It began with penny poker around the kitchen table when I was young, and ended with destruction, a failed suicide, and residential treatment as an adult. After a long battle with gambling addiction, and the loss of myself, my dignity, and almost my life, it was my quest to piece "me" back together and become a face, a voice, and hope behind problem gambling and other process and activity addictions. Upon completion of residential treatment I was faced with the reality of dealing with my losses, financial, physical, and emotional. I was also faced with having to understand and accept that I may not be able to right all the wrongs that happened through this addiction, and re-building my life would be a mountain climb.
Understanding the need for more education, awareness, and treatment on gambling addiction, I made the decision to let my experience with it inspire me rather than define me. Already credentialed, educated, and experienced as a life and wellness coach, I decided to shift my focus to the addiction industry. Early in recovery I reached out to problem gambling resources througout the U.S. to talk about my story, roadblocks with getting treatment, and how I may be able to not only help others suffering, but providers of services learn more about this disorder so they could better help others too. As a student of this addiction I began to understand that my experience with it had importance and a purpose. Opportunites to help others and the industry evolved from there.
Today I am a certified recovery advocate, addictions coach, experienced trainer, and industry consultant. I have provided training/consulting for the FBI, NCAA, Powered by ME, National Council on Problem Gambling, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, and many other known industry entities. My GAME OVER presentation has been delivered and taught on campuses througout the United States, and my individual and family services have helped thousands get their lives back to manageable again.
My voice, story, and unique understanding of gambling addiction provided the platform that has become a solid stage, and aside from my formal education and credentials today, will always be the foundation of my work.