Hugo's Story

As a grateful compulsive gambler and alcoholic, I love my story now. That wasn’t always the case. I grew up being bullied for my first name in the first grade, thus hating my name and myself. This started my low self-esteem. I tasted beer at age 8 in my house. I drank the foam off my dad’s beer. Already predisposed, I got hooked. Early childhood sexual experience with older girls. Secret behavior began. I bet for the first time at 12 with a teacher. I won, never got paid, and had resentment. Drinking increased tremendously in high school. No consequences. More immature behavior. My family declared personal and business bankruptcy—more hidden secrets. College was filled with drinking, gambling, and depression. The intense feelings of loneliness and not being understood intensified. After college, in my 20s, drinking, gambling, and sex – escaping all my senses. I would play basketball and travel, which gave me momentarily joyful feelings and experiences. The fact is, I felt more lonely and disconnected. I didn’t feel loved and had no idea what love or feelings meant. At age 30, I needed to change something. But what? I stopped drinking, went to meetings, and read the Big Book but still continued to gamble. I became a Dry Drunk. I continued to gamble. After 1-1/2 years, I walk into a psychologist’s office to learn about feelings. I was 32 years old, I was an emotional child, emotionally eight years old. I needed to learn about my emotions. However, I continued to gamble, and I lied to my therapist for another 1-1/2 years about my gambling. I was paying someone so I could lie to them. Finally, at 33, after three years of this behavior, I finally addressed my gambling. Then recovery took hold. I dealt with emotional issues by working two 12 Step programs and working with a therapist. I performed The 12 Steps of Recovery. I embraced the Fellowship. I no longer felt lonely, insecure, and depressed. I love that I can feel all my feelings, have self-awareness, and have intimate relationships. I started a company, Life Is Wonderful.Love,, to share that Recovery is Beautiful! Your EQ is Your IQ. I rewrote the 12 Steps as The 12 Steps Explained—a unique and creative approach so a person can work the steps in 90 Days. I also started a podcast called The 1% in Recovery so people get good information on how to improve their lives. I give out a Daily Recovery Tip on social media, too. Many ways to share the beauty and freedom of recovery!
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