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 Supporting Many Including SAMHSA As September 2017 Is “National Recovery Month” and I am Dually Diagnosed…

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National Recovery Month ~ Raise The Awareness!

Every September, SAMHSA sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. 

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate National Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.

Now in its 27th year, Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective preventiontreatment, and recovery services for those in need.

The Recovery Month theme is carefully developed each year to invite individuals in recovery and their support systems to spread the message and share the successes of recovery. Learn more about this year’s theme.

Materials produced for the Recovery Month observance include print, Web, television, radio, and social media tools. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials provide multiple resources including SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.

LET’S RAISE AWARENESS TOGETHER AND STOP THE STIGMA!

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    My Voice My Legacy ~ By Author/Advocate
on Sale
All September 2017
Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

 

I Welcome Tony Roberts. A Man of Faith, An Author, and more. My Weekend Spotlighted Recovery Guest Blog.

I Welcome Tony Roberts. A Man of Faith, An Author, and more. My Weekend Spotlighted Recovery Guest Blog.

“I have known Tony Roberts for quite some time. We first met here on WordPress where he first had his blog. He has a new website that is AMAZING and I started receiving his new email newsletter. I was so thrilled to see his new site and asked him if I could “Spotlight” his site here on my blog. He has been a great friend, recovery and mental health support to me.

He IS a man that stands in grace in his faith in the Lord, and I have been blessed by our friendship! So, meet Author, Tony Roberts and his book and website; “Delight in Disorder”…

 

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About Tony Roberts:

This is me with Grandma McPeak. She died less than a month after making this quilt for my grandson. She was the first Bible I ever read. Her life overflowed with Christ’s love, in all she said and did.

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I  first sensed a calling to be a writer at the age of nine when I composed my first poem, “Ode to My Pet Rock.”

I was born and raised in the Hoosier heartland just south of Indianapolis. I grew up worshiping high school basketball and once had the honor of playing in a televised “game of the week.”

I went to Hanover College (alma mater of both Mike Pence and Woody Harrelson – go figure). After many detours into sex, drugs, and more folk rock than roll, I wound up at a seminary and became a pastor. It was then that symptoms of depression and mania culminated in a psychotic episode that became pivotal in my life, for better and for worse.

After graduating from Hanover, I obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, I did ministry assignments at a state hospital for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as at a women’s prison, and an inner-city hospital.

I served two decades as a solo pastor. I then shifted to writing, speaking, and leading small groups. In March of 2014, I published my spiritual memoir, Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Having served in pastoral ministry and gone mad, it’s now my mission to bridge the gap between faith communities and the mental health world.

I now live to write and write to live in Rochester, New York. I also have a “delightful domain” on Lake Caroga, the gateway to the Adirondacks.  My greatest earthly delights are my four children and two grandchildren.

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“What makes Tony’s devotional so compelling is that bipolar disorder continues to periodically beat the crap out of him, and he still believes.”

– David Zucker, Mental Health Advocate, University Presbyterian in Seattle.

 

Product Details

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About Tony’s Book:

Delight in Disorder is the story of one pastor’s battle with bipolar disorder. This spiritual memoir is a house of meditations where faith and mental illness co-exist, at times fueling each other to dangerous distortion, at times feeding each other to fruitful gain. It offers hope for those often neglected and shunned. It also fosters compassion for believers towards those with troubled minds.

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One of My Favorite Blog Posts From His Site:

Enemies Sprouting Like Mushrooms

In The MessageEugene Peterson calls Psalm 3 – “A David Psalm, when he escaped for his life from Absalom, his Son.” The words that follow reveal a haunted poet king, surrounded and scared.

God! Look! Enemies past counting!

Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,

Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:

“Hah! No help for him from God!”(vv. 1-2)

David sees no escape from sure defeat, certain death. This does not keep him from crying out to God – in fact, it motivates him all the more to do so. He lifts up to God the torturing taunts of his enemies and then reminds himself just Who it is he’s talking to –

But you, God, shield me on all sides;

You ground my feet, you lift my head high;

With all my might I shout up to God;

His answers thunder from the holy mountain. (vv. 3-4)

No matter how insurmountable the odds, David believes and asserts that God’s defense is greater than human offense. God is able and willing to act mightily to answer the prayers of His children, like thunder from a mountain. This brings David tremendous peace of mind.

I stretch myself out. I sleep.

Then I’m up again – rested, tall and steady,

Fearless before the enemy mobs

Coming at me from all sides.  (vv. 5-6)

God’s answer to David’s plea for protection in battle is not to fight the battle for him, but to give him rest and courage to fight with confidence.

Some years back, on a youth mission trip to Washington D.C., we were “attacked by enemies” from all sides. One girl was displaying symptoms of an eating disorder. Another was on her hands and knees, compulsively cleaning the floor while others laughed at her. The boys were vying for attention from the girls and a few were “coupling off” – dangerously close to crossing sexual boundaries.

That night (actually early morning) when I finally went to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to take a walk. As I strolled the streets of the nation’s capital, I prayed to God out loud. Had someone seen me, they would have rightly assumed I was a stranger with a mental illness wandering the streets – but I don’t think they would have known I was praying.

When I got back to my room, I noticed my body relaxed, and my mind was at ease. I was able to sleep soundly for several hours and woke up feeling refreshed. The next day we had a team meeting for prayer and Bible study. It was the start of the best day of the trip – a day where we clearly saw God at work in the world within and around us.

God doesn’t often fight our battles for us. Instead, God gives us the strength and courage to face our battles with confidence and claim the victory for Christ.
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So please visit my friend Tony Roberts new website for some “Spiritual Up Lifting” as he shares his life, his recovery, mental health challenges and LOVE and Encouragement with all who visit there. You can buy his book here on Amazon!
Connect with Tony on Social Media:

Facebook
Twitter

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Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

4 Years Worth of Gambling Addiction Advocating and Sharing My Story Here on WordPress To Help Many From This Cunning Real Addiction!

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My Story I Shared At “HEROES In Recovery” Shattering Stigma and More…

“My name is Catherine and I am dual diagnosed living with mental health challenges and in recovery from gambling addiction 10 years now!
If I can RECOVER, SO can YOU XOXO”

My recovery journey started in 2006. I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had worked through all of my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess! Of course, they pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the courts and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today.

My point? You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your finances. I chose to not do all the work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles occurred, I worked with a specialist for a year while I went through the legal mess I created. Why am I sharing this? Our recovery stories and words are powerful tools to help others.

After this second suicide attempt and crisis, I learned I did not have a well-balanced recovery and had a lot more work to do, and I also learned that God, my higher power, has bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery from the cunning illness of compulsive gambling addiction. After I was released from the crisis center in 2006 and started working with a gambling specialist and got my mental health under control, I began to see the stigma surrounding those of us who live in recovery. Those of us who suffer from a mental illness have a huge hurdle in our path.

I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered. The nasty habits, behaviors and diseased thinking needed more correcting. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery. I was given a fantastic relapse prevention workbook as well. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day and reading. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood abuse, sexual trauma and what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, writer and blogger, but these are just a few of the recovery blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

By writing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter stigma around gambling addiction, people who to recover and live with mental and emotional health. I want to be a voice for those who are childhood sex abuse survivors. Through my book and my recovery blog, I have chosen to not be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easily one can become addicted. It truly is a real disease and addiction. I want others to be informed and educated, and I raise awareness of the effects it has in our communities, our families’ and now youth and the negative impact it has on all.

1 in 5 Problem Gamblers Attempts Suicide!Still Think Your Lucky_(2)

The expansion of casinos and state lotteries is making gambling more and more accessible today and is now touching our youth. Currently, 1% of our population are problem gamblers. And it the #1 addiction claiming lives by suicide than any addiction. Through my own recovery and sharing my testimony, I have learned a lot. The best advice I can give? When starting recovery learn about this addiction. Work with a specialist or recovery coach to learn the cycle and then learn the tools and skills to interrupt it.

Work a well-balanced recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit and finances. There are many ways to recover including in or outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings. What is missing is to learn how to also begin the inner work to address the roots of WHY we may have turned to addictions. Anything and everything you can find? Do it. Only one option may not be enough for success in longevity in recovery. I learned this the hard way. I became an addicted.

Now that I have reached ten years in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, I know it is my job, my duty, to be of recovery service to others. Life today is good! My husband and I learned that we can weather any storm together. I’m proud that my book has done so well and has opened doors for me to share what I have learned. I share as much as I can with others. I do this in many ways. My second book is almost finished, and I hope to release it late 2017. It will be more of “how-to” for reaching that elusive first year of recovery.

With a high percentage of people relapsing after rehab or treatment, my readers asked me to share how to attain the first year of recovery. I also share my recovery and journal in blog form. All I can urge others to do is never give up. You are worth a better life in recovery. Sharing our experiences and our recovery story with others is just as important as the professional or clinical side of how to recover.

Sharing one’s story is a powerful tool for others to listen to and learn from. My last tip is to do something for your recovery each day. It will help keep you in recovery, and you won’t ever become complacent in your recovery journey if you do one thing a day for RECOVERY…

“This is my 4 Year Recovery Blogging wish for all who is battling the cunning cycle of gambling addiction. Thank You, WordPress for helping me help others!”

Catherine ~ XO

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4 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

 


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

Special Featured Guest Article by Author, Dr. Jane Galloway~The 12-Steps Work!

Special Featured Guest Article by Author, Dr. Jane Galloway~The 12-Steps Work!

A Door That is Open to All-The 12-Steps As Spiritual Path.

by Dr. Jane S. GallowayAuthor of “The Gateways- the Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality- Dynamic Practices That Work”  

“Your Bottom – It’s Not the End, It’s the Beginning”  ~Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway

Product Details

It seems that almost everyone who has a deep spiritual conversion through the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, at one time or another says, “I wish everyone could have the spiritual experience of this universal spiritual path!”

More than a few have tried to translate their excitement into books or articles too.   I don’t know how many who aren’t already on the 12-Step journey ever read these things, but I never have, and I have been on that path for a long time.

My interest is in how people thrive, not in the study of illness.
Working for years with young children, I studied the ground- breaking work of Jean Piaget on the four cognitive stages of child development, so it makes sense that I understand the work of 12-Step recovery through a developmental lens.  The Steps do, after all, provide a template for growing up, albeit as adults.

It is true that many who find themselves in treatment for addiction have missed some crucial stages of foundational growth along the lifespan, often accompanied by trauma. The Steps begin with an admission of powerlessness over whatever source we have chosen as artificial fuel. Step 2 introduces a Higher Power to the conversation.

It is also true that the working of these Steps is designed to connect us to a lifelong, integrated connection to both a solid foundation and “god as we understand god.”… The 12th Step actually presumes that an awakening is the sole result of this process, and begins with “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps…”
And they work. The Steps…they work. And that makes them pragmatic, practical and qualifies them as a path that deserves some deeper inquiry.

 
Over the years of my own recovery, I doodled brightly colored grids comparing the 12-Steps, the 7 Chakras, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, The Kabbalah Sephirot (Tree of Life), Chinese Meridians and the basic teachings of the Jesus Path from the Nagg Hammadi Scrolls book of Thomas. Something was at work there and knew I would get around to figuring it out one day, but in the meantime, I doodled ladders.

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Believe it or not, as a former agnostic who was really, really mad at God, after I got sober I actually left a rather successful acting career to formally pursue both the study of religions, and ordination as a minister, and to look at AA, William James, and American Pragmatism as “The Growth of a 20th Century Pluralistic Spiritual Movement”.

At the same time, I studied and worked in the Human Services, The humanistic psychologies of Maslow and Carl Rogers, and found some links between both of the above areas in the Human Potential Movement and Positive Psychology movements in Post WW ll America. But it wasn’t until a member of a spiritual community I led in New York City cornered me and said that while I was great at teaching a lot of things, they wanted to know what worked for me.

And my instant answer, after many moons of study, practice, attending seminary and 12-Step meetings, chanting circles, having my aura drawn and doodling ladders, was immediate. “Oh, that’s easy. It’s the 12-Steps, and all of this other holistic psycho-spiritual stuff I have done along with them.” And then she said, “Write that.” So I did.

The Gateways- the Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality /Dynamic Practices That Work (Sacred Stories Publishing Sept. 2016) includes all of those brightly colored ladders, plus a lot more. In describing my work as “a development model,” I have consistently met with a sort of puzzled silence from both recovering people and spiritual folks. So I finally began to get at the core of the thing.

The following, describing developmental psychology (from the website of the American Psychological Association) says what the 12-Steps do, minus the spirituality: “Developmental psychologists study human growth and development over the lifespan, including physical, cognitive, social, intellectual, perceptual, personality and emotional growth. “ apa.org  American Psychological Association Science in Action.

In “The Gateways”, I prioritize the spiritual, go into the basic essence of each Step, then create a technicolor system of practices and possibilities for exploring a lifelong path of deepening, growth, and expansion along spiritual lines using the 12-Steps.  Along with that is some history and a couple of personal stories to show how this has all worked in my life, a juicy Resources section, a Bento-Box of Mind/Body/Spirit tools and a suggested 12-week program for leading a spiritual growth group using the method.

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The actual book is gorgeous, and the psycho-spiritual, holistic, hands-on work in it creates a resource for all of those people who may or may not be on a 12-Step path per say, or may not be addicted to anything, but desire to go back and build a strong spiritual foundation for a life that works.

And the book is so pretty you could eat it. Truly. But don’t. Use it! And enjoy.

It is my hope that the resource I have created in this work is a practical companion for the beautiful channeled wisdom of the AA founders when they described the spiritual path of the 12-Steps in Chapter 4 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, We Agnostics:

“To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open we believe, to all.”

 

_________________________________________________

Please visit my website at Jane Galloway.com
Let’s Connect on Social Media:

Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

 

About Gambling Addiction and Does Self-Ban From Casinos Work?

We all know that old saying; “if want something bad enough you will find a way to get” and that is certainly true when you are talking gambling addiction.

So, you decide you are going to “BAN” yourself from a casino so you can STOP GAMBLING. Well, does this really work? Well, not from my personal ridiculous experiences . . . .

But first, shouldn’t we be educated about a what gambling addiction is? And is it really just fun and games? For many affected, NO, it is not and they will try anything to STOP!

 

WHAT IS GAMBLING ADDICTION?

Here is what my good friends of the National Council for Problem Gambling  define’s this addiction.

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide. And again, have no sense or fear of consequences from the destruction they are causing.

Isn’t Problem and Addicted Gambling a Financial Problem?

No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a problem gambler’s debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. But, in order to recover, the gambler needs to be willing to accept and surrender to the fact that he or she is in the grip of a progressive illness and has a desire to get well and stop gambling.


Isn’t Problem Gambling Really the Result of weak or financially irresponsible people?

No. Many people who develop problems have been viewed as responsible and strong by those who care about them. Precipitating factors often lead to a change in behavior, such as retirement or job-related stress.

The number one gambling addiction fact that you should know is that gambling is NOT just a financial problem. Some problem gamblers do not have financial issues even though they may lose money gambling. Gambling is an emotional issue where a person feels the need to gamble to alleviate stress or because they feel a certain type of euphoria when they gamble. Gambling is an obsession that can take over your life if you let it go too far, this can lead to the loss of relationships, jobs, and, yes, finances, but the issue behind compulsive gambling is not financial, it is emotional.


_____________________________________________

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For me, gambling became a way for me to cope, escape, and numb old feelings that came back to haunt me of what I went through as a little girl in my early childhood, then into a teen and on into adulthood. And even though 12-Step programs and support tell us we can arrest the addiction and recover, I myself disagree from a “treatment” standpoint. In order for me to reach full recovery, I had to process all the “old” in a healthy manner of all the uderlying issues before I was able to grasp a well-balanced recovery and make it into long-term recovery.

As I am a firm believer in doing the “inner work” within ourselves is just as important as learning the skills, tools, and being educated about the disease. So I do 12-step meetings, but I do them for support and to be with others who understand this addiction and be of service to others.

IF you think you have a gambling problem? I always suggest to people that a great place to start is to stop by  Gamblers Anonymous ~ 20 Questions and answer HONESTLY their 20 Questions and it will give you a good view if you have a problem and need help.

_______________________________________________

Now About Self-Banning or Self Exclusion: What Is This?

Now keep in mind, each STATE in the US may have their own rules and policies about this option to help someone stop gambling and harm. So for an example, I currently live in the State of Arizona so I will share this STATE’S options as there as Indian Tribe Casinos all over this state, so people have many options and ACCESS to GAMBLE.

Here is what my friends at Arizona Dept. of Problem Gambling say about  Self Ban:

Self-Exclusion or Self-Ban is a process that allows a person to request to be banned from all Indian Gaming Facilities within the State of Arizona and to be prohibited from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses, and the use of any of the services or privileges of the facility.  You can choose either a one-year, five-year, or ten-year exclusion.  This exclusion is irrevocable and cannot be altered or rescinded for any reason during the selected time period on the form.

How Do I Exclude Myself?

There are a number of ways you can go about excluding yourself. You can download the exclusion form found on this site, fill it out, have it notarized and mail it to the Department of Gaming along with a current photo of yourself. Please note: The self-exclusion will not be processed without proper notarization and a current photo. We can accept the photo electronically via email but we must have the original, notarized self-exclusion form sent to this office.

You may also come to the office to complete the entire self-exclusion process which includes meeting with the self-exclusion administrator who will discuss the program, notarize the form and take your photo as well as give you additional resources for problem gambling.

Please click on the FAQ link to the right for more information.  Questions & Answers on Self Ban  . . . .

Many casinos and states are also trying to help by offering these additional Ban Services as well:

The self-exclusion procedures and the self-exclusion forms are in a PDF format. To obtain a free copy of Adobe Reader, click here.

Download a copy of: Self-Exclusion Procedures; Self-Exclusion Form

BAN YOURSELF FROM USING ATMS AT MANY CASINOS

The Everi STeP program allows you to exclude yourself from using ATMs at over 1000 gambling locations.

Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI) can also assist in blocking ATM transactions in some Arizona casinos.

BAN YOURSELF FROM INTERNET GAMBLING

Gamblock prevents access to internet gambling sites.

Please make sure you visit their Q&A Facts page about more questions of Self Ban and Exclusion, you will find it Helpful….

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self-exclusion

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The Interesting and Comical Side of Gambling and Self-Ban:

Now, of course, I will KEEP in perspective that gambling is something many people do from time to time. But for others, it becomes an obsession, and they risk losing their livelihoods and much more because of the affliction, THAT IS NOT Funny.

But I have been sitting in the rooms of AA and Gamblers Anonymous a long time, and also when I was in treatment twice in our weekly group meetings. I can tell you I heard all sorts of stories about others who did try the self-ban from casinos. Now I never had the nerve to self-ban from the only Indian Casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon where I lived at the time of my deep gambling addiction. But I have heard many stories from other women who did.

Needless to say, many told of them disguising themselves with make-up, wigs, sun glass’s and the like to hide their identity from the guards. and praying they didn’t hit a BIG jackpot for an attendant to have to come and pay them out or they would be Kicked Out! To me? That is living on the far off the edge! BUT? “If you want something bad enough?” ….

I have had many stories through the years of good and bad about self-banning, but here is a place and website I came across with stories that are both Postive and Negatives of gamblers who self-banned and gambled anyway on Psych Forums-Gamblers Banned I think you need to read. Here is one person’s experience:

“In the US it doesn’t work well. My wife signed the self-exclusion in all local casinos but she is able to play in all of them. One time she was playing, I told security that how come they let her plays when she signed self-exclusion, they immediately kicked her out. But casinos are businesses, and none of them will say no to FREE money. There is no real penalty for letting people who self-excluded play so why should they enforce it? I was considering suing them but all lawyers I contacted said that I can’t win.”

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I hope you have found this to be helpful information and informative. I know I have never written and shared much on Self-Banning and I find it interesting. I think for my own addiction, it most likely would NOT have helped me as I am a type of person that would find another way to “Get What I Wany.”  And self-ban could just backfire as of some other horrific stories I heard as in the rooms as well. Having access to NO MONEY to a gambler can make them turn to criminal acts. Yes, I heard some stories about this as well.

And this I DO have my own personal experience as I wrote about it in my current book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” And part of my title of my Memoir: “Confessions” was my way of taking accountability and ownership of the poor choices I made and the people I had hurt when I was gambling and deep within my disease.

We are only “as sick as our SECRETS” so I wrote and shared most all of what I’d DONE in a public forum within my book to hopefully help others and may they learn just far this cunning, sick and progressive addiction will take you! Here are some signs to look for if you suspect a loved one may have a gambling problem. Visit my friend’s page at  Addictions.com for more information and helpful treatment and support options …

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gambling-addiction-3-728

Any addiction causes highs and lows in a person, and gambling addiction is no exception. According to the NLM, here are some psychological signs of gambling addiction:

  • “Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting”
  • Feeling guilty for spending time away from your family or hurting them, but not quitting
  • “Always thinking about gambling”
  • Believing that gambling is not a problem for you, or avoiding thinking about how much time and money you actually spend on gambling

Gambling addiction does become a compulsion, and it is easier not to think about it than it is to soberly consider the repercussions of gambling on your life. Addictions.com

____________________________________________

**Presented by Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of  “Addicted To Dimes” **

 

My Story In Heroes In Recovery Being ‘Dual Diagnosed’ Come Share Your Story Too!

“We Are Heroes In Recovery!”

 

YOU SHARE.  WE SHARE.

In honor of National Recovery Month,Heroes in Recovery is running a September storytelling campaign to help break the stigma of seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. When you share your story, we’ll post it to our social media channels as soon as the story appears on our site. All of our stories deserve to reach as many people as possible. When you share, we share!

 

Now that it is ‘National Addiction and Recovery Month, I thought I would share a little place I love and have shared my Story of “Dual Diagnosis.”  Meaning I live life in recovery with mental health challenges. Sitting in the rooms of AA and GA I am hearing more people in recovery are also dual diagnosed. Is this becoming a new trend with addiction?

Well, I think so as I was also invited by Patricia Rosen of  ” The Sober World Magazine ” to write an article for her about this very topic for her November issue. Of, course I said YES!
But I thought I would share my own Article and Story the kind folks at Heroes In Recovery had asked me done last year. Hope you enjoy reading mine. Then go share your story with them. Our experiences, strength, and HOPE does inspire and help others!!

#        #          #          #

.CatherineL

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My recovery journey started in 2006. I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had worked through all of my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess! Of course, they pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the courts and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today.

My point? You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your finances. I chose to not do all the work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles occurred, I worked with a specialist for a year while I went through the legal mess I created. Why am I sharing this? Our recovery stories and words are powerful tools to help others.

.

1 in 5 Problem Gamblers Attempts Suicide!Still Think Your Lucky_(2)

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After this second suicide attempt and crisis, I learned I did not have a well-balanced recovery and had a lot more work to do, and I also learned that God, my higher power, has bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery from the cunning illness of compulsive gambling addiction. After I was released from the crisis center in 2006 and started working with a gambling specialist and got my mental health under control, I began to see the stigma surrounding those of us who live in recovery. Those of us who suffer from a mental illness have a huge hurdle in our path.

I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered. The nasty habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking needed more correcting. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery. I was given a fantastic relapse prevention workbook as well. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood abuse and sexual trauma and what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, writer and blogger, but these are just a few of the recovery blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

By writing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter stigma around gambling addiction, recovery and mental and emotional health. I want to be a voice for those who are childhood sex abuse survivors. Through my book and my recovery blog, I have chosen to not be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easily one can become addicted. It truly is a real disease and illness. I want others to be informed and educated, and I raise awareness of the effects it has in our communities and in families’ lives.

The expansion of casinos and state lotteries is making gambling more and more accessible today and is now touching our youth. Currently, 1% of our population are problem gamblers. Through my own recovery and by writing my book, I have learned a lot. The best advice I can give? When starting recovery learn about this addiction. Work with a specialist or recovery coach to learn the cycle and then learn the tools and skills to interrupt it. Work a well-balanced recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit and finances. There are many ways to recover including in or outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings. Anything and everything you can find? Do it. Only one option may not be enough for success in long-term recovery. I learned this the hard way.

Now that I have reached nine and a half years in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, I know it is my job, my duty, to be of recovery service to others. Life today is good! My husband and I learned that we can weather any storm together. I’m proud that my book has done so well and has opened doors for me to share what I have learned. I share as much as I can with others. I do this in many ways. My second book is almost finished, and I hope to release it early 2017. It will be more of “how-to” for reaching that elusive first year of recovery. And through my Recovery Blog below:

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catherine-townsend-lyon

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With a high percentage of people relapsing after rehab or treatment, I wanted, and my readers asked me, to share how to attain the first year of recovery. I also share my recovery journal in blog form. All I can urge others to do is never give up. You are worth a better life in recovery. Sharing our experiences and our recovery story with others is just as important as the professional or clinical side of how to recover. Sharing one’s story is a powerful tool for others to listen to and learn from. My last tip is to do something for your recovery each day. It will help keep you in recovery, and you won’t ever become complacent in your recovery journey   . . . .

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author

My In Recovery Magazine First Official Column!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Well, I feel like part of the In Recovery Magazine FAMILY! If you haven’t seen any of my social media posts lately, I shared that I had been invited to be a permanent columnist for In Recovery Magazine! They have a new “The Author’s Café” column where I write about recovery books, films, and apps. I have the pleasure of interviewing many talented authors, writers, and filmmakers. It couples with our fantastic IRM, “The Book Stand” where creators can list their new book, film, app and even recovery blogs in the stand and enjoy incredible advertising exposure to our readership and subscribers worldwide. The info is listed here  List Your Book in IRM The Book Stand on my blog if you are interested!

I am very proud to share my first piece with all my recovery friends, and as a top premier magazine for articles, columns, and news, I invite you to be part of our recovery readership and subscribe our recovery community here: Subscribe to IRM today and you won’t miss my next column. Many of you know I am a recovering addicted gambler, so I wanted to come out of the literary gates of raising awareness of my addiction.

So I felt it very appropriate to have for my first column and guest author someone who knows all about this disease, and has been around the GA (Gamblers Anonymous) rooms for many years. You may need to increase the size for better readability as we had a chat about a topic you will well remember. I hope you enjoy it!

So I share my first in print “The Author’s Cafe” column with all of you Courtesy of In Recovery Magazine  …

#          #           #            #             #               #               #

“The Author’s Cafe Welcomes: Author & Gambling Recovery Expert Arnie Wexler”


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2016 Summer - page 32 Lyon

Recovery Authors, Recovery Books & Guides and Book Trailers! Recovery Is All Covered Here!”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

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So, it has been a long while since my last personal recovery share, I wanted to take some time to let you all know what has gone on with me and my recovery journey.  First, I have had some book trailers made for my current book and recovery memoir; Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat that I would love some feedback from all my recovery blog friends. I also now offer them here for authors, poets and musicians that have products out. A good friend of mine can get them done and back to you in one day! They are a great tool to use when promoting your books, music, and poetry books.

Now, some of you know I have been for a while a contributing recovery writer for a wonderful treatment directory website,  Addicted Minds & Assoc. Fresh Perspectives Blog and they have asked me to help with Social Media as well. So, more recovery blessings & perks! I always share that when we get the hard work in our recovery completed so we get to a place where we begin our journey of long-term recovery, of course, we still have a lifetime of recovery work to maintain a healthy and well-balanced. When we attain long-term recovery? We can then be of recovery service to others and advocacy as well.  That is where I am in my own recovery. I have been blessed with many wonderful open doors to share my message of hope with others . . .

Another Book Trailer Sample Authors …

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My next project I have been invited and involved with is very exciting! And a huge accomplishment for myself with my craft as a recovery writer. I am now a recovery columnist for a Premier Recovery Magazine and will be interviewing recovery authors, film maker’s and recovery app developers for  “The Authors Cafe.”
My first column will be in IRM June 2016 issue and so will my book and author interview as well. This has been a dream of mine to be established as a columnist for a recovery publication to have a venue and platform to advocate about gambling addiction. Visit my new page here on my blog for some exciting news and offers,  IRM The Book Stand Authors! …

That is what I have been up to this past few months. And yes, I am still running my book promotions for all authors who need help promoting their fabulous books. Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions  and if you’d like a Book Trailer? They are only $50 and you can Email my buddy Kevin Coughlin: ktc1961@ptd.net  or  Me: LyonMedia@aol.com  . . .

 

I thought I would share a little of my past of those who are new to my blog, kind of like a “Flash Back Look” of where I came from within my addiction, to where and how far I come in my recovery journey these last 9 years. Yes, I celebrated my ninth year in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse this past Jan 29th, 2016. BUT? I still remember how bad it was when I entered recovery. Yes, it was hard, and yes, I had a few relapses and had to do treatment twice from this insidious and cunning disease. But I finally made it . . .  Thanks friends for stopping by 🙂 XO

*Catherine Lyon, Author*

 

LOOKING BACK: “Addicted To Dimes” My Story from Heroes In Recovery . . . .

My recovery journey started in 2006. I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had worked through all of my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess! Of course, they pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the courts and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today. My point?

You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your finances. I chose to not do all the work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles occurred, I worked with a specialist for a year while I went through the legal mess I created. Why am I sharing this? Our recovery stories and words are powerful tools to help others.

After this second suicide attempt and crisis, I learned I did not have a well-balanced recovery and had a lot more work to do, and I also learned that God, my higher power, has bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery from the cunning illness of compulsive gambling addiction. After I was released from the crisis center in 2006 and started working with a gambling specialist and got my mental health under control, I began to see the stigma surrounding those of us who live in recovery. Those of us who suffer from a mental illness have a huge hurdle in our path.

I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered. The nasty habits, behaviors and diseased thinking needed more correcting. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery. I was given a fantastic relapse prevention workbook as well. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood abuse and sexual trauma and what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, writer, and blogger, and now a columnist, but these are just a few of the recovery blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

By writing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter stigma around gambling addiction, recovery and mental and emotional health. I want to be a voice for those who are childhood sex abuse survivors. Through my book and my recovery blog, I have chosen to not be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easily one can become addicted. It truly is a real disease and illness. I want others to be informed and educated, and I raise awareness of the effects it has in our communities and in families’ lives. The expansion of casinos and state lotteries is making gambling more and more accessible today and is now touching our youth.

Currently 1% of our population are problem gamblers. Through my own recovery and by writing my book, I have learned a lot. The best advice I can give? When starting recovery learn about this addiction. Work with a specialist or recovery coach to learn the cycle and then learn the tools and skills to interrupt it. Work a well-balanced recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit and finances. There are many ways to recover including in or outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings. Anything and everything you can find? Do it. Only one option may not be enough for success in long-term recovery. I learned this the hard way.

Now that I have reached nine years in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, I know it is my job, my duty, to be of recovery service to others. Life today is good! My husband and I learned that we can weather any storm together. I’m proud that my book has done so well and has opened doors for me to share what I have learned. I share as much as I can with others. I do this in many ways. My second book is almost finished, and I hope to release it late 2016.

It will be more of “how-to” for reaching that elusive first year of recovery. With a high percentage of people relapsing after rehab or treatment, I wanted, and my readers asked me, to share how to attain the first year of recovery. I also share my recovery journal in blog form. All I can urge others to do is never give up. You are worth a better life in recovery. Sharing our experiences and our recovery story with others is just as important as the professional or clinical side of how to recover. Sharing one’s story is a powerful tool for others to listen to and learn from. My last tip is to do something for your recovery each day. It will help keep you in recovery, and you won’t ever become complacent in your recovery journey.

.

080

 

“Great Job New Author, Aaron Emerson Makes ‘The Lansing State Journal’ Newspaper!”

“Great Job New Author, Aaron Emerson Makes ‘The Lansing State Journal’ Newspaper!”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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tohellandback
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When my awesome recovery friends have wonderful news and events happening? You know I love to share the excitement right along with them and brag a little. So I am very happy to share that my good buddy and fellow new author, Aaron Emerson and his new book release made the Papers! So of course, I wanted to share it for all of my visitors and friends. His book is a powerful true story of his life with drug addiction and recovery, but also the impact it had on his family. It is getting excellent Amazon book reviews so I say go put it on your reading list.

Here is the fantastic article, and courtesy of “The Lansing (MI) State Journal” newspaper and write-up about Aaron and his new book release here: To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery: My Life Of Addiction And Recovery Told Through Past Journals ~ Kindle Edition . . .

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Aaron Emerson, 24, sits with his parents Wes and Rhonda,
(Aaron Emerson, 24, sits with his parents Wes and Rhonda, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at their home in Mason. Aaron Emerson is in recovery, of his heroin addiction. His parents have a prescription for Narcan, an anti-overdose drug, that they keep in the house in case he relapses. Wes is pastor at New Life Fellowship church in Leslie.)
(Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal) . . .

 

The Article on Lansing State Journal:

One night in 2012, Aaron Emerson stumbled out of his bedroom and down a hall near the living room where his father was sitting.

He was dizzy and his eyes started to close. He passed out against a door not too far from his father.

“I don’t remember anything about the drive to the hospital,” Emerson, 24, said Wednesday in that same living room in his parent’s house in rural Mason. “I think they would’ve called the ambulance, but sometimes out here the ambulance takes quite a while.”

That ambulance, if it had been called, would’ve carried naloxone hydrochloride, better known as the anti-heroin overdose drug Narcan. It would’ve been administered to Emerson, who was overdosing on a mixture of heroin and Xanax he and a friend had used in his room.

If this had happened in 2016, Wes Emerson, Aaron’s father, would’ve walked to the closet in his bedroom and grabbed the Narcan kit that sits on a shelf. He would’ve called the ambulance and administered the drug to his son, likely bringing him out of the overdose right there.

Even though Aaron has been clean and in recovery for two years, the Emerson’s, law enforcement and other families fighting heroin addictions throughout Michigan have a new tool to address the dramatic increase in heroin overdoses that experts have called a scourge and an epidemic.

The greater access to Narcan, which is available over the counter in more than a dozen states — but not in Michigan — rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose.

Obtaining it, with a prescription in Michigan, was the next important step for an increasing number of families caught in the horrors of heroin addiction.

Between 2003 and 2010, Ingham County averaged just more than 14 opioid-related deaths a year, according to data from the health department. It’s the category that includes heroin and prescription painkillers.

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The county estimates there were 50 such deaths last year, based on preliminary numbers, and there were 57 in 2014.

There was some hesitation by Wes and Rhonda Emerson, Aaron’s mother, about whether getting Narcan would be a sign that they expect their son to relapse. He had done it once before after a year of recovery.

“But when you really evaluate it and look at it,” Rhonda Emerson said, “if something God forbid happened and we didn’t have it when we could’ve had it, we would feel really bad.”
–   –   –   –   –   –   –

To read the full article with graphs and interviews of drug addiction professionals, other addicts and The Rest of Aaron’s full interview? Please visit this link below:
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/01/22/heroin-ingham-county-narcan/78319842/
Lansing State Journal . . .

To purchase Aaron’s new book, visit Amazon Kindle Store here link below:
To Hell And Back ~ Aaron Emerson, Author
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Product Details

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“Spotlight Presented By ~ Recovery Starts Here by Author, Catherine Lyon”

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

Product Details
(click book to buy)

From Our Scars of Addiction Comes A Recovery Story From Inside Us ~ Tell, Write and Share Yours. . .

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends!

 

Todays little recovery post is about OUR STORIES  . . . .

Many of my friends here know just how my current book came to be. It was thanks to my ‘Higher Power.’ He hands his hands all over the whole process. When I began writing, it wasn’t to write a book. It was from reading a news article in my local paper while still living in Oregon. The story was about a woman who was found dead by a shot-gun wound and had committed suicide in an Indian Casino hotel-room 40 miles North from where I lived.

I had gambled there many, many times myself. The suicide note she left behind said, “to tell her family she was sorry, and that she just could not stop her addicted gambling.”

Apparently she had a bad relapse that cost her LIFE. And I think you know the rest as I have written about here a lot.  I felt her pain. I knew how she must have felt when she pulled that trigger, as I myself had been at the edge of DARK & HOPELESSNESS before with my own two suicide attempts. I Thank God each day for still being here to help others in recovery.

My point to this is, . . . we all have a story inside us to tell. Those of us who have battle scars from this devastating, cunning and insidious addiction knows what it is like when that “monkey on your back” just won’t let up with triggers and urges to go out and gamble when your trying to live a life in recovery. Early recovery is hard, no two ways about it. But we all have a story inside us to write, tell and share.

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Our journey’s maybe different, but the result, that place we end up is the same, we had become addicted to gambling and now reaching for recovery. I began my recovery with journaling.  And when I read the article about that hopeless, now dead woman? I had my husband pick me up 6 little spiral notebooks on his way home from work that day, as I had an urge that would NOT leave me alone to write! I had to see all that I had done within my gambling addiction on paper, between the lines.

After I was done purging, healing along the way? I read it over and then just put it away. What a freeing feeling to have all that “baggage” off me, off my back, off my heart and on those pieces of paper in those 6 notebooks. Journaling is one the best tools you can have and use in you’re in recovery.

I can never stress that enough. As far as book being published? Well that is why you need to read my book. LOL. But we all do have a story within us. Don’t you want to share yours?

Until Next Time Recovery Pals .  .  .  .

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Recovery Advocate and Writer For AddictedMinds.com

Product Details

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)
May 14, 2014

Kindle Edition

“Lets Talk War Stories of Addiction and The Criminal Consequences”

Hello and Welcome all Recovery Friends,

 

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I wanted to write and share a little about the damages and consequences many of face when we were deep within our addictions. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his blog while he was there. And I can tell you, there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. Back in 2006,  I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do so. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone of course read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall.

FREEDOM,  Are YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK.

He was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feeling and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but? I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.

I use them for my recovery to help others, share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling, alcohol, and other addictions, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for a ‘Home Business.’  Again, as you may know, I promote other authors with a small ‘Book & Social Media Promotions’ job for extra income. And here is why, which I know you all in recovery will understand.

In 2006, I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two years probation, and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution to this day. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.

BAM! Book promoting and authoring more recovery books came to mind! I’m not rich yet, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery.  It also raises your self-worth, confidence and gives you freedom from addiction!


 

We need to learn while in recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made within our addictions. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done, or you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides addiction.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Many choose treatment or rehab, depending on the type of addiction you are recovering from. Many turn to 12 step programs, or even to their church. Doesn’t matter what route you choose, just do it. We can change those bad habits and behaviors we tend to learn within addiction/ and replace them with awesome ones. It’s what I told my friend in his blog comment section. He feels he is becoming addicted to his cell, the internet, and social media sites.

So I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, and that is what helps ME stay in recovery. Sharing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take such a positive turn from the damage and devastation of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams.

So go ahead and take your freedom Back from Addiction Today!!
You are worth it!

May God Bless You Abundantly Friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
Author and Recovery Advocate

I’m Busting Out The Seams With New Recovery Blessings, News and Updates!

Hello and  Welcome Recovery Pals and Visitors,

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“Just when you think nobody is paying attention to what I try to do in recovery, and to help others in recovery along my journey? My Higher Power opens up more doors . . . . HP BABY!!”

My Higher Power (for me is GOD) seems to pull more blessings out of his bag to award me! Praise the Lord. It seems many enjoyed my earlier blog post here on my Recovery Blog: My HP Makes Me Successful In Recovery

SO I thought it was time to do a Recovery News & Update Post to share all things I’ll be doing the next few months of September and October. And there are lots 🙂 . . . And we all know September is Recovery Month.

So my first exciting news is that I was invited to become a contributing recovery writer over at “Addicted Minds ~ Fresh Perspectives”  I’m A Writer On Addicted Minds!  which is a New Recovery Directory that can find people looking for resources of rehabs & treatment centers in their area. They have several writers from different professional addiction and recovery backgrounds.

So far I have written 3 articles. So I hope you’ll come by and support my new venture there and let me know your comments and thoughts, and even ask questions about Gambling Addiction and Recovery.

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Featured Centers
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My second news is a Blog Talk Radio Show coming up this Friday on August 28th, 2015 and Hosted by: Dale Garrett of his show ~ “There Is Life After Drugs” airing at 7:30 PT,  10:30 ET, and  8:30 MST . . .
I hope you will join us for a little of my story of not drug addiction, but gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. About my current book, and my next book soon out later this year and my past childhood woes.  The link to listen in and some of what will be talking about is below.

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Dale Garrett's photo.
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 “There Is Life After Drugs” ~ A Message from Host, Dale Garrett:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO GOD ALLOWS U TURNS THERES LIFE AFTER DRUGS, IM YOUR HOST OF THE EYEWITNESS, DALE GARRETT . . .  MY GUEST THIS COMING FRIDAY, AUGUST 28th, HAS TRULY BEEN THROUGH SOME VERY BAD TIMES DURING BOTH HER LIFE AND ADDICTIONS, BUT BY GOD’S GRACE, HE STEPPED IN AND GAVE HER A “U-TURN WITHIN HER LIFE” WHEN SHE WAS AT THE VERY END OF HER ROPE, Literally …..

NOW CAT’S STORY GOES MUCH DEEPER THAN JUST OF ADDICTION & RECOVERY, FOR IT ALSO IS ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL WHO GREW UP BEING BOTH SEXUALLY, VERBALLY & PHYSICALLY ABUSED WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES & DISORDERS  …. NOW CAT WILL BE THE VERY FIRST TO TELL YOU THAT BY NO MEANS WILL SHE USE HER PAST AS EXCUSES FOR HER ADDICTIONS ANY LONGER, NO!

FOR SHE HAS NOW BEEN SET FREE FROM THE BONDAGE AND NO LONGER IS A VICTIM …. BUT DURING HER TIME GROWING UP, NOR DID SHE KNOW SUCH PLACES AS THERAPY OR TREATMENT CENTERS COULD HELP HER,  SO SHE FOUND HER ESCAPE WITHIN ALCOHOL AND GAMBLING …..AFTER MANY YEARS OF THIS MADDENING LIFESTYLE, SHE WAS EVENTUALLY CAUGHT AND ARRESTED FOR STEALING, BUT THIS DIDN’T STOP HER FROM HER BAD HABITS, BUT RATHER JUST FUELED THE FIRE EVEN MORE TO RECOVER . . . .

CAT WILL TELL YOU THAT SHE’S A WALKING , BREATHING, MIRACLE OF GOD, FOR WHEN HER ADDICTION TO GAMBLING AND ALCOHOL ABUSE BECAME TO MUCH FOR HER AND ENDED UP DRIVING HER INTO SUCH A DARK PLACE WITHIN HER LIFE THAT ALL SHE WANTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE AND END IT ALL… TWICE …BUT THEN SHE WOKE UP IN AN ADDICTION/MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CENTER, AND REALIZED THAT GOD HAD STEPPED IN AND SAVED HER FROM CERTAIN DEATH!  SO CAT GOT DOWN ON HER KNEES AND PRAYED TO GOD TO PLEASE TAKE ALL OF HER URGES AND TRIGGERS OF GAMBLING AWAY FROM HER, AND IF HE WOULD ONLY DO THAT THEN SHE PROMISED GOD THAT SHE WOULD DO THE REST. NOW AS WE ALL KNOW, GOD DOESN’T WORK ON OUR TIME TABLE. . .
SO I INVITE YOU ALL TO LISTEN IN AND HEAR FOR YOURSELF HOW GOD STILL PERFORMS MIRACLES IN ONES LIFE!

Some Of My Story:

WHO SAYS GOD DOESN’T PERFORM MIRACLES IN RECOVERY?

I AM A WALKING, BREATHING, MIRACLE OF GOD.
For mine is a story of Addiction & Recovery. About being Sexually Abused as a Little Girl, going years UN-diagnosed with Mental Health Disorders, and being Verbally & Physically Abused by my parents when I was disciplined. As time went by, I learned to numb the pain through the use of Gambling and at times abuse of Alcohol as well.  And once my Addiction to Gambling & Alcohol Abuse took its toll & drove me into such a dark place within myself that I wanted to commit Suicide, TWICE!

Now these are by NO means excuses for my Addictions & I’m no longer a Victim either.. I don’t blame my childhood trauma, Abuse on anyone or anything for the Choices and path’s I chose to take in life, But I made God a Promise that I would work my Recovery if only He would take away the Urges & Triggers!

Now we all know that GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS, but He does it in His time, Not ours, So NEVER GIVE UP on your RECOVERY, For He walk’s with you each & every day, I Invite you to Join Me, Catherine Townsend-Lyon, as I’m a guest host on the EYEWITNESS With Dale Garrett, as I share my story of . “WHO SAY’S GOD DOSENT PERFORM MIRACLES IN RECOVERY?” Just Click on the Link below and it will take you to the show, God Bless!!…

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thereslifeafterdrugs/2015/08/29/the-eyewitness-who-says-god-dosent-perform-miracles-in-recovery
When your on Facebook next, go follow my awesome friend Dale Garrett and his page. https://www.facebook.com/dale.garrett.547
Also Follow him & Join free on Blog Talk Radio Show! Join Blog Talk Radio Free!
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Now my next news is another ‘Recovery Guest Interview’ By Host, Omar Pinto, (but he is called O), He is the founder of “The Shair Podcast!”  . . . .  “HP BABY”
The Shair Podcast Website  and  on iTunes: The Shair Podcast on iTunes!

Now instead of writing everything you’d want to know about Omar, you can actually listen to his story of how ‘The Shair Project’ came to be,  and his testimony as well. But here a just a few things about the podcast. I will be taping my episode with O on Sunday Sept. 6th 2015.  I will make an announcement when my ‘Guest Recovery Interview’ will Air.  I Thank Omar for the platform to share my story of addiction and recovery, about my life and my current book. And I will share what I am working on now for books 2 and 3!

 

About

Omar Pinto "O"
Hi there, my name’s Omar but everybody calls me “O”. I am the host and founder of The SHAIR Podcast.

SHAIR pronounced “share”, spelled S-H-A-I-R, is an acronym for “Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery”. It’s a podcast where we bring you amazing life changing success stories from addicts and alcoholics all over the world who share their inspiring journey of recovery and we will release a brand new episode every Tuesday on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

The episodes will last between an hour and an hour and a half. During each episode, recovering addicts and alcoholics will share their stories with us, their battles against drugs and alcohol, the wreckage it caused in their lives, when they hit rock bottom, and finally their journey into recovery up until today. My hope is that these stories will inspire millions to stay clean and sober.

026: O’s Story “HP Baby” Omar Pinto the founder of The SHAIR Podcast shares his story of addiction and recovery.

I have also been working on a couple more projects with my dear friend and fellow author, Melissa Killeen owner and Recovery Coach on her new business website, Recovery Coach New York City ~ Melissa Killeen . . .  She has done a 4 part Guest Recovery Author Interview on her new site that started on August 6th 2015, and runs each Thursday with the last and 4th post on August 27th 2015. I’m honored to be a guest on her fantastic recovery coaching website.


Preview of My 4 Part Blog Series On Recovery Coach New York City . . .

Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Part 3

The Woman in the Mirror:

“I used gambling to get reactions from people who didn’t communicate feelings or get reactions from people who had hurt me.”

I know I’ve always had a compulsive type of personality and high anxiety most of my life. I had to always be moving or engaged in something. While in treatment, and during my first time in the crisis center, I found out I suffer from severe depression, severe anxiety and PTSD from my childhood trauma. I started on medications for them, in November 2002. I also remember, while in the crisis center after being there only a few days, I was getting ready to take a shower and I looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize the woman looking back at me. I’d always been a fun, bubbly, caring person, but this woman looking back at me, I didn’t know or recognize. I also was suffering with mood swings sleep problems and felt as though the medications I was taking weren’t helping these symptoms. I sure wished they could come up with a cure or a pill for gambling addiction.

Needing My Parents Love I Never Got

I found that there were other people going through some of the same things with their addiction as I was. The amount of money lost to our gambling may have been different, but I didn’t feel as though I was alone in this insane disease. There is a lot more to the addiction than just placing a bet or being in action. I learned to use my addiction as a way to cope with feelings and disappointments that I had pushed deep down rather than dealing with them. I would gamble to escape reality, which was very immature in retrospect. I was selfish and only cared about myself. Just as the addiction makes you selfish, so does recovery. Recovery requires hard work and the desire to want to stop gambling .  .  .  .

So come on over and read the whole series on Melissa’s new website today! It is only the second time I have shared some sections of my current book, as book 2 will be out late this year.  Now with September being Recovery Awareness Month, I will be doing some special blog posts and in October as well as Many gather in Washington, D.C. for “10-4-2015 Unite to Face Addiction” & Advocacy Day on  Monday, October 5, 2015, .. .. ..

Citizen advocates will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to address solutions to the addiction crisis. On Advocacy Day, constituents will have conversations with their elected officials about the need for addiction solutions and the growing constituency of consequence that is demanding them.

Will you join us for Advocacy Day?

Advocacy Day has two overarching goals:

  1. Achieve a health response to addiction
  2. Improve public safety and protect civil liberties to enhance health outcomes of those in or seeking recovery from addiction involved with the criminal justice system

Additional information about Advocacy Day can be found here.

Thank you for joining us.

The UNITE to Face Addiction team!

I was Invited to be a part as a Blogger of Addiction on both days by the organizer, Michael King. .  You can follow him and Unite to Face Addiction on Twitter to keep up with all the fabulous events! There will be MUSIC TOO!!   @michaelking1981  @FacingAddiction

“Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crow are a few of the artists headed to Washington, D.C., this fall to take part in the “UNITE to Face Addiction” rally. The event aims to “change the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.”

***So there is all the exciting recovery news and updates that I will be involved with. YES, I always put my Recovery First by way of ACTION!!! ***

God Bless Recovery Friends!
Author & Recovery Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Personal Blogs
blog links

How To Be A Success In Recovery? Work With A Recovery Coach Like Melissa Killeen of ‘Recovery Coach New Your City.’

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All New Visitors,

I am pleased to welcome my dear friend Melissa Killeen once again to my recovery blog! She has some new and interesting things going on for her, so I thought I would share them all with my friends and followers. She has a fabulous new website for her ‘Recovery Coaching,’  and more. So lets learn a wee bit more about her first, and I’ll share the fantastic things she is doing to make many have a successful recovery journey .  .  .  .

About Melissa:
“My goal is to have clients experience a blend of recovery and business tools to create the fruitful interpersonal relationships needed to maintain long-term sobriety and life success.”

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melissa-new
Executive Coach, Melissa Killeen.

Recovery Coach New York City ~ Coaching Executives and Business Owners in Recovery from Addictions.

“Recovery coach, sober coach, addiction-prevention specialist, peer-recovery support practitioner, sober companion or personal recovery assistant, whatever the moniker, recovery coaching is about keeping the client sober.”

“Try as you might, you can’t stay sober. Oh, you’ve quit plenty of times. Followed by meetings or drying out for 30 days. But it never lasts. You recognize you have a problem. Your family and friends have known for a long time. Maybe even your boss. They want to support your efforts but their patience is growing thin.

Time and again you pick up that bottle. Each time you convince yourself it will be different. Only the result is always the same: shame, remorse and broken promises made with all good intentions. So you re-fortify your will to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And yet it does. Even as you stand there, your family gone, a good job lost, life spiraling down into utter chaos, you  toss one back and wonder with all your heart why you can’t stay stopped. Recovery coach, sober coach, addiction-prevention specialist, peer-recovery support practitioner, sober companion or personal recovery assistant, whatever the moniker, recovery coaching is about keeping the client sober.

The focus of recovery coaching is to keep the client sober and restore a sense of functionality to their life. Recovery coaching is about preventing relapse, providing structure and a sense of safety to protect the client’s fragile new-found sobriety.”

Melissa Killeen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Dynamics focusing on Executive Coaching and Leadership Management. Melissa has been President and executive board member of Recovery Coaches International, an international association of recovery coaches. In addition, she is certified Master Trainer of theLIFO® assessment survey. The LIFO® system is owned by Business Consultants, Inc. (BCon), the largest consulting firm in Japan specializing in large-scale selection and development systems.  She integrates the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) and Matrix Re-imprinting into her practice, bringing her clients a wide range of drug free recovery resources. Her current book RECOVERY COACHING- A Guide to Coaching People in Recovery from Addiction, released in Sept, 2013. But look for her new release due out soon!

Again, Melissa has a fantastic book out that is a must read if you live life in recovery. And, I hear she may have a new book out very soon. And of course you know I will be promoting it when it is released. Here is some about her current book.

Product Details
Available in paperback

About The Book:
80% of people leaving an addiction treatment center relapse within the first year of discharge. 9 out of 10 of this 80% relapse within the first ninety days after discharge. Working with a recovery coach can significantly reduce the likelihood of relapse during this crucial period. Recovery coaching is this missing link, bridging the gap between an individual leaving a treatment center and maintaining long-term sobriety RECOVERY COACHING- A Guide to Coaching People in Recovery from Addictions gives readers something that hasn’t been done before: a thorough explanation of recovery coaching. It is the first book on Recovery Coaching, since the field’s inception in the 1990’s.
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This approach to recovery coaching is aligned with state of the art research and thinking in the addictions field. As there are no other works on this subject, this book is first to demonstrate how using multiple contemporary treatment perspectives, including the Minnesota Model, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction and Contingency Management can be integrated to inform effective recovery coaching. Readers receive a blend of recovery models, and sobriety tools that can be used as a guide for the coach to truly support the person in their recovery process. However, the resources do not stop there, the book gives practical business advice about how to set up a successful coaching practice. This book will be an indispensable resource for the coach just starting out, the coaching veteran and the addiction treatment professional . . .

Here are just a few of the fantastic book reviews she has received for her current book.

Book Reviews:

“I would highly recommend this book to would be recovery coaches and experienced coaches alike, as well as addiction treatment and mental health professionals who will learn how to make use of a recovery coach as part of the clinical team.”

—Andrew Tatarsky, PhD., author and
Director, Center for Optimal Living, NYC

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“Melissa Killeen does what hasn’t been done before: a thorough explanation of recovery coaching. This will be an indispensable resource for both the coach just starting out or the veteran. Well-researched, practical and very readable.”

—Omar Manejwala, M.D.
Former Hazelden Medical Director and Author

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“Hi Melissa. Just ordered 30 of your books for our winter term AD 107 Recovery Mentor class. Thanks for writing this very helpful text.”

—Jonny Gieber
Portland Community College
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You can always read all her reviews on her wonderful new website, “Recovery Coach New York City” . . . .
Recovery Coach Melissa Killeen New York City

I need to Thank Melissa as she has a 4 part blog series, started Aug, 6th 2015, and each Thursday through Aug 27th 2015 with a preview of sections from my current Book/Memoir of my story of gambling addiction and recovery. So make sure you check visit her ‘Blog’ and the testimonial sections of her fine website. Here is the link to Part 1 . . . .
Guest Recovery Author Catherine Lyon Part 1

You can contact Melissa about her recovery coaching services here:  1-856-745-4844  or by Email too!
MelissaKilleen@RecoveryCoachNewYorkCity.com

Connect with her on Social Media . . .
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissakilleen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkrecoverycoaching/

And as always recovery friends, please let Melissa know that I sent you!!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author, Recovery Advocate & Book Promotions

Yes, Our Power Can Be Taken Back and Restored In Recovery!

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome Everyone,

 

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'~Once I admitted I was powerless I gained some power back....the power of choice.~ April G.'
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No matter how or where you choose to recover, we learn that we have the power and ability within ourselves to change, turn our backs from addiction, and regain our lives to take power back from our addictions, so we then can learn in treatment, rehab, therapy, group, a 12 step program, or what ever you choose, we then can take back our power when we thought we were Powerless . . . .

Just because we have admitted to ourselves and maybe to others that we were powerless over our addiction, and that our lives became unmanageable, this doesn’t mean we gave all our power away. We just gave away the power that was destroying our lives. The negative power that had a choke hold around our necks & minds of our diseased thoughts and feelings from addiction. It took away all the good inside ourselves when addiction took over, and we became hopelessly lost, afraid, full of fear, and we gave into the darkness that comes with addictions.

We become “broken in spirit,  of mind, body, and soul.” We convince ourselves we are not worth a life of goodness, love, or blessings. Because the negative behavioral habits, thoughts and feelings that become our distorted thinking within our addiction, seems to keep us repressed and strangled. At least that was some of my experiences with my gambling addiction. I felt like a hostage when I let go and entered the world of powerlessness, and crossed into that ugly uncontrolled part of addicted gambling. Yes, gambling became no more fun, nor just an entertaining past time. It became a daily battle of cravings, urges and triggers when I entered, and tried at times in vain to STAY in RECOVERY.
And I can tell you, . . . that elusive first year in recovery had been filled with relapses, binges, and 2 failed suicide attempts, and more! So much more.

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And even with all that swirling around like “The Perfect Storm” in my life, I still at the time could NOT admit to myself I was powerless over my insane hunger for addicted gambling!!!! It consumed every part of my life. Family, friendships, my career, almost my marriage and my Life! How much is enough? When so we really get sick tired of being sick and tired? When it’s to late? When addiction has claimed another precious life from another suicide?
I refuse to addiction steal my POWER any longer.

“I refuse to give Gambling Addiction another piece of my SOUL or POWER” . . .

I will continue to advocate, help, and Share my Message of Hope from Addicted Compulsive Gambling to others.
I refuse to let this addiction take another life if I had that POWER! And I do by continue to speak up and speak out of the dangers of this cunning disease. To let others know they are not alone with this addiction. That there is No SHAME in admitting you are powerless over any addiction, but especially addicted gambling.

I refuse to be another victim of this devastating illness. I refuse to allow the FEAR that this addiction I’m in recovery
dictate my life, even when I know I will always live “One Bet Away”. . . as this disease, this addiction always lies in wait, to catch me off guard, a major life event, just that one major life event if not prepared, could put me back in the insane “cycle” of  compulsive gambling addiction very easily.

Deep within each and everyone of us who live life in recovery? We have the power and strength to reclaim our lives back from any addiction, and take your power back to live a healthy and well-balanced beautiful life in recovery.
YES, we really do have that inside us!
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No, no more fears, no more tears, and no more giving my power away! No More. . .
Today I say, “Not Today ~Today I choose not to Gamble”

ODAAT Recovery Friends, and Thank You for Visiting!

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/

 

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

 


When Gambling Addiction & Alcoholism Collide ~ A Re-Share Article I Found By Addiction-Treatment.Com

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and Welcome New Visitors,
*HAPPY HOLIDAYS*

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This blog post re-share is for one of my New and resent visitors. In the safety of anonymity, they will know who they are and can comment if they would like to be known, and where you can find them.
YES,. . .  I know, everyone loves a Mystery . . .LOL.

But I always show this courtesy to all my recovery’ friends. They happen to come by my ‘Author Facebook page’ and sent a direct message asking a really interesting question??  They asked if people with gambling problems or addiction have an alcohol problem as well? I did answer from my own personal experiences.
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As I did abuse alcohol, but it wasn’t my true addiction, gambling was. They also said they could not find much on this topic. So I did some research and I actually found a treatment website that had an article about this topic and thought I would share it with my new friend, and all of you.

As we all know sitting in ‘the rooms’ of NA, AA, or GA, we hear from many who have what we call, “Dual Addictions”.
So here is the “Article” I happen to come across, and I how this helps. And if any of you know of any recovery websites that address’ this topic, please share the link so we all can go visit and be informed together! I feel we can never have too much knowledge about addiction and recovery!  *Catherine*
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DUAL DIAGNOSIS: When Alcoholism and Gambling Addiction Collide . . .
Posted Wed, May 1, 2013 

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Alcoholism and gambling addiction are both serious problems that can have life-altering consequences. When one person suffers from both of these disorders at the same time, it can be difficult for healthcare professionals to differentiate their symptoms. Fortunately, treatment of co-occurring mental illnesses is becoming more common. Those who are seeking help for a gambling addiction as well as alcoholism need to find a rehab program that specializes in dual diagnosis.

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is one of the most well-known and common substance abuse addictions. Alcoholism occurs when a person becomes dependent on beer, wine, or spirits to help him manage on a day-to-day basis. Some alcoholics are functioning, meaning that they can maintain their personal relationships and their job even though they consume alcohol every day and cannot get by without it. Some alcoholics are ruled by their desire for alcohol, even though it harms their family and work life. Sometimes people start out as functioning alcoholics and lose control later.

Gambling addiction is characterized by the need to gamble, even when there are serious consequences for gambling. People addicted to gambling may spend a large amount of time thinking about gambling and figuring out how to get money to fund their gambling. Some people with gambling problems repeatedly put themselves in severe financial straits, relying on friends or family members to bail them out. Gambling addiction is regarded as a mental health disorder.
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Dual diagnosis occurs when someone is found to be suffering from a substance abuse problem as well as a mental health disorder. Alcoholism and gambling addiction co-occur frequently. This may be in part because gambling establishments often provide alcohol. Some people who are addicted to gambling use alcohol to self medicate. Gambling is fundamentally an impulse control disorder. People who are addicted cannot control their impulse to gamble, even when there are consequences.
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Some people may drink because it dulls their desire to act on their impulse to gamble. Unlike some other mental health disorders that commonly co-occur with alcoholism, gambling addiction is fairly easy to identify. Other problems, such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder can be harder to diagnose in the face of alcohol abuse. That is in part because long-term use of alcohol can cause you to develop symptoms such as depression. After the fact, it’s impossible to determine whether the symptoms existed before overuse of alcohol began.

Gambling addiction can be easily identified because the behavior is obvious. Frequently people with gambling addictions are forced to seek help because of the loss of job, the breakdown of a marriage, or another serious life-altering problem. Before treatment for the gambling addiction can be successful, the alcohol addiction must be addressed. The reverse is also true. There is no point in working hard to recover from a gambling addiction when there’s no way that you or your therapist can know to what extent your symptoms are controlled or worsened by your use of alcohol.

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Likewise, you cannot completely recover from alcohol dependency without addressing your gambling problem. During rehab, you will spend much time with a therapist who will help you examine how you came to be addicted to alcohol. If you are using both gambling and alcohol as a way to numb yourself emotionally, than continuing gambling will not help you face the emotional problems that led you to drink.

To get help recovering from gambling addiction and alcoholism, you need to find a rehab center that specializes in dual diagnosis. Though this is a specialized form of rehab, there are still plenty of options in terms of cost, treatment method, and philosophical approach. If you are religious, you may feel most comfortable in a treatment program based on the teachings of your religion. If you are concerned about impulse control, you may wish to seek out a treatment program that places you in real life situations and helps you learn to cope. For example, some rehab programs may organize trips to bars or casinos so that you can practice being in these environments without succumbing to your addiction.

Some rehab programs may use medication to help manage your impulse control problems or urge to drink. If your doctor feels that medication is necessary for you to move forward in your treatment, remember that medication can be a stepping stone. You will not necessarily need to stay on medication permanently.

After you get out of rehab, you may wish to work with a therapist who can help you on an ongoing basis. The therapist will be important support for you if you are ever tempted to relapse. Rather than work with two therapists, one to help you with your alcohol addiction and the other to help you with a gambling addiction, look for one therapist who specializes in dual diagnosis. If such a therapist is not near your home, you can look into alternative therapy methods such as virtual addiction treatment sessions.

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Now I know there are many ways we can recover. We can use a combination of several things. Support is also very important to a person attempting recovery, especially early recovery. Get a sponsor if you are in a 12-Step program.
I know how hard it was to reach my own very first year in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. It took me a couple tries, and then some!! My 2nd book almost finished and soon to come out is about exactly this problem. How to reach that ‘First Year’ in early recovery. So it is much of the topics in my next soon to release, and will be the follow-up to my current book out right now titled; “Addicted To Dimes”, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat).

My current book is a ‘Non-fiction Memoir’ of my personal story of the how’s & why’s I became an addicted compulsive gambler, and the my rocky road to recovery. I share all of it! They say we can recover without learning WHY we became addicts in the first place, but I say this a lot that some of us do find out some of the Why’s of why we turned to addiction.
So I hope this article I found explains a little about having a gambling addiction and alcoholism together. Many of us have dual addictions, and some of us on top of that battle Mental illness too like I do, but remember, “There is help and there is HOPE”!!
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Many Blessings To You,
Author, Catherine Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A

My Good Friend David Wilson Has Done It Again ~ Right To Our Hearts For The Holidays …

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and Welcome New Visitors,

Happy Holidays! Thanks for stopping by. . . Well my wonderful friend David Wilson of  “Give It Thought” has shot another positive message right into my HEART! And even though this message is not recovery specific, I felt the do fit for those of us who do live our lives in recovery. His website is always packed with so much Love & Encouragement that it is worth the visit!  http://giveitathought.com  By, David Wilson.

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“A True Long Term Relationship is When Someone, Accepts Your Past,
Supports Your Present and Encourages Your Future”
        ~ Author Unknown ~ 

To develop a true relationship, honesty is of the utmost importance. Since this will be a lifetime investment, each of you should know and accept the others past.
A heart to heart discussion of each other’s past should include topics such as credit history, medical issues, and family history.  The both of you should know where the other comes from and each should accept the past of the other. You should know your companion before you make a lifetime commitment. Neither of you should want to change the other, but accept one another for “Who They Are”. You need to be willing to support each other’s lifestyle and be willing to give the relationship time, patience and understanding.

Keep in mind the golden rule of relationships, “Appreciate Each Others Similarities and Respect the Differences”.

Each other’s dreams are meaningful and relevant. These dreams need to be encouraged, researched and explored.
Help one another to become their best by showing support and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
Always remember the saying, “Love Does Not Consist of Gazing at Each Other, But in Looking Together in the Same Direction”.  Know each other’s past and accept it. Support one another and help each other grow each day. Encourage your companion to follow their dreams into the future.
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Give It A Thought!!!
Dave
P.S.  May Your Week Be Full of Opportunities!!!
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*See, now if that is not good solid advice, I don’t know what is? This can be done in our own recoveries as well. It makes sense as we learn to make our amends in relationships we may have broken will active in our addiction. And since we have to set boundaries around “Old Friends”, this may be sound advice to help make new friends.It can also be said, for those who don’t understand that others can turn lives around and become better people in recovery. It can help “Shatter Stigma” of those of us who may have lost our way in addiction, but become better people in recovery. For those who don’t understand addictions, we are people with feelings and a heart. We can and DO change. So our past we should not be Judged by or Our Past Does not Define the caring people we have become in recovery. Everyone deserves a second chance in life. I myself had many people, even in my community that I was able to makes amends and be trusted, and respected again after my Detour with Addiction, and now a Beautiful Life in Recovery!*
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God Bless Recovery Friends and Readers,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
PSS… And, my book would make a ‘Recovery or Memoir Reader’ in your life!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

 

“WHAT? The Holidays Are Here Already? ~What To Do In Recovery Around The Holidays …

Hello Recovery Friends and New Friends & Visitors,

 

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Now that the holidays are upon us, those of us in recovery can have a rough time around this time of the year. I know I have in the past ‘self sabotaged’ my own Christmas season. WHAT?
You want to know how I did that?

Well, I hate telling “gambling war stories” of my past “Compulsive Addicted Gambling”, but we all know we can learn a lot from others stories and personal experiences, so here goes! …

It was back around Christmas 2005, and we had almost lost our home to foreclosure, but a good friend of ours got a “short sale” done just before it did in late September. I was so angry with myself, feeling so much shame, guilt, and low self-worth that I knew it was because of my past gambling is how we got into this mess in the first place! Of course, no excuse’s, just insights.
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Well, that and were we lived was the first area hit hard at the very beginning of the financial & housing markets starting to collapse,  jobs going away, and we were having a rough go of it trying to get past the financial devastation from my past years of addicted gambling, along with my husband loosing his County job due to the Oregon timber funds no longer being given to Oregon communities.
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So the house sold, we rented a place to live and moved. But we didn’t get enough for the house to pay much off. And the rest of the money, and around Christmas? I had a bad Gambling Relapse. NO, not a one time slip, a bad relapse and binge. That was toward my final ROCK BOTTOM. It was so bad, that at the end, I tried to commit suicide for the 2nd time!! That’s how bad a binge it was. AND? I actually committed a crime. But that is a whole other blog post, or, you can read my full memoir of all I have been through with gambling addiction, alcohol abuse, living at that time with mental and emotional illness/disorders, thanks to all the years of compulsive addictive gambling, and all the cunning bad habits & behaviors we pick up along the way.
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It was at this time as I was in this relapse that I went through much of the money left over from the house, that was supposed to pay a chunk of a small balance on a private held 2nd mortgage. WELL. that never happened. I would gamble at two different types of places. The first was an Indian Casino North 42 miles from my home in Oregon. Then, I also gambled at many places that the Oregon Lottery had retail stores, with 6 video and slot style casino games on them. I could walk across the street to a bar and gamble AND drink! I could go up another few blogs and there were 4 other places I could go gamble too! Gambling through the Oregon Lottery is everywhere in Oregon.

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I had done well in my recovery, and had about 6 months gamble free at the time. But something was nagging at me. See, you need to know that no matter the addiction, it’s ‘always waiting’ for us. Like the holidays for instance, and the point of this post, we can have a lot of temptations around us at this time of year. There are holiday parties for both personal and work related, we may have had fall outs, (thanks to our addictions and why we have step 9…make amends where ever possible) with friends and family, many different reasons that can wind up as a trigger or bring on urges. Stress of the season, lack of money for presents, a slew of things swirling around in our heads!
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OK, where was I? OH, … if we are never shown, or work on “The Cycle” of addiction, we will always be one drinks, one pill, one needle, and one BET away form relapse. I know I talk about the “cycle” of addiction a lot because I never really was told, taught, or broke it down until way later in my recovery. Hard to believe, as I had gone to Gamblers Anonymous, and been in the rooms of AA for years, been in and out of out-patient gambling treatment programs, and in-patient treatment, therapy, AND, … treatment groups, and never was sat down and taught the full cycle of addiction, and broken down part by part.
And the ironic part? My treatment and crisis stays were paid for by profits from the Oregon Lottery!!

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Now there is always an event, thoughts, or even a feelings that triggers us. Then the build up, then we end up giving in and gamble, drink, or use that drug. After we feel guilt, shame, and remorse for being weak, and on and on. But if we are not shown or taught to break each section apart of the CYCLE, and learn to have awareness and feel when things are not right BEFORE you have that slip or relapse, then you will be forever stuck on that wheel of the addiction cycle. It needs to be interrupted and changed.
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Now here are some things I had to learn to get out of that ‘cycle’ and stay safe! Oh, and my other gambling war story? Make that long story short, I blew 8,000.00 in 2 1/2 months!!! That’s how cunning and insane addicted compulsive gambling really IS!! Yes, I had a choice, but when your sick, in the middle of an addiction, you don’t make health choices. I was gambling at the Oregon lottery places two and three times a day.
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And yes, I look back on those days and think, “what a frigging waste of money”.  But, you lose all sense of value of money, well, actually you don’t FEEL anything. And if you win? You’ll gamble every penny, and if you lose?, you’ll be out chasing the money you lost!  I was so zoned out when I crossed that line into addicted gambling, and one reason I take one of my meds for mental illness. Because all the years of addicted gambling depleted my brains ‘pleasure and reward’ feelings and chemicals to the point that I got no pleasure out of anything, yes, … even sex. I knew you all where thinking that right? LOL.
It’s been almost 8 years in recovery and I still don’t have a bank ATM/Debit card. It could be a trigger.
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That is one of the things I did. Well, my husband did to safe guard himself and our money. Not that now he doesn’t trust me, I don’t still trust MYSELF, because my addiction and I are always ONE BET AWAY from disaster. Another thing to tie all this up in a Big Christmas Recovery Bow, is to have a “Relapse Plan” ready to use when this time of year rolls around. Actually, for anytime. We face life events all the time in our recovery. It’s one of the ways our addiction can tempt us. When were vulnerable. Also with HALT…
H-Hungry … A-Angry … L-Lonely … T-Tired ….
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Some of my relapses happened that I talk about in my current published book, Addicted To Dimes. When I attempted suicide the first time, it was from addicted gambling and undiagnosed Bipolar.
Spent 19 days in a Mental & Addiction crisis center, with the first 4 days on suicide watch. Not Fun! Second time, like I shared earlier, a bad gambling relapse/binge, and some of my Bipolar and severe depression meds stopped working to, but not the reason for me relapsing.
That’s on me. And I have taken accountability and ownership for all my misdeeds I did within my addiction. I have done much of the deep recovery work to learn about my addiction, how to stay in recovery, the inner work of my character defects, and more.
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I still have a sponsor today, and she says I’m her model recovery student! LOL.
So do yourself a favor this Holiday Season, and give yourself a Christmas gift. Go to my resource pages here on my blog, and copy & paste my “Relapse Prevention Guide” I have posted here. It has all you need to know about keeping you and your families money SAFE. I had to copy and paste the whole work book myself to put it here for all to use.
It will save you through life events and the holidays!
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OR A PROBLEM GAMBLER.
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Yes, I still have had moments when life throws way to much your way in life, and no matter how hard, and how much recovery work you do, you still need a relapse plan.
When I lost my mom and my best friend from cancer in 2002? I had a huge relapse. It was not pretty!!
And some of my triggers? Paydays, and paychecks! If I had no money to gamble with, I would obsess until it was payday! And off I went! Can’t tell how many times I spent a whole paycheck in just an HOUR of addicted gambling! Does this sound familiar anyone?
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The other thing you need to do in your recovery, again, learn and break down the “Cycle” of addiction.
The last gambling specialist I had, and I talk about him to in my book, worked with me for a whole year on the cycle of gambling addiction. He would not release me until I could tell him how to interrupt the cycle and tell him each part of addiction cycle. HE drove me crazy! But, he is a big part of why I’m a success in my recovery today. I call him my ANGEL. Thanks to Boyd I will celebrate 8 years in recovery on Jan 29th. 2015. He helped me get my Life Back!
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So I wish you all a Fabulous Holiday Season! And if you know anyone who may be a problem gambler, please share my recovery blog link with them. It just might save their life …
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Good Resources about Problem and Addicted Gambling can be found at
Gamblers Anonymous: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/  and a great place to is The National Council on Problem Gambling: http://www.ncpgambling.org/
And the National Hotline for Gambling Addiction ~ 1-800-522-4700. And of course you can buy and mail my book or e-book of my personal story of Gambling Addiction as a Christmas Gift too!
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A

May God Bless You All,
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Yes, I’m Finally Back On The Internet! So How Was Your Recovery Summer? Mine Was Awesome!

Hello Recovery Friends & Welcome All,

 

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Recovery Is A Choice ~ And You Have To Want Your Life Back!

I’ve been off the grid for a week or so, as it was time for me to get out of the house and try some of the life skills I’ve learned to manage my disorder of agoraphobia, and getting a little taste of what the State of Arizona has to offer. I spent some wonderful days with my hubby as we went up North to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. I thought “Gods” country was only in the State of Oregon, but I was so wrong! It was so beautiful at both places. We stopped in Prescott to see my husbands sister’s old house they had built, and had raised their kids in. She had passed away a year ago due to intentional drug suicide of her psych-meds. We are still in a bit of shock over this a year later, but it brought back special memories for my husband of her, and we miss her so very much.

So I thought I would share how my summer and early fall has been, and what all I have been up to. On the personal side, I have started the phase of my Bipolar and Depression meds being changed. I had another full physical, and my liver count and cholesterol was to high. My psychiatrist thinks I have been on a couple my bipolar meds for to long, as psych meds can contribute to this problem. It’s why they do blood tests on me every 6 months. See, it can be pretty challenging to have to deal with all this when living in recovery, and having mental/emotional health problems. If I was still gambling and drinking, I wouldn’t be in the frame of mind to care about my health over all. That’s another area addictions will take away from you.
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I’m also back in therapy for a while for some PTSD problems again. For some reason I’m having bad dreams again of my childhood abuse and trauma. I have been doing a lot of finishing touch’s on my next follow-up book from ~ “Addicted To Dimes” ( Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat ),  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485/
So I’m wondering if it isn’t from that, as I have revisited some of my past hurt with writing my new book.
It’s why it is so important to have a well-balanced recovery to help you be strong over coming the rough spots of life, because for me, relapse is not an option, even though I will always be one bet away from devastation, recovery for me will be a life long journey. But I never thought I would not only get a second chance at life, but an even better life then before I became an addict!
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Now, about my work and recovery side of this past summer, it was  filled with some exciting new ‘Guest Recovery Author’ radio shows. The first was on CL Gammon’s ‘Blog Talk Radio’ show, http://clgammon.webs.com/  and my favorite radio show I’ve done a few months ago was on ‘Peoples Internet Radio’ ~ Cancel The Cabal, by host: Stephen Roberts.  It was a 2 hour live stream interview on several broadcasts. We had many listeners as far away as the UK, Scotland, and Ireland! We also ahd callers and people on Facebook & Twitter asking me questions about my book, my recovery, and more.
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Here is the ‘Podcast Link’ if you’d like to here the whole interview: Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) Author Catherine Townsend Lyon  … Stephen and I talked about many aspects of gambling addiction, problem gambling, expansion of gambling Casinos and State Lotteries. From government making profits, to fill budget short falls, to how addicted gambling impacts our communities negatively. I shared a little of my book and story of how gambling addiction and alcohol abuse cost me way more than the money, it almost cost me my life! And I happily shot down all the myths of the detox and recovery treatment process one goes through when staring recovery. How to stay away from relapse, and much more! Those 2 hours just flew on by!
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Also this summer, I hosted my  recovery #Addictionchat I attend on Twitter 2 times this summer. Many of us in recovery, or work in the addiction and recovery fields come and talk about addiction and recovery from all types of addictions through our twitter accounts. It’s how we inform, educate, and raise awareness about all addictions.
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We decided not to take the summer off , and it was a lot of fun hosting. And yes, of course my topics were about problem and addicted gambling, and what helps me stay in recovery. So all my recovery friends & readers who visit are welcome to join us if your on Twitter. We meet every Wed night on for an hour-long Q & A session.
The times are 7 pm MST,  6pm PT, and  9pm ET …. It’s through Twitters TweetChat service link: http://tweetchat.com/ This is an easy live stream feed.
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Another important activity I continue is my recovery journey as a  ‘Guest Blogger’ at Addictionland. It was started by Founder & Author, Cate Stevens. And  her new book also has released, and is available on Amazon Books, Barnes & Nobel Books, and on her helpful recovery/addiction website. There are many well-known guest recovery bloggers who share their experiences, strength and hope.
You can visit both and subscribe to any blog that you find helpful. Here is my blog link there: http://www.addictionland.com/kitcatlyon/ Becoming a member is free too!.

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ABOUT CATE STEVEN’S BOOK:In this memoir, an upper middle class girl voted best looking and most likely to succeed develops and overcomes multiple, life threatening addictions. Addicts struggling to get help because of the stigma of addiction will connect to these powerful vignettes. Available Now!  Get the Book.  …
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Now my next project was very exciting, and an honor to be interviewed, and be included in as well. It’s a well written, well-rounded, and well researched article about problem and addicted gambling’s cost to our public heaths in our states, which became a major media release article from Columbia University, NYC. It was researched and written by: Elaine Meyer, of the Epidemiology Dept. of Public Health there at the University. There were many wonderful, important contributors that were interviewed by Elaine.

She not only shared part of my story in her article, but she also shared my direct book link to Amazon too! Among those interviewed and shared beside myself were,  Arnie & Sheila Wexler & Associates, Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling, and many more. Arnie himself has been on many major news broadcasts like, 60 Minutes, ABC’s Nightline to names a few. It was picked up by many national newspapers as well. It’s a fascinating, in-depth look into the gambling industry.

The title and link: Gambling with America’s Health?  It looks at all angles of how problem & addicted gambling has on our public health systems, costs, negative impacts on our population and local communities, and how now it’s even ‘touching’ our High School & College young adults.
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AUTHOR BIO

Elaine Meyer

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 on Twitter  @emeyer5 …

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Now my next fun project was just resent.  I was given an exciting opportunity to write for the fine folks at Florida Beach Rehab and Treatment Center. They have an In Depth section of many helpful articles to read, and how others come share their addiction and recovery stories to others who visit their site. Welcome to Florida Beach Rehab, an addiction treatment center: http://www.floridabeachrehab.com   It is a great place to get clean and sober. They have excellent service for those who have dual diagnosis like myself when I first sought treatment for gambling addiction and alcohol.

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They have asked if I’d like to write and share my story of addiction, dual diagnosis in both addictions and battle behavioral and mental/emotional illness. It can make recovery a wee bit harder to overcome addiction, but it’s one of the area’s the helpful folks here at Florida Beach Rehab can help you with.
My first article just so happens to be about this very topic; “How Behavioral Health Has Helped My Recovery” (the article link):
http://www.floridabeachrehab.com/how-behavioral-health-has-helped-my-recovery/
So I appreciated the invite to write and share my experiences with them on their website. Give them a call if you or a loved one needs help with addictions at: 1-877-593-5545, and they are located at: 4005 North Highway A1A  Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, FL  34949 … And you just never know? There just might be more articles to come.

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Also this past summer, I began to really open up more, and have embraced more about my mental/emotional health issues. I got the chance to meet more new friends in recovery, and other new friends who also suffer with mental and emotional health and disorders. I’ve also done more work with others who have been through childhood trauma and abuse like myself. There are many wonderful websites and support groups out there to help. But the stigma around all these important issues is still huge. But for me, it’s important to let others know they do have a voice, and they are not alone, just like those in recovery from addictions.

So that’s pretty much what I have been up to this past summer and early fall. With my next book offerings, I have book 2 completed, and almost ready for publishing. Here is a Sneak Peek as the title will be, … (drum roll), LOL.
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“I’m nobody, but I have something to say Damn It”!
(How to recover from gambling addiction, live with mental illness, and how to process childhood trauma).

Your thoughts on my book title?
My current book also has recieved more 5 Star Amazon Reviews to this summer.
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Lastly, I have started a new venture in Book & Social Media Promotions on my new WordPress blog: http://anAuthorandWriterinProgress.wordpress.com
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I offer affordable book and social media promoting services, and represent several fine authors. Come by and meet some pretty wonderful authors and their reads. I’m adding more interesting pages to this blog often. I even share my book reviews there too! So if you or someone you know has a book out, or one coming out soon? Please share my Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions blog, and have them check out my services page. I’ll make you and your book shine across the worldwide web.
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So now I have shared all my recovery news, author and writer goings on this past summer, early fall.
So, …  how about telling me about yours? What did you do this past summer?

 

Much Happiness & Blessings Friends,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

“We Shall Never Forget Her, A Bright Shining Star”~In Remembrance Of Kaitlyn…

Hello & Welcome Recovery Friends & New Visitors,


My blog post today is in Honor & Remembrance of a young woman gone to soon. As like those famous one’s who were taken way to soon, so does many other precious lives in this world each and everyday from suicide in all manners.
The thousands of bright shining stars that have dimmed and have no big headline or news clip to say who they were.

My good friend Rhonda is stead fast in keeping her daughter “KAITLYN’S” memory and spirit alive by making sure we all never forget her. And I join with her in doing so. Even though I never met Kaitlyn personally, face to face, her mother has blogged about the beautiful heart and soul of who she was, and her spirit will always be a part of many who knew her. So here is a beautiful Re-share of a blog post that was done courtesy of “Wake Forest School Of Medicine” in Honor of Kaitlyn that I felt needed to be shared here on my recovery blog.

What can I tell you about both Kaitlyn, and her mom Rhonda that miss Rhonda has not told you already on her wonderful blog here: http://welding81.wordpress.com ? I can tell you this, Rhonda wrote her a book about her and her daughter that is available on Amazon, that really need to be read. Part of Rhonda’s journey of keeping her daughter remembered is to educate, inform, raise awareness about Mental illness and Suicide. And she has accomplished this in her book
titled; “My Bright Shining Star”  http://www.amazon.com/My-Bright-Shining-Star-Brilliance/dp/1905399944/
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Rhonda has a big heart, a caring soul, and has the most awesome southern accent I ever heard! She has so many in the blogging community praying and keeping her and Kaitlyn in our thoughts always. So here is the beautiful that “Wake Forest” wrote, and Rhonda shared on her blog…
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My Kaitlyn…


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In Remembrance of Kaitlyn Elkins by Wake Forest School of Medicine

Every long once in a while, I like to put this link up that Wake Forest School of Medicine made on their online newsletter in memory of Kaitlyn. It continuously runs on that newsletter. They created a fund for their Wellness Center to give more resources and help for those students there that experience depression and make it easier for them to access these resources without fear of bad consequences to their education and career. They are trying and taking steps and have actually hired another psychologist for that sole purpose.

I myself, will give to this cause every year so hopefully what happened to Kaitlyn will never happen to another medical student at Wake Med. If any of you have a few dollars to give (does not have to be much, or as much as you want) it would be wonderful to me and the rest of our family if you would honor Kaitlyn by a donation if you can.

If not, simply click on this link and read the dedication to Kaitlyn and look at some of her art and poetry and a few lines from classmates (which to me are rather sad and made me know how lonely my daughter may have been).

I hope medical schools continue to make things better for their medical students, to make better the horribly isolating and stressful environment that they live in which causes much depression. Not that Kaitlyn ever mentioned anything about that, it is still true as I’ve heard from many med students and doctors that it is true…

I’ve heard from some physicians that they would not wish being a doctor in this day and age on their worst enemy as being a doctor is nothing like it once was. They once had respect, did not have to be at the mercy of insurance companies and ridiculous malpractice premiums, get sued at the drop of a hat, and try to cram in as many patients as humanly possible, not because that is what they want, but because that is what they have to do to even make money. And the list goes on and on and on.

If I had known what being a physician means in this day and age, I would have gotten down on my hands and knees and begged Kaitlyn not to go into such a field instead of the few talks I gave her about “well you know med school is horribly hard, residency is a torture chamber and being a doctor consumes your life.” I would have done more than that…I would have begged her to do something else. Whether that would have made a difference or not, I don’t know because Kaitlyn was very strong willed. We won’t have any good doctors in America one day the way things are going. Then what will we do?

http://www.wakehealth.edu/Oasis/Remembering-Kaitlyn-Elkins.htm

wake forest
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God Bless All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
In Remembrance Of Kaitlyn Elkins….
http://www.amazon.com/My-Bright-Shining-Star-Brilliance/dp/1905399944

“A Fantabulous Re-Blogg Share & Review Of My Book Addicted To Dimes” Yes, Another One!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & New Peekers,

 

Your all in for another treat! Last week was an awesome week for my book titled; Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions Of A Liar and a Cheat)!
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I have received another 2 5 Star Amazon Reviews, and one on GoodReads, and….TWO fantastic author write ups! I can not tell how rewarding it is to know my book is helping others in recovery, and raising awareness to shatter Stigma around those who choose to live life in recovery from any type of addiction. Also to shed insights on how childhood trauma & abuse, and living with mental illness in recovery looks like.
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Since my book released, it is a never ending job to promote a book so readers know the book is even out there! But for, the big pay off is knowing that it is helping others in recovery. It’s what my mission was, and still is. And when you have wonderful, supportive people you meet along the way in recovery, blogging, at many recovery websites I visit has been just an added blessing! And when they care to go out of their way to showcase just how much they enjoyed it.
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And that is what my good friend John from his awesome and helpful blog: “My Sober Life” has done. So I told him that his blog post about my book deserved more than just a little Re-Blogg, I wanted to show the whole post! And would appreciate any and all comments to him on the Fantabulous Job he did on writing and posting this about my book. So here is the blog post, and please, take some time to stop by his Recovery Blog too here!: http://jdusty45.wordpress.com  … HER WE GO!
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MY BOOK REVIEW ~ ADDICTED TO DIMES
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Come have a sit-down!
Come have a sit-down!
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I recently finished the book Addicted to DimesConfessions of a Liar and A Cheat, by Catherine Townsend-Lyon. Before I start talking about the contents of the book, I want to first mention why I was so interested in reading the book. I myself, have never cashed in my mortgage payment for a trash can full of shiny coins, but I don’t find that at all revolting. That did not actually happen in the book, I am just making a point. Being a recovering heroin addict, I wanted to look back at some of my own past “gambling spree’s” to see where my addiction may manifest in the gambling realm as well. Let’s take a look.
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Any gambling activities I have done have always been during vacation time. I haven’t been in a steady “betting environment” long enough to know if my excitement of placing a bet, my thrills and rushes I experience during gambling could lead into something much more sinister and dangerous. Like compulsive gambling. This book has made me look within myself, to be brutally honest with my past actions during my own gambling entertainment. A person with even a small seed of compulsive or addictive behavior should take the time to read this book. That goes for all of you who sleep with your IPhone. I use my phone as a pillow and somehow thought sticking needles full of heroin and cocaine into my arms was justifiable so, I think I fall under the “you better pay attention, this may benefit you jackass” category.

EVALUATE YOUR$ELF HONE$TLY
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If I lived in a state where slot machines were tucked in the corners of local gas stations or if I lived where casino’s were being built on every corner, could I become a compulsive gambler? Could you? If your addicted to your phone, could you become addicted to a bigger electronic box that shot out money? How many times have you lost more money than you allowed for your gambling entertainment? Have you ever told others that you “broke even” when you had actually lost money?

MY GAMBLING EXPERIENCE$
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I'm a natural!

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While sporting a large transparent sun visor and a bright and busy tropical button-up, I have had many serious conversations with Blazing Seven’s, Wheel of Fortune, and many other flashy slot machines. I’m sure I was rather tipsy to believe I was actually pulling off such an ensemble, but the real question is- Did I think talking to a steel electronic box would make any difference in the outcome of my net losses? Speaking to it like it was an old friend who owed me large sums of money. Asking it to “please please please pay out BIG!” The casino atmosphere with a shot of booze made the nonreciprocal conversations seem less ridiculous but none-the-less I would have better luck wooing a rapist.

$$$$JACKPOT!$$$$
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Of course there have been a couple times when I have won a couple mini progressive jackpots. One was for about $140 on a nickle slot and another for $80 on a penny slot. Oh, I forgot to mention- they were about 6 years apart. Those rare and exciting “you are now my slot machine for life” moments is what makes me think it is possible for me to win the 45 billion dollar Powerball. If I can win 80 dollars (after dropping $110 into the machine) then God must want me to win a significant sized chunk of the Powerball Millions! That is obviously a slight exaggeration and I have never played Powerball but during those winning times, it is easy for me to think luck is on my side. I would easily dismiss how many times the memorizing lights and sounds of the pig irons continually tricked me until they devoured the last remaining contents of my coin bucket. Before leaving for home, I would always put every last coin back into the machine’s greedy and hungry little coin holes. Luck may be on my side but it will come in the form of a lightning bolt.

BEATING THE HOUSE

When I was in jail from July 2006 to Aug 2007, I decided “hey, I have a little bit of free time- I’ll learn how to count cards!” I will be a card counting pro! I will morph into Rainman! Needless to say, I still suck at Blackjack and I have made some substantial sized bets considering my 3 digit bank account. I have yet to quit my day job working nights for a professional poker gig.
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Any time someone asked me how much money I had lost, I always had the same response; “I’m about even.” About even usually meant I have lost a couple hundred dollars. Of course their response was “Whoa! I’m even too!” In my head I was thinking, You’re full of shit.
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I live in Utah where gambling is illegal and if caught, you will likely burn in hell for all eternity or they will issue you a citation. I think the final say is left up to the judge but hopefully you get the citation. Maybe living in a state without slot machines or Keno is a good thing for someone like myself. I am the kind of person who would sell his car for gas money. Looking back at some of my past experiences with slot machines and poker tables, I think it is quite clear that I could easily become a compulsive gambler. Having this knowledge before-hand is a huge help and I owe it to Catherine’s book- Addicted to Dime’s. So let’s get to the meat and potato’s of my post.

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Everyone! Can I have your full undivided attention...
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THE REVIEW

Addicted to Dimes was not full of an agglomeration of impervious vernacular that couldn’t be axiomatic or that needed to be referenced with a dictionary. The book used very friendly words which unlike my previous sentence, was quite nice and free flowing. At just over 200 pages, It was a fairly quick read. The time-frame of the book covers Catherine’s early childhood up to the recent past, (approx 2012). The beginning of the book caught my attention right away. As she fleshes out each character in her childhood, I couldn’t help but get involved in her brutal and painful upbringing. As she gets older, the family dysfunction and abuse continues to be jaw-dropping and emotionally unjust- especially for Catherine. Because of the books quick and emotional start, I could not put the book down. I felt the book was told with honesty and raw vulnerability.

Writing a book that uncovers all your guilty admissions and character defects is nothing short of an extended, but story ridden Step 4. A fearless moral inventory. When most people write out their Step 4 and tell another person about it, they then destroy the damning evidence. Not Catherine- she printed off thousands of copies for all to read. I must give her credit where it is due. I am scared to death for the day my book makes it to the printing press. Telling the world all of my deepest darkest secrets sounds as fun as walking around Wal-Mart butt-naked on a Saturday afternoon.

The book chapters were different from many other books I’ve read and I really liked how it was laid out in more of a sub-chapter format. The sub-chapters were short and I have always been a fan who cheered on shorter chapters.
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There are a few times in the book where Catherine felt it was necessary to apologize for calling out (in the book- to the reader) her family for their terrible dysfunction. I didn’t think it was necessary just because I never once was on the side of her parents.The truth is her family structure was dysfunctional because of the parents. They are to blame for the abuse and the generational duplication of the dysfunction. That is not young Catherine’s fault, or her young siblings. I did not feel an apology was needed.
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As the book begins to progress into Catherine’s addiction, she does a great job describing how easy it becomes to justify your actions in addiction. I related so closely with that in my own drug addiction and even some of my gambling experiences. That really made me stop and evaluate myself. It was a very powerful piece in the book for me.
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Catherine’s story leads in to a key relationship which she is still in today. This relationship shows us that no matter how difficult life gets, the love that  binds relationships is essential for their ability to continue on. I thought the relationship dynamic was fascinating and well dialoged. I was hoping to eventually read more about this character’s background but it never came. It was probably left a bit on the thin side because it wouldn’t have been hugely relevant to her story. Maybe it was more of an interesting curiosity on my part.
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At the climax of the story, it resembles a tornado, a volcano, and a tsunami playing shuffleboard in a trailer park. With the majority of the book dialog being in retrospect, it made the climax of the story a little less intense but maybe that is okay because I forgot to blink on a number of occasions.
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Wrapping up the end of the book, I felt like Catherine still has some anger towards some of her past. Not just with her relationships, but her past situations as well. As an addict, I know for myself, anger, judgements, injustices, guilt and resentments are draining on my well-being so I hope she has resolved these issues and comes to terms with everything in her follow-up book.
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Catherine does a great job assisting readers in addiction help and assistance. Directing the readers to many different options for recovery. Where gambling is not seen by society as the big problem it is- like drug or alcohol addiction, she makes the case that that needs to change. The majority of cities around the world have some form of AA meeting or network of people but not so much for the problem gambler. Let’s help her spread the good love by recognizing the terrible stigma’s that seem so tightly wrapped around the neck of addiction. Let’s continue to speak the truth. Yell it from the rooftops!

“I would recommend this book to everyone. Recommending it only to potential problem gambler’s would be a vast under-reaching of readership for this amazing and helpful material. I give it 5 stars. Great job Catherine”!
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5-STAR-RATING-300x300

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AFTERTHOUGHTS

I believe that society needs to stop normalizing abusive childhoods and stop making excuses for parents and people who are abusive to innocent and dependent children. If you were physically or mentally abused as a child, you can not justify what your mother or father did by saying “my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had.” I am not speaking to only Catherine. We all need to know this. Saying our parents did the best they could is a cop-out excuse and justification for what ever abuse they did. If saying that means what they did is justified because they didn’t know any better, how the hell can a 3 or 4 year old know any better? Weren’t they acting and saying the only things you knew as an under developed and dependent 4 year old? We have unlimited excuses for the parents and have zero tolerance for the child. That is completely backwards from the way it should be. That is not a universal or even somewhat moral and it should not be used.
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We must teach our children universal principles. If we don’t want your children growing up to become compulsive gamblers, a heroin addicts, prostitutes, meth addicts, etc.; we need to quit teaching them principles from the book of hierarchy. “I am the parent therefore you will listen. I am bigger, stronger, more dominant.” That is surrendering to pecking order and power. If we want our children to not hit, steal, yell, argue, abuse, use violence, drugs and misbehave then we must teach them universal principles. We will never teach non-violence to our children by spanking or hitting them. We cannot teach respect by yelling at them. If the principle is moral and just for our children, it must be moral and just for us as the parent. We always want to be exceptions to the rule. Just like congressmen or governments. Making rules and laws but exempting ourselves from these rules. Hmm, I see a pattern here.
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There was a picture on Facebook the other day. It was of a man who was hitting a tiny kitten. It had over 1 million comments. In the comments it was clear that society was outraged at this man. Some were saying the man should be killed. Some were calling the man horrible and vulgar obscenities. The unanimous vote was that the man was hated, sick, deranged and needed large amounts of therapy at the least. Is it not sickening that we have more societal outrage and protective instincts towards cats than we do towards our children? Someone please explain to me how this happens. 60% of mother’s admit to spanking/hitting their children. Some as young as 7 months!
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    *GENETICS OR ENVIRONMENTAL*?medicine-163707_1280

Many people believe that addiction is a hereditary or genetic disease. “My father was an alcoholic therefore I will become an alcoholic”. There is a big difference between a predisposition that may trigger addiction and heredity. A predisposition to addiction can make a person more susceptible to addictive behaviors, however, there is strong evidence that addiction is being brought on by a child’s surrounding environment. I have blue eyes and a round nose because of genetics. That is something I cannot change.

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Believing that addiction is a genetic disease I would argue is a death sentence. It instantly removes all doubt and I might as well start shooting up heroin fresh out of the womb because it is my destiny. There is more money to be made with this approach to addictionplant-164500_1280 and there is strong arguments that backs this up. After-all, if society was to accept the environmental approach, they would have to actually do something. All of the unjust, unethical and immoral standards of hypocrisy would be ran through societies powerful ringer and we would have to stop hitting our children and teaching them such blatant hypocrisy. If we don’t want more drug addicted, alcoholic, compulsive gambling, mentally and emotionally unstable people in our society, then let’s just stop raising them. It’s really that simple.
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***How can I ever THANK Author, John Dustin for this fantastic in-depth book review and his after thoughts. I’m truly inspired by him as an author, but also his recovery. You really should go visit his helpful and candid blog. He is like me in that we don’t ‘Sugar Coat’ Recovery. That won’t help the person trying to get their life back from any ADDICTION. http://jdusty45.wordpress.com
Let him know “Catherine” sent you!****

May GOD BLESS you as much as he has Blessed me in my recovery!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon & Lyon Media & Book Promotions…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

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

Hello And Welcome MoonShiners, Recovery Seekers, And Visitors,

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yeah write weekly writing challenge #163 weekend moonshine grid

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

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philippians.

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

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

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

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

YEAH BABY!!
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So now we fast forward in my recovery 7 years and 4 months. Wow, has life been interesting!
When I was 4 years into my recovery, I read a little story in our newspaper about a woman who shot herself in her casino hotel room. Boy did that light a fire under me to write, and see all I had been through with my gambling addiction. Didn’t know one day it would be put into a book manuscript by an old friend of mine. Then when she was done, she emailed the first 50 pages to a friend of hers who is publisher, and BAM~POW!,…On my 50th birthday I became a first time published author! Again, that was 2012, and I have been writing, blogging, advocating, and being of recovery service to others ever
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WHAT? You ask if I’m aware of how blessed I am? You got it baby! I am a very blessed girl today, but it’s about getting the work done in recovery that will make things happen! We can’t have that ‘Peace, Serenity, and Contentment’ in recovery without doing the work. Now I know your asking what work are you talking about?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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