American Fix is Now Released and Should Be Read By Anyone or Any Family “Touched” By Opioid Addiction. By Ryan Hampton of The Voices Project.

“A Personal Message From Ryan Hampton, Author of American Fix ~

 

Image result for who is ryan hampton
I woke up this morning with so much gratitude for all of you. Thank you for everything you are doing in your communities to help put an end to the addiction crisis. Together, we are stronger. And together, we can turn the tide on this public health crisis.

We began this journey together and we will continue to fight to be heard. It is my hope that American Fix brings to light the solutions We NEED NOW to stop overdose deaths, expand access to life-saving recovery resources, and inspire more Americans to live their recovery out loud and with pride.

We can’t do this alone. We need every single person to step up to the plate. I’ll continue to do my part — it’s my hope that after writing American Fix more Americans join our cause and realize there is something everybody can be doing.

I wanted to share a review that Forbes published about our book. It lays out why I wrote it, what I hope to accomplish, and what some of the longer-term goals are coming out of this project.

Thank you for being a part of this emerging movement. We’re just getting started.

With gratitude, Ryan

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Courtesy of “ The Action Network andRyan Hampton”

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‘American Fix’ And The Path Out Of The Opioid Epidemic

By Tori Utley, Forbes, 8/28/18

Five years ago, Ryan Hampton stood face to face with former President Obama at a fundraiser in Coral Gables, Florida. He had established a career, network, and reputation, guaranteeing a bright future in politics. But despite his skills and professional tenacity, he was facing a struggle of his own. In that same moment shaking hands with the former president, he was deep in the grips of opioid addiction.


Fast forward to today.

Hampton has been in recovery for more than three years and has become one of the foremost voices leading the recovery movement, working with Facing Addiction and advocates, entrepreneurs and people in recovery across the country.

Last year, Hampton announced the Voices Project, an initiative to encourage people nationwide to stand up, speak up, and share their story as a person in recovery. But a year later, Hampton says sharing stories is not enough.

“We’ve gotten people to share their stories because that’s the most important part,” Hampton says. “But now, it’s about what you do after you share your story. This is what’s going to move our movement forward.”

From Advocate to Author
Today, Hampton released his first bookAmerican Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — And How To End It, just days before International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2018

Hampton describes his journey from advocate to author the way most entrepreneurs describe their inventions — he was simply solving his own problem. After showing up at a bookstore last year trying to find a resource that offered a comprehensive overview of the opioid epidemic and recovery movement, he couldn’t find one.


So he wrote it himself.

Hampton describes American Fix as a manual of sorts, hoping to inspire clear, focused action in the lives of recovery advocates and people in recovery across the country. Actions are what the movement needs, according to Hampton and other leaders in the recovery movement.

They know that mobilizing the recovery constituency of more than 45 million people is the only way out of the opioid epidemic at hand — an epidemic that claims as many as 116 lives per day to overdose.


The Road Ahead

It’s saving lives that continue to be the foremost goal of the recovery movement. According to Hampton, reforming the treatment industry and protesting the practices of Big Pharma are among the list of top concerns for advocates today.

“We know addiction is a chronic health disorder, yet we still treat it with an acute response,” Hampton says. “If you make it past five years sober, you have an 85% chance of sustaining recovery. So why aren’t we treating substance use disorder the same way we treat other chronic health disorders?”

According to Hampton, insurance providers won’t pay for long-term treatment, which is among the reasons why lobbying and political advocacy are so important.

“The Mental Health Parity Act was passed by President Bush in 2008, but today, 10 years later, we still have no enforcement on these laws,” Hampton says. “Insurance providers are getting away with murder, and we need to hold them accountable. But change requires good policy, and good policy requires policymakers that are educated on this issue. ”


A Growing Social Movement

With much to do, Hampton and other leaders are counting on the recovery constituency—45 million strong, made up of people in recovery and their families and friends. Hampton describes this as the “largest tent out of any social movement in modern-day history.”

“Recovery is truly trans-political in nature,” he says. “We’re a large constituency and growing. We’re men, women, people of color and we’re from all political backgrounds because addiction doesn’t discriminate.”

In American Fix, Hampton discloses at his next initiative—registering 1 million recovery voters in all 50 states by 2020. To do this, he’s teaming up with When We All Vote, a non-profit initiative led by Michelle Obama. Drawing upon the momentum of the Voices Project, Hampton is confident in one thing: when the recovery community shows up to vote, it will require policymakers to act on their behalf.

But creating a new constituency of consequence is going to take more than an announcement, Hampton says. A goal this lofty—and important—requires partnerships, corporate philanthropy, and innovative ideas.

From co-organizing a march outside of Purdue Pharma earlier this month to announcingRecovery Fest, the nation’s first sober music festival hosted in partnership with Macklemore and the Above the Noise Foundation, it’s clear Hampton is already getting to work to do just that.

The reason is clear: For Hampton, and the millions affected by the opioid epidemic across the country, the fight is a personal one.

“The day I spoke with President Obama in 2012, I didn’t think I was going to live. It was clear to everybody else in that room that I had a problem and that there was something going on with me. But people didn’t bring it up. I was treated with silence and embarrassment,” Hampton says.

“Today, I don’t think it would have played out exactly the same way it did then. I hope that now, people would have asked me how I was doing. This work is about making sure that if I need help again, if I have a recurrence or a slip, that there are resources there for me, too. I’m fighting for my friends, but I’m also fighting for me.”

With that, there should be no argument.

No matter which seat you sit at around the table fighting against the opioid crisis, it’s personal. Behind the recovery, the movement is families, communities, and struggling human beings searching for hope. And as Hampton reminds us, “Addiction does not discriminate,” even if you’ve shaken hands with the president.

“American Fix is my attempt to bring recovery into the light. This is not just our [the recovery community’s] agenda—this should be our country’s agenda.”

“Nearly every American knows someone who has been affected by the opioid epidemic or has been affected themselves.”

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Soon to release late Aug 2018 ~ Ryan Hampton

AVAILABLE AT THESE RETAILERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GET YOUR COPY OF AMERICAN FIX TODAY AT ANY LOCAL BARNES AND NOBLE, INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER, OR BY GOING ONLINE HERE

You can view and share the original Forbes article, as published, by visiting their site here.

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I hope you will take to visit Ryan at “The Voices Project” and share your story, your voice! Together we can make a difference and saves lives from Opioid Addiction! 

God Bless,
Advocate and Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

Thanks Author Shout For An Amazing Author Interview~Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon.

Thanks Author Shout For An Amazing Author Interview~Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon.

“Writing is a solitary task; it is a hobby for most of us, it is funny and smooth, other times writing is like a horror, getting a smooth writing experience need a lot of patience, time and spirit to keep performing. During hard times we strive to search for an answer here and there, on all topics and LIFE”

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catherine lyon


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Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a Best Selling Author of The Kodel Publishing Group with her shocking debut memoir titled; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” Catherine’s Memoir is both in-depth and raw as she takes readers on a journey of many important topics that ‘touched’ her life, starting as a little girl into adulthood.

She had taken a dark path, trying to elude the past childhood pain and traumatic events. She began using gambling as a coping skill and escape into a “dream world” to forget, if only for a few hours from the haunting memories of her childhood sexual abuse, parental verbal and physical abuse, and lived with undiagnosed mental/emotional illness for years. Shaping the “perfect storm, she became addicted to gambling with alcohol abuse. So, something like gambling to be for fun and entertainment became her worst nightmare and almost took her life, twice!

Now in recovery eleven plus years, Catherine has become well-known in the addiction/recovery communities, and is a loud advocate of gambling addiction, mental health, and the expansion of Indian Casinos, State Lottery offerings, and Internet gambling venues that needs to stop across America.

Catherine’s featured in many media and recovery publications like Columbia University’s Media Release through the 2×2 Project ~ Gambling With America’s Health. And most recently interviewed for Time/ Magazine online article titled “Addicted To Anticipation”  She is a former writer and columnist for “InRecovery Magazine” and a freelance writer for Keys To Recovery newspaper and column “Quit To Win.”

She is also an “Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger” for “Addictionland”  of Founder/Author, Cate Stevens along with other recovery experts along with other recovery experts like Christopher Lawford Kennedy and Tommy Rosen.

Catherine lives in Arizona and So. Oregon. She is married to her husband for 26 years. She is a ‘Cat Lover’ and has three, Princess, Boots, and Simon Peter.She enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and swimming. She owns an online business called: “Lyon Media, Book Promos, and Literary Consulting.”

 

 

Author Interview

 

Why did you write and disclose personal family experiences? Were you afraid of backlash or judgment from family and others?

Well, I felt that is what writing a memoir is all about. Since my book is about my life of many topics including gambling addiction and recovery, I wanted readers to have an in-depth view of how my family life was growing up can later become some of the roots to WHY some may turn to addiction in the first place.

I, nor many do not grow up in an “angelic” family dynamic. Some grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive situations. That was some of my experience, and later became added “fuel” to my addiction. I wanted to “set the back story” so to speak so readers had an understanding of how many of us may turn to addictions instead of knowing there are places we can get help like through counseling or therapy when your “past comes back later in life haunting you.”

As far as backlash, family needs to understand this memoir is not about them, it about how I was affected by how I was raised and disciplined. How I was also sexually abused as a little girl, and I stuffed that way for years without my parents knowing until adulthood. You will have to read my book to learn how all that turned out. I had to brave enough to share the good, the bad, and all the ugly to others who did or are going through these same issues, if you are going to write a memoir, you can not worry of backlash. I am trying to help others through my book. For me, that is what I focused on.

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

Not really. My first book came very easy for me. And believe or not I hand wrote the memoir in 6 1/2 spiral notebooks by hand! At that time, I was not writing a book, I was writing for myself to heal and forgive myself and to see all that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had taken from my life. The book part and becoming published happened a year later as “divine intervention” I always say.

I am almost done with book two, but I am also co-writing another memoir, so it will release before mine. I did release a new compilation book with several other others and Dr. Rev. Kevin Coughlin in Dec. 2017 titled;  “TEN THE HARD WAY: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery”  and Thank goodness I have an exceptional editor, as my own second book is also hand written! The only weird thing, I love writing when it’s raining. But I am not an outline or draft type of writer. I just let the words flow out of me onto paper and by the seat of my pants!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I can thankfully say no to this question. One of the best pieces of advice I had received from another writer was, “write what you know.”

Unfortunately, I know too much about gambling addiction, recovery, mental health challenges, and childhood trauma. All these topics have ‘touched’ my life and I advocate about them passionately …

What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

I pass on what was told to me in the above answer “write what you know” or write what you “feel passionate about.” If you love animals? Write an animal children’s book. If you have an open imagination? Write a thriller or mystery. An action or adventure story. I feel funny giving other aspiring writers and authors advice. I am a book promoter for many fine authors of all genres as well, so one piece of advice I can give to first-time authors? Your book takes many hours, days, and months to promote. Book sales and book reviews will not happen overnight, so don’t give up or get discouraged. KEEP writing and keep promoting your books!


“I am a writer and published author by accident” ~Author, Catherine Lyon

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)           Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True

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What are your current/future projects?

I am currently co-writing with former NFL pro from the Denver Broncos, Mr. Vance Johnson. We writing his story/memoir and legacy. It has been an amazing experience thus far. My second book is almost complete and will be a follow-up to my memoir. It will be serious, have musings, and ramblings about sharing more of my mental health and childhood trauma side of things and how to “Let The Shit Go!” … Lol.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I actually started my current book out with “the reasons how and why” I came to start writing in the first place. It was about a suicide of a woman I read about in our local newspaper when I lived in So. Oregon all year round. But, no spoilers here. LOL.

You’ll need to read my book titled; ‘Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat,’ which is now listed here on “Author Shout” and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Again, I write what I know…. Lol. Balance is a challenge for me to fit my own writing time in as I book promote for many other authors and writing another book with someone. It is why it has taken me MANY years to get my next book done and published. So I am still a “two book wonder” at this point.

What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?

Well, we all know indie and self-published authors are changing the landscape of the “traditional” way authors get published these days. You no longer have to be published by one of the big publishing houses anymore. Now, that’s not to say there are some self-published or indie books that may not be very appealing. (No offense to authors). As I have read a few myself and the authors are no writers, LOL.

However, there are awesome writers and authors producing some fantastic written works and it is refreshing to see that all authors can now be noticed and praised for work well done! That is part of the change with being able to self-publish. I have promoted and worked with authors that were picked up and offered publishing contracts, so the traditional publishing houses are finding many good writers and authors. That is a great thing.

Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

My current book was picked up by a publishing firm. But my publisher is a smaller independent publisher, however, I received an awesome offer when it came to my royalty share. The Kodel Group, Steve Laible is more like a “self-publish” helper. I had an editor and book cover designer for my current book already, so they just did my format, typesetting, and upload through Amazon’s Create Space for the paperback, and KDP for my e-book.

Going this route was the least expensive way to publish. Now most publishers won’t do any book promoting, marketing for authors except maybe send out a press release about the new book, so authors Beware and do your reseach of publishers! …And be ready to promote your books on your own. I do all my own book promoting throughout social media, PR releases, and use a few places that promote for me in mainstream media and get my books into bookstores. Authors can promote for free at many book sites or place low-cost book ads like right here on Author Shout.

Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?

Yes. The only change or difference that I made was to my book cover. I have two different covers that are the same but different in the colors. My  e-book cover has different colors then the paperback as I wanted my e-book cover to have more vibrant Las Vegas catching colors. The book cover designer took car of it.

What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)

Being a person who maintains recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol for a little over eleven years now, publishing my book was my way of helping others with the same issues and problems as I have and was the only way I knew how to help others by sharing my voice and my story to give others HOPE that they to can recover from this cunning and devastating addiction known as gambling addiction.

Many blessings and doors have opened for me to share my voice and have a platform to help inform, educate, and raise awareness of addicted and problem gambling. I want those who have never been touched by addictions have more understanding, compassion, and empathy for those who suffer. The opportunities for writing recovery articles, writing with others, and for many publications has been 10 fold! Most have come from people seeing and reading my book, an interview, or hearing me on a radio show or podcast.

I had for two years became a recovery columnist for a premier magazine called; “In Recovery Magazine.” My column was called; “The Author’s Cafe.” I am also a writer for a recovery newspaper out of So. California called; “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” and I am an expert gambling addiction and recovery blogger on “Addictionland.” That is just the tip of the iceberg as I have a few more, but I am “blessed, humbled and thankful” for all the opportunities that have come my way. These offerings help keep me in recovery as well.

What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?

Now this question is an easy answer! Lol. Layer low-cost book ads for your books on several places like right here on Author Shout.

Since I market, promote, and advertise books for authors for living and as my online business, I have a page of what I offer to authors and writers in promoting and marketing their books and I set up all their social media accounts as well. The details are on my website: “Lyon Media, Book Promotions, and Literary Consulting.”
It is my business and home of “Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den.”

I began my online business in order to help new authors learn ‘how and where’ to promote their books. Many just hire me to do it for them so they can just focus on writing more books. I place layered low-cost book ads and maybe run for them a E-book promotion. There is no shortage of authors needing help as they continue to write more books or meet the publishing deadlines, and why among other reasons they hire me to promote their books for them.

My number one valuable tip? Layer your book ads when your book first releases. Do a Beta Reader program to reviews prior to release like on NetGalley. That way you will find your readership. Use many book promo sites like Awesomegang.com or Bookgoodies.net . . . Just a couple of my other “go to places.”

What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?

My current book is a Memoir. About my life with many topics discussed throughout which I mentioned above.

What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

I carry a spiral notebook or my laptop with me everywhere I go!

 

How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

Yes. My writing has evolved so much since I wrote my first book. I feel the more you write, the better you get. Now that I am writing more as a profession as well, I have taken some webinars and use writing software to make sure I continue to become a more seasoned writer.

I would hope writing my book, writing and sharing on my recovery blog where I continue to write my recovery journey is helping others. We just never know who our story will touch or help. I wanted others who still suffer or are stuck in the “cycle” of gambling addiction that ‘Suicide Is Not An Option to Stop Gambling Addiction. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” 

Like the woman I read about in my local newspaper. And like my own two failed suicide attempts when I was deep in my addiction. Suicide is never the answer.

How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?

As a reader myself, page count doesn’t matter. The book cover is also part of showcasing your book, so it needs to grab the reader. Same goes with the book title. The content of a book is what we as writer offer up to the reader. If your content and story doesn’t keep a reader interested in the first chapter, they might feel some “buyers remorse.” That won’t bode well for future books you publish.

Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?

Yes, I do feel a press release is very important and has value. Many first time authors can not afford mainstream advertising or hire a PR firm. So a press release sent out through PR websites is a good way to let readers and mainstream media know about your book releasing. I do them for my book promoting clients as some PR websites let you send a couple out for free.

A few I like and use are NPR, PR Web and PRNewswire are some good ones. I get some good results in books sales and book reviews.

Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?

Of course, there is value to book reviews for many reasons. Readers who shop for books lets say on Amazon, they look and read reviews before they buy a book and see its ranking. I know as a reader I do. And, Amazon emails me when someone leaves a review for my book or reads a review I have placed. It tells me it helped them decide to purchase.

Reviews on Amazon also helps your books rankings among other books in your same genre. Rankings tell authors how our books sell and compare to other books sold on Amazon. When a reader takes the time to write a review after they read my memoir, I use that as well if they leave suggestions about improving my craft as a writer.

 

If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?

A message of HOPE to others who suffer from addiction of any kind. We can recover no matter how bad or how far addiction has taken you. We all have that tiny sliver of light within us to turn our lives around if we want it bad enough.

Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?

The Internet has changed not only the landscape of how authors can easily promote their books throughout social media, but the Internet has also changed how people can find information to get help from addiction and recovery support.

As a book promoter as my in-home business, the Internet has allowed me to work from home and make an income as I have agoraphobia and mood disorder. It has changed the way we do many things for school, work, and not just the book selling and publishing industry.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I read every review I get. I can tell you my current has averaged from Amazon’s Rate scale 1-5, my book is still at 4.8 out of 5 stars. So I must have done something right as a writer. So I have not experienced or had to deal with a bad book review …. Yet. Lol.

What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?

Taking on paid writing jobs has boosted my self-confidence as a writer. That also helped me get the offer to be a columnist at “In Recovery Magazine.” And why I write for several other addiction/recovery publications. For me, it is two-fold. I become a better writer and I have great platforms to showcase my writing while helping others recover.

 

Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?

Since my book is a memoir, all the people are real, and I only changed a few of the real names of persons I wrote about as I did not get permission to use their real names.

What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

I really can’t answer this directly as my book was written very unconventional. When I was writing at the time, I wasn’t writing a book. That all happened later on.
I do however recommend using a writing aide software which I do use.

What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?

I am really boring in this area. I really didn’t enjoy reading until later in adulthood. I wasn’t a “Catcher In The Rye” kind of reader. I enjoyed more contemporary reads by Stephen King and Nora Roberts. However, as a teen, I did love writing poems but never thought much about the “writing” aspect of it.

 

Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

All of the above. Especially for therapy and a recovery outlet.

Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?

None. Seriously. Just making sure my facts and stats were correct.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

God created editors for a reason. Lol. My editor was Julie Hall. She worked for a local newspaper in Grants Pass, Oregon. She isn’t an editor by profession. But she edits and proofread for the newspaper. She had taken my six 1/2 notebooks and performed “magic.” Then she sent the first 50 pages to a publisher friend of hers, and that is how my book made it to being published. My publisher seen the recovery value of my memoir and knew it would it help others and hopefully bring a “Silent Underground Addiction” to light.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?

Cost. Traditional publishing can be very expensive. And many first-time authors may not be able to afford it. That is where self-publishing comes in. There are several good places who offer self-publish services low-cost or even free. Amazon’s Create Space, KDP, and Smashwords are just a few. It is heart-breaking but there isn’t any value of even sending your manuscript to the big publishing houses either as most never get in front of a live person. Very sad.

What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

Recovery and helping others is what inspires me to write. We who maintain recovery know a persons story can be a powerful tool to help others looking to reach out and enter treatment or recovery. If I can help others by sharing my story through words and my experiences? That makes me happy.

Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?

No. I used who my publisher had at the time. She did a good job.

What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

Since I do write for several publications, and for myself, coming up with new topics to write about can be a challenge. Writing is very freeing to me. I enjoy it and hope to continue writing and publishing more books to help others maintaining recovery and for readers to enjoy.

Lastly, do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

All of the above. Especially for therapy and a source of stress release.

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Amazing Memorial Weekend Book Review For My Memoir, “Addicted To Dimes” By Book Must!

Happy Memorial Weekend Reading and Review … By “Book To The Future.”

 

Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by [Townsend-Lyon, Catherine]

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How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story.

It’s to easy these days to dismiss an addict without any real thought as to the contributing factors and the struggles they face each day when coping in a world that actively encourages habit-forming pursuits.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses or blame and does explore the complex history of the author’s case and painful past childhood where her roots began.

It’s challenging to read but that is how it is written and should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected devastating way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here. Not hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.

“Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth the right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.”

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies and people who partake, yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights, bells and whistles, and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money, a payoff, and glamour that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.


“At life’s lowest ebbs, the stigma of gambling addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances.”

There is some admirable support out there but there could be more for this specific disease. It’s to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual had to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run.  Addiction harms everybody, even in our communities as this author shares.

it’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the reader’s sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives. It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word, but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.

In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.

I highly suggest this one and her books can be picked up at Amazon both E-Book and Paperback … For more information about the author and recovery resources visit her informative blog  Catherine’s blog

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About Book To The Future!

The About Bit

 

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‘I felt a new About Bit was probably in order now that I seem to have shipwrecked myself on the rocky shores of the blogging community for good. Starting out, as I did back in the day as primarily a book blog now, I tend to write whatever wild winds of whimsy lead me too. A lot of that will be from The Philippines as that is where the said winds did blow me. Everyone calls me Ste J, I am an obsessive book creature, in fact, I spend more time between the (book) covers (I read in bed as well though) than I do with ‘real’ people. Which means I probably spend more time with you guys than anyone else. Feel privileged.

‘I have an urge to read as much as I can, in any genre and give my forthright and sometimes slightly obscure opinions on books and whatever other thing takes my fancy, such as life, or gnomes, although I haven’t done a gnome post yet…

‘Here you will find provided, an eclectic mix of stuff for your reading pleasure, when it comes to books, I intentionally do not reveal much plot, if you fancy reading it, you don’t want me coming along and telling you the butler did it or such like. Not that I’m saying he did do it, but he could have.

‘As a public service, I also read the rubbish books so you don’t have too, as well as delighting in finding the obscure to amuse you. I am also looking to review more authors who are self-publishing and attempting to vary the content more and grow this into something interesting. Feel free to look around and make yourself at home, there’s tea in the pot.

‘Recently I have taken to adding more posts on things not found in a book (or those infernal e-readers), so although I am primarily a book, I wish to keep it varied and hopefully bring you a more different and whimsical variety of posts.  Enjoy….

Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way – Christopher Hitchens

 

I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome to “Recovery Starts Here” Special Author/Writer Interview. My name Catherine Lyon, Author and Advocate.  I know I am a little overzealous as I just bought Lisa’s new book titled; “Raising The Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” released just this past June 2017.

By the title, you may know some of what her book is about. But from all the 5-star Amazon reviews, there much more. And there is nothing like giving some practical and sound advice about alcohol and stopping alcoholism before it starts or happens.

Today though, we are going to learn more about who Lisa is and the “writer side” of her. So I hope you enjoy this “Special Interview” with Lisa Boucher.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

 

Share a little of what you do?
I am the author of 5 books and an RN. My first 4 books were novels, and my current book,
Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” is nonfiction.

I’ve worked in all sorts of departments at the hospital: ER, telemetry, medical, neuro, and psych. To be honest, my true love is the writing biz but that doesn’t pay that well at the moment, so a girls’ gotta have a day job!


Where were you born and raised? Youngstown, OH


Tell us more about you? (Like your education, family, hobbies.)
I have a nursing degree and a BA in English. Have always been crazy about animals. I used to have a quarter horse, Sham, who I loved almost as much as I do my twin sons. I love to cook, I’m part Italian, so food is a big deal in our family. I also garden, and like Cat, love to feed and watch the birds.


Do you have any latest news?
I do! Raising the Bottom recently won the 2017 Best Book Award in the category of Women’s Health, and it was a finalist in addiction/recovery category. I also am looking forward to 
Shape Magazine, yes, the Shape Magazine, to run a piece that I contributed to that and will be on their online magazine.

I was also interviewed by a writer at Epoch Times, so I look forward to reading what he put together. I wish I had a specific date, but from what my publicists told me, it should run late November or early December. It may even be out by the time Cat publishes this!



Anything we should know besides you as an Author & Writer?
I’ve been sober 28 years. I am certainly no prohibitionist, but I am troubled by the “women & wine” culture that seems to be a bit over the top. Let’s not forget the kids of these women. There’s nothing funny about a drunk mom. Ask any child who has one.




Do you like writing?
I love it. It’s a process and can be crazy and maddening and frustrating sometimes, but it’s who I am. I am a writer.




When and why did you begin writing?
Honestly, I heard a voice–an audible voice in my kitchen one day. I had just graduated from nursing school, back in 1994. I was home alone one day and musing about my life, my purpose. Was nursing it? A voice came through as loud and clear as if my husband was standing in the room, but he nor my small twins were home. The voice said–”Now I want you to write a book.” I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even have a computer at the time.


What inspired you to write your first book? God.

 

How did you come up with the title?
I can’t remember, it was a long time ago.  I guess it just came to me like my titles usually do. I have a writer’ly quirk that I can’t seem to write a thing until I do have the title.



Do you have a specific writing style?
No. With the novels, I just let it go and then do lots of cutting and pasting! With RTB, I did try to at least plan out the chapters.




How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story is about my alcoholic mother; our family; my getting sober early in my disease. I then interviewed 10 other women and they shared their story. I focused on women people would never suspect they had a problem. High bottom women whose bottom was mostly internal: doctors, nurses, mother and grandmothers, young women.

I also did a chapter for the kids, “What Your Kids Say about You and Your Drinking. I feel they never get to have a voice, so I wanted to give them one. I also did a chapter, “Doctors, Nurses and Health Care.” There is so much that goes on behind the scenes at the hospitals and people have no clue. Healthcare has changed so much, and not for the better. The hospitals & some doctors, they want customers, not cures.


To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel since I was local, but I did write some of it in Bimini. Bimini is a tiny island in the Bahamas and not much goes on there. It’s a perfect place to write. Ernest Hemingway wrote some of “Islands in the Stream” there.


Who designed the cover?
She Writes Press had a design/illustrator do it.




Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, it’s not a novel, but I think every person knows someone who drinks too much. It’s a book for all, whether or not you drink–you know someone who does. Forewarned is Forearmed!


Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite?
I have so many books in my reading pile. I’m reading Erik Larson, and my favorite right now is David Foster Wallace. He was brilliant but sadly, committed suicide at the age of 46. He was an amazingly gifted writer. Such a tragedy.



Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?
Well, not many. I really didn’t talk about it all that much. It seems that if you mention you’re writing a book, everyone chimes in and says me too! I wonder how many of those people will actually finish a book. It was such a tough long road, and still is, so I didn’t talk too much about writing with people other than my family. Of course, people knew I wrote, I just didn’t look to them for support.

 


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m pleased with the way it turned out. Of course, if I sat and thought hard about it I would come up with something, but why make myself crazy? It’s too late to change anything so it is what it is and I think it’s pretty darn good. I did the best I could, and I know my writer’s voice came through strong & clear in “Raising the Bottom.”




Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh, my goodness yes! With each book, my writing got better and better. I grew as a writer.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
No, I can’t act. Can’t see that at all!



Any advice for other writers?
Keep plugging away. I think if it’s for you to write, you’ll write. I tried to walk away from it so many times, but it seems I kept getting pulled back. If you can walk away from writing and be happy and never miss the agony of it all, you’re probably not a writer. But, if you keep writing even when the journey looks so dark, you’re a writer. We can’t not write. Period.


Will you write another book?
If God wills it, I believe I will. I have some ideas already, but I’m not ready to start another book yet.




What are you reading now?
Just finished *your) Cat’s book: “
Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”  (what a journey she had, but survived and came out stronger on the other side!).

I’m also reading Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker.
He’s an investigative reporter and writes about the destructive nature of big Pharma: What he learned mirrors my experiences of what I’ve seen going on in the hospitals for 24 years. The pills doctors prescribe are ruining lives. It’s so sad to see lives destroyed by all the drugs they put people on. I’ve watched lives spiral down to the depths of despair, all because of the RX’s.


Do you remember the first book you read?
Anything Nancy Drew! I Think was the first series type books I can remember.

 

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jesus, & Michelangelo. Can you think of two more interesting people?

CAT: LOL… I have to agree about meeting Jesus to ask, What’s It All About? And the other person….hhhhmmmmm, ELVIS! To let him know how bad The Drug Epidemic has gotten…And some to blame is like his Doctor, Over Prescribing Pain Meds and Anxiety Meds too!

 

Favorite Music and Color?
hmmm, that’s a hard one. I like Norah Jones and soothing instrumental music. In my car–I’m a country girl and love the old county music of Wille, Waylon, Kris Kristofferson, Cash, Tammy Wynette. Yeah, the old stuff!
Colors: Turquoise or Black.

 

What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?
Something about healing. I’ve worked with women for 28 years, and I know I’ve been blessed to have been a part of their healing. I also want to leave a legacy of having a bit of grit. The world can be a hard place, but we can be all right if we take God with us.  

 

“One of Lisa’s Favorite Place? ~ Palermo, Sicily – Italy!”

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Do you have a blog or website? Where can readers connect with you on Social Media? Sure do! WebsiteRaising The Bottom.


I’m on Twitter & Instagram: @LBoucherAuthor  – My Book Available on Amazon online.
  – FB page: Lisa Speaks of Raising The Bottom



I Thank you, Kim, for allowing me to share YOU with my readers and blog visitors. We all will enjoy learning all about you as a writer. WHAT an Honor it is to have you with us!

WISHING YOU and all my blog readers, friends, and visitors a very HAPPY, Healthy, and Sober THANKSGIVING! May God Bless You…



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Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

 

My Recovery Spotlight on Author & Advocate, Marilyn Lancelot a Recovering Gambler Like Me…

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What can I say more about this beautiful friend of mine who was responsible for getting gamblers anonymous meetings into Arizona’s Womens prisons and correctional facilities? Marilyn has been maintaining a long-term “Bet Free” lifestyle” and she makes it look easy. She is also my sponsor while I am temporarily living in the Phoenix, AZ area for now. Marilyn calls me each week or so like clockwork, and I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life!

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I came across a wonderful in-depth Guest Interview she did not too long ago on and courtesy of  EnCOGNITIVE.com  … I love Marilyn to pieces as we don’t often meet true supportive friends every day like her. I am excited to mention her and I will be on an upcoming coming radio show together on Mental Health News Radio Network With – Kristin Walker! Our topic will be on ” Switching Addictions” which is also the title of Marilyn’s 2nd book. Her first is a MUST READ Titled; “Gripped By Gambling” a memoir that you won’t believe and is EYE OPENING. So let’s meet and learn more about Marilyn Lancelot…

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Product Details

GRIPPED BY GAMBLING  (A book that will have you in tears and then laughter. A story told with the painful truth about the addiction of gambling and how I found recovery.)

Interview with a Recovering Compulsive Gambler.

“My name is Marilyn Lancelot and I am a recovering compulsive gambler. I visited my first casino in 1984 at the age of 53. For seven years, my boyfriend and I made the four-hour trek from Yuma, AZ to Laughlin, NV every weekend. I learned early on how to lie to my family and friends and how to sign my employers’ name to company checks. I considered suicide and planned it so it would like an accident.

Then one day the auditors discovered my embezzling. Horrified, I watched seven police cars pull into my driveway to take me away in handcuffs. I lost my job, home, life savings, my retirement, and my freedom. I had progressed from a Mrs. Cleaver type housewife to a Ma Barker type criminal.”


Questions and Answers:

Under what circumstance did you first gamble?

As a young girl, I remember playing cards with family and betting twenty-five cents a hand. I thought it very boring and everyone got drunk and argued. I went to dog and horse races and thought they were too slow. I remember vividly the first time I gambled in a casino. I visited Las Vegas with my husband but only played the twenty-five cent slot machines. It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I spent a weekend at a bowling tournament in Reno, NV and that’s when I became addicted.

Did you win the first time you gambled?

The weekend in Reno was what many refer to as beginner’s luck. I just couldn’t lose. I felt I was destined to become a professional gambler and could earn a living in the casinos.

After the first time you gambled, when did you come back again?

When I got home from the bowling tournament I told my boyfriend what an incredible weekend I had and we must drive to Laughlin the following week. We did drive the 4½ hours to the casinos and 4 ½ hours home for the next seven years.

Was it internal or external pressure that made you want to quit?

I didn’t want to quit even though the gambling was killing me, physically, emotionally, and financially. There was no external pressure because of no-one, not even my family knew of my addiction. It was my money and I could do whatever I wanted to and when I wanted to.

What would you say was the lowest point in your gambling life?

Some of the lowest periods in my gambling were the times when I wanted to die; when my credit cards were maxed out, when I began embezzling money from my employer, and when I realized I couldn’t do anything about my gambling. But the very lowest was when the police came and took me away in handcuffs for a crime I committed to support my habit.

What were your game or games of choice?

My game of choice was the slot machine. No other form of gambling gave me the hypnotic feeling of escaping as the slot machines did.

Did you have rituals you went through each time you gambled?

My rituals for my weekend at the casino were to wear my lucky shirt, my lucky jewelry, and to follow the same path around the casino floor each weekend. I thought any changes would spoil my luck.

Why do you think it’s hard for compulsive gamblers to understand that money can’t be made through gambling? What is their mindset, do you think?

It was difficult for me to understand that money couldn’t be made through gambling because once in a while I did win and everyone around me won so my turn would come again. I believed I could win all my losses back if I just tried harder. I even bought books on how to gamble successfully. I had to continue to gamble until I hit the big jackpot.

Besides the money, what would you say was the worst thing you lost because of gambling?

I think the worst loss was my loss of the seven years I gambled. For those years I was a zombie and didn’t have time for my family. My mind was not on my job during the week because all I could think about was the weekend.

There is a theory that addictions run in families. Was there anyone in your immediate family who had an addiction problem?

My parents both had drinking problems so if addictive, compulsive behavior is hereditary, then I believe my poor coping skills came from my parents. I don’t blame anyone but myself for my addictions. My five children all became addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Poor coping skills have been contributed to addictions. Can you share with us what coping skills you’ve learned that have helped you? Then specifically how you cope with:

Anger: When I feel angry about something or someone, I stop and analyze my feelings (after months and years of practicing, it becomes second nature) and decide if I should really be upset by the situation or just move past the issue. Like driving down the freeway, if I slow down and allow someone to cut in front of me, I can’t be angry because I allowed that person the courtesy.

Rejection: Feelings of rejection go back many years even before I attended my first 12-step program. If I truly love someone and they abandon me or say cruel things to me, I tell myself, that because I love that person, I will allow them to do with their lives what they want to do. And there again is my decision to allow. If I think they may be on a self-destructive path, I will share my thoughts with them and then allow them to do as they wish. I have learned that I cannot control anyone, not even myself sometimes.

Insecurity: I am not bothered by insecurities today. There was a time when I suffered deeply from an inferiority complex. Today I don’t, I feel that I’m as good a person as I’m supposed to be and I hope people will accept me as I am.

The past: I have forgiven myself for the damage I caused in the past and the mistakes I’ve made. I will never forget them, they’re part of who I am today but I don’t punish myself for my past.

Frustration: If I feel frustration coming on, I do a quick analysis of my surroundings and what’s bothering me. I recite the Serenity Prayer and if I can do something about the problem, I will try and if I can’t, I will accept the consequences.

Or other emotions and events?

Jealousy sometimes pops its ugly head over my shoulder but with a little thought exercise, I can usually make a decision that will show me I have nothing to fear or envy.

Prior to gambling addiction, did you have another addiction? Or did you have another addiction while you were gambling?

I’ve always had addictive patterns in my life. I have had eating problems, I’ve gone through a period where I was a workaholic, I’m a recovering alcoholic and now a recovering compulsive gambler. I know today that if anything feels good, tastes good, or looks good, I have to be aware of the dangers of another addiction.

What would you say is the worst addiction? And why?

I think overeating must be the tougest addiction to cope with. With all other addictions, the person gives up the drug, habit, etc. completely, but with an eating addiction, the person has to modify their habits and continue to stay in the problem but with control.

Almost half of compulsive gamblers are now women. What do you think is contributing to this increase?

I think more women are becoming compulsive gamblers because we are more independent today, we make decisions, earn money, and many of the women are single parents with more responsibilities. Gambling is around every corner, the little store on the corner sells lottery tickets and the churches have bingo. Women feel safe in casinos and the casinos in our backyards and if we can’t drive there, the casino will send a bus to your neighborhood and give you a ride.

There are many theories as to why people develop a gambling problem. They range from social, environmental, biological, cognitive, and spiritual. In your experience, what contributed most to your problem? What theory or theories do you think affect most people?

I guess I don’t look for the reasons why I gambled, I’m just grateful that I found a way to stop. It really doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, young or old, college graduate or high school drop-out, the gambling addiction is not prejudiced.

If you could draw up a plan to help someone to quit gambling, what would that plan look like in detail?

If I could draw up a plan for someone to quit gambling, I would follow the 12 steps of Gamblers Anonymous. I would encourage them to attend meetings, find a sponsor, and make an appointment to see a gambling counselor.

How do you feel about the gambling industry as a whole? Do you think they have the right to operate as a business and it’s caveat emptor (buyer beware) for the consumers?

I have no opinion on the gambling industry as a whole. I just know it’s not for me.

The gambling industry is expanding as a whole. Do you think more people will become addicted to gambling because of this?

Yes, I think the gambling industry is expanding and more people will become addicted. They can’t avoid it with the clever advertising the casinos provide. The casinos are beautiful and the gamblers are treated royally.

How do you feel about poker? Seeing that it’s all over the place now. Do you feel that celebrities playing in poker tournaments is setting a bad example to young people?

I’m sure the poker tournaments on television will tempt many viewers to take that trip to a casino and test their skill. It could be a trigger for some.

You’ve credited Gamblers Anonymous as being instrumental in your recovery. Can you share with us your experiences in the program– the people you’ve met, your most memorable moments and low-points while in the program?

Gamblers Anonymous saved my life. When I was at the lowest point in my addiction and attended my first GA meeting, I knew this was where I belonged. I knew the other members couldn’t do it for me but I couldn’t do it without them. But I do feel there are many other ways to get help and treatment.

Do you agree with the Gamblers Anonymous program that people are “powerless” over gambling?

I know that I was powerless over gambling because I tried so many times to stop driving to the casinos and I just couldn’t stop. Each weekend on the ride home, I’d cry to myself, “I’m never coming back, this is so stupid.” And half-way home I’d be planning my next trip.

Did any friend or family member attempt to understand your problem? Or did you try to hide it from them?

I don’t think any of my friends nor my family would have understood my gambling addiction. They weren’t aware of my problem because I kept it hidden so well. I even rented a post office box so credit card bills wouldn’t be sent to my home.

Do you remember how many bottoms you hit?

What was the worst or most memorable one? Every morning when I woke up and every weekend on my way home from the casino, was a bottom. The most frightening one was when the seven police cars came to my home and took me away in handcuffs.

Did suicide ever cross your mind in the midst of the addiction?

I thought of suicide many times. When I drove alone in my car I thought one quick turn of the wheel and I’d hit a wall or an 18-wheeler and that would be the end of my gambling.

How did gambling make you feel? What were you hoping to get out of it?

While I gambled, I always thought gambling made me feel good. Some nights I sat on the stool at the casino and didn’t care whether I won or lost, I just wanted to keep playing. The money didn’t seem real.

How many times did you try quitting before you succeeded?

I think I quit every weekend for the seven years I gambled compulsively. That only lasted for ten miles down the road when we left the casino and then I would be planning my next trip. I’d wear a different shirt and I wouldn’t wear that dumb bracelet because that’s what gave me the bad luck.

What were the reactions of your family and friends when you were gambling?

My family and friends never knew the amount of money I lost or won. A compulsive gambler becomes very clever with lies and covering up all their gambling problems. We just can’t let anyone know what we’re doing, they make try to make us quit and I wasn’t ready to quit.

Does the thought of gambling creep into your mind sometimes?

I’m happy to say that gambling doesn’t have a place in my thoughts. I’ve been told that I’m not responsible for the first thought that comes into my head but I am responsible for what I do with it after that. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t gambled since I attended my first meeting more than 16 years ago but I know that if I made that first bet, I’d be off and running again. And this time I would probably die.

Do you have any regrets?

I have regrets. I regret the harm I did to my employer and I’m sorry for not being there for my family. I’ve forgiven myself but I’ll never forget what I’ve done. You can process it so it doesn’t haunt you every day.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to quit?

If someone wants to quit, they’re half-way there. The desire to stop is the biggest step a compulsive gambler can make. If we don’t have the desire, we can’t quit…

My book GRIPPED BY GAMBLING may be purchased through Amazon.com and other on-line bookstores. The blog here by Author, Catherine Lyon has some good advice and resources I hope people who may have a gambling problem stay and look around while they are here and share with friends and family…

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Marilyn Lancelot

Again, I want to thank EnCOGNITIVE.com  for letting me share this fantastic and informative interview with Marilyn Lancelot. She has published two more important books since Gripped By Gambling. You can visit her on Amazon for all her books here: Amazon Author Page 

Dear Gambling Addiction, ~ It’s My Final Goodbye…Part Two and Forever.

“PART TWO ~ MY FINAL GOODBYE Gambling Addiction”

 

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I still remember the days when you taught me well about trying to control my gambling and you also taught me to be in denial of having a problem, to use blame and entitlement to make me believe that gambling was so much easier than to try and stop and stay in recovery. Your sick so-called  ‘friendship’ was dripping with shame, guilt. You had stripped me of self-worth, confidence, and took much life from me. So much so, I looked at myself in the mirror and only saw an empty shell of a woman that used to be so fun, humorous, loving, vibrant, and beautiful inside and out.

Yes, you taught well. And this time you were even more “cunning and baffling” to me. And when the money was gone,  you made me think it was ok to “Lie, Cheat, Pawn, and Steal from someone as to get rid of all Tom and I worked hard for. You were building an even bigger wedge between my husband and me to the point I was going off the friggin rails emotionally again!

You brought me back to that dark place again. Because you had talked me into thinking I was normal in recovery and didn’t need to take my medications for my mental health. As a matter of fact, things got so out of control again for the second time in 2006, that you made me feel as though it would be best to just “DIE” than face the consequences of this round of poor choices and financial strains.

Of course, you are going to say; “those were all my choice’s I made, they were mine alone, but you know you had a hand in ALL OF IT! Your nasty old habits and addicted thinking came back and swooped right in my thoughts again when I learned I was still missing more work in my recovery, and the financial pressures became too much and again I woke up in a mental/addiction crisis center ~ via the hospital a second time.

NO, I didn’t want to take all my medications all at once, but I just didn’t have the courage or strength, after everything I had been through being arrested and being humiliated in the local newspaper because I stole from a friend. The best thing she ever did was press charges. Even though I was feeling I had to start recovery all over again, and even though I wasn’t gambling. I just didn’t have it in me to keep going to court hearings and just all of it!

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But, I did start over again, along with my higher power by my side (God). I remember hearing these whispers in my ear while in the hospital for the second time. They were faint, but I heard them. I know it was that “Power Greater than Myself” telling me that I have too much to do here on earth and was called to fulfill my higher purpose of what God want’s me to do here. He would not let my journey end like with Suicide. Not even a second try! In that moment, I felt something shift and change inside me.

Many may say that’s bullshit, well I’m here today to tell you it’s NOT. I had prayed for years asking “God” to help take away all the ‘Triggers & Urges’ away from me, and that I would do the rest of the work. Well, it is true when they say; “it happens in God’s, time not ours.”  Good things started to happen.

The triggers and urges became less and less as I worked hard in my recovery. It took time, treatment, and a lot of one on one meetings with my addiction counselor, and gamblers anonymous meetings, so many meetings. It took journaling daily to see my growth and my week areas. It took reading a lot of books and so much more. I then worked with a specialist for a year who really saved my life! Soon I was adding up my days, months, and years away from you. Being more of recovery service to others. That is what helped me stay in recovery too! All the while hoping I was hurting YOU as much as you had hurt me through the years of my undying love for you…

So that is my purpose today with this letter old friend. It is my letter of “Closure and Healing.” Just as writing my book was. It is time for me to say a “Final Goodbye” to you forever. It has taken me a long time to make amends with myself, to forgive myself, to love myself again within my recovery and life’s journey. To release the past and old damages of my gambling addiction and the old friendship with you.

Because of you, I’d hurt and lost many people in my life along the way. Yes, we had many good times, but the bad has outweighed the good. I have come to a place in my life and in my recovery to know I’m no longer a victim of what happened to me as a little girl anymore. It was not my fault of all that happened to me. I have learned to process, forgive, let go and let GOD. He alone is the one, my savior that steers the wheel to my heart and this vessel.

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I’m strong enough today to know I was a very sick addict and know it was not all my fault. My past doesn’t define the woman I am today.

I have taken my power back and NO LONGER ALLOW YOU IN MY LIFE! I Walk By Faith and not by Sight Alone.

WHY?

Because all that time you used me. You also used my past and childhood pain and trauma against me in our friendship, and “REAL FRIENDS” don’t do that. Do I have times I wish this could be different? Of course.

I no longer need to think of you anymore. You see, real friends love, care and support you in life. My life today is so happy, fulfilled, and blessed that I’ve been making all my “DREAMS” come true without you. So many blessings and doors have opened for me since I exposed the truth about you in the release of my book. So others can have an inside in-depth look at how ugly you really are. How deadly you can be and how easy you take over.

Now, 10+years it has taken me to write this and part from you forever. I really never thought this day would come for me all those years ago. I can still and always will remember the worst of our times together, as it keeps me from becoming “complacent” in my recovery.

I remember when I could not tell myself I will NEVER GAMBLE AGAIN. I never need step foot in another casino in my lifetime. Every time I did, you made me want to. You’d make me long for you. No, no, not any longer. Today I have the courage and bravery to say NO to you! Many say God doesn’t perform miracles. They use the excuse that they can not believe in something or someone they can not see.

 

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I pray for those people who say or feel this way daily. And for those still stuck and suffering from the insanity of the “cycle” of this addiction.

WHY?

Because “GOD” does perform “Miracles” all around us. You just need to LOOK, Listen, and Hear them!

I AM one of his “Walking Miracles In Recovery.”

So Goodbye Gambling Addiction, I Don’t Need You Anymore!


“Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow ~ I no longer suffering in Silence”

 


Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Freelance Writer

Book Review and Interview Share. Meet USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck…

Book Review and Interview Share. Meet USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck…

‘ I turned back to the half-finished note I had written to her. My heart breaking and the tears flowing. I set the notepad down, reached into the truck’s console, grabbed my pistol. Loaded it. Put it to my head and pulled the trigger.’

That was then, today USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck has come a long way from those dark days of the unknown….  One of my perks if you will, of working and being an “Author’s Cafe” Columnist for “In Recovery Magazine” is I get to meet a lot of wonderful new authors and enjoy reading their books. And Justin Peck is one of them. I can not tell how much his story moved me to the core of my being. I knew the pain, darkness, and hopelessness he felt when he pulled that trigger.

I also know the impact it has on our spouse and family as I had my own two failed suicide attempts. And I know how much Justin’s book is going to help all who suffer from mental health disorders and challenges I and many live with every day.

Let’s learn more about Justin Peck and about his fantastic Memoir, his story….and as he says;  “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!  Moderation is for those who don’t believe in their abilities.”    ~ Justin Peck
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ABOUT THE MEMOIR:

Bulletproof by Justin Peck gives insight to a life full of pain, struggle and the perseverance required to overcome it all. Not only is it an inspiration for those suffering from mental illness, his story has the power to motivate anyone looking for a light at the end of the dark tunnel that everyday life sometimes seems to be. As he shares experiences of learning to deal with the challenge of bipolar disorder, you’ll find the strength and courage to live and enjoy life a little more each day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & RACER ~ Courtesy of PRNewswire:

Top Motorsports driver and team owner of Race Pro Technologies, Justin Peck #49 has published his life story, titled “Bulletproof.” Telling his tale of addiction, literally beating death and overcoming mental illness while learning to use it to his advantage, Justin Peck is an inspiration to so many who may not be able to see hope or light at the end of their dark tunnel. The metamorphosis of a mental health condition has catapulted Justin Peck into a champion on the track and in life. “Bulletproof” lays out the trials and tribulations of the painful, yet powerful transition that taught him how to free his mind. Transparent and raw, Justin shares examples of courage, defeat, and lives to tell how he rose above it to beat the beast.

Justin Peck has accomplished so much since becoming #Bulletproof.  From becoming an off-road USRA champion, owner to Race Pro Technologies team, founder/owner of Gear 49 Motorsports Nutrition, loving father, upholding legislation and so much more, he has since taken this opportunity to speak across the country and bring awareness to the challenges facing those with mental illness.

“Bulletproof” speaks to anyone plagued by addiction, bi-polar disorder or mental health issues, and suicidal tendencies just like Justin. It can help guide friends and families of suffering loved ones, athletes and people mentally crumbling on the inside, but play a strong face on the outside, or anyone stuck in life needing a splash of inspirational boot camp.

Since that day he drove to the top of a mountain, put a pistol to his temple and pulled the trigger – but the bullet refused to fire, which drove him to have a wake-up call and a call to action to change and save not only his life but also others.

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Since reading Justin’s book, I have been more inspired to share more of my own challenges and story about “the mental health” side of myself. So I thank Justin for the motivation as HE IS now my Mental Health CHAMP! Her is my 5-Star Amazon book review and a few others so you know this ONE is a must read and WORTH your time to do so!
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BOOK REVIEWS FOR  “BULLETPROOF, A Memoir” now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and here on Justin’s Author Website.

February 13, 2017 – By  Catherine Lyon

5.0 out of 5 stars5-Stars ~ “Off Road Race Champ #49 and Now Mental Health Champion Advocate

I was thrilled to receive an early copy for an honest review of Justin Peck’s Memoir by his publisher/agent.

What an amazing story Justin has shared of his life battling challenges of bipolar and mental health. He truly is doing a service to our cause of shattering the “Stigma” around those who suffer and are learning their way to have a normal happy life despite the effects.

I do know the level of “hopelessness” Justin felt when he pulled the trigger to END the “madness” as I have had my own two failed suicide attempts as I went undiagnosed with bipolar, manic depression and agoraphobia for years. So when reading Justin’s story, I could relate. His book proves that no matter who you are, successful or not, mental health can touch and affect anyone and has NO boundaries and can claim anyone.

An exceptionally well-written memoir and well worth the time to read! Thank you, Justin, for sharing your story and not being afraid of “stigma” in order to help others. This book will do it and what a legacy to leave behind.

“In Recovery Magazine” Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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on February 11, 2017

Format: 5-Stars on Amazon Kindle Edition

“This is definitely a page turner. Justin has truly lived a full and fascinating life. I am glad that more and more people are bringing attention to mental illness. Hopefully, someday there will be less stigma associated with mental illness.”

 

on February 2, 2017
Format: 5-STARS Amazon Kindle Edition

“This book takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. Whether you personally struggle with any form of depression or mental health issues, I would guarantee you know someone that does and on some level, you will relate to the stories told.”

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Here is some of an in-depth interview with Justin and his book Courtesy of  “The Huffington Post”  – Kimberly Jesika, Contributor

I saw in your story where you put a gun to your head. What were you going through at the time that brought you to that place?

I had a pretty rough few months before the gun.  I had just come off of a tremendously manic phase in which I created another new company and was going non-stop.  I felt the depressive state coming and tried super hard to fight it, but as it always does, it got the best of me.  I remember waking up that morning like I typically did, kissing my wife and kids before I left for the day.  I was reeling inside with despair, but I had no one to communicate that with.  I knew that this was the beginning of a phase that I didn’t want to fight again, and when I saw the opportunity to end it, I tried.

I had an aunt with Bipolar disorder growing up, sadly she did not get over hers and died at 32 after turning the corner trying to get her life back. How did you know you had Bipolar?

I knew I had some disorder from the age of 13, but back then, there was little known about Bipolar- disorder.  It really wasn’t until I tried to take my life that I realized I needed help from a professional because I knew that it would only be in time before I tried again.  After I pulled the trigger, the rush of adrenaline and emotion immediately pulled me out of the despair (for the moment) and it was then I realized that there is always a way out.  If I could control my adrenaline or get more of it, then I could escape the despair.  Now, that works to a point, and I have fought extremely hard my entire life to find that perfect balance. I still contend, but things have got substantially better.

Please go by The Huffington Post for the rest of this AMAZING Interview with Justin Peck here:  “The Huffington Post”  – Kimberly Jesika, Contributor
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Check out this YouTube Video and listen to Justin Live!

 

*Now go connect with Justin on Social Media and tell him Cat sent YOU! *

On Facebook
Now on Instagram
On Twitter too!

 

** Presented By Author/Columnist, Catherine Lyon **

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

“The Gateways are… A Gateway, a bridge, an opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise!  What you get from this are Tools, Inspiration, and time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”   ~Dr. Jane Galloway, Author

When I first heard of Author, Jane Galloway, and her new book, I read the passage above within the book’s description and I immediately thought about how broken, dark and empty I was when I first came into recovery. It was like stepping out of the darkness and into the light of spiritual freedom. Now, half way through reading Jane’s book, that is what you learn and so much more in this book. Here is more about her book…

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About The Book:


Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.

Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing on what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit tool kit.

As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.”

The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all. Her book published September 2016 by Sacred Stories Publishing, is a beautiful companion guide for a lifetime of mind, body and spirit strength-based healing while using the “reflections on the principles of 12-step spirituality.” Her book is available on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and Sacredstoriespublishing.com in both E-book and Paperback.

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About The Author:

Jane is a multifaceted, dynamic woman who has over 30+ years of experience with working, living, teaching and practicing the 12-Steps. A Claremont School of Theology Doctor of Ministry, Jane has extensive experience serving as a minister, community leader, keynote speaker, and strong advocate of the Arts. In addition to her accomplished career as a stage and screen actor, Jane has emerged as a thought leader of the 12-Step spiritual revolution, with the publishing of “The Gateways.” Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of all she does for so many who are looking to recover in wellness, not illness, in heart, soul, mind, body and spirit.

Working and living on both coasts, Jane is the Founder of T.R.I.B.E a model dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through ‘radical expression of Art,’ Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond, with a passion for creating bridges between cultures.

Jane is also a painter, designer, and gardener and loves the Southern California climate for growing lavender, flowering cactus, fruit trees and more. A lot of her inspiration comes from working in nature and seeing how things grow in the right soil….a wonderful metaphor for life. Her heart and passions include empowering women, advocating for recovery from childhood trauma, and getting “The Arts” to children.
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Now let us meet Dr. Jane Galloway ~ Founder and Leader of a Spiritual Community in Los Angeles, and T.R.I.B.E.

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What is TRIBE?

It Is: Transformation/Realization/Inspiration/Belonging/Expression.
From California to the urban center and launched in New York City, it has expanded as an umbrella for social practice art beyond one city.

Jane is a visionary leader dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through radical expressions of Art, Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond. Her passion is creating bridges between cultures, and also connecting people to their own deepest calling.

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“All of the years on my path have come together in this new and unique endeavor of integrating art, the spiritual path, emotional health, creativity, and purpose. We are birthing this T.R.I.B.E. in Harlem, where deeply culture- transforming ventures have found fertile ground for more than a century. We are not gentrifiers, but rather grateful appreciators of the presence of the wisdom of the ancestors, who are present here.”

Jane states she has come to believe that artists are uniquely positioned to speak the world into a new reality. “We are all capable of being Artists by Intention, whatever our profession, creating the conditions for people to TRANSFORM- First themselves and then the world.”

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Gatherings can include performance, visual art, and film combined with depth teachings from wisdom texts, psychology, art theory, and literature. These elements, along with meditation and dynamic conversation with the participating artists, combine to create the conditions for dramatic and ongoing awakening and renewed purpose.

Jane is a life-long artist; painter, writer, singer, designer, actor, director, producer. During a thirty year award winning career as an actor, she starred on and off Broadway, in regional and European theater, film and television, founded an Arts Education Nonprofit, h’ARTworks, in Southern CA, has also worked as a Drama Therapist, and college professor. She has also received professional awards and civic commendations for her work as a minister, community leader, and arts activist.

In the darkest days of the AIDS Epidemic, Jane followed a calling to pursue Higher Education and Ministry, to try to be a part of the solution in a more direct way. She was awarded both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Ministry from Claremont School of Theology in CA and became an ordained Minister through the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She studied under the brilliant New Thought philosopher Eric Butterworth in NYC for ten years.

In her ministry, Dr. Galloway utilizes depth teachings from world religions, indigenous wisdom, and New Thought teachings, combined with art and cross-cultural conversation to inspire a universal realization of Oneness.

You can connect with Author, Dr. Jame Galloway on social media and visit her website today:

Jane’s Website
T.R.I.B.E.
On Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads Author

 



Meet Author, Poet, Doctor, Recovery Coach, and My Friend, Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.

“It is not often when you meet someone very special that you have so much in common with through the internet and through social media. And you are “blessed” the day they walked into your life. Well, that is how I feel about my dear friend Kevin Coughlin”….

 

No, we have not met face to face, yes, we live hundreds of miles apart that a phone call can fix and bring us together, and yes, we really are “kindred souls,” and he is my “brother from another mother.” LOL…LOL.

The first thing I learned about my buddy and #1 recovery supporter is that he truly cares for and about those who suffer from addictions. He also cares and has trained hundreds who also care and recovery coach addicts into recovery. Kevin has his hands into so many projects it mind boggling and he keeps publishing more books and poetry within all of it! The man must never SLEEP! (Below are two new Ebooks on Amazon!)

 

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Well, I happen to know he does suffer some with sleep apnea, so he seems to have more hours to spare than your average person. LOL. I’m in the “know” as we have become such close friends. The list of all HE IS and all HE DOES is crazy, but he does it out love and for others to have a beautiful life in recovery. Here now is just a tip of the iceberg of what Dr. Rev Kev is all ABOUT….. The short version, so please visit his helpful website at Rev Kevs Recovery World to learn more!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

My name is Reverend Dr., Provincial Superintendent Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D., most call me Rev. Kev. All that I have been, all that I am, and all that I ever will be is because of God’s grace. I am well trained. I am an International Certified Master Addictions Coach, I specialize in Drug & Alcohol abuse addiction recovery & family recovery coach, gambling addiction, Life coaching, Christian Coaching, Case Management, Prevention & Relapse Prevention, LAMA, Ethics, Spirituality, Sexual Addiction, Anger Management, Domestic Violence Advocacy, Interventionist & Life Recovery Coach, Licensed & Ordained Minister.

I am a Founder, and former Board Member & Spiritual Director of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a residential addiction recovery program. Over the past 19+ years, we have been blessed to help thousands of individuals and families to change their lives! I am often utilized as a consultant on addiction and recovery and considered an expert in the field. I have given thousands of workshops and lectures, training seminars, and retreats.

I have been an instructor at The Addictions Academy. I am The President and CEO of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC. I am a member in good standing in the AACC, ICCA, NAADAC, IAMMF, ECPG, NCPG, and AACT. I am an internationally published poet and a best-selling author, I am 9 time National Bench Press Champion and 2 time World Champion.

I have been blessed to be awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling, Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling, and Doctorates Degrees Ph.D., DCC, DDVCA, DLC, DD, and am Board Certified by DIT Seminary IN Christian counseling. I am an Associate Professor at Dayspring Christian University and a Board Member. I have been approved by the Board for a year of study to be consecrated a Bishop at the Florida Conference next year. I have a great deal of experience in volunteer recruitment, philanthropic, nonprofit, program development.

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Today, I love to write and to teach!

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You can see most of his published works by visiting his  Rev Kevs Library and again, above are the two latest books he has published along with this new one and all of them in e-books will soon be available in paperback! Here is more of what Rev. Kev is into with helping MANY in and reaching out to recover from addictions including gambling addiction and as a Recovery Coach!

 

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Here is what Readers and Book Reviewers are saying about many of his published works over on Amazon .com….

 

Some Amazon Reader Reviews:

5-STARS-Poetry:  “Meant for the recovery community, this book of poetry is really about all of life – tragedy, joy, comfort, chaos, disenfranchisement, the ennui of modern times, and love. Almost all readers will find something that will resonate with them within these pages. I was “gifted” this book, my first introduction to Rev. Dr. Kevin Coughlin.

I am so glad to find out about his work. This book is authentic; at times it is even raw and entirely sympathetic to the human condition. His brief inclusions of the canine condition gladdened my heart! I look forward to my next encounter with Rev. Kev’s work.”

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5-STARS-Relaspe Prevention book: “This is a great book for those needing to become familiar with addiction/recovery. It takes you step by step through different treatment programs and sets expectations when entering a drug rehab program. You’ll become familiar with the terms associated with the various types of addictions and how to manage/prevent relapses. It discusses triggers and how to deal with them.
If you have teens, this will give you and idea of how to recognize if they are using drugs. This alone makes it worth reading.”

 

100% ALL 5-Stars-Addictions What Parents Need To Know book:  “This book really brought insight to the dynamic between parents, grandparents and their children about the world of addiction and drugs. At times, for those who have never undergone such a thing, seem like a vast, imaginary world away…however, it is real and it is happening now. To so many of us and our loved ones. Mr. Coughlin draws upon his own experiences with addiction and the effects it had on him and his loved ones. It was an incredibly informative book, guide and I believe a lifesaver to those who are currently experiencing this with their loved ones and want to help. It helps the reader understand the causes, signs, and consequences that addiction has and explains in detail the different. Excellent, informative read!

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A “bird” to me he may be writing a Memoir as well, let’s hope this is a real rumor as I will be first in line to buy that! He has had a colorful life including addiction and recovery. He writes and freelances for many recovery publications like “Keys to Recovery Newspaper”, “In Recovery Magazine and The Sober World.”  He has written many coaching and training manuals for recovery coaching, training and much more!

Kevin has been on many radio and podcast shows and has an “upcoming events” page over on his website so you can catch the event he will be featured as this recovery guy is all over the place:  Recovery Events, Interventions and More …


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So make sure you connect with Dr. Rev. Kevin T Coughlin, Ph D., all over Social Media as well. Don’t be shy as Kevin is the most humbled nicest guy you will MEET. (No, he did NOT PAY me to write that! LOL) Please take some time to visit his website and see all his books. AND? Some of his New E-Book Release’s are promo priced right now. We know reading can enhance our own recovery. And Yes, Kevin is certified to coach for Gambling Addiction too!

Facebook  –  Twitter  –  And Facebook Again  –  And LinkedIn!

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Presented to by Author/Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Recovery Starts Here!

 

Another Review of My Book, Addicted To Dimes . . .

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” How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story. ”

 

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BOOK REVIEW FOR ~ BY BOOK TO THE FUTURE:

Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses but does explore the complex history of the author’s case.
It’s challenging to read but that is how it should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here but hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.   Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth-right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies,  yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money and glamor that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.

At life’s lowest ebbs,the stigma of addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances. There is some admirable support out there but there could be more.  It is to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual has to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run. Addiction harms everybody.

It’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the readers sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives.  It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.  In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction, this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.
The books can be picked up at Amazon in e-book & paperback and for more information and an informative blog check out Catherine’s blog  . . .
I Highly Suggest This Book!

Accept Me . . . Is It To Much To Ask For? “Flash Back Recovery Post Day!” Happy Thanksgiving All :)


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My Mental/Emotional Disorders, Recovery, or Childhood sex abuse & trauma survivor is not my label . . .

So please, don’t put me into a box labeled mental case or freak. And most definitely don’t treat me like I am different from others. Don’t set me into a category at all. I’m not a thing, I am human being. Don’t you see me? I am of flesh and blood like you.
I have feelings, a heart and a soul. I have a spirit no longer broken, not a victim of my disabilities. I am and will be a “work in progress” for a lifetime.

So don’t talk about my mental illness as if I’m not standing right in front of you. Learn to have more understanding, be educated about addictions, the cycle, recovery, and be informed not judge.

Don’t look through me, look at me. Have some compassion for those who battle with these issue’s, who have the courage to do so, and to take back their lives from addiction, and learning themselves to handle and face daily mental illness challenges, and overcome trauma and addictions.
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“Kindness is a Choice”, . . . as it is written in our Gospel/Bible to love one another no matter the faults or sins. To help one another. That includes those of us who may have taken a wrong detour in life for part of our journey, of God’s plan for us. I am human just like you. Life is a lifetime of choices. Yes, some may not make the right ones at times, but who asks this if it’s right or wrong? Is it our world and society we live in who asks? Is it our creator who lets us know when our choices are not correct, not you or someone else need not judge me, as it is not your job to do so, it is God’s.

I want my voice be heard among the roof tops that I am here, I am real and not my faults or wrong choices. I will be loud. I am not a person to be stigmatized by words, your words, harsh and negative from your mouths. No, I have feelings, I can hurt just like you. I am not my disease, my disorders, my situation, tragic as it has been in the past. I am of love and kindness. Of caring and sharing hope.

Am I Perfect? No, nor will I ever be.


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But I do know now the love and compassion I have for others is very real. You may not hear it, but you will feel it.
I am not my past, I am my future. I am and feel destined for great things, some of which have already come into my life. I live each day in this one moment in time.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Yes, I may live my life in recovery with mental disabilities and past trauma, but that is what I also have overcome.

No I may not be normal, hell normal is over rated, but at least I am happy about who I have become in recovery! No one person, place, or thing can steal my joy, my sparkle, nor my life that I have reconstructed from ash and devastation.

So please, accept me for WHO I AM TODAY, not my disease, my illness, wrong choices, or my past.

Is This To Much to ASK? . . . .

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Sharing My Wonderful Recovery Friend Sandy Swenson. Seeing Addiction from a Mothers Point of View.

“A Re-Share of a Heart Breaking Mother Who’s Son is an Addict, my Good Friend and Advocate Sandy Swenson” . . . .

The Joey Song by Sandy Swenson

The Joey Song  by Sandy Swenson . . .
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Sandy Swenson

One hug.

Once a year.

I hold you tight, my son. Probably too tight, but I need the strength of my love to soak into your soul, and my arms must absorb the love I know you have for me. I memorize this moment.

As you grew from boy to man, child to addict, I had to let go of the things I could not change and the things that weren’t mine to control (after trying for so long to change and control them). I had to let go before the ugly words and behaviors slithering in on the underbelly of addiction did irreparable damage to the relationship that had once been so good. Or killed the boy I was trying to save.

My love is all I have left to give you.

(That, and one too-tight hug for each of the past seven April’s.)

I hold you tight, my son. Wrapping you in my arms, I feel the power of our dusty bond. A silent exchange of hope and strength and eternalness, of a love that has been bruised but never broken. I kiss your cheek, leaving a lip-sticky mom mark, and now, again, I must let you go. I open my arms — empty but now full — arms which will keep you snug and close to my heart, until next time. Next year.

In letting go of you, Joey, I’m holding on tight to so much.

In letting go of you, I’m letting you know that I believe in you. I believe you will find your way back.

One hug.

Once a year.

I’m keeping your place warm.

Letting Go is NOT the same thing as giving up .  .  .
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Enter to win one of ten signed copies of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/135217-the-joey-song-a-mother-s-story-of-her-son-s-addiction
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About My Beautiful Friend, Sandy Swenson:

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”  -Maya Angelou

“There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.”
-Bethesda Magazine

 

Her new Book Now on Amazon
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AmazonBarnes and Noble
CLICK HERE TO READ AN  EXCERPT

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Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.

A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.

As a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, Sandy created the Bistro Boyz – a program in which she and a team of Bistro Galz meet weekly with young men from the National Center for Children and Families’ Greentree Adolescent Program to plan menus, budget, grocery shop, cook, and share meals together. In 2012, the National Center for Children and Families awarded the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocacy.
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In both 2011 and 2012 the Maryland Federation of Women’s Clubs awarded the Bistro Boyz program the Advocates for Children Award. And, in 2013 the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs — the largest philanthropic women’s organization in the world — nominated the Bistro Boyz program for their International Advocates for Children Award to be awarded in June.

Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Austin, Texas.

**I hope you will stop by and visit Sandy at her helpful blog, as she pours her heart onto the posts she shares there. I can tell you that all she has been through with having a son who is an addict, she never gives up HOPE**
http://www.sandyswenson.com

GOD BLESS ALL!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Recovery Advocate

Personal Blogs
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Putting A Face Behind Addicted Compulsive Gambling. Meet Adnan Alisic & His New Book “ARIZONA DREAM”. .

A true story straight out of the News Headlines about an Addicted Gambler ~ Lets put faces behind Gambling Addiction the Disease. . .
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“Not only is a group of men charged in the theft of $2 million cash from an armored truck at an East Valley casino, but they could also be accused of stealing from some Hollywood scripts. A FBI search warrant affidavit and federal indictment records provide new details of the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick that some movie buffs might find familiar.”

Attempted Casino Arizona robbery like a Hollywood movie” ~ said the Associated Press ~

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The attempted robbery of $2 million from a casino on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a real-life incident, according to newly released court documents.

Officials are charging Ismar K, Adnan Alisic, Bakil, and Daniel M{ not wanting to use the others charged – full names}, with conspiracy, interference with commerce by threats, violence and robbery, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence in the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick, according to their indictment and a FBI search warrant affidavit outlined.

Adnan Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other. Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
The men’s gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

On the night of the attempted robbery, Bakir M and Daniel M parked a white van across the street from the casino and then got into a Lexus to watch the robbery. After ramming their green van into an armored car, K and Alisic jumped out and sprayed one of the guards with pepper spray. The two grabbed bags of money and fled to the first manhole cover. They set off a smoke grenade, but couldn’t raise the manhole cover.
So, the group fled. . . .

So these were the news headlines and in newspapers of The Associated Press, The Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune newspapers in Arizona back in July & October 2006.

Now fast forward to today.

What really happened that day back in July 2006? Most importantly, why did this crime take place? What happened to those who were arrested? Well as many of you know, I’m not a news reporter or even a professional writer. I’m just another face behind this disease! And I share what I feel strongly about, and my passion for recovery from this addiction.

I can give however give you an answer from one of the men that was involved and caught, taken into custody, charged, prosecuted, and is still in a federal prison today.
He reached out to me recently by email, asking if I could help him promote his new book about his story of addicted gambling, and of course I said, “YES”. . .

So please meet Adnan Alisic. Now a writer, and new author of his explosive debut book titled; Arizona Dream: A true story of a real life “Ocean’s Eleven” and
currently he is in Adams County Correctional Institution, a Federal Prison in Natchez, Mississippi. His release date is not until 2021, but this is where his book was written.

Like me, Adnan is another face behind gambling addiction. These are some of his thoughts, words, feelings looking back, and taking not only ownership for what he has done, but also accountability for the poor choices we all make when entangled in the depths of HELL called addicted gambling. It’s a very cunning and devastating disease.

We all come from different paths, and many, many different stories of addiction to gambling.
Some stories are more sensationalized then others, but the public needs to know about the faces behind this addiction and their stories.

So here is more of Adnan’s story, back story, and about his new shocking reveals in his debut book release of “Arizona Dream: a true story of a “real life ocean’s eleven” now available on Amazon books and Barnes and Noble online.

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Product Details

Arizona Dream: A true story of a real-life “Ocean’s Eleven”

Haunted by the demons from his past, Adnan Alisic escapes Bosnia and comes to Phoenix, Arizona, where he starts a new life. Fueled by ambition on and drive, he starts a successful car dealership, settles down, and lives the American Dream.

Tortured by his past, he seeks relief in gambling and loses everything. After being tossed out of the casino, Adnan vows to get back at them.

Forced by the gambling debt and driven by the revenge against the casino, he plans an elaborate casino heist. After discovering the tunnel running under the casino, he devises an intricate scheme to get his money back and pay off the debt.

From ethnic cleansing and mass killings in Bosnia, to gambling and underground tunnels in Arizona, you will read Arizona Dream until l the last page where you’ll find the real reason and motivation behind the heist. . . .

“In likable, plain-spoken, and insightful prose, full of lush and vivid detail, Adnan Alisic reflects on the suspenseful twists and turns of his one-of-a-kind life path. From the first page to the last, I was completely riveted. This is one hell of a book.”  – Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is an Idiot, and creator of FOUND Magazine. . .

About The Author Adnan Alisic, and how his book came to light:

Entangled in a gambling addiction, he was forced to execute this sensational casino heist. He is currently serving seventeen-and-a-half years in federal prison in Mississippi.

“Haunted by the atrocities of war, a Bosnian refugee pursuing the elusive American dream finds himself committing the heist of the century.”

Ališic’s debut memoir, composed entirely in prison, begins in the mid-1990s: “This is my story as I remember it,” he writes in the foreword-and if even half of it is true, it’s enough adventure for 10 lifetimes. The author escaped the clutches of ruthless Serbian militants following Yugoslavia’s breakup, relocated to Phoenix and achieved success selling used cars. But the only thing more rewarding than making money was spending it, and with the help of the nearby Casino Arizona, Ališic did just that. What should have been merely recreational begins to invade him in a way he could never have imagined.

Helpless against gambling’s siren song, his small empire crumbled as his company’s profits fueled his habit. Although the finer details of his business operations tend to be long-winded, even extraneous, they underscore just how easily the blackjack table ripped away what took so long to build. As his desperation increased, Ališic’s financiers threatened to sue; his unsupervised employees embezzled from the company coffers; and his cherished girlfriend, Selma, left him – his world falling apart.

“Last night, I gambled away a 2002 Mustang,” he confides. “I realized that the more I was going there, the more I craved it. Not because I wanted to be there. Not because I liked it. But because I knew I wasn’t a loser, and I wanted to even the score.” In this case, evening the score meant boosting $2 million from Casino Arizona. Yet his self-styled description of his story as a “real-life Ocean’s Eleven” sells the reality short.

Far from the devil-may-care attitude of those films, his memoir reveals the scheme as the remarkably human outcome of a life marked by anguish and the hope of redemption. A series of harrowing flashbacks to Bosnia-illegally selling cigarettes in Prijedor, leaping into a sewage canal while outrunning a barrage of bullets, witnessing a massacre, being tortured nearly to death-transforms Ališic into a hero worthy of anyone’s admiration.

Here is what others are saying about Adnan’s book:

“A riveting read from beginning to end, “Arizona Dream” is an expertly written, true-life tale that reads like a thriller novel, documenting author Adnan Ališić as an extraordinary storyteller. This is the stuff from which Hollywood blockbuster movies are made.”
– Midwest Book Review

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So as I wrote earlier, Adnan happen to reach out to me by email. He wanted to know if I could help promote his book for him. At first I was wondering if this a spam email or joke. But as I read his email, it was clear he to was another victim of gambling addiction the disease. Another face behind this cunning addiction. It didn’t occur to me that Adnan was emailing me from federal prison. So I wrote him back with a few questions, and shared a little of my story with him.
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So I did some research to see what I could find about his story, as I now live in Arizona temporary myself. There are many news reports from the Arizona Republic newspaper here in Phoenix, AZ. And a few from the Associated Press. Of course, being a recovering addicted gambler myself, I wasn’t real surprised about what these 4 men, including Adnan had done.

I knew how Adnan felt about feeling taken for a ride by Indian Casinos, and for me, State Lottery. I also felt the same way he did when sitting in a cold jail cell waiting to be booked and processed for my crime. The reality of what you did hits you like a ton of bricks! All because of the strain of financial devastation, and overwhelming gambling debts. And this part of the work we do in recovery is sometimes missed, or not enough work done in taking our financial inventory.

And as Adnan said in his own words to me in his email; “In the beginning there were quite a few reporters who wanted to talk to me — but at that time I refused to talk to them, and as you know, the media only reported whatever was available from police reports and court records, so this is the time for the public to know the full story and put a face behind a compulsive gambler.”

And Adnan is right! media and news reports always seem to spin things to make more out of a story. And it is way past the time to talk about this. Not just his story, but the stories behind the faces of those who have been destroyed by this insidious addiction. It’s really not about the money, or the crazy shit we do all for the love of our addiction, or the financial aftermath of it all.

It’s about what it does to the human condition. It takes every part of us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We allow this addiction to invade our thinking, thoughts, actions, and choices when we are so invaded by addictions.
All addictions do that.

But through hard work in recovery, we can get better, recover, and be better than we were before addicted gambling consumed us. I know Adnan still has many miles to walk, but at least he now has the ability to see what his errors and choices have cost him, and he has taken accountability for them. Having your freedom taken away is a hard thing to process.

Having to relearn awareness of our feelings about ourselves is very important in recovery, because we have learned to escape from feeling anything. We become comfortably numb.
So I choose to be of recovery service to Adnan. WHY?
His Story Needs To Be Heard. . . .

Because like myself, he to was brave enough to write and publish his personal story about his addicted gambling addiction, the disease. I commend him, and all those who do. That is how we can continue to raise awareness, shatter the stigma, educate and inform others of this addiction!

If you’d like to support Adnan in recovery, buy his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-Real-life-Oceans-Eleven-ebook/dp/B00OZ0S9WC  {Now an e-book promo price .99 cents}

Send him an email of support here:  alisic.adnan6@gmail.com
Visit his website: www.arizonadreambook.com
Follow him on FB: https://facebook.com/Arizonadream

And I will keep you posted on how he is doing to here in future blog posts.

God Bless Recovery Friends,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂
http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-real-life-Oceans-Eleven/dp/B00OZ0S9WC

Happy 8th Year Recovery Birthday To ME! Yeah Baby! LUV RECOVERY!

YES, I know I’m a silly GIRL!
But I’m busting out with Happiness as Today is my 8th year in Recovery from Gambling Addiction and Alcohol Abuse!!

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Wow time sure does fly by right? BUT, when we acknowledge that addiction has us beat, and we come to a point in our life to fight like hell to get our lives back? When you truly surrender and turn all the madness over to your Higher Power, you’ll be amazed at what one person can achieve!!

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So I thought I would do a little something special today in Honor of Me Celebrating 8 years in Recovery!
If anyone comes to visit my post today through the weekend, and haven’t read my current book titled; Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat). . . then leave your name and Email in my comment section of this post, I will pick 3 winners from all the names left here from now Jan 29th, 2015 thru Sunday Feb 1st, 2015. . . then on Monday morning I will pick 3 names from the comment section list and share a blog post of the Winners!!

You’ll get your choice of the Kindle E-book free and gifted by Email, or a paperback gifted and mailed from Amazon. Your choice! So make sure you share, re-blog, or just give this post link out to all your friends and family so they can come by and enter too!

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It’s just my way of saying, “Thank You”! to all who have helped support me in recovery, my book, and especially my recovery blog here. YOU are why I stay in recovery. Having over 300 wonderful blog followers in my corner, how could I not feel supported?

Since my book was released back in late May, 2013. . . it has been a crazy ride! Sharing my personal story and testimony of life, and sometimes how some of us take a path many never do, laying myself bare in book form can be very nerve-racking, but my book has surpassed all my goals I set for it. I have received many open doors, opportunities, and blessings by sharing my message of hope to others, and not to brag, but all 5 Star Amazon reviews doesn’t hurt.

I wanted others to see just how easy a person can become addicted to gambling. To give an inside look of the actual disease, and how it invades every part of your life when it happens. To be able to raise awareness of the expansion of gambling casinos in areas they have no business being in. The ever-expanding of State Lottery Gambling services now offered in most of our United States. And now gambling is also claiming our High School & College age young adults at an alarming rate! Just another area parents need to talk to their older kids about. Like drugs and booze wasn’t enough to warn them about, now gambling.

Gambling addiction is REAL. It is a DISEASE. Even problem gambling. To learn more about it, please visit my good friends at The National Council on Problem Gambling: http://www.ncpgambling.org/ or call 24 Hour Confidential National Helpline1-800-522-4700 They can help.
A in-depth resent article about Problem & Addicted Gambling is by: Elaine Meyer of Columbia University, titled;

Gambling With America’s …  “Gambling with America’s Health”? or http://the2x2project.org/

I hope you’ll help me CELEBRATE my Recovery Birthday! Leave your name and email in the comment section if you’d like to be in the running for a free copy of my book! And I hope you ALL know how I appreciate each and every one of my blog friends and followers here!
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God Bless & Much Happiness!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A

 


“I am Honored to have Arnie & Sheila Wexler ~ Gambling Addiction Recovery Experts to my Recovery Blog”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,

I’m very happy and honored to welcome and share with my recovery friends a wonderful couple who have helped many people recover from compulsive addicted gambling, and have done so longer then I have been in my own recovery from this cunning disease almost 8 years now. They raise awareness, inform, and advocate tirelessly. They have changed and saved many lives from this devastating addiction. So I welcome them both to my blog, and Thank The Wexler’s for letting me share a little of what they do for others who suffer problem & addicted gambling.


(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)
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The Wexler’s have a great website that has excellent addiction and recovery information about problem gambling and they help educate many agencies, organizations, and help the afflicted to recover from this cunning disease through their Hotline called “Last Bet” 1-888-Last-Bet, and website: http://www.aswexler.com/
Here is a little more of what they do, who they are, and how they help many! …

Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on Compulsive, Problem and Underage Gambling, to more than 40,000 gaming employees (personnel and executives) and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition, they have worked with Gaming Boards and Regulators, presented educational workshops nationally and internationally and have provided expert witness testimony.
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Sheila Wexler is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Foundation. They also run a national help line (888 LAST BET) and work at Recovery Road, a treatment facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that specializes in the treatment of those suffering with gambling addiction.
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Those of us in recovery from this disease know that Stigma around this addiction is huge, and we have a long way to go to shatter it! But Arnie has been a very loud voice in informing the public about this very secret addiction, just as I am. It’s time people know more about it, and know there is NO Shame in talking about it, or for reaching out for help.

I remember when my current book first released, as I began sharing and promoting my book through social media and with many recovery places, I kept hearing about this guy named ‘Arnie Wexler’. Many gambling treatment websites I’d go to for information, research, and support, I’d be asked if I knew or heard about Arnie Wexler? I was told Arnie and his wife know about all things gambling addiction and recovery.

Even my good friend Marilyn Lancelot Author of, ‘Gripped by Gambling’ had asked me when we first met, “have you heard of Arnie Wexler?, the guy who was on 60 Minutes & ABC’S Nightline”?
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I told Marilyn I have heard about him by many people in the gambling recovery circles, but never had the pleasure of meeting or corresponding with him or his lovely wife Sheila. That was in 2011. Then a month or so ago, I was called and interviewed by Elaine Meyer of Columbia University Dept. Of Epidemiology.

She was doing research about problem and addicted gambling, and was writing a large article about it from many angles of this topic. Elaine’s article came out September 10th, 2014, and low and behold as I read the article there was Arnie in the article too! It’s titled, Gambling with America’s Health?
http://the2x2project.org/gambling-public-health/
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Elaine Meyer
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Elaine Meyer has worked as a journalist covering education and legal news. She graduated in 2009 with an M.S. from Columbia School of Journalism and is currently the associate director of communications for Columbia’s Department of Epidemiology, where she carries out the department’s mission of translating public health science to the larger public. Follow her @emeyer5

It is one of the best articles about problem & addicted gambling I have read in all my years in recovery from this cunning addiction. So I got brave enough to reach out to Arnie through LinkedIn Professionals website and connect with him, as I wanted him to know how much I liked his part in the article. He accepted my connect request and the rest as they say is history! I then was brave enough to ask if I could share the wonderful work he and his wife Sheila does for others with problem or addicted gambling here on my recovery blog?

Well, he not only said yes, but he has given us a Sneak Peek of his new book that will release very soon!
But here is a wee bit more about Arnie Wexler we may not know about …
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Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . . now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market. His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

His new book titled,  All Bets Are Off,  was written along with Steve Jacobson. And again, Arnie has given me and my recovery friends a sneak peek, but keep in mind it’s an unedited look at the new book. I have pre-ordered my copy and so should all of you! One of the extraordinary things about Arnie and Sheila is that they give us a look inside how gambling addiction not only affects the addict, but how it affects our loved ones and spouses.
That’s where Sheila comes in.

Together, their story and personal testimony is very important. We need to be able to see how gambling affects all who are around us, and to see what we but our spouse/partner through, and the family as a whole. That is the topic of the part of the book Arnie was kind enough to share with us. So Happy Reading!
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All Bets Are Off … By: Arnie Wexler and written with Steve Jacobson

All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction

About The Authors:

Steve Jacobson:
Steve Jacobson was a sports reporter and columnist for Newsday for 44 years beginning in 1960. He was awarded first prize by the Associated Press of New York and Top Five Sports Columnists numerous times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, among other accolades. In 2004, he created, conducted interviews for, and helped script the documentary Jackie’s Disciples for ESPN …

Arnie Wexler:
Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and runs a national hotline for compulsive gamblers. He was the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and the senior vice president of National Council on Problem Gambling. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, 48 Hours, and Crossfire, among others.
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ALL BETS ARE OFF”:

 SHEILA ~ A Wife’s Nightmare:

I kept thinking it would get better. Married life got worse. The refrigerator was empty and the furniture was threadbare and the scruffy apartment was more dismal.

I was trying to get pregnant, as infrequently as we made love. (if Arnie won that day he was so high, he did not need sex, if he lost he could care less sometimes if we had sex and he was hearing a ball game under the pillow) I thought having a child would pull us together. The doctor told me that the stress I was living with made getting pregnant more difficult. I certainly was living with stress. Then I did become pregnant and those were happy times for me, even if it was one-sided joy. I wrapped myself up in myself. I ignored what was going on in our lives together.

I was determined to have a baby. Everything was going to be wonderful. For a while being pregnant was my delight. I was very forgiving and less critical of Arnie in my own mind. He’d come home with some kind of present for me and was extra attentive even for a day or a weekend and that was enough for me to back away from my hostility. I was fooling myself. One time when my pregnancy was close to term, I phoned him at work and asked him what I should do if I went into labor. Before that, when I had a doctor’s appointment, he’d send me with his brother. Now, he told me to call my father to take me to the hospital, he was busy. Some if this seems like more of the same, but each of his lies compounded my depression.

After Stacy was born, as difficult as the delivery was, things began falling apart more. From the outside people said our life together looked fine. In nice weather Arnie would take her to ‘Flushing Meadow Park’ every Saturday and Sunday morning about 11 o’clock. Yes, his bookmaker opened for business at 11:30. We didn’t have cellphones back then and after he pushed Stacy on the swing for a few minutes, he would find a phone booth where he could watch her feed bread to the ducks on the pond and he would be dealing with his bookmaker. Neighbors would say what a great husband he was.

The truth was, he never saw her take her first steps or hear her say her first words. And if he did, they didn’t register for him. He was there but his head wasn’t. If he was watching TV of the ballgame he had bet and she stepped in front of the screen and some guy made an error, it became her fault he lost the bet. When we were summering in the mountains, he was happy when he took her to the track in Monticello on a Saturday afternoon. He’d bet the horses she liked—the gray one or No.4. One time she picked a $60 winner and he thought she was his good luck charm.Sometime after Stacy was born, Arnie was up against the financial pressures and obviously depressed. He had used up his customary sources of money. He went to his boss and borrowed $3,000 against his salary of $125 a week, and $10 a week was to come out of his salary. He was trying to hide this from me. He was being paid by check with itemized deductions, which would have exposed what he had done to me. So he would cash the check before he got home and mark his own deductions on a bank envelope. I asked how come he was now being paid cash in an envelope for the first time.

He told me that was because now the Brinks truck was coming to the plant and everybody would line up to be paid. A half-intelligent person would have doubted that. Was it logical for maybe 2,000 people to lineup to be paid in cash from a Brinks truck? Somewhere inside me there still was a person who had some instincts that the story couldn’t be true. I decided to catch him.

I got hold of a standard W-2 tax form and broke down the figures of taxes and Social Security. And it came out that Arnie was shorting me $25 a week on his take-home. He said the boss was taking that out of his checks while Arnie was trying to pay off his debts to bookmakers and loan sharks. I was trying to catch him at that lie so I phoned him on a Friday afternoon and told him I knew what he was doing to me. He said so innocently, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me.”

This was a joke I couldn’t believe. He said we live in New York and he works in New Jersey and it had to do with discrepancies in the state taxes. He said, “I’ll explain when I get home.” Friday nights he usually came home because he and my father were going to the track together. He gave me a paper on which he had written a man’s name and phone number. He said that was the name of a man in the IRS office in Jamaica, I should get in touch with him and he’d explain the whole thing to me.

He knew, of course, I would never make that phone call. I knew he was lying. A short time later I got a letter from a bank addressed to him. He had asked for a loan application to be sent to the office and instead the bank sent it to the house. The bank said it couldn’t grant the loan because we had too much outstanding credit. I thought our debts were paid off at that time, so I knew there was a lie there.
Arnie said the loan wasn’t for him, it was for his friend Michael, who gambled with him. Arnie brought Michael to the house to prove that the loan was for him. I said, “No offense, Michael, but please leave.” It was the first time in all those years that I really asserted myself. When Michael left I turned to Arnie and said, don’t bother giving me some cockamamie explanation, I know you’re lying to me.

So I had caught him, but what were we going to do about that? The dollar-burden was dragging me down. I was sliding down emotionally. My doctor had me taking Valium. I wouldn’t tell him I knew Arnie had a gambling problem. I hadn’t recognized how bad that problem was, but I knew something was wrong. I was afraid there might be another woman, but I knew then he was a liar. So I stopped asking questions. I stopped fighting back and at home we were like ships passing in the night.

I thought—like a lot of lonely wives—another child would give me more satisfaction and would bring Arnie closer. Arnie gave me half-hearted acceptance. We were trying and that didn’t work out. Then I had the brilliant idea that we should adopt, and his response was that adoption cost money, didn’t it? At that time Arnie was on what he called a win streak and had hidden a quantity of money under the linoleum between the closet and the living room. I came across it when I stepped on the bulge.
That wasn’t to pay the cost of adopting, Arnie insisted, that was gambling money and you don’t use gambling money for anything else.(Arnie did not say this out loud to me…he would never admit that the money was for gambling…he made up some kind of story about it).
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After three months or so of haggling about adoption, he relented. He thought I would be so busy with two kids that I would leave him alone. His grandmother lent us $3,000 and we went to Florida to pick up the baby. The day we were bringing little Howie home on the plane was the seventh game of the 1967 World Series. I was busy looking after this beautiful new baby and Arnie had no interest in him; he had a big bet on the game.

The pilot would announce the score every fifteen minutes or so and Arnie was squirming in his seat, wishing or praying that the plane would land so that he could watch or at least hear the end of the game. That was what was important to him. Summers living in a small shabby apartment in Queens in steamy New York summers are uncomfortable and I felt we needed an escape like the ones his (my) mother rented in the Catskills. Neither of us wanted to share with her, and with his graft money, Arnie had money but he felt he still needed $400. He had this idea for me at a time I was uncomfortable talking to anybody. He told me he was going to buy dresses from the factory—actually he was going to steal them and bring them home under his shirt. I was supposed to sell them to people I knew and we would share the profits. I couldn’t do that.(I did do the dress sales…dying inside but wanting the money to go away in the summer) …

That was when I started thinking about suicide. I became so paralyzed that I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t face the world. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. When the weather wasn’t too bad, I’d put the babies outside on the little patio, watch them through the window and wallow in self-pity. I was totally dependent on him. I wasn’t working, of course, and I would never admit to my parents that our marriage wasn’t working and I needed to move back with them.
I was part of what my generation had taught me. No matter what, I was always afraid he was leaving. He would play on my fears. We’d have an argument and he’d snap that he was leaving. He’d go to the closet, push some clothes around noisily and I’d plead, “Don’t leave! Don’t leave!” And he was off to Roosevelt or Yonkers Raceway, leaving me in my hysteria.

Every Saturday he went to work and told me the switchboard closed at noon and I wouldn’t be able to reach him. He’d go to the track, come hone at 4 or 5 o’clock and put on the results. At night he’d tell me there were meetings he had to go to, and go to the track or to card games.
By that time I absolutely hated him. I used to sit by the window and plan what it was going to be like after he died. We’d sit in mourning and everybody was going to come my house and feel sorry for me. That’s how I thought I’d get out of it. I used to wish for him to get killed in a car accident. Not long after that, it turned into I wish I would die, but then I was worrying who would take care of my children?The idea of Arnie going for treatment( 12 step recovery program) was nowhere in my mind. I didn’t even think there was treatment for compulsive gambling. That was another life ago and we can laugh at a lot of things that made me cry. We’ve been through a treatment that worked for him and so it worked for me.(I had my own program of recovery, also) We’ve rediscovered what we thought we had together in the first place.

Arnie is a nice ( wonderful guy…good to his family and friends ) guy who tries to help people.
This is not a person who would be mean or cruel or uncaring about his wife or children. That’s impossible to see in him. It took me some years to be that forgiving but I came to understand that in his right mind, that wasn’t him. He could be that only under the influence of this crazy thing.
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A Little More of Arnie’s Story:
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“I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968″…As a young kid, growing up, I always felt that everyone was better than me. The only time I felt okay about myself was after I had a win, whether it was marbles or baseball cards or pennies. Then at 14 I went to the racetrack for the first time (that was Memorial Day, 1951 Roosevelt Raceway). At that time in my life I was making $.50 an hour after school, working about 15-20 hours a week. That night at Roosevelt Raceway I had my first big win and walked out of the track with $54. Looking back today, I think it was that night that changed my life. Even though it was only $54, it was about 5 weeks salary to me at that time. That night gave me the belief that I could be a winner from gambling and eventually become a millionaire. I can still recall that high feeling walking out of the racetrack that night.

By 17, I was already stealing to support my gambling. It started with stealing comic books to play cards with from the local candy store. Before long it was stealing money from my family to pay for gambling. By then I was taking the bus to the racetrack, a few nights a week on a regular basis. In those days they closed the track in the winter months, in New York so on weekends, I would take the bus or the train to Maryland to gamble. I was betting sporting events and horses with the bookmaker on a daily basis. In those days each sport had its own season. I remember calling the bookmaker one day and the only thing that was available to gamble on was hockey. I had never seen a hockey game, but bet on it anyway. It wasn’t until months later when I did see my first hockey game, that I realized that hockey was played on ice.

Somewhere between age 17 and 20 I went to the racetrack one night and won $6000. Wow! Another big win. It was the equivalent of 2 years salary. This reinforced my belief that I could be a winner at gambling … For the rest of his story, please visit their website http://www.aswexler.com/
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Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

Contact Us

If you need help with a gambling problem, call 1-888-LAST-BET, so if you or someone you care for has a gambling problem, please call or visit The Wexler’s as you’d be in good hands and their website is very informative. Here is how & who they help at A.S. Wexler Associates.

Services We Offer:

We offer consultation, interventions, group, individual, and family counseling, couple’s workshops, referrals, evaluations, and expert testimony. In addition, we provide educational seminars, workshops, and training.

Educational Videos Available,

Who Can Utilize Our Services?

  • Addiction Treatment Centers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Legal and Judicial Professionals
  • EAPs
  • State Human Services Agencies
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Gaming Industry Personnel
  • Legislators
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Individuals and their Families
  • State and Federal Governments

“It is our goal to raise the awareness of those who are in a position to help compulsive gamblers and their families” …
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*Again, I’d like to Thank Arnie & Sheila Wexler for the joy of having them as guests on my gambling recovery blog. I hope all who come by for a visit may learn a little more about how Problem & Addicted Gambling affects many people in our own family & communities. No, I don’t think gambling should be taken away or banned, but the current expansion of gambling needs to be slowed way down. It surely makes it much more difficult for those of us in recovery from this insidious addiction. The public needs to be informed, educated, and Arnie & Sheila work tirelessly with many individuals, organizations and agencies to get them more involved. The current expansion of Casinos and State Lotteries is already resulting in many more people becoming problem or addicted gamblers. And parents, it’s now touching your High School & College age young adults too*!
It’s time to really “Talk About It” … I wish Arnie & Steve much success with their new book, and again, you can pre-order right now for, “All Bets Are Off” on Amazon. You can also connect with Arnie & Sheila Wexler on these social media sites too!

Facebook ~  https://www.facebook.com/aswexler 
LinkedIn ~
  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/arnie-wexler/pub/b/805/593
Another Great Article about Arnie Wexler on this website link,
http://davidpurdumsports.com/2012/06/25/compulsive-gambling-arnie-wexler-from-addict-to-angel/

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Arnie and Sheila Wexler AssociatesContact Us
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And make sure you visit their helpful website here:
Thanks All for Visiting ~ God Bless
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon