So here goes! Nothing can explain the help that my counsellor gave me from gamcare. Sarah and I clicked instantly and she listened. I was an online gambling addict for around 15 years. Sometimes it was just for fun and other times it became an obsession. At the crux of my gambling I was spending £300 a day and to me that was a lot of money. I was chasing the buzz of the win and when it didn’t happen I ploughed more in to try and just get that win. When I did get that win, I couldn’t stop but try for more until it was all gone and I ploughed more money in daily.
I was getting payday loans to pay for bills and I was hiding this secret obsession but all my friends knew something wasn’t right because I became withdrawn from them and they started to blame my partner. I couldn’t tell anyone the truth as I felt dirty, disgusted and worthless. But I still couldn’t stop it. My anxiety became horrendous worrying about money and trying to work hard in a corporate environment and keeping the household running. In effect I was a mess.
It took a hold of me and then my grandad passed away... I knew I had to stop this because he would have been disgusted knowing I was hard working but ruining my life. I’m a big believer in the afterlife and people looking down on you. I couldn’t continue this life. I am a proud person who believed everything would be fine but deep within me I knew I had to get help or I’d end up homeless and jobless.
i contacted Gamcare and the initial question sheet was difficult, because saying it all out loud made it real and made me feel even more awful.... but it was the best call for help I could have made. From the first call I had decided to never log into the slot machines, bingo, casinos because I needed to stop this and it needed to stop now!
i knew that having the availability to access my obsession and addiction whenever I wanted would be an issue. After 2 sessions I had ordered a gambling blocking app and I couldn’t access it any longer. I had no compulsion to divert into betting shops as it was real money I would be putting in those machines. Online it’s not real money it’s just figures you input, I mean I wouldn’t dream of putting £300 cash into a machine in person but hey I’ll tap in my details and do it secretly.
The support and care that Gamcare give is priceless. I haven’t gambled online now for 8 months. It took that long to get myself straight financially but I achieved the longest addiction I had (with the exception of smoking!) I now pay my bills on time and buy things for us, I feel worthy of living and feel proud that I am not giving my money to these huge corporations and filling their pockets.
I say one thing though, if you are not ready mentally, it will be a tough time. If you want to feel positive and fight this addiction then give it all and be honest, it’s the only way to beat it. You will only be lying to yourself and not helping you to become the best you, you can be. Stick with it and life will feel brighter and happier and breathing easy is the best feeling in the world. I hope this helps someone to see that you can do this and you will. Set yourself free of your demons and let them go.
Thank you Gamcare & Sarah, you have changed my life
I have just read this as if i had written it! Amazing! Only difference is i was spending more than £300 a day!! I tried stopping many times in the last 12 years!! Like you i would never dream of going into a bookies and spending ‘real’ money. I was kidding myself that online gambling was ok and it wasn’t hurting anyone! How wrong i was - i was hurting myself mainly and of course my family. The best thing i have done is ... 1. Tell my friend (she admitted she was bulimic! We had a good chat) 2. Registered with Gamstop 3. Blocked my computer with Gamban 4. Blocked my phone. I cannot gamble at all now. Every day is difficult and these feelings i get of guilt hit me hard but like you say you have to be in the right frame of mind yo do this and i am . Thanks for this post you have helped me a h**l of a lot
Trust me I did spend a lot more but it was at the very end when the guilt and shame got me and the debt was at an unmovable amount that I had to stop it. Those feelings of guilt soon turn into pride with each hour you don’t gamble. There is no need to escape into this horrible world of “zombie gambling” as I now call it. We don’t have to be slaves to it, but I have replaced my escapism with playing games on my iPad (that don’t involve gambling!) and immersing myself in life.
Life is so much better and I can honestly say if I can help just one person with my story, you are in that zone and you can do this. Turn that guilt and shame into pride you can control this disease.
I hope that you and your friend can help each other with the honesty you’ve shared with each other. Saying anything out loud that you know is wrong is an amazing step!
Thank you for commenting as it has taken me a lot to write this and share my story xxxx
Hi beaten it,
Thanks for sharing your story and we'll done on your 300+GF days.
I'm day 11 and feeling positive. Stories like yours really help to keep me focused and to believe that there is a light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel that isn't just the train coming to flatten me.
Stay GF and please continue to write - I'm sure your success will spur others on too!
Thank you, keep strong, keep occupied and believe you can do this. There will be some incredible strong urges but go and get your nails done or take yourself away from being on your own.
Keep strong and try the phone counselling even if you think it won’t help. I bared my soul to a stranger who couldn’t have been more supportive xxxx