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First step

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First step

Postby Dan32 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:17 pm

Hi everyone

I’ve signed up here as I’ve finally admitted to myself I have a problem. I’ve known it for a while but Ive finally taken a step to do something about it.

I’m 32 and have always gambled. For a long while it was only sports and horses but over the last 18 or so months I’ve probably put about $50k through the pokies. Most days I’ll stop and put a few hundred through. I’m self employed and get a good wage but I convince myself that because of that there is nothing wrong with playing as I still pay my bill and the minimum mortgage repayments.

I literally can’t drive home without stopping somewhere, including half an hour ago. I can’t watch any sport without betting on it, even though my sport bets are relatively small.

I don’t know what I’m looking for here, just hoping I’ll hear from someone who’s been in a similar situation and made it though who can help me I guess...

Any advice would help as I’m really struggling. I’m sick of being in that constant **** mood as yet again I’ve lost a few hundred on the pokies. It’s starting to really affect my home life as I’m bringing it home with me.

The worst part is I know how I feel now, I know my odds, I know I should just go spend the money on anything else at the shops but tomorrow I’ll do the same thing. It’s like 24 hours later I’m optimistic again that I’ll win.

Anyways sorry for the rant, again, any advice would be appreciated.

Dan.
Dan32
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Re: First step

Postby Dan32 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:18 pm

Forgot to ad, I’ve deleted all my betting apps. Small step I know, but I’ve promised myself I won’t download them again.
Dan32
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Posts: 13
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Re: First step

Postby Jasmine » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:47 pm

Hi Dan,

Welcome and congratulations on recognising the problem. It is certainly a big step.
I know how hopeless we feel with gambling. I used to do the same (though not on a daily basis). I drove home from work and passed TAB and would stop for a quick play but ended up going home moody every time.
I am recovering myself so don't know if I can offer you much of advice. Things that work for me are removing my access to money; occupying myself with better activities; admitting the problem to my family; attending counselling sessions.
I think we need to work out why we gamble. You are in a well-paid job so money isn't really what you hope for when gambling I suppose. Are you killing the boredom by gambling? Are you lonely and don't know what else to do? etc. Perhaps you can spend a bit of time for self reflection to understand yourself more and then, hopefully, we can address the issues in a right way.

It is scary how the addiction set our brain programming and I am truly scared it will change the way my brain functions permanently. That's why I am trying hard to stop gambling.

Wish you all the best.
Jasmine
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Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: First step

Postby Oregon » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:11 pm

Hi Dan,

Pokies are the killers and well done on taking the first step towards quitting.
If you have any way to restrict your access to cash so that when you drive home after work you can't play. I have found that has worked really well. Maybe a partner /significant other / roomate/ relative can take your card and you just carry $50 for petrol? I know you are self employed and you might need access to more than that. Your bank should be able to restrict cash withdrawals? I know NAB doesn't but I think all others do.

Keep checking on these forums because there are a lot of stories like yours and a lot of people who are here to help. Also check out a GA meeting, I'm doing my first on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes.

-Oregon on day 8 GF
Gamble free since 22.01.18
Oregon
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Re: First step

Postby Dan32 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:56 pm

Jasmine wrote:Hi Dan,

Welcome and congratulations on recognising the problem. It is certainly a big step.
I know how hopeless we feel with gambling. I used to do the same (though not on a daily basis). I drove home from work and passed TAB and would stop for a quick play but ended up going home moody every time.
I am recovering myself so don't know if I can offer you much of advice. Things that work for me are removing my access to money; occupying myself with better activities; admitting the problem to my family; attending counselling sessions.
I think we need to work out why we gamble. You are in a well-paid job so money isn't really what you hope for when gambling I suppose. Are you killing the boredom by gambling? Are you lonely and don't know what else to do? etc. Perhaps you can spend a bit of time for self reflection to understand yourself more and then, hopefully, we can address the issues in a right way.

It is scary how the addiction set our brain programming and I am truly scared it will change the way my brain functions permanently. That's why I am trying hard to stop gambling.

Wish you all the best.


Hi Jasmine

Thanks for the reply.

The boredom thing is one part. I specifically take my gym bag to work but the back of my head knows I’m not going to kill that hour after work training. I’m going to which ever pub is on the way home.

Initially I would like to have a quiet drink and only bring $20 and some change into the pub. I’d have two beers and a few bets. Then I’d pull a few hundred out and go next door into the machines.

I’ll definitely go to the gym as often as possible now, I know there’s no way I’d go into the pub after I trained so there’s one thing.

Re the money, it’s like I convince myself that because everything is covered, I might as well gamble the rest. I know what I could’ve had if I just left it and it makes me sick to think about it.

I wish you all the luck in the world with the recovery. How long has it been?
Dan32
Junior Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: First step

Postby Dan32 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:02 pm

Oregon wrote:Hi Dan,

Pokies are the killers and well done on taking the first step towards quitting.
If you have any way to restrict your access to cash so that when you drive home after work you can't play. I have found that has worked really well. Maybe a partner /significant other / roomate/ relative can take your card and you just carry $50 for petrol? I know you are self employed and you might need access to more than that. Your bank should be able to restrict cash withdrawals? I know NAB doesn't but I think all others do.

Keep checking on these forums because there are a lot of stories like yours and a lot of people who are here to help. Also check out a GA meeting, I'm doing my first on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes.

-Oregon on day 8 GF


Hi Oregon

Thanks for taking the time to reply and congrats on the 8 days. Fingers crossed I can get through the first week too.

Unfortunately I need to take my work bank card with me in case I need any consumables. The odd time I won, I’d leave the winnings at home the next day and be fine which I found weird. Then the weekend would come it would go in the wallet and be gone by midday Saturday.

I’ll look into the cash withdraws on the comm bank app now.

I’ll definitely be on here daily. I feel better about things already after reading some stories.

The GA meeting seems a bit daunting at the moment to be honest. I’ll take it day by day first and hope for the best but I would like to attend them one day.

Thanks for the reply.
Dan32
Junior Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: First step

Postby Catherine1 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:30 pm

Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum. I too have a similar story. I have been gambling over the past 5 to 6 years and have come to a point this cannot continue. I too have a well paid job. Own my house, have no debts, however am sick and tired of wasting my hard earnt cash in pokies. I have been trying to give up over the past 12 months. It has been hard and I have fell off the wagon a few times, but it so worth the effort to get rid of this addiction. Why do I gamble? I have found in the past I have gambled when I am stressed, angry or bored. I have now put strategies in place to overcome these behavours. I now regularly exercise, which makes you feel good about yourself. I now keep busy in my garden on weekends. I am certainly not cured but I am getting there. My 2016 pokies statement told me I wasted $18200. My 2017 pokies statement I wasted $2300. I plan to have $0.00 spent in 2018. I started putting away the money I would normally blow on pokies and put it in a xmas club account I couldnt touch. At the end of last year I used this money to upgrade my car. You need to plan for something. Ie: holiday, extra repayments on your home loan, upgrade your car, write down some goals on things you want and then funnel your once wasted money in to an account to save for one of your goals. All the best with your challenge. I am at Day 25 today. My longest time off the pokies was 10 weeks. I am hoping to pass 10 weeks this year.
Last edited by Catherine1 on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Catherine1
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Re: First step

Postby DFP » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:19 am

Hi Dan
I agree with advice provided by others. Including that it is going to be a hard, constant road to recovery. I personally see my problem gambling as a disease which cannot be cured (it is an inherent vulnerability that is part of my personality) BUT I am able to control it. Day by day, one day at a time.

The first step is to admit you have a serious problem - and you now have reached that conclusion. Are you able to be honest with others about it? Being accountable is important as is honesty.

For gambling (pokies) to take place you need three things to be present:
- a venue
- time
- money
Think of it like a three leg stool. Take one of those away, and the stool falls over. So take away one of these three factors, and gambling on the pokies can't take place. Now there are venues everywhere (but self exclusion may help); you will always find time (but being busy with other interests helps); so the easiest one to take away is limiting access to your money. Without that access you can't gamble much. And I find I don't have urges if I know I only have a small amount of $ on me.

I limit access by always planning ahead. I have a credit card that has a 'no cash withdrawal' enabled. The vast majority of my expenditure I can put on a credit card (especially now with 'tap and go'). I'll carry a small amount of cash in case. If there is ever a time I need more cash, then I plan specifically for that time and use the cash straightaway for that purpose - not have a large amount in my wallet.

Whenever I have fallen off the wagon, it has always been if I have access to cash (and time on my hands).

Good luck with your journey. Keep posting.
Always a 'work in progress'
DFP
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Re: First step

Postby Mona58 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:26 am

l can't say much more than what has already been said.

The answer to the question on what are you looking for? Was / Is simply support and understanding. Its much much harder to break the addiction alone.

It is hard to break any addiction without the support of people who have experienced same. I found that knowing what is going to happen helps to be prepared, in sorts. It does not lessen the experience (of urges) itself but knowing what it is... what is happening mentally & physically ...gives power of control back to you... Fighting urges becomes easier over time... but how long before it becomes easier .. I can't answer. After 108 day GF I'm still "expecting" urges. I don't have strong urges at present but they still pop up in my thoughts out of "habit" l presume. At the moment I am able to simply remind myself that I don't gamble anymore and go about whatever l am doing. I am now finding enjoyment in everything I do ... It feels really really nice to be gamble free!

All the best on your journey to a Gamble free life!

Mona
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.~Confucius
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Re: First step

Postby Dan32 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:27 am

Catherine1 wrote:Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum. I too have a similar story. I have been gambling over the past 5 to 6 years and have come to a point this cannot continue. I too have a well paid job. Own my house, have no debts, however am sick and tired of wasting my hard earnt cash in pokies. I have been trying to give up over the past 12 months. It has been hard and I have fell off the wagon a few times, but it so worth the effort to get rid of this addiction. Why do I gamble? I have found in the past I have gambled when I am stressed, angry or bored. I have now put strategies in place to overcome these behavours. I now regularly exercise, which makes you feel good about yourself. I now keep busy in my garden on weekends. I am certainly not cured but I am getting there. My 2016 pokies statement told me I wasted $18200. My 2017 pokies statement I wasted $2300. I plan to have $0.00 spent in 2018. I started putting away the money I would normally blow on pokies and put it in a xmas club account I couldnt touch. At the end of last year I used this money to upgrade my car. You need to plan for something. Ie: holiday, extra repayments on your homrm upgrade your car, write down some goals on things you want and then funnel your once wasted money in to an account to save for one of your goals. All the best with your challenge. I am at Day 25 today. My longest time off the pokies was 10 weeks. I am hoping to pass 10 weeks this year.


Hi Catherine

25 days is a great achievement, well done. One month is a few days away, keep it up.

Thanks for the advice. The exercise part is annoying too as I’ve always been someone that kept in shape but have chosen gambling over it lately. That would make it 10x worse knowing Ive got my gym clothes, have a paid membership and still instead would go and punt. And I’m sure everyone would know there’s zero motivation for it after walking out after yet another loss. But, I’m got my gym bag in the car today and I’ve promiesf myself I’ll be going to the gym after.

Good luck and I’m looking forward to hearing your story.
Dan32
Junior Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:18 pm

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