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  • A fresh start

    Chart your progress in working to overcome your gambling concerns and your ongoing recovery. Inspire others & take us all on your road to recovery!
    Paul
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:01 am

    A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 9:19 pm

    Hi everyone
    I'm Paul ,mid 40s and have been gambling for over 30 years. I estimate that during that time I have lost well in excess of half a million. I have joined up to try to share thoughts and ideas with others with a view to stop gambling. I am married with kids so i have more than money to lose. I hope the help and support on this site will inspire me to kick this habit that has blighted all of my adult life. This is the first time I have reached out for help and I am well aware that there is no miracle cure but I hope that these forums and their user's can help me on the road to recovery. I think that I have finally accepted that what is lost is lost so my goal now is to break the cycle.
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 9:55 pm

    G'day Paul. Aside from being single with no kids, i probably come close to your situation in terms of being 48 and having gambled for 28 years from '86 until 2014, and as far as what i have lost in that time, it would have to be at least 300K easily given i have worked full time for about 80% of that time and have nothing but debt to show for it.

    I stopped in April 2014, but i still have difficulty working out how i managed to not see the damage gambling was causing me for so long. This forum has helped me greatly, because i reckon only true inveterate gamblers really know what it's like, and paradoxically whilst drug addiction seems to have a significant minority that supports it and wants to throw a heap of money at it to cure it, gambling by an large to the mainstream is seen as a fools problem, something that has little public sympathy and thus it's often up to us, with our own experiences to try and help each other firstly to stop and then try to rebuild our lives and financial situation.
    '
    You may well have the same feelings i do, thinking how much time we have lost basically by gambling, and spending our hard-earned money on a fleeting chance to try to get ahead, when all the time it's been actually making us dig a hole for ourselves. I managed to stop partly due to simply telling myself when i was doing my delivery rounds, my car radio didn't work so i had two hours between 4 and 6 am to do my deliveries, and at that time of the morning the fog of gambling the night before would lift, and the rationalisation of why i should stop it became clear.

    A bloke who was on here when i started, but hasn't been on here for a long time, Phoenix used a little tool where he'd work out what he had lost over a year, and then divide that by 365, to arrive at a figure per day that you'd 'save' by not gambling. If i had lost $20 a day, since 9/4/14 when i stopped that figure now would be around the $15000 mark, which is a reasonable sum to know you haven't lost. If one dropped say $300 a week, it would be over $40 a day, and so on. That can help kind of give a bit of positive reinforcement to know that you are progressing, it helps defray the thought in your head as a gambler that 'i have to get on' or ' i have to follow this' lest you win. The sad reality for all of us on here is that we didn't win, we almost always lost, and over the long time some of us have gambled we have put our lives and that of family for some in great difficulty.

    Had i never gambled and simply was normal with my money, i may well have bought a house in the 90's for the $50-$80K that it would most likely have cost. I managed to get a mortgage for a place with the then massive FHBG of over $36K, but on a house that cost $260K in 2010. Alas, it's probably worth little more than that now. The pain of knowing now what i forsook by simply wasting money in the 90's and 00's still rankles dearly with me. I know it's gone and can never be replaced, but the pain for me of knowing that will probably never subside. With your family Paul you have extra reasons to try to give it up, and just now having the courage and clear-headedness to know gambling's been such a costly experience for you is a big first step. Rest assured all of us on here know what it's like and how hard it is to stop. But stop we must, particularly my vice pokies, as there's no safe pokie play on money machines. They take it all, and spit you out. Good luck with your journey to freedom from this curse of gambling, we'll all be here to help.
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    Paul
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:01 am

    Re: A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 10:44 pm

    Thanks Dave.
    When you think about what you've lost in financial terms its totally devastating. I used to enjoy having a bet on the horses but soon it became an obsession trying to chase what I'd lost. Even when I won a few grand it only served to get me to increase my stakes to get the whole lot back ! I like the idea of keeping track of what you haven't spent. Maybe even open an account and deposit a portion of my weekly stake money in it. It would be fantastic to look in a years time a see a few grand sitting there. Im not only driven by the financial aspect of this, its also the continuous lying I need to escape. Although one is caused by the other of course. Thanks again for your kind words of encouragement and I hope to keep in touch over the coming weeks , months and hopefully years.
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    Jo-Anne
    Senior Member
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:40 pm

    Re: A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 10:46 pm

    Hi Paul....I don't have too much to add atm after Dave's very inspiring words.

    Welcome to the forum...Stick with us...

    I have been battling this addiction for 19 years on and off. I have never felt so determined to stop gambling and today is 93 days since my last bet. You can do it too. Keep posting on the forum as the support is fantastic.

    Stay strong Paul....Keep telling yourself One day more.....
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    Paul
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:01 am

    Re: A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 10:58 pm

    Thanks Jo Anne
    I really do intend to stick with it. Tomorrow is my first real test, Pay day! My usual routine is that most of the bills go out automatically and then the chase begins with what's left! I'm normally broke after two days and have to beg and borrow for another twelve days until the cycle repeats itself again! It would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: A fresh start

    Wed May 04, 2016 11:30 pm

    Cheers Paul. Our journeys really are one that doesn't end in one sense, as most of us really cannot go back to gambling at all, as in most of our cases it probably went from a bit of a dabble to something that controlled our lives. I started with just 50c quinellas in '86, but would escalate to $50-$70 bets in the 90's on horses...and it was not unusual to drop over $500 or more on a day. And the pokies after that were even more onerous, i had a couple of wins of over $1000 early on at Crown but generally would go in, and just put in $50 note after $50 note...an amazing thing to do when in real life you;d go to the supermarket, petrol station or clothes shop and try to skimp as much as you can. Gambling seems to just make our brain totally forget about the value of money, alas only after leaving a venue with an empty wallet does that fog lift and once again you realise to our horror what that session has done to us.

    But here the fog lifts, and we all just have to cross off the ledger insofar as what we have already lost. But if you can do that deposit of your stakemoney into a savings account that sounds like an excellent idea. It'll be a boost to see actual money in your name again, it'll be a great reward and a sign of affirmation of your new beginning. Alas for me, i have racked up close to $70K in debts, and have the mortgage so i can only just chip away at these, which will take a long time. But the only positive here is at least it's reducing slowly and no longer rising like it did over my long and fruitless gambling career.
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    Paul
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:01 am

    Re: A fresh start

    Thu May 05, 2016 2:21 am

    I too am still heavily in debt about 30k to the bank and 140k mortgage but am keeping up with repayment as they go out of my account on payday automatically. If they didn't I'd be in an even worse mess.I suppose I'm lucky that I have a good job but to tell the truth my family get the bare minimum reward from it. That's the selfish aspect of being a gambler. My priority is to have stake money rather than spend it on the kids. Its disgusting when you think about it. Tomorrow will tell the tale.
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    Jo-Anne
    Senior Member
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:40 pm

    Re: A fresh start

    Sat May 07, 2016 1:01 am

    Hi Paul...It is fantastic that you have kept your loan repayment up to date. I hope you have had a good day today and have succeeded with your goal of no gambling. Racking up the days, then weeks not gambling, watching your savings grow, and improving relations with family is so rewarding. It is never too late..stay strong....
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    Miette (facilitator)
    Member
    Posts: 59
    Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:11 am

    Re: A fresh start

    Tue May 10, 2016 4:28 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the forum Paul - it is a great step to reach out and share your journey with others. It is not easy - good on you. How has the last week been for you? Have you been able to put some strategies into place this week? Just so you are aware, there are so many options for support out there - have you considered engaging in professional support?
    It is great to see the support from others on the forum - thank you for sharing your stories also.
    It can be helpful and motivating to see a savings account increasing. Are there other strategies people have found helpful?
    Take care,
    Miette
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