Kerri Luckner spent the beginning of her career as an elementary school teacher, then turned children’s social worker. About six years in, she grew weary of pointing out problems and not being able to help find solutions for them. This led her to counseling people with addictions, and she now serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers.
Seventeen years into her second career, Kerri has counseled many people. Throughout, she has journeyed alongside many clients as they find their own unique paths to recovery. And while everyone’s story is different, most begin with a shift in mindset.
“When someone has a problem with gambling, it’s their brain, their emotions, their recognition that they need help, that makes them want to make the change and put in the work,” Kerri said. “It’s not something a loved one can invoke in them unless the person is ready.”
And often, it starts with focusing on the positive—for both those in recovery and their families. Any step towards a better life is a positive one—even if it’s just that first phone call, Kerri said.
“I think that it’s important to recognize those first steps and say, ‘You know, that’s a step in the right direction. I’m making good choices. Let’s just see where this journey takes me,’” Kerri said. “Making that first call doesn’t lock you into anything. But it just might be the thing that changes your life.”
It’s important to normalize that the recovery process can be challenging and time-consuming and still come with many positives. Recovery is not always a straight shot, but any time spent getting to the root of an addiction is a step towards a healthier life.
Recovery is not just about getting sober. And being sober is not the same thing as being in recovery. Recovery requires the use of emotional tools that come from exploring your background and learning how you got where you are.
“Something people often forget is that everyone is struggling with something. Everyone.” Kerri said. “Having a struggle is part of the human condition but often, seeking help isn’t. And when you do seek help, that’s what sets you apart.”
Working towards the mindset of recovery is a challenge. But getting there and seeking help is a huge victory. Part of achieving the right mindset is understanding that steps that seem the smallest, often carry just as much importance as the ones that feel huge.
Clinicians like Kerri can be found throughout Ohio and are ready to help.
Know the signs. Become familiar with the facts surrounding problem gambling. And know that Ohio for Responsible Gambling is here to help.
If you or someone you know may have an issue with problem gambling, please explore our website, www.BeforeYouBet.org, for free resources and information. You can also call the Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-589-9966), or text “4HOPE” to 741741 to find free, confidential resources in your area.