Wisdom, Knowledge And Elephants!



“A point well seen is one that is given a brief ati thesis by a clueless person” Bernard Zeitler .

Over the years I have had people tell me about the proverbial ‘Elephant in The Room”.  Bernard Zeitler

Sometimes it proved to be a bit unusual when I say the Family of Elephants being ignored for the one.

Here is what I mean by that.

If we talk recovery it often comes down to several different interpretations when left to the word itself. Some would argue that you can ‘reduce’ how much you gamble.  Others would say total abstinence from the addiction. each has difficulties because if you talk in general terms to 10 individuals each will interpret it differently. Some may change their definition to suit their own ‘selective’ desires.

! Here is my what comes to mind

: The REAL FAMILY OF ELEPHANTS in the room is that it was: 1 Predetermined understanding is accepted.

2. Predetermined understanding is violated and ignored because it was not ‘really’ wrong.

3. Admission of the predetermined understanding being broken and taking responsibility for it.

4. Recanting responsibility for failure because predetermined understanding ‘may have been’ misinterpreted. So it was not wrong after all.

At this point a person has defined what they believe is their ‘rule’ but since it was ‘broken’ a change in interpretation was needed to justify the problem.

So the elephant in the room is the rule. It is adapted to fit what is desired in the moment.

The Family Of Elephants is that until there is consistency and firm understanding of a ‘rule’, it will always be filled with ‘loopholes’.

Recovery takes firm conviction and admission of any problems in the road. It takes understanding that ignoring the pothole in the road is not changing the fact that the wheel is bent because you hit it.

Why, How, What And Other Questions In Recovery


BookCoverImage (3)

When you first realize you have and addiction certain questions arise. It is no different for Compulsive Gamblers.

Over the past year I have had many conversations with people who asked these questions. On occasion I have asked myself these questions. When I was just starting the process that is all I did for months.

Why did I gamble? Why couldn’t I just stop?

How could I have been so stupid? How could I have lost so much? How can I fight back against those who took it? How could I have given away so much?

What’s wrong with me? What kind of fool am I? What can I do now?

I still ask questions but most of the time they are different. That is because, considering all of the things that have changed, I have changed my perspective.

The questions are now more often:

Why has it taken so long to be identified as an addiction? Why can’t I do things to educate others? Why is it so hard to share sometimes?

How can I share my experiences so others are helped? How can I fight for recovery? How can I make people see?

What is different now? What are the signs that no one sees? What is the best way to help others? What is the reason I feel better with less?

So the question for me today is how can I help others while still protecting myself from relapse?

I have begun the process by:

  1. Telling my story.
  2. Researching the problem and sharing what I find with others.
  3. Remembering that Addiction is Addiction as a friend (Mike B.) says often.
  4. Creating a website to share information and resources.  (www.Standtallrecoveryservice.com)
  5. Writing books (even if they have grammatical of typographical errors at times).
  6. Speaking to groups.
  7. This Blog
  8. Facebook groups (secret).
  9. Chat rooms (although they still have not taken off)
  10. Hearing other people tell their story from where they are at.

All of this is an ongoing process and there are still days where I think about going back (although it is a fleeting thought).  So now comes this question for everyone:

What will you do in THIS moment of recovery to grow and heal?

Ethics, Morals And Choices!



Sacrifice and Life


Moving forward and into new places

Ok so everyone has different standards of ethics and morals. We make choices based on those ethics and morals. Today I have had to make a very sad decision. I base it on the standard that I believe is fairly standard.

In the medical profession and many others the following promise/ oath is made:  “To Do No Harm”. Because of promises I have made since graduating High School in 1983 certain things are not acceptable to me. Here are those promises that mow are part of the principals I do business by:

  1. Do no harm. – This does not mean I wont do something unintentionally. It does mean that I will not intentionally do something that is intended to harm. Nor will I condone that behavior.
  2. Defend those who cannot or will not defend themselves. – This includes not allowing myself to be knowingly associated with those who promote what is inappropriate and potentially harmful to a group or ‘class’ of people.
  3. Stand up against those who take advantage of others. – I will defend those who have been wronged.

While this list could be longer these 3 are ‘core’ to who I am.

That brings me to choices. Over the past few months I have written at a place that has ‘flexible’ rules in respect to enforcement. Some flexibility is understandable, however when that flexibility is harmful it is not acceptable. Recently that is what I have been seeing. I could simply avoid the writings that have pictures and content that violate those rules. My problem is in deciding if by knowing it is happening and ignoring am I condoning it?

I came to the conclusion this morning that it would be condoning what is happening. For that reason I will be taking action to end the perception of condoning it.

Recovery is like that. When the Ga program says “Don’t associate with those who gamble”. It does not say don’t care about them or avoid those who are trying to gain recovery. It does say don’t associate with.  For me this means don’t associate with those who are actively gambling with no expressed desire to quit and who have a known problem. There are people who do not have a problem with gambling but do gamble from time to time. They are not people you have to avoid as long as they are not trying to get you to gamble with them.

I am very open with people that I have a Gambling Addiction and they understand that if they try to get me to go with them they will be avoided.

Addiction IS..






So over the past few years I have explored Compulsive Gambling as an addiction. Until recently it was not officially recognised in the DSM. Today it is given somewhat equal status with alcoholism, drug addiction and so on.

I’ve heard people say they would rather have an addiction to one of the other forms out there. Sadly, many Alcoholics have become compulsive gamblers. What I’ve heard from them is that Gambling is harder to break free from and is easier to hide.

The thing that compulsive gamblers have to realize is what others have said about their own addiction.

An alcoholic once told me that they had lost everything and became homeless because of Alcohol.

Drug addicts have said the same thing and when I tell a compulsive gambler this they don’t believe it.

A compulsive Gambler, Alcoholic, Drug Addict or over eater have the same consequences! It is why, no matter what your addiction, you have to fight for sobriety the same way! You also need to be very aware of those other addictions so that you don’t substitute one for the other.

Remember: Recovery is a lifetime process and vigilance  is necessary!

It is not better to have one addiction over another and to think that way is to set up failure.

Typos, Recovery and 3,868



You might say “Huh??” when you read the title above, but it Is what it is.

I’ve been writing books, articles and other things for quite a while now. Typos are not always caught. My writing is not perfect and yet it is potent (At Least I think it is).

I’ve written primarily on Recovery. Since before I began the journey of recovery I wanted to write but for years I was discouraged. I studied religion, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology and Languages. When the dust cleared I had achieved

An Associates in Arts (April 1989)

A Bachelors of Social WOrk (April 1991)

A failed Pre Seminary Program (I left for various reasons in 1985)

A Failed attempt at being a teacher (I left for lack of good grades in 1987)

In all of this I began a journey to becoming a Compulsive Gambler. This journey turned to Recovery on November 21, 2007.

In the early days of recovery I only saw my past failures. I could not see the value of the 2 college degrees I had earned. I could only see the flunking out of those past programs.

As time went on I learned a lot that came from the wisdom of recovery and new beginnings. So Today I can say that I have told my story and shared research on addiction.

Here are the books that I did that with:

  1. “Why Me?” – This is my story of challenges and with the help of God my new look at it through the eyes of 1 Corinthians 13.
  2. “How To WIn As A High Roller While Losing Your Shirt” – This shares what I learned in recovery and explains Compulsive Gambling as an addiction. The purpose was to help those who don’t understand and to help the addict in recovery. Both wear a ‘Shirt of Denial” that needs to be lost!
  3. “The 30 Day Detox For Gamblers” – this is a book to help someone in those first 30 days. It has also worked for other addictions!
  4. “After Detox: The Next 90 Days” – Continuing the process.
  5. “The Path To Recovery Program” – This puts everything from book 2 and 3 together.
  6. “The Life Recovery Journal” – This is just what it sounds like.
  7. “The Humorous Life” – Some humor from life. If you can’t laugh then life is not as joyful as it could be.
  8. “I Am James: The Book Of James Brought To Life” – I wrote a letter using the Book of James as the template.

While I have sold very few to date, I Wrote them for people to grow and learn from. I am not some great and wise Genius but I am a person who has studied and prepared material to help others.

Finally to the number!  3,868 is the number of visitors to http://www.standtallrecoveryservices.com as of the time of this article.  The first six months of 2015 brought 1,785 Visitors. July had 1,038 visitors and with 6 days left in August 1,045 visitors.  For me that says that maybe I am reaching people.  So far in the last 2 months 2,083 visitors and counting have visited my web site. It gives me hope even though it has not translated into being contacted, book sales or other manifestations of affecting others.

So remember these 3 points:

  • If you are not perfect in your writing or speaking it doesn’t mean you don’t have something to say or that others don’t need to hear it.
  • Recovery is an activity that lasts a lifetime and you need to go through it with others.
  • If nobody seems to care, keep saying it if you think it can help. Someone will hear it and then it will reach more than you ever imagined!

A Sad Silence



I opened up an opportunity to help form some activities today.  I have been working diligently to bring more people into the discussion. After waiting for over 35 minutes it seems that I was wrong to believe that people would join in. It might be that It was a bad time, but even at that I would have hoped for one person.

As I write this I go back and forth to the chat room. My thoughts are :

  1. How Long? Do I wait for the full time? Do I give up?
  2. Why do I struggle to reach out? Is what I am doing Worth it?
  3. Do people need or want what I am offering?

Well at this point I am discouraged and feel like I may have tried too hard. The meeting time has now passed as I finish this and yet I wonder what I have to learn from this?

I guess I need to build a network of people who want to be involved and let go of the failures to see a success. Let downs are sad but they are not the end.

So Today I acknowledge a sad silence and ask people to comment below about advice for me going forward.

Unique But The Same!!!



THe Eye of Gambling Addiction And Recovery

I remember when I began recovery. It was a place and time that haunts me even today. Do you remember these experiences in your recovery?

  1. “I’m not like those people. I don’t gamble as much.”
  2. “I lost so much money! No one understands!”
  3. “I want to die!. I am worse off than anyone else!”
  4. “I’m never going to get better!”

These were thoughts I fought in the last days of my gambling and through those early days of recovery.  I sometimes go back to those days even after over 7 years!

My last bet was November 21, 2007 and it was also my first meeting. The problem is my recovery started when the ‘lies’ unraveled months before.

In the month before that first GA meeting I experienced the following things:

  • Suicidal thoughts and actions.
  • Job stress due to selling people lottery tickets.
  • Almost losing my job due to someone taking money from a cash drawer that I was responsible for.
  • Increasing dischord (fighting) with my wife and others.
  • Attempted Suicide.
  • Hospitalization for Suicidal behavior.

There was a lot more but you get the picture. If you are in recovery,can you relate?

The problem is that as long as I look at the past I will never see the present. As long as I look at the present through the eyes and mind of my addict I will not see hope.  Recovery is HARD but the alternative, while easy to be stuck, is far harder because of the never ending pain of it.

What is worst it when that self hatred is feeding an Idea that I am the ONLY one who understands the situation.

In recovery we have to remember this:

“No matter how UNIQUE our situation is… It is the SAME as everyone else in recovery.  The only difference is in how we arrived at the gate of recovery.

An Outreach Meeting For Tomorrow!


Join me Tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST; 12:30 PM; Central 11:30 AM Mountain; 10:30 AM Pacific 9:30 Alaska; 5:30 PM England ETC..

I will be in The General discussion Group. The purpose is to discuss Setting up a way to help other Gamblers AND Their Support people find someone to talk with 24 hours a day and to bring hope to all!

RSVP via PM here or By email at Bernardzeitler@yahoo.com if you will be attending the conversation or have ideas you would like to share even if you can’t attend. You are welcome even if you do not RSVP!!

Moving Into The Present With Memories Of The Past



Looking In The Mirror?


Renewing The Past


Digging A Hole

What happens when recovery is what you want and all you can think of is the past failures?

I’ve said it before but here goes:  I am Bernie and I AM a recovering compulsive gambler. My last bet was November 21, 2007.

Note I did not say I WAS or WILL BE but rather AM. It is because in moments of anxiety, pain or frustration my thoughts go back. Recovery is a situation of being in the present. That means that to use any other term is not recovery for me.

Knowing I am not gambling at this moment is what matters. The problem is that memories come out at times that are painful.

I was a Gambler. a Son, A Father, A Student……… Some things are part of who i am still today.  The problem is that those things that still describe me today are not the same as they were yesterday.

I (hope) to be a Grandfather, Retired, Healthy and many other things.. These are for the future.

What sometimes happens is that I get stuck in the past or discouraged about the future. The problems is I can’t change the past and the future is not here yet.

Fighting past battles with the addict in me does not good today but sometimes I do it anyway. Being angry at those who provided my addiction happens from time to time but it solves nothing. When the past come back to me in the present it only hurts me!

So while the past may haunt me from time to time I do my best not to put it on today. It is hard because the past ‘feels’ good for me.  Sometimes I like to ‘wallow’ but when I think of the pain It is not worth it.

The question is what am I doing today? Not How yesterday hurt me? If I ask how yesterday hurt me I can’t heal. Do you sometimes get stuck in yesterday while living today?

Freely Given??



I have been thinking about recovery a lot lately.  Specifically the idea of something for nothing.  As a Recovering Compulsive Gambler, I think of the ‘free stuff’ offered to the person who gambles. I also think of the recovery process.

Freely Given is not as free as we think in these environments.

‘Free Perks’ are given to keep you coming back.  If you have someone available who will help when you reach out that is good, however not always.

Here is what I mean by not always. I have had people I reached out to that were there for me but there was a ‘hidden’ cost. If a person is there for you when you reach out (knowing you have a problem) and they are willing to interact it is good… Unless the underlying motive is that they have a need that they can use you for. There are people who will be there but the hidden conditions are that you will always be there for them even when they don’t ask.

Here Is an example. The person is there for you when you call but often drives the interaction to an argument. THe argument can often be intense but almost always the other person gets you to take blame. They will make you feel obligated often either by telling you  or planting the idea that you are.

If you are in this kind of relationship they will help in good ways from time to time to look good but also because they want you to feel obliged.

Someone who is there for you and genuine will seldom wait for you to come to them but reach out when they see you having difficulty. You may know that they are having difficulties but for them the focus i on you.  If you bring up their situation they often defer and return the focus to what is going on with you . It does not mean that they wont voice their problems but if they are there for you it almost always goes back to that.  You can reach out to them and they can reach out to you “No strings attached”.

Remember that in recovery it is best to be cautious when relationships are being formed. Know that some are there for themselves and will use your recovery to get what they need rather than be mutual in the relationship.