“And Now a Message From Our Recovery Sponsor”… Dr. Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin, of The Professional Institute of Higher Learning.

“And Now a Message From Our Recovery Sponsor”… Dr. Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin, of  The Professional Institute of Higher Learning.

Are Your Teens Playing Games with Their Lives?


We all know that gambling, and now internet gaming has been around for a long while.

What we didn’t know was about to happen with the internet and tech offerings and expansion that began in the late 80′ and early 90’s –that gaming and gambling options would be so accessible and continue to grow at a rapid pace as it has. No person better besides myself knows this than my dear friend and The Addiction Expert of Rev Kev’s Recovery World and now the new amazing coach, teacher, and trainer behind the new “The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online” .

So, I welcome and am honored to have Kevin Coughlin back to share some interesting facts about gaming and why parents need to be very privy to the time your kids are spending on their computers and what are they DOING on the internet …
Take it away Rev. Kev!   ~ Advocate Catherine Lyon 

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“A good coach asks great questions to help you remove the obstacles in your mind and to get you back on track in life.”  – Farshad Asl 

Recently, The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to the International Classification of Diseases. This newly identified gaming disorder causes “impaired control over gaming,” according to The World Health Organization. The decision to include internet gaming as a mental health disorder has not come without controversy; professionals from the American Psychiatric Association and other professional’s in the industry have made clear that they believe that internet gaming disorder is a condition that needs further study. Some mental health professionals don’t agree with the “gaming disorder” diagnosis, they think the label is premature. Many clinicians voiced that they believe that young people are actually using video gaming as a coping mechanism for anxiety and depression, which are on the rise in teens, according to the latest national research.

This new process of addiction should not be determined based on a short period of behavior. The World Health Organization stated that a diagnosis of having a gaming disorder should be determined based on behavior over a period of at least twelve months. If an individual’s personal life, social life, family life, work environment, or if they’re a student, their school environment is impaired by excessive internet gaming, these should be considered warning signs of addiction. Comparable with other addictions, despite negative consequences, there is a loss of control and escalation.

Experts believe that the causes of gaming disorder are quite rare and that only approximately three-percent of gamers may suffer from this addiction. There is hope for the three percent; however, more help is needed. A former gaming disorder addict, Cam Adair, was quoted as saying, “First just more prevention, there needs to be more awareness in schools. Parents need to be educated, there is a need for better resources and a need for more professionally trained interventionists,  recovery coaches and support services available.”

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Many parents have referred to internet gaming as “digital heroin!” Don is twenty-five-years-old, who just had his second child thirteen months ago, he lives with his girlfriend and the children at her parent’s house. Don works part-time and spends more than ten hours per day playing video games online. He spends every dollar he makes buying online video games and counts on State assistance to feed his children.

Some nights, Don doesn’t even sleep, he plays video games all night and then goes straight to work in the morning. He doesn’t spend any time with his children or his girlfriend. He doesn’t give his family any financial or emotional support. His girlfriend is on the verge of leaving Don and taking the children with her. His life is totally out of control because of online gaming addiction.

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak from The World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which proposed the new diagnosis to The World Health Organization’s decision-making body, said, that there are three major diagnostic characteristics of gaming disorder: “One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery.

The second feature is impaired control of these behaviors, even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates. A third feature is that the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning. The impact is real and may include disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity.”

The main features of gaming disorder are very similar to the diagnostic features of pathological gambling disorder and substance use and abuse disorders. Gaming disorder is a clinical condition and must only be diagnosed by professionals who are properly trained in this mental health disorder. The majority of treatment and interventions for gaming disorder are based on the methods and principals of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and other added sources of support.

Co-founder of Restart (One of the first US inpatient treatment programs for gaming disorder), Hilarie Cash was quoted as saying, “It’s time to recognize gaming disorder as a legitimate medical and mental health condition.”

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak (from The World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse) was quoted as saying, “Whatever the therapy, it should be based on understanding the nature of the behavior and what can be done in order to improve the situation. Prevention interventions may also be needed.” A licensed psychologist, executive director at The Telos Project, Anthony Bean was quoted as saying,

“The ICD diagnosis is not “appropriately informed since most clinicians — and the mental health field as a whole — do not understand the gaming population. And even most clinicians would probably agree that they don’t understand the concept for video games because they’re not immersed in that world or experience.”

Bean recommends that parents and other loved ones concerned about a much-too-avid gamer, ask questions to become as informed as possible. What games are they playing? Why do they find them interesting? Bean is the author of a guidebook for clinicians wishing to work with gamers; however, he has made it clear that he is not on team Poznyak when it comes to the latest thinking on gaming disorder. I believe that Dr. Poznyak is right on target!

Witnessing Don’s gaming addiction firsthand, there is no doubt in my mind that online gaming becomes a disorder when despite negative consequences, there is a loss of control and escalation and the person’s choices are even affecting his family in a negative way because of online gaming.

Anything that is out of balance in a person’s life that has negative consequences that are ignored is a potential problem. I think the writing was on the wall a long time ago when it came to gaming addiction. I’m surprised it wasn’t diagnosed sooner!

Some of the warning signs that parents can look for to help determine if there is a problem with gaming and their teen:

Long hours of playing video games.
 
On the computer or other online devices.

Poor personal hygiene.

Lack of self-care.

Not sleeping, playing video games all night.

Poor grades in school or skipping school.

Lack of interest in everything except video gaming.

Isolation and spending much time in their room.

Irritability and anger problems when not playing video games.

Compulsively buying video games and add-ons.

Not eating regular meals at regular times.

Unhealthy diet, impulsivity,  and irresponsibility.

Life out of balance, obsessed with video gaming.

Depression, anxiety, or mood swings.

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Remember, if you think that your loved one is suffering from a gaming disorder, this should be diagnosed and treated by professional clinicians. You should also remember that approximately three-percent of gamers suffer from this addiction and that behavior should be considered over at least a twelve-month period.

The last thing that anyone wants is a parent thinking that their teen has a problem because they played video games one afternoon for several hours and skipped lunch. It’s important to look at the big picture and not to ignore the facts. Should you have any questions, consult a professional who works in this field. Let’s all be informed and aware!

Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.
www.theaddiction.expert
Visit:  “The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online” .
Learn More: About Coaching-LinkedIn Article

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Recovery Online Education and Support From Home! Offered By The Best Addiction/Recovery Expert and Coach Around…

Recovery Online Education and Support From Home! Offered By The Best Addiction/Recovery Expert and Coach Around…

Most all recovery advocates know in order to gain personal long-term recovery, we need to continue to be informed and educated to get there. That is why I support many forms learning by reading, journaling, visiting websites and blogs, and online learning. The more we know about the disease of addictions the better our chances are to maintain recovery without relapse or roadblocks and learn how to avoid them.

That is also true for those who gain long-term recovery and are now wanting ‘to be of recovery service to others’ looking to recover as well. Keep in mind, many reach out and are in crisis and maybe needing to enter dextox, rehab, or treatment. So what do you do? You need to be prepared. What if you want to be a recovery coach? Or maybe your a parent needing help with a teen who may be using drugs, then what? Maybe you need help and support in your own recovery journey.

Then you need to know all about The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online as they have several online courses and more are being added often… Just click, pick your course, pay, and LEARN!

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(Like this courses coming soon!)

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They offer an array of online courses, even recovery coaching for those early in and coming to begin their maintining recovery from any type of addiction. Offered, a course that will even help you work a 12-Step Recovery! Don’t hesitate to visit and take avvantage of Addiction/Recovery Higher Learning, Coaching, and Support Now with the Experts at The Professional’s International Institute Of Higher LearningOnline  with the added convience from your own home safely online. More affordable compared to many other online or onsite addiction/recovery education and support!

ABOUT The Professional International Institue Of Higher Learning

The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online is a place of learning for those individuals who want to be the very best at their respective craft. These specialized training courses in the Professional Coaching Industry and the Addiction Recovery Industry are unparalleled. Students can take our courses at their own pace without paying outrageous fees that are unrealistic. Our instructors have decades of experience in the subjects that they teach on. To be the best, you need to be instructed by the best! They have trained hundreds of Professionals in the Industry.

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More About The Addiction Expert ~ Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin,
PhD.

My name is Reverend Dr., Provincial Superintendent Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D., most call me Rev. Kev. All that I have been, all that I am, and all that I ever will be is because of God’s grace. I am well trained. I am an International Certified Master Addictions Coach, I specialize in Drug & Alcohol abuse addiction recovery & family recovery coach, gambling addiction, Life coaching, Christian Coaching, Case Management, Prevention & Relapse Prevention, LAMA, Ethics, Spirituality, Sexual Addiction, Anger Management, Domestic Violence Advocacy, Interventionist & Life Recovery Coach, Licensed & Ordained Minister.

I am a Founder, and former Board Member & Spiritual Director of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a residential addiction recovery program. Over the past 20+ years, we have been blessed to help thousands of individuals and families to change their lives! I am often utilized as a consultant on addiction and recovery and considered an expert in the field. I have given thousands of workshops and lectures, training seminars, and retreats.

I was an instructor at The Addictions Academy. I am The President and CEO of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC. I am a member in good standing in the AACC, ICCA, NAADAC, IAMMF, ECPG, NCPG, and AACT. I am an internationally published poet and a best-selling author, I am 9 time National Bench Press Champion and 2 time World Champion.

I have been blessed to be awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling, Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling, and Doctorate Degree, Ph.D., DCC, DDVCA, DLC, DD, and am Board Certified by DIT Seminary IN Christian counseling. I am an Associate Professor at Dayspring Christian University and a Board Member. I have been approved by the Board for a year of study to be consecrated a Bishop at the Florida Conference next year. I have a great deal of experience in volunteer recruitment, philanthropic, nonprofit, program development.

Today, I love to teach, educate, write, and Raise Awareness!

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“IF YOU WANT CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE, A NEW WORLDVIEW, A BETTER JOB, A BETTER PAYING JOB, A MORE RESPECTABLE JOB, IF YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS, IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE, IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE, THERE IS A BETTER WAY!”

THE BEST WAY IS TO LEARN, TAKE COURSES, GAIN NEW SKILL-SETS, TOOLS, TECHNIQUES, KNOWLEDGE, INFORMATION, SHARE EXPERIENCES WITH OTHERS, TALK WITH EXPERTS AND SHARE IN THEIR WISDOM. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVES AND PERCEPTIONS; CHANGE YOUR REALITY!

CERTIFICATE COURSES ARE NOW OPEN AR THE PROFESSIONAL’S INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING ONLINE, WON’T YOU JOIN US?
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Guest Article That “Touched My Memory” of My Mental Health As A Child.

Guest Article That “Touched My Memory” of My Mental Health As A Child.

Most of my recovery friends, readers, and regular visitors know I enjoy finding many amazing websites about recovery from addiction and mental health. I vowed this year to write and share more openly about my mental health challenges. So when I recently visited one of my resource websites on mental health, my friends of National Alliance on Mental Health  ~NAMI …I read a new article I wanted to share.

Because when I got to reading the part of the guests” experiences with panic attacks, anxiety and such, it brought up those old feelings I got when I was in therapy and looking back to then and connecting the dots to my own problems as a child and early teens with symptoms, especially after my abuse and sexual trauma that happened. I was able to see that I had many mental health issues even back then but was never diagnosed until my gambling addiction took hold of me in adulthood.

The gambling I used to ‘escape and numb out’ those old hauntings which brought out the symptoms I was suffering again now. When I attempted my first suicide and placed in a crisis center for several weeks was when I was finally diagnosed. I went years without knowing what “that” was, and why I felt severely depressed on and off and PTSD, mild mania and anxiety. I was a mess!

Thanks to therapy and medications I am manged and have learned to treat my mental health just like any other disease like diabetes or heart disease. And that rings true for maintaining my recovery from addictions.

And why it is important to heal all areas of Emotional, Body, Spirit and our Mental Well-being … Catherine

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You Can’t Plan For Mental Illness ~ Courtesy of Allie Quinn | May. 23, 2018 

 
My 5-year plan after finishing high school was simple: graduate from college in four years, then begin graduate school directly following graduation. It was easy for me to imagine a 5-year plan at 18 years old when my toughest challenge at that point had been taming my frizzy hair.

My first two years of college were very successful. I made close friends, was hired by my college as a writing tutor and connected with teachers and administrators in the school district I wanted to eventually work in. I was right on track with my 5-year plan.

During my third year of college, however, the mass shooting occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I felt a very deep connection to the event and in the following months, I noticed that I was on high-alert in public areas. I worried for my safety.

A few months later, I learned about the Boston Marathon bombing when I was in my college’s library. I immediately looked at the entrance to the library and wondered where I would hide if a shooter came through the door. A habit of making “escape plans” in my head became uncontrollable. I created them for any public place, and I avoided walking in open spaces and going out at night. Each night, I dreamt that I was trying to escape from a mass shooting; even in my sleep, I couldn’t shake this overwhelming fear.

Looking back, I can see the warning signs that I needed help. I didn’t tell anyone about the thoughts and feelings I was having because I didn’t want people to think I was “unstable.” Admitting to myself or to others that something was wrong could jeopardize my 5-year plan. I told myself that all college students felt this kind of stress and that I’d feel better when the semester ended.

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My junior year ended, but instead of feeling better, I felt significantly worse. I experienced severe panic attacks, paranoia, and anxiety that made it impossible for me to drive, work or stay home alone. After I sought treatment with a therapist and psychiatrist, they recommended I check myself into a psychiatric hospital, so doctors could balance my medication, and I could learn skills to help manage my anxiety. I would be hospitalized five times, spending nearly three months in the hospital. My worst day was when I had to withdraw from my senior year. It felt like years of hard work just slipped away.

I questioned: Why didn’t I seek help sooner?


After my last hospitalization, I immediately re-enrolled in classes. I didn’t give myself the chance to heal because I wanted so badly to get back on track with my 5-year plan. Because I wasn’t working on my mental health, I struggled through two classes, and I wasn’t enjoying school like I did before.

One day, I finally accepted that if I kept putting my education before my mental health, I could risk having another breakdown. I decided to take medical leave from school; I needed to focus on my mental health and regain my strength and confidence. For the next two years, I attended therapy, worked with my psychiatrist, adopted a psychiatric service dog, discovered skills to help me cope and practiced self-care. Eventually, I felt like myself again.

So, I began college again last year. This time, I felt ready. I will be graduating this December with a B.S. in Community and Human Services. The deadline for my 5-year plan has long passed, and my life has not gone as I planned, but I am happy, healthy and have a mission to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Battling mental illness and maintaining mental health is an ongoing part of my life, but the struggles I faced have put me on the path I’m meant to be on.

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For example, I recently became a young adult speaker for NAMI Ending the Silence. I travel to high schools to share my journey with mental illness and talk to students about mental health and stigma.

The experience has been life-changing. For years, my goal has been to help people, and through NAMI Ending the Silence and blogging, I am making a difference. I believe that talking openly about mental health issues will end stigma and lead to more effective treatment for mental illness.

Please, if you’re experiencing symptoms or warning signs of a mental illness, seek help as soon as possible. Your mental health is farmore important than your 5-year plan. I’ve learned that college can wait—treating mental illness cannot.
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Allie Quinn is a mental health blogger, public speaker, and young adult presenter with NAMI’s Ending the Silence. She works to educate people about the realities of living with a mental illness and raises awareness about the use of psychiatric service dogs. Allie’s mental health blog is Redefine Mental Health

Red Flags and Warnings On How Addicts Get What They Need-Want …

“The two hardest areas for me when even thinking about becoming ‘Bet Free and Sober’ were ‘Surrender and Honesty.’ 

Let’s face it, beginning recovery and treatment is SCARY” …
~Advocate/Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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I remember two things back in the day trying to recover from gambling addiction and stay sober as I would drive to my GA meetings. One, listen to my favorite CD and song by Mary J Blige – “No More Drama,” and Two? Seeing this passage above and trying to believe in IT!

Today I received my SoberRecovery newsletter and read an article that really rang true to me when first coming out of treatment and trying to maintain early recovery. It kind of grab me around the throat a little as the title of the article I’m sharing made me think back to those early days when I would get a few weeks ‘bet free’ and then BAM! I’d be back out gambling and I am sure some of what I was saying to others rang true with me.

I would do or say anything to get what I wanted or needed so I could go gamble. I hope those who are living with or know a problem gambler will learn some warning signs to be aware of. As this also happens when the addict does relapse as well … It is why I share special articles that we all can learn, be informed, and educated by.
Catherine

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Communication Styles Addicts Use to Get What They Want

By Patrick Biegler 


Effective communication is essential to the human experience. Our ability to communicate allows us to form and maintain relationships, let others know what our needs are and reach out to help each other. In reality, however, we’re not always good at communicating effectively and this can cause a number of problems for us.

For those of us with an addiction, our methods of communication are often problematic. We tend to communicate the “need” for our drug of choice in unhealthy ways that further damage our relationships.

Here are the 4 different communication styles and how they tend to play out in everyday circumstances.

1. Passive

This is the “doormat” style of communicating. Passive communicators tend to allow others to walk all over them and often suppress their needs.

Friend: “I’m so sorry I forgot to invite you to the party last night.”

Self: (feels angry, lonely, unloved, rejected)“That’s ok, no big deal.”

In this style of communication, the passive party does not express the feelings that are taking place. Without expressing our true feelings we are likely to suppress them, which is a very dangerous place to be for an addict.

2. Aggressive

This is the “bullying” style of communication. The tendency is to threaten or express a high level of anger.

Friend: “I’m so sorry I forgot to invite you to the party last night.”

Self: (feels angry, lonely, unloved, rejected) “You should feel sorry! You’re such a selfish, uncaring jerk for not inviting me! See if I invite you to the next get-together!”

Here, the aggressive party expresses some of the emotions (mainly anger) by lashing out at the other party. While expressing one’s emotion can be healthy, this style of response is overdone and tends to leave other emotions unaddressed. Additionally, the other party walks away angry and resentful, leaving both parties unhappy. It leads to a negative experience that raises relapse risk for someone with an addiction.

3. Passive/Aggressive

This style of communication is one that addicts tend to be quite proficient at. It’s a manipulative way to get our needs met and is often an attempt to “guilt” the other party to give in.

Friend: “I’m so sorry I forgot to invite you to the party last night.”

Self: (feels angry, lonely, unloved, rejected) “That’s fine, it’s always nice to know how unimportant I am to you. Perhaps I should give you my phone number again since you seem to have forgotten it.”

Once again the emotions are not appropriately expressed directly but the inference from the response indicates that there are negative emotions that have resulted. This here is another style of communication that leaves both parties in a negative emotional state.

4. Assertive

Generally, the assertive communication style is the best way to communicate. It involves both parties listening to what the other has to say and fosters genuine dialogue about the emotional impact of the event.

Friend: “I’m so sorry I forgot to invite you to the party last night.”

Self: (feels angry, lonely, unloved, rejected) “I appreciate the apology and I must say that I felt angry and rejected by not being invited. I understand it was a genuine mistake and I’m willing to forgive and forget.”

Here, both parties express their true feelings in a non-confrontational dialogue, hopefully leaving both parties feeling heard and understood.

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For addicts, this style of communication often feels very uncomfortable, especially for addicts. We’re not very adept at recognizing and expressing emotions in a controlled manner and we don’t like feeling vulnerable by expressing our true selves. With enough practice though, we can learn to more effectively communicate our needs and feelings.

How Addicts Communicate to Feed the Addiction

For someone who is still in throes of addiction, there are two styles of communication we’re accustomed to using as our primary means of conveying the things we desire: aggressive and passive-aggressive.

Here’s how my past conversations usually played out.

Aggressive:

Me: “Hey, I need $30.00.”

You: “What for?”

Me: “Does it matter? I need the money! Give it to me!” (implying that “If you don’t give me the money, I’m willing to steal it.”)

Passive-Aggressive:

Me: (I need drugs and I need to get some money.) “Hey, can you lend me $30.00 for gas for my car?”

You: I don’t know, are you going to buy drugs with this money?”

Me: “Of course not, I need it for gas money.”

You: “I’m not sure I trust you, the last time I gave you money you spent it on drugs.”

Me: “Fine, if you won’t give me money, I won’t have a car to drive to work. Thanks a lot!”

Approaching Someone with Addiction

If you’re dealing with someone with an addiction, know that he or she will do ANYTHING to get his or her drug of choice. If that means lying to you or manipulating you, we WILL DO IT. The drug is the goal and whatever it takes to reach this goal is fair game for us. So what do you do?

1. Realize that whatever we say, we are trying to manipulate or intimidate you in order to feed our addiction.

2. Have a firm resolution not to give in to threats. If we “need” money for ‘rent’ then pay the bill directly, don’t give us the cash to pay it.

Recognizing these styles of communication is an important step to learning how to change our behavior to more effectively communicate our legitimate needs.

It is also important to recognize how addicts manipulate communication to score drugs. Honesty and candor from both sides are key to effective communication and recovery from addiction. When we all communicate our needs and concerns in an assertive manner, we have a much better chance of working together towards a life free of addiction and toward recovery.


Amazing Memorial Weekend Book Review For My Memoir, “Addicted To Dimes” By Book Must!

Happy Memorial Weekend Reading and Review … By “Book To The Future.”

 

Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by [Townsend-Lyon, Catherine]

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How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story.

It’s to easy these days to dismiss an addict without any real thought as to the contributing factors and the struggles they face each day when coping in a world that actively encourages habit-forming pursuits.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses or blame and does explore the complex history of the author’s case and painful past childhood where her roots began.

It’s challenging to read but that is how it is written and should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected devastating way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here. Not hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.

“Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth the right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.”

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies and people who partake, yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights, bells and whistles, and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money, a payoff, and glamour that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.


“At life’s lowest ebbs, the stigma of gambling addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances.”

There is some admirable support out there but there could be more for this specific disease. It’s to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual had to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run.  Addiction harms everybody, even in our communities as this author shares.

it’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the reader’s sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives. It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word, but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.

In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.

I highly suggest this one and her books can be picked up at Amazon both E-Book and Paperback … For more information about the author and recovery resources visit her informative blog  Catherine’s blog

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About Book To The Future!

The About Bit

 

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‘I felt a new About Bit was probably in order now that I seem to have shipwrecked myself on the rocky shores of the blogging community for good. Starting out, as I did back in the day as primarily a book blog now, I tend to write whatever wild winds of whimsy lead me too. A lot of that will be from The Philippines as that is where the said winds did blow me. Everyone calls me Ste J, I am an obsessive book creature, in fact, I spend more time between the (book) covers (I read in bed as well though) than I do with ‘real’ people. Which means I probably spend more time with you guys than anyone else. Feel privileged.

‘I have an urge to read as much as I can, in any genre and give my forthright and sometimes slightly obscure opinions on books and whatever other thing takes my fancy, such as life, or gnomes, although I haven’t done a gnome post yet…

‘Here you will find provided, an eclectic mix of stuff for your reading pleasure, when it comes to books, I intentionally do not reveal much plot, if you fancy reading it, you don’t want me coming along and telling you the butler did it or such like. Not that I’m saying he did do it, but he could have.

‘As a public service, I also read the rubbish books so you don’t have too, as well as delighting in finding the obscure to amuse you. I am also looking to review more authors who are self-publishing and attempting to vary the content more and grow this into something interesting. Feel free to look around and make yourself at home, there’s tea in the pot.

‘Recently I have taken to adding more posts on things not found in a book (or those infernal e-readers), so although I am primarily a book, I wish to keep it varied and hopefully bring you a more different and whimsical variety of posts.  Enjoy….

Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way – Christopher Hitchens

 

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

So I had a busy weekend visiting some of my favorite recovery websites, and there is a lot going on that is Good News. So I thought I would share some of my friends I am connected to around the web and social media. Many exciting things are happening with gambling and legislation by The National Council on Problem Gambling and my friends of Stop Predatory Gambling team!

I feel the more educated and informed we are as advocates maintaining recovery, and the public, the better we are for having the news and updates of the hard-working people who Care and Share Hope to those who are still suffering and for those reaching out for help. That is the main reason’s I do what I do here on my Recovery Blog! It truly is my way of “being in recovery service to others”…

I was also on Twitter yesterday and was few days prior had been interacting and sharing with some of my good friends. My Brandon Novak from The Jack Ass movies and a few others including myself were tweeting back and forth. I then get a very nice DM on Twitter from a HUGE FAN of the guys of Jack Ass movies like Brandon, BAM, … And I was so “Touched” I shared it with my buddies and wanted to share it here. WHY?

Because we never know who is reading and we may be helping others who need support maintaining recovery!! I Thanked Kylie too!! xoxo

TWITTER MESSAGES:

I’m a massive fan of Bam it’s so good to see him and Brandon skating again and I’ve been watching them both in recovery it’s been exceptionally inspirational Brandon Novak is truly amazing and he inspires me daily as to your tweets! To watch Novak in the Jackass and CKY days, now turned into the true gentleman he is today is a real blessing. Some people never get to see that there is a chance at recovery. YOU truly have an amazing gift and they’re very lucky to be writing about sobriety and all it has to offer. YOUR words are so true addiction is a major problem in Australia where I come from and gambling is huge. It’s the “unspoken addiction.” I had to download all the “Pokie” games on my hubby’s phone to keep him out of the clubs!

It’s more people like you that we need in the world! I try to practice by giving back “Positiveness” to my friends that are still suffering and in addiction and I hope that they see that if I can do it they can do it!! They just need a little bit of love, as I know I felt within addiction I didn’t even love myself, therefore I didn’t feel that I was capable of receiving it …Really is a pleasure to be speaking with you and I look forward to getting to know you better and reading more about your inspirational tweets. If it can just reach one person, then that one person has more of a chance to live again.

You are very lucky to have gotten to know Brandon Novak, I just hope that “Bam” can get through his demons … It is such a shame to see a young boy so full of life and had the world at his feet and after losing his best friend turn to addiction. It’s a constant battle and I just hope that with the love of Novak, and others that Bam can find some peace.

Thanks again for all of your encouragement and support! lots of love Kylie.

MY MESSAGE BACK TO KYLIE:

Very KIND words and I thank you for your support and new friendship! Your words mean much to me and all advocates who share, then it brings our Voices collectively as ONE.

Brandon ‘s friendship, like you said, has been a blessing and inspiration to me. He is always open and transparent maintaining and speaking about his recovery. Though not easy, and yes, we have days when we hit a bump or two, but we never give up! As I have learned, addiction IS always “lying in wait” for those rough days. So if I can help and share HOPE with others so they know to never give up the battle.

WE ARE Worth more than DEATH due to addiction. The more I can inform, educate, and raise awareness about the dangers of Gambling Addiction and Alcoholism, maybe those still suffering will finally have that “Light Bulb Moment” of clarity to not want to live that any longer! Just my 2 cents worth …LOL. I look forward to knowing you better as well!

Please Email Me anytime! lyonmedia@aol.com XoXo CaT 😺💞🤟

“JUST AMAZING SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE ON MY Twitter @LUV_Recovery!!”

 


NOW NEWS AROUND THE WEB!

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SPORTS BETTING WEBINAR: May 22nd, 2018 ~ NCPGambling ~ 1:00 PM ET

The US Supreme Court has declared the federal ban on sports betting to be unconstitutional. By repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the Supreme Court opens the door for any state to legalize sports betting.
Join NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte on this webinar as he discusses the implications resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision as it relates to problem gambling and responsible gaming including:
  • Increased Prevalence of Problem Gambling Across the US
  • The Impact on Public Health
  • A Rise in Youth Gambling
  • The Risks of Mobile Platforms for Sports Betting
  • Legislation and Consumer Protections
Have a specific question you would like addressed in the webinar? Email them to CaitH@ncpgambling.org by 8am ET on Tuesday, May 22.
FREE for NCPG Members | $59 for Non-Members

 

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Hi Catherine,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               CONTACT: Les Bernal, National Director
May 14, 2018                                          202-567-6996 | mail@stoppredatorygambling.org

STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN MURPHY VS. NCAA!!! …

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Stop Predatory Gambling released the following statement following this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the federal law that preventing states from sanctioning and promoting sports gambling:

“All men and women in our nation deserve a fair opportunity to build the best life possible for themselves and their families.”

This litigation was conceived in greed by powerful gambling interests in partnership with a handful of self-serving politicians to benefit a privileged few. It’s a naked money grab from the wallets of ordinary Americans cloaked as a “states’ rights” case.

While the Court’s ruling centered on lofty questions involving states’ rights, the real-world consequences of its decision are severe. The American people lost $117 billion on state-sanctioned gambling in 2016, causing life-changing financial losses for millions of citizens. It directly contributes to the lack of mobility out of poverty that traps so many. This serious national problem will be made far worse if the government is allowed to operate and advertise sports betting.

Sports betting is especially dangerous for American kids. Studies show that children in those countries with legal sports gambling are repeatedly exposed to harmful messages and advertisements about sports gambling. It normalizes gambling for kids.

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Author, Macauley South


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State-sanctioned gambling is a relic of past failures of political leadership. Strong, visionary leaders from both political parties will ultimately phase out state-sanctioned gambling because it’s failed. It’s inevitable. It’s not a question of if but when.

We’ll continue our just fight to improve people’s lives with compassion and fairness until then.”

Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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Stop Predatory Gambling

Who We Are

  • A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national government reform network of individuals and organizations from across the U.S.
  • We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.
  • We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which progressives work side-by-side with conservatives with a common national purpose.

What We Stand For

  • We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their economic standing.
  • We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.
  • We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.
  • We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefsplease help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

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Our Vision

“One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it “brave” when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.”

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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS ~ OUR MISSION

The mission of This Is My Brave, Inc. is to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues by sharing personal stories of individuals living successful, full lives despite mental illness through poetry, essay and original music, on stage in front of a live audience, through stories submitted and published to our blog, and via our YouTube channel.

Through the sharing of stories and experiences of those in recovery, we provide a sense of community and hope; and encourage others to share their stories. We believe that each time one of us shares our story, there’s another crack helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. Right now, it’s time to #LiveBrave, stand up with us to say #isharemystory and help us bring mental health issues into the spotlight because they’ve been in the dark too long.

We believe in the power of community. There’s strength found in people coming together to propel a movement forward which is why we created our organization.

Please Help Prevent Suicide and Support The Mission and Visit  “This Is My Brave Org” to Help TODAY!

 

(Huffington Post) – Truckers Line Up Below Bridge To Help Prevent Suicide

 

 

Is The 12-Step Way The Only Way? I don’t Think So. It Is a Solid Part of a Good Recovery Plan, Just Not The Only One.

Is The 12-Step Way The Only Way? I don’t Think So. It Is a Solid Part of a Good Recovery Plan, Just Not The Only One.

“We have a choice on HOW we want to recover. And everyone’s experiences can be different.  It is WHY we have the choice, to begin with! But The 12-Step way shouldn’t be the ONLY WAY to recover from any addiction.”

As we find by this new Guest Featured Article Courtesy of The Fix Magazine! ~ AS I Celebrate my 5-Year WordPress Recovery Blog Anniversary!!

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Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us.

Keep up the good blogging.

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When 12-Step Doesn’t Work…


“In the 12-step program, if you’re not getting better it’s because you can’t or won’t adhere to the simple program, and it is definitely NOT your fault.”

“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.” –The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I could write rehab reviews like a New York City socialite could write restaurant reviews, detailed with an extensive variety of experience and a favorite for every season. I was close with all of the staff at one, asked to leave for causing trouble at another, and I visited my preferred choice on two separate occasions, making myself at home and staying a while each time. Although many of the rehabs I took residency with differed greatly, they all seemed to share a fundamental staple regarding treatment: 12-step meetings were the way, and anything else was the highway.

Early in recovery, the meetings were my favorite part of the day. Once discharged from inpatient treatment, I’d hop in my dented up silver Honda and travel 50 plus miles to attend meetings with my former rehab mates. It gave me something to look forward to and was a great way to maintain the mere semblance of a social life, my previous social life having been obliterated.

I loved hearing the speakers tell their heart-wrenching and inspirational stories of overcoming immense adversity and eventually finding their way. I loved thinking to myself, “Wow, you’d never guess they were once an addict,” and hoping one day someone would look at me and think the same. I loved the strong coffee, stale cookies, and smoke breaks; it was like a cozy blanket and comfort food to me. I loved 12-step meetings, but the longer I stayed, the more the love began to feel unrequited.

As time passed, I enviously witnessed my peers collecting their milestone chips. I stoically sang happy birthday to people celebrating one, two, five, sometimes 20 years of sobriety. “Keep coming back, it works if you work it!” I’d smile and clap and secretly resign myself to what appeared to be my only two options: keep relapsing and likely die or go to meetings for the next 20 years. Either way, I’d never be escaping my identity as an addict. It never sat well with me that after 20 years of abstinence from mind-altering substances, people in the program would still be in meetings identifying as addicts.

Time and time again, I’d hear a person share with the group how one desperate, dreary day, they’d dropped to their knees and begged God to remove from them the burden of addiction, and the next day they’d woken up and poof! It worked. After a person hears that so many times, they’re bound to try it themselves. I must have tried it as many times as I heard that same testimony. “Stay until the miracle happens,” they’d say. I stayed. I waited for the miracle. I’d wake up desperate for deliverance, only to find defeat. Why was God removing their burden but leaving me with mine? I was deeply genuine, crying, begging even—so naturally, I grew cynical. The more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that everything I was seeing work so well for my peers, was not at all working for me.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and  Narcotics Anonymous, while technically three distinct programs, they all share the same philosophy and principles. There is no strict delineation between the groups and you’ll often meet people with a breadth of narcotic experience in AA and people who struggle with alcohol use in NA and many are drug users and drinkers with gambling problems or addicted. The steps are the same for all and somewhere within those steps is where all the “magic happens.”

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Before you can attempt the steps, you have to find a sponsor who will show you the way. A sponsor is another person in recovery, typically with an arbitrary minimum number of sober months or years that seems to vary depending on who you ask (but with more time than you). Ideally, they are a mentor, a trusted confidante who will talk you off the wagon’s edge.

They’re someone you tell your deepest darkest secrets to. Literally, your fourth step requires you to write a list of your life’s mistakes, from minor faux pas to your most egregious offenses, and then spill all the dirt to your sponsor. This was the first of many roadblocks I ran into within the program.

I seemed to burn through sponsors like an Uber driver does a tank of gas. My first sponsor and I were unknowingly involved in a 12-step love triangle. Program romances were rampant and newcomers were fresh meat. This is not uncommon and is jokingly referred to as the 13th step. I had a few short-lived sponsors before I found “the one.” She was my perfect match, and then . . . I moved 700 miles away. Although I pleaded with her to continue sponsoring me via Skype, she said it would be best for me to have a sponsor close by.

My next sponsor was someone I felt instantly drawn to and grew very close to. After working through the first three steps, I recorded all of my transgressions, ready for the big reveal. Then casually during an AA group dinner, a mutual friend referenced some seriously confidential information I had shared with only my sponsor, making it apparent our confidentiality agreement had been breached. Although we remained close friends, the trust was damaged beyond repair and my fourth step progress came to a halt.

The good thing about the 12-step program is that other addicts guide you through your recovery. The bad thing about the 12-step program is that other addicts guide you through your recovery. The first time someone struggling with addiction or alcoholism reads The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the similarities are so striking, it’s as though you’re reading your own diary at times.

People who have experienced addiction share the same symptoms, underlying causes, triggers, and lifestyle and The Big Book articulates that in a way that transcends time, age, and gender. There is, however, a glaring difference between someone early in recovery and a seasoned 12-stepper with several years under their belt. This difference was problematic for me.

Newcomers, or people early in recovery, are generally vulnerable and shaky. It is not uncommon for a newcomer to relapse once or even multiple times. One of the main draws of AA and NA is that the program offers a “sober network,” a community of like-minded individuals who have gone through the same thing and can, therefore, teach the newcomers how to treat their disease. The sober network that the 12-step program provides, however, is not purely sober.

One of the first things you’ll hear going into recovery is that you have to cut ties with your using buddies. I agree with that 100 percent; But in AA and NA, you are actively hanging around people who are barely clean, habitually relapsing, or even just there for the court-mandated requirements and not clean at all. For some people in the program, that’s not an issue.

For me, however, it was like these people were a walking billboard: “Potential Using Buddy,” with loud sirens and flashing lights, a temptation I could not seem to ignore despite two years of actively trying. My addict brain was drawn toward other vulnerable people in the meeting. One of the most important developments in my recovery was acknowledging and owning up to my tendency to take advantage of those situations. When I finally put my foot down and said I cannot recover in the company of fellow addicts, I closed one door and opened a new door to a realistic opportunity for recovery.

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During my two-year and some change trial of the 12-step program, I earned hundreds of chips. You’d think that’s a good thing, but it’s not. In your first 30 days, you get a chip each day and then a 30, 60, 90-day, 6-month, and 9-month chip after that, and from then on, they’re earned yearly. In AA and NA, if you’ve acquired a set number of sobriety days and then you relapse, you are required to stand up, announce that you are newly sober again, and take a newcomer chip every day for your first 30 days back—recounting your sober days from scratch. If you keep relapsing before you hit 30 days, that’s an unending requirement of standing up and identifying as a newcomer.

I remember a specific exchange with a program friend that in recollection feels poignant. I was sharing that I hated counting days and my friend said, “Why? It’s an accomplishment.” I replied, “Maybe for you. For me, it’s repeated humiliation and shame.” And it was. I was in the program as a newcomer for so long, I’d still take a newcomer chip the same day that a peer I came into the program with would receive their one-year chip.

After two years of stumbling through the program, I started seeing an addiction therapist. I disclosed my ill-will toward counting days and she responded by simply suggesting that I stop. That’s not allowed, I told her, the rules are strict. She said if I hated counting days, just stop. I was filled with a huge sense of relief.

Convinced I was incurable because of my abject failings with GA, AA, and NA, I began seeing my addiction therapist twice weekly. It was there in therapy that I was able to free myself of some of the constraints the program had placed on my treatment path and explore more fitting options.

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My therapist told me I didn’t need a sponsor, I didn’t have to count days, I didn’t have to recover in the company of other addicts, and it was okay for me to try medication-assisted treatment. In the 12-step program, if you’re not getting better it’s because you can’t or won’t adhere to the simple program, and it is definitely your fault, so this therapist was either a hippie or an angel. Whatever she was, I had hope for the first time.

Now, not to say during my time in the program, I did meet hundreds of people who have successfully recovered. The program can work and I would never suggest otherwise. While it has given life back to tens of thousands of people all over the world for almost a century, it has also left others baffled, frustrated, and defeated.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction and I think suggesting there is is the number one defect of the 12-step program. The program didn’t work for me and that does not make me flawed or a failure. It doesn’t work for many people, and that doesn’t make them incapable of being honest or unwilling to invest in their own recovery. And for those of us who don’t find our solution in the 12 steps, there is a multitude of other options.

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Marriage and Family Therapist Rebecca Deighan stresses the importance of building a network of support, and while that network may be GA, AA, or NA, it doesn’t have to be. It’s more about having a network of people who are supportive and caring, a sense of community. When asked about the 12-step program not working for everyone, Deighan said, “Everybody has a right to self-determination.”

Learning to trust your own instincts and know what is or isn’t working for you is no easy feat for people battling addiction. Having a therapist who encouraged me to trust my own opinions regarding my treatment was incredibly valuable. I can thank almost two years of therapy and medication-assisted treatment for my success in recovery.

There are many options when it comes to recovery: church, yoga and meditation, therapy, exercise, medication-assisted treatment, using self-help books and apps, support groups (12-stepSMARTWomen for SobrietyLifeRing, and others) and more. I recommend trying one or a combination of any of the above.

“Hello, I’m Emily and I’m an addict,” are words that will likely never leave my lips again. I don’t identify as an addict now and I won’t in 20 years.

I chose a recovery path that has left my life as an addict completely in the rear-view mirror, and for me, that’s right where it belongs.

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Emily J. Sullivan

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Emily J. Sullivan is a Los Angeles based writer specializing in addiction, mental health, relationships, and lifestyle. When she’s not chasing around her twin daughters, she’s writing, dancing, geeking out on Game of Thrones with her fiancé and soon-to-be stepson, or shopping for Jimmy Choos on eBay.