Comments

NIK
Reply

Day 98 for me today. 2 days to reach 100. A gamble free year so far. Next target will be to beat my 7 months record last year.
Had occasional temptations with the football,but moslty it hasn’t been too difficult, especially when I think of those evil, wicked slots which cause so much misery for everyone and can cost you hundreds, even thousands within minutes.

Stay strong everyone.
Let ‘em starve!

mat
Reply

I wouldn’t jinx it saying how easy it is to beat this addiction trust me its not, we have been here for few years on site and most of us are well below 100 days and we have had gambling problems many years before in my case its 10 years.
It can go well for a month or two until we let our guard down and gamble, a lot of money can be lost very quickly. I am staying away from gambling because I don’t see the reason to, I have money and trying to win £500 on a machine make no sense and I don’t want any stress my stomach is causing me problems already.
Keep going and don’t let your guard down.

Jane
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Watched that movie last night, 6 Below, about a drug addict being lost on the mountain. It had a quote in it that struck a chord with me about my own personal struggle with my demons….

….I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it….

For me, this summarises the feeling of addiction. I know how much I want to stop yet something drives me to do it, often against my will. I can vouch for the fact that people can gamble wholly against their will. I have put money into my account, pressed spin and watched in horror like a passenger, unable to make decisions for myself, unable to prevent what was happening. I had to sit and watch the carnage unfold many times, when I knew that desperately, I did not want to gamble. Once that first spin is placed, my fate is sealed and I am a third party to what happens next.

No more.

Day 64 of getting back control.

Kate
Reply

Day 64 is great Jane .

Trevor
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Jane,

Brilliant achievement. Keep strong.

But if you do have a wobble, keep some control on the situation, dont give all your control away.

Thats over 2 months, well done. Bath in your succes.

LOSER
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Hi Everyone,

It’s scary to say but this is getting too easy for me. Hardly any urges and last night I was soooo bored and didn’t even think to go to the casino!!!
When the mind is occupied and you keep yourself busy with things you enjoy the last thing you want to do is sit in a dark place and push buttons!
Find something you love to do, do it well and with passion!

DAY 25 for me too easy!!

Kate
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That’s great news Loser . My father used to say (annoyingly for a bored teenager to hear ) “the active mind is never bored” …. some truth in that! All the best

LOSER
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Thanks Kate things are finally looking good for me!
Jane well done we got this let’s aim for 100!

Jane
Reply

Thanks, Kate and Trevor. :)
Well done yourself, Loser. Keep going. Let’s not HOPE things get better, let’s MAKE things better. It’s all in our hands. Always has been, it’s just that both hands were not working together. One hand always worked to undo the effort that the other hand made.
It takes a lot of hurt and pain sometimes to make you want to stop. I’ve hurt to the bone because of this. Now both hands will work as a team and I will beat this dammed addiction if it is the last thing I get to do.
Every possible measure is now in place to make sure that if I wobble, I won’t fall down. (a bit like a Weeble, Trevor…remember those or am I showing my age!?
I will reach my 100 days.

Jane
Reply

Just got this reply from Gamstop, the website that is going to be offering the single self exclusion for online gambling.
———————————————————————–
Hello there,
Thank you for getting in touch with us.
We’d like to apologise for the delay in replying to your offer to be involved in testing GAMSTOP. We’ve had an overwhelming interest from people.
We’d like to update you on the GAMSTOP National self-exclusion service. Due to the time we have available, we won’t be able to answer general enquiries about GAMSTOP.

When is GAMSTOP launching?

GAMSTOP will be launching to the UK public in the coming month. At the moment we can’t give an exact date.
If you are interested in helping us by giving feedback about the GAMSTOP website when it launches, please keep reading.
I am interested in giving feedback about the GAMSTOP website
We are looking for people to give feedback about the GAMSTOP signup process and website. It will take about 1 hour.
To give feedback, we will need to speak to you by telephone. You’ll also need to have a computer or a smartphone with Internet access. Without these you can’t take part.

If you are interested, please reply to this email.

What will I have to do?
Once we receive your reply, we will send you another email in the next 4-5 days. It’s important you reply to that email.
We will send you another email to arrange an appointment with us – we’ll ask you to choose a date and time. You can choose the date and time most suitable for you.
This appointment will be by telephone, or Skype.
We’ll then contact you and help you through the registration process, and ask you some questions about how difficult/easy it was.
I understand, I want to give feedback
If so, please reply to this email. If you have any questions about what’s in this email please let us know.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Bernard Tyers

GAMSTOP Service Designer
__________________________________________________

Hope it’s an easy and straightforward process because I am desperate to rid myself of this now. Don’t know if I’ll do the feedback thing cos I don’t like the idea of being exposed.

If anyone is interested in trialing gamstop drop them an email to:

gamstop@transformuk.com

It’s both scary and exciting for me. I can still feel the resistance though. Stupid that it still pulls me after all the harm. I really wanted to be able to do this for myself but it is the nature of addiction to continue to do something that harms you, even though you don’t want to. I wanted to break free out of will power and determination but I have not been successful for long enough doing things my way. I’ve tried hard for the past 2 years now to really shake this addiction and although I have gambled far less, it has actually cost me so much more financially and because of that, I have felt the relapses far more than earlier years. My gambling is getting less but worse if that makes sense, even though I can go months without it. I have to accept that this is a necessary step for me to be able to get on with my life again.

Having something like this in place would mean that urges can come and go as they please. How can they hurt me when they can’t lead to anything. Maybe we won’t even get urges knowing that we can’t gamble anyway. It may alleviate many of the symptoms which would be great because we all get so bogged down with them.
Change is on the horizon and it scares me, but I’m ready.

Andy
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Not counting the days any more, every count is a reminder of gambling so I’m just going to take each day as it comes and try to keep busy.

Kate
Reply

Whatever works for you Andy – maybe just make a note of your stop day, and then months down the line you can refer back and see how far you’ve come
All the best

Jane
Reply

Andy, gamblers are notorious for counting, especially wins and losses. It’s the main reason we can’t escape because we are always playing catch up for the last relapse. When it comes to counting days, it’s a matter of personal preference. If it makes you focus on gambling or makes you feel like you are missing out, then don’t do it. Like Kate says, just make a note of when you start abstaining and carry on. Sometimes, I found it easier to count days in the earlier stages, as you can draw strength from your efforts, particularly after a heavy loss when you might really need to see the effort you are making. It can help you slow things down when urges are at their highest and pay attention to just one day at a time. Counting days tends to drop off as we start to relax in to our routine, as the idea is we stop focusing on gambling and just enjoy our day.

Sometimes people don’t relish counting days because they may feel liable to relapse, and are in early stages of giving up, but do not be put off by small numbers, Andy. Time rolls by pretty quickly and if you keep busy, you will be able to check your days now and then and surprise yourself. From my experience, I find that counting days is most useful in the early days and then becomes less important to us in terms of how we get through our days.
There is a great sense of achievement in reaching your set milestone, whatever that may be and there have been many times when my tally has stopped me from gambling because I did not want to throw those days away. For that reason, counting can be a useful weapon, but you certainly don’t need to pay attention to every day, especially if that makes you feel vulnerable.

Some people find that when counting, they often relapse around the same milestone and this may be because they are focusing on the fact that this is about the time they relapsed before. If you typically go 3 weeks, and you abstain to the 3 week mark, you may subconsciously find yourself feeling like you are due a bet or the urges may come on because you are aware that this is your usual time to relapse. There are reasons for and against counting, but I would suggest you do exactly what feels right for you.

It’s important to know that you are doing yourself a favour by not gambling and that you are not at all missing out, so whatever you do, feel proud of every single day that you do not gamble, because no matter how big that number gets, we can all be back to day 1 very quickly. For this reason, it is more important to make the most of the days you do not gamble, rather than worry about what number you are on, because if you are happy, then the days will roll by much easier for you.
All the best.

LOSER
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Hey Mat maybe your going to give birth to your own slot machine HAHAHAHAHAH Only joking

mat
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Definitely I have to go out and exercise I gained a ton of weight and my stomach resembles that of a pregnant woman I have a pain and heartburn now suffering not even rennie helping I really messed up and stopped taking care of myself I went to gym like 2 times in past month don’t even walk anymore what a disaster been also drinking almost every night till 2 days ago and eating crap I now looked in the mirror and I see pregnant man, no wonder I have zero energy

Jane
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Mat, this is something that I have been looking into lately because I too have gained a little poundage around the waist. I learnt that stress can increase belly fat because stress causes an increase in cortisol which is a stress hormone. It can cause us to crave fatty and sugary foods. That’s why we call it comfort eating, we are literally eating to tell the body that everything is okay. Gamblers are thought to have permanently elevated stress hormones, ( I can’t imagine why) and our bodies perceive this as a threat, making us constantly on edge and on alert. In turn, our metabolism slows down to save energy in case we need to respond to a difficult situation like the fight or flight response, which makes us sluggish and gain weight. If we don’t reduce stress, the high cortisol level in our blood can raise blood sugar levels and lead to diabetes because our livers are chucking out a load of sugar all the time due to the stress. This boost of energy from sugar is intended to help us run from whatever our body thinks is threatening us. Imagine that, we are literally living life on the edge all the time. No wonder we can’t switch off.

Stress can add weight even if we don’t overeat because stress tells the body that we are in a dangerous situation and the body stores fat thinking there is some impending survival situation going on. It makes us store fat thinking that we may not be able to eat for a while. That’s what we are doing to ourselves, Mat. Gambling addiction can be as stressful on the body as surviving a plane crash. I have gained a hefty half stone since Christmas. Exercise is great because it gets rid of unwanted fat and releases happy hormones which will bring the body’s balance back. Time to hit the treadmill I think.

Jane
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Great step, Trevor. Now sit back and watch your life er…transform!
Seriously though, really well done.

Trevor
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Thanks Jane. Very funny, but serious too. Feel really jubilant and euphoric.

I was driving home, front windows down, music blasting out….feeling very pleased with myself. Still a long long way yet, but heading in the right direction.

All the best.

Trevor
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Hi all,

I agree that we should keep focused on the misery of the losses and also the positive journey were taking. Even when I’ve won I’ve not mentioned it, as it is not helpful and the truth of the matter is that wins are just losses in disguise (feel like Optimus Prime).

Keep strong…keep abstaining. Let’s carve out a gamble free future.

I’ve just self excluded for 4 years at one of my favourite gambling haunts. That took some strength.

Kate
Reply

It did take strength Trevor … when I finally detached from my fave site it felt like a big step too … you won’t regret it!

Trevor
Reply

Kate,
Thanks. I wish I had done it for longer now. After a 3 yr self exclusion I put in place at the same location I returned. Hopefully 4 yrs will be enough.

Kate
Reply

Yes it should be

LOSER
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Mat you have to find thins you enjoy but what I find to be the best hobby is where you interact with other’s and have to go to a place at a certain time. For example if you joined a adult soccer group who could play indoor’s for fun at night then you will have a specific training time and venue time and they will rely on you to be there so it’s harder to go gamble when you have made a commitment like this. However if you choose to just go to the gym its easier to go gamble because no one is waiting for you so you want activities and hobbies that are interacting with people and no on your own.
Look into your own community and see what you could join.
Examples are: Golf, soccer, running clubs, hiking clubs, indoor bowls and outdoor bowls, social dancing clubs, do a part time course in photography or something, If you google “Meet ups” in your country and area you could include yourself in one of these. Ask a friend to go to the movies, dinner, coffee or a theatre or show. Join fishing club, sailing club, chess club, cricket club. Maybe you like to paint? Or fix cars? Just look at your local community centre and see what they have on offer.

mat
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Loser I hate the job but I am my own boss don’t have to listen to no one did it for years it would be impossible to find anything better unless I really start a big business but need to gather more money.
What suggestions do you have for social hobbies I am alone at the moment and when I don’t visit bookies or casino I don’t socialise but I cant continue going there because I will gamble and ruin myself.
Good going on that 22 days any time off its an achievement that takes stress off and builds finances back.

Jane
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Mat, Loser’s suggestion about going fishing or joining walking clubs would suit your nature. You are used to spending lots of time outdoors with your job and you get to relax, wind down and enjoy nature while not having to socialise that much. I love fishing because I don’t have to talk too much. It’s sociable but it’s peaceful and competitive too. I know you’re all laughing cos I talk a lot on here, but in real life, I am a quiet person who likes to just absorb nature. I like spending time on my own but having the choice to interact if I want to. I don’t like crowds and lots of people. I also enjoy a little boating now and again. Sometimes, it can be expensive so certainly cheaper than an afternoon at William Hill’s house. For some reason, I also think boxing would suit you. Or learning a martial art like Karate. I wanted to do that from the first Karate Kid movie but I never got around to it. I still might take it up one day, although my bones may just crumble if I got thrown on the floor!

I also did some volunteer work for local conservation trusts. It’s really easy to volunteer and you get to visit some lovely places and help manage the grounds, repair fences, survey the wildlife, repair footpath erosion and build animal shelters etc. They attract a nice bunch of folk and you can turn up to as many or as few as you like. You would be able to showcase your skills as you are already skilled in all things outdoorsy.
The best thing I found about it was because you weren’t setting out to make friends, just getting on with a job but it’s a nice way to be around people without forcing the issue.
Main thing is to be happy, whatever you do. Just make time for yourself and enjoy each day without gambling and all the sickness that goes with it.
Take care, Mat.

Monica
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Hi Jane, ty for the lovely post. I may not have gambled but I have been playing and spending money on computer games, 100 quid in a fortnight. Started when the job didn’t work out. I learned a lot about the job not working out incidentally. I need to stop this but don’t think you can permanently block fb games, only temporarily. I clearly have transferred my addiction. I know I won’t gamble. My stomach three hours of intense cramps, palpitations and almost fainting with the pain. Not good. Not had an attack since end January.

Jane
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Oh dear, Monica. Yes, gaming can certainly be addictive though I don’t think you are in danger of overdoing it. I think you can block gaming in privacy settings though it might be a fiddly process because as I seem to think you do them all individually.
My partner is always trying to get me to play more computer games, ironically. He says I should relax more. I’m not much of a sitter. I always feel like I need to justify my time and be doing something. I switch off about 8 o’clock in the evening and can relax a bit then, but up until then, you will be hard pressed to find me sitting idle. I think some of it comes from trying to keep the demons at bay, keeping busy and forcing bad thoughts away. I am sleeping a lot better though which is good.
Sorry about the way you have struggled with your stomach pains. Did they ever tell you what was causing it? I know that stress plays havoc with your gut, that’s for sure.
A little bit of gaming will do you good, Monica. It will keep your mind focused on other things and stop you from going inwards. I really should play more. My partner games with the kids all the time, racing and shooting and whatnot. They have lots of laughs when I do play because I am so bad at it! I drive into walls all the time because it’s the same colour as the roads! No wonder I don’t drive for real, eh?
Take care, Monica.

LOSER
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Oh Trevor thanks for the mention yes I agree I should have name change but I still feel like a LOSER so when I feel I am on top of my gambling I will give myself a new name. (With the same personalty of course) haha

LOSER
Reply

Hi Everyone,

WOW a lot has gone on here the last few days.

Andy I totally agree with what you say about Joanne, she is a amazing women until she get’s in one of her “moods” that even I don’t want to be around her then. I am amazed Jane you can be so forgiving, giving Joanne chance after chance, time and time again. Joanne it seems to me you need “us and “rethink.” However there seems to be a pattern of being nice, apologising. then going off your head. Then again repeat……..apologise, being nice and off your head. I am over it now their is so much one can take and whilst I welcome you back anytime with open arms it will be the last time I excuse this behaviour. If more conflict occur’s here I will make a Facebook where people can feel safe and free to post their thought and struggles.

Joanne you don’t LISTEN or maybe your just too scared to face your real issue’s? Until you face your issues in life you will never resolve anything.
You can count day’s, disconnect the internet etc But the feeling of loneliness, boredom and depression will never go away. Your major issue Joanne is that you can not form deep meaningful friendships and this you will need professional help for. Find other methods such as going to groups where their isn’t a lot of interaction or casual interaction to begin with. When you feel one of your moods coming on switch off the internet and wait the next day to see how you feel before posting.

Mat sorry I forgot to mention you in a previous post, good for you for not carrying money if it works then start with that. Why not join a few social hobbies with interact with other’s?

Andy I still cannot believe you haven’t told your partner about gambling? To me I truly believe your partner should be your best friend and if she loves you enough she will want to help you. Of course their is the risk in losing her but I believe if this is the case then the relationship wasn’t tight to begin with. Ask yourself if she told you she was a gambler what would your reaction be? Or if she told you she was hooked on drugs what would you do? Many women are very caring and want to help it’s in their nature so maybe trust her and the relationship and seek the help you need in your
partner.

Now I think I take the cake and win the oscar for the most relapsed person on this site. I have tried everything and it only worked for a short time. I have come to realise now that the only way for me to not gamble is to keep busy with things i enjoy and to lock my money away. I really haven’t had as many urges as I have had before as I have no time to think about gambling. I have taken up a new hobby and love it and it really keeps me busy. When I met that lady on my holidays she opened my eye’s to what life is really all about, how to appreciate it and how to enjoy it. I was shocked when in the discussion she mentioned to me she isn’t a gambler and frowned upon such a activity. She had a impact on me that no one else has ever had and I thank GOD I met her she really has changed my life.

If you haven’t had success in stopping then your methods to PREVENT gambling isn’t enough you really need to find:

1. Your trigger that makes you gambling

2. Locking up your money when you cannot control your trigger

3. Look for things to do in your spare time

4. Self exclusion

5. Guy’s go get a barber shave, massage or play golf……Girls go get your hair, nails done and treat yourself

6. Whatever your upset about resolve the issue….

Mat you hate your job and where you live do something about it.

Nik you have had much grief from losing your parents this will never pass but working through the emotions and dealing with them is the way to go. Remember looking from above they do not want to see you gambling or this life for you.

Jane love yourself, you are a good person don’t worry what other people think, don’t feel like you need to be accepted, accept yourself and al will be fine.

DAY 22 and counting

Kate
Reply

What a amazing post Loser! Such a lot of insight and love it made my heart sing. I am so pleased you are finding activities you enjoy … it does make sense.
Andy and Jane I was humbled by your forgiving attitude to Joanne. Big hearts! Andy, I did ‘t tell my partner but I did tell my bf and my daughter. If you are afraid your life would unravel if you told your partner maybe you need to address that first? Maybe the gambling is connected in some way ? a release from other pressures? I don’t know but maybe it is worth thinking about?
I think my gambling was strongly connected with an identity problem/boredom connected to moving from full time employment. Wtf do I do with myself if I am not flat out working? We can’t separate out strategies to stop gambling from root causes . The root causes are the triggering factor. I truly believe unless we address the root cause we can’t stop

Jane
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Loser, I am absolutely thrilled at your new found happiness. Your words are practically glowing off the page! I think you are really onto something this time. Hold on to that feeling and remember that you are in the driving seat. You take your life in the direction you want to go. No one else can make you gamble. No one else can make you stop. You already have everything you need and more so be content and enjoy the happiness you have found. It is a rare thing these days to be truly happy and content. I had it and I gambled it away. But I will get it back because I want it badly enough.
I feel really positive about things right now. Despite my problems, I feel like I am turning a corner and I feel like I have a say in what happens to me. I had the realisaton when typing out one of my posts, that it has been me who has brought all these problems on myself, that my life before gambling was good so now I am going to get it back, one gambling free day at a time. I did not need to do this to myself. I was hurting but now I am hurting far more. I could have done things differently, I should have done things differently, so now’s my chance to undo all those mistakes and I do that simply by not making any more.
My chart is on my wall and I am proud of it. It may not be that many days yet, but it sure as hell is going to be.
Just setting my mind to this properly has given me so much of a boost, mentally. It is empowering to make a decision to literally save your life.
Everyone, be proud of your efforts. Be proud of your decision to change your life.

Kate
Reply

I think you’ve turned a corner Jane …just be wary of becoming swamped trying to sort everyone else out! Focus on yourself, apply the same kindness and self-care to your own situation.

Trevor
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Kate,
Totally agree. Jane helps us all with her posts, but shouldnt forget about yourself. Keep focused on your journey.

Jane
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Thanks, Trevor. You are very kind. I have taken something from each and every one of you on here. (check your pockets, ha ha… ) Everyone has given me back something that has helped me on my journey. I know where I am going and I don’t need to worry about where I have been. Learning to let go of the past is the best weapon we have against gambling. Dwelling on what we have done wrong only makes sure we repeat those mistakes over and over again. There is great freedom in letting go of all that baggage we carry around.
When everyone is doing well on the forum, it puts wind in my sails. I hope this positive feeling continues and everyone strives to do the best they can.

Jane
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Will do, Kate. I want to be able to say I’ve gone a year just like you. So proud of how far you’ve come. I actually came across one of your first posts on the forum, for some reason this forum opens up on random pages sometimes. I can see from your posts how much you have grown. You should be so very proud.

Kate
Reply

Thanks Jane … I remember Isla/Joanne calling me a Moaning Minnie! I seem to have worked through quite a lot and generally speaking seem to be on good form … I do seem to be pulling away from several other sources of unhappiness too … better be careful or else I might end up free but on my own! Hopefully though I can now stop clinging to people and groups that actually do me harm … interesting times. Take care xx

Jane
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Kate, many relationships work only one way. You will know which ones they are because they drain you emotionally and mentally. All the effort is on one side. All the benefits are on one side. Many people only want someone around for what they bring to the table, they are in it only for themselves. My sister is one such person. She wouldn’t even hand over 2 measly Easter eggs until I went round with a sack full for her brood, she even said to me, ‘I didn’t bring them you cos I didn’t know if you were doing it or not’. You’ve got to laugh!
You don’t need a big social circle, Kate. We probably cross paths with hundreds of people with whom we have only a passing interest. These relationships are only transitory. They do not last and they are not meaningful. They often represent a phase we are going through, perhaps trying to force ourselves to be something we are not. If you have to force conversation or work at it, then shake it off. It’s not for you.

The best friendships and bonds are those formed naturally. They don’t need work or false charms. They are effortless and look for nothing from you except that which you are happy to give.
I have had to shake off many social butterflies who drained my time and energy. They made me feel negative, forced me to be something I wasn’t in order to fit in. You know the kind, always looking for you to go somewhere or do something but only so they can put themselves about and be seen. They use you and your good nature to boost their own social status.
Truth is, you only need a few close, meaningful bonds in your life. No amount of friends can make you happy if you are not happy in yourself. We do so much to try to make others happy but we can do this at a detriment to ourselves. When people give emotion constantly and do not receive it back, little lights go out in our soul and we can become empty inside if we keep it up.
It’s not that we want something back for what we give, it’s because people naturally seek out others who are similar and when we don’t find a match, we lose a little more of ourselves, because what we want most of all is to see a reflection of ourselves in those around us. It’s the reason why I feel empty now because of the way my family are with me. I look for that same level of emotion from them, that same care, but I am met with only greed which harms my spirit.
You will know which relationships are harming you, Kate. Typically those that benefit from you much more than you do them. If you drop them, it will be them that lose out and you who will benefit.
When it comes to relationships, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Kate
Reply

Spot on Jane ….. I think a combination of moving to a new place in 2008, then my husband being so ill for a long time, cutting down work drastically to be around for him ….. all of this has made me feel vulnerable and lonely at times ….so I have thrown myself into trying to integrate ( but I think ingratiate is a better word!) myself in the community …… but I think it takes time to feel part of a new place, if you ever do at all ….and I have learnt that if you stick your hand up too much, in order to be useful and popular, you get dumped on !
I do have a small group of close friends from way back, and I am making sure I stay in touch with them …rather than thinking I need loads of new acquaintances in my life.
One of the weird things about online and maybe other sorts of gambling is somehow it seems like you have a made friends …with software that doesn’t love you back! The total absorption I used to feel took away these feelings of loneliness …so I guess when you rip the band aid off, it is bound to feel scary! Thanks for your insight and support , as always

Isla Joanne
Reply

I’ve just seen your post Jane. Yes , you’re right , I probably do come across as flippant . Things have gotten a bit messy on the forum of late. Like I said in an earlier post my reputation is as low as it can get. I am ashamed of how low I have sunk on this forum. You , Jane, on the other hand should be proud of yourself. Despite your struggles you have endeavoured to help others. I truly hope you overcome this addiction and that life is kind to you in the future. I’m going to do the decent thing now and leave. I’ll unsubscribe to Rethink . I’m being serious this time, I won’t come back. All the very best everyone.

Andy
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Joanne, ignore the idiotic posters like carl, CM etc, when you don’t talk about wins and not in one of your ‘moods’ you’re actually a very good poster, intelligent and quite witty. it’s a shame if you don’t decide to come back because i think we all need to do this together, help each other get through this. i want everyone to make up and get along again. Make this great forum, great again.

Jane
Reply

Joanne, you know what I will say because I am obviously still trying to support you after everything that has gone before. What matters is this addiction and concentrating on our recovery. We all share the same problem so it makes sense to share the same space. It is a shame that many of us have felt the need to stop posting because of conflict. I came back because I need support. We all do.
We can make 2018 the best year so far or we can continue to distract ourselves with differences that don’t even matter. What matters is what we have in common and our efforts to take down this addiction.

Isla Joanne
Reply

When I was in my gambling stupor I probably didn’t have much control over what I was doing but from the moment I woke up to the fact that I am a gambling addict I have had a choice . So I take full responsibility for my gambling. I could blame this, that and the next but I don’t, I choose to gamble and I’ve taken the losses on the chin, even though it hurts like hell. I could blame loser for putting up a post about his jackpot wins but I don’t because I take full responsibility for what I’ve done , I choose to gamble .

Then I stumbled across the video Kerching and that really motivated me into giving up the slots. However after 85 days I relapsed again. That set me off for another 3 months which has cost me another 4, 000. My struggle to overcome this addiction has been just as hard as anyone else’s on here. Maybe even harder because I can’t hand over control of my finances to anyone. I’ve tried to do without internet but I need it for other things.

Jane
Reply

Joanne, I would go so far as to say your struggle to give up this addiction has been harder than most because it is being constantly fueled by winning. You lose a lot, then you win a lot. That is often how your gambling experience goes. You have the biggest wins, I think, because you are willing to risk a lot in order to play. It’s only ever a bit back for you and you are still down many many thousands but when you win, you want to play again.
Think about it like this…you are trying to give up gambling because you don’t want to be on this road anymore. It is like letting a car run out of gas and then it will slow to a stop. You want to let go of all the things that make you want to gamble but when you bet again and you win, it’s like stopping at the gas station and fueling up for an even longer journey. It sets off that spark again and spurs you to do it again and so it continues. Every time you gamble, your journey gets longer. You move the finish line. If you want this journey to end, you have got to stop filling up the tank, Joanne.

Isla Joanne
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I object to the comment that I don’t take giving up gambling seriously. I’ve tried everything to free myself from this addiction, I’ve spent hours self-excluding from sites, reading up about it, limiting access to cash etc. I’ve lost a lot of money since I’ve joined this forum and it hurts like hell. My struggle has been just as hard as everyone else’s on here. I need this forum just the same as everybody else, nobody knows about my addiction so this place has been somewhere for me to go and unload it , work through it.

Around August last year I felt at an all time low. I’d lost around 12000 since Jan and everyone else was doing well in their gamble free days. I asked myself , where am I going wrong, why can’t I get a handle on this?

Tbc

Jane
Reply

I know you have suffered, Joanne. I meant to say that you don’t appear to take this seriously and by that I mean that you post quite flippantly about your losses, ending many posts about relapse with an ‘oh well’. That’s all I mean. You have lost far more than me, but it seems to have affected you less because it didn’t make you any debt. We’ve been through this, Joanne. Even when you won, you said not to worry because you won’t keep it and you constantly tell people that you are just in the merry-go-round phase which pretty much is you saying that you are not really committing to giving up just yet.
I thought you were going to get to 100 days? Come on, Joanne. Get your chart up on your wall too and let’s do this. No time like the present. Maybe you object to the comment because you know that you aren’t maybe doing enough to quit this addiction. Loser said your methods aren’t working. You say you are going to do one thing, then you do another. You said you were going to quit the slots but you buy hundreds of scratchcards to make up for it. It’s your money, Joanne and you can do whatever you like with it, but if you want to really leave this behind, then you might want to think about cutting it all out and counting your days again. What’s the most you have ever gone without gambling? Why don’t you try and beat that. You were so positive about giving up the other day and then you report you have had a nice day gambling and winning. That is no good for you and you know that you do it just to push buttons on here but what you really are doing is hurting your chances of ever leaving this addiction behind.

Monica
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Hi, I agree with you Jane. So much damage done to others from one narcissistic insensitive individual. I am nearly 8 months gambling free, life is still tough and i have been left with some chronic health problems which I thought were getting better since last bout end January but hit with a major reoccurrence today. There have been some good days but it has been hard. Still not able to address debt or bankruptcy after 8 months clean.

Jane
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Don’t push yourself too hard, Monica. You cannot expect to address all of this so soon. 8 months is not enough to recover from such a traumatic event. You just need to go day to day. Nothing more. You come first. The debt does not matter as much as your health. Is it your stomach acting up again? I will be honest with you Monica, I had chest pains on my last relapse that frightened the hell out of me. Felt like I was being squeezed and I couldn’t take a big enough breath. They lasted throughout my relapse and for 2 days, coming less and less until they stopped. To be honest, I’m terrified to gamble again. That’s the good thing to come out of it. I don’t know what that was but that’s the scariest thing I have ever had. It was made worse by the fact that I did not sleep for 2 full nights. I waited till my partner fell asleep and then came down to distract myself with some telly. How can you sleep when your mind and heart races. It felt wrong to even go to sleep. I didn’t deserve sleep but I desperately wanted to so time would move on.
The money hurts but it was the look on his face when I told him what happened. He was sat reading a book, looked up all happy and greeted me and I just blurted it out. He sat on the floor and cried. It was the lowest I have ever felt. I can’t be that person anymore. I am on day 60 I think and I have decided to put my chart back up on my wall, like I did when I got to 172 days. It’s time to get serious again. Thanks to Loser making me see sense, I cannot use my credit cards anymore so I cannot hide any more relapses. There is nothing in the bank because my partner keeps it that way. Money is safer in the house for me so we withdraw any extra cash. He has done so much to help me make this work, yet still, I have managed to get around our controls in order to bet. I ask myself why? when I know how it always ends. This is it now and do you know what? I feel really good just typing this out. I feel a sense of relief, like I have closure and can move on. I never really talked about the extent of that relapse. I think I didn’t address it properly and now I feel that I have.
I really hope you continue to post Monica. It is nice to have you around again. You are a gentle soul.
Please go easy on yourself and let time heal you. The worst is behind you. Gambling is behind you, so things can and will improve.

Jane
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Vote? Why? You think people will benefit from hearing about large wins when they are trying to stand by their mistakes and move on from this disease?

You won over 4 grand in January right after we both lost large amounts of money. You were still down after the win, but you got something back and I wanted to as well, and because you did, I stupidly thought I could do the same. My mistake. My relapse, but still your large win was the trigger. I lost over £5,000 that I am still trying to pay back and then another £1,000 after you put up that first post. My relapse is my fault but some of us take this more serious than you and suffer far more for each relapse than you appear to do. My relapses don’t get reported with a ‘Lol, oh well’, attitude. I wanted to kill myself after my last relapse. Do you understand that? I have never felt so bad in my life. I smashed my door up. I cannot handle losing because I have lost so much already. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. You are not serious about giving up, but I am. I want this all to end. I want this suffering to end. I don’t want to gamble anymore.

Then you mention yet another win in such a way that sounds full of excitement, gushing about the way you turned a hundred quid into £4,500 and pinged off your documents, it was such an easy process….blah blah….It sounded like an advert for a casino rather than someone trying to stop, saying that the slots were fit to burst, lol. It’s like this is all a game to you, but for me and for others, it’s stone cold real life and it sucks.
I desperately didn’t want to gamble again, because another relapse would finish me off, so I asked you not to post like that because I had mentioned that I was having bad urges. You apologised, then flipped out because it irked you that I brought it up. You even said to us to let you know if we would rather not hear about wins and then when I asked you not to, you flip out and write a full page of abuse at me calling me every possible type of bitch there was just for wanting to protect myself and others. There was never any double standards, I have always asked people not to talk about wins. That’s what caused the earlier fall out in 2016. My stance on this has never changed. Yours has. You were the one who turned on others for talking about a win and ruined the forum in 2016. Now, you talk about winning like it is something good and I keep trying to help you see the sense in giving up but you are not wanting to give up, you still want to gamble, so I don’t know why you are here on this forum and I certainly won’t be spending any more time trying to help you.
I have always kept my mention of wins in the context of losing and reminded everyone who has reported a win that it is not good for their recovery, including yourself.

Of course we all win sometimes that’s why we are all still here. If you look at my losses, you will see that they don’t add up. I should be down a lot more, but I’m not. That’s because I have won sometimes but I don’t report it. I just keep it to myself. The only time I have talked about money was when the casino wouldn’t let me withdraw it without all sorts of documents. They let me deposit it without any proof of who I was but I had to get an ID card and a birth certificate costing me £75 just to get out a few hundred. Other than that, the only other money I mentioned was getting some back from 888 and 777 for allowing me to bet while excluded. I even said that it wasn’t that much because I didn’t want to set anyone off.
Boyle sports and Bwin revoked my withdrawal and put the money back into my gambling account when I asked them not to because I didn’t want to lose it. They told me my paypal account wouldn’t accept the money, but paypal said there was no problem. I went on to lose it, inevitably which is why I felt cheated because I had already asked for the withdrawal and they gave it me back. If I ever talk of wins, it is to highlight the hypocrisy with the industry, and their underhand tactics to make us lose our money. They say they require ID before you make a withdrawal to protect underage gamblers, but it is not to protect them because they can gamble and deposit all they want. They can lose thousands. No one cares what they do until they want to take it out. Then they care very much.

Nobody should feel lucky when they win. Every single pound is cursed, but when you share the news of your win, it spreads the disease even more and others like me has to suffer urges because you are on an anti gambling forum but won’t take giving up seriously. It’s all just entertainment for you. That’s why you’re still here even though people clearly don’t enjoy your posts. Just more sideshows for you to fill your time when you should be thinking about your recovery.

Andy
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I can’t hear any more stories on here about people winning, i’m fragile as it is. One more story and i’m off for good

Jane
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Andy, I know. I literally broken. If I see any more talk of wins, I’m off for good. My life is literally on the line now. My partner has given me an ultimatum. £6,000 was too much to lose back in January. People can only take so much even when they love you. This addiction is just as hard on families as it is on us.
I have to make this work now. I want to beat this addiction but we need to do this together. All pulling in the same direction. Together we are stronger. Our story needs to be one of recovery, not winning. Winning means shit.
Please lets all get this sorted now. 2010 to 2018 and still gambling. I want to stop.

Andy
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Jane, I wish my partner gave me an ultimatum, except she doesn’t know a thing. She’s blissfully unaware of how shit my life is, and it’s all to do with gambling. I thought i was being clever, even sensible, having a little flutter here and there, after a few weeks/months doing it, I thought, wow how easy is this! Bit of stress one afternoon erased all the abstaining I did to keep off roulette, ruined it, back to square one again, feel like crap and it’s all my fault.
Jane, i’m glad your partner gave you an ultimatum, that should give you the kick up the backside to finally stop for good. I know it’s going to be hard but I think you will do it. Just no more talk of winning on here and you’ll be fine.

Jane
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You are right, Andy. My partner knew I gambled for years, but had no idea the amount I was losing. He thought it was just a few quid. I always played down my losses, and secretly hid the evidence. After about 6 years of running the banks down, I took out my credit cards so I could pay the household bills cos he didn’t know there was nothing left. I then went on to run up thousands on them too and that’s when I broke down and had to tell him the truth of how bad it was because we couldn’t make rent one month.
He has stood by me this last year because I have been obviously trying really hard to stop and went many months between relapses. However, I went off track in a big way in November and then again in January and set us back quite badly as a family.
I think it has took its toll on him this past year. He has seen me go through a lot of changes, bad moods, depression, ill health and the usual relapses. He stood by me for what I did in the past because I promised him that it would stay in the past, but I failed to keep that promise.
Now, I have to do this or I risk losing a loving family. I have changed Andy. Gambling changed me. Made me nasty, made me bitter. I want my life back. I want to stand by what I did wrong and be able to look back and say that was me then, but look at me now. I want to be proud of myself so that is why I want all of us to commit to doing this properly and see the sense in stopping for good.
I know how you feel right now, Andy, feeling like you have to carry this dirty secret. You can’t share your grief, you have to put a face on every day and carry on no matter what has happened to you the night before. That was me for so long and it was so hard. I had to entertain kids parties having lost thousands, go out and play football with my son because I said I would, and smile though I would feel like crying because I had relapsed secretly again. I remember keep going upstairs at the party so I could be on my own. I sat on the loo with my head in my hands and I wanted to curl up and die but I had to go down and play games. That’s how bad this has got now. I can’t take it anymore.
Having this out in the open helped me to rid myself of at least the guilt. I have someone to talk to when I get urges and help me see sense, but it only works when I want to be talked out of it. If I am determined to gamble then I will always find a way. That’s the problem. No one can help me if I don’t want to be helped.
Let’s get rid of this parasite now while we still have a fight left in us.
Stay safe. I really want to see you do well.

mat
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Day 13 that’s true when things don’t go my way like being upset or new unplanned expenses first thing I think is I can win some money and often do relapse.
I have not been going to town only work, home and didn’t carry any money except £20 for food it works but what if I will be in town with more money, I have some urges too now and then and it sucks heart rate going up and goosebumbs just thinking about it.
I had a night terror dreams few days ago where I was putting in the money in the machine, spinning and losing it was really bad for some people it might be monsters, ghosts but for me its the roulette.
Don’t play people it will chew you up and spit you out again and again till you wish you were dead.
Fixed odds betting terminals = torture devices

Isla Joanne
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Hi loser,

Thanks for the mention. I could be wrong , but I don’t think I’ll lose my house and everything to gambling. I think that would have happened back in 2015 . Back in 2015 my gambling addiction peaked, I was in what I call a ‘gambling stupor.” I was totally unaware of what I was doing, I can’t even remember much about it! I didnt care if i won or lost , i dont think i even noticed, all that mattered was that I could acess money so that I could engage in the act of gambling.

Tbc

Isla Joanne
Reply

Then when the money ran out I ‘sobered up’ , and realised that I had a gambling problem. It’s taking time but even though I lost a lot of money to gambling last year, it was still a lot less than the previous years. How do I think this year will pan out? I’ll probably still have relapses but again hopefully they’ll be less frequent and I won’t lose as much money as last year. In time hopefully my love of gambling will just pweter out! Run it’s course !

Yesterday , I walked away with some money. In the past I would have played on until I lost it all. If it had gone the other way, the maximum I would have lost would have been a thousand. That’s how much I keep as ‘emergency money ‘ in my current account.

Tbc

Carl
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Why are you on here telling us you have won? That is something I don’t understand whoever does it, not just you. Guys no one on here wants to know if you have had a big win anymore so PLEASE STOP IT ONCE AND FOR ALL

Isla Joanne
Reply

Hi ,

I think everyone should have a vote on the matter , resolve the issue once and for all.

There were 2 Carl’s on the site when I joined back in 2016. Are you Carl ,as in the one who had a daughter who was going to TT college, the other Carl who was around then or have you just recently joined the forum
Or maybe your Carl as in CM?

Carl
Reply

This channel is to tell your story, once you have done that, I really don’t think any regular posters should be bragging about wins. It just makes people want to gamble. I don’t know why you would want to tell people on here (who clearly struggle) about your wins?
Tell me why you need too Joanne? I’m intrigued. Saying things like you’ve had a good day, won a couple of quid etc etc. Does’t help anyone does it?

Isla Joanne
Reply

Fair enough, I was out of order. Why did I do it… 2 reasons ….

I guess I was hitting back for all the crap I’ve had to take these past few weeks with everyone accusing me of being Charles Manson .

Secondly …. previously when I played the slots I couldn’t stop playing until I spent every last penny available to me. I was never able to withdraw winnings , I would always lose them because I couldn’t stop. I’ve noticed during my last couple of relapses that after an hour or so of play I get bored. The main reason I stopped playing yesterday and managed to withdraw the money was because I couldn’t be bothered playing. I see this as progress , I think I’m getting tired of the whole gambling scene. It’s the same with the horsd-racing , I can watch a couple of races and then I get bored. So I guess I was feeling good, I’m starting to move away from gambling, it’s losing its grip on me.

I was out of order. My reputation on here is as low as it gets so there probably isn’t much more I can say. I agree , it’s probably best that folk don’t mention their wins.

Rethink can be addictive ! Over the coming months I hope to post less and less on the forum and finally move on.

Isla Joanne

Isla Joanne
Reply

I realise that you’ve been gambling over a long period of time , slowly haemorraging money , mine differs in the fact that it was short and intense, 100 grand in 4 years! I don’t do things in half measures! Lol

One day I hope to be in a position where I can enjoy the occasional flutter on a horse or whatever and act like a normal person, appreciate a win or accept a loss.

Anyway sorry to read you had a rough day that put you in mind to want to go to the casino. They’ll always be stones in the road loser as we journey through life , we’ve just got to find a way to get around them. I was thinking the other day about what has made my boss so successful. I realised that when things go wrong he doesn’t waste time apportioning blame, he works on finding solutions to the problems.

We don’t always get everything we want in life, we just need to learn to appreciate what we’ve got.

Joanne

Ps I was ‘miffed ‘ (put out) when I didn’t hear from you for over 4 weeks. You know me too well! lol I hope that girl you mentioned appreciates you, she’s a lucky gal! Take care , keep counting those days, every one of them matters.

Jane
Reply

Loser, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, after years of creating my own problems to hide from those I can’t, it’s to face up to whatever life throws at you. Face it head on and deal with it.
Life is not always nice, but one thing’s for sure, whatever happens in life, it is so much easier to deal with without gambling. Gambling magnifies everything and blows every little problem up in your face, so that even the small things can’t be dealt with without a trip to the casino or a few hours spent spinning online.
How can hurting yourself and putting more obstacles in your path be the best way for Loser to face whatever issues life throws at him?
I had say 3 or 4 issues in my life that I chose to ignore. It hurt to think about them, and I didn’t want to move past them because in order to do that, I would have to address them. I found gambling and I sat in it and wallowed in it. I created so much of a shit storm for myself that my original problems seemed like a picnic in the park. Now I have all the same problems, since gambling can never fix them, plus a ton of debt and health problems on top, all self induced.
Would I do things differently, given a second chance around?
Hell yeah! I’d take my head out of my arse and face up to whatever was the matter. I would not hide behind a screen, hurting myself and trashing on my family and those who have done nothing to hurt me.
Life is like a box of chocolates, except some of us have a peanut allergy or we’re wheat intolerant. Life is not always good but we all get left with the shit sweets that no one else wants to eat. Part of growing up is learning to accept the good with the bad and taking it all in your stride.
That’s true contentment, Loser and you will find it if you stay clear of gambling. Forget that 3 week barrier. It isn’t there. It moves forward as you move with it, so keep going. There is nothing in your way except yourself.
x

Trevor
Reply

Hi Loser,

Thanks for the mention. Three weeks gone and sounds like you are doing well and getting through the urges too. If I was you I would change your blogging name. Your not a loser, your human like us all and get caught up in this terrible trap.

I read posts for several months without committing myself to post. There are lots of good advice and so similarities on how this has affected us all. On one hand I’m not alone going on this journey which is good, but I really wish that none of us got caught up in the first place.

My challenge for the day is to self exclude from one of my favorite haunts. A big test for me, so first passport photos to be purchased.

Keep strong… Keep abstaining.

LOSER
Reply

Hi Everyone,

Got a little down last night and noticed the urges coming on thick and strong. I have realised when things don’t go my way and disappointment set’s in I turn to the casino for comfort. No I did not gamble I am on Day 21.

Kate your amazing what a achievement giving up smoking and gambling!

Jane good to have you back a lot of people need you now.

John try different things to resist gambling

Nik congratulations nearly doing 100 days now.

Carl good to see your still around, how have you been going?

Trevor a new voice here welcome, read many past posts to get idea’s how to reverse this addiction.

McNulty I liked your post “occupy yourself with activities and find love” so true a new relationship can really take your mind off gambling.

Joanne grab that notebook and in CAPITAL LETTER’S write….
” I WILL LOSE MY HOUSE SOON, A ONLINE SLOT MACHINE WANTS IT ”
Pin it to the wall and have a think about it……….
All your methods Joanne don’t work, I have told you how to stop work on your issues and work on socialising and building relationships with people.

As for me after some bad news last night I feel a little shaky. Urges are setting in however I will resist. I have joined another club to keep me occupied I feel if I can do this then now is the time! I never really got past that 3 week barrier much but now on
DAY 21.

GOODLUCK GUYS

Kate
Reply

Good luck to you too Loser . It’s a very good sign that you are observing your patterns rather than instantly acting out. Impulsivity is something I’ve tried to work on …. I made it my New Year resolution a few years ago ”
I will put a distance between a thought and an action” … just keep repeating it .,, it’s a good mantra …
I completely identify with the impulse to self sooth though … gamble , biscuits, booze , drink, shop , box set binge, cigarette … but the one that nearly ruined me was gambling…. it is just so destructive and so costly ….
all the best

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