Sunday, March 1, 2009

Knowing what's OK for ME

that wasn't something I could do for a long time.

cuz I didn't think so good for a while.

so...early on....I paid a lot of attention to what other people told me to do...people who were DOING what *I* wanted to DO....people who had broken free.

things like 'Don't test or tempt yourself'...don't go in or near gambling establishments.....'Don't associate with people who gamble'....'Don't gamble for ANYTHING'.

those things helped me a lot.

Well...even from the beginning I had to 'tweak' it to fit MY life.
'Don't associate with people who gamble' for instance...

my whole FAMILY gambles.
my best friend has been my best friend since we were three years old.....
sorry...I'm not gonna walk away from these people.

But I did have to learn what was OK for me....and how to take care of myself...for instance...

For a long time I couldn't even KNOW that any of these people were headed to the would drive me crazy....I wanted to be there too.

I learned to say "I don't wanna hear about that."

Everyone who loves me knows that I have a gambling if I say "I really don't wanna hear about that" they understand that it is some sort of problem for has nothing to do with THEM.

Three different people told me they won money over Mardi Gras (and I later learned that another friend won too....but was careful not to mention it to me).

There was a time when it would've bothered which case I would simply have said "I don't wanna hear about this" or even (for the woman who had no idea I am cg) "I don't gamble any more. So what else have you done since you've been in town?"

* * * *

Then yesterday my husband and I met my brother and sister in law at a restaurant.
When we got there, my sister in law was killing time at the video poker machines.
I walked over to her...gave her a kiss on the cheek...a quick hello...then I turned and walked away "I'll see you when you're finished...I can't be right here."

I didn't have the desire to play.
I just don't wanna be there...with it 'in my face'.


A few months ago my husband and I were at a dinner party.
The dinner party was being held by my future next door neighbors....along with a few couples from the neighborhood.
We had a great time....visiting....getting to know everyone....a wonderful dinner....then afterward...the hostess excused herself and came back with a stack of dollar bills....she asked one of the gentlemen for $6...then the next...then the next...and they all did as she asked.

Then she handed out the 'rules of the game' Left Right Center -to each of us.

My husband whispered to me "Are you ok with this?"

My mind was racing.
I wasn't really sure WHAT to do.

I knew that I wasn't in any sort of 'danger'.....playing this game was not an indulgence of my addiction.
I have taken the 'ga stand' that a line has to be drawn somewhere....and my line has always been NO GAMBLING AT ALL...EVER.....
this game would violate ga's rule which states:

GAMBLING , for the compulsive gambler is defined as follows : Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether for money or not, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or 'skill' constitutes gambling.

So my mind is racing....none of these people know me.
They don't know that I am c.g.

Of course, this would be the perfect time to share this bit of information.

But there was a bigger picture here...

It was obvious that a lot of preparation had gone into planning this evening....including playing this game...... printing the rules for each of us....getting that stack of $1 bills for the purpose of providing change....she was excited and trying to make sure we all had a great time.

So I could just blurt it out...that I don't gamble and don't wanna play.
This will embarrass the hostess....and would probably begin a debate as to whether or not this game was actually wasn't like playing poker after all....this was just a silly game.
If I decided not to play...there would be no husband and I were sort of the 'guests of honor'...everyone was there to meet us....

I am hashing through all of this..... knowing that....while it violated my own personal rule.... it did not put me in any danger....and
after all.....wasn't all of this 'recovery' about being able to live my life?
and if I knew that I was not in any sort of danger....why was there even a question about what to do?

I told my husband that it was OK.

But I hated was a fun game....everyone was laughing and talking...I just wanted it to end.
and it did.

and the rest of the night was good.

on the way home I told my husband that I needed to tell the hostess (and my future next door neighbor) that I am cg....and the sooner the better.

She and I have gone to lunch twice since then...but both times she invited other people that I didn't know and the opportunity did not present itself.

Two weeks ago there is another dinner party.
Same group.

We eat.
We are sitting around talking.
The hostess excuses herself and quietly gestures for me to join her.
I did.

We walk into the hallway where she whispers "I'd really like to play a game now, but not if it would cause you and your husband to leave. Would it be ok with you?"

I was sort of floored.
Did she know?
How could she know?

It turns out...she DIDN'T know that I am cg.....until I said it...which I did right then....
I told her that I love to play games but I have a gambling problem so I didn't want to play anything that involved money.

she said she had no idea that I was cg.....only that....she could tell by the look on my face how much I did NOT enjoy playing the game last time.

We went to the closet and selected the board game Taboo together.

* * * *

I was bothered by that episode for a few weeks.

I discussed it with a few people....close friends in therapist....

what about my date?.....

what about discussing it on the blog? if I justify 'crossing that line' here....would that cause other people to justify it for themselves...perhaps putting them in danger?

it was a big deal....and I'm not through talking about it here :)

bottom line is..... I am very aware of what is and what is not OK for me and THAT is a line that I will not cross.

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