What is Gamblers Anonymous? Just like Alcoholics Anonymous, GA is a 12-step recovery program which includes men and women sharing their struggles, experiences, support and wisdom on problem gambling. It doesn’t require any special paperwork, membership fee, etc. The only requirement is a drive to end your gambling addiction.
Gamblers Anonymous doesn’t have ties with any religious or political affiliation, although some say the 12-step routine is based on unburdening then burdening your problems to a higher power which sort of has distinct religious overtones. However, GA welcomes people from all ages, religions, and ethnic groups.
Gamblers Anonymous is a group of people with the same goal: recovery. If you think your family or friends don’t understand how you feel, then this is the place to be. Many gamblers in the group usually struggle with other issues like mental health problems or behavioral addictions. In the group you get to hear stories and coping habits others like you have experienced.
Sessions usually begin with a short prayer directed at a higher power. If you’re new, a sponsor is usually attached to you to serve as someone you can call when you experience a trigger moment or just need someone to talk to you. Most sponsors end up being one of your best friends for some.
Meetings usually occur multiple times during the week so all you have to do is show up and listen and sometimes share if you want to. The process has advantages such as;
It is very therapeutic
Speaking to an audience consisting of people who know what you’ve been going through may feel surprisingly comfortable, even when you’re not that into public speaking. Talking to your friends and family can be hard sometimes- it’s easy to be scared of the judgement. This support group is there to listen, can relate and has probably had it worse. The only way you know is if you attend.
Hear other people’s stories
Listening to other people’s stories gives you that light bulb moment where you’re like ’So I’m not the only one’. Most people at the group aren’t afraid to share- some have been there for years, which is an indication that you’ll always be in recovery. They treat each other like family-showing more care and love than you’ve probably ever felt. Listening to other’s experiences gives you a chance to find someone to connect to too.
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Friends in Gambler’s Anonymous can quickly become your support system. These are not only people you will need during the 1st year of your recovery process, but the 5th then 10th year of it. They will remain in your life probably forever and it’s nice to know you can have someone who gets you- your journey and all its challenges.
Have you been struggling on whether GA is the right fit for you? If you are at a point in your life where you are desperate to make a change, then there’s no need to think twice about it. Ask your family and friends for help and begin your journey in a stress-free and safe environment. You will need all the support you can and joining a Gamblers Anonymous support group might be just what you need.