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Abstaining or Recovery ???
Hello All,

My name is Iain and I am a compulsive gambler. No gambling to report since my last meeting!!
I thought I would share my story with all. Please take what you need from it and, as always ,any advice or support is always welcomed.

My gambling started from an early age, £xx bandits on holiday in the amusements moved onto to cards and pitch and toss at school.  I was naturally bright at school and managed to get by with little effort.  probably could have done better but managed to get enough grades to go to university.  I never had a problem when I was young it was only getting progressively worse.

When I went to university I found the machines in the pubs and spent most of my time in the student union either drinking or playing the machine.  I also enjoyed a game of poker and kept gambling without putting the effort into my studies.  I changed course a number of times, racked up a bit of debt but that was due to being at uni, not the gambling surely.  I was concerned but not ready to admit I had a problem.

Managed to leave uni with a bit of paper (just) and headed down south for my first job. A fresh start.. well another fresh start at the gambling, nothing changed my gambling followed me and got more into the machines and a lifestyle I couldn't afford..  racked up MORE debt.  I managed to get a transfer back to my folks and moved back home.  My folks cleared some of my debt and things were not too bad for a while.  enjoyed a bet on the football but didn't play the machines as much.     Even went back to uni and got my head down and got a postgrad degree.  
(But if nothing changes, nothing changes!!)

Moved away from home for a second time thinking fresh start.. but by this time online poker and them fobts were about and my illness got progressively worse (just another fresh start at the gambling).  Finally admitted I had a problem and attended GA.  My folks bailed me out (again) and I went to a meeting.  To be honest, I didn't read the books,  didn't keep in contact with other members.   just gave my bank card to ma dad and got some gambling blocking software.  This was 2008.  but I only went to a few meetings over the holidays, and I hadn't gambled for a while. I was cured. it was too much of a hassle to go to meetings from where I live..  3 hours on a train to sit in a room with folk I have nothing in common with.  I could do this on my own, besides. I hadn't gambled in a while so I took my cards back. tried to do it my own way.  My gambling blocking software ran out.  Tried a small bet (my period of abstiaining had come to an end and before long I was right back in the deep of it)

2011 was my hardest year,  thinking where can I get money from? I had to pay back him or get some to gamble with.. my wages always went in days and spent the rest of the month wondering how to get through without having to tell my folks.  I always said to them everything was fine..  lied.  My phone got cut off (problems with BT) but lied again.. the excuses I use to come up with (nuts, i even believed them sometimes),  missed rent a few times.. told some whopper to my landlord.. one of my mates tried to help,  she pawned some jewellery and I got enough to cover my rent... gambled it !!  Why ?? .  I didn't care about anyone or anything.. it was where can I get some more ammo to gamble.

My last bet was 10/12/11 just before christmas.  My mum got in contact asking if everything was allright.  I couldn't lie anymore  I had put my last pennies on a football accumulator thinking if it came up my problems would be solved.  The dream world of the compulsive gambler.  I told her I was gambling again. I had too.  no money, in arrears with council tax, rent, loans etc...  no food in the house, no friends and no GA.   My folks came down but when they helped, they DIDN'T bail me out and I am thankful today for that. I have to be accountable for my actions.  They helped me open letters that I was hiding, the helped me get in contact with my loans/arrears/overdrafts/credit cards to arrange to pay back what I could afford.  I am still in debt but can accept that and now slowly getting out of it

I thought 3hrs on a train one way to a meeting was too much and I hear excuses alot about not being able to make meetings.  I could put bet on when I had no money so I can obviously make the effort to get to a meeting!! no excuses I have used them all up!!   I went back to meetings and its the BEST thing I have ever done.   I have made an effort at recovery,  I try to listen more. I'll be honest and I don't always take everything on board but I know now these people in meetings are just like me.  trying to recover from one of the most baffling, insidious, compulsive addiciton.  I read the books and take on board advice and try to learn from others about the programme. I heard a phrase at that first meeting I went back to. "Do the right things and the right things will happen!"

My mobile phone now is full of GA members and I make an effort to keep in touch..I read the books still.. I use the online chat a lot and the online meeting in between the real ones I make.. being isolated in scotland can make it hard to get to meetings on a regular basis. but NOT impossible.. I make about one or two a month.. a few more during the holidays.  I have also read this forum alot and thought I would share my story with you.  

Life is better in recovery and I am thankful to be part of this fellowship.  Honesty has re-entered my life. I no longer say everything is fine when its not.. I talk about my problems nad no longer stick my head in the sand.  I enjoy reading everyones posting and replys here so thank you all for sharing your thoughts, wisdom and your own experience too..

Meetings make it,  Enjoy recovery
Your friend, in unity
Iain xx
Last bet 1st Sept.  one or two meetings month isn't enough.  a meeting every seven days makes one weak.   Back in GA again after failing to put in diligent effort, but happy to be back in GA.

One every other second Saturday is what I can manage at the mo.. but I will keep this thread open as my new journal..

what is recovery Huh  ??

Twelve steps..


Hi Iain,

It's been a while since you posted, are you OK?

In Unity

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Recoveringlad does come on the chat often Simmo

Thanks for thinking about him and others

Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

Thanks for letting me know Smartie, I guess this highlights that I'm not on the chatroom very often myself.

In Unity

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Enjoyed chatting today Simmo.. Shows me I am on the chat room too much Wink

An Update.. joined AA.. too and been sober since my last meeting..

One amendment: Second post should read continuous diligent effort..

Let go and Let God xx
over a yr..  had a small recognition at one of the few face to face meetings I get to..  still in GA and AA.. uping meetings and getting more meetings in.. meetings make it.. but know I have to work on the recovery programme more and thinking of asking for a  sponsor..

 Lad, Compulsive gambler, no gambling to report.

I really enjoyed reading your posts, they are a excellent read.

Good luck if you decide to get a sponser, I have only just got a sponsor myself, and it's still very early days with my 12 steps journey, but I am confident I made the right decision.

It would be great if you could keep posting and sharing on your recovery and progress.

In Unity
My name is Martin, I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was 29.9.2017. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Hello All,

Abstaining only on its own means to me that I have stopped causing myself and other pains.

The recovery program is about healing and becoming healthy in so many ways.

The addiction and obsessions only indicated that I was emotionally vulnerable.

By abstaining and exchanging unhealthy habits in to healthy habits and become more motivated in healthy ways brings about healthy changes in me, less lies, less fears, less anger, and so on.

The money did not mean any thing to me, it had no value, I had no value.

Moving from repeating pathetic victim stories being angry at money lost I would move to give therapies abut today and my relationships with my self and with other people. 

In AA they have a reference to being a dry drunk, being that a person has not healed has not changed and has just stopped drinking, the inner child  healing process change has not taken place.

To be healthily emotionally disconnected from all feelings towards addictions and obsessions takes time.

From day in my recovery fear reduces, writing down things I was accountable to myself, handing over my finances was a mature adult thing to do.

How selfish I am willing to be about my recovery today.

Love and peace to every one 

Dave L

AKA Dave of Beckenham

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