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Chris
#1 Posted : Sunday, 7 May 2017 10:20:11 p.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Mortals topic has inspired me to once again take up the battle against pokie machines so I've decided to start a three to track my own progress while continuing to support Mortals journey to recovery.

I've outlined some of my background of the problem in my response to Mortal but thought I'd use this to track my own.

And rather than dwell on the past I'm going to take a look forward only approach.

I can't change what I have done today but I can gain control of what I choose to do from this point onwards.

My daily goal is to remain pokie free and that will be my focus. During the day my goal will be to remain pokie free for the next hour, then the next one, then the one after that.

Some days are very easy, when I don't have money the issue is never there. It's only when I get paid that the feelings, despair etc come back, so I will be aiming to replace those with positive thoughts and actions.

Anyway, if this forum works the way I think it does, this topic will be my diary and if it's ok with anyone reading I may record my own thoughts to myself and am happy to take any advice of support from others so please accept in advance my ramblings, thoughts, ideas, all etc.

It gives me comfort that this is a safe environment where anonymity allows me to express my inner thoughts and feelings.

Today Im going to ban myself from the last remaining pokie venue near where I live. It's often the trigger for going into town to those venues that open till 4am, a time when I'm often at my worst.

Then I'll look at re-banning myself from those as well, the sheer number of them a daunting factor.

So morning all, it's a wonderful day...day two...and pokie free!
Mortal
#2 Posted : Monday, 8 May 2017 6:40:29 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hey Chris - I just left you a few messages on my topic, and then found yours! :)

So proud of you Chris. This place is my dairy...and I will commit to supporting you from today onwards. You are not alone - WE CAN DO THIS!

Take a look at the couple of messages i left you earlier on my topic. I will message you here from now on! :)

WELL DONE! We can do it.
Chris
#3 Posted : Tuesday, 9 May 2017 8:08:16 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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May 8, day 3. No pokies today!

Every day without pokies is a good day. On my finances I need three clear months of no pokies to either clear all my debts or be in a position to finish then off quickly.

I haven't done the math yet as it seems three months with no pokies is a pipe dream. I haven't managed that in 15 years so the focus needs to be on one day at a time, and on some days one hour at a time, so next week I will be really focussing as much as I possibly can.

But for tonight, I'll be watching Mortals video to further increase my awareness of just how bad this problem is.

I read yesterday of a woman in oz who spent her entire savings of 265,000 in a few years, an ex lawyer I believe. She spent long, long hours in her club every day for years where nobody noticed or did or said anything. For me it shows how dangerous it can be, the ruining of ones life can be happening in broad daylight, all day and night, every day, around friends.

Since 2002 I'd have lost at least that, probably a lot more.

Anyway, can't dwell on the past, it's there to make me choose a new path, and I'm determined to do it this time.

Evening all. :-)
Mortal
#4 Posted : Tuesday, 9 May 2017 8:56:18 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hi Chris - Day Three...you are doing great. Keep going - I am here cheering you on. You can do this!!! See you here tomorrow! :)
Chris
#5 Posted : Wednesday, 10 May 2017 8:42:17 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Thanks Mortal, I've mentioned on your page about starting some new habits.

My problems with pokies don't start again until next Tuesday when like clockwork the feelings kick in.

So between now and then I've decided I'm going to focus on two new habits, tiny, but positive, and regular. By Tuesday I aim to have these two habits well trained so they become second nature, then look at adding more. These will be my go to's when that first thought, or trigger kicks in.

1. Drink three litres a day, every day. No more, no less.
2. Do 50 sit-ups a day, no more, no less.

I haven't been to the gym for months even though I still pay my membership so eventually I'm going to add regular gym sessions to my habits, but small things first.

Till tomorrow :-)
Chris
#6 Posted : Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:08:37 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Hi all, Have started my new habits, my new drink bottle I believe is going to become my little reminder not to gamble in a metaphoric sense, it's replacement so to speak. The 50 sit-ups I think I'm going to feel tomorrow morning but all good, the ideas hopefully a good one.

Mortal hope you had another good day, keep it up. Evening all.
Chris
#7 Posted : Friday, 12 May 2017 6:40:43 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Evening all, continuing to take things slowly, still doing the three litres, sit-ups, all aimed at replacing the pokies habit. Will look at more useful habits later but for now it's a practice in self discipline, and so far a good one.

My drink bottle is becoming a symbol for not gambling, as finishing the third litre gives me a weird sense of satisfaction. The sit-ups however are not so satisfying...yet!

Bit weird but so far so good. We
Night all.
Mortal
#8 Posted : Friday, 12 May 2017 9:56:36 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hey Chris - sorry I missed a day or reporting ...but Well Done so far!

Keep going Chris - you are doing brilliantly. I like your drink bottle idea. Yep, i need to drink more water too.


Lets keep this going - can you imagine us getting to one month Pokie Free?

Speak tomorrow.
Chris
#9 Posted : Friday, 12 May 2017 10:08:22 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Hi Mortal, one month would be fantastic. I do try not to look that far ahead because I can lose sight of the now, but I like that idea, the daily diary and support and the drink bottle is weirdly really helping.

I'd be working and in the back of my mind I know exactly where it is. I'm now quite protective of it even.

So yes let's see this through, one day at a time, lets go for that month!
gambling_helpline
#10 Posted : Friday, 12 May 2017 7:44:04 p.m.(UTC)
gambling_helpline

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Hi Chris.

Well done with your daily plan to report in and strategies you have put in place. I note that you mention Tuesday as a vulnerable day for you as regards gambling. How would it be for you to give the Helpline a call for support as well, particularly on that day? We are available 24/7 on 0800 654 655.

Kind Regards
The Gambling Helpline Team
Chris
#11 Posted : Saturday, 13 May 2017 10:27:45 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Thank you, I might just do that, but for now I'm happy to stick to my little plan.
Another day done, no pokies!, the water is going well though the sit-ups are a struggle, should have started slowly.

Tomorrow Im going back to the gym, unfortunately the time since I started pokies fifteen years ago has seen me put on 15kg, or a kg a year, but I'll be sure to ease into it.

Good to be thinking different things for a change...keeping Mortals one month without pokies in the back of my mind.

I get that that is 11 June 2017, and we'll get there, one day at a time.

Evening all, have a good weekend!
Mortal
#12 Posted : Saturday, 13 May 2017 8:39:57 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hey Chris - good going so far. Keep going today - we can do this!!! Is tomorrow your One Week Pokie Free??
Chris
#13 Posted : Saturday, 13 May 2017 11:52:00 p.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Hi Mortal, it was actually last Friday so it's 8 days now. I tend to go in a cycle where the fortnightly pay comes around and depending on whether I've got the bills and shopping done before playing...and I play till it's all gone usually so my problem is going TWO weeks.

The problem for me is I feel none of the stress when I've nothing left. I can focus on work, home etc other than the fact that there's no point asking me for money, I don't really think about pokies cos I can't play them anyway unless I loan, and that's why I'm thousands in debt.

Loan sharks see my highish salary, low outgoings and lend. Thinking about it I'm probably just as addicted to them as I am the pokies.

So I need to work out strategies that give me the same feeling of security when I haven't got money to when I have, where I'm a mess and can only think of my ATM card and where to go.

Anyway, it's good to talk about it and I'm just remembering over the years how tied I am to these things. I'm paying at least 1200 to loan sharks every pay and gambling nearly as much again before borrowing again.

My estimate is that I'd have a good sized house paid off by now in the last fifteen years, yet here I am, renting.

It's getting beyond embarrassing.

Anyway, on a positive note the water trigger has lead me to go to the gym this morning and without this forum, and particularly your support and courage, I would never have done that. Even though I'm as unfit as I've ever been, it felt good to be in the gym, a place I used to frequent more than the pokies, which is a lot, so thanks for that, keep it up.

But promise me one thing...if you fall get straight back up and start again. Chances are if one stops keeping these forum things up to date they've fallen off the wagon so to speak and either can't be bothered or are to embarrassed to come back on.

I'm not saying this to say it's ok to start playing again, it's not, and if we are here our life depends on not playing these things.

I'm saying that in the case that you do...I/ we are here to support you.

I'm also saying this to myself as much as anyone else. This is a safe, anonymous environment for good times and bad.

So hopefully for both of us, we are here for a very long time, regardless of how we are doing because one day at a time means exactly that, regardless of what we did the day before.

We keep...getting...UP!

Doesn't have to be every single day, but for both our sakes let's keep it up as much as possible.

But in the end the only one who can really stop us playing is me, by doing it one day at a time.

Ooh, while I'm rambling on (and on) I contacted the NZGF to ask about bulk banning as all the websites don't seem to have it available in Wellington.

They say it's available so I've left a message for them and will be looking to bulk ban for the entire Wellington Region...

That's another thing I wouldn't have done, at least so quickly...I feel like I'm on a roll now...

So I'll stop blabbering, give you all a rest and be back soon.

Morning all.
gambling_helpline
#14 Posted : Monday, 15 May 2017 9:27:02 p.m.(UTC)
gambling_helpline

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Hi Chris.

Well done on being gamble free for eight days and for taking first steps towards getting help to making a multi venue ban. Sounds like getting back to the gym and sharing on the Forum are also helping you. You mention about thinking that you may be addicted to loan sharks. I'm wondering what you think will help give you the same feeling of security you say you have when you do not have money, and what you can put in place to not go to the loan sharks? Talking to the Gambling Helpline when you are triggered to gamble could, for example, be a part of your strategies.

Regards
The Gambling Helpline Team
Chris
#15 Posted : Tuesday, 16 May 2017 7:14:46 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Thanks Helpline I think the two go hand in hand and stopping one will inevitably stop the other. Sometimes when I play I might lose the last say 400 I have but in the back of my mind I know I can still go online and borrow at least a couple of hundred and pay it back next pay or over time. Or worse, several hundred to play again.

Focussing on stopping pokies means from the second I stop, I have no need for a loan. I haven't borrowed since stopping and visiting the forum and I certainly would have by now so I think they're definitely linked. I'll focus on the pokies stop for now and see the impact that has. Logically I've no need to borrow next pay. After paying bills I've several hundred left over so likecMortal has already saved I expect to start saving by not playing, but I appreciate that that will only happen if I do this one day at a time.
Chris
#16 Posted : Wednesday, 17 May 2017 6:15:03 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Evening all, Well heading out to dinner tonight. Done the bills, transferred the money out, physically no way of playing tonight!
Cant wait for the ban meeting friday to get things underway.
Can feel the stress coming back.
Hope youre still going strong mortal.
One day at a time.

Evening all.
Mortal
#17 Posted : Wednesday, 17 May 2017 6:38:49 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hi Chris

Today was my weakest day - i left you a message on my thread.

However - i distracted myself and recognized that it was addiction talking and an emotional need rather than a need to actually gamble.

You and I are stronger than this. We can beat this. It is all just a knee jerk reaction. Our addiction will be like a baby craving attention telling us all kinds of crap to get us to go.

We can tell ourselves that we deserve some fun or a treat, but once it starts, we can't stop. SO.... like you say, one day at a time.

You have done incredibly so far and the bulk banning is BEYOND impressive. Wow.

Keep going Chris.
Chris
#18 Posted : Thursday, 18 May 2017 9:28:43 a.m.(UTC)
Chris

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Thanks Mortal, very tough day today, am so looking forward to banning these things. I have a family reunion over the next few days which is why I wanted to get the bans in place before it. We've got places booked around Wellington so I might miss a check in or two.

I'm going to talk to family about it as they don't know the full story, they just know I've never got any money!

Mortal you're doing so well I'm proud of you. If I can get anywhere near that sort of resolve I'll be happy!

Evening all, one day at a time!
Mortal
#19 Posted : Friday, 19 May 2017 7:33:54 p.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hey Chris - hope all is going well.

What day is it for you today?

Keep going...YOU CAN DO THIS.

WE CAN DO THIS! We owe it to ourselves.

Mortal
#20 Posted : Monday, 22 May 2017 1:55:13 a.m.(UTC)
Mortal

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Hi Chris - just checking in with you.....how is it going.

Keep going!!!

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