Hello and Welcome Addictionland Friends,
It has again been awhile since my last update and post, so I wanted to share an update on what's been happening in my life and recovery. Last time I shared about a new DVD series I had been working on with a friend and it is going well. It will be to help others in early recovery and after treatment to learn how to begin the "inner work" needed and address underlying issues that arise when we begin our recovery journey. Recovery is not a race it is a sober, clean, or bet free lifestyle. It will be a lifelong work in progress. It means you get to have a beautiful life and do the things you love without addictions. If you need an aid to help you prevent relapse and start living a well-balanced recovery, make sure you check out this DVD Series by David McCauley here at Oak Valley Productions and Foundation...
Now it seems the Lord has another calling for me! Not only keep on my mission to help others in recovery from gambling addiction but now he has steered my ship back to writing. Back in late 2012 after my first book was published, I began to help other authors by offering book promoting services after I found hope hard it is for to promote one's book and the hours, days, and months before it catches fire with readers. I was very successful and met loads of wonderful authors who became friends and did for almost 3 years. Then In Recovery Magazine came calling with an offer to write my own column in the mag, interview high profile clients who had new books was AWESOME! I did it for 2 years and meet many more new friends NOW?
I am back in the writing saddle and putting the finishing touches finally on my 2nd book, wrote a piece for Author, Emily Hayworth for here book on Amazon called; The Little Book Of SOBRIETY.
I am now co-writing a former NFL pro's Memoir with him! It has been awesome so far! I will keep you posted on the release. He is full of Sobriety and Recovery Wisdom besides his life story and NFL career.
"What Does it Mean to be "Recovered" from Gambling Addiction"?
It is interesting to me the lingo, words, and slogans used by others to describe their "recovery." But what does it mean to be recovered? Do we get to a point in our recovery from this cunning addiction and we are miraculously done? We stop having to go to meetings or support groups. That can not be further from the truth. Let's look at the meaning of Recover; it means to "return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength and find or regain possession of (something stolen or lost). For me, recovery from addiction is an experience and journey, so it is hard to put it into words.
We know our life was stolen as we became lost in our gambling addiction. At least it did for me. And as far as; "return to a normal state"? That takes a lot of recovery work. Besides, is there really a "Normal State"? Not in the state of our society we live in today. Gambling has always been a form of entertainment and fun, and the offerings are ever expanding in both Indian Casinos, and State Lotteries, those trying to stay in recovery will never be totally "recovered" because of the temptations of these offerings are all around us, and It is why relapse is so high.
Because there are many phases to recovery that need to happen to break the "cycle" of gambling addiction. There is a healing process that needs to happen and address those underlying issues that may be the root to why we turned to gambling to cope or escape "life" for one reason or another in the first place. So, how do we go about doing this? First? Get yourself help and reach out for it, your life depends on it. With gambling addiction now the #1 addiction claiming lives by suicide? Your life seriously depends on you receiving help. I know this as I had two failed suicide attempts myself when I was deep in my addiction.
There are helpful resources to get help from this disease. I would recommend visiting my friends at "The National Council on Problem Gambling and Gamblers Anonymous" for support and resources for a good start and direction. When you do, a transformation of your life will begin. Second? Accept surrender and know recovery is a process, not a race, recovery will be a lifelong journey. The sooner you understand and accept this, you'll be ahead of the work it takes to claim your life back. There is a lot stigma around those who chose to recovery, so never give or listen to naysayers. No shame in admitting you need help.
Third, DO THE WORK and INNER WORK. Whether you chose a 12-Step program or traditional treatment path, you need to know there are many ways to recover. One over the other doesn't matter, just as long as you chose one or more. Be open minded and work all areas of recoveries like mind, body, and spirit, religious or not, there is a force, a being and power far greater than ourselves that can restore us to a well balanced and happy life in recovery. I feel the internet has changed the face of recovery today. There are many resources you can learn and get right from home to keep your anonymity in place.
What helped me in my 10+years in recovery? I keep a journal and write how my day went to identify any weak areas I may need to work on or be more careful. Like with high stress or live events and WHY you need a Relapse Prevention Plan as part of your recovery. I also read many books. I am an advocate and have a recovery blog where I share my journey in words. I sponsor others in recovery as recovery service to others. When we begin to gather days and months with the principles contained in recovery, put in practice with the guidance of compassionate individuals and sponsors we rebuilt our lives.
We need to share with others, and why I share experiences of my gambling addiction here in "Keys To Recovery." Stories are powerful tools. It can help others learn from the mistakes or roadblocks I may have encountered along the way and how to work through them. Being with people just like us also validates that we are not alone in this and others have faced the horrors of this addiction as well. You walk into a room of completely broken souls and find men and women ready to walk with you on the road to redemption!
Lastly is the most important aspect of your recovery from gambling addiction is how to take responsibility for the financial devastation from this illness that YOU caused. That can be a hard thing to tackle in early recovery. You need to know it WILL take time! Of course, there are many ways to do this, but after you have taken a long, hard, and honest look at your financial inventory and is a painful step, but it’s one that you absolutely have to take to move forward, remember, work ALL areas in recovery.
If you are a member of GA, then ask for a "Pressure Relief" group meeting, as your trusted servants can help and point you in the starting direction. You can then look at options and different payment arrangements. A good place to explore is "Consumer Credit Counseling" services. CCCS is a nonprofit organization that offers credit counseling and debt management plans and have offices throughout the United States. Every counseling office in the CCCS network provides a set of services, including financial education, budgeting assistance, and Debt Management Plans.
These are just some areas you need to keep mind when it comes to your personal choice to recover from addicted gambling. We all come from different problems with gambling addiction, but end up on the same road. RECOVERY. Having a steady plan is a must to avoid relapse and temptations in recovery.
The bottom line is?
WE CAN RECOVER!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon