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New to gambling addiction and want advise please
#1
Since I was a child I’ve always suffered with low self esteem and shyness. As I grew older I developed mental problems - depression and anxiety. I kept them a secret and didn’t know to numb the pain. Then I found anorexia. Anorexia was my coping mechanism for 10 years. I had treatment for anorexia and I thought I was recovered. Except I’m not. I’ve replaced one nightmare with another - gambling.

Growing up I was always aware my Dad had addictions to gambling and alcohol. I thought seeing what it does to someone would be enough to mean I never went down that road.

My gambling started just over one year ago when I was in a really toxic job. My boss physically and verbally abused me. One day I signed up to an advert when new customers sign up today. I played with I think £xx and within a few days I had made £xx. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like a way to make easy money. I dreamt about making my riches and leaving my awful job. I quit my job not long after. It had nothing to do with gambling I had had enough of being treated so badly. But despite no longer being in that awful environment I felt like I wanted to get the buzz again I got the first time I gambled. 

I started upping my stakes and before I knew it I had lost £xx of my own cash between March - July this year. It may not sound a lot of in comparison to some but I was mortified. I couldn’t believe I could be so stupid. How did I go from winning £xx on online slots to losing £xx of my money in a few months. 

I started lying about what I was spending and pulling all nighters just to play the slots online. I’ve often spent 10+ hours on the computer and not going to bed. Sneaking downstairs during the middle of the night to play the games. I’m mortified with myself.

My sister has also developed a gambling problem. Is it in the genes.?

I’ve had to withdraw my money from my bank account because I don’t trust myself not to spend it all on the slots online. I know this isn’t a great long term solution but I don’t know where else to start.

Sorry for the long ramble 
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#2
Hello Slick123,
It's a brave first step to admit what you just have. There is obviously a lot for you to deal with, but the first thing I can advise is to help you abstain from gambling. At GA we don't believe that gambling can be cured, but it can be stopped for one day at a time. The best and only way I have found is to attend a gamblers anonymous meeting and sharing with others who are like me about how I am feeling. We discuss the past, how we got to where we are in life, and some techniques for abstinence. Please find your nearest meeting and go and say hello. I wish you well.
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#3
Hi Chris,

Thank you for replying to my message Smile I was doing well and didn’t gamble online for 2 weeks.
Then yesterday I had a moment of weakened and went online and lost more money than I intended to.
I felt so angry and disappointed with myself. Continuously wasting my money. I have today self excluded for 5 years for online gambling. It’s the only way l gamble money so I’m hoping this will be the start of recovery for me.
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#4
Sorry to hear that you have gambled again, but well done on the block.
I know I probably sound like a broken record on here but I would really recommend finding a GA meeting. For me it is the only place that I can get advice and talk about how I'm feeling and also listen to others who have been through similar situations. The room is a powerful place and there is so much more advice and help available than a few lines on a website can offer so please find one and make the effort to go. I'd love to hear how you got on.
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#5
I would like to go to a meeting but my only concern is seeing someone I know there and feeling ashamed or embarrassed. I’m not the typical image of a gambler. I’m very sensible in every other area of life no one would know I have this problem. I only ever gamble online and now I can’t so I’m hoping the blocks will prevent me from being able to. Or am I wishful thinking that this is it now?
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#6
As someone who has felt this way before, and since being in recovery is open about addiction, I've realised that the worry about what people think is actually the addiction talking, to keep you isolated and vulnerable to continue with the very thing that you want to stop. To stop the addiction, changes have to be made, and going to meetings is the very thing that helps break the cycle of addiction. Go to one further away from home if the worry is too much, but quite seriously, just go. I knew where the answer was to help me stop, yet I found a million and one excuses not to go to meetings, because I knew then that I would have to stop.

If you really want to stop gambling and recover from the effects, the ga recovery program can work for anyone willing to follow a few simple suggestions.

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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#7
Slick123, I have a saying which is "gambling begets gambling". Very few people, if they consider themselves compulsive gamblers, bet on only one type of gambling. Normally over time gamblers go from one type of gambling to another. It's the same as "I don't do that yet". Key word is yet.
I read somewhere only yesterday that there are over 2000 online available gambling sites, and even with blocks in place, if you really wanted to you could find a way to gamble.
What the meetings do is give you a different type of help and answers to help abstain from gambling. Someone to talk to who understands exactly what you feel and are going through.
Finally, to finish, when you say you're not your typical gambler, who exactly do you think attends meetings? People from all walks of life who all have this illness and have a desire to stop. Without naming names, my meeting includes a barrister, a jeweller, unemployed, drivers, management, hairdresser, all sorts, including one who only bets online on slots.
Yes someone might recognise you but so what? Be recognised for the bravery of taking the step of seeking help.
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#8
I’m pleased I’ve managed not to gamble since last posting. I think attending a GA meeting needs to be my next move. I’ve only ever played online slots and self excluded now using gamstop. However, yesterday I was out for the day at bowling and noticed some fruit machines. I’ve never played a fruit machine, but I felt tempted to go on. I didn’t. But the urge was there and I know it will come back. But for now I’m pleased with myself for avoiding that urge. I know I can’t become complacent and I won’t.

Both my Dad and sister have gambling problems that are “worse” than mine. I mean they’re in more debt and gamble on everything and anything. I’ve been bailing my Dad out financially and my Dads been bailing my sister out. It’s all a mess. I’ve decided and have told my Dad I will not be giving him
money again to feed his gambling. If he’s unable to pay a bill he will have to deal with his actions. I’ve come to realise I’m responsible for my gambling and mine alone.
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#9
Slick123 how are you doing with your recovery?
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#10
Doing well, thanks, Chris. Still no online slots for me. Over 3 weeks now. Feeling positive.
I’d neglected paying my credit card but I’ve set up a standing order to pay it off and made my first payment this month. Referred myself for therapy through gamcare, and have an assessment arranged. Overall I’m feeling optimistic about the future.
How’s your recovery, Chris?
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