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This may be my last opportunity to post on your blog before you go. I wanted to wish you the best and I KNOW that that place will be perfect for you. I can tell you it will be HARD. The other guys explained to me what happens after the assessment period. The different parts of the treatment are hard work, but I know how hard you will work, how seriously you will take it. You are very mature in many ways and yet, like all of us compulsive gamblers, you are very immature in many ways. The guys there will take care of you.

You wrote something on my blog a few days ago after I wrote my new posts after returning home. You said you were sorry you were ‘taking my place”. I have to be honest I was hoping we were going to be there at the same time. And I think me leaving did clear up a place more quickly. This is good and the way it is meant to be. The last 2/3 days for me have been tremendous and I am now filled with a hope I have not had for a long time. I had an AWESOME day with my son yesterday, went back to my usual GA and did 2 meetings and was welcomed with open arms, I saw a mate in the evening and stayed at his overnight, and then today I had a really surprisingly positive day when things just fell into place. Once of those magical days. I am now writing this from Starbucks just for the M23 heading to Brighton to see my closest friend in the world and his family. Normally I would come to a Starbucks like this to use the free wifi to gamble. No more. I am still gamble free. I will write more on my blog.

I wanted to say how pleased I am that me leaving meant you could get there quicker, as I know there the next people to leave would have been in 4 or 5 weeks. So you are taking my place.

IN deeper reflected that place was not for me, the treatment was wrong. My gambling is different from the people they treat. My gambling is not a lifelong problem, but rather the latest in a long line of compulsive and addictive behaviours I have engaged in and they are not set up to deal with that.

When I referred myself to GMA I also referred to the National Problem Gambling Clinic in Feb of this year. Although I did the CBT there 3 years ago I was not ready to quit then, and did not accept how bad or what my problem was. I am clear on that. But last October I went to an open day led by one of the lead clinicians, Neal, and he mentioned a new serivce there starting, Psychodynanic Psychotherapy. Dealing with people and looking into their past, childhood, self image etc etc and how that leads to gambling and other addictive behaviours. At the time I thought I want that but they said you need at least 80-90 days gamble free time as you need a clear head. Although no one knew I was gambling as I was lying about it, I had gambled just before going there. When I went to GMA I did not cancel the referral to the clinic. I got a call from them today – I have my assessment on 22 June, by which point I will be 78 or 79 day s gamble free. They are happy to discuss this new treatment with me. I qualify for the new Psychodynamic treatment, where I can explore my deeper mental health issues that led to my terrible gambling addiction. This is the treatment I ALWAYS wanted to I will fight for that, as I know that will help me more than anything. I am enough of a gambler for them, as I have had so many other mental health issues. And it means I can continue with GA which is working so well for me.

Please make a note of my website address so you can get my email from there. Please drop me a line when you get out.

Charlster, fear is natural. BUt know this – that place was meant for you. I got my chance there, I needed the 11 days out – without that I would not be where I am, and things are going so well for me – so positive. But I cannot be complacent – I need to work and focus.

You will find respite there – the staff are great, the other guys in treatment are great. You will play darts and pool, you will cook, clean and chill. You will find like minded people. Please say hi to them from me, and thank them from me for all they did for me. Tell them I will never forget them and that in a few weeks I will send a DVD of my favourite films I have produced.

You go and get better Charlster. Go for it, take it seriously, do the hard work, but relax and know that you are in the right place. I wish I could give you a big man hug, so take an ehug. I want to hear from you in no less than 14 weeks, as you continue your life long journey into recovery.

Take care, we all love you and we all be thinking of you and you start this amazing new phase to your life.

ALl the best big man