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What does recovery look like?

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    nomore 56

    Since I joined this board I just randomly threw out there what was on my mind. Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful replies once again. A lot of the responses I got suggest that I need to find a way for my own recovery. I am a bit lost when it comes to this issue. Over the last 9 years I attended several different GamAnon groups and in the beginning it was a life saver for me. I was surrounded by people who understood what I was going through, who didn’t judge me or declare me crazy, who didn’t tell me what to do but just listened. I went twice a week for a long time and tried out some other groups when my husband was released from prison and kept on relapsing, stealing, lying, etc. I learned about codependency, enabling, the dos and don’ts and got some helpful advice re how to protect my money. What made me different from the other members though was the fact that they still had some kind of a relationship with “their” gambler. They cared for the person in their life, loved him/her and clearly had emotional ties. I did not. The minute I found out that my husband had committed a crime, it was over for me. Not only had the years of worrying, his lying, stealing, scheming and whatnot completely worn me out but what he had done at the end was too much for me. He had been to treatment before and for me relapse is a conscious decision. He had the tools to work on it and didn’t. What came after that was solely determined by my financial dependence on him. He knew that and used it relentlessly as a weapon against me. All the people I got to know in my groups had some kind of a life. They had family, friends, a job, something to fall back on. “Their” gamblers had hit rock bottom and sought help before everything was lost. Some had to sell their houses or get a cheaper car but not a single one of them had their whole future destroyed. The gambling counselor I saw for a while told me that my own recovery would be spiritual and emotional. To heal wounds and to get better myself. To move on and forward and if I had to, to do it without my husband. Emotionally I am done with my husband and have been for a long time. We are friendly with one another because we are tied together by circumstances but that’s about it. I would call him a friend nowadays I guess. I understand that he is an addict (I don’t like the term CG because it is too clean and scientific for me, it is an addiction) and didn’t do what he did to purposely hurt us. I know that he feels remorse and he really tried whatever he could to make amends and to help me find the safety I so desperately crave. He has his recovery, he works the program and his needs and wants are different from mine. I accept all that. How do I recover from what cannot be undone? From the fact that the actions of his past impact me but not really him? He is content with what he has and how he lives. He has reconciled with his family and his older daughter. They all have dropped me and that is that. Since I was never really close to them it is o.k. with me. But there is nothing else. So I wonder what my recovery from these issue would look like? How would I possibly recover from my fear of the future which is not just in my head but is very real. From living a life that I don’t want? With no way out? I have thought about this for a long time and have no answer. The only thing that could have given me a sense of security and therefore some relief from my worries, the one chance to turn my life into something enjoyable is unreachable. So what is recovery really? I really don’t know.

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