Step 4: MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL AND FINANCIAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES.
I looked for escape from the problems around me and gambling provided that escape. When I was gambling I didn’t have to deal with arguments, bills and all that made me feel less worthwhile. It became my personal ‘zone of relief’ but only when I was actively gambling. When the end came each time I felt worse but didn’t care as long as I knew I could return and escape again. Every secret became a new cover up of my disastrous path. I became obsessed with Gambling and hiding the damage. I did it to such excess that I lost control of which lie was for which person. At the end everything came unraveled and I still wanted to blame others.
In my addiction I didn’t care about my bad habits but if anyone else had one I was there to point it out. I could tolerate my own but wanted to change those of everyone else . Today that has changed because I want to be better and to be better I have to work on making changes. Instead of changing others I try to be an example.
My journey to recovery and meetings began with the impending loss of my job. I was able to keep my job but before I went back I ended up dealing with suicidal depression. This led me to lose control of the hidden lies and then to meetings. Even after the first meeting it took an action of insanity on my part to get me on track. I left that first meeting and spent $1.00 on a scratch off ticket. That was my final straw as I realized that I had a problem.
I discovered I had many defects that played into my addiction and recovery meant facing them all. I find myself relating to others in the meetings because my gambling was not about one failing but many. I blamed others when I failed, when I lost, when I gambled and even when I sought other addictions to fill the gap left by my recovery. Over the years I have realized that only I can make the changes, take responsibility for failures and rebuild trust.
I can’t take ‘others inventory’ but I can help them by taking my own inventory. In doing so I can work with others to help them make their own inventories. They can see through my inventory what they might have missed.
How do I take my inventory? I write down what I’ve done to gamble and how I’ve created problems as a result. I become willing to see what I try to hide from myself. As a result I realize that it is a lifetime process.
I take the inventory every morning to some extent. I take it weekly, monthly, annually and realize it is ongoing.
As a way to keep myself in check I pick a defect to focus on changing and being aware of it daily. I don’t focus on one for life but one at a time. As the defect rears it’s head I take note and work on it.