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The Impossible Dream

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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 15:07

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

To dream the impossible dream ~ To fight the unbeatable foe ~ To bear with unbearable sorrow ~ To run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong ~ To be better far than you are ~ To try when your arms are too weary ~ To reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest, to follow that star ~ No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ~ To be willing to give when there's no more to give ~ To be willing to die so that honour and justice may live ~ And I know if i'll only be true to this glorious quest ~ That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when i'm laid down to rest.

And the world will be better for this ~ That one man, scorned and covered with scars ~ Still strove with his last ounce of courage ~ To reach the unreachable star.

Abstainer on a mission and all ready to rock n roll.

Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 15:52

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi Stephen 

Great to see the one and only Sinatra making an appearance with some of the best lyrics we'll find anywhere. 

Is it an impossible dream? We can try ... we can try and reach the stars!

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 16/12/2017 - 21:57

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen, all good with me ta. Great new thread, I know you can do this with strength, courage and hope on your side.Go for it, we're all right beside you Sx

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 00:14

movingforward2017

Joined:
2017-11-06

Very inspiring, thank-you for posting.

Wishing you all the best in the lead up to the new year, we CAN do this.

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 13:11

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen on day 32, I can't read your thread without singing the title badly! Hope you're looking forward to a peaceful, GF Christmas and are taking it easy S:)

Posted on:
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 23:12

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Many thanks for the posts on my new thread. Appreciate the kind words of support.

Mixer ...great to see you doing so well in your recovery. I imagine your family will be noticing the changes from when you where caught up in the gambling madness. I'm way back in the field but will cherish the day I reach Guru status and celebrate 300 days without gambling. One day at a time.

Sharon...always a joy to reflect on your journey. I'm taking a leaf out of your book and keeping it nice and simple. One day at a time. Glancing back if necessary otherwise keeping focussed on the here now and tomorrow. Accepting the gambling losses are gone for good but being adamant that no more money would be gven to the fat cat bookies who have bled us dry for far too long. Enjoying life and showing respect for myself and others. We use less muscles in smiling than we do in frowning so best to keep smiling.

S. J. B... So sorry to read your lil babe was in pain again last night. Hope she gets over it, it must be traumatic for you not knowing whats wrong with her and the vet couldn't​ find anything. Thinking of you both and wishing she gets well soon. Hope the angels gather round and bring you both comfort.

Movingforward...I shall enjoy reading your posts as you sail through christmas & new year and on to a gamble free 2018. It won't be easy for any of us but we can do it. Can we get through it one day at a time (without the dopamine fixes) - of course we can. Like you say we all know where we're heading once we make that first bet. So we've just got to not make that first bet. 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 21/12/2017 - 22:49

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hi Stephen. I like your new thread 'The impossible dream' - We CAN all achieve the dream to be free from gambling if we put our minds to it.

I am so happy that you are back with a renewed spirit and ready to prove to yourself and others that you are strong, courageous and disciplined.

Posted on:
Fri, 22/12/2017 - 13:18

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen hope you are having a good pre Christmas week? Many thanks for all your encouragement and support, always find your words uplifting even if I've been in the darkest hole. Heres to our GF futures, take care S:)

Posted on:
Sat, 23/12/2017 - 23:39

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thank you for posting on my diary, the support really helps me to stay positive. Wishing all on the diaries peace and contentment for christmas, new year and onwards through 2018.

Changemylife & Sharon ...Very illuminating to follow your journey and an inspiration to myself. Seeing friends with a good period of abstinence tells me that I can put the gambling behind me and move on to something more worthwhile and productive.

S.J.B...Agree with you totally my friend. Angels will offer us guidance and a sympathetic ear but we maybe don't heed their words of wisdom. I have sometimes wondered why my angels ever bothered with me but they seem to rally around now and than. I think it's a bit like a coach giving advice to his players who can than take it or leave it.

Went to a Winter Solstice Five Rhythm dance last night. Told the DJ I was still struggling with my breathing so I would take it nice and steady. We all started by sitting in a circle, lighting candles and writing down what we wanted to be rid of and what we wanted to bring into our lives. Needless to say my gambling urges where right at the top of my "getting rid of list." After that we enjoyed some dancing followed by snacks and drinks. Really enjoyed the evening and could sense the angels looking on with approval, or they might have even joined in the dancing!

I think there is more to life than meets the eye. I definitively think there's more to life than giving my soul to a fobt machine.

 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 13:51

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen great to hear you had a super evening! Merry Christmas and thank you for being there with support, encouragement and wisdom Sx

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 14:04

chartom3

Joined:
2015-03-11

Happy Christmas Stephen ....... lets make 2018 one to remember for all the right reasons, looking forward to reading your posts in the new year.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 15:58

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Hi Sir Stephen,

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and an awesome GF 2018 :) 

Sars 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/12/2017 - 09:05

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Merry Christmas to my GamCare family. Compulsive gamblers, friends, loved ones and admin staff.

My thoughts are with you all during christmas and the new year. For some it will be a time of sadness, others will be contented and at peace with themselves, others will be euphoric because they just love christmas. 

It would be difficult to list all the diaries that help me on my journey. There are posts containing much wisdom and knowledge, others maybe humour and understanding whilst some encourage me to question my motives and desires.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, I wish you peace and contentment.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/12/2017 - 15:08

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Happy Christmas Stephen! Presents done, just cooking now! Hope you have good company and good cheer.

Posted on:
Mon, 25/12/2017 - 22:45

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Love and best wishes to everyone. Hopefully your christmas day will have been a time of peace, joy and contentment. 

Many people who are now feeling positive about life may have in the past experienced sadness, loneliness and despair. During those dark, miserable days they maybe lost hope and thought there was no way out. But they did get out of it, so never lose hope, because we don't know what will be blowing in tomorrows wind.

Small positive steps can slowly improve our quality of life. We might have a low opinion of ourselves but that can change, as our confidence grows we can develop some self belief. 

Let's all go forward together. Overcoming our urges to gamble has got to be a step in the right direction.

 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/12/2017 - 23:59

tara2

Joined:
2013-01-27

I love you wrote abstainer.  It really hit home today on Christmas.  I am feeling lonely and in despair.  Some depression and not believing in myself.  Problems seem big.  I started to focus on things that have been good in the past along with things I do well.   small steps.  Merry Christmas, tara2

Posted on:
Tue, 26/12/2017 - 13:21

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hope everyone is staying strong and free from gambling. Got to remember we can't win because we can't stop. Focussing on one day at a time we can move forward, shoulder to shoulder with our GamCare friends.

From the christmas carol "Hope"~ Hope is a candle, a light in the window, showing the way for, a heart to come home.

Thank you Tara2 for posting on my diary. It's good to know that someone out there in the  wide world is sharing our thoughts and feelings. Sorry you are going through a bad patch and hope things look better for you today. Congratulations on 734 days gamble free, that is a massive achievement requiring a lot of courage and a strong will.

The name Tara conjures up thoughts of the 21 Tara Bodhisatvas or Buddhas of compassion and action: (protectors who come to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering).

Green Tara is usually depicted as a compassionate being ready to step down from her lotus throne to offer comfort and protection from all the sufferings we experience in the world. Her Mantra is; "Om tare tuttare ture soha."  Someone chanting this mantra is asking to be liberated from the misery of the mental delusions and negative emotions that blind us to true freedom.

Wishing all my fellow travellers peace and contentment. Keep searching and maybe one day we will find what we are looking for.

 

Posted on:
Tue, 26/12/2017 - 18:44

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

 

You write some fantastic words Stephen - I can tell that because I actually slow down to read them, then read them again. 

Om tare tuttare ture soha is a wonderful mantra and one I've previously not heard of before.

I don't have a particularly religious bent, but certainly lean towards Buddism. Oh, for inner contentment such is the fundament to this understanding of life.

May I wish you, Stephen, the best of health (recovering, I realise, but recovering you are) and happiness. As we move into 2018, we can all, in this wonderful community we continue to build with like-minded Gamcare kindred spirits, have a year we can all look forward to. I'm convinced, with a cautious optimism allied with a spirit that will be tested but come through; down at times perhaps, but never out!!!

 

Posted on:
Wed, 27/12/2017 - 10:24

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thank you Mixer for posting on my diary. Hope your feeling good after the over indulgence that is christmas. Perchance a meander in Mixer Woods will clear the head and rejuvenate the spirit.

I liked your comments on Buddhism. I find it difficult to contemplate a life free from desire. I suppose though it is possible to put less emphasis on material things, to appreciate just being alive, free to enjoy lifes simple pleasures. As John Lennon said "Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can".

A Zen student asked his master. "Is it okay to use email?" "Yes", replied the master, "but with no attachments".

Very dull in Hull today and raining. It brought to mind a similar sort of day one time in the past when I had given everything to the fobt machine. I remember with great clarity coming out of the bookies completely distraught because I could see no way of paying bills or anything else for that matter. It makes me cringe to think back on occasions like that. I don't want to experience that ever again.

Love and best wishes to all friends and fellow travellers. We all know we are on a very treacherous and dangerous journey. But we have got each other for guidance and support. Shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, let's just keeping moving forward, one step or one day at a time. 

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 28/12/2017 - 08:41

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen thanks for your post, I had intentions of posting earlier in the week but am in that weird between Xmas and NEW Year confusion lol. Thanks for all your kind words and here's to a super GF 2018, really looking forward to it, hope you are too S:)

Posted on:
Thu, 28/12/2017 - 09:33

Who am I

Joined:
2017-05-17

Thank you Stephen.

You shone the light so bright that led the way for myself and so many others,

You are the beacon that helped me and many others on dark days,

The beacon, the light, that keeps on shining so bright.

Never let anyone dull your sparkle!!!

 

I wish you all the best for the new year, every step forward is a step in the right direction, always keep believing, thank you for everything.

Posted on:
Thu, 28/12/2017 - 09:45

chartom3

Joined:
2015-03-11

Morning Stephen, Hope you are keeping well and had a good christmas ..... good to see you firmly back on the road to recovery and clocking up those gf days once again, we will have our bad days no doubt but the knowledge we have gained from our previous experiences will stand us in good stead ..... i look forward to joining you and our fellow gamcare friends marching through 2018 gamble free .....

Posted on:
Thu, 28/12/2017 - 18:58

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hey Stephen - I hope you're well and enjoying Betwixmas (my favourite time of the year; much less stressful than the Christmas hubbub.)  

Although I take your point that the weather - a miserable, dull day in Hull (or anywhere for that matter) can send us a bit ga-ga. But we know that the demon flashing lights will ultimately make us even more bored because we're skint on top.

As people have said, what's worse. Being bored with a few quid in your pocket, or bored and skint? Given the gambling takes the money of us pretty damn quick, the second option is (normally) always the depressing result.

So... we might be bored but at least have a few quid? What can we do with it...? We can eat better, life better, be warmer, turn the lights on brighter, buy stuff, treat ourselves, to stuff we want. Days out or holidays away - all possible. It's scary to take a peek at the options, the wealth of options and choice that the gambling demon slammed shut. Dare to dream, as you say Stephen!

Loved your Zen / e-amil attachment joke btw.

Mixer

P.S. I often go to Youtube and play 70s comedy shows and comedians acts, always cheers me up. Max Wall's good, and shows like Yes Minister, Mind your Language, and so many more all on there. All a great way to pass the time and a bit of nostalgia too :)  

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 11:18

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Morning Diary. Wishing everyone is coping with the emotional ups and downs. Christmas can be a time of joy but it can also be a harrowing time when hopes and dreams may be dashed.

My works pension in bank today so the addiction is having a field day painting rosy pictures of gambling. The decent and sensible part of my brain is pointing out the many reasons why gambling for me is the road to hell. It's like telling a child he can't have a bag of sweets.

Thankyou so much for the posts on my diary. The support of GamCare friends is going to propel me into the New Year and a gamble free 2018.

S&B...pleased to see you had good times over christmas with your sister and lil babe. A bit of singing and dancing around never hurt anyone and can lighten our mood. 

Sharon...  Wishing you well as you celebrate christmas and the new year. You have done so well and are approaching 300 days gamble free. I'm not a wise man but I will still be following a star in 2018 ~ Yihaaa ~ Sharon Superstar.

Who am I ... thankyou for those lovely words, I really appreciate your kindness. Lovely to see you back posting on the diaries, really miss your wonderful posts whenever you go awol. Hope your keeping well and enjoying a gamble free life. A bit chilly for your seaside walks on the beach  but no doubt a few hearty souls will be taking the New Year plunge in our coastal waters ( amazing what  people can do if when they set their mind to it).

Chartom ... We can do this. One day at a time and before you know it we will be far away from the addiction. I suppose it will always be around but it's hold over us will get less as time goes on. Wishing you well and look forward to our journey in 2018.

Mixer ...Really appreciate your reminder, it is strikingly obvious but need to be constantly reminded. I may sometimes be bored or a bit sad but it is far better being sad or bored with cash in my pocket than being sad/bored and also skint. The addiction sadly tells me otherwise but i'm wiser now and certainly not falling for that old chestnut again. Glad your enjoying the betwixmas period, an oasis of calm to restore our balance. I also enjoy youtube, all kinds of good stuff on there. Take care and thank for the wonderful work you put into the Guru Challenge. Look forward to joining you for 2018 on the road with our GamCare friends. It might be a bumpy ride so I will need to hang on tightly.

 

 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 20:04

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hi Stephen. Hope you had a great Christmas and looking forward to a fabulous new year.

Your positivity is shining through. You really are on a mission! Experiences and knowledge give you the edge to keep the destructive gambling activities firmly in the past, whilst the angels of love and hope help you along nicely.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 22:26

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou for those kind words Changemylife. I am certainly on a mission and will remember what you have written in a previous post; "I have the power to decide". I will also follow your lead and enter into the new year with; optimism, excitement, enterprise and happiness.

2018 is rapidly approaching. It will be special, a full calender year gamble free. 

Posted on:
Sat, 30/12/2017 - 11:59

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

Hi Stephen,

I'm looking forward to joining you, and fellow Gamcare friends, on our continued journey as we all buckle up for 2018! But the year's not over yet, and it's bittersweet when I review the year in the same way it's been bittersweet for so many of us. (So I try not to dwell.) But, on the positve side, we're a smidgen the wiser, a little bit more focussed and sometimes it's these little 'tweaks' that make all the difference.

It's not a "Eureka" moment, or "Road to Damascus" moment that's going to hit us between the eyes, or some 'epithany' that's going to make us stop permanently. Life isn't like, and we know that.

What we can do, however, is take tiny steps every day - that will do. One of those tiny steps, as we know is simply to uphold the following statement: "I will not place a bet today." That's it, that's enough. If we want to add a tiny bit more, then we can post, share our experiences, like on Gamcare, and the amazing thing is - this tiny actions cumulatively add up. Tiny though they are, they build up our resolve!

Let's say you've got a tough day; woken up p'eed off, or dreading the day for whatever reason. So feeling weak. So, in the morning, you are 50% resolved not to gamble - it's 50/50 - not good enough; something might happen and you might. By declaring you won't gamble today - that's another 1%. Over the finish line! But, because of extra actions taken, like posting, sharing, learning more about this descructive condition we can add another 1%. Making bloody sure, in other words.

The extra actions we have taken have given us a buffer zone! 51% was just enough to tilt into safety, but that extra 1% makes sure. Only 1%, but it feels like much more. Ok - we're never completly out of the woods, but Mixer Woods is just down the woods as you know Stephen; a bit of extra contemplation might add another 1% ... ;)

I doubt we'll ever be "100%" resolved - we know ourselves too well. But I'll live with 51-52% if anything over 50% means we're almost certainly not to gamble today. (Let's me realistic, but at the same time, determined as hell.)

Tomorrow? Let's worry about tomorrow, tomorrow!

It's been really great conversing with your here Stephen - you're the fellow Gamcare buddy I associate with the most actually - that's the truth - and I'm really looking forward to more great conversations with you through 2018. I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the year, my friend - see you next year!

Posted on:
Sun, 31/12/2017 - 09:46

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thanks Mixer for that great post it says exactly what I need to keep doing. 

Small steps will get me through 2018 free from gambling. Everythings on my side now. I have taken on board all the knowledge I have gleamed from the diaries and  am alongside my gamcare friends.

One day at a time and if I sometimes feel glum than so be it. All things will pass and tomorrow is another day.

I won't make unrealistic demands on myself but will endeavour to bring about positive changes if and when possible.

Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

Ps. I don't endorse people catching monkeys and I am a vegetarian so wouldn't eat a monkey anyway.

Posted on:
Mon, 01/01/2018 - 17:26

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Happy new year! Thanks for your post. I hope 2018 is peaceful with no nasty surprises. Can't wait to get back to my sewing machine!

Posted on:
Mon, 01/01/2018 - 22:51

milkman

Joined:
2011-10-09

Thanks for your comment on my diary.

Perhaps my entry wasn't a good one. All compusive gamblers, myself included, are forever inflicted with the illness and therefore control is impossible. However, there is usually a border, a threshold, where incontrol takes over...and my couple of dalliances didn't cross it. I wouldn't advise anyone having a punt under any circumstances. I was just updating my diary honestly. Sorry if it upset you. I'll delete it if you think it's provocative

 

Mm

Posted on:
Tue, 02/01/2018 - 21:53

Nonchaser

Joined:
2016-11-25

Thank you so much for your last post on my diary... my bucket friend lol. I am currently re tracing my steps through Game of Thrones :) boxset

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 10:15

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen hope you're well ? Have read your comments to others, such wise and heartfelt words! Not easy for many this time of year, although I have grabbed January as a fresh page etc and all those other clichés lol. Take care as you gallop up to 50 days S:)

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 10:36

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou Sharon. Great your feeling positive and making plans. I feel happy but a bit subdued today, coming down to earth after christmas and feeling philosophical.

A compulsive gambler walks a sad sad lonely road. Wellwishers may show compassion with a few kind words of encouragement or they may get angry with the madness of it all. They don't understand it but what is there to understand?

Here on the gamcare road trying to look on the bright side, going placidly amid the noise and haste, remembering I am a child of the universe and have I a right to be here!

It seems I am not alone in this struggle, many of us are on the same journey helping each other along. We must still have hope or we wouldn't be here. God bless you all.

Posted on:
Wed, 03/01/2018 - 22:44

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Today I gambled on the fobt machines. I was feeling fed up which is hardly a reason to gamble so I won't elaborate.

 I think I'm sorry for letting people down, but if I respected myself and my gamcare friends than surely I wouldn't have done it. There have been lengthy periods gamble free so I will build on that and try to be more responsible in the future.

I haven't lost much money but my self respect is all gone. Need to accept what I've done and start again.

 

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 01:08

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thank you S&B that was amazing Salsa on the youtube link. He was doing some of my moves lol.We start up classes again next tuesday. I think dancing really helps me to relax and have fun.

It seems I relapse when I get a bit depressed and than self pity kicks in and I turn to gambling for reassurance. It sounds stupid and pathetic but I can't think of any other explanation. Same thing happened 5 years ago, 2 years ago and than last year after good periods of abstinence. I need to be mentally stronger so I can get through the days when I don't feel so good.

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 07:07

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

 

Hai Stephen the Abstainer. I always like the sound of that as it makes you sound like a fellow knight of the round table from the legend of Arthurian, a table where there’s no head but a table full of people who are all equal, hence in modern money - The round table of Gamcare. 

A bit of a random imaginative head on my shoulders this morning as I went of on that random irrelevant tangent. Anyway, I’m always late but thanks for support. 

I see you enjoy your Salsa, that’s cool. But just touching on your bottom paragraph and I Well may be way off the mark, but Salsa won’t give you any explanation for why you take refuge with gambling in your down times. Yes, this site can be supportive and this will upset some but it can also be the blind leading the blind, so we need to find that external source in finding and seeking that self awareness which we’ve been hiding in a machine .... more random rambles from me there ...

So, cut a long story short - strength and honour is sent your way 

Paul the Volcano who’s sat opposite in this large oak circular table

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 07:38

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi Stephen I think it's a tough on your own. No one to hold your purse strings. Sadness, loneliness, causes and outcomes of gambling. i feel for you. My cg volunteered at the local hospital cafe when he lost his job. Gave him a purpose, bit of confidence. Takes up that time. I read an article in the telegraph suggested from a Twitter cg I follow. Someone studying gambling behaviour etc vs illness. Slips are expected. Unfortunately they make you feel rubbish. Have a good day!

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 10:42

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen, it seems January is a tricky month to steer through so please don't dwell on relapsing too much. We've all been there and then try to won out why. I second Merry, is super hard being on your own shouldering everything. I must confess after an awkward run in with my daughters Dad yesterday I am now feeling all over the place and the opposite to how buoyant I was yesterday but hey s*** happens. Sending lots of positivity your way, take care S:)

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 11:05

chartom3

Joined:
2015-03-11

Hi Stephen, Try not to beat yourself up to much mate, learn from you mistake and get those blocks and barriers reinforced ..... have every faith in you that you will pick yourself up dust off and get back on the right track again .... life sucks sometimes but is made so much worse when we gamble, keep fighting we are all behind you, stay strong ...

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 11:19

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou Volcano, Merry go round, Sharon and Chartom.

Hopefully this time I can do better. Circumstances have not been ideal since I had pneumonia and a heart scare. I am not making excuses but it has stopped me doing a lot and I have missed my walks to the river where I could have a chat with myself. I missed my christmas holiday to my sisters family. I have felt vulnerable and the addiction has preyed on that.

Anyway back to the drawing board. I appreciate we all have difficulties and sadness in our lives but it doesn't justify my self harming by gambling.

I am closing this thread now to make a fresh start. I aim to be a friend you can all rely on.