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Posted on:
Fri, 30/06/2017 - 15:25

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

.....In return be kind to yourself. We are all in the same boat here having to deal with regret, guilt, self loathing etc while still fighting against gambling. Personally I am feeling fretful and all over the place today but know if a I gambled I'd be 100 times worse. Keep doing what your doing, 50 days is amazing and in another 50 days you'lo feel even better. Take care and don't beat yourself up mentslly (she says, that's what I'very been doing all day :( ) S:)

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 07:19

Casey

Joined:
2015-04-19

Do you know what's better than 50 days gamble free?...51 days gamble free! Keep going Stephen, just read your diary from beginning to now, you are doing great and I love your style of writing x

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 09:45

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Many thanks Casey . Great that you are gamble free for 804 Days . My 50 Days should have been a cause for celebration but I have felt awful the last 24 hours with stomach cramps and headaches , don't know if its something I ate or a kickback from the addiction . It will pass however , I feel inspired by your post and your 804 Days GF and am determined to follow your example .

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 11:10

DeterminedDan

Joined:
2016-09-08

Well done on the half century mate!!! Think back to what you were feeling 50 days ago!...

Why would anyone ever want to go back there again?...

Hope you're getting over your stomach cramps and are able to celebrate the milestone in some way.

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 12:41

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Your right there Moorey , still fresh in my mind the despondency I felt time after time after time after time , like a never ending nightmare . Hope I can stay strong and chuck it once and for all .

Posted on:
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 13:24

TheGhost

Joined:
2013-03-16

Congratulations on your 50 days gambling free. Take it a day at a time & they soon start adding up. Well done, stay strong & reap the rewards of a gamble free life.

Posted on:
Sun, 02/07/2017 - 21:12

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello Diary . Was buzzing leading up to day 50 on friday . Been a bit down over the weekend and had headaches and stomach aches . Negative thoughts about my life in general , coupled with sadness at my past actions and failures . Wish I could go back and change things which is a fruitless exercise cos I can't . Trying to muster up a bit of positivity which seems to come and go . I certainly have no intention of gambling though . Living in hope for a brighter tomorrow .

Posted on:
Sun, 02/07/2017 - 21:25

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

Hello Stephen, i can relate to that. I think its natural, its biarre really but redis)covery has a grieving stage to it. So much time with the head stuck in the sand and then booom the light shines without the fobt shades and blinds us. Keep plodding on and just sit and breathe, it will pass 

Posted on:
Sun, 02/07/2017 - 21:26

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hang on in there you're doing so well and your positivity and encouragement can light up the darkest day! I can understand it must be painful to regret past actions but self-loathing is, as you say pointless. So for tonight be kind to yourself because you are being the best you can be. Take care and yes here's to a brighter tomorrow S:)

Posted on:
Sun, 02/07/2017 - 22:28

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou Volcano and Sharon . Really appreciate your encouraging words , the support of my GamCare friends means so much to me , it raises my hopes of getting some kind of life back .

Posted on:
Mon, 03/07/2017 - 19:30

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

I have only been with GamCare 7 weeks and feel the utmost gratitude for this chance to overcome my gambling addiction . 

I have noticed on a few occasions members writing derogatory remarks about the forums rules and etiquette .

I personally have no desire to view foul or abusive language or read inappropriate comments .

I applaud GamCare for the good work they do in a challenging environment .

Posted on:
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 10:41

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

This Forum is a god-send Abs.

Well done on your gamble free days.

As a chilld I was an avid astronomer and Patrick was my hero. Only a few days ago I sat on a bench at midnight under the dark sky imagining what wonders lie in the dark beyond.

Did you catch any decent activity last night?

Markman

Posted on:
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 18:31

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thanks for the kind words Mark . I have a lot of respect for your 175 Days GF , well done .

I'm feeling better after a few off days . Just been for a swim and a steam @ the gym and ready for my salsa class later , it's a lot of fun but not everyones cup of tea . 

54 Days since I had a bet . Pleased to say I don't even want to gamble which makes my recovery a bit of a stroll in the park . Got another Counselling Session on friday which will be  beneficial . Bills and debt repayments paid up to date . Bit of money in bank , enough cash in my wallet to get food and socialise . Money on my Asda gift card in case I did lose lose the plot I can always get something to eat . Bit of a breeze really but always aware not to get too complacent . My traumatic memories of the shame and desperation will stay with me .

Wishing all friends success in their recovery and good times ahead . 

Posted on:
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 23:56

Markman

Joined:
2011-12-14

Well done Abs. 54 days is great. Keep going!

Sadly I live smack bang in the middle of Greater London. Where I live the sky is generally a dim yellow at night and I can see the brightest stars only.

There is something very settling and reassuring about a star-filled sky. When times are bad I think of John Webster and his epic line "the stars shine still."

Sounds as though you have some nice places to sit and muse. Nature has come to my sanity's rescue on many an occasion when all else seemed hopeless. I am sure you can relate.

Anyway off to bed now. Be proud of your achievement. No person who regrets their action deserves to suffer any. Enjoy your evidently varied and action filled gamble free life.

Mark

Posted on:
Wed, 05/07/2017 - 13:24

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thanks for that Mark .....  Liked your line " The Stars Shine Still " ....... For sure i'm only here for the twinkling of an eye , in 100 years nobody will even know I existed . By that time all the teeny weeny bits of me will be constituents of other things ! .......Maybe a bird , a flower , or more likely I will be in amongst the fishes and plankton ( won't wake me from this deep slumber ! cast my ashes in the Humber ) . On that cheery note I'll move on .

A few of the old cliches sometimes help ; ........" Who knows what's blowing in tomorrows wind " ...... " One day at a time " ....... " I can't choose the dance but I can choose how I dance to it " ....... When the going gets tough , the tough get going ." ...... We all have our coping strategies and motivational techniques but we don't want to forget where we're really at .

Love and best wishes to my friends and fellow travellers . We're all alone yet together , migrants on the recovery road fleeing the brutal regime of gambling addiction .

Posted on:
Thu, 06/07/2017 - 21:20

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hi Diary . Feeling good today , the positives in my life from not gambling cannot be overstated . Getting my social life back on track , I'd forgotten what peace of mind was but it's slowly returning .

Several years to pay off my debts but it's sorted in a manageable way and I can still lead a full life ( no grandiose holidays or extravagant lifestyle but thats to be expected ) . My finances are in order which is a big relief .

I do find it difficult to accept , that the money I have squandered on fobt machines is gone forever . I know it is , but part of me struggles to accept it . I don't know if that will ever completely go away but I hope so .

Looking forward to  another counselling session tomorrow , last weeks was cancelled . 

Posted on:
Thu, 06/07/2017 - 23:14

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Great to get your finances sorted, most of us have to live with the looming debt which is run up quickly but is slow to pay off but we'll get there! ! Glad your feeling good and spreading your positivity as always S:)

Posted on:
Fri, 07/07/2017 - 20:59

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

The thoughts of the loss's will slide from the mind eventually Stephen, especially now I see you in the second row dancing the fandango. You'll be soon be leading it as you dance away from this insidious addiction https://youtu.be/Id-zpJmGfpo

Posted on:
Sat, 08/07/2017 - 14:32

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Hi Stephen, 58 days is great going! Hope you are having a good weekend and thanks again for your support and encouragement. I haven't posted much this week as have been worn lots but what to keep on an even keel so will check in everyday. Take care S:)

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 09:43

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Morning Diary . Day 59 .

Thanks Volcano , had a good chuckle at the Fandango post . Ha ha I did identity with the guy in the 2nd row , 2 left feet but doing his best bless him . Going to take your advice and dance my way out of the addiction , difficult to boogie and think of fobt machines at the same time .

Sharon , hope your having a good weekend , thankyou for your words of encouragement , you are one of the true great treasures of GamCare world , up ahead in the distance fighting your little heart out with so much courage , resilience and hope for a better tomorrow . 

Love and best wishes to all my fellow travellers on the road of recovery . All kinds of wondering people sharing a common goal . Lets put this madness behind us and start to live again....... " Theirs got to  be something better out their ".......

 

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 14:23

Who am I

Joined:
2017-05-17

Stephen, sorry I haven't supported you lately, thank you for the last post your wrote to me and sorry I never replied. You probably guessed why. Anyway I am back now and I intend to stay close to this site.

I am truly glad to see you are doing so well and have so much support from friends on here

I am so proud of you and an inspiration that at 66 you are turning your life around and enjoying yourself with salsa, swimming, walks, nice vegetarian meals.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend x

 

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 17:56

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Thanks Stephen, hope you're having a great weekend, I am slowly learning to like and trust myself again, With my debt I make one payment a month then try to put it in the not thinking about it file in my head, otherwise I would drive myself crazy, Thanks for your kind words as always S:)

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 20:03

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

 

Hi Stephen ,

Tomorrow is another milestone for you 60 days ! You're doing a great job . Turning your life around after retirement is wonderful. You're giving us inspiration and I respect you for doing that . You're right money is gone and just move forward and accept what's been done. 

Thank for helping me ,

Sars 

Posted on:
Sun, 09/07/2017 - 21:35

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Well Diary only a couple of hours to my next milestone . Day 60 without a bet . Really pleased .

Thankyou WAI for your kindness , missed you , pleased your back . Take care , you are with friends who sympathize with your predicament and are wishing you well in your recovery .

Thankyou Sharon . Definitely mixed emotions when paying my debt repayment each month . Don't like it hanging around my neck for years but pleased my debts can be repaid in a manageable way / Relief another bit of It has been paid off but niggled as I could have spent it on something else . Anyways what's done is done , at least i can make sure it doesn't get any worse .

Thankyou Sars , great positivity from you which is great , well motivated and good recovery strategies in place . 

Best wishes to friends in recovery . We are alone but we are together , looking forward to a better tomorrow .

Posted on:
Mon, 10/07/2017 - 09:12

Family121016

Joined:
2011-10-04

Thank you for your post and congrats on the 2 months. Solid stuff. This gambling world has enough mugs in it we won't be missed! Well actually there so greedy we probably will be missed but **** em! Excuse the language I'm in that kinda mood.

Great to see another gamcare member going strong, keep it up, I love reading success stories.

Take care, stay strong.

Posted on:
Mon, 10/07/2017 - 17:55

Sharon41

Joined:
2017-03-16

Fanfare please 60 days!!! Fantastic am so pleased for you S:)

Posted on:
Mon, 10/07/2017 - 20:02

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Ha ha thankyou Sharon , today has been excellent , i wish I had a tail so I could wag it !  ..... DAY 60 GF , I am getting more self belief , deep down I feel i can overcome this compulsion to gamble , it is the chance of a lifetime for me and i'm not going to let it pass me by .

No doubt in the future I will experience happiness and sadness , however it wont be dependant on my winning or losing money .

The simplest of  things can bring happiness , maybe  I can live a more tranquil life and experience some peace of mind .

Assuming i live until i'm about 116 I've only got about 50 years left ! Guess I'd bettle knuckle down and get on with it 

Love and best wishes to all my fellow travellers . We're all alone but all together . Lets beat this insidious addiction and live a life of our own choosing . Whatever comes our way , it's got to be better than the life of a gambling addict .

 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 11/07/2017 - 19:04

Who am I

Joined:
2017-05-17

Congrats Stephen, makes me so happy to see how determined you are to beat this and reclaim your life, making everyday count by abstaining and finding happiness again x

Posted on:
Tue, 11/07/2017 - 20:34

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou WAI for your encouragement and support , it means a lot to me . So pleased your back on the recovery road and wishing you a successful journey . Hoping you can reclaim your life and find peace and happiness . Take care stephen x 

Posted on:
Wed, 12/07/2017 - 11:24

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Morning Diary . 62 Days on the road , fellow travellers helping me along when i'm feeling low . Missed Salsa last night as didn't feel up to it , shame as it makes me feel good .

Think i'm enjoying being retired , quite lazy anyway so it's not a challenge . Just had a coffee and a banana , heading for the gym to splash about in the pool and have a steam . Going to cinema later to see Wonderwoman which should be a good laugh .

Have told several friends about my gambling issues . I'm able to talk about it now i'm in recovery and people are generally quite understanding and supportive . Many people have family members or friends with gambling issues .Yesterdays gone and tomorrows not here yet ,  so I will focus my energies on today and  remain upbeat .

Best wishes to all my friends in recovery . I know some people are really struggling and have great hardship to contend with , in desparation they turn to gambling to solve their problems . Such terrible sadness and heartbreak only made worse by this terrible addiction . If appropriate maybe tell someone , a problem shared is sometimes a problem halved .

 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 12/07/2017 - 22:50

split

Joined:
2017-02-28

Good to see you still gamble free. It will get better every day its just a very slow process! 

Posted on:
Thu, 13/07/2017 - 21:55

Who am I

Joined:
2017-05-17

Stephen, my dear,

Walking on the pier,

Making his way in life,

Dealing with his strife,

Keep looking ahead,

Put your demons to bed,

At sixty-six,

Still getting his kicks,

From salsa, the sea and being a veggie,

But best of all, he's gamble free.

A special person, with lots of friends,

Stephen my dear, walking on the pier.

You are an angel.

 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 14/07/2017 - 23:57

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou WAI for the lovely poem , it lifted my spirits and brightened up my day . 

Friday has been good , very fortunate as I am not having any urges to gamble , sure that is mainly due to friends diaries reminding me daily of the misery that goes with gambling . The wisdom and support of my fellow travellers is really helping me .

No counselling today due to appointment with dentist . Went GA tonight which was well attended and helpful .

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 15/07/2017 - 12:08

cardhue

Joined:
2013-01-18

Hi abstainer

Well done on your recovery and i do like your wellbeing/spiritual approach.

Am interested in how much of the stuff you're doing now - eg salsa, is this stuff you've always been into or is it new stuff you've got into as part of your recovery?

All sounds really good positive stuff either way.

Louis

Posted on:
Sat, 15/07/2017 - 20:55

Sars27

Joined:
2017-06-02

Hi Sir Stephen ,

Keep us all inspired as you're really helping me with my recovery ! I'm always excited to read your diary :) thank you and stay cool 

Sars 

Posted on:
Sat, 15/07/2017 - 21:00

Lasttime93

Joined:
2017-07-11

Its always great to hear how the numbers are adding up... I hope soon you will be able to say 100+ gf days :) and never stop... make that your new addiction to never gamble again

Posted on:
Sun, 16/07/2017 - 13:17

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou so much for the posts in my diary , your great support  keeping me on the recovery road . Really helps as I was badgered by the addiction yesterday with all the same old delusional thoughts going through my mind , really persistent until late afternoon when it just stopped . Couldn't have been boredom as I was busy all day , however I was a bit melancholy .

Cardhue your 1610 Days are absolutely wonderful . Real inspiration . As I labour on through the foothills your a beacon of light way off up the mountainside . You have helped and inspired many a weary traveller

Sars your amazing my friend , so much positivity . You show a great zest for living life to the full , no doubt the gods will be looking down on you with pride as you battle on to your true potential . 

Lasttime . Welcome to Gamcare . Early days in recovery , a difficult period of mixed emotions . Hoping this can be a new beginning for you , a chance to live a happy and fulfilling life free from gambling . It probably won't be easy but it can be done if you've got the right mindset . The gambling addiction likes nothing better than a good game of " lets beat the addiction " , it is so cynically cruel , deceptive and eager to prey on our weaknesses . 

66 Days on the road with my friends and  fellow travellers . Some forging ahead relentlessly , some struggling and some collapsed by the side of the road . But what a wonderful thing when somebody gets up off the ground and finds the strength to carry on . Somewhere up ahead is Freedom .

 

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 14:15

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Still on the road and long time no bet

No time to cry , no need  to fret 

My time is come , a big whopping chance 

To fight the good fight with a song and a dance 

Love and best wishes to all my fellow travellers . Really appreciate the support of every one of you . 67 days ago i'd all but given up hope , but I now cherish a  life free from the misery of compulsive gambling .

 

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 19:25

Who am I

Joined:
2017-05-17

You are doing amazing. You have come so far. You are an inspiration to myself and many others x

Posted on:
Mon, 17/07/2017 - 23:49

Glint

Joined:
2016-01-08

Taking a lot from your posts.

You are a poster with considerable writing talent and I like to give back to those who help me.

So jumping on the poetic bandwagon I have written you a haiku.

It's very good:

Castanets go clack,
Positivity does shine
Showing us the way.

You're welcome.

Liking the inspirational feel-good strength you have that is sweeping through the forum.

Well done on the 67 (soon to be 68) days Abstainer.

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 00:10

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Thankyou Glint , really appreciate your encouraging words  . Never heard of a haiku before now , quite intrigued so plan to check it out . Wishing you peace and contentment .

Day 68 has been good . Helped out at a dance project rehearsal being performed by people with learning difficulties . They were absolutely wonderful , so happy to give everything to the performance . Brought me right down to earth , considering fate had dealt me a good hand and I just  threw it all away . 

Went to Salsa tonight which was ok but couldn't master the routine in the class and I felt like an idiot . Bit annoying , the phrase ' you can't teach an old dog new tricks ' did pass through my mind . 

Got my asthma review tomorrow morning . Stopped smoking at 50 but the damage was already done and left me with some irreversible lung damage . Can do most things but can't run and climbing stairs creases me . God knows what would happen if I had a romantic encounter ! it would probably finish me off .

Anyways i'm still here . " It's not over till the fat lady sings " .

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 14:03

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Hello Diary . Looking forward to passing the 10 week marker tomorrow ,  might start a new thread to celebrate .For now though I will just enjoy today with bills and debt repayments up to date , a bit in the bank and enough in my wallet to buy stuff . Intend to stay positive and  relish my new found  freedom from the fobts .

I will never again put money in a so called gambling machine . The money I have given them is gone forever but they're certainly not getting any more .

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 16:43

volcano

Joined:
2010-07-05

 

Reach for the apple 

Bite the apple

And you throw it away !

My old friends mum was a flamenco dance and she taught me them moves at her sons wedding. A little bit of an irrelevant ramble there, but you reminded me from a line in #142 ' life had dealt me a good hand and I threw it away ' !!! Au contrau as Del would say, us addicts make wrong turnings, I think re(dis)covery goes through a bizarre grieving process and we start reflecting on throwing elements of our life away, we're use to a life of a ostrich with out necks stuck in a machine and now we're starting to see what's around. 

You're doing well. You also gave me good food for thought regarding giving up smoking when you were 50, my age now and starting to catch me up, so need to snap on your 50.

Random and out 

Posted on:
Wed, 19/07/2017 - 20:52

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Spot on Volcano . Head in the fobt for years and yes your right recovery is also a grieving process , the addiction has been with us a long time . Detestable what it does to us but guess I still harbour some affection for the tyrant . Been thinking all day maybe I should  look around and weigh up alternative options ! Suprise suprise thats exactly what you suggested .On a different note I liked the flamenco move , will be at a five rhythm dance a week sunday so will throw it in a couple of times.

Glint but the following haiku on my diary which he had composed ; 

Castanets go clack

Positivity does shine 

Showing us the way 

Like it a lot , find it both calming and thought provoking .

Years ago I used to enjoy Quaker Meetings where everyone sat still and kept quiet . If one felt moved to stand up and say something than thats what they did . Frequently the words had no relevance to their own situation but  would strike a chord with someone else . Seems in a way our diaries are a bit like this , I often read posts which tell me so much about my situation , helping me see things from a different perspective . 

At midnight my thread ' Staying Strong to end the misery ' will be bowing out gracefully .. As part of my 70 Day celebrations I will introduce a new thread . This will monitor my progress in a more chilled and retrospective manner .

 

Posted on:
Sun, 23/07/2017 - 18:40

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Abstainer, your diary is both inspirational, honest and liberating. A breath of fresh air.

I can actually feel your raw emotion, sorrow, pain and hope. At the age of 66 with over 70 days GF you have shown many of us on this forum the challenge of abstinance, whilst coping with all the usual hic-ups, doubts and regrets. I love your appreciation of nature, human spirit, humour and poetry.

It seems like you have the energy and zest for life to really enjoy all the things you've been missing out on.

All the best with your journey. I'll be following your new thread as you take things to the next level, whilst keeping that gambling demon at bay.

Posted on:
Sun, 23/07/2017 - 22:40

Stephen The Strong

Joined:
2017-05-10

Changemylife . Thankyou for the kind words and encouragement . Am really happy with your 268 Days GF . I find it inspirational that friends are up ahead overcoming the urges to gamble . It tells me that a GF life is their if I choose to take it . No excuses now , I know exactly where I stand .

Posted on:
Tue, 25/07/2017 - 22:20

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Quite right Abstainer. You can do anything you want in life. But at this stage one of the most important things is NOT listening to that freaky little voice of gambling enticement in our heads.

All the best to you.

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