Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family F&F person(s)’ recovery road as CG takes first steps

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  • #3627
    loombandman
    Participant

    when they invented the phrase a walk in the park there was a whole load of stuff it can never apply to -the start of the recovery -it is the moment one waits for – it’s when the work can begin – but much work lies ahead

    #3628
    velvet
    Moderator

    <

    Hello Loombandman

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team


    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our

    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    #3629
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Loom
    The above is our official welcome and this is my personal one.
    Recognising that ‘you’ need to recover is an important step towards doing so. When a loved one takes the leap of faith towards living in control of the addiction to gamble it calls for different strengths from those who love them. It isn’t easy and I am glad that you have had the courage to start a thread so that you know that you are not alone at this time.
    It is late for me but I just wanted to say ‘hi’ and let you know that you have been heard. A walk in the park is certainly not what it is but hopefully it is a walk to freedom and I will gladly share that walk with you and hopefully support you.
    Velvet

    #3630
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi again Loom
    Something I had not expected when my CG entered recovery was that he had to learn to trust me.
    It did not surprise me that I did not trust him, I would have been naive to do so – but in fact he did not expect to be trusted because for quite a long time he couldn’t trust himself. He was determined to live gamble-free but he knows he is a CG and will always be a CG. In the early days he could only offer his hope and determination and in reality has never promised anything else but to carry on the same way taking one day at a time.
    I asked him to help me support him as I didn’t want to muck up his hope of a good life. He was reluctant, feeling I think, that I had already been through enough but somewhere in our discussions I became aware that what I thought and said mattered more than it ever had before. I have thought about this a lot – an unexpected light bulb moment where the blaze surprised and changed me.
    During the long gambling years he had not trusted me – his addiction didn’t want him to trust me. My words to him were worthless – he didn’t know honesty and didn’t expect to hear it back as a result. I don’t do ‘what ifs’ or ‘if onlys’, nor do I dwell in the past but I use it for reference only and I have considered what I would have said to him that was not honest and therefore in keeping with his addictive mind set. In desperation many times, for instance, I would have told him that there was no money so I could not enable him. However his addiction sensed the fudging of the truth and in time, following emotional manipulation way in excess of anything I could have believed possible, I would ‘find’ some money to pay for whatever – of course it was used to shore up his gambling before I had closed my purse.
    With his recovery came an understanding to him of what he had done. He knew that he had taken a leap of faith and that he was determined to live gamble-free, he knew he had sought recovery and gained the tools to change but what had I been doing? As far as he knew I was the same – intolerant, two-faced, addiction- ignorant and definitely ignorant of all he had learned about himself. What he didn’t know was that I had determined to try and understand and in doing so I had changed too. My way was to go to Gamanon which is the sister of GA. I asked questions about everything, I struggled, raved, cried through every meeting so that when my CG eventually told me that I had done everything wrong for all the right reasons I didn’t argue as I would have done – I understood.
    I have to leave it there for now but I hope I am giving you the support you seek. Please keep posting and ask any questions you have.
    You have recognised that there is much work ahead and it is probably as hard as the work that has gone before but it is different. Seeking your recovery is tough but it is a step in the right direction – it is the best thing that you can do for you and ultimately for your CG.
    Velvet

    #3631
    loombandman
    Participant

    Hi Velvet
    And thank u for your welcome and response.
    Energy levels to rebuild (it’s been the most exhausting, draining time – with adrenaline levels at alert for too long) , some greater normality, ability to feel able to relax – these are some much needed things i’m hoping i get to slowly get back – at the moment they feel some way off and i feel i need help to slowly build them up

    #3632
    loombandman
    Participant

    Hi Velvet
    what took the longest to build back up for the F&F?
    was it any or some of these things – trust, sharing, constructing the new way , healing ?
    I take on board the comments re the big steps the CG takes and their leap of faith when they make the steps to get help

    #3633
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Loom
    There is no finite answer to your question – we all react in different ways but I will give you my thoughts on it.
    In my opinion, healing must come first and in the same way that healing has to be selfish for the CG so it has to be for those who love the CG because neither can heal the other. Unless we heal I don’t think we can forgive, trust, rebuild or share – it would be like walking on thin, cracked ice without any hope of gaining solid ground.
    I suppose that constructing the new way or determining the new relationship comes next. When I was in Gamanon I heard outcomes from the addiction that I had not expected. We had husbands/wives and partners in my group and down the corridor were the respective husband/wives and partners in the GA meeting. Some were adamant that forgiveness was never going to occur because they had done nothing wrong (which indeed they had not. Through no fault of their own they had found the addiction to gamble forced on them and were determined that blame for it lay solely with the CG. My firm belief is that a CG could/would never want or ask for this horrific addiction, anymore than those who love them, so to my mind when a CG has the courage to control his/her addiction they deserve support, not blame. I was fortunate that the lady who led my meetings was married to a CG who was 12 years into his gamble-free life and that was 10 years ago. (He is still gamble-free and a remarkable man). She helped me heal and accept that although I had done nothing wrong, I could not have known how to do that which was right for my loved one weighed down with a secretive, divisive, destructive addiction.
    So with healing I believe that discussion on constructing the way forward can take place.
    I believe that true forgiveness can only come with understanding and depends on the individuals involved. For some it can come before healing but for me it took a very long time. I remember being surprised by it and subsequently liberated by it.
    Trust is the most difficult of all. Year of deception, countless lies, manipulations of situations when you felt you were in control of your life and you were not, all add up to a terrible loss of trust. Knowledge helps to understand the lies and deceptions but it is my belief that retaking control of your own life is one of the major properties of healing and the thing that carries you through to safety.
    I can only tell you that I did regain trust and hope that some of the above answers some of your questions.
    Keep posting
    Velvet

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