Hi i'm Tom and i am a compulsive gambler - this always feels like the right place to start. I recently relapsed after 2 years gamble free and have been using the chat and forum to try and get me back on track. Some people i speak to on the chat i want to share my story with in more detail but we are not allowed to exchange personal details so i thought i would tell my story here for anyone that wanted to read it. Today is my 4th day gamble free after 2 years without a bet. But lets go back to the very beginning.
I am 25 years old and have been gambling since i was 16. It started with the odd accumulator here and there every saturday with a older friend and even family putting the bets on for me. I started heavily gambling when i got to university and had access to online gambling sites. I first accepted i had a problem when i was 21 and went to GA. When i walked into the room all i wanted was someone to give me the easy way out. Tips and advice on how to be cured for good or can you believe it for them to give me money!!! When i went in to GA i thought i was in the worst position of my life "Rock Bottom" people like to call it. But someone said something in the room that has stuck with me forever. The only thing that can be considered "Rock Bottom" is death. Apart from that it can always get worse if you carry on gambling.
Like i said when i first went to GA i was 21 losing my wages every month, a small amount of debt but in general the rest of my life was kept in tact. Fast forward 3 years and i lost nearly a million pounds, gained massive amounts of debt, lost friends, lost relationships, lost family, spent 3 years in a dark bedroom not wanting to interact with anyone or anything and ended up in and out of rehab 2 times. I sat there at 23 in rehab for the 3rd time wishing how i had packed it in at 21 when i first entered GA the life that seemed so awful and out of control for me back then now looked like the life of the main character from Wolf of Wall Street. When i got out of Rehab i thought i had finally got it cracked and had said goodbye to this horrible disease for life.
For 2 years i lived the good life. Holidays, pub garden, dinners, takeaways, bought nice clothes, bought the new Xbox, went to football etc etc and one moment of weakness and complacency from me lead to a week of carnage that ended on the Sunday just gone. Lost the £9500 which i managed to save over the past 2 years. Gone in what felt like a click of my fingers. I got complacent. I stopped doing the things that kept me gamble free. I thought i had beat it. I thought i was better than it. I allowed myself access to one of the 3 big no no's TIME, MONEY, ACCESS. Now i have lived both i can tell you hands down gamble free is the life for me.
Old me would of chased these debts till i was dangling off the edge of a bridge trying to muster the courage to jump off. But new me is determined to get back to the happy place. The place we can all get too. It feels a long way away now because we are impulsive people. We want everything now. Everything to be fixed NOW, All our debts to be paid NOW, our friends and family to forgive us NOW. But in reality all these things take time. Eventually the minutes turn into hours the hours turn into days the days turn into months and the months turn into years. The longer you are gamble free the better it gets.
Funnily enough writing all this out has helped me a lot. I could do with taking some of my own advice lol. Although i am in a bad place right now everytime i relapse i feel like i gain something new. A good piece of advice, a new way of thinking or just in general becoming better with coping with what has happened and how i am going to fix it. So here i am Day 4 of being gamble free. I am going to post everyday to ensure i stay on track and get back to living life on life's terms.
Hi Tom, nice speaking earlier in chat, well done on day 4, I know how hard it is waiting there with no money because you have spent it and eagerly waiting for pay day to come. Those days are tuff because you have to sit and dwell on why your in this mess. You are wise above you years and rehab and previous GA have given you some very good knowledge and tools to use on your new journey.
You have got this and we are all behind you 💪
Just to introduce you to myself.
I'm kate, 32 next month and have gambled slots for 12 years. I'm now gamble free for 8 weeks today. This is my first attempt at being gamble free and it will be my LAST! I have to do this because I'm a mum of 2 children and I have wasted all these years blowing cash i could of used more on my children. That is the biggest guilt I have to live with and it will spur me on now I'm in a stronger place and can see without rose-tinted glasses on.
I find the forums so so helpful, reading the success stories, they spur me on to want to achieve the same outcomes and then the not so successful stories of newbies or those who relapse really motivated me to carry on because quite frankly it hits home that was how I felt 8 weeks ago and I never want to feel like that again.
So good luck Tom, hopefully see you in chat tomorrow
Hi Tom, I can really relate to your story with wasting every months wages for gosh knows how many years myself. What is refreshing is that you have good organisational skills in terms of what you have learned during your journey and I know the pain hurts at the moment with what has been lost most recently and waiting for some normality to come back.
a old fellow from GA always used to ask me "have you done your brains in yet?" That was always after I had gone back after a relapse. I can’t stress enough how powerful a physical room can be and I do hope you manage to get back to one soon including the forums and chat services on this site.
reading into secretaddict’ s comment it hits home for myself as I want to be gamble free and have kids myself some time soon and some of the stories on here make me want to be gamble free more than ever.
due to my circumstances currently I can’t make physical meetings but I know they are worth there weight in gold with knowledge and shared experiences to open ones mind up and understanding.
I hope to see a post soon
keep gamble free
Thanks for the comments guys much appreciate. Day 5 gamble free today. Missed out on the group chat tonight because my brother and Dad came over to watch England vs Scotland was nice to see them and my Dad brought me round enough food to keep me going until i get paid on the 30th. I guess i just have to take solace in lifes simple pleasures for now. In a couple months this all just feel like a distant nightmare.
Well done on another day gamble free, of course its valuable having you in chatroom but at the same time its so lovely to hear you missed it because you was enjoying time with loved ones. Nice to hear your dads helping you out with food soon. Its lovely that you have a positivr outlook despite the relapse youve scooped yourself back up got back on track and i think ultimatly youve shown real strength and courage
Thanks for suggestion Dave, problem is weather is so terrible at the moment in London. Maybe when the weather picks up again i shall.
Start of Day 7 Gamble free today. Woke up in a very irritable mood. Currently sleeping a lot longer than normal i think its because my dreams are better than my reality right now. As soon as i open my eyes all the pain comes flooding back in.
I have been reflecting whilst walking the dog however. The piece of me that wants the money back that i lost in my latest binge is the addict part of my brain. Why does normal me need the money right now? Simple answer is i don't. My dad brought me groceries to last until i get paid i luckily paid my rent and all my bills at the start of the month so this longing for my money back is just my addict persona uncomfortableness at having nothing to gamble with. It try's to lure me in with thoughts of how much i am missing out on the pub, a dinner, deposit for a house etc etc but the truth is when i have any kind of money i don't do these things anyway. Maybe once or twice a month but if i don't gamble my wages i am in a lucky position to be able to do these things anyway. My addict persona just wants me back in action. Back down the bookies and back having a bet. Because thats how it gets its kicks. I am going to transfer my wages to my dad as soon as i get them at the end of month to ensure that the addict part of me doesn't win this battle.
Coming to the end of Day 8 being gamble free. I thought i would share some words of wisdom from a fellow gambler in recovery that i spoke too today.
"I will NEVER be cured. I will always be a compulsive gambler deep down. Just one in recovery. When I accepted that….. and it was f*****g hard…. My recovery clicked. I devote 2 hours a week to GA with a few texts and phone calls with other members. 2 hours to get my life (save my life) back. How can I not do that when I used to spend 12 hours gambling a day and 12 hours thinking about it at night."
A perfect summary in my opinion. I relapsed because i got complacent. I thought i beat it. But i will never beat it. I will just learn to live with it.
A week, sweet, nice stuff, I like that quote, two hours a day is what I also devote to recovery on here. Each chat room I come a long and then a bit of time reading diaries, writing mine and commenting..... Its a great feeling getting through each day gambling free..... We can do this tom..... I hope u join me on here on new years chat at eight pm to toast to a successful year one where u stumbled one week but got back up fought each day and resurrected yourself to a better place..... Let's do this!
Day 9 in the books. Emotions are starting to feel more regulated and back to normal. Frustrating time in the group chat tonight however. One particular person who seems to have an issue with me. Nothing worse when people say things about you that are not true. Feels like they are not there for recovery and have no desire to be gamble free they just want money. But i took a time out from chat and checked my thinking and stopped myself from saying something out of line. Hopefully mods can do something about this for the future. They seem to let it play out. Even though its happened 3 times now to me and also to another user. The chat is my safe place and want it to remain that way.
Very sorry to read this Tom but well done for not reacting. There are always the minority who spoil things in almost all walks of life. I just wish everyone could be pleasant and supportive particularly in forums like this.
I must admit I’m not GF yet. I’ve still not come clean to my wife as still petrified of her reaction so am continuing to gamble in the hope I get the win which helps me avoid what is going to be the worst conversation of my life.
How foolish am I!
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