An Outreach Meeting For Tomorrow!


Join me Tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST; 12:30 PM; Central 11:30 AM Mountain; 10:30 AM Pacific 9:30 Alaska; 5:30 PM England ETC..

I will be in The General discussion Group. The purpose is to discuss Setting up a way to help other Gamblers AND Their Support people find someone to talk with 24 hours a day and to bring hope to all!

RSVP via PM here or By email at if you will be attending the conversation or have ideas you would like to share even if you can’t attend. You are welcome even if you do not RSVP!!

Moving Into The Present With Memories Of The Past



Looking In The Mirror?


Renewing The Past


Digging A Hole

What happens when recovery is what you want and all you can think of is the past failures?

I’ve said it before but here goes:  I am Bernie and I AM a recovering compulsive gambler. My last bet was November 21, 2007.

Note I did not say I WAS or WILL BE but rather AM. It is because in moments of anxiety, pain or frustration my thoughts go back. Recovery is a situation of being in the present. That means that to use any other term is not recovery for me.

Knowing I am not gambling at this moment is what matters. The problem is that memories come out at times that are painful.

I was a Gambler. a Son, A Father, A Student……… Some things are part of who i am still today.  The problem is that those things that still describe me today are not the same as they were yesterday.

I (hope) to be a Grandfather, Retired, Healthy and many other things.. These are for the future.

What sometimes happens is that I get stuck in the past or discouraged about the future. The problems is I can’t change the past and the future is not here yet.

Fighting past battles with the addict in me does not good today but sometimes I do it anyway. Being angry at those who provided my addiction happens from time to time but it solves nothing. When the past come back to me in the present it only hurts me!

So while the past may haunt me from time to time I do my best not to put it on today. It is hard because the past ‘feels’ good for me.  Sometimes I like to ‘wallow’ but when I think of the pain It is not worth it.

The question is what am I doing today? Not How yesterday hurt me? If I ask how yesterday hurt me I can’t heal. Do you sometimes get stuck in yesterday while living today?

Freely Given??



I have been thinking about recovery a lot lately.  Specifically the idea of something for nothing.  As a Recovering Compulsive Gambler, I think of the ‘free stuff’ offered to the person who gambles. I also think of the recovery process.

Freely Given is not as free as we think in these environments.

‘Free Perks’ are given to keep you coming back.  If you have someone available who will help when you reach out that is good, however not always.

Here is what I mean by not always. I have had people I reached out to that were there for me but there was a ‘hidden’ cost. If a person is there for you when you reach out (knowing you have a problem) and they are willing to interact it is good… Unless the underlying motive is that they have a need that they can use you for. There are people who will be there but the hidden conditions are that you will always be there for them even when they don’t ask.

Here Is an example. The person is there for you when you call but often drives the interaction to an argument. THe argument can often be intense but almost always the other person gets you to take blame. They will make you feel obligated often either by telling you  or planting the idea that you are.

If you are in this kind of relationship they will help in good ways from time to time to look good but also because they want you to feel obliged.

Someone who is there for you and genuine will seldom wait for you to come to them but reach out when they see you having difficulty. You may know that they are having difficulties but for them the focus i on you.  If you bring up their situation they often defer and return the focus to what is going on with you . It does not mean that they wont voice their problems but if they are there for you it almost always goes back to that.  You can reach out to them and they can reach out to you “No strings attached”.

Remember that in recovery it is best to be cautious when relationships are being formed. Know that some are there for themselves and will use your recovery to get what they need rather than be mutual in the relationship.

Focus And Reverse



Have you ever been in a situation that made you want to back out? How about one where you were focused and you should have backed out?

Above is a spill way. It is in the middle of a dam that holds back water to create a lake. I once did something there that was dangerous. It is called Dam sliding.

I was focused on working up the side of the long run to get to the area where the water comes down the ‘spill’. At the top I worked out toward the middle, then relaxed and let the water pick me up. It would carry me all the way down that long run just like water skiing. At the bottom the water created very strong under currents which are bad for the ‘Dam Slider”.  Especially me, because i could not swim!

Recovery is like that in the beginning. We have been doing something dangerous and have no idea what recovery holds. All we see at the end is the undertow without hope. We fail to look for any of the good that comes in our recovery process.

The other thing to think about in the process is what we are doing. While we can’t change the past, we also can’t drive our lives forward when we are in reverse. So are you looking back and driving into the wall of the past or looking forward to have a future?

Hope For The Future!!!




If you are new to Recovery, Dealing with a person who is addicted or Someone who has been in Recovering for a while, This is your opportunity!!

THe Hope For The Future Program is new and FREE to all.

Here is how it works.

  1. has created several chat rooms for meetings.
  2. People who have a desire to practice step 12 are encouraged to create an account for the chat rooms and invite others to join you for a meeting there.
  3. If you are desiring recovery create an account and join a meeting as people create them.
  4. If you are someone looking for support as you deal with an addict Consider creating a meeting in the appropriate room.
  5.  If you need support like those in the above look to attend when they have it defined.

The Chat rooms are there use them to create “Hope For The Future”.  Let me know and I’ll work with you to get things going.

The Four Pillars Of Recovery



Sitting with yourself?


Joining In Today?


Nourishing ourselves with others?


Seeing the journey of others in ourselves?

Some times we forget that Recovery from addiction is not done a lone. Other times we forget that we can’t buy recovery. Yet often we forget the 4 pillars of Recovery. We may not even realize that they exist, but without them recovery is not real.

Watch the video link below and then read what those 4 pillars of Recovery are.

In recovery I have learned that there are four key pillars that we need to be successful. Consider what I suggest and comment below.  Here are those four:

  1. A Desire to remain ‘Clean’. This is a catalyst to begin the process and without it there is not real beginning. We can’t recover for someone else or it is not recovery but compliance.
  2. Focus on today.  If all we do is focus on what has happened we can’t see where we are walking. constantly beating ourselves up, denying that we can get better and focusing on pains from the past only serve to destroy our present and future.
  3. Tools and interaction. Tools are the meetings we go to. They build a support group and encouragement. Tools are also books, journals, medications and so many things we don’t always see at the time.
  4. Mentors. People who have been where we have. It is not always that they have the same addiction, path through the addiction or other major connection. It is simply that they have experienced the process and made it through the day without falling back into the old habits.

What happens if we lose any one of these?

If we have no desire to recover, what happens?

If we only focus on the past problems or the situation we are in because of those past choices and do not look for a change in ourselves… What happens?

Without tools or if we refuse to use those tools what happens? For example if we have a flat tire how far can we go?

If we know people who have experienced recovery and they are willing to walk with us but chose not to accept the support, What happens?

That said we all have access to what we need for recovery and if we only access one, two or three.. We may have some success but it becomes unsustainable.

What do you think? Can you describe how the four pillars affect your recovery?

Picking At The Wound Or Healing


Picture23     Picture12

I remember those early days of recovery. I continually looked at all the damage I caused in the past. It solved nothing and for a long time I felt like I was ‘Bleeding out’ with the pain, grief, anger, self loathing and every negative feeling I had.

Then I began to realize something. Every time I looked back I ‘fell down’.  I did not relapse however I still lived in the past.

What came to be for me was the need to hear what others had said. I needed to learn to live in today and ‘feed’ myself better mentally.

I encourage you to watch the video below before going forward. Here is a story you have probably heard before but it is very helpful to understand what I’m trying to relay.

The Tale Of Two Wolves

So here is what I am getting at. In recovery we need to be open to what those who have more ‘clean time’ in say. It does not mean that what they say is always right, but that it is valid to consider.  Being aware of our feelings is good but living in them is feeding the pain. Consider if you are feeding the ‘Addict’  or the ‘recovery’ within.

I have written books to be used as tools. I encourage you to use tools that you have at your disposal. ‘Tweak’ them to fit who you are in recovery. Remember that looking back at the past and ‘wallowing’ in it is picking at the scab and can make things worse. Be patient with yourself and others, while remembering that you need to be in the present to heal.