My name is Dave of Beckenham. I am a compulsive Gambler!
When I walked in to the recovery program I feared being controlled, I feared being honest, I feared being accountable to myself, I feared abandonment and rejection.
I thought that the recovery program was going to fix me, the recovery program was going to stop me gambling and losing my money. I even thought that if I stopped gambling I would be happy, I even thought that if I got my money back I had lost I would be happy.
No it did not work out that way, in time I found healthy people who understood more about recovery than I did. When I walked in to the recovery program I did not feel responsible for my actions and words, I even blamed the gambling establishments for taking my money from me, the gambling establishments never stole my money I gave it away. The gambling establishments never made me lie, I did that, I so much wanted to blame people life and situations for how I felt and for my unhealthy actions and words.
There is am implication in the recovery program that pride is unhealthy, for me pride is very healthy, pride is the reward we get for being healthy people, for being productive, for the courage to change the things I can from unhealthy to healthy.
There is am implication in the recovery program that knowing why we gambled is not important, only once I understood my emotional triggers and changed my unhealthy reaction to people life and situations I would not want to escape in all of my fears any more and live in my unhealthy fears. My main emotional triggers were pains I was not able to heal. My main emotional triggers were fears I was not able to face. My main emotional triggers were my frustrations due to my unreasonable expectations of people life and situations, having such unreasonable expectations of people life and situations, I was hurting myself time and time again. My main emotional triggers were my feelings of loneliness, it was a fear of emotional intimacy, it was a big fear of being hurt and betrayed. My main emotional triggers were my feelings of boredom, that I did not feel successful in any way, that I had lost all of my self esteem and all of my self worth in my child hood. The instant I use to say to myself who cares any way, that was the very instant I was giving up all faith and hope in myself, at that very instant I was going to justify doing or saying some thing unhealthy, unhealthy to myself and unhealthy to another person.
The recovery program is called a spiritual recovery program, there is an implication it is very much a religious thing, does that mean non religious people are not able to heal and become healthy and whole once more. I understand that my conscience is based up on spiritual values, sadly when I go against my own conscience I hurt myself but sadly I also hurt other people who do not deserve to be hurt.
So what do I know about my recovery, is the last date of my bet important, not if I am not healthy today, do I celebrate all of my time in my recovery or do I celebrate one day at a time. The change from just for today I will not gamble allows me to have clean clarity thinking, with my lists of my needs my wants and my goals there I very little wasted time. Do I always understand the difference between my needs and my wants, when I fulfill my needs do I appreciate myself, am I content with progress how ever small, do I reward myself with my wants, do I think that material things will change how I feel about myself or is the reward of being kind to myself which is important. Will the recovery program change who I am, no the serenity prayer helps me understand that is my choice on a daily basis. Will the recovery program stop me gambling, no that is my choice, to abstain from all unhealthy habits takes time, yet as we give up all unhealthy habits we replace them with healthy habits. Before my recovery my motives were very unhealthy, I did things reluctantly, I did things out of duty, I did things to person please, I did things out of guilt and shame, I did things out of penance. The reason I do things today is because I want to do them, I do not have to, when I say to myself have to, it is obsession behavior.
So I entered the recovery program, was I able to tell people what my feelings and emotions were, could I admit to myself I was being self destructive, could I admit to myself I was causing myself a whole lot of pain, not once but time and time again. I entered the recovery program was the only thing I was able to do was tell sad war stories expecting sympathy ad pity from other people, at what point was I going to move on from talking about gambling and money last. At what point in my recovery was going to expose that pain filled hurt traumatized inner hurt child that I had been protecting him self most of his life by living in many fears. Once I abstained from gambling I wanted to escape in other ways, television, toys computer games, at what point was I going to get my a*s off of my hands and do some thing healthier with my life. I use to wish my life away, I wasted so much time and opportunities in those earlier years. There was an occasion when a person lived on the streets, he walked in to the recovery program and due to his healthy well motivated actions and his healthy well motivated words he found a healthy recovery. He abstained from gambling, he started to find work, he rented a place to live, he found a healthy relationship with another person, he got married, he got a mortgage and bought a home, from wasting his life away he became the person he was proud to be each single day. Recovery is about baby steps, slow steady growth, it is about being self sufficient, it is about our emotional age and our physical age gap reducing, to let that inner child no longer live in fear any more.
I am so grateful for my recovery today, I am a non religious person and embrace healthy living today. I understand today that when I arrived in to the spiritual recovery program I was emotionally traumatized, I thought that I loved gambling, I thought that I loved money and I thought that I loved my car. I was a complete mess on walking in the recovery program. I understand that a person can be a spiritual person yet not be religious, our conscience is based up on spiritual values, I use to think that spiritual people were weak people, how wrong could I have been. I understand today that no one could stop me gambling, no one could stop me from being an unhealthy person.I use to be so over sensitive, I use to be angry most of the time, I did not understand why I was angry, I felt that I had no choice but to be angry. I use to think that gambling controlled my life, today I understand that I turned to my addiction when I was not able to cope with people life and situations, I would escape and run in my fears, I use to avoid people life and situations, I use to procrastinate over most things, I use to fear emotional intimacy, I use to fear the opposite s*x.
It is very sad that I got married not knowing what love was, I got married because I felt that if I got married it would make my life successful. I use to think that being successful was down to luck, that if I wore certain cloths my luck would change. Today I understand being successful was down to my own actions and my own words, that to be successful was all down to my own motives actions and words. To be healthy is down to my motives actions and words, that to be a healthy mature person I needed to change my motives, not do things out of resentments, not do things reluctantly, to not give up on myself. But in order to be successful I needed to put time and effort in to what ever I do with my life and the relationships in my life. The spiritual recovery program is a manual to healthy living, the 20 questions is about me being honest with myself, the recovery program is about healing my hurt inner child. The spiritual recovery program is about having therapies, it is about being able to articulate my feelings and emotions, it is about being able to communicate, it is about being able to work as a team, it is about being able to over come my fears and be able to trust once more. No one can do my work for me, no one can make me do some thing I do not want to do, no one can change my motives, no one can stop me gambling. The most powerful aspect of the recovery is that by saying just for today I will not gamble means I can do any thing else today instead of gambling, I can write down my lists of my needs my wants and my goals. The recovery program helped me understand that once I stop hurting myself by my addictions only then can I heal the pains of my past. My anger was my hurt inner child lashing out.
IS BEING ANGRY HEALTHY
Is MY anger due to my pains not being HEALED? Is MY anger due to my fears not being FACED? Is MY anger due to my FRUSTRATIONS? How can I heal my inner child? How can I face and reduce my fears today? Can I reduce my expectations of life people and situations? Can I give unconditionally without any expectations?What are my motives today for doing anything? How do I over come my fears of aggression and confrontation? Why do I fear being honest today? Do I internalize or feel responsible for how other people feel today? Is trying to control life people and situations fear based
Am I in any way a suppressive aggressive or expressive aggressive. I use to think and feel that gambling controlled my life, that was not true, because I lived in so much fear I use to escape people life and situation I could not cope with emotionally .There were people that told me that my pride got in the way of my recovery, Honestly I did not know what pride felt like, I know that before my recovery I felt and thought that I was hopeless worthless useless and that I could be just evil or just no good. If I knew and understood why I gambled just maybe I could do something about it, saying that made no sense, over time knowing that I escaped to gambling in my fears helped me learn my emotional triggers. It was very important for me to abstain from gambling first of all, then once I found more time on my hands to do more healthy things with my time. I reacted to the mention of religion, as a child many people who were to set an example were very unhealthy hypocrites, that they said and did were not the same, some very unhealthy religion people caused me a lot of pain in my child hood. Only once I gave up the unhealthy habit of gambling could I start to heal my pains. Only once I gave up the unhealthy habit of gambling then I gave up smoking which another form of self abuse, unhealthy smoking caused me health issues, unhealthy smoking was a very expensive habit. I gave up getting drunk, I gave up drinking tea and coffee which I do not miss what so ever. I am reducing my pop drink intake. I am a nonreligious person, yet I very much embrace spiritual values in my life. There have been some very unhealthy people in the recovery program who try to manipulate people in to doing things that they are not ready for, a healthy sponsor should help people work at their own rate of recovery.
In time I learned to be nurturing and encouraging towards all people. I have been to many meetings in my time, everyone at different levels of their recovery, yet with each person choosing their own rate of recovery is important. I use to suffer from feelings of depression, misery guilt and shame, I even felt guilty when people were kind to me. Today more focus on things I do in the instant, by staying focus on one thing I am able to do more with my time, and in a much proficient way. For sure I was the rat in the wheel going faster and faster getting nowhere. Even to this day I attend two meetings per week.
Do I want people to fear me, do I want to be right all of the time and to be a lone and on my own. Do I try and control other people, is not control fear based issues.My ability to absorb information and to learn new things was adversely affected due to the abuse I suffered as a child.I found out that if I could not understand things I was stunted from learning new things.Once I abstained from gambling then I would escape in other ways, computer games, television, the obsessions were just another way of not dealing with my feelings.When we understand that a new item of challenge has suddenly became an obsession, when I unable to stop and have food or rest breaks.I am a non religious person, so I am proof that a non religious person can heal from the past if they dedicate time and effort in to working their recovery.I use to think that gambling controlled my life, for me that is not so today, I use to gamble when I felt I could not cope with life people and situations.My frustrations were due to my unreasonable expectations of people life and situations.I use to react in such unhealthy ways, I use to react in anger most of the time, I use to react in resentments most of the time, I use to react in jealousy most of the time, I use to react in impatience an intolerance most of the time, I use to react in criticism most of the time.
Working my recovery I am more at peace with myself.Working my recovery I value myself more today.No one could stop me from gambling, that had to be my choice.Even today I am learning to be a much more healthier spiritual person, yet what do we class as spiritual, my conscience is spiritual based.I felt that gambling controlled my life.
Today I understand that the reason I gambled was because I was emotionally vulnerable, I could not cope with people life and situations.The wording control was a delusion to me, was it the fact that I did not have control in my life, or was it the fact that fear caused me to deviate escape and avoid taking responsibility for my actions.Just for today, simply words they are my commitment to myself.
Just for today I will not gamble changed to Just for today I will be more productive, Just for today I will have lists of my needs wants and my goals.In my recovery change from unhealthy reactions to find my healthy interaction with like minded people.
I use to fear living and I used to fear dying.Only once I faced my fears could I do some thing about them.I faced my fears one at a time, I gave each fear a number out of ten, ten being the highest level of fear.Over four decades my fears have been drastically reduced to an all time low, am able to be myself today.I do not need to person please, I do not need to live in any kind of fear today.
Thank you every one, love and peace to all.
Dave of Beckenham AKA Dave L
I've just read your words and I've learnt so much from them so thank you very much. I wish you well and feel privileged to have learned of your thoughts about gambling and what it has meant and still means to you.
Thank you for your kind comments
I think it is very important to become emotional detached from all feelings and emotions towards our addictions.
Life with out our addictions is very much worth while.
Yet it can take time to be free of our addictions.
The important thing is to not give up on your self and keep putting effort in to going to meetings.
Thank you very much