“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
Zora Neale Hurston
List the three most inspiring things that caused you to question your addictive behaviour.
Problem Gambling Support Group
Just to briefly touch on why these three things stand out as the most inspiring, if it wasn’t for the people in my P.G. Support Group and my G.A. Fellowship I would never have questioned my addictive behaviour. To meet people who have literally changed their lives for the better inspired me so much on my journey, especially early on, they gave me hope. My kids were an easy one because I look at them every day and they inspire me to want to be a better person for them and that all begins by questioning my addictive behaviour.
“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
This was something I really struggled with early in recovery because I didn’t know who I really was to be able to express myself authentically. What helped me was listening, actively listening to people so I could become more aware of what other people were dealing with. I was also able to become more confident at expressing my thoughts and opinions and that came through practice by sharing at meetings. Writing this blog also helped me. One thing I always said to myself was I didn’t want to become a recovery robot, I didn’t just want to digest a load of literature and regurgitate it word for word. That’s not who I wanted to become. I have my own way of speaking (for most to understand me they require subtitles). I swear a lot. I am who I am. One thing I am currently working on is to not overthink how people will react to what I say and I have gotten a lot better at that. I clearly need a filter because if I said what was in my head, well, probably best I don’t go there but I have started to realise what I say doesn’t really matter, what matters is the intention behind the words and inside I am a good person so my intentions need to be good for me to be authentic.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
Write a response to your addiction for this thought: “Why put so much energy into recovery?”
I was told at my first G.A. meeting that “if you put half as much effort into your recovery as you put into gambling, things would work out,” and they were right. I put all this energy in because it works for me. I am also aware I will never be cured so for me to put less energy in would be playing into your hands. You would begin to creep back up on me, your voice would become louder in my head. Recovery also gives me things that you promised me but never delivered; self respect, happiness, money, freedom, peace of mind among many other things. It also has given me a place where I belong which is something I truly believed I could only find through gambling. That’s not the case. My eyes have been opened.
“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
Write down all the critical thoughts you have about yourself. Let them out. Release them.
I deserve to suffer
I am a bad parent
I am pathetic
I am a bad writer
I do not deserve happiness
I am fat
I am not attractive
I am a bad person
I don’t have any friends
I am a bad sponsor
I am a bad sponsee (shut up Jeff)
I will never be successful
I am an asshole
“Human minds are more full of mysteries than any written book and more changeable than the cloud shapes in the air.”
Louisa May Alcott
List five things that don’t matter so much if you were going to die within two months.
My debt/lack of money
My lack of career progression
My car being old
My kids being annoying
“The kernel of all jealousy is lack of love.”
Do you have a recovery plan?
My recovery “plan” is quite straightforward. I will try to do the right things today. If I do that I won’t gamble. Then I will get up and do the same again tomorrow. Then the next day etc. If there is a meeting available and I do not have anything planned I will attend. I tend to work my recovery around my family life and commitments as best I can. I do step work, I work the steps with the two people I sponsor, I write this blog, I mean the list goes on but without trying to do the right thing each day my “plan” will fall apart.
Quotes and questions taken from “The 365 Addiction Recovery Journal: Daily Journaling With Guided Questions, To Become A New You” by 21 Exercises.