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Gambling has destroyed my life

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Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby debsta70 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi everyone,
Ive looked at this site many times but never actually taken the plunge to join.
I am 47 years old and unfortunately pokie machine addiction has been a big part of my life for around 25 years.
I am a self admitted problem gambler to family and friends and have had counseling sessions on and off for years
but cant beat the bug. I have used gambling as an escape for years and was diagnosed with P.T.S.D about 6 years ago.
Gambling has taken over and destroyed my life. When i put my mind to it i can stay away from venues for 2 weeks and am so proud of myself but out of the blue, i get an urge and before i know it my car has driven me to a venue (it really feels like that) I always tell myself im only going in for an hour or to spend $50 but once i am playing its like i am in a trance and cant stop until my bank account and wallet is empty. Then comes the feeling of despair, emptiness, suicidal thoughts etc. I attempted suicide about 10 years ago but luckily was pulled from my car by a total stranger. At the time i was on heavy doses of anti depressants and always felt numb.

I look back on my life and know that gambling has made everything worse. I dont drink alcohol or use any recreational drugs except cigarettes, i just want my happy back as i was always known as the happy bubbly girl with a big smile and great personality.

Recently i won a holiday in a major raffle of which i have just returned from, this was my 1st holiday since 1996 as ive never had the money to do this in the past because of gambling
Since returning, ive booked to go back again this time next year, the holiday was a wake up call of what i could have if i saved money instead.

So here i am, 3 days gamble free and my 1st goal is to last 1 month without playing those evil machines

Thanks for listening
Deb
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby POPEYE » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:09 pm

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Last edited by POPEYE on Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby jimi68 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:49 am

hi debsta70.
I also have been gambling a long time and I'm 49 years old.
couple of questions..
what does p.t.s.d.. stand for?
and when you had councelling in the past did you manage to get something out of it or stop,reduce your gambling at the time?
You may have continued to gamble afterwards but is it worth (trying that again) because it helps or do you think that its not gonna help you this time..?
I am one person who found councelling helps me .
The way I look at it the more tricks you have in your bag the better chance you have...
anyway your here now on this forum and your doing something that I think is great which is setting a short term goal.
breaking a big task into small chunks makes it easier..
I too have been driven to gamble by urges that seem to be other than me.
I found it similar to the state I was in when i kept playing pokies for hours even though I wanted to go home I just sat there for hours pressing over and over again.....like a hypnotized zombie. till the last dollar.
I joined this forum when had a gambling induced crisis and have been here using the forum daily to keep me on track...
Its given me lots of ideas.
Good for you to take the plunge and start this forum.
I'm curios though you say you can stay away for 2 weeks then out of the blue you get urge?
So could I say if you managed to tackle that (out of the blue)urge would you be otherwise ok at stopping do you think?
If so maybe theres a way to identify and analise what is happening in that particular situation and come up with a strategy.
Reason I ask is that central to my stopping technique is doing exactly that and it has worked for me so far....
anyway enough lecturing from me
you have started a new journey today and I look forward see how it goes for you..
REWARD YOURSELF BY NOT GAMBLING.
jimi68
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby Jerry (facilitator) » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:27 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Deb,

What do you think you will do with the time you used to spend on gambling?

What do you think you will spend money on when you have it?
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby debsta70 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi Jerry, Jimi68 and Popeye,
Thanks for the responses, Today i am almost through day 5, so far so good but i know this week will be tougher.
Popeye- Great idea about giving my partner my cards and leaving me with limited cash, really thought this over and realise its the best thing to do so before my pay goes in the bank Wednesday, i will hand over my card Tuesday night.

Jimi68-
PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder, It is caused from many past events that were not dealt with at the time and swept under the carpet so to speak. Years later i had a breakdown and everything from my past came back to haunt me. It comes in the form of triggers that take me back to the event or events. Guess this is why and when my gambling peaks. I can stay away for 2 weeks, sometimes more but then whammm i need to escape and pokies are the answer.
All the counseling i had never really helped with gambling just mainly with how to deal with past events. My dad and brother have been problem gamblers their whole life so ive always thought it was in the blood. Ive been reading so much stuff on this site and watched videos, stories of how everyone deals with it and find it very inspiring. Im going to live on this site as much as i can lol hoping it will re train my brain how evil those machines are. On the way to the supermarket today i passed the local rsl club and felt excitement, but straight away said to myself, i dont gamble anymore, it actually felt good. I started a health kick in march as well to lose weight and have lost 14 kilos so i know that i do have will power if i really want something and this is really something i dont want or need in my life anymore.

Jerry- I am going to buy some magazines tomorrow that have puzzles in them and go to the library to borrow books.
I love reading but couldnt tell you the last time i read a good true crime book lol. I am having this week off work so i am totally stress free. When the weather warms up i will try and walk 5 times a week as i know it releases endorphins (feel good stuff) I found out online that where i live has a GA meeting thursday nights but not too sure about that yet as it seems very religious like (maybe ive misunderstood)

Anyway thanks all and look forward to hearing from you all again soon
debsta70
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Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: victoria

Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby jimi68 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:16 am

yes.. it does feel good to not gamble...
I didn't feel that way at first when I stopped but the day that it clicked and I really started to believe I don't gamble anymore
was amazing....
Pamela said a few times shes never going in those places again. I used to think how great it would be to feel like that..
I was a long time relapse and didn't trust myself because of all the times I quit and then went back ..
but this time its different..
I feel with full confidence in my soul as I say ïm never going into those places ever again!!!!!
I believe it and feel on top of the world..
REWARD YOUSELF BY NO GAMBLING.

(and brainwash yourself with catchphrases- works for me)
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby debsta70 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:56 pm

Day 6 and have had some pretty bad urges today, I literally was feeling sick and had cramps in my stomach when i went to bed last night and woke today to the same uneasy feeling.
Felt a bit lost and edgy, so i got dressed, visited my parents, went to an op shop, then went to a library to borrow some true crime books. Had a late lunch and have been back on this site reading through so many peoples journey and feel better and strong again. Will check back in again later
Cheers xo
debsta70
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Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: victoria

Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby Jerry (facilitator) » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:28 pm

Hi Deb,

You asked about GA. GA is based on Alcoholics Anonymous, it is the original self help program developed in the 50's by christian groups (Hence the religious feel). They have changed over the years and are now spiritual rather than christian, there is a focus on believing in a higher power (What ever you want that to be). it could be god, or budda or mother nature, or even your belief in yourself.

The program has been researched and it is quite effective. It is however difficult to work out exactly what parts of the process are effective, and who it is most effective for.

I think that you should take what is useful, and ignore what doesn't fit well with you. There are other non religeous self help groups out there such as the SMART Recovery program https://smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au/
Smart recovery is great, but not as famous, so there are fewer meetings.

Just try everything and keep whatever feels useful to you.
Jerry (facilitator)
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Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:02 pm

Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby Pea pod » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:20 pm

Hi Debsta. I can relate to your story. I also find walking is a huge help and it becomes rather addictive. When I start to feel triggered emotionally and can't cope I walk it off and I can see weight coming off. After 20
Years of spending time behind a machine instead of exercise weight has been a
Problem for me. Well done on the gamble free days your doing great. I am day 10 and everyday I have to remind myself how bad I feel when I gamble.
Pea pod
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Re: Gambling has destroyed my life

Postby debsta70 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Hi Pea Pod,
Thanks for your reply and support
Day 8 today and pay day
Feeling good today though and cleaning the house lol, sooo windy outside, so no walking today
Keep up the good work your doing, im already planning holidays and thinking about concerts or things i will be able to do in the future because i have actually saved money.
ONE DAY AT A TIME XO
debsta70
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Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: victoria

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