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One year Gamble Free after 5yrs of pain.  

 
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

Hello, 

I wanted to post on here to mark a year without gambling. 

In a year, my life has changed so much. I nearly lost everything- I risked my house, my husband, my family, my job. I was lying so regularly that it had became habit. I was borrowing at an unsustainable level. 

Not only was all the above at risk, my health was at risk most of all. I’d developed high blood pressure through stress, had felt suicidal, had breakdowns at work/home, put on weight, took no self-care or pride. 

You can look back at my posts to see how bad it was. A 5ish year addiction, £10s of thousands of pounds, extreme. My marriage on the very brink of existence, self esteem rock bottom. 

It took a few months to get over the impulse. I took the following steps: 

- had 10 weeks of counselling through gamcare

- told my husband everything (EVERYTHING)  even though it risked our marriage

- put in place Gamstop and Gamban, switched to Monzo and put in place gambling restriction on transactions 

- told my husband he could see anything he wanted financially from now on. gave him logins for credit check etc.

- made a financial plan

and it became easier... 

eventually, I stopped thinking about gambling.  I got to the stage I could excess money in my pocket and the opportunity to walk in a casino/a bookies (though I was mostly an online gambler) and I DIDN’T. 

My husband trusts me again  and I manage all my own finances again. The blocking software has expired now but I don’t need it. I have opportunity but I know now that I will never take it because I’ve faced hard times and haven’t turned to gambling. I can do this, forever. 

My counsellor helped me to understand that I wasn’t always going to be a gambler. That’s something in my past. It’s something I will always have to be cautious of. But it’s not me. I can control addictive behaviours and can ensure I am happy/ resilient to deal with things. 

I am proud that on the 6th month anniversary of stopping, I bought a scratch card. I won a small amount. I didn’t even cash it in. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need this, I could overcome ‘triggering’ circumstances and that I was in control. 

I didn’t sing it from the rooftops about my addiction . My family don’t know. I told my husband and 4 close  friends. but I did make sure that the blocks that needed to be in place were and that I took up the counselling I needed to have. I took full responsibility and I fully believe the only way to do that is to completely come clean to OH or someone you can be accountable to. 
I’ve worked two jobs for a year to work my behind off and pay off £18K of debt. I will be debt free in another year or so hopefully. This time last year, it was GRIM. The financial outlook was appalling and credit rating too. But now it’s improving. 

You can do this too. Use the phone lines, use the counselling, use the blockers. But be honest, with yourself and someone close- even if it risks losing that person in your life. I wrote a very long letter with every detail and left for several days to give my husband headspace to digest. It was heartbreaking and I nearly lost him. But he gave me another chance only because I’d been honest and had given him free access to every finance, every account, every credit report. There was no stone unturned.

You will never ever win. Bets will never solve it all. Slots will drain every part of your life. Stop now- be brave! I’m a total chicken and I did it, I came clean and took responsibility and stopped. And you can to! 

there’s always reasons for gambling- but don’t let yourself make excuses. It might seem bleak right now but the only way to stop is to take the steps today, right now and stop for good. 

partners/wives/ husbands- there is life beyond this and people can change. But make sure they are being one hundred percent honest- insist on seeing everything at first! You can get through this and my heart goes out to you all most of all, as it does to my husband who was absolutely heartbroken at the lies and the loss of such enormous sums of money.

things can get better. I promise you that. You are not this addiction. You can overcome it for good. I believe you need to get to a point where it doesn’t need someone to police you to keep you stopped - that’s not sustainable for your whole life or to expect someone else to do that your whole life. You have to do it yourself most of all. 

I hope this post helps someone to stop or someone to support a gambling addict. I’m only sharing my opinions and experience but I think that it’s important to year each other and hear what has worked/not worked. 

I tried to stop many times without taking the steps above. lies, to ourselves is the biggest enemy. You’ve got to take the action, all at once, however traumatic to stop. If I had access I would have started again, if I’d tried to cover something from  my husband then I would have started again. Take the steps, you can do it- you are stronger than you think and you don’t need gambling in your life. 

 

This topic was modified 3 months ago by Foxcub
Quote
Posted : 3rd May 2020 1:20 pm
Timetobreakthehabbit
(@timetobreakthehabbit)

Hi Foxclub

congratulations on your one year gamble free! That’s amazing!

I’ve just joined the forum and to read stories like yourselves are the reason I did and are what give me the determination I can give the gambling up for good! I also played online slots but also arcades. 
Do normal banks not allow you to restrict debit card transactions for gambling at all? 
My finances used to be excellent but as gambling takes over everything else takes a back burner doesn’t it and all money goes on getting the fix! But not anymore and I’m determined this will be in my past and I will be able to celebrate substantial time gamble free ! 

thanks for inspiring me and others ! Keep going x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd May 2020 7:06 pm
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

Wow, you have made some big statements in your post that I know at two and a bit years clean I couldn't make and I know others at fifteen years clean that couldn't make those claims. Please accept that if you are a compulsive gambler that you will always be a compulsive gambler. Your counsellor is wrong. Don't allow yourself to be fooled. Be vigilant. It doesn't mean that you will act on it, but know that you could. 

When you bought the scratch card at your six month anniversary and won but didn't cash it in, did that count as a bet or a gamble? Should I test myself to see if I can gamble again, maybe a scratchcard or a spin of the wheel? I'll only have one bet, it'll be alright won't it? 

I couldn't test myself, I know that. Every time I've tried I've dug my hole bigger and deeper!

So if you are six months from a bet, well done. If you are twelve months from a bet, well done, but be honest with where you are. 

To some reading this may think that if you can do it then they can do it, but they can also do it without the blocks or by testing themselves occasionally. It's very dangerous thinking and could get others in trouble. 

I agree that you need to get to a place where you don't need policing and that comes from a progressive change of character. What should also come is an awareness that you could gamble again but with the right tools/blocks/contacts/ relationships in place you choose not to. Not even one to try. You know what it tastes like, it tastes like the five years of misery that brought you here initially.

Im just being honest on behalf of others not where you are.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd May 2020 11:09 pm
Scar
 Scar
(@scar)
Posted by: Foxcub

Hello, 

I wanted to post on here to mark a year without gambling. 

In a year, my life has changed so much. I nearly lost everything- I risked my house, my husband, my family, my job. I was lying so regularly that it had became habit. I was borrowing at an unsustainable level. 

Not only was all the above at risk, my health was at risk most of all. I’d developed high blood pressure through stress, had felt suicidal, had breakdowns at work/home, put on weight, took no self-care or pride. 

You can look back at my posts to see how bad it was. A 5ish year addiction, £10s of thousands of pounds, extreme. My marriage on the very brink of existence, self esteem rock bottom. 

It took a few months to get over the impulse. I took the following steps: 

- had 10 weeks of counselling through gamcare

- told my husband everything (EVERYTHING)  even though it risked our marriage

- put in place Gamstop and Gamban, switched to Monzo and put in place gambling restriction on transactions 

- told my husband he could see anything he wanted financially from now on. gave him logins for credit check etc.

- made a financial plan

and it became easier... 

eventually, I stopped thinking about gambling.  I got to the stage I could excess money in my pocket and the opportunity to walk in a casino/a bookies (though I was mostly an online gambler) and I DIDN’T. 

My husband trusts me again  and I manage all my own finances again. The blocking software has expired now but I don’t need it. I have opportunity but I know now that I will never take it because I’ve faced hard times and haven’t turned to gambling. I can do this, forever. 

My counsellor helped me to understand that I wasn’t always going to be a gambler. That’s something in my past. It’s something I will always have to be cautious of. But it’s not me. I can control addictive behaviours and can ensure I am happy/ resilient to deal with things. 

I am proud that on the 6th month anniversary of stopping, I bought a scratch card. I won a small amount. I didn’t even cash it in. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need this, I could overcome ‘triggering’ circumstances and that I was in control. 

I didn’t sing it from the rooftops about my addiction . My family don’t know. I told my husband and 4 close  friends. but I did make sure that the blocks that needed to be in place were and that I took up the counselling I needed to have. I took full responsibility and I fully believe the only way to do that is to completely come clean to OH or someone you can be accountable to. 
I’ve worked two jobs for a year to work my behind off and pay off £18K of debt. I will be debt free in another year or so hopefully. This time last year, it was GRIM. The financial outlook was appalling and credit rating too. But now it’s improving. 

You can do this too. Use the phone lines, use the counselling, use the blockers. But be honest, with yourself and someone close- even if it risks losing that person in your life. I wrote a very long letter with every detail and left for several days to give my husband headspace to digest. It was heartbreaking and I nearly lost him. But he gave me another chance only because I’d been honest and had given him free access to every finance, every account, every credit report. There was no stone unturned.

You will never ever win. Bets will never solve it all. Slots will drain every part of your life. Stop now- be brave! I’m a total chicken and I did it, I came clean and took responsibility and stopped. And you can to! 

there’s always reasons for gambling- but don’t let yourself make excuses. It might seem bleak right now but the only way to stop is to take the steps today, right now and stop for good. 

partners/wives/ husbands- there is life beyond this and people can change. But make sure they are being one hundred percent honest- insist on seeing everything at first! You can get through this and my heart goes out to you all most of all, as it does to my husband who was absolutely heartbroken at the lies and the loss of such enormous sums of money.

things can get better. I promise you that. You are not this addiction. You can overcome it for good. I believe you need to get to a point where it doesn’t need someone to police you to keep you stopped - that’s not sustainable for your whole life or to expect someone else to do that your whole life. You have to do it yourself most of all. 

I hope this post helps someone to stop or someone to support a gambling addict. I’m only sharing my opinions and experience but I think that it’s important to year each other and hear what has worked/not worked. 

I tried to stop many times without taking the steps above. lies, to ourselves is the biggest enemy. You’ve got to take the action, all at once, however traumatic to stop. If I had access I would have started again, if I’d tried to cover something from  my husband then I would have started again. Take the steps, you can do it- you are stronger than you think and you don’t need gambling in your life. 

 

Wow! What a post. Congratulations on your success! We definitely do not need gambling in our lives!!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd May 2020 11:38 pm
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Hi Foxcub,

Thank you for sharing such a detailed post. Very powerful indeed and some clear messages for others. You have done incredibly well  despite the battles along the way, you were not going to be defeated. You pushed forward to where you are today.  Very well done!

Best  wishes

Fiona 

Forum Admin 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 5:52 am
Pep1952
(@pep1952)

Well done and congratulations!! Just remember never to be complacent. Some compulsive gamblers have relapsed after 10 years of being gamble free but a lot have also succeeded for life. It can be done and you will do it!

Enjoy your gamble free life!! 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 7:10 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@chris-uk

thanks for your comments. I appreciate people have different opinions and I’m sorry you found my post potentially harmful. That’s upsetting. But there isn’t just one path through this... I didn’t do this without blocks or checks. I had them all in place for nearly the whole year-  I did the counselling, I did the honesty to my partner and a few friends (albeit I didn’t tell everyone in my life). If you read my original posts you will see what I went through and the actions I took to stop. I tried to stop many times before and didn’t because I didn’t take the action I needed to. For me, this worked. 

My counsellor was through Gamcare and I don’t think he is wrong. I will not be a compulsive gambler my whole life. It does not define me. Don’t think that I am complacent at all but I do think that this doesn’t have to be forever and to constantly be who I am. I know I have to be always aware that it is a danger, lurking. I have to shield myself from situations that could be dangerous. I will never be able to have one bet at a bookies or one go on a slot machine online. I will never be able to gamble responsibly. I have accepted that entirely. 

If you count the one scratch card, so be it. I don’t! That, for me, was something I just wanted to do- it was something I felt was important. I was given a scratchcard at Christmas time by a distant family member in a card and I handed it straight to my husband because I didn’t want to do it.

I’m a year free of compulsive gambling and I’m sorry you feel this is somehow inferior to your years and experience. It’s a big deal for me and comments like yours just make me wish I hadn’t bothered sharing.

everyone’s experience is different, what works for you and me will be different. but that doesn’t make my experience invalid. It is real, this worked for me and is working for me. Gambling is nothing in my life now. 

This website gave me hope in the darkest of times. I knew what steps to take to stop for good because of people on here and advisors on the phone. The counselling helped me deal with my head and I’ve worked on being happy. 

My experience is my experience and it won’t work for everyone but I thought sharing it and my opinions could be helpful for some (not others)- that’s all. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 10:49 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@pep1952

 

absolutely, thanks for your comment and I totally agree. Can never be complacent and always have to watch out for the beast rearing its head. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 10:50 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@forum-admin

thanks Fiona. I really appreciate all that Gamcare did to help. Particularly in the early days 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 10:51 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@scar

thanks, appreciate the kind words 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 10:52 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@timetobreakthehabbit

Im not sure about other banks but I switched to Monzo to get the feature. Worth phoning your bank to check how they can help if you don’t want to switch. 
You absolutely can do it. I never thought I could- I thought my life was over. But, take the action you need to, and be accountable- and it is possible. That’s what worked for me anyways. I can’t recommend the counselling more- it’s so helpful. 
good luck with the journey and give me a shout if you need to talk x 

This post was modified 3 months ago by Foxcub
ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 10:58 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

@Foxcub

I don't think you shouldn't have bothered with your post, you've already said you have had to deal with other things in life, my poor choice of words shouldn't be an issue at all.

My experience or time certainly doesn't diminish your achievement, I have just seen too many people get to a certain point and get complacent. I've done it myself and I just wouldn't want it to happen to anyone else. Big statements, feeling like you're "fixed'and not needing certain help have all led to my downfall before. Three years off, thinking I would never gamble again, and something happened in my life that I ran away from and I ended up worse than ever, all the hard work gone, because of my complacency.

Thats why I'm honest now, to myself and others, even if it sounds hard. I just don't want to see others go down my path.

I'm sorry if it came across as harsh and I didn't mean to belittle your achievement. Well done for what you have achieved and for leaving your old life behind.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 11:21 am
Foxcub
(@foxcub)

@chris-uk 

appreciate that, and I totally agree with you about not getting complacent. Good to have a reminder of that and think that’s important too. 

thanks for the message and I appreciate you getting back to me. All the best for your continued journey- it’s not easy beating this thing and keeping it contained forever! 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 4th May 2020 12:18 pm
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