I’m billiejo and I’m addicted to gambling 

The words I never though I would hear myself say but I now am.
So that is Friday 20th January 2017 and something big just happened.  I had a breakdown I was sat there crying shaking uncontrollably hardly able to speak and broken.

You see I had must gambled away £600 in just a few hours!  I’m was scared shocked and totally broken it wasn’t the first time I had lost such a large amount but this time something hit me and hit me hard and snapped me out the daze.
I rang once of my sisters crying begging her to not tell anyone before I would tell her.  She confirmed she would not tell anyone and I broke down I said “I have a gambling Addiction and I just lost all the rent money” 
My exact words I have a gambling Addiction still crying I spoke to her for a minute she said she would ring me back once her company had gone.
Still in a state I messaged a friend on Facebook age called me and again I was a total mess. Scared start am I going to do my partner is going to find out the landlord will I honestly felt like hiding curling up in a ball and just hiding from the world.
Her words calmed me down a lot she showed me how to see what the worse outcome could be and how even if I was homeless I still had my kids and family.

Finishing on the phone to her my sister called back and we talked I agreed to go to hers tomorrow.  
That night I decided I needed to take action so I registered in gambling anonymous website I spoke on a live chat to people who had gone through similar to me.  I knew I had to make a change in not one for talking and telling people my emotions and what’s bothering me and that was what got me in this mess.
Rather then get help for ocd abd anxiety and depression I ignored it didn’t tell family and gambling with my drug to hide from it.

So that night I spent all night using the online slots and bingo self exclusion feature so I couldn’t go on my usual websites.
I went to Facebook and hit the live butt knew if I did and I told people my story I would find it harder to gamble again and I hoped someone somewhere would see it and it would help them.
This was my first day realising I had a gambling Addiction and wanting to change it.  I was broken but I needed to change things to fight this disease.

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A father who does not care?

So I have not written in the blog for a while, For many reasons really the biggest been there is so much happening right now I didn’t know what to write about and what to leave out.

 

But tonight I realised something I SHOULD NOT! Leave anything out nothing because any tiny detail could possibly make someone think or realise how important simple things are in their life!

 

So In April a lot changed! My partner moved out leaving me with the five children not long after that I received a letter through the post regarding eviction.  I spent the first few days keeping busy the kids happy, Easter etc.  To be honest when Easter came I was actually expecting a call or text from the kids dad but nothing.

Slowly I noticed he was not texting or calling, when he did he did not ask how the kids where and rarely asked how I was.  On a few occasions he came to stay but clearly not to see the kids or spend time with me it was for one thing only.

So I carried on trying to keep myself and the kids distracted and not thinking about him to much because he never came to visit.  I was looking for a house as well, trying to ensure my son did good with his year 6 sat’s while also trying to make sure I stayed healthy and eating.

I kept having periods where I would feel like crap but not once did I gamble, Most days I was fine and happy which amazed me the fact on the worst days I did not turn to gambling like most would with an addiction.

 

I realised slowly how much he upset me, made me feel crap and in general treated me awful.  Like the time the landlord came out to do some repairs the kids dad was with me and his friend however rather then helping he made things worse well for me anyway.

I knew I would need to ask the landlord somethings and I had been working on building up the courage to ask.  However that was quickly shot down by their dad.

“You need to ask the landlord”

“You caused all this yourself”

“None of my family want you or the kids living with them your all slobs”

While turning to his friend and saying he’s not nasty but it is the truth.

So my self esteem and confidence at that point went.  I felt like going in the house locking the door behind me and ignoring everyone.  I didn’t understand why he was so cruel there was no need!  Saying to me “If you don’t find a house you will have to move into your dads cause none of my family want you or the kids living with them your all slobs”

 

Says the person who shouted at me because I would not carry his dirty washing downstairs, Or leaves plates rubbish and other crap piled high next to the bed, maybe the fact he never helped tidy or said he did but just stood there shouting at everyone telling them what to do.

Saying “The bedroom doesn’t matter that is a personal space no one see’s”  Yet inviting friends into it while his crap is next to the bed?

Me spending ages cleaning and getting stuff sorted for a party for him to say to family “She left it till the last minute and I had to do loads” While in fact he did nothing.

So here I am now sat at my dads with my five kids wondering what the hell my kids did to deserve this? 12Th I moved into my dads the 11th was the last day 4 of the kids seen him the youngest seen him on the 15th only because she went with me and seen him.

No message or call asking how the kids are? No thank you to them posting happy fathers day.  Worst thing is 2 of them know full well he see’s his eldest daughter from before we got together yet he does not seem to care about them.

 

If he was to read this I know what he would say, “I have been working” “I have been clearing your shit out the house” “I won’t come to your dads” “I don’t like your family”

Yet the fact he can not text to ask how they are or call to speak to them means those excuses are just that excuses!  If he really cared he would call and text he would happily say I will come up saturday and take them out for the day but I know he won’t.

I just hope that soon very soon they stop asking cause honestly I can not make any more excuses for why he isn’t bothered.  I can only do so much I can not force him to want to ring and speak to his kids.  Weird thing is he always said how much he hated my mum for what she did to us walking away yet he he is worse at least she showed she cared a bit she came and seen us, called and we slept at hers.

 

How anyone can have been in their kids lives for 11, 6, 6, 5 and 3 years and not want to know they are ok makes no sense to me I look at my kids and it breaks my heart knowing in 6 months time they may have seen him 3 or 4 times if that!

I know that breaking that bond with your kids is almost impossible to mend you can not expect to walk out of your child’s life and come back when they are old enough to watch themselves and expect them to love you and welcome you with open arms cause it just does not happen like that!

These children are amazing the fact some dads can not see how amazing and lucky they are to have their children is awful but the fact some dads have kids and choose to see one and not the others to me that does not make him a father it makes him a coward who want’s to pick and chose which children he want’s and if he doesn’t want my children then they will be far better without someone like him.

Crazy?  Me no way! Moving to Scotland? 

So a lot has happened and by that I mean like in my life and the past week I have not posted!! 
I have received my eviction letter and I have until 20th June to move out.
So I have been thinking, what if I leave Leeds? Yes it sounds crazy right?  Me moving from Leeds to Scotland with 5 kids alone.
But I believe it will be a new start something amazing for me and the kids.
Here there has not been many happy times infact 90% have been bad the other 10% have been all about the kids.
So what do I have to lose?  To me nothing I  don’t have anything to lose the kids have nothing to lose.
Well except I’ll be leaving or selling all my stuff and buying new things.
It’s something I think about more and more and each time I do I’m me convinced it’s the right thing to do.  
So am I crazy?  No or maybe I am but I want to give my kids a better life

Food now and how it used to be

Everyone no matter what their age will remember the stories.

 

Our grandparents saying “In my day”  The stories of how they walked for miles in the snow to school sometimes without shoes.  The stories of how they would only get bread and butter for tea sometimes.  How they would eat these soups or stews that were full of saturated animal fats.  Some stories would be an exaggeration of the truth but one thing that is true is how much things have changed since including our foods.

 

They never used to feed or use growth hormones, antibiotics or similar products while raising animals.  Most butchers back then had their own farm land or bought from people very local.  The meat was fresh and free from all man-made toxins.  Animals add grass which also did not have anything added to it.

 

Now most animals are raised in factories, some never see sunlight and some even live in tiny unsanitary conditions.  Before they were constantly out never indoors now it is the opposite.  This is leading to diseases that spread a lot quicker not to mention the drugs given to help them grow quicker.  People wonder why people are more malnourished now then 50-100 years ago it is because our meat is not fresh.

 

Let’s talk about fruit and veg something people think of as having very high nutrients.

Chemical Pesticides and fertilizers decrease and damage fruit and veg.  They never used these product’s which is why a lot of nutrients in these fruit and vegetables have dropped up to as high as 37%!  Imagine that years ago a single fruit you would have got 100% nutrients from now you have lost 37% of the nutrients.

Imagine in another 50 years!  They say you need to eat 8 oranges to get the same amount of vitamin A your grandparents would have gotten from just 1!

 

With this crisis rising more people having deficiencies and illnesses from lack of nutrients people now have turned to supplements but the issues with supplements?

They add things to it that are not needed or have other side effects.  You still don’t get a lot of nutrients from them either.

 

So the alternative?  Foods farmed free from these chemicals and harvested naturally.  These are hard to come by and shops certainly do not sell these.  They do sell products that are created from these fruits or vegetables but again they process takes out most of the nutrients so you believe your getting amazing benefits when in fact you are not.

So what now?  There are many companies out there who specialize in products that are just that!  100% Natural, the products made in a way so you get nearly all the nutrients from the fruit and veg.  One of these companies I promote and the value of these products are totally amazing.  These foods are known as super foods they came from all over the world not just your country.

Click below to take a look.

super-foods

What a busy roller-coaster time 


That right above is me and has been now for 17 days. At the start I was nervous scared even that I would not be able to do it alone.
But not too far into it I realised I had already been doing it alone for 11 years the biggest difference was most days I don’t have adult conversation except for online!!   But that is sometimes the next conversations ever!! 
Daily I get people messaging me on Facebook asking how I am doing and coping!!  That right there is my support network these people I have built relationships with care about it!! 
So since then, well let’s just say again landlord threatened eviction I told him to go ahead I want out.  However it didn’t happen.
So what was my choices? Yes that’s right report my issues to the local council amazingly 3 days after they rang him I received the letter of eviction!! 
No contact from him yet about the repairs.  He only has 28 days to do them and believe me after his abuse and threats.  I will be reporting him for not doing the work! 
Along with this I had a scare Friday evening!   Mia came out of school unwell and unable to breath.  This was the first time that it’s happened while I am living alone.
I was not scared of what would happen or been alone and dealing with it.  I was scared I would have to call a ambulance and have my 6 year old leave without mummy or daddy at her side! 
Anyone with a child who frequently gets ill will understand it is hard to leave them while you go to the shop or for some air.  So the thought of leaving them completely alone scared me so much.
I’m so grateful her dad came and watched the others while I took her.  After over 4 hours in a&e she had 40 puffs of her inhaler, steroids, nebuliser, oxygen and xrays.
Thankfully we got to go home that night!!   Which was amazing she perked up loads and the next day she was almost back to get complete usual self.
I will be posting most nights now!! 
It’s time I started embracing this change and using it to my advantage.

I hit 100 days!! 

I have been so busy but rather then going into it on here I will make a separate post regarding life.
So Sunday was the 100th day I did not gamble!! Today is actually 102days I know I’m late updating!! In those 100 days I have saved myself £4,400 on average!! 
Now that has gone!!   It went on the kids house stuff, new clothing for myself thins that are important.

I’m proud I made it without any meetings especially after the last months incidents most people relapse after struggles so close to stopping an addiction.
I’m proud I didn’t it shows me I can go through almost anything without caving!! 
Don’t get me wrong I get thoughts sometimes really bad ones but I manage them I walk away from those thoughts telling me I should gamble.

Love stuck poem 

copyrighted by billiejo priestley 

It feels like glue every time I pull away it springs me back 
Why does this hold never loosen or break it’s like the ultimate glue

Those words hurt they slowly killed me inside while I was fighting to stay alive 

I struggled for breath until finally I gave up I became what you wanted 

It was easier to die inside and conform so the pain you inflicted wouldn’t be so hurtful 

I tried to keep it switched on the feelings were to bad dragging me down and down until I switched them off but it only switched off the good not the bad 

Left with the bad and no way out I clambered and scraped for a exit a exit from this black hole that was sucking all the good from me.

Pulsing the bad into my mind like a machine that forces you to breath fighting it till the end till the last breath.

Your darkness may have pulled me down it make have left just darkness in my life but my heart will always be pure.

The darkness may still hold onto me pulling me back but with each pull out weakens one day a light will find it’s easy through and break you.

What a week! I made it to 81 days gamble free 

I have not posted in a while..

Kids holidays so I’m spending as much time as I can with them before they go back to school! 
Working as well yes I work from home which I love but I do need to do some work every day.
Along with that personally I have changed I am so much happier now any bad things that try to get me down I am able to handle them and push them out my mind.
I have achieved so much and I’m so happy my mind is clear more clear then it has been for years!   And I’m new stepping up and realising what things in my life are wrong and need to go or be changed.
Life can not continue how it did before my addiction.  Clearly things in my past made me gamble and become addicted and those things need to change.
Today is day 81 of no gambling!!  My first time stopping with little support and I am achieving it! In not so long it will be 3 months! 
Changes are coming!! 
Tomorrow’s post is not to be missed you will see just why things got so bad for me!
Here’s a few pictures from this past week.

Easter Holiday Fun

In the holiday’s kids get so bored because Monday-Friday they have structure at school all day.  It is a time where they are constantly kept busy, Working, Playing, Creating and having fun.

 

At home there is nothing!  So here is, some things to help you get the most out of your easter holidays but also keep the children active!

 

So start with a timetable!  Yes, that is right a timetable,  This will fit all your plans, activities and meal times into one place but most importantly with this, you can create space for some me time so you do not get so stressed!

 

Be realistic with this though don’t put 8am breakfast if you know your kids will be up at 6:30 or you will all be asleep until 10am for the reason the whole schedule will shift!

 

So I will share my day two schedule I do things before the kids wake but you will get the idea.  You will see two choices the first is if the weather is nice second if it is not!

 

Kids awake 7-8am Breakfast by 9am, Kids dressed by 9:45

10 AM Music kids dancing/Kids playing in garden

11:30 AM kids in and get ready for dinner, and help prepare food

12:30 30 minutes of Screen time

1 PM Kids crafting, Cutting and sticking/Walk to the local park with ball, hula hoops etc

3PM Movie time  3pm-3:30 quiet time for mum then cook

4:45 Tea Time

5:30 Kids 30 minute screen time and reading school books

6:30 bed time

 

It might seem simple but you will be amazed by how long kids will enjoy dancing around the living room for! The idea is to get them up and active as early as possible to burn some fuel and get them a little calmer for after dinner!

 

Kids helping with dinner is also another amazing thing!  Having 5 kids it is harder but each one can help, One passes you the ingredients, one get them out the cupboards etc one puts the trimmings in the bin!

 

You really can get your kids to help and they will love it!

 

So some more ideas?

 

Messy play this is something even my 10-year-old enjoys paper all over the floor so its covered and playing with hands, feet etc.  Obviously, use old clothing!  My kids loved rolling around in the paint!  You see if you have enough paint and patience for the cleaning after your kids would stay there all day painting!

 

£1 Stores!  To many people spend £3 on plastic bats and balls when most £1 stores have them in easter holidays I believe in other countries it is called dollar shop etc.  But for £10 you can get 10 different outdoor toys!  Water guns another thing which kids will play with for hours but again if you do not have a outside tape you need patience for cleaning your floors! Same you can get these from £1 stores.

 

In the UK the cinema is amazing!  Vue mini mornings you only get one movie which isn’t amazing but if I was to go any other time or to see any other film that isn’t a mini morning it would cost me over £60!! Seriously for a 1 hour 45-minute film!  With mini mornings I believe for all 6 of us it would be £12 what a bargain!!

 

You see 2 weeks is not a long time!  Lets list some ideas below!

Dancing

Playing in garden

Messy paint play

Cutting and sticking

30 minutes of screen time

Storytime each child takes turns to pick a book

Cinema

Local park

Playing field with ball and other outside games

Movie day

Paddling pool

Water guns

Make your own pizzas

Create a play (Kids will spend all day rehearsing before showing you the final play)

Create puppets and a play

Write your own stories

Give kids a choice what would you like to do?

 

 

 

 

 

Excited, Upset, Anxious Just A Few Thoughts Of Gambling

It is amazing, isn’t it!  Just how many people kept their secrets hidden when it comes to addictions.  Something that people often see as wrong and weak and that makes people hide what they are doing for so long.

 

I have had the same questions come up in many conversations from people who think they may have a gambling addiction.

  1. That is how did you feel when you gambled?
  2. What was your mind like when you gambled?
  3. What made you realize you were addicted?

Now I am willing to share my experience and delve deeper into these areas if it could possibly help someone identify if they have an addiction or just get carried away!

 

 

That is the issue here!  Some people still believe gambling can’t be an addiction and that we just get carried away and can not stop ourselves!  When does it become an addiction?  When does it become an addiction so bad it ruins your life?  And when will people realize gambling can be an addiction!

 

Look at it this way!  Someone who drinks and gets totally wasted after not having a night out in a year more than likely just got carried away and are not an alcholic.

 

Now someone who every time they drink does this they most certainly would be perceived as an alcoholic!

 

So to answer your first question.  How did I feel when I gambled?

 

In the start I felt relaxed, I enjoyed it and got a buzz I didn’t feel anxious or stressed or like I was destroying my life.  I felt like I was having fun and relaxing!  Towards the end well let’s take the relaxed out of there!  And put in more anxiousness and more stressed.

I would get the buzz when I won however that would soon turn to annoyance and anxiousness when I couldn’t keep winning and lost!  Followed by depression, sadness and a feeling of been lost and unable to control myself!

 

Question 2 What was my mind like when I gambled?

Again in the beginning it was relaxed but hyped up waiting to see if I would win.  If I lost the £20 £30 I put on my mind wouldn’t be so bothered I would walk away still feeling good yes I lost some money but only £20!  I knew I wouldn’t gamble again for a week or so.

 

Now when it was towards the end!  My mind was a mess it is the only way to really describe it! I would put £20 on lose and it yet my mind just pushed and pushed till I put another £20 on.  My mind would say to me you can win that £20 back if you keep pushing the game to pay out.  The game sometimes would pay out £80-£300 unlike the beginning when I would take it and run or keep playing if I won £300 and had £18 left I would play with that £18 then withdraw.

The end, however, I wouldn’t I would keep hitting that button my mind telling me you can do it you can get another big win. Down to £250, Telling myself I should withdraw while my mind played tricks telling me no no keep going your close to a win.  Down to £200 and again trying to convince my mind I had to withdraw this £200 but no my mind wouldn’t it kept fighting back saying keep going there has to be a big win soon.

This would go on and one until my balance reached 0 At that point my mind would pipe up you won that much and lost over £500 including winnings deposit again your due a big win!  Telling my mind no didn’t work it did what it wanted I couldn’t fight it!

Again If while trying to win more I did get another big win would I withdraw?  No!  My mind would keep pushing at one point I had £700 it got down to £20 and knowing that was all I had left I forced myself to take it even though my mind was telling me to keep going!

 

Call it weak or addiction call it what ever you want to!  It is like an alcoholic saying just one more because that is what their mind says to them!

 

Something that is hard to answer is what made you realize you were addicted?

I kind of knew deep down I was before I said anything but my opportunity to overcome the mind was not there.  You see while I knew I was addicted if I tried to push through the just one more bet wouldn’t work my mind wouldn’t give in it did not want me to admit it out loud!  Why?  because if I did my mind would lose the control and grip on me!  People do not realize how amazing and powerful the mind really is!  But that is the point it is that powerful it can stop you speaking up about been addicted because it doesn’t want to let you go.

So that night I did speak up well let’s just say I hit rock bottom!  I spent all my money that week on gambling rent was sat there and I spent that! Gone over £1000 in just 2 hours.  Realization hit I couldn’t hide it anymore my mind at that point was like go on gamble again you can win it back.  But as my emotions were totally a mess and I had a break down that is what let me get it out there!

 

The first step was to make sure I would tell someone so I messaged someone I knew online I knew however she was busy so tried calling my sister who didn’t answer!  I knew I had little time to say it before my mind told me everything would work out and stop me.  So my friend online called me and I broke down on the phone crying explaining what was happening. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted off me I felt like I was finally beating my mind at its tricks!  Then I called my sister and again broke down on the phone crying explaining it to her.  At first she though I just spent the rent money until I explained no I have an addiction I have lost over £3000 in 4 weeks!

 

At this point, my mind tried taking back control telling me it would be ok and to try again to win back my losses.  So I decided no I won’t let my mind win!  Login into facebook I hit the live button and explained I had a gambling addiction!  And that I would beat it!  Now some people say it took courage which it did but to me, that was my way of beating my mind more!  I was so confident I would beat this disease I spoke outloud on a facebook live telling the whole world or those who seen it!  It was public so anyone could see!

 

You see to say it is as simple as just stopping or we just get carried away is wrong!  Gambling addiction is like any other the mind takes control!  Who would have though your mind could do that!  But it really can that just 1 more bet turns into £1000 gone!

 

Think about your gambling do you see signs of addiction?   You are best to say something quickly as soon as the mind is quiet usually after you have just lost all your money available it will stop because it can not tell you just one more bet.  At that point, you need to fight your mind and say it out loud so others hear and beat this disease!

 

Today is day 73 of no gambling for me!  And I will continue to keep fighting my mind and take back control of my life!

 

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