Addictionland - Addiction Recovery Blog

Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog

"Who Says You Can't Be Happy In Recovery"? I AM!

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 19 April 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments
Hello And WELCOME Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Friends,

 

.
Can We Have The GOOD LIFE In Recovery? Can We Be HAPPY?


.
I just happened to be tweeting on my Recovery Twitter here @LUV_Recovery and came across this pic. I just seemed to gravitate to it, and my mind started to WONDER!…LOL.
And we all know what seems to happen when my “Recovery Mind” does THAT…..LOOK OUT! You never know what falls out of my mouth and into a Recovery Blog Post! I always blame that part of my mouth on just being an Italian! Yeah I know, excuses, excuses. And where did I learn THAT HABIT?? Need I go on?
.
But seriously, when I seen this, it made me think of many things when I was still addicted gambling and drinking. The BIG thing was the time lost from my life that I will never get back. That’s why it is true when people say, “Life Is To Short.” What about being happy? When we were in the throes of our addiction, happy to me meant having to lie about how I was really feeling inside myself. You know what I mean right? How we MASK our true feelings on the BAD DAY we were having in our addictions. Trying to make our “Outer self look Perfect” to others with that fake smile, and say how much money I was winning when I gambled, but really wasn’t! All the while the “RAGE” of shame, doubt, hate, blame, low self-worth, and feeling, “LESS THAN” each time we used. For me it got even worse when I first tried to stop gambling and drinking. Because each time I gambled,  I entered the “RECOVERY TWILIGHT-ZONE”!!
.
Now I know you KNOW what I’m talking about right? It’s that long period when we think we can GET better by going to meetings, and try treatment, but we really haven’t Surrendered Yet. That time when SHIT we hear in our meetings and treatment group starts to sink in just a wee little bit, but we are still in the mindset that we can still CONTROL bits and pieces of our addiction right? Who were we fooling? NOBODY! Just ourselves! BUT, then this “stuff” we hear starts to interrupt our addiction a little here and there. I remember when I started an outpatient gambling treatment group and therapy, one of the first things my councilor said to us was this, “Even if you come here to treatment group, and still go out and use (drink & gamble), these things we teach you will start to POP UP in your head WHILE your out using.”
.
And you know what? She was SPOT ON! When I’d relapse and go out and gamble, all this crap I was learning started to make an appearance in my mind and thinking! Gosh it annoyed the hell out me! For me, at first in early recovery, it made me feel even more doubtful, self loathing and low self-worth. See, recovery is a process, a life long process. No, lapse & relapse does not have to be part of one’s recovery, but it does happen for some. WHAT’S the difference you ask?
.
A “lapse” is just a “ONE TIME SLIP”…..a “relapse” is when you have that slip, but you continue back into the “Cycle” of the addiction, and you relapse over and over. I did this a lot on and off until 2006, after 2 crisis center stays, and after attempting 2 failed SUICIDES, most recent was in 2006. I got myself tangled in a criminal event from my gambling addiction. That’s when I started, and got a foot hold of long-term recovery working with an Addictions Specialist,  intense therapy, and 3 GA Meetings a week for a whole year. That was my first goal. Seriously work and give it a year to start!
.
I also got a sponsor and finally started in-depth step work. I was at the point of being “Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired”….Really the biggest 1st Step we have to take in the start of our recovery is, TRULY admitting to ourselves and another that gambling and alcohol had me beat to HELL. I had lost everything, almost my marriage and husband and my LIFE. It was time to grown up, work hard in my recovery, PUT IT FIRST, and get my LIFE BACK! I think some of the thoughts and feelings I had for thinking what I was doing in my addiction was OK was I felt like a “Victim” of my past Childhood Trauma and Abuse.
.
So I felt a sense of entitlement, which we all know is horse shit! I needed to finally feel and walk though all that passed PAIN, HURT, and FEAR of all of that.  PLUS, what I had done to others and myself within my addiction! In order to REAP the RECOVERY REWARDS later years later, to really get what seems so “ELUSIVE” in the start of recovery, and what all of us IN Recovery want, just some “PEACE & SERENITY,”……you have to do the WORK order to achieve it, not be GIVEN IT.
.
So, the BAD news is, you have to work hard in early recovery and beyond. Make those GA, AA, NA or what ever meetings that help support your recovery through *Fellowship and Unity.* You need to start your 12-Step work as well, or what ever recovery program you choose to help you have a balanced recovery. Some important things is re-learn healthy Mind & Body balance. Start a journal, read those materials that are “given” to you at meetings and at treatment. THEY REALLY DO HELP, and help guide you by learning and being informed about your addiction.
A support PHONE LIST is very important in early recovery. People you can call to help you through “Urges & Triggers.” And get back those healthy habits and hobbies you enjoyed in life, before all your time got sucked up by your addiction.
.
The Good & Fabulous news of recovery? YOU GET YOUR LIFE BACK! YES, it will take time, so LEARN PATIENTS.  But it will come. The more you work your recovery, the more of your life you get back in return. And a much BETTER LIFE at that! Again, Recovery is a life long process, not an inconvenience. As before you know it, you’ll having years in recovery, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. You’ll have YEARS of recovery time, and that’s when the “GOOD LIFE” really starts to happen!! It’s when all the hard work you put into your recovery gets good! You finally get to enjoy that early “elusive” in recovery, PEACE, CALM, and SERENITY. You can then start to “Pay It Forward” by being strong in your own recovery, to then help and support others as being of recovery service to others.
.
So, just Breath In a Deep,……AWE, DO YOU FEEL IT YET? I SURE DO! It’s called “Success In Recovery”…
“AWE, THE GOOD LIFE”…
.
May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
.

 

Hits: 56
0 votes

What Are Labels? Why Do Others Want To Label Others In Recovery?

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 April 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Why do people put Labels on others?


I happen to have a bad week last week, as I had a Cyber Harrasser reak havoc on my Recovery Blog, and hecked one of my social media sites, about.me.com.....
I really don't understand why or what I could have done to deserve being harrassed like this. They posted some really mean things and choice words with no reason given as to why? I only try to Help & Support others in their Recovery, if they suffer Mental illness as I, or are a Childhood abuse survior. But, all is fixed and back to normal!! So, I thought I'd write a little about.....

.


*WARNING LABELS*
.
It seems in today’s society and everywhere you turn, people are slapping labels of who they think other people are? As we live in an age of “Reality Stars and TV Shows,” everyone wants to have a LABEL….
.
They look for labels like, Diva, Famous, Rich, Star, Rock Star, even Important,” on and on. But all I see when people put labels on you per say, it can be like a virus! Now when a doctor or psychiatrist label you, it can make a person feel uncomfortable. But when other people give you a label, it may cause them to NOT seek help they made need from maybe a health or mental health issues, or wanting help from an addiction, along with other area’s.
.
So when others out there put a  label on us, I feel like it’s just another way for “STIGMA” to run rampant. I think and feel it leaves way to many doors open to judge others, possible discrimination, and put others in departmental boxes. Now, of course for medical purpose’s, labeling is a way for our medical professionals to give a patient a description of their aliments. But in our society, labels have been used for multitudes of reasons, some OK and many in not so positive ways.

.

.

I think you know what I mean. labels have become almost a cruel way to describe others as a sect, or group if you will. And yes, we can’t forget that there are many “Positive Labeling” as well, “Mentors, Roll Models, Sponsors, Donors, and Advocates, and so many more. Many of us  have a positive message we share to help others. It’s in our nature and in our blood!
Even Actor’s and Actress’s can be positive role models, which is a far cry from “Reality Stars” because actors learn and go to school and work hard on their craft. I had an interesting “Comments” conversation here on my blog of a really nice follower who came and shared her thoughts about one of my earlier blog posts about, Mental illness and the Fort Shooting that happened a week or so ago.
.

Interesting enough, that is where I got to thinking about labels. She had mentioned about mental illness, and that she was not comfortable with a therapist or psychiatrist putting a “Label” on her, or of what she may or may not have. So I’ve been thinking about her feelings. ( You can see her “Thoughts” in my comment section of that earlier post )

.
We had a great conversation about it, and there were no hard feelings, as we did disagree a little about gun control for those who suffer from mental illness. But the point was that we were able to share how we both felt, and isn’t that what having a blog and conversation all about? Talking about important issues? Engaging with others to so we can help break down “STIGMA” around issues that need it? That is why I started BOTH my blogs.

.
To be able to engage with others on a wide range of issues. To help others seeking help from gambling addiction through my resources pages, talk about mental illness and childhood abuse issues, past or present. That’s what I am all about. I was recently cyber harassed as I did blog my feelings about it.
WHY? Why wouldn’t why?
It’s because this person was trying to out “Cruel Labels” upon me. Labels like, Fat, Lonely, Obsessive, fraud, mental and that I’m not who I present myself to be.
.

Well, there you go!! People putting labels on another person. This can be very hurtful and a very good example of  demeaning labeling someone. All I can say is “GOD” and myself truly know what I stand for, and the “Goodness in my HEART,” and that’s all that matters to me!
.
I have endured far worse than this all my life,……even from my own family, and I’m still here! Not labeling can possibly boil down to just “Being Kind To Others.”
Were we not born as human beings and pure of heart?
.
Many of us deal with labels, discrimination, and much more everyday. In our family, work life, people we meet and many other area’s. Were judged by Color, Sex, Creed, Religion, Sexual preference, Gay, Straight, Rep. or Dem., and so much more. How is it that others find the mean spirit of purposely hurting others by slapping a label on them? I guess I’ll never know. But labeling in Recovery from addiction, also those who suffer from any mental or emotional illness. Labels and stigma sure is still alive and well.
.
.

.
And to the person it’s directed to, is really like a Poison. Here are some types of labeling and the harm it could cause!
.

What Is Labeling People?

Answer

Labeling people refers to the attachment assumed qualities to particular people. For instance, the British are stuck ups. It simply means trying to define the position or class someone occupies in society. As such, it works as a grading system for humans to see whether another is ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than the speaker in the hierarchical order. Labels determine a lot how a person is treated in society.
.

Labeling Drug Users Certain Ways Can Inhibit Their Recovery

*For those recovering from an addiction, word choices can make a big difference and either help or hurt their chance of recovery.*


As kids, we oftentimes hear the idiom “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, for those suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, gambling, and more, the choice of words can make a big difference and even hurt their chances of recovery. A recent survey conducted among health care professionals reveals that labeling someone a “substance abuser” may prevent them from seeking the help they need.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 11

Recovering Addicted Gamblers, Remember....We Are A Work In Progess!

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 05 April 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Hello and Welcome Recovery Seekers and Friends,

.


.

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….
.

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.

...
Hits: 80
0 votes

Senior Population Is At Great Risk Due To Casino Expansions...

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 22 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments
Is It Time to Slow Down The Expansion Of Casino’s And State Lotteries? YES!!

.
Senior Citizens Feeling the Grip of Gambling Addiction
.
With the availability of casinos in more than half of the U.S. states, senior citizens are becoming more and more addicted to gambling.

According to the Las Vegas Problem Gambling Center, around 40% of the people they see are over the age of 50 and more disturbing is that often chronic health conditions within this group are related to gambling addiction.

Some years ago, San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor who is in her 60’s and who was addicted to video poker, landed herself in a $13 million debt to various casinos and even at one point, she used more than $3 million from a charity foundation that her late husband had set up.

The problem seems to be growing daily as the number of casinos in the U.S. has grown from being limited to Atlantic City and Nevada while now, these casinos are available in more than 30 states with more on the way.

...
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 48

"March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month~ Just a little Recovery Ramblings"

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Monday, 17 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Welcome Recovery Friends And New Friends!

I thought I’d come share a few goings on with all of my recovery friends, and share a little of my past experiences of my own of addicted gambling….
.

1947983_10152273160237863_1847818611_n
.

...
Hits: 133
0 votes

Part 3 Of My Series On "Gambling Relapse Prevention"....

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 12 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

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 TRUST or TEMPT 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 at: http://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com 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!
.
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

PS…Don’t forget to leave your “Thoughts & Comments” because “It’s Time To Talk About It”!!

Hits: 32

Gambling Relapse Prevention Part 2...

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 12 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers,


Here are parts 2 & 3 to round out mt series on "Gambling Relapse Prevention" and it can be used for all types of addictions. In early recovery, we MUST have a "Daily Plan" ready at any time when we feel a build up, triggers, or urges come our way. It's a really good idea to start a daily journel as well. With journaling, you'll be able to loook back at them later on in your recovery and SEE hoe much growth you achieve on your journey. And remember to Live in the Moment, don't dwell on your past, and ODAAT!....*Cat*
.

Now I know many may think, WHY is she doing all this? I’ll tell you why. I shared in my book about “WHY” I started writing again to begin with. It was a newspaper story I read about a woman at an “Indian Casino Hotel.” She had a room there and must have had a very bad Relapse or Slip, because she shot herself with a shotgun in her room. There was a note left, but police only disclosed a part of the note, “and please tell my family I’m sorry, I had relapsed and could not stop my gambling.”
.
When I read that, a tear came down my cheek, as I could feel that woman’s pain. I knew exactly how she felt when she pulled that trigger. It’s because I almost was her, and could have been her! So I swore I would do all I could to help others who suffer, and who are stuck on the” INSANE CYCLE” of compulsive addicted gambling. NOT one more person should ever feel that “SUICIDE” is the only “OPTION” to quit your addicted gambling. I’m tired of all the loss of precious LIFE from Suicide from ALL TYPES of ADDICTIONS.
.

*WE NEED TO REMEMBER~WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS*!!

So get your tool box out and a notepad for PART 2 of Relapse Prevention….
I happen to read an article about Addiction & The Brain. There is a little part that I’ll share here, because it explains how the brain gets involved in the confusion of addicts and addictions….”Courtesy from http://www.azccg.org Which is a fantastic resource for Gambling Addiction help and information, “Arizona Council Of Compulsive Gambling.”
.
“Individuals who are more biologically at risk for addiction are likely to have a neurobiological basis for deficits in experiencing pleasure, reward and satisfaction. Additionally, they are more likely to be emotionally unstable and impulsive, or experience either over- or under-arousal. Addictive substances and behaviors act in some ways to “fix” such neurobiological risk factors. However, the addictive “cure” only serves to intensify the problem, by further aggravating the underlying biological problems.
Taken alone, this discussion of addiction in relation to the biology of the brain probably seems disheartening. But the mind is a component of the addiction equation, as well, and next month I’ll discuss tools for reducing our subservience to the brain’s neurotransmitter systems.

...
Hits: 37
0 votes

"And The Oscar Went To? ~ Relapse Prevention"!

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Monday, 03 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Hello Recovery Friends and New Visitors,


Since my last post, I'm Celebrating along side "The National Council Of Problem Gambling" all month long here on my Recovery Blog. As it is "Problem Gambling Awareness Month"....
So I "pledged" my blog to them to write, blog, and Advocate all things gambling recovery!


Yes boys and girls it’s time to take notes and open your “Skills” tool box and fill it with a few more tips on how to stay away from the “Relapse”….. http://www.ncpgambling.org
In my 1st blog post I spoke about the importance of "Step one," (if you follow & work the 12 Steps) and how it truly is the first HONEST step to starting recovery. You need to be willing to admit YOU are an addict as that it IS half the battle of your work.


We also know about “Phone Lists” that You should have one and USE it. I can not tell you how many times  calling another in recovery helped talk me out of my “trigger or urge” to go gamble. Most all the time the person can talk you out of it by reminding you the “HELL” of going out and having to start your time all over again. So lets talk a little about how to not have relapses while in recovery. As you can have none in yours, and if someone tells you otherwise they are full of SHIT! Relapse does NOT have to happen, nor “Be The Norm” as some councilors, therapists,, and specialists tell you. Many recover without a “binge or relapse.”

I have an excellent “Recovery Relapse Prevention Guide” work-book here on my blog on my recovery resources pages that was given to me when I started my long-term recovery 7 years ago. YES, it took me a few tries, 2 binges that almost killed me, and ended up in the hospital twice and in an Addiction/Mental Crisis Center twice, that’s why I rely on a STRONG Relapse Guide. I’ll be sharing from this guide snippets to help you so you won’t have to go through what I did! Here is a little from the guide;

RELAPSE PREVENTION

Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of treatment. In a study of many different addictions, approximately one/thirds of the patients relapsed within the first two weeks, sixty percent relapsed within the first three months, and sixty-seven within twelve months.
Most patients relapse within three months of leaving treatment. This is the period of highest risk. Members of Gamblers Anonymous must be willing to do almost anything to prevent relapse. They need to see themselves as clinging to an ice- covered cliff with their recovery support group holding the only rope. The most important thing they can do is go to meetings. Members who are working a daily program of recovery will not relapse. These behaviors are incompatible. Relapse is a process that begins long before making the first bet….
*
Now I think we can all agree that those are lousy odds of recovery when we first start out, or if you’re coming out of treatment. But I learned the hard way that IT’S TRUE. The 2nd most important thing after admitting you are Powerless over your addiction is to find a Treatment program. There are many websites that offer Good Treatment Options. A couple that come to mind are, My Addiction http://www.myaddiction.com and http://gambling.supportgroups.com/ on support groups, set yourself up with a user & password and your enter a world of support, some Free treatment options for addicted gambling, and it’s confidential and anonymous! And also Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource too:

http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

*Here is a little more from the relapse guide, and feel free to “Copy & Paste” the guide for yourself to use, and it can be used for all types of Addictions*
*

The Relapse Prevention Exercise for Gamblers is prevention, and requires working a daily program of recovery. The member must take his or her personal inventory at the end of every day. If any of the relapse symptoms become clear, immediate action must be taken.
Members must develop written plans detailing the exact things they are going to do if they get into trouble. Other people need to check each member daily for relapse warning signs. This can be done by family members, a sponsor, or someone from the workplace. This is a good reason for members to go to daily meetings and hang around other recovering people. Often other people can see what members are unable to see for themselves. The member needs to identify high risk situations that may trigger relapse, and to develop coping skills to deal with each situation. the more a member can practice these skills, the better off he or she will be in recovery. In meetings, members need to discuss high risk situations and help each other develop relapse prevention plans….

Each member will be different, most relapses occur when patients are experiencing the following high risk situations:
Negative emotions: Particularly anger and frustration. This could also be negative emotions such as boredom, jealousy, depression, anxiety, ect..
Social pressure: Being in a social situation where people are gambling, or being directly encouraged to gamble by someone. Interpersonal conflict: This can be a conflict with the parent, spouse, child, boss, friend, ect.. Positive emotions: Something positive happens and the member want to celebrate. This can be a promotion, wedding, birth of a child, graduation, ect..
*
Here are some things YOU can do to be more aware and have a PLAN of action to keep YOU safe!;
.
RELAPSE PREVENTION EXERCISE:

“DON’T TEMPT yourself, test your personal control and use an Exercise Plan”!!

Using the relapse exercise, members develop the skills necessary to deal with each of the high risk situations, then they practice the new skills until they become good at them. All members must role play gambling refusal situations, with an experienced member, until they can say no and feel relatively comfortable. They must examine and experience all their triggers, see through the first use, and learn how to deal with the euphoric recall.
Members must develop a plan for a slip. What are they going to do if they gamble again? Who are they going to contact? What are they going to say? This must be practiced again and again with other members.
The member must understand the behavior chain. They must also develop skills for changing their thoughts, feelings, and actions when they have problems. The members should know that gambling cravings will pass if they move away from the situation and use their new tools of recovery.


The Relapse Warning Signs
All relapses begin with warning signs that will signal you or your loved ones that you are in trouble. If you do not recognize these signs, you will decompensate and finally return to gambling again. All of these signs are reactions to stress, and they are a re-emergence of the disease. They are a means by which your body and mind are telling you that you are having problems. You need to recognize thirty-seven warning signs of relapse. You may not have all these symptoms before you begin gambling again, but you will have some of them long before you gamble. You must find which Symptoms are the most characteristic of you, and you must come up with COPING SKILLS for dealing with each symptom…..
.
Listed below are the thirty-seven warning symptoms.
*Circle the ones that you have experienced before you gambled.*

1. Apprehension about well-being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking.
14. Feeling nothing can be solved.
15. Immature to be happy.
16. Periods of confusion.
17. Irritation with friends.
18. Easily angered.
19. Irregular eating habits.
20.Listlessness.
21. Irregular sleeping habits.
22. Progressive loss of daily structure.
23. Periods of deep depression.
24. Irregular attendance at meeting.
25. Development of an “I don’t care” attitude.
26. Open rejection of help.
27. Dissatisfaction with life.
28. thoughts of social gambling.

29. Feeling of powerlessness or helplessness.
30. Self-pity
31. Conscious lying.
32. Complete loss of self-confidence.
33. Unreasonable resentments.
34. Discontinuing all treatment.
35. Start of controlled gambling.
36. Loss of control.
37. Overwhelming loneliness, frustration, anger, and tension.
*

NOW, here is the “Fun and interacting” part of my recovery blog! I hope you will make this list, then how about you all leave a comment what # warning sign is the most difficult for YOU, and how YOU would handle or what skills would you use to help get you through one of the 37 Warning Symptoms? And since there is a lot to “Relapse Prevention” and I want you to get the MOST out of my blog posts to aid your recovery from addicted gambling, let do this blog post as a 2 or 3 part exercise? So this concludes the 1st part of relapse prevention, and I’ll give you a couple of days to “Comment” your answers. I’ll blog post PART 2 on Tue, March 4th, that evening after 6pm.
.
I think this will be a fun idea so we can ALL LEARN a little something new together! And again, please feel free to copy and paste the full guide workbook listed on my Resources Page List! Together WE CAN RECOVER! If your interested, my current book is out NOW as e-book on Amazon Kindle! “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 My true story of my life battling compulsive gambling addiction, living with Undiagnosed Bipolar, my childhood trauma, dark family secrets and Recovery!

.

.
I Thank You all for taking time to come visit my recovery blog, and I appreciate all the LUV & Support TOO!
.
GOD BLESS ALL,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

"When we believe in a Power Greater Then Ourselves, anything in LIFE is possible"!


 

Hits: 72

Even After 7 Years Of Recovery I Had 2 "Gambling Dreams" WHAT?...

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 27 February 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Hello Recovery Friends & Welcome New Seekers!


“So it’s been sometime that I have blogged on a more personal level, and holy crap I have much to share. I keep having “Gambling Dreams”?
.

.
I’m not sure that many of you know that I had celebrated my 7th year in “Recovery” from addicted compulsive gambling last month on Jan 29th, 2014.
I was having a talk with my hubby that I was feeling a little strange. Not like “triggers & Uuges” strange, well maybe. What I told him was, “after having 7 years away from the “Bet” (gambling), I was wondering if I would happen to get “The Seven Year Itch”?….
.

Now I think we all know where this “slogan” comes from right? For those who are NOT married, or in a long-term relationship, we say, “if your relationship can pass the “7 Year” mark, then the rest of eternity together will be a “Breeze” and you’ll stay together once you pass that 7 year hurdle! Well, with my recovery, instead of worrying about the 7 year itch, I have had “Gambling Dreams” instead!! And they are very disturbing. So I wondered why after all this time would I have gambling dreams? It’s not like I obsess over gambling anymore. And they are feel SO REAL…
.

So I thought I’d do a little research on some of my gambling support websites to find out WHY and HOW this happens. Am I subconsciously thinking of gambling in my head? I know I suffer mental disorders, but now after the second night in a row of gambling dreams has really got me bugging! I have heard people in my gamblers anonymous meeting talk about having gambling dreams, but I thought it was because they were just starting out in recovery, and in treatment we were taught that when you go through “detox & ”grieving” period in recovery, it maybe common to have dreams. But not when you have years of recovery.
.
gamblingMachine.jpg
.
It’s not that I’m a “must need to know” kind of person either, it bothers in a way that I know how baffling and cunning this disease is. It will lie in wait for a long time, and then out of no where rear its ugly head!
A few of my relapses happened that way. You get 3, 6, 8 months in, then BANG!, your back at out gambling all over again! So again I did search about recovering gamblers having gambling dreams, and guess what? I couldn’t find anything as to why this happens. The closet I got was from a site for women gamblers, and really didn’t mention about gambling dreams at all…
.

...
Hits: 83

My Yearly New Years Message To Those with Addictions ~ I Care....

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 02 January 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

I want to THANK "Cate" for helping me have an AWESOME 2013! Being a "Guest Gambling  Recovery Expert here was one of the "Highlights" of my year, right next to becoming a 1st time published author! So I wanted to come wish all my "Recovery Friends" here at "Addictionland" a very *HAPPY NEW YEAR*.....

Each year I do a *Special Recovery Message* on my blog on New Years Eve, in the event someone looking for recovery information happens to wonder over to my Recovery Blog. I want those who still suffer from ANY type od addiction, not just Addicted Compulsive Gambling. I want that person who may feel Alone & Helpless, that SOMEONE truly cares about them, and there is a much "Better Way Of Life" in recovery. So I wanted to come share it here with all of you! And I wish you all a Healthy & Successful Year!


God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 Now as e-Book for Kindle!

.

*A NEW YEAR MEANS NEW BEGINNINGS IN LIFE & RECOVERY*
*MY NEW YEARS TO ADDICTS MESSAGE*
.
My New Year message is to share a meaningful, positive piece of “Advice.” Many of you know that I live my “Life” in recovery from Addicted Compulsive Gambling and a wee bit too much Alcohol. I just want to say to anyone who happens to wander here to this blog, and your are, or want to have a *Beautiful Life in Recovery*…..it is and can be DONE! Please visit my Recovery blog, which is also on WordPress at: http://CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes.wordpress.com you will find an excellent “Recovery Resources Pages List” with ALL kinds of recovery help and information to get you started on your *Journey of Recovery.
.
Addiction is addiction no matter the type. Many of the habits and behaviors are the same. The diseased thinking, having triggers and urges, we use blame, denial, excuses. Relapse’s are the same because no MATTER THE DEMON, drugs, gambling, porn, food, sex, booze, “IT’s All About getting stuck, and sucked in by “THE CYCLE” of the addiction.
.
There is a lot of *Truth* in the saying, “You keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, EXPECTING a different out come, and it NEVER COMES, it NEVER HAPPENS, it’s the same old “SHIT” time after time.
AREN’T YOU TIRED of feeling sick and tired all time? Those feelings like your all alone in your addiction? As if NO ONE KNOWS how you feel? No ONE understands you? Those crappy, dark, feelings of “HOPELESSNESS”?
.
TRUST ME, I sure DO! My gambling addiction had me SO OVER THE  EDGE TWICE, that I tried SUICIDE ~ TWICE, that’s how low my life was. How low, dark, and hopeless I felt.
Yes, it will take hard work to attain and stay in recovery, but I can “HONESTLY” tell you it “TRULY” is worth it! YOU are worth a better LIFE! I got tired of chasing something that was never going to be the SAME. I think drug addicts can relate best to this. All your “HIGHS” have NEVER been the same as the First Right? If your honest about it, then you know I’m being HONEST with you.
.
Most who know me,  know that I won’t or Don’t ”Sugar Coat” Addiction & Recovery.
Sometimes “Tough Honesty” can save a “LIFE”……

So go ahead, contemplate what I’m telling all you addicts, its New Years Eve. Go ahead, take that “FIRST STEP,” and make a “Resolution Tonight,” it’s a better time than any to CHOOSE LIFE.
.
So instead of screwing the cap off that bottle of Booze, or cracking open that BEER, or smoking that next joint, or poking that NEEDLE in your Arm, or for you addicted gamblers, before you stuff that Poker or Slot machine with more $20′s, or before you sit down to that Poker, or Blackjack table, think about how it would actually feel to walk through all the FEAR you have, to learn WHY you need to USE ADDICTION to hide from old wounds that just won’t stop nagging you?
.
Just think about living a LIFE FREE from YOUR ADDICTION? Each and every one of us was given a gift.
A GIFT OF CHOICE…..YES, it’s about the choice’s we make. And many times our “OLD PAINS & HURTS” can really turn us upside down. YOU and millions have been given a GIFT from “A Power Greater Then Ourselves”……

A High Power who will be their for you each step of your Recovery Journey, just like he was their With and For me when I took that “FIRST STEP” of a BETTER & BEAUTIFUL LIFE”………..
.
AND TRUST ME, where I had to LIFT myself up from was not PRETTY. I was laying in an Addiction/Mental Hold and Crisis Center, via the hospital FOR THE 2nd TIME.
When I was released, I had many court dates from POOR CHOICES, ”Criminal Charges” of theft and forgery.
No friends, No Family, even my husband left for a few weeks, because he had ENOUGH. Then jail, probation, and HOURS of community service, OH YEAH, and $$ Restitution!
.
That’s all I ever got from Addiction. Lost jobs, house, car, money, time I’ll never get back, and it almost COST ME MY LIFE!
So on Jan 29th, 2007 on my Court Sentencing Day, I TOOK MY LIFE BACK!! The rest was all De-Vine INTERVENTION. NO, you don’t have to be Religious, Be Saved, or even be a Christian to reach out for “Recovery,” and to live a beautiful life in recovery, BUT,…….I Wouldn’t recommend It.
.
Just think of a being, a “Strong Higher Being” in your Life to guide you as you take that 1st very important step in your life into *RECOVERY*
Since I have, I have been blessed in so many ways, there are too many to count. The most exciting and rewarding was becoming a *First Time Published Author* ~ AT 50 years old!! It’s Never To Late to make “DREAMS COME TRUE” in Recovery!
And, this past year has been the best EVER! Meeting so many recovery friends and family who have supported me with my book and my recovery! Many new friends through Social Media, Recovery websites, and more!
.
I’ve been some what successful as a writer, blogger, and mentor to others who were also STUCK on that “DAMN CYCLE of ADDICTION”!! I have faith in YOU that a year from now in recovery you will NOT BE the same. So why not try something different?
Yes, it will be tough, but it’s better than chasing that drunk, that high, or that big JACKPOT that never comes, and I know that you have the “Courage & Will" to JUST DO IT!
.
SO THIS IS MY NEW YEARS WISH FOR YOU!
So if Gambling is the monkey on your back? Then come visit my Recovery Blogs Resources Pages, which has many options for FREE Recovery help, websites listed, and important information to get you started in the RIGHT DIRECTION!

http://CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes.wordpress.com Here are a few other Websites and information that my help as well:
http://myaddiction.com
www.aa.org ~ Alcohol
www.na.org ~ NA Drugs

http://gamblersanonymous.org ~ Gambling
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number 1-800-273-8255

“AS OF RIGHT NOW"?
YOU ARE NO LONGER ALONE! I CARE!”….

Hits: 144