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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to check in and say I am still wading through the huge number of posts I missed while I was away. I have had my parent’s house to myself for the last 2.5 weeks – they return today. I am collecting them from Hanley Bus Station.

I have loved chilling out here and exploring Stoke again. I have met up with old friends, found a new GA chapter both in Stoke and in Derby. It means 80 miles round trips on Monday and Tuesday evening but compared with the effort I put into gambling (the lies, finding ways and places to play, new credit cards, swapping money from accounts) it is well worth it.

I have moved out of one spare room with a single and into another spare room (actually my old room when I was 16-18) as it has a double bed and the dog has to sleep with a human being and the single was not big enough for the both of us. I am loving having my dog back.

Since getting back I have not posted as much as I have been super focused on slowly working my mind back into doing stuff, setting small goals and achieving them. Before I went away i was sometimes posting 2 or 3 times a day as I was going mad, truly. Now my mind is calmer. I am a long way from being recovered, I don’t think I ever will. they say you never recover fully after an addiction such as gambling, it makes such a mark on your psyche. But recovery is a process one day a time, making better choices, thinking things through, being good to yourself. I used to have a HUGE beard as I could not be bothered to shave. When I went to GMA I shaved it off and since then have been cultivating 2 70’s style mutton chops and a rather fetching tache. It’s looking good now and when I wear my pork pie hat dressed in smart clothes and a nice jacket I look good. I haven’t felt that for a long time. I like the way I look. I am going to find some new clothes and refine a new identity. I do not want to be the old Maverick. that Maverick was a mess – lying, compulsive, lazy, scared, isolated, panicky, depressed. This is a new Maverick, but not TheNewMaverick as that was my poker name. No, this is Maverick_2.0. Taking on board all my dreams and fantasies, which are a part of me, with a new dose of realism and acceptance. And recovery is a blanket I am draping myself in. Life will get hard, there will be tough choices, but as long as I am not gambling and confusing myself then I can look to my higher power and make what I hope are the best choices. And if they aren’t i will learn from them, and keep learning. I used to say the moment you stop learning you might as well be dead. Well, emotionally and intellectually I have been dead for the entire time I was gambling and before when I was taking loads of drugs. This is the cleanest I have been for maybe 25 years. I haven’t even had a drink since 2nd Feb. I have stopped smoking, switching to a decent Vape product. It works fine. 2 days I have smoked only 1 cigarette which I cadged when my battery died last night. Must remember to buy a spare batter to avoid that going forwards.

Going to London on Saturday to see my boy. Just FaceTimed with him just now. I love him so much. I am so much more present with him now than I ever was. Perhaps I had to go through what I went through the experience what is going to happen to me going forwards. There is so much positive stuff happening but I must never get complacent.





On Sunday I get Valentin all to myself all day. We are driving to a good friend’s house who lives in a village in the South Downs just off the A3 about 30 mins before Portsmouth. We are going for a walk in the woods. He has 2 small daughters who I know will enjoy being with Val and Val will enjoy them. I have not met his daughters and in fact he came into my life just as the gambling was reaching its end point this year and he has been there on the end of a phone whenever I needed him. We were very close at Uni, did lots of mind altering substances together and laughed a lot. When I am with hi, it is like time melts away and the old jokes return. I am very excited.

I would like to extend the arm of friendship to all the oold guard who have always been there for me such as but not limited to Happy, Vera, Liberty, Adam, Fritz, Jan’s Dad, ButchUgly, SlotJunkie, Liberty, TheEnd, Seri and so many others, as well absent friends such as Charlster who is getting the treatment he deserves at GMA, and our new member Jenny, Gov and so many more I cannot remember. If I forgot your name I am sorry but i do not want to break my stream of thought going back and checking.

I cleaned the house today, washed the sheets and everything is pristine. I am looking forward to my folks coming back. I will no longer have the house to myself but I have shown i can now handle my time on my own and be productive. I could gamble if I wanted to as they have an internet TV, but to be honest it is the last thing on my mind. My computer which I use most of all is properly blocked and that’s what matters.

I wish everyone well in their own personal recovery, and I pray for everyone struggling with this insidious illness. And it is truly and illness and it makes you very ill. gambling does crazy things to one’s mind, it distorts everything, changes the way you see the world, yourself. I am starting to get glimpses of how it changed me as my mind continues to clam down.

Love to all, gotta walk the dog.