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Posted on:
Thu, 21/09/2017 - 23:48

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Just a fly by after a swift visit from my long haired, guitar weilding buddy earlier...Hope you're standing tall Joan.  Thinking of you!

Posted on:
Fri, 29/09/2017 - 12:23

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

 

Great hearing from you Kelly and thank you for checking in. 

Helloooo World,

Along with the emotional regulation that comes along with PTSD, I have been working on personal connections. I use my training room as an exercise yard. Every other week I encounter a new group of faces. It's a corporate setting so the group is quite diverse. I am an expert at the material I present so the anxiety I feel on day one although enough to have kept me up most of the night before is somehow manageable. I used to push through the training program without really " getting to know" the people I am training. For me they were names on a roster. A pass rate that I needed to maintain. These days it's different. I am seeing really seeing these folks. Interacting. Connecting. Yes, it's exhausting at times but the returns are indescribable. At the end of three days I can see their faces when I close my eyes. All of them unique. Individuals. People I have touched with my mind and people I have allowed to touch mine. Yeah it does sound corny in a way but at the end of the day any day. What really matters? Kindness. Understanding. Love. My heart is full today. I used to be one of those who would say and believe "hell is other people." I kept my head down and kept my hands busy. I have learned that connecting is a beautiful thing. It's a cure for lonliness. It's not what others can give to me. It's what I can do. I never knew I had the capacity to love this way. For so many years it was just a four letter word. I have a long way to go. I still freak out every time Patrice gets in the car. I still worry and catastrophise until my hair falls out (literally). I'm getting better at understanding how my brain is wired. Why I think the way I think. This helps me to feel and to manage my feelings. One step at a time I'm healing from the inside out. I may not have a perfect track record when it comes to gamble free days but I believe that will come in time. 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 30/09/2017 - 19:35

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Hi World,

I tried wrong before but kept getting an error message.. so this is a test. 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 30/09/2017 - 19:41

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

There we go.. 

I'm grappling with some panic today. I think I might know what's bugging me. I made a decision and now am standing up to the fallout. Loss. Sadness. I am also feeling some guilt. It's ok. "Being a good person doesn't mean you have to take **** from people".  I'm learning as I go. 

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 12:06

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Hello World,

Science teaches us that the brain, the mind, and the body are connected. I have learned that the reason(s) I turned to gambling and the reason(s) I couldn't stop were not necessarily the same. I will never be able to gamble responsibly for whatever that means. I don't give a damn what you call it!

Posted on:
Fri, 13/10/2017 - 10:02

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Reality TV. Social media. Tweet tweet..As the veil of civility fades into nothingness I am beginning to understand words like "dog eat dog". The balance must lie somewhere between sugar coated bull shirt and brutal honesty. A better practice might be to reread my own posts at the end of the day and carefully pick out the contradictions. Learn from my mistakes and shortcomings. Surely that would be more worth my while then picking apart the posts of others. What's the point?

Posted on:
Fri, 13/10/2017 - 12:04

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Oh, and in addition I am and have been for a very long time now  painfully aware that on some days I can be a walking talking celebration of bull shirt, contradictions, and stupidity. Admitting that has been a real load off. It's a start.

Posted on:
Fri, 13/10/2017 - 12:23

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Every marathon starts with one step!

& that is some cracking advice there Joan!  I too am a walking talking celebration of that ilk & after all these years of being scared to look in a mirror, I understand now that I have to, not to pick out bits of stray food from the gnashers but to see in me what I detest in others & do something about it - ODAAT

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 13:29

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Thank you for chiming in Kelly. Much appreciated.

"So, ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. Everything has a cr  a ack in it. That's how the light gets in."  -Leonard Cohen 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 02:08

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hey :-)

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 17:08

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Howdy World,

I might not have it all figured out. What I do have is my soul. I have this day, a little bit of money that I made all by myself and someone to share it with. Gambling addiction has taken a lot from me but then I gave it away freely. One day at a time. I've come a long way baby!

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 10:18

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Still plugging along. Addicts tend to trade in one addiction/ compulsion for another. Self punishment can take on different forms. Some can blend in with what is considered socially acceptable or even virtuous. If you are bull shorting yourself the outcome will be the same 1 or 1000 days later. Live your truth no matter how hard it is. Change real change is slow. If you hang around here long enough you will see the circles well intentioned folks walk in. I am a weary traveler  on this well worn road and have seen myself wander blindly in circles from time to time. The only advice I can give to anyone is keep trying and stay true.

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 10:29

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Oh and, watch out for lady denial. She can be a real bi  t ch.

Posted on:
Thu, 09/11/2017 - 14:03

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

That she can... to addicts and non addicts alike!

Have a great addiction free day.

Cathyx

Posted on:
Sat, 11/11/2017 - 14:24

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Thanks Cathy!

The choice not to gamble my earnings away is made clearer and clearer with each day because I have learned that sharing with my partner what's going on inside of my stormy mind HELPS. My wiring is a little different because of very early childhood trauma. It is what it is. Not a ***** excuse to gamble or drink or over eat etc but a scientific explanation for why my reaction to external stim might be off. The limbic brain and system is responsible tfor that fight flight or freeze response. Sometimes I get triggered by something and I go into survival mode. Sometimes my solution isn't the right solution. Sometimes I look for comfort or pain management in the wrong places. The light resides inside of others. It cannot be found in a slot machine at the bottom of a glass or in a bag of chips. When I choose the wrong solution and it doesn't pan out I'm not a failure. My solution is the problem and I need to switch gears. Too often I would be the failure and that I have learned is SHAME talking. There is no shame in failure. The words leaning into my fear or pain actually means something to me today. I'm learning to lean into the light and it feels right. 

Posted on:
Sun, 12/11/2017 - 13:34

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

I'm anticipating next week. Not dreading but, already setting up the line of defense. Nothing has even happened yet!! I am also anticipating and planning for an event that will take place next month and I am in some cases already experiencing some dread. I always feel ineffective during and after a training that has to be interpreted in ASL (American sign language). Anxiety levels start to rise. Hyper alertness. The closer I get to this event the more I will look like a cat trying to claw its way out of a gunny sack. Not on the outside. On the surface I will appear calm but on the inside the storm rages. Once upon a time I must have felt completely out of control. Something or something much bigger than me like a tornado it picked me up tossed me around and slammed me to the ground. Get it or don't get it it's my truth. It happened. I survived it but I was changed. So now, I perceive a - I pick it up on my radar and prepare for the absolute worst. My inner marines are already forming a front line. When someone comes along and says "let go" I pretty much want to laugh my**** off.  :-D  It is possible for me to move forward. I have for over 5 decades. Not without the occasional grapple with some form of addiction. When trust is picked up tossed around and smashed to the ground it doesn't come back easily. Some days even noises set me off. Today I am learning and getting better at incorporating everyday noises. I'm not autistic. It sometimes I think I understand how frightening distracting and agitating this world of whirring buzzing and humming can be. I'm smiling to myself because I survived. And that's something. Reaching for the numbing salts whatever they may be are not the answer. In fact the very solution could become yet another problem. This rediscovery process  has been long and tiring because of the layers and layers I have had to peel in order to get to the source of my fears. I'm getting there. It is becoming less important to feel understood. What matters more to me now is having a better understanding of myself and others. Gambling isn't the answer. Of course I know that now. The reason I started gambling and the reasons I couldn't seem to stop were not the same. Im beginning to heal from the inside out. From the basement up. 

Posted on:
Sun, 12/11/2017 - 14:05

S_J_B

Joined:
2013-05-25

It's ok not to be ok...everything will be ok!

Be kind to you as it starts from within

S x

Posted on:
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 12:49

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

And my journey up to this point has been about figuring out how and why I lost faith in myself to the point where I let a compulsion to gamble on slot machines take over my life. I want to know just like many F&F how gambling on slots came to be more important than anything and anyone else. That's me..

Posted on:
Fri, 17/11/2017 - 14:15

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

I was thinking about what MGR wrote about lying. It's so true. Lying is destructive and sometimes the broken trust is irreparable. Apologies, are great. There is no guarantee that there will be anything beyond forgiveness. Lies kill relationships. Addicts often think that covering up isn't lying. Withholding information isn't lying. Addicts begin to believe their own bs and before you know it a new narrative has been crafted. I found going to step meetings helpful because this is the kind of **** that the addict is confronted with and is asked to start digging through. Without other people the addict lives in their head and more or less wallows in their denial. Interventions are almost always about people confronting addicts head on with their BS. Arguing that step meetings like AA GA whatever the***** A for me (FOR ME) is the last greatest attempt to fool (BS) myself.  Change is much more than staying "clean".  Change could be imagining a world with other people in it that I am not the center of.  Change is not just saying the words but doing the doing. I'm not gambling and that's good. My money roll has fattened up. But, I feel completely crazy. I can see more clearly every day the neglect. Our home. Our bodies. We never had any children to screw up so that's a plus but, we have been neglecting our relationship. I have been in some form of addiction all of my life. Living in the moment and being true or authentic is a continuous struggle.  Its worth it. Nothing good EVER comes from living a lie. EVER. That much I do know.

Posted on:
Sat, 18/11/2017 - 02:53

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Dug this out of my group messages for you: “You can’t go back & change the beginning but you can start where you are & change the end.”

Posted on:
Sat, 18/11/2017 - 08:31

Little miss lost

Joined:
2016-05-24

Judy, your posts draw me in, take me on a journey and leave me looking at my own life in ways that I haven't before.
Continue healing by peeling those layers and take care. X

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 14:51

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Thanks for the support and kind words Kelly and LML.  Someday soon I will find the courage to step outside of this little box and once again offer support to others on their pages. For now, I need to stay close to my own page but I really do appreciate the support. It means a lot. 

The urge to gamble is rare these days but unfortunately tears are in abundance.  I finally made the leap. Maybe now some actual growth can happen. Others have pointed out to me that I am a survivor and I know that is true. It's taken almost a lifetime to put the chains down. The past is now in the past. I will always be nervous and scared and worry .. I am better off feeling then stuffing and hiding. Once again I read something on MGR page that really resonated with me in a good way. I'm not my past. One foot in front of the other. No short cuts. Chop wood, carry water. 

Posted on:
Sun, 19/11/2017 - 15:00

paulds

Joined:
2012-01-13

Hi Joan,

Just been catching up with your diary, keep on trucking my dear you are a wise owl. So much of what you say is so true, these weary paths we have all walked but some of us keep getting lost. 

Do what if best for you, look after yourself first , you spend so much time looking after others at work and home that you deserve some me time. Sorry if this sounds like I am preaching, i do not mean to sound insensitive, you have been a moral compass for myself and many others on this site and your heartfelt words always resonate.

Stay safe and strong

Paulds 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:37

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Paul, thank you for your kind words.

Today: keeping clean and living sober (for want of a better word) are two different things. Once the urges subside the money starts piling up again and my head emerges from the gambling fog.  Guilt and remorse over losses and what could have beens blah blah blah. Today it's about feeling FEELINGS. I would much rather stick my head in the sand or even an oven. My feelings are always mixed? Conflicted? Ambivalent? Who is grateful and self pitying at the same time? Who is happy and sad? Probably just "holiday" PTSD. Today: my partner is in the kitchen cooking up a storm. The house is filled with sweet and spicy and savory smells .. ma is safe and warm in her chair with her nose tucked into her newspaper. Two dogs slumbering lazily at my feet. Just for today. It's ok to feel contentment. It's ok to trust my feelings.

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 14:26

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Morning World.. just coming to. Food coma due to Thanksgiving. If there's a cure for this I don't want it. :-)  I suppose if I dug deep I could find something to moan about today.  Nah. It's a fresh new day.  I'm on track. Currently the last thing I allow to drag me under is ******* slot machines..  I still get caught up in his or her crazy. I am just now realizing I am only responsible for my own. I am getting better at pacing myself. One step at a time. Chop wood carry water...

Posted on:
Sat, 25/11/2017 - 17:06

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Functional dysfunction? Is there such a thing? I remember a woman I knew back in the early 1990s. She was at the very least a problem drinker. I think we both knew she was an alcoholic. She was given to horrific dark moods. She could be verbally abusive paranoid and just plain mean. I remember asking her if she ever considered going into recovery. She had a traumatic past that included molestation  by both her father and paternal grandfather at the age of 5 - early teens. I remember the pained look on her face and her saying to me that alcohol helped her to function. That alcohol kept her sane..  she seemed oblivious to how mean and abusive alcohol abuse made her. Somehow in her mind it was working for her. I don't know what made me think about this. Maybe I was searching for a juicy rationalization for why I NEED a gamble today.  I'm feeling beaten up and frustrated by an HVAC company. I'm feeling invalidated and patronized and dismissed. I can feel the rage bubbling up from the pit of my being. I want peace. I want serenity and I think it resides inside of a slot machine. Just like that woman I knew. I want to tell mySelf that gambling keeps me sane. Functional. That is simply untrue.  A flaw in my thinking that has to change. Is clearly beginning to change because here I sit dumping my crazy irrational thoughts onto this diary page for all to see. The solution can be a problem in and of itself. All gambling addiction has ever done for me was to create a new problem on top of the original problem. I told my partner how I was feeling. She is feeling the same way. We agreed that we have to find healthier ways to work through our difficult feelings. For now simply naming them and writing it all down seems to be bringing me some relief. No more tightening throughout my upper abdomen and chest. Breathing is now easier and I think I just might be ready to receive some peace. Peace and serenity is all around me. I have to be open to receive it. 

Posted on:
Sat, 02/12/2017 - 16:19

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Today is a check in. It's been over 10 weeks without a weekend trip to the casino. Sure I feel good about that but... coping without gambling has been an uphill climb.  Life is definitely less stressful when we have the money to pay for things that we need. It is clear that gambling made that part of our lives so much worse. Working through anxiety and stress and coping is what it is about for me.  I thought gambling brought relief and that turned out to be untrue. Relief from physical, emotional and spiritual pain is temporary at best. Gambling was just a distraction. A very expensive distraction. A person is called to live their truth whatever that truth might be. Walking through life in a semi dream state isn't living. Life without gambling isn't automatic sunshine lollipops and rainbows. On the contrary. But, I'm alive. I'm awake.  I'm no longer bullshirting myself and everyone around me.  Compulsive behaviors are distractions and in some cases can lead to full blown addiction. Addiction is the opposite of living.  In addiction I am not alive. I'm a zombie. Ask yourself how effective a zombie would be as a parent, a partner, a family member, a friend or employee.  Not very.

Posted on:
Sat, 02/12/2017 - 16:25

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

In addition I'm thinking at their very best an addict is ineffective. At their worst a soulless energy sucking zombie. I don't want to be an addict. None of us do. 

Posted on:
Sat, 02/12/2017 - 17:34

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

Have a great gamble free day Judy :)

Cathyx

Posted on:
Tue, 05/12/2017 - 10:22

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

If I had a dollar for every time I said to myself, I feel like a peice of sheet for what I've done, my credit owed would be paid in full. 

After the compulsive gambling stops the inventory begins. Boiling it all down takes sooo much time. At least it did for me. Shortcomings. Failings. Behaviors. Whatever you want to call it is only part of the way. Now, turning over the slimy rocks I find twisted fundamental beliefs about myself. That I am worthless. That inam a price of sheet.. very interesting. That is the very thing I tell myself over and over and over. I don't know how to love myself. I'm not sure I ever did. I don't believe it's too late. But, how does one overcome self loathing? Another road. Ha ha I'm becoming quite the "connoisseur of roads".

Posted on:
Wed, 06/12/2017 - 09:32

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Restful sleep is coming easier. Knowing and owning the truth about myself is painful at times but I feel less weighted down by it all. It was harder running away. It was harder "stuffing" away the emotions. It was harder to hide.I never realized how numbing myself from the pain kept me from feeling joy and peace. Numb is numb I guess. When I feel difficult emotions or I get anxious about the unknown I stuff my feelings. I actually stuff by over eating. Other times I simply freeze. Now I'm learning that there was a time when I felt completely out of control. There was no way out. That is not the case now. There will always be things that happen that I have no control over but I'm an adult and have choices. Worrying about what hasn't even happened yet is a choice. Worry and anxiety is painful. I would rather not feel it at all. But, I can't pick and choose when it comes to feelings and emotions. When I'm numbing myself I might still try to let the light and love in but, I can't feel it.  I am relearning how to take in the good and not so good. Reclaiming my power. Knowing that there is relief in letting go. 

Posted on:
Wed, 06/12/2017 - 12:25

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

I learned over the years that in order change a person has to eventually get to the bottom of why they did what they did or do what they do because nobody in their right mind gambles compulsively. 

Posted on:
Thu, 07/12/2017 - 10:05

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Saturday we are taking our niece to knitting class. I'm going to learn how to knit. :-D  

Posted on:
Thu, 07/12/2017 - 10:24

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Was just thinking how much at times I dread going in to work. How anxious I get. I realize now that the anxiety and dread comes from me not trusting mysel. Not believing that I really am good at what I do. That I am a fraud. So every time I have to go in I think I have to prove myself worthy. To who??? It turns out, to me. Not the pony tailed tyrant. Not the trainee with an angry resting face. Me. Recovery for me is recovering my lost self. I lost myself and my way loooong before I ever discovered gambling. Before gambling there was drinking Jack Daniels whiskey. Before whiskey there was food. There were voices from my past that told me I was a nothing. I must have believed that. I'm grown now and those voices along with their owners are nothing more than ghosts. Shadows. I'm good to my little niece because I CAN be. I'm good at what I do. I don't have to prove anything to anybody. When I smile at people in the hallway it's no longer a disingenuous grin. It's the real deal. My heart coming through. Before I can be honest with others I have to come clean to myself.

Posted on:
Thu, 07/12/2017 - 17:53

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Why is it that when something really good happens my thoughts default to gambling? Wtf? Cunning. Baffling. No ****!  

Posted on:
Fri, 08/12/2017 - 14:46

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

Thoughts come and thoughts go. Thoughts are just thoughts after all. It's freezing outside and it's toasty inside. Christmas lights are up and it's time to decorate the tree. I'm kicked back on the couch sipping coffee. Slowly recovering my sanity and self esteem. Why the hell would I gamble on slots? Life is life and there are bound to be challenges. Addiction makes me weak and sick. I need to be strong and healthy in order to meet new challenges head on. I can!

Posted on:
Fri, 08/12/2017 - 15:16

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

I was just thinking that when I quit drinking there weren't any triangles to break. There were bars and booze everywhere. When the holidays rolled around there were drunks ( family and friends) everywhere too.  I can't abstain from eating. Gambling on slots for me was just another form of addiction. So truth be told I may have stopped drinking and I might have stay stopped but I just found other things to "use".  Recovery has been a life long process. slowly I am emerging from my shell. Slowly facing my fears. It's never too late. Every day is an opportunity to change. I hate when people beat themselves up for slipping. I remember those times. Addiction feeds on that ****. I felt like garbage for most of my life. I didn't need to pile more on top. It doesn't help. Anyway. My diary. My thoughts.

Posted on:
Mon, 11/12/2017 - 20:18

judy

Joined:
2012-07-23

 

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