Wednesday, December 31, 2008

another year

last year at this time I decided to stop smoking.

I did great.

for a while....until something stressed me out.

then I stopped again.

until the next crisis came along.

stop start stop start stop start's excuses...those painful or stressful events are just 'excuses' for me to do what I want to do..."I am hurting so I need it" or deserve it or whatever.

same thing I did with regards to gambling.
addiction is addiction is addiction.

I am currently smoking.
I know I need to stop.
and I know I WON'T stop until I REALLY decide that I'm done.
and I'm not sure that I AM done just yet.
but....I'll never stop trying to stop.

Have a Happy New Year

Friday, December 26, 2008

"I Bet."

It's something that many people say, without even thinking...not even MEANING that they want to "bet".

"I'll bet that hurt!"
"You betcha!"

Many compulsive gamblers in recovery try to stay away from this type of language.

I do.

and what does that do for me?

I mean...if I accidentally say "I bet...." just as a manner of speaking, does it harm me in any way?
Of course not.

and I sometimes say it without even realizing I have.

but...attempting NOT to....just reinforces on an ONGOING basis...where this compulsive gambling has taken me.

it keeps me AWARE.

I've come up with 'substitute' phrases....instead of saying 'I bet' I will say 'I'm sure' or 'I imagine'.

Not saying 'I bet' is just one more of those little things that I can do...that might help me to become who I want to be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I started seeing a therapist in 2002, right after the sh*t hit the fan at my house.

I haven't seen her continuously since then...but it sure does help me when things aren't going smoothly....

this family counselling is a whole different deal.

when I go to my individual's all about me...what's going on with me....working through my feelings.

the family thing has been amazing.

we've had four sessions.

the first couple were difficult....a lot of anger from everyone.

but AFTERWARDS....things at home were much better.
The counsellor had suggested that each of us identify something that we could work on that would improve things...and each of us did.....and we did those things....

for about two days :)

then we all went back to being angry and difficult to get along with.

during those visits...we all said things that we've said before...the difference is...we were actually LISTENING to one another.

that's hard to do when you're hurting.

and we're all hurting.

but when we're's 'moderated'....we each get a turn....and we listen.

the kids hate it.

they keep saying 'we don't need to go there'

but this week my oldest said 'I do think it's helping us, but I still hate to come here' :)

so the third week we went....we were all VERY angry......and the possibility of us fixing things between us seemed unlikely....
I mentioned that after the two previous visits we DID get along much better, even if only for a short time.

so the counsellor recommended that THIS week....we should all commit work on OUR 'thing' regardless of whether or not anyone else did.

boy did that make a difference.

we had the best week last week.

so our counselling session wasn't nearly as painful.....
and the difference in 'us' the following day wasn't obvious.

the events that brought us here have caused me pain that is still too fresh for me to say that I'm 'thankful' for them....
but some of the changes that have taken place because of those events are good ones.

already I can see 'purpose' in all of it.

and I know
that someday
when the pain is not so fresh...
and we have moved on to other things...
and all of this is a distant memory...

We'll all be able to say that it was 'good' that it all happened...

and while that knowledge does comfort me doesn't make it all go away.

and that's OK.

I'll just keep on doing the tasks that are immediately before me.
and live this day.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A time to every purpose

I'm suffering.
Everything seems so difficult right now.

There have been times when I've been weary with the mundaneness of day to day life.....and there have been times when it has seemed that I have been blessed with such good fortune......and other times, still, where grief and tragedy seemed to overwhelm me......and then....times like these....where my problems are not disastrous or earth shattering...but I feel bombarded with disappointment and frustrations.

It's sometimes difficult to trust that this, too, shall pass....even though....everything that I've ever experienced has.....
maybe....what is difficult is the uncertainty....of what will be...after this has passed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;

A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;

A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;

A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
From The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Attributed to King Solomon

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm OK

I've gotten a lot of emails lately...people worried about me.

Yeah...things have been rough.

and I'm stressed out and I'm tired and I worry and sometimes cry...
but that's ok.

cuz i'm going through difficult times right now.....

I am also continually evaluating my options.

what must i accept?
What can I change?

then I start working on those things.

Anyway...I haven't been writing so much here...and just wanted everyone to know that I *AM* ok...

I've been very very busy...
and I just haven't had anything to say :)

Thank you for your concern,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Regret about the Past

Over and over we hear that we must put the past behind us, live one day at a time...focus on the moment.

that was a difficult thing for me to do.

I was pondering this one life....past, present and future....and I envisioned it as a time line....starting when I was born......the point where I am now....and the line continues off, to an unknown future.

On this imaginary line in my mind there are branches.

When I was born, at the very start of that line....every branch was an available option.....if I followed that path...I could have a different life.

One's grades in school can eliminate some branches....make those options unavailable.

One's behavior...getting into trouble....getting married....having children...taking any of THOSE paths can eliminate other options.

So I've got this line....and see how all of the options that I've taken have led me right to this moment.

The thing is

That line....continues off into an unknown future.

we sometimes feel like...whatever things are like at this moment is how things will always be
but they won't
things will change
they always do
our external circumstances will change...that will offer new branches...and perhaps eliminate others...
our own actions could alter what options are available to us as well.

it isn't over.
we have that path...that led us to here....and regardless of what that path was...and where we are now....we must look the branches that are still available to us....and begin, today, to make choices based on the options that we have now.

we can't go back
we can spend precious time now....wishing we could go back.....passing up todays opportunities in the meantime.

there is still living to be done....

what do i wish to do with the rest of my (time) line?

What can I do TODAY to enhance my life?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Helping others can help us.

I can't imagine the state I'd be in right now if it weren't for 'recovery'.

I'm not the master of serenity by any means.

Far from it.

But for someone who has always made mountains out of mole hills...
now....being faced with mountains...well...I'm handling them much better than I have handled mole hills in the past.

I'm doing ok....

you know?

I have a friend who is having some problems with her son at the an email she wrote me last night...she said "and they haven't even contacted me yet...I guess by now they know that I'm a deadbeat mom".

my heart broke for her....because of course, she isn't.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what is it that I'm REALLY upset about....yeah....lots of it is valid...but....part of my being upset is about what other people think.

i know that it isn't important....but that isn't really helpful in ridding myself of it.
not yet anyway.

but i wrote to our children are separate from us....we bore them, we help them to become who they are...but we are not them....and we cannot take responsibility for what they do...
why do we feel shame for what some OTHER human being does?

anyway...i went on and on....and I made MYSELF feel a whole lot better in the process.

I think I needed to hear some of what I had to say.

This is helpful in 'our' little corner of the world too.....compulsive gamblers, I mean.

No way I could write you an email....all about not gambling...then go out and gamble myself.

so....when I state a case to YOU...I'm also reinforcing it for myself.

a few months ago, when I wanted to gamble, the friend that helped me through that day was still in the cycle.

but isn't any more.

i think that day...talking me through MY stuff....made an impact in THIER thinking.

so I guess what I'm learning is...when I'm in pain...or I need help....I need to find a way to look outside of myself.....and help someone else.

By helping others, I really do help myself.

Go figure....all of those 'sayings' that I've heard all my life.....I am finally beginning to see the truth in them.