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Jari
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Hello everybody!

I have made several posts on this website in the past, when I was really struggling. I would like to post an update on how it’s going now and what I have done / am doing to overcome my gambling addiction.

So, it’s been a long time since I last posted, and I won’t be able to find my posts back in this endless stream of comments, but just for a little recap:

I am now 23 years old, and I started gambling when I was 15 (Online Poker). It all began of course with a huge win when I came in 4th place in a tournament with a $27 buy in with over 4000 people. From that point on, like every gambling story, everything started to go downhill fast. Before I knew it I had lost all my winnings, putting in my last $1000 in to a 6-player hyper-turbo sit n go and getting defeated with AA against JJ with my opponent catching a four of a kind (it was BRUTAL).

After that I continued to deposit money and spend way more than I should have for years, never getting over the fact that I lost all my winnings. I made some nice wins here and there, but in the end I would always lose everything again and start depositing more. Eventually I started posting my story here in order to not necessarily seek help, but to just get it all of my chest and to be able to read it back later to remind myself why I should never gamble again. At some point, after quitting poker and relapsing multiple times over the years, I decided I had enough of losing money to poker, so I completely excluded myself from playing on PokerStars.

Around this time I discovered crypto currency, which even though it can be seen as gambling, is more of an investment and even though I would never promote something like crypto currency here, I have to admit that it saved me. I became obsessed with crypto currency and learned how to day trade (buying and selling in a short amount of time, usually only making about 1-5% profit each time it goes right), and it became my new focus. Overall I have lost money in crypto currency, starting out as a beginner and making terrible decisions, and the market is extremely volatile making it extremely risky to invest in. It’s basically just gambling disguised as an investment. Although it can be considered gambling, discovering it and putting money in it really cooled me down from my poker addiction and after having learned how to handle the market I am not doing anything stupid anymore and can’t lose a lot of money.

From that point on things started to get better, but I wasn’t close to being healed yet. I started playing a game I used to play in my childhood (Old School Runescape) which is a game that has a very large black market surrounding the in game currency. Not only can you buy in game currency with real money, you can also gamble your in game currency in the game. The game isn’t about gambling at all, but sure enough, things took a turn for the worst and before I knew it the only thing I cared about in the game was money, and I began losing it through gambling and buying it back with real money. I had just found another way to gamble my money. This lasted a little while and after losing a couple of hundred Euros (about 500 or 600 I think) I was sick to my stomach again (not because 500-600 is such a large amount, but just because once again I was broke after losing everything I had at that point) and I decided to post on this website once again saying that I was completely done with gambling.

Well, I wasn’t. This is when I started depositing 10 euros at a time on my friend’s pokerstars account and playing the slot machines they have, telling myself that it was all in good fun, and I wasn’t trying to necessarily win money, but I just wanted to play the game for real money (as playing for fake chips loses all fun once you start playing for real money and become an addict). There was some truth to this though, because at this point I genuinely wasn’t chasing losses anymore and was mostly playing for fun, however every time I would win and turn for example my €10 into €150, I would still get the same addictive rush and I would still end up losing it all eventually. This lasted for an even shorter while, and eventually after a couple of days of depositing and losing more than I initially intended, I once again decided that i was done with gambling.

This time it was for real, and something else has played a very large role in making that happen. This is where the story becomes positive and it’s where I’m at now:

Basically, all this time I’ve been addicted to gambling has been during a period in my life where I have been depressed, anxious, smoking a lot of weed, doing other drugs, sleeping at irregular times, eating extremely unhealthy and being socially isolated. On top of that I have a job I consider to be meaningless and I have been at a crossroads for years not knowing what I want to do in life, basically just existing and getting through the day feeling completely purposeless.

Now I have finally made a decision to go and undertake a first step to creating the life I desire. I must admit that this was only due to my father getting sick of seeing me slacking and wasting away my life, and recently telling me that he’s only giving me another 6 months to start undertaking something or he will “kick me out”. Now my parents are very loving people and they would never actually throw me on to the streets, but he’s been trying to motivate me to do something for years, and obviously I’m not happy with the way I’ve been living my life either. So I’ve decided to get a work/travel visum for Australia so that I can work and travel around there for a year. Since my father has set a (symbolic) deadline, I now “have to” save up enough money for the visum, which is €3500 plus the money for a ticket. So now I have a specific goal, which is to save as much money as possible in 6 months, and then go to Australia. This has motivated me to completely stop gambling, stop smoking weed, stop spending money on unnecessary things and save up everything I can. And I must say, I am doing an amazing job at it so far! I am literally not spending any money whatsoever except the normal bills, and I am saving everything I earn with my job for my goal.

Because of this (and still being in crypto with a bit of money), my gambling urges seem to have completely vanished. I feel like I finally have something to work towards. I think having a goal which involves saving up money in a certain period of time can really help people overcome their gambling addictions.

Now there is something I would like to discuss here as I am curious to your opinions on this matter:

I believe that (definitely not in ALL cases) it can be healthy to learn to gamble for fun and in extreme moderation as opposed to restricting yourself from all gambling entirely. The reason I think that is because when you restrict yourself entirely, you are telling yourself that you are not allowed to do something which so many other people are doing in moderation, and it will start to feel like a very hard battle with yourself, where one tiny step backwards can and/or will result in your relapsing completely and falling back into old habits, whereas if you learn to gamble for fun, genuinely not caring about winning or losing, you can still play the games you like to play once in a while, without going on a binge and ending up broke by the end of the night, and you won’t feel as though you are fighting with yourself and against all the constant urges you feel when you see a slot machine or a casino. After all, we are surrounded by gambling and we most likely will be our entire lives (I constantly get scratch card and lottery ads before watching a video, I get gambling videos in my recommended videos on YouTube, there are casino’s everywhere, you might see it on TV etcetera) so it might be better to learn to deal with gambling in a responsible way rather than trying to completely avoid it and forget about it.

Now please keep in mind that this is an opinion I would love to hear you guys challenge and/or question, and it’s something I want to discuss here to hear your opinions on. I now feel like I can decide purely for fun to go to a casino on a special occasion with a friend, intending to spend €50, whether I lose it or win some, and exit the casino without ever getting any urges to gamble after that. I really don’t want to sound like I’m promoting gambling, that is not my intention. But I think there really might be something to learning to deal with ANYTHING that is addictive in a responsible and moderate way as opposed to full on becoming anti and trying to not think about it at all. Let me know what you guys think!

I hope someone got something useful from my story, or at least found it entertaining to read. I know this won’t be my last time posting. Who knows if I might relapse again in the future. It will be interesting to see how I do from here, as I’ve never been as confident as I am today that I have overcome / am overcoming my demons. I wish you all good luck on your journeys and I hope to hear from you guys regarding the point I brought up above.

Peace and love!

Joanne
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120 days gf.

Time for a banner …..

Joanne
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♥️ ☆ ♥️ JOANNE & MOTTY ♥️ ☆ ♥️

Joanne
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Good night!

KIGF ;)

Joanne
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To those new to the forum and just coming to terms with their gambling issues you may find the following post on Gamcare very helpful.

Gamcare dot org dot UK. Go to the forum … Introduce yourself … at the top of the page you will see a post called ‘If you want something to do, read this’ by MIXER.

Some really good practical advice.

All the very best, Joanne

Joanne
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Sorry … * New members .. Introduce yourself* forum.

Joanne
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Back later, looking forward to checking in … day 120.

Motty
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You sad sad sad person, You really have no friends do you

Joanne
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Just crazy about you Motty! Me little honey buns. Hahaha

Re the advent calendar … I just get a kick out of saying outrageous things!

Anon!
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Have you noticed how many different types of advent calendar there are on sale???Bl**dy hell, everything from breakfast cereals, pringles, lynx, beauty products, even cheese! WTF

I think I’ll just make my own one, prosecco, Ferrero rocher, brandy and back to prosecco. Maybe that’s a bit boring, I’ll chuck in some ribbed and fruity, and just to make it more interesting some of S****bury’s new line in s*x toys! ( joke ) Anything but scratch cards!

I’m so fed up of this Nov detox, roll on Dec 1.

Anon

Motty
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Look at you, talking to yourself, I feel sorry for you I really do. No wonder your son doesnt want to know you anymore. Crazy bitch

Joanne
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In the past my attempts at remaining gamble free basically amounted to trying to get through the day without gambling. I didn’t give much thought to anything else other than counting days. I can see now how these attempts ended in failure.

I’m adopting a holistic approach this time …

I accept I am a gambling addict and will have to spend a lifetime managing this addiction. I WILL have urges to gamble but I am learning to recognise them, identifying the trigger if there is one, rationalizing my feelings and making the wiser decision not to gamble. In other words I’m finally learning to embrace my addiction instead of fighting it. I’m LISTENING to myself, I’m in touch with my own feelings and acting in my best interest.

I can’t undo what has happened, I have to live with my regrets and learn from them. I think it was Einstein who said, learn from the past, live for today and hope for the future. (Something like that). I’m only deluding myself if I believe I can somehow win back what I have lost. Nope, no more living in fantasy land, time to accept the losses and ensure I don’t add to them. I no longer have any need or desire to buy lotto tickets or scratch cards. A big win , inheritance whatever, might replace the money I’ve lost but it can’t erase the fact that I am what I am …. a gambling addict. I must never take this for granted and always be mindful that I could easily fall prey to this addiction at anytime. In other words a big windfall won’t solve my problems long term.

I lost all respect for money whilst gambling. Slowly but surely I’m starting to regain the value of money. I’m taking great delight in watching my MEAGRE savings grow!

I feel this time around I’m giving my gambling addiction the serious care and attention it deserves!

I hope in some small way I’m inspiring others to ….. KEEP IT GAMBLE FREE.

Joanne ;)

Joanne
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I see the government has decided to do a u-turn. They are now going to implement the reduction in fobt stake in April 2019 instead of October 2019.

Will this help or will the compulsive gambler go elsewhere e.g. online, casino/arcade? Hopefully it will result in fewer young people being drawn to the High Street bookies to play those evil machines in the hope of a quick buck. The government should go one step further and smash those bloody machines to smithereens.

KEEP IT GAMBLE FREE.

Joanne

SIMON
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I finally hit rock bottom 2 days ago I had £83000 after being left money in a will now I have £10000 and I have now realised how badly I’m destroying my life and how much secrets I have hidden from my family about gambling

Joanne
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I’m sorry to read Simon that you have become caught up in this horrible addiction. However you have taken that very important first step to recovery by finally admitting to yourself that your gambling is now a problem.

I realise you will be feeling shell shocked at losing such a vast sum of money and you will be desperate to try and win some of it back. Please don’t be tempted to try and win it back. 10, 000 pounds is a lot of money, invest it wisely, lock the money away in something like a fixed rate savings account ASAP so you cannot get your hands on it. If you continue to gamble you will inevitably lose it all and worse , may find yourself in debt.

I know it’s no comfort at the moment considering how much money you’ve lost but 10000 pounds in the bank amounts to a lot of financial security and hopefully give you an incentive to grow your savings through work.

I came into a very large inheritance recently but decided it was in my best interest not to accept the money. In view of the fact that I have already lost a life changing amount of money to gambling I felt I did not deserve it. Plus I knew I couldn’t be trusted with such a large sum of money so early in my recovery. I have lost the value of money and I need to relearn it the hard way through work and thrift.

I realise you will be hurting but don’t be too hard on yourself , learn to forgive yourself, this is a horrible addiction to get caught up in.

In the meantime, I very much hope you will give careful consideration to locking away the remaining inheritance money.

Take care, keep posting if it helps.

Joanne

Joanne
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P.s. I shall try and post some practical advice later.

Joanne
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Appreciate all the feedback. Lol

119 days gf! ;)

Joanne
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Day 118

And good evening to my many good friends at Rethink. Hahaha

Back later ;)

Joanne
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116.

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