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  • 11 months now

    Chart your progress in working to overcome your gambling concerns and your ongoing recovery. Inspire others & take us all on your road to recovery!
    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    11 months now

    Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:46 pm

    Yep, April 9th was my last pokie bet, and today is 11 months since that happened. I guess i knew that my journey of over 15 years of playing and losing on pokies would be one that would require a hell of a lot of time to undo, and it's certainly proving to be that to this point.

    The best thing i guess is that i really have convinced myself that i should never ever play pokies again. After the first few weeks, it actually got easy, which is a paradox because why did it take 15 years of losing to get to this realisation? I think it was just telling myself constantly when doing the deliveries in the morning, that two hours of time to myself without a car radio (which i still don't have) to make me realise that all what i was doing was just harming me, and totally foolish and illogical.

    I have been in about five times with a friend to watch him play, but have had no urge to put a coin into a machine. I've said this before but in one sense the newer machines that exist now are not games that i even have much interest in, thus the diminishing number of the older machines is all i tend to like to watch. Only one of those five times did my friend win, about $500 once, and another time he had a hot start and was up about $600 after 20 minutes. I asked if he wanted to go, but he stayed around....and lost all of that plus a fair bit more. Nothing much changed, and nothing certainly looks any different to when i did play. Part of me likes to think about the old times of going to the casino in particular, for the excitement and sort of anticipation factor but the stark reality of thinking of all those $50 and $100 notes disappearing into the note feeder never to come back is a sobering thought.

    Even now, when i go shopping i may spend $25, or $40, or $15 in the supermarket and think how little time it took to spend that on a useless machine. Paying money to sit at a computer in order to watch it take more of your money. That's the thing that is embedded in my head now, the stupidity of it all. How i just allowed myself to do that for 15 years (on top of 12 years of horse betting) which genuinely has impacted on my life to a terrible degree. I've said this before but holidays, time off, the thought of anything nice to buy like a newer car or anything is simply impossible. I have the debts still over me, in the 11 months i may have simply reduced them by a couple of thousand, but with about $70K left it's a long road to hoe.

    I just have to suck it up, hope for a trickle-down from Melbourne's overblown property markets to start impacting on my regional city to maybe start adding some equity for myself, and just work, work, work. No easy answers, no magic potions. Certainly no gambling, it's what got me here in the first place. It's even been several months since i've even bought a powerball ticket. Time is the only thing that will help, and the 11 months so far probably needs to become at least 5 years before some real tangible results are visible.

    The pain of realising that i spent virtually all of my first 25 years of work on nothing, indeed wasted not only the income but racked up credit card debts etc is immense, and it does affect me. I probably cope by just compressing any dreams or aspirations out of my consciousness, knowing that thinking of anything like that probably only adds to more melancholy feelings. It's the lamentation of the failed gambler, a fate that i hope people who are only in their 20's or 30's can avoid. Don't allow your life to be ruled by this, the sooner you can force yourself to stop, the better it becomes in every aspect.
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    Richard6
    Senior Member
    Posts: 109
    Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:35 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:01 am

    I'm so proud of you that you have been able to stay clean for that long.
    You are right the older machines are going and are being replaced by newer machines that do not pay as much. If I was still gambling I would of missed the old versions of Queen Of The Nile Etc.

    The newer machines have higher jackpots but it is probably more then 1 in a million chances of hitting a jackpot that is only a maximum of $10,000 if it is in a pub.
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    doug
    Senior Member
    Posts: 360
    Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:51 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:07 pm

    great job on 11 months Dave68
    Its nice and very positive to see your good results on here.
    Your post was very honest about gambling and the bad things/feelings associated with it, but you have shown its possible to keep
    moving along and putting it further behind you. Life does continue, maybe not as it could of, but its better than it was, which is a big achievement .
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    Charlotte (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 384
    Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:53 am

    Re: 11 months now

    Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:37 pm

    Congratulations on reaching 11 months without gambling - that's a huge achievement. It seems like there has been a great deal of self-reflection on your part, which is really courageous. It may not be a speedy journey to financial recovery, but it will be a stable one without gambling in your life.

    Best,
    Charlotte
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    Peter
    Junior Member
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:47 am

    Re: 11 months now

    Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:04 pm

    Congratulations Dave
    Keep up the good work that's something to be proud of.
    Peter
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:04 pm

    Well.....12 months has come and gone, April 9th was a year. Guess that should be pretty good to achieve, and i still have that revulsion at my losses over my spectacularly unsuccessful pokie career that i have remained away.

    I still sometimes get feelings of wanting to at least go in and watch, but Youtubing videos of people playing is ample for me at this point. The important part is that i have convinced my brain to accept that i am no good at the machines and that i just cannot play them. It may be an odd way to wean myself off them, but so far it's worked.

    Now, maybe another 4 years and at age 50 by then maybe i will have something tangible to show for it. What it does show is that anyone who has feelings that their gambling is an issue, and they have yet to incur debt or have only small debt....just try and listen to the rational self. I talked myself into it so much it finally worked. Like i have said before, it took 15 years and 70K of debts, but i managed to stop playing pokies. In that year my debt has only reduced slightly, as the hole i am in is huge. Just hoping things improve the longer i remain off them. Thanks for the advice to all who have given it, as these are what our forums require. We're pretty much all in similar boats.
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    Peter
    Junior Member
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:47 am

    Re: 11 months now

    Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:29 am

    You bloody ripper Dave, that's an awesome effort. There is a lot of people on here myself included that will use your achievement as inspiration. So thank you.
    Peter
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    AnnaB (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 363
    Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:15 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:56 pm

    Words don't seem enough but what a huge achievement, 12 months....I agree with Peter it has been trully inspiring to read your genuine and honest posts of what this time has been like. I do think that your situation can't but go from strength to strength the longer you stay away.
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    SW1
    Senior Member
    Posts: 157
    Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:43 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:08 pm

    G'day Dave 68,

    I think it's bloody awesome too that you have achieved 12 months!
    Things will improve as you continue on your path, and I hope you know that the fact that you share your success inspires people like myself who are in the much earlier stages of recovery. We are like minded people, and reading that somebody who has been in that cycle, has broken it for a significant amount of time like your self helps a bloody lot.
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: 11 months now

    Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:47 pm

    Looking back, i posted this in March 2015, now it's Jan 2016 and i remain pokie free. Well at least gambling free, i haven't put a cent into a machine for over 21 months now. But i get my fix just playing the facebook apps, which for me are free, and also replicate to me the sort of feelings i'd get when playing the real machines.

    It's weird in some ways. I am not sure if these were around 15 years ago i'd have just played the app and may have never even started playing pokies. The money i lost on them over the years is fearfully high....indeed with my total gambling career i, as a single person all my life have somehow managed to work for the best part of 30 years (if i include part time after school) and at this point if i do a statement of assets and liabilities i would be at best square. What i have in home equity would be what i have in short-term and credit card debt. I paid a mortgage payment last week and also about 1K on the cards yesterday, but it's like bailing out the Titanic with a teaspoon. The upshot is, all my gambling has managed to do is lose me every cent of discretional income i have earned plus $70K in credit card debts, in over 25 years of full time work and 30 years of working in some form of job.

    That's a pretty bleak result isn't it. And i regularly read others' testimonies and realise that i am not the only one. But i do feel that i took by far the longest to work out that what i was doing was a waste of time and money. How it could have taken so long to see, i have no answer for. I don't know if anyone could gamble longer and not either be bankrupt or worse in this massively long time (i am 47 and basically talking all my adult life). My head spins at why i didn't see, or didn't react sooner to this scourge. The only positive is that it's been pokie-free for over 21 months, and i have no inclination to putting a cent into a machine again.

    So i play the facebook apps merrily now, just the heart of vegas one as it has most of the machines i used to play in the past. But now i have that total separation now between playing the app and the desire to put money into a machine, either into a venue or online. My friend who still gambles, although less nowadays, i haven't been into a venue with him now for over 6 months. Even when i did on those 5-6 occasions i'd actually find myself being a bit bored, as he would usually just lose his money. I'd encourage him to maybe go, grab something to eat perhaps with only limited success. But while in there i now feel nothing. Revulsion only for putting a coin or note into those money-suckers.

    But on facebook it's simply free tokens, that you get daily and sometimes with bonuses. You always get pop-ups asking you to buy coins, but i never do. If i run out, i just play another day. But there's something about the machines that does work on your brain because for me i still feel the same playing the freebies. i get excited if i get a feature, i feel frustration when i get a near miss, and i have that 'geez, the balance is dropping and i need a win' feeling when you get onto that familiar scene where you get that inexorable run of losing that empties your balance (or your wallet). But i can now safely separate that from gambling, and for me that's a massive win for me.

    I guess in some ways for me, i am perhaps recreating the only real excitement and buzz in my life. I am very quiet, shy and have always preferred my own company or that of only a few friends. In a way it's helping me spend less too as my expenditure on almost anything bar food, household bills, petrol for my delivery rounds (and of course my mortgage and card repayments) is negligible. Don't buy clothes, i may go to a restaurant once or twice a month, and i drive a 17 y/o car that still hasn't got a repaired radio after it ceased to function in Nov 2013. I think back to the days after i got my package from work in 1999, the sheer thrill and excitement, anticipation of heading up to Crown to play the machines was palpable for me. But the reality is, despite the thrills and excitement, the losses, and the stupidity of coming home having dropped $600 or so was equally stunning. As was, for so long, the inability to see the issue with that.

    The only thing i can say is that for those who gamble, try and see the damage it does. It wastes your time, and your money. And the wages you lose now, and the credit you spend now mortgages your wages and earning capacity in the future. A massive cost, that i am only now in this time of having stopped i realise the sheer enormity of this cost to me. There's also no cure, only work, and head down and suck it up. There's no other way unfortunately having wasted so much time previously. For those struggling to give up, and perhaps might want to check out the apps, if it can replicate the buzz of gambling whilst removing the money aspect it might work too. Because the cost of gambling is like reverse compound interest. It gets higher and more costly the longer you do it, and you waste the most valuable asset you have, your own youth and life.
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