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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

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.
AND?
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. 

Catherine
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"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.

Why? 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

“MORE NOW Than ever we need to “Have The Conversation” about Problem Gambling.”  With the ever growing expansion of gambling options, now comes the risk of more people affected and may become problem gamblers. My mission for my blog is to educate, inform, help, and raise awareness of problem gambling and gambling addiction."

Here now is a message from my friends and hardworking advocates at “The National Council on Problem Gambling"….

 

The National Council on Problem Gambling Goals:

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.  The 2017 PGAM theme is “Have the Conversation” and the goals of this national campaign are:

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Happy Holidays Recovery Friends,



So another holiday season is upon us and those of us in recovery can have a tough time around the holidays. I have in the past with self-sabotaging my Christmas season. How do you ask? Let me share a "war story of Christmas past." We can learn and grow in recovery when we safely look at "Then & Now of Christmas's Past" as an addicted or problem gambler."



Image result for copy free images of casino gambling at me Christmas t

 

Many of us in recovery advocate to show to others who still suffer from this cunning addiction the importance of sharing our experiences, strength, and hope with others when we do tell some of our "war stories." It does show how insidious this addiction is. It is one the area's I don't feel is proper about 12-Step programs. They tell us not to share war stories as it could maybe trigger someone in a meeting. But, if we don't learn from these mistakes or choices, how do look back and find growth in our recovery? Yes, you can see growth by just doing the 12-steps, but many need more than that to recover fully. I know I did.

I recall one Christmas that has to be my worst within my gambling addiction and will never forget because I was gambling out of desperation. And it is why I make sure all holidays now are safe, happy and full of JOY. It was back in 2005. Our home we had lived and worked very hard for had to be sold through a short sale or we would have lost everything we put into it. But even then, it felt like we lost it as we are still paying on the balance that was not covered by the sale. It also caused me to make a few bad choices, residual addicted "thinking,: I had committed a crime that big catastrophy I wrote about in my memoir, and I was reeling. I stopped taking my bipolar meds, then took them all at once! I was so angry with myself, feeling so much shame, guilt, low self-worth and again suicidal because I knew it was because of my past gambling is how we got into this mess in the first place! Of course, no excuse’s, just insights.


We were so financially broke. The guilt and shame would hit me each year hard as I knew much was my fault why we were. I remember being in JCPenney walking around aimlessly wishing I could buy this or that for the family for Christmas. Luckily all our family lived in other states than Oregon. So I had to do the same lame thing I had done for many past Christmas's, just send a card. It was tough already that we both had job loss, the very beginning of the economy and markets were getting ready to pop. We had a hard time finding good paying jobs, and I ended up back in an addiction/mental health crisis again with another breakdown right after the holidays. It was all too much!


When I got released from the crisis center, I knew I had a lot more recovery inner work< which included financial inventory to take and work on. I had been doing well in my recovery and gamble free at the time, but something was nagging at me. See, you need to know that no matter the addiction, it’s always waiting for us. 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, and Welcome All,



We all know how hard it can be to live life in recovery from gambling addiction, or from any addiction quite frankly. But, many of also live with other daily challenges in recovery as well.
Sitting in the rooms of GA, it seems to be more common now that many of us also have "Dual Diagnosis" . . .  Meaning, we maybe recovering from 2 or more addictions, or like myself, I live in recovery and battle Mental/Emotional health disorders as well. And this can be pretty challenging on some days. So I thought I would share a 'freelance recovery article' I was invited to write for a rehab website about this topic. It also seems to becoming the norm that many addicts are also now becoming addicted to gambling as they try to use gambling as a "quick source of fast money" to indulge in
what ever their TRUE addiction is. Maybe they gambling to make a fast buck to score more drugs, or buy the alcohol they so desperately want to feed their addiction? 

But now these same people end up with a dual addictions because they get hooked on gambling. But most importantly, my experience is with addiction and living with mental illness. And one of my disorders is a direct effect of my past compulsive gambling. So here is more on this topic and article share. . . . .

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So how does one recover from gambling addiction while living with mental illness? It can be difficult and a bumpy ride, but it can be done. I did it, and am doing it, and you can too! A personal share of what life was like. . .

“All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I heard people talking about me saying, when the police came to my home, there were knives all around me on the couch and floor of my living-room. Then I blacked out again.” “I woke up next in a mental/addiction crisis center with my wrists wrapped, feeling very sick to my stomach, and remained there for the next 14 days” . . .

This is where my recovery and behavioral health journey began. To be able to recover from gambling addiction, and while there, I was diagnosed with bipolar ll with severe depression, mild mania with anxiety, PTSD, and many negative behavioral habits I had picked up in my many years of addicted gambling.

See, I was suffering undiagnosed mental illness for years without ever knowing it. And I turned to addicted gambling and alcohol abuse to zone out & cope by wanting to not feel the hurt and pains I had not processed. That day, I was supposed to be attending my best friend’s funeral and celebration of life! Well, instead, I had a very bad gambling binge/slip that almost cost me my life. Many ask me, “How can you just waste your money like that? I tell them, “it’s not about the money, it’s about the disease of gambling addiction, and the bad choices and behaviors that comes with it”. . . “that it is not about the money wasted, gambling addiction almost cost me my life by  way of 2 failed suicides.”


So what is Gambling Addiction?

There are many definitions for problem and gambling addiction. Some claim it’s a mental health disorder, some say it’s a cognitive behavioral issue, and even some say it’s an impulse control problem. From personal experience, it was all three and more. But all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits is a gambling addiction. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
And I experienced all of the above. I was sick.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction


Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,


Many of us who live with Dual Diagnosed Mental Illness, and live in Recovery can have a much more difficult time overcoming some of the daily fears we think and feel. I have Agoraphobia with panic disorder. Hard to explain the different type of 'Fear' then just having panic disorder. This is how it's defined ...

AGORAPHOBIA:

Definition:

Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape could be difficult or impossible. People with agoraphobia often will not leave the house. It often occurs in association with panic disorder . In this case, the affected people may fear that help will not be available in certain places in case a panic attack occurs.

Causes:

The exact cause is unknown. Most people develop agoraphobia after having panic attacks. Afraid of having another attack, an agoraphobic avoids places and situations that have triggered an attack. Factors that may contribute to the development of this phobia include:

 development of this phobia include:

  • Genetics
  • Changes in brain chemistry or activity
  • Having a nervous system that reacts excessively, even to normal stimuli
  • Increased awareness of physical changes (such as increased heart rate)
  • Distorted thinking, which may start a cycle of fear

    Changes or genetic problems in the nervous system (brain and nerves) may contribute to agoraphobia ...

    Risk Factors:

    These factors increase your chance of developing agoraphobia. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
    • A tendency to be nervous or anxious
    • Stressful situations
    • Family members with panic disorder or phobias
    • Age: 18-65
    • Sex: female
    • Other psychiatric disorders
    • Personality disorder


             

Both my psychiatrist and primary doctors have told me that some of my condition comes from my past addicted gambling addiction. It has also affected my heart beat too. So I take medication for it. Also learning more life skills have helped some.
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Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you were called to do! Kick FEAR to the curb and move on!
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There has been a few things bothering me the last couple of days.

I have thought of my mom recently of her passing in 2003, and the legacy of bad behaviors she left behind. Now I’m not ‘mom or dad bashing at all, I’m sharing because I also been thinking of my dad as well. His 80th birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and it’s coming on almost 9 1/2 years since we have had any communication. I have been thinking of the FEAR around not making some form of effort or amends with him before he pass’s away. I have shared a little in the past about this subject, but it’s the FEAR that seems to be driving my thoughts about this.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

When most people think of a gambling addict, they stereotypically think of a 30-40 year old white male. However, more than half of the reported cases of gambling problems in the US are actually teens. In actuality, teens develop gambling addictions 2-4 times more than adults.

According to research, there are some people that are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to gambling. Within this category are teens who have a desire for taking risks, with impulse control issues. Teens who begin gambling at such an early age are at a much higher risk of becoming a gambling addict as adults.

How Teen Gambling Addictions Destroy Relationships

Teen gambling problems have a major effect school, home life, family and other personal relationships. Compulsive gamblers often experience mood swings, health problems, depression, stress and anxiety. Some have even been known to contemplate suicide, as addictions can be very overwhelming for teens.

Teens with compulsive gambling issues have a tendency to do whatever it takes to get money. They often steal from family and friends. This puts them at a higher risk of committing crimes, especially felonies, as a means of supporting their habit.

Pathological gamblers can be exhausting to their loved ones, who must watch them at all times. These teens will drain parents' bank accounts and max their credit cards out. They'll sell all of the possessions, as well as those of others to get the money they need to go out and gamble.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction
Hello Recovery Friends, Recovery Seekers, And Welcome New Visitors,
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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.
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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.
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Author - Steve Laible
Author – Steve Laible ~ Great Guy!
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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…

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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.

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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.
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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Seekers and Friends,

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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….
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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.
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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

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….
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I first have some exciting news to share! I have been invited by Award Winning Author, and Political Historian, CL Gammon to be his “Guest Author” on his radio show. It will take place here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/clgammon on Saturday March 22nd 2014….6pm ET and 3pm PT. So please mark your calendars to join in the discussion. Will be talking about my current book, “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat) and about recovery from addicted compulsive gambling.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

 

*Daring to help someone in Crisis*…..

December 13, 2013

Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

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