Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recommended Reading

Aside from the GA 'combo book' -- the little yellow book that my g.a. group read at the beginning of every meeting.....some of the other literature that has influenced my thinking and my ability to break free and stay free from the cycle of gambling are:

Sober for Good by Anne M. Fletcher -- New solutions for Drinking Problems-- Advice from those who have succeeded. Get sober with or without AA - You can quit on your own - You don't have to call yourself an alcoholic - You may not even have to quit altogether

Now...this book really appealed to me....especially the part that I may not have to quit altogether. I do not have a problem with alcohol. It is something that I can easily put down...but I do believe that what is 'different' about an alcoholic (as well as other addicts) is the same thing that is 'different' about me....we just found a different method of .... um.....soothing? ourselves.

I imagine there are some people out there who have gambled out of control and who can manage to somehow regain control of it. I am sure that I am not one of those people. After several attempts at it.....I now believe that I can live THIS life or that OTHER life (living in the cycle of compulsive gambling-obsessing over gambling when I'm not actually doing it --- and compulsive gambling).

So I fall into the category of 'I have to quit altogether'.......but I did find a lot of good information and inspiration in the book.

I think the author also makes some very good observations on why the traditional 12 step programs do not work for everyone.

Many Roads, One Journey, Moving Beyond the 12 Steps by Charlotte Davis KASL, Ph.D. -- "while many people find twelve-step programs invaluable, countless others find that the traditional focus on conformity, humility, and personal failings is counter to their tremendous need for self-affirmation and community support in overcoming issues of child abuse, sexism, racism, poverty and homophobia."

The author of this book has developed the 16 Steps of Discovery and Empowerment:


1. We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

Alternative: We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over _________ yet have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

2. We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to that power.

3. We make a decision to become our authentic selves and trust in the healing power of the truth.

4. We examine our beliefs, addictions, and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchal, patriarchal culture.

5. We share with another human being and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

6. We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths, and creativity, remembering not to hide those qualities from ourselves or others.

7. We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

8. We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

9. We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

10. We learn to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know, and we feel what we feel.

11. We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover-up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

12. We seek out situations, jobs, and people that affirm our intelligence, perceptions, and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

13. We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

14. We seek to find our inward calling and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.

15. We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.

16. We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

Charlotte Kasl, PhD. copyright 1991 (materials must retain copyright if reproduced)



Kasl emphasizes that her criticism of AA is tempered with the knowledge that Bill Wilson was a product of his time - Depression Era America - and she appreciates his 'open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, and willingness to change' but by contrast, many AA loyalists offer pat answers, closed minds, and dreary rhetoric. She says that AA is based on a sin-and-redemption philosophy: "You're a sinner and you have to make up for that for the rest of your life. There's nothing about love and trust, there's nothing about validating your strengths, about celebration, about joy".

Author and psychologist Jane Middleton-Moz, who has been treating Native Americans and other 'minorities' from addictions for 25 years says, "For people who have been oppressed for years and years - generations, actually - to say, "I am powerless" or "Turn it over" is to say something they have felt their whole lives."

In contrast the 16 Steps are a positive, flexible and holistic self-support alternative that offer support for a wide variety of quality of life issues, such as addiction, codependency, abuse, self-esteem, personal empowerment, and more. 16 Step groups encourage us to... "...celebrate our personal strengths, have choices, stand up for ourselves, heal our physical bodies, express our love for each other, and see ourselves as part of the entire community, not just the recovery community."


Questions and Answers on Addiction by Howard Wetsman MD-- "There are two main points to this book...the first is that addiction, not alcoholism or cocaine dependence or compulsive gambling, is the disease that requires medical attention as opposed to any particular behaviors patients or their families find troubleing. The second is that addiction usually causes symptoms before the troubling behavior started and will continue to cause symptoms after the behavior stops..........the illness does not go away with the drugs. The new science that has emerged and continues to be discovered tells us that this brain disease is a chronic progressive condition that requires care throughout the life cycle much as does diabetes, asthma, and hypertension....This is a hopeful time for the treatment of addiction, and that hope is what this book is about."

I've mentioned this book on my blog before...it was written by the dr. that treated me for addiction and I believe that he helped me to save my life.


Excessive Appetites - A psychological View of Addictions by Jim Orford -- this is actually a textbook that a friend recommended to me. it was quite expensive but (now that my financial situation has improved) was worth every penny....the author offers a different model of addiction, and believes that" with alcohol, Excessive Gambling deserves a central place in our picture of the addictions."


That was the first time I'd heard that. Most addiction treatment centers, except those solely dedicated to compulsive gambling, do not treat, or do not know HOW to treat compulsive gamblers....the fact that we don't actually INGEST something to get us high, actually makes even other addicts not able to relate to us.


These are just a few of my personal favorites....there are others that I may mention from time to time.

Peg

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am going to get the Wetsman book. I wish we had such physicians here.

Marilyn Lancelot said...

Several years ago, I entered my first 12-step program and someone told me, “If you don’t admit to at least two addictions, you’re not being honest.” Today I can admit to a half-dozen issues where I lose control. Two years ago, I published a book, Switching Addictions, which details the many areas in my life where I crossed that invisible line. By writing this book I became aware of my compulsive, obsessive personality and the fact that I was not addressing the underlying issues that caused me to search for an escape. This book is available on Amazon in both book form and Kindle.

Switching Addictions can help the reader understand and be aware of the warning signs of changing addictions. Becoming addicted to another form of escape may be overeating, alcohol, over-spending, gambling, smoking, prescription drugs, etc. I’ve heard many 12-step members say, “I don’t drink anymore, but I’ve started gambling.” Or “I don’t smoke now but I’ve been overeating.” Your story may be in Switching Addictions. If you have a gambling problem, check out Gripped by Gambling.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Lancelot

Marilyn Lancelot said...

Several years ago, I entered my first 12-step program and someone told me, “If you don’t admit to at least two addictions, you’re not being honest.” Today I can admit to a half-dozen issues where I lose control. Two years ago, I published a book, Switching Addictions, which details the many areas in my life where I crossed that invisible line. By writing this book I became aware of my compulsive, obsessive personality and the fact that I was not addressing the underlying issues that caused me to search for an escape. This book is available on Amazon in both book form and Kindle.

Switching Addictions can help the reader understand and be aware of the warning signs of changing addictions. Becoming addicted to another form of escape may be overeating, alcohol, over-spending, gambling, smoking, prescription drugs, etc. I’ve heard many 12-step members say, “I don’t drink anymore, but I’ve started gambling.” Or “I don’t smoke now but I’ve been overeating.” Your story may be in Switching Addictions. If you have a gambling problem, check out Gripped by Gambling.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Lancelot

Samual James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samual James said...

Gambling is ok if its in a limited amount, but if someone is getting addicted to it, it may cause a big trouble. Hence one should take proper care of it and take it just as a game, should not be addictive to it.

Compulsive Gambling

Linkhelpers said...

Very informative!

Anonymous said...

ArizonaDreamTrueCrimeStory

I fully agree with you that you have to quit altogether. There is no controlled gambling for a compulsive gambler. Anyways, how did you quit gambling?