Journey and Ramblings of Recovery by Author, Catherine Lyon . . .

I continue my recovery from my book "Addicted To Dimes" and information about my Addicted Compulsive Gambling, Childhood trauma & abuse, Dark family secrets, Recovery, and I ADVOCATE for those who can not, who have no voice, who suffer from Mental & Emotional illness & disorders. Gambling addiction is REAL, and it destroys lives. I have no ill will towards those who can gamble normally, but I many others can NOT. It's time we talk, inform, educate, and SHATTER the STIGMA of those who choose to live life in recovery! And for those who battle these other important topics.

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kitcatlyon

kitcatlyon

I live life in recovery, but my "PASSION" is also writing, blogging, authoring more books, and Advocating to help others in recovery. To help educate the public on the dangers of becoming addicted to gambling. I've achieved almost 8 years in recovery. I recently had to relocate from So. Oregon to Sunny Arizona. I've been married to my Soul-Mate for 25 years. I'm a Christian, a Cat Lover, 1/2 Italian and I have a Big Voice! ...LOL.

Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Yes, it has been a while since my last post here. I had been dealing with some health issues these past months and now, I'm almsot back to 100%! I was interviewed a month ago over on Author Shout and thought I would share some of the interview so we can all catch up and see what I ahve been working on lately. I am still a passionate advocate of Gambling Addiction and Recovery, but it seems of late I have been doing a lot of writing! That is god news as it gives me another platform to Raise Awareness, Educate, and Inform th public about the "ugly side of Gambling."  I hope you enjoy reading it and I'll be back with a new post for you very soon ... ODAAT & Stay Bet Free! ...Catherine :-)  



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INTERVIEW WITH Catherine Townsend-Lyon
 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

“My first and foremost thoughts before I write this are to send love, prayers, and condolences to all of those victims 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 those wounded?  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, Catherine Lyon 

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   "I will only use the word "shooter" as I write this article as I can not bring myself to write or say the shooters name in respect to all who got caught in this senseless mass shooting. I was sent a link to an article by a friend written courtesy of 'The New York Times.' I also read a couple more about the shooters gambling patterns, habits, and behaviors and had been risking money for years. 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 is not educated or informed about gambling addiction may not see the same warning signs and red flags I did or others who have or recovering from this deadly habit. 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. Even 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 multimillionaire and a "high stakes" recognized in the casinos in Nevada. A gambler who made many trips to gambling destinations like Reno, Vegas, and gamble on cruise lines. He liked playing $100 dollar a hand on video poker machines. But even millionaires can run out of money when addicted. Millionaires also carry out crimes and murder. One particular article recalled one time in 2007 the shooter stayed at the Mandalay Bay and entered a video poker machine contest. 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

I happen to be reading an article the other day in my AARP magazine I receive each quarter. Now I know you are thinking? What does Gambling have to do with AARP right? Well, there was a fantastic article that called slot machines "The New Electronic Crack." It got me thinking about my old days past within my gambling addiction. What was the draw to slot machines for me? Was it all the lights, bells, and whistles? Or was it the disease itself with the constant racing thoughts and triggers and urges abound? Do casinos really pump in oxygen to keep players alert? Well, I'm not sure, but anyone can become a gambling addict. 

Through the years of my 10 and half years in recovery, I remember when I first started advocating, blogging and talking loudly about this illness. I actually had people leave comments on "How Stupid" it was for a person to become addicted to slot machines and not horses, cards, or sports betting. Now, in their favor, back in the day, the most common gambling problems talked about was sports and horse betting. Sometimes you'd hear talk about "rolling bones" which is dice games. I took offense to some of the comments as it proved to me first, how ignorant people can be when they are misinformed or have no education about this addiction. And second, that STIGMA was wide spread within this dependency.  

Since moving here to Arizona from So. Oregon a few years ago, I was shocked to see how many Indian Casinos are all over this State. Now I know Oregon and California have casinos every as well, but here? IT IS LIKE Drug Addiction! Being the Indian Casinos are selling “Electronic Crack.” But I feel it is time for this "drug, " and the dark side of this addiction be exposed. It is time for the conversation and awareness of the personal and financial hardship this addiction causes. Not only is it attacking our seniors, but it also has reached our kids. There are currently 17+million problem gamblers in just the US alone, HALF of this number are high school and college kids. Another addiction parents have to talk to their children about along with drugs and alcohol. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Gambling addiction is the #1 addiction killing people by suicide. True! That is over drug and alcohol deaths. Anyone can become addicted to gambling.

When a person walks into a casino? They have YOU. It's why there are no windows or clocks around inside. Ever notice that? And they offer you free drinks and some free alcohol. They send you coupons for free play and discount hotel rooms and meals to keep you there longer. Marketing for casinos is a ploy to get you there and keep your money. Slot machines have the highest odds to the house as well. Which means, you rarely win. And seniors are taking the hit. As the gambling industry booms, aggressive marketing tactics are targeting older patrons. Now, to be fair, not everyone is a problem gambler or becomes addicted. But the expansion and more access can make staying in recovery much harder for those who are. 

Some of the past research I did when I wrote a post on my blog, I learned how seniors we becoming the target of predatory casino tactics. I read recently, of the 101 million visitors to America’s casinos in 2014 (the last year for which information was available), nearly half were age 55 or older, according to data from the gambling industry. In 2014, American casinos reported over $66 billion in gambling revenue, and much of that profit came from these older gamblers. 

Shared in my AARP article I read, that a study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies revealed that many older adults viewed the casino as a place where they can socialize and escape from loneliness or grief. When we retire, we seem to have more time on our hands.  And long gone are the days that you had to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to gamble thanks to the boom of the Indian Gambling offerings as of 1988 when the 'Indian Gaming Regulatory Act' which legalized casino development on Indian lands. 


That sparked an untightening of state prohibitions on gambling and a nationwide casino building boom. Today, 1,400 casinos are open across 40 states so far. In those states, casinos are especially attractive to seniors who prefer to drive themselves. States with bigger populations of adults over 55, include Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and where I lived Oregon previously. All of these states now have expanded Indian Casino gambling in recent years and now State Lottery offerings on top of that. 


For myself, I know I felt when I would first walk into a casino seeing the lights flashing and the noise and music. I got so excited that I was going to win, let alone what my brain chemicals were doing as I got so euphoric as if I did pop a pill, or stuck a needle in my arm. NOPE. IT WAS ALL Brain and Body doing an inside dance of excitement! So anyone can become addicted to gambling and for many reasons. 

BUT?

"Not All Addictions Are Substance Use Anymore."

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Addictionland Friends,

It has again been awhile since my last update and post, so I wanted to share an update on what's been happening in my life and recovery. Last time I shared about a new DVD series I had been working on with a friend and it is going well.  It will be to help others in early recovery and after treatment to learn how to begin the "inner work" needed and address underlying issues that arise when we begin our recovery journey.  Recovery is not a race it is a sober, clean, or bet free lifestyle.  It will be a lifelong work in progress.  It means you get to have a beautiful life and do the things you love without addictions.  If you need an aid to help you prevent relapse and start living a well-balanced recovery, make sure you check out this DVD Series by David McCauley here at Oak Valley Productions and Foundation...


Now it seems the Lord has another calling for me! Not only keep on my mission to help others in recovery from gambling addiction but now he has steered my ship back to writing.  Back in late 2012 after my first book was published, I began to help other authors by offering book promoting services after I found hope hard it is for to promote one's book and the hours, days, and months before it catches fire with readers. I was very successful and met loads of wonderful authors who became friends and did for almost 3 years. Then In Recovery Magazine came calling with an offer to write my own column in the mag, interview high profile clients who had new books was AWESOME! I did it for 2 years and meet many more new friends NOW?

I am back in the writing saddle and putting the finishing touches finally on my 2nd book, wrote a piece for Author, Emily Hayworth for here book on Amazon called; The Little Book Of SOBRIETY.
AND?
I am now co-writing a former NFL pro's Memoir with him! It has been awesome so far! I will keep you posted on the release. He is full of Sobriety and Recovery Wisdom besides his life story and NFL career. 

Catherine
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"What Does it Mean to be "Recovered" from Gambling Addiction"? 

It is interesting to me the lingo, words, and slogans used by others to describe their "recovery." But what does it mean to be recovered? Do we get to a point in our recovery from this cunning addiction and we are miraculously done? We stop having to go to meetings or support groups. That can not be further from the truth.  Let's look at the meaning of Recover; it means to "return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength and find or regain possession of (something stolen or lost). For me, recovery from addiction is an experience and journey, so it is hard to put it into words.

 

We know our life was stolen as we became lost in our gambling addiction. At least it did for me. And as far as; "return to a normal state"? That takes a lot of recovery work. Besides, is there really a "Normal State"?  Not in the state of our society we live in today.  Gambling has always been a form of entertainment and fun, and the offerings are ever expanding in both Indian Casinos, and State Lotteries, those trying to stay in recovery will never be totally "recovered" because of the temptations of these offerings are all around us, and It is why relapse is so high.

Why? 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Welcome Friends and Visitors!


YES, sorry that it has been a while since I have blogged about my journey and recovery from gambling addiction now 10+years IN!

I also have had many blessings come my way recently and thought I should share what I’m doing in my own recovery path. On of the beautiful things about recovery is we continue to grow when we have a plan in place for whatever life brings us. It can a new trial or test, or it can be an awesome learning opportunity. If we are NOT learning along the way, we become close minded and maybe not open to seeing all the miracles that happen in life and in our recovery journey!

Lately,  I have been on a journey myself of living wellness in LIFE. Yes, in life, not just in recovery. I have been craving more than “just” living a life in recovery and have learned we have many choices to get there. Our recovery is only a part of life. Living an authentic fun and peaceful life from addiction should be a goal when reaching long-term recovery.

We need to explore what we need to do to maintain and continue to grow, and there are many ways to accomplish this in both the treatment side and doing our inner work side, especially for those coming early into recovery. TWO great tools I have been using is an Educational DVD Series and finished reading the book; “Addiction To Recovery: Unlocking Your Potential.” They both have transformed my recovery. The book is the material used for the DVD’S.




And if you have been in recovery from gambling addiction long-term, let’s face it; you don’t need to be a person who works in the field of treating gambling addicts to know there has not been much development in treatment options for those of us who become addicted gambling. And, there is much confusion of what to call a gambler who becomes addicted. Labeling a disease I feel adds to the “stigma” around many addictions let alone gambling, and hampers many who may seek for help.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction





It can be a ‘hidden addiction’ when it comes to youth. You cannot see it in their eyes, or smell it in their breath and there are no scars on their body. However, problem gambling can be seen as the ‘gate way’ to several high-risk behaviors and problems. Gambling is a serious addiction and has […] 9 MAJOR CONSEQUENCES OF YOUTH PROBLEM GAMBLING — TEENS AND THEIR FRUIT MACHINES ….



RECOVERY Guest Post ~ Courtesy of ‘Teens and Their Fruit Machines’ Australia….And It IS Happening In The USA.”

 

 ABOUT:

Teens & Their Fruit Machines is a campaign aimed at raising awareness towards the increase in problem gambling, amongst our youth

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“It can be a ‘hidden addiction’ when it comes to youth. You cannot see it in their eyes, or smell it in their breath and there are no scars on their body.”


However, problem gambling can be seen as the ‘gateway’ to several high-risk behaviors and problems. Gambling is a serious addiction and has damaging effects on not only the victim but also their family and friends.  With all of the statistics telling us how many young individuals are affected by this addiction, it’s important to recognize the consequences and problems they face from gambling.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

“MORE NOW Than ever we need to “Have The Conversation” about Problem Gambling.”  With the ever growing expansion of gambling options, now comes the risk of more people affected and may become problem gamblers. My mission for my blog is to educate, inform, help, and raise awareness of problem gambling and gambling addiction."

Here now is a message from my friends and hardworking advocates at “The National Council on Problem Gambling"….

 

The National Council on Problem Gambling Goals:

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.  The 2017 PGAM theme is “Have the Conversation” and the goals of this national campaign are:

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

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!

 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Happy Holidays Recovery Friends,



So another holiday season is upon us and those of us in recovery can have a tough time around the holidays. I have in the past with self-sabotaging my Christmas season. How do you ask? Let me share a "war story of Christmas past." We can learn and grow in recovery when we safely look at "Then & Now of Christmas's Past" as an addicted or problem gambler."



Image result for copy free images of casino gambling at me Christmas t

 

Many of us in recovery advocate to show to others who still suffer from this cunning addiction the importance of sharing our experiences, strength, and hope with others when we do tell some of our "war stories." It does show how insidious this addiction is. It is one the area's I don't feel is proper about 12-Step programs. They tell us not to share war stories as it could maybe trigger someone in a meeting. But, if we don't learn from these mistakes or choices, how do look back and find growth in our recovery? Yes, you can see growth by just doing the 12-steps, but many need more than that to recover fully. I know I did.

I recall one Christmas that has to be my worst within my gambling addiction and will never forget because I was gambling out of desperation. And it is why I make sure all holidays now are safe, happy and full of JOY. It was back in 2005. Our home we had lived and worked very hard for had to be sold through a short sale or we would have lost everything we put into it. But even then, it felt like we lost it as we are still paying on the balance that was not covered by the sale. It also caused me to make a few bad choices, residual addicted "thinking,: I had committed a crime that big catastrophy I wrote about in my memoir, and I was reeling. I stopped taking my bipolar meds, then took them all at once! I was so angry with myself, feeling so much shame, guilt, low self-worth and again suicidal because 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.


We were so financially broke. The guilt and shame would hit me each year hard as I knew much was my fault why we were. I remember being in JCPenney walking around aimlessly wishing I could buy this or that for the family for Christmas. Luckily all our family lived in other states than Oregon. So I had to do the same lame thing I had done for many past Christmas's, just send a card. It was tough already that we both had job loss, the very beginning of the economy and markets were getting ready to pop. We had a hard time finding good paying jobs, and I ended up back in an addiction/mental health crisis again with another breakdown right after the holidays. It was all too much!


When I got released from the crisis center, I knew I had a lot more recovery inner work< which included financial inventory to take and work on. I had been doing well in my recovery and 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. 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends & Visitors,


I am very Honored to share an article that just released and was written by Award-Winning NYT Best-Selling Author and Journalist for Time.com, The Pacific Standard, and Vice, Maia Salazvitz .....  


She had come across my Gambling Recovery Blog, "Gambling Recovery Starts Here" and gave me a call. She was working on an article that researched the NEUROSCIENCE behind a gambling addict, ...... me. Well, was. She emailed me to let me know it had finally released and so I thought I would share a little of the interview and article with all my recovery friends here. YOU can read the whole full article right here: http://nautil.us/issue/40/learning/addicted-to-anticipation  as it gives an in-depth look and understanding about the brain and thinking that takes over when you cross the line into uncontrolled compulsive gambling.

This is a Proud Honor for me and If feel "humbled and blessed" to have been a part of this major media article ....


 

Addicted to Anticipation

What goes wrong in the brain chemistry of a gambling addict.

 

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