Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors, Now Friends!
So, I have to APOLOGIZE to everyone for not being here or posting the last week or so as I was on Event High Alert! As not only am I handling the news media for my dear friends Jim Downs and Marisol but also Social Media Manager so I was busy pulling together “Big Jim’s Biking America 4 Addiction Awareness and Peddling Hope” Tour Event as he finally made it from Fort Meyers, Florida to the State Capitol in Phoenix, AZ, and not far from where I live!
And it was such an amazing day for me and my hubby. To share all that happened and what all took place may take me TWO POSTS!! LOL! There were permits to get, insurance for the day of the event, making hotel reservations and MORE. I sure learned a lot that I can now use for marketing and promoting all my authors!
I was happy and honored to be one of the Keynote Speakers for the event and book-signing benefit for Big Jim. We had some amazing speakers and guests that accepted my invite and flew here on their DIME just to help me and Big Jim’s Addiction cause. Just one man on a bike peddling all of 2019 and sharing a message of HOPE to the all 48 lower State Capitols in the United States. He has 12 State Capitols now visited and the next is Santa Fe, New Mexico. As he has biked over 4,780 MILES ALREADY.
This man has AUDACITY and CARES about those who may be “touched” or suffering from ANY ADDICTION, including mine from Gambling Addiction. I also shared some of what took place and who attended in my next months’ article for “Keys To Recovery” newspaper, which is FREE by the way, and who is sponsoring Big Jim with printing his State Capitol Events and Schedule. So I’m letting you all have a sneak peek. I’ll be doing another post very soon! ~CAT
Why do I advocate?
Why do I not remain anonymous?
Is it looking for fame or status?
Is it to gain more Facebook “likes” and followers?
NOPE, not when 1 in 5 addicted gamblings try suicide. . .
I advocate because I have maintained recovery from addicted gambling for just over 12-yrs and want to share my personal experiences, strength, and HOPE to others as a form of “Paying It Forward” to others who may be in the same place I was all those years ago. HOPELESS, broken, sick, and giving up on life. That is what the disease of addiction does. It breaks you until one day you look in the mirror and don’t know who that person is anymore looking back at you.
I was a shell, just a body with nothing inside it any longer. No feelings, no love, no caring, no humor or laughter anymore, as I was barely even breathing. Nothing mattered to me except when and where was I gamble again. Where and how could I get the money to do so? Would I have to pawn or sell more valuables? Would I have to lie to get more money? Would I have to steal money out of my husband’s wallet AGAIN?
I recall still the day that had changed my life. It was the day I learned about the video poker machines all over the place in Southern Oregon where I had lived for over 25-yrs. It is where I moved from and met and married my husband. To begin a family and have a great career. Little did I know that one day would shatter my life to pieces. Yes, after this one day. I used to go to this little deli with my best friend who had just moved to Oregon and begin a new life as I did years prior.
We go there to have lunch together on Saturday’s. I happen to walk over to refill my soda when I saw a retired older man I’d seen there at the deli with a couple of his retired buddies also having lunch, and many times before. He was playing a poker game on the machine called “Flush Fever.” He was doing pretty good on the machine. He was up on the game about a couple of hundred dollars. I watched a few minutes. He cashed out his ticket and then put a five dollar bill in and off the machine went! He got right into another bonus. So I asked what he was playing?
He told me “Flush Fever.” It looked rather fun, so I sat down on the machine next to him. I put a five dollar bill in and BAM! I also got into a bonus right away. Here is what I never forgot and changed my life. As he got up from his poker machine, he leaned into my ear and said to me, “you make sure you cash out and take their money home with you. I’d feel bad if you got hooked on these damn machines.”
I never did see the retired guy and his friends again after that day. If he only knew the hell, I went through with addicted gambling for the next eleven years after that day.
So today, I recover out loud. Like I did at Big Jim’s event. I advocate sharing a message of to those who are feeling hopeless, broken, lost, and having feelings of “no way out” of the black hole we dig ourselves into from gambling addiction. It is why I was honored to be asked to speak and part of Big Jim’s Ride Around America 4 Addiction Awareness last month with some recovery special guest keynote speakers. Many have been recovery supporters of mine, and I met new friends too here at the State Capitol Event in Phoenix, AZ.
One of the most amazing days of my recovery journey thus far! We all came together in unity and caring for those still suffering from all addictions. Big Jim had the fantastic “Beast” former NFL Tampa Bay Buc #60, Randy Grimes and his wife Lydia was so sweet who has a caring soul, and both her Randy have a huge heart. I was elated, and I look forward to many years of friendship with them.
I was more than excited to finally meet and spend time with Big Jim and Marisol, BFF! Simply a fantastic few days with them and NOT long enough. Lol. So I plan to continue to push through my fear of speaking and my agoraphobia due to the several “peep talks” I got from Big Jim and my hubby to make some other of Big Jim’s events!!
All the days and the event for Jim are hard to describe. It was like floating on air from all the love and support from everyone! I will keep all the memories in my heart forever. All I can say is the whole event and meeting everyone like Darren nPrincesinger/artist Jackson Pierce were all ‘Recovery Blessings given by GOD,’ and I will treasure and always keep close. They will help keep me in my recovery and continue to “Quit To Win.”