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It's a journey not a destination

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 28/07/2016 - 22:52

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

I have decided to jump in and journal a bit of my personal progress as Gamcare suggested. I have never had my own diary and not sure how much I will use it or if it is of help to anybody but writing things down can be therapeutic.

My son is the compulsive gambler in my life. He started when he was 18 and is currently 27. The last 9 years have been a roller coaster filled with lots of tears, screaming, threats, nasty nasty comments (from me in particular), cutting (on his part), trips to ememrgency for threats of suicide, stealing from us, pawning things from our home, numerous different therapists, moving out & then moving back in ... just generally very s**tty.

My CG son falls in the middle of the family... we have an older son and a younger daughter. This has touched (more like drop kicked) all of us. As the mom I felt this was my failing... How could I let this happen and then How come I can't fix this. The latter being the bane of my existence for almost 7 years. I got to the point that I knew nothing I said or did helped but I could just not help myself... what kind of mom can't help her kids?? How can I just sit back and watch while he was on a collision course with disaster?

I can't tell you how many "That was the last time mom, I'm done with gambling" I have heard and I believed every last one of them and so did my son as I've come to realize. Finally a friend suggested I try Gamanon. I had actually gone to a meeting when we first realized there was a problem. - 7 years prior. I didn't continue because to be honest i thought that we were somewhat unique and didn't belong with the rest of the people there (not one of my prouder moments) and also I was p*****d that I was told that I wasn't going to be able to change this. Now 7 years later we were all fast approaching rock bottom and I was ready to surrender... I give... I'm done. That was 2.5 years ago and I continually try to make myself a better person every day. I am the furthest thing you could find from a religious person and I have never felt anything but love and support from my group.

I like my son am not cured. This doesn't go away. My son started GA about 6 months after I started Gamanon but at the end of the day if he never found recovery or doesn't stay in recovery I still have a life that is meant to be lived to the best of my ability. It is definitely not easy some days but self care is the only way forward.

Family and Friends are the same as the gamblers- we get to where we need to when the time is right and not before.

 

Cathyx

 

Posted on:
Fri, 29/07/2016 - 01:51

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

I've followed your posts Cathy & I'm amazed @ your strength!  Even if you don't use this much for you, it's important for us on the other side to know why we must never stop fighting.  If people that we have hurt need to fight when they have done nothing wrong, we have no right to ever give up on ourselves!

It's lovely to finally have somewhere to come to say Hi to you...Hi :-)

Keep looking after you - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Mon, 05/09/2016 - 13:28

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Amom wrote:

I have decided to jump in and journal a bit of my personal progress as Gamcare suggested. I have never had my own diary and not sure how much I will use it or if it is of help to anybody but writing things down can be therapeutic.

My son is the compulsive gambler in my life. He started when he was 18 and is currently 27. The last 9 years have been a roller coaster filled with lots of tears, screaming, threats, nasty nasty comments (from me in particular), cutting (on his part), trips to ememrgency for threats of suicide, stealing from us, pawning things from our home, numerous different therapists, moving out & then moving back in ... just generally very s**tty.

My CG son falls in the middle of the family... we have an older son and a younger daughter. This has touched (more like drop kicked) all of us. As the mom I felt this was my failing... How could I let this happen and then How come I can't fix this. The latter being the bane of my existence for almost 7 years. I got to the point that I knew nothing I said or did helped but I could just not help myself... what kind of mom can't help her kids?? How can I just sit back and watch while he was on a collision course with disaster?

I can't tell you how many "That was the last time mom, I'm done with gambling" I have heard and I believed every last one of them and so did my son as I've come to realize. Finally a friend suggested I try Gamanon. I had actually gone to a meeting when we first realized there was a problem. - 7 years prior. I didn't continue because to be honest i thought that we were somewhat unique and didn't belong with the rest of the people there (not one of my prouder moments) and also I was p*****d that I was told that I wasn't going to be able to change this. Now 7 years later we were all fast approaching rock bottom and I was ready to surrender... I give... I'm done. That was 2.5 years ago and I continually try to make myself a better person every day. I am the furthest thing you could find from a religious person and I have never felt anything but love and support from my group.

I like my son am not cured. This doesn't go away. My son started GA about 6 months after I started Gamanon but at the end of the day if he never found recovery or doesn't stay in recovery I still have a life that is meant to be lived to the best of my ability. It is definitely not easy some days but self care is the only way forward.

Family and Friends are the same as the gamblers- we get to where we need to when the time is right and not before.

 

Cathyx

 

what an amazing post Cathy.  thanks for sharing your continuing story of recovery.  I hope to keep up that walk with you and thanks for the post on my diary.  It meant a lot, thanks  tri

Posted on:
Mon, 05/09/2016 - 14:33

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

Thanks for the support on my diary, its alwasy good to have somewhere to say thank you, i cant see any reason why keeping a regualr diary can not help you in the same way it helps me, i find its good to get the thoughts down in balck and white, they just seem to make more sense that way to me.

wishing you and yours all the best.

Posted on:
Wed, 07/09/2016 - 11:26

ALAN 135

Joined:
2015-09-08

Morning Cathy , I just wanted to stop off and give my thanks for your kind words on my diary , they were much appreciated . I also wanted to add how nice it to see your posts popping up , as Odaat says it's nice that you have a base on here that you can call home and put down your thoughts and somewhere is CG's can come and visit . I wish you a happy day with love and best wishes coming your way xx

Posted on:
Fri, 09/09/2016 - 17:53

Guestuser9

Joined:
Before 2009

A late thank you for all the support you have given me.
Good to see you giving out support to other's to
Have a great weekend

Posted on:
Thu, 15/09/2016 - 22:55

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

As ever, thank you for your support Cathy :-)  

In a way, I guess I'm lucky that I have it on my doorstep so to speak...Not because I can sympathise with her but because of the stark reminder of the damage it causes.  I only ever made those 'never again' promises to myself, until 'now' coz I never had support & if it weren't for people like you giving your CG's your whole & still not getting anywhere, I may still be harbouring under the delusion that I could help her.

As you know, we are all responsible for our own journeys & just like you, I'm fighting for me - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Fri, 23/09/2016 - 12:26

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

thanks again for the support Cathy.  hows your son going?  still attending GA regular?  working the 12 step program?  tri

Posted on:
Sat, 24/09/2016 - 07:15

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

Thanks for popping in Cath...
Hope things are going well for you and your son...
""Mum"" hardest job in the world !
Take care x

Posted on:
Fri, 30/09/2016 - 22:55

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

My son has been gamble free since January and continues to work a real recovery... not just abstinence. Though close to 9 months have passed it's amazing how quickly my mind still goes back to the fear and other feelings that go with a gambling addiction. Still every time I see his name pop up on my phone I panic. What does he want? Has he relapsed? I go straight to that place like Pavlovs dog and I hate it. It's not the thought of my son losing money that scares me its why is he so sad,frightened, lonely, fed up with life that the self punishment of losing everything in a casino seems like the answer.

As a mom I don't want to see him counting days but hanging on for dear life until the next crisis happens. I want to see him learning to like himself, learning to trust himself, learning to accept that he is good enough... I could give a s**t about his day count.

 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 02/10/2016 - 19:45

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi Amom

Thank you for your post in the early hours...i noticed you posting late at night, is it part of stress about your son that keeps you awake?..sorry for the question..i just know how vital sleep is for all of us.

Wow...i can't believe this post didn't come from your Son. You truly understand the triggers of addiction and how our brains works. It's definitely not about day count..no..it's far more than just that. It's self discovery, acceptance, forgiveness and determination for a new life. New life without clutches. Getting familiar with the anxieties and vulnerabilities and dealing with them in different manner...loving ourselves for who we are and accepting support and care from others. ..i guess we all need that someone..it helps to share the pain and double the joy ☺

I am so happy for him and you. Try and stay calm, talk to him and hopefully he will keep opening up and letting you in in his life and emotions he might have.

You're an amazing person with huge heart..i can tell he is the same...keep believing, keep being there for him on good and bad. That is something important for everyone & not just CG.

Take care

S x

Posted on:
Wed, 05/10/2016 - 11:44

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Thank you for your post amom,

Connection, honesty and laughter - key for the wellbeing ☺

Keep doing what you doing and take a good care of your good self.

Best wishes

S x

Posted on:
Sun, 09/10/2016 - 19:59

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi amom,

Thank you so much for the link..it made me a lil emotional...your kindness is very appreciated.

Please never worry about me. I am always up & down, sometimes lows gets too deep but i always find the strength & clarity to fight on ☺

Keep looking after yourself and your lovely son. Every day is different, but the way we deal with a lil tougher ones matters the most. You're great person carrying so much on your shoulders...you should be proud, the strength you carry is admirable.

Hope your weekend was calm and peaceful.

Have a lovely week ahead ☺

Sandra x

Posted on:
Sat, 12/11/2016 - 03:00

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi amom,

Thank you for your kind message, i did get a lil low last night but propped myself up again with your & my friends help ☺

Got a lil video for you as remember you're from Canada..this makes me smile & a good friend of mine lives there also and we did laugh about it last year...

Here is a beaver ;-) ....welcome to Canada

https://youtu.be/sekLEG8xsOs

Also, another friend from over the pond asked the q about Canadian dollar..i cannot remember the answer so shall ask again if i may.. does it smell of maple syrup if you rub the leaf printed on the note?

Ya see, i am all calm and at peace..maybe a side of me you have never seen before, but i do smile when i feel it ☺

Look after yourself & hope all is well with your lil one

S x

Posted on:
Tue, 15/11/2016 - 22:36

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

As ever Cathy, thanks for your kind message :-)  

It always seems to me that you loved ones have a much better grip on what recovery entails even though we chose it & 'you' get forced into it.

I completely understand the fear of the phone & although I'm still not ready to accept I was all those things & more whilst active, I know my mum is running from her pain.  Don't despair if he is counting days 'still' (it certainly was a valuable tool for me), as he works his recovery, hopefully he will get stronger & stronger until he finds & accepts all those things you wish for him & the counting no longer feels important.  You know you are there for him just as you always have been & always will be - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Sun, 20/11/2016 - 15:50

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

THANKYOU Cathy for popping over to my diary. ..and for your kind words...
Hope you're ok and things are going well for your son. ..as a parent it's so hard watching our babies go through difficult times..
I've been with one of my daughters through some terrible times....hardest thing I've ever done....actually much worse than fighting my addiction. ....I suppose it's because I had no control over the situation she got herself in...I don't know...but as mums there pain and distress hurts us doesn't it....
Anyway....we keep smiling. ...and if a giggle on the way helps...that's a bonus...take care x

Posted on:
Sat, 26/11/2016 - 11:04

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Amom wrote:

My son has been gamble free since January and continues to work a real recovery... not just abstinence. Though close to 9 months have passed it's amazing how quickly my mind still goes back to the fear and other feelings that go with a gambling addiction. Still every time I see his name pop up on my phone I panic. What does he want? Has he relapsed? I go straight to that place like Pavlovs dog and I hate it. It's not the thought of my son losing money that scares me its why is he so sad,frightened, lonely, fed up with life that the self punishment of losing everything in a casino seems like the answer.

As a mom I don't want to see him counting days but hanging on for dear life until the next crisis happens. I want to see him learning to like himself, learning to trust himself, learning to accept that he is good enough... I could give a s**t about his day count.

 

 

Know that you are not alone in your recovery either Cathy.  We walk side by side with you too.  tri x

Posted on:
Mon, 12/12/2016 - 18:25

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Thanks Cathy. Really appreciated your post.

First step of clearing my head is writing it down. Seeing the funny side is a sweet next step, which you helped with.

Glad your son's making progress and delighted you've got comfort through GA.

I know my parents were/are pretty much perfect. No trauma for me yet I still became addicted for a long time.

The struggle with difficult emotions drives us powerfully. Know you're meant to be a 'man' but the 20s can be especially hard for a lot of guys. As we perceive we fail to live up to whatever.

Sure your son will pull through especially with you around.

Louis

Posted on:
Fri, 23/12/2016 - 21:18

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Thank you so much for your kind post ☺

Very well wishes and all the calm in the world may come your way!

Peaceful & also joyful Xmas to you and yours "supermom" ;-)

S x

Posted on:
Fri, 20/01/2017 - 16:04

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

Thanks Cathy...
Yes...life is defiantly a pleasure now....even the mundane chores us women have to do ! Lol
Glad to hear all's ok with you and yours x

Posted on:
Mon, 23/01/2017 - 14:25

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi dear Cathy,

Thank you for your post last night ☺
You made me smile and i thank you deep from my heart!

I hope all is well with yourself and your little one.
Tiny steps forward, that's all we need to do in this journey..it will get better ☺

Stay safe & sound! Thank you for your post again

S x

Posted on:
Sat, 04/03/2017 - 22:57

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Dear Amom,

Thank you so much for your post! Quiet encouragement is all i needed. Some things are hard to talk about however, something like that is vital for my recovery (e.g..the need of running away which i still ise uptil now :-( ).
Cannot run anymore, not from myself...

I am what i am. I only need to accept myself but that's work in progress ☺

Hope your lil one is ok & most importantly - you're looking ahead too...

Life is interesting experience huh..only now thought why it is so hard sometimes. It's lessons we learn..some are tough some are straightforward, but all of them are still lessons ☺

Thanks again, you don't have to worry about me....
I'm here and plodding along...never perfect but always trying for the best :-)

Look after yourself xx

S x

Posted on:
Sat, 04/03/2017 - 23:37

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Who who but you to break through my barriers is a shocker...not if i don't appreciate it...it's just,..i don't know you but you managed to pull most of the strings of my heart to reduce me to tears.

I can only thank you...old weak Sandra is still here, but brave face is a must now.. cannot be weak no more.

Sorry to hear about your Son. Am i reading it right? He has lapsed? That's shite for sure..
The thing is..i know myself how easy it is to go back there. Same happened with drink, even if only after two months..they meant a lot to me.

Right, no more tears. It's not worth it.

Keep fighting dear lady...for you & your loved ones...take it easy

S x

Posted on:
Sun, 26/03/2017 - 18:03

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hey Amom ☺

Thank you so much for your post. Not sure if there is Mother's day in Canada today (as it's in UK) but either way...every day should be Mother's day!!!! So happy and peaceful day to you! ☺ x

I really appreciate your support. I guess you're one of few who sees through my "bravado" and aknowledges that deep inside i do want to get better...i just don't know how :-/..or didnt know how for a long time.

However..i think i am on the right track now. Found my prayers again and even got outta bed last night cause forgot,...so i don't break the new found cycle, i had to gently push 26kg off me (lol..Bella is not exactly a puppy as you see but likes to sleep on my arm or chest...yup...not much freedom in my household recently) and finish my day with a massive "Thank you".
Still attending meetings. Not as regular and i let my Sponsor down few times this week by not going. I think it was Thursday one where i drove to different town, found the door but was dead on time and didn't find strength to walk through :-/...obvs i still have many anxiety issues. Turned around and stormed bk home swearing at myself under the breath lol...proper cursed myself into hell and tears! But after lil converse with DAAT and sponsor i forgave myself ☺
Second time was yesterday...but by some miracle i got occupied with lil Bella and spent all day/evening with her.

Today i can't have any excuses because i truly want my recovery to work. Truly do.

Change comes slowly and difficult to me. Always has been. As you noticed, i need to burn my wings few times before new approach sinks in.

My recent relapse is truly unexplainable. Don't know what happened but it happened and so i can't change anything now.

I need to keep close eye on myself. My moods are quite jumpy. The only positive i can take out of my recent fiasco, is me standing back up and trying again. Could be worse...could still be in a grip of addiction...yet I'm not...I'm on my knees asking for guidance, appreciating my days and existence, listening and sharing at the meetings, talking to my sponsor...i am kind of moving on, no matter how slowly ☺

Restored best friendship with Sesuo, got a loving and cudly dog, job, roof over my head, parents, healthy bank balance (just for today lol), ..friends...even if not many but the ones worth keeping ☺

I am doing ok..i truly am!

Hope your Son os on the right track also!

It's slow progress but progress it is! ☺

Ps..my anxiety issues huh....i just got mahhooossiivveee packet of donuts to share at my meeting lol lol...there is always first for everything! I will be baking cakes soon heh heh

Thank you for your support and keep putting your wellbeing first.

JFT - S x

Posted on:
Fri, 31/03/2017 - 13:40

LifeBegins

Joined:
2013-03-28

Late with my reply, but dropping in with a thank you for your support. I think as another Mum you get it, and although our kids and worries are very different you too have run the gamult of parental emotion. You're posts are always spot on. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort, not just to me but around the forum. I hope things are well with you and yours. LB x

Posted on:
Sat, 22/04/2017 - 22:40

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Can't find a like button (just mountains & street signs) so dropping on by to say:

Love the mind is a neighbourhood quote :-) 

Posted on:
Mon, 12/06/2017 - 12:58

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hello Amom,

Thank you for dropping by ☺
As you probably know a lot has chnaged in my life in the last two years..Nothing is perfect but everything is hundred times better than before.

I have learned a lot about myself and life itself. "Think before you talk" is one of the main lessons i am still mastering.

I hope your son is doing well...those daily right choices huh..compassion and love towards oneself ☺...little pieces can make the whole big picture...we all need patience ☺

You still strangely give me a "Mum's comfort".. don't know why..maybe your soft and caring approach.. spoken to my Mummy yesterday, sometimes she turns the clocks back to the past and admits how wrong she was at times. Breaks my heart to be honest because how can you say "i forgive you" to the person who fed you, raised you, looked after you all along. Apologies and forgiveness shouldn't come in the contest of a family...it's just wrong!

Going off on one here huh....thanks for coming by anyway...feeling pretty lonely with my thoughts recently so a lil warm word was a God send ☺

God bless

B&S xx

Posted on:
Mon, 12/06/2017 - 13:45

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Hi, Cathy,

Sorry, wrong diary before. I'm sorry to hear that he's gambling again, wishing you strength to look after you.

Take care,

CW

Posted on:
Sun, 18/06/2017 - 21:22

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Hi Cathy

Thanks for your post. Glad your enjoying the Happiness Trap - and doing the worksheets too!

I was just thinking today - how I have to accept that, although ACT has been powerful and helpful for me, it doesn't seem to have the same effect for others. So, I'm glad to hear it's working for you. To me it offers a pretty complete code for living a richer and more meaningful life - I just have to remember to do ACT, rather than talk about it!

Be interested to know more about how you get on with the HT - difficulties and successes. I find defusion really difficult - when I try and 'watch' my thoughts, I go blank, then get hooked and come too about 10 minutes later. Still, that in itself is progress.

Hope you and your son are well.

Louis xx

Posted on:
Sat, 15/07/2017 - 17:16

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for the post ☺. I know what you're saying and shall put actions down instead of words.

I am very poorly...mentally, emotionally, spiritually and near enough physically.

I am sick. I thought against these words from early age...but i guess Mummy and Sister were right. I am sick and not normal.

Time to ask for help ☺, i honestly believe time has come now.

How are you anyway? How is your sin doing? Bless your and your loved ones souls...i will pray for the peace returning in your heart.

Look after yourself

S x

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 12:36

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hey there,

Thanks for the post ☺. No applause (even if i had standing ovation) needed for me walking through the door. I made a packt with myself that i will keep coming back until i start liking it ☺..bitter pills those medicines but only for the better in the long run huh.

Was lucky...got in an open meeting. Good to hear from both sides of the fence....even if i had to check my jeans afterwards thinking I'm sat next to CW (no offence lovely) and had no chance to get out alive...neither her hubby... .i do understand the anger and frustration tho..turn tables around and i would be the same...if not worse.

For me it's deep psychology, always has been...digging and trying to understand myself better. Good to share...agree - disagree - advice - mull over something...just another tool in the armour against this addiction.

Actions not words indeed....

When you can (and want to) update things about your son please. I do hope he is accepting help offered.

Look after yourself

S x

Posted on:
Sat, 19/08/2017 - 23:44

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi Amom....

Don't know what to respond to your post...truly don't.

Please don't feel pain for me, you have enough on your plate. You're a mum of a wonderful son who has lost his way and trying to find it again. I can only imagine how much it hurts you to see him in pain.

My parents don't know about my situation. In fact, they have seen me refreshed and happy on holiday, sure that me changing shifts to evenings has saved my life. ...only if they knew.
You know how hard it is to ...just hug your Mum, Dad and let all the pain go. How many times i wanted to do that...spill it all out...let it in the open...ask for help, support, love..i couldn't. I will never be able to do it. My closest knows very little about me...their own daughter.

I don't know how close you're with your son..but again..how much kids shares with their parents? Not a lot huh...we want to protect you as much as you want to protect us..i guess that's how we are being raised..I may be wrong but i have a little nagging feeling your family is similar.

I don't know what to say. Only we can seek help i suppose. Sometimes we just need a simple hug...warmth of the heart beating against your chest...familiar calmness and safety only parents can provide...but ya know...us "grown up" guys/ gals...will never ask for it because...as society encourages - we have to be strong and not show weakness.

I will be ok, i always am...I'm just worried about you and your son now. I cannot help you I'm afraid...I'm sorry.

Stay calm dear Cathy everything will work out ok. We deserve better than this and will keep fighting to get there ☺

Hugs from over the pond (((((C))))) xx

Posted on:
Sun, 27/08/2017 - 22:14

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

Hi Amom....

Not much to say....but... i thanked myself this morning and possibly will repeat it tommorow morning ☺..that's good news for sure!

You're a special lady...another angel in my life...i have quite few of them or so i think...

No more words...silence shall say it all....alongside ((((((((Cathy))))))))

Stay at peace dear lady

B&S xx