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First Time at GA
I need help in overcoming my gambling addiction/compulsion.I need to do this for myself and for my family. I intend to go along to a GA meeting next week but do not know what to expect. I am by nature very quiet and the thought of speaking out to a crowd fills me with dread. (Shame I don't feel the same dread when wasting cash at the bookies I suppose) Can anyone tell me how the meetings wor, how they are run and what expectations there are of me.

Don't be scared of the meetings. Walking through the door for your first meeting is the hardest step.

Most meetings start by the current members introducing themselves
e.g. my name is steve and i'm a compulsive gambler. my last bet was 26/02/2003.

You will get to hear from current members about where they are in their recovery and you will soon realise that you are not alone and many people are in the same boat and had similar experiences to yourself.

You may hear members therapies about their gambling days and what barriers they have put in place since coming to GA.

Usually new members are asked to tell the room about their gambling. This is a good time to get everything off your chest and admit you have a problem with gambling. Be honest, don't worry whats heard in the meeting, stays in the meeting - that's why its gamblers anonymous.

I was a young/shy man when i first attended GA, then a year down the line i was chairing meetings. i couldn't believe the turn around and confidence i had gained from attending GA and stopping gambling.

Hope this helps.

Get to the meeting - you don't have to say anything if you don't feel up to it. There's no pressure from the meeting. You will feel a lot better after the first meeting though i can assure you.

Hi James

Dont worry about these meetings at all mate i was like you the first time i attended a GA meeting !!

There is nothing to worry about as everyone that is in the room has the same problem as you and me !!

Get yourself along as it wont be as bad as you are expecting !! Ilook forward to hearing your response once you have been to a GA meeting.

Good Luck

Thakyou both for the encouragement. It is my intention to go along tonight. I hope I make it!
H James,
Did you get to a meeting and what was it like?
Well went along and I am certainly glad I did. Only a small turn out, for which I was glad of, and was made to feel very welcome and didn't feel at all intimidated as I thought I might. In fact I felt suprisingly at ease knowing that all there were in a simular predicament as myself. I listened to the other members introductions and to how their week had been. From this I realised that just to air your issue's with like minded compulsive gamblers and take heed of the observations/suggestions offered was a relief for the speaker, so when it cme to my turn to introduce myself and outline my gambling history, I was able to openly do so. I received lots of support and constructive suggestions.Having spoken and admitted my gambling aloud to others has, I feel,relieved a lot of pressure from me. I certainly think it has helped and I will be going back next week.
Hi, I am due to accompany a family member to her first meeting next week, as like James, she is very nervous and doesnt know what to expect.

I to have no idea what to expect but just wanted to know whether I am also allowed to give my thoughts during the meeting? The family member is quite likely to keep quiet initially so it would be good for them to hear my point of view, but I dont want to talk and take away from people at the meeting that actually have issues they want to talk about. Obviously I'm not going to rant and rave about their behaviour but they need to realise how it affects others and hopefully that will coax them into talking themselves?

Is this frowned upon in the meeting and preferred that people accompanying the addict keep quiet?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.


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