Hello and Welcome Everyone!,
TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED. SO, Cherish your friends!
See, in recovery when we learn to give of ourselves, it just seems to makes our Hearts feel Good!
It also helps us feel good about ourselves as we lose so much of our Self-worth along the way within addiction.
For myself being in recovery from addicted compulsive gambling was not about the money that was won or lost, it was about all the hours wasted I can not get back sitting behind a Slot machine, or a Poker table, and about the person I tuned into within my addiction!…
I’ll never forget the day my life changed forever, and I wrote about in my current book out now. How I first learned about the “Oregon State Lottery” and all the video poker machines. I used to go to a little deli with my best friend on Saturdays for lunch. There were these retired elderly guys that always seemed to be there to on Saturdays. The State Lottery had just introduced video poker machines, and it seemed they were everywhere you went. Like in all the Bars, Taverns, and eatery place’s in our community, and not to forget the expansion of all the Indian Casino’s popping up everywhere too! After eating my lunch, I happened to walk over to the other side of the little deli where the video poker machines were. One of the elderly guys was playing on one of the poker machines.
We got to talking, so I sat down behind the video poker machine next to him. He was winning like crazy. I asked him how much money he put in to win the over $200 he had racked up! He said he only started with $10 to start. So I put $5 in the machine as he showed me how to play the same game he was playing. Before I knew it, I had won almost $80 and I thought, “Wow that was easy money”!! So the guy next to me stood up, pushed his “collect button” and went to the cashier to get his money. He and his buddies were getting ready to leave. But before HE did, he came over to me, leaned over my shoulder and said to me, “make sure when your ahead on this poker machine, you “cash out” and leave with the states money. I’d feel really bad if you “Got Hooked” on these video poker machine.”…
Little did that man know my life that DAY CHANGED forever. I never saw them again in the deli after that day. He never knew what happened to me. That was back in 1996. I became addicted! Then our State Lottery in Oregon introduced, in addition to the Video Poker, Slot Style casino games. So instead of me having to drive 42 miles to the nearest “Indian Casino” to gamble, all I had to do is walk up the street to the little deli, or to the bar across the street, and so on…
There were DOZENS of places to go gamble all around me. So, YES….I became addicted. And again, my life was never the same after that day. But my past I’ve shared here on my blog, and through my book, is another long blog post for another day. All of those machines made it difficult for me to enter, and STAY in recovery for a long time. Many relapses and destruction as I look back. But, I made through!
I made it through because of people who were there to help me when I finally got “Sick and tired of being sick and tired.”… Gambling addiction not only destroyed my life, it almost took my life!
So yes, I try now to help others who are still stuck on that endless “Cycle” of gambling addiction. I’m now there for others who reach out for help, just like those before me had a hand stretched out to mentor, help, and guide me into recovery. That is what “HAVING A HEART” to help others is all about right? When you do enter treatment and recovery, you find very quickly that, “You are no longer alone.”
You only need to take that first step. That step can be Life Changing! That one step could just be the step that will save your LIFE. Was my Recovery Perfect?….LORD NO, but after 2 failed suicide attempts, in and out of gambling treatment programs, GA meetings, and therapy, I finally got it together and never gave in, nor did I give UP! Thanks to my Higher Power, (God)…
This last year my life and heart has been an open book for all the world to read, as my story of Hope, Awareness, give Insight, Learn, and to know that Life In Recovery Is Beautiful, should be cherished, and lived! Because we never know when we will be called home, as life does expire…
God Bless Friends!
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon