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Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

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Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby NewSunRising » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:07 pm

It is with great pleasure and the utmost confidence that I am leaving the moderation of the Gambling Addiction forum in Arie's most capable hands . He's been an unfailing source of support and encouragement here for so many years . As my Mod duties have changed over time , I have not be able to spend as much time as I wish here but know that this community is near and dear to my heart and I will never be far from it .

Welcome to the Mod side Aries ! You look very good in Blue . :mrgreen:
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby Aries411 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:26 am

Thanks for the vote of confidence NSR!

I will try my best to follow in your footsteps and to provide support to those who seek it in this forum. Reading posts and sharing thoughts have been the one thing I have done on a daily basis over past few years, where other strategies I have tried to remain gf have fizzled out. I hope that I can continue to support you all, and for you to support me, in this life-long battle against one of the most insidious addictions.

Thank you everyone!
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby Fund Manager » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:54 am

Congratulations, Aries411!

For the benefit of those new to this forum, and perhaps a few veterans as well, could you introduce yourself? A bit of your backstory, how long you've been gamble-free, what has worked for you, etc.
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby Aries411 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:02 am

My background eh… that’s going to be kinda long. I'll break it into 3 parts..

The Dark Times – The Relapse - Now

I gambled for about 17 years in casinos and online. Poker and sports betting were my thing. Just like all gamblers at the start, I started out with very small and minimal bets, but as we all know, this addiction is progressive. Within a few years, I had many maxed out credit cards and was lying to family to get money. I borrowed money from friends and took loans from banks. Luckily, I never stole or dealt with the underground scene. I was barely meeting interest payments each month and all this was hidden from my then girlfriend. I 'tried' to quit many times and the longest I was able to abstain was 2 weeks. That was because of the death of my father, where at that time, I vowed never to gamble again (lasted 2 weeks) and also when I got married and vowed to leave that gambling life behind (lasted 2 weeks). I thought I could quite on my own, but it never worked. Married life was good, but all these demons were still hidden. I had no money for anything.. a car, a house or anything. I borrowed from one place to make it look like I had money, but lies were everywhere. In 2012, my wife saw the bank statements in our join account and saw I was withdrawing almost $1000 a day for several weeks. That was my rock bottom. There was no lie I could tell that could save me from that. I then told her the truth and it was the worse time also. We had just purchased a house and she was pregnant. I don't remember that week, but there was lots of yelling and crying. My wife considered abortion and divorce. I don't know what I said or did, but she decided to stay with me. That started by path of recovery. I did anything and everything she wanted, just so that we could stay together. I self-excluded from all casinos around me, I let her control all my finances (I keep no cash on me and she monitors my credit cards), I attended GA every week, I order a credit report each year for her (so she know I did get new cards), I avoided everything to do with gambling and sports and I went to see a therapist. I began to earn her trust again and things were looking up…

3.5 years later… I had built up the trust to the point that she let me control the finances. I paid the bills and made the deposits. Eventually, that thought in the back of my mind started to come back. I started to think I was could gamble responsibly and she wouldn't even know it since I manage the finances. Those urges got stronger and stronger and I eventually relapsed and went on a binge for a few months. I stopped depositing my cheques and was now cashing them. I was going to convenience stores to make sports bets. Of course, once again, my wife saw that I wasn't depositing my cheques so I had to tell her the truth. That is when I lost all trust to my wife. The first time you are caught, the trust is lost, but it does grow back. The second time you are caught, you lose all credibility and the trust comes back extremely slowly… That was when I learned that abstinence and recovery are two different things. I was gf for a long period of time, but I was mentally weak. Looking back, I was lucky to reach 3.5 years of gf time. Once again, there was lots of yelling and mostly just crying because my wife was so exhausted from this. She couldn't take anymore. This time I told all my family about my addiction, I went to therapy again, we went to couples therapy and I also did a 3-week intake program. That is also when I joined this forum.

Fast forwarding to now… I have now been married for 8 years and I have 7 yrs old daughter and a 3 yrs old son. I am 3.25 years gamble free and now very active in my recovery. I don't avoid sports, but I am very mindful of the thoughts I get. I am well versed in CBT and mindfulness and have learned to embrace life and not to take it for granted. I am aware of my triggers and high risk periods, so I prepare myself mentally for those times. I don't go to GA or therapy anymore because I feel that I do enough on a daily basis so that they aren't required at this moment. My marriage will never be the same, but it is improving. Just as we have a recovery process, the affected spouse also has their own recovery process. She doesn't work as hard towards it, but that's OK. I have to be accepting of the pace that people deal with their own issues. When looking over the last 3.25 years, I have learned a tremendous amount and this forum is one of the things I do daily. I enjoy reading, posting and giving advice where I can. Even though our backgrounds are different, we all understand what it is like to deal with this addiction and the support it needs. I hope that I can continue to support you all and for you all to support me.
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby shanky1987 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:15 am

Many Congratulations Aries!!!

I completely agree with NSR that you do deserve this. I read your above post and I must say that you went through a very hard time, like many others because of this stupid thing called gambling but I am really happy that things are getting better for you day by day.

I wish you all the good luck and loads of love to your son and daughter!!
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby NewLife2017 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:36 am

Aries411!,

Thank you for sharing your story. You and your wife really stay together through thick and thin. I guess that determination is helpful with staying sober from gambling too. Thanks for being a new moderator.
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby 58gambling » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:32 pm

Aries411: Congrats on taking over the Mod's job! Thanks for the interesting story of your gambling past. Your story is inspirational to those who might think it's hopeless; it's not hopeless. However, your story also remind us that no matter how long we go GF, the germ of the disease is still within us, and we must take care and be vigilant to our thoughts to the end! I know so many stories of people who lost everything, including their families; so it's good to know your desire to keep your marriage and family is stronger than the disease. Just never kid yourself again that you can control this thing and start up again.
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby uskat » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:17 am

AWESOME human kindness to step in here Aries and ty for your story! THANK YOU for being here
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby rainbowcolor » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:42 am

Thank you for sharing your gambling story Aries411, it makes this forum real and the struggles that you go through to stay stop, it also help me understand that the urge to gamble is always there but we don’t have to act on it, like you said mindfulness is important.

Thank you very much for steering the ship Aries411, I will miss NSR, she is such an inspiration. :cry:
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Re: Welcome our new Mod - Aries411 !

Postby Aries411 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:03 am

No one can replace NSR. She has been a beacon of light and a source of guidance to all of us. I am sure she will be here posting time to time. I will just help her with the reviewing and editing of posts so that she can spend more time helping even more people.

I just hope my baking skills are as good as hers! :D
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