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Losing friends...
A moment of clarity and the realisation that I cannot changed what went before, has strengthened my resolve that I can now conquer my addiction to gambling. I have been a "functioning addict" for over 30 years, largely because I have always had a healthy work ethic. I have worked pretty much 13 days a fortnight to keep everything going and to finance my addiction. On Monday I will attend my first GA meeting (I have always denied that I need that level of support) I have stopped for periods of times in the past following outrageous "bad luck" but inevitably returned to the environment of gambling. I recently returned from the Grand National meeting in Liverpool where I witnessed "non addicts" enjoying the event much more than I was able to. I realise that I cannot be exposed to that environment which saddens me...
I have had a passion for most sport all my life, unfortunately my opinions have always encouraged me to back them financially. A large section of my friends are like me, friendships formed at dog tracks and betting shops. Whilst I don't wish to sever ties with these friends and associates, I do appreciate that exposure to certain places feeds my addiction (if you keep visiting the barbers you'll eventually get a haircut). My longest abstention was 3 years ago following a very bad session and a series of lies to my family to cover it....I stopped gambling for 5 months. Throughout that period I kept a diary of my success, I developed enough strength and belief that I could re-enter familiar environments....alcohol was the catalyst for my relapse, my guard dropped I succumbed to temptation, and, despite a successful gamble, I knew that my resolve was broken.
I hope that I can learn from that experience. Today will be day 6 gamble free, I will utilise all that I have learned in the past, eradicate the boredom and alcohol influence that contributes heavily to my problem and celebrate every gamble free day.

Today I will not gamble.
Let us know how GA goes...

Make sure you ask about the 12 step program and sponsorship....

Best foot forward

Thanks Smartie,
I spent today at London Zoo with my 14 year old son. I feel determined to succeed with creating a new beginning for myself, ordinarily a Saturday would involve gambling for me...not today. It isn't just developing a more mature relationship with money, it's also prioritising my time and focus.
I will of course share my GA meeting experience.

Today I did not gamble.
Awesome and thank you for posting MickyK68

When you hit that realisation point, that is the absolute time to hit the recovery process hard.
I can't say I'm cured, as I don't believe I ever will be, but I'm now at 150+ days without a gamble, and GA is the root cause of the success.

Meetings are the big pointer from me, they will help you stay on the straight path, and strengthen that resolve. Just go into it with an open mind, and if it's for you then make resolution there and then that you'll give up a couple of hours a week to attend.

The temptation element is always there, I've been out with my mates tonight so I'm trying to type legibly but in a semi sober state, I'll apologise now if any of this is unreadable, but rest assured you have a better chance of reading computer text than my scrawl of a handwriting!

Happy to report that no gambling, and no mention of it from my friends. They have 100% accepted me back into the fold and have not tried show me any path other than the right one.

Going to bed now, but going to pray for you souls that have a chance to recover and live ahealty life.night x
This morning I have not woken with regret at how the money I lost gambling yesterday would have been better spent, or how I could work some more hours to earn it back. I avoided gambling and without giving in to my addiction I won. Today I will focus on me and my family, no excuses offered to head into town to feed my addiction, no lies, no deceit.
Today (day 7 I will not gamble) my GA meeting is tomorrow, I am nervous at presenting the real me, the me that I conceal behind a despairing smile after losing more than I can afford, the me that could not wait to immerse himself into that "twilight zone" escape of gambling. The me that became adept at lying because gambling controlled me.
I have read many of the introductions from members on here, they have all resonated with me, they have also endorsed the fact that I am an addict. I await the feeling of pride that a period of abstention delivers, and will be more aware of the voice in my head that says "5 months gamble free, you're no addict, you know that this horse is certain to win, just get back some of the money you given them all these years"
It may sound arrogant, but I finally feel equipped to beat this last gamble wasn't me finding my "rock bottom" there were no lies manufactured accounting for the loss (25% of my monthly wage) it was just a weariness and mature realisation that my donations to the bookmakers needed to stop. I have already explained that my close group of friends are also addicts, unlike me they have little responsibility, ridiculously I have envied them that... I have also compared myself to them, put myself on a pedestal and accepted that their problems far outweigh mine, they're real addicts, I am a selective gambler searching for value with a system to beat the bookies....laughable isn't it ? I just wanted to justify this affliction and work harder to cover my losses.

I wish you all well dealing with your addiction strong...abstain and maintain.

Hi MickyK68,

Thank you for sharing your journey with us all, many people hit some kind of rack bottom before getting help, but rock bottom is not essential at all. In fact, true rock bottom is where I nearly ended up, and that's either insane, or dead. Some say prison is rock bottom, but there are many that go back to gambling on release.

All that is required is a desire to stop gambling, which you have. I personally found it hard at first at 37 to admit how immature I was being in active addiction, but the changes I've noticed in myself in recovery are certainly what I would consider as someone who is more mature in their actions. I budget all of my money, every penny, and there is no gambling category in my budget. My relationship with money has respect for what it can do for me and my family. It keeps us warm in a home, fed, and some luxuries too. I will be paying back my gambling debts for another 5 years at least, but that's ok, the balance is heading in the right direction.

the most important part of recovery for me is honesty, with myself and my loved ones, and every week in GA meetings.

One day at a time

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
It's my first GA meeting tonight, and I haven't attended. I don't feel comfortable sharing my addiction in person....I know that it will help me immensely ....I just don't feel ready. I still feel good day 8 gamble free and my determination is constant.
Does anyone else understand my resistance/ fear of attending a meeting.....? I realise that all those attending will leave their dignity at the door, I just hate the thought of exposing the real me...

I totally understand, but don't let yourself be the person that stands between you and recovery. Being yourself without masks is part of what recovery is about, and it certainly can be unnerving at first. Once you get to the meeting you will soon realise how everyone there is there for the same reason. You can all help each other stop and stay stopped.

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.
Thanks for your response Simmo, I totally appreciate what you've said and I will overcome the "pride factor" that is restricting me from these much needed fellowship. Day 10 gamble free today, I have just navigated two very rare days off from work, two catalysts for my gambling have been boredom and alcohol and I am mindful that I must keep myself busy and restrict any alcohol consumption to appropriate times. I feel strong, the use of this forum provides much needed and welcome encouragement.
Thanks for your reply gamblinghelp, I have little time for hobbies, I work long hours and that has enabled me to function as an addict. I never gambled online it's always been the betting shops, my social life was gambling, my friends all from that environment. I would meet them for a few beers and we'd visit the bookies. I know if I'm to socialise with them again it'll be the pub only ....I'm certainly not ready for that. I have considered joining the gym where the monthly fees would certainly be cheaper that financing my addiction....I will look into that.
I feel good at the moment, my focus is strong, absolutely no desire to may sound arrogant but I have never felt this confident that I'm able to detach myself from my addiction....and hopefully beat it. I know that attending meetings will strengthen my resolve even further and I will locate a meeting before the weekend.

Today I did not gamble.

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