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3.5 years gamble free after more than 20 years active  

Compulsive Gambler

I've been reluctant to post here, I feel very conflicted.  I'm proud, happy and a little relieved that I've finally managed a gamble free period of 1280 days.  I spent a lot of my active years promising myself I'd do exactly this but never even got close.

My conflict is still that 3.5 years is very little in comparison to the 20+ of being active. The impact across all areas of my life is still damaged from my previous choices.

However, without getting to 3.5 years, I can never hope to tip the scales the other way.  So in that regard, I am currently as successful as I can possibly be after 1280 days.

My addiction is my own, it is deep rooted, I have many reasons and excuses - mitigation if you like.  I simply don't know if I regard it as an illness or a disease - I know that helps some but for me, I try not to think about it - it actually doesn't matter (to me). Essentially I have the gift to make my own decisions and choices.  As an active gamble that felt impossible to understand but in hindsight, I always made a choice to gamble, I changed my own story to feed my addiction. A life full of woe, misery and unjustness.  I was a good guy receiving blow after blow.

Actually, I wasn't. I was selfish, deceitful and manipulative, I was not a good guy, I was a self centered, greedy, scheming individual and I made some terrible choices.

I still have triggers, fleeting thoughts and lots of regret and guilt.  I also have a life to live.  I have a situation that many would envy, a steady job, reasonable wage and healthy family.  I am fortunate, I don't always feel I deserve all I have but also, in this moment of reflection, I can't deny an element of satisfaction - it has been and is hard. It is a relentless fight against my addiction but it is my addiction, I own it and the I own the choices I make.  I am proud that from the depths of despair, a point from which I could see no way back, I am here, in the sunlight and yes, actually that is a massive success for me.

I remain an addicted gambler but I will also choose to not gamble today and I look forward to not gambling for the 1281st day in a row tomorrow, for I will make the choice to not gamble, one day at a time.

I am also eternally grateful for this platform, for the supporters and helpers and gamcare. The fellow humans that take time to post and check in, for the story sharing, the encouragement and the stark, brutal reality of gambling addiction. To my family, especially my sister, who in my hour of my greatest need told me no, she would not help (financially) and in doing so she helped me break the pattern and face the consequences. She and those that have supported throughout helped save my life.

Thank you all.

If you are an active gambler and stumble across my ramblings, you can do this. You can choose to not gamble. Turn your head, face the consequences and accept the help others will give you but also know that you and you alone ARE strong enough to get through this and reclaim a much happier life.

My best wishes


Posted : 6th October 2020 6:14 pm

Well done. Better 20 years active and 3.5 gf than 23.5 active and zero gf!!

You are an inspiration and although we all feel like failures and perhaps at times we do feel, at least we are trying to make a change for the better.

Keep going and well done again.

Posted : 6th October 2020 7:38 pm

That was an astounding post, so well written with honesty, you are a good communicator. It is also very pleasing to here you have gained satisfaction and also can reflect on the bad, nothing is perfect eh and life is a struggle in so many ways. The most natural mindset is short term-ism and I can see you are looking forward to the bigger picture as well as learning from the mistakes of the past. Responsibility is key and denial is the enemy, that's what rang out in your post. Thanks.  

Posted : 6th October 2020 10:19 pm

brilliant post , gives us all hope 

Posted : 6th October 2020 10:30 pm

Hi ,

I am new to this forum ,infact just joined few minutes back and after reading one post i landed up to this one have done a great job my friend because i know how miserable time can be when you are in active addiction.

I was introduced to 12 step program 21 years back ,when i was using drugs,completed 20 years in recovery in 27 jan of this year . 

but here i am ,,suffering from gambling addiction,,i have been gambling since the intial days of my recovery going back to 2000 .it started with cards and that too with NA members only (was stuck in getting same easy money pattern)and here i am today still stuck now in bigger gambling patterns ,,finding no way out of coming it stopped many times because of financial losses amd as soon as money comes and things starts getting settled i again go back to old patterns and find myself stuck in bigger problems ..this has been my life since last 12-14 years ,,loosing and then standing back and then falling back ..i don’t know how much money i lost and how much interest i paid but then the worst part is that i have become hopeless which is more harder to accept being a recovering addict .i understood one thing for sure that its far bigger problem then drug finances were always limited but in this june i lost my father as he cancer came back ,he was 73 and being the only son all his savings fixed deposits came into my account .i got a  house too which he made with his hard earned saving for all those years . he left a fd on my son’s name (13 years old) and in his last days he told me that you do whatever you want to do with this house or money i got in my account but then don’t spoil your son’s money as it will be come handy in his studies (he knew obviously about my gambling) i paid some money i owe to my friends  and family amd some part to to the people whom i was paying interst every month.i was very very string that i am not going to gamble again ..then the locked down period and my father’s treatment helped to get a break

.since last few years i was more into sports betting ,,last year i lost big money in casino and in sports betting accounts since then i have been off and on doing it because all my resources of generating funds has been used at that time so i had to leave and in lock down there was no matches happening so i hardly did it but beileve you me guys i can’t tell you that all my plan went in vain as soon as that mobey came in my hands amd the worst part that i am a online seller sells to overseas buyers only ,,all my work was shut down too cut the long story short whatever my father saved in these 73 years it didnt even take me 73 days to lose it ..the worst is that i list my son’s money too ,,,though i still have got few funds but then yesterday i decided to quit ,,i didn’t gamble today but the there was cricket match coming and i can’t tell you how many times i thought to place a bet in my account but i didn’t,,,all in all it was a miserable day ,,,the void was eating me ,,,i don’t know but i am not liking staying away from it ,,my minds tells me lot of stories plannings how to do it more wisely but then i am aware that doesn’t work ,,never heard of half pregnancy,,either it is there or not there. ...i have tried all means and way out to do it successfully because as a gambler i love to be in it but than nothing works as i am sure to be crying again in repentance...please advice how to deal with these intial times days .it will great help coming from you as you have achieved a milestone..

Always greatful 


Posted : 7th October 2020 9:06 pm
Compulsive Gambler

Thank you to the previous posters...


Sorry to hear about your loss, I have also lost my father several years ago now but it's a tough time.

Congratulations on the 20+ years - very impressive

Gambling - how to deal with the initial stages - I can only share what I did, there are many others who have also started a long recovery period who will have found their own way but I guess I did several things:

1) Accepted that I lost, the bookies beat me.

2) Accepted that the money was gone.

3) Accepted that I could never win, as I never stopped, which led to me now thinking that I am finally winning - by not giving someone else the chance to win my money

4) Asked and accepted help, from professionals

5) Paused being worried or concerned about others loving me, including my wife, I'm still not 100% sure how she feels about me, I'm still not the best version of me as I continue to deal with the aftermath of my gambling but in the early days, I finally realised I just had to concentrate on me.  Had I asked the direct question of my wife, do you want a divorce, in the early days she would of absolutely said yes. Thankfully and largely to due to advice she was given by trained people, she realised, as the father of her children that we didn't need to speak about the relationship until I had at least started getting some help.  We have a decent life and it is getting better but somehow, underpinned by absolute honesty, you have to just focus on you. I hated it but knew I had to do it.  Your focus needs to be on your addiction and recovery and as little else as you can.

6) Commit to a healthy hobby. Despite crippling debt, I found a low cost sport that I wanted to play and made sure I did that at least once a week and watched youtube videos when not playing to learn - it kept my brain occupied and gave me a little exercise

7) Wrote down every single account I had/have, full log in details, including phone, email and bank and gave it to my wife, my mother and my sister. They still have it all, they could access anything they wish. I don't expect they do but knowing they can helps me mentally

8) Posted inordinate amounts of drivel on gamcare - literally whatever I had on my mind, I'm not sure I always finished typing sentences but it became a sanctuary for me - and still is

9) Told everyone close to me and we agreed my wife would tell anyone she wanted to - it filled me with dread but actually the more open it is, the easier it is. I've never been asked to attend a poker night/ night at races or anything since

10) A big one, for me, I made the decision that for me, I couldn't gamble on anything, ever again. Certainly no actual gambling but even games on my phone or ipad, I wont gamble, even those freemium games where you can spin to win extra items - I will either skip or close the game down.  I was part of a club that used to do regular raffles and I always brought several tickets and used to donate prizes - part of the cover up - so when I could I still donated but I also never brought another ticket for myself.  On one occasion - thanks to a very very drunk and persistent seller - I put a £1 coin in and immediately gave the tickets to someone next to me ( I didn't even know them or touch the tickets) and the following week when similar happened I just put money in and declined the ticket - much to the sellers bemusement. Now I am more comfortable, I just say no thanks.


Anyway, thats 10 things

Oh and drink water, forgive yourself for previous choices and look forward, not backward

best wishes

Posted : 7th October 2020 11:32 pm

Amazing Raja, 20+ years you have proven so much and I know you are hurting now but you are strong! Compulsive gambler very useful, honest and interesting post, thanks. Ps what sport do you play, I like hearing that you studied it on Youtube to improve 🙂

Posted : 14th October 2020 12:20 pm
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