Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
3 years into GA, what to do now?
There are many things that a GA member can do, many things. However, without knowing the full story, it can be difficult to comment.

There are many members in GA who would openly say that they would 'do anything to stop gambling' but rarely do. It is very common for people to attend just one (and the same) meeting each and think they are doing their bit for their 'recovery'.

I can only speak for myself, but many of the mistakes I made and sometimes still make in my recovery are common amongst other GA members.

For the first 8-9 months in GA I went to one meeting a week even though I was told consistantly each week that I needed to go to more, which I didn't. I was told to get a sponsor, I didn't. I was told to practise the 12 Steps, I didn't. There were many things I 'didn't' do because I had selective hearing, I was still trying to do things 'my way' and not the GA way. Because of this things did get considerably worse for me. I hadn't gambled (wasn't working and had very low income) but I am sure that if I had a few quid in my pocket I would have done, I have no doubt.

It wasn't until I reached a new all-time low that I decided to take on board the suggestions being made to me. So, I grasped GA by the horns, so to speak. From that day on, after dismissing 'my way' and adhering to the GA way life DID get better/easier.

One of the best things I did was to attend more meetings. I used to think that everything evolved around that one group but going to more opened my eyes. Every meeting is slightly different, the ambience of the room, the members in it, the different stories being told, even the placement and set-up of the chairs, they all offer a slightly different experience, not to mention variety in knowledge that one can obtain.

You know if I was to even try to give you any advice it would be to do the very thing you have mentioned that you would rather not do, give a member of your existing group a call and talk to them about it. It will be much more beneficial for you to talk to them as they will know your full story already.

One thing is for sure, after nearly 3 years attending GA and only having 7 months of abstinence, something needs to change. I would personally have to ask myself "Am I doing enough?".

When I first came to GA I was asked a question which was "What are you prepared to do in order to stop gambling?" My answer was "Anything". However, I soon forget that answer until the day (which I have mentioned) that I throw myself into the GA program. I now remind myself of that answer every day. If I have a day where I could have done more I will kick myself as I cannot afford to become complacent like many others who break out in GA. It just cannot happen, I couldn't go back to that life.

Big Dave (Eastcote/Uxbridge)

P.S Read and practice the advice on pages 30 and 31 of the GA orange book often.
Going to other meetings will broaden your options, especially when looking for a suitable sponsor. However, if you have been going to that particular meeting since 2009 then surely you would be comfortable enough to ask someone in your existing group. In my opinion, the earlier a person can get a sponsor the better, before the bad habits are picked up, which sounds like what has happened with you.

I have heard a million and one excuses to why someone does not have a sponsor, yours is one of the more common ones. There is no harm in trying it.

One other thing that changed the way I looked at things was I starting to look at the Steps. Not just with one person, with a group. The more the merrier I say! The 12 Steps are there for a reason, but very few in GA even attempt them. Probably because they are scared. I was! I was scared of what I would uncover.....everything I had been hiding from for the previous 25 years.

The suggestions made on the back two pages of that orange book are not just for new members. However, I have an illness that constantly tells me I am not ill. It tries to tell me that "I don't need to do those things, it's for the ones who are really struggling", etc.... Well, how I look at it is nobody can do everything that is asked of us in the entire book but as long as I strive to do as much as I can then at least I am 'keeping my side of the street clean'. I am giving myself the best chance to 'recover'.

Abstinance does not equal recovery

In order to have the best chance of never gambling again I must change. This is the difficult part as it requires the most effort. I put every ounce effort into my gambling when I was in action, do I really think that by putting the least amount of effort into my recovery I am going to change, I don't think so. I tried that for the first 9 months and all I did was dig a deeper hole.

Big Dave (Eastcote/Uxbridge)

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)