My Recovery Guest: Self-Help Author, Marilyn Fowler: What Is Your Recovery and Life Telling You? And Do You Like What You’re Creating?

You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.”  ~David Nicholls

Recently I had a birthday, and that’s always a time for a one year check up to look at where I’ve been, where I am now, where I want to go, and if I stayed on track with last years directions. But that procedure is not enough to look closely at a life and how it’s being lived. Life is a daily experience and needs daily attention to be the life you want it to be. You wouldn’t drive your car on a journey without checking a map now and then to avoid getting lost and having to find your way back to the highway. So when was the last time you took a close look at your life?

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” ~Bob Marley

Nobody’s life is sunshine all the time. We don’t expect that. We all have challenges, painful experiences, times when we want to run away for a while. But the overall quality of life can and should be generally happy and peaceful. Are you satisfied with your life? Could it be better? Think about it. Do you ever wake up in the morning dreading another day, wanting to get off the road for a while and find a peaceful rest stop along your journey? Are there times when all you see are clouds?

Today I was driving with dark ominous clouds overhead, and I hoped I’d reach my destination before the downpour. Then I noticed a break in the clouds with a beautiful clear blue sky where sunshine sparkled. How could both exist at the same time? But they did, and I got a message about life. Pay attention, and you see the whole picture. Would you like more sunshine in your future? You really can create it. And one of your best tools for growth is understanding your past.

“The best thing is looking back and realizing how good life is. If you don’t take the time to think about it and analyze it, you’ll never realize all the dots that are connected.”    ~Beyonce Knowles

The Past: All of your experiences in the past are connected to the rest of your life, for the past has been your teacher. Look back and remember good times and bad. Remember specific events and people, times you wish you could do over. Remember your feelings, your disappointments and happy surprises. Admit your weaknesses,and praise your strengths. Who were you back then? And how did all of that bring you to where you are now?

.

Remember the moments of the past. Look forward to the promise of the future. But most of all, celebrate the present, for it is precious.”  ~Unknown

Present: The present is where you live your life…where decisions you make decide your past and your future, and where you can create miracles. So look closely at where you are now. What would you like to change, or keep, or expand upon, or create brand new? If you can’t change a situation, you can work on your response to it. Examinewhat you’ve learned from your past and how you can use it today. Look within and find that eternal, special essence that is you, and know you have all you need within to move forward.

“It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell.” ~Walt Disney

Future: And what kind of story will you be telling in the future? According to Peter Drucker, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” And that’s all we can do, thebest we can at any given time. We check the past, live in today, and try to create a future we want. And as time passes, if we stay aware and vigilant, our tomorrows can bebetter than our todays.

So don’t wait for your birthday. Use time every day to monitor your progress, and make necessary changes as you go. You really are a miracle, capable of creating miracles. Make your journey whatever you want it to be. And be happy.

I wish you a miraculous journey!

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer

************

About The Author:

10556229_1454414258170916_2215888549931215780_n
.
I’m a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. My professional experience includes Mental Health Team Leader, then Director of Mental Health Services in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida;coordinating Mental Health Services in nursing homes, working on in-patient units,and in private practice for a number of years. I teach a class at the University of North Florida on The Influence of Childhood Messages on Adult Life, I belong to Chat Noir Writers Circle, and I write a self-help blog posts to help others live a better well balanced life!

My Memoir, Silent Echoes was published a wee few years ago, and I’m now working on “Me and Granmama in the Hill Country” in southern dialect with a video on now on Youtube: http://youtu.be/R4EGPkKtRBk  …

My stories have appeared in several magazines and a book entitled “When God Spoke To Me.” I’m active in my church, I enjoy blogging, and I believe that a sense of humor is a blessing to be used often. Life should be…..


Please Visit: Marilyn on her Amazon Author Page for all her Book!

 

Advertisements

Coming The End of Sept. ‘The 2nd Annual National Week Of Action To Stop Predatory Gambling’and Ronda Hatefi.

IT’S TIME TO STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING
FROM GOVERNMENT & STATES…

.

 

 

*TIME AGAIN FOR “THE NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION TO STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING” SEPTEMBER 2016*

Fall is in the air and that means another week of ‘Raising Awareness, Educating, and Informing the Public about Problem and Addicted Gambling’ . . . . .

Most all my friends and recovery blog followers know I live my life in recovery for almost 10-year’s from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. For my new visitors?

That is what this recovery blog is all about. It is my continued journey from my current book/memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) ” My story of my life and what I went through with gambling addiction and living with undiagnosed mental health, which cost me way more than the money lost, it almost cost my LIFE TWICE by SUICIDE.

So once again this year I will be blogging here all month long in “Honor” of My dear friend Ronda Hatefi and her brother Bobby Hafemann who had committed suicide due his gambling addiction. Suicide should never be an option to STOP GAMBLING ADDICTION.

 
.
Image result for Ronda Hatefi
.    ( Ronda Hatefi and a Photo of her brother Bobby Hafemann )

My dear friend Ronda lost her brother July 20, 1995, and for 21 years she has been sharing his story and raising awareness of State Lottery Predatory Gambling. See, Bobby Hafemann became addicted to ‘The Oregon State Lottery Video Poker machines’ after they were introduced in 1992 throughout the State of Oregon, USA. And as Ronda knows, so was I later in 1997 on for many years. Shortly after Bobby’s death, she started the organization Oregonians For Gambling Awareness and petitioned Oregon’s governor to proclaim September 29 as “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day.”

I spoke with Ronda the other day by phone and told her that The Oregon Lottery and our State failed her, her family and Bobby by not having enough funding for Bobby from the lottery for treatment services they are supposed to set up for those who become addicted. There have been many articles written about Bobby Hafemann and his story through the year’s, here is one to get the full scope of Ronda and her families loss here: http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/since-brothers-suicide-ronda-hatefi-has-worked-to-raise-awareness-about-problem-gambling/

And the expansion of lottery and casinos? That will be another blog post topic here this month. And this is not taking into account all the Indian Casinos that have opened throughout my former state I lived in for over 26-years myself. Gambling machines were everywhere! So last year’s very first “National Week of Action to Stop Predatory Gambling” was to Honor and Remember Bobby Hatefi and were many events held with the help of Les Bernal and the fine folks of
Stop Predatory Gambling  ….

.
bernal-headshot-2012
.

Les has been National Director since 2008 when the national network grew into the organization of Stop Predatory Gambling. Like many of the thousands of citizens who have fought against government-sponsored casinos and lotteries over the last twenty-five years, Les was a convert to the cause. The more he learned about the spectacular failure of this public policy, so the more committed he became to work for a more honest, fairer, healthier and more hopeful vision of the path to American prosperity.

He has spoken and written extensively about online gambling, regional casinos, and state lotteries, all of which are being promoted by our government and states to citizens. He has testified before Congress, he has appeared on national television and radio including 60 Minutes, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, National Public Radio and The BBC. He has been cited by more than 550 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated. He has also spoken before more than 1000 business organizations, college audiences and faith groups across the nation.

They are a great resource to see how gambling establishments are “impacting your community.” So visit their website, type in your STATE, and see what you can do to help in your community here:  Check Your State
.
imageedit_5_8273294817
.

Now  Ronda works very hard sharing her “Take a Break Campaign” that has been educating and raising awareness about addicted gambling.  And Ronda will be with us all month sharing more about the campaign and how she advocates. But today, I wanted to share a little of what she and her family experienced and had gone through watching her brother, their son slip through their fingers as he became deeper into gambling addiction.

#        #       #        #


THE PLACES LUCK WILL TAKE YOU  ~ Ronda Hatefi

My story is about luck. You know, everyone today wishes to be lucky. Lucky enough to win the game, to get the promotion at work, to not get a speeding ticket when your late for work, and of course to win the lottery or just your local poker game.

How much does just plain luck have to do with these things? Are some people just luckier than others? Can you increase your luck by carrying a lucky penny, rabbit’s foot, or token of some sort?

I used to think these things were true. We always said that my brother was the lucky one in our family. As kids we would walk through the store together, he found a $20 bill near the register. Camping we all walked along the same log, he found the $10 bill. He was always picking up coins off the ground, and somehow we all just knew it was because he was luckier than we were. This did not stop in adulthood.

When he turned 18 he bought himself a scratch ticket from the Oregon Lottery. Guess what, $500 winner. How can one guy be this lucky? He continued to buy lottery tickets, winning some, losing some. He bought some mega bucks, and keno tickets as well. We heard a lot more about the winning than we did the losing so I can’t really tell you a percentage of wins to losses.

.

.

Then video poker machines came into Oregon. This was a new challenge for him, one that he took on like any other, with 110% effort. Again, he started out lucky, with wins; enough for him and us to all think once again, he was just lucky.

After some time, it seemed that his luck had started to run out. Things were not going his way anymore. He was losing more than he was winning, to the point of having to borrow and sell things to keep gambling, and he was passed up for a promotion at work. He continued to gamble, more than he had been to try to get his lost money back. Chasing that win, knowing that his luck would turn again. It didn’t happen liked he had hoped. For a guy that was used to winning, these were some pretty hard facts to face.

He became suicidal and spoke about it to only a couple of people who didn’t know what to do so they did nothing. I am not sure how long he felt this way; I know that he did write a few notes. The last one he wrote was the hardest to read. He spoke of a cruel world, (things weren’t going his way anymore), he felt like a ghost, someone that no one could see, and that he couldn’t see anyone else. You see, Bobby’s luck took him places for a long time, but when it ran out, he lost more than his money.

Before he lost his life, he lost his self-respect, his self-esteem, his quality of life, his love of life, and his desire to live and hope. He wanted it all to stop. This is way too much to lose; I think gambling with these things is too much to ask. My point of this story is that you really can’t rely on luck, you may be lucky for awhile but chances are it will run out. You hear about the good things that gambling does, the big wins, this is the other side.

.

.

If you can’t control it by sticking to time and money limits or if it controls your thoughts, or it is not fun anymore, it is time to get help.  I have learned there are people out there that care, and that really want to and know how to help, that it is okay to talk about your gambling problem or your family members gambling problem without feeling the shame and guilt that Bobby felt. I know that if we continue to educate people on this issue that maybe we can help others not suffer the same pain that Bobby suffered and that we are still suffering today.

I have always said that the pain that my family and I have felt is sometimes unbearable, but it is nothing compared to what he must have been feeling at the moment he decided to end it. I can’t imagine having that kind of pain over something that is offered as entertainment by our State and Country.

Please help us continue to share about the addiction of gambling, and the trouble it can cause. Know that help is available. It is free, confidential and it works.


If you live in the State of Oregon, Please Call 1-877-MY-LIMIT ( 1-877-695-4648).

If in any other State Call The National Hotline: Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700).  If you feel ‘Hopeless’ call The Suicide Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours every day  .  .  .  .

 

Ronda Hatefi –Eugene, OR.
Founder  Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization and Ronda Hatefi  And The Take a Break Campaign.