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Changing My Beliefs

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:40 pm
by Tara
Being totally new to this site and wanting to use it to help express my thoughts. I've been stepping on egg shells with myself about admitting that I have gambling problem, but the guilt or disgust that I feel towards myself after leaving a venue and losing any spare cash that I had to the pokies has run it's course. I've have dealt with this before and have self banned myself from playing for long periods of time, but somehow always convince myself that I can restrict my playing when I start again. Hence a problem! I have always paid my bills on time and never went without in my household, but I've got to the stage where life has become stagnant. I've been using the pokies as an outlet for loneliness, boredom and I now realise that they are keeping me locked into my loneliness and boredom lifestyle.

I have a saying that," everything costs money". With this saying I restrict myself from doing things that I would like to do(learn abseiling, windsurfing, skydiving) because of fear that I will leave myself short for any unexpected expenditures that could arise. I have always lived in a small country towns with not many social outlets then the local club or pub with pokies, so as for doing the above activities that I would like to learn would require travelling a few hundred klm's to perform.

This is where my problem really shows it's ugly face. I talk myself out of doing these adventure activities because of the expense and travel that would be required to do them, and then I get bored sitting at home and talk myself into going and playing the pokies for a little while to get me out of the house for a bit. I'll tell myself that if I have a significant win I can go do them things when money is flush, I'll only spend so much(my intentions are good, but never workout). Wait for it, then I end up spending my spare cash that I actually could of gone and done one of these activities with.

I understand the addiction is a product of having wins and a release of certain chemicals in the brain that keeps me coming back hoping, wishing to get that feeling again. But the highs that a win produces are far out weighed by the loses. I realise now that I really have to change my way of thinking and learn new triggers for creating a new stimulating focus on living and enjoying new experiences. I believe that I can override these old triggers by replacing them with new stimulating adventure activities. It's really weird I can go to a ATM and take out a hundred dollars and play it and not win anything tell myself that another 100 will get it paying and get my money back(very rarely doe's this happen, as you would all know) I really have a $300 limit on myself I've noticed before I pull the pin. But this is where I have to make a new neural pathways with money. I can spend $300 in smaller $100 dollar withdrawals over the course of a outing, but I hesitate buying a adventure ticket that can be up around the $300 mark. I suppose I've got the hope that $300 dollars in the pokies might have a potential return. I have a fear of not having enough money, but then I totally contradict myself and think I can make more and end up with NOT ENOUGH MONEY. So why not make new neural pathways with the money and spend it on something that I know I will enjoy and get something out of it, instead of berating myself when I lose it down the drain. It's going to be hard to let go of this addiction of the chance of winning more money, and replacing it with things that I know haven't got any chance of a money return. Ultimately though it is for the better!

I'm writing this journal to get my thoughts out there and hopefully inspire myself to make these changes with other people looking on and hopefully inspire others to start living their life again also....... 100 day personal challenge for myself and see which if not all of these activities I can do within this time period. Will keep you posted of any progress in the future. Time to goal set!

Re: Changing My Beliefs

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:01 pm
by Neve [admin]
Hi Tara
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing. I think you've done a great job of expressing your thoughts, you have a good handle on why you gamble, your thought processes and triggers, so now it's just about how you can manage those and as you said, find some alternative activities to take up your time.
I wish you all the best with the 100 day challenge! We are all here to support eachother and I hope you'll find the forum useful along your journey.

Re: Changing My Beliefs

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:25 pm
by Tara
Well I just thought I would write a little bit today as I nearly relapsed this morning, and would like to note the thinking process behind my near failure. As I have wrote in my first post that I do the pokies when I get bored or lonely and today is one of those days. I know the triggers and wouldn't of dared walked into a venue by myself, but this is where I constructed a story that would of led me straight to them. I have a friend that I catch up with every so often(really a pokies and run-a-muck friend) and I found myself inviting her out for lunch. Which I know I would of ended up with putting money in the machines as we would of been at the local pub for lunch. I wouldn't of put money in them until she asked that we go have a little play before lunch, so as if to not let her down in our normal routine( I suppose to blame her for my relapse as well). Thank god she replied and said she couldn't make it today due to other commitments which saved my arse, hence sitting here and writing this piece. I've had no urges since the second of march and have been feeling really strong but it just goes to show when the urge hits what deceptive things you will do and tell yourself to make it happen. Hopefully it will be a lot longer then 9days before the next urge comes along and I can redirect myself in a positive way instead of using someone else to blame for my short comings. It's amazing how the urge was so strong this morning but is totally dissolved this afternoon. Got to learn to ride that emotional wave.....

Re: Changing My Beliefs

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:37 pm
by Tara
Just to be clear on my last post, my friend is none the wiser that I have this issue. When I said that I would blame her it would of been in my own head to try and justify my actions. As I clearly know that she had nothing to do with me putting money in the pokies, she was just a means to my cause.
Cheers will check in again when needed...

Re: Changing My Beliefs

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:41 pm
by Noah (facilitator)
Hey Tara,
What an honest and reflective post!! Sounds like you have alot of wisdom about how your mind can play tricks on you. Do you have any tips to share about how you could re-direct yourself if you have those sorts of thoughts in the future? I've attached a very simple link from the website that reflects the sorts of things you talked about it your post: ... ng-change/
Keep in touch :)