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I just can't do it anymore... I want my life back!!!!

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I just can't do it anymore... I want my life back!!!!

Postby krissy343 » Thu May 31, 2012 5:14 pm

Hi. I'm Krissy and I'm from Indiana, USA. Let me start at the beginning. I turned 21 in 2001 (legal gambling age in the USA) and my mom took me to a local casino for my birthday. I think I only took about $40 and I didn't find it to be much fun. I played video machines and while the bonuses were fun, I didn't like the idea of "spinning away" my money. From that point until 2010, I think I gambled in a casino less than 10 times. Every time I went I either spent my approximately $40 and left when I lost it or went home when I was ahead. At that time I MUCH preferred shopping over gambling. In the fall of 2009 I had quite a bit of extra money and my fiancee and I went to a local casino. Every machine I went to seemed to hit and put me ahead. Then I got on a video machine where I was playing the max amount and hit $500. That did it! That hooked me! I ended up walking out that night ahead, but then I started going back on a regular basis and obviously the results were not the same on those trips. It started off where I would take around $40-$50 and then it gradually got to where I was taking more and more. It wasn't unusual to take (and lose) $300.

By May 2010, I was so addicted that I decided it would be a good thing to evict myself from the casino. I went to the security office, told them I was a gambling addict, signed some paperwork and they escorted me off of the property and said I was evicted permanently, but that I could appeal it after a year. I did ok for only about 10 days. Then I decided I would check out a casino about 30 minutes away. I started going there once or twice a week. One of the perks with being a member there is that you get "free play" twice a week. That REALLY drew me in. When I started, it was $10 twice a week. Then I got up to a higher level and it was $20 twice a week. Now it's $30 a week plus I get an extra $15 every weekend. I find it so difficult to stay away. I end telling myself that I will only go and play the "free money" and then I'll leave. Never ever happens.

Last August or September I was there and ended up winning a few hundred dollars. I decided that since I was up, I was going to spend $100 on one of my favorite machines and bet the max amount. I ended up hitting a jackpot for over $3,000. I was ecstatic! I had NEVER won a jackpot before! That added more fuel to the fire to say the least. That day I left with all of my winnings and bought a new computer, went on a small shopping trip and then the next day back to the casino where I won 2 more jackpots. Both were around $1,500. Within days all of my winnings were gone and I was broke. I found myself selling things to make money to gamble, borrowing from family members etc. Then, when all my other options ran out, I ended up taking a loan out on my car. That was a huge mistake. The loan was for $1,200 and I took it directly to the casino. That night it was gone. Completely GONE! Then I was stuck with a car payment every month plus I had to still pay my other bills AND fund my gambling addiction. Since then I've borrowed more money from family members and spent bill money on a regular basis. I truly feel like I'm at rock bottom now.

The worst part of all of this is that I work at a casino as a slot attendant. I PAY JACKPOTS!! I fix slot machines. I'm around all of the noise and excitement of a casino on a regular basis. I see what it does to people yet I still do it. There was a lady who used to come in all of the time and spend tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) each visit. Last November her family found her in their barn. She hanged herself. I DO NOT want to get to that point! I NEED to stop and I need to stop now!

I'm sorry if this was too long, but I really had to get it off of my chest. I'm really glad I found this forum and I plan to become active in it. I need to do something to get this damn monkey off my back.... Thank you for reading this and please, if you have any advice that could help me, please share!
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Re: I just can't do it anymore... I want my life back!!!!

Postby youneverknow » Thu May 31, 2012 10:17 pm

Hi Krissy,

It's a huge first step just admitting the problem. I don't feel like I'm qualified to tell you what to do, but I CAN tell you that I couldn't, ABSOLUTELY couldn't successfully quit gambling if I worked at a Casino. Everyone is different, but whenever I hear of anyone winning 'big', I literally feel my heart kick into overdrive. I've been bet-free for 3 full months now, but I still feel that tug whenever someone tells me they won at Keno, or the slots or any kind of gambling (but Keno and slots were my true loves). To be in a Casino and have to go to the machine that's ringing with it's flashing lights, again and again, would for me, be like waving a red flag at a bull.

If you can do that, more power to you, but it sure would be torture for me. In my case I'd have to have a serious sit down with myself and ask if the job was making me money or keeping me broke and addicted, and go from there.

I've already given what little advice I have in a PM reply to you, (hope it helped) and applaud your decision that enough is enough.

Fingers crossed that each of your steps from here on are solid. It's do-able, but I'd have to say don't be afraid to do whatever it is you know you need to, to get healthy again. Good choices aren't always easy, but they ARE always worth it.

Cheers.
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Re: I just can't do it anymore... I want my life back!!!!

Postby JimmySnyder » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:06 am

Just wanted to share that I've reached the point where I'm happier when I don't gamble, and get severely depressed when I gamble. And yet I still gamble.

If you can relate to that level of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization, I suggest you cut your losses, just completely write it off as something that happened in the past, and abstain from gambling completely for the rest of your life. Clean break. If you have to relapse, then go ahead. You'll probably learn your lesson quickly. Compulsive gambling is a really unforgiving, horrible disease. I say this as an alcoholic who has stayed away from a lot of stuff for years. Gambling is worse.

I have gone from losing $100 a day to losing $1500 a day. I can't imagine how nice my life would be if I spent that money on myself instead of flushing it down the toilet. The only thing that has gotten stronger is my disease. I act like I am in control. When I stop gambling for a while I feel better and my confidence goes up. Everyone at the casino is my friend again. But the minute I sit down I lose all control and cannot stop. If I win, like you I spend it really quickly and pull out more and then lose twice or three times what I won before I stop.

Gambling can turn into a horrible, horrible thing and we forget easily how horrible it is. The bright lights, the promise of high returns, the TV shows glamorizing the lifestyle, the advertisements on the radio. I can totally relate to banning myself from a casino and then going to another one. I've done that exact thing!

I'm not going to advise you to leave your job, but you really really need to draw a firm line. Lots of alcoholics for example, can work at bars. It's okay to think and obsess about gambling in the beginning, but you must stop at actually gambling. That's when $#%^ gets crazy. If you are a compulsive gambler, you will try to gamble only $10 and end up losing everything. You will try to gamble only on weekends. You will try to gamble only when you're "feeling lucky." You will say to yourself "well I haven't lost it all so I don't have a gambling problem."

Over time the urge to throw your money away will leave you. Talking on this board really helps me a lot. I also came across this video on Youtube and this guy's honesty really helped me out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqTJSR4_ujE

He has the best of intentions in the beginning and seems like a really deserving guy that is going to win a bunch of money, but by the end of it he is using water spray to clean out his cup holder that has a bunch of pennies stuck in it so that he can buy just enough gas to drive home. I've done that! That is the f*cking rope waiting for you in the barn my friend.

If you are a Godly person, I suggest you pray in the morning to ask God to relieve you of the desire to stop gambling and to fill your life with new and better things. When I gamble all the good stuff in my life is really far, far away.
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Re: I just can't do it anymore... I want my life back!!!!

Postby mikeyleeray » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:29 am

Like you I work in the gambling industry, with slot machines too. I look at the faces of people with addictions and I think to myself 'thank God that's not me' it's not that I haven't struggled with addiction, I've been addicted to video games, been on alcoholic binges in the past though I never really touched drugs. As Jimmy says you have to find things in your life that are more positive than your current addiction. Allow me to define addiction as I see it, abnormal behavior and patterns of behavior that are repeated with negative consequences to mental and physical health, wellbeing, relationships and your bank balance / financial situation. Yes there are lots of other things you could be spending your money on. A new outfit to look nice in perhaps or a magazine about your favorite hobby. The difference between a hobby and an addiction is that one is positive (a hobby) and one is negative (addiction). A hobby is something you can do over and over and the more you do it the better you get at it and the better you feel as a result. You can take pride in it. Addiction however is the same old routine. In the case of gambline especially slots there is no way in hell you'll ever get 'better' at it because the odds will always be the same ie 1 in 1000000 of winning. Addiction is something we feel ashamed of.I am sure you're a great person and you have achieved things in your life that you are proud of. Maybe this sounds cliched but just know that you are loved by God and that you are special, you are surrounded by the love of family and friends. If you feel like you are falling don't worry, they are there to catch you so lean on them for support when desperate. Sorry for writing so much, I guess that's MY addiction lol. Sincerely, - MLR
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