Comments

Katie
Reply

I have a partner Joanne tell you what gambling has done actually in separate rooms now I have said it’s down to my menopause which at the time was partly true but it was so I could be alone to gamble thing is I love him we are happy more like best friends but if he knew the extent of what I have spent dont think he would handle it very well he is so responsible with money when he is away with work I think yes well get comfy Katie and enjoy a night of online slots/bingo and then I lose if I have won anything I spend it anyway so tired of this cycle I have been in so long on day 2 of no gambling haven’t closed last site down yet think that would make it worse for me like when I packed in smoking kept a couple in the house but didn’t smoke them then eventually crushed them into the bin day 2 c’mon can do this xx

Joanne
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Just noticed your post Katie, after I posted mine!

Thank you for your kind words, means a lot.
Keep posting and let me know how you’re doing. Charting your progress here really does help.

Yes, it’s frightening the amounts of money we’ve lost to gambling. Like you, it is the first thing I think about when I wake up although I have noticed in these past few weeks that I sometimes miss a morning so give it time and hopefully you’ll start to feel a bit better too.

In the meantime, take care, and we’ll have another chat sometime soon.

Joanne

X

Joanne
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5 minutes to spare ..

So I’ll just wish you all a good weekend, need to give work my full focus over the next few days.

Much as enjoyed gambling and spinning those reels , I’m glad I made the wise decision to give it up. Nothing good came from gambling.

Hope the sun shines on you ..

Check back in Sunday evening ..

Joanne

Katie
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You have bought your TV but at least you have something to show for your hard work that’s a lot of money you spent on gambling Joanne so scary when you start adding it all up over the years when I get my wages this month putting what I can in my empty savings account I also want that little lump of cash away just to make me feel more secure and if I see something and want it can buy it dont have that at the moment am going to try really hard to achieve it tho well done x

Joanne
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Now to address the question you asked me, did I develop OCD.

In a nutshell, No. OCD can be a very crippling condition, it must be hell for those who have to life with it. So it would be very disrespectful of me to suggest that my anxieties were at a similar level as someone who has to deal with OCD on a daily basis.

I ripped through all my savings when I was at the peak of my addiction. If I’m honest I can’t remember much of it. Between savings and earnings I lost approx 30 thousand pounds per year to gambling. Overall , I lost 110 thousand pounds in approx 4 and a half years. Three years where I lost around 30 grand per year, and then after realising I had a problem, approx 20 grand in relapses. At the peak of my addiction I was gambling pretty much around the clock.

So obviously when the money ran out I started to worry about not having any financial security ie ‘rainy day fund’s.

It felt like I’d completely lost control of my life and everything around me was crashing down. .So obviously I started to worry about little things such as locking up the house, being over cautious, making sure I’d switched off the tumble drier, Lol I just couldnt risk anything else going wrong in my life.

The comment about checking that the hair straighteners were off 20 times was over exaggerated.

Without savings, I felt vulnerable. I realise that saving money isn’t everyone’s priority. Obviously when you’re young or when you’re raising a family making good memories should be the priority. Saving money can be hard work and damn boring ! Lol but if I’m honest I always liked the security of having some savings tucked away for a rainy day.

Hope that explains things!!

Really need to go now,

Whatever the day brings, hope it’s a good one!

Joanne

Joanne
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I’m not going to skirt the issue. Anybody reading my story would state the obvious, the thing that is missing in my life is ‘having a partner’. Obviously at my time of life, I’m still relatively young, I should have someone in my life. Someone to do things with such as travelling etc.

I dont know why but I just gave up on men! Lol I’m not unhappy, I keep busy through work, hobbies, going on shopping trips, city breaks etc . However, I guess most people would hold the view that life is better when you have someone special to share it with.

Maybe being on my own contributed to me becoming addicted to gambling . If I’m honest I don’t think it did. I just loved the thrill of ‘gambling’! I’d probably choose gambling over men. Sad but true.

Joanne
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Well done, Katie , in giving up smoking. Take strength from that, if you can give up smoking, you can give up gambling.

I’ve never smoked. I’ve never even tried it. My parents were non-smokers and none of my brothers and sisters went on to become smokers . If I’m honest, I hate the smell. I’ve never dated a guy who smoked. Complete ‘turn off’ for me! Lol

Joanne
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Sorry for delay in getting back I was busy setting up my new TV. I decided to splash some cash over the bank holiday weekend and treat myself to a fancy new tv! I decided the best place for it was the bedroom. Managed to get the base screwed on and then the tricky bit, getting it ‘set up! I’m not very techy but I managed it, Yey, although I think that may have been down to luck and not intellect! Haha

It’s very impressive but I think it would be better ‘wall mounted’ so I’m going to have to charm somebody into doing that for me. I dont know why I bought it, I never seem to have any spare time to watch TV! Mind you, I always found time for gambling. Lol

Now I’m thinking what a sad bird I am, nothing better to do with my money than buy a TV, I’ll hardly ever use!

Back in a mo

Katie
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Morning awake again wish it wasn’t first thing that comes into my head when I wake up had a successful day yesterday never gambled first time in dont no how long been thinking about the last few years when it really got a grip on me I packed in smoking 6 years ago so rather than stay up was going to bed early so really as one addiction ended my other addiction escalated and tried to justify it saying well am not buying cigarettes so it was ok to do so how wrong was I all I was doing was burning a whole in my pocket just for the record I hate cigarettes now so need to feel the same way about gambling it is hard the light bulb in my head is flashing at the moment need it to stay on

Katie
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Hi jo reading your comment about switching everything off was that like OCD caused by the anxiety

Katie
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Watching film on Netflix tonight not gambling yey

Katie
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80 thousand over 14 years did I add another zero jo

Joanne
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Wowee, Katie, that’s a serious amount of money you’ve lost to gambling. Please tell me you meant pence or perhaps it was a typo.

Or perhaps a certain someone has been winding me up!!!

Katie
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Am struggling now financially till end of the month so good time to quit was trying to work out how much I have lost in total think over the years about 800000 if not more cant think about that now as you say have to look forward not back

Joanne
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Financial insecurity of course was the driver behind me becoming over cautious about locking up the house, checking electrical appliances were switched off , worrying about losing my job etc. Perhaps ‘ anxiety ‘is too strong a word, ‘over cautious’ being a better fit. I realise gambling has caused some of you extreme financial hardship.

However, I’m glad I went through that period of feeling over cautious about things because it made me realise that I didn’t like being financially insecure. It made me look at my behaviour, question myself, if I continued to gamble , I risked greater financial insecurity this could lead to serious anxiety issues , anxiety issues sapping the joy out of life and possibly a downward spiral into depression.

I didn’t want to risk all that and this coupled with the stress rash (thanks Katie for giving it a name) made me decide enough was enough, time to get out of this game!

9 months on and my financial situation has vastly improved and I’m happy to report I’m at work and I didn’t have to check(20 bloody times) that I’d unplugged the hair straighteners before leaving the house ! Lol lol

Everything improves when you give up gambling!

I need to go for now …

Have a good day!

Joanne

Katie
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Last week had a win 400 pound withdrawn but never bloody pending withdrawal hate it when its sitting there you can see it and you keep cancelling and start chasing it back couple of hours later gone I have done that so many times feel sick and depressed after it but when you get that win you are so excited so why give it back to them its like they no aswell this ones spending again not one bloody win hate that down feeling things got to change

Katie
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Hi Joanne I also developed urticaria had to take antihistamines for a year stress thankfully had no episodes for a while but was stress omg as if life not stressful enough and we put added pressure on to it awake again would love to sleep right through feel exhausted want normality back xxx

Joanne
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Anxiety was creeping in. I would find myself having to double check that I’d switched off all the electrical appliances in my home before leaving the house. I’d lock up, be sitting in the car ready to go only to find myself having to go back into the house to check again! Grrr I ‘d be a mile or two into my journey only to find myself feeling anxious yet again, that I hadn’t unplugged the iron or the curling tongs! I’d have to go back and check only to find off course that I’d unplugged them!

I knew the thinking behind this was of course that I was beginning to fear that I would find myself with an unexpected emergency that I simply couldn’t afford.

I was becoming anxious that I might be made redundant. Totally irrational.

Gambling did this to me. Prior to gambling I led a relatively carefree life. I had more than enough savings in the bank to cover an unexpected emergency or a stint of employment. I started to resent gambling for giving me this unnecessary anxiety.

Tbc

Joanne
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The final straw for me was when I developed a skin rash just under my chin ie on my neck after a heavy gambling session back in Jan 2018. It would only flare up after I’d been gambling. It was obvious that gambling was taking it’s toll on me and this rash was a result of the stress I was putting my body through.

Fortunately it wasn’t too visible and it has thankfully disappeared since giving gambling the heave ho.

Taking all things into consideration, the financial losses, the increasing and irrational anxiety, etc I knew I needed to give up gambling for good. Gambling was slowly but surely making my life thoroughly miserable and I wanted my old, happy and carefree life back.

So I have only three words to say to gambling …. GO GET F*KED!

(Sorry, that wasn’t very lady- like)

Goodnight!

Joanne ;)

Katie
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Thanks Joanne feel better today going to try and self exclude this week if things do get bad for me only option then is gamblock going to see how things plan out this week feel better just coming on here and getting thoughts of my chest think you have done Brill never been one for scratch cards and stopped doing lotto years ago never won nothing on that either so going to try and save instead x

Joanne
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Sorry you’re struggling, Katie.

Hang in there!

X

Ps. I’m going to put up another post later on how increasing levels of anxiety also influenced my decision to quit gambling for good.

Back laters,

Joanne
Reply

Well done, Katie, on the self-exclusions. It’s not easy letting go, although much easier to do after a crushing loss.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Gam stop. If you sign up (you need to give them some details such as full name, date of birth etc) to the scheme you will be automatically blocked from playing on all online casinos that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. However I realise it’s not for everyone. Some people may not want their name on a register for varying reasons. For example if they work in the law or finance sector.

And of course some folk are reluctant to sign up because they’re not quite willing to let go of gambling.

As you mentioned in your early morning post it’s hard to let go of something that has been part of your life for such a long period of time. Always hoping for that big win, the one that would replace all the money we’ve lost so we could wipe the slate clean and pretend it didn’t happen. Or even that mega win, that one that proved we were right to gamble. We came out on top, beat the casinos/bookies!

I really need to go … back laters

Stay strong

Joanne

Joanne
Reply

I did have a few significant wins but they weren’t big enough to cover all my losses. Exactly one year ago I experienced my biggest win ever on the pokies (slots) but I lost 75 percent of it within 48 hours of winning it. No win ever satisfied me. I just played back the money, placing bigger wagers, taking higher risks, bigger risks meant bigger thrills, until the inevitable….

After losing most of that money, that was it for me, enough was enough, the mental torture of winning/losing was beginning to take its toll. Yep, much as I found gambling exciting, I was no longer willing to fund it.

I started to resent how much gambling was costing me financially … every damn penny.

So the inevitable trade off ….. in order to have money, I had to give up gambling. Not that complicated really.

I just want to say at this point to anyone new to the forum or to anyone who looks in on a regular basis I’m no expert on gambling addiction and I would never proclaim to be one. I just come here to keep me focused on my road to recovery.

Every decision/choice you make regarding your addiction, route to recovery, even relapse ! has to be your decision. Yep there’s a lot of support and practical things you can implement to help you along but when all is said and done, how you handle things ..well, that has to be your ‘call’.

However as a fellow gambling addict I’m always ‘rooting’ for you to do well!

Wishing everyone all the very best,

Joanne x

Katie
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Hello another day got one site left to get rid of not ready yet but aiming for one day this week I was on about 20 sites so I am going to get there x

Katie
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Am awake again this insomnia shi#e doing my head in thanks for getting back Joanne I no what you mean I haven’t been gamble free yet and am already missing it closed down Tombola last week self excluded after 10 years played almost every day most I ever won was a 100 pound see all these people winning thousands and think must be my turn soon usually will just lower limit to 20 30 a week but self excluded the fact that am starting to self exclude is really great for me got to do the others gradually this week setting some targets think I Will get a win before I finish for good got to stop thinking like that spending more than am earning omg what is wrong with me c’mon Katie you can do it talking to myself now tbh this is helping saying things and putting words out there rather than having it all trapped in my head thanks for listening sorry if am going on a bit xx

Joanne
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Hi Katie & Trevor,

You’ve probably heard it before but well done guys on admitting that your gambling has become a problem and needs addressing.

It’s the first step on the road to recovery!

So, Thumbs up!

Trevor has already highlighted the next step, putting in as many blocks as possible. These are absolutely essential, very few of us can do it on willpower alone.

Read up on the subject, knowledge is power, there’s a lot of literature out there, you may find some of it useful or not. Some folks swear by Allen Carr’s book. (I can’t remember the title, perhaps someone will be kind enough to flag it up) I did buy a copy of it but I gave up reading it after a few chapters, felt like I was being brain washed. However that’s just my personal opinion, others have found it to be really helpful.

I don’t want to be brain washed, like I mentioned earlier, I want to try and understand what happened to me in those short 3-4 years where I came close to losing everything.

I slept walked into a gambling addiction, I don’t want to sleep walk out of it! Lol

Okay so you’ve made the decision to give up gambling. Many folk find it helpful to keep a diary. It’s something to connect to, somewhere to record your gamble free days, keep you focused and a place to reflect.

Others develop a real hatred of all things gamble related and this too has been helpful to their recovery. I, personally find it difficult to hate gambling. I’m not quite sure why, given the amount of money I’ve lost!! I find it impossible to be anti-gambling, I realise that some people can gamble responsibly. Of course I now accept that the only way forward for me is to remain gf. It would only take one sip of that gambling drug and I would be back craving it by the bucketful.
Acceptance is key. I simply cannot gamble.

Good luck, Katie.

Well done, Trevor , on your continuing success.

Like I mentioned previously, our experiences/opinions/attitudes towards gambling and our route to recovery may differ but we’re all seeking the same outcome.

All the very best everyone,

Joanne

Katie
Reply

Going to sleep now lots of nights have stayed up all night and gambled and gone straight into work dont no how I have done it not healthy need to get my life back nite all xx

Katie
Reply

Wish I was addicted to the gym lol

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