First post about my gambling problem


kenbuck60: This is my first post.

marcreal: We're looking for success cases. Tell Us Your Story. Inspire Others. We are looking for willing INDIVIDUALS in the NEW YORK CITY AREA who have successfully OVERCOME AN ADDICTION TO GAMBLING - for at least the last 5 years.

This is part to of a series of SHORT DOCUMENTARIES for a compilation of SELF HELP DVDs to inspire others to follow your path to success. Please share your story. The individual profiled in the DVD will be compensated.

The BEST ADVICE come from hope-inspiring success stories like yours.

If you're interested and willing to participate, please reply and tell us a little bit about yourself. If you can recommend someone, please pass along this message.

(We're also looking for people who have successfully OVERCOME AN ADDICTION to eating, sex, or shopping for similar videos)

Marc
Real Overcoming

EMAIL: nyrealovercoming@aol.com

moe11: Kenbuck - hang in there. I know whats its like. With my last girlfriend I was always on the search for that "Free Time" When I could sneak out to the casino.

Having a significant other to lie to and manouver around does help cut it down a bit but not enough. Ideally your wife would be understanding and supportive but I understand thats not always the case when you piss away money that she was counting on for something else. Gambling is a great way to break up a marriage or relationship.

I wish I had more advise as I am just starting out myself. I have been keeping a calander and checking off each day that I have not gambled. I always wait until the next mourning just to be sure.

Try thinking about how it feels on the way home from a typical casino trip when the bright lights start calling.

Its tough - one day at a time.

kenbuck60: Thanks for your interest.

moe11: Kenbuck - Internet gambling is a sure loser. I would imagine the odds are in the basement. No regulation, not even any real legal reason to actually pay you if you do win. There are reports of people winning and never getting paid - keep that in mind the next time you are tempted.

I Know what you mean about hiding losses. We all become experts at that but it will reach a point when it will be impossible to hide.

kenbuck60: Thanks again

moe11: Ken - So many people come in here and then just vanish. It would be nice if you would stick around and keep track of the days with me. Or anyone else out there?

Its tough. I made it through this weekend. I have been keeping myself busy with anything trying not to think about casinos and eventually I get tired and go to bed. Another day without.

Does you wife ever go with you to the Casino? Is she a recreational gambler and is unaware of how much you are losing? Would you feel comfortable or think she can handle it if you confided in her? Would she be supportive and help you out by controlling the family finances at least short term?

Your Wife could be a potential asset that you have not used as of yet. Seriously it may be time to tell her whats really going on. It would releive the guilt of lying if you did come clean.

denisec: I think the lieing was the hardest part about my gambling addiction. I hated it, I lied to everyone, especially those closest to me. When you start lieing to yourself though that is when you know you are really in trouble. I know I used to rationalize everything.

I remember once going into a casino with sixty dollars; after a half hour I hit a royal flush for a thousand dollars. Within an hour I had lost the thousand and walked out of the casino with my sixty dollars telling myself that I didn't lose anything.

I told myself stories all the time and although I felt terrible about myself when I would throw away everything I could stuff those feelings before I would go home and play like it was all fine because there was no way I could say I just blew it again.

The lieing is what finished it for me, I just couldn't do it anymore. Not to myself or my family anymore; the lieing was eatting me up inside. It's nice when you finally stop gambling, you don't have to lie anymore. It's awesome.

Gamblers Anonymous works for me, I couldn't do it myself. I hope that your path takes you to recovery.

Denise C

NYC06: This is actually my first post. I discovered the site while doing a search online for gambling addiction help (I live in NYC, where the Gamblers Anonymous meetings are plentiful, but don't always work with my schedule).

Anyway, after reading the previous posts, I saw that I was able to relate to alot of what the other users wrote. I'm not married, and I'm not really in debt, so I'm not forced to fabricate and cover up for my inequities, however, I've felt the same sinking feeling, the one of utter worthlessness, whenever I lost money that I wasnt planning on betting with.

My story is somewhat different then the others. For some time, I felt 'invincible', if you will. I felt like I developed a successful strategy for gambling online (cumulatively, I made around $60k, which the casinos did pay me). Therefore, even those times that I did lose, it was very easy to rationalize with myself that I was still up, and will make even more. I didnt realize though, that the more I got into it, the harder it was to pull away, and the quicker I needed that 'fix'.

Luckily for me, my girlfriend, whom I love dearly, was, and continues to be extremely supportive and encouraging (which meant that I didnt have to lie to her - a huge relief). I crave the same thing that everyone else here does. I want to be able to go about my life, regardless of its hurdles and uncertainties, but with the strength and endurance to get past this.

I also wanted to thank the other members who have written encouraging responses, although not directed at me, nevertheless were equally encouraging.

art: NYC, coming to this site and cutting your credit card up was a great move, good job! Finding support and strengthening your resistance will contribute to the successful life that you are choosing. Continue to be strong, one foot in front of the other. Decide now that the time has come for you to close this chapter of your life, to end the struggle, sorrow, and regret and choose truth and happiness. I truly believe that we can put this addiction completely behind us and move on to happy gamble free lives.

If the computer continues to tempt you, throw some GamBlock on it (program that stops access to gambling sites).

You're off to a great start! Practice patience and detachment, you'll be a five year success story in no time!

moe11: NYC - I don't think its that uncommon to start a gambling addiction by winning. I would even agrue thats the case. Who walks in the 1st time losses their shirt and wants to go back for more? Unless you are a massicist and like abusing yourself. Ever hear that phrase "Winning is the worst thing that can happen"

We have all won at one time and thats the draw. For me I am tempted to go back and hit the big win because I have done that before. Far too many times it has not worked out and I have lost a small fortune over the years but there is always that temptation that "This could be the night". How many times do you have to go and get your teeth kicked in to realize how rare it is to win big? How many more dissapointing trips have you had as compared to the ones where you were in control and played smart? Thats what I am conflicting on right now.

No debt is something to be proud of. No Assets without debt is where I used to be. Continue throwing away more than you make and the next level is debt. Whats after that? I really do not want to find out.

You start out for the excitement and after some time realize its a form of self incarceration.

art: Self incarceration, well said Moe! I chuckled remebering how when I first started playing, my friends called me the luckiest rookie ever. Couldn't lose. Instant addiction. Personally I never tried to play smart, I just gambled like crazy and didn't care. I can see where being able to play smart would make this so much harder to kick. No doubt some people play smarter than others, but in the end (everyone chime in)...the house always wins.

Recently I've thought alot about my highschool buddy's dad, who is a professional gambler for about twenty years now. He even has a legal seperate business to cover his gambling profession. All I can keep thinking is the hell he must have endured all this time...and his wife, certainly many a night begging him to stop...

The peace of mind we experience in a gambling free life is so much greater than money...one day closer...

Art

moe11: Art - there are a rare few that can make money in certain gambling games like Poker and sometimes blackjack. Lets face it - thats not us. Just because you play basketball does not mean you are good enough for the NBA.

Part of this I think is realizing what kind of person you are and that self control is a problem when gambling is invlolved. If I left the Casino whenever that little voice in my head was telling me to go ( you know what I mean? - the voice of reason ). My losses would not be very much.

Quit honestly I cannot control myself in a casino and I am getting sick of trying. I just cannot walk out when I should and the temptations of the ATM machines are too great.

ShelldolB: This to is also my first post. I have been gambling for many years as well. Since I was 18, I am now 40. I use to think it was fun. Now because of my addiction we could lose everything.
My family does not know this yet. And I know if I tell them I could lose my family as well.

My husband found out before and stood beside me. Like an idoit once we were out of debt, a few months later I was back at it. Now, we are once again in debt, worse than before and I do not know how to tell anyone. I fear that my husband will leave me and my children will hate me.
Every time I lost the money, I just figured I could win it back. I have a big problem and realize that I really need help. I tried it on my own and failed.

On my way home tonight (after gambling and loosing it all) I realized for the first time that I have a major problem. I searched the internet until I found this site. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I NEED HELP!

moe11: Shell - yes you have a problem but things are not as bad as they seem right now. Things always seem the worst right after a gambling binge. Once the clouds clear you will find a way. I don't know what type of debt you have - credit card? Loans? Those can be paid off. Payment plans can be reached.

I would not think your family is going to leave you but they will probably want some assurances that you are serious about stopping and getting things under control. It is a disease. There definetly is a physical as well as mental aspect to it. Here I am 1:40am - should be in bed have to work tomorrow. At least I am not in a Casino.

jane: Hello Shelldolb,
You should be proud that you are taking the first step to recovery. Seeking help.

I am not a compulsive gambler; I am the mother of a 25 year old son who is. So my perspective is not from that of a gambler. I have tried to learn all I can about this horrible addiction, and am still learning. My son started gambling when he was 17. The last 2-3 years have been a nightmare. But, his father and I have stood beside him, trying to help him. My son has been going through treatment at the Problem Gambling Center, and also attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings every evening he is not at the center. He has came a long way. But the journey does not end. He continues to battle this. I have came to realize that he will not be miraculously healed overnight. Each step is a positive step in the right direction. He is moving up the ladder now, and not down, and that is good.

So, you have to start taking the steps to start to climb up. I would suggest that the next step that you take is to be honest with your family. Honesty is very important in recovery. You may wish to find information on this addiction, and show your family as you discuss this with them. There is alot of information on the internet. Here are some places to look: www.gamblersanonymous.org, www.ncpgambling.org, www.aswexler.com, www.lostbet.com, www.compulsivegambler.blogspot.com.

The next step would be to seek help from others. The Gamblers Anonymous program has helped alot of people. I hope you can find meetings in your area. If your husband attends Gam Anon meetings, it would really help him also. At first I was skeptical of these meetings. Until I attended my first meeting. I then saw what a great group of people they are. It takes time, and a commitment to the program, but you can find help here.

Your family will not hate you. It is a learning experience for all. You will learn that this is a disease; one that can be treated. I believe that most people going through this one day find they have better, more fulfilling lives after they have control over this than they had before.

I wish you the very best. There are alot of good people here that will help you.

jane

moe11: Jane - thanks for posting that. I would imagine you people with families have assets that you could be using. If they are upset at least they care. I can go out right now and no one would care or even notice.

ShelldolB: Moe and Jane, thank you both for replying. I appreciate all the support and information. Moe, thanks for reminding me that the debts can be paid off.
I am just so frustrated with myself. My husband works very hard for the money and I feel real bad about the money I have wasted when I know it can go towards better things.
I am determined to win this fight. Please be patient with me, you will probably be hearing a lot from me.
I didn't get much sleep last night, trying to figure out how to replace the money I lost. I am going to make a couple of calls this morning and see if there are any Gamblers Anonymous programs in my area, or close for me to go to. I definately understand the emotional and mental aspect of this disease. I never really thought of it as a disease until you mentioned it. Just so you know, I care. Maybe we can help each other through this.

Jane. Thank you for the advice from a families point of view. I know that this is not going to be easy on any of us. My husband is an alcholic (sober for 12 years now). I know how hard it was when he first stopped drinking. I also know that honesty is very important. I am just not ready to tell him yet. I feel that I need to get some things together first. My first step was finding this site, I want to attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. I also will do as you suggested and get some information on gambling. Not just for my family, but for me as well. I need to understand why I can't control myself in regards to this issue before I try to explain it to my family. Thanks.

I wanted to let everyone know that I made it my first night without gambling. God it was hard. I just kept myself busy all day. Still haven't figured out how I am going to get this money back (the right way), but I am trying to be hopeful.
It gets more depressing every time I think about it. I try to remind myself that I made it through the day and tomorrow is another one.
I will be attending my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting tomorrow. Kinda nervous about it.

Shelldolb

julie40: I know how you feel I am so sick and tired of feeling broke and stupid .I am going to take my life back and have a piece of mind and clear head for a change. we can do it but we have to try hard..

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Ann: Hello Kiki, Moe, Shell and Ken,

I'm still here and am now gamble free for one month. Even better, I've hardly even thought about gambling the last couple of days. Mind you I've been very busy at work and at home, but still, I am truly enjoying this feeling of having more and more freedom from the claws of gambling.

Ken, I'm sorry to hear about your set-back. I hope that you don't let it stop you from trying again. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by continuing to quit.

Shell, congratulations on your first week gamble free. I know how difficult this week has been for you but you've made it through so many tough situations. Best of all, you've done it without gambling.

Kiki, I've enjoyed your posts as well as Moe's too. It seems we all can learn so much from each other.

I am truly starting to believe that it's all in how badly WE ourselves want to quit.

One thing that has kept me going is thinking back to what has made me want to quit gambling. I went from being a well adjusted woman to a being a nervous, anxious and emotional wreck. Gambling was eating away at every aspect of my personality to the point that if I continued, I feel that I may have had a nervous break-down. Being free of that sick feeling of having spent all my money and then the lies to cover it all up to the ones I love is undescribable. I'm not saying that all my days will be easy, but I'm starting to see that in order to totally regain my inner peace and serenity, I can never gamble again.

One other thing, it is amazing how much better I am starting to feel about myself and how much more time I can find to spend and care for the ones I love.

Wishing continued success to all and a new beginning for the ones that feel they have failed.

Ann

ShelldolB: Ann: glad to hear that you are doing good and things are going well. Things were good for me today. I even managed to make it through the day without having a headache or feeling stressed. I have to admit that most of this week was pretty rough and I still have to face my in-laws this weekend. I'm still not sure if I can do that yet. My husband tells me everyday that we will get through this, we just have to take it one day at a time.
Making it another day without gambling feels great.
How are you doing Ken, I hope things are going better for you. Just remember tomorrow is another day. Sometimes I think instead of one day at a time we have to take it one moment at a time.
Moe, Kiki, Jane, Julie and everyone else I hope things are going good for you as well. I'll be back tomorrow to see how everyone is and to let you know whaat's up with me.

Shell

jane: Hello Shell, and everyone,

I am happy you are all doing well. Congratulations Shell! Going on two weeks. That's great!

Ken, don't beat yourself up too much. You know what you want, and are getting closer and closer to that goal. One thing I have learned in this nightmare of the last few years, watching my son go through what this addiction has done to him, is that it takes time. At times I try to detach myself from this, and look at it from the outside, as if I were another person. (Does that make sense?) I am able to see the situation in a different light; I am able to see the progress not only my son is making, but his father and I as well.

Yesterday evening my son "graduated" from The Problem Gambling Center. He has just finished two months of meetings there 4 times a week, and Gamblers Anonymous meetings 3 times a week. The Problem Gambling Center (www.gamblingproblems.com) is an amazing place. Their success rate is 70%, which I think is good. My son has met some really wonderful people at his meetings there, and at Gamblers Anonymous. He has made some really good friends, and they help each other alot; motivating and inspiring each other. That is what is so good about a treatment center, and Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Shell, you mention you are not comfortable at Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Being only 25 years old, my son felt the same. He had the attitude that he could quit on his own, without the help of others. But he kept going to meetings----mostly because his father and I encouraged him to do so. But the more he went, the more he learned, and the closer he became to the people at the meetings. He now looks forward to his meetings. He will attend one meeting a week for "after care" at the treatment center, and is continuing with Gamblers Anonymous meetings. If you give it a chance, and realize it takes time, Gamblers Anonymous meetings DO help alot.

I have been going to "family group therapy" at the treatment center. I have found that by helping myself to understand and deal with this addiction, it has helped both myself and my son. We have learned alot about ourselves, and continue to grow.

The first few weeks of meetings at the treatment center I was a bit discouraged. But then I realized it was going to take time. I had wanted everything to be better immediately, I think. It helps when you start to understand that recovery is an ongoing process. If you go to www.aswexler.com you can find a chart for the compulsive gambler, and one for the family of the c. gambler. It shows the stages we go through. It helps to see this, and to know that your are making progress. You might find this chart to be very helpful.

My son is reading the book "Born to Lose" by Bill Lee. He is finding the book helpful. The treatment center recommended this book: "In The Shadow of Chance; The Pathological Gambler" by Julian I. Taber. I am reading it. It is very good. You can get it at www.nevadacouncil.org. Maybe Amazon.

I may not post often, but when I do, I go on too long, don't I? Sorry.

Here is something for all of you:

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.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen

Stay positive, it does get better. This addiction CAN be overcome. I have seen it. My husband quit gambling almost 30 years ago.

I will be gone for several days. Have to help my son move. I am going to the treatment center, also, to look into training as a Problem Gambling Counselor. Just have to try to figure out how to do that along with the classes I teach at the Community College. I will be thinking of all of you. Take care.

jane

ShelldolB: Hey Jane, glad to hear that all is well for you and your family. I've been okay todau, it hasn't been to bad. I've been real busy today, so I haven't had much time to really think about gambling.
Hope that everyone else is doing well to.

Shell

Ann: Hello Shell, Jane, Moe, Ken, Kiki and everyone else!

Shell, it's great to hear you with such a positive voice and Jane I'm glad that everything is going well for you and your family. I know the weekend won't be easy for you Shell, but just think, once through it, you won't ever have to face that challenge again.

I too had another good day so far. I'm trying to remain as positive as possible and focus on my life, not on gambling. Already, I feel so much better and am feeling so much more optimistic. I couldn't wait to come here and post with my good news. I hope that everyone else is having a good day as well. It's really helping me to post my thoughts and feelings here.

Perhaps by being here for each other, it will help to reaffirm our own committment to ourselves.

Ann

KiKiT: Hi everyone! Isn't it great to find friends we can share our thoughts with! Shell, I wish I could go with you to the graduation. I'm a jewelry freak so wear your favorite piece of jewelry there and pretend it's me! Your in-laws are upset because they don't understand what gambling has done to us. They probably think it's only about the money when we know it's more than that. I'm going to throw this out there and see what everyone else thinks...If it were me, I would approach the in-laws the first moment I arrive, look them in the eye and tell them I really need their moral support to help with recovery. If they can't handle that, they probably need more help than we do. Keep it simple. Ask for their blessing, then enjoy the party, with or without them. Your husband will support you. Just ask him. Any thoughts from the rest of the gang??

ShelldolB: Hello everyone. I agree Ann coming here and being able to post my thoughts and feelings has really helped me. I really appreciate the support that everyone gives. It's nice not to be judged and talk to people who understand what I am going through.
KiKi: I will do that, I will wear my favorite piece of jewelry and every time I get nervous I will think about what you said. I asked my husband today if I had to go and he said yes. He told me not to worry that he would be there holding my hand. I don't know if I have the courage to go up to my in-laws. I know I have to talk to them sooner or later. I agree with the aspect that all they see is it as the money. But they did bail me out so I guess they have a right to kinda look at it that way.
Ken and Moe how are you doing? Miss talking to you guys. Hope everything goes well for everyone.
Shell

Ann: Good Morning Everyone,
Shell... I think you'll have quite a few friends with you this weekend at that graduation. I too will be with you in spirit. Wear something bright and cheerful for me. I'm very pleased that your husband said that he'll be with you holding your hand. He really is being supportive, another reason to not let him down. I think you'll find that once you face this situation head on, no matter what the outcome, you will be relieved. And if you start to get nervous, picture us all there with you and cheering you on.
Happy Friday to all! Looking forward to another gamble free weekend.
Anna

ShelldolB: Thanks Ann. I will wear something bright as well. I really appreciate everyones support. When I start to feel down (which I'm sure I will) I will remember that you are all there with me in spirit. I actually talked to my mother in law a few minutes ago. She called to talk to my husband. Before I gave him the phone she asked if I was going to be there tomorrow. I said yes. She said good to me. Maybe it will be okay after all. At least she kinda made me feel that it would be okay. I hope so.
Here's wishing everyone a Happy, Safe and Gamble free weekend.
I was feeling down a little today, and I just kept reminding myself that today is another day and something good will come out of it. I'll check in later.
Shell

Ann: Yes Kiki, it is great to find friends here who totally understand and don't judge us.
Awww Shell, try to lift yourself back up today. I know all too well how that low, sinking feeling tends to creep up on us. Just think, you've pretty much made it another week without gambling. Your mother-in-law's asking if you are going to go to the party is a very good sign. Whatever the outcome, keep thinking that it's all going to get better.
This week is pay week here at home and it's the weekend which always makes it a bit tougher for me. It's amazing to me how much more money there is to pay bills and stuff when I'm not gambling. More and more I'm wondering if I'd completely lost my mind before. I know I hadn't and it's the nature of the beast. Those machines are there to lure the ones that are most susceptible to them and I was innocent when I became addicted. I must admit, I have fleeting thoughts of going and winning as I usually won some money when I'd stayed away from the casino for awhile before. I know that if I do that, even if I win, I'd just start the cycle all over again and I just can't let that happen, not when I have so much to loose. Not when I'm feeling so much better and actually gaining back some confidence and self-esteem. Think about it.... there is just too much to loose in going back to gambling, I'm starting to love the person that I am without it.
Hope everyone has a happy, safe and gamble-free weekend.
Ann

guy60

Posted: 10 Jun 2006 10:18 am Post subject:
Hi everyone : I used to be kenbuck60 but had to reregester due to site change. I feeling bad again because I slipped again last night. That makes four time in the past 2 weeks. I did try to get to this site last night but due to its update I wasn't able. So that just gave me one more reason to get rid of some money on the internet. Good Thinking!!!!! what a jerk. I do have some good news and a little more hopfull than I did when I woke up this morning . You know that morning after guilt and disgust. I got myself barred from the only gambling site that I able to access easily. They will do it for 6 months. That gives me some hope. Now it will be much harder for me to gamble. The casino is about 45 minutes away and I have to come up with a story as to where I have been and I'm just about out of stories. This doesn't mean that I'm protected from gambling or should I say my own self distruction. It only means I will have to work harder to do it and thank God I'm a bit lazy. So after the despair of last night I do have some hope. I'm hoping to start talking about some good numbers in days since I last gambled.
Shell - how did it go with the in-laws? Stick with it. Bye for now

Ann

Posted: 10 Jun 2006 06:44 pm Post subject:
Hello Ken,

Sorry to hear about your slip. There is always hope of a better day Ken. Hang in there, it sounds like you're making progress already. With each new beginning there are new lessons learned. Best of luck.

guy60

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 05:46 am Post subject:
Thanks Ann. I feel good that I can honestly make this statement. "I didn't gamble yesterday, I haven't gamble today and I have no plans to gamble tomorrow." If I can honestly make this statement daily I will be as good as I'm going to get. The hundreds of times that I said I'll never do it again didn't work. It was too overwhelming to think in terms of years. Thanks again for your support

Ann

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 06:06 am Post subject:
Good Morning All,

Guy, that is great! Isn't it a great feeling to know you've made it through the day, especially that first one?

I too didn't gamble yesterday, it was a good day. My days seem to be getting mostly better. I won't gamble today and I won't gamble tomorrow. I'm doing it by taking it one day at a time and putting one foot in front of the other. Baby steps led to bigger ones and I'm hopeful that my steps become fully mature.

I must admit, I'm alone right now and am a bit tempted to go to the casino. I'm going to try to figure out something else for me to do.

Have a great day.

guy60

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 07:28 am Post subject:
Being alone is hard but not as hard as that ride back from the casino. There must be some painting or the car needs washing. Anything other than the casino. Stick with it and wishing you the best.

KikiT

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 07:39 am Post subject:
Good Morning,
Ann, I am glad you are telling us that you are considering going to the casino. It is in times like this that I have to tell myself to take it "one hour" at a time. What helps me is to write down my thoughts in a journal. I wrote out my answers to the twenty questions and it took several days to complete. I keep going back to read what I've wrote to remind me why I have to stay away from the casino. I call a friend or family member, just to check in with them and to remind myself that it's not only myself who is affected by my gambling. I found a new hobby and I'm probably obsessed with it, (making jewelry) but I'm home and I'm safe.
Guy/Ken, not sure what you want to be called, please don't dwell on the slip. It happens to all of us compulsive gamblers. You can't change the past, what happened yesterday or last month is over and done, it's gone. We have no idea what the future holds for us, but we hope it's better than yesterday. Just for today. Today is all I can handle. Today I can make the choice to do something different. Today I'm going to say no to gambling so I can sleep tonight, so I can wake up and be proud of myself that I didn't give in to the demons (urges). Hang in there, everyone. Kiki

Ann

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 08:11 am Post subject:
Thanks Guy/Ken and Kiki for the support.

I'm still at home and haven't gone to the casino. I've managed to keep myself occupied but am finding thoughts of going to the casino creeping up on me quite often this morning. Thoughts like I will go and only spend $20 and win and come home ahead. I know that being here by myself, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm thinking it will be ok, I'll recoup some of my losses and that noone will have to know that I went.

In reality, I know that I'll know and how dissappointed I will be in myself after 5 weeks of being gamble free. I'm also trying to remind myself how I did that many times before and then lost control all over again. And then yes, that awful ride home, how truly ugly it was. If anything, that thought alone should have a lot of impact on me not going.

I can see this isn't a speedy recovery. One day you feel on top of the world, the next the reality of addiction hits you right in the face. I truly believe I've made some progress, as if it was 5 weeks ago, I'd already have left for the casino.

I'm going to go out for a coffee or something, maybe even go for a walk. Housework just isn't doing it for me this morning.

I'll be ok, I'm determined. I keep thinking of gambling as an evil demon, rearing it's head and striking when I'm most vulnerable and there to taunt me everytime I get on some solid ground. I won't let it win. I have too many other responsibilities and committments, I cannot afford another loss to the casino ever again. I refuse to give them one more penny of my hard earned money over the well being of my loved ones. These are the arguments going through my head. I'm sure that we've all had them. So far I'm winning.

jane

Posted: 11 Jun 2006 11:17 pm Post subject:
Hello everyone,
Glad to hear you are all doing so well.
I have just returned home from helping my son move the last 4 days. Glad that is over!

guy60, you remind me of my son, for some reason. Remember, one day at a time. In a book I gave my son, the recovering gambler that wrote the book, suggests posting notes by your bed, on the refrigerature door, in your car, by your t.v., etc. that says "I will not gamble today!" After awhile it gets programed into your brain. I know, if only it were that simple. At first, when my son decided it was time to try to quit gambling, I did not really understand the concept of one day at a time. Now I do. Just take care of today. Then, do the same the next day. Pretty soon you will have the days added up that are gamble free.

At one of the meetings at The Problem Gambling Center, we were told that it takes 9-12 months to stop having the urge to gamble. I have seen some, though, not have the urge sooner. Of course, at times it will come back. But in time you get stronger. My son told of a person in his Gamblers Anonymous group who was in a casino with his visiting brother, who was gambling. This Gamblers Anonymous member had not gambled in 30 years. He suddenly was overcome with a strong urge to gamble. But, he was able to walk out, not having gambled. I hope that does not frighten you. I only mean to give your encouragement. He WAS able to walk away.

One thing I have found to be common in gamblers is their feelings of guilt. Because of the harm gambling has done to them and their families, they feel terrible. In studying this, and watching my son fight it, I have came to believe that the pathological gambler really needs to forgive themselves. An addiction is an illness. I try not to blame my son for his illness. Well, yes there are alot of reasons why he is a pathlogical gambler. Some that he COULD control. His diet could be better, and he could get more rest. To fight this one needs to be healthy. Did you know that a p. gambler usually has one or both parents with an addiction problem, usually gambling, or alcohol? Certain nationalities are more apt to become addicted; Native Americans, Asians, Koreans, and a couple of others that I have forgotten. Now that I am more aware of the factors that make a person more prone to become a p. gambler, I am going to give this information to my other two sons. I believe they should be informed, and do what they can to try to keep addiction from becoming part of their lives, and their childrens.

So, please try not to feel bad about yourselves. Attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings, and other meetings at the PG Center, I have came to know what very good, kind people p. gamblers are. You have an illness, and it can be treated.

Part of recovery is being able to forgive yourself, and move forward. Your family does love you, and wants the future to be good. I will be able to handle the past, if my son continues to move forward, one day at a time, to a gamble free life. If he doesn't? That's a tough one. I love him, and have to try to stay positive. By focusing on what is happening that is positive, and not dwelling on the negative, we are getting better each day.

Shell, I hope your time with your inlaws went well. They will understand, in time. They want what is best.

Have a great gamble free week! Oops! One day at a time! Have a great gamble free day!

jane

guy60

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 07:19 am Post subject:
Hi Jane, Ann and Kitit. I'm glad to say" "I didn't gamble yesterday, I haven't gamble today and I have no plans to gamble tomorrow." It's a good feeling. How did you do yesterday? I'm sure you did well. Your right Jane this is a one day at a time thing and we can't change the past so there is no sense dwelling on our mistakes. But I think we have to remeber that terrible long and loney ride home from the casino; the terrible feeling waking up in the morning after a night of stupidity. The last two mornings have been guilt free and it has been great. I don't want to take that for granted and I want it to continue. Only I can control it! Thanks for the support and encouragement.
I haven't heard from Shell or Moe lately. Are you still with us? I hope so- we all need each other.

Ann

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 07:57 am Post subject:
Hello Guy, Kiki, Jane,

Shell, how did your weekend go? Moe, are you still out there, we haven't heard from you in a while. Guy's right, we all need you here.

Well, I made it through the weekend and this week I'll be working on my 6th gamble free week. This is the longest I've gone I think since I started with this problem. Guy, I must admit, yesterday, it was exactly the thought of that ride home that kept me from going. I hope to never have to feel like that again or to waking up the next day to that same awful, low, down and out feeling. It's way too easy for me to think of the fun parts and try to block the rest from my mind. I know all too well that it's not all fun and games. Far from it, it's a very serious and ugly habit.

For today, I promise to not gamble. Like Jane said, one day at a time.

Happy Monday to all.

P.S. Kiki, my time on here isn't right either.

StaceyP

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 12:21 pm Post subject: HI EVERYONE
I made it through the weekend ok....today is my dad's bday, he passed away 3 years ago.....i can only imagine how disapointed he is in me....leaving me an inheritance and I treated it so frivolously by gambling....maybe it was the fact that he was leaving me that got me all crazy, then 8 mths after that mom died....

Im reading a book now called DOUBLE DOWN i would suggest it to everyone...two brothers go through 1/2 million that there parents left them..all the excuses, strategies, realizations, denials, are all in there..its helping me get through my days...

hopefully my dad knows that today is day 11 of my recovery and im going to try hard every day to make him proud...

thanks for listening......

KikiT

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 07:37 pm Post subject:
Hi Everyone!
Stacey, I'm so glad for you to make it through the weekend. I know your Dad is proud of you. Feeling bad about what we have done can be a real trigger so be proud of yourself for what you've accomplished in 11 days. Thanks for being here today!
Hi Jane, Ann and Guy, glad you are here too. Jane, it helps to hear the other side of the story, how we affect others by our gambling. It is a very selfish disease and I used to think I was hurting myself the most. I wasn't. I was hurting my family more than I ever realized.
I also miss the rest of the gang. Please check in with us, even if you have had a slip. It doesn't matter..just keep coming back. Like I've said before, it's taken me more than ten years of denial about this disease, and I've had so many slips I couldn't count them all.
Wishing everyone a nice June evening. It's beautiful here tonight, the sun is just dipping below the trees. It's funny how I recognize the simple and beautiful things about life now. Kiki

jane

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 10:15 pm Post subject:
Hello everyone,

I hope it does help to hear the other side of the story, how families are affected by this disease. That is what I want to do, help. All of you also help me to understand this disease. As I have mentioned, I have been reading, and learning about compulsive gambling for about 2 years now. It has helped tremendously in helping my son. Also has helped myself and my husband, and my mother, who knows about her grandson's addiction.

Yes, it is a very selfish disease. But I have learned that my son does not intentionally mean to hurt others. It's crazy. He thinks if he could just make that big win, he could pay everyone back. He has learned so much the last couple of months. The Treatment Center has been a life saver. He said he actually used to think that if he took his girlfriend to a movie, and was not able to be home and watch the game he had bet on, they would loose because he was not watching. He is now seeing the craziness of his thoughts.

Guy, you mentioned the ride home. I can imagine how that must feel. I really do feel for the people affected by this disease. My son would go to the casino, place his bets on different sports games, and his drive home would be, I imagine, a mix of fear and excitement. Home he would go to watch all the games. Only after all of the games (baseball, basketball, football, whatever) were finished did he know if he had lost or won.

Stacey, your Dad IS proud of you. Yes, I agree, feeling bad about oneself can be a real trigger. This is what I am learning is a very important part in recovery, as I have said. One must really try to be proud. Feeling good about oneself makes a person want to continue to do good.

Today is also a birthday in my family; I have twin boys, and today is their birthday. The son that gambles is younger, by 8 1/2 years. All three boys have fathers who have had addiction problems. (My twins are from a first marriage.) This is why I wish to make them aware of the genetic factor in addiction. The twins' father is a recovering alcoholic, doing very well, and my youngest's father is a recovering alcoholic and gambler who has done neither for 26 years.

Yes, it is a beautiful night here, too. I was just out in my flower garden watching the full moon come up. I have almost 70 different rose bushes, among many other flowers, so you can imagine how pretty it is.

Take care all,

jane

guy60

Posted: 13 Jun 2006 06:41 am Post subject:
Hi Jane, Ann and Kitit. Welcome Stacy.I'm glad to say" "I didn't gamble yesterday, I haven't gamble today and I have no plans to gamble tomorrow." It's a good feeling. I woke up today without guilt or remorse. I love checking in here in the morning and listening to daily successes. I hope it continue. Let me refrase that -- I know they will! Each successfull day builds on the next day and that all I think about for now. We all have done stupid and selfish things but with support from the rest of the group we can turn this around. Lets hear for another 24 hours of gambling free!!!

KikiT

Posted: 13 Jun 2006 05:14 pm Post subject:
Guy, so glad you are here! Hope you had a great day. Your friend, Kiki

Ann

Posted: 13 Jun 2006 09:04 pm Post subject:
Hello Kiki, Guy, Jane and Stacey,

I'm just checking in to say that I'm still around and that I have not gambled. Congratulations on your successes as well. I'm going though a very busy time in my life right now and may not always be able to post regularly at the moment. Being busy is helping me to get through my days without thinking too much about gambling.

How about the rest of you, are you still around, Shell, Moe, etc? No matter what's happening, write to let us know you're ok. We all care and have all been thinking about you.

Looking forward to a gamble-free tomorrow. Good night to all.

guy60

Posted: 14 Jun 2006 07:56 am Post subject:
Hi Jane, Ann and Kitit. Welcome Stacy.I'm glad to say" "I didn't gamble yesterday, I haven't gamble today and I have no plans to gamble tomorrow." Its always good saying being able that. how are all of you doing. Things are going pretty good but I still get thoughts of the action in gambling and thats when I get back to this site and remember all the misery this socalled action has caused myself and so many other people. If you feel the urge to gamble come to this site and reread the posts made by yourself and all the rest of us. Have a bet free day

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