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Newbie looking for advice
Hi everyone. I'm Kez and I'm here looking for some advice.

I've always been a sucker for getting in over my head with things, and in the past have had a serious addiction to scratchcards whereby I was going to garages and shops that sold them even if there were nearer ones to where I live or where I was at the time. This went on for about a year until I decided that enough was enough and changed my habits to make sure I wasn't in places where they were sold. I managed about 5 years without buying a single scratchcard or even a lottery ticket, although the lottery itself has never been a problem as it's something that I've never been that interested in.

Things were going well and I managed to get my finances back in order and actually manage to maintain a decent lifestyle on a very limited income until about two years ago when I started to slide back again into the scratchcards trap. Now, because I've already been there done that with them once, I've been a lot more careful and have managed to limit myself to a maximum of 5 scratchcards a week.

Since the middle of last year I've got into online bingo and while it started out as a bit of harmless fun with me limiting myself initially it slowly started creeping up, which is a big chunk of my income. I decided that it had to stop, and in October last year I played what I thought would be my last game unless it was an actual rare trip out to the bingo hall, which only happens once a year if not less frequent than that.

Everything changed 3 months ago and now I'm sucked in again big time and have lost over this week.

It all started with a death in the family, which combined with my underlying depression and addictive personality drove me back to playing online bingo as a way to escape for an hour or two, once or twice a week, with a limit set of a maximum deposit a week. I wasn't winning anything though, so thought that it would be a good idea to try a different site. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to win big, just a few quid here and there to leave on the account as "play money". One site turned into two, then three, then six as I tried to find one that I at least got a few lines on, but each time the amount I would use to try and get a win would increase.

Six weeks ago I also started playing the slots as side games while playing bingo, which is something that I've never done before as I know that slots are a guarenteed waste of money.

I'm in over my head, and I know I've got a problem, but I'm really scared as to what I should do about it. There are GA meetings in my town, but I am really terrified of going as although I know I need the help to beat this as I can't do it on my own, I'm a naturally nervous and emotional person. In fact, it's taken me all day, just to pluck up the courage to write this out - interspersed with another deposit and losing it all on the slots again.

I can't confide in my family, and I have very few friends, none of which are close enough to talk to about my gambling without them both judging me and probably just spreading the word about it to others that know me and dropping me as a friend. At the moment the only thing that I do know for certain is that I can't carry on like this.

I've no money at all now till next week, have ran my credit card right back up to the limit yet I was doing reasonably well in paying it off, and have ran up my overdraft so much that it is over the limit, something that I have not done for almost 8 years. I'm scared that if I don't get help and get back in control where I am not gambling that I will be back in the same position as I was back then where I lost everything, including my job, because of the debt I'd got myself into through a mixture of gambling and compulsive shopping (I also have a big weakness for cars - but that's another story!).

I really appreciate any advice that anyone can give me, and if someone could explain what goes on at a typical meeting then that would be fantastic as if I have a rough idea of what to expect then I am more likely to take the plunge and go.

It will be really difficult for me to go, especially the first couple of times, as not only am I nervous, but I find doing something new, especially something that I have no idea what will happen, incredibly difficult meaning that if it is something that I know nothing about, or very very little about, then I usually set off from the house with good intentions but by the time I've got the car onto the road and pointed in the right direction I chicken out and end up going for a drive instead.

Oh just one other question, I know the basic idea is almost the same as that of AA, so from my knowledge of AA (I had a supervisor at one point who went) can I ask if GA also uses the principle of sponsors for extra support away from meetings? I think this will be the deal maker for me, because if this is common practice then it would be something that I would grab with both hands and so I would push myself harder to go to a meeting if I thought that there was a half chance of having someone on the other end of the phone or that I could maybe meet up with for a coffee during the week to give me extra support especially during the early days when temptation is at it's strongest.

Phew, that's a lot to get off my chest, and now I feel totally drained and yet somehow like things can only get better from here now that I've actually said it.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice.


Messages In This Thread
Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 26-08-2011, 11:22 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by mo8865 - 28-08-2011, 10:58 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Guest - 28-08-2011, 07:35 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 29-08-2011, 09:59 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 02-09-2011, 02:17 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 04-09-2011, 01:22 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 04-09-2011, 01:28 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 05-09-2011, 02:20 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 05-09-2011, 05:08 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 05-09-2011, 11:16 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 06-09-2011, 11:03 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 07-09-2011, 11:43 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 10-09-2011, 02:51 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Guest - 12-09-2011, 03:40 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 13-09-2011, 03:07 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 15-09-2011, 03:44 AM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rhythm1966 - 21-09-2011, 01:47 PM
Re: Newbie looking for advice - by Rmllbzd - 22-09-2011, 06:16 PM

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