Gam-Amon is a Blessing to Me
by Beth E.
I began attending Gam-Anon about 2 1/2 years ago; just a few days after my dad admitted to having a gambling problem. We were in emotional chaos, and the understanding and love I found in Gam-Anon has impacted my life so positively. I am thankful that my dad attends a simultaneous GA meeting.
We work our program. We discuss The 12 Steps in detail. We give feedback based on experience and out of genuine concern. I have heard Gam-Anon criticized for promoting detachment in regard to the gambler, and for discouraging members from seeking professional help. That has not been the case in my Gam-Anon experience.
If anything, I am learning healthy attachment. This may be easier than would be the case if I was married to my gambler, but Gam-Anon is helping me to find my voice, to discuss difficult matters, to take the reins in regard to my dad's finances. All this is happening in large part, because of what I am learning at my meetings, and because of the help of The Pressure Relief Meeting, something we would not have known about without GA and Gam-Anon. I am finding that although it is not always comfortable, my dad and I can have a more honest and open relationship than we have ever had before.
I understand that Gam-Anon does not endorse outside programs. I have learned a great deal, however, about other resources through my GA
and Gam-Anon connections. I have never been discouraged from seeking professional therapy, quite the contrary. Yes, during our meetings, we try to keep the focus on our program, and honestly, it is so refreshing and positive. I can always use that! Conversations outside of our meeting time have also proven to be extremely helpful in learning about other resources that are available to my dad and to me. Again, I have often been encouraged to seek additional resources for help.
I would like to mention one special aspect of our meetings that may not be found everywhere. There is a very genuine love between our GA and Gam-Anon members. Without breaching confidences, we are keenly aware of each others' struggles. I appreciate the way that other GA and Gam-Anon members show love to my dad, to me, to my whole family. We take time to celebrate pinnings and birthdays together, we often have lunch together and all are invited to socialize together at other times as well. That healthy relationship between our GA and Gam-Anon members happens, in part, because we are all working on that healthy attachment in our personal relationships, and because we realize that we are ALL imperfect, broken people, who can offer help to each other.
Thanks for taking time to read my story. I pray that God will lead and guide you, and your loved ones to all of the good things He has for you.