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The recovery program is about healing & facing our own pains
#1
My name is Dave of Beckenham. I am a compulsive Gambler! I am becoming a healthy spiritual person each day, yet I am not a religion person.
By being committed to doing lots of healthy work in my recovery there have been many changes in my life.

For me the spiritual program has nothing to do about religion, even though I am a more spiritual person, I learned soon enough by going back to gambling that my recovery is down to me, yet I know now that I could not do it on my own.

Each time I went back to gambling was a lesson if i was willing to learn from it.

I make sure that people understand that no matter when you had your last bet we as a fellowship want to see you back in the rooms of recovery, even if you do not have any money we want to see you back in recovery.

Each of you have something to offer us and to give us help in order we see our self in you at different stages of our recovery.

Fear was often the reason I went back to gambling, I then found out that fear alone was not going to stop me go back gambling again.

For me anxiety stress worry depression nervousness were all fear based issues, procrastination was often fear based issues.

I am now down 23 pounds in weight and am feeling more positive in looking after myself, I respect myself more today, I love myself more today, I am able to feel proud of myself today, my past unhealthy actions and words ahev been processed in a healthy way today.

I use to attend 4 – 5 meeting per week just to be able to abstain from my unhealthy gambling.

Now I am proud to attend 2 meetings per week, I am looking forward to being at the 50th Anniversary of GA in the UK.

As I get spiritually healthy I am less likely to lie, I live a fearless life today, that hurt inner child in me is able to come out and have fun today.

I use to be so reluctant before my recovery, I did things resentfully and I cheated myself, I did things conditionally and I cheated myself,

Today was a very productive day, we ate out, we did yard work, we tend to work as a team today.

Even though I am limited due to COPD Asthma and other medical conditions I put as much effort in to my life that is physically possible.

I do have pain killers yet only use them at the end of the day, being healthy I have plans goals and thoughts that are healthy creative and original.

There were times in my recovery I needed to look certain words up because I was ignorant of their meaning, it helped me able to articulate clearly my thoughts feelings and emotions.

Being ignorant is not being stupid, for me to open up and ask questions was very healthy for my progress.

I have transcribed two large books with text and pictures to my family tree, there over 16,000 names, it was a challenge and commitment for me, it was healthy yet long to get all those things done.

The computer is a very healthy tool, yet it is not a way for me to escape now, having balance and healthy interactions in my life is very important to me today and my recovery.

The spiritual recovery program is a second family to me, it is also a place where there is loads of wisdom and experience and even though people belief systems vary their healthy out come in the essential goal.

If people do not agree with certain people often there is a rift and disconnection between people, in our meetings people have different ideas about the spiritual recovery program which is very healthy.

I would say that I was very much a loner because I live a facade built of fear before my recovery, my fears made me unlovable, my mistrust and unhealed pains of my past were going to restrict me from having healthy intimate relationships with other people, having healthy intimate relationships with other people was nothing to do about sex.

I have been in the spiritual recovery program for over 44 years, the question people often ask of me do I need to still go to meetings if I have not gambled in over 22 years.

The answer is very much yes for me, the spiritual recovery program is about character building, it is about maturing and healing, it is about me becoming the person I should have been if I had not been brutalized and victimized as a child.

I have made a conscious decision and set boundaries that I am not willing to do or say unhealthy things that adversely affect myself or my relationship with other people.

That empowers me, if at the end of each of my days I can say to myself that I extended myself and improved in my life I am working my recovery program.

Spiritual values which are character building such as unconditional loving forgiving apologizing caring trusting patience tolerance humble sincere honest faithful loyal optimistic confidence punctual courteous respectful considerate grateful content productive creative sharing nurturing encouraging awareness stable open minded and calm and at peace with oneself.

Spiritual values stand alone from all religion and politics and are what our own conscience is based up on. Spiritual Values are what our conscience is based up on.



When I walked in to the spiritual recovery program I was very vulnerable weak inept and insecure, I felt that I could not help myself that the gambling controlled me.
I even felt I was not responsible for my actions, yet being a physical as an adult that seemed a weird kind of concept yet due to unhealed traumatic experiences in my life I had built up huge walls built on fears.
Sadly I had got in to the unhealthy habit of burying and suppressing my pains and was not healing them.
I felt very unsettled by the rooms of recovery because there were very few therapies to give a resolve in how I felt within myself.
I had been very clever by putting up a facade to pretend I was confident and knew the answers to everything and that I was in full control, yet that in itself was living a lie, the facade was hiding all the cracks in my well being.
I had even been able to suppress all memories about me trying to take my own life as a teenager because I was unable to heal the pains I was going through at that time.
In those painful days I felt I could not talk to anyone and feel comfortable with exposing any part of my vulnerability.
My time in the spiritual recovery program it is not about religion but more about me getting healthy once more and embracing spiritual values.
Spiritual value which are character building such as unconditional loving forgiving apologizing caring trusting patience tolerance humble sincere honest faithful loyal punctual courteous respectful considerate grateful content productive creative sharing nurturing encouraging awareness stable open minded and calm and at peace with oneself.

Spiritual Values stand alone from all religion and politics and are what our own conscience is based up on.

Spiritual Values are what our conscience is based up on.

Each time I went against my own conscience I hurt myself in so many ways, yet why did I lie, why did I try to escape life and people, could it simply be unresolved pain and fear based issues.
In time I would learn that I feared being honest because I felt that people would no longer like or love me anymore, was that fear of rejection or fear of abandonment, could it be that simple.
When I started to get honest first of all it was in the rooms of recovery, in time I would to be able to articulate my feelings and understand how I ticked.
The spiritual recovery program was never going to fix me, yet the spiritual recovery program was going to help me help myself by learning slow baby steps.
The honesty started from within me, simple 20 questions would ask me to be honest with myself, it was simple enough yes or no, in time the honesty grew in me and my yes answers grew as I got more honest with myself.
Now in time I would recognize and see myself in other people, sometimes seeing things I did not like seeing.
Yet in time the honesty in me grew, as I grew each meeting I attended grew with me, and our therapies got deeper.
I use to isolate myself in so many ways, some people call it escaping or deviating in not dealing with situations and people in my life.
Then suddenly I would recognize that during my life I had played two roles, victim and perpetrator even knowing how painful it was being the victim even though I justified my actions my lies and cheating would hurt other people.
So by abstaining from gambling was it enough on its own, no for me not so, just by abstaining I was stopping hurting myself and others, by abstaining on its own was not healing the pains of my past.
People as k me at what time do people consider counselling, my answer when you are free f all fears and able to talk about every aspect of your life and not hold anything back.
In the recovery program comes the word boundaries and dysfunctional, they were confusing words which I did not understand.
Boundaries were going to be for me, boundaries are not about trying to control and regulate another person, but more about saying I value myself and I am not willing to do or do certain unhealthy things.
The first boundary we set is just for today I will not gamble, then just for today I will not smoke, just for today I will not say or do anything that hurts myself or another person.
The word dysfunctional could be expressed as not working normally, for me dysfunctional means I was not able to have healthy spiritual interactions with other people due to my fears of my past.
The word dysfunctional could be said to mean unable to interact in healthy ways with other people without reacting in an unhealthy way, anger resentments trsut issues.
The word dysfunctional could mean that I was ignorant and inept in how to interact with other people and lacked healthy social skills.
Yet in the spiritual recovery program that ability would improve without feeling uncomfortable with other peoples honesty.
Being able to articulate my feelings in a healthy way was a way people with me knew what emotional state of mind I was at that moment in time without them feeling threatened by me.
For me anger is an unhealthy reaction to my pains fears and frustrations.
When I first heard that simple fact I could not believe it was that simple.
Some people will refer to people acting out in anger, that is not a healthy way to explain a person real feaalings, it is not an act and often their anger is very real to them.
People being angry do not know how to process their feelings in a healthy way.
People who are angry resentful bitter and twisted are often not healing the pains of their past, healing is a very important pat of the spiritual recovery program.
So my understanding is that pains causes us fears, if those pains are not resolved or healed they leave us with fear we do not understand.
Frustrations were a consequence of unresolved child hood issues, my expectations of my life were not met, and I internalized the fact my emotional wants and needs were not fulfilled as a young child.
I internalized most things in my life and felt that I was not wanted or loved, that there must have been something not right or wrong with me.
I now understand that because my emotional wants and needs were not met had nothing to do about me what so ever.
In the spiritual recovery I would recognize that I did not fully appreciate what love was all about, did I understand what love was all about.
I got the point where I thought I was unlovable, then I understood that love is about healthy interactions with other people.
It was fear that made me unlovable and my inability to put greater unconditional effort in to my relationships with other people.
For most of my life my actions and motives were very unhealthy and conditional, in the spiritual recovery I would start to do things for the wrong unhealthy reasons, in time I would give of myself unconditionally.
In not having expectations of other people or life I started to understand that be being healthy I started to feel proud of myself, every healthy actions has healthy consequences.
So in time I would give up escaping to gambling, I would give up escaping to drink, I would give up escaping to watch television, I would give up escaping to computer games.
So today my time is much more filled with healthy motives and healthy actions, no more person pleasing, no more doing things out of penance, in being motivated in healthy ways and not living a facade I am able to live my life to the full.
Accepting the serenity prayer helped me in so many ways, there is nothing I can say that will change another person to become healthy, that is their conscious choice, unhealthy people will justify their unhealthy actions and unhealthy words no matter how much you explain to them the consequences of their unhealthy actions and unhealthy words up on you.
The serenity prayer helps me understand that I have to make the conscious choice to become healthy, that by starting o value myself I am no longer willing to be unhealthy or use unhealthy actions or unhealthy words up on other people.
Courage to change is and was overcoming my fears and low self esteem.
Step one was something I needed to grasp and understand fully.
Step one acceptance surrender and life being unmanageable.
Acceptance that due to ways of escaping life and people each time I gambled I made thing much worse, at no time did gambling improve my life in any way.
Surrender that all the time I was consumed by my addictions I was beating myself up and causing myself emotional pain time and time again, that all the time I gambled I could not win and that I was becoming more and more of a loser.
Life being unmanageable
Was all about my emotional triggers, my pains I could not or would not heal, I just got in the unhealthy habit of burying and suppressing my pains not healing them.
Fears I was not able to identify or willing to face and over come.
Frustrations due to my unreasonable expectations of life and people. My unreasonable expectations caused me a lot of pain from a very early age.
Loneliness due to two things abandonment issues from my child hood and fears that caused me to isolate myself and I was able to have emotional intimacy with other people.
Boredom due to the fact I was not able to put all my effort in to things outside of my work life, I had in fact become a stunted with regards not taking on new challenges in my life.
Today is very clear to me that worrying about things I could not change caused me far too much stress, worrying was about juggling to many balls in the air and it was inevitable I was going to crash one way or another.
Gambling was risk taking, gambling for me was very much an adrenaline rush for me, the bigger the risk the bigger the buzz, yet I was self destructing myself and my family.
Gambling for me was declining to respect myself was declining to care about myself or other people.
The instant I said to myself oh who cares any way was the moment I was willing to do unhealthy things with myself and my life.
The instant I said to myself oh who cares any way I was willing to give up all faith and hope in myself.
How does the spiritual recovery program work, for me it was a healing process, it helps us heal our self and become more spiritually aware of the fact I was the rat in the wheel going faster and faster and was getting nowhere healthy.
Being consumed by my addictions and obsessions my life was out of balance.
Every time I lied the fears grew within me each time, fear got so great that I reached appoint where I went in to panic mode and made some very unhealthy decisions.
I had to admit to myself I could not be trusted with money, that I did not value money I did not value myself or that I did not value other people.
The emotional scars that caused me to become weak and live in my fears were buried and suppressed over many decades of my life.
My emotional age and physical age did not match up.
The gambling establishments were not my problem I was the problem.
Today I do not want to gamble in any way, yes it would be nice to not have to worry about money, yet I needed to get honest with myself and admit that I worried about everything I had no control over what so ever.
Even though we live in fear to protect our self we need to stop living in fear so that we can get far more from our life today.
I use to blame the gambling establishments for how I use to feel, I use to blame everyone else for how I use to feel.
I now understand that my anger was an unhealthy reaction to pains I was not able to heal, that my anger was an unhealthy reaction to fears I would not face, that my anger was an unhealthy reaction to my frustrations due to my unreasonable expectations of life and people.
Am I able to heal my pains today, am I able to identify each fear and face them today, am I able to reduce my unreasonable expectations of other people and life today.
Do I talk from the logical part of my brain today, or do I talk from the heart today.
Reading text on its own is not enough for me today.
The recovery program is only a manual to help me help myself today by my own actions.
How many people justify not getting a sponsor today, how many people are not willing to invest a lot of time and energy in to their recovery, how many people are reluctant and use every excuse to write things down to paper.
I am going to attend GA 50th birthday in the UK September 2014 I first walked in to GA recovery back in 1969 and I did not have a clue how unhealthy I was.
My thought that if I was able to abstain from gambling I would be happy once more, did not happen that way, I thought that if I was able pay back money I owed people I would be happy, did not happen that way.
Content being at peace with myself were just words to me, I could not relate to them, was I a victim in my life, yes for sure I suffered every form of abuse there was.
When I walked in to the recovery program i was for sure emotionally traumatized in so many ways.
You peel back that onion and the inner child starts to cry, you peel back that onion and expose that little child who was never able to grow up and mature, over time you no longer sulk, you become more and more honest.
The abandonment issues had devastating traumatic effects on me, in time I would cry for that inner child who so much that he wanted to be nurtured and mothered, that inner child would come out to play and to be himself today.
As my honesty grew people would feel threatened by my honesty, as I gave deeper therapies some will run and hide and some people would relate to my deepest feelings and feel connected with me.
Therapies would enable me to be an open book with living in fear of my past any more.
Did I know what true love was all about.
I think my actions were conditional in the old days. I owe you you owe me etc.
Now because my actions and words are unconditional I expect nothing in return. I am a very spiritual person at this time.
I have for certain changed as did my values, I use to justify my cruel words and actions.
Are my words and actions nurturing and encouraging today.
Am I fully accountable to myself today.
Do I feel threatened by another person insecurities, if questioned do I in any way feel threatened by questions today.
A childs innocence is very healthy. I was born free of all fears and over time because of unresolved and unhealed pains fears grew that inhibited me from being the person I knew I could be.
Do I fear any one or anything today.
Do I face my fears today.
Do I take inventory of myself each day, can I improve in myself.
How much more can I learn today.
I use to fear being honest before my recovery, now every day my honesty grows as I mature.
Just because you take away source of money from addict will not stop the addict from trying to escape in other ways.
The spiritual recovery program will work for those people are willing to put a great deal of time and effort in to working the recovery program.
There is no doubt in my mind that I was emotionally traumatized long before my addictions and obsessions, the addictions and obsessions were just the symptoms that I was not able to cope emotionally with life and people.
The recovery program starts off by us reading text, then after time rather than talk from our logic and from the brain we start to talk and be aware of our feelings, we get to talk from the heart, once we open up our hearts we begin our trip in to therapies.
It takes some time for people to move beyond war stories and to talk from the heart, once there is that kind of honesty I could relate to other people lives and experiences also being able to cope emotionally with life issues today.
So do I interact in a healthy spiritual way with all people in my life, or at any point do I still react in an unhealthy way from pains fear or my frustrations.
Being content was a skill that I learned over time, I use to be impatient intolerant and hard on myself, not being able to give myself approval or be able to say to myself that I did a good job.
Pride is the reward we give our self, in being healthy and having healthy relationships with full honesty enables us to have close intimate relationships with other people.
To be honest and fearless is very powerful, to have faced and dealt with our past we are not longer hindered by the guilt pain and shame of our past unhealthy words and unhealthy actions of our past.
I now understand that in the past I did not have any choice but to be unhealthy and I use to live in fear of being honest because I figured every time I am honest was painful.
Being in the spiritual recovery program I was going to be able to feel the full spectrum and range of emotions and feelings, I would be able to cry for that hurt inner child, and over time my emotional age and physical age gap would reduce to being equal.
The honesty I learned in the rooms of spiritual recovery would then spread in to my everyday life, the honest was going to be a part of my every day family life.
As we are more honest and as we progress as a group we grow together yet some times the difference between each of us seems the same, in time we ask some very simple questions as reference to our recovery out of ten what level do we feel today regards certain feelings.
Out of ten what level of fear do I feel in my recovery today, what level of fear did I feel from day one entering the recovery program.
Out of ten what level of pain do I feel in my recovery today, what level of pain did I feel from day one entering the recovery program.
Out of ten what level of frustration do I feel in my recovery today, what level of frustration did I feel from day one entering the recovery program.
Out of ten what level of loneliness do I feel in my recovery today, what level of loneliness did I feel from day one entering the recovery program.
Out of ten what level of boredom do I feel in my recovery today, what level of boredom did I feel from day one entering the recovery program.
The answers were for me, to understand how much progress there was in my spiritual recovery.
How many fears did I have, in which order did they appear serious to me from day one in my recovery, fear of being honest due to fear of abandonment and rejection was one of the more serious fears I had.
Fear of failure because I associated that the only success I had from day one was to get easy money, no matter how well I did my job I could not give myself any kind of approval or credit for good work I did.
Fear of change, I am for sure a creature of habits, yet now I am extended myself more and more, I am able to do things that once I thought were impossible for me.
Fear of appearing vulnerable, appearing weak, appearing stupid or ignorant, and fear of losing control, yet the fact I wanted to control was very much fear based issues for me.
I now understand that every time I went to an addiction or obsession I just simply made things worse, by not facing myself I went to in to more fear than before.
With each lie fear grows, the fear got so great that I went in to panic mode where I could not think clearly, hence having a sponsor is important because deep down we know what we need to do yet because we have lost all confidence and self worth and esteem in our self.
Having an anonymous sponsor is important part of recovery, in being a sponsor is a two way street, it is like having a friend who you trust completely, yet it is important you follow your instincts regards trusting the right person.
The same with honesty you can be honest without hurting other people and this is where the line of nurturing and encouraging another person as against cowardly bullying which has adverse effects on other people recovery and hurts our self.
When sponsoring it is very important it is anonymous, and very important that a person gets different answers from different people and discusses different paths and different paths in their recovery.
I do believe that when dealing with a person who is willing we ask, which is your biggest fear today, in facing each fear we work down wards so that once you face each fear it gets simpler and easier.
Before recovery I suppressed and buried my pains I did not heal from them, the clue to buried and suppressed pains was being over sensitive and angry very quickly with even thinking about it.
Often in my past my unhealthy reaction of anger from that buried hurt little child in me, people seem to use the expression acting out, saying acting out implies the pain is not real and that is not true.
On entering the spiritual recovery I did not know that I feared emotional intimacy, I did not know why I feared being honest, I did not know that i was running away from facing myself and my feelings.
It confused me that during my need to do time at work I did a very good job, yet outside of work I felt such a failure and today I feel successful, I did not know I felt so inept in myself and lacked so many interactive skills in life and dealing with people.
I even use to read body language in the wrong way, that took time and talking with people how they reacted to certain things in their life.
This web site is a willing previlage and process which enables us to relate to other people success experiences and their recovery.
Am I healthy spiritually today, are my fears fading and am I able to interact with all people without taking things and other people issues personally.
I am so pleased with myself that I am able to lose over 20 pounds in weight in the last two months, very simple I have given up all bread, all cakes all biscuits except one naughty day once per week, and given up all fizzy processed sugar drinks yet I do drink fruit drinks and I am eating fruit as well.
Recovery is all about slow steady baby steps one day at a time, I abstain from gambling, I gave up smoking one day at a time, to no longer get drunk one day at a time, to be more caring respectful of myself one day at a time.
Recovery is all about healthy progress not perfection.
I am much closes with Shirley my wife than I have been before, I now understand how important the love of a person is to me.
I have both paid and booked up my attending GA 50th anniversary 5 – 7 September 20014 and am looking forward to being there, it is very likely that people I knew back in 1969 would have not stuck with the spiritual recovery course as long as I have done.
When I see myself in other people I can laugh at myself today, the rooms I go to are very healthy and very honest yet non threatening.
Am I preaching recovery or demonstrating recovery, do my actions match my words, in any way am I a facade, do my family fear me today, is my fears fading once I understood that being honest was a healthy way to live my life today.
Serenity prayer helped me understand that my recovery is my responsibility today, that my anger is my responsibility today, that my being content is my responsibility today, that exchanging unhealthy habits in to healthy habits is my responsibility today.
Am I fully focused on my wants needs and goals today, do I live in the past in any way today. Do I learn from my past today.
I now understand that no one could stop me gambling or stop me being unhealthy, that had to be my choice, no one could stop me taking the easy option all of the time, that had to be my choice, no one could stop me being angry again that had to be my choice.
My emotional triggers were my pains my fears my frustrations my loneliness and my boredom.
After having my last bet I needed to understand which emotional trigger that caused me to go back to gamble once more. It could have been just one single emotional trigger or several emotional triggers.
The hardest emotional triggers to understand were my frustrations due to my expectations of other people and life.
Today I have no expectations of other people what so ever, today however I have high expectations of myself, courage to change the things I can. Wow that is me. How simpler can it get.
Am I productive today in my actions, do I fill my needs today, is cleaning the home about cleaning the home, no it is about me being proud about myself and caring about myself.
For me many kinds of pain causes many different kinds of fears in us, how important is it for us to face those fears, how important is it for us to heal and nurture our pains, surely recovery is about is all about healing.
Bullies are in fact very cowardly weak inadequate insecure unhealthy people who take advantage of vulnerable people or weak people.
Love and peace to everyone
Dave of Beckenham.
AKA Dave L
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#2
As always interesting reading
Some may scoff at it and say its utter rubbish
but i've taken a bit of hope from it
thanks Smartie xx
Reply
#3
If I am doing that then I am interacting with you and your recovery.

Each week when we close our meeting I find that our group works well as a team.

Yet the laughter the humor you hear and experience we have you would never believe that so many people have recovered from such deep pain and emotional trauma.

The laughter the humor that we laugh at our self indicates we have forgiven our self and live in today.

Love and peace to every one

Dave L 

Dave of Beckenham
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