Have lingered on the site for quite some time now, and haven't posted much before. Decided that it was time to begin a diary, in the hope that it will keep me from the demons I have, but also in the hope of helping others along the way. If I can give some good advice to just one person, then it was worth it.
Have a long history of gambling going back to teenage years, watching my dad playing the machines on holiday camps and being mesmerised by it all. Little did I know at the time that the seed would be planted, and later in life I would have some real struggles with gambling.
Fast forward to the present, and I wouldn't even want to work out the losses, but I know now that gambling really does change me as a person and not for the good.
Like alot on here I guess, I am like a drug addict who is shaking to make the next deposit as quickly as possible, in order not to miss that lucky or not so lucky number. I've decided that enough is enough. It's all become too intoxicating and will end up taking everything in the end.
Even when I win, that feeling doesn't last much longer and I get a new sense of confidence and it's soon back in the casinos pocket.
I signed up to GamStop last night, and if I'm honest felt empty doing so. Sure it was the right thing to do, but a massive part of my life, hopefully old life to be is now not playable.
Why can we never walk away?
I wish everyone good luck in their recovery and am happy to be here at last.
Why can we never walk away? When we win, we always lose.
The trick is never to go there. When you're there you have already lost. Putting up stop signs is not easy but can be done and eventually, your brain will learn something else why because there is no other choice.
Not even Einstein would find a formula for ending gambling addiction in midflight. It is your addictive brain that is in control then and when it's going for that dopamine it is going to have it come hell or high water. We can be the most rational people on earth when we return from a high and the wallet is empty but when your fuel is in and your wallet is full that old addiction mind will fire away and be ready to go again.
Stop yourself before you gamble. That is the only way.
Thank you for the advice c43h.
I think your right, we've lost as soon as we have placed that first bet.
I'm not sure anyone else can relate, but I would debate for ages on spending 50 quid on a new jumper for example, not hesitate when it comes to losing thousands in an hour online like yesterday.
The mind boggles.
Yes we need to talk about machines again. Its been documented that 40% of the take comes from addicted gamblers and 20% from developing a problem gamblers. So thats 60% from problem gamblers and I still think that is a conservative estimate...I would put it much higher
They are simply not really profitable without addicts so make of that what you will.
They are designed to be highly addictive and I was addicted within a day at the age of twelve. I realise now that machine should never have been allowed in that holiday chip shop.
However I never felt so alive...so sneaky and alive like the world around me had opened up and I had a purpose. It was like a state of heightened awareness and I can only liken it to what I have read about the first time on certain drugs. I remember when I was walking there the world seemed alive around me and I could breathe the air for the first time
I still need people to explain to me now how a machine with reels and some sort of snakes and ladders chase game could be that addictive to me. A naff little machine but it was the start of a forty year addiction.
I thought I was better than that but clearly not. I have only recently learnt about the power of addiction during my recovery.
I wonder why I was vulnerable but I am certainly not alone. I was a shy anxious kid, body conscious with a depressive personality...bit angry with my lot in life....bored..... not relating to my parents and a complex mix of emotions...perfect fodder for the instant temptation.
Make no mistake these machine designers know what they are doing and what they are offering. This isnt an innocent game about offering entertainment to the masses. From the one armed bandits onwards they know its human nature to be attracted like a moth to the light.
Im careful about talking about "winning" The title of this thread is true but its more complex than that. We end up playing to lose...playing to punish ourselves...playing to escape....playing for any emotion good or bad...playing for the drug fix which in later years just becomes anything different from feeling numb or depressed
Its so complex that even a "near miss" becomes the same fix so guess what...the machine designers build in bonuses which are not bonuses...false wins..which are only now being considered byt the gambling commision as totally wrong!
It induces a trance or stupor similar to a hypnotic state. I knew it was a disaster but couldnt walk away. Im still learning why I couldnt walk away but I am now crystal clear that its the most dangerous thing I could do
I try and remain calm now...its history and I dont beat myself up about it. I take responsibility for a healthy recovery but I know its far from being my own fault. I was ill with addiction and I have recovered very well.
However I see the reality that short of a ban it should carry a government health warning and be well away from the beaten track where people have to sign in with strict limits. Thats being soft because personally I would ban it all.
I defy anybody to tell me they were fun or entertainment. I would have been far better off in a world without them.
Best wishes to everyone on the forum
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