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Struggling

Posted: Thu May 27, 2021 10:13 pm
by Max Powers
Hi. I’m 41 and have basically been addicted to pokies since I was 17. Lately my addiction has escalated and I find myself distancing from friends and family. I’m having trouble setting any goals and have developed a very negative attitude towards everything. I earn ok money, have nothing to show for it, I’m in debt and barely scrape by each week. I’m single and don’t have any responsibilities and don’t have anything to look forward to each week except playing the pokies.

Re: Struggling

Posted: Thu May 27, 2021 11:21 pm
by loose_thread
Hi and welcome @Max Powers

Okay, so it sounds like pokies have really colonised your field of enjoyment. It might be time to start plowing that field and sowing some different seeds there.

Coming here and posting is a great way to start. You mentioned your gambling has been escalating recently. Is there something that's been going on that has led to this increase?

Best,
loose_thread

Re: Struggling

Posted: Fri May 28, 2021 11:42 am
by Max Powers
@loose_thread nothing that really stands out. I just feel like I’m stuck in a loop where I can’t do anything because I have no money but I have no money because of gambling. Then I look at how much money I owe and do the math of how old I’ll be when I pay it all off and think what’s the point

Re: Struggling

Posted: Fri May 28, 2021 4:59 pm
by AGHS
Hey Max Powers, welcome to the forums. Just by finding and posting on this site shows that you want to reduce the impact gambling is having on you. It sounds like you are in a bit of a rut......have you thought about barring yourself from venues all around you???? It is easy to do, just speak to the gaming staff, they are trained to help you with this. Once you have your barring in place you will find it easier. Can I also suggest that you call the gambling helpline and talk to a counsellor. We often gamble to deal with past experiences that may affect us more than we realise. 1800 858 858. Have you thought of telling people close to you so as there is accountability for yourself also. As the old saying, a problem shared is a problem halved. I was in a similar situation to you...single, didn't care, had nothing to lose. I lost interest in all aspects of my life. I haven't gambled for almost 5 years now. I have repaid all of my money, re-established contact with family and friends, enjoy gardening, walking and other activities. So, as you can see, there is life after gambling. It wasn't easy....but I set small achievable daily goals and worked towards them. The barring was probably one of the best tools to start with as it just removed the temptation and freed my mind up to beat the terrible addiction.

Re: Struggling

Posted: Sat May 29, 2021 8:54 pm
by ryan1019
Yeo stiill tuff as horse racing continues and know slots have stopped due to lockdown. Its an evil circle

Re: Struggling

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 3:23 pm
by Lovely Cat Lady
Hi @maxpowers, welcome to the forums and congratulations on seeking support. It can be daunting at first, but you've done well in coming to the right place for support. :);

@AGHS has summed it all very well and given you some fantastic advice. If you have apps on your phone, you can use Gamban. Many here have found it very useful. Do you think self-exclusion from the venues would be something doable for you? Have you thought of trying out the 100 Day Challenge?

In addition to everything that AGHS has suggested, I recommend you go through the Success Stories for some motivation/inspiration.

Trying to identify what have been your triggers as @loose_thread commented is also a good place to start. If you're not sure of what they have been, then keeping a journal can be a great resource for you.

If you have some time, you might want to watch KaChing Pokie Slot Documentary. Its about one hour, but it might help you understand a bit more how the cycle is working on you.

Please be kind to yourself. Sometimes thinking of the future can be very overwhelming. Best approach is to take it one day at a time. You might also want to get advice from a financial counsellor. You can find one in your state in the ASIC website here.

Hope this helps, and please keep reaching out at anytime. We're here for you.

Re: Struggling

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 6:09 pm
by Max Powers
Thanks @Lovely Cat Lady and @AGHS

I watched the vid you suggested and it gave an excellent insight into my addiction. I have thought of self excluding from venues but there are literally hundreds of places I would have to do it and a lot of those places are where I meet up with my mates which I fear would further isolate me. The funny thing is most of my mates don’t gamble and when I hang out with them I don’t gamble either. I don’t gamble online so the apps aren’t really going to do anything for me but I’ll definitely give the 100 day challenge a go.

I think next step for me will be to get in touch with a financial councillor which I have been avoiding because I’m worried about finding out exactly how much money I owe.

I really appreciate the support here and it’s been good to chat to someone about it as it’s not really something I can go to my family about

Re: Struggling

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 6:33 pm
by Lovely Cat Lady
You're most welcome @maxpowers, that's what we're here for. ;);

I see, you're right. Although it's good to hear your mates are not a gambling trigger/influence for you.

Yes, the 100 Day Challenge is a really good option. Some of our wonderful members are also doing the 100 Day Challenge at the moment. They might want to share some words of advice or encouragement with you: @Anita44, @Menz199, @yep123. :D

The financial counselling can be daunting, but it might also give you some peace of mind afterwards once you have things more clear on how to go about your finances onward.

Yes, understandably this might not be a conversation you want to have with your family. However, we're all here to support you, and in the forums you'll find many other people that can share and understand what you're going through without judgement. So please keep reaching out. :);

Re: Struggling

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 10:06 pm
by Anita44
Hi Max Power how are you doing? I was like a pussy-cat when I admitted the true to my partner. Before that I hate myself that I'm so addicted to pokies until I realise I was loose so much money already, but it's never too late to change, it's will be hard first 2 weeks but it's will get easy as day go by, you not alone here, be kind to yourself , money you can work toward for paid debt, if you not gamble for a few weeks than you will know the difference how much you can afford to spend on food n treat yourself something nice and still able to paid off your debts slowly.