I have gambled for almost 30 years until August 2020. I in all likelihood lost an unfathomable amount of mine & other people's money over those years. Back in August I reached the point of no return & ran away to end my life but thanks to my wife & family I decided enough was enough. I am now 166 days gamble free. If anybody reading this feels there is no way out of their situation trust me I've been there but I swear to you there is a way out & I am a testament to that. I know we will all have our own ways of beating these demons but I began sorting out my problems by compartmentalising them into: a) my addiction b) my financial mess & c) my mental health. I began dealing with a) by admitting I had a serious addiction. Then by putting all the relevant blocks in place, contacting Gamcare & spending 5 months talking regularly to a lovely helpful woman from an organisation called "Aquarius" & I am now on the road to recovery. I dealt with b) by immediately seeking assistance with my financial issues & debt which really wasn't as hard as I expected. I now have an affordable IVA in place & am able to sleep at night for the first time in over two decades & c) by seeking help initially from my regional mental health team & then a local well being service. I am aware that everyone's experience is different but I found the most difficult of the 3 to get help with was the mental health issues. Over the years I had completely ignored my mental well being to concentrate on my addiction & my work. I feel very lucky & privileged to say that in the last 166 days I have not had 1 urge to gamble which is strange when I look back at my almost constant gambling that had overtaken my life in the previous 2 decades + . I realised towards the end my gambling was mostly not about the money. If something went wrong in my life however big or small my goto reflex was to pick up my phone & gamble. It became a world I would escape into without any realisation of how it was destroying my life & the lives of my close family. Don't get me wrong things still go badly for me in my life. I still get angry and upset but now I have developed other ways of dealing with these emotions. I read on here that others struggle to watch sport in recovery however I am sport mad and I have found that I am enjoying watching sport again without the worry of a wager on the result. It might sound strange but I now get joy from little things in life, for example I was able to buy brand new football shirts for my 24 & 16 year old boys this Christmas out of my own money. I really can't tell you how good that felt. I know I still have many bridges to rebuild & cross but at 50 years old I am enjoying life again even in these crazy strange times we are living in & if someone would have told me back in July that I would be feeling like this now I would have called them a liar. So to all of you who are feeling anywhere near desperation point that I was back in August, I know your pain but however dark you feel your situation is I promise you that with a belief in yourself & the ability to reach out & understand there is help out there you really can achieve the impossible. Much love & keep safe x
Thanks for sharing your post and well done on 166 days, stay focused.
I have recently been on this forum a lot, commenting on quite a few posts and keeping myself focused on being GF.
This past year has been the toughest of my life, I have spent most of it gambling and sat in bed in the middle of the night thinking of ending it all to spare myself and loved ones anymore pain. Luckily I don’t think I have it in me and have always come to my senses.
Your post is a good one and relates massively, so many times of failing to stop gambling made me feel so lonely and worthless, I somehow managed to get a promotion at work during this time, my mental health was in a really bad place at that point but as gamblers do, I put on a brave face when at work and nobody had a clue of my issues. I only mention work because after working so hard to get promoted all the extra income I’ve earned was just more money for me to lose, I’ve probably lost around 20k since and it’s crippled me financially but even though I’m skint, money means nothing to me, even when I’ve had large amounts it’s never once made me happy, the worst part of my year has been the pain I have put my wife through almost losing her and everything in my life that matters.
I was in a good place a week ago and finally getting back on track, then earlier this week I woke up and gambled again just destroying my mental health again and putting my marriage on the brink of no return. The only reason my marriage isn’t over is because of the resilience, love and dedication of my wife, god knows how she’s stuck with me but she always has and it means the world to me that she has, I really don’t know where I would be without her.
Anyway, the point I was meaning to make before I got carried away was that I have done 10 months GF and 6 months GF a couple of times in the past and ended up back gambling. It’s nice to feel proud of yourself for doing so well and rightly so, your doing amazing but please don’t lose focus, stay strong and don’t get content like I always do.
Well done and good luck.
Great post which many will relate to , I know I can and I particular the IVA which I am also in due to gambling and now feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and able to focus on the nicer and more rewarding aspects of life .
we all have our set backs I have been up and down and relapsed many times but I have never seemed the help so always had it in the back of my mind . This is a great place to talk to like minded people who have struggled and just 3 days in I look to people like yourself as inspirations and strive to follow you on the road to recovery . Keep it going and keep posting !