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Hi Paul,
Well done on coming here to try to manage this evil addiction we call gambling.  You have been through the wringer in the last 10 years, no wonder you are looking for an escape.  I have a couple of questions i would like you to answer.  Firstly, have you sought any counselling in regards to 9/11 and Katrina?  It seems to me that these are major events in your life that maybe have not been dealt with.
Your family in France, are you in contact with them?  It seems that you have a lot of loose ends that are playing on your mind and these are obvious triggers in reading your post.  I would like to know a little more about them, have they been to the US since you arrived there, are you planning to divorce?
I know i seem nosy, but there are a lot of triggers that are popping up in my head while reading your post.  Mentally, the best way we can fight the urges, is to work out what is triggering them and try to manage them in a different way.  There are also many physical barriers you can put in place to help.  Can you give over your finances to a trusted family member or friend?  Does anyone know of your current situation?  Another barrier is self exclusion.  This was instrumental for me.  I self excluded from every venue in my region. 
Paul, there are things you can do to help deter us when we get the urge.  I am 63 days clean today, something that i would never in my wildest dreams thought possible.  The barriers we put up are the most important thing at the start.  If you have barriers, then you can work on the rest. 
Yes, we have to find the strength to get through the days when we really want to gamble, but you are not alone in this, there are so many wonderful people here to support you.  We have all been there, on day 1, its not without its ups and downs, but when your head clears after a few days not gambling, you just may see things in a different light.
I wish you all the best, keep reading and posting. I find this keeps my urges at bay, it just might help you too.
Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xx
 Fighting the good fight…One day at a time