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Posted on:
Thu, 30/11/2017 - 01:10

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Hi CML it strikes me that you are allowing yourself to feel more emotions, good and bad. I mean emotions in reaction to life rather than the artificial highs and lows of the gambling dream world.
I'm not as far along the road as you but I can get what you are saying about drinking and being careful not to let yourself go seeking to mask or escape feeling through the drink, now that you don't have the comfort of running to gambling whenever you needed.

I think we all need escape sometimes from the pain of existence, that's the human condition...but that's why music art and stories exist...escape is different from oblivion and that's where addiction steps in.
For me its about keeping my mind occupied, maybe studying, maybe a new project...:)

Posted on:
Sat, 02/12/2017 - 17:19

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Life for rent - by Dido

If my life is for rent and I don't learn to buy it. Then I deserve nothing more than I get, 'cause nothing I have is truly mine.

The implications of this song are far-reaching and thought provoking. With this in mind I will use it as a sinario to reflect on our own lives...

Your life for rent is a car... It is contracted on a long term (approx 81 years) lease hire agreement. The duration of the term may be reduced or terminated depending on its use. Thrashing the engine with a low oil level is likely to lead to a decrease in performance and may be critical in the long term.

Your car should be serviced regularly. A full health check; tyres, alignment, brakes etc. Wash, wax and valet are optional. The car should not be stored away in a garage without use for long periods. Brush off those cobwebs, spark up that engine and set off for adventure, exhilaration and activities in wonderful places. Treat your car with care. Drive it smoothly, staying in control. Don't take too many risks, driving recklessly... It could result in a car crash!

Be warned that should a problem occur with the major components it could be detrimental. It may be possible to have a replacement engine or gearbox fitted, but as the car gets older and other parts become worn out, there will be limitations.

Above all, appreciate your car - it's the only one You'll get.. Admire the fine contours, comfort, safety and technology. In the right conditions you may wish to test out the vehicles performance, limits and capabilities. Maybe add a little style with 'go faster stripes' or even furry dice if you wish!

Remember that your car is the sum total of its parts. It may break down from time to time but mostly it's reliable, complete and in working order. A great design. Your car... Your life. Use it wisely and well.

Posted on:
Tue, 05/12/2017 - 21:59

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Had a good couple of weeks off the booze and I'm feeling so much better but l realise that complete abstinence is not really what I want. Drinking socially is enjoyable and should be looked on as a treat such as going out to a restaurant or other such indulgence. I realize that I've been thinking too deeply about things such as health issues or concerns. The old saying "everything in moderation" still rings true. Sure, I had allowed myself to become down and in low spirits, but there's often a good reason, and therefore options and solutions. I have decided that I need to change my working hours and cut out the nights, hopefully working for the same firm. I also need to involve myself with fresh challenges or hobbies. This is really essential for all of us, especially if we have thoughts of gambling. Because ultimately the weakness within ourselves is really put to the test when we're feeling down. I intend to join a running club in the New Year. I have many happy memories of the team spirit and camaderie of when I was previously a club member. Then there's my project - ongoing for 13 years, but it's getting close to completion, and maybe this time next year.... Well who knows. It could be on retail sale! I've got to remain positive. 2018 is going to be a great year. I'm doing fine now. Even though I still have thoughts of gambling and the urges will surely come and go, like a tap on the shoulder. But power comes from within. Thinking about it, whenever I returned to gambling in the past it was due to negative thought processes. Feeling sorry for myself; woe is me. It's not fair. Things will never improve. I'm a loser. But as we know gambling is never the answer. With a little faith and hope we can improve our lives.

Posted on:
Wed, 06/12/2017 - 14:52

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Quote by Oscar Wilde: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

We have to listen to ourselves and go for it, thats whats good about a diary, you can see what you wrote and you have to act on it positively. I said that I have 5 years to pay back my gambling debt back then, and todays mind, there is no way that I will let it hang over me for that long, we have to set goals, I will get out of this job I dont like, I will and I can. Whatever your project is go for it focus and believe in it and dont let anyone tell you "But what if". Listening to ourselves from now on our thoughts our goals, we are working out what addiction is and how easy it is to get sucked into gambling and bad thought processes and all the games that lead us down debts and repayments. Your no loser get your mind in that project and focus and changeyourlife changemylife :-)

Posted on:
Fri, 08/12/2017 - 23:35

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Thanks Smashed for your encouraging words. Our futures are very much in our own hands, and like you say we can pay off our debts sooner if we put our minds to it. Rather than mooching, begrudgingly in the 'naughty corner'. We can get on with our lives - taking the batten and running with it. Staking our claim for wellbeing and prosperity. Like you say - "change your job". Not always easy to get what you want straight away, but it IS possible and achievable! Break out of the mould. Knock on doors. Utilise the stepping stones. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Posted on:
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:10

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

C.G's often refer to the gambling urges often seen as an external force trying to drive us to do things we shouldn't do. But I think that it's important to recognise that the urges are really confined to our own minds. Sure we may have external temptations such as gambling advertisements or the shop front of a bookie, but even when the seeds of enticement become apparent, we should be able to confront and deal with them.

For me, even after years of habitual gambling, regardless of the consequences or reason, I still have the thoughts and memories of so many events that have shaped the way I am. And unfortunately I cannot simply wipe out 35 years of happenings that have been a major influence on my life.

Therefore, although I can change the way I live through decisive measures, the gambling will always be a part of me.

Posted on:
Wed, 13/12/2017 - 21:47

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello changemylife. Hope your happy and well.

Appreciate your posting on my diary. Always enjoy reading your interesting views on life and addiction. 

Totally agree with your sentiments on how we can respond to unwanted urges or enticement; "We should be able to confront and deal with them." 

I intend making every effort to be a mature adult by accepting responsibility for my actions and not being a fool. This will allow me to be carefree, relaxed and at peace with myself. I know I can do this if I have the courage and the will to see it through.

As Captain Sparrow said; "What could possibly go wrong?". 

Posted on:
Thu, 14/12/2017 - 16:37

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hey I like that - ,' What could possibly go wrong', it's a bit like my favourite saying - 'what's the worst that could happen'?... Hey I'm only having a laugh! But if my name was Lister... Well it's deadly serious! Hey I'm just about to start reading 'Backwards' and 'Last Human' in the Red Dwarf series. Thanks by the way.

Posted on:
Sun, 17/12/2017 - 09:26

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Day 415 without gambling. Although I remember my heady downfall as if it was yesterday. The desperate compulsion throughout the summer months of 2016. Betting continually with stupid, blind and stubborn motives. Descending once again into a spiral of debt and anxiety, until the gravy train of cash was unable to flow.

Every day I have to remind myself of that dark place because our minds can tell us lies and lead us down the path of temptation, with a notion of filtered events viewed through rose coloured spectacles.

Posted on:
Thu, 21/12/2017 - 23:16

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

I've been working long hours so haven't had much time to post on my diary. Worked 72 hours this week. Living like a zombie. However, I've now got a 12 day break for Christmas and New Year, so now it's time to relax. And sleep zzzzzz. Then maybe party!

Posted on:
Fri, 22/12/2017 - 01:58

4D

Joined:
2010-02-10

Happy Christmas CML, enjoy that 12-day break! You've earned it x

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 00:13

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Wishing you a great holiday over christmas and the new year. Time to celebrate your amazing journey of recovery.

Many thanks for your support you have given me and the wisdom you have shared.

look forward to being alongside you in 2018. With courage and right thinking we can only go from strength to strength.

 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 20:58

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Many thanks for your thoughts and comments 4D and Abstainer. Yes I will be having a relaxing family festive break. I hope you will be too. Also I really appreciate sharing the journey, with ideas, encouragement and reflection.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 20:24

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Looking forward to the new year with optimism, excitement, enterprise and happiness.

Every potential problem encountered gives us a chance to navigate through to reach a worthwhile solution.

My song for the day:

'It's a beautiful day' by U2
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, DON'T LET IT GET AWAY.
SEE THE BIRD WITH A LEAF IN HER MOUTH.
AFTER THE FLOOD ALL THE COLOURS CAME OUT.
WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE, YOU DON'T NEED IT NOW.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW, YOU CAN FEEL IT SOMEHOW.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/12/2017 - 22:44

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Just sat and listened to U2, great music choice.

Good to see you relishing the challenges which 2018 will bring. It's not what comes our way but how we handle it that counts. 

Feeling a real buzz at the prospect of a calender year gamble free,  and I intend to enjoy it. 

Wishing you peace, contentment, and happy days.

Posted on:
Mon, 01/01/2018 - 10:18

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Thanks for all your posts to me in 2017, I have taken a lot of golden nuggets from your advice. 430 days now thats impressive I will get there and we can remember that it was the beginning of 2018 that I said it. :-). Happy New Year.

Posted on:
Thu, 04/01/2018 - 21:50

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

OK that's 4 days B.F. (Booze Free) following a fairly hectic Xmas/New Year, and I am also taking on the 'Dry January Challenge'. Furthermore, I have deliberately not eaten for the past 36 hours! - however I don't think that I'll waste away.. I've been swelling a bit round the middle and need to improve my health and wellbeing. When you get to the age of 50 your body becomes less forgiving and the years of excess catch up with you.
6 months ago I felt fairly fit having completed the Hull Half Marathon, but now I seem to be harbouring a beer baby, like a pregnant seal. It's no surprise with all the extra food and drink consumed throughout the festive period. Beer, wine, cake, chocs, Baileys, mince pies, advocaat, double cream... Perhaps an extra 10,000 calories. - And they've got to go somewhere! Although actually, I did show some caution and restraint.

So anyway, 4 days B.F. so far, and just like many other challenges it takes alot of willpower to combat successfully. Abstinence from fast food, alcohol, gambling, excessive spending or other lifestyle vices.

In terms of refraining from gambling - willpower plays a very significant part of the battle that many of us face every day. Although I don't necessarily have pressing urges to gamble on a daily basis, the scars have been cut deep and I know that I am only one bet from disaster at any moment in time. The problem with compulsive gambling is when we are actually in the zone (the gambling bubble) and taking part. Win, Lose, Win, Lose, Lose, Chase... Aarrhh!! And when we're in the zone we are helpless to control our irrational thinking. At that stage willpower plays very little part. But we do NOT have to enter that C.G. bubble. Willpower can be your mighty weapon to prevent access through the gates of peril.

Anyway, we will continue in earnest to create a better lifestyle. Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. Enjoy our hobbies and value our friendships and family.

In my quest to get fit again I have now entered the Lincoln 10K, taking place in March. No more excuses. Just do it! I have also invested in some new running running shoes and accessories. A major extravagance perhaps, but I don't spend alot on myself. The £190 I spent is about the same amount that I used to lose each month gambling. Therefore during the past 12 months G.F. I've saved about £2500. It kinda puts things into perspective doesn't it? I think that all recovering addicts should consider rewarding themselves from time to time as a personal recognition of their abstinence and resolution.

Posted on:
Sat, 06/01/2018 - 19:07

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

I have taken part in a 5K 'Park Run' this morning and am feeling good. More Jogging=More Jigging.
I know that exercise is absolutely essential for my own happiness and wellbeing. Happy mind = Happy heart. As well as healthy eating - I am now only eating when hungry, and not just for the sake of it. But I'm not kidding myself - I've still got a long way to go with my fitness and weight-loss. You just can't lose 2 stone overnight.
Did you know that a camel can go for 28 days without food and water.... But then, who wants to be a camel?
I am confident that this year will be a great one. 435 days G.F. & 7 days B.F. Although I had a bit of a wobble midweek - I nearly grabbed a bottle of beer and said - 'what the heck'.

I'm still trying to push the gambling thoughts to the back of my mind, although they keep rearing their ugly heads, with thoughts of: 'It should be ok to just have a little punt, just for fun.
But I will not falter. Not this time. Coz gambling has taken away so much from me throughout my life.

[Life Rules]
Listen•Ask questions•
Try new things•
Brush your teeth•
Clean up after yourself•
Know that you are loved•
Be kind to each other•
Always tell the truth•
Laugh a lot•
Dance & sing•
Believe in yourself•
Never give up•
Hug tightly•Be yourself•
Follow your dreams•
Learn from your mistakes•
Discover•Travel•
Create memories.

'We cannot choose what we are... Yet what are we?.. but the sum of our choices'.

Posted on:
Sun, 07/01/2018 - 13:49

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello Changemylife. Hope your having a great weekend. Very impressed with your keep fit campaign. Healthy body ~ Healthy mind. Alcohol free January is a great idea as is your observance on a good diet. Make sure you are getting all your nutrients and don't neglect 'stretching out' before and after your runs. I see people in the gym weight training but never doing any stretching which causes them problems. Sorry if i'm telling my granny how to suck eggs.

I imagine it must be a great feeling to take part in a run. You took part in the Hull Half Marathon last summer, yesterday a 5 k Park Run and the Lincoln10K in March. Your also doing a very impressive job on the recovery road, with your gamcare friends. Very sensible to get yourself good quality running shoes, your feet and joints will thank you for that. It's strange how some people will scrimp and scrape on important things and yet throw money away on junk. I suppose as compulsive gamblers we were all guilty of that.

I respect your making a list of 'life rules' and looking inside yourself for happiness and self esteem. My concern is that my thoughts run away with me and I get caught up in my emotions. I am endeavoring to be more laid back, worry free and happy as a bee (a bee that hasn't been decimated by pesticides). A more stoic approach to my existence. To be at one with the universe of which I am a part. I am not looking for a 'couldn't care less attitude' but I am exploring somewhere out there.

Take care...stephen

Posted on:
Mon, 08/01/2018 - 09:16

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Nice post, keep pushing and you will get in no matter how many people are holding the door on the other side.
 

Posted on:
Tue, 09/01/2018 - 03:57

Little miss lost

Joined:
2016-05-24

Just a quick thank you for your continued support. It certainly helps and encourages.
Well done on your gf days, they are building up nicely!
Sometimes, in the quiet of the night like it is now for me, it's a bit scary to think that even well after a year abstinence the gambling demons are still there.
I have to give myself some serious talking to on the occasions when I have a few minutes to sit and think about my situation. No more credit, its my credit score which has taken a hammering. 'what ifs' crop up. What if I need a new phone, will I now be able to get one? What if I can't change my mortgage in March and it goes up from its fixed rate? The list could go on and on.
I suppose we just have to keep plugging away a day at a time and look at the positives of which there are many.
Anyway, I digress, sorry for turning your post into all about me haha!
Keep up the good work, 450ish days gamble free - you're obviously doing something right!
All good wishes x

Posted on:
Sun, 14/01/2018 - 12:37

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

I'm not really a sporty person as such. I'm average at running, pool/snooker. Slow with cycling and swimming. Mediocre at golf or crochet. Diabolical at tennis, darts and football, - with all the precision and technique of a haphazardly clown!
But I am a trier - and that's all that we should ask of ourselves.

I recently saw a motivational poster at the leisure centre that I would like to share. The poster had the following information:-

50 REASONS WHY PEOPLE SHOULD TAKE PART IN SPORTS

1. Increases confidence
2. Builds friendships
3. Builds character
4. Improves self esteem
5. Improves memory
6. Reduces obesity
7. Develops resilience
8. Teaches respect
9. Improves mood
10. Develops creativity
11. Reduces anxiety
12. Reduces stress
13. Reduces depression
14. Teaches life lessons
15. Promotes fair play
16. Improves body image
17. Boosts brain power
18. Develops focus
19. Improves academic performance
20. Promotes social interaction
21. Improves brain functioning
22. Improves sleep
23. Improves decision making
24. Develops autonomy
25. Develops stronger bones
26. Develops stronger joints
27. Helps to control weight
28. Increases energy levels
29. Increases attention span
30. Improves quality of life
31. Teaches about value and respect
32. Improves cognitive functioning
33. Improves posture
34. Builds strength
35. Improves blood flow
36. Improves fitness
37. Teaches teamwork
38. Improves learning
39. Reduces fatigue
40. Improves breathing
41. Helps to learn from failure
42. Improves reflexes
43. Helps to achieve goals
44. Helps to develop coping skills
45. Improves immune system
46. Teaches about winning
47. Teaches about losing
48. A way to experience success
49. A way to have fun
50. To feel good and content

#What's not to like eh?

Posted on:
Mon, 15/01/2018 - 00:23

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Change thanks for popping by. Without sounding wet, I'm not really used to compliments so Stephens post meant alot to ne, as doea everyones support. Self worth doesn't come naturally to be honest, gambling pretty much sucked me dry of anything positive. Glad you are enjoying running abd continue to strive ahead, take care Sx

Posted on:
Wed, 17/01/2018 - 09:19

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Doing things you enjoy and not doing what you dont want to, sounds so simple, but most of us just choose our card and accept it, but when you dont want that card and everyone tells you to just settle with what you got most of us give in. It has taken a me a good chunk of my life holding that card to finally rip it up and pick again.

Posted on:
Wed, 17/01/2018 - 18:32

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello Changemylife. Hope your happy and well.

Enjoyed browsing through your "50 Reasons Why People Should Take Part In Sports." Some people think of exercise as a chore or something unpleasant but, with the right mindset, everyone can find a sporting activity to enjoy. Swimming, Gym, Running, Exercise Classes, Pole Dancing. Belly Dancing (good one for you there lol). The list is endless.

I am reminded of the Paul Simon song "Fifty Ways To Lose Your Blubber."... Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan ~ Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me ~ Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much ~ Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free.

I guess compulsive gamblers can present more than one face to the world, but we can now choose which one we like most and make ourselves proud of who we are.

Posted on:
Thu, 18/01/2018 - 01:28

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Well Mixer has started the thread for jokes and I don't see a problem with it. Just as love makes the world go round - laughter is a kind of medicine!

I remember a joke from many years ago. It has a horseracing theme but there's no intended connection with gambling in my thoughts anyhow.

:A trainer is speaking with the jockey moments before the start of the race. He says: Right, this horse Bessie is a Flyer, she'll probably be favourite too. Now I want you to hold her back until 2 furlongs out, then let her go! The rider acknowledged this and the race got underway.

Bessie was last placed in a field of 15, then gradually crept up into 3rd place. With 2 furlongs left the jockey gave the horse the nod and she shot to the front, and looked to be winning the race. All of a sudden the jockey was hit in the face with a tin of ham, - wham. Then a french stick whacked him across the head, and finally a bunch of soggy grapes wrapped around his neck stifling his progress. Bessie completed the course in last place!

The trainer was astounded. He asked the jockey what the hell happened. The jockey replied: 'We was hampered in the final furlong'.

Posted on:
Sun, 21/01/2018 - 17:54

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Hello diary. Not spent much time with you recently. I'm ok at the moment but life seems tough. My working hours are tearing me apart and I cannot survive on just 3hours sleep. Dry January got shelved. Running seems like an uphill struggle as my energy levels are petering close to the 25%mark. I am existing in a zombie-like state for much of the time. Clearly I have to change my job again, and at the age of 52 my options are less. My project is on hold for now as my business aquaintence is suffering from poor health. I get demoralised and depressed and I know that lack of sleep is the biggest part of the cause. If it's not the job hours- it's the dammed dog that needs a wee at 5.30am. If it's not the dog - it's the wife's snoring!

Thankfully, I'm now on a work break staying with my Dad in Kent. And last night met up with my sister and brother to see the 'Classic Rock Show' on stage at the theatre. Incredible music, lovely meal and a good night.

Thoughts of gambling unfortunately keep on coming and I know it's stupid. I want to move on in my life. But as I stated before the threat will remain particularly when I feel like $hit and still in a financial rut. I guess that I need to learn to take the rough with the smooth and look at the bigger picture.

Posted on:
Sun, 21/01/2018 - 22:27

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello Martin. Seems like you've burnt yourself out my friend. I hope you get the opportunity to regain your strength and get your mojo working again.

Yesterday sounds like a wonderful evening, teaming up with your siblings for good food and a live rock concert, I imagine it was a great get together for you all. Hope you enjoy the work break staying with your father.

A shame the addiction is still having a go at you. I imagine that  on seeing you feeling a bit down, tired and looking vulnerable, the addiction might well have thought "ha ha! I might be in with a chance here to ambush Martin." Keep your guard up my friend, you have got the measure of the gambling demons and know where they're coming from.

450 Days gamble free today for you. A wonderful achievement in itself and you have also acquired a lot of knowledge which you happily share with your friends on the diaries. People looking at your journey will realise that we can overcome our compulsion to gamble.

Take care. Wishing you a good week ahead ...stephen 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 22/01/2018 - 23:10

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Had a nice weekend away. Beat my Dad 2-1 at snooker (bit of rivalry there) and cooked a liver and bacon meal with veg and onion gravy.
I am now in a lovely state of relaxation and calm, but am back to work on Weds when the storm will recommence.

I'm enjoying reading the Red Dwarf book 'Backwards' by Rob Grant. It's entertainment and amusing and I can't help thinking that Rimmer is so in tune with Abstainer in such an intelligent witty manner.

Here follows an excerpt from the book which could perhaps portray my nightly working experience:-

"It had been a while since Lister had pulled a round-the-clock shift, but the symptoms of exhaustion were as familiar as an old friend. Right now, he was experiencing the big gloom phase which always hit just before dawn, when he began to feel resentful of regular people, sleeping their sane sleep in their sensible beds with their normal daylight-hour jobs. Parts of his body started becoming forgetful about how to perform the most basic operations: his mouth would neglect its swallowing duties, and he'd suddenly realize drool had caked on his chin; his buttocks wouldn't shift frequently enough in the chair and sharp pains would shoot up his back, urging him to kindly remember to move now and then, if you please, because there's plenty more where that came from. Time would start dragging and jumping teasingly, so that minutes could last several hours, and then flit by suddenly in unseen flocks.
He comforted himself with the thought that the next phase couldn't be too far away, and that was the good part. He would suddenly be aware that daylight had sneaked up on him, and he'd get an adrenaline rush, thinking of being the first customer at the breakfast canteen, of the mounds of sizzling fresh bacon he'd deservedly consume, of watching the poor suckers who'd slept the night away dragging their way into a day of drudgery, while he wound his way home to the sweet caress of a sleep well earned, with sunbeams slanting on to the bed through the slits in his curtains.
He'd begin to feel special, almost more than human, having gone on when lesser men would have surrendered.
And best of all, he would feel incredibly h®rny.
But all that was hours away, and right now it was a matter of dife or leth that he found a way to concentrate.
Dife or leth?
He had to stop drifting. He pinched the skin of his cheeks cruelly, sipped again at the foul mouth of his coffee mug, shuddered, and forced himself to re-focus on the screen.

Posted on:
Thu, 25/01/2018 - 23:42

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Sometimes we find that forum members come and go. Others prefer to post almost daily. When there is a void of posting or responses it is often seen as a cause for concern. Has the person returned to gambling, but cannot bring themselves to admit it online, or have they gone quiet for some other reason?

Personally I do find the site quite addictive. Even when I'm not posting regularly I will often be thinking about other forum members with concern and speculation. Of course, it's a form of social media and for many it can almost be a lifeline for when they are taken to the brink of despair.

However I believe that there may be a danger of being drawn back into a gambling temptation simply on the basis of thought connection with the subject matter. In other words; the act of being involved in discussing the subject of gambling may indeed hold us back from moving on with our lives. Obviously the time to stand up with confidence and dispell any possible thoughts of gambling varies from person to person. But the point is: just like counselling or cognitive therapy, it's often broken down into sessions, i.e not continuing indefinitely. Surely if someone has therapy to discuss and address issues in their life, they will be encouraged to put practical and psychological measures in place in order to improve, accomplish and manage. They may have additional sessions further down the line in order to get back on track. But if, week on week, month after month they continue to discuss the same things, going over the same ground - it may end up being counter-productive.

Just saying,...

Posted on:
Fri, 26/01/2018 - 05:41

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

Good post, you have certain affiliations with some, we all create little circles and look out mostly to folks we correspond with the most, who take time out for us we take time out for them, you see all the different posters have little followings of certain folks. But those who drop away totally I hope gambling has not got back in but you do fear the worst.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 20:29

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

TODAY I'm feeling really happy. A total transformation from the miserable git I was a few days ago. I slept for 12 hours last night and I feel bright and energetic with positivity flowing through my veins. SLEEP. Good restful, undisturbed sleep. Is that really the key to everything?

I sometimes observe others getting on happily with their lives, resentful of their chirpy nature and glowing disposition, whilst I pretended to smile. But my inner, cursed soul was struggling, dying and fading away.

I've seen both sides of the coin. I know that life is precious. Every day we live is a bonus. Today I am happy and nothing can take that away. I could be told that I was to be made bankrupt, or that I have 6 months to live. Cry, I would not. Today I am fine. Tomorrow is another day. Probably, I have lived and experienced 10 times more than a small child playing innocently in the street, getting mowed down by a wayward truck. I am grateful for what I have in my life, and for everything good that has been.

The sun is shining brightly in a pale blue sky. The crisp chill in the air reminds me that it's still late January. The dog is enjoying her crazy antics - bounding over the grass mounds; galavanting excitedly, excellerating, spinning and pausing only momentarily for a gulp of muddy water. A train zooms alongside as the birds flutter from the hedgerow. The truth is, when I feel like this, content and free my problems no longer bother me. although my debts remain and I currently have a dead-end job, I will not waste any time or energy worrying about it. Whatever will be, will be. People stress too much. We've got this life... We may even have other lives to live when we pass from this mortal coil. But we must choose to live our unique existence; for this is our opportunity to shine. With incredible experiences, achievements, humour, creativity and meaningful relationships. Some people say: "when you dead - you dead". But there's really no hard evidence either way. The sap of a tree may just be the sap, but it's also part of the tree. Just as we are all part of the universe made up of energy which cannot be destroyed, only changed...

When people get down, depressed and sorrowful it is difficult to lift them from this state of mind, regardless of the words or actions. The deep despair that takes over their lives is so very sad. I too have been very low at times, thinking: 'What the hell" - with the Robbie Williams track 'Come undone' droning on in my head, set on repeat play! Someone may even feel that their life is not worth living such is the power of the mental anguish. Looking forlornly at the bottom of the whiskey bottle, or an empty bottle of pills. Considering the debts, I'll health or lack of prospects, wallowing in self-pity. Life is sooo unfair! Perhaps they are waiting for their guardian angel to help them out, reassure and take all the problems away. And just suppose... this angel was to pay off all the debts and also deposit a lump sum into your account. Would your worries be over? Come on now, let's eat a scrumptious meal, run you a nice hot bath and prepare you for a cosy sleep. Life can be good again. But for some, even this would not be enough...

Ultimately, we can't rely on others to take our problems away, create opportunities for us or make our decisions. So it's time to accept that our destiny is firmly within our own hands.

Posted on:
Mon, 29/01/2018 - 21:12

Little miss lost

Joined:
2016-05-24

Good to hear your mood has picked up!
This addiction can send us so low that upon trying to claw ourselves out of the massive hole we've dug, painfully inching our way to top and finally seeing that glimmer of light, I think it makes us appreciate the simple things in life more.
Personally, just to have rest and a stress level that's not permanently set at eye level, whereupon the slightest problem can make me feel out of my depth and send it over my head makes me appreciate that the effort of trying to remain gamble free is worth it.
All good wishes x

Posted on:
Wed, 31/01/2018 - 02:39

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Thanks Little Miss as always for your kind words and encouragement.

Yesterday I had a 2 hour chat with my business associate Donald (recently recovered from an illness). He's a wonderful eccentric gentleman with a wealth of knowledge and experience. And he's giving me the confidence and aspiration to complete my project.

Went for a 3 mile jog on Tuesday kitted out in my new training gear. A bit rusty and huffed and puffed, but I felt good when I returned.

Cooked steak, egg and chips for me and my OH, followed by a good film on TV and a cuddle on the sofa. Life can be good (without gambling) and it feels like I got my mojo back. Of course life is never perfect. For a start I wore my Wednesday socks on Tuesday, although now it's past midnight they're perfectly valid.

I must confess that on 2 occasions in the past 3 months I have been very close to Gambling. I had convinced myself that life was $hit and I had no money, which gave me the reason and the excuse. I even wrote out a bet in the bookmakers ready to place it, but then stopped suddenly, almost in a trance. My anger and trepidation boiled over and I screwed up the football coupon into a ball, and hurled it into the bin.

Life can be tough. But we don't need to make it unbearable.

Posted on:
Thu, 08/02/2018 - 08:36

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

...... END OF DIARY ......

I have decided to bring my diary to an end. With closure, appreciation, reflection and meaningful conclusion. I feel that it is time for me to move on with my life and keep all thoughts of gambling at a safe distance. Decidedly, this will mean a disconnection with the GamCare Forum.

I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to share thoughts and information with other members on this website. But it's more than that - I have really taken to heart the genuine, thoughtful and helpful people. As well as the GamCare staff who provide a sympathetic ear, understanding and structure to every C.G. reaching out for help.

It can make a world of difference knowing that there are people out there who actually care and understand what you're going through.

I would like to give a special mention to those who have really connected with me, through their posts in such a meaningful way over the past 15 months.

____________________________

ABSTAINER - A real genuine guy. You can't help but love him and be touched by his compassion, soul and humour.

ALAN 135 - A most welcome voice for keeping things in perspective. Reminding us all that life should not be taken too seriously.

CARDHUE - Mate, you really know you're stuff. Top banana. Backbone of the forum.

DANNY JG - One of the first to hold out the hand of friendship to me. Made me realize that gambling addiction is all mixed up in the mind, but also thankfully that clarity of thought can be resumed.

JOY DIVIDER - An inspiration. Knowledge, reality check in hand. Totally on the nail.

LIFE BEGINS - Helpful, thought provoking. Reaching out to others in such a selfless, honest fashion.

LITTLE MISS LOST - She ain't lost at all! Gambling has continually tried to ruin things, but this girl's got bottle and determination.

LULUBOBS 1966 - Wonderful, entertaining. Living life with passion and resolution.

MATT 24 - A remarkable example of recovery; Matt decided that enough was enough. He made a decision to change, and stuck to it. From the depths of despair became a life of fulfillment.

MIXER - Been there, seen it - got the T-shirt. Humility and serenity. No false pretences. Gives everything. Takes nothing for granted. Excellent presentation and application.

ODAAT - The girl on the train. One of the first to greet me on this forum. An Ambassador for G.A. and the 12 steps. Kelly tells it how it is! A no nonsense approach.

SHARON 41 - Down to earth girl. Somehow got caught up in this horrendous activity called gambling. But now showing the way with dedicated abstinence and recovery.

SHATTERED 79 - The analysis. Looking at addiction from every angle with a clear perspective.

SILLY COW - Cheerful, uplifting, friendly and appreciative.

SMASHED - Definite similarities with myself. A life of gambling. A quest for change. Plans for the future. A fire burning within, achingly desperate, but determined. Wholesome gratification. The smiling eyes of a precious daughter.

4D - Has the ability to think at a deeper level. Defeating the compulsion, through knowledge and life experiences, one day at a time.

Thank you to all, including those that I've not mentioned. You've all been a significant part of the journey, and I'll never forget.

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE I GAVE UP GAMBLING?

Have I blossomed, excelled and broken out from entrapment like a butterfly from a chrysalis?

Well not exactly... The past will always be with me. But as ALAN says: It's ok to look back - just don't stare!

The real changes in my life are a change in mindset. I feel that I am less inclined to act with mindless, spontaneous, shameful willfulness. I understand more about the addiction, triggers, barriers and psychology.

I also now realize that the underlying problem is not really the gambling issue - it's my relationship with money. Thinking back over my life I never considered with much importance the crucial elements which are money management, budgeting, saving and spending wisely. And it's partly because of my carefree attitude towards spending that I've always been in such a financial mess!

I'm sure that many of us accept credit cards, loans, H.P. and overdrafts without batting an eyelid. But if we really think about it - the only justifiable loan we should have is a mortgage on a property. Other than that, it's a case of greed, impatience and laziness.
Imagine a world where there was no credit available. Where we had to work hard and save up for the things we want. Instead of the 'Buy now - pay later' sinario. Just as the lyrics spell out in the track: 'I wouldn't believe your Radio' - by the Stereophonics - "You can have it all if you like. And you can pay for it the rest of your life".

Finally, my overall reflection is that I think my research and experience with gambling has given me a strong resolution based on FACT, rather than hopefulness.
Because let's face it.... Gambling in any form is a risky business. You cannot beat the odds over the longer term. Believe me, I've tried dozens of different betting systems and methods, trying to work out a way to provide me with an extra income or even a massive windfall.
Even recently I had to concede to another dead-end betting fantasy, as I followed the footie results based upon imaginary stakes. Very nearly a viable option. But no. Definitely NO. And I've finally kissed goodbye to the whole god-damn gambling circus.

Posted on:
Thu, 08/02/2018 - 10:05

Smashed

Joined:
2017-08-13

I hope you reconsider and just check in now and again, as you have helped me massively in my recovery, your words of wisdom and advice have been insparational, of course I realise what your doing and 100% agree it's our relationship with money that is our downfall. If not I wish you all the best for you and your family. Your Gamcare Brother :-)

Posted on:
Thu, 08/02/2018 - 22:34

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi Martin, thanks for my special mention & a heartfelt thanks from me for not banishing your diary into cyber space like so many other people before you!  I often think of you as I look out of the window on my commute & really will get round to reading that book one day!

I wish you every success in your onwards journey but will say just because you’ve signed off on this chapter, don’t be too proud to come back if the wind changes. 

Be safe my friend, be happy ODAAT - Kelly

Posted on:
Fri, 09/02/2018 - 00:31

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thank you Martin for the kindness, wisdom and joy you have always shown me. You have been a great role model to many of us on the diaries. I have always found it encouraging to see friends like you up ahead and it has kept my hopes alive.

I wish you every success in your endeavours and the peace, love and contentment which you deserve.

I totally respect your wish to end your diary but I will miss following your thoughtful posts. You have a deep understanding of the addiction, great insight into human behaviour and a good sense of humour.

Take care my friend....stephen 

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