A NEW YEAR, SO SURRENDER FROM ADDICTION & “GET OFF THE ADDICTION FENCE.”
Now that the holidays are over and we are in a brand new year, and you have been desperately gambling through the holiday hoping for that “BIG WIN” so you could make your Christmas seem normal, with all the gifts, decorations, and such, and the WIN just never came. Only more lies, more covering and hiding the money you wasted. It becomes very exhausting. And like above? “The Dream Is Free But The Hustle To Recover Is DONE Separately.”
I know this as I have been there myself with my gambling addiction, and I have hustled to maintain my recovery since January 29th, 2007. I can not count how many past holidays I had devastated, and my family was disappointed because I was sick deep in addiction. So isn’t it a good time to finally get off the addiction fence, it’s New Year, so why not look into getting help, hope, and healthy again?
Yes, I know just how scary it is to eventually “surrender” to the fact that gambling addiction has beat you. I am also aware of what a New Year means, it seems we use this time of year to look back, and take stock of our lives past, present, and our future. Aren’t you tired of all the negative habits and behaviors this addiction takes on in your life. Are you tired of wasting paychecks, mortgage money, pawning valuables just to squeeze more money to go gamble? What does your financial future and finances look like after another year of addicted gambling?
If you were like me? You most likely didn’t look or even care about that within the worst of your addiction! That is what addiction also does to you. It’s part of the “cycle and disease. All you are obsessed with is when you can gamble next and where you can get the money to do so. I can tell you when the money runs out, and it will, your next step will be committing a crime because as I have said many times, this is a progressive disease. Your bets and risk get higher as time goes on, and the amount of money you waste piles even higher as well. NOW is the time to get help, and look into learning how to exit the destructive “cycle” of addition.
First, you need to be ready to SURRENDER. Surrender is a verb, an ACTION word. So you need to take action from addicted gambling. Surrendering is a thing we do. There are only two choices. It means to “cease resistance to an enemy, or opponent and submit to their authority.” Many people like me, regard the first step of recovery as surrender. It is the feeling of powerlessness, which is required to admit, along with the awareness that there is a problem, which is essential to surrender…
Now many think that surrender is a matter of weakness. However, looking at the definition of surrender indicates that it is not. It is not about giving up or failing. Mindfully and Spiritually, with a higher power, the act of surrender is much more humble, and way less based on ego. Look at the definition, it says explicitly that to surrender is to “cease resistance.” Surrender can bring serenity in accepting the fact that despite how hard we have tried in all the different ways we have attempted to, we cannot change addicted gambling itself or how we relate to it. Letting go of the fight and putting down arms to ask for help is an act of courage.
So, when you do finally surrender? What should be your next step? Well, there are many paths to recovery. You need to find what is going to help, work best, and make you feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Many of us come into treatment and rehabilitation in crisis, where then we don’t have many choices. But when you decided for yourself, there are many options. For support and education of addicted gambling, I chose Gamblers Anonymous as they offer help with a 12-Step model, and you can even do meetings online. They offer it to the family as well.
Treatment options come in many ways. You can look for a gambling recovery coach, treatment facility, and in most states, The State Lottery website has treatment options to get help and treatment paid for by that states lottery fund. Many Behavioral Centers also offer options like therapy or counseling, and a group meeting.
Being with others in a group setting gives you comfort knowing you are not alone, and others have a problem with gambling and being with like-minded people. Doing so gave me my firm foothold on the road to long-term recovery. And how I’ve come to have 11-years in recovery. The Oregon Lottery funding is where I received treatment, and then where I worked with a recovery specialist for a year after that as “aftercare” in place is VITAL!
Check to see if your state has an “Office on Problem Gambling,” like here where I live now in Arizona. I know many states do. If you are a veteran, check with the VA as they offer gambling treatment on base in Cleveland, Ohio paid for by the “Veterans Administration” regardless of where you are. Another resource who can help locate help in your area for you is “The National Council on Problem Gambling”
Here is my recommendation for you. It doesn’t matter where you receive HELP, HOPE, and Treatment, as long as you are willing and ready to take the “First Step and Surrender”, so you can then “Quit To Win!”
Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon is the best-selling author of “Addicted To Dimes” and new book, “Ten The Hard Way.” She is a former columnist for “In Recovery Magazine, a freelance writer, recovery blogger and offers Book Promotions for authors. She is currently co-writing a Memoir with former NFL Pro and Olympian, Vance Johnson due to release mid-2018 and soon former NFL Pro, Randy Grimes. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona.