March Is Problem Gambling Awareness So Let’s Have a GamTalk! It Is a Great Resource . . .

Those of us who maintain recovery from the cunning disease and addiction of gambling know our stories can be helpful and powerful tools to show Recovery is Possible from this illness and others are NOT ALONE. There is no shame in reaching out for help if you feel you have a gambling problem.

One place for exceptional resources and be with other “like-minded” individuals recovering or even having a struggle to maintain theirs my friends of GAMTALK!
Founded by Dr. Woods, GamTalk has great tools and resources to help you Recover.

Since March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, I wanted to share Stories of those who have shared their VOICES and Addiction/Recovery on GamTalk so everyone can know there are many out here including myself trying to stay BET Free.  That gambling caused us much pain, financial devastation, and can be a challenge to maintain recovery at times.

Unless we begin “THE CONVERSATION” about this disease, others will still stay within the STIGMA and not reach out for the HOPE and the HELP that is out here and ready to help those looking to get their LIVES BACK! I sure did and it’s time for you to as well . . .

<<<<<<

GamTalk

,,,,,


WHAT and WHO IS
GAMTALK:

Dr. Wood is the founder and manager of GAMTALK

“I have been investigating gambling problems for the last 18 years. I don’t have all the answers, but I will do my best to tell you what is currently understood. I focus on problem gambling prevention, education, treatment, responsible gaming, research, and recovery related issues. Through GAMTALK I will discuss the benefits of online support and to explain how Gamtalk helps thousands of people every year to discuss their gambling issues as part of a supportive online community.”


,,,,,,
SHARED STORIES of HOPE:

Arnie, A Long-Timer Maintaining Recovery From Gambling:

I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968.

I started gambling at about age 7 or 8 as a kid in Brooklyn, NY. It started with flipping baseball cards, pitching pennies, shooting marbles and playing pinball machines. That kind of gambling continued until about age 14. At that point, I started to bet on sporting events with a bookmaker and I got into the stock market.

As a young kid, growing up, I always felt that everyone was better than me. The only time I felt okay about myself was after I had a win, whether it was marbles or baseball cards or pennies. Then at 14, I went to the racetrack for the first time (that was Memorial Day, 1951 Roosevelt Raceway). At that time in my life, I was making $.50 an hour after school, working about 15-20 hours a week. That night at Roosevelt Raceway I had my first big win and walked out of the track with $54. Looking back today, I think it was that night that changed my life. Even though it was only $54, it was about 5 weeks salary to me at that time. That night gave me the belief that I could be a winner from gambling and eventually become a millionaire. I can still recall that high feeling walking out of the racetrack that night.

By 17, I was already stealing to support my gambling. It started with stealing comic books to play cards with from the local candy store. Before long it was stealing money from my family to pay for gambling. By then I was taking the bus to the racetrack, a few nights a week on a regular basis. In those days they closed the track in the winter months, in New York so on weekends, I would take the bus or the train to Maryland to gamble. I was betting sporting events and horses with the bookmaker on a daily basis. In those days each sport had its own season. I remember calling the bookmaker one day and the only thing that was available to gamble on was hockey. I had never seen a hockey game but bet on it anyway. It wasn’t until months later when I did see my first hockey game, that I realized that hockey was played on ice.

Somewhere between age 17 and 20 I went to the racetrack one night and won $6000. Wow! Another big win. It was the equivalent of 2 years salary. This reinforced my belief that I could be a winner at gambling.

By my early 20’s I was betting big amounts on lots of games that I didn’t really know much about and probably couldn’t name more than a handful of players who played in these events. In some of the college games I bet on, I couldn’t name one player or even tell you where the college was located, but I needed to be in action. By then I was a regular at the old Madison Square Garden, every week.

I was watching and betting on college and professional basketball on a regular basis. At this point in my life, I was working full time in a shipping department in the garment center and every Tuesday when we got paid there was a regular crap game out in the hallway. Almost every week I would lose my pay in this game. I began stealing supplies and merchandise on a daily basis to pay for my gambling. By then, I had a bank loan and a loan with a finance company loan. I was also borrowing from coworkers.

At 21 I met my future wife. Our first date was to the movies and most of the rest of our dating was at the racetrack. We had a joint checking account saving for our wedding. She would put money in and I wouldn’t. I needed to use my money for gambling. I was still looking for another big win. I thought the perfect place for our honeymoon would be Las Vegas or Puerto Rico since I knew both places had casinos. My wife to be didn’t think that was a good idea.

I guess she understood enough about my gambling already. At 23 we got married and I wanted to stop gambling at that point. I thought that I could. Within a short time, I was already back to gambling. Even though I wanted to stop, I realize today that I couldn’t. I needed to gamble like any drug addict needed to stick that needle in their arm, or any alcoholic needed to have that drink.

Four weeks after we got married I went away to the Army Reserves at Fort Dix, NJ for 6 months. During those 6 months, I gambled every day, fast and furious, from placing bets by phone with the bookmaker to shooting crap and playing cards, every waking minute. When I came home in December of 1961, I owed $4000 and didn’t even have a job.

I got a job, eventually, working in the garment center In the showroom that I worked in there were a few compulsive gamblers who I quickly got friendly with. They became my buddies. We would play cards during the day and go to the racetrack at night and on weekends, together. My wife thought I was at business meetings some of these nights and all of us would lie for each other.

In 1963 my first daughter was born. My wife was in labor for 37 hours. During that period I went to the racetrack twice. When the Doctor finally came out and told me that we had a baby, the only question I really was concerned about was “how much did she weigh”. He told me 7lbs.1 oz. You would think that the concern should have been “how is my wife” or “how is the baby”. The first call I made was to the bookmaker. I bet 71 in the daily double. The next day when I picked up the newspaper, the daily double hit. I was convinced that day that God was sending me a message that I was now going to be a winner.

One year later my boss gave me an option to buy 500 shares of stock in the company for $7500. Within a year that stock was worth $38,000. In those days you could buy a car for $2000 and a house for about $10,000. Within 3 years this money would be gone due to my gambling. By now I was a plant supervisor for a Fortune 500 company. My gambling was already so out of control that I was stealing everything I could to stay in action. I set up a room in the factory that we used for playing cards (all day long). I was starting to do illegal acts (manipulating stocks) in the stock market.

Our home life was deteriorating. Gambling was more important than anything else that was going on at home. I was lying about almost everything and I would come home and pick a fight so I could go out to gamble. Nothing else at that point in my life was more important than gambling; not my family or my job. Gambling came first. At this point even though I was doing illegal acts, I was still borrowing money from only legal sources.

My gambling continued to get progressively worse. I was now a plant manager, supervising 300-400 people. My boss worked in New York, and I was in a factory in New Jersey. Most of the time he didn’t know what I was doing. Besides stealing and borrowing money from coworkers, I now had 3 bank loans and 3 loans to finance companies; I owed a loan shark an amount of money equal to one year’s salary. I was involved with 3 bookmakers, both working for them and betting with them. I directed a lot of people who gambled in my company, to my bookmaker and got a piece of the action.

I even got involved in a numbers operation. Between this and stealing, I was supporting my gambling. There were times I would bet 40 or 50 games on a weekend, and believe I could win them all. One weekend, just before I hit my bottom, I called a bookmaker and took a shot by betting a round robin which amounted to about 2 years annual salary. At that moment if I lost that bet, there was no way I could pay it. Things were getting so bad, I remember calling a bookmaker one day and being told that if I didn’t bring him the money I owed him he would not take my bet for that night. I went home and sold our car to a neighbor.

By now, I wasn’t going home to pick a fight with my wife. I was doing it over the phone so I wouldn’t waste the trip home. Most of the time I was out gambling, but when I was home we were constantly fighting. We had sex very rarely. When I won I was so high I didn’t need it and if I lost I didn’t want it. But there were times we had sex and my wife would say to me “do you hear a radio”. Of course, I would tell her she was crazy, but I had a radio on under the pillow so I could listen to a game. We were trying to have another child, but couldn’t. My wife came to me with the idea of adoption. I didn’t like that idea especially when I was told it would cost money. I needed that money for gambling.

After 3 months of her bothering me, I finally went along with the idea of adoption, as I thought she would be so busy with the 2 kids that she would leave me alone. I borrowed the money we needed from my boss and relatives. On the day we were bringing our son home on a plane, it was the 7th game of the 1967 World Series. My wife was busy looking at this beautiful new baby. I had no interest in him. I had a large bet on the game. The pilot was announcing the score every 15 minutes, or so. I was so upset that we were on this plane. I wished and prayed that the plane would get to the ground so that I could see or hear every minute of this game.

In the next few months, the bottom fell out of my world even though I still had my job and still looked okay. There were no track marks on my arm, I wasn’t smelling from my gambling. No one could really tell what was going on. I would come home from gambling and see my wife crying all the time, depressed, sick. Our daughter was 4 years old and I don’t remember her walking or talking. I either wasn’t home or when I was my head was consumed with the gambling. At that point in my life, I owed 32 people, 3 years annual salary. I had a life insurance policy and constantly thought about killing myself and leaving my wife and 2 kids that money.

I would do anything to keep gambling. As long as I could get my hands on some more money to stay in action, I still thought that the big win was just around the corner. I was trying to find out where I could get drugs to sell and looking around at gas stations to rob. I was asking people about making counterfeit money. I was running out of options. My boss came to me one day and told me that a detective was following me and he had a report on my gambling. He knew I was betting more money than I earned and he was sure that I was stealing from the company and that if he found out he would have me arrested.

Three hours later I was stealing from the company again. I needed to go to the racetrack that night. On February 2, 1968, my wife was having a miscarriage and I was taking her to the hospital. I was wishing and praying all the way that she would die. I thought that would solve all my problems (I wouldn’t have to tell her how bad things were). That morning I called my mother to watch my kids, I called my boss and told him I couldn’t come to work because my wife was in the hospital.

That afternoon I went to the racetrack. After the track, I went to see how my wife was. When I got to the hospital the doctor told me that my wife was in shock and had almost died. I was so deep into my addiction that I really didn’t care about her, the 2 kids or myself. The only important thing was making a bet.

“I thought that I was the only one living the way I was living and doing the things that I was doing.”

I found out that I was not alone and that I could stop gambling with the help of other people. I had hope for the first time. It’s been almost 38 years since I last gambled. Today I have everything I dreamed about getting from gambling and then some.

I have a wonderful family that is still intact and even have been blessed with 4 grandchildren who I love very much. In the last 20 years, I have been able to devote my working life to helping others who have this problem and educating people on the disease of Compulsive Gambling. This has been a dream come true.
~Arnie

,,,,,,,,

GamTalk
,,,,,,

Please give GAMTALK a visit and read more Stories of Hope and know you are not alone and we can recover from the cunning disease of Gambling and recovery is Possible and it WORKS.

~Catherine

,,,,,

 

Advertisements

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.

….

Loved One Depression 2
>>>>

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.

….

No photo description available.

Special Article Share 4 Having a Happy Recovery Valentine’s Day By “Know The Odds” …Great Resource Site!

HAPPY VALENTINES FRIENDS! CAT

….

CONTINUING RECOVERY ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day is here! So how about using this holiday to bring the family together while continuing to recover from the effects of problem gambling.  In this article, you’ll find some ways to bring fresh ideas and rebuild relationships shared with a loved one in recovery from problem gambling.

Problem Gambling And Family

The effects of problem gambling can span to affect every significant relationship in the life of the gambler.  The people closest to the one struggling with problem gambling are affected the most.  The people closest tend to be parents, spouses, and children.  Although people struggling with problem gambling usually have the best intentions while gambling, the damage can feel overwhelming.

Relationships can be repaired.  Recovery is possible.  Therefore, change is possible, and, with the right help, the partnership can come out stronger on the other side.

Focusing On Family

Holidays and anniversaries are important to keep the family’s connection strong.  These special days give reason to stop the regularities of routine and the hustle and bustle of life.  They offer devoted time to stop and connect with those who are important.  Valentine’s Day is one of those days.

Many people laugh at holidays like Valentine’s Day, but, as silly as it may be, it is a day to devote time to loved ones.  What can be more important than that?

For families recovering from the consequences of a loved one’s struggle with problem gambling, Valentine’s Day can be seen as a great day to focus on the love of family.  Therefore, it’s a day to remember why rebuilding relationships are so important, and a way to regain strength to continue on the family’s path to recovery from problem gambling.

Family Focused Fun

Many people try to go and buy things to bring joy to loved ones.  Flowers, stuffed animals, and colorful cards are great ways to put a smile on a person’s face, but there are other ways. Here are a few ways to spend time focusing on family.

Board game night can be a great way to bring some fun to the family.  Choosing games that are relaxing, but fun for the whole family can be an exciting way to reconnect with everyone.  Some games can include Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry or Scategories. All these are examples of fun games to play together with the family.  Make sure to choose games that won’t act as triggers for the loved one in recovery for problem gambling and focus on having fun together.

Family outing together can be a great way to have fun.  There are many family outings that don’t need to cost much or any money.  Simple ideas like going for a hike or bike ride together, visiting a local museum or library together, or participating in a night of bowling are all ways to enjoy low-cost or free activities together.  Not only are family outings are great ways to step out of the home, but also great ways to create new memories together.

Volunteering is a great way to get the family together.
There are so many ways to give back to the community or volunteer.  You could help a neighbor with their yard, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or spend time at a senior center.  Whatever you choose, giving back will bring up the spirits of the family.  Volunteering together is a great way to rebuild the family while improving the well-being of the community.

Helpful Resources

Finally, wherever you and your family are on the path to recovery from problem gambling, support is always available.  Please reach out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center by visiting New York Problem Gambling-Help or The National Council on Problem Gambling… 

One Amazing Resource Is My Friends “Know The Odds” Who Raise Awareness and Share Resources Like I Do For Problem Gambling and Addiction.

PROBLEM GAMBLING AFTER THE BIG GAME POSTED ON 

The Big Game is behind us.  As a loved one to someone struggling with problem gambling, how do you feel?  How has your family been affected by gambling during this time of year? This game may have intensified the negative consequences of a loved one’s gambling.   There are things you can do to reduce the effects felt from gambling after the big game.

The Big Game Can Be A Trigger

From the end of January up until the big game, the media covered the upcoming game, the players, and facts about the stadium where the game was played.  There was so much media specific to the game on news outlets, in articles, and advertisements.  People struggling with problem gambling may feel inundated with chatter about the big game.

….
They may have felt triggered to make a bet, increase their current betting, or get involved in additional gambling activities like daily fantasy sports.  Now, after the game, the media will continue talking about what happened.  For anyone negatively affected by problem gambling, this game may feel endless.

Consequences of Problem Gambling

As a loved one of someone struggling with problem gambling, you may notice some increasing consequences from gambling.

  • Preoccupation with the outcome of the game. This could result in being absentminded and forgetful about important daily routines or upcoming events with loved ones.  This could also be due to anger about losses and looking to win money back.
  • Tension in relationships. This could result in an increase in isolation and avoidance by the person struggling with problem gambling.
  • Irritability. People may be struggling with healthy habits, such as regular sleep, healthy eating choices, and regular exercise causing an increase in irritability.

Take Action to Reduce the Effects

  1. Focus on mutual non-gambling hobbies and interests. Spend more time on things that are not gambling related.  This can help subside some of the after-effects from the big game.  Focus on things that aren’t related to the game and avoid questions about it. Whether or not the person struggling is in recovery for problem gambling or not, a focus on loved ones can help everyone repair relationships, together.
  2. Learn more about problem gambling.  Whether you’re reading eBooks on problem gambling, watching educational videos, or finding articles online, knowledge is power.  Learn all you can about problem gambling, warning signs and possible consequences so you can support your loved ones, including the one struggling.
    ..
  3. Know that it’s okay if you need help and that you are not alone. Help is available because people want to support people and families struggling with problem gambling.  If you’re unsure where to start on your search for help, the answer is your local Problem Gambling Resource Center.  Whether you’re just looking for information or need to make an appointment to talk to someone, your local Problem Gambling Resource Center staff can help.


Please Visit my friends from Know The ODDS   A Not-for-Profit Org. dedicated to increasing public awareness about problem and disordered gambling. You can Connect with them too on Twitter and where we met! And on their Official Facebook Page …

……

49338799_2069865886638390_6286845704795062272_n

It Is OK and Nothing Is Wrong With YOU If a 12-Step Program Does Not Work For You. It’s Why We Have “Choices Of What Works For Us.”

It Is OK and Nothing Is Wrong With YOU If a 12-Step Program Does Not Work For You. It’s Why We Have “Choices Of What Works For Us.”

“Now, we all know there is nothing wrong with you if for some reason a 12-Step program or meetings are just not enough to help you recover from any ADDICTION of say, Gambling, Alcohol, Drugs, Porn, any addictions. And there has been a lot of “Debate” about this for a long time by many groups and die-hard 12-steppers in my 12-years of maintaining recovery and I been to many AA and GA, Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

Especially when I had a negative experience a few times in a GA meeting where a few long-timers got in an actual “Shouting Match” in front of attendees, as some just happen to be newcomers! Very wrong to DO and THAT was not following the by-laws of how a 12-step meeting should be … So when I came across this new article in one of my favorite Recovery Magazines called The Fix and this  article about “There is nothing wrong with YOU if AA, and I’ll include NA and GA, 12-step program doesn’t WORK for you.”

Look, it’s OK to choose the recovery path YOU WANT and WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. And even though I had a BAD experience with my Gamblers Anonymous meeting? I still went back and used it as a form of SUPPORT and to be like-minded recovering gamblers, BUT? Knew it wasn’t going to BE the only help and treatment option I needed for my addictions to gambling and alcohol abuse. Here is what The Fix Article says about a 12-step program and if it works or not works for you …  ~Catherine Lyon

>>>>>>

There is hope

…….

There’s Nothing Wrong With You If AA Doesn’t Work

By Olivia Pennelle 02/03/19

“It isn’t that you’re incapable of being honest with yourself, or that you’re not working a “program” well enough. You are not too broken, or too far gone.”

….
I spoke to a friend, Damien, last week. He was devastated at losing someone close to him to alcohol use disorder. What is particularly harrowing about this person’s passing is that it might have been prevented. Damien’s friend was repeatedly pushed toward Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), even though it clearly wasn’t the right fit for him. Just like many others, instead of being supported by peers and professionals and given alternative options, this friend was left feeling that the problem was him.

“It’s really frustrating to see friends die because the default treatment option doesn’t work for them,” Damien says. “We are losing far too many people with substance use disorder who find 12-step incompatible with their life experiences and belief systems.”

He goes on to say, “It’s not because they aren’t willing. It’s not because they can’t ‘get it.’ It’s because, for many people, treating addiction requires more than hope, spirituality, and fellowship. And yet, the only option most are presented with is founded on those three pillars. If the recommended treatment for bacterial infections had the same success rate as the 12 steps, then antibiotics would not be our go-to treatment plan for staph infections.”

My overarching message is: There is nothing wrong with you if AA doesn’t work. It isn’t that you’re incapable of being honest with yourself, or that you’re not working a “program” well enough. You are not too broken, or too far gone. You simply haven’t found the right pathway for you.

These kinds of beliefs stem from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, which states: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” [emphasis added]

During my five years of attending countless AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, I have heard many members criticize those who come in and out of the rooms but return to using in between, categorizing them as unwilling, or incapable of being honest.“They just need to surrender to the program and work it like their life depends on it,” was the kind of statement I heard over and over again.

I threw myself into the program because there were no other options for me in the northwest of England. I was so desperate to find something that would help me that I believed anything members said, even if there was no evidence to back it up.

I did a fair amount of perpetuating these myths too. I was instructed to ignore my instincts and critical mind (because that was my “disease talking”), and do what I was told. Giving away my free will to a person in the sky or a church basement seemed weird, but I went with it for several years. After all, it had worked for many other members.

With a period of sobriety under my belt, I couldn’t ignore my inner doubts any longer. They became louder. It was as though, even after years in recovery, I suddenly woke up. And I started to slowly unpack all the myths I’d been told.

REVIVE DETOX  – Shares: 

“I think you’ll agree with us when we say:

Times have changed and not all addiction cases should be treated the same way.

Traditional 12 Step Programs are based on a relationship with a higher power, an external higher power.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), “Medications should be combined with behavioral counseling for a “whole patient” approach, known as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).” and is an effective treatment for addiction.

Personality, personal values, history, underlying conditions, and other factors dictate what type of recovery program works best for an individual.

We empower clients to invest in their own recovery which aids each individual in taking responsibility for their behaviors and breeds self-reliance.”

….
Image result for free images quotes about Non 12-step choices are ok to choose

……

In particular, I tried to unpack “it works if you work it.” There is substantial evidence that shows there’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to recovery. If this program were suitable for everyone with substance use disorders, its success rate would be much higher. The fact is that success rates of 12-step programs vary wildly, from as low as 5 to 8 percent, with dropout rates from 69 to 86 percent … to as high as 42 percent after four years.

I should point out that these dropout rates are a reflection of the attrition rates of addiction treatment generally. This underscores the point that the way we treat addiction isn’t appropriate for everyone and we need to get better at personalizing care based on individual circumstances.

When I moved to the U.S., it was like my world opened up. I saw that despite what I’d been told in AA — that it was the only method for successful recovery — there was actually an open landscape of diverse recovery pathways.

A leading study shows that tens of millions of Americans have successfully resolved an alcohol or drug problem through a variety of traditional and nontraditional methods. That means:

  • 9 percent recovered with “assisted pathway use” that consisted of mutual-aid groups (45.1 percent), treatment (27.6 percent), and emerging recovery support services (21.8 percent). 95.8 percent of those who used mutual-aid groups attended 12-step mutual aid meetings.
  • Just under half of those who did not report using an assisted pathway recovered without the use of formal treatment and recovery supports.
    .

I’m aware that an ideal model of treatment, individualized based on the person’s particular medical and psychological needs, is not always available to most people. Not all of us have the luxury of therapeutic treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist. This is another reason mutual-aid groups are the most accessible form of recovery pathway — they’re free!

We’re fortunate in the U.S. to have plenty of other support groups that are not all based on religion, and some have a solid evidence-based program. They include Refuge RecoveryLifeRing Secular RecoverySMART RecoveryModeration ManagementWellbriety — among many others listed here — and they have been shown to be equally as successful as 12-step groups.

study comparing 12-step groups to alternative mutual aid groups found that LifeRing, SMART, and Women for Sobriety were just as effective as 12-step groups. Study author Dr. Sarah Zemore and her team reported that “findings for high levels of participation, satisfaction, and cohesion among members of the mutual help alternatives suggest promise for these groups in addressing addiction problems.”

Despite my reporting about AA’s success rate and some of the myths perpetuated by the fellowship, I’m not here to bash AA. I’m here to shine a light on the false statement that it is the only successful way. There are many others.

For those AA does work for, I respect your path. We just need to have a clearer picture of what recovery looks like so when someone is suffering, instead of saying they are the problem, we can be better informed to direct them to what may be a more suitable pathway.

After all, we all have the same goal: recovery.

 

 

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!

…..

Image result for images quotes about endure from addiction

….

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.

….
Pick up a copy of her amazing book too!  Cat

…..

 

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.

…..

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.

…..

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.

…..
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.

……


…..

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.

……

You are my strength, I sing praise to you;

you, God, are my fortress

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

….

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