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The Journey Begins
#41
Congratulations on keeping the good work going. I'm pleased that I may have helped you with the phrase.
Re quiz nights, I think if you obsess over what is and what isn't it could cause you a problem potentially, so my advice is not to worry about it. It's a social fun part of your normal life, enjoy it. I never took part in raffles because there was the build up to the draw, the anticipation of winning, and that could have triggered me, but I did quizzes occasionally without any problems. In fact it never entered my head to worry about it. Enjoy your recovery.
How do I stop gambling?

Honesty.
Open-minded.
Willingness.


Chris.
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#42
So where has the time gone, I've realised it's more than 2 months since I last posted and around the same amount of time since I read through the forums.

I feel kinda bad about that.

However I am high on life, and mid December I passed the 1 year mark. I think today will be the day I earn a pin/badge from my GA group to mark that.

Incredible really, I had spent the last 28 years gambling on slots, getting progressively worse.

I am continuing my recovery, and one constant has been my desire to get to GA meetings at least on a weekly basis. We broke for Christmas, and I have seriously missed it. I cannot quite quantify what it gives, but it seems to re-inforce inner strength and I get such a kick out of helping those new people who take their first steps through the door I am now super proud to be a GA member.

It's also given me a new circle of dare I say it "friends". We have even had a Christmas social event which was a real blast.

Another constant is the unwavering support of my family, without them I have no idea where I would be right now, probably no longer taking up oxygen truth be known.

It's been hard, I have had dark moments, I have been tempted, I will continue to be tempted, it's not a disease that I will ever fully recover from.

I will not though give in to this, today, and tomorrow I will also tell myself to not give in to this today. If I am strong enough to make it past a year, then I can be strong enough to make it past 10 years. I just need to keep doing what I've been doing.

I'm comfortable within my skin again, and all parts of my life have improved as a result of stopping gambling. I urge everyone here to put their faith into the GA programme, if you embrace it, then you will also benefit hugely from it.

Thank you GA for giving me my life back, and thank you all for reading.

Keep strong, one battle and one day at a time you can triumph against this.
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#43
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.
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#44
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.
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#45
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.
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#46
StrengthToStop

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
Martin
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.
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