Comments

Joanne
Reply

Hi Jane,

Hope you’re good.

I feel like a Gamcare spy, over there spying and bringing back tips! I thought the Debt Camel website was good. Lots of good advice and to those who may not like paperwork there are some templates that may be helpful. Good luck to all who may feel that you have grounds to put in a claim. FINGERS CROSSED.

That’s encouraging news about TSB and RBS, as you correctly say it feels like there has been a change in attitude towards the plight of the compulsive gambler. I’m not sure who MONZO are (nternet bank) but they too are going to be introducing an app shortly to block gambling transactions. It’s great that these institutions are sitting up and taking note. Well done in any part you may have played, you’re very proactive, the world needs people like you! Nice one. It’s good too that the spotlight is now beginning to focus on the dangers of online gambling.

Yes , Jane, that’s the danger of online gambling, money loses all value, it’s just becomes a number . Excellent post.

However as you correctly say and I think loser hinted at this last week we need to ask ourselves what are we doing to help ourselves?!

All the very best everyone,

Joanne

Jane
Reply

Yes, it’s funny that some of the best things I have done to help myself have come from advice from people on here. Of course, who better to listen to really. I guess we can’t take our own advice sometimes and seem to flounder but we can somehow see the error in our ways when others point things out. People say things to me, and the penny drops in a different way. The dots get connected and I can see my mistakes far clearer.

I don’t see things as criticism anymore. I certainly used to. I see it now for what it is….good, practical advice. I suppose it’s easy to feel criticised because there is that conflict inside between you and the addict. One wants to take the advice, the other doesn’t want to know.
I have felt this conflict for years and I’ll be honest, when I signed up to Gamstop at first I felt relief and hope. Then later, it dawned on me that I had stopped myself from gambling in such a big way and committed to something big and the addict in me was not happy at all. For hours afterwards, I kept thinking of ways to get out of it. When the dust settled, I felt good but at first I felt like I’d backed myself right into a corner and resented my decision for a while.
I guess you just have to do it. Commit to and and push the button or make the call to the bank, whatever it is. It’s exhilarating because I feel more in control because I have made a decision about gambling with my rational mind and not with my impulsive corrupted brain. I have won over the addict in me and I am telling her no. No more gambling. I keep telling her no and she will get the idea soon enough and stop tormenting me. That’s the plan. Then I can get back to being me.

Thank you for your kind post, Joanne. I guess if we shout loud enough, someone will listen. These are exciting times. I hope everyone can make use of the positive changes which are happening and yes, as you say, it is good to see people recognising online gambling as well as the FOBT’s. People are starting to acknowledge gambling addiction and help us in new ways. It puts us back in control and makes us feel like we deserve help and support rather than being told they can’t help us which in the past has just made me gamble because it made me feel there was no support and hope. I felt left to it and struggled with that concept because it made my addiction feel dirty and wrong because people weren’t recognising the help I needed in preventing myself from gambling. When people can help you, like banks and organisations, it means they acknowledge you as a person and that is something that an addict really needs because online addicts feel invisible often and like their suffering is not recognised. They take that important step and ask for help and get told they can’t help them and it compounds their suffering. I know it did mine. I had several relapses after being told that the banks couldn’t do anything to stop me using my card for gambling because I felt like I didn’t matter enough to deserve that support and because I felt I had asked for help and been turned away, I retaliated by gambling because I felt that I somehow wasn’t worth the bank’s time. I felt less of a person.
I really hope you too can feel strong enough to keep hitting that 24hr cool off. It’s just a day at a time, but it will make you feel like you can approach this more easily.
Take care, Joanne and all.

Jane
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One thing that’s really helping me to link cause with effect is seeing the euros in front of me that is for our holiday. I can see the money and I know that is for everyone, all of us, to enjoy a few days away as a family. In the bank, it didn’t mean the same. I couldn’t see the meaning behind the money and I didn’t see it as everyone’s money, I saw it as gambling money, without meaning and consequence.

But having it here in front of me, already exchanged and ready for us to go away, I can see the purpose of the money and how clearly I would affect my family if I were to gamble that now and lose it. I imagine the look on my kids faces if I had to tell them we had no spending money. Could I actually do that to them? No way. Not ever. Yet I did that so many times with money in the bank.
It has actually really helped me to get some meaning back. Money in the bank lacks meaning sometimes because it is just numbers, it’s just there. But when you see it in front of you and you know what it will pay for and what it is intended for, then it is so much more difficult to risk.
I think that has been my problem all along, not associating the money I lost with what it could be used for, and not seeing the value or consequences. I saw it as neutral. I saw it as mine.
I ask myself how would I feel if this were my partner doing this to me and the kids and I would be mortified.
I’ve had enough which explains why I am finally doing real, practical things to help myself. It’s time we all stopped complaining about what is happening to us and take the help that is there on offer.
Ask yourself, are you doing enough?

Jane
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Want to thank Joanne for steering me in the direction of Debt Camel. I have been sorting out my emails to try to find angles to help myself and managed to find enough evidence to suggest that I should not have been offered credit increases based on the way I handled my accounts. Mostly the fact that I have taken out many cash advances which indicate an irresponsible level of borrowing. I have also paid credit cards with credit cards which should never be allowed. When I come back from holiday, I will finalise these claims and s
see if anything comes of it.
****************************

On another plus note….I have just been on Live Chat to Natwest bank.
For anyone who banks with them, they have now started a pilot program where you can block your card against gambling transactions. I asked them about this last year but they couldn’t help me, but now it seems things are moving on. Great news. Another door closed and it only took 2 minutes to do.

Just go on Live Chat with your online banking details and tell them you want to block gambling on your card. They will put you through to the Visa chargeback and fraud team who can initiate the block on your card. It is a pilot scheme like Gamstop, so not 100% foolproof, but it is a great start. I understand this is the same for RBS too.
I am so pleased that things seem to be improving. I feel like people are working to help us, not criticise us. It is helping to remove that shame associated with gambling. It makes me feel sad that this couldn’t have happened earlier for us, but maybe we did get through to people after all. I have been asking for these things for a long time and I am feeling like I have won today, having done this, and it is a win I can keep and be proud of.

Wow, look at me go! I really am bringing my A game.

All the best.

Jane
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Not sure why I developed a stammer on the 5th line there! :)

Trevor
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Hi,

I’m still around, but work is manic, so no time to blog or gamble….Things at work should plato out soon. So last Wednesday lost at the casino and since then been abstaining….even when I was at the motorway service station at the weekend I decided not to play on them.

Just wish we could all be rid of this addiction.

Keep strong.

Jane
Reply

Ha ha, my job involves typing so I can get away with the odd sneaky post at work. I have never felt the need to gamble at work or even check scores or bet results. I would get through the day knowing I had that to look forward to when I got home. Sad really but that’s how it was. It made the day go better. Well, till it all went to sh*t anyway!
Take care, Trevor. Keep going.

Trevor
Reply

Jane,
3 months ago I would be salivating at leaving work to put a sneaky £50 on the machines before getting home, but with self exclusions in place now and the inward resolve to abide by them, then now it’s more living life. I’m still gambling about once a week, so still hitting my finances, but just need to persevere and get to ten days, then 14 etc.

Off to my bed now. Keep strong. Thanks for all the good advice and support you give out. You make a very positive and significant difference to a lot of people.

loser
Reply

Hi Everyone,

I must admit I only scroll through the posts these day’s briefly not reading them fully, I guess in a way I have offered all the advice I know to give and therefore don’t know what else I can say that might give you that switch off to gambling. Sorry I have never mentioned you RB and I do wish you the best in your recovery from gambling. Mat I don’t know what to say mate, hopefully you change something in your life that will eventually turn things around for you. Trevor haven’t heard fro a few days hope your well! WOW Where is Kate? Duncan? Andy? John? Nik? I guess that’s what happens when you become a non gambler you don’t need to crutch of rethink?
Jane this site and everyone on it is lucky to have you your a very special women offering so much time, great advice and understanding to everyone here.
Joanne you too have given great advice and so happy your in a more positive frame of mind these days and you have even grown to the point to ban yourself for 24 hour’s there is progress already!! I emailed you can you please reply curios to know your thought’s.

I have had urges but not many only when stressed and bored also I have spent a lot of money lately and the rest is locked up out of reach so i find urges to gamble as to obtain money interesting eh? But I haven’t gambled however wouldn’t surprise me if one day I am pushed enough to but ai believe I can reach 100 days!

Day 70 for me

Jane
Reply

Hey, Loser, thanks for the mention. I don’t think any of us regulars need to be given advice anymore, I think we just need to take it. We already know how to help ourselves but breaking that connection and that pull to gamble is the hardest part.
Most of us just visit this site now to see how everyone is doing and to stay connected to others in the same boat.
I’ve just picked up my Euro’s for my few days away. Excited about a little break and I may be able to get into my clothes a bit better which feels good. I’m the sort of person that really has to see something for my effort otherwise I lose motivation. Feeling good and losing weight has helped me see something physical out of stopping gambling. The weaker I feel, the more I push myself. I am very stubborn which can be a good quality in some ways, especially with beating addiction.

I am glad you are still doing well. I also wonder if Kate has fallen down a well or something? Gosh, I hope not!
I can only assume that some of the others are doing well without gambling and don’t necessarily want to get bogged down with talk of it since maybe it might affect their recovery. I don’t get bogged down with Rethink. Checking in every morning is part of my regular routine and it serves to keep me focused on giving up. For others, it might serve to hold them back because maybe they prefer not read about gambling at all while they are trying to stop.

Anyway, hope everyone who has posted are still well. Perhaps one or two of the oldies can just swing by and let us know they are okay. It can be great inspiration and hope for others to read that you have perhaps managed to move on from gambling.

Jane
Reply

Hi, Mat, sorry to hear you are back gambling again. So you say you’ve been winning and losing? Isn’t that the same as it’s always been? Do you expect it to change?
When people become addicted, there are no immediate physical effects of gambling and when you decide you want to quit, there are no immediate benefits either. You need to allow yourself at least 6 weeks for your mind and body to get over the worst of the withdrawal effects, once you stop. If you only ever go a couple of weeks, you are still feeling the withdrawal of your gambling and so you feel worse for stopping, not better. You need to get past this period so that you can make proper choices as in the withdrawal phase, your brain is controlling you because it is craving the practice even more. I Know that you went many months without gambling when you were younger, but going back to gambling after that long is not the same as gambling again after just a few weeks and it is likely that there was a different trigger for you gambling again after such a long time.

You say you lose interest but in what, Mat? In yourself? You are doing this for yourself, after all. You want to succeed but I think you expect too much too soon. Go longer without gambling and then your choices will be more your own, not your addiction. Fill your time well and stay motivated by giving yourself things to look forward to, rewarding yourself and reminding yourself why you want to leave gambling behind.
Learn to settle for just feeling okay and don’t fight negative emotions as they are normal too. You don’t have to erase a bad mood. Time will do that for you, a nice walk out will do that for you, listening to some music will do that for you. Gambling will not do that for you which is why you are not feeling good now.

For years, Mat, you have been using gambling to modify your mood. You still think gambling will make you feel better when you know this is not the case. Gambling makes you ill, unsettles you and upsets your body and mind whether you win or lose. You say this every time you post, so you can obviously see and feel what happens when you gamble. Read your own posts back and see the pattern you are stuck in for yourself. That’s what I did and it made me realise that I am repeating the same mistakes over and over and that I need to do far more to make change happen than just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Money aside, you have to concentrate on the way that gambling makes you feel because that is the key to being successful in giving up.

Gambling consistently makes you feel worse. Choosing to gamble when you feel low is reinforcing in your brain that gambling is a good way to make you feel better. Even if you know in your mind that it doesn’t help, your brain is learning the exact opposite and it is the brain that benefits from your addiction while you are hurting so it is this pattern that you need to break.

What did you say happened to you in your post? You had a bad day and then you gambled? You must change this attitude to enable you to deal with things that happen in your life in healthier way. Otherwise, you are turning all the negative things onto yourself and punishing yourself for things that you have no control over. It’s what I was doing for years, gambling every time someone upset me and then feeling even worse because I had lost money and had to sell stuff to pay it back. Why do that to yourself? Turn your feelings into something practical and positive. Accept that people and life in general will always piss you off but you can’t change that. You can prepare for it and you change the way you deal with it though, a way that doesn’t involve you messing up your own future and hitting self destruct everything something doesn’t go your way.

I still think there is much more you can do to help protect from urges Mat. I know you always say these places don’t care if you are excluded, but make them care. Print out a photo of your face on a sheet of A4 and write on it ‘I am self excluded, do not let me gamble here’. Hand it in at the desk and tell them if they let you gamble under a self exclusion, that they will be reported to the Gambling Commission. Also, take your own exclusion seriously. Honour it for yourself. Remember why you put it in place in the first instance. Things are tightening up, Mat. This is your time to insist that you be taken seriously.
Take care and feel better soon by staying away from gambling.

David Harling
Reply

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Joanne
Reply

I take it your new home is a burrow or something similar , you effing WEASEL.

mat
Reply

Hi all update from me I have been gambling winning/losing it was so easy getting back to it, I had a bad day shit mood and next thing I did I played the machines.
My giving up gambling is like everything else a fail I am not persistent and lose interest same as going to gym I will train for a week or two then another 2 weeks off whats the point there is zero progress.
I am very stressed and my stomach is bad even when I didn’t play for 3 weeks I couldn’t relax and was not happy I cant recover I feel so low everyday whether I play or not I know moaning is not going to help but made a post anyway.

CM
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You and your cunting stomach!!

RB
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Started again yesterday went a couple of days without a bet but was so bored yesterday. The sun was out and I once again managed to convince myself I can just put few bets on and control it. Win about 500 from 100 stake and then just have another bet next weekend. I won on my first two football games and was at 550 ish. Then was at a grand and then tonight my thinking was one more even money bet and of cause it lost by the smallest of margin. So I’m sat in bed picking up the pieces. Now when I get paid on Friday I can pay my rent but the rest has to go to the people I owe money. I have already pushed other bills back and there going to reach breaking point.

Feel abit guilty posting as not sure this is what the people trying to do well at stopping need to hear. I do try and I want to stop I just keep going down this road.

I would have been ok if only I would have banked the 1000. I know in theory I have only lost 100 but it feels like I’ve lost it all and now I’m so desperate my thought process is that I need more than 100 so I need to convert that into more by gambling. But I keep losing all the 100s and 250s I stake. I can’t even look at a bank statement.

Just the same days and weeks replaying themselves and I sink deeper and deeper.

Jane
Reply

Don’t tell yourself that, RB. That’s how we kid ourselves by telling ourselves that we would have been okay if only we did this or if only we did that. It’s all irrelevant. In actuality, you would have been okay had you not gambled. That’s the only thing you need to remember, not all the ins and outs of bets and the way it played out.
I can’t tell you how many times I replayed events, over and over again, tormenting myself over what I should have done differently. It’s all pointless because it doesn’t matter what you do on the day, your actions will still be ruled out by the next bet.
Had you walked away with the £1,000, would that be your last ever bet? After everything you have lost, do you think that this small amount can make you walk away from gambling? No. The only thing it does is strengthen the need to gamble again.
Win and you will gamble again.
Lose and you will gamble again.
Starve the addiction and it will lie dormant inside you. Feed it and it will grow.
Don’t torment yourself over this. Just move on and start counting your days again. I’m only on day 12 but I feel good because I am happy when I don’t gamble. I am settled and content. I feel bad even when I win because gambling gets in my head and it won’t let me do anything without thinking about it. It takes me over and becomes everything. I can’t think about anything else. Losing is easier on me, it is painful but at least it makes me stop for a good while. Winning is the same as losing, try to remember that. If we never won anything, we would not be here having lost thousands.

Never feel bad for posting your feelings, RB. That’s what this site is here for. Instead of feeling bad about what happened, use it to help you stay away from gambling in the future.
Stay well.

Jane
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Joanne, thanks so much for mentioning this. I will look into it. I was thinking of approaching my bank and asking for interest payments back on my overdraft as I have been stuck in my overdraft for 8 years and the interest charged has helped keep me in debt and unable to clear it. It’s worth a shot if you can be bothered to make your case.
I have been refused credit limit increases on all my affordable credit cards, the ones with the reasonable interest rates. However, all the very high cost credit cards are happy to increase my limit without me even requesting one. I find it hard to believe that Barclays say I can’t afford a credit limit increase of £300, when my interest rate is 17% but Vanquis are happy to throw a me £1,200 increase every 4 months with an interest rate of 59%. Totally irresponsible lending for anyone, but when you factor in an addiction as well, then it is very hard to keep control of debt.
Also, other cards have increased their interest rates dramatically once I filled them up with debt. Very unfair practice and I’m sure I have right to complain given my situation. I have no problem letting them know that I gambled either. I am no longer ashamed. The shame is on the industry, not on me. I responded in exactly the way they wanted me to. They designed and orchestrated my addiction and when it was complete, and they got what they wanted, they threw me out and moved on to snare the next.

Not on holiday yet till next week. Only a few days away but really ready for a break.
Hope you are well and starting to feel okay again. I am marking my days off each night on my phone when I go to bed. I have an app that reminds me how well I am doing. It may be only early days and I know I have said this before, but I am never gambling again. Now I’m bringing my A game.
I am tired of having my days dictated by gambling. Tired of being told how to feel by a machine. I want to be proud of myself and I want to matter to myself. I want that feeling of self respect back. Losing control made me lose that self respect and made me doubt myself in so many ways. I am finding that music is helping to push gambling out of my life and out of my head. It makes me feel alive where gambling left me dead inside.

What’s in your head, in your head, zombie, zombie, zombie? Gambling pushed everything out of my head. I am no longer going to allow it to control me.
Getting myself back one day at a time.

Joanne
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CM

F**k off ! I’ve long worked out who you are.

Joanne

CM
Reply

Ha ha course you have, silly bint.

CM

Joanne
Reply

My, my CM,

‘Silly bint’, you’re getting a bit tame, I expected far worse than that, you’re standards are slipping! I hope you’re not getting fond of me! Hahahahahahaha
Now, p**S off!

Joanne

Joanne
Reply

Your standards

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