13 December 2013 at 9:33 pm #7578charlesModerator
I know the Christmas period can be hard for some, it can put a lot of pressure on people and cause a lot of stress – and that’s for the general population not just Compulsive Gamblers and their families!
For me though Christmas is massive in my recovery; it really highlights the difference between how things are now and how things were when I gambled.
When I was gambling I was single and would be staying at my mums, either because I was unemployed or because I had a few days off work over Christmas. Presents would depend on how my luck was running in the run up to Christmas – most years that meant cheap chocolates and socks for my loved ones! All bought on Christmas Eve of course.
We would usually have Christmas lunch at my brother’s house. While dinner was in the over a lot of us would pop down the pub for a drink. In those days of course I had what could be described as a “convenient bladder” – I had to nip to the loo any time it looked like a round of drinks needed buying!
Then it would be lunch, all the family sat around the table. All of them knowing that I was in the **** and all of them knowing I would be planning to have a big punt the next day to try and get myself out of it. My mum would be worried sick. The rest of my family would be avoiding the subject, trying to get through the day without an argument or upsetting mum. I would be just sat there wondering what the problem was – after all I was going to win a fortune the next day wasn’t I? In reality, no. On the odd occasion that I did manage to win my way out of a hole then I’d just start digging another hole, after all I’m a Compulsive gambler, it’s what we do.
THIS Christmas. Well I will be at my brother’s again, nowadays it’s with my wife and dog. My mum is in a care home now so I will be staying at my brother’s house.
Most of the presents are already bought, the rest soon will be. Nothing expensive but thought has gone into them. We are staying a few days so no doubt we will pop down to the pub at some stage. These days my bladder really is getting worse lol but I will be first to the bar to buy a round.
There will be a dozen or so of us sat at the Christmas table, It will be my second lunch of the day; the first will be with my mum at her care home. There will be lots of food, knowing my sister in law she will have catered for about 30, and plenty of drinks, for those that do (I don’t). We will then play some silly games, charades probably, a giant game of Jenga, that’s sort of stuff. Games that kids from 5 to 85 can enjoy.
I’m not religious so to sum it up Christmas for me now is what it should always have been – a time when most of the family aren’t working and can get together at the same time.
Boxing Day, in the past a big day in my gambling year. My brother will have a bet, no reason why he shouldn’t as he isn’t an addict, good luck to him. He does know not to discuss his bets with me though, nor will he tell me about his wins/losses.
I already have my Boxing Day planned. More food! I will get up early and take my dog for a walk, later my wife and I will also take her down to the beach for a couple of hours – she loves it running around with other dogs and chasing the seagulls. I love watching her and by then I will definitely need the exercise (all that food lol) I will time my trip to the beach for when my brother will be watching his races and return to join him watching a football match later. If he has a bet on that match then I won’t know about it.
The day after Boxing Day we will be driving home. Probably with some of the left over food in the car! New years Eve will probably be quiet, we tend to stay at home, particularly now we have a dog with all the fireworks going off etc
Did you spot the difference between now and then? J Not difficult. Which is why Christmas is so big in my recovery
It won’t be perfect. My mum is ill, at 86 that is a worry, as I said at the beginning the sort of stuff that happens at Christmases across the country whether they are gamblers or otherwise. It will however be immeasurably better than the Christmases I had when I was in action.
If you are new here and/or struggling well you can get a lot of support here and elsewhere. There is no magic wand though and it’s less than 2 weeks till Christmas. Likely it’s not going to be a good one. What you do now though will determine how future Christmases will be for you. By doing whatever it takes to stop gambling and by focussing on your recovery future Christmases can, like mine, be a hell of a lot better than this one. Don’t try and do it on your own though – if that worked then none of us would be here.
Merry Christmas everyone.3 January 2014 at 3:48 pm #7579AnonymousGuest
Christmas past. My dad had lovely xmas presents for us all. Xmas present my mum has already put three hundred quid of my cash into a slot machine and I have left her broke and worrying about money. But I have hardened. i i have worked so hard to fight this disease which really took hold of me when i was still a child..thanks Mum for that! I am putting my own recovery first. My child has never went without. Once after I lost I gathered up all junk in house and went to car boot sale at 5am just so he could attend his club. My mum never sought help or never tried to help herself. I never had the right school uniform, or the correct shoes. I had trainers two sizes too big . Funny i was awkward at sport. I am putting me first, I can no longer pick up the pieces of other people’s lives even if it is my mum. Omg I did not know I had so much resentment inside. I always thought it strange that my dad gave me a phenomenal amount of pocket money when i reached a certain age and told me not to tell my mum. My friends could not believe how much i got.He said i was to buy myself clothes or whatever I wanted.its only today that the penny dropped. He wanted me to have the things he worked so hard for, not some casino owners daughter. I miss him.15 December 2014 at 9:16 pm #7580charlesModerator
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