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  • A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    This forum is designed for you to chart your progress in working to overcome your gambling concerns and your oning recovery. Take us all on your road to recovery!
    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1610
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:19 am

    Hi Kerry how are you doing? Still chasing the challenge?
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    Kerry
    Junior Member
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:53 am

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:51 pm

    I'd love to say I'm doing ok - but the truth is pamela - I'm not!
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1610
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:37 pm

    I am sorry to hear that Kerry but you have to pick yourself up dust yourself off and start chasing that challenge again..it is really hard but hard work pays off ..dont give in ..just keep trying
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    Charlotte (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 384
    Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:53 am

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:41 pm

    Hey Kerry,

    sorry to hear things aren't going well... Remember, change is a process, not an event - so it's a case of two steps forward, one step back sometimes. Important thing is to learn from a slip and try and get back on track again. You can do it!

    Charlotte
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    Kerry
    Junior Member
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:53 am

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:34 pm

    I seriously dont know what is wrong with me. Surely gambling is a conscious decision. You either say "yes" or you say "no" WTF - why cant I just get it through my head - its not for me? Why cant I just say "NO" I suck at it. I spend far more than I expect to spend. I cant stop. I go back time and time again only to learn the same lesson over and over again. Why the hell is this so damn hard?
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1610
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:06 pm

    Kerry I really feel for you and you have to hang on to that feeling of self loathing to help you stop..Remember how you are feeling now? Recall that feeling next time you want to gamble and use that feeling to keep you away.That is what I try and do and it seems to work.I am on day 44 of being pokie free and it has been a struggle but I will not let them get the better of me.Face to face counselling has really helped.if you are able to do that..have faith in yourself Kerry..it can be done
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:18 pm

    Hi Kerry.....it's a long journey out of this hole we put ourselves in, and it's probably never going to be anything but a really hard challenge. Pamela made an interesting point, one which i have had to use myself, it is the self-loathing of what gambling does to me, and what it's created for me instead of what maybe could have been. I may have a bit of a unique set of circumstances for that to manifest itself, my 'self-therapy' i call it, as i've said before, my morning delivery job means i have two hours of thinking time. My car has no radio (probably i'm the only one who would not get around to replacing it), but i just do the deliveries, but always at some stage, especially when delivering to the two venues on my round i keep reminding myself why i had to stop.

    I keep saying, if i had been smart and bought a place in the 90's for under 50K (as in parts of Geelong you could back then) i'd be wealthy. I'd just about own it, have no mortgage, and some assets behind me. Instead, gambling has left me to accumulate $70 of debts, in addition to a modern mortgage of 200K, and it's a constant reminder that it's the gambling that has done this to me. I stopped almost 18 months ago, but the damage it's done is manifest and probably almost unfixable. I'll have to work for 20 more years at least, whereas a normal person of age 47 probably has heaps of equity and can start to enjoy doing things with their life. The sense of shame i have upon myself for stuffing up so bad is never far from me, and i guess the only positive is that it's a powerful feeling which has been able to make losing money on pokies something that reviles me.

    I can't really do much else. In my case though it's only me that i have affected, being single and also it just means it's my mess alone to repair. I am just amazed now, why it took so long to recognise why i just kept doing it, as you say when you say you suck at pokies, i absolutely suck at it. Hopeless....i would be in there and just sit there like a zombie, putting in money while all the time getting more and more angry as fellow players would invariably be getting features and payouts. I would think about that when doing the deliveries.....WHY am i voluntarily going in, to waste my hard earned money.....bloody hell i wake up just after 3am daily to to the deliveries after all! and just sit there and accept it? Why do i spend so much time and money on these machines, and then decry my lack of luck. I think back to what makes me go there. It's not like i am chained there, or am levitated to a venue. No, i do it myself. I had to keep badgering this point to myself...and slowly it did hit me.

    I think though that in all our journeys, different methods will work for different people. In my case, i am rather a shy, solitary and unsocial type. I never really go out, have almost no occasion to go out socially, and have few close friends. I did do online gambling too for about three years and it was just as bad, promises of some wins but always would lose in the end. I'd go to the venues on my own, or sometimes with my gambling friend who still plays, but we'd tend to play different machines in different areas anyway. We'd both lose...hundreds, and i would wonder, why the hell do i do that for?

    So i'm not sure what i'd do if my social circle was larger, more vibrant and therefore going out was something much more normal for me. I think Kerry your initial ideas which were brilliant, like rationing money in the envelopes and the like really would work for you. To be honest, that idea had worked great for several weeks. It's not the idea that didn't work, it's the ability to recognise and suppress the gambling demon we all have inside us. Maybe try and get angrier at it, really have a hard look at what it's done and what it is doing to you, and try and impress upon your self-conscious to just reject it and not allow it to dictate things to you anymore. Strangely for me i never recognised the need to stop, i tended to tell myself i have to 'be better' at playing. But there's no way to get better at gambling on pokies, they always win...well in my case and probably with you, they will always be losing for us. We may see others win around us, but that person will never be us. The only way to win, is to stay off them. And to just try and make yourself determined to never let them beat you again. Not playing them gives you power over the venues. Keep going Kerry, it's just that mindset we have to change, you already recognise it and i am sure you will be able to slay that pokie demon too.
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1610
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:05 am

    Dave 68 I absolutely agree with what you are saying, Once we change our mind set we can look at the poker machines in a completely different light. No-one made me go and play them week in and week out I made a conscious decision to go and lose all my money and now I am making a conscious decision NOT to play.It has been a struggle but I just remember the last time I played (46 days ago) and how horrid and disgusted I felt sitting like a mindless zombie putting coin after coin in a machine that gave me nothing.I just hope I can keep it up but I am having face to face counselling which is helping and this forum inspires me .We can help and support each other.And Dave I am a lot older than you and have nothing to show for all my working years and while a lot of people my age are enjoying themselves I am slogging my guts out for what? It sickens me and that is why it has to stop,,now.lets beat this disease
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1610
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:54 am

    Hey Kerry how have you been going??
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    Kerry
    Junior Member
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:53 am

    Re: A desire to prove this cycle can be broken

    Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:19 pm

    Sometimes it takes something totally unexpected to shake the crap out of you and make you realise what the hell you have done. Not only to yourself but to those you love the most.

    That sudden OMG moment hit me last Friday and I've spent the weekend in tears ever since. I'm dreadfully emotional and will just cry at the drop of a hat.

    I've been quite honest and open here on this forum and everyone has been so extremely supportive however I've felt that you all are achieving your goals and I'm just drowning in mine. Dave your comments are so true. Pamela – your support is uplifting. Everyone else – administrators – thank you.

    I've felt like I am fighting a losing battle - That was until 10am on Friday.

    Let me explain. I am a divorced mother of 3 brilliant children (adults actually) whom I totally adore. All 3 have grown up responsibly. My eldest daughter has a very responsible job however was in a really bad relationship and turned to gambling about 3 years ago as an escape. Like mother – like daughter. Like all of us – she accumulated thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and hit her lowest point when she pawned all her belongings. At the time I realised I had been feeding her addiction as I would take her out on a weekly basis and together we would hit a gaming venue with ferocity. She came to me at her lowest point some 18 months ago explaining the situation she had managed to get herself into. She moved back home – together we self excluded from local venues for 2 years – collected her belongings from the pawn shop and I personally paid out all her debt immediately. She then had an extremely large debt to me which she has successfully paid off over the last 18 months with her final payment being October – in excess of 15k. She is in a new relationship, planning to move out with her new man and is a different person. She tells me she barely gambles anymore and I believe her. So that's kind of a good news story and will be a great news story if she continues down this path.

    Unfortunately that's about where the good news ends.

    My oldest son had a fabulous job – bought his first home at 24 – and was then promoted by the company and asked to move O/S to further his career. Jumping at the opportunity, he sold his home and car (made a small profit) packed up his belongings and moved away. He has been in his job for almost 8 years. That was until last week. He phoned me from O/S and advised he had been called into a disciplinary meeting with his superiors. Explained to me that most of the issues raised were minor however there were a few points where he had concerns. He was way too emotional for this to just be a light slap on the wrist and I feared there was far more he wasn't telling me. You will recall earlier in this forum one of my children had asked for a substantial loan and I advised that I wasn't able to assist on that occasion. Well this is the same child! I have for a long time now been concerned about his finances and asked on many occasion where his money was going and he advised he lives an extravagant lifestyle (which I've accepted) On Thursday I made contact with his GF who asked if I had in fact lent him the money to repair his car as he had stated that I had. Avoiding the question – I contacted my son on Friday and told him it was time to start telling the truth. To me – to his GF and to his employer.

    After initially denying there was any real issue – I received a very distraught call some 4 hours later – a call which devastated me. He advised he was in and has been in one of the worst holes of his 28 years of life. He has gambled away every cent he has ever earned or saved – been absent from work due to the devastation his gambling has caused. Lied to his employer and has now been asked for proof to substantiate those lies. All of which have been as a result of his gambling addiction. He advised he has been lying to me – his siblings – his employer – his GF and his friends for over a year and his gambling problem has sprialled out of control and has caused him total devastation. I could just feel the loss through the phone. He is in another country – is likely to lose his job of 8 years – has not a single cent in the bank – no assets – and feels like he has no life. He is totally broken. Not being able to put my arms around my boy has totally broken me. The weekend has consisted of very emotional phone calls back and forth. First hand – I know how crippling this damn addiction can be. Like me - he feels he has no where to go and no way of getting out of this big black hole of distruction. He is a shattered man right now.

    My youngest child on the other hand – lives a very simple life on a basic wages and would not dream of wasting any of his hard earned dollars gambling. He doesn't have cash to burn and is a relatively good saver. How can 3 children from the same parents be so totally different in their beliefs and values?

    All weekend – I've asked myself – how did I let this happen to two of my children. My daughter I can kind of understand. I created a monster by taking her to gaming venues and gambling together. But my son – we rarely would go out together. Perhaps we talked about wins at the gaming venue. Why? Why have we all had such a problem with gambling? Is it in our genes? What is this? Their father despises gambling and I never really put a single cent into a gaming machine until after we separated 8 years ago. It's not like they grew up with parents who gambled. Yes – they lived a great lifestyle and money worries were really non-existent. Perhaps the problem is – they never really learned to value a dollar.

    I hate gambling and what it has done to me personally – but the devastation it has caused my son today and my daughter in the past is heart breaking. My kids are my world and there is nothing I wouldn't do for them. To see their pain – kills me.

    My aim now is to get my boy back home to Australia and together we will start counselling and GA meetings - something I have been opposed to dealing with for myself. Even if he does by some miracle manage to keep his job - he needs help. Help he won't get O/S. I know how hard it is to take those very first steps. Whatever it takes – my focus has shifted.
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