A mishmash of ideas from hypnosis, to getting a dog, to moving, and other interesting ideas not commonly offered for treating gambling addiction.
The Twelfth Step
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
The Twelfth Step of the AA program
“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”
From the AA Big Book, Chapter 7, pg. 89
Much has been written about the twelfth step in the AA 12-step program. I don’t presume to be able to add anything meaningful to that vast library of analysis and thought. For those not familiar, it goes like this: As your recovery progresses, the time comes when you need to get out of your own head and go out and help others. By helping others, you will take your own recovery to a new level. You can then feel pride and meaning in your life by using your suffering to enlighten and reduce the suffering in others like yourself. It is powerful stuff. Go to the internet and read all about it.
You can become a sponsor in GA. You can advocate to your state or national representatives for “harm reduction” policies and legislation. You can write a blog or contribute to an online support group. You can join NCPG and contribute to their activities. Use your imagination – just go out and do something. By doing this, your losses, your shame and guilt, your negative experiences, can all become a source of something good. You will feel great about your efforts to help others.
This book is my twelfth step, and I have loved doing it. My great fantasy is that it gets published and is read by millions of people – addicts and therapists. My greater fantasy is that it saves thousands of lives. Imagine how wonderful that would be!
Perhaps this next suggestion is too blatant. It is likely that the publisher will have it removed, though I hope not. Remember that the specific purpose of this book is to prevent addicted gamblers from committing suicide. Remember that it is likely that over ten thousand suffering gamblers did commit suicide last year.
Blatant or not, here goes: You can help save those lives. Make this your twelfth step: provide a copy of this book to the people who need it. Give a copy to everyone in your GA group. Provide several copies to your therapist so she can give them to her other patients. Send a copy to all your state legislators so they can see how their greed for campaign funds hurts so many of their constituents. Do whatever you can to get this book in the hands of those ten thousand who are now on track to commit suicide next year! If a great many of you do this, many lives will be saved. You will have participated in one hell of a twelfth step!