Sick to Stomach

As I sit hear sick to my stomach, trying to decide the best way to tell my daycare center I can not afford to pay them, I reflect on everything that has happened up to this point. I should have called daycare already as they have called yesterday wondering why my children have not been there this week. How did I get like this?

My story is like most. My husband and I both are problem gamblers and we both feel like we have hit rock bottom. We started heavy gambling about 6 years ago, since then we have two beautiful children, a house, the perfect life right? We are about to have the perfect life taken away. With the mortgage payment late, and we all know how hard it is to play catch up, not being able to pay for daycare, and exhausting all options of borrowing money from family members again.

We do not online gamble (thank god), no, we just take the hour drive to one of the 6 casinos within driving distance. We both have always set a time and money limit on our way to the casino, but I can never remember sticking to it, ever!!!!

There has been times I can remember winning some and actually walking out with money, but recently we have both gambled away any winnings and then some.

I can relate to the sick and lonely feeling while taking that hour trip home. See, the casinos here have so many perks they make it impossible for anyone (addicts as myself) to say no, giving away free money, concert tickets, free birthday rolls for every 75 points you earn on your card. I used to take pride in being a bronze member, now it makes me sick. They even know my kids in the daycare part by first and last names.

Our last trip was just 3 days ago. We borrowed money to pay some bills and well decided we would just go and spend $200.00 between the both us. Boy did it go fast and there we were at the ATM ready to take out money we didn't have. Thank god the check we had just borrowed for bills didn't hit our account yet and the ATM wouldn't let us take money out due to NO FUNDS!!!!

I think that is when it truly hit me that enough was enough. Two incomes have gone down to one, but the gambling habits have stayed the same. How could we not see the destructive behavior?

Now we are trying to figure out how to dig ourselves out of this hole as we have so many times in the past.

Someone please help, I don't want to live this way anymore!!!!! :(
Made it three days gambling free and then I rationalized one bet which turned to more and now a three day binge. I Have lost the little money I managed to save. Feeling quite shameful. Help.
Uma, We're on the same page. I had a little relapse myself, squandering the little money I had left. I've read several times on this site that relapsing is part of the recovery process. For me, the relapse is seeming to build more determination. I'm incredibly frustrated and even more sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I am so self destructive. Gambling the way I do is a manifestation of loneliness, boredom, and depression. What is your's? Facing the negative feelings that I have is making me think about gambling on a deeper level than I previously had. I'm also thinking about how my day to day choices affect my reality, and how that reality could be much different and much, much better. I consider how gambling perpetuates the depression and loneliness and what an oxymoron it is for me to use it to deal with these feelings.

We both have to pick ourselves up and try again, remembering how low we feel now the next time we get the urge to play. I'm telling myself that I got my relapse out of the way and now I can continue to move forward, embracing the ability to decide today not to gamble - also, looking forward to not gambling the next time I have money. We inherently know that gambling is a dead end. Next time you get the urge, realize that. Maybe go buy a new DVD, book, or treat you and a friend to dinner - do whatever you have to do to not gamble that day.

Are your friends a bad influence? If so, do not go to a casino with them! If you do, make your friend agree that neither of you are going to gamble that trip - just chill at the bar and people watch. Remove the negative influence - I'm not saying ditch your friends, but don't put yourself in a compromising position in the name of going out to have fun. If your problem is online, put gamblock on your computer. If you're in Vegas, choose a bar that has an outdoor patio, doesn't have machines, or has seats without video poker.

I have started to carry a pay stub with me. Since the start of 2006, I've made almost double the average annual income in the US, yet I am broke. That is staggering, I wouldn't believe it myself if I didn't see it with my own eyes. I'm carrying my stub and each time I get the urge or think I'll just play a little, I'm going to look at it and consider the thousands I should have and how relaxed I'd feel if I had the money - and how gambling has already taken enough to buy a new car from me this year. That makes me furious! I think I'll take it out on gambling and get angry at it and tell it to f off.

Today will be day 2 for me w/ no gambling. I know as I progress it will become easier and easier and my account will become bigger. Let's make a goal together - no gambling for one week. I know for me, it is much harder to resist when there is only a few days since the last time. We'll gain strength and momentum as the days and weeks pass. Decide not to play knowing that the only way those urges are going to lessen or go away is by going another day.

Be strong and visualize your success.

Hi guys,

My name is mark and I am a compulsive Gambler. I read your posts with lots of identification as I have been in both positions. But the fact of the matter is we can hold on to pay receipts and talk of being strong and determined etc...but if we don't attempt to change and seek help from people who are or have been in the same situation,then a chance of a beneficial recovery is not going to happen.

I went to Gamblers Anonymous and identified right away with others chatting telling there story of gambling,not being able to stop once started and strong resolves to never gamble again being broken and we go back to the financial hell...and the worse part.The mental torture of shame,guilt,self loathing,self pity,mood swings,tears and depression. I thought I would stop going to Gamblers Anonymous "it should be ok from now on" I thought.. cut to Sat 14th April..I logged on(did not put Gamblock on new laptop.went to a poker room and spent 14000 UK pounds 25000 us dollars in 12 hours.

Uma and Art I was back in hell having spent the deposit money I had for a new apartment. I need to let that go now.I am back at Gamblers Anonymous as I need to be with like minded people.I am every bit as clever as the next person but my own thinking got me in the situation(s) I find myself in once more. And as much as I love online help,forums cannot beat the live show.

I wish you both well and I know how crap it feels.....but believe me when I say,self will and you're own "I wont do that again's" will not keep you long from a bet.

All the best

Mark Would not recommend this to everyone
Tonight I got so angry with the itch of wanting to go to the casino I decided to go meet it head on. I loaded up my wallet with $800 and went with a vow not to play. I drank beers and got quite buzzed (intentional self weakening), and stood and watched craps, black jack, and pai gow...all the games I love - even made myself sit in front of video poker at the bar. Stayed for 3 hours and pushed the limits of temptation, did NOT gamble, and I feel like a hundred dollars right now...make that eight hundred right now.

Yes, this is a self fulfilling pat on the back, I feel strong! I even went to the games at the place that took me for a huge loss 6 days ago. A couple times it took all my willpower not to throw $300 out there, bit I did it...and tomorrow is day 7, one day closer to success. Stupid? Sadistic? I want to dis-associate this urge, take away all its power and show it who's boss. I want to walk into the hottest casino in a few years and not think twice about the fact that I'm not losing a dime. I do not gamble.
Hey man. I did a same thing but a little bit different. Last time when I were in casino, I think its 2 weeks ago now. I was playing slots, and I start thinking: I spending my life by seating on front of this box, with bonus games, all bright lines , where is everything fix up inside , so you can only lose, and while I was thinking like that I stop have fun, I was really thinking ( no adrenalin it all), so aft her my $20 gone, I send up, and walk away. So, main idea, don't give you life away, don't be a zombie, and f..k the owner of casino, don't give him you money.
Art, yes you were ok that time. What do I know? I know I have been in control on many Casino trips. Left with money, played smart. Even went with my Mother and only watched her play. But there is always that time when I lose it. It really is a form of insanity - while you are there.

Do you what you have to do. I once drove around for 3 hours seeking out a Tim Horton's to buy coffee. Never found one but I did find a Duncan Donuts. Bought a coffee, a donut and went home.

I am tempted to go tonight. Don't get paid until Monday but I have been tempted to go with what I have and see if I can overdraw my account. Or I can wake up tomorrow not depressed. Not at 3pm with regrets and another Saturday shot. Some NBA games to watch tonight and I just upgraded to digital cable a few days ago with HBO. Have enough money to live comfortably over the weekend. Also promised a friend I would write a sports article for his site.
You are right I would NOT recommend doing that to anyone. Just a suggestion; if you really want to show your addiction who is boss STOP gambling, DON'T go in or near the casino don't gamble for anything. Find something else to do; read a book, go for a walk, learn to play an instrument. There is a whole world outside of gambling and it doesn't come with the words would've, could've or should've. In my opinion you are just asking for disaster by going to the casino. Don't put yourself in that position. You don't have to hide from it but you have to stop doing it or it will ruin you. Let's face it I know I am a compulsive gambler and now I am happy to say I am a compulsive gambler in recovery. It has only been fourteen and a half months since my last bet but my life is so much better now than it ever has been. I play with my kids with a clear mind and I enjoy each and every day because it is truly a gift.

I wish you the best and please don't try this again because inevitably the gambling demons will win out if you put yourself in that position again. It may not be the next time or the time after that but I can guarantee you will feel you have this addiction kicked and you will make that first bet and the addiction will kick you back with full force and it will not be pretty. Have a great weekend and make it productive gamble free weekend.
Right on Velocity! That's what I'm talking about!

Paul, thanks for the concern and response. I am showing it who's boss by stopping, but I also will not hide from it. You obviously do not live in Vegas. I'm 30, single, a very social person, and live in Vegas. I do workout, watch movies, read books, spend hours online e-mailing friends on and off this site, etc. In Vegas, if you go out, you are surrounded by gambling. "You don't have to hide from it but you have to stop doing it or it will ruin you." is my point exactly. No offense, but you can't guarantee that I'll feel I have this addiction kicked, will make a first bet, and be back full force in the addiction. That cannot happen if I don't ever gamble and the only guarantee in life is death. Your points are all very valid and true (except the guarantee) and are exactly why I said "wouldn't recommend this to everyone". I acknowledge that it is extremely dangerous for me and anyone else with a gambling compulsion.

If I avoid casinos and bars w/ video poker, I'll have no social life and hibernate in my house - I actually work in one of the biggest casinos in the world! I'm acutely aware of willpower and self discipline building in Eastern cultures. To put it differently, its like a kickboxer who bashes his legs against a tree repeatedly everyday, knowing that when he kicks his opponent's butt, he won't feel a thing. Its also a matter of psychological disassociation. In knowing that I cannot gamble, no matter what, and being around gambling constantly without partaking, over time the associated urge will diminish profoundly.

May 5th 2006 was the last bet I made and I'm going to celebrate this date for the rest of my life. Very recently I made the decision to stay in Vegas for several more years, maybe longer. In doing so, I have decided that I am finished with gambling for good. I will become like so many other Vegas locals that go to casinos for dinner, to watch out of town buddies play, to have drinks w/ friends, etc. and never play. So, I guess there is something more to this self test than just playing with fire. I am trying to become indifferent to gambling and its environment as fast as possible, so I can be out in Vegas and feel comfortable anywhere anytime knowing intrinsically that I will not gamble. And to have the voice of the gambling demon fall upon deaf ears, because being in a casino has nothing to do with gambling to me. I am striving to reach this point.

Great job on your 14 1/2 months Paul! I look forward to having the clarity of mind and enjoying each day, as you do. It inspires me and solidifies its truth to hear that you have it. Think how great we'll feel when its been 14 years...I love that thought! Today we're one day closer!
Well said Art, frankly casinos will out last all of us and ravisher posted that we,d be better off owning a share in the casino,rather than gambling...does anyone know of a casino that went broke !!!maybe its part of growing up that we experience to different degrees the gambling bug,and grow out of it into simply eating and seeing a show there,rather than day dreaming of a big win.theres news in the papers of a guy embezzling millions from the bank he worked at,and loosing it all at the casino,so what makes us mug punters think were so smart to win,when so many have tried before us and failed...its not rocket science all this.stop fantasizing and look in the mirror,its my money and I choose not to gamble...
Laughing. Thank you that was quite amusing and I do wish you luck on hitting this gambling thing head on like you say. I truly hope that works for you, but sadly I don't think it is likely in the long run.

I used to live in Las Vegas and like you I worked in one of the worlds largest hotel casino's and you are right it is "almost" everywhere. As a gambler though it's easy to think that way because we are still so close to that last bet. There is so much more in Las Vegas you just aren't used to looking for it, that will come in time if you continue to abstain.

I now live in Reno and it's still pretty much everywhere and I still work in a casino. When I first came to Gamblers anonymous I was pissed off that I had this addiction, that I had to go to meetings, that I couldn't just stop gambling. So the thought of you hitting this thing head on at that time might have been appealing, I'm pretty stubborn. I just don't get the point I guess Art, if this is around you all the time, if it's everywhere, why is it you have to go to a casino and face up to it? Isn't it around you all the time anyway? I do wish you luck in this, if you really do think it will work for you but my first thought when I read your post is that you are nuts. Laughing. Its something I would have come up with a couple years back when I was still nuts. Step away from the insanity Art, trust me it's a much better road to take.

Take care of yourself Art, one day at a time without a bet. I wish you well.

Denise C.

3 years 2 months 11 days without a bet
Laughing. Thanks for the encouragement Denisec!...sadly you don't think its likely in the long run...Nuts? Check out the topic heading. Your implication that I am not stepping away from the insanity isn't very cool. I'm succeeding at stopping gambling...when I walk into the super hot casino to go to hang out at one of their cool establishments, eventually gambling won't even cross my mind - I'm eliminating it as a possibility and as a problem...same reason I recently decided not to count days. I know counting days helps realize one's own success and that is good, nothing wrong or nuts about it at all. But for me, I am becoming a non-gambling person and I'll settle for nothing less than removing the element in its entirety. I'll count every 365th day on May 5th. I'm sure I might catch harsh criticism for this statement, I don't mean to insult anyone - I'm just saying, in a few years I don't want to consider gambling when I walk into a casino to meet a friend for drinks and dinner, count days, or visit sites.

Anything I can do to strengthen or disassociate myself from gambling works for me. If I'm avoiding casinos or counting days in a few years from now, doesn't that mean I'm still struggling still thinking about it everyday? BTW I didn't quite understand the comment, "As a gambler though, it is easy to think that way" What "way" is being referenced? I know there are many cool things to do in and around Vegas, but that has nothing to do with the fact that ALL of the coolest places to eat and have drinks are surrounded by gambling.

You mentioned Gamblers Anonymous, which explains why you are of the school of thought that you are powerless over your addiction. Not a jab, but it is one of Gambler Anonymous's sayings isn't it? If that works for you, great. But I'm not buying that statement for a minute. You wished me luck in this - no thanks, "luck" has nothing to do with me removing gambling from my life. Its my decision alone that will cause me to succeed, my decision that I have absolute power over.

Keep on keeping on!
My struggle in hell

hello everyone.I'm spending another sleepless night wondering how I'll ever be able to stop this ugly,consuming...thing.I found your site and the stories are all me,from being happy and comfortable when I'm broke to the nastiness that lives in my head telling me very blatant lies so I can go gamble.actually I'm one of those people that is addicted to everything,pot,smokes,gambling.but its the gambling that's destroying me.I gamble every cent I have every payday.I can't fact today I took my last $15,gambled,won $500,then put it all back into the machines.there is no Gamblers Anonymous where I live,and I'm a single mother so I can't go into treatment,but I CAN'T keep going on like this.I've been gambling for 13 years now and it's my best friend and worst enemy.I don't know what to do or how to hang on anymore.all I feel on paydays-coz it never lasts longer than a day-is insanity.

It boggles my brain that I can stay away from other self destruction behavior(I'm Canadian and that's how you spell it!lol)but the second I have ANY money I'm at the local bar plugging those 20s into the be honest the thought of suicide has crossed my mind many times,but luckily for me my kids keep me here,but I'm losing the struggle on my mental well being.the self loathing I feel even before I walk into the bar is my constant companion.payday is coming up, 5 more days and my body is already anticipating it,hearts going a little faster,no desire to eat or sleep,and I can't stand it. I want it to go away,I need it to go away.I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.its nice to know that I'm not alone though.thanks,it helps.congrats to all who made it another day,and good luck to those who didn't.
Allana - Don't give up. Do not ever give up and never say you cannot stop. I have had a car re-possessed. Been sued by creditors twice, had a wage garnishment and still continued to go. Recently I am dealing with the IRS on some back tax issues from a few years ago which has really been bringing things home. They have an active lien on all my property and assets as security against the payment agreement I have with them so if I miss a payment then they have the legal right to freeze my bank account, take my paycheck and commandeer anything I own. yea, that's fear. I don't know if this is what you call rock bottom or not but I am drawing off that fear.

I was able to negotiate my way out of all the other drama's but the IRS is the one creditor that I cannot beat. So that's my incentive now. You have to find yours. Or perhaps you are just sick of living this way and want a better life. Like me.

Not only financially but personally as well. Casinos have become my main social life. Its almost all I know now. I used to have friends and a semi-active social life. You throw away a lot more than money when you gamble and I know how important it becomes. But its all an illusion. That Casino is not your friend. A friend will not continue to take your money when you cannot afford it.

I am not giving up. Going to keep trying. Keep imagining a better life once things get under control which will happen very soon if we stop gambling.

I know its frustrating. I know because I have been there. But there are always going to be more paydays which means you always will have another chance to not gamble it away. Just imagine how good you will feel the next day after payday about not going.
Allana, welcome to the site. In taking the initiative to log onto this site, you have taken one more step towards becoming gambling free. I offer this response with absolute humbleness, I'm not a professional and have a lot to learn about life...

Your post rings clearly of having hit rock bottom. I would recommend seeing a psychologist - there are certainly social programs that help single mothers in need of counseling. You have to gather every ounce of self control, support from anyone you can, and kick this thing - for the good of both you and your children. A better life for you and your kids is waiting patiently for you. Perhaps counseling will help you gain a better understanding of the compulsions/addictions that have hold of you, in turn strengthening your opposition to them. Remember, no one can quit your gambling but you. You have to make the decision and face it. Do it for your sanity, for your retirement, for happiness, and above all for your children - they need your financial support and they need their mother to be emotionally available.

You have acknowledged your problem and sought support, that is a big success, feel good about yourself for that. Now you (and everybody reading this) has to face a daily struggle and abstain from gambling. We can all rest assure that at the end of this struggle, there is mental, emotional, and financial well being and freedom.

You have to let go of the past and look forward to the future and all that it holds. It is bright! Consider all the wonderful things that await and that are possible with a gambling free life for you and your kids. You can do this. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other and making the decision not to gamble one day at a time. There is no "luck" in stopping gambling, there is only making the decision to stop. Please continue to seek support here, we're all struggling and many of us are succeeding - remember, struggle builds strength, it doesn't mean defeat. Be strong and consider the happier days ahead. Day 12
I have been gambling for 3 weeks and I feel awful. I feel sick and tired. Yesterday I won $700, almost as much as I have lost in the whole three weeks, I felt great and I was determined not to gamble it, put it back on my credit card. Then this morning I "reversed" the transaction and I blew it all in about 10 minutes, I went from feel great and free to awful and sick, $700 or £388 is soooooooooooo much money to me. I really am not going to gamble any more, I am really scared of how much worse this could get, someone tell me it will be ok.
You're saying the same thoughts I said to myself when I started gambling,and like you I got my initial loss,s back and to be honest I think all that winning does is get you immune to putting on bigger bets so that you then think your a big shot and round and round you go before one day bang you come home thousands down and say hay,,, why me.!!! it cost me 20k to find this out,cheap compared to most here.and it started with a $25 bet on I wished someone would,would've give me $50 and I swore I,d never gamble again.but really as long as I thought I can win at this ,then the casinos got me under its spell. so now I,I've go out to dinner,spend a 100 ,spend whatever I like,just not on does help that I make good money at my day job and like I said before if your in a hole,get a second job, save your checks and in a few years you,you'll put this gambling down to a pot hole in the journey of life,not a holocaust that it can become if you keep hitting your head against the casino,poker wall...
Well said Challis. $700 Whodolf? I will tell you it will be ok if you stop immediately. When I moved to Vegas a few years ago, $700 to me was more than I had ever had in the bank at once. Came from a poor family and struggled through college and mid 20s with less than $30K in annual income. Fast fwd 30 months landing at last week...more than quadrupled my old income. So far I'm down $60,000 in 9 months. I just made it through day 5 thanks to the desperately needed words of one of this site's members. In 3 years from now, you won't even remember $700 dollars lost on a little taboo and you'll have self respect and dignity as you always have. Do not come down this road. It is no joke. It has brought me severe depression, lack of confidence, tremendous loss of material items that could've been enjoyed, loss of self respect and self worth.

All of this coming from the most self important, self valued, and confident person you could've met. B) Leave it behind you now, before you piss away a new car, personal relationships, sleep and health, self confidence, and more. Consider yourself lucky to be young and aware - some are not so fortunate. When you get the urge, visit this site or e-mail me privately through the site. I'll tell you stories that involve 29 year old guys jumping from the 30th floor, thanks to a few years of compulsive gambling. This sh!t can and will ruin your life. Choose good living today...