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The pain of regret

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The pain of regret

Postby movingon2014 » Mon May 16, 2022 5:56 pm

I was surprised to find my account still exists here, I was an active member many years ago.

Unfortunately my journey has not had the happy ending I hoped for and I never really 'moved on'. It hurts so much when I remember the younger man I was writing some of the posts, full of optimism for the future.

The reality is starkly different, even in ways I could never have imagined back then. 8 years wasted, more gambling losses in the last 2 years than everything up until that point combined. Lost drivers licence twice, although I only have 2 weeks left on an 18 month suspension. Savings decimated, large amounts of debt, retirement savings cut in half. 2 major leg injuries on the same leg, requiring serious surgery with the resulting injury affecting me for the rest of my life. A heart issue and autonomic dysfunction which leaves me with daily health challenges. Torn relationships and a broken heart.

While much of the above is not directly related to gambling, most of it would not have happened if I did not continue to binge drink and gamble. It is very painful to look back and it has been very difficult to move forward since I am reminded of my struggles daily.

I wanted to post this more for young people or those who are problem gamblers who think things can't get worse. I know my problems still pale in comparison to others, but for me they are major challenges. Things can and will always get worse as long as you continue to gamble. It is a disease that will progress continually and consume all areas of your life. It has destroyed my family, both of my brothers also suffer from this terrible disease as did my father. My heart is broken for what it has done to me and for the first time in my life, I started considering suicide the last few months - something I never had thought possible.

I have a renewed commitment to restore my sanity, my health and my life and I wanted to start it with returning to forum which helped me have an outlet all those years ago. It's good to see some of the old familiar names still around, but things seem very quiet these days. I will continue to post my progress over the next few months and see if I can finally turn this ship around.
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby RicardoG » Tue May 17, 2022 3:11 am

Hello movingon,

I understand your feeling of frustration...it must have been really depressing going through all of that.

Seems like you have addiction of drinking and gambling. When in the state of being tipsy or drunk, you can lose control and slip back into gambling. Although I don't have drinking problem, but I have had that problem that drinking can affect my mind to do things which I would regret the next day.

Not sure if you have tried GA before, but it would be much of help...i think there are online session too.

Take a day at a time. Try reaching out to relatives/friends so that you can stay away from loneliness.

Wishing you the best in your journey. Feel free to come back and post. We will support each other. :)
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby Aries411 » Wed May 18, 2022 6:14 pm

Welcome back to the forum movingon,

You remind us all about the reality of the situation. Despite our desire and determination to stop gambling, it doesn't always go our way. We might have a nice stretch of gamble free period, but once we navigate those up-and-downs of life, we can easily make up a reason to go back to gambling. This problem is even worse when alcohol or drugs accompanies it. I know you have heard this a ton of times, but you need to take it one day at a time. You need to try to stay away from the fog of gambling and alcohol so that you can make more rational decisions.

As Ricardo mentioned, I think GA is a great resource. Even if you don't have a meeting near you, due to COVID, many places offer online meetings. Without support, this journey can be quite difficult. At least you'll always have us and this community will always continue to support you.

Hang in there and keep on updating us on how you are doing.
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby NewSunRising » Wed May 25, 2022 12:29 pm

Hey Movingon ,

I'm sorry you're going through this and I've been in the same kind of despair , suicidal considerations included . It's a horrible feeling .

movingon2014 wrote:It hurts so much when I remember the younger man I was writing some of the posts, full of optimism for the future.


That guy is still here . It may feel like he's lost at the moment but he's not gone . He can make it back and be stronger than ever . I know I've said this a lot but overcoming addiction takes a battle plan . I tried for years to stop gambling by promising , vowing , begging myself not to do it anymore . I thought if I wanted to quit bad enough , I could do it . But that's not how it works .

This is a disease and you have to treat it like one . If you had cancer , would it go away by itself because you really , really wanted it to ? Would your friends tell you " Look man , just act like you don't have cancer and then you won't have it anymore ." ?

Would you truly be OK with telling yourself that you'd rather let it kill you because it's easier than seeking help for it ?

That optimistic guy with plans for his future is still alive and he's still got a chance for good life .

We're here for you . You're worth the fight Movingon .
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby movingon2014 » Thu May 26, 2022 12:22 pm

Thanks for the replies, good to see some old names are still active as well as some new ones. Things seem much quieter now though than they used to be.

Unfortunately I had some relapses since my last post above, not entirely surprising but reading NSR's reply this evening, I have some renewed vigour to arrest this disease.

I had thought I could attack this the same way that I did as when I stopped drinking (have not consumed alcohol since January of this year), but the problem is I still can't seem to let go. Same old tired routine, you gamble and lose money 90% of the time. Feel like crap, beat yourself up and feel depressed for the next few days or a week or so, thinking about all the previous losses and the bigger hole you now have for yourself. Then almost like clockwork, the next opportunity comes up - some type of trigger and you forget all that and rinse and repeat. I've been doing this cycle now for almost 10 years and each revolution seems to hit harder and harder, bringing me further down in this death spiral.

I've realised that I simply cannot defeat this on my own - I will need to engage counselling again or GA (never tried it) to try and beat this before it totally destroys me.
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby Notlookingback » Thu May 26, 2022 8:53 pm

I can relate so well to your post and especially the title. At times, I am consumed with regret. I am a 58 year old professional with a wife who has serious health issues, a daughter with severe autism and a 14 year old son who is growing up way too fast. Instead of dealing with these issues head on, I consistently chose to escape by gambling. When I gamble I don't think about any of life's issues, my mind is only focused on the poker game, the next horse race, and/or the game that I just plunked down significant amounts of money on. When it all comes crashing down, the life issues are multiplied by 10. Along with life's problems, now I have money issues, tax issues, and a warped mind from dopamine and adrenaline. I have been gambling for the last 40 years. The longest time I ever stopped gambling was for 19 months a while ago. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful. I recently contacted a therapist who specializes in gambling addiction and I am hoping that my health insurance will cover my visits. If not, I will pay out of pocket-money that will be well spent. I do not have access to more than $500 in cash. All of our savings are in my wife's name, and I do not have access to any of our bank accounts. Recently, I banned myself from any and all online wagering platforms. One of my problems has always been that I hold back money from my wife, as I own my own business. That's the money that I have binged on in the past. It's a long and hard process navigating life with happiness and optimism after we have basically destroyed our dreams and our life.

What I focus on is today. Not gambling in any form for a day has to be looked at as a good day regardless of what else transpired. Remember the world record for stopping gambling is 24 hours.
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby movingon2014 » Sat May 28, 2022 10:31 pm

Thank you for the replies - we find comfort in knowing that we are not alone. People from all walks of life are afflicted by this disease in many ways, some find their way out - most don't. What is the common aspect of those who never do?

I honestly don't think it can be resolved by one's own will or desire - perhaps in a small number of cases, but I think the reality is it requires some type of spiritual transformation, e.g. like what happens in GA or AA meetings. I heard Jordan Peterson mention this a few weeks back. He talked about the reason AA being so successful compared to other methods to arrest alcohol addiction was that it included a spiritual element in the programme which essentially allows you to hand things over to a higher power.

All I know is that for years I had thought I can do this on my own - dozen's of journal entries, countless 'Im starting again' written statements and goals plans. So many hours spent writing down how I will stop or what I will do. Then from that the constant failures fuel the pain, fear and regret. It's all because the fundamental nature of my relationship with the addiction hasn't changed, instead it's gotten worse and as a result it's wrought much destruction elsewhere in my life.

I've accepted now is the time for a different approach - group therapy such as a GA meeting. I have tried 1:1 counselling many times, but never with a group. The sanity must be restored first, for without that I don't think we can ever begin to heal.
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Re: The pain of regret

Postby RicardoG » Mon May 30, 2022 6:01 am

Sometimes we have to go back to basics.

Reaching out to the group of people in GA, I found that very beneficial. I remember the time when I brought my wife along for 2 or 3 meetings. The "GA" in my country is a bit unique because it has some emphasis on Christianity although non-believers can attend. And you can bring your spouse or parents.

Never thought that I would cry during the meeting when my wife was there, but I did. The hurt and damage it has done to the relationship because of the lies is real. As addict of any kind, we fail to see the damage we are doing to others especially our loved ones.

There is no real benefit in any addiction, but it is rather of self-indulgence, which is selfish. I guess now I know and understand why one of the moderator says that addicts are selfish. I used to be one of them and at times I still am in other aspects of my life, which I'm trying to change.
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