@captain46 As someone who does understand what it is like to restart over 50, I feel for you. You say you have worked through steps 1-8, but step 9, the making amends, should start with you. By making amends to yourself you can let the past go. If you've done step 5, you should have rid yourself of your past to another person.
I don't know how long it has been since you put gambling down, but you talk about others with a non gambling past, in fact I quote "how to live life at 54 with the sudden realisation that you have screwed up your life and missed out on so much ( forget the financial side, just how do you make a life for yourself starting again with none of the foundations and background that most 'normal' non-addict 54 year old guys have? )"
If you have only just put gambling down, it will take a while before you might feel mentally ready to actually live your life. For me it was all about small steps. I had nothing, no-one, no friends, kids lived abroad, no job, no money, a criminal record with no real chance of doing what I wanted and I didn't know how to do anything else. Stopped gambling again. Got that camaraderie through GA. Talked to people again. Got up and washed every day. Gave myself a purpose. Once I had purpose I had hope. I don't want to bore you here but what I didn't do was give up on any part of getting better. I went to the Gym and helped my mental health. I started working for myself, not for the money but for the purpose of having something to get up for, and so on. Life throws other things in the way and previously I would have used gambling as my escape from dealing with life. But now I don't, and every day I feel a little more like doing something else, like meeting someone or joining a club, whatever it might be that gives me normality.
Everything is really based around one day at a time, not trying to fix my whole life's problems at once.
Thanks for responses Wallis and Rainman, really much appreciated guys and some food for thought there, will spend time analysing what you have typed and see what I can look to apply.
People always said it was about a day at a time not gambling but for me its about a day at a time trying to unravel my head in general and try to work things out and decide how to take any sort of step which may be regarded as even half positive in a quest to determine 'Who am I now?' What can I realistically aim for? Cant magically conjure up what I dont have but if I can just feel that something is achievable and set some sort of targets so 'this time next year' I'll be......
Trying to take things out of lyrics of songs which feel appropriate at the moment, think God is pointing me to certain lyrics each day
Back on terms with a friend I hadn't seen for years but not sure it is sustainable as he has a lot I don't and I feel he is feeling sorry for me and looking down on me so we are not 'equal' like we once were
Welcome back to the forums.
I remember you from old and used to follow your diary. I recall you mentioning you had an old sports injury that prevented you from being active in sport or physical activity. I hope that is not the case today.
Anyway, you are a young man at 54 with decades ahead of you. I hope you can find change and a new way of living. There is something interesting for all of us. Something to really get into which opens new opportunities to meet new people. There must be.
I hope to hear from you some more and hope to follow an exciting new chapter in your life.
P.S. I think the post from Chris above was absolutely first class. I always read what he says with great interest. If anyone knows about embracing change and finding a better life it is him. He’d probably say if he can do it so can anybody with similar desires to succeed.
Thanks Chris and Roulette for recent posts, appreciated.
Chris I have a job which I enjoy and I undertake physical activity each day - those are part of my ‘autopilot’ mode but I do understand I am better than many others with regards those 2 aspects. Yes both have been somewhat affected during really bad times of gambling.
But my general physical health is ok and I do a good job at work. Just need to find a life beyond just that which is more than watching TV and reading and appreciate it’s one day at a time and it won’t happen overnight.
Roulette - I don’t recall your name from past years, you may have had a different username?
Touched you read my diary and remember the sports injury - unfortunately that was permanent and stopped me doing competitive sport but I am able to still exercise and stay fit so that’s good. The injury did have a big impact on the gambling- no competitive sport meant more focus on competitiveness gained (lost!) from gambling.
I like your quote about there must be something to get into which involves meeting new people - that’s it in a sentence - something new and meeting new people - probably easier said than done finding what the activity would be but more than willing to think and try.
What I can’t conjure up is a family with kids, close friends who I have had for the past 30 years- those are examples of the things I should have and don’t which I’m struggling to come to terms with but I know I can only move forward. But every time I see a couple with kids just now I think ‘that should be me’
fella I would like to say that I relate in my own experience to what you write in regards to others. I have or had spent a significant proportion of my life looking at others with emotional envy, jealousy and the feelings of emptiness at what I perceive they had that I didn’t.
Today I believe through a commitment to nobody but myself I find a better outlook, one of purpose, one were living to be the best version of myself is selfish yet selfless in the outcome it brings to life.
to live life on life’s terms was something I didn’t accept, I still wanted to cherry pick the nice bits and discard the less tasteful things.
I accept that life doesn’t work that way
as a result I build on what are my strengths and weaknesses in equal measure.
fella keep digging, keep peeling off the layers
Just for today
Trying to take one day at a time
So having a go at writing in rhyme
I'm restless, fidgety not sleeping the best
Need to try and be calm and get more rest
On moderation takes time for posts to show on here
My own fault for stupid comments in a previous year
Regrets and bad decisions I have a few
Trying now to start anew
Taking advice from those who post
Make amends to those who matter most
Show I can be the real me
The man 30 years ago I used to be
He gambled small stakes and had some fun
He played football and he could run
Promotions meant more money came in
Might as well just have thrown it in the bin
Stakes increased to silly amounts
Lost so much money its impossible to count
The money's gone the gambler has too
He has to find something new
Not a patient man but can't expect change overnight
Surely something will come along which just feels right
Autopilot is an exhausting way of life
Far better if I had kids and a wife
But my health and work are both generally fine
I'm in a lot of debt but not on the breadline
I need to meet new people and stop being alone
Face to face not online or on the phone
Form relationships before its too late
Dress myself up to go on a date
Given so much time to having a bet
Cant just give up, must be more in this life for me yet
Could stop washing hands, stop wearing a mask
Stop doing what the government ask
Catch covid and lay down and die
But that would be cowardly so I must try
To find happiness and calmness and a way ahead
Create some happy memories before I am dead
time for another poem:
The day passes slowly keep checking the time
If I was normal then I would be fine
But something within me had to keep taking a chance
Needed escape and the buzz not just money to enhance
Debts grew and funds became low
Off to the bank or a loan shark I’d go
A viscious circle and a rubbish life
Moving always backwards and finding strife
I’m on a better path now but the shadow remains
Of significant losses and very few gains
Boredom is a factor can’t fill all my spare time
I’m on a journey but it’s a steep climb
Going to bed is best part of the day
Switch off and sleep some hours away
Maybe this time next year my head will be in a better place
Need to take small steps it’s not a race
But Father Time tells me I don’t have unlimited years on the clock
Need to find peace and happiness before my ship comes to dock
I didn’t ask for my life to be this way
Praying to God what can I say
Forgive my sins of gambling and living my life in a trance
Let me reach out and give me another chance