I started my gambling “career” in my early twenties and had to travel 60 miles each way to Hartford, CT. from my home in Western Mass. to do so. I had done most of my gambling in New York City where I grew up, but managed a “geographical cure” by escaping to Western Massachusetts to avoid getting killed by some mob guys or getting myself arrested. Of course my addiction came with me, but I led a gentler life and was surrounded by people who encouraged me to look at myself.
I stayed abstinent for a while in GA, but relapsed several times. One relapse was so intense that I reached out to a strong GA member, Guy G.
He had everything I wanted, sobriety, charisma, success, and dedication to GA. He offered to let me live with him for a while and go to meetings with him; sort of a home-
I lived with Guy for one or two weeks. I went on work calls with him, lunch, dinner, and then to a meeting. At one point, my withdrawal got so intense that I tried to get out of the car at 40 miles an hour, near a TeleTrack in New Haven CT.
Guy managed to get me through this period and I ended up having a long stretch of abstinence afterwards. I started a meeting closer to my home and slowly lost track of Guy over the next five or six years. I heard that he got involved in Al-
One night at home I received a call from a dear friend, Dick B., telling me Guy had killed himself. Guy had embezzled a ton of money from his clients and obviously was filled with despair and took his own life. To say I was shocked, filled with grief, astonished and blown away is an understatement. Guy was one of my HEROES. HEROES can’t commit suicide!
It was, and is a clear example of what happens when you move away from the program and those who give you the support you need to lead a normal life. Guy’s choices were not good ones but hopefully his story, like other stories of folks who get off the path to a normal way of life, will constantly remind me and others of the power of our addiction and the importance of continuously doing the work.
Submitted by Bob D. 2/2/11