“A Recovery Journey To Reach Contentment, Serenity, And A Little Spiritual Peace”….

Hello And Welcome MoonShiners, Recovery Seekers, And Visitors,

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yeah write weekly writing challenge #163 weekend moonshine grid

I remember when I first entered recovery. I was sitting in my first ‘Gamblers Anonymous’ meeting and was listening to others experiences, and the trusted servants that had long-term recovery away from the ‘Bet’ were very inspiring. They spoke about finally getting some, “Peace, Serenity, and some Contentment” in their lives, and in their recovery. So I began to wonder? What is it going to take for ME to reach those 3 ultimate goals?
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Well, those of you who know me know I tell it straight when it comes to my recovery, no sugar or cherries on top because it won’t help me or you. Part of the answer to reach contentment in recovery is? “You have to the work”….  It’s just that simple.

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After being in a addictions/mental health crisis center for a total melt down, black out of my mind, I began an out-patient treatment program and weekly group. I also started making GA meetings too. Was I perfect at recovery in the beginning? “Hell No,” but the key was not “TO GIVE UP”!
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As we learn about the disease of compulsive addicted gambling, and alcohol abuse, eventually things that we learn start to sink in and make sense. It will also start to make you feel uncomfortable if you relapse, as these things we learn are in our thoughts, and start to interrupt our addiction. At least for me it did.

Truth is, it took me several times in and out of my gambling treatment program for a few years, attending GA meetings, all the while I’d get some months away from the BET, then relapse. But, I NEVER GAVE UP.
Most of that comes from shame, guilt, denial, control, or thinking we can do recovery on our own, with shear will power! SO HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU? It sure didn’t work out well for me, by 2006 I was back in crisis mode, then back in the crisis center for 21 days for the 2nd time, as I attempted SUICIDE for the 2nd time as well from a bad gambling binge & relapse….

See, the first crisis center stay, I found I was suffering from undiagnosed mental illness. Come to find out, I had been suffering with ‘Bipolar Manic Depression, and PTSD’ from the childhood sex abuse I endured as a little girl. I was using addicted gambling and alcohol when I gambled, to hide and escape from those ‘ugly’ past memories that started to come back and haunt me.
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It’s what I learned in treatment, and through my psychiatrist that was helping me with the bipolar &  my meds. I thought I was so damaged as a human being, and it was hard to accept the woman I became with mental disorders, gambling addiction, and past abuse. I was so, so broken in heart, spirit, mind, body and my soul was “Black”….
#ThoughtForTheDay - Keep It Real 100%
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Not to mention what I was putting my poor husband through with all this mess! But he really understood about, ‘Unconditional Love’ as he worked and stayed with me through all this madness and all the hurt I caused through my addictions. It’s very rare to find a man today with that type of commitment!!..(Sorry Guys).

But it’s true. He stayed and helped me every step of the way. Later in recovery I asked him why he didn’t just leave? His Answer?  “I knew that sweet girl I married those years ago was still in there somewhere.”  He chose to stay and work through all the hurt, pain, past damage, as now we know that together we can make it through any storm, any trial & tribulation that comes our way! Our marriage is so much stronger today than when we got married! He truly is, and will be ‘The Love Of My Life’ until our last breath on this earth. Even knowing about my past, my abuse, he accepted me for the woman I was, and I am today.
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Bring It On!

YEAH BABY!!
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So now we fast forward in my recovery 7 years and 4 months. Wow, has life been interesting!
When I was 4 years into my recovery, I read a little story in our newspaper about a woman who shot herself in her casino hotel room. Boy did that light a fire under me to write, and see all I had been through with my gambling addiction. Didn’t know one day it would be put into a book manuscript by an old friend of mine. Then when she was done, she emailed the first 50 pages to a friend of hers who is publisher, and BAM~POW!,…On my 50th birthday I became a first time published author! Again, that was 2012, and I have been writing, blogging, advocating, and being of recovery service to others ever
since.

WHAT? You ask if I’m aware of how blessed I am? You got it baby! I am a very blessed girl today, but it’s about getting the work done in recovery that will make things happen! We can’t have that ‘Peace, Serenity, and Contentment’ in recovery without doing the work. Now I know your asking what work are you talking about?

It’s the recovery work we get in our treatment programs, support meetings and working through the 12-Steps, and admitting to ourselves that addiction has us beat, and total surrender! Surrender the control you think you have over your addiction! Even if you don’t believe in a program due to thinking it’s a ‘religious’ program, which it’s not, you can still buy a 12-step book/guide to help you work through the “Why’s” of addiction. And the other most important thing to do is learning about how the “Cycle” of addiction can be broken down and interrupted. That’s a MUST.

See, in my published book, I tried to give insights as to why many of us turn to addiction. I share my life and addiction journey, and destruction of what I went through starting as that abused, hurt and damaged little girl that I was. Later in life, that gave me feelings of entitlement as a VICTIM. I used all the ‘negative’ things that happened to me as fuel for my addictions.

Even though it says in the 12-steps that, “we can recover not knowing why we gambled in the first place.”  But for me personally, I learned through treatment and therapy that my past childhood trauma, and the undiagnosed mental illness played a big role in my addiction. Because when those old feelings come back to haunt us, some of us don’t know there are places to go to get help instead of turning to addiction in the first place.
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So we need to know there is a lot of help out there for all types of addictions. I have many listed here on my recovery blog as ‘Recovery Resources’…. and I even have a fantastic ‘Relapse Prevention Guide” too! Relapse doesn’t have to be part of your recovery journey. But, everyone’s recovery path will be different. So choose what feels comfortable for you. Yes, it’s a powerful thing to listen to others testimonies and stories, but some things may work for some, but not for others. Spend time and research all the types of recovery help out there.

And recovery also doesn’t have to be costly either! There are many places that offer low-cost, or even free addiction help. I went through the ‘State of Oregon’s free treatment program, which included my 2 crisis center stays, and it was all paid for by the Oregon Lottery Fund. Pretty ironic right? Of course my point is this, it doesn’t matter where the help and treatment comes from, as long as you get the help you need. Most states may have a “Department of Health in your county, so check there first. They may offer free gambling, alcohol, or drug treatment programs paid by your state.
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Many say; “It takes a village” to get better! So good supportive people in your recovery life is a MUST! Pick your friends wisely. I know sometimes people may not be understanding or supportive, and they call that ‘STIGMA,’ don’t worry about that, you may even lose a few friends along the way, but it’s important to have supportive people in your recovery. You will meet good supportive friends in your 12-step meetings. But you may need to cut loose the one’s who are not ‘Bet free, Drug free, or Alcohol free’…

So do the work! Start those 12-Steps you have been putting off. I even have friends who have NO addiction, but they do the 12-steps to lead better lives. The steps were not written for JUST people in recovery. Many use them as principles of living. And in closing, I hope all who come and visit my blog, KNOW THIS,…. you are not alone. I will be here for all who come seeking recovery from not just ‘Addicted Gambling,’ but all Addictions. I sponsor many on the internet and from my home group in Gamblers Anonymous, http://www.gambleranonymous.org/  http://www.aa.org/  http://www.na.org/  http://wwwfoodaddictsanonymous.org/  http://saa-recovery.org/

And always remember…… recovery is not about Perfection ~ It’s Attitude!

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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“To Know The Woman I Am Today, You Need To Know The Little I Was”…
From My Book “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat)

 


“My Thought For The Weekend! Let’s Think About It Together”?

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Pleasure P's photo.
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Pretty Powerful Statement Don’t You Think?  “Just Sayin”….
A Good Deed Goes A Long Way For Someone, So If You Got It Give It…And Your Thoughts?

Have A Fabulous Weekend All ~ God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
And It’s Just That SIMPLE…

I Have This Dream, Iyanla Vanzant…Can You Fix My Father? I’m Tired Of This Dream…

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, And New Friends,

 

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“So I keep having this “Dream” about the broken relationship I have with my Father.”

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It’s seems to come as the backside of a once broken life. My life. When I finally started a serious recovery from gambling addiction and booze, my mom had been sick and in and out of the hospital. But as if God knew she would be gone soon, I was able to go spend a week with her and my family in So. Cal shortly after my crisis center stay from a very bad gambling slip and undiagnosed bipolar depression. It was also my first failed suicide attempt. That was Nov, 2002. So I had this overwhelming need to be close to my mom, so I went down in March, 2003. The week went great, as I even got to see my older brother and his son too! He was on vacation in Laguna Beach, CA, and invited me and my other two sisters to come and spend the day with him there.

That was the FIRST time all four of us kids had been together like that in years! It was also like a dream, so thank goodness I have photo’s to remind me of that wonderful day. It would be the last time we were all on good terms. As July 2003 came around and mom was back in the hospital and on Life Support. We almost lost her then. I was called to be told that she may not make it, so I needed to come down to be with her. She made it, but only lasted until mid August, 2003. While I was there in July, I could not believe how I was being treated. Now I had never hurt anyone in my family with my addiction, and I felt is was more about my “Mental illness” that was the problem. Like they couldn’t understand, or wonder what was so wrong with me. Don’t you just hate when people find out and they Treat You Differently?

Their attitudes were much different too, as if I’d go “Postal” on them at any moment is the only way I can describe it to you. See, I was still living in So. Oregon at this time, so it was a long way to So. California. It wasn’t like I lived in the same state or city, so we didn’t see each other very often. Now for those who haven’t read my current book, I should back up a bit.

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I was sexually abused twice as a little girl by to adult men who were friends of my mom and dad. Then as I grew up, my parents, especially my Italian mom, was very heavy-handed when it came to punishment, and so was my father. He used a belt on us kids, buckle and all. With my mom? anything around her was a potential weapon to hit us with. I was also called names, called the blacksheep, a whore, just because my girlfriends smoked, Pill Popper and Druggie, just because my friends looked like ones. That went on all the way into my adulthood.

When I would go out, or to over to my neighbor’s house, my mom would say things like, “You always go, go. go,…you don’t like it here?, you don’t love your family because your always running somewhere else.” She would always say to that I was a liar, never told the truth. I wonder where I got that from? Parents, don’t hide things from your past that your kids can find out about when they grow up, trust me,…..”It Will Be Found Out”! And it can hurt your children when they do! So as I got older, they stilled carried these awful habits & behaviors. We all would be meeting at my parents house to all go out to dinner together, and several times I was a few minutes late, they LEFT WITHOUT ME…..Gosh, that one used to Piss me OFF! Like I’m not good enough to wait a few minutes for?

Was I perfect? NO!….Was I ultra sensitive? Wouldn’t you be if you endured things like this? Parents,  be the “Example” for your children. You will get their RESPECT in the end. Did I feel this way because of the sexual abuse I went through? Maybe. But I know what I FEEL. And those things were hurtful. Especially when you find out later in life that your own parents hid a huge hurtful secret that would blow our family apart. To keep it simple, my mom was married a few years with another man that was in the Navy, and out to sea a lot. She met my father and they were seeing each other before my mom got a divorce from her now ex- husband. She also got pregnant by my dad with my brother. But for years she made her first husband think my brother was HIS CHILD. All for the love of “Child Support Check”!!…
Was the money worth us kids being lucky to have a mom home everyday when we got home from school?  I don’t know….

So needless to say, her first husband believed my brother was his, while my parents knew the truth the whole time. Was the money really worth it? Back in the late 50’s it couldn’t have been much money per month. But they carried this LIE all those years until one day my brother gets a call from a lawyer out of the blue! The lawyer told him his father passed and he needed to come sign papers to release his body to his side of the family. WHAT??!!
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Well, long story short it was a HUGE LIE they carried, and my brother was the one hurt to pieces in the end! I could not believe they did this. Then a light bulb went off, it seems most likely my mom used to call me a liar because of her “Guilty conscience”? WOW!

It wasn’t until I turned 25 and had moved from So. Cal to So. Oregon, did my eyes open and really see all the dysfunction in my family. All those wasted years of trying to “Prove Myself” to them that I was a good person. That I was not all those things they called me growing up until addicted gambling got a hold on me!  Yes, the sex abuse put a strain in my teen and early adulthood years with my father and brother, but all of us kids have been hurt and turned to different types of addictions to “Escape” all this pain, verbal & physical abuse done to us as young kids.
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AN EXCUSE? Hell No! Not a victim either. It’s coming to realize the painful truth about a family that may look “Good” to others on the “outside,” but there is a whole lot of SHIT going on behind close doors! And no matter what anyone tells me, it did, and does affect your children.
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All that aside, when my mom was sick before she passed, I called her 2 times a day while she was in the hospital. GOD gave me the GIFT, the miracle of her and I making peace with each other before she passed. I just wish we had more time to build on that. But, after she passed, we went back down to So. Cal and helped my dad with the funeral arrangements and attended. After, my brother had a wake & celebration of life for mom at his house, and after we and my dad got home that night, I guess all hell broke loose at my brothers between my brother, his wife, my two sisters and nephews. The cops were called too, and there went the HAPPY FAMILY!
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Of course all the alcohol that was being consumed didn’t help matters. My family has a history of overindulgence with booze, except my mom. Now at this point your most likely wondering why I would AIR all my families Dirty Laundry?
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It’s to show “INSIGHTS” on how many bad habits and behaviors hurt each one of us kids in different ways. And all this, and the past abuse added a lot of FUEL to my gambling addiction. I felt entitled to what I’d done within my  addiction because of the shit I went through and endured as a person. But sadly, I was only hurting myself and husband. But when we don’t know how to process all the Life Garbage when it returns later in our life, some turn or use addiction to cope or numb out.

So the long & short of it is, after we came home from my mom’s passing, we went back down to help my dad through the holidays, except for my brother. When we got home, I called my father a couple of times. My father just stopped talking to me! I called a few more times, and no calls back. This went on for a while until I finally wrote him a letter to ask why,….and still nothing. My two sisters were not talking to me either. Before one of my nephews stopped talking to me to, he said my father was upset that I sided with my brother over not getting any of the “Life Insurance policies” in his name by my dad, and he was not given any of my mom’s jewelry to remember her by either. So dad was upset that I felt that way.
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WHAT?  You just don’t cut off your kids because your upset. So, it has been this way since 2004. It’s now 2014, and I have not heard or seen my father in all this time. So, now that I live in Arizona, only a 4 hour drive to my dads now, so do I go make amends in person? But For what? I don’t know what I did that was SO WRONG for a father to just cut out his daughter in his life. My mother used to do the same thing. What father does that to his children?

Is he upset because we know the “Truth about the LIE” he and my mom kept going for years? Then why does he still have relationships with both my sisters? Just because they live close to him? I have no idea why he treats me this way.
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So I keep having this nightmare of a dream about my father. It is very disturbing to me. So it makes me wonder why all this is still bothering me? I thought I had processed all this in therapy. I forgave my father of this choice he made so I could move forward in my own “Life and Recovery.” That is on HIM, not ME as why things are this way. Does he feel Shame or Embarrassed? It really is hard to see our parents for their faults and misgivings when we get grow up. How they judged me just because of how they judged the friends I hung around with. Some of this is all hard to swallow.

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So when I visited recently visited “Iyanla Vanzant’s website, and I read a blog post about Family, it got me thinking about all this. SO I Wonder,….
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IYANLA VANZANT, can you help FIX MY LIFE, and the Broken Relationship with my Father? I’m really tired of having this dream! I want “No Regrets” before my 80-year-old father pass’s away…
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GOD BLESS ALL,
AUTHOR CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON


http://yeahwrite.me/moonshine-158/

“Life Is To Short To Be Unhappy In Recovery”!

Hello And WELCOME Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Friends,

 

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Can We Have The GOOD LIFE In Recovery? Can We Be HAPPY?


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I just happened to be tweeting on my Recovery Twitter here @LUV_Recovery and came across this pic. I just seemed to gravitate to it, and my mind started to WONDER!…LOL.
And we all know what seems to happen when my “Recovery Mind” does that so look out!  You never know what falls out of my mouth and into a Recovery Blog Post! I always blame that part of my mouth on just being an Italian! Yeah I know, excuses, excuses. And where did I learn that “habit”? Need I go on?
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But seriously, when I seen this, it made me think of many things when I was still addicted gambling and drinking. The BIG thing was the time lost from my life that I will never get back. That’s why it is true when people say, “Life Is To Short.” What about being happy? When we were in the throes of our addiction, happy to me meant having to lie about how I was really feeling inside myself. You know what I mean right? How we learned to “mask” our true feelings on the BAD DAYS we were having in our addictions. Trying to make our outer person look perfect to others. Those fake smiles, and brag about how much money I was winning when I gambled, but really wasn’t! All the while the “RAGE” of shame, doubt, hate, blame, low self-worth, and feeling, “LESS THAN” each time we used or gambled. For me it got even worse when I first tried to stop gambling and drinking. Because each time I gambled, I entered the “RECOVERY TWILIGHT-ZONE”!!
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Now I know you KNOW what I’m talking about right? It’s that long period when we think we can GET better by going to meetings, and try treatment, but we really haven’t Surrendered Yet. That time when SHIT we hear in our meetings and treatment group starts to sink in just a wee little bit, but we are still in the mindset that we can still CONTROL bits and pieces of our addiction right? Who were we fooling? NOBODY! Just ourselves! BUT, then this “stuff” we hear starts to interrupt our addiction a little here and there. I remember when I started an outpatient gambling treatment group and therapy, one of the first things my councilor said to us was this, “Even if you come here to treatment group, and still go out and use (drink & gamble), these things we teach you will start to POP UP in your head WHILE your out using.”
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And you know what? She was SPOT ON! When I’d relapse and go out and gamble, all this crap I was learning started to make an appearance in my mind and thinking! Gosh it annoyed the hell out me! For me, at first in early recovery, it made me feel even more doubtful, self loathing and low self-worth. See, recovery is a process, a life long process. No, lapse & relapse does not have to be part of one’s recovery, but it does happen for some. WHAT’S the difference you ask?
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A “lapse” is just a “ONE TIME SLIP”…..a “relapse” is when you have that slip, but you continue back into the “Cycle” of the addiction, and you relapse over and over. I did this a lot on and off until 2006, after 2 crisis center stays, and after attempting 2 failed SUICIDES, most recent was in 2006. I got myself tangled in a criminal event from my gambling addiction. That’s when I started, and got a foot hold of long-term recovery working with an Addictions Specialist,  intense therapy, and 3 GA Meetings a week for a whole year. That was my first goal. Seriously work and give it a year to start.
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I also got a sponsor and finally started in-depth step work. I was at the point of being “Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired”….Really the biggest 1st Step we have to take in the start of our recovery is, TRULY admitting to ourselves and another that gambling and alcohol had me beat to HELL. I had lost everything, almost my marriage and husband and my LIFE. It was time to grown up, work hard in my recovery, PUT IT FIRST, and get my LIFE BACK! I think some of the thoughts and feelings I had for thinking what I was doing in my addiction was OK was I felt like a “Victim” of my past Childhood Trauma and Abuse.
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So I felt a sense of entitlement, which we all know is horse shit! I needed to finally feel and walk though all that passed PAIN, HURT, and FEAR of all of that.  PLUS, what I had done to others and myself within my addiction! In order to REAP the RECOVERY REWARDS later years later, to really get what seems so “ELUSIVE” in the start of recovery, and what all of us in Recovery want, just some “PEACE & SERENITY,”……you have to do the work in order to achieve it, not be “Given It.” You know me, I don’t sugar coat recovery to anyone. Working recovery is serious and I always “share” from personal experience. It will be the hardest work you ever do in life.
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So, the BAD news is, you have to work hard in early recovery and beyond. Make those GA, AA, NA or what ever meetings that help support your recovery through *Fellowship and Unity.* You need to start your 12-Step work as well, or what ever recovery program you choose to help you have a balanced recovery. Some important things is re-learn healthy “Mind & Body” life balance. Start a journal, read those materials that are “given” to you at meetings and in treatment. ”
“THEY REALLY DO HELP,” and help guide you by learning, being informed, and tells you about your addiction.
A support PHONE LIST is very important in early recovery. People you can call to help you through “Urges & Triggers.” And get back those healthy habits and hobbies you enjoyed in life, before all your time got sucked up by your addiction.
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The fabulous news of recovery? YOU GET YOUR LIFE BACK! Yes, it will take time, so learn patients. But it will come.
The more you work your recovery, the more of your life you get back in return. And a much BETTER LIFE at that!
Again, Recovery is a life long process, not an inconvenience. As before you know it, you’ll having years in recovery, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. You’ll have YEARS of recovery time, and that’s when the “GOOD LIFE” really starts to happen!! It’s when all the hard work you put into your recovery gets good! You finally get to enjoy that early “elusive” in recovery, PEACE, CALM, and SERENITY. You can then start to “Pay It Forward” by being strong in your own recovery, to then help and support others as being of recovery service to others.
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So, Just Breath In Deep,……AWE, DO YOU FEEL IT YET? I SURE DO! It’s called “Success In Recovery”…
“AWE,…. THE GOOD LIFE”!
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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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yeah write weekly writing challenge #157 weekend moonshine grid

 

“Another Mental Illness Shooting At Fort Hood”…REALLY?

OK,…Here we go again. Another person who had been transferred from another base installation to Fort Hood base, I’m sorry but it seems another person has fallen through the cracks of proper “Mental Health Care Services! What the hell? So here is a “Thought Provoking Blog Post” for yeah write weekly writing challenge #155 weekend moonshine grid.
 
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I just blogged a few weeks back about how the “State Of Arizona HAS Mental Health Services” RIGHT!  I suffer from Bipolar Depression, Adult Attention Deficit disorder, Anxiety, and Panic with Agoraphobia, and take meds, and since I relocated to Arizona via the State of Oregon, due to the different LAWS here, I had to get a New Psychiatrist, a new Mental Evaluation, at a new center and have to be monitored every 3 months, with a Monthly Check In,” with a counselor there at the service center.
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NOW, with all the paperwork and information I had to give in the form of paper and computer, how is it that the government along with STATES can’t USE this information as part of a “GUN CONTROL” system for the Mentally Ill? All they would need to do is come up with a simple system to add to the “GUN PERMIT & PURCHASE PROCESS” that should FLAG YOU if you come up with receiving Mental Health services & under a doctor or psychiatrist care, then YOU DON’T GET A GUN  OR PERMIT TO BUY ONE!
HOW HARD CAN THIS BE to get IT RIGHT??
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YES, I know, I’m really pissed off that we just can’t get this done, or at least fix these Loop Holes. And the loop holes of purchasing weapons at “GUN SHOWS.” Just because you maybe an Active Military Service member, SHOULD NOT MEAN YOU can automatically buy or HAVE A GUN PERMIT & GUN! I feel the same about Law Enforcement personal as well.  Do we not know that these two employment area’s have a very high “SUICIDE RATE” due to the mental & emotional toll of these employees seeing so many “TRAUMATIC EVENTS” day in and day out in the line of DUTY? I just don’t get it! Where is the Government & State’s common sense?

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This image was obtained by CBS 11 News.  Sources confirm this image is of suspected shooter 34-year-old Ivan Lopez.

 Sources confirm this image is of suspected shooter 34-year-old Ivan Lopez

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What makes this story more tragic is, Ivan Lopez was known to have mental health issues! RED FLAG PEOPLE!! Another thing, WHY does it take the “Military Mental Health Services” 4 Months to do a mental evaluation of a person? Especially on a person who already has issues? It took me ONLY 2 WEEKS at my “New Mental Health Center”?  There is NO good reason for it to take 4 months, which is what is being reported in the Media to know if someone is suffering mental & emotional disorders!  4 Months?…. REALLY?
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I’m sure you have read about this tragedy, or have seen it on the news, but here a just a few snippets of some facts about this very sad tragic story:
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Emerging information about Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who killed three people and injured 16, some critically, at Fort Hood on Wednesday, paint a picture of a troubled, perhaps injured soldier who was seeking treatment for mental problems before his transfer two months ago to the Texas Army base.
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The Iraq war veteran, who drove a truck for his unit, is at the center of an investigation into the third major attack by a service member on his own comrades in five years. When a Fort Hood police officer drew her gun to confront Lopez during a barrage that involved two buildings at the base, he turned his .45 caliber handgun on himself, officials say.
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Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but had not been diagnosed with that illness, Fort Hood officials say. They also say that he had reported a brain injury – a concussion apparently not related to his military service.

Lopez spent four months in Iraq in 2011, the year the US ended its combat mission there. Military officials are reporting that there are no records showing Lopez was engaged in combat during his tour there.

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I’m NOT sorry to say this, but his government let him down. They asked for his service of “Duty & Honor” to fight for his country, and then he comes home, and they let him down by not giving him the proper “Medical and Mental services” that he needed. Yes, Ivan shot and killed people and himself, but I feel that he was let down by the same government he worked for. NO ONE ASKS TO BE MENTALLY ILL.
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Another tragic event that cost the lives! Now you can say, “Oh it’s not the Guns that kill people, people kill people”……that is a load of “Crap”! Ivan should NEVER have been permitted to BUY A GUN TO BEGIN WITH! So, as a person that suffers from Mental Health issues, I’m not ashamed to say that, WE who suffer sometimes need to be helped to keep our selves safe from hurting others and ourselves.
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Suspected shooter Ivan Lopez (Credit: CBS News)
Suspected shooter Ivan Lopez (Credit: CBS News)
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Now a wife has no husband, a child has no father, and many families are mourning the loss of their loved ones.
And all the government & “Officials” have to say about this tragic event is this?
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“Obviously, we are digging deep into his background, any criminal or psychiatric history, his experiences in combat. All of the things you would expect us to do are being done right now,” Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said late Wednesday. “There are initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas.”
“The Pentagon has responded to the shootings with a variety of initiatives, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said after Wednesday’s tragedy that the repeated soldier-on-soldier attacks on military installations suggest that “something’s not working.”

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*You bet your SWEET ASS something’s NOT WORKING*!!
My heart, thoughts, and prayers to all the families involved and loss of Life..
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God Bless All, and God Bless America,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
 

“Me And My Valentine Have Been Through Hell…..But Were Still Together!

*HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE*

yeah write weekly writing challenge #148 weekend moonshine grid
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AND TO MY WONDERFUL LOVING HUSBAND TOM,…..”You have been there for me at my “BEST” and my “WORST,” Thank You will never be enough to express all the “LOVE” I have in my *HEART* for you. We have been through good times and bad,….well… really bad, but we have been able to endure for 26 years. That my love is an “Amazing” accomplishment in itself. As much as I love my life now in recovery, I know I’d have never made it 7 years without you loving me all they way!  Thank You for so much for that! Words will never be enough to explain our deep & abiding love….*Catherine*~ XoXo.

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I remember my last bet. It was on Jan 28th, 2007, the day before my court sentencing for crimes I had committed in August 2006.
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“ALL FOR THE LOVE OF MY GAMBLING ADDICTION”
My name is Catherine, and I’m a “recovering” addicted compulsive gambler, 7 years now. I wanted to tell a bit of my story of my gambling addiction, experiences, strength, and share my message of Hope…
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See, I really don’t know just “When” I crossed over into “uncontrolled gambling” as it started out as a slow, building, progression. I used to only gamble a couple of times a year. What I do remember clearly is that I quickly became addicted. At the time, the state I used to lived in, (So. Oregon) had a state lottery. They offered scratch tickets, lotto drawings, then added, and then in 1996, added Video Poker machines. These machines became available everywhere! If a place served food & beverages, they could have up to six machines in their place of business…..
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These video lottery machines were in all the bars, taverns, and most eating places. Around 1999 I noticed all these mini-lottery retail shops opening in our little community. If they sold smokes, beer, wine, and soda’s, they also could have 6 video poker machines in the stores. That’s when I started gambling more often. This went on for a while, until one day a man showed me this one video poker machine game called, “Flush Fever Poker.” and I was hooked! I thought to myself, “this is fun”! It seemed like I won all the time! What I didn’t know was HOW MUCH it cost me to win what I was winning. That is when the lies started on how much I was spending, the amount of time I was gone gambling. With addicted gambling, both winning & losing can keep you in the cycle of this baffling, progressive disease.
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Ironic that my career life was in the fields of Banking and Lending for 20+ years. I could help my clients learn and advise to invest their money, but I lost all worth and “Value” of money when I gambled. This cunning disease began to progress to where I’d stop to gamble after work, then before work, then on my lunch hour too! This went on for a few more years. I started to pawn or sell things, like my jewelry to get money to gamble. It was starting to interfere with my work. My husband and I started to argue, as I began to spin out of control, a “Perfect Storm” was brewing…
In Nov 2002, I got so out of control, lost thousands, coupled with undiagnosed Bipolar disorder, that I tried to commit “Suicide” for the 1st time.
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I ended up in the hospital with cuts all over my arms and wrists, then was sent to a Mental/Addictions Crisis center for a bit over 2 weeks, with the first 4 days in a hold on suicide watch. I couldn’t stop gambling! There was so much more that came with this, which I wrote and shared in my book. Because there is SO much more to what happened to me with my gambling addiction. Lost our house, a car, money, time I’ll never get back, lost friends and family, and almost my LIFE twice! I attempted suicide again after my arrest from stealing and forgery.
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I share insights as to how things can shape our “Choice’s and Paths” we make when “Old scars and painful feelings” come back to haunt you. NO, not excuses, just insights as to the Why’s & How’s. I’ve worked hard these past 7 years to stay in recovery. Now my life mission is to be of recovery service to others who still suffer and are just “stuck” on the never-ending “cycle” of the addicted gambling.
See, until we learn to break down that cycle piece by piece, will we then begin to understand, become aware of things like “triggers, urges, stress, feelings of pain,” and many other things we try to mask, hide from, or numb and zone out, behind a slot machine, card table, video poker machine, or what your demon is.Through my “Book and my Recovery & Writers blogs,” I share *HOPE* to let those afflicted know YOU CAN RECOVER from this destructive illness. When we learn in Gamblers Anonymous and treatment to “Believe in a Power Greater Then Ourselves” we can begin to heal and recover.
Recovery also gave me back my “Passion” as a writer and now 1st time published author. I enjoyed journaling as part of my recovery plan, and I incorporated many of them in my book. Back to my arrest and court date though.
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My recovery Birthday is Jan 29th 2007. On this day, I was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 18 months probation, many hours of community service, and money restitution to my victim I stole from. I took accountability and ownership for my actions, and I don’t let my past define who I am today. Was it hard work to get to this point in recovery?  OH Yes!
But it is worth every treatment group meeting, every Gamblers Anonymous meeting I attend, every 12 step I have worked on, and continue to rework them as I grow in my recovery, and the best part?
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My 24 year marriage is still in tact, and my husband is so proud of the woman and wife I am today. Earning trust  is hard to do, but you can do it! I’m an example of that. It’s why I help encourage others in recovery, and why I write and share all I learn in recovery. Part of the “secret” in recovery is when we help those who still suffer from this cunning addiction, it makes us stronger in our own. If you look at “being of recovery service to others,” kind of like how Bill Gates & Warren Buffet, who are caring financial “philanthropists,” well, so are people in recovery. We just don’t do it with money!…LOL, we do it by being supportive with others in recovery, or with those who seek recovery.
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So today, I live life in recovery from addicted gambling, as I also live with mental & emotional illness, as my gambling addiction brought out my undiagnosed Bipolar with manic depression & anxiety illness to the fore front. But I’m also an author, writer, and blogger and work from home. Yes it is financially challenging at times, but that’s OK. There are sometimes things more important in life than earning money,….It’s helping others and Advocacy.
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YES,… Life in Recovery today is Beautiful!

Catherine

A Worried Fan In Recovery Who Is Seeing Red Flags! “Just Sayin”


WHERE THE HELL DID THIS GUY GO?


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Justin Bieber, Mugshot

OK,….is it JUST ME, or does anyone else see where this young man is heading? As a woman in recovery, and take STRONG meds for my mental illness and anxiety, this is just the beginning of some BIG RED FLAGS flying for Justin Bieber. I always thought he was a pretty cool “Pop Star” when he first blew up on the music charts. He was wholesome, respectable. NOW? What happened in the last 3 or so years to you Justin? I read and heard the media reports of you asking the Police “Why did they pull you over, don’t you know who I am”??

That might have, maybe worked in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, or even Los Angeles, but it didn’t work for you in Miami did it? And why are you letting thugs and leechers hang out with you? You know their only USING YOU to GET PAID, don’t you see that? DO Lindsey Lohan, Brittany Spears, and Amanda Bynes ring any bells? Your on your way down the same path if you don’t make a U-TURN.

Justin, do you really think that just because you’re a “Wealthy & Famous” person that your entitled to some sort of special treatment? That because you have money you are above the LAW? What you should be doing is getting on your knees and praying to GOD for all the blessings you have. TRUST ME,….You’re a WHITE BOY trying to be a THUG, and you just look dumb trying. Your only going to be as good as your leechers, and SO-CALLED friends allow you to be. SO GET NEW Clean and Sober Friends!
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DID you happen to notice that this “SMILE” sure went away fast when he got in front of the judge?
I really don’t think this is a laughing matter. I believe this should be his “wake up call” to get his SHIT back in order. And don’t give me that crap about, “Boys will be Boys” at his age. I don’t buy that for one second. WHAT?  YOU think I’m being hard and rude? DAMN RIGHT I’AM!!

And Apparently I’m not the only one, so does the media!

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Image: Justin Bieber (© Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Justin Bieber gets teased on NHL Jumbotron as NBA team pulls his tickets
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“A vowed Toronto Maple Leafs and Miami Heat fan Justin Bieber started feeling the fallout from his arrest on the same day he was released on bail. In Texas on Thursday, an evidently snarky Jumbotron operator at the Toronto Maple Leafs v. Dallas Stars hockey game flashed Biebs’ mugshot on the screen, identifying the singer only as “Maple Leafs fan” in the text below his smiling face.

Back in Miami, meanwhile, Bieber’s tickets to Thursday’s Heat – Lakers NBA game were reportedly pulled by Heat honchos who didn’t want to deal with the negative attention, a source tells E! News.

On the bright side, it sounds like Bieber’s Adidas endorsement deal will remain intact for the time being checked in with the sneaker brand, which declared, “Nothing is changing in our relationship with Mr. Bieber at this time.”

Bieber, 19, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning for DUI, drag racing and resisting arrest. He reportedly admitted to having smoked marijuana, taken prescription medication and consumed a beer prior to getting behind the wheel without a valid license”…..
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If a little “Mocking” is what it takes to snap him back into reality, then so be it. If I’m being hard on him, it’s for very good reason’s. Like, where the hell are his parents? Racing your car in the streets of Miami DRUNK, and HIGH on “Anxiety Medications” is not my idea of FUN. He could have ended up like “Hulk Hogan’s son Nick Hogan-Bollea”….ring any bells??



And Hulk’s son Nick did jail time because he hurt others with his carelessness! Justin should be grateful he didn’t kill or hurt anyone including himself. I guess I don’t get why young kids today think it’s OK to drink and then get behind the wheel of a “Weapon”….Yes, your car is a lethal weapon when you are a impaired driver. There have been too many lives lost this way, and from drugs, alcohol, and racing cars, and SUICIDE! Does “Paul Walker”ring a bell? Yes, he was not driving, but the end result was a lost life taken to soon. The rash of “SUICIDES” these past months should be another reminder as well. So many precious lives lost needlessly.

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                 Celebrity Deaths: 2011 Famous Deaths List People
HAVE WE NOT LOST TO MANY ALREADY?
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Justin, if you have a drinking or drug problem, GET HELP. I truly hope you do, if that’s what is really going on with you. If not, then you need to start cleaning your house, starting with your POSSE, your CREW, & Friends. Stop trying to “be”someone your not. Then start with your business manager, your agent, financial advisor, or who ever is around you who is TOXIC. Get yourself to a meeting, treatment or some good therapy for your problems. There are plenty of place’s to get help. You may feel like “You Have It All” in life right now, but your “Higher Power” is watching how you handle your blessings, and your LIFE.

The money can and will run out. And your fame? it’s going to fade. Then what? In some years ahead, your going to look back at this moment in time, and you may need to explain to YOUR own kids someday what this was all about. WHAT will you tell them? That it’s OK to do what you DID? I hardly think so. Life is very short. You have many younger kids who look up to you. Maybe you didn’t ask for that, but it comes with being famous. Is this how you want to be remembered? I didn’t think so.
If you take anyone’s advice, take some from a person who is in Recovery. Always remember Justin Bieber,……

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It Can All Be Taken Away From You In A “Blink Of An Eye”…..YES, just a fan who is worried.


God Bless All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Todays Recovery Share~Hell Yes “Gambling Addiction” Is A Real Disease!

Now that the holidays are finally over, I wanted to start the new year off right with sharing, informing, educate, give insights, and share awareness about “Gambling Addiction” as I continue in the New Year my quest to continue to help others in Recovery.
I’m starting off my post with some *Inspirational Quotes* to get you going! These are just a few of my “Favorites” that keep me motivated in my recovery.

*YES, this is how it feels when we NEED to begin Recovery*

NOPE! LOL

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*Then we start to feel some JOY in our New Recovery*

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's photo.

*WE THEN DIG INTO our Recovery Journey *

Go for the Gusto's photo.

*THEN, Doors start to open up for US to find our *TRUE PURPOSE & PASSIONS*

Go for the Gusto's photo.
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NOW of course I’m not going to be the first to HELP & INSPIRE others in Recovery from addicted compulsive gambling, but I’ll tell you all about it!

Because I just happen to find my PURPOSE in life through my own Recovery. WITH the help of my “Higher Power”…( GOD ), HE WENT way beyond helping me find my PURPOSE, which is helping others to Recovery who still suffer, and those still stuck in the “CYCLE” of addiction, no matter the type.
BUT I also found one of my “GREAT PASSIONS” in LIFE as a Writer, Author, ADVOCATE, and Blogger!
Well, that was all “God’s” doing really, as he just pointed me in the direction I was to go in my recovery and in LIFE! Those extra’s are what I like to call “Perks Of Recovery”….

See, when we are blessed with more than our recovery, those are perks! Many see them as blessings as I do, as they are those little unexpected things that happen along the way in our recovery journey that makes us feel we sure made the right choice to turn our lives around, be “Better Than” we could have been when strapped to our addiction. For me, that was addicted compulsive gambling. People tell me all the time, “Why are you so OPEN about all the things in your PAST with your addiction? WELL, it’s SIMPLE….Gambling Addiction Is REAL!

First off, if your going to have “Success in Recovery?”  YOU are only as SICK as your SECRETS. When you take the first step in recovery, you need to learn a few important things right off!…

HONESTY, COURAGE, OWN YOUR SHIT, and TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY for ALL OF IT.  I’m NOT Sorry for NOT SUGAR COATING Recovery. That won’t help YOU, and it keeps ME honest. NOW I CAN HEAR all of you who are addicted to some form of addiction other than addicted gambling, like lets say Drugs or Alcohol saying to themselves, “YOU have NO IDEA what is like to go through “DETOX,”…..Detox from ANY ADDICTION is HARD, and YES,….people addicted to “Gambling” also go through a “DETOX STAGE” just like others with Drug, Alcohol, Food, Sex, all addictions.

WHY?

Because after your BRAIN is turned into mush after years of “Negative Cognitive” habits, training, chemical, and bad behaviors, we have the same physical symptoms of Withdrawal from addicted gambling. Here are the: “WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS LISTED IN THE NATIONAL HEALTH GUIDE FOR ADDICTED GAMBLERS”…

Self-Reported Withdrawal Symptoms and Pathological Gambling

  1. Richard J. Rosenthal M.D.*,
  2. Henry R. Lesieur Ph.D.

“A broad spectrum of pathological gamblers (N = 222) were queried with regard to physical symptoms when attempting to slow down or stop gambling. Results were compared with a control group of substance-dependent patients who gambled at least casually. Sixty-five percent of the pathological gamblers (vs. only 2% of controls) experienced at least one of the following: insomnia (50%), headaches (36%), upset stomach or diarrhea (34%), loss of appetite (29%), physical weakness (27%), heart racing or palpitations (26%), shaking (19%), muscle aches or cramps (17%), difficulty breathing (13%), sweating (12%), and chills or fever (6.5%). In addition, 91% experienced “cravings’and 87% felt “restless and irritability” attempting to cut down or stop gambling.

Contrary to expectations, none of the symptoms correlated with gender, type of gambling, extent of alcohol or drug use while gambling, or self-described alcoholism or drug addiction. Symptoms did correlate with the number of hours spent gambling, severity of the problem as measured by proposed DSM-IV criteria, and presence of dissociation.”
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ADDICTED GAMBLING IS A REAL ADDICTION AND DISEASE!

You see, the very SCARY thing about addicted gambling, as I have shared this before, is that the ADDICTED person is getting the same “HIGH” through us using our own BRAIN & PHYSICAL CHEMICALS IN OUR BODIES that get the SAME results as a person who Drinks Booze, Shoots, Smokes, or Snorts Drugs! It is a scary thing to think that a person can do that to ones self WITHOUT A SUBSTANCE…..

And, it is also WHY addicted gambling has the Highest “SUICIDE RATE” then any other addiction to date, which I learned, this past fall as a chosen “Panelist” for the “First Responders and Early Intervention & Prevention of SUICIDE Global Guide” being conducted and distributed by the “University Of Melbourne, Australia School of Global Population of Health”….

You can find info here on their website: http://pmhg.unimelb.edu.au/ where the Guide and Study is being finished. We had several rounds of surveys to complete, as I was a Panelist as just a Person who had 2 failed SUICIDE attempts, so they wanted my feedback as to what is most important to help others who need help when in a Suicide Crisis. I was very “Honored & Blessed* for the Invite to be a participant to HELP SAVE LIVES. One of the most helpful things I’ve done to date!
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I’m very passionate when it comes to “Advocating” for those in recovery from addicted gambling because of the existing *Stigma* around this addiction. I also advocate for those who suffer Mental illness and Emotional disorders as well, because when I entered recovery and gained some long-term recovery time, I found I was suffering from “Bipolar 2 with manic depression disorder” for years.

BUT, I also was diagnosed later, and was told it was a DIRECT LINK from my past “Addiction to Gambling,” that I was suffering with Panic with Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Adult Attention Deficit, which I still have. This sure made sense to me to finally have answers to why I felt like I was really going NUTS in my mind and emotions! (No Bun intended).

OK, enough of the Negatives of my problems. But it’s why I do help others in recovery, and advocate for those who have mental and emotional disabilities. Life is hard enough, then gets even harder when we find ourselves having to “OVER COME”……”But We Can Overcome ~ You Can Recover!”
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It’s why I find so many POSITIVES in RECOVERY. WE CAN OVERCOME. That is TRULY MY PURPOSE HERE!
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Go for the Gusto's photo.
AMEN!!
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Is recovery hard? Of course, but nothing is more satisfying than you feeling *EMPOWERED* in your Recovery. That is the “WHY’S of why I share EVERYTHING in my recovery, GOOD & BAD.

Because if you hold on to all the “SHIT” that has happened to you while in addiction, if you don’t find that COURAGE to walk through all the FEAR and put it behind you, you will never “FEEL TRUE RECOVERY.”  I hear so many New people in my “Gamblers Anonymous” meetings say, “I turned all my bad and my PAST over to my Higher Power, but I still feel “STUCK” in my recovery.”
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Well, it’s because YOU KEEP TAKING some of it BACK! TAKE OWNERSHIP, MAKE THOSE AMENDS OF STEP-9 you KEEP AVOIDING and you will be Blessed with a *Beautiful Life In Recovery*!
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WORK HARD, AND WORK YOUR RECOVERY AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!
BECAUSE IT DOES!
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MAY GOD BLESS YOU ON YOUR RECOVERY JOURNEY AS HE BLESSED MINE”
AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON
{…} http://yeahwrite.me/monshine-143/ {…)