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My name is Simmo
Hi Simmo,

I haven't posted for a long time, however it's great to log in and see you are still active and as committed as ever. A true inspiration for us all.

Well done, hope you've had a lovely CHristmas and are looking forward to 2019 to continue the good work.

I have just read all your posts of your journey so far, and I have been absolutely blown away by how powerful and moving they really are. There's a lot in there that can help with my own recovery, and I am forever grateful.

You are truly a credit to the fellowship and your share's will give hope for many.

My name is Martin, I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was 29.9.2017. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Thank you for your comments, and welcome to the Mod team Martin. It's about time I gave a bit of an update to what's been going on in the life of Simmo.

Throughout 2018, I was not on any medication for anxiety or depression, and things were not ok. My mental health was declining, and no matter what I did to stay afloat, running, swimming, CBT, etc etc, nothing could stop my mental health crashing. I gave up smoking too, and I ended up battling daily thoughts, ruminating thoughts about suicide. In January, I had a 4 week stay in hospital, I'm now back on medication, diffirent ones this time, and I'm finally dealing with the affects of the abuse. Complex PTSD is by its very nature complex to recover from. My emotions are all over the place, but it's different this time, I'm reliving the past trauma to move forward by processing the raw emotions that I suppressed for so long.

A huge positive, and something I am proud of, is that even in the depths of despair, I did not go back to gambling. During this time, I maintained my weekly GA meeting and staying in regular contact with other members and helping others. I can honestly say that if I weren't going to meetings and the ethos of the GA program had fallen to a distant memory, I would have definitely gone back to gamling to try and numb out the emotional pain.

I'm now on the road to recovery, and my mood is lifting, my anxiety is lowering and I'm doing EMDR therapy to deal with the trauma. It's not an easy process, but I'm so looking forward to a life that is no longer haunted and contunally disrupted by what happened to me.

All of the above has pretty much nothing to do with gambling, could you imagine how it would have felt throwing gambling into the mix too?

The constant in my life today, and forever more, is at least one GA meeting a week.
One day at a time

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Hey Simmo,

I hope you are continuing to improve.

Well done on getting through the dark times and best wishes for the future

This year has been full of ups and downs, started with very low and it's been a struggle to stay afloat, I've wallowed in plenty of self pity, poor me! Wallowing doesn't change anything, if I am going to make changes in my life then I am going to have to take full responsibility for my actions, both past and present.

I made a massive breakthrough on the trauma issues, and finding room in my heart to forgive the person that abused me was the start of a huge shift in the way that I think and feel about the whole situation. 24 years of suppressing emotions, mainly furious anger, were lifted in a matter of minutes. When I first started therapy, and the subject was unearthed, it was suggested to me that in order for me to move on, I may need to look at forgiveness, and I remember very firmly that that was something that I was "NEVER" going to do. The idea was planted, I can't even believe it myself that 3 years later I have written a letter and read it to a dead person at the grave and CHOSEN to forgive him. By me CHOOSING to forgive him, I have taken back the power, and I CHOOSE to live my life without it being contaminated by the past.

All of the emotional pain that I've been through so far this year, I would most certainly used this as an EXCUSE to gamble, I CHOOSE every day to not gamble, don't get me wrong, there are days when the devil on my shoulder will try to convice me, "just one bet", "you've not gambled for over 3 years, maybe you can gamble sensibly this time". These initial thoughts are very quickly followed by the rational part of my brain that looks at the evidence. History tells me, that every time I gambled, no matter how much I won, I never did stop until it was all gone and more, so what evidence is there to prove otherwise, NONE.

Just for Today I will NOT gamble, One Day At A Time.

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Today I found myself annoyed that I didn't place a bet last week! I've never placed a bet on the political spectrum whilst I was gambling, so why now is this something that I even contemplated?

I'm still going to meetings, I've been off for over 40 months, but the compulsion to gamble is still within me. Like it says in the book, there is no cure, but it can be arrested. Am I doing everthing that is suggested as a program of recovery? The honest answer is no, I'm struggling with my mental health, and I've stopped doing most of the things that help prop up my mental wellbeing.

Daily Prayer and Meditation - stopped
Exercise - Stopped
Meetings - Still going
Step 8 - Halted
Calling my sponsor - stopped

Sharing this with you all, has helped me to see where things are heading, and highlighting areas that need some work.
I think about doing most of these every day, but they get stuck in thought. The desire to stop gambling still remains, and I must address my continued effort to recovery.

Just for today I will not gamble
One Day at a time

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Hello Simmo Very simply like my friend Smartie says all the time, the flame must be kept bright otherwise it becomes extinguished. Time to put some more fuel on the fire? LewB
Love the honesty Simmo....

Keep sharing my friend...

jft Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

So a week has passed already since my last post. What's changed?

Daily Prayer and Meditation - Started again
Exercise - started again
Meetings - Still going
Step 8 - Halted - started thinking about it
Calling my sponsor - Calling today. I have been putting this one off, why, shame really, as I let the communication tail off. Writing this down here means I am I much more likely to do it. I'm doing it now actually. As soon as I hit "Post reply"

A lot can happen in a day, especially when present and focused on what's important.

Just for today I will not gamble.


Once I put things into action, it's amazing how easy some things can change.

I've now called my sponsor, who I've not spoken to for a good few months, and we've got plans to meet up for golf and get back onto working through steps 8 and 9.

Trauma was most certainly the hardest part to process, but in doing so, it's starting to release my emotions to allow flexibility to work through the rest of the 'normal' life stuff.

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
One of many things that I cannot control are other people, their thoughts or their actions. For years I was blindly chucking my way through life, quite often as my mother would describe, "like a bull in a china shop!". Little did I know at the time, whilst firmly in the grips of addiction, I was the bull and the relationships that mean anything to me were the 'china shop'. Working through the steps in my 4th year of recovery, the damage I have done to relationships is becoming clear. I am grateful that these special people are still around, as the chaos and carnage that my behaviour has caused over the years is significant. It's not easy taking inventory of ones self, especially when it's an honest and thorough look into what I had become. I'm in the process of denying the validity of the old saying "a leopard cannot change its spots", I will continue to do my bit in all situations and integrate the 12 steps into my day to day life, for it is these simple suggestions of recovery that have helped me bring about significant changes to my persona. I care about people, lots of people, and I am genuinely pleased to see other people recover.

Since my last post, I've re-engaged with my sponsor, started again with daily prayer and meditation, journal writing, gratitude lists. All of which take about 30 minutes all in all, and their impact on my daily life is massive.

I've recently celebrated one year of no smoking, which I'm still amazed with myself, as the last 12 months have been some of the worst of my life, but they did not include smoking or gambling.

Just for today I will not gamble, One Day At A Time.

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.

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