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Questioning my motives before recovery and today
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.

The spiritual recovery has always been there for me to find it yet it was only going to work it once I was fully committed towards investing a large amount of my time and my energy in to working my spiritual recovery, and was fully willing to write things down.

The spiritual recovery never failed me, I failed myself, by not working at my own recovery.

Motivation in my life today, earlier in my life motivation came from some very unhealthy emotional places, defiance, anger, resentments, person pleasing, seeking approval, seeking prestige, by doing things for unhealthy reasons there were no healthy rewards for myself.

Once I questioned my motives only then could I grasp an understanding of unhealthy stages of my life and why my motives were so twisted and distorted, yet it was demonstration by healthy spiritual people that helped me see that there were no rewards for being unhealthy.

My values were also distorted to the point that when people did things for me and expected no reward from me I thought that were nuts or mugs.

Today I do things for other people because for myself, I do things because I want to do them, by doing things for other people I get an internal reward of pride and a healthy relationship with other people.

In today’s life why do people mistrust other people, is it natural to live in fear and mistrust, is it healthy to live in fear and on the edge of your nerves.

I was born free of all fears, there is no doubt in my mind that due to some terrible acts of pain caused up on me emotional abuse physical abuse and sexual abuse which were not healed or resolved I moved from interacting in a healthy way to people from child hood to reacting in a very unhealthy way to rage anger resentments and fears.

Often people will use the words that they want justice when often they are seeking vengeance, that is unhealthy we become.

From day one walking in to the spiritual recovery program I was so messed up I did not understand my unhealthy reactions to life and people, in time the emotional confusion and unhealthy motives would become clear to me.

With each unhealthy word or action we hurt our self, with each unhealthy word or action towards us I felt betrayal, so in time I would acknowledge that for every unhealthy word or unhealthy action there is consequences.

So how motivated am I today, do I have clarity in my life today, am I able to do my best today in everything I do or say, do I make mistakes today, now and again.

By staying focused and thinking things out more clearly I am able to make far less mistakes, having my lists of things helps me stay very focused, yet no obsessed.

My daily life is broken in to three things and directions, wants needs and goals, in order to become an adult I needed to learn to fulfil my basic needs, I was suppose to learn those skills from adults an parents.

I use to fear computers, I then learned how to use and operate them and that fear faded and my confidence was built and established, mind you there was a time when I used computers to escape in one form or another.

Can we say that often dysfunctional people have distorted motives, that dysfunctional people will blame life and people for their own failings, that dysfunctional people find it hard to have healthy spiritually interactive relationships.

So each form of abuse I suffered caused me to live in so many fears I did not understand my unhealthy reaction to life and people, there was for sure a lack of trust due to betrayals in my life.

One healthy reward from working my recovery was learning to protect myself, not from anger but from a place of peace.

The same with boundaries, boundaries should be set from a place of peace, that certainly takes time.

Just for today I will not gamble is a healthy boundary, just for today I will give up all forms of self abuse is a healthy boundary, just for today I become more productive is a healthy boundary.

As my lists get longer I am able to become more productive.

My lists is an indicator of how accountable I am to myself.

Betrayal comes in many forms, betrayal of our trust, that occurred more often than not in my child hood, betrayal of my needs and wants as a child caused me to internalize it.

I did two years of karate and then found I enjoyed fighting it was the fear of aggression and confrontation that I feared deeply, karate did help me with myself discipline and getting motivated in many more healthier ways.

Yet at the beginning of my karate years was obsessive, also I would say that there was a lot of pain and rage than needed to be put to rest.

Hence when joining a karate club it is important that motives and most important are they are not just street fighting to transfer their pains fear and frustrations on to other people.

An unhealthy karate club will cause people to live in even more fear than the first day they walked in to the club.

There was a point in my recovery where I felt like I had been battered and hurt so much there was no chance of me living at peace with myself or the world.

Then as my emotional turmoil started to reduce and I started to understand my emotional vulnerability, that I started to feel comfortable in the rooms of spiritual recovery.

The corners of my confused emotional puzzle started to take shape.

Words and text were not enough for me to learn what spiritual growth was all about.

The spiritual recovery program has helped understand what is healthy and unhealthy in my life, what actions and words I need to use to have healthy relationships in my life today.

Whatever would cause me to do unhealthy things, what would cause me to go against my own conscience and hurt the very people that love me the most, for me it was fear and panic.

Panic is the consequences of living on the edge of my nerves and being in a state of panic for far too long, I understand that it is not possible to panic if you are free of all fears, and today I understand that all my fears are a consequence of unresolved pains of my past.

My thinking was that if I put high walls of fear around me I would save myself from being hurt, and in some ways that helped to protect me for many years, sadly the consequences of living in fear I did stop other people from hurting me, yet sadly I stop myself from getting out and having healthy relationships with other people.

The walls of fear were a facade that when people questioned who or what I was or even questioned my belief system I would feel like I was being attacked and would react in a defensive mode.

I use to try and make people laugh as I felt that was a way of stopping me from being hurt, making people laugh would also help people to become friends with me.

I am a very selfish person today, it was and is today important that I look after my wants and needs today, I had to become a very selfish person in order to embrace the spiritual program, and to become a person that was turning from self destructive mode in to self preservation mode.

“Just for today I will not” is an indicator I am removing from unhealthy actions and unhealthy words, then the big courage of change and having the strength to change from “Just for today I will not” to “Just for today I will” is when the spiritual recovery program kicked in for me.

I will is not about me controlling other people or life, I will is about my commitment and me valuing myself , it is about courage to change for myself, I will is about my commitment, to move from procrastination to positive motivated thinking I moved from being indecisive to I will or I will not, nothing in between.

I will or I will not is not about impulsive decisions, it is about clear thinking and even if I need to take time work out best decision for myself and my family.

A healthy meeting should greet people who have broken out gambling with even more compassion than the first day they walked in to the spiritual recovery program because each time a person breaks out it is harder to go back to meetings.

I place no pressure on people at all about them doing things they do not want to do, it is highly recommended to be as honest as you can be, yet it is up to person to make those choices.

Once you seriously get in to the spiritual recovery program our steel will be tested more and more, that is how recovery works, the amount of honesty in our life grows and grows.

I was in the spiritual recovery program over 20 years before I even talked about ambitions and goals, I use to think that if I was able to abstain from gambling I was a success, now the bar has been raised not by others but by myself, for me today abstain from gambling is the very minimum I do today, yet for some it might seem impossible today.

If you are so lost so weak so vulnerable that you have given up all faith and hope in yourself and do not even know how you are feelings where do you begin, I was so messed up I did not know what was up and what was down.

Every time we break out gambling is a new learning experience, what was my emotional trigger, pain fear frustrations loneliness boredom or not able to cope with unexpected money or a bonus.

To each person at different levels of recovery success means something different, as we progress we understand that deep down we are all the same yet at different levels of recovery.

From feeling fear in the rooms to now feeling comfortable takes time, the spiritual recovery program is like a second family to me, it helps me make healthier choices each day.

I like many people see and feel spiritual decline in several avenues of our communities, and for me when people faith fades and people do not have religious guidance spiritual values decline.

Even though I am not religious I think that withdrawal of spiritual guidance has an adverse effect on every one, spiritual guidance is essential to healthy living, spiritual guidance is what our own deep seated conscience is built on.

I do not need to give gifts or money to show people how much I value and love them, I show them so.

How focused am I on things I do today, do I worry about anything today, am I always looking at text or messages to often, am I distracted by worrying about tomorrow, do I escape to computer games, do I escape to television programmes.

How balanced is my life today, is there 8 hours of need to things, is there 8 hours of want to things so that I am rewarding myself, is there 8 hours of sleep and relaxation, how balanced is my life today.

Am I able to compliment and appreciate other people today, do I show my gratitude towards what people do for me today, do I value who I am today, do I value where I am today, do I value who I am with today, have my values changed since being in the spiritual recovery program.

Without us in demonstrating in the spiritual recovery program what are healthy spiritual values are why should believe us that the spiritual recovery program works, if we are the same unhealthy person as we were from day one how can other people believe that recovery truly works.

One person in the spiritual recovery program asked me how much money my last break out cost me, I told him expecting sympathy and pity he told me it was a cheap price to pay if I had learned what my emotional trigger was from that painful experience, it was not the response I expected for sure, yet he was so right from that perspective.

Sadly often when confronting people causes more harm than good, using third party conversation helps people see them self in other people, that is a healthy way to help people see the truth about them self.

As often is the case people walk in to the spiritual recovery program emotionally traumatized, hence it is very important not scare people away, is also helpful to help them understand it is very rare for people to abstain from gambling from day one in the spiritual recovery program.

The important message to give people is to keep going back to the spiritual recovery program meeting, if there are no GA Meetings near you go to other type of recovery program meetings, no matter when your last bet was, it is also important to give up talking about gambling or being in gambling actions or worrying about money, by the way gambling or worrying never resolved one unhealthy situation in my life.

One of the topics last night were is confession healthy, there was an agreement it was healthy yet why, at the beginning of the steps asks to be honest with one person, over time as we become more healthy we open up more and feel more relaxed in doing so more of past is released from the deep seated sub conscious.

As we talk our past we feel enlightened that those things are no longer a secret hence less fear and we feel more comfortable with our past, later as make lists we take a deeper responsibility understanding that our unhealthy actions or lack of healthy actions had consequences.

Another one of the topics last night was step twelve, do we quote text or do we demonstrate being free of fears, do we demonstrate to people that past is no longer important once we have processed it a healthy way.

Do we demonstrate to people patience and tolerance, are we learning to be more respectful of our self, and respectful of other people, do we give of our self unconditionally, are we helping the people within the spiritual recovery program.

Do we demonstrate to other people spiritual values, do our words match our actions, when we apologize do we try to justify our unhealthy actions or unhealthy words.

Am I bitter and twisted today, do I have any resentments, if I still have resentments I am not healing the pains of my past in a healthy way.

I liked the quote "Expectations are premeditated resentments" for me expectations came from my child hood, sadly my expectations caused myself a lot of pain, today I do not have any expectations of other people.

I than every one for being on this web site, I thank everyone involved in keeping this site safe up and running and helping us to help our self, there have been many unhealthy troubled souls who would wish ill of us and our recovery, I hope that in time those unhealthy troubled people can come around to a much healthier way of living and thinking.

Do I react to life and people or do I interact with life and people today, do I have more to offer today, the more aware I am and the more I learn the more I understand how ignorant I am.

After a very abusive experience in my child hood I had a difficulty in grasping an understanding, for me with maths percentage and fractions were different kind of numbers, and over time once I started to understand and heal I am able to see feel and understand more about my life.

How do you make people understand that they are in an emotional state of trauma on first day of walking in to the spiritual recovery program, how do you help people understand that gambling is a form of self abuse, that gambling is not a love but a form of escaping our self and how we deeply feel.

There is both emotional trauma and physical trauma, the point where the body or mind is no longer able to cope with emotional and or physical pain anymore and it switches off its sensors, this is a very serious unhealthy state to be in.

No matter how much we say or do can we help a person understand that the spiritual recovery program is important to their well being, it is not about controlling them or religion, it is important that no matter when your last bet was that the spiritual recovery program will help people live a much healthier life than they have ever experienced before, and for me it has nothing to do about religion. I am a spiritual not a religious person.

Christmas use to be a big emotional trigger to me, I use to stress myself every year, it was never planned out, I never gave myself enough time to get things done, I use to want to person please, I use to want to give gifts to person please and to say sorry I am not a bad person.

I we use to be so stressed by Christmas day that we could not enjoy the day, once we recognized it was unhealthy we can do something about it, people think that I am kind of weird sending them Christmas cards at the beginning of November.

I have a file with all the people I know and their addresses, I buy cards with same size of envelopes and then print all the envelopes off in one go, it is then simple enough to write cards out and put them in envelopes.

The letters I write I have the page set out and then add messages to each person, yet because of memory fading sometimes find it difficult to remember all of the people, Shirley was very shocked as this year she was with me when I posted them at the post office.

I use to think that the spiritual recovery program was going to control my life, I now understand that the program helps me take charge and responsibility for my life in a mature and healthy way.

Once a person goes in to panic mode due to high levels of fear it is difficult to listen to healthy wise advice, in time attending meeting I saw glimpses of healthy thinking, as I grew and matured I found that I was able to sty more focused on today.

Serenity the ability to be at peace without reacting in an unhealthy way to people or life, to not take on board other peoples unhealthy issues, to not feel responsible for how other people feel.

It is important to understand to able to feel for other people yet not feel responsible for their feelings.

Being in and taking the spiritual recovery program seriously has meant for me that I was able to healthier in my life than ever before, to feel happy and content with who I am today, and where I am today.

To value yourself, to be become selfish and about our recovery above everything and everybody else was important part of my recovery.

What is spiritual recovery, for me spiritual recovery is about healing relationships with myself first of all, then repair relationships with other people, every religion gives spiritual guidance, yet a person can be spiritual without being religious.

For me the gambling drink were just symptoms that emotionally I could not cope with life and people, life being unmanageable was due to the fact I could not cope emotionally, the spiritual recovery was going to help me reduce my fears and feel comfortable with being honest in the rooms of recovery.

For me my life being unmanageable was long before my addictions and obsessions, life being unmanageable after every kind of abuse that was done to me, emotional abuse physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Sadly I had got in to the unhealthy habit of burying and suppressing my pains, with each pains done to me caused fears that would go in to my adulthood, some fears were so subconscious I could not explain them logically.
So when I walked in to the recovery program I was so confused, I thought I must be stupid dumb evil bad wrong I use to beat myself up calling myself names, I was undermining myself more often than not.
The twenty questions were not an interrogation that was supposes to cause me humiliation, the twenty questions were to enable me to get honest with myself, did I want to be honest, no yet did I need to get honest with myself.
Every time I gambled I made things worse, yet in my mind I thought and felt that money would resolve all of my emotional issues, that was not so, having money would make me happy, having money would not take away my fears.
The simple fact that once one fear was faced I was then going on to face all the fears of my life, hence the question which is my worst fear today, am I going to face that fear, and what if any is the worst thing that could happen, once I faced each fear my fears would reduce.
Confidence and pride are feelings that are healthy, yet they only come about by us doing and saying healthy things in our life.
It is not important who knocked the stuffing out of us, we in recovery learn to recognize healthy and unhealthy programming in our life and over time understand that people are doing and saying those same unhealthy things that were done to them in their child hood.
In our meetings we discuss all of the 20 questions and 12 steps so that not only do we talk from our perspective but also hear other people’s views and opinions what they mean to them at that point in their recovery.
Will our faith system change while in recovery, most certainly, that is healthy, will our opinions change about life and people, yes for sure, that too is healthy, then an understanding there is no right or wrong way in recovery, it is only a learning curve, all the time remain in the spiritual recovery program we gain some thing.
One attitude if I am in the spiritual recovery program each night I am not gambling, true but is the spiritual recovery program only about not gambling, abstaining for some is all they want, yet it might not be enough.
If we are abstaining at least we are not causing our self pain, yet we can only heal once we have stopped hurting our self, for me it is not possible to heal while we are causing our self further pains.
Why did I think that my gambling was fun exciting and that I loved it, well for me it was an adrenaline rush, and if we understand that adrenaline is a fear based drug along with others how could we convince our self that while gambling I was happy.
For me gambling was just another way of me escaping facing myself along with facing other people, often people will read step one life being unmanageable due to lack of funds, was that true.
No matter how many times I was bailed out I would escape to gambling and put myself in to more mess than ever before, the money was the fuel for my addiction, that is all money was to me.
I did not value money and I did not value myself, that is the simple fact I would learn over time, in the recovery I would learn to care more, I would learn to have empathy for myself for my past abuse, I would learn to not fear being honest, I would learn to be more accountable to myself, I would learn to be more mature.
It is very interesting that most recovery programs ask for change in our self yet often the people of position are very reluctant to change the guide lines of the recovery programs, should it not be that programs change with its people.
It was a healthy thing to have greeters to new members, it helped people settle down and feel comfortable understanding that the recovery programs will not ask them to do something they are if they are not ready to do.
One of the most difficult unsettling things asked of me was to hand over all family finances, for me money was also about control, because I felt so inadequate and insecure in myself I felt that by handing over finances I was being treated like a little child.
The simple fact I could not trust myself with money besides I did not value money or value myself, once I walked out of home with very basic needs of money I found I placed myself under less pressure, could be having money have been an emotional trigger for me.
I now on occasions walked in to shops and not even have known how much money I have on me, sometimes finding that I do not have enough money at the till I shop and get enough money to pay for goods, I do not feel silly or stupid when this occurs.
In recent days there has been discussion about control issues and appearing weak, for me control was very much fear based issues, now appearing when I expose my vulnerability surely that is a sign of strength.
Out honesty in the spiritual recovery program is a demonstration of our strength, the more honest we talk the stronger the rooms is, our relationships are based on our honesty, hence being fearless means I can have healthy relationships with me holding back to enjoying the interactions with all people.
My ancestry is over 24,000 people, and yet it never seems to end, there was a time when I was scared of computers, now computers are a very healthy tool for me to fulfil my wants and needs in different areas of my life.
There was a time when I did not even know what a spread sheet was, now I tend to use spread sheets most days.
Once I wrote down all my finances on spread sheets my fiancés were very clear to see, why the reluctance to be accountable, I was scared of what I would find out about myself and my life.
I use to think that finding out would scare me I preferred to live in fear rather than face my reality.
The very minimum money I lost in my unhealthy habits was 109,000.00 now that is quite a large sum of money to waste away in unhealthy habits, yet knowing the sums of money does not scare me today, the most important thing I could have lost was the love of my family.
No matter where I go I am not alone, even when I am on my own I am not alone, I feel more connected with life and people than any other time in my life.
Fear very much restricted me, I did not understand why fear stopped me getting on with my life it just did, fear made me an unlovable person, fear inhibited me from having healthy spiritual interactions with all people. Fear stopped me from being myself.
It was very important for me to learn what my wants and needs were, beyond that was goals setting, goals setting can be wants or needs, on walking in to the spiritual recovery program I did not think I wanted or needed the spiritual recovery program, everyone else knew I needed the spiritual recovery program yet I did not think I needed or wanted help.
When a person says to you they have forgiven you for your unhealthy actions and words is that true, surely for them to forgive us means they know and understand how to heal their pains. That is not always the case, often when people have been betrayed they will at an angry moment bring up the past, that is an indicator they have not forgiven us but have in fact just buried and suppressed their pains.
Maturity being able to look after our self, emotionally physically sexually, are we able to do that today honestly, are we at peace with our own sexuality today.
By being at peace with my own sexuality I am at peace with all other peoples sexuality.
Just recently I mentioned that most people are not willing to talk about is our fantasies, now there are several levels of fantasies some might associate fantasies as being dream related, a childs innocent fantasy, it can be wonderful thing, yet can we as adults make our dreams come true in our reality today.
There is no doubt in my mind that my childs innocence was taken from me at a very early age, I was emotionally vulnerable long before I was seven years of age, I was destined to have an obsession or addiction.
Some people might even question if addictions or obsessions are genetic, for me it is unhealthy child hood programming from a very early age.
As a teenager I did not have a clue what was healthy or unhealthy, I could even look after myself, the spiritual recovery program was eye opener to reality and how immature and vulnerable I truly was.
What is my emotional age today, now if you ask my wife Shirley if I have grown up you will get another answer different to mine, in my twenties I had an emotional age of 7 – 10 years of age, today I am 68 years of age yet only have an emotional age of 35 year old.
My taking in the spiritual recovery program has unsettled people around me, I do not react in the way I use to react, I am able to interact in a much mature way today, I do not need jokes to feel comfortable, I do not need to person please or tell people what they want to hear today.
Today any form of escaping facing people or life is fear based, it is important for me to get out on a regular basis to feel a part of my society.
Is isolation and self sufficiency the same thing, not at all, as an adult I Needed to learn for help when I was ignorant or did not understand things, with regards it was important for me to ask people to show me how to do things for myself, if I ask people to do things for me and I do not learn from them I am cheating myself.
Measure twice cut once is being more attentive and more careful in the things I do, that is important.
When I was with my mother just before she died, I told her how much I loved her, I told her that the past no longer mattered any more That is recovery working.
Giving compliments, showing appreciations, being polite patient and tolerant with myself and other people, apologizing means I care and that my values are healthy today.
When people are apologizing means we are mature accountable but more importantly means I care and that my values are healthy today.
People can say that they hate me today, and that is alight with me, their honesty tells me they are not afraid of me today, I use to say I did not care what people thought of me, that was not true, what people think of me is none of my business today.
I often why it took me so long for me to learn to listen, for me I now understand it was due to the fact I was emotionally traumatized, I was unable to absorb or take in good advice, as we heal and recovery our ability to listen improves and clear thinking take place, yet the fear of change can be over whelming for some time.
What levels of pain do I live in today out of ten, ten being the highest level, what levels of fear do I live in today out of ten, what levels of frustrations do I live in today out of ten, what levels of loneliness do I live in today out of ten, what levels of boredom do I live in today out of ten.
Comparison of each of those emotional triggers helps us decide which emotional triggers do I live in today, and which I need to work on, by facing and dealing with our vulnerability we will reach appoint where we no longer want or need to gamble today.
What are the most common fears, fear of rejection was one of my biggest, fear of what people thought of me, fear of rejection or abandonment, fear of being humiliated, fear of emotional abuse, fear of aggression and confrontation, fear of appearing weak, fear of losing my job, fear of not being perfect, fear of appearing ignorant.
Is it possible to be completely free of emotional attachment to gambling, to no longer want or need to gamble, to no longer fear it, to no longer hate them, to no longer blame them for my unhealthy actions or to no longer blame them for how I use to feel or how I feel today.
I do understand for some people my sharing cure their insomnia, that is fine like Bryan Tracey it takes some time for us to absorb and take in so much information towards change and adapting to another healthier way of thinking and living.
Lots of people and even the recovery made a lot of sense yet it could not change my unhealthy reaction to life and people, but what is important is to stick with it, there many things that made healthy sense yet I could not fully grasp and take in to my recovery.
Parrot fashion memory is not what healthy recovery is all about, the important thing with step twelve is that we demonstrate honesty by not only words but by our actions, our unhealthy reaction tells people we are not healed and need to work more on our self.
“What is love” something I thought that I understood at one time, is love physical, is about sexual attraction only, for me today Love is spiritually based healthy interactions between humans and humans and humans and animals, it is a healthy interaction which is free of all fears and is unconditional.
There was a suggestion at one time that love is a method of healing from the pains of my past. It was suggested that if I said I loved a person that pains of my past would be resolved.
Children can love unconditionally easily, children are born fearless and their innocence is very powerful, sadly over time if pains are not healed with each unresolved pain grows fears increase which remain with us until later years of our life.
Topic our emotional vulnerability and emotional triggers often cause people to feel uncomfortable, yet once we understand our emotional triggers we can do something about them.
For me being honest first of all was very scary, I feared the consequences of my unhealthy actions, I feared being honest because as a child I was often hurt physically or emotionally when I was honest.
I have had people be honest with me that they have broken out gambling, it is not my place to tell another person or a meeting place that would be a betrayal of their trust of me, I let people know that they can tell the meeting when they are ready to do so.
For me I wanted to be normal, to give up gambling for a month was success, to give up gambling for a year was success, I often used the wording I wanted to be normal.
Sadly over time I recognized over time that supposedly normal people do and say some very cruel unhealthy things towards other people, so for me the spiritual recovery program would help me raise the bar for myself, that supposedly reference of level was not healthy enough for me today.
Did I have a conscience when I lied stole and cheated other people and was very unhealthy, yes for sure I have a conscience, yet would drive me or cause me to go against my own conscience, for me it was very much fear based issues.
The spiritual recovery program is what it says it is about all about recovery, for me the word recovery is all about healing, healing at an emotional level, healing from those things in our life that caused us both physical emotional pain and also understand that things did not happen that we both wanted and needed in our child to be nurtured care for and to protect us.
For me today any form of gambling is self destructive and a complete waste of time, gambling is one of the unhealthiest ways to use my time, I am emotionally detached from gambling it means nothing to me.
The serenity prayer helps us understand that we are not able to change other people, yet if unhealthy people transfer their pains fears or frustrations on to us how do we deal with those people, and at what point do we speak out for our self directly or indirectly.
Love and peace to everyone.
Dave of Beckenham
Could we all use a little more compassion, love and support? Of course...

A good reminder for me that recovery isn't just about can't be....but it does start with me...

GA at its best can help with that...

GA at its worst...I'd like to think it at least offers hope...??

Smartie xx

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