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Hitting Rock Bottom: The Fallout
#1
I was just waiting for my last selection to do his stuff and then my temporary financial worries would be halted for the time being.  Let the good times roll eh? 

I'm counting the winnings already. I've already spent it in my small mind. Majority to wipe out my hefty overdraft which is at its limit. A bit on a credit card that's dangerously close to its limit and some of it to the Mrs who has been carrying me for ages. Shes starting to notice I'm not parting with money towards key stuff but this will appease her for now and stop the recent interrogations. 

Off course nobody knows the full picture. Just yet, anyway. That I'm trapped in this hole of betting misery. The inescapable hole of debt that's strangling me and starting to affect me physically. The sheer nature of debt which is forcing me to try to punt my way out of trouble. There's no other way. I can't stop. I'm derailed. I'm not even enjoying it but there's no other way. I can't tell anyone else. I'm too embarrassed. 

The old adage 'when the fun stops' is always at the back of your mind. For me it had gone a long, long time ago. The fun stopped on 8th January 2016 precisely. I've literally spent xx over a 30 month period and its hurting me mentally and physically now. An unimpressive effort in itself but one which kept me awake most nights. 

Back to the bet then. Except we all know the score. I'm crushed. Absolutely done. I relied on this 'win' except now I'm realising Payday's gone. Only 4 days in to the month. I'm maxed out of my cards. My loan is still to come out. I've got no one to lend from. I'm terrified and broken. Why didn't I cash out? I hate my self. 

A simple instruction to pop to the local shop to get some bread feels like a request to walk the plank. The plastic ain't gonna work? I ain't got a pot to pee in. 

"I'm worried about why you have no money?" the wife firmly snaps later that evening. 

I've been going through this moment like many others probably. I can't keep this going anymore. The deceit and almost manipulative behaviour has to stop. I can imagine the fear that most people have of the dreaded postman dropping that mail that is then scooped up by a loved one, only to discover the full extent of their betting woes.  This has been a constant fear for me for over two years now. 

"I'm skint," I replied. And that was that. 20 minutes later the whole story has unfolded. Oodles of debt, deceit, lies.

The wedding rings were the first thing launched at me. "That may wipe clear one card she retorted." The anger grows markedly by the minute. Real anger. ANGER and HATE. Enough hate to turn you the dark side. 

It's the next step that hit me hard and one that you don't really consider when your immersed in your gambling woes. The real chance that you lose both of your wife and kids. Things are bad but the house isn't gonna get lost. I've paid all cards on time despite the whopping all round debt figure. No CCJS is small comfort at this stage for the other half. The TRUST has gone. 

It's the fact that Im no longer required at this point. "Go. Do one. I don't want you to put my girls at risk. I'll speak to a financial adviser and buy you out if I can. I'm taking control."


The tears flow. The realisation that I could now lose everything. Our little family broken by my selfish actions. The fact that I'd kind of masqueraded as this great dad when in fact I was a pathetic idiot really. How could I put my wife, kids and parents through this? 

Off course I never really considered this in detail. I was moments away from that champagne accie flying in which would make things better. I was in my own surreal selfish world away from the day to day grind. Escapism at its worst. 

For me it was necessarily the buzz of it all. I hated the inevitable cash withdrawal and then hoping I'd slalom my way through the accumulators. Apart from 2 punts (out of 900) the rest were pretty hideous. I was a gambling fool. A rubbish one at that. 

Its 18 days without a bet now. Do I miss the shop or online betting experience? No. Not really. Watching everyone kick FOBT's on a daily grind is hard to see. Thank the Lord they are reducing it to £2. After seeing the whole fall out at home. The pain of seeing loved ones. It's the closest thing to a bereavement in some ways. Its like a nuclear bomb has dropped and I'm sat in the bunker. My family are outside, picking up their ragged clothes in the fallout. 

I'm finding it tough in some ways that I'm feeling happier as everyone else is picking up the pieces. I'm in a good place in all honesty though. The pain in my arms caused by anxiety has subsided only this week after 9 months. Probably caused by stress.  I'm thinking clearly. I've taken my head out of the sand and organised my accounts. I lost the value of money so in a way I need to retrain my mind again. 

I've organised to get help 1-2-1 for my addiction and for the sake of my family. I've stopped any urge to punt online by contacting the relevant people and blocking this avenue. A smart early move which I feel good about. 

I'm doing stuff proactively and I feel positive. I ran 10km on Tuesday and it felt good again. 

I honestly love my wife and kids. They are all beautiful. I never meant to hurt anyone in all of this but seeing them all so upset and distraught has really focused my mind. 

If your thinking of getting help about your problem and can see similarities in your situation then just talk to your loved ones. For your own mental health it's the right thing to do. Whether my marriage survives this is another thing but one I'll strive to save. Emotions are still raw after confiding only a few days ago. 

I wish everyone the best in their recovery and if anyone has any advice on how to regain trust in this situation I'd be willing to listen. 

I'll update in a month as just writing this is a cathartic process in itself. Cheers, Positive Steps
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#2
Hi Positive Steps (ps)

A great post full of emotion and honesty...thankyou for that...

Trust is a fragile thing....so easy to break and even tougher to put back together...

Even though i haven't had a bet for years, the trust is still not back and I am kind of glad of that...it reminds them that I am a recovering addict who is trying their best using all the tools available, but still, once and addict always an addict at least in my case.

The good thing is we talk a lot more now...Communication can be a beautiful thing but in the early stages what they wanted to see was hope....hope that i was trying my best, hope for the future, hope that we had a chance together....

Hence why i attended GA, counselling and as many other treatments i can find...

I'm still working my GA program now and I hope I never stop because complacency can be the devils lucky card.

glad you are going the 1-1 and that's positive, but look out for long term support too...

All the best and keep sharing,

Smartie xx

ps...have your family explored Gam-anon?  Gam-anon is the sister organisation of GA that supports the families, friends and loved ones to help them understand the addiction that is compulsive gambling.  May help for you to have a look at their website?
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

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#3
Great post PS, very candid and I'm sure lots of readers will relate to your story. Delevoping a more mature relationship with money is only the start of rebuilding lost trust, perhaps surrendering all your financial dealings to your wife may be the start. Actively seeking help and support for your problem is your first positive step. I celebrate six weeks gamble free today and cannot return to my old ways...I wish you well in your recovery.

Micky
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#4
Hi Positive Steps,

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing. It's never easy to open up and admit defeat to a gambling addiction, or any other addiction for that matter. It's usually pride, and fear of embarrassment that are the 2 usual suspects that keep us in the same old destructive patterns.

What I take from your post is a strong desire to change, and this is something that I also had back in 2005 when I split up with my first child mum and lost a house through gambling. the desire to stop was there, but I wasn't quite ready to admit defeat and that I was addicted. I thought I could control it and subsequently stopped going to GA. Roll the clock forward 11 years, and I'm deeper in a hole financially, emotionally and mentally. Gambling literally brought me to me knees. Since then I've been to rehab and go to GA every week and have not gambled for 27 months, restored I'd say 99% trust in the home and family. It takes time and effort, and from what I have learnt that it's not words that make a difference, it's actions. I used to say sorry all the time, and made promises that were genuine at the time, but didn't last. I make a promise to myself each day, that today I will not gamble, and every day that I do not gamble, it's a successful day, even if general life could have made it a crap day.

Going to rehab was my path, mainly because I was suicidal and had a mental breakdown. It picked me up from the floor and gave me a 4 week intense course on the things that you learn in fellowship meetings. It's going to the meetings and continuing to go to the meetings that has kept me from gambling all this time.

Keep your side of the street clean, and show your loved ones the changes, take all the anger towards you on the chin, as it is actually your making, but in time, if you continue to work at recovery and make changes in your life, the anger will subside, you will make true amends through action and words not just empty promises or apologies.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Wishing you well

Simmo
One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
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#5
Hi Positive Steps,

It's been a while since you last posted, are you OK?

Let us know how you are?

Wishing you well

Simmo
One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
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