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  • The best advice I can give

    A place for our whole Gambling Help Online community to connect. Includes special forum events, monthly rundowns and a place to chat with forum friends.
    HelpfulBee
    Moderator
    Posts: 79
    Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:15 pm

    The best advice I can give

    Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:21 pm

    There's a lot of us here on this journey together, we're all from different walks of life and have different experiences.

    But we do have one thing in common, and that's wanting to change our gambling habits! What's worked for you could be the very thing that someone else here needs to hear to make the change they want to make.

    So, the floor is yours..

    What's the best advice you can give someone to help them stop gambling?

    Seriously looking forward to getting all of your input on this one... you're the experts!

    - HelpfulBee :cool:

    @JB-nsw @Squeaky @Spartan @Kevcollingwood
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    JB-nsw
    Member
    Posts: 71
    Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:03 pm

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:35 pm

    My best advice at this point:

    Know how far you are willing to go to stop. If you are trying techniques but you find you slip and are gambling, know if you are willing to take further actions. For me, I tried self control to little success, then I came here and that helped but I gambled a few times so I put in self exclusion and so far so good. If this doesn't hold, I need to be prepared to add something else like counselling - but I really hope I don't have to and will work as hard as I can to avoid it.

    Lay your ego to the side a little. Tying to my point above for some illogical reason I thought I should be able to self control, and that its a failure if I get assistance or add external barriers to stop me gambling (e.g. self exclusion, not having control of money, counselling etc). Makes no sense, fearful of getting help and being "weak" but that's how it was. Now I think, what is weak and a fail is letting your ego get in the way of overcoming gambling addiction. Don't get me wrong, im scared of having to take the next step if I gamble again, but if the time ever comes then I will have to put my ego aside and do it.

    Lastly, don't ever "test" how resilient to gambling you think you have become, or that you can have control now to only spend x or stay for x amount of time. Its a trick your mind plays on you in the early stages of recovering.
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    Kevcollingwood
    Member
    Posts: 66
    Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:23 pm

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:37 pm

    @JB-nsw I think you hit the nail on the head, the last line, do not test yourself, having gambled quite heavy for 40+ years, I stop awhile, then test myself, I can go in and just walk around the pokies, see how everyone is going, I can just watch a couple of games of keno or races. Wrong, you might do it once or twice, but I give in and next thing,full on.

    Keep away from all temptation, don’t use “ having a bad day at work “ as an excuse, go for a walk, go on the forum everyday, read others stories, the bad luck and lack of control won’t change because you have been gone a couple of weeks.

    Be truthful with yourself, we are ADDICTS, we are ADDICTED, we have PROBLEMS, anyone reading our feedback, good luck.
    2 x
    AGHS
    Member
    Posts: 61
    Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:43 am

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:47 pm

    The best advice I can give from personal experience is tell those around you that you have a problem. Gambling harm thrives on secrecy, shame, lying, hiding, being sneaky and the list goes on. The day I declared to my family that I had a problem, my secret was out. No more making up excuses as to where I was going, where my money had all gone, why I was angry or depressed all the time, why my family and friends hardly saw me anymore, why wasn't there food in the cupboard or petrol in the car???? I was accountable for my actions finally. This took a huge weight off my shoulders and I felt comfortable enough to share with my family how I was going, they didn't judge me or disown me. They stuck by me. I have been gambling free for many years and it's great, I have MY life back. If you are considering starting on your journey, starting your journey or still going through your journey, this forum, your family, your friends, even your workplace can all support and help you to navigate the path to regaining what is rightfully yours - a gamble free life where YOU are in control.
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    Safari
    Moderator
    Posts: 18
    Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:26 am

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:02 pm

    Hi @AGHS

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You've provided some really helpful insight that will be much appreciated by many :)
    Confiding in family sounds like it made the whole situation a lot easier for you.
    It's also great to hear that you've been gambling free for a number of years :) Keep up the amazing work!
    2 x
    sisco
    Moderator
    Posts: 10
    Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 10:41 am

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:23 pm

    This was such a good question @HelpfulBee - there is so much advice out there it can be so confusing where to start. Narrowing it down to the best advice is a good way to get us thinking.

    @AGHS - I love what you said about sharing your journey with those around you. Sometimes having a gambling problem can make you feel lonely.... sharing it with others not only helps with that, but also helps you stay accountable, like you said. Such good advice.. I am glad you had support around you these last few years... thanks for sharing.

    @JB-nsw and @Kevcollingwood - you both made really good points about not testing yourself. One thing that really stuck out for me is when you mentioned just going inside the venue to check out what's going on.... these are called "permission giving thoughts" and they are really common - like when we say "I will just spend a small amount" or "I will just go in for 5 minutes"... our brains work in mysterious ways and chances are we won't stick to that amount or the 5 minutes because of the effect gambling has on us. It's really important to challenge these thoughts when we have them... just because we think something doesn't mean it's true! Good work both of you - it's great to hear your stories.

    One strategy I love sharing with others is the three d's - delay, distract, decide - which is a common relapse prevention technique. Delay the urge for around 20 minutes, Distract yourself with something else (like a walk or calling a friend or coming on this forum) and then Decide consciously if you want to gamble or not, reminding yourself of the reasons you want to stop. It sounds simple..... but it can be really effective. Does anyone have any experience using a technique like this?
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    User avatar
    JinxyWolf
    Senior Member
    Posts: 375
    Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:51 pm

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:09 pm

    Hi @sisco

    Yeah I had a very similar technique my email councellor put me on to and it helped me so much. I used this each time I got the urge to Gamble. It was called STOP.
    Stop - What you are doing and thinking
    Take a breath - Focus on your breathing
    Observe - What are you thinking and feeling?
    Proceed - Instead of reacting without thought, make a choice on how to respond to the urge to Gamble.

    Extending the time between having the urge to gamble and being able to act on that urge gave me a chance to realize exactly what the real consequences of giving into that urge would be.


    JinxyWolf
    1 x
    the_penguin
    Moderator
    Posts: 48
    Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:16 pm

    Re: The best advice I can give

    Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:01 pm

    Hi @JinxyWolf

    I've never heard the STOP acronym before. I'm usually not the biggest fan of those sorts of things, but I do like that one.
    The bit you wrote at the end there is really a key factor in moving past any sort of addiction, or bad habit; 'Extending the time between having the urge to gamble and being able to act on that urge'.

    It's the space between the urge and the reaction that is so important.

    Great stuff!
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