Comments

M.Adz
Reply

Thank you for the replies to my post which i made on 22/02/2017. Reading your comments has made me feel a whole lot better today and has lifted my spirits thus making me even more determined to put a stop to this.

Stay strong everybody! (Me included)

Jane
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Good to hear you are doing well, Nik. Keep doing whatever works for you. We all get through our urges in different ways. I like to spend time over mine and really think them through properly, others like to dismiss them quickly, for fear of giving them oxygen.
Whatever works for you works best. Simple as that.
Congratulations on making the changes that you have made and on being free from debt. Any savings at all is a good sign that things are looking up.
I am still far away from being out of debt, but as long as it is coming down, then my mood can go up! Better that way, than the other way round!

Just been on live chat with Sky who provides my satellite service. I told them that I wanted to down size my package as I need to make some cuts to my spending. After about 15 minutes, going through my requirements, she offered me the chance to keep my existing package for 40% discount for a full year. That will save me £29 a month. I would hate to have to cut down my tv as my programs are my ‘me time’ and it is also nice for everyone to have a bit of what they like too.
Now, I get to keep everything and the cost is nearly halved, so that’s great. Mind you, I have been with them for 13 years so I guess I’m due some loyalty bonus!

Take care, Nik.

NIK
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Hi Jane,

Yes I know what you mean about loyalty. They don’t reward you unless you check with them or threaten to leave. It was the same for me with my phone and broadband. I checked up on my package and discovered they had cheaper options which they never told me about.

NIK
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I have now reached day 34 gamble free again which is the stage I lapsed last month. Was really annoyed about that as I hoped to go all year. However am feeling strong. The urges are still there, strangely enough not for football betting but for the slots again. However I must admit I play for ‘fun’ and invariably eventually lose just as if I was playing for real money so this gets it out of my system. Once again I understand that this does not work for everyone and many will be better staying away completely. However it does work for me as it reminds me about all that is horrible about the slots.
Another way I combat any urges is by looking at my bank account. I have now paid off debts and started to slowly accrue savings. These are still tiny and would be gone with one bad lapse so I am determined never to allow the bookies one more single penny of my money.
I really feel I can beat it this time, however I still have some way to go to beat my record of abstaining since I became addicted ten years or more ago. I don’t have a record but I think it was about two months without gambling so I still have 3/4 weeks to go to beat that.
I have also started making some very slow progress with my new anti gambling book which also helps me to combat the urges when they appear. The problem is whereas my earlier book was written from a personal viewpoint so was relatively quick and easy, this one is more objective and requires a lot more research and there is just so much information out there about gambling these days. And lots of horror stories! However I am slowly getting it organised and a structure in place so hope to complete it within the next few months.

Stay strong everyone and don’t give them a penny more of your money. Let them starve or do something more useful for society!

Mat
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Nik the urges are there because you still haven’t let go, you need to forget the past and move on, think how much money you would save if you never gambled, thoughts of winning free money is what made us gamble we thought we can win and ended up with less money than normally we would have by working and saving and it can bring you to poverty if you give in to the addiction. You will never win on slots you must understand that the max you can win is only £500 but you can lose 10 times as much trying to get it is nonsense. I knew someone who lost just under £200.000 on fobts and he lost his house, you will never win big on fobts or slots but over time you can lose big on them. Addiction makes you not see this that way and bookies prey on that they prey on mentally ill vulnerable people that’s why they allow £100 on fobts they know once addict start playing they will do their wages, savings and comeback to lose more and the stakes over £2 a spin make this quicker to take all your money. Don’t give them your money Nik.

NIK
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Totally agree with what you say, Matt. However I must correct you on one point. I am not talking about the FOBTs in betting shops – I have never played one of these in my life, but you can certainly win a lot more than £500 on the online slots dependent on how much you stake. In August 2012 I once won £12500 for a £9 stake on one of the Monopoly games.
Before anyone thinks I am boasting I realise that was a one off never to be repeated win, and naturally I lost it all within the week. However I have on other occasions also won more than £500.
Of course the odds are much more likely that you will lose or quickly lose any winnings, but I thought I needed to make clear I am not talking about FOBT as I have never played one in my life and have no intention of ever doing so.

M.Adz
Reply

Hi all!

Good luck to each and everybody in trying to leave gambling behind and moving on with life.
I have been playing these things since i was 16 years old, i am now not far off turning 37.

I have been reading other peoples stories for quite sometime now and have only just plucked up enough courage to go ahead and put my first post ever. Believe me people, I for 1 know exactly what you are going through! Hang in there!!!!
I have relapsed after taking a good break for the around 7-8 months just before the birth of my very first baby, but since then i have made the odd trip here and there and have ended up losing a fair few thousand pounds in just a few trips. Today Ive barred myself from the local arcade centres and have surrendered my bank cards and credit cards to my wife. (she does not know i gamble)

I have seen so many other older examples (right infront my very own eyes) caught in this dangerous trap who are now in their 40’s and 50″s
I DONT WANT TO END UP LIKE THAT!

Regardless of the known outcome “a loss most of the time” i still end up in the arcades losing money which then moves on to losing on football bets as im trying to recover money lost but yet again end up losing on football too, ive dug an even deeper hole for myself!!! I have been doing this for years and i am now at a point where im just sick to death.

AS THE MONTHS PASS IM THINKING OF MY FAMILY’S FUTURE MORE OFTEN. HOW CAN I SECURE THEIRS LET ALONE MY OWN WHEN IM IN THESE PLACES THROWING MY MONEY AWAY AND GETTING WOUND UP IN THE PROCESS!

I cant go on like this anymore.
I DONT WANT TO GO ON LIKE THIS ANYMORE!

Here’s to snapping out of this wayward thinking once and for all.

My heart goes out to you all, i wish for you, just as i wish for myself, to leave this behind once and for all.

Jane
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The very best of luck to you. I can relate entirely to your situation, although I have not been gambling for quite so long. I started playing for fun when I was around 32. I thought I was unhappy, bored and unappreciated. I had fun at first, placing small bets, and it was fine for the better part of two years. Then it went wrong quite badly. I started thinking how much I could have won each time, if I had put on more, and so my bets got bigger and bigger and inevitably, so did the losses.
I tried for so long to fix it, the thoughts of what I had done to my family killed me, every single day. I even cleared out my daughters bank account and have yet to put it back. Gambling makes you do such horrible things. It made me gamble and risk even more to get it back. Like yourself, and so many others, I just dug an even deeper hole and got to the stage where I just couldn’t get that sort of money back. I had to come clean and accept the reality that the money was gone.
I have now just turned 40 and I have come to realise that I have not only lost 8 years all in all, of my own life, but I have lost 8 years with the family. I gambled pretty much every day, no matter how special it was. I tried so hard to hide it for so long. I even spent my daughter’s birthday, gambling and lost £1200. I had arranged a little tea party that day and had to face the family and ‘smile’. I kept going upstairs all the time, just so I could hold my head in my hands. I felt sick that this had happened again.

I had to make it stop. I realised that the one thing that could make me stop was my kids, and my lovely partner. I came clean, and I got so much support, it was the best thing I ever did. Keeping the losses to yourself keeps you gambling, because it keeps you locked in to the cycle, unable to let go. You have to hide the pain and that is not healthy. I know its hard and you’ve made a great step in handing over your cards, but if you can get it off your chest, fully, you will feel a weight lifted and it will aid your progress.
I also did not want to be one of those people who gambled themselves into oblivion, making the same mistakes over and over again. I even told my kids, one is nearly 13 and one is nearly 16. They are old enough to understand that addiction happens and talk about it at school. They have offered me so much wisdom for such little ones! Makes me feel so proud to do this for myself and for them. They are my motivation, and I think family can really help us snap out of this cycle. Of course, we have to do this for ourselves, but when we wake up and realise the pain and suffering that we cause ourselves and our loved ones, we can find our strength to make this stop.
So happy you have found the courage to make a change and to post today.
Very best wishes to you and to all.

Mat
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Hi that’s a good thing you did with the bank cards, put limits, leave them at home or give it to someone that’s the way if you don’t have access to money you won’t gamble, I only carry £10 or £20 with me now and even if I wanted to go in and play I cant lose, once you break the habit it gets easier, ask yourself a question do you want to work all your life and give it away for nothing to arcade or bookmaker bosses, you have no chance of winning the machines are rigged to lose 90% of time and only in between you have some wins, the more you will play the more you will lose its stupidity and only if we gambled for a big win I could understand but there are limits on fobts and arcade machines meaning max you can win is pathetic £500 jackpot which won’t cover most likely your last losing session, its done like that so you never win anything decent to walk away. Good luck trying to beat the addiction.

Mat
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Bookmakers and gambling commission they are such a good people they care so much about people’s well being ‘jobs will be lost if the stakes are reduced down to £2 from a £100′ but they said average fobt machine player loses only £7 so why not have the spin at 20p if its all for fun as they say. Reality is most people who play fobts lose £300+ on regular basis, I never seen anyone lose £7 on a fobt most withraw £300 from a cash machine and that is being followed by using cards to put money on fobt from behind counter. Bookies care so much about people’s jobs who work for them but don’t they care about 1000s of lives they have destroyed, where whole families suffer and people commit violent crimes and suicides because of fobt machines.

NIK
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The ABB are posting more lying nonsense than ever about how beneficial bookmakers are to the community in an increasingly desperate bid to defend themselves. We all know on here they are not beneficial in any way at all.

Kate
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Thanks Duncan – I really appreciate what you have said. I keep thinking about Jenny’s leaky bucket – it’s an analogy I use when teaching marketing students about the importance of looking after customers rather than just pursuing new ones, but I’ve never thought of it in an emotional context, and didn’t realize it was an actual theory – from an ology . My bucket has been leaking quite a bit – I am finding it hard to differentiate between the little things I don’t need to get worked up about, and the big things that I do need to get worked up about. A friend said ‘stress overload’ this morning – which is the bucket isn’t it? I’ve spent several hours trying to write an email that should have taken 5 minutes tops ….but I think for the time being I just have to accept that I’m stressed and take it hour by hour ( day by day can come later!) All the best
Kate

Jane
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That’s good to hear, Kate. I am glad all the tiring hospital trips are out the way. It must really take its toll, emotionally and physically. Well done to you for keeping your focus through this testing time.
Yes, it is good to see new posters, I hope they continue to share their stories and support. I find that no matter if someone is on day 1 or year 1, every one of us can bring something to the table and we all can learn so much if we keep our minds open to change.
Thank you for your kind words, Kate and best wishes to you, as always.

Kate
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Jane – thanks for sharing this story – a really very positive result, given the fact you were stressed and automatically reached for the laptop but didn’t gamble. You must feel pretty proud of yourself, and deserve to.

I’m doing OK – today was the last day of going to the hospital, and we feel very relieved that it’s over ( hopefully for ever, but at least definitely for now). It has been exhausting for my husband, less so for myself, but still pretty stressful. I haven’t been posting as much recently – the days just seem to fly by with early morning starts and early nights – but I do read posts, and it is good to see some new people posting and hopefully benefiting

Duncan – brilliant – great achievement and I really like the way you write about the way you now feel about gambling – you sound free from it .. thanks for sharing your experience

Duncan
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Hi Kate,

Thank you for your kind words.

I’m glad that your trips to the hospital are over and i really hope that your husband makes a full recovery. I have nothing but admiration for their way that you have articulated your recent experiences and to remain gamble free throughout such a tough time shows your strength of character. You should feel proud!!!

Here’s to another day gamble free.

Jenny
Reply

Hey! Thank you for all the comments! I’m feeling good at the moment just for completing day 2! I can’t lie, the urge to gamble is still a priority and I’ve been thinking about it throughout yesterday and today although I’ve battled it, I’ve been gambling around 3 years (online slots) the first year and a half I maybe lost around £2,000 due to small bets, although within the last year and a half it will be around the £10,000- £12,000. I’ve also got myself in a lot off debt including hefty loans that won’t be paid off for 6 years (hoping to kick the habit and pay it within 2) but we are all here together, I’ve tried to stop before with the help off books including Allen Carrs, although I always went running back when I felt the pressure.. I feel This group has already brought me more happiness that gambling could never give me, the thought we are all going through this together 1 day at a time makes me feel so much stronger and not as I’m putting myself through some type off mental pain. Here is too day 3!
Thank you again
Jenny

Jane
Reply

Good for you, Jenny. One day at a time is best. Try not to think too far ahead of yourself. It makes the day you are on seem less important, when in fact it is the most crucial. Each day will turn into much bigger things all on their own, if you let them. It helps if you remember that the average UK household is in considerable debt, about £10,000, and this is for a variety of reasons. Try not to focus too much on your debt, I have a lot of debt too, around £12,000 to go, but that is still down nearly £2,800 from November when I last bet. Life will still have to carry on for you, even with debt, and time will go far quicker and far easier on you, if you allow yourself room to breathe and a little treat as a form of motivation.

I have an 80% policy with regard to being sensible, the rest is just for fun. I have two kids so it is important that they are not punished because of my actions, and can still look forward to the little things that make life fun. It also helps me to address the fact that things happen in life and we make bad choices, but we can make them right again in lots of different ways, but the most important way that we can make things right, is with ourselves. So forgive yourself. It is okay to mess up. Then you are free to move on with your life and you can let go of gambling for good. Don’t look back too much. Look ‘forward’ to what lies ahead.

Giving up gambling is difficult and puts pressure on you and your emotions which can create urges. So it is important to look after yourself and not add to the pressure you are already under. Pressure can make you repeat the mistakes of the past in a bid to undo them so resist the temptation for quick fixes.
Now that you have addressed gambling and you want to change, focus on that change. Don’t focus on things you can’t change. The past happened but the future is something you now have a choice in. How exciting is that?!

As they say in the old adage….slow and steady wins the race!
Best wishes, Jenny.

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