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  • Thoughts?

    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!
    clearthatmind
    Junior Member
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:26 am

    Thoughts?

    Wed May 15, 2019 1:03 pm

    Hi guys, I've had a long history with problem gambling, I started off with greyhounds, then casino gambling (pokies mainly), then sports betting since I was around 18-21. I am now 50. I have had many brief abstinences and two larger in that period. The biggest being 3 years which ended mid last year. I won't get into the nitty-gritty right now but what I will say is that it's taken its toll. Since the 3 year break that ended last year, I have played around with the pokies, you guessed it, I have lost heaps, I have punted on the AFL, you guessed it, lost quite a bit, and have spent heaps on online tattslotto, you guessed it, lost in the hope of winning it all back. The last couple of weeks I have managed to stay away from nearly all forms of gambling. It's been 10 days which I have not gambled at all. In my case, what I found worked for me (in the 3 years) was the hatred of gambling, being content with what I have, and getting involved in something much bigger than myself (Love of God) ( I was a Jehovah's Witness but not anymore). I think it's the key for me. When I think deeply of the spirit of gambling and who and what is behind it, it really helps. I have read quite a few posts on this forum and I know a really good thing is to be busy and find a replacement, however, when I have done this in the past (not including the 3 years of good abstinence when I wasn't white-knuckling it) and then when I finally had some free time or craving time, I would inevitably bust, and bust really badly. What I'm saying here in my experience is that no matter what you find to do to replace your addiction, if you have no foundation or hatred for it and love for something else, you will inevitably relapse, and in my case, I relapse hard.

    I would really like to hear people's thoughts and their own experiences regarding what has worked for them and why. I was going to post this in another sub-post but this is an introduction of sorts as well. I don't mind saying that I used the online counselling the other day and found him really good. What I don't mind revealing either is that I am doing an AOD diploma and really want to get into helping problem gamblers but I have this conundrum of experiencing the same problems. I don't want to go support meetings here in far north Queensland because I'm afraid of compromising a potential career. The same issue is seeing a face-to-face counsellor here as well so using this format is a good option for me.

    I wish all of you a good day.
    1 x
    Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight...Proverbs 3:5, 6
    Realme
    Junior Member
    Posts: 19
    Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:48 am

    Re: Thoughts?

    Wed May 15, 2019 2:21 pm

    Hi friend,
    by the sounds of it, you still have a faith in God which is wonderful to have. I’m Suzy, age 49. My first advice is to pray to Jehovah (God) for guidance. My background is Christian (Seventh Day). Christian’s aren’t perfect & will encounter addictions & problems just as everyone else. My father who is a devoted Christian is also battling a pokie addiction (where I first got it from), so he also teaches me to pray to make me a better person & to stay away from those gambling places. It’s hard, but commitment to not go is a good start.
    I literally feel sick today from going yesterday & seeing some lady win a major while the rest of the people were losing (including me). I hate them so much & yes, developing a hatred for them is a good thing. But we must not envy or get angered so all I can think of is to pray & stay right away from them. Thinking of the awful feeling of walking out empty pocket & how that makes you feel is another good reminder, something I’m working on myself. All the best to you & perhaps you can help me sometime, I need others advice too
    1 x
    clearthatmind
    Junior Member
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:26 am

    Re: Thoughts?

    Wed May 15, 2019 5:04 pm

    Hi Suzy, it’s great to hear from you and your spiritual encouragement. I hope and pray for you and your dad. You’re so right in saying that we are not perfect and that we really need to forgive ourselves, don’t we? People that are battling this addiction can be hard on themselves. I’ve been one them several times in the past.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling sick from the day before. I don’t know about you but it usually takes me a good 2-3 days for my bruised brain to come right after a punting session. I really want those 2-3 days to hurry up so my brain and personality to clear up so to speak. The thing is though, if I’d won in that particular session, I would have this false sense of security and my brain wouldn’t be as bruised but deep in the back of my mind I know it that things would end up badly. At least in the long run.

    One thing that comforts me you know these days is when I think of the strong possibility that if I won all my money back or at least most of it, and even more. I would give it all back. That is frightening and at the same time good because that idea has stopped me before from the dreaded punt.

    I liked when you touched on prayer. I believe it’s very important to pray to Almighty God the father when you get the urges and to guide you and act on your prayers. I’ve found out the hard way over the years that just praying will not help. You have to have real faith that God will help you and bless you by putting in the work. That is real faith in action. Personally, I like to thank him for helping me beat that urge afterwards as well. I and many others I believe prefer to forget that we are not safe to gamble. That has been my problem for a long time.

    Anytime you would like to chat just let me know. Yes, we can help each other. That’s the main reason why I’m on this forum. Take care Suzy
    0 x
    Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight...Proverbs 3:5, 6
    Realme
    Junior Member
    Posts: 19
    Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:48 am

    Re: Thoughts?

    Wed May 15, 2019 7:45 pm

    Hi again dear, i’m very ashamed & shaking as I went again tonight, trying to chase my losses from yesterday & same story as yesterday - I lost everything tonight. I’m pretty much in tears, need to pray for comfort from the Lord almighty to rid me of this terrible painful addiction. You’re right about the brain being bruised, infact, I just bruised it more tonight, had to even take a headache tablet. I’ve decided I’m going to start the 100 day challenge tomorrow and annoint myself of a commitment to do so. I will write to you again tomorrow. I’m going to definitely need a friend of support here. Blessings to you
    1 x
    Keeton
    Senior Member
    Posts: 154
    Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:19 pm

    Re: Thoughts?

    Wed May 15, 2019 10:01 pm

    Hi all,

    I find that self exclusion is a good option, as it gives a barrier to gamble. The harder you make it to gamble the less temptation there is. I myself have excluded from every hotel and club within a 30km radium of where i live, so it's not as easy to do it. I admit at the start i went further to play them, but over time i just couldn't be bothered to drive 40kms to gamble.

    I also find that i was so hard on myself that i was in a constant cycle of self loathing. I wasn't happy with who I was. When I realised that I am actually a great person because I am trying to quit and improve my life, my happiness increased and I felt a lot better.

    Relapses happen, but it's what you do after, that counts.

    Take each day with a stride and be proud of yourself for taking action. We all stuff up.

    There is always next time,

    Take care everyone,

    Keeton
    5 x
    clearthatmind
    Junior Member
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:26 am

    Re: Thoughts?

    Thu May 16, 2019 4:32 pm

    Realme wrote:
    Wed May 15, 2019 7:45 pm
    Hi again dear, i’m very ashamed & shaking as I went again tonight, trying to chase my losses from yesterday & same story as yesterday - I lost everything tonight. I’m pretty much in tears, need to pray for comfort from the Lord almighty to rid me of this terrible painful addiction. You’re right about the brain being bruised, infact, I just bruised it more tonight, had to even take a headache tablet. I’ve decided I’m going to start the 100 day challenge tomorrow and annoint myself of a commitment to do so. I will write to you again tomorrow. I’m going to definitely need a friend of support here. Blessings to you
    Yeah I feel for you Suzy, I like what Keeton said about self-exclusion. I've excluded myself in two places so far locally in FNQ . The system needs fixing up here. You need to go and do it separately at each punting establishment so the system makes it hard. I was in a state where you only had to see a counsellor/provider once and they would distribute your exclusion to all places in one hit. This was done through the Hotel Association. A good system indeed. I don't know why they don't do it up here. Don't be so hard on yourself Suzy. You'll find a way to break through. Persist in prayer and work in line with them. That's true faith. Take care
    1 x
    Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight...Proverbs 3:5, 6
    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1662
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Thoughts?

    Thu May 16, 2019 6:24 pm

    If you really want to stop , you will..We all make excuses and we keep going back..unless you make that decision to stop.
    No it isn't easy..what is easy is making excuses
    Be determined and you can do it but you have to really want to and that's the inner battle
    But I wish you well in your endeavour and hope you can stay away
    2 x
    Realme
    Junior Member
    Posts: 19
    Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:48 am

    Re: Thoughts?

    Fri May 17, 2019 1:03 pm

    Hi friend, day 2 for me. I tried writing here yesterday but the page was not loading for some reason. I’m feeling somewhat better today, I probably need a few more days to heal more from my past recent ordeal. I made a commitment this time to stay away from those places. I have lost a lot over the last 10 years when it all started for me. I actually started when I was 18, but I had self control & hardly went. Then 10 years ago I started going more, but still had self control. About 7 years ago after I got my first jackpot, that’s where things got out of control & I went regularly ever since. Because i’ve been losing heaps & hardly getting any majors, it got to the point where I made predictions in my last few visits. I would say out before entering the door, “I know i’m going to see someone get a jackpot & I will lose”, and that’s exactly what would happen. It was just tearing me apart seeing the smiles on their faces because they felt they had victory after their major & meanwhile I was in agony & depression, crying with my head down. So 2 days ago I said “I never want to feel like a loser again, i’m never going to be a filler for those machines again, the machines can all go to hell” Also, all those people that think they have smiles & victory, i’m sure their pain will come too. I know because I was there - I thought I had victory of wins in the beginning, but after that, it was a painful tormented journey, one I never want to go back on. I can only pray for all those people that are battling too, it’s the worse feeling. So i’m letting this be a constant reminder to myself, next time i’m out & about (maybe today as have an errand I have to do), i’m going to repeat that i’m not a loser anymore & claim my inner peace back, the real me.
    I hope you are doing well & let’s continue to encourage one another.
    3 x
    Andy
    Junior Member
    Posts: 19
    Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:13 pm

    Re: Thoughts?

    Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:45 pm

    pamela wrote:
    Thu May 16, 2019 6:24 pm
    If you really want to stop , you will..We all make excuses and we keep going back..unless you make that decision to stop.
    So true!

    It’s easy to blame, make excuses. Ultimately it’s a decision.
    0 x
    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1662
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Thoughts?

    Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:59 am

    Exactly..we make the choice and suffer the consequences..but we can change the choice we make..everything is possible
    2 x

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