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No more second life.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:59 pm
by Harris101
Hi, I really am new to all of this. Especially seeking help.

Today was the first serious day that I reached out and asked for help. I am 20 years old with a serious gambling problem. I work full time and study full time only to gamble away my hard earned cash just to scrape through to the following week. I have gotten out loans and borrowed money from family just to support this terrible habit. Every time I lost I would always promise myself that that was the last time i would go back, and even when I would 'win' I would say the same little speech as I would catch the bus home. Sometimes feeling anxious and sick in the stomach because I had gambled all my pay instead of paying bills or feeling on cloud nine only to gamble it all back the next day. So today is the day I've pretty much aired out all my dirty laundry. It's hard living a double life where your partner doesn't know just how serious in debt you are and how far gone you've become. Just at 20. It makes me sad and embarrassed as I type this because for once it feels as if it is sinking in. I do have a gambling problem. And I am going to change my life now rather than later. I don't want to look back and regret all the years I have wasted money by gambling it all like I have already done in the past two years.

There will be many lows that I will encounter as you would think going from gambling every week to not gambling at all is definitely going to be a challenge. But I am so lucky to have found a network of people who maybe are on different paths of their journey but they can still offer guidance and support just as I will do the same for them.

Cheers to the first day!

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:50 pm
by JinxyWolf
Hi Harris101,

Congrats on taking a huge step in your journey to become gamble free. I know the task ahead seems daunting and you right it is a challenge and the road ahead will be a rocky one but It's one that leads to a brighter happier future. A future you deserve to have. How great it is to see that you have recognized your addiction at such an early age. I wish I had been so aware at that age but alas we don't dwell on past mistakes here we only strive to accept them and learn from them.

We can all relate to chasing loses but all that come from it is more heartache.

Good luck on your journey and we look forward to helping and supporting you in anyway we can..


Re: No more second life.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:03 pm
by Dave68
G'day Harris101.

It's not a nice feeling knowing you've messed up your finances a bit, but truly at age 20 you've made a great step to already acknowledge gambling as a problem that you plan to overcome. You're still so young, and have plenty of time to come back from this...and changing your outlook at age 20 will rapidly see you get back to what you once were.

Trust me, it's a darn sight better than what i did, which was foolishly gamble all my adult life from age 18 to age 46, and only at total rock bottom and mired in debt did the penny drop for me. So yes, the two years of gambling has been a wasteful time of your life, but when you start to look at money in terms of what it buys...say equating a $20 bet as a counter lunch, a $50 bet as a nice dinner for two, or a $100 bet as a new pair of jeans or something. It's a way to re-educate the brain to recognise that your hard work and toil deserves to see your money spent befitting the effort incurred in earning it.

With me it was pokies, and even thinking of four 50c spins being a carton of milk, or $10 lost being petrol enough to do my delivery round....little things like that can help the brain overcome the lure of gambling. Also, i found getting a bit angry at the machines, or the TAB, or whatever that your money disappeared helped me too. Now i'm 38 months gamble free, but at age 49 the damage 28 years of gambling has inflicted is pretty much permanent, i can never get back the lost money, and especially can never get back for example property prices in the early 90's when places were as little as 20% of their prices now. But that's all gone, i've had to accept that, and you'll have to as well.

But look forward to new positivity, this forum has so many people who have been in the same boat, and overcoming gambling is something that all of us want to do. You can do this, and recognising this at age 20 is a great step forward in your life.

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:47 pm
by Jerry (facilitator)
Congratulations Harris,

Many people take years and years before they can admit that they have a gambling problem. The fact that you have recognized this so young puts you in good stead with quitting. I think you will do great.

Get all the support you can find. Get a counselor, talk to the help line, try self exclusion and share your progress on this forum.

With help, gambling addiction can be conquered.

I look forward to hearing about how your journey goes.

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:29 pm
by Harris101
Thank you all for the wonderful support! It's quite scary to think of how much I have actually gambled instead of saving. It's sad because I just feel as though I take money for granted. I have been in contact with a counsellor and am looking at getting some financial guidance as well. Joining this forum and being on this journey I did promise that I would be honest and true to myself even if I did go back.

So unfortunately I didn't even last three days. It didn't sink in until I left a whole 20 minutes there goes $60. I feel so much disappointment and just anger because two days ago I was strong and then within a split second I've just taken ten steps back. I don't want to feel self pity because I only have myself to blame. It feels so nice just venting and talking to people who have been in the same boat. I know it will get a lot easier but not one second of me even thought about the so called 'promise' I made myself the other day. I'm not worried about the money at this point in time I'm just annoyed that I am finally seeking help and it's just a relapse.

In some ways I do feel I am being tested and I will be tested everyday and unfortunately I failed that test. But it feels nice to just air this huge secret out and talk to people who are on the same journey as I am. Because nobody in my home life knows and I really want to get out of my debt and really seek help and be away from gambling for a couple of months before I tell my partner about this 'second life' I have been living. I just want him to see that I have made changes and am giving it my all to stay away from gambling.

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:07 am
by Jerry (facilitator)
Hi Harris,

You did not fail. You manged 3 days. That's 3 successes.

I think people often look at overcoming gambling wrong. What they expect is that they will decide to stop, and then never gamble again. That is not usually how it works.

How it usually works is that people will have many lapses, but as you progress the lapses get further and further apart, and it slowly becomes easier and easier to get back on track.

You are likely to lapse again, and it is no big deal. Just use each lapse as a learning experience. Each lapse can teach you something, each time you put money into a machine, you can learn about what sorts of activities and strategies you need to put in place to overcome gambling for this particular situation.

So what do you think you could have done differently this time that would have reduced the odds that you would have lapsed? If you could do this week over again, how would you change it?

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:46 pm
by CSLbonny
Hey , was readying your story and sounds exactly like mine, I am 25 working full time earning great money but instead I am putting it all into the pokies. I'll go in and then I'll be leaving feeling terrible as I have just spent way to much and will now be waiting til next pay ....
it's crazy, and It is has only just hit me how much of a problem I have, as it's not only affecting me it's restricting what I can do as I have no money for the rest of the week.

Any ways congrats on starting , I look forward to
Following your journey, along with everyone else. Stay positive 😀

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:47 pm
by Izzi
Hey Harris,

Let me start off by saying you are not a failure. Coming on here and admitting you have an addiction is a brave, I was in denial for four years before I even realised I had an addiction.
Admitting the addiction it is the first step, the second step is taking action. This can be anywhere from confiding in people you trust, taking away quick access to money, self-exclusion from gaming venues and seeing a gambling counsellor.
Now these are all helpful steps, what you choose to do is up to you.

My advice is do what is going to help you the most, mine was limiting my access to money and telling my dad. My urges are strong and I am not always the best in resisting the temptation. However I know if I do not have access to my money, I will stop and think first and then I talk myself out of it and before I know it my brain is on another topic.
When you take action it is like a small switch turns off in your head.

You are still so very young, do not be too hard on yourself, what I would give to be 20 years old again. How you work and study full time is beyond me? I work part time and study part time, the last thing we both need is the stress of gambling, being in debt, having to lie and constantly being broke = mental breakdown.

In short I believe in you and we all stand with you!

Re: No more second life.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:02 pm
by blastoise (facilitator)
Hi Harris,

Thanks for sharing your frustrations and disappointments, but I do commend you for opening up. This forum is amazing fro support and constructive feedback and strategies for the journey you are deciding to take. Just remember that change often won't happen overnight, and as mentioned, there will lapse hurdles and lapses on the journey. What I would suggest is that when there struggles and lapses occur, think about what triggered it (payday, going out, boredom etc), and come on here and write to us. The wealth of information, supportive and experience on here is unbeatable. Have a look at the 100 day challenge too!

Good luck on your journey, and keep us posted :)