Welcome to our online peer support community - A supportive place for anyone making change in their gambling, as well as concerned friends and family.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally monitored. Free of judgement.

    To join the discussion, sign up today.
    Join us Tuesdays at 8pm - 10pm AEST for Chatty Tuesday.
  • It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    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!
    Co-Star
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:38 am

    It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:50 am

    Hi Everyone, the last 24 hrs I have been scrolling through reading everyone’s stories and can honestly say I have never felt more at home and I don’t know any of you.
    I admire the strength it has taken from all of you to be open and honest with your journey and hope to also inspire further struggling souls that read this,,

    I didn’t realise I had a problem until I found myself going to the club by myself and maxing my daily limit for no apparent reason, I would make the excuse that I was bored, I work long hours and when I come home everyone is sleeping (I also have insomnia that after reading all these post never linked gambling and insomnia together until now 🙄 )
    The pokies would become a disengaging comfort, a mind numbing habit that would sit perfectly in my denial cloud.

    I can back track 20 years and see how this has become such a toxic part of my life, from the first $20 I put in on my 18th birthday to where I am today.
    Me and my partner are about to celebrate our 23 yr anniversary, my challenge is that we both gamble on “date nights” or always end up playing the pokies whenever we go out as the clubs seem to be the only places open when we have time to spend together. I can remember him winning a $18k jackpot this was the beginning of the end as the problems would get significantly worse over the years for both of us (this was 12 yrs ago now) mainly around my husbands habits through them initial years as 5 yr ago he had become redundant and had put the 30k payout in the pokies over a 6 month period, I was aware that we were spending money when we went out but not aware of his gambling while I was at work and the loss of all of the savings.
    This was a challenging time for us but we made it through and cut back on our time spent going out together to the clubs, I stupidly never considered it a addiction but was more thinking I understand trying to win money back and digging yourself a hole especially because he was out of work and bored at home everyday.
    Fast forward to today and I am the one that is finding myself sitting at the club walking that tightrope of razorblades, It’s the same story as most that I have read, chasing the win to gain the losses back, problem is that when sitting there money feels like Monopoly money, it has no value and becomes so easily disposable until you walk out and realise what the reality really is. I have come to loath myself and my habits and can see myself spiral out of control in the past 8 months.
    I have tried to stop unsuccessfully and have been open with my husband about my problem and my triggers, problem is that he thinks it’s easy to “Just stop” and gets upset when I go by myself, stops talking to me out of disappointment, argues what we could of done with that money etc I’m low when I’m on my binge down all cut up and I always say I will get help or will start making the steps to stop but a week later he will take me to the club or acts like it’s ok if we are out together gambling but this is my downfall as I find myself back trying to win our losses 🙉
    I know he has a problem also but I don’t believe he thinks he does as his motto is “just don’t do it” unfortunately for me it’s not that easy, and I can’t say no when he is saying let’s go! I don’t know what to do at this point.
    I seem to pick up addictions quiet effortlessly and have no self control once it takes a hold - from gambling, smoking, caffeine to online games I’m great at picking things up but not at putting them down!

    But this one I want to throw in the Bin and shut the lid!!
    Has anyone got any advise or helpful tips to get me through?

    Looking forward to a long journey gamble free with you all.
    4 x
    Reach for the stars, even if your feet leave the ground you have accomplished something.
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 518
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:01 pm

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:23 am

    Hi @Co-Star

    Welcome to the forums! I'm Calvin, one of the facilitators.
    It can be a real stressful time when we feel stuck in that toxic gambling vortex. Many people find themselves in this pattern of chasing losses, struggling to say no to the habit when it takes hold.
    You're right, it is difficult to just stop. like any other habit, it takes time to break. At times it can feel impossible but it does get easier with time by putting strategies and support in place.
    Managing your urges differently is a start, brainstorming other things you can do instead of gambling, noticing what happens for you physically and mentally when those urges come about.
    There are supports out there to help you along the way, such as self-exclusion, and gambling counselling. This could be great for the long term.


    Anyone have any further advice and support for Co-star at this time?
    2 x
    Co-Star
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:38 am

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:53 am

    Thank you @Calvin (facilitator) for your response.

    it’s day 2 and it is feeling incredibly hard to go about my business as normal, ordinarily I would be fine for a couple of days at least but this time I think my brain is playing tricks on me knowing I’m serious this time and is almost grieving if that makes sense?

    My husband hasn’t spoken to me and won’t answer my calls, I feel like it is making it worse as the added emotional factor coupled with guild and shame are intensified. He has every right to be feeling the way he is and I know I need to be accountable but my emotions are also a major trigger and I can’t explain to him that everything he is feeling towards me I know I’m already feeling it towards myself.

    A vortex is the perfect way of explaining what I feel like right now, I wish I could run away to a place gambling doesn’t exist and live blissfully without temptation!!
    2 x
    Reach for the stars, even if your feet leave the ground you have accomplished something.
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 518
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:01 pm

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:41 pm

    Yes it can be tough. You can only start off small and work your way up from there. So far you have made it to Day 2, which is fantastic.
    Yes that feeling that you compared to grief as is a way of yourself withdrawing from the gambling. Much like if we were to change any habit we have done for so long, it takes time and strategies along the way to help.
    Remember to be kind to yourself throughout this journey, you can't expect to always be positive, you're going to feel negative some days especially when you're at the beginning stages.
    Although you may not have the power to live in a world without gambling, you have the power of choice. The choice whether to give in to that nasty urge and fall back into that toxic vortex or the choice to turn your back on gambling and start living that blissful life you desire most!

    Be patient with yourself. If you find yourself struggling with urges etc, get back on the forums to discuss them, call our helpline to get some support or come through on webchat if that suites you better.
    1 x
    Mona58
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1130
    Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:44 pm

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:59 pm

    Welcome to the forums Co-Star

    Taking up new hobbies is a great way to fill some of the empty time we have when we stop gambling.

    If you don't already... knitting is one challenging activity you could try. A friend of mine recently learnt via YouTube and now every spare moment she'd be knitting to the point she'd forget to have lunch!

    Stay Strong! All the best on your jorrney to 'gamble free living!

    Mona
    1 x
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.~Confucius
    Co-Star
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:38 am

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:46 am

    Thank you @Mona58

    I have been contemplating starting a small business from home that is quite creative so this should keep my hands and mind busy 🤞🏼
    1 x
    Reach for the stars, even if your feet leave the ground you have accomplished something.
    22Jules
    Junior Member
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:24 am

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:46 am

    Hello. I have just joined this site and yours was the first post I read! I just want to say I totally feel for you and your situation.

    It’s a very tough road, especially as gambling has been a part of your life and relationship so long. I am single ( not because of gambling ) I am thinking for you, it will be hard to get on top of this as you said your husband gambles still as well. I’m not trying to be negative but can see this may be a problem.
    I did self exclude myself, ( for 5 years ) is that an option for you though? Even just 1 year to start. Because we all know it’s not as easy as saying ok I won’t go there and gamble anymore!

    For the first time in the longest time I actually had savings not all that much but in the last week I blew it all 😭 I’m sooo upset with myself as I was making progress Although a club I am excluded from doesn’t seem to notice me and let’s me in. 🤷‍♀️ So I have been frequenting there the last few weeks which led to this. I’ve been excluded so far the past 3 years I still have gambled now and then but it definitely has helped tone it down. Until this week.

    I’m so down now, as we all are after we loose our money. 100 steps backwards :(

    I started seeing a counsellor which did help although the cravings and urges can be unbelievable. But if you can stay away it gets easier. I really hope you can work it out. Thanks for sharing your story. XX
    1 x
    Anon222
    Junior Member
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:06 pm

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:48 pm

    I understand what you're going through. Some thing that's have helped me are

    Calling my bank and asking for a gambling and cash ban (can't disable atm use unfortunately)

    Don't carry your bank card on you. So many times I've been on the way home from work and the sudden urge takes over. If you have no access to quick money it helps a lot

    The best thing I've done is cut my bank card up and use the card payment on my phone. It let's me pay wave any purchase but won't allow me to withdraw cash.

    Stay strong
    3 x
    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1854
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:42 am

    Hi and welcome..poker machines are designed to addict..they hijack your brain..
    It is very hard to get off the roller coaster but you can do it.
    You can keep chasing your losses but you will just lose more
    Beating the urge is hard , but you have retrain your brain and how you deal with those urges
    Dont take your cards anywhere with you..get help as there is plenty around.
    Don't go next time your husband suggests it..
    Find something else you enjoy
    Watch Kerching
    Watch,
    I Win, You Lose..both very
    insightful
    You can do this ..you just have to really work at it
    0 x
    Co-Star
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:38 am

    Re: It’s like walking on a tightrope of razor blades

    Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:30 am

    Hi @22jules Thank you for reaching out and sharing, I’m so sorry your going through this tough time 😔it sounds like you have done so well for such a long time & that deserves a lot of credit!! Right now it is just a moment in time and can become a distant memory in your journey.
    I have recently started the 100 day challenge if your interested in doing something similar we could help encourage each other along?

    I am feeling much stronger now after re talking to my husband and explaining to him my struggles & that it’s like if I was a alcoholic, and I was given a bottle but we hope I would only be able to drink it when we are out together - unfortunately addictions are not bias and I need to completely stop not selectively stop as I don’t have the self control I wish I could. he seems to be more understanding and supportive now as I think he can see I’m really struggling and not wanting this in my life at all.
    I don’t think you were being negative at all it is a big hurdle I need to jump over to break apart of the cycle that has contributed to me getting myself here and I needed advice, thank you for your understanding :);

    I hope your feeling a bit better today.
    0 x
    Reach for the stars, even if your feet leave the ground you have accomplished something.

    Return to “Change Makers”