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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

I don't drink anymore. Some of my facts are in. I'm alcoholic and for the most part I get what that means. I can't drink alcohol in safety. On the flip side?  When I take care of myself and treat my illness? I'm usually in pretty good shape. Hmm, my illness. When I don't drink, yeah I get it, don't drink.. and take care of my illness....

 

I have chosen or lets say been rescued by the AA Big Book 12 Step process. Everything I know about myself began with the willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness found there. Everything.

 

The whole illness thing. Some call it dazeeze, some dis ease. Some refer to the problem as a Spiritual malady? Others think it's basically genetic, simply behavioral, environmental, even geographic..My Grandmother believed it was related to ethnicity and she lived for almost 90 years. It's a stretch but there may be some truth to that one.Irish, American Indians....Honestly? I think everyone knows but no one knows. All that aside, what about me. What do I think. After all is said and done I'm the one standing alone on the chair fumbling with the rope.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome New Visitors,


Many of us recovering addicted compulsive gamblers have felt when we were active in our addiction, that we were broken and failed at this thing called life. The paths we had taken with gambling addiction made us feel it was a test. And yes, it did break me and many other addicted gamblers, but I’m no longer broken thanks to having wonderful support by many in my recovery. Support has been an important part of my journey. Two places I have always looked to is ‘The National Council on Problem Gambling’, http://ncpgambling.org  and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin,  http://www.samhsa.gov … Because I have been through one, and still battle daily challenges with the mental side of things.

These two websites have a wealth of information on all types of  addictions and mental health services, they  raise awareness, inform and help educate the public as well as help the afflicted. So I always celebrate
September ~ National Recovery Month, and this year is our 25th Year of Celebrating!

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I’m very honored to be a part of National Recovery Month ~ Our 25th Year.  At least almost 8 years worth for my own recovery from addicted compulsive gambling and alcohol abuse.

So in honor of this, I have a special guest blog post for this wonderful occasion! It is an article I’ve been waiting for from a new friend of mine, Elaine Meyer, of  Columbia University, Dept. of Epidemiology. It is a major article on gambling and how it affects our populations and our communities we live in.

Now your most likely wondering what that is? It is the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,


I've been a little in a daze from the long Labor Day weekend. I had some highs, and some really low lows. I was invited to be a Guest Recovery Author on Peoples Internet Radio this past Friday, August 29th 2014. But I also got some very sad news as well. My host of Peoples Internet Radio, Stephen Roberts interviewed me about my book. Addicted To Dimes, and we talked about many important issues of problem & addicted gambling addiction, alcohol abuse, and the hot topic of the negative affects with the expansion of Casinos & State Lotteries. The interview went so well, we ended up talking for 2 hours!!  I had no idea my interview was also being live streamed on two other internet radio shows besides just Peoples Internet radio.

It was by far the best radio interview I have done! We had callers commenting, and asking questions from as far away as Ireland, Scotland, and the UK, besides the United States! So, if you didn't get a chance to tune in on your computer or laptop, here is the MP3 player link to the interview and listen for yourself! I also promised the listeners I would do a follow up blog post from the show, as I gave out some important information, web sites, and phone numbers for recovery help. So I wanted to share it here on my Addictionland blog too, as a couple callers said they come visit my blog her as well.

The other news is that  on the same day as my show, I found out the following day that Mental illness claimed another of my very good friends!!!
She was a Wordpress blogger, writer, just became a new author of her book; "Bright Shining Star" Kaitlyn's Story. See, she had lost her 23 year old daughter to suicide a year and a half ago. She was blogging her journey to other parents get over a tragic loss like SUICIDE of their child. She was an advocate like me, in recovery and suffered from mental illness and disorders like I do.  And like the resent death of actor, Robin Williams, I'm
really growing weary of all this precious life being lost to addiction, mental & emotional illness, and suicide!!

So, if you find time over the weekend, please come by my other blog that I do book & media promotions on and see the Tribute of my good friend, Rhonda Sellers Elkins. She will and is deeply missed by many of us ... http://anAuthorandWriterinProgress.wordpress.com 

Here is my Recovery Radio Show Wrap Up!


I had been invited to Peoples Internet Radio by host, Stephen Roberts to join him this past Friday evening to talk about my current book, problem & addicted gambling, recovery, and a few more hot topics. And the interview was so awesome, we where on for just about 2 hours! And as promised, here is a wrap up of some of the topics we discussed, and recovery resources I had given out during the show.

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I’d like to first say, Thank You again to my host,  Stephen Roberts for inviting me to his show. Well, I also kind of invited myself really. LOL. I say this because as some of you know, I do book & social media promoting for other authors. And, Stephen has had 2 of my clients on his show earlier. It’s actually how we met. He is such a great guy with a fun sense of humor.

A little about Peoples Internet Radio, Seeking Sovereign Solutions, http://peoplesinternetradio.com/ it is a movement for and by the people to take our country of America back! It is a place where podcasts are broadcast and heard by hosts who invite others to speak up, help inform, and to raise awareness of many issues facing our country. And one of those issues impacting our communities is the ever-expanding problems of Indian Casinos & State Lotteries. That was only one of the issues Stephen and I spoke about. We talked about my book, Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat), which is my personal story of life touched by childhood sex abuse, discipline abuse, living with mental and emotional illness and disorders, and gambling and alcohol addictions.

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We also had people calling and typing in through Facebook, as my interview was live streamed on 3 different podcast links. We even had people commenting as far away from Ireland, Scotland, and United Kingdom! I do have to say a ‘Special’ shout out to “Jimmy & Sean” for your questions, and very kind comments during the show! I also explained my own personal devastation I caused with my gambling addiction in my life. Some don’t always agree with me about the why’s of someone choosing addiction in the first place.
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My experience is that, like Jimmy mentioned in his comment, when in rehab or treatment, it seems the professionals just treat the symptoms, and not some of the underlying issues that may have led us to use addictions to cope with life challenges and traumatic life events.
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From a relapse prevention point of view, those life events if we are not ready for them, can be a source of relapse. I know it was difficult for me in this area as well. The first failed suicide attempt in 2002 of mine,
from 2 life events that hit me hard was two people close to me passed away of cancer. Then my mom passed in 2003. So life, if not ready can cause a relapse. You need to have a plan in place.

When all that happened to me I went via the hospital to an addictions/mental health crisis center. That’s when my primary doctor, and the center psychiatrist found I had been suffering Bipolar 2 severe depression, PTSD, OCD, and mild anxiety mania. So in 2002 is when I was started on bipolar and anti-depressant meds.
So those were some of the underlying issues that compounded, and seem to set me up for some type of addictions to cope, escape and numb out from the grief, and from my past traumatic childhood.
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Of course, as I discussed with Stephen that when you are raised in a household that you speak of things outside our home about anything that might bring shame to the family, and to not know there are healthy ways to get help and process past hurt and pain. Then many do use addiction to try to escape from it. To not feel those unpleasant feelings and emotions. So it wasn’t until I started work on processing my past pains, and working with an addiction specialist, who taught my also how to break down the cycle of my addiction. A cycle has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here is what it looks like.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Addictionland Recovery Friends,


I wanted to share some of my feelings around the recent loss of a man who was loved by world. He loved to make us smile, laugh, cry, and giggle. A man who cared so much for others, including our Armed Forces around the world. He gave of his time generously, and we all never knew how much he was suffering on the inside. I shared some of this on my own personal recovery blog a few days ago, and it hits on some key points that we all as human beings can learn from. Of course, I'm talking about Actor & man of Comedy, Robin Williams.

Life just all on it's own can be a journey of good and bad, trials and tribulations, happiness and blessings, but when we see someone on the outside,
we really never know what's really going on inside. I also talk in my blog post about the Stigma around the issues of Recovery, Addiction, Mental and Emotional illness and disorders. Which these same issues and a few more were part of the why's that took his life ...

Important Recovery After Thoughts From Actor, Robin Williams In His Own Past Haunting Words… 
By: Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


“Robin Williams, Actor & Comedian describes his lifelong struggle with addiction that today is a ‘Haunting Awareness’ he had about recovery from addictions.
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It’s a recovery legacy, an addiction awareness that he left for those of us who live life in recovery. Even though he lost HIS battles yesterday of addiction, recovery, and battle with mental health issues, he left this message, these past quotes for all of us to know, understand, and take to heart.
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When will this trend of suicides due to ‘Dual Diagnosis’ of addiction relapse & mental illness? It’s time to STOP the government CUTS to proper Mental/Emotional Health & Recovery Services from Addictions! There are thousands of us out here who are not famous, or have the money for these almost always very expensive recovery and mental health services and treatment centers. But even when you have the $$$$, like Mr. Williams, guess it really didn’t help him now did it?
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Snippets Of Mental Illness, Addiction & Recovery After Thoughts In His Own Words…
 

It’s not easy, and it’s a very POWERFUL example of the daily battles we can have, and even long-term recovery people can have a life threatening RELAPSE at anytime.
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“It waits,” he told “Good Morning America” in 2006. “It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.”
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Williams, the comic whirlwind known for his hilarious stream-of-consciousness ramblings, was found dead Monday after the 63-year-old hung himself in his San Francisco Bay Area home in perhaps his final attempt to silence the demons that relentlessly targeted him.
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”Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,” he told People in 1988.
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“The Belushi tragedy was frightening,” Williams told People. “His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.”
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“I was in a small town where it’s not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, ‘Hey, maybe drinking will help.’ Because I felt alone and afraid,” he told the newspaper. “And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.”
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“One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice —I call it the ‘lower power’ — goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m OK!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street.”
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“You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that’s hard to recover from. You can say, ‘I forgive you’ and all that stuff, but it’s not the same as recovering FROM it.”
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“Just as the gay rights movement only gained momentum when individual men and women summoned the courage to “come out,” I believe it is time for those of us who have struggled with depression to stand up and be counted.To understand depression and to reduce its stigma, we need to pull back the veil to show its familiar face”. 
“So I am officially coming out of the closet”.

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*My own after thoughts? Robins Williams death makes me feel some FEAR if I’m open and honest here. Is this what I have to look forward to because I live my life in recovery and battle mental illness? I can’t help but wonder, and makes me a bit edgy.
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We can still learn a lot from a man who truly put into words his past battles with addiction, recovery, and severe depression. The answer to my question from my earlier post of the non-famous that passed away yesterday? The other nameless people who were NOT in the headlines, or made national news? HOW many nameless people die from mental/emotional illness’s & addictions by SUICIDE EVERYDAY? … Here is our ANSWER.
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SUICIDE:
Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”) is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is frequently attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder,[1] alcoholism, or drug abuse.[2] Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a role. Efforts to prevent suicide include limiting access to firearms, treating mental illness and drug misuse, and improving economic development. Although crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectiveness.
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    • Older age is associated with increased risk of suicide; people above the age of 65 are at the greatest risk for death by suicide.
      Approximately one million people commit suicide each year worldwide, that is about one death every 40 seconds or 3,000 per day. For each individual who takes his/her own life, at least 20 attempt to do so. Suicide has a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000 people.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Addictionland Friends, Followers, and New Visitors,


As ‘Gamblers Anonymous’ tells us, “We can recover from compulsive gambling without knowing the reasons why we gambled and became addicted in the first place” might be true. But there are some like myself who know a little of why we did …

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But like my last blog post said, sometimes if look dig a little deeper, we can find some of the issues in our life that lead us to take a dark path to cope, escape, and try to delete past issues and pains.  Yes, many say it might be an excuse, rationalizing, blaming other people, places, or things on OUR CHOICES. I don’t agree. I DID NOT CHOICE to become an addict. Addiction isn’t always about CHOICE …
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Well to those who have NO clue, no experience of being an addict of any type, nor been touched by addiction or someone they know or love has, then I say, ….YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE to be held hostage by any addiction. We all don’t get tangled up with addiction by CHOICE. Through treatment, therapy, or the personal inside work on all our character defects, and working through the 12-steps, we DO sometimes find a few reasons WHY we went down that dark path of addiction. Is it really too much to ask of the public to have a wee bit more understanding and compassion of what it’s like to be addicted to some type of addiction? Is IGNORANCE still that prevalent in our society? Sadly yes when it comes to addictions and Stigma around us who live life in Recovery!

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See, for my own addictions of compulsive addicted gambling and alcohol abuse when I gambled, I found doing the work within side myself, and through therapy with a psychiatrist I found I was suffering from undiagnosed bipolar 2 severe depression, mild anxiety mania, bipolar cycle insomnia, and the ‘pleasure & reward’ part of my brain was effected from the years of the repetitive behaviors of addicted gambling. Then later effects of agoraphobia with panic settled in, another direct effect from my years of addicted gambling.
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All these mental & emotional disorders I still battle today. It was the addicted gambling that brought out the bipolar symptoms to the surface when sent to a crisis center the first time.

I know all this sounds complex, then add my past childhood abuse & traumatic events that happened to me, I learned very well to stuff all that away for a very long time. But it did come back to haunt me, and I started using gambling as my escape, and a coping skill to not FEEL all that I endured as a little girl. I began having nightmares again, and didn’t know the proper way to process all this hurtful stuff. I’d done a good job pretending I was normal, and none of those things really happened to me.

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