I believe if you really 100 per cent put your all into wanting to stop gambling you will.
If I was to compare it to alcoholism, which I mention on my diary page, once the physical dependency is dealt with through a "detox" it's then a mental condition - an illness as I came to believe in AA.
I made a commitment to not drink alcohol one day at a time on September 5th 2018, accepted I need a hell of a lot of support and guidance and was willing to go to any lengths to stay sober. So far, it's working for me. Without purposely being dramatic (but being honest) alcoholism literally did bring me to my knees and I nearly died last summer.
With gambling the key thing is also commitment whatever happens good or bad. The only difference I can see TODAY between myself and someone who has relapsed once or multiple times is that I've maintained my commitment not to gamble, not become complacent and see it for it is - a temporary and very destructive distraction from the way I feel/felt. Addictions of all poisons are pretty similar in that respect IMO.
It's taken me years to realise that addiction is an illness. My arrogance told me that it wasn't - my bad. Who on earth in a rational frame of mind would be putting their last few pound coins into a machine or placing it on a horse at 66/1?
I don't believe 12-step programs are the only the way to maintain abstinence from any specific addiction - I believe there are other approaches such as SMART or Intuitive Recovery.
However, what I was unwilling to do in the past was have respect for other people's approaches - I hadn't been given the "gift of desperation" as the saying goes and had a very arrogant approach to recovery.
I was as fanatical in my anti 12-step view as my "perceived" dogmatic approach of people I interacted with online and often face-to-face. It's not my place to judge other people's approach or views on recovery just like it's not my place to tell people they are an alcoholic or a gambling addict. I've found I had to have those realisations for myself despite repeated concerns being expressed to me.
The addictions and obsessions were a form of escaping in my fears, the addictions and obsessions were a symptom that I was emotionally vulnerable.
When I went to the addictions and obsessions were a way of me escaping in my fears from people life and situations I could not cope with emotionally.
The addictions and obsessions were a form of self abuse, going with out my needs my wants and not having any goals in my life.
It can be argued that we feel that we are not worthy of any thing, that we cheat our self from treating our self nicely.
Before my recovery when asked in to an office I always assumed I had done some thing wrong, that was an instant reaction, almost like it came from my sub conscious child hood.
I could not compliment myself, I could not validate myself.
By working my recovery program I was going to be able to help myself become healthier and less vulnerable.
The recovery program is a way of us learning how unhealthy I was but more important how I could heal and become whole and healthy once more.
The recovery program helped me face and reduce my fears and live a full productive life.
There was a time I thought and felt that life was boring and today there are not enough hours in the day, I do know that the world did not change for me, but I have in fact became motivated in much healthier ways today.
Please keep going to meetings, you will benefit from it in so many ways.
Love and peace to every one.
AKA Dave of Beckenham