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 and Happy Valentines Day Recovery Friends,


Sometimes our higher power brings others in our lives at "just that right moment" when we start to think why we do what we do in recovery for others. I know I have felt this way before myself many times. Just when all the writing, blogging, freelance articles, and having my soul lay open bare for all to read, you wonder if anyone is listening. If there are people being helped with my God given purpose in life to help others recover from the financial ravages and devastation of addicted gambling addiction. Adnan's story is very sensational, but the truth is what he say's about how he felt. About being driven by a disease that is so cunning, that the disease will invade and corrupt even your thoughts and feelings that drive action. NO, no excuses here, nor any denial or blame.

Just insight as to how any addition can drive you to a point of hopelessness and poor choices. Adnan has taken his ownership and accountability for what he has done within his gambling addiction. He currently is serving a 17 year prison sentence. And has wrote and was just published this past Fall. So it's why I'm sharing a blog post I just did on my own recovery blog. His story needs to be shared and heard everywhere, as it serves as a "wake up call" to the constant expansion of Casinos and States Lotteries.

Here's Adnan Alisic Story:

A true story straight out of the News Headlines about an Addicted Gambler ~ Lets put faces behind Gambling Addiction the Disease. . .
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“Not only is a group of men charged in the theft of $2 million cash from an armored truck at an East Valley casino, but they could also be accused of stealing from some Hollywood scripts. A FBI search warrant affidavit and federal indictment records provide new details of the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick that some movie buffs might find familiar.”

Attempted Casino Arizona robbery like a Hollywood movie” ~ said the Associated Press ~

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The attempted robbery of $2 million from a casino on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a real-life incident, according to newly released court documents.

Officials are charging Ismar K, Adnan Alisic, Bakil, and Daniel M{ not wanting to use the others charged – full names}, with conspiracy, interference with commerce by threats, violence and robbery, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence in the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick, according to their indictment and a FBI search warrant affidavit outlined.

Adnan Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other. Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
The men’s gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,


Here is the back story to this blog post. Most of you know me, and I don't care for Stigma, or others who have no idea what it is like to live their life in recovery from addictions, nor understand about living with mental illness along with being in recovery. So,. . . I was at my local WalMart pharmacy counter picking talking to the clerk who was checking me out with some new meds I had to know about. A lady and her friend behind me seemed to be getting a wee bit impatient, even though they were next in line. So lady behind me says out loud to her friend, "these people who claim to have mental problems I feel it's just all in their heads". . .  WTF?
So, when I was done with the clerk, and before I left, I turned around and said very loudly, "lady, it's people like YOU that keeps Stigma alive and well around those of us who suffer mental health problems". . . The clerk at the counter laughed and said, "Amen sister,. . . Amen" and then she refused to help the lady and asked another clerk to come over and help her because she was rude. So, because of this rude lady, I came home and wrote my feelings about what just happened in a blog post, and then I forgave her in my prayers that night. . . . .
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My Mental/Emotional Disorders, Recovery, or Childhood sex abuse & trauma survivor is not my label . . .

So please, don’t put me into a box labeled mental case or freak. And most definitely don’t treat me like I am different from others. Don’t set me into a category at all. I’m not a thing, I am human being. Don’t you see me? I am of flesh and blood like you.
I have feelings, a heart and a soul. I have a spirit no longer broken, not a victim of my disabilities. I am and will be a “work in progress” for a lifetime.

So don’t talk about my mental illness as if I’m not standing right in front of you. Learn to have more understanding, be educated about addictions, the cycle, recovery, and be informed not judge.

Don’t look through me, look at me. Have some compassion for those who battle with these issue’s, who have the courage to do so, and to take back their lives from addiction, and learning themselves to handle and face daily mental illness challenges, and overcome trauma and addictions.
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“Kindness is a Choice”, . . . as it is written in our Gospel/Bible to love one another no matter the faults or sins. To help one another. That includes those of us who may have taken a wrong detour in life for part of our journey, of God’s plan for us. I am human just like you. Life is a lifetime of choices. Yes, some may not make the right ones at times, but who asks this if it’s right or wrong? Is it our world and society we live in who asks? Is it our creator who lets us know when our choices are not correct, not you or someone else need not judge me, as it is not your job to do so, it is God’s.

I want my voice be heard among the roof tops that I am here, I am real and not my faults or wrong choices. I will be loud. I am not a person to be stigmatized by words, your words, harsh and negative from your mouths. No, I have feelings, I can hurt just like you. I am not my disease, my disorders, my situation, tragic as it has been in the past. I am of love and kindness. Of caring and sharing hope.
Am I Perfect? No, nor will I ever be. . .

But I do know now the love and compassion I have for others is very real. You may not hear it, but you will feel it.
I am not my past, I am my future. I am and feel destined for great things, some of which have already come into my life. I live each day in this one moment in time. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Yes, I may live my life in recovery with mental disabilities and past trauma, but that is what I also have overcome.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

A Very Merry Christmas Eve Recovery Friends, Experts, and Cate!!


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Coming to wish you all a Happy, Blessed, Sober, Clean, and Gamble Free Holiday Season!! Thanks for all you do here Cate for many in or reaching
out for RECOVERY!! My Heart Is Filled With *Gratitude* in Recovery!!

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GOD BLESS ALL,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon :-)

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,



Now I know many of us in long-term recovery think we know all about what it takes to reach a lengthy, successful, solid recovery. But there are times when our past poor choices do sometimes come back to haunt us. And why they do? I don’t know,  but you better be ready to work through them instead of letting your addicted thinking & thoughts get the best of you. And it seems to be the trend of what I’m hearing from many who are just starting out in recovery too!

I do remember those days when it seemed like everything just would set me off! You know what I mean, life disappointments, stress from home or work, an argument with your spouse, family or friend. Disappointments were a big deal for me in my own addiction. I relapsed many times because of the above reasons and more of them. But here is part of the catch, it’s not so much about what the disappointment was, it is about YOU making the choice to let it interrupt your recovery.

And most of the time? It comes from the diseased thoughts and thinking from our addictions.
AND that’s what allows us to use disappointments as an excuse to relapse. And we will let our addiction, our diseased thoughts talk us right into gambling, drinking, or using drugs again.
So when we do enter recovery, we need to work on these defects in order to change our behaviors, choices, and thinking. It’s the thoughts that make up what we feel . . .

Much of this can also happen from not taking accountability and ownership of all the negative things we had done in our addictions as well. If you never look at it, process it, or make those amends were needed, then you’ll keep hanging on to all that crap and never get a real foot hold on recovery in the beginning of your recovery journey.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, and New Visitors,



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I try to pride myself as a fair person. A person who always wants to get to the truth. And that is no different when we talk about sexual misconduct, and childhood trauma and abuse. I don’t think I have written any in-depth substance about my childhood sex abuse and trauma, as I’ve only begun to start opening up and sharing some of my past around this topic.  And another reason for why? It is similar to the reason many rape victims don’t press charges of their rapists.  Much of the reason I now share more about this is that it was some of the underlying issue that I started using Gambling Addiction and Alcohol in the first place. I was trying to escape the ugly feelings of my past childhood pain when it came back to haunt me in my adult life. I used gambling to NOT FEEL anymore, to just zone out and not feel anything.

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

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

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

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome to my Gambling Recovery Blog,



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Just wanted to come and wish you all a Happy, Safe, Blessed, Clean, Sober, and Bet Free Holiday Season!!
Now I have to say I'm sorry for not posting in a while. I have been sick on and off with a upper lung infection, which kept coming back
THREE times. I also have had some family issues on my husbands side of the family. One of his adult nephews has been suffering mental
illness set backs with his medications and attempted suicide twice in the last few months. The VA has NOT been able to get him stable and
we all have been on edge.

So I ask for your support and PRAYERS. I'll be back with a blog update and new post very soon! I wish you all much love, happiness and success in all you do.
And remember, "Live Life In The Moment One Day At A Time"!!

God Bless All!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
My book would make a Great Gift
for those in recovery!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction


Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,


Many of us who live with Dual Diagnosed Mental Illness, and live in Recovery can have a much more difficult time overcoming some of the daily fears we think and feel. I have Agoraphobia with panic disorder. Hard to explain the different type of 'Fear' then just having panic disorder. This is how it's defined ...

AGORAPHOBIA:

Definition:

Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape could be difficult or impossible. People with agoraphobia often will not leave the house. It often occurs in association with panic disorder . In this case, the affected people may fear that help will not be available in certain places in case a panic attack occurs.

Causes:

The exact cause is unknown. Most people develop agoraphobia after having panic attacks. Afraid of having another attack, an agoraphobic avoids places and situations that have triggered an attack. Factors that may contribute to the development of this phobia include:

 development of this phobia include:

  • Genetics
  • Changes in brain chemistry or activity
  • Having a nervous system that reacts excessively, even to normal stimuli
  • Increased awareness of physical changes (such as increased heart rate)
  • Distorted thinking, which may start a cycle of fear

    Changes or genetic problems in the nervous system (brain and nerves) may contribute to agoraphobia ...

    Risk Factors:

    These factors increase your chance of developing agoraphobia. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
    • A tendency to be nervous or anxious
    • Stressful situations
    • Family members with panic disorder or phobias
    • Age: 18-65
    • Sex: female
    • Other psychiatric disorders
    • Personality disorder


             

Both my psychiatrist and primary doctors have told me that some of my condition comes from my past addicted gambling addiction. It has also affected my heart beat too. So I take medication for it. Also learning more life skills have helped some.
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Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you were called to do! Kick FEAR to the curb and move on!
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There has been a few things bothering me the last couple of days.

I have thought of my mom recently of her passing in 2003, and the legacy of bad behaviors she left behind. Now I’m not ‘mom or dad bashing at all, I’m sharing because I also been thinking of my dad as well. His 80th birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and it’s coming on almost 9 1/2 years since we have had any communication. I have been thinking of the FEAR around not making some form of effort or amends with him before he pass’s away. I have shared a little in the past about this subject, but it’s the FEAR that seems to be driving my thoughts about this.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and New Visitors,



I recently was interviewed for a very important article that was released to many major media outlets by, Elaine Meyer of The Dept. of Epidemiology of Columbia University, New York. http://the2x2project.org/gambling-public-health "Gambling With America's Health" ... It was a study and research Elaine has been working on for a few months, about how problem & addicted gambling costs have impacted our Public Health and our population. How the negative impact has on our states and our communities. In this important article was also a man that has been in the gambling & recovery circles for many years that I have never had the pleasure of meeting, or connecting until now.

Do YOU know Arnie Wexler? Certified gambling councilor, and strong 'Advocate' of problem and addicted gambling. When I read his part in Universities article, I was brave enough to reach out to him through the Professionals Social Media website, LinkedIn. He accepted my friend connect, and low and behold sent me an email!!
YES, Arnie IS the ROCK STAR and EXPERT on Gambling Addiction. His lovely wife Sheila, is also advocates as well. She gives many spouses an insightful look at what it was like to be married to an addicted gambler. THAT is a very important part of one's recovery from this cunning disease. It's not very often we get a 'couple' that tirelessly advocate for a well rounded look at what Gambling Addiction really looks like.

So, when Arnie reached out to me by email, he also gave me a very SPECIAL SURPRISE! He shared a long excerpt of his soon to release new book titled; All Bets Are Off ...So I thought I would come share it here with all of you! I'm very Blessed & Honored to share this with you, and to share about the wonderful work both Arnie & Sheila Wexler do for others reaching out for help from gambling addiction ... Here is a little more about them!
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(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)
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Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on Compulsive, Problem and Underage Gambling, to more than 40,000 gaming employees (personnel and executives) and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition, they have worked with Gaming Boards and Regulators, presented educational workshops nationally and internationally and have provided expert witness testimony.

Sheila Wexler is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Foundation. They also run a national help line (888 LAST BET) and work at Recovery Road, a treatment facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that specializes in the treatment of those suffering with gambling addiction.
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Arnie's Story:

Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . . now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market. His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

His new book titled,  All Bets Are Off,  was written along with Steve Jacobson. And again, Arnie has given me and my recovery friends a sneak peek, but keep in mind it’s an unedited look at the new book. I have pre-ordered my copy and so should all of you! One of the extraordinary things about Arnie and Sheila is that they give us a look inside how gambling addiction not only affects the addict, but how it affects our loved ones and spouses.
That’s where Sheila comes in.

Together, their story and personal testimony is very important. We need to be able to see how gambling affects all who are around us, and to see what we but our spouse/partner through, and the family as a whole. That is the topic of the part of the book Arnie was kind enough to share with us.

Here is the Sneak Peek of;  "All Bets Are Off" ...

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome New Visitors,


Many of us recovering addicted compulsive gamblers have felt when we were active in our addiction, that we were broken and failed at this thing called life. The paths we had taken with gambling addiction made us feel it was a test. And yes, it did break me and many other addicted gamblers, but I’m no longer broken thanks to having wonderful support by many in my recovery. Support has been an important part of my journey. Two places I have always looked to is ‘The National Council on Problem Gambling’, http://ncpgambling.org  and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin,  http://www.samhsa.gov … Because I have been through one, and still battle daily challenges with the mental side of things.

These two websites have a wealth of information on all types of  addictions and mental health services, they  raise awareness, inform and help educate the public as well as help the afflicted. So I always celebrate
September ~ National Recovery Month, and this year is our 25th Year of Celebrating!

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NRM Logo
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I’m very honored to be a part of National Recovery Month ~ Our 25th Year.  At least almost 8 years worth for my own recovery from addicted compulsive gambling and alcohol abuse.

So in honor of this, I have a special guest blog post for this wonderful occasion! It is an article I’ve been waiting for from a new friend of mine, Elaine Meyer, of  Columbia University, Dept. of Epidemiology. It is a major article on gambling and how it affects our populations and our communities we live in.

Now your most likely wondering what that is? It is the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,


I've been a little in a daze from the long Labor Day weekend. I had some highs, and some really low lows. I was invited to be a Guest Recovery Author on Peoples Internet Radio this past Friday, August 29th 2014. But I also got some very sad news as well. My host of Peoples Internet Radio, Stephen Roberts interviewed me about my book. Addicted To Dimes, and we talked about many important issues of problem & addicted gambling addiction, alcohol abuse, and the hot topic of the negative affects with the expansion of Casinos & State Lotteries. The interview went so well, we ended up talking for 2 hours!!  I had no idea my interview was also being live streamed on two other internet radio shows besides just Peoples Internet radio.

It was by far the best radio interview I have done! We had callers commenting, and asking questions from as far away as Ireland, Scotland, and the UK, besides the United States! So, if you didn't get a chance to tune in on your computer or laptop, here is the MP3 player link to the interview and listen for yourself! I also promised the listeners I would do a follow up blog post from the show, as I gave out some important information, web sites, and phone numbers for recovery help. So I wanted to share it here on my Addictionland blog too, as a couple callers said they come visit my blog her as well.

The other news is that  on the same day as my show, I found out the following day that Mental illness claimed another of my very good friends!!!
She was a Wordpress blogger, writer, just became a new author of her book; "Bright Shining Star" Kaitlyn's Story. See, she had lost her 23 year old daughter to suicide a year and a half ago. She was blogging her journey to other parents get over a tragic loss like SUICIDE of their child. She was an advocate like me, in recovery and suffered from mental illness and disorders like I do.  And like the resent death of actor, Robin Williams, I'm
really growing weary of all this precious life being lost to addiction, mental & emotional illness, and suicide!!

So, if you find time over the weekend, please come by my other blog that I do book & media promotions on and see the Tribute of my good friend, Rhonda Sellers Elkins. She will and is deeply missed by many of us ... http://anAuthorandWriterinProgress.wordpress.com 

Here is my Recovery Radio Show Wrap Up!


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.

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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