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End of the road....

On Thursday 18th February, exactly 12 months to the day since I stopped attending my steps and normal meetings - I returned to the GA. I have been attending GA (on and off) for around 5 years now and in that time have had my little victories over this addicition or so I thought (with varying periods of non gambling over that 5 years). However at the end of the 5 year period since I walked through the doors of my very first GA meeting in Leeds, I am in a worse place in every possible way (emotionally, physically, financially) and all because I stopped working at my recovery and stopped attending the meetings. Since leaving GA last year - I have managed to experience circumstances that for the previous 4 years, I had listened to at meetings and thought that will never happen to me. The last 12 months of non-stop gambling has brought me closer and closer to the edge and 1 step closer the ultimate end for any compulsive gambler. In September 09, I also became a dad for the first time to a beautiful little daughter and prior to her birth, I had always maintained that I would be a father who was going to get better and not be a gambling dad (I convinced myself that I was going to change everything when my daughter was going to arrive. The bottom line is that - this was just a dream of what I wanted things to be like, and as all dreams go, you wake-up and realise that it is not reality. In reality I continued to gamble through-out my partners pregnancy, at birth and for the first 4 months of my daughter's life in her new world. The details of the last 12 months would be too long to cover at this time, in all honesty, it is the same story that we have been reading and listening to for years in meetings - how compulsive gambling is a progressive illness that will get worse if not arrested. On Thursday, I returned to GA and I did so, because one thing I have learned over the last 5 years is that recovery must start by having the desire to get better and it must be for the right reasons. I returned because I want to recover, I need to recover - to simply save my own life and everything that is built around it (my family). The road to recovery must start with small steps and I must as one member said on Thursday "Work for progress, not perfection". I am going to start living (1 day at a time) and make the effort (each day at a time) to do something positive for my recovery as desire without commitment/action = failure! I will keep you posted as I start a new chapter in my life.
Congratulations John on not giving up. I too mucked around with the GA program for a long time and had to be told what I was doing or not doing right. I just had not totally surrended and had to get down on my knees once again. The good news is that GA will always welcome you back and I had to learn that each time I had to do something different from the last time I attended.
Take care of your family and do come back and let us know how you are doing and what is different this time around.
Helen GA Australia

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