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Why did I question every thing, why did I doubt myself.
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.
My life was emotionally unmanageable long before my addictions and obsessions, before my recovery I use to react in an unhealthy way, after abstaining from unhealthy habits I am now able to interact with people and life.

Why did I question every thing, why did I doubt myself, was it fear based, was it the fact I had lost all confidence and faith in myself.

Why did I question every thing and every one was it due to the fact I had been hurt badly and learned to live my life in fear.

The spiritual recovery program was not going to take over my life or control me, the spiritual recovery program was not going to help me help myself to become a much healthier person, with a better chance of making healthier choices with my life.

For me every addiction or obsession was unhealthy for me.

It is a healthy boundary to give up unhealthy living and unhealthy choices, today I do not want or need to gamble.

There was a time when I thought I would the last person on this planet to give up gambling, I honestly thought that gambling controlled me.

For me aggression and confrontation is unhealthy, did I learn aggression and confrontation from adults in my child hood, is aggression and confrontation a way of people controlling other people and shows insecure and inadequate people truly are.

Is aggression and confrontation a unhealthy method of unhealthy people to get they want, at any bodies cost, aggression and confrontation a way of people transferring their pains fear and frustrations on to other people.

At meeting there was the topics of expectations, and step 11, and for me my unreasonable expectations of other people and life caused me a lot of pain from a very young age.

My expectations I feel started from a very a very early age, due to abandonment issues and lack of my emotional wants and needs which were nurturing loving and protection just were not available for me.

So by being in the spiritual recovery program for a long period of time I have learned to care love and respect myself, I have also learned to respect care and set boundaries for myself.

Being in the spiritual recovery program I learned very slowly that any kind of addiction or obsession was very unhealthy for me, trying to be perfect was a kind of obsession, not being satisfied and not being able to give myself any kind of approval was being hard on myself, not being able to be content with progress.

In time I would understand that my unreasonable expectations caused me unnecessary pains, that by my actions being conditional and having expectations due to my actions and words I was not giving of myself unconditionally that again I caused myself a lot of unnecessary pains.

Once I gave of myself unconditionally that pains would no longer happen for me.

Shirley my wife helped me understand that giving unconditionally of myself was self rewarding, that giving unconditionally of myself was what love was all about.

Arrogance and confidence how do they relate to my recovery today, if I am not demonstrating healthy spiritual recovery by my healthy spiritual actions and healthy spiritual words I am only cheating myself, it is only by doing spiritual habits that I gain confidence in myself.

If I am saying you have to it is an indication of my own insecurity and my own fears, I feel that if we do progress by our healthy spiritual actions and our healthy spiritual words we are in fact doing step twelve.

One thing that will happen if people work with a sponsor by our healthy spiritual actions that our belief system will change over time, that our reaction to life and people will change how we feel about self internally.

The spiritual recovery program for me was about maturing, becoming more honest with myself, to be more open minded, the spiritual recovery program for me was about asking for help when I felt emotionally vulnerable, the spiritual recovery program for me was a guide for me to gain a healthy life by simple slow baby steps and to be more tolerant and patient with myself.

The spiritual recovery program would help me to understand that recovery will work if you are religious or not, everyone has their own belief and that is healthy, yet we find that as we heal and mature and grow that our own belief will change as we get healthy.

The spiritual recovery program will help us see our self in other people both the healthy and unhealthy habits we have not yet over come.

The spiritual recovery program would become a second family to me, that I would become more honest with strangers than I could be honest with my own family.

The spiritual recovery program would be a place where being honest was no longer painful, yet being honest would become a release for me from my painful past.

Guilt shame and resentments are living in the pains of our past and are adverse to our recovery, in time once we learn to heal our pains we will learn to heal our self from our past.

People will often confuse forgiving as being a way to suppress and bury our painful feelings, to suppress and bury my pains is not healthy, an indicator that pain is being suppressed and buried is people getting angry very quickly at everyone and everything.

Being over sensitive and getting angry very quickly is very stressful both physically and emotionally on our well being.

One can argue which is most unhealthy being a suppressive aggressive or expressive aggressive or a mixture of both, often people will allow stress of the day to build up and then people take it home and jump their pains fear and frustrations on to their own family, how healthy is that.

The decision to have my 22nd GA birthday at Thursday Varsity has been decided by myself now and talking to meeting is going to be on 15th October, I have now committed myself to a date which suits our meeting.

This birthday is not for me, this birthday is about me showing my gratitude to the people who have shared them self with me, also showing my gratitude to the spiritual recovery program of AA which was the father of the spiritual recovery programs.

The spiritual recovery program has asked me to help myself with the help of other people, the spiritual recovery program has asked me to become more mature and accountable to myself, it has asked me to become more open and honest with other healthy people.

The spiritual recovery program has asked us to grow as a group and have healthier fearless relationships that we have ever had before in our lives in a safe meeting place.

Understanding the difference between confidence and arrogance, is my belief system changing as I grow spiritually, yes, do I push my ideas on other people, is my path in recovery the only path.

Confidence and pride is the reward for doing healthy actions and facing new challenges, yet arrogance would be me telling other people how to live their life, not me demonstrating spiritual recovery, my trying to control other people would be arrogance for sure.

I make sure that people question every choice they make, because once we commit to our actions in my recovery the consequences is our responsibility.

I make sure that people question and get advice from many sources and different people, even though I could not get healthy on my own it required me to find the courage to change within myself. It was for me to overcome the fear of healthy changes in my life today taking slow baby steps.

For me gambling is a very unhealthy habit, I am not willing to put myself at risk having any kind of bet my life is worth more that money today.

I am grateful that I am a 12 stepper and I am getting healthier, I am grateful that I am able to healthy today without fear holding me back from having healthy intimate relationships, I am grateful that I no longer react in anger, I am grateful that I am able to interact with people being myself, I am grateful that I am productive with my time and my relationships with other people, I am grateful that I am able to ask for help, I am grateful that I am not alone, I am grateful that I am at peace with my past, I am grateful that I excited at each day and motivated in a healthy way today, I am grateful that I understand my wants my needs and my goals today, I am grateful that I am able to put my hand out in friendship today.

As fear fades and trust grows I am opening up more, I do not fear being honest today, no person or thing is a threat to my well being today.

I have the ability the motivation and the willingness to change from being unhealthy for many decades to be the healthiest I can be today,

Abstaining was all that I wanted at one time, if I was able to stop gambling I would be happy, it did not happen that way, if I was able to pay back all of my debts I would be happy, it did not happen that way.

The question what is happiness, can I happy if I am angry and resentful all of the time, is happiness about being content with who I am today, being content with where I am today, being content with progress in what I am doing today.

For me impatience intolerance was an indicator of how hard I was on myself.

There is no doubt in my mind that walking in to the spiritual recovery program I was emotionally traumatized long before my addiction and obsessions, in time that emotional trauma would be healed and resolved.

As pain gets healed it is replaced with sadness, and I would also learn that the pains of my past once healed would become my strength today.

The spiritual recovery program would enable me to make healthier choices in my actions and in my words, the spiritual recovery program would ask me to change to be grow in several ways in my life.

The word control is often confusing, when I use the word control regards other people it is fear based, it is not my place to regulate or improve anyone but myself, if a person does not respect them self they will most certainly not respect me.

The word control relating to my reaction to other people and life itself is about changing my reactions to interactions.

My frustrations were the hardest to understand, my frustrations started from a very early age, I did not my wants and needs fulfilled as a child, that in turn caused me pain, I internalized that because my wants and needs were not fulfilled it was all about me.

My abandonment issues caused me a lot of pains, that abandonment issues would also bring about adverse person pleasing habits, and in time in the spiritual recovery program I would cry and heal abandonment pains of that little child on many occasions.

The serenity prayer is not about changing anyone else but myself, the serenity prayer is also not about people remaining victims and not speaking out for them self. Yet removing myself from being a victim and wanting pity and sympathy and living in drama would take time.

The spiritual recovery program would help me understand I could not do it on my own, the spiritual recovery program would help me understand I did not have a choice but to live in fear and mistrust, the spiritual recovery program would give me healthy choices in how to deal with my life and people around me.

Every religion gives some kind of spiritual guidance and gives us a sense of what our spiritual values are all about.

Sadly unhealthy people will do or say things that adversely affect other people and then even justify the adverse effect they have on other people, when I was consumed by my addictions and obsessions I would escape in fear and lie about the consequences of my actions and live in guilt and shame.

Today I would like to think that I am spiritually free of feelings towards gambling actions and gambling establishments, I also needed to stop taking easy options in my life and to not avoid being accountable to myself.

How would I feel if a person came to me with a gun and forced me to hand over our home, forced me to hand over our car and take from me every holiday I have earned due to the work of myself and my family.

Would I feel pain fear and frustrated and feel I did not deserve that to happen to me and my family.

Yet over for over 30 years I gave away the price of a house, I gave away the price of a car and I gave away the price of many holidays and yet I did not see or understand how much money and time I wasted.

The last big bet what did it cost me monetary, did I understand what my net hourly rate was, hour many hours did I need to work to replenish that money, before I started paying money so my family and could live.

The same with credit cards if I pay excessive interest on credit cards I am have to work 20 -30 % of my work time fist of all just to pay interest of credit cards before I could reach time worked to cover my living costs.

What fear caused me to escape to an addiction or obsession, how many fears did I have, how could I cope better with those fears.

At what time in my life was I going to become secure and satisfied with who I am today, to become secure and satisfied with what I am today, and to become secure and satisfied with the direction and path I take today in my life.

Sadly unhealthy people will assume by talking about the past is about proportioning blame or trying to guilt trip other people.

Being in the spiritual recovery program is about learning from our past and not living in it.

Resentments guilt and shame is living in the pains of our past, can we change our past, no but we can learn from our past if we are willing to be accountable to our self.

On walking in to the spiritual recovery I did not have a clue what my emotional triggers were, if you asked me how I was feeling I would have told you I was fine or not so bad.

At what point in my life was I unable to heal my pains, was it when I broke up having relationships with other people, was it when I was bullied as a child, was it when I was trying to take my own life, could it have been that I was traumatized due to emotional and physical abandonment as a child.

Could it have been due to humiliation and emotional abuse as a child.

To me it was not important my past but to learn to heal pains so I no longer buried and suppressed my feelings.

Being emotionally traumatized means my emotions and feeling were so mixed up and messed up I could not explain or articulate what I was feeling, or even thinking.

Going in to panic mode became a way of life for me, going in to panic mode was a very good indicator of how many and how much fears had over taken my way of think things out clearly.

Today being honest has no fear associated with it, being honest today is very like confession, yet with my therapies comes the comfort of people knowing and understanding more about me at some depth.

Today I had a person try and intimidate me with her car, she was trying to bully me and I just laughed at her, needless to say she shouted abuse, she sounded her horn and I just smiled at her, she new that to try to bully me was not going to work.

That person had cut up traffic and inconvenienced other people and thought could get away with it.

A one time in Calgary a person tail gated me, when it was safe to do so I pulled over nice and safely, the person gave me an unhealthy gesture, I smiled and blew a kiss at that person, needless to say that did not go down well with him.

Thinking back it was not a healthy thing to do, yet at one time I use to allow bullies to intimidate me time after time, even in the recovery program people use to try it on.

For me Calgary has become a healthy place to live physically and emotionally, Calgary GA has come a long way with the therapies I hear.

Lots of people use the telephone when they feel vulnerable and need some help.

There were many times when people use to transfer their pains fear and frustrations on to other people in the rooms of recovery.

Yet some people do not understand or know how to deal with new people so that feel comfortable and are not forced in to doing things when they are not ready for it, I need to be respectful of how vulnerable feel when first walk in to the recovery program.

Once people feel comfortable they can open up more, yet it takes time to trust once more, it took me decades to talk about my feelings and my painful life time experiences, some were suppressed so deep there was no recall to them.

As a teenager when I tried to take my life I could not even talk to my own parents, those memories were suppressed for most of my life.

At that same time some spiritual people came in to my life that helped me overcome some of my fears, they helped bring out that little child in me for a time an then helped me open up and laugh.

There were certain spiritual in my life for a reason, I am not religious but I do believe in certain things that are not easily explained.

How do we know that certain people are healthy spiritual people, they do ask any thing of us, they accept us for who we are, they do not bully but encourage and nurture us, their friendship and love is unconditional, they give of them self unconditionally.

Healthy spiritual people are non offensive, healthy spiritual people will not try to push you or manipulate you, they will accept you for who you are today.

Sadly those people who are not healthy spiritual people will dump on you and make you feel responsible for how they feel, they will often even blame you for their life failings, they will even use guilt to try and control you, unhealthy people

How does the spiritual recovery program work, if you go to a healthy meeting you will be made to feel welcome, you will be given text relating to your certain addiction or addictions, people will be asked to read 20 questions you do not have to answer them.

By reading the 20 questions is not about feeling pain of feeling guilty it is about making us aware of how honest we are with our self today.

Over time the number of yeses will change as we get more honest with our self.

The answers we give to the 20 questions are not for anyone else but for our self.

Over time people will talk about money lost and about being in action, then once you have told your storey over time the stories fade and therapies start to happen, this is when you cross the line and talk from the heart not from the conscious mind.

At this point some therapies can be very jumbled up and confused, this is quite normal and means it demonstrates the confusion within us. People have even commented in a healthy way how erratic it was and I was unable to stay focused on one point or part of my life.

As my therapies happened it was a kind of inner honesty and that little hurt came out and on occasions learned to feel comfortable crying in front of other people.

Exposing yourself through therapies and letting people see and feel the pains you have been through helps you come to another level of honesty and also at this point the beginning of your new found emotional intimacy.

I am very blessed to have rooms full of people that I call my friends, those people often know more about me than some family members would know of me.

Over four decades I have talked about my part as being the victim and living in fear of my past, living in fear of going to school, living in fear of going home, living in fear of being honest, and then living in fear of facing myself.

Do I have empathy for that hurt little child in me today, am I able to cry and heal the pains today, am I able to be myself today, do I live in the past today or am I fully focused on getting things done today.

What are my needs today, what are my wants today, and more importantly what are my goals today.

People have commented that because I am retired today that recovery is easy for me today, they seem to forget that my recovery started back in 1969 in the UK the day I walked in to GA my life was never going to be the same again.

How long to learn and understand step one is very important, 23 years, yes how could it take me so long to get healthy, how could it take me so long to understand my emotional triggers.

To help people cross the line from war stories to therapies come in to play a healthy sponsor, a person who is patient and tolerant, a healthy sponsor should not be a hypocrite, a healthy sponsor should be able to give a therapy from the heart, a healthy sponsor should be able to be honest without being cruel without causing a person pain or offence.

Each time a person breaks out gambling they should contact a healthy sponsor and talk about events up to the time they gambled.

Each time a person breaks out gambling takes more strength to be honest, each time a person breaks out gambling indicates they have given up faith and hope in them self.

At some time in the future I would like to be able to do a work shop of questions and answers, no set format, just people who want to understand, that people would have things they want to issues about every avenue of spiritual growth.

I did one work shop where I end up asking people questions and opinions of the spiritual recovery program, I am not a lecturer and I am not a teacher, I am just a person who wants other people to express their views and opinions about how spiritual growth works for them.

The serenity prayer for me is not a prayer, yet it helps me question and understand those things in life that I can change, people will often think and feel because they are unable to change another persons unhealthy ways they will remain the victim of the past.

In the past I have some terrible things done to me and to remove myself from feeling like a victim I needed to do something for myself, directly or indirectly, and also to speak out, bullies want their victims to remain silent, bullies are ashamed of their unhealthy actions and words.

Bullies are inadequate insecure cowards, they do on to others those things that were done to them, bullies are victims doing on to others those things that were done to them.

Bullies will transfer their pains fears and frustrations on to other people and laugh at the victims they have caused to undermine them so that they can feel good in them self.

Is sarcasm the lowest form of wit, is sarcasm a way of guilt tripping someone, is sarcasm a way of undermining someone, or is sarcasm a healthy banter between two spiritually healthy people, that when spiritually healthy people laugh with other are they laughing at them self.

I know that sarcasm was used in my child hood and that sarcasm can be used to humiliate another person, yet sarcasm can also be healthy, depending on if people bantering have healed from their past.

I am blessed with a gift, I often get a read on people, without talking to them, even without even knowing them, that makes some people feel very uncomfortable when they talk to me.

How does that come about, am I reading myself in them, do people think their walls of fear and their facade will hide the real them.

Accepting the serenity prayer which is not a prayer for me, I often read people and understand it is not my place to bring up subjects until people are ready to ask for help, very fine line indeed.

I am a very open person yet what is strange I am a very private person which sounds like conflict, I enjoy my privacy yet am not concerned what people know about me.

The question is if any spiritual recovery program is doing the job properly all people should be made aware of their spiritual recovery program even if people are not ready for it.

I think that AA is very mature by advertising its program, the AA spiritual recovery program is changing with its people.

By being public and an open forum we and other people learn sooner all aspects of the spiritual recovery program, which is a good thing, sadly with GA members often the reason for turning up at meetings is done through pressure and because they have run of fuel for their addiction.

When meeting with people questions asked levels of fear we are living in today 0 – 10, what levels of pain are we living in today 0 – 10, what levels of frustrations are we living in today 0 – 10, what levels of loneliness are we living in today 0 – 10, and what levels of boredom are we living in today 0 – 10.

These questions asked at different times indicate how we are processing life and people around us.

Also helps me understand how vulnerable we are towards having a bet that day.

For me writing down thoughts and feelings down are best done first thing in the morning, that is when the subconscious mind has been most active in processing the day before challenges and also dealing with our past.

So coming in to the spiritual recovery program I would learn a skill which was to protect myself and also set up boundaries, but not from anger but from a place of peace.

For me I did not think that as possible, firstly to set boundaries and also to be at peace doing it, did I now in that time deserve to set up boundaries, to no longer take other people crap from them.

When you are so confused emotionally and are unable to cope with life jobs and people often go in to panic mode easily, is a very good indicator that fear was over whelming me, people go in to panic when high levels of fear causes us to lose the ability to listen to good advice and to think things out in a healthy way.

Suspicion and lack of trust is a fear based issue, at what point in my life did fear cause me to panic, at what point in my life did I start becoming a risk taker and an adrenaline junkie.

I was for sure the rat in the wheel running faster and faster getting nowhere yet until I stopped doing it and saw another person doing the same thing I could not see what a waste of time and energy that addiction was.

The spiritual recovery program helps us see our self in other people, that is where we use the wording come to relate or self enlightenment.

I was for sure emotionally traumatized long before my addictions and obsessions, I did not value myself, I could not speak up for myself in a healthy way from calm peaceful place in my head.

Yes lies causes more fears, yet why did I lie, it is escaping responsibility, but for what reason, as a child every time I was honest caused me pain physically an emotionally, so how do we overcome that fear of being honest.

When we walk in to the spiritual recovery program we think because of shame and guilt that talking about our past will be painful, and to some extent that is true as we feel for our self and other people.

Yet we get in to the healthy habit of dealing with the pains and healing the pain so that when we walk out of the spiritual recovery program feeling much better in our self.

Everyone has their opinion as to how we heal our emotional scars.

The spiritual recovery program encourages us to write things down, for some this is a very scary thing to ask to do, who are we being accountable to GA, no to our self, being honest to our self is the most important part of the spiritual recovery program.

Writing down our daily list helps us stay focused on that day and each job we do, on the list should be a balance of wants and needs, it is always best to do the need to do things first of all and then the want to do things to reward our self.

The want to do things should be things that say to our self we are rewarding our self for doing good, and over time healthy actions and healthy words on our part will help us feel proud of our self.

Even if we go back to gamble once more it is important to go back to meetings, not because of money lost, not of guilt or shame but to understand each bet can be a lesson if we understand our feelings before we gambled.

It takes time to learn to live just for today, sadly because I lived in fear for so long I spent so much time and energy worrying about what might happen or what people might think or do.

Juggling these balls of fear in the air is counterproductive and by writing things down will help you stay focused on those things which will make us healthy once more.

One of the most important things as a sponsor is to ask people what is your biggest fear, once we admit that fear we talk about the worst that can happen, we start to understand that worrying about anything does not help the situation in any way or make you feel better within yourself.

Do I react in an unhealthy way in anger (reacting to pain I am unable to heal, fears I am unable to face or frustrations due to my unreasonable expectations of life or people) holding resentments I am not healing my pains, jealousy I am not content with in myself, subconscious fear pains I am unable to recall the pains I still dwell on.

Spiritual values are all about healthy interactions with all people, experts will tell you it is healthy to be angry, for me when I am angry it tells me I am not at peace with myself and by being angry I am stressing myself out.

On using step literature it is important that it is done slowly and with lots of questions being asked, by both persons or all persons sharing, remember it is a two way street.

The wording you have to is not very healthy, it is intimidating and gives a sense of person being obsessive and controlling, it is highly recommended for your own benefit that you do not do or do certain things and reasons behind those words.

How many people feel they were bullied in to the spiritual recovery program, how many people feel that first therapies were all directed at them, how many people feel they were bullied in to talking when they were not ready to talk.

Open forum and questions help us understand how spiritual recovery works for us, some people feel that they just want to listen and I think that is very healthy.

Whilst I was consumed by my addictions and obsessions I was in self destruction mode, I was declining in several ways, once I was able to abstain from unhealthy habits I was able to set up boundaries about starting to value myself.

The unhealthy addictions and unhealthy obsessions were just simple indicators I could not cope with life and people, I found that I could only feel comfortable with other people after I had a few drinks. That was a flag that I would recognize till much later in my life.

Every unhealthy action or unhealthy word has unhealthy consequences, it took me a long time to understand that by sitting on my hands doing nothing but abstain was and is today not enough for me. By sitting on my hands doing nothing I was white knuckling recovery and making it hard for myself.

I walked in to the spiritual recovery program with no faith or hope in myself, I walked in to the spiritual recovery program emotionally traumatized by the pain I caused myself.

Each time I went back to gambling I did not want to go back to GA it was very painful telling the people in the GA room I had let them down, yet I did not let them down I had given up on myself.
It was fear that made me unlovable and my inability to put greater unconditional effort in to my relationships with other people.
Step one was something I needed to grasp and understand fully.
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.
Recovery is all about healthy spiritual progress and being content with progress each and every day healthy spiritual progress is not about perfection.
Love and peace to everyone
Dave of Beckenham.
AKA Dave L
gadaveuk Wrote:Abstaining was all that I wanted at one time, if I was able to stop gambling I would be happy, it did not happen that way, if I was able to pay back all of my debts I would be happy, it did not happen that way.

I wanted the easy answer Dave...

I didn't want to accept what this addiction was...

Some days I still don't...

Why i need to be vigilant

Smartie xx
In the spiritual recovery I learned to move away from taking easy options.
The reward for becoming healthy in my productive words and productive actions is pride and confidence in myself.
Today I understand for me there is no easy options in life.
Only once I became accountable to myself I became more healthy mature and healthy.
I took each fear the biggest first and faced what was the worst that could happen.
As my fears faded and reduced I felt more comfortable being myself.
Love Dave

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