Abstinence Or Recovery?


What is the difference between Abstinence and Recovery?  Have you ever considered that?

Abstinence is self imposed restraint from an activity that is desired such as Gambling.

Recovery is about returning to a normal state of being (Health, mind and strength).  It is even more notably taking action to regain what was lost or stolen from you while in addiction.

So now the question becomes “which is true and which is a lie?”  Being in a program of recovery doesn’t mean you are in Recovery. This has long been a fallacy of some people.

I know people who have said I have to quit because there are consequences of my actions. This is a form of abstinence if that is your sole reason for working the program. What happens with people who are abstinent is that they begin to get the ‘rush’ from being abstinent without having anyone call them on it. It becomes a substitute ‘high’ that gives them credit for their supposed recovery.  They begin to think more of themselves and believe they are a role model.

Recovery on the other hand is more than just a “have to quit” mentality. It is a “want to quit”  belief. In so doing they are looking at what they can regain in their lives. Not who they can impress but how they can grow personally.


Monday July 30, 2018

Are you in  Abstinence and looking for praise or in Recovery and looking for a new way of living?  Abstinence where you are looking for power or Recovery where you are looking for self respect?  Remember it is better to learn to respect yourself than to have others look up to you. If you gain self respect then you will be respected for who you are. If you gain praise for what you have done without gaining self respect it is not the same!


Tuesday July 31, 2018

Recovery is about respecting yourself again. Abstinence is about others building you up on a ‘sandy’ foundation that is easily destroyed by boastful self righteousness.  Which do you want  a selflessness or a selfishness?

I will have some who will be offended by this but it may be because they are scared of falling again.  It isn’t about the fall but what you do with it?


Background On Joining Compulsive Gambling Recovery Help Connect (A Facebook Group For Recovery)


I know you are asking what am I talking about.  Well let me tell you the story and why I am writing this post.


It all began on December 29, 2017 when I started a page to help people who are in recovery from Compulsive Gambling.  Well not exactly…

It really started November 21, 2007 when I began a journey that has brought me to today. That was the day I stopped Gambling and started looking for a way to fight the addiction.  As time went on I began writing books and growing in recovery.

As time went on I met Dawn B who pointed out Facebook Pages as a place that support was at. This brought me to Facebook and introduced me to people around the world fighting the same addiction.

As time went on I found myself looking for ways to make things more helpful. That led me to try my hand at Facebook pages and ultimately to December 29, 2017 and the page presently in action and growing.

In the interim I met others Maggy, Jeannie, Pam, Al and so many others. One crossed my path and in the months leading up to the page being born showed me something called zoom. Amy tried but it was difficult because some were interested without necessarily being motivated.  Her concept was rolled into the new page.

So today If you go to Facebook and search Compulsive Gambling Recovery Help Connect we appear. In the group you will find people from around the world who are seeking help and looking to understand the addiction. What started with a small group of 20 has en growing and become a safe place.

Here is why it is safe:  Administrators look at each request and evaluate them by standards meant to keep those working recovery safe.  If you want to join it is important that you answer the questions and if an administrator reaches out to you respond to them. It is no small feat  but it is necessary to keep everyone safe.

Consider checking it out and joining our growing family of over 400. We offer resources in abundance and meetings 7 days a week 365 days a year and 18 times or more a day!



A Very Late But Maybe Timely Message!


I have been exhausted lately and as a result I forgot the weekend encouragement. I guess it can be blamed on Father’s Day Weekend.  SO while Friday is missed this week I will write for the weekend.

Friday June 15 And Saturday June 16, 2018!

Sometimes we need to consider the future so that it is secured but not considering it over today, I have experienced several ‘wake up’ calls lately  that have me thinking about the continuation of what as been started even after my days have passed. It may seem morbid but consider this.  The goal of recovery is to ‘share the message with those who still suffer’ that doesn’t end when life ends. If your message or something you do has made a difference it should be carried on by the next generation.  Hope springs eternal in recovery.  Remember that what you do in this moment may have profound affects on someone long after you have gone. Today matters because tomorrow someone could be saved as a result.

Sunday June 17, 2018

Your hope today is the gift to someone tomorrow! A simple word of encouragement,  a smile or simply being there could be the moment someone sees a future they never knew was possible.  Remember that you matter and are significant even in the small things.


Weekend Recovery And Community!


It’s been a long week and what is the first thought an addict has.. “Let’s Roll!”  In Recovery that phrase means something different than when we are in our addiction.  Remember that you are not alone this weekend.


Friday May 18, 2018

Some people will get this on Saturday but it doesn’t change the Value does it? Remember that a weekend is when you have to look to the people who matter in your life.  Spend some time recognizing how precious each moment is.  Focus on the moment and when the urge comes push it out with the breath of hope!

Saturday May 19, 2018

Sometimes we get discouraged because people are not reaching out to us but is it possible that today you should reach out to them?  To be given a hand up out of an urge we also have to reach out for it and accept it.  Sometimes it starts with us reaching out rather than someone reaching down to pull us up.

Sunday May 20, 2018

If you don’t look for help you won’t find it. Remember that we found our addiction because we were looking for it (even if we didn’t realize it at the time).  Join recovery by first looking for it and then experiencing it in each moment!


Consider joining a Facebook group If you aren’t already.  Here is one to think about!

Compulsive Gambling Help Connect


Comfort Zones


We all have ‘comfort zones’ but do we ever try to expand that zone?  In our addiction we were comfortable with it until it became a problem which was usually when the time ran out on it.  In recovery we learn to ‘get comfortable’ with people at meetings, counseling or even with our own family and friends.  The question becomes how do we get better without finding as many resources as possible?  Recovery can be painful but it get’s better when we open up to possibilities.


Monday May 14, 2018


Comfort zones:  For me recovery was not comfortable in the beginning but as I expanded my thinking I found myself building comfort in recovery.  It was like walking for the first time. I took one uncomfortable step until it became comfortable (or at least tolerable).  Each step moved me forward.  Today I continue to expand my comfort zone through opening up to others and trying to share the path ahead of me.  Consider expanding your comfort zone by stepping outside of it.  You might find that it is actually comfortable.


Tuesday May 15, 2018


Tools are for making the job easier. But only after we learn how to use them.  Sometimes we even have to adjust them to fit the project.  Recovery is much like that.  we find tools and as we use them we find a way for them to fit into our abilities.  We adjust them to the process and what we need them for.


Ar you open to all the resources you find? Do you use tools when they are discovered or do you simply set them in the tool box to collect rust and dust?


A Little Information And Help!



Hello I’m Bernie and I’m a Compulsive Gambler. If you looked at me you might not know that but it still remains true today as I look at over 10 years clean from the addiction. I destroyed relationships, personal and professional, as well as ruining my financial situation on multiple times.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am now the Administrator of a page on Facebook to help people with a gambling addiction. In it you will find resources from books, step work and so much more to Virtual meetings!  To keep people safe there is a screening process but it is not something that is shared and once a person is approved the answers and conversations are kept in confidence.

Joining adds tools to what you already have and I am inviting you to join!  Read the message below about the meetings and consider it! Remember that the more tools you have the better. It doesn’t mean you have to give up other groups but for the resources you do have to join one more group.

Hello everyone! I’m Bernie and I’m a Compulsive Gambler. You may have heard of me. I am also the administrator of a Group called Compulsive Gambling Help Connect! To protect the integrity of some virtual meetings I am offering I will only offer them in the group. It doesn’t mean leaving one to join another but it would mean that you could have access by joining one more!


The decision is yours! Here is the link if you are interested:




Moving Forward In Recovery. Opportunities to Connect!


Today is a new day and our yesterdays can’t be changed. That means we need to look at moving forward and working every moment at getting better. Recovery is a lifetime process. Reach out for help. Get involved in recovery with others.  These are the things that will help the most.

Wednesday May 9, 2018

Recovery is taking the time to reconnect with people and focusing on the process. Looking for places to gain resources is a start. Consider where you are and what is available.  If you are reading this then you know that even if you can’t find a meeting there are meetings.  Even if you don’t have a place to go for help you do have a place to find help.

Thursday May 10, 2018

Follow your recovery where it leads you but always be aware that your addicted mind wants to stop you. Be vigilant in your recovery.  Do not let your guard down!


Personal note:

If you are looking for help and want a place to be look on Facebook for a group.  I have one called Compulsive Gambling Help Connect which offers resources and meetings in a virtual environment.

Stepping Out And Doing The Steps!


And so it begins. Have you ever done the 12 steps of recovery as laid out by GA? Consider joining in the journey.  A group I am administrator of called Compulsive Gambling Help Connect is doing just that. It is a closed group on Facebook that you can join for resources and group activities to work on recovery.


Want to join and start the journey then let me know Step one begins today and we will take at least a week on each one!

Monday April 30, 2018

Recovery is not something you do alone because that is what got you in trouble with your addiction. Reach out for support wherever you can find it!  It works best when you work with others.

Tuesday May 1, 2018

A fresh start is best done each day because it is the only today you have. Yesterday is already history and tomorrow is always a day away! Live recovery today as if it is the most important moment in recovery.  Why? Because it is!

The Difference Between Need To And Want To!


In recovery there are 2 reasons people come to meetings and look to get better. First they Need to and second they want to.  They are different and also can determine the success you have.  For example: I need to eat to live but I want to eat healthy to live better.

Friday November 3, 2017

When I started the journey to recovery it was because someone else pushed me. As a result I saw it as something I needed to do.  I would lose my job, my family and so much more if I didn’t do this one thing. As a result I struggled to get where I needed to be.  Remember that just needing to get better isn’t enough.

Saturday November 4, 2017

While I started recovery because I needed to get better, I began to see that life would be better it I did this.  I could “eat better” and “Feel better”.  At some point I decided I wanted to get better. At this point life changed.  Because the need was bolstered by the personal aspect of wanting it.

Sunday November 5, 2017

Remember that just because you need something doesn’t mean you will do better. You need to want it because then you will be focused on the specifics rather than the general need.

Today I want something healthy because it is better than just needing something generally.

Official Virtual Meeting Information Now Available!


The updated schedule for zoom meetings is now set. Depending on need, Interest and requests for new meetings this could change in the future but for now this is the schedule. Updated for those times people have suggested so far. If more meetings are added a new addition will be made and posted.  Please Join your fellow addicts in recovery for the therapeutic opportunity!!

Meetings and the topic generally speaking are not meant to deter anyone as they are open for therapy and reference the time of week more often than the level of recovery.