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  • New Beginnings 2019

    For people making and maintaining change in their gambling. Connect, ask questions, offer advice, and share your story in here. If you are new to the site drop in and say hello!
    New Beginnings 2019
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:23 pm

    New Beginnings 2019

    Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:04 pm

    I've just spent the last couple of hours reading through posts and stories on individuals plight with gambling addiction/s.
    I am visiting this site for the first time, and considering I have had a gambling addiction for the best part of 4 decades, consider this to be somewhat significant.

    Feeling, I need to express myself here, simply to release some inner most thought, but also who knows? It may offer something to others who may read this post.

    So, I guess I start with asking myself, 'what has 4 decades of gambling addiction (poker machines) resulted in?

    My gambling addiction has resulted in financial ruin. I have been engaged professionally in well paid positions, and at the end of the day, nothing to show for it financially. Gambling has returned to me a greater sense of self-loathing, shame, and an absolute sense of self worth. It has stripped me of my dignity, self pride, sense of ambition, the loss of true value in friendships and those who have crossed my path along route, who in their own ways have tried to support and understand my addiction (at least the small amount that I may have leaked out to them about my struggle). I have learned to be very secretive about my double life! On one hand out there in the public arena, being competent, self assured and great at what I do... and on the other hand (the hidden side) being a weak and not so good person, who has compromised self repeatedly in succumbing to the negative pull to repeatedly sit before a poke machine and feed the machine as though it was some animal that hadn't eaten for months. Of course, I have repeatedly said out loud after losing all the money I had (and exhausted daily limits from A.T.M's) what an 'idiot' I am, and how could I waste so much money on the machine, and that I'll never do it again, only to find within 24/48 hours I am back in front of the machine, again feeding it with cash, like it was a last meal.

    Gambling has seen me lie, cheat, make up stories as to 'why' I am in the financial (lack of funds) scenario...
    The self loathing that accompanies in knowing I have not spoken truthfully, eats at my core and simply adds weight to the overriding sense of very low self esteem.

    I have been given lots of chances to redeem myself. Change of city, change of position, and yet find myself back in familiar territory, sitting in some poker machine lounge, in front of the hungry beasts, feeding the machine/s great sums of money.

    Yes, I have had moments where I have won a jackpot of kind... Has there been a thrill in those moments? Fleetingly! I have felt some kind of rush in winning. But thereafter, the winning monies, go back into the machines be it over a day, week or two.
    So at the end of the day, the part of me that in these moments still has some sense of sanity, acknowledges that my gambling addiction has nothing to do with actually winning? It is all about feeding a deeper void within me, which constantly cries out to be reassured.
    That part of me that desperately seeks to be made to feel loved, accepted as I am warts and all, and to feel whole.

    I acknowledge that I gamble to fil a void deep within me, which combines loneliness and a longing to be loved and love in return.
    I have had 3 primary relationships in my life, all of which have ended (with 2 of them being a direct result of my continual addiction to gambling).

    So, where am I now? There must remain at least a flicker of light within me, otherwise I would not be here still living.
    But my spirit is weary, and so very tired of treading the same path, repeatedly re enacting the role of the person who is addicted to gambling, and try and try as they might to break the habit, stand in these moments, still infected with the 'dreaded gambling bug' .

    When I reflect on how this all began, and why did I first started gambling on poker machines? It was motivated through being in a negative relationship with someone, who gave little and demanded much in return. Having had a track record of attracting lame black ducks in my life in terms of personal relationships, I have attracted people into my life, where ultimately I compromise myself to accommodate the other person, only to find the relationship ends, and I again seek solace with the wretched poker machines.

    I guess I am seeking understanding within myself as to why I continually shoot myself in the foot in allowing my life to be controlled with a gambling addiction? To the outside world, I put on the brave face and function to peoples expectations. I remain very tight lipped and guarded about my addiction, for fear of disclosing all to someone and being judged to be less than! As ridiculous as it sounds to the outside world, I am seen as strong, competent and a leader. The inner truth is that I am weak, venerable and desperately crying out silently to understand! I guess if I walked around showing a loss of an arm or leg or being scarred in a way people could relate, then there would be some sense of compassion and/or understanding received from others. But the truth is, I am so very guarded on the outside, not allowing anyone to see the inner turmoil that this addiction has created.

    And so, here on the 29th Dec 2018, I find myself writing some thoughts on the matter on a public blog related to gambling addictions.
    To be honest, I feel a tiny particle of achievement in being open and honest and expressing the above (although t may make no sense to others who may read). I find myself thing about inner strength? and rationalising in these moments, that I should not question my own inner strength, for it has endured far beyond the point of reasonable, in getting me through my darkest moments over these past decades in dealing with the immediacy of financial loss and self worth that my addiction has created. Inner strength has got me through the darkest of times, so surely, the same inner strength can stand in these moments and meet the gambling addiction head on and say NO MORE - ENOUGH NOW! and guide me through the next chapter of my life, and see me free myself from the swamp I habitat I live within, and step by step guide me back onto some meaningful and enriching path towards reclaiming my dignity and self worth, and in turn express this outwardly to others who may benefit in whatever ways from the positive energies I project.

    So.... in summary I approach 2019 as my year of total transformation - To finally free myself of the debilitating energy that addiction (in this case gambling) offers. I prepare myself to meet the 100 day challenge, and more importantly to commit myself to giving it every last drop of energy I possess, towards breaking this dreadful habit. After all, I have nothing to lose, and much to regain. I know my world will be a better place if I can stand in a place up ahead where I am strong again and free of addiction.

    For anyone who has read my missal, thank you for your endurance in reading. I sincerely wish anyone who is freeing themselves from addiction the very best outcome. For me, it is all about looking ahead, and not back (as there is nought I can do to change all that has been, instead putting my energy into believing in myself again, and reclaiming my power) and being able to stand resolute an sat NO! to the gambling voice that has repeatedly resounded in my head, offering false promises of a brighter tomorrow.

    New Beginnings 2019 …

    What am I left with in these moments?
    5 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 19
    Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:04 pm

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:31 pm

    Hey mate what a story hits so close to home with a lot of what you've said, I've only just started the 100 day challenge myself but reading stories like yours lets me know I'm not alone, and we can all help each other, my poison is online sports betting but all paths lead the same way. I truly hope you can beat this addiction as I hope I can. Best of luck and if you need to chat send me a message talking defiantly helps me.
    2 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1933
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:13 am

    Hi and welcome..your post is similar to many on here..accepting and acknowledging a problem us really hard ..you can get off this merrygoround..I too gambled for 18 years and stopped 3 1/2 years ago..best thing I ever did..it was hard..but admitting to a problem and seeking help was harder..determination is the key..poker machines become a habit..we play them because we don't know what else to do..there is a lot if help available and I hope you can beat this demon..going into the new year with a real determination to stop is a great resolution..stay strong.dont think too far ahead and take it one day at a time..dont dwell on what has been but what will be..good luck
    3 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 261
    Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:23 am

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:42 pm

    Hi welcome to the forum. I like you used to feel i was weak and ashamed of being a gambler. It's an addiction that is hard to share with other people. It consumes us totally and it makes it hard to explain it to others.
    When I have tried to explain it to my husband the best way i could tell him was that he didn't matter. Our kids didn't matter.
    How when you are in the grasp of it you don't care that everyone around you suffers.
    I didn't care i was using our hard earned money, or missing outings or catch ups with friends.
    Or that even when you weren't playing them you were thinking about it or dreaming about it.
    How do you even try to get a non gambler to understand that it there is nothing they can do to fix it. Only we can do that.
    I also believe that if a gambler wants to really give up they seek help.
    And here we all are.
    We reach out to others that understand we talk about how some things work for us and some things trigger us.
    Some of us keep going back to it and some stand strong.
    But we are all part of it and we all support someone in their journey, so hopefully you stay along for the ride. :);
    3 x
    dragon007 (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 191
    Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:07 am

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:54 pm

    Hi All

    Thank you for generously and honestly sharing your experiences about gambling, it takes a lot of strength and courage to put your hand up and admit you have a problem and need a hand.

    Sharing your common pain and struggles sometimes gives the group feelings that we are not alone in this journey to be gambling free, and as a group we can lend a hand to each other to beat our challenges.

    I wish everybody all the best for today and everyday and a happy 2019.

    Take Care

    Best Regards

    1 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:39 am

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:17 am

    Thank you for your honesty.

    I read your post, and everything you wrote is everything I should have written in mine.

    Today is the day I have signed up for the 100 day challenge. Admitting my addiction in public is my first step, the next is to tell my family just how bad my addiction was.
    In the meantime, I am resolved to make changes as I cannot continue this path.

    2019 will be a new beginning for me too.

    It is "good" to know that there are others out there feeling like I do, and wanting to change their lives as well, as I am going to
    2 x
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Posts: 625
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:01 pm

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:28 pm

    Hello @New Beginnings 2019
    I'm Calvin, of the facilitators here on GH Online.

    Thankyou so much for sharing your experiences and you are correct in saying that it takes a lot of courage and strength to open up about it on a public space as you don't usually do so.
    You have really grasped and acknowledged the impacts gambling has had on you and your life and also the reasons as to why you gamble. You have demonstrated a tremendous amount of strength in trying to tackle this the gambling for so long and for that I commend you.

    It can feel at times like a never ending battle but it sounds like 2019 has already flipped a switch for you at this present time.
    What I want to ask is, have you ever tried accessing any further support such as gambling counselling/ financial counselling ? Or even self-exclusion where you can ban yourself from the gambling section of a venue ?
    It can be really helpful to get that on going support and we can help provide you with more info on this if you'd like.

    Do you have other activities or hobbies that you enjoy doing that can substitute the gambling ?
    Its important to become aware of your triggers and trigger times, think about the hurt and consequences before you enter a venue. Sometimes when we act on our impulse to gamble we don't allow time for ourselves to reflect, we just act.
    It takes a lot of work and patience but it can be well worth it in the end.

    Good on you again for sharing your experience, I'm sure many other members will appreciate this post, as do i.

    Kind regards,

    1 x
    How the F did I get here
    Senior Member
    Posts: 380
    Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:05 pm

    Re: New Beginnings 2019

    Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:06 am

    I relate to pretty much everything you have wrote. Except of course the well paying job/career 😂😂😂

    The double life, wow yep that one is me all over.
    The fact that this horrible addiction has stripped me of all confidence and self worth! I can't ***** stand myself!
    I also am weak as hell.
    I have lack of control in a few other areas too. Food being one of them, I just loose control, not sure if this has ramped up since trying to kick the pokies.

    As I too feel a void, and I seem to do things that temporarily make me feel good!

    Well here is to new beginnings!! Wishing you much strength this year.
    Let's reclaim our self worth from this horrible nightmare.
    2 x

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