0 items - $0.00
Lanie's Hope

From Entitled Self-Destruction to Earned Serenity and Recovery

Deborah F  2-19-12
I was raised by a child-molester. He was my stepfather from age 1 year. I let it define my life until I walked into Gambler’s Anonymous in 2005.I believed that I had a right to my addictions. After all, my childhood was less than desirable and I had come through it without going to jail, abusing my children or becoming a societal deviant, or so I thought.

I have a compulsive personality that I battle on a daily basis with the help of my Higher Power. I weighed three hundred pounds in my twenties and overcame that. I shopped until I had maxed out all our credit cards and struggled to pay bills. I drank too much, smoked too much, read too much. I overdid anything that I could escape with and felt that I was owed that escape. As long as I stayed In Utah, the worst thing that may have happened to me is that I may have had to file bankruptcy, as I was always spending more than I had. I moved to Las Vegas. I do not want to imply that living in Las Vegas is the only reason I became a compulsive gambler. There is easy access to casinos from any city in Utah and I had been once and could not wait to return.

The first moment I walked into a casino, I felt at home. I breathed in the smoke and the noisy atmosphere and knew that I belonged there. I was hooked. I started by playing Bingo. I won $500 the first time I played. I bought a new VCR for my kids. I was so excited. Soon, I was going to the casinos by myself. There was an hour between Bingo sessions and I discovered poker machines. That was the end of Bingo.

One year later, I spent 38 hours at one poker machine and knew when I left, broke and defeated, that I was a compulsive gambler. I was driving home that Sunday morning and decided that I was an unnecessary human being and I should drive my car into the retaining wall on the side of the road. I bounced my car over the curb and then jerked it back onto the road. I remember sitting there crying and feeling so hopeless. I went home and looked up GA. I started May 13, 1986. I made one year, but never found a sponsor, never worked a step and still hung on fiercely to my sense of entitlement.

I left GA shortly before my 2nd birthday. My marriage ended. Pride, entitlement and my belief that my life was still manageable allowed me to justify my gambling again. I lost two long-term relationships, my relationship with my youngest daughter and my son, my house and my reputation at work.

17 years later, in July 2005, I admitted not only that I was “POWERLESS“, but that my life was no longer manageable, I could not stand me. I had options: prison, insanity, death, Gambler’s Anonymous. I am happy to say I chose GA. This time, I was determined to do it right. I got a sponsor. I did my steps and still continue to do them daily. I am committed both to GA and to me. I discovered that my entitlement had influenced my life in more ways than I can count. I was wrong about the self-destruction only hurting me. It hurt all that I loved. My first GA birthday was a cleansing of that entitlement, but unfortunately, I have found that like many character defects, it still shows up, but now I recognize it and use my gifts from recovery to put it back where it belongs. I did not think that I would ever find the life I have today. I am still making amends to my family for the years of neglect and self-absorption. We are all close and loving now. I enjoy my grandchildren without the taint of the gambling obsession. I have come to understand and relish my connection to a Higher Power. I call on Him for all my decisions and thank Him daily for my blessed life. In terms of society’s measure of success, I am marginally there, but in terms of personal success, I have exceeded anything that I thought possible or even dared hope for. I have joy and peace and the satisfaction of knowing that through recovery, I can face anything. I am never alone.  Thank you Gambler’s Anonymous.

Tagged , , ,

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

A Compelling and Passionate Speaker
Bea Aikens couples her personal experience with extensive knowledge of the disease of compulsive gambling to build a compelling platform for civic, community and national organizations seeking knowledge and understanding of the disease of disordered gambling. To engage Bea for your upcoming event, contact her at
Contact Info
Lanie's Hope
P.O. Box 60214
Boulder City, NV 89006
702.812.1922
Follow Us