Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some of the 'steps' I be free

(not in any particular order)

I recognized that I was depressed and contacted a Dr., seeking treatment. I began taking medication.

I began seeing a counselor for individual therapy.

I gave up all access to money. I couldn’t have stopped without doing this…at least for a short time…given the opportunity to gamble (money)…I did.

I educated myself:
I read everything I could get my hands on regarding compulsive gambling.
I read the ‘Big Book of AA’ and discovered that my ‘illness’ looked remarkably like alcoholism is described in that book…..determined that my problem is ‘addiction’…not necessarily gambling.
I attended gambler’s anonymous meetings.
I went to coffee with g.a. members AFTER meetings….I’d ask questions….I wanted to learn from the people who were doing this successfully.
I joined online support groups for compulsive gamblers.
I learned about the physiology of addicts.
I learned that I had to find a way to rid myself of fear and shame.
I learned about urges and complacency…resentments and forgiveness.
I learned about the 12 steps.
I learned about cross-addiction and roadblocks and feelings and gratitude….
I learned that….what I really needed to learn was a better way of LIVING.

I made friends with other compulsive gamblers…mostly online… all stages of addiction and recovery.

I worked some of those twelve steps.

Any time I would find a way to gamble…I would put a new roadblock into place….to prevent me from doing THAT particular thing again.

I began practicing relaxation (breathing etc) techniques.

I began practicing awareness.

I began practicing honesty.

I began practicing delayed gratification.

I spent almost NO MONEY on myself for years…in an effort to free my family from the debt that I’d created.

I’m getting to know me.

The REAL me….not any other person’s vision of who I am….or even my OWN vision of who I SHOULD be.

I reach out to others….so that they might know….there is a way.

If I were giving advice to someone who is new to recovery…I would say…to talk to as many successfully recovering people that you possibly can…and learn what they have done…and what they continue to do….to be successful.

Then make a plan.

If a slip occurs…acknowledge that the plan needs to be modified :) and make a change.

Keep listening.
Keep learning.
Remain Open-minded.

Rule out nothing.

Today…I spend very little time at meetings or on web-sites…but I continue to read, and blog…and I am in touch with many many people in recovery.

I do *SOMETHING* for my recovery every day (if nothing else...I am constantly practicing Awareness, relaxing, honesty, acceptance, gentleness).

Ahhhhhh…yes….the spirituality thing.

I don’t preach.
It never did any good when people were preaching at me! :)

I am discovering my own spirituality.

Can recovery be successful without it?

I know people who are.

I’m sort of glad that I’m not one of them, though. :)

Find your way.
You deserve your life.


Unknown said...

peg - thank you for your blog and being so open and honest with your thoughts... i haven't met another compulsive gambler that i could relate to, and i feel like i could have honest discourse with someone like yourself. anyway, i'll be reading along with you and working through my own recovery along the way, hopefully.

thank you,
bluemeds at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

help..i am dying..driving home tonight and wanted to drive my car into oncoming traffic. i feel as if i will never be free of this curse that i have...went to GA meetings and was all gung ho then i stopped and started back. i feel so shameful and worthless. I feel as if i can not stop. I want to turn my money over to someone but i don't want to bother anyone. I am so afraid of losing my family and friends...pls tell me there is hope.

Anonymous said...

there is absolutely hope

I'm so glad you posted but I've no way of reaching you directly so don't know if you'll get this response

go to to chat .... or any of the MANY online resources

there was a time when I didn't want to go on living --- call a local crisis center if you feel you may hurt yourself

this seems overwhelming and unbeatable but it isn't.
you van be hung ho again
you can do this
I know the shame is overwhelming---- and that helps to keep us stuck in the cycle

reach out.... a ga friend.... attend a meeting.... email me at

don't stop fighting. you are worth it