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To The One's I Love

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:32 pm
by FamilyFirst
Hello everyone, I'm new to this site but been reading all the stories for a few weeks now. Here's mine.

I have been a compulsive gambler for 17 years. A mate dragged me into a venue one fateful day, not having any money I just watched as he played the pokies for 2 hours or so. He lost and won and lost and eventually walked out a little up and a few beers for us paid for. I was back there on my next payday happily throwing my hard earned money away.

I wasted no time becoming addicted and within months I was blowing all my pay except for rent, car loan repayments, fuel, smokes and little else. I borrowed money off my family paying them back on payday only to borrow back the next day pretty much.
I took out a few small loans through banks only to lose all in binges at the casino that only lasted a few hours sometimes. My parents and i realised I had a problem and to keep everyone happy I attended an GA meeting once but I wasn't ready to stop and kept gambling. The next years were lost in a trance the only thing changing was the amounts I was losing increased as my wage rose and I moved back to the family home to save money..
I met my current partner 6 years ago and we have since had two beautiful boys. My parents and sister warned my partner about my poor "cash handling" habits and the gambling. When she asked me about it I lied and said it was all in the past.
I cut down a fair bit upon meeting her but within 3 months I was at it again.
I barely provided for my family but at the end of the week any spare money was lost at the pub. I would spend the rent money some fortnights and play catch up for the next month, or borrow off my boss and be short on cash the next week. A horrible continuous cycle.
I got caught out twice by my partner after saying I'd quit and I was supposed to be on my last chance or she was going to leave with the boys for good. I'd given her my bank card but still allowed myself $20 or $50 a week keeping the addiction burning.
I took back control of finances in November 2016 and went straight back into my old ways. A big win around Christmas set me up for my worst ever gambling binge. In a 13 day period I lost around 24k in pubs and clubs and nearly lost my family.
My partner found out and I was basically kicked out, after a week I was given the choice to either stop for good or lose my family and I was so close to making the wrong decision.
I truly want to quit now and I have never been so determined at something. Its time to live life and love the ones who still love me after all I've dragged them through.
I'm pleased to say that I'm 27 days gamble free.

Thanks All.

Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:34 am
by annnie
Hi & welcome,

Thanks for sharing your real life story with us, shows courage and well into being gamble free for 27 days, a great determined effort ! We all understand where you are at and will support you on your journey. You know what you're gambling with now , the family you love and who loves you so fight like you never have done before.

27 days is a fantastic effort , be careful when dealing with the urges, we are all different and they may hit hard or your want to be with your family will be stronger , fight hard for them , you are worth it and they are worth it. Shift the respect you had for gambling to yourself , your family and your money. retrain the brain and you can do this. No Money = no gambling. protect your money every way you can. The urges don't seem as bad when you don't have access to cash.

Take up all the support offered, sounds like this time you are very ready to stop gambling and join us on Recovery Rd. Don't dwell on the past, accept and acknowledge it has happened, focus on the future and fighting the addiction. Keep posting on good days & on struggle days. If the battle becomes too hard, pick up the phone and call the helpline 1800 858 858 they will help you manage the urges 24/7 until it passes. Some people experience physical and emotional changes, going cold turkey can affect us all differently so take care and look after yourself.

As time goes by it will get easier, you will begin to feel the freedom and enjoy life once again. It is a challenge and worth the fight. Read the posts , they give insight and support in many ways. Work on something new to replace the old habit , sport, activity, hobby etc to help you. The support of family will help keep you on track and know that they can gain insight into your life as it was, through counselling for affected family.

Take one step at a time and focus on other activities to help you, keep your guard up for urges and prepare your battle plan, making a list helps and is part of retraining the brain. list strategies in fighting urges, a financial plan and remind yourself of what is important for you now.

Keep posting , I am falling asleep writing this, so it's time to go.

Take care

Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:26 am
by User 586eee5282d07
Welcome to the forum. 27 days is great so well done. Annie offers great advice so not much to add except stay strong.
Take care and keep posting.


Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:48 am
by Suzy2
Hi and Welcome!

You are ahead of me!! I'm 17 days gamble free and feel the best I have felt in 15 years!!! Yes your beautiful family are worth fighting for so fight hard.
A quite I find helpful:
'If you choose the behaviour then you choose the consequence!'

My God how true this is!!
That inner demon voice will tempt you to just go once more! Just $20!
It will never ever be any different! Gambling will always bring us devastation and misery!!!! Full Stop!
Post here has been the answer for me! It is something I can do immediately! Having to wait to see a counsellor every week for me was too Long and although the helpline was great and still is I am connecting with others here and don't feel alone anymore!!!
Well done and please keep posting!


Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:04 pm
by FamilyFirst
Hello all,
Thanks for the positive thoughts and suggestions. The past few weeks have been so much easier than I had ever imagined mainly due to the fact I have severed my ties with cash.
My partner has taken over all banking etc. I just have to fill my petrol tank up once a week using pay wave and she checks her online statement against the receipt.
Without the access to money the urges I'm getting are just little thoughts which I quickly get over. They are sometimes old memories of certain venues or of the few good days I'd had. My closest friends, family and employers are all aware of my addiction and are all on strict warning not to give me money unless it has been pre arranged by my partner.
Already I'm noticing a change in my personality, I'm not as moody or easily set off as I was in days gone. My partner and family are seeming happier too. I'm no longer "working late" anymore and I'm spending that quality time with them and we are able to afford to do things on weekends now. Two weeks ago we went to a miniature train park, last week it was ten pin bowling and this week a family BBQ outing together. I read a good quote that I have pinned up in the house I like to look at several times a day

"Every dollar lost gambling is another dollar stolen from your family's future"

I am stoked to have had another gamble free weekend. Thanks again for the great support network here, look forward to posting again soon.
28 Days GF

Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:58 am
by annnie

That's great news, so happy for you, sounds like you are on a good path now. Must be such a good feeling to now be involved 100% with your family and carrying around less stress and they would be enjoying having 100% of you to be there for them in so many more ways. No cash is the way to go and will allow you to get back on track for now. Use this time to work on yourself, recharge , and simply enjoy life. Keep your guard up, stay focussed and it can only get better and better.

Take care

Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:38 pm
by Charlotte (facilitator)
Hi there,

welcome to the forum and good on you for taking the steps to get here - it can take a lot of courage and most definitely an awareness that gambling is causing us harm. It sounds like you have made some really big changes in a short amount of time, so that's really terrific. I hope that you are finding the forum a supportive and safe environment to share your journey - it can be a great way of checking in, reminding ourselves of what we're changing and why we're doing it, so keep coming back!

I'm wondering what you've noticed since you've changed your gambling behaviour e.g., change sin relationships, mood, work, and of course finances? It's great to review the positives as a motivator!

All the best,


Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:39 pm
by Charlotte (facilitator)
I also meant to add that if you'd like to speak to someone about your gambling, feel free to call Gambler's Helpline (1800 858 858). This is a 24/7 telephone gambling service that offers supportive counselling and referrals.


Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:01 pm
by User 586eee5282d07
Hi, good to read that things are heading in the right direction for you. It amazes me how quickly you can start to feel a positive change when we stop gambling. Keep up the awesome work.

Re: To The One's I Love

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:06 pm
by FamilyFirst
Hello again everyone,
Thanks for reading still. I'm feeling great tonight as I've reached my second milestone (30 days gamble free) YAY , the first milestone was deciding to end my downward spiral to oblivion.
My lovely partner had made me a little motivational message on a nice piece of card and bought me a six pack of my favorite beverage when I arrived home from work. She won't be able to fully trust me for some time (years) still as you can imagine but we are happier than we have been in a long time.
My mood has always been pretty tospy turvy while overcome by the fog of my addiction at home, work and socially. I'd say if I wasn't employed by family I would have lost my job many years ago as my mood swings can be quite sudden. I would say it definitely happens after a big binge where I'd lost big. In fact on reflection I would say that my gambling has forced me in one way or another to resign from at least 3 of my jobs in the past through depression like symptoms and selling off my equipment/tools and vehicles only to blow money that should have been my stepping stone to a new career or job.
I'm feeling a lot clearer already and I think my partner, kids, friends and employer are starting to see the real me for the first time ever!
My parnter is dealing with our finances now, we sit down on the Friday arvo and pay the bills etc. and this gives me a sense of worth, that even though I have no physical contact with my hard earned cash I can see where its going and this is a great feeling. I was very lucky never to get too deep in debt as my credit score has been bad since the start. I have one debt with the ATO but it won't be long now and that will be gone and I'll reach my third milestone.
Thanks for thinking of me Sandra, Suzy, Annie and Charlotte hope you are all going well,
30 Days GF