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August 26, 2016
Hi Everyone, Thank you for your posts. Each one is a facet in the dark jewel of my own addiction, mirroring back my pain, experiences and the internal despair and anger of this addicton.. I am a 50 yar old , educated, travelled woman and I have had a Pokie addiction for ten years.. It started when I moved to Australia and accompanied a friend who played.. I had no idea I could get addicted.. but I was particularly susceptible and within weeks I was hooked. I went from 2 times a week to pouring all my money into a machine whenever I had some basically.. I realized I had a severe problem one day when I had 5$ left..and I decided to put that in the machine rather than buy food for my cat.
I sought counseling fast.. and then went into rehab. .. I stopped for short times..and longer ones.. But i always went back.. to the deluded fantasy I may win something more...
I took action and studied addiction, I studied neurology of addiction.. gambling, and it all made sense..But I continued to play.. A cognitive understanding of things didint change a thing for Me.
What happens when I play...and continue to play is that playing the machines changes my thinking and brain so much I live in a mystified trance like state... I look OK outside but I am not at all well inside.. I am dissociative and numb and emotionally shut down. I am so much more impulsive and also much more easily triggered to anger or stressed behavior, in fact internally i am full of frozen rage and worry and shame...
Over the years health problems have grown.. . Stomach clenched and ill, headaches, a very bright red rash and inflammation over my face after playing.. sinuses inflamed, eyes sore, Sometimes exhausted and lethargic, weight gain.. and internally I feel really bad about myself..shame, self disgust.
Now after ten years my health problems are very chronic moving into acute..I have basically gambled away my health...The only true Wealth in life..
I am stopping today. In the morning it is day one. I have excluded all of town but anew bar..so I am sending hem an exclusion letter tomorrow too. Exclusion is the thing I need to keep me safe. It works in a certain area. I just can not go int those bars etc
I used to hate myself because of this addiction. But a few years a go my Mother told me that when myself and my four sisters were little my Father had a bad gambing problem In fact, the family would drive to town from the farm, and if Mum didnt accompany Dad to the bank when he cashed his paycheck..to get the housekeeping money, He would just go to the pub and tab and gamble and rink it all.. Then We would wait in the car, 5 wee girls and my mother until he came back from the Pub drunk.. He would then drive us home drunk. He would also be terrifyingly violent to my Mother as he would most often be angry about loses.. and this would go on all week until the next time.. My mother would grow our food. As I grew up I took on the role to try and save my Mother when the violence started.as I thought he would kill her. Being a small child to a teen who went through this trauma meant I was highly traumatized inside..I was diagnosed about 20 years ago with complex PTSD from this.
I think Pokie machines should come with Severe warnings.. for brain injury and mental illness too. The adrenal conditioning I had as a terrified child and my Dads severe gambling and impulsivenes and immaturity all made me vulnerable to these machines.
But understanding only allows me compassion for myself and others.. It doesnt stop Me hurting myself more playing the Pokies. For my addiction is..to Hurting myself.. as that is all I get playing them. All winnings go back in..And my health has been so dampened that now I am chronically ill.
Enough is Enough... I RISE Tomorrow and put in that exclusion form. I start a journal..Labeled DAY ONE. I am determined to heal my brain and behavior. I have Gambled my Life Away.....my health away..myheart away... But I HAVE the power to stop and let my brain heal. ANd I am worth saving ..I am with you all.. Fighting for our lives back. I want to challenge all policies that allow these dangerous machines in our communities..
February 13, 2014
Hi A New Day,
Thank you for your post. I can hear from what you have written how determined you are to change your gambling behavior and move towards all the things that you have wanted in your life. Your writing is so expressive that I can almost hear your voice through it! it sounds like it has been a long journey for you but you are looking ahead with optimism.
It would be great to hear some more from you on this forum, I imagine that you will have a lot to say to our other forum users. As always, I encourage people who post on here about current gambling issues, to get linked in with some type of counselling, by calling us on 1800 858 858, for additional support. It would be great to hear how you are going with this and what sorts of things you have put into place to help you to move forwards.
all the best and well done for contacting us,
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