Do You Feel Validated While Maintaining Recovery? Special Guest Post By Marilyn Fowler . . . Do You Feel Validated?

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Here some questions we need to ask ourselves and ponder while maintaining our RECOVERY. Because Validation is an important aspect of recovering from addictions.


Do You Feel Validated?
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Do You Allow Others Opinions Determine How You Feel?
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Is Being “In Self” at Times Can Be a Good Thing? YES!

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Validation–that sense of self as unique, worthy, and valued, with a connection with others and the universe. Validation, with no judgment, is vital for inner peace and happiness, and without it, you may feel you don’t matter. You may even feel invisible. In other words, validation requires unconditional recognition, acceptance, and appreciation for the whole person you are.

You may remember when someone lifted your spirits, and you felt good about yourself. And you may remember when some put you down, and you felt like a nothing inside. So others have the power to validate positive and negative, and you go through the ups and downs of how others make you feel.

Most of us get some positive validation from others, but there are those who live their whole life with a self-image of nothingness. When I worked in the jail, I counseled the homeless mentally ill. Sometimes I told them I saw their bright mind and good heart, and they could do something with their life. Their reaction was always the same. They’d pause, overwhelmed with tears, and say, “Nobody ever said that to me…nobody.” Then they’d wipe their tears on their shirt sleeve and smile. Validation gave them some meaning in their empty life.

We need to let each other know we’re important and appreciated, but in order to gain dominion over our own feelings, we need to learn self-validation from within. What would it be like if you validated yourself, and didn’t need it from anyone else? You would have dominion over your feelings, and it would prevent opinions by others from invalidating you. And you’d be free.

“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.”  ~Steve Marboli

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Self-validation – is a life-long process, and our experiences teach us what we need to know about ourselves. We become less critical; we gain more understanding and tolerance of our total self, and we free ourselves to be who we truly are. We don’t create a new person. We simply allow our true authentic ‘Self’ to emerge.

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So how do you learn self-validation with the strength to maintain it?

1.  Assume the role of an observer, and think about how you really feel about you. Sad, wounded, pretty good, could be better, disappointed, etc. No judgment. Just observe and let it be.


2.  You don’t have to like every feeling you have, but you do need to own all of your feelings. They’re yours. They belong to you. And you can do whatever you want with them. Throw them in the trash, hang them on the wall, get a refund. Notice when you’re feeling judgmental, and decide you’re done with that feeling. Take judgment and criticism out of your life forever.

3.  Identify and list what you consider positive and negative about you. Decide what you want to keep and what you want to release.

An Example:  I interrupt people when they’re talking. I can release that one.
I let dishes pile up in the sink. It’s okay to do that. (Smile) etc.

4.  Start being kind to you, and know you deserve it. Give yourself what you missed as a child; begin giving yourself what you seek from others; when you feel unhappy or stressed, ask what you need, and when possible provide it for yourself; watch for success and praise yourself.

5.  Accept mistakes and shortcomings as part of your learning process, and every day, look in the mirror and say, “This is me, warts and all. And I’m absolutely amazing.”

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As you move along, practice relating less to your human self and more to your Higher Self, that part that transcends human pain and knows the truth of who you are. Take back your dominion over how you feel, and let that higher Self-shine with love and peace in your heart. You are beautiful.

May you always be true to your special Self.  ✔💕✨✨💕

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Recovery News: ‘Transformations Treatment Center’ Has a Very Big Announcement and Comes From Lyle Fried. Just For Our HEROES…

Recovery News: ‘Transformations Treatment Center’ Has a Very Big Announcement and Comes From Lyle Fried. Just For Our HEROES…

Most know I advocate about addicted and problem gambling. However, I’ve educated myself about other addictions so I may network and support many who advocate and treat addictions. We can do so much more for those who suffer together within unity to save even more lives. Addiction does not discriminate. It “touches all walks of life including our Vets, Active Military, Police and Firemen, even EMT’s and many more.

And? We all know that addictions and the “cycle” are the same from one addiction type to the next.

So when exciting news from a friend shared in his newsletter about a New Program being offered and as I am about share, my friend Mr. Lyle Fried who I met when he worked at “The Shores” but is now at the amazing “Transformations Treatment Center ~ Hope 4 Our Heroes” located in Delray Beach, FL. I just HAD TO SHARE IT! They treat substance abuse and Mental Health. That is important to me as I am dually-diagnosed.

Another buddy of mine also works with Lyle at Transformations that I got to finally meet this past April 2019 at Arizona’s State Capitol & Speaking Event for “The Ride Around America 4 Addiction Awareness” of Big Jim Downs.

Of course, I am talking about Mr. Randy Grimes! He is a former NFL Pro of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we’ve been friends a long time but never met in person. He and his beautiful wife Lydia came too! Best Day and Speaking Event I had spoken at EVER! Lol.

Ok, ok, let me get back to Lyle and the Big Announcement About Transformations!

Help For Our Heroes

We are excited to formally announce the new branding of our veterans and first responders program here at Transformations Treatment Center and wanted to share with you a little bit about how this came to be. Program founder, Carlos Farina, enlisted the help of some of his clients to come up with a name that truly represented the heart of the program. What our clients came up with, in our opinion, hit the nail on the head – the Help For Our Heroes Program.

Now we just needed a logo. One night, Carlos must’ve been so excited about the new branding that he couldn’t sleep, so he decided to sketch some ideas of what he thought the logo should look like. What he came up with was great, we just needed to refine it a bit and we ended up with what we feel is an all-encompassing representation of the program Carlos built.

New Website and Social Media

Along with a new name, the Help For Our Heroes Program will also have its own website as well as its own Facebook page, which are now both live and ready for all of you to visit. We are so grateful to have been able to create these unique pages for a program that has helped hundreds of our veterans and first responders and we are so excited to share them with all of you.
Help For Our Heroes – Website
Help For Our Heroes – Facebook Page
Check out our new brochure!

Click here to download

If you would like to schedule a tour or receive any of our printed materials, feel free to reach out to me.
MAKE SURE YOU VISIT THEM https://helpforourheroes.com/

And If You Know a First Responder, Military, Policemen Friends you may know who may be Suffering in SILENCE? Please Share the link above with them or their family!

Many Thanks to Lyle for permission to share these Vital Services with all my Recovery Blog Friends and Visitors!!

Advocate/Author,
Catherine Lyon

Lyle Fried, CAP, ICADC
Client Services Representative
Transformations Treatment Center
Phone: (888) 919-2619
Cell: (772) 332-8711
LyleF@transformationstreatment.com
www.transformationstreatment.center

****The Help For Our Heroes Program
is part of a comprehensive treatment curriculum offered at Transformations Treatment Center. Transformations are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) and accredited by The Joint Commission as well as the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Learn more about our accreditations. 

Here is a little more about the New Services 4 Our Heroes:

This program is specifically designed for military veterans, police officers, corrections officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency personnel to help them cope with the problems incurred by job stress and chemical dependency.
This program is led by a military veteran and former first responder who is also a Masters Level therapist. He designed this program to help our veterans and first responders overcome the underlying issues that lead to addiction.

These brave men and women are subject to a level of physical, emotional, and mental stress unlike anyone else. As their jobs have become even more demanding, stress levels have increased to the point where they experience some of the country’s highest rates of substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Our program has successfully treated hundreds of veterans and first responders nationwide, setting them on the path to a healthy, sober life.

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Help For Our Heroes

May Was Mental Awareness Month. One Last Guest Post and Share By Tony Roberts. No Needs To Suffer Alone.

May Was Mental Awareness Month. One Last Guest Post and Share By Tony Roberts. No Needs To Suffer Alone.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NEEDS TO BE ALL YEAR

Mental Illness on The Streets
By Tony Roberts
Of
“Delight In Disorder Blog”

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Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  (Matthew 8:20)

 

Jesus understood what it is like to be without a home.  Yes, he was a Rabbi supported by the financial contributions of his followers, but he was also a wandering soul at the mercy of the hospitality or rejection of strangers. Masses moved from jubilant shouts of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!!” to vehement cries, “Crucify him!” From a divine perspective, the homelessness of Christ was part of his mission. But this certainly didn’t lessen his human suffering.

Jesus teaches us that if we want to follow him, we too will take up crosses such as he did. This has meant many things for Christians throughout the ages —  from verbal harassment to capital punishment, and everything in between. The Apostle Paul and his companions certainly knew sacrificial hardship. He writes:

 

To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.  (1 Corinthians 4.11)

 

Homelessness? Jesus gets it. Paul gets it. But does this offer any hope to any of the 150 million people in the world who are homeless today?

The first step to shining the light of Gospel hope is to better grasp the darkness. What causes a person to become homeless?  Marjorie Baldwin suggests it can be many things:

 

What is the underlying problem? There are numerous factors that may lead to homelessness (e.g. domestic violencesubstance abuse, unemployment), but one of the most important is untreated mental illness. Estimates suggest that, nationwide, one-third of homeless persons have a serious mental illness (SMI). In some places, the proportion of mentally ill among the homeless is even greater: 70% in Roanoke, Virginia (2007) and 67% in Colorado Springs (2009). [Torrey 2014; TAC 2015] Most homeless people with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment; many do not even know they are ill. (“Homeless, Mentally Ill, and Neglected”).

 

The vast number of homeless persons in the U.S. who have a mental illness is a travesty, an indictment on a nation who fooled itself into believing that the best way to treat brain-sick patients was to dope them up with psychotropics, kick them out of advanced hospitals and expect community-based homes to magically appear which would offer expert care medical, psychological, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and relational such that healing might happen.

It hasn’t.

That is the darkness. So where is the ray of hope? I’d like to shine three points of light.

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1.  Food 4 Souls is shining a light in the midst of homeless camps in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their vision is:

 

We exist to go out and serve our homeless community with unconditional love and acceptance by providing Hope in ChristMeeting Daily Needs andAligning Resources to those who are ready to move into a life beyond homelessness.

 

Community Relations Director Dawn Adams shared a story on an episode of the podcast Revealing Voices about “L.A.” she met sequestered at a far-end of one of the homeless camps. She called out for him, but he wouldn’t budge. She told him she would leave a meal and be back the following week.

The next week, she returned. Same thing. Call out. No response. Leave meal. Promise to be back.

This went on for some time. L.A. finally came out to meet her. He was still reserved but opened up more each week. Dawn came week after week. Month after month. Year after year. She said in time L.A. revealed estrangement, emotional wounds, spiritual scars. Dawn stressed that she is not a mental health expert, but she saw that L.A. got the help he needed. Dawn offered L.A. something beyond what his essential care providers could. She became his friend.

We asked if Dawn still sees L.A.. She smiled and answered yes. But not on the streets. He has an apartment of his own now. They meet for coffee at Starbucks.

 

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.  (Matthew 25:40)

 

2. Mental Illness Policy.org offers “unbiased information for policymakers and media.” In an age of relative truth and fake news, this is a very bold claim. Founder D.J. Jaffe provides here a vast clearinghouse of resources on mental illness past, present, and future. An advocate since 1980, it seems he has yet to lose any passion for drawing attention to the needs of those who are too often overlooked.

Jaffe’s articles and recommendations have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review, Forbes. He has appeared on national news broadcasts explaining issues surrounding mental illness and violence. Federal, state and local policymakers have solicited and relied on his scholarship. He is widely credited as the primary mover behind Kendra’s Law, New York state legislation that allows judges to mandate treatment for people with serious mental illness and a history of violence.

Jaffe is the author of Insane Consequences: How The Mental Health Industry Fails The Mentally Ill (Prometheus Books, 2017).

The thing I admire most about Jaffe and the reason I support Mental Illness.org is that he refuses to accept conventional myths that those of us with mental illness always know and can accomplish what is best for us. Hard experiential evidence and emerging scientific discoveries demonstrate that we are often our own worst enemies. Our minds betray us. We need rational laws and reasonable resources that protect us and others from our illness.

 

3.  Kennedy-Krieger Institute has a mission:

 

“To transform the lives of children with disorders of the brain through groundbreaking research, innovative treatments, and life-changing education.”

 

And their vision is:

 

“Discoveries of how the brain develops and functions are occurring at an accelerating pace. The Kennedy Krieger Institute leads the way in translating these scientific advances into new therapies and educational interventions, while providing an inspirational environment for training tomorrow’s leaders in the field. These successes benefit millions of children and families around the world.”

 

The reason I’m highlighting Kennedy-Krieger is simple. His name is Jacob.

Jacob was born with Down syndrome. Like many persons with this unique genetic profile, Jacob brought joy into the world and shared delight with everyone he met. He was the life of the party.

I say was because when he hit puberty, he collapsed. Literally. He went into a comatose-like state where all he would do is lie on the ground. He only got up to eat and void. His parents, Don and Joyce, were advised to take him to Kennedy-Krieger at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. There they met Dr. George Capone who, by his own admission, guessed what was going on.

Dr. Capone had heard of a study from the University of Missouri of 12 similar cases. They had gained approval for and administered experimental treatment. Out of the 12; five got better, five stayed the same, and three regressed.

Don asked Dr. Capone if he recommended the treatment and if so, could he provide it. Dr. Capone said he could not.  Don told me there was something calculated in his facial expression when he said, “I can not.” What did he mean? Don wondered.  I don’t recommend it? It’s not my specialty? Maybe even, Kennedy-Krieger has yet to approve it?

At any rate, it didn’t happen. Jacob would endure another 5 years of a state of catatonia where he seemed to be living in another world.

But that’s not the end of the story. Research on the treatment expanded, much conducted by Kennedy-Krieger and similar institutions. Many successes were reported, some dramatic. The treatment went from becoming experimental to being recommended. Even by Dr. Capone. Don and Joyce decided to give it a shot.

Jacob is now 18. His teachers say he is making amazing progress. His principal, who has known Jacob since kindergarten, says glimpses of his exuberant joy are back. Jacob is ready to launch into the world and share his delight with others.

 

Homelessness is not so much about a lack of housing as it is a lack of mental health care. We combat homeless when we become friends fight for better laws and support research for a cure.

Let’s Chat Recovery Lifestyle! Do You Just Live IN Recovery? Or Live an Amazing Life While Maintaining Recovery?

Let’s Chat Recovery Lifestyle! Do You Just Live IN Recovery? Or Live an Amazing Life While Maintaining Recovery?

Welcome Recovery Warriors, Supporters, and New Visitors,

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Now that summer is almost here; many get outdoors, plan vacations, and LIVE LIFE. So, how do you still put your gambling recovery first?

See, there was a time I could never do that. What I mean is, when I was still active in my gambling addiction, it seemed even in the summer or vacation time, it always had to have some form of “gambling venue” or option attached or nearby. How sick is that? It made me begin to think? How do others maintaining recovery from gambling put their recovery first and a balanced healthy Lifestyle?

I felt and have seen my own recovery go through phases as we begin to live life again while keeping mindful of our recovery journey. We don’t “LIVE IN Recovery; we “LIVE LIFE while maintaining it” …I hear too many people who only work 12-Step recovery programs, (no offense) that they only have friends within the 12-step program and leave all other friends behind or only do the 12-Step program activities. That, to me, is not living a well-balanced lifestyle or recovery.

And Those slogans? They never made any sense to me? “Meeting Make It!” No, they don’t. You need to do the work maintaining recovery and a whole lot more. Only attending meetings is NOT going to keep you Bet Free, Clean, and Sober. A few years back, I came across a fantastic article written about these topics and concerns that kind of made my points and made a lot of sense to me then!

I began to put my recovery first and learning to have a balanced lifestyle after reading this article at “The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation” Lifestyle Article.

Here are a few areas I’d like to ‘Share and Highlight’ as they are essential while we continue our life-long maintenance of recovery while living a beautiful lifestyle!

Some From Hazelden Article:

“For many addicts of all addictions, our lifestyle blocks our recovery. It is easy to see the problem when we have a terrible lifestyle: living with an abusive partner, hanging out with drug-dealing and drug-seeking friends, or going to bars or casinos to gamble with old friends or to prove that we can have a soft drink among all that alcohol.

Counselors and sponsors tell us that we must leave behind all negative influences to make recovery our highest priority and make Recovery First. But that doesn’t mean all your family, friends, job, and more. Yes, healing and mindful recovery have to come in first place, and yes, ahead of wife, kids, job, and other relationships that we treasure. Part of this decision is practical. If we put recovery in second (or lower) place, we will eventually lose our recovery, as well as whatever it was we put in the first place. ”

“There is also another way that lifestyle can interfere with recovery. Our mistake is taking a good, attractive lifestyle and recovery making it the center of our lives. We require our treatment and recovery goals to “fit into” our lifestyle, and not disrupt it.

“The more attractive our lifestyle, the more likely we are to COMPROMISE our recovery in search of a pleasant and comfortable way of life. Yes, it is a fine line and how complacency can sneak in. If our lifestyle is healthy, comfortable and well-rounded, we take that as a “given” fact of life and then try to accommodate our recovery without disrupting all that’s pleasurable about life” …

“In treatment, this shows up as an unwillingness to spend more than 28 days working on our recovery full time. Patients frequently say they’d love to have additional time here, but something about the home or workplace demands the highest priority instead. Many professionals feel, such as doctors and lawyers, say that they must return to their professional practice right away. Managers and directors swear that their companies could not live without them, and so the patients must get right back to work. Mistake.”

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Having FUN At A Speaking Event 4 Big Jim’s Ride, Phoenix, AZ!

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Look, I love many things in the “real world,” but what have I learned in my time of 12+yrs maintaining my recovery while living a life? “That I love the world of spirituality, sobriety, and being BET-FREE more.” It is no different than having a medical ailment or being a diabetic, as you learn to manage it as you continue living your life. But remember there is a period in early treatment and recovery that needs to be first in order to learn a healthy lifestyle while maintaining recovery.

And why I always suggest to my sponsees or friends who are “stuck and cannot move forward” to maybe work with a recovery life coach or if you are early into treatment and your recovery? Talk about it with your treatment counselor or therapist about “Lifestyle Balance,” so you can be on the right track living live the way it should be, balanced, healthy, FUN and active!

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ME, Hubby, and Mr. Randy Grimes, former NFL Pro in Purple and Dear Friend!

Childhood Abuse and Trauma Happens. It Happened To Me and It Is My Roots To Addiction … Special Guest Article.

Childhood Abuse and Trauma Happens. It Happened To Me and It Is My Roots To Addiction … Special Guest Article.

Baking Cookies; Confronting Abuse ~ by Amanda Ladwig…
{first published on October 2, 2018} ~ Delight In Disorder
Courtesy of  “Tony Roberts Blog”

 

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One of the many amazing things about truly working through childhood sexual abuse is the act of taking every single thought, and terrible memory captive and watching Christ redeem them. Facing them. Feeling them. Without making excuses. Without placing or taking the blame. The abuse and abuser no longer linger in the darkest parts of your mind controlling or tainting the memories you have.

They are front and center. Begging to be defeated. Every day, and sometimes minute-by-minute, there are battles fought to reclaim simple things, innocent objects, smells, and sounds. Things that may seem trivial to others represent a great victory. That being said, today I fought a battle and won. Today, I reclaimed what should have been a pleasant childhood memory. Today, I ate an Italian wedding cookie and enjoyed it. That won’t mean much to you, but to me, it is a significant victory.

As a little girl, trips to my aunt’s house happened only a couple of times per year. She always prepared special things to eat for our visits. However, we didn’t get to eat until I had spent some time with her brother. It was only then, after being a good girl and “spending time with my boyfriend,” as he referred to himself, that I would have access to my favorite cookies.  It didn’t take long before those cookies became like poison. For the mere smell of almond or amaretto to make me physically ill.

However, after 30 years of hiding all of the sordid details of my childhood. I believe the Holy Spirit, moving, convinced me it was time. Time to bury old demons and the only way I could do that was to reclaim the territory my enemy had taken so many years ago. Cookies.

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My daughter and I baked them together. The house filled with the very familiar and slightly terrifying scent. As I paused before taking a bite, I reminded myself of where I was and the person I was with. I watched my daughter dance around singing about how good it was. I took in that very moment, and I took a bite.

It was wonderful. Not only did it taste good, but I felt strong. As if I was declaring to my abuser “No!  You may not have these cookies!  You defiled my innocence, but you may not steal my ability to enjoy a cookie!” My life is full of moments like that. Every day there is a battle fought and sometimes won. They often go unnoticed by the people closest to me. However, they are mighty victories.

My children will never know that this was an important day for me. That there was a time I considered Italian wedding cookies toxic and terrifying.  They will always enjoy the smell and taste, and hopefully, it will stir wonderful memories.

There are often things we carry from our childhood that restrain our ability to enjoy simple things. It destroys our ability to accept and receive the good things God intended for us to have. Love and intimacy are one of those things. Just as the smell of a particular type of cookie triggered a reaction of fear and shame, the idea of love can seem meant for destruction. Therefore, the very idea that God “loves” us terrifies us. Love to an abuse survivor often means manipulation and pain.

The first, time I heard the verse, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” my reaction was not joy or amazement. My reaction was suspicion. I wanted to know what He wanted from me. Surely, I now owed Him something, or it was a trick.

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It took me years to begin to understand that Christ chose me; He loves me not because He needs me for anything. He did not send His son to die for me in an attempt to guilt me into trusting Him or doing things for Him. He chose me and loves me because He is God. He is all sufficient.

I cannot reclaim my childhood. I still battle with depression and flashbacks. However, I can now, through Christ, reclaim how I react to things. I can choose feeling pleasure over feeling fear, and I can choose love over hate. I can choose these things because Christ has given me the power and ability. This is part of the freedom found in Christ.

Freedom to love.

Freedom to forgive.

Freedom to rejoice.

Freedom to enjoy a cookie.

Sharing My Recovery Wisdom, Hope, Experiences, and Lessons Learned While I Keep Moving Forward Maintaining Recovery. “Pass It On!”

Sharing My Recovery Wisdom, Hope, Experiences, and Lessons Learned While I Keep Moving Forward Maintaining Recovery. “Pass It On!”

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When we feel like we can not move past speed bumps in our recovery journey, how do we move forward? When do I get some loner time abstinence and then relapse? What if I’m not strong enough to NOT cave into cravings, urges, and triggers? What can I do not to RELAPSE?

All these are excellent questions and concerns we all have or face while maintaining our recovery path. Some can be quick fixes, and some may mean you have more work to do possible within your journey. See, recovery is not only a life long process, and it does come to us in phases. What do I mean by this? We all have the option to choose how we begin to gain our lives back from any addiction.

In doing so, we have choices to pick from a 12-Step Program, or faith-based program, or both together. Possibly a treatment center program along with attending church or a treatment program that comes with therapy or counseling, but, however you feel is right and comfortable for you. Next is doing the “work” that is asked of you while you begin to learn the tools and the skills that may save your life. Next is being diligent in using all the tools you learn. Not complicated. But, still, many can struggle.

Since I advocate much through social media, I see many times disagreements going on by others wanting to force how they recover and has worked for them onto others looking for help or support within recovery from addictions. Or even the never-ending battles I see play out about a 12-Step Program all by itself will work to get clean, sober, or gamble free… That is not the case, nor fair.

I feel, and this is my OWN OPINION, as long as you have the desire to stop any addiction that is making your life unmanageable? Then it should be you alone or your family and yourself to choose what works and is comfortable for you.

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Once you begin, begin to come to terms with knowing there is a lot of recovery work to do in the first few years. Learning and gaining the skills and tools needed to interrupt the “cycle” of addiction is essential and half the battle!

Being educated and informed about some of the roots and underlying issues that had you turn to addiction. Old pain or hurt from other issues like abuse, trauma, etc., all can have us looking for ways to cope and escape those feelings that are still unprocessed — then learning to overcome hurdles or those feelings of being “stuck” not knowing how to move forward maintaining your recovery.

I’ll end with a share of a post that I did on my Recovery Facebook page the other day. It was answering a group member’s concerns about her gambling addiction and having a relapse. It was how I felt after reading questions and felt I wanted to share a little of my own experience in early recovery.

Keep it Honest and Real recovery friends!
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My FB Reply:
“I enjoy belonging to many Groups here on FB and especially my #recoverygroups … I wish there were MORE #GamblingRecoveryGroups …

Because when I read that others are having a “Rough Go” or Struggles, and I read sharings of others, it Hits me HARD …

Here is what I suggested to a new friend who is recovering from OUR #Addiction…
ONE that “Requires No #Substances but is just as DEADLY and Still, such a Silent and Underground #Addiction”… *Cat*

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ANSWER To Her:
“When I read this …It took me back to my own early attempts in recovery, the days of chronic relapses. I sure relate to all you shared and half the battle?? Is that YOU are sharing, reaching out, and being honest and transparent as this #DISEASE most times don’t let you. So Kudo’s to you for DOING SO.

It is NOT YOU -Thinking, it is the disease, the habits of our diseased thinking that are telling you that you DON’T have a problem and you have your gambling controlled.

It is part of the nasty “CYCLE” of this cunning addiction. I worked with a Gambling Specialist after I came out of my 2nd treatment program. IT MADE a world of difference for me and stayed maintaining my addicted gambling recovery from that point on!

The longer you abstain and not gamble? The triggers and cravings DO go away, BUT?

This DISEASE is “Always Lying in WAIT.” (Per the late Robin Williams) …

That is why we learn and use all the tools and skills we learn and use them daily. For me, journaling and writing my Steps and Inner work as a Journal sure will help. Re-working the steps in writing form enables you to “Look Back” and see where you need help in areas and your strong points to continue a “Beautiful Life while Maintaining #Recovery.

That Is IMPORTANT …AS We don’t LIVE IN Recovery, and we maintain recovery while we LIVE LIFE!

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month and I Do Have Mental Health Challenges While Maintaining Recovery From Addiction. Many Do!

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month and I Do Have Mental Health Challenges While Maintaining Recovery From Addiction. Many Do!

It seems lately, a growing number of people who come into or maintain recovery from gambling addiction, are also struggling with Mental Health. I am one who does, even after years of maintaining recovery. It seems to become the norm. Even those with other addiction types are too, but very prevalent with addicted gambling.

I choose to stay well managed and proactive with my mental health care and take it as a serious part of my overall health. But many times, I hear or read about those who don’t or stop taking their meds or even misuse them. That can be a deadly GAME and adds up to trouble.  I came across an article from “Know The Odds”  which shares about addicted gambling, recovery, and mental health. They are out of New York area.

If you or someone you care about needs help in any area of the US, visiting “The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration” also know as SAMHSA who is U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and has loads of articles and information to get help with Mental Health and Addiction. There is NO SHAME in doing so and even if you want to be more educated about it. The more we all learn, the more we can shatter the STIGMA.   ~Catherine Lyon Advocate   

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PROBLEM GAMBLING AND MENTAL HEALTH      POSTED ON 
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

There is a strong connection between problem gambling and problems with mental health.  Understanding this connection, identifying warning signs and knowing where to get help is vital to preventing problems and getting support.

Problem Gambling in NY

Nearly 668,000 New Yorkers have experienced a gambling problem in the past year.  That is a lot of family, friends, and colleagues having trouble.  Problems from gambling can include sleep problems, relationship problems with loved ones and struggles at work.

Each person struggling with problem gambling affects 6-10 of those closest to them.  A study found that 9 out of 10 people affected by someone else’s gambling problems felt emotional distress.

This means that between the people struggling with problem gambling and the people closest to them, nearly 6.7 million New Yorkers are affected by problem gambling and may struggle with mental health issues because of it.

Problem Gambling and Mental Health

People who struggle with problem gambling are at a higher risk of struggling with other mental health disorders. out of 3 gamblers reported that their mental health suffered as a result of their gambling problems. In fact, the majority of those struggling with problem gambling have a lifetime history of mental health problems. In addition to struggling with gambling.

So they may be struggling with mental health problems such as:

  • an anxiety disorder,
  • a personality disorder,
  • a mood disorder, such as depression, and
  • suicidal thoughts and attempting suicide.

According to CEO Glenn Liebman of the Mental Health Association of New York State, “people need to understand the link between problem gambling and other mental illnesses, and the similarity between a gambling disorder and substance use disorders. This understanding is vital so that those impacted directly and indirectly by problem gambling can appreciate the necessity of treatment.

In most cases, it’s unrealistic to believe that someone suffering from these disorders can recover without help”, said Liebman. “Maintaining this belief can have devastating consequences on those who suffer and their families, including financial ruin and suicide.”

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

Any problem caused by gambling can be a warning sign of problem gambling.  This is because problem gambling refers to problems in someone’s life that are due to gambling behaviors.  There are many warning signs of problem gambling.

Some warning signs include:

  • Feeling anxious or distressed when not gambling,
  • Struggling to sleep well due to thoughts or worries about gambling,
  • Lying to friends and family about how much time or money spent while gambling,
  • Missing special family events and holidays to go gambling, and
  • Having thoughts of suicide due to problems caused by gambling.

Since there are few outward signs specific to gambling, it’s important to learn as much about the warning signs of problem gambling as possible.

Help for Problem Gambling

There is help and hope, but people may feel hopeless if they don’t know what help is available.

Here are three connections to resources for help.

  • Learn as much as possible about problem gambling.  Check out our resources page and can be found at http://knowtheodds.org/resources/. These resources include eBooks, videos, infographics, and articles. There’s something for everyone!
  • Visit SAMHSA 
  • Find local help by reaching out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center.  Anyone who calls will be met by a trained professional. This professional will offer a warm greeting, a listening ear, and a list of options for local support geared towards helping those affected by problem gambling.

Like Catherine of “Gambling Recovery Starts Here,” we plan to help share resources during the month of May to raise awareness about Mental Health Awareness Month.

To learn more, keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs, and posts on Facebook and Twitter !
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