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!

 

Gambling needs to be opened up!

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You probably read that title thinking what does that mean?

Let’s just get a few points out there first yes gambling can be addictive and yes it can destroy lives and even kill people!  Women are becoming addicted more and more and the gap between men and women are closing fast.  Why?  Because its easier now for women to gamble.  Companies now promote their gambling websites on TV, Social media, in magazines and most show women playing!

I have spoken to a lot of women since I did my first live on facebook admitting that I have an addiction these women all basically said the same not about their addiction but how they felt!

A few things they have said and concerns they have expressed to me.

The biggest ones are they feel that because they are a women with a gambling addiction people won’t take them serious or not as serious as they would a man having one.  You hear it a lot about men having a gambling addiction but not often women.  Films, tv series show the men with gambling addictions and not women.  Most felt like if they open up people will laugh or miss judge them!

Several women have openly said they are ashamed to tell friends and family, while this is common in all addictions it is not common for them to think they won’t get support because they don’t think their family see it as a real addiction which is so worrying!

You see I know how they feel I felt the same!  To many times I was ready to open up and then decided not to because of what people would think!  But what we need to remember is no one can make us feel worse than we already do!  As far as addictions go you feel crap, worthless like we are weak minded all those and more.  The thing to remember is we already feel at our lowest which is why we are crying out for help not to be judged or insulted.  Plus more then likely no one can make us feel worse than we already do anyway.

So what is my point?  You see alcohol addiction? Drug addiction?  You go into hospitals, doctors etc and they often have flyers up about them.  You will see flyers up about quitting smoking, local alcohol anonymous meetings, numbers for drug advice.

Yet gambling?  You see the warnings and help signs where yo go to gamble!  On the toilet doors in local bingo halls, on machines in betting shops, on posters in betting shops and casinos, on the bottom of gambling websites.  But you rarely see flyers or leaflets in doctors or hospitals why is that?

It is the same for schools they do alcohol and drug awareness classes no nothing about gambling?  Why is gambling the forgotten addiction? Why is there always so much out there for other addictions?  Other then on the websites I gambled on I had never once seen a sign or a leaflet about how gambling can affect you and help if you feel like your out of control with gambling why is that?  I see it daily with other addictions.

People need to start seeing it more the signs are there more women are becoming addicted at one point women could not gamble bookies were only for men meaning 100% gambling addictions where men now gambling addictions in women is coming to 50% of all gambling addictions.  The % of how many people become addicted to gambling is rising every year yet there is never more leaflets or flyers on show.  You see adverts on drink awareness and drug awareness but again nothing for gambling?

It is now recongnised as a illness just like alcohol and drug addictions yet it is still hidden away and very much like a taboo subject!  Maybe if there was more support, more stories, more help shown publically it would make it easier for people to step up and say they have an addiction.

60 Days Gamble Free Fighting Addiction

If you make it through this blog post read it all that would be amazing! If you shared it would be even more amazing just think you never know who might be on that social media platform who is in the same position I was 60 days ago!  You never know who you could help just by sharing!

 

So today is day 60 of no gambling I was told it is a big deal in any addiction especially gambling and to make sure I celebrate it or at least acknowledge it.  It’s weird, It might be 60 days and to some, it seems like a lot but to me it doesn’t it seems small insignificant.  But looking back I can see why so today this blog post is a mixture.  It will be a bit about before I realized and admitted to my addiction and about the last 60 days how I overcame them when so many fail and gamble again.

But looking back I can see why so today this blog post is a mixture.  It will be a bit about before I realized and admitted to my addiction and about the last 60 days how I overcame them when so many fail and gamble again.

So why am I doing this?  Because since I opened my eyes and realized I wanted to make a change even if it was to just one person’s life!  I wanted to share my story, raise awareness and hopefully help someone else.  I decided that that first day when I broke down and felt like I had lost everything.

So I started gambling years ago like 8 to be exact nothing big started out in a local bingo hall, looking back now though I understand the amount of money I spent on them nights was a sign I was addicted before even becoming addicted!

I would play online bingo but not much then soon after slots using the same site but again not much money.

Then things turned around 3 years ago and I started playing on other websites.  That year I spent £883.73 online that is not including scratch cards I would buy weekly or should I say daily or local bingo halls I visited!  Doesn’t seem like much?  Let’s say I spent £10 on scratch cards a week.  Sometimes it would be more seen as I would often buy ones that were £10 but its an average I can only guess!  That would add £520 plus then let’s say 2 trips to bingo a month I would spend on average £70 a night not including drinks or food just on gambling that would add £840 all together £2243.73 roughly some weeks I would spend £30 on scratch cards or more!

So 2015 online I spent £6468.50 online!  I went from under £1000 in the first year to over £6000 in the second! Just online so let’s say triple the scratch cards and bingo from the first year it would add up to £10,548.50 roughly! In the second year! I don’t even know how I could afford that!  And that is just 2015.

 

Now 2016, £9,744.78 online say £4000 offline although probably more let’s say 15k in 2015!  When you think of it like that it is a lot at the time it was not it was £20 lost it add another £20 lost it add another £20 until in a few hours goodbye £300!

 

2017 in like 19 days I spent nearly £1000 imagine if in January this year I had not woken up and realized what was happening.

 

So that is how things led up from spending maybe £10 a month on gambling to over £1000.

So that night I realized I broke down!  Who did I have I could talk to or trust I had to tell someone no one knew no one all all I reached out to two people I felt I could talk to one been family the person I knew would push me to tell my dad which I knew I needed and someone I felt I could talk to who believe it or not I only knew online through business but I felt I could rely on her.

That night I broke down and said everything it felt like a relief but at the same time, I knew I had a huge battle to fight.  I then decided I would not hide my story I would not pretend everything was fine and I got together what small tiny amount of strength I had to reach out and talk on facebook on a live video so there was no way of going back!

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I had a choice hide and pretend to everyone things were perfect like most people do on facebook or tell everyone.  Yes, I was ashamed but at the same time.  I knew that someone somewhere would see my video and possibly reach out for help and that is all I wanted!

Afterward, things got hard, I went to doctors and got help for depression, anxiety, and OCD.  I had to battle with the doctors to get them to help and on my first visit I actually got laughed at. The doctor said I just needed a hobbie to mask the illnesses followed by a laugh and him saying “Obviously not gambling” I obviously left feeling deflated and ignored but still battled on booked another appointment for another doctor and had a better outcome that time.

 

The 60 days have been hard, Yes I have had thoughts about gambling I often get the common one “If I just put £20 on I could win” When that didn’t work my brain tried another way “Going to bingo isn’t the same I wasn’t addicted to that” But deep down I knew I was.  Then as time passed it was “It’s been ages since you gambled you would defintly win this time if you did”

 

Still not getting me to gamble, I have dreams! Yes dreams you would think just thoughts and emotions but no dreams as well.  The first was of me actually gambling online watching the reels spin and winning it gave me that feeling the high which it wanted so I would wake up and gamble.  But I didn’t you see that is how gambling is awful in life you win and lose all the time your taking risks all the time.  The feelings associated with them wins, loses and risks is what can trigger gambling again because they are the same feelings you get gambling.  That is why every day in life it is a battle no matter if it is day 1 day 60 or you are at 3 years of no gambling every day you get that feeling you got when you gambled!

 

Since going live on facebook and starting this blog I have had several women come to me and open up about having a addicition to gambling and thanking me for sharing my story and making them see.  That is all I want!  to help others and make them see before it spirals out of control like I did.

 

So you might be like me but thinking no I am not addicted.  Do this and I bet you will see.  If it is online look at the websites you gamble on add up how much you have gambled this month, Then last month, then the month before and so on.  Average uk household will gamble £3.20 a week!  So lets say £15 a month not much right how much more are you gambling?  You can probally even work it out if you spend offline quiet easily if you really wanted to!

Gambling is awful it draws you in and in the end only the casino wins. Not you I thought I had won several times but looking and how much I spent I lost a lot!  I seen it not long after I admitted to my addiction on a mums group on facebook!  Why the admin let it go on for hours I do not know but the signs where all there of them becoming addicted!

 

Refere a friend if they deposit £10 you get £10! If you joined and lost £10 walk away don’t draw others in in a bid to try get another £10 to spend!  If you can’t afford to put that £10 on walk away! Unfortunatly I bet a lot of them young mums will now be sucked in and addicted all because one person wanted to try get a bit more money to gamble!  I obvously stepped in and said something with no avril to be told I won’t get addicted by every single one of them!  I just though I used to say that even a day before saying I was addicted I said to myself I am not addicted!

 

So if you could share this please do!  You have no idea who is on your facebook, twittter, instagram or whatever that might in stuck and get some help by this!

 

If you are reading this please reach out to anyone even a stranger!  But it is always best to tell someone you know will force and push you to tell others so you do not hide!  I get asked why I did a live on facebook it was to raise awareness but also so I then knew if I went back and gambled I would then have to go onto facebook and do a live and tell everyone!  That I do not want to have to do!

Women more likely to become addicted to gambling then 5 years ago 

So I’m going to be honest,  when people hear of gambling addictions they think of men and bookies.  People automatically put gambling addiction in that setting because let’s be honest it used to be men who would become addicted not women.
Women didn’t gamble often yet men did.  You see it in films and on TV all the time men sat placing bets on horses, football and other sports.  It’s very rare you will see one where the focus is a women gambling but the truth is the number has rose so much.
A news article in the independent had one women Liz Karter Author of book women and problem gambling and an addiction therapist said.
“I am seeing a lot of young professional women come forward now -which I wouldn’t have seen five years ago.  I see it as it is a growing problem.  More and more women are suffering from depression and anxiety and I have worked with women who have chosen gambling over anti-depressants”

Booking shops where created in a way to pull men in and make it out to be a man’s game at the start which excluded women.  Then they opened online bingo and gambling which was to target women at home.
So what do I think?   I have to agree, men love the buzz of talking with friends even strangers about placing a bet in winning they get into it for the buzz of telling people.
Women however get into it to escape life mostly relationships.  They don’t tend to tell people much about winning and often enough they also don’t tell friends or partners they are joining a gambling site.  You don’t often hear a women say I’m going to go put £20 online slots but you do hear men saying I’m going to the bookies or I’m going to put a bet on.
As women gamble and are addicted they lose confidence they go out less and forget about friendships.  Women love to play games without much skill they often get referred to as escape gamblers.  Meaning we are more likely to be drawn to machines based on luck to distract ourselves from personal life.
Why are most of the women who are getting addicted to gambling under 35?  Well there is a few factors in my eyes.  

Typically a women over 35 will have required a good job role with friends from both work and social life.  Their relationships will be stronger as they have been together longer.  When they decide to have kids. Friends are settled down and stay friends.  With a large support network they begin a new amazing chapter in their life.
Now women under 35 they may have a good job.  But most still have school friends as friends.  When one gets pregnant it is easy for them to be forgot especially the younger they are.  Imagine  a 18 year old having a child.  I can as I did I have friends but soon they drifted away because they didn’t have kids.  Still going out in weekends, university etc they didn’t want to be sat with a mum complaining about lack of sleep.
So the mum gets depressed doesn’t socialise as much and online gambling is her new best friend it makes her forget about her life the no friends and depressed part leave her while she’s spinning them reels.

Now I’m not saying it’s just mums cause it certainly isn’t a lot of factors come into it.  leaving college and unable to follow friends to university, friends going traveling but you are unable to afford it.  Working long hours to just scrape by while others get twice your wage for doing nothing.
Women suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,  this is a big factor in it.  
People need to step out of the state of men gamble more so are more at risk.  They need to stop making online gambling appeal to those who are weak like I was.  Just like depression we need to show that men also suffer from it.
This world has enough bad in it without people feeling like they can not come forward because society tries to say it isn’t as bad as it would be if your a man.
Truth is gambling addictions in women has risen drastically and that is just the figures from those coming forward for help.  No matter what the addiction no matter what sex, age, race or religion you shouldn’t feel like it won’t be taken serious because they don’t fit the norm.
Gambling addictions should be made more aware for everyone.  The issue with these online sites??  They promote women playing,  you see a women getting excited waiting for that last number before shouting bingo!!   You see the games kittens, chocolate, cute animals all that attract women.  There is even bingo sites with women and pink and Queen in the names.
To me company’s are doing this because they found our weakness they found out that women gamble a lot as well and become addicted quickly.  They use that to make money and assume because they have the responsible gambling on their sites it makes it fine!   I will tell you now it certainly does not!! 
Not once while I was depositing £300-£1000 a week did they reach out and suggest there may be a addiction.  Just looking at my accounts you could clearly see i was fit years.  That is the difference between online and bookies.  Online no one cares it’s a  computer doing the work while people sit back and watch people become addicted lose money while it goes on their pockets.
A bookies is known to have suggested to regulars they may have addiction.  they do not stop them betting but give them advice to look into it.
This right here is what got me addicted!! 

Good bye long locks 

Well I’m having to say goodbye to my hair!!   It has taken so long to grow back but because of how bad my anxiety and ocd have been my hair is totally destroyed.
This is it now it looks prefect in this picture doesn’t it??  Amazing actually but guess what pictures are deceiving.

So it is half way down my back right now but no one sees it ever other then in pictures because of how bad it really like!!  So I wear a hat when ever I am out!
With summer coming I don’t want to have to and one way to not have to wear a hat that is to have it all cut off and start again, why?   Because it will get rid of all the damaged hair plus all the split ends only around 10% of my hair is actually healthy and undamaged.

Just look at these!!

So the best way I can think of it is to say good bye to my hair!   Now people have said get layers that would work of my hair was not so damaged but so much is short and it cut into layers it would look wonky.
So here’s a few styles I have been looking at getting.

The other good thing is if I have it done I will feel more confident in going out abd opening the door without first grabbing my hat.
Now the issue of who or where is best to go who can do it well with the amount of damage.

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Facts about gambling addictions.

Most people think the number one problem sometime with gambling Addiction has is financial.  This is wrong some people with gambling addictions do not have financial difficulty.  Gambling addiction is more then just money it effects people on all levels. It is a emotional Addiction that varies from person to person.  Some use gambling to relieve stress, others to help with anxiety, depression some do it for the feeling of euphoria when they gamble.
The bottom line is like with all addictions it is linked to the mind.  Like the alcoholic saying I’ll just have one a gambler says I’ll just bet once even though they know that one will turn into two then three until they are out of control again.

Pathological gamblers are more likely to have a mental illness or a substance use disorder.  Research has shown around 50% of gamblers have a mood disorder, 41.3% had experienced anxiety and 60% had experienced a personality disorder.
Around 80% of the world has gambled at leaste once. it is true that men are more likely to become addicted to gambling then women are.  It is estimated that around 350,000 people on the UK have a gambling problem and the number is rising each year.  Amazingly only 5% seek out help and only actually 1% get treatment to with their gambling problems.  

People believe that because you do not gamble every day out means you do not have a addiction Wrong! A problem gambler is someone who gambles and it causes problems, spends all the money, leaves no money for food electric,effects their socal life etc.

Paying off a gamblers debt is not the best way to help them.  You are telling them your giving them a way out they now know they can come to you to help if they gamble and do it again.  They don’t face any real struggle to repay the debts their gambling has caused.
Whether you are rich or poor gambling can be a problem someone poor might only gamble £100 and have no money for food while a rich person may gamble £3000 in that day and have food that does not mean it did not effect them mentally.  compulsive gambling does not just effect irresponsible people anyone can become addicted no matter how responsible they are no one gambles for the first time thinking I’m going to keep going and lose everything they all think the same it will never happen to me.  People saying it’s only a problem if you lose again is also incorrect.
The thing to remember is gambling is just like any addiction no one thinks they will become addicted and it ruins peerless lives every day rich or poor they all lose and are effected.

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