How do fella, Ill post in here before I pop into thew Alcoholics thread lol. bit of an addictive personality me
Started for me at 16, worked on Allerton Road and there was nothing to do up there then (mid 90s), no pubs or nowt, so first day I went the bookies and threw a quid on a horse, it came in 12/1. Next day I went back, quid on a horse, won 10/1. I maintain to this day those were the 2 worst bets I ever done - because they came in. Had they not, I probably wouldnt have bothered again.
I was on about 50 quid a week then, so those wins were like a days pay, and to a 16 year old, that was decent cash for me. Problem was then, I thought I could win all the time. Started going in every lunch, the bets got a little bigger, then the fruities took hold, and that was me done. Within a few months I would go over on a Wednesday (pay day ) lunch at 1pm for my half hour lunch, return to work an hour later with my wages spent and to a bollocking from the boss. This happened quite often.
By the time my wages were up to the triple figures a week mark I was betting 20 quid a pop pretty much every day until my money was gone, then would go out on a Saturday with my Uncle (who has always gambled but unlike me could afford it), and when the money ran out, bang, credit card. Then Id max that out, get a loan to pay it off and give me a bit extra, gamble the extra, get a credit card, etc etc. On the odd days I would not go back to work in the afternoon cos I was chasing my money on a fruit machine, lads in the office were sound and covered for me, but 3 or 4 hours later Id be skint and dripping in sweat cos I had just spunked my weeks wages up the wall.
Used to play 5 a side at the Pitz up Everton way, remember one Wednesday night we had a league game, kick off about 8pm I think. Got the bar about 7, got a pint and went on my favourite fruity, Jewel in the Crown. Was still there an hour after our game kicked off, was about a ton 20 down on the machine and about 7 pints in. One of the lads came running in saying they needed me on the pitch (I wasnt much good, we were just short of numbers lol), begrudgingly I went out leaving the machine, got sent off after being on the pitch for 40 seconds, ran back the bar and ploughed another 60 quid in the machine. That 180 was money I had lent off my nan to pay my Mums keep that week, as I had lost my weeks pay after work before going the Pitz in another fruit machine while waiting for a lift the match.
I didnt stop until 2001, when I started going out with a Girl from work. We had been mates for 2 years, and she knew what I was like cos I used to go out of a lunch time in work and throw a few 40 quid wins on the nags, then go back to work. I couldnt even see the races, I had to phone a mate who was at home to check the results on Ceefax (this was 99, didnt have a mobile or net in work lol), I wasnt even watching the race, got no enjoyment from it, just sheer deperation for a bet. Anyway, she told me if we were gonna make things work I had to knock the gambling on the head. And I did. Easy as that. Still to this day dont know who I done it, but I just stopped.
I havent been on a fruit machine for about 6 years now, I have the odd bet (usually Grand National or the odd footy roll up, maybe half dozen times a year, tenner a pop), Im going to Aintree on Thursday April 8th, Ill take a couple of ton I have budgeted myself and wont be tempted at anymore or carrying it on. Im no longer with the Girl that told me to pack in, but I still remember her telling me that and how easy I found it to stop. I honestly have no idea how I did it, but I honestly found it really easy. Strange.
But I feel for you mate I really do, I have a mate who still suffers now and lost a few grand just before Christmas that was his house deposit, I look at him and am so thankful I was able to stop myself being 'that guy'. Gambling is a shit thing, and I value money far too much now to piss it up a wall on fruit machines that are basically designed to take cash off you, or backing another McCoy favourite at 6/4 which he fucks up on only to romp in on a 14s shot next race (I fucking despise McCoy).
Only time I had a lapse, 2006. I was off work for 5 months and house bound, bored off my tits. Opened online accounts for free bets just for some interest. Lost a fair whack of cash as I had nothing better to do and wasnt spending money anywhere else, I knew it was too much though when I was sitting there one night and had a ton on red (online roulette), black came in. Threw 250 on red chasing my money, black came in. Suddenly I looked around, I had been in a total daze for all of 90 seconds and lost 350 quid. I wasnt even paying attention to what I was doing. My heart started racing and I thought fuck this shit, logged out closed account and never went back. But its not easy, I know that.
At the moment I have far too much shit going on in life to think about a gamble even if I wanted to lol, but keep up the good work buddy and theres anything I can do let me know. Im not on here to often lately due to above mentioned life shite, but Ill check in when I can.
Its a fucker of an addiction mate, it will wreck your mind not to mention your finances, I am still paying off previously explained loans now, and Im 31 next week, 15 years on from my first bet. Remember getting about 5ton in cash on my 18th birthday on the Friday night, by 3pm Saturday I was asking my uncle to lend me a ton, I had blown the lot. And back then I didnt even look at what I was spending, and I was only on about 9k a year at the time, and was probably going through about 1k a month on gambling alone. You do the math.
Keep your chin up mate, it is indeed a mugs game and if you can turn your back on it for good then your life will be so much better for it.
Cheers my man.