Welcome To Bet Free Recovery Now (.com) By Advocate Catherine Townsend-Lyon. We Have a Domain & We Are Now Live!

Welcome To Bet Free Recovery Now (.com) By Advocate Catherine Townsend-Lyon. We Have a Domain & We Are Now Live!


I am excited to finally share my recovery journey through an actual real live Domain Name!

Why is this a big deal?

Because everything I write and share for recovery will get a much farther reach and means I can hopefully share more hope and raise more awareness about problem gambling and recovery to many more people who may be still suffering in silence from problem gambling. I had hesitated to sign up and pay for a plan and domain name as I’m not very good on the back stuff of meta tags and connecting this or that. WordPress is doing all of it and the SEO (Search Engine Optimizing).

Ok, let me get back to recovery! So, how do you know if you have a problem with gambling?

I can tell you from my personal experiences and listening to many share some of their woes while sitting in the rooms of Gamblers Anonymous. Once you have lost control over your gambling, you can never gamble normally again. Listen to me, YOU CAN NEVER CONTROL YOUR GAMBLING.

All you will do is battle the good vs bad and the losing vs winning vs LOSING again and again. You know I am sharing the real raw truth. If you don’t believe me? Here are some commented struggles of others who are stuck in THIS BATTLE. I visit many recovery chat rooms and posting communities of gambling recovery, and some of these people continue to struggle with gambling. It’s called the “CYCLE” and once you cross the line into addicted gambling? All you can do to help yourself is QUIT… And we are still on BlogLovin’!



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STRUGGLES of PROBLEM GAMBLING

Comment: “New to this whole thing… Slipped up and gambled today. Feel pretty stupid. I’m not gonna beat myself up today though. Could’ve been like last time that was so bad it made me suicidal. Screw ups happen i guess.”


Comment: “Rare are the practicing compulsive gamblers who have any idea how irrational they are, or, seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. One dictionary defines sanity as “soundness of mind.” Yet no compulsive gambler, rationally analyzing his or her destructive behavior, can truly claim soundness of mind.

Have I come to believe, as the Second Step suggests, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to a normal way of thinking and living?

Today I Pray
May I see that my own behavior as a compulsive gambler could be described as “abnormal” or “insane.” For those still actively addicted, admitting to “insane” behavior is well-nigh impossible. I pray that I may continue to abhor the insanities and inanities of my addictive days. May others like me recognize their problems of addiction, find help in Gamblers Anonymous, and come to believe that a Higher Power can restore them to a normal way of thinking and living.”

Comment: “Very bad day today, first time I gambled since Aug last year and I feel so awful….
I knew it was wrong but still did it. All time low point.”


Member REPLY: “Glad you are reaching out. Hope you keep coming back and maybe join us on Monday 10 pm est in the chatroom for a GA type meeting. Take care and stay well”…
Ken L


Comment: “Hi all,

Just recently told my wife and family that I slipped and gambled again. This already happened last year and was very difficult to get through. I gave in as the mind attacks were relentless. Now I’ve hurt them all so much and it’s difficult to believe that I can get to a place where it’s better…

Comment: “Hello everyone. Being alone is lonely… I do have family with beautiful kids and also beautiful wife. Living in Alaska without relatives I was hooked with gambling and I feel it’s getting worse and worse what should I do…

Member Reply: “Please, whatever you do DO NOT GAMBLE. There is hope and healing here. Gambling will not make it better. May for a few hours, you feel happy, but it’s fleeting and leaving you devastated over and over and over again. Be honest with your loved ones and stay here. We have all been there trust me. You are not alone. We are here for you!”


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When I look back on my own early recovery, I did attend Gamblers Anonymous, but only for support and to be with others who had the same problems with gambling that had. I decided to work my 12-Steps with a friend of mine and I do continue to rework them today. You got to do the work within your recovery journey in order to reach long-term recovery. That includes all areas like your personal inventory, changing bad habits and behaviors to better ones, including how you make choices.

Then begin your amends process, dig deep to find the WHY and roots to turning or using gambling for an escape or coping skill. Then time for your financial inventory, and later in another new post I will share just how to start taking charge of your DEBT. Never think that you can’t dig out of debit because I did it and it took several years. But it also is about taking accountability and ownership of it. It feels F _ _ KING AMAZING when you get it paid off! ( LOL )…

I didn’t always agree with what the program taught. As I actually had entered an inpatient treatment program. One of the main reasons many end up relapsing or having slips is because they avoid doing the work necessary to stop gambling, stop the relapses, and stop the INSANITY.

This is a very cunning disease and will take over your thoughts at anytime and talk you into gambling and make you think YOU can control the losses. There is a real reason for the slogan of “The House Always Wins”… But let’s be fair to those who can gamble for the fun and entertainment value of this good ole American past time. If you going to gamble? Please, do it responsibly!


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Set a Time and Money Limit!



Lastly, here is my pick for help, hope, and resources for this post! If you or someone you care about has a gambling problem? Visit my friends of The National Council on Problem Gambling: https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/ or CALL THE 24 Hour Confidential National Helpline at 1-800-522-4700

~Gambling Recovery Advocate, Catherine Lyon

Problem Gambling Awareness Month: Self-Sabotage Can Be a Root To Our Problem Gambling. Guest Post on How To Stop.


I want to talk about a bad habit and behavior of self-sabotage. I know the meaning of it very intimately. For those who don’t? Here is what it means. Self-Sabotage: The dictionary definition of sabotage is “an act or process tending to hamper or hurt” or “deliberate subversion.” Mine started way before I became a gambling addict. I also feel it became worse during my addiction like added fuel to fire. In early recovery and through therapy, I was able to look back throughout my life and examine many of my past relationships where I had self-sabotaged them in many ways.

I feel that when we ‘self-sabotage’ things in our lives, it is tied to not having self-esteem or self-worth within ourselves. Like we are not “worthy” of love or people treating us well. It came from being raised with parents who didn’t understand children crave unconditional love and their validation when we do good. And I am NOT blaming my parents that they were this way, no, it may have been how they were raised and raised in way different times than what we live in today.




I would sabotage relationships, many with men, women, co-workers, anyone. I can not count how many times I would be dating a really nice guy, when things started to become serious and he would treat me like a ‘queen,’ I would for some reason feel I wasn’t worthy or special enough so,  I would just break up with them, or cause a fight or just ignore them and move on. Where this was coming from at the time I did not know. This became even worse when I was addicted to gambling and finally learning it was part of the “Brains Dopamine Pleasure & Reward System.”

But fast forward in life and I continued this strange self-sabotage behavior. When I became addicted to gambling and in the worst of it, strangely the feelings of what I was doing to myself, my husband, friends, and family felt oddly normal to me. I think it was because I figured, “well, since I feel not worthy of goodness in my life it didn’t matter if I hurt others with my addicted gambling.” That was my sick and the diseased thinking at the time. Sadly, I was getting back at those who had caused me pain or hurt me. I was just hurting myself and everyone around me with both my gambling and self-sabatoge.

I came across a website that had a good explamation and article about this subject that helped me understand more of why I was doing it. SO I want to share it with you. I know I am not the only person who has had this problem and the post explains some of how we can stop self-sabatoge. It helped me and I hope it may help others.


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OVERCOMING SELF-SABOTAGE

by Adam Sicinski

WHAT IS SELF-SABOTAGE?

Self-sabotage is any behavior, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from getting what you want consciously. Moreover, it is the conflict that exists between conscious desires and unconscious wants that manifests in self-sabotage patterns. It not only prevents you from reaching your goal, but also becomes a safety mechanism that protects you against disappointment. In other words, your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best, which is keeping you within your comfort zone.

Self-sabotage tends to linger in our lives because of a lack of self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-belief. Likewise, we suffer from self-sabotage patterns because we are unable to manage our emotions effectively. We tend to react to events, circumstances and people in ways that hinder our progress and prevent us from reaching our goals and objectives.

Self-sabotage is also used as a method of coping with difficult situations or high expectations of ourselves or others that we unconsciously feel we are not capable of reaching. No matter what our reasons for self-sabotage it is clear that if we don’t do something about it, that we will continue to live a life full of regrets and unfulfilled expectations.

Eliminating Self-Sabotage Process

There is a simple yet very effective process that we can follow to help us eliminate self-sabotage from our lives. The process is composed of four steps that will help you to take conscious control of the behaviors that are currently directing your decisions and actions. Learn to get out of your own way!




1. Identify Self-Sabotage Behavior

First we must identify the behavior that is preventing us from moving forward. To do this, we must become consciously aware of our daily decisions and actions and the resulting consequences. Once identified, it’s important to pinpoint specific triggers that may be causing this behavior to come through to the surface. These triggers could include people, objects, specific times, events, locations, etc. Next, we must ask ourselves whether we can avoid these triggers altogether?

By simply removing these triggers from our lives we will be better prepared to take conscious control of our thoughts, feelings and actions. However, there is yet another factor that we must take into consideration, which is the limiting beliefs we have associated with each particular self-sabotage pattern. The key is to identify these limiting beliefs, then work on transforming them into positive empowering beliefs that work for us rather than against us. One of the simplest ways to do this is the question the validity of your belief. 

Ask yourself:

What is it that I believe in this situation?

What is it that I believe about myself and my own abilities?

How did my belief about this trigger this self-sabotage pattern?

How is this belief ridiculous and impractical?

What would others say about this belief?

What is another more helpful perspective I could take of this situation?


These questions are a good starting point and will get you focused in the right direction.


2. Recreate Self-Sabotage Pattern from Beginning

Having completed step #1, you can now consciously recreate the self-sabotage pattern by outlining all the triggers and the associating behaviors that manifest as a result of these triggers. It’s important that you are clear how this behavior manifests in your life before moving onto the next step.

3. Identify Healthy Replacement Behavior

In order to eliminate an old pattern of behavior we often must replace it with a new pattern of behavior that’s more practical and helpful. This is important because often we simply can’t avoid certain triggers such as people, objects or circumstances that cause us to react in limiting ways. As such, we must take time to identify a new, different and appropriate way of responding that will help us to achieve our goals and objectives. 

Ask yourself:

.

How could I respond in a more appropriate and proactive manner that would help me get what I want?

How is this a better way to respond?

What are some reasons for making this change?

What could be the long-term benefits of transforming how I respond in this situation?

What are the key advantages of this new behavior?



4. Practice New Behavior Until Habit is Formed

Once you have identified your new behavior, you must now take the time to practice implementing it as often as possible over the next four weeks until a habit is formed. First begin by running your response to the situation in your imagination, seeing every detail, and feeling the positive energy churning through your body as you overcome this self-sabotage pattern.

Now that your imagination has been primed, you are now ready to put yourself in situations that will naturally trigger your old patterns of behavior, however this time, you are primed with a new response mechanism that you will continue to practice over the next four weeks until a new habit is finally formed. NOW GO READ THE REST OF THIS AMAZING ARTICLE ON… Again, I hope you will go read this full article http://blog.iqmatrix.com/overcome-self-sabotage as it has many tips and advice on taking control over self-sabatoge in your life and in your recovery journey!

10 Self Care Tips for 2019 – The Red & Black

Press Release: The National Council on Problem Gambling Announces; “March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” I Support & Share All They Do In March 2021. . .

Hello Recovery Warriors and Friends,

Every year in March, I share the helpful resources of my #1 resource and organization I support, The National Council on Problem Gambling. They have helped many become “BET-FREE” and begin to help families heal from the devastation of gambling addiction and problems gambling causes. It will be my 8th year doing so on my blog here and I know the resources they provide are there for anyone who has a gambling problem.

This year the spotlight is on “March Madness and the time of year when we see an increase in problem gambling and more demand for the council’s services.” Since the pandemic started, I have also seen “Online Gambling” explode with mandates of mask-wearing and social distancing, with many casinos and gambling venues still closed or limited capacity. The latest stat says online gambling has gone up almost 41% since the Coronavirus hit last year. And, parents, keep in mind this can include your teens and young adults. 

One area is sports betting on college basketball games all March long. So I wanted to share some of the National Council’s declarations and permit me each year about their March campaign and how you can get help for a loved one if you think they may have a problem with gambling. Never underestimate this addiction. It requires no substance and it doesn’t discrimanate who it tries to take next. 1 in 5 will try suicide like I did. Parents, when you have “The Talk” with their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, please include problem gambling. . .

Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


Sharing Resources of The National
Council on Problem Gambling


03.01.21
By: JOHN NORTON

Awareness Plus Action Needed as Sports Betting Explodes

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month


Washington, DC – The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) designates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament that sees over $8 billion wagered on its games, is the backdrop that NCPG and its partners across the country leverage to help raise awareness and create action for those suffering from gambling problems.

With the campaign now in its nineteenth year, contacts to the National Problem Gambling Helpline typically spike during March. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states could allow sports betting, the proverbial floodgates opened. As we go to press, sports betting is now legal and operational in 20 states plus the District of Columbia, with many more considering it – an unprecedented expansion of gambling in the U.S. Unfortunately, services to mitigate the inevitable increase in harms associated with gambling have not kept pace.

“March Madness is a time of year when we see an increase in gambling and more demand for our services,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. “Too many people still don’t recognize they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behavior and are unaware of the help that is available to them.”




The PGAM grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders, among them public health organizations, advocacy groups including NCPG state affiliates, and even gambling operators. NCPG provides a special web page to give information on local state activities and events – participants may share them via a link on our main webpage: https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/programs/pgam/

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is designed to achieve two goals:

  • To increase public awareness of problem gambling; and
  • To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for gambling problems.

On NCPG’s PGAM webpage visitors are provided with materials and special graphics in the PGAM Toolkit, which can be used without charge by any organization that wants to hold advocacy and awareness activities this March. Each year, hundreds of organizations do. The social media hashtags for this initiative are #AwarenessPlusAction and #PGAM2021.

NCPG also collaborates with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) on Gambling Disorder Screening Day, which occurs on March 9, 2021. CHA, a nonprofit health organization headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hosts the international event that has been held annually on the second Tuesday in March since 2014. It is designed to encourage health care providers to screen for gambling problems in the same way they do for alcohol and drug use disorder or domestic abuse, and to provide the tools to recognize gambling disorder for both the public and health care providers. All too often, this disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational and physical harms, yet many cases go undetected due to the limited availability of accessible assessments to identify this problem. The Screening Day addresses the issue and provides tools to identify gambling-related problems as early as possible.

Whyte said, “Problem gambling is certainly not confined to sports betting. We want anyone who may have a problem with any form of gambling to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence.” NCPG’s National Helpline, which is the only helpline for gambling that works in all 50 states, is tollfree, confidential, available 24/7, and offers translation services in 178 languages. It receives no federal funding and is supported only by NCPG’s members and donors.

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Please Gamble Responsibly!



About the National Council on Problem Gambling

Based in Washington DC, the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without stigma or shame. Call or text 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat. Help is available 24/7 – it is free and confidential.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2021

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Christmas Season is Here With a Pandemic. Things We Can Do For a Safe Stay-At-Home Recovery Holiday…

Christmas Season is Here With a Pandemic. Things We Can Do For a Safe Stay-At-Home Recovery Holiday…


What a whirlwind of a recovery year we all have had, RIGHT?

As a person maintaining recovery and an advocate, it has been an a wild and bumpy ride to say least. I many people looking recovery resources and mentoring than ever before while this pandemic continues to rage and continue to spread like wild fire.

I don’t know about you, but many things have occurred in my recovery journey this year that I couldn’t catch my breath. With Thanksgiving come and gone, the Christmas season is upon us, an odd year for sure; I am sure ready for a New Year! How do you live your recovery lifestyle amidst all the crazy going on since early 2020? I thought I’d share some of mine and make a point that no matter what life may throw at us?

We just never give up our recovery.

Has it been a challenging year since COVID turned our recovery path upside down? Well, yes. But I, for one, kept my long-term recovery path through it all. How do you ask? It wasn’t easy! It started with some personal and business pitfalls around the end of March. My literary marketing business took a hit as one by one, I lost all my author clients as they got furloughed from their jobs. It wasn’t about the little extra income I made. It was thinking, now, what will I do with all my time?


3 Tips To Navigate The Holidays When You Are In Recovery — ELEMENTS OF  RECOVERY



With authors having no money to market and promote their books. Nothing was selling as people focused on where the rent money, bill money or new jobs would come from, and just as recovery and everything else began to shift to online only. Then? It was an election year on top of that! And if you are a person who is on social media like I have to be when my business was running, it got really politically ugly and I had never seen America become so divided.

So, with the pandemic still spreading and medical experts telling us to STAY HOME, I actually had time to make Thanksgiving dinner with a nice turkey meal even though it was my birthday on Thanksgiving day. And as GOD is always taking care of us, I was blessed with gifts and even had a birthday cake my husband had special ordered for me.

Again, recovery has been rough since we can’t do meetings or groups in person. And tougher for me as a recovery advocate unable to speak, raise awareness and NO recovery awareness live in-person events.
So, here are some things I have been doing to keep my recovery path moving forward, keeping it intact, and continue to share my voice and help others know that Recovery is Possible.


Read – Journal – Watch – Listen!

Since having more time, I have been writing and journaling like never before. It includes my recovery writing like for my column in “Keys to Recovery” newspaper and I was invited to write an article for a global magazine called ADIVA Magazine for their column “Her Story” for the Fall/Winter issue. Very exciting! I was honored to be part of the ADIVA Family.

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Article and Recovery in ADIVA Mag “Her Story”



Here are some things you can do at home through the holiday season to enhance your recovery.

Journaling is an amazing tool for processing “old pain” and healing. Another area is reworking your 12-Steps. Did you know when you continue to work your steps? You can go back to them at an earlier time and see what areas you need more growth, but you can see how far you have come. This helps to build your self-esteem and self-worth needed to move forward, maintaining your recovery.

Reading is a tool we can use to stay educated and learn by reading many addiction and recovery books. Audiobooks and e-books have become most popular since the pandemic. You can listen to a great book while doing work or cleaning at the same time. I have also been watching and listening to lots of podcasts and radio shows. I’ve even been a guest on several this year as an advocate. Visit my Book Suggested reads while you are here or visit this Amazon link and see all the amazing books on addiction/recovery to read! https://www.amazon.com/Recovery-Health-Mind-Body-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=4716

All of these activities can enhance our recovery during the holiday season.


Listening & Watching: Since most of as us have already shifted to online everything for recovery, like GA, AA, NA meetings, recovery groups, FB Live Celebrate Recovery, worship, and more. It is also important to continue being supported within your recovery by friends and family.

There are many free apps and platforms we can use to do so. Skype, What’s App, FB Messenger, Zoom, and watch FB Live events & visit recovery groups and many more. But never discount the good ole PHONE. Check-in with friends, your sponsor, and let them know how your doing. Watching and doing Podcasts shows is agreat way to share your voice and story of recovery! I have been a guest on several this year.


Last? Dive into the Christmas season by making your living space in your home Merry and Christmasey with decorations, lights, and maybe a little tree. Even though we can’t be all together this Christmas, you can still enjoy the season within your own home. Put on a mask and walk the neighborhood to see all the festive light displays or even drive to them in your car. It will also help the winter or seasonal blues and be healthy for our mental and emostional well-being.

So, yes, we still find ourselves with this pandemic during our recovery holiday season, and again, spreading. Listening to health professionals and those experts in your state or country you live in and to stay healthy and safe is part of our life, our recovery journey, and while keeping our recovery intact.

You Got This!



It’s called having life-balance! Besides, the good news is the vaccines are coming, and so is a “Fresh Happy New Year for a “Do-Over!” I know 2021 is going to bring us all life and recovery renewal, peace, and serenity. Next year, we will have so much to celebrate and have gratitude for knowing we all made it through.

Those of us maintaining recovery know we never give up!

Recovery Advocate, Catherine Lyon


I Am Proud To Fly Recovery Blogging With My Friends Here At WordPress and Thanks For The Blog Anniversary Wish! We Save Lives Together…

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7 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us.
Keep up the good recovery blogging.

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What can I say, I love Blogging About RECOVERY From ADDICTION, Share Awareness, Hope, Shatter STIGMA, and not let others suffer IN SILENCE…

It is the purpose and passion of my life and was God-Given.  ✝💞

 

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And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Most of you know who are apart of my recovery community know my purpose is to help those who feel they are within addictions the least, the lost, and the hopeless. Well, not on my watch! Seven years is a long time to be blogging and also sharing one’s recovery journey.  I do so because if I can gain regain and turn my life around from this cunning disease and addiction to addicted GAMBLING? Then I know anyone can who may be afflicted by this insidious and devastating disease.

I have come a long way from those days of wasting so many hours and wasted money behind a slot machine or sitting at a poker table. Selfish about any and everything except when I could gamble again next! Not caring about my husband or even LIFE, just self-medicating and zoning out old pain and hurt from the trauma I endured as little girl.

Finally becoming “Sick and Tired” of feeling sick and tired.

Now? I’ve been maintaining recovery for 13+yrs and counting! WordPress has supported my recovery by the opportunity to share and reach people here in the WordPress Community and beyond. If I have helped one or many? I may never know, but I appreciate WordPress allowing me to do so freely and transparently.

Today I enjoy networking with other friends who are advocates so may try and help restore and guide families to healing, not enable, and learn how to support their loved one who may have a gambling problem. I am most comfortable doing so through my writing and blogging, as a contributing writer for publications, as a columnist for “Keys To Recovery” newspaper, and written within featured articles for other addiction and recovery publications, most recently featured in FEB 2020 issue of “ Recovery Today Magazine issue #63 sharing the WHY and the HOW I became caught into addicted gambling the first place!

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Recovery Today Mag is a 100% Free and a fantastic recovery resource for everyone! I was very honored to be invited to share my story and raise awareness about gambling addiction and what it takes to recover. 

SO HERE IS TO Another Year of Recovery Blogging on WordPress and the only hosting site I would trust to do so! I also have my Book and Literary Blog here on WordPress if you are a reading book CAT like me? Stop and give me a visit there too at “Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den!”


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Havng Fun Rasng $$ 4 Big Jim Foundation!

Speaking Event 4 Big Jim’s Ride, Phoenix, AZ!

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{My E-book Is Now on Sale on Amazon Kindle for only $2.99 & Paperback $6.95

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I APPRECIATE All My Recovery Supporters, Friends, and Blog Recovery Warriors and New Visitors!

Thank You, from my heart to your’s … xoxo💞💞✝💝

~Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation and Les Bernal.

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling   Foundation and Les Bernal.

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Coronavirus Crisis Prompts Call to Suspend Lottery Gambling…At Least For 30-Days

“Antigambling group asks states to suspend lotteries until 30 days after stimulus payments”

Story Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal ~By Katherine Sayre

As millions of Americans begin receiving stimulus payments amid the coronavirus crisis, an anti-gambling group is pushing to suspend lottery betting.

Gambling with stimulus payments: feeding gaming machines with federal dollars. This Headline from 2008-2009 Last Stimulus From The Feds …

The organization Stop Predatory Gambling sent letters Monday to attorneys general and governors in 45 states and the District of Columbia, asking for lottery betting to be shut down for at least 30-days or until Social Distancing Ban is lifted and after many received stimulus checks. Read this full in-depth story here in The Wall Street Journal Special Story…

This morning the members of Stop Predatory Gambling sent a letter to leaders in all states with lotteries (The Wall Street Journal ran a story on it in Monday’s edition.) The letter called on them to shut down all lottery gambling games for 30 days as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief is delivered to American families across the nation. Luring citizens to lose their money on lottery gambling games during this time defeats the intended purpose of the stimulus.

Here’s the letter we sent to all governors and attorneys general.

Below is the press release we sent to media across the U.S.

Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media. Thanks.

Best,
Les Bernal

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT: Les Bernal
April 20, 2020                      (202) 567-6996 │ les@stoppredatorygambling.org

STATE LEADERS CALLED ON TO SHUT DOWN LOTTERY FOR 30 DAYS AS RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE


“Facts Show Many Citizens Gamble on the Lottery to Change Their Financial Condition and Even More So When They Are Feeling a Sense of Desperation”

(WASHINGTON, DC) — As hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief are delivered to American families across the nation, state leaders are being called upon to shut down the marketing and selling of all state lottery gambling games for 30 days. All U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

“Federal tax dollars are being sent to American families in order to put food on the table, make rent or mortgage payments, or provide for other daily necessities – not to subsidize state lotteries,” said Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit who sent a letter on Monday to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries. “For lotteries to continue running when so many citizens are financially desperate is like putting Dracula in charge of the emergency room blood bank.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts showing many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation. Yet state government is continuing to market its lottery gambling games at the very same moment that citizens are receiving their economic relief checks from the U.S. Treasury.

As part of its letter to state officials, Stop Predatory Gambling included its 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries also issued on Monday.

“The report spotlighted lotteries as one of the root causes why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.”

The report found “state governments have turned a nation of small earners, who could be small savers, into a nation of habitual gamblers on course to lose more than $1 trillion of wealth to government-sanctioned gambling over the next eight years. At least half of this wealth – $500 billion – will be lost to state lotteries.” Bernal hopes the lottery shutdown and the new report will bring sorely-needed attention to “America’s most-neglected problem today.”

“Building assets and the accumulating and investing of savings, are the keys to financial peace,” Bernal said.  “A home, a college fund, retirement accounts, a stock portfolio—these assets are the hallmarks of middle and upper-class America, and they are all the result of savings. Creating wealth by the accumulation and investment of savings is the direct opposite of what state lotteries represent and encourage.”

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STATE LOTTERY SALES SOAR THE SAME WEEK FEDERAL RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE

New Report Adds More Urgency to Call for State Lotteries to Suspend Operations for 30 Days! April 23, 2020  

A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation.

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling renewed our call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. We issued the press release below to media across the U.S. Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media.

(HOUSTON, TX) — A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation. The news intensified calls for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days amid a time when all U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

According to The Chronicle report:

“On Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Lottery released what appeared to be great news: sales of instant scratch-off tickets, by far its largest source of revenue, had surged from the previous week, jumping to $112 million dollars.

The leap came after a month of plunging sales, presumably due to the sputtering pandemic economy, in which revenues had dropped compared to the same periods in 2019. The April 18 weekly figures, by comparison, outpaced the same week in 2019 by more than $15 million – a 16 percent jump.”

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, renewed their call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. On Monday morning, the group sent a letter to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries to take action.

“State lotteries are openly preying upon the financial desperation of millions of Americans,” said Les Bernal, a spokesman for the organization. “The lottery had a 16% spike in scratch ticket sales over the same week last year, in the middle of a stay-at-home order, during an unprecedented pandemic.
This news is a shame on all of us. State and local government officials in any capacity must listen to and act on their conscience to stop this exploitation of our brothers and sisters.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts highlighting that many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation.

Stop Predatory Gambling’s 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries identified lotteries as why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.

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LesBernal-1

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Stop Predatory Gambling – – Who We Are —

– A 501c3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, we are a national social reform network of individuals and partner groups with members of more than 1 million people.

– We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

What We Stand For —

– We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their future.

– We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.

– We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.

– We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefs, please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 567-6996 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~The National Council on Problem Gambling Asks You To Get Screened. “Gambling Disorder Screening Day is Tuesday, March 10, 2020.”

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~The National Council on Problem Gambling Asks You To Get Screened. “Gambling Disorder Screening Day is Tuesday, March 10, 2020.”

 

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~ The National Council On Problem Gambling


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Do you or a loved one struggle
with problem gambling or gambling addiction?
Most of us maintaining recovery from addicted gambling know the consequences associated with this real addiction and disease.

Here is what the National Council on Problem Gambling shares about problem gambling:

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The symptoms include increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

ISN’T Problem Gambling Just a Money or Financial Problem? NO…Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all the debts of a person affected by problem gambling, the person still has a gambling problem or gambling disorder. The real issue is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. Those who are at risk can be anyone who gambles can develop problems.

This is why it is important to be aware of the risks and to gamble in a responsible way, if you choose to gamble. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists.  Not one such venue of gambling options like casinos or state lotteries is responsible for who may become addicted. The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control their gambling.

This may be due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop an addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create alcohol problems, however, the national council feels as I do that everyone who provides gambling opportunities has a responsibility to develop policies and programs to address underage and problem gambling issues.

One of the BIGGEST MYTHS about addicted or problem gambling I hear all the time is? HOW Can a person become addicted to something that isn’t a SUBSTANCE? Here is what NCPG says: Although no substance is ingested, someone with a gambling problem gets the same effect from gambling as one might get from taking a drug or drinking alcohol. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, a person with gambling problems finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased urge for the activity and the person finds they have less and less able to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.


This year I wil
l be blogging all month to SUPPORT the team from The National Council on Problem Gambling to continue to shatter the stigma and raise more awareness of an addiction that requires no substances, GAMBLING ADDICTION. I know recovery works and is possible as I have maintained my recovery for 13-yrs, 2 months. I still keep mind how hopeless I was and two failed suicide attempts later, I knew I was in a fight for LIFE.

 

I will be sharing just what it took form to reach long-term recovery all month and much more. The NCPG has partnered this year with Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction to do screening for those who may feel they have a gambling disorder across the country.

The information is below and can help those who want to know if they do have a real problem with gambling. I hope those who visit me here will share this valuable information and to there is HOPE and HELP in your STATE by visiting The NCPG website and search by your state here https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/ or you may call the Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 … Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon 

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Why Screen for Gambling Disorder?

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COURTESY OF Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction

 

  • Gambling Disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms.
  • Gambling Disorder affects about 1% of the general population, and subclinical past year gambling-related problems affect 2 – 3% of the general population.
  • As much as 10% of primary care patients report lifetime Gambling Disorder, and an additional 5% report lifetime subclinical problems.
  • People with gambling-related problems are more likely to smoke, consume excessive amounts of caffeine, have more emergency department visits, and be obese.
  • Although nearly 50% of people who have gambling problems are in treatment for “something,” national studies have failed to identify anyone who currently reports being in treatment specifically for gambling-related problems.
  • Many cases of Gambling Disorder go undetected, due to limited assessment for this problem.

Who Should Screen for Gambling Disorder?

  • Addiction service providers
  • Mental health service providers
  • Physicians (e.g., primary care and emergency medicine)
  • Gerontologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Educators
  • Youth community leaders
  • Employee Assistance Plan service providers
  • Veterans groups

What Should Happen at Gambling Disorder Screening?

  • Complete a brief Gambling Disorder screen
  • Discuss the results of a positive screen with a health provider
  • Learn where to go for additional help and to access other resources, if necessary
  • Receive educational materials on Gambling DisorderThe goals of this national campaign are:

    To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services.

    To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling. Call today as there is NO SHAME in doing so!
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Stay Safe Tonight …Stay Sober, Clean, and Bet Free on New Year’s Eve! Tips To Help as I’ve Been There – Done That …

Happy Almost New Year Recovery Friends and Visitors! Welcome, that You Found ME!

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I wanted to round out my being on Holiday Watch and Blogging all through the HOLIDAYS which includes through New Year’s EVE! Look, those of us maintaining recovery NEED to FEEL and know ….WE ARE NOT Missing Out on all the partying or waking up on another New Year’s Day strung out, hungover, our financially broke!

We know we are WORTH and DESERVE Much better Then THAT … But many feel left out or feel they are missing out. Not the case at all. We always need to make sure and take a look back at the WORST of our addicted days and holidays to know we have come along way from those “diseased” hauntings. That was the disease of ADDICTION Running our lives, made our lives unmanageable and took right over …

Not Anymore… And those who have longer-time maintaining recovery know this as TRUTH. We have done and continue to do the work necessary to keep our recovery intact and especially around the holidays. We then “Pay It Forward” and pass on that Wisdom and recovery lessons learned to those who are New and may just be starting Recovery. You are not alone and there are many caring and supportive people willing and ready to be of HELP and SHARE HOPE like me! ~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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4 Quick Tips for Staying Sober and Avoiding FOMO on New Year’s Eve

By Kelly Fitzgerald Junco ~ The Fix Magazine 

“FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—took enough away from me in my addiction. I spent countless nights wishing I hadn’t gone out or drunk as much as I did. In sobriety, I’ve never regretted not going to the party.”

If there is one thing that describes my addiction, it was the yearning for connection. Ironic, isn’t it? The thing I spent the most time striving for is the thing that I ultimately couldn’t get, even from the substances that I thought were helping me find it.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be popular. In 5th grade, I remember the girls who were considered “cool” inviting people to their “boy-girl” party. I patiently waited for an invitation that never came. Then in middle school, my peers started getting boyfriends and girlfriends and slow dancing at school dances, but I was never included. I did everything I could to make it seem like I should be included in these exclusive pastimes, but I never felt like I succeeded… until I started drinking.

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Woman next to holiday decorations, alone and avoiding FOMO Fear Of Missing Out

(A new year should symbolize growth, bettering yourself, or beginning again. Don’t let FOMO take that away from you.)

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Taking shots, chugging beer, puke, and rally; these dangerous drinking habits are what ultimately gave me the street cred I needed to become part of the in-crowd. Boys finally found me cool and desirable and girls wanted to be friends with me. This theme followed my entire drinking career. I evolved from a scared child with a couple of friends to an outgoing woman with more friend groups than you could count. Keeping up with my new reputation was exhausting, but it’s how I lived throughout my entire time at college.

When I first heard about FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — something in me clicked and I realized this was the feeling I always got when I couldn’t stand not being at the party. FOMO was what motivated me to drink every night from Wednesday through Sunday during college. I needed to be at every outing and party because if I wasn’t, I risked my popular, cool-girl reputation. I risked not seeing the drama or hearing the gossip. Just like the acronym-dubbed phenomenon, I was fearful I’d miss something, and I couldn’t let that happen.

Now that I’m sober, I’ve realized that so many of us former drinkers had an intimate relationship with FOMO. It’s often what drove our drinking. It can also be what drives our return to use, or our obsession with still going to the places and parties we frequented while we were in active addiction. The holidays can be an especially daunting time for FOMO. In particular, New Year’s Eve is known for lavish and booze-filled celebrations. If you’re sober and worried about FOMO creeping in this NYE, here are some tips to help you play it safe.

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HAVE A PLAN READY:

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1. Plan something new and different. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to make plans in sobriety. Instead of the same old drunken ball-drop open-bar nightclub or wine-infested awkward house party, you get to decide what your New Year’s plans are and they don’t have to include any of those things. You get to plan something fun, new, and exciting. You could travel to a new place, visit a zoo, volunteer at a homeless shelter, watch fireworks, or host your own alcohol-free party. The point is, the decision is yours and your plans don’t have to be anything like they were during your drinking years. Plan something new and different to look forward to. You could even invite your friends and family to your non-alcohol-centered event and avoid FOMO altogether.

2. Read up on the concept of romanticizing. Yes, I’m telling you to Google “romanticize.” This is something we occasionally do about our drinking when we’re sober. We often remember the best and more fun parts of our drinking, but not the times it made us feel horrible or our worst hangovers. I’ve also heard these rose-colored memories referred to as “euphoric recall.” It’s good to have an awareness about this extremely common tactic of our mind. Remember the truth! Just because other people are out there binge drinking or going to events with alcohol doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you used to have fun at these types of events doesn’t mean you will in sobriety. Just because society tries to tell us we need alcohol to have fun does not make it true! Trust yourself. Don’t romanticize any substances you’ve tried hard to leave behind.

3. Give yourself a pep talk. You are one smart person. You know that FOMO is a concept that begins and ends in your mind. It’s a feeling just like any other that will come and then go. If you’re struggling with drinking, I can tell you there is nothing fun to go back to. Drinking again won’t make your NYE any more memorable or special. In reality, you’re unlikely to remember most (or all) of it. You live differently now and it’s time to accept that NYE will be different and that can be a blessing.

If you’re staying sober and debating going to a New Year event where the alcohol might overwhelm you, I’m here to tell you that you will not die if you don’t go to this event. Missing one event won’t change your life or the world. You can always get the lowdown from your friends who do go. I promise there’s nothing at that party that’s so wonderful it will make up for how you’ll feel if you end up drinking.

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4. Imagine the future. In the scheme of the entire world, NYE is just one holiday on one day of the year. Of course, it marks the end of 365 days of your life and that’s special, but there are so many other beautiful ways to celebrate a transition of this magnitude. You could make lists and read books and write in your journal and perform a moon ritual! You could go to a yoga retreat or a sober meet-up. It’s not your fault that society has tricked us into believing New Year’s Eve is a drinking holiday where we need to have a champagne toast at midnight. But it is your responsibility to carve out a new path for yourself on NYEs to come. Imagine your future: would you be happy to give up all your hard-earned sobriety for one night? For one party? For one New Year?

A new year should symbolize growth, bettering yourself, or beginning again. Don’t let FOMO take that away from you.

FOMO took enough away from me in my addiction. I spent countless nights wishing I hadn’t gone out or drunk as much as I did. In sobriety, I’ve never regretted not going to the party. Every time I think I’m going to miss out on something, I never do. I end up doing something better or more satisfying with my time. I end up missing situations, people, and places that aren’t good for me anyway. I miss out on drama, gossip, and drinking.

This NEW YEAR’S EVE, ditch the FOMO and make sure you aren’t missing out on Sobriety.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR RECOVERY FRIENDS!!