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Charly's life

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#1 Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 08:41

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

This seemed to be a good idea at the time.
And now I don't know where to start.
Here goes -
I moved to the UK in 1994 and was introduced to Bingo by my mother-in-law.
It seemed as good as any other excuse to have a bit of time to myself. My marriage wasn't the greatest and at least if I went out with my mother-in-law, my now Ex husband could't start an inquisition about where I've been, who I've spoken to, had I been meeting with another man?!
The other leisure activities was going to the casino with my Ex and watch him play roulette. I used to hate gambling with a vengence, as my Dad was a compulsive gambler(still is, only now rather than play fruit machines, he's concentrating on winning the lottory) but watching my Ex soon changed my mind. He would give me a certain amount of money and told me to go and win on the fruit machine. Strange thing was back then, I usually did(win that is).
But as time went by there were evenings when I lost and although even back then I would have liked to put more money in, my Ex controlled the money and my life, it didn't seem a problem. I cetainly didn't see myself as a compulsive gambler.
After nearly 20 years of marriage, I finally had enough courage to leave him( and that in itself was difficult as he threatened me with all kinds of stuff)
So there I was, on my own, in my own place, working and responsible for only me.
FREEDOM AT LAST
It felt great. Very often, in the evenings after work I also felt lonely. My children divided their time between me and my Ex, so on the evenings I was alone, I decided to go to Bingo(no harm in that?!)
I was sooooooo wrong.
Soon I was getting bored in the long intervals and started playing the fruit machines there.
And then I thought, why waste money on such little payouts, I'll go over to the casino and try my luck there.
The rest as they say is history. I don't need to tell any of you how the story ends, as you all have been there yourself.
I tell you some more about my life when I next log on.
You all have a good day.
Charly

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 10:57

tallpete

Joined:
Before 2009

Thanks Charly for starting a diary im sure it will help you and help the people who read your story and ongoing struggle. This site helps a lot of people i hope it helps you love pete xx

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 11:21

gull991

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

welcome to the diary section, I look forward to reading about your progress. Like you I am a GA member and I also use this site...anything that helps.

all the best

Jim (last bet 22/04/06)

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 12:07

Rob

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly,

Starting a recovery diary is defintely a good idea.

You will be able to log your progress on your journery to recovery.

Great first entry by the way, you have already opened up and shared a lot of your story.

You have been through so much! Please keep surrounding yourself with all the help and support, that is available.

Know that you are strong, and change is possible.

Rob

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 16:55

Doodle

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

A great first post, as others have said, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I look forward to hearing more about your life, your recovery and how GA has worked for you.

Take care....

Doodle

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 17:26

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Thanks for the encouraging words.

I will carry on with my story, because there is so much of it.
There I was on my own. When I left my Ex in Nov 2002 I stayed with friends for 2 months before getting my own flat. I would visit the casino then, but only occasionally and with a pre-set budget.
While there, I decided to catch up with friends I hadn't been allowed to visit during my marriage(I kept in touch by phone and letters while the old man wasn't looking)
They were shocked at my revelations as they, like many others, assumed I was happy.
One of my friends, whom I have known since I was 16(we met in a youth exchange in Germany) asked if he could call every now and then to keep in touch.
To cut a long story short, we are no longer just friends. 3 years ago Christmas we moved in together and we're still together.
Without my friend who has become my best friend amongst a lot of other things, I would probably be living in a shoe box now.
My friend worked away from home at the time and would go back to his home, which he shared with his sister, at the weekend. Then when our feelings for each other changed, he would stay one weekend with his sister and one weekend with me.
At one of those weekends I asked, if I could borrow £40 and he left his bank card and pin number with me. He said, he could use his credit card for the week.
It never occured to me until then, that I had a gambling problem.
Until then I thought of it as having a bit of fun, getting rid of boredom after work.
Only instead of £40, I took out £400 and put it all in the fruit machine at the casino in one night.
It would have been more, but fortunately, my friend has a daily limit of £400 on his card.
That scared me and I stayed away for 2 months.
I confessed to him the same night over the phone and we both thought it was a one-off glitch. God Bless the naive.(him and me)
After two months I made the mistake of thinking I could just go to the casino and spend £50 one night. I was on my own, couldn't sleep, was bored.
After that fateful night I was hooked and spend every possible moment at the casino. I told my friend about debts I had. They were credit cards I used when I was with my Ex and of course now I was on my own(gambling), I had trouble paying them off. My friend, being the gentleman he is, came to the rescue and gave me 2 cheques to bank to enable me to pay off my credit cards in total. As you may guess, that didn't happen. I paid of half on each credit card and then hit the casino and blew the other half over approx 3 months.
I leave it at that for now and add to this page next time I log on.
It feels good to write this down.
Charly

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 19:34

Keith

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly and welcome to the forum. Thanks for your story, certain bells ringing there. Glad to see you are going to GA and like myself, feeling the benefit of it.

Look forward to reading your progress and updates.

Keith

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 20:07

rosy

Joined:
Before 2009

hi Charly, I can't believe you spent your mates money!!! In all honesty I would never contemplate doing anything so wrong - especially as they were good enough to lend you what you needed. Anyway, that said, we are all different - Obviously you were in the GRIP of the gambling demon. Have you sought professional help? Has your friend found out? What are your future plans?

Posted on:
Wed, 16/01/2008 - 20:49

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

In some ways you seem to be seeking some peace for the theft and bad actions that you did to your friend. This site will not exonerate your actions but it will offer you peace of a different kind. Here you will discover strategies to help overcome your addiction. You will need to be strong too and not kid yourself about the depth of your gambling habit. You were not made a thief or a bad friend but gambling has affected you and perhaps your personality to an extent that you allow yourself to do things you would never have done before you became a gambler. I have lied and not been proud of it - but I came to solve my problems.

Sorry to sound blunt.
I know you will sort it out - you owe it to yourself and the person you want to be. Cheers
JGx

Posted on:
Thu, 17/01/2008 - 07:47

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

HI Charley

Great you have started your diary and I have been catcing up with it today..

Hid a raw nerve with me, somthing I had blocked out..When I first hit the casinos over 14 years ago..I beg and I borrowed to get out of a hole..I got a friend (x - friend now) to take out a loan for £2000 as I Had run out of that option doing it my own name..I paid 1 mth payment, left my home town and moved away and declared myself bankrupt...It got me thinking tonight about what I did to him and I have never been in contact since..

Thank you so much for your honesty on your diary, its opened a couple of wounds for me and soemthing I can and will sort out..

So true how we don`t care when we are gambling we become the most selfish people there can be..In september this year I finally cracked just had enough, I gambled away the sofa money my hubby gave me to pay of in full..

Am so happy not to be in that place where we have no control over our actions, this has been a very good reminder of what the demons do to us..Thats not us now, then we had no control nit over money but feelings aswell..

Sorry for going on on your diary, its just thatI can relate to what has happened to you, I conveniently blocked that out, glad its in the open..Now I can deal with it

Take Care

Lots Of Love
Lucy
xxxx

Posted on:
Thu, 17/01/2008 - 08:07

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Rosy - I had professional help. I must add that my last bet was on Tuesday, 5th June 2007 and I have been going to G.A. since Sunday, 10th June 2007. I had counselling to deal with my guilt and all the other things I have put in that 'Pandorras box' in my head for so long.
JG - I have found peace through counselling, G.A. and through the friend I was telling you about. The same friend is now my fiance and we are planning to get married next year. A lot has changed since the things I have written about happened. I just wanted to start my diary at the beginning so you guys have a bit more of an inside and also for me to put things down in writing, so should there be any gambling thoughts, I can go back to this diary and read up on the stuff I used to do. And to show gamblers' flaws and what gamblers do to the ones they love, only while in the thick of things gamblers love gambling more.
Lucy - Don't apologise for posting on the diary pages. It is good to hear from others for me to put things in perspective and be able to move on in my recovery.

I'll carry on with my story:
I carried on gambling with any monies I had, I didn't pay my bills, I borrowed from friends and work colleagues. I would have borrowed from my family too, only they live in Germany, so thankfully that wasn't an option.
My friend and I became an item and life was brilliant. Knowing someone for over 20 years and then becoming close is fantastic.
We first started talking on the phone, about almost everything, then we spent a weekend together and things developed into more.
After having been in an abusive marriage, this guy seemed like someone God sent to rescue me - I do call him my guardian angel - for without him I would be nothing.
And still - knowing what a gem I have found, I still didn't admit I had a serious gambling problem. We even got engaged 20 April 2007.
And then came the fateful 5th June 2007.
Again, I had my now fiance's bank card and hit the casino. I left work at 4pm and drove straight there. By 6.30pm I thought I better get home before he gets in from work Only when I came home I noticed that the post was already on the dining table which meant my fiance had already been home, but had gone out again.
That made me panic(just thinking about this makes me feel sick even now - the things I put him through).
I assumed he had been sent his bank statement and found out about my taking money out of his account.
In my panic I jumped in the car and drove to the place by the water where I knew he would drive to, if he needed to think things through. And sure enough, there he was. That put me in utter despair. I raced back home, packed a few things, wrote a letter to my fiance to apologise and left my engagement ring there saying that I didn't deserve it and would he look out for the kids(grown-ups really at 18 and 20 yrs old) and did what gamblers do best - run and hide.
I stayed in my car that night. Unbeknown to me, my little family unit(my daughter, my son and my fiance) was worried sick and was searching for me. When I went to work the next morning, my daughter phoned and all she said was - I'm glad you are safe.
Round about midday I received another phone call - from my partner.
He said" Are you going to talk to me now. I can't, I said, I'm at work. To which he replied - "You either come down here and talk or I come up to your office and we talk there, it's your choice"
He had taken the day off and wasn't going anywhere until we talked.
I must say that was the best thing he could have done. We walked around and talked and talked and talked and the two things that made me take note and made me want to really change and stop gambling were "my parents would be turning in their grave if they knew how we are gambling away their hard earned money"
He had put the money from his inherited half of his and his sister's house into the house we bought.
(I met his Mom when I stayed with them when I was 18 and she was the most wonderful Lady you'll ever meet)
But what got me far more was when he said 'we'
I mean, I'm the one with the problem, I'm the one gambling not 'we or us'
He then asked for me to come home after work and we would sort things out. He said he would always be my friend, he just didn't know at that point if he could stay and be more.
I went home, we talked, all of us. I found out about the frantic search for me and realised what a wonderful family I have. I had put them through hell the night I stayed away. I must add and I will talk about this another time, that my beloved brother, the children's beloved uncle, committed suicide 22. October 2000 so now you understand how frantic they were.
Through his works I was able to receive counselling from BUPA. He decided we would have separate bedrooms for a while and see how it goes and how serious I was about stopping gambling and how serious I was about saving my family.
On the 9th June(Saturday) we drove to every casino and Bingo Hall I have ever visited and I self excluded myself from them all. My fiance came with me because I needed to show him I was serious and he needed to see. Partners need to see your effords to be able for trust to slowly be rebuilt.
And then on Sunday, 10th June I walked into my first G.A meeting and haven't looked back.Well, I do look back and think about all the things I have put my loved ones through and the guilt in overwhelming at times, but I have learned to talk as I go along and it makes life livalble again.
My partner goes to Gam Anon once a month and that was an eye opener for him and for me. I'll leave that for another day.
'Just for today I will not gamble'
Charly

Posted on:
Thu, 17/01/2008 - 15:59

Doodle

Joined:
Before 2009

Charly

A fantastic story, so many similarities to my own. Think a lot of people here will also be able to find or take away bits that remind them of their own gambling life.

A huge well done on being gambling free for such a long time. I'm sure you feel you have come a long way in this time. I'm glad you have been able to put your story into words, it is always good to get things out, and it also acts as a good reminder of how far forward you have moved in your life.

My sister took her own life just over a year ago, so know how hard things can be, and knowing that there will always be unanswered questions. I will be very interested to hear your future post on this, should you feel like going into in more detail.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, all the best with your ongoing recovery...

Doodle

Posted on:
Fri, 18/01/2008 - 08:30

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Thanks for all your comments.

Actually I don't feel I have come that far in my recovery. I have stopped gambling. That's it.
There's a lot of work to be done yet.
I go to G.A. every Sunday because the room gives me stability and routine. Hearing people talk about their way of dealing with the gambling addiction helps. But more imortantly, dealing with the way I feel about all the things I have or haven't done while I was gambling, that is something which will take time to sort through, deal and come to terms with.
Writing some of the errors of my life down opened up my 'Pandorras box' again. I had a sleepless night last night, being revisited by the demons of my life. But that's a good thing. Because, should I ever forget then the gambling demon has a much higher chance to return. And I can't let that happen, so I must stay alert and live with my past.
Every evening I look back at the day and find something positive. Even if I had the most horrible day. There is always something that was good.
'Today I will not gamble'
Charly

Posted on:
Fri, 18/01/2008 - 09:31

cbd

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly,

I just read your diary and its a touching tale. I just wasnted to pop in and say thnks as it is a great reminder of how things could end up. It sounds like you a very lucky to have your man and I wish you all happiness. I have been through a bit with my partner recently but shes still being supportive. It makes me feel even more for thoe who have lost good relationships or dont have that support.

all the best cbd

Posted on:
Fri, 18/01/2008 - 12:34

Keith

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly, can so relate to your posts, i guess its the GA connection in a way and how we do things. Our lives have just begun as you say and the hard work is still to do. Its not just about stopping, its about changing us as a person and the way we do things.
The recovery program is there for us to rebuild our lives, one day at a time.
You are so on the program and the strength shines through. It has got you into such a good place, something to build on as you take it forward.

Thanks for being here, it certainly helps me.

Keith

Posted on:
Tue, 22/01/2008 - 08:49

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi
I have started replying to some of the posts on this site. But I must admit, I don't feel comfortable doing so.
I feel the need to write my thoughts down for the person, whose post I'm reading.
But I'm also aware that I am not qualified to give anyone advise. I constantly remind myself that all I can do is share in my experience. Nobody has the right to judge over anyone else.

I'm reading 'A Day at a time' at the moment, which was published by G.A. and it's giving me the strenghth to tackle life day by day.
I'm grateful to be here every day I wake up.
Sometimes I feel I don't deserve to be this happy. Then I call upon my G.A. buddies and now my friends in the forum.
I just want to say 'Thank You' to all who have taken the time to read my story and to reply.
It means a lot.
Charly

Posted on:
Wed, 23/01/2008 - 08:47

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi
I went to a different G.A. room last night and found, as always, it helps.
Am a bit confused at the moment.
Relationships, a difficult subject. Why is it, we are never happy with what we have?
Or maybe I'm just not happy with me.??
Oh, I don't know. There is still a lot going on in my head and I can't make head or tales of it.
One minute I'm up on top of the world, the next I'm down in the dumps, but I pretend I'm ok.Why?
Maybe I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment. I think I have to try and identify, what it is exactly that is bugging me and then do something about it.
Ah Well. That's me done for now. I'll try and psot some more later.
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Wed, 23/01/2008 - 09:23

RichB

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly,

I spent years trying to fix or break my relationship in the hope that it would make me feel better. It always looked like the easy option. Change everything around me and not change myself.

It took me years to work out that all I needed to do was enjoy what I had, care for it with the same passion I showed in my gambling and finaly admot that the problems where all about me.

It took me years to do and almost hours to see the out come once I'd done it.

The only problem with my relationship was ME!.

Now I know this is not always the case but the hard thing is to take you out of the problem and see if there is still a problem.

Life for me is now very very good, my relatinship gets better every day and life gives me everything I once looked for in the bottom of a fruit machine.

Take care and see you Sunday.

RichB.

Posted on:
Wed, 23/01/2008 - 13:16

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi RichB
Thanks my friend.
I'm still confused but strangely feeling better.
Am reading the book you pointed to and it is very good.
Thank you
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Wed, 23/01/2008 - 17:08

Anna1

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly. Thanks so much for your post on my diary. I don't think you need to be qualified to give advice, just give support, because goodness knows we all need it!

I think you're doing great, and I know it's tough, but stay strong and keep fighting!

Love, Anna

Posted on:
Wed, 23/01/2008 - 17:19

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi
I thought I share a bit more.
I need to go back a few years.
I grew up with a Dad who is a compulsive gambler, a Mum who is a compulsive buyer, two brothers(older) and 1 sister(younger)
As we were never taught how to deal with money we all ended up in some financial mess at some point in our lives.
Mum and Dad still fiercely deny their problems and I find it hard to argue the point. They are both in their seventies and not too healthy. I'm in the UK and they are in Germany. So I try and exchange niceties over the phone when I speak to them, because there just doesn't seem to be a point in trying to change their outlook now.(I don't think I would succees anyhow)
All of us siblings have had our marriages break up. My oldest brother cheated and is now married to the women he cheated with, my sister was cheated on by her hubby and now lives with someone who she seems to be very happy with.
My middle brother - well - that is a whole story in itself and I think it's time for me to share that. My middle brother is no longer with us. He committed suicide on the 22. October 2000. We we very close, all of us.He was a person who always thought he had to compete with the world. In his younger days he was 'Jack the lad, the Joker of the family' He always had us in stitches. When he married, he changed. His wife's family thought their daughter married beneath her and let my brother know whenever possible. So he worked his butt off to give her the things her family obviously thought a man should provide for their daughter. Don't get me wrong, I get on well with my sister-in-law. It's her parents I have a problem with. But they have to live with what they've done.
I'm not saying my brother was all good because he wasn't. We all have faults. He could be quite a male chauvinistic pig. But as his younger sister I had no problem telling him that and tell my sister-in-law not to let him boss her around all the time(Strange, because all the advise I gave her, I didn't excercise for myself for nearly 20 years) This is going to be a book by the time I'm done. While writing I remember all sorts of other stuff I need to get rid off.
Back to my brother.
i'm not sure about the details leading up to his death, as I was living in the UK by then.
All I know that the Christmas before his death, we all got together at Mum and Dad's and he didn't look happy then. Him and his wife were planning on going to marriage counselling round about that time. Only problem was, he had met someone else and didn't know what to do. Should he follow his feelings or his sense of responsibility. He became very depressed and suicidal then. He was put on antidepressants but sadly that made matters worse. He moved out of the family home 6 weeks prior to his suicide and lived with my younger sister. He opened up for the first time and we would speak on the phone for hours on end. By that time I didn't understand my brother anymore. I just became very afraid for him. He would talk about his headaches and about how he had asked God for guidance. And that he didn't get any asnwers from God so he would ahve to go and ask him himself.
He had very clear and then very lucid moments. It was dreadful to see. My big strong reliable brother ahd become a mumbling mess and I didn't know how to help him.
4 days before he succeeded he tried to get killed by a train but chickened out and then tried to cut his wrist.
They put him in hospital to stitch his wrists back up and sort out the damage he did to his tendons. That was on the Wednesday. We drove to Gemany on the Friday and I spent the day with him on the Saturday. And again he was talking the same stuff I;ve already mentioned above. He showed me the hospital church and some bits in a journal which people could write in to 'talk' to God
He was sooo messed up. He kept talking about having to many things on his mind, the constant headaches. And then he said, he'd been thinking - They are so many ways to take your own life. I have asked God for help and he hasn't answered so I have to go and ask him myself. I left Saturday evening totally drained and promised him to come abck the next day to bring him a jacket he was searching for in the hospital.
My Ex wanted to go to a car boot sale the next morning and then meet up with some friends of hi from when we lived there.
A s I did what I was told I never got to see my brother again. At 5.30pm I called my sister's house to see if they wanted us to bring some food back.My Mum answered and screamed down the phone. - Charly is dead, Charly is dead. Come home quickly.
How I drove home I don't know. I can't describe how I felt. It is too awful to recall.
I'm going to have to stop here. I will carry on later.
Charly

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2008 - 13:46

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

It was awful to go back to my poor Mum and Dad and see them so very devastated.
Later that day, my oldest brother joined us. He told us that it was him who raised the alarm at the hospital. He went to see Charly at 4.30pm and he wasn't there. The nurses hadn't noticed that he was missing. Stupid thing was, they brought his breakfast which was untouched and they brought his lunch and that was untouched and nobody seemed to twig that-hey here's someone who tried to kill himself and we haven't seen him all day. Once my brother raised the alarm, the hospital called the police. By that time a walker had found him already and the police told the hospital.
My oldest brother went to drive home and actually drove past the playground where my brothe hung himself with the rope of a swing. The area was taped off and Ralf , for some reason knew that this was where it happened. He parked and ran towards the police, explained and then had to identify Charly.
Poor B*****r - all he could say when he got to Mum and Dad's was - " He was so cold"
That evening was the last time, my oldest brother spoke about that day to us.
He had to go for an interview 2 days later and when he came back, all he said was - "How can they think I had something to do with this." I suppose the police has to investigate all other possibilities. They found a note, written on the inside of his cigarrette packet, saying:" I cna't take the responsibility any longer." That's it. That's it!!!!!!
For seven years I have tried to make sense of all this and I know I'll never know why.
It's eating away in me and although I can at least talk about this now without bursting into tears, I miss him every day. I can't really speak to my partner about the way I feel, because he says life is for the living. He has lost both his parents and copes very well. I don't know, maybe I'm just more emotional than him. I can't really explain it.
My Mum, my Dad, my brother, my sister and myself said goodbye to him over a week later at the undertaker's.
That is a day day I'll never forget. He looked so peaceful, but I can still hear my poor Mum breaking down cradling him in her arms saying over and over again: "Come my boy, get up, I take you home, I'll take care of you." Until we near enough dragged/carried her out of the room.
My Mum, to this day can't cope. She tells herself he is somewhere where he can't contact her, but she just can't except that he is dead.
You know guys, I'm glad I started this diary. Just by writing this down makes life just that little bit easier.
All of the above is the reason I chose the name "Charly" for this website.
My brother's real name was Dirk. WHen he was a teenager he had great difficulties remembering girls' names, so he would call them all Charly until they turned it around and gave him the nickname. It stuck right until the end.
Thanks to whoever takes the time to read all this.
Charly

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2008 - 15:19

Doodle

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

Thank you again for sharing your story with us. I'm glad it has helped you in some way, by making things a little easier. Your story has touched me on so many different levels. I can relate to so much of what you have been through with your brother. So similar to my own situation with my sister. I would really like to talk some more one day about our situations. I may try to make it to your GA meeting in Southampton sometime in the future, I have promised Alice that I would go one day.

All the best with everything. Have a great weekend....

Doodle

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 13:17

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 13:17

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi
Don't know what happened there. Must have pressed the wrong button.

I had a very good weekend. Didn't do much, apart from pottering about the house and talking to my man about all sorts of stuff.
The highlight of my weekend, as always, is my G.A. meeting.
My recovery is going good.
Because there is someone different in the chair every week, you never know what the meeting is going to be like and how much you can take home for yourself.
No different this weekend. Hearing therapies are eye openers and always make me think back to my time of gambling. And then I talked to my man about what I'm thinking and we came up with some great stuff and we were both able to find some healing. Hopefully we can carry on like this. A few weeks back it didn't look so good on the talking front and I became quite depressed. With the help of my G.A. friends I was able to see, that if I wanted to change things then I could, without putting all the importance on me.
Thanks RichB for your marvellous advise. Don't know where things would have ended up otherwise.
So all you guys and girls. Keep sharing. It's the only way we can pick up bits of experience from others to try out in our own lives.
Thanks to all
I'm out of action for a while, so won't be able to post until next Monday.
Have pre-booked some sick leave at work. Am having an Op tomorrow(day surgery) but as I have no internet access at home. I'll post again when I'm back at work.
Y'all keep safe and positive
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 13:28

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

HI Charly

Thak you for sharing with us, it has inspired me to look back at my own life, something I haven`t been that good at it in teh past..

Reading your story puts a lot into perspective for me..To go through what you have had to go through and loosing your brother and yet you are making your recovery work, if you can then it makes me beleive that I can..

You are strong, determined and have a lot of love inside your heart, qualties that no money in the world could ever buy..

Your brother will be proud of you and who you have become - make sure you are proud of yourself beacause you deserve happiness xx

All My Love
Love
Lucy
xxx

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 16:17

gambie

Joined:
Before 2009

Charley,

A story that was very well told and so true..Gambling just doesn't make sense somtimes and especially when you are going to hurt others around you..

You have good support behind you and i think that is what is needed when you try to give up..

Onwards and upwards!

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 19:12

tallpete

Joined:
Before 2009

Love reading your story Charly your a lovely lady through all you been through your allways there for others big hugs to you my friend xxxxx

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 19:23

Rusty

Joined:
Before 2009

hi charly, just wishing you wel for your op tomorrow. will be thinking of you, and i hope to see you back telling us all went well

take care

love
rusty
xx

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2008 - 20:39

Doodle

Joined:
Before 2009

Charly

Hope the operation goes well tomorrow. Wishing you a speedy recovery, look forward to seeing you post again soon.

Take care

Doodle

Posted on:
Tue, 29/01/2008 - 09:50

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

thanks Charly for sharing your thoughts on my diary - I appreciate where you are coming from. I dont feel ready to let my wife read my personal stuff on here but will change my mind at some point. Just am glad that I am getting stuff out and clearing my head a little - so that I don't slip back into the demon days of gambling. You seem to be happier and winning the battle - taking it each day at a time - am proud of your belief in yourself and that you have the will to share your time with others. Bests JG

Posted on:
Tue, 29/01/2008 - 15:56

williebhoy1967

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly,

Many thanks indeed for your post on my diary.

Hope you are making a good recovery now, well 2 recoveries in fact both under way and sure they will be successfull.

That must have been an incredibly harrowing experience with your brother. To see someone so close to you slip away in such fashion and be unable to help is particularly heart breaking. But you should be proud to have known such a brother, keep forever the memory of your earlier days all the things that you learned from him will I amsure be put to good use in the future. He may be gone, but his legacy will live on in your life Charly (not just his name via your diary)

Posted on:
Tue, 29/01/2008 - 22:59

Keith

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly, thanks for your post on my diary. You have been a tower of strength to all since youve joined and theadvice you have been giving is spot on.

You obviously get a lot of strength from your GA meeting and the people connected with it and it shines through.

Wishing you continued best wishes and look forward to seeing you go from strength to strength. xx

Posted on:
Wed, 30/01/2008 - 19:47

Stephen J

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

From a quick look at people replying on your diary, you are obviously someone who has been a real help to many and whose advice is very appreciated.

Im sorry i have not said hello sooner, had a real bad time of things lately but even so you took the time to post on my diary and i want to thank you for that, it was really appreciated, so thank you again.

I hope you are well and ok and hope to see you back posting soon

Stephen

Posted on:
Wed, 30/01/2008 - 22:08

Rusty

Joined:
Before 2009

hi charly, wondering how you are feeling now that the op is over??

hope that you are recovering nicely, and that we can hear from you soon just so we know that all is well for you

love
rusty
xx

Posted on:
Mon, 04/02/2008 - 08:17

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi To Everyone
Thank you all for all the messages. You guyse had me in tears(happy ones of course)
It's good to know that, what little I can do, is helping others. Thanks again.
As you can see I'm back. The Op went well and I'm on the mend. Not sure if I should be back at work yet, but I got bored at home.
Daytime telly just isn't for me.
I'll write a bit more after work. I better get through the stacks of stuff I was sooo kindly left.
You all have a good day and I will post individually later.
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Mon, 04/02/2008 - 17:43

Lucy2

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

Glad you are on the mend, you sond very much like me..In out of hospital and back to work as soon as..

Thaks for your post on my diary it got me thinking about what you said:

I sort my stuff out and you sort your stuff out - way of living. We had a tough weekend sorting things out together.

I think thats what we were doing slipping back into that frame of mind..In the past 5mths we have become a team and to be honest until your post I didn`t see it that way or accept it xx Cheers mate xxx

Take Care
Love
Lucy
xxx

Posted on:
Mon, 04/02/2008 - 23:30

williebhoy1967

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly,

Great to see you back....day-time telly, yes that will get you on your feet again double quick. Many years ago I was unemployed for 2 years...the telly was driving me daft (some would say I still am) but went to college for 3 years and never stopped working since.

Your support is invaluable to so many, your attitude is tremendous despite such suffering and an example to all.

Posted on:
Tue, 05/02/2008 - 03:30

Anna1

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly. Great to see you back. I hope that you're not overdoing too much and taking time to rest a little!

After a week away from the forum sorting out my military separation, I finally had time to read through your story. I can't tell you how it touched me. Especially the part about your mom at the funeral home. I lost my mom when I was 12, and I can still remember exactly how she looked that day at the funeral home - peaceful, while all the world was in turmoil for those of us left without her.

You have shown remarkable strength in posting your story, and I'm so happy that you have a loving partner who is there by your side. Kepe moving forward toward that happiness, Charly. You deserve it!!

Love, Anna

Posted on:
Tue, 05/02/2008 - 17:30

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Guys and Girls
As they say(well somebody somewhere does)
If it doesn't rain, it pours.
Now I'm on the mend my Mum's in hospital.
Actually she went in for some tests the day before my Op, but I didn't expect her to still be there.
They have discovered that her blood count is low but don't know why, which in turn caused her heart to be enlarged so after testing all sort of stuff, today she had a bone marrow test. Not sure yet how that went. I have to give her a call when I'm home. Times like this I hate it that I'm so far away from her and my Dad. I'm in the UK and they are in Germany.
I know I'm very fortunate to still have both of my parents. They're both in their seventies and neither of them is very healthy. Dad had a massive heart attack about a year after my brother died and I thought I would lose him then. But he was strong and fought. Last year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and they had to operate and take part of the muscle that controls the urine flow away, which means he's now constantly leaking. Not nice for him having to use pads. He's now just sitting around at home and has quit living, just waiting to be taken. But, as I keep telling him, he has quality of life. The doctors send him to rehab to learn excersises to rebuilt the muscle, but Dad needs to want to to this and it seems he doesn't. We went to their Golden Wedding Anniversary last November and Dad was almost his old usual self, joking and laughing with everyone and trying to keep us all laughing with his humour.My Mum and Dad remind me of the 2 old guys on the balcony in the Muppets.
I think they are keeping each other alive with their constant bickering(they usually do end up laughing about it).
Mum moans to me about Dad and Dad moans to me about Mum. It's quite funny, really.
If it's not one it's the other I worry about.
So there you go. Am glad I was able to off-load all this. I shall report tomorrow on how things are in Germany.
Have a good Evening
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Tue, 05/02/2008 - 19:49

Stephen J

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly

Great to see you back and posting , dont blame you for getting back to work quickly , im the same ! take it easy though , dont over do it too soon.

As you say, it never rains, Horrible when things just seem to happen all at once , hope your mum is ok , must be difficult being so far away from them.

Thank you for you kind words in my diary the other day , means so much to have so many people that really care and there are so many such people on here , we are all so lucky to have found each other.

Anyway , hope mum is back up in that balcony with dad soon (ha ha i loved those 2) and you make sure you take it easy yourself

All the best

Stephen

Posted on:
Thu, 07/02/2008 - 08:54

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Dear Diary
How come that just when you think you have everything under control and you think things are going well, that something clobberes you over the head and drags you down into a black hole again. And then you wonder why life makes you cynical.
If I was still gambling, I think I would have given up this week and just let go of my life. I get so tired of fighting with life sometimes.
Last weekend my man and I sat down and worked out all out income and all our outgoings and noticed that things are very slowly getting better. Only to then get hit with more bills. I paid another of my credit cards off with my last wages which I was very pleased about. Only, the credit card company took out more then they should have. This put me in my overdraft. So when my direct debit for my car insurance came in there wasn't enough money in the bank to cover it. The bank then send the payment back and charged me £38 for the privilege. In between I went to my local shop to get items worth £1.98 to make a birthday cake. The payment went through so I thought I still had a bit of money in my account. I sorted out the overpayment with my bank. They put through an indemnity claim to reclaim my money. When I checked my account yesterday to see if that money has come in, to my horror, I found they had charged me another £35. I called them and they told me that this was for misuse of my card. Apparently I was already overdrawn, when I made my £1.98 purchase. I asked why then, didn't the transaction get refused? Apparently some shops have a minimum amount they let through.
Great, now I'm overdrawn by £69 and am sure the bank is going to charge me another £28 at the end of the month for being overdrawn. They are not reimbursing the charges. they say it's not their fault and I should get in touch with the credit card company which took out too much money in the first place.
Yeah and pigs might fly. To sum it up - for going overdrawn by £22.58 I am being charged a total of £101 this month.
If I could afford to pay that kind of money, I'd be a happy bunny.
At lunch time I'm going to check if the indemnity claim has been successful and the money has gone back into my account and then I'm going to call the credit card company and ask them what can be done. If they don't pay something back, I don't know what I'm going to do this month.
And then just when I thought things can't ge any worse, I received a letter form the water company saying I owe them £651. Have just called them and put a monthly payment plan into place. Fortuante me - as the credit card is paid off, I had £60 spare which is now going towards paying the water bill instead of easing my financial burden just that little bit. I don't know how long I can carry on like this. I know, if I hadn't gambles I wouldn't be in this position at all, but try as I might to get straightened out. It just doesn't seem to happen.
I'm so disillusioned at the moment and I don't know where to find the strength to pick me up.
Mum is still in hospital awaiting he results from her bone marrow test. Don't know what's going on there and what they are going to do.
I was looking forward to this weekend because my man and I are going to London to see Cirque du Soleil at the Albert Hall. But all the above has put a huge damper on things and I don't know if I can enjoy the weekend now, with all that on my mind.
CHarly

Posted on:
Thu, 07/02/2008 - 21:08

woody3

Joined:
Before 2009

charly my only advice is myown experience and thats is that i would leave all my problems to my higher power to sort out. recovery is all about my higher power and living life without gambling and changing my personality to make me a better person. keep strong my dear friend and see you sunday x

Posted on:
Fri, 08/02/2008 - 11:50

Jac

Joined:
Before 2009

Hello Charly,

"I get so tired of fighting with life sometimes." I remember feeling like this in the early days of Jim and My recoveries.

When you are working so hard at recovery sometimes it feels like you gain a step forward in your battles only to be forced back a few, it is so unfair.
Life is unfair sometimes... to everyone, not just people in recovery.

Charly you have such a lot on your plate at the moment and the extra worry about your Mum that its not surprising that you are feeling disillusioned at the moment.
You have also had surgery, you are tired, give yourself a break.

You mentioned in your post that last week you and your man noticed that financially things are very slowly getting better. Which means you are working in the right direction Charly.
Although you have just had the stool briefly kicked away from you with these extra charges etc. Not gambling means that you will pick up from this situation soon, just takes time.
It also shows how much 'money' really means to you nowdays... would you of worried about this 'amount' if you had been in 'action' ?

Anyway enough of my waffle! I read all of your diary last night. Thank you for sharing such an honest account of yourself and your history Charly. I wish you all the best in your recovery.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

Jackie

Posted on:
Sat, 09/02/2008 - 09:49

Rusty

Joined:
Before 2009

hi charly, sorry to hear about how tough things are for you at the moment. those bank charges are crippling, and no doubt it sticks in your throat that for £22 OD, you now are faced with £100 to pay back, especially when you are working so so hard to get back on track.

I hope that you can enjoy this weekend, you certainly need something at the moment to lift your spirits.

I wrote in my diary this week that i was feeling a bit like one of those rolly polly clowns, and feeling like i get knocked down to stand up only to get knocked down again. Wondering if that is what life is like, we are all a series of rolly polly clowns waiting to be knocked sideways or over. but i decided yesterday that so long as i am strong enough to stand up again then that is what counts. Think that we do have that ability and i am sure you have it too.

the higher power? well you know there is something in that. I remember reading in the bible once ( hundreds and hundreds of years ago now!) that we are never given anything to cope with that we do not have the power with in us to cope with. Over the years i have found that to be true. No matter how dark things are there is always are reason for it. Its called a life journey.

At the time it feels too hard, but on reflection days, weeks, months down the line we can see reason and purpose in what has happened, and often realise that the dark times make us stronger.

again, hope that trip to london has given you a breathing space

love
rusty
xx

Posted on:
Sat, 09/02/2008 - 21:05

JOHN A1

Joined:
Before 2009

im sorry that i wont give lots of support
i just read what you said and my god well done you are doing fine you have not gone out and destroyed your life even more you are still being positive be proud u may go to bed owing a lot of money like all of us but you are one day closer i think you should be proud of how far you have come have faith in yourself i find it amazing what i can live on i also remember how life was just yesterday
i promise you i will not gamble tomorrow lets all promise

Posted on:
Mon, 11/02/2008 - 15:45

Anna1

Joined:
Before 2009

Hi Charly. Just caught up on your diary, and I know exactly how you feel. I had just gotten to an "OK" place financially, not with much to spare, but enough to pay bills, when I had to spend $400 on my cat at the vet. Had to borrow the money from my dad, which was mortifying. He was kind about it, though. Then, on my way back to Louisiana from Illinois I hit a dog on the highway, and now have to pay $200 to get my car fixed.

I know sometimes it seems like a vicious circle that will never end, but Jac is right - would you really have cared when you were gambling, or would you have just been focusing on where your next gambling money was going to come from?

You have come such a long way, Charly, and you are giving so much support to others. Don't let this glitch get you down. Call that credit card company and demand a refund, but remember, things WILL get better and you'll get through this.

Lots of love,
Anna

Posted on:
Mon, 11/02/2008 - 17:48

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Dear Diary
I feel a lot better today. I went to my G.A. meeting last night and we discussed the 12 steps of recovery and it was amazing. Like something has finally clicked.
Reading my last post, especially the bit about me getting tired of fighting life, why am I fighting it?
I need to live life and enjoy the moment, day by day.
I'm always better at sharing with someone if I think it might help them. I have always found it difficult to speak or write about me. Last night I learned that when G.A. speaks about God, then it can be anything, but something much much stronger and wiser than I am. So I'm going to let my Higher Power lead the way. For me like for one of the other G.A. member at least, it's the people who care about you and love you without conditions and the people I love and care about without conditions that make this Higher Power, this force that is so much higher than me.
I have never really thought much of me or about me. It was always easier to be practical and 'get on with things'.
I recall my partner saying a few times that he couldn't understand how I could just 'move on' when things happened in the past as if they hadn't happened.
Because I'm good at organising things - give me a job to do, an event to organise and I'm in my element. Ask me to look at myself and talk about me and I couldn't. I still can't, not really. The next step in my recovery says I should 'make a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of myself'
The financial inventory is in the process of being dealt with. So that isn't really a problem anymore.
It's the moral bit I have difficulties with.
How can I do this. I don't like me very much, come to think of it, I never really have. I always felt like a bit of an outsider. | would always take on things to do for others to make friends, I don't think anyone has ever approached me and said they wanted to be my friend just for the sake of it. From as far back as infant school, I always did someone a favour or volunteer for things so others would like me. Ohmigod - I have just realised that I'm still doing it. I've volunteered to be keyholder at G.A. and have recently taken on the secretary's job within our group.I enjoy doing things for others.It stops me from having to think about me.
At school I always felt the odd one out. I developed early and looked and felt out of place. (I'll be writing forever and a day.) As I'm thinking about this, there are a lot of other things popping up in my head.
Maybe I am finally starting to look at me. I still don't like me, but hey, I love and care about a lot of people and that makes up for it in my eyes.
Enough for tonight. I have a home to go to and dinner to cook.
Good night
God Bless
Charly

Posted on:
Mon, 11/02/2008 - 19:09

Jack G

Joined:
Before 2009

You are doing so well charly - I have responded to your mail on my diary - was appreciated. I think we are all trying to get to the same place but on different paths.

Hope the higher power blesses you with a decent evening meal tonight - I am down for beans on toast and a packet of Smarties. Why is it that I am so bad a cook that when I make anything my wife smiles politely and suggests a takeaway...

have a good night
cheers
JG

Posted on:
Tue, 12/02/2008 - 10:47

tallpete

Joined:
Before 2009

Charly you have done soo much in your recovery in a short time you embraced Ga Gamcare and helped others including me . dont get bogged down in the steps thats a lifetime of work it wont happen overnight . Step 1 is a good start build on that and have a great life love and hugs pete xxxxxxx

Posted on:
Tue, 12/02/2008 - 17:27

Sabine

Joined:
Before 2009

Dear Diary
i feel more at peace with myself today.
Still have a lot going on in my life, but then, don't we all.
Mum is at home for now. She's waiting for the bone marrow results. She'll have to go back in on the 21st for a heart catheder. They're going to check her heart out and then decide if she needs a pacemaker or not. Worries me expecially where I'm so far away. I'm not yet fit again myself, things aren't going as they should have. Am still taking pain killers and that shouldn't be by now. Maybe I did go back to work too early, I don't know.
My boy(who is 20) is worrying me as well. He had a good job with Peugeot and handed in his notice because according to him he just couldn't hack it there no longer.
Although I tried to pursuade him to find another job first, before he left this one, he left anyhow. Now he's bored stiff and doesn't know what to do with himself. He really wants to join the fire brigade and has filled in the application ready to be sent off.
But I'm afraid I don't think it is the right job for him either. My partner thinks it would be the making of him. I'm not sure. I haven't told my son this, as I believe in encouraging youngsters in whatever they choose to do.
I'll carry on writing tomorrow. My lift is here.
Bye for now
Charly

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