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When will it stop?

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When will it stop?

Postby Happyhunter » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:47 pm

I'm 26 years old and I've been a gambling addict for the last 3 years. Before that I worked a low paying job, but I saved my money. Then I got a job paying 50 thousand a year and I discovered blackjack. Before I'd very rarely play slots.

When I started my gambling addiction I had 12,000 dollars saved and no credit card debt. Now I have a few hundred dollars in my bank account and 20,000 dollars in credit card debt. The thought of the money I've lost and debt I've accrued consumes me. I see friends buy houses and living an enjoyable life, and I just keep pissing my money away at a blackjack table.

About 8 months ago I won 20,000 on blackjack in one weekend and by the end of the week it was gone plus another 3,000. I know there is no amount of a win that would satisfy me. I'm a terrible addict. Countless times I've blown my whole paycheck the day I got paid. Then I spend the next two weeks eating ramen noodles and not spending a dime. During these two weeks I tell myself never again. I actually start to feel happy and physically better. I feel like I will finally overcome the addition. However, that new check comes and I foolishly end up in the casino.

I've borrowed money from the people ive loved just to eat and pay bills. I've made promises I can't keep and I'm ashamed. I'm so ashamed of the person i am. I used to be a happy person and now I'm consumed by debt and my foolish choices.

I get $50 in comp 5 times a month from my casino. I know I should just let it go as I will inevitably lose more, but my brain can't justify leaving it when I need the money.

Why can't I just let go of the one thing holding me back and ruining my life?
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby 58gambling » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:37 am

The answer to the question is that you have an addiction. If you really want to stop, go to a GA meeting; you may find help there.
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby 317HSF » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 am

Hi happy.

I feel your pain.

You have made a good move coming here. I have been exactly where you are now, but I didn't come here and commit to stopping until age 32 and my debt was Mich larger then yours is now.

Seriously if you can stop now before real damage is done then that's an awesome outcome. 1st of all stop thnkong about your debt, as this focus usually drives us to gamble. Instead draw a line in the sand and commit to change, the money you have lost is gone forever your best to consider it an expensive lesson in life and move on.

The casinos will give all kinds of things to you, hell they use to fly to ball games and send gifts of iPads and power tools to me. Don't let there marketing fool you, you mean nothing to them except money for there pockets

If you are really commuting to change self exclude yourself from all gambling options.

Work hard and commit to change, after you have gone 30 days without gambling your brain will feel amazing.

Good luck, post here often!
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby Happyhunter » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:48 pm

So it's been almost a year and I've made no real progress. I've relapsed time and time again. The casino upped my comps. I know it's foolish, but usually that drags me in. I've lost my paycheck countless times and then I squeak by the next two weeks. Each time I'm convinced I'm finally done living like this, but within hours of being paid I'm back in the casino.

I'm really depressed right now. I don't want to keep living like this for the rest of my life.

Worst thing is one of my best friends is getting married soon and in March we are going to Las Vegas for a week for the bachelor party. I just feel hopeless.
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby Aries411 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:09 pm

Hello Happyhunter,

I am sorry that you are still struggling. That is something that we have all faced when we try to beat this horrible addiction. Since you are a casino gambler, have you considered self-exclusion from the casinos? It may be hard, but it a barrier that prevents you from going go back to gambling and the more barriers we have, the higher our success rate in recovery. GA is also a great support group if you haven't tried it yet. Hang it there and keep posting!
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby NewSunRising » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:29 pm

It will stop when you decide it stops . Not when you hope it will stop or when you wish it would stop or when you pray for it to stop .

Making a decision is often the first step we take towards taking back control . The next step is to make a plan . Things that you can do to distract yourself from the urges , ways you can block your access to cash , steps to self-exclude and reaching out to join a gambling addiction support group .

All those comps they keep dangling in front of you are just baited hooks . You will pay for those freebies many times over and they know it . That's why you keep getting them . It's not a gift , it's a trap .

You can leave this miserable existence behind you but your will have to fight your way out and you may have to accept that you can't do it alone . The decision is in your hands .
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby Happyhunter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm

Aries411 wrote:Hello Happyhunter,

I am sorry that you are still struggling. That is something that we have all faced when we try to beat this horrible addiction. Since you are a casino gambler, have you considered self-exclusion from the casinos? It may be hard, but it a barrier that prevents you from going go back to gambling and the more barriers we have, the higher our success rate in recovery. GA is also a great support group if you haven't tried it yet. Hang it there and keep posting!

Thank you. I have considered self banning and have almost done it, but I didn't have the courage to follow through. Unfortunately there is no GA near me.

-- Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 pm --

NewSunRising wrote:It will stop when you decide it stops . Not when you hope it will stop or when you wish it would stop or when you pray for it to stop .

Making a decision is often the first step we take towards taking back control . The next step is to make a plan . Things that you can do to distract yourself from the urges , ways you can block your access to cash , steps to self-exclude and reaching out to join a gambling addiction support group .

All those comps they keep dangling in front of you are just baited hooks . You will pay for those freebies many times over and they know it . That's why you keep getting them . It's not a gift , it's a trap .

You can leave this miserable existence behind you but your will have to fight your way out and you may have to accept that you can't do it alone . The decision is in your hands .

You're right, but this is so hard. There are days where my brain is just begging me to go to the casino. It feels like I tell it no every minute, but it just keeps asking until I eventually cave.
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby NewSunRising » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:04 am

It is hard . The addiction does not want to die . It will use everything its got to try and get us to gamble again .

I once sat in my car outside of a casino for close to an hour while my addiction screamed inside my head , demanding that I go in and gamble . I was shaking and in tears when I finally forced myself to drive away . It was a very near thing . But as soon as I left , it began to subside . It didn't go away completely , but it weakened .

That's what it's like in the beginning of recovery . We won't instantly achieve the power to silence the compulsive voice , but we can reduce its power to compel us every time we refuse to act on the urge . For me , it took about 2 months of almost constant battle . It was unpleasant , uncomfortable and at times , the mental battle was exhausting .

There are withdrawal symptoms , as with any addiction . But these symptoms , as difficult as they are to endure , cannot damage you physically . It is essential that you understand what you will be going through and prepare for it .

Please read through our Strategies thread at the top of the page , if you haven't already . Try everything and keep what works for you . The only way to get control of your life back is to take it by force . The addiction is never going to just give up and go away because we want it to , but every time we deny the urge to gamble , its power over us gets a little bit weaker .

You can do this - you have the strength within you , even if the disease is telling you that you don't . That's just another one of its lies . It is hard . But it is not impossible .
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby Happyhunter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:36 pm

NewSunRising wrote:It is hard . The addiction does not want to die . It will use everything its got to try and get us to gamble again .

I once sat in my car outside of a casino for close to an hour while my addiction screamed inside my head , demanding that I go in and gamble . I was shaking and in tears when I finally forced myself to drive away . It was a very near thing . But as soon as I left , it began to subside . It didn't go away completely , but it weakened .

That's what it's like in the beginning of recovery . We won't instantly achieve the power to silence the compulsive voice , but we can reduce its power to compel us every time we refuse to act on the urge . For me , it took about 2 months of almost constant battle . It was unpleasant , uncomfortable and at times , the mental battle was exhausting .

There are withdrawal symptoms , as with any addiction . But these symptoms , as difficult as they are to endure , cannot damage you physically . It is essential that you understand what you will be going through and prepare for it .

Please read through our Strategies thread at the top of the page , if you haven't already . Try everything and keep what works for you . The only way to get control of your life back is to take it by force . The addiction is never going to just give up and go away because we want it to , but every time we deny the urge to gamble , its power over us gets a little bit weaker .

You can do this - you have the strength within you , even if the disease is telling you that you don't . That's just another one of its lies . It is hard . But it is not impossible .

Thank you for the words of advice. I am currently checking out the strategies thread. I think a good one for me is to spend all of my extra income right away on gas, food, etc, and my credit card debt. That was gambling will be much more difficult. I just need to get that gambling free time built up. I've never really gone past two weeks ever and usually I'm lucky to hit a week. Today is day 1.
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Re: When will it stop?

Postby Happyhunter » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:43 pm

Today is day 5 without gambling for me. Feels pretty good. I'd probably been in a casino 45 of the previous 60 days. Real test will be getting paid this Thursday.
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