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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 5:53 am

    RE: Starting out again

    Wed May 21, 2014 7:00 am

    Thanks Noah, I had to go online to check my balance and it was OUCH so many withdrawals in a row from the RSL and Club and so many charges for using a non bank ATM. Cant wait for another month or so to not see that on my page first thing.

    I haven't done too much damage to my finances but I need all the money I have at the moment so gambling is not an option (hope I can get that through my head. I went to the doctor yesterday as I have been feeling very emotional lately. I wrote down a list of my complaints and said I think it is to do with menopause and I am going to get some tests. OF course when I got home I googled HRT some more and found a lot of my symptoms could be attributed to menopause. So I found a specialist menopause Doc and I will go and see her to hope for a better outcome.

    Feeling anxious anyway about moving into the new house as I have work to do to where I will sleep before I get in. Still don't know the dates the tenants are out. But I need to give myself a good talking to as I have been in these sort of big change situations before and they always turn out ok. So there is no reason this one wont. I am getting a system together for keeping receipts for tax and will do last years return.

    I have a lot on in the next month and a half, I have to fix myplace up move in, go to Sydney for a weeks training than a trip overseas for 10 days with my boys;with lots of prep work prior. All good things I know and I am grateful, just feeling a bit overwhelmed. I might ring up and start the phone counseling again. xx
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    Noah (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 308
    Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:53 pm

    RE: Starting out again

    Wed May 21, 2014 3:56 pm

    Gosh it does sound like there's lots going on! Calling up for counselling sounds like a good plan.... It sounds like some worries are things you need to attend to right away but may be others can be filed away to 'worry' about later.... never hurts to talk it out with a counsellor xx
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    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:53 am

    Re: Starting out again

    Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:56 am

    So here I am again. It was so good yet so disturbing to read through my old posts. Good to know I went 3 months gamble free, yet disturbing so see how many of my patterns are entrenched.
    Today is day 6 of not gambling. Stopped again first day 21st Jan. I tried on 31st Jan and noticed after 5 days feeling very emotional and vague. I realise now my brain needs to get used to not gambling and that gambling masks and medicates my emotions. Had a cry yesterday and felt quite down. I rang my sister as I have isolated myself again and have not been talking with friends.
    I cut up my credit card last weekend as I was sick of going down the road and withdrawing more money to keep playing. My savings card is limited to $100. Money is tight ( so what is new).
    Realised I need to get regular exercise as a part of stress reduction and emotional regulation. Started with an exercise physiologist to help me work out a program. When I was younger I managed to not gamble for a few years at a time. What was different? I had friends who I saw and I exercised, didn't have a stressful job but everyone has stress in their lives.
    What I need to do is sit with the pain of getting to the place of not gambling and don't give in. Trust that the universe will provide me with what I need to get through this time of wrestling with my demons.
    Hope whoever reads this is going well
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    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:53 am

    Re: Starting out again

    Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:48 am

    Got through yesterday without gambling. I know these early days are difficult. Went for a walk yesterday and again this morning. I was a bit miffed that I had reached out to my sister on Sun by phone and been crying and telling her how bad I felt and she didn't even call back to see how I was yesterday. I don't reach out much and would have appreciated her concern. My family are quite disconnected emotionally. Maybe she saw the nice picture I posted on facebook and thought I was ok. I only ever post good things on facebook, that's how I use it. I post encouraging comments and interesting things- not much else. It's like a place to be grateful and connect.
    I was thinking on my walk how similar my pattern is to a year ago. That and the years before are a long time to be in this struggle pace of gambling and trying to stop. Since I am not happy gambling I really need to rip this thing off and keep on going to the otherside, far enough away from gambling that I can get on with my life.
    My son is living with me now and although we never go without, he must be as I am - going with out me being fully happy and the best person I can be - fully engaging in life. Thinking about this gives me more encouragement to make it better- for both of us. Really want to make this a great day 7 so I can get this first week behind me.
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    Keeton
    Senior Member
    Posts: 154
    Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:19 pm

    Re: Starting out again

    Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:41 pm

    I also find that walking gives me time to reflect on things and some peaceful time to let thoughts come and go. It's great that you looked back at the past posts. It allows us to analyse our own lives and put things into perspective. It puts us in third person so we can take a good look at our behaviour.

    Great to hear that you are resisting the urges to gamble. I know it is very difficult but it makes us stronger and above all elses it makes us feel proud and relieved.

    Read all your post and well done for being honest with yourself and sharing your journey.
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    AnnaB (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 363
    Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:15 pm

    Re: Starting out again

    Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:44 pm

    Hi AmandaB,
    How did the rest of the week treat you?
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    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:53 am

    Re: Starting out again

    Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:43 am

    March 6th was the last day I gambled from memory. The week prior I was wrestling with what to do - I had enough.
    I went on a 2 week cruise and a few good things happened. I met a high profile woman who said she had self excluded from clubs because she was taking out $1,000 and blowing it on the pokies. I could relate to that and also thought if she was embarrassed by self excluding why should I think I would have anything to worry about. I only spent one day in the casino on the boat and it was very boring watching the money go straight down with no plays, so decided not to go. There was a casino in our last port and I wasn't going to go but heard someone say they put in $20 and won $400. ( I should know better than to listen to those stories) So of course I ended up there and blew around $800 very quickly.

    I decided to self exclude as an option I had never tried but I needed to be able to get some help to not go to venues. It took more phonecalls than I think I needed but finally got an appointment with a lovely counsellor who agreed to meet me in a park near my work and we got the paperwork signed. I must say that once I had decided to self exclude I wanted it done very quickly. I didn't want to waste any more of my money. I felt like I had contributed enough to the clubs over the years that they could have better systems in place once a gambler reaches out for help. I continued to play after I made the decision as I knew these would be my last plays I had a work training day in a big club of all places and inevitably ended up on the machines. During those last days of playing I met a staff member of a club gambling and she said other staff members had self excluded so it was nothing to be ashamed of. I told a good friend who said she knew a young guy who had won a couple of thousand on the pokies in a win but then was thinking about gambling too much so self excluded. What a brilliant move - he saved himself so much financial and emotional misery.

    So now I am noticing that I am drinking too much and will pull back on that now. I have written a big list of all the things i need to do and have been avoiding. The counselling is great and is not cookie cutter one size fits all, he can see me after work which makes it able to happen.
    If you have been thinking about self excluding Go for it! I am joining a gym and have been in the club with my son for dinner. I didn't get any dirty looks from the staff ( which I was worried about). I feel safe because even if I wanted to I am not allowed to go in a club or pub in my area and a few others that I visit. So far so good- maybe this time.
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    Charlotte (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 384
    Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:53 am

    Re: Starting out again

    Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:26 pm

    Hi Amanda,

    I think self-excluding is a big step - I appreciate that it can bring up lots of feelings, including embarassment and shame. I guess the flipside of it can be that it protects you from more gambling, which will help that embarassment and shame to lessen. I hope this can be the case for you. It sounds like it's helping at the moment and that counselling is as well. great to hear - good on you for being open to these options.

    All the best,
    Charlotte
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    AmandaB
    Member
    Posts: 77
    Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:53 am

    Re: Starting out again

    Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:43 am

    Still no gambling which is good. I missed out on my last counselling session as I had to look after my sick son. I started writing out a list of all the things in life I had been avoiding by going gambling. Quite a big list. A lot of it were doing the adult responsible things and there were a few difficult conversations that need to be had.
    Drinking went way up last week as well. I notice that I might drink to medicate anxiety as I notice that more when not self medicating.
    It's a day at a time but self exclusion helps as I was thinking about gambling yesterday as a way to "escape" but that wasn't an option.
    Oh I am really starting to notice how much "extra" money I have available as it is not bleeding out to the pokies.
    I hope everyone else is going well.
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    AnnaB (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 363
    Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:15 pm

    Re: Starting out again

    Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:50 pm

    Great to hear that you havent gambled. Sounds like you putting in a stellar effort at the moment :D ...taking responsibility and having those difficult conversations takes effort and courage.... Your observation about drinking also sounds important. Can I ask are you doing some nice things for yourself too?
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