Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Welcome Recovery Warriors, Friends, and Visitors,

It’s has been a crazy beginning to a new decade within a new year and where our world is heading and nearing August of 2020. So much has happened in just about all realms and issues facing our country today and has been mind-boggling …From politics to pandemic to recovery to employment to furloughed to loss of life to my mental health to no funerals to OMG!!!

I think you get the picture as to what I’m feeling and trying to say. It has affected me to the point of no return or finding solace. So I find it when I am writing. I can’t watch the news much as it raises my already high-level anxiety and I had to stop reading all the news articles on the internet because it does the same and I get even more depressed when I continue to hear more people have died from this virus that should still be here with us today.

I can go on and on. However, it has changed my life and maintaining recovery in perspective, and in order to learn and know what truly is important in my life. We are not promised a tomorrow and why I choose to maintain my recovery through faith and keep HOPE ALIVE for others and myself.

That brings me to a little writing I saw by an unknown author that reads:

Is Religion a Form of Recovery?

“Religion is not my personal choice but I have seen people recover thru only this method, Religion as it is just a form of prayers to a higher power whether it be Allah, God or Yahweh. And contrary to popular belief, you can’t just use anything as your higher power, a higher power needs to be caring, loving, and have your best interest at heart, oh, and more powerful than you.

That is a true description of “a power greater than yourself.” No matter which one you choose, you have to pray your way out of your current predicaments like addiction.
And the tricky part isn’t just you not using, (drugs, booze, gambling) the tricky shit is changing everything about your life and for some of us, we need a step-by-step guide cuz after you been walking into the woods for several years in a row and unless you have a map, we’re just going to wander around in the woods forever. Now, this may good for some people it is not good for me.

Unless you immerse yourself in this particular culture. I sincerely never had any luck getting clean and sober this way. So give this a try and get back to me, I mean don’t get me wrong, all of us in recovery regardless of what we use to stay clean, sober, gamble free, no self- harm, just addiction-free and alive, do you have to have some type of higher power? And, thanks to the great many of us who choose to call this higher power God, because, without him, recovery is just too much for us alone to learn.
You need to rely on God when nothing else seems to work.

As a matter of fact, even before things fail us completely, we need to reach out to our higher power, ask for help, ask that our shortcomings be removed, ask that are character defects be removed and let God be able to show the newcomers in our perspective program how are reliance upon him has helped us out. No matter what you use to get there as far as treatment, rehab and such. And always try to remember;

“WE DO RECOVER”

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When we put our problems in God's hands, He puts peace in our ...

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After reading that, I began to think about all the choices we have of the path and journey we choose to begin and gain recovery from any addiction. Treatment can be what we or how we choose it. It might become the way how successful we grab a hold of long-term recovery. For myself, I could not do RECOVERY alone. My higher power has always been GOD. After that? I needed any and all to gain recovery from gambling addiction.

And, yes, there are those reading this may think, why religion? For me, it is not about religion, nor if I was raised with or in religion. Organized religion in my own opinion is NOT what God intended. Yes, we are all born God’s children and with ‘free will.’ I feel organized regions (labels) or the type of religion like Catholics, Mormon, Lutheran, and so on, gets in the way of having a real personal one-on-one relationship with our savior as God intended.

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I know that was, you God | Inspirational words, Inspirational ...

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The holy spirit? That keeps us all connected through heart, soul, and is how you feel God and his son Christ in our lives. Again, just my own beliefs. Especially when we look around what is going on in our world, our country and right outside our doors. One thing I hope many will learn while this pandemic is happening. It has made recovery and managing my mental health more challenging and turned a little upside down.

Most of everything is now virtual and online. That is where I get support for my recovery, I continue to write articles and blog posts here. I write for ‘Keys to Recovery’ newspaper for the column they gave me called “Quit to Win and it’s a geat FREE recovery resource and has amazing articles and more.

I continue to sponsor and mentor others new to gambling recovery as well. I do Gamblers Anonymous meeting online and much more. I feel what has been imperative to my recovery is doing at least one thing to maintain it each day.

Lastly, I think what truly helps is I am mindful to all within faith. And that keeps my grounded and makes sure I am helping others along my journey…So I think I’ll continue to maintain my recovery through FAITH. ~Catherine Lyon

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“Recovery + God = Success! It’s Just That SIMPLE Recovery Friends! Can I Get An AMEN?”

GodVine's photo.
In Your Past ADDICTION  . . . .


Thank Goodness for God’s Mercy & Forgiveness Right?

I usually don’t talk a lot about my “spiritual side,”  as I don’t want to offend or make my friends who visit uncomfortable. I think that needs to change. I do have feelings around this topic. Many feel a 12-Step Program is drenched in religion, or you have to belong to a church or thoughts along this line. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many also get so wrapped up in a 12-step program and think that’s all you need to recover.  That to is not true.  Each one of us come to recovery from different paths and many different addictions.  So, I feel we need to explore ALL options to be successful in long-tern recovery . . . .

Many times I thought to myself, the one thing I seemed to have been missing in my recovery, especially in early recovery was the “spiritual” side of myself.  When we first reach out for the insanity of addiction to stop, we come to seek recovery so broken and lost, when life seems very, very dark.  At least that is how it was for me.  For me, I had just come out of inpatient treatment and from an Addiction/Mental Crisis center after my 1st failed suicide attempt. So I surely was not feeling very “holy” at this time. Far from it.

I was feeling like God had turned his back on me. But that wasn’t the case at all, it was me who had turned my back on God. He would never have done that to one of his children. Many in recovery just don’t understand the love he has for all of us. If you begin to believe in his loving power over your life, you begin to learn that he was with you each step of the way. Be it within your addictions or in recovery,  he knew all before you even thought it or did it.  He see’s our path he has laid out before us.  No, it may not be perfect, or even a happy life all the time,  because we need to learn from the many trials within this path.  It is how we gain our “spiritual wisdom.”  It’s about open mind open heart as to believe in a power greater than ourselves to be restored.  My higher power just happens to be God, his son Jesus Christ, and The holy Spirit who ties us all together.
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And no, I never felt I had to attend someone else’s Church, some organized religion, or listen to some pastor or priest tell me my faults and character defects.  I believe that is NOT having a real true personal relationship with God, and his Son Jesus. My relationship with him is between me and God, his son and the holy spirit. When you have faith and hope given to you by God alone, you can believe he will perform many miracles & blessings in your life, and within your recovery journey. That is a major part of how I got to where I am today.  Without believing that he could restore me, and show me a better way of life, I knew I couldn’t lose in my recovery! And it is written in the gospel . . .

See, I was actually raised Catholic, but around 20 I became disillusioned with the rituals and confession. Why do I need to go into a box with a priest on the other side  of that box to confess my sins?  I can get on my knee’s and do that as part of my personal relationship with my GOD.  To repent and ask for forgiveness of my wrong doings.  I just became more and more uncomfortable with confession.  There are many other reasons, but this was the main one for me. I needed all the help I could get as I was again, so very broken when I came into recovery. We all are. I can tell you this. . . .

God has answered all my prayers when I was begging him to just stop the addiction triggers and urges, take those away? And I will do the rest and the work to be a success in my recovery . . . .

As we all know, God has his own time clock, and most times doesn’t always match ours! LOL.  It’s why many say, “in Gods time not ours.” So true, but still? He did hold up his end of the bargain.  He did take away the triggers and urges from me, as I began doing the my part of the work in my recovery.  He won’t ever let you down, it’s just in his time, not yours . . .

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So? How is your relationship with your Higher Power?

 

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God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate XO

Recovery Ramblings Of Child Abuse ~ Learning To Embrace & Share …

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,

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I try to pride myself as a fair person. A person who always wants to get to the truth. And that is no different when we talk about sexual misconduct, and childhood trauma and abuse. I don’t think I have written any in-depth substance about my childhood sex abuse and trauma, as I’ve only begun to start opening up and sharing some of my past around this topic. The big reason for why? It is similar to the reason many rape victims don’t press charges of their rapists.

It’s because the Stigma around this issue has not really been fully addressed fully, nor really talked about. It’s like when rape victims decide it’s just not worth pressing charges against the accused, they are afraid, and may not want to appear in court or a trial against their rapist, Why? Because it seems our lawyers and court systems want to turn it around and blame the victim most times. The victim gets painted in such a negative light, that the women feel they have done something wrong, or were deserving of the rape, that’s why. I know I wouldn’t put myself through that either. And I felt such shame as a little girl about what was happening to me when I was sexually abused.

Our little minds just don’t understand.
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No, it’s not fair, but most of the time it seems to happen that way. I also felt that way in my adulthood when in therapy the very first time, when my pain and hurt came back with such force to haunt my present. I remember feeling those ‘ugly feelings from threats by my abuser’ ….

“If you tell anyone, they will think your telling lies, so no one will believe you anyway”.
“I will come back and hurt the people you love most”… “Besides, your dad is a good friend of mine, he won’t take your side, he’ll listen to me because your just a kid” …

Yes, they will threaten, or give you almost any excuse for you not to say a word. Promises of candy, ice cream, amusement park or arcade, anything. Because when your just a little girl, and you get confused, or not understand what to believe, makes you feel ugly. When you don’t know about how an abusers will groom you, and have not been taught that what he is doing to you is wrong.

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Bill Cosby's 'Late Show With David Letterman' appearance was canceled. © Ethan Miller via Getty Images Bill Cosby.
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So now in the headlines about rape & sexual assault allegations that happened a decade or more ago, have now resurfaced, with rumors flying around the media again about Actor & Comedian, Bill Cosby. Was he really America’s father in 80’s & 90’s? Or was he just another masked abuser? So it got me thinking of my own nightmarish past from childhood sex abuse as a little girl, and went on for 3 years. Here is what has floated around for sometime now about, America’s TV Dad, Bill Cosby.

“One of Cosby’s accusers, Barbara Bowman, leveled allegations of sexual assault against him in interviews and in an online column for the Washington Post. Bowman wrote that in 1985, she was 17 and an aspiring actress when Cosby “brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times.” Now another woman came forward claiming Mr. Cosby raped her to, a model, back in the early 80’s.
Cosby, who was never criminally charged in any case, settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident two years before”, and this all seemed to happen on a radio show Bill Cosby was doing recently. He was asked about his past allegations, and had no comment.

Now I know there is a big difference between being sexually abused, and being sexually raped. Most times rape is a one time forced occurrence. Being sexually abused is usually more than a one time contact, and the abuser grooms the person being touched and abused inappropriately. But either way, both are wrong, it’s traumatizing, and should never happen.

Currently there are 80,000 reported cases of child sex abuse yearly, and we know that has to be a lot higher due to the unreported cases. Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, step-parent, sibling or other relative; or outside the home, such as, by a friend, neighbor, child care person, teacher, or stranger. When sexual abuse has occurred, a child can develop a variety of distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

I know this to be true because I have had many of those distressed feelings, thoughts and behaviors. It’s why I’m still having problems again with PTSD, and back in therapy from having nightmares again. Another fact I experienced, at 16 1/2, abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. For girls, the likelihood of teen pregnancy increases with each adverse childhood experience. That’s all I say about that.
I do know from personal experience, having been sexually abused, I feel it made me more interested in boys way before I needed to be in my late teens and into young adulthood.
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I also know it was some of the reasons my first couple relationships were with older men in my mid and late teens. I feel it was the ‘mixed up thinking’ from my years of abuse, that I was seeking that safe feeling I never got from my father when the abuse was happening. Also the unconditional love I never got all through my life from both my parents. No I don’t blame my parents for that. We just seek that out in our relationships. I felt that sexual acts was a natural part of a relationship, what men wanted, and all the girls did it. Not being raised, or told differently.

But through therapy, I learned it was not so. I learned that what happened to me was not my fault. But, even going through therapy, and trying to really process what happened to me, I still was having PTSD effects. And I know it played a part of me turning to addicted gambling, and using gambling to escape those feelings, to not think or feel all those ugly feelings when they kept coming back through the years. Then I started drinking heavy when I gambled as well. I could go days without drinking, but when I sat behind a slot machine, or video poker machine, I had to drink.

It seemed the combination of the feelings I got from both helped me forget all those nasty things that happened to me as a little girl in those dark closets, bathroom, or outside in the shed. So I kept gambling and doing it until I became addicted. And when I finally got help and treatment for those addictions, we peeled away the layers of crap, and it was gambling addiction that was my real problem. And some of the underlying issues for me turning to addiction was stemming from my childhood trauma and abuse. Not all of it, but it did contribute to my addiction, and mental/emotional disorders.

More Facts Of Childhood Sex Abuse:

A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal.

Some children who have been sexually abused have difficulty relating to others except on sexual terms.

Mental Health Disorders, Addictions, & Related Issues:

  • Risk for intimate partner violence
  • Smoking & drinking at an early age
  • Depression
  • Suicide attempts
  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • Illicit drug abuse*Scary that I had problems with 5 out of the 6 listed. I was never a drug user*

In one study, 80% of 21-year-olds who reported childhood abuse met the criteria for at least one psychological disorder. No child is psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual stimulation. Even a two or three-year old, who cannot know the sexual activity is wrong, will develop problems resulting from the inability to cope with the overstimulation.
So you’re wondering why I happen to mention Mr. Cosby in all of this.

Well, my point is that abusers can come in many forms. Many can be actors, lawyers, policemen, doctors, dentists, or even a member of your own family or family friend. They can be well-respected people on our communities. They are not always a pedophile, or a person on a police list. And they are good at grooming the child they are interested in.
Yes, I know how disturbing this all sounds, but look, … if we don’t start talking this issue, talk more about this in an open forum, then those of us who have been effected may continue to feel shame, blame, guilt, then we think we did something to deserve the trauma that had happened to us. We feel we have no voice, or that no one cares.
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WE who are the victims, the abused, the scarred, the damaged, have a right for our voices to be heard! We need not hide in shame any longer. Just because this happened to me, stole some of my childhood, made me very distrusting, withdrawn, and yes attempted suicide twice in my adulthood, doesn’t mean I have to live as a victim any longer.
I damn well refuse too! And for those who have never been through this horrific experience? I say to you, “don’t judge”, “stop making me feel as if I am a damaged person” … We need to diminish the STIGMA around these issues once and for all.

So, become educated, become informed of the warning signs. Make sure parents, you talk to your young children about, “Stranger Danger,” and about inappropriate touching.
If we don’t teach our children that it’s OK to TELL, then you have a much better chance of knowing that it’s happening, and get them the help they need. That way they won’t be carrying this with them into adulthood.

National Child Sexual Abuse Helpline ~ Darkness to Light provides a toll-free number for individuals living in the United States who need local information and resources about sexual abuse. Any individual, child or adult who needs resources about sexual abuse can call the Helpline.

Darkness to Light

1-866-FOR-LIGHT (866-367-5444)

“Please, Lets Just Talk About It” ….

God Bless All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485/