Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 140 total)
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  • #11594
    neva
    Participant

    It’s time for a new identity and thread.  We had a short power outage and all my automatic passwords disappeared so logging on to GT (too many tries), I got locked out.  E-mailed to get my user name and password but didn’t hear back.  Things work for a reason.  LIke Vera, who chose a woman she knew from the casino, Neva is a woman I know from the casino. I put too much personal identifying information on my other thread so I’m going to be more careful here.
    I’ve been working on recovery for at least 7-8 years.  I was totally helpless when it came to slot machines and I was the most in debt I had ever been in my life.  Just buying toilet paper and other necessities was tough.  I felt jealous as my mom, who was also my gambling partner, could buy whatever she wanted without a second thought while I was struggling with the basics. I was at the point where suicide seemed like the only way out because I was powerless and could not stop myself from gambling…from losing.  I tried self exclusion but the local Indian Casinos didn’t honor it, I asked many fellow gamblers about starting a gamblers group but they started avoiding me instead….anyway I tried many things and what finally helped was cutting up my debit card, making sure I did not have pin numbers for credit cards and requested the casino not accept checks from me.  It wasn’t easy. I felt very isolated, shameful and worked hard hiding my secret gambling life from my friends and co-workers. There were many times I was frustrated that I couldn’t access money to gamble but I was always thankful later.  I had about $20,000 in credit card debt and my life seemed to be going nowhere. (I only make about $30,000 a year so it was a huge amount). Finally I was able to string many gamble free months together and just start feeling good and mom and I would plan a casino trip.  I was doing so good, had some debt paid and over a thousand in savings so I ordered another debit card.  We hit 3 different casinos that weekend.  I was so embarassed when my small local credit union called me Monday morning questioning if my debit card had been stolen and I had to admit it was me. I haven’t had a debit card since (about 5 years now).  I was sick about gambling the money I had worked so hard to save. With the help of God, I was able to pay off all my debts and build up a sizeable savings.  But, I’ve had some gambling binges along the way.  I’m proof that even though you haven’t broken away 100% don’t quit trying because it will happen! I did gamble once in October (or was it November?) and hit a good bonus and didn’t gamble any of it back.  That’s a huge improvement. If someone told me it would take 7 years before gambling wasn’t a big issue in my life I would have been overwhelmed.  Just getting through ODAAT is the key.  I did gamble a couple of times in 2012 (and none were enjoyable…not even walking out with a small jackpot because it was a black cloud hanging over me until it was all spent on Christmas and other ‘good things’.) and I’m hoping for a clean 2013. I feel I’m finally at a the point where I have a free choice and the addiction isn’t so strong. Gambling urges are not like they used to be. It’s not the continual struggle to get through the weekend without gambling.  But, if I do gamble the urges are right back the next few weekends.  I never want to forget the terrible lows of gambling so I can always be thankful for my life right now.
    Having a gambling addiction is a very lonely disease and I’m so thankful for the friendships, prayers and inspiration here. It’s been life changing and a life-line for me. 
     

    #11595
    p
    Participant

    Hey there
    Just passing through in the middle of the night from the other side of the world while i cant sleep. Hope you are well today
    P

    #11596
    neva
    Participant

    I’m going to spend some time with mom today.  I haven’t spent any time with her in January.  I try to stay away since she talks about gambling a lot.  We’ll go to lunch and I’ll show her the progress on our house.  I wanted to sweep and foam some open spots but guess I’ll still have time after I drop her off.  The heat ducts are there so the heat system will be installed next week.  I’m hoping the windows and doors go in next week too.  It’s really cold here and I feel sorry for the workers in this cold weather.  At least we haven’t gotten any more snow. I ordered a beautiful lodge wood and leather bench to go under a window.  It was $300 and I normally wouldn’t spend that much on a bench but we have wonderful views and I want it in front of a window (with a set of binoculars) so my family can sit, enjoy the view and watch the baby calves, wild rabbits, deer and other wildlife. I almost ordered two benches because we have lots of windows but thought I’d wait to see how this one works. Haven’t even gotten it but it’s paid for.  That’s the rewards of not gambling…being able to spend $300 on something you want instead of shredding it in a slot machine and trying to make up for it by living frugally the next few weeks. I don’t want to ever go back to the gambling life again…and I don’t have to.  The choice is mine and the greedy Indian casinos can stick that in their pipe and smoke it!  ha ha
     

    #11597
    vera
    Participant

    Well, "Neva", here I am, still hiding behind "Vera"!
    Would you believe I met her lately….I am sad to say I actually met lots of " Veras" and "Nevas"lately, one more bedraggled looking than the next.  Whinging and complaining about the machines and still blinded to the real problem! Thats what gambling does to us, "Neva". It tears our lives apart and leaves us sick and soulless.But "WE" know better ! We have been given the tools and the chances that others never had so "to him that much has been given, much will be expected" (Those words are haunting me all day) Just looking into the real  "Vera’s" eyes should have been enough for me, but it wasn’t ! ………
    Maybe TODAY I will see beyond the illusion, the mirage , and maybe when I "wake up and smell the coffee"as Geordie reminded me , I will look around and see reality as you describe it.
    A life without gambling has given you such wonderful rewards Neva. All you ever wished for and you deserve the lot!    A house on a hill with an idyllic view and the knowledge that as a free woman you will enjoy every moment in your new home!
    What good would it all be, if you were to spend your future in a casino, stuffing dollar bills into machines that will turn you into the real "Neva"!
    What a waste that would be!
    Gambling has no place in my life or yours! Today!
     

    #11598
    cat438
    Participant

    Hi Sherrie, it is interesting that we have so many similarities in our recovery, both having 7 months free last year, and the last time I gambled was November 1, 2012.  Another thing that I found interesting that we have in common is that no one knows about my gambling addiction either.  My hubby knows.. and I have gone to the Addictions Foundation for individual counselling, but I don’t tell anyone.  I did tell a close friend that I have to watch, but I did not go into the full story.  I have also been working more on socializing with friends.  Also working on getting hubby to start socializing with me more.  Baby steps and changes happen. It is interesting to hear how your house is coming together so please keep posting about it.
    I have been having a yucky day today, feeling a bit down in the dumps and not feeling like doing anything around the house.  I am doing the laundry though.  I have been extremely busy at work though and I think I just need some down time.  I am not getting any younger LOL  I am also helping out with a fundraiser for my friend’s daughter who has cancer.  She is the one who had the twins and they are 10 months old, but things are not looking good for my friend’s daughter.  It is heartbreaking to think she will not be around to see her babies grow up.  I really have to work hard on Let go Let God when I think of the situation as it just seems so unfair. 
    I hope you had a good visit with your mother and that she did not talk about gambling too much.  I know that would be a trigger for me to sit with someone who was talkig about gambling.  I am happy that the only person I went gambling with – a family member – and when she talked about gambling I changed the subject – she has stopped talking about it with me… and I thank God for that.  We will take it one day at a time Sherrie – and I am not thinking my goal is reaching my longest stretch of gamble free time… I am thinking about a gamble free life!!!!  One day at a time is all I focus on though.  It is interesting as I can go through stretches of not thinking about gambling at all… then other ***** I struggle to get gambling out of my mind.One day at a time my sweet lord…

    #11599
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for your support Neva. I wish you the best too in recovery. We will beat this one day at a time !!!!!
    Ps. You have a lovely writing style

    #11600
    neva
    Participant

    Yesterday I took mom to the house and then out to lunch.  She complained a lot.  Is that something older people do?  Her constant complaints weren’t about anything big but they were stressful. The soup is too spicy.  The fog is too thick, how are we going to see?  You didn’t park close enough to the curb.  On and on.  I took her home after lunch and then met my husband with lunch to go.  We went up to our property so he could load a big bale of hay to feed after work. I also worked on our income taxes.  That isn’t fun but I’m happy for turbo tax where we just fill in the blanks. 
    Vera, your words gave me chills.
     "But "WE" know better ! We have been given the tools and the chances that others never had so "to him that much has been given, much will be expected" (Those words are haunting me all day)"
    We do know better.  We know from repeating the same insane behavior over and over yet we still choose to gamble again.  Hopefully, it is less and less until we can finally break free. Recovery might be a lost cause for the Neva’s and the Vera’s but it’s not too late for any of us. We have the tools and the desire and the goals for a gamble free life. Don’t lose sight of your goals…getting your life and soul back. 
    Cat, I’m the same way too about going stretches without thinking of gambling. I think the longer I go without gambling the less I think about it but then the crazy thinking pops up and I forget about why I wanted so desperately to stop the madness, how I couldn’t walk out until there was no money left, and how low and dispicable I felt afterwards.  There was a time where I felt I could never stop gambling as long as my mom was alive.  I tried many years ago to stop but mom would always minimize my problem, suggest we go gambling and loan me money to gamble. Kind of like waving a bottle of alcohol under an alcohlic’s nose.  So, I just avoid mom as much as possible.  I feel guilty because she is getting up in years but I really think she tries to entice me into wanting to go to the casino.  She either doesn’t get it or she wants me to suffer along with her.
    Today is all we have to get through.  I have my day planned out and it won’t include the casino.
     

    #11601
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Neva
    You have made a lot of contributions in your time here my friend, you know what to do and how to do it – you must focus on these urges; when they occur, you cannot give in – nothing physical makes you gamble, only mental and this can be worked through. If you have had a bad day, no problem – tomorrow will be brighter. If you feel terrible urges or a desperation to recover what you have lost, accept that by trying to get them back will only lead you to losing more. As you say, its insane behaviour, we all know it

    You must keep learning, keep building on what you have achieved so far. Think everything through before you even remotely contemplate starting again – all the pain, stress, misery – the minute you press that button for the first time, you are pressing it to release all of those feelings. Remember that, tell yourself that continuously my friend, over and over until you can’t think of anything else.
    My Mum can be a right pain in the B***, but still love her to bits. She is 75 now and complains about everything I do. I just filter out the moaning now and just agree with everything she says. Its not worth arguing. Yep, shes the best driver in the world, I’m the worst, why did I buy this or that etc etc etc …..she is like a battery that never loses its charge . Just accept you Mom for who she is. She doesnt realise she isnt helping you, she means no bad intentions.
    Take care Neva and just for today lets not gamble x

     

    #11602
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Neva: Lovely that you spent time with your Mom … even with the whinging, lol. Moms do that sometimes, I guess, but nonetheless. Enjoy her. I lost my mom 12 years ago this April, but I still have my lovely Dad, so I feel blessed. I’m sorry that she entices you to gamble. I do think it may be a bit of misery loves company. I don’t believe that she loves it, sounds like it may make her feel bad, but then she justifies it when you join her. It’s really, really hard for seniors, especially when they feel there isn’t much else that they can do. Still, she sounds like a lovely lady … I pray she finds other avenues to enjoy her time too. Continue to do the great job you’re doing of taking care of yourself and your husband. Your new house sounds idyllic … what a lovely thing to look forward to. All the best for a wonderful day for you my friend. Love, RG.

    #11603
    vera
    Participant

    ‘Hoping and praying that you will stay away from "hellville" this weekend Neva (S)!
    Im off today. No money except the price of a trip to the hairdressers if I can muster up the energy to go. Working Sunday and Monday. Lent begins next Wednesday ( Ash Wednesday) so I intend going on a fast from all the "good things of life" including gambling!

    #11604
    desdemona
    Participant

    Dear (((Neva)))! The house you are building sounds dreamy! I can visualize sitting on the bench looking outside and feeling deep satisfaction, while you oversee your property. We live on ten acres that overlooks a river valley and I never tire of the view. I love nature and seeing deer sometimes with their newborns gives me a sense of awe. I love watching the birds I feed every day, and feel good that I’m helping them survive the winter by providing them with a reliable food source. We see the occasional bear and bob cat, as well as rabbits, coyotes and moose. We once saw a whole bunch of fireflies at the wood edge and it was truly magical. My granddaughter and I saw three otters making their way back to the river. We have slept outside on lounge chairs in sleeping bags close to the fire and watched the Northern Lights. My granddaughter and I used to explore the river valley and once saw a whole field of wild marigolds in the early spring. It was truly breath taking!! I know the country life is not for everyone, but for those of us that love the solitude and quietness, it’s priceless! Both of us have been truly blessed! Carole 

    #11605
    neva
    Participant

    Thanks Uncontrolled, Running Girl, Vera and Carole for taking time to offer help in my recovery.  Uncontrolled and RG, you are both right about enjoying the time left with my mom.  I’m going to talk to her today without being irritable and on edge.  She has a very active life (much more than I do) where she plays bunko, pinochle, has Bible study and lunch on Thursdays with the girls.  Some of their pinochle tournaments last until the wee hours of the morning.  She’ll turn 77 in a couple of months and looks about 10 years younger. She has a large group of wonderful lady friends and a boyfriend that adores her…most of the time.  Anyway, I took a long look at myself and am trying to be a better person towards my mom and my co-workers…not matter how irritated I get. lol
    Carole, your country home sounds amazing.  I can only hope mine will be as relaxing and enjoyable.  I am already picturing the lawn chairs lined up towards the clear northern sky.  I’m looking foward to having my family spend time and feeling like they are pampered and loved and want to keep coming back.  We’ve lived in a 1-bedroom house for too many years…guess that’s the price we paid as a compulsive gambler so now it’s time to move onto a better life.
    Vera, there is no choice (or money) to gamble this weekend!  I do not have any cash or access to cash just in case I get a crazy thought and I think not being able to get money to gamble helps keep the thoughts and urges away. I also have another insurance to keep me out of the casino.  My husband’s uncle just started working there again.  He used to work there and I remember walking out of the casino in the early morning hours and he acted so surprised to see me.  I was very embarrassed and stayed away for a long time.  Well, he’s back and I wouldn’t want to risk him seeing me again.  My gambling addiction isn’t known to many people and I sure don’t want my husband’s family thinking any worse of me! 
    Thanks for your prayers.  I’m sending them back to you as well for a gamble free weekend. 

    #11606
    neva
    Participant

    It’s a muddy mess on our property right now but I drove my little car through all the slush, mud puddles and mud bogs.  Those young kids with the 4-wheelers would have had a blast.  Not me though, I don’t like being pulled this way and that as I try to keep an even speed to get through our 40 acres.  At least the hill up to the house isn’t like that.  I took my camera today and as I was taking pictures, I felt like I was being watched. On a near butte I could see a huge bald eagle.  I looked but thought it was just too big be an eagle and it must just be a rock formation jutting out.  Then it turned it’s head so I zoomed the camera in and got a picture.  It’s the biggest eagle I have ever seen.  They hang around at calving time for the leftover afterbirth.  I’m so glad I got a picture so my husband can see it for himself.  He says sometimes they sit quietly on a fence post waiting and they are pretty darn big…but this one was a monster.
    Got some good pictures.  All the windows and french doors have been installed. (no handles or locks yet though).  I’m worried the constuction workers might have to wait for the road to dry out before they come back up so things might slow down.  The electrical panel is in and looks good…like I know anything about electrical stuff. lol
    RG, I did my best to not get irritated at mom.  She talked about the casino and that she is going to an out of town casino with 5 of her friends the end of the month.  They’re spending the night and I’m sure they’ll have fun. I tried to tune out the casino talk but then she got on how much it’s going to cost to have her tooth fixed and everything one dentist told her and then what another dentist told her…finally she was running out of tooth talk so then it went to her city water garbage sewer is going up and ‘us seniors’ just can’t afford that.  She doesn’t realize that we’re all in the same boat together.  Mom’s social security and the 2 pensions my dad left her is a lot more than I make a month so she is very fortunate. I didn’t tell her today, because I’m trying to be nice, but I have told her before that the real thief cutting into her living/spending money is the casino. Maybe someday she’ll realize that on her own.
    Hope everyone had a great gamble-free Saturday.  I did.

    #11607
    cat438
    Participant

    Hi Sherrie, just catching up.  It sounds as if you are going to have a dream home soon.  It must be wonderful to see all the parts coming together.  I think your story about the stool you bought at $300 was great, as can you imagine how you would have lost that in the Casino and more and not thought twice about it.  Now you are going to be able to sit on your new stool/seat and look out of your new home and enjoy the view.  I would imagine it is a more pleasant view than any casino.  It must be difficult for you when your Mum talks about gambling – as I know when people talk to me about gambling – or even if I hear an ad about it – some***** it gets my thoughts going there and it is tough to get your thoughts focused on something else.  It is tough if your mother does complain lots about different things.  I lost my Mum when she was only 61 so I did not get her at that age.  It is difficult when you are with someone who complains lots – whether your mother or anyone – it can really pull you down.  Keep thinking positive thoughts and ******** your blessings as they complain – that is what I am trying to do!!!!  Although I can get down and complain at ***** as well.  I notice that when I am tired I am a bit like that.  Keep doing what you are doing – you are doing awesome!!!!One day at a time my sweet lord…

    #11608
    neva
    Participant

    Thanks Cat!  I didn’t mention that I told my mom I wished she wouldn’t talk about gambling and she said ‘I know you’re not gambling, and I’m very proud of you, but we’ll plan on going to the casino around my birthday in May’. All I could do is roll my eyes and bite my tongue.
    On to another week of work. Hope everyone has a great gamble free week.

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