• achannah posted an update in the group Group logo of CommunityCommunity 1 week, 5 days ago

    I joined a week ago but wasn’t ready to share. Went back to casino instead. Just like many of you, I am not sure how I got here. Well, I guess I do know how – just can’t accept it. I was never a gambler. I was a saver. I never had the desire to gamble. I wasn’t around it alot but when I was, I would sit back and think “wow, why are they doing that?” Little did I know, I would eventually find out. I moved to a rural area after being in the city forever. In this rural area, there is nothing to do but backroad or go to a casino. The chickasaws have several casinos here. My husband and mother-in-law introduced me to gambling. Their moto was bet big – win big. For the first year or so, I still didn’t abide by that, but then there was that first max bet win. Just wow. Little did I know that would ruin me. I kept going back wanting another. I started making crazy excuses to leave the house and/or why I was late coming home. I gambled away $30,000 in savings and then started with credit cards. Went all the way in debt there and now $3500 overdrawn in my checking account. I moved here with a lot and now have nothing. The more I lose, the more I go back to try to get it back and the more I go down. I never used credit cards. Then I took advantage of my good credit and got every card imaginable with crazy limits. I cash advanced as much as I could, I transferred balances back and forth to cover the fees – I kept making it work (or so I thought I was). And now here we are, 4 years later, thousands of dollars in debt, still a little in denial, still wanting to go get it all back – and then I will quit of course (ha ha) – and have no clue what to do or where to go from here. I have excuses as to why I started gambling – the move, having kids, problems with the husband, just to get out and have fun (which it was fun at first) – But then it wasn’t anymore, I kept going. When I would win, I would be in a good mood for a few days. When I lost, I was so depressed and angry and took it out on my family. I was trying to figure out a way to get it all back. They didn’t know what was going on – “mom is going through a cycle.” How sad, huh? It has only been 7 days since I was there. It was so bad. I remember having an anxiety attack on the way home not knowing how in the world I was gonna fix this. And, well, I haven’t, and I can’t. Christmas is coming up and I have no clue what I am going to do for my kids and my husband cause well, Mommy gambled all her money away and then some. I went back every time thinking I will win it all back tonight (which is asking alot) and then I will quit – I promise. Yeah, welcome to a gambling addiction. Gosh, who knew? Certainly not I.

    • Thank you for sharing. I find myself in the same boat. My last time was 3 weeks ago. I gambled out house payment away. Chasing. I’m exhausted. I fight the desire to go daily. It’s depressing, stressful, and sad.

    • I hear you! I’m in Oklahoma too. Did you know that Oklahoma casinos are completely unregulated? They can get away with literally anything. The freeplay offers are to keep us addicted. They know they can pay out some to compulsive gamblers and we will give it back and more. There’s no way to win at any casino but Oklahoma casinos are particularly insidious. We aren’t dumb people (compulsive gamblers are usually of high intelligence), we are sick people trying to get well. Gambling is a dopamine release just like cocaine. I feel for you and I’m in the exact same boat. We can’t win it back. I will be self-excluding for life at Riverwind and Newcastle. I have been on this journey of quitting for years. I have read, watched documentaries, and talked about it here. This place may make you feel accountable, like it does me. I need to feel accountable and I need support. I am here to listen! I hope you (and I) can stay away from casinos forever.

    • Please know that there is hope and there is help out there. I am early in my recovery from compulsive gambling, 107 days to be exact. I read your story and wow I felt like I was reading mine. After 6+ years of gambling I admitted myself into an inpatient facility in Arizona as I just could not stop going to the Casino’s here in Southern California. I learned so much from my stay, but one of the most important things I learned is that there is a lot of help nation wide for compulsive gamblers. I highly recommend going to a GA meeting. It is so empowering to sit in a room with people who get it, get you and do not judge. I also recommend visiting the National Council of Problem Gambling website ncpgambling.org. The resources on this website are listed by state as well as national and very helpful. Know that every step you take including chatting on this site is a step in the right direction and you should be very proud of yourself. As a compulsive gambler, I can tell you we are all in this together, even if we don’t live in the same state.

      • To everyone on there, that is exactly true. One year ago, I was lying on my back having run out every credit card, even a storefront lender, behind on mortgage and more, way overextended on my home while my wife and I are getting old. I was and am working 12 hours from home and was gambling week after week, month after month, had declared personal bankruptcy, because fortunately my wife was not on any of bad debt. I fessed up to her, because, as she said, I had run out of options. I had been through it two years before, but now I was on a super slip. I was bawling. A GA veteran from another City took 45 minutes on the phone to explain gambling addiction to me. What an angel. Then the gambling hotline connected me with a program sponsored by lotto in my home state. They were a steady, faithful and effective guide and resource. I hope you find something like that wherever you are (not necessarily sponsored by gambling ). Coming up on a year since that day and the last bet. I also attend GA meetings, which are more plentiful there, when I get to visit home. That dopamine message above: so true. The savior that night pointed out that we can deceive ourselves by not being in the present. I got on a jag. It was the action more than the money, but the money triggered the dopamine. We create dopamine pathways by our behavior and intentions, and our thoughts follow those pathways. The pathways start to close moment we cease to use them by changing our own action. This is way I use the word addiction, but I guess others also serve. I wish all the best to all of you.