Dear Velvet,

How I wish I could give you a ride on the “pillion” of my Harley! Wouldn’t we have a blast?! Although, the one friend of mine that dared to hop on behind me might advise differently. (HA) And, so you know, I’d take a ride anywhere on anything with Kenny Rogers (hubba hubba).

I am not surprised to hear you are still playing table tennis, and it sounds like you are getting serious about it … good for you. I used to love to play “Ping Pong”, and I can just imagine that league play would be loads of fun. I have a notion you are quite competitive and will be moving up in the rankings quickly. If we lived close, I would be brushing up on my game!

Thank you for your kind words V. My sweet husband and I truly are living a wonderful life without the addiction to gamble. I would not have thought it possible 4 years ago, and still had lingering doubts and apprehension even 3 years ago when I took a leap of faith and moved to the Hill Country with him. However, my cg husband has indeed changed his life. He is happy, productive, highly respected, and most importantly, he is confident and respects himself. I DO trust that he is in recovery and will continue to control his addiction, but we have left a few of the barriers in place to reinforce those mental boundaries.

My recovery was separate from his, of course, and would NOT have been possible without the amazing support I received from you, V, and others here at GT. I will be forever grateful. It took a long time, hundreds of posts, and a lot of pain and tears, but I finally began to understand that MY recovery was most important. When I decided that I was going to recover with or without my husband, the healing began for me. I can hardly bear to think what might have become of my husband (and me) if I had continued to focus on HIS recovery instead of my own. Nevertheless, I do consider the possibilities from time to time, lest I become complacent. Thankfully, we have both healed.

We are each very involved in our wonderful community, and we have made so many good friends here. We play a beautiful golf course that is our back yard and home to hundreds of deer and other wildlife almost every day, and I ride the scenic river valleys and hairpin twistys on my bike every chance I get. Some days it seems like we are on a perpetual vacation.

Of course, our lives are not perfect. We have endured a number of heartbreaks and setbacks that are normal in life, but we have weathered them better than most – possibly because we survived the addiction to gamble. Our journeys to recovery certainly made us stronger in many ways.

For those in the eye of this particular storm, please listen to what Velvet and others say here: Take care of yourself first, starting today. Let this forum help you by reading, posting and chatting in groups. And know that your life will be better if you refuse to live with the addiction to gamble.