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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."



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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 Addictionland Friends & New Visitors,

Here is what the last 4 days have been like for me. There wer BIG UPs and Some Downs, and I'm tired, so I'm sharing my Todays Blog Post Via my Recovery Blog.

The *TWINS* have Arrived & More!


Posted on October 26, 2013 by Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon
OH HAPPY DAY Recovery Friends & New Visitors!,


I’M A NEW GREAT AUNTIE TO THESE TWO BEAUTIFUL TWINS!

Twins! Finally. Just in time. I had to leave.


PLEASE MEET THE NEW TWINS!!
One Boy…”Mark Fredrick Lake”  & One Girl…”Bella Lake

”They got here EARLY, as they were to be born on Oct 30th by C-Section, but they came Sat. morning! My wonderful nephew Mark Lake and his wife Rosalia are the proud parents of a new baby girl & boy ”TWINS”…

I can not WAIT to go visit and spend “Thanksgiving” with my nephew Mark Lake and his family, and get my hands on those “Bundles of Joys”!!  My HEART is going to “BURST” with all the Happiness inside ME right NOW!

Now a little bit of *Ramblings*….

I just thought I would “MIX IT UP” and just ramble about a few “Thoughts & Things” rolling around in my Heart & Head!….LOL…

To start, many of you know about our *Sticky* living situation since having to relocate from So. Oregon to Arizona, and HAPPY to inform everyone my hubby & I are Apartment/ Small house hunting! We have put in a few applications in on some places that are NOW Available, so just waiting to here back.

The night before was another ABUSIVE, World War 3 going on,  and we JUST STAYED IN OUR little DUNGEON. Don’t move in with family unless YOU know what your fully walking into as we were NOT told what goes on around here before we left Oregon.

I JUST DON’T GET why families keep “Dirty Little Secrets” about family abusive behaviors??  Yes, I know, I know, just get over it, but it’s damn hard to when there is *CRAZY* going on around you 24/7. The last two incidents have been over a lawn chair, and the youngest sister had a “Mental Breakdown” in the driveway, after over hearing a conversation with me, my hubby and his older sister that is helping us financially to get into a place.

AND YES, there IS NO WHERE to have a private conversation in this HOUSE!! The younger sister got so mad and worked up, they took her to ER and they admitted her into the hospital. Mental hold. ALL this over a Lawn chair and a conversation that SHE WAS NOT A PART OF, & had nothing to do with HER...

I, as a Writer & Blogger, I have had NO DESIRE since we walked in this house to “WRITE” and to finish my 2 book projects, so THIS needs to CHANGE FAST! But on a serious note, some things have escalated to the point that we need to be out of this environment. It is hard to have to see your family like this. It also compounds itself, because we have not spent much time around either side of our families for long periods of time. That’s what makes it more *SAD* to know when our parents pass away, you just don’t know how the GROWN Children are going to behave, or interact when our parents are gone. IN OUR CASE, Poorly.
I don’t get any  ”JOY” out of talking about are families, but BLOGGING is the ONLY release that has kept me SANE, I have to vent and get my feelings out.In the past when I was still compulsively gambling , I’d have used “ALL this CRAZINESS” to my “Selfish Benefit” and as an excuse to run and escape from it all by a few hours of gambling!!

Blogging is a HELL of a lot CHEAPER!

After 6+yrs in recovery, I think I’m entitled to some *Freedom of Speech* about how I feel, and how all this has affected me. Many times LIFE is never what we expect. The whole move thing was hard on me with the Bipolar 2, anxiety, depression and Agoraphobia, but then to get here and walk into an even worse and stressful family dynamic is even worse than the move.

It’s like the longest *Trial* the lord has put upon us.BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?…..I’m not going to FAULTER…..NOW WAY!!
The man upstairs can keep adding it on, and I WON’T CRACK!  WHY?…..Because the lord taught us that no matter how bad things get, know matter “HOW ROUGH THE SEA’S ARE”, there is always a “BLESSING” AT THE END.  So I Pray, I bide my time, and bite my tongue, as the lord will see us through all this.

It’s also what recovery has given me as well. The tools & skills I have learned, and the *FANTASTIC SUPPORT FRIENDS* I have, DO play a major role in my life and recovery. And they include ALL OF YOU here who follow and visit my blog.
Many know I don’t like ADVICE SUGAR COATED, especially when it’s matters of LIFE & RECOVERY. You know any advice given by all of you is always well taken and appreciated. Giving it to me Straight. I hold no GRUDGE, because sometimes the TRUTH can STING, and that’s OK.

SORRY, I told you all I had a lot of *RAMBLINGS* to get out and off my chest!! So I’ll close with saying a “BIG THANK YOU” from my HEART to ALL of yours, for always being here for me with a Shoulder to Lean on, and an Ear to LISTEN to all my LIFE & RECOVERY RAMBLINS!!

GOD BLESS ALL & Have a Great Week Everyone,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

"Addicted To Dimes" (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485/

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