Finding Peace and Other Things to Do

I find this site very helpful and an instrumental part in my recovery. I'm here almost every day. I might not post but I read about what others are going through and it helps me tremendously.

Sometimes I feel this "emptiness" (I think it's the peace that I'm not used to) when I'm not going through turmoil and the up and down cycles that I used to go through. I've come to realize that this emptiness is the peace I've been seeking all my life. It's telling me to find something to do, but don't gamble. In the last 2 months I've had a lot of drama at work but I didn't once give in to gambling, like I would have in the past. I stepped back and accepted my part in all the chaos and accepted responsibility.

I feel good about myself now. I'm beginning to love the peace with myself and with those around me. I don't need turmoil in my life. I want to be successful in everything I do and the only way I know how to do that is to build a solid, peaceful foundation.

I feel a connection with everyone here when I read your posts; there's a part of me in them.
Hello Honesty,

I have enjoyed reading your posts.. and all about how you are dealing with not gambling.. and choosing healthier ways to deal with stress and drama in everyday life.. I also like the way you look at the emptiness.. the quiet times, the alone times.. keep thinking positive thoughts.. but always have something close by to fill the voids of not gambling.. there is much here to say that some of those feelings are withdrawals from gambling.. and I have seen many run back to gambling.. because of that.. you on the other hand are doing just what we all should be doing.. keeping optimistic and always thinking positively.. keep it up and stay focused.. gambling.. truly sucks and is only a temporary fix.. and then we are worse that before.. I enjoyed your thoughts today, hugs,

Thank-you for the encouragement, lilaud!
It has been a few days and I actually miss writing something here daily. For me or any one with an addiction it is so easy to be surprised at how sneaky the gambling addiction shows itself in disguise. Unexpected windfalls, a pay rise, back paid, tax refund, something that re-ignites the embers when they seemed well and truly out.

This has happened a few times recently and the first time was so wonderful because I needed stuff for my home and was able to go out and get what I wanted. Gee it felt good.

The second time was much more difficult. Dirty thinking had me theorizing well I would not be spending my own money as if I never had it in the first place. Well I know how it would pan out if this thought process continued. It had to be removed from my brain and all I could do was use the tools that were getting dusty in the back of my head. I delayed my intentions by filling in the next few hours.

I went and bought some junk food(that made me feel like crap because I have been staying away from that too) which was supposed to make me feel good, I went and deposited all the money I had at home in the bank and then invited a friend over to watch a video.

I was sooo close this time around it scared me but I did it.Not so much by will power but by doing something(anything) to delay and let it subside.Please take something from this, I am into my 28th month a gambling free man and it takes all you have got sometimes but my life is worth it and so is YOURS!


Hey Rob-

You don't have to explain the money thing to me. My tax refund started the whole ball rolling for me last week. Money is definitely a trigger. I have a terrible time dealing with money issues. The funny thing is it existed before I ever started gambling.

I get anxious when I have more than I need, or not enough. The anxiety seems to be familiar so if I don't have a money issue I seem to create one just to have something to stress about. How crazy is that???

I keep trying to talk my way through the issue and remind myself that money is an object a thing and that it has no real power over me. I have just put power on it that does not exist and truth be told, I focus on it's value way too much.

I am glad you made it through the situation without acting on it. You are right about getting something to sidetrack the urge. It does work....I have used that tool often when I needed to get through something difficult in recovery. I just did not use it over the past week. I chose the instant gratification route instead. Or even self destruct button. Man I was hitting that thing hard in the past week....

Keep that sense of humour going, if we can't have a laugh we are done with really, it is a great pressure reliever too.

I gotta go check my lotto num..............

Just kidding

Just remember that NOT gambling is the REWARD which is different from the old way which was "I deserve to go have a flutter on the machines etc etc."

Reverse that thought if you can mate.

Cheers. Rob
"...we are good people, hard working we usually have to be to fund the damn gambling addiction."

Rob has made an excellent point. We should use our energy and resources toward constructive goals.

Thank-you for sharing that with everyone.
Good job, Rob, another day that you beat the gambling addiction. It's important for me to hear that even with some good time in, we all have to watch out for the urges. Life goes on and we quit doing the things we need to abstain, because it gets put on the back-burner.

I'm also with Akaneat (who has been having a rough go, sorry to read about it Akaneat, hope to chat soon) I love your posts Rob! Keep it up, keep the faith, keep it simple!

Take care.

That's nice of you Shelley, thank-you, I find it quite easy to talk about my gambling addiction now, I never used to be that way though. That secret, sneaky and untrusting nature we develop is very very hard to get rid of.

I had several go's at Gamblers Anonymous and whilst I loved the individual moments chatting with others in smockos and coffee breaks, I feel time could be used better that one person talking and everyone else doing nothing. Do you know what I mean?

If I did get to share, so many things would be going through my head that I would get all muddled up and release nothing. I do not knock it, just I think we can update the way we communicate. I mean the web gets more compulsive gamblers together than any meetings easily.

We can talk when we think of it and listen, go and leave as we want. I love talking in small groups, love it. I would love to have a radio show on this subject. Imagine how many people feeling desperate and alone we could relate to and maybe help?

Well I have raved on again.

I placed my last bet on 12/4/04 and I am very proud of myself. I played the slots at the Casino and bingo a lot. Well I have analyzed my situation I have made a decision not to go on the Casino that is where I lose sooo much money...but Bingo I can play that once a week and not feel the effect. I have been doing different things; going to Movies;out to eat so, I figure the same amount would be spent on Bingo...But, will this trigger my compulsive behavior to gambling at the Casino...please someone stop me before I give up all my clean time which, I am very proud of. I have come to the conclusion that I am not all that happy about giving up all gambling...I'm running out of interesting things to do...I just want to continue playing Bingo once a week as a outing.

What to do?
As I was writing my last message, a colleague asked me what I was doing. I said I was writing on a message board. Then we talked for a few minutes and at the end of the conversation, he said, "I'm taking my time finishing this. A friend told me 'you set yourself up to succeed, not fail.'"

Set yourself up to succeed. I like that.
I do it by enjoying my day, prioritizing, being realistic, and measuring my progress each day.

Another way I set myself up to succeed to is THINK POSITIVE, SPEAK POSITIVE, AND ONLY DO POSITIVE THINGS.

How do people here set themselves up to succeed?
Positive thinking brings positive results.
Negative thinking brings negative results.
The mind works just as faithfully for you, as it will against you, depending on your thinking.

Do not mix with negative people. I do not mean people who have an occasional problem, we all have. I mean people that are 'continually' negative in their approach to life. Life is tough enough without adding other peoples problems to your own. This may sound selfish, but it is self-survival.

Try to find people that have a good positive attitude to hang around with. Some of that positivity will rub off on you.