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So, I'm returning to GA after 2 and a half years away from it. Previously I'd been attending GA for over 19 Months. I'd done over a year and a half without gambling. A year and a half of attending meetings, these accrued from doing 3 meetings a week, to 2 meetings a week, gradually decreasing to 1 a week and sometimes 1 a fortnight. I knew my meetings were important and I knew I should keep attending, but funnily enough the best piece of advice you are always given by any member of GA is - Don't stop attending meetings. I did the opposite and it has conjured to my downfall. 

As an overview I started GA when I was 21, wasn't in the worst position in the world but I knew my gambling was a sever problem. I was with my previous partner at the time, who'm I'd been with since I was 14. I stopped gambling, I attended GA regularly I saved well and we bought a house together, but I wasn't fulfilled. Things happen and cut a long story short, we broke up and I found Love elsewhere. I wasn't bothered about the house or anything like that and initially I didn't go back to gambling. 

Myself & my new partner worked at the same place and due to previous hurt, we both put each other under a lot of stress and I could feel old tendencies creeping back in. I believe I am somebody who doesn't know myself and my own mind that well and that is another thing along my stopping gambling journey I am looking to fix. I began to tell lies again and I began to be a deceitful person. I was doing corrupt things that I shouldn't have been doing and I was out a lot and I started to take drugs. I've always known escaping from negativity is something I look to do instead of facing things head on & this is exactly what I did, I replaced the Gambling with the drugs but soon before I knew it they would come hand in hand.

I had to resign from my previous job, a really good job that I not only liked but also was really good at it. Through fault of my own I had no option but to resign as I was likely to be sacked. My partner stuck by me and helped me through this period. Whilst unemployed though I did not help myself or my family who supported me. I reverted and did the complete opposite. I went right back to gambling. Whilst trying to find a new job, I would pass time by gambling. I took out several unsecured loans and got myself into a mess. Of course I kept this all secret and hidden and during this my lies got even worse.

I managed to get a new job and I began it in March this year. A job I am doing well at and a job that helps me make all the minimum repayments, but not really a job that helps me live, so after I make the payments I am still trying to borrow money from friends. When the pandemic started, it should have been my opportunity to help myself and make large payments each month of my debts, however I didn't, I gambled more and more. It got to the point last week where I knew I was done and I knew I needed to stop. 

I come clean to my partner who now has left, but not due to the gambling, due to the lies I have told her and hurt I have put her through during the 2 years. She would have stuck by me and helped with the gambling side of things, but one too many lies has hurt her too much and she has hit a point. This hurts a lot and I know I need to ensure I focus on Just For Today, but losing Love makes things hard and I think a lot of people will reciprocate with me on that. 

After I come clean to my partner, it was time to tell my family. They both already knew, my mum & dad they both knew. They sensed changes within me and they could tell. My mum previously had come to meetings with me specially the meeting where I received my 1 year pin. They handled it really well and are supporting me really well. They've both helped with the unsecured loans I have and that has eased the burden a lot, even though they both knew it should not be them to do that they have helped. Next week I will finally be receiving my settlement from the previous house I did have with my ex partner and the vast majority of that is going on clearing other debts, so I can start again. I know its going to be a tough road, but I am 8 days in now and just as determined as I was the years ago when I started GA. 

I want to better myself as a person now and be again the person I was whilst I wasn't gambling. I know I may have lost the person I love, but I know I need to focus on the things I can change and not on the things I can't. I still have GA literature from when I previously attended and 'Just For Today' is helping a lot currently. 

My last bet was 3rd June 2020 and long may that continue.
Welcome back Josh,

Hope you can get to a physical meeting as soon as they are open again. hopefully not too long now.

Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

Thanks Smartie, hopefully not too long. Looking forward to being back at a physical meeting.

The 2 week mark hit today, 14 straight days without Gambling and I can't say I've really found it that challenging to be honest. I haven't had any dips or thoughts towards Gambling. With the Football back now too it would have been easy to slip and go back into those destructive ways, but I'v'e stayed strong and been free from even thoughts. 

I've continued trying to do things that are healthy for the body and the mind, I mentioned it in my last post but living Just For Today is something I am still resonating with more and more. I've got a lot of other stuff going on in my life and trying to ensure I am a better person is something I am for sure without gambling and all that it brings with it. 

I'm trying to ensure I am focusing on me and what I can change, change in myself and change for the good of other's. In my last post I mentioned about losing my partner and I dwelt on that quite a lot, things are still lose within that sense, but I am focusing mainly on me, because If I'm not in a good space nothing will ever work. I'll keep going each day to live as healthy life as I can, a life free from gambling.

2 weeks down, but still always a long long way to go. 

My last bet was the 3rd June 2020 and long may that continue.

I was not able to become healthy for some years, each time I broke out and gambled was a lesson for me to learn from.

If I gambled go to more meetings.

If I had no money go to meetings.

If I was comfortable being honest to meetings.

It took me some time to understand that my addictions and my obsessions only indicated that I was emotionally vulnerable.

How much did I need to do to heal that hurt inner child in me.

In time I was not willing to give up faith or hope in myself.

I am worth more than self destruction.

Love and peace to every one.

Dave L

AKA Dave of Beckenham
Over the 3 week mark now and feeling good towards my journey of abstaining from gambling. I've managed to clear more debts from the settlement I received to a house I previously used to own. It was good, but shocking at the same time really. Having that amount of Money granted to me, to be gone just like that paying of debts. Whilst it was good clearing the debts, the sickening thing was the amount just gone. Whilst never gambling all of this is one go, it just shown the lengths I would go to to find funds to gamble. Anything I could I would gamble. Having that amount all at once puts it quite into perspective. I've mentioned Money always being a vice over me, but not anymore its one thing I'm going to ensure doesn't be a vice over me.

I've been keeping myself as busy as possible. I've always been an active person and I think when I'm most dangerous is when I ponder. I'll ponder and often turn to self destruction as the escape. I've been keeping busy actively and doing a lot of reading in moments when I'm not busy. I'm currently reading a really good Mind Management book and this is putting a lot of things into perspective and making me realise an awful lot about myself. It's helping me in day to day situations in terms of coping and dealing with certain situations. Overall it is helping me understand me.

I'm going to continue on this path and remain cautiously on it, hopefully attending a physical meeting in the not so near future. I love that line in the last response "Giving up a couple of hours a week is nothing compared to what you'll give up if you go back gambling" I couldn't agree or resonate with it any better. It is true to the finest detail, a couple of hours a week is nothing, compared to the hours wasted daily gambling.

My last bet was the 3rd June 2020 and long may that continue.
5 week milestone hit!

The last 2 weeks I've been up and down in terms of my emotions. Both weeks featured little to no thought of Gambling, but I think what I take from it is that it is quite easy to dip. One moment you can feel strong and on track, the next you can be taken off guard and falter. Luckily my emotions were not towards gamble and I abstained. 

I completed a Half Marathon within the last week, a goal that I am proud of. I also wrote a small novel on something that is meaningful to me. I think for me one of the biggest things I need to ensure is that I keep busy and focused. I've mentioned it previously, but having a plan, sticking to routine is good for me. I have ventured out to the pub once, for a short time with my Dad since they have re-opened as I know I am not yet strong enough to be in the environment with friends/associates, as it would put me in a dangerous position. It would put me in a position where I temptation to gambling and drugs would become a real possibility. At the minute I continue to keep going 1 day at a time. I am glad that physical meetings are starting to return and will be glad when they do within my area, as I know I get a lot out of attending physical meetings.

My last bet was the 3rd June 2020 and long may that continue.

Each relapse is a lesson we can learn from.

The important thing is to keep going to meetings there are life savers.

Each relapse is a lesson we can learn which was what was our emotional trigger.

Was it our pain our fear our frustrations our loneliness or our boredom.

It is how ever important to learn to not beat our self up and cause our self more pains.

The saying that honesty is the best policy.

I use to think that was absolutely nuts.

Now I understand that our honesty means we no longer live in fear of being honest.

That be being our self through therapies we open up the can of worms of our past.

I use to think that showing how vulnerable we were was a sign of weakness.

No the exact opposite by showing how vulnerable we is a sign of strength.

Dave L

AKA Dave of Beckenham
Its been a bit of while since I have posted on here, but I am glad to say I am still abstaining from Gambling. Reflecting back to my last period of abstinence before my relapse, I think I'd have to say this period has been more difficult despite my posts not reflecting that. I've not gambled or thought of gambling, but I think this time around its been more difficult because I haven't been able to attend physical meetings. Having that reminder for me initially 2-3 a week in the earlier stages was key last time around. I've not had that in place this time around, but during the periods where I would have been at meetings, I've ensured I have dedicated this time to person development such as Reading GA literature, reading in general and listening to Podcasts. Whilst these have helped, I know that nothing helps more than going to a physical meeting.

I'm over the 2 month mark now for my non gambling. During that time I have felt sometimes better in myself and sometimes worse. I am a person who worries quite a lot and somebody who reflects on the past an awful lot. I know these are things I cannot change and I know these are things that I need to let go off. I'm trying to rebuild my life one day at a time and keep myself as positive as I can be so I don't slip back into those old destructive ways. I keep the 90 day milestone in my head and keep promising myself just for today!  

My last bet was the 3rd June 2020, long may that continue.
Keep up the great work josh

Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

Thanks Smartie.

I can't wait for meetings to return, I really can't. Had a bit of a bad 2 weeks with emotions around different things, I've abstained thankfully, but feeling like getting back to physical meetings will help me keep them in check, help not feel as low or down. Not too far from 90 days now.

My last bet was the 3rd June 2020, long may that continue.

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