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When compulsive gamblers apply the 12-step recovery programme in their lives, disintegration stops and unification begins. These steps are basically spiritual in their concept and their practice can be highly rewarding. These are the steps which are suggested as a programme of recovery.
1. We admitted we were powerless over gambling - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.
7. Humbly asked God (of our understanding) to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God (as we understand him) praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having made an effort to practise these principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers.
No-one claims these steps are in any way original to G.A. They reflect practical experience and application of spiritual insights as recorded by thoughtful men in many ages. Their greatest importance lies in the fact that they work. They enable us and thousands of others to lead happy, productive lives. They represent the foundation upon which our society has been built. They were given to us freely, for which we are grateful.
Unity is the most precious quality our society possesses. Our lives and the lives of all to come depend squarely upon it. Yet unity in G.A. cannot automatically sustain itself. Like personal recovery, it demands honesty, open-mindedness and, above all, vigilance. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, 'We must hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately'. So there can be no sacrifice too great if it will strengthen our essential unity. In maintaining unity we have begun to traditionally practice the following principles:
1. Our common welfare should come first, personal recovery depends upon G.A. Unity.
2. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.
3. The only requirements for G.A. membership is a desire to stop gambling.
4. Each group shall be self-governing except in matters affecting other groups or G.A. as a whole.
5. G.A. has but one primary purpose - to carry the message to the compulsive gambler who still suffers.
6. G.A. should never endorse, finance, or lend the G.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every G.A. group ought to be self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. G.A. should remain forever non-professional, but our service centres may employ special workers.
9. G.A. as such ought never to be organised, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. G.A. has no opinion on outside issues, hence the G.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion, we must always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films and television.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of the G.A. programme, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Just for today I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appal me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that: "most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take each day as it comes and fit myself to it.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count; I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise; I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt - they may be hurt but today I will not show it.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticise not one bit, not find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
Just for today I will have a programme. I may not follow it exactly but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests - hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I will try and get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that, as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
Just for today I will not gamble.