Introduction to Gamblers Anonymous Pressure Relief
When we first come into Gamblers Anonymous, we donít come in because we are on a roll and everything is great in our life. We come in because gambling has caused damaged to us and many other people including family, friends, and employers. As Gamblers Anonymous members, we can help you with four of these areas: Financial, Employment, Relationship, or Legal.
The most common problem Gamblers Anonymous members have is in the area of finances. When you have been in the program at least 30 days and have gone to at least 4 meetings, you are eligible for a Financial Pressure Relief. What we will give you is some paperwork which will be a financial budget. It has lines for all kinds of expenses and things you need money for including rent, food, cigarettes, etc. It also has lines for your debts, gambling and non-gambling, as well as an area for your income. After completing the paperwork, in a small, CONFIDENTIAL manner, a group of us will sit-down with you and review your finances. Everything that is said there STAYS THERE and will not be talked about outside that group. We will review everything and help alleviate any of the pressures your finances may have in your life. Some people find they need to take on a part-time job, others find that they have been working a part-time job and donít need it, and even some are fine with their current situation. Whatever the case, you walk-away with a plan and will not have that monkey on your back that gambling has caused.
Many people come into the program on the verge of losing their jobs because of the impact gambling has had on their job performance. If there is a real threat that you may lose your job because of gambling, members of the program can come in and speak with your employer. They will let them know that you are now in a 12-Step program and are working on becoming a better person. Most employers see this as a good thing when you consider it costs more money to fire, hire, and retrain someone than it does to keep an existing employee. However, if you are unemployed, there are many members in the program that own their own business and can possibly give you a part-time job until you are able to get yourself back on your feet.
Gambling has caused many of in Gamblers Anonymous to have poor relationship with significant people in our lives, including, spouses, family members, and friends. If gambling has caused a strain on a specific relationship, what we as Gamblers Anonymous members can do is connect you with another couple who is in a similar situation as yours and whose lives have been changed by Gamblers Anonymous. The four of you can sit-down and hammer-out the specifics and the successful couple can share what has worked for them. This is NOT a replacement for couples therapy or professional counseling, but it will help you work one-on-one with another pair who understands what you have been through and who can help alleviate any pressure that gambling has placed on your relationship.
Over the years, we have had many people who have come into the program with legal issues. If you have embezzled money, bounced checks, are facing possible incarceration, or for any reason the law may be on your tail, you are eligible for a Legal Pressure Relief. We have members of our program who are lawyers. They wonít necessarily represent you in court, but what they can do if give you some safe, sane, and best of all FREE legal advice on how to proceed with any legal pressures you may have.