For the last couple years, there has been so much that has come in the form of adversity towards Lanie’s Hope.
Frustration, stress, tragedy and loss – all of these things have come into play, and the temptation has been to despair.
Have we been doing the right thing? Is this all truly worth the effort and sacrifice, in the face of everything that has occurred? It is true life brings such difficulty at times that it can all feel as if it is too much, too weighty a sacrifice, and too high a climb.
But we do remember something – actually, two things.
The cause itself that we fight for is difficult; and we do not fight in our own strength.
Recently, our founder Bea Aikens was interviewed by the LA Times regarding the mission of Lanie’s Hope, and this in part centered on this topic. In the passing of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the addiction in the form of compulsive gambling rose to new heights. The difficulty of this addiction in its very nature, practically ensures a difficulty of a different manner in recovery and stamina of those in such recovery and therapy. This addiction is not a visible one to the naked eye. To the public, the solution is an easy action, a red stop sign, a gathering of strength for the common good and betterment of the individual. But it is, after all, an addiction. There is great difficulty, sweat and tears in recovery. Real people come with real problems that are solved by real solutions. Yes, the cause we fight for is difficult.
However, we never are to fight in our own strength. This is a universal fact, albeit with differing sources of that strength. One way that we can avoid fighting in our own strength is in the company of others. In this same LA Times article, all of the individuals whose stories were explored were impacted for the better by others around them, whether family, friends, or others who impacted them in a positive manner.
For those who, like our own Bea Aikens, hold to the faith in Jesus Christ and the Christian teaching, the source of strength is seen to come from God, who gives His followers the strength to carry on through difficult and trying times, including that of addiction. This is strength that humanity cannot explain, and that surpasses difficulty. Although this does not guarantee a problem-free or easy life, it promises a beautiful word and concept to those who are struggling with gambling addiction; that word is Hope.
It is with this strength, and in this hope, that we seek to move forward, grow and thrive at Lanie’s Hope. We are fully invested and excited to see where this journey takes us, and we look forward to being used to impact others reach them with the message of hope.
Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope – Sept 11, 2021
Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope- Sept 11, 2021 7:30AM, Bob Miller Middle School, 2400 Cozy Circle, Henderson, Nevada
Lanie’s Hope’s proudly supports the Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope. We walk to remember those who have been lost to suicide, to honor the family members and survivors, and to shine a light of hope for those who may be considering suicide. Compulsive Gamblers have the HIGHEST suicide rate of any group, with 1 in 5 compulsive gamblers considering or attempting suicide.
Let’s face it friends – the past year has been challenging on all fronts! Mental health issues have come front and center with the added stress of “social distancing”, loss of personal connection, for some loss of jobs or housing and, sadly for some loss of loved ones.
Our community will be walking together to honor those we have lost and celebrate those attempt survivors who are such a vital part of the suicide prevention community!
The Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope is near and dear to my heart and I have been intimately involved in the Walk as well as sponsoring organization, the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention since my first walk experience in 2009 after we lost Lanie. This year, I will not be able to personally attend the walk as the pandemic impacted my living situation and we are currently “nomads”, traveling the country for a year by RV. (That story is for another time…but trust me…God has turned a “challenge” into a BLESSING! Still I know that Lanie’s Hope supporters and the Recovery Community are STRONG SUPPORTERS of the mission to reduce suicide. If you have a Lanie’s Hope T-shirt, please where it:) If not, you can get a Prevent Suicide T-shirt at the walk. What you wear is not important – showing your support matters!
God Bless you all and welcome back to the Walk in Memory/Walk for HOPE!
Aprile 21, 2021
I invite each of you to walk with us on Saturday, September 11, 2021 as we take suicide and gambling addiction out of the darkness and into the light.
Nevada Conference on Problem Gambling – June 11, 2021
Nevada Conference on Problem Gambling – June 11, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada
SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling’s annual conference! After a year of “shelter in place” and a very unusual “new normal”, it is with great joy that we look forward to participating in the 2021 Nevada State Conference on Problem Gambling!
The Council has asked us to moderate a “Recovery and Resilience” panel, in which people in recovery from Gambling Disorder will share their unique experiences in maintaining abstinence during the Pandemic. Details of this and other programs will be forthcoming. For now, “Save the Date” and plan to join us at the SunCoast Resort in Las Vegas. for this one day LIVE event!
Details and registration will be available soon at Nevada Council on Problem Gambling
January 6, 2021
“Today So Far” …. I hear this every time I participate in a 12-step meeting. And…I SAY IT at every meeting when asked what recovery milestone has been met. “Today So Far” is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given! It means I’ve learned a better way of life. And I haven’t had to place a bet or have a drink to live “life on life’s terms.” It keeps me in touch with the fact that recovery is attained one day at a time. It is not an “event” it is a process. Each day in recovery is a gift.
Today (So Far) is a milestone of sorts. It is my 25th “Birthday” in Gamblers Anonymous. It feels right to share this morning’s Journal Entry with you…it’s the best way I can express what I’m feeling today. Journaling is one of the best tools I’ve found in recovery. My feelings and thoughts are expressed unfiltered and unedited…they just flow and I can release them, honor them, and let them go. So excuse any typos, incomplete sentences or grammatical errors. This is how I journal. So..here’s my #TodaySoFar entry.
25th GA Birthday
Curious. Today is a day to give thanks for the endless gifts and blessings of recovery. Yet my thoughts are of Tommy W., Anton’y, and Lanie…those who didn’t survive this insidious, patient, destructive disease. All three of these beautiful souls, along with countless others we lost, experienced glimpses of the gifts…they held the delicate petals of early recovery in their hands and asked in wonder “Can this be REAL? Can my life REALLY be better…can it be THIS good?”
The internal battle of early recovery is palpable..”Am I really worthy? I’ll probably screw it up again, so why bother?”
“No! I want this. I AM worthy. Im going to fight for a better life – free from the bet and free to love and be loved.” Read more →
On the Titanic Twice and Lived to tell
I’ve been on the Titanic Twice…and Lived to tell:) Actually in the Recovery Community, we call changing addictions “changing seats on the Titanic.” bottom line is, an addict is going to die if they don’t get help.
That was me.
But today is my 31st Anniversary of NOT DRINKING! Yay! I rarely even talk about that, but giving up alcohol is a pretty big deal. Especially if “one is too many and 20 is never enough”, as was the case with me. It’s the case with anyone who has a Substance Use Disorder. Mine substance was alcohol.
Like most addicts, I started drinking at a young age.I had my first drink at the age of twelve. Ever the over-achiever and went on to become the “Chung Queen” of my Sorority. That seemed pretty cool at the time. It wasn’t cool. Eventually I couldn’t go a day without drinking, albeit for many years I was told I was “so much fun” AKA “a happy drunk.” Ultimately, and predicatbly, the fun had long since stopped when I reached out for help and joined a 12-step support group. Thirty-One Years Ago today. Cool! And thanks God!
The “Changing seats on the Titanic” came about when I found or, more accurately, embraced, my love for video poker machines. I’m sure I was a compulsive gambler when I gave up alcohol. I just didn’t want to “give up everything.” Somehow I thought perhaps I would disappear. What if the only things that made me “me” were the activities I participated in, the parties I attended, the beer I consumed….the list goes on. What if I wasn’t fun anymore? And (even worse) what if I couldn’t have fun without these things?
Anyone who knows me today, l will not be surprised by the fact that “My name is Bea and I’m a woman in long-term recovery.” In fact, I’m an active and outspoken advocate for “social change in problem gambling” – how we deal with it, how we think of it and how we treat people impacted by it.
It’s weird to remember that, there was a time where I would freely tell folks that I was “in recovery from Alcoholism.” Their responses were kind and encouraging and always some venison of “Good For YOU!!” And “Way to GO!!”
Rarely did I ever mention gambling, or that it was a problem for me or….eventually when I “admitted defeat”, that I was a “Compulsive Gambler.” (GASP!) There was a bonafide reason for this. At first I thought the bias I felt when I did venture a toe in the water to mention my Gambling Disorder, was only in my head. It wasn’t. It isn’t. The bias still exists today.
Thank goodness society has evolved to a place where we witness far greater understanding of alcoholism and substance use disorder. People generally understand that these disorders are real. The people who struggle with them matter. AND society as a whole has a moral and fiscal responsibility to offer compassion, help, hope and TREATMENT for those who do struggle with these disorders.
Lanie’s Hope, my colleagues in gambling services field and my friends (whether they are personally in recovery or not) work daily to speak openly about this most hidden addiction of Gambling Disorder. I thank every person who speaks up and speaks out. I thank every person who strives to make a difference by changing their language around addiction and gambling disorder. Who no longer scoffs at “compulsive gambling” as a weakness or moral failing.
It is not. My Gambling Disorder is as real, as my Alcoholism. Today, on my 31st “birthday” of living life without Alcohol, lI celebrate my recovery. I thank God for letting me sit on the Titanic and not die! And I pray for those who are right this moment claiming another seat on the Titanic. People with Gambling Disorder have a very high propensity for what is called “dual addiction.” Some experts say as many as 70% of us have more than one addiction. What works?
The same thing that worked for my Alcoholism. Twelve Step meetings, therapy, l talking about it, coping skills and community and family support. We’ve got a long way to go before society at large understands that “addiction is addiction” And TREATMENT? YES – treatment works for Gambling Disorder too! But can you FIND it? In Nevada, professional treatment provided by Certified Problem Gambling Counselors can be found through Nevada Council on Problem Gambling or on their resource page at Nevada Problem Gambling Treatment Providers
If you or someone you love is on the Titanic, throw them a lifeline. Let them know that help is available and it works. Tell them you care about them. Hope and help are available One Day At a Time!