Elderly Mom Faces Foreclosure After Son Steals Savings

Savings aren't seeing many new friends at the minute. So I've cleaned the lines and waited 4 hours for them not to show up. I always said, if I can do a week, I can do a month. I thought I'd pass out when this handsome guy in uniform asked me to dance. I have often sat beside players in casinos. Subscribe to our Daily newsletter Enter email Subscribe. Congrats on your time gamble free..

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StarTribune Follow Us On: Advertise with us Talk with a business consultant Media kit Classifieds. What positive steps can you take? A blocker for your PC so you can't reopen that gambling account or find another one? Someone to hold your money? Getting to GA meetings? Not sure why I can't close my Betfred account. I've thought a lot about it but I can't bring myself to close it for good.

There's been a few moments today when I've needed money but couldn't access any. Not for gambling, just for some shopping and that. So far so good on day one again. Still got the numb feeling in my stomach and continual thoughts of how I'll never be able to get back what I've lost As hard as it is, it's better for you to come clean and tell your parents and girlfriend what you've done. The initial shock and upset it will cause will eventually lead to what they can do constructively to help you repair the damage.

In my experience, if you keep it a secret and exist in this secret world of gambling, you'll only continue to chase losses and compound the problem further. I've self excluded myself form many online gaming sites and now can't access most of them for 5 years. You can also set daily gaming limits to reduce losses.

Again, it's not a perfect solution because it's best that you don't gamble at all, but added to other measures it helps. I have still found ways to gamble, that is why I'm on this forum and seeking outside help, but you still have family and people close to you that can support you, care for you and guide you through this, so don't shut them out.

I let things escalate so far that I've pushed everyone close to me away, so I speak from experience. This fight is hard enough with the help of loved ones, but it's far, far more difficult if you stand alone in isolation like I do.

You may think that you have the ability to win all your losses back before anyone finds out, but even if you do, you'll think that you can go again and next time win big. I have won tens of thousands of pounds over the years and hardly ever quit while I was winning. I always pushed my luck further and further until I eventually lost everything. There's never a happy ending to gambling, it always ends in misery. But still, it's a start. I've still not barred myself from Betfred.

It almost feels like I'm testing myself. To see if I can have it and not use it. Sounds silly, but I know I'll bar myself eventually. Still feel sick and empty inside. Been thinking a lot about the last couple of months. You'd think I'd be happy with that?

That's when you know it's a problem I guess. I suppose when you've got to the point where your winning one, two, three grand in one spin online, nothing else really comes close. In case your wondering, none of those amounts raised an eyebrow either. The numbness I've felt for gambling lately hasn't been healty. I used to play because I enjoyed the thrill of winning. That thrill died a long time ago. It had almost become a second job I needed to go to every day. It's still my secret.

Maybe when I can safely say I've done 50 days. As it stands at the moment, I've done nothing to deserve anyone's help or understanding. I need to prove to myself I can do it first I can relate to what you're saying. There are many times when I could have cashed out and won thousands, but because I had won large amounts in the past and because of how much I've lost over the years it was never enough. I always push my luck to the brink until I eventually lose everything. That has happened to me on many occasions, I very rarely cash out when I'm winning.

I gamble with trepidation and fear now, there's no fun factor in it. I know I can't afford to gamble a penny, yet I gamble every last penny I have on an all too regular basis! Just to pick up on something you said at the end of your latest post about you not deserving help, believe me, asking for help now and coming clean is the best thing you can do.

Now is the time to gather those close to you and meet this problem as a collective rather than face it in silence alone. Others may have a different view point, but from my experience, I can only say it as I see it.

Use your family, girlfriend and friends for support sooner rather than later, don't try to sort this out on your own. I obviously wish you all the best and hope that you stay strong day to day. Keep it going, you're doing great. Hi Adam it is good you are wanting to stop. I would say you need to self exclude yourself from that online casino today! If you dont the odds are you will deposit again. Keeping it open means that possibly somewhere deep down you know you will gamble again!

Exclude and do it now and exclude from any other casinos you may have open. Then install blocking software on your pcs to block ALL casinos. Without this you could stumble again. Wishing you all the best!!! Just a note on blocking software.

Others I wont comment on. But gamblock is about as strong as it gets. But the real quitting starts from within. Self excluding from casinos is at the basic level and is a must in my book for any person who is struggling with an online based gambling addiction. But hey thats just me. I've just been on the web site. I amy be interpreting it wrong but as I will be the administrator, won't i be able to change the settings. Its a personal choice but I would choose Gambloc personal for home use.

Basicially soon as it is installed and you agree to the terms that is it! You will not get access to any casinos nor any gaming related sites. You will not be able to edit any of the settings nor will you be able to remove it.

The bigger packages i think are for corporates or for familys where there is a admin which kinds of defeats the object if your doing this solo. Go for the lowest cheapest package for 1 year.

Note that when gamblock is installed certain parts of your system will be locked. You wont be able to run CMDs command line functions or access the bios etc.

This may have changed in recent versions but I know when I used it a few years ago it did not allow me access to certain parts of my systems which I needed for my work.

But basically when its on your system that is it. No more gambling online from that 1 PC. And if in doubt contact gamblock customer support they were in the past pretty speedy with reply's during office hours. If anyone here has other info on blocking software of if I have quoted something wrong or out of date then shout up. As I said it has been a few years since I last used it. I'm pretty happy today. Liverpool just beat City Great result and a great game.

A few reminders in the advert breaks about how hard it is for CG's. There were so many adverts about betting and a few about not getting carried away. Good advice, if only I'd seen that advert years ago. I guess they're missing me. I think this is another reason I'm keeping my account open. I still feel entitled to money back.

It's a very risky game I know. I feel sick to my stomach seeing that money in my account ready to be played. I've been spending the last hour looking at things I can sell off. It upsets me that I'm having to sell off prized possessions, but I've brought it on myself. It's a good job I've spent so much money on things over the years.

It's just another form of money in a way. Only problem is, I've acquired some great items over the years and now I'm technically handing them out for free Five days down now.

Still struggling to come to terms with the loss. I'm finding it hard to see where and how I'm going to save all that money back up. I'm pretty impatient so it's really getting to me. It's on my mind a lot throughout the day. Saving needs to be secondary to stopping though at the moment. Nearly a week done. I always said, if I can do a week, I can do a month. If I can do a month, I can do a year YOu can do it Adam. I am starting from scratch again after the biggest binge of my life.

I love reading your posts, you are very honest and I know you will do this and you will come out of this richer - not just financially, but spiritually and emotionally. Keep posting and keep going gamble free. There are no answers on that road, only heart ache and misery.

Ok, so I can no longer access my Betfred account. I spoke to an online adviser on their site and they helped me self exclude. Given the option of between 6 months and 5 years, I told them 5 years was short enough and went from there. I've had an email since telling me I'll have to sign and resend an agreement to cancel.

Also in the email it mentioned if I want to cancel the 5 years exclusion at any time I should get in touch with them to sort that out. Seems like defeating the object to me. But I guess it's big business. If they can have me back I'm sure they'd open their arms So that's that finally sorted. One temptation taken away from me.

Until I ask them nicely it appears I've never been one for Casino's luckily. I've been to Las Vegas once. I spent all my money on McDonalds, gifts and clothes. Never gambled a cent. I've also been to a Casino near where I live with a work mate. I watched him lose 20 quid on roulette in about 5 minutes. I bought a steak and chips and a cup of tea instead and called it a night. Bandits have always been my vice and as I write this I can see two of them sparkling away in the corner of my eye.

Those temptations will be there every time I go to work. Which is a lot I need to be strong though. I can remember the last time I went a few months without playing. Maybe 6 months or so. I cracked one night and went on the bandit. I told myself that was my reward for staying off them for so long. But that was enough to capture me back in.

Anyway, day 6, eat it! I've had a quick look at Betfred's policies, one out of interest but 2 to give you some reassurance that you are secure and you'd be better off using your energy eating McDonalds than trying to have an exclusion removed. Adam you say in your post you've received an email from Betfred stating " if I want to cancel the 5 years exclusion at any time I should get in touch with them to sort that out".

During the agreed period of time the customer will not be able to place any bets nor will the customer be allowed to revoke the agreement. I hope this puts your mind at rest, you haven't wasted your time I can't explain the wording from the email although I may ask for this to be looked into. But upon checking my older posts i noticed that after i messed up on day 1, i just carried on to day 2 regardless.

Kinda shows where my heads been recently. So anyway, i've gone back and edited my older posts so i have an accurate account of my days. That said, today is day six. Tomorrow will be day seven.

That will be a week for anyone that isn't quite following. That's pretty good for a start but some way off before i'll be happy.

I'm actually in a much better mood at the moment. Things will come crashing down when i eventually come to tell people, but for now, i'm happier in myself. Just to follow up on an earlier comment, i think i may of misread the email.

So i guess i'm cool with that now You're doing fantastic dude. Well done on the self exclusion. There are no poker sites left for me to play now, as the ones left don't work for mac - good thing. Thanks to net nanny gamblock doesnt work on Mac. Clearly very little will power right now. Officially day 7 today. That's one week down and I've already managed to save nearly 2 grand up.

Not sayin I'll be able to do that every week, but what a start. Anyway, not really got much to say today. Although, if anyone has any thoughts on this Anyone think this is cool or should I be swerving it full stop? I tried to justify things like lottery, fantasy football, pools, etc as not real gambling. At the point you are at, you may be feeling the same way.

I can assure you that continuing those types of activities ARE gambling, and they do work to perpetuate our gambling itch. That's why at GA they discuss one of the steps being to make a fearless financial and moral inventory. You will need to come to the conclusion yourself of course, and I'm quite thick headed so it has taken me 4 years to root out every last avenue of gambling that was in my life.

Now finally they are all out on the table in full view to me mentally of course. I understand that if I buy stocks, my gambling brain will trigger, and I will start buying and selling to try and make a quick profit. That IS gambling, although it took 3 years to finally admit that to myself. Same goes for the sports pools etc. I justified it by saying it was only with friends, only for a small stake, just for fun, for socialization, etc You may be done with gambling today I hope!

Thinking about all of these things, weighing them, writing them down, talking with people are all tools for you to get it straight in your mind what will be needed for you to succeed. If you couldn't tell already, part of my therapy is to read others experiences and think about the times in my recovery that I ran across the same dilemmas and obstacles and how I handled them or botched them.

So I want to thank you for posting, it really helps me a lot! I have wondered to myself whether it would be dangerous to play things like the lottery and the like when in recovery. I think I guessed what the answer was, but it's good to have it confirmed by you.

We can't have enough education on this addiction and the do's and don'ts while in recovery. A full understanding is so vital to success. What could seem an innocent activity, really could send us on a downward spiral. Felt a bit shit at times today.

A couple of weeks ago i wouldn't of batted an eyelid at that kinda price. But now I've literally got nothing, even a ticket to the football or a takeaway meal seems like something I can't afford to put my money to. My mother told me I'd need to get used to saving for when I have my own house. Well I'm getting used to it, and I don't bloody like it.

I've thought about it a few times today. Only gambling small amounts and quitting while I'm ahead. These thoughts are pointless though. I always come to the same conclusion It's just not worth the risk. Hoping I stay strong. For now thought, 9 days and counting. I always found Saturday a hard day at work. Not because my jobs particularly taxing, the complete opposite in fact. I get in just before 1, then settle down in front of the TV with my weekly chippy dinner.

The only customer I get during the day joins me, so it's easy to manage the bar. Then by about half 1, with no sign of any actual work to be done, I'll start getting itchy fingers. I used to tell myself, just go a tenner. But when it's a pound a go, a tenners not lasting much more than a minute or two. Inevitably once I lose that I'd set on the path to chasing. Everyone knows chasing a machine is how they make their money.

Reminds me of a few Saurdays back. I came in to a message left for me by a fellow gambler at work. The message was simply, I've put a fortune in the 20p bandit and it's definitely ready to go. It only takes a few quid to realise when a machine is ready to pay out and indeed it was. Only problem is, although it's full and ready to pay out, that doesn't nececerrely mean it has to do it right away.

So there I was, half past 12, 'working'. So I'm running back and forth between the bar and the bandit as people are wanting to be served. The life and times of a CG. I had some strong urges yesterday. I had a full free day to devote to gambling. I had money availble and free time. I talked to my husband, I re-read all my thread, then I posted a pledge not to gamble in March.

I am going to buy a new vacuum today with my money and spend the time shopping for it. You have to want to quit this addiction.

I read the cycle of addiction and saw myself plainly in the midst of it. The thoughts come back around and wee have to plan ahead for them. You are doing great. I know having no money to buy the simple things is hard, but day by day the path you are on, will allow you to pay your way through life.

Just get to the end of today. Tomorrow is too far away to think about. That's 11 days straight now. It definitely helps I think Sunday night is tote double night at my work. I guess it might be a good time to seek opinions on wether this is still a good idea to pursue? I guess in a way it's still gambling. It's not something I could ever lose thousands on, but is it a gateway perhaps But for now, eleven days and counting.

How would you react if your friend was addicted to heroin, now in recovery, and told you he was just going to do the smallest of hits once per week. Only once per week and only the smallest amount of course. How would you advise him? It's funny how because a lot of regular people gamble, society and social norms say that a bit of lottery or a raffle is very ok and in fact encouraged.

However, the same regular people that do heroin are viewed by society as low life junkies. In fact addictive drugs and gambling trigger very similar types of reactions in your brain. Scroll a little way up your thread for the answer. Fritz pretty much answered your question. When in recovery, abstaining from any form of gambling is the best option.

The choice is obviously yours, but we all know, any sort of bet, no matter how harmless or small, will lead on to bigger things. What's more it keeps you in the gambling, risk mentality, which I think you should avoid at all costs. Had to nip to town today for some art supplies. Just another thing to keep me busy when I'm feeling the urge. I was watching the football last night.

It annoys me how frequent there are adverts for gambling, before and after the game. Not to mention half time where they really push the odds. It's pretty annoying to see.

You don't see adverts for drug addicts do you? Is gambling not as addictive as say alcohol or cigarettes? Might just be me, but I get the feeling if I told someone I was addicted to drugs they'd be more sympathetic. But if I said I was addicted to gambling, they'd just say, well just stop gambling. Can addiction really be put in an order? I'm just babbling now But 12 days and counting.

It is hard to lose all your money with alcohol or cigarettes. You certainly don't chase thousands with that. I used to think that once I'd done a week, the problem was behind me.

I feel sick to my stomach today as I write this. I thought it best to come on here and write in my journal. I've been very itchy and in my head all day today. I've been constantly thinking about how I'm going to claw back the money I've lost. It's going to take a couple of years to even be anywhere close. All I can think at the moment is, if I just start gambling my wages every week maybe I can occasionally win the odd grand to put into my savings.

I know if even once I lost my wages one week I would just dive into my savings to make it back up. I'll never be able to escape this nightmare. I still don't feel comfortable telling anyone. I just can't face another emotional kick in the bollocks. I think I've pretty much decided I can't tell my partner. She'd never be able to understand and relate to my problems.

She won't see them as problems, she'd see it as just wasting money instead of something I couldn't control at the time. I did something silly earlier. I google searched for Dynamite Digger, which is the video slot I played all the time. It took me to Labrokes online casino. I went as far as looking at the sign up page that would let me 'quick sign up with paypal'. It's probably been the worst day since I last gambled today. Not helped by the fact someone just went of the bandit at work and I heard that pound coin bypass the hopper and nestle in the bottom box, clearly shouting over to me "I'm full and ready to drop" Someone whose progress I am following as avidly as I might a serial.

Someone in whose struggle I see myself, and for whom I want to success against the odds in the manner of a old fashioned Greek hero.

However, after I posted the system seemed to shut down at it never got posted. In essence, I am rooting for you. I know that you know that the next bet is the one to avoid. You will never be up enough - and when you are you will only gamble again to lose. I know understand how you can never win from gambling. There are so many stories on here of people being 12K, 20K up and then instead of pocketing the money and leaving it for a few weeks, before ertruning with a clear head, you think you have it sussed and so increase the bets until its gone - and then some.

CGs cannot win - I cannot win. I proceeded to lose that and then almost a lot more. The reason you are one of my heroes is that you remind me of me. The way you write, the way you describe yourself. I think we are very different apart from we are CGs. I see you as Hercules fighting the Hydra of gambling. You can never beat the Hydra totally, but day by day you can chip at it until, after a long while, it is small and depleted.

But what I now understand is that you can never bet again - because if you do, it will grow and grow. Please continue to be a hero for me - I come to this site a lot as reading about stroies of success give me strength.

I am close to wrecking everything I have. I am 42 and everything I have worked towards is almost gone. I am that story. I don't want to go further - which is to be homless, in poverty, in prison, thinking about suicide. I want my story now to be the turnaround - but that will not happen overnight. I have so much work to do on myself. I need to understand what the urge to gamble is. It is when I am happy, or sad, flush or broke.

I have played online poker in my pants having a shit, on the bus with a dodgy dongle, in cafes, in parks, sneakily at home without the wife seeing. I am ashamed of the times I have gambled and lost it, absolbed, ignorant to my young child.

Over 3 years it has robbed me of so much and it robs us all. Becaiuse it is not a simple form of entertainment for us. It is class A drugs - it does the same to our brain as herion or crack, and that is whym in the sane way as I cannot ever take heroin again, I can never gamble again.

I wish you all my love and strength, and hope to read tomorrow that you were able to delay the urge to gamble.

And that tomorrow will be day 12 for you and day 8 for me. Had to get my bike fixed today. New tyre, inner tube, brake cable and break pads. Not as bad as I was expecting, but still, it's fifty quid I didn't really wanna part with.

Spent plenty of time today thinking about ways to get my money back. Obviously gambling always at the forfront of any ideas. Something else popped back into my head that I hadn't thought about for a while. When I was gambling frequently throughout the years, I always had one rule. I always said I'd never touch that money. But somewhere in the last couple of months, I was so desperately hooked on the chase that I totally forgot I was pissing all over their memory.

I don't believe in God or the afterlife, so I'm happy knowing they're not looking down on me with great disappointment. Although they probably should be When will it get easier? I am really struggling at the moment with the chaos that my gambling has caused. The truth is the longer we go without the gamble, the harder it gets as we will always have to remind ourselves what we are: We can never have one bet again.

I have met so many recovering CGs who went years without a gamble and convinnced themselves they were cured, so they could gamble responsibly again. It usually comes crashing down on our heads really quickly. I am only on day 8 and now I have to deal with the wreckage that is my life.

You are still young and you have a job. Gambling is no way of life. The odd bet for most people is fine. I know I cannot do that anymore. Not had a bad day today. A reminder of a time not so long ago that I was quick to spend big on my hobby. On a positive note, I'll get much more than that when they go on eBay soon to cover costs. Gotta save up for a match I'm going to at the end of the month too.

Savings aren't seeing many new friends at the minute. I was pretty irritable last night. I had a regular gambler staying late at work. Usually I don't mind stopping back a bit so they can play, as I always like to watch and join in. But everything about it was annoying me last night. Not least the 30 minutes extra I was at work without pay.

Anyway, he ended up with nothing, obviously. I locked up and went home annoyed that my time was wasted. If only I'd felt like that when it was my own money. There had been a few occassions I'd left work as the sun was coming up, hundreds maybe over a thousand quid down. Here's to hoping I've walked that last walk I've got to say, you are doing brilliantly. You are facing temptation at work everyday and still managing to resist the urge to gamble. Been preoccupied so it's been fine.

Just checkin in to check in. Nobody at work again. I'm not feeling too itchy though so it's cool. Had my dinner, got my one customer in, watching tele All good in the hood. Had some weird dreams last night. I dreamt that I had four grand in my savings and I was moving it into my normal account so I could gamble. I never got up to the point where I won or lost, just the moving money between accounts with the intentions of gambling online.

It was a pretty horrible feeling. I also had a dream that I'd told my mother. She was disgusted with me and we're going over all the things I wasn't allowed to do or buy until I'd made the money back. I told my boss I was gonna knock the tote double on the head for obvious reasons. He just laughed a bit and said it was only a quid a week.

Although I agree to a certain extent that it's only a pound and I'd make it back in tips within 10 minutes, that's not the point. He's one of only two people I've told and he doesn't inderstand. All I get from the other guy is, I wish you'd stopped the first time you won it all back. Well thanks for that So basically I can't talk to anyone because nobody takes gambling seriously as an addiction. I'm sure if I was a coke head they wouldn't say, it's just one bump a week, can't do any harm!

On another note, I sold another pair of match boots on eBay. Didn't get what I was hoping for. Not too pleased about that. But at least it'll cover the Gerrard's I mentioned earlier. Breezing through these days now. Not got much on my mind today. Early shift at work. Just finished Boardwalk Empire. Sad about the ending, but I guess you really can't be half a gangster Back to work after tea, then that's me till midnight.

I'm starting to come to terms with it all a bit more now. The realisation that I'm never getting my money back. I'm really impatient, so it's killing me a little knowing that this is going to be a long drawn out battle.

If it's feeling like a battle then there are two opposing viewpoints in your head. One saying I want to gamble and one saying I shouldn't, right? Think about the side saying I want to gamble. Why do you feel that way? Write down all of the positive aspects of gambling and test each one.

In the end they are all false, but you will need to reach that conclusion on your own. Until then you will be using the willpower method of quitting, which means you will have to struggle with a constant inner conflict of wanting to gamble but not allowing yourself to gamble. It is a very hard way to live. I tried this for a long time with poor results. You can go along time without gambling but continue feeling deprived of something you think is important and good, so the desire and urges never stop.

Consequently peace is elusive. This is just my experience, take it or leave it of course. This thinking comes from the Easy Way, it clicked for me, maybe it will click for you too. I wish you all the best in your recovery. Starting to really wonder if this site is good for me? It's nice to be able to record my thoughts i guess, but really it's just those day numbers clocking up that i always rely on to help me.

I used to count them on the works calendar whenever i had a bad spell and wanted to stop. My previous record was just over 42 weeks i believe. Never gone a year as long as I've been gambling.

But I've been reading over some peoples older posts and although there's a lot of tragedy through those pages, there's also a lot of glamor between the lines.

I read a long post that someone did last year describing the thrill and rush of gambling on slot machines. The post finished up telling how terrible they felt after the event, but all I read at that point was blah, blah, blahh.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, but by the time I'd read the first bit, all those sweet memories of gambling came flooding back. The next paragraph could of been the meaning of life and I'd still not been interested!

At this point right now, right now in my head, all I want to do is gamble. I think I've even gone past the point of wanting my money back. Just want the feeling of seeing that reel spin and have your heart skip a beat as the reel settles, displaying a healthy win or a disappointing loss. I miss the feeling of not being able to spend money too. I mean, sure, I've scraped back two grand so far, so I could easily afford a little luxury or two. But I'm stuck in save mode at the moment. I'm really dedicated to building my savings back up.

The downside to this is that I'm still selling things I've collected over the years for, in some cases, less that they're worth.

Which bugs me with every sale. I'm still adamant that my very top, rare items won't be going anywhere. I know they're only 'things' but I've worked hard for these 'things' and I think losing them will do me more harm than good in the long run. So here's to 20 days Tempted, but not turned.

I felt the same as you until I finished The Easy Way. The book is great as it is very repetitive as it bangs home its message. I now question why I ever gambled.

For years I got nothing from it. I know if I gamble again I will get sucked right in. I want a life without gambling, most be don't gamble. What has it ever given me? Nothing, not even any great wins. I have a few big win, most I never cashed out. I do understand that you can have big wins, but if you keep gambling what;'s the point? I still do fantasise about the big win and keeping it. I remember Charlster wrote how he was 12K up at one point but then just upped the stakes.

You too wrote how you got your money back to 20K, then smashed the lot in 2 or so weeks. If you could be guaranteed to win and then walk away, great.

But if we are a CG we can't. If all you do with a win is put it back, what's the point? I was very lucky again over the weekend, at one point I was massively down. I ended up up, but my GA sponsor said I didn't win - merely finished with more than I started. But if I gamble again that would go. I checked my bank yesterday - the deposited had gone but not the withdrawel. If you think about what gambling ever gave you, apart from a short rush of "did I win" or "did I lose" nothing.

And if you are using such huge amounts of money, the stress will kill you. We are all here with you, don't be fooled by the 'glamour' that people sometimes write. I think that's what made me relapse too. I wanted that win and walk away. But next time I play, if I play with the same intensity, I could lose everything. I can't play at those stakes any more.

Keep posting, stay strong and get the Allen Carr book. It was much better than I thought. You have been an inspiration to me as you have got your head around your compulsion. Just seeing one person understand my bullshit on here is good for my morale.

I was talking to a guy at work last night. The dude is absolutely loaded. This guy might put a lot in, but he seems to do it at the right times because he always tends to be lucky. With that kinda win, addicted or not, your definitely going back on it another time aren't you!? I've seen people who never even contemplate gambling get a little win on that machine and never looked back Not to the extent of some idiots like me, but there's definitely a trigger that goes off after you see that first win.

That trigger went off for me pretty early in life. I used to go to a lot of arcades in town when I was young. I live in a seaside town that is packed with them. Packed with arcades, but more importantly, un-policed arcades.

So it was easy to gamble as a kid. The only obstacles at the time being other kids that wanted to either take your money OR help you win the jackpot I shall take one example. I used to go to maybe 4 or 5 regular arcades that had specific machines that we had mastered. We being me and my friend, let's call him Chris. Because that's his name Anyway, we'd walk into the first place with our money firmly stuffed in our socks.

If it was quiet, time to play. If there were a few unsavoury types in, move to the next place. So we ended up in a place we didn't often frequent and tried a few machines that were new to us. I was playing one machine with a kinda 'Space and Rockets' theme to it. Only 'problem' was, I got the repeat option.

I swear, every time the repeat option came up, the lights were flashing brighter than any other machine and the sound effects louder. It seemed to go on for an eternity. Every time I tried for a repeat I got it. I remember clearly thinking, I wish this would end so we could get out of there.

With every repeat I could feel more eyes on me. My friend being my look out just in case. After a nervous what seemed like 16 hours! That's the kind of thing that happened regular when I was a kid. I loved the thrill of going out and playing, not necessarily winning, just being there and getting a buzz.

I guess I should of known when to stop. When the buzz stopped. When it became a chore instead of a pleasure. But we live and learn. I have often sat beside players in casinos. Watched them stuff fifty after fifty euro notes into slot machines up to 6, 7, 8 hundred Whom did I fool?

Most of these Big Shots are CGs in denial. And I place myself in the top category!! Gamblers, myself included, will talk from dusk until dawn about the great wins we've had when in the company of others. Never will we talk about the losses that outnumber the wins massively.

No one wants to be a loser, so we portray ourselves as winners, not just to appear great at what we do, but to convince ourselves that gambling is justified. That's my experience anyway. The chances are that guy may have had a lucky night in your establishment, but one thing is certain, he is hugely down over all, that is a fact. I know what your saying.

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