Giving Thanks and Having Gratitude as Another Holiday Recovery Season Begins

Giving Thanks and Having Gratitude as Another Holiday Recovery Season Begins

Happy Thanksgiving Week and Kick Off to Another Recovery Holiday Season!

Well, another holiday season is upon us already. It seems just yesterday it was summer. Time sure does fly. As you begin holiday shopping, the smells of turkey roasting, decorating, baking those yummy Christmas cookies, I hope for those maintaining recovery from gambling and all addictions take some time to reflect on how you have gotten to your beautiful recovery life today. Be “Thankful” and have a heart of “gratitude.”

You need to be mindful of where we came from and how far you have come and have worked to positively move forward in life. It is essential to do so, especially at Holiday time, as you walk farther away from your past within addiction. I thought I’d share a little of my “Holiday” article I wrote for my gambling recovery column QUIT 2 WIN over at “Keys To Recovery” newspaper.

So why do we need to reflect as we move farther away from our past “wreckage and damages” from our addictions?

It gives us a sense of accomplishment and gratitude as we become thankful for all the work and “change” we have put forth to get where we are today maintaining our recovery path. We also need to be mindful of those who “don’t have what we have” when it comes to recovery.

Many do still have struggles around the holidays and why I will be recovery blogging and being close to my phone and email through the holidays for my 6th year now. I do this to be of recovery service to those who are new to recovery and may have a tougher time through the holiday season. I started this recovery tradition right after my book, ‘Addicted to Dimes’ released in late November of 2012, and decided I would do it every year.

I knew how hard it was around the holidays when I was still deep within my gambling addiction, and when I first started recovery. We have feelings of desperation due to no money for gift giving, decorating the home and even holiday meals. I still remember walking up and down the store isles wishing I could buy this or buy that and feeling sad and mad at myself because it was all my fault, my gambling was why I couldn’t.

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Anger, stress, and holiday chaos can be triggers, so as I’d leave the store and gamble a few hours to help me feel better hopefully. But it didn’t because I was desperate! Even in recovery, the holiday season can be filled with many opportunities to gamble with the people around them, which may threaten their gambling addiction recovery.  So be mindful through the holiday season.

Know Yourself – Remember what caused you to gamble before, and make sure your behaviors and habits do not change during the holiday season and trigger gambling impulses. You may also need to monitor your alcohol intake, turning down vacation day trips to casinos with friends, and making sure no extra vacation time causes you any feelings of boredom or loneliness. Use the tools and skills learned! Have a wonderful sober, clean, and bet free Recovery Holiday Season …

 

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Image result for free images of Jesus is the reason of season

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I am also sharing below a little “Faith” from Harvest Church of Pastor, Greg Laurie. Because as we enter the Holiday Season,  it is many times with stress and worries. I work my own recovery through faith as I would not be on this earth otherwise. I’m just not too loud about it! Lol.

When your life is pulled back from “A Power Greater Than Ourselves” from suicide not once, but twice? You know that IS a miracle of GOD. So turn those worries and the stress of the holidays into PRAYERS.

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Turn Your Worries into Prayers

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

—Philippians 4:6

There are so many things today that can cause us to worry. There are the worries of
the world. There are the worries in our own country, including the threat of terrorism and the threat of North Korea. Then there are personal worries, such as health worries and family worries.

It seems as though worries are always there, always closing in on us. But worry isn’t productive. In fact, it’s a failure to trust God. The word worry comes from an Old English term that means “strangle” or “choke.” That is what worry does. It chokes us. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

Modern medical research has proven that worry breaks down our resistance to disease. It actually diseases the nervous system and, more specifically, the digestive organs and the heart. In fact, 79 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are stress related.

Philippians tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (4:6–7).

We need to turn our worries into prayer. That requires developing a conditioned reflex. We all have natural reflexes, like when we touch something hot and immediately pull back. Then there’s a conditioned reflex, something that becomes natural after we’ve done it so many times. For instance, standing during the national anthem or placing your hand over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance is a conditioned reflex.

We can’t control our universe, as hard as we may try, but we certainly can pray about it. The next time you’re tempted to worry, pray instead. Turn your worries into prayers.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING and Celebrate Recovery Through The Christmas Season and Beyond Recovery Friends!  ~Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon 

Dig Deeper:

Today’s Radio Program
“Hurried, Worried, Buried (How to Overcome Fear, Worry & Anxiety)–1”

This Week’s TV Program
“The Danger of the Compromised Life”

 

 

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“What Did God Want You To Be In The First Place”? Inner Thoughts Of A Recovering Addicted Gambler…

Hello Recovery Friends, Recovery Seekers, And Welcome New Visitors,
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I was cleaning up my Author Facebook page when I came across this “Quote” and it got me thinking about my current published book and my recovery from Addicted Compulsive gambling, and a bit too much alcohol. It took me back to when my book first released on my 50th birthday! I felt so proud that I actually accomplished one of the biggest goals I’d had for myself. I owe it to the “Grace & Power” of God, and my own 7 years of hard work in recovery for my book  to even be a “Dream to Reality” event in my life.
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Well, also I Thank my awesome publisher too, Steve Laible, of TKG… http://KodelEmpire.com  And yes, he is as funny as he looks! But seriously, he is a fantastic publisher, and a “Children’s Book Author” Too! Check out my Pal http://StevieTenderHeart.com If it wasn’t for him nagging me to want to publish my manuscript my friend put together for me, I wouldn’t be a published author today. I was so scared of what people might THINK of me because of all the terrible things I’d done as an addict.
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Author - Steve Laible
Author – Steve Laible ~ Great Guy!
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I know I blog a lot about life being difficult to move on from, especially from our addictions when we first enter recovery. I know this because I to had a hard time grasping the fact that I had become an addicted to gambling and alcohol. It’s hard when we are at our worst in our addictions to even LOOK at ourselves in the mirror, and god knows that happened a lot for me. From the woman and wife I was, having a successful banking career, working hard to have a home and beautiful family life, to this black, ugly, darkness of addiction that took such a hold on me I thought I’d never make it out alive! And I almost didn’t, Twice.  When I was in the depths of the ugliness of addicted gambling, I used to think in my head about all the “negative” shit my mom and dad used to say about me, and it seemed I made that a “Reality” all by myself…

As if I bought into all the years they said I didn’t love my family, never wanted to be around them or stay home, that I lied, or wasn’t an honest person. I really made that come true with my addiction! Even when you start recovery you have so many doubts about yourself. It takes time and a lot of hard work to learn WHO you really are. You have to retrain your brain, your diseased thinking and thoughts. I also had a hard time about 2 years into my recovery about “Feeling Stuck. I don’t know if you know what I mean? When I went to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I’d hear others speak about feeling “Stuck” in their recovery. Not sure which way to go, or what to do next to continue to grow in our process to recover.

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For myself? That’s when I had to start on Step 9. I was stuck on this step for a while. Making “Amends,” wow that was a hard job, and I’m still doing it today! Step 9 is making “Direct Amends” to such people wherever possible, as long as it doesn’t injure anyone in the process. Now that sounds easy enough, but with gambling addiction, it often means you owe money too, to someone you hurt, or never paid back. Well, most all the people I did owe, I had paid back. That is when though I learned about “Pawn Shops” and started selling stuff to get money to gamble. Also for me it was more of how I let down others. Like employers, if I stopped to gamble before work, and got on a winning streak, well, I’d call in sick and say I couldn’t make it in. Sadly, these people hired me to do a job and BE THERE to do it. So then that plays into your “Reputation & Character” of who you are. When I gambled? I was a Flake!! I even did it to my friends, and lost many good, long time friends because I couldn’t be counted on anymore. Now this may not sound like a big “DEAL” to many, but for me? That used to be WHO I WAS. People knew they could always count on “Catherine” when things needed getting done.
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But, that all falls to the wayside when all you’re doing and thinking is “Gambling”! I was a happy, bubbly, caring, at times a comedian, a giving woman with a smile on my face, and the word “YES” was always on my lips. That all to went away when I became addicted to gambling. So like the next “Quote” above says, “You need to learn to MOVE ON” and get yourself in Recovery, when you do? You will know it was “The Best Decision” you’ll ever make. You can move on from all the damage of addiction.  Yes, it will take work but it is “Worth the Work”! The one piece of advice my sponsor gave me is this, “when you feel stuck in your recovery? It means you have MORE work to do.” And she was right. See, we get to a point where we begin to feel good about ourselves again, learn to be better than we had been as an addict. We start to feel again, as were taught how to process these different feelings of Life and past damages. So we then start to look and take stock of our life overall. That’s when you can really feel STUCK.

Then that hard work starts paying off. We begin to be comfortable with our past faults, learn to gain our self-worth again. We learn we are “Not Less Than” we are Worth More” in Recovery! It’s a time of awareness of what our HP has given us, a second chance at a beautiful life in recovery.  We learn how to live on life’s terms and learn we don’t have to run and Gamble, Drink. or Use Drugs when we run into a life road blocks. We have the skills and tools in our recovery tool box to handle anything, so use them. We do become more aware of what our HP has blessed us with. Decreased “Triggers and Urges get replaced with some “Peace & Serenity” and more comfortable in our own skin. We feel strong to start being of recovery service to others, share our testimony to help others. We learn how to handle life’s disappointments and expectations when things don’t seem to go our way. We don’t have to run to addiction anymore to “Feel Better.” Just remember you are “More Than ~ Not Less Than”….

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Which brings me to the above “Recovery Quote”…
Have you yet to have that “Closure Talk” with yourself within your recovery yet? Are you today able to look at yourself in a mirror and LOVE what you see looking back at you? We need not explain ourselves to others, nor try to explain away our “Faults and Short-Comings” when we were addicts.
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We need to be comfortable with who we are today, not who we “were.”  Yes, I’m not perfect, who is? Yes, I F _ _ KED UP, but the person you need to forgive is yourself. You won’t be any good to anyone else until then. We come to believe in a power greater than ourselves to work through all the baggage of the past, not just your addictions, but all the “Past” hurt and pain that was done upon you to be able to live in the moment, be alive again, and enjoy all the things we did before we began our so-called, “DANCE WITH THE DEVIL.”….

I really did feel that way about myself when in the throes of my addictions! Like I was just a piece of garbage no one wanted or cared about. I was treated as such growing up, so why should my adult life be any different? Well, that’s a few on the “Recovery Perks,” I call them in my own recovery. We don’t just get a better life than before we became addicts, we get an Awesome gratefulness and gratitude towards ourselves to be happy again. We are more aware of just the “Little Things” around us. Yes, it sounds corny, but it’s true! Hearing & seeing all the beautiful things God has created seem more awesome than ever in recovery!! We get “JOY” out of everything. We may have it rough when our Amends don’t seem to come out positive, but that’s OK, really it is. All we need to know is we tried, and owe ourselves our own “Closure” on a chapter of life that hopefully we learned from as part of the journey my HP had laid out for me. Always know that no matter what you do or go through, there are many “Blessings and Life Lessons” to be learned from this journey of recovery and life. So today I’m grateful for those blessings given. It has humbled my heart.
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This is who God meant me to be. The person I am today. To reach out and “Share Recovery HOPE to others” and sponsor, and let others know that recovery from any addiction is possible. Learning to be OK with sharing this part of ourselves.
So stop being to hard on yourself in recovery! There are “NO SET RULES or TIME LIMIT” on our recovery journey. It us meant to be a life long process until we breathe our last breath. And you know what? Today? That’s OK for me. If your feeling stuck in your recovery? Re-work your steps and see for your own eyes the “Growth” you have accomplished! Besides, the only “Dancing” I do these days is Naked in the Shower!! OOPS!  Too Much Information??…LOL, LOL!

God Bless you on your Recovery Journey All,

AUTHOR, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author of “Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485