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The Journey Begins
Strength to Stop

Your story is a absolute inspiration to me, and reading through you journey in the different stages was a great idea. My family and friends say I have changed for the better, more pleasant and more sociable to be around theses days.

I read about the "Downward escalator", what a brilliant saying, and that is what would happen to me if I make that first bet again, that's the one I put all my energy and effort into not having theses day's, anything more than that it will be out of my control.

I will watch eagerly for new post's on here from the rest of your journey, we have both been bet free roughly the same time, and my Achilles heal was the slots, especially online ones.

Your share's will help a lot of people, there are seeds of wisdom within them.

All the best
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 everyone,

First off, a massive apology for my lack of visits to the forum, and my lack of posting.
There's no excuse, work has been busy, and lots has been going on at home, but it's no excuse for lack of activity.

So where am I now?

This week, I passed the 18 months mark. It's kinda crept up on me all of a sudden, as it seems like only 5 minutes I was joyful to have gotten to the 1 year barrier, for which I'm the proud recipient of a GA Coin/Badge.

So, what made me return to the forum???

I've pondering my last Sunday's meeting where we had 2 new members arrive. 1 who had been down a similar route to myself but was now asking for help and I think is starting on the right path, and another who was there because he recognises he has a problem in walking away, but was not yet ready to commit to never placing a bet again.

It was good to be challenged on they why can't I. And I am resolute in that the only certain outcome of me placing a bet is that I will lose. It won't just be money, that can be replaced, but I will lose my sanity that I've fought so hard to regain, my family who will walk away from me, and the respect from my close friends and family who are proud of my journey with GA.

I may not be on here as often, but one things is constant is that I'm in touch with my sunday group members, and I rarely miss a meeting. I put my recovery ahead of pretty much everything, and those 2 hours are the most uplifting ones in my week. It's still like a pause and reset moment for me.

We've been joined the last 3 weeks by a member from an Essex group who is working nearby for 4 weeks, and that has also been brilliant in that each group is run differently, and takes different approaches to giving advice, and I've loved the new angles brought by this man, he's been a breath of fresh air, and being off now for some 13 years plus is an inspiration.

The message though, and the golden thread is always the simple one of you can do everything except have a bet.

I don't feel the urges now to return to gambling. In fact I put more effort into remaining stopped than I did to weaving the intricate web of lies that was needed to be able to gamble.

There are many inspirational people on here, and I hope to be posting more regularly now that I've logged in again.
Wishing you all well.

Keep strong all, one day at a time, let's keep this disease at bay together.
Reading my last post....this one has a similar theme.

I've not posted for a long time. I don't know why.
Maybe because I have been happy within me, and with my group. Maybe I felt that no-one seemed to care. It doesn't matter.

My road to recovery continues, and at the point of writing this I'm 2 years 158 days into my recovery.

I can only say how grateful I continue to be to have this program in my life. I am a regular attendee during face to face meetings, and an occasional attendee on the many zoom sessions that have sprung up.

In the last year, the progress has been great, I am rarely tempted and think about gambling less and less. I am in good habits and used to the process of stopping advertising on the social feeds that I'm part of, namely facebook and twitter, and so it's visible less and less in my life.

I am also very grateful to this lockdown for the opportunity it's given me to become even closer with my family. I'm still staggered that my wife has stood by me. and as a couple we are in a really good place.

With no gambling, I find that I have a lot of choice now.

I can choose to spend or save my money.
If I choose to spend it, then I am able to spend it on me, or on treats and things for my family.
I choose to go to work willingly. Being happy in work, has meant that I have performed better, which has led to a promotion, which has given me more money, which has given me more choices.

Yes, I still have debts...and they will be there for many years yet to remind me of the dark times. But I can see that within the next 10 years they will all have been paid back, and I will be beholden to no-one. I couldn't see any way out 2 years ago.

I am able to make rational choices, and not ones borne out of desperation. This is a blessing in itself.

So. Thank you GA. I love being a part of you, and I love the meetings. Even today, some 2 and half years on, they are my reset button. After a meeting, I am fully grounded. Attendance is placed before almost every other activity, and I will forgo things so that I can attend.

Hope all of you reading this are doing well, or are inspired to take the next step along the road to your recovery. It's an endless path, but once you are past the town of Nightmareville, the scenery starts to become more and more pleasant.

Best wishes,

Keep strong, keep safe, keep going!
My last bet was 14th December 2017. I owe GA my life, for saving mine from misery and financial ruin.
Just for today, I will not gamble. And when I wake tomorrow, I will make that same promise to not gamble, just for today.

Great to hear from you again.

I read your last post and all seems well. I am happy for you.

Hopefully the forum will be blessed with more of your shares giving me experience, strength and hope on my journey to recovery.

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.

I was told that the success of the recovery program was not very good for addicts.

I went back to my addictions and obsessions may times and it was very hard going back to meetings, yet I kept at it.

The recovery program is not a race, it is and was very slow baby steps getting back to being a healthy person.

There was no way that I enjoyed lying to people, I did not like cheating them and myself, with each bet my fears grew,  with each lie my fears grew, I got used to being afraid of facing myself.

The spiritual recovery program is just a manual to learning how to heal the hurt inner child and also mature and learn to articulate and express my feelings and my emotions.

I view the recovery program as being like mountain climbers that are tied to other people who will demonstrate to me new skills and how to live a healthy path in my life.

I did have a lot of intolerance and impatience with my sef and with the recovery program, over time I slowed down my thinking and my unhealthy reactions to people life and situations I could not cope with.

Each time I broke out I felt like I had let the people in the meetings down, not so with each gamble I was going to understand my emotional triggers and when I was vulnerable.

I have been in the recovery program since before 1969, yet I have only been clean since 1992.

It took me along time to not only learn how recovery works but to also live just for today only, life is not a race, life is a slow learning curve for me.

In the old days I would have lived in fear of the virus, because I respect myself I do not take risks I wear face masks on mixing with people in shops.

It was important for me to hand over all finances to another person.

I was given 10 per days to spend, and over time I did not spend my money each day.

I could not trust myself with money,  I could not be honest with myself, I could not respect myself, I could not love myself, I could not be a healthy person all the time I was obsessed with my addictions and obsessions.

Today I am emotionally detached from all feelings and emotions towards Gambling.

I do not hate gambling, I do not love gambling, I do not fear gambling, it is just an unhealthy habit I have given up just for today only.

Just for today I will set healthy  boundaries for myself.

Love and peace to every one.

Dave L

AKA Dave of Beckenham

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