In this emotional memoir, Mary Sojourner shares her personal struggle—and the struggle of eight other women in her support group—with gambling addiction. Sojourner recounts how her addiction progressed, and recalls the point at which she realized her problem. She describes her time with Scheherazade's Sisters, her support group, and sheds light on how women from different walks of life confront this common addiction. In addition to the personal stories, She Bets Her Life also serves as a resource on the reality of this growing problem among women. Sojourner provides insight into gambling addictions—covering withdrawal, recovery, healing, and the role of the family in these addictions, as well as helpful resources on where to turn for help. Confessional and hard-hitting, She Bets Her Life is one woman's gripping story of the journey to the bottom—and back up again.
Mary Sojourner answers questions about gambling addiction at SheBetsHerLife.com.
"Walk a while in Mary Sojourner’s shoes (She Bets Her Life: A True Story of Gambling Addiction) and you’ll quickly realize what a slippery slope gambling addiction is—especially for women. Written from personal experience, the book is at all times brutally honest, and alternately funny, heartbreaking, warm and wise."
—Addiction Treatment Magazine
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“She Bets Her Life is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read on problem gambling in my fifteen years in the field. Sojourner’s gutsy and vivid personal writing had me laughing and crying along with Scheherazade’s Sisters. Her more technical writing illuminates the complicated neuroscience of gambling addiction in a way that few others have.”
—Keith S. Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling
“She Bets Her Life moves the reader from the early stages of innocence during a first visit to the casinos all the way through the painful withdrawal and physiological symptoms an addict can experience when she makes the decision to stop. I recommend this book to compulsive gamblers and their families, as well as trained gambling counselors. Sojourner’s unique blend of eloquence and immediacy provides keen insight into gambling addiction from a female’s perspective.”
—Marilyn Lancelot, author of Gripped by Gambling
“This stunning book is intense in its intimacy. The passion of the author is both beautiful and harrowing, the level of honesty and self-disclosure heroic. She Bets Her Life will help us reconsider our view of gambling and its impact on women.”
—Rob Hunter, PhD, Director of Problem Gambling Center, Reno and Las Vegas
About the Author:
Mary Sojourner spent over a decade as a compulsive gambler, struggling with the same addiction she writes about in this book. Sojourner is an NPR commentator (two of her commentaries were set in the Nevada casinos she used to frequent). She is the author of six books and has written numerous short stories and essays for national and regional publications on social justice, Western landscape, local diversity, and women''s wellness and self-esteem. Sojourner has an MA in both physiological psychology and counseling. She has a counseling background in women's self-esteem and creativity, family system theory, addiction/alcoholism treatment, mind-body connections, dream and bodywork, and gender-specific triggers for depression and mood disorders. She was the first women-specific mental health counselor and teacher in Rochester, NY, from 1972-1985.
Sojourner lives in Bend, Oregon and writes and teaches privately at universities and colleges. She has led women's groups for 30 years, and has been involved with book tours, signings, and lectures for the past 20.