Soft shite / Get a grip / Sob story alert. If you've never been affected by gambling, drink and drugs, don't read.
Not read any of the replies since the 10th (I'll catch up shortly, so I apologise if I'm repeating what others have said).
Watched the low ebb vid, reading back my notes, I've written "same" 37 times. In a few places I find it upsetting. For you, or me, or both, or any other gambler, I don't know.
Mine was almost identical, to the point where I'm thinking something mental like am I you, or are you me?
Only slight difference, I passed the first year at uni, then did the same as you, only in year two, from September to January.
When you mentioned the catologue, I almost fell off my chair. I got a Great Universal one, and here's the thing, had no income whatsoever. Bought things I could easily sell, VCRs, Tellys, etc.
Oh and same with Natwest, yes you can have a £400 overdraft, cheques for cash at the tillers.
The "long weekend thing", started out, 1989, September, 18th birthday, I'm taken out on the pop, we go clubbing, had the night of my life. Few months later, I find some other mates who do this on a Saturday, so joined them. Then as @Geddy will know, there was Tuesday night snooker in the club, joined the snooker team. Wednesday was pool night, followed my mates who played in the team home and away. Thursday night, darts and doms, home and away. Sunday and Monday, there'd be cards going on, a turn, strippers or whatever. So it quickly turns into a 7 day session.
Friday/Saturday nights never played the bandits, but on every other night I did, and in the daytime.
The lies, the getting on the 141/159/161/220/535 (one for Geddy, or Alth), on the morning, bye I'm off to uni, get into Sunderland. Get the bus or train to Shields, Seaburn, Newcastle, Whitley Bay with 6 cans, and be pissed by 9am and ready to play. And lose. And walk home, 15-25 miles because I didn't have a free pass or the fare home. Did that twice from Newcastle. That's Newcastle to Houghton Le Spring. Many times from Seaburn to Houghton Le Spring. Look it up, it's a canny hike.
The relationships fucked up, the chances fucked up as well. I remember being in a club and watching the bandits waiting for players to come off, being chatted up by lasses, and I'd tell them "our lass is in the other room" so they'd leave me alone, so I was ready to jump on when someone had finished playing.
Bodily functions, I've pissed myself lots of times playing, shit meself only once, which is enough. On the bus home, everyone saying what's that smell, as lump comes out of my trouser leg. Ruined a good pair of Chinos, the smell never really left after many washes.
Next 25+ years, pretty much continue to do the same.
Roll forward to April 2019, I'm at AA, and am drink and drug free. Then came covid. Then came last August. When I read the news here, I thought what do I do? I should have called my support network at AA, or my support at the NY Mental Health crisis team. But no, I know better obviously. I go on 6 weeks sick off work, drinking heavily every day, and signed up accounts with Sky Vegas, Casumo, Dream Vegas, and The Sun. £2 stake. Win loads in a couple of days. Few grand up. Lose that. And more. Then September/oct/nov, I spunk away each pay packet, can't pay rent, bills, DD, standing orders etc. 3 times get bailed out by my dad. Had another trip to James Cook in Boro, not good. Only then, In November, I realise after 30+ years of gambling, I look into my dads eyes, and see a frail, old man; the torment my life has placed on my parents hits me. So I stop. Sign up with Gamstop on a 5 year total ban from everywhere.
7 months on, still drinking everyday, but am gambling free.