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Mortal
#41 Posted : Monday, 29 May 2017 7:46:04 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Today is Day 34 - and NO POKIES still.

Had a long weekend in Auckland CBD around many places where I have played before and completely had NO interest in gambling.

So I am back at work today feeling great that I resisted.

Bought some stuff that I normally wouldn't have bought (as I would have normally been too busy gambling or would have spent all of my money).

Feeling good, but still early days. My next goal is to get to 50 days with no gambling.

Would love to hear from anyone else that is planning on stopping.

Cheers.
Firelightnz
#42 Posted : Tuesday, 30 May 2017 4:02:26 a.m.(UTC)
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Hey Mortal
I just wanted to say that I have read through all of your posts and I think its really amazing what you have done for you and that I really admire you.
Cheers

Firelight
Mortal
#43 Posted : Tuesday, 30 May 2017 9:13:06 a.m.(UTC)
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Hey Thanks Firelightnz - really appreciated.

I made it to day 34 without gambling....tomorrow will be 5 weeks. Its very early days yet, but I am determined to keep going. It's all a load of crap, and I see it now.

Temptation starts to creep in when I am most stressed or anxious about something and subsides when I feel happy and energized...so I can see the connection.

How about yourself? What brings you to this page?

Cheers.
Firelightnz
#44 Posted : Wednesday, 31 May 2017 1:06:51 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal & the others reading this :-)
Very honestly I am here out of curiosity - I am a mature student currently doing a paper on Gambling as part of completing my degree in Counselling. And Mortal, directly to you I read through your posts and saw that no one had commented and I wanted to say how much I admire what you are doing and the changes you are making. The only time gambling has touched my life is through my husband getting lotto or my silly games I play on my phone & I spend too much passing the level and I have definitely had times when I have been addicted to these 'games'.

I also identify with your words about stress and anxiety and the underlying effects they both have on life in general and to own those words - on my own mental health. Another part of my reason for posting to you is I have an addiction to smoking and to read the words of someone moving above an addiction and changing their life and then subsequently of the people around them are simply inspiring.

Cheers
spike
#45 Posted : Thursday, 1 June 2017 10:21:19 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal,

Thanks for sharing and good work - keep it up.

I've been here before and keep falling into old traps.
Today I am particular filthy at myself.
I had been a while without gambling and last week after I got paid (even had a small bonus from work) I talked myself into a treat.
Just a quick gamble on the way home.
Just $100.00
another $100.00
and another $100.00
$100.00
Starting to get really desperate by this point.
transfer the rent money out of the bills account and back into my spending account.
another $100.00
and another $100.00
Before I even put the last $100.00 I was already resigned to losing it but that still didn't stop me.

There were two occasions where I could have walked away with over $600.00
but I never walk away...

I had to borrow money from my brother for rent and lived of speggetti and 2 minute noodles for the week.

I hadn't been that stupid in awhile.

And then I did it all again this week.

Just $100.00
Then another... and another.... and another....
Said I would pay my brother back this week but that isn't going to happen.
Asked my mum for money but she knew better than to give it to me.

I'm an educated dude and should know better but the pokies are a weird blindspot for me.
I struggle to spend any money on myself but can blindly feed $20 after $20 into these stupid machines.

My journey starts again today.

thanks for the inspiration.

Chris, I hope you are doing ok too.

Lets do this together.

Spike.
Mortal
#46 Posted : Friday, 2 June 2017 8:11:58 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi All

Today is Day 37 and still not one inkling to go to the Pokies....thank god.

Had a very stressful family emergency with loved one in hospital, and I am glad to say that my perspective in regards to Pokies is crystal clear - it is just a waste of time. I don't want to act out this way anymore.

SPIKE! Great to hear from you mate!! I have been where you are - I think we all have. I found that being on here has given me an outlet and made me feel responsible for reporting in every day (or every other day) and staying committed. Every day seems to be getting easier. Today, the only time I thought of pokies was when I thought that I should write an update....so it does get easier. If I can do it - Hell then there is a chance for everyone!

So Spike - I will follow your progress. Don't beat yourself up about what has gone. We have all done stupid crap that we regret. However this could be a great chance to tackle it once and for all.

The addiction begins NOT when you enter a pokie place, but the second that the thought of going enters your mind.

You are experiencing the rush of possibilities (of gambling) from the second that you start to think about going. So my small piece of advice is to quickly shift gear if the thought enters your mind.

Hi FirelightNZ - Thanks for that amazing message. I guess all addiction is the same - craving the wrong stuff especially when we are stressed or anxious. Thanks for dropping me a line - I wasn't sure if anyone was reading my silly posts, but it makes me feel stronger knowing that someone can relate to what I am saying!

I feel clear headed tonight and probably the most adamant about never gambling again.

Early days so far - my goal is 50 days.

Speak soon!



 2 users thanked Mortal for this useful post.
spike on 3/06/2017(UTC), gambling_helpline on 4/06/2017(UTC)
spike
#47 Posted : Saturday, 3 June 2017 6:18:16 a.m.(UTC)
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Hey.

Day 2.

Pretty easy to not gamble when your broke.
Just back in the familiar self loathing zone.

I have a pretty shitty couple of months. Stress is obviously on of my triggers.

I want to be better and I need to be better. I have a lot of good things in my life but if I am not careful my gambling can literally take it all away. I have a career that clearly isn't compatible with gambling and my relationship is already in a rough spot because of my poor choices with the pokies.

I have known I had this issue for a long time but have always denied or ignored how bad it really is- I am like a drug addict, an alcoholic or a smoker. I get so desperate at times when gambling- just needing that fix etc....

It's that desperation that I hate the most of all and it's starting to colour other areas of my life.
I don't know if others feel the same.

Stay strong everyone.

Spike
gambling_helpline
#48 Posted : Saturday, 3 June 2017 6:58:07 p.m.(UTC)
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Hi Spike

I see that you have identified stress as one of your triggers to gamble, and that can be a common trigger for people to use gambling as a coping mechanism. In turn, the gambling can also cause more stress, impacting on other areas such as relationships, and a cycle can develop. In a previous post you mentioned that you had been a while without gambling – I'm wondering what had helped you stay gamblefree during that time?

Thank you for sharing, Spike, and if you would like to talk please call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655; we're open 24/7. We can also discuss with you further support, such as face to face counselling.

Regards
The Gambling Helpline Team
Mortal
#49 Posted : Monday, 5 June 2017 9:30:51 a.m.(UTC)
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Today is Day 40 - and still no pokies. Feeling stronger than ever and today I even walked past places that I had been playing at previously and had NO desire to go in....

Keep up the good work Spike. This addiction is the same as any other addiction, whether it is smoking, drugs, shopping or over eating.... but I am finding that being aware when I am stressed and that I am more vulnerable at that moments, allows me to have clarity and see sense.

Keep going every one!

I am aiming for 50 days of no gambling - 10 more days to go.

Speak soon!
spike
#50 Posted : Tuesday, 6 June 2017 10:33:17 a.m.(UTC)
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Awesome work Mortal! Keep it up.

Today is 5 days for me.

I've had a lot going on lately and a number of things have impacted on my gambling but today I had a bit of a moment of clarity...
Lately it feels as though my life has been at a bit of a cross roads and I wasn't really sure which way I was going.
My partner and daughter have been spending and extended period of time with her family several hours away (not directly related to my gambling but it is still a contributing factor).
Anyway, after being there for the weekend it's clear that they really need me and need me to be better- sounds kind of obvious but for a while I genuinely thought they may be better off just getting away from me and my problems...

I'm turning 30 next week. I want to leave my gambling behind as an issue I had in my 20s and not let it negatively colour the rest of my life.
I want to be the person my family needs to be...

This is strangely optimistic for me... I still feel like a complete ass.
The money I wasted in the last two weeks would have made such a difference for us all.
It was just soo dumb and so selfish.

Just have to keeping moving forward....

Spike
Mortal
#51 Posted : Tuesday, 6 June 2017 9:26:46 p.m.(UTC)
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Hi All

Today is Day 42 Exactly 6 weeks since I last gambled. I still have no desire for it and feel strong.

Spike - I completely know that feeling of being at a crossroads...I think I have been there for the last 2-3 years which has added to my inner frustration and sometimes boredom too. Not sure where I am going and what to do with myself.

You are at Day 5 / 6 which is fantastic. The pull of pokies slowly dies away with time. It will re-surface when you have a particularly rough day or experience anxiety....but trust me, each day becomes easier.

I have never committed to stopping like I have this time...so I am feeling the benefits of not going.

I am not waking up and beating myself up for the night before - so my self esteem is going up. I am not fixated on going, so my mind is clearer - and my wallet is not suffering because of it....A multitude of benefits.

You are strong Spike and yes, your family needs you to be the best that you can be....as mine needs me.

Keep going! You are doing great.

Mortal.

Mortal
#52 Posted : Thursday, 8 June 2017 8:28:14 a.m.(UTC)
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Day 43 is over and no Pokies.

Today I was by myself and walked past 3 places that I would have normally gambled in, and didn't even get tempted to go in.

I was very conscious of walking past them, but I had no intention of even entertaining the thought of playing.

So another day and another few hundred dollars saved.

I've probably so far easy saved a good $5-6 k so far from not playing.

Aiming to get to Day 50 as my next big milestone.

Speak soon!
Firelightnz
#53 Posted : Thursday, 8 June 2017 10:58:50 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal
Wow - Wow - Wow!!! $5-6K not spent and day 43 only seven days from 50 - that is so amazing and I truly take my hat off to you and your clear goals and thinking processes.

Cheers
Mortal
#54 Posted : Saturday, 10 June 2017 4:34:39 p.m.(UTC)
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Today is Day 46 and still no pokies!

Feel great,feeling strong and clear about the addiction cycle.

I'm just 4 days away from my next goal of 50 days....

Thanks Firelightnz.....I really appreciate the well wishes.

It is still early days, but I am glad that I am not waking up with that "night before" anxiety.

Speak soon!

gambling_helpline
#55 Posted : Saturday, 10 June 2017 7:16:17 p.m.(UTC)
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Hi Mortal

Well done. That sounds like you have made great progress in your journey towards your goal of 50 days gamblefree.

Kind Regards
The Gambling Helpline Team
spike
#56 Posted : Sunday, 11 June 2017 5:29:40 a.m.(UTC)
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Great work Mortal.

Must be about 9 days. Still just angry at myself for wasting all my money. Haven't really had the urge but that is Also because I have no cash.
I find it easy not to gamble when I feel this negative about it. I struggle a bit at trying to feel positive about not gambling and in the past when I start to feel indifferent about it that I find myself falling into the same traps.... but that is something I need to work on and you are doing great at that part Mortal.

I'm in crippling debt from my gambling. Always thinking about a magic fix that is going to make all my problems go away. Guess that's my form of denial.

In the past I used to justify my gambling as trying to win more to provide for my family. I never used to think of it as selfish as I don't like spending money on myself.

It was Cleary selfish though. Even when I was winning I still didn't walk away and I would feed all that money back in plus more. That clearly wasn't for my family.
I think it was that feeling of winning that I was really addicted to- that feeling of maxing the machine or getting free spins was like a drug to me.
And like most drugs I just couldn't get enough.

If you play the pokies long enough you always lose. They are designed to make money. Everything about them draws you in, bright lights, winning music etc.
These machines are incredibly effective at making money. yet I continued to believe I could beat the system, beat the machines.
I am soo disappointed in myself for being so gullible and naive. Yet I kept going back.

Rant over for today. Let's beat the machines by NOT playing their stupid games. It's the only way.

Spike
Mortal
#57 Posted : Tuesday, 13 June 2017 6:08:11 p.m.(UTC)
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Hi All

Today is Day 50 - And still no pokies. This is a great accomplishment for me...and I have managed to not gamble through a very stressful time which is a good sign that my resolve to not gamble is strong.

Spike - I feel everything that you said in your message. The pouring in more money, even when you are "up" is crazy and a situation I have been in 100 times or more.

AND its amazing how we start to think, maybe if I go today, I will win some money to help me pay of debt - I've had that thought many times too.

My recommendation is to focus now on getting yourself rid of the pokies once and for all, and focus on getting yourself on a clean slate financially. Both parts are important,but the first more so. Pokies is such a mugs game, and we will all find ourselves back there in more debt if we continue to gamble.

Honestly after a night of losing, I would often go to a cash point and top up my wallet and pretend that the last 2 hours never happened. Complete mug!

You are doing brilliantly. So don't beat yourself up - that will add to the stress. Congratulate yourself when you get to Day 10, 2 weeks, 20 days etc.... because at least you DID NOT GO!

All the best everyone. My next goal is 8 weeks.... so one week to go.

I have probably saved a good $6k - $8k by now.

Bye.






spike
#58 Posted : Friday, 16 June 2017 8:32:09 a.m.(UTC)
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Congrats mortal on the 50!!! Let's see 100 next!

Today is day 14.

Life is pretty hard at the moment. I am not tempted to gamble at all but the cost of my gambling over the years is really weighing heavily on me.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my partner was having some health issues and is staying with family several hours away. Today I finally came to the conclusion that part of the reason why she doesn't want to come home is because of my gambling. As much as I want to help her, my gambling and my gambling debts hang over me like a dark cloud. I think my partner has realised that is not what she needs in her life right now and who can blame her...

Just need to find a way to get my life and finances in order- which is easier said than done. All I know is that gambling got me here and it certainly is not going to get me out.

Spike
Mortal
#59 Posted : Friday, 16 June 2017 9:10:40 a.m.(UTC)
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Day 52 and no pokies - feeling strong and in control.

Early days and my next goal is 2 months.

SPIKE: Keep going - you are doing great. The best thing you can do for yourself and your partner is to rid yourself of this habit. Deal with one thing at a time. You are in recovery - and you must take care of yourself first. We all suffer from issues in life and this is your (and my) mountain to climb. No one can do it for us. Once we get rid of this habit - we will feel better and be more for those around us. We will react less to stress and do more for those around us.

You may not feel great about where you are right now - just keep going. And don't beat yourself up....that will not help you at all.

You can do this Spike....we both can beat this once and for all. Done. Finished...OVER.

Keep strong mate.

spike
#60 Posted : Monday, 19 June 2017 9:57:42 a.m.(UTC)
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Day 17

Thanks for your words mortal. It does help sharing these issues. It's sounds dramatic but you are inspiring and helping me to keep pushing forward.

Today I was tempted to gamble for the first time in 17 days. A dangerous combination of access to funds and time... I went for a big walk into town and walked passed at least 5 different pokie places on my way to the office. I had money for the first time in two weeks, should be used for bills but I was saving it in case I needed to go see my family. Even with all the self loathing, the thought still crept into my head- why not give it a go? Throw in a $100 and try and win $300?

But I never just throw in a $100- I actually keep going and going until I'm broke and then panic about how I am going to pay the bills or what I am going to eat until payday. I never actually win because I can never drag myself away. The last three years this part has got consistently worse. Even when I did manage some dumb luck and get it win it was never enough. I would just keep feeding the machines always needing more. But more what?? It used to be about the money but financially it never adds up. Spending $400 to try win a $250
Mini jackpot??? I've done it. Spending close to $1000 to try and win a $900 jackpot. I've done that too....

It defies all logic. How could I do that? I'm not a dumb person but that is frickin idiotic. I know it doesn't make sense but I am unable to help myself.

I get caught in the vicious cycle. I start out just wanting a "win" but then I loose so much, I get so desperate and stubborn trying to win my money back. That desperation leads back to the money machine again and again. Once I used to feel self conscious making that trip for the second and third times but now there is no room for feeling self conscious- just pure desperation as I pull $100 out for the sixth and seventh time in the space of an hour.

The very few times I manage to escape with a "win" it lights a fire in me and I get so desperate about needing to go back and win more...

Win or lose gambling just leads to more gambling and the cycle continues.

Fortunately today I managed to stay away.

I think I should try engage with a counsellor again. Even just typing the above you can see I am driven by that need to win and I need to address why that is and what I can do instead.

I tried the counselling a few years ago but I was still in denial and was guilty of just saying what I thought the lady wanted to hear- I wish I didn't waste that opportunity because it literally could have saved me tens of thousands of dollars.

I am a little worried about going down this path again as I have to be so careful as any knowledge of me having a gambling problem could have serious implications on my career...

I guess I'll just need to think more on this one.

Spike
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