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    • #52527

      I recently completed residential treatment for gambling addiction. Interestingly not once did we or were we encouraged to describe ourselves as addicts. It is fairly common for people with addictions to have low self esteem and I guess giving them a really “low” label only crushes that self esteem further.

      To maintain my recovery I need to avoid people who chose to label me even after I have explained to them I find it is damaging for me.
      I need to surround myself with people who care enough to hear me and who want to build me up.

      Perhaps we all need to look deeply and try to find why we feel it so ok to label ourselves, people we perceive to be like us and of course others.

    • #52528

      Hi I did it,

      We cannot control what others think, feel or say about us.

      I hope you can concentrate on your personal recovery, there is no need to be a people pleaser or door mat. We need to protect our recovery.

      I wish you all the best in recovery and love to see you healing and getting well.

    • #52529

      Thanks Kin.

       Yes I have learned that some  people can be a trigger for me and are best avoided but often our greatest critic is ourselves which is perhaps even more unhelpful and leads us straight back to our escape of choice .

      Keep strong KinX

    • #52530

      Hi I did it,

      You are the third person who share with me the same feeling over this weekend, the other two are newcomers I met in recovery support group meetings.

      We can be the most critical, judgmental person on our imperfections in early recovery. I have very unrealistic expectation, I need a solution to my suffering fast. I was impatient and a perfectionist. I have this problem for many years until I find comfort in The Lord’s Prayer.

      Today I pray for God’s will to be done, not mine. It is all in God’s timing, not mine.

      I ask God to forgive me for my sins and forgive others for the sins they do to me.

      In the prayer I also ask God to protect me from the evil ones and not let me fall into temptations.

      I shared with one newcomer that all is done in God’s timing because he was very critical of himself and impatient, I have no chance to tell the other suffering newcomer to turn to God to ask for forgiveness for all the harm we have done to others and to forgive others for the harm they done to us.

      In recovery, I have learn to seek progress and not perfection.

      If all I did was stop gambling, I was going abstinence without recovery.

    • #52531

      Hi IDI! I have been thinking of you. I am wondering how the residential program worked?? Did it help?? Just curious and hope all is going well in your world.

    • #52532

      Thank you Kin.

      a much appreciated post .

    • #52533

      Just got Gamban on my phone – I like it and it works .
      I have no intention of testing to make sure it’s foolproof – I just want something to break the automatic pilot I have went through in the past.

      I have had someone scratch off the last three digits on my new bank card.
      This means I cannot use it for paypal either so that’s inactivated.

      I am currently building layers of protection- I will be ready if the wolf calls !

    • #52534

      You are doing Great IDI!! I called the bank to see if they can make my debit card so it can only be used for purchases or lower my daily withdraw limit. No such luck. ugggh! I have to figure something out or the same cycle will just repeat itself. I hate that I can not find a solution to having no extra money. I pray for guidance. There has to be a way of trying to do the right thing.

    • #52535

      Thanks Jen for the update .
      You will find your way through this .

      I had a night out at a free concert in town. It was fun and only cost the bus fare.
      Tomorrow I am definitely going to buy paint ! I have talked about it for long enough. I will have a beautiful home again !!

    • #52536

      I saw you in group earlier and you said hi – but before I could respond you were gone and did not come back.
      I know you have dodgy reception atm, but just checking that you are okay and are not in need of support. Hope all is going well.

    • #52537

      Not sure what happened in chat – it said you were typing but nothing came up.

      Just wanted to say well done for resisting the urges. It is always difficult when you can see you would have won some money, especially when you are in need of it. I think it would be good to get gambling off any webpages you use, too much of a trigger imho. But I also know that might not be possible. Keep strong Idi – you can do this!

      I will try and make chat tonight – if you need to talk.

    • #52538

      Thanks Steev,
      I could not get connected to GT at all.
      I actually think I handled the urges ok – went to gamcare online support. I have no idea how to get rid of ads and news – every because email now has them before you can log into your account .
      Will try make the group later – after I have digested my yummy McDonald’s – I love having money ! Lol .

    • #52539

      Superstitions and gambling seem to be closely linked.
      I have put off posting incase writing about it would somehow curse my recovery. So here goes …

      Recovery is going well – I am into my seventh week gamble free- and that is completely gamble free unlike in the past when I decided lottery didn’t ***** because I was not addicted to the lottery .

      What is going a lot more slowly is financial recovery – I have so many payments going out it is difficult to survive until payday. I feel I stopped just in time, before everything in my world came tumbling down. I didn’t reach rock bottom perhaps, but I definitely was one step away. This week I will ring creditors and reduce those payments.

      The rest of my life had improved an insane amount – the biggest change however is the change inside me – I have a new calmness I cannot explain. This is changing the way I relate to people and all my relationships are improving- I am even handling the few difficult people in my life better.

      That’s about it – still no painting done, but maybe today…

    • #52540

      Getting rid of the ads that pop up, I go to each one and say they are offensive, there is a drop down menu. Once u have done that a few times they stop. I used to have these pop up all the time but none now for a long time although even now I do get the odd email.
      Good to hear u r gf, good going. One day at a time, my house stuff is going slowly but over the year I can see improvement with a long way to go still.

    • #52541

      Thank you Monica for your post .

      I am noticing now have I have not been gambling for almost two months the ads are getting less frequent, kinda like the urges in my brain lol.

      I know it will take time to get my finances sorted (and my home ) but I am also realising that if I have lived in this mess for a decade, I can live with it for a little longer until I am financially secure. I need an emergency fund and can’t face having to struggle for another month when unexpected expenses arise . Life doesn’t have to head hard as I have made it . I deserve a good life as much as anyone else .

    • #52542

      As a group, we care for and about each other and want each other to succeed, That in itself makes you more deserving of a good life than a lot of people I know that seem to revel in other peoples misery and pain. You are so right in your logic that you did take 10 years to get into this mess, and it will take some time to get out. Failure on any plan usually occurs due to lack of patience or planning.You seem to be on the right track. the best track. and if you keep your eyes trained on where you want to go (I learned that in training for my mototrcycle licence) you will go where you look, so look only where you want to go. I have my days where i somehow trick myself into thinking fondly of the casino that I always hated going to (once I actually got there, that is) and start to want to play a game or two to feel that excitement again. I dont have people triggers, I have no people triggers- alone time stirrs me to want to relax and play online where I can talk to the game and myself. I have my favorites and miss them at times, but they are just stupid games. Its like being o.k. to lose everything I have worked all these years for to play solitaire and win!!!! Its just a game. Its just a game. Anyways, I have been playing the “see how little i can live on” game now and then, and even go online to see how other cheapskates can live on less and less.  It can be a new challenge, but also a distraction. Give yourself more than you need in $$ to live on and live for less, pocket the difference, and build a reserve. New game. New results. Find out how you are motivated and work with that. I like challenges. I played the same slots over and over until I won as much or got the most I could and that was that. It wasnt about money, so my recovery requires me to find something to replace it with. I hope that you are not finding it too hard to make it through. I know that you can do this. You just have to have patience and give yourself a break.If you fall, as we all do, just remember that lapse means “a temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgment.” When we relapse, it is a temporary thing. We just get up, brush ourselves off and try harder next time. 

    • #52543

      Thank you Berta.
      I have just arrived home from a family night out.
      I decided quite impulsively to treat us to a meal In a local restaurant to celebrate that today I am two months gamble free. We are such a happy little family tonight with our belly’s full and no wash up to argue about ! This type of impulsive action I like .

      Berta you rightly say there are times when our minds trick us into fondly remembering our time at the casino. Despite all the heartache and pain, I fondly remember casino nights out with my sister and mum – i haven’t tested that I can resist but now even as I plan my Christmas visit I get that warm feeling that the casino always gave me when I first stepped into it’s plush carpet.

      I have learned however that I cannot test – I have learned that planning a visit home means planning a trip where gambling is made impossible. I have learned in the hardest most painful way, but I have learned that I need to plan in advance .

      I know I cannot give up this feeling of liking myself and knowing there’s is a little money in the bank. No gamble or no win is worth more than my happiness !

    • #52544

      Slowly and carefully

    • #52545

      Thank you Kin.

      I am just started my third month gamble free. I recognise that this addiction is difficult to beat but I am having a huge amount of support – and I need every bit of it! I am extremely grateful that such a huge amount of resources are being invested in me. I don’t deserve this any more than anyone else but I have at last realised that I don’t deserve it any less.

      Today I can go and buy nice food, I can plan things and they will happen but best of all I can hold my head high. I have booked a “girlie” trip which is a full year away and I know lack of money won’t stop it from happening.

      Last weekend I bought myself a new coat – I have no idea how long it has been since I felt really warm in the winter! It’s cheap but cheerful and I cannot believe I deprived myself of such a simple comfort for so long. I also have boots this winter which are both comfortable and keep my feet dry.

      How did I let this happen ? I have no idea but I love rediscovering those small pleasures in life..

    • #52547

      I agree with RG. It is a beautiful post that really highlights the cons of being a cg. We would be the ones easy to spot in a casino. Nothing fancy or new. Spending all of our earnings to make sure that the casino looks it’s best and has nice new things. My kids always have everything they want and need but I will wait for months to buy something new that I need to make sure I can find it on sale. And can I save a penny on everything I buy. Coupons are my best friend. So is max betting. Ridiculous,  the two ends of the spectrum that we can occupy at the same time….

    • #52548

      Cant find you anywhere on here and Steev said to reply to this post. Are you still with us?

    • #52549

      I asked. The answer was no. It’s in the terms and conditions that you can’t do it. Sorry mate. x

    • #52550

      I’m unsure as to what you are referring. Is it that RG is not with us? Do you know why? 

    • #52551

      Sorry Berta ,
      Sherrie is posting about something we discussed in chat. It is not the same issue.

      I have often deleted posts and even threads in the past .
      Sometimes I hate when I read back (I try not to) and sometimes just knowing that a thread is there recording my “failings” is very demotivating and detrimental to me.
      I’m sure others do this too.
      People come back again when they want to post again .

      RG thank you for your post on my thread – this didn’t come easy to me. I attended a short residential treatment but still it can be a struggle sometimes not to get distracted – and without strong barriers it only takes a brief distraction before we are back to square one .
      Keep strong RG – you’ve got this !

    • #52552

      Well done idi onwards and upwards

    • #52553

      Well look at you!
      What a great, uplifting, positive thread. Im so so happy that you are doing so well.
      I did look for RG’s thread and couldn’t find it. So ill use your thread and just say that if youre reading RG, I hope you are ok.
      IDI, there was a clarity for me when I stopped gambling, as if something just switched off, although if you have read my most recent post on my thread you would never know it.
      What I do know is that with all the chaos going on inside my head, the thought of gambling has never entered it once. I have learned to live without it, something I never ever thought I could do. Not one urge to head to a venue. And, you know, I didn’t even think about that until I wrote this post. Its like a relationship that faded out. So exciting at the start, then sadness and finally acceptance that its over. I don’t miss it one bit. It almost feels like it never happened at all. I don’t remember the person I was back then. I will never be that person again. If only the rest of my life was so clear.
      But that’s it I guess, theres always stuff, problems, worries. I will not use gambling to fill the void, to zone out. Im not sure that will make any difference to my choices in the future, but I do know that a gambling fog wont cloud my judgement.
      Anyway, back to you lol.
      I am truly happy for you. I love reading threads and seeing the progress, and yours certainly reflects that!
      Im not sure when ill be back, busy times coming up, and while I don’t post much anymore, I think of this site often and the wonderful people here I call friends.
      You are definitely one of them,
      Take care of yourself, Love K xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • #52555

      Thank you everyone
      Berta and Kathryn I have replied on your threads.

      RG I just missed you in group the other night. I think the battering we take from gambling eventually beats us down.

      Many people have a lot of stuff going on in their lives, but having a gambling addiction on top can really push us over the edge.

      We need to be extra kind and compassionate towards ourselves. We are good people who have developed an unasked for addiction.

      We need to treat ourselves with the same compassion as we would treat others who develop a serious illness . We certainly wouldn’t blame them, or judge them but we would have an expectation that they would follow the advice they are given to get well again.

      RG keep strong – this addiction has battered me for a long time but a short residential treatment has really helped – would that be something you could consider ?

      Do whatever it takes but please look after yourself xx

    • #52556

      I have had the best weekend. Two great nights spent with friends and family filled with fizz and cocktails, food and fun.
      The difference just a little money makes!

      I have had meals with family and no longer have to hide away and avoid people .
      I bought a few new, very cheap clothes and I felt nice. I think I have quite a good eye for choosing stuff that doesn’t look too cheap
      I will never have to wear tatty clothes again, so I bagged lots and took to the recycling centre, so my house feels better.

      Having said all that I will have to be frugal for the rest of the month. I might have got a little carried away…

      Life is on the up and I’m loving it !

    • #52557

      Well done idi looks like you are going in the right direction good for you. Glad you are enjoying yourself doing other stuff and now have the money to do it. Keep up the good work 

    • #52558

      Thank you for your kind reply Beem.

      As much as I found it unhelpful and demotivating to write about my slips and relapses in the past, I find it very motivating to write about when things are going well.

      I have, however, noticed a few new triggers this weekend.

      The first was when someone wrote on their thread about clearing debt with their winnings – the addiction lost no time in nudging me to do likewise.

      The second was really unusual – my friend and I were being really silly and trying to get the perfect selfie. When I open my photos now a full screen comes up of almost the same photo and strange though it sounds, it looks like the jackpot win on one of those picture slots. It really made me yearn for that particular slot machine which is one of my very favourites – my addiction never misses an opportunity to tempt me.

      Having said all that, I am really happy today sitting in work in my lovely new top, with my hair straightened with my lovely new straighteners and no gambling hangover or shame!

      Gambling always made me feel dirty, today I feel clean!

    • #52559

      I hear that you are quite pleased with the life that others take for granted and I feel a kinship. I look at people and think ” I wonder what it would be like to be them. No cg addiction.” I wonder what it would be like to just pick up a computer without hesitation or worry that somehow the gamban will fail and I will be able to gamble again. I am sure that the people I look at most likely have their own issues and concerns. Maybe they are alcoholics, sex addicts, shopaholics, abusers and on and on. We feel alone but there are many others afflictions out there that are as isolating as this is, and people suffer as well. I mean this to be uplifting, that no ones life is without trials, disappointments and struggle. It is too easy to get used to looking up from what you consider the bottom. The bottom is a frame of mind. If you really look around the globe, the bottom takes on new meaning. That being said, the joy you feel from raising your situation up after a few months brings joy and hope. You can build on that so that you feel the climb from your place at the bottom. If you falter, you must not fall. The bottom has a way of making us stuck. Like mud. We wallow in it. Look around you every day and see the good in your life. See what you’ve done. Feel pride. If we stay off of the bottom, our bottom, then we have no excuse not to look around instead of looking up. I hope that the little things you do bring you joy today.

    • #52560

      Thank you Berta for such a thoughtful reply. I think one of the mistakes I made in the past was to think relapses are inevitable – they are not !

      They are a choice we make on some level to give in to an urge to gamble. I feel that once we realise this is for life – there is no more gambling for us ever – not even a one off lottery ticket- once we truly accept we cannot gamble – then we become free of this.

      I had a very bad reaction to nuts once and guess what? I now check labels and menus and I go to all kinds of bother to make sure another nut never crosses my lips.

      I have started to do the same with gambling – it is an allergy I have to avoid.

      73 days since I gambled on anything at all. 73 days of carefully and mindfully considering how to stay gamble free each day.73 days of following advice and doing the things that work for me . 73 days of knowing and believing that gambling is behind me forever !

      There is nothing inevitable about a relapse ! And I am never giving up this freedom.

    • #52561

      Yes the allergy analogy has worked well for me. Another thought is that there is no blame when someone has an allergy – so no need to beat myself up for what I did when I was losing. “Hey I had an allergy and I didn’t know – so that was why I was hurting so much!”

      73 days is great – and it does get easier the long time you spend away from gambling. I think the trick is to think like a non-gambler … so no thoughts of “well maybe I am cured now” or “maybe I can control it” or ” I can just check out videos / go in and have a coffee ” because why would you do those things as a non-gambler?

      Good to hear about you enjoying your non-gambling life … long may it continue.

    • #52562

      Thank you Steev for your post.
      I am on day 78. That’s over 11 weeks and this month there will be a little left over in my account when payday arrives.
      I am going to put it away and get a good emergency fund behind me before I really tackle debts. For now minimum payments will do.

      The one thing I am absolutely going to treat myself to is cosy pjs and slippers. Do others find that cosy nightwear ceased to become a priority?

      My brain is getting clearer and motivation for the mundane things in life such as cleaning is increasing.

      I have been having huge urges – not for gambling – but to return to church where I haven’t been for at least the past 5 years. I always loved when my Sunday revolved around Mass, followed by breakfast with friends/ family. It was good for my soul but also good for my wellbeing.

      That’s about it – life is improving !

      My old life is returning little by little.

    • #52563

      It has occurred to me that a huge part of recovery is appointments – doctor, dentist, counsellor, hair, beautician …
      Not just going to appointments but making time in our schedule and valuing ourselves enough to do so!

      Onwards and upwards !

    • #52564

      That’s amazing IDI well done to you. You sound very different and speak with determination and clarity. Wishing you many many more months, years of gf  time.

      by the end of nov I will be over 3 months GF. I stayed away from GT for a bit just to kind of get out of the gambling dwelling and it helped.

      wishing you the best 


    • #52565

      Today I am 12 weeks gamble free.

      I was just about to to set off to the Gordon Moody residential and I hadn’t even booked my flight because I wasn’t sure I could afford it- yet I was able to gamble that night.

      I remember my first online counselling session to help me prepare for the residential.

      I was on holiday and had been up all night and was feeling quite annoyed that I had to stop gambling for an hour ( at 11am) to go to the session. I was on a winning streak so of course I didn’t need the help because I was going to keep winning and sort everything out! I have no idea what the weather was like.

      Somehow I left my beloved gambling for an hour and did the session with the counsellor – it was the best thing I ever did because her support, and a real sense of I would be letting her down (she was so nice and easy to connect with ) ensured I turned up at the actual residential.

      I am back in that same holiday spot this weekend, staying in the same bed. I have slept well, bought lots of coal for the open fire, just ate a huge breakfast while still in my brand new snuggly Pjs, and I am making the most of an unusual burst of sunshine. The air is fresh and I am getting huge lungfuls of it.

      In case you are wondering – I lost my huge win and a huge amount of my wages chasing it.

      Today there is no huge win – instead there is money I earned honestly in the bank !

      Onwards and upwards !

    • #52566

      What a difference 12 weeks can made, IDI!
      It’s shuddering to think how things would be today if you had continued gambling.
      (December 1st will be my DAY ONE)
      Advent is a period of Hope and Expectation.
      I have great hope for you ( and for me)

    • #52567

      Thanks Vera for your kind post.
      Today is the day you kick gambling out of your life and I know you will do it.
      Just be kind to Vera – that wonderful person inside you who has been battered down by this addiction, but who has never been beaten by it.
      Vera just for today …

    • #52568

      Today I am 3 calendar months gamble free – 13 weeks.
      Deep inside, I know this will never be an issue for me again- not because I have learned ways to avoid gambling (although I have) but because I learned and developed ways to deal with life. I am constantly working on my coping skills.

      When life got hard I used to simply escape – which only served to make life harder.

      This week, I had a very strong emotional response to hearing some untrue gossip about me. It was torture for a number of hours and I kept telling myself to “sit with the pain”.

      I did this, although it was really uncomfortable and really painful and consuming – and eventually I realised that one person gossiping was just that – and the pain lifted and I was ok – and I could still buy food for the rest of the month and my bank account was still intact.

      I have learned that pain will eventually go whether we gamble or not and when we gamble we simply substitute one type of pain for another.

      On another note, I found this link quite by accident – I think it makes very interesting reading.

    • #52569

      Well done  idi you are doing really well what are the life coping strategies you mentioned  you are applying. Keep on doing what you are doing it is obviously working for you. 

    • #52570

      ….is amazing, IDI.
      Ignore the Gossip Mongers.

    • #52571

      Thank you Beem
      I guess I am just accepting pain as part of life and realising that living through it won’t kill me, but gambling to escape it just might ! It is uncomfortable and I find myself totally obsessing and unable to let it go, but eventually I find away through .
      Dealing with things is new for me – I’m sure the process will get easier.

      I am also being more assertive and saying no when things get too much – I am asking for help when I need it and mostly I am treating myself well and with compassion. The strange thing is this is making me more compassionate toward others , because I guess in our own way, or however it comes across, we are all coming from a good place !

      Vera thank you so much for taking the time to post me a kind reply – I know things aren’t good for you right now and I really appreciate it . Xx

    • #52572

      What does a gamble free Saturday look like ?

      This year …
      Waking late after a great worry free sleep.
      Getting washed and dressed to go meet friends for breakfast .
      Perhaps a trip to town to do some Christmas shopping.
      Head full of plans for Christmas – presents , food , events !

      Last year ..
      Sleepless night full of worry
      Isolate and drown in the shame and misery
      Struggle to keep food on table until payday
      Head full of obsessively counting money .

    • #52573

      Good day 

      I hope you do continue always on this new pathway of your self worth.congrats for your renew mind and a lovely way of forming your great life now. 

      Thank you for sharing your progress. Living life on this amazing pathway of recovery. Your self worth. You are gonna rising above this all. Stay bless. Be bless.

    • #52574

      Well done IDI, love the comparison between this year and last year. Keep doing the things that are working for you. Not gambling, one day at a time, allows us to plan a great future.

    • #52575

      Fifteen weeks gamble free tomorrow.
      Almost had a little money panic but got by without resorting to borrowing – I cut back a little and stayed calm. In the past a money worry would have sent me straight to an online casino!

      Last night I dreamt that I was gambling – I had a handful of 50p coins and I was throwing them into the machine – I felt absolutely horrible – had that feeling we get when we know we have gone too far… and then I glanced in my bag and I had coins left and didn’t think I had lost after all- but found a square 2p which was. extremely rare and very valuable !

      I woke up feeling extremely relieved that it was just a dream but also with a heightened awareness that I am only coin away from gambling !

      Onwards and upwards!

    • #52576

      You are doing it. You have overcome 15 weeks gf congrats. Keep it up. Stay positive. Those thoughts and dreams of being in the casino winning it big is mind games. Please delete and clear your browser history. Moving forward. Rewiring the mind each moment of our waking life. Keep strong and live your good life now

    • #52577

      Doesn’t it give you a great sense of hope and freedom, I-D-I, to be suddenly aware that you are no longer compelled to do something that you know, in your heart and soul is going to cause you grief and anguish?

      The spell is broken.

      You are free.

      The “rare and valuable” coin in your dream represents the “win” you were seeking for so long and what do you know you already had it!

      The “precious jewel ” was in your possession all along and you thought it was worthless.

      The key to the prison is yours. Unlock that door!

      Isn’t the unconscious mind an amazing tool!

      Keep a cool head.

      You are on the home run… did it!

    • #52578

      One of the best things about being gamble free is “choice”.
      Sometimes it’s simple choices like shall I go out for breakfast or shall I cook?
      It may be the choice to attend an event because we can afford to go and buy decent clothes to wear.
      As time progresses, choice also progresses. We can choose to move home, to make overpayments to our mortgage or to take a fabulous holiday.

      What I didn’t expect was “choice” when it comes to people. I find as I continue on my gamble-free journey, my sense of self worth is increasing.
      This means I no longer require people in my life who choose to pull me down rather than build me up… and it is a choice – each time we pass judgment, each time we criticise, each time we feel we can dictate to others or decide their motives – each time we do these things we do them because we like the high that the temporary power gives us, we like the feeling of superiority and we like that we escape our own insecurities for a short while.
      It is definitely a choice because helping others makes us feel just as good inside ! And it leaves us feeling good for longer.

      I notice now that I am not giving these people my time or energy I have so much spare time to fill. It is time I will use to do things for me, to follow my dreams instead of wasting time trying to please those who cannot be pleased !

      This has been a week of deep learning !

    • #52579

      Hi I did it,
      Why did you give me the feeling that you have grown a lot in recovery in a very short time. It was a joy to watch your growth in recovery.
      Wishing you a Merry Christmas in advance.

    • #52580

      What a nice post.  Yes I think one of the things that we don’t realise when we are in action is how much gambling takes over our minds – so everything is seen through that lens.

      Because I didn’t have much self-worth when I was gambling, then if people pulled me down  – that was somehow okay with me.  I deserved it.

      Now I know I don’t deserve it – that I am better than that. 

      I have really enjoyed our debates over the last year and looking forward to talking to you more in 2020.   Have a good Christmas.

    • #52581

      I am so pleased that, like me, me, gma was something that really worked for both of us and I do read your posts.
      Have a blessed Xmas.

    • #52582

      Hii  wishing you well and positive outlook as we enjoy this festive season be safe. Thank you.

    • #52583

      Thank you Steev, Monica and Seanraj,

      Merry Christmas everyone,

      Back at the start of September I didn’t know if I would make it to the residential treatment. The day before I still hadn’t booked my travel tickets due to lack of funds.

      Christmas seemed like forever away- I really thought nothing could help me but decided to give it a go.

      I sat there on the first day of the residential and the facilitators stated with confidence that we would stop gambling if we gave it our all- many others had succeeded!

      I inwardly knew I would be the exception- nothing could stop me! I could hardly break away from an all- nighters to take the first online meeting at 11am. When it ended I went straight back to my online casino.

      Yet, here I am three and a half months later and I am gamble free. There have been a few close calls but I have not gambled on anything at all.

      This is huge for me – I haven’t really had any gamble- free time  in the last few years.

      I guess my Christmas message to anyone who is struggling is to move out of your comfort zone and do whatever it takes to become gamble free- if I can stop, trust me, anyone can!

    • #52584

      So thank you Kin also !

    • #52585

      You are an amazing person. Stay positive and have an awesome time with your family. Happy merry xmas. Keep on keeping on.

    • #52586

      Thank you for your post Seanraj.

      I woke this morning with a new feeling – a feeling of complete satisfaction as I reflect on the most wonderful Christmas Day. I worked so hard to get my home up to scratch(no mean feat) and everything was quite perfect.

      I cannot help but notice the huge difference not gambling has made to my Christmas – lovely presents bought for everyone – I enjoyed the expressions on their faces as they were surprised at just the little bit extra that went into them, both in terms of cash and thought. Gambling left little time for thinking about presents and barely enough cash to buy the cheapest gifts.

      A huge amount of effort and time also went into preparing my home. It is a delight to go down stairs and see the fruits of my labour . Gambling left little time for cleaning!

      I guess the greatest reward is the joy of my family – the best present I gave them this year was being present.

      Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey to a gamble free life – I am so appreciate everything you have all done for me and wish you all an amazing 2020!

    • #52587

      Oh I just looooooved that post.
      You are right, being present is the absolute best present of all.
      Merry Christmas dear friend,
      And well done!!!
      Love K xxx

    • #52588

      Thank you Kathryn
      It is so good to hear from you!

      Today I am 16 weeks gamble-free. I feel so relaxed and content. I had a late breakfast and then watched a silly animated movie with family! It is so nice to be able to relax and not have the relentless wins, losses and counting money churning around my head.

      I find myself searching through Groupon and other such sites checking out offers for skin rejuvenation treatments . This may sound trivial to others but is a sure sign “I’m back”!
      Four months ago my skin was the least of my worries. Wrinkles are a much nicer focus than gambling losses ! Lol !

      This has been the best Christmas I remember for years. One family member was extremely badly behaved but I didn’t take it personally or ruminate on it. I realise I can only be responsible for me. It didn’t spoil a minute of my holiday.

      I can’t quite comprehend that the capacity to feel like this was hidden deeply within me. I am feeling deeply blessed and incredibly humbled by the amount of help I have received from so many people.

    • #52589

      …is priceless, I-D-I.
      I have come to the conclusion that the stress of mental addition, subtraction, calculating money, projecting figures , planning the next “round”, avoiding company, cooking slap dash meals, rushing to get rid of friends and family as fast as possible and trying to figure out the next loan, are far more damaging than the actual act of gambling. All this chaos causes serious mental distress.
      When we write “Peace and joy” on the Christmas cards we send, we need to remind ourselves that gambling robs us of those two priceless possessions.
      When we gamble we can kiss goodbye to both.
      So glad to hear you have reversed your situation and that you are enjoying the simple life.
      Humility plays a huge part in recovery.
      Be proud of your great progress!

    • #52590

      So glad that you have had a great GF Christmas and now there is the New Year to look forwards to. See you on the other side of it!!

    • #52591

      Absolutely positive vibes flowing in those words love that. Amazing feeling of having a great health. Your mind is renewed by these wonderful moments you shared with your family. 

      Unfortunately i gonna cross that bridge of consequences of actions this addiction had on the family. I am gonna rise above this and move on.

    • #52592

      Thank you Seanraj, Steev and Vera

      Seanraj, today your posts about positivity keep coming into my mind – and it reminds me that is so easy to be positive when we are gamble free. It also leaves little room for others to make negative comments.

      I always found negative comments set me backwhen I was gambling. – they made me feel hopeless and somehow incapable of change.
      Such comments were often delivered under the guise of “straight – talking” or “telling the the things we don’t want to hear” or even “challenging us”.
      Of course that was never their purpose – their purpose was to give the poster a sense of superiority/power or some other personal pay-off.

      After a number of months of counselling I see the world differently – I understand that the negativity of others isn’t about me – it’s about them and I can only change me!

      And so it is in life- I had come to believe that I needed to change because my “issues” gave others the right to treat me with less than respect.
      I no longer believe that – no one has the right to be disrespectful to me- if they don’t like me as I am, they must make their own decisions about that but I deserve respect whatever their feelings !

      Vera you are so right – having a gambling addiction causes huge mental stress. What I hadn’t considered was that we were gambling in the first place to escape mental stress. Counselling has helped me shift some things which were stuck – and has given me freedom so there is no need to escape anymore !

      Steev thank you for your continued support – you were a huge anchor for me in the early days of recovery when I was in danger of drifting away !

    • #52593

      Today I took action to sort out my finances.

      When you ring credit card companies they do an income and expenditure and they decide how much you should pay.

      I discovered that if you go with their plans, a slight emergency sends you running for a payday loan to survive.

      Today I explained exactly that to these companies and they were happy to take a much smaller payment.

      Sure I will be paying off forever – but in the meantime I will be having a good life!

      There is no race to pay off debts and we only get to live once !!

    • #52594

      Thank you for your post on my thread and for the love comment. I deliberately left that off, I shall keep that one in the happy surprise section.
      Well done for talking to the credit card companies and for the outcome. It’s the one thing that bothers me about all this debt, that it will take everything, which is probably the main reason I overspend… having it hang over for so long ie decades sets up behaviours in me that I must tackle. I agree so important to have a life and enjoy money. My philosophy too. I won’t scrimp and scrape, not my way which is what made destitution so difficult that I just took to my bed..
      I did vision boards a few years ago, I was never specific enough and there was always the big win bang in the middle of it. I am under no such illusion (delusion) now.
      I think you are making great progress, it’s a long haul these debt issues.
      Thank you for your friendship and may 2020 be a magnificent year for us all!

    • #52595

      Thank you Monica for your reply.
      Happy New Year to Everyone.
      Life is so nice right now – I am still enjoying a great holiday!

      I couldn’t think of any New Year’s Resolutions but eventually I have decided to settle on just two.

      1. I will love myself and my family by looking after my body.

      2. I will love myself and my family by looking after my home.

      And that’s it – a happy, healthy mummy increases the likelihood of a happy, healthy family!

    • #52596

      Happy new GF new life of a gf decade 2020 onwards. Thank you for being an inspiration. Plz change “I will” into ” I AM GOING TO….”

      ITs rewiring of the mind daily. Jane how do you deal with one of your love one that only reminds you of the gambling that was done and constantly nag you. My new year started like that with my soon to be ex wife. Smh. She is determine to make me feel guilty and i ask for forgiveness she hasnt. Sad. But i am gonna rise above this. I am concern abt my son leaving me and not be able to grow up without a dad. That is one major dent in life i faced as a result of this habit. Jane thank you for following my tread 

    • #52597

      Thank you Sean
      Someone gave me a lottery ticket as a present . I kept it in my pocket for over a day.
      I didn’t know what to do with it but after chatting to some friends in the group chat I decided to burn it there and then.
      I found this was a really difficult decision but now have a huge sense of relief – I can’t bear to give up feeling this content with life even for a 70million (or whatever it is) win.

      I have enough. My search for happiness in the wrong places is over – I won’t risk returning to the dark days for the tiny high of checking a lottery ticket!

      Thank you online friends !

    • #52598

      I know how difficult that was for you to do, and I can’t help feeling that the episode was a huge turning point for you.  If you can turn your back on gambling for £70 million what can’t you do.

      Welcome to the non-gambling world – for the rest of your days!

    • #52599

      Thank you Steev

      I have talked a lot about how content I feel right now. I am re-building friendships and reaching out and developing new ones. I am so much more positive about life.

      One thing which seems to shallow but is an absolute joy to me is checking my bank balance – it’s not a huge balance but it is enough to have an ok life.

      For the last decade January has been a horror month – my brain never relaxed – it was so busy borrowing, counting , gambling , winning ,losing , checking sites on how to survive on no money (each of which suggested buying a supersize bag of pasta !)…

      This month I have enough- I might even buy a few new cushions! I have organised a few treats like meeting friends for lunch. My body (well losing weight !) has become a priority after a decade of neglect.

      Anyone who says money isn’t important has never seen the dark days of having no money ! Anyone who has a gambling addiction can stop and have a better life.

      One of the highlights of my day is checking my bank balance – seeing a little money there is a better high than I ever got from gambling .

    • #52600

      17 weeks gamble free today!
      Enjoying the normal things in life and the little things money can buy.
      So many blessings to *****.

    • #52601

      Time to start working on the little things – like my life long tendency to oversleep! I seem to come alive at night and rarely feel tired – yet I am so sluggish in the mornings and find it hard to get out of bed. . I probably should have worked night shift – perhaps my ancestors were nocturnal!

      I need to develop a good routine and the self discipline to stick to it. I’m not sure how I am going to do this ! Been trying for a lifetime.

      Second little thing – my weight – perhaps the two are related? Sleeping the morning away leaves little time for exercise and spending the day playing catch up leaves little time for planning meals.

      For the next month I will focus on getting a good daily routine even on weekends !

    • #52602

      Back to work after my Christmas holidays. Hardly slept last night – mostly due to the horrendous lack of routine over the hols.

      Checked bank account – should be ok for January if I am careful.

      I am looking forward to February because a big loan will be paid off and if I can avoid dipping in, I will be saving substantial amounts from March!I forget what it’s like to withdraw money I have actually saved for large purchase rather than borrowing or putting them on credit! I can’t wait to feel the security of having an emergency fund behind me.

      It will have taken me seven months gamble free to get to a place where I can consider starting to save an emergency fund together but it will be worth the wait.

      At the start such goals seemed so far away – they seemed impossible. It seemed I could never do it. Seven months seemed impossible – but this week I start month five and a lot of things seem much more possible. I can talk about things which used to be pipe dreams and think I will actually do this.

      A huge change is that empty dreams now become real plans !

    • #52603

      You are living an absolutely wonderful  life Jane. Stay positive you are gonna be on top with all that you do. Stay focus and i am happy to read you are doing so well my fren. I am rhankful for your kind words on my tread and i am fully aware that we are gonna stay free throughout our lifetime. To be a beacon to others. Stay true to yourself be honest always and thank you.

    • #52604

      Thank you Sean.
      Today I am four months gamble free.
      I find myself wondering why I continued to live such a complicated life for so long. Life is quite simple when you spend the money you earn on the things that make your life better.

      This morning I know what I am wearing to work since the weekend because I have enough clothes to sort out for the week.
      It is so much less complicated than rushing to get one of my two pairs of trousers dry after hand washing them (because the Washing machine hasn’t worked for months) when I’m on an absolute low after losing half my wages.
      Why did I do that to me ?

      Not everything is perfect -I feel asleep on the couch yesterday evening and couldn’t sleep last night – so I am again very tired for work.
      However my mind is relaxed and there is no frantic guilty counting of money and planning loans. I guess it’s a better “too tired for work.

      Looking forward to good times

    • #52605

      Today as I start my fifth gamble free month -I ponder at the amount of space in my brain.

      It used to be so full of everything to do with gambling with a tiny bit devoted to getting by – I guess if I wanted to label it I could say I was a functional “gambaholic” on the verge of no longer being functional!

      It occurs to me that mind is quite empty – while others spent the last decade developing themselves in one way or another, I stood still . I can’t even say I was a passive observer- I was too engrossed in gambling to observe.

      I now understand why Netflix has become a great friend since I stopped gambling – there is a void in my brain- like those children who cannot occupy themselves once gaming is removed. I also seem to spend a lot of time in online chats.

      I have tried book club which I loved but cannot seem to discipline myself to actually read the books!

      Now that I am aware I guess I can do something about it !

      Perhaps I should learn a new instrument or a new language nor even revive an old one !

      I guess an empty brain mean options – that can’t be a bad thing !

    • #52606

      Today I am 18 weeks gamble free.
      I so enjoy checking my bank account and noting there is enough there.
      Enough is a great feeling after a decade of uncertainty.

    • #52607

      Good day Jane you simply amazing. Keep positive. Do good for yourself. Be happy.share give and love. Its life continue living your best life now.

    • #52608

      Thank you Sean.
      I really appreciate your posts- you are most generous in how you take time to reply to so many people.

    • #52609

      I am occupying my time to reply to those who really need to read words of affirmation. Life is meant to live in the renewness of the mind. And through positive words and determination there is changes made that i am grateful for. I feel a sense of self worth when i help someone. Be inspire my friend because you have also inspire me. Thank you. Stay bless.

    • #52610

      Thank you Sean

      Today I have been reading over the threads of others.
      Some people get motivation from going over their past and choosing to never let it happen again. This is really good for them.

      I am however, gaining a greater understanding of why the 12 steps could never work for me. When I think of the past and the terrible mistakes I have made, my automatic next thought is that one big win and I could make it up to everyone. This thought process doesn’t help me personally stay gamble free.

      I also do not feel I am powerless over gambling – I have the power within me to stop, to make decisions that will help me stay stopped at times when I am tempted. I have the power within me to live a gamble free life.

      One day at a time has never motivated me. If it did I would be at the gym everyday!
      For me the focus must be on tomorrow. I need to see a good future ahead of me. I know when I reached four months gamble free my motivating thought was tomorrow I have started my fifth month.

      I have found that focusing on my weaknesses led me to gamble – that feeling of not being good enough. Now I choose to focus on my strengths, on the fact that I am good enough and my faults make me human not bad! I am focusing on loving and caring for myself.

      It is also a cop out for me to ask my higher power to remove my shortcomings- I need to work on myself, take time to reflect, take action when I am wrong.
      It is too easy for me to ask my higher power to fix me while continuing to behave badly.

      I read over the steps today, with the knowledge I have gained during my four months gamble free time and every fibre of my being was screaming NO NO NO – this is so wrong for me.

      For those of us who find the 12 steps helpful in our gamble free journey, I say keep going , keep doing what is working for you and don’t let anyone lead you away from the path you are following.
      For those of us who despite trying to follow the 12 step programme, find ourselves a relapsing again and again, I would encourage you to find a programme that works on you, that relies on your inner strength and on building positive brain patterns.
      I will conclude this post by saying I know God has helped me find my way through this mess – I firmly believe He has put the right people in my path and He is walking this path with me.
      I feel blessed.

    • #52611

      This morning I have woken to one fo those days which mother’s seem to have – with too many worries about family members.

      When stresses arise I somehow always bring the blame back to me – I think if my house was tidier, if I was more organised, if I insisted we ate at the table more … it seems I can bring everyone’s stresses together and feel responsible.

      I am aware of this today and I understand that I cannot take ownership of every bit of hardship which enters my family’s life. I can make sure that I look after myself so that I am there to support others during their times of worries.

      I can look after my physical health, my mental health, my finances and anything else which keeps me prepared for the stresses life throws at us.

      Fit your own oxygen mask first and always.

    • #52612

      Good day Jane

      Yes somethings are beyond our control. Especially other people actions thoughts and their words. We have full control of our reaction respond and what we allow to soak into our minds daily.

      Jane you are doing great observing where you are and how you are preparing your mind to face reality. Be thankful always for good health. Thinking of recovery and self healing.

      Keep on keeping on

    • #52613

      It’s really great to read how well you are doing. Goes to show we should never quit quitting. We aren’t all from the same mold and not everything works for everyone. You managed to find what will work for you. Good news.

      Self care is of utmost importance. We often haven’t nurtured ourselves while in the throes of a gambling addiction. It’s wonderful that you are recognizing the things you should do for yourself. Keep it up! You are amazing.


    • #52614

      Thank you Sean and Laura .
      Laura it is so nice to hear from you – I hope life is treating you well.
      All is good in my world – this morning I
      feel tired because I fell asleep on the couch after work and then went to bed too late.
      I am reminded of the days when I used to wake exhausted, after gambling most of the night and having a couple of hours sleep. My whole body would have been in a state of shock as I frantically tried to pull myself together for work.

      This morning a little tiredness will be overcome with a cup of coffee. Thank God I don’t have to face a gambling hangover .

    • #52615

      Hi IDI, my apologies. I didn’t realise that I had been booted when you came into the earlier group. If you want to reconnect now to the New Members group then in the circumstances please do 🙂

    • #52616

      Thanks Charles – I thought you had been booted and only entered the new members group to check my own connection .

      I woke this morning feeling quite anxious and I know I have to stop staying up until early hours and expecting to feel refreshed.
      I have been busy – cleaning is not my forte but now I am doing short bursts of up to fifteen minutes when I remember – already I am feeling surprised to walk into rooms and notice how much better they feel .

      The other thing that really hit me this morning is how warm my house is – I feel appreciative that I could afford to buy oil late in January – that’s the greatest thing about stopping gambling – we appreciate the things others take for granted and take such joy from them.

      I checked my bank account this morning and the oil fill out a huge dent in it – it reminded me I am still not emergency ready. One more large payment on a loan and I will be able to save that money from March . A little progress at a time I guess ..

    • #52617

      Went to bed early last night – feeling so much better today – note to self – I deserve to feel well rested !

    • #52618

      Today I got up early and took a family trip to another city .
      Enjoying the sightseeing and shopping – just had yummy brunch – and cannot believe I deprived myself of days like this for so long .
      Onwards and upwards

    • #52619

      Forgot to say – 20 weeks gamble free today !

    • #52620

      Congrats on your 20 weeks gf. Your trip sounds lovely. As I always love hearing about shopping trips, whaddaya get?

    • #52621

      Yes keeping positive and moving forward. Enjoying life precious moments. Keep that same level of positive energy Jane. You are doing great.

      Stay bless.

    • #52622

      Onwards and upwards … YES!

    • #52623

      Thank you Monica and Steev

      I received a significant windfall yesterday (not from gambling !). In the past this would have been so welcome to cover up recent gambling and no doubt fuel further gambling. It wouldn’t have felt like real money.
      Being gamble free means I now will have an emergency fund and I intend never to be without one again my whole life through.
      It also means my home will get some of the work done which it so badly needs.

      Feeling blessed .

    • #52624

      Glad that some good news has happened and that you can use the money to help your home situation. I know when I was badly in debt in the last 5 years before I sold my house I had a few unexpected windfalls which I really appreciated and helped me to keep my head above water.

      Keep taking good care of yourself and hopefully speak soon.

    • #52625

      Great that you are seeing progress in your life now and it is because of your commitment to living a healthy and free lifestyle now.
      Taking care of the things around you that matters the most.
      Do have a wonderful week and continuing doing the great things that you are doing for yourself and for other close to you.
      stay blessed

    • #52626

      Thank you Steev and Seanraj.

      Not much to report except I am starting to look at kitchens and bathrooms! I can’t quite believe it.

      I can’t believe that I am spending my money on things which will make my life better .
      I can’t believe for so long I gifted my very happiness to the casinos.
      I don’t believe my kitchen and bathroom will really happen. On some level I keep thinking other people have beautiful homes not me !
      Why not me ? That I can’t answer …

    • #52627

      You wrote, “On some level I keep thinking other people have beautiful homes not me!”

      I also thought that “other people go travelling the world, not me.” I felt guilty for doing it!  When I first started my travels, I almost felt that at some moment a hand would clutch my shoulder and a voice would say, “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” It hasn’t happened yet. Travelling has become routine. I guess having a lovely new kitchen and bathroom will become routine for you as well, the fear of that voice will simply disappear.

      Enjoy choosing and the fun of the new – it is not just a beautiful new kitchen you deserve … it is a beautiful new life.

    • #52628

      Hi Steev, thank you for your reply.
      You understand completely how I feel.
      One thing I am sure of is that the money won’t be going on gambling. I have already decided it is getting lodged directly to my husband’s account. It means I will have to come clean with him about a loan I haven’t yet told him about – but I’m sure he would be happier to learn I owe a little money than for me to try deal with it myself and lose the lot !

      The longer I am gamble free the more the old honest me is returning. I have a long way to go as I gradually face up to the things I have buried .

      It is payday and I am going out for my dinner. I am going to book an appointment for my hair for the morning. I will hopefully get a few new clothes over the weekend – I am getting quite a passable wardrobe together now. Life is good.

      Being gamble free has made my life so much happier.

    • #52629

      Yes positive thoughts and positive rewards.

      Continue focusing on living a better life now. Be happy with life simple rewards. Love life and live to enjoy it being more positive. 

      Positive habits gives you a positive outlook at life.

      You see things clearer than before. So stay focus on your achievement daily and keep committed to this journal,

      Love your progress.

    • #52630

      Being GF has been the most freeing experience ever! Being able to buy things, pay bills on time and to be able to plan and have goals that you know you can accomplish. Not to be tied to gambling!!
      Keep up the progress.

    • #52631

      Thank you Seanraj and Lizbeth for your positive posts.

      Today I am five months gamble free.

      It seemed so unachievable for me and yet here I am.

      No more excuses, no more confessions, no more highs, no more lows – just living life on a even keel with contentment, a sense of happiness and meeting those stresses when they arise.

      I have done a lot of work on me through counselling and meditation and I realise that working on me is a life long job.

      I am also grateful that my family members who know have kept it’s strictly to themselves and not blabbed to a group of strangers or even their friends – this has given me the space to find recovery without feeling humiliated or trying to second guess which strangers I meet on the street or which people I meet through my work might know. I guess I feel more valued and loved as a result of their putting my dignity first.

      Tomorrow I will be into my sixth month- looking ahead always helps me focus ! Thinking one day at a time made me feel I could never do it ! I guess it’s important not to rely on cliches which have let countless other down !

      Find what works for you and if something isn’t working try something else – recovery is possible for all of us. If you are almost there add something new like an extra barrier or counselling. If you have been attending support groups for a long time and you keep relapsing, then realise they are not giving you what you need and find a new way.

      We all deserve to wake up on a Saturday and think will I go to McDonald’s drive thro for breakfast or will I make a yummy breakfast because I have money to buy yummy ingredients ?

      It’s little things like this that make recovery worthwhile – compared to the huge plans I had for the big win which left me without even the most basic things.

    • #52632

      Ty for your post on my thread, helpful and positive. I have to admit I read your thread first earlier. It was very pleasing to read. One of the things I most appreciate is the ability to self care and build new and better versions of ourselves internally and externally. My friend yesterday was surprised ie what have you done, you look ten years younger than when I last saw you well over a year ago. Well, that is self care and looking after ourselves.
      I hope we speak in group soon and I can hear about how the new version of you is shaping up and what things you have bought for the house. Like you, we have both known the pain of having nothing and everything being neglected whilst gambling. That is precisely what makes it so joyous now. X

    • #52633

      Thank you Monica

      I was so excited when I woke up this morning to write I am
      Into my sixth month gamble free. I saw the date and realised I am not five months gamble free until next Friday.

      There definitely is some type of deficient in my brain when it comes to dates! I can never remember anyone’s birthday, or appointments and I remember at school everyone seemed to know their timetable but I had to check mine several times a day.

      I guess the good thing is I can congratulate myself all over again on Friday !! It’s like getting two birthdays !

      That’s about it – going at last to get that hairstyle – if I can stop laughing at myself for long enough to get there !

    • #52634

      Today I woke feeling quite anxious. I have not been doing my mindfulness everyday , which was one of my recovery tools. Anxiety can be a trigger for me. It’s so easy to allow complacency to slip into our recovery. It takes ten minutes a day and I never seem to find the time- busyness is also a trigger for me!
      I also have a had a falling out of sorts with my son- I am finding it difficult to sit back and watch him throw the future he wants away due to lack Of study. However my anxiety about the matter is making him anxious and less able to study. I’m not sure what the right thing to do is but I guess I hve to let him make his own mistakes . Who knows he might surprise me ?
      Lastly I’m not sure how much longer I will put up with my “lovely to the whole world except me” husband. It must be nice to want to spend time with your significant other, to not hve to our up with their constant unpredictable moods , to spend an hour of your life in your own home without being criticised – it must be nice but then I wouldn’t know !

      Gambling gave me an escape-Recovery has given me options !

    • #52635

      So I have reached five months – really this time !
      It has been the longest week !
      I am blissfully happy despite a cough and feeling a little flu-like. I just feel so blessed. I have money in the bank – not vast amounts but enough to not worry.
      I can go out for a meal if I want or buy really good footwear.
      Today I am going to buy myself a good handbag inTK Max!

      I have been having early nights, mostly due to feeling below par but it is so lovely to wake up well rested !
      Not a terribly exciting life right now but a very contented one .

    • #52636

      You are going to become a better  person each day.

      Keep it up

      God bless you

      Stay positive 

      Thank you for inspiring me as well

    • #52637

      Well done you.  Don’t worry about your (non) exciting life.  I think we have all had enough excitement and need to move onto peace and calm and serenity!

      Take care!

    • #52638

      Thank you Seanraj and Steev

      22 weeks gamble free today – the start of my sixth month!
      Was due to go away for the weekend but have been struck down by flu.
      I realise that there is actually a “before and after flu”.

      “Before flu” meant panicking because my husband had to do the grocery shop and he was sure to spend too much because he didn’t know I had been gambling and there was little left in the account to last the rest of the month. It was a miserable time when as well as feeling sick I had money worries spinning around in my head – I had gambling urges absolutely torturing me as I hoped to make a financial recovery by gambling. I didn’t want to see anyone and the stress seemed to make me feel more ill.

      “After flu” means sipping Lucozade , with my head perched against my lovely soft headboard, watching Netflix and replying to messages from friends and family. I feel less ill than with previous flus and I am sleeping well. . Despite the flu and the coughing bouts I feel happy, relaxed and grateful for all I have in my life – especially my peace of mind!

      Who knew a coping with horrible flu could be so much better during recovery .

    • #52639

      Still feeling quite miserable but I must return to work – those bills won’t pay themselves.
      Something new for me – I am starting to want things which in the past I thought I had no interest in .
      I have decided I want to visit Texas – i love America!
      It won’t happen this year but I can make it happen next year – I am getting so excited just thinking about it – this must be what holidays are like for “normal” people – they used to be just a huge source of stress for me.
      Next new thing. – I have decided I am going to read my way through the Booker prize winners and finalists and extend my mind a little !

      So I am starting to want things after all!

    • #52640

      I have written about this book in the past. The Celestine Prophesy is a book that changed my life. I think this book could help anyone in recovery.

      I especially liked how it explained the control dramas many people return to time and time again .

      People play these dramas repeatedly so they can get attention from us and steal a little of our energy. The control dramas people play are
      1 the intimidator
      2 the interrogator
      3 the aloof
      4 the poor me

      I am finding myself being dragged into a control drama right now and I have decided to not play ball! I have worked hard to get to where I am today and I am not allowing anyone to steal my energy or drag me down.
      I have learned during my recovery to detach quickly from those who make it all about themselves and those who manipulate the truth!

      I am in recovery. I am staying in recovery. I am making decisions which put my recovery first and not other people’s attempts to suck me in with their dramas!

      Why .. because I deserve to keep my own energy !

    • #52641

      Today I reflect upon the wisdom of helping others – I have always been one who will try to help others – often even at the expense of myself.
      Many people revel in their “poor me” drama and I need to be careful not to be sucked into any more of these dramas. This is my own fault as I always take the bait.
      Currently my phone never stops and yet if I offer a solution there’s always a “but” or a reason why the perfectly sound solution ca not work.
      I used to attract a lot of “poor me’s” . Now I recognise the control drama quite quickly and cut my losses. However I realise I have to cut some of the older “poor me’s” in my life – those people who drain my energy constantly, who eat up all my time and who give little back except put downs delivered in a “ Dizzy poor me is so busy being a victim I couldn’t put anyone down” type of way.

      This week I learned a valuable lesson – I have so many great friends with whom I laugh and am uplifted and yet we support each other when the need arises – why am i devoting so much time to a poor me ?

    • #52642

      23 weeks today!

      I realise I have been careful of The company I keep for the past 6 months. I have surrounded myself with positive people and spent less time with the energy drainers!

      Why ? Because I have learned to value me and my time!

    • #52643

      Yes value your time and your self worth. Focus on words of affirmations and positive upliftment. 

      Be encouraged to stay on this pathway of self recovery and healing each moment of your life. 

      Stay bless. 

      Stay positive 

      Keep on keeping on 

    • #52644

      I’m finding this to be such an important lesson as I get older!

      We’re taught good manners and all of that growing up, but I don’t remember being taught that you don’t have to spend your time and energy on someone if they no longer bring a positivity into your life. Is it just me? Why aren’t things like toxic relationships and money taught in school? I feel like they would have gotten me so much further than pythagoras…

    • #52645

      A friend texted this morning to say she is in town. I am meeting her in a few hours .

      In the past this would have meant excuses like pretending I’m not home or I had a work event .

      Today it is a joy to hear from her – I have decent and not too washed out clothes to wear and get this …. I am sitting in a (budget) hairdressers waiting to get a long overdue cut n blow dry!

      Now please tell me why I deprived myself of things like this for such a long time ?

      This is what life should be like.

      An added bonus is I have lost a bit of weight while I had flu!l quite a few inches in fact .  Life is good !

    • #52646

      Why bother with recovery ?

      Gambling is fun and there is always the chance of a big win.

      I guess the biggest difference for me is waking everyday with a sense of contentment and gratitude.

      After gambling for so many years my first thought is this is such a fantastic way to live and I am so grateful to those who have helped me to get here .

      I can’t imagine ever wanting to give up feeling like this for any size win.

      Having said that I am completely switched on to the fact that I have an addiction which could become active at any time if I lower my defences.

      The best  piece of advice I would give to anyone who is stuck in the cycle is to get professional help and really try to follow the advice to the letter .

      There is no room for “buts” or “poor me” in recovery. It is your addiction,you must own it and control it .

      There will always be a reason why you can’t cancel a bank card or ban from a casino .

      There will always be a reason why you need to keep access to large sums of money .

      There will always be a trigger to gamble.

      There will always be an addiction sneakily giving you these reasons .

      You are not alone with this addiction – don’t allow it to take another moment of your happiness.

    • #52647

      Our thoughts and words are going to be align with our actions always. 

      Our thoughts and words are going to be positive and is going to be impacting on our lives daily. 

      Our thoughts and words are going to be uplifting to build up our mindset onto the pathway of self worth and good health.

      Thankful always for positive thoughts and words. 

    • #52648

      Sometimes it is really possible to step back and realised the wonderful life that is available to us without gambling and the joy that we get from something as simple as going for a hair cut with the money we’ve saved. Other times, nothing in the world seems to be able to mask that urge to waste money on the rush.

      I don’t think it’s always possible to rationalise the addiction. I think that, as you said, we just have to use the tools around us to make sure that we remain gambling free.

      Today will power and sheer confidence in a better life will do the trick, tomorrow therapy and support from others may be the only successful option. There is no right answer.

    • #52649

      Emma , I agree with all you have written.

      It took me a decade to reach the stage where I took the help I so desperately needed – I was on the brink of ruin- another few weeks and things would have become irreversible financially.

      I ask myself now why I waited so long and I guess I had to teach my own personal rock bottom.

      For the record will power and sheer confidence only ever let me down – I will have to rely on barriers for the rest of my life but I also have had a huge amount of professional help which has really helped me overcome the urges to gamble. I no longer have days where it is a huge struggle for me. I have had months of professional support (6 months to date) and this is ongoing. 

      We each need to find our own pathway – I guess I just want to save others the pain I went through for so many years – but all of the above excuses I am guilty of myself andI can only write from my own experience . I had so many if and buts and felt so sorry for myself and begged God to take the addiction away ( when I wasn’t praying for a win or money to survive).

      I do  know that all those I am stayed in touch from the women’s residential are still gamble free.

      I have no hesitation in recommending such treatment. I recommend to anyone who is struggling – get help from an addiction specialist- it could  save yeara of pain and years of debt.

    • #52650

      Today I am due to meet some work colleagues for lunch. It should be fun. In the past I found myself run ragged keeping up to friends. Nowadays I am careful to balance this side of my life too.

      Strangely since stopping gambling I find my desire to drink alcohol has great diminished. I find myself wondering if this was another escape for me in the past and if the therapy I have had had somehow helped with this too?

      That’s about it – another glorious day with a spoilt, annoying (but much loved) dog and my little family.

    • #52651

      I was going to continue the discussion above, but I think you’ve said everything important.

      While recovery happens in the background, have a wonderful day with friends and family!

    • #52652

      Thank you Emma
      I read on your thread that you are doing really well – I am so pleased for you.

      In two weeks I will be six months gamble free – when I was on the residential no matter how much they said we would stop I kept thinking I will be the one who won’t . I didn’t think I had it in me to stop after trying for such a long time .
      …And yet here I am.

      I notice recently that I find myself having fleeting thoughts about doing the lottery – I know the addiction well enough to know that this is its way in. The lottery has never been a problem for me but has always paved the way for a return to slots. I guess this is what they meant when they told us awareness is super important .

      So I am not fighting urges to gamble in slot machines – I am challenging more frequent fleeting urges to gamble on the lottery.

    • #52653

      Life is good this morning if a little overwhelming .

      I really need to work on my tendency to procrastinate about almost everything .

      It leads to feeling overwhelmed as all the little tasks build up .

      I guess it’s one small step at a time and I need to apply the same awareness to thoughts f procrastination as I do to gambling thoughts.

      Time for another list – definition of madness – doing the same thing over and Over again and expecting a different result.
      What can I do instead of a priority list ?

    • #52654
      Dark Energy

      i beleive the below link can help you regarding procrastination, it heled me.

    • #52655

      Make it a small, achievable list, don’t set yourself up to fail by cramming too much on it. Then you will get it done, feel good about it and make another list 🙂

    • #52656

      I keep meaning to write a post about procrastination. I’ll get around to it, one of these days …

    • #52657

      Thank you Charles, Darkenergy and Steev.
      Those posts have been most helpful and I’m sure ur next one will be Steev whenever you get around to it …(lol).

      Today I am 25 weeks gamble free- 175 days – a week off six months .
      Life continues to throw stuff at me- some good, some not so good. I am praying for a miracle for a sibling to survive a horrible diagnosis .
      Whatever life throws my way it is so much better to be able to deal with it without the colossal stress of gambling in my life .
      I am even in a position now where I have my emergency fund set up so unpredictable financial pressures won’t send me running back to gambling. I knew it was important to get this money behind me before tackling debts.

      Life is life – but it’s so much more manageable when we are gamble free.

    • #52658
      Dark Energy

      congratulations i-did-it. for the 25 weeks well done.

      i am sorry for what you are passing through, and i am totally agree with what you wrote in your post.

      the life is tough enough without gambling and no need to make it more difficult by gambling.

      keep strong,

      hope you all the best

    • #52659

      These days I am struggling to think of stuff to post about- experience tells me that stopping posting was often a signal that relapse wasn’t too far away.

      I can hear that little voice creeping in “the lottery won’t hurt” or “maybe now you could get one of those wins of the past and actually hold onto it”.

      The voice is the same – the words are the same – but my awareness is different. I know this is a sneaky addiction which will tell me anything to get me to gamble that first £10.
      I also know after that first £10 I will be lost again.

      My finances continue to improve – my general health and mental wellbeing continue to improve.
      Why would I throw it all away to watch reels spin, filled with a mixture of dread and hope, knowing deep down that I am facing pure misery and shame despite the temporary reprieves the occasional wins bring?

      Why would I ?
      I won’t !

    • #52660

      You are mindful of all off these thoughts that puts you in that state where hope is gone. 

      Keep up the constant process of recovery and self healing you are going to be stronger each day. Allow positive thoughts to empower your as you feel the greatest of good health. 

      Embrace the good feeling and emotions you are human after all. 

      But only allow positive energy to flow through you

      Peace love and blessings 

      I wish you well

    • #52661

      It sounds like you are getting into that period where you feel the normal of “not gambling” is somehow “boring” and your brain is craving for the “excitement” of the highs and lows of bing in action.  I know when I slipped in the past – it was due to my behaviour telling me that I can be a “normal” gambler – and that the odd play on the machines once in a while wouldn’t do me any harm.

      It never stopped at the “odd play” though – and even after a single session I was thinking about where I can get more money from, how can I maximise my payouts, when will I be able to get back on, my mind churning over and over.  Yes I was no longer bored – but I was now suffering from those worry thoughts that took lots of work to put behind me.

      I had to embrace the “boring” and see it as peace and contentment instead, watching for and delighting in the subtle, simple things in life that I missed when I was caught up in gambling action. 

      I am sure you will hold firm and not give in to the gambling thoughts – but if you need back up, just give people on here a shout.  Take good care of yourself.

    • #52662

      It sounds like you are getting into that period where you feel the normal of “not gambling” is somehow “boring” and your brain is craving for the “excitement” of the highs and lows of being in action.  I know when I slipped in the past – it was due to my behaviour telling me that I can be a “normal” gambler – and that the odd play on the machines once in a while wouldn’t do me any harm.

      It never stopped at the “odd play” though – and even after a single session I was thinking about where I can get more money from, how can I maximise my payouts, when will I be able to get back on, my mind churning over and over.  Yes I was no longer bored – but I was now suffering from those worry thoughts that took lots of work to put behind me.

      I had to embrace the “boring” and see it as peace and contentment instead, watching for and delighting in the subtle, simple things in life that I missed when I was caught up in gambling action. 

      I am sure you will hold firm and not give in to the gambling thoughts – but if you need back up, just give people on here a shout.  Take good care of yourself.

    • #52663

      Thank you Steev and Sean,
      Today I am finding it hard to feel those good emotions Sean.
      I am feeling completely overwhelmed.
      Because I have procrastinated again and now I am overwhelmed by the amount I have to squeeze into today.
      This is led to a short and poor sleep so that I am less able than usual to cope with the extra work.
      This has led to waking this morning full of anxiety.

      There could have been a simple solution – do some of the work yesterday.
      I think it is a type of anxiety that stops me from getting stuck into things like this. I think about what I have to do and too many things jump into my head at once and then I can’t focus.

      Last night as I anxiously watched rubbish tv, I realised that it is times like this that used to send me straight to gambling.
      I am glad I didn’t do that last night. Watching mindless TV is of course another escape activity but one which doesn’t leave me in a state of panic for the rest of the month.

      I lifted my spirits this morning by checking my bank account – it is healthy and that gives me a feeling of safety which helps with the panic anxiety.

      I think it is healthy enough for me to consider hiring a cleaner – that would help my life so much.

    • #52664

      Good day Jane 

      I have been in situations where I feel I need to fulfill everything into one day and knowing full well it takes time to do things even if it is small. At the moment I am dealing with separation of my son and me not being able to see him growing up as a father to a son because he will be moving to South Africa with his mom. Who at the moment is telling everyone even my friends and family that I am gambling all money and owing a lot of people monies. 

      I am so proud of what I am now being free and getting things done little by little. I feel motivated I am going out and meeting people and forming new friendship. 

      Tomorrow I going to the beach with a most wonderful person who stood by me through my ordeal of divorce. She really supported me and encouraged me to be grounded. 

      I am thankful and I know I said all that to say you are going to have a positive mindset and you will accomplished all that you need to in time. No need to rush everything you are going to get it done. 

      Take care and stay strong. 

      Ps I also watch a lot of late night TV but I watch good comedies. At the moment I am watching “Better Things” pretty interesting.

    • #52665

      Seanraj, I have been in the situation where people have spread rumours about me and whether they are true or untrue, rumours are hurtful.

      It is possibly your ex- wife’s way of trying to appear blameless for the marriage ending – but the fact that you are not gambling and getting your finances now sorted shows that you were most likely gambling to escape from a difficult situation. Keep strong and don’t let this person drag you down for another second of your life.

      I powered through an amazing amount of work yesterday- I have as much to do today. I work with such focus when I am under pressure – I wish I could work at a more consistent pace.

      I did something kinda cool yesterday – I decided to get a cleaner for my home for two hours a week – that will greatly reduce my stress and is one less thing for me to worry about. It will also give employment to someone who could possibly do with an extra few quid – win win ! Two hours is less than a small deposit on the online slots.

      Now for the huge initial tidy up before the cleaner arrives…

    • #52666

      I seem to have a new motivation – in my work and in my home.

      My home is becoming organised and I am starting to see a way forward. Interestingly, while I couldn’t be compared to any of those shows about hoarding – I often had difficulty letting go of things like a horrible unused sugar bowl my mum had bought for me at a car boot sale. That need to treasure unimportant things is gone .

      I also found it hard to let go of gifts my deceased dad bought for me- they are stuffed away somewhere and I realise that I have never needed to take out a single item to remember the gentle giant who was my Daddy.
      His face, his hands, his walk, his mannerisms, his laugh … everything about him is imprinted on my brain forever – and tossing a fancy pen or rug he gifted to me cannot change that.
      I guess my brain is healing and I am starting to think logically.

      I also now know that I can toss tatty clothes and cushions and that there will always be money for new, fresh ones.

      I’m loving my new life .

    • #52667

      The house clearing went a little over board .
      I threw a disrespectful in-law out of my house. It wasn’t done politely. In the past I would have been so worried about it. Today I feel I have got rid of another negative from my life. My home is my sanctuary and no one has the right to come into it and cause upset.
      I keep waiting for the guilt and shame to come but maybe after my intensive counselling I have started to value myself enough to stand by my decision – hasty and angry though it was. Maybe the anger was for all the times in the early years this person succeeded in causing strife in my marriage and upset inside me.
      It’s done. It’s dusted. Clear message – if you come to my home, treat me with respect !

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