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    • #28804
      Fritz
      Участник

      I have gambled off and on for many years, but for me it really started getting bad after a trip to Vegas in 2005. Problem was, I won $5000 playing blackjack one night. I could not lose. I went home with all of the money and it completely warped my perception. It got progressively worse, leading to some massive losses at on-line casinos, and local casinos too. I was making good money, working hard, so what’s the problem with playing and letting off a little steam now and then, right? Then I made a large sum of money selling a house in 2007. I began trading stocks, and thinking I was «investing». It really turned into an obsession, checking stock tickers many times a day. Then one day in April 2010 I was on vacation with my family when the news hit that the stock I «invested» in had dropped by over 50% in a single day. I was numb for the rest of that trip. From then on, I was desperate to find a way to get that money back, which led to risky bets on short term options, which of course evaporated before my eyes. The entire amount, enough to buy a house! Gone. Forever.

      I went to my first GA meeting on 1/11/11. I went for a couple of months and thought, «hey, this is nice, I feel much better!» and began not going. This began a cycle of relapse, go to some meetings, feel better, stop going to meetings, relapse. I wanted my freedom back, I wanted my credit cards back, (I am different, I have control now!) so after about 9 months gambling free, my wife relented and gave the cards back. Huge mistake! I promptly took several advances and ran my card up. Sneak out to the casino, have a few drinks, act like a big shot, have a few more drinks, act like an ass, lose the rest of the money, go home and cry and think about suicide. Such a vicious cycle, and for me, somehow my memory is just too short, I get overconfident, I talk myself into not needing the meetings anymore because things are «fine».

      My last bet was 2/18/15. I need to stay in GA, I need to keep working the steps, I need to remember the PAIN. I can’t make sense of any of it, really. I think at least for now, I need to just focus on recovery, writing, reading, thinking about each of the 12 steps. I just have no faith right now that I won’t fall right into the same trap. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

    • #28805
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Hi Fritz,

      I know exactly what you say. I am in the same boat. Less money, but the same emotional effects. This site is brilliant. Use the chat function with some of the staff if you have the time, they are great. I have just quit again after a relapse which took hold of me more violently than ever before. In 2 weeks it escalated to consuming all my time — which means my business is now in a precarious state and I have several dealines I have to meet which are now upon me which, if I hadn’t gambled 2 weeks ago, would not be to immediate.

      I hae given in to the fact I cannot gamble at all — this morning I thought about how I would feel if I started playing poker again and I know understand the merry go round. It will never be different. IN time the thoughts of playing will fade, which means I need to be ultra vigilant.

      You can do it this time. Remember, just like Bill Murray, you have to take it one day at a time. And that day will build until release.

      Good luck,

      M

    • #28806
      Dunc
      Хранитель

      <

      Hello Fritz and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

      Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

      Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

      And on that note….

      I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂

      Take care

      The Gambling Therapy Team


      PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
      privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    • #28807
      jansdad
      Участник

      I had a day, not long ago when I wanted to gamble just for the sake of it. I explained to myself: no, I cannot win long term; no, I cannot win even short term because I’m a compulsive gambler and will just lose; yes, it will bring misery and regret; yes, I will hate myself
      And then I asked myself do I still want to gamble? And the answer was resounding YESSSSS!!!

      I knew I could only get $200 maybe $300 online, I knew I would lose that money 100% and I was fine with it. I knew that money would last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours and I was ok with it. It was worth it — losing $300 was worth it. That’s how I felt.

      And if it wasn’t for this forum I would have gambled that day and on many other days and I would go to my old ways. But somehow, miraculously I found the strength to come here and read posts and the urge subsided. I’ve been clean for 62 days now and on at least ten different occasions I came very, very close to gambling.

      Gambling is one scary addiction. The more I learn about it the scarier it gets. It has slick ways of messing with out mind.

    • #28808
      charles
      Модератор

      Hi Fritz and welcome to the site.

      If we are here or at GA then we couldn’t stop on our own, we need to use support to do so.

      The trick is to then keep using that support to maintain recovery.

      It sounds like GA helps you stop, this time keep getting to meetings. Posting here as well will make you stronger still and you will always be able to read your own words as a reminder of that pain.

      A great first post, keep posting.

    • #28809
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for the encouragement, it really helps and I appreciate it very much. Better days are ahead for both of us if we work at it every single day. All the best to you.

    • #28810
      Fritz
      Участник

      Your words hit home with me. Thank you for replying. The insanity and complete lack of logic baffles me endlessly. I am an engineer and yes I do like order and logic just as the stereotype goes. I want to be able to get to the bottom of things and understand why, so I can solve the problem, by myself. Gambling just doesn’t work that way. I need to be able to accept that I cannot solve this problem, only faith in my higher power and with help from others can I recover. I will always be a compulsive gambler, FOREVER. So far I think that has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me. Accept it, have faith that my higher power will deliver me for today, and today only. Don’t look back and don’t look too far forward.

    • #28811
      Fritz
      Участник

      I have a long long road ahead to get well, and currently I am in a very low place emotionally, and physically. I have made it 4 days, last bet was 2/18/2015. But that’s not all. I have made an inventory of all of the negative, self destructive behaviors and it is quite a lengthy list, and at the moment seems like a mountain of problems. Here goes: gambling, alcohol, marijuana, video games, checking stock quotes, biting my finger nails and skin on my fingers, depression, anxiety. Yes, I am a mess.

      The good news is that on my last binge I knew I would be found out quickly, and so I promptly admitted to my family that I had relapsed. I have found that although extremely painful, it provides some measure of relief that I am not continuing a lie, and it helps me to start fresh. When I lie and hide things, I feel more anxious and depressed. When I share my problems and ask for help, these conditions lessen.

      So this time, not only did I stop my gambling on 2/18, I stopped marijuana, alcohol, video games, fantasy sports and checking stock quotes.

      I saw a therapist yesterday, and laid all of this out there for her to hear. It took a bit of courage, as in all my time I have never been able to admit all of these defects. I am convinced now that fully admitting all of my problems and recognizing that I can’t tackle them alone. I know that these behaviors either cause or exacerbate the anxiety. How I would like to be truly relaxed and comfortable in my own skin!

      I also spoke with my older sister yesterday about what has happened and she revealed she also suffers from anxiety and depression, but she has both well under control with help from her doctor and proper medication. It was great hearing her advice on tackling these issues head on, and not being ashamed of taking medications. (I have considered medications a crutch and have resisted somewhat).

      Due to the lack of marijuana in my system, I have not had any sleep the last two nights, and feel exhausted. This is going to be rough but I have to get through this and carry on!

      It is helpful to me that I have 2 kids and a wife that depend on me, love me (defects and all), and want to help me get better. If I didn’t have them, I am quite sure I would have taken my own life by now.

      I am looking forward to the time when I am more focused on my positive replacement activities, rather than on the troubles and hardships of my addictions, I guess that is a ways off yet but from reading other stories and hearing GA veterans tell their stories, I do know that it is possible and that gives me hope.

    • #28812
      p
      Участник

      Well done. Four days is great. Glad you are using the support available. Whatever works is my motto. Read up, go to meetings, there is counselling, keep coming here, get busy in other areas, I love it when I hear people grabbing on to all sorts of help, it gives you a better chance than one thing only.. Everyone’s different. For me a combination of all things, counselling, ga, here, reading , keeping busy, delaying urges, have been the best thing for me, but it’s taken me years and years to find my footing. I don’t like to appear to lecture to people but I do have a lot of experience over the years of what has and hasn’t worked for me… Keep going, don’t gamble today..

      P

    • #28813
      Fritz
      Участник

      It means a lot to me to have your support. I am dealing with a lot of problems right now and encouraging words like yours strengthen me greatly.

    • #28814
      Fritz
      Участник

      I have read an amazing book called «a spiritual renegade’s guide to the good life». The author is Lama Marut. I highly recommend it! There are tons of great insights in this book, but the basic premise is that if you want to be happy, you have to help others. Helping others gives your life purpose, and gets you out of your own head. I know that when I am thinking about me, I tend to focus on the negatives- what I could have or should have done, regret, remorse, depression, and on it goes. Then I don’t feel like doing anything, and just stay perpetually gloomy. When I say to myself, what can I do for my wife today? What can I do for my kids today? My coworkers, other relatives, etc… I get ideas about things that may make their lives a little easier, better, lighten their load a little. It helps to keep me busy, helps me get the focus off of my old self, and it strengthens my relationships. I get more smiles. I get more hugs. All the good stuff.

      I have thought a lot about why I am here on this planet, and I now understand it isn’t to collect things or money, it isn’t a race, it isn’t a contest. It’s not about becoming a CEO. My real purpose is to help others. Helpers don’t complain, they don’t bemoan, they don’t wallow in self pity. Everyone has troubles, everyone has issues. I am not special in that regard at all.

      How do I want to be remembered? I know that I am a compulsive gambler, and that is not a good thing, but in the end if I continue to be a helper, the people around me won’t remember that. They will remember a kind and caring man.

    • #28815
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Fritz, you sound so mature in your last post. I think that is where I want to be, but I can’t hurry it. I think I am still in grief about what I have done, what I have lost. I have to accept I am a compulsive gambler, which means that as soon as I bet once, I’ll never stop. So I never want to start again.

      I want a satisfying,, productive life. I am to shift my expectation to something more mature and realistic. I have to accept who I am and what I can be, without trying to force it on myself or on others.

      Fritz, you are doing so well, please keep posting because your positive progress makes me realise I can do it too.

    • #28816
      kpat
      Участник

      What a wonderful way to kick start a new life. Being a helper is what we should all strive to be. To put others before ourselves……if we really did that, we would never gamble. How could anyone not think of someone who could use the money better than the casino or bookie? There are so many people hurting or starving, how could I not find something better to do than risk the funds that might feed someone?
      Wow, your post made me remember a time when I was seeking help to stop. I looked up why gambling is wrong. I remember these words. Because the house always wins, when you gamble, you have not shown love to your neighbor. Your neighbors (many, many of our neighbors) had to lose for those very few who do win, to ever win at all. So basically if we win, we have taken that win right out of the pockets of all our neighbors.
      Thank you for this lovely reminder, our purpose is to help, not cause harm in this life. I am NOW a Fritz fan for sure:)

    • #28817
      Fritz
      Участник

      I was surfing around here the other day and found a reference to a gambling cessation program called the Easy Way. Not wanting to leave any stone unturned in my quest to be gambling free, I grabbed a copy of the The Easy Way to Stop Gambling by Allen Carr and read it over the weekend.

      Something in this book really struck a chord with me. After reading it cover to cover, I now believe strongly and without a doubt that I will never gamble again. Sounds pretty naive, right?

      I am sure many of you have tried this book and this method? I am curious how you feel about it, has it worked for you? Do you think it is a load of crap? Funny that on the major book purchasing website that I frequent, I was the first person to ever review this book. Strange. However there were many, many reviews of the same book that is adapted to smoking cessation. Apparently there are millions of people out there that have used it successfully to stop smoking and also other compulsive behavior issues.

      Anyway, I wanted to thank the person that posted about this book but I can’t find the post anymore. So if it was you, thanks! For those that haven’t tried it, you may want to!

      Cheers!

    • #28818
      Fritz
      Участник

      Sounds like you are still going through some really tough times. I sincerely hope you can realize what a great thing you are doing for yourself and your family by making it through one more day gambling free. That alone should be something to smile about 🙂

    • #28819
      Fritz
      Участник

      Until you put it that way, I never really thought about how in a sense, we really are taking from the other losing gamblers if we win. Many must lose for the few to win. That is a sobering thought. Thanks for the insight.

    • #28820
      JohnNobody
      Участник

      Hi Fritz you wrote
      «act like a big shot, have a few more drinks, act like an ass, lose the rest of the money, go home and cry and think about suicide»

      This I fully understand and it is awful. Been at that point so many times I have lost count! You quit before and can quit again … just this time make it permanent. Keeping going to the GA meetings, get as many blocks in place. Carry NO money. Have NO access to cards. Wear your addiction openly on your sleeve. Hide it from no one. Make yourself fully accountable. This is the hard part …. the early days but your here. Keep posting my friend! And welcome to GT 🙂

    • #28821
      jansdad
      Участник

      The Easy Way by Allen Carr is a great book. I read it 3 times and am in the process of reading it for the 4th time now.
      I mean I don’t like the pep talk and that solemn promise crap, but other than that the book reveals gambling for what it really is.
      It also let’s you get a different perspective on the whole thing, a different mindset.

      But the book in itself doesn’t work magic. No book does I think. At least not for the vast majority of gamblers.

      I thought I had it down so cool after not gambling for 60 days only to relapse big on the 63rd day. I wasn’t getting complacent or anything, I knew the danger is out there, I didn’t lower my guard, i was still coming here almost every day and visited support groups a couple of times a week, but it still hit me. I went onto a gambling spree and lost what I would normally have lost had I been gambling for 2 months.

      In other words, the book is great, but it’s not enough. It’s probably like ‘helping others’ that you mentioned. No doubt great in the beginning, but after a while, chance are it no longer does the trick .

      One other thing, I felt dozens, maybe even hundreds of times in my life absolutely, positively certain, no doubt whatsoever, that I WILL NEVER GAMBLE again. Sometimes I would gamble in matter of minutes. I’m not exaggerating. After a huge loss i would solemnly promise myself I would not gamble again and I would be absolutely certain I wouldn’t. Then I’d get a notification that a friend logged online, I would ask him for money, he would send me the money and off i went.

      You have to find out what works for you. I know coming here helps me. Helping others, coming here, exercising, growing flowers, teaching your kids chess etc might work for you.

      But as p said it probably takes years to fine-tune it…

      Also, you should take everything I say with a grain of salt. I’m the asshole at day #0

    • #28822
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know your experience with Easy Way. I appreciate it a lot. No need to berate and beat yourself up, it is not helpful to recovery, right? 🙂 But at day #0 I totally understand and empathize with you.

      And I know it is marketing when they say they have helped millions of people quit with a 90% success rate at 90 days. Lots of people make it 90 days and go right back to it, I’d be more interested in their success rate at 1 year or more. I also agree with the shotgun approach, try many things, something may work, and some others may not. I also have had the «I will never do this again» mindset, with tons of confidence, only to slip again.

    • #28823
      Fritz
      Участник

      to remind myself how it is. How it really is. Thank you for your advice, and slowly but surely I am making this as transparent as I can. Hiding things is basically lying to myself. The more honest I am with myself, the less stress I feel, the more relaxed I can be, and maybe that helps. Lying to myself helps me justify continuing «the game».

      For example, I began «hoarding money» before my last gambling binge. I saved some of the allowance cash I get from my wife, which I usually use for lunches and coffee and sundries, and squirreled it away. Then I received a couple of checks in the mail that were «new money». One was a refund from an overpayment by the insurance company. Another was a rebate check. They should have been immediately turned over to my wife. I justified cashing them because they were a bonus, with full intent on gambling with the money. My thought process looked at the situation as a free opportunity. Nothing to lose really, since we hadn’t planned on receiving the money, and what harm could there be in gambling with money we weren’t supposed to be getting in the first place? FLAWED THINKING. The $600 that all of this added up to was gambled away quickly, followed by 3 cash advances on my credit card totaling $2100! It is a very slippery slope.

    • #28824
      Fritz
      Участник

      One day at a time, just for today, I’m sure there are other similar catch phrases, but the point is you need to begin each day with the idea that every day is day 1, right? You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, and say to yourself, I’m a non-gambler today. The positive form of Groundhog Day.

      You search out those relapse ideas, like starting to squirrel money away, or hanging onto checks that should be going to your spouse for deposit, and act on them, immediately. Tell someone what is going through your head. Tell them you are afraid you may relapse. My problem with relapse has always been the inability to call someone, to tell someone, to reveal the plan that is hatching in my brain. If I could only find the courage to make that contact with another human, at that critical moment, I would not relapse.

      My problem has always been complacency. I get very comfortable with life, feeling really good after a few weeks or a few months, then I get the itch, and I cave in to it without making a call. That’s why I need to think about my recovery every morning, and really search out any of those itches, and nip it in the bud before it takes root as an idea, a plan to gamble. Being brutally honest with myself.

      For me, once I have a plan to gamble, it’s almost like I feel as though I have already committed the act, and I begin telling myself there is no turning back now. I will from now on, each morning, do a self check- do I have an itch developing into an idea? even maybe? That’s the time I make the call to a friend, not just after I have gambled and have already fallen apart and failed.

    • #28825
      Fritz
      Участник

      I appreciate the compliment, but I am not mature at all. I talk the talk but have I been able to walk the walk? Sometimes, but I have failed miserably many times as well. But hey, you have to have goals, and you have to stay positive, and you have to keep trying!

    • #28826
      Fritz
      Участник

      I just have all these ideas at this point in my recovery, and I feel a need to get them out. Thank you to those that have created and maintain this great website, it is helping me a lot already.

      I read an article in the newspaper the other day about a guy with terminal cancer. He was an older gentleman, so he could at least take solace in the fact that he spent many good years on this earth and was fairly satisfied. He had about 6 months to live.

      He discussed how his mindset had changed with the news. He no longer watched the news, because it was a waste of his precious time. He also no longer read about nor debated with people about climate change, because he reckoned that problems like that were for the younger generations to sort out. Again, he really didn’t have the time.

      What he made time for was the things he truly cherished, which were his writing, (he’s an author), and spending more time on his relationships with friends and family. His priorities shifted.

      This made me think, hey I’m «terminal»! Why shouldn’t I try and live as though I don’t have much time? If I knew I was checking out in 6 months or a year, would money really even matter anymore? No, I don’t think so. Would «catching up to my losses and getting even» matter? No. Would obsessing with past failures be of concern? Maybe not obsessing, but I would want to think about and correct what I could. In fact, maybe I would be that much more open about trying to make amends and right any wrongs that I could.

      I know gambling is a fools errand, but somehow it doesn’t register with me as a compulsive gambler all the time. Maybe living each day like it’s your last is a little overdramatic, but the idea is sound. I will be a happier person if I focus on what is most important, and discard the rest.

    • #28827
      Fritz
      Участник

      Had a dream I won $543,000 on a single slot pull last night. What a mean trick my brain played on me with that one. Woke up elated, then hopes dashed when I realized that it wasn’t real. I am pretty sure my mind decided that was my total loss up to this point, a get back to even point. Needless to say I didn’t get any sleep after that.

      On self exclusion, I looked up the laws in my area, and what I found was appalling. Self exclusion protects the casino, not the player. All it says is that the casino can charge me with trespassing if they choose, and can confiscate any winnings if they choose. When I came back to a casino I had earlier self excluded from, I expected them to refuse service to me if they found out who I was. They didn’t. I can only imagine the rage i would have felt if I had won a large jackpot and then been told the win is invalid due to the self exclusion agreement I signed. My advice, read any self exclusion you sign very carefully, just as you would with any other agreement.

    • #28828
      jansdad
      Участник

      «For me, once I have a plan to gamble, it’s almost like I feel as though I have already committed the act, and I begin telling myself there is no turning back now.»

      Yep, the same here. It was crazy how often and how fast a simple single thought of gambling would snowball into major major financial losses.

    • #28829
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am a fan of Mr. Money Mustache. If you have never heard of him, he is a blogger that blogs about financial independence and early retirement and a bunch of other cool stuff. I know, I know, gambling therapy.org is a site dedicated to helping compulsive gamblers, not early retirement. In fact, compulsive gamblers for the most part would laugh and scoff at me for even mentioning the word «retirement». Mountains of debt, are you kidding me? Retirement? Never happen in my lifetime! Get real they would say.

      This may seem off topic, but I don’t think it’s off topic at all. Here’s why.

      Compulsive gambling often is rooted in unhappiness, fear, and wanting to hide from problems. It generates intensely negative feelings. It generates hopelessness. It makes me feel like a complete failure. It traps me in a death spiral. It generates pessimism about me and my future. It forces me to think about horrible things I have done in my past. Negative to the max!

      Training myself in optimism is one way to break the negative spell that gambling has cast on me. But how do I become optimistic? I am not an optimistic person! I need to work at it! As an example, if I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, I need to mentally pause, and reverse that thought. The more I am able to do this, the happier I will become. The happier I am, the better my life will seem, and the chances of me relapsing decrease. Sometimes it feels a little artificial, but that’s because I am not used to it. I have negative self talk all the time. I beat myself up, tell myself I can’t do it, etc.

      Optimism is very hard to create when I am struggling with my gambling addiction. I need more of it, I know that for sure. It’s hard to set goals and begin doing the things to reach them if I am down, depressed and pessimistic. I get into ruts, and I can’t get out. And I think that human nature tends to lean towards pessimism rather than optimism. Therefore, I really need to practice and intentionally create optimism in my own life in order to become happier, it doesn’t just happen on its own.

      If you have the inclination or curiosity, search up outrageous optimism and Mr. Money Mustache, and you will see a blog post that discusses the benefits of outrageous optimism, and offers some advice on how to implement it in your life. (and no I am not paid by him or affiliated with him in any way, I don’t even know him) I just happen to believe that what he says has a lot of merit and would help me if I used it more.

      He has another blog post on Stoicism that is great. Teaches us how much more we have that we think we do, and how that can change how we view the world.

      Anyway, I just finished up day 9, and I am also on day 9 of no alcohol and no marijuana. This is a tough time for me due to lack of sleep. I know that if I can make it through today, I have a shot at another day, and as each day passes, my sleep should start to improve. I am grateful. I have so much even though I have lost so much. What is past is beyond my control, so I’m not going to worry about it now. I am going to try to build optimism into my daily thinking! Cheers everyone and stay gambling free for another day!

    • #28830
      Аноним
      Гость

      Hello Fritz have just read through this whole thread and am pleased to see you are getting through each day as it comes.

      I too have read the Easy way book, and I must admit that since I read it I havn’t had a single urge to gamble. I hadn’t gambled for a few months before I did read it but I did come close to on one occasion. I think it would be a good idea for you to read it again after a few weeks or months of being gambling free. I’m sure that our thought process is heavily distorted in the first couple of weeks following a gambling spree/binge/episode.

      Another book that I think you might find helpful is No Big Deal by John Coates. He’s a recovering addict of 15 years.

      I also think that where ever we seek support, ( be it here, GA, doctors, hypnotists, counsellors or anywhere else), and then we return to gambling, it isn’t the support that dosn’t work its us as individuals.

      I think to live a good life without gambling, without the desire to gamble we have to change a hell of a lot, but it can be done. As individuals we are the ones who created our own gambling problems, (obviously not intentionally), I therefore think we have to be the masters of our problems demise. However its only common sense that we should strive to get as much support as possible along the way.

      «Just for today» and «One day at a time» are widely used clichés and catchphrases and for good reason too, they work!

      Take care.

      Geordie.

    • #28831
      jansdad
      Участник

      I love this site, there’s a lot of wisdom here. I’m not a very optimistic person either. As a matter of fact I often imagine very bad scenarios and I often have nightmares.

      I think there’s even a term in psychology for this condition it’s like we think that if we «predict» all bad things that could happen, they actually won’t happen. Which is crazy of course. God doesn’t play dice. Or rather dice don’t have memory. Or something along those lines 🙂

      But yes, being positive is important. My wife is a very positive person and I love her for that among many other things I love her for. I have learned and am still learning a lot from her.

      Kudos on day 9 Fritz. Jansdad = SQR(Fritz) today 😀

    • #28832
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am glad to say I have made it 10 days since my last relapse. I also am very happy that I am now starting to feel less anxious and more clear headed. I had one of the best work weeks I’ve had in the last two years. I accomplished all of my goals, and my boss was very happy with my work.

      Giving up so many things all at once is something I thought I could never do. So far I have done it. I feel more relaxed and able to take things as they come, rather than feeling the urge to drink, smoke weed or gamble. I am starting to learn that these vices that I used to ease the pain were very ironically causing a lot of pain, to me and my loved ones. Now that I realize that, it is becoming much easier to leave them behind.

      I used to have a very consistent pattern, when coming home from work, light the bong, inhale the smoke, and feel the false sense of relaxation hit me. The aaahhhh moment. Open a beer, and feel another sense of false relaxation. Repeat several times until bed time, at which time my brain was so muddled I usually didn’t get much productive sleep.

      On the gambling front, for me it is all about escapism. Since my wife and two teenagers know (all too well) that I am a gambling addict, it is a waiting game until everyone is away doing other things, then off to the casino I would run. Timing was critical to avoid getting caught. A lot of pressure to avoid having to lie, if I could just do my gambling and get home before anyone could question me on it.

      In the past, I would just tell my wife I was going out for a drink, which of course was a half truth because yes I was drinking all right, however I conveniently forgot to tell her I was drinking with a blackjack hand and some chips in front of me.

      I remember vividly one night when we had a family argument, and I headed out the door to go gamble. My wife and kids physically attempted to restrain me, and begged me to stay. I left anyway, with them crying and hoping I could find it in me to stay. What a graphic reminder of how easy it is for a compulsive gambler like myself to callously disregard the three people I love the most in this world. What a shit I feel like for doing such a despicable thing. It is good for me to recall those awful, embarrassing moments of my gambling addiction. Then of course later I would feel huge guilt and remorse, and complete confusion over what a monster I had become. I thought of myself as an honest, loving husband and father, but in the death grip of CG, I was neither.

      Anyway, off to bed and soon to start day 11, feeling calmer, and feeling very grateful that I am on the road to recovery! Today I choose not to gamble.

    • #28833
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for the reply Jansdad. Funny you mention your wife is a positive person. My wife is also. I have always admired the way she is able to turn any bad situation into a manageable situation. I guess opposites attract 🙂

    • #28834
      Fritz
      Участник

      A couple of quick notes while I am thinking about them. First off, riding the bus home from work yesterday, thinking how great I felt after an honest days work and a feeling of accomplishments, I suddenly felt a slight pang of fear. What happens when true hardship or loss comes? Will I be OK? I am fortunately in a time of life with relatively smooth sailing. In these times it is much easier to choose not to gamble. Fear of what might be suddenly struck.

      Then I remembered how important to push such thoughts out of my head immediately. So hard for me sometimes to be present in the present, without future fears or past regrets barging in to demand thought and energy. Which reminded me to just be grateful for today. I guess that’s why the serenity prayer is so important for recovery.

      Also, I read a piece from Russell Brand that was so insightful regarding his own recovery. He was recalling the moments after he had learned of his friend Amy Winehouse passing away. He immediately mapped out a way to score some smack and began driving. This is after 10 years of recovery up until that point. He ended up making a phone call, and he half wished his friend wouldn’t pick up so he could conveniently use. It was 4:00 AM at his friends location half a world away. Fortunately his friend picked up, and helped him through the rough patch. He didn’t use that day. Russell’s honesty in his writing and videos is extraordinary, and for a star of his stature it is rare I think to be so publicly open about addiction. He has progressed toward helping others through his own experience, which reinforces his commitment to recovery i think. I hope to do that as well some day.

    • #28835
      butchugly
      Участник

      I would have gave in. I can convince myself. Where did your strength come from…jansdad?
      I have never been able to talk myself out of it?

    • #28836
      Аноним
      Гость

      What a brilliant post you left on my thread. Thanks very much hope that it helps loads of people to make a good decision.

      All the best.

      Geordie.

    • #28837
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks Geordie, just trying to speak honestly and from the heart. Let’s keep up the good work and see where it takes us. 🙂

    • #28838
      Fritz
      Участник

      2 weeks tomorrow! Still no gambling, alcohol or marijuana either. Unfortunately still not much sleep, and occasional terrible nightmares. It seems as though the sleep disruption and nightmares are quite common side effects when quitting MJ. I have also had gambling dreams/nightmares at times, which can also be frightening.

      I am really looking forward to how my sleep will improve with more clean time in. How «normal» people sleep. I guess it’s not guaranteed that my sleep will improve, but it certainly can’t get worse.

      I am already noticing some reductions in feeling anxious and panicky. I believe that I have felt, for many years, that subconsciously that I needed to maintain these addictive behaviors to function at my best in social situations, and that I couldn’t handle those situations without them. That I didn’t «measure up» with others, and was afraid of failure. I am now realizing that the addictions make the social situations even harder to deal with, especially the MJ. In addition, these addictions just make me doubt myself and my own abilities much more. Which made me something that my friends, and especially my kids, didn’t really care for. That made me want to use more, and on and on. Funny how addictions can play with your head like that. Conversely, not using is making me feel more confident in myself, that I’m going to be just fine and in fact much better without my «old friends».

      So it’s feeling great to clear my head, get back to the real me. The more I think about it, there is a lot of truth in «the easy way» by Allen Carr. The addictions are playing me like a fiddle, making me believe that they will cure the exact ills that they create. Now that the fog is clearing a little, I can start to see that.

    • #28839
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Fritz,

      I love reading your posts. I see from them what I could be like in 2 weeks, and god knows I need to get my head clean.

      I love the way you describe the fog clearing. The real you. I realise now that the gambler me is not me.

      Keep posting, we love ya!

    • #28840
      monique
      Участник

      I have been catching up with your thread, Fritz and am so impressed by the way you can describe your experiences. You help yourself and help others, too.
      Best wishes,
      Monique

    • #28841
      Fritz
      Участник

      For three days this week and three more days next week I am at a training class in a city about 60 miles from my home. I have to drive past two casinos on the way there and the way back each day of the training. I’ve been checking my feelings as I drive past them to see if there is any urge or desire to stop for a quick gambling session on the way home. So far nothing of the sort, just driving right on past thinking how glad I feel not to be there losing more money. Maybe because my last relapse is still only 2+ weeks past and is still very fresh in my head. I still feel the sting of being out of control and the next day feeling distraught, hung over, not even knowing exactly how much I had lost. So humbling to come crashing down so hard so fast. I tend to have the most trouble when the bad experience has had a chance to fade out of my immediate memory for a while.

      Anyway, just glad to be gambling free another day, and glad I’m not feeling the temptations at all. But I am now trying to be more aware of when the danger may strike again so that I can be ready and preempt the attack by double reinforcing my defenses and safeguards. I am more determined than ever to never gamble again.

      Cheers fellow non-gamblers and soon to be non-gamblers!

    • #28842
      Fritz
      Участник

      This is from the EasyWay to Stop Drinking, but it is the exact same thing for me with gambling too.

      Talking about his attempt at stopping drinking using willpower alone:
      “But because I now understand drug addiction, I know that I would never have been free, no matter how long I’d hung on. The schizophrenia was still there. (he is referring not to actually being schizophrenic, but having the schizophrenic symptom of a failure to recognize what is real which is the delusion of gambling) I believed I was making a genuine sacrifice and that I couldn’t enjoy life without the drug. Time wasn’t altering that belief. On the contrary, it was ingraining it. I took the attitude that I’d rather have the shorter, sweeter life of the addict than the longer, more miserable alternative.»

      This summarizes my new understanding about gambling, (and also pot and alcohol for me) in one concise paragraph thanks to EasyWay. The belief that I have had for as long as I can remember, that when I stop gambling, (or using pot or alcohol in my case), that I am making a genuine sacrifice, which makes me believe that I am somehow missing out when I don’t allow myself to do these things. That is the lie of addiction. That is the evil little monster in my head arguing with my rational mind.

      It is not a sacrifice to stop my addictions! The only thing I am sacrificing by not doing these things is more pain. I need to reverse the thinking to what is correct, which is that I am missing out on life when these unneeded, unwanted intruders barge in and take over my life. I’m taking my life back now.

      I will be visiting some friends tomorrow night which is a monthly ritual I have. We usually «party» the first Saturday night of each month and have been doing this for years. This will be the first time in forever that I won’t be partaking in the pot and alcohol part of the party. I am hopeful I can watch the others do these drugs and feel great that I don’t need them to have fun anymore. Of course I am slightly apprehensive also. I have tried to use the willpower method to not uses at this party before, but it never worked. I got talked into (and talked myself into) using by my friends. I won’t be using the willpower method tomorrow and am hopeful the EasyWay will work.

    • #28843
      Fritz
      Участник

      A quote I saw on a sign at a local lumber / hardware store sign today that I thought was pretty good:

      Success is not final,
      Failure is not fatal,
      It is the courage to continue that counts.
      -Winston Churchill

      I think this quote is very good for the compulsive gambler to keep in mind when things aren’t going so well. Also good to remember when things are going well too!

      We need to remember that recovery is a process and we need to stay patient.

      Cheers!

    • #28844
      kpat
      Участник

      Great quote! How did the party turn out? Why is it so hard for «our friends» to be supportive when we want to change?
      Makes me think of things my Mom would say, «misery loves company», «you can tell the character of a man by the company he keeps». I know these are quotes from someone else, but she drilled these into my head when zi was a teenager. Oh and one last one, «when you lay down with dogs, you get fleas».
      Well done on driving past the casinos. Those places are all glitz and glam on the outside to hide the grim reality of their scheme.

    • #28845
      Fritz
      Участник

      The party was great! These are really good friends, so they were just glad to see me and reacted in a slightly surprised but positive way. I was worried that it may make them feel uncomfortable about their own drinking and smoking, but on the contrary, they did as they normally do and just had a good time! So I felt a bit relieved and very happy.

      Still no gambling nor any desire. I am now a big believer in the Easy Way. I am trying to decide whether to continue with GA meetings or not. It is a good safe place to discuss how you are feeling but at the same time some of it doesn’t fit well with Easy Way. I guess I will continue going for a while and see how it goes.

    • #28846
      Fritz
      Участник

      Gambling promises something in exchange for nothing.
      What gambling really delivers is nothing (less than nothing, actually) in exchange for something (a lot of things, actually).

      It’s an illusion, a lie and a fallacy. Gambling takes away the very thing that it promises to deliver. Just like all drugs. Empty promises, all of them. The promise of euphoria, happiness, and riches. The delivery of a hellish nightmare of despair, hopelessness and poverty.

      How on earth did I believe that over the long term I wouldn’t lose money? In fact, I had the arrogance and audacity to believe I could actually make money gambling. What a joke! Well, the joke was on me. I have been conned, over and over and over again. Next time I get another urge, I have to remember all of this, and also ask myself, what would I gain from another bet? What would be the point, really? Trying to prove something? To whom, myself? What would I be proving, that I am still an idiot? It’s all just a silly game inside my head, and I have no need or desire for that ever again.

      Just finishing up day 20, and things are going ok for me now. Sleep is still hard to come by but the nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat are subsiding. At least I am starting to see gambling for what it truly is.

    • #28847
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      YOu’re doing so well, you;ve seen the truth. I think for me I am still getting there. Today is day 7 for me, but I think the nightmare of recovery is still beginnig because I haven’t been honest and truthful with those around me.
      Well done, you are a beacon of life Fritz. Danke Shoen.

    • #28848
      Fritz
      Участник

      I believe that since I have taught myself through EasyWay that by not gambling I am not giving up something good or helpful, urges have disappeared. My problem with gambling was always that I thought something was being taken away from me, something good, therefore I wanted to go back and do it again and again. I thought I was being deprived of having the chance to make up for all of the prior losses with a big win. I was being deprived of the freedom to do as I choose.

      An analogy might be if as a kid I was offered a lollipop by a kind looking person once per week. I took the lollipop, and then ate it, enjoying the sweet flavor very much. Then the next day I got very sick but recovered the day after. I made no association between the lollipop and the sickness. A week later, I was offered another lollipop from the same kind looking person. Once again, I enjoyed it immensely, but got sick again the following day, and then recovered. I still made no association. My mom tells me I shouldn’t eat candy from strangers, but I do not listen. This pattern goes on for several weeks. I finally grow suspicious and go to the doctor. The doctor tells me that the lollipops are laced with poison, and if I continued eating them I will die. Each time I was offered the lollipop after learning of the poison, I flatly refused, knowing I wasn’t missing out on anything!

      Perhaps my problem with relapses has been caused by the idea that I am being deprived. The idea that I «like» gambling because it is «fun» is what I tell myself, and everyone around me is somehow stopping me from having this «fun». Therefore I must go gamble to show myself and others that I can and will do it and will not be deprived of my «fun». I now know that it’s all a head game that I play with myself. I am not being deprived of anything by not gambling. In fact, I am being deprived of a normal life by gambling. Kind of a Eureka! moment for me.

    • #28849
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Fritz, this is a fantastic analogy. Thank you for sharing. I think you have hit the nail on the head. My big regert right now is that I am quitting too late to save my business. I should have come on this site 1 year ago and quit then, and my life would be so diffferent. HOwever, I do wonder what my life will be like in 1 more year — time to start planning for the future instead of regertting the past methinks.

    • #28850
      Fritz
      Участник

      Hey Mav, you also hit the nail on the head about planning for the future and not looking back. It takes a lot of work for us former gamblers to dig our way out of the holes we have dug ourselves into, but we must do it. We must get back on our feet and figure out how to make a way for ourselves, a positive way that is honest and good. No more pipe dreams of instant riches. Real goals that we pursue with hard work. We come clean. We think of others and do for others with our actions. We show our loved ones we care by doing the right thing, step by step regaining and rebuilding trust. The trust comes slowly, much too slowly for us impatient souls sometimes. We must remain calm though, and remember what we have done. Remember the pain, remember what we have put our families through. It takes time to heal all of the hurt we caused.

      We have sold ourselves short in our gambling past. Maybe lost confidence. Telling ourselves we couldn’t do it, that the only way out was to hide our problems, then go out and risk it all and hope for the best. We all know how that story ends. But now we realize that we can do it, if we apply ourselves, be honest and believe in ourselves. One step at a time, we set goals, small ones at first and then build from there.

      Sometimes the road back seems too daunting, too much to overcome. Maybe that is why we falter and relapse sometimes. The false hope of instant gratification creeps back into our minds, fooling us one more time. The road seems too long, too hard, so let’s give gambling just one more try, we say. Maybe this is finally my lucky day. But alas, it is not. Just another hollow, empty promise, and another humiliating day zero. Another total waste of time and money.

      Well, I am done with day zero. I will never go back, and never look back. I have many more important things to do, and new dreams to fulfill. Maybe it is because I will be 50 years old this year. Yeah, pretty much over the hill! Hahaha. I am starting to think about how short life really is. This is it! I have to seize each day and really live.

      “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …”
      ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    • #28851
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      So many wise words Fritz that we can all learn from. I think your story has inspired me great, and many stories on these blogs, reminding me why I too want to remain clean. The truth I understand now is that gambling is a waste of time. All it does it feed an addiction, it serves no other purpose for me. It is a drug, and in the same way that I quit other drugs, I am sure I can kick this one too.

      Thank you for your post, and thanks for the quote. It is wonderful.

    • #28852
      Аноним
      Гость

      Always great to read this thread fritz. I’m pleased that you have read the Easy Way book, it made great sense to me too, and I agree with your understanding of it.

      I know that ultimately though it’s us as individuals that have to make the right choices. I must admit though that the choices seem a lot more clear cut to me since I read it.

      How are you managing with the other things you mentioned you struggled with at the beginning of this thread; weed, video games, alcohol etc.?

      What you write is very inspiring to lots of us, I’m sure, so please keep it up.

      Geordie.

    • #28853
      Fritz
      Участник

      Regarding the other things that I have trouble with, namely weed, alcohol, biting fingers, video games and stocks, I am happy to say that they are all under control. No gambling, weed, alcohol, or finger abuse since Feb 17, so almost a month now. I do find myself still touching my finger nails a lot, so the itch for that hasn’t gone away. I have been able to catch it though and redirect my attention so far. I have seen the stock market averages on line or heard the averages over the radio a few times, but I haven’t actively searched out stock charts since Feb 17, although I must admit I have been tempted a few times. Same thing with the fingers, just a catch and a redirect before I start engaging in the activity. Last Saturday I played two video games with some friends socially, but that has been it. My Xbox has sat dormant for a month now.

      Interestingly enough, no interest in alcohol or weed anymore after reading EasyWay for Alcohol. There are many bottles of alcohol in my house, but I have no desire whatsoever to drink it! My wife still drinks occasionally, but it really doesn’t bother me a bit. So this is really great progress for me. Without these two drugs, I can think more clearly and have more energy.

      So overall I am really pleased with my progress to date. I find that these behaviors are related. They all relate to anxiety and the desire to relieve stress, I think. I am doing a few healthier things to relieve stress, such as walking, deep breathing, and meditation. I am still a beginner at meditation so I can only do it for a couple of minutes at a time, but I have heard that through practice it is possible to do it for longer and longer periods.

      I still grind my teeth at night, and I have now noticed that the area of my chest right below my sternum is often tight and tensed up. Likewise the top of my neck. Deep breathing has helped me notice this and work on releasing tension in these two areas. I still am working on learning how to relax. I am somewhat more relaxed, but I can see now how tense I have been for so many years, sometimes without even realizing it! I am really looking forward to learning what true relaxation feels like. I have deprived myself of this for so long I don’t even remember how it feels!

      So, really good progress so far, and much progress to look forward to. Thank you so much for asking and taking an interest, I hope all is well for you in your journey.

    • #28854
      Fritz
      Участник

      Been sick for a week now. Bad head and chest cold. More inability to sleep, now due the sickness, and not so much the cold turkey quitting of smoking pot. Still doing ok, trying to take care of myself. Nothing going on, just resting and trying to get well. Two more days makes a month, woohoo! The longer I stay gambling free, the happier I will be. Gambling will never solve any problem, only make it worse. Gotta keep drilling that into my head. Gambling isn’t fun for me, and hasn’t been for a long time. So if it won’t solve any problems, but will create new ones, and isn’t fun, why would I ever gamble again?

    • #28855
      Fritz
      Участник

      The thought occurred to me today that we do in fact have a great deal of control of our own destiny, we make the choice to gamble or to do some other activity. Yes it is a compulsion, and yes it is an addiction, but it is purely psychological. We can either choose to distance ourselves from our past gambling selves, by putting up blocks, having others manage our money, stop associating with gambling buddies, etc… or choose not to and allow the cycle to continue.

      We all know we have a limited amount of time left on this planet, starting from today. What will we do with that time? Shall we spend it miserably regretting past failures? Shall we spend it secretly planning our next bet? Shall we get back on the treadmill of darkness that is gambling? When we are in a gambling frame of mind, it is so difficult for us to shut out all of these dark thoughts.

      Or shall we set about doing what we can, however small, to make things better than they were yesterday? Every bit of work we do to make things a bit better for ourselves and our families is valuable and constructive and puts a bit more distance between us and what we were. Every plan or act of gambling is destructive and brings us back to what we were.

      It’s almost like a gravitational force. The gambling gravitational force gets weaker as we move toward other constructive things and as time goes by. Less gambling thoughts and urges. Less preoccupation and scheming. Less feelings of not caring about current job, family, responsibilities. Less feeling like this life is pointless. Less guilt and shame. But it takes time and a lot of effort.

      We have the power to make the right choice every day. Each gamble free day makes the choice a little bit easier.

    • #28856
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      This is a wonderful post, which I have cut and pasted and emailed to my wife. These are the thoughts I want to have myself, naturally, not forcing myself. They make sense. A life without gambling is a true life. Gambling sets off our head, our mind. It becomes an all encompassing set of thoughts. When we are not gambling, we are thinking of how to gamble. This takes our mind away from being in the present, with our families, friends, at work etc. Or we are thinking about losses, and how to overcome them, filled with regret and hate.

      I am done with that. Got to walk the dog now.

      Peace and love Fritz, keep posting.

    • #28857
      Fritz
      Участник

      Just wanted to say thanks to the community here and to those running this website for helping me along with my recovery. I have a month in now since my last bet and I feel a lot better. I agree with Vera though, I don’t put much credence in number of days gamble free. It’s more about moving in a positive direction and learning how to leave my gambling past behind. It’s more about improving myself as a person. I am working on listening to myself, and being honest with myself and my family. I am learning how to relax and be happy and content with how things are. It’s amazing how gambling can destroy your self worth, it really takes time to repair. So I am grateful that these things are coming back to me, despite my setback a month ago. Cheers everyone!

    • #28858
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Another first class post Fritz (is that your name, or the name of your dog. I vaguely remember you saying).

      You’ve moved on so far since you first posted, and I think for the first time I am recognising my faulty thinking. The next few days are crucial for me as I had a ‘win’ on the weekend. But as my wife says, how can it be a win when I lost so much — I am just slightly less down. That is the lie of the gambling addict.

      I am spending the day today with my family, to enjoy the moments with them, and then I am going to enjoy doing some work and putting in place solid plans to go forwards. The pills are taking effect and although the things I was worried and anxious about haven’t gone away I feel stronger in dealing with them.

      Have a great day, and 1 month is so awesome dude.

    • #28859
      waynes
      Участник

      People have the ability to control themselves, but they don’t always realise it. Addictions occur because people have allowed themselves to get out of control. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to bring himself back under control. He may get assistance with that from barriers and support services, but these things only work if the individual co-operates with them, and does not undermine them.

      In some of your other posts you’ve talked about a false sense of freedom that you have felt when gambling. Addictions are the polar opposite of freedom. Addictions are tyranny. You cannot be liberated through addiction but you can be liberated from addiction. When you are liberated from your addictions, you can experience and appreciate real freedom.

    • #28860
      Fritz
      Участник

      I still haven’t gambled, drank, smoked pot at all. It’s good. I am finding that when work is very stressful for me, like it is right now, I tend to get anxious. Duh, right? So I have been checking my breathing, and it is shallow, and my chest is all tense, which is not good. So I need to do some deep breathing, some light exercise, watch some comedy on tv, and do the things that truly get me in a relaxed state. That’s called listening to your body, and I am learning how to do it now.

      In the past, I would let this situation build up a lot, and actually make it worse by doing adrenaline inducing activities like video games. And of course drink and smoke to try and smother out those anxious feelings. And then, if I could get the chance I would escape and gamble with the false thought that it would erase the anxious feelings too. I know now that every last thing I thought gambling would help me with (reducing stress, give me a happy feeling, get to hang out with a bunch of «friends», get a thrill) all were false. Even the getting a thrill part. What I get from the gambling is a rush of adrenaline due to fear, after really thinking about it. If I had a huge bet out, and a big win or loss depended on the next card the dealer flipped over, my heart would race, because I was scared! It was only a relief if I won! Now that is a really demented and masochistic form of excitement! Gambling is a huge CAUSE of stress, not a relief of stress. Just a few examples of the complete perversion of truth that we are brainwashed to believe as gamblers.

      The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get about how much of a fool I was to ever believe that gambling is anything good! It’s all a load of crap, and I fell for it for sooooo long. Oh well, live and learn, and never again to gamble shall I go.

    • #28861
      vera
      Участник

      What a brilliant post , Fritz!
      Just what I needed to read right now. I’m sitting up in bed. Almost two am. The tightness in my chest is unreal. I’m sucking an Aspirin, fearing the worst . Trying to focus . Clammy and waiting for the Heavy Hand to drop! Saying My Act of Contrition even!
      And ALL BECAUSE OF A RECENTSEVERE GAMBLING LOSS!
      Fear is at the root of it for sure.
      The opposite to Fear is not Courage
      It is Love . I learned that years ago
      «Perfect Love casts out all fear»!
      Let’s commence by loving our selves.
      Let’s cut out the self-destruction.
      Gambling has me destroyed.
      I quit!
      I’ll try the deep breathing now!
      Thanks Fritz! You were a godsend just now.

    • #28862
      Fritz
      Участник

      We all are here for a reason, right? 🙂 I have had the same thing happen too, coming across a post that really helps me with what I am dealing with that particular moment. It’s great we are all here for each other, sharing experiences, through struggles and triumphs, and most of all help each other along toward another gamble free day and a brighter tomorrow!

    • #28863
      velvet
      Модератор

      ‘The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get about how much of a fool I was to ever believe that gambling is anything good! It’s all a load of crap, and I fell for it for sooooo long. Oh well, live and learn, and never again to gamble shall I go’.
      Hi Fritz
      Stop being pissed off with yourself, you have an addiction that you neither asked for nor wanted but you are now using that very addiction to support others in a way that you could not have done without it. This is almost certainly the greatest education you will ever have in your life, you have taken it by the scruff of its neck and you are using it – brilliant.
      All the effort that you are putting in to your battle with your demons is giving you greater clarity and increasing your confidence. I understand, only too well, that as an engineer with logic you want to get to the bottom of things and understand — but logic, reasoning and compulsive gambling do not belong in the same sentence, understanding the surrounding behaviour is more important and life-changing.
      It seems to me that your wife is supporting you in just the right way but if she should want to talk at any time she would be really welcome in the Friends and Family group. It is good for F&F to share their hopes too.
      As a non-CG I also come across posts that really help me with what I am dealing with at a particular moment. I came across such a post just now – thank you.
      Velvet

    • #28864
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thank you for the excellent reply. And I will extend your gracious offer to my wife, it may do her some good.

      After reading the text above that I wrote yesterday and that you quoted, I realize that sometimes my thoughts don’t translate into the correct written words very well. You are 100% correct, I should not be pissed off, and in fact I am not. It is more of a regret that it took so long for the veil to be removed from my eyes. For CG’s, gambling is like the devil in the Bible that tempts Jesus three times, promising all of the worlds riches for free, but in exchange for our soul. Jesus exposed the devil for the fraud he is, and we need to expose gambling for the fraud that it is as recovering addicts.

    • #28865
      vera
      Участник

      The Devil is only a pussy cat compared to Gambling Addiction, Fritz, but yes, I do believe gambling originates from Evil Sources We need Super Powers to protect us. Just my thoughts!

    • #28866
      Fritz
      Участник

      After easy way and with my new thinking and understanding, I really can’t relate to the thought of wanting to gamble anymore. I don’t want to appear smug and superior, believe me that is absolutely not my intent. I am humble and only hope to share what is working for me, that it may help others.

      When you realize that something you used to think gave you something valuable in return, has actually nothing valuable to give you, then it’s really hard to «unlearn» it and go back to the former way of thinking. I have learned that gambling offers not one helpful thing in solving my problems, and in fact has created most of my problems. I believe this to my core, and that is the key to my now being a non-gambler.

      It’s great for me, because I know I will never gamble again. I am ecstatic about it! But I know that others here will think that I am delusional about never gambling again, and that’s unfortunate. I don’t want to appear boastful or overconfident, and I know that my way of thinking does not fit the mold of how a recovery is «supposed to» work. I just happen to believe that the easy way is the surest way to a complete recovery, and it runs quite counter to the GA method.

      You see, we as gamblers trained ourselves to believe that gambling is the way to solve our problems. Have a disagreement with a loved one and get upset? Escape to gambling for comfort and calm. Disappointed about a job loss? Gambling will provide the solace you need and help you forget for a time. Facing a large unexpected bill this month? Gambling will help you win enough to take care of it and relieve the pressure. Feeling bored, lonely, or a bit down in the dumps? Gambling will correct all of these problems instantly. For every problem in life, we have convinced ourselves that gambling is the one and only solution.

      However after a string of gambling losses and binging has made it quite obvious that we need to get this problem under control, we stop cold turkey. We make vows and promises, and muster all the will power we can. We go to GA and confess our sins. We pray and ask for divine intervention. Gut it out «just for today». Then repeat this same struggle,day after day. And be forced to believe that our brain is » addictive», we have an incurable disease, and we will be addicts for the rest of our lives? What makes us all believe that the GA method is the only way to control this addiction? Because they tell us it is the only way, and we don’t know of any other options! And we are desperate for any help!

      But deep down we know that the urges will come roaring back, and it scares us to know that the cycle is very likely to repeat. Even if it doesn’t, we have mental struggles and it is all we can do to keep the monster held back in a corner of our mind, and pray that it doesn’t come storming out to unleash it’s wrath yet again.

      There is a better way. The easy way. When stress, problems, disagreements and other misfortunes strike, I get no urge to gamble whatsoever. It’s gone completely. It’s impossible for me to explain it fully here, all I can say is read the book, and read it again after a week or two. It will change your perspective. Cheers!

    • #28867
      jansdad
      Участник

      I was, to the best of my knowledge, the first one to recommend that book to this forum. And it is a great book in its own right. But I think you’re reaching.

      I don’t want to be negative or reproach you here, just playing the devil’s advocate.

      First of all, YOU DON’T KNOW that you will never gamble again. If I had to lay odds, I would give you 20 to 1 that you will gamble again in the course of your life. Again, not being negative, just making a very educated guess.
      You’re an American right? Have you have been to Vegas? Have you seen the Venetian, the Bellagio, the Cosmopolitan? I couldn’t believe humans could build such things. But I was wrong, they can. And they build them with money from people who just like you and me “knew” they would never gamble again.

      One problem I had with The Easy Way, apart from the pep-talk and solemn-promise crap was that it claims to make you a non-gambler. And at the same time it wants you to block all your accounts and limit your access to gambling every which way.
      My wife is a non-gambler, and she can play a poker tournament once a year or once every 3 months no problem and not have the desire to play again. Why? Because she’s a non-gambler.

      You’re a gambler and you probably cannot do the same. You make one bet and all hell breaks loose.

      I still swear by that book, but it does not make us NON-GAMBLERS. I’m a non-alcoholic and you can lock me up in a room full of alcohol for a month and I won’t touch it. Lock me up in a room with a poker account and some money in it and I’ll be gambling in matter of minutes.

      I don’t know why that otherwise great book claims it will make us non-gamblers. We will always be compulsive gamblers. Some of the people on this forum haven’t gambled for 20 years and are still cautious and they still call themselves gamblers. And so should you.

    • #28868
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for the comments. I think I read about Easy Way from Geordie, but you may have been the first to post about it. I hear what you are saying, but there is a LOT of group think that has gone into everything you are saying. For example, what is a compulsive gambler? What is the exact definition? What is a non-gambler? What is the exact definition? The answer is, there is no definition. Even GA says there is no definition, and only you can determine if you are a compulsive gambler or not! How scientific or exact is that really? You say that your wife is a non-gambler, but GA states that gambling is a progressive illness, so in their definition, is there really any such thing as a non-gambler? Hmmm, seems like a paradox to me.

      And yet everyone that participates in GA it is told they need to believe their materials unquestioningly. In fact, GA tells us and implies in all of their materials that you must believe and implement everything they say exactly as they say it. Why? Because they say it has worked for countless others and nothing else has worked, so by deduction you must use their method for any chance of recovery. I question their logic, because they have no scientific or medical basis for anything they say. Others believe it, and that is their choice if it works for them.

      GA promotes a theory that we are powerless. That only a belief in a higher power gives us the least bit of hope in controlling this disease. That is an assumption, and again if it works for you, then great. All I am saying is that it is not the only way, and there may be other better ways of gamblers getting their life back under control.

      The bottom line is, whatever works is what you should be doing. I am doing something that is working exceedingly well for me, which is great. It may not be for everyone.

      I knew I would be criticized for my post, it’s ok, I expected it. But I stand by it. Of course I can’t say with 100% certainty that I will never gamble again, but in my mind, I am a non-gambler now, and having that mindset empowers me to take control and responsibility for my own actions.

      Easy Way is not a miracle cure, it is just a different mindset. And in our society, unfortunately because GA is so pervasive and is trusted to be the only way, people get very defensive about any competing method.

    • #28869
      jansdad
      Участник

      Well, yes, the reason why I praised the easy way so much is that it gives you a different mindset, a different perspective on the whole thing, you kind of almost «reprogram» your brain and it works like a charm. Until it doesn’t.

      A non-gambler in my mind is a person to whom gambling is what alcohol is to me. Alcohol doesn’t do anything for me. I have a glass of wine once a week, usually when my wife has it during lunch or dinner. I don’t particularly enjoy it, but it’s ok with certain kind of food and I never crave for more.

      If you locked up my wife in a room full of movies and an online poker account with (her) money in it, she would not gamble, she would watch the movies. Whereas I would gamble and not watch the movies. That’s because she’s a non-gambler and I am a compulsive gambler.

      I don’t think the line between us problem gamblers and non-gamblers is very thin or very blurred. I think it’s fairly easy to distinguish who is who.

      You’re right, WHATEVER works is great. All I’m saying is be cautious. You’ve been clean for a month and it’s great, but it doesn’t mean you’re a non-gambler now. Geordie has a great quote «only because the monkey is off your back, it doesn’t mean the circus left town» 😀 😀 😀

    • #28870
      vera
      Участник

      Well done Fritz!
      I agree that changing our mindset with regard to gambling is what recovery is all about! I call it AWARENESS!
      When we suffer enough we will seek the «cure»! Every one knows when the time has come to call a halt to the madness we once called fun! Some call it «recovery», some say its «Grace» and others call it «burnout»! Here lies the hub of the problem. GA tells us there is no cure. GT tells us we will always be CGs! Easy Way goes a step further and says we are «non gamblers». We become confused as the plot thickens! In my experience , the human brain has a mechanism for obliterating pain and bad memories .This «gift» gives us the ability to repeat the behaviour we resolved to shun forever. Herein lies all our grief and pain!
      I have seen people who go along with each of the aforementioned theories who have remained G free for many years (same with alcoholics).I have also seen people (myself) who have sworn that they will never gamble again, succumb to the «addiction» and relapse . What happened to our changed mindset?
      When I discovered GT in 2008, I was fully convinced I would never gamble again. I did! When my sister died in 2009,I swore «this is it»! I will not dishonour her memory by gambling again. I did! When I white knuckled it through 2010,I thought «maybe this is IT» but after a clean year I exploded again in 2011….fast forward to 2013, when I had to take early retirement due to ill health . Again I swore «never again» but failed AGAIN… I guess what I am saying , Fritz is that everyone follows a different path and there are no certainties. I really wish there were! All I do know is every time I gambled it happened because I didn’t put enough effort into NOT gambling. I gave in instantly and indulged my whims selfishly and recklessly to the point of near destruction.
      Today I did not gamble. By God’s Grace I will say the same every day, forever. I don’t take from what others believe or do, but I do know that every time I gamble, my life ends up in more and more chaos. Humanly speaking ,this problem is beyond my control!

    • #28871
      Fritz
      Участник

      Good post Vera and a very stark reminder that despite promises to the contrary, relapses can and do happen. We must not let our guard down, ever.

      Another thing I believe is that we must commit and vow never to gamble again. Without such a commitment, we are leaving the door open to gambling in the future. I have closed and locked that door, I refuse to leave any room for doubt. Of course we must be vigilant, but a stand must be made and if it is an absolute stand in our mind we have a much better shot at a gamble free future than if we tell ourselves that we might gamble sometime in the future. Just my humble approach for myself, not saying anything about what others should or shouldn’t do. I will march forward with this philosophy, and will continue to report my progress on GT, regardless of how successful I am or not. Honesty is the only policy for people struggling with addiction, faking it is what leads to failure. Cheers and wishing you all the best in life and recovery.

    • #28872
      p
      Участник

      Hey wonderful on your progress Fritz well done.. whatever works is my motto.. if its working for you then fantastic.. maybe you could say here what allen carr says in his book in more of a nutshell.. what are the core beliefs of the book .. is there any snippets you could give us all that would help others from that book and share some of the wisdom
      I think if anyone can stop gambling, if its GA, allen carrs book, standing on your head.. whatever works to stop gambling is a good thing so long as it doesnt harm us also.. that is wonderful news.. you are very determined and i look forward to seeing the progress and continuing to read your journal..

      P

    • #28873
      Fritz
      Участник

      Hi P,
      It is a bit unfair to the Easy Way book to summarize the whole thing in a short journal post, but I will at least give you my perspective on it. Allen Carr is very specific in the book to say you must read the book from cover to cover before you can or should embark on your efforts to not gamble. He makes it clear that there are no shortcuts, and you can’t just read the punchline and really get it at a deep level. So with that caveat, here goes…

      I have decided that gambling, smoking pot and drinking alcohol were all a problem for me, and I want to stop. That’s the first step. Allen then explains, point by point, each so called «benefit» of the behavior, or reason most people do it. He then systematically destroys each «benefit» as misinformation: brainwashing that the alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries have used to make every user believe that their product is something good that you need. Advertising for these poisons is everywhere, and it covertly and overtly has hoodwinked everyone into believing that they offer benefits. Obviously if they can convince people that their product is an essential thing in your life, you will use it, right? For example, do you think alcohol tastes good? No! It tastes horrible! But we have been brainwashed to believe it tastes good, and if you say you think it tastes bad, people look at you like you are a wimp. All your friends believe it, so if you do not, suddenly you are an outsider, and you question your own logic. Wow, I guess I am wrong and they are right, so I better follow along and do the substance. You follow the herd, and use these harmful products just like the rest of modern society. If you gamble, smoke, drink alcohol, you will be popular, the life of every party, successful, rich, and life will be amazing. If you do not use their products, you will be dull, poor, an outcast, and your life will generally suck. You get the idea…

      In reality, these hundred billion dollar industries offer poison and misery and generally just take a bunch of your productive time and money away. Do alcohol conglomerates have commercials about drunk loud obnoxious partiers that throw up on the floor and have a huge hangover the next day? No, that’s the dirty little secret that no one talks about. You hide it, because it doesn’t fit the advertising, so you must be doing it wrong. Same for smoking and gambling. Why are all the others such good drinkers and I always drink too much and feel crappy the next day? Why do so many people win at gambling but I always seem to lose? In reality many people feel crappy the next day, but nobody really talks about it. The real reason you feel crappy the next day is because it is poison. And of course everyone loses at gambling, only the house wins, but that of course is not advertised. The advertising glamorizes a poisonous substance that does nothing for my health or well being.

      Alan destroys every supposed «benefit» of gambling, drinking and smoking. You begin to realize that you have been fooled for your whole life, the lightbulb comes on, and you have no desire whatsoever to ever do it again. In fact, you start realizing that I would be a complete fool to do any of those foolish things!

      The second part of Allen’s strategy is to point out that this is a progressive disease and no one is immune to this. Once you are so far into it, you believe you need the substance (or the bet) to feel good. In reality after you have repeated the substance (or betting) many many times, he correctly points out that doing it again doesn’t make you feel good, it makes you feel less bad. Your brain tricks you into thinking the substance will make you feel good. In reality you are in a cycle of feeling bad due to a lack of it, and feeling less bad when you do it. That’s the addiction. By this time, you have forgotten what it feels like to feel normal, let alone actually feel good.

      Whew! Long post. But that’s only part of it, you really need to read the Easy Way book to really understand it. All I can tell you is that I have a group of friends that get together every month to socialize, drink and smoke pot. In the past I have tried to use the will power method and not partake in the smoking and drinking part of our parties. And I have failed every time. Since Easy Way, I can party and have a great time with them, with no anxiety whatsoever while they smoke pot and drink, and I do not. I have lemonade and snacks, listen to music, get into philosophical discussions, and have a great time, but my desire for the pot and alcohol is completely gone. In fact, I watch them and think, «why do they feel a need to do that to have a good time?».

    • #28874
      p
      Участник

      Thank you very much for sharing that.. so glad you are doing well.. it awesome to see any of us recover through any means.. so well done…

      P

    • #28875
      jansdad
      Участник

      «And I have failed every time. Since Easy Way, I can party and have a great time with them, with no anxiety whatsoever while they smoke pot and drink, and I do not. I have lemonade and snacks, listen to music, get into philosophical discussions, and have a great time, but my desire for the pot and alcohol is completely gone. In fact, I watch them and think, ‘why do they feel a need to do that to have a good time?’. »

      Now you’re talking. If I could say this about my gambling I would consider myself cured. What I’m trying to say is the following: because of my background and the fact that almost everyone I know is involved in gambling one way or another I often come across favorable bets and favorable situations. I come across people who are willing to sell their online dollars at a discount because they don’t want to cash it out to their bank accounts, I come across people who developed state of the art arbitrage betting software that yields very, very handsome returns, I come across people who are willing to take bets having the worst of it just for the sake of a thrill.
      All this translates into thousand of euros worth in EV (expected value) every month. It would be easy money if I wasn’t a compulsive gambler. Yes, I used to take advantage of these favorable situations, but I wouldn’t limit myself to them. I would then (because money was available) go and gamble it away where I had the worst of it.

      If I wasn’t a problem-gambler I could have a nice supplement to my income, but alas…

      What’s the point of buying $5K online for $4K in cash if I’m gonna gamble it away rather than withdraw it or resell it?

      I would consider myself a non-gambler if I was able to limit my «gambling» to situations where I have the best of it. I’m fairly good at identifying these, but because of my addiction I don’t limit myself to them.

    • #28876
      Fritz
      Участник

      Hi JansDad,
      Thanks for the post. I understand your situation a lot better after reading this. If I were in your shoes, I would bit by bit drop every friend and acquaintance that has anything to do with gambling. Then I would rebuild a new set of friends and acquaintances bit by bit. Your life is immersed in gambling, from the sounds of it, so trying to stop would be an immense (maybe impossible) challenge every day if it were me. It would be very hard to get a foothold in non-gambling if you are subjected to it day in and day out, and if gambling propositions kept coming your way that appeared to be investment opportunities.

      A drug addiction analogy would be living with a house full of drug dealers that offer to make you a lot of money by helping them with their deals, all the while passing bags of the drug you are addicted to back and forth under your nose day in and day out and flashing wads of cash. Even with Easy Way, there is no way you could make it through your recovery in that scenario. I don’t think your situation is much different.

      Good Luck JansDad, I really wish you the best in trying to beat this gambling addiction, but I would strongly encourage you to remove yourself from all of the people and situations related to gambling that are currently in your life, because from the sounds of it, it is way too much to handle for any person to attempt a recovery. Peace.

    • #28877
      vera
      Участник

      I agree, Fritz!
      «When you sup with the Devil, use a long handled spoon!»

    • #28878
      Fritz
      Участник

      «Discipline is the Bridge between Goals and Accomplishment.»
      -Jim Rohn

      I like this quote. I think sometimes we as compulsive gamblers think that accomplishment in life comes easier for everyone else than for us, because we have a «special» problem. But really everyone that lives on this planet has to be disciplined every day to actually accomplish good things in our lives. Otherwise we end up with a bunch of unfulfilled goals and excuses for why they never happened.

      No Excuses! I am disciplined today, and I am taking actions to make my goals become a reality! I am not sitting around waiting and hoping my goals will accomplish themselves. I refuse to feel sorry for myself or waste time regretting the past. My old compulsive gambling self believed my dreams could come true with no work involved on my part. Big money would just drop in my lap if I gambled successfully. That is flawed thinking and I know now that you only get the good things out of life if you put the hard work in every day. I am not unique, we all have troubles, obstacles and difficulties, gamblers and non-gamblers alike. We can choose to get up and do good work anyway, or we can choose to roll over and go back to sleep until 2pm. It’s our choice!

    • #28879
      vera
      Участник

      Very true,Fritz!
      To say «addiction»is beyond discipline is a cop out.Yes, we come to a point where we cannot stop but we would never reach that stage if we exercise discipline say and NO to the initial «urge».Gambling involves planning.It’s based on greed and sloth.Getting easy money is more tempting than earning money.One of the mini casinos I frequented was called BIG EASY.Can you believe they had the audacity to put that name over the door!I used to feel sick when I would find receipts where I used their ATM facility to withdraw 1,2,5,6,hundred to stuff into their machines.
      Easy money is right!!!!
      How stupid I was!
      On that note, I’m going to rollover for a bit of sleep now!

    • #28880
      p
      Участник

      Gambling is about so much more than money.. it takes far more than dollars… and is about more than dollars.. if it were just about the money we would walk away when we win..

      P

    • #28881
      jansdad
      Участник

      «money won is twice as sweet as money earned» — just remembered this quote reading a post above, it’s from a book about gamblers, can’t remember its name.

      Another one from the same book «the next best thing after gambling and winning is gambling and losing»

      Yes, P, gambling is about so much more than money alone.

    • #28882
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Hey Fritz,

      It’s been a few days since your last wonderful post. How are you doing, please let us know. You have been an inspiration to me over the last few weeks, and I would love to hear how you are doing. You sound like you have really sorted your head out.

      All my love

      Mav

    • #28883
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am doing well, understanding who I am more than ever I think. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect, far from it! I do suffer from anxiety, probably always will, and I work in a high stress job, not a great combination! But through Easy Way and a lot of soul searching and honest assessment, I have come to realize that gambling, smoking pot, and alcohol were my choices to manage all of my stress, and decided that it was worth an experiment to remove those so called stress managers and try to use some other healthier stress management techniques. So far what I have found is that I am still anxious and stressed some of the time, but at other times I feel more relaxed. I am learning that this is just normal for the human experience, and my expectations were too high before. I am learning acceptance, in other words. Side benefits include better relationships, more self respect, a feeling that I can manage my life on my own, without need of so called crutches. I have also come to understand and truly believe that gambling, pot and alcohol offer me no benefits whatsoever, and are very costly in terms of health degradation, anxiety, reduced self worth, and hopelessness. Experiment successful! So on I go with a greater sense of well being, peace of mind, and hope. I have gained the knowledge that leaving gambling behind is the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family.

      Hope you are doing better. If not take solace in the fact that it can and will get better if gambling is removed from your life. It takes time and patience though, and of course discipline and a plan of action each day. Cheers!

    • #28884
      Fritz
      Участник

      Anxiety is a big problem for me, and I now realize I gambled to relieve it (as well as drink and smoke pot). I have been grinding my teeth for years and wear a mouth guard at night, but unfortunately my teeth are really suffering from all the abuse now and it is painful to chew, and my gums have receded to the point that I can’t have anything too cold or hot without pain. My dentist has said these problems are from grinding teeth, and i know this is my bodies way of trying to release the stress. I don’t want to lose my teeth at an early age, but if this continues I know I will. I go to sleep anxious many times and know that I won’t be sleeping well and sure enough I wake up feeling anxious and not rested at all. My chest is tight, I have jaw tightness, slight headache and feel exhausted. This is demoralizing and makes it hard to face the day with any enthusiasm. I know that my job makes me anxious quite a bit. My old gambling self ignored this problem. My new self is working on understanding what behaviors may make it better or worse and adjust accordingly.

      So far I noticed one thing that is makng it worse. I have an automated email sent to me every day from craigslist telling me about used cars for sale. I set this up because I am searching for a car for my daughter. However, this has become a way for me to think my own 2003 Volvo is not good enough, so I have begun searching for a new car for myself. I have learned that I have a very hard time being calm when I start believing something about my situation is not good enough or unsatisfactory or needs to change. I convince myself that my old Volvo has too many rattles, smells of smoke from the prior owner, and take offense when my kids criticize it. I need to upgrade! I can afford it, so why not? Wouldn’t a BMW be more fun to drive? My mind goes to work and I begin searching for a replacement car relentlessly. How much should I spend? What mileage is OK? What model? Big or small? Sedan or SUV? And on and on my mind goes, day after day. It’s ridiculous, I know. My Volvo works fine, gets me around reliably and does the job.

      What should I do? Recognize the stress this is causing, and stop looking at cars! Tell myself how happy I am with my old Volvo. Realize that a new car won’t make me a happier person. Realize it’s just a thing, and things are good, but should not tie me up emotionally. The main thing is to be happy with how things are, right now, today! —— my blessings, and redirect my thoughts of desire towards what I already have! I need to work on this relentlessly, until it becomes second nature. I know it will increase my happiness, and help me sleep better. May even save my teeth! 🙂

    • #28885
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am feeling better and better about my family relationships. It’s a slow healing process , especially with my kids. They are 16 and 19 now, and for the better part of their lives, I was a mess. Kids are «show me» not «tell me». I knew I was setting a horrible example, and that made me feel really guilty. I made empty promises. They came to expect that I would fail again, because hopes had been dashed too many times. It hurt them, and it hurt me. It used to bug me that I had this responsibility to set a good example. I resented it I guess. I wanted my freedom to be as good or bad as I felt like, not someone they thought I should be. I was rebelling, I was selfish.

      I have been trying to quit for over 4 years now, and I have slipped up 5 or 6 times over that span. Each time regretting it and vowing not to go back. But more importantly I have vowed to strengthen my relationship with my wife and kids.

      I used to jump to conclusions a lot and usually found fault in them at nearly every encounter. There was always something wrong. I have put a lot of effort into fixing these character flaws lately. I listen more. I remember that kids are not perfect and that is OK. I try to let their mistakes go sometimes, and try to remember to praise them. I try to give them ideas without dictating, and share my experiences without lecturing so much. It is starting to pay off, my son has a better attitude and is trying hard to make it in college now. He is more positive about the future. My daughter is taking longer to warm up to me, but I see progress,and we do have good conversation sometimes. And I am feeling better about my role as a family leader and role model. I don’t care so much about my success but really want to show my kids I care about their success and happiness in life. I am trying to be more about them and less about me. I also want to show them I can recover and fight through a big life problem like gambling and come out a better person. I want them to learn that they can do the same if life deals them a big challenge, because at some point it will and I want them to be ready.

      Life is good! I just need to remember the good stuff and discard the rest. Accentuate the positive, right? It is way too easy for me to wallow in the negative past if I let it happen. Onward and upward!

    • #28886
      Аноним
      Гость

      Fritz thank u for your insightful and kind posts on my thread
      Thank you also for your encouragement..
      I am so glad you are working on strengthening relationships within ur family ..
      You are very self aware .. You see good in others
      You are a very good man
      Yes u have a gambling problem but I am inspired by how you work to overcome it !!
      Your daughter is young and will come round
      Maybe take her Bowling or something .. Where u can just have fun and no need for deep conversation .. Just enjoy each others company
      Keep working recovery fritz.. You wear it so well!’

    • #28887
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks Happy, your encouragement and kindness help me a lot! It’s really great to have this forum. A safe place where people that «know how it is» can help each other to recover.

      I tend to be a perfectionist so it’s good to hear some feedback that maybe my expectations are a bit high and I should just relax and be patient with my daughter.

      Have a great half free weekend!

    • #28888
      angie73
      Участник

      Hi Fritz,
      Really enjoy reading thru your posts, and your approach to overcoming gambling. I have the Alan Carr smoking book, but never got around to reading it…so I will dig it out and see if i can use it to help with the gambling, and perhaps I will be able to get a copy of the gambling one in the not too distant future. Keep posting, i know I am getting a lot out of it.
      Angie.

    • #28889
      Fritz
      Участник

      Curious what you all think about this. I believe that for us compulsive gamblers, the value of currency that is won betting is worth almost nothing compared to the money earned doing work. It isn’t real, it is very much like monopoly money. When you win, it justifies playing more, because, after all, you didn’t work for it, its a windfall, right? Might as well give it another go. One reason why we walk away empty handed most times. We view it as a lottery ticket, especially when we have lost so much over a long period of time. We think we have nothing to lose, may as well go for broke, so we end up broke. We feel we need to go for the «hail Mary» every time because we know how far below par we are and feel that small wins won’t make up for it. Rinse, repeat. It is truly a downward spiral.

      It is a silly game, one we will never win, so what is the point? A silly game with such horrific consequences. A game where WE get played. How ironic! Games are supposed to be fun! With this knowledge, I can choose to spend my time on games that actually are fun! Here’s to leaving gambling behind, forgetting that score, and living a good life with a good future.

    • #28890
      butchugly
      Участник

      That’s exactly my logic when I’m gambling. Thanks for pointing that out

    • #28891
      jansdad
      Участник

      Someone once said, and there’s a lot of merit to it, «The money won is twice as sweet as money earned.»

      Once, long time ago, I wrote a paper about how things of financial nature a very different for us gamblers. For most people the dollar they stand to lose is far more valuable than the dollar they stand to win. For us gamblers it’s the opposite.

      Damn, it totally amazes me that with all my knowledge and understanding of economy, risk, probability, utility of money, marginal utility of money etc etc, I still managed to degrade myself to a compulsive gambler. Very peculiar, indeed. 🙁

    • #28892
      Fritz
      Участник

      Have made two months now gamble free. I am doing well, keeping busy, not thinkiing about going back out at all. At the same time i am still very aware and vigilant because the little monster could awaken at any time.

      I need to continue reminding myself that I am not being denied anything by not gambling, I am not missing out on any fun or benefit whatsoever. This thinking eliminates all desire and urges.

      Stay strong GT community, we can do this together!

    • #28893
      Fritz
      Участник

      I’m still gamble free. I appreciate and am grateful for this day and this forum. I am here to reaffirm that nothing has been taken away from me by not gambling. Therefore there is nothing for me to reclaim by gambling. Gambling sucked the life out of me. I gambled to forget and to mask and to not have to face my problems. Gambling only multiplied my problems.

      Now I recognize I have problems, and acknowledge them. I understand that it is perfectly normal to have problems. I am imperfect in many ways, and I am learning to accept that. I say «It’s OK» to myself a lot, because quite often I have a hard time really believing it’s OK. I try to reassure myself, because in the end, my worries and angst are rarely a true picture of what really happens. But I still worry. A lot. It’s not completely rational, but I do it anyway.

      Enough rambling for today. Another gamble free day in the books.

    • #28894
      Fritz
      Участник

      Had a text from the boss early this Sunday morning and had to rush downtown to work all day. Work is intensely stressful at the moment. I have been wound up tight. Biting my nails again, and my jaw hurts from clenching. Sleep is i!impossible again. We have a trip next Friday through Monday out of town to California for my nieces wedding, which should be fun but I am really stressed about that too. Truth be told I’ll be glad when it’s over. Damn, so hard to live in the moment and stay relaxed and satisfied when I feel like there is too much stress to handle!

      Just have to remember that «this too shall pass». Too bad I feel that way about my entire life sometimes.

    • #28895
      Fritz
      Участник

      Just got done watching another gripping episode of survivor (lol). Funny, my job seems like an episode of survivor sometimes. Guess its just a grind right now, but sometimes I just don’t see the point of trying anymore.

      I’m sinking into a bad rut right now and I’ve gotta find a way to get out.

    • #28896
      jansdad
      Участник

      What kind of work do you do Fritz?
      I’ve always felt it’s better to spend less and live modestly than have a stressful job and work long hours. But that’s just my opinion on the matter.

    • #28897
      p
      Участник

      A good thing to do when you are struggling is get to a meeting, or go on the chat here, talk to someone.. write a list of all the things you want to do.. no matter how small or far fetched they sound.. maybe get busy with things when you are feeling bad i find it helps me to distract my mind from thinking thinking thinking..
      if your job is really stressful is there any way of changing it..
      well done on posting your thoughts.. you are never alone there are people here who will reply or chat.. what about the one on one line here, it really helps to sometimes get others opinions. Hope things turn around for you soon

      P

    • #28898
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am a project manager. Currently with a public transportation agency in a position with very little control but a lot of scrutiny. I have 5+ years to go to get 30 which gives me the opportunity to retire and possibly go to work for a consulting firm. So I have chosen to «tough it out». I do ok most of the time but occasionally I cannot handle the stress. Maybe not the best choice to stay on, mostly staying due to inertia, fear of future failure, and providing for family. I can do 5 more years, it’s not that bad and the people are ok.

      I agree with you about spending less and living modestly. I am trying to do that. The fancy toys don’t mean anything to me anymore. I just have to remember that work is just work, I should not get emotionally wrapped up in it. It’s not worth it, but I still get sucked in. I take things way too seriously. Gotta let go. Letting go has always been a difficult thing for me, and is a focus of my recovery. I just need to get back to basics. Thanks for posting on my theead.

    • #28899
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for giving me some things to think about.

    • #28900
      Fritz
      Участник

      Need to remember that it’s not going to help if I am tense and nervous about missing the flight, if my kids will be ready, if the traffic will be bad or the shuttle will be late. It’s going to be fine. Even if any of these unexpected things happen!

      Time to think good thoughts about all the fun we are going to have. It’s all in my head, I have the power to have a great time or a lousy time. Patience and gratitude, this I pray for today.

    • #28901
      jansdad
      Участник

      Isn’t it funny, Fritz, how we thought (while we were gambling) if only we didn’t gamble everything would be OK.

      And now that we haven’t gambled for a couple of months the life still puts us to the test. Now we have to deal with non-gambling problems, problems that we never got around to deal with when we were gambling.

      Charles warned me about this in one of the group sessions a few months ago. And I knew it myself — that life will be good at times and it will be not so good at some other times, but that it will ALWAYS be better if we’re not gambling.

      When I was gambling I didn’t pay so much attention to other problems that needed solving. I just let them pile up. And, luckily, I’m not overwhelmed with them now, but they’re there and need addressing. And my brain got very lazy from all that gambling, so now doing even a simple chore requires a lot effort.

      And I wanted to gamble only a couple of days ago. I don’t know why. Maybe to avoid thinking about other things I need to do and postpone them.

    • #28902
      Fritz
      Участник

      Started following the stock market again. Started biting my finger nails again. When I get stressed, usually from work, I start doing «stressful» things that actually multiply the stress rather than release it. They make me feel less in control, more desperate. I noticed I started eating junkier foods, compulsively shopping for used cars on craigslist, reading stock charts, stopped exercising. I am going to work on redirecting myself when I get these impulses this week. Also if I have to work late I seem to throw my good habits out the window and start in on the bad ones again.

      Still gamble free from February 17, hurray!

      I have to remember that I will feel better, and less stressed if I can stay away from these behaviors. It also helps me feel better about myself when I do a few less wrong things and a few more right things.

      I need to realize it is OK for me to have these episodes, but it is my responsibility to recognize and redirect away from them so that I can get more relaxed and back to a healthier state of mind. Recognize that it is possible for me to begin again with healthier choices for me.

      It is so strange how everything snowballs for me, both positively and negatively. When I start going down hill I really accelerate quickly. That makes it hard to get back on the right track. Time to start trying again with a renewed effort.

    • #28903
      maverick.
      Участник

      Fritz,

      I have just been reading through your journal and wanted to say I wish you well, this addiction destroys lives as I am sure you are well aware.

      Great effort and really well done on your gamble free time I am sure your family are very proud of you and you should also be proud yourself, like you I am very lucky to still have my wife and two children in my life even after being a compulsive gambler for over 20 years.

      I have been in recovery for around the last 4 years but in truth slipped many times, I read many shares on here often and used to post a lot a year or so back but not as much nowadays for one reason or another.

      I felt the need to respond to you as I read your most recent post (I suppose being compulsive gamblers we are on similar wave lengths) and many things you touch on ring true to me just before I have slipped up.

      I hope you don’t mind me saying this but I share this in hope you can dig deep and keep fighting, your shares are inspirational and are a pleasure to read, stay strong and you don’t need me to tell you to stop following the stock market I know so I won’t……….only you know what works for you.

      I can imagine since 17th February your life has got so much better and deep down I am sure you are a much happier man, «we will get good days and bad days, it’s how we handle them that makes the difference»

      Take care my friend and I hope this finds you well, I wish you all the very best in your recovery and life, never stop fighting it is always worth it and in truth happiness can be so hard to find.

      Maverick

    • #28904
      velvet
      Модератор

      Hi Fritz
      Hopefully this journal will help you spot the escalation of poor behaviours – when you have read it, get up and go out for a walk. Connect good behaviour with another good behaviour – just like bad behaviour; good behaviour multiplies too – if you allow them to do so. Stick notes on the fridge door reminding you to eat properly, put nasty tasting stuff on your fingernails. How about putting a positive message somewhere you look every day reminding you that you can succeed – I have one and I know it help.
      Velvet

    • #28905
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks Maverick and Velvet, great feedback.

      It comes back to mindfulness and listening to and acting on my good thoughts. I almost always have a.moment of «this is what I should or shouldn’t be doing right now, then.a conscious decision to ignore and do the bad behavior instead. I need to get back on the track of listening to myself and trusting that doing the right thing will make me happier than doing the wrong thing. So easy to say and so tough to do! It’s a complete retraining of my brain though, and old habits die hard. Just got to keep moving in the right direction and not get down on myself when I don’t always do the right thing.

    • #28906
      Fritz
      Участник

      Another milestone. Great news and a great feeling. Need to focus on today. Not doing so well with my other vices, but gambling is under control now. Working on a vegetable garden now. Sick home from work yesterday though. Over did it and my body needed a recovery day. Back to the grind today.

    • #28907
      p
      Участник

      Congratulations on recovery so far, a vegetable garden. What a great thing to do. Well done on adding things into your life, keep going and hope you’ve recovered from the gardening 🙂

      P

    • #28908
      Fritz
      Участник

      Having a bit of trouble focusing on the future and right now. When I am reminded of what could have been, regret and remorse tend to creep back into my mind. Especially over my kids. I need to remember that nothing is ever perfect, everything is a work in progress, especially me. It’s OK to have these feelings but I need to be more disciplined about moving past them.

    • #28909
      kpat
      Участник

      Regrets are a pull on our present ability, they can pull us back or help pull us up to better futures. Your glass is definitely half full.because you have breath today, you have an opportunity to create a better day today and tomorrow. I know what we have knocked down seems really bad, but lets build something better today. How do we start a new future? Be kind, show love, speak encouragement to ourselves and others, work hard at all we do. Short cuts and quick fixes don’t build futures. I told you once before that I am Fritz fan. I still am. You are changing everyday, for the better!

    • #28910
      Fritz
      Участник

      I really appreciate your reply! It reminded me of some things I should do. Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is all it takes to start moving in the right direction again, your post did that, so thanks!

    • #28911
      vera
      Участник

      Looking back can be painful Fritz. Looking forward can be scary . Even looking around us highlights the mess we have created. Like you I need someone to nudge me into doing something that I CAN do instead of dwelling on what I should have or could have done. Here goes! I will start with clearing my immediate space…Not gambling has to have benefits, Fritz. Sometimes we just fail to see them.

    • #28912
      Fritz
      Участник

      And I don’t know who I am but life is for learning.
      We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon.

      We live on this 3rd rock from the sun, no one knows why, but we’re all in it together. I think my purpose is to help those around me, sometimes I do and sometimes it doesn’t work out right but I keep trying every day. Life is a great mystery and it is what I make it.

      Hadn’t posted in a while so just jotting down a quick note. I am approaching 4 months gamble free now and life is so much better.

    • #28913
      kpat
      Участник

      Great to read you are living a better life. Congratulations on your gamble free time! Nice post:)

    • #28914
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Dude you have done so well. I do hope your relationship with your children has improved. I know that if one of my parents had been gamblers and they had given up for 4 months I would be so proud of them. I hope your kids understand.

      Today is day 71 for me now. in 19 days I can start my 12 steps at GA. I cannot wait. Each day I go without gambling is another amazing day.

      Are you going to GA and will you do the 12 steps?

    • #28915
      Fritz
      Участник

      I have done the 12 steps in the past and used to go to GA regularly, but now I don’t. It’s a great resource for a lot of people, and I would never knock it but it just isn’t for me. I’m very happy to hear you are doing better!

    • #28916
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Totally fair enough mate. This is my first proper recovery and I cannot afford to slip, so for me GA is the best way to avoid that. I have lost enough, not just money. I see people at GA who gambled their whole lives and lost so much more. But it is the mental state I have lost the most of. IN 3.5 years I gambled ALL of the time I could, and as I ran my own business I could gamble for days, weeks, months to my hearts content. I battered my mind with the rush of chemicals. I cannot go through that again. And anyway, recovery looks like such an amazing journey, one I can be proud of and shout from the rooftops.

      take care and keep posting mate. I would be proud if you were my dad 😉

    • #28917
      Fritz
      Участник

      Recovery brings new possibilities and increased happiness!
      Mav,
      And as always, thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I feel as though you are really setting yourself up to look back 5 years from now and say, wow, look at the wonderful changes! So good to hear you are doing well. I wish you all the best in recovery!

    • #28918
      Fritz
      Участник

      I am feeling humble and grateful today. Saying NO! to gambling has saved me and saved my marriage. Goodbye guilt, hello honesty, love and forgiveness. Hello good communication. It is important for me to always acknowledge what I have done and admit that I can never safely gamble again.
      I must remember, when things don’t go my way, things can and do get better. But gambling will never lead to a more positive future for me.

    • #28919
      female g
      Участник

      your on the right path for sure and sounds like your well on the way to a fantastic future. Life will not always be a rose garden but with out the gambling it will always be alot more enjoyable.

    • #28920
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Superb Fritzy. 145 days. Amazing. Today is 102 for me and I can honestly say that while I don’t have much recovery in me yet, I sense it every day I do not gamble. I took more steps today by adding to the blockers stopping me from gambling, as I really do not want to gamble ever again.

      You were one of the inspirations to me on this site and to see you are still here is wonderful.

      Take care and stick around — there are people in pain who you can help with you small bits of knowledge which you can share amongst us all.

      Love to your family

      M

    • #28921
      Fritz
      Участник

      Time flies when you are having fun, I guess that’s true. Sure is great to be gamble free, that never changes. Life can be tough, but I know that with gambling added it will be immeasurably more difficult. And all difficulties eventually pass, so with this understanding and some patience, I can stay gamble free forever.

      I don’t post much anymore, but I will check in and read posts now and then to help me remember the pain and why I choose not to gamble. To anyone reading this that is thinking about gambling again, please wait a few minutes and think it all the way through before going through with it. Think about how you will feel tomorrow. Think about how stressed out you will be trying to hide it or how shameful it will feel to lie about where you were. Weigh all of it very carefully, then tell someone what you are feeling.

      If you take these steps honestly and objectively, you won’t go through with it and you will thank yourself later.

      Cheers!

    • #28922
      p
      Участник

      Hi Fritz

      Well done on not gambling.. that is wonderful news. Its good that you have updated.. a lot of people dont post any more once they are gamble free, i think its a shame as it shows people its possible and once we are gamble free we still do need help, the addiction still lives within.
      Good you are one that came back to share its so positive to see its possible.. i remember i thought it was impossible..
      Well done on being an example and living the gamble free life wahoooooo

      P

    • #28923
      Fritz
      Участник

      Still gamble free since 2/17/15. 9 months, that’s pretty good I guess. But I am now worried about my marijuana and alcohol use. I stopped those for 2/and 3 months respectively and then went on using them again, moderately at first and then more heavily. Time to shut them down again. I am at home from work today due to overdrinking last night. I feel sick. I feel weak. I feel guilty. I also feel scared because I know the lack of sleep I am about to face when I stop drinking/smoking again. It is a fight, and I just feel too weary to fight it, so I have just gone on drinking and smoking. Today is day one for smoking and drinking! I know intellectually I will be so much happier with them out of my life. Why do I let them control me and keep me weak? I need to have the self confidence to realize that I don’t need them! Now it is time to relax, stay focused on the moment right in front of me, and believe I can do this.

    • #28924
      maverick.
      Участник

      Dig deep Fritz, great job on your gamble free time you should be proud and keep fighting, hope you can cut down on the other two mate, I know sometimes our mind set is all or nothing, wish you well my friend, take care and look after yourself.

      Maverick (Lee)

    • #28925
      vera
      Участник

      Can you attend an AA and NA Group, Fritz?
      It’s scary facing withdrawal alone especially as it affects sleep. It seems NOT withdrawing is affecting both your sleep and work right now. You need professional help from all accounts.
      Well done on not gambling. Physical withdrawal needs to be monitored, I would think.

    • #28926
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks for the kind words, concern and advice, I will check around for meetings. Knocked down but not defeated! I have successfully convinced myself that I cannot control my marijuana and alcohol use. One day at a time for me!

    • #28927
      vera
      Участник

      I love what you posted about gambling on Izzi’s thread, Fritz. It says it all .
      They say Knowledge is Power. Most CGs I know have a vast knowledge of how Gambling alludes, enthralls and finally leaves us bereft of all dignity. Yet we carry on creating greater illusions every time we «try our luck». As Alan Carr says we need to reach a point where we see gambling for what it is and shatter the mirage that has engulfed us for so long.

    • #28928
      Fritz
      Участник

      I often have overblown bad situations and turned to gamble because I easily became fatalistic and over dramatic. In my recovery I have learned to quietly say to myself «it’s OK» when bad things happen. It’s another version of «don’t sweat the small stuff» but short and sweet. Realizing the relative insignificance of most things and keeping them in perspective keeps me grounded and more able to get through life’s speed bumps.

      I found that gambling occurred a lot when I had said «F@#$ it, I don’t care anymore, I’ve had it! So I have worked on not getting to that boiling point when negative things come up. Kind of a preventative medicine if you will.

      Here’s to living life in proper perspective, I am so lucky to be on this planet right now and know in my heart that I am here for a reason.

    • #28929
      maverick.
      Участник

      Fritz, always good to read your posts my friend and even better to hear you are gambling free and living life a free spirit as anyone should, you are very knowledgeable and your shares are from the heart and that what makes them so true, so many people can relate in exactly the same way, keep yourself on the right track my friend and as always thanks for sharing.

      Wish you all the very best in your recovery and life, take care and have a great weekend.

      Maverick

    • #28930
      Fritz
      Участник

      It has been a great while since I have posted. I check in every now and then, and today I had the urge to actually post because it’s a big milestone for me. I makes me feel great. Yes, it is one day at a time. But when you can say you circled the entire sun without gambling? That’s pretty cool.

      I just want to tell everyone that I absolutely love and appreciate gamblingtherapy.org because it saved my life. A year ago I was ready to end it all. Reading others stories, their struggles, their victories, their setbacks, and how they were feeling and coping with this horrific disease we share, it made think things through, and that maybe there was hope after all. And writing down my thoughts and actually thinking about what I was feeling and translating that into words is a powerful thing.

      So cheers to the wonderful people that host this website! And cheers to all that are honestly and actively working to end gambling in their lives! It takes a lot of effort. And a lot of perseverance.

      I am going to check in more. I admit I have kind of drifted away, and that’s not good. I think it is my minds mechanism of blocking out bad memories or something. It’s important for me to remember, to rejuvenate my recovery, and to try and help others if I can.

    • #28931
      charles
      Модератор

      Hi Fritz, well done on your gamble free year, a great achievement.

      Milestones are a good time to reflect on recovery, see the differences between then and now. They can also be a suprisingly dangerous time, complacency can kick in, we might feel we can «reward» ourselves and more.

      A great achievement but like all of us it’s not your last bet you have to worry about now — it’s our next one we all have to avoid. Keep using the support that has helped you so far and I look forward to hearing you progress in your 2nd year of recovery.

    • #28932
      vera
      Участник

      Great that you got a G free year behind you, Fritz. That 12 months flew by!
      I got a Free Year once. 2010. By January 2011, I was «celebrating» my success.
      The mistake I made was, thinking I could put on my bullet proof vest and gamble «normally»!
      We can never do that again, Fritz.
      Never!
      But there are lots and lots of things we CAN do .
      It seems you have found those things already, so very well done!
      Hang in here! It’s not the worst place to be!

    • #28933
      Fritz
      Участник

      Thanks Charles. Rewards and celebrations are great- an important part of life. Gambling in any form is NEVER a reward or a celebration for me, and never will be. I know to my core that to go back to gambling in any form would be like going back to a form of prison. I’ve been there, I did my time, and I am free now. I never, ever want to go back, and fortunately it is within my power to decide each day not to.

      I do remember some of those types of tempting thoughts in years past, that niggle, that little devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear, whatever you want to call it. I remember it very clearly, because it drew me back and I felt powerless against it. At this point in my recovery that niggle just isn’t there anymore. No secret hidden desire whatsoever. I am grateful for that.

    • #28934
      Fritz
      Участник

      Excellent points. Valuable lessons and insight. You are so right, it’s not the worst place to be at all. Thanks for the feedback, and I hope you are doing well.

    • #28935
      Fritz
      Участник

      Last year at this time I was headed to the airport to pick up my wife from her annual trip overseas to visit her parents. I was an emotional wreck, having just been on a gambling binge after 9 or so months gamble free. I was near suicidal, just really down and out, feeling like a complete failure. After putting my wife through so many trials and tribulations over the years, and seemingly having pulled it together for 9 months, it all came rushing back, and here I was at day 2 again feeling defeated. Total humiliation.

      Well, I am off to pick up my wife at the airport again today after her annual trip. It will feel so good to look her in the eyes and tell her I love her and honestly say that I have not gambled. I have access to money and credit, but chose not to gamble each day she was away. I feel balanced, relaxed, more confident, and much more comfortable with who I am.

      There is hope. Don’t give up, even after relapses. It takes work! Giving up gambling and fighting through addiction feels like an insurmountable challenge sometimes. I have found that by breaking it down day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute, and doing whatever it takes in each of those time increments to not gamble is the key. I found that I needed to give up access to money, I had to reach out and talk with someone that I trust, I had to rely on others to help me through it. When I got the addiction out in the open, it lost a lot of its power over me. I journaled. I attended GA meetings. I explored what is bothering me deep inside and really worked on resolving those issues. Gambling addiction is typically a symptom of underlying psychological issues that need attention and resolution.

      It takes time and work, but it is possible to get well and have a happy life. Like one of my mentors always said, sometimes bad things happen in life- adding gambling to them will always make them worse, never better.

    • #28936
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Hilarious. I decide to check it and who is almost at the top but Fritzy. Well done on the year fella. I am going to post a positive update, but I know now why my higher power suggested to me checking in. Good on ya, you tae care.

    • #28937
      Fritz
      Участник

      I feel kind of crappy today, sick with a cold. Can’t think of anything to do, so pretty much wasted the day today. Fog brain. Not gambling though!

    • #28938
      I_Maverick
      Участник

      Good post. Those are the days when we are vulnerable. When old voices lure us back like dangerous sirens in the sea fog. But they call only Death.

      Good to hear from you. Stay around, stories of recovery are important, and there are not enough because when you recovery you don’t need to post anymore.

    • #28939
      female g
      Участник

      so glad to see you’ve come so far and hope you feel better physically since you must feel great mentally. FG

    • #28940
      Fritz
      Участник

      I appreciate it! I still have so much to work on mentally. It is a continuing journey. Sometimes I feel I am just barely hanging on. Why do I feel a need to hang on in the first place? Hahaha, good question.

      Through my recovery I need to remember to ride the waves of life, or let the waves travel through me, not cling to the last wave only to be smashed by the next one. I guess it is my lack of control over situations that bothers me. This causes anxiety. Then I self medicate to numb that anxiety. Gambling is/was one of my self medication «tools».

      My goal is to let go, but I still struggle with it a lot. All I want is some peace of mind! Maybe peace of mind ironically only comes when I can acknowledge and accept that there truly is nor ever will be complete peace. And that’s ok.

    • #28941
      female g
      Участник

      be at peace with what you can’t change and be positive knowing you have come so far. I really don’t believe any of us or at least most of us would have ever started gambling if we had known we would get so addicted to it. It controlled our very mind and body.
      That is in the past now and now that we are aware of how we fell victim to this disease we are able to get our mind and body back and never look back. That truly suggests we can be at peace knowing and working recovery every day. We are bigger and better than this hideous disease. That alone brings me a great sense of peace and power. FG

    • #28942
      maverick.
      Участник

      Fritz,

      Life is full of ups and downs as we both well know my friend, you have done fantastic and should be very proud of yourself, keep staying focused and keep heading in the right direction, your efforts will be rewarded, take care and stay strong you have come along way.

      Maverick

    • #28943
      Fritz
      Участник

      Learning something new can have a positive impact in recovery. I am learning more and more about gardening and how to make a really productive healthy soil with materials that are free and easily available. It’s fun and helps me feel like I am working toward something through all the seasons through soil preparation, growing, harvesting, composting, etc.

      It’s just one example. I as a gambler became very (by definition I suppose) compulsive. I guess I was a bit obsessive too, because I really focused on a very narrow range of things nearly all the time.

      I also do yoga and I am working toward building a habit out of it but I’m not there yet. I am beginning to understand better that life is not pass/fail. It’s a process. Sometimes I stick to my plan and sometimes I don’t, but I am still working on it and am not a failure for not doing yoga every day. Or put another way, I am a success for doing it some days.

      Learning things and forming new, more positive habits can do a really good job of occupying most all of my time. Then there isn’t time to gamble (or time to think about gambling). It’s working for me and I am now more than 13 months gamble free.

    • #28944
      Fritz
      Участник

      Letting go is so hard. Being at peace with things that are not going your way has always been a personal struggle for me. For example, I am growing a garden, and my tomato plants that I have put many hours of work into are suddenly all dying. My first inclination is to say «screw gardening, I’m done with this crap!»

      I feel it on an emotional level, like something has been stolen from me. It hurts. Yes, this may be a silly example, but it applies to all kinds of situations in life. It’s not fair after all of that work that I have put in to have a complete failure. Fairness in life is fickle. Sometimes it seems everything works out or balances out, and other times it seems so completely out of whack.

      Acceptance is key. I accept that things will be great sometimes and crappy other times. I need to keep reminding myself.

      I saw a good TED video today on being curious and mindful when stress causes bad habit urges. Reflect on what I am actually feeling as the situation unfolds. This can help me reprogram my mind.

      http://www.ted.com/playlists/353/talks_to_help_practice_patienc?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co&utm_content=playlist&utm_term=social-science

      Not sure if it’s ok to post this or not, hope I am not breaking a rule.

      No gambling since 2/17/15 for me, that is 16 months today!

    • #28945
      charles
      Модератор

      Hi Fritz,

      You are talking about how you are spending your life not gambling. About how you are filling your time in recovery. That would never be breaking a rule 🙂

      Well done on your gamble free time

    • #28946
      Fritz
      Участник

      I don’t post much anymore, but thought I would mark my 2 year anniversary of choosing not to gamble anymore. I am very happy for reaching this milestone, and also so very grateful for this website and community of like minded individuals. Thank you!

      To those struggling, keep working at forgiving yourself for past failures, and keep working toward building a new life. Be honest with yourself and your loved ones, no matter what. It is worth it. My life now is infinitely better than during my gambling days. I have realized and truly believe to my core that gambling does absolutely nothing positive for me. It is 100% antithetical to my way of thinking and living. Best wishes to you in your journey.

    • #28947
      charles
      Модератор

      Thanks for the update Fritz, it is always good to hear the success stories. Well done on your gamble free time

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