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Dear All

Just want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I arrived at this site almost a year ago and have to say, I was in absolutely dire circumstances. I have been a CG for more than 30 years and have already explained the financial cost. However it’s the emotional cost that scars more than anything. 12 months on what have I learned. Well on forums and communities such as this, people can help each other enormously. Just having the ability to put words down and vent feelings is enormously cathartic. I did not realise this at the time, but its so very true. I had watched from a distance at times and thought how stupid others were with all their problems, whilst I read and the fool in me just kept repeating the same learned patterns of gambling behaviour. So what have I learned :

Avoid complacency………….the biggest fear in my case. I have to avoid access to cash as best possible. Try and fill the unforgiving times with activities that I enjoy, such as music, films and walking. When the thoughts come, which they have often, do something , anything else ASAP. I know I have been tempted many times and have spent nearly every Xmas absolutely skint and feeling sorry for myself. And it always happened in a blur of beserk loss of control. For the very first time this year will be different. I have to say it feels magnificent. I still have a lot of monies to repay, but the are all being eroded slowly but surely. I also realise, part of my problem was my arrogance in thinking I could beat the bookies. Even after sustaining heavy losses in a day and lying, cheating and God knows what to elicit monies to gamble again, I always felt that the ‘big win’ was always just around the corner and it would sort out all my problems. The big win endorphin rush, the come downs. Believe me, it will never happen. Wins came at times and I was everyone’s best friend, splashing the cash, then came the huge losses, with the assuredness as night follows day. It is a humbling experience to actually analyse my behaviours this last 12 months. I have many regrets, but mostly the hurt I caused my wife. Mistakenly, I used to think the biggest hurt was the lost money. I really was a pathetic moron. I have let it go completely at last. My day can be filled with fun with things that cost absolutely nothing at all, the things that we all take for granted like seeing a blue sky, the sun on our faces. I must be getting old 

I am not great with words, so I just want to say thank-you to you all, wherever you may be on our small planet. Without all of you, I dread to think where I would be. I give you all a sincere cyber hug and wish you all the very warmest wishes in your recoveries.

As for me……………the journey continues  xxx