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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

March 16th marks the beginning of the week for National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week!

I work in assisting the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, a contact I made after my episode of Intervention, when I joined Director Harvey Weiss to speak on a panel with others affected by inhalant abuse in Washington DC.  Many of the people that I have spoken with were once inhalant addicts themselves or friends and family (especially parents) of inhalant users who devistatingly passed away while using inhalants. This is an organization that works on reducing, preventing, and making the public aware of inhalant abuse, a goal that we both have in common.

In their most recent newsletter, the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) defines inhalant abuse as "the intentional misuse, via inhalation, of common household, school and workplace products and chemicals to “get high.”  This definition also infers two primary inhalant abuse slang terms:  “Sniffing” and “Huffing.” In a sense the Process of“huffing” defines the slang terms for the Activity i.e. bagging (huffing from a bag); Glading (misusing air freshener); etc."

NIPC also regularly provides the public with updates and facts imperitive to spread the awareness and prevention of inhalant abuse.  Here is an update of some of the most recent facts:

1.  Any time an inhalant is used, it could be a fatal episode.  This could be the first time you ever use inhalants, or the 100th.  NIPC notes that there is research showing that "of those people who died from huffing, about one-third died at first time use."


Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

Since my last post, I'm Celebrating along side "The National Council Of Problem Gambling" all month long here on my Recovery Blog. As it is "Problem Gambling Awareness Month"....
So I "pledged" my blog to them to write, blog, and Advocate all things gambling recovery!

Yes boys and girls it’s time to take notes and open your “Skills” tool box and fill it with a few more tips on how to stay away from the “Relapse”…..
In my 1st blog post I spoke about the importance of "Step one," (if you follow & work the 12 Steps) and how it truly is the first HONEST step to starting recovery. You need to be willing to admit YOU are an addict as that it IS half the battle of your work.

We also know about “Phone Lists” that You should have one and USE it. I can not tell you how many times  calling another in recovery helped talk me out of my “trigger or urge” to go gamble. Most all the time the person can talk you out of it by reminding you the “HELL” of going out and having to start your time all over again. So lets talk a little about how to not have relapses while in recovery. As you can have none in yours, and if someone tells you otherwise they are full of SHIT! Relapse does NOT have to happen, nor “Be The Norm” as some councilors, therapists,, and specialists tell you. Many recover without a “binge or relapse.”

I have an excellent “Recovery Relapse Prevention Guide” work-book here on my blog on my recovery resources pages that was given to me when I started my long-term recovery 7 years ago. YES, it took me a few tries, 2 binges that almost killed me, and ended up in the hospital twice and in an Addiction/Mental Crisis Center twice, that’s why I rely on a STRONG Relapse Guide. I’ll be sharing from this guide snippets to help you so you won’t have to go through what I did! Here is a little from the guide;


Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of treatment. In a study of many different addictions, approximately one/thirds of the patients relapsed within the first two weeks, sixty percent relapsed within the first three months, and sixty-seven within twelve months.
Most patients relapse within three months of leaving treatment. This is the period of highest risk. Members of Gamblers Anonymous must be willing to do almost anything to prevent relapse. They need to see themselves as clinging to an ice- covered cliff with their recovery support group holding the only rope. The most important thing they can do is go to meetings. Members who are working a daily program of recovery will not relapse. These behaviors are incompatible. Relapse is a process that begins long before making the first bet….
Now I think we can all agree that those are lousy odds of recovery when we first start out, or if you’re coming out of treatment. But I learned the hard way that IT’S TRUE. The 2nd most important thing after admitting you are Powerless over your addiction is to find a Treatment program. There are many websites that offer Good Treatment Options. A couple that come to mind are, My Addiction and on support groups, set yourself up with a user & password and your enter a world of support, some Free treatment options for addicted gambling, and it’s confidential and anonymous! And also Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource too:

*Here is a little more from the relapse guide, and feel free to “Copy & Paste” the guide for yourself to use, and it can be used for all types of Addictions*

The Relapse Prevention Exercise for Gamblers is prevention, and requires working a daily program of recovery. The member must take his or her personal inventory at the end of every day. If any of the relapse symptoms become clear, immediate action must be taken.
Members must develop written plans detailing the exact things they are going to do if they get into trouble. Other people need to check each member daily for relapse warning signs. This can be done by family members, a sponsor, or someone from the workplace. This is a good reason for members to go to daily meetings and hang around other recovering people. Often other people can see what members are unable to see for themselves. The member needs to identify high risk situations that may trigger relapse, and to develop coping skills to deal with each situation. the more a member can practice these skills, the better off he or she will be in recovery. In meetings, members need to discuss high risk situations and help each other develop relapse prevention plans….

Each member will be different, most relapses occur when patients are experiencing the following high risk situations:
Negative emotions: Particularly anger and frustration. This could also be negative emotions such as boredom, jealousy, depression, anxiety, ect..
Social pressure: Being in a social situation where people are gambling, or being directly encouraged to gamble by someone. Interpersonal conflict: This can be a conflict with the parent, spouse, child, boss, friend, ect.. Positive emotions: Something positive happens and the member want to celebrate. This can be a promotion, wedding, birth of a child, graduation, ect..
Here are some things YOU can do to be more aware and have a PLAN of action to keep YOU safe!;

“DON’T TEMPT yourself, test your personal control and use an Exercise Plan”!!

Using the relapse exercise, members develop the skills necessary to deal with each of the high risk situations, then they practice the new skills until they become good at them. All members must role play gambling refusal situations, with an experienced member, until they can say no and feel relatively comfortable. They must examine and experience all their triggers, see through the first use, and learn how to deal with the euphoric recall.
Members must develop a plan for a slip. What are they going to do if they gamble again? Who are they going to contact? What are they going to say? This must be practiced again and again with other members.
The member must understand the behavior chain. They must also develop skills for changing their thoughts, feelings, and actions when they have problems. The members should know that gambling cravings will pass if they move away from the situation and use their new tools of recovery.

The Relapse Warning Signs
All relapses begin with warning signs that will signal you or your loved ones that you are in trouble. If you do not recognize these signs, you will decompensate and finally return to gambling again. All of these signs are reactions to stress, and they are a re-emergence of the disease. They are a means by which your body and mind are telling you that you are having problems. You need to recognize thirty-seven warning signs of relapse. You may not have all these symptoms before you begin gambling again, but you will have some of them long before you gamble. You must find which Symptoms are the most characteristic of you, and you must come up with COPING SKILLS for dealing with each symptom…..
Listed below are the thirty-seven warning symptoms.
*Circle the ones that you have experienced before you gambled.*

1. Apprehension about well-being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking.
14. Feeling nothing can be solved.
15. Immature to be happy.
16. Periods of confusion.
17. Irritation with friends.
18. Easily angered.
19. Irregular eating habits.
21. Irregular sleeping habits.
22. Progressive loss of daily structure.
23. Periods of deep depression.
24. Irregular attendance at meeting.
25. Development of an “I don’t care” attitude.
26. Open rejection of help.
27. Dissatisfaction with life.
28. thoughts of social gambling.

29. Feeling of powerlessness or helplessness.
30. Self-pity
31. Conscious lying.
32. Complete loss of self-confidence.
33. Unreasonable resentments.
34. Discontinuing all treatment.
35. Start of controlled gambling.
36. Loss of control.
37. Overwhelming loneliness, frustration, anger, and tension.

NOW, here is the “Fun and interacting” part of my recovery blog! I hope you will make this list, then how about you all leave a comment what # warning sign is the most difficult for YOU, and how YOU would handle or what skills would you use to help get you through one of the 37 Warning Symptoms? And since there is a lot to “Relapse Prevention” and I want you to get the MOST out of my blog posts to aid your recovery from addicted gambling, let do this blog post as a 2 or 3 part exercise? So this concludes the 1st part of relapse prevention, and I’ll give you a couple of days to “Comment” your answers. I’ll blog post PART 2 on Tue, March 4th, that evening after 6pm.
I think this will be a fun idea so we can ALL LEARN a little something new together! And again, please feel free to copy and paste the full guide workbook listed on my Resources Page List! Together WE CAN RECOVER! If your interested, my current book is out NOW as e-book on Amazon Kindle! “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat) My true story of my life battling compulsive gambling addiction, living with Undiagnosed Bipolar, my childhood trauma, dark family secrets and Recovery!


I Thank You all for taking time to come visit my recovery blog, and I appreciate all the LUV & Support TOO!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

"When we believe in a Power Greater Then Ourselves, anything in LIFE is possible"!


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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends & Welcome New Seekers!

“So it’s been sometime that I have blogged on a more personal level, and holy crap I have much to share. I keep having “Gambling Dreams”?

I’m not sure that many of you know that I had celebrated my 7th year in “Recovery” from addicted compulsive gambling last month on Jan 29th, 2014.
I was having a talk with my hubby that I was feeling a little strange. Not like “triggers & Uuges” strange, well maybe. What I told him was, “after having 7 years away from the “Bet” (gambling), I was wondering if I would happen to get “The Seven Year Itch”?….

Now I think we all know where this “slogan” comes from right? For those who are NOT married, or in a long-term relationship, we say, “if your relationship can pass the “7 Year” mark, then the rest of eternity together will be a “Breeze” and you’ll stay together once you pass that 7 year hurdle! Well, with my recovery, instead of worrying about the 7 year itch, I have had “Gambling Dreams” instead!! And they are very disturbing. So I wondered why after all this time would I have gambling dreams? It’s not like I obsess over gambling anymore. And they are feel SO REAL…

So I thought I’d do a little research on some of my gambling support websites to find out WHY and HOW this happens. Am I subconsciously thinking of gambling in my head? I know I suffer mental disorders, but now after the second night in a row of gambling dreams has really got me bugging! I have heard people in my gamblers anonymous meeting talk about having gambling dreams, but I thought it was because they were just starting out in recovery, and in treatment we were taught that when you go through “detox & ”grieving” period in recovery, it maybe common to have dreams. But not when you have years of recovery.
It’s not that I’m a “must need to know” kind of person either, it bothers in a way that I know how baffling and cunning this disease is. It will lie in wait for a long time, and then out of no where rear its ugly head!
A few of my relapses happened that way. You get 3, 6, 8 months in, then BANG!, your back at out gambling all over again! So again I did search about recovering gamblers having gambling dreams, and guess what? I couldn’t find anything as to why this happens. The closet I got was from a site for women gamblers, and really didn’t mention about gambling dreams at all…

“Women and Problem Gambling


Posted by on in Co-dependency

I have hardly met a family that has not been touched in some way by addiction. Yet when my kids were growing up, it never occurred to me that this could happen to our family.

I didn’t suspect my child’s experimentation would ever lead to addiction. I was in denial, hoping that time would cure this problem as it does so many other things. I know now how wrong I was.

Addiction is a disease that hurts deeply, it breaks the entire fabric of love and respect that binds the family together. I felt the hurt. My days were challenging and painful when I was in the midst of dealing with my child’s addiction. I felt manipulated, used and rarely appreciated.

I could feel myself enabling, doing things that did not help. I was hoping for a quick fix. I knew deep down that this wasn’t going to work, but I couldn’t stop.

On occasion, the fear engulfed me as I lay awake with my eyes staring at the ceiling watching each hour pass by until dawn.

Tagged in: addiction recovery

Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

I want to THANK "Cate" for helping me have an AWESOME 2013! Being a "Guest Gambling  Recovery Expert here was one of the "Highlights" of my year, right next to becoming a 1st time published author! So I wanted to come wish all my "Recovery Friends" here at "Addictionland" a very *HAPPY NEW YEAR*.....

Each year I do a *Special Recovery Message* on my blog on New Years Eve, in the event someone looking for recovery information happens to wonder over to my Recovery Blog. I want those who still suffer from ANY type od addiction, not just Addicted Compulsive Gambling. I want that person who may feel Alone & Helpless, that SOMEONE truly cares about them, and there is a much "Better Way Of Life" in recovery. So I wanted to come share it here with all of you! And I wish you all a Healthy & Successful Year!

God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon Now as e-Book for Kindle!


My New Year message is to share a meaningful, positive piece of “Advice.” Many of you know that I live my “Life” in recovery from Addicted Compulsive Gambling and a wee bit too much Alcohol. I just want to say to anyone who happens to wander here to this blog, and your are, or want to have a *Beautiful Life in Recovery*… is and can be DONE! Please visit my Recovery blog, which is also on WordPress at: you will find an excellent “Recovery Resources Pages List” with ALL kinds of recovery help and information to get you started on your *Journey of Recovery.
Addiction is addiction no matter the type. Many of the habits and behaviors are the same. The diseased thinking, having triggers and urges, we use blame, denial, excuses. Relapse’s are the same because no MATTER THE DEMON, drugs, gambling, porn, food, sex, booze, “IT’s All About getting stuck, and sucked in by “THE CYCLE” of the addiction.
There is a lot of *Truth* in the saying, “You keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, EXPECTING a different out come, and it NEVER COMES, it NEVER HAPPENS, it’s the same old “SHIT” time after time.
AREN’T YOU TIRED of feeling sick and tired all time? Those feelings like your all alone in your addiction? As if NO ONE KNOWS how you feel? No ONE understands you? Those crappy, dark, feelings of “HOPELESSNESS”?
TRUST ME, I sure DO! My gambling addiction had me SO OVER THE  EDGE TWICE, that I tried SUICIDE ~ TWICE, that’s how low my life was. How low, dark, and hopeless I felt.
Yes, it will take hard work to attain and stay in recovery, but I can “HONESTLY” tell you it “TRULY” is worth it! YOU are worth a better LIFE! I got tired of chasing something that was never going to be the SAME. I think drug addicts can relate best to this. All your “HIGHS” have NEVER been the same as the First Right? If your honest about it, then you know I’m being HONEST with you.
Most who know me,  know that I won’t or Don’t ”Sugar Coat” Addiction & Recovery.
Sometimes “Tough Honesty” can save a “LIFE”……

So go ahead, contemplate what I’m telling all you addicts, its New Years Eve. Go ahead, take that “FIRST STEP,” and make a “Resolution Tonight,” it’s a better time than any to CHOOSE LIFE.
So instead of screwing the cap off that bottle of Booze, or cracking open that BEER, or smoking that next joint, or poking that NEEDLE in your Arm, or for you addicted gamblers, before you stuff that Poker or Slot machine with more $20′s, or before you sit down to that Poker, or Blackjack table, think about how it would actually feel to walk through all the FEAR you have, to learn WHY you need to USE ADDICTION to hide from old wounds that just won’t stop nagging you?
Just think about living a LIFE FREE from YOUR ADDICTION? Each and every one of us was given a gift.
A GIFT OF CHOICE…..YES, it’s about the choice’s we make. And many times our “OLD PAINS & HURTS” can really turn us upside down. YOU and millions have been given a GIFT from “A Power Greater Then Ourselves”……

A High Power who will be their for you each step of your Recovery Journey, just like he was their With and For me when I took that “FIRST STEP” of a BETTER & BEAUTIFUL LIFE”………..
AND TRUST ME, where I had to LIFT myself up from was not PRETTY. I was laying in an Addiction/Mental Hold and Crisis Center, via the hospital FOR THE 2nd TIME.
When I was released, I had many court dates from POOR CHOICES, ”Criminal Charges” of theft and forgery.
No friends, No Family, even my husband left for a few weeks, because he had ENOUGH. Then jail, probation, and HOURS of community service, OH YEAH, and $$ Restitution!
That’s all I ever got from Addiction. Lost jobs, house, car, money, time I’ll never get back, and it almost COST ME MY LIFE!
So on Jan 29th, 2007 on my Court Sentencing Day, I TOOK MY LIFE BACK!! The rest was all De-Vine INTERVENTION. NO, you don’t have to be Religious, Be Saved, or even be a Christian to reach out for “Recovery,” and to live a beautiful life in recovery, BUT,…….I Wouldn’t recommend It.
Just think of a being, a “Strong Higher Being” in your Life to guide you as you take that 1st very important step in your life into *RECOVERY*
Since I have, I have been blessed in so many ways, there are too many to count. The most exciting and rewarding was becoming a *First Time Published Author* ~ AT 50 years old!! It’s Never To Late to make “DREAMS COME TRUE” in Recovery!
And, this past year has been the best EVER! Meeting so many recovery friends and family who have supported me with my book and my recovery! Many new friends through Social Media, Recovery websites, and more!
I’ve been some what successful as a writer, blogger, and mentor to others who were also STUCK on that “DAMN CYCLE of ADDICTION”!! I have faith in YOU that a year from now in recovery you will NOT BE the same. So why not try something different?
Yes, it will be tough, but it’s better than chasing that drunk, that high, or that big JACKPOT that never comes, and I know that you have the “Courage & Will" to JUST DO IT!
So if Gambling is the monkey on your back? Then come visit my Recovery Blogs Resources Pages, which has many options for FREE Recovery help, websites listed, and important information to get you started in the RIGHT DIRECTION! Here are a few other Websites and information that my help as well: ~ Alcohol ~ NA Drugs ~ Gambling

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number 1-800-273-8255


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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

From: Author, Catherine Lyon
Recovering Addicted Gambler
7 yrs in Recovery on Jan 29th, 2014
1996 to 2007-I was addicted

Dear Addicted Gambling Disease,
It’s time to make amends To ”Myself”……


It has been some time now since we have been together, or had any contact between the two of us. Seeing it’s the Holidays once again, I thought I’d drop a few lines to catch up on the years we have been apart. Things have been going really well for me these past years. Yes, you have crossed my mind through those years, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell you that it is “Truly” time to “Say Goodbye” forever. Because it hurts for it to be so final….

But we seem to have drifted apart, so this shouldn’t be to difficult for either of us. We have shared, and been through a lot together. With some good times, and NOT so good. Many of those bad memories are pretty tough to forget. Because I didn’t see how you HURT ME in our friendship. I didn’t understand, towards the end of our break up that you could be so CRUEL & Hurtful….WHY?
You don’t understand what I’m talking about? Please, do I have to remind you of all the times you were just an ASS to ME? You really want me to go THERE?


Posted by on in Recommended Reading

In early recovery, I was often told, “Trust me, you’ll feel better soon”, or, “I know this is hard, but I promise, you’ll feel better soon.” I lived by those words.  I was so shaky, ashamed and scared. I felt awful.  I desperately hoped the non-stop physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual suffering would stop.  I wanted so badly to feel better, physically as well as emotionally. I tried each and every day to focus on those words of reassurance and deny what I thought and felt inside.  I held tight to the recommendations of my recovery role models, the encouragement from my friends and family outside the rooms of recovery and my own willingness to get better, hoping eventually I’d feel better.

And eventually I did, but not in the way I had expected.  What began to happen was I started to feel my feelings better.  I started to feel happiness better, I started to feel anger better, and I started to feel sadness better.

Although this sounds like a play on words – feeling my feelings better - the point is, in order for me to experience healthy recovery I had to allow myself to actually feel what I had long been trying to deflect, change or control.

For example, during the Christmas holidays my emotions would always kick into overdrive.   No matter what age I was, I would become completely nostalgic.  I’d think about stringing the lights with my dad, hearing my grandfather whistling a holiday tune or sitting at the top of the staircase with my brothers and sister waiting for my Dad to tell us Santa had arrived.  I’d get excited to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with my family or maybe catch an old Charles Dickens movie by myself.  As I got older the holidays stopped being those experienced as a child.  They became strung by addiction instead of lights and wrapped around bottles of wine with little food instead of gifts presented with love.

I won’t lie, those first few winter holidays in recovery were difficult.  I couldn’t stop focusing on how sad, angry and frustrated I felt for all those Christmas and New Year holidays lost in the blur of addiction.  In those early recovery years I had difficulty fully embracing the magic of the season.  To be honest, I really wanted nothing more than to get through the series of events, wishing they would just be over.


Posted by on in Alcoholism

Even when I was in the absolute worst stage of unabashed drinking and irregular, unhealthy eating habits, very little if anything could have pushed me to seek recovery any sooner than I did.

Those who love me worked tirelessly in the effort to convince me I needed help.  Each gesture or suggestion was met with resistance, denial and deflection.  Those caring and compassionate individuals had all but prepared themselves to receive the dreaded phone call I’d finally succumbed to the disease of addiction.

The more people tried to persuade me of my destruction, the more my distance from them widened.  I wasn’t ready to stop.  I liked being able to decide for myself when, where and how much I engaged in what I believed was pure merriment.  I’d perfected my silent rationalization to slip into the haze of too much alcohol with little food. When I was in the state of nothingness, life’s emotional ups and downs didn’t matter anymore. I cherished my ability firmly and sternly control what I put my mental energy into and what was erased. As long as I kept my booze supply up and my weight down, all was well in the world.  And oh boy, did I love the “high” I felt when the deception, manipulation and lies all fell into place.

Until they didn’t.

When I finally found myself sitting across the desk of an intake counselor at a substance abuse treatment center I still was clinging to the belief I could one day drink again and eat as I saw fit.  I vividly remember the woman asking me how much alcohol I drank each day and my response of “oh, not that much” was quickly deflected when she held up my liver count report. I just wasn’t ready to stop believing I could run the show and direct the participants.


Posted by on in Alcoholism

I am honored to be the December Expert particularly because this first day happens to be my birthday. Yet the date does not mark the only time I was shifted from a place of comfort to a visceral shock to the system.

I’ve been given the most precious gift of life three times. I was physically born in December of 1961, almost died in 2001 and then tested fate again in 2008. The 46-year journey was a roller coaster of addiction, emotional chaos and nonstop searching for a way out.

Although I can't remember the first few celebrations of the date I entered this world, all accounts indicated they were joyous, happy and fun. I’ve been told people poured attention on me with beautifully wrapped boxes to open and cards read by others with messages for a future far better than their own.




Posted by on in Other Addictions

Happy Thanksgiving Addictionland & Recovery Friends & Readers,


As many gather around festive tables this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to take sometime to think about those in recovery who may not have *FAMILY* to celebrate this day with. I also want to “Share” what I’m “THANKFUL” for in recovery, and in LIFE.


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