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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.


Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, and New Visitors,


.  (Warning – Post Not Suitable for Children)

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.


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” …


Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome to my Gambling Recovery Blog,


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!


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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 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.


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.

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!
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.


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. "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!

(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)

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.

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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