Depression Doesn’t Take a Holiday off. Special Guest Author, Alek Sabin With a New Article Share for Valintine’s.

Depression Doesn’t Take a Holiday off. Special Guest Author, Alek Sabin With a New Article Share for Valintine’s.

WISHING ALL MY RECOVERY FRIENDS A Very Happy Valentines Day! 🌹💕💕😸

 

Supporting a Loved One through Depression ~ by Alek Sabin

Watching someone you love and care about go through depression can be a hopeless feeling. Depression can impact many everyday interactions and can become a relationship obstacle to individuals who don’t know how to react or handle it. This happens all too often, as depression has become the number one form of illness or injury in the world, with around 10% of Americans battling it, every single day (those numbers are even higher for women). As such, it’s important to understand how depression works, so that you can truly support the people in your life who suffer from it.

Here are some tips to help you support a loved one through depression…

 

Be Informed

 

You’re already doing your part with one of these tips, simply by reading an article that talks about depression. That’s because depression is something that isn’t really that well understood by many people, who make the mistake of confusing depression with general sadness. As such, the first thing you should do to help a loved one with depression is educating yourself on what depression actually is and how it works.

 

This helps with the understanding that you shouldn’t take a person’s feelings personally, when they are depressed, but also that you shouldn’t disregard their emotions, either. Knowledge is the best tool when it comes to dealing with the effects of depression.

 

Leave Your Judgement at the Door

 

Relationships are all about communication, but depression can impact that communication in a way that you should be aware of. Don’t shrug off what your loved one says about a particular situation or how they are feeling, simply because they are dealing with the effects of depression. Just because their feelings are being impacted by depression, it doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t still valid.

 

This step is especially important when trying to help a younger person process through emotions when they are feeling depressed. When you approach conversations about depression with a veil of judgment, then you are working to alienate your loved one from sharing their thoughts and feelings, which can worsen the effects of depression.

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Loved One Depression 2
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Don’t Enable Problematic Behavior

 

We need to strive to recognize actions and behaviors that make a person’s depression even worse. Oftentimes, a person with depression will forego healthy habits such as eating well or taking care of their personal hygiene. These actions cause that person to slip even further into depression and show more symptoms. One of the worst things you can do is encourage any of these habits that are worsening an individual’s depression, which can create destructive co-dependency.

 

Support Every Step Forward

 

Don’t think that you should coddle your loved one all of the time. That is just exhausting for both people. However, you should be encouraging when they show signs of real progress in working through the effects of depression. When they begin to develop healthy habits that enable them to work through a depressive episode, take note of it and tell them that you appreciate them taking those steps. They will definitely appreciate that you’ve taken the time to notice, and it builds a rapport between you and them that makes it easier to listen to feedback in the future.

 

Demanding Happiness Is Counterproductive

 

It is unreasonable to expect an individual to be happy all of the time, regardless of whether they have depression or not. However, when they have depression, then this is doubly true. Just because a person isn’t swelling with happiness at every moment, it doesn’t mean that you should take this personally. Oftentimes, dealing with depression means letting people sift through some negative emotions for a while. Don’t be frustrated by this, but instead be patient and give them the time they need to accomplish this.

 

Promote Professional Help

 

When someone is ever suffering from severe side effects of depression, it is always worth the time to actually go and talk to a professional who can help them work through these difficult emotions. As much as you might think you can tackle these issues all on your own, there are people who have studied long and hard to have accumulated years of experience in helping people deal with the effects of depression. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is convince your loved one that it is worth it to simply test out professional help.

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ENDURE …By My Dear Friend, Brittany as She Describes 12 Years Maintaining Recovery Eloquently For The Both of Us.

AND? If you have not visited Brittany’s amazing recovery site at “Discovering Beautiful: Life After Childhood Trauma“?

Then please give her a visit …

I am proud to have her my guest article post share today!

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Image result for images quotes about endure from addiction

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ENDURE

“Twelve years into my recovery from addiction, I am comfortable describing myself as a chronic over-indulger who has had to spend a lot of time reevaluating my relationship with consumption.”

 

Coffee?

Yes, love it. Often, I have one too many cups but not as many as I used to.

Doublemint Gum?

Enjoy chewing it, but not just one stick. I must barrel through the ENTIRE pack in one day.

Oh’, those cupcakes my kids made last night?

Soon they’ll be history. Gone.

But in early recovery, none of those things mattered.

The problem that I had with over-indulging got lost in the excitement that I wasn’t dead, and it didn’t really make a difference whether I had three or thirty-three cups of coffee.

Priorities.

As I accumulated sober days my recovery shifted from fixating on lengths of sober time to a more direct focus on personal growth; digging deeper into my habits and coping mechanisms, and gaining insight into how I function and why.

Nothing about this journey has been easy or instantaneous.

The only whimsy involved in this whole process has been the Grace that carried me from death to life when I was exhausted and hopeless.

The way I view my shortcomings has changed. This over indulgent glitch I seem to carry is quite possibly a DNA marker, (sarcasm not science) but I no longer feel trapped by it.

And THAT is the beauty of recovery.

I can accept that this might be woven into my fabric, but fabric can be manipulated and changed into something different.

My limitations can’t stand against choosing to learn or being open to evolving and certainly can’t win against applying God’s truth to my life.

The power that I have within me is found in God who strengthens me to overcome temptation, who has shown me how to look at self-control as a gift that can be developed and strengthened.

Here is a Bible verse I want to share with you guys.

When it comes to the topic of temptation, it is a classic, widely known piece of scripture often referenced to help people who are struggling, and one that I have recently researched and read, re-read and torn apart.

Stay with me:

1 Corinthians 10:13.

(Good News Translation)
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, he will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

(New Living Translation)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

(Translations are taken from BibleHub.com)

YOU GUYS.

Listen look at this: 

en·dure//verb

  1. suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. synonyms: undergo, go through, live through, experience, meet, encounter; More
  2. remain in existence; last. synonyms: last, live, live on, go on, hold on, abide, continue, persist, remain, stay, survive;

I only shared a few translations of this verse, but every one of them ends the same way.

When we are tempted we will be able to GET THROUGH it.
It doesn’t say escape, avoid, magically skip over, or be saved from.

We will be able to make it through. We can endure. 
Using the synonyms listed for endure-
We will be able to persist.
We will be able to survive.
To live through.
To go on, continue.
To suffer patiently.

So you see, sometimes to endure is to simply go on, and other times it will be to suffer patiently, but we endure nonetheless.

None of those things promise us easy.
But the one thing they offer is hope that we will be able to make it.

If we believe what God tells us, we can be certain that we will be given what we need to succumb to temptation.

We might make it through looking like a mess. be holding on tight, disheveled, tired, sweaty, and terrified, but WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.

We can endure each wave that comes our way and each time, it will get easier to have faith and to see that we are capable, with God, to get through the things that could have killed us. Or for me, the cupcake cravings that haunt me at night. Whichever.

So today, please remember:

It will come. The urges. The mind wandering. The Temptations.

But WE CAN get through it.

__________  Posted on 

I am a sober person of 12 years, in long-term recovery from shame and perpetual escape. I kicked my inner-victim out on its ass and have been healing from the damaging effects of childhood trauma and self-destruction ever since. I’m a believer in the kind of Truth that can set a person free, but only because I have experienced it for myself.

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Pick up a copy of her amazing book too!  Cat

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Now available on Amazon.

 


This book is for all of the adult children who feel misunderstood and unseen. I wanted to give a voice to the marginalized; to the adult children who grew up drowning in severe dysfunction. Generational cycles and patterns can be broken. We can heal from our wounds. We can move forward from the damage caused by mentally ill parents, drug addicted parents, and from neglect and abuse. My hope is to encourage others to not feel ashamed of their experiences and to step away from thinking that they are inherently damaged or too far gone. It’s never too late for God to change your life.

 

 

Featured Guest Post and By My Dearest Friend Tony Roberts Who Shares Mental Health Topics Openly Thru Faith.

Featured Guest Post and By My Dearest Friend Tony Roberts Who Shares Mental Health Topics Openly Thru Faith.

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One of my big “flaws” is not being as open and transparent in sharing about my mental health issues and challenges like my dearest friend Author, Tony Roberts. And is why I enjoy sharing and having him often to eloquently share his experiences with his and how he approaches and moves through the bumps and challenges that many who deal with mental health can have.

The difference is, he is open and transparent, as I am still a bit shy in spilling all I go through with my challenges. However, I, like Tony both relie on a power greater to get us through … GOD and our FAITH.

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Feeling Burdened By or a Burden For?

 

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11.28-30)

 

I grew up in a country church where there was much talk of having burdens. Members, ministers, missionaries all spoke of having a burden for youth, drug addicts, Africa. Through their impassioned speech, the sweat on their brows, and the waving of their leather Bibles, they would stir up in us a burden to give — prayer, supplies, money.

What I got from this early spiritual teaching is that a burden is something God gives a person who then transfers this burden to others. It didn’t occur to me at the time that it had anything to do with a passion to work for Christ. Instead, it was more like a moral responsibility we had to meet to appease a god we could never please.

I’ve carried around many burdens in my life. Many have been anything but burdensome. They have been uplifting. Having a burden for basketball kept my body and mind in good shape to ward off physical and emotional attack. Having a burden for learning put me on an educational path that expanded my mind, giving me a greater understanding about the human condition. Having a burden for ministry built compassion in my soul for glorifying God and serving God’s people.

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But it seems that with every uplifting “burdened for..” there came a debilitating “burdened by…” A dreadful fear of defeat. A critical voice of failure. A demonic despair.

How do we let go of the earthly burdens that weigh us down so heavily and receive the load-bearing yoke of Christ?

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart…”

Jesus invites us to join him in building the kingdom of God. How? Gently. Humbly. Passionately, sure. But not with a heavy burden that it’s all on our shoulders. It isn’t. It never is. If you think you are flying solo on God’s mission trip, you’d better check your flight instructions.

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Before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I was treated for depression. A family doctor tried out a new medication that had only just been FDA approved. It sent me into what my later psychiatrists called a medication-induced psychosis which had to be treated at a psychiatric hospital. But this medical explanation does little to describe what I went through. It was like this…

God had chosen me for a special mission. The signs were all there. Words spoken in prayer. Looks on faces. Sounds in the night. Everything pointed to this place they told me was a psych center but was, in fact, a safe haven. The staff there didn’t listen when I told them this absolutely logical explanation for why I needed a pass to get out and rescue God’s children from pending disaster. They offered me a sugar cookie instead.

Little did they know those sugar cookies were supercharged energy bars that would give me the strength to break through the security doors. Little did I know, they weren’t. And they didn’t.

Christ’s load-bearing yoke may lead us to face what seems like unbearable burdens, but as we move forward in faith, what looks like a weight too difficult to bear, suddenly becomes like. With Him. According to His Word. By His Spirit.

 
The exact opposite of supercharged bars that give us the strength to crash through security doors.

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You are my strength, I sing praise to you;

you, God, are my fortress

my God on whom I can rely.  (Psalm 59.17)

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Please take some time to visit Tony’s uplifting and Inspirational website of “Delight In Disorder – Tony Roberts” for more amazing articles.


~Catherine Lyon, Author/Advocate 

Gambling Recovery and Dual Diagnosis, Co-occur, or Dual Addictions With Other Disorders. What’s The Difference? I am and Many Are and Growing …

Gambling Recovery and Dual Diagnosis, Co-occur, or Dual Addictions With Other Disorders. What’s The Difference? I am and Many Are and Growing …

When I was gambling addictively and to the point of my first failed suicide attempt in 2002, I was transferred from the hospital to a mental health and addiction crisis center for a 20-day stay and where my gambling treatment began. While I was there my primary doctor and their psychiatrist found after a series of tests that I was also suffering from several mental health disorders.

I wasn’t until my gambling addiction that brought to the surface these symptoms and could be properly diagnosed. They both came to the conclusion as well that I may have been suffering from some of the mental and emotional disorders since birth. Now, the catch was to be properly diagnosed and reassessed after you begin the path of recovery. It took some months to get it right.

See, I was using gambling to escape, and numb out many haunting memories and feelings from my abuse and traumatic past that began to came back and had happened to me as a little girl including being sexually abused. So needless to say, I was suffering from PTSD, severe manic depression, mania, OCD and bipolar one with insomnia at the time I entered the crisis center.

They ordered a brain scan at the time and found I had depleted the “pleasure and reward” chemical and system of my brain from the many years of addictive gambling and had no feelings or sense of pleasure, but thinking I was getting it when I gambled. I was a Hot Mess!

I know, it all sounds confusing and was for me at the time. But, I listened to my doctors and began medication and therapy process that would take a long while and a few changes to my meds to get my mental health under control and begin the recovery work needed to regain my life back and to begin feeling better.

So, what are Dual Diagnosis, Co-occurring, and Co-addictions?  I came across a good article by way of the fine folks of  “Recovery Ranch Center” that really explains the differences when you are treated for gambling addiction. Co-addiction however, just means you are suffering from more than one addiction at a time.

The most recent research I could find about dual-addictions, meaning being treated for more than one addiction at the same time was from an article from 2003: …”About 1.1 million Americans received treatment for addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both on a typical day last year, according to findings from the 2003 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). Half of those receiving treatment were addicted to both drugs and alcohol.”

I am sure this total has risen in the past 15-years now with the opioid crisis and epidemic happening. Here is the article I found and more about Gambling Addiction and having Mental Health and Disorders as being Dually-Diagnosed …

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Gambling Addiction Often Co-Occurs With Other Disorders
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Oftentimes, when a person shows symptoms of an addiction to something, there are other problems at play in their mind. For the addiction to be treated, the other disorders also need to be addressed, like mental illness.

A webinar that focused on how to counsel the pathological gambler revealed other disorders that often co-exist with a gambling addiction. Dr. Jon Grant, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and supervisor of an outpatient clinic for those with an addictive-impulsive disorder, discussed other mental health disorders and other addictions that are associated with gambling addictions and offered ideas on how to treat those individuals.

WHEN A FULL HOUSE CAN WRECK THE HOME

People start gambling for multiple reasons. Some enjoy the thrill, the risk-taking, and the power. Some, who feel isolated, use it as a way to feel social. Others use it as a way to relieve stress and anxiety or even to try to cure their depression. Yet, one addiction cannot properly heal another.

Gambling addictions are associated with multiple problems that weaken personal and family life:

  • Poor physical health
  • Poor mental health
  • Losing a job
  • Bankruptcy
  • Criminal behavior
  • Divorce

Sometimes those problems come before the gambling problem, driving the person to look for satisfaction in a dangerous venue if not controlled. Those who already suffer from a mental health disorder are more at risk for addiction when gambling. For others, gambling addiction is the cause of the other family and personal problems that come later.

ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING

Those with gambling addictions also often suffer from substance abuse. Dr. Grant states that substance abuse is seven times greater in those who gamble. Nicotine and alcohol are the most commonly used substances.

Grant also mentioned that disorders with symptoms of being impulsive and risky were also frequently seen in those with gambling addictions. There were associations between individuals with gambling addiction and those who also had problems with impulsive shopping, stealing, eating, and sexual behavior.

MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING

Pathological gambling has been associated with serious mental illnesses, sometimes as the cause and other times as the result of untreated mental illness. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses associated with gambling addiction. Some hope that a roll of the dice or the spin of the slot machines can help them have some fun in life and help them relax. In reality, over time it often makes the depression and anxiety worse.

Dr. Grant revealed that 76 percent of a gambling addiction treatment group suffered from depression. Astoundingly, 16 to 40 percent of pathological gamblers suffered from lifetime anxiety. For some, the pressure becomes too great. The risk of suicide is higher in gamblers than non-gamblers.

Other mental illnesses associated with gambling are bipolar disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Of a study group, 24 percent of pathological gamblers had a lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder. Twenty percent had symptoms for a life-time prevalence of ADHD or OCD and most likely born with them.

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Dr. Grant stresses that when treating those with a gambling addiction, all of their disorders should be identified and prioritized for treatment. Through methods such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support those with a gambling addiction can find healing and become a winner for life.

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I Hope you find this article and my sharing of my recovery from gambling addiction having still today, managed mental and emotional disorders. I make sure now I make all my doctor visits and get a physical each year to remain healthy and managed. If you don’t have your health? You can’t be of help to others. And maintaining recovery means having to put YOU! First including your Health!

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~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate/Author 

 

 

 

My First Post For a New Year in Recovery as I Celebrate My 12th-Year Maintaining My Journey on Jan. 29th, 2019.

My First Post For a New Year in Recovery as I Celebrate My 12th-Year Maintaining My Journey on Jan. 29th, 2019.

Hello, and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

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I wanted to have my first recovery post of 2019 to be a personal share and look back as I have been putting the finishing touches on my follow-up book to my first memoir of “Addicted To Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”

My second book will be a pick-up from all that has happened in my life while maintaining my recovery from addicted gambling with alcohol abuse. There have been ups and downs and many phases of my recovery and life “Journey” … Many blessings, many doors opened, and as I call them, “Perks of Recovery!” Lol.

But I feel I need to share as I grow and as we all get stronger within our journey. And since I love journaling and a writer, it is also an important part of what I do for my recovery. Journaling is such a healthy way to let go of stress, forgive yourself, heal, and a great way to show others what may work for them in their path.

We all learn the skills and tools to use during treatment or your form you had chosen to begin your journey away from the bondage of addiction, and sharing may help prevent others from relapse or slip. And when you make it in longer-term recovery, you should learn to share your voice and become more of an ‘Advocate’ as it is an easy way to help those that may be new or in early recovery. Like “Paying it Forward” to others.

WHY? Because of Facts Like This Below? It Is Time To Not Be Silent Anymore …

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And is also why I try to find platforms to DO JUST THAT! And this year will be no different. My goal and mission for 2019 are to hopefully shine an even ‘Brighter Spotlight’ and be louder than last year about Gambling Addiction. To be able to help those who don’t understand this ever-growing problem.

It’s Time Share so we can shatter the “Myths and Misconceptions” about this disease if only by a little …

For those who don’t know, I am a Gambling Recovery Columnist for one of the biggest Recovery and Resource Newspaper who wanted to elevate the awareness about gambling addiction now touching more and more people. My dear friends Jeannie, Marcus, and Beth are Founders of “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” which is FREE for everyone! Great articles and columns and supportive resources for help too. My JAN 2019 column and article is on page 15 and cont’d on page 22!

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About Keys to Recovery


S
preading the Message of Hope and Recovery

 

Our purpose and our missions are to give hope that recovery is possible. Incorporated in the state of California Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity.

Our main objective is to carry the message of Hope and Recovery from all types of addictions and disorders to as many people as possible and to offer resources that may provide treatment and support. We do that by printing (yes, printing) a traditional type of newspaper, as well as having an online presence. Our newspaper is filled with columns from today’s top experts in the recovery field.

 

Keys to Recovery Newspap, Inc. is educating our communities about alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, homelessness, domestic violence and so much more. We also print, at no charge, a 2-­‐page resource guide listing free services and vital help offered within the communities.

 

Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is making a strong effort to reach the many individuals currently in jails or other types of institutions, and offer them information that will assist in their future recovery. For every paid subscription we will be able to send a free subscription to someone in an institution.

 

We are NOT affiliated with AA, NA, Al-­‐anon or any other 12-­‐step program. We do, however, believe in the power of the 12-­‐steps and the principles behind them.

 

We operate Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. using these principles as a guideline -­‐ Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, Integrity, Willingness, Humility, Brotherly Love, Justice, Perseverance, Spirituality, and Service.

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So as this new year begins, I will be also committed to posting more of my own personal experiences with addiction and recovery, my mental health challenges and goals as I push through the FEAR of my agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety issues and more about HOW I will be of recovery services to others too! I hope you will follow along and visit often as I’ll be adding more reads and resources on those Pages as well!

I wish you all and very Happy, Blessed, and Successful 2019! 

~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate

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Stay Safe Tonight …Stay Sober, Clean, and Bet Free on New Year’s Eve! Tips To Help as I’ve Been There – Done That …

Happy Almost New Year Recovery Friends and Visitors! Welcome, that You Found ME!

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I wanted to round out my being on Holiday Watch and Blogging all through the HOLIDAYS which includes through New Year’s EVE! Look, those of us maintaining recovery NEED to FEEL and know ….WE ARE NOT Missing Out on all the partying or waking up on another New Year’s Day strung out, hungover, our financially broke!

We know we are WORTH and DESERVE Much better Then THAT … But many feel left out or feel they are missing out. Not the case at all. We always need to make sure and take a look back at the WORST of our addicted days and holidays to know we have come along way from those “diseased” hauntings. That was the disease of ADDICTION Running our lives, made our lives unmanageable and took right over …

Not Anymore… And those who have longer-time maintaining recovery know this as TRUTH. We have done and continue to do the work necessary to keep our recovery intact and especially around the holidays. We then “Pay It Forward” and pass on that Wisdom and recovery lessons learned to those who are New and may just be starting Recovery. You are not alone and there are many caring and supportive people willing and ready to be of HELP and SHARE HOPE like me! ~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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4 Quick Tips for Staying Sober and Avoiding FOMO on New Year’s Eve

By Kelly Fitzgerald Junco ~ The Fix Magazine 

“FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—took enough away from me in my addiction. I spent countless nights wishing I hadn’t gone out or drunk as much as I did. In sobriety, I’ve never regretted not going to the party.”

If there is one thing that describes my addiction, it was the yearning for connection. Ironic, isn’t it? The thing I spent the most time striving for is the thing that I ultimately couldn’t get, even from the substances that I thought were helping me find it.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be popular. In 5th grade, I remember the girls who were considered “cool” inviting people to their “boy-girl” party. I patiently waited for an invitation that never came. Then in middle school, my peers started getting boyfriends and girlfriends and slow dancing at school dances, but I was never included. I did everything I could to make it seem like I should be included in these exclusive pastimes, but I never felt like I succeeded… until I started drinking.

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Woman next to holiday decorations, alone and avoiding FOMO Fear Of Missing Out

(A new year should symbolize growth, bettering yourself, or beginning again. Don’t let FOMO take that away from you.)

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Taking shots, chugging beer, puke, and rally; these dangerous drinking habits are what ultimately gave me the street cred I needed to become part of the in-crowd. Boys finally found me cool and desirable and girls wanted to be friends with me. This theme followed my entire drinking career. I evolved from a scared child with a couple of friends to an outgoing woman with more friend groups than you could count. Keeping up with my new reputation was exhausting, but it’s how I lived throughout my entire time at college.

When I first heard about FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — something in me clicked and I realized this was the feeling I always got when I couldn’t stand not being at the party. FOMO was what motivated me to drink every night from Wednesday through Sunday during college. I needed to be at every outing and party because if I wasn’t, I risked my popular, cool-girl reputation. I risked not seeing the drama or hearing the gossip. Just like the acronym-dubbed phenomenon, I was fearful I’d miss something, and I couldn’t let that happen.

Now that I’m sober, I’ve realized that so many of us former drinkers had an intimate relationship with FOMO. It’s often what drove our drinking. It can also be what drives our return to use, or our obsession with still going to the places and parties we frequented while we were in active addiction. The holidays can be an especially daunting time for FOMO. In particular, New Year’s Eve is known for lavish and booze-filled celebrations. If you’re sober and worried about FOMO creeping in this NYE, here are some tips to help you play it safe.

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HAVE A PLAN READY:

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1. Plan something new and different. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to make plans in sobriety. Instead of the same old drunken ball-drop open-bar nightclub or wine-infested awkward house party, you get to decide what your New Year’s plans are and they don’t have to include any of those things. You get to plan something fun, new, and exciting. You could travel to a new place, visit a zoo, volunteer at a homeless shelter, watch fireworks, or host your own alcohol-free party. The point is, the decision is yours and your plans don’t have to be anything like they were during your drinking years. Plan something new and different to look forward to. You could even invite your friends and family to your non-alcohol-centered event and avoid FOMO altogether.

2. Read up on the concept of romanticizing. Yes, I’m telling you to Google “romanticize.” This is something we occasionally do about our drinking when we’re sober. We often remember the best and more fun parts of our drinking, but not the times it made us feel horrible or our worst hangovers. I’ve also heard these rose-colored memories referred to as “euphoric recall.” It’s good to have an awareness about this extremely common tactic of our mind. Remember the truth! Just because other people are out there binge drinking or going to events with alcohol doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you used to have fun at these types of events doesn’t mean you will in sobriety. Just because society tries to tell us we need alcohol to have fun does not make it true! Trust yourself. Don’t romanticize any substances you’ve tried hard to leave behind.

3. Give yourself a pep talk. You are one smart person. You know that FOMO is a concept that begins and ends in your mind. It’s a feeling just like any other that will come and then go. If you’re struggling with drinking, I can tell you there is nothing fun to go back to. Drinking again won’t make your NYE any more memorable or special. In reality, you’re unlikely to remember most (or all) of it. You live differently now and it’s time to accept that NYE will be different and that can be a blessing.

If you’re staying sober and debating going to a New Year event where the alcohol might overwhelm you, I’m here to tell you that you will not die if you don’t go to this event. Missing one event won’t change your life or the world. You can always get the lowdown from your friends who do go. I promise there’s nothing at that party that’s so wonderful it will make up for how you’ll feel if you end up drinking.

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4. Imagine the future. In the scheme of the entire world, NYE is just one holiday on one day of the year. Of course, it marks the end of 365 days of your life and that’s special, but there are so many other beautiful ways to celebrate a transition of this magnitude. You could make lists and read books and write in your journal and perform a moon ritual! You could go to a yoga retreat or a sober meet-up. It’s not your fault that society has tricked us into believing New Year’s Eve is a drinking holiday where we need to have a champagne toast at midnight. But it is your responsibility to carve out a new path for yourself on NYEs to come. Imagine your future: would you be happy to give up all your hard-earned sobriety for one night? For one party? For one New Year?

A new year should symbolize growth, bettering yourself, or beginning again. Don’t let FOMO take that away from you.

FOMO took enough away from me in my addiction. I spent countless nights wishing I hadn’t gone out or drunk as much as I did. In sobriety, I’ve never regretted not going to the party. Every time I think I’m going to miss out on something, I never do. I end up doing something better or more satisfying with my time. I end up missing situations, people, and places that aren’t good for me anyway. I miss out on drama, gossip, and drinking.

This NEW YEAR’S EVE, ditch the FOMO and make sure you aren’t missing out on Sobriety.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR RECOVERY FRIENDS!!

In a New Year … No More Suffering In Silence. Stats of Problem Gambling, Suicide, and Mental Health.

In a New Year … No More Suffering In Silence. Stats of Problem Gambling, Suicide, and Mental Health.

Welcome Recovery Friends …

Our Guest Article Today is courtesy of the fine folks of Southern Region Problem Gambling Conference and The National Council on Problem Gambling … They both put on conferences about Problem Gambling that are informative for many State Councils like Georgia, North Carolina, and all over the US to spread information and awareness about the negative impacts problem gambling has in all our States and Communities …

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Suffering in Silence: Suicide and Problem Gambling

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“With high profile deaths such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the issue of suicide and the stigma surrounding mental health have remained the center of many conversations throughout the United States and abroad. A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that from 1999-2016, suicide rates have steadily increased throughout the United States.

In the states like Florida, suicide rates have risen approximately six to eighteen percent (6-18%).

How does this affect the field of problem gambling?”

 


Prevalence of Suicide Among Problem Gamblers

Problem gambling, known as the “Hidden Addiction,” gets its nickname due to the fact that many symptoms do not present themselves physically as is the case in substance addictions. This means that many individuals suffering from Gambling Disorder often do so alone, potentially increasing feelings of isolation and depleting self-worth.

According to the FCCG’s Annual HelpLine report, twenty-six percent (26%) of 888-ADMIT-IT callers reported having suicidal ideation. Additionally, sixty-six percent (66%) of callers reported having depression, and seventy-two percent (72%) revealed they are struggling with anxiety. It is important to continue to recognize this population of problem gamblers and increase efforts of prevention and treatment.

Although we are unable to pinpoint the exact reason for such a strong connection between suicidal ideation and Gambling Disorder, it is possible that finances play a role. Research indicates that historically, suicide rates have been higher during economic downturns.

What Can We Do?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of suicide victims are not diagnosed with some form of mental illness or disorder until after their death. It is believed that approximately ninety percent (90%) of individuals who take their own lives were living with an undiagnosed mental illness, illustrating the need to destigmatize mental health in the United States. Continuing to have conversations with friends and family regarding mental health is the first step to ensure fewer people suffer in silence but don’t stop there.

( To interject here, this happened to me after my first failed suicide attempt in 2002. While in the addiction and mental health crisis center, and once I became stable, both my primary doctor and the centers’ psychiatrist and after a full evaluation, I was suffering from severe depression, high mania, and anxiety, and PTSD and went undiagnosed until my gambling addiction brought the symptoms to the surface through my addiction. I was using gambling to escape the trauma and sexual abuse I went through as a little girl and had tried to stuff it away for years.)

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Dispelling Common Myths About Depression (2)

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“Currently and just had a rise from 1% and now 2.6% of our population are problem gamblers.”

Gambling can be found everywhere from physical casinos to a multitude of online websites and apps. It is easier than ever to gamble in the privacy of home or on the go with a smartphone. It’s easy to place bets with PayPal, credit cards, bitcoin, or money-transfer apps. All of this ease has led to an increase in gambling addiction across the world.

Problem gambling can become a compulsive behavior and gambling can be emotionally addictive. Addictions to behaviors (as opposed to addictive substances) are known as “process addictions,” and, just like substance addictions, they require supportive treatment. Specialty rehab programs and support groups are available for people who struggle with gambling addiction. If you or someone you love struggles with gambling behavior, you are not alone. One look at the statistics behind gambling addiction reveals that this problem is prevalent…

The North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help and The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that approximately 2.6% of the U.S. population has some type of gambling issue. That adds up to nearly 10 million people in the United States who struggle with a gambling habit. This issue adds up to approximately 6 billion dollars each year, which impacts the U.S. economy and citizens.

Gambling costs American taxpayers. Public funding for problem gambling went up to $73 million in 2016, but despite those costs, gambling remains regulated by each state and is not federally regulated. Ten states (and the District of Columbia) do not offer any publicly funded gambling assistance. These funding discrepancies mean that public treatment services can vary widely from state-to-state, and the level of care in publicly funded programs also varies greatly.

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The U.S. federal government has largely left gambling regulations up to each state, which means that gambling may be illegal where you live, or it may be advertised on every street corner, as it is in places like Las Vegas, Nevada. The result is a patchwork of awareness campaigns and treatment programs that vary widely in their responsiveness.

States that discourage or prohibit gambling tend to not offer awareness campaigns, and as a result, people who gamble through their phones or computers may be missing information about the dangers of gambling. Awareness of the problem is key to making changes for the better.

Gambling doesn’t only devastate individuals; it is a family issue. Because this particular problem directly impacts family and personal finances, family members who have gambling problems often hide their issue and feel a great deal of shame and secrecy. In severe cases, the problem may go undetected until finances become a major issue. Gambling can destroy relationships, but it is possible to rebuild trust and rebuild finances. No gambling problem has to be permanent.

Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders offers specialized treatment for problem gamblers. A co-occurring disorder happens when someone suffers from more than one problem, such as gambling and anxiety, or gambling and depression … Help is available.

Please Visit or Call Today …

NATIONAL PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE

1-800-522-4700

The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700). The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 call centers which provide resources and referrals for all 50 states, Canada and the US Virgin Islands.  Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.

The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network also includes text and chat services. These features enable those who are gambling online or on their mobile phone to access help the same way they play. One call, text or chat will get you to problem gambling help anywhere in the U.S. 24/7/365.

Help is also available via an online peer support forum at www.gamtalk.org.


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