It’s Almost Time For My Recovery Watch To Begin! Starting With a Special Guest Article Early and Was How I Felt When Attending AA & GA At Holiday Time …

It’s Almost Time For My Recovery Watch To Begin! Starting With a Special Guest Article Early and Was How I Felt When Attending AA & GA At Holiday Time …

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WELCOME To Bet Free Recovery Now Holiday Watch and Friends!

 

***HAPPY THANKSGIVING****

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I am kicking off my “Recovery Holiday Watch” a day early as I was reading my new issue of “Sober Recovery Mag”  and I came across this informative story about AA and Thanksgiving I felt needed to be shared. I feel when we read other’s stories, they can be great tools to help others.

Even though each of our recovery journies may be different, we all came from the same place, from addiction and from being an addict. And sure know how difficult it can be getting through the holidays, especially if you are new or early maintaining recovery and for a variety of reasons. It can be lonely or many times we just can’t seem to get into “The Spirit of the Holidays” because we always had a crutch to get us “In The Spirit” …

I hope you find something to take away from this article and feel free to share your comments too. It is why I do Holiday Watch each year! I’ll come and check my comments several times each day and evening.

** BECAUSE NO ONE NEEDS TO BE ALONE THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON! **

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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My Thanksgiving Day Spent in AA

By Flower B

I’m not sure how this season feels for you, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are two holiday sore spots for me. There’s so much emphasis on family and connection and everything is supposed to be all warm and fuzzy. My family has never been close-knit, except for me and my mother. I’m single and I don’t have any children. I’m also a Midwest native who lives in Los Angeles. Yet, when it comes to this time of year, I still find myself full of expectations.

My first Thanksgiving in recovery was difficult because I didn’t have any relatives to spend the day with like so many of my other friends. Sure, I got invites but it’s just not the same when it’s someone else’s family dinner. Not having a husband or family to call my own, I just found myself missing my mother.

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Makeshift Family

Due to my lack of familial ties, I made it a point to stay especially close to Alcoholics Anonymous. I had a close group of friends who were also newly sober and we planned to stay connected during the Thanksgiving holiday. We conveniently also found two nearby main meeting halls that were having marathon meetings over the course of several days.

Consequently, Thanksgiving Day began with me and my cohorts visiting AA meeting halls in Altadena and Hawthorne. To my surprise, every group we visited was packed. People were coming in from all over, which was both exciting and inspirational to see.

When we returned to our home group, people were out back playing dominoes, spades and bid whist. A gentleman named Craig, who has since passed to the big meeting in the sky, was in a corner barbequing. It definitely wasn’t your typical meeting atmosphere—there was a social aspect to it all that reminded me almost of a family reunion.

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Boogie on Down

On Saturday night, there was even a dance known as the “crème de la crème.” The hall was transformed into a club with a DJ booth, dark lights, and a dance floor. Getting ready for it was as much fun as attending. I must have danced all night, which was weird in a sense. Rarely had I gone dancing—or did anything fun for that matter—that didn’t involve drinking, sprinkled in with some drugs here and there.

I won’t lie; I was shy at first. But once the first guy asked me to dance, all inhibition went out the window. Who knew I could have so much fun without alcohol or drugs? There was beautiful energy over the entire room as people danced, laughed and let loose. All while being clean and sober.

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A Celebration

The last day of the marathon ended with what’s called “the old-timer’s slot,” where people with at least 20 years of sobriety took turns sharing their recovery stories. The oldest person there had 50 years of sobriety under his belt. The stories made me cry, laugh and rejoice. It brought me back to a time when I used to be at home listening to my mom, aunts and uncles reminisce.

Once the old-timer slot ended, it was time for the countdown. The person with the most years of sobriety was asked to stand and everyone clapped and cheered for them. And so, the countdown began. Every time a group stood up for the following year, there was a round of applause. The procession continued like falling dominoes.

Though I had a while to wait, I was so proud when my turn finally came around and I got to stand up for five months. The excitement of the moment only made me look forward to the following year when I would get to stand again. By the time we got to the person who was sober for only a few hours, the room exploded. It was awesome.

At the very end of the day while sitting down to eat my meal at the potluck, a crucial fact occurred to me that I was missing all week long—I was finally home and these people were the family I was looking for all along and never thought I’d find.

Do you remember how you spent your first Thanksgiving in recovery? Please share your experience in the comments section below.
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Gambling Recovery Website of the Week~~Meet Mass. Council On Compulsive Gambling…

Here is MY PICK for my *Recovery Weekly Guest Website*…. http://www.masscompulsivegambling.org ….

The Mass. Council of Compulsive Gambling, Truly has all you need to know about the Disease and Addiction of Compulsive Gambling. Even for myself, being in Recovery for many years from this Addiction, the lingering effects still cling to me a little bit.
This is SUCH a Destructive illness and addiction, that it takes years to Financially Recover as well as recovering from the Actual Act of gambling. So I wanted to *SHARE* some of what MASS Council offers, and how they HELP MANY from addicted compulsive gambling……*Catherine*

About Us

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing the social, financial and emotional costs of problem gambling. For more information, click on Mass. Council Quick Facts .
Founded in 1983 by Thomas N. Cummings, the Council has been instrumental in bringing the issue of problem gambling to the attention of the public and policymakers, offering resources to problem gamblers, their loved ones and concerned members of the community.
Prior to 1987, there were no funded problem gambling services available in Massachusetts. Today, due largely to the efforts of Mr. Cummings and the Council, awareness of problem gambling has increased significantly, along with sources of help for those who need it.
To learn more about the History of the Council, Staff, Board of Directors, or for Directions to the office, please click the appropriate……


What is Problem Gambling?

The information on this site comes from recent studies within the problem gambling research field. For further details, please Contact the Council .
Virtually anyone – men or women, young or old, from every religion, race and socio-economic background – can be at risk for developing a gambling problem.
Research has estimated that approximately one half of 1%(0.42 to 0.6%) of the U.S. population have experienced pathological gambling in their lifetime, and 0.9 to 2.3% have experienced sub-clinical pathological gambling in their lifetimes. The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the state’s population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes…….

The most serious form of problem gambling is pathological gambling, the essential feature of which is “persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior that disrupts personal, family or vocational pursuits.”(American Psychiatric Association – DSM-IV)
Compulsive gambling can result in social, emotional and financial devastation, including loss of relationships, residence, emotional or physical health, and career or educational opportunities.
Some compulsive gamblers commit illegal acts to support their gambling or to pay off gambling-related debts. Some go to prison or are admitted to psychiatric institutions. It is not uncommon to hear about compulsive gamblers who attempt or commit suicide.
To learn more about the signs of problem gambling , the relationship between problem gambling and substance use or the prevalence of gambling please click the appropriate link…….

Unlike substance use disorders, where those under the influence may appear intoxicated or “high,” people experiencing problems with gambling usually do not exhibit easily recognizable signs. However, there are signs that may indicate someone is experiencing a gambling problem.

According to the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), the following are often signs of problem gambling:

  • The person gambles more than they intended
  • Other people are suggesting that the person might have a gambling problem
  • The person is feeling guilty about the way he or she gambles
  • The person wants to stop betting money and feels like they can’t
  • The person gambling is hiding betting slips, lottery tickets, gambling money or other signs of betting
  • There are arguments over how the person gambling is handling money
  • The person gambling is borrowing money and not repaying it
  • The person gambling is losing time from work or school due to betting money or gambling

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), also suggests that signs of problem gambling may include:

  • Preoccupation with gambling (reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next venture or thinking of ways in which to gamble)
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
  • Trying to control, cut down or stop gambling unsuccessfully
  • Feeling restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
  • Using gambling as a way to escape problems or bad moods (helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)
  • Returning to gamble after losing money gambling
  • Lying to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
  • Committing illegal acts, such as forgery, fraud, theft or embezzlement to finance gambling.
  • Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of gambling.

The three screening tools used most often to identify gambling problems are : The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) . The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), and The Massachusetts Gambling Screen (MAGS).

We understand the problem.
***So Please go visit there Website if YOU or SOMEONE you know may have a Gambling Problem…..THE FIRST STEP INTO RECOVERY IS ADMITTING TO YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, OR THAT GAMBLING IS EFFECTING YOUR LIFE IN ANY ONE AREA……
I DID, AND I GOT MY LIFE BACK!! AND YOU CAN TOO!

You can call them at 1-800-426-1234…..OR……Call the
National Council on Problem Gambling Worldwide Hotline 1-800-522-4700 As well!!
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER…..YOU ARE NOT ALONE ANYMORE!

GOD BLESS! *AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 MY STORY OF GAMBLING ADDICTION & RECOVERY