A big warm welcome to all new comers. May you feel the love of this sharing and caring Hub of Hope and know you are not alone anymore. We share our experience,strength,and hope with each other through posts,e-mails,chat,and online meetings as we walk on our recovery journeys together,one day at a time..Keep coming back you are worth it.

Let's give chat a chance!

Each day at 8 a.m. est. and 10 p.m. est is the 'give chat a chance' time

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE NEW CHAT/MEETING ROOM click here

Donations can still be made via the paypal option.

Thanks for your understanding, Tess


Safe Harbor

[Sign Guestbook]

1,184 Entries
Ken L  
18 minutes ago

Location Ontario Canada

Comments:

Just wanted to share this info that a recovery friend shared with me. Hope you are all well and stay safe.
God Bless
Ken L YBIR

Tips from a psychologist on how to cope with this pandemic.

MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS TIPS FOR QUARANTINE
1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!
6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.
8. Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.
9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
10. Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.
11. Expect behavioral issues in children, and respond gently. We are all struggling with disruption in routine, none more than children, who rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. Do not introduce major behavioral plans or consequences at this time—hold stable and focus on emotional connection.
12. Focus on safety and attachment. We are going to be living for a bit with the unprecedented demand of meeting all work deadlines, homeschooling children, running a sterile household, and making a whole lot of entertainment in confinement. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations in all domains, but we must remember that these are scary and unpredictable times for children. Focus on strengthening the connection through time spent following their lead, through physical touch, through play, through therapeutic books, and via verbal reassurances that you will be there for them in this time.
13. Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance. This idea is connected with #12. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.
14. Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.
15. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with hopeful information.
16. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others. Support restaurants, offer to grocery shop, check-in with elderly neighbours, write psychological wellness tips for others—helping others gives us a sense of agency when things seem out of control.
17. Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it. In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. It helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.
18. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
19. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, colouring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping etc) especially left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.
20. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for the release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all. See how relieved you can feel. It is a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!
21. Find lightness and humour in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.
22. Reach out for help—your team is there for you. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up your medications and your therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. There are mental health people on the ready to help you through this crisis. Your children’s teachers and related service providers will do anything within their power to help, especially for those parents tasked with the difficult task of being a whole treatment team to their child with special challenges. Seek support groups of fellow home-schoolers, parents, and neighbours to feel connected. There is help and support out there, any time of the day—although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
23. “Chunk” your quarantine, take it moment by moment. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month from now. Often, when I work with patients who have anxiety around overwhelming issues, I suggest that they engage in a strategy called “chunking”—focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge that feels manageable. Whether that be 5 minutes, a day, or a week at a time—find what feels doable for you, and set a timestamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each chunk one at a time, and move through stress in pieces.
24. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.
25. Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. When psychologists work with trauma, a key feature to helping someone work through said trauma is to help them find their agency, the potential positive outcomes they can effect, the meaning and construction that can come out of destruction. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change 
 in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?


CJ 
2 hours ago

Location Sask.

Comments:
Another day of being home and grateful to have a roof over my head, food in the cupboards and people I can communicate with via phone, email and social media.  

During these times I continue to take each day as it comes … ONE DAY AT A TIME is my motto these days.  [smile]

Have a good day Donna & those who keep this site up and running.  As well and anyone else who stops by to this Safe Harbor.

bye now
[wave]
CJ


Reflection for the Day  
2 hours ago

Comments:
APRIL 2 Reflection for the Day

What causes slips? What happens to a person who apparently seems to understand and live the Twelve Step way, yet decides to go out gambling again? What can I do to keep this from happening to me? Is there any consistency among those who slip, any common denominators that seem to apply? We can each draw our own conclusions, but we learn in the Gamblers Anonymous Program that certain inactions will all but guarantee an eventual slip.

When a person who has slipped is fortunate enough to return to the Program, do I listen carefully to what he or she says about the slip?

Today I Pray
May my Higher Power show me if I am setting myself up to gamble again. May I glean from the experiences from others that the reasons for such a lapse of resolve or such an accident of will most often stem from what I have not done rather than from what I have done. May I "keep coming back” to meetings.

Today I Will Remember
Keep coming back.


Donna Email
6 hours ago

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
4/2/20  Thursday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler, as of midnight tonight, the whole state of Florida is on a Safer/Stay at Home order for 30 days, in an effort slow the cornavirus.  Well, this will be interesting and a challenge, I've been working remotely from home since last week Monday, and I miss the social interaction of the office, but I pray to God, for guidance and Patience.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
19 hours ago

Comments:

April 1st Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Going Easy

Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don't have to push so hard. Go in gentleness - go in peace.

Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace.

Frantic behaviors and urgency are not the foundation for our new way of life.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to begin. Begin, but do not force the beginning if it is not time. Beginnings will arrive soon enough.

Enjoy and relish middles, the heart of the matter.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to finish. You may be almost done, but enjoy the final moments. Give yourself fully to those moments so that you may give and get all there is.

Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Start. Keep moving forward. Do it gently, though. Do it in peace. Cherish each moment.

Today, God, help me focus on a peaceful pace rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. Help me let go of my need to be anxious, upset, and harried. Help me replace it with a need to be a peace and in harmony.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.


Reflection for the Day  
Yesterday at 09:41am

Comments:
APRIL 1 Reflection for the Day

If we don’t want to slip, we’ll avoid slippery places. For the gambler, that means shunning poker parties and race tracks and anywhere that gambling is taking place. For me, certain emotional situations can also be slippery places; so can indulgence in old ideas, such as a well-nourished resentment that is allowed to build to explosive proportions.

Do I carry the principles of the Gamblers Anonymous Program with me wherever I go?

Today I Pray
May I learn not to test myself too harshly by “asking for it,” by stopping in at the casino, the Bingo hall, or the track. Such “testing” can be dangerous, especially if I am egged on, not only by a craving for the old object of my addictions, but by others still caught in addiction whose moral responsibility has been reduced to zero.

Today I Will Remember
Avoid slippery places.


Donna Email
Yesterday at 05:59am

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/175

Location 7/14/15

Comments:
4/1/20  Wednesday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, staying at home and working remotely for it looks like another month..  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
03/31

Comments:
March 31st Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Finances

Taking financial responsibility for ourselves is part of recovery. Some of us may find ourselves in hard financial times for a variety of reasons.

Our recovery concepts, including the Steps, work on money issues and restoring manageability to that area of our life. Make appropriate amends -- even if that means tackling a $5,000 debt by sending in $5 a month.

Start where you are, with what you've got. As with other issues, acceptance and gratitude turn what we have into more.

Money issues are not a good place to "act as if." Don't write checks until the money is in the bank. Don't spend money until you've got it in your hand.

If there is too little money to survive, use the appropriate resources available without shame.

Set goals.

Believe you deserve the best, financially.

Believe God cares about your finances.

Let go of your fear, and trust.

Today, I will focus on taking responsibility for my present financial circumstances, no matter how overwhelming that area of my life may feel and be.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved


Reflection for the Day  
03/31

Comments:
MARCH 31 Reflection for the Day

My illness is unlike most other illnesses in that denial that I am sick is a primary symptom of my sickness. Like many other incurable illnesses, however, my illness is characterized by relapses. In the Gamblers Anonymous Program, we call such relapses “slips.” The one thing I know for certain is that I alone can cause myself to slip.

Will I remember at all times that the thought precedes the action? Will I try to avoid “stinking thinking”?

Today I Pray
May God give me the power to resist temptations. May the responsibility for giving in, for having a “slip,” be on my shoulders and mine only. May I see beforehand if I am setting myself up for a slip by blame-shifting, shirking my responsibility to myself, becoming the world’s poor puppet once again. My return to those old attitudes can be as much of a slip as the act of placing a bet.

Today I Will Remember
Nobody’s slip-proof.


Donna Email
03/31

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
3/31/20  Tuesday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in, still working remotely from home, and only leaving the house for necessities.  Just for today, I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
03/30

Comments:

March 30th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Come stand by my side where I'm going, Take my hand if I stumble and fall, It's the strength that you share when you're growing, That gives me what I need most of all.

—Hoyt Axton

The bear cub was miserable. Her father, the leader of the pack, had left a month ago to find them winter shelter and had not yet returned. Everyone went on as if nothing had changed.

One evening the cub had a dream in which her father appeared and said, "Daughter, I know you grieve for me, but your burden is too heavy to carry alone. Share it with the others and let them comfort you. Sharing will only lighten your load, and if you can accept help now you will find it easier to give when others are in need."

The next morning the little cub woke with a much lighter heart. As it turns out, everyone in the pack shared the same dream. There was much hugging and crying and reaching out and healing.

We can easily lighten our loads by asking support from those who love us, knowing our turn to help will come.

What help can I ask for today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.


Reflection for the Day  
03/30

Comments:
MARCH 30 Reflection for the Day

Absolute humility means freedom from myself, freedom from the demands that my character defects place so heavily upon me. Humility means the willingness to discover and carry out the will of God. Although I do not presume to attain such a vision, just keeping it in my heart helps me know where I stand on the road to humility. I recognize that my journey toward God has barely begun. As I shrink in self-importance I may even find the humor in my former pomp and ego-tripping.

Do I take myself too seriously?


Today I Pray
May the grandiosity that is a symptom of my addiction be brought back into proportion by the simple comparison of my powerlessness with the power of God. May I think of the meaning of Higher Power as it relates to my human frailty. May it bring my ego back down to scale and help me shed my defenses of pomp or bluster or secret ideas of self-importance.

Today I Will Remember
Humility is freedom.


Donna Email
03/30

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
3/30/20  Monday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, working from home for a lot of us is the new Normal, during this Covid19 pandemic.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
03/29

Comments:
March 29th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles . . . by the ears, by the heels or any other way you can manage it. It's the healthiest thing a body can do.
—Mark Twain

It requires very little effort - and no imagination - to start feeling sorry for ourselves. Often, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves in our families. Instead of being inspired by the sports talents of an older brother, the popularity of a lovely sister, or the fame of a parent or relative, we often take the easier attitude: "I'm denied all that he or she has."

If we work hard at developing our own abilities so that we can excel, we will find ourselves proud of, and applauding, what others do. If a personal problem brings us self-pity, we must remind ourselves that all people have problems. We can cope as well as the best of people if we learn from them and think positively.

Who among those close to me can I be proud of today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. 


CJ 
03/29

Location Saskatchewan

Comments:
Good day … and a good day it is cause I woke up this morning.  Just one of the many things I am grateful for.

Lately I am finding it hard to watch the news but feel that I should stay informed in what is going on out there.  Things seem to be changing every day … first a request to not be in gatherings of more than 50 people, the next day same request but no more than 25 people, the next day, 10 people and now not to gather in any groups at all.  We are being told to stay at home unless we HAVE to go out whether we have symptoms or not.  This is a lot for a rcg who is a creature of habit.  Way too many changes, too fast for me.  But I am happily following what our government & health-care people are asking us to do to keep all of us safe.

Does any of this virus thing create an urge to gamble in me?  NOPE … I am blessed with a couple of decades of not gambling and throughout that time I remain living a life of recovery.  Over time life gets good and becomes way more important than gambling ever was.

 

Donna … Michael … Ken L, nice to see you here.  Take care and God Bless you guys.

bye now
[wave]
CJ


Reflection for the Day  
03/29

Comments:
March 29 Reflection for the Day

Why do people gamble compulsively? Dr Robert Custer, a pioneer in the treatment of compulsive gambling, believed we have four basic human needs - affection, approval, recognition, and self-confidence. When these needs are not met, people feel inadequate and overwhelmed by life. Gambling may – for a time – appear to fill these needs. But whatever the cause, the principles and Fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous have proved effective in helping thousands overcome the compulsion to gamble.

Am I grateful for the insights and fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous?

Today I Pray
May God expand my understanding of the illness of compulsive gambling through life stories shared in the safe harbor of the GA meeting. There, we learn the true meaning of “winning” – over the addiction to gambling and all its life-affecting negative effects. May God continue to show me the positives that can be mine through working the program honestly and wholeheartedly.

Today I Will Remember
The Program has the answers.


Donna Email
03/29

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
3/29/20  Sunday  Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler.  Not going out of the house due to the pandemic, I hope everyone is doing well and safe.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
03/28

Comments:
With what is going on in the world today this Hazelden Thought for the Day is appropriate. 
Take Care & Stay Safe.
God Bless
Ken L YBIR


March 28th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Balance

Seek balance.

Balance emotions with reason.

Combine detachment with doing our part.

Balance giving with receiving.

Alternate work with play, business with personal activities.

Balance tending to our spiritual needs with tending to our other needs.

Juggle responsibilities to others with responsibilities to ourselves.

Balance caring about others with caring about ourselves.

Whenever possible, let's be good to others, but be good to ourselves too.

Some of us have to make up for lost time.

Today, I will strive for balance.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved

 


Reflection for the Day  
03/28

Comments:
MARCH 28 Reflection for the Day

We must think deeply of all those sick persons still to come to Gamblers Anonymous. As they try to make their return to faith and to life, we want them to find everything in the Program that we have found – even more, if that is possible. No care, no vigilance, no effort to preserve the Program’s constant effectiveness and spiritual strength will ever be too great to hold us in full readiness for the day of their homecoming.

How well do I respect the Steps of the Program?

Today I Pray
God, help me carry out my part in making the group a lifeline for those who are still suffering from compulsive gambling, in maintaining the Steps of Recovery and Unity that have made it work for me and for those who are still to come. May the Program be a “homecoming” for those of us who share the disease of compulsive gambling. May we find common solutions to the common problems that this disease breeds.

Today I Will Remember
To do my part.


Donna Email
03/28

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
3/28/20  Saturday  Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in, worked from home all week, until further notice, with COVID 19 Pandemic.  Just for today I will be Gamble Free, ODAAT.  
 < Previous 20
Page:
Next 20 >  

Back to Safe Harbor