“What Did God Want You To Be In The First Place”? Inner Thoughts Of A Recovering Addicted Gambler…

Hello Recovery Friends, Recovery Seekers, And Welcome New Visitors,
.

.

I was cleaning up my Author Facebook page when I came across this “Quote” and it got me thinking about my current published book and my recovery from Addicted Compulsive gambling, and a bit too much alcohol. It took me back to when my book first released on my 50th birthday! I felt so proud that I actually accomplished one of the biggest goals I’d had for myself. I owe it to the “Grace & Power” of God, and my own 7 years of hard work in recovery for my book  to even be a “Dream to Reality” event in my life.
.
Well, also I Thank my awesome publisher too, Steve Laible, of TKG… http://KodelEmpire.com  And yes, he is as funny as he looks! But seriously, he is a fantastic publisher, and a “Children’s Book Author” Too! Check out my Pal http://StevieTenderHeart.com If it wasn’t for him nagging me to want to publish my manuscript my friend put together for me, I wouldn’t be a published author today. I was so scared of what people might THINK of me because of all the terrible things I’d done as an addict.
.

Author - Steve Laible
Author – Steve Laible ~ Great Guy!
.
I know I blog a lot about life being difficult to move on from, especially from our addictions when we first enter recovery. I know this because I to had a hard time grasping the fact that I had become an addicted to gambling and alcohol. It’s hard when we are at our worst in our addictions to even LOOK at ourselves in the mirror, and god knows that happened a lot for me. From the woman and wife I was, having a successful banking career, working hard to have a home and beautiful family life, to this black, ugly, darkness of addiction that took such a hold on me I thought I’d never make it out alive! And I almost didn’t, Twice.  When I was in the depths of the ugliness of addicted gambling, I used to think in my head about all the “negative” shit my mom and dad used to say about me, and it seemed I made that a “Reality” all by myself…

As if I bought into all the years they said I didn’t love my family, never wanted to be around them or stay home, that I lied, or wasn’t an honest person. I really made that come true with my addiction! Even when you start recovery you have so many doubts about yourself. It takes time and a lot of hard work to learn WHO you really are. You have to retrain your brain, your diseased thinking and thoughts. I also had a hard time about 2 years into my recovery about “Feeling Stuck. I don’t know if you know what I mean? When I went to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I’d hear others speak about feeling “Stuck” in their recovery. Not sure which way to go, or what to do next to continue to grow in our process to recover.

.

.

For myself? That’s when I had to start on Step 9. I was stuck on this step for a while. Making “Amends,” wow that was a hard job, and I’m still doing it today! Step 9 is making “Direct Amends” to such people wherever possible, as long as it doesn’t injure anyone in the process. Now that sounds easy enough, but with gambling addiction, it often means you owe money too, to someone you hurt, or never paid back. Well, most all the people I did owe, I had paid back. That is when though I learned about “Pawn Shops” and started selling stuff to get money to gamble. Also for me it was more of how I let down others. Like employers, if I stopped to gamble before work, and got on a winning streak, well, I’d call in sick and say I couldn’t make it in. Sadly, these people hired me to do a job and BE THERE to do it. So then that plays into your “Reputation & Character” of who you are. When I gambled? I was a Flake!! I even did it to my friends, and lost many good, long time friends because I couldn’t be counted on anymore. Now this may not sound like a big “DEAL” to many, but for me? That used to be WHO I WAS. People knew they could always count on “Catherine” when things needed getting done.
.

But, that all falls to the wayside when all you’re doing and thinking is “Gambling”! I was a happy, bubbly, caring, at times a comedian, a giving woman with a smile on my face, and the word “YES” was always on my lips. That all to went away when I became addicted to gambling. So like the next “Quote” above says, “You need to learn to MOVE ON” and get yourself in Recovery, when you do? You will know it was “The Best Decision” you’ll ever make. You can move on from all the damage of addiction.  Yes, it will take work but it is “Worth the Work”! The one piece of advice my sponsor gave me is this, “when you feel stuck in your recovery? It means you have MORE work to do.” And she was right. See, we get to a point where we begin to feel good about ourselves again, learn to be better than we had been as an addict. We start to feel again, as were taught how to process these different feelings of Life and past damages. So we then start to look and take stock of our life overall. That’s when you can really feel STUCK.

Then that hard work starts paying off. We begin to be comfortable with our past faults, learn to gain our self-worth again. We learn we are “Not Less Than” we are Worth More” in Recovery! It’s a time of awareness of what our HP has given us, a second chance at a beautiful life in recovery.  We learn how to live on life’s terms and learn we don’t have to run and Gamble, Drink. or Use Drugs when we run into a life road blocks. We have the skills and tools in our recovery tool box to handle anything, so use them. We do become more aware of what our HP has blessed us with. Decreased “Triggers and Urges get replaced with some “Peace & Serenity” and more comfortable in our own skin. We feel strong to start being of recovery service to others, share our testimony to help others. We learn how to handle life’s disappointments and expectations when things don’t seem to go our way. We don’t have to run to addiction anymore to “Feel Better.” Just remember you are “More Than ~ Not Less Than”….

.

.

Which brings me to the above “Recovery Quote”…
Have you yet to have that “Closure Talk” with yourself within your recovery yet? Are you today able to look at yourself in a mirror and LOVE what you see looking back at you? We need not explain ourselves to others, nor try to explain away our “Faults and Short-Comings” when we were addicts.
.
We need to be comfortable with who we are today, not who we “were.”  Yes, I’m not perfect, who is? Yes, I F _ _ KED UP, but the person you need to forgive is yourself. You won’t be any good to anyone else until then. We come to believe in a power greater than ourselves to work through all the baggage of the past, not just your addictions, but all the “Past” hurt and pain that was done upon you to be able to live in the moment, be alive again, and enjoy all the things we did before we began our so-called, “DANCE WITH THE DEVIL.”….

I really did feel that way about myself when in the throes of my addictions! Like I was just a piece of garbage no one wanted or cared about. I was treated as such growing up, so why should my adult life be any different? Well, that’s a few on the “Recovery Perks,” I call them in my own recovery. We don’t just get a better life than before we became addicts, we get an Awesome gratefulness and gratitude towards ourselves to be happy again. We are more aware of just the “Little Things” around us. Yes, it sounds corny, but it’s true! Hearing & seeing all the beautiful things God has created seem more awesome than ever in recovery!! We get “JOY” out of everything. We may have it rough when our Amends don’t seem to come out positive, but that’s OK, really it is. All we need to know is we tried, and owe ourselves our own “Closure” on a chapter of life that hopefully we learned from as part of the journey my HP had laid out for me. Always know that no matter what you do or go through, there are many “Blessings and Life Lessons” to be learned from this journey of recovery and life. So today I’m grateful for those blessings given. It has humbled my heart.
.

This is who God meant me to be. The person I am today. To reach out and “Share Recovery HOPE to others” and sponsor, and let others know that recovery from any addiction is possible. Learning to be OK with sharing this part of ourselves.
So stop being to hard on yourself in recovery! There are “NO SET RULES or TIME LIMIT” on our recovery journey. It us meant to be a life long process until we breathe our last breath. And you know what? Today? That’s OK for me. If your feeling stuck in your recovery? Re-work your steps and see for your own eyes the “Growth” you have accomplished! Besides, the only “Dancing” I do these days is Naked in the Shower!! OOPS!  Too Much Information??…LOL, LOL!

God Bless you on your Recovery Journey All,

AUTHOR, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author of “Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

I’ll Be A Work In Progress For Life In Recovery….

Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Newbies,

.

.
Many of us in recovery seem to look for that “Quick Fix” as we begin our recovery journey. Sadly, it doesn’t work out that way. If you want to reach long-term recovery from addicted compulsive gambling,…..you need to start by coming to terms that “Your Recovery” is “Progress and not Perfection”! As gamblers, we are trained within our addiction to want things NOW, that instant gratification. Especially the addicted “Slot Players” like myself. Cards and other gambling vice’s were just to slow for me as I wanted to put my money in and WIN,…..RIGHT NOW! I think many in recovery understand what I mean.

But when you cross over into uncontrolled addicted gambling, that will also keep you in the cycle of the addiction. Your either out “Chasing your Loss’, or when you WIN you think you’ll win every time you go gambling.” Which is called chasing the WINS. So your doomed either way as you get deeper and deeper in debt, and lose yourself in your addiction! For me, I got so lost that I didn’t want to LIVE anymore. I felt like a slave to gambling, and it became more of a job than fun. A job I really hated to go to, but the constant nagging, urges, and triggers I could NOT get rid of. I never thought about what the workers at the Casino’s were thinking when I asked “7 times in only 2 hours” to watch my Slot Machine for me when I’d keep going to the ATM to get more and more money to put in those F_ _ king machines! Do you think they ever once asked themselves, “Man, this woman is out of control”! OF COURSE NOT! They would “Smile Sweetly” and tell me “GOOD LUCK THIS TIME”……That’s their JOB.
.

.
No, I can not be mad at the workers, I was the one who chose to keep stuffing those machines with money I really didn’t have. Many who have “NO IDEA” about addicted gambling think that it is “OUR CHOICE” to be stupid. Not all true! Yes, those who have never been touched by any addiction just doesn’t understand,…..WHICH IS CALLED *STIGMA.* I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll become an addicted gambler and shatter my life all to hell. This disease is a slow progressive addiction.

There is SO much stigma around the problem of addicted & problem gambling today. WHY? Because gambling is seen as fun, and a form of entertainment. But, it is like anything else, when you do something in “Excess” you run the “RISK” of becoming addicted. So my good friends at http://www.ncrg.org  have some good information about “Gambling Addiction” facts about this cunning disease…..
.

*THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESPONSIBLE GAMING*
.

Find our full list of resources

Find our full list of resources
.

NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

Visit the NCRG Conference website
.

About NCRG:

The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) affiliated charity.

Founded in 1996 as a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the NCRG’s mission is to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders by supporting the finest peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathological and youth gambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education about gambling disorders and responsible gaming.
.

“SEE, I don’t think gambling should be banned, because I’m aware of those who can gamble in a responsible manner. But I don’t like is the expansion of SO MANY Casino’s and State Lotteries. They misuse profits that are supposed to be funding and giving back in out communities, and IT’S NOT HAPPENING! Or our schools would not STILL closing, our Parks would be clean, and our schools Sports and Music programs wouldn’t be cut. SO,……where the hell is the money and profits going? Into many STATE and LOCAL Government BUDGETS due to the cut government cuts in our schools and other important community programs.
NOT RIGHT!!! I also want others to know the dangers, and how easy it is to become problem and addicted gamblers as well. And for people to know how hard it is for those of us in Recovery when these Casino & Lottery expansions happen.”
.

Key Research Findings

Support from the NCRG has led to a number of significant advancements in the field of research on gambling disorders. NCRG grants have funded research leading to:
  • The first reliable statistics of how many people have the disorder:
  • Harvard’s estimate of approximately 1 percent of the adult population has been verified by independent studies and the National Academy of Sciences
  • Promising treatments for gambling disorders
  • More evidence for the role of genetics in the development of the disorder
  • A greater understanding of youth gambling
  • New instruments for accurately measuring, screening and diagnosing pathological gambling
  • The first national survey of gambling on college campuses
  • A more sophisticated understanding of the brain’s reward system
  • A new understanding of addiction as a syndrome
  • A better understanding of the health risks of casino employees
  • A model for evaluating self-exclusion and treatment programs
  • A framework for understanding gambling as a public health issue
    .

AND LASTLY FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW By NCRG:
.
Gambling addiction affects approximately one percent of the U.S. population. However, we know less about this addictive behavior than we do about alcohol, tobacco and drug problems. “Pathological gambling” was first recognized as a mental health disorder in 1980. Since that time, researchers have focused on learning why some people cannot gamble without adverse consequences and about how people recover from gambling addiction. Here’s what we’ve learned:
.
• Pathological gambling is not a sign of weakness, moral failing or lack of willpower. It is a treatable mental health disorder.

• No one gambling activity is more risky than others. People can get into trouble with all types of games, even seemingly harmless ones like bingo and the lottery.

• People with gambling disorders experience a range of problems including financial debt, professional and personal problems, withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop or reduce gambling, guilt and shame. Remember the 3 Cs of addiction: People with gambling problems crave gambling, negative consequences and lose control over their gambling.

• People with other psychiatric and addictive disorders are especially vulnerable to developing a problem with gambling. Individuals with family members who have any kind of addictive disorder are also at higher risk.

• Roads to recovery include treatment with a professional therapist, Gamblers Anonymous meetings, medication, and self-help resources such as workbooks and websites.

• People who gamble responsibly do so for fun, not to make money or escape from problems. They limit the time and money spent gambling and understand that the odds are always with the house.
.

.
For more information and resources to better understand gambling disorders and responsible gaming, visit the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s (NCRG) website at http://www.ncrg.org. The NCRG is a nonprofit organization devoted to funding scientific research on gambling disorders and translating research findings into practical applications for the public.

So I hope you’ll go by the NCRG for more informative about Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling. And as always, let them know Recovery Author, Catherine Lyon sent you, because: “IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT”……..
.
God Bless All,
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485  My Personal Story Of Gambling Addiction & Recovery and MORE!