31 Jan 19
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This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.

decorative image of a family spending quality time on the beach

As we enter 2019, many people we speak to are taking stock and realising that they don’t like the role that gambling plays in their lives. If that sounds like you, that realisation is an opportunity to make positive change in your life and the lives of your loved ones.

For many people who have successfully changed their behaviour, their journey started with a keen awareness of the things they were missing out on. Fear of missing out shifted the balance towards change.

Some previous Gambling Help clients told us why they decided to make the change:

It was just after Christmas one year and I realised that, instead of spending time with my kids and wife, I had been focused on my phone pretty much all day. I was consumed with my sports betting app because I’d bet way more than I’d intended, and was focused on winning it all back. It was only when my wife had a word with me I realised I’d missed out on a whole lot of memories and my son’s first Christmas. That kind of shook me up and made me look at my gambling a bit differently – as something that was taking me away from my family. —Chris, 28

I don’t think I thought of my gambling as a bad thing necessarily until I realised that I hadn’t been on a holiday in seven years! One of my friends pointed out to me that I work pretty much all the time and never seem to get to relax, and she was right. As soon as I got paid, I put it straight back into the pokies and then waited for next paycheck to do it all again. It hadn’t seemed to be a problem for me until then, but the more I thought about it, the more it made me wonder if it was worth it, to be missing out on a break every year for just a few hours of distraction every fortnight. — Alison, 47

It is very common to feel as if life is passing you by if you are caught in the cycle of gambling more than you can afford. This is the perfect time of year to take control of your choices. If you want to make lasting change, call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858. A trained gambling counsellor can help you to explore your options and help you on your journey of where you want your life to go from here.

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