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I am a compulsive gambler - please help
#1
Hello,

Not sure how to begin but here it goes. 

I have been gambling for at least 8 years. It all started when I was on a low income and in need of extra money. I started by playing roulet online and visiting casinos and had a few wins to start with. After which I tought to myself I couldn't lose and that I had a strategy that I could beat the casino. Oh boy was I wrong, over the last 6 years approximately I have put myself in debt of about xx. I am managing to pay it back but there is so much better things I could have done with this money like putting a deposit down for a house with my fiance. At one point I did tell her about my problem when I once lost around xx and she was supportive at the time as I had recognised I had become addicted to blackjack online. For a while I steered of it and started to recover and not feeling the need to gamble anymore. However recently she was away in her country for a week and one night I was bored and went to a casino, I took xx with me and left with xx in my pocket and to be fair had a very enjoyable night, obviously because I had won. All good for a few days and next thing you know I'm opening a new account online at the same casino I had been at thinking I could replicate winning again, and ended up losing xx to add to the debt I already have and paying back. I know I have a compulsive problem and can't control it and have since 2 days ago self-excluded from that online casino and had to take a loan to consolidate the debt again so now I have 2 loans I have to pay for which costs me roughly xx every month. Imagine if I could save this every month for a few years, would have had a good sum of money to put down for a house with the woman I love. I can't come to terms if I did tell her what I have done and how much money I owe, not sure if she would stand by and why should she. As much as I am a good man to her in general I am depriving her from the plans we made together to buy a house and be happy. 

I'm here in search of guidance as I understand I have a serious problem that I find very difficult to control and this is making me feel unhappy and disappointed with myself.  

I welcome all the help anyone out there can give and some good advice on how to stay clear of gambling.
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#2
Hi, a good place to start might be reading some of the other forum posts..

What strategies to stop have you tried so far? counselling, GA meetings?

Well done for admitting you have a problem and I hope you reply soon....

Smartie xx
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
Hi Smartie,

I haven't tried anything yet other than to exclude myself from many online casinos. I have read some of the post here, it's good to know I'm not on my own. Even just earlier I felt the urge to gamble to try and recover some losses and pay my debts. But I haven't and I have come here.

Would love the opportunity to meet with other people that are or have been going through the same problem as me. I feel I can't really talk to anyone within my inner circle either at work or within my family as I feel I would be judged straight away by people. 

As much as I understand what I do is wrong I always feel the urge to give in to temptation. As if I have two minds, one reasonably says to me stay away and the other says you can go and win and fix your problems. I hate the feeling of having these urges to gamble. 

I am considering one on one counselling as I feel I would like to keep this problem private.

Not really sure what the best if for me, I feel a drift.
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#4
Hi Anonymous82,

Well done for taking steps in the right direction. The best place to meet with like minded people is your nearest GA meeting. Take a look and get yourself along. Going to meetings has been the biggest foundation for my recovery.

I understand the battle of 2 minds very well, it's like the angel and devil on your shoulders. One side of me is very logical and measured, the other is impulsive and would quite often hit the "f*** it" button. What I've learnt in recovery is that the devil on my shoulder is the child ego based on emotion, and the angel on my shoulder is the parent ego based on opinion. What's between the 2 is the adult ego state based on logic and makes the decision. So all of my actions have a process leading up to making the decision to act. PAUSE.... THINK.... RESPOND. Challenge the thoughts. Just for today I will not gamble, one day at a time.

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

I have let myself down again. I have gambled again and lost a large amount of money. I feel desperate, not sure how I will get my life back together. I wish I could speak to my fiance and tell her how much of a loser I really am and just accept the consequences. The loss of money doesn't really bother me that much because I know over time I will pay it back through hard work. What does get to me is that I am disappoint her without her knowing. I could give her everything she wants, a house and a car bit instead I screw it all up. I have to constantly find excuses for not being able to move forward with our life. I'm starting to wonder if it's not just better to put an end to it all and just leave this world. I just feel like crying, I have no one to speak to about this and feel like I'm on my own.
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#6
Hi Anonymous82,

I remember feeling that way mate, I know it's a awful place to be, but there really is hope, get to as many meetings as you can to start with, share your troubles with others who understand. Open up and be honest about the situation with your fiance, it will be hard, but it would be much harder for her and your loved ones if you check out of life. Call the samaritons, go to your doctor, suicidal thoughts are not uncommon, and there really is help to recover. You've got a problem and with help it can get better, I thought I could do it alone for far too long. Wave the white flag, admit and come clean that you have a problem, it gives your loves ones an opportunity to help you. You are not alone, far from it, even though you feel like you are, I remember feeling that way too.

One day at a time, one hour at a time if need be.

In Unity

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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#7
Hi Anonymous82,

I felt exactly the same way. But coming clean was the best decision of my life. I'll be forever grateful of the support of my family whilst I work through the repayments part of sorting my life out, and with their backing and the GA fellowship I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

From what you write, it feels like you can accept you have a problem, and you want to do something about it.

If you don't feel you can yet tell your family (you will need to do this soon), then get to a GA meeting first and hear from others and seek their advice in person. Best wishes, keep posting, and keep taking things little by little.

STS
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