I would sit in the car park fighting the urge to go in. I remember my hands were sweaty and adrenaline was pumping and a lot of memories from previous wins would just flood my brain. At the same time the knot in my stomach would tighten.
Opening the door to the pokies venues felt like coming home. It would flood my brain with really feel good chemicals and for a while there. They would mark my sense of hopelessness and lack of control.
Sometimes I managed to go without gambling for a whole week, but I crave the excitement and without it. I became irritable and restless and very angry the key to overpowering my urge to gamble.
Was that I needed to find a substitute activity that excited me just as much as gambling, but it didn't have the negative effect on my well-being. So I then went back to playing basketball two or three times a week, and I love traveling to as many masters games as I can and i am apart of a really great group of people.
The exercise feels fantastic and the thrill of competing provides me with a healthy alternative to gambling. Other people I know have found things like joining a choir or playing African drums or learning a new language.
One of my friends is now playing pinball competition, and he's never been happier. So now when I see a pokies sign. I feel nothing whatsoever, that's the greatest victory really it feels even better than winning a jackpot.