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.
  • Success Stories

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

    Re: Success Stories

    Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:27 am

    Scott1 wrote:
    Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:44 pm
    Just dropping in with the quick version - I'm almost two years pokie-free now after they almost ruined me. I received invaluable help from a local organisation (NSW Far North Coast) which helped retrain my brain - it helped me to think differently about pokie machines and gambling in general. I still gamble on occasion, but aside from two large-ish relapses involving roulette and sports betting, I've been very well behaved these past two years. These days, if and when I gamble, I feel like a true recreational gambler as opposed to a compulsive/degenerate one - I'm now throwing $10 on Keno once every few weeks, instead of punting away my paycheck every week on the machines. The biggest difference I notice now is my mentality - I don't give a **** if my $10 yields nothing, nor do I have any compulsion to persevere with my numbers and chase the $10 I've lost - half the time I don't even care enough to check my ticket before leaving! My biggest issue in the past was being unable to quit - even when I was winning. Doesn't matter how strong your addiction is - nobody is born a problem gambler - you learned that behavior, and it can be unlearned too.

    I'm not a high earner, but I managed to repay almost $20k worth of gambling related debt within 15 months, finishing last September. Days one and two of my 100 day challenge I physically broke down into tears upon reflection of what I'd been doing to myself, and the anxiety of facing that mountain of debt was crippling. I started with $25 a week until I'd rebuilt a small savings fund for life expenses, and from there I started repaying larger amounts as I could afford it. I'm proof that it doesn't matter how deep the hole gets - the first step doesn't have to be a big one, just as long as you take it.
    Hey Scott,
    Thanks for posting. Great story of recovery there. And that's the thing some people can live life as a recreational gambler after being a compulsive (degenerate) as you say gambler 😂😂😂😂😂 I laugh because you hit the nail on the head, that's how it feels.

    I don't think I could ever be a recreational gambler apart from a lotto $5 lotto ticket which I don't even class as recreation gambling tbh.

    Also agree we are not born gamblers and we learn the behaviour (that being said I think some people have a greater chance of developing addictions due to genetics, I 100% believe some addiction personality traits are in the Gene's.)

    But yes its unlearning it.
    And that's was so scary about today, the smartphones and kids, we are allowing them (yes I am guilty, but trying to reign it back due to this) and video games are triggering something in the brain, and kids are becoming completely addicted to these devices.

    Well done to you for going so well. Great example of slow and steady will get you there, how you paid off your debt and started saving just $25 a week to start , at the begining it would seem and people would think that's going to take forever to get any savings, it may start slow but the growth will soon follow.
    My hole like yours was pretty deep over a year ago and I saw no way out, but like you say slow and steady gets you there.

    Thank you for your post as I say to others these posts of success make me realize there is a great life after a degenerate gambling addiction, something that sometimes is very hard to imagine when quitting or starting again after lapsing.

    Keep it up, all the best.
    3 x
    dragon007 (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 191
    Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:07 am

    Re: Success Stories

    Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:35 pm

    Hey @Scott1

    Well done, you are showing a lot of insight and control.

    All the best.
    2 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1952
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:49 am

    Well done ..a great story
    1 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 192
    Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:38 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:55 pm

    Hi All,
    been a while since I've visited but pleased to say I'm still not gambling.
    Today I celebrate 3 years since my last poke.
    Life is great once your away from that crap, I rarely think of the things anymore.
    All debt has been removed now and we have been able to go away on holidays several times a year. We have two new cars and money in the bank, none of which would of happened if I'd continued gambling...
    The biggest motivation for me was keeping my family, I desperately wanted to stop. So I stopped! Easy.. Hard at first but once I was a couple months in it became easier and easier. With strict control and access to cash* I was unable to act on my urges anyway.
    It can be overcome people, YOU just have to WANT to stop.

    3 years Gamble Free

    * I still have strict access to money, and provide my wife with receipts for all purchases I make.
    2 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1952
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:54 pm

    Thats fantastic..3 years gamble free..well done and keep enjoying your family..and all the benefits of being gamble free
    1 x
    Posts: 70
    Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:50 am

    Re: Success Stories

    Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:09 pm

    Hi @FamilyFirst

    I'm glad you have come on the forums and told us about your progress and very welldone on your 3rd year gambling free.
    Like you have said, it's hard working and requires a lot of commitment and motivation.

    Keep post,
    your support is very much important here.

    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 6
    Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:02 am

    Re: Success Stories

    Wed May 06, 2020 4:03 pm

    I've tackled some compulsive spending issues I had this year. At the beginning of the year I was in turmoil. I'd been compulsively making purchases on other people's cards (stuff I didn't really want). It was a dumping ground for my anger about things I couldn't change. It was destroying my relationship at home. If things were better financially it wouldn't have been a big issue. We've been struggling for a while now. It took me ages to accept it (arguments over power bills, laundry use, heater, air con, food, even sauces/condiments, freezer space etc). It became emotionally and physically abusive. I couldn't handle my own money and pay my bills etc without going into an emotional tailspin

    I was exasperated by how difficult things had been for me and thought everyone else's lives were better than mine, etc. I had to accept powerlessness over it. The same with always having the best or latest (whatever it is you buy). You can't be everywhere at once. It takes a lot of energy/effort to sustain and a lot of obsessiveness to go broke (and petrol) and have an insufficient income stream. It's indicative that something is awry if you're heavily invested and it erodes your life. Something needs to have dismantled/upset your value system to trigger compulsive spending patterns, so you don't care as much about money. The pros of throwing it away outweigh the cons. It's an impulse driven disorder, common sense flies out the window

    You can't let it control your life or have that kind of monopoly over your emotions. I was secretly really pissed off and upset when I accepted it. I'd talk myself through whatever it is I was doing, grin and bear it. I tried to not verbally attack anyone or lash out. It was creating more problems. I had to accept financial limits and not start conversations about money or compare myself with other people. I grew more confident in my ability to handle money matters on my own, make decisions, trust myself, cope with anything upsetting/uncomfortable I was feeling (e.g. rage) etc. and my confidence just naturally improved. It's tied in with your livelihood and earning potential

    I haven't mentioned anything about money to the people I was arguing with. It's too triggering and I'm nursing myself through a lot of financial trauma and trauma around my autonomy. You don't need anyone else's approval to try something to solve your issue. I think compulsive spending is rooted in having self-worth and validation issues. As soon as someone or something makes you feel worthless I think the urge to spend compulsively and also a mental fixation on what you could buy kicks in. It's an escapist thing. Without it you feel empty and can end up questioning yourself and feeling like there is nothing in your life

    I feel really discombobulated when I have nothing to buy or on my mind. It's a work in progress and it'll be interconnected with a lot of other things in your life, e.g. grief. Having to deal with reality behind the excitement/adrenaline of compulsive spending and the jOuRnEyS it takes you on is really crap. I have really bad days sometimes where I just urge-surf and self-isolate (there's got to be a better solution). I think it's triggered my perfectionism. Like instead of arguing/drama/stealing I think I should have the best solutions/alternatives/ideas at hand, can't waste a cent, deliberating over every purchase, analysing myself to death.. my career development has to be constant- as well as my earning capacity (despite it not showing yet/coming into fruition), etc from deteriorating supports/home life and the emotional fragility of it
    3 x
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Posts: 635
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:01 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:07 pm

    Hello everyone! Been a while since we last heard from members in this section of the forums.
    Just checking in to see how you are all going?

    @How the F did I get here @onemorechance @microwave Hows your journey been since you last posted?
    0 x
    Posts: 35
    Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:00 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:35 am

    Hi there, I am back.

    I had a few slips ups in 2020, but I've gone and got some runs back on the board by staying away from gambling entirely, as well as the behaviours and things that make gambling more tempting. It's then been a few more weeks since then, and while I am vigilant to safe guard myself and my money/ emotions, I feel at this point, I am on top of my addiction, and envisage a life where I never gamble ever again.

    I think there are some fundamental differences this time to the past. I have identified more reasons I do not want to gamble: personally, professionally and for my family; because I genuinely never want to gamble ever again and do not even have hope of being a casual of social gambler; because I have identified ways to better manage and save money, and better manage my taxes; because I have other things better to do in life; because me staying away from gambling might help somebody else stay away from gambling and them staying away helps me stay away as well etc.

    I am honestly proud of people who have stayed away from it for days, months, years and decades. You guys and girls are my heroes and inspirations, and I want to be just like you :-)
    1 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1952
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Success Stories

    Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:36 pm

    Hi JAPAZ
    Well done on getting to where you are today..keep those strategies going and enjoy your life
    1 x

    Return to “Change Makers”