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On Friday I received my GMA letter in the post with the details for my residential recovery at GMA’s lovely Victorian country house with peaceful surroundings. I’m preparing my mind and have to get my things sorted and organise my life. This is it now.

8 days and I’m still gamble free but it is no test as I have no money to gamble. The test will be when I get paid next week. Keep telling myself I will not give one cent of my salary this month to gambling. Strangely this demon actually learns to leave me alone when he knows I don’t have any money to play ! How ironic is that ?

The thoughts are still rife tho’ but I speak to myself each day to make me stronger in believing and telling this demon he is not getting one cent of my salary this month !

I bought my train ticket for work next Wed on my overdue company card and only have the £14 for the taxi to get to the Client site. For the rest of the week I can work from home on other assignments, thank you Lord.

I went to bed late last night again. Can’t get to bed before 2am and then sleep till lunch time every day. Not doing me any good. So hard to break the cycle I’ve become used to.

Yesterday I noticed one of the gold fish in the pond lying on his side displaying a shiny gold underside and I knew something was wrong. I’ve been watching the gold fish in the pond every day which the landlord told me I don’t need to feed or care for but I have and even tried cleaning the pond following my research.

I watched how this poor fish battled to breathe and swam on his side but kept struggling. I sat and watched him helplessly for hours, dying. I found myself praying for this poor creature as my broke my heart to see it suffer and I had no way of helping.

I was so annoyed at myself of gambling again. I planned to get the pond water tested a week ago as I knew the water balance would be out but didn’t do so as I didn’t have a cent to pay for any remedial treatment. I watched the fish swim into a crevice and almost lift his head out of the water either for air or to die quicker and found him dead in the crevice today.

But today I also seen another goldfish lying and swimming on his side. I dressed and dashed out with a water sample and photo of the pond to the pond expert at the garden centre about 40 minutes away. I couldn’t bear see these fish die like this. I took my last £14 but prayed that I wouldn’t have to pay for treatment. The consequences of my actions a stark reminder of my gambling addition.

The water was tested and found to have a very low ph and very little oxygen due to the moss and algae on the surface of the water which the fish fed on and covered the pond. I was advised to empty 50% of the water, skim off all the algae and slowly run tap water into the pond which has a high ph. I rushed home and skimmed off all the algae on the surface with a net, then filled 2, 10 litre buckets of pond water and walked to the top of the garden to empty it on the shrubs. I did this with over 20 trips of 2 buckets of pond water. I felt like Jill walking up the hill with two pales of water.

It was heavy and I was sweating walking up and down but I was praying to save the fish. My emptying the pond didn’t drop the water level very much but then I thought I’ll run the tap water in so at least I could increase the ph of the water and hopefully save the fish. I also removed a load of sludge and silt from the bottom of the pond and continued to try to empty the pond water.The fish were nowhere to be seen. I just hoped that they had not all died.

But what a surprise after I stopped to see a frog sitting on the side of the pond with his head above the surface. And then suddenly all 6 fish starting doing a marathon in single file around the pond, swimming fast and madly, then darting off in the opposite direction in single file again !

I couldn’t believe my eyes. They came alive and seemed as if they were dancing and swimming close to the surface so I could see them as the water was murky from the sand, to thank me. They always swim away and hide when I’m there as I understand they are shy.

I was wet, sweaty and dirty with my wellies but I felt so good and made me realise how I’ve lost the joy for the simple things in life and this brought me so much joy. I even found newts and other creepy crawlies which I caught in my net and picked up in my gloves and threw back in the pond, something I’d never do as I’m very squeamish.

So today was a good day and not once did I think about gambling !

One day closer to my recovery.
So just for today, I did not gamble.