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TRUE RECOVERY  

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alwalm
(@alwalm)

Hi,

I have wanted to ask a question on this forum for quite some time, but my fear of being misunderstood & offending people fighting the same addiction as me has held me back. The thing i enjoy most about this forum is hearing different opinions, which people may or may not agree with. I think it's about digesting as much as you can & finding a balance and knowing what works for you & what doesn't. I try not to judge people, advise if i can but most importantly be constructive when i post. Before i ask the question i want people to know given the life i've lived i'm in no position to pass judgement on anyone.

I read so many posts on here about people clocking up GF days after running up debts ( just as i did) and how much better they are feeling as time goes on, & then they say I HAVEN'T TOLD MY PARTNER. When i finally came clean in August last year ( so many broken promises & lies that i'd stopped over the years ) is something i believe will haunt me till the day i die. This wasn't about facing her wrath & anger, though the money i'd blown & the debt i'd created was horrendous, much worse than that was the hurt in her eyes, it was as if i'd totally broken her and all her trust not just in me but in human beings, in life & possibly in god.

That day our lives changed forever. Even now if i tell her the sky outside is blue i think she'd still go outside the door to check it out. I'd already looked into seeking help from Gamcare & getting counselling and whatever help was available. She actually stood over me ( quite rightly so) while i uploaded photo & proof of identity to get myself excluded. Even wanted to see the email confirming my exclusion. Every bank & credit card statement was scrutinised until every single detail of the ugly truth was exposed. My first counselling session was in a neighbouring town & to make sure i'd attended checked my sat nav history.

I know what i've done, what a b*****d i've been and the only thing i can say in my defence is i can truly say for the first time in my life i wanted to STOP and had a determination i had never before felt. The shame the self hatred that haunted me for months in some peoples opinion may not have been punishment enough for the things i'd done but believe me i suffered.

Moving on til today i know there are those who believe a leopard never changes his spots. All i can say to that is time will tell. Can i ever truly right my wrongs of the past ? who knows only my long suffering wife & family can answer that question but i'll never give up trying. Each day when i get up i always think of K2s advice from what feels like ages ago now when i first came here. JUST FOR TODAY I WILL NOT GAMBLE. Is this an easy journey, h**l NO, is it a worthwhile one YOU BET.

I thank god every single day for still having my wife & family ( not a religious man. i'm what some would describe as a lapsed catholic ) I thank god for steering me away from gambling the previous day & i also thank him for giving me no excuse to lie as now there isn't anything left to lie about. Money gets handed over on payday leaving me with enough to pay 2 direct debits i have each month & little more. My wife's almost 10 years younger than me, is a professional and in a job she's passionate about & loves, so much so she dreads the thought of retirement.

I don't get everything i want but she makes sure i have everything i need. New shoes if i need them i get them,fuel money, we go to the supermarket every week & she puts £50 in the tank ( that's enough to get her to and from work everyday & my grandchildren to school which i take everyday & family visits ). Even if i need a haircut i ask for the money. The good part of all this i'm no longer a ticking time bomb waiting to explode & spew out more bad news about a gambling debt or a relapse & back to living a big lie. This brings me an inner peace i can't describe Knowing there are no skeletons in the cupboard and my arsenal of devastation is finally exhausted. It's having this inner peace, knowing there's no more awful secrets that help so much in fighting my addiction.

So finally i come to the question i've been longing to ask. Given that compulsive gambling, secrets & lies are all part & parcel of  this addiction is someone who's fighting addiction but keeping secrets from a wife or partner experiencing true recovery. Again i stress i'm not judging anyone or trying to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be doing. I would just like to hear other peoples opinion.

Kindest Regards To Everyone & Genuine Best Wishes In Your Recovery

AL

 

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Posted : 1st June 2019 7:43 pm
Bal
 Bal
(@bal)

Hi,

To some people "true recoveŕy" can mean different things and the following scenarios spring to mind.

Is the CG still trying to win the losses back. Deposit them at the bank and act as if nothing has happened. In all essence until the next time and the win isnt forthcoming so a new set of lies has to be woven.

To open yourself fully to the addiction and admit you are powerless to deal. Apologies.to any GA member with that statement. In essence completely opening up to previous mis demeamours and ensuring they dont happen again. To allow yourself to be scrutinised at every opportunity. How long does it take for that trust to return??

IMO not being 100% truthful does not mean you cannot be viewed as a recovering CG. 

It may mean your OH may vanish forever therefore you are protecting what you have left.

Or by not being 100% are you allowing a small avenue open to gamble at a later date.

Best

ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st June 2019 9:19 pm
holycrosser
(@holycrosser)

I'm hiding £25k worth of debt firm my OH and I'm due to marry her soon , she knows nothing about my gambling.

Why haven't I told her?

I know her so well she will end us, she is anti everything about debt and waste.Am I in true recovery?  Regardless of her knowing or not are we ever in recovery? Its ALWAYS there.its in us forever in my opinion, I don't think I will ever shake off the urge but I can choose never to do it.

It's a silent addiction, vicious and destructive, people may think I cant truly recover by lying.....in truth can we ever really recover? No in my opinion.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by holycrosser
ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st June 2019 9:59 pm
alwalm
(@alwalm)

Hi Holycrosser,

Thanks for your reply and candid honesty. 

Kind Regards

AL

ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st June 2019 10:19 pm
alwalm
(@alwalm)

Hi Bal,

Thought about your reply for most of the evening. I posed the question as i was trying to navigate my way through muddy waters. Your reply ( though most valued ) has reduced my vision a hundred fold lol. But then again it's people like you that make recovery interesting, controversial, and forces us to challenge our beliefs. More importantly i get the impression you show a great level of tolerance towards others & their perceptions. So all in all perhaps i didn't get the clear answers i was looking for but i did gain an insight to respecting other peoples perspectives & points of view.

Sincere Best Wishes

AL

ReplyQuote
Posted : 2nd June 2019 1:20 am
ricks
(@ricks)

I'm not looking for forgiveness. I know what I have done and do not look to make myself feel better.

However I am looking to be a better person for myself and my loving wife. Although my gambling starts with dishonesty I always have to come clean but I do feel terrible and ashamed.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd June 2019 2:19 am
K2
 K2
(@k2)

Its such a giant question - but it is good to consider it.

I will reply to this is several parts over a few days I think (as it ties me in knots thinking about this sometimes!)

"Can we ever truly right my wrongs of the past ?"

I don't feel as if I can - I can't get the time back when my children were little most of all.

However I can do my absolute best as a parent now and in the future. Is that enough ? Well its all I (we) can do really.

"Coming clean"

I think we owe it to our partners, but from a purely selfish point of view the relief of telling a partner, or standing in front of strangers and telling them you are an addict, is simply enormous. It's like a giant crushing load being lifted from your shoulders. Telling strangers on the internet is not remotely the same.

Why don't people confide ?

1) Fear - They worry about failing.   I think the vast majority of partners will be supportive. But what do you do if you lapse ?  and lapse again, and again ?

2) They want to control or call a temporary halt on their gambling, not to stop for ever.

I reckon I was stuck on the second point above for the best part of 30 years. I didn't want to stop for ever, just wanted less debt, more control and a few more winners.

Gambling, particularly the nags was an intrinsic part of my social life, a significant part of my week (20-40 hours, either in a bookies hunched over my PC or phone) and part of stopping forever meant changing my circle of friends.

I think true recovery is series of stages and building blocks.

You need acceptance that you are an addict, you need to break the cycle, you need a life long commitment, you need to work your recovery, and you need to honestly self evaluate (maybe with help from a GA sponsor, or people on here) and you need to make ammends. 

I think we (the class on August 2018 !) should be in or approaching the self evaluation stage, its certainly not for the first few months of recovery. I would appreciate ALN's thoughts on this.

Self evaluation is not about beating yourself up for the past, I think its trying to make sure you can be the best you can be. Always remember though, don't let the pursuit of the perfect be the enemy of the good.

We are not aiming for perfection - significantly better is enough.

I'm not a massive fan of "whatever works for you"  - GA provides a pretty decent template of what people need to do, even if they can't attend. 

 

My names Ken and I'm a compulsive gambler. My last bet was 27th August 2018

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th June 2019 10:04 am
A 9
 A 9
(@alan-135)

Hi Al :)).

In my humble opinion I'm not actually sure what" True recovery " actually is as there's varying degrees across the forum . 

I've never actually liked the term " Recovery " as it's always portrayed a vision in my mind of reaching a point where you have recovered and can go no further but as we all know our recovery seems to last a lifetime and there seems no point when we say " That's it I'm cured " . 

My old friend Paul ( Volcano ) would always refer to it as " Rediscovery " which for me seems to fit much better as I seem to have learned much about myself and how I tick since stopping gambling .

I feel it's about how the individual looks at his or her case  and is completely bespoke . I always tell anyone coming here that Honesty is the way forward as it was for me and once out in the open is a huge relief , it also gives our " Dirty little secret "nowhere to hide  it's not what we want to do because we've spent so many years hiding our secret live's so I can see it's a huge sticking point for many but at some point you do have to be honest for once in your life and accept the outcome whatever that may be ?.

Maybe for some it's not the first thing they want to tackle for fear of the outcome but again in my opinion it set's that initial foundation stone as a way forward  ? . 

Good Debate my friend and one I'm sure will be asked much more .

Cheers for all your support Al and your footprints around the forum :)) 

Alan 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th June 2019 11:48 am
signalman
(@signalman)
Posted by: ricks

I'm not looking for forgiveness. I know what I have done and do not look to make myself feel better.

However I am looking to be a better person for myself and my loving wife. Although my gambling starts with dishonesty I always have to come clean but I do feel terrible and ashamed.

 

Hey 

I'm just wondering if you can't really have the latter without the former in place? 

I found this to be a really interesting comment... Another discussion in itself if you like

Isn't it just literally a repetitive cycle until you finally are able to forgive yourself, stop beating yourself up about what you've done and actually feel better about yourself?

Wouldn't that give you the capacity to transcend the cycle? Wouldnt you be better for it and in turn gives you a way out of having to carry guilt and shame about with you everywhere you go?

Why wouldn't you want to work on yourself post-gambling to actually FEEL BETTER about yourself? Most people gamble to fill a void in their lives right?

I still believe some people willingly carry around guilt and shame after gambling as a buffer/reminder to prevent them from entering back into the cycle. Is THAT recovery?

This post was modified 1 week ago by signalman
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Posted : 9th June 2019 12:15 am
K2
 K2
(@k2)

"is someone who's fighting addiction but keeping secrets from a wife or partner experiencing true recovery"

I had an uncle for drank for 30 years, then was sober for 30 years. Clearly it is a great deal harder hiding drinking from your partner, but he was in AA from the day he stopped, and his wife was in Al-anon.

He was very open about his past issues but it took a long time for him to be able to comfortably attend occasions when alcohol might be served. Anything from a meal out to a funeral or christening.

He used these words - "I just feel comfortable in my own skin", and maybe that's a nice way of describing true recovery.

Probably difficult to feel that if you aren't open with your partner.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10th June 2019 8:45 am
alwalm
(@alwalm)

Hi,

This topic was not to pass judgement on others. For me coming clean was about stopping.

 

Stopping. Gambling

Stopping. Lying and being in denial

Stopping. Telling myself i was going to win it all back.

I can understand people who don't tell their spouses or partners for fear of loosing them. I personally just felt in order to change my life i had to get rid EVERYTHING BAD that's associated with compulsive gambling. I wasn't certain by any means that my wife would stand by me whilst sought help & the thought of loosing her terrified me. I suppose coming clean was my final gamble.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10th June 2019 2:15 pm
A 9
 A 9
(@alan-135)
Posted by: alwalm

Hi,

This topic was not to pass judgement on others. For me coming clean was about stopping.

 

Stopping. Gambling

Stopping. Lying and being in denial

Stopping. Telling myself i was going to win it all back.

I can understand people who don't tell their spouses or partners for fear of loosing them. I personally just felt in order to change my life i had to get rid EVERYTHING BAD that's associated with compulsive gambling. I wasn't certain by any means that my wife would stand by me whilst sought help & the thought of loosing her terrified me. I suppose coming clean was my final gamble.

"I've always said it's the one last gamble you need to make AL and if it comes in then your blessed with riches beyond your wildest dreams ".

"Embrace your new life buddy " :)) 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10th June 2019 5:27 pm
alwalm
(@alwalm)

Hi A9

Don't know what it is about you,K2 & Signalman but whenever i listen to yous always feel i'm in safe hands. None judgemental, sound advice. Ready for further progression ( i think ). We all tread the same path yet our journeys are unique & we have to make it our own.

I'll get up in the morning with a new hope & aspirations knowing i didn't place a single bet yesterday. We all do different things to fight this, yet share a common goal, to be better not perfect. Hopefully we'll start another day by saying JUST FOR TODAY. I'm not perfect by any means but i know i'm better than the man i once was.

I'll take my 2 grandsons to school & take pleasure from every minute spent with them on the short car journey. I'll then walk my dog & enjoy the experience of the smell of fresh air rather than the smell of addiction, plotting & scheming kidding myself i'm gonna be the next Barney Curley ( famous professional gambler for none horse racing fans ). I'll pick my wife up from work & be able to look her in the eye & say JUST FOR TODAY I DIDN'T GAMBLE.

It ain't about right or wrong, secrets or lies or telling others what to do. I have to be resolute & selfish sometimes to control my addiction before i advise others. Let's hope all of us have a smooth passage escaping from the nightmare of addiction.

Kind Regards

AL

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11th June 2019 12:31 am
A 9
 A 9
(@alan-135)

Morning AL 🙂 

Not sure how we got from true recovery to Barney Curley but yes I remember him well in his Huge Fedora upon his head and funnily enough someone I aspired to be way back then also :).

Your last paragraph resonates with me too   " I have to be resolute and selfish " as someone much wiser once said to me      " Selfish in addiction , selfish in recovery " which I also believe to be true because there's moments where I do have to put myself first, simply because If I make changes for me and look after my wellbeing then improvement comes and ultimately makes life better for those around me " Win Win " :)). 

They also said that " To work recovery and gain from it , you have to give it away " which probably explains why I'm still hangin around here like a bloke with no home :)) . 

Stay well mate , your doing great 🙂 

Alan 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11th June 2019 10:24 am
Deano18
(@deano18)

A better question to ask yourself would be what does recovery mean to me.

if you ask what people’s perception of true recovery is you’ll get a multitude of answers, just like if you were to ask people what is the true religion or path to god.

every one should have the “never to place another bet” that means recovery will be a constant until your last breath.  Some people will want to work on their character defects, make up to people they’ve wronged.  Or make up for times they’ve missed out on say family occasions etc. The list is pretty vast really.

 

someone else’s true recovery will probably differ from your own.

deano

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Posted : 12th June 2019 11:03 am
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