'I Lost Almost £1 Million to My Gambling Addiction'
Need this to be over Hi everyone, I've just signed up to this this morning so it's all a bit new to me.
Yesterday I lost the last of my wages to the fobt's in the bookies, I'm devastated.
I got introduced to gambling close to 10 year's ago now and it has easily been the worst thing I have ever done.
I work nightshift and earn a good wage but every month is the same.
I get paid, pay my bills, my debts etc then throw the rest of the money away in the bookies.
I don't have much left every month because my debts are quite high so I try to win some extra £.
Every single month I struggle financially and it's all down to gambling.
I am losing everything to it and it's killing me.
I used to be someone who was fit and healthy, gym 5 time's a week, eating well etc but now I don't exercise and eat whatever is cheapest out the shop because all my money is spent paying back debts or gambled away.
Today is yet again day 1, this must be my final day 1 as I can't take this much longer.
I have a good job, a home and an amazing girlfriend so I am very lucky in that sense but it's the gambling that is killing me.
Only one of my friends knows how bad it is and that's only because he doe's exactly the same.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thanks I'm with ya man.
Today is I hope my final day 1, gambling has literally changed who I am as a person for the worst.
I recently hit rock bottom, blowing through almost a year in saving losing money while gambling without 3 hours.
The only advice I can give, if you gamble online, is to self exclude yourself permanently.
Basically I told the betting shops about my situation and asked them to permanently remove me from all online gambling in the UK.
So, at this point it is impossible for me to lose any more online.
Not sure if that was helpful.
I've never had an issue with online betting,I done it once and for some reason never bothered with it again, it's always in the bookies that it happens.
I've self excluded from absolutely everywhere local including one independent bookmakers.
I went back into that particular bookies a few weeks after self excluding, the staff member approached me and instead of telling me I was excluded and to leave he told me that he had tore up my self exclusion form and I was free to use his betting shop anytime I liked.
If he had told me to get out the embarrassment alone would have made me leave however since that day I have lost scary amounts of money in his shop.
They couldn't have cared less that I had self excluded.
I have now given that place an absolute fortune back.
Everybody just wants the money I've worked so hard for.
Can I ask,what is longest you have went without a gamble?
I went roughly 4 weeks once and it felt incredible, I wish I had never went back to it.
I have basically hid my gambling habits from everyone since it began.
So getting it out there does feel good.
There have been periods where I am able to go 1-2 months without gambling.
I can tell you, it feels amazing.
It's weird, after a massive loss, where I have no money in the bank account to spend on gambling, Losing money while gambling without actually feel very relieved, although I have no money, because now my mind can focus on other things.
Almost like a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.
When I gamble, I tend to go on really bad benders once in a while.
Meaning, I have control, have control, have control for an extended period.
On Tuesday night, I deposited 10 pounds on betfair, just to mess around with, I was bored and wasnt ready to go to bed.
I ended up losing 21k gbp that night.
And now I am in a situation where I honestly am not sure how I am going to get through the month.
I honestly wish someone would beat the shit out of me for me being so stupid.
I am just sad man because now I think about the time I am going to have to spend digging myself out of the hole.
Like I could have used the money I wasted on so many better things that would have made me much happier than I am today.
Also, I hate bookmakers, basically peddling a product which is addictive.
Tbh, I am amazed how much betting shops are allowed to advertise in the UK.
Many times I have told myself that I would never gamble again but, nothing ever helps the urge.
I tell myself "Why am I so stupid?
I went bankrupt and was given a fresh start - nearly debt free.
That is where I'd like to be now but, I'm not.
I've managed to max out credit cards once again because of my gambling.
I am behind on mortgage payments, car payments, and utility bills.
I'm here because I need help and I would like to help others.
Lets give life a chance and take baby steps to get our lives back and be happy again.
I hope in some way I can help you or anyone else, while at the same time helping myself too.
As bad as your situation is it can get better.
To get the best support on this forum it's better to start your own thread.
If you look on the main forum page you will see a link for "new topic".
You may find the support groups a big help over the weekend.
I'm at work so havnt got time to write much more.
I hope you get your own thread started.
Don't give up hope there are many successful journeys of recovery that have started off similar to yours.
I wish you well with it, take care.
After losing everything yesterday I've woke up to a letter saying my bills are going up, typical.
Howcome the focus doesn't kick in until after losing?
It's always the same.
Yesterday set me back month's and I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it.
I have goals in life that are constantly being put off because of this.
I understand what you are saying about not feeling happy and I think it's important to always remember feeling this way, gambling has done this to us and it's time to say no more.
I heard someone say if you get knocked down always land on your back because if you can look up you can get up.
That sticks with me big time.
It's honestly time to let all of this go and start getting our lives back on track.
It'll take time but it'll be worth it.
I haven't placed a bet so feeling a little better about thing's.
So angry at myself for losing so much money over the year's, I know I can't ever allow myself to gamble again.
I think some day's the thought's are going to enter my head to do it but luckily that hasn't happened today.
The test will come when the wages go in next week, but I'm feeling confident for a change.
Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment.
So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.
As well as the forums New Members are invited to join Charles in the New Members Practical Advice Group On Mondays at 21:00 UK and Thursday at 19:00 UK And on that note.
Off work for 2 week's and it's going to be very quiet time's from now on.
Now I'm starting to realise what I should have been doing with my money.
Missing out on life because of this.
The test will come when the wages go in next week.
What barriers can you put in place?
What financial accountability will you have in place?
Use your awareness of the dangers, put things in place so that you can't easily access finds to gamble with and pay day becomes just like any other day.
I guess the more difficult test is when we get past 2-4 paychecks without gambling a single penny.
I have self excluded from all bookmakers in my area actually done this month's ago However one independent bookmaker told me not to worry about self exclusion as I just need to time to cool off then go back whenever I like.
That was said after I had signed the documents for exclusion.
I couldn't believe what I had heard.
Clearly these people couldn't care about the well being of customers and are only thinking of the money.
This independent bookmakers is where I have been gambling recently.
The next few months I have a few thing's coming up,I'm travelling to Ireland to see my favourite band Aerosmith in June,this was booked months ago and already I know I'm going to struggle financially.
It should be an event to look forward to,however maybe by the time it rolls around I'll be a little more upbeat.
I have decided to keep a small amount of cash with me at all time and leave the bank card in the house so I don't do anything stupid.
All of my expenses must be planned in advance.
I also think that alcohol can have a serious effect on me where my losing money while gambling without will completely change for the worse, so that's something that needs to go aswel.
Thenewjt, I would absolutely love to make it past 2-4 paychecks without gambling, I can't remember the last time I made it through 1 paycheck.
In 2 day's I've had 3 bill increases and a pipe has burst in our garden.
As it stands, I don't have the cash to make it this month.
I was feeling good about being away from the gambling Day7 today but life just keeps knocking me back down.
Im in some serious financial troubles.
Although selling my property would clear some of the debt owed it wouldn't clear all of it and I wouldn't be able to get another mortgage with my current credit rating.
I'm going to have to seriously think of getting a second job.
I genuinely can't believe the mess I am in because of gambling.
I no it may seem tough and you may have a tough month now, but if you can try and deal with these like I say then by next 2-3 months things will become alot more easier.
No point in sitting around doing nothing.
Fingers crossed for some positive news.
It's a lot easier to "stay strong" when your pockets and bank account is empty.
Have you told or considered telling your girlfriend how bad things are for you with regards to gambling?
Maybe she could keep hold of your bank card for a few weeks.
I've been a CG for over 30 years Craig and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that, to me, the FOBT's expedite this addiction like nothing else I've known.
My story is well documented in my previous posts so to cut a very long story a lot shorter; I had been to prison 4 times by the the time I was 25 all for thieving or deception, all the money to fund gambling in bookies, casinos and card schools.
I had sort of had my fill of it and although I did still gamble like a lunatic I was reluctant to cross the line again and risk getting banged up again.
I avoided casinos like the plague and went to the bookies once or twice a month if that, and I never seemed to loose too much control although in reality I must have done because I always lost too much money.
One night I tried an online casino and before I knew it I had emptied 3 bank accounts.
I couldn't wait for the bank to open so I could deposit more cash, I was a taxi driver at the time I had the last 3 or 4 weeks takings in my safe.
To cut this short version of a long story even shorter; I came to my senses before the bank opened, I don't think self exclusion was an option then but in any event I had decided that if I could get into that much trouble sitting in front of my computer in my own home and it was "making" me get to the stage I was dripping in sweat with the anticipation of getting money into the bank to gamble with then the computer had to go.
I took it to a second hand shop and sold it.
As I came out of the shop I picked a fare up and he asked what I had been doing in the second hand shop.
I told him, and I told him why.
He told me about the FOBT's and within few months Craig I was back in prison for committing a very serious fraud.
I cant say that the FOBTs turn people into CG's although I think that they dobut I know to a CG they are a quick fire way to rock bottom and beyond.
If whats left of your salary starts burning a hole in your pocket today, please think to yourself before it gets the better of you.
Ask yourself "whats the worst thing that'll happen if I dont get to the bookies?
In the title of your thread you say "Need this to be over" Indeed you do, its no good just acknowledging that fact.
Do you really want it to be over, if you do then you won't gamble today.
There is a huge difference between needing and wanting.
If you have to post every half hour to keep your mind off it then please do for your own sake, there is also live help available.
Look after yourself today mate, you just have to do what you've done the last 6 days, that is not to gamble, its not that hard is it.
I'm pleased to say that yesterday I did not gamble, can't remember the last time I had a payday where no money was gambled.
I headed out with a couple of friends to the pub for a few drinks, one of them started to play the fruit machines and I must admit for a second I felt tempted aswel however that feeling passed.
I would call yesterday a success.
First payday is always a tough day I've found.
I work nights mate so am off to bed.
Been keeping myself busy recently so haven't had much time to update.
Yesterday I was in Glasgow which is absolutely packed with bookmaker's and where I have lost an absolute fortune in the past.
Me and my friend would plan a day out in Glasgow and usually our plans would change as soon as we arrived.
We would go to bookies, arcades and sometimes casinos where we would pretty much always lose everything we had.
Yesterday yet again I am pleased to say that even with the temptation on every corner, I did not gamble.
So today is day 12 and my focus is on finding an extra part time job so that I can earn some extra cash and start paying more onto my debts.
I feel a little bit more in control of thing's and pretty sure that in time thing's will only get better.
Yesterday my friend who has the same issue and stopped the same day I did called to say he had gambled all of his money away.
Devasted for him as he has told me it all could have been prevented.
Talking to him after he had lost everything made me realise just how bad a grip this has on people.
One mistake of placing one £2 bet on a horse ended up costing him hundreds in the machine's.
It shows me that cg's can't bet on anything because we won't stop until everything is gone.
Today I did not gamble and although I am still struggling financially my mindset is getting stronger.
I hope that anybody reading this has had a fantastic gamble free day.
I'm sorry for your mate, does he really want to stop?
Have you told him about this site?
I dont have any gambling mates left except one, somebody I met in rehab.
Over the years we've lent each other money in effect enabling each other to gamble.
I think you'd be making a rod for your own back if you ever lent your mate money after he's had a bad day, think very carefully if he ever asks.
I'm really pleased for you Craig, your quality of life must already be improving.
Great start for you nice to see.
How did u get n talking to stepchange and your finacial companies has it helped?
I have called Stepchange and was advised of the best ways to go about clearing this debt.
They recommended a Debt Management Plan which would freeze all interest on the debts I'm paying but would remain on my credit file for 6 year's.
I have a mortgage and have been looking at selling up for losing money while gambling without while, if I go on a dmp then I won't get another mortgage any time soon.
I have realised that selling up would clear off 5 out of the 8 debts that I have which sounds incredible.
My girlfriend has asked me to move in with her aswel so I am definitely seeing a glimmer of hope.
It all depends on how quickly Losing money while gambling without can sell up.
The last few days I have been looking at how much interest I have paid on my debts over the year's, I was absolutely gobsmacked.
These banks, credit card companies etc have taken ridiculous amounts of money in interest.
My eye's are open wider than ever.
My urges to gamble are getting less and less, I do think at time's of how good it would be to get a nice win as it would really help out but instead of gambling,today I losing money while gambling without my 1st car boot sale and made enough that will carry me through the next few weeks.
I was asked if I fancied a bet on the racing on Saturday, without hesitation I declined.
Gambling is not an option.
Tomorrow marks 3 weeks since my last gamble and although time's are still pretty tough I can honestly say that my motivation and confidence is at an all time high.
To anybody reading this that might be feeling down and beat by gambling trust me when I say that the longer away from it the better the mindset.
There is only one person that can turn your life around and that's you.
Two things you mention alarm me somewhat.
I know a few CGs who did that "to pay off other debts".
They lost the proceeds of the sale to gambling.
In my experience CGs love quick fixes and easy options so I would suggest caution.
We need to be well advanced in recovery before taking such a serious step.
Taking nothing away from you, you have done great so far, and long may it continue.
You've been a gambler for 10 years, and in your own words "Every single month I struggle financially and it's all down to gambling".
Personally I think it would be a bad move to sell your house after only three weeks gambling free.
However we are all different.
There are CGs on this forum and other websites that have sold their houses to pay off gambling debts and ended up not only skint in a short period of time, but homeless too.
I appreciate your girlfriend says that you can move in with her, but again I think that may be a wrong move at this time.
You say that there's only one mate who knows of your predicament so I presume your girlfriend knows nowt about you being a CG.
It would be so wrong to move on to her home mate without first telling her of your gambling addiction.
Ultimately the choices are yours but for the last ten years you've made your own choices and look where that has left you.
You should be immensely proud for going this first three weeks in the right direction, and there is absolutely no reason why things should go tits up for you.
But before you consider these two major changes why not start on a few smaller ones; getting back to the gym for instance.
Talking to girlfriend about things.
I'm not trying to burst your bubble mate, and I'm certain that neither is Vera.
We have both been around the block a few times and can spot the danger signs.
It pays to talk and share, but sometimes that involves being told things that we don't want to hear.
People told me I was foolish to try and tot up the interest I had paid, or owed.
But I went ahead and done it.
I will be in debt for the rest of my life even if I live to be a hundred years old, imagine that.
Being a hundred and still paying for days out on fobts 50 years ago.
Like me mate you have to accept was has happened has happened that money has gone, including the interest.
That's where gambling takes us man.
Does your girlfriend know anything at all about your gambling problem??
Listen mate no one can fault you for what you've achieved so far; contacting stepchange and stopping gambling brilliant.
As you say the further you distance yourself from gambling, the better your mindset I hope you wait until you quite a bit further down the road of recovery before you make drastic changes.
I hope with regards to both decisions you learn from other people's mistakes and don't end up learning from your own.
I really don't want to be making any mistakes.
It's good to get someone else's perspective on thing's.
I've stayed in my property for over 10 year's now, it's in a town centre.
Back then I was going out all the time and didn't mind how noisy it was outside but now I can't stand it I must be getting old I would love to be somewhere a little quieter.
I was just reading on one of the forum's about a guy who managed to stop gambling for over 10 year's only to go back to it one night and lose a fortune.
I couldn't imagine how he must have felt.
It goes to show that this is something we're most likely going to be fighting against forever.
Just gotta take it one day at a time and try to enjoy the thing's that really matter in life.
Geordie asked an important question - does your girlfriend know about your gambling?
And that it is a problem?
Not sure how she would react knowing the real reason I struggle.
Anytime that we have been out together I haven't gambled, for some reason I've never wanted to gamble when I'm with her, it's something I couldn't do.
Seems like you are doing well.
Different things work for different people, but you have to trust yourself first.
There are many many people that have left this addiction firmly behind them and never looked back.
Right now I'm thinking back to exactly what happened that day, it's something I always want to remember as I believe it will play a vital part in me hopefully never returning to this horrible addiction.
I was in a local independent bookmakers playing the fobt's and I remember instantly regretting my decision to play as I knew that I wasn't leaving until I either had a win or all the money back that I had gambling without money while losing that day.
As usual I was losing money then getting a small win which would take me just under the amount that I wanted.
Overall that day I believe I lost £400.
At one point I could have walked away with £380 but as most of you know this wasn't enough, i needed the full £400 back.
So for the sake of £20 I carried on and preceded to lose all my money in no time at all.
The realisation of what I had done hit me the second the balance hit zero.
Leaving the bookmakers I remember feeling completely numb,I knew that the money wasted was actually money that I needed for a trip coming up next month to head to Ireland and see Aerosmith, my friend had already booked it,I just needed to give him the money.
That day just like many other day's after gambling I vowed never to go back.
That one moment of madness set me back roughly 3 month's.
I was introduced to gambling roughly 10 year's ago, it has ruined my life.
Since I started gambling I have always had time's where I have said "never again" only to return to it a few day's later.
I have never went a full 4 week's without before and I have to tell you all that it feels pretty damn good to be away from it.
In the last 4 week's I have made a point of finding solutions to deal with my debts.
I know that although time's might be tough right now this is something I'm going to get through.
I have made a point of spending more time with family and friends.
My parents have even commented on me appearing more upbeat and happy in life and that to me is what it's all about.
I feel I might have neglected important people in my life because of the way gambling has made me feel and most of the time I just wanted to isolate myself away from everyone.
Now I genuinely can't wait to see everyone and absolutely love to see my nephews whenever I can.
That, my friends, is what is important here.
Take a look at how you feel when gambling, how do you react around your loved ones after you have lost?
I'm thankful that I have finally taken a step back and that I finally know what is important in life.
I remember wanting to take my own life because of gambling, I remember having conversations with my losing money while gambling without after losing money about how if we walked infront of a train all our problems would be over in a second.
I thank God that neither of us never took that step.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
To anybody struggling right now please believe me when I say that things do get better when you stop and take a step back.
So to all who have commented or read this journal so far,I would like to say thank you.
Im hoping that my story can maybe give other's motivation to stop.
One day at a time is all I can do so just for today my friends, I will not gamble.
How's life treating you?
I haven't had any urges to gamble at all recently and I have made it from one wage to the next without wasting one penny which is something I haven't done since I started gambling.
It feels as though I'm leaving it further and further behind as each day passes.
Still a long way to go before I'm completely sorted out but I think I'm finally on the right track.
Keep touching base mate, I find it always help to keep complacency away.
I've had a busy couple of weeks but still here and not back there thankfully.
It's often said,like life itself, recovery is a journey not a destination.
It is an ongoing state but only enhances your life.
Keep on trucking mate.
So I have just passed 50 day's being gamble free, absolutely incredible considering I was someone that would gamble pretty much every day.
Sadly the debts are still taking its toll on me.
Me and the girlfriend have decided to move in together so that means selling my property.
The problem here is that my parents believe I'll make £1000's when I sell up and I'll be in good position to buy a house.
My credit rating is absolutely terrible and almost all money I make selling up will have to go on debt still won't be enough to clear it all So I'm pretty much going to be in a situation where my parents will believe I have quite a bit of cash but the reality is extremely different.
Not sure what to say to them, if they were to findout the debt I'm in due to gambling it would absolutely destroy them.
I feel I do have a chance to start again but it's going to be tough.
I will have to be determined to clear the rest of my debts after selling up and get money in the bank.
It will feel so deceitful if I do this without my parents having any knowledge of the financial mess that I'm in or the reasons behind it.
My recommendation would be to come clean with your parents.
You won't just be presenting the problem, you will be showing them how you are going to deal with it.
Trying to keep things hidden, particularly financial things, can in itself send someone gambling.
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