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      I started off responding to the below copied portion of a post made by colin in brum  in his response to one by  alexthered but it turned into more then just a response so I an posting it as part of my own Journal instead.
      Originally posted by colin in brum

      …  i’m not sure what you mean by wanting to be "normal".  If you mean you want to be able to gamble "normally" I’m afraid that’s not possible. .. 

      In this response Colin made to Alex what he stated hit home with me. 
      First, I will say that the last part of that post "I’m afraid that’s not possible" is an absolute gimme, but, my recognizing and accepting this truth also feeds my resentment to the fact that I will never again be able to enjoy the pleasure of "normal" gambling.
      Every Thursday for the past four years my daughter has picked me up at a bus stop near her work for my weekly visit with her and my granddaughter. This bus stop happens to be at a casino, actually it is within the casino it’s self at the VIP drop-off area.  In the past, especially during the past coupe of years while not so much during the first two, I would go in and hurriedly gamble (blow away) twenty to forty – and sometimes more – dollars during my brief twenty minuet wait.  Now, since joining Gambling Therapy and Gamblers Anonymous, I sit outside the entrance and watch the wave of people going in. For the most part I see happy and cheerful people, individuals, couples and small groups going in for a evening of normal enjoyment and relaxation (I also see a few with what I imagine as tormented looks caused by a compulsive behavior). I watch these normal people partaking in a normal everyday event with resentment while thinking back when I was able to enjoy the pleasures that casinos offer to some.  I think of my first gambling experience when I went to Vegas on a training seminar and the subsequent trips I took once or twice a year.  The Strip and Downtown gambling area was exciting and quite enjoyable offering a relaxing and comfortable get-a-way. At that time I was able to enjoy this environment and the nearby surrounding attractions without being trapped into the marathon gambling situations and binges that took the place of my "normal" gambling. (I also recall that during my first time there that I scared a friend so much by my rapid and reckless playing on a group of slots simultaneously that she stopped seeing me afterwords – the first sign of my unhealthy attraction, addiction, and future compulsion).
      This enjoyment of my controlled gambling trips lasted for quite a few years. Then the casino’s barriers that limited my experiences and restricted my addiction started to break down. There were now casinos every were.  Instead of planning a trip I only had to drive a couple of hours or a few minutes, and was even within a short walking distance of a casino.  During this period I was still able to curb my attraction, control my addiction and still visited the casinos for enjoyment. (I personally find that an addiction, even one  to potentially harmful so-called vices such as smoking, drinking and even gambling, etc., can be controlled and remain enjoyable when done with a conscious understanding and desire to contain them.)  However, as in my case and that of many of those here, an addiction can become uncontrollable for whatever the reason, be it from too much exposure or too frequent use to a life altering event or just human makeup, and turn into the poisoning compulsion that I now must live with.
      So gambling for me can never again be a normal enjoyable occasion.  It will always be the object of a constant battle over a once harmless and enjoyable recreational pastime that I let fester from my first innocent attraction at a training seminar into a controllable addiction, and finally into a dreadful everyday compulsion.
      As I said in a prior post, "if you can’t box it in, you have to box it out"; well, I have had to box it out and I will be victorious in this war of keeping it boxed out.
       Larry, aka Paul315"Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.

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