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www.mn.catholic.org.au Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Melodies & Madness
Last Thursday of each month
from 11am with Steve Gillespie,
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$15.50 pp includes 2 course lunch,
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with a link to the past
her credit card for additional funds without
her consent, which she quickly discovered.
Because I couldn't sleep I would sneak
out at night. I raided my wife's purse
for credit cards, forgetting that the next
statement would reveal my deception. I
would have all the money restored with
dividends and she would be grateful.
I intended to pay everybody back, honestly.
It was the single thought that dominated
my waking moments. My dream of a
lavish lifestyle shifted to helping everyone
around me to be debt-free.
I found myself in a deep depression that
saw me lose my job. It was the realisation
that my dream, and my investments, had
been flushed away. I was now condemned
to working a standard week for a wage. I
Lucy and I decided that I needed
professional advice. I began consulting
A doctor prescribed a new drug, a
powerful mood stabiliser that acts on
brain chemistry. It has strong side effects,
including severe weight gain.
I quickly gained almost 10 kilos, and soon
I was puffing and panting just putting on
shoes and socks. I was also reverting
more and more to old behaviours that
saw me get into all this trouble in the
A decision was made to take me off
all medication and just continue with
Dramatic changes happened,
I started losing weight, fast. Most
unexpected was a rapid clearing of my
negative thoughts and emotions. These
were fast being replaced with positive
thoughts of a future without gambling.
My thoughts had been focused
on wanting everything today...
debts paid off, a lavish future
and so on. But I was starting
to achieve a level of personal
understanding about an
My desperation to have everything
now was eroding and leaving behind
a rational understanding that these
things may or may not happen at all,
and if they do it will be the result of a
I had come full circle after having
attended my first GA meeting. They don't
gamble - today. There's no point thinking
about tomorrow. All we have is today.
When tomorrow becomes today, then we
make that vow, but never before!
There is a riddle: how do you eat an
elephant? One bite at a time!
I have adopted this approach to my daily
life. It makes so much sense that I'm
amazed that it has taken me until now to
Dreams are good...they provide hope for a
better future and this propels us forward.
But how can we move forward when we
are confronted with difficult choices and
confronting challenges? How can we
ensure that we choose the path that will
ultimately lead us in the right direction?
I left my last job because I felt out of
control and stressed to the eyeballs.
One day, I just pulled over to the side
of the road, turned off the engine and
started crying uncontrollably. I was angry,
frustrated, and ashamed.
I rang Lucy and confessed that I was
about to quit. Bless her, for she left her
responsibilities and drove nearly an
hour, just to be there.
Thinking back, this situation
was littered with moments
in which I could have chosen
With my newfound
understanding of taking things
moment-to-moment, I can see
this so clearly now. The art is in the
breaking down of the event into its tiniest
components, until you are literally in
What do I mean?
Think about the GA promise; not to
gamble today. It's a choice not to see
past today because this helps break down
something insurmountable into something
recognisable and achievable.
Take it further...
I can't ensure that a whole day
works out as I intend; sometimes life
throws a curveball. I have to adjust
constantly to this.
We all do.
That's why I don't just live for today -- I live
for this moment.
I can be confronted a thousand times a
day with a difficult choice but as long as I
realise that all I have is this choice in this
moment, it's as simple as it gets.
We've all heard the saying 'one step
at a time'. It's impossible to take more
than one step at a time, so why try? Why
emphasise getting through this week
when we only have this moment?
The trick is to string together a few good
moments, an effective shift at work, a
successful day, week, month, year.
Living like this has rekindled my
relationship with Lucy, and we are well
on the way to paying back my debt. It will
take years, but I can't think that far ahead.
bring in my wage so I can continue to
contribute to our future.
And I do this moment to moment.
Kyle is aware of the proposed legislative
changes regarding gambling. While he
understands the appeal of strategies
such as reducing maximum betting
sums and the removal of automatic teller
machines from near hotels and clubs, he
believes that they don't address the heart
of the problem. He agrees with Youth Off
The Streets founder Fr Chris Riley, who
says that counselling and education are
the keys to moving forward. "Education,
education, education - and support,"
Kyle says unequivocally. In his case, the
impact of various medications, and the
ease with which credit can be obtained,
are other areas of concern.
*Names have been changed at the
I do this
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