Often gamblers get angry about gambling. Angry at the machines for not paying out, angry at venues and the government for allowing gambling, and most often angry with themselves for continuing to gamble when they want to stop.
I received this letter from Ved who has gambled for 9 years. It’s in what my mum would have said “very colourful” language, but I think it’s important that we acknowledge how Ved is feeling and look at some of the tips Ved has used for controlling gambling. Ved has some good ideas.
I’ve been gambling since I was 16 that was 9 years ago.
I’ve never had that much money over the years, but I can safely say if pokies were a bank I would have $100,000 at this time.
TODAY I made the decision I will never play it again, like so many other times BUT THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT!!
HERE ARE SOME TIPS THAT HAVE HELPED ME STOP FOR A PERIOD OF TIME:
REMEMBER REMEMBER EVERY TIME YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO PAY OUT AND IT DIDN’T.
And if it did give you a feature it paid nothing because you lost so much.
REMEMBER HOW MANY TIMES IT WAS CLOSE BUT WAS NEVER THERE
REMEMBER REMEMBER THE SHIT FEELING AFTERWARD THE DIRTY FEELING OF A LOSER.
Because we are all losers because only idiots play the pokies.
REMEMBER ALL THOSE TIMES YOU WALKED HOME OR BORROWED MONEY CAUSE YOU COULDN’T CATCH A TRAIN, TAXI OR PAY YOUR BILLS.
REMEMBER EVEN IF YOU WIN IT GOES BACK IN ANYWAY, SO A WIN IS A LOSS NO MATTER WHAT.
If you don’t put it through that day if you play again you will.
ALWAYS, I MEAN ALWAYS, REMEMBER THE NEGATIVES CAUSE THERE NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THESE THINGS NOTHING!!
REPLAY LOSING IN YOUR HEAD BEFORE BED
Don’t think of getting 5 pyramids in a feature, think of getting only 2 PYRAMIDS, 2 PYRAMIDS, 2 PYRAMIDS AND LOSING ALL YOUR MONEY.
KEEP A DIARY AND WRITE THINGS DOWN.
Write down how GOOD YOU FEEL cause you didn’t play for 2 or 3 days or weeks.
It doesn’t matter, EVEN IF YOU FUCK UP WRITE IT DOWN.
WRITE DOWN HOW YOU FEEL AND START AGAIN.
DON’T GIVE UP.
FORGET, FORGET I MEAN FORGET ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU LOST.
The only way you win is if you don’t play and don’t lose more.
IF YOU DRINK OR POP PILLS TRY AVOID THE GAMING AREA AND AVOID PUTTING YOUR SELF IN THAT TEMPTING POSITION.
Drinks and drugs CAUSE YOUR JUDGMENT TO GET IMPAIRED AT LEAST FOR A WHILE.
SEE THE MACHINES AS WHAT THEY REALLY ARE THE DEVIL..
And pray to GOD, ALLAH, BUDDHA, JESUS, ST MARY, DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER IT HELPS.
ONE MORE THING, DON’T LET YOUR MIND TRICK YOU INTO THINKING YOU CAN PUT IN $5 OR $20 AND THEN YOU WILL STOP.
It DOESN’T WORK. If you put in $5 and you lose, soon it will be your PAY CHECK.
TELL THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT TELLS YOU TO GAMBLE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP.
This will work but don’t think you’re cured like I do after a month.
Keep repeating these steps repeating, repeating, repeating.
One more thing I want to point out is I know I am responsible for my actions, but the government are the biggest hypocrites and have partial blame for all our problems by allowing pokies to be on every corner of every street and then making stupid websites and gambling counseling numbers.
We have to be more like Canada. REMEMBER THESE FUCKS DON’T WANT US TO STOP. COCK SUCKERS.
I suspect Ved has worked through some gambling help material or has maybe spoken with a counsellor, because while he is still battling some unhelpful thought processes around gambling, he has some very helpful hints to share.
Ved we all wish we had a remote control to shut off the part of our brain that keeps telling us to gamble, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
Many people with a gambling problem have gambled for a number of years, you have gambled for nine, so changing that behaviour will take ongoing commitment.
There is no magic instant cure, but deciding to give up gambling, really deciding, is the first step and there are very practical and immediate steps you can take to help control your gambling.
The first is physical -limiting access to cards and cash. Leave your cards at home, only take small amounts of cash out with you, change the daily limit on your bank withdrawals, have your pay put into an account with no card access and then set up a transfer of a small amount of funds to a card account, have all your bills paid by direct debit, cut up your credit cards or give them to someone you trust.
The next step is to limit the time you have available to gamble and to control access to gambling venues -exclude yourself from venues (click here for information) and fill your schedule with activities that will improve your life, like going out with family and friends (not to places where you can gamble) learn something new, exercise, distract yourself and build the kind of life you want.
One of the most important things is to decide if you are really ready to give up and are prepared to understand the real issues around gambling. This is where a counsellor comes in. Working with a counsellor you can understand how the machines really work, what the pay schedules are and you will learn how machines are designed to take 10% of what you have put in at each and every press. You also learn a lot about how the brain works and how to cope with its tricks.
Working with a counsellor helps you discover your triggers, why you gamble, and learn how to stop. Ved is doing some good work remembering why he wants to stop gambling and reminding himself of the realities of gambling. Working with a counsellor you will be able to find ways that work for you.
Ved is right, we are each responsible for our own actions and blaming others doesn’t help us.
Ved might not agree with government policy on gambling (and a lot of people don’t) but the important thing is that the counselling services that the government makes available are free, confidential and they work. You can call the 1800 858 858 number any time of the day, any day, and there will be a trained counsellor who can help you.
If you go to www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au you can find information, order a free book http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/GamblingHelp/workbook.aspx
or talk to a counsellor online http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/
You can also find counsellors near you that can help you give up gambling http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/GamblingHelp/HelpNearYou/Search.aspx
Ved is right, you need to identify the steps that will help you stop gambling and keep repeating them. Being angry isn’t the solution to problem gambling, getting help and taking the right action is. The fact that he has sought counselling is a courageous move on his part.