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Two wonderful things today

I was honored, once again, by NYC Watchdog. Remembering to stop and smell the roses as I speed through life is sometimes difficult and just not happening. Dawg reminds me to do this. Thanks, Dawg :)
You Are The Beary Best

Not only did I get THAT awesome award above, but today is my seven year anniversary without making a bet! WHEEEEE

Hi, my name is Sodapop and I’m a compulsive gambler. It’s only through the Grace of God I’m here today. I’m very grateful to be here. My last bet was July 29, 2001.

Those words are spoken (minus the Sodapop and plus my real name) at every meeting I go to that I share in. Every meeting, I introduce myself as a compulsive gambler. This way? I never, ever forget where I came from.

I walked into my first GA meeting on Monday, July 30, 2001. I have not had to go back out there and “test” the waters to see how bad it still is for me. I have not had to relapse. I’m eligible to do this. I’m as close to my next bet as the newest member of GA when they make their first meeting. I just choose NOT to gamble today.

Seven years without sitting at a poker machine. Seven years without playing any kind of raffle or buying a lottery ticket. I have not participated in radio contests. I have not entered myself into any type of sweepstakes.

Seven years ago today, I felt like my world was crashing around me. I was tired. I was tired of being sick and tired. I was despondent. I did not know what I was going to do. All I knew was that I needed to quit gambling. I needed to stop doing what I was doing, expecting different results.

It was a Monday night 7 years ago. My aunt on my dad’s side walked me into my first GA meeting. I walked into that meeting with one expectation; I would never have to gamble again.

And then I learned I didn’t have to think of it as in “forever” or “never.” I didn’t have to think to myself “I will never gamble again.” I just had to think of it in terms of “I do not have to gamble today.”

I was an escape gambler. I would gamble to escape loneliness. I would gamble to escape real emotional connection with other people. I would gamble if I was happy, sad, depressed, in between. I would just gamble to escape. I started going almost everyday near the end there. I didn’t want to live life on life’s terms. I did not want to deal with the emotions I had raging inside of me.

Today, it’s a different story. Today, I’m a different person. I’m constantly growing and learning. There seems to be an evolution of Sodapop every six months or so. And the end result always seems to be better than before.

I have a tradition that I have upheld the last seven years. Today is my date of abstinence, we are having a celebration meeting (I get to get my grub on!) on Friday, however, I’ll be making a meeting tonight. Whether I’m recognizing on a different day or not, I ALWAYS make a meeting on my abstinence date.

I will keep reminding myself this is NOT a graduation (as I remind myself every year) and I will keep growing. As long as I remain teachable, there is no limit on how I will grow and heal.

Thanks for letting me share.

12 Responses to “Two wonderful things today”

  • Smiley says:

    That’s wonderful! I hope I can say that about smoking 5.5 years from now. I try to adopt the same “one day at a time” attitude.
    Congratulations on your recovery!

  • Fantastagirl says:

    That is an amazing anniversary! Congratulations for making the decision every day, you should be very proud how far you have come!

  • Mel says:

    FANTASTIC GIRL!

    WAY TO GO! I am very very proud of you!

  • Laci says:

    Happy GA birthday! :) I’m so proud of you… and proud to call you one of my very best friends… and I’m honored you want me to share in your celebration Friday.

    You deserve it. :)

  • Miss Britt says:

    Congratulations, Soda.

    This was so powerful and amazing to read. I’m thrilled for you and in awe.

  • Jen says:

    I am so proud of you!!!! You are an awesome person and I hope to meet you some day.

  • i am so terribly proud of you. giving up anything is not easy and you have done it. yay you!! congrats on making it through yesterday. and today. here’s to tomorrow!

    (i always knew you were phenomenal, but making such a huge change and keeping it up for seven years just totally blew me away all over again. you rock!)

  • Good for you, hon. We all need to recognize that growing is a constant in life, not something that stops when we become adults.

    Beautiful post.

  • Divalicious says:

    Congratulations! I’m proud of you. <3

  • Sodapop says:

    Smiley thank you :) Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be able to stay smoke free. Congrats on how long you’ve made it so far!

    Fantastagirl I feel really blessed with how far I’ve come, as well as proud of myself. It has definitely not been easy.

    Mel Thank you! :)

    Laci Thanks hon :) I’m blessed to have you in my life as my friend. I could not see celebrating this day with my bitches. I wish Lucy and Monique could be here as well. but I’ll have you by my side and that’s good for me :)

    Miss Britt Awww thank you :) *hugs*

    Jen Thanks! I would LOVE to meet you one day too!

    hello WOW! Thank you :)

    Tense Teacher Thanks hon! *hugs*

    Divalicious thank you! *hugs* <3

  • justagirl says:

    Happy 7th. I really love your colors.

  • Mr. Fabulous says:

    7 years…that is AWESOME! Congrats!