Sharing My Recovery Wisdom, Hope, Experiences, and Lessons Learned While I Keep Moving Forward Maintaining Recovery. “Pass It On!”

Sharing My Recovery Wisdom, Hope, Experiences, and Lessons Learned While I Keep Moving Forward Maintaining Recovery. “Pass It On!”

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When we feel like we can not move past speed bumps in our recovery journey, how do we move forward? When do I get some loner time abstinence and then relapse? What if I’m not strong enough to NOT cave into cravings, urges, and triggers? What can I do not to RELAPSE?

All these are excellent questions and concerns we all have or face while maintaining our recovery path. Some can be quick fixes, and some may mean you have more work to do possible within your journey. See, recovery is not only a life long process, and it does come to us in phases. What do I mean by this? We all have the option to choose how we begin to gain our lives back from any addiction.

In doing so, we have choices to pick from a 12-Step Program, or faith-based program, or both together. Possibly a treatment center program along with attending church or a treatment program that comes with therapy or counseling, but, however you feel is right and comfortable for you. Next is doing the “work” that is asked of you while you begin to learn the tools and the skills that may save your life. Next is being diligent in using all the tools you learn. Not complicated. But, still, many can struggle.

Since I advocate much through social media, I see many times disagreements going on by others wanting to force how they recover and has worked for them onto others looking for help or support within recovery from addictions. Or even the never-ending battles I see play out about a 12-Step Program all by itself will work to get clean, sober, or gamble free… That is not the case, nor fair.

I feel, and this is my OWN OPINION, as long as you have the desire to stop any addiction that is making your life unmanageable? Then it should be you alone or your family and yourself to choose what works and is comfortable for you.

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Once you begin, begin to come to terms with knowing there is a lot of recovery work to do in the first few years. Learning and gaining the skills and tools needed to interrupt the “cycle” of addiction is essential and half the battle!

Being educated and informed about some of the roots and underlying issues that had you turn to addiction. Old pain or hurt from other issues like abuse, trauma, etc., all can have us looking for ways to cope and escape those feelings that are still unprocessed — then learning to overcome hurdles or those feelings of being “stuck” not knowing how to move forward maintaining your recovery.

I’ll end with a share of a post that I did on my Recovery Facebook page the other day. It was answering a group member’s concerns about her gambling addiction and having a relapse. It was how I felt after reading questions and felt I wanted to share a little of my own experience in early recovery.

Keep it Honest and Real recovery friends!
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My FB Reply:
“I enjoy belonging to many Groups here on FB and especially my #recoverygroups … I wish there were MORE #GamblingRecoveryGroups …

Because when I read that others are having a “Rough Go” or Struggles, and I read sharings of others, it Hits me HARD …

Here is what I suggested to a new friend who is recovering from OUR #Addiction…
ONE that “Requires No #Substances but is just as DEADLY and Still, such a Silent and Underground #Addiction”… *Cat*

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ANSWER To Her:
“When I read this …It took me back to my own early attempts in recovery, the days of chronic relapses. I sure relate to all you shared and half the battle?? Is that YOU are sharing, reaching out, and being honest and transparent as this #DISEASE most times don’t let you. So Kudo’s to you for DOING SO.

It is NOT YOU -Thinking, it is the disease, the habits of our diseased thinking that are telling you that you DON’T have a problem and you have your gambling controlled.

It is part of the nasty “CYCLE” of this cunning addiction. I worked with a Gambling Specialist after I came out of my 2nd treatment program. IT MADE a world of difference for me and stayed maintaining my addicted gambling recovery from that point on!

The longer you abstain and not gamble? The triggers and cravings DO go away, BUT?

This DISEASE is “Always Lying in WAIT.” (Per the late Robin Williams) …

That is why we learn and use all the tools and skills we learn and use them daily. For me, journaling and writing my Steps and Inner work as a Journal sure will help. Re-working the steps in writing form enables you to “Look Back” and see where you need help in areas and your strong points to continue a “Beautiful Life while Maintaining #Recovery.

That Is IMPORTANT …AS We don’t LIVE IN Recovery, and we maintain recovery while we LIVE LIFE!

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Celebrate Recovery! My Girls Are At It Again With A New Guest Recovery Article By: Author Alyssa Craig.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

I hope your 4th of July weekend was FABULOUS! Mine was pretty quite. But my recovery girls Rachel and Alyssa were at it again with another helpful Recovery Article Share for all of us. I feel it is important to have many insights and views about recovery. So I enjoy sharing many other authors views and articles here. Today Alyssa is Celebrating Recovery with us in this new Guest Post.
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Celebrating Addiction Recovery Victories in Healthy Ways
Author: Alyssa Craig

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal In Garden Together

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal In Garden Together

 

Why Celebrate?
As humans, we celebrate milestones and accomplishments often, from birthdays to graduations. But why do we do it and how does it fit into addiction recovery? Develop an Attitude of Gratitude: Celebrations give us a chance to express gratitude for the things that are going well in life.

Appreciation: By giving appreciation and attention to our accomplishments, we can more deeply enjoy what we have achieved.

Honor Life: This is a concept that often takes a backseat during addiction. Remember to value life itself.

Recognition: Addiction recovery is difficult. Celebrations allow us and our loved ones to acknowledge our accomplishments and milestones.

Thank Support: Celebrations draw family and friends together for a happy purpose and when it comes to addiction recovery, it allows us to also celebrate having a solid support system.

Positivity: By giving focus to milestones, it helps to reinforce positive behavior and a positive attitude.

Self-Assessment: Milestones give us an opportunity for honest self-assessment. It gives us a chance to see how far we have come.

female hands with pen writing on notebook

Which Addiction Milestones Should Be Celebrated?
What may be a difficulty for one person may not be for another, so you will have to determine for yourself what constitutes a need for celebration. As a general guideline be sure to include the following in your celebrations:

  • A Day/Week/Month/Year of Sobriety: It is up to you how often you will celebrate, but these are easy milestones to select from. The one month milestone in particular is important as this is when withdrawal symptoms are worst. After the first month, cravings subside and addiction related physical changes improve significantly which can be a great psychological boost.

  • Returning to School or Work: Getting a new job or returning your focus to your education is a big deal, as these areas probably took a hit during your addiction.

  • Sustaining a Healthy Relationship: Family, friendships, and romantic relationships tend to suffer when a person is suffering from an addiction. If you have repaired or sustained a relationship that would not have previously been possible, that is worth celebrating.

    More Ways To Celebrate:
    Once you are ready to celebrate, you may want some suggestions. Here are some ways you can acknowledge the hard work you have done, the things you have overcome, all without a fear of relapse.

    Express Gratitude Daily: Celebrate each day with a dose of expression of gratitude. This might be a mental list, an entry in a gratitude journal, or writing a note of thanks to someone who has helped you.

    Clean, Sober & Gamble Free Party: One fear of a party is the presence of alcohol or drugs, but by planning your own party, you can control this. You will find your friends and family to be supportive and you will have a great time. Find great ways to replace old party habits with suggestions such as the ones listed here.

    Athletic Event: If you have worked on improving your physical health, this might be a great time to participate in an athletic event as a celebration of your stronger, healthier body and well-balanced recovery.

    Volunteering: Paying it forward is always a great way to celebrate your victories. Look for ways to help in your community or even with an addiction recovery program near you. It is likely someone could benefit from your knowledge of obstacles you have faced in recovery.

    Take a real Vacation: Travel is a great way to broaden your horizons, experience a new culture and get away from it all. Set a goal for yourself in your recovery and once you have reached it, reward yourself with a dream vacation.

    Treat Yourself: Practice self-love by creating a rewards system for different types of milestones. Think of what you would like to achieve and what you will get at each level. New outfits, a gadget you’ve been wanting, signing up for a class to learn a new hobby, or indulging in a little treat are all great ways to celebrate your efforts.
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Addiction recovery is a difficult, ongoing challenge and you deserve to celebrate your achievements and successes. Not only will it help reinforce a positive attitude and perspective, but you may also find a way to serve those around you, helping to build others up as you continue to progress.

Courtesy of Author, Alyssa Craig 🙂

How Do We Reach Life Freedom From Gambling Addiction?

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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