Comments

Trevor
Reply

Hi Jane,

That was a powerful post and struck so many chords with me. You just described how I feel before, during and after gambling. You have a wealth of knowledge thank you for sharing it. I just wish that was no need to know this stuff and life was all fluffy and nice, but that is not real life.

Good Luck to everyone. Abstaining is the only way.

Trevor
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Jane,

I’m happy going shopping…spending money on worthwhile things like food, chocolate and sweets….if I need a pick me up or a proper distraction then it has to be marks and spencer food. If I’m scrimping it is aldi and tesco. Definitely recommend aldi milk chocolate…better than Cadbury. I must say that your concoction of b&m purchases seem provocative…..better than spending it on gambling.

Jane
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Ha ha, I promise it was totally innocent… though looking at it now, it did look a little suspect when you put them all together. :) If only I were that interesting!
Food is popular among many of the regulars on here, Trevor. I think it is a good thing to indulge sometimes in things that make you feel good and worthwhile. Eating well and living well creates feelings of positivity and well being. It stops me from having urges to gamble because if I do, then I lose the opportunity to do nice things with that money, things that will make me genuinely feel good.

It also shows me what money can buy when you use it for the things that bring real pleasure in life. I used to think that only gambling gave you dopamine, but that is not true. Research has shown that people respond very well to all sorts of things, food, sports, achievement, time with loved ones…It is just that you get much more when you gamble, but it is actually more than you really need which is why it distorts the brain. The highs from gambling are so fleeting and I believe this is why we fail to stop because the good feelings do not sustain us. Partial reinforcement will also keep us in the cycle. Winning occasionally, as we all know makes us feel like we still have a chance, like we are still lucky and serves to fuel the addiction. Loss aversion also kicks in where people become more sensitive to losses than to gains of equal value. You might win £500, but you can’t be happy about it because you’ve already lost so much more and explains why we can’t come away with a win because it is still technically a loss. Gambling then becomes more about getting back losses than actually wanting to gamble for excitement, and this then reinforces the addiction further.

At least when we indulge in things that create genuine emotions and genuine highs, then those highs and those memories are ours to keep. Gambling is an empty experience, so however much we do it, it is never enough. It does not satisfy because people cannot connect to gambling in the same way that they might connect to genuine emotion, like being at a concert, travelling and experiencing new things with family and friends. These create genuine emotions because that is what we actually need, these are life experiences and we can relate to them.

Our brains cannot process emotion from a machine. It is not normal, therefore, all the person feels is the chemical hit, the one we get from dopamine, so our brains get a hit, but we don’t benefit as human beings because we cannot relate to it in the same way. That is where the conflict lies and why we are always torn between gambling and trying to stop. It is also why our heads spin for days after a relapse, trying to process all what went on. We aren’t meant to feel so many emotions in such a short space of time, one minute elation, next, despair. We don’t know what to do with these feelings and become depressed because people cannot process them. We don’t know why we both love gambling and hate gambling.

Addiction happens because people chase that same high that they got when they first won. However, when it comes, it fails to hit the spot, people want more, and before you know it, you can’t stop. The high that comes with gambling is not a genuine emotion, it is a chemical reaction and it is that that gives our brain the illusion of feeling good. It doesn’t last because our brain will become dependent upon it and will not be satisfied with normal levels of dopamine which is why we feel depressed both when we gamble and when we don’t, which further fuels the cycle.

We can then become resistant to dopamine which means we need to gamble more and more to feel the same high and we become dead in all the everyday activities that used to bring us joy. Addiction is then born because it becomes the new norm. It sets the bar for everything else and nothing else matters.
I think this is why it then stops being about the money for a lot of people too, it just becomes about the moment, the games, the distraction from how bad we have come to feel. We can trade thousands for time spent gambling because we are more able to hurt the body and the mind in order to chase that elusive happiness that will never come from gambling.

I am never gambling again.

Dom
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Age 25 and gambled for 22 years started out gambling at snap lead to blackjack lead to pool by age 8 then at age 12 was running a gambling book in school and making money from poker in the school library right through highschool . I was hooked by family who got me betting on the big teams rangers Celtic man utd arsenal roughly when I was 11 years old I was betting 30 pound a week on 5p & 10p accumulators lead to 2 pound bets moved up to 7 pound bets and pay for a payperview on prem plus 7 pound to watch a football match or 2 for a tenner . by age 15 I’m hitting 40 pound a bet , heavy at pool and blackjack by 16 I’m betting in bookies until I get identified as under age . from age 19 to 21 I became heavy gambler betting between 100 and 600 pound per week and starting being successful with sports betting spend my winnings well some of it on beer and nights out 7 nights a week for a few years and spend 40 quid a day on cigars and cigs and also had takeaways every night was living the dream. Then age 21 I left that life behind and moved in with my partner and had our first child we lost the house 10 months later when I gambled more than I can afford and couldn’t pay the rent . won some money again paid 2000 upfront to rent a new house but didn’t like it. So had to win 3000 pound for a good home to rent which we lost due to gambling the rent by this time we had 2 kids and became homeless moved into my girlfriends grandads home untill we moved out to a new home and gambled the rent again. And then moved back to my girlfriends grandads again . then we make 3000 to pay rent upfront on a new house and were happy there but my partners mother dies and we have to move out risk it all to look after the disabled brother at there home turns out he didn’t want us and moved out while the house is in his name we hope to keep this house but have no money if we are told to leave so hear I am trying again from 50 pound starting bankroll to turn it to 70 then to 100 then to 120 and to 150 then 170 and 200 and so on until I can afford 3000 pound to pay some rent upfront for a future property. My point is to this story we have lost homes due to gambling but also was saved in time due to gambling but if I didn’t bet we would still be in a nice 3 bed home next door to where we are now safe and well where it all began. I’m so hooked and can’t stop but I developed a system that makes 3% profit per day on 1/100 shots x 3 of them with teams already won and betting on under 3.5 goals for a team who won’t win in the second half and can now make over 100% profit per month easy but this is risky if one lose we lose it all and can be mentally thrustrating. My point is stop gambling if you can and get a job coz money earned is twice as sweet as money won and we look after our wages better .

Jane
Reply

Hi, Dom. I hope it has helped you to share your story. You have obviously been gambling all your young life. You took normal childhood pass times and even school life and turned them into a money making opportunity. This mentality grew until you were unable to control your gambling in later years. Gambling has been all you have known for such a long time, so it is obviously hard to see yourself ever being free from gambling, but please be assured, that you can.
If you have learned one thing from this it should be that what gambling gives, gambling takes away again. You had what could be described as a good run, a lucky streak of wins that made you believe that profiting from gambling was possible. It made you feel strong and confident in your gambling ability but what it was actually doing was conditioning you to have faith and confidence in something that you have absolutely no control over. A patch of winning like that is nothing more than bait and very often comes along in the early days, until your luck eventually runs out and you lose everything because you have been conditioned by the industry to be a winner.

It is part of the welcome package designed to get you hooked. By the time you have done with all those wins, you will already be addicted and unable to see the fall coming. You will trust gambling and believe you can do anything. Your luck can’t run out, can it? You can outsmart the machine? You’re in control?

Gamblers tell themselves all the time that they have systems, they believe they can control their own fate and cannot accept it when things don’t go their way. They continue to gamble, throwing more and more money away until they cannot see a way out, except to gamble some more.
What is really sad is that people see gambling as their only hope, their saviour, and if they give up gambling, then they give up on the only chance they have of ever getting their money back again. Truth is, it is the only sure way to lose even more.
I see from your story that you kind of regard gambling as both your enemy and your saviour. Gambling got you into a mess, but at times, you recognise that your gambling saved your skin. If you keep feeling that way, Dom, you will never break the cycle. You are giving gambling control over your life and your achievements. Gambling decides whether you get to move house, but your past experience should tell you that all gambling has done is make you lose your home. Twice.

Still, you have 50 quid in your pocket but you don’t see it as 50 quid, you see it as a chance to make more. While I completely understand this mentality, because I have done it myself, I have to tell you that this is a sure way to lose everything, even if you win.
If you manage to get £3,000 from £50, and you can afford rent, do you think you will scratch it all up as lesson learnt? Gambling will be your saviour yet again, and all it will do is loan you that house until you gamble again and lose it all.
The only way to win is to walk away from this life. Ask yourself out of everything you ever won, what do you have now? You have uncertainty, insecurity, and financial hardship and you can’t buy anything with that.
Every win is just a loss in disguise, try and see it that way, Dom. Each £1 you won only made you lose many times that. It will help you to stop assessing all the times you won, and being tempted to gamble again because of it. Gambling caused your problems, Dom, so why on earth would you turn to gambling to fix them?

Do this the right way, on your own and be proud of yourself and your achievements. Do not allow gambling to dictate what you can and can’t do in life. If you do, you will be forever in its debt one way or another. Remember that both losses and wins will tie you to a life of gambling unless you can learn to see it from a new perspective.
That way, you don’t have to worry about when that guillotine is going to fall, because when your head is on that block, it is only ever a matter of time.
All the best, and keep posting.

Jane
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Nipped to my local B&M after work…I needed a few bits and pieces. I rocked up to the checkout with my basket and noticed that the chap on the tills was grinning at me … ‘Looks like an interesting evening’, he said as he scanned my rather eclectic mix of purchases…….
a bottle of wine, chocolate bars, jumbo kitchen roll, a mop head, duct tape, strawberry jelly, vaseline, baguettes and face wipes. I dunno what he thought I had planned but I’m only glad I didn’t buy the blackout blind and peanut butter that I was looking at as well.

Hope everyone is okay.
Day 32 for me.

Kate
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I think the guy on the check out might have been the one with a guilty conscience …or interesting extra-curricular life!! very funny story Jane! I came very close to blurting out my gambling story to a really nice vicar yesterday …… I was having a chat about organizing a musical event, and felt a strong urge to share…it is funny, because I hadn’t thought about gambling much this week. I might pluck up the courage and have a confidential chat with him again …it is obviously troubling me still . My funny moment today was with my dog …who has decided that he doesn’t like men …so he barks at any passing bloke. One guy wasn’t having any of it, and came up to Woody, and started tickling his tummy saying ” you’re all mouth and no trousers” ….” actually, he’s all mouth and no testicles” said I without thinking …… the guy backed away quickly!!!

Jane
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Ha ha, poor Woody. Poor you! I bet you do the same thing as I do, Kate….I open my mouth and stuff just pours out….then I walk away rolling my eyes, thinking what did I say that for! Idiot!
My day just gets worse. I just had a horrible blonde moment. My partner took me to fill up the freezer and as usual, he decided to stay in the car and listen to the stereo. What is it about men and their aversion to shopping? I came out with my bags, plonked them down and tapped on the boot of the car, only to turn and see my partner grinning at me from across the way. It was the wrong chuffing car, wasn’t it and there I was tapping on the boot for him to open it! Of course, there had to be someone in it, didn’t there!
I’m gonna stay in for the rest of the evening and enjoy my home cooked fish and chips. It’s far too peopley outside.
Enjoy a lovely gambling free weekend, Kate.

Jane
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Yes, good. Keep that momentum going everyone.
Mat, so pleased for you. If you think you feel better now, imagine how good things can get for you? At least you are giving yourself a chance. With gambling, there is no chance of winning or feeling good in the long run, only false promises, false hope and loans.
John, keep going. Let’s all never give them another penny. I seen on the news that my pen pal ‘friend’ William Hill is in trouble for failing to spot the signs of addiction (same complaint I have ongoing with them) and for failing to prevent money laundering. They turn a blind eye so long as they get hold of your money.
You tell me how responsible it is to let someone deposit thousands in the space of minutes, having taken out multiple time outs to try to control my gambling. It is obvious that you are having problems by the way you are using your account. They know full well that you are addicted and chasing but they are happy to let you bury yourself.
My bank was quick to notice that I was depositing like crazy and gave me a phone call, and I know full well that they know too. My bank was concerned for me, but the gambling industry couldn’t care less. You are just a number, a username. They call you a ‘dear member’ when you are throwing money at them, but when you want to quit, they can’t even be bothered to help you self exclude and instead point you in the direction of the terms and conditions and small print that we should have read when we signed our life away. No wonder they said they were delighted to welcome me back.
Well, I am delighted to see the back of them.
I am never gambling again.

Nik
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Keep it up Jane.
I’m never gambling again either. Still gamble free since 30 Dec.
Let’s all never gamble again.
Let ‘em starve!

Jane
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Good, Nik. Let’s give ourselves a fighting chance this time. Stay strong. The stronger we are, the weaker they become.
Vulnerable people lose £5 million a day on FOBT’s alone. British gamblers lost a staggering £13.8bn in the year ending September 2016. Our losses continue to grow at an alarming rate, despite the growth of these machines slowing down, which can only mean that people are staking bigger and bigger amounts as their addiction grows.

Each machine brings in about £50,000 a year and costs just £2,000 to install, so no wonder they don’t mind if we smash them up. Gambling pays for itself. They say that the gambling industry spent nearly half a billion pounds on TV adverts since 2012, but they didn’t. We did. It is our money that is being used to entice us to lose even more money. It is our painful losses that is used to trap more and more young people into a life of gambling and those same losses that keep us stuck in the cycle.

If we all make a decision to accept what has gone before and move on, then we make sure that we never lose another penny and we also make sure that 2018 is a crap year to be a bookie.
I want to see more and more of them squirm on TV when they are asked to answer for themselves and their so-called business.
I cannot believe that the industry is still crying about the potential loss of jobs and taxes, if gambling is restricted. Utter nonsense. The money we save by not gambling, will end up in far better, more responsible sectors of our economy because we will be able to spend so much more on things we can actually see and take home. No more walking out empty handed, lining the pockets of those who have a disregard for society and decency. I don’t even know why they call them ‘betting shops’ because all this shop sells you, is pain and suffering at a staggering cost, and you have the pleasure of walking out empty handed.
Still, we all fight the urge to go back for more, despite emptying out our security, our homes, even our kids up on the counter….What will be enough to make us stop? Addiction doesn’t make any sense. The only sense is in stopping.

Trevor
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Lots of positive posts which are great. Lets keep strong for ourselves and loved ones. Keep our cash for nice things or smudging out the gambling debts with honesty and conviction….not to be repeated.

No matter how we measure or dont measure our abstance, lets just keep abstaining. Saying two fingers to Gambling and gaining a bright smile to life.

All the best…

john
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Hi agian can everdody remmeber how much money and time in this horrible gambling lost remmeber and see how much we lost and then you we relised thst horrible time gambling and you wiil never gamble when the agues came i think it is a idea stay away from gambling pls pls pls

john
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Hi everbody good worlds mat say away from gambling everbody still gamble free 4 day

mat
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Today is 3 weeks when I last gambled, swings of feeling better then worse, any urge I just try of thinking about something else, even if I won I could never stop till I lost it all what’s the point of playing for fun? I don’t think so there are other fun activities like going for a trip even shopping not putting money in a rigged game that was put in place to suck all the remaining money from the people. Each relapse and loss made me feel very bad I couldn’t control myself and that’s sickening.
I am around gamblers and trust me I am not missing out, some of them cant pay rent or buy food while working full time its crazy.
Hope you all stay gamble free for good.

Kate
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I hope you do too Mat – I sincerely do …..you have so much life ahead of you, so many opportunities, but first you need to be free from this horrible addiction holding you back. Best wishes Kate

Trevor
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Loser,

Try to remind yourself of all the good progress you have made in the past and how great this would have made you feel. Do your best to recreate this feeling by leaving gambling alone. Win..lose or lose…win or lose…lose… Or win..win. It’s all gambling. Your time, money and dignity are worth so much more than what the gambling industry is offering you. They give you pain, false hope, seduction, emptiness, self loathing….you and all of us are worth so much much more. We are human and we do struggle with all the temptations the big world can give us….but we have be strong and we have to fight our demons and we have to have strategies in place. I’ve self excluded myself from 90% of the betting shops where I live and I keep to it too and this has saved me lots and lots of my time and money…but that 10% left is the killer. I need to make a choice on what I want…. Me mentally and physically in a better place….less strain on my marriage…I’ve had ultamatums and that’s never nice.

Be strong for yourself and for those who you care about.

mat
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Loser shit you lost money again, why you didn’t self exclude, what about blocking your card, the site didn’t make you gamble its just an excuse, do you still think you will win your money back? not going happen, the wins are only to keep you in the game for longer like a torture. Site is good at least you know you are not alone and others go through same shit, you see we all are losing do you think you can beat the devils wheel or computerised slot, its all fixed bullshit another form of taking the rest of money we have after taxes, council tax and expensive food. Be serious start counting days and you and your bank account will feel better it will take time, or you can choose continue working like a slave to make the casino bosses even richer laughing and drinking cocktails on some exotic beach. God knows what its doing to your health being stressed and sleepless.

LOSER
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Relapsed, won took a cheque but then withdrew heaps from the bank and lost it all. Depressed, sleep deprived also noticed overtime I post my days I relapse pretty soon after.

Same shit over this have to stay away from the site for a while

Goodluck all

Jane
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Loser, my post to you is a bit further down with Trevors….the top and bottom of it is…you are a gambling addict who is trying to gamble responsibly. It will never work. You see you gamble and you lose and you can’t walk away, you gamble and you win, get a cheque and still you cannot walk away. You see the pattern? It doesn’t matter what happens when you bet, because you will always want to gamble again, be it that same night, or another night.
Each time you gamble, you feed your addiction, WHATEVER the outcome.

I notice a pattern with your gambling relapses, Loser, and I sincerely hope you don’t mind me pointing this out to you, because I think it may help you.
You see, you gamble again and you focus mostly on the fact that you either won or lost money. I don’t think you necessarily see it as relapse, more a case of if you have won or lost. You tend to beat yourself up when you have had a win and managed to get a cheque and then still gone on to lose it, but this is besides the point, Loser. The point is, you gambled again. Nothing else matters and the more you focus on the ins and outs of your relapse, the more you will continue to gamble.
You are so often disappointed that you managed to win, and yet still you went on to lose it where the only thing you should be disappointed in, is the fact that you gambled again.
Do you get what I’m saying? You are still assessing your gambling in terms of money won, or lost when really it needs to be about the way gambling has made you feel. Are you disappointed because you gambled again, or more so, because yet again you couldn’t keep a win?

Addicts cannot go back to gambling for fun, Loser and trying to do so will defeat you and ruin your efforts to ever stop gambling completely. If you want to leave gambling behind then you are going to need to abstain because it is the only way to let your brain recover from all the mixed messages you are giving it about gambling. Those being, ‘gambling is good so long as I win, gambling is bad when I lose’. The message needs to be that gambling is bad full stop. Then you can get your life back again and your savings.

All the best. x

Duncan
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Hi Jane/ Loser,

You’re right, Jane. While gambling addiction can cripple us financially, it’s imperative that the addict removes the ‘win’ and ‘loss’ mentality in order to aid our recovery. It’s futile to look at a ‘win’ or ‘loss’ over a short period of time because ultimately the compulsive gambler will lose in the long term – why else would we read and comment on this forum if we hadn’t lost? We also lose more than money – we lose time, we lose our self respect and we lose the ability to feel like a non gambler by craving it’s cluth. Gambling slowly but surely consumes us. It consumes our time, our money and our natural psyche.

Viewing gambling within the context of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ merely seeks to keep the addict trapped within the vicious gambling cycle. There is no end point within the vicious gambling cycle – so long as we consider that gambling can provide a ‘win’ we will continue to go round and round and round this vicious cycle.

Loser, it’s time to break free from the cycle. You have a tremendous amount of knowledge on gambling addition which you kindly share with the forum on a regular basis. You have shared interesting and well informed information about the brain activity of the compulsive gambler. While i fully endorse short term measures which prohibit the addict from gambling (not carrying cash/ self excluding from a particular site or venue/ letting someone look afternour cash), these measures are unfortunately what they are – short term. We need to see the bigger picture, we need to adopt an attitude of ‘thank goodness i don’t have to gamble’ as opposed to ‘I’ve not got access to cash so i can’t gamble’. Until we remove the tug of war mentality, a part of our mind will perceive gambling in a positive light and we’ll continue to crave it. I truly believe that you can break free from the cycle.

Here’s to another day gamble free!

Jane
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Duncan, it is always a pleasure to hear from you. How are you? I hope you got through the dark, winter months okay. Spring is on the way, and with it, the bright longer days with plenty to do and places to go. I very much look forward to the freedom that the good weather brings and also, I look forward to having my mind my own again, now that I have let go of gambling. It is actually a sweet relief in a way. That’s how I feel about gambling now. I don’t miss it. I feel glad that I don’t have to do it anymore.

I did try to gamble responsibly for such a long time, but it only ever worked when things went my way. If I lost, then all the control was lost with it. When I was winning, I had the illusion of control and all it did was weaken me and set me up for a bad fall, when the luck inevitably ran out.
I do believe that trying to gamble responsibly, while still a positive step in the right direction, keeps the tug of war mentality alive because it allows you to keep your ties with gambling. Gambling remains very much on your mind and people tend to make more allowances for their gambling, maybe even gambling as a treat, or a reward because they have gone without it for a period of time. I certainly had this mentality for a while. I felt that a two week break entitled me to a little go when the time-out expired. It just didn’t work and I don’t think it works for many people in the long run, not addicts anyway. It seems backwards to reward yourself with the same thing you want to cut out your life, doesn’t it, but I guess this represents the phase where you’re just not ready to let go.

My last relapse was horrible but I am still grateful for the lesson. I feel that I needed the reminder, and I am only grateful that I still had a cut off point, although I wish it were a little less than 3 grand! I could have done much more damage, but I threw the last few hundred at the loss with a sort of petulant ‘don’t give it me then’ attitude. I think I accepted quickly that I wasn’t going to get the money back and was able to let it be. I wanted to throw enough at the loss, but not enough to cripple me, just enough to make a dent big enough to walk away from. I’m not really sure what the mentality is with that, but I think at the time, I wanted to either get the money back or feel it enough to never want to do it again.
I guess I wanted to go out with a bang, and I feel that I did that, so good riddance to gambling and onward we march, a little stronger and a lot wiser.
Take care, Duncan

Duncan
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Thanks for your reply, Jane. I’m well thanks and still gamble free. I’ve found this winter easier to manage than last as I’ve taken comfort from remainimg gamble free over the winter of 16 – 17.

A lot of my friends still gamble regularly which I’ve found difficult to deal with in the past. However, i now find that being in the company of friends who gamble helps to reaffirm my commitment to life as a non gambler. In the past i used to be envious of these friends as i felt i was missing out, however, watching their behaviour and emotional state when they gamble now helps me. It amazes me how distant they can become and it reminds me of how detached I was, emotionally, from friends and family when i gambled.

Thoughts of gambling do not consume my mind like they once did, however, there are still occasions, particularly when I’m watching a sporting event, when my thoughts turn to gambling. This is just part of the compulsive gambler in me, however, my education on the addiction, along with the progress that i have made, makes it a lot easier to rationalise and manage such situations.

I do not read the forum as regularly as I once did but still ‘check in’ to continue to educate myself as well as seeing how everyone is getting on.

Here’s to another day gamble free!

Jane
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I can certainly see how being around other gamblers would be difficult in the early days and how you might feel you are missing out. I am glad that this now seems to help you because it helps justify your decision to remain a non gambler.
I suppose it’s much like drinking. When you are out with friends and you’re all drinking, you don’t see the way you behave, because you’re all doing the same thing. But when you’re out with them and you’re the only one who is on the Cokes, then you can see the difference in their behavior in ways that you don’t see when you are drinking alongside them.
I have seen therapists using this kind of treatment, getting family and friends to record their loved ones under the influence of gambling, drugs, or drinking as a way of showing them the way they change when they are doing it.
All I know is I just want normal life back, having spent the last 7 or so years trying to escape it. You may think you have problems and you gamble to escape them, but then gambling becomes the real problem and you can spend the rest of your life trying to get back what you had before, and I’m not talking money.
The horrible unpredictability and instability that a life of gambling creates makes the normal, everyday life look like a picnic in the park, and it is something I very much look forward to.
When gamblers come to realise that they’re not missing out, it is such a wonderful thing.
Take care, Duncan and do check in from time to time. You continue to be such an inspiration to so many people on this site, and remind us all that it is possible to leave this misery behind.

Trevor
Reply

Hi Jane,

Sorry to hear that your nephew has been ill and the reason why. Life is hard enough without having to fight off an addiction…as we all have witnessed regularly. Im sure he will pull through it all. From my own experience it isnt easy be open with friends and family about addiction, but it a very important starting block to a good recovery no matter if the openess wasnt planned.

I had a relapse on Saturday that peeved me off, but just need to keep focused on the positive things in life. …family, friends, and doing positive activities. When youve got some notes in your wallet or purse things always seem brighter and can treat yourself to nice things; or cope with some unexpected bill/cost without letting it get to you.

Im so pleased the savings i do have are in a joint account with my wife…both to sign off to access the funds. Definitely recommend a joint account.

Still need to get a modest holiday arranged this year….any ideas….. wife wants to go abroad….but still not cheap in the UK and weather very unpredictable. So maybe spain. …or leaf peeping in my garden…had to get that in….sorry.

Jane
Reply

Sorry to hear that, Trevor. Relapse is difficult and affects all of us from time to time. It can make us stronger and more determined or it can make us feel defeated and demoralised. It is important not to let it get to you and to see the relapse in perspective. This can take time and it certainly does for me.
The problem with counting our days is that when we go back to day 1, it gives the impression that we have lost all our progress and that we have gone backwards. This is not really the case. I think it is far better to look at it as gambling one day out of say, 10 or however long you have gone. That way, the one slip doesn’t look half as bad against all the days you didn’t gamble.
If you are struggling with the idea of relapse, and feeling like you have lost progress, draw up a chart of when you started counting your days again and put a red cross in each box that you didn’t gamble, just leave the relapse day blank. That way, you can see how well you really were doing, Trevor and you won’t lose motivation.
A holiday is a great way to focus on something positive. Luckily for my budget, I enjoy the unpredictable weather here, so I have my 2 weeks booked for a British caravan holiday.
I may well get across the pond again, to Ireland if the funds allow. It is very important to be motivated and have a goal and something to aim for. A holiday is also a great way to show you that things are improving financially and give you something to make you realise what is possible if you stop gambling.
Thank you for your concern for my nephew. Luckily, it was not his turn to drive. Sometimes they swap and take turns to drive to the different locations they are sent to for work, so we have that to be grateful for.
Addiction is horrible whatever it is. It’s weird that I can see the stupidity in people getting into drugs but failed to see my own when it came to gambling.

—-Loser, surely you don’t believe in jinx? Posting your days on the site is not making you relapse. We have no say in whether you go to the casino or not, but you do. I think that you would have gone to the casino with or without posting your days, because whether you post or not, it is just a matter of time before you want to gamble again, just like it is for the rest of us. It is the casino you need to stay away from Loser, not Rethink. You must accept that when you gamble, you are choosing to gamble. Despite your addiction, you have a choice. If you don’t believe this then you will not be able to stop.

These two scenarios are the same…

You win, you take the cheque and you walk out = relapse
You win, you take the cheque, you gamble again and you lose it = relapse
Both actually equal a loss because you gambled again. That’s how you have to look at it.

Forget the ins and outs of your relapse Loser, it will only keep you gambling. Relapse is relapse, win or lose. Winning is walking away. Now get back on track.
I really wish you well, Loser. Keep posting and keep trying. x

Jane
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Kate, your flare comment tickled me! I think abstaining from this site is just as difficult for me as staying away from gambling. Nephew doing okay. He is stable and I had a chat with him. He is obviously scared now that it is all going to come out, but it might be just what he needs. He was very reluctant to go to the doctors and talk about his addiction and worried that he couldn’t afford time off work for rehab, what with the debt.
Now, he is being forced to seek help, so despite the circumstances, that’s still a good thing.

Ooh, that reminds me, Kate, don’t know why cos it’s not related…..but I got my £12 back from Tesco but no apology, they just credited it to my statement. Well, actually it was £12 and a packet of 6 tomatoes on the vine. Difficulty scanning. #vengeance. That will teach them to mess with me. I’ll sit and wait for the shares to plummet now. #muahaha

Loser, Joanne, Mat, Andy…..hope you are all well. You’ve all gone quiet too. Perhaps we should get the box of flares out, Kate?

Ben, Day 1 is hard, but it is better to be on day 1 and be making a change, than to keep gambling and face each day never knowing how it will end. Isn’t there enough uncertainty in life?

Keep going everyone. You can do it.

Jane
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Just took a phone call from my sis. She don’t tend to ring me so it’s usually something negative when she does. Last time she rung me, it was to tell me mum had fallen and smashed her shoulder 6 months ago. Today, it is to tell me that her son, my nephew has had 2 seizures. He has been abusing drugs for some time now, as you may well remember and has been dabbling since he was about 13 to be honest.
It has grown from cigarettes when he was 11 to taking weed, now it is cocaine. He was on his way to work in a group van when he had one in the back of the van and one again in hospital. He’s doing okay but is worried that work will know about his drug problem now. He is in a world of debt for a young lad, because of his drug habit, and struggled very much since he had a bad break up with his girlfriend who had settled him down, somewhat.
Thing is, he works with heavy machinery. It is dangerous outside work, up trees, cutting, felling, trimming…that sort of thing. If he loses his job, he will seriously struggle. It worries me that he is more concerned about his job than addressing what years of drugs have done to him, but it is because he has little support from his family and I have been trying to support him as best I can, but not with money, just with food parcels as he has been going hungry, buying drugs and not eating. It is such a horrible life and he feels so trapped. His sister gives him money but he just buys more drugs, even though he genuinely asked for it for food. it controls him and we all know that feeling well.

Hopefully, this will be enough to make him stop now. A serious wake up call. I wish we could all leave these dangerous addictions behind before it goes too far, but the trouble is, we coast along don’t we? We don’t see the harm in another relapse, because well, it’s just another relapse. People with addiction can systematically hurt themselves and become numb to the pain. It becomes usual to feel bad, to feel low and to self loathe.
How can people strive to feel better when they have become accustomed to feeling bad for years, especially when they are the ones who have been hurting themselves?

I think we all need a shock to make us wake up. That’s the sorry thing about addiction, be it gambling, or drugs or whatever….we invite so much pain into our lives and it just becomes normal to feel low. People cannot break free from the cycle because they can’t see any way out. It’s all they know. It’s all they expect.

Nik
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50 days for me now!
Actually had slight thoughts over the weekend that a little flutter wouldn’t do any harm, but of course it would, it would mean I had ruined my thus far gamble free year.
Fortunately I stayed resolute and the thoughts soon went away again, but it shows even when you are winning the battle and even think you might have won the war, you always have to be on your guard.
Stay strong everyone.
Let ‘em starve!

Jane
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Yes, it is a constant battle, Nik. After the smoke clears from our recent relapse, we may think the enemy has gone. It is no longer obvious anymore, what we are fighting. We may not even recognise the enemy when we see it. It sneaks up on us, disguised as a friend that we haven’t seen for a while.
Don’t let your guard down. It’s like how they describe it in Behind Enemy Lines, a seriously cool movie that still holds up well after all these years….
Whenever you’re on the ship, you’re at war, whether you’re at sea or sitting in the harbour. The everyday routine can get to us, and we want that hit of excitement. But that excitement comes at a high price so be careful what you wish for. Enjoy the basics and don’t fight the everyday normality, because it’s not boring, it’s actually the peace time we really need.

Jane
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Hey, everyone. Good to see people are still going strong. Hello again John and hi Jeffrey.

Day 27 for me. Seems very little since I should be hitting 6 months now if it weren’t for that latest blip. Still, I have got to move on. No urges for me which has been very positive. I think I got rid of all my urges in the first two weeks when I was plagued with wanting to win back my losses.
I’m glad I stayed away though, cos I would more than likely be feeling crap right now, even if I was winning because that’s what gambling does to you. It always makes me feel controlled and volatile. Even when I was having a winning streak for several months, I still felt awful because it was like I was waiting to be shot, knowing that eventually my head was gonna be on that block. It’s only ever a matter of when, not if. Losing is inevitable. The more you play, the more you lose.

Not been doing so great with all the news lately. I keep changing the channel. It’s become very difficult for me with all the talk of abuse lately. It’s one scandal after another. Although it’s good that people talk about it, it is making me feel a bit negative so I am keeping away.
I’m getting myself a tattoo and I’m thinking what to have. I’ve always wanted one, nothing big or crass, just a nice vine or ivy maybe, something natural and delicate. Just thought I’d share that with you!

I’m still in contact with William Hill over my complaint for letting me gamble and lose money when I had expressed a gambling problem with them on several occasions. I had no working phone at the time, and was literally unable to get thought to them on live chat. I kept being cut out of the queue, so I asked them on email if they would exclude me to protect me, because I didn’t want to go near my account to time out because I was worried that if I did, that I would just end up gambling again. They said they couldn’t self exclude me this way, and I didn’t want to time out because I saw it as a cop out, something that I would just let expire, then gamble again, so I wanted to do it permanently.
I have been able to self exclude by basic email for all my other accounts but William Hill made it a deliberately evasive process and forced me to use live chat to self exclude. I don’t see it as very useful to make a person use the one thing they are trying to avoid in order to protect themselves.

I grew weak and gambled just like I thought I would, instead of excluding like I intended to, because I had to sit for half an hour, looking at gambling stimulus while I waited to get through to someone. My complaint was heard by several different people and has steadily gone up the ranks as the week’s gone on.
I managed to speak to the executive relations manager by email and had the delight in telling him what I think of the whole industry. I don’t care about getting any money back, I’m just enjoying pushing their buttons! They were delighted to communicate with me when I was giving them my money. They played their part in making me an addict, and they chose to ignore the signs of an addicted person, while I was lining their pockets.

When I asked for help, they failed to support me. Now that I want to stop gambling, they don’t want to communicate with me anymore. What a surprise. They gave me some crap about self exclusion and that I agreed to the terms and conditions when I made the account. I told him that reading the terms and conditions is not really the main priority for an addicted gambler and that they shove whatever they want in the small print in order to free themselves of any responsibility.
After all, it’s not their fault because they did tell me to gamble responsibly.

ben southcott
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Day 1. Ben.

john
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Hi jeff and hi kate i am 43y

Kate
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Hi John
Good to hear from you, although sorry to hear you are back to the starting blocks. I remember 43! This was before I took up gambling …… I turn 60 this year – a late starter sadly but hopefully now stopped for good. I bet there are lots of women like me who took up gambling online directly as a result of the availability ……it’s a shocker in my opinion. 10 months gamble free. #nevertoolatetogetyouracttogether

Good to hear you are doing OK Jane …I was going to send up a mini-flare today to see how you were doing. Stay strong all

Trevor
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Loser,

Great ….day 9. Keep on going and keep focused on the positive things in your life.

John,

Like I’ve said to Loser (I think he’s winner myself) keep focused on the positive things in your life, this should steer you away from gambling.

john
Reply

Hi everbody who are you all i still sometimes gambling but not much like before and i going to stop today agian try not to gamble any wasted money gambling is dangerous you start with some amout of money and casing your money back so we all try to not niether some small bets becouse they grow up i told you last time that i gambleded about€350 000 00 in 5 years that gamble who its work stay away from gambling jane trevor mat joneaoe and all other that are nee in this site i will star tk post agian day one for me

Jeffrey
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How old are you john?

LOSER
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Hi Everybody,
Day 9 for me (I think)

Trevor
Reply

Hi Mat,

I hope you start feeling better soon and I’m sure the avoidance of a relapse will help. It sounds like the peace of mind and health benefits you were hoping to have with 15 days of a abstance has not been revealed…please hang in there I am sure you will see the benefits soon.

Work for me is an important part of my routine of life and it’s very busy at work which helps me focus on work and no day dreaming. Then unwinding at home is also important. Like others have said we need to focus on positive activities to keep our mind active and happy. I like jigsaws, watching movies, cinemas, eating out and spending time with the misses. Plus there are the mundane tasks but they serve a purpose too….tidying the home up, me doing the ironing, diy jobs, emptying the dishwasher….The purpose is that you can see result after the work and it’s a job off the list….It’s a positive achievement.

As you know relapses could aggravate your health so please do your best to abstain.

LETS ALL BE WINNERS BY NOT GAMBLING.

mat
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Jane its a long road to recovery, not really happy I do get those headaches and stomach problems all the time, I feel so stressed right now and anxious that feeling before the exam or gambling, 15 days seems not enough I used to gamble for so many years my mind is messed up, I just sit now and have no motivation to do anything just force myself to work. I need to get away from it all. You should get away too, sitting here and counting days plus constant pressure from debt reminders is very depressing and it can drive you crazy and make you relapse.
Gambling is just lies some gamble to make money and some to escape and thrill but it does opposite effect it will take everything you have and enslave your mind.

Jane
Reply

Mat, yes it is such a long road and sometimes it feels like going round in circles, especially when we mess up. It is hard to erase all the years of gambling, it affects your mind over time and changes your personality. People become dead inside and need to gamble more and more to feel okay again, but it just does the opposite as you say.
Happiness is a bit of a stretch, yes, but maybe we can just get by with being okay. I believe we will be happy again, Mat, so long as we leave gambling behind. Remember your promise to yourself, no more gambling. However bad you feel now, you will feel worse if you gamble again, even if you win. Please remember that, when you feel unsettled and lack motivation.
What you said the other day was good advice, when you get the urge, just distract yourself and go do something else, watch a movie, or get something to eat, or exercise. If we let the urge to gamble plant a seed in our brain, it grows and then we feed it with relapse.

15 days may not be a lot compared to how long you have gambled for, and how long you have gone without gambling in the past, but it is a good start. All good things start small, Mat and if you continue to save your hard earned money, and concentrate on feeling good inside, you will start to believe that it is possible to be happy again and you won’t want to mess that up. 15 days is also more than you have managed to go lately, so why throw that progress away. It is also good to see you actually counting the days and focusing on your recovery rather than your circumstances. I am guilty of dwelling on the negatives too, but trying to remain focused will help you stay positive.
Why gamble and risk losing a load more money, or winning and risk feeling crap again a week later when you lose it again. Don’t put yourself in that position where the industry can play you.

Gambling thrives on discontentment and negativity so try to remain positive. Just remember to measure how well you are doing, not by your days, but how you feel each day. Each day matters so don’t mess it up. All we have to do is wake up, keep busy, stay focused, and go to bed having not gambled. We do that for 7 days and we’ve gone a week, for 30 days and we’ve gone a month and we just keep going until we forget we ever had this sick addiction.

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