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  • Starting out again

    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!
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:05 am

    I have been asking myself WHY, when I have no conscious thoughts of gambling, how is it that I can end up there so quickly. I don't think that I am there to win but it is more of an escape thing for me. I have a desire to understand in order to help me beat it.

    Gambling is definitely impulsive behaviour for me. I came across this

    Five behavioural stages characterize impulsivity: an impulse, growing tension, pleasure on acting, relief from the urge and finally guilt (which may or may not arise).

    When I think about it I have been incredibly anxious all week. I am finding work very stressful at the moment so maybe it is stress relief I am seeking. That would be a mistaken belief as when I play my heart beats incredibly fast at times and it's not relaxing. Really don't know the answer

    0 x
    Kim9
    Member
    Posts: 47
    Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:03 pm

    RE: Starting out again

    Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:38 pm

    Hi Amanda,sorry to hear about what a hard time you have been having. What you describe is something myself and most other people here can relate to. I know the manic behaviour where your heart is racing and you start feeling like a mad person going from atm to machine knowing that it must be obvious to those around/staff that you are an addict. As far as the impulsive action to go to the venue when you didn't plan to (apologies if I've already recommended this to you) but in Gabriela Byrne's book "Help Yourself Program" she has some good tactics about removing visualising that voice as a gambling bug. You think the bug is YOU but it isn't it is separate to you, it knows your language and knows how to taunt you but you can talk back to it. Give it a face and tell it to F@$# Off!! Tell it all the reasons why what it is saying is untrue eg "No I can't just go in and spend my $160 because I know it never stops there with me. I know I can't walk away even if I win because I am only going there to get some sort of high that can only end in a crushing low. I remember the last time I lost money and how low and disappointed in myself I felt". At first it feels a bit crazy but if you can get the book (I got it from the library and then rang and ordered my own copy) it might help you to see how the practise works (it's NLP - neuro-linguistic programming - I think).Take care my friend,stay strong.
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:40 pm

    Thanks for the support Kim, I have studied NLP before, but not read that book. I rang the helpline this morning and am going to have some regular weekly gambling counselling sessions. I felt relieved after that call. Just went for lunch with a lovely group of people and feeling better this afternoon.
    One day at a time x
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:49 am

    Well I am certainly maintaining my being social, which helps as work is stressful. Went to the movies after work Tues, Wed started a drumming class, Thurs and Fri I am going to shows and Saturday 2 different gatherings and maybe a drumming thingy on Sunday. Drumming cost $200 and I might upgrade so I can do 2 classes in a row. So much fun, even though I get the beat mixed up at times. I could feel the stress from the work day vibrate away.

    I also noticed almost a meditative feel to it. We had to focus on counting, no room for other thoughts at all. Then it reminded me of what I do when gambling, I count the pushes of the button, which I find enjoyable as it focuses me. I could be onto something here.

    Bought myself some new clothes from Kmart to spruce up the wardrobe. I didn't want to punish myself for gambling the other day as I already felt bad. Tonight I will get a haircut and maybe even a massage.

    Went into the bank and unlinked my credit card and offset account, what a relief. I never want to have full access to my pay again.

    We have a new housemate at home who spoke up about the other messy housemate to me and we wrote a note to clean up after yourself. It gave me courage to speak to the woman who owns it and things have definitely been cleaner which makes it more pleasant, also got the fridge sorted out and we all have our own shelves now so I can see my food and no one is nicking it.

    These are just small things but they eat at me. I was accepting that it wasn't good and hoping to move out as soon as I can. Made me realise how difficult I find a potential personal confrontation with someone who I know. I have no problems complaining to organisations but this one on one stuff is tough. May have to keep practicing.

    On reflection I just move away from conflict and drama as I find it distressing. Maybe pokies is one way I move away to escape.

    Ok that is enough of the deep and meaningfuls for now, I am hoping to learn more about myself and why I might keep going back to gamble and try to change that.
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:09 am

    Not gambling since the 16th Feb, so far so good, 9 days counting today. I started my counselling yesterday by phone. I was worried about anonymity and am feeling comfortable that will be safe now as I can do it by phone and the counsellor does not live in NSW. Did the questionnaire and guess what I am addicted to gambling.One of the things I was telling myself was I don't hurt anyone, I use my own money. As I reflect I have hurt myself emotionally and financially from gambling. Probably socially as well as I have not been actively social before and just went to the pokies when I needed to get out and feel social.

    I am an impulsive person and we have had a discussion on spontaneity vs impulsivity. I will need to think about this some more and maybe change my language to spontaneous.

    We also spoke about me being anxious and what I was doing to help that, drumming is good as it phyical stuff that moves the stress chemicals out of the body.

    Drank more than I have been, this weekend, I wonder if there is a correlation between the drinking and gambling, I feel remorse and guilt and a bad person after doing both. I might as well throw smoking in there as well as I have started that again.

    Socialising is going well and I had a new friend over yesterday and we hung out chatting for a few hours. It was good to be able to do that.

    Happy Monday people
    0 x
    User avatar
    Noah (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 308
    Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:53 pm

    RE: Starting out again

    Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:30 pm

    Hey Amanda,

    Happy Tuesday

    Sounds like you are in such a reflective space and working so hard to actively make changes. Just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed reading your posts and that I am cheering you on from the sidelines!!!

    Noah
    0 x
    Kim9
    Member
    Posts: 47
    Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:03 pm

    RE: Starting out again

    Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:58 am

    HI Amanda, just wanted to touch base, I am not online here all that regularly but am really pleased to hear how well you are doing, making the new social connections is great. I know when I was gambling I didn't enjoy my social life as much cos my mind was always on
    "when can I leave and go to the pokies" when you don't have that distraction you can enjoy the company with a clear conscience and be really present with your friends. I think it's two weeks now since I last gambled and I am feeling much stronger, I've returned to seeing a counsellor at gamblers help and it feels like a good move. Keep up the great work! Kim xx
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:59 am

    Thanks Noah, I like many others probably gamble when we know it is not good for us and after we have said we don't want to do it anymore. Still not gambling which makes me and the bank balance happy. I saw this idea for a locking handbag at certain times of day and week. Maybe a smart company can work out a chip that we can carry that senses pokie machines and set off a loud alarm that only goes off when you move away from the machines . Now that would be a deterrent
    I would even go as far to have a lockable bracelet that had the chip that a friend held the key for . Does sound a bit like a home detention legband lol.
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:02 am

    Thanks Kim, I think the counselling is going to help. I used to always feel too tired for social connection but with no family in the same state I do need a good support network and that can only be built a conversation at a time.

    Great going on 2 weeks Yay .
    0 x
    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:03 pm

    Yesterday was a mixed bag, my little dog who is about 7 started walking funny with back legs splaying. I checked him for ticks and could find any. Had a night out planned in Sydney and told my housemates to look out for him and if he got worse take him to the vet. I drove off and had to stop and come home. I couldn't get the thought out of my head "what if it is a tick and he dies". I took him to the vet and they kept him in overnight for observation but said it didn't look like a tick.

    Today I picked him up and even though he was happy to see me he his still having trouble with walking. I am giving him some anti inflammatories and will take him back later this week to see if he improves with that as it could be arthritis, also could be his hips and a few other things the vet mentioned. Probably get some blood tests on Thursday. He is a loved family member, been there always for me, never complains and is always loving- what more could you ask for. So feeling a bit sad and worried atm.

    Last night I still went out, got a professional makeover for the night out and took some pictures with my phone. Not bad for an old gal. Made me feel good about myself. Cost a bit of money but definitely less than gambling 15 days today and I am hoping to continue as my doggie is costing a bit so no spare moolah.

    Missed my counsellors call today and then couldn't get a hold of her when I rang back as she had probably finished for the day, which was a shame.

    I had the feeling of wanting to cry today but could only get a little out. I find it difficult to just have a cry when I feel like it. It has been like that for a quite a while apart from a time when I had depression and would cry daily. I think it would be helpful if I could let myself go into the sadness a bit more, it's like I hold myself back a bit. I do feel like gambling may be a part of the misplaced emotions picture; a distraction from how I am really feeling. Not sure of how it all fits together yet though..digging digging.

    Hope your day has been good.
    0 x

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