Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,
In honor of celebrating this month, another new article was published this month in a new publication I was invited to write for called, Keys To Recovery Newspaper!
My first article in last month’s issue was a hit with many visits, so they asked me for another for this month. The publication is free and they are out of Southern California. They are one of the biggest distributors of addiction recovery news sent out to conferences, training seminars, and mailed to many 12 step groups nationwide. I was very honored to be asked to submit articles for their new column, “Quit To WIN!” about gambling addiction and recovery.
Here is my September article I wrote to share more of my addiction and recovery in celebration of this special MONTH!
I hope it helps others have HOPE from the cunning disease called; “Gambling Addiction” A Real Addiction, A Real Disease!
‘Quit To Win’
“CONSEQUENCES, ACCOUNTABILITY & FREEDOM”
“I will never forget the day I was sitting in jail, on a cold piece of concrete bench feeling sick to my stomach. I was waiting to be booked and fingerprinted by our local police. I could not believe I was here. I could not believe my addicted thinking and poor choice got me here. The shame and embarrassment I will never forget.”
That was me back in Sept 2006. I wanted to share a little about the damages and consequences many of us face when we were deep within our addictions, or like me, just have more recovery work to do. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his recovery blog while he was there. And I can tell you; there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.
See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. In 2006 I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released due to never having a criminal record. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone, of course, read about it in our local newspaper.
I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall, and seen my name in our local newspaper.
FREEDOM, ARE YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK!
Now my friend who just got out of prison was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feel- ing and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.
I use them for my recovery to help others and share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling addiction, alcohol abuse, and more, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for my home business as a book promoter.
I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two-years probation and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution today. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer from severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore. BAM! Book Promoting and authoring more recovery books came to me! Lol. Now I am not rich, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery. It also raises your self-worth, your confidence and gives you freedom from addiction.
We need to learn while working our recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done; you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides turning to addiction.
So back to my friend, I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, go to online recovery meetings, and that is what helps me stay in recovery. Shar- ing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.
I never dreamed how my life could take a decisive turn from the ugly damage and devastation of gambling addiction I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime, nor have freedom again. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams!
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I have been unbelievably blessed since that day sitting in jail. Yes, my choice’s back then came with heavy consequences, but in Recovery we can surely turn that around and have a “positive impact” in the world and with others who still suffer the “cycle” of any addiction. I know this as I have been sharing HOPE & HELP to as many as I can for the last 8 years. So please, if you or someone you care about has a gambling problem? Reach out and get help today and “reclaim your life back!”
Start Here: The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700).
Look for a GA Meeting – Gamblers Anonymous in your area here:
U.S. Meetings | Gamblers Anonymous
Gambling Addiction – gam-anon.org
God Bless All! Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author