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Day 1/2

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:16 pm
by Lookin4Help
As I have posted in the welcome thread, i am a 35 male with approximately a 17 year old problem with gambling, In the past I have blown through entire pay packets, stolen from my mother, and borrowed from friends, just so i could gamble.

Thankfully I am now in a position that I don't need to do those things, however, I now no longer playing actual slot machines and have become addicted to online slot games (stupid i know).

I have admitted to my fiancee that I have been lying for two years, and now need to begin my recovery journey.

Since admitted my problems to my fiancee, I have removed the offending games from my phone, removed the ability to charge to my card from my phone, given my fiancee full access to my financial accounts so that she may check in on my spending habits (We both agreed that having her managemy money was not healthy for me or our relationship) I like knowing she can see what I do now. I have also looked in to my local GA meetings, but I'm unsure if they will be running due to COVID.

I have figured out that I gamble/game when I am bored, so have started thinking about things I can do to get past that trigger

Has anyone got any other tips that may help?

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:37 pm
Welcome to the forums..........what you experienced is normal when it comes to gambling, the stealing, lying...all normal so don't be too hard on yourself. I always thought there was someone else in my brain goading me to do things I would never ever think of doing such as stealing from my daughter to fund my gambling habit, almost like being hypnotised!!!!!!
Anyway, now that you are working to put this behind you I noticed you said one of your triggers is boredom. Not sure where you live but there are so many charitable organisations that would love to have someone like you join as a volunteer. Animal shelters, charitable second hand shops, even helping out your neighbours, picking up rubbish from beaches, walking someone's dog for them and the list goes on and on and on. When you give to another person or society you are also giving yourself a gift of accomplishment, pride and achievement. Especially if you compare your volunteer work to sitting mindlessly at a machine, pressing a button. And all for what...a few catchy jingles and flashing lights while it robs you blind. Good luck and I really hope you manage to find something that fills the gaps. BTY - tell your fiancée she is amazing for sticking by you too........................

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:58 pm
by Damaged_Armour
Big step was giving your fiance control of the money, you're giving your gambling demon a big uppercut right there.
Have a kid, that will keep you busy.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:08 pm
by Lookin4Help
Update day 3

I am managing the urges reasonably well, I am nervously looking forward to the local GA meeting tomorrow night. Whilst I know that there will be little to no judgement, I am still nervous about going.

I have decided to start reading again, and have also started doing a new 10,000 piece puzzle. My thinking behind the puzzle is that it will engage my mind, and also keep my hands busy.

@Damaged_Armour We have discussed children after we are married, but to be honest I wouldn't want to bring a child in to my current demonised lifestyle.

@AGHS Thank you for the support and the suggestions, I will look in to volunteering somewhere to help those less fortunate than myself.

Onwards and upwards.
You don't need to change the world in a day, one step in the right direction is still progress.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:31 pm
by Wenna (facilitator)
Hi @Lookingforhelp ,

I am impressed 10,000 piece puzzle. Just packed up our puzzle which the family did over the holiday break. It was 1,500 and I thought that was a lot. You mentioned reading and puzzles as activities for distraction, let us know if you come up with any others, other people may have some they can share also.


Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:18 pm
by Lookin4Help
@Wenna (facilitator) 10,000 pieces seemed like a good goal to focus on.

Had a couple of moments today when the urges came on... surprise surprise I was bored. I haven’t given in to the demons today.

Stay strong everyone, I’m proud of you all.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:55 am
by Lookin4Help
Day 6

Been feeling a bit lost and hopeless for the past 2 days, haven't given in to the demons, but feeling very ashamed and slightly overwhelmed.

I'm trying to get on with everything else in my life, but struggling to be happy when I know how much damage I have done.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:27 am
Hi ARE doing so well, you are not giving in to your urges. Completely normal for you to feel crap thinking about what you have about changing those thoughts when they come into your head as to what you are actually gaining, there is absolutely NOTHING that can change what has happened in the past, you need to leave the past behind you and live for today and tomorrow. I often used to think the same way you did....I had to overcome these thoughts which were very depressing by dealing with these thoughts. I actually created a virtual vault in my brain and sat down and thought about all the stuff that bothered me and visualised myself throwing it all in the vault and locking it with two locks. Interestingly, when these thoughts pop into my mind, I tell myself automatically that they are in the vault and I don't have to bother about really works. If you want to try it, find a quiet space, you need to visualise yourself throwing these thoughts into the vault and locking it up.
You may also be feeling down because you are not getting a regular dose of dopamine which is the stuff our brain releases when we gamble and the stuff that makes you keep going back. There are many healthy ways to get your dopamine dose, walking, looking at nature, appreciating the small things around you, any form of exercise will release dopamine.
Acknowledge how you're feeling, tell yourself it is normal and that it will pass. Trust me.....there is life after gambling.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:12 pm
by Lookin4Help
@AGHS thanks for the idea mate... I’ll try and give it a go.

So today is day 7.
One whole week without haemorrhaging money. I am quietly proud of myself.

Today I signed up for the F45 45 day challenge. I needed a goal to focus on, and figured that if I could get back in to some level of fitness, then I could get my dopamine fix from sport again.

Re: Day 1/2

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:38 pm
by Lookin4Help
Day 14 ( I think)

I have been going to F45 for training daily, and despite being extremely sore, i am enjoying it.

I have not had any real urges which is nice.

I also started seeing a gambling counsellor which I think will help with my mindset.

If anyone reading this hasn't tried using the counsellors, I would strongly recommend it. Be open, be honest..... You have the whole world to gain.