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It's a journey not a destination

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

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cathyx

 

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

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

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

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

Keep looking after you - ODAAT 

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

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Amom wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cathyx

 

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

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

Oldhamktf

Joined:
2015-09-26

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

wishing you and yours all the best.

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

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

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

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

Guestuser9

Joined:
Before 2009

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

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

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

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

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

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

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

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

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

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

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

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

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

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

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

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

 

 

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

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

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

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

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

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

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

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

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

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Amom wrote:

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

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

 

 

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

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

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Thanks Cathy. Really appreciated your post.

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

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

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

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

Sure your son will pull through especially with you around.

Louis

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

Loxxie

Joined:
2016-01-15

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

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

LifeBegins

Joined:
2013-03-28

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

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

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

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

Love the mind is a neighbourhood quote :-) 

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

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Hi, Cathy,

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

Take care,

CW

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

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Hi Cathy

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

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

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

Hope you and your son are well.

Louis xx

Posted on:
Sat, 28/10/2017 - 02:07

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Another THANK-YOU from me, from the bottom of my heart.  

I hope you & all your loved ones are, well, was gonna say doing ok but that sounds so lame, so I’ll go with @ peace...I’m sure you know what I mean by that.

Thanks Cathy, for always looking out for us fragile people x

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 13:19

S B

Joined:
2017-11-01

Hi hun

Thanks for the hug the other day.
I'm not doing too good. Back in the hell of gambling. Can't stop.

I know I need to drop my ego and reach out for help. Thought about it many times. It's just getting harder by each day, not sure what I am waiting for.

Cathy, addiction I a symptom. Run away and hide from reality. It's believing that it will make us feel better. It's a easy way out of life problems. Glossing stuff over and trying to survive another day...but obviously bringing more strain on ourselves in process.

My sister went through tough path recently. I have listened each time, I offered my company and quiet corner to stay round at, fresh air in my lovely forests surrounding me and a chat...not much of advice but a chat. She is not 100% yet but she will get there. We all make mistakes. Destiny does the job in the end.
Only today I managed to tell her that I am not well. Not sure if she realised that before..it wasn't the case..she was hurting so it wasn't about me. She made a comment today "if not one then another"..lol..this raises a smile, maybe emotions runs in a family ☺

I hope your son is getting help offered. As I said, It's not easy to surrender...but I believe we all do sooner or later.

Look after yourself and I shall return the ((((((((C)))))))) deep from my heart.

Thank you for listening. I have forgotten how to speak and I am not kidding...so this feels like new (long lost) sensation for me...thank you for letting me express my feelings on your page.

S xx

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 15:01

S B

Joined:
2017-11-01

Hi Hun,

B is here as other one was not her. (Feeling overprotective I guess).

Thank you for your kind thoughts and post ☺

Hope you, your family (dogs included) are having a good and peaceful Sunday.

I will do my upmost to stay safe today!

Hugs....

Xx

Posted on:
Mon, 11/12/2017 - 07:58

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Hi, Cathy,

Thanks for your post.

Sorry to hear that your son has relapsed. I did the same as you, thought that whilst he was ok, I was ok so all was sorted. The clever thing is to genuinely be ok regardless.

My husband is still clean and attending meetings but isn’t prepared to engage in any Steps or digging and anything that sounds like therapy talk is a no go area for him.

I have been reading Robin Norwood and Pia Mellody and attending CoDA and I find that I’m more able to step back, be less affected by the all too regular episodes of silly beggars/games. If anything, I’ve stepped too far back; walls instead of boundaries. Am not great at balance but learning.

CoDA is...interesting because many members are addicts as well as codependents, whereas at GamAnon all are on the receiving end of someone else’s gambling. I’ve always been prepared to don a hair shirt but it’s working, rather slowly and painfully, getting me out of victim mode, making me look at what I need to do. Including looking seriously at my tendency towards sugary foods. I’d recommend it.

Look after yourself.

CW

Posted on:
Sat, 04/08/2018 - 12:06

San15

Joined:
2018-05-31

Good afternoon Cathy...i guess it's still very early morning your way so I wish you wake up refreshed and peaceful, ready for the day's challenges and blessings.

 

Thank you for your post yesterday. You said it's a good read and this made me think. Words, prints on paper or digital space on this occasion. How little actually words means huh...and how they affect the other one way or another. I am not very much "words" preacher no more. If i do say something, I follow them up with action or at least immediate emotion. The thing is, in this digital world is very hard to express yourself. You have to see to feel the feeling, energy and vibrations of others.

 

How is your son doing? I truly hope and pray he is coming to terms for his actions. This can be one hell of a ride, but as I keep saying - it has its purpose. Everything is accountable for, every single choice. 

 

Today I feel extremely thoughtful. I usually just go out and connect with nature as it has most of the answers but today just something unsettling my mind. I strangely think of your welbeing, the knock-on effect it has on you. The tingling feeling of worry on your day to day basis. ..it must be hard. ...it must be unbearably tough to lose that piece of trust in loved one. We weren't created to hurt or be let down...but once the damage is done, the crack is created and no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot piece it together to it's original shape...and it's not something to be upset about, it's just how it works.

 

After all, there is still love to be had. Maybe slightly different, surrounded by much more emotions,..however - still love. The knowledge is a tool to better understanding..the "ahhh" moment we all encounter time to time. Depends how much we choose to take from it. ..all boils down to choice. Such a simple act but also one of the hardest to to deliver. The thing is - you live with it as soon as you make that decision.

 

I, once again struggle for words. I am feeling at peace even if i am thoughtful today. Peace i gifted myself through the power of universe...as crazy as it sounds, that's where I find myself now. Hopeful, peaceful, surrounded by love. The key element in my journey was, is and always will be - self love and acceptance. Paramount breakthrough for me.

 

Cathy, it was never about gambling and we all know this...it just took many years to accept it for me and I truly hope your son is finding his way to such recognition also.

 

Much love sweet soul, Blessings and peace to your heart and soul...you matter and YOU truly matter to me ❤❤❤

Posted on:
Tue, 07/08/2018 - 07:06

San15

Joined:
2018-05-31

Hey Cathy,

 

Brilliant to hear about yourself and your son! Sounds like a magical transformations all around . Yes, remember AA meetings, truly helpful and somehow calming. Connection there is real. So glad to read youre all on your personal journies, embarking the challenges and reaping the rewards life brings. Honestly, may it continue forever! A step further from self destruction/ pain/ misery - a step closer to peace of mind and clarity.

 

The thing about addictions - they will never leave us to be. Once tried and "self soothed" is never forgotten and possibility to go back is quite high throughout our journey. The sooner we realise such possibility, the easier it is to accept the reality of such force..and that's when practical bits comes to the forefront to stop it in it's tracks. Absolutely continued work needed but so is every day life and choices we make in it.

Support. I haven't got any physical support to be fair. I think the main factor for me - i am still stubborn towards it. I can only go by my own personal experience in such matter and I guess the making or breaking point for me was when I was left by myself (much to do with choices...bad or good). During that time I have made massive decisions in my life. Not easy and truly back/forwards experience however what I am reaping as a result now is out of this world! I think the "emotion" has stayed with me since and I just realised the strenght I had all along. (We all have it within, but I guess I just chose the hard way out..maybe I am used to those challenges by now...I truly cannot explain this). 

Being alone and feeling lonely are two very separate things. I now know that I am never alone because I have universe behind me...with it's strange ways of delivering messages and peace of mind.

I am not medicating myself with antidepressants nor I reach for a drink (the lethal combination I repeated for too long in my life).  However I still have a odd drink on weekends so I am not clean clean ....nor I am dry drunk as was suggested few times before. 

It's all about feeling I suppose. State of mind and noticing the shift in you where you need to take an action accordingly. Going back to no support subject. I have many soulful friends around me where I can reach to at any Time as as they can reach out for me too. Also, the "telephatical" connection with our Rach is taking place too heh heh so I am truly happy with my circle presently and couldn't ask for more!  My heart/spirit and soul is truly shining now. I have found what seemed to be missing all my life. To tell you the thruth - there is no better feeling in a world to wake up and face the day with positive mindset. Definitely outweighs the overwhelming feeling of wanting to end it all daily...for so many years.

 

A lot to do/ make decisions on going forwards and I will never turn my back on support groups. You just never know when such support is needed your life.

 

For now...I truly love and accept myself. My imperfections and mistakes I have made in the past. There will be many going forwards, I am sure of it, but the knowledge I have now is also very different to "back then".

 

I am happy Cathy ..I type this and getting ready for extremely challenging day ahead but i don't let it get to me. I will do my best, I am good enough & I am where I am for a reason...I am at peace!

 

Waffle here huh...the thing is I happened to visit my "second home" just at the time of you posting...took me few hours to formulate a response, but only after I took inventory of my feelings... am not saying things just to say them no more, I am feeling every single word now.

 

Much love & blessings lovely soul ❤❤❤

 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 29/08/2018 - 20:58

San15

Joined:
2018-05-31