Don’t Relapse Now During This Pandemic and Unrest Happening Around Us. Recovery Guest Featured Article…

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I had just received my digital magazine from one of the most informative recovery reads I enjoy and learn so much from called The Fix. When I saw this headline, I said to myself this one needs to be shared out. So, here I am sharing it with all of my recovery posses.

I am sharing it since we seem to be in this pandemic of COVID-19 and I feel, for a long while and we who maintain recovery from any addiction besides gambling don’t “DO” isolation very well. We need to have human contact and be with others. We crave that comradery with other like-minded folks who are also maintaining recovery so we know we are not alone and feel supported. So let’s read what The Fix says about NOT Relapsing Now.  ~Catherine Lyon, Advocate

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Don’t Relapse Now

By John Teufel 05/27/20

Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too?

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Make Your Own DIY Crochet Mask Covers | 8News

 

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Reader, I will make a deal with you. I will talk to you like an adult and say some uncomfortable things. I won’t be your sponsor and I won’t throw the Big Book at your face. But in exchange, you need to promise me you’ll read this to the end. No skips, no tag outs, no skimmy skims. Okay? Okay, great.

I understand the urge to relapse right now.
I’m feeling it too.

A lot of us have severely diminished responsibilities – my work has nearly dried up. I hate the Zoom meetings, which feel like impersonal shadow plays where I have to stare at my new fat face. All our other distractions that can’t be done from the couch have been canceled.

My normie friends are mixing up quarantinis before the 5 o’clock news starts. Most importantly, we are all being treated to a daily blast of death, inequity, and press conferences where a poorly tanned moron tells us to shoot up with bleach. It is so much. It is a daily mental weight that is difficult to bear even on the best days.

“If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response. It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response.

It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has paused, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? The other day I found myself telling a friend that I won’t be jobless, locked down, without the beach (my favorite distraction), and sober. In full Scarlett O’Hara mode, I declared, “Sorry, but I won’t do it!” It felt good to say, the way forbidden things sometimes do. Total, unapologetic narcissism has its pleasures.”

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How to stay safe if going to park or beach during Covid-19 pandemic

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I could probably get away with it, too. I could probably go on a few-days bender and maybe my boyfriend would figure it out (he is sharp but that is the diseased thinking!),  and no one else would. I could even keep my day count! Why not?!? This is the sort of self-dealing I’ve been doing. I am so good at it. I am the Clarence Darrow of fucking my own shit up.

But it is wrong. I know it’s wrong. If you are having similar thoughts, you probably know they are wrong too. Even now, with life halted and pain and injustice ascendant, there are reasons both practical and metaphysical that it is crucial for you and me to keep our sober time. Even if every word we ever heard at an AA meeting was false, even if the Big Book itself is a decades-long scam to sell us on religion.

Practically, you are going to regret it. You know you are! Sorry, but you do. You are going to be annoyed, at the very least, that you need to restart your day count, which yes, you eventually will be forced to do because you won’t be able to lie to your support network for that long. Whatever bender you have in mind is going to come to an end, in what will feel like the blink of an eye, and all you’ll have left is regret and likely, a terrible headache or worse. You also, of course, might take it too far and die.

If things get really bad, as they very well may, people are going to know what you did and that is going to suck for you. Your family and friends are already extremely stressed out right now (just like you!) – the last thing they need is to hear that you relapsed, in your tiny apartment in some faraway city, and no one can travel to you to make sure you get it together. Your mom is going to cry.

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For COVID-19 Patients, Breathing Easier Could Be as Simple as ...

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On that note, if you need hospital care because you overdose or can’t stop, great, you are taxing an already overtaxed healthcare system and exposing yourself to COVID-19 at the same time. From a million different standpoints, any decision to relapse right now is selfish, even if it feels like the only person being punished is you.

Okay, who cares, right? I hear that. When I was first trying to get sober and in a relapse cycle, other people’s problems were some theoretical concern that was a not-close second to my immediate ego gratification. I did not give a shit, and honestly, I didn’t care much if I died, either. What worked for me, though, was spite – not giving my enemies the pleasure of seeing me fall.

Spite could be helpful right now.

Picture Donald Trump, in all his 300 pounds of dense mass, standing over you as you take that first drink. “I was always right,” he says without laughing, as he never laughs, “You’re weak. Libs like you, weak, lazy.” Do you want Donald Trump to think he’s better than you? He doesn’t care! He even doesn’t wear a mask!

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Students Trump Arizona rally Phoenix Stock Photos (Exclusive ...

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Trump Border Visit, Phoenix Rally | Arizona Daily Independent(MASKS??? ZERO In Arizona)

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How about the maskless crowds at his rallies who are just begging states to let them kill themselves, and each other? Should these yahoos and sociopaths be allowed to feel morally superior to you? Or picture a little closer to home. Do you want your douchebag ex to hear that you fucked up again? No, you do not.

The time we’ve all spent cooped up indoors losing our gourds has been an achievement that can be measured in days and lives saved. We’ve been doing this for well over thirty days now. In New York and elsewhere, we’ve flattened the curve but not in many other states like Arizona.  Your sobriety is the same.

It’s not some fungible commodity that can be lent out and borrowed back at will – it has a character in itself composed in part of a temporal element. Your sobriety after you relapse is not the same as your sobriety before. When you give it up, you give up the effort, sacrifice, things you can never get back. That might not feel important now, but it will feel devastating later.

Look, I am not Mr. Lockdown. I eat loaves of bread as a snack. I stay up most nights until 5 AM and I sleep till 11. I bleached my hair. I play Nintendo Switch and try to get one or two productive hours into a day. My sheets smell like farts. All of this is fine! You do what it takes to make it to the next day. The people doing pilates every morning, learning a second language, making OnlyFans, whatever – they are fine, too.

And it’s even fine to hate them!

“One day at a time” is a relentless cliché in sobriety circles. But right now, it feels appropriate, as all of the stupid sayings eventually do. The world is a miserable place, maybe always, definitely right now. Don’t add to the misery by giving in to the demons you fought so hard to keep at bay.

Be strong, stay home, save lives, stay sober. Good luck.

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Alcohol addiction: “I walked out of rehab and into a pandemic” - Vox

“My Recovery Guest Author Interview Wrap Up From Peoples Internet Radio”!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Visitors,

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I had been invited to Peoples Internet Radio by host, Stephen Roberts to join him this past Friday evening to talk about my current book, problem & addicted gambling, recovery, and a few more hot topics. And the interview was so awesome, we where on for just about 2 hours! And as promised, here is a wrap up of some of the topics we discussed, and recovery resources I had given out during the show.

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I’d like to first say, Thank You again to my host,  Stephen Roberts for inviting me to his show. Well, I also kind of invited myself really. LOL. I say this because as some of you know, I do book & social media promoting for other authors. And, Stephen has had 2 of my clients on his show earlier. It’s actually how we met. He is such a great guy with a fun sense of humor.

A little about Peoples Internet Radio, Seeking Sovereign Solutions, http://peoplesinternetradio.com/ it is a movement for and by the people to take our country of America back! It is a place where podcasts are broadcast and heard by hosts who invite others to speak up, help inform, and to raise awareness of many issues facing our country. And one of those issues impacting our communities is the ever-expanding problems of Indian Casinos & State Lotteries. That was only one of the issues Stephen and I spoke about. We talked about my book, Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat), which is my personal story of life touched by childhood sex abuse, discipline abuse, living with mental and emotional illness and disorders, and gambling and alcohol addictions.

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We also had people calling and typing in through Facebook, as my interview was live streamed on 3 different podcast links. We even had people commenting as far away from Ireland, Scotland, and United Kingdom! I do have to say a ‘Special’ shout out to “Jimmy & Sean” for your questions, and very kind comments during the show! I also explained my own personal devastation I caused with my gambling addiction in my life. Some don’t always agree with me about the why’s of someone choosing addiction in the first place.
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My experience is that, like Jimmy mentioned in his comment, when in rehab or treatment, it seems the professionals just treat the symptoms, and not some of the underlying issues that may have led us to use addictions to cope with life challenges and traumatic life events.
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From a relapse prevention point of view, those life events if we are not ready for them, can be a source of relapse. I know it was difficult for me in this area as well. The first failed suicide attempt in 2002 of mine,
from 2 life events that hit me hard was two people close to me passed away of cancer. Then my mom passed in 2003. So life, if not ready can cause a relapse. You need to have a plan in place.

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When all that happened to me I went via the hospital to an addictions/mental health crisis center. That’s when my primary doctor, and the center psychiatrist found I had been suffering Bipolar 2 severe depression, PTSD, OCD, and mild anxiety mania. So in 2002 is when I was started on bipolar and anti-depressant meds.
So those were some of the underlying issues that compounded, and seem to set me up for some type of addictions to cope, escape and numb out from the grief, and from my past traumatic childhood.
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Of course, as I discussed with Stephen that when you are raised in a household that you speak of things outside our home about anything that might bring shame to the family, and to not know there are healthy ways to get help and process past hurt and pain. Then many do use addiction to try to escape from it. To not feel those unpleasant feelings and emotions. So it wasn’t until I started work on processing my past pains, and working with an addiction specialist, who taught my also how to break down the cycle of my addiction. A cycle has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here is what it looks like.

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See, will get Triggered by something that affects us in life. Could be life trauma, stress of a bad day at work, a financial crisis, for me it was Paydays. The build up would start a few days before a payday. Urges or cravings like on the chart. Then the Ritual comes into play. This maybe, again for me was trying to calculate how much money would be available to gamble with. What bills could I put off until the next payday. That type of diseased thinking. Sadly, when I crossed the line into uncontrolled addicted gambling, the bills never got paid, and the money would be gone. Then the actual act of using, or for was addicted, uncontrolled gambling. Then the last part of the cycle is the guilt, shame, self-loathing, remorse.
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But the one difference with gambling is the constant lies, covering up what I’d done, find money to pay the debts that I should have with our paychecks and on and on. It’s exhausting! And until you learn in treatment, and in support group meetings those tools and skills to interrupt and break the cycle? You’ll keep using over and over wishing for a different outcome that never comes! Part of my experience of addiction did come from my past childhood abuse. And the verbal can cut deep into our mind and thoughts. Verbal, or psychological abuse can sink in when were children. Because our minds are like a sponge! It is also from my sex abusers as well. They threaten you so much that you start to believe you’re a bad girl, damaged, and if you tell, no one will believe you, that your telling lies.
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I still to this day feel those feeling of those men telling me that, grooming me with treats, then turn around and threaten me with verbal trash! And like I said in my interview, even though Gamblers Anonymous tells us that we can recover without knowing the reasons why we became addicted gamblers, but through therapy, I know some of why I was using addicted gambling with alcohol. It was to not feel the pains of my childhood any longer.
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Today, I’m not a victim any longer! I advocate, speak-up and speak-out about childhood abuse and trauma! As it’s the only way I know how to shatter the STIGMA around this devastating issues. I know that it wasn’t my fault what happened to me. So I now let others who endured the same, that they are not at fault either. All that I do to try and help others was given to me by my Father in Heaven. Another part of recovery is to learn from what we triumph over. We see our character defects, and learn to correct them to become better human beings..

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Here are just a few facts I shared about gambling addiction on the radio show.1% of our population right now are Problem Gambler’s.
Out of the 16+million problem gamblers in just the United States, half this number are now your college bound young adults.  The Productivity Commission in  Australia reports, for every one problem gambler, they have a negative effect on 7 other people.Our government makes gambling legal for profits through Casinos and States Lottery.
And if you want to know what is being done about it in your State and communities besides raising crime rates, and more friends and loved ones becoming problem gamblers, then visit http://StopPredatoryGambling.org/in-your-state/

For help and information about problem gambling, visit the good people of The National Council on Problem Gambling, http://www.ncpgambling.org For warning signs & info please visit http://www.helpguide.org and  http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/hotlines/

There are more helpful ‘Recovery Resource’ pages here on my blog with more important websites and phone numbers. And finally, if you happened to miss the internet show? Here is the link you can hear the whole show at your own leisure. When you clink on the link, a little box will pop up and just hit the arrow to play it.
http://www.weebly.com/…/august_29_2014_with_catherine…
Just in case it doesn’t pop up, here is the full link address:
http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/1/6/21163562/august_29_2014_with_catherine_townsend_lyon.mp3

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Hope Vs Heroin's photo.
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In closing, this quote truly is important. No on person who becomes an addict just happens to wake up one day and tell themselves, “Gee, I think today I’ll choose to become an addict and destroy my life” …
Yes, life is full of positive wonders and possibilities, but life also can hurt, be painful to some of us.
NO, not excuses, just insights of how some can lose their way.

And yes, it is our choice on how we handle the rough patch’s. But remember, many people are not healthy, strong, or had positive role models, or a healthy family dynamic growing up. Like I explained to Stephen,
I have forgiven my parents, and have forgiven my sex abusers, and my siblings who too had hurt me, as my spiritual Father has taught me. You have to in order to take back your life. It’s also what I learned in treatment and therapy. I have learned many life lessons on this journey called life. Now my passion is to pass some of it to others.
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Much Happiness and Blessings on your Recovery Journey,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of, “Addicted To Dimes” …
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485/

 

My Recovery & God’s Winds of Change are a BLOWIN Again….

Hello Recovery Friends & Family & New Visitor’s,

I’ve been busy a bit, as our life is ever-changing day by day. So my postings the next week or so maybe here and there as many of you know we are moving…….

WE are packing up what little we have left of our lives from 4yrs ago when we Both lost our jobs, lost our home, and you know the Rest…Blah Blah Blah….LOL…
Well it seems THAT STARTING OVER was not low enough for our lord, so were doing it ONE more time. He sure is a FUNNY GUY isn’t HE?….LOL…

SO far of course, the hardest part has been having to find NEW homes for my Babies/2 Cats, that’s been like HELL…..but where we are going to live, everyone in my hubby’s family has allergies to cats. One has been with us for some years. YES….I’ve had some PANIC Attacks, Depression, HIGH ANXIETY, I’ve cried it out, but now have an Attitude of Gratefulness that at LEAST we won’t be HOMELESS, blessed that his family is going to help us Start Over, and humbled beyond belief!!  I HATE having to leave Beautiful So. Oregon, but, AS ARNOLD SAID A MILLION TIMES…..”I’LL BE BACK”!! And the MORE SUNSHINE maybe Good for my Depression.

ONE THING I am sure of, is that when LIFE gets thrown in our FACES……IT CAN make you more tempted to have a Relapse in Our recovery, but I say this…..I have had my TOOL BOX out of the closet for a few weeks now, and that is NOT going to HAPPEN!! What I’m trying to say is,…..It can be a HUGE TRIGGER when Life is turned upside down, especially when the DRAMA is being caused by others and outside forces.

I think we all have heard plenty about US IN RECOVERY HAVING NO CONTROL OVER, People, Places, Things……and I tell myself this each morning when I get up!!……THAT, and say a little Prayer to my HP to help me get through another day, and to WORK through ME to still help others even though MY life is being tossed around like a Washing Machine!!..LOL…
It Keeps me focused and IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE!

Being of service to others IS a good way to stay Grounded in YOUR own recovery. We can learn SO much from each other. A GOOD example of this……Grab your Steps and work on them a little each day, they will help keep you on course when things are CRAZY all around you, and it helps keep you outside of yourself.

HAVE I been having THOUGHTS and FEELINGS to GAMBLE?…..OF COURSE, BUT…..With the tools and skills I’ve learned in my YEARS of Recovery work, I know that they will PASS, and it’s my DISEASED MIND trying to Work Overtime,  and I have the tools to help me not Have to ACT on those Feelings & Thoughts.

WE all have many *CHOICE’S* in Life each and everyday…..I choose LIFE & Recovery.
HAVING to move to another STATE IS not a Good Enough reason to throw my years of recovery away. These things we have ARE JUST MATERIAL things, we can’t take them with us, and they DON’T define who we are as a person or People.
WHAT’S MOST INPORTANT???…..Is my HP…GOD, knowing his is with US every step of the way!!, MY HUSBAND, MY FB FRIENDS & FAMILY, And MY Awesome LIFE IN RECOVERY!!

I’ve made a choice that Might Be FUN, to Chronicle My Life Changing Journey on my GOODREADS Blog so I can Update my Recovery Friends as things progress:: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_Posts/4742885-Winds-Of-Change-are-a-Blowin   here on my Recovery TOO! I just thought maybe…..After all is said, moved, and PACKED, I JUST might have another NEW BOOK in the MAKING!…LOL..

Thanks Everyone for all your kind words and Encouragement! May God Bless you,    *Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*

“True friends are families which you can select.” -Audrey Hepburn