Do You Have Still a Victim Mentality? You May Still Be Harboring Resentments, Anger, & Denial. Change Your Attitude is Part of Doing Your Recovery Work …

For those who begin their recovery journey, one thing is clear. If we don’t learn to “let go” of the “Victim Mentality” while doing our inside recovery work? It may keep getting in your way to grow within recovery. 

To keep moving forward within your recovery journey, we begin learning to let things go, begin to set boundaries, be open to accepting the fact that we can’t go back and adjust or change what has already happened while deep into our addiction.  It is easy to recognize the victim mentality in our friends or family, but it is hard to recognize it in ourselves.  When we feel powerless in our situations, we try to place the blame on something else to protect ourselves.

Even those who seem healthy and well-adjusted can be suffering silently with a victim mentality. Having a victim mentality can prevent us from growing as we don’t learn from our experiences, rather we separate ourselves from them and point fingers.

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Effects of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation | Peaks Recovery

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It also can hold us hostage and keep us from changing our situations, because we fail to recognize that we have the power to change our situations.  The victim mentality is very seductive; it offers affirmation, sympathy, a comfortable and quiet lifestyle, and removes responsibility from our lives.  However, it doesn’t offer peace, power, or progression.  So how do you know if you have a victim mentality? 

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Take the time to carefully consider the questions below.

When something goes wrong, do you blame someone else?

Are you still angry about something someone did to you in your past?

Do you feel powerless to change your life?

Do you believe that things will never change for you?

Do you feel unhappy?

Can you blame your unhappiness on others in your life?

Do you feel that if someone else changed something, then you would be happy?

Do you have a hard time forgiving others, including yourself?

Do you believe that your future holds mostly pain and sorrow? 

Are you afraid to take risks?

Do you frequently find excuses for your lifestyle (age, size, sex, education, background, etc.)?

Do you review your failures, mistakes, and shortcomings often?

Are you frustrated when friends offer you suggestions for how you can change?

Do you often begin phrases with “I cant..” or “I’m not got at…”

Are you thinking of someone else as you read these questions?

If you answered yes to 8 or more of these questions, you may be trapped in a victim mentality.

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Pin by Robyn on Quotes, Poems and LOL | Victim quotes, Victim ...

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HERE ARE WAYS TO BREAK FREE OF BEING A VICTIM

Recognize Where You Are

Most people who are trapped in a victim mentality do not even realize that they are.  They often turn to people who take advantage of them because they do not think they have a choice.  You need to recognize that the common denominator in your circumstances is you.  Only you have the ability to change your life, and you need to allow yourself to change.  Take the time to decide that you can let go of your victim mentality.  Stop thinking about how you have been wronged and start thinking about how you can move forward.  

Forgive

C.R. Strahan said “Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”

Forgiveness is not excusing or forgetting what happened, it is giving yourself the tools and ability to move forward.  Forgiveness is giving yourself permission to be ok even after you have experienced terrible suffering.  The person who has wronged you doesn’t even need to say sorry in order for you to forgive them, as forgiveness is not for them, but for you.  It is ok if forgiveness does not come immediately.
It takes time.  Be patient with yourself; emotional wounds take far longer to heal than physical ones.  For more help on learning to forgive, check out this blog.

Take Ownership and Responsibility

One of the key indicators of a person with a victim mentality is that they constantly blame everyone around them when things go wrong.  You need to take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming others and making excuses.  Start finding opportunities for growth.  You are in control of your life.  Instead of saying “I have to” or “I need to” (blaming situations for your actions) start saying “I’m choosing to”.  

Be Grateful and Serve

Be grateful for your circumstances, as someone always does have it worse.  There is always an opportunity to be found even in the hardest of trials and instead of asking “Why?” ask “What can I learn from this?”

Then, turn your focus outwards and find someone that you can help.  Volunteer in a soup kitchen, volunteer at an animal shelter, or simply write a heartfelt note to a friend.  Your life will feel more fulfilling and valuable and you also build self-worth. Then dedicate your time being of recovery service to others.  It makes your heart feel good! 💞💝

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A Special Guest Recovery Writer and Soon To Be New Author. Meet My Amazing Friend Deb Morgan …

A Special Guest Recovery Writer and Soon To Be New Author. Meet My Amazing Friend Deb Morgan …

“We all have a recovery story to tell ~ at least one within us to share”

When we come to a point in recovery that we are ready to advocate and begin to share it, it can be a powerful tool to help those just beginning their recovery journey. That is why and what my dear friend Deb Morgan is about to do. And, no, she’s the Deb Morgan from DEXTER …LOL.

She is a part of an amazing project and book that will be released early spring with some other amazing authors. She lives in Oregon where I lived for many years and I am so jealous as Deb knows Oregon is where my heart will always be! I surely won’t spoil any in-depth info of her book she’ll be in and finishing touches are still being done.

I thought I’d give you a preview in sharing her most recent blog post to give my friends here who visit a little of what’s to come from by Deb.  She did, however, share some early reading feedback that the book just might be the next “Chicken Soup For The Soul” a self-help book series.

The book project is being arranged by a guy who I am sure when you learn who? Everyone will be very familiar with who he is. The first book and subsequent titles in the series consist of inspirational true stories about ordinary people’s lives, overcoming, and much more. I am excited for Deb and can’t wait to read her book this spring!

Enjoy this post by Deb and make sure you visit her blog titled ‘Deb-Spot-Telling My Truth One Word At A Time’

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ADDICTION: The Trigger   By 12/12/2019 / Addiction

I don’t know any addict that woke up one morning and said: “I think I will become an addict today.” It just doesn’t happen that way. It is a slow progressive process, that hides. Some don’t ever get addicted or try a drug that makes them feel good, or normal.

Over ninety percent of the addicts have had a multitude of trauma in their lives. Trauma that was so deeply troubling that is broke part of their soul. Or it could be a mental condition and they self-medicated to feel normal. I picked Percocet. After living through trauma from the day I was born, I tried other drugs before settling on pills. Then Percocet became my drug of choice. This drug would eventually attack and I would come close to complete destruction of myself, my family, my life!

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The Trigger?

So what is a “Trigger”? It’s the final thing causing a person to go into full addiction. I am asked why people go to cocaine or heroin, crack, etc.? It tells your brain what you have to put into your body to stave off withdrawal. You see, just because someone starts with alcohol that does not mean it will be their final drug of choice.
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Our brain doesn’t care our body needs a drug, causing steady normality. Drug and Alcoholism are the same diseases just in different wrapping paper. Crack and methamphetamine are the poor man’s drugs. Cocaine is for the rich and people who can afford it. Heroin is a replacement for opiates, cheaper on the street and hard to get from doctors.

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Addiction begins with the hope that something “out there” can instantly fill up the emptiness inside. ~ Jean Kilborne~

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So What Happens Next?

In closing the human mind has an extremely strong power of denial and deception. People who are in the throws of drug addiction cannot see it and their brain won’t accept it. Addiction starts out innocent enough. I drank with my friends at school.

I hated the taste of hard liquor I thought I would never drink it again. So did I keep drinking it? Of course, at the time it was fun, I was young and rebelling against the pain in my life. It would come to be my nemesis in a different form and face.

One I would fight for my life with.

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WHO Is Deb Morgan?


I started writing and talking openly about my journey about 5 years ago. Writing my story and getting it out in the world as far as I could is my goal.

I started out thinking someday I would get a book written and had no idea how to begin to do it. So I started writing, then a website, then an opportunity for a radio show, then another and I just kept refusing to give up. I was asked to be on a show a few months ago in 2019, from there life would change to the point where I don’t even know which way it is going.

I have had 15 radio spots, 2 podcasts, and was invited to be in a book titled Simply amazing women coming mothers day 2020. I will then publish my book “TRAPPED” in 2020. ” There will be another book on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain in 2021. Then there are a couple more on the chart that is coming.  A dream isn’t a dream anymore when we do the work, it can become a reality. “ I am living proof of that.

When we want something bad enough that will be helpful for someone else, that is the hope that it does exactly that, help and give hope. Deb resides outside Eugene, Oregon with her family.

 

Was Problem Gambling A Factor For The Las Vegas Mass Shooter? News About It Around The Web…

Was Problem Gambling A Factor For The Las Vegas Mass Shooter? News About It Around The Web…

“My first and foremost thoughts before my post are to send love, prayers, and condolences to all of those who were lost and the families suffering a loss of loved ones by another senseless shooting.

I wish a speedy recovery for all those who were injured. To them? I want to say, PLEASE, if you begin to experience any delayed trauma or symptoms of PTSD, do not hesitate to reach out for help. There is NO SHAME in doing so. Know you are loved and not alone. The world and I have you in our prayers”
~Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend- Lyon

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I was sent a link to an article that was put out courtesy of The New York Times and found a couple more I will be sharing snippets within my post. The first was about the shooters gambling patterns and behaviors. As I have shared through social media, the more I read and heard coming from news reports, my gut feeling was telling me that this disgusting man may have had a gambling problem.

For the regular person who has NO CLUE about having a problem or addicted to gambling, would not see the same warning signs as I or others who have. While detectives and FBI profilers grapple with finding the motive or the WHY the shooter had killed, I think his gambling played a role in some way.

 


“He was a high-stakes gambler recognized in the casinos of Nevada. He dabbled in real estate investments in Texas. His last known full-time employment was 30 years ago. He was twice divorced. He had a pilot’s license and had owned two single-engine planes.”
(courtesy – The NY)

Now CNN and MSNBC happen to make a few remarks ‘off the cuff’ about the shooters gambling, but not in a way that would link it to be a factor in what this disturbed man carried out. Oh, they mentioned he was a millionaire, he made many trips to gambling destinations like Reno, Vegas, and gamble on cruise lines. He liked playing a $100 dollar a hand on video poker machines. Even millionaires can run out of money when addicted. Millionaires also carry out crimes and murder.

And as you all know I am a recovering compulsive gambler, so when I read that in another article I just laughed. The paper wrote he would act ‘isolated’ when playing the machines, no smiles, no talking to others around him. That is called being “zoned out” when you have been playing for hours. What many don’t know when those machines, they are NOT like playing poker at a table. When you’re on video poker machines, each card that is dealt by the machine has a deck of electronic cards behind it!

So it is impossible for one to “card count” regardless if you were an accountant and are a “methodical math or numbers buff” when playing these machines. You are literally playing with 5 decks. The shooter was hitting machines that claimed a high 90’s percentage payout or payback while playing, but even then? The house is usually the one who will win not the player in the long run.

 

 

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“Details about Mr. Paddock’s career and livelihood were sparse, aside from observations by neighbors and family members that he routinely gambled large amounts of money. “He was a gambler, that was his job,” his brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday at his home in Orlando. “He was a wealthy guy, playing video poker, who went cruising all the time and lived in a hotel room.”


The statement above kind of makes you laugh. If people were making a real living as a video poker player? Wouldn’t there be loads of them in the press and news? And I’m sure there would be even more people not becoming addicted gamblers right?

Having a problem with gambling or being addicted has many phases to ones down spiral into a black abyss. It is also a doubled edged sword. If you are winning? You think you will win each time you gamble. But if you take a big loss? You will be out chasing lost dollars and keep gambling thinking you can win back your money. Las Vegas is in the business to MAKE money, your money.

So they will entice you with many “perks” as they comp meals and rooms to keep you there or come often. And perks is how he met his current girlfriend by the way. She worked in the industry as a “High Limit Hostess.” Most all casinos have them. Same with going to the bars or dance clubs.

They have “drink ladies” to mix up all your drinks and keep you ordering more alcohol when you PAY for a table. It sure is different times. It used to be, and maybe still is, that casinos gave away alcoholic drinks as the gambler played to try and make you feel “special,” keep playing longer as the more you drink the more stupid you get with money! Lol.

 

“The Shooter was 64, lived with his current girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62.
She worked as a “high-limit hostess” at the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev. from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account. On Monday, the casino said that she left the company several years ago. High-limit hostesses attend to members of a loyalty club called Club Paradise who spend large quantities of money and receive discounted hotel rooms, meals and other amenities, according to the casino’s website.”

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So, was it really fun and games for the shooter when he played? Was it just numbers for him? Was it he just had to WIN? Or was he chasing some loss? The Los Angeles Times reported.

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“The shooter wanted to win and, like any savvy video poker player, he knew which machine to lock down at Mandalay Bay.

“There was only one in the casino — a Jacks-or-better 9-6 machine, meaning it paid 9-to-1 credits on the full house and 6-1 on the flush and offered the casino only a slim advantage. Mandalay Bay was having a contest for a $100,000 drawing and players, based on the amount of their play the next day, would get tickets to enter. He got ready to work.

David Walton, a video poker playing pro, headed down to the casino floor early to nab the good machine. 

There sat the shooter. Not playing it. Just sitting there. Waiting. Walton settled into the machine next to him — not one with as generous a payout schedule — and waited for midnight. When it struck, the shooter hit the machine lightning quick, going at a rate of $120,000 per hour.

He barely spoke. Walton said Paddock played 24 hours straight that day in 2007. Before the drawing, Walton wandered over to look at the 4-foot-by-4-foot drum holding all the tickets to the drawing to size up his chances at the $100,000.” (courtesy LA Times)

“Those hopes were diminishing quickly.  “Every ticket on there I saw through the mesh said ‘Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock, Walton said. “He won.”


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Now, my feelings are the shooter may have won that day, but a decade later, he would ride an elevator up to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, smash out two windows in his suite with a hammer, and aim a 10-minute, rapid-fire volley of gunfire at the 22,000 people gathered below for a country music festival and as he hit hundreds he killed 58 and injured hundreds more. The shooters brother Eric Paddock told reporters last week, “he gambled for more than 20 years.

“Successfully …. He did it because it was a way to have a fun life, and he didn’t go poor or broke doing it.”

Well, sorry, I would have to disagree. If gambling brought so much fun in his life, why did he feel he needed to KILL? Had he finally hit his”rock bottom”?

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I guess we won’t know for many weeks to come. Now that investigators had sent and served many search warrants on the shooters financial holdings and assets, I am sure we will get those answers.

Was he going broke? Had he blew through all his millions of money? As a recovering addicted gambler, I know just how fast it happens. The shooter is not immune to the dangers of gambling addiction. He is human. Just because you think you can afford a gambling habit, does not make you again immune to becoming an addict. If he wasn’t having money problems from his gambling?

Then maybe the disease took a mental and emotional toll on him and had begun to take over. Gambling is a 24/7 addiction. Even after you walk away from the slot or video poker machine, a card table, craps or roulette wheel.

I know, I had been there. It is exhausting. And it is why many first coming into treatment do have some mental health issues like I did. I had to be on Wellbutrin for over a year from all the obsessive gambling had depleted my brain chemical that triggers your “pleasure and reward” area of my brain.

I also was put on anti-anxiety medication as it was in “high mania” mode when first coming to the crisis center AFTER my hospital stay from my first suicide attempt which was not my last. That is how bad I had spiraled down into “blackness.” Of course, I was severely depressed as well.

So as I close, let us remember that many families and loved ones are holding funerals and memorials for their loved one who were taken to soon and in a senseless way. It is NOT about the shooter. And again, my condolences to those families dealing with the loss.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN Prevented if we had gun control laws in the books. That is another post for another day…

Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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(News Snippets Courtesy of “LA Times & The New Times” Referenced Articles)

How Do We Really Know When We Are Over Emotional Abuse? Author, Annie Kaszina May Have The Answer!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors,

One of my favorite things to do when I am not super busy is to visit many other blogs and websites that have good solid information and helpful advice. That is what you will find when visiting Annie Kaszina’s website. She is an author and coach and is a must site for all my friends who have been through Emotional Abuse.

It was one my underlying issues of why I turned to gambling addiction. I found her recent article interesting and helpful, so I wanted to share some of it here. I hope you will go visit her website to read the full article: “Recovery From Emotional Abuse.”

Use and Abuse 1( Courtesy & By ANNIE KASZINA )

“How do you know when you are over emotional abuse?” is, in my experience, the question least asked.  Abuse survivors ask, instead, a) “Can I heal after all that I have been through?”,  b) “How long will it take to get over this?” and c) “How soon will I feel better?”

All three are important questions which I have written about before – and, doubtless, will write about again.  Meanwhile, for those who might want quick answers, here goes:

  1. It is always possible to heal – no matter what you have been through. However, healing will require you to step out of your default thinking about being somehow broken.
  2. Feeling better hinges on your feelings of self-worth rather than the passage of time. For as long as you keep reliving the hurt, you cannot get over it.
  3. You only have to start rebuilding your feelings of self-worth to feel better. To keep feeling better and better, you only need to keep growing your feelings of self-worth. That is perfectly realistic.  However, if you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship, your feelings of self-worth will take some nurturing.  Those feelings are, at best, mere seedlings.  They deserve to grow into oak trees. 

“How do you know when you are over emotional abuse?”  

This takes us right back to our opening question, “How do you know when you are over emotional abuse?”  We need to start the answer from an understanding of how the process of abuse actually works. Two key things happen to anyone who is at the sharp end of an abusive relationship,

  • You hear/experience an awful lot of negative things about yourself.
  • You take them on board as your truth.

Emotionally abusive partners are not the world’s most generous creatures.  There is just one thing that they “lavish’ on you.  That thing is, of course, vilification.

Vilification is the language of the Vile.

Vilification is, as nobody else seems to have said, the language of the Vile.  Abusers say vile things about their victims.  They, also, treat their victims vilely. We, the abused, take that vileness on board and imagine that it is our own.

When an emotional abuser moves on, he (or she) will gather up their worldly goods and assets (plus as many as yours as they can get away with taking).  The one thing that they are in no rush to take back in their vilification.  That, as they see it, is their enduring contribution to your life.  They leave it with you.  You own it.  And it continues to make your life a misery.

So, how do you know when you are over emotional abuse?

You are over the emotional abuse when you don’t buy into the vilification of yourself any longer.  Now, I don’t know how big of a deal that sounds to you. However, it is not quite as easy to do as it may sound.  The reason is simple – you probably don’t have the faintest idea of the process of vilification that you routinely put yourself through.

Vilification signs you need to listen out for

What are the vilification signs that you need to listen for – in yourself?

  • Do you think of yourself as stupid, or weak?
  • Do you think you are “broken”?
  • Do you worry that you can never have a good, happy future – because of what you have been through?
  • Do you feel unlovable?
  • Do you doubt whether a decent man would ever want to love and cherish you?

 

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So, please stop by Annie’s website and read the “rest of the story”  Recover From Emotional Abuse. Her Free Report Here: https://anniekaszina.leadpages.co/7things/

 

My Recovery Guest Article of the Week. Trauma and Healing.

Woman.

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Healing after Trauma ~ By Christine Hill

Trauma isn’t a new or unique story in the world today. In fact, some psychologists have stated that we have an epidemic of trauma in our society, without the tools to recover from it. Trauma can be any event in your life that sends you into an extreme state of stress, fear, and helplessness. It can be physical or mental abuse in the home, a cataclysmic natural disaster, or a chronic sickness.

In any case, the primary goal after trauma is to find a way to heal. For some, this comes naturally with time. For others, recovery is a difficult process for which they’ll need help. Unchecked, trauma can cause a multitude of disorders and harmful behaviors, from PTSD to schizophrenia to addiction and risk-taking behaviors.

Here are some ways to help patients recovering from trauma find healing and peace in their lives:

Step 1: Restabilize and Find Safety

The thing about trauma is that it makes us feel unsafe and helpless. A heightened stress response keeps triggering, sending us right back to that place where we felt threatened. The most important first step to take after trauma is to re-establish safety.

“Safety” will look differently for everyone. As children, we learn to rely on others to establish safety for us. However, sometimes that system breaks down, and as we grow, we become responsible for creating a safe place for ourselves.

The first step in recovering from trauma may consist of breaking from the traumatic event or situation that you’re in. This might mean a move. It might mean breaking from certain people or patterns in your life. It might even mean using certain help or resources available in order to leave and find a new place where you can be safe and rebuild.

Establish Healthy Patterns

Most recovering patients of trauma find safety in patterns in their lives. After feeling completely helpless and out of control, it’s comforting to have something that’s in your control. Practicing self-care also supports the body’s healthy systems, empowering you to counteract the effects of trauma. Some healthy patterns will include:

  • Getting proper sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Steering clear of substances that will alter your mental state
  • Exercise

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early in the morning


All of these things help to balance the hormones in your system which have been thrown off by extreme stress. True, it’s easier said than done. After trauma, night terrors can interrupt our sleep. We feel powerless to set up new healthy habits like exercise. And we reach for things that grant immediate comfort and numbness, which is why trauma and substance abuse are so often paired. However, substance abuse perpetuates the pattern of trauma, and continues to throw off our self-regulatory systems, which can prolong your recovery, and send you back into a mental state that will aggravate the harmful effects of trauma, instead of leading to a path of healing.

Connect with Others

Another cruel effect of trauma is that it often causes us to feel isolated. The separation between ourselves and everyone who hasn’t experienced the trauma can feel too great to overcome. It can be hard to reconnect with people who seem to expect you to be the same old person you were before the trauma entered your life, or you might fear having to confront the trauma and having to explain it to others.

However, studies have shown that people who reach out after trauma heal much faster. You have a choice about whether trauma will cripple you, or whether you will use it as an experience that enables you to help others. Here are some suggestions to get you going:

  • Join a survivor group. Talking with others who have experienced similar things will help you remember that you are not alone. Learning about the coping strategies that have helped them will give you ideas for things to try in your life. Reaching out and striving to problem-solve with others can motivate you to find creative solutions for your own problems.

 

  • Reconnect with people who care about you. The people in your life who love and care about you can be a touchstone of sanity and safety when everything feels out of control. If you’re lucky enough to have a few people who will fight for you, make time for you, patiently listen to you, and sacrifice for you, take advantage of that gift. Remember that you don’t have to talk about traumatic experiences that have shaken you. Take your time, and ask for what you need. Be patient with yourself and with others.

 

  • Volunteer. One of the best ways to recover from trauma is to look for the good. It’s reminding yourself that you still have the power to effect positive change – not just in yourself, but in those around you. Helping others gets us outside of ourselves and helps us to see things in a different way. It helps us make new connections and realize the power that we do have. Volunteering can be an opportunity to build new memories and experiences that can counter the memory and experience of trauma in our lives.


Reach out for Help

Visiting psychologist

Group of people visiting course of psychological therapy…

 

A difficult step for many trauma survivors is knowing when to reach out for professional help. Many of us feel we can overcome the problems by ourselves, or we fear the emotional impact of reliving traumatic events. However, trauma therapists are specially trained to help patients come to terms with the events in their past, to empower them to rewrite their own stories and find a way to make daily life more functional and more enriching.


If you are having a hard time connecting with others, functioning in society – whether that’s getting daily chores done, or holding down a job, getting a good night’s rest, or building healthy patterns in your life, a therapist can give you tools and perspective that you might need in order to rebuild after trauma.


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*Author Note: I want to thank Christine Hill for a wonderful article. Since I am a trauma and sex abuse survivor myself, I could have used this advice when I finally disclosed to my parents what had happened to me as a little girl. Would the outcome have been different for me to the way the way my parents reacted?

Knowing how my parents were? Most likely not, but it may have been less traumatic for me, how having to go through the process of explaining it to them. I hope this article will help those who are still holding on to any past pain. Please, it is time to let it go  .  .  .  

 

Sharing my past Addiction, Recovery, Living With Mental Illness, and Childhood Trauma to Help others is INTEGRITY.

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and Welcome New Visitors,

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Learning to live a life of Integrity in Recovery.  .  .  .

Many times, we as bloggers and advocates wonder if there is anyone reading what we have to share about of our lives. Not because we want to be popular or be noticed, we want to share our lives as an open book to the world, just wanting others out there may will find some comfort or happiness in our words. Many people blog for many different reasons. You don’t have to blog because of the negative things in your life, many blog to share their life journey for many positive reasons. Hell, some people blog just to learn to write better, share their bucket list, and the list goes on.

Blogging about ones past character defects, maybe poor choices, addiction, recovery, childhood trauma and abuse, and living with mental and emotional health issues can be a challenge. Yes, all that is a mouth full, but it was given to me in my life to learn from it, and I also see it as an opportunity to share it all, share what I have learned along my recovery journey to help others. It’s why I started this blog to begin with. My blog has helped me move from just writing about my recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, into a safe area where I can share what I went through with childhood sex trauma and abuse, and writing about living with mental illness.

Blogging has built my self-worth, and has helped me learn to embrace what I have been through in my past, in order for me to live a life of freedom from all of it. And even though I am still going through therapy for my mental health problems, I can share this with others too so they know there is no SHAME to do so, and that there is no shame of getting help. I want to let others know who may be going through what I am that it will, and it does get better, and let them have a voice here on my blog. A place where they can feel safe to share what they want. To me?
That is part of what Integrity means to me.

I want to share a perfect example of this fact. An example of exactly why I started this blog.
I want to share a resent comment made by a friend/follower that I met on LinkedIn about a year ago, and we have learned we have a lot in common. We visit each others sites, and connect a lot on LinkedIn. Now, like I told her, I’m not one who is comfortable tooting my horn, so I would share her comment her as she honored me with an award, but that part of my recovery, I’m still “a work in progress.” LOL.  I’m still learning acceptance of compliments and praise.
I know, . . . crazy, but it’s true. Addiction sucks the self-worth and confidence right out of a person, so we have to learn “we are worth more, not less.”. . . Funny right?

So here is the beautiful comment that was made here on my blog, and how I also responded back to the commenter:

So, we’ve been doing this discovery and recovery thing together for what seems to be a year now. S/o to the anniversary of a blessed friendship between you & I, Catherine! It’s kind of wild how that all boils down to me coming across another one of your brave, powerful and healing posts. I find myself in many ways, compelled, to testify to you on this powerful platform you’ve created here. I was touched as a very, very small child. By my mother’s boyfriend. The memories were so deeply locked away, I didn’t come to terms with their existence being real, not fake, until last year (in deep midst of my spiritual journey). I have only since, told my mother. Who, though believing of my trauma, was almost too believing, if that makes sense. As if, she already knew. In her heart. And was waiting for the moment when she’d have to be fully honest with that truth.

As a child, my mother always made a really big deal about telling her if someone touched me. As big a deal, as adults made about not talking to strangers back then (early 90’s, when child abductions and kidnappings were rampant). I never understood why she made such a big fuss. Never. Until I had to come to terms with one of my most haunting and buried truths. It all made sense. Her intuition knew better. But her heart and ego wouldn’t allow her to see. So as her spirit begged me to force her eyes to see, what her mind and heart had blinded, her physical ignored all signs. All signs.

I haven’t told anyone else this, outside of my mom, until now. Until you. Until this post. I haven’t even dared to pretend to write about it on my blog. What will I say? That I have memories from a time in my childhood that are so deep and buried, any “logical” person would question its validity? That’s why this piece your wrote is so powerful for me. It allows me to accept that even though I’m grown now, and powerful in my own might, I still dare to be afraid that they won’t believe me. That he’ll continue to win. As he has for the past 20 something years. Then there’s the fact that he is also the father of my younger brother. There is this guilt in me, that tells me to remain quiet for the sake of my brother. But Lord knows, I know better by now. I AM better by now. That’s why I chose to take up your offer here, and share my recovery. I am ready to heal this part of my broken childhood. Thank you Catherine.

Actually, I came on your blog here today, to honor and recognize you, in all you’re doing with this blog and book promotion company. And then I found myself in midst of it again. The Catherine Lyon Experience of Recovery and Healing! Ha ha! You’re magical woman! I’ve already made it loud and clear how much your blog, mission and bravery mean to me! So, I’ll save the words, and simply parade the symbol. I hereby, nominate you Catherine, and this amazing Recovery Blog for the “Real Neat Blogger Award.”  Not sure how many accolades you already have, but it is my honor to be able to add to them in appreciation of all you do. If you choose to accept, you can find the deets here –> http://wp.me/p3Zjs6-Pw.
Peace & Blessings beautiful Catherine! And salute to many more years of a growing and beautiful friendship!

Now Here Is My Reply:

“I am speechless and read this with tears in my eyes Ms. Shaquana.
Many times I think to myself as I write and share my life experiences here if anyone really reads and FEEL what I try to share of myself. Your comments here proves that you never know when we share our God Given Journey, who it may touch, if anyone at all? I try to empower others to be in touch with their inner self as to not hold all the negative we may have been through in our childhoods hold us back any longer.”

You have touched my heart today with sharing your thoughts and feelings here with No Shame or Judgment. I want others like yourself to know this will ALWAYS be a safe place for all to share, and to have your voice heard and validated.

And yes, since we first met on LinkedIn, I know we were “kindred spirits” and that God had brought us together in this moment in time. Thank You for trusting in me to share your inner most pain. I bless you that you that you finally find that inner peace you SO deserve my dear friend.

I also appreciate the Honor of the award nom. I will put a special blog post to share your beautiful thoughts and share in the award. I don’t have a specific page for those, as I don’t like to “toot my own horn”. . LOL. But this one I will share.

May God Bless you abundantly,
Catherine XOXO
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I guess this answers my question, if people really read and can feel what I write and share here.
I truly did have tears when I read her comments. And it validates exactly what I try to do here on my recovery blog. I know it is a lot to share, recovery from addicted gambling, living with mental and emotional disorders, and moving through all the fear, hurt and pain of a traumatic past childhood. Writing about it, and sharing with others seems to me the only way to raise awareness, help others understand, and educate others on how these issues affect many personally. That is also what Integrity means to me.

INTEGRITY is being of recovery service to others. It IS what has helped me stay in recovery for the past 8 years and 3 months.  .  .  .

About This Beautiful Woman ~ Shaquana Gardner
Her Blog: shaquanagardner.wordpress.com which I hope you’ll visit!

Shaquana S. Gardner
Current: Founder/ Adaptive Creative Specialist at Gardner Creative Consulting.

 

Shaquana Gardner

Shaquana Gardner

I believe we were born to dream and dreams are born to live. Founder of Gardner Creative Consulting. Founder of EverythingShaquana.com. Human. Writer. Blogger. Educator. Activist. Jack of all trades extraordinaire. .  .  .
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real-neat-blog-award

Real Neat Blogger Award Nomination Noms!

Please take some time and go visit these wonderful Honored Bloggers!
*Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*

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“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)