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Mary Stream--Gambling addiction

In Minneapolis there was a very intense outpatient program for addicted gamblers.  I attended four days a week, for three or four hours per night.  There was a small group of five or six of us and we discussed our problems, and learned more about our addiction. It was really hard, especially since I drove by three casino exits on the way to Minneapolis.  There were days I would pull my car off the road and bawl, or times I would take the exit to the casino, and somehow gather the strength and then turn around.  I knew I could never let myself gamble again.

The Gamblers Anonymous (GA) group became my faith.  A person who had quit around the same time I did started hanging out with me and she would stay at my place after the Friday meeting until Sunday just so neither of us would gamble. After some time, my faith returned stronger than ever and it has since helped keep me strong.  The forgiving God I know and love suffered a lot for us. 

I believe that we each have a purpose and a different thing to do on this earth.  We also need to forgive ourselves.  I have to look back on the toughest times with some sense of humor.  The last person to forgive me for my mistakes was me.

Bio: Mary Stream raised four children after her husband was killed in an automobile accident.  After her youngest graduated from high school, Mary started to gamble. Provided by: