Getting Past Gambling

A place to come and share experiences, to find support and strength, for those of us who are putting gambling behind us and finding new exciting and happier ways to live our lives.
" You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing."
*Dale Carnegie {1888-1955 American Author & Achievement Expert}


Saturday, March 20, 2010

24/7 Online Help/Support/Counselling available-Australia

http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/

Sometimes thinking about a gambling issue is hard. Making a decision on what to do next can be as difficult as knowing when to walk away. Our counsellors know about gambling.

'Talk' to someone online now about your decision to change, or even if you are just thinking about your options.

If you want more time to think about your question, you can use the email service. Even if you want to do it by yourself, we can provide support, someone to run ideas past or strategies for sticking to your goals.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

ENOUGH!



A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes
you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh,what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive,how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard
the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power
and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love.... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your
terms... just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely...

You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time... FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get
what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your
window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God (whatever you believe him/her to be) by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

-- AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Saturday, October 17, 2009

20 Life Improving Principles

1. Don’t be a sheep. Baaah. Oh yes, the enormity of conformity; it permeates every corner of our society. Sometimes in our desperation to fit in, to belong and to avoid rocking the boat, we lose us. If you’re part of a group (organisation, company, church, team, gang, club) that discourages independent thought, freedom of expression or a contrary opinion, start running and don’t look back. Think for yourself. Learn your own truth. Be your own person.

2. Make the hard decisions. Some of us have spent years perfecting the skill (yep, it’s a skill) of not making the decisions we should. You know what I mean. And by the way, by not making a decision, you are making a decision. :)

3. Be a treasure hunter; consciously find (and appreciate) the good in your world. If you’re determined to find (and focus on) the negative, you will. And many people do. For me, the misery mindset has never been a particularly attractive option.

4. Choose your attitude every morning. It’s kind of liberating and empowering to know that a good or bad day is completely in our control and that while the happenings in our world might influence us, they don’t need to determine us.

5. Be proactive, not reactive. A person who spends their life being reactive not proactive is always playing catch up, is rarely happy or fulfilled and will never maximise their potential. Wouldn’t you prefer to be the Captain of your ship rather than the deck hand?

6. Seek to be wealthy, not rich. The kind of wealth I’m talking about here is all encompassing and may or may not have anything to do with money. That depends on you. People who are emotionally, socially, mentally, physically and spiritually wealthy have a distinct advantage over their counterparts whose entire life focus has been about building a bank balance and accumulating assets. And yes, it’s possible to be wealthy and rich; they need not be mutually exclusive.

7. Don’t hang out with toxic people. Spend enough time with toxic people and pretty soon you’ll be one. Their crappy attitude, pessimism, self-pity, negative language and their ability to ‘find the bad’ is contagious. If swine flue is your only alternative, take it; it’s less harmful.

8. Don’t let your past become your future. Unless you want it to, of course. If you want to create different results, do different things. If you want to step out of your own version of Groundhog Day, then stop hoping things will work out and start doing what you need to. It really ain’t that complex.

9. Strive for improvement not perfection. Perfection is a myth and a very destructive pursuit. It doesn’t exist – not in human form anyway – yet strangely, we are obsessed with it.

10. Don’t become your parents. By all means love them, appreciate them, respect them and learn from them but please don’t be them. It’s kinda creepy. And sad.

11. Under-promise and over-deliver. A great principle for business and for life in general; unlike many people who talk the talk and then deliver donuts. Zippo. Nada.

12. Don’t eat what you don’t need. Crazy concept I know. Imagine if we actually gave our body what it needed rather than giving it what our mind wants. What obesity epidemic?

13. Don’t rely on Motivation. Like all emotional states, motivation is temporary. It comes and goes. Kind of like flatulence. The person who only does what he should be doing when he is ‘motivated’ will never succeed over the long term because when the (feeling of) motivation subsides (and it always does) so too will the (change) behaviours. This is the time when our ‘non-negotiable’ behaviours should come into play – the ones that keep us doing what we need to, even when we don’t feel like it.

14. Do what scares you. Control your fear or it will control you. Within reason of course. I’m not suggesting that you run in front of a truck any time soon, but I am suggesting that you stop always choosing the easy, comfortable, convenient and safe (but ultimately unfulfilling and unrewarding) path. What scares us teaches us.

15. Stop looking for approval and permission. You’re big now; you don’t need it. :)

16. Don’t give away your personal power. You’ve done that for long enough.

17. Deal with problems quickly. Minor challenges become monumental problems (in our mind) if we wait long enough.

18. Learn to control your internal environment. Being as we do most of our ‘living’ in our head, it’s in our interest to make it a nice place to inhabit.

19. Ask the right questions. You know those questions; the ones that put you in a productive, positive, creative and solution-focused head space.

20. Be adaptable. Easier said than done but definitely something we need to develop. Living in a dynamic world along side unpredictable people in an ever-changing environment and situation means that adaptability is a prerequisite for the would-be success story.

So which of the above principles resonate for you? Feel free to add your own number 21…. 22, 23…



http://www.craigharper.com.au/self-improvement/twenty-life-improving-principles/


Friday, August 22, 2008

ENOUGH

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK.
(They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh,what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive,how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard
the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love.... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms... just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely...

You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.
More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time... FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful
and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God (whatever you believe him/her to be) by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

-- AUTHOR UNKNOWN
(But dearly appreciated)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WISDOM OF THE ROOMS

"Recovery is the only place where you can walk into a room full of strangers and reminisce."

When I began going to meetings, I remember how uncomfortable it was being around so many people that I didn't know. As soon as they found out I was new, many of them came up to me and gave me their phone numbers, asked me how I was doing, and wanted to know all kinds of things I that didn't want to tell them. It was all pretty overwhelming.

As I sat and listened to people's shares, I was pretty sure I didn't belong because I hadn't done half the stuff I was hearing. That's when my sponsor told me I hadn't done them 'yet'. He asked me if I identified with the other half, and I admitted I could. He suggested I looked for the ways I was the same, rather than the ways I was different.

It's amazing how that little piece of advice has changed my life. Now, no matter what part of the world I'm in, I can always find a part of myself in the strangers I meet in the rooms of recovery. Even if I don't know you personally, I know I can identify with many of your experiences and with the way you feel and think.

This is what allows strangers like us to start reminiscing the first time we ever meet.

Visit: http://www.theWisdomoftheRooms.com

DAILY REFLECTIONS

AUGUST 10 Reflection for the Day
We've been our own worst enemies most of our lives, and we've often injured ourselves seriously as a result of a "justified" resentment over a slight wrong. Doubtless there are many causes for resentment in the world, most of them providing "justification." But we can never begin to settle all the world's grievances or even arrange things so as to please everybody. If we've been treated unjustly by others or simply by life itself, we can avoid compounding the difficulty by completely forgiving the persons involved and abandoning the destructive habit of reviewing our hurts and humiliations.

Can I believe that yesterday's hurt is today's understanding, rewoven into tomorrow's love?

Today I Pray
Whether I am unjustly treated or just think I am, may I try not to be a resentful person, stewing over past injuries. Once I have identified the root emotion behind my resentment, may I be big enough to forgive the person involved and wise enough to forget the whole thing.

Today I Will Remember
Not all injustice can be fixed.


AUGUST 11 Reflection for the Day
When I dwell on piddling things that annoy me--and they sprout resentments that grow bigger and bigger like weeds--I forget how I could be stretching my world and broadening my outlook. For me, that's an ideal way to shrink troubles down to their real size. When somebody or something is causing me trouble, I should try to see the incident in relation to the rest of my life--especially the part that's good and for which I should be grateful.

Am I willing to waste my life worrying about trifles that drain my spiritual energy?

Today I Will Remember
Microscopic irritations can ruin my vision.


AUGUST 9 Reflection for the Day

On numerous occasions, I've found that there's a strong connection between my fears and my resentments. If I secretly fear that I'm inadequate, for example, I'll tend to resent deeply anybody whose actions or words expose my imagined inadequacy. But it's usually too painful to admit that my own fears and doubts about myself are the cause of my resentments. It's a lot easier to pin the blame on somone else's "bad behavior" or "selfish motives"--and use that as the justification for my resentments.


Do I realize that by resenting someone, I allow that person to live rent-free in my head?

Today I Will Remember
As I build myself up, I tear down my resentments.

AUGUST 8 Reflection for the Day
As a recovering compulsive gambler, I have to remind myself that no amount of social acceptance of resentments will take the poison out of them. In a way, the problem of resentments is very much like the gambling problem. A poker game or casino is never safe for me. I've attended benefits for worthy causes, often in a convivial atmosphere that makes gambling seem almost harmless.

Just as I politely but adamantly decline gambling under any conditions, will I also refuse to accept resentments?

Today I Pray

When anger, hurt, fear, or guilt--to be socially acceptable--put on their polite, party manners, dress up as resentments, and come in the side door, may I not hobnob with them. These emotions, disguised as they are, can be as full of trickery as gambling itself.

Today I Will Remember

Keep an eye on the side door.


AUGUST 7 Reflection for the Day

What can we do about our resentments? Experience has shown that the best thing to do is to write them down, listing people, institutions, or principles that are objects of our anger or resentment. When I write down my resentments and then ask myself why I'm resentful, I've discovered that in most cases my self-esteem, my finances, my ambitions, or my personal relationships have been hurt or threatened.

Will I ever learn that the worst thing about my resentments is my endless rehearsal of my acts of retribution?

Today I Will Remember
Resentments cause violence: resentments cause illness in nonviolent people.

AUGUST 6 Reflection for the Day
Sometimes through bitter experience and painful lessons, we learn in our fellowship with others in Gamblers Anonymous that resentment is our number one enemy. It destroys more of us than anything else. From resentment stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we've been not only mentally and physically ill, but spiritually ill as well. As we recover and as our spiritual illness is remedied, we become well physically and mentally.


Am I aware that few things are more bitter than to feel bitter? Do I see that my venom is more poisonous to me than to my victim?

Today I Will Remember
Resentments are rubbish; haul them away.