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New to GA - My story so far
#1
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the forum, so heres my story so far. 

I have been a compulsive gambler for 10 years. It started of as a bit of fun but soon escalated to addiction and the fun stopped. I hit rock bottom in 2014 when i ended up thousands of pounds in debt, owing money to several loan companies, friends and family. i eventually decided to take action and self excluded from the local bookmakers and each individual online betting site [before Gamstop was introduced]. I did not place a bet for almost 2 years and managed to clear a large amount of debt. 

However, i made a vital mistake - i thought i would be ok to gamble again. I thought i could control my addiction, even thought i had not actually admitted it was an addiction. Once my self exclusion expired, i soon started the downward spiral of gambling again at the end of 2016. I continued to chase losses until i lost it all again and ended up back at square one. It contributed to the breakdown in a relationship and had taken full control of my life. I continued gambling throughout 2017 without seeing the damage it was doing to me and my family. I ended up in significant debt again and needed help.

Time to take action - in July 2018 i completed the self exclusion to stop me gambling. I admitted that i had a problem and opened up to friends and family to the extent of my condition. How rewarding that was, a significant weight of my shoulders. I didn't fully commit to it until September 2018 when i joined GAMSTOP - an excellent way to stop access to the numerous betting sites. I had banned myself from some of the websites, but not all of them, until GAMSTOP.

Looking back, in reality i was never ready to quit gambling and get help for my addiction in 2014. By being open and honest i was able to put everything behind me and move on. It has been a struggle, i still get the urge to gamble, but as i have no access to it, it makes it easier.

My last bet was 15/09/2018. I attended my first GA meeting in Newcastle on Monday night [07/01/19]. The meeting was excellent, and very rewarding. I was welcomed in as a new member and was made to feel at ease. The people who chair the meetings are a credit to the GA, as are the numerous people who suffer from the same addiction and can relate to your experiences. i would strongly recommend to anyone considering attending a GA meeting to do so - they will make a huge difference in your recovery. 

Im taking it one day at a time. One more day without a bet. I find it helpful to keep a daily 'recovery' diary where i record how the day has gone in relation to my thoughts on betting. 

Thanks for the support!
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#2
bengreg

I really enjoy reading your story, there is some great advice in there for newcomers, and it's a positive step you have got yourself into the Gamblers Anonymous meetings. They have been essential for my recovery thus far on my road of recovery.

Your story will be a inspiration for many.

All the best with your recovery
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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