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  • Three years free and it’s all worth it.

    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!
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:30 pm

    Three years free and it’s all worth it.

    Tue Mar 28, 2023 8:09 pm

    Hi all,

    If you’re reading this you were where I was three years ago in the absolute pits of despair and wondering how I got where I am and what an idiot I must be. Well it wasn’t easy but read below if you want to see how I did it!

    Best tips I wish someone had told me:

    -Admit you have a problem and you don’t want to keep living this terrible gambling life.

    -Tell your wife, husband, mum, dad, brother, sister or someone you trust EVERYTHING and I mean everything. The only way it works is with complete honesty. If you said you didn’t get paid from work or you lost your wallet or you borrowed money from Aunt June or a school mum then tell that person. You need to own up to the worst things you have done and boy I did some bad things to get money. By telling someone it stops the gambling from being hidden.

    -You need that trusted person to help you through years YES years of help. You can’t do this alone no matter how strong willed you think you are and that person just needs to be there for you and be compassionate. I always said to my wife that I’m not a bad person but I’ve done bad and embarrassing things and no one is harder on me than myself.

    -Give all your financials over to that trusted person so you can’t access money. Without money you can’t gamble….obvious right?

    -Jump onto all your online gambling companies with your trusted person, go on live chat or call them and tell them you have a gambling problem and want to self exclude forever. They can never add you back once you do that so you can’t get those urges back and do it when you just lost a bet and are angry that’s the best time to quit.

    -Join Gamblers anonymous (GA). I hated this idea and in my affected brain I thought I was better than the people at GA but in time you realise it’s important to hear other people’s stories and see we are all in the same boat of gambling. I only went for ten meetings but I’m glad I went. If you don’t have a trusted person to tell your gambling problems to, well you’ll find plenty at GA who will help you.

    -Understand that you have an addiction and that you have used Gambling as a coping mechanism. This was my major realisation. What I now realise is I used gambling to escape boredom, stress and the big one CHILDHOOD TRAUMA. I guarantee the trauma of some sort even as an adult is the key to your addiction. The reason you go back to gambling is you have stopped your coping mechanism and now there’s this empty hole you need to fill. You need as many friends and family as possible and keep busy. It’s in the moments of boredom or stress we want to gamble. Stopping gambling doesn’t solve your problems and that’s a hard reality. You need to get therapy and how to cope with what has happened in your life and once you can raise your self esteem and deal with the past you can finally rid yourself of gambling. Don’t be fooled and start using food, porn, drugs, alcohol, coffee, sex, you will want to chase another quick pleasure as our brains will chase that dopamine hit. Be super aware of this when you stop gambling.

    -Educate yourself as much as possible about gambling and why we do it and the human brain. I spent hours and hours listening to podcasts about gambling, the human brain, all addictions as they are all related, childhood trauma and so on. The more I learnt the more I realised I was using gambling to cope with life.

    -Turn off social media notifications, delete all games off your phone anything that keeps you on your phone. When I first stopped I would turn my phone off or throw it in my drawer on silent. You need to break your phone habits because I guarantee you have your phone glued to you so you can check the latest horse race, online casino or sports event. Start going out without your phone to break the impulses! It’s so freeing and you are training your brain not to keep looking at your phone.

    Long story short life for me now is amazing and it’s completely possible. If I could go back and tell myself three years ago I had quit and got my life on track I would’ve laughed. I was gambling everyday for 10 years so was completely addicted. Just know it’s a long hard road and it’s not easy. I must’ve cried over thirty times in the first few months coming to the reality of all the people I lied to or hurt. The guilt in the first few months was horrific and I honestly thought I couldn’t go on in my darkest moments and my self esteem was so low, I felt worthless like I was a complete loser. Just don’t dwell on all the money you lost and yes I’m sure it’s a lot but money can be replaced but time can’t. It’s all the time you wasted on gambling and all the moments in life you missed out on that’s the important thing time not money. Start right now and make the change and you can start making life worth living again and don’t dwell on all the bad things you’ve done just move forward and make the right decisions right now. I’m happily married with two kids and I had to mend all those relationships but now my wife says I’m an amazing husband and my kids think I’m a great dad and that’s all that matters in life, the people you care about.

    Good luck and I believe in you!

    4 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 120
    Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:23 pm

    Re: Three years free and it’s all worth it.

    Tue Mar 28, 2023 9:18 pm

    Hi @Rigs ,

    You have a terrific story, well done, 3 years away from gambling must be fantastic, a lot of us only dream of this and here you are living it.
    2 x
    Posts: 512
    Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2022 3:48 pm

    Re: Three years free and it’s all worth it.

    Tue Mar 28, 2023 9:36 pm

    Hi @Rigs,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us here and the amazing tips you wrote. I totally agree with what you have said.

    Accessing a peer support service is a good way to build more motivation and support. Sometimes it can feel very lonely and isolated, and knowing you are not fighting alone is important.

    In fact, there are many reasons that cause people to turn to things like gambling, being able to realize what are the real 'problem' is an important step. Knowing the problem means then you can put support in place to help you with that. And sometimes with this solve, fighting gambling won't be as hard any more.

    And just one question if you could answer would be great, are there any podcast you found helpful and can recommend it to others?
    Thank you again for sharing these amazing things. :o
    2 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:30 pm

    Re: Three years free and it’s all worth it.

    Tue Mar 28, 2023 10:46 pm

    Hi @Pikachu

    These are the ones I found really interesting and helpful for me but I first started out searching ‘gambling addiction’ or ‘addictions’.

    -The after gambling podcast.
    -Not a dollar more: gambling harm podcast.
    -The addicted mind.
    -How my parents raised me.
    -The Joe Rogan experience #1250 - Johann Hari (talks about why people get addicted).

    I also joined up to audible for free and downloaded the audio book below. I found it absolutely fascinating and was super skeptical but go in with an open mind.
    -The easy way to stop gambling by Alan Carr.

    Hope that helps and thanks to both replies and your kind supportive words.

    Loneliness and isolation are another two major causes to gamble, that’s massive as you mentioned.

    ‘The opposite of addiction is connection’
    - Johann Hari
    3 x

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