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gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:24 am
by melinda
Hi everyone. I have finally hit rock bottom and decide I really need the help. I'm 34 and I guess started gambling when I turned 18. Just fun with friends at first then it took over. I have bi polar and I chase the Idea of the 'big win'. When I'm manic I spend lots n when I'm depressed I spend lots. I used to use gambling as a hideaway at first. I would switch off n play n just hideaway from the world. My ex husband never understood it n told me I was weak. I tried counseling once and thought I'd stopped. My marriage split up I got money from our house and $50 000 later I'd spent it not all gambling but majority was. My new partner knew about my addiction but don't think fully understood n we would go out to the club n play together. I would sneak off n get more money out. I spoke to him about it n he said to not go without him. Still not realizing not going at all is best but I loved playing so we would go. I then discovered online gambling n it's taken its biggest toll cause I can play whenever I like even sitting on my lounge with the kids around. I have started to hock stuff n borrow money on cash advances etc. I'm out of control n I'm seeing why gamblers commit suicide. It Consumes u so much n it's a struggle to let others down n also urself. I was now gambling to win bigger n chasing my losses. I can't do it anymore. I had to finally bare all to my partner which was harder I even thought leaving him would b an easier option rather then letting him down. It's a horrible horrible addiction. It's time to stop for me n so I'm here to get help n support..

RE: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:05 pm
by GameChanger (facilitator)
Hi Melinda, and thanks so much for letting us know about what's been happening. I feel completely overwhelmed just reading it, I can only imagine how you must be coping with everything. letting someone close to you know about something like gambling takes guts, every fear comes to the surface, and catastrophe seems imminent. How are you feeling now that your partner knows?

Of particular concern is your reference to suicide. Are these thoughts that you've been having lately? If things are heading in that direction, you're welcome to private message me. Alternatively there is a free and confidential telephone service that I'd strongly suggest you contacting on 1800 858 858.

Please keep in mind that you're not alone here in what you're experiencing and that w'er here for you supporting you're every step, including the lapses that might happen along the way.

Keep in touch and let us know how you're going.

RE: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:21 am
by melinda
Hi game changer. Thanks for your reply. My kids are my safety net they would stop me from ever harming myself but I do understand how easy it is for ppl to think that's only way out. I feel like I've hurt my partner once again and let him down I told him he could leave if he wanted to as I'm a big screw up. He said that wouldn't solve anything n we will fix the finances n get through it but I have to stop. It's pretty bloody hard as gambling online was so easy and I'd pretty much be doing every day and so I'm struggling with not doing it in my down time. It became pretty bad as soon as I had a spare moment I was logging on. And of course I feel bad now him trying to work out finances to fix the problem I've created of owing money here there n everywhere but yet stupidly in my mind there's that thought of I've screwed up I feel bad but maybe if I just bet $50 and get free games on $5 a bet I could just ease that problem from him. Then I have to remind myself it's that thinking that hot me into this mess n it won't fix it at all. I can't believe how tough this is n how bad I actually became. I mean I would play lose n play again n then would win say one day I was up to $1500 won n i thought good I'm on a role I might actually b able to win more i need more to get me outta trouble n of course before I knew it was at $0. I just kept pushing and pushing for more n the more I'd lost the more I played to win it back. It really does make me feel incompetent n like I should know better as it's so easy to see that it's not worth it but yet I still couldn't manage to stop. I'd lose so much n then cry n feel that for sure it owed me something. It's bad really bad. And even harder to break the habit.

RE: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:50 am
by GameChanger (facilitator)
Hi Melinda,

Thanks for your reply, kids can be a wonderful reminder of what's really important in life. It sounds like you're managing to resist the urge to gamble during your downtime which is really fantastic, and I'm really conscious of how easy it is for you to access gambling online. This is a real achievement: well done!

Your recent message communicates just so clearly how particular beliefs infiltrate your thinking and guide your actions often towards gambling. That a win is just around the corner; that winning could alleviate the financial burden; that it is a way of recovering what has been lost. I'm wondering if there are also other thoughts that you might have that succeed in moving you away from gambling too?

Keep up the great work.

RE: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:41 am
by Dave68
Hi Melinda,

I too have gambled all my adult life, from 18 until recently upon turning 46. And it indeed does consume almost all your waking thoughts and attention. The sounds of the machines when we play, particularly the intoxicating 'buzz' of getting the features and the thought of getting some good money is extremely hard to resist once it gets a hold on you. But i can assure you that while some people may get wins and have luck, the vast majority do not.

I also have played the online games, especially from about 2011 until early this year, and they do allure you with the free credits and match bonuses. You feel that, yeah it's just $50 and you get double that in free credits, what is there to lose? And with me, i did get wins, indeed for the first year or so of playing online pokies, i actually was ahead a small amount.

BUT......reality started to bite. Despite the match bonuses and free credits, the wins stopped, and the cycle of re-depositing another 50, or 80, or 40 dollars would start. Suddenly without moving from your seat, $200 has exited your bank account. And even if you did get an early win, the onerous 'play-through' stipulations sort of compel you to stay on, trying to get the turnover to such a point where you might be able to withdraw the money. But almost like clockwork, you would lose what you won, and lose your stake, ending up with zero just as you describe. And the same feelings of remorse would kick in....and by this stage here i am losing both in pokie venues AND online. Really good situation, not!

What i did, and it can be tough to do, is just delete the online sits off the computer. I also checked my emails and unsubscribed to the emails as well which they'd send you, inviting you to deposit more money in with a match bonus to get a big win. But despite their claimed 95%-96% payouts, they may as well have been 0%. I had enough of dropping money this way, and as with pokie venues here, i just got angry at myself for not realising that i am just feeding the ducks. Simply put i was just not a good gambler, and just had to stop. Took 27 years of losing to realise this, and it's probably all too late for me in any case. But for you Melinda at age 34 you're still young and can fight back.

I found this 'Puzzle baron' site and am rather addicted to this word game, rather like Boggle which i find is quite stimulating and gives me a bit of a challenge to get higher scores, without needing to pay money as the pokies compel you to do. That has helped a lot, i've played thousands of games of this, and i have now reached 100 days pokie-free. If you have the risk factor of plenty of free time, this can help occupy the mind at no cost. It's also helpful to think of anything you're tempted to put into a machine , or look at say the $20, or $50 of whatever deposit you're temped to make into the online casinos and next time you're in a supermarket visualise how many 'spins' getting a carton of milk, a loaf of bread or a pack of steak might be. A $5 spin gets enough mince to make hamburgers for a family of 4. It helps put back into perspective the actual value of what one risks when playing pokies/online casinos. The killer is the frequency of activities with them. you may play in 10 minutes maybe 150 spins or more. 150 at $5 is $750, obviously some will win, but many don't. It goes so quickly, and in the long run the machines will always win.

That's the thing with me.....i think of how many spins i have played in probably 16 years of pokie playing (from about '98 onwards..before it was all TAB). Millions it would have to be, easily. And not once did i get the 5 wild symbols on a payline in any game. I mean, the odds of Powerball are about 76 million to 1. And i'm spending how much trying to win maybe 5000 credits, or maybe tops 20,000 credits, a $200 win on a 1c game? In my case, over $200K easily. And it never happened. So it's a total waste of time and money, and over our respective 15-odd years of pokie playing that surely proves it. I've had enough of sp

RE: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before things get detrimental

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:35 am
by jude1
Hi Melinda

You sound just like me....... the scenario u shared could well be a page out of my book... except the no partner thing to help you......I know both of us will get through this...we both just have to try and find a healthier "rush". I realised it's not about the money... it's asking why we go to venues... relaxing? switching off? the thrill of a win?

Hang in there.. day 1 again for me....... hey I am at rock bottom too

You can do this

Re: gambling addiction consuming me. Time to change before t

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:22 pm
by anosh
Nice post helps me alot thanks. :) :o