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Mortal
#1 Posted : Wednesday, 26 April 2017 9:19:53 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Today, I am committing to giving up Gambling. April 25th 2017.

This is Day one - and I will come back daily to write a note of how I am doing.

A good friend of mine introduced me to gambling in January 2002 in Australia, and ever since then have been gambling on and off, but more often on.

I had never gambled prior to that, but the last 15 years has been marked significantly by gambling. I have made repeated vows and efforts to stop or curb my gambling, and I want to make the commitment from today in front of who ever reads these forums that I will never EVER step foot in a pokie place EVER again.

I am a successful person in many senses, and was raised well with good morals, and yet I have found my way into this awful habit.

Every day I crave to go to pokies, even though I am very clear that I will lose my money and walk away down. I have zero desire to do online gambling, so I guess I am lucky there.

Its the physical machines, the zoning out, and using it as a way to overcome stress and boredom. Its almost like a my secret sanctuary that rapes my wallet every time I visit.

Normally I spend between $200 and $400 per day, but one or twice I reached $1000 in a long drawn out session. It makes me sick to think of how much I have wasted over 15 years.


I am so completely fed up with this HOLD that Pokie Machines has over me, my mind and my common sense.

Today, I have finally found my way to this page and will check in daily to let you know how I have given up.

I have lost so much money, and so much time and I need to get my life back.

Please send me messages of encouragement - I will certainly need it.

See you tomorrow.
Mortal
#2 Posted : Thursday, 27 April 2017 8:14:29 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Day one over - and No gambling.

Watched an Australian video which helped..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NZuyfpQTms

Part of me didn't want to believe that I couldn't control the outcome of a machine.
I always think that my skills on a pokie Machine could win me money. Or that I could read when the machine will pay out.
But as much as I want to believe it, I guess its not true.

....Bring on Day two.
gambling_helpline
#3 Posted : Friday, 28 April 2017 10:51:49 a.m.(UTC)
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Kia ora Mortal

It sounds like you have turned a corner with your gambling on the pokies. I read that you saw the pokie machines as a way of zoning out, escaping from stress and boredom. These are common triggers for people to use gambling as an emotional release. You are right Mortal, the pokies can be seen as a sanctuary. What is scary is that the pokies work. Because they give us what we seek, be it, refuge, thrills, time out, a place to channel our anger or the false hope we actually might win.
As you may be aware the pokies are there to make money for the organisations who own them. They are designed to lure us into playing them and spending money we can ill afford to lose.

It is encouraging to read Mortal that you realise that the pokies cannot be controlled, read or mastered with skills to win money. The uncomfortable truth is the pokies control us in ways that impact negatively on our quality of life.

Thank you for sharing. Mortal if you need further support you are most welcome to call the Gambling Helpline 0800 654 655. As a support service we never close.
Mortal
#4 Posted : Friday, 28 April 2017 6:25:36 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Thanks Guys - I really appreciate it. Today I am strong, and I am now in Day three and my resolve to tackle this is getting stronger.

Something i noticed yesterday, as I have to book a trip out of town, is that I have associated certain places with playing Pokies too.

For example, if I know I am going to a certain town and I have gambled there in the past, I will immediately think about gambling just because I am going there.

But I feel great and stronger today. If i get weak at any point I will call the number...thanks again!

It's only Day Three. But so far so good.
Mortal
#5 Posted : Saturday, 29 April 2017 7:08:00 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Today is Day 4.

Day Three is over and ....NO GAMBLING, NO POKIES

I feel the pull of Pokies fading quickly - but it is early days.

I still had thoughts about pokies drift into my mind but no great pull at all. I like the feeling of being in control for a change, but I know that it's really early days so far.

I've started back at the gym and so had a good workout yesterday.

I spent time with family too - just having dinner and chatting and I realize how my Poke habit has kept me at arms distance from a lot of people...I often felt that I'd rather go to the pokies than give up spare time to visit family. One seemed really exciting and the other just seemed boring and mundane.

I'm starting to see how many hours I've lost sitting in those dark rooms with bright lights and have probably missed many opportunities for having real fun with friends and family.

Oh well...onwards and forwards. I feel strong today (it's Day 4) and I feel like I can do this. See you tomorrow.
gambling_helpline
#6 Posted : Saturday, 29 April 2017 7:38:56 p.m.(UTC)
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Ki ora Mortal.

Three days with no gambling, no pokies. Well done. That feeling of being in control can be a powerful aid. You have developed some useful strategies to help you in your journey – such as starting back at the gym and spending time with the family and finding ways other than the pokies to have fun. It is normal to have thoughts about the pokies come into your mind and reminding yourself of your goals in being pokie free can be helpful at times like this. Remember that you can also call the Gambling Helpline for support anytime. Please continue to share your journey.
Regards
Gambling Helpline Team.
Mortal
#7 Posted : Monday, 1 May 2017 5:27:08 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Today is Day Five - and happy to say ...No Gambling for 5 days!

My goal is simply to get to one week, and then to week two....and so on.

Had a few thoughts about gambling today - something I want to share and curious to know whether anyone else is the same:

My problem is knowing when to stop. When I gamble, I literally stay until i have blown my last $2 coin.

I could rarely ever just quit when I was "UP" - I would have to stay and eventually blow through the lot.

I have great intentions (before I go in, or when I am convincing myself to go) of stopping when I am "UP".
If I dis win and I was "UP" I could never just stop there and then and leave on a high....I had to stay and blow the lot, or even go back to cash machine and blow through more.

It seems crazy now. Especially since I have a small distance away from gambling, but I know that my brain can convince me to do anything and justify it.

So I am happy to say that I am 5 days clean. I am starting to see life clearer and I want to stay on this path.

See you tomorrow.

Mortal
#8 Posted : Tuesday, 2 May 2017 5:50:23 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Today is Day Six...and no gambling now for 6 days!!

I know its only 6 days so far, but gambling seems like the last thing I want to do right now....so the need to stop has definitely become stronger.

Six days clean - and I feel generally happier than I did when I started. Feeling the first signs of pride.

I'm not sure if anyone is reading this, but quitting gambling feels great. I'm looking forward to getting my life back piece by piece.

See you tomorrow.
gambling_helpline
#9 Posted : Wednesday, 3 May 2017 4:07:43 a.m.(UTC)
gambling_helpline

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Certainly following your journey. Good to hear how well you are feeling and all the positive effects.
Please keep us informed here and call us at the gambling helpline anytime 24/7 on 0800 654 655.
Mortal
#10 Posted : Wednesday, 3 May 2017 10:13:34 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Thanks Helpline for the message.

ONE WEEK - FREE OF POKIES!

I made it through my first week. No Gambling at all.

I reckon I would have saved anywhere between $600 - $1000 this week alone - so that is a major result.

Onto week 2 now - I will check in every day again, as it is helping me be accountable and keep focused.

Bye for now.
gambling_helpline
#11 Posted : Thursday, 4 May 2017 12:19:12 p.m.(UTC)
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Kia ora Mortal.

That is awesome! Well done! How does it feel? To say to yourself that you have saved money that normally would have been lost.
Mortal I encourage you to celebrate every day you are pokie free by giving yourself a small treat. For example; a coffee at your favourite cafe.
It is important that you acknowledge the fantastic work you are doing. For every day, you do not play the pokies, it is a giant leap towards achieving your goal.

The Gambling Helpline Team.
Mortal
#12 Posted : Friday, 5 May 2017 2:34:34 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Thanks Helpline.

8 days completed, and now on Day 9.

I needed to check in today as I am feeling a little weak - its been a stressful day so it has crossed my mind (just for a fleeting moment), before I told myself to change my thoughts.

I watched a video about addiction yesterday, and it was saying how the addiction begins at the moment that we think of gambling, not when we actually do it. When we think of gambling we release the happy / excited chemicals in our brain, then we enter a trance where we will do everything we can to make it happen - which leads us to eventually go and spend our money. The addiction is the EXCITEMENT of thinking about winning, which is why we keep gambling, even when we are "UP" - meaning that we eventually blow all of our money. Our brain feeds off the excitement of the possibility of winning, NOT the actual winning.

I could completely relate to this, and I know the trance that I can feel when I begin to think about going.....all commonsense goes out the window.

So today i make a fresh pledge to continue and to get to 2 weeks clean....that is ALL i want to do.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me - its good to know I am accountable to someone, and that someone cares about my success! :)
gambling_helpline
#13 Posted : Saturday, 6 May 2017 10:40:38 p.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal
It's great that you recognise when your vulnerable times are and are able to give yourself a message to change your thoughts and have made a fresh pledge a goal to get to two weeks gamblefree. Please continue to share your progress on this journey and to reward yourself for your time pokie free.

The Gambling Helpline Team.
Chris
#14 Posted : Sunday, 7 May 2017 8:24:11 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal,
Have read all your posts and well done for taking a stand.

I have a remarkably similar story so I'll perhaps outline it a little and if it's ok with you, start from day one myself.

I too was introduced to pokies in 2002 when I moved to Wellington.

What made it worse was with my Mothers sudden passing I gained a reasonable sum of money as part of my inheritance.

I'm in a very well paid job and over the months found myself playing these things as a matter of routine, the inheritance gone and I'm now living pay to pay where I ound 15k to loan sharks, where most of my pay goes every fortnight.

I've been to counselling, I have had the Salv. Army budgeting manage my income and bills twice now and have always returned to the problem.

I'm an otherwise intelligent person if I may say so myself and simply do not understand the problem. I know I will take 1000.00 and play and lose it. 100%. Yet I do it again and again. I've borrowed from sharks to pay bills but on getting the money use it on pokies so am continually chasing my tail.

I've lost friends, I've not had the contact I'd like with my son who lives in Oz.

There's a lot more to it and I'll perhaps share that over the next few days, weeks but your story is encouraging and it's has encouraged my to start again at day one, something I've done many times and failed so if I can share anything it's never take any of it for granted.

Don't gain confidence from having not gambled for a day, week month, year etc that you've overcome the problem because that's exactly what it's waiting for. A moment of weakness to get you back there.

So Ill start with day one as I played them last night and am again ill at the thought of it.

Thanks for inspiring me to do this and I will be banning myself from the only pokie venue close to me that I haven't so far and report back tomorrow.

They really need to make that easier. I think there should be a process where you have to swipe or have some some bio ID linked to a national grid that stops people from playing no matter where they go.

And I hate having to go around the 50 or so venues every two years to self ban, there must be a better way.

Anyway, see you tomorrow.
gambling_helpline
#15 Posted : Sunday, 7 May 2017 11:38:31 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Fellow mortal.

I think what you say offers hope and inspiration for people struggling with gambling addictions. Yes, too easy in a world of technology and accessibility. It's hard to stay strong but well worth the battle. You are creating more non gambling history as we speak.

Best wishes.
Mortal
#16 Posted : Monday, 8 May 2017 6:29:04 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hi Again

I have been away for a few days, so I haven't had the chance to send in a daily report.

I have been out of town with work and have been in very very close proximity to some of my old Pokie haunts, and i am happy to say I DID NOT GAMBLE even once.

Today is Day 12 and no pokies at all.

I even went to a restaurant next to a regular pokies of mine and simply said NO WAY - I am not going there.

Chris, Chris, Chris!!!

Thank you for the message. We can do this. If I can say no to some of my regular old pokie places after 12 days, I know I can do it for longer, and I have faith that you can do it to.

I have never felt this adamant that Pokies is POISON. It robbed me of so many previous moments and robbed me of my inner peace and my MONEY!!!

I know that you have some bad financial bridges to cross...but take today as Day one, and join me.

Every day will get one step better. Nothing can be as bad as sitting in those disgusting soulless places dealing with that sick feeling in your stomach when you go home realizing how much you've spent. If you are thinking of going today - DONT....You are bigger and stronger than this addiction. And so am I.

My addiction started when a friend introduced me to pokies - but escalated at a really stressful time soon after that. Pokies became an escape, which sounds exactly like you when your mother died. The pokies must feed into our worry and stress, especially when we are vulnerable.

You know what? Lets forget the past - lets make today different from yesterday. I am 2 days away from 2 weeks clean....and I feel stronger inside.

Chris - please message me to tell me how you are doing. It made me feel even stronger to get your message, so thank you!

See you tomorrow.
Mortal
#17 Posted : Monday, 8 May 2017 6:37:07 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Chris - I just re-read your message and no matter where you are today - join me on this journey please.

I also banned myself from SkyCity in Auckland in 2006, but ended up playing in other venues. Nastier and dingier ones. The banning needs to start with me, not the venue.

I agree, you should be allowed to ban yourself from every gambling place just once - so that automatically you can never enter any venue ever, rather than having to ban yourself from every single venue. Crazy.

This is the first video I watched when I stopped which helped. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NZuyfpQTms

Good luck Chris - hope to hear from you soon!
Chris
#18 Posted : Monday, 8 May 2017 7:18:01 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal,
Nice to hear from you. Yes I've been out this afternoon. I successfully banned myself from my local venue. (Clap cap!)
I'm very determined and yes we'll take this journey together!

Back to work tomorrow. I'm likely to be ok for this week because it's off pay week and I'm not very financial.

But it's one day at a time and lets go from there.

If we promise eachother to do one thing.

Stay away from the pokies for just today.

Let's do this!
Chris
#19 Posted : Tuesday, 9 May 2017 7:47:42 a.m.(UTC)
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Evening Mortal, day three, and more importantly, no pokies today! How's things?

Next Tuesday is when things start getting serious for me as I get paid, get access to a lot more through being able to borrow etc etc, so a quiet week for me, but every day without pokies has got to be a good day.
Mortal
#20 Posted : Tuesday, 9 May 2017 9:05:32 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Day 13 - and NO POKIES, and absolutely no desire for it either. Like Chris, I have some debt to clear, so I feel great that I am not adding to it....but on my way to clearing it.

For Today, wild horses could not drag me back there....but one day at a time.

By this time tomorrow I will be 2 weeks clean.

I am planning on buying something small to reward myself for being 2 weeks free of pokies.... I'm not sure about anyone else out there, but its crazy to think that I wouldn't normally buy myself something like a brand new book,or spend $100 on something beautiful, but blow $300 on pokies in less than an evening. Just ridiculous.

I can feel my life changing and I'm liking it.

Thanks again Chris - remember to book something in for next Tuesday to break the cycle....whether it is inviting a friend over for dinner, or buying yourself something as a reward or even writing to me, or calling helpline. You are far bigger than this, and you know that you can do it.

See you all tomorrow.
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