Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

What Kind of Drug Education Is Your Child Getting at School?


When people hear the term “drug education”, they assume negative connotations. However, that is a misconception. Drug education isn’t an attempt to convince your child to do drugs, it’s the exact opposite. Drug education is not only a necessity for your child’s health and future but in most cases, drug education isn’t being taught to our children at a young enough age. And in a lot of cases, children aren’t getting any sort of drug education at school.

 

Most parents think it won’t be their kid

 

Parents tend to assume the best of their children and assume they would never dabble in drugs. And yes, parents do know their children better than a random observer would. However, parents are often willing to overlook the negative things and actions when it comes to their children. Well-meaning parents all too often conveniently don’t notice the signs of drug use, simply because they don’t want to believe that it’s a possibility. And even if your child has never used illegal substances, it’s very possible that they know someone that has.

 

“Say no to drugs” isn’t enough

 

Drug education is important for a lot of reasons. If your child is ever confronted with the decision to do drugs or is ever interested in experimenting, they need to have the education necessary to make a good decision. Education is the key to prevention. Without knowledge, your child doesn’t have the tools necessary to make a decision in that sort of situation and may make a rash decision that they won’t be happy with.


.

drug education (1)

 


Without education, horrible mistakes can be made

 

Consider synthetic drugs. Many synthetic drugs are much stronger than their traditional counterparts. If your children aren’t getting the education to know what synthetic drugs are and how much damage they can cause, they won’t have any idea what they’re getting into if they are presented with them. There have been instances of death when a teenager is offered synthetic drugs and, thinking they are something else, such as LSD, take a dose that is much too large. Education can prevent this.

 

They can handle the information

 

In middle school and high school, your child’s brain is still developing. This is the best time for them to get the drug education that they need. They need to be able to assess the risk and learn to make decisions for themselves when they are presented with the opportunity to do drugs. Your children are smart. They are able to handle the information. If we aren’t communicating with our kids and giving them that information, someone else is going to be giving them information.

With nothing to compare it to, they’ll believe the other information they are given. Don’t give them the chance to be confused, and give them the information that they need from the beginning. This isn’t to say that if you don’t make sure your child is getting a proper drug education that they are going to be out on the streets in search of cocaine. It just means that you would never want that sort of situation for your child, and educating your child is the best means of prevention.

 

Educate, instead of saying “don’t use”

 

With a lot of taboo subjects, people tend to opt for a blanket statement, disregarding any pertinent information that would be useful for decision making. If we don’t educate our children, how are they supposed to know anything? Ignorance is absolutely not bliss, and especially not in a situation like this. Ignorance and education could be a life or death difference.

.

drug education (2)

 

Educate about over-use of legal substances

 

Teaching our children about illegal drugs is incredibly important. What’s equally as important, is teaching them about the dangers of things that are legal. Alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication/opioids are all things we should be talking to our children about. Again, without education, youth don’t have any way to create well-meaning decisions about something. If you know nothing about something you nothing about how to protect yourself from it. Teach your children about the dangers of overuse of substances that are legal, as well as the dangers of using illegal substances.

######

.

~ This article was written by Aurora McCausland ~

Aurora McCausland

Aurora is a 20-something with big hair, a love for Nutella. New Mexican raised, living in Utah. Twitter addict. English and Journalism Major at U.V. Utah, with a minor in French. She’s been writing since before she can remember and a model …

Advertisements

Meet and Read The Authentic Meaning of Inner Happiness and Serenity From A Real Living Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi.

Hello, Recovery Friends & Welcome Everyone To A “Special Guest Blog Post.”

.

image3

Meet Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. He is one of the few living Zen Masters of our time. I am so pleased and honored to have him with us and wanted to share some of an amazing post he has written filled with love, light, and wisdom. His new book released along with Co-author, Clifford Stevens.

I have read it and I am using it as a guide to learn and practice his unique methods, wisdom, and guide to strengthen my own recovery path and to develop a real deeper inner peace.

We sometimes wonder while maintaining our recovery, how do we get through roadblocks and those “feel stuck” moments while doing so?

READ HIS BOOK titled “Find The Seeker!: The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness.”

 

.

Find The Seeker! on shelf
.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find the Seeker! with the subtitle “The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness”, based on the tried and tested wisdom of a living Master and enlightened ones throughout the ages, accompanies us on a life-changing inner pilgrimage.

Find the Seeker! is a powerful, straight-talking wake-up call to people of all faiths and confessions, holding up a mirror to our worldly existence, suffering and the intricate workings of the ego. Immensely uplifting and rewarding, the book serves as a travelling companion and guide, enticing readers with a vision of what we really are -which can only be directly experienced – by helping us unfold our true nature and reboot our spiritual search so that we can abide in the one Self. In this way, seekers become finders, and we can enjoy the bliss and lightness of Being that is inherently ours.

Find the Seeker! has garnered extensive praise from spiritual teachers: 

“A unique, extraordinary and extremely valuable work.” – Ihaleakala Lew Pen
“Disarming and worth experiencing.” -John Tarrant
“Refreshing as a clear stream.” -Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
“The book…touches your heart.” -Hue Feng

######

.

CONNECT TO THE ONESELF WITHIN ~ GUEST POST ~ BY ZEN MASTER GENRO XUAN LOU, LAOSHI

“This is the very first blog post ever of Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (www.findtheseeeker.com; Amazon Book link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

Turned off by the tools and techniques providing supposedly more “expertise” and the unhealthy propagation that “everything is possible”, a growing number of serious seekers are turning to the “non-body of thought” which people call Zen.

This is a path for all people regardless of their faiths and confessions, for those looking for answers to existential questions, who want to find out who they really are, lead happier and more fulfilling lives, and experience serenity in the face of everything life throws at us.

If we continue delving deeper and deeper into our intellects and minds, we will see that less and less comes out. If we know less and less about more and more things, we will remain on the periphery of life – instead of exploring the boundless resources of our spirit with the possibilities of meditation. Genuinely devoting oneself to meditation is a path which enables our full potential to be unfolded.

The issue is not practicing a “barren” form of Zen in which one simply sits on a meditation cushion “staring at the wall, mindlessly like cattle.” The issue is also not wanting to achieve enlightenment. This is already present and has been from time immemorial.

Wake up from your slumber


What we actually want is to wake up from our slumber, which we find ourselves in thanks to our conditioned, dualistic and judgmental thinking.

How would it be if you could immerse yourself in a world of tranquillity from no-thinking, and your brain could relax and recover like the body when it is resting? This would not only be good for improving your intellectual performance and productivity.

It is about going to where logic no longer determines and defines everything by itself. Above all, you can see that spontaneity and creative processes are aroused when the inner dialogue in you is stopped. The unthinkable in you can only develop if you do not get in the way – and if you learn to put an end to the gossipy and nagging thoughts and delve into (your) pure Being.

For this reason, the ancient masters say “First heal your mind! And then do what you want!” However, we are not talking about anarchy or selfish individualism but the clear awareness of what is.

Be still and abide in the Self


“You have to search without searching”,
Zen Masters say.  “This means to be still, and to abide in and let yourself be guided by the all-encompassing, omnipresent Beingness of the one Self!”

This reality is everywhere where you go, everywhere you stand, and also where you are now. It is true joy. But how can we find this genuine joy and bliss? By fully and without reservation (re-) connecting to the original state of your mind, to the true Self – here and now. However, if you approach it with a tense and overly serious attitude like that of the pallbearers at a funeral, you are doing the wrong thing. The fact that you are attached to and carry all kinds of futile, burdensome things with you means you continually create lots of attachments. The challenge is to become alert and mindful and free yourself from all this conditioning and attachments.

Suffering does not come from the outside. Suffering always comes from within as our reactions to what happens or what we perceive. The impermanence of everything pleasant which you experience in this world can only stop causing suffering in you if you are stop being attached to these things.

Authentic realization not intellectualizing


However, letting go is not an action, not a question of doing, but in letting it happen in the spirit of the Taoistic Wu-Wei (doing by non-doing) and the conviction, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done!”

This becoming self-less enables a truly happy state of Being, a fulfilling togetherness and a truly new concept for ecology, economy and being human.

Zen is an authentic experience. The autonomous compulsion to think means we live in a state of separation in a world full of problems and conflicts. It is like the dog in the room of mirrors. He only sees his own projections as he who reacts full of aggression and fear.

We identify so much with the mind that you do not even realize that has enslaved you. Because you identify with the mind, you derive your feeling of self-esteem from it and fear you will not exist if you stop thinking. What Zen is about is breaking through this self-produced vicious circle through achieving mental and spiritual clarity.

Zen is not about thinking or intellectual speculation based on differentiating, distinguishing and duality, but is “pure experience” and is thus a question of inner awareness.


Return to your center

Zen is not a religion among many others but to the largest possible extent the basis of religions.  …

Now I would like to ask all my readers, recovery warriors, and visitors to “read the rest of the Story” from my special guest’s enlightening blog. Author’s Genro and Clifford also have a “Weekly Wisdom” series they share on their blog each week. So I highly suggest you sign up for their newsletter and Highly Suggest you read their new book as well!
.

Find The Seeker! in stack

 

Available in paperback on Amazon  – Amazon Kindle  –  Barnes and Noble, and many fine online book retailers … AND, Author, Clifford Stevens was just with Host, Catherine Carrigan of The Natural Healing Show! So click below and take a listen to his interview and show.

Catherine Carrigan

Catherine Host of The Natural Healing Show on UK Health Radio

My Recovery Guest Today – Meet Aaron Emerson…”Hope From DOPE”

My Recovery Guest Today – Meet Aaron Emerson…”Hope From DOPE”

Most all know just how difficult maintaining recovery can be. Especially when we come out of rehab or treatment and in early recovery. No one knows this better than my dear friend and advocate, Aaron Emerson. I have been a supporter and friends with Aaron for a couple years now. I can tell you this guy “Never Gives Up.” 

Yes, we all may have relapsed before, but Aaron is very adamant in sharing what he learns if and when we all at times have a slip. The most important fact is, Aaron is Honest, Real, and Transparent about the ups and downs of maintaining recovery.

So, that is what is my point is with this post and having Aaron share some of his story with all of us today, courtesy of his latest newsletter … “Hope From Dope” is a newsletter written by Aaron Emerson, a recovering addict, and alcoholic. It contains his writings from his Hope From Dope blog, updates on his recovery and more. 

“HE IS A FIGHTER” and he never gives up with “God In His Corner!”

#####

 

Treatment Works; My Story ~ By Aaron Emerson.

 

 

“I have been to rehab 7 times” …

Yes, seven times I have checked myself into rehab. Many of those times I did it to simply get my family off my back and a couple more times because I was homeless and didn’t have anywhere else to go. 

But this last time, well, I entered rehab totally broken, ashamed, hopeless and humiliated. At the same time, though, I was finally ready to do everything they asked me to do and willing to give recovery a try again.

It was a rehab in Memphis, Michigan called Sacred Heart. Based on the 12 Steps, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and family support, it is a treatment center that mainly serves low-income individuals from Michigan. It is a terrific place that employs therapists and workers who are recovering addicts themselves. And, well, it saved my life.

The day I checked myself into Sacred Heart, I had two warrants out for my arrest for stealing a credit card. I was a broken person, my relationships were all shattered and nobody trusted me.

Years prior, I had been living a life of recovery after several years of heroin addiction and it was the happiest I’d ever been. However, after I let up on how many meetings I went to and distancing myself from my recovery program, I drank some beers at a wedding, triggering a downward spiral of a couple more years of on and off drinking and drug use.


So, walking into Sacred Heart on December 8, I was humiliated that after building a life of recovery, I was now back in active addiction, facing some criminal charges. I had shared my story at area high schools and been featured in news stories about recovery. But here I was, strung out and hopeless once again.

About the only thing I had going for me that day was that for the last week, I hadn’t used drugs or drank. After the cops were called on me for acting violently after a night of drinking, an Ingham County Sheriff’s Sergeant helped convince me to check into treatment and get my life together for my daughter.

I actually listened to him. The way he treated me like someone who needed help and not as a crazy criminal really gave me hope. I was used to cops doing everything they could to stick me with charges and lock me away, so when an officer who was high up on the chain in law enforcement showed me compassion and seemed to really care about me and my daughter, it triggered me to try to get sober and go back to rehab.

And since that night when Sgt. Harrison helped me instead of locking me up, I haven’t used drugs. Rehab went very well and Sacred Heart helped me get some stability in my life. When I left a few weeks later, I was sober and motivated to get to a meeting as soon as I got out.

I did and two days later I turned myself in to handle the warrants. I got a personal bond and a month later was sentenced to Drug Court in East Lansing, which provides treatment and therapy instead of jail or prison. Drug Court has introduced me to a very good support system and given me a strict, balanced life to build around.

.

Image result for copyright free images quotes about support in recovery

I now have a job working 30 hours a week, go to meetings and therapy each day and am trying to be the best father I can be to my seven-year-old daughter. My life is extremely busy with work and all the meetings and therapy, but it is helping me. I feel like I have a very sustainable foundation in my recovery. I have a sponsor and a recovery coach that I call every day and another recovery coach that helps me and my family piece back together our relationships.

Out of all the sponsors, recovery coaches, therapists and probation officers I have in my life, I genuinely feel like each one of them cares deeply for me and plays very important but different pieces of the puzzle. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Sgt. Harrison motivating me to go to Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart truly helped me develop a foundation to get my life back together and I will forever be grateful for that.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen, it is never impossible to stand back up and fight! It doesn’t matter if you have never been to rehab or if you’ve been to treatment ten times, never give up! While in active addiction, it seems impossible to ever get sober and be happy without drugs and alcohol. That is a lie the disease of addiction tells you. The memories and hope I am experiencing today is something to cherish.

Never give up. Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed to admit you have a problem and need help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to check yourself into treatment or ask for help, but it is the first step to building a happy life of sobriety.

Treatment works!

#########

THANK YOU, Aaron, for being my Guest Today!

You can follow Aaron’s journey and share your support by visiting his website “Hope From DOPE”  and by connecting with him here on Facebook too!
Please check out his book as well now available and e-book now only $3.99 here on Amazon Kindle… 

To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery: My Life Of Addiction And Recovery Told Through Past Journals by [Emerson, Aaron]

Sharing Other Recovery Blogs Sharing Voices of Gambling Recovery. Meet Arnie Wexler, A 50 Year Veteran of Recovery From Gambling Addiction.

As National Problem Gambling Awareness Month comes to a close, I want those who may know someone or have a family member touched by or may have a problem or have become addicted to gambling here Arnie Wexler …

He knows what it takes to recover from the #1 addiction claiming lives by Suicide today. There is Help and Hope for this cunning disease. Arnie has just celebrated 50 years maintaining his recovery from it and SO CAN YOU. SO, please take a listen to his Guest Interview by Nicola of “I Love Recovery Cafe”

Nicola talks to Arnie Wexler about Compulsive Gambling (Podcast)

.


Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC), and was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years.

Arnie is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in this country and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for over 30 years. He has appeared on many of America’s top television shows, including Oprah, NightLine, and 48 Hours and 60 Minutes.  He has been quoted and profiled in hundreds of magazines and newspapers.

Contact Arnie at his Website here

 

#####


 

 

Courtesy and Presented by “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here!” Advocate/Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“Fear Traps Me Into Being WHO I Am Not Many Times”…Guest Article by “World Of Psychology” Shares It Well.

“Fear Traps Me Into Being WHO I Am Not Many Times”…Guest Article by “World Of Psychology” Shares It Well.

I told myself at midnight new years’ eve, I was going to write, share, and be more open and transparent about my mental health issues this year. So when I came upon this article and gave it a read, I knew I had to share it today as many of us who maintain recovery from addictions are dually diagnosed with mental health challenges like myself. And those who don’t understand what it is like to battle agoraphobia along with depression and a few other disorders I have been working through, many seem to cling to “The Stigma” around all of the ABOVE.

Now, yes, I do understand that those who have not been touched by mental or emotional problems or disorders or know or have a family or friend who does, not all people are sorry to ‘ignorant’ about these topics. However, there some who don’t think mental health problems, like Tom Cruise, even exist. HA!

I’m here to say they do and about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffers from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and more.

That is 1 in every 5 people suffer in just the United States alone. So, sorry Tom Cruise and L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology, YOUR WRONG. Here is an article that helps us have insights on how paralyzing “FEAR” can make us feel TRAPPED…By 

imageedit_1_9536218710

How Fear Traps You into Being Someone You Are Not…

“The fear response is triggered when facing danger.”

The “danger” could be not measuring up to a desired or imposed standard, not getting done what you set out to do, not fulfilling expectations (your own or someone else’s), being seen as less than perfect or failing at something. There is also the “danger” of not fitting in and being noticeably different from the norm. All these fears and anxieties stem from questioning your ability to cope with life’s challenges and people’s responses to your actions.

External messages from the media and authorities are also powerful triggers of anxiety and fear. Believing the world to be a dangerous place creates a pervading sense of powerlessness that undermines your personal power and inner strength in many different ways. 

  • Fear manipulates you into forgetting how strong and competent you really are.

  • Fear negates your resilience. Feelings of helplessness trick you into believing that you do not have what it takes to tolerate hardship and bounce back from adversity.

  • Fear narrows your focus to mainly notice problems, damage, hurt or harm.

  • Fear impairs realistic thinking so the scale and likelihood of potential danger are often overestimated. Unless you live in a war zone, a dangerous neighborhood, an abusive relationship or have just experienced a significant natural disaster, most commonly assumed dangers are less prevalent or disastrous than imagined.

  • Avoidance is one of the responses to fear. Self-imposed restrictions on where you go or what you do limit your options and shrink your world.

  • Fear can sabotage creative self-expression. Instead of aiming for your aspirations and dreams you may censor yourself and remain within the safety of your comfort zone.

  • Fear prevents you from living in the here and now. Worrying what might happen and anticipating dangers and calamities in the future removes your attention from the present, the only place where you can function to the best of your ability. Dwelling on past events instead of focusing on the present also clouds your perception to the realities and opportunities of the now.

  • Survival emotions such as anger (fight); worry, panic and anxiety (flight); depression and hopelessness (freeze) limit your emotional expression and narrow your emotional range. Negative feelings drag you down and deplete vital life force while positive emotions such as trust in yourself, courage and hope strengthen and nurture you.

  • Fear cuts you off from the flow of life and universal benevolence you could tap into.

  • Destabilized by fear you lose your firm grounding in your own power. This diminishes your ability to recognize potential agendas by external sources of fear. As a consequence, you become an easier target for manipulation and abuse.

Fear is the result of a physical mechanism involving the adrenals and various other body systems. In cases of real and acute danger, this is useful as it alerts you to the need for action.

However, the same kind of responses are also triggered by imagined danger. With the lines between real and imagined danger often blurred in modern life, fear in all its forms can become chronic. Like with ‘Agoraphobia’ or other panic type disorders.

“Tricking you into believing that you are weak and without inner resources or that a catastrophe is imminent, fear and its allies are some of the most damaging emotions to allow into your life. You have a choice what you do with your fear: stay in its thrall or make the decision not to be pulled into it and question it is associated — and usually automatic — thoughts.”

 
imageedit_3_9677111059

There are many different ways to defuse fears. All of them involve feeling it without trying to suppress the feeling or run away from it. Like other emotions, fear follows a bell curve where it rises, peaks and eventually subsides if you stay with it as a witness rather than disappearing into it. When you have weathered the emotional storm and feel calmer, take a good look at your thoughts and the reality of the situation.

Examine your triggers and the beliefs associated with them. What is their origin, do they reflect the truth? What is your fear about? How you see yourself, how other people might think of you, what you are told about the world? What keeps you in a state of fear?

Depending on your situation, devise your own path to freedom. You may decide on “gradual exposure”, i.e. approaching a feared situation not at once but in several small increments over a number of days or weeks.

You could also draw a “fear ladder” with your “little” fears at the bottom rungs and the “big” ones on top. Begin addressing the less difficult ones and gradually work your way up. It will show you that you do not have to give in to fear and let it define your life and how you see yourself.

Enlist help and support if you need it, but ultimately no one can do this work for you. Remember, you are much stronger and more resilient than fear will allow you to know.

#####

About Christiana Star

Christiana is a counseling psychologist and writer with a strong focus on self-help, personal growth, and empowerment. Combining professional experience with a spiritual outlook on life, her work offers new perspectives, insights, practical tips and easy strategies that can be applied straightaway. When she is not writing, Christiana can be found in nature: tending her fruit and vegetable garden with various degrees of success or exploring Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches with her very quirky little dog.

Download the free ebook “10 Keys for Moving Forward when Life Has Changed”, receive the monthly newsletter or access her weekly blog at www.christianastar.com.


#####

This part of her article HIT ME, “Fear can sabotage creative self-expression. Instead of aiming for your aspirations and dreams you may censor yourself and remain within the safety of your comfort zone.”

That is me! I feel safe in my places within my “Comfort Zone.” It truly is debilitating and then I get depressed as it feels like looking out a window as LIFE is passing by WITHOUT ME In It…

So, what role does fear play in your life? What have you found useful in overcoming fears? If you are struggling, what is your difficulty?  Please share your feelings and comments with me.  Maybe together we can help one another…


Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

Veterans, A Holiday Spotlight on My Guest “Make The Connection” – Gambling Addiction Services and Much More For our Vets.

Veterans, A Holiday Spotlight on My Guest “Make The Connection” – Gambling Addiction Services and Much More For our Vets.

Gambling addiction has no boundaries on who it will touch. It can be men, women, teens, seniors, and even our veterans that have or are serving in the military. I was doing some research for an article I was writing for a paper and came across my guest who I wanted to spotlight as part of my Holiday Blogging series as we are seeing our veterans not just battling homelessness or drug and alcohol problems, but now gambling addiction.

“In between deployments my buddies and I would hit the casino. But we ended up losing our paychecks and so I had to start coming up with creative excuses why I didn’t have any money for my family.”


So if you are a veteran of any military branch of service? Know there is Help, Hope, and now Treatment Options for all types of addictions including gambling and find it here at “Making The Connection . Net”  Here is more of what they do and about addicted gambling among our veterans.

 

American Flag, Textured, Rough, Harsh

“MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.”

There are millions of Veterans and family members who have reached out for support during tough times. Their lives got better. Yours can too. Over 400 Veterans and family members from across the country have shared their stories of strength and recovery. On MakeTheConnection.net, it takes only seconds to find a story that is just for you. Try It: Find the Story for You  In addition to powerful stories, MakeTheConnection.net provides information about life experiences you can relate to. You also can explore information about signs, symptoms, and conditions that are related to mental health and well-being.

MakeTheConnection.net also will help you…

Locate Nearby Resources.

 

When it’s time to reach out, MakeTheConnection.net’s resource locator can help you find resources, programs, and facilities in your area, no matter where you are.

They have many different resources listed as well Crisis Lines and more with now 2,918,331 ONLINE Supporters waiting to help VETS.

 

“Make The Connection has resources available for Veterans having a problem with gambling addiction.”

Gambling is a problem when it negatively affects your finances, job, relationships with family or friends, or your health. Are you sometimes unable to pay the bills because you’ve spent your money on lottery or scratch tickets; card, slot, or dice games; sports betting; horse or dog races; or Internet gambling? When you lose money gambling, do you think that you need to bet more to win it all back? Have you tried to hide your gambling from family or friends? Is gambling the only thing you like doing, or do you spend most of your time thinking about ways to gamble?  A “yes” answer to any of these questions may be a sign of a gambling addiction.

Gambling is betting something of value on the outcome of an event — like a football or baseball game, a card game, or a race — when the likelihood of winning or losing is uncertain. Although many people gamble occasionally, some people gamble even when it causes problems for themselves or others. They may want, need, or have tried to stop gambling but feel like they can’t. They may start gambling more often or taking bigger and bigger betting risks. These are some of the warning signs of a gambling addiction.

cropped-imageedit_1_2873321820.jpg
For some Veterans, gambling starts as entertainment, but then can become a major way to relieve stress or boredom or to feel better when going through a tough time. Some Veterans may gamble for its sense of risk and thrill. Gambling can be a distraction, or perhaps a way to avoid coping with some of the difficulties that may arise when transitioning from military to civilian life. One of the symptoms of a serious gambling addiction is continuing to gamble even when you no longer find it enjoyable.

When gambling becomes a habit, it can cause problems with your job, relationships, and your mental or physical health. People who gamble compulsively may have financial issues, go into debt, or keep turning to others for gifts or loans. They may even steal from family, friends, or even their employers so they can keep gambling. The need to gamble, the problems it causes, and the stress of not being able to stop can be related to guiltdepressionanxiety disordersalcohol or drug problemsbipolar, even OCD and PTSD and health other issues.

If I’m experiencing a gambling problem, what can I do about it right away?

  • Acknowledge that gambling has become a problem in your life.
  • Recognize that it is possible to make a change.
  • Make a list of reasons not to gamble that you can refer to when you feel the urge to gamble.
  • Write down a list of things — including people and places — that make you want to gamble, along with ways that you can avoid them.
  • Practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing to help you manage stress and to manage feelings if you feel the strong urge to gamble.
  • Make a list of activities you enjoy that you can do instead of gambling.
  • Spend time with supportive people in your life who do not gamble.

Trust me, people who are close to you may have noticed you’re having a tough time, even if they are unaware of your gambling. You may want to talk to your family and friends about what you’re experiencing. They may be able to provide support and help you find solutions that are right for you.

Take the next step: Make the connection.

It can be difficult to handle a gambling problem on your own. Every day, Veterans who served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard connect with proven resources and effective treatments for the issues they face and find solutions that improve their lives. You can also consider connecting with:

  • Your doctor. Ask if your doctor has experience treating Veterans or can refer you to someone who does. If you feel comfortable enough with your physician, he or she may be able to help you find tools to manage a gambling problem even without direct experience with Veterans.
  • A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor
  • Your local VA Medical Center or Vet Center. VA specializes in the care and treatment of Veterans.
  • A spiritual or religious advisor
  • A gambling helplines like Gamblers Anonymous or self-help groups

Explore these resources for more information about gambling problems in Veterans.


Please learn more about what you can do if you are experiencing specific concerns related to gambling, such as
 anxiety disordersdepression, and alcohol or drugs problems.

Problem Gambling Confidential Helpline Network
The National Council on Problem Gambling provides a toll-free, confidential helpline throughout the U.S. for anyone seeking help with gambling issues. Dial 1-800-522-4700.

Gamblers Anonymous
This website can help you find a local support group for people dealing with gambling problems. The nationwide toll-free number for immediate help is 1-888-GA-HELPS.
www.gamblersanonymous.org


Vet Center
If you are a combat Veteran, you can bring your DD214 to your local Vet Center and speak with a counselor or therapist — many of whom are Veterans themselves — for free, without an appointment, and regardless of your enrollment status with VA. In addition, any Veteran who was sexually traumatized while serving in the military is eligible to receive counseling regardless of gender or era of service.
www.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter.asp


VA Medical Center Facility Locator

Gambling may be related to other health conditions that need attention. VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some Veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions. Explore your eligibility for health care using VA’s Health Benefits Explorer tool and find out more about the treatment options available to you.
www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1

Join the Conversation

Make the Connection is more than a website. It is a nationwide, online movement of millions. Join us and share Make the Connection on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Your words can encourage someone in need to reach out for support and treatment.

71FupU09Y9L._UY200_

I want to say a warm Thank You, to each and every one of our Veterans and Military personnel for your Sacrifice and Serving our Country. You should never have to deal with homelessness, addictions, or feel alone. YOU have a voice and I am here to make sure your voices are heard and you learn about all the HELP there is for you! And Thank goodness there are helpful sites out there ready to help our VETS like “MAKE THE CONNECTION . NET ” TODAY!

God Bless,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate

“Love For The Unlovable” by Delight In Disorder…I Too Have Some Holiday Blues

I am happy to support my dear friend Author, Tony Roberts and his fundraising campaign to begin a new Mental Health Podcast as he needs our support and kindness in the form donations that come with perks! So I hope you will join me as they can be made here:  “Revealing Voices – The Mental Health Podcast”

 

 

And like Tony shares in his new post, this new one about to share, I too have had some “holiday blues and depression” the past few days. Is it because I just turned 55 the other day? It is just another little mental health cycle? I’m not sure, but knowing my buddy has too? makes me feel that I am not alone as Tony shares…

 

Overview of New Podcast Coming and You Can Help Make It Happen!

Several podcasts touch on mental health. Others bring up topics of faith. We offer a unique faith-based, peer-led perspective. This is a project that has been born out of our own need and a recognition of the needs of others. Revealing Voices will dig deep and share honest stories of ways faith and mental health care can work together to promote healing. We also offer humor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Like the Apostle Paul on lithium or Sigmund Freud at a weekend revival.  🙂

 

Many people with mental illness feel alienated from faith communities. Many faith communities fail to understand the value of mental health care. We have lived in both worlds and found both to promote healing. Prayer and pills. Worship and therapy. Bible study and support groups. Revealing Voices (the podcast and website) will build a community where people listen to and dialogue with others who have been impacted by mental illness and struggle with faith. We don’t pretend to have the answer, but we will raise your questions and share your prayers.

 

We need your financial support for the equipment needed to produce a quality podcast, including:

* MacBook Pro

* (2) Shure SM-58 microphones

* Cables, stands, accessories

* (2) Headsets

* Equipment for broadcasting phone calls

* Marketing to make a greater impact in a broader area.

* A portion of donations exceeding our goal will go to NAMI-Faith Net.

Studies show that at least 20% of the US population struggles with a mental health issue. Research also suggests that very few pastors and churches are equipped to address the needs of persons with mental illness. Your contribution will foster dialogue that offers hope for people who have troubled minds. Hope.  Compassion. With your gifts, you can invest in this vital mission. 

If you are not in a position to make a financial gift at this time, we get it. There are other valued ways you can support our mission:

* Pray. Prayer is not a magical panacea to manipulate giving. Yet, through prayer, needs are met.

* Share. Tell others about our project. We’d be delighted if you’d put it on your social media.

We want to express our gratitude for your support, so we are offering a wide variety of bonuses, from a “Making of Revealing Voices” audio recording to signed copies of Delight in Disorder and Watershed. Up to an opportunity to dialogue with us on the show. 

Our Revealing Voices campaign is going well. We have raised $700 towards our goal of $3,000 for pre-production equipment to launch our podcast in March. Based on our research and personal contacts, we firmly believe such a program will meet a great need in a unique way.

We will be perhaps the only faith-based, peer-led, story-driven mental health podcast on the net. On this Giving Tuesday, we hope that many who value our mission will contribute — through praying, sharing, and giving. Your support is much appreciated.  🙂

“LOVE 4 THE UNLOVABLE”

“I have been mired in a holiday depression. I texted a friend about it and we had this exchange”

+     +     +

Friend: What do you think started the decline. Let’s break it down.

Me: Nostalgia over past holidays. They were not likely as good as I remember them. But my loss still seems palpable.

Friend: In Hebrews, the author talks about hearing God’s voice. and entering God’s rest. He ends up talking about the power of God’s Word. That has helped me. The idea we can enter God’s rest here — today.

Me: I’m not really connecting with the “rest” part. It’s more like I sleep and lie in bed to escape.

Friend: Would you say that nostalgia over past holidays is fundamentally a belief that there was a time when God was with you, and now God is not?

Me: I have always believed God is with me, even now. But now I feel God’s anger.

Friend: Can God be angry with his beloved child?

Me: No. I mean it’s different after Christ’s sacrifice. I know this, but I don’t feel it.

Friend: You may not, but it doesn’t change the Truth. So, first, you feel unloved.

Me: Maybe. It’s more that I feel unworthy of love and I’m not accepting grace.

Friend: Do you believe that thought was the seed for the decline? Unworthy and not accepting grace.

Me: Yes.

Friend: Do the holidays increase feelings of unworthiness and lack of grace?

Me: You’re right. I just feel numb. And my gut is wrenching.

Friend: I know. Do you have to write tonight?

Me: I don’t have to write, but I could write about something less personal, like a book review.

Friend: What feels most loving to you?

Me: The question I raise is what would be most helpful for my readers? Holiday depression is a real struggle for many of us with mental illness. If I could make some sense of it, I think that would help me and others. Doing at least one thing each day to engage others helps me feel better about myself. At the same time, I need to be careful that what I put out doesn’t bring other people down with me. I want to uplift.

Friend: Unlovable would be a good topic.

Me: Good. “Loving the Unlovable.”

Friend: I like that idea.

Me: Okay. Do you mind if I work something up and send it for your review? I don’t trust myself when I am off.

Friend: Good idea!

+     +       +

 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

 

I don’t feel lovable, but I know that in Christ God has loved me. This knowledge gives me a reason to get out of bed each day. Even if it is 4 pm. Even if the voices inside my head are telling me God wants no part of me. Even if I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything. Even if the thought of going for a walk, making my bed, or taking a shower seems like running a 3-minute mile.

God does not compare me to my previous self. God does not measure my goodness according to any standard others set for me. By the grace of Jesus Christ, God loves me even when I feel unlovable.

+      +      +

Help us bring the message of faith to those struggling with mental illness. Pray for that we meet our Indiegogo campaign goal. Share our page on your social media. Give according to what you have received and how much you value our ministry. (To give, click on the title below. It will direct you to our Indiegogo page where there will be a button that says, “Back it.”)

Revealing Voices: The mental health podcast raising unanswered questions, sharing unanswered prayers. 

 

Image result for copy free images of giving for jesus