Gam-Anon - for family and loved ones
Gam-Anon is a fellowship of men and women who are husbands, wives, relatives or close friends who have been affected by a loved one's compulsive gambling.
If you are seeking a solution for living with this problem, we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We too, are familiar with worry and sleepless nights and promises made only to be broken. Our thinking had become confused and many of us had become nervous, irritable, bitter and unreasonable. Experience has shown that generally the entire family is affected. Gam-Anon can offer you a new way of life through the Twelve Steps.
We learn at our Gam-Anon meetings that there is nothing we can do to stop our loved ones from gambling. If that is the sole purpose for attending meetings and you have come with a closed mind about yourself, then it is very likely that you will not return until you are desperate enough to want the help we can offer you. When this time comes you will find many willing and friendly members to help you with your problems.
The Gam-Anon programme offers a new way of life. Spiritual values such as patience, humility and honesty, which we learn to accept gradually, help us to meet old situations with courage and confidence, and new situations with strength and serenity. The full benefit of the programme comes through helping others.
If the gambler continues to gamble, it takes almost superhuman patience to live with this problem. Realising that this is an emotional illness helps, however. When we realise that our loved one is not deliberately trying to hurt us, our burden is a little easier to bear. The only real happiness one can be sure of comes from within. We cannot change them. Be hopeful that the gambler will recover; however, don’t depend entirely on any one person for your happiness. Build your own inner core of spiritual strength and maturity. Use of the Gam-Anon programme is suggested.
The problem of money goes hand in hand with the gambling problem. We realise that when our loved ones are gambling they may not assume the financial responsibilities for the family. Feel comfortable about asking a Gam-Anon member about valuables, bank accounts, savings, insurance, etc.
Even after a compulsive gambler joins GA, financial problems are gradually alleviated. Accumulated debts can only be taken care of gradually. It is suggested that household expenses take priority over gambling debts. Worrying about the future only blinds us to what can be done today.
It is important to remember that we are not responsible for the gambler’s actions. We cannot change anyone but ourselves. Gam-Anon can help you to realise that you are not alone with your problems. Here, at last, are people who will really understand. We can learn understanding and acceptance of the gambler’s illness.