Compulsive gambling is an illness to which I lost nearly everything. Nearly.
To understand my story you need to understand my addictions. When I was 25, I quit a three pack a day cigarette habit. When I was 37, I quit a heavy drinking problem. Like my father before me, I was proud of myself for quitting. But unlike my father, I went to only three AA meetings, thought I had it licked and was in recovery. What I realize now was that I did not go to recovery -I went into abstinence.
Jodie Nealley is currently working as the Intervention and Recovery Support Coordinator at the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. She speaks frequently to organizations about her experience and conducts trainings on understanding gambling disorders. She received her MS from Indiana University and a certificate in Addiction Counseling from UMass/Boston in 2012. She has been in recovery from gambling disorder for 6 years and in recovery from alcohol for 22 years.