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  • in reply to: Day Two is just a day away — 5th Anniversary #26371
    paul315
    Participant

    Thanks Vera, and sorry for the delay in replying to your post. Yes, Aug 13th is a special day for me, back in 2009 not only did the events of that day change my life they gave my life back to me.

    I am still working on my recovery, there are still a lot of changes needed in my life, my thinking or thoughts, and my accepting — ‘accepting the things I can not change’.

    GT will remain a great part of my recovery and life, if not for my involvement here and the interaction and help from its members I could not be at this stage of my life today, nor would I have found my other friends and fellow gamblers at GA .

    Working on recovery is more than not gambling, it is also not allowing the addiction to take hold again. The best way I have found to do this is to live life to the best of my ability and not be searching for escapes from adversities or shortcuts to personal gains or happiness. So to all my friends at GT, keep working towards the goal of recovery, keep working at progressing one day at a time and give no thoughts to achieving perfection — recovery is a journey, not a destination.

    God’s speed, stay strong, keep aware.

    Thanks to my Higher Power and the friend in rooms like GT having to return to a Day two in far from my thoughts.

    Larry, aka pauld315

    in reply to: Day Two is Still a Day Away #21682
    paul315
    Participant

    I am happy and grateful to post here on this Aug 13th — The day 6 years ago that my life was changed when I decided not to end it but rather to start on my road to recovery. I know that I joined GT on the 12th of 2009 where I first met many others like me, and many friends, but that was just a ruse to have a defense for approaching legal problems and in celebrating my sly efforts I set out on a binge that ended on the 13th after an all nighter at the casinos.

    Even though my clean date, October 18, 2012, comes after my life changing decision and is an important one within GA (again, thanks to those that encouraging me to join GA), that I still attend weekly, my freedom date of Aug 13 is the one that I hold more dearly and the one that I celebrate on my own. The only date more important is today, a day that I did not gamble; and, one that hopefully will change to the next day as time goes by.

    It has been a while since I have posted but I still hold GT and its members close. It was for some personal, and perhaps selfish, reasons that I stopped my posting, but at the time it was something I had to do to help me keep my sanity and stay true to my recovery. After all recovery is a selfish program where we must put our lives ahead of many other things, even things that are dear and respected. I will be forever grateful to the help I received here in these virtual meeting rooms, but I found that I also needed live meeting more and I was not in any position to concentrate on both.

    I, like all the others here and at GA found that ‘stopping’ gambling was easy, so easy that we did it over and over each time we faced new problems brought about by our addiction. But the last time I stopped 6 years ago was different, and in its own way even easier than the false times before. However, it being easy to stop did not make it too much easier to stay stopped. It was with the help, support, and love from others like me here, at GA, and from my friends and family that made staying stopped an easier path to follow. That path, or Steps, that guided and thought me how to seek and allow changes in my character and lifestyle is what saved my life. Gambling had became not only an addiction but a habit and controlling lifestyle. Now that my lifestyle has changed, not that it is my habit to not gamble, I am able to live and think in a more normal way.

    I don’t remember the exact phrase but one that comes to mind is — I started gambling as entertainment, enjoyment, and peace of mind; it then turned into a habit; from there a compulsion and way of life, a need to fulfill. And then after time I started on my recovery in facing another stronger need, one to save my life. My recovery and attending meetings went from that need to a habit, from there to one of enjoyment and fulfillment. Recovery being a gradual reversal of the addictive process that took so much from me.

    I am having a few medical issues but thankfully they have turned out to be far less serious than diagnosed at first. I am only having to deal with recovery (yet another recovery process) from surgery and not go through any follow up treatments. That and old age is a drain, but much better than the alternatives so I am content and happy in my own way.

    I live daily knowing that “Recovery is a journey, not a destination that we can reach” — it offers the benefit of progress, not perfection. We are not normal when it comes to gambling, we are only normal when we choose to live and hold true to a better way of thinking and living, a life without giving in to our demon.

    So today is another milestone that will help carry me on toward another one. Today is a day to be thankful for.

    Take care and God’s speed. Thanks to my Higher Power, my 3Gs – God, GT, and GA, I am happy to make this post today.

    Love Larry -aka paul315

    in reply to: BELIEVE (new thread) #23832
    paul315
    Participant

    My Dear Kathryn,

    I just learnt today of your recent gambling, and on doing so looked back on the past few days of the different post to your page. One thing that stood out to be in your announcement, other than feeling you hurt and devastation, was the few words of yours that I used for the subject for my posting — “All that hard work, down the toilet”.

    All things are not down the toilet, all the you have learned during the past five years, all the help and support that you have given others, and all the closeness that you have managed to nourish and to hold on to with your family is still alive and present in your life. The only thing that needs to be flushed down the toilet is the incident itself, set it aside and keep on your forward advancement of the road of recovery — “Recovery is progress, not perfection”.

    Most everyone here knows this, even if it is hard to see at times, and all but a very few have not veered off the path. As Harry made aware in his post to you, Reality is not that you slipped, but it is that you have undoubtedly learnt from your experience. So keep moving forward and keep on experiencing the great adventure of living – but living and thinking in a more normal way.

    Your friend,
    Larry

    in reply to: Woke up wishing I was dead today #20130
    paul315
    Participant

    Betty,
    Congratulations on your being gambling free for Two Years, it is quite an achievement. I too have reached this milestone today, for the second time, and it is good to share this good feeling with a good friend.

    Again, Well Done

    Larry

    in reply to: Day Two is Still a Day Away #21678
    paul315
    Participant

    Today I have again reached the Two Year Milestone of keeping gambling free of a continuous period — although for me “Today” in itself is a more significant time frame to celebrate, as well as all of the time of my being in recovery and working toward a more better way of thinking and living for the past 5 years. It is a ODAAT process and anniversaries are important in that they give us a good feeling but they also show others that they can be reached.

    To those of you that know me from the past, and the new ones here that I have not met, I do hope for a continued recovery in your lives, a continued effort on your part to progress on the journey and to not let any setbacks or ruff goings deter you from achieving your desires of not being controlled by this addiction.

    “Recovery is a journey, not a destination” so we can not set our goals on reaching an end, we can only keep on working at improving ourselves ODAAT. And as is mentioned in the Gamblers Anonymous guide, “Be Patient” and work at your program of recovery.

    God’s speed. Be strong. Keep aware.

    Larry aka paul315

    in reply to: Day Two is just a day away — 5th Anniversary #26367
    paul315
    Participant

    Thanks Kathryn for the info on the phrase that I find very true now that I am able to enjoy, face, and look forward to the adventures of life.

    It is ironic that Robin Williams has been brought into focus during this time of his death because he has another quote dealing with addiction, facts that we need to stay aware of daily — “It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I?… “, and “the idea of just one (bet) for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not the possibility.”

    God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.

    Larry

    in reply to: Day Two is still a day away #7550
    paul315
    Participant

    August 12, 2014

    Today marks my being on the road of recovery for 5 years. The time I have spent traveling this road reminds me of the cliché “Recovery is not a destination, it is a journey”.

    My name is Larry, screen name Paul315, and I am a compulsive gambler in recovery. Even though I started recovery 5 years ago my last bet was October 17, 2012. I signed in today to let my friends here know that I am doing well and that I keep them in mind and in my prayers. I also still visit this site from time to time, I am just not active in the ways I was when I first joined.

    For anyone new here that may not know my story I will share the beginnings of my journey. Five years ago yesterday I was given notice that if I did not make payment on a series of bad checks that I would be prosecuted on felony charges. In search of some online legal advice I found that being in a ‘deprived state of mind’ and under the control of an addiction was a possible defense that could help in my situation. I searched out a source for online help with gambling so that I could show that I was taking action to correct my problem. I found this Gambling Therapy site and joined the group here on August 12, 2009. I felt so good that I found another way to get over while still denying that I really had a problem that I when out and celebrated. How does a CG celebrate, they gamble.

    I started out the day at one casino where I could still cash checks because they were not connected to a check cashing system and cashed an additional hot check. After loosing all that money I went to another casino where I still had a line of credit and used that up loosing all of it in my all night beige. Leaving that casino the following morning, the 13, and waiting on the platform of our Metro train station to head home I decided to just be involved in an ‘accident’ and step in front of the oncoming train and end my problem. At that moment I recalled that a lady had done the same thing a few weeks earlier, and survived turning herself into what is commonly referred to as a vegetable. I now see this sudden thought as an intervention of my Higher Power, in my case it was God speaking to me.

    I got on the train and headed home, once there I joined in on a open chat room of GT and learned about Gamblers Anonymous from a couple of fellow members, Colin and Ken. I found that there was a meeting a couple of blocks from my home, a building that I passed every time on my daily trips to and from the casinos. I joined GA on August 17, 2009 and have been going to meeting and working the 12 Steps every day since. Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous, and my God saved my life and put me back on the right road to restoring me to a more normal way of thinking and living.

    A more detailed outline of my transformation, the reason for my screed name Paul as Saint Paul was transformed to a better person from his former self, Saul, can be found in my earlier postings but this was just to show others, to let other humans know about my dealings with the nature of this disease, and to let other know that there is hope and a way for them to live and not just endure the pain, suffering, and consequences of addiction, existing on the edge of destruction not knowing the joys of living outside the controls of our addiction. To quote Kathryn’s closing line, “To live that would be a great adventure ~ Peter Pan”.

    In closing I thank each and every one connected with GT, its staff, members, and visitors, and the members of the Friends & Family Forum, for their support and help in my being able to think and act in ways more akin to being normal. I hesitate to mention any names, but you should know who you are when I send out a special thanks and special thoughts to you that became so dear.

    In closing I will use the remarks from Harry in many of his closings, advice when followed can keep us on track, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. ~ Lao Tzu”

    Thanks to my Higher Power, my 3 G’s, God, GT, and GA, I am another day away from reliving day two of recovery.

    Larry

    in reply to: desdemona #10282
    paul315
    Participant

    It was good to log in today and see a post from you, good to see that you are doing ok after your ordeals, your adventures in life, adventures that makes life real and dealing with its ups and down a priority and not one overshadowed and controlled by our addiction. Just as you had no choice but to help someone , we have no choice but to help ourselves do the best we can to combat our disease.

    My last email to you was returned but Bettie told me the reason so I did not have to worry, but still held a concern, prayer, and hope for you. Friendships don’t end due to times spent apart.

    To you and any others that may read this post, I am doing good, free of gambling’s control, yet also fully aware of its power and the need to keep myself separated from its unrelinquishing draw by working at progressing ODAAT.

    Take care.

    God’s speed. Stay strong.

    in reply to: Day Two is Still a Day Away #21673
    paul315
    Participant

    Quote from a post to me by cathie – “My thoughts are with you and hope you along with friends and family are safe and well”

    It has been quit some time that I have posted although I do check in and read the post of others from time to time. The quote above goes out to each and every one.

    I just though I would let you know that all is going well, still staying away from gambling and still attending my GA meetings. I also still have thoughts of gambling on occasion but thankfully they are just passing moments and I do not find it hard to make the right choice between our alternatives, e.g. “to gamble, risking progressive deterioration or not to gamble, and develop a better way of life” ~ GA Guidebook I have been able to make the right choice ODAAT.

    I pray that all is going well with all of you in spite of the daily challenges the life presents to us all, challenges that have nothing to do with being a GA or not. One of the things that guided me to post today is an interview on TV with a couple of the Kennedy clan about addictions. What stood put to be was a comment by one when asked if he still struggled with his addiction. His answer was “no, not with the addiction but with life itself, and that was hard enough to deal with in itself”. I find this so true, if we only use what we have learned and practice in our recovery to deal with life and any problems that that presents our dealings with our addiction will be included with no additional attention necessarily required. Eliminating the reasons that our addiction feeds on will go far in controlling the power it has over us.

    God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.

    in reply to: Woke up wishing I was dead today #19895
    paul315
    Participant

    Good morning Bettie,

    Sorry to log on after such a long absence and read about your troubles, but it is also good to see that you are still working on recovery and progressing in this positive side of your life. Diabetes may be a progressive disease that seemingly keeps advancing no matter what , but recovery does allow us to move forward and see progress unless we choose to let gambling take over again.

    In a way I am a little reluctant to post to you, hoping that others will not feel slighted or forgotten; they are not, it is just that there are so many that have helped me it would be too difficult to post to or mention all. So my few post today is actually going out to all with gratitude for all that each has given me in my road of recovery. Thanks to all, my thoughts continue to be with each and every one here.

    In reading some of your post I find that your comment above can relates to “Today’s thought from Hazelden” sent by Ken L and copied below, in that feeling sorry for yourself is not all bad if you accept and react to the reasons in a positive way.

    God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep on keeping on.

    Your friend Larry

    ———————————————————————

    Today’s thought from Hazelden

    Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it.
    –Kathleen Casey Theisen

    Recovery offers us courage to make choices about the events of our lives. Passive compliance with whatever is occurring need no longer dominate our pattern of behavior. Powerlessly watching our lives go by was common for many of us, and our feelings of powerlessness escalated the more idle we were.

    Today, action is called for — thoughtful action in response to the situations begging for our attention. Recovery’s greatest gift is the courage to take action, to make decisions that will benefit us as well as the people who are close to us. Courage is the byproduct of our spiritual progress, courage to accept what we cannot change, believing that all will be well, courage to change in ourselves what we do have control over.

    An exhilaration about life accompanies the taking of action. The spell that idleness casts over us is broken, and subsequent actions are even easier to take. Clearly, making a choice and acting on it is healthful. The program has given us the tools to do both.

    Decisions will be called for today. I will be patient with myself, and thoughtful. I will listen closely to the guidance that comes from those around me.

    in reply to: desdemona #10097
    paul315
    Participant

    Good morning Carole,

    It has been a while since I have posted to you, but it was not because I was not thinking of you and the influence and inspiration that you have added to me and in my recovery. I have been busy in doing some laundry myself, washing away a lot of my past and the regrets that seem to hang on. I too am still having urges to gamble, but instead of battling those urges I am working at moving forward — there is no reason to fight a battle that we cannot win when it is better to just avoid the fight by keeping ourselves in the arena of progressing in being gambling free and not entering into one where the outcome is predetermined.

    Again, thanks you your support and friendship, I have been able to reach another milestone with the help from you and others.

    God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep moving forward.

    Larry

    in reply to: Day Two is Still a Day Away #21664
    paul315
    Participant

    Good morning all,

    October brings a time of celebration for me and my recovery. First and most important to me is that Oct 2013 is the 50th month that I have been in recovery. Four years and 2 months ago, Aug 2009, I started on this road of recovery and began benefiting from the progress that I have made in being gambling free. On Aug 13, 2009 I reclaimed my life by walking away from suicidal thoughts and turning instead to seeking help. Today I am truly grateful that by turning to the help of others here and at Gamblers Anonymous I have been able to enjoy a renewed life.

    The other reason to celebrate today is that it represents a milestone on being gambling free for a year. It is not my first one year celebration, I reached this same milestone in 2012 but finding myself unguarded and in the right (wrong) set of circumstances I gambled again. Thankfully this was only an interruption to my gambling free time and not an end to my recovery. Recovery is a program of progression not perfection, and sticking to it even if we falter at times is far better than to give up; “it works if we work it, it wont if we don’t.

    So today I celebrate life and my 50 mounts of working recovery, and have also achieved meeting the requirements to reclaim my GA One Year Medallion by staying gambling free for a year and attending the required number of meetings during the year. Hopefully my receiving this recognition at my GA meeting and my telling about it here will help others to continued to work on their recovery and to keep moving forward in progressing as well — we should never give up no matter what disruptions we encounter or what problems or adversities that we face during our daily lives. Our not gambling will not prevent bad things from happening, but it will help us to react in more positive ways whenever they occur.

    Thanks to all for helping me reach this point in my life, for me being able to be alive and share my story.

    God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep alive.

    Larry, aka paul315

    in reply to: October – ODAAT #23941
    paul315
    Participant

    Good morning Cat,

    I too will join you and others by celebrating my not gambling last month. Thanks for all you do and the inspiration and support that you provide.

    God’s speed.
    Larry

    in reply to: Day Two is Still a Day Away #21663
    paul315
    Participant

    Thanks Harry for all the help, and not just finding my page.

    However, it would still be helpful if new replies showed up first instead of at the end of the entire topic; I had to go through three pages to get to your most recent reply – offered as a critique, not fault finding.

    It is good to start this new month with a post to my home page using the new GT format. As Cat addressed in her new topic in her post “A New Day” change is hard to get used to, and to accept. However, on this new day I renew an ongoing pact to not gamble during this new month, and again make my daily pledge to not gamble today, not one bet, not one cent.

    God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Keep aware.

    paul315
    Participant

    With this glitch being fixed can you now help me find my topic “Day Two is Still a Day Away”. Thanks Larry

    p.s. What is the : “Leave this field blank” for?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 476 total)