hurt and the pain.
Repeating the madness again and again.
But this time I have risen and have a new beginning.
Stopping gambling completely IS the only way of winning.