I had been struggling with my gambling addiction for almost 20 years. It started when I was fourteen with Bingo, then progressed to Sport Select, VLT’s, the Internet, and when I was of age, to the Casino. There was no amount of money that I wouldn’t spend and nothing I wouldn’t gamble on. Today, with a lot of hard work, the help of my higher power, my sponsor, and others in the program, I have been blessed with more than two years of sobriety. The future looks bright, and if I continue the things I am doing, I will continue to arrest the disease that has plagued my life for so long. So, if you are reading this and think that your story is like mine, or that you aren’t sure if your life can be turned around, give G.A. a try and get back the life that you deserve!
Unfortunately my story is too common. I became a widow, and then a compulsive gambler. After my husband died I found I would wander to the casino to escape from my own thoughts. After about three years I found I was lying about where I had been because I was ashamed. I went to my first meeting not believing I really had a problem. I got a year in and walked away due to a personality conflict. Three years later I was back, broken and defeated. All the insurance money was gone, retirement gone, credit cards and line of credit maxed out. Because of Gamblers Anonymous I now have a happy ending. I have made friends, purchased a home, and retired. I will be celebrating my 10th birthday and still attend meetings regularly. Life is good.
Before the GA program I hated myself and I used gambling to escape the feelings of self loathing. Today I’m not perfect, but I can honestly say that I love who I am, and can gladly accept my place in the universe. Through the will of my higher power, the fellowship and the 12 steps I am capable of so much more than I ever was when I was feeding my addiction. Five years ago I didn’t have the will to live. Today, I have a beautiful family, stability and serenity. None of this would be possible without Gambler’s Anonymous meetings and the 12 steps. I honestly believe I owe everything I have accomplished over this time to the program and without it I would still be the insecure, suffering person I was in action. Gambler’s Anonymous saved my life, and I honestly believe it can save anyone who wants to be saved and is willing to do the work.
I lived in constant fear; of creditors, other people, failure, new situations – you name it. Feeling alone and uncomfortable around others, full of fear and self-doubt, gambling was my way of escaping. And boy, did I escape. When I came to Gamblers Anonymous, my bank accounts were $45,000 overdrawn, I was living in my car, and totally self-consumed. My only thoughts were focused on making the next bet. Many nights after a big loss at the casino, I’d sit in the parking lot telling myself ‘I’m never doing this again’. Then I’d be back there the next day. Then I came to GA and surrendered, got a sponsor, and got to work on myself. Now, I live with purpose. This program and the people in it have helped me find true happiness and self-worth. The 12 steps, sponsorship, and attending meetings is truly my key to a wonderful life.
Gamblers Anonymous saved my life! Plain and simple. I spent many years telling myself that I would quit when I wanted to; that I wasn’t gambling as bad as other people; and, that I was entitled to gamble because it was fun and I had earned it. Sadly, none of that was true. I couldn’t quit. All my money and time was devoted to gambling. And every time I went to the casino, I did see some of the same people who looked as desperate and as beaten as me. Gambling was no longer fun and games, but just an outlet to forgetting my loneliness and pain. Coming to the Gamblers Anonymous program introduced me to other people who understood my struggles. I found out that no one was shocked or judged me on the things I’d done to keep my addiction going. I learned that I wasn’t a bad person, just a very sick person. I’ve gone over 13 years without gambling. Life is so much easier! I can’t explain how the GA program works to help a compulsive gambler. I only know that it does!
I joined GA to stop gambling. I was deep in debt, unemployed, & unemployable. I had been gambling for 34 years, but the last 4 years were hell. I didn’t know where to turn, so I thought, “What have I got to lose”? At first, I went to all of the meetings that were available. I kept hearing things from other members that I could relate to & I started to feel better about myself. Other members kept telling me that life would get better, & it did. The GA fellowship saved my life, my marriage, & has taught me how to live. I haven’t gambled for over 20 years thanks to GA. I still attend 2-3 meetings per week, because I want to stay stopped. I’m truly grateful.
I started gambling young and believed it innocent enough. I had always felt like I wasn’t ever going to fit in. I now see that when I was gambling all the fears, hurt, anger and loneliness were temporarily masked. I found myself making many poor decisions hurting those in my life (and myself) more and more at each turn. I eventually ran out of options, ending up destitute, my family not knowing what had become of me – and honestly not too sure myself. I had heard of G.A. and found the number. I placed a call, and started going to meetings, hearing things that I could relate to and feeling some hope. I met the man who has become my sponsor. He guided me through the steps and learning to practice them, which have given me a whole new lease on life. I have been fortunate, to have the gift of desperation. The willingness to face my fears and to start to live a new life I never knew existed. One where fear, remorse, guilt and anger no longer run me. I can hold my head high as I live honestly a day at a time, never having to be alone.