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Hi Sam, what astute observations. Yes gambling takes many opportunities from us and from those around us. It consumes us to such an extent that it becomes us. We become the gambler. It defines us and everything we do. I have not gambled for maybe four or five months (not counting one relapse). I am no longer the shabby person rushing to work at the last minute exhausted after gambling on line till the not so early hours of the morning. I am now the early bird, who got the promotion, who has time to look respectable in the morning.. But you know strange as this may sound, I think the addiction has made me the person I am today. It has given me compassion and a reluctance to judge anyone or their struggles whatever they may be. I am a better person today because of the struggle i have had . However I cannot but regret the undoubted effect it has had on the people around me..the messy house, the unpaid bills, the sleepless nights worrying over money that my hardworking husband has endured, the time i missed out on with my child, being unable to treat my elderly parents, the friendships I let go , the rows in the house, etc.But I believe that God will restore what the thief has taken. I believe in second chances. I believe the rest of your life starts today. I truly believe that in our recovery we will have even better lives that we had before, and new doors will open for us. Sam yes we missed opportunities in our past, but we won’t be missing them in our future!!