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Day 1 ....

The 100 Day Challenge is a program where you set your goals - reduce your gambling or stop gambling altogether, it's up to you. Log onto the 100 Day Challenge website to follow the real stories of four Australians trying to give up gambling for inspiration and get the tools and support you need to find the real you. Click here to sign up, and post about your own challenge here on the Gambling Help Online Community Forum!


Day 1 ....

Postby DJ777 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:03 am

Good morning all.

About time I took this step, have been a chronic gambler for a good 7 years now and would like to give it up before it becomes a major problem for the rest of my life.

I guess I am no different to anybody else on here, just that constant urge to gamble be it on poker machines, sports multis or on any form of racing. It is in my thoughts at almost all moments, always in the back of my mind no matter where I am and what I am doing. My only real hobby in life is to get to the pub, place a few bets on the sports and horses and spend a few hours playing the pokies and drinking a few beers. I really do not know what else I enjoy to do with my life at the moment, which is pretty bloody sad.

Owe about $30,000 to the bank. I hold a good job and get a decent pay so the short term ramifications of my gambling do not worry me too much, but am getting to a stage in my life where my long term goals of owning my own house and starting a family will be affected by my lack of saving & my poor credit rating. Just thinking about how much money I have blown over the years is enough to give me a headache.

Sorry for rambling on, hopefully by opening up a bit on here this really can be Day 1 to a positive change in my life.
DJ777
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Re: Day 1 ....

Postby DFP » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:24 pm

Hi DJ777
All the best wishes for the challenge. I am certainly finding it useful to hold myself accountable while aiming for 100 days; and I find reading the stories and the shared wisdom and strategies helps a lot.

I remember being in the same mindset as you when I first admitted my problem years ago - what hobbies did I have? My time was mostly about going to the club and pub, a few drinks and then pokies. I had been like this for years. Gradually I realised that I had forgotten what I used to enjoy (I'd recall activities from my childhood, and other times when I had been happy). I slowly rediscovered my interest in running, golf, cycling, walking. I had hobbies but I had completely forgotten that I enjoyed them. The drinking and gambling scene (which is portrayed as normal, harmless fun in adverts) had completely overtaken the real me. Not sure if this is useful, but your statement about having no hobbies reminded me of my past.

I don't have any debts - I've always been fortunate in being quite well paid. But when I was gambling all the time, I would have nothing to show for my efforts - just waste it all.

I have improved over the years, but I am still susceptible to a bust and playing the pokies (last one 10 days ago). Limiting access to cash is an important baseline strategy to limit damage.

Keep checking in and report your progress. Best wishes for the journey.
DFP
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Re: Day 1 ....

Postby DFP » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:51 pm

Hope you are well DJ777
Was thinking more about the issue of gambling taking over all the thought processes, and then having no hobbies. This morning I got up early and went for a trail run for 13km on the coast path. Great experience which cost me less than $5 in petrol (equivalent to one spin!). I recently bought a pair of runners and as I have problems with over pronation had to get special shoes costing more than $250. It felt strange to be spending so much money on shoes. But in reality I have in the past spent much more in a wasted evening at the pokies. So it all made me think about how gambling destroys your hobbies and is a poor use of both time and money. I found it useful to think about "what do I want to truly do with my time" and "how do I want to spend my money". I am aiming to align these things and spend time & money on what I really enjoy; on my hobbies and experiences. Hope you are OK.
DFP
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Re: Day 1 ....

Postby DJ777 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:52 am

Thanks DFP

I am pretty pathetic. After a nice Fathers Day lunch I found myself at the pub with a couple of mates, with a couple hundred dollars in the back pocket. Obviously it is all gone now, but just the realisation whilst standing there that I was unable to even carry a conversation with a couple of good friends over a beer without constantly rushing to and from the TAB machine trying to catch the next race, and then wasting what ever I had left over in the machines once I was alone.

I can remember standing there thinking just have a couple of beers, talk some crap and just enjoy yourself. That pull of gambling can never be escaped, and for me right now I can not escape it. One positive though was that I walked in with cash only, left the cards at home.

Ah well, Day 1 for me again. Let's see if I can go more than 2 days this time ....
DJ777
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Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:33 am

Re: Day 1 ....

Postby Jerry (facilitator) » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:04 pm

Hi DJ777,

You absolutely can escape gambling, but it takes some learning to be able to manage it. Different situations are more tempting than others. Having a few drinks in a gambling venue is probably one of the most challenging situations.

Better to leave the challenging situation until you have some more non gambling time under your belt.

Maybe next time you are meeting up with some friends you could suggest a venue without any gambling in it.
Jerry (facilitator)
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Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:02 pm

Re: Day 1 ....

Postby DFP » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:54 pm

I think that is spot on - find a venue with no gambling. And it is more and more possible as there's more craft beer bars etc as alternatives to the traditional pub with pokie lounge. Still limit access to cash in case you divert to a gambling venue on your way home.
DFP
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:56 am


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