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New here - in crisis
#1
Hi, i've finally got to the point where I have to seek help. I live alone and have a job but my income is small. My husband left me with debts to clear (they are in my name also) and I had to move to a small place with an affordable rent. That was last year and when all this started. I panicked over repaying the large debt and decided to try and win a large amount of money online gambling...
It just spiralled from there. Chasing losses, gambling higher and higher amounts even not paying rent and bills because I'd spent so much. My family helped me out at first but I continued. Why I continued was because it had become a compulsion and the need for a win to cover losses and more grew. I tried to stop but as soon as I got back onto the website I'd be hooked.
I moved thinking it would be a new start but I continued to gamble. Now I've just gambled away my entire month's wages. Nothing for food or bills or rent. I am frightened - I can't seem to control anything anymore. The debts just pile up. This is the point where I realise how stupid it is to believe you can ever win anything from this - and I feel sick to know what I've done and how I've lied to my family throughout.
I can't get to my local meeting because of bus time restrictions. Would the online meeting be enough?
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#2
amelie Wrote:I can't get to my local meeting because of bus time restrictions. Would the online meeting be enough?

Well i can only say it wouldn't be enough for me...but if thats all you've got for now...see you at the next meeting...

Any other questions just ask
Smartie xx
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#3
Thanks Jay. I don't have money this month for taxis but I take your point and will do so next month. I will use the online meeting till then.
I think things had to get this bad to make the reality hit. Reading the 12 steps info I understand how my mind was working - the 'gambler's fallacy' - and maybe it's necessary to treat this as an alcoholic would and take it one day at a time, and not go to where the temptation lies. Living alone doesn't help matters but I need to remove the access to the addiction. How do I do that? I don't know how to block these sites as I'm not very computer-literate and if it's a parental controls type of block it seems it would be easy to get back in as I'm the one doing the blocking.
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#4
Hello.

When I first started attending GA I was thankfully given a lift from a fellow GA member. It is something that happens quite often. There's a good chance someone at your local meeting lives near you, you just have to ask I suppose.

I too was on my own with nobody to look after my finances, I found it a struggle. The fact that I wasn't working and had minimal income made it slightly easier though. I never carried money around with me and hardly do still today. I have learnt to carry only what I need. For almost 2 years I never carried my bank card around with me. It stayed in my desk drawer. If ever I needed to go shopping, buy essentials, etc... I would take my card to the cashpoint, once there I would step back and ask myself "what do I needed this money for?", then proceed to only take out what I needed. Whenever I withdrew impulsively I would always get out more than I needed, which was not necessary, and this extra cash would only burn a hole in my pocket. So, as soon as I'd withdrawn the right amount I would take my card back home and back into my desk drawer, then I'd go shopping.

Having spare cash, or cash in my pocket doing nothing always used to scare me as I always used have a real urge to get rid of it. I suppose I was so used to the losing aspect of my gambling that it had become a phenomenon I had got accustomed to. To a degree I felt more at home without a penny in my pocket. I am still comfortable with that today.

I never self-excluded from bookmakers or got barring software for my computer. I suppose (for me and knowing the person I am) I was being realistic, if I wanted a bet nothing would have stopped me back then. I would always have been able to find a way round these measures. For sure, they make it a little more difficult, but for me if I never go near a gambling establishment then i will not be able to gamble. So far, nearly 8 years on, I have not logged on or gone in.

I still get the odd email from certain online sites but they go straight into my spam box now. They never get opened, I have no interest on their content as I no longer gamble.

I wish you well amelie. I got to where i am now through going to regular GA meetings (more than just once a week) and adhering to the guidance offered through the GA program and welcoming the support offered.

Big Dave (Eastcote/Uxbridge)
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#5
Thank you BigDave.

I will ask if anyone can give me a lift, it may well turn out that someone can at least get me to within a short walking distance of home.

You are right about not going near the online sites. I've lost count of the times I've told myself that I shouldn't have gone there, that if I'd stayed away I'd have been a lot of money better off. Once in there I quickly found myself chasing lost money and when I've occasionally won what I thought would be enough and banked it I've gone back and gambled it all away again - and more. I am realising that I was never going to win my way back to normal life and that the only way is to face this and its consequences, blaming no-one but myself. The only way back is to stop.

It's as destructive as any drug addiction and it's too easy to pay for the drug in a couple of clicks. I don't have to go out to get it either.

I have to deal with my debts wisely and properly. It is a long and hard road which I've tried to avoid and made far worse than need be. I'm resigned to this being the only way - I can't say I have any positive thoughts about this process other than at least this is realistic. My analogy would be that of someone who overeats more and more, is annoyed with themselves but continues because they think they'll manage and then one day they have a heart attack. Sometimes it takes a big shock to make a person stop. This is me.

There will be times in the future when I will be tempted - I'd be naive to think otherwise but also experience has taught me this because I tried to stop before (without help) and it didn't last. There was also that thought of 'maybe this time...'

My thinking on that is changing and I don't believe there will ever be a 'this time'. I've done too much damage already.

I can't do it alone but I will do it with support as some of you have shown by your own stories. Like the smoker or drinker who stops, I'll never be a non-gambler but I am determined to be an ex-gambler who knows I will have to be vigilant for the rest of my life.

It will be worth it.
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