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The Journey Begins
#1
Hi guys,

I'm newly registered, but not new to the GA site and forums, and have browsed the forums over a good few years.

A little bit about my story so far....

I've been a compulsive gambler from about the age of 15 when the bright lights and 2p fruit machines lured me in. And pretty much for the last 28 years I've got steadily worse, spending more and more on slots, and progressing from xx to xx a spin on some occasions. Of course the really folly was graduating from the local arcade to the bookies where the FOBT machines made everything seem dreamy and hypnotic.

I'm married, have been now for 15 years, and have 2 young sons.

I was also caught by the wife 10 years ago, and we embarked on a rescue mission to help me involving a second mortgage to repay the numerous credit card debts. It worked for 6 months but I have since relapsed and got worse and worse.  Thankfully, I've had a reasonable job and not got in so deep that I couldn't make at least the minimum repayments, but that's about all I could do.

I've known for about the last 12 months that it's time for me to realise that I have to change, people can't do it for me, and to stay on the straight and narrow a lot of things have to change. In October 2017, I could also see the same obsessive character traits in me bubbling to the top in my eldest son, and I know that I want to be able to educate him as best I can and work with him so that he never develops into a problem gambler like me, I can't do that in my current state without being a hypocrite, and I can't do that to my son.

So, I've been slowly coming around to the realisation that the GA program is for me, and I started putting in some of the pieces of the puzzle.

From early December I self excluded from all the bookies in my area, for the small amount of online accounts I have, I've permanently excluded myself from them too. I haven't had a bet since, and whilst with friends in the pub for Christmas, I managed to walk away from the fruit machine without being drawn to put any money in.

For me, it's only and always been about fruit machines. I've never been bothered by sports bets, bingo, roulette, poker, blackjack or any of the other things designed to take every last penny from you, it's only slots.

Still, it wasn't enough, and despite exclusions my head was telling me that you haven't yet committed to giving up and that this whole journey cannot even be started without getting help and support from my family.

And so a week ago, I firstly opened up to my wife, about everything leaving no parts hidden, and laying bare the depths of my problems. Of course she's hugely upset with me, angry at me for the lying and deceit, but being a pragmatist has also thanked me for coming clean so that we can work through it together. With her encouragement I visited my parents and laid my soul bare to them as well. The biggest shock for me was that to them it didn't come as a shock at all. They knew I had a problem and never interfered but were waiting for the day I finally admitted it.

OMG, the emotions that came out. As a grown man who seldom cries, I have been a blubbering wreck for the last few days. The wholehearted realisation of just what I've messed up, just what I've wasted and just how close I am to losing everything has finally hit home.

I was heading to this point in my head, but now that it's here, I'm relieved to have my family to support me. I count myself lucky, others haven't had the family support from the outset.

I went to my first GA meeting last week, and I was surprised to see a good number of people all with stories like mine, with all being able to share with me their experiences. I know that this is something that I need to continue doing, and I will attend another meeting in the next day or so to continue this path.

I've given my wife all my cards, all my accounts and passwords, and for the first time in a quarter of a century feel naked with only a few pounds in my wallet. Early days, but very liberating so far, I have no desire currently to gamble.

I fear there will be dark days, but at the moment I'm high with that I'm not too late to have opened up and sought help. 

Sorting the money, and largescale repayments out I feel will be the easy thing. Making lifelong changes and committing to them will be a much harder test, but it's one I will pass. Maybe there will be some bumps along the way, but having got to the start myself there is no reason I cannot make the right choices now and not the wrong ones.

I'm looking forward to working through the 12 steps, and if I am lucky enough to be needed, then I hope one day to be able to help others and inspire them to make positive changes too.

Thank you for reading. I'm gamble free for almost 4 weeks now, to achieve what I want to achieve this needs to be for the rest of my life. One day at a time, but I start this process determined.
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Messages In This Thread
The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 09-01-2018, 08:30 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 13-01-2018, 09:46 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 17-01-2018, 04:43 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 23-01-2018, 09:17 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 24-01-2018, 11:18 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 01-02-2018, 09:44 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 13-02-2018, 05:29 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 13-02-2018, 05:47 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 20-02-2018, 10:51 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 28-02-2018, 12:07 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 28-02-2018, 12:28 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 06-03-2018, 10:41 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 12-03-2018, 11:19 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 20-03-2018, 10:48 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 27-03-2018, 06:36 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by smartie - 28-03-2018, 06:51 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 29-03-2018, 10:21 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 06-04-2018, 02:27 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 06-04-2018, 03:21 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 19-04-2018, 06:48 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 01-05-2018, 07:58 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 01-05-2018, 09:08 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 09-05-2018, 12:49 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 09-05-2018, 01:49 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 09-05-2018, 04:09 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 30-05-2018, 09:46 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 31-05-2018, 11:03 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 03-07-2018, 11:48 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 07-07-2018, 01:40 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 09-07-2018, 08:41 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 19-07-2018, 09:49 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 01-08-2018, 09:22 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Simmo - 01-08-2018, 09:39 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 02-09-2018, 08:25 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 18-09-2018, 07:43 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Chris_b - 18-09-2018, 10:39 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 11-10-2018, 10:17 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by Chris_b - 12-10-2018, 09:15 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 30-12-2018, 09:48 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by shoebox - 07-01-2019, 12:30 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 20-06-2019, 06:37 AM
RE: The Journey Begins - by StrengthToStop - 20-05-2020, 02:45 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by shoebox - 21-05-2020, 08:06 PM
RE: The Journey Begins - by gadaveuk - 04-07-2020, 05:48 AM

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