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New to Gamblers Anonymous
#1
Hi,
This is the first time I’ve ever posted about my problem and it’s taken me a long time to acknowledge gambling is a problem. Everyone that knows me knows I gamble but no one knows how bad it is. My addiction is slot machines so just going out for a few drinks can cost hundreds of pounds and I don’t spend time with friends as I’m on the machine all night. 
I’ve tried to control it myself and I know if I start to play them I play until I’ve won or lost every penny so best way for me to deal with it is not to play them at all which works for me. When I have money I don’t play them and tend to play them when I need money which is obviously the wrong way round!
I’ve made the gamblers cardinal sin of chasing my losses. So over the last few days I’ve lost about £1000 which doesn’t seem much but I know the worst part is that I’m back in the grip of it and I can only think about going back to the bookies to try and win it back. I just think one decent win will sort me out and I won’t do it again which is why I’m here. 
From 1st July I’ll be going part time due to Covid and money will be really tight hence gambling to try and solve the issue.
About 7 years ago I would use my credit card to withdraw cash to keep playing the machines. I now have about £35k of debt which I have on loans and credit cards. In 4 years my debt should be clear and it’s been really hard work to get to a place where I can see light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m so tempted to play again and I know I need help. My monthly debt payments are over £800 per month which is just ridiculous to me. 
People that don’t gamble say to me just don’t do it, as if it’s a matter of willpower which to them that’s all it is and I’m stupid to gamble.
This is my first step to get the help I need and my second is to attend an online meeting tomorrow evening. It isn’t in my area but was the first available online meeting. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Regards
Cbb
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#2
I am in exactly the same situation and am very ashamed and embarrassed at the amount of money wasted gambling. Only today I realised what I have done and that it needs to stop. I have decided on an IVA to help clear debts over 5 years as I also pay £800 per month out. It affects credit for 6 years but if it helps get me out of this mess then I will do it. I closed all online accounts.
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#3
Hey there Cbb

Welcome to the forums.
You story is so familiar to my own. Thankfully, you also have realised that you have a problem, and you have to do something about it.

I also tried to abstain by myself, and without fail, I may have lasted a day, a week, but I was always drawn back in, and big losses were always then racked up which I then chased, borrowed more to chase, lost that.....repeat ad infinitum.

The GA program has been my saviour, the members all have similar stories to tell, across all types of betting, and the key for me is to regularly attend meetings. It sounds stupid, how can a meeting help, but honestly it is like a reset button. It allows you to talk about your feelings, your gambling worries, your debt worries, your life worries and indeed anything that will help you to work through the fog of gambling.

I would encourage you to open up to your nearest and dearest about this issue, when its in the open, people will help you. Whilst shocking at first, when they see you are committed to getting help, I've found nothing but positivity floods back. It's remarkable, human nature is very forgiving when the right thing is being done.

If you are truly ready to stop, then give GA the same commitment that you've been giving to gambling, and your path will become a lot simpler.

FWIW, my debt levels were significantly higher than your own, and some 2.5 years after wasting the last bit of money, I can really start to see some light at the end of the tunnel, and am around 3.5 years away from paying it all back. I feel incredible, and incredibly well supported, and I know that continuous participation in the program has kept me on the straight and narrow.

For sure, we all still have some gambling thoughts, but thankfully I am strong enough now to ignore them, talk about them, and move on from them. Long may that continue. I never want to get back on the downward escalator again.

It's great that you are attending an online meeting, hope it is a good one. You'll make many new friends in this program, and you'll find that people genuinely care about you.

Keep posting, keep meeting, and keep going forwards, we can beat this together.

Best wishes
STS
My last bet was 14th December 2017. I owe GA my life, for saving mine from misery and financial ruin.
Just for today, I will not gamble. And when I wake tomorrow, I will make that same promise to not gamble, just for today.
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