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Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

Go to meetings and don’t gamble in between.

The title of this post is one of the many sayings we have in Gambler’s Anonymous.  I’ve been clinging to those quite a bit the last 5 months.  This post is long, so if you make it through the entire thing, you’re a rockstar.  I have no idea if it will make any sense.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted here.  That trip to the Bahamas was so cathartic for me.  It helped me make plans and get the courage to follow through on them.  A year later, I was home in Las Vegas and surrounded by my life long friends.

2016 and 2017 were kind of crappy years for me when it comes to grief and mourning.  Actually, I could say the 2nd half of 2015 forward to 2017 were sucky for me.  Catherine, Jill, my dog Josie, my dad, my GA friend Bill C, my GA friend Jan A, my longtime friend Jef, Beck and I got attacked by a dog two days before my mom died.  Beck needed two emergency surgeries (we had a GREAT vet down in Villa Rica, GA), October 1 happened here in Vegas.  So many tragedies.  I felt each one of them like a stab to my heart.

When mom died, my world just sort of imploded.  I had felt lost before, due to so many other losses, but her death destroyed me.  I was lost.  I had no idea who I was or how I would learn to breathe without my mom in the world with me.  I knew I needed to come home to Vegas and be around my people here.

The last two years I was living in New Albany and going to meetings in Louisville, I knew I was slipping away from the GA program while I was there.  I was going to one meeting per week, I was rarely talking to anyone else in the program outside of the meetings – yet, I was constantly chatting with my GA people here in Vegas.  I was isolating myself, I was shutting myself down emotionally and mentally.

I didn’t give a fuck about anything, really.  I was slowly heading towards placing another bet.  I was already practicing my disease without placing that bet.  Had I stayed there, I would have placed a bet.  I know it.  I feel it in my bones.  People think it odd that I came home to Las Vegas in order to avoid placing a bet.  I know it seems odd to a lot of people.  A lot of my friends were worried about me.  Oddly, I was not worried.  I knew this is where I could reconnect to my program and to my recovery.  I knew this was the one place I could be and not even think of gambling; the one place I knew I could connect to as many meetings as I wanted and/or needed.  There is gambling all around me in this town, yet, I have yet to have an urge to gamble.  Have I randomly thought of gambling?  Sure, it’s hard not to do that here in this town when I go to a convenience store and there are machines in there.  I love being back home because my recovery is growing again and I’m growing as a person again.

I had some good years in Kentucky, I was involved in the program, I was getting to know the people of the program there.  2012 and 2013 changed my attitude about a lot of things.  2014 is when I started to isolate and withdraw.  It was two years after I had gained a stalker. I made it clear I didn’t want to hang out with someone and suddenly, I had a Douchebag following me and making sure he showed his face in my presence every chance he got.  I was afraid for my safety… and my sanity.  New Albany was a quaint little town and I really felt safe in that house.  Until it got broken into twice, someone put raw meat in my trash can in the hot summer so I’d have to clean out the maggots, and the final straw was running into my stalker at the Kroger I did my grocery shopping at.   I loved that little house I was in while living in there, but honestly, I had to look at and compare my sanity there to how I knew my sanity would recover if I moved home.   I love my recovery and I knew I had to do something drastic to keep it because it was slipping away.  I was dreaming of gambling almost every night and the next morning, I’d even feel like I had gambled.  The only reason I knew I had not was because, in my dream, I was at the Suncoast Casino (the place I placed my last bet on July 29, 2001).

Moving home, on one hand, was the easiest decision I have ever made.  While on the other, it was very difficult and it was not easy for me to decide to do this.  It was a huge step and I made the decision to do it less than a year after mom had died.  So, I waited.  I made myself wait until the one year anniversary and reevaluated my decision, I went on that cruise, I came home to visit and my BFF and I spent a few days in Carlsbad, CA.  I pretty much gave everyone 9 months notice that I was leaving.  I started talking about doing it (to everyone, not just my closest people), I let my landlord know, I let my employer know, and I started job hunting in February of 2018.  I figured if I found a job sooner, I’d leave sooner.  Otherwise, I was planning to leave at the end of September 2018.

I know there are some people who are still mad at me for leaving.  And while I don’t like that they’re mad, I knew I had to make this decision for me.  I had to do something for me.  My life was falling apart around my ears and I was so unhappy, I could hardly stand it.  I don’t like to burn bridges, but I may have burned one or two.  I’m not happy about that, but I know there’s nothing I can do about it at this point. My doctor and I talked about it every month when I’d go in for my med refills.  She helped me so much through that period of time, I don’t even have the words to express that appreciation I feel for her.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve faced a lot of challenges and hardships.  Things have NOT gone the way I planned them on paper (in writing in Word).  NOTHING has gone the way I planned it; financially, emotionally, employment-wise, nothing.  And after the initial stress over the fact nothing was going the way I planned, I started to just go with the flow.  The jobs I hoped for, fell through.  The jobs I never thought about, I got interviews for.  And then, on January 5, I applied for a payroll administrator job on a whim.  Two days later, I got a phone call and scheduled a telephonic interview that ended with an invitation for an in-person interview.  A few days after the in-person interview, I got an invitation for a second in-person interview.  Less than two hours after that second interview, I got a job offer.  I started that job on January 28.  From application to the first day on the job took 23 days.  THAT tells me I’m in the right job and God was driving that boat.

And now, I’m saving up to pay off some Indiana state taxes and saving up some money for deposits for my own place.  My BFF and her family have let me stay here and they have been absolutely amazing by taking me and my little doggies in.  Beck has had a horrible time adjusting and he’s not very nice to people who are not me and her.  He barks at all the men in the house.  He barks and chases after people who come to visit.  He’s just not been very friendly.  I had hoped the longer we were here, the better he would get.  While he has gotten better, for sure, I do need to chase after him when people come to visit.

I am so grateful I am home and I’m setting in.  I’m grateful for people like my BFF and her family who took me in when they did not have to.  I’m grateful for the job I have because I love it.  At first, I was nervous because it’s in the auto dealership world and I have not ever NOT worked full time in public safety since I was 23 years old.  Going from public safety to the private sector has been a trip, but I’m happy to be making that transition.  I work with some amazing people and I love my team I get to work with every day.

With all this being said, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.  Be true to yourself and keep your side of the street clean and things will eventually start falling into place for you.  And when I say “you” I’m really talking about myself.  I have found when I am true to myself, honest with how I’m feeling, and I keep my side of the street clean, things fall into place for me quicker than if I fight for things.

Thanks for letting me share…

My mom…

Four months ago today, I lost my mom.  While it wasn’t “sudden,” it was very quick.  She hadn’t been feeling well since November and finally got an answer to what was going on in May.  On May 10, we found out she had stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to several places in her body, including her brain and spine.  On June 3, she was gone.  I feel shell shocked still and the loss has been crushing for me.  I push through each day, trying to pretend that I’m okay.  But I’m not.  Here’s my story:

When mom got out of the hospital, I rushed down there for an extended weekend in May.  I was there around May 12, just a few days after she got out of the hospital from coughing up blood.  This is when we found out she had lung cancer.  While I was there that weekend, we had a home health nurse come out and we found out a little more extensively what was going on and where the cancer had spread.  We found out she had lesions in her brain.  Home health nurse called hospice, who came out as well.  We found out even more of the extent of her cancer.  It was horrifying.

I came home to go back to work and to take care of my babies, planning to go back down in a few weeks.  I originally planned to go back down the weekend of June 9.  However, the Tuesday before she passed, my brother text me and said he felt I should come down sooner, he had a weird feeling about things.  I figured things out and I found someone to watch my dogs and I left on June 1, Thursday.  I made it down there around 2:30 in the afternoon.  Mom was bedridden by then and barely conscious.  She recognized me and we said, “I love you,” a few times.  I held her hand for a few moments before going out to the living room to chat with my brother and sister in law.

That evening, something happened that I never thought would occur.  As I was walking Beck in the driveway, the neighbor dog came over and attacked us.  She ripped Beck right out of my arms.  He was in my arms because I realized the dog was near us and I didn’t know how they would get along, so I picked him up.  She came over, circling us and then got faster than me and snagged him right out of my arms.  She started flipping him around like a little rag doll.  Did you know dogs scream?  I didn’t either until then.  The owner finally came over and was able to get her off of Beck.  In the process, I got bit, but I don’t know if she bit me or Beck bit me.  I had jumped in and was punching the dog’s head, trying to get her to let him go.  Somewhere in there, I got bit.  My brother and I rushed Beck to the emergency vet and they shaved him up and cleaned his wounds.  They wanted way too much money to keep him over night.  The next morning, we took him to the vet my mom used for Chloe.  Doc Win was amazing.  Beck had emergency surgery that day.  I spent more time in the vet office than I did with my mom those few days that followed.  It was traumatizing and I’m still having nightmares and dealing with the emotional and physical kick back of that.

Mom passed on June 3, Saturday.  In a way, I feel like I did not get there in time to spend more time with her before she left us.  I know I did, logically.  Emotionally, though, I feel like I didn’t.  I feel robbed of time with her, too.  The time I could have been spending with her, I ended up having to worry about my munchkin and getting him healed up and well again.  I don’t resent him at all.  I’m angry at the dog who attacked us.  I’m angry she stole time away from me that I could have been spending with my mom.  I know this may not sound logical to some people and it’s probably not that logical.  But it’s how I feel and if I’ve learned anything over the course of being in Gambler’s Anonymous for 16 years, is that I’m allowed to feel how I feel.

In the process of grieving for my mom, I started going to a Grief Share class that has helped me a lot deal with a lot of things.  It’s helped me start working through my grief for Todd, my dad, and my mom.  It’s also helped me start working through the emotions I feel over the dog attack too.

Until next time…


After coming home on April 4th from spending 3.5 weeks helping my stepmom with my father’s end of life care, my house was burglarized on the 7th.  They got in through one of the windows of the garage and then into the house.  Thankfully, they didn’t hurt my dogs from what I can see.  They did, however, feed them raw bacon to keep them distracted.  They took some electronics, costume jewelry, and Yankees memorabilia.  All replaceable.

I would be lying if I said I was okay.  I put on this public perception that I’m okay and I’m pushing through and I’m fighting it.  That’s my public persona.  In private, I’m a mess.  I am afraid of every little sound.  I’m sleeping with lights on and a bat next to my bed.  I’m obsessively checking the locks on the doors and windows.

drakeThis quote is something I keep telling myself.  I am unstoppable.  I got this.  I can do this.  But in all honesty, I’m afraid to be here alone anymore.  I am on edge and jump at every little sound.  I need to get back into both jobs this week and I’m not looking forward to it.  It worries me.  I’m anxious.  I’m not sleeping well.  I’m not eating well.

I’ve rearranged the house where they ransacked it.  Just by looking at it, you wouldn’t be able to tell that anyone was in here and that anything is missing.  I’m looking forward to getting a new laptop (about another week) so I can do my regular and main stress relief – play World of Warcraft.  No one understands the release it gives me (well, maybe another gamer would) and how relaxing it really is for me.

Until next time….I will keep moving forward and I will keep breathing and I think it’s stupid that we have to “remember to breathe” when going through anxiety attacks.

Being proactive.

After my last post, I started reaching out.  I’ve contacted my work EAP and have my first counseling/therapy session on Monday after work.  The therapist answered her own phone and I got a great vibe from her after just a 1o minute conversation, I’m actually looking forward to it.  I’ve also started a 9 week program online through the same EAP for my anxiety.  It’s a Cognitive Behavior Therapy thing and I think it’ll really help.

I’ve rejoined a gym.  I did cancel my membership at Crossfit the Ville per my doctor’s orders and I’ve gone back to the chain gym type.  I joined Planet Fitness for $10 a month.  I have 24/7 unlimited access to the equipment.  Their cardio area is to die for as far as I’m concerned.  They have treadmills (I can’t use those – too high impact); ellipticals, Arc machines and rowing machines.  The rowing machines and Arc machines will be my best friends when I go.  I tried the Arc machine and loved it, so I can see myself using that quite often.   If I were to upgrade to the $19.95 a month membership, I’d have unlimited tanning each month (once a day) and unlimited use of their hydro-massage tables.

Did you know that working out is the least used anti-depressant there is and in order to save my feet, I had to go with the lower impact stuff.  I’m looking forward to getting back at it as much as my feet will let me without trying to push myself to the brink of death, as I did with Crossfit.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Crossfit.  I mean, insanely love Crossfit.  I’m hoping I can work my way back to the Crossfit box once my doctor and I get my feet under control.

I also got a new dog.  This was a spur of the moment decision and I ended up getting him for free.  A friend had to re-home her 5 year old Havanese because he got aggressive with their son.  She posted on Facebook about it and I told her that if Zeevah got along with him, I’d take great care of him and spoil him rotten.  I took her over there Tuesday evening after work so they could have a “play date” and they got along very well.  I can’t blame her for doing it, but I know how heartbroken she was.  So I’ve added a new four legged friend to my routine and I just adore him.  He is so stinking cute, I can hardly stand it most days.  The girls are getting along with him very well.  Zeevah has a new play mate and Josie loves it because now Zeevah doesn’t aggravate her as much as she used too.  It was a good decision and he’s turning into a great addition to the family.

So while I’m working through this depression and anxiety, I’m finding myself not having to force as much as I was.  For months, I was forcing myself to act “normal.”  I was forcing myself to pretend everything was okay and nothing was wrong with me, all the while isolating myself, not doing things that I enjoyed (except play WoW and shop).  Now that I’m done pretending and I’m taking proactive steps to fix it and recover, I’m feeling slightly better.  The road to recovery will be ongoing and possible a lifetime of work.  And I’m okay with that.

Here is my Motley Crew now (from left: Josie, 15 year old Yorkie; Zeevah, not quite 2 year old black lab/GSD mix; and Beck, 5 year old pure bred Havanese)

My motley crew

How do you deal with it?

Thousands of people have been diagnosed with – and some have not been diagnosed, but suffer from – depression.  Whether it’s mild or major, the depression lives within a lot of us.  There is a project going around, called “The Semi-Colon Project.”  This project is about tattooing a semi colon.  You can find out more here .  The author of that blog post puts into words things I have never been able to say out loud to anyone.  Except one or two people in my life.

A semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going.

There’s been a rush to get semi-colon tattoos somewhere that you can see everyday.  It brings awareness to depression and I think it will be a really good thing.  Also in this blog post, the author says, “You cannot spot depression because you become depression.”  And it rings very true for me.  My doctor recently told me that he felt my health issues I was having was my depression and insomnia playing tricks on me.  I poo-poo’d that idea right out the window because I ALWAYS recognize my depression.  Right.  I see how well that has gone for me lately.  So when I re-posted the blog post, I also posted this; “This project intrigues me. On many different levels and taking a little nudge from the author of this blog post; I am depression and I’m an educated, successful, independent woman. I am depression and I am a college student who made the Dean’s List with straight A’s last semester. I am depression and I have successfully worked in public safety as support personnel for the majority of my adult life. I am depression and I am not ashamed to tell you that.”

Several weeks ago, I posted about an old friend who died suddenly of acute liver failure.  We had not been friends for a long time, but I thought of her often and missed her friendship.  She passed before I could tell her I missed her.  I struggled with guilt for a while and then I think I settled into a depression that I haven’t quite gotten out of yet.  I feel like crap all the time and when I sit and analyze it (as I am prone to do), I realize a lot of (actually most of) it started right after she passed and I went to Indy for her funeral (which was beautiful by the way).  I have felt an overwhelming sadness ever since then I haven’t been able to shake it.  While I’ve moved forward and continue living, I find myself wanting to do nothing but sleep.  I have had several anxiety attacks (as a matter of fact, I am in the middle of one right now waiting for the Ativan to kick in) and instead of posting on Facebook that I’m feeling this way, I post it here.  I’ll probably post this link onto FB later, but for now, this is where I need to talk about it.

We got a new EAP again this fiscal year as of July 1, so I’m trying to register on their website so I can utilize some of their services (they are free), and I somehow locked my account out.  *sigh*  This just set me deeper into that funk. So I emailed their webmaster and I’m awaiting a response from them on how to unlock the thing.

In the meantime, I think about things going on and I have to say I am blessed.  I have a good job (even though I get frustrated and overwhelmed a lot), I have a beautiful roof over my head (I love this house even after 10 months), I have the love of an amazing family and amazing framily.  My GA family, my blood family, my work family.  I have a TON of people who care about me.   So, it’s time for me to come clean.  I’m struggling with my depression, which seems to make me struggle with my physical health too and the two together are nothing but shit sandwiches back to back.

And to help me feel even worse, some Douchebag decided to put some raw meat in my trash can outside so I spent an hour or more on Saturday bleaching the shit out of my trash can and killing thousands of little white maggots that made my skin crawl.

So while I wait for my account to get unlocked with my EAP, I thank you for letting me share and for being there for me as usual.

Until next time…


Guilt, regret, peace, forgiveness, hope

Yesterday marked a week since my old friend passed away.  In that seven days, I experienced a myriad of emotions that left me exhausted and extremely sad.  The first thing I felt was guilt/regret.  Guilt that I never reached out to mend those fences, regret that I would never get a chance to do so in this lifetime, face to face, physically.  I let the guilt and regret consume me for several days, including the day of her funeral in Indy.  I felt devastated that I would not get the chance to tell her to her face that I love her, forgive her, and hoped she felt the same.  Fear of rejection is a horrific thing to feel and we really need to learn to work through all of that.

I’ve been in recovery for more than a decade and while I’ve struggled every now and then, one thing I’ve always done is work the steps.  I live by those steps in all things I do.  And I forgot Step 9.  I forgot to work Step 9 and I feel guilt over that.  However, forgiving myself is something I must do; otherwise I will be miserable and it will eat me up for years to come.  Step 9 says “Made amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Whether that amend is positively received or not, the amend must be made to give myself inner peace and forgiveness.

I get this daily email with a reading in it, about recovery and my disease.  It gives me guidance and ideas on how to deal with whatever it is I’m feeling.  Yesterday’s seemed to be fitting since it had been a week since she passed:

June 16 Reflection for the Day
The Ninth Step of the Gamblers Anonymous Program is: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
To make restitution for the wrongs we’ve done can be extremely difficult,to say the least;if nothing else,it deflates our egos and batters our pride.Yet that in itself is a reward, and such restitution can bring still greater rewards. When we go to a person and say we’re sorry,the reaction is almost invariably positive. Courage is required,to be sure,but the results more than justify the action.

Have I done my best to make all the restitution possible?

Today I Pray
May I count on my Higher Power to stop me if I start to crawl out from under my Ninth Step responsibility.May I feel that blessed,liberating wash of relief that goes with saying,out loud,to someone I have harmed,”I was wrong.I made mistakes.I am honestly sorry.”May I not worry about cracking that brittle,cover-up crust of my ego,because the inside will be ?more mature.
Today I Will Remember
Restitution is blessed.
When I read this email yesterday, I immediately felt a sense of peace and forgiveness towards myself that I had not experience since before finding out she had died.  I’d like to think it was her “sign” to me that all was forgiven and all was okay with us.  I’m sad I’ll never get to see her smile again or physically give her a hug.  But I am at peace, knowing that I have made my amends to her now and that she will be watching over all of us, guiding us to better grammar and smarter choices.
Until we meet again, my old friend, RIP.

Never forget…

If you watch Game of Thrones, you’ll know who Tyrion Lannister is.  He says something in the first season that I just love and it has stuck with me since I read the book and watched the TV show.  He says “Never forget what you are.  The rest of the world will not.  Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.”

The entire scene between Tyrion and Jon Snow was amazing to me because there were two outcasts, sitting together.

The “meat” of the scene is here:

Tyrion: Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.
Jon: What the hell do you know about being a bastard?
Tyrion: All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes.

I just love that.  “Wear it like armor.”

What do you wear like armor?

Here are a few things I will never forget:

  • I am a compulsive gambler.  I cannot gamble normally.  I cannot try to win things on the radio, I cannot enter raffles or play the lottery.
  • I used to do dishonest and not so nice things to ensure I could keep gambling.
  • I was not a very moral person.
  • I am in recovery.  I am a better person today than I was 14 years ago when I was gambling.
  • I am courageous and brave.
  • I am a woman of integrity.
  • I am honest and forthcoming.
  • I have a great sense of humor.
  • I’m a hard worker and am very conscientious in my work.
  • I am growing and go through an evolution pretty often.
  • I like change.  It keeps me on my toes and keeps me active and aware of what’s going on around me.
  • I am a college student with hopes and dreams of my future.

I’ve had my past thrown in my face and used against me in order to hurt me.  And it worked.  Until I didn’t let it, until I started wearing it like armor.  No one can hurt me with that information unless I let them.  I refuse to let them anymore.  My past is exactly that, my past and I don’t live there anymore.  It helped mold and develop who I am today.  I’m grateful for my past, as it shows me where I don’t want to return or don’t want to repeat.

Until next time….

The face of a compulsive gambler.

Do you know what a compulsive gambler looks like?  Do you know what an alcoholic or drug addict looks like?  With some drug addicts, you can tell by their teeth or the marks on their arms.  With some alcoholics, you can tell by the rosy red nose and veins that are prominent on their nose and around their cheeks, or with a “beer” belly protruding out from their front.  For a compulsive gambler, their are no physical symptoms.  There are no physical attributes to show that we are, indeed, addicts.

Drinking, drugging, gambling, shopping, over-eating, sexing.  Addictions.  Several of these addictions have no physical manifestation to show the world.  It doesn’t make the addict less of an addict.  It doesn’t make the person less of a person because their addiction is not to a chemical dependency.  My addiction can kill me just like an alcoholics’ addiction can.  It may take longer, but it can.

I went to an annual conference this weekend in Lexington, KY.  It was all about the steps.  Every workshop was step work related and how it makes us feel or think.  While I was there, I ran into an old friend from Vegas and thought I had died and gone to heaven.  It was absolutely the BEST gift I could have been given this weekend.

This friend and I were having a conversation about the “face” of compulsive gambling.  We don’t really have one.  There are a few of us who are out and open about our addictions and recovery.  There are a few of us who can say that our entire network of family, friends and co-workers know that we are recovering.  While I don’t go out of my way to talk about my recovery, I do not shy away from it either and if it somehow comes around to it and I feel comfortable with the people/person, I will discuss it.

Compulsive/problem/pathological gambling is out there and the more attention brought to this addiction, the better.  If by me talking about my addiction and recovery to one person helps them realize they or someone they know, needs help?  I’ve done my duty for the day.  Sharing the experience, strength and hope is just one of many things I love about my recovery.  I put hope in italics because that’s the key word in this sentence.  There is hope.  People do not have to fight this addiction alone, but without the hope of getting better and quitting gambling, people will not reach out.

As I went through the weekend at the conference, I realized there are not enough people who even consider compulsive gambling as a real addiction.  There are still shameful and guilt-ridden thoughts and actions associated with it.  I’m not ashamed.  I’m not guilt-ridden anymore.  I am a recovery compulsive gambler and I’m proud of that.

When I moved from Vegas to Kentucky, I was in awe (read: shocked) that compulsive gambling was still treated like such a horrific, shameful thing.  It’s very common to know many compulsive gamblers and not even know it.  It could be your co-worker, it could be your boss.  It could even be you.  Just know that there is hope.  Hope for a better way of life, hope for healing, hope for happiness.

If there was one thing I could say about this weekend, I would repeat what I told a friend earlier when he said it sounded like I had a great weekend….”It was fantastic.  I loved it. I love everything about my recovery and those conferences remind me how far I’ve come and how much better I am today.”

Until next time…

I am your disease….

Having no money leaves my days wide open to read, clean, watch TV, listen to music, etc.  I’ve spent the day reading the 2nd book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings.  I can’t wait for season two of this show on HBO in the spring.

I’ve washed every sheet and towel I own.  I washed every piece of clothing that was out in the open in my bedroom.   I’ve vacuumed, dusted and rearranged the bedroom furniture (majority of which was done last night before bed).

I’ve read a lot of GA and addiction literature, as well.  I found this one that I want to share with you.  There is no author listed, but I found it in GA.

I’m Your Disease

I hate meetings.

I hate a Higher Power.

I hate anyone who has a program.

To all who come in contact with me, I wish you suffering and I wish you death.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am the disease of addiction.  CUNNING, BAFFLING and POWERFUL, that’s me.

I have killed millions and I am pleased with myself.

I love to catch you with the element of surprise.  I love pretending I am your friend and lover.  I have given you comfort, have I not?  Wasn’t I there when you were lonely?  When you wanted to die, didn’t you call me?  I was there.

I love to make you hurt.  I love to make you cry.  Better yet, I love to make you so numb you can neither hurt or cry.  When you can’t feel anything at all, this is true glory.

I will give you instant gratification and all I ask of you is long term suffering.  I’ve been there for you always.  When things were going right in your life, you invited me.  You said you didn’t deserve these good things, and I was the ONLY ONE who would agree with you.  Together, we were able to DESTROY ALL THINGS GOOD in your life.

People don’t take me seriously.  They take strokes seriously, heart attacks seriously, even diabetes they take seriously.  Fools that they are, they don’t know that without my help, many of these things would not be made possible.

I am such a hated disease, and yet I do not come uninvited.

YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE ME.  So many have chosen me over reality and peace.

More than you hate me, I hate all of you who have a Twelve Step Program.  Your program, your meetings, your Higher Power, all weaken me and I can’t function in the manner I am accustomed to.

Now I must lie here quietly.  You don’t see me, but I am growing bigger than ever.  When you only exist, I may live.  When you live, I only exist.  But I am here…and until we meet again, if we meet again, I WISH YOU SUFFERING AND DEATH.

How powerful that is.  My disease sits inside of me, waiting for me to have a weak moment.  Waiting for me to feel sorry for myself.  It sits and watches every move I make, every thought I have.  It looks for that loop hole that will cause me to go back into my addictive behavior.  I stopped drinking on July 16th, 2011.  I stopped gambling July 30, 2001.  I have the disease of addiction.  Not only am I an addict, but I am the adult child of an alcoholic – an active one.  I have no room for error when it comes to my recovery.

I need to stay diligent and aware of my own behavior and actions.  I cannot become complacent with my recovery again.  Ever.

It’s only through the Grace of God I am here today.  It is only through the gifts I’m given that I live and survive.  I have problems, I have a lot of problems.  Some of my problems are of my own doing and consequences of actions I’ve taken before.  Some of them are not within my control and I had to adjust and adapt to those problems.  I may have a shit ton of problems that I have no idea how I’m going to fix, but I don’t have to gamble OR drink because of those problems.

Until next time…

There but for the Grace of God go I

As I sit here this morning writing this post, I think of all the things going on in my life and how truly blessed I’ve been, even in those struggles.

The situation in Vegas is coming to a close (legally) and I’ll have some more stuff I need to take care of and pay for, but it’s finally winding down to the point I can move forward with things and get shit done.  I’m sure I’ll stress over the finances of it all, since that is my weakest link in my life right now, but at least I’ll be moving forward instead of sitting in one spot – the unknown.

I’ve learned a great lesson in my trials and tribulations of the last 6 months.  Things about myself and things about other people.  I’ve been blessed with many good friends who support me emotionally and encourage me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I’m blessed with family who encourage me and let me vent and let me know they are praying for me.  I cling to those people, as I’ve also been blessed in seeing the true character of some people in my life and it makes me feel blessed to know I don’t have to own their behavior. 

I’ve grown and I’ve digressed.  I’ve moved forward and I’ve moved backward (all emotionally speaking, of course).  I’ve also found my way to some new discovery of self.  While I sometimes don’t like what I see in the mirror of self awareness, I will always be grateful for it.

God’s grace is unearned.  While, as a Christian, I believe we all deserve it, I also believe it is unearned and when God graces me, I feel truly blessed.

I was recently talking to The Trainer after my workout and we were discussing me going to a concert and he said to me “don’t drink and drive!” I laughed out loud and said “I don’t drink anymore, so it’s not a problem.”  Ten minutes later, I was chewing on that statement and trying to remember the last time I drank any kind of alcohol.  It was in February, Lexington to be exact.  After THAT weekend, I think I know why I haven’t been drinking at all.  lol

So I chewed on the statement I made some more and I realized I have no desire to drink.  None.  I have a bottle of wine in my fridge that I received for Christmas – never opened.  I have a six pack of beer in the fridge that has been there since before I went to Vegas – never opened.  I don’t even know that I’d want to do a shot of tequila (and anyone who knows me KNOWS that is shocking! Hahah)

As this new evolution of self starts and winds it’s way through my life, I can’t help but to be grateful that I’m on another one and that I am blessed to be here.

I’m taking my car in to be repaired Friday.  It’s going to be expensive (not as expensive as I originally thought though!) and I’m not looking forward to being out of that money.  But it’s going to be fixed, it won’t make the noises anymore.  I work with some pretty awesome people cause one of them said he’d pick em up from the shop and take me back to the office.  He also said he’d take me back down there when it was done, or if it wasn’t done that day, he’d take me home. 

Thanks for letting me share.