I said originally I started betting at 12-years-old but thinking back, it was probably closer to 8-years-old. I would get my granddad to put me weekly accumulators on. I used my dad's account he has on a phone service. I started very young. Football betting is my main addiction. If I place one football bet on the big game I will be up at 5am betting on the Chinese fourth division. Other sports I can walk away... but that is was a lie I told myself!
I haven't had a football bet in 794 days. It has been hard but I have always had the escape of betting on Cricket, Darts, NFL, F1, Golf... a couple more. I was never 1/100th as bad on them as I am with football betting. My history on football betting has helped me realise that I need to walk away from ALL forms of sports betting. No two addicts are truly the same. I have two streaks: 'Football bet free' and 'Completely bet free'. My brain on Football betting is very different to how it is for other sports betting so that is why I had a separate streak for that.
The NFL has recently started again and last week was my first weekend without a bet on it in over ten years. It was hard but my history with football betting addiction helped me a lot! I won't lie and pretend the games were just as exciting without a bet on because they were not but I will take less excitement over that on edge feeling having a bet on provides any day of the week!
My big lightbulb moment for me when I was betting on football was I realised "Hang on, I am not placing this bet to win money in order to buy things or pay for something meaningful... I am placing it in the hope of winning more money to fund more bets. Bet on the early kick off to win more money for the 3pms and then hopefully the late games and get money for Sunday if I win." Once that thought went off in my brain, my life changed.
However, I have to be honest with myself and admit that I have been going over my limits on the NFL and even though it's not even close to what I would lose on a football bet, it is enough for me to know I am heading down a dark path again. And I have learned because of my football addiction, it won't be a path that ends well for me. I bet on cricket and I have one market that has won me a decent amount over the last six months mainly due to an error from a bookmaker that I have spotted. I won't go into it because I don't want to trigger anyone into looking into it. Let's just say their cash out was still there for longer than it should be and I was winning money even after my bet lost. So, even though I have found profit in one sport I know I have to step away from all sorts of gambling. I made that decision on the 3rd of October, 2021.
As an addict you can never say never. Something could trigger your brain and you can't get it back. I am not naive enough to think I have beat my gambling addiction. I know it is an every day battle. But the methods that I did to help me be 794 days sober of my football betting addiction will help me with the rest. To me it feels like I have done great on my alcohol addiction (football betting), now I just need to stop my fizzy drink (other sports) intake before I get fully addicted to that.
Charles R. Swindoll: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
I am a big believer in your life being made up from how you react to things. Most of our lives are made up from how we have reacted to something that has happened to us. I have reacted very well to my biggest addiction and now it's time to work on the smaller but potentially big addiction before that gets out of hand. I would feel lost if I didn't go through a lot of these thoughts previously, but I am not lost because my football betting addiction has set me up to cope with going completely bet free.
I joined this forum five years ago. I had good streaks but relapsed. 794 days is my longest ever. I have learned a lot of things from that and they will set me up very well to help with the rest but I also want to help others and that is why I am going to be checking this forum a lot more. I think I can help others and also find a lot of comfort from others for myself.
Thank you Lwt2277 for posting on the Forum and sharing your experience, strength and hope. Your story is truly inspiring and no doubt will give much hope to many others. You are aware that problem gambling can 'creep into other areas' which can potentially take you straight back to where you once started. Problem gambling is cunning, powerful and baffling and without help it is too much.
I am so pleased that you are going to stay connected on our Forum and as you have stated this will of course benefit others and help you to continue your personal Recovery Journey - One Day At A Time.
I don't think your brain will be wired differently for football betting to other forms. You may have had a better understanding of the market with football and been more confident with your decisions. If you persist with other sports and purposely exclude football, sooner or later you will gain sufficient knowledge on another sport and replicate the football betting mentality.
Seems like you understand that quitting all betting is the only way...
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