Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guest Blogger: Twelve Dollars – A Compulsive Gambler’s Journey in Recovery by Bea Goodwin, Co-Author of Life Choices

Our special guest today is Bea Goodwin, co-author of Life Choices: Putting The Pieces Together.

If life didn’t challenge us,how could we know how strong we are?

How would we learn who we are capable of becoming?

There is no such thing as life without struggle. No one comes out of a struggle the same as he or she was when it began. Everyone has to make choices between giving up or growing stronger.

These authors hope that by sharing their stories, you will realize nomatter how many pieces your life is in or what they look like, you can fit them together into a picture of wholeness and success.

Meet the Co-Authors of Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together:

Andrea Chestnut
Jasmine Freeman
Anne Dreyer
Kathy Jo Pollack
Vickie Lane
Gregory Lay
Jo Wilkins
Charlotte Foust
Joan Peck
Ginette Osier Bedsaul
April Aimee Adams
Darlene Mahon
Joy Huntsman
Myriam Lazo
Bea Goodwin
Eric Culverson
Cindy Hallam
Deborah Clark
Ann Parenti
Lori La Bey
Becky Buckley
Mike Levin
Peggy Vasquez
Derick Poremba-Brumer
Lynette Chapell

Twelve Dollars – A Compulsive Gambler’s Journey in Recovery by Bea Goodwin

“Twelve Dollars” is an expression of JOY and ABUNDANCE that I use to express my circumstances when things look bleak or challenging. In fact, all of my closest friends have taken to saying, “No worries. I have Twelve Dollars!”

Why? Because that’s the exact amount of money I had left to my name after one year in the recovery program of Gambler’s Anonymous. And guess what…that Twelve Dollars represented the WORLD to me. Abundance, recovery, peace of mind, blessings and serenity!

So why did I write my story and why now?
I had always intended to keep my anonymity outside of the rooms of Gambler’s Anonymous; at least until I “retired.” I NEVER wanted my business associates to know my “sordid” past. And still I knew I had a gift to share with the world. The message of hope and serenity and life beyond addiction that is more beautiful than anything came before. I may have thought my message could “wait.”

God had other plans.

My sister Lanie, who was also a compulsive gambler in recovery, fell back into old patterns and was secretly gambling. No one knew her “secret” because that’s what compulsive gamblers do. We hide. We keep secrets. And the pain and shame builds. Lanie’s pain became overwhelming and, on June 2, 2008 I lost my dear sister to the disease of compulsive gambling. In my heart I don’t believe the overdose of antidepressants that ultimately took her life was a suicide. I believe she just didn’t want to feel the fear, the shame, and the anxiety. Intentional or accidental; Lanie died as a direct result of the DISEASE of compulsive gambling.

Still …I waited. Knowing that someday I would share my story. Just not quite yet.

God knocked again. Actually took a two-by –four and said, “Bea get moving on this NOW!”

In January of this year I was called to an emergency meeting of a professional board I sit on. At that meeting we were informed that our entire treasury had been depleted due to the immediate past president embezzling the funds. Why? This individual was a compulsive gambler.

Right then and there, I spoke the words “There are no accidents and my being on this board is obviously meant to be. I am a recovering compulsive gambler and I understand this disease. If you haven’t experienced a gambling related problem in your personal or business lives as yet, you will. And if I have the courage, which I believe I do, I will speak to our membership about this disease.”

That was it. It was my time. And along comes the opportunity to share my story in Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together.

Writing this story has changed my life! I no longer hide “who I really am.” In a few short months, I closed my business, immersed myself in helping others in recovery and in need of recovery and have founded a non-profit in my sister’s honor called “Lanie’s Hope.”

What looked like a very skinny (and scary) branch became a launching pad that gave me the courage and the absolute certainty that sharing my message of experience, strength and hope is my Life’s Purpose!

Wow! Change happens in an instant! I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to be included in this compilation with so many other courageous and powerful authors. I humbly accept God’s knocking and intend to dedicate the rest of my life to serving the compulsive gambler who still suffers.

Bea Goodwin has been passionately committed to “helping the compulsive gambler who still suffers,” since her own recovery journey began years ago. In 2008 the loss of her beloved sister Lanie due to an accidental overdose related to her struggles with Pathological Gambling changed Bea’s life forever. She now dedicates herself fully to her mission of illuminating and humanizing the disease of pathological gambling; bridging the vast gap between the legal, medical and private sectors and the pathological gambler who still suffers.

She is the founder of Twelve-Dollars, and the non-profit Lanie’s Hope, dedicated to serving the needs of the pathological gambler and their families; providing education, resources, hope and treatment for the disease of pathological gambling. Bea’s personal story “Twelve Dollars” is featured in the book “Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together” (Turning Point International, copyright 2010

Bea has been a frequent presenter at Gamblers Anonymous conferences at both the local and national levels, and addresses professional groups to enhance understanding of compulsive gambling. Just as Betty Ford’s work destigmatized the disease of Alcoholism, Lanie’s Hope envisions a world in which pathological gambling is understood to be a disease vs. a moral weakness; where the pathological gambler is treated with dignity and compassion; where resources and support are available to the pathological gambler and their loved ones and where State, Federal and Private funding is available for treatment of all pathological gamblers who are willing to commit to treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.

Bea Goodwin can be contacted at the following for consulting services, problem gambling and recovery workshops and keynote speaking engagements:
(702) 812-1922


Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Bea. Best of luck in all you do.


Deborah said...

As a co-author in the book, I want extend my best wishes to you, and say that I really enjoyed your story. I hope everyone reads the book and gets some healing and hope for their own Life Choices.