New Book Release That Proves Gambling Addiction Does Not Discriminate Who It Claims. A Memoir/Biography Written by Former UK Soccer Star (footballer) & Fan Favorite, Tony Kelly…

New Book Release That Proves Gambling Addiction Does Not Discriminate Who It Claims. A Memoir/Biography Written by Former UK Soccer Star (footballer) & Fan Favorite, Tony Kelly…


FIRST and FOREMOST about Tony Kelly?

He is a grateful recovering gambling addict.

As Tony shared in his first book titled, “I invite the public, family, and friends into my secret hell of despair, depression, racism, stardom, a look at gambling addiction, and my self-destruction” I feel it was a possible way to share his addiction and try making amends to those he may have hurt through his addiction.

Today, Tony is so much more than his past addiction. He is a living MIRACLE that recovery is possible and it can work. But you need to be willing to QUIT to WIN! Recovering addicts know full well that our PAST doesn’t define who we are today while doing the hard work within recovery to gain our lives back from this cunning addiction, disorder, and disease. I have had the pleasure of knowing this man for several years when his first book released titled “Red Card: The Soccer Star Who Lost It All To Gambling.”

That book really moved me to know that being honest, transparent, and in having the audacity to share ones story of addiction like Tony had in that book, it made me want to know more and we connected through social media and have been BUDDIES ever since. Now I am being of “Recovery Service” and helping share his new book just released on Amazon online in both the UK and USA.

He has turned his life around and now is the Founder and Acting CEO/Director of his organization he started in 2015 called “RED CARD Gambling Support Project, LTD a non-profit in London, England that has resources of one on one therapy through the consulting side and also has prevention and awareness events like workshops, speaking at schools and much more here>>>> https://kellysredcardconsultancy.co.uk/.


Here is more about Tony and his new book just released at the end of April 2021…


Coventry ex-footballer Tony Kelly tells of gambling addiction - CoventryLive
Author and Advocate Tony Kelly


RED CARD GAMBLING SUPPORT PROJECT is all about promoting gambling awareness/prevention/education in our COMMUNITIES. We now know how serious gambling addiction is in the UK and how the numbers of addicts are increasing day by day, so we intend to work with all mental health/substance abuse/social impact projects in order to make a difference.


“I am from Coventry, but now reside in London. I suffered from gambling addiction in my 9-year pro soccer career and lost everything. I had to write my story in the hopes it will help others get help for this evil cunning addiction. My story is sad, tragic yet uplifting as it shows you can come out the other side.”

Founder & Director of Red Card ~Tony Kelly



Tony’s New Book Release a Memoir

ABOUT THE BOOK

Former professional soccer star (footballer) Tony Kelly lost it all, but he stands today as someone who is unbreakable!

Having lost his wealth, his house, and eventually, his partner, Tony, refused to be broken and fought back. Through years of pain and suffering, somehow, Tony managed to turn his life around in a positive way, and his journey from disaster to redemption and triumph is nothing short of amazing.

Tony has literally been to hell and back, but through family and friend’s support, professional help, his renewed faith, and sheer courage, he is now in a position to help others, and that is something he could never have envisaged six years ago. A tragic yet uplifting and inspiring tale of one man’s journey through gambling addiction.

It’s a must-read for those who feel lost, broken, and without hope, as Tony’s story is testimony that all is not lost and that this is a bet you can win!


An image posted by the author.
Tony Kelly Former Soccer Star in the UK



Who Is Tony Kelly Today?

Best-selling author Tony Kelly is a former professional (footballer) soccer star who played for six teams within his nine-year career. He is also a recovering gambling addict. In his first book, Tony wrote and shared this story, “Red Card: The Soccer Star Who Lost It All To Gambling,” in 2013. He now released his much anticipated second book titled “Red Card: A Bet You Can Win!” in April 2021 and is available on Amazon Kindle, Amazon Books, Barnes & Noble, and other fine online book stores in both the UK and USA. 

Tony was crazy about (UK Football) soccer from the age of seven. At sixteen, he was the youngest player ever on the first team at Bristol City, UK. In his twenties, Tony turned professional and went on to play for clubs such as Stoke City, Cardiff City, Leyton Orient, and Bury in the second and third divisions of the Soccer (Football) League. He also enjoyed a spell playing for a team in Sweden. 

His soccer career was cut short and ruined by a gambling addiction. He continued to gamble addictively and lost jobs, the rest of his soccer career, his partner, and his financial wealth he worked hard to gain.

An image posted by the author.
Tony is a Speaker and Prevention Advocate Throughout London


Today, Tony is the Founder and Managing Director of ‘Red Card Gambling Consultancy and Gambling Support Project’ (Non-Profit) in 2015 and has been sharing prevention of problem gambling and addiction with individual one on one therapy, awareness, prevention, educational workshops, visiting and speaking at schools, and much more in and around London, UK.

Tony has helped and worked with the UK Gambling Commission in an advisory role on regulations. A tireless advocate of recovery, Tonys’ work has grown to become well-respected within the gambling harm reduction and prevention sector throughout the United Kingdom. His work has been endorsed both by the UK media and the UK parliament. 

As a recovering addict, his wish for the book release is to help to continue to raise awareness and educate the public about this crippling gambling disorder. Born Nyrere Anthony Kelly in England, Tony resides in London; his books are his journey of ‘Redemption and Recovery’ as he is living proof that this is a Bet You Can Win!

His Book Is Now Released Amazon UK and USA!

Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Red-Card-Tony-Kelly/dp/1528970578/
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Card-Bet-You-Can/dp/1528970578/
Barnes & Noble USA https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-card-tony-kelly/1139205459;jsessionid


Connected and Follow Tony Kelly On His Social Media
WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsLinkedin.

Tony on BookLife https://booklife.com/profile/tony-kelly-author-85171


New Book Release That Can Help Those Like Me With Depression, Anxiety & More. Best Part It’s FREE To Download Or E-book .99 Cents From Amazon For a Short Time…


Book Cover
Get A Copy Free, Now!



Download your copy of Fighting Depression and Anxiety By Author Evelyn R Beacham and Published By ACPublishing.


GET MY BOOK

 
The Writer would really appreciate it if you can leave a short review of the book on Amazon.


Is your Anxiety, Depression, Grief etc. ruining your life? Would you like to take back control? Starting today, you can find your strength, your confidence, your peace and contentment. The road to a happier future starts here. 

Remember, you’re not alone – millions of people of all ages struggle with stressful issues on their own, without support or guidance – imagine what your life would be like with less stress and more confidence and happiness. 

I have spent more than twenty years helping people to work through their anxiety and depression. I’ve decided to share my knowledge and experience with YOU because I KNOW for a fact that you will feel better and stronger when you start to read my book. 


Fighting Depression and Anxiety Workbook: Better Brain Bootcamp. 14 Strategies to Build Self-Confidence and Overcome Worry and Stress by [Evelyn. R.  Beacham]
The Workbook



Within this work book you will find: 

Excessive ANXIETY and WORRY are not normal – don’t accept them. I will show you ways to take control and feel stronger. 

PANIC ATTACKS can come at any time, for any reason – learn how to control and diminish them. 

Is DEPRESSION controlling your life? Learn which famous people also suffer from DEPRESSION and how they handled it. 

If LOW SELF-ESTEEM is an issue for you, I’ll show you how to build your self-confidence. 

It’s not only military service people that suffer from POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) – traumatic incidents can happen to any of us – don’t struggle to deal with it on your own. 

FINDING HAPPINESS. We all search for happiness in our own way. There are ALWAYS ways to feel happier – let me show you the way. 

Irrational fears or PHOBIAS can inhibit our daily activities – use my guidance to free yourself from them. 

CONTENTMENT is what we all strive for, but most of us are far from content with our lives. Let me show you the techniques that will help you. 

Lack of MOTIVATION can be caused by many things – let me help you find your motivation again and move forward. 

GRIEF will affect us all at some time. Comfort and reassurance will help to get you through. 

The LOSS OF A RELATIONSHIP can be devastating, and can take months, or years to get over. Let me show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

SEASONALLY AFFECTED DISORDER (SAD) affects many people every year. More is now know about this now-recognized syndrome, an there are many ways to tackle the issue. 

CATASTROPHIZING. The tendency to imagine problems are worse than they really are is common, but it can become a bis issue – I’ll show you how to keep it under control. 

FLASH CARDS. Reassuring cards that you can print off to carry with you to help you focus on overcoming your problem.

Now is the time. Join the thousands of people who have taken the leap of faith and gone on to lead a happy and contented life. 

I set out in simple, but powerful ways, WHY you feel as you do and WHAT you need to, and HOW to conquer your fears and worries.  Why wait? Feel better TODAY. 


##############


The publisher, Art Crandon is an amazing friend of mine and I always enjoy reading his books and the authors he helps publish their books.

So, when Art says a book is good? I always give them a read. Make sure you stop by Art Crandon’s website as he to is an amazing writer and author of gripping and spine-tingling reads available from his website: https://www.arthurcrandon.com/arthur-crandon-store.html or from Amazon>>>> Click the “BUY NOW” or “ADD TO CART” button to begin your life-changing journey. Launch price is $14.99 – get it before it goes to full price of $19.99 >>>> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FX1BQF/



ARTHUR CRANDON


I Welcome Back Tony Roberts Ministries and a Special Guest Post To Sum Up Our Week of A New America & New President.

I Welcome Back Tony Roberts Ministries and a Special Guest Post To Sum Up Our Week of A New America & New President.


Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4)

~Tony Roberts


From Stone Cold Hearts to Hope Bearing Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

— Emily Dickinson  1830-1886

This post is about the Presidential Inauguration. I had not planned on writing about it. I didn’t even watch it. But something/Someone compelled me to listen to the program podcast then move to my desk where I finished composing this at the stroke of midnight, January— my psychoimposed deadline for Facebook posts.


You might wonder what a blog about faith and mental illness has to do with politics. politics. Hope, for one.

The sign above Dante’s Inferno read, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Those who lose hope can forfeit their will to live. And one of the essential roles of public servants is to engender hope into the people such that we can become better angels rather than floundering flummoxes.

For the past four years and more there has been much hateful speech coming out of our nation’s capitol. I say more because Donald Trump did not invent vitriolic political rhetoric. For the most part, history is selectively kind to those who have served in public office. It is in the now that the fisticuffs have come off and hard blows are landing that does harm not just to our nation, but to our world. The patterns of the present that lead us to project a dystopian future that fuels fear gleaned for personal gain.

What hope do we have? Yesterday afternoon, I did not watch the Inauguration pageantry because I am at heart a skeptic and patriotism in its current form does not move me. So I took a nap. Sure, I felt a tinge of guilt particularly when I passed through Susan’s study and caught part of the Benediction where Rev. Silvester Beaman spoke of slaves building the White House on land indigenous Americans once inhabited and now people from generational European families to those just making vows would be one nation. I was touched, but not moved to take much interest or shed any tears.

I went about my day as usual. Writing. Reading. Eating. The usual. It was only as I was browsing for a podcast that I found the full inauguration address recorded.

I could listen to it before midnight and join my faithful compatriots who who have liveD and died for their nation, who care what happens not just in Washington, D.C., but in Wilmington, Delaware, Atlanta, Georgia, and yes, even Columbus, Indiana. My frozen heart of disinterest was not thawed by the pomp and circumstance but by the glimmer of hope in mind’s eye of those gathered, above the faces masked to protect from this invasive virus. This was no ordinary political event, it was a matter of life and death.

This hour was amazing, but let’s keep things in perspective. The challenge ahead is daunting. Over 400,000 people have died in the United States due to the Coronavirus. My own mother is one. More jobs have been lost since the Great Depression. We are destroying our planet at such a rapid rate our own children may not be able to inhabit it through their lifetimes.

But, there is hope. There was hope yesterday; there is hope today; and there will be hope tomorrow.

Poet Amanda Gorman


Our nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman lays out this vision of hope, one we can carry for generations to come

“The Hill We Climb”

“When day comes we ask ourselves,

where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

a sea we must wade

We’ve braved the belly of the beast

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace

And the norms and notions

of what just is

Isn’t always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours

before we knew it

Somehow we do it

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed

a nation that isn’t broken

but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time

Where a skinny Black girl

descended from slaves and raised by a single mother

can dream of becoming president

only to find herself reciting for one

And yes we are far from polished

far from pristine

but that doesn’t mean we are

striving to form a union that is perfect

We are striving to forge a union with purpose

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us

but what stands before us

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,

we must first put our differences aside

We lay down our arms

so we can reach out our arms

to one another

We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious

Not because we will never again know defeat

but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision

that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree

And no one shall make them afraid

If we’re to live up to our own time

Then victory won’t lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we’ve made

That is the promise to glade

The hill we climb

If only we dare

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it’s the past we step into

and how we repair it

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation

rather than share it

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy

And this effort very nearly succeeded

But while democracy can be periodically delayed

it can never be permanently defeated

In this truth

in this faith we trust

For while we have our eyes on the future

history has its eyes on us

This is the era of just redemption

We feared at its inception

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs

of such a terrifying hour

but within it we found the power

to author a new chapter

To offer hope and laughter to ourselves

So while once we asked,

how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert

How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was

but move to what shall be

A country that is bruised but whole,

benevolent but bold,

fierce and free

We will not be turned around

or interrupted by intimidation

because we know our inaction and inertia

will be the inheritance of the next generation

Our blunders become their burdens

But one thing is certain:

If we merge mercy with might,

and might with right,

then love becomes our legacy

and change our children’s birthright

So let us leave behind a country

better than the one we were left with

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,

we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,

we will rise from the windswept northeast

where our forefathers first realized revolution

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,

we will rise from the sunbaked south

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

and every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman 1998 –  _____

Yes, Amanda, there is hope for those of use brave enough to crawl through the dark ditches of despair towards the light of faith~Tony Roberts


# # # # # #

Stories to Cultivate Hope for Those Battling Mental Illness

This book by Tony Roberts is about mental health ministry. It’s not a “how-to” book. I can not tell you what will work in your ministry setting. Instead of answering the question, “How do we do mental health ministry?” I want to challenge you, “What difference can we make for those impacted by mental illness?”

To do this, I will tell stories of my own life and ministry. Statistics are essential, but unless they are enfleshed with stories, they won’t lead to change. ORDER NOW



(Make sure you give Tony’s website and blog a visit!)
Delightfully yours,
Tony & Cat

delightindisorder.org

I Welcome Best-Selling Self-Help Author Kaden James. His Books & Advice Can Help Those Who Maintain Recovery…

I Welcome Best-Selling Self-Help Author Kaden James. His Books & Advice Can Help Those Who Maintain Recovery…


How Do You To Stop Worrying About What Others Think?


By KADEN JAMES


How you feel about yourself is more important than how others feel about you. 

Focusing on what others think of us changes us, not always in big, noticeable ways but more often very subtly. 

If we hear a negative comment said about us in passing. This comment may eat away at us over time. The thought may come up so often that it becomes a belief about ourselves. 

We might read a negative comment and take it to heart without even considering the source. For instance, I have known people who stop wearing bright colors because someone said they didn’t look good on them. I have had clients who told me they would alter their voice or quiet their laugh because of something someone said. Your laugher is a gift just like what brought it out of you.

The words of others can profoundly affect the way we show up in the world. If we hear negative words we might start to think we are unattractive, untalented, no good, or unlovable. If we don’t grow strong enough in our own self-confidence we could go through life never fully stepping up to the moment, missing out on opportunities to experience joy and we may never offer up what we have to give. 

The way we release ourselves from the opinions of others is to realize everyone has one. There are people that hate the color blue, can’t stand pizza, don’t like dogs, it’s hard to believe I know. Well, if there are people who don’t like blue, pizza and Scooby-Doo of course some people won’t like you and it’s probably the same people. 

We get to choose what opinions we let in. Seek advice with care, from people you trust and respect. For example, if you want relationship advice it’s probably not the best idea to ask your friend who is always dating another guy and seems to have a lot of problems when it comes to relationships. That person may however be the best person to take your pics and update your dating app profile. All jokes aside though, remember to consider who you are going to for feedback. 

When someone insults you with absolutely no love in their approach block it out. You choose what you let in and what you focus on, so choose nurturing and loving thoughts. You are ultimately in control of your thoughts and feelings. No one can make you feel anything without your consent. Which means what we feel is a choice.

Let’s choose to feel good and feel confident.

Confidence sign with a beautiful day.jpeg



Another thing to keep in mind is to realize that everyone makes mistakes. We are all learning and growing and as we are kind to ourselves and love ourselves we make better choices.

Now I have a couple of questions for you. Are you supportive of others? Are you a kind person? If the answer is yes and yes -RIGHT ONNN! Keep up the great work! Continue to build your self-love like you’re a bodybuilder in the gym.

Make that muscle so strong that when a trashy comment is flung at you or verbal punches are thrown they just bounce off and have little or no effect. If you answered “no” and you aren’t currently supportive or kind, work on it. What you give is what you receive so if you give love and you’ll get it. Give kindness and you’ll get it, have the cycle of hurt end with you. 

It’s time to feel good about you and make wise choices for yourself. You deserve love and to live a life you love.

#########

ED Note: I want to also share with you another topic we all can use some brush-up on when maintaining recovery or especially when begining our recovery path.

That is in the area of being 100% RESPOSIBILITY. Take a watch and listen to this quick YouTube Video Kaden has done all about taking and being 100% reponsible, honest, and transparent.


You can connect with Kaden James on social media & visit his website.
 
WebsiteJoin Author’s NewsletterFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazonLinkedin

Kaden James, Author & Life Wellness Coaching.

Kaden James, Author & Wellness Coach
kadenjames.allauthor.com



Ryan Hampton Opens Up and Shares Much More Than His Book “The American Fix”…It’s His America’s Story of Drug Addiction and Recovery Being Played Out All Over America Today.


Published by Medium on June 18, 2020. Original article can be found here.

“Nobody should have to compromise themselves or hide to save their life.”
~Ryan Hampton, Author/Activist 

Back in the Closet: Surviving Homophobia, Heroin, and Rehab in an Intolerant World

by Ryan Hampton

At the peak of my heroin use in 2014, everyone knew something was wrong. My track marks, broken veins, dilated pupils and sunken cheeks told the whole world that I had a problem. My illness was obvious. What they didn’t know was my secret: I was gay, too.

By the time I reached my bottom, I had slowly come to terms with my identity as a gay man. My immediate family, my mother, and sisters knew. I was beginning to get comfortable with my sexual identity. I was even beginning — very cautiously — to see other men. I had one foot out of the closet. But I was still injected heroin multiple times a day.

My addiction consumed me, making me into a shadow of my former self. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ community misuses substances, compared to about 9 percent of the population as a whole. I was no exception. The double stigma of homosexuality and addiction made it hard to find help.

Who could I open up to? The people who accepted my identity rejected my substance use disorder, and the people who accepted my health issue rejected my identity. I was ashamed of myself, which only drove me deeper into my addiction. I felt stuck, and it was killing me.

Nobody seemed to care except my family. I couldn’t keep a job and bounced from couch to couch in Los Angeles, sleeping wherever I could. I used in public bathrooms and nodded off next to the toilet until someone rattled the door. I dragged my belongings around in a black plastic garbage bag. I ate at the homeless shelter, limp sandwiches that I could barely choke down. I barely felt human. Yet, my identity was there, even when I was completely checked out. I wish I could say that but at the bottom of my addiction, who I was didn’t matter.

……
Coming Out – Fairbanks Youth Advocates

……


Even
 in California, in a city where it was relatively safe to be out as a gay person, there was only one LGBTQ rehab that was available to me. Most of the programs were private-pay only, which meant they cost tens of thousands of dollars per month — completely inaccessible to someone like me who relied on public assistance.

The only public program that openly served the LGBTQ population was booked solid. Other public programs said they were queer-friendly, but I knew that wasn’t true; about 70 percent of the addiction treatment services noted as specialized for LGBTQ people were really no different from those provided to heterosexuals. This particular rehab was a good one, and I went there almost every day for their 12-step meetings, begging for help.

“Please,” I pleaded with the receptionist. “I just need a few weeks of treatment. I won’t even take up a whole thirty days.”

The program director, a gay man who was supportive and compassionate toward me, came behind the desk. “Let me see what we can do for you,” he said.

My heart lifted. Maybe he’d be able to get me a bed, maybe there was space in their program for me. Maybe, this time, I’d find help in a place that really understood me.

He pulled a hefty, ringed binder out of a filing cabinet and laid it on the desk with a thump. It was thicker than a Bible. Loose papers protruded from its edges. The black plastic edges cracked with wear. The director flipped it open, slowly turning one laminated page after another. Some of the pages were crumpled, as though they’d been through the wash. When he got to the very back, he clicked the button on his ballpoint pen.

“Give me your phone number and we’ll call you as soon as something is available,” he said.

“When will that be?” I asked. My eyes were burning.

“Hard to say,” he said. He wrote my name down. “When we have an open bed, we start calling these numbers, in the order therein. When somebody answers, we offer them the bed. If they say yes, it’s filled. If they say no, we call until we find a person who is ready for treatment.”

I eyed the binder. “There are hundreds of names before mine,” I said. “I could be dead tomorrow. I don’t have time to wait for help.”

He sighed and put the pen to the paper. “I know, Ryan. We’re doing what we can. Give me your number and keep coming to the meetings.”

……
Sacramento's first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth opens

……

Keeping a phone was a challenge, but I did it. I waited for that call every day, even when I was jiggling a syringe into my arm. I told myself that all I had to do was not die.

Through sheer luck, I did survive long enough to get into treatment. But after a few days, I was transferred to a different program — a program that wasn’t explicitly LGBTQ friendly. I’d had one toe out of the closet, and when I was transferred I went right back in and shut that closet door — again. I instinctively understood that if I was going to survive, stay healthy, and make it into recovery, I couldn’t be gay, too. Nobody could know.

The new program was divided by sex: girls and guys. It was like middle school, with teasing, flirting, scheming, and gossip passed between our separate dorms. I was the only gay person there. Even the counselors were straight. If I came out, I knew I risked being ostracized or bullied, treated like a sexual deviant, or being made to feel like an outsider. I couldn’t risk that.

Instead, I kept my mouth shut and pretended to get it when the other guys would talk about which female client they were going to hook up with, or how hot some movie star was. I knew better than to put my ‘two cents in’: one comment about Jennifer Lopez’s nice eyes or Angelina Jolie’s commitment to humanitarian aid would give me away. I was a man, but I wasn’t a straight man.

Hiding nearly caused me to relapse. Keeping a secret about myself, especially something of that magnitude, made me sick with anxiety. It was like walking around with a gut full of hard-boiled eggs. I was terrified that some gestures or words would give me away. Finally, when it was time to start one-on-one counseling, my mom called me.

“Son, you have to tell them,” she said.  She didn’t need to say what. We both knew.

During my first counseling session, I could barely sit in the chair. My legs twitched, and I must have looked like I was on amphetamines.

“Everything OK?” the counselor asked.

I picked at the back of my neck. “I’m fine,” I said.

She shrugged and looked down at my intake forms, trying to assess where to begin.

“Actually, I’m not OK,” I blurted. “I’m gay.”

Those two words — I’m gay — were the key to my freedom. The counselor just nodded. She didn’t mark it in my chart or ask me why I hadn’t said anything before. We proceeded, working together a few times a week.

Feeling accepted, and knowing that my identity was acknowledged made it possible for me to open up in counseling. I finally started sharing about the sexual trauma I’d endured as a very young person, my fear that I would never be able to openly date, and my worry that I would be excluded from the recovery community. I talked through those things, and though I didn’t come out to anyone else in treatment, that one admission was enough to break the ice.

I stayed mostly closeted for the next couple of years. I also stayed sober, transferring to a residential sober living that supported my recovery. My best friend Garrett knew, and while some guys teased us for being “boyfriends,” it was playful. We were inseparable, and enough of our female friends came over to visit that we could laugh off the insult.

Because to almost everyone, “gay” was less-than. It was a way to put others down. And even those passing, “just a joke” comments hurt me and made it harder for me to trust that I belonged in the recovery community.

However, time passed, and the stronger I felt about my recovery, the more confident I felt about the rest of my identity too. It took almost four years to say the words, “I’m a proud gay man in recovery.” But I did say them, and when I did, I knew I was finally healing from both my addiction and the trauma of my past. I wasn’t hiding anymore. I was out as a person in recovery and out as a gay man. If people didn’t like it, well, that was their problem — not mine.

Coming out in recovery was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and the best things too. I was willing to speak up and share my truth, even though it meant risking the community connections that kept me alive. Showing up for my recovery with all of me saved my life. It also introduced me to the love of my life, Sean, who I am marrying this November.


Ryan and Sean 💞

 

My only regret is that I felt I had to hide my self early in my recovery. Stigma, homophobia, and intolerance are still very real issues in the recovery community, both in treatment centers and in the support systems that help people get healthy again. I wonder how many LGBTQ people, unable or unwilling to stay closeted, were kicked out of the same program that I went to; how many of them left because they couldn’t stand being bullied or threatened by the other residents?

How many trans women were unable to find a treatment center that accepted them and offered trans-specific services and counseling? The odds are bleak for those of us who are already outsiders in a homophobic, intolerant society. My white privilege helped me keep one foot in the door, but that shouldn’t be a requirement to access life-saving care.

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We need the CARE Act to stop the opioid pandemic - STAT {Ryan Hampton is one of the most tireless advocates and activists I know Making Real Changes for recovery from addiction}

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“I know how lucky I am to have survived addiction; adding my identity to the mix makes me feel like I dodged lightning. Life on the other side of treatment, with years of recovery under my belt, is better than I could ever have imagined. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have this experience.”

I wish for others, who are like me and struggling to find their place in recovery, to know that they don’t belong in the closet either. The answer isn’t hiding; the answer is building a system that includes all of us. Every person who asks for help should have it, regardless of their identity or orientation, race, gender, or expression.

Navigating recovery is hard enough. When I brought my whole self to the table, I left the closet behind. I’m holding the door open, too — because nobody should have to compromise themselves or hide, in order to save their life.

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Ryan Hampton is an activist in recovery from heroin addiction and author of “American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It.” Organization foundedThe Voices Project  

Follow him on Twitter: @RyanForRecovery 
Follow him on Facebook
Visit his  Official Website To Learn More

BREAKING THE CYCLES With Lisa Frederiksen. An Important Resource and a Must Visit Recovery Website…

BREAKING THE CYCLES With Lisa Frederiksen. An Important Resource and a Must Visit Recovery Website…

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I was invited a few years back to be interviewed by my friend Lisa Frederiksen for her fantastic informational recovery website.  I thought I would share some of my interview she did, as she was kind enough to do so and to have a new platform to raise awareness about how I learned to “break the cycle” of my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse as I began the road to long-term recovery.

I was honored and jumped on the chance, (lol) as she has helped many from addiction as a powerful advocate, speaker, and in writing as a popular author of several addiction/recovery books, like her newest title, “10th Anniversary Edition If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!: What You Really Need to Know When Your Loved One Drinks Too Much (1) available on Amazon online.

First, here is more about Lisa and our interview I so appreciated her doing about me and please visit her website OFTEN at BREAKING THE CYCLES …

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LISA’S NEW BOOK IS a MUST READ:

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Available at local bookstores, libraries, and online retailers. Here are a few:
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Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target
Wordery
Walmart
Amazon U.K. 

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ABOUT LISA FREDERIKSEN:

Lisa Frederiksen founded Breaking The Cycles.com to provide education, prevention, and intervention services on a range of addiction*-related topics anchored in 21st-century brain and scientific research.

This research was guided by her 40+ years of personal experience with secondhand drinking, a concept she first introduced in 2009. Working to overcome its impact, she’s spent the last 16 years studying and simplifying this research on topics related to her experiences. These topics include alcoholism, drug addiction, alcohol, and other drug use disorders, mental illness, co-occurring disorders, the family member’s experience, toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, codependency, brain development, and childhood trauma.

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BreakingTheCycles.com with Lisa Frederiksen - sharing the explosion in brain research to change the conversations on a host of topics.Lisa’s goal in founding BreakingTheCycles.com in 2008 was to change, and in some cases simply start, the conversations on these topics so that together we can end the stigma, misinformation, and shame that keep over 120 million Americans stuck fighting something they truly don’t understand. This 120 million represents those struggling with their misuse of alcohol or other drugs and the people – typically family members and friends – who love them and try desperately to help them stop.

She does this through presentations, workshops, consulting, blogging and media outreach.  Lisa holds a BA in Economics, the University of California at Davis and with over 39+years of experience? You’ll need to visit her page as there is TOO MUCH TO LIST! (Lol.)  Here: “Changing The Conversation”…

**The term “addiction” may be regarded as equivalent to a severe substance use disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5, 2013).**

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Recovery from Gambling Addiction. Interview With Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“Now that gambling addiction is currently the #1 addiction with the highest suicide rate than any other and over 16 million problem gamblers in just the US alone, I want to share some of my story and devastation in my life due to this cunning addiction,” says Catherine Townsend-Lyon, today’s guest author.

Best-selling Kodel Empire Publishing Author of the book, Addicted To Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat, Catherine is a freelance recovery writer, a former columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s ‘The Author’s Café’.” She also writes for several addiction/recovery publications, including: “Keys to Recovery” and will be featured in next month’s issue of “Recovery Today Magazine.” Catherine was chosen as a contributor to a major media article published by Time.com and Nautilus.us magazines titled; “Addicted to Anticipation: What goes wrong in the brain chemistry of a gambling addict.”

Catherine is an Expert Recovery blogger of Gambling Addiction Recovery for Addictionland.com and is the founder and author of her blog here at “Bet Free Recovery Now”  covering gambling addiction and recovery.

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Recovery from Gambling Addiction by Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Catherine Townsend-Lyon shares her story of recovery from gambling addiction.My name is Catherine, and I am a recovering compulsive addicted gambler. Jan 29th, 2020 will be my 13th-year mark in recovery, but will never forget where I have come from with gambling addiction. I came from the depths of hell, hopelessness, and despair. Gambling addiction took just about everything from me like family, friends, reputation, jobs, my home, car, almost my marriage and cost me way more than money; it almost cost me my life twice from suicide.

At the same time, I was also suffering from undiagnosed mental & emotional health issues and disorders I had no idea about until 2002. My first failed suicide attempt. I woke up in the hospital with bandages wrapped around both my wrists and could hear two people talking about knives all over my living room as I blacked out again. They were the two EMTs and a police officer who brought me to the hospital as I found out a few weeks later. All I remember was everything going black in nothingness. Now I know it was a complete mind and body break down. A mental/emotional blackout. From there I went to an addiction/mental crisis center. Was on suicide watch the first few days.

addictedtodimesShortly after, a psychiatrist started working with me. And of course, here I am, I was a compulsive gambler and being dually-diagnosed with mental health disorders.  So, I started working with an addictions counselor as well as a psychiatrist. I had attempted to stop gambling on my own but felt I could control it on my own. I failed with many relapses and binges due to the “diseased thinking” while in outpatient treatment. I guess I had not reached my bottom yet. Even after a 28 day stay in a crisis center and a suicide attempt!

What was wrong with me?

It’s called ADDICTION. It is a sickness that is very hard to overcome. But possible. And this wasn’t my last time I would work this circuit. Not due to actively gambling, due to the financial pressures from this disease, I had another suicide attempt in 2006 as it seemed I had not done enough work in all areas of recovery, including my financial inventory. First lesson? A well-balanced recovery plan.

But in 2006 I also just wanted to be normal, live life in recovery without having to take medications for mental/emotional issues. So, I stopped taking them thinking it was just the gambling that was causing my mental illness problems of PTSD, manic depression, mania, anxiety, and bipolar insomnia cycles. So, within two weeks of no meds? I was back to severe depression and suicidal. What was my answer?

I took all my meds at once. I had gotten to that dark, black hole of hopelessness again. Back in the hospital again, another 20-day crisis center and 4 days of suicide watch. When released this time, I had learned the hard way that I need to take my meds to maintain my mental/emotional health and well-being as they call this being “dually diagnosed or dual diagnosis.”

Recovery with even negative experiences, sprinkled with some “faith” can show us many life lessons in recovery. If we are not learning them, we won’t see our growth. Even when you are not participating in your preference of addiction, we can still have problems arise and life challenges in recovery, so being prepared is vital.

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NOW, The Rest of My Story Can Be Read on Lisa’s Amazing Website At “Changing The Conversation”…

And, again, all of her books are very well written and so helpful for anyone who is suffering in silence from addictions. Please, give her a visit if you are a person maintaining recovery and there are exceptional information and advice even for family members as well.

A Blast From My Past. My Days Writing For InRecovery Magazine! A Special Interview With Arnie Wexler a Gambling Recovery Expert, Advocate, and Author.

A Blast From My Past. My Days Writing For InRecovery Magazine! A Special Interview With Arnie Wexler a Gambling Recovery Expert, Advocate, and Author.


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An Article I Wrote All About Arnie Wexler for and Courtesy InRecovery Magazine and An Amazing Book You Need to READ . . .


THE AUTHOR’S CAFÉ ~ 
By Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Columnist
InRecovery – June 30, 2017

 

Awhile back, the Powerball lottery drawing was for an ungodly amount of money and went a couple of rounds without a winner. I was chatting with a dear friend and fellow author, Arnie Wexler. I call him “The Grandfather of Gambling Addiction Recovery,” as his last bet in the mad world of sports betting and horse track betting was back in the 70s.

He’s never looked back. Instead, he has helped scores of people return from the abyss of gambling addiction. He co-wrote a book titled, All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction with veteran sports journalist, Steve Jacobson, in which he shares how his gambling addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life.

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“Steve Jacobson is what’s known in baseball and journalism as a seasoned pro, a man of credibility, conscience, and caring. Arnie Wexler? There’s a reason why for the last 35 years, he has been the news media’s go-to guy on issues of addicted gambling: He has saved at least as many souls, including his own, as Mother Teresa.”
– Phil Mushnick, Sports Columnist, New York Post

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An advocate of gambling addiction recovery like me, Arnie has shared his expert advice on various media outlets and as a speaker for Fortune 500 corporations. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, 48 Hours, Crossfire and Oprah.

He is the past executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and is a certified compulsive gambling counselor and recovery coach. He and his wife set up the hotline 1-888-LAST-BET that continues to help addicted gamblers today. I’m happy to say he’s also a good friend and my #1 recovery supporter.

Now, back to our chat about the Powerball lottery. Arnie was telling me that many in his Gamblers Anonymous group (GA) either bought tickets for a chance to win or had others buy them tickets. I was also encountering this on my online GA meetings and gambling recovery chat rooms. We both agreed that either way the tickets were purchased, it was still gambling.

 

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Image result for free images of powerball tickets

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See, Gamblers Anonymous defines gambling for the compulsive gambler as “Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether or not for money, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or ‘skill’ constitutes gambling.”

According to this definition, all forms of risk or chance such as raffle tickets, scratch tickets and flipping a coin are considered gambling; though many people don’t like to include lottery tickets in the list.

Addiction is addiction no matter what your gambling preference. Arnie and I were brokenhearted as we heard about all the people in long-term recovery who had bought tickets. Even this seemly innocent purchase could be dangerous for gamblers; gambling addiction has one of the highest suicide rates among addictions.

What is your take on this? Do you think buying a lottery ticket constitutes gambling?

How about those who had someone else buy tickets for them? Is that gambling?

Should they lose their recovery time over a Powerball lottery drawing?

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I know GA
is not the only way to recover; many of us decided to have professional treatment including rehab, recovery coaching and even one-on-one therapy aimed at helping addicted gamblers. After doing some online research, however, I discovered that most recovery sites advocate GA’s guidelines for persons in recovery from gambling. This disease cost me way more than the year’s of wasted money, it almost cost me my life twice from suicide.

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Even though they were failed suicide attempts, 1 in every 5 problem gamblers will try suicide. Gambling addiction now affects 2.9% of our population as problems with gambling. AND? Gambling Addiction is now the #1 addiction claiming lives by SUICIDE over drugs and alcohol combined. By Suicide. Google it if you don’t believe this FACT.


Lastly and finally, the word about addicted gambling is getting out and is a hot discussion all over social media – but the way Arnie and I see it?

If a recovering gambler has someone else buy tickets for them, they gambled. Gambling is gambling.   www.aswexler.com

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Arnie Wexler is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in the country, who has spent the last 30 years helping other compulsive gamblers to recover. He’s a certified compulsive gambling counselor, and he was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years. Arnie has appeared on many of America’s top television shows, including Oprah, Nightline, and 48 Hours.

 

He’s been quoted and profiled in literally hundreds of magazines and newspapers. He presents workshops and training sessions internationally. He has spoken to many gaming industry executives, Fortune 500 companies, legislative bodies, and on college campuses across the nation.

Since 1994, both Arnie and his wife Sheila have trained hundreds of professionals working in addiction treatment centers, including Sierra Tucson and Betty Ford Center. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel, and have written responsible gaming policies for major gaming companies.

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Meet Tiffy Rose. She Is The Author of Her Debut Release “The Big Trap: Just One last High.” Interview Courtesy ~ Off The Record …

Meet Tiffy Rose. She Is The Author of Her Debut Release “The Big Trap: Just One last High.” Interview Courtesy ~ Off The Record …

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors,

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Please meet my special recovery friend Tiffy Rose and she is also a fellow author as well! She is about to release her second book soon, but I have her first book on my “Goodreads List” and is my next book to read. I have been hearing some amazing book news of her debut release titled “The Big Trap: Just One Last High.”

And cannot wait to begin reading it. I decided this year I am going to start sharing more recovery authors and the books they write just as I do over on my “Cat Lyon’s Reading & Den Blog” 

I hope you all will support Tiffy by ordering a copy and make sure you leave a review on Amazon like I will when finished … I hope you enjoy learning more about her!

~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Advocate

 

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MEET AUTHOR T. ROSE and INTERVIEW by “Off The Record”

 

First off, tell me about yourself?

I am a mom of two; my daughter has two boys and one girl. My son has two girls and they all are the light that warms my heart daily even when I am unable to see them.  I love gardening around the house I bought 4 years ago, a gift to myself on my twelve-year Sobriety anniversary. I also enjoy sitting at my favorite restaurant Oceanside and staring out over the expanse of the ocean to the horizon reflecting on how grateful I am for the life I have today.

I am blessed with over sixteen years in recovery, after a twenty-five-year addiction to cocaine. I am a Recovery Advocate and Life Coach helping those still struggling to find their way through the waters of recovery and the entire stigma that comes along with being an addict. Writing has become a meaningful and deeply satisfying way to meet others and fulfill a strong conviction to help other souls on their life journey.

 


What made you want to become a writer?

I began writing my personal story to explore and understand my life events and make sense of ‘the how and why’ things happened as they did, and the how and why I became addicted to cocaine. A simple daily journal I had begun writing early in my recovery as a self-therapy tool, ultimately became the framework for The Big trap. From what appeared at first a random array of unconnected personal life events and impulsive choices, steadily emerged recognition of interconnectedness and cause and effect of my addiction and the life I had chosen to maintain it.

Writing out the steps and then later reading professional psychology and addiction literature revealed commonalities between myself and others I had known in and out of recovery and I began to strongly believe I could offer something of timely value and benefit to those in need. The question of why I believed I could and should write a recovery book was answered by the majority of people I had shared some part of my story with over the years who lamented, “You should write a book. Thousands need help.” They were right and I knew there was no turning back and a writer was born.

 

Tell me about your book The Big Trap: Just One Last High?

The Big Trap is a metaphor for addiction maintenance. Addicts telling themselves and wanting to believe it as well, the immediate act of getting high right now is this last one, the last high, and then no more, we stop. The story recounts my life events from earliest childhood memories and facts I could accurately verify as the path, the stepping-stones more or less, to my ultimate addiction. It reveals early traumatic events, the horrors of abuse I suffered within an extended alcoholic family, and being a child rape victim. It illuminates the subtlety of neglect, isolation, and the harsh environments to create lifelong conflicts and anxieties that untreated or ignored undermine normal healthy development and often result in efforts to self-medicate that are far too often the origins of destructive addiction.

I engaged that path as a teenager with alcohol and followed with marijuana, largely at first because it reduced the mental anguish and softened the effects of physical injuries. Ultimately, my judgment being too poorly developed to be wary of the seemingly perfect man I later married and trusted to protect me, introduced me to cocaine after self-imposed abstinence from alcohol and weed had steadily improved my life quality. He said; “Just once, just try it please… if you love me you will just once.”  

I was hooked without any idea of how powerful and life-altering the shiny little lines of white was. Up to that point, my earnest efforts to be a good wife while being the successful career woman at the forefront of the emerging personal computer revolution were extremely productive and financially rewarding and the book illuminates the good and bad choices so many of us make and why.


I had worked my way through college while holding down a full-time job by night to become the sole woman Electrician and Electronic Technician in a male-dominated field. Within the picture-perfect family life and career of two professional go-getters moving up that everyone on the outside looking in only seen two functioning addicts hiding the big secret. Casual occasional recreational coke use had steadily become addiction chaos and all the success tumbles down line by line within a year of that first fiery nose burning line.


The monster of more and more drugs took over landing me on the streets for ten years chasing… more! It takes the reader through the days and nights of those living our here, dealing drugs, using drugs and all the violence it holds. After multiple overdoses and seizures almost daily in the end, it was that last trip to jail that I realized I needed to stop. I requested the in-house jail rehab program for my housing stay during that one-year sentence and began what is today my complete recovery.

 

How do you feel it was received?

The reviews I have received from those who have read my book are great, I’m grateful that I was able to touch them with a story that gives a clear picture of the destruction addiction causes and the hope that can be found in recovery.

 

Now that it’s published would you do anything different or change anything?

I have changed some of the verbiage in the current edition that is available. In the first edition, the scenes where the rapes occur were much more violent and they have been toned down to allow placement in Juvenile Detention Centers, Adult jail facilities, Rehab Centers, and Sober Living Houses as aids and facilitation tools, as well as useful guidance in an easy good reading format.

 

I believe you self-published; tell me about that and more about why you went down the self-publishing route?

Yes, I did publish my own book, though I didn’t use the traditional self-publishing route. I created my own publishing business, Tiffy Rose LLC-Publishing, for the current title and those in the process and those planned.  I chose this route after I tried the traditional way of publishing my work without success. I did like so many others send out hundreds of query letters to Literary agents but I received either no response or agents telling me these types of stories are rarely picked up by the mainstream publishing houses.

At 56 years old I determined I didn’t have the luxury of time to wait for unknown people or entities to decide my book was worth their time and investment, so I invested in myself and away I went self-taught into the book publishing arena. I bought the required legal copyright and distribution marking criteria, the publishing software and here I am. Like a Publisher and owner, it allows me access to placement anywhere worldwide, and owning the copyrights I don’t have to worry about who else gets a say in where it goes from here.

 

Have you written anything else and if so where can people find it?

I am now in the final stages of finishing up my second book as a sequel to Trapped. The Big Trap is more about how I got there and the second book is about, how I and others make it back. It is focused essentially on the steps of recovery and sobriety and how to get there and stay. I illuminate the variety of myths and pitfalls of outdated perceptions of addiction and how harmful they can be if taken as gospel when current research and subject trails define newer methods of treatment that are more often effective short term and long.

My sixteen years in recovery I utilize to define how to search out well hidden or ignored cause/effect relationships that often underlie the addiction cycle and how to navigate the problems every addict trying to recover likely will encounter. I explore how to deal with many types of stigma and discrimination usually encountered and the tools I have learned along the way to share with others trying to find the right recovery path and its steps and conquer the obstacles.  A third book, a true life mystery has been outlined and I will publish it in early 2020.

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The Big Trap: Just One Last High!

About The Book ~ The Big Trap: Just one last High
Details:

  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Tiffy Rose LLC; 2 editions (March 5, 2018)
  • Publication Date: March 18, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07B8WS8PD

How does a demure hard-working young Southern Belle climbing the corporate ladder at the forefront of the computer revolution get trapped in the dark underworld of drugs, crime, and prostitution?

This is the true story of Tiffany Rose Baker’s long journey from the hot West Texas plains to the executive boardroom by day and the shimmering club scene by night in sunny South Florida. Smile with her as years of dedication and hard work conquer the highest mountains and cry with her when misplaced trust and a line of cocaine leads to the depth of despair and self-destruction.

The Big Trap is an intense and thought-provoking examination of the dark secretive world of drugs and vice and the high price of substance abuse.

The Big Trap… Just One Last High, is the voice of one but the story of many who live day and night in the shadows of a pharmaceutical wasteland.

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A Message From The Author:

“I wrote the Big Trap as an extension of my research into the how and why I became addicted and stayed high about twenty-five years. It wasn’t enough to just know, I wanted to fully understand with certainty because at the time I first got straight again I wasn’t at all sure I would stay that way.  If one person gains control over substance abuse destroying their lives, or if only one person gains insights into their own path to certain success from The Big Trap, then my journey to the bottom and back and sharing it with others has purpose and power.”

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Feel free to Connect with Author, Tiffy Rose on Social Media …
#engagethesolution

Website:  https://www.tiffyrose1recovery.com
Facebook-Personal: https://www.facebook.com/tiffy.rose.984
Facebook-Publishing: https://www.facebook.com/tiffyrose1recovery
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Rose_recovery
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/t.rose.rcvry
Medium: https://www.medium.com/@tiffyrose1recovery