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Joanne
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Joanne
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Joanne
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Fair enough and mind your manners!

I crumbled again this morning so may as well not be here.

I’ll draw another line and try not to cross it. Ie stay away

All the best, do the wise thing and stay away from gambling.

Joanne

MJ
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Good, do us all a favour then

Joanne
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Bye!

MJ
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You’ll be back you flea ridden whore

Joanne
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No I don’t think I will. Something’s changed, tired of trying to beat it and God knows I’ve tried! Lol I’ll get by.

Have a good life and thanks for all the laughs.

Joanne

Joanne
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Day off ..

Cashed in the winning tickets and put the money back in the bank.

That’s it, time to ‘screw the nut’, knuckle down and aim for 100 days gf. I will sponsor myself £1 for every day I’m gf and hopefully donate £100 to charity.

I know its not ideal allowing myself a ‘gamble day’ at the end of 100 days gamble free but if I tell myself I’ll never gamble again that seems to make it harder .. forbidden fruit and all that.

So approximately £3 per Day, 100 to charity and 200 for a one day gambling spree on scratch cards/tickets.

Please bear in mind that this may not be the best way forward for you. I play only for the buzz so if I were to lose £200 it wouldnt faze me. If you are the type of gambler who cannot bear to lose money and chases then this is obviously not the strategy for you!

Day 3, all good!

All the best, very much hope you’re finding a way forward in dealing with your own gambling issues.

Joanne

MJ
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Just shut up

Joanne
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I guess it’s day 2.

I’ll aim for one hundred and then have a day off for good behaviour!

Joanne

Joanne
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I’ve decided that we’ll have a Question & Answer session today so please feel free to submit your questions.

Lol

Have a great day !

Joanne

Joanne
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I’m back!

I won 70 pounds on my lotto tickets. It would have been better if I hadn’t won anything, feels like I could get sucked back in again. :(

Joanne
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Of course I didn’t lose any money so that means I didn’t relapse!

I bet when some of you were counting your gamble free days and you’d sneaked off to the bookies/casino you didn’t mention it when you had won! Hahahaha

So that makes it day 203

I’m making up the rules! ;)

Until tomorrow …. Joanne

Joanne
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••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Joanne
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And one last thing, I always knew I wasn’t talking to myself, the Rethink site records how many folk have visited every 5 mins!

Joanne

Okay, I’ll go now!

I’ll draw another line!

Joanne
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Sorry, should have added, I hope some of you do come back and reconnect with each other.

All the very best,

Joanne

Joanne
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~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~

Joanne
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Just for the record …Well it’s the morning after the night before. Do I feel bad? No. Do I regret trashing my 201 day count? No. I was finding it all a drag. I know I’ll never gamble again online with large sums of money, just a few quid here and there on lotto. I just needed 6 months gf to clear my head.

To the guys who brought about Gamstop, thank you. I would still be playing slots if it weren’t for Gamstop.

It will be interesting to see if some of the High Street bookies close when the rules with regard to fobts change. I daresay some of them will. Will there be an increase in online gambling? Probably

Of course the bookies have got their eye on America although they will have competition from the online casinos.

Anyway thats it, my wild gambling days are over ! All the very best everyone.

Joanne ;)

Joanne
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☄☄☄ GOOD- BYE RETHINK ☄☄☄

Joanne
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Have been playing the demo/pretend slots so not good! :(

I’m beginning to find this challenge to remain one year gamble free at the moment a bit of a drag! :( I’ve got a feeling the next 100 are going to challenge me.

Just got to try and push myself on …

Joanne
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There’s a battle going on …. you’ve got money in the bank (security) , you work hard, it’s your money you’ve earned it, you can do with it as you bloody please, what harm in chancing your luck, you’ll be able to handle the occasional gamble now, look at the fun you’ll have, the excitement….

The other half is saying … don’t be daft, act your age!!!!!, you may as well pour it down the drain, you’ll be gutted if you don’t see the challenge through, QUITTER, do you want to go back to throwing your money away …. have you forgotten how the gambling hangover feels ….

I guess it’s inevitable at this point in the challenge that it begins to feel like a drag, gruelling; the finishing line not quite in sight to spurn me on, the brain reminding me of the gambling ‘highs’ and not the ‘lows’

Why bother carrying on, you’re not any happier when you’re not gambling as you were when you were gambling!!

Got to try and remind myself of the reason why I found myself here!

Ah well!

Joanne
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Am I someone who is trying to give up gambling completely or just trying to complete a 365 days gf challenge?

Mmmmmm

Joanne
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Should I just quit now and walk away, I know I’m going to gamble again (a few lotto tickets etc, nothing major) even if I make it to one year gf so why bother carrying on?

So that’s it, I’m calling it a day, I made it to 200 days, that’s good enough for me. :) I feel I’m in a good place and it’s time to leave the forum.

Joanne

Joanne
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Just for the record, went into town bought a pile of scratch cards/lotto tickets so that’s my 201 days gf record broken. I can’t gamble online , no casinos or arcades where I live so that was my only option.

Do I feel bad about it?, no , I was soo tired of the sh*t playing out, day in day out in my head especially these past few weeks. I think I feel relief! No more pressure.

Do I regret not carrying on for the sake of the charity? If I’m honest, no, the 200 pound donation I gave was quite generous, I’ve never aspired to be an Angel.

So, I’ll have the occasional gamble, if I feel it’s getting out of control in the future, I’ll give myself a cooling period.

I think I’m in the place where I was aiming to be.

So long …..

Joanne
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P.s. Don’t waste your money on scratch cards. :(

Ah well

Joanne!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joanne
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Day 201 …..

Joanne
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Well another day of the brain wanting to experience that hit of dopamine.

It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a difficult day or an upbeat day, if I’ve nothing exciting planned or exciting plans, if I’m lounging about at home or on a busy few days away, I’m always plotting ways to gamble!

That’s why I believe that it’s just a chemical thing and all the rest is irrelevant.

Just how I feel, anybody reading this may of course feel there is something specific driving them to gamble.

I wonder what it was that excited us when we first experienced gambling , that feeling that our brain registered and started to crave?

Excitement at winning

Surprise element

The promise of a quick buck!

Who knows?

Of course it may have been escapism for some folk.

I think for me it was the surprise element, the anticipation! Was it a winning scratch card or not? What was I going to find behind those panels? The slots ….. was I going to hit a bonus feature, oh the thrill, the anticipation when you hit 15 free spins!!

Of course with any drug over time the brain needs to get a larger dosage to get the same effect and there lieth the danger!

I would log on convincing myself I would only play 20 pence spins, spend a tenner tops, however after about five spins (or less) I would be feeling bored and would up the stake to a pound and so on. When I finally had the good sense to quit online slots I was at the point where it had to be 5 pound spins to begin with. If I hit a decent bonus feature , that was the green light for 15 to 40 pound spins and so it went on, the bigger the pay out, the bigger the stakes until I started tilting, the stakes would reduce, panic setting in because I didn’t want to run out of money because that meant I could no longer play!

It was never about money … just about getting that release of dopamine!

Ah well,

I shall try and keep my promise and raise another 165 quid for charity and keep it gf!

Joanne …

Joanne
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☄☄ 200 DAYS GAMBLE FREE ☄☄

Wasn’t sure how to mark the occasion so I donated 200 quid to a children’s charity. I hereby promise to give them another 165 if I make it to 1 year gamble free, although it’s no guaranteed! Lol

Tbc having trouble posting

Joanne
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Considering all the money I’ve given to the National lottery it’s about time the fockers were acknowledging me with a brass plaque… This National Lottery Good Causes project was funded by Joanne and her love of scratch cards!

Joanne
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Testing!!

Joanne
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I hope you’re all doing well and reaping some benefit from not gambling.

To quote Oscar Wilde..

Success is a science; if you have the conditions , you get the result.

Have a good day!

Joanne , itching, but trying hard not to scratch!

Joanne
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Testing !

Joanne
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If you have relapsed lately, just pick yourself up and try again.

When I first bought scratchers, my mother, sister and I bought them together just out of curiosity. They’ve never bought them since, they don’t see the appeal. I guess their first experiences of scratch cards didn’t create the chemical reaction in their brains as it did in mine. Guess I was the unlucky one.

Anyway, I know the reason I didn’t buy any yesterday. One or two are of no appeal to me, it’s not about the money, it’s about getting that chemical hit, in order to get that I need to buy several hundred pounds worth in one sitting.

Ah well, I think it’s safe to say that’s me 199 days gf!

Joanne

Joanne
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My day off!

I often think, what stops me (or has stopped me in the past) from carrying on gambling to the point of total destruction.

I think its pride and the fact that deep down I know gambling is wrong, a disgusting past-time.

I often look at groups of people, see them happy on a night out, celebration meal whatever, all united in having a good time. (I do enjoy my job, seeing people enjoying themselves, it’s rewarding).

It makes feel like a pathetic FOOL, a WASTER, gambling in secret.

Comparing myself to others (non-gamblers, although they could be secret gamblers for all I know!) from time to time seems to give me a much needed REALITY check hence the reason I cancelled my casino trip. I thought what the hell you thinking about!

You lose touch with reality when you gamble on line. Most of us do it in secret so there is nobody or nothing to give us that much needed reality check hence the reason we end up losing so much.

Keep it REAL, keep it GAMBLE FREE!

Check back in later.

Just trying to convince myself!

Joanne
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Evening!

I cancelled my casino trip, it was just a fantasy. I’d been fantasizing about playing the pokies all week and got carried away. If I’d been able to access them online l would have relapsed this week beyond doubt. Thank goodness for GAMSTOP. Just seem to go through bad spells.

Had reason to go to a lotto kiosk this morning , needed some postage stamps, had a quick look at the display of scratch cards but again didn’t feel inclined to buy any.

It’s been a fun day , we had a smallish wedding fayre, it was good to be around young people (and not so young) excited about their future and to see the youth showcase their skills/talents.

Best go tidy up ..

198 and countin’ …

Joanne
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I didn’t bother gambling today because I’m saving to go gambling …

There’s madness in the method …

That makes it Day 197!

Joanne
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When all is said and done, gambling is a losing game, a dangerous game. If you’re not prepared to take the loss, well then you shouldn’t really be gambling.

Have a good day, the wiser route of course is always to remain gamble free.

Joanne
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It always bothers me after I’ve posted that in some way my posts come across as promoting gambling. I would never promote gambling, like I’ve just said, it’s a dangerous game and something you don’t want in your life. It messes with your head, that ‘s the worst aspect of it, not the money.

For some reason gambling found us and I daresay most of us wish it hadn’t! Our first experience of gambling obviously caused some kind of chemical reaction within us, one our brain doesn’t seem to want to forget or unlearn.

It’s just that I’ve been in a relationship with gambling for almost 30 years now and I have to find a way to co-exist with it. If I surpress it, I know it will catch me off guard again just like it has done, twice in the past. Although I didn’t become a full blown gambling addict (well, not yet) I’ve lost a life changing amount of money to gambling.

I ‘m just trying to live with it, keep in tune with it (sounds nutty , I know lol) but I won’t be able to fully extinguish it, it’s been part of me for far too long, I just need to keep it
under control.

The best option of course, especially if you’re young, you don’t want a lifetime of this shit , is to be totally honest with yourself and seek every available help to try and free yourself from gambling.

Just wanted to say that, just in case anybody out there is visiting the forum.

Always choose the wiser route and KEEP IT GAMBLE FREE

I’ll shut up now!

Joanne

Joanne
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If I’m honest and this is just my opinion I’ve never really ‘bought in’ to the view that people gamble to escape, self harm or whatever. I’ve always believed that from the offset , when a gambler had their first experience of gambling ‘a fire was lit’ , something about gambling excited them, caught their attention, some kind of chemical hit.

I think its all a load of tosh, I gambled to escape blah, blah people gamble because they fell for it , hook, line and sinker from their early encounters of it. Yeah, it may have lain dormant for spells waiting to be ignited when conditions allowed, boredom, stress but lets face it, we don’t run to something we don’t like when we seek comfort, excitement or escapism.

I believe all gamblers feel for its charms , the chemical hit it gives us, whatever the hell it is !!!!! from their first encounter, I think I was just one of those gamblers who was always willing to admit it!

Just my opinion of course.

Joanne

Joanne
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* some kind of chemical hit * .. meant to write ‘chemical reaction’.

Joanne
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Gambling ‘lights our fire’ , one that we know, once ignited can quickly get out of control. Unfortunately some gamblers lose total control, others just manage to contain it in the nik of time and for some its a slow burning fire (people who gamble over a long period of time , slowly haemorraging money).

Some people will extinguish it, hate it for what it has cost them and never have any desire to re-light it. I think for the majority it will always be there, waiting to be re-lit. And of course, there’s gamblers like me who don’t want to extinguish it! I like it too f**king much. I always think the reason I never let it get fully out of control was because I never wanted to have to put it out! Sad but true. I’ll always carry a torch for gambling.

When I use to read the diaries over on Gamcare and the other forums I always found the blokes posts refreshingly honest. They always seem to accept responsibility for their gambling, openly saying that they liked it from their first experience, penny arcades whatever. Women (not all) always seem to want to blame it on everything and anything. That’s not a criticism, just an observation.

Most would argue that once you lose control you can never regain it, and you’re only deluding yourself. I of course don’t buy into that. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

Anyway, as we have learnt from experience it can quickly get out of control, so we need to always keep guard!

Just my thoughts, everyone will have their own opinion.

I couldn’t be bothered going into town this morning to buy the lotto tickets/scratchers ;) I intended to buy today, they’ll keep.

Off to work, check back in later.

Joanne

Joanne
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I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my gambling issues these past 6 months.

I know what am I, where I’m at and where I want to be.

I’m not a full blown gambling addict, I never was , I’m someone with gambling issues. Yes, I came close to being one but I just stopped short.

I had a problem with scratch cards /lotto in the past, nothing in comparison to my issues with on-line gambling, but I took a year out from them back in 2013 and it’s not really been a problem since then. I can pretty much take them or leave them.

I recognise that online gambling is a danger zone for me and I can never ever trust myself to be an online gambler again. I shall always keep up my registration with GAMSTOP and of course I have a lifetime ban on all my national /Scottish lottery accounts.

Online gambling is lethal, it’s available 24/7 and once you start playing, money loses all value and just becomes a number on a screen.

However, gambling has always held an attraction for me and something I don’t want to completely extinguish. So as I mentioned earlier I’m going to start buying some occasional lotto tickets again and I’ve arranged a weekend trip to a casino. As the casino is a ten hour all round trip away I don’t think it’s something I’ll be doing on a regular basis/spur of the moment decision. Haha So no chance of it becoming a problem and of course there is always the possibility that I may not enjoy the experience. I’ve got a feeling that I won’t. Just an instinct.

I’ve come along way these past 6 months, I haven’t run away from my issues, I’ve faced them. I haven’t masked over the cracks or tried to replace my gambling with other interests or hobbies, instead I’ve concentrated on changing my mind set with regard to gambling.

I’m no fool, I know gambling’s a losing game, but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. No doubt in time it will probably fizzle out and just end up being about he occasional lotto ticket.

Very quiet in work tonight, time to head off home before I get snowed in.

196 days and …..

Joanne

Joanne
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I can’t believe its February, where did January go?

I know the advice exchanged on here in the past was … you’re bored, go find new hobbies to replace gambling or you’re lonely, you need to get a social life etc … change your routine … your job, whatever

I (just my opinion) was never convinced that that was the way to address one’s gambling issues, that somehow your gambling issues were just going to magically disappear because you filled your time with something else.

No for me it was about firstly, getting as many blocks in place and secondly not really making any major changes in my life , not rushing into anything new, just carrying on as I was and facing up to the problem.

When I first signed up to Gamstop I was concerned that because I could no longer gamble online that I would go back to my old ways and start buying crazy amounts of lotto/scratchers but I haven’t. Nine times out of ten I breeze past the lotto terminals, only now and then do I get a slight itch but some far I have resisted.

Taking it nice and easy ….. real proud of my 195 days gf!

Joanne

Joanne
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For me its been about building on rock, not sand. About getting back control. I’ve always said that I didnt want to be a person with gambling issues nor did I want to be a non gambler, just an average Jo that could enjoy the occasional flutter, buy a few lotto tickets, that’s the position I’m striving for!

So I’ve decided that as of tomorrow I’m going to put myself to the test for the next few months and allow myself a small budget for buying lotto tickets. If I stick to the budget that means I’m still technically gamble free!

Slow but surely gaining back control!

Joanne

Joanne
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Good morning !

Well I took the plunge and booked my first gambling weekend away in the city. I know online gambling is lethal so I’ll never touch that shit again (I’ll always keep the blocks in place) but the thought of a lifetime without gambling makes me feel low. So my first gambling weekend will be late Sept when the tourist season dies down, then I’ll have another in Dec., combined christmas shopping/casino spree and then another in late Spring before the tourist season kicks off. I’ll allow myself a set amount of spending money, I not going to make money, just to be entertained.

Anyway feeling perkier! ;) Although I nearly landed on my arse I few times this morning due to the black ice! Lol

I went shopping last night and was a good girl and avoided the lotto/scratchcard kiosk. Man, its an endless battle. Had a look in the one and only bookie in town, even on a cold, wintry night it was busy! I’m not going there.

Got my shopping and was served by a girl who spoke like she was being auditioned for a part in that American tv programme ‘Friends’. It makes me want to fu**ing scream! Why can’t they speak in their local accent! Grrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, in the meantime, sticking with the plan to remain gf until Sept and hopefully build up a wedge of savings.

Back laters to check in.

Perky Joanne

P.s. Please be advised this is my way of dealing with my gambling issues and may not be the best way forward for you.

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