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    • #27659
      icandothis
      Participant

      I have been reading about changing behavior by linking pain to the behavior we want to stop and linking pleasure to the new behavior you desire for yourself.
      It boggles my mind that after all the pain gambling has caused that my mind still links pleasure to this activity. I have to continually remind myself of the long-term pain it has caused and will cause again if I decide to gamble today. To be honest, and I do not think this is a bad thing, this site is a reminder of that pain.
      I would like this thread to be about focusing on the pleasures of our new behavior/behaviors. What is good about recovery? I have been thinking about starting this type of thread for a while now, but I am a procrastinator by nature. Also, I was worried about what people would think.
      I hope others will join in and share what they like about recovery also, but, it is ok if you don’t. Because…
      What I like about recovery is… I am beginning to see that I have to do what I think will be helpful for me and it doesn’t matter what other people think. I am beginning not to care so much about what others think about me. It is not my business.

    • #27660
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Ican, a great idea for a new thread! What I like about recovery is it creates space in my mind and gives me options only money can provide! Space in my mind means I can plan things and have the mental energy to carry them out,eg I am writing this covered in paint!! It means I am present for my family but mostly it means I have emerged from the nightmare days of wondering is this the end!

    • #27661
      charles
      Moderator

      Good thread Ican.

      What i like about recovery is that it gives me choices. I can choose what I do with my time, I can choose what I do with my money. I can choose the type of job I want to do and choose the hobbies and interests I want to try/enjoy. I didn’t have those choices when gambling, now i do.

    • #27662
      icandothis
      Participant

      I have cash in my wallet. Not too much, but some. I remember after gambling not even having any change. Completely empty. My husband and I would be out and I would be thinking, “Please don’t ask me if I have any cash!” Of course, he always would ask me. I hated saying no, especially since we both knew I had just been to the ATM before I gambled and then again during. The result…left again with no cash! If by some miracle, I had cash I would resent handing it over because it meant less cash to spend on my next trip to the casino.
      Now I don’t mind handing over cash when he asks, kind of makes me proud, although I still find it annoying that he NEVER has any cash!

    • #27663
      kpat
      Participant

      Waking up on a weekend feeling well rested because I was able to sleep. I love Seeing a new day with possibilities instead of regret and overwhelming worry.

    • #27664
      kpat
      Participant

      What I like about recovery is…..paying the bills:)

    • #27665
      vera
      Participant

      What I like about Recovery is, putting up Christmas Decorations at home instead of funding the Casinos to pay someone to put up theirs while I sit there feeding machines to relieve my guilt because mine would be still in the attic from last year!!!

      I also enjoy taking money from the ATM knowing, it will be used to buy Christmas presents for my own family, not for the Families of Millionaires!

    • #27666
      cat438
      Participant

      What I like about being in recovery is not telling lies to hubby and others and sneaking around to go to the Casino. I like the freedom of not gambling, the freedom to choose what I want to do. For example today I have our Christmas tree up with lights on, but I still have the decorations to do. I like that I am working on paying off my car with extra payments and saving for retiring.

    • #27667
      icandothis
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing, Cat.
      What I like about recovery is I like getting phone calls from my husband. No anxiety about whether he will call me today. No need to avoid picking up and then making up a lie about what I was doing when he called or why I didn’t have my phone with me.
      I also hope that he is beginning to lose his anxiety about what he thinks I might be doing when I, for whatever reason, miss his call!

    • #27668
      lizbeth4
      Participant

      What I like about recovery is being real, not having to make up lies and excuses for my actions. Having more time with my family and friends. Feeling free!!

    • #27669
      icandothis
      Participant

      Last night my husband and I went out to dinner at a nice restaurant we have never been before, and then we went to a concert. We each ordered only soup and a dinner salad, so we could enjoy some luxury without breaking the bank. Saved money and calories too!
      I posted this here because some where along the line, we stopped doing things like this. During arguments, I would through it in his face that our life was so boring, we never did anything any more, no excitement, etc. Also, that he had his things that he did that didn’t include me, and I didn’t have anything…There was quite a bit of truth in this fact. But that wasn’t his fault. More a consequence of a lifestyle change that took me away from home. Nevertheless, it wasn’t his fault, and I was, justifying my gambling, and trying to put some of the blame on him. There was also the fact that I felt guilty about spending extra money because I had already spent so much gambling.
      I do think he saw some truth in my words, and since I began my recovery, he has tried to be more open about going out and we both are trying to find things that we can do together, making a point to accept invitations, and accepting freebies from our friends, like free concert tickets! I have also found things that I enjoy doing on my own or with my friends.

    • #27670
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Ican, what lovely positive post. I am visualising you and hubby looking lovingly into each others eyes as you enjoy your healthy meal. It’s so nice to read about recovery. I do notice sometimes when people write things are going well, they get a fraction of the responses they get after gambling . I think it’s important to keep writing and noticing the difference recovery makes to keep us motivated.. It was a brilliant idea to start this thread .

      What I liked about recovery today was hubby, son and I went for Long walk wintery along the beach and through the forest. We were blasted with sand from the wind, with hailstones and our ears tingled in the cold… But it was such fun and we laughed .. My young son was feeling “low” and of course the exercise lifted that. It feels like my family is becoming a unit now that I am able to lead it!! Onwards and upwards !!

    • #27671
      p
      Participant

      Thats a great post.. i love the honesty in it and the change.. you are working through things rather than ignoring them.. well done.. on with recovery you are doing reallly well..

      P

    • #27672
      jansdad
      Participant

      Great post icandothis. When we gamble we lose so much and so fast, and only a fraction of that money can give us so much pleasure elsewhere.

      I’m overwhelmed with guilt and anger whenever I think of what I lost and what I could have done with that money instead. But I learned to accept that that money is gone, it’s in the past, I cannot win it back – never; and I drew a line.

    • #27673
      icandothis
      Participant

      Thank you, Sad, Kpat and jansdad.

      Here is to our recovery and a life that is even better than the life we had before we began gambling!

    • #27674
      icandothis
      Participant

      Relating to my last post, my husband and I have been bowling on a league every Wednesday since September. Our teammates are friends of ours. We both really enjoy it. Neither one of us had really bowled before, and we joke about the fact that now we “are bowlers”. For me, it’s been a good distraction from gambling, and I find myself looking forward to going. I like that it’s fast-paced and mindless. Last week, I was watching how excited people got when they got strikes and spares. For me, it’s a little like hitting that bonus…bump, bump, bump. But, it’s so much better because everyone is happy for you, too. Healthy competition, where everyone just tries to do the best they can. Sometimes my husband and I play ok, but most of the time we don’t, and we usually lose. I love that we don’t care. We are just there to have fun. ok, we do care a little, but we are getting better. I like that my bowling is improving. I was never going to get better at gambling, and with bowling, there is no shame or devastation in losing. It’s just a game…better luck next time! And, I am looking forward to knocking those pins down again next week!

    • #27675
      jansdad
      Participant

      There’s nothing bigger than the little things. And those little things, little joys is what gambling took away from us. I remember not being able to enjoy a movie or a conversation with my wife or a friend. i would start fidgeting and I just had to get back to my online poker table as soon as i could.

    • #27676
      kpat
      Participant

      Got to love the bump, bump, bump! I need to find something healthy to that! Bowling, whod a thunk it???
      Good for you!

    • #27677
      kpat
      Participant

      Enjoying a rainy day, not trying to figure out how to get to the casino in bad weather. I remember all the scary trips through fog, pouring rain, and crazy traffic. We stayed home tonight and I made a fabulous pot of chili. I would never have been satisfied with something so simple when I was gambling. I was willing to drive in inclement weather To get my fix…

    • #27678
      butchugly
      Participant

      it all sounds so positive. but unrealistic to me. i am only on day 1. i want to feel like u guys.

    • #27679
      icandothis
      Participant

      Kpat, I can relate to what you say, especially yesterday. We had a big snowstorm, rain mixed with ice. Made me think of all the times I drove home from the casino praying I would make it home. Didn’t matter that I could have left sooner, and I ignored the people gambling next to me who were talking about how bad the roads were. I have made a pledge to walk 30 minutes each day this month. I kept looking outside thinking I can’t go out in this. I guess I will mess up again. But the storm lessened, and I made it to the gym and back safe and sound. I am determined to keep this pledge. I don’t think it’s so much about the exercise as it is about keeping my word to myself and really meaning it.
      Butchugly, welcome to GT. You have taken a positive step in your recovery and congratulations for that. We all know how difficult it is to feel positive when you are suffering through Day 1. I have suffered through way too many! Even recently. I am finding that the suffering gets worse and lasts longer the deeper I get into recovery. I think its because I have gotten a taste of how good I can feel, and then I go and choose to suffer instead. The simple truth is that we feel better when we do not gamble. There will be setbacks, days that bring us down. But, it isn’t unrealistic for someone with a gambling problem to be positive and to feel good. You will see. I know you will! I have read a little of your thread, and I think you are doing very well!

    • #27680
      icandothis
      Participant

      Last weekend, I transferred almost all my savings (I still have $67.00 lol) to pay off our credit card debt. It has been a long road, but no more credit card debt!!!
      I had a bit of savings that I think I was holding on to, so I could gamble without dipping into our joint account. Last weekend I was paying bills, and I wrote a check from our joint checking to pay off my credit card debt (the one I used the last time I gambled). I remember what I had said about paying my husband back and how kpat commended me for it. I was feeling guilty, so I decided to make up for it by putting all my savings into paying back this debt. One click and it was done. I felt so good. It also serves as a barrier for me. The company I have been working for is now doing direct deposit instead of mailing me my check, which is also a good barrier. Having that check in my hands was dangerous. Way too many times I have cashed it and headed to the casino.
      We had major debt on 3 different cards. At least $7,000 on each one. I think it’s taken about 5 years, maybe more to accomplish this. Most of the debt on these cards was from my gambling. My recovery has not been perfect, and I set us back too many times. With each set back, it is so hard to forgive yourself and move on. My recovery is definitely an example of progress, not perfection. Whether you think you can quit gambling or not, focus on what you want…how you want your life to be. Don’t keep focusing on what you don’t want, unless you want more of it!
      Reality: Still over $100,000 in debt. Won’t focus on that…too depressing. I will focus on paying off the next debt and how good it will feel when it is accomplished. We owe my brother $25,000. Money he lent us many years ago when my husband lost his first job. So far, we have only been paying him interest. Time to begin paying him off for real.
      Long story short…What I like about recovery is that it makes you look at the craziness of how you are spending. The reality hits you hard, but if you are committed to recovery and the fact that little by little you can begin to turn things around, then little by little you can turn things around.

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