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Could I heal and recover if I was a non religious person.
My name is Dave of Beckenham. I am a compulsive Gambler! I am becoming a healthy spiritual person, yet I am not a religion person.
With all the questions on walking in to the spiritual recovery program was an indicator of how immature how inadequate how inept I was and how insecure I felt within myself.
I would like to think that when I got married that I was the only person with unresolved emotional baggage of my youth.
If I understand that depression anxiety worry nervousness and stress are all fear based issues do I understand that living in fear is not healthy.
Did I honestly think that people and life stressed me out, or was the truth simple I stressed myself, making mountains out of the simplest of mole hills.
Writing things down was an important part of my maturing and becoming accountable to myself, I talked recently with Shirley and after some discussions we understood that giving lines as children we both associated writing as punishment.
There is no doubt in my mind that I could not find recovery and healing on my own, it was simply not possible, I needed to hear other peolpes therapies to learn about myself.
Talking about money and gambling would get me o where healthy, yet I needed to cross that line and talk from the heart. To expose myself more and more with time.
Every religion has healthy spiritual guidance yet we can become healthy without religions I like many people questioned what is spiritual.
Spiritual Values stand alone from every religion known and are what our own conscience was based up on from birth and should be valued and embraced every day.
Spiritual actions and our spiritual values and our unconditional actions are unconditional loving and forgiving apologizing caring trusting patience tolerance humble sincere honest faithful loyal optimistic self assured punctual courteous respectful considerate grateful content productive creative sharing nurturing encouraging oneself and others.
If I betray deceive lie hurt or offend anyone I am going against spiritual values. I am also hurting myself.
When we were born we were completely fearless that is a spiritual value, when we were born we were completely honest that is a spiritual value, when we were born we were able to give of our self completely unconditionally that is a spiritual value, when we were born we were completely trusting that is a spiritual value.
If we were able to have those Spiritual Values already in our self earlier in our life then relearning those Spiritual Values can be done once more.
It is said that honesty is the best policy why did people find it hard to be honest, could it be that by being honest people associate being honest as being painful or being honest would cause abandonment leaving us feeling rejected unloved hurt or ridiculed.
It is possible to be honest without being cruel and not have an adverse effect on another person.
When we say we have forgiven some is that true, have we healed our pains and no longer fear or resent the person that caused us harm.
By buying and suppressing pains we become over sensitive an react in anger far too quickly.
People can be suppressive aggressives or they can burst out with uncontrolled rage, is either way healthy.
Sadly as I have leanred when people react in rage they often clam up afterwards and isolate themselves from other people, if we watch and see new born children they can show fearlessness and can make amends both quickly and effectively.
Because of my painful childhood I grew to fear emotional intimacy I was not able to or willing to expose that hurt child in me.
So today do I understand that reacting in anger is not healthy for me.
If I am angry I am not healing my pains, if I am angry I am not facing my fears, if I am angry I am having unreasonable expectations of other people or life.
The hardest pain to recognize was my expectations of life and people. That started from a very early age.
Before recovery I was afraid to be honest and accountable because as a child when I was honest I was often punished for being honest through physical pains emotional pains or due to humiliation or redicule.
I have survived some very cruel people in my life that caused me emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse, and I would say that with every pain caused on me the perpetrators also transferred their pains fears and frustrations on to me time and time again.
Today is that inner child completely healed, is that inner child completely fearless today, in mentioning abuse in my life am a victim wanting sympathy and pitty, or do I mention it because if I can heal from such painful traumatic experiences anyone else can do the same.
At what point in my life did I understand that my fears inhibited me from reaching my full potential. Is living in any kind of fear in any way healthy for me today.
Understanding anonymity and the reasons why it is important, if we admit that walking in to the spiritual recovery program we experienced pains that were not healed or resolved.
With every pain we experience in our life comes fears, did we understand that we went against our own conscience and against spiritual values, yes sadly it did not stop us continuing with our unhealthy habits.
So by us being honest to our self we reduce our internal fears, that it was no possible to talk from the heart about our feelings from day one.
So once we cross that invisible line move from war stories and talking about money to where we talk about our feelings we learn to articulate our self in a healthy non threatening way in a meeting.
I was talked in to doing a work shop in Calgary some years ago, before hand I lost all anal retension the fear was so great in me.
I asked myself do I have notes, do I talk from the heart, do I ask people for questions I was an emotional mess for sure.
I did the work shop and today I am unable to tell you how I filled my time with those people yet one thing was very clear I was very much surprised by the number of people that wanted to thank me shake my hand and more importantly give me hugs.
Did what I say or do change another persons life, no yet I understand that every ones conscious decision to become healthy is all up to them, no me or spiritual recovery.
You can only get healthy when you admit to yourself that you are unhealthy, understanding that every unhealthy action or unhealthy words has unhealthy consequences.
I am very grateful for the spiritual recovery program, you start off by reading the text and books and over time that wisdom becomes part of my actions.
When someone said at meeting I do not have a gambling problem he said I have an emotional problem my reaction to that truth helped me so much.
The things I use to laugh at because of my nervous based fear system has changed I do not react in such a unhealthy volatile way to other peoples sharing.
One of the biggest impacts on my recovery were certain Lonon meetings which were both will and able to talk about therapies in more depth.
Meetings after meetings use to go on for some time afterwards because people felt so alive and excited at the new found understandings and new aspects about their own recovery.
I have now got my form to go to the UK 50th anniversary and I will probably be one the longer term people in the UK.
I am hoping that a lot of people that I knew in GA in 1969 wil be there, yet I know that would be unrealistic.
In my life there were some very spiritual people not all religious who gave off a sense of security and inner peace with in them self, at that time I did not understand what spiritual was all about and that a person can be spiritual yet not religious.
I think a lot of people are scared away from the spiritual recovery because people push religion on them, to imply that a person is unable to find recovery without being religious is detrimental to the name of spiritual recovery.
If I had walked in to the spiritual recovery and from that day everything went perfect for me every day I would not have got stronger in myself.
Abstaining was and is not enough for e on its own today, understanding that my recovery is dependant up on how well I understand deal with my emotional triggers.
I am excited when people ask questions and challenge the program, in fact when I chair when we read I ask people to comment on all aspects of the recovery program.
As we give our opinion and views of what each questions means to us we often see our self in other people both the healthy and unhealthy.
Sadly because I did not know how to read body language when I told people I had broken out I read other peoples body language as disappointment, when in fact they were often feeling for me and my pains.
No matter what happens in my life today I know I am not alone, due to illness I have for sure slowed down, it looks like I might have to get my prostate gland check dot also.
The more I love care protect and respect myself and the less fears I have I am able to love care and respect people close to me.
I use to break out on a regular basis gambling I even thought at what point why do I go to meetings, yet no matter how many times I broke out gambling I was told it was a lesson if I was willing to learn from each bet.
Step one is understanding my emotional triggers which caused me to escape in fear, when I could not cope with people and life, how much writing would I need to put to paper in order to get to know myself.
There was no one that could stop me gambling, that at the end of the day was going to be my conscious decision which was a form of boundary I was setting up for myself.
Today I am an emotional survivor, today I am able to face things that at one time made me mad and angry, today I am able to ask for help, today I am able to admit my ignorance, today I am able to be more patient and tolerant with myself, today I am able to more and more fearless.
In recovery we often think that because we are the same distance to people we know in recovery that we have not progressed, that is not so.
Every time I feel comfortable, every time I am able to be honest without being cruel, every time I put my hand out in friendship and give people hugs I am working my recovery program.
Why did it take me so long to understand that in the past I could not help myself, I was not stupid bad evil or dumb, when I walked in to the spiritual recovery in time I would understand that spiritual behavior had nothing to do about religion.
I am a non religious yet I am very spiritual, I use to think that humble spiritual people were weak people, how wrong could I have been.
If a person is secure in them self and in their own belief system or their religious belief they will not have a need to push their belief system on to other people.
In being sponsored by other people it is important that their sponsor name should remain anonymous and what they share more importantly should remain completely anonymous
When a person in recovery seeks advice it is also important they seek answers from as many people as possible because once any one commits to their actions the consequences of those actions become their own responsibility.
It is highly recommended that a sponsor does not take any credit what so ever for another persons progress and their recovery or their new found healthy habits, and the pace of a persons recovery is set by the person being sponsored.
I am so very grateful for the people who do very good healthy work behind the scenes of this web site.
Over the years people have been asked not to put graphics on this web site yet such wishes or requests fell on deaf ears, I have grown to respect this site.
How could it take me over twenty years to grasp, surrender was easy and simple enough that by my addiction I was in spiritual decline and getting more and more unhealthy.
My life was emotionally unmanageable long before my addictions and obsessions.
Being in recovery is and was a very good investment of my time and my healthy interactions with other people.
I am finding being in doors resting is easier than I use to do, I think that I am more patient tolerant and caring towards myself these days.
Today I understand that healthy relationships are based up on my honesty, that if I have a facade or put on a show or lie to people I am hurting myself.
Every lie caused my fears to grow yet I could not be honest because I feared rejection and abandonment.
Every time I lied was an indicator of how much fear I was living in, and with each lie came more fear until I went in to panic mode and could not think things out straight or clearly.
Step one life being unmanageable was all about my emotional state of mind, my emotional triggers were pains fears frustrations loneliness and boredom.
Me being over sensitive and getting angry and resentful quickly over simple every day things was an indicator that there were pains and unresolved and unhealed trauma and pains of my past.
I was born completely fearless as a child and due to unhealthy pains and trauma they caused me to live in more and more fears.
For me today love is a healthy emotional intimate relationship with other people or with animals.
To love I started to understand that I needed to become completely fearless, and to accept that by being loving I am willing to give of myself unconditionally.
It took me even longer to understand my frustrations, my frustrations were due to my unhealthy unreasonable expectations of people and life, this was also tied to the fact that my actions towards other people were conditional that if I did something I expected something in return.
Sadly as a child I internalized so much of what unhealthy people did to me, I felt it was all about me.
So to do step one was about understanding my emotional triggers, to talk to a person before I gambled and best deal with my emotions before I hurt myself.
Boredom was a way of life for me not feeling content within myself, the recovery first taught me to think today I will not then once abstaining my thinking changed to today I WILL and overcome I became more productive, fulfilling my needs wants and goals.
I was in a state of self destruction before recovery taking my loved ones with me, everything in my life was going in to decline.
I am not alone today even when I am alone today, I speak from an emotional level, I know that when I feel vulnerable I make a telephone call to a healthy person in recovery.
Unhealthy actions have unhealthy consequences,
Healthy actions have healthy consequences, no actions on my part is I remain stuck being unhealthy and not improving my life and how I feel.
Calling myself evil stupid dumb bad useless and worthless is unhealthy and I am beating myself up emotionally and causing myself further pain which is unhealthy and detrimental to my recovery and I am emotionally humiliating undermining and belittling myself.
The “I have to” talking and thinking was an indicator that not all was well with me and that I was obsessive.
Only by understanding my wants needs and goals could I mature and become a healthier sufficient person day by day.
It took me attending over 4 meetings most weeks just to abstain from gambling, that was how vulnerable I was for over 30years.
For me to be healthy I understand I need to fulfill my wants needs and goals, physically and emotionally.
That is part of what being a healthy adult is all about.
To accept understand and surrender completely and in whole to the serenity prayer.
Gratitude is about healthy spiritual values yet people do not need to be religious to be healthy spiritual people. Often what we want from others we need to fulfill in our self.
Am I in touch with my inner child, do any of my family fear me today, can I be completely healthily honest with my family and my friends. Am I free to be emotionally intimate with all people. Does fear and doubt hold me back in any way with relationships today.
Do I avoid and fear any person what so ever today. Am I able to respect myself more than I respect all other people today. Do I respect other people or fear them in any way.
No one could stop me gambling, no one could stop me smoking, no one could stop me escaping in another form of addiction or obsession that was going to be my own conscious decision to want to become healthy and give up my unhealthy life of my past.
In sharing with many people I am very surprised how deep people can go these days, in talking about things I avoided facing over 20 – 30 years.
I am not a victim today I do not want pity or sympathy, I do not want people to do things for me that I can do for myself, I do not want to hear war stories or people go on about money and the gambling.
There are or were three unhealthy roles I played in my life, I was for sure a victim living in the pity of my pains of my past, I was also a perpetrator on to other people transferring my pains fears and frustrations on to other people, in recovery I was playing the rescuer rather than focus on the unhealthy parts of myself.
I do want people to show me how to do things I am often ignorant about myself, I want people to advise me the best day to do things in my life, I do enjoy the spiritual recovery program and feel like it is a second family to me.
I use to fear the opposite sex, I use to fear my mother father step father and my wife, I use to fear being honest, I use to fear being accountable, I use to fear apologizing, I use to fear failure.
For me failure is not trying new things, failure is not trying to fulfill my wants and my needs, failure is not trying to plan and have goals.
For me failure is giving up all faith and hope in myself.
Being in control or controlling other people was a fear based issue, controlling other people was an indicator of how inept inadequate and insecure I was in myself.
The serenity prayer use to mean to me if I am a victim I am not able to change that fact, I set boundaries if people do not respect my boundaries I walk away from those unhealthy people.
Boundaries is not about controlling other people, boundaries are about me valuing myself, I use to say that I wanted to be normal now I found that supposedly normal is not a very high standard.
So for me the spiritual recovery program is about raising the bar each day, not to impress or person please or get approval but for me to understand that each day I do the very best at whatever I do.
The start of my recovery was Just for today I WILL not gamble.
Next step and part of my recovery was Just for today I WILL not smoke.
Next part of my recovery was Just for today I WILL not get drunk.
Next part of my recovery was Just for today I WILL put every effort and time in to my steps my spiritual recovery and open up more.
My recovery great change was moving from I WILL not to I WILL.
Today I WILL is about moving in baby steps to become the person I knew I could be.
I now understand that it is possible for me to heal from pain today.
For me to heal from pain I had to give up most forms of unhealthy living and stop undermining myself in every way.
One of the things I sought was approval from other people, that was due to my unreasonable expectations of other people from a very early age.
Seeking unreasonable expectations of other people caused me a lot of pain and was not healthy, so in time my lack of confidence lack of self esteem, my lack of values was replaced with me doing healthy actions saying healthy words and paying myself compliments and giving myself approval.
How can a person feel guilty for someone being kind to you, how can a person feel embarrassed for someone paying a compliment to me, how can a person feel uncomfortable being kind to yourself and for fulfilling your own wants and needs and having healthy goals.
You can take away the money and fuel for the addiction from someone yet you can take away the desire in me to want to gamble, today at this minute I do not want or need to gamble.
Today I am emotionally detached from gambling I do not hate it or love it, it is just nothing to me.
In hating anything or anyone in my life I only hurting myself.
In resenting anything or anyone in my life I only hurting myself.
The serenity prayer helps me understand what I can change and those things I am unable to change, for the fear filled control freak in me it was not something I did want to accept or listen to.
It sounds strange that by giving up unhealthy control gives you gain more control and healthy choices in your life today.
Before mum died last year I saw her laugh, I saw her cry, I saw her with a glint in her eye and I even saw that little girl in her.
I was able to stroke her head and when she was hot I was able to bathe her head with a cool face clothe, I can only say that most of my life I was not there for her physically or emotionally.
Yet before she died I knew that I saw and felt that little hurt girl in her being at peace with herself and with the world.
As a person fades away the material things in our life are no longer important, knowing that loved ones are there for you is the most important thing in their life.
My trust of Shirley my wife has nothing to do about her and everything to do about me and my own security.
To be fearless and spiritual is very healthy.
To be fearless is an indicator that I have healed the pains and emotional trauma of my past experiences.
I did not have a clue how lonely and isolated I was before my spiritual recovery, I could not even admit the simple things like I was frightened of the post man, I was frightened of the telephone ringing and I was frightened of strangers coming to our home.
As I opened up more I become slightly more comfortable with going in to meetings, yet felt very uncomfortable about some abusive foul mouthed bitter twisted aggressive confrontational people who were not willing or not able to heal their pains, face their fear or face their own frustrations.
I now understand that I could not do spiritual recovery on my own, it is like expecting a defective computer to repair itself.
I used to be like a rat in a wheel going faster and faster getting nowhere, and yet could not see or feel that what I was doing all the time was a complete waste of time and energy it was a very unhealthy self destructive activity in my addictions and obsessions.
Love and peace to everyone.
Dave L Calgary
AKA Dave of Beckenham

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