An anonymous story of addiction |

An anonymous story of addiction

It was the first day of July 2000 when I came stumbling through the door of my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting. I was an absolute wreck, filled with self-loathing and self-pity, and enough hopelessness to fill the entire room with doom and gloom.

Six years in gambling hell had taken its toll. I was bankrupt emotionally, financially and spiritually. My 12-year marriage was in ruin, I was drowning in debt, and guilt, shame and remorse had taken up permanent residence in my heart and soul.

Not a big surprise, really. After all, there was plenty of room now that every last moral and every last shred of dignity had vacated the premises!

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a good night’s sleep. Night after night after night, the shadows at my bedroom ceiling had tormented me with their relentless, ice-cold whispers: Your husband will never love you again … you are a pathetic excuse for a human being … you are a stupid, stupid woman … even God hates you.

Mercifully, those cruel voices were stifled on July 1, 2000, when a woman with brown hair offered me a smile. It was as though she had placed her hands over the very mouths of my demons and forever silenced them!

I don’t think she realized the incredible power behind that seemingly small gesture of hers. Her simple smile truly was the glorious ray of hope I’d so desperately needed. There is no doubt in my mind that God works through people … I saw his compassion in the eyes of that woman, and I felt his tender mercy in her smile. It was like healing balm to my broken spirit.

Gamblers Anonymous is not perfect. It is, after all, made up of thousands of broken men and women with a thousand different issues. And some are sicker than others. Over the years I have learned to focus on the positive and leave the rest. When I am working hard at my program, diligently climbing those 12 blessed steps of recovery, it is much more difficult for people, places and things to intrude on my serenity. I do my best to apply the 12 steps of recovery to every aspect of my life. This gets easier and easier, as practice makes ‘perfect’.

I use this term lightly of course. After all, it is difficult to become perfect when every time I humbly ask God to remove a shortcoming (character defect) it seems that he immediately replaces it with another. I’ve come to understand that I will never be perfect, at least in this life, and that the continual process of working on myself and allowing my higher power to make the necessary changes in my character only brings me closer to that amazing place called serenity.

– Source: