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    • #54475

      Today I have reached the six month gamble-free milestone. It would be an understatement to say my life has changed. I am content and my mind is free. I woke up this morning and realised I had actually taken the time to put on tan last night – it’s been many years since tan was a priority for me. It’s a small but hugely significant change.

      I value myself enough now not to waste time on negative people who drain me with put downs – I simply let them go – and I am finding lovely new and old friends are filling the space they leave behind. I seem to have a new attractiveness (and I’m not talking about looks) – I seem to attract such lovely positive people who genuinely like me for me.

      I searched for an old thread and this was the first post I came across – contrast this to today when I am getting ready to head out for a meal which I booked and organised. I am putting posting it again just to remind me.

      “One more day to go before payday.

      I have got by and thanks to a mini miracle I actually am having quite a good end to the month.

      I feel the usual sense of relief. I know in a day and a bit my month’s wages will be in the bank.

      My mind is doing its monthly spend on silver sparkly curtains, good quality grey paint and of course the savings towards the new kitchen. This is a monthly “mind-spend” which never materialises. The first day I buy nice groceries and even some clothes – by the end of the first week I am back to the usual struggle and unworn clothes are returned.

      I have a telephone appointment to discuss the residential programme. Now that’s it is payday and I have survived, recovery has lost its urgency. Residential treatment doesn’t seem so necessary. I feel I can do it alone.

      I guess I have a bad infection of stinkin’.”

    • #54476

      I know you have come a long way … not just from stopping gambling – but also in believing in yourself. Just push on now to the next milestone … i.e. 6 months and 1 day!

      Take good care of yourself.

    • #54477

      Such an awesome read…. there really is nothing more to say 🙂

    • #54478

      Congratulations on 6 months!

    • #54479

      Thanks Steev

      that post has been extremely helpful and kinda changed the niggling feeling in my brain that my next milestone is one year – of course it’s not – it’s today !

    • #54480

      Thank you Dunc – I have had so much help from so many people – it was my online chat with you which finally spurred me on to actually apply for the residential- I will be forever grateful.x

    • #54481

      Thank you Dunc – I have had so much help from so many people – it was my online chat with you which finally spurred me on to actually apply for the residential- I will be forever grateful.x

    • #54482

      Aimz, I look forward to reading a similar post from you – I admire how you took immediate action- I did a lot of talking for years – the action came later. 

      Talk soon x

    • #54483

      Six months of freedom is priceless.
      Very pleased for you. IDI.
      Giving up gambling also means we give up the mental torture of thoughts/plots/reels/paydays /repayments/relapses etc etc spinning in our head. We begin to be aware that there is a life outside the cocoon we have lived in for too long.
      We can breathe at last.
      I know what that freedom is like.
      I experienced it for 27 months.
      Hold on to it when you have it because the alternative to freedom is slavery. And believe you me being a slave is no joy.
      Gambling is one big lie and when we live a lie we become liars.
      Truth sets us free.
      I used to say “We are powerless until we place the first bet”
      As from today I say we are defenseless without God’s Help.
      Without Him, I can do nothing.
      Keep going. Stay FREE! WELL DONE!

    • #54484

      Thank you Vera.

      I do believe God helps us in the background – making things happen which we are unaware of.

      However, recovery didn’t happen for me until I took action and worked hard at it despite the burning shame I felt each step of the way .

      I filled in the form for the short residential.

      I answered the phone full of shame and thoughts of how lowly the person taking the first assessment must think I am.

      I dragged myself away from an 18 hour gambling binge to take the first video counselling session.

      I told my husband, which was maybe the worse part – not the full truth -but a version that would allow me to attend the residential.

      I sorted time off work.

      I took a flight to the unknown.

      I took a train from the airport to a completely strange place.

      I stayed with strangers in a residential setting despite my enormous fear of staying places on my own and meeting strangers on my own.

      I faced my shame at the thoughts of strangers knowing that I was a lowly addict (because that’s how I felt then).

      I followed every piece of advice with no ifs or buts.

      I attended every post-residential counselling session.

      I attended groups at GT all the time.

      I repeated all of the above again for the follow-up.

      I told my family that gambling wasn’t for me any more and that I had attended a residential. They have stopped asking me to go to a casino with them. My mum is enjoying the benefits of my not gambling as she now has a very generous daughter – she also is having thoughts of giving up herself!

      I wasn’t one of those people who went to GA and found it life changing ( I actually found to really annoying lol).

      I had to and will always have to work hard at recovery.

      God may have provided me with the “lifeline “ but I had to grab it and kick like crazy.

      The worthwhile things in life are worth working for – recovery is worth working for .

      I have a contentment now is beyond the high of any win.

      I am getting all those things I thought I needed a win for.

      Mostly I have learned to value myself and treat myself with compassion. I buy myself nice things, I spend my money on me (some of it ).

      God didn’t stop me from having this addiction- he let me go through years of torture despite my pleas (sounds like a psalm).

      However I have arrived at a place where I would never have been without this addiction so perhaps He had His reasons .

      Recovery was inside me all along – I just needed a lot of help to find it !

    • #54485

      Another day and I’m grateful to have the good health to get up and go to work.
      Today I need to buy a new bed for a guest who is coming to stay. Imagine – I am buying a new bed just like that – me who would have panicked at having to buy a new pillow. Life has certainly moved on for me.

      Today I feel a little anxiety – nowadays I examine it and find a solution for whatever is causing it – to be honest it’s usually something I forgot to do, hadn’t time to do or didn’t bother to do. Most anxiety can be stopped in its tracks by simply being honest and open.

      I am also anxious because I have arranged for a cleaner to come to my horrible home to work for two hours a week- I am wondering will they be completely shocked at how bad it is – it is quite stressful because I have so much to do before they get here .i guess if I was on top of things I wouldn’t need a cleaner.

      Now I realise that these stresses are so much better that throwing all my money to an online site and then living in fear and shame for the rest of the month.

    • #54486

      Really helpful about the effort required to follow the programme. That’s it in a nutshell.
      Well done on your 6 months.

    • #54487

      Big congratulations! Really find your effort inspirational and can’t wait to be able to post about my own 6 months!
      Keep on keeping on!

    • #54488

      Big congratulations! Really find your effort inspirational and can’t wait to be able to post about my own 6 months!
      Keep on keeping on!

    • #54489

      Thank you Stevie and Monica

      Today I have a plumber calling to fit my “new” washing machine. I have been without a washing machine for almost two years and my journeys to “the machines” are over . I have an extra night a week to do something I like doing!
      The basic things I have allowed gambling to deprive me of …

      On a positive note life is improving in all areas and without gambling will only get better. I am sleeping well and getting up refreshed and able to face what the world throws at me .
      Onward and upwards .

    • #54490

      Good on you!  I hope you enjoy your new washing machine.  I’ve started to look out for them in airbnbs now as it is so much easier than trying to understand a laundrette that doesn’t speak English.  I didn’t have one ever … but I did always pay for the service wash – so I didn’t have to sit there all day.

      I think it is so important to post on what a difference NOT GAMBLING has made to our lives.  It keeps me motivated as well!!

    • #54491

      Congrats on your 6 months!!

    • #54492

      Thank you Lizbeth and Steev,

      I am overjoyed to have a working washing machine! The things we take for granted and the things we deprive ourselves of as we continue to be slaves of this addiction!

      Life is good – I have a very long work day today but I’m grateful to have Work.

      I have a family meal planned for tomorrow night – there will be some quite toxic people there but I intend to go with an open mind and be assertive if anyone is disrespectful. Being assertive gets easier when you find the sky doesn’t fall down when you refuse to be treated disrespectfully or taken for granted . In truth being assertive is far nicer than replaying what you should have said for days later. Yes I have left my victim status firmly in the past !

      That’s about it – life is good – I deserve to have a good life !

    • #54493

      I have such a hectic weekend ahead of me – I have a visitor coming to stay and am going out for a meal later with extended family. Add in work today, an electrician coming to do some some small jobs and a new cleaner calling to see around and it is busy, busy, busy!

      Of course it also shows that my money is being spent on better things than gambling – things which improve my life rather than destroy it ! My money seems to go so far these days, although most of my “new “ appliances are second hand.
      I am looking forward to the long weekend off for St. Patrick’s Day. I will be able to make my first roast dinner in over a year. Again I ask myself why I deprived myself of so many basic things for so long – and I remember how close I came to not even having a home to put second hand appliances into .

      There before the grace of God go I .
      Never look back but never forget.

    • #54494

      know exactly what you mean, I can’t wait to meet you at that point where I can do these things again for myself its going to be an amazing feeling 🙂 

      Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the rewards from the hard work you’ve put in & continue to put in 

    • #54495

      You will be at this stage before long -and it gets easier as we progress.

      Had a lovely meal last night . It doing to be quite a frugal end to the month as I have had so many one off expenses – frugal nowadays means cooking every meal instead of the odd take away or going for a meal. In the past it meant selling off anything I could find for pennies and borrowing from anywhere I could get it.

      Heading off to the shops now – hope there is some food left in them- this Corona virus has had a huge impact on just about everything .
      I hope all my friends on here stay safe. X

    • #54496

      Today I am still as full of gratitude to be gamble-free. I am still really happy to have money in the bank (not a lot this month but I can eat !).
      Today there is also something new … I can see things with clarity .

      We can try to blame ourselves and our gambling addiction on everything which goes wrong in our lives. We can blame ourselves for our relationships being less than perfect.

      In truth many of us are escaping from something- whether it’s memories , trauma or very controlling people in our lives – people who could decide at any moment that they want to bring joy into our lives instead of being on their own agenda. Their own agenda means controlling and thinking they know best !

      The difference between gambling and not gambling is that we can clearly see things for how they are. Our sight has come into focus.

      I now have had almost a week of the latest “moodswing” – the one where someone else chooses to be in a mood and criticises all day long for weeks on end.

      It starts as soon as they wake up and I am awoken, regardless of the hour , because of the urgent need to ask me a mundane question about the dog or the heating or criticise something I did less than perfectly !

      It then continues throughout the day – I’m lazy, on my phone too much (they never put theirs down), selfish , the world revolves around me , I don’t care about my child, I don’t put the groceries away properly, I’m careless, the house is a mess, I’m a gypsy, I’m stupid, if I had brains I would be dangerous and it goes on and on all day long.

      It’s the continuity which makes it seem normal.

      I guess when I was younger there were interludes when I was also pretty and there was a sense of pride to be with me.
      Unfortunately, the years and ageing have wiped away these nicer interludes!

      Despite all I must have always had some sense of self worth because I take it all with a pinch of salt … or do I? I know I gambled for a long time. Was it to escape?

      So today I have decided no more ! This person can sort himself out or I will sort the relationship myself! I deserve better – I deserve to either have the peace of being alone or the joy and positive companionship of being in a relationship.

      I do not deserve to be a pawn in someone else’s months’ long moods.

      People get too hung up on in sickness and in health and forget about the love, honour and respect !

      It’s kinda like gambling -one day you just know it’s time to say “no more”!

    • #54497

      You got this I am so happy to read your positive journal and yes you have also made a difference in people lives who are also looking for recovery and healing.
      Please continue threading you are doing well.
      I am thankful for your response and contribution on this forum.
      Your words are very encouraging to move away from the urge to make that bet.
      You are a strong positive influence to those on this forum and to me as well I thank you.
      Be bless
      Stay strong

    • #54498

      I could feel the power in that post. 

      I think that when we are gambling, we put so much of our energy into the bet and the remorse and the fighting with the urge to bet again – chasing losses etc. – that it takes our energy away from where it is needed and we just accept our lives as “that’s how it is.”

      In my case – I don’t think I would have ever gone travelling if I was still gambling, not just because I couldn’t afford it – but because I would have just put it off as “something I would like to do one day,” without making it happen.

      Tackling things that need to be done (again, in my case clearing out and selling my home) becomes more of a focus – and so it should be.  

      Get good support for yourself whilst you make decisions that you need to make.  Remember to always put your recovery first.  I wish you well!

    • #54499

      Thank you steev and Seanraj for your positive posts.

      Steev you are so right – we cannot tackle anything else while we are lost to gambling addiction.

      What’s new in my life ? I now have a cleaner who comes for a few hours a week while I’m at work . I arrive home to a clean house and I can focus on other things like cooking nice meals and sorting out messy areas. It’s just nice that the house work isn’t hanging over me ! Himself isn’t most pleased but I offered to pay him the same rate to do it and strangely he didn’t seem that keen!

      I love this new me !!

    • #54500

      I have one too, I-D-I He comes free of charge He also does all the house maintenance, supplies fuel, builds etc etc. The downside is, like the person you mention, he is a moody ******* and everything that goes awry is my fault. I give as good as I get, sometimes and sometimes (but not today ) I punish him (and myself mainly) by saying “why the hell do I bother”.

      At these times and for many other reasons I threw away thousands upon thousands. Nothing is perfect. I don’t blame anyone but as you rightly point out everyone deserves peace and we all have the right to say “enough is enough”!

    • #54501

      Thank you Vera.
      I guess when we were young and had our lives ahead of us, we didn’t dream about giving as good as we get!
      We didn’t dream about it because who would chose a living decades of their life battling constantly to avoid being crushed.

      For me the battle is almost over – one way or another.
      I have self-sacrificed for too many years and the manipulation no longer triggers my guilt.
      I have little to feel guilty about – I spent some money . I worked hard my whole married life and yes I have have made mistakes. However the biggest mistake was choosing the wrong escape – I chose gambling when I should have just chosen me !!

    • #54502

      Hi IDI 

      I really needed to hear this this morning. Like you, I am quick to blame myself and look for inner reasons to make sense of losses experienced in the past.

      Recently I applied for a new account for myself and husband as there was a sign up incentive. I found myself depositing money into my husbands new account from mine and used his card on an website. luckily he received a text message about the transaction and cancelled the deposit to the online casino from that account in his name. I would have gambled away 3k in the space of minutes.

      it wasnt about the money but my frame of mind at that point. I was feeling some of the things you mentioned in your post. Though the criticisms are not constant for me when they start it is over petty things. It’s a rant and leaves me quite down and low. I think sometimes it is about control. I have felt all kinds of feelings stemming from lack of appreciation and care.

      Anyway, my attempt at gambling is a relapse for me as the intention was strong and I would have gone ahead with it had I not been stopped by my husband. he came straight home and we talked. at moments he felt he needed to make me feel ashamed of my actions and I urged him to look beyond that. Shame is always felt by me when I have gambled and always lost or tried to gamble but it has never stopped me from doing it. Rather thinking about my baby and her future has brought me back from that zombie, all self destruction mode.

      there are so many people out there who can relate to your feelings.

      thank you for sharing 

    • #54503

      Hi IDI
      I suspect the wrong escape chose you, I don’t believe you chose the wrong escape.
      I am sure that we all had our dreams when we were young but for many of us the reality, when it set in, was not of our choosing. If we are granted the power to wake up, however, we can leave the past behind because no matter what happened in our yesterdays, only today matters.
      How brilliant it is to read that today you are choosing you. You deserve a better future and I wish you well.

    • #54504

      Thank you Velvet,
      I guess this addiction did find me – to be honest it feels like it has been there simmering my whole life – but it certainly was ready to boil over once the opportunity arose.

      This current crisis with corona has me questioning the future – I am so grateful that I am not trying bargains on empty shelves. I am so grateful that I have a little money behind me.
      I am also frightened as to how our world will look in four months time.

      I can only focus on today and doing my best for today .

    • #54505

      We are all scared, seems to veer from scared to ok to scared again.
      I am grateful to be able to work from home, that I am not self employed any more and salaried. Grateful that God has a plan and that everyone across nations is working together. The way humanity was going, what did it take for that to happen?
      I am grateful for life, love, family and friends.

    • #54506

      Thank you for that message Monica. 

    • #54507

      Thanks Monica
      I think I am going Covid crazy.
      I have mixed feelings about being a key worker – on the one hand I want to do my bit for society as a whole – on the other hand I am at the older end of the workforce and I feel worried about catching the virus. I guess all key workers are vulnerable at this time and we all need to do our bit.

      I also find it very hard to get motivated – I don’t work well in isolation – I miss knowing that I can pop into cafe or shop when I feel like it . It feels like this will go on forever.

      I worry that I have seen family members like my mum for the last time. It feel like I suddenly have an old head on me – one that worries about “what ifs” except this time the what ifs may well become real.

      I know I am supporting too many people right now – I am carrying people who will drain the last bit of “lifeblood” from me and give nothing in return. I also am supporting people who need my help to manage this crisis.

      As I Read this back I realise the old “ you become the average of the five people you spend most time with” is true . I have turned into a moaning ninny just like those who are currently draining my battery.

      In real life we can run, only stop for a minute, have work to get done – but in isolation we are there night and day through our phones.

      Looks like this virus might force phone free time on me – for my sanity !

      Moan over – gonna return to optimistic me by morn .

    • #54508

      As part of my recovery, I have a list of warning signs … signs I need to take action. Posting last night allowed me to clarify some things – I need to step back from those who seek to only take. It is good to take stock sometimes.

      Most relationships are about give and take. That is healthy. These are the relationships we should nurture. There will always be times when the balance is unequal – that is the nature of life- we all need different levels of support at different times. Overall however, relationships should make us feel good.

      When relationships don’t make Us feel good, or stop being equal – then it is time to step back . This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned during recovery.

      Tonight I will devote ten minutes to answering the 40-50 messages from my “energy drainers” and then forget about them until tomorrow night.

      My recovery comes first ! I have stepped back from several people since I have been in recovery and my life has only improved.

      I guess when it comes to relationships it’s quality not quantity!

      Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers!
      I have had a beautiful, flower-filled start to mine.
      Feeling loved xx

    • #54509

      The current pandemic has given us all time to reflect as our movements are curtailed.

      I have realised that I have played a not insignificant role in work- and people at all levels have been seeking my advice – yet my current position does not reflect my workload and level of responsibility.

      A hasty, exhausted response from one manager, let me see clearly that my way forward is being blocked – when the pressure is on people reveal who they really are or perhaps I am just really good at reading between the lines.

      So today I am applying for new jobs – I have decided I’m not too old, too tired , too worn. I am a passionate, hardworking, creative and person, who people readily approach for help. I have built some great friendships where I work but I don’t want to look back in ten years and think “what if?”.

      Today I am going to value me and my contribution in the workplace – the extra training I have undertaken, the many projects I have led on, the teams I have motivated- today I am putting me first and I am no longer going to carry out a senior role on a salary which does not reflect my workload.

      Time for a change!

    • #54510

      Sounds like a positive new direction in your life.

      If you should need any help from an ex careers adviser … just ask!

    • #54511

      Thanks Steev – I definitely need advice.

      I try to notice my moods, feelings and thoughts and monitor where they lead.
      Today I guess, despite that really strong post I wrote earlier, I feel unvalued.
      Of course within hours gambling thoughts have started to emerge.
      Not thoughts of a big win today – I realise that working gives me enough money – but just warm, fuzzy thoughts about that great feeling when you have just put your money in at the start and you have all to play for. It’s like a buzz, a strong sedative – just a wonderful, warm feeling.

      Of course we know it usually leads to a hangover from hell but for that short while it feels so good !

      So how to I lift myself today? I am tempted to turn to my number 2 drug of choice – food.

      How can I during this lonely, planet-pause crisis find joy? This could be a struggle. Perhaps we need extra chats on here ?

    • #54512

      It is a challenge for all of us to be with ourselves. Today I have stood in the sunshine pouring in through my front room window. Opened the windows, my son and his girlfriend stood in the communal garden, the pallor from staying indoors soon leaves. My son is transforming the house and redecorating. I am looking at knitting, sent off a couple of emails re debts. I haven’t been able to do this much, being distracted by the news, and feeling that slightly tense feeling, which I don’t watch now, only in the evenings when Boris does his thing.
      This is the opportunity to do those things we always wanted to do, for me it is writing, registering for the on line healing diets course and I ha ve been looking at knitting, ha ha for beginners for the baby.
      Good luck with the job applications.

    • #54513

      Thank Monica,
      I appreciate your reply.
      I used to knit when I was younger – did a few scarves!

      Today I am feeling quite cross .
      I have continued to get texts from online casinos about their offers – they are usually once two weeks or so. Since we went into lock-down today I have had three! THREE!

      It feels like as a society we are pulling together and really trying to stop the spread of this disease.
      Yet these Leeches are taking advantage of the fact that we are all more vulnerable right now and increasing their marketing.

      Come on Mr Ineffective Bumbling embarrassment- on- the – world- stage Prime Minister – do something right!
      Stop organisations taking advantage of the Current pandemic!

      Another good reason to stay stopped – it cuts the income going to these ruthless, money grabbing parasites !

      …yes I am quite annoyed …

    • #54514

      Those Ba%&*rds are showing themselves in their true colours now, I-D-I.
      PURE EVIL!
      We have God/Good on our side.

    • #54515

      Thanks Vera for your post.
      Just earlier this morning I was thinking that I have “lost” God – I’m not sure whether the phone line is temporarily down or all is completely gone. There have been too many struggles in the last decade and too often it felt that I was alone.

      Perhaps it’s the urgency of the current pandemic but I keep thinking about how short my remaining life is. Even if I live a very long life it is more than half over. I have achieved so little and have felt stunted during the years I had energy to follow my dreams. I don’t even know what my dreams are anymore.

      More and more I feel I need to go through the rest of my life flying solo. Who wants the humdrum of making breakfast, washing dishes and keeping a house – and on a good day a visit to the beach. Perhaps if I could look back on a wonderfully happy life I would be happy to continue as is.

      Its not often in life we have time to stop and think. Who knows how many of us will change direction after this pandemic?

    • #54516

      Good day Jane thank you for your positive response on my tread.
      I do appreciate you. Do be safe. God bless you.
      Take care

    • #54517

      Thank you Seanraj for your post.

      If my calculations are correct I reached 200 days yesterday.

      I have had a huge amount of support – I attended a residential, I had counselling, I have ongoing “check-ins” and I attend groups on here.

      Yet, I I find myself triggered by the recent increase in advertising by some companies and I guess the boredom of staying at home.

      I wrote the other day that they had texted me three time since lock down -I noticed later that they also left two voice messages! Little wonder I felt triggered, but their numbers are now blocked.

      On the positive side this lockdown has highlighted for me that I need to be ever vigilant – Sure this disease may sleep for a while but it is ever present.

      Also there are also people out there who want me to fail- those people who can make a lot of money from me.

      However there is a will inside me to succeed. My brain is learning how much better life can be without gambling.

      Onwards and upwards !

    • #54518

      Who phone you IDI? Gambling sites that you have self excluded from?
      I would think they are in serious breech of T and Cs.
      I would be contacting a lawyer to discuss legal action.

    • #54519

      Lol Vera
      I would be too mortified to say to a lawyer that I had a gambling problem – so that’s not an option.

      But yes I am self- excluded, signed up to Gamstop ( which is pretty useless) and they definitely should not be contacting me .

      Maybe the casino could sue Gambling Therapy for loss of sales!

    • #54520

      Lol Vera
      I would be too mortified to say to a lawyer that I had a gambling problem – so that’s not an option.

      But yes I am self- excluded, signed up to Gamstop ( which is pretty useless) and they definitely should not be contacting me .

      Maybe the casino could sue Gambling Therapy for loss of sales!

    • #54521

      Today I am really starting to enjoy working from home .
      I need to let go of guilt – so what if I stay in bed late, so what if I don’t get all the work done I intended, so what if I watch too much Netflix? So what ?

      Why is guilt such a huge part of my life? It holds me back- it makes me feel overwhelmed and it switches my focus from issue to issue so I get nothing done.

      Today I’m going to say
      “well done me- you made lunch!
      Well done me – you washed dishes.
      Well done me – you spent quality time with your son.
      Well done me – you managed to do some ‘work’
      Well done me – you shared jokes with your friends
      Well done me- you hoovered a little
      Well done me!”

      I think having time off has really made me really notice my thoughts.
      We are our own worse critics – time to treat ourselves as kindly as we do others!

    • #54522

      I completely agree, well done.

    • #54523

      Six months ago I never dreamt the country would be in lock-down.
      I never dreamt that my son’s exams would be cancelled.
      I never dreamt that I would be banned from seeing my mother and family.
      I never dreamt that the future would be so uncertain.

      While all this seems completely incredible I know there is something else I never dreamt would happen.

      I had all but given up hope of ever being gamble free.
      I felt this demon would possess me forever.
      Deep inside I “knew” I was incapable of stopping.

      The demon still possesses me but it’s power has weakened – or perhaps mine has strengthened.
      It still waits for a moment of weakness and then it strikes but my barriers are good and it cannot get a hit.

      Anyone who has been in the grip of gambling addiction understands what prison really is. Without the awful guilt, shame, regret, self- hatred and loss – self isolating for Corona is actually ok.
      It’s boring but my brain no longer craves the intense highs and lows that gambling brought. It has learned to enjoy living life at a slower pace- on an even keel.

      I am enjoying being at home- and just …being .

    • #54524

      Thanks Monica x

    • #54525

      Tonight I had really strong urges to gamble- the type of urges which would have led to gambling if it wasn’t for my barriers.
      Something is slipping and I’m not sure what
      I have to go to work tomorrow – perhaps that’s stressing me .
      I have nothing much to look forward to (thanks to lockdown).
      Something has changed because tonight barriers saved me.

      I am on the verge of real financial security – maybe I want to self sabotage?
      I guess it’s a good thing that when I was feeling strong (or maybe I felt weak ) I put barriers in place.

      Recovery is so good usually – payday on Tuesday – no reward of dinner out or new clothes – plan for the unexpected they said…

      How on earth could anyone plan for this pandemic ?

      I keep myself going by thinking I will have extra money and I will plan some good trips – but then I wonder will the world be ever normal again – and if it is will I be here to enjoy it?

      I am such a bundle of laughs tonight. I need to get a grip and fill my time a little more constructively.

      I am still gamble free – I guess that’s something to be happy about. I am also pleased to see that Ireland’s aggressive strategy for controlling Corona seems to be yielding positive results. I guess I can always holiday on the island when this is all over …

    • #54526

      Payday was the time you gambled in the past, IDI.
      The anticipation lingers somewhere in your memory still.
      That is my guess . Association and anticipation often bring up memories. It will pass.
      I could say a LOT about the pandemic and relay some inside stories that would put your hair standing on end but we must focus on recovery from C-19 as well as G-19.
      2020 has been a G free year for you.
      Keep it that way.
      We all have “bigger fish to fry”right now.

    • #54527

      You wrote: “I am still gamble free – I guess that’s something to be happy about.”  More than something to be happy about, but something to PROUD of. 

      Staying gamble free after a while is pretty easy most of the time, but it is when you are really tested that you have to do the work.  Put your blocks in place, work out what is going on for you, what triggered you and if you can, work on it; if not talk to someone about it.  Find something to do to take your mind off things (I know – easier said than done.)  And remember that things will look different in the morning.

      I think the self sabotage thing is real.  I started journaling on this – asking that part of me what it needed (I know I am a bit mad like that) and worked out that it was my low self esteem, the fact that I didn’t deserve a “normal” life.  It has been a really slow process for me to feel valued by me and I think I am still a work in progress.  I am not saying that is what is going on for you – it may be something completely different – but getting to the bottom of what is happening in our brains will help to put the gambling bug to bed – I’m sure.

      Something to bring to counselling – or to a one-to-one on here perhaps?  I am sure you can work out what you need and give yourself that.  I wish you well.

    • #54528

      Thank you IDI for your kind words. I read your message and forgot to respond with everything that has been going on around us.

      I am still coming on GT to read.

      You are doing extremely well and conscious of the G thoughts. I found myself in your position so many times. My triggers were playing games (non g) like Tetris excessively. They seem to remind me of the ‘highs’ of G.

      Unfortunately my other trigger is when my bank balance looks healthy and I start thinking about purchasing a house somewhere. 

      After my holiday in the states and my love of the life out in Florida, I found myself calculating money again and wanting to accelerate the process of saving for that dream home (in Florida this time). Some of my family live out there and when I was there I felt at home and extremely well as I had when I lived in Aix-en-Provence. That dream still exists 🙂 and I will have to be a lot more patient and hardworking to realise it.

      Think about the tremendous efforts you have put into your recovery and all the positive that has come out of it. G thoughts come and go, some stronger than others but your barriers are solid and will help you in a big way.

      After my episode of depositing money in my hubby’s account, I shut down that account and transferred the entire balance to a savings account which doesn’t allow any internet transfers nor issues any cards for purchases. I felt a great sense of relief as I know that money is ‘safe’ from G (at least).


      The boredom that may have triggered the relapse is now being addressed. I signed up to an échange linguistique  site and have found some people I converse with in French and English via watsapp and voice calls. It has really evoked the amazing experiences I had whilst living abroad and reminded me of the great efforts I put in to adapt to living and working abroad (including learning a third language). I lived frugally and was very happy. I have a good foundation to build on and I realised that those skills have lay dorment for the past 4 years. Well not anymore!

      Keep posting and updating us on your journey 🙂

    • #54529

      Thank you Steev, Vera and RG for your very thoughtful posts.

      Today the urges are dying down – I ate my way through them.
      I think it’s the boredom of lockdown and a bit of self sabotage.
      I didn’t gamble so there’s a clear message gone to the addiction!

      Nothing to write about but at least no gambling to report – I’m a week off seven Months gamble free.

      Onwards and upwards

    • #54530

      Many times when I gambled I would think it’s not too bad – I only spent £100 or £150.
      Of course I did without lots of things while I was gambling .

      Today I am reflecting on some purchases I made last night online at Argos. I spent under £80 and I now have a bathroom scales, dumbbells and a lovely fire pit for my garden.
      Sure none of it’s top of the range but I have them now, they will improve my family’s wellbeing and health and all together they cost less than a “cheap” night gambling.

      These are all things which will help me get through the lockdown with my mental and physical health intact. For someone like me, in early recovery these are essential items- things I have deprived myself of and which will motivate me.

      My weekly cleaner is also proving to be a huge benefit. There is an added bonus that everyone seems to be tidying as we go along. It is lovely to walk downstairs each morning and have everything feel so clean. I will miss this perk during lockdown. The benefits of not gambling are becoming greater and greater.

      Next on my list I am considering investing in family bicycles- perhaps second hand. Suddenly the possibilities seem endless – last night I googled old barges (not sure why – I have a huge phobia to water, sea, rivers – and am convinced I drowned in a past life).

      I wish I could go back and do things better – I can’t – I can only make today the best day it can be. I can only make changes for my family for today. I am incredibly grateful that I have today and it’s many possibilities.

    • #54531

      Today I am doing a huge clear out of my wardrobes and bedroom. Not gambling means I can dump things I used to feel the need to keep, because I know I can buy again if I’m stuck.

      My home is becoming a place I love being – so much more calm and clean than in my gambling days. Not much else to report- Saturdays in lockdown aren’t terribly exciting.

    • #54532

      I was awake most of last night with severe tummy cramps – I thought this must be appendicitis or something serious because I had no other symptoms and it was a severe pain I never remember having before.
      Today I am a lot better but something feels sore.
      I went back to bed this afternoon- I was exhausted. My husband came home from work and the criticising started as soon as he walked in.

      I don’t want to be part of this anymore. All I could think last night was that I have waited too long to have a nice life where I am master of my own destiny. If I had to go to hospital I don’t fancy my chances at the moment. If I get this virus will I recover? Has my life been just about battling to survive rather than living?

      I need to make some huge decisions -I don’t know if I’m ready for them, and I’m not sure of how I will manage alone. I want to want to go downstairs at the weekend instead of watching Netflix in my room. I want to potter around my garden and not have my work criticised. I want to buy a lamp or vase and have it admired instead of criticised. I want to decorate a room and not be met with a litany of how I am doing it wrong. I want to do things without stopping to think of the complaints I will receive. I want to return to my love of DIY. I want to wake up and know I can do whatever I like because there is none to criticise.!

      I want to feel appreciated just a little … but at the moment there is nothing to appreciate as I have checked out!

      I feel my acceptance changing to resentment.
      Maybe at times this is a positive emotion as it might drive some change !
      I don’t want to be on my deathbed having these regrets…

    • #54533

      I can relate, IDI!
      Sorry to hear about the cramps. Very scary in the middle of the night. I have been there . I would actually pass out with cramps and often had to alert my better half and beg him not to leave me. Unless I turn up the drama ( but it would be REAL drama) , he wouldn’t notice even if I did hit the floor.
      Every time I cook/bake or do other work in the kitchen I ask him to let me know when the kitchen would be vacant so I can get on with my work without his constant negative remarks. On the UP side , I must admit he does 90% of the work and I don’t always give him the credit he deserves but sin sceal eile (that’s another story). His niggling comments sometimes extend to critical actions e.g. he re arranges the items in the dishwasher , sweeps and washes the floor after I have done it. Sometimes I say nothing, sometimes I nag him to hell and sometimes I gamble to escape.
      Did you every think of taping him and playing back his comments? Or simply sitting him down and asking him why he is critizing or maybe get him to put a list on the wall so that you know the rules.
      I am sick of listening to negative comments too but I wouldn’t dream of turning my life upside down to escape them. I just try to focus on the actions and I will admit his actions far surpass his words.
      Sadly, my son ( who is staying with us now) is taking over where his father leaves off. Every word I utter is either contradicted, repeated with a sneer, or criticized. Maybe your son will take your side and say
      “How dare you speak to MY MOTHER like that “but that could be wishful thinking.
      In the meantime try to think of the long term and don’t make any rash moves.

    • #54536

      Agree with all you have written Vera except I feel my life is upsidedown now and I would be putting it right! xx

    • #54537

      Marriage is probably great for some adults – to be honest  it wasn’t something I ever felt I needed but then I guess I allowed myself to be manipulated in so many ways. No more – onwards and upwards !

    • #54538

      Just realised I reached seven months gamble free and am
      Two days into my eight month yahoo !!

    • #54539

      Congrats on entering your eighth month!

      As for your “decision” I wonder if you have taken this to counselling. I went to “marriage guidance” now “relate” when I knew I couldn’t stay in my first marriage. It was my first time in counselling and I remember the shock of being asked what my childhood was like. “The same as everyone else’s,” I said, and then told the counsellor about my Dad’s compulsive gambling and Mum’s severe depression.

      You don’t have to be a couple to go for relationship counselling and the idea is to support you, whilst you work out a solution for yourself.

      I decided to leave and my ex-wife and I remained friends to the extent that she and her new partner supported me through the death of my mother and came to the funeral.

      Of course the outcome for you could be different, maybe finding a new way of relating, maybe deciding on no change – but at least it will offer a sounding board and some support as you work through what is a really difficult time. I hope this helps.

    • #54540

      I hope your stomach cramps have eased now. I got l theanine delivered today so will let you know how these go, I have given them to my son as well as he finds himself getting anxious.
      Now with the hubby, this has been an issue for you as long as I have been on the site and I am now two years 8 months gf. With Pete, our relationship had been non existent for many years which is just one of the reasons I gambled. It was through counselling that I explored this and gathered together the courage to ask him to move out. Now I know our story has had a surprise twist in that we have gotten back together some nearly two years since he moved out but the relationship now is nothing like it was at all. So sometimes a kick up the butt is worthwhile to change things for the better. I also had a kick up the butt and have made some big changes as well. I do realise that we are probably in a minority. You do need to talk to your husband though and tell him how you feel. If you r unable to do that, I would ask why?
      During this time of crisis may not be the best time, or it may be. You are the best judge of that.

    • #54541

      Glad to see you are still going strong on your journey! Relationships are tough! I’m not married but have been with someone for almost 10 years and she probably says similar things about me. If you aren’t happy then leave or ask him to leave and do you! Life is too short… If you love the person and think there’s something worth salvaging or saving then do that but ultimately in my opinion if it’s not going to lead to happiness then why keep doing it? Shame I didn’t figure that out with gambling for a long time!
      Keep your head up feel proud and stay strong! Happiness awaits you with open arms 🙂

    • #54543

      Thank you RG, Monica , Steev, StevieV and Vera

      I’m not sure how but I missed most of these replies … I think I just figured no one would write and didn’t check even though I have been on the site loads.

      If someone else was writing what I am about to write I would question their intelligence … he has been watching his p’s and q’s and I’m thinking maybe things are on the up … well mostly … my standards have dropped so much. I’m grateful not to be sworn at and name called ( much!).There is definitely a cycle of some sort at play here.

      I am going to read each of your replies again and consider carefully what you all have said.

      Thank you so much for your considerate responses.

    • #54544

      Thank you for your post on my thread. I always like hearing from you. Well I did the timeline too and it is 973 gf days, nearly hitting the 1000 days.
      I am in the outreach poulstone ex residents group. we Skype on a Thursday evening. I wonder if you can join it?
      I like your idea of planning for the week. It worked for me previously And I will never forget your support when things were quite desperate. I find even when there is zero motivation, and nothing is achieved one day, then it can be the next. Progress, not perfection. I like that phrase.
      I was lucky in that before corona kicked off after I hurt my back at xmas I signed up for hello fresh and Abel and Cole organic. If I hadn’t I would have been in dire straits now as not a hope in hell of getting a delivery slot on Ocado now. I hope from little seeds things come into fruition, literally and metaphorically!

    • #54545

      I find the hello fresh recipes, whilst very nice, are quite calorific. But my guts are much better now without the long work days and I find I can eat things I never used to be able to in small amounts. There was one brill recipe that tastes yum which is pasta in blue cheese sauce. May post the recipe.

    • #54546

      Hi Idi – thanks for posting on my thread. I thought I would write a response here rather than back on my thread where you might miss it.

      Just to remind you – you wrote: Please tell me how you can came to know what you really wanted from life ? Did you always know ? It amazes me that at my age I am still drifting through and still no sense of direction..

      One of the things I worked out from my gambling days – was that drifting was bad news for me. I felt that my life needed to have some meaning, otherwise I would create meaning by gambling. Weird? Well when I am constantly thinking that I need to get my next fix – or I need money to pay for the fix – or I need money to replace the money I used getting the fix … all that is giving my life “meaning.” It might be all negative but it is a reason to live (to play, or try and stop playing, or paying off debts.)

      When I stopped – it was like tumbleweed flowing through my brain. More than boredom – it was like “what is the point of life – if I can’t gamble? How can I replace that?”

      I had during my “trying to stop” days, read books by Viktor Frankl, the Austrian / Jewish psychotherapist who was also a concentration camp survivor. Whilst he was there he noticed that people who had a strong “life purpose” were more likely to survive what they were going through. He came up with the idea that, “those who had a why to live can get through any how.”

      Now when my life got really tough – with stress at work and debt repayments (small beer compared to being in a concentration camp – I know!) I looked back at his work and thought about what would give my life meaning. For some it is their families – but I don’t have one. For some it is religion or faith – but although I believe in something it is not that strong. For some it is suffering itself – but I didn’t feel that applied to me. So I had to look at what was meaningful for me. I’m most at peace and most happy when I am experiencing nature – so being in the world and discovering more of it has sustained me over the last year or so of travelling. Now I can’t then plan B would be to stay and explore nature in one place (which was the theme of the post you responded to.)

      So there you have it. I didn’t always know – it was something that I worked on. Partying sounds more your thing – and I guess this is because you are more of an extrovert. Connecting with people and bring others (and yourself) joy may be something you could look at. I hope you find your way, you know you have my support!

    • #54547

      You should write a thread on this topic … or a book.

      Already ideas are floating around my head.

      How do u put stuff like that ?

      Please post this in recovery tools .

      You have made my love of “partying” ok and also have given me ideas for how I can use this to give my life a sense of purpose.
      Thank you .

    • #54548

      Thanks for your post on my thread. Yes, Ireland have dealt with it better than the U.K. The U.K. have been slow to shut up shop, I recall the Cheltenham festival going ahead and a number of people got sick there, slow to test, PPE logistics issues and the nursing home situation will come out as a scandal when all is revealed.
      You May be right about the sore throat, it was absent today
      but it comes and goes.
      Hope to chat later, just missed you yesterday.

    • #54549

      Thank joerdj-
      I’ll ask someone to sort it .

    • #54551

      I am also new here this is my first day. I already know im going to lose my stimulus check before I even have it cause of my gambling issue. What would any of you recomend I do to stop this? Just spend it as soon as I get it on something useful? I say this cause its happened so many times before that I pretty much know the urges are going to be there and Ive failed almost all of the time before so why is this time going to be any different?

      Everytime I get a sum of money it happens. I’ve taken steps to close my online accounts and all of the local casinos I have self excluded and they are not open now anyways. There is always ways though even gas stations. Ive been a online poker/gambling addict since I was 16 and im 30 now. Most ever went without gambling was for 6 months in 2014. Looking for that strength again.

      Update on this when I get the money I plan on having my mother open a savings with the check in her name. Better then pissing it it away which it will sooner or later I have zero confidence in myself done it way too many times. Done everything. Treatment, medication, therapy, I am still doing it and my pyhchatrist recommended my mother to make the savings.

    • #54553

      Hi Avaskavich

      One of the things I found most helpful in stopping was to get a gambling blocker. I use gamban. You can get a free trial. If we could rely on willpower or mindset, none of us would be addicted.

      Another thing which helped me was having a card I cannot use online. So I cancelled my bank card, requested a new one and when It arrived I got someone else to scratch off the back three numbers. I can still use it in shops but not online. You will need someone to help with this because first time I tried it myself and my brain automatically remembered the number .

      If you open your own thread (go to bottom of page and select new topic) you will get lots of advice. Also there are support groups on here which might help you .

      hope this helps 

    • #54555

      Hi IDI, It’s Meghna not Meghan  🙂

      i guess that message should be posted on steevs thread. I am sure he will appreciate it.

      As far as sermons and church is concerned, I’ve never quoted anything biblical. I have never read the bible nor do I follow that faith. I have my own faith in a creator. call him/ her god or any other name. this is my thread (which you posted on) and it is up to me what I write about and how I express myself. I am not out to reform or give sermons to anyone. My posts are for my own record.

      ‘I agree some of us need to hear the message very directly but please advise actions we can take – we can go to church if we want a sermon!’

      That is your opinion and I do not have to or intend to give ‘sermons’ to anyone here, including you. Please do not dictate how I ought to write on my own thread and what I must say to express my thoughts and feelings.

      you yourself have talked about ‘God’ in some of your posts 

      Hope you have a good day!
      thank you

    • #54556

      My reply was in reply to your post.

      I am a Christian – I love God! I’m sorry if my posting thhis offends you. 

      I don’t think you were here when I was struggling so my post referred to you in no way.

      I’m not actually sure how my saying people telling me which actions to take were more helpful than quoting cliches at me has been perceived to mean I can’t  talk about God ?

      Completely lost on this one ? 

    • #54557

      Maybe a misunderstanding and I apologise if i got the wrong end of the stick. 

      I wrote that message after reading some negative remarks left on someones post and I was actually reflecting on it on my own thread for my own record. Lesson being – not to kick someone when they are down (had a relapse)

      a relapse is devastating in itself and I remember  getting so much positive feedback from everyone here to help me deal with it. I feel for anyone who has relapsed and always want to be optimistic that they can get back to being GF

      yes I think crossed wires IDI

    • #54558

      Thanks for your post RG,
      Yes we have to consider the financial implications for our futures.

      Do you remember that book The Secret ? I am currently watching a little bit of it every night before I go to sleep. It is on Netflix.
      It’s kinda changing my mindset although I’m not sure that thinking about something makes it happen. If it did I would have won one of those super jackpots years ago for I thought about little else for a decade.

      It is helping me though to think about what I want. I drift a lot with no real direction.

      I have had to leave the house for some work and to be honest it has taken the monotony away – I had a very socially distanced coffee with friends at work – we yelled across a room at each other but it was still nice to get out and meet people.

      Life is ok – I am missing my cleaner terribly, the house is getting completely out of hand but today I’m going to start early and do the work myself – I am going to tell myself I am enjoying it haha. That’s the secret!

      That’s about it – the birds woke me . I don’t find this as annoying as I used to. I have started having internal dialogues between my inner parent and child. The spoilt child has dominated for too long . It sounds crazy but now I tell the child to go to bed in time – life is better with enough sleep. I tell her one chocolate bar is enough (instead of six). I tell her get up and do housework( she’s a little reluctant on this one ). It seems to work or else I am losing my marbles during lockdown.

      Ok inner child – that’s enough talk, go do some work ! lol
      Talk soon!

    • #54559

      It seems we r all missing those improvements that we had in our lives. They have made a difference and we miss them when they r no longer there. I certainly do and I notice the effects of not having them.
      My view on The Secret, you can keep on saying I am this or I am that but without inner Change and dealing with stuff it gets stopped and won’t happen. I always think that our higher selves or God, however you view your higher power, knows what’s best for us and that we should always surrender to that. Bringing in desires sometimes just feeds the ego. It gets it and then it wants more or something else. Never satisfied and the road to hell and ruin. I am very dubious about it although I get the law of attraction as I have seen synchronous energy at work ie like attracts like. We should have a debate on it in chat. It sometimes reminds me of Canute and the waves, ie you can keep on saying it over and over again, ie I am calm, I am abundantly wealthy etc but if you haven’t dealt with your underlying anger or maybe poverty consciousness it is just like Canute and the waves. Pointless.
      Yes, it is nice to get out and meet people, we are social beings, and I am glad u got the opportunity to do that. Me and you meet on housework, see my thread just now…

    • #54560

      Thanks for your reply Monica.

      Today I have a red wine hangover – online get-together with friends. It was good at the time – not so good now. I have made a rule that I only drink once a week during lockdown because it is too easy for it to become a daily habit, especially when I am not obliged to drive next morning. I might review this and cut down further. I always need to remember I have an addictive nature and need to monitor many areas of my life where addiction could become a problem.

      I am feeling very happy inside myself – it’s hard to explain but I have thrown off the old thoughts and behaviours which used to drag me down. I seem to be able to process “upsets” very quickly now and move on.
      I am noticing behaviours and how I present myself . I have stopped trying to rescue the world (which I somehow felt was my job whether they felt they needed rescuing or not! Lol). I am putting myself out there with the confidence of someone who likes herself and believes that she is likeable.
      I am doing ok!

    • #54561

      So true.Present yourself as you are, no more no less! It’s who you are.

      You are an inspiration, still waiting for my 2 months GF but tuesday it will be!

    • #54562

      Thank you LSA,
      I really appreciate your reply.
      Well done on your almost two months – those early months are challenging so every day is an achievement.

      This week I have decided to slow down and look practice self-care. I need to prioritise sleep, exercise and healthy eating.
      I also am going to spend some relaxed time clearing clutter – there is no huge rush -‘it has sat there for years – I can deal with it slowly.

      Not much to report – I reach 8 months gamble free on Thursday. I’m in a good place. Life is good!

    • #54563

      Well done I-D-I on your gamble free time almost 8 months now, and thank you for your post on my thread, and yes new activities are a must as asubstitute for the time that would have been spent gambling 🙂

    • #54564

      Thanks your post Nick,
      Hang in there – it will be so worth it.

      Today I have reached another milestone.
      8 months gamble free.
      I couldn’t start to explain how things have changed for me.

      I don’t spend my time panic stricken about money – my latest losses, trying to cover-up, counting and counting in my head, obsessively planning cheap dinners, searching for loans , making sure I get bank statement- when I think about it at least 90% of my mental energy went into gambling and it’s consequences.

      I now wake up refreshed after a good night’s sleep. I remind myself every day that I have enough. “ENOUGH” has become my mantra. Enough gives me a peaceful life.

      My mind is on an even keel- no more extreme highs and lows.
      My moods are on an even keel also.

      It’s time I started to do the things I really want to do -my home improvements – perhaps today will be the day?

    • #54565

      Yes – I still remember the mental turmoil I went through when I was gambling … Not just the act itself, but all the stuff that went with it; to chase or not, where to get money from; how to find the time (as I was working my fingers off trying to stay afloat) flitting into recovery and then back out again. So much calmer now …

      Beware of feeling too calm and almost missing the “excitement” of gambling. That shows itself as boredom and was a big trigger for me during my early recovery. I have since learnt that when those feelings come I need to do something else – anything that will take my mind off things and then later, when I am feeling stronger, take on a bigger challenge that will keep me interested and away from gambling. Previously that was travelling, right now it is language – not just foreign ones … I am getting so into the ins and outs of English now I am teaching it.

      Enjoy your gardening and your DIY projects when you get to them. See you in chat soon?

    • #54566

      Great progress, I-D-I.
      Only when we suffer enough, will we give up torturing ourselves.

    • #54567

      Thank you Vera and Steev,
      Yes Vera , I had reached the point where I knew I would never stop and this would be my life forever. THis called for drastic action- I did the bravest thing of my life – I went for residential treatment – me who is afraid to stay in a hotel alone! It has changed my life.

      Steev your motivation to learn and see new things is amazing. I am more of a binge on Netflix type – I seem to have lost my motivation for everything else.

      Today I start my ninth month gamble free – it’s a good feeling.
      Today I am going to get moving and start to work on “my” space – it is a home office/ relaxing space . It is newly painted – a white box – I’m excited now – when I do my essential shopping today I mite pick up a few cushions and things for it. Little steps. Progress not perfection !

    • #54568

      On Friday I was to start on “my space”.
      When I went shopping I didn’t buy the cushions and accessories I had intended – I bought a sweet little zip up, walk in greenhouse.
      I think I have found a hobby I really love.

      As a child I wanted to be a gardener – I remember working away in little plots, sowing vegetables and flowers, and sometimes creating a little space to sit which would delight everyone, especially my really old grandparents ( a few old bricks and a hedge clippers) . I was creative and self- motivated. We lived on a small quite neglected farm, so there was always a new space I could work on- I taught myself skills that most children would never learn like basic brick laying and plastering. I could cut a piece of wood to fit any shape!

      I loved the idea of doing up my home, and for a while it was great – it was my own taste but on trend. I broke the rules and each room had a completely different look to the next. Each room had a finished look .
      When on a trip, I picked up huge vases and accessories that had to be squeezed into the over head space on aircrafts. I often took day trips to other cities (when those one day return offers used to be incredibly cheap) just to go to home- shops.
      I remember my sister and friends commenting on my interior design skills. I loved my home and loved having guests.

      And then somewhere along the way the constant criticism started to feel oppressive -today I think I could paint the bathroom, but tonight I know I will be criticised terribly – it will be my work, it will be me : “that’s ****” , “you’ll start that and not finish”, “you want everything done now” “you’d be better cleaning this house” and on it goes …incessantly.

      Nowadays I am painting my whole house white because I am “afraid”I will get it wrong. I can’t make up my mind about the cheapest cushion or accessory in case I get it wrong. I am “fearful” of making a mistake. I need to stress I am never afraid for my physical well-being – quite the opposite actually.

      I’m being very long winded but I guess the sense of freedom I have in my little greenhouse , the pure joy in pottering about out there, doing something I have rediscovered I still love, a reason to jump out of bed in the morning, – all of it is a huge unexpected bonus in my life.

      I am finding me in my little “zen space” in my garden .
      An added bonus is my son finds it just as wonderful as I do.
      I have saved a little money and I have think that I am going to invest in a proper greenhouse- one big enough to have a small sitting area- I think I have found my new home! Who knows I year from now I might be ordering a “woman cave” for my garden- a place where I can entertain and feel free!

    • #54569

      I posted this on someone else’s thread as well.

      I little sign I bought in my greenhouse says:

      “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”

      Enjoy your new hobby.

    • #54571

      Thank you RG and Charles

      I can’t even answer your posts because my internet blocker has just failed.

      I feel incredibly nervous like I have an exam I’m unprepared for.
      I also feel a bit relieved that I feel nervous instead of excited that I can now gamble on my phone.

      I think maybe I have worked too hard at recovery and it evaded me for so long that I’m not prepared to give it up.
      I’m not prepared to go back to the horrible old days.

      When I put the blocker on my phone I needed it.
      Since then I have gained a plethora of tools which I now have at my disposal. I am capable of making good choices for myself.

      All those times I walked past the lottery stand- my phone blocker didn’t do that – I did.
      All those times I could have nipped into a casino and didn’t – my phone blocker didn’t do that -I did .

      I could easily have used my son’s computer if I really wanted to gamble. I guess it just I’m nervous because the stabilisers are off my bike

      But I’m ok – I got this !

    • #54572

      The REAL blockers/barriers are in the mind, I-D-I. The physical blockers are easily shifted , if we want to gamble.

      When the mindset changes , the behaviour changes.

      Blockers slowed you down when you needed the extra hurdle help but they NEVER stopped you gambling.

      YOU STOPPED YOURSELF and you now know that gambling has no hold on you so take a bow!

      I always said it comes down to “mindset” in the end.

      I rest my case. As an extra precaution, lock down/up your funds so that they cannot be easily accessed.

      Ps. Your green house sounds like the perfect escape. My husband lives in the garden. We have a “lean to” green house which he erected years ago and a tunnel which came later. The garden is set and beginning to flourish. Who needs to gamble when we have everything nature can give us. it seems you are naturally green fingered like my old man. You will never again want to buy limp lettuce, tasteless tomatoes, wilted cabbage , carrots wrapped in plastic when you get accustomed to the crunch and flavour of the real thing. We reap what we sow.

      Let gardening be your new GA Don’t forget to water , water, water!

    • #54573
      Dark Energy

      what I have learned is not to loosen my road blockers, after a 6 month free of gambling I reduced the road blockers, I felt very confident, then i relapsed. many times after that.

      you don’t have to put your self at risk, even if it is very low risk, keep the road blocker as it is, it is a task handeled by the application so your brain is free from resisting the temptation becuase he know he can’t access to the gambling site.

      as you wrote you can access through other devices, but no need to risk any thing, you got it right keep it keep going the same way. you don’t have to give this addiction chance to inter again.

      keep strong, your are very supportive member of this comunity and we need you to sucess.

      we need as many positive stories to gives us the hope that we can succeed.

    • #54574

      Hi Vera , hi Darkenergy
      Thank you both for your posts.

      At first I thought Darkenergy means well but he doesn’t know me. However, I have been tempted every night for the past few days.
      I haven’t gambled because I have gained a certain strength while I haven been gamble free…but who needs the hassle of fighting this battle when a blocker frees my mind! Your advice is spot on.
      Vera you are right too about mindset – if we relied completely on barriers- the minute they fail we would fail. We need to keep ourselves safe and work on ourselves !

      Bottom line is why make this any more difficult than it needs to be?
      There are no prizes for making things hard – the prizes are for staying gamble free however we manage to do that and I’m not ready to hand the prizes I earned back !
      I have had the best 8 months of the past decade and I am happy!

    • #54575

      PS -I just updated the iOS thing on my phone .  I then downloaded gamban  again- there are now two copies on my phone – one working, one not! I tried to turn it off in the same way and it won’t switch off. I feel a huge sense of freedom! 

    • #54576

      Just realised. The Topic on Monday is going to be One day At a Time or Plan for the Future?

      Nothing quite like buying a greenhouse that shouts being able to plan for the future is a big part of recovery.

    • #54577

      Thank you Charles

      My little greenhouse has taken a battering in the storm. It tossed and turned by baby plants and has thrown them from their pots. I have done my best to rescue them.

      I intended writing about how I am no longer abstaining from gambling. I don’t mean I have gambled, I mean my focus is now on more ordinary things like the wallpapering I am about to do or my garden.

      When I go to the food shopping I am not searching for bargain food, I look for interesting new foods shop to try. I even am developing a taste for organic meat!

      When I go for a browse around a shop, I am not bypassing the “frivolous” things; I am buying them and enjoying them. Who could have know I really needed a dog with light up eyes hanging in my garden ? It makes me smile.

      Yesterday I was in m&s and the shoes which would have been so expensive a year ago, seemed like a good investment. I am thinking “key- pieces” rather than charity shop pieces.

      Despite this I am more careful with my money than I have ever been. I know I need to be able to pay college fees, upgrade my car, upgrade my home and maybe upgrade me!

      Life is great in recovery. If you haven’t already done so, please come on-board.

    • #54578

      Wow, look at you go! Admittedly I’ve only read the last few posts but….I’m really impressed and so so happy for you.
      Here’s my take on a blocker…you know I self excluded all those years ago and continued to do so….I think it has lapsed and I really need to get back onto that once things go back to a new normal….but, I agree wholeheartedly with you, it frees the mind, and once you start doing those normal things, thinking of normal things, it’s almost a re train for the brain. After a while you just don’t think of gambling near as much, simply because there is no point! You can’t do it, I can’t do it so we do something else. And those ‘something else’s’ are so much more satisfying…I bought new curtains yesterday, they look great and I KNOW if I was still gambling they wouldn’t be there. I self excluded for the first time on 16th June, 2009 . It was my daughters 18th birthday. Now I haven’t had a perfect run, I’ve slipped a few times after my exclusion ran out, all the more reason to get it done ASAP. The local venue isn’t open yet with covid but as soon as it is….I’m there! That sounds weird but that’s where they do the exclusions (isn’t it ironic)
      Anyway, I remember all too well the ups and downs I had when I finally stopped gambling. It’s like finding a whole new person who had been buried deep down. I was so afraid of her, what if I don’t like her? What if she’s rubbish? Well, I feel the best I have ever felt about myself. She’s a pretty good chick if I say so myself LOl!! IDI as my thread used to say (maybe still does I haven’t looked!) ‘to live, that would be a great adventure’
      Welcome to life! Breathe it in! Your thread made me smile today!
      Love K xxx

    • #78140

      Hey IDI! I seldom come here anymore BUT thought I would pop in because I have been thinking about you and wondering how your doing?? Please give us an update.

    • #78290

      Thank you to everyone who has checked in on my thread. I am happy to report that I continue to be gamble free.

      I just saw this quote from one of my earlier threads.
      “One more day to go before payday.

      I have got by and thanks to a mini miracle I actually am having quite a good end to the month.

      I feel the usual sense of relief. I know in a day and a bit my month’s wages will be in the bank.

      My mind is doing its monthly spend on silver sparkly curtains, good quality grey paint and of course the savings towards the new kitchen. This is a monthly “mind-spend” which never materialises. The first day I buy nice groceries and even some clothes – by the end of the first week I am back to the usual struggle and unworn clothes are returned.

      I have a telephone appointment to discuss the residential programme. Now that’s it is payday and I have survived, recovery has lost its urgency. Residential treatment doesn’t seem so necessary. I feel I can do it alone.

      I guess I have a bad infection of stinkin thinkin”

      I can’t believe reading back that I now have the silver sparkly curtains, the good quality grey paint and a beautiful new kitchen. I have learned to save, wait and believe. I never have that horrible misery as payday approaches. I have happy home with lots of laughter which I feel able to invite people into.

      It took a huge effort to stop gambling. I still attend support group weekly. However, every day is a joy. My life is unrecognisable. All the things I so needed the big win for I now have after just a few years. Best of all I have peace of mind.

      I cannot recommend residential treatment strongly enough….it’s free, it’s short and its powerful. We all deserve it.xx

    • #78589

      Well done Idi – great to see you doing so well.

    • #167072

      I think its been over 3 years now..don’t really keep track.. but I am sitting in a “gradually growing beautiful home” which is a far cry from the shamefully tatty one with the long term broken oven, washing machine and only two working hob rings. 3 years free and maybe 13 years since I first joined this site but what a great few years it has been. Life of course throws curveballs, and quite a lot of them recently, but at least I can afford to face those curveballs in comfortable shoes.
      It took me several attempts to become free of this-I understand now we are never really free. Like other long term illnesses, we can manage this. We need to be always wary of triggers and keep strong barriers in place.

      As Charles always said in group “there is only one thing in life we cannot do”.

      Thank you Steev, Kathryn, Jen and Kin for your replies. Its nice to hear from some of my old pals.

    • #167091

      Well done IDI, you deserve your success. I am glad you are enjoying all those other thigns in life 🙂

    • #184920

      Hi ididit,

      Thank you for sharing your recovery journey.

      Congratulation on achieving a clean and sober life.

    • #184947

      Hi IDI, thank you for your kind words elsewhere. I am glad you found support here but remember it is still YOU who have doen the hard work so be proud.

      You deserve your success, we all deserve recovery.

      Thanks for giving us an update – if there is one thing I like to hear about more than someone not gambling it is to hear how they are enjoying their gamble free time and the things they are doing instead.

      I am glad that you are no longer sad 🙂

    • #185975

      I would like to say to everyone: even though the process of self-discipline is really tiring, it is always much less costly than gambling. I hope that everyone can make themselves successful in quitting gambling and living a better life through self-discipline!

      • 該回覆由 Dunc 於 3 months, 2 weeks 前 修改。
    • #186627

      Hi i-did-it,

      Thank you for sharing your recovery in here. I really look forward to reading your post.

      • 該回覆由 kin 於 3 months, 1 weeks 前 修改。
    • #186628

      Thank you Kin, Charles and Matarazzo for your replies. Certainly Matarazzo self-discipline is important. However, it doesn’t explain why some high-achieving people (through their self -discipline in terms of studies or hard work) start to gamble and become quickly addicted while their peers can stop.
      There is a lot of recent research which indicates that genetics play a role. I believe that genetics combined with with a variety of factors contributes hugely to this issue.
      Lacking the self-discipline to stop sounds like a definition of addiction – if we had it we wouldn’t need support. I know that without support I would never have stopped. I also know that it is barriers which keep me clean a lot, when my self-discipline fails me. I don’t know how often this is the case because I don’t test it. I have nothing to gain and everything to lose by putting my self-discipline or lack of it to the test.
      So I would encourage anyone reading this to take as much support as you need, keep adding to your barriers and please do not rely on self-discipline alone.

    • #186936

      Hi i-did-it,

      You have been thru a lot, and have found your way back. Stay focus on what you are doing.
      Your personal recovery, health and growth is more important. You are worth it.

      You did gardening and that takes self-discipline.
      It help strengthen your willpower and self-control.

      Take care and God bless!

      • 該回覆由 kin 於 3 months 前 修改。
    • #187015

      what an incredible journey you’ve had in these past six months! Huge congratulations on reaching this gamble-free milestone and experiencing such positive changes in your life. It’s inspiring to see how you’ve embraced self-value, let go of negativity, and surrounded yourself with amazing, positive people.

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