Dual Addiction Happens. When Gambling Wasn’t Working Anymore, I began To Abuse Alcohol & Right Be For My Suicide Attempt …And Why I Share It.

Dual Addiction Happens. When Gambling Wasn’t Working Anymore, I began To Abuse Alcohol & Right Be For My Suicide Attempt …And Why I Share It.

If you go to meetings for support and an option of maintaining your recovery, “sitting in the rooms” you begin to realize many will turn to other forms of addictions from their main or real addiction due to our REAL problem is just not cutting it for us any longer. I did while deep into my gambling addiction as I was spiraling deeper and deeper into a dark hole, I began to abuse alcohol toward the last several months before my first and thankfully a failed suicide attempt.

Not trying to shock or scare anyone, I’m just keeping it real and to share that dual or cross addictions do and can happen. Sadly we may get to a point where our real addiction problems will stop working …And why I do share about alcohol abuse and addiction. Since we have read many times in mainstream media about several high profile people who had relapsed after long-term sobriety and just could not cope with the fact that it happened.

Even having depression and drinking can be a deadly combination that may NOT end well. Most of my recovery friends who visit here know I feel strongly and have shared many times the 12-step program model is not the only option for those to maintain and reach long-term recovery. No, I am not downplaying the importance of the 12-steps, what I am urging is that you find all and anything to help you gain a long-term rest of your life path from addiction.

And as usual, I came across an article that leans toward my experiences with my alcohol use and overall recovery path. As we always say; “work your treatment choices and recovery path in what works for you and take what you need and leave the rest”…

I hope you may do that with this Guest Article Share From “The Fix Mag” written by, Jowita Bydlowska …  ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate/Author


Happy Destiny or a Life Sentence: Thoughts on Leaving AA …

“If you do decide to leave, there are many alternatives to AA, places where you can meet likeminded people, share your experience, and make social connections just as in 12-step meetings.”

I don’t know if I’ve left Alcoholics Anonymous for good, but it’s been a while since I’ve been to a meeting. In the past, I’ve left for long periods of time and then come back. I’d come back because I missed the people, yet the “simple” program confused me more and more. Still, I loved making connections. Even though I’m not a group-type of person, it was obvious to me that the “magic” of the whole thing was being able to relate to people with a similar problem and helping one another. 

I’ve had slips while very much in as well as while out of the program. I’ve slipped after months of not going to meetings, but I’ve also taken a drink right after an AA retreat. There were years where I did the steps and stayed sober and years when I didn’t do the steps and stayed sober. For those reasons, I might not be the best judge of the effectiveness or the harm of AA. I know of many people who stayed in and flourished, many who stayed and relapsed and came back, and many who have left and are still sober despite keeping their distance.

AA has always been controversial. It keeps even the most hopeless drunks abstinent, but it’s known for its dogma and ritualistic—some say cult-like—practices. It has saved many people (although there are no reliable statistics) from death from substance use disorder, and it’s helped to mend many families and relationships. Attending AA is also frequently court-mandated for those charged with Driving Under the Influence and other alcohol-related convictions, including domestic violence. For many years AA seemed to be the only effective solution for those who wanted to keep abstinent from alcohol or other drugs. 

But I’ve noticed a shift, and it’s been happening for a while. As new programs and methods of getting clean and sober pop up on the horizon, some AA members choose to leave despite the ominous farewells of members who believe that leaving AA always equals a relapse. It’s no accident that one of AA’s most popular slogans is “Keep Coming Back!” The way I used to interpret it was that the AA’s door was always open but later, as I became a little disillusioned, it read as if I was doomed to rely solely on AA as a place to recover. I was terrified to leave. Often it felt as if I was nailed to those plastic chairs by fear. 

“So I stayed. It started to feel like a life sentence.”

Image result for free images quotes aa leave your ego outside


Ego Deflation

David D. Bohl, addictions specialist and author of the acclaimed memoir Parallel Universes, left AA recently. He says, “I went to a hospital to check in because they told me I was going to have seizures if I didn’t. I had medically monitored and supervised detox. That was the beginning of my stabilization. And then they sent me to an inpatient or a residential treatment facility that included 12-step facilitation. So I stabilized in treatment and through the 12 steps.” Bohl got sober in AA but it took a long time before he was able to address other issues, such as his trauma due to adoption. 

Today, Bohl believes he would have healed faster if he’d had more access to other resources—such as ongoing therapy—on top of having to go to meetings. For him, the side effect of being in AA was “ego deflation.” 

“No one gave me informed consent that if you don’t have ego strength, this could destroy you. You come to AA and don’t know where to go from there. No one explained that to me. So, had I known that there were (other resources) out there and offer other forms of support, knowing that I had no ego strength, I would’ve gone another route. I would have opted for something else, no doubt about it. The message that I was hearing–whether it’s an AA message or not–is that because of my lack of ego strength, AA was the only safe place for me. And my experience was: ‘if you fail at this, David, you failed at everything. Even not just sobriety. You failed at connecting with people. You failed at life.’

Alternatives to AA

If you do decide to leave, there are many alternatives to AA, places where you can meet likeminded people, share your experience, and make social connections just as in 12-step meetings. Currently, I’m attending a group that applies Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and offers trauma therapy among its methods. The members are free to respectfully comment on each other’s shares (this is discouraged in AA).

In SMART Recovery, which is commonly suggested as an alternative to AA, there is sharing and a sense of community, but there is an official facilitator and you graduate when you’ve completed the program. There is also Refuge Recovery, which uses some Buddhist teachings and meditation, as well as sharing. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a network of groups devoted to sobriety and abstinence.

And there are brand-new programs like She Recovers (founded in 2017) that just deal with recovery in general, be it from trauma, an eating disorder, or addiction. Google “leaving AA” and you’ll get hundreds of happily-ever-after accounts, as well as resources devoted to helping you find an alternative method of obtaining and sustaining recovery and making connections with other sober people.

I haven’t closed the door on the 12-step program yet. I will still go to meetings and I will keep the friendships I’ve made. But I’m also surrounding myself with other programs, groups, and methods because I need some extra mental-health padding to feel fully realized and like I can rejoin the world, sober.

I’ve realized that Alcoholics Anonymous is not the only road to recovery.


jowita bydiowski.jpeg


Jowita Bydlowska is a copywriter and author living in Toronto. She is the author of Drunk Mom: A Memoir. You can find her on Linkedin.


Holiday Budgeting ~ Gambling Recovery Finance and Budgeting Advice By Guest Alek S…Don’t Go Overboard!

Now that the holiday season is here, for those recovering from gambling addiction may feel a little more stress over finances this time of year. We know this addiction is and was financially draining and emotionally. My guest Alek has some sound advice on how to keep it all together and share how to tighten our budget and keep some money over the holiday season.

Many of us doing our financial inventories may have worked hard to clean up our credit and get things back on track. But let us learn from Alek how to not go overboard as to running the risk of being once again burdened with loads of debt after the holidays. I hope you find this guest post informative and helpful.

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon


mail (3).jpg


How to Tighten Your Budget Over the Holiday Season~by Alek Sabin


Coming into the holidays tends to generate a lot of excitement. There are all sorts of parties to go to, goodies to eat, and gifts to share. However, in the midst of this joyful season, your pocketbook is almost certainly going to take a bit of a hit. Indeed, the holidays can be so financially taxing that most financial experts recommend having a budget for the holidays that you save for throughout the rest of the year. However, you don’t need to go into the red this year, if you take some simple steps to help tighten your budget.

The key to enjoying the festivities without the added stress of going into debt is to be smart and plan ahead. Check out some of the following suggestions to keep your bank account happy for the rest of the year!

Make a List and Stick to It

Holiday Budget 2


Take the time to think ahead and make a list of each of the people you want to buy presents for this year. Once you have a list, take your planning to the next level and decide what it is you would like to give them. This will be especially helpful in a variety of ways, including:

  • Removing the possibility of overspending or buying more presents for any one person than you intended.
  • Removing the risk of impulse purchases.
  • Allowing you to price shop so you can get the best deal on each gift, including giving you the chance to watch for special holiday sales.
  • Making sure you do not forget anyone and cause yourself additional stress.


Set Aside The Money

Once you have set a budget for the amount you are willing and able to spend on the holidays this year, find a way to set it aside. Easily keep track of your money now and throughout the year by employing these tips.


    • Set aside a special pot of money just for the holidays: Whether this is a bank account you put money in specifically for the holidays or a literal jar you have in your home that you periodically deposit money into, keep your holiday money separate from all of your other money. This will help you know exactly what you have available to spend and keep you from spending money that should be going toward more important things, like the mortgage and food.


  • Only use cash for your holiday spending: If you would rather draw the money out of your normal bank account, withdraw the money into cash and know that is all you have to spend. Being able to visually see the amount of money you have left to spend will help you to make economic choices. Once the money is gone, you are done spending for the holidays.

  • Have a strict meal plan: Holiday parties and get-togethers are likely to boast large and delicious meals, and can cost a pretty penny (especially if you are hosting one yourself). However, you should make a point to ensure that the rest of your meals are more structured and less expensive, in order to save a buck or two (or more) for the rest of the holiday. Whether this includes cooking all of your meals at home or finding clever ways to save money when you eat out.


Holiday Budget 1


Look for Alternatives to Purchased Gifts
If the wallet is tight this year, consider other options for gifts you may give rather than ones purchased in the store. For a neighbor, you may offer to walk their dog or shovel their sidewalks. If you are making holiday treats, make a few extra and take some treats to friends or to the office. Encourage children to be creative and make each other homemade gifts.

Let Someone Else Host This Year

While presents are a costly part of the holiday season, another stress on your finances is holiday parties and dinners. Purchasing the food, drinks, decorations, and outfits for these events while entertaining can quickly add up to a pretty penny. Consider allowing (or even asking!) someone else to host the party this year. If you still find yourself playing host, look for ways to ease the burden on yourself by making it a potluck meal or a BYOB …

Save Your Receipts

By saving all of your receipts, you can then log your spending when you get home in a notebook or spreadsheet. This will help you to keep a running total and assist in staying within your budget. Another less thought of a reason for keeping receipts is that some stores will reimburse you for the difference if an item goes on sale after you purchase it. While this is not true of all stores, it never hurts to ask and you will need your receipt to get your money back!



Happy Recovery Holiday Season!

Reminder: This Blog Was “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here” and Now? “Bet Free Recovery Now”…Same Blog, Different Name and Link Address.

Reminder: This Blog Was “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here” and Now? “Bet Free Recovery Now”…Same Blog, Different Name and Link Address.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors!

Just as a reminder that my Recovery Blog is the same site and blog!

I just had to change the name as to change my link address to a new one due to having publishing issues with FACEBOOK with my posts … I’d been automatically posting for over 7-years and since they change their Community Policies and RULES CONSTANTLY, my posts were being not accepted.

SO: MY Old Link was https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com


Even though I have added the NEW BLOG ADDRESS into SEO, my visits are low …Please share this on your recovery blog so we can let everyone know I AM STILL HERE! LOL.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
Advocate of Gambling Recovery
Writer & Columnist “Keys To Recovery

Day 4 on Recovery Holiday Watch and a Special Guest Article By Cyler H. I am Dually Diagnosed While Maintaining Recovery . . .

Day 4 on Recovery Holiday Watch and a Special Guest Article By Cyler H. I am Dually Diagnosed While Maintaining Recovery . . .

By Cyler H.


The holidays are upon us, and even though this time of the year can be filled with the greatest of joys, it can also be a time that inevitably hurts your health. Along with extra time spent with loved ones, holiday feasts, and vacation, the holiday season can bring up some unwanted emotions. Holidays filled with entertaining, shopping, and social gatherings; stress and depression can be easily triggered.

But the holidays don’t have to get the better of you. In fact, there are practical ways to keep in touch with your mental health and control the stress of this busy time. Here are some tips to help you check in with your mental state and hopefully help you enjoy this time of the year once more.

Think on Your Feelings

Sadness can happen at any time of the year, but during the holidays the feelings of sadness and grief can become exponentially heightened. If you’ve recently lost a loved one or simply can’t be with family and friends during this time, know that these painful feelings are normal. It’s perfectly healthy to think about these feelings, giving yourself a moment to express them however you need. Don’t try and force yourself to be joyful just because it’s expected.

Stay Consistent With Healthy Habits

During the holidays, it can be easy to fall away from the healthy habits you’ve worked hard to keep. It’s okay to indulge in holiday activities and festivities, but sometimes overindulgence can lead to unnecessary guilt and added stress. When you feel like your enjoyment of something is becoming a loss of control, recognize that these feelings and examine your habits and surroundings.

Remember that you’ve changed those habits before for a good reason, and keeping consistent with them is the only fair thing to do for yourself. Feel like you’re struggling to stay consistent with your healthy habits?

Remember to sleep.
Keeping up with a healthy sleeping schedule can be a challenge, but remind yourself that plenty of sleep is necessary to settle your mind and mentally recharge for the next day. If you’re losing sleep, assess why and try to make sleep a priority in the future.

Eat balanced meals.
This time of the year is filled with sweet treats, drinks, and heavy foods. Just because you’re full of a heavy meal doesn’t mean your consuming healthy meals. Try your best to balance typical holiday treats with traditionally healthy food.


Loved One Depression 2

Seek Out the Help of a Professional

Despite doing as much as you possibly can to relieve yourself of negative emotions and patterns, your feelings of depression, anxiety? Even anger or old resentments can still seep into your days. If you’re unable to sleep, are feeling hopeless, and unable to face family and friends, it may be time to seek professional help.

Don’t wait to seek help until after the holidays when the stress has lessened. There is no better time than now to get the most out of your time with a medical professional.

Speak to someone, be heard, and be ready to make important life changes. There is no shame in doing so and don’t let stigma get in the of reaching out for professional help so you can have the joyous holiday season you deserve . . .

Tips for Getting Through the Holidays When You are in Addiction Recovery

Tips for Getting Through the Holidays When You are in Addiction Recovery

Today is day three of my 36 days on Holiday Watch and my Guest is a caring woman I support in Recovery and enjoy Victoria B’s informative blog! This is an Amazing Post all my Recovery Posse needs to read and all our New Visitors too. Great Post “V” … Catherine 🥰😺💞✝

800 Recovery Hub Blog

The holiday season is rife with opportunities to socialize with friends, family, and coworkers. From sit-down dinners to cocktail parties, alcohol is often involved in these occasions. For individuals in addiction recovery, whether for drinking or drugs, this can be triggering. On top of this, the deadlines and social obligations that come with the holiday season can leave you feeling stressed. Stress is one of the most dominant triggers when it comes to relapsing. Don’t despair, however: The below tips will help you stay sober throughout the festive season.

Maintain a healthy diet

Holiday food may be tasty, but treats like Christmas ham and cookies tend to be high in fat and sugar. Try to maintain a healthy diet as this can influence your mental health. For example, research shows that a well-balanced gut microbiome is essential to combatting depression, which can be another trigger for substance abuse. Eat foods…

View original post 438 more words

Holiday Recovery Watch Begins! I’m Here and By Email. A Special Resource and Message From Les of ‘Stop Predatory Gambling.’ A must-visit website!

Holiday Recovery Watch Begins! I’m Here and By Email. A Special Resource and Message From Les of ‘Stop Predatory Gambling.’ A must-visit website!


It’s night one of my “Recovery Holiday Watch” and my 7th year doing so. WHY? Part of maintaining my recovery is “to be of recovery service to others!” I take that seriously. No needs to be alone through the holiday season and I want others to know there are many who care and that they are worth a better life than being tangled with addicted gambling or any other addictions.

Meet The National Director and Founder, Mr. Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling. ORG who works tirelessly in Washington, D.C. and around the country to stop FOR-PROFIT Gambling … As gambling venues and options expand that includes, Indian Casinos, State Lottery, Online Sports Betting, and not just your normal places like Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, or even Laughlin and more, and I think we are SMART enough to know these venues are not making money and profits from your “once in a while players.”

NO, they are making profits off the backs of those who are addicted or are problem gamblers, who get drawn into going all the time. I know because I DID. Here is a SPecial Message from Les and more about who they are and would urge you to visit their website Stop Predatory Gambling.   You can see what’s happening in your state and around the country. It will open your eyes!

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon 



Who We Are

  • We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.


  • A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national government reform network of individuals and organizations from across the country.


  • We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.


  • You can read more about our history here.

We Stand For

  • We believe everyone in America should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their future.


  • We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.


  • We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.


  • We believe no agency or entity of government should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.


  • If you believe what we believe, sign An American Declaration on Government and Gamblingtoday.


One In Every FIVE Addicted or Problem Gambler Will Try SUICIDE … Every Life is Precious.

By, Les Bernal 



Hi Catherine,

The problem of commercialized gambling will be a subject of conversation in millions of American homes over the next few days as families and friends gather for Thanksgiving and The Christmas Season . . .

Why? Because it’s America’s biggest most-neglected problem today.

Americans are on course to lose more than $1 trillion of personal wealth to commercialized gambling over the next eight years.

Our mission is to reduce this enormous loss of wealth by citizens by 50% over the same span.

Below are some must-share facts along with some specific reforms that will dramatically improve the lives of millions of Americans:

The Problem: Tens of millions of citizens are broke!!! And millions of citizens are now addicted to commercialized gambling.

Partial Policy Solutions That Have Been Put Forward From Both Political Parties to Help Solve the Problem:

  • Tax Cuts
  • Tax Credits
  • Raising the Minimum Wage
  • Increasing Taxes on the Rich
  • ….None of which represent a consequential fix

Absent from the List is America’s Biggest Most-Neglected Problem: The Life-Changing Citizen Losses of Personal Wealth to Commercialized Gambling

The sheer size and scope of these financial losses lack any comparison:

The Way Forward

  • Building assets, the accumulation, and investment of savings, are key for anyone looking to make a better life. A home, a college fund, retirement accounts, a stock portfolio—these assets are the hallmarks of middle and upper-class America, and they are all the result of savings.
  • Building assets is the direct opposite of commercialized gambling. No single policy reform would create more financial peace for low-to-middle-income citizens than reversing the current scheme of turning millions of people who are small earners, who could be small savers, into habitual bettors.

Partial List of Reform Proposals Include:

  • To safeguard the health of minors, no kids under should be exposed to gambling ads and marketing on TV, radio, at point-of-sale, or on the internet.
  • No advertising or marketing of commercialized gambling to low-income populations.
  • A ban on the sale of lottery products in check-cashing outlets, which serve unbanked, low-income people.
  • No high dollar lottery tickets should be sold in low-income areas (ending the practice of selling tickets greater than $5.00)
  • Capping staking levels on all slot machine-style games, regardless of whether it is a physical machine or online, to $2.00 or less. There is no justification for staking levels above $2.00.
  • End the predatory practice of allowing commercialized gambling on credit, whether by credit card or “markers,” (interest-free loans issued by casinos.) It’s inconceivable that states encourage citizens to fund their gambling addiction using debt.
  • Require state lotteries to track and report re-wagers and quantify their relationship to sales and subsequent prizes.
  • Ban “loot boxes” and other elements of commercialized gambling that are currently being engineered into video games that kids under 18 are playing.
  • Reduce the overall amount of lottery games being marketed to the public. Presently, some states offer dozens of different gambling games. For example, Texas was promoting 92 scratch games for sale in November 2019.
  • Reduce the amount of locations where extreme forms of gambling like electronic gambling machines are being marketed by the state.
  • Reduce the speed of the commercialized gambling being offered by states. Many of the most harmful forms of commercialized gambling are also the fastest like electronic gambling machines, online gambling, and scratch tickets.
  • Require commercialized gambling interests to be treated the same under civil litigation laws as any other business.
  • Create an Office of the Public Advocate committed to public service in representing state citizens in any matter that is covered by the authority of the state gambling commissions, as well as proceedings before state and federal agencies and courts, so that they are protected from being exploited and cheated by commercialized gambling operators. This is similar to what many states do in representing state utility consumers.
  • Require that state problem gambling councils collect and report annual data on state gambling addiction numbers and on the effectiveness of the problem gambling interventions being funded (changing the measurement from how many calls are taken to how many people are moved from addicted to not addicted).
  • Restrictions on the inducements offered to gamblers to keep them gambling or luring them to start gambling after they have stopped.

Please consider how you can use your time, talent, and treasure to help move these desperately-needed, long-overdue social reforms forward over the next 18 months and let me know. Thank you. I appreciate all you do, Catherine!


Les Bernal
National Director
Stop Predatory Gambling


Who We Are —

– A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national social reform network of citizens and organizations from across the U.S.

– We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

If you share our beliefs, please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.


Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 567-6996 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org

HAPPY Blessed, Safe, Bet Free, Clean, and Sober ~ ***Thanksgiving***

HAPPY Blessed, Safe, Bet Free, Clean, and Sober ~ ***Thanksgiving***


I’ll Be Back This Evening To Begin My 7th Year on Recovery Holiday Watch …

Tonight through Jan. 2nd, 2020. You may leave comments here or please EMAIL ME if you are needing help, struggling or need resources!

Email Cat at  lyonmedia@aol.com

No One Who Maintains Recovery Need Be Alone Through The Holiday Season … I’ M Here!

~Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon