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So my first thread... - Printable Version

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So my first thread... - beentryingyears - 07-02-2018

I'm 31 years old and have known for 6 years that my gambling is a major problem.  I've managed to hide it, been deceitful and to be perfectly honest, I am still being deceitful to my partner as she has no idea as to the extent of my problem.

I've confided in two friends over the last two days (this is now day 3 for me without a bet).

My problem is with FOBT's - I've never placed more than £xx on a football bet, and could always take it or leave it, but these things have had me putting in my months wages across a day or two and then getting into more debt to chase it back.  I am so ashamed of myself and I am terrified that my partner will leave me if she finds out.  

I am trying to take it a day at a time (again) and know that this has to be it.  I will lose everything if I keep going the way I was.  

I know the next part is really sneaky, but I think that if I can stay gamble-free, work hard, that come May my finances will look much better and the extent of what I did won't be as bad!  

The nearest meeting is 7 miles away and I don't drive so I can'r see me being able to attend and given I live in a pretty big town I was hopeful that there would be one much closer.  

I don't really know how to conclude this other than to say that typing this out has helped a tad and that I plan on coming online every single day to express how I am feeling and share my thoughts and concerns. . 
 Thanks for taking the time to read.


RE: So my first thread... - Simmo - 07-02-2018

Welcome beentryingyears,

Firstly, well done for facing up to the fact that you have a problem and seeking help to address it. From my experience, not being totally open and honest with my loved ones only ever led to temporary abstinence from gambling. I totally understand the stance that you have around the shame and fear that your partner would leave you, and only you are in the position to gauge how she would react. Every time that I managed to stop gambling in secret and partially repair my financial position, I would then go back to gambling, "maybe I can control it this time, she doesn't know that I've stopped, so she won't know if I start again."

My recovery is centred around honesty as the biggest factor. I had to be honest with my family, my friends and most importantly myself. I'm now 22 months in recovery and I still have my wife and kids, and I'm honest with her about my feelings. I goto meetings every week, and I work the recovery program with my sponsor.

I strongly suggest you get to a meeting as online can help, but it's not as powerful as physical meetings. Being honest and opening up with your partner that you have a problem could also be beneficial as you can ask her for her help, it may be better in the long run. If she doesn't know then going to meetings will be secretive and the lying and deceit part of life will continue and from my experience that only ever led me back to gambling once more.

One day at a time

Simmo


RE: So my first thread... - beentryingyears - 07-02-2018

Thanks for the quick response Simmo.

I totally get where you are coming from and I know that it is a step I will need to take at some point, I'm just not sure if I am ready to go now.  I am going to try and make the next meeting that is near me and I will let my partner know once I have done it so she can see that I really do want to stop.  I would much rather delay full honesty until I've at least salvaged some of it back as if it were now the hurt caused would be pretty sensational. It sounds and is completely awful.  I actually pride myself on honesty at the best of times so the hypocritical feeling I have right now is fair and just.  I've faced up to all my issues with honesty - apart from this one  Huh

I just don't know.


RE: So my first thread... - Simmo - 07-02-2018

Recovery is not easy, and requires action. Thinking about changing, doesn't change a thing. 'nothing change if nothing changes'.

The longer you leave it, the less likely you are to say anything, addiction is a devious illness. Ultimately it's your choice, as whether you tell your partner or not doesn't affect my daily life, but I can tell you 100% from my experience that by not being open and honest with my wife about my gambling, drove a wedge between us because I was hiding all the guilt and shame behind a mask. I wasn't able to be my true self all the time I was hiding behind the lies.

Often heard in the meetings, 'empty the dustbin' get it all out because things left until later eventually come up and end up more painful due to the lies. It was the lying that hurt my wife the most, but when I was open and honest about it all and still am now, it allowed my to be vulnerable and I let her in to help.

Wishing you well

Simmo


RE: So my first thread... - StrengthToStop - 07-02-2018

Hi, and welcome, and firstly it's great that you have posted. It feels like that you've started on the journey of realisation and are making some steps forward in trying to do something about it.

I'm without a bet now for 56 days so no expert, and I took 28 years to admit to myself that I had a big problem with FOBT's having graduated from fruit machines in arcades to these devil spawn machines. In fact, I'd known for a long time that I had a problem and wouldn't/couldn't face fully up to it, but something inside me one day changed and I found the strength to do something about my problem. I fully accept that I will never be cured, and I will be in recovery for the rest of my life.

Hardest conversation I have ever had to have was telling my wife the extent of my problems and what my gambling has done to our finances, and to our lives. I fully expected to be kicked out, divorced and unable to see my two young children, but that hasn't happened. In fact by unburdening myself to my best friend, my lifelong partner and the person in the world I respect above all others has helped me rid my mind of the evils of gambling. With her encouragement I've opened up to my parents, another awful conversation but having done so I don't feel that I need to hide anymore, I don't need to lie anymore and I can spend the rest of my life trying to make a better life for all of us....not trying to win a better life.

The GA movement is something I've absolutely committed to since wanting to change, and without doubt the meetings are the biggest re-inforcement and support program going.
You say you cannot get to a meeting as it's 7 miles away...and I apologise if this comes over as harsh, but if costs you 20 quid in taxi fares it will save you much more than if you spend the time going to the bookies and putting more money into the FOBT's. Do any of the people who you have told drive and would be willing to help you get to and from a meeting if that isn't possible?

The support from GA and the support from my Wife and family I firmly beleive will and do help me every day in my recovery.

There are many stories posted on here, from people in all stages of recovery, read them in detail, and come to your own conclusion, but for me telling your nearest and dearest is of utmost importance to help guide you down the right path, but get to a meeting first and see how you feel after that.

Good luck, I hope to see regular updates and steady progress.


RE: So my first thread... - lockers13 - 10-02-2018

beentryingforyears welcome to the forum. I too am new to this only 3 weeks into my recovery. I agree that honesty is most definitely the best policy. I attended my first GA meeting on the 19th Jan having told my husband the night previous that I had been gambling and lying about working late etc and had instead been out gambling. I did not know when I returned home that evening if I would still have a husband waiting for me but I had to take the risk of being honest otherwise my recovery would have been fruitless. One of the meetings I attend is 7 miles from where I live (and I don't drive). It doesn't finish until 9.30pm and I have a good 15-20 minute walk to the bus stop home but do you know what I will do that if that's what it takes to help me and keep me on the straight and narrow. You have to do this for you and nobody else. My husband still never asks when I get home how my meeting went or anything and it does hurt but at the end of the day I am doing this for me and to make me a better person. Find yourself a meeting and make a promise to yourself that you will do this for you. Best of luck with your recovery and keep posting x