A Gambler's Life


I don't have much to offer you in words. All I can say is I will add you to my prayers. May God bless you and protect us all.

Akaneat
Gambling recovery is a lifelong process. Even though I live a "normal" life right now, I know I can relapse any day if I was not part of a support system. I come to this site because it's anonymous, no one knows who I'm and I'm free to let it out.

I think you have taken a very important step in admitting you have a problem.

God Bless You.

Honesty.
Hello Lost Soul,

It is a journey that often repeats itself among all of us and mine is a very similar one to yours mate. I have struggled on and off with this addiction(and others) for over 20 years, and in the last 28 months have been able to whip those demons into order. Keeping them at bay you might say. I feel great about this but I also fear at times it draws me closer to failure.A fine line indeed.

I do not use GA, for me I will just say sharing is one thing, but my area was infected with liars there for all the wrong reasons.

I did go to a in house 3 month program in Nov 1999 over the millennium new year. My addiction totally freaked out the addicts of more obvious choice being drugs and alcohol.

They could not comprehend how I could waste all this money, calculating what a months wage would by in dope etc, the drinkers working out how much booze that would by and me saying well how can you put a needle with $$$ worth of crap in your arm, it was very funny at the time but our addiction is very silent, working stealth mostly.

It was here I really learnt about addictions and was taught a whole bunch of new tools to cope with being a gambling addict.These tools are no good left up the back garage or the boot of the car getting dusty though...

I would recommend going to one, with a few things in mind, the right attitude and using that time in a gambling free environment to really work on yourself.

Well the rave on meter just went off so that's it. Welcome again and all the best.

Rob
Hello,

Your name says it all, Lost Soul, U are truly there.. Its so hard to read these stories sometimes, cause I know what it is like to be a lost soul, to be so out of control and feel so dead and empty inside, like you do now.. you honestly already know what you have to do, to stay in recovery, but you have not been honest enough with yourself in accepting that you can NOT gamble at all ever again.. this is the hardest part in working to stay in a recovery program. This addiction will not stop till it takes your life and your very last breath completely away from you.. its your choice.. stopping gambling is a do or die situation. That's the Gods honest truth! Now, i will share with you, my stay at an in house treatment center here where I live.

If you live in the US you can also admit yourself into this same treatment center, but it will cost you, unless you are a resident of La. then you can go for free.. otherwise it will cost you about 150 bucks a day.. well worth the money, when you consider all you have lost and are going to lose in the future if you don't commit yourself to some sort of in-house treatment center.. even with that said, it is still no guarantee you will never gamble again.. below is what I wrote a while back about my stay in Core South, an in-house treatment center here in Louisiana.. I hope and pray, for your sake, your family sake, you will keep working to stop gambling and stay in recovery.. no matter what.. you can NOT give up to gambling..

It's so good to be back home. I will never take my freedom for granted again.

Written by: Audrey J. Nov. 2004 (revised 1/23/05)

hugs, lilaud
Hi lost soul,

First thing, change that ID. Change it to 'soul survivor' or something 'positive soul' would be better. Seeing, or talking of yourself as lost will only suffice for you to 'identify' yourself with that negative. Also get rid of that blue bouncy ball and put this guy there.

I am not a religious man, by any stretch of imagination, but I think Jesus and Buddha ect were great psychologists. So let's deal with the second thing, after changing your nick. "Forgive yourself." All great religions and philosophies and psychologies teach that.

You quote the Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." It is not enough to read it, quote it, or know it... you need to "Understand" it. Go through it slowly... word by word. The word to concentrate on is "Courage" to change the things you CAN. That courage will not come from any God, whatever it was that created us, already gave us that courage... it is for you to find it.

The best book I ever read on self-help was 'Psycho-Cybernetics' by 'Maxwell Maltz'. It is out of print now, but you may find a 'used' copy at Amazon.com If you can find it, buy it. Study it and make it your Bible.

You have to change your 'Self-Image' from what it is, to what you 'want' it to be. Get a picture in your mind of 'what you want to be' and work steadily towards that goal... If you veer off course, don't worry or fret about it. Just get back on course... and work towards your targets. The mind is a 'goal striving mechanism' and will work just as faithfully towards a negative target as it will towards a positive one. Get your desired self image crystal clear in your mind... do not let go of that image... just like a self-seeking missile, it will go off course now and then, gradually going towards the target...

I am in danger of writing a whole self-help book here...

The longest journey starts with a single step... change that nick if you are allowed to.

Rav
Feb. 24th Reflection for the Day

I can banish fear by realizing the truth. Am I afraid to be alone? This fear can be banished by the realization that I am never alone, that God is always with me wherever I am and whatever I do. Am I afraid that I won't have enough money to meet my needs? This fear can be banished by the realization that God is my inexhaustible, unfailing resource, now and always.

Today I have the power to change fear into faith. Can I say with confidence, "I will trust, and I will not be afraid"?

Today I Pray

That I may fear no evil, for God is with me. That I may learn to turn to my Higher Power when I am afraid. I pray diligently that my faith in God-and trust in what God has in store for me-is strong enough to banish the fears that under-mine my courage.

Today I will Remember
Turn fear into faith.

Ga - A Day At A Time
Hi all, I found this site through a search engine and decided to reach out to others like me for help. I'm a compulsive gambler and I'm feeling really down today. I just recently got my tax refund back and while I took care of my bills (brought things current etc.), I feel so sad/depressed that I spent the extra money I had left gambling. In fact, I won back the $900 I spent on gambling only to turn around and give it right back. Then last night with my last $200 in savings, I engaged in Internet gambling because I was unable to physically get to the casino. I ended up turning the $200 into $847 and sat at the computer until I gave it all back thinking I could turn it into something bigger.

Guys I know it's stupid but I feel so much like killing myself or just giving up on everything so much of the time. I notice that I gamble whenever I'm bored or extremely agitated, stressed over finances, etc. The last time I checked I heard that the GAM-ANON group we had here in Tulsa didn't exist anymore.

I know what I should be doing but I'm just not doing it. As old as I am (43) I just want to sit down in the middle of the floor and cry because I feel so angry at myself for being weak, and not able to control myself.

I just need others who've experienced or are experiencing what I'm experiencing to talk with me. I keep telling myself that I'm going to find something to replace this addiction and yet I feel so unmotivated. I don't seem to care about anything. The only reason I keep going is because I love my children who are all grown except for my 17 y/o who's still at home, and the fact that I know I have to get up and work each day if I intend to have a place to live and be able to eat.

Sometimes I just feel like there's no hope for me and that I'll never break free of this curse I've created for myself. Anyone please help me get started in the right direction. I've got soooo many issues, and I feel I try and cover them all up with gambling.

I want to stop hurting those I love and more importantly self-destruction on myself.

Help in Tulsa, OK
Hello, Welcome to a great support forum.. you will find lots of understanding and support here.. Please keep reading and definitely keep posting your thoughts..

Its ok to sit on the floor and cry..get it out, but don't stay there too long.. only you can make this change for yourself.. its a very hard addiction to beat.. please know, I have been where you are so many many times before.. you have to find a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, and go as often as you can, connect here, and if you can locate a counselor who specializes is comp gambling therapy then take advantage of it.. also, put gamblock on your computer so you do not gamble again.. go to www.gamblock.com and they have a program you can purchase, for 30 bucks to stop online gambling.. it works.. Please know that you are not alone.. take it one step at a time, one day at a time.. it will get better.. I wish I could be there to give you a huge hug, but please know I am sending you one now.. (((hugs))) We are all in this together and we can be here for each other.. just don't gamble.. minute by minute if that is what it takes..

Hugs again, lilaud
Thank you lilaud for the hugs...*lol*...they are much needed.

Also, thank you for sharing with me about putting the block on my computer for the Internet gambling, I'll check it out. I'd never heard of this before.

Thanks again for listening and replying with encouragement.

Perhaps through this site I can change my life for the better.

znxm0i
First, let me say you came go a great site. I am relatively new to this site too but when I came I felt the same as you...completely defeated and disgusted with this gambling thing. I've made much progress in the past few weeks. Things are definitely getting better and I'm sure they will for you too if you continue to come here and seek out help wherever you can.

Please allow me to make one suggestion to you...if you have not started heavily playing on-line, stop right now before that becomes an addicted association. I had been playing in casinos for years and had essentially stopped. I began playing on-line a few months ago and that became the biggest problem ever. There was no escape as it was right in your house...you didn't even have to travel to the casino. So, if you can, please do not go back to the on-line site because it will grab ahold of you and it is so hard to break free.

If it has already become a problem, there is a software program that you can get at Gamblock.com that will block all gambling sites for you. If you read my posts you will see that it took some courage for me to finally put it on my computer, but it is a blessing once it's done and it removes the ability for you to pursue on-line gambling.

There is hope and you can break free, but I have found it's not possible to do on my own. There are so many good resources available on-line now to support you and help you get through this. This disease is very sneaky as you must know and the urges will come and try to convince you all is well and you can handle this. This is how it works, but you always find yourself back where you started. Everyone here, I'm sure, has gone through exactly what you are experiencing and each has an approach to share that is uplifting & supportive.

Don't give up...things get better. Just keep reaching out for help and it will be there for you!

Zoe
Hi Tulsa,

Wow... as I was reading your post...it brought the memory of my first post here back in full color. You and I are dealing with the same issues. Empty nest syndrome. Feeling lost and empty we've replaced that emptiness with the casino. Helps to remove us from our pain. It is an escape from this painful reality. I am rather new to this list too. I have found that everyone here is wonderful and easy to talk too. We're all in the same boat without much of a paddle. But there is hope... many of these folks have overcome this addiction and live full and happy lives now.

As for thoughts of suicide... you know even though your kids are grown... they still need you. What about when they start having kids? Are you going to be there to be a grandma? Last Thursday I was sooo depressed I thought I might go right through the floor. But I survived and today I don't feel so bad. So.. as they say take it one minute, one day, one second at a time. Look at your NOW and say... OK... I've still got a roof over my head. I'm still breathing in and out. I've got food in the refrigerator and have just paid all my bills. It helps me to take a NOW evaluation when that long dark tunnel shows up at my front door. I look at my house, my husband, my food, my talents and abilities and say... OK.. well right now... I am OK. I will survive. It seems to push back the depression.

and Most of all... keep coming back here, vent, share, and read. I personally don't want to do GA... I find this to be better for me. Talk to ya soon.

Terri
You have come to the right place. There are many great people here who will help you.

There are also people who have hit rock bottom and out of desperation they seek help. They might run into a site like this, stick around for a few days then think their problems have gone away. I used to be one of those people. But now I've realized that I need the support, advice, and just to hear what people are going through. I do not think for one minute that my problems will go away if I ignore them. That's one of the reasons I keep coming here: To face my problems.

Whatever I'm going through or feeling, I get it out. I write it down in a journal or on this forum, let it all out. I do it all the time here and sometimes not everyone agrees with me but I'm here to vent anger and express my feelings. It's like cleaning out my system everyday.
Hi,

I'm new to this recovery also. I am also 42 with kids and a lot of guilt. I have been clean for 12 days and its because I blocked the Internet with gamblock. I know its a band-aid, but hey its a start. A "A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step." You have taken that first step, now pay the $30 and block the Internet gambling sites *(gamblock.com). It will give you power for the first few days at the very least.

This addition is a monster...anytime you think you can beat it, it has beaten you. We all want to help you and we all want you to get strong and help others. This is a way for you to achieve happiness...hang in there!!! We are with you...chime in every time you feel like it!!

Scotty
Welcome znx,

So much of what you write, I identify with. I was there, just over two months ago.Depressed, suicidal, blaming myself for being weak and having no control over it. Lying to cover money gone,lying to cover time spent at the casino. I literally was hopeless of anything stopping me from the destructive path I was on.

I went to GA. I know, not for everyone, but it helped me see that others that had been where I was, could overcome and have "normal" lives.

Things cleared up for me pretty quickly once I abstained from gambling for a while. I really was NOT thinking sanely. I can't stress enough, try try try to refrain from gambling long enough for some sane thoughts to come back to you. Its hard. Really hard, especially at first. Keep coming back here, read what others are going through. You really are NOT alone in this. We CAN get our old selves back, but it takes work.

I am celebrating over 2 months clean, and I will be the first to tell you, I never thought I could do it. I don't know what tomorrow holds for me, but I know that TODAY I will not gamble.

Take care Keep coming back.

Shelley.
Hi there,

I am also a newbie, to this site at least. I am a recovering compulsive gambler and so very much more. I realize that when I say "recovering" that I know there is no way I will ever be cured But recovery means a path of least resistance that allows me to enjoy my passage of life, with a quality that I would never have if I was still in action.

I have 14 months clean, and very grateful that I did not succumb to the temptations over the holidays. I was hit pretty hard one evening that I was visibly shaken and literally cried out to "God" to help me. It is so amazing to me when I realize how close I am to disaster, one bet away. Sooooo much easier dealing with life one day at a time. I started out on this path living one moment at a time.

I never want to forget where I was a year ago. Consumed by the beast, terrified that I no longer had any control over my gambling. There was never a time that I wanted to leave the casino....if I was down, i would chase the losses, if I was up I was hot and on a streak. I was completed distracted, nothing mattered to me, no one no-thing, and all of a huge secret, no one knew. Couldn't tell, especially my precious husband and family, choking on my grief and shame, until it spewed forth and am so glad it did. Behind this was a gigantic EGO, practically insurmountable, but one step at a time I have managed to live a good life,to date.

I have only gone to one GA meeting, but have purchased all the books and find great wisdom and comfort within those pages. But I know if it were not for the compassion of fellow compulsive gamblers I would not have been able to get as far as I have.

So my fellow brothers and sister on the path of recovery, so glad I found this site. Those in pain I pray for appeasement of your pain if for just a moment, so the fog can lift so you may where you are and reach out and grab that rope of hope. Recite the Serenity Prayer, read each line and say it with heart, be open to it if you can, if not, we are here to help. I am Gerty a compulsive gambler.
Your story sounds so much like mine, in the fact that gambling seems to be something I do when I am bored, or feeling lonely, and also the part about no matter how much I seem to win, I just sit there and give it all back.

Just wanted to say I related to everything you said, and I am new here as well.
Hello,

I've been a compulsive gambler for upwards of 17 years now and I'm not even thirty. This is the worst addiction I can imagine. I've lost everything because of it. Relationships, trust, and lots and lots of money are front and center issues that have plagued me all of my life due to gambling. Last night was my absolute rock bottom. I lost my entire paycheck playing poker and stayed up until every penny was lost-until about 3am. I only ran to the poker room after losing 300 dollars online. I was so enraged by the way I lost my compulsive ego went straight for the land based poker room.

In the process, my fiance has called off our wedding and I am crushed to pieces because of it. To be honest though, my entire relationship with her was based on lies all revolved around gambling. Nothing was true or real other than the fact that I would lie to her constantly about where I was and where my money was going. Its amazing she put up with it for so long. Anyway, I'm in a very bad place right now and need major support. I went to rehab two summers ago but started gambling again days after being released. Despite my wealth of education, gambling has always outwitted my supposed smarts and left me with nothing. I want to get better-please help if you have been through this before. Thank you.

DW
Hi the DW. Man I really feel for you,I was in your very shoes at your age. I did go ahead and get married and still I lost it all. As outrageous as it sounds this is a good thing for you.The marriage would NOT have lasted a year in the state you are in pal.

Congratulations for finding your way here.I know the low of lowest feelings you have right now, they will not last forever but should be a reminder every day.

My best advice for now is to fess up to everything everywhere.Be honest with people you owe to, etc they will respect the truth as late as it may be. Take stock, a day or so without flogging yourself, that gets us no where but back gambling,all the guilt trips and have a good read through this board.Stuff we were saying 3 weeks ago to someone who walked in having blown it, with 3 weeks up now,Just one day at a time.

The help is here, the support, and the soapbox as well.It is up to you mate

All the best. Rob
I'm really glad you found this place. Support is really crucial even if it is just online for the time being. The fact that you have thought about suicide does not make you stupid. I'm sure most if not all of us have also had suicidal thoughts. It's not easy but I am living proof that there is hope. (see my post it is possible instead of me typing it again here) I think it is such a hard addiction to break because there is no chemical that we can be detoxed from like with drugs or alcohol. It is a natural high that we get in the brain. One thing that I've found helpful is doing other things to get that high (i.e. bungie jumping, sky diving, roller coasters, etc) I'm not saying that I've done all of these but they are just suggestions to help get that rush that comes from gambling without going out again.

Marcia
Greetings dear brothers and sisters, I am Gerty and I am a compulsive gambler in recovery. LDG (Last Date Gambled) January 14,2004. A very long trail left behind, with a few breadcrumbs dropped along the way so that maybe someone may find their way as I have.

((((Dan)))), you are travelling at the speed of LIFE and it is all very overwhelming in the present moment. This is a place where we all have began our journey to sanity, you are not unique nor alone, you are a compulsive gambler, it is a disease, it cannot be cured BUT it can be contained. The only one that can do that is YOU.

Imagine that. I know you feel very much out of control, but you are the only one that can say enough is enough, surrender.

That is the very first step of your recovery path. There are the classic "20 Questions" that may help you see that you are a compulsive gambler. The 1'st step in GA is admitting that your life is unmanageable. I think the hardest thing for me initially was to think about never gambling again, ever...that's where one day at a time set in, what a relief it was to just be in the moment.

Dan relief from the compulsion is possible,call anyone, talk to someone,call your local Crisis Intervention,GA office, check website for local numbers. Surrender my friend and feel the awesome release of all that you have beared , just for this moment.

There are hundreds of thousands of souls, that are all going through the same thing as I type, we all end up here one time or another. We all have the power to help ourselves, with steps, and honesty, and a little faith in something or someone that is greater than ourselves. Allow yourself to be carried for a bit my dear Brother.

I am new to this board, but I see that there are those here that have more time in recovery than I, perhaps they can assist you in chat?

I have a year in, but am not GA, per se, so do not feel qualified in counseling you. I have all the material from GA and embrace the principles, and know that it works.

So reach out young man, there is hope for you. You have so much to go through, but it is all possible, through one day at a time, and if it has to be one moment at a time, so be it. Talk it out, to all and any who will hear you. Blessing be to you and all those who are suffering. YSIR Gerty
Monday February 21, 2005
02:08 PM EST

Hello ALL, I started as a dealer in the casino business in 1969. Worked my way up and have been a casino manager for the past 12 years. I got fired a week ago.

So, thinking of what to do next at age 60, I thought I would start a web site to help people STOP gambling. In fact I have begun designing the site. While looking for information on the net, I found this site while searching.

THIS IS A GREAT SITE from what I have seen so far. I read this Topic and decided to answer as best I can.

You all know that gambling is a MUGS game. No need to tell you that. No need to answer 20 questions to find out what you are, or whether you are... You already KNOW what you are. Compulsive Gamblers.

During my 37 years in the casino industry, I have met every kind of gambler there is. I have seen people blow fortunes... one lost $13,000,000 quite recently... and that was only in ONE casino... I do not know how much he lost in others... He lost a small airline company and a building contract company. I knew one guy some years back, put a gun in his mouth to try blowing his brains out. The bullet hit the roof of his mouth and came out the side of his face. The sad thing was, this guy was a great tipper... and the people he tipped so generously, and casino bosses, said things like, "The poor bastard could not even kill himself right." There was no remorse for him, no pity, no nothing... only the loss of his tips and the money he 'donated' to the casino. He lost his wife, his daughter, his business's. EVERYTHING!

Now you guys and gals may not have millions to lose... but whatever you have is your own little fortune. Whatever it is, $10 per week or a $1,000 or more... it is YOURS. Don't give it away.

I could write a book here... but will leave you with the words of Steve Wynn (multiple casino owner) "The only way to make money in a casino, is to OWN one."
Ravisher,

Great post!! The smartest and most successful will eventually go down! No sense in anyone kidding themselves that they are any better than those before us. Thanks for an inspirational message, at least for me!

Zoe