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1,384 Entries
Jim A 
05/27

Last Day You Placed A Bet January 23,1996

Location Western New York

Comments:
Hello everyone,

I believe HOPE is powerful in my recovery, from the earliest days to the present!  What do you think?  I am interested in your feedback!

Today I found this quote amusing:

If it's sanity you're after, there's no recipe like laughter.
  —Henry Rutherford Elliot

Enjoy the journey,
Jim A


Donna Email
05/27

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/27/20  Wednesday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in.  Back to work at the office, and I realize that I really enjoy what I do and am grateful to God, for all that he's given me.  Just for today, I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/26

Comments:
May 26th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Out of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn, to reconceive ourselves as individuals, to choose the kind of change that will help us to grow and to fulfill ourselves more completely.
  —Nena O'Neill

Before choosing to recover, most of us lived through crisis after crisis. Many days we sought the oblivion of alcohol and drugs rather than face fears that ate away at us. It probably wasn't possible for most of us to realize that a crisis was a tool for growth.

Even today, even in our recovery program, even though the clouds are clearing and we are feeling better about ourselves, a crisis may overwhelm us for a time. We do find help for it, though. We can breathe deeply, look to our higher power; listen for the messages that are coming through from our friends. And we can choose among the many options for the right action to take at this time.

Life is a series of lessons. Crises can be seen as the homework. They aren't there to defeat us but to help us grow - to graduate us into the next stage of life.

Today, I will look for my lessons and feel exhilarated by the growth that is guaranteed.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Reflection for the Day  
05/26

Comments:
MAY 26 Reflection for the Day

I know today that I no longer have to proceed on my own. I've learned that it's safer, more sensible, and surer to move forward with friends who are going in the same direction as I. None of us need feel shame at using help, since we all help each other. It's no more a sign of weakness to use help in recovering from my addiction than it is to use a crutch if I have a broken leg. To those who need it, and to those who see its usefulness, a crutch is a beautiful thing.

Do I sometimes still refuse to accept easily obtained assistance?

Today I Pray
God make me see that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, that the camaraderie of the group is what makes it work for each of us. Like a vaccine for diphtheria or polio, the Gamblers Anonymous Program and the strength of the group have proved themselves as preventives for slips and backsliding. Praise God for the tools of recovery.

Today I Will Remember
Help is as near as my telephone.


Donna Email
05/26

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/26/20  Tuesday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in.  A very low key and restful 3 day weekend, because it rained a lot so , it was a stay at home Memorial Day weekend.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Reflection for the Day  
05/25

Comments:
MAY 25 Reflection for the Day

When we're new in Gamblers Anonymous, we're novices at reaching out for friendship - or even accepting it when it's offered. Sometimes we're not quite sure how to do it or, indeed, whether it will actually work. Gradually, however, we become restored; we become teachable. We learn, for example, as Moliere wrote, "The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them."

Just for today, will I reach out if I need a friend?

Today I Pray
May God help me to discover what true friendship is. In my new relationships, I pray that I may not be so eager for approval that I will let myself be dishonest - through flattery, half-truths, false cheeriness, protective white lies.

Today I Will Remember
A friend is honest.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/25

Comments:

May 25th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

For him who confesses, shams are over and realities have begun; he has exteriorized his rottenness. If he has not actually got rid of it, he at least no longer smears it over with a hypocritical show of virtue.

  —William James

On the path we are following, confession is a frequent part of our experience. We admit our powerlessness; we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and admit our wrongs; we make amends to people we have harmed; and we continue with personal inventory, promptly admitting our wrongs. With each of these Steps we grow spiritually. By expressing on the outside what we privately know inside, we feel relief and gain self-respect.

Sometimes we have harbored and protected a real rottenness inside that needed to be exposed so we could change. Other times, what we felt was rottenness turned out - under the light of confession - to be only a human foible in need of airing. In either case, we grew stronger as we drew closer to reality and gave up the show of virtue by admitting our mistakes.

I will walk the path of recovery today by confessing my wrongs promptly.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.


Donna Email
05/25

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/25/20  Monday  Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in, it's Memorial Day Monday, I was going to take my dog fishing, but its a rainy day, so house projects are on my agenda.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/24

Comments:
May 24th Hazelden Thought for the Day 

It's ironic, but until you can free those final monsters within the jungle of yourself, your life, your soul is up for grabs.
  —Rona Barrett

We all have monsters. Maybe it's depression over the past or present circumstances, or resentment about another's behavior, or fear of new situations. Maybe it's jealousy of other women. The more attention we give the monsters, the more powerful they get. The harder we try to resist the jealousy or depression or fear, the greater it becomes.

The program offers us the way to let go. And we find the way through one another. When we share ourselves fully with one another, share our monsters with one another, they no longer dominate us. They seek the dark recesses of our minds, and when we shine the light on them, they recoil. The program offers us an eternal light.

I will let the program shine its light in my life today. My monsters will flee for the day.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Reflection for the Day  
05/24

Comments:
MAY 24 Reflection for the Day

Getting over years of suspicion and other self-protective mechanisms can hardly be an overnight process. We've become thoroughly conditioned to feeling and acting misunderstood and unloved - whether we really were or not. Some of us may need time and practice to break out of our shell and the seemingly comfortable familiarity of solitude. Even though we begin to believe and know we're no longer alone, we tend to sometimes feel and act in old ways.

Am I taking it easy? Am I learning to wear the Gamblers Anonymous Program and life like a loose garment?

Today I Pray
May I expect no sudden, total reversal of all my old traits. My abstinence from gambling is just a beginning. May I realize that the symptoms of my compulsion will wear off gradually. If I slip back, now and then, into my old self-pity bag or my grandiosity, may I not be discouraged, but grateful. At last, I can face myself honestly and not let my delusions get the best of me.

Today I Will Remember
Easy does it.


Donna Email
05/24

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/24/20  Sunday   Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, slowly the phase to reopen Florida is working, and it's starting to feel normal.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/23

Comments:

May 23rd Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Enjoyment


Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.

The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.

Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we're learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.

Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times - as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we're safe now. We're learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We're learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We're free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We're free to open up and come alive.

Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.

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


Reflection for the Day  
05/23

Comments:
MAY 23 Reflection for the Day

When newcomers to Gamblers Anonymous experience the first startling feeling that they're truly among friends, they also wonder - with almost a sense of terror - if the feeling is real. Will it last? Those of us who've been in the Program a few years can assure any newcomer at a meeting that it is very real indeed, and that it does last. It's not just another false start, nor just a temporary burst of gladness to be followed, inevitably, by shattering disappointment.

Am I convinced that I can have a genuine and enduring recovery from the loneliness of my compulsive gambling?

Today I Pray
Please, God, let me not be held back by my fear of recurring loneliness. May I know that the openness that warms me in this group will not suddenly close up and leave me out. May I be patient with my fear, which is swollen with past disappoints and losses. May I know that the fellowship of the group will, in time, convince me that loneliness is never incurable.

Today I Will Remember
Loneliness is curable.


Donna Email
05/23

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/23/20 Saturday  Hi my name is Donna and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in.  Back to work at the office, and it feels "normal".  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/22

Comments:
May 22nd Hazelden Thought for the Day 


If it's sanity you're after, there's no recipe like laughter.
  —Henry Rutherford Elliot

A smile is the earliest form of communication. A human infant smiles in the first few weeks of life. As the child grows, it learns how to turn the smile into a laugh - a joyous response reflecting pleasure.

A sense of humor, a feeling of fun, and an ability to laugh are all signs of emotional maturity. Healthy laughter frees us; it is the sunshine that makes life's shadows interesting. When we develop the ability to see the humor in a situation, we gain the ability to handle it.

We were born with smiles. They are as much a part of us as our teeth and hair. Polished and cared for, our smiles can grow into a sense of humor that will help us through the painful times.

How can I turn troubles into smiles today?

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


Reflection for the Day  
05/22

Comments:

MAY 22 Reflection for the Day

When I first listened to people in Gamblers Anonymous talking freely and honestly about themselves, I was stunned. Their stories of their own gambling escapades, of their own secret fears, and of their own gnawing loneliness were literally mind-blowing for me. I discovered - and hardly dared believe it at first - that I'm not alone, I'm not all that different from everyone else and, in fact, we're all very much the same. I began to sense that I do belong somewhere, and my loneliness began to leave me.

Do I try to give others what has been given freely to me?

Today I Pray
May I begin to see, as the life stories of my friends in GA unfold for me, that our similarities are far more startling than our differences. As I listen to their accounts of compulsive gambling and recovery, may I experience often that small shock of recognition, a "hey-that's-me!" feeling that is quick to chase away my separateness. May I become a wholehearted member of the group, giving and taking in equal parts.

Today I Will Remember
Sameness, not differences.

 


Donna Email
05/22

Last Day You Placed A Bet 7/14/15

Location Florida

Comments:
5/22/20 Friday   Hi my name is Donna, and I am a Compulsive Gambler in Recovery, checking in, well I'm back at the office and no longer working remotely from home, which I absolutely love.  While I can see the advantages of working from home, I can also see if you live alone like me with my dog, how isolated it feels.  Just for today I will remain Gamble Free, ODAAT.


Anon 
05/22

Comments:
About 2.6 percent of the population (about 10 million people in the United States) have gambling problems and experienced hardships associated with gambling. If you or a loved one needs help avoiding gambling, consider these seven tips.

1. Understand the Problem
You can’t fix something that you don’t understand. To eliminate gambling from your life, you must learn about the issue and admit you have a gambling problem.

The American Psychiatric Association identifies gambling as a mental health disorder similar to addictions triggered by alcohol and drugs. You might have a gambling disorder if you have:

The powerful need to gamble with larger amounts of money
Feelings of restlessness or irritability when not gambling
Made repeated and unsuccessful attempts to quit gambling
Found yourself completely preoccupied with gambling
Noticed you gamble to manage stress
Continued gamble to “get even”
Lied to friends, coworkers and loved ones about gambling
Lost relationships or created conflict about gambling
Needed financial support
Be honest with yourself when you look over the symptoms of gambling disorder, or even better, ask a loved one about their opinion of your gambling for a clearer understanding. Stop denying and start seeing the negative effect gambling has on your life.

2. Join a Support Group
Now that you have recognized the problem, you can seek assistance from a support group. Support groups are organizations maintained by people with similar experiences and pasts. Though support groups lack professional interventions, they are free to try out in person or in online chat rooms.

Gamblers Anonymous is one support group specifically built around the needs of people with gambling problems. The group is based around the familiar 12-step approach used by other support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

For more information on support groups for gamblers, you can contact the gambling hotline at the National Council on Problem Gambling. They offer voice and text support for people with gambling issues and can point you toward helpful group options to manage the trials of gambling addiction.

3. Avoid Temptation
Gambling is a temptation, but seeing gambling as an addiction is a significant step because it permits you to use skills from addiction recovery and relapse prevention. For someone in recovery, avoiding people, places and activities linked to gambling can help them avoid a setback. By avoiding these triggers, you can avoid the thoughts and feelings that encourage gambling.

So, if driving by a casino after work sparks thoughts of gambling, take an alternative way home. If watching sports makes you want to bet on it, consider watching something else. Cut up your credit cards and let your spouse handle the checkbook.

It may seem like an inconvenience, but just as a person with a drinking problem should not go into a bar, you have to identify and avoid your triggers. Work with a loved one on your list of triggers and find ways to avoid the temptations to reduce the risk of gambling.

4. Postpone Gambling
With addictions, there are cravings. Cravings are strong urges to complete the desired behavior. As a gambler, you could have cravings to call your bookie, go to the casino, cash your paycheck or other behaviors linked to gambling.

Cravings are intense, and while you are in the middle of one, it feels like it could last forever. It will not, though. All cravings have a beginning, middle and end. So as long as you can postpone your gambling, you can maintain recovery.

An excellent way to approach this issue is by paying attention to your cravings, what they feel like, what you think about during the craving and how long it tends to last. By studying the craving, you begin to take away its control over you.

Once you build an understanding of the situation, you can list a set of thoughts or actions to distract from the gambling. Perhaps, deep breathing or calling a friend when a craving hits will be the best ways to postpone gambling.

5. Find Alternatives to Gambling
Avoiding triggers and distracting during cravings are great ways to deal with gambling, but to improve your state, you’ll need to find healthy alternatives to gambling. By replacing gambling behaviors with positive ones, you shift the focus away from the bad and towards the good.

Some gambling alternatives include:

Physical activity (e.g., going for walks, weightlifting, team sports or yoga)
Meditation
Spending more time with friends and family who do not gamble
Volunteering at a hospital or animal shelter
Exploring new hobbies
Traveling
Just think of the fun, beneficial alternatives you can explore with the extra money you have from not gambling.

6. Think About the Consequences
Shame and guilt are strong feelings for anyone in recovery from addiction. Shame and guilt can be dangerous because too much of them can encourage people to relapse, but some levels of shame and guilt can motivate you to stay in recovery.

Think about the consequences of your past gambling to avoid gambling in the future. Think about:

The emotional pain you caused your loved ones
The financial hardships you put your family in
Any lies you told to disguise your addiction from others
Try not to dwell on past behavior, and only use it for motivation to avoid gambling in the future. Too much shame or guilt can be counterproductive.

7. Seek Professional Help
If your gambling is severe, consider seeking professional help as soon as possible. Professional treatment from a mental health or addiction specialist could be the difference between a life of financial uncertainty versus living in financial stability.

Professional treatment methods can teach you ways to stay away from gambling as well as refining the skills you are already employing. With professional counselors and therapists widely available, the only thing holding you back is your reluctance. Even better, you can seek professional help while participating in a support group.

If your gambling addiction co-occurs alongside a substance use disorder, contact the experts at The Recovery Village®. One telephone call can change your life for the better. Don’t hesitate, call today for a confidential, personal assessment with one of our representatives.


Hazelden Thought for the Day 
05/21

Comments:

May 21st Hazelden Thought for the Day 

Our friends were not unearthly beautiful, Nor spoke with tongues of gold; our lovers blundered now and again when we most sought perfection . . . 

  —Adrienne Rich

So often our expectations exceed reality. We want more than we have; our homes, our loved ones, perhaps our jobs seem not to measure up. "If only. . ." we say to ourselves. The time has come to quit saying "if only" and be glad, instead, for what is.

We are recovering. We do have friends and family who care about us. We do have exactly what we need at this moment.

We each can make a contribution today for the good of someone else and thus for ourselves. And in the act of looking to this day--to giving something to another human being - we will sense the inner perfection we mistakenly long for in our outer selves.

I can look around me today and be thankful. I will tell someone close that I'm glad we share one another's world.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Reflection for the Day  
05/21

Comments:
MAY 21 Reflection for the Day

"The language of friendship is not words, but meanings,"wrote Thoreau. Life indeed takes on new meanings, as well as new meaning in the Gamblers Anonymous Program. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a Fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience not to be missed.

Can I recall my initial reactions when I came to Gamblers Anonymous? Do I believe that I've finally come home?

Today I Pray
As the GA Program has given life new meanings for me, may I pass along to others that same chance to re-evaluate their lives in the light of recovery, common purpose, friendships, and spiritual expansion. Praise God for my new vision of human life. Praise God for restoring for me the value and purpose of living.

Today I Will Remember
I value my life.
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