some days are much harder then others

I've not been looking forward to Christmas at all this year and really I just wanted it to pass by in a flash so life could continue without having to deal with inevitable hard and painful memories that come along with this time of year.

This time last year my wife and I had both our families round for christmas day lunch. I remember waking up in the morning, it was Evie's (my daughter) 1st christmas and together the 3 of us opened our pressies in bed.

At the same time I was in my darkest phase of gambling. I didnt know it at the time but I was only 3 months away from being found out which then led to my wife leaving me and not allowing to see my daughter since. I only managed to make christmas work as i had a good day in the casino the week before and whislt i still had the money, splashed out on absolutely everything to make the perfect day. Through years and years of hiding my true feelings and despair, I had a real ability to simply but all my problems in a box at times and literally forget about them. I got through that day with no thoughts of my gambling and its inevitable destruction of me and my family. I didnt give it a single thought as I didnt want anything to ruin Evie's 1st christmas.

Now a year later I am sitting here, desperately sad, as all I want is for christmas to be the same as last year. All I want is to be with my wife and daughter, opening presents together, cooking, laughing and rapping our arms round each other on the couch in front of crap tv.

I am realisitc and know that I am never going to get back the christmas I want but it doesnt change the fact that it is still really hard to deal with. I know there will be many more hard timees and memories to deal with. Its Evie's 2nd birthday soon and I still probably wont have had any access to see her by then. I think that might be even harder then christmas. Its also my ex-wife's birthday coming up and I know that is only going to fill me with more sadness.

I hope in time the hard days will start to get easier as right now I just want to go to bed and wake up next week. But now is the time to stay strong.

Since being at GH I have learnt to be more aware of my emotions and then to try and embrace them, good or bad. That is why i have logged on and posted now. I am feeling down, didnt feel comfortable talking about it with my parents but just felt the need to share.There is nothing wrong with feeling sad today. Its hardly surprising. But by wrtiing and thinking about it I am dealing with it before the sadness intrudes on other elements of my life and well being.

Ultimately the thing i am pining for the most right now is to see Evie again. I know how I have landed in this spot and now all I want to do going forward is the right thing for my little girl and that is simply to not gamble.

I know christmas can be a really tough time for us CG's. It is a time of year when many unfortunately relapse and get themselves in real trouble. So dont let this one take you down that rotten path! Its ok to feel sad, its ok to feel miserable or worried or angry or lonely. All those horrible emotions are fine but this year use them to find strength rather then let the weakness in.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic christmas but for those (like me) that arent then I hope you find the courage to work through your issues and have some peace.

All thhe best

Mark