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jeannie
#81 Posted : Saturday, 16 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
jeannie

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Hi everyone. This is my second attempt at posting the other is lost in cyber space somewhere. How is everyone? It has been very quiet here I can only think that either everyone is watching the olympics or gone to the olympics. Me I have done neither but trying to adjust to day shift after a long stint of night shift. Funny how you can be falling asleep in the day and then wide awake at night, had to not turn up to work the other day as my shift started at 7am and I only fell asleep at 5 am. Not a good look.
Taysh thanks for your words. I know that I really had no other choice as I had my other children to think about. Rationally I can accept that. I will hope and pray for the day that he comes back a whole person, until then I must accept what is. Yes it is very heart breaking, on another note it also gives me a better understanding towards parents whose children suffer, and they suffer along side, be it in a different way for both parties.

I have had a couple of positive days, for some reason I am feeling more confident and more in control. I don't know whether anyone else feels this, and I am not condoning gambling in anyway, but one of my huge hurdles is the idea of never going back to the pokies never having an evening out( bare in mind that what I am sharing is an example of rationalization to its enth degree) Part of me never wants to give up fully, and the idea of having to do just that fills me with dread, as I love the thrill, (fantastical thinking I know, but thoughts nethertheless) and to give up totally brings me to the point that I have to accept that I am a compulsive gambler, a thought that I would rather not accept on one hand, on the other hand what gambling has done to my life I abhor and it fills me with a deep seated sadness, and I never want to to there again. I wonder whether that mixture of thought is the basis to the many urges that we all suffer and deal with on a day to day basis. So how to deal with this effectively. As I said giving up is not an option and not giving up is not an option, such confusion and paradyms or it can be described as ambivolence. Anyway I have come up with a plan that will fill both needs and that is that I have decided that it will be OK to go back when I am completely out of debt and my life is running smoothly, the catch, I am at least a 1/4 of a million in debt, so by the time I get out of debt I should be at least 90 years old and by that time I will probably spending my time wearing coke bottom glasses and sipping tea and playing patience or passing the day at a day centre, with a nnursing home bed to boot. As you can see it fills both needs I have not said I will never gamble again, and when the time comes the chances of gambling are miniscule, which means sticking to the plan I will cease completely. In one way I am giving myself permission to feel and think these desires, which takes away the anxiety of having to change my thinking totally straight away, and thereby lessening the impact of thoughts, and at the same time providing myself protection against constant break outs. Hope I am making sense.

Also I feel more confident in the fact that I am able to have a little faith that there is a higher power that will be with me in my daily fight, and this is also where the support of others is so important. I can only strive to attain to my goal and then live on a day to day basis.

For today I am walking tall.

To all take care
fandango
#82 Posted : Saturday, 16 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
fandango

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Hi Brice,

Well done for having the courage to share what it is going on with you with other gamblers.
My friend, there is no easy way to avoid what you need to do, and that is come clean with your wife at the earliest opportunity, be honest about your gambling, and about the debt.
She is likely to be more disappointed if you continue to withhold this important information than she will be if you are honest and open about what has happened.
You will need her support to deal with the ramifications of your gambling.
Unfortunately, while you might think the rest of your family haven't been impacted so far, the reality is that they probably already have an inkling that something is amiss.
I can tell you from experience that when you lift that enormous burden from your shoulders and admit to a loved one that you are a compulsive gambler, you feel as though you are halfway to recovery and that you are not alone.
Sure, your wife will be disappointed, but that will pass.
I encourage you to find an appropriate time to tell your wife. At the end of the day a problem shared is a problem halved.
Keep posting on this forum---you are among friends here who have been where you are.
Good luck and God bless.
brice
#83 Posted : Saturday, 16 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
brice

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Hello All,

First I would just like to say thank you for having the courage to post your experiences. Just this first time read has helped me a bit.

I have a wife and two children and a very large gambling debt that they are unaware of.I cannot sleep anymore and constantly have that crushing weight in my chest telling me I have done something horribly wrong.

I am so scared to tell my wife as I know it will break her heart and she will be so dissappointed with me. I am a great dad to my kids and so far my problem has not impacted on them and they are the only thing that helps me get through the day or go home after work.

Are any of you guys able to offer advice about bringing it out into the open? Each day I put it off further saying one more day for her to live without having to know. I am sick to death of this fear and self loathing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
taysh
#84 Posted : Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
taysh

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Hi all

Brice I endorse what Fandango said. It is important to speak up to her. The best way I think is to be honest. State you have a problem and that you need her help. Lay it all out there. I have no doubt she will be shocked and even angry. She has a right to. Others who have been in this situation say that their relationships were rocky for a while but that they came out stronger for it. Honesty is part of trying to recover from this addiction, without it you are lost.

Jeannie. Well you and me too. I blew it big time this weekend. I had been doing iffy (going for about two weeks and then blowing it). However my slips were not enough to put me in the financial poo so to speak. In other words I was blowing it but only blowing $40-$60. On Friday I had a day off from work in order to do some PhD work. Yep that's a real trigger for me. Anyhoo ended up in the casino and basically spent my rent money. I will have to live very tightly in order to pay that back next payday. It's just so frustrating. Like you I know that if I won lotto tomorrow (which is impossible without a ticket, this is just fantasy people) I would probably be down at the casino. It's not about the money (gambling) despite that's often one of the reasons we apparently do it. There is a large part of me that wants to keep gambling and it's that part I am always fighting. I too tried to trick myself that I would go so long without gambling and then on such and such a day I would. That simply led me back to this point (slips every 2 weeks or so and struggling) from over 6 months not gambling. It's a lie but it's hard to think we can't ever do it again. The fact it's hard just shows how addicted we are doesn't it.

Anyway, that was Friday. It is Tuesday today so it is day four for me not gambling. I just want to get over that two week stage (sigh).

Take care everyone.
jeannie
#85 Posted : Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
jeannie

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BUST BIG TIME actually that would be an understatement,its 4am here and I have been the worst in the whole thirteen years that I have struggled with gambling. I didn;t even make 90 years, reading between the lines of my last post it was glaring that I was out of control, the mere fact that I shared my ambivolence is a neon sign that someone is in denial, namely me!!! Sorry that could be taken the wrong way, I meant that I should have recognized myself that I was spiralling out of control. I just wish I didn't have this problem, and everytime I think that I am OK, I start denying to myself the very essence of this gambling probem. I hate it I hate what it makes me feel like I hate the change that it has made in me personally, emotionally spiritually and financially, I guess there is not much left to hate. If only I could turn back the clock, there was one time in my life that gambling never ever played a part and it wasn;t until I hit my 40yrs that it reared its ugly head, I have no idea where to from here. I can't think ahead at the moment I am one to usually go into damage control very quickly, maybe this time I shouldn't be so quick and allow the hurt, the disappointment the bewilderment and countless of other emotions that follow in a whirlwind, it is like you get caught up in a vortex and there is no way out, and if you think that there is there is this negative voice/idea/or more like an extremely sticky thought that makes you think what is he use of continuing to fight, or you have.t got a problem get over it. If that is the case then why do I post here, why can't I stop, why do I keep repeating the same hurtfulo processess over and over again, Goodness my swearing vocabulary doesn't need any expansion, my feelings of losses doesn;t need any deepening, my physicl well being doesn't need any further compramization, and my finances doesn't need any more stress. SO WHY I ask myself do I choose to continue on this road that I know is only going to destroy my life. Is it that i feel so hurt with the many events and losses that have happened over the past gambling years and before that, I just want to curl up in a hollow lg somewhere and wait for this addiction to pass. Yes I know that I have to take ownership and start getting better, at this moment the pain is too intense to not feel it or let it go. I am angry that my ex husband screwed up my career, that we moved to an island and none of my family are here, that my mother died too young, that my eldest son was so hurt by someone outside the family when he was very young which screwed up his life, that I couldn't help my son when I should have been able too'I am angry that my marriage broke down, so many things and so much muddy water under the bridge. Am I letting it effect the rest of my life, most asuredly YES, I dissipate it by gambling, take that away and I will have to start dealing with myself and my life, that causes some fear and dread.

I am sharing this with you, as I am sure that I am not alone in a life of turmoil, others may have different circumstances, but I would hazard a guess that it would be just as painful. I no that this stuff is the root cause of my gambling. How to deal with it. Do nothing and I am back to the machines, go to councelling, usually sabotage that too. I have to get to a point that it is more desirable to change than to live....

Sorry if this is coming across as negative upon negative. that isn't my intention, just trying to make some sort of sense out of this tangled mess that I seem to want to make more tangled....

I know I must pick up the gauntlet and hold firm.

It will have to be tomorrow as i have already stuffed today.

I hope everyone else is OK
jeannie
#86 Posted : Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
jeannie

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Taysh it is I think one of the major steps and probably the most difficult to acknowledge the paradoxical thinking that we have and the want to not to give up, now that it is named up for what it is we can now let it go and really get on with the business of recovery, We know that there is no safety in controlled gambling but we like to think that that applies to everyone else not ourselves. To know that this feeling and strong urges is not one that I suffer alone but many of us do is enough to know that it is part, and a huge part of our addiction and what keeps us there. Its time to put it behind and keep free of gambling.

I sold my car yesterday and yep the casino was where the money went. So today I am feeling very down, not just because I lost the money, I can recover from this but its going to take a lot of time, much more time if I keep gambling.

To even listen to the lies that we tell ourselves. How do you stop doing it? I wish there was some quick fix, me and a million others. But there is not so lets get back on track and watch carefully for any sign of danger. so if we keep posting and sharing our feelings etc, ourselves and others that read here may be able to pick up when we are about to
take a nosedive. And all one has to do is say one word like, (tulip,) and when that word is spoken we know what it means and then can stop the thoughts from racing on. choosing a word like that that has nothing to do with gambling enables others to warn you without the thought that they are telling you what to do, and you can hear or in this case see that word and pull yourself up. It is a strategy that is used when people have out of control behaviour, and it stops them reaching the peak of being out of control. It does work. You usually pick your own word. So for me if anyone types tulip, I will take heed.

The other thing that I find I do is when I am going down this spiralling jagged painful path, I start in secret, I stop contacting people and don't use my life lines as by that time I have convinced myself that I don't have a problem, that I don't suffer from an addicion and it is my right to do what ever I want.......I see the danger signs flashing out of control...

Taysh this week will be a better week for both of us. I now have to go into damage control.

Have a safe day, I think I wil practice giving rude gestures to all of the gambling venues that I pass as I drive my car. An attempt to cement an abhoration towards them instead of thinking that they are fun places to go..


Fandango, how are you going? Circadian, Hocko, Kimy, Sandy, Adman and Brice, How are you all? Post soon
sandy
#87 Posted : Friday, 22 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
sandy

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Circadian sorry to hear you're in pain but well done on the gambling front.Jeannie and Taysh I am so sorry as I know EXACTLY how you feel.Please try and put it behind you like I said before at least we're not thinking after our loses how we can go back the next day and win.We are thinking we hate it and want to stop.The site has been very quiet I wonder how everyone else is doing.I'm trying a new approach sounds bizare but helps .Because I have OCD I think if I gamble something awful will happen and that seems to be keeping me away from the machines but unfortunately doesn't stop the awful urges.
circadian
#88 Posted : Friday, 22 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
circadian

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Hey Guys
I am doing fine. Had some minor surgery, still in a lot of pain. The last thing I am thinking about right now is gambling, thank goodness! I will check in again soon. Take care everyone.
circadian
#89 Posted : Friday, 22 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
circadian

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Dear Jeannie
I just read your posts. Oh my goodness, how well I understand every word... every emotion that you expressed. Is it not strange that in a world filled with unique, special human beings, so many of us have to carry this extra thing? I am always torn between condemming and analyzing on the one hand, and just expressing the depth of the need on the other... we all talk about "urges", but it is so much more than just an urge, it is a compulsion, a hunger for tranquility and excitement and oblivion all at once. It is insane.
fandango
#90 Posted : Sunday, 24 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
fandango

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I had an awful slip yesterday guys. No excuses. I feel like death though. Full of fear and shame. It doesn't help that another addiction was involved too. Just compounds the shame and guilt.

I have deviated from the programme. I have known so many days of freedom since I got honest with myself a year ago but not honest enough.

I can feel the fear in my throat and it sucks.
circadian
#91 Posted : Sunday, 24 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
circadian

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Hi all

Fandango I am so sorry to hear about your bad stumble. I understand the feeling of fear you talk about, it has a real taste and it is awful. Be strong, my friend, it was only a stumble, you can get up again. This road we travel is full of bumps and all we can do is help each other up and carry on. Don't give up, remember you are fighting some formidable opponents. Most times you win, sometimes you take it in the gut... but you keep fighting. Some are strong or lucky enough to walk out of the ring in time but most of us are trapped and have to stand and fight. The hard reality is that we will never be free, we will manage to contain the damage most of the time, and it is better than nothing. Now I know that we should stay positive, but if anyone reads this forum objectively, two things become clear:
1. Gamblers never win in the long run. The system is designed to take our money.
2. Gamblers gamble because they want to, and they struggle to stop because they don't really want to. We all say we want to, but deep in our hearts we just want to stop losing so that we can continue gambling. This is why we go back. I call it the justincaseIwinthistime factor.

So the question is: Can we achieve the Iwillneverwinsobuggerthis mindset? When I do something over and over unsuccessfully, as a logical being, I finally give up or find another way... with everything else. I walked out of a bad marriage, bad jobs, bad friendships and bad situations because sooner or later I find moving on is cleverer than struggling with an untenable situation. So why is gambling our Lorelei... eternally luring us towards shipwreck? How do we stop the seductive song from reaching our ears? I don't have the answer yet, but I have a feeling that it will come to me.

Adman, I can say the same to you. Stay afloat.

For the time being all we can do is cling together and let the stronger ones swim to keep the others from drowning. Today I am strong, tomorrow I might be the one clinging to you. This is why we need each other.

Keep posting and keep fighting.

All my love
adman
#92 Posted : Sunday, 24 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi All

Its been a little while since I posted. I got to day 8 gamble free and the urges were reasonably well controlled. Last Saturday I lost the plot and blew it big time and that sent the week spiralling down...and I feel so annoyed at myself and feeling like this wants to make me gamble even more. I'm sick of losing money and all of those negative thoughts associated with it. It can be a huge struggle from day to day. The days I was gamble free i felt good, but having that trigger in the back of your mind that all it will take is one slip and your back to square one again.

It really is great to read your posts and if only I had read your messages before gambling, that may have been enough to put that hesitation in my mind.

Stay strong everyone and together we can get through to the otherside.
hocko
#93 Posted : Monday, 25 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi everyone,

I'm now back from my holiday, and I had a big slip when I arrived back home. The holiday was great but the slip wasn't. I see that quite a few of us are struggling at the moment and I understand the hurt and frustration you are all going through. As Circadian has said, we all need to cling together to help each other through this. The frightening thing is that even if we never gamble after today, it will always be with us, like a serious illness. So for today, I'm going to be strong and tomorrow will be another day.
Take care and I've missed talking to you all over the last week.
fandango
#94 Posted : Monday, 25 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
fandango

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Circadian,

I am grateful for your post, but I am tired and I about to go to bed. I didn't go back to chase my losses today---no way---but I have had what you might call a gambling hangover. I have been crying a lot, and I have spent a lot of time with my AA sponsor. I am devastated but I have to let God and let go.

Will check in tomorrow.
fandango
#95 Posted : Monday, 25 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
fandango

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Circadian, I've been fighting my fear all weekend even though I slipped up on Friday. I've been trying to process what happened and failing to let go of what happened. Reflecting on what I should have done, rather than what I wound up doing, feeling paranoid about it, not allowing myself to acknowledge the overall progress I've made in the past year. I think it's the enormity of the kind of slip I had on Friday and the one in Australia several weeks prior to that. It's the reminder-as if we needed one-that we are addicts and that we will never be cured-but that at a day at a time, we can earn a reprieve from our compulsive gambling.
I have been talking to my AA sponsor about my triggers--some of them are too personal to share here---but I have to be increasingly aware of them.
I am fortunate that he has told me I can ring him at work if I feel in a high risk situation.
I am rambling a bit here, but am trying to get stuff out.
This weekend my sister and brother-in-law have had their nephew staying here. He is quite a rebellious kid who lives in a repressed family environment and has been causing real problems for his dysfunctional mother and grandmother who he lives with.
My sister and bro-in-law are worried about him so he has been staying with us this weekend. I have been trying to deflect my own internal focus by working with him and spending some tme with him. he doesn't have a father figure in his life.
I found have it rewarding to be able to give of myself to him and he has opened up a bit to me, more than he tends to others.
I have been thinking about my triggers, and I need to work harder on eliminating them. If I let them overwhelm me, they take me to dark, depressing, immoral places where spiritual growth is impossible.
I have just been flicking through a really nice book I've got called Psalms of Hope. They are lovely little inspirational readings and they have helped me a little.
In the last few days by my own actions I have robbed myself of a basic happiness and a purity of thought which winds up grinding me deeper into the dust and is far from healthy.
I commit today to a more energetic pursuit of the 12 steps and a path which diverts from depression and despair to hope and clarity..

Hocko, sorry to hear about your slip. Yes, we do need to stick together. Let's all get serious about this programme together and restore ourselves to sanity.
taysh
#96 Posted : Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi all, well it sounds like it's been a rocky period for many of our members. I too slipped big time. Well actually I slipped to the tune of $60 (that was meant for something else). The thing is that I won. I won enough to pay a huge bill that has been looming (my Uni fees which I have just over $1000 yet to pay). I had enough to cover ALL OF IT. What did I do? Yes you guessed it, I went back the next day to WIN MORE. Did I, of course not. I found myself being so "buzzing" from my win and the thought of paying this bill off. That wasn't enough to keep me from the pokies which just shows you how addictive they are. It wasn't for money that I went back. Anyway I didn't lose all the money I won (simply because I left half of it at home) but did go to the casino and lost all the money I had taken (which I am ashamed to admit was $500). I felt sick. So although I can pay off more on my fees than I was going to at this juncture I can't help feeling sick because I could have had it all gone. Not only that but I wouldn't still be owing fees if it wasn't for this addiction (sigh).

Anyway, like you all I just need to use this sick feeling to get on with life. I don't want to gamble again, but a part of me does and dreams of a winning day. It's an awful frustrating illness. There are times when I am so strong against the urges and then times like this weekend when I just can't seem to throw them off. I was even sitting in the casino thinking to myself "man I want to leave" but couldn't seem to until all my money was gone. So I say to everyone who has had a bad couple of days, lets just pick ourselves up. Keep fighting cos I can't quit fighting. If I do my life, plans, hope is lost.

Take care everyone.
sandy
#97 Posted : Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
sandy

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I'm so sorry to hear how you are all feeling.I wonder how Kimy is doing?I wish I could say something that would help but I can only reiterate we all trying to change gambling from consuming every day of our lives to letting it slowly ebb away.This won't happen overnight so I don't think we should have too higher expectations about how hard it is to beat the addiction.It's like our best friend and worst enemy all roled into one.Like I said in my previous post as bizzare as it sounds I just keep saying "if I gamble something awful will happen,or I won't get something I'm looking foward too"Easy for me to think that way with OCD.It's keeping me away from the machines but trust me the urges are still there.Thankyou all for your honesty it is a priviledge to be talking to so many wonderful people who unfortunately succumbed to the hideous disease of gambling.
jeannie
#98 Posted : Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
jeannie

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Hi all. Here is to a new day for each of us and a start afresh for most of us. It is a privilege to be part of this forum and together we can stand strong and look to the positive rewards of recovery.

I will post later after I have had some sleep, and feeling a bit more human, than the post night shift daze.

Fandango, Hocko Adman. we can do this.

Circadian I got a lot out of your post and I didn't see it as negative, rather trying to be honest with what really is happening with a lot of us, I can only say you may well be right we may never be free of gambling, All we can strive for is for the wound to heal leaving only a scar and not be continually seeping.

Maybe the legend of Ulysses and the Sirens have a moral that we can heed. If I remember rightly he had to plug up his ears when he went past the Sirens so that he couldn't hear their singing and so that he could remain on course, because if he stopped he would never get out of their clutches, or something like that.

A stronger beginning everyone Take care
hocko
#99 Posted : Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
hocko

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Fandango,
You are right. I've really messed up over the last few days, but tomorrow I'm getting serious about what I call my "insanity" and am starting afresh.
fandango
#100 Posted : Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:00:00 a.m.(UTC)
fandango

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You are right Taysh about life, plans, and hope being lost if we continue down this path. It's a no-brainer really, so let's pull together.
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