Not much to say today other than the fact that it has officially been over two months since my last bet. This is without a doubt my longest “clean” streak in years. Some days are still a struggle and I’m sure that’s not going to go away any time soon, but I’m ok with that as long as I can keep getting better at recognizing the urges for what they are. Couple things that have really been helping:All In: The Addicted Gamblers Podcast. This is a great podcast that deals with gambling addiction from a bunch of different angles. The co-hosts are honest and open about their own struggles and do a great job of finding guest speakers who can either add their own stories to the mix or provide help and resources through the various service agencies and/or commissions that they represent. I would highly recommend it.2)My $100 list. I went to the bank when I was about two weeks into the process of trying to quit. I took out $100 and made myself keep track of exactly where that money went over the course of the next week or so. It ended up covering a fair amount of stuff that I needed (gas, groceries, dog food) as well as a few things that I wanted (new sunglasses, a decent bottle of wine, a few impulse purchases, etc.). I am still trying to retrain my brain to understand that money is a lot more valuable when I don’t look at it as gambling capital, and making the list really helped me to gain some perspective as to how much a single hand at the blackjack table is actually worth. I keep the list in my wallet for when I need a reminder or a kick in the ass.3) This thread. I don’t post out here too often, maybe only once or twice a week or so, but this forum has been amazing. It helps me organize my thoughts and allows me to keep a living record of this journey. If I ever really feel like going to gamble, I go back and re-read the first post that I made. It’s dark. I never want to feel like that again, so every once in a while I’ll refer back to it to make myself realize that however annoying the urge to go hit the casino might be, anything that I’m feeling now is a million times better than the way I was feeling then. I’ve also met some really amazing people through this group and their support has been truly mind-blowing.4) Keeping busy. I learned how to knit. I’m spending a lot of time hiking in the snow with my dog. I bought some crappy art supplies and am learning how to paint. I’m spending more time with my family. I’m trying to teach myself how to cook (not going too well yet 😬). I enjoy most of this stuff, anyway, so it’s nice to be getting back into the things that I used to do before I started using all of my free time to gamble, but I also find that having lots of potential distractions at the ready is really helpful.What works for you guys? What doesn’t work? Let me know! I’m open to any suggestions! Cheers!
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