My Gambling Recovery “Thought” Of The Day!

Hello and Welcome To My Recovery World Friends!

 

I wanted to Inspire All Today with a Friday Recovery Thought of The Day!!

.

Vicki Yohe's photo.

“I can tell you friends this is very true! Doing the recovery work needed to GRAB your life back from Gambling Addiction? My own LIFE is better TODAY than it was before I became an ADDICT! Our HP will give it if you Want It”  ….

Here is a referred guide and workbook to help you work your 12-Steps and Get What I Have BABY! LOL … Your Worth It! XOXO

.

THE 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY MANUAL 2015FINALZjpg_Page1

( A fantastic book and guide: http://www.amazon.com/If-You-Want-What-Have-ebook/dp/B019XF6LH8/ )
One book reviewer said:


“If you plan to experience fine dining anywhere in the world, you use Zagat to find the 5-star ratings. This workbook is the perfect tool for everyone just getting started in recovery, wanting to stay active in their program or even well-seasoned sponsors and Recovery Coaches. I have personally been working and familiar with the 12 steps for over 30 years and as a Program Director of a residential, adult program have been blessed to implement Dr. Kevin Coughlin’s manual into our curriculum. With definitions, explanations, assignments, graphs and insight, a complicated person will be at ease to work with this layout. Dr. Coughlin is truly an expert and his knowledge and years of wisdom show in the pages of “If You Want What We Have”.

By Author, Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin …

What Does Gambling Addiction Look Like? It Looks Like This – Can We Help & Support Him?

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

.

Addiction to gambling

Do you know what gambling addiction looks like? Do you know how it impacts your community? Did you know that 1% of our population has a gambling problem? Parents, did you know that problem and addicted gambling has now reached you high school and college bound young adults? Do you know what the symptoms are of a problem gambler? Here is an anonymous young man who recently reached out to me because gambling addiction is devastating his life.
And NO, addicted gambling is not by a persons choice to destroy their life.
It is a REAL DISEASE . . .

Anonymous Writes:

I am 32 to years old.  I am from — and that is also where I live now.
I was always popular, kind of a ladies man, I was athletic, and I was the first guy to leave the state of all my friends to be on my own right after college. However, I have since college struggled with depression. Since gambling addiction took over I:

– I have NEVER enjoyed any of the career opportunities that I have had.
– I have always been a poker player and now more of a complete degenerate gambler.
– I have been on several medications and none seem to fix this issue of depression.
– I have always been searching for the career that would make me happy and at peace.
– I have always been a drinker. I like to drink but I do not go over board I drink wine and about a bottle over the course of the day/night. This has been targeted as a problem to some therapists and others don’t seem to think it is.
When I have quite drinking for a few weeks I do not notice any difference.
I am still depressed and miserable. The longest I have quite for is about 20 days. on 2 or 3 separate occasions.

– I have never really felt that suicide is the answer but I can’t say I would ever do it. I actually highly doubt I would ever do such a thing. I do google it and think about it though when I am super depressed after a big loss.
– I am not normal with relationships. I feel that I grow very distant when things are starting to get serious.
I have a tendency to be turned off easily and get sick of women. Right now I have not had any relationships with a woman for months and months due to gambling and depression (staying inside).

I have been living with my parents for going on a year now in the basement. This house is dysfunctional with an alcoholic father and a mother who is sad she has to witness this. I also have a sister here. I have lost most of my friends for one reason or another. Either because I decided to never call them, or hang out due to feelings of shame for living here. And I do not like facing the public in my current state of living. I feel embarrassed and ashamed!

I lost my last job ( making about –k per year) in just 3 months. It was a horrible experience. The gambling has been out of control for a while but MUCH worse lately. I just have ripped through money like its nothing, pumping them into STUPID SLOT machines which is something I WOULD NEVER DO.  AND that also sickens me!!!!

I just know that the depression and gambling has reached new damaging heights. I cannot cope like this. I feel terrible. However, as soon as night-time comes along and I’m depressed and miserable, maybe buzzed off wine I talk myself into going back out to gamble again!! I am not sure if you heard stories like mine. I am not sure if you have heard people in as deep as me, with no job, no career, and no discovered passions dig out of this mess.
I am hoping you can tell me if you have seen it. However, I have tried so many therapists, nothing is working. It is the most frustrating thing in the world and I want out.

I guess what I want to know is. These are the thoughts I have had for years. I know there are generic answers like, ( stop drinking, stop gambling, seek help, find your passion, try a medication, think about what you liked to do as a kid)
HONESTLY NONE OF THESE WORK FOR ME!!! I Need Your Help!

I guess what I am looking for is :
– Have you seen stories similar to mine?
– What can I do about this mess?
– Why do I keep going back when I know its killing me?  – Can I one day have a happy life?  – It seems like I will never be gamble free… and its scary!

Thanks for listening to me go on and on…. you don’t even know me, but maybe you can save me? I would be forever indebted, and thankful!!!  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover please ask me.
Anonymous. . .

upset player suffering from gambling addiction

SO, . . . . My question to all of my blog friends and recovery friends who come to visit, WHAT would you say to this young man? Of course you know I sent him some information and support websites. But can you help me by sharing your thoughts as if you were talking to him in my comment section. I will make sure I forward ALL advice to him by email. I need to dig deep and ask for a little help from my friends here.

Thank You and God Bless,

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

best personal blogs
best personal blogs

How Do We Reach Life Freedom From Gambling Addiction?

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,

.


.
I felt this quote is fitting for the Freedom we experience in getting our lives back from compulsive addicted gambling. . .

So how do we claim our lives back from compulsive gambling addiction? How can we make that elusive first year in recovery without relapse? Well, every ones path is different, but this goal is the same for all of us!

Working through the 12-steps we sometimes are not comfortable in our own skin when we start to have those feelings of a Free Life from gambling addiction. For me it was very hard not to self sabotage myself after some months of being gamble free. Instead of moving forward in recovery, some of us don’t know how, or we start to get complacent when we are finally feeling some relief in the areas in recovery like, our finances, less triggers and urges, and much more.
.
That is the time we need to be prepared so we don’t relapse just because we are starting to feel better, and our diseased thinking of this addiction makes us start to thinking and feel we really didn’t have a problem. When we have finished step 1, and have surrendered, many may go back and think, “well I feel pretty good now, so maybe I can CONTROL my gambling,” . . . . NO, you can not.

The person starts taking little pieces of his/her surrender back, and thinks I can control this or that, and before you know it? You are sucked back in the cycle of the addiction again.
.


.
Does this sound familiar? I did myself in early recovery, and trying to make that elusive 1 year in recovery, but failed because I kept thinking when I was feeling good that I could control my gambling. Doesn’t work folks. Many of you know the experiences I’m talking about right?
So, here is one tool & skill you can use to help SEE your growth in your recovery, and may help you see how the cycle of addicted gambling and your weak spots to be prepared for so you don’t relapse or get off track.

Start a JOURNAL . . . If you write a little of how your day was, any triggers, urges, stress, and everything through your day and night, later you can look back and will be able to pin point where you need more help or support in your recovery.

It’s the same with working your 12-steps. We don’t work our steps and think, “OK, I’m done with that”. . . oh no, we have to keep going back and reworking our steps to actually see how far we have come, and also see the area’s we need more help and support. You really can go and look back through your step work and see your growth in recovery.

I can tell you that it’s an amazing feeling when you do this, and yourself can pin point your weak area’s which helps you gain self-awareness as well. Self awareness with your feelings to are very important to your recovery. We have learned in our addiction to gambling to either run, hide, stuff, escape or cope from uncomfortable feelings. Feelings of maybe hurt, pain, or like me, I was trying to escape the pain and haunts of my past childhood trauma and abuse.

.

.
So I used gambling to cope with my past childhood pain. Trust me, any negative things that have happened to you, and you try to stuff them away? Sooner or later they will come to bother you later in life if you don’t get help, or learn to process that and make peace with yourself. Yes, many people do turn to additions for many different reasons, but many times it’s because we are hurting from something inside, running from something, or just plain being immature. We don’t learn to grow up and be accountable and take ownership of our problems or stress in life.

The 12-steps will help you gain this and work through our human defects. Yes, we are only human after all, and no one person is perfect. ME? I will be “a work in progress” until my last breath in this world. So do yourself a favor, reclaim your life back from gambling addiction. We can recover & were worth it!

 

May God Bless and Guide you in your Recovery Journey,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of Addicted To Dimes, My Story. . .
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat/dp/B00CSUJI3A

 

“What Is It Like Being An Addict”? Some Holiday Recovery Encouragement! . . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,

 

.
I wanted to start my post by sharing my book of my own story of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. My current book out, “Addicted To Dime”, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat),
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/

.
If you know anyone with a gambling problem, or maybe addicted to gambling, and you are not sure how to approach the subject? Then send them my book. They won’t look at gambling the same way after they finish reading my story. I actually had others tell me this in comments, and in all my 5 Star Amazon Reviews that were kindly left by readers. There may only be 13 reviews on Amazon, but they are very powerful and mean much to me!
.


.
So my neighbor Sean, yes, he is the one I have blogged about before. He is a drug addict. He knows I say this in the ‘correct context’ since being a former addict myself, just that mine wasn’t drugs. My drug was addicted compulsive gambling, and abuse of alcohol when I did gamble. So we were talking about the holidays being upon us, and how hard it can be trying to stay in recovery around the holiday time.

Now, I give Sean credit, and it is why I have not just cut him off as a friend, because Like me, I know all he may hear and learn in his continued fight to recover from drug addiction, I know that eventually, like me, it does start sticking and sinking into our heads.
And, . . .one day that big fat light bulb goes off over our heads!! And we say, NOW I GET IT!!
I know that is what happened to me after my 2nd suicide attempt, and working with an addiction specialist. BUT, . . . sadly not before I had committed a crime thanks to all the old behaviors and quick bad choice reactions when Life Difficulties come along.

I learned from that, that I had not finished all my work in taking my financial inventory, nor had I finished the work on all my bad habits I had used, and picked up when I was active in my gambling addiction. So I had more work to do. So when Sean and I were talking about Christmas’s past, when we had no money, no lights, no Christmas tress, no nothing, I told him I couldn’t count how many times I would be in a department store wandering the isles, just wishing I could by everyone gifts for Christmas, but I had gambled all our money, so I couldn’t. I can not tell you how many times I needed things for myself, and would walk up and down the isles just looking, looking at all the things I wish I could buy but couldn’t because I had gambled our money away, . . . again.

.

.
Sean was sharing how much he felt like shit having to go to detox for the week before this past Thanksgiving so he could be clean while visiting his parents in San Diego, CA and not be strung out from drugs.

Then when he got back from San Diego, he bought pain pills and was right back to it!!
THAT is how hard it is to stop being an addict!! Yes, we have to WANT to STOP, but as an addict myself, I do remember those days, months, and years of that BATTLE we have with ourselves, with the constant triggers and urges ALL the damn time. I think those feelings are a little like who and what “The Devil is”. All bad things of this world are and belong to Satan.

The constant battle gets worse once you start your recovery. The first year of recovery, I won’t lie to you all, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do in your lifetime if you’re any type of addict. Those who are know exactly what I’m talking about. The constant racing thoughts, the nagging little person in your head that keeps telling you, “you don’t have a problem, it’s everyone else telling YOU that you do”. Well I’m now smart enough to know, that’s the DISEASE talking. It takes control of our thoughts, which feelings and acts come from.

.

.
We can’t change what we refuse of our addiction to acknowledge . . .

We can not take that FIRST STEP unless we convince our mind, body, spirit, and soul we are truly powerless over our addictions. That they have the control over our life, and it’s useless to keep trying to control the addictions you have. I so remember all the times I sat behind a damn slot or video poker machine, and I just kept stuffing more and more money in them. And even if I won, I would be there even longer until I gambled my last dollar. So it doesn’t matter if you win money or lose it, the addiction is so strong that it takes over. You don’t stand a chance at controlling it. The disease makes you think you can, but it never happens!

I hated myself so much. I had NO idea who I was anymore. I was so disconnected from life, my husband, my friends and family. Even though both sides of our family lived in two different states at the time, I wouldn’t return calls, nothing. My heart and soul was so broken when I finally had to surrender to the fact that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had me beaten down so bad I was on my knees wanting to die. And that’s why I understand about what my neighbor, what Sean is going through. I’ve been there myself. I don’t want him to ‘Give Up’ before HIS MIRACLE happens like mine did.

.

.
When we learn to finally surrender and choose recovery, choose to have our lives back, then we start the journey of letting go. We can start to see things more clearly. Yes, mine was a very bumpy ride to long-term recovery, with relapses, a couple tries in gambling treatment, counseling & therapy, and many GA meetings, and lots of hard work on all my character defects, and much more.
But, then,  . . . we start to get it go. Learning to be brutally honest with yourself, and having faith in a “Power Greater Than Ourselves” will help you obtain that new miracle of life again.

I can not tell you how GOOD it feels to be free of all that garbage, feeling like a hostage to my former addictions. It truly is like a rebirth! NO, . . it was not easy, but SO worth all the work I did to have my life free of addiction. It’s really true that many blessings come from the many negatives and trials we go through in life. I can not count how many blessings have come to me since my full recovery. We need to look at in a personal light. Look at recovery as “investing in your own life ! in your self”. . .
.


.
And when you do break the chains of addiction, be your true self. You will learn to have an even better life in recovery then when you first became an addict! That’s the beauty of Recovery! Don’t be someone you’re not in recovery. Learn to be a better person then the one before, better than the one YOU became within addiction. It can be done. I know this because not only do I live in recovery almost 8 years, I have to live with mental/emotional disorders from my past addictions. And I am a childhood sex abuse survivor.

So having dual diagnosis and living in recovery can be challenging. Like everyday challenging. But I did it, and DO IT. It’s why I continue to share my recovery journey on a personal level. When My book released, my live really did become an open book. All my flaws, misdeeds, character defects and more where now open for all the world to judge. Yes,  . . . I said judge. WHY?
.

.

.
We judge because it’s sadly the world & society we live in. We judge because there is STIGMA still in this world around those who seem different. Who may have taken a different path then others.
And that is one of the most positive and powerful things about recovery. We learn not only to heal and love ourselves again, but we also learn to have care, understanding, and more compassion for others. That is another blessing that recovery has taught me. And that compassion is why I help others in or out of recovery.

Compassion, and helping others in recovery, or those who are reaching out for help to recover, being of recovery service to others keeps us in recovery. It’s just that simple!

.

I wish all of you in Recovery a Bet Free, Clean and Sober Holiday Season! And yes I do say, “Merry Christmas To All & Happy New Year”!!

Many Blessings,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon XoXo 🙂

 

In Recovery, Don’t Let Anyone Or Anything Make You Feel ‘Less Than,’ Always Feel ‘More Than’ Because You Are “More Than”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, And Welcome New Friends,

 

.

.
Some days living life in recovery can be a bit of a challenge. What I mean is, no matter how much recovery time one gets under their belt, we still may have a day when something from our “Wicked Past Addiction” just might come back and ‘Bitch Slap’ us in the face of our present.
It’s why it’s important to ALWAYS have a plan. And especially for long holiday weekends like this one, *Memorial Weekend*…

.

.

Even when that “Slap” comes around, we need to have a safe plan to deal with Life on Life’s terms. I mean, our higher power never said recovery was going to be an easy journey right? Here is what happened to me a while back. When we moved from So. Oregon, to here in Glendale, Arizona,…it was a very traumatic move for me in many ways. I had to adopt out my 2 baby kitties, actually my good friend who has a mini 3 acre ranch took them for us, but it was traumatic for me. Also the 3 day ride in the car was also a traumatic event for me, and had to stay a wee bit extra medicated with my psych meds for the long trip, as I suffer from Bipolar depression, mild PTSD, and Agoraphobia with panic, so need I say more? When we finally got her to AZ we were living with my husbands siblings until we could move back to Oregon. Well, there was SO much DRAMA and arguing that I was having 5 panic attacks a Week!!

.
File:Panic attack.jpg
.

I cried every night we were there in that house. Missing my cats, hating the way they treated us! We barely lasted 2 months and got the HELL out! We had to find our own place with the help of my husbands older sister who is the ONLY SANE person in that house. We moved out and have NOT stepped foot in their house since. What I found out is,…the 2 brothers went to their lawyer and had him run a criminal background check on me, and they gave it to my husbands older sister. Now, for those who know me, or have read my book, you know that when I was within the worst of my ‘Gambling Addiction’ I had stolen from someone. They pressed charges, and YES,….I have a past criminal record, ONE.
I took ownership, and responsibility for what I had done 8 years ago. I made my amends where I could, began gambling addiction treatment, and worked hard these last 7 years to become the woman I was before my addictions to gambling and alcohol. I did the inside work within myself as well, and now try to help others, and “Pay It Forward.”

.
So we need to be ready for when these types of LIFE MOMENTS happen, our past catching up &  into our future. His 2 brothers began to treat me even worse with verbal attacks, and more after they got that copy of my past misdeeds. But,….SO WAHT. So I knew we needed to get out to keep my sanity and recovery.

.
I think I handled it all pretty well. I did get some bouts of depression and the panic attacks, but all was fine when we got a little place of our own. I mean, at the end, things were really getting out there! The guys hid all the window handles so we could not open our window in our bedroom for any fresh air in the mornings. I was only allowed downstairs living area and kitchen, not in their living room, or anywhere upstairs. I could not use scented deodorant, perfume, smelly body lotion as the boys called it. I really thought I was going MAD IN THE HEAD!
ANYWHO…..
.

.
The point is this, Yes,…we may have made some ‘Bad Choice’s’ when we where within our addictions, but they don’t have to be part of your future, or even in this moment. Don’t let anyone make you feel “Less Than” no matter what. If you learned from the mistakes you made in your past, took ownership and accountability for them, that makes you “More Than in Recovery”! It’s another important reason to do the step work that is required to help you get there and achieve it. Your 12-steps are not all about a religious program.
.
Nope,….it’s about learning to use them as a guide to help fix the many character defects, and the bad habits and behaviors we used to COPE within addicted life, and use the steps to transform us into better people in recovery. That’s how I feel about working and reworking my steps. You can see your growth with your own eyes! When you here the words “Unity & Fellowship” in meetings, it’s not a religious fellowship, it’s about applying “The Principals of the Steps” into our daily lives to restore the beautiful people we were before addiction!
.

We in recovery deserve, and were given a 2nd chance. If you screw that up?
Well,…that’s on you. Might mean more work needs to be done in your recovery, and within yourself. But if you accept and use that 2nd chance in life given to you in recovery, then,….you are “More Than”…… Always.

.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
.

.

Happy Memorial Weekend All,
God Bless!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

“The Oscar’s Are Over So Here Is Part 3 Of Relapse Prevention”

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome Newbies,

.
quotes photo:  quotes.png
*THIS IS WHAT RECOVERY SHOULD BE!*
.
So welcome recovery boys and girls! LET’S wrap up Part 3 of  “Gambling Addiction Relapse Prevention” and the Guide. In my last blog post we covered the important area’s of how to have a relapse plan, and how to deal with “Positive & Negative” feelings and emotions, deal with HIGH RISK situations, and to not TEMPT your control or yourself by going to Risky places. And we learned the difference between Lapse and Relapse. So will close out by learning to avoid Slips, Awareness of our Behaviors & the Chain, coping with Triggers, and why you need a Daily Relapse Plan.
.
I remember an old standing joke we had in my Gamblers Anonymous meeting group in So. Oregon. When the Oregon Lottery had introduced Video Poker Slot Machines, many little lottery retail shops were popping up all over our community. And as long as they sold food, beverages, and beer and wine, they can have 6 of these poker machines inside the store. They SOLD the Cheapest Smokes in town, so we’d joke that “WE ONLY WENT INTO The lottery store for cheap packs of smokes, but because it’s a “Risky Place” for us in recovery, we’d end up Gambling and Spend WAY MORE then That Cheap Pack of Smokes! So then it became the most costly pack of smokes because you’d drop a couple hundred dollars gambling”!!! So much for the cheap pack of smokes in town! So my point is, Please,……DON’T TEMPT or TRUST YOURSELF In Early Recovery!

The Slip Plan:
You must have a plan in case you slip. It is foolish to think that you will never have a problem again. You must plan what you are going to do if you have problems. A study found of recovering addicts, that thirty-three percent of patients lapsed within two weeks of leaving treatment. Sixty percent lapsed within three months. At the end of eight months, sixty-three percent had used.
The worst thing you can do when you slip is to think that you completely failed in recovery. This is inaccurate thinking. You are not a total failure. You haven’t lost everything. You have made a mistake, and you need to learn from it. You let some part of your program go, and you are paying for it. You need to examine exactly what happened and get back into recovery.
A slip is an emergency. It is a matter of life and death. You must take immediate action to prevent the slip from becoming a full relapse. You must call someone in the program, preferably your sponsor, and tell that person what happened. You need to carefully examine why you slipped. You cannot gamble and use the tools of recovery at the same time. Something went wrong. You didn’t use your new skills. You must make a plan of action to recover from your slip. You cannot do this by yourself. You are in denial. You don’t know the whole truth. If you did, you wouldn’t have relapsed.
.
Call your sponsor or a professional counselor and have him or her develop a new treatment plan for you. You may need to attend more meetings. You may need to see a counselor. You may need a new sponsor. You may need outpatient treatment. You may need inpatient treatment. You have to get honest with yourself. You need to develop a plan and follow it. You need someone else to agree to keep an eye on you for a while. Do not try to do this alone. What we cannot do alone, we can do together.
*THIS IS VERY TRUE* WE CAN RECOVER With the help and support of recovery friends!*

.
The Behavior Chain:
All behavior occurs in a certain sequence. First there is the TRIGGER. This is the external event that starts the behavioral sequence. After the trigger, there comes THINKING. Much of this thinking comes very fast, and you will not consciously pick it up unless you stop and focus on it. The thoughts trigger FEELINGS, which give you energy and direction for action. Next comes the BEHAVIOR, or the action initiated by the trigger. Lastly, there is always CONSEQUENCES for any action.
Diagrammed, the behavior chain looks like this:
TRIGGER—THINKING— FEELINGS—BEHAVIOR—CONSEQUENCE…
.

Lets go through a behavior sequence and see how it works. On the way home from work, George, a recovering compulsive gambler, passes the convenience store (This is the trigger). He thinks “I’ve had a hard day. Maybe I’ll do a couple of scratch off lottery tickets to unwind” (The trigger initiates thinking). George craves gambling (The thinking initiates feeling). George turns into the convenience store and begins gambling (The feelings initiates behavior). George relapses (The behavior has a consequence).
Let’s work through another example. It’s is eleven o’clock at night and Betty is not asleep (Trigger). She thinks “I’ll never get to sleep tonight unless I gamble” (Thinking). She feels an increase in her anxiety about not sleeping (Feeling). She gets up and gambles (Behavior). She losses all her money and is so depressed she can’t work the next morning (Consequence).
.
How To Cope With Triggers:
At every point along the behavior chain you work on preventing relapse. First you need to look at your triggers carefully. What environmental events lead you to gambling? We have gone over some of these when we examined high-risk situations. Determined what people, places, or things make you vulnerable to relapse. Stay away from these triggers as much as possible. If a trigger occurs, use your new coping skills.
Don’t let the trigger initiate old behavior. Stop and think. Don’t let your thinking get out of control. Challenge your thinking and get accurate about what’s real. Let’s look at some inaccurate thoughts.
1. It’s not going to hurt.
2. No one’s going to Know.
3. I need to relax.
4. I’ve had a hard day.
5. I’m just going to spend a couple of bucks.
6. My friends want me to gamble.
7. It’s the only way I can sleep.
8. I never had a problem with sports gambling.
9. I can do anything I want.
10. I’m lonely.
.
All of these inaccurate THOUGHTS can be used to fuel the craving that leads to relapse. You must stop and challenge your thinking until you are thinking accurately. You must replace inaccurate thoughts with accurate ones. You are a compulsive gambler. If you gamble you could die. That is the truth. Think through the first bet. Get honest with yourself.
.
HOW TO COPE WITH CRAVINGS:
If you think inaccurately you will begin craving. This is the powerful feeling that drives compulsive gambling. Craving is like an ocean wave. It will build and then, wash over you. Craving doesn’t last long if you move away from gambling. If you move closer to a gambling situation, The craving will increase until you gamble. Immediately on feeling a desire to gamble think this thought:
.
“THAT IS NO LONGER AN OPTION FOR ME.”
Now, what are your options? If you are in trouble. You are craving. What are you going to do to prevent relapse? You must move away from the gambling situation. Perhaps you need to call your sponsor; go to a meeting; turn it over; call your counselor; or visit a friend. You must do something else other than thinking about gambling. Don’t sit there and ponder about gambling. You will lose that debate. This illness is called the great debater. If you leave it unchecked, it will seduce you into gambling.
The illness must lie to work. You must uncover the lie as quickly as possible and get it back to the truth. You must take the appropriate action necessary to maintain your recovery.
.
Develop A Daily relapse Prevention Program
If you work a daily program of recovery your chances of success greatly increase. You need to evaluate your recovery daily and keep a log. Especially in early recovery!
.
This IS your Daily Inventory….
1. Assess all relapse warning signs.
A. What symptoms did I see in myself today?
B. What am I going to do about them?
2. Assess love of self.
A. What did I do to love myself today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
3. Assess love of others.
A. What did I do to love others today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
4. Assess love of God.
A. What did I do to love God today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
5. Assess sleep pattern.
A. How am I sleeping?
6. Assess exercise.
A. Am I getting enough exercise?
7. Assess nutrition.
A. Am I eating right.
8. Review total recovery program.
A. How am I doing in recovery?
B. What is the next step in my recovery program?
9. Read the Combo Book, or other recovery literature.
A. Pray and meditate for a few minutes.
B. Relax completely.
.
Fill out this inventory every day and keep a journal about how you are doing. You will be amazed as, from time to time you read back over your journal. You will be amazed at how much you have grown.
Create a card that indicates on one side the names of people you will call in case of emergency. On the other side list the ten reasons you want to stay free from gambling. Never forget these reasons. read this list often and carry it with you at all times in your Combo Book. If you struggle in recovery take it out and read it to yourself. And remember: “TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME”!
.

.
Even though I have this “Relapse Prevention Guide Workbook” listed on my Recovery Resources Page, I have wanted to break it down in 3 sections to share and go over it in a little more detail and hope I have accomplished that! I also hope all who can benefit from it will “Copy & Paste” it to somewhere for yourself to use anytime in your recovery. I feel it is a MUST HAVE in early recovery. I said it many times, but it has really helped me stay SAFE in my own recovery!
.
We never look far ahead in our recovery, as life can throw some major events in our path that no matter HOW much clean time you have, you could be triggered into a relapse. Maybe not today, but maybe when a parent pass’s or other relative, or a break-up of a marriage, loss of a child. We never know what tomorrow will bring each day, so better to be ready and have a plan in place when it may. Early recovery is also a time to really have a sound relapse plan. I haven’t said it much, but I really want my Recovery blog to be a place where others can come and share WHAT works for them, interact in the comment section, or just ask a question. A”ddicted Compulsive Gambling is a REAL Disease”! I’d like to share some informative websites that I have come to rely on for resources about gambling addiction, and who I’ve “Pledged” my blog to RAISE AWARENESS of “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” all MARCH long…..
.

.

1.) http://www.gamblinghelper.com  Become a member for help & support.
2.) http://www.azccg.org  The Arizona Council On Compulsive Gambling, info & support.
3.) http://www.ncpgambling.org  The National Council Of Problem Gambling.
4.) http://www.grippedbygambling.com My Good Friend & Author, Marilyn Lancelot’s helpful website.
5.) http://femalegamblers.info  Another FEMALE only Gambling Support Site by Marilyn.
6.  http://www.actcounseling.com  Fantastic Counseling Services for Gambling Addiction.
7.) http://addictionblog.org  Help and Info on all types of Addictions
.
I have many more listed on my Recovery Resources Page and try hard to keep updating and adding new places to get Help, Treatment, and Support from addicted compulsive gambling. They are all well worth the visit! Until my next blog post, have a Fabulous Day All!!
.
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
PS…Don’t forget to leave your “Thoughts & Comments” because “It’s Time To Talk About It”!!