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 Addictionland Recovery Friends,


I wanted to share some of my feelings around the recent loss of a man who was loved by world. He loved to make us smile, laugh, cry, and giggle. A man who cared so much for others, including our Armed Forces around the world. He gave of his time generously, and we all never knew how much he was suffering on the inside. I shared some of this on my own personal recovery blog a few days ago, and it hits on some key points that we all as human beings can learn from. Of course, I'm talking about Actor & man of Comedy, Robin Williams.

Life just all on it's own can be a journey of good and bad, trials and tribulations, happiness and blessings, but when we see someone on the outside,
we really never know what's really going on inside. I also talk in my blog post about the Stigma around the issues of Recovery, Addiction, Mental and Emotional illness and disorders. Which these same issues and a few more were part of the why's that took his life ...

Important Recovery After Thoughts From Actor, Robin Williams In His Own Past Haunting Words… 
By: Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


“Robin Williams, Actor & Comedian describes his lifelong struggle with addiction that today is a ‘Haunting Awareness’ he had about recovery from addictions.
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It’s a recovery legacy, an addiction awareness that he left for those of us who live life in recovery. Even though he lost HIS battles yesterday of addiction, recovery, and battle with mental health issues, he left this message, these past quotes for all of us to know, understand, and take to heart.
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When will this trend of suicides due to ‘Dual Diagnosis’ of addiction relapse & mental illness? It’s time to STOP the government CUTS to proper Mental/Emotional Health & Recovery Services from Addictions! There are thousands of us out here who are not famous, or have the money for these almost always very expensive recovery and mental health services and treatment centers. But even when you have the $$$$, like Mr. Williams, guess it really didn’t help him now did it?
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Snippets Of Mental Illness, Addiction & Recovery After Thoughts In His Own Words…
 

It’s not easy, and it’s a very POWERFUL example of the daily battles we can have, and even long-term recovery people can have a life threatening RELAPSE at anytime.
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“It waits,” he told “Good Morning America” in 2006. “It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.”
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Williams, the comic whirlwind known for his hilarious stream-of-consciousness ramblings, was found dead Monday after the 63-year-old hung himself in his San Francisco Bay Area home in perhaps his final attempt to silence the demons that relentlessly targeted him.
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”Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,” he told People in 1988.
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“The Belushi tragedy was frightening,” Williams told People. “His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.”
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“I was in a small town where it’s not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, ‘Hey, maybe drinking will help.’ Because I felt alone and afraid,” he told the newspaper. “And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.”
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“One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice —I call it the ‘lower power’ — goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m OK!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street.”
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“You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that’s hard to recover from. You can say, ‘I forgive you’ and all that stuff, but it’s not the same as recovering FROM it.”
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“Just as the gay rights movement only gained momentum when individual men and women summoned the courage to “come out,” I believe it is time for those of us who have struggled with depression to stand up and be counted.To understand depression and to reduce its stigma, we need to pull back the veil to show its familiar face”. 
“So I am officially coming out of the closet”.

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*My own after thoughts? Robins Williams death makes me feel some FEAR if I’m open and honest here. Is this what I have to look forward to because I live my life in recovery and battle mental illness? I can’t help but wonder, and makes me a bit edgy.
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We can still learn a lot from a man who truly put into words his past battles with addiction, recovery, and severe depression. The answer to my question from my earlier post of the non-famous that passed away yesterday? The other nameless people who were NOT in the headlines, or made national news? HOW many nameless people die from mental/emotional illness’s & addictions by SUICIDE EVERYDAY? … Here is our ANSWER.
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SUICIDE:
Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”) is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is frequently attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder,[1] alcoholism, or drug abuse.[2] Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a role. Efforts to prevent suicide include limiting access to firearms, treating mental illness and drug misuse, and improving economic development. Although crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectiveness.
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    • Older age is associated with increased risk of suicide; people above the age of 65 are at the greatest risk for death by suicide.
      Approximately one million people commit suicide each year worldwide, that is about one death every 40 seconds or 3,000 per day. For each individual who takes his/her own life, at least 20 attempt to do so. Suicide has a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000 people.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Addictionland Friends, Followers, and New Visitors,


As ‘Gamblers Anonymous’ tells us, “We can recover from compulsive gambling without knowing the reasons why we gambled and became addicted in the first place” might be true. But there are some like myself who know a little of why we did …

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But like my last blog post said, sometimes if look dig a little deeper, we can find some of the issues in our life that lead us to take a dark path to cope, escape, and try to delete past issues and pains.  Yes, many say it might be an excuse, rationalizing, blaming other people, places, or things on OUR CHOICES. I don’t agree. I DID NOT CHOICE to become an addict. Addiction isn’t always about CHOICE …
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Well to those who have NO clue, no experience of being an addict of any type, nor been touched by addiction or someone they know or love has, then I say, ….YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE to be held hostage by any addiction. We all don’t get tangled up with addiction by CHOICE. Through treatment, therapy, or the personal inside work on all our character defects, and working through the 12-steps, we DO sometimes find a few reasons WHY we went down that dark path of addiction. Is it really too much to ask of the public to have a wee bit more understanding and compassion of what it’s like to be addicted to some type of addiction? Is IGNORANCE still that prevalent in our society? Sadly yes when it comes to addictions and Stigma around us who live life in Recovery!

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See, for my own addictions of compulsive addicted gambling and alcohol abuse when I gambled, I found doing the work within side myself, and through therapy with a psychiatrist I found I was suffering from undiagnosed bipolar 2 severe depression, mild anxiety mania, bipolar cycle insomnia, and the ‘pleasure & reward’ part of my brain was effected from the years of the repetitive behaviors of addicted gambling. Then later effects of agoraphobia with panic settled in, another direct effect from my years of addicted gambling.
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All these mental & emotional disorders I still battle today. It was the addicted gambling that brought out the bipolar symptoms to the surface when sent to a crisis center the first time.

I know all this sounds complex, then add my past childhood abuse & traumatic events that happened to me, I learned very well to stuff all that away for a very long time. But it did come back to haunt me, and I started using gambling as my escape, and a coping skill to not FEEL all that I endured as a little girl. I began having nightmares again, and didn’t know the proper way to process all this hurtful stuff. I’d done a good job pretending I was normal, and none of those things really happened to me.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello recovery Friends and Readers,


I'm happy to share a new 'Guest Author Interview' by another recovery friend and author himself, Author Kevin Cooper. He has a wonderful blog of awesome reads, and I think he did a Fabulous job of my interview with him. Even though my paperback of "Addicted To Dimes" has been out over a year, the e-book version is now out, and has an awesome new front cover!
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http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/ and at low $4.88!
So here is what I had to share with Kev in my new author interview. OH, and my book has just received another 5 Star Review on both Amazon, and GoodReads too! That makes 10 for 10 awesome reviews. It makes me feel blessed that my readers understood why and how I wrote my story of gambling addiction & recovery with no Blame, Denial, or Excuses.... WE CAN CHANGE OUR LIFE as we have the POWER OF SUCCESS INSIDE ALL OF US!

                   

Presenting Recovery Author: Catherine Townsend-Lyon!

Catherine Townsend-Lyon 
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Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Glendale, Arizona

USA

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Addictionland Friends, Seekers & New Friends,


I happen to be on the social media site LinkedIn, and happen to see a question that was asked in one of my Addiction & Recovery Groups I belong to there. They asked if others think that gambling addiction is directly linked to homelessness of people who become addicted?
Now, I got to thinking myself, what an interesting questions to ask.

As we all know by seeing the homeless in our won communities throughout the US, and it is present in many different countries like the UK. In the UK, they are having an explosion of gamblers using an electronic device that is supposed to help your ODDS AT WINNING called an FOBT machine, but sadly it’s not very true, or works out that way. I have seen homeless women in my own communities of So. Oregon, and now here in Arizona. Does gambling have a direct link to some of our homeless in our communities?
Well, I found Studies, Facts , and articles that was written that supports it sure does!

Here is a little of what it found from the study:
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New study reveals scale of problem gambling among homeless population

New study reveals scale of problem gambling among homeless population
Credit: Gavin Mills/The Connection at St Martin’s ~April 3, 2014
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Homeless people are ten times more likely to be problem gamblers than the UK population as a whole, researchers at Cambridge have found.

The study – one of the largest surveys of and homelessness ever undertaken in the UK – provides new insight into a rarely studied problem and suggests services should offer clients more support to identify and tackle .

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Members,


What does fear mean to you?
Do you live with any type of fear?
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How can one word have so many different meanings? Even though FEAR happens to most people if we let it, fear comes in many different forms. Some fear we can control, but there is much about fear that we have no control over. Lets start with just the definition of FEAR:


fear
fi(ə)r/
noun
noun: fear; plural noun: fears
  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
    “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder”
anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness.
informalthe creeps, the shivers, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, jitteriness, twitchiness, butterflies (in the stomach)
“he felt fear at entering the house”
anxiety, neurosis;






What stands out the most about the word fear is the words, scared, frightened, apprehensive.
See, I have many different types of fear I live and struggle with daily! Some comes from recovery, some come from my mental illness disorders, and even though I have 7yrs from the bet,  from gambling addiction, I still have a couple amends fears I still need to work through.
The biggest at the moment is the one with my own father.
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That’s a whole other blog post. I have guilt about this one amends as I’m now only 4 hours away from where my dad lives, as opposed to when I was still living in So. Oregon, which is an 11 1/2 hour drive. I have to get past the fear of my father turning me away if I was to go down and visit, and try to make an amends with him since it has been 9 years since he has spoken to me, and for a reason I have no clue of. So I guess in the back of my mind I feel that I wasn’t the one who stopped communicating with him, so why should I have to make the amends?

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But as we all know in recovery, we need to be the better person regardless, and I need to at least try. I know that. But knowing and doing are very two different things. The other huge fear I have in the amends department is the one to my Best Friend! I’ll call her Deb. What prompted this whole “Fear Thing” was, yesterday I found out my best friend Deb’s dad passed away on May 8th, last month. My heart fell into my stomach. Deb and her family moved next door to us in So. Calif. when we were 13 years old, her and I. We had done everything together. Sleep overs, school, dating, and more! We were like sisters. This month we actually would have been friends for 37 years! But because of my addiction, we became estranged. She went into AA, and I was still gambling my Ass Off! I didn’t try, or reach out for recovery from addicted gambling and alcohol abuse until a year and half later.
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But within that year and a half I had done some pretty bad things to her, again, another whole future blog post. But with her going to AA, I thought, “well she would understand some day how stupid I was within my addiction, and that I never meant to hurt her.” We had been friends to long for that. I also thought, “well, she is in AA so she will understand the whole forgive and amends thing right”?  WRONG! She also has the choice to not forgive and not be friends, which is what happened. SO,….. that’s another amends I need to get done. But that stupid, freaking, FEAR keeps holding me back!
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Or am I using it as an excuse because of fear of rejection, of being hurt myself? Then I have the fears that come along with my daily challenges of mental illness on top of the recovery fear challenges, and it all sometimes gets a bit overwhelming for me some days. So I’m currently working on my fears, dissociation, depression, and agoraphobia with panic with my mental health psychiatrist and councilor on life skills to help me through all this. I also was asked by them to journal at the end of each day the “thoughts” I tell myself of why I don’t follow through on the things I want to do outside my home, but my fear from the agoraphobia holds me hostage! I felt like telling my councilor, I don’t have a discussion going on in my head all day, or talk to myself! But he says I’m doing it in my conscience somewhere. What Ever….
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Here is what ‘Agoraphobia fear’ definition:

Breaking down the term agoraphobia gives us its literal definition.
A phobia is an intensely irrational fear. This meaning suggests that agoraphobia is an intense and abnormal fear of open or public places. But, this definition falls short in explaining the true meaning of this condition.
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For the agoraphobic, the fear is not necessarily associated with open spaces. The central feature of agoraphobia is intense fear (panic response) of being in certain situations in which escape is difficult or potentially embarrassing, or where help is not readily available. This may include many places that would not meet the definition of open spaces, including many confined spaces. Such situations may include leaving home alone, being home alone, traveling by car, train or bus, being in an elevator, being in a crowd, being in a large store or mall, being on a bridge or standing in a line.
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The fear associated with agoraphobia results in behavioral changes in order to avoid feared situations. An individual with agoraphobia may survey settings for escape routes and avoid situations where an exit is not easily available. This leads to avoidant behavior that may include only driving on certain roads, always sitting near the door in meeting or school settings, avoiding crowded places, or avoiding any place where it may be difficult to get to an exit. In extreme cases, the fear may become so consuming that the individual will not leave the house alone or becomes homebound altogether.
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Now there is more, but I don’t want to bore you death!…LOL. But the key word we see over and over is FEAR. So, am I doomed to never be a part of life, part of the living, enjoying all the outdoors has to offer me? At this point, I don’t know. I take each day as it comes. I do however, feel the trauma I endured as a child plays a big part in this big nasty mix of things. It definitely made it difficult for me to feel close to my father when I was younger, and into my teens. But I have had worked hard to get through all that, as it was/is part of my recovery work and therapy, what happened to me was not my father’s fault when I was a little girl. And it was not my fault either.
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I also think I had a set back from the quick and traumatic move that happened this pass Sept 2013, from having to make the choice for my hubby’s job to move from SO. Oregon to Glendale, AZ. I really don’t care for the desert, it’s why I moved from So. Calif. to SO. Oregon when I was only 25 years old. I wanted away from the heat, smog, and long drive for work. Our lives began there, my husband and I, and lived there for 26 years. I miss if very much. And don’t get me started about the whole move and drive for 2 days to get here. AWFUL!!
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I’ll close with an Inspirational Quote….
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Recovery has given me a life now with no regrets…. just a few things to do.
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Happiness & Blessings All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello And Welcome Recovery Seekers, And Visitors,

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?

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_philippians.jpg

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello And Happy Memorial Weekend Recovery Friends!


 

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Some days living life in recovery can be a bit of a challenge. What I mean is, no matter how much recovery time one gets under their belt, we still may have a day when something from our “Wicked Past Addiction” just might come back and ‘Bitch Slap’ us in the face of our present.
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It’s why it’s important to ALWAYS have a plan. And especially for long holiday weekends like this one, *Memorial Weekend*…

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Even when that “Slap” comes around, we need to have a safe plan to deal with Life on Life’s terms. I mean, our higher power never said recovery was going to be an easy journey right? Here is what happened to me a while back. When we moved from So. Oregon, to here in Glendale, Arizona,…it was a very traumatic move for me in many ways. I had to adopt out my 2 baby kitties, actually my good friend who has a mini 3 acre ranch took them for us, but it was traumatic for me. Also the 3 day ride in the car was also a traumatic event for me, and had to stay a wee bit extra medicated with my psych meds for the long trip, as I suffer from Bipolar depression, mild PTSD, and Agoraphobia with panic, so need I say more? When we finally got her to AZ we were living with my husbands siblings until we could move back to Oregon. Well, there was SO much DRAMA and arguing that I was having 5 panic attacks a Week!!

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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It's been awhile since I have blogged a post here that's NOT reblogged from my own recovery blog. One of the ways to inform, educate, and raise awareness about addicted and problem gambling is to talk about it. As gambling in our society is seen as so socially accepted, the STIGMA around those of us in recovery from this disease is growing. Also growing is the sheer numbers of those turning into "problem & addicted gamblers" as well.

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What also has changed is the type of people who are becoming problem or addicted gamblers, and quite frankly I'm shocked at the continuing rise of suicides as well.
The first group who are being touched by addicted gambling is Your College age students and teens. Some of what I will share in facts and statistics comes from a few websites, and are good friends. The caring folks from Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance has done some god research about problem gambling...
http://www.northstarproblemgambling.org
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Problem gambling also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is defined as the urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop
. It’s estimated that approximately 160,000 to 214,000 Minnesotans struggle with this addictive disorder, which can destroy lives, threaten family relationships and empty retirement savings.
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Virtually anyone – men or women, young or old, from every religion, race and socio-economic background – can be at risk for developing a gambling problem. They can play the horses, slots, the lottery, pull-tabs, cards and bingo.

It is estimated that one to two percent of Minnesotans meet the diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling. Another one to two percent experience problems related to their gambling behaviors.

The most serious form of problem gambling is pathological gambling, the essential feature of which is “persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior that disrupts personal, family or vocational pursuits.” (American Psychiatric Association – DSM-IV)

Compulsive gambling can result in social, emotional and financial devastation, including loss of relationships, residence, emotional or physical health, and career or educational opportunities.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome New Friends,

 

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Todays recovery message is to “Just Get Your Wiggle Butt” in gear and don’t be afraid to dig in and do the work needed to start, stay, and have a CATTASTIC RECOVERY LIFE!!
Many know I am a cat lover, and sadly when we had to relocate from beautiful So. Oregon to hot, dusty Arizona, I had to leave my 2 kids, ( Kitty Cats) Buttons & Callie behind with a good friend of ours until will get back to Oregon. My hubby works for a large grocery store chain and is starting meat-cutters school for them soon. The closest training school was here in Arizona, or the ones back East, and I wasn’t going there! No Way!…LOL.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction
Hello Recovery Friends, Recovery Seekers, And Welcome New Visitors,
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I was cleaning up my Author Facebook page when I came across this “Quote” and it got me thinking about my current published book and my recovery from Addicted Compulsive gambling, and a bit too much alcohol. It took me back to when my book first released on my 50th birthday! I felt so proud that I actually accomplished one of the biggest goals I’d had for myself. I owe it to the “Grace & Power” of God, and my own 7 years of hard work in recovery for my book  to even be a “Dream to Reality” event in my life.
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Well, also I Thank my awesome publisher too, Steve Laible, of TKG… http://KodelEmpire.com And yes, he is as funny as he looks! But seriously, he is a fantastic publisher, and a “Children’s Book Author” Too! Check out my Pal http://StevieTenderHeart.com If it wasn’t for him nagging me to want to publish my manuscript my friend put together for me, I wouldn’t be a published author today. I was so scared of what people might THINK of me because of all the terrible things I’d done as an addict.
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Author - Steve Laible
Author – Steve Laible ~ Great Guy!
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I know I blog a lot about life being difficult to move on from, especially from our addictions when we first enter recovery. I know this because I to had a hard time grasping the fact that I had become an addicted to gambling and alcohol. It’s hard when we are at our worst in our addictions to even LOOK at ourselves in the mirror, and god knows that happened a lot for me. From the woman and wife I was, having a successful banking career, working hard to have a home and beautiful family life, to this black, ugly, darkness of addiction that took such a hold on me I thought I’d never make it out alive! And I almost didn’t, Twice.  When I was in the depths of the ugliness of addicted gambling, I used to think in my head about all the “negative” shit my mom and dad used to say about me, and it seemed I made that a “Reality” all by myself…

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As if I bought into all the years they said I didn’t love my family, never wanted to be around them or stay home, that I lied, or wasn’t an honest person. I really made that come true with my addiction! Even when you start recovery you have so many doubts about yourself. It takes time and a lot of hard work to learn WHO you really are. You have to retrain your brain, your diseased thinking and thoughts. I also had a hard time about 2 years into my recovery about “Feeling Stuck. I don’t know if you know what I mean? When I went to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I’d hear others speak about feeling “Stuck” in their recovery. Not sure which way to go, or what to do next to continue to grow in our process to recover.

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For myself? That’s when I had to start on Step 9. I was stuck on this step for a while. Making “Amends,” wow that was a hard job, and I’m still doing it today! Step 9 is making “Direct Amends” to such people wherever possible, as long as it doesn’t injure anyone in the process. Now that sounds easy enough, but with gambling addiction, it often means you owe money too, to someone you hurt, or never paid back. Well, most all the people I did owe, I had paid back. That is when though I learned about “Pawn Shops” and started selling stuff to get money to gamble. Also for me it was more of how I let down others. Like employers, if I stopped to gamble before work, and got on a winning streak, well, I’d call in sick and say I couldn’t make it in. Sadly, these people hired me to do a job and BE THERE to do it. So then that plays into your “Reputation & Character” of who you are. When I gambled? I was a Flake!! I even did it to my friends, and lost many good, long time friends because I couldn’t be counted on anymore. Now this may not sound like a big “DEAL” to many, but for me? That used to be WHO I WAS. People knew they could always count on “Catherine” when things needed getting done.
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