Continuing Recovery and Enjoying Life

STAGES 17 to 20
Some suggestions that may assist are set out below. Each process can take any real time - depending on any individual and situation. These being suggestions only - it is up to anyone to make their own choices at their own time and pace.
**Concerned individuals should always seek professional advice in their area when necessary. Try the links on the left to find possible available help.

17. Continue with support groups - whenever possible

Having confidence in recovery is a great thing. Having false confidence is something else. It would be easy to gain this false confidence after some time
in recovery. It is a tricky time when this happens. A person gets to feel as
though recovery has gone so far that it is OK to stop and move on as it was
when gambling socially. This feeling can happen after five weeks, five months
and even after five years. To avoid this situation, be alert by having confidence
in your recovery and in the results which develop on a daily basis. By taking on
life as it unfolds. This is a part of life for any person. Just like managing a business. Recovery becomes a business that needs to be managed for life to continue in a healthy way. Stop managing a business and it has a good chance
of failing. Manage it well and it has a good chance of being successful. That's
why attending a support group when possible is so important. It doesn't have to
be as often, but even an hour a week will help you manage and it may also help someone else. It also serves as a good reminder of where you stand.

18. Write or talk, but plan ahead with your future

At this stage you should have most strategies for recovery in place and working
for you, as long as you are working with them. As for the future, look forward
to it. It is never too late to start over and achieve a life that you envisage it to
be. Free of being reliant on an addictive behaviour and free of that internal imprisonment you went through during your gambling time. Free financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Maybe not fully free, but free enough to know your situation and where you're at. To stay in touch with your future,
you need to know yourself in the present and not linger on about your past whenever something reminds you of it. This is where writing down or talking
about your plans helps, if only to represent a hope that there is one. Things
have a way of working themselves out if a person believes hard enough. And believe you will, because once results of recovery start to show up, and stress
is being dealt with as it comes, you will gain confidence that you won't want to give up. Writing or talking is a great strategy of keeping tabs on reality of life.

19. Keep loved ones constantly involved with healing

Family and/or close friends will be your best support system apart from
recovery groups or the counsellor, so in order for recovery to continue well,
you will need to keep them involved in your progress. People close to you will
be going through their own recovery with this and will need as much support
from you as you need from them. Working together will help to bring some
healing for everyone involved. There will be usual rough times, especially from
the start of recovery and with trust issues, but everything eases up as time
goes by and as trust is slowly restored. It will primarily depend on your
resilience and your practiced ways to remain calm when situations like that
arise. Those times will come, only because you would need to earn that trust again. It's a good idea to learn ways to achieve assertiveness. It isn't useful for anyone to get passive or aggressive, because those moods tend to produce
each other and that creates stress. Being assertive builds an air of confidence
for you and assurance for all around you, as long as it's done in an honest way.

20. Move along with your new life - start to enjoy it

Time will come when all your hard work in recovery, the support you've got,
effort with finances, healing of emotions, being open and honest, giving assurances back to all around you and taking charge of your every day life will start to show results. Once everything is on track, it has to show results. But,
no matter of what changes recovery has brought you in your life and where
you stand with emotions, finances and relationships, the truth is that you may
not notice these changes unless you start to enjoy them. Some things may not
be turning out as you would expect them to, but there are changes
nevertheless. Some friendships may have failed along the way because of past gambling, but you would have found new ones. The main thing is that you are
on the right path and life is bound to get better by the day. You should be
your own architect now, not depending on an addiction. Use those past
memories to remind you that gambling is not the way and use the present to
get a feeling of success. The more you enjoy recovery, the easier it will get.

STAGES 1-4 ------- STAGES 5-8 ------- STAGES 9-12 ------- STAGES 13-16

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