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      johnc1955
      Participant

      Today is 21 days GF. This week has been especially tough, full of anxiety, nervousness and not myself. It occurred to me that I may be suffering from withdrawl, so did a little research and found the following. This helped bring some clarity for me on just how serious this addiction really is. This is an exerpt from http://www.victoriaga.org/gambling-disease.htm
      Chemical Abstinance
      Firstly, chemical abstinence needs to occur. 
      In the case of compulsive gamblers, the chemical is all produced by the gamblers own body. Hence, adrenalin and endorphins produced by the action addiction of gambling need to be avoided. Therefore, gambling is not case sensitive, ie, all forms of gambling will produce some levels of these substances.
      Gambling may be also be a means of escaping from other problems in a marriage or at work, so it may go unnoticed as a significant problem itself. Compulsive gambling affects the gambler, his or her family, employer, and the community. 
      As the gambler goes through the phases of addiction, less time is spent with family, and more of the family money is spent on gambling until bank accounts are depleted. 
      Then the gambler may steal money from family members. At work, the pathological gambler misuses time in order to gamble, has difficulty concentrating and finishing projects, may engage in embezzlement, employee theft, or other illegal activities – thus creating even more stress and adrenalin  adding to the progressive nature of the ‘action drug addiction’.
      Withdrawal from these substances will not decrease until the body stops producing them. Attendance at GA meetings helps to place these normal withdrawal symptoms in their true perspective. 
      It is important to see the withdrawal symptoms as simply a natural part of recovery, medicating these symptoms will only prolong the recovery process. 
      A good GA sponsor can also be invaluable to the recovering member in the area of avoiding or dealing with the pitfalls of switching and/or other active addictions.
      Emotional roots
      Secondly, all addictions are well understood to have emotional roots. What’s ‘eating’ us needs to be addressed. 
      Again, attendance at GA meetings goes a long way toward rooting out fears and resentments. As well good feelings may have been stuffed down for years, and co-dependencies like ‘people pleasing’ and being a ‘doormat’ may have been prevalent in the gambling addicts relationships with others.
      Also, many addicts righteously carry abuse issues with them.
      Although these issues may be very true and definitely inappropriate, they are often embellished to provide a ‘red herring’ excuse for the gambling addict to continue in their addictive behaviors. 
      To properly recover, these issues and feelings all need to be addressed and put in perspective. A GA sponsor can be a great asset in dealing with these issues. A good GA sponsor can also assist a GA member to work through the financial recovery, however, they are careful not to "bailout" the member, rather assisting by arranging for the ‘pressure relief’ formula as prescribed by Gamblers Anonymous.
      Spiritual Values
      Thirdly, all addicts benefit greatly by adopting a better understanding of spiritual values. The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, which is the grandfather of the GA program, defines a spiritual experience as simply ‘an attitude change’ necessary to recover from their addictive disease or disorder. According to some studies 44% of compulsive gamblers also abuse alcohol or other drugs.
      GA provides an atmosphere where such an attitude change can occur in it’s own time no matter what the individuals specific beliefs are.
       Don’t wait for the storm to pass. Learn to dance in the rain.

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