Comments

mat
Reply

Day 20, still going strong I will do now what I did in 2013 where I stopped for 16 months, my technique is killing the thoughts quickly when I think about gambling and quickly change the subject no more dwelling on losses or mentioning it, my head turns away each time I walk by the place or advert.
I don’t play the lottery as it was the cause of me starting away after 16 months in 2015 I started buying scratchcards and tickets and when disappointed with outcome then I run to play the machines.
These games are all devils work the outcome is always the same which is a loss of everything
About time we all smarten up and stop playing for good.

Trevor
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Mat,
Going great…well done. Great mindset and inspirational.

Can’t wait until tomorrow…ive got a system in place Monday to Thursday. Fri to Sun I need to focus on.

All the best to you and everyone.

Charlie M
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Course you have. You loser lol

Trevor
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Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I’m sure you viewpoint is important to somebody in this world….but it’s not me.

Jane
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Sounds like a plan, Mat. Good for you. We waste so much time chewing over the past, when we can’t do a damned thing about it. It only makes us feel depressed and fuels the gambling cycle. Let’s look forward not back.

Had a chat with one of the bookies I have/had an account with. It’s not on the gamstop list and I wasn’t sure if it was just closed down (ie, available to just reopen) or if I was properly self excluded. I was rather took back by how accommodating and helpful the chap was. As bookies go, I was actually impressed. I didn’t even mention a gambling problem, just asked if the account was active and the first thing he said was that it was active but that he could exclude it for me right now if I have a problem.
I wish more were like that….happy to help us recover, not bury ourselves even more.
Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. I honestly cannot tell you how many accounts are still out there. I never kept track. Until they are all added to Gamstop, I will just have to be vigilant and try and shut the stragglers down.

Jane
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Hi Trevor. I think we are all different types of gamblers with different needs. Gambling for some is a social experience. It’s the hustle and bustle, the lights, the environment, seeing others winning or coming close to winning and the feeling can be infectious. You get caught up in it, whether you go alone or with friends.
The reason behind online gambling can be the same but it is a notably different experience. Usually a solitary secret second life that even those sitting next to you are unaware of.
Where casino gambling might physically get you out and about and among people, online gambling turns people into a recluse, avoiding all social contact to be with their favourite games. Because the addict is still physically at home, in their living room or in their kitchen, the level of harm can go ignored for so long and the person may not even register it as a problem because they’re not handing over real money, they haven’t even left the house…They are completely removed and distanced from the entire gambling experience but at the same time, they are completely immersed in it.
Dinner may still be cooking and jobs getting done in the background…but in the meantime, thousands are lost. Life goes on in such a normal way for so long that even the addict themselves doesn’t recognise the problem. The secret is theirs to keep but so is the hurt. People who gamble outside the home can at least return to the house and feel like they have escaped it, like they’ve come away from it. That at least that session is done with and you have walked away. But for those that secretly gamble at home, the torment never leaves. I only feel good when I leave the house. Inside, I feel vulnerable and at risk and that’s not a nice feeling at all because that’s not what the home should be about.

It is very difficult to recognise a problem when not only you but others cannot see it because it is so cleverly ingrained among the normal things going on in your home. I always made sure that things got done, the washing would be on or the Sunday roast. I left no traces behind and cleared my tracks to protect myself and my addiction. No one saw my anguish or my frustration. No machines were punched or smashed. Dinner would be on the table as normal and it would still be served with a smile, though inside, it would be anguish.
Not being able to express these emotions, whether you are hiding your gambling at home or in the bookies/casino makes you sick after a while. It festers like a disease and spreads like cancer. When we feel an emotion, it is normal to then express it, because this is how we process our feelings. If we just bury them, we have to carry them around and soon enough, it will become too much pressure to deal with.

Gambling online just becomes something else you do at home. There are no physical boundaries. No actual door to walk out. Your home is no longer a safe haven, a place of retreat. It instead becomes the place you fear the most. This for me, is one of the worst things about my addiction. It has taken a special place away from me and filled it full of pain and negativity. Everywhere I look, is a place I associate with hurt and bad memories. I’ve changed the duvets after a loss, I’ve moved the furniture around. I’ve painted the walls and put up new curtains….trying to erase what happened to me, but it changes nothing because it’s not the house that’s the problem, it’s the person living in it. This is my story, and it may be other’s too, but please don’t let it become yours, Trevor.

For those with addictive personalities, all forms of gambling will lead to the same devastating result, no matter which way you choose to do it. Some people just get there faster than others. No good can ever come of gambling. It has no place on our streets and no place in our homes.
Keep focused on what you want out of life and keep going.

Trevor
Reply

Jane,

Thanks for the post. I never thought about the on line experience and how that manipulates your surroundings…the home…into a negative area. I feel quite lucky that to get my kicks I have to leave the house.

I think that online has hit women very hard and it something that traditionally was not a normal pastime….gambling.

Of course the gambling industry don’t care who gets hurt, they are not discrimitive…they only thing they ask is that you have access to money and the more the better.

The sun is out and I’m going to get some exercise and get that dopamine flowing.

All…keep strong.

Jane
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Yes, Trevor, it’s the fact that you can’t escape the environment you gamble in, so when you lose money, you feel constantly at risk of logging back in and chasing because you are only seconds away from gambling again. It’s not like getting back in the car and getting out of there. There is that clear distinction then that the gambling has stopped because you have left the building. You will still be tormented by the loss but you will at least get that break to clear your head before you think about going back again.
Online gambling makes you feel so exposed and vulnerable because you can’t physically walk away. It stays with you. That’s why when we do lose, we mostly leave the house and leave the technology at home because we feel at risk in our own environment. I guess you could say the situation is reversed for you.
I also think that women have fell foul of online gambling, probably quite a lot has to do with traditional values, and the stigma around women gambling and going to bookies. I know I have always hated walking in, even before I had a problem and it was just about the annual Grand National bet. Many men also don’t like going to bookies and prefer the solitary style of online gambling. Sometimes, people gamble in bookies and realise that they are taking things too far. They then go ‘underground’ as it were and start gambling online so that they are anonymous with their addiction as others in the bookies start to notice that they are getting hooked. They may not appreciate the criticism or the comments so they then take their gambling home with them to do in secret. This is when things can get really serious for people because the secrecy is a killer.

Women, I think, feel more comfortable betting at home because they more readily accept that it is not a positive and constructive thing to do and they don’t want others to know they are doing it because it is more socially acceptable for men to gamble. Online brings gambling into a familiar environment and makes it seem normal and more approachable for women.
Enjoy your day, Trevor. I’m going to get the dinner prepped now. Lamb and mint sauce. Crispy roast pots and lashings of gravy! Yum. I exercised quite a bit yesterday, so today I’m taking it easy. It is lovely out so maybe we’ll get for a walk later too. I have a lake quite near me which is a great little escape from urban life.
All the best to everyone, however you spend your Sunday.

Joanne
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Good morning Loser!

As long as the person I’m hanging on to hasn’t been on the baked beans!

Happy anniversary ! Wasn’t it Mothers day when we first spoke via email! Lol

Have a nice day with your family. x

Trevor,

Please stay away from on-line gambling, listen to Jane’s good advice. On-line gambling is lethal, you can get sucked in very quickly and money loses all value.

Joanne

I went on the Betfred website to do a live chat, I noticed they have added the Gam stop logo in their responsible gambling warning.

Thanks for the mention Monica.

Trevor
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Hi Joanne,

Thanks for mention. I will keep away from on line as it so easy to lose your money and no stops are in place. You could gamble to “extinction” as the gambling industry scumbags call it.

It’s so unfair that other human problems like cancer everyone is pushing in the same direction….but this addiction and affliction is exploited with no remorse, no care, no responsibility at all. I’m sure some employees feeling pangs of discomfort when I return to their desk, with emptiness in my eyes as I am chasing losses. We’re all victims except those people at the top of the tree earning loads of legitimate wages as us poor gits flush our wages down their toilet.

Keep strong. I was gamble free yesterday.

loser
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All good Jane, enjoy your walk and only joking about the magnum :) I’m off to bed!!

Goodnight Sweet dreams all

Trevor
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Hi all,

I relapsed yesterday…on line for God sake…. It was on 888 casino. Rejected all the bonuses. Just needed to scratch that itch….but didn’t sever my arm off though. I spent £120 But now have the luxury of looking at someone’s ass. Someone’s keeping fit….

Keep hold off me I’m 13stones 7lbs so don’t let me go…..please. glad losers not heavy and the girls keep in shape. Back ….. not to square one… But square…lets keeping focused and live life not a lie.

Keep strong….you need to because I hanging onto one of you.

Joking aside I do like the idea of us on a cliff. Very apt.

CM
Reply

You honestly talk complete shite don’t you?

Trevor
Reply

Dear CM,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post it is very kind of you. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will be completely ignored.

All the best Trevor.

Jane
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Is this your first online gamble, Trevor? Don’t get to thinking about gambling online. It is so incredibly easy and you don’t even have to get dressed to lose your wages or your rent.
If you are at all worried that this might happen again, self exclude right away with Gamstop. You obviously have an addictive personality. That’s why you are here, but watch that you don’t swap and change in order to get your fix. Gamblers are notorious for closing accounts and just opening new ones. One door closes and we open three in its place. The internet has been my downfall. I had thousands in the bank before I found online betting back in 2010.
Online casino’s might seem a handy way to get your fix and your brain will remind you of that now that you have self excluded from your usual haunts in town. You may not have thought about gambling online while you had your old hangouts, but now that you have taken them out of the picture and been strong, don’t let the online crap lure you in to replace them. They are an entirely different beast. The amount of money you can waste online is diabolical and it shouldn’t even be legal. It can be easier to lose money too, because we’re not parting with a pile of notes that register as obvious, real money. It’s just figures, and it’s so easy to chase. Please be careful, Trevor. It is far safer to go down the shop and buy a handful of scratchcards. It’s still gambling but it’s limited and you won’t run back and get 10 more if you lose. Gambler’s act on impulse and the internet assists us in these knee jerk reactions. We give in to urges because gambling is available 24/7. They have made it so easy to lose thousands and you can do that in the time it takes to put the kettle on. I should know. I did just that. It would have been cheaper for me to spill the tea all over my laptop than lose what I did that day.
All the best.

Trevor
Reply

Hi Jane,

I will put gamstop in place over the next 48hours just to make sure that door is firmly shut. I don’t really like the on line experience personally but when you’re addicted, it is difficult to rely on what you think. I played 6 lots of £20…kept away from bonuses and played most of the money on the Roulette wheel….it started out of bored on a friday night but couldnt be botheted to drive to the local casino. Then aftet losing £60 i started chasing, and so close to putting the 7th deposit of £20 when something clicked indide me and thought better go to bed Saturday will be busy. It’s futile and the experience was rubbish compared to be at the casino in person.

Hope everyone is doing ok and clocking the days up.

loser
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Errrr unfortunately Jane yes you have Joanne’s bottom in site but I’m sure she has a great arse lol Grrrr Jane with your bloody Pay Pal I have never been able to buy items on Pay Pal without money in the bank? I skip over those parts when you post because I don’t want to know. (If you know what I mean lol) Just get rid of pay pal you can buy items on eBay without PayPal. Pay pal is not your pal at all, even the name is deceptive! Do me a favour Jane next time you have a urge leave the house go get your hair done with the money instead! Or buy yourself a new top!
Regardless of your relapse Jane you are growing as a person you recognised what you were doing and stopped it immediately without major damage, so well done to you! Take it from 100 day’s don’t go back to day 2, lead the way off our cliff climbing and I’ll take a perve to see how much damage that pink magnum did hahahaha

Jane
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Yeah, sorry about that, Loser, I didn’t think about it that way. I’m certainly not advocating doing it. I’m just saying that’s how I got myself into such a mess. Maybe that’s just the way it is over here. Shan’t mention it again. :)
Going for a nice walk now. It’s nice and sunny but a bit on the cool side. Will have to get a step on if I am going to lose the remaining half stone before my Ireland trip!
Hope you have a lovely day too.

Jane
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Mat, wanted to say well done to you, too. Keep walking by those bookies. Hope that it will be a victory for the people with the FOBT’s. It’s time to start putting people first, not profits. It’s sick that people are being left to kill themselves slowly with gambling. So many people left to rot with this addiction. It’s not good enough. They need to do far more.
What annoys me is that the majority of people who gamble cannot afford to do so and yet these are the people that the companies target because they know they can reel them in with the lure of fast money.

When you sign up to a betting site, they often cross check your details with Experian. They can see if you have lots of debt and know that you will make them money simply because you don’t have a lot of it. The stupid thing is, the less money you have, the more likely you are to gamble and they know that very well.

What annoys me, is that if I want a loan, I can’t get one because my credit score is trashed from gambling, they know I can’t afford the loan, so the loan is refused. But with gambling, my credit score is never used to deny me an account. I have never once had a betting site say, ‘sorry, we can’t allow you to gamble because our sources suggest you can’t afford to’, like they do with the responsible lending criteria. They have all that information to hand, but they use it to profile you, not to help you.
Gambling with credit cards needs to be banned.
Gambling with paypal instant transfer banned because there is no guarantee you even have the money.
FOBT’s needs to be reduced to £2, if not ban them completely.
Gambling companies need to start being responsible and use our information responsibly to protect us if they see we are at risk. If they know we have thousands in debt, they should not allow us to open an account because it is not responsible gambling on our part or on theirs and players in a risk category should not be accepted for their own safety. As I said, you wouldn’t be allowed a loan if you have poor credit score, because you are seen as a risk to the company, so why should you be allowed to gamble if you are badly off because then you are a risk to yourself.
It’s time risk was assessed from the player’s perspective, not the company. All these checks on money laundering and fraud…. What about a simple check to see if we can actually afford to gamble? They have the info at their disposal but they use it to target you and reel you in, not to help you and turn you away.

Jane
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Loser, what a lovely picture you paint of us hanging on to each other off a cliff. Does that mean I am now the one looking up at Joanne’s bottom or does she have the good fortune of staring up at mine! ha ha.
I am so pleased that you continue to do well. I really am. I am also seeing the positive side of what happened to me, because there is plenty to take from it.
For one, I didn’t lose a lot, I only really threw away what they gave me. I didn’t get suckered in to chase. I let it be and closed the laptop. I was disappointed in myself but managed to see it for what it was.
I didn’t go with a bang like I did in January because I have capped all my credit cards so the only thing I could use was actual money in the bank which I keep to a minimum for exactly this reason. …AND, I am now signed up to the National Self Exclusion Scheme and I never saw myself committing to that.

So lots of good things actually. I have a few payments that are still going through with paypal and then I am going to cancel the agreement I have with them because I think it is too risky to have that avenue still open to gamble with. The worst thing about them is letting you pay for things with money you don’t actually have. Gambling transactions should never been allowed to come from this kind of payment because the person gambling may not even have enough to cover the payments when they finally come out.
You click to pay with instant transfer, the deposits are made instantly but the money is only collected from your account 3 days later. It doesn’t hold the money at all like when you use your debit card where you have to actually have the physical funds in the bank.
I have had zero in my account, and gambled in this way, hoping for a win. The first time, it happened by accident, and my eyes lit up as an addict, when I realised that I could still play and not have to wait till I had money, I would deposit a ton of cash that wasn’t even mine yet. When I lose it all, I then have a negative balance in my bank and have to sell stuff to clear the debt. Very, very stupid but that’s the way I have got myself in a mess with gambling.
Lots of sites accept paypal and they make it very easy to deposit very quickly. I am also annoyed that Paypal saw fit to flag the deposit as suspicious, yet still allow it to process. Had they blocked it, I wouldn’t have been able to play at all and would have seen it as a sign to not gamble.

Monica, I am really sad that you are having so much trouble with Gamstop. Are you going to try re-registering with your details and see if it goes through. It shouldn’t be that difficult to do something as important as that. I have not had to send up any verification whatsoever. I just answered a few simple multiple choice questions that applied to me like mobile phone accounts, past addresses, current outstanding loan…etc..
I really hope you get sorted soon and by the way, like Loser says, it’s lovely to have you back posting. I have missed you and I miss Kate and hope Duncan, Andy, and Nik are keeping well too. And indeed, everyone.

Thanks for all your kindness, Trevor and Joanne. I really hope that you feel better soon, Joanne, but please use these next few days to get that protection in place while you have little funds left to gamble with. Self exclude like crazy and breathe a sigh of relief that you will never have to feel this way again.
Wish you the very best.
Keep it a good day, everyone.

LOSER
Reply

Oh by the way good to hear from you Monica!
Also I am surprised people are surprised I play lotto. Just to explain I do not play a full ticket I play the same ticket every week and it’s a half ticket. Occasionally i might buy extra on a jackpot but most often not. I don’t see it as gambling as once I bought it I don’t give it another thought. In fact since my new hobby I haven’t even checked my ticket lol and yes Joanne I buy the occasional scratchie too but I know they never win.

LOSER
Reply

Hi Everyone,

WOW alot to read today……

Firstly Joanne sorry to hear about your release but your not understand my post 100% . I do not agree that your immature at all, I feel that you don’t have social experience in dealing with people. Sure if I met you I will love you but with all your self doubt of what you would be thinking, of what I am thinking of you then fear set’s in and you run or you abusive. You need to accept yourself and LOVE yourself and when you do this life will become a lot easier. You need to get out there and mingle with people and so what if it turns to shit, learn from it and keep going! Eventually you will find a crowd who you feel comfortable with and who accept you then gambling will set you free!!!! But instead look what you said again, “I’m leaving the forum” same bloody choices Joanne MAKE CHANGES INSTEAD!!!! Please email me ASAP if only for me to tell you my new hobby I think it would immensely help you and I think its perfect for you to let go of gambling like I have.

Jane I’m surprised you relapsed, but like Trevor said I play lotto but don’t count it as a relapse. I think Kate even relapsed and then continued counting her days so why not take it from 100 days and continue to count. I really feel the extra hors that you lost pushed you. LEARN THAT MONEY IS NOT MADE VIA GAMBLING BUT MADE FROM SHEER HARD WORK. GAMBLING WILL ALWAYS MAKE MONEY FROM YOU!

Anyway this is where I am at……

A person I spoke to mentioned the casino, gambling omg and the urges started to creep in. The fact that my weekends have been boring and not much to do hasn’t helped either and I think of all the days today is probably the one with the most urges. I have access to a lot of money but NO I choose not to gamble and I have a choice this time as I am using my own brain to make this decision and no bloody dopamine is going to determine what I do today and tonight! It’s also Mother’s day tomorrow and after this I better get out there and find my mother a gift. Trevor keep going buddy we got this…..I imagine us all holding hands hanging from a cliff and when someone releases they go to the end of the line dangling but we are all still holding hands, supporting one another. For some reason I have ended up in front and I don’t recognise the surroundings as I am usually at the bottom of this line looking at Joanne’s bottom lol I’m going to keep going and I am not letting go and I will pull you all up there with me. So hang on tight guy’s we started together we finish together.

TAKE BLOODY CARE…lol

Monica
Reply

Hi all, sorry to read about relapses. I am still struggling with gamstop, their emails not being received and now they r asking me to take a photo holding my passport. I made a complaint and in the middle my phone battery went. dOh! Jane it sounds like not too much damage was done. Joanne, in the final throes of this addiction I was also just throwing it away in a similar vein massively self destructive.thinking I was so deep in the do there was no way out. It masked an Underlying depression about the state my life was in. Recovery makes us face all those issues head on and things are now turning round for me after 9 destitute months. Do t go to that place, it ain’t fun or pretty. I find your posts open and honest and I sense a big difference in you. You are right about my motivations for the fairy stories. You should consider the women’s programme at gma, it is really good, nothing at all like GAa d the weekly counselling support you get can be can be on the phone or via Skype. I feel you are reaching that point when you must get support. I recognise it.

Joanne
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I’m sorry to read that you relapsed Jane. The fact that you managed to stop and had the good sense to walk away with your initial deposit means that it was just a blip and it shouldn’t count, so I agree with Trevor and you should still consider yourself to be on day 99. Well done!

I couldn’t stop, it was 1000 after another, stupid 40 -50 pound spins. I never got ahead at any point. I got the chance to walk away with approx 2000 when I was 4000 down but I just kept going. I should have cut my losses at that point but I was so tired I just kept going and then it got to a point where I was placing ridiculously large spins because I just wanted it all to end. My trouble is I play late into the night when I am already tired so that doesn’t help.
Usually I stick to the same game in the hope that it will eventually pay out but as I was getting more and more desperate I started jumping on random games , placing 50 pound spins in the hope that I would hit it lucky . Sometimes you hit it lucky on your first spin. It was just loss after loss.

Tbc

Joanne
Reply

It sometimes feels like the casino already know in advance what type of player I am. They know that after my first heavy loss on a new site that I will self-exclude straight away so I think they just try and take as much out of me as they possibly can.

I realise that I should have had the money locked away, but it’s almost impossible to do that with internet banking , a few clicks and you can move money around from one bank to another.

Anway, well done on signing up to Gam stop. If I had still been married , I too would have created accounts in my ex partners name , I am absolutely certain about that. Sounds terrible but it’s the truth.

I was checking my bank earlier . For some strange reason there is a refund from Betfred for 130 pounds . The money was put into my account yesterday. I have been self excluded from them for a long time now, probably over a year , so I don’t have a clue what that’s all about. I’ve checked my email and there is nothing from them. I’ll give it a day or two to see if the bank realises it has made a mistake , if not , I’ll notify them. Very strange. God, you aught to see some of my bank statements, I don’t know how the banking system has kept up with me. Very depressing reading.

I’m going to take a break now from all things gamble -related to see if I can switch off from gambling.
I just can’t seem to stop, it just keeps luring me back.

Like I said , Jane ,treat tomorrow as your 100th day!

Joanne

Trevor and Matt , thank you for your kind words.

Loser (xxx xxx )

No doubt , I’ll be back!

Tbc …..

Jane
Reply

Thanks, guys. I didn’t want to receive congrats under false pretences. Honesty is important to me, it always used to be, but I lost my way with all the gambling and I turned into rather a prolific liar to feed my addiction.
Don’t fall for ‘the machine will eventually pay out’ idea, Joanne. Every bet is independent of the one that went before. Every spin of the reel has no connection to the outcome of the one before. 10 reds can hit on roulette, 10 number 2’s in a row, 10 green zero’s…..None of them mean getting a different number or colour is any more likely, no matter how many times you spin. Payouts are based on the lifetime of the machine and a percentage given for each game refers to the overall percentage paid back but not to any one individual player. One person may get all the luck where another may get none. The payout percentage is advertised heavily on games because it looks like you have a great chance of getting a good amount back, but what they don’t tell you is that this actually means nothing for your turn on the machine.
I do honestly believe the can tell the type of player we are. They see the speed of play, the way we place our bets, the way we chase. They know our moves before they make them. They seen me coming plenty of times and despite knowing this, I still gave them everything I had.
I’ve just been reading through some of the privacy and cookie policies of the sites and it is a real eye opener. They reckon that they look out for people who appear at risk and intervene at the earliest opportunity to offer advice but that’s absolute crap. They all let me bury myself time and time again. My gambling style was screaming out for help and no one did anything to stop me. Only the banks ever stepped in to stop me, the gambling companies did nothing. My bank has phoned me in the middle of massive losing sessions and I only wished I had answered the call. Did you know that they also know your credit score and use this to determine if you are at risk. They are supposed to do this to check your identity and assess whether you are likely to be able to afford to gamble responsibly, based on your criteria, but they use it to see a sucker coming.
Despite me timing out a massive 15 or 20 times in a month, they let me carry on killing myself. Offering me more and more bonuses and more offers, not advice and support as advertised. Surely that says that this person needs intervention. I couldn’t even go a day or two without help in the past. I would bet huge amounts in a short space of time, lose it, then chase it, then time out and they let me repeat this pattern for years. I used to get a message to tell me I had played 500 games in a row but that was it. Nobody turfed me out, even when I had been playing for 8 hours once. I didn’t get a message to tell me that they notice I time out a lot and that they think I should self exclude instead. All I kept getting was a big message to say I had run out of funds, deposit now!!! They are not using all this spying technology to offer us support and help, they do it so they can know your moves before you make them and take you to the cleaners for everything you’ve got.
Then they just put an ad on the telly and reel in another poor sucker to take your place when you run dry.

Jane
Reply

Joanne, look, I’m going to be honest. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin the momentum of the forum. Everyone has been doing so well. However, the day I put up my post about signing up to Gamcare, I had just been gambling from 9 till 11 am that day. I could have walked away a winner, (for whatever that means to an addict) but I was greedy and so came off with nothing but a bad head and a feeling of remorse. The reason I didn’t mention it was because for one, as I said, I didn’t want to affect the positive mood of the forum and for two, I have only really felt the loss of what I could have had, I didn’t lose much of my own money. However, it bothered me that people might congratulate me on my 100 days, so I want it out there. Instead of being on day 98, it is in fact day 2.

Having said that, I feel okay. Gambling unsettled me and it hurt to think that I could have paid off a couple of cards with that ‘would be win’, however, the way I see it, it’s nothing to do with the money, it’s all could have…should have…would have, but the only thing I should have done is not gamble in the first place. It is irrelevant whether I could have had some money or not, because gambling is still gambling, win or lose and the end result is always still a loss. That we must all understand. Believing anything else will just keep this cycle going. This has long stopped being about wins and losses. This is about how gambling makes us feel and this is why we want to stop.
So how did it happen? Don’t know really, I just found myself alone in the house. I would normally have been in work that day, but the rota has changed and I am now doing different days. It obviously bothered me about them cutting my extra hours. Did that upset me? Maybe. I could have used the money for my holiday.
When all is said and done, very little damage has been done financially and I have accepted that what it amounted to was just me wasting a few hours of my time and unsettling my recovery by allowing myself to indulge in this habit.
On the flip side. Look what good has come of it? Me and my partner are now signed up to Gamstop. Of course, he hasn’t got a gambling problem, but I opened tons of accounts in his name too, after I excluded myself from my own. It’s like you mentioned, Joanne, that people will probably only sign up following a loss or a relapse. I was dragging my feet with signing up, yet doing that to myself and taking risks again made me take an important step and one I am proud of.

I was using my partner’s account on a site. I made a deposit with paypal for £200 and because the account had been inactive for so long, paypal allowed the deposit but flagged the transaction up as suspicious and sent my partner a text asking him if it was authorised. I would have preferred it if they just blocked the deposit, instead of telling tales on me, but never mind! I probably would have told him anyway as it is important for me to be honest so that I get the most out of his help.
Seems I ruined his morning because he received the text from paypal and then panicked cos he knew I was gambling. He came back not long after and I told him what had gone down. He said he’d had a horrible time worrying about me and couldn’t do his work properly so he got himself signed out for a half hour to see what was going on with me. We sat together then and did the Gamstop sign up and yes, I did burst into tears, both from relief at signing up and the sadness I felt at gambling again, especially so close to my 100 days.

Good things often come off the back of adversity, Joanne and I know that you can come back from this. Do not over analyse the past while you are so vulnerable. You have enough to deal with right now. You can’t change what has gone before, you can only make sure that the future is one you will be proud of.
Just know that you are a good person deep down, and that we have all said and done things we are not proud of, whether on here or in our personal lives. Like I said, this addiction turns us into someone we don’t recognise. It’s what made me sit up and take notice. I could see the difference in me and I didn’t like what i saw. Money is just one of the things we lose with this addiction but it is something at least that you can build up again over time. Focus on something positive. Get some heavy restrictions in place. Something that will make you feel like you are doing something really solid to help yourself.

Now that that is all out in the open, I feel better, so I am going to do some exercises now. So on with the trainers. I’m off to shoe horn myself into that lycra!
Take very good care. x

Jane
Reply

* Gamstop not Gamcare. :) We are like the kings and queens of typos right now!

Trevor
Reply

Jane,

Well done for 99 days including 1 blip day. It’s how you dress it up. Not day 2 in my eyes.

It’s not like 98 gambling days and 1 not gambling.

Loser has amassed a lot of gamble free days, but he doesn’t include the lottery….which is fair enough….just how you frame it.

Jane
Reply

Well, it’s like you say, Trevor, I took your advice about keeping some control. I vented and didn’t go with a bang. I can only scratch it up as a mistake and carry on. Counting days can certainly be demoralising, especially so close to 100 but I think I will look at it as doing 98 gambling free days. I have so much more protection in place now so that is something positive to take from it.
I sure wish it were easy to just stop yourself from gambling right across the board. No more access to sites, full stop. That time will come, especially when the Gamstop scheme progresses. Right now, it’s in stage one and not every online site has signed up for the service but they have to by a certain date or risk losing their license. My name is now on the list so I am pleased about taking that step. I have actually dreaded doing that. That will tell you how strong this addiction is….dreading doing something that will actually help you!

I think sometimes people just have to do something as a knee jerk reaction. I got p*ssed off with myself for what I did and I put that energy into doing something good for myself. I didn’t chase it. Just accepted that that was that and headed for the Gamstop website.
Now, I will look into other ways to tighten up on my recovery and I think the next thing I have to do is break friends with paypal. Having that service there has cost me a lot of money because it saved all my card details and meant I could gamble;

1) with money that I didn’t even have, by using instant transfer. I would lose it, then have no money in the account for bills, even before my pay hit the bank. I found out one day that you didn’t have to actually have money in your bank to use this service and I exploited the hell out of that and it bit me in the ass pretty badly.

2) it meant that I could use all my credit cards because I only had to click on which one I wanted to use, despite handing the cards over to my partner, and cutting up cards I didn’t want to use anymore. I could access all of them and again, I hung myself with it.

Time to tighten up and learn yet again from this.

Hope you are well, Trevor. Take care, everyone.
Onwards and upwards.

Joanne
Reply

Thanks for all your kind words guys.

Things got a whole lot worse , pretty much wiped out my savings and the 4000 pound win I had around 6 weeks ago so total damage in the region of 8 grand. It probably sounds crazy but it almost felt like I wanted to lose.

I stumbled across a new site several weeks ago, I won’t name them but will if you want me to, they are not on the Gam stop list. For some reason it felt good knowing that I could still access a casino . Maybe I didn’t want to fully let go of gambling, a bit like Jane handing over her cards to her partner knowing she still could use them. Like an alcoholic who pretends to everyone that he’s stopped drinking but has a secret bottle of booze stashed away in the garden shed.

Tbc

Joanne
Reply

I’ve thought long and hard about things and Loser is spot on, I am immature when it comes to forming relationships out with my family. It’s just struck me that I do act very immaturely.
Going back to when I first arrived on the forum I called Jane , Kate , Nick and Duncan names like ‘moaning Minnie,’ parasite etc , that just proves how immature I am .

I think this ties in with the gambling , I’m inclined to play games that are linked to my childhood or my son’s childhood. Games like The Wizard of Oz, South Park (a programme my son liked to watch). I wonder sometimes if I’ve ever gotten past the mindset of a teenager.

I realise Monica mentioned she was drawn to the games that reminded her of her childhood but I think for Monica that was different, she was probably wanting to recapture her childhood, a happier carefree time in her life , because of her serious health issues. The way i acted towards Monica was again immature. I was insensitive and downright rude.

I think I played those games because I’ve never really grown up. I notice too in life that I shirk responsibility, another sign of being emotionally mature. When I play the.slots, if I’m winning , I start showing off placing big stakes and then when I start losing I start making even bigger bets, again reckless and immature.

As Loser correctly says when things get serious in relationships I bolt.Do a runner, again another sign of emotional immaturity.
I don’t like to commit.

I think when CM reappeared at the weekend it reminded me of how badly I have behaved on this forum and how insensitive I have been to others who have been dealing with difficult things in their personal lives. Illness etc.

I don’t think things through , say unkind things without thinking about the other persons feelings.

I need to ‘grow up’. I sometimes think I gamble because I see myself as someone who has pretty much failed in life ie underachieved so it’s a case of ‘go the whole hog’ and self destruct. If im going to be one of lifes failure I may as well be a total failure , no half measures.

I think I need to leave the forum and move on.

I’ve got enough money to buy food etc until I get paid next Friday. After that, who knows.

Feeling absolutely gutted , although there’s a bit of me feels like I got what I deserved for being so insensitive towards you all.

Thanks for all your support and kindness.
You should all be proud of yourselves , that despite your own gambling issues you still found the time to be kind and supportive towards your fellow gambling addicts .

Joanne

Jane
Reply

Joanne, Loser has said the same thing to you that I said a few months back. That you use this forum as a social thing, to fill the gaps you may have in your social life. You enjoy chatting about a lot of everyday things just as I do but it is important not to neglect the real reason why you are here.
I also think you have a bit of a people issue. You don’t see yourself as a people person and always seem to criticise yourself and judge yourself against others. Just like Loser said, you are quick to point the finger at yourself and although you may have caused a stir in the past, it’s obvious that many of us are still happy to talk with you, support you and have you chat to us too. So let the past go and let us help you. Addiction is incredibly hard, Joanne and it forces a lot of the good out of people. It changes them, makes them angry, irritable and anti social. You cannot expect to always be a ray of sunshine and people don’t expect that either. What’s important is to remember that we are all feeling the same things and experiencing those same difficult emotions so let’s stick together.

You mentioned the other day that you feel different to some of your family members, this is the guilt and shame of your addiction and is nothing against you as a person. It is purely because you can see these other people being happy and successful and you self loathe inside because you are carrying a dirty secret. I feel it too and I want to scream it out because I feel like holding it in is the reason why this disease festers but I don’t want to be judged or critisiced because it is not something that people can easily understand. I also feel like a fraud because of my gambling. I have this air of success and charm about me when I am with others and I seem professional, but because of my addiction, I feel like I am living a lie and that is why I too, have avoided being around others because they have what I want……genuine success and happiness. A fulfilled life.

I also think you run from people. Whenever things go well on the forum and we get close, you have turned heel on me, (sorry, more wrestling talk) and I used to look at myself and wonder what I had done to make you this way, but I think now that the issue lies with yourself. Remember that people who have addiction have something lacking in their life. That is why we are so vulnerable to taking up bad habits. Addiction moves in to fill that void.
I feel that you assign an importance to your gambling, like it defines you and is part of you and you are reluctant to do anything major to stop yourself from gambling. You cut your internet, but then got a phone so you can gamble on that. Your right hand doesn’t know what your left hand is doing. You are working against yourself. Do not store money in accounts, withdraw it, get a safe, spend it, invest it, anything but gambling it away. You live alone, so you are the only person who can really help yourself so it is time now to get things moving. Cutting the internet was difficult because then that isolates you. Get signed up to Gamstop, Joanne. take that step. You are only one step away from doing something that you will not be able to recover from.

Do not be put off by this setback, but the way you deal with it is completely counterproductive….you suggest you may need to leave the forum?…..but all you need to do is stop gambling. Put more measures in place. You are subconsciously leaving avenues open to gamble because part of you still clings to it. Let it go.
If you want to sit down with folk and feel like you have something to say, feel valid and feel worthwhile, then you have got to get rid of that emptiness that gambling puts inside. It is gambling that is making you feel less of a person because it is against the norm, it is frowned upon and it is not something to be proud of. No amount of gambling can ever make you feel worthwhile. That comes from within, not a machine. Doing positive and constructive things will help you feel like you can stand next to others without that feeling of judging yourself. You are your own worst critic, Joanne. Learn to like yourself, learn to hate gambling.
You know what you need to do Joanne, you just need to allow yourself to do it.
I wish you all the best. Keep posting.
x

mat
Reply

Another hard gamble free day, this time I am feeling strong I removed the poison people and stopped going to any gambling place, I would rather be on my own than surround myself with losers.
I feel for you Joanne losing sucks I did it on the 23rd of last month I lost close to £2000 it felt like torture I smashed up the whole place it needs to hurt so change can happen, the money is gone but it can still be made back with work and determination, loss is kind of good for us it helps to wake up, these companies give us small wins only to keep us on the leash so we can lose everything and get sucked deep into addiction.

LOSER
Reply

Hi Joanne,

My heart dropped when I read that you relapsed. You mentioned a trigger why you relapsed. The lesson here is there will always be someone that say’s something to upset you in life, work, relationships etc You need to find a way to work through these feelings whether it’s meditation or call a family friend for a coffee or go see a movie, whatever. At this vulnerable time you also need to put measure’s in place like your ring if steel, where was it? Why did you have access to the $2000?

I look at you and I can see the cause of why you gamble and it’s a shame that you cannot see it too or maybe you know the real reason but cannot move forward to resolve the issue or fear holds you back. Your issue is a people / social one, you need people in your life yet I assume people have always left your group of circle when your behaviour is unacceptable. Maybe you cannot control this behaviour but this is what you need to work on, this is the key to you becoming a Non Gambler. I have suggested a few things in the past like joining a group that mixes with people but is not too much with one person this way you will stay on your best behaviour. You also need to see the good in yourself and love yourself more. You always run away from people, from the site etc When no one appears here posting you blame yourself, but their are many reasons why people don’t post and disappear. Your first reaction was “I better leave the forum”. I don’t feel you use the forum to try and stop gambling but it’s social interaction that you need and want as you do not seek it in the physical form in real life. When you overcome the fear of meeting people and trying to have relationships with them them you will have much more success in stopping gambling.
Now you have a decision to make…..

Do you go down the same road and stop gambling for a few days then spend another few thousand? Or will you even consider what I have said and make a effort?

Your life, Your $$$$$

Jane
Reply

Joanne, I’m really sorry to hear that you had a blip. Don’t lose sight of your long term goal. You can’t expect to just switch this off. It will be stop-start for a while until the message gets through. Have you signed up to Gamstop yet? If not, why not use this as the perfect excuse to move things a step forward.
It’s the slots that are your real killer, so how about making sure you can’t access those, then if you do have a lapse with the scratchies, the damage will be limited. You can’t do too much damage with them and like you say, even if you buy 300 online, then that’s it for the week. That’s your max. It’s still a lot of money, but it’s not 2 grand. Plus, I think you enjoy the time spent on the slots too much and that’s why you don’t see the money you lose so well because you get lost in just enjoying that time with your favourite games. You pay to play, don’t you Joanne, not to win. Winning is just more time to play, isn’t it? And of course, that’s the reason why you so seldom come away with anything.

Even if you got 3 hours play out of that 2 grand, that is still a very expensive way to spend the evening. I mean, think about it in terms of other things you might like to do….would you spend 2 grand on tickets to a 3 hour concert for example or would you instantly register that as way too expensive?
Your rational side is not kicking in when you gamble because you are desensitised to the value of money, just like me. I bet that you are the same as me, in that you can bet large amounts online, but would never hand over that sort of money in the bookies. We are reserved and sensible in the ‘real world’ and we let loose online because the same restrictions don’t apply. Nobody knows it’s us, we get to play like we can afford it and it makes us feel rebellious and in control to throw around that kind of money, but it actually represents the opposite: a complete lack of control. We have to remember that these numbers we see on our screens represents real money coming out of our bank accounts. The ‘its not over till it’s over’ concept keeps us gambling because we only have to accept it as a loss when we stop gambling. Up till the point we close the laptop, we haven’t really lost because we are still gambling. This is what makes chasing so dangerous because we don’t consider it a loss until we have finished chasing, by which time, we are in serious trouble.

Do you bid on ebay at all, Joanne? Have you ever bid on something that someone else has already bid on and you keep upping your maximum stake because the first person has put a large first bid on and you are trying to bid past their maximum and be the high bidder.. ….well, my point is, you keep upping your bid because up until the point where you take the lead and become the high bidder, you don’t have to pay for it yet, so you bid recklessly because you are just trying to outbid the other person, you don’t necessarily consider the amount you will have to pay until you take the lead. This is the way I gamble. I do not consider all my deposits as losses, until my session is completely over and I have to live with it. Up to that point, I am still gambling, so they may not be losses if I am able to win them back. This is how I am able to risk such huge amounts of money because my brain says that I haven’t lost yet, I’m still gambling. Each new deposit is just another chance to win it back.

Think about what I said and go to Gamstop if you haven’t already. There may not be all the sites there yet, but there will be a comprehensive list soon enough that will really help you to get this sorted. I held back because I still wanted the excitement of winning, but the pain of losing all these years far outweighs anything I ever won and each win just keeps me losing more. Both of us need to let go of the wins, accept the losses and fill our time with things that make us happy and fulfilled.

Trevor
Reply

Jane,
I’m the same….I like to play the slots at the bookies or arcades and to begin with it’s the whole experience and trying to get the 3 bonus symbols etc. Or some kind of big win. But there is a point where the losing gets too much then the chasing phase starts, ended with I’ve got to get out of this place and breath the fresh air outside and start living with the consequences of the loss. It’s just as bad winning lots at the start of the experience…that means I stay for longer playing with somebody elses money….then it goes downhill normally and back to my own money being wasted. I should walk away with the win and go buy food and clothes and any old crap to show something for the risk I have endured.

Keep going…..the blips remind us were human….and emotions messes with our head….just got to get back on the journey. Be steadfast and stay in control. We all have choices and unfortunately it is so easy to make from the wrong ones…..if we all made the right choice…we wouldn’t be this website of forum.

Jane
Reply

You are right, Trevor, the emotions are the worst, but the money we lose is not the real issue. It is just the more obvious side effect of the problem, which lies with us. The real issue is actually the emotions. It is the for this reason that we need to stop, because of the way gambling makes us feel. We can’t stop gambling until we figure out why we do it in the first place. This is the hardest part, because many will answer that they gamble to win money. Well, if that’s the case, and you’re £45,000 grand down, why are you still gambling now???? How’s that winning going? Not very well, I’d say. This is what I ask myself. These are my figures.

Joanne
Reply

Just lost 2000 pounds , I knew I’d be the first casualty, it’s been brewing since the weekend. I don’t normally blame anyone for my gambling but when CM reared his head again it just put me of stride.

I think I need to leave the forum.

Thanks for the mention Monica , it was nice of you to mention me considering how I’ve spoken to you in the past. All the best to you.

Keep going Jane, Loser, Trevor, Andy, Mat, Kate , Nik, McNaulty , John and to all who visit the forum.

All the very best , TBC , take bloody care!

CM
Reply

Don’t blame me, it’s not my fault you have no self control lols

Trevor
Reply

Hi Joanne,
Just read your post. As always we can’t change the past….so wish we could. Sorry to hear that the lure of gambling got the better of you. It’s never easy and I think for myself I will never be rid of it. It will either be dormant, kept under tight control by me or I’ll just get bankrupt and live on the streets.

Don’t go chasing, please don’t go chasing after the £2,000….it is most likely to end up a bigger loss.

The gambling industry will always win….there in it for the long term. Go for a walk, take in the glorious sights of where You live. You return to the journey of abstinence tomorrow…stung with your loss that is going to propel your abstinence. Use you anger wisely….dont chase.

Take care whether you post or not… Take care. As per the still game…..you now give the gambling bastar*d’s….he ho.

All the best ….Trev.

Monica
Reply

Hi all, Joanne, I can really relate to you saying about the lights and colours. I liked the fairy story type slots and I really think it is linked to childhood. I loved reading these stories as a child. Plus shamans dream was my favourite slot.
Jane, did Gamstop confirm your registration? I had great difficulties and had to do manual registration and up,iPad documents but not heard anything.

Jane
Reply

Hi Monica. I had a bit of bother with my email address. The system kept changing the @whatever part at the end and it wouldn’t let me change it. I went on the live chat function that is available now and a very helpful chap told me to submit it as it was and that he would change it manually for me, which he did. I received a confirmation email within minutes which was a huge relief.
Did the same for my partner and his email address was fine, for some reason the system kept changing mine and I tried several times before giving in and going on live chat.
Got there in the end, though.
Sorry you had problems Monica. Did you have issues with some of the ID questions at all. They were very vague and some weren’t relevant to me at all.
This was what I got back from Gamstop:
You have successfully registered with GAMSTOP.

We are processing your details which may take up to 24 hours to complete.

This free service will prevent you from using gambling websites and apps run by companies licensed in Great Britain.

How to help you make a success of your self-exclusion:

Keep your details up to date
We need to know if your name or address change.

Something about that doesn’t sound quite right Monica. It supposed to only take 24 hours. Why don’t you try doing it again. Perhaps the system was acting up when you did it with it only being a new site? If you go to Gamstop.co.uk, see if you can register your details again and if not, go on live chat and see if someone can update you.
All the best.

Joanne
Reply

Dashed out the door this morning without my phone so just catching up!

Well done Jane on signing up ! Great stuff.

I did have a problem with scratch cards before I discovered on-line gambling. I don’t think I ‘ve mentioned it here but I actually did a year gamble-free back in 2013. I was wasting so much money on lotto tickets and scratches that in 2013 my new years resolution was to stop buying them and I went a whole year without buying a single ticket. Then unfortunately I discovered on-line gambling in March 2014.

I very seldom bought the expensive cards, I usually bought the ones around 3 pounds. I always preferred the ones where there was a ‘game’ element eg mini game of bingo. I never really cared for the ones where you just matched 3 amounts. I think gambling was always about entertainment for me, bloody expensive entertainment!

I didn’t mind the telephone ringing when I was gambling , as I ‘ve previously mentioned it always brought me luck. Well until i lost it all again!

I remember playing the slots one Saturday afternoon just before Christmas and hearing the doorbell ring, I knew it was a delivery guy with a parcel I was expecting. I knew he knew I was in, he could see the light of my kitchen though the glass door and much as I wanted to , I just couldn’t pull myself away from the slots.and answer the door. He’s a nice guy , goes out of his way to make sure your parcels delivered in time, later, I just couldn’t believe that I’d made his day more stressful (Xmas, busy time for delivery guys) I felt awful.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to gamble in a real casino, the noise, etc but then again maybe you get so involved in the game that you don’t notice the environment , just what’s going on on the screen.

Strangely the roulette never appealed to me, I’d be too shy to play it for real in a casino. I wouldn’t know what to do , how to place a bet etc. I think I liked the entertainment factor in the slots, the bonus games, the characters, the colours, I act like a little kid when I’m playing the slots. I sometimes wonder if playing the slots was in some way a longing to be back to my childhood days. Lol I always saw the roulette as more of an ‘adult’ thing and I think that was why it never appealed to me. I’ve probably never grown up!

I don’t think there’s any harm in buying the occasional scratch card or lotto ticket from a kiosk but I did have to close my online lotto account because I found it was too easy to buy a ridiculous amount of them…

I was surprised to hear that LOSER played the lotto every week. I didn’t think he played at all.

I wonder if Andy is on his holiday, unless I’m muddling him up with someone else I’m sure he said he was going on holiday in May.

Anyway another day gamble free and it feels great. This is our year! Keep going guys.

Jane
Reply

I did it. I registered for 5 years with Gamstop. Feel liberated. Now need to do it for my partner too because otherwise I still have options. Gonna go fetch him and get this sorted once and for all.
I feel a Bob Dylan song coming on…..ah the times they are a changin’ :)

Jane
Reply

Oh my God, I’ve just typed that and burst into tears! Such a f*ckin relief! Sorry for the language but this feels great!

Trevor
Reply

Jane…brill well done.

Joanne
Reply

That’s an excellent question Jane , although right now I’m finding it hard not to laugh at loser’s policeman comment ! Hahaha

Gambling on the lotto and scratch cards for me was a completely different experience to playing the online slots. I think when you buy a scratcher you don’t really expect to win, if you do it’s a bonus. Plus there is no inbetween you win or lose. I don’t play the lotto , I play the hotpicks /thunderball where you have the chance of winning smaller prizes. I never play Euro millions and very rarely buy an actual lotto ticket , for some reason I don’t want to win millions! Lol

For some strange reason I associate numbers with people, door numbers etc. So if my sister pops into my head when picking a number she represents number 11, My neighbour represents number 6, I’ve got a number for both you Jane and Loser! Lol

For me the real torment came when playing the slots. During a session of slots there is on most occasions (although not always , sometimes you never get ahead) a point where you get ahead , sometimes it’s even on the first spin! Of course i could never stop playing until I lost everything and ran out of money. I always played late into the night so I would go to bed feeling tired and despondent after a session but the real anguish would begin when I woke up. The torture of asking myself, why in the heck didnt i stop when I was hundreds of pounds up. Like I said you don’t torture yourself over the outcome of a scratch card it’s a straight forward win or lose but with the slots you have to make the call when to walk away. After a heavy loss you replay the session in your head and you just want to beat yourself up for not walking away when you were up.

Waking up to the reality of trashing thousands of pounds the night before is sheer hell , I sometimes wonder how I managed to drag myself out of bed and go to work. That horrible gut wrenching feeling, what have I done. I don’t want to feel like that ever again.

Then the guilt. Of course I feel guilty that I have thrown away money that my son could have inherited but for some reason the guilt wasn’t enough to stop me. I don’t know but I think if he had still been living at home i probably would have experienced greater levels of guilt , whether it would have prevented me from gambling , I don’t know, probably not. When the addiction took it’s hold of me nothing would stop me from gambling except having no available money. Some people might think us selfish but they fail to recognise that we weren’t in control. Like you all I wanted was to win back the exact money I lost so I could pretend it never happened. I have to a point excepted the losses but every now and again it creeps up on me and it naturally hurts when I think of how much I have lost.

Strangely enough it seems to hurt most when I am around my siblings and my only cousin who I am very close to, she’s like another sister. My sister’s and my cousin have all been very careful with their money and when I’m around them at family occasions I cannot put into words the feelings of self loathing and shame I experience. They’ve also been very successful in their chosen careers. I have to admit after a heavy gambling loss I couldn’t face family get togethers and would often make excuses and not turn up.

I don’t know why , i feel like this when I’m around them , I’m not competitive in nature , I’m not driven or impressed by money , but I just feel a sense of shame at being a secret gambler. It’s like I’ve been living a lie, I can’t really explain it, maybe it’s the secrecy element .

Anyway, time I got some zzzzz.

Jane
Reply

This forum cheered me up no end this morning! Ha ha….all this ‘lost in translation’ stuff is funny. It would be funny if you walked into your local shop and asked for a ‘Jane’ or a ‘Loser’ to go with your shopping! I wonder are my cards ever lucky!? My partner feels he has to buy whichever one he looks at first. He hasn’t won for ages, but he enjoys the possibility. I wonder does it matter for you if you have real scratch cards or the online cards? My partner tried the ones you buy online and he said it just wasn’t the same, I guess it’s like reading a book on a tablet instead of a paper copy for some people who are more traditional.

It always fascinates me the way we are very fussy about our gambling. We’re not just up for any bet. It is very routine, personal and familiar. You could leave me in a room with a thousand scratchies and I wouldn’t touch them. If you left me in a room with a roulette wheel, I’d be scratchin the walls trying to get out to save myself from my nemesis. I have zero interest in the slots. I find them annoying and loud. They give me a headache even with the sounds off. Too much colour and flashiness.
I used to wonder what the betting sites thought of the way I played because I was so predictable. They must have loved me. My gambling addiction was a very personal thing. I even regarded it as ‘mine’. As much as I hated what was happening to me, I still didn’t want anyone to take it from me because I didn’t want to have to stop the way I do now. I know it doesn’t sound nice, and I apologise if anyone has been in this situation, but to me, my gambling addiction at times, felt like an abusive relationship. It was horrible to me for the most part, it kept me suppressed and made me do things I didn’t want to do, but the times when it was nice to me made me want to keep it around. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I didn’t want to have to be on my own because I felt as though I couldn’t get through my days without it there.

Trevor, I wouldn’t worry too much about scratchcards because they don’t represent your main form of gambling. They can act as a sort of smaller, more responsible lapse where you know you can keep control. It is better to do this than go and blow lots of cash at the casino where you know you are weaker.
Like I said, Trevor, this represents you trying to manage your addiction, reduce it down. It is a way of you allowing yourself to relieve that pressure and I wouldn’t see it as a wobble but more as a sensible way of managing your urges. Sometimes, something like that is just enough to keep you focused and away from the kinds of gambling that are really harming you.

Not all forms of gambling have the same affect on us as addicts. We often crave a certain kind, what we used to do routinely. Changing the habit to something you can manage more can work for some people, so long as it is something that doesn’t connect to what you did before. For example; I hate online bingo but I played it when I stopped roulette because the bets were tiny, like 2p and 10p and it worked for me because it allowed me to feel a bit of excitement but it was also a million miles away from the kind of gambling that was really harming me. The bingo annoyed me and it helped me to actually think, ‘nah, I don’t feel like gambling today ‘ because it wasn’t something I enjoyed. It didn’t make me want to do roulette, it just reinforced the idea in my head that gambling wasn’t enjoyable. Kind of like people swapping real cigarettes for vapes. They’re still ‘smoking’, still got the same habit, but the effect is a lot less on their health. One day, the idea is to drop them completely, just like gambling.
I did this with the horse races too. I can completely control those and I did this during a phase of trying to keep away from roulette which was killing me. Eventually, you will be able to go longer and longer without gambling and I did this by gambling in ways which I didn’t especially enjoy. It’s a kind of weaning off process that can work for some people. Do what works for you, Trevor.
All the best, everyone.

Trevor
Reply

Hi Jane,

I can relate to the mine situation. When you in the bookies and sometimes people get too pally with me and it gets in my nerves. This is my money, myvexperience. Sometimes it can be ok…depends on the other person. In April I went into a Cashino arcade and a young ok looking member of staff was getting very pally and that annoyed me as this was my money and my experience…i wasn’t there to get pally with the women. Every now and then I said had enough I’m leaving and it was stay a bit longer…you luck may change. Know her game. Asking lots of questions….where you from, are youbmarried…kids…whats your job…

So tempted to keep away.

Lottery and scratchcards are a good substitute that gives you a slight kick but not a financial headache it us only now and again.

Jane
Reply

Yeah, I know. It always rubbed me up the wrong way if the phone rang or someone came to call. I wouldn’t answer the door or phone but would feel like that jinxed the bet then and broke my stride.
I often knew full well it was my parents at the door cos I could hear them from my ‘den’ upstairs, but I would be in a mood cos I was losing or not want to leave off cos I was winning.
I have literally THROWN AWAY these last 8 years and no amount of money is worth that. I put it into days to make it sink in for me how much time has been lost; 2920 days that I can never ‘win’ back. I try to look at my losses in these terms instead of focusing on the money because money comes and goes but time is once only. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. No one can win back time, but we can certainly wager it away.

It is the most valuable thing we have besides our loved ones. I traded my time for gambling tokens and it was the most foolish thing I ever did. If I could take it back, surely I would. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what I have done to some degree or another and I hope one day this pain will ease because although I am sorry for my mistakes, I don’t want to have to relive them in this way. Just little things that people do or say brings back painful memories, even movies and meals…I remember what things I did and what I ate and wore when I lost large amounts of money and I avoid those clothes, films and foods because of the heartache I have attached to them.
It may sound silly but this is the emotional soul that I am. I feel things really deeply and fall hard so I am looking forward to a better life now that I have took even more steps to protect myself from any more self induced suffering.
Stay strong, Trevor and keep safe.

LOSER
Reply

Hahah Trevor,

Good morning indeed!!!

Glad you explained what PC was I was just about to ask!!! All this millennium talk I cannot keep up!
I don’t think scratchie and lotto are bad (unless your Joanne) LOL I don’t even view them as a form of gambling and I buy a lotto ticket weekly. I guess as long as the number of tickets and scratches do not exceed a certain amount nor increase weekly. Now it appears to me Trevor that while the wife is by your side your in safe hands and then Mon – Fri is a struggle?
I’ll tell you what works best here….

1. Never have access to cash, have a credit card and take the cash advance option off (a lot wont but you will eventually find a bank that will) this way you can pay for groceries and petrol without needing money.

2. Replace time where you can gamble with hobbies you enjoy. Online chess, a part time study, a indoor sport, swimming at the gym, meet friends for a beer etc

3. Self Exclusion

4. See a counsellor

5. Work out your trigger’s and start dealing with the real reason you gamble.

6. Mindfulness………. Sit down try and relax and use the senses taste, touch, feel, look around the room and be more aware of your surroundings it kinds of clicks you out to the dreamingness of gambling.

Best of all turn up the music and work out a stripping routine, go hire a policeman outfit……trust me they love it hahahahahah

Trevor
Reply

Hi loser,

Bugge* good advise options 1 to 6….I’m off to the dress up shop and buy some music. My other idea option for 6 is a trip to Costa or McDonald’s. But like you suggestion too.

Got to go.

Trevor
Reply

Hi all,

Another slot free day, but fell apart on the lotto and scratch cards. Lost a little, then won a little now. So a whole £9 up plus 8 lotto lines of unknowing until tomorrow night on after spending 15 quid on scratch cards. Not epic spend, but a slight wobble on my journey. I trying to be good….. No slots Monday to Thursday. Then being glued to the wife Fri to Sun. It kinda working when she’s not off doing her own thing, then opportunity creeps in and I welcome it still. Need to build my barriers higher.

Night all….or for those in Oz land……gday. Made sure that the spell check didn’t have its own way because gday….was turning out gay….not PC at all. Loser PC is not police constable or pirates of the Caribbean it is politically correct in this context. Lol. That’s not lots of love either. Hahaha..that is me laughing.

Night!!

Joanne
Reply

I’ve been thinking about what you said and yes people associate poverty, alcoholism and drug related issues with inner city life but they are just as prevalent in rural communities , rural poverty can sometimes be worse.

I started to think about the young people who live in my neighbourhood and it is surprising the number of 30+ year olds who still live at home with their parents
Some of them have left home to set up home with someone but when that relationship fails they can’t afford to live alone and then return back to their parents. Or maybe they don’t like budgeting. As you say affordable housing is a big issue.
The ones who have managed to build or buy homes usually have had financial backing from their parents .

A lot of young people live alone , those with money seem reluctant to commit because they don’t want to be taken to the cleaners by some female and others can’t afford to leave home. Of course having a car is a priority for young people so living at home with parents means they can afford to have a decent car, holidays abroad etc. I guess some young people today have an extended youth compared to other generations.
However there are probably young people who would love to leave home but can’t afford to get their foot on the property ladder or rent unless they have a partner or friend to share the bills.

Quite a few , more so girls , work abroad in Europe or Australia for a year and then return back home to their parents. Take a job locally for about 6 months and then when they’ve saved enough go abroad again .

Mmmmmm I’m beginning to feel very old!

I think Mat should be proud of the fact that he has supported himself from a young age.

Jane
Reply

I actually left home at 19 but it didn’t work out. I struggled financially and my parents weren’t even in this country to help me out. I moved back in with my parents who had a very nice house in the Irish countryside compared to the horrible student flat I had in Leeds. I saved a lot of money up being at home and then was able to move out more comfortably when I finally met the right man when I was in my early 20’s. It’s really hard for young people to start out these days. I feel for them because there is a lot of pressure and people tend to associate still living with your parents as a sort of failure at a certain age and I don’t think that’s necessarily so. It’s a sign of the times and the struggles they face. I hope to hang on to my two for as long as possible! I’ll probably chain myself to a tree in protest when they leave!

I was also thinking about what I said to Mat, about how my family are affected by my gambling. It made me wonder how it feels for someone like yourself and Mat, who live alone, because when you relapse, the guilt, the shame, the consequences are yours alone. How does remorse and guilt feel when it is only yourself that is affected by it? How do you process a relapse or a heavy loss? I find this concept hard because for me, it is always about how I impact others. If it were just me, who knows how on earth I would be able to stop because I worry that I would just gamble myself into oblivion because what would be the barrier to stop me, except the limit I had in my account?
I wonder if you relate to relapse in the same way? I often wonder if addicts that live alone struggle because they are more willing to hurt themselves because no one else suffers but them and this makes them less able to see the damage they do because I guess it is easier to just go on hurting yourself because the addiction will make you think you deserve to feel bad. I see the harm more easily, I think because there are innocent people who have suffered because of me.
It is good to have family because obviously, you have that motivation to stop and also you have support, but on the flip side, when things go wrong and you relapse, the consequences are felt by the whole family who have to suffer for what I did and the guilt I have felt at times has been overwhelming. It is that guilt that drove me to harm as it is unimaginable pain to hurt those you love in the ways that addiction drives you to do. We have had to go without a proper meal some nights, or turn off everything except the fridge to keep the electric from running out. I hit my all time low when I thought I could use my daughter’s account to try to get my losses back. I put it all on my lucky numbers, pressed spin and held my breath. I felt sick and for days, I didn’t know what drove me to do it, but I do now. It was because I didn’t want to own up to my mistakes, I wanted the machine to let me off the hook, to get me out of the mess I had made, so I could carry on pretending to be sensible and normal like the other mums.

I struggled in the first instance in giving up because I tried stopping out of guilt, which was wrong. It made it worse because it filled me with negative emotions and then urges would come because I was under stress. I was focusing too much on trying to rule out the effect of my gambling on others but what I really needed to do was address why it was happening in the first place in order to be able to do something about it.
That’s where I find myself now…in this much more powerful position of knowing why I gamble and learning ways to stop it from ever coming to anything more than just an urge.

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