Managing a Healthy and Balanced Life

STAGES 13 to 16
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.

13. Maintain honesty as hard as you can - it's important

To manage a healthy and balanced recovery and therefore a change in life for
the better, honesty will be an integral key. Now that the truth is out with the family, support groups, the counsellor and perhaps even some friends, it needs
to be maintained. Remembering that it is those secrets and lies that made the addiction unruly, it is now the truth that will keep the recovery moving along. Someone once said that it is better to live the truth even if it is inglorious in
stages but which will mostly get respected, than to live a lie that could only be overwhelming or lonely inside but which will mostly get disrespected. Lies and secrets have a way of getting cluttered up with each other and any person
would have a hard time keeping up with all of them, confusing even themselves. This can only bring stress, fear, withdrawal and even depression which puts pressure on you, everyone around you and recovery itself. Now that the hard
part is over and the truth is out, try to keep it that way. It frees the person
out of that internal prison which kept this addiction a hard thing to deal with.

14. Learn ways to achieve calmness within yourself

Another way to keep a balanced life is to learn different ways to achieve
calmness when needed. Some people are mild by nature and find it easier than others to calm down when necessary, but going through an addiction can undo even the most tranquil. Problem gambling is a silent addiction and at times
cannot even be visible. People hide it within. This constant hiding will
eventually take its toll. Short tempers, arguments, not wanting to do chores,
being less happy, are just some symptoms. Now in recovery, this is something
that needs to be addressed. In most cases, just being in recovery and having
been able to tell the truth, moving forward in life with less and less stress, will bring the person back to some tranquility. For many though, it helps to learn
some other ways to find serenity within their own life. Like yoga, tai chi, deep breathing techniques, soft music, prayers or meditation. Some of many ways
you can introduce to your life to bring a little calmness when you need it. It
helps in dealing with stressful situations and with diverting urges as well.

15. Avoid temptations and assumptions - stick with facts

While in recovery there will be many temptations to go back gambling or to assume some things that may not be there. You would have heard by now from
the recovery meetings or from a counsellor that going back to gamble, even in
a social way is probably not a good idea. It is common knowledge that it would
be very difficult to go back gambling socially and than to stay in that frame of mind in the future time. Even with the toughest of minds, social gambling will
only stay social until something difficult in life happens, and the patterns of addicted gambling could start to re-appear again. It would take a very vigilant person to stop a lapse happening. It is therefore better not to go alone into
places where gambling is available. There could also be assumptions going
through your mind. This is just a part of recovery. Thinking of what could
others be thinking, avoiding conversations with some people because they may have heard about your gambling, etc. Stick with facts and don't allow fear to
rule your life anymore. Dealing with situations here and now is important.

16. Keep affirming your determination for recovery

There will be times when you will question yourself and whether all you're
doing in recovery is worth it. Times when some arguments break out, bills keep coming and you still feel pressure about money owing, something doesn't go
well at work, etc. This is all normal. One thing to remember at this stage of recovery is that these things happen to just about everyone everyday. Whether they're in recovery or not. It only feels this way because you are feeling the pressure more than others. But, if you've gone through some ideas in previous stages, you would have learned to step back a little, take time to relax,
unwind, talk to someone about it and move on. The important thing is to know where you stand and which way you are facing, that people will think, act and react in their way regardless, that it will take time for things to get where they were before gambling started, and that you have made strides, big strides. Even
if it doesn't seem that way. Keep affirming to yourself that recovery is very
worth the change in life for the better and be determined to stay on track.

STAGES 1-4 ------- STAGES 5-8 ------- STAGES 9-12 ------- STAGES 17-20

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