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      ken l

      With the holiday season fast approaching just wanted to share these two messages as food for thought.Can be easy to get caught up in the season or think we are cured.

      Keep your recovery First to make it Last.

      We all encounter places, people, and times of the year, which trigger memories of our old lifestyle, pleasant or painful events. Holidays and family gatherings may be especially stressful times for us.

      There have always been a lot of expectations associated with holidays. Many of us may feel pressured to fulfill those expectations. We need to remember that it is a naturally stressful time and we may feel more nervous than usual. We can avoid forcing moods or events on ourselves or those around us.

      In recovery, we are given tips that have helped many members during the holidays. We plan extra Program activities and keep our phone list handy. We skip any slippery occasions that make us uneasy. We attend special Program events. We take a fellow member with us to a possibly slippery party if we feel uncomfortable going alone.

      When I keep my recovery Number One in my mind, the holidays, with the help of my friends, will be enjoyable and less stressful. 

      Just Wanted To Share This List
      Checklist Of Symptoms
      Leading To Relapse

      1) EXHAUSTION Allowing yourself to become overly tired or in poor health.Some compulsive gamblers are also prone to work addictions; perhaps they are in a hurry to pay off debts.Good health, good nutrition and enough rest are important. If you feel good, you are more apt to think well. Feel poorly and your thinking is apt to deteriorate.Feel bad enough and you might begin thinking gambling couldn’t make it any worst.
      2) DISHONESTY This begins with a pattern of unnecessary little lies and deceits with fellow workers, friends and family. Then come important lies to yourself. This is called rationalizing; making excuses for not doing what you do not want to do, or for doing what you know is wrong.
      3) IMPATIENCE Things are not happening fast enough, or others are not doing what they should or what you want them to do.
      4) ARGUMENTATIVENESS Arguing small and ridiculous points of view, indicates a need to always be right. "Why don’t you be reasonable and agree with me?" Looking for an excuse to gamble?

      5) DEPRESSION Unreasonable and unaccountable despair may occur in cycles and should be dealt with, talked about.
      6) FRUSTRATION At people and also because things may not be going your way. Remember, everything is not going to be just the way you want it to be.
      7) SELF-PITY "Why do these things happen to me?" "Why must I have a gambling problem?" "Nobody appreciates what I am doing." You cannot afford the indulgence of self-pity or resentment.
      8) COCKINESS Got it made; no longer fear relapse. Going into a slippery situation to prove you have no problem. Do this often enough and it will wear down your defences. Don’t test yourself: there is no payoff.
      9) COMPLACENCY "Gambling was the farthest thing from my mind." Not gambling was no longer a conscious thought either. It is easy to forget that you have a serious addiction when things are going so well. Always, to have a little fear is a good thing. More relapses occur when things are great than otherwise.
      10) EXPECTING TOO MUCH FROM OTHERS "I’ve changed, why hasn’t everyone else?" It’s a plus if they do, but it is still your problem if they do not.They may not trust you yet; may still be looking for further proof. Trust is rebuilt in increments over time, by being trustworthy.
      11) LETTING GO ON DISCIPLINE Prayer, meditation, daily inventory, GA attendance, financial accountability.This can stem form either complacency or boredom. Yo cannot afford to neglect your recovery program; the cost of relapse is too great.
      12) USE OF MOOD-ALTERING CHEMICALS You may fell the need to ease things with a drink or a drug. You may never have had a problem with alcohol or other substance, but you can easily lose your recovery this way. It’s about the most subtle way to have relapse.
      13) WANTING TOO MUCH Do not set goals you cannot reach with normal effort. You will get what you are entitled to as long as you do your best, but maybe not as soon as you think you should. "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.
      14) FORGETTING GRATITUDE You may be looking negatively at your life,focusing on problems that are still not totally corrected. It is good to remember where you started from,and appreciate your progress.
      15) "IT CAN"T HAPPEN TO ME" This is dangerous thinking.Relapse can happen to you and is more likely to if you get careless. Remember, you have a chronic disease and your continued recovery is contingent on maintaining a particular mindset.
      16) OMNIPOTENCE This is a feeling that results from a combination of many of the above.You now have all the answers for yourself and others.No one can tell you anything.You ignore suggestions or advice from others.Relapse is probably imminent unless drastic change takes place.


       — 12/7/2010 6:41:16 PM: post edited by Ken L.

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