About Gambling Addiction and Does Self-Ban From Casinos Work?

We all know that old saying; “if want something bad enough you will find a way to get” and that is certainly true when you are talking gambling addiction.

So, you decide you are going to “BAN” yourself from a casino so you can STOP GAMBLING. Well, does this really work? Well, not from my personal ridiculous experiences . . . .

But first, shouldn’t we be educated about a what gambling addiction is? And is it really just fun and games? For many affected, NO, it is not and they will try anything to STOP!

 

WHAT IS GAMBLING ADDICTION?

Here is what my good friends of the National Council for Problem Gambling  define’s this addiction.

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide. And again, have no sense or fear of consequences from the destruction they are causing.

Isn’t Problem and Addicted Gambling a Financial Problem?

No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a problem gambler’s debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. But, in order to recover, the gambler needs to be willing to accept and surrender to the fact that he or she is in the grip of a progressive illness and has a desire to get well and stop gambling.


Isn’t Problem Gambling Really the Result of weak or financially irresponsible people?

No. Many people who develop problems have been viewed as responsible and strong by those who care about them. Precipitating factors often lead to a change in behavior, such as retirement or job-related stress.

The number one gambling addiction fact that you should know is that gambling is NOT just a financial problem. Some problem gamblers do not have financial issues even though they may lose money gambling. Gambling is an emotional issue where a person feels the need to gamble to alleviate stress or because they feel a certain type of euphoria when they gamble. Gambling is an obsession that can take over your life if you let it go too far, this can lead to the loss of relationships, jobs, and, yes, finances, but the issue behind compulsive gambling is not financial, it is emotional.


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For me, gambling became a way for me to cope, escape, and numb old feelings that came back to haunt me of what I went through as a little girl in my early childhood, then into a teen and on into adulthood. And even though 12-Step programs and support tell us we can arrest the addiction and recover, I myself disagree from a “treatment” standpoint. In order for me to reach full recovery, I had to process all the “old” in a healthy manner of all the uderlying issues before I was able to grasp a well-balanced recovery and make it into long-term recovery.

As I am a firm believer in doing the “inner work” within ourselves is just as important as learning the skills, tools, and being educated about the disease. So I do 12-step meetings, but I do them for support and to be with others who understand this addiction and be of service to others.

IF you think you have a gambling problem? I always suggest to people that a great place to start is to stop by  Gamblers Anonymous ~ 20 Questions and answer HONESTLY their 20 Questions and it will give you a good view if you have a problem and need help.

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Now About Self-Banning or Self Exclusion: What Is This?

Now keep in mind, each STATE in the US may have their own rules and policies about this option to help someone stop gambling and harm. So for an example, I currently live in the State of Arizona so I will share this STATE’S options as there as Indian Tribe Casinos all over this state, so people have many options and ACCESS to GAMBLE.

Here is what my friends at Arizona Dept. of Problem Gambling say about  Self Ban:

Self-Exclusion or Self-Ban is a process that allows a person to request to be banned from all Indian Gaming Facilities within the State of Arizona and to be prohibited from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses, and the use of any of the services or privileges of the facility.  You can choose either a one-year, five-year, or ten-year exclusion.  This exclusion is irrevocable and cannot be altered or rescinded for any reason during the selected time period on the form.

How Do I Exclude Myself?

There are a number of ways you can go about excluding yourself. You can download the exclusion form found on this site, fill it out, have it notarized and mail it to the Department of Gaming along with a current photo of yourself. Please note: The self-exclusion will not be processed without proper notarization and a current photo. We can accept the photo electronically via email but we must have the original, notarized self-exclusion form sent to this office.

You may also come to the office to complete the entire self-exclusion process which includes meeting with the self-exclusion administrator who will discuss the program, notarize the form and take your photo as well as give you additional resources for problem gambling.

Please click on the FAQ link to the right for more information.  Questions & Answers on Self Ban  . . . .

Many casinos and states are also trying to help by offering these additional Ban Services as well:

The self-exclusion procedures and the self-exclusion forms are in a PDF format. To obtain a free copy of Adobe Reader, click here.

Download a copy of: Self-Exclusion Procedures; Self-Exclusion Form

BAN YOURSELF FROM USING ATMS AT MANY CASINOS

The Everi STeP program allows you to exclude yourself from using ATMs at over 1000 gambling locations.

Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI) can also assist in blocking ATM transactions in some Arizona casinos.

BAN YOURSELF FROM INTERNET GAMBLING

Gamblock prevents access to internet gambling sites.

Please make sure you visit their Q&A Facts page about more questions of Self Ban and Exclusion, you will find it Helpful….

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The Interesting and Comical Side of Gambling and Self-Ban:

Now, of course, I will KEEP in perspective that gambling is something many people do from time to time. But for others, it becomes an obsession, and they risk losing their livelihoods and much more because of the affliction, THAT IS NOT Funny.

But I have been sitting in the rooms of AA and Gamblers Anonymous a long time, and also when I was in treatment twice in our weekly group meetings. I can tell you I heard all sorts of stories about others who did try the self-ban from casinos. Now I never had the nerve to self-ban from the only Indian Casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon where I lived at the time of my deep gambling addiction. But I have heard many stories from other women who did.

Needless to say, many told of them disguising themselves with make-up, wigs, sun glass’s and the like to hide their identity from the guards. and praying they didn’t hit a BIG jackpot for an attendant to have to come and pay them out or they would be Kicked Out! To me? That is living on the far off the edge! BUT? “If you want something bad enough?” ….

I have had many stories through the years of good and bad about self-banning, but here is a place and website I came across with stories that are both Postive and Negatives of gamblers who self-banned and gambled anyway on Psych Forums-Gamblers Banned I think you need to read. Here is one person’s experience:

“In the US it doesn’t work well. My wife signed the self-exclusion in all local casinos but she is able to play in all of them. One time she was playing, I told security that how come they let her plays when she signed self-exclusion, they immediately kicked her out. But casinos are businesses, and none of them will say no to FREE money. There is no real penalty for letting people who self-excluded play so why should they enforce it? I was considering suing them but all lawyers I contacted said that I can’t win.”

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I hope you have found this to be helpful information and informative. I know I have never written and shared much on Self-Banning and I find it interesting. I think for my own addiction, it most likely would NOT have helped me as I am a type of person that would find another way to “Get What I Wany.”  And self-ban could just backfire as of some other horrific stories I heard as in the rooms as well. Having access to NO MONEY to a gambler can make them turn to criminal acts. Yes, I heard some stories about this as well.

And this I DO have my own personal experience as I wrote about it in my current book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” And part of my title of my Memoir: “Confessions” was my way of taking accountability and ownership of the poor choices I made and the people I had hurt when I was gambling and deep within my disease.

We are only “as sick as our SECRETS” so I wrote and shared most all of what I’d DONE in a public forum within my book to hopefully help others and may they learn just far this cunning, sick and progressive addiction will take you! Here are some signs to look for if you suspect a loved one may have a gambling problem. Visit my friend’s page at  Addictions.com for more information and helpful treatment and support options …

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Any addiction causes highs and lows in a person, and gambling addiction is no exception. According to the NLM, here are some psychological signs of gambling addiction:

  • “Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting”
  • Feeling guilty for spending time away from your family or hurting them, but not quitting
  • “Always thinking about gambling”
  • Believing that gambling is not a problem for you, or avoiding thinking about how much time and money you actually spend on gambling

Gambling addiction does become a compulsion, and it is easier not to think about it than it is to soberly consider the repercussions of gambling on your life. Addictions.com

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**Presented by Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of  “Addicted To Dimes” **

 

“We Can Learn from Others Recovery Journey. A Little of Mine” . . . .

“When we do the inner work within ourselves and begin to clean out the “soul” is when our recovery really takes hold.”   ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery from gambling addiction and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining and stay in recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered.”

My recovery journey first started in 2002 and reset in 2006. Both times I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. In 2002 I was diagnosed with mental health disorders while in the middle of a full-blown gambling addiction. I was suffering from bipolar manic depression, PTSD, and OCD from past childhood trauma and abuse, and today, still manic depression and agoraphobia.

Then again in 2006, another breakdown, but this time the problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be “normal” like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had depleted all of my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess? No excuses, just insights. Of course, they pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the courts and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today. My point?

You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your finances. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work with a gambling addiction specialist. After my problems had occurred, I worked with a recovery expert for a year while I went through the legal mess I created. Why am I sharing this? Our stories and words of our “character defects” can be powerful tools to help others.

After my second suicide attempt and crisis, I learned I did not have a balanced recovery; and seemed had more work to do. I learned that God, my higher power, had bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery. After I was released from the crisis center in 2006 and started working with a gambling/mental health specialist and got my mental health under control, I began to see the stigma surrounding those of us who live in recovery. Those of us who have a mental illness have a huge hurdle in our path.

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I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered. I had picked up nasty habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking within my addiction that needed more correcting. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery. I’d been given a relapse prevention workbook, and although I didn’t relapse into gambling, the book has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. My journals were a guide with help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me.

I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood abuse and sexual trauma and what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, freelance writer and blogger, but these are just a few of the recovery blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

By publishing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter stigma around gambling addiction, recovery, and mental health. I want to be a voice for those who are childhood sex abuse survivors. Through my book and my recovery blog, I have chosen not to be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how quickly one can become addicted when using it for all the wrong reasons. It truly is a real disease and illness. I want others to be informed and educated, and I raise awareness of the effects it has on our communities, family, and our lives. This also goes with mental health and those who suffer from its many forms.

The public needs to understand with the expansion of casinos and state lotteries, it is making gambling more and more accessible today and is now touching our youth. Currently, 1% of our population are problem gamblers. Through my recovery, I have learned many lessons.

The best advice I can give?

When starting recovery learn about this addiction. Work with a specialist or recovery coach to learn the “cycle” and then learn the tools and skills to interrupt it. Work a steady, balanced recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit and finances. There are many ways to recover including in or outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings. Anything and everything you can find? Do it. Only one option may not be enough for success in long-term recovery. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way in early recovery before that little “Lightbulb” above my head went off!

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Now that I have reached TEN years in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, I know it is my job, my duty, to be of recovery service to others. Life today is good! My husband and I learned we can now weather any storm together. I’m proud that my book;
“Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat” has done so well and has opened doors for me to share what I have learned. I advocate and share as much as I can with others. It is to prove we can recover from this insidious addiction.

And I do this in many ways and many platforms, like “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” which is a free publication, Gambling Blogger at Addictionland” and for “In Recovery Magazine & Column The Author’s Cafe”. As we are now hearing more and more people today with “dual diagnosis” and seems to be more common.

With a high percentage of people relapsing after rehab or treatment, I wanted, and my readers asked me, to share how to attain the first year of recovery. I also share this on my recovery journal in blog form. So my second book I am working on now is about just that. How to make that first year in recovery. All I can urge others to do is never give up. You are worth a better life in recovery. Sharing our experiences and our recovery story with others is just as important as the professional or clinical side of how to recover. Sharing one’s story is a powerful tool for others to listen to and learn.

My last tip is to do something for your recovery each day like I do with writing and sharing my “testimony” anywhere I can to raise awareness and educate the public. It will help keep you in recovery, and you won’t ever become complacent in your journey. So, let me pose this question and open up a “Comments Dialogue” .  .  .

“What do you do to stay in RECOVERY”???

 

I wish you all a successful and learning recovery journey!

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Author/Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon  🙂  XoXo

Let Them Hear Us! Joining My Friends At “Facing Addiction.” Are You Facing Addiction Today?

 

Facing Addiction

Dear Author & Recovery Friend Catherine Lyon,

This is a critical time for anyone connected to the addiction issue. We are just over a week into the new Congress and at the end of next week, a new president will be sworn in. Here are just a few quick things you can do today to ensure that our leaders continue Facing Addiction in 2017 with us:

Sign and Forward an Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

The new administration has made a commitment toward reforming our nation’s health care system. We hope you’ll sign this letter to the President-Elect and his new administration, urging them to maintain their commitment to facing addiction issues in whatever replacement health care package emerges. If you’ve already signed our letter, please take a moment to forward this link to your family and friends and post it on social media. We need your help today!

Tell Your Story in a Letter-to-The-Editor

One of the leading roadblocks to improving the collective response to addiction is better understanding. Last year we saw the tragic viral images of overdose victims posted by police officers who were shaming people who become addicted. Shaming doesn’t work. The only way people will build empathy about addiction issues is to hear stories from other perspectives – recovery, loss, the struggle to access health services – you have a unique story to tell. A letter, outlining your personal perspective and connection to addiction can make a huge impact. Please click here to submit a letter today!

Pilot Community Program

Facing Addiction is proud to offer this application for communities needing support to build a targeted grassroots approach that changes local responses to substance use disorders. Examples could include building diversion programs that move low-risk offenders from court involvement or formal criminal justice system supervision to health-centered interventions. To learn more about this program, and to submit an application for your community, click here.

Thanks for all you do – advocacy is about action. Join us by taking action today.

Regards,

Michael King
Director of Outreach & Engagement

I PROUDLY STAND With My Friends at Facing Addiction! Let’s All Get Involved Above!  

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*** Author and Recovery Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ***

Guest Article About Gambling The Addiction & Our Addicted Brain.

ARE WE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A CURE?

Gambling addicts have ‘WEAKER’ brains – just like alcoholics and drug addicts, scientists discover

Experts at Imperial College London hope their discovery that gambling triggers two key areas of the brain, will lead to new treatments- 3rd January 2017

What Does Gambling Addiction Look Like? It Looks Like This – Can We Help & Support Him?

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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Addiction to gambling

Do you know what gambling addiction looks like? Do you know how it impacts your community? Did you know that 1% of our population has a gambling problem? Parents, did you know that problem and addicted gambling has now reached you high school and college bound young adults? Do you know what the symptoms are of a problem gambler? Here is an anonymous young man who recently reached out to me because gambling addiction is devastating his life.
And NO, addicted gambling is not by a persons choice to destroy their life.
It is a REAL DISEASE . . .

Anonymous Writes:

I am 32 to years old.  I am from — and that is also where I live now.
I was always popular, kind of a ladies man, I was athletic, and I was the first guy to leave the state of all my friends to be on my own right after college. However, I have since college struggled with depression. Since gambling addiction took over I:

– I have NEVER enjoyed any of the career opportunities that I have had.
– I have always been a poker player and now more of a complete degenerate gambler.
– I have been on several medications and none seem to fix this issue of depression.
– I have always been searching for the career that would make me happy and at peace.
– I have always been a drinker. I like to drink but I do not go over board I drink wine and about a bottle over the course of the day/night. This has been targeted as a problem to some therapists and others don’t seem to think it is.
When I have quite drinking for a few weeks I do not notice any difference.
I am still depressed and miserable. The longest I have quite for is about 20 days. on 2 or 3 separate occasions.

– I have never really felt that suicide is the answer but I can’t say I would ever do it. I actually highly doubt I would ever do such a thing. I do google it and think about it though when I am super depressed after a big loss.
– I am not normal with relationships. I feel that I grow very distant when things are starting to get serious.
I have a tendency to be turned off easily and get sick of women. Right now I have not had any relationships with a woman for months and months due to gambling and depression (staying inside).

I have been living with my parents for going on a year now in the basement. This house is dysfunctional with an alcoholic father and a mother who is sad she has to witness this. I also have a sister here. I have lost most of my friends for one reason or another. Either because I decided to never call them, or hang out due to feelings of shame for living here. And I do not like facing the public in my current state of living. I feel embarrassed and ashamed!

I lost my last job ( making about –k per year) in just 3 months. It was a horrible experience. The gambling has been out of control for a while but MUCH worse lately. I just have ripped through money like its nothing, pumping them into STUPID SLOT machines which is something I WOULD NEVER DO.  AND that also sickens me!!!!

I just know that the depression and gambling has reached new damaging heights. I cannot cope like this. I feel terrible. However, as soon as night-time comes along and I’m depressed and miserable, maybe buzzed off wine I talk myself into going back out to gamble again!! I am not sure if you heard stories like mine. I am not sure if you have heard people in as deep as me, with no job, no career, and no discovered passions dig out of this mess.
I am hoping you can tell me if you have seen it. However, I have tried so many therapists, nothing is working. It is the most frustrating thing in the world and I want out.

I guess what I want to know is. These are the thoughts I have had for years. I know there are generic answers like, ( stop drinking, stop gambling, seek help, find your passion, try a medication, think about what you liked to do as a kid)
HONESTLY NONE OF THESE WORK FOR ME!!! I Need Your Help!

I guess what I am looking for is :
– Have you seen stories similar to mine?
– What can I do about this mess?
– Why do I keep going back when I know its killing me?  – Can I one day have a happy life?  – It seems like I will never be gamble free… and its scary!

Thanks for listening to me go on and on…. you don’t even know me, but maybe you can save me? I would be forever indebted, and thankful!!!  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover please ask me.
Anonymous. . .

upset player suffering from gambling addiction

SO, . . . . My question to all of my blog friends and recovery friends who come to visit, WHAT would you say to this young man? Of course you know I sent him some information and support websites. But can you help me by sharing your thoughts as if you were talking to him in my comment section. I will make sure I forward ALL advice to him by email. I need to dig deep and ask for a little help from my friends here.

Thank You and God Bless,

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

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Sharing my past Addiction, Recovery, Living With Mental Illness, and Childhood Trauma to Help others is INTEGRITY.

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and Welcome New Visitors,

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Mental Health Advocates United's photo.

Learning to live a life of Integrity in Recovery.  .  .  .

Many times, we as bloggers and advocates wonder if there is anyone reading what we have to share about of our lives. Not because we want to be popular or be noticed, we want to share our lives as an open book to the world, just wanting others out there may will find some comfort or happiness in our words. Many people blog for many different reasons. You don’t have to blog because of the negative things in your life, many blog to share their life journey for many positive reasons. Hell, some people blog just to learn to write better, share their bucket list, and the list goes on.

Blogging about ones past character defects, maybe poor choices, addiction, recovery, childhood trauma and abuse, and living with mental and emotional health issues can be a challenge. Yes, all that is a mouth full, but it was given to me in my life to learn from it, and I also see it as an opportunity to share it all, share what I have learned along my recovery journey to help others. It’s why I started this blog to begin with. My blog has helped me move from just writing about my recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, into a safe area where I can share what I went through with childhood sex trauma and abuse, and writing about living with mental illness.

Blogging has built my self-worth, and has helped me learn to embrace what I have been through in my past, in order for me to live a life of freedom from all of it. And even though I am still going through therapy for my mental health problems, I can share this with others too so they know there is no SHAME to do so, and that there is no shame of getting help. I want to let others know who may be going through what I am that it will, and it does get better, and let them have a voice here on my blog. A place where they can feel safe to share what they want. To me?
That is part of what Integrity means to me.

I want to share a perfect example of this fact. An example of exactly why I started this blog.
I want to share a resent comment made by a friend/follower that I met on LinkedIn about a year ago, and we have learned we have a lot in common. We visit each others sites, and connect a lot on LinkedIn. Now, like I told her, I’m not one who is comfortable tooting my horn, so I would share her comment her as she honored me with an award, but that part of my recovery, I’m still “a work in progress.” LOL.  I’m still learning acceptance of compliments and praise.
I know, . . . crazy, but it’s true. Addiction sucks the self-worth and confidence right out of a person, so we have to learn “we are worth more, not less.”. . . Funny right?

So here is the beautiful comment that was made here on my blog, and how I also responded back to the commenter:

So, we’ve been doing this discovery and recovery thing together for what seems to be a year now. S/o to the anniversary of a blessed friendship between you & I, Catherine! It’s kind of wild how that all boils down to me coming across another one of your brave, powerful and healing posts. I find myself in many ways, compelled, to testify to you on this powerful platform you’ve created here. I was touched as a very, very small child. By my mother’s boyfriend. The memories were so deeply locked away, I didn’t come to terms with their existence being real, not fake, until last year (in deep midst of my spiritual journey). I have only since, told my mother. Who, though believing of my trauma, was almost too believing, if that makes sense. As if, she already knew. In her heart. And was waiting for the moment when she’d have to be fully honest with that truth.

As a child, my mother always made a really big deal about telling her if someone touched me. As big a deal, as adults made about not talking to strangers back then (early 90’s, when child abductions and kidnappings were rampant). I never understood why she made such a big fuss. Never. Until I had to come to terms with one of my most haunting and buried truths. It all made sense. Her intuition knew better. But her heart and ego wouldn’t allow her to see. So as her spirit begged me to force her eyes to see, what her mind and heart had blinded, her physical ignored all signs. All signs.

I haven’t told anyone else this, outside of my mom, until now. Until you. Until this post. I haven’t even dared to pretend to write about it on my blog. What will I say? That I have memories from a time in my childhood that are so deep and buried, any “logical” person would question its validity? That’s why this piece your wrote is so powerful for me. It allows me to accept that even though I’m grown now, and powerful in my own might, I still dare to be afraid that they won’t believe me. That he’ll continue to win. As he has for the past 20 something years. Then there’s the fact that he is also the father of my younger brother. There is this guilt in me, that tells me to remain quiet for the sake of my brother. But Lord knows, I know better by now. I AM better by now. That’s why I chose to take up your offer here, and share my recovery. I am ready to heal this part of my broken childhood. Thank you Catherine.

Actually, I came on your blog here today, to honor and recognize you, in all you’re doing with this blog and book promotion company. And then I found myself in midst of it again. The Catherine Lyon Experience of Recovery and Healing! Ha ha! You’re magical woman! I’ve already made it loud and clear how much your blog, mission and bravery mean to me! So, I’ll save the words, and simply parade the symbol. I hereby, nominate you Catherine, and this amazing Recovery Blog for the “Real Neat Blogger Award.”  Not sure how many accolades you already have, but it is my honor to be able to add to them in appreciation of all you do. If you choose to accept, you can find the deets here –> http://wp.me/p3Zjs6-Pw.
Peace & Blessings beautiful Catherine! And salute to many more years of a growing and beautiful friendship!

Now Here Is My Reply:

“I am speechless and read this with tears in my eyes Ms. Shaquana.
Many times I think to myself as I write and share my life experiences here if anyone really reads and FEEL what I try to share of myself. Your comments here proves that you never know when we share our God Given Journey, who it may touch, if anyone at all? I try to empower others to be in touch with their inner self as to not hold all the negative we may have been through in our childhoods hold us back any longer.”

You have touched my heart today with sharing your thoughts and feelings here with No Shame or Judgment. I want others like yourself to know this will ALWAYS be a safe place for all to share, and to have your voice heard and validated.

And yes, since we first met on LinkedIn, I know we were “kindred spirits” and that God had brought us together in this moment in time. Thank You for trusting in me to share your inner most pain. I bless you that you that you finally find that inner peace you SO deserve my dear friend.

I also appreciate the Honor of the award nom. I will put a special blog post to share your beautiful thoughts and share in the award. I don’t have a specific page for those, as I don’t like to “toot my own horn”. . LOL. But this one I will share.

May God Bless you abundantly,
Catherine XOXO
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I guess this answers my question, if people really read and can feel what I write and share here.
I truly did have tears when I read her comments. And it validates exactly what I try to do here on my recovery blog. I know it is a lot to share, recovery from addicted gambling, living with mental and emotional disorders, and moving through all the fear, hurt and pain of a traumatic past childhood. Writing about it, and sharing with others seems to me the only way to raise awareness, help others understand, and educate others on how these issues affect many personally. That is also what Integrity means to me.

INTEGRITY is being of recovery service to others. It IS what has helped me stay in recovery for the past 8 years and 3 months.  .  .  .

About This Beautiful Woman ~ Shaquana Gardner
Her Blog: shaquanagardner.wordpress.com which I hope you’ll visit!

Shaquana S. Gardner
Current: Founder/ Adaptive Creative Specialist at Gardner Creative Consulting.

 

Shaquana Gardner

Shaquana Gardner

I believe we were born to dream and dreams are born to live. Founder of Gardner Creative Consulting. Founder of EverythingShaquana.com. Human. Writer. Blogger. Educator. Activist. Jack of all trades extraordinaire. .  .  .
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*Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*

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Yes, Our Power Can Be Taken Back and Restored In Recovery!

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome Everyone,

 

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'~Once I admitted I was powerless I gained some power back....the power of choice.~ April G.'
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No matter how or where you choose to recover, we learn that we have the power and ability within ourselves to change, turn our backs from addiction, and regain our lives to take power back from our addictions, so we then can learn in treatment, rehab, therapy, group, a 12 step program, or what ever you choose, we then can take back our power when we thought we were Powerless . . . .

Just because we have admitted to ourselves and maybe to others that we were powerless over our addiction, and that our lives became unmanageable, this doesn’t mean we gave all our power away. We just gave away the power that was destroying our lives. The negative power that had a choke hold around our necks & minds of our diseased thoughts and feelings from addiction. It took away all the good inside ourselves when addiction took over, and we became hopelessly lost, afraid, full of fear, and we gave into the darkness that comes with addictions.

We become “broken in spirit,  of mind, body, and soul.” We convince ourselves we are not worth a life of goodness, love, or blessings. Because the negative behavioral habits, thoughts and feelings that become our distorted thinking within our addiction, seems to keep us repressed and strangled. At least that was some of my experiences with my gambling addiction. I felt like a hostage when I let go and entered the world of powerlessness, and crossed into that ugly uncontrolled part of addicted gambling. Yes, gambling became no more fun, nor just an entertaining past time. It became a daily battle of cravings, urges and triggers when I entered, and tried at times in vain to STAY in RECOVERY.
And I can tell you, . . . that elusive first year in recovery had been filled with relapses, binges, and 2 failed suicide attempts, and more! So much more.

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And even with all that swirling around like “The Perfect Storm” in my life, I still at the time could NOT admit to myself I was powerless over my insane hunger for addicted gambling!!!! It consumed every part of my life. Family, friendships, my career, almost my marriage and my Life! How much is enough? When so we really get sick tired of being sick and tired? When it’s to late? When addiction has claimed another precious life from another suicide?
I refuse to addiction steal my POWER any longer.

“I refuse to give Gambling Addiction another piece of my SOUL or POWER” . . .

I will continue to advocate, help, and Share my Message of Hope from Addicted Compulsive Gambling to others.
I refuse to let this addiction take another life if I had that POWER! And I do by continue to speak up and speak out of the dangers of this cunning disease. To let others know they are not alone with this addiction. That there is No SHAME in admitting you are powerless over any addiction, but especially addicted gambling.

I refuse to be another victim of this devastating illness. I refuse to allow the FEAR that this addiction I’m in recovery
dictate my life, even when I know I will always live “One Bet Away”. . . as this disease, this addiction always lies in wait, to catch me off guard, a major life event, just that one major life event if not prepared, could put me back in the insane “cycle” of  compulsive gambling addiction very easily.

Deep within each and everyone of us who live life in recovery? We have the power and strength to reclaim our lives back from any addiction, and take your power back to live a healthy and well-balanced beautiful life in recovery.
YES, we really do have that inside us!
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No, no more fears, no more tears, and no more giving my power away! No More. . .
Today I say, “Not Today ~Today I choose not to Gamble”

ODAAT Recovery Friends, and Thank You for Visiting!

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/