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    • #7698
      ken l

      As many of you know this past May my son took his life. For the past 6 months I been trying to find answers as to why. And have spent many hours visiting different sites that have info on grieving the lost of a loved one . I recently came across a site of mother who lost her 19 year son to suicide as well. On this site Julia Fraser shares the Five Steps of Grieving and it is apparent to me that just like starting to deal with my gambling addiction 12 years ago the key to my healing is acceptance. I am not there yet but I do find some of Julia’s takes on Acceptance very interesting and they remind me of when my gambling world came crashing down. And I am not sure when I will get to the Acceptance stage of the lost of my son or if I ever will in my life time but I will continue to work on it ODAAT.
      So I just want to share what she saids about acceptance in the hopes that it might help someone struggling with the first and most important Step of starting recovery . Letting go and accepting the reality of the situation.

      The word ‘Acceptance’ is thrown around often: we need to accept the challenges life lays on our doorsteps, accept the changes we go through and accept ourselves – just the way we are. No judgment, no guilt. While this all seems very peaceful once we reached that stage of true acceptance, how can we get there? And what does it even really mean – to accept?

      What is Acceptance? There are many definitions of Acceptance. A proper dictionary one is ‘the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered’. A conscious action, like accepting a gift, or a compliment. Which for many people is actually something very difficult. Hearing you are an amazing person, the light of someone’s life, it’s too much to take sometimes. Because we so often believe otherwise…

      Another intriguing definition is acceptance as the ‘willingness to tolerate a difficult situation’. In this sense acceptance is more passive, we accept that something is hard and we relieve ourselves from the constant struggle we feel we are in. We bow our heads and mumble “I accept”, sigh deeply, let the pain in and move on.

      Psychology hands us a deeper meaning of acceptance – describing it as a person’s agreement to the reality of a situation. True acceptance of any situation means no more protesting, not trying to change it. At rest in the comforts of knowing it happened and there is nothing to do about it. The studies even go as far as describing acceptance as a critical component of change – some even call it the one mechanism that truly changes a person.

      In his book Out of the Darkness, Steve Taylor writes about people who have gone through a trauma, and how it transformed their lives. He calls it ‘transformation through suffering’ and states that the people that were transformed all had clear moments of acceptance. They stopped resisting the reality of the situation they were in, they let go, they surrendered. And it changed them.

      How do we reach Acceptance? So it seems we actually need acceptance, in order to welcome change into our lives. But when that change is something as big as losing your family your home your job due to gambling, how can we even start to accept something like that?

      There is a beautiful saying, the Serenity Prayer, that can help us:

      “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

      It basically tells us that in order to accept, we need to know what we can change and more importantly – what we cannot. This is the first step in accepting anything that happens. Ask yourself the question: Can I change this?

      For me the first three Steps in the GA recovery program are about acceptance and the Serenity Prayer as well.
      ” 1) We admitted we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
      2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
      3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.

      Serenity Prayer
      God Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Can Not Change ,Courage To Change The Things I Can And The Wisdom To Know The Difference.”
      God Bless
      Ken L Struggling Somedays Grateful Compulsive Gambler.

    • #7699

      I understand these are deeply personal thoughts and feelings and I also know that your understanding of your experiences will help others to make sense of their own situations.

      Take care

    • #7700

      The serenity prayer is something that has helped me to gain acceptance, not just the fact that I am a compulsive gambler.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, for me it helps put a lot into perspective.

      Thankfully I am currently several months gamble free and my head is a lot less cloudy than it was before I again accepted that I am powerless over the addiction, and to remain living gambling free I must continue with support.

      I never knew of your loss and admire you a great deal for posting about it here.

      Once any of us have really accepted that we are compulsive gamblers we should also begin to accept that there are people all over the world who have to accept a lot lot more than the destruction we cause to ourselves and loved ones by allowing gambling back into our lives.

      God bless you, and thanks again Ken.


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