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The Journey Begins
#21
Hi all,

I arrive back in the UK from my last work trip on Saturday and have been busy with my family enjoying them after being away from home for a week.

I did though pause to attend my GA Sunday meeting, as it's a massively important step and contiuum in my continued abstinence from gambling.

I'm now 138 almost 139 days clear, and as I become stronger I see more and more reasons as to why it's just bad news, and just how little the government do to protect people. And I think this gambling mentality starts from the very young with simple things like raffles at the school fete, something that I will not now participate in. I want nothing to do with the world of gambling in all it's forms, I do not want to be tempted back and I will put all the barriers I can so that I can stay one day at a time away from it.

We had a story in group this week of a regular long term member who has had a busy life recently and missed 3 weeks of meetings, he found that during his 3rd week the old thoughts were beginning to return and for a small second he contemplated trying his luck one more time....thankfully he was self aware, called a friend and managed to move past those urges, and having returned to the room this week re-iterated just how much of a help it is in a) getting off and coming to terms with it and b) staying off.

So I move on with another week few weeks under my belt. Having posted up 138 the next milestone is 150 and 5 months and then I'll set my sights on 6 months, 1 year etc. I get the feeling that time will ultimately become irrelevant, but for now I will continue to set my targets, i think it helps me with my focus.

Best wishes to all, stay strong, stay committed and go to the GA meetings, they will help you, and you can in turn help others.

One day at a time, I choose a life without gambling, long may it stay that way.
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#22
Hey StrengthtoStop,

Great to see regular updates, it strengthens my recovery reading your journey. What you mention about missing meetings and the old ways of thinking coming back is very true indeed, I have seen it with my own eyes many times and experienced it my myself. It part of the reason why I make sure I go to a meeting every week. If you weren't at the meeting on Sunday, you would have missed that long term members experience of what can happen.

Keep posting mate

In Unity

Simmo
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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#23
Hi,

So I've gone and cocked up......

And it's not what you think, I haven't had a bet or gambled and I'm on day 147 today, which is great.

The bank holiday weekend really threw me out, I though Sunday was Saturday until some point on Monday when I realised it wasn't Sunday but Monday, and that I'd missed my GA meeting the day before. First time I've missed and I will be going tonight as an extra visit this week as I owe it to myself to keep up my attendance as it keeps me solid in my resolution to stay away.

I don't have any defense for missing the meeting, but I was busy in the back garden giving the jungle it's first trim of the year and generally de-weeding so the kids can play on without stinging themselves. I also genuinely thought it was Saturday.

Having been thoroughly annoyed at myself for a couple of days I have now moved on in my head, and decided that there was no harm done really. I haven't had a bet and I'm still safe.

What makes it slightly weird though, and where I can't then square up the timeline in my head is that on the Saturday, as per normal we do a load of kids activities in the morning (football, martial arts, swimming), and an additional activity this week was both boys attending their cousins pizza party. My turn to do all the taking this week, as with me being away with work the wife has had to do it alone, and so a small gesture from me to give her some space away from the kids and a lie in if she so wanted one.

So...did all the clubs...and then dropped the kids at the party...left me with 2 hours to kill...so, I wandered into the local town, 10 minute walk way, and a place where there are multiple bookies/pawn shops and where previously I have gambled, but on this occasion I wanted to look around the shops and to test myself in my resolve to see if my willpower was strong enough not to yield to the devil who was whispering in my ear.

I'm happy to report, that I managed to browse enough shops, eat enough Greggs sausage rolls and bump into enough people (including 1 GA member, and my mother in law), that I didn't even have a wobble. And when my 2 hours was up - I collected the kids and went home.

I was so looking forward to telling the group that I'd survived, and that I would do so when I went to the meeting on the Sunday. As above though, I didn't go....so that will have to keep until tongiht/this coming Sunday. I am pleased with myself, as the old feelings of nervous excitement (butterflies), were definitely there with the suggestions coming from my shoulder devil. I'm firm and resolute in my abstinance, and whilst I wish the voices weren't there anymore, they don't have the power over me they once did

Hope you are all doing well in your respective recoveries,

One day at a time, I choose a life without gambling, long may it stay that way.
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#24
If sounds like you had a good weekend mate, It's good to see that you've not beaten yourself up too much for missing the meeting on Sunday, and you are absolutely doing the right thing going to another meeting instead. Going to meetings at least once a week is the biggest factor for me staying off of gambling for over 2 years.

I will say, try not to purposely test yourself, just keep working the program, stick to the suggestions, and live a normal life. What you did popping to the shops and greggs, I do like their sausage rolls :-), was in fact normal life, and didn't need to be a 'test'. The only reason I say this, I've seen a number of people put themselves to the test, when in a good place, and a little complacent they slipped up.

In Unity, Just for today I will not gamble

Simmo
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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#25
thanks Simmo, I know what you mean I think...It wasn't meant to be a test, but as soon as I got close to the town the old memories came flooding back and I knew that it would be.

Half of me wanted to turn around and go back to my car....but the other half thought that I will have to face this at somepoint, and the best point to do it is when I'm feeling strong and sober. I try to not go out drinking anymore.

I have no desire to repeat the test, and most of the time I will be with family or friends.

It's good advice though, will try to avoid testing myself.

One day at a time, I choose a life without gambling, long may it stay that way.
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#26
Enjoyed this diary very much, like many addicts I associate with many of your experiences. Be strong my friend abstain and maintain.
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#27
(12-05-2018, 08:03 AM)MickyK68 Wrote: Enjoyed this diary very much, like many addicts I associate with many of your experiences. Be strong my friend abstain and maintain.

Thank you so much for posting, I often wonder who reads what I write...and wether people can relate to it in anyway.

GA meeting day today, I have a smile on my face as I genuinely enjoy going. 

I had a night on the pop last night, made it through unscathed, the missus has treated us to a breakfast wrap this morning so my snoring last night can't have been too bad! And I have the Sunday roast in the oven on it's way to being served at 12 noon. 

Am pleased with progress, found it a little uncomfortable last night when my friend was talking about scratchcard winnings as previously (at least a year ago) I had a decent win, and he asked me had I had anymore. I found it was much easier, although a little uncomfortable now to say no mate, and I won't again as I no longer gamble.

So why uncomfortable? Well not all of my friends know the extent of my problem and nor do I see the need to tell them about it when they are casual drinking buddies who I see maybe once a quarter. My really close friends now all know and are my support network outside of family & GA.

Anyway, the sun is shining, the kids are playing, and life once again is worth living. Thank you GA, for giving me the strength to stop.

One day at a time, I choose a life without gambling, long may it stay that way.
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#28
I think many readers will recognise and identify with your situation. Gambling takes so much from the addict including self respect. It sounds very much like you are beginning to like yourself again.
Delighted to follow your success, keep strong, well done.
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#29
Evening,

It's been a while since I have had time to sit at the computer and compose a message, another trip to the USA with work followed by a very hectic work schedule which saw most of my bank holiday weekend being swallowed up. Not complaining, I enjoy my job, and we are making good progress.

According to my timer, I have now been off for 167 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes and a few seconds.

I can't quite beleive how fast the time has gone, and more recently being so busy how much it has sped up. Another couple of weeks I will have hit the 6 month mark and that will be quite something.

I can also see the benefits in my bank balance, my credit rating, and in my wife's eyes from being away from the devil.
I've been able to treat myself to a new phone, and I have a small pot of savings going in anticipation of 2019 summer holiday, although it could quite easily be used for improvements (long needed) around the home, stuff that I couldn't even contemplate before without getting out another loan/credit card.

The spiral I was in is nothing short of crazy, and when I look at what it was doing to me, I wonder how on earth did I keep up the pretence that everything was fine for so long? How did I manage to spin such a web of lies that I went unquestioned for 20 plus years.

We had a good GA meeting last Sunday, which was a bit of an open forum. And I had something to share, that I'm still shocked by.

Our two boys were in a swimming gala last weekend, and as dutiful parents keen to support them we duly lined up in the spectators queue. Sign on the door said entrance fee x, raffle tickets y, programme z. I handed over x to the wife who then asked me if I wanted a y or a z.......I was absolutely gobsmacked......immediately I said no y's please as I can't, and I will have a z. She looked at me in a strange way, and asked me again if I wanted a raffle ticket......(previously I would have had a tenners worth), as I always convinced myself that I was donating to charity.....in reality I was spread betting to hopefully secure a decent prize.

Again I said no, and quietly reminded her that I cannot gamble, and will not gamble. Bless her, she was so embarrassed that she had put me in that position, but luckily with my 160 plus days behind me, there was not a thought that even wanted one. I have accepted that I can't and that's that.

It just goes to show, that despite going through all of this with me, the mind of a non gambler is wired very differently to the one of a compulsive gambler.

I will be missing my GA meeting this weekend, as we have a couple of family trips lined up so I will be redoubling efforts next week and will attend a minimum of 2 meetings.

It's the meetings that I credit with keeping me clean, I wont ever stop going, I never want to go back to my life of old.

Speak to you all soon,

One day at a time, I choose a life without gambling, long may it stay that way.
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#30
Hi STS,

Reading your progress is a great tribute to the fact that going to meetings really works if you work at it. There becomes that shift in thought and I had it too, where we look back and reflect "how on earth did I carry on for so long?" It's utter madness. Why the word insanity was not put in step 2 as is seen in the AA steps I don't know, but I can say for myself that my actions whilst gambling were totally insane. It's taken me 2 years to save a months salary, yet I used to blow a months salary in one night.

I can see that the GA way of life is working for you as it is for me mate. Keep on keeping on, one day at a time.

In Unity

Simmo
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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