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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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