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run up to Christmas....
Hey all who read...

I feel like posting today as it is the run up to Christmas, sent this message to my "tutor" a man who has abstained for 20 years...a personal friend from GA and someone I respect greatly for his courage to "live a better life"

Hey All, hope for all those returning to the "room" from last week its been a successfull week free from gambling and for those here for your first time or returning after an absence you feel the strength of this group and stay free from gambling.

Weird is life when you dont gamble, sometimes i forget i am a compulsive gambler. I post often with advice on the GA website and Forum and now try to help others follow a better path in life.

Last week I had a very strange dream and it was a throwback to my past days. I always sleep so sound in the knowledge that i havent gambled and last week I had a very strange dream. I was in a deep sleep and started going through what I call 'the cycle of worry", Christmas was approaching, no presents bought and in my dream I had blown all of my money, my head started to spin thinking where to borrow the money who i could convince this time round.

I woke from this dream with a sweat on my brow thinking it was real, my Gf was laid asleep next to me and I couldnt wake her to tell her, she would think I was stupid. But this to me was REAl life for every year in my twenties...throws me back to my story.

Year of I believe 2004.

6months free from gambling "on the programme" I missed a meeting...something better to do (excuse!!) and the next week away, slipped up, gambled in 1night of madness. Returned home and cried, was it false tears???promises not again, i'll stick to the programme, that was in early September. Three months and meetings every friday to follow it was the run up to Christmas, my ex's mind (note ex!) was focussed on Christmas shopping...

Anyhow cut a long story short I headed out on my own with my cash card to buy presents.....but ended up in the arcade....covered it up and next day returned to gamble heaps more...

I handed my cashcard back to the ex...pretended she would never see and was asked "did you gamble??" whilst putting together the bike we bought 3 days before Christmas day.....

That was 6years ago...its now been nearly four years since I gambled and this christmas although I don't have bags of money, I have run a business that has made money, I have become a better more structured businessman and this is all due to character change.

Living 'Day by day" is not easy, putting barriers in place, like spending most my time at work....I don't go out getting drunk...I just live life simple, going forward.

Without the respect of my team I wouldn't be getting there.....getting there is not about winning every deal, making lots of money, its about not going backwards by gambling.

Respect comes from leading by the way in which you lead your life, having self respect and respecting others, its all due to the character change the fellowship brought to my life.

I dont follow a twelve step programme just a simple one....."just for today I won't gamble"

I hope you all manage to stay free from gambling for this week and can solve the problems you have by living "day by day"

My name is Barrie and I will always be a compulsive gambler.
Hi Barrie, Merry Christmas to YOU and YOURS. Isn't this a fantastic life!! My program got me through another day without gambling. I always call the GA program mine because I believe the 12 steps were written for me and for anyone else that wants to join in. Am I being selfish - Absolutely, because without those 12 steps I would probably be dead.
Kind regards
Hope everyone protects themselves on the run up to Christmas...

Don't forget to get to your meetings....most meetings are open over Christmas but please check with your individual group...

In unity
Smartie xx

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