Gambling My Life Away
It is Monday morning 9.a.m and I sit in the serenity of my lounge sipping tea and reflecting on the sunlight outside as it lights up the fields that form the view from my house. No big deal I suppose or not at least to many, but to me it is so much more. The mere fact I can feel the peace inside is a testament to the journey I have made in the last five years and to all those who have helped me make the trip.
I am a compulsive gambler. I very nearly destroyed my life and the lives of those around me. At this time five years ago, the fear and the dread would be mounting as the clock ticked down to the dreaded postman's knock. The letters that came were like nails being hammered into a personal coffin, sealing my fate and with each telling blow as they pointed a sinister finger towards my inevitable fate; a fate that was a living hell of my own creation.
I finally sank back into a chair and not being able to weep, I cried out silently for help. I had finally admitted that I was beaten and I turned and faced the mess I had made for the first time. I rang a helpline that GA was running at the time. The voice on the other end was not a psychiatrist or a counsellor full of soothing platitudes but a fellow compulsive gambler who could talk my language. We talked and talked. He waved no magic wand. I now had to turn and face the mess I had created, but what he gave me was honesty, hope and a belief that I could find a way.
That was five years ago. A lake of tears and a mountain of problems have come and go and I can honestly say that the lake has been drained and that odious mountain leveled and in it's place a peaceful meadow. A tranquil place I can wander and draw strength from. Now I am glad to see the postman. He doesn't call as often as he used to. In fact I sometimes wonder if he (she as well) has forgotten me. The woman whose life I nearly destroyed is sleeping in today and she CAN sleep soundly. Why? Well because I finally woke up to the truth and bit by bit sought help and made things happen. I still give up two hours a week to attend my GA meetings. I will never be 'cured' but now I know what's wrong with me and I can look for the warning signs and avoid that first step down a wide path that leads to nowhere. Compulsive, addictive behaviour is a terrible thing. At least I think so. It blinded me for so long and I could not see the truth that was in front of me. No one preaches at my meetings. They just share with an honesty that is both raw and revealing. Together we begin to search our own souls and one step at a time, rebuild our lives.
The sun shines today. Not just outside but here in my mended heart. Just for today I will not gamble.