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Time to get busy living.

I like the sound of that.

Hope I can eventually feel it. Right now I just feel bored; like my life is commonplace. I miss my old, secret mistress (gambling), no matter how horribly she treated me. Sounds a little strange, I know, but it’s true. It’s as though I’m an abused ex still longing for his/her abuser.

I had my first, real strong urge the other day. I’ve had small urges over these last couple of months, but not a big one like this was. The feeling that came over me was overwhelming. Had I been standing in a casino at that moment, I worry about what could have happened. The feeling/urge to gamble wasn’t a tense or pressure feeling, it was a warm, comforting and exciting rush. I was stuck there for a good 15 minutes and it made me realize something…

Remember the game show Wheel Of Fortune? Well, if I replace all the $$$ placards with ‘don’t desire to gamble’ and the Bankrupt placards with ‘desire to gamble’ and then spin it, it’s a fitting analogy of what it’s like when I’m in recovery. The majority of time it’s going to stop on ‘don’t desire to gamble’, but not always. When it lands on ‘desire to gamble’, it’s going to be overwhelming (as it was the other day) and I better be in the right place and right mindset. When it stops on ‘desire to gamble’, just saying ‘no thank you’ isn’t going to cut it. I’m going to have to tap into my reserves. I have to have won the fight before getting in the ring.

Mental preperaton.

What am I going to do during my yearly visit from my friend back East? We used to get hammered and gamble. Now what? Get hammered and NOT gamble? Hell, that won’t work. If I’m out on the town in Vegas, drunk, I’m going to gamble.

So, back to preperation. To prepare, I need an entire life-changing outlook and lifestyle. I suppose this is what you’re talking about by “time to get busy living”. But it won’t work unless I “get busy living” by living a different way. And THAT is why abstention from an addiction is so hard, I suppose. Because it’s not just quitting what we’re addicted to, but embracing lifestyles that were heretofore alien to or rejected by us that leads to a lasting and beneficial recovery.

That part (entire lifestyle change) is really difficult and sounds awful. But I reflect on something you said in an earlier post. You said something along the lines of it taking years to get to where we are today, so we can’t expect recovery to take place overnight.

I believe you’re right.