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EYES WIDE SHUT  

 
slowlearner
(@slowlearner)

Hi,

August 2018, the last time I gambled & what a journey. Massive changes to my life & those I love too. Exclusion, shop exclusion being given an allowance ( pocket money) limiting my access to cash, which of course were all necessary steps if I was to change the habits of a lifetime. At the time I recall having an old savings account with a balance of roughly £7 in ( quite an achievement for me to have anything saved ). 

There were times when maybe I'd have as much as £5 left over from my pocket money, sometimes as little as £2 but whatever the balance was the day before my next payday I transferred that balance into my little savings account. This account was so old & hadn't been used for so long I had to phone the bank & get them to  re-activate it. So moving on to today that balance is now £570. I know it's almost laughable to some 3 and a half years to save that much. For me not taking that money & making a beeline for the bookies or the exchanges gives me a sense of pride & achievement. There's no history of a single withdrawal from that account. It's just something I don't think much about.

My wife had always been the complete opposite of me, for her it was almost an obsession to put something away every month for a rainy day as she'd say or an emergency. And then there was me who'd use everything I had to try & recoup my losses & chase that life changing win determined with EYES WIDE SHUT. When I reached retirement age our finances improved in that we were approximately £250 pound per month better off upon receipt of my pension. My wife kindly agreed to allow me £50 extra per month, though she still checks regularly on my balance & what every penny is being spent on. She also checks credit reports & who can blame her.

In December 2019 I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and in early 2020 began chemo & radio therapy. I turned up for the first session of chemo ( 9 hours ) & my wife came with me, telling me how we'd get through this together. Then came lockdown & the hospital told me I must come alone as visitors were no longer allowed for the foreseeable future. Anyway following my treatment I consider myself to be one of the lucky one's as I'm now in remission & recently being told by my oncologist that he's extremely optimistic as to how my treatment has gone.

In hindsight those sessions alone were a blessing in disguise. It was a good opportunity to reflect on my past, my addiction & it's effect not just on my life but how others had suffered because of it. At that time I'd still get pretty strong urges believe it or not. I thought about things like life insurance which I didn't have, I thought about whatever my wife had worked hard for & saved being spent on a CGs funeral & couldn't describe the torment & pain those things caused me at a time when I wasn't exactly on top of the world anyway. I was just beginning to learn about the true cost of addiction.

There isn't a day goes by when I don't thank god my treatment has so far been a success. So moving on to today my £50 is mostly used to pay for one of those over 50s life insurance plan. I doubt there'll be enough to send any of my grandchildren to University, but I'm 66 & my wife's 57 & still works full time. Statistically ( and hopefully ) she's going to outlive me, knowing she's not going facing a massive bill when I die though a small step gives me a glimmer of hope of becoming just a tiny bit better man than the guy who turned up here in 2018. 

I think CGs believe what they want to hear, are afraid of facing reality. Someone in a post today describes how all of us can change & that we steer our own ship. That's probably true. I think when I steered mine my cargo was 10,000 barrels of oil & I went at full speed in a storm against everyone's advice & spilt the oil causing an ecological disaster. All I can say now is that as the mind heals the desire to try & clean up my mess grows.

I think there are many healthy none addicted people who don't like to think about illness, death & what effects you leave behind. How it effects loved ones. I can't change my past , can't change what it's taken from me. But I can change one thing, I won't allow it to take away the healing of my mind or the ability to face the world of reality without fear. If one person reads this who's struggling & looking for a reason to stop just remember the longer it goes on untreated brings us a step nearer to the time when awful questions we dread but HAVE to be answered. So what's more important ?. Feeding your addiction or taking care of those you'll need so much to take care of you one day ?. We all leave something behind.

 

 

Quote
Posted : 25th November 2021 1:27 pm
KS2
 KS2
(@ks2)

Beatifully written that Al and amzing to hear that you are in remission.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25th November 2021 5:33 pm
Sam1987
(@sam1987)

Great Post, wishing you all the best in your recovery. Stay strong! Sam

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25th November 2021 10:52 pm
Vin47
(@vin47)

A great post. I hope all positive things continue. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25th November 2021 11:15 pm
adam123
(@adam123)

Hi al, my friend, you have come thru a great deal over the course of the time you've been on here!!!!  Because you've been thru times when u weren't sure if you'd still be around in the future, come thru this and are now still alive to tell the tale...... I'm sure life now feels that little bit sweeter......I'm sure each shower in the morning before the walk with the dog  you now feel a huge sense of wow this is all a blessing!!!! And it is a blessing for us all and it's terrible that we all take it for granted untill it is threatened with ending.

 

In a way we are brothers we've both felt times that our lives have have been in danger.... We've been on the edge and now we both love to live and treat each day as important as the next.....

 

I truly hope each doctor's appointment is as successful as the last but while we are healthy let's embrace our lives each day....

 

I agree ur insurance is a great move and gives you assurance that you didn't have before but ur whole attitude towards this recovery has been second to none....

 

Keep ur eyes wide open for earth is such a great place....

 

All the best Adam xxx

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 12:12 am
Angel18
(@angel18)

Hi Al 

So pleased you are now in remission and you continue to live a healthy life 

I'm also so pleased for you that you continue to be gamble free which also contribute s to living a healthy life.

You should be very proud of yourself .

To have a savings account is a big achievement and whatever money you have in it is definitely better in there than lining the pockets further of any bookies!

I do think of when I am no longer here I just hope that when I finally leave this earth I am gamble free.

I have no life insurance it's something I have never thought about .Any extra money I have had has always gone on gambling! Perhaps it is something I should think about.

I do hope I can stay gamble free and am putting all my effort into stopping as what is the alternative. A life of hurting people around me who I love  and continue to hurt myself.

I enjoy reading your posts and talking to you and following your journey

No we can't change the past but we can live today gamble free happy and content and enjoy the simple things in life that no amount of money could ever buy.

Take care have a good day

Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 9:55 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Hello slowlearner

Thank you for your post - it is so encouraging to see the progress you've made both financially and with your health.

Health and happiness to you and your wife. Take care.

Deirdre
Forum Admin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 10:39 am
slowlearner
(@slowlearner)

Hi Angel, 

Thanks for your post it means a lot. You can be gamble free & you've made giant strides recently. For what it's worth I hope my post wasn't morbid or depressing though I intended it to be shocking. I'm fortunate my treatment went well, but at the time I didn't know it would being dependent on the woman I'd hurt & let down so badly really was the turning point for me though I'm sorry it ever came to that. 

Imagine if things hadn't gone well, the woman that sat up with me when the anti-sickness drugs didn't work, helped me to shower & rubbed cream on my skin when it blistered with the radio therapy having to find 5 or 6k for a funeral. Someone who hadn't gambled, worked hard & invested everything she earned into home & family being taxed for marrying a b*m like me. It was like looking right into the devils eyes.

Like I say I was one of the lucky ones who's treatment went well, but if there's one thing I've learned it's no-one knows what the future holds. I'll never get complacent but I've never felt so passionate of putting an end to repeating the same old cycle & going back to that cesspit. It wasn't a life it was ,an existence without hope. 

I usually take my dog out around lunchtime & yesterday was icy & cold. That icy wind on my face had a smell & a taste, you know what it was ?. It's called freedom & it felt wonderful. No gambling, no deceit, no desire to withdraw my little savings kidding myself I can turn it into a lot more. No mental torture & worrying about how I can cover my tracks and hide what I've done.

Stopping is hard Angel but the big reward is you actually begin to really enjoy life to the full, in my case probably for the first time in my adult life. I just wished I'd chosen a different path so many years ago. I think when one gets to my age recovery is probably the. last chance saloon. What I mean is if I screwed up this time I think I'd  loose the will to try & change. The good thing is I can clearly see the benefits of being gamble free & to tell you the truth I rather like it.

Keep doing what your doing one day at a time. Remember no matter how much misery gambling causes when telling yourself things can't get any wor.se trust me they can. 48 years chasing the big life changing win. Sorry to burst your bubble Angel but it isn't coming. Be determined, stick with it & you'll find peace, happiness & rewards beyond your wildest dreams.

Best Wishes

Al

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 12:42 pm
Boo radley
(@boo-radley)
Posted by: slowlearner

Hi,

August 2018, the last time I gambled & what a journey. Massive changes to my life & those I love too. Exclusion, shop exclusion being given an allowance ( pocket money) limiting my access to cash, which of course were all necessary steps if I was to change the habits of a lifetime. At the time I recall having an old savings account with a balance of roughly £7 in ( quite an achievement for me to have anything saved ). 

There were times when maybe I'd have as much as £5 left over from my pocket money, sometimes as little as £2 but whatever the balance was the day before my next payday I transferred that balance into my little savings account. This account was so old & hadn't been used for so long I had to phone the bank & get them to  re-activate it. So moving on to today that balance is now £570. I know it's almost laughable to some 3 and a half years to save that much. For me not taking that money & making a beeline for the bookies or the exchanges gives me a sense of pride & achievement. There's no history of a single withdrawal from that account. It's just something I don't think much about.

My wife had always been the complete opposite of me, for her it was almost an obsession to put something away every month for a rainy day as she'd say or an emergency. And then there was me who'd use everything I had to try & recoup my losses & chase that life changing win determined with EYES WIDE SHUT. When I reached retirement age our finances improved in that we were approximately £250 pound per month better off upon receipt of my pension. My wife kindly agreed to allow me £50 extra per month, though she still checks regularly on my balance & what every penny is being spent on. She also checks credit reports & who can blame her.

In December 2019 I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and in early 2020 began chemo & radio therapy. I turned up for the first session of chemo ( 9 hours ) & my wife came with me, telling me how we'd get through this together. Then came lockdown & the hospital told me I must come alone as visitors were no longer allowed for the foreseeable future. Anyway following my treatment I consider myself to be one of the lucky one's as I'm now in remission & recently being told by my oncologist that he's extremely optimistic as to how my treatment has gone.

In hindsight those sessions alone were a blessing in disguise. It was a good opportunity to reflect on my past, my addiction & it's effect not just on my life but how others had suffered because of it. At that time I'd still get pretty strong urges believe it or not. I thought about things like life insurance which I didn't have, I thought about whatever my wife had worked hard for & saved being spent on a CGs funeral & couldn't describe the torment & pain those things caused me at a time when I wasn't exactly on top of the world anyway. I was just beginning to learn about the true cost of addiction.

There isn't a day goes by when I don't thank god my treatment has so far been a success. So moving on to today my £50 is mostly used to pay for one of those over 50s life insurance plan. I doubt there'll be enough to send any of my grandchildren to University, but I'm 66 & my wife's 57 & still works full time. Statistically ( and hopefully ) she's going to outlive me, knowing she's not going facing a massive bill when I die though a small step gives me a glimmer of hope of becoming just a tiny bit better man than the guy who turned up here in 2018. 

I think CGs believe what they want to hear, are afraid of facing reality. Someone in a post today describes how all of us can change & that we steer our own ship. That's probably true. I think when I steered mine my cargo was 10,000 barrels of oil & I went at full speed in a storm against everyone's advice & spilt the oil causing an ecological disaster. All I can say now is that as the mind heals the desire to try & clean up my mess grows.

I think there are many healthy none addicted people who don't like to think about illness, death & what effects you leave behind. How it effects loved ones. I can't change my past , can't change what it's taken from me. But I can change one thing, I won't allow it to take away the healing of my mind or the ability to face the world of reality without fear. If one person reads this who's struggling & looking for a reason to stop just remember the longer it goes on untreated brings us a step nearer to the time when awful questions we dread but HAVE to be answered. So what's more important ?. Feeding your addiction or taking care of those you'll need so much to take care of you one day ?. We all leave something behind.

 

 

As always, humble and honest with a dash of wisdom and humour. You were and are Zeus.. Thank you for your support.

Boo 😘

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 7:40 pm
Bal
 Bal
(@bal)

Al,

A humble and powerful post.

I wish you every success and am delighted we continue our journeys together.

Kindest Regards

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 9:26 pm
slowlearner
(@slowlearner)

Bal,

Delighted to hear your comments. Whenever you spoke I can honestly say I listened, whatever advice you gave I took it on board, and what you've achieved I've admired. I've lost track of how long you've been GF right now but for sure I never dreamed I could get this far back in 2018. You always left me with a burning question when you described your gambling life. You know what that was ?." IF HE CAN DO IT WHY CAN'T I". Respect & sincere best wishes, when you were gone for a while you'll never know how much you were missed, not just by me but by so many others. Stick around please.

Best

Al

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 11:38 pm
slowlearner
(@slowlearner)

Boo,

Wow delighted to hear from you. Been a while but I always read your posts. Running, new pup keeping fit & brushing the odd urge off preferring to instead invest in your home, health and everything in life that's good. If someone asked me to close my eyes, take a pencil & draw the perfect daughter, my picture would be an image of you. Every time you post it reminds me of how we can smile look the gambling dens in the eye & say no longer do you own me. You might be quite fit so here's a challenge, if I launched Barneys ball for 100 meters could you beat him to it. YES ?, dream on Boo lol.

Look After Yourself

Al

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27th November 2021 11:53 pm
Boo radley
(@boo-radley)

My very best wishes to you.. 

 

Thank you for your beautiful reply 

Boo 😘

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28th November 2021 8:45 pm
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