Climbing the twelve steps (Step 1-3)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Don’t be fooled. You are being asked to admit BOTH that you are powerless over your gambling AND that your life is unmanageable. Admitting one without the other is to deny the extent of your problem.

From the moment I arrived I felt immediately at home and for the first time in my life among people with whom I identified, but I hardly noticed the full wording of this first step. Admitting I was powerless over gambling seemed obvious, but I brushed aside the full implications of the second part of this step.

My life was certainly unmanageable where gambling was concerned, but “my life” meant everything else, and my ego was not ready to admit to this. In any case I had come to stop gambling, not turn into a saint.

The admission that my life was as unmanageable as my gambling took longer to happen, but after a few weeks in GA I found I could accept it willingly.

ADMIT that I am powerless over gambling and that my addiction has made my life unmanageable.


  1. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to normal way of thinking and living.

You have probably tried to stop gambling before, but the difference this time is a willingness to accept help. The source of this help may not be clear yet but take a chance and give GA an opportunity to show you that it works. Even if you cannot accept this step at once, be patient, regular attendance will lead to its acceptance.

This did not make sense. My gambling was mine. How could something outside of me stop me gambling? And I only wanted to stop gambling, not to be preached to about the way that I lived my life.

I kept coming back to this step to try and understand it. Finally, the penny dropped. This was neither complicated nor difficult. I just had to hold on to the warmth and friendship that I found when I arrived in GA. I just had to remind myself that it was through sharing that I had managed to stay stopped for the first few days and weeks. I just had to stop fighting and start sharing.

STOP being afraid and stop feeling alone.

Accept that sharing is not a sign of weakness.


  1. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.

This step is only possible after the ADMISSIONS of step one and the WILLINGNESS of step two. If you cannot yet give yourself fully to GA then look again at the first steps and talk about your reluctance in the meetings. A firm foundation is essential for strong recovery.

Decisions, decisions. I had spent my life avoiding them, and now I was being asked to hand over my whole life to something, but what was it?

I had absolutely no idea. I knew that I had stopped gambling for the first time in my life by sharing and listening in the GA room. The problems I had caused had not gone away, but there was definitely SOMETHING outside of me that was helping me one day at a time.

So, I took a chance, and decided to let this SOMETHING into my life. I was nervous and expected to get hurt and laughed at, but it did not happen. All I had done was to make a decision. Nothing had changed except my attitude. I was on the way!

DECIDE to let go and to believe that there is a better way of life possible through the Recovery Programme