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Lost Update
#1
Lost weekly update.

I’d like to start off by saying thanks Simmo for reading my post last week & for the advice/ comment.

Another week has passed & the last date I gambled on was the 22/7/18, by far the longest period I have gone without a gamble, I thought it would be worth  looking up!

Thanks for the advice on the chat rooms, 2 things I didn’t want to do was go to a GA meeting or tell my loved ones, I have now decided to go to GA, my only apprehension being, seeing someone there I know, but I could always go to a meeting in a different area I will be going next week!

However I’m still not prepared to tell my family I am running the risk they read a bill/letter over the next few months, I have attempted to counter this by typing up a letter of what I am & what I’ve done to give to them if they find out.

Now moving on, my previous post I wanted all my payday loans & bank loan covered by October 25th, that was definitely too adventurous over the last 2 weeks I have changed my repayment plans on all credit 3X, there was also loans I forgot, I have this is all  now accounted for, 

I also forgot an item of jewellery I got for my 21st birthday I pawned in May ( to gamble), this was from my mum, tbh I didn’t care at the time ‘numb’ is the way I felt I’d gambled  the money and didn’t care about it& since I’ve remembered in the past week it almost brings me to tears, I thought there was just a month then they would sell it.

So I phoned the broker up on the off chance they have it still or they could make an offer to whom bought it... low and behold they hold it for 6 months!, it gains interest obviously all the time, so I told them I wanted it back & I would be phoning up in the next week with the date I would be paying them back & I want in an email for them to confirm the jewellery will not go anywhere, which they said was fine. It will cost me 25%-30% of my monthly salary to get back but I’ll get it back!

I will be making a plan for this next week, hopefully get free-lancing work to cover it or move some of my payday loan payments as I’m on a plan so they should be flexible, worst case although I said no more credit I’ll break the exception for this but as I worst case plus i have sometime on my side!

The new date for me is the 15/12, all payday loans and bank loan gone.

If I stick to my plan my credit cards will have 30% paid off and my overdraft 20% paid off by this date too!

I will also be able to look to move out end of Feb 2019.. which just sounds great!

....but for now it’s just 1 day at a time.

In terms of triggers it’s been over 3 weeks since I last gambled my addiction was online I’ve walked past several bookies (3 near me) and not had any urge to gamble, however I have decided to go into all 3 next week and tell them to bar me (a good block in place)

I have a gambling blocker in place which is completely free!, you set you block limit and it cannot be lifted, I originally done a 24 hour block just in case it stopped anything, everything was fine there is now a 3 month block in place... which I will extend to 6 months.

Unfortunately they do not support I phone so I am now looking for a suitable blocker for my phone.

I’m now 1 week from payday the time has flown, but this makes me scared this will be the first time I have an amount of money going into my account, however my plan go to bed early the night before, make all my ‘planned payments ‘the following day, budget the rest..there don’t be much left to budget and go 1 day at a time... I can do it!

I have paid and done a root canal on my tooth before losing it I wouldn’t of bothered doing this due to gambling!

I am on a 3rd and final stage interview I wouldn’t bothered moving my career on if I was gambling!

I have gone over 3 weeks without gambling!

These are big positives, I’m filling my time by connecting with my friends... at the moment with it being free, watching a movie, going for a walk etc!, as I have no beer money.

I use my free time to complete work tasks as well!, I would leave reports to the last minute & now I get them done in advance to a better quality.

I went out last Friday for the first time in 3 weeks had enough money to barely cover 2 rounds but it was good being out... in a few months I will have a social budget, and I can’t wait!

I have read up about the ‘12 step plan’ but it all seems about finding god (unless I’m reading the wrong plan)... I can’t follow this plan due to that, I do however agree I’ve got myself in this mess and I will or myself & the support of loved ones (if I fall again) will pull myself out out of this addiction and debt mess!, by keeping blocks in place & going day by day.

I’ve tried to avoid £ values in my post this time!

My next post will be after my biggest hurdle yet payday, I would have attended GA before then & will update again in a week hopefully with positive news 

Thanks 

Lost
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#2
(14-08-2018, 09:42 PM)Lost_2018 Wrote: Lost weekly update.

I’d like to start off by saying thanks Simmo for reading my post last week & for the advice/ comment.

Another week has passed & the last date I gambled on was the 22/7/18, by far the longest period I have gone without a gamble, I thought it would be worth  looking up!

Thanks for the advice on the chat rooms, 2 things I didn’t want to do was go to a GA meeting or tell my loved ones, I have now decided to go to GA, my only apprehension being, seeing someone there I know, but I could always go to a meeting in a different area I will be going next week!

However I’m still not prepared to tell my family I am running the risk they read a bill/letter over the next few months, I have attempted to counter this by typing up a letter of what I am & what I’ve done to give to them if they find out.

Now moving on, my previous post I wanted all my payday loans & bank loan covered by October 25th, that was definitely too adventurous over the last 2 weeks I have changed my repayment plans on all credit 3X, there was also loans I forgot, I have this is all  now accounted for, 

I also forgot an item of jewellery I got for my 21st birthday I pawned in May ( to gamble), this was from my mum, tbh I didn’t care at the time ‘numb’ is the way I felt I’d gambled  the money and didn’t care about it& since I’ve remembered in the past week it almost brings me to tears, I thought there was just a month then they would sell it.

So I phoned the broker up on the off chance they have it still or they could make an offer to whom bought it... low and behold they hold it for 6 months!, it gains interest obviously all the time, so I told them I wanted it back & I would be phoning up in the next week with the date I would be paying them back & I want in an email for them to confirm the jewellery will not go anywhere, which they said was fine. It will cost me 25%-30% of my monthly salary to get back but I’ll get it back!

I will be making a plan for this next week, hopefully get free-lancing work to cover it or move some of my payday loan payments as I’m on a plan so they should be flexible, worst case although I said no more credit I’ll break the exception for this but as I worst case plus i have sometime on my side!

The new date for me is the 15/12, all payday loans and bank loan gone.

If I stick to my plan my credit cards will have 30% paid off and my overdraft 20% paid off by this date too!

I will also be able to look to move out end of Feb 2019.. which just sounds great!

....but for now it’s just 1 day at a time.

In terms of triggers it’s been over 3 weeks since I last gambled my addiction was online I’ve walked past several bookies (3 near me) and not had any urge to gamble, however I have decided to go into all 3 next week and tell them to bar me (a good block in place)

I have a gambling blocker in place which is completely free!, you set you block limit and it cannot be lifted, I originally done a 24 hour block just in case it stopped anything, everything was fine there is now a 3 month block in place... which I will extend to 6 months.

Unfortunately they do not support I phone so I am now looking for a suitable blocker for my phone.

I’m now 1 week from payday the time has flown, but this makes me scared this will be the first time I have an amount of money going into my account, however my plan go to bed early the night before, make all my ‘planned payments ‘the following day, budget the rest..there don’t be much left to budget and go 1 day at a time... I can do it!

I have paid and done a root canal on my tooth before losing it I wouldn’t of bothered doing this due to gambling!

I am on a 3rd and final stage interview I wouldn’t bothered moving my career on if I was gambling!

I have gone over 3 weeks without gambling!

These are big positives, I’m filling my time by connecting with my friends... at the moment with it being free, watching a movie, going for a walk etc!, as I have no beer money.

I use my free time to complete work tasks as well!, I would leave reports to the last minute & now I get them done in advance to a better quality.

I went out last Friday for the first time in 3 weeks had enough money to barely cover 2 rounds but it was good being out... in a few months I will have a social budget, and I can’t wait!

I have read up about the ‘12 step plan’ but it all seems about finding god (unless I’m reading the wrong plan)... I can’t follow this plan due to that, I do however agree I’ve got myself in this mess and I will or myself & the support of loved ones (if I fall again) will pull myself out out of this addiction and debt mess!, by keeping blocks in place & going day by day.

I’ve tried to avoid £ values in my post this time!

My next post will be after my biggest hurdle yet payday, I would have attended GA before then & will update again in a week hopefully with positive news 

Thanks 

Lost

Firstly well done for starting your journey and accepting you need some help....

Keep reviewing the honesty with your family.  Ultimately this is your call but remember this illness can be so much more than the money you've mentioned. 

The good news for you is the 12 step plan which is the key part of how GA works isn't about finding God.  GA is a spiritual program concentrating on honesty, open mindedness and a willingness to change.  As part of that, there is consideration to a highper power, but thats up to you what that is for you....

Keep an open mind and good journey....let us know how it goes....

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
Lost Update 

Well another 2 weeks has passed & what a fortnight I’ve got through the hardest battle so far payday & come out the other-side still fighting! I’m so so so happy I know I can beat the addiction!.. few issues but nothing involving gambling which is the biggest plus, also done my first GA meeting which was great will be going back on Thursday

So Monday last week was payday, I actually had an awful nights sleep & woke up wanting to check my account to see if I’d been paid, this process I’ve done every payday since I can remember to check ive been paid every minute past midnight then gamble a portion of my wages away, this night I didn’t.

Payday came & went I monitored & made the majority of my payments over the next 2 days.

Positives I completed setting up my last ‘agreement plan with my biggest owed payday lender’... and they’ve actually reduced what my total to pay is by 40%!!!!, this is about 20% of a months salary for me & I had so much pleasure in double checking they were sure and then removing this from my ‘debts spread sheet’.

The bad news even though I’d re-jiged my payments to my debts this month several times my months wages plus another 5% would cover my payments for the month, my initial plan pay minimums on 2 cards & scrape by, however I decided to go out the night after I got paid and spent a portion of money I didn’t really have (not much).

So this has left me now with my arrears for my bank loan from last month to pay, a payment of 5% back to my dad for the loan he gave me in July & 2 payments to credit cards.... with not much cash left in my bank, I also needed a little spending money for the trip away weekend just gone.

However my plan to counter this was to take cash out of my Savings, benefit within the next year I can pay that same amount in (my issue was it would take 3/4 months maxing instalments to get back what I’d removed), then I discovered this wont be ready to action for another week, most of my remaining monthly payments can wait but the weekend away the guys can’t, I had several ideas one was to use what little I had left and gamble ... quickly declined that option... take out another payday loan ... not really an option I wanna look into either.

I decided to meet a close friend let him know I’ve had a rough month or so & he has kindly offered to lend me the money I need, to repay my remaining debts, spending money for the weekend & a little left for me to budget for the month, Ican then dip into my savings account next week to repay him... and then get that cash back into my savings within the next year (which I can do early 2019 when debts are hopefully gone/greatly reduced & I have more available funds)... this is by far the best option, thank god for friends!

That’s the finances GA meeting, I decided to go along & introduce myself but just listen, this was truly eye opening listening to stories & updates from recovering addicts, I ended up getting home and just breaking down, the next meeting is 2 days from now where I intend to share my story... but really glad I found it... I chatted to a regular about surviving payday & funnelling my salary out where needed he gave me some great advice on not getting complacent, ‘yes see this as a great victory but get back to the daily grined of not gambling’!.. which I’ve taken on board!

The long weekend trip went well took me away from any means of gambling & with friends, I’m really not emotional but when they were all talking about their lives, some are married, have mortgages, have children.. this was the first time I genuinely listened to my mates & I suddenly got goosebumps knowing they’re all (on the face of it) happy, in love, foundations.. I literally was holding back from breaking down and crying in front of them, this might have been the right thing to do but just not me, I ended up going for a stroll & thinking the fact I’m getting my life back into perspective & focusing on what’s really important, finding love, building a future with that person, is what counts & this road is long but I either do it and get back a life I deserve and son my parents deserve or I lose to gambling and end up homeless/ commuting suicide.

I would say I’ve gone from suicidal, to angry with myself, to feeling sorry to now feeling contemplative but ambitious about the future ... I can get the life I want.

In 5 weeks I’m away for a weekend to a mates wedding with lots of close friends who are all mainly in couples and moving through life... I’m sure this will also choke me up, but for now 5 weeks couldn’t be further away & I know if I carry on as I am for 5 weeks, beating/controlling an addiction like mine would be one of the biggest achievements out of most of the people at the wedding ... I’d just be the only one to know it!

Another essay but I have found writing down as much as possible each week is helping a lot!

Lost
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#4
Hi Lost,

Hopefully as time goes by you will find your way. Going to meetings is by far the foundation of my recovery, keep going back week after week, listen and share. There is so much power in the rooms, the emotional connections with like minded people help me stay on the straight and narrow.

I remember financial struggles were the focus at the beginning of my recovery, and the finances do get easier as time goes by when there is no gambling. Keep working on recovery, and keep posting.

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
Well done Lost, sounds like you are making some real good progress.

I once read gambling described in a way that made perfect sense to me, so I'll share it here.

"Gambling was a fog around my head. It was a dense thick fog that meant I couldn't see which way to go, or what direction to travel in, I was completely and utterly lost.

Going to GA gave me a way in which I can introduce some sunshine and that has started to burn away the fog that's been surrounding me, and 3 years on, the fog is all but gone. With that lifted I can see clearly my path ahead, and be in a position to plan for all the obstacles in my way. I know mother nature can change things in a flash, but I'm now well prepared to deal with any sudden patches of fog in my journey."

It sounds like the sunshine is starting to help with your fog, and long may it continue. Best wishes, keep it up, and keep going to GA, it's something to be proud about.
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#6
Thanks for that....

I read and listen to much on stopping gambling, but i'm careful not to repeat whats seen and said in a meeting as that is a core part of the anonymity program.

In a way, the fog (illness) is still there for me....the difference is GA gives me a map to use on a daily basis but i need to accept it...

Keep positive...

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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#7
Weekly update 

First off thanks smartie/simmo & strength... strength thanks for your quote around 'the fog' it makes sense... i've come along way but such a way to go but I cant make it.

Well I slipped up this week!, I’ll get that out the way first

Last Friday I met some friends, now we often put some change in (price of a beer) to a weekend bet, my thoughts on this were to just give some change to the guys & not even look at the bet slip (just forget about it) however I went with them down the road to the bookies, I put x in the machine, I quickly put in 4X that amount, I lost couldn’t believe what I’d done made a quick excuse and walked quickly back to the pub.

I was furious with what I’d done the amount was small and although (as my posts state) cash is tight it was a small amount but the point is I gambled and thought I was fine going into a bookmakers & even more so gambling on a bloody machine!

My trigger (which I’ll go over in GA) was stepping in there if I gave my friend some change I wouldn’t of cared, although that’s in directly gambling it saves me making excuses to my friends, and I don’t even see the bet slip or what they’ve bet on or know if it’s won, however I’ve decided to say to my friends I’m changing jobs and saving up my change now for holidays, to remove myself completely from that trigger.... directly or indirectly!I’ve also decided to punish myself by staying in for 7 days (which more than covers the small amount lost).

I haven’t been tempted since & ive beaten myself up but I have to also credit myself for how well I’m doing if that stays as a minor blip it will have no affect in the long run just gotta take the lessons from it, also been sulking about making myself stay in now I can afford a couple of pints I’ve almost stayed in for a week because of the blip, so good discipline!

Now for some positives!... I landed my new job in London, yesterday I gave my notice in!, my salary increases by 22%, as well as stronger bonuses/pension & other schemes!, I’m not going to alter my ‘payment plans’ as I’m clearing so much debt each month already but using the extra to have a social life and get used to a budget (generous budget)... however I’m worried that if the job doesn’t work out and I have to leave I’ve got this debt to cover, but I have to be positive it took me 3 interviews it’s for a top retailer and they care for their staff, I’m sure after 1 month in the role I’ll be fine with no worries.

This new job now will change my life I can get the jewellery item back a little more easier this is the only debt I have no plan for to pay back.

I have put in a ‘mortgage saving’ budget/plan from next January and within 3 years I’ll have the deposit I need to buy.

I’ve completed the root canal I wouldn’t of bothered doing before if I was still gambling.

And I’m 1.5 weeks now from my next pay cheque which means 1.5 weeks from making the next stage of payments back, I’ve also not taken out any more credit, aslong as I conquer my gambling addiction my debt will also go and my money will pile up!.

I’ve also been for a run today for the first time in 4 years, it was really good head clearing time, I’m planning to go twice a week... shifting the belly fat is also a goal! Haha!

I’d also like to stress although I had that minor blip, I’m very very happy with the progress I’ve made aslong as I learn my lesson from that ‘trigger’ I know everything can/will work out..... I’m so happy with life & the statement about the ‘fog’ couldn’t be more correct!... I’m so eager to live & find love but I’ve made a plan (another one) that from now until the end of the year I’m paying off as much debt as poss & cracking the new job!..... & most importantly going 1 day at a time.

There is no denying this addiction has taken a lot of living out of the last decade of my life it has lead me to really considering committing suicide on more than one occasion... my other observation (I know here at GA we remain impartial), how many of these suicides in ‘young people’ are linked to gambling ... if it’s drug or drink addiction we hear about it ...gambling never...with the ease of gambling over the last10 years from phones/note books/laptops with no gambling ‘limits’ how many young people are losing their life from an ‘easy’ score..... I couldn’t be more glad that I’m not a statistic, I know how truly close I’ve been to the edge, at the moment I hope people can read my story & updates (still under construction Smile ) & hopefully start working out their own path out of the sh*t,...like I did from others.

My long term plan next year (when I’ll hopefully be in a stable place) will be helping others with a focus on the younger generation... quite how I’m not sure & definitely for now I’ve gotta go 1 day at a time & really focus on myself to get better.

...46 days without gambling (with 1 minor minor minor minor blip) Smile, that’s a cracking achievement!

My weekly rant will stop here my aim for the next update is to start off by saying ‘week without gambling!’

Thanks for reading as always.

Lost
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#8
how are you doing Lost?

A blip is just that, well done for putting it out here. A key trigger has been identified, and you are making steps to stop it so well done.

I can't wait to be debt free too....long way to go yet but parent debt free in 3 years, bank debt free in 4 years, and mortage debt free in 7 years, I have an awful lot to be thankful for and by being determined to stay off of gambling, I hope to be able to shorten that timeline down as I will work hard to earn bonusses and payrises along the way.

Hope you find love - you'll find many things will open up for you now the fog has started to lift. How's the running going?
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