Learn To Be Present As The Holidays Are Around The Corner While Still In A Pandemic… Let’s Be Present.


One thing I will be doing this holiday season is to ENJOY THEM for the first time in a long while. I share this because for 7-years I have been doing a holiday blogging watch and running my former book marketing online business. Thanks to this pandemic, I won’t be doing either this year.

I just wound down my book promoting bussiness due to the pandemic climate and readers are not doing their usual reading and not while all the chaos is happening with our general elections that have felt like it has been going on for a lifetime!

And?

They are more focused on what will happen after the elections. So much talk about civil unrest, if Trump loses, will he leave the White House and so on and all right before we enter into the Holiday Season!

This one will be the most unprecedented unusual times and holiday season ever. SO, how can we learn to stay calm, be present, and really enjoy the holidays with so much NOISE? And keep our recovery intact?

If you are like me, too much of this noise has me anxious. Here are some things we can do to get ready for the holidays, be more at peace and happy. Even though we can get blindsided with distractions. Start by using these skills to help stay focused and enjoy the SEASON. 🎍🎄🎄🎁


Holidays can be challenging for those in recovery



Maintaining Recovery And Enjoy During the Holidays...

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control showed that many suicides by addicts over the holiday season resulted from a relapse. Over 32 percent of addicts who committed suicide had excessive amounts of alcohol while over 8 percent had a positive test for cocaine.

The holiday season is also a time when friends and relatives must work together to help a loved one battle any addiction. Many recovering addicts become depressed because they aren’t financially able to purchase gifts for other people. This is especially true with recovering gamblers.

Friends and family can step in and help by reassuring the addict they understand the situation. Let them know that them just being there for the holiday is enough and to enjoy them! Just be present. When a family helps an addict to successfully navigate the holidays, the recovery process will be easier and more successful.



1.) No matter what challenges you face today, just remember: you’re maintaining recovery and that means you’re one of the winners. Getting high was a job and it required everything you had. But today you are free and have the opportunity to make good choices and enjoy yourself! You no longer have to make excuses or disappear because you decided to go on a bender, one more time. Today, you are able to live with love, compassion, and understanding.


2.) You now have freedom from your past as we would use drugs, drink, or gamble to “Escape or Cope” from our past. Maybe you were abused as a child or suffered other traumas like I did. Perhaps you did things you swore you’d never do or tell anybody. Remember all the people you hurt? Once you commit to recovery, the horrors of the past lose their grip. And they don’t have to be the things that determine who you are now.


3.) Doing the your recovery work means you now know yourself because when we partake in addiction there’s really not much time to discover who you really are. The person that you thought you were is also probably far from the truth. The recovery process lets you shed those false personas, allowing you to become who and what you are meant to be. By being clean and sober, you become open to your greatest truth and have the honor of being your best self—one-day-at-a-time.



Be Your Best Holiday Self!

4.) It’s Ok to “NO” you don’t have to “people please” anymore. In sobriety you learn to use the word “no” and it will become your best friend. You don’t have to act because you feel pressured, anxious, or nervous. Instead, you can pause when you’re unsure, ask for guidance if you need to, and be able to say “NO” without any guilt. We know recovery boundaries are keys to our insanity too…Lol.


5.) Always Stay Connected to your Higher Power as our recovery process is a part of a spiritual journey. It’s about developing a relationship with a higher power or a God of your own understanding. Even atheists have found ways to embrace this idea. Today, you get to be a seeker in your own spiritual unfoldment. You learn how to align your will with your higher power. And most importantly, you discover the power of faith through surrender.


6.) Being Present Takes practice and patience during the holiday season. Gambling, drinking or drugging was once translated to a life of personal lawlessness, not to mention the mountain of consequences that followed. Begin to dig deep into your inner-self with self-love and care during this journey as it makes you humble, more grateful and opens you to all things, including a perfect holiday season with family. Again, this takes practice.


clumsy crafty happy | Patience quotes, Emerson quotes, Words


And lastly,

7.) During the holiday season, use sometime to Give Back to Those in Need or struggling… Doing service work takes your mind off of yourself and your problems. It can be any type of volunteer work– Just helping others at holiday is soothing to the soul.

The 12th step is a statement of gratitude for your life and a call to help others. The trials you’ve gone through have put you in a position to be an inspiration to someone else. Now, when you feel troubled or baffled by life, you can make a commitment at a meeting, speak on an H&I panel (hospitals and institutions), or volunteer in your neighborhood.

These are the gifts of recovery that heal and set you free.

Navigating the Holidays - The Looking Glass Foundation


Make sure you stop by my Recovery Resources page and my Relapes Prevention workbook page to help you set a Recovery Holiday Plan now before the season begins!

As much of a challenge as the holidays can be for a recovering addicts, they can also be fun. With the right attitude, addicts can find ways to enjoy themselves.

YOU can refuse to worry about financial problems and focus more on enjoying YOUR time with family and friends. A holiday season experienced with sobriety may offer many positive experiences. I wish you much joy and be present to love the holidays in an entirely new way.

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

How to Maintain your Sobriety during the Holiday Season | Victory Addiction  Recovery Center

Keys To Recovery Newspaper Is Helping Organizations In Each Free Issue… October is ‘The “Wounded Warrior Project’… How It Works.

Keys To Recovery Newspaper Is Helping Organizations In Each Free Issue… October is ‘The “Wounded Warrior Project’… How It Works.



I have been honored to be a contributing writer and columnist for an amazing recovery newspaper called “Keys to Recovery” founded by Marcus and Jeannie Marshall and Beth Dewey out of Southern California for little over 2-yrs. Jeannie and Marcus, these two beautiful people are giving and caring recovery friends of mine and put so much love and hard work into each issue they print for there monthly publication.

And?

They have the audacitiy to give out FREE! It is free to read online, download, or have copies mailed to support those who maintain recovery from all kinds of addictions, including mine which was addiction to gambling.

My column is called QUIT To WIN and I write and share my experiences, stregnth, and HOPE from addicted gambling and share to others so they know there is HOPE and they don’t have to be NOT ALONE to recover from this cunning disease. Here is a little about “KEYS” and who they serve…


KEYS TO RECOVERY BACKSTORY:

Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is printed and distributed in California and 30 additional states. Having a current print run of 20,000 newspapers and a readership exceeding 90,000 per month, we are already a solid and formidable presence. Although we have digital access to our publication, our primary focus is distributing hard copies.

Our newspaper targets readers who are seeking recovery from all types of addictions, disorders and the loved ones who are affected, as well as anyone wanting to know more about addiction and recovery. Here are some of the types of facilities we are distributing our recovery newspaper to: 

12 Step Alano Clubs• 12 Step Meeting Halls• Bail Bonds Offices• Churches• Clinical Professionals• Coffee Shops• Correctional Facilities• Counseling Office & Services• Department of Health• DUI Classes• Drug & Alcohol Councils• Employee Assistance Programs• Homeless Shelters• Judges• Law Offices• Medical Centers – Hospitals• Outpatient Treatment Centers• Police Departments• Probation Departments• Public Libraries• Recovery Stores• Rehabilitation – Treatment Centers• Rescue Missions• Veterans Administration Hospitals• Sober Livingʼs• Transitional Housing• Related Conventions• Networking Eventsand many more locations.


We work carefully to develop a monthly publication addressing vital issues concerning all types of addictions and disorders, and everything related to the recovery from them.


Spreading the Message of Hope and Recovery 

Our purpose and our mission, is to give hope that recovery is possible. Incorporated in the state of California Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity. Our main objective is to carry the message of Hope and Recovery from all types of addictions and disorders to as many people as possible, and to offer resources that may provide treatment and support. We do that by printing (yes, printing) a traditional type newspaper, as well as having an online presence. Our newspaper is filled with columns from today’s top experts in the recovery field. 

Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is educating our communities about alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, homelessness, domestic violence and so much more. We also print, at no charge, a 2-­‐page resource guide listing free services and vital help offered within the communities. 

Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. is making a strong effort to reach the many individuals currently in jails or other types of institutions, and offer them information that will assist in their future recovery. For every paid subscription we will be able to send a free subscription to someone in an institution. We are NOT affiliated with AA, NA, Al-­‐anon or any other 12-­‐step program. We do, however, believe in the power of the 12-­‐steps and the principles behind them. 

We operate Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Inc. using these principles as a guideline -­‐ Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, Integrity, Willingness, Humility, Brotherly Love, Justice, Perseverance, Spirituality and Service.  THE PEOPLE BEHIND – KEYS TO RECOVERY NEWSPAPER, INC. 

Jeannie Marshall – Co-Founder & President: Having 35 years of marketing, advertising, and PR experience – ten of those years working on a recovery newspaper – I feel uniquely qualified to lead and support our team to achieve our purpose and our mission. Many of you will remember me from the Steps for Recovery newspaper, where I worked until 2008 with my business partner and good friend Jason Levin, who passed away.

Unable to continue working on the newspaper without him, I choose to go back to corporate America. After 5 years of healing I felt ready, willing and able to go back to my one true passion – carrying the message of hope and recovery… through Keys to Recovery Newspaper Inc. A bit more about me: I restarted my sobriety in 1986; I love the 12-steps and living in a world where I have a purpose. I have a passion to help the helpless. My favorite principle is Service. 

Marcus Marshall – Co-founder & Vice President: I started working at age 13 in the field of service at Sylmar Children’s Spastic Foundation as a patient care technician. At age 18 I worked as a Counselor in Psychiatrics at Chatsworth Health and Rehab Center. I also worked in sales and marketing gathering about 25 years experience in that field as well. I was derailed by my addiction and for about ten years I was going in and out of jails and prisons, which makes me uniquely qualified to understanding the difficulties of transitioning back into society. 

I started my recovery in early 2012 and found myself wanting to go back to my preferred profession – Patient Care. I worked at Cri-Help as a lead support technician, while attending the Addiction Studies Program at Pierce College, which helped prepare me for this vocation.

Publishing Keys to Recovery Newspaper Inc. is giving me the opportunity to use all my life experiences to help others. A bit more about me: I have a passion for God and helping others find their way to him. I love helping the homeless. My favorite principle is Faith. 


Beth Stern – Co-founder: In 1993 I was mandated by the courts to attend a 12-step program, during this process I was introduced to the program of recovery – which made me a firm believer in “bring the body and the mind will follow.” Being a co-founder of Keys to Recovery Newspaper Inc. I feel that this is a great platform for carrying the message of recovery. I love being of service in all areas of my life. I have a passion of giving hope to the hopeless. My favorite principle is Perseverance.




NOW, Keys To Recovery Is Helping Our Vets
AND
Wounded Warriors
Here is HOW



HERE IS HOW IT WORKS

The Wounded Warrior Project: Each month Keys to Recovery is featuring a new Back Cover ad for different causes that are close to our heart. 

For the October 2020 issue – we are running a full-page Back Cover ad 
for. The Wounded Warrior Project.

Not only does The Wounded Warrior Project, get great exposure in the 
recovery community, but you or your facility will also be seen as well 
as supporting a great cause.

If you or anyone you know wants to support The Wounded Warrior Project 
WITH THIS AD, we will be running a notice under the ad:
_____________________________________________
Sponsored in part by: Marcus & Jeannie Marshall; (then we will list 
the names of the individuals or the companies of those who helped pay 
for the advertisement, or some may want to donate anonymously).
_____________________________________________

Whatever you want to put towards the $1,500 will be accepted as a 
donation : ) you can pay through our Pay-Pal BUTTON on our website, or
Zelle through the bank using: 818-312-4233 phone number, or
Venmo using: Donna Jean Rabb,
or you can always send in a check just let us know its coming. Once we 
get the donation we will contact you and see how or if you want to be 
listed as supporting the ad, personally or listing your facility.

We need to KNOW ASAP to get you listed on the October back cover.

Anything over the cost of the ad ($1,500) will be donated to
The Wounded Warrior Project.
Thank you for your support!

Jeannie Rabb-Marshall
President & Co-Founder of
Keys to Recovery Newspaper

www.KeysToRecoveryNewspaper.com
818-386-8400 Office

I Welcome Best-Selling Self-Help Author Kaden James. His Books & Advice Can Help Those Who Maintain Recovery…

I Welcome Best-Selling Self-Help Author Kaden James. His Books & Advice Can Help Those Who Maintain Recovery…


How Do You To Stop Worrying About What Others Think?


By KADEN JAMES


How you feel about yourself is more important than how others feel about you. 

Focusing on what others think of us changes us, not always in big, noticeable ways but more often very subtly. 

If we hear a negative comment said about us in passing. This comment may eat away at us over time. The thought may come up so often that it becomes a belief about ourselves. 

We might read a negative comment and take it to heart without even considering the source. For instance, I have known people who stop wearing bright colors because someone said they didn’t look good on them. I have had clients who told me they would alter their voice or quiet their laugh because of something someone said. Your laugher is a gift just like what brought it out of you.

The words of others can profoundly affect the way we show up in the world. If we hear negative words we might start to think we are unattractive, untalented, no good, or unlovable. If we don’t grow strong enough in our own self-confidence we could go through life never fully stepping up to the moment, missing out on opportunities to experience joy and we may never offer up what we have to give. 

The way we release ourselves from the opinions of others is to realize everyone has one. There are people that hate the color blue, can’t stand pizza, don’t like dogs, it’s hard to believe I know. Well, if there are people who don’t like blue, pizza and Scooby-Doo of course some people won’t like you and it’s probably the same people. 

We get to choose what opinions we let in. Seek advice with care, from people you trust and respect. For example, if you want relationship advice it’s probably not the best idea to ask your friend who is always dating another guy and seems to have a lot of problems when it comes to relationships. That person may however be the best person to take your pics and update your dating app profile. All jokes aside though, remember to consider who you are going to for feedback. 

When someone insults you with absolutely no love in their approach block it out. You choose what you let in and what you focus on, so choose nurturing and loving thoughts. You are ultimately in control of your thoughts and feelings. No one can make you feel anything without your consent. Which means what we feel is a choice.

Let’s choose to feel good and feel confident.

Confidence sign with a beautiful day.jpeg



Another thing to keep in mind is to realize that everyone makes mistakes. We are all learning and growing and as we are kind to ourselves and love ourselves we make better choices.

Now I have a couple of questions for you. Are you supportive of others? Are you a kind person? If the answer is yes and yes -RIGHT ONNN! Keep up the great work! Continue to build your self-love like you’re a bodybuilder in the gym.

Make that muscle so strong that when a trashy comment is flung at you or verbal punches are thrown they just bounce off and have little or no effect. If you answered “no” and you aren’t currently supportive or kind, work on it. What you give is what you receive so if you give love and you’ll get it. Give kindness and you’ll get it, have the cycle of hurt end with you. 

It’s time to feel good about you and make wise choices for yourself. You deserve love and to live a life you love.

#########

ED Note: I want to also share with you another topic we all can use some brush-up on when maintaining recovery or especially when begining our recovery path.

That is in the area of being 100% RESPOSIBILITY. Take a watch and listen to this quick YouTube Video Kaden has done all about taking and being 100% reponsible, honest, and transparent.


You can connect with Kaden James on social media & visit his website.
 
WebsiteJoin Author’s NewsletterFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazonLinkedin

Kaden James, Author & Life Wellness Coaching.

Kaden James, Author & Wellness Coach
kadenjames.allauthor.com



Guest Post By Recovery Writer Dominica Applegate. In Sober Recovery. Blaming and How to Stop.


The Blame Game, we all have done it one time or another when we begin in early recovery. When we surrender and know our addiction is making our lives unmanagable, we need to learn to ownership, be honest to ourselves, and become the habit of accountability. Lets read what recovery writer, Dominica shares more about playing the blame game.




How to Successfully Stop Playing the Blame Game

Now that you’re in recovery, you are faced with the blame game dilemma—a new phase where you can either accept responsibility for your entire life or keep pointing fingers at others for how things turned out. Perhaps you blame your parents because studies have shown that addictive behaviors are genetic, but that’s still not a free pass for you to stay addicted.

Maybe you blame your friends for introducing you to partying, but you were the one who decided to put substances in your body. You also chose to continue using so really, and you have no one else to blame but yourself.
At the beginning of any recovery plan, an addict goes through an array of emotions like anger, resentment, pity, loneliness, helplessness, and so on.

To finally get off the blame train, the person in recovery must take the following steps.

Become accountable 
Now that you have taken the first step to recovery with the admission that you have an addiction. It is time to step up and be held accountable. Ultimately, you must admit that it’s no one’s fault other than your own. This is an important step in your recovery plan, as it empowers you to make the necessary changes you need to make in your life. When you blame others, you give them that power, which can really stifle growth.

Tell the truth.
Tell yourself and others that you are taking full responsibility for your entire life now, not just not the addiction. You’re not blaming anyone else no matter what the past has been like. This will not be easy, but it is a must to grow successfully on your journey.


Accountability in Recovery - Dara Rehab




Start a journal.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings tends to help relieve some of the negativity going on in your mind that affect your decision making. Every time you have a thought, or make a comment that shifts the blame of your addiction onto others, or outside influences, write them down.

Then, take a few moments to think of how you could have made that statement or expressed that feeling without placing blame elsewhere. Write them down alongside the negative statements.

Practice good self-care.
Take responsibility for life by taking care of your mind, body, and spirit. Maintain good personal hygiene, start an exercise program, choose healthy eating habits, pray or meditate, and continue your counseling sessions.

Honesty is the key for you to move forward fully. Remembering that you are the individual who led you to this addiction reinforces that you have always been in control of your own life, not control of your addiction. Now that you’ve decided to admit that you have a problem, you’re able to drive your life toward a long-term successful recovery.


Divorce Inspirational Quotes ⋆ Online Divorce Counseling


I Continue To Support My Friend & Founder, Ronda Hatefi of ‘Oregonians for Gambling Awareness’ As Sept. 29th, 2020 is Oregon’s “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day”. . .

I Continue To Support My Friend & Founder, Ronda Hatefi of ‘Oregonians for Gambling Awareness’ As Sept. 29th, 2020 is Oregon’s “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day”. . .

July of 1995 changed our lives forever.

My 28 year old brother Bobby could no longer handle the addiction of gambling. 


He chose to take his own life after his calls for help failed.
~Ronda Hafemann-Hatefi

In Memoriam ~ Bobby Hafemann


#########

I have always been a firm believer that God brings people in our lives for a reason and a purpose. This is how I feel about my dear friend Ronda Hafemann-Hatefi. I have been blessed since the day we met, while I was still living in Southern Oregon as Ronda still resides in Oregon.

Just as her ‘Facebook Introduction reads about her, “I am a Wife, Momma, Grammy, Auntie, Friend, and advocate. And I believe GOD is good all the time.

That tells you a lot about who she is and what’s most important to her. Ronda and I have been advocating about problem gambling recovery together for many years, a while after my book released and my recovery journey was transforming into several year’s.

Ronda became an advocate for one fundamental reason. But I will share her written words as to WHY …I was lucky enough to survive both my suicide attempts, and I am always aware that many do not. Here is a little more about who my dear friend, Ronda Hatefi is and how and why she advocates to share help and hope to those with Gambling Problems …

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature



Ronda Hatefi founded Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization in 1995.  Chair of Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee since 2003, and member of Lane County Mental Health Promotions Board, (formally called Suicide Prevention Committee) for 10 years.   

Ronda has petitioned and received a signed proclamation by the Governor of Oregon every year since 1997, declaring September 29th, 2020 as Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She had the first recognized day for problem gambling in the United States which laid the ground work for a National Problem Gamblers Awareness Week in March. 

Ronda has received a Champion in Volunteer award from Lane County, Oregon and a Leadership and Dedication for Problem Gambling Awareness award from Oregon Health Authority.


Honoring Bobby & Sharing Hope From Problem Gambling


P.G.A.D.
O.G.A.O.

P.G.A.D is Problem Gamblers Awareness Day, which is September 29th, in honor of Bobby’s birthday. Ronda has petitioned and received a signed proclamation by the Governor of Oregon every year since 1997. This was the first recognized day for Problem Gambling in the United States, and helped to create National Problem Gamblers Awareness Week in March each year.


OREGON GAMBLING HOTLINE:
1 – 877 – 695 – 4648
1 – 877 – MY – LIMIT

The National Problem Gambling Helpline
1-800-522-4700.
National Helpline is confidential and available 24 hours a day.


THE STORY – THE BEGINNING


My Mom was happily married to my Dad for 54 years, they had 5 children, and 10 grandchildren. Bob had a big circle of support around him. 

We have learned now how we could have better supported him, by educating ourselves. We thought that by making him realize what he was doing, or by helping him find a new “hobby” that he would be okay.

What we didn’t understand is that his illness did not allow him to feel or see the support we offered.  It was not as simple as, “find a new hobby.”

He was a good person, with good values, morals, great strength, and he was very intelligent. 
He was also a very compulsive person. He did everything with 110% effort. He was a one friend person, video games captivated him, he played to win, he worked so hard at every job, he wanted to be the best. When he gambled it was no different. 


He first gambled when he was 18, he won $500 on a scratch ticket.  He liked the idea of quick and easy money.  He gambled from there on a little bit here and a little bit there.  He played the Oregon Megabucks and scratch tickets mostly for the next few years. But in 1991, the Oregon Lottery video poker was introduced and quickly took over his life.

After playing video poker, within the four short years, he changed from being a very conscientious person who always paid his bills, had money in his pocket, and many nice things. He then became someone who had to borrow money from anyone who would give it to him. He pawned his valuables, kipped bills, and started writing bad checks. He was so ashamed and angry with himself for getting into this position.

Bobby didn’t want to hear what we all would tell him repeatedly that he withdrew from the family all together. He stopped coming to the family gatherings, birthdays, and holidays. He felt that he didn’t want to be there if he couldn’t buy gifts to give.

He went to our Mom on Mother’s Day 1995, and he told her that he didn’t understand what was wrong. He had called the Oregon Gambling Hotline for help and, the State said to him that what he was doing was entertainment, but for Bobby, it wasn’t fun anymore. He wasn’t eating, couldn’t sleep, and was angry all the time. He knew that he needed help, but didn’t know where to turn. Our Mom made some phone calls and got him started in counseling in June.

Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful. The State of Oregon had pulled all the gambling treatment offerings at that time, saying that it was contradicting to call it entertainment when you may become addicted. Bobby’s gambling treatment counselor diagnosed him as depressed, not knowing how to council a gambling addict. She prescribed Prozac, told him to get back into hobbies and the things he used to enjoy, and released him after just a few visits. They prescribed meds for his depression, but not being monitored. We found out later that he quit taking them early on.

THEN?

The Phone Call …

On July 22nd, 1995, we got the call that my Dad and two nephews had found our Bobby dead. It is a day of so much emotion for me. I started my morning so excited to go to Portland to surprise Bob at his company picnic. The excitement turned to sheer terror when the phone rang. Our brother EJ asked to talk to my husband; I knew right then that Bobby was gone. I am not sure why I knew that because I had no idea he had thought about ending his life.

I do not remember getting ready to go or the ride to Milwaukie, OR. What I do remember is seeing my parents waiting for us in their driveway. The looks on their faces will be with me forever. My Mom was so angry when Bobby (Hafemann) died; she wrote his obituary listing his death as suicide, thanks to the Oregon Lottery …

Bobby Hafemann

########

If Ronda’s story of her beloved brother Bobby has touched you, resonates with you?

I urge you to visit her website to read “the rest of the story” here: https://www.ogao.org/the-story/ …I also kindly ask if you would either or both re-blogg this post or link on your WP site or share using my social media share buttons through your social media? In unity we may raise more awareness together and reach someone’s loved one who has a gambling problem.

Please, don’t wait to give them HOPE and get them HELP or even talk to them about it.


Image may contain: 1 person, text


Since Bobby’s passing, Ronda has worked hard to keep Bobby’s memory alive. She does it by bringing action, change, and solutions to problem gambling while raising awareness about this cunning disease and addiction and suicide awareness as it took her brother. And just like myself and Bobby, 1 in 5 will try suicide.

It is why gambling addiction is claiming more lives by suicide than any other addiction. It’s why I would appreciate you visiting Ronda’s website and see how you can help with a possible Donation, help share her message of Hope and in Memorium of Bobby and many others.

Let’s help those still suffering in silence from problem gambling by giving them an ear to listen, and let them know they can recover! Bobby Hafemann’s birthday is September 29th, 2020


###########

More Articles About Bobby Hafemann & Connect With Her on FB
https://www.facebook.com/OGAOrg/

https://mailtribune.com/business/family-believes-gambling-led-to-suicide

https://www.oregonpgs.org/92908-problem-gamblers-awareness-day/

https://betfreerecoverynow.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/coming-the-end-of-sept-the-2nd-annual-national-week-of-action-to-stop-predatory-gambling-and-ronda-hatefi/amp/


 

Do You Know Your Roots To Why You Turned To Gambling Addiction? I found Mine. Trying To Cope & Escape Childhood Pain …

Do You Know Your Roots To Why You Turned To Gambling Addiction? I found Mine. Trying To Cope & Escape Childhood Pain …


A week or so ago, I had read a post about trauma. I even re-shared it and the link to the post because I found it to be profound. It got me thinking of my childhood and the pain I had to work through when I began my path to recovery from addicted gambling.

For me, the anger from all the resentments I had about what happened to me as a little girl and I was hanging onto was not only causing “Toxic Stress,” but it began to consume my life. Years ago, in therapy, I also learned that you could not leave this unprocessed either as it IS some of my roots as to why I turned to addiction. The post started with, “There are days you may have to revisit that place of trauma as soon as you walk through the front door of your apartment,” said my therapist years ago.

I began to ponder this for a while. I thought it could be some of the causes of my agoraphobia attacks and anger. (An anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety symptoms, as the person perceives their environment as unsafe and can include open spaces, public transit, shopping centers, or simply being outside their home.) And my anger was coming from holding in the unresolved resentment problems as I began treatment for my addicted gambling and no longer stuffing the pain away.

See, I thought I was using my addiction to “get back” at those who had hurt me deeply for many years … Even being in therapy for many years, my therapist informed me that my trauma and pain can still be triggered even though I have processed it and have forgiven. When I first came into recovery, I desired to stop gambling and live a life of freedom again. I had no idea or understanding how much work it was going take and all the areas that needed addressing, including my trauma.


I had been through childhood sexual trauma. Not once but twice as a young girl. Not only does this change you on the inside, but it strips you of trusting others and not just men. You are changed forever in all aspects of your life. You then carry it into your adult life while keeping this deep pain hidden and stuffed away deep down for years. It festers and bubbles with flashbacks and deep depression. You live, but you are not living.

I had worn a happy mask for many years to make me look like I was okay, satisfied, and content. At the same time, I was raging and dying inside. I began bouts of sadness and would isolate in my room, so my parents didn’t see how depressed I really was when I was a teen.

-Around 30 and after my brother-in-law passed, he was like a brother I never had. I began to have nightmares about my sexual trauma. It began haunting me, and I couldn’t stuff the pain away any longer. That was the first time I sought help. It was also the time I began gambling a little more than usual. See, I didn’t know I was using gambling to hide, escape, and just trying to cope in life. That led me to cross the line later and for over 14+yrs on and off in addicted gambling.


Slowly, we started losing most all we worked so hard for when I began addicted gambling over the years.

Why am I sharing this now?


Since the start of the pandemic and uncertain times we find ourselves it has made me reflect and acknowledge the hard work I have accomplished while maintaining my recovery. Especially the early years and those areas that I now know were the underlying roots as to why I had turned to gambling and became addicted. My resentments and anger had me hurting the people I loved the most. Even with relationships with friends and interactions with co-workers!

It was also the most challenging part of my recovery work to accept, work through, and finally let it go. I can not change what happened to me, nor control how my family and others had hurt me, but, in a way, I honor that detour in life because I would not be where I am or WHO I am today. It took the practice of being mindful of my character defects, behaviors, and therapy loads to make those changes.

But most importantly, I feel to be able to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle while maintaining recovery? You need to dig deep at the start of early recovery and identify, process, forgive, make the changes, and then give it to God. It was all necessary to reach success and maintain long-term recovery and live in freedom happiness and again.
~Catherine

We Are Rounding Out ‘National Suicide Prevention Week & Gambling’ With My Friends of ‘The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’…

We Are Rounding Out ‘National Suicide Prevention Week & Gambling’ With My Friends of ‘The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’…

Bet Free Recovery Now by advocate, Catherine Lyon is helping raise awareness with the fine folks of The Floridia Council on Compulsive Gambling, Mental Health, and The National Week of Suicide Prevention. Here’s more from our advocacy friends!

The Importance of Strong Mental Health in the Fight Against Suicide and Problem Gambling

September 9, 2020

Description
 of News Story Image
Yes, problem gamblers may steal to stay in ACTION

Protecting our mental health should be a priority in our daily lives; September 6-12, 2020, is National Suicide Prevention Week. More than ever, we are taking steps to prevent suicide and effects that may come from gambling addiction. No one has escaped from the changes that this pandemic has brought on the world.

Even though COVID has physically affected lives, many have taken an impact financially and mentally. Situations such as job loss, lockdown orders, new school structures, and travel restrictions all affect mental health. Many may not know that all of these changes have caused changes in gambling habits, some for the worse.

A common misconception about gambling addiction is that those who suffer from this condition just “have a problem weighing their odds.” However, gambling addiction affects the brain much in the same way as drugs, leaving those who suffer unable to control their urges to bet. Because this condition has no obvious physical symptoms, it often goes undetected by even those closest to the gambler, and so do the difficulties that may come with it, including suicidal ideation.

During May of this year, 13% of those reaching out to 888-ADMIT-IT for help with a gambling problem revealed current or recent suicidal feelings and thoughts due to their gambling problem [1]. These results leave us to understand how the pandemic and past events have impacted people negatively, and how this is reflected in gambling behaviors. In July, a 20-year old male committed suicide due to a negative day trading balance on the popular app Robinhood [2]. However, this isn’t the only instance; another teen in India this August took the same route as a result of losing all of his savings through online gambling [3]. 

While we mourn these tragic events, we know that we can continue to make a difference in prevention. Your gambling habits may be an indicator of your mental health. Many individuals who struggle with disordered gambling experience mental health and domestic challenges such as anxiety, depression, and family neglect [4]. As a result of these difficulties, these individuals seek gambling to “escape” the negative emotions and difficult situations.

Our goal is always to inspire hope and create a path towards recovery and a better life on the other side of problem gambling. While many people gamble for various reasons, we remain steadfast in providing help through our Peer Connect Program, amongst other resources we provide for those who contact our confidential 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine. If you feel that you or your loved one are at risk of gambling addiction, contact our HelpLine. The first step is just a call away.

The FCCG’s 24-hour confidential and multilingual HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

[1] 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine Report: January-May 2020., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine Report: January-May 2020

[2] Klebnikov, Sergei. “20-Year-Old Robinhood Customer Dies By Suicide After Seeing A $730,000 Negative Balance.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 June 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2020/06/17/20-year-old-robinhood-customer-dies-by-suicide-after-seeing-a-730000-negative-balance/.

[3] NewIndianXpress. “Youth Loses Savings in Online Gambling, Kills Self.” The New Indian Express, The New Indian Express, 28 July 2020, http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2020/jul/28/youth-loses-savings-in-online-gambling-kills-self-2175731.html.

[4] 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2019 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2019, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report

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Editor Note:
It is more important than ever to raise awareness and prevention about gambling and suicide. Now, one in five problem gamblers will try suicide.
My hope in sharing this article and raising awarness along with my friends of The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, it will help educate and inform the public of how gambling can become very addictive for those who are not normal gamblers.

There is Help and Hope from this cunning addiction.

If you or someone has a gambling problem and live in Floridia? Please the number provided for The FCCG today. For those not in Floridia, you can to get help from The National Council on Problem Gambling or visit their website: https://www.ncpgambling.org/ or call 1-800-522-4700


Welcome Author and Life Coach, Kaden James. A Master Writer of Self-Help, Welleness, and Personal Growth Books…

Meet my friend and fellow author who also supports my recovery, Life Coach Kaden James…His amazing books of self-help, inspiring, and motivating can also help those of us maintaining recovery to learn living a healthy and successful lifestyle. Advocate, Catherine Lyon

Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den

It’s not every day you meet a prolific and thought-provoking writer and author like my new friend, Kaden James. I have worked with authors through the years, but there is something truly special about Kaden. His writing style is not only fresh while inspiring others, but he has such an authentic and unique potetic feel to his words within what he writes and shares.

He is a sought after life and wellness coach and has transitioned this into writing amazing informative books for everyone to benefit from. He has had success at a young age as a singer songwriter with wisdom gained and stayed grounded and grateful. His passion is to write and with his caring nature, write books that will motivate and inspire others to reach for success while living their best life now!

Here now is more about him and more about his literary works. ~Cat

Shout my Book को फोटो।
Author and…

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GAMBLING ADDICTION

Just happened to come across another recovery blog I found interesting and so was this POST…So I am sharing it! 😻
Recovery Knowledge = Power!

Addict Doctors

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value( referred to as “the Stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements to be present: consideration, risk and prize.

THE TWO MAIN TYPES OF GAMBLING INCLUDES:

1. Chance-based: such as playing the lottery, roulette, bingo or gaming machines. The results are random.

2. Skill-based: such as betting on races and playing poker or blackjack. Your ability or skill can influence whether you win or lose.

A few examples include;

. Lotteries ( lotto 6/49, super 7)

. Instant lotteries ( 7 chanceux, other scratch cards)

. Bingo

. Betting on billiard or pool

. Card games

. Private sports betting/ sports lotteries

. Casino games ( slot machines, roulette, keno)

. Video lottery terminals

WHY DO PEOPLE GAMBLE

For example, slot machine players may gamble…

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I Am Slowly Learning That Trauma Has Different Faces — Thought Catalog

Trigger warnings: Eating disorders, suicide attempt “You have to revisit a place of trauma every single day when you walk through the front door of your apartment,” my therapist told me. 1,255 more words and a Must Read Post for all…

I Am Slowly Learning That Trauma Has Different Faces — Thought Catalog


THIS WAS A MUST SHARE As I am a Trauma Survior, and NO, many of my battle scars are emotional … Advocate/Author Catherine Lyon

Press Release: Congrats To Author, Maxwell Ivey Jr. Who’s Been Awarded 4-Stars & Book Review From Readers Favorite.

Press Release: Congrats To Author, Maxwell Ivey Jr. Who’s Been Awarded 4-Stars & Book Review From Readers Favorite.

I am sharing this GOOD NEWS here on my recovery website about a dear friend and fellow author Maxwell Ivey is because not does he support my literary side, he has always supported my Recovery!

Catherine Lyon, Advocate/Author

Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den

I couldn’t be more excited to share this news for my dear friend and fellow critically acclaimed Author, Max Ivey known as “The Blind Blogger & Poscast Host of “What’s Your Excuse.” He began writing a travel series with the first book titled, “The Blind Blogger’s NYC Adventures” + How you can make your dreams come true.

He has now just released book two of the series titled, “The Blind Blogger’s First Speaking and Signing Adventures + How you can conquer your fears. See, Max never let’s his disability of no sight which happened when he was 12-years-old. Yes, it may take him more planning when he needs to travel, but he has such a inspiring desire to accomplish his life and career goals that he goes full board when he sets his mind to it!

So, I’m excited to share I helped Max with submitting his…

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How To Handle Roadblocks & Challenges or Even After a Relapse On Your Road To Recovery…

Recovery Quotes & Addiction Quotes - iRecover

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When we begin our recovery path, there might be times we feel like we can’t move past those speed bumps or the hurdles during this journey. I would search for the answers to why I’d feel stuck and think, how do I move forward?

Why do I get a stretch of abstinence and then relapse?

What if I’m not strong enough not to cave in to cravings, urges, and triggers?

What can I do not to RELAPSE?

These are excellent questions and concerns we all have to face while maintaining our recovery journey. Some can be quick fixes, or some may mean you have more work to do within your recovery path. See, recovery is not only a life long process, and it does come to us in phases. Our redemption from gambling addiction is ever-evolving as we grow and gain the wisdom to know we can not control our gambling.

So we explore all have the options to choose how we begin to live our lives in a healthy way and away from gambling addiction or any addiction really.

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115 Recovery & Addiction Quotes for Daily Inspiration & Positive ...

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First, I would remind everyone I have an excellent Relapse Prevention Guide here everyone can copy and paste this little workbook Relapse Prevention Guide…

Next is doing the “work” that is asked of you while you begin to learn the tools and the skills that will save your life. Next is being diligent in using all the tools you learn. It’s Not complicated. But, still, many can struggle as they begin the journey. We have choices to pick from to start our path of recovery. It may be a 12-Step Program, Faith-Based Program, or something altogether different. You may want an in-patient treatment center program or an outpatient treatment program that offers therapy or counseling, whatever you feel is right and comfortable for you even though moving away from addiction is uncomfortable.

I advocate much throughout social media. I see many disagreements going on within groups and others wanting to force how they chose how to recover and what works for them onto others who may just be looking for help or support within recovery. I’ve read on Facebook the never-ending battles play out of those who only chose a 12-Step Program all by itself, and it got them clean, sober, or gamble free.

I would be suspect of this and not fair of those to force their choices on others. What others disagree on is,  what long-term recovery is, and how many years you need to have to use this term. Loads of different disagreements and that is not what maintaining recovery and doing our work is all about. And for those in early recovery, seeing others get “Called Out” can also be a source of relapse to see such discord.

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Relapse | Psychology Today

My feelings are and just my OWN OPINIONS. Look, as long as you have the desire to stop gambling, knowing it is making your life unmanageable? It should be your choice alone or with your family of what works and is comfortable for you. Now, you have now chosen your treatment path. You’ll begin to realize and come to terms with the recovery work you’ll need to do in the first few years of this journey.

You’ll start to learn and gain the skills and tools required to interrupt the “cycle” of addiction, which is an essential part of this process. Becoming educated and informed about this disease while digging deeper into acknowledging the roots and underlying issues that had you turn to addicted gambling for a few hours of solace, or trying to not feel anything for a few hours.

As I started my recovery work and therapy, it became clear to me it was the pain from my childhood trauma and sexual abuse as some of those roots and why I was gambling and looking for relief from the old haunting pain and hurtful memories. Let me end with a little Facebook experiment I did a few weeks ago with a newer recovery blog post I wrote and shared on my FB recovery page.

I then did a FB Boosted Post advertising to direct FB users to my recovery blog to read this new post. I targeted the ad to the states of Oregon, California, Florida, and here in Arizona.

Here is how it performed and told me there are many problem gamblers out there still needing help and HOPE.

The post was seen and reached:
3,564  FB users
Engagement and Clicks: 231  FB Users
42.7% were Women of Age 45+
57.3% were Men of Age 55+

I was pretty shocked at these results, and the ad ran for only three days. It sure tells me I got a lot more advocacy work to do and to share hope and resources with those who have a gambling problem … ~Catherine

Some Solid Advice Instead of Gambling Your Money Away …

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Gambling-Quotes-Double-Money

#Take lessons from the past!

We can all learn a little something from where we came from while maintaining recovery. My pick for an Uplifting Moment blog post!
Our past doesn’t define who we are today… xoxo Catherine

My experience

It is wise to take lessons from your previous experiences. In the past, a person’s behavior towards you depends on whether he is fit to be your friend or not. Life becomes difficult then, when you begin to ignore reality. It is very necessary to take lessons from and to awaken consciousness inside you, because when it starts to happen then solutions of problems start coming out automatically. Even when you are stranded, someone unknowingly increases the hand of help on your side, like an angel. You feel that this miracle happened, whereas in reality this is due to the consciousness of your inner conscious, as you think, The same kind of energy is attracted to you. Sometimes it seems that the problems of the present will end your life. But when you understand that your difference consciousness is more than the current situation Powerful, then finally you are victorious.

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Ryan Hampton of Recovery Advocacy Project Needs Our Help With Answers To Their Poll. Share Your Voice & Opinions!

Ryan Hampton of Recovery Advocacy Project Needs Our Help With Answers To Their Poll. Share Your Voice & Opinions!

WELCOME RECOVERY POSSE & Friends,

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will give a few minutes of your time.

My amazing recovery friend and advocate, Ryan Hampton is at it again making sure addiction, recovery, and mental health issues are on the ballot this coming general election.

Isn’t time we make sure these important issues and topics make it to Washington, D.C., to be heard for changes to be made?
I do too!
Here is a way everyone “touched” by addiction and mental health challenges can have their voices heard by taking this POLL.
How do voters feel about addiction and recovery in politics?

Here are all the details and just “Click Here”… All poll responses will be anonymous. Please click here to participate.

Thanks, Recovery Warriors! 
Advocate, Catherine Lyon 😺🦁✝💞💞

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mail

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Dear Catherine,

We need your help. The Recovery Advocacy Project is conducting a poll to share with policymakers and elected officials–and your participation will help us make the case for increased services for addiction and mental health recovery support.
All poll responses will be anonymous. Please click here to participate.

Do you think addiction and mental health recovery has been a key issue for the candidates running in Arizona?

We’re asking voters like you to take this quick online poll to share their thoughts on this topic ahead of the upcoming elections. We can’t wait to share the results with you and our policymakers–but we need your help by participating today!

There are only a few days left to complete this poll. Take a look at the questions and submit your thoughts here.

Thank you for your support.

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Now that election day is in 97 days. It’s critical that we keep addiction and mental health recovery front-and-center for all candidates. And there are several ways you can help!

This past weekend, we were out canvassing and educating voters with the Recovery Advocacy Project—focusing on addiction and mental health recovery as issues that must be priorities for candidates and elected officials. The Recovery Advocacy Project (RAP) is a network of people and organizations across the country advocating for addiction recovery policies.

RAP is committed to giving people in recovery, family members, and supporters of recovery the grassroots organizing tools to think and act locally. RAP is working to build a visible and effective constituency in demand of the community and public policy based solutions in response to America’s long-standing addiction crisis. You can learn more and get involved in your state this election cycle by going here

This past Friday, I published a blog in Medium outlining many of the challenges our community faces with the dueling COVID-19 public health crisis. Massive budget cuts to addiction health services in several states risk 27 million American lives.

Now is the time for our community to stand up, get involved, and make our voices heard!

And lastly, there are only a few days left to register and join advocates and families from across the country via Zoom from August 18-20th for Mobilize Recovery. While the official application deadline has passed, we have a few open slots left for digital participation.

Mobilize Recovery will be a great start for any person desiring to learn more about how they can get involved to make an impact in their local community this election. Please add your name here today if you’re able to join us. Registration is free but requires a commitment to attend and participate for all 3 days of the online event.

Thanks, Catherine for all you do for our community!
All The Best,
Ryan Hampton

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Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Welcome Recovery Warriors, Friends, and Visitors,

It’s has been a crazy beginning to a new decade within a new year and where our world is heading and nearing August of 2020. So much has happened in just about all realms and issues facing our country today and has been mind-boggling …From politics to pandemic to recovery to employment to furloughed to loss of life to my mental health to no funerals to OMG!!!

I think you get the picture as to what I’m feeling and trying to say. It has affected me to the point of no return or finding solace. So I find it when I am writing. I can’t watch the news much as it raises my already high-level anxiety and I had to stop reading all the news articles on the internet because it does the same and I get even more depressed when I continue to hear more people have died from this virus that should still be here with us today.

I can go on and on. However, it has changed my life and maintaining recovery in perspective, and in order to learn and know what truly is important in my life. We are not promised a tomorrow and why I choose to maintain my recovery through faith and keep HOPE ALIVE for others and myself.

That brings me to a little writing I saw by an unknown author that reads:

Is Religion a Form of Recovery?

“Religion is not my personal choice but I have seen people recover thru only this method, Religion as it is just a form of prayers to a higher power whether it be Allah, God or Yahweh. And contrary to popular belief, you can’t just use anything as your higher power, a higher power needs to be caring, loving, and have your best interest at heart, oh, and more powerful than you.

That is a true description of “a power greater than yourself.” No matter which one you choose, you have to pray your way out of your current predicaments like addiction.
And the tricky part isn’t just you not using, (drugs, booze, gambling) the tricky shit is changing everything about your life and for some of us, we need a step-by-step guide cuz after you been walking into the woods for several years in a row and unless you have a map, we’re just going to wander around in the woods forever. Now, this may good for some people it is not good for me.

Unless you immerse yourself in this particular culture. I sincerely never had any luck getting clean and sober this way. So give this a try and get back to me, I mean don’t get me wrong, all of us in recovery regardless of what we use to stay clean, sober, gamble free, no self- harm, just addiction-free and alive, do you have to have some type of higher power? And, thanks to the great many of us who choose to call this higher power God, because, without him, recovery is just too much for us alone to learn.
You need to rely on God when nothing else seems to work.

As a matter of fact, even before things fail us completely, we need to reach out to our higher power, ask for help, ask that our shortcomings be removed, ask that are character defects be removed and let God be able to show the newcomers in our perspective program how are reliance upon him has helped us out. No matter what you use to get there as far as treatment, rehab and such. And always try to remember;

“WE DO RECOVER”

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When we put our problems in God's hands, He puts peace in our ...

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After reading that, I began to think about all the choices we have of the path and journey we choose to begin and gain recovery from any addiction. Treatment can be what we or how we choose it. It might become the way how successful we grab a hold of long-term recovery. For myself, I could not do RECOVERY alone. My higher power has always been GOD. After that? I needed any and all to gain recovery from gambling addiction.

And, yes, there are those reading this may think, why religion? For me, it is not about religion, nor if I was raised with or in religion. Organized religion in my own opinion is NOT what God intended. Yes, we are all born God’s children and with ‘free will.’ I feel organized regions (labels) or the type of religion like Catholics, Mormon, Lutheran, and so on, gets in the way of having a real personal one-on-one relationship with our savior as God intended.

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I know that was, you God | Inspirational words, Inspirational ...

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The holy spirit? That keeps us all connected through heart, soul, and is how you feel God and his son Christ in our lives. Again, just my own beliefs. Especially when we look around what is going on in our world, our country and right outside our doors. One thing I hope many will learn while this pandemic is happening. It has made recovery and managing my mental health more challenging and turned a little upside down.

Most of everything is now virtual and online. That is where I get support for my recovery, I continue to write articles and blog posts here. I write for ‘Keys to Recovery’ newspaper for the column they gave me called “Quit to Win and it’s a geat FREE recovery resource and has amazing articles and more.

I continue to sponsor and mentor others new to gambling recovery as well. I do Gamblers Anonymous meeting online and much more. I feel what has been imperative to my recovery is doing at least one thing to maintain it each day.

Lastly, I think what truly helps is I am mindful to all within faith. And that keeps my grounded and makes sure I am helping others along my journey…So I think I’ll continue to maintain my recovery through FAITH. ~Catherine Lyon

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Pre-order Happening Now and New Book Release Coming by Author, Tony Roberts Called “When Despair Meets Delight”…

Pre-order Happening Now and New Book Release Coming by Author, Tony Roberts Called “When Despair Meets Delight”…

Many of us like me have mental health challenges and is why I am re-blogging this new book release by my dear friend and fellow best-selling author, Tony Roberts. Everyone needs to pre-order this book. The early buzz is amazing and many readers will be helped and be inspired by Tony’s soon to release book!

CAT

Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den

New Book Releasing Soon By My Dear Friend and fellow author Tony Roberts! It is his second book to release and I can’t wait to give it read! He has been a tireless advocate for those of us who have Mental Health challenges in life.

There is more to learn and the ordering details are at the bottom of this post and shared from his amazing website of Delight in Disorder! 

When Despair Meets Delight Goes to Press

The time is at hand. After five years of gestation, and over a year of hard labor (with a week of major complications), I have been assured that When Despair Meets Delight will go to the printers today. From there, it should take two weeks to prepare a review copy. When I am satisfied that all looks good, I will bring boxes of books home. Then comes the delightfully arduous task of…

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Creating Some Book Buzz For An International Best Selling Author & His Book “Aiming High” That Hit #1 On Amazon. Meet Darren Prince Who Is Now Listed On Book Buzz (dot) Net …

Creating Some Book Buzz For An International Best Selling Author & His Book “Aiming High” That Hit #1 On Amazon. Meet Darren Prince Who Is Now Listed On Book Buzz (dot) Net …

Amazing News! Darren’s book is now listed on Book Buzz and is available as an audiobook on Amazon and Kobo!
Cat

Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den

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HELLO and WELCOME READERS and FRIENDS,

If you are an avid reader like I am then you must take a visit and find your next read from our amazing friends and the team at Book Buzz! 

You can now find Darren’s best-selling book, e-book, and now offered in audiobook format with Book Buzz! Darren is a popular sought after marketing agent for many icon celeb’s and sports pros and does his job well. Hoe can he Not when his best friend is none other than former ‘LA Laker, Magic Johnson, who also wrote the beautiful forward for Darren’s book. (Banner Courtesy of BookBuzz.net) …

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How Darren Turned his Bottom Into a New Beginning In Life!

Darren shares a story of soaring heights and crawling lows, as chronicled in his book Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top. He explains how…

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Attitude of Gratitude July 15 2020 — Annette Rochelle Aben

THIS Get’s An AMEN From and WHY I AM Sharing!! 💞💫✝🥰🙏🙏

Thank you, for your Attitude of Gratitude: If you have ever been passed over for something you really wanted, like a job, how did that make you feel? As though you were unworthy? Perhaps the job that would deliver what you require, in the long run, has yet to present itself. Affirmation: I rely on […]

via Attitude of Gratitude July 15 2020 — Annette Rochelle Aben

Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and Personal Experiences. Problem Gambling 101. No Substances Required For This Addiction.

Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and Personal Experiences. Problem Gambling 101. No Substances Required For This Addiction.

 

If there is one thing I know inside and out?

It’s problem and addicted gambling on an intimate level and how this progressive disease is baffling and the building into a full-blown addiction. How it becomes a slow shift from being a once-in-a-while gambler to obsessive out-of-control addict! And how it got me years ago when having lots of time on my hands. While my husband was working out of town a lot. Being bored after work not wanting to go home to an empty house. It then became my only fun and excitement in life at that time back in late 1996. As it really ramped up all of 1997 and beyond.

It then progressed from there and my life wouldn’t be the same as it got “UGLY” for many years. All that can be read within my first book. That was the purpose of having my journals printed in book form and became a memoir titled; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and Cheat.” It isn’t how to recovery from this addiction, it is the WHY and HOW of being a gambling addict.

After two times through a county health gambling treatment program, two failed suicide attempts, living with undiagnosed mental health disorders for years, finally properly diagnosed and  finally on the road maintaining recovery is when I learned some of the “ROOTS” and underlying issues to my addiction. Toward the end and about 7 months before treatment, lead me to abuse alcohol because addicted gambling alone was becoming, “Not Enough.”

Being informed, educated, and knowledgable about this illness was, for me, important since I now advocate about this disease that cost me way more than money wasted. I tell my sponsees it almost took my life, twice.  Now does that sound like gambling is just all about FUN, Games, and Entertainment? Not to those who become addicted.

So, courtesy of Wikipedia and “Gamblers Anonymous Site” — and in order for those to understand this disease who have NO experienced it or have not been “touched” by any addiction? I ask…

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What Is Addiction?

Addiction is when the body or mind badly wants or needs something in order to work right. (Cravings, Urges, and Triggers)…When you suffer addiction to something it is called being addicted or being an addict. People can be addicted to drugs, gambling, smoking, alcohol, coffee, , porn, and many other things.

When somebody is addicted to something, they can become sick if they do not get the thing they are addicted to. But taking more of the thing they are addicted to can also hurt their health. Some people who are addicts need to go to a doctor, hospital, or treatment to cure the addiction, so they no longer crave (want or need) …

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What Is Problem Gambling or Addicted Gambling?

Problem gambling is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior.

Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.

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Other Names Ludomania, gambling addiction, compulsive gambling

 

A DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions. The term gambling addiction has long been used in the recovery movement.[1] Pathological gambling was long considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction.
However, data suggest a closer relationship between pathological gambling and substance use disorders than exists between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder, largely because the behaviors in problem gambling and most primary substance use disorders (i.e. those not resulting from a desire to “self-medication” for another condition such as depression) seek to activate the brain’s reward mechanisms while the behaviors characterizing obsessive-compulsive disorder are prompted by overactive and misplaced signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.

Problem gambling is an addictive behavior with a high comorbidity with alcohol problems. A common feature shared by people who suffer from gambling addiction is impulsivity. (Mine so happened to be for Escaping or Coping with old childhood trauma).


Signs and symptoms

In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period:

  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
    ….
  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
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  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
    …..
  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)
    ……
  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)
    …..
  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
    …..
  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
    ……
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling
    …….
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling

……
I experienced all of the above from my gambling addiction and continued to get even MORE SEVERE! Did I use household money to gamble? YES. Did I gamble my paycheck in a few hours? YES. Did I steal and lie to get money to gamble? YES… AND MORE. It is a cunning sick addiction and disease.

THEN CAME? Suicide attempts!

,,,,,,,
Suicide is a permanent solution to what is a temporary problem ...

……..
Suicide Rates

The gambler who does not receive treatment for pathological gambling when in his or her desperation phase may contemplate SUICIDE. Problem gambling is often associated with increased Suicidal Ideation and attempts compared to the general population. 1 in 5 will try suicide. Early-onset of problem gambling increases the lifetime risk of suicide. However, gambling-related suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling.

A 2010 Australian hospital study found that 17% of suicidal patients admitted to the Alfred Hospital’s emergency department were problem gamblers. In the United States, a report by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempt suicide.

The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.  2.6% of people living in the United States are now problem gamblers. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction.


Studies have compared pathological gamblers to substance addicts, concluding that addicted gamblers display more physical symptoms during withdrawal. A myth needing known. Addicted gamblers DO go through a Detox and Withdrawal period. Deficiencies in serotonin might also contribute to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction.

 

Lastly, the Pathological Part of this ADDICTION:

Several psychological mechanisms are thought to be implicated in the development and maintenance of problem gambling.

First, reward processing seems to be less sensitive to problem gamblers.
Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives.

Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissism, risk-seeking, sensation-seeking, and impulsivity.

Fourth, problem gamblers suffer from a number of cognitive biases, including the illusion of control, unrealistic optimism, overconfidence and the gambler’s fallacy, which is (the incorrect belief that a series of random events tends to self-correct so that the absolute frequencies of each of various outcomes balance each other out).

Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory…

If you want more in-depth information about gambling addiction there is more informative information at Wikipedia here: about problem and addicted gambling.

~Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon

…….

Gambling-Quotes-Double-Money

Part-Two of P W Robinson’s Emailed Letters to The City of Oxnard. Sharing His Voice and Concerns of Less Homeless Services, Unsafe and Unhealthy Encampments. The Paradise Project Could Be An Answer …Real Advocacy.

Part-Two of P W Robinson’s Emailed Letters to The City of Oxnard. Sharing His Voice and Concerns of Less Homeless Services, Unsafe and Unhealthy Encampments. The Paradise Project Could Be An Answer …Real Advocacy.

 

 

 

In part one I shared an email written by my friend Peter Robinson. In regards to a meeting that was taking place with several officials of the City of Oxnard, CA., Peter wanted to write and share his voice and concerns about the many continuing problems he thinks need to addressed in Oxnard and within Ventura County for the people who need proper living and services like food, showers, and more.

You may also recall I had written some articles earlier this year about this same area in California from another person who was claiming to be an “Advocate for the Homeless” and forcing those he felt were responsible for the homeless to help them and be “Accountable” to do so.

That was then. I write “then” because he and and I are no longer connected or in contact. When you read Peter’s (PW) personal experiences and interactions in this “Part Two Letter,” P W shares why many us who tried to help Mr. Martinez, by being caring, kind, and mentoring him.

The problem I had is ‘you can’t HELP SOMEONE Who Is Not willing to help themselves’ and when you cling to motives of doing things for your own validation and it all being really about how one looks to others which seems important to him. Look, there is no “I” in the words “TEAM or Self-Sabotage”…I did and will always wish him the best.

And, yes, Mr. Martinez was the person who introduced me to Peter (P W ) Robinson and Peter and I speak often. Peter’s ideas and thinking outside the box are a ‘breath of fresh air’ when it comes to helping those with no place to live, the services they need, and knows why first-hand. Because he currently lives in a shelter at Mercy House in Oxnard…  ~Catherine

…..


(Peter’s Residence at Mercy House – Oxnard Navigation Center)

 

Peter shared with me ‘who’ is (P W) Robinson

Here is his (P W) words describing who he is and how he wants to help!

I am a 60-year-old white male, legally disabled with/from Bipolar and ADHD, becomes despondent, finally seeks in-patient help, finds new meds, reconnects with God Almighty, is cured of trauma and re-launched …Then suddenly I became homeless.

I’ve dedicated my time to learning all the theories and methodologies around the issue, met and interacted with the homeless–from the streets of Las Vegas to a V.C. in a homeless shelter under quarantine during this pandemic, and has written extensively about the experience for two years.

Now building the Paradise Project in order to help cure and end homelessness in the USA…   ~P W Robinson

OrmondBeachProjectMap

 

Recent legislations vs. the homeless By Peter Robinson

I’ve read the minutes from the Autumn 2019 council vote, and can report that each City Council member used a specific compound phrase before voting, ‘purely punitive’. Not just punitive. ‘Purely’, or ‘only’, or ‘just’…punitive…is what they all said before voting for increased harassment.

In your own, very specific words, we’re being punished for not having a home. And as long as the public bathrooms remain locked in Oxnard–18 months and counting–any printed complaints of outdoor bodily functions are moot, dishonest, and just plain evil.

The Advocate Concept

Now would be a great time for everyone to understand the opposing opinions and methodologies on combating homelessness, as well as to establish a working definition of the word ‘advocate’ going forward.

noun

/ˈadvəkət/

a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. “he was an untiring advocate of economic reform”

Similar:
champion
upholder
supporter
backer
promoter
proponent
exponent
protector
patron
spokesman for
spokeswoman for
spokesperson for
speaker for
campaigner for
fighter for
battler for
crusader for
missionary
reformer
pioneer
pleader
apostle
apologist
booster
plugger
critic
Opposite:


“I’m P. W. Robinson. I’m an advocate for the homeless. I write and tirelessly advocate for those who have nothing”…

Paul W. & Mr. Martinez, Advocates?, my experiences and their ways can each be defined in many different ways, but ‘advocates for the homeless’, they are certainly not. Paul, at least, doesn’t pitch himself that way, but Lang does.  Not only am I homeless and immersed in this world, but I’ve also studied the issues, both locally and at the national level. I’ve immersed myself in the study of homeless shelter theory, and have personally experienced and witnessed the day to day operations of several shelters.

Additionally, my previous work experience includes decades of leadership in the areas of business building and start-ups, as well as the staffing, training, motivating, and managing of human capital. “Everything I’ve learned–both before and since I became homeless–has taught me that there are no lost causes in the pool of human beings.

“With love, we rise and continue to rise. Without love, we wither and eventually die.” 

I think everyone alive should read the email exchanges I recently had with Paul W, one of the local go-to homeless policy-shapers. It wasn’t private, and it should be read by anyone hoping to learn more about our topics, and how each side presents itself. They carries trauma, I don’t. He has made his work about hurting people he doesn’t understand the first thing about.

What should also be read are my exchanges with Mr. Martinez, an individual I reached out to work with until I realized that he is not for us at all, and in fact  seems to hates the homeless with a seething rage that seems to know no limits. His ‘advocacy’ for the less fortunate is purely a media creation, and he’s known for performing in front of the press on field trips, to establish his false narrative. But always two sides to receptions.

……
Homeless Human Man - Free photo on Pixabay

 

He seems to dedicate himself to diminishing the resources and life experience of local homeless folks. He remains in constant “Anger and Resentment” and all others remain his victims of choice. Many homeless folks around here are physically terrified of him because they know him. He was a thug before he ever hit the streets, some kind of monster while out here, and remains traumatized and raging against his victims of choice.

See if you can find ‘terrorizing’ listed among the above actions of an advocate. He’s just another resentful guy who hates the less fortunate, pretty run of the mill around here. Did you know that at the shelter people routinely stop and laugh at us after hitting us with their cars? Stigma is still real and only here, I’m pretty sure. He has promised me many, many times, to “get the shelter closed down”, both in maniacal, screaming voice calls and messages, and childlike, ALL CAPS emails and texts.

Recently Mr. martinez told me he ‘saved’ a rape victim on the condition that he’d get press coverage for doing it, which he did, helped her get into this shelter I live in at Mercy House, then relentlessly harassed her after her admittance, to the point that she refused his calls, so he kept calling me.

Pin on More Of The Word

 

She was trying to heal, get some peace and some rest, but I could never get him to understand that. He wanted her to coordinate her story with him, for reasons that are his alone. How sick is that? “As always–always, with no exceptions–it’s only about Lang.” Just as it is with his laughable, fake-journalist alter-ego ‘Jeff Anderson’, he is as transparent as any demon I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen plenty.

Maybe you all enable him to say and do whatever he wants–and never be accountable for any of it–because he says what you want to hear about us. Or maybe there’s money in it. Who knows? It’s odd, to be sure. If Lang would like to dispute any portion of my assessment of either him or our relationship, I stand ready with dozens of written and screamed pieces of evidence.

There will come a time, probably pretty soon, when he is dragged out into the open and exposed. He knows I love him, and I hope he finds some kind of peace in his life. I’d have ignored him if he didn’t laugh so hard when he makes these threats against my family.

What’s most important right now?

This time, these moments, each day, right now, July 2020…

Anyone with eyes can see that this game is coming to a conclusion: it’s the end-game, if not end times. The war is fully engaged, and good and evil are openly taking sides. God Almighty and His Angels vs.the little guy and his little demons. A mismatch as always, but it’s never easy. It isn’t supposed to be. The teams we’re each playing for are clearly revealed in our words and actions each day.

Listen to your heart–the largest part of you will always be pure love, as all of us were made. The very best thing that each of us can do every day is love. Love everybody. Tell them you love them if you can, show them if you can’t say it. Tell a homeless person, who never hears it.

“The ‘highest homeless death rate in the nation’ is a real thing, meticulously researched, and leads to only one conclusion: hate kills. I swear, I thought I’d uncover a serial killer–which would have been a far preferable conclusion to what is clear now: hate alone can kill.”

I’ve recently demonstrated my commitment to healing by standing down during the recent protests, rather than presenting all the local cop abuse of the homeless to the gathering mob. I did that because I live here, and will live here in V.C., and I intend to live in the most loving and compassionate community on the face of the planet. It might take a minute or two.

The hatred directed at anyone right now simply helps the devil do his work. Dumping hundreds of homeless on the streets here will allow you to set unprecedented death rates, records that may never be broken. So, there’s that.

Please continue to show support to the Mercy House projects as we work toward better, more innovative, and compassionate solutions to this societal burden.

The 24hr/low-barrier concept is essential, make no mistake, but isn’t flawless. Mercy House will continue to grow its services as the environment dictates. building and can always be refined. Let me know if you would like my contribution of any kind, including generating positive P.R. pieces, grant proposals, and the like. I will happily engage in discussions about the issues at any time, in any venue.

More than that, let’s form an alliance, some combination of private donors, and allocated city funds. I will be fundraising as soon as I‘m released from quarantine. Let’s join together as friends and allies. We have only 1600 here, we can, quite literally, end that. I’ll bet we can get a parcel of land somewhere if we purchase it.

The Paradise Project will be a 30-day in-patient, 24 persons to a wing, a locked-down program aimed at restoring the homeless to functioning members of society, so they can stand on their own and resume their lives. It’s healing first, then housing at the end, and is not only cost-effective in operation, but it will also quickly produce positive cash flow.

It’ll be a reality series that demonstrates actual ‘miracles’ in real-time, human beings rising from the depths of hopelessness. It will also recognize and celebrate the healers and their healing arts, each of whom will be healers of Ventura County.

We’ll have superstars rising from day one, exerting their influence in their fields. It’ll be based out of Ventura County, and will be recognized internationally for its healing properties.

It’s also, to be sure, an upcoming financial opportunity for those initial investors in the Paradise communities. I’ll never ask for an interest-free loan or any kind of small donations for the healing Project, it funds another way, but the communities themselves represent an investment opportunity with limited risk.

None of the TDC projects are non-profit–we pay for our initiatives ourselves by merchandising and selling access, we turn our profit into the growth of other charitable projects. We’re our own biggest donor, self-perpetuating, synergistic. It’s the business of charity.  I’ll probably have to bring this project before the public all by myself, due to local press hostility, and am prepared to do so in a variety of ways.

In the end, we’ll be judged on the quality of our mercy, and how we treated the least fortunate among us. As always, everyone will receive their just reward.

My message will always be love, only love. 
Peter (P. W.) Robinson

…….
Homeless People File Class-Action Lawsuit Against the City of San ...

 

Don’t Human Beings Deserve Much Better Than This?

 

 

How About We Destigmatize Those Who Are Homeless & Stop The Labeling. My Friend and Guest P. W. Robinson Has a Little Something to Share About Homelessness as I Do…

How About We Destigmatize Those Who Are Homeless & Stop The Labeling. My Friend and Guest P. W. Robinson Has a Little Something to Share About Homelessness as I Do…

….
Not everyone will be having a ‘Happy 4th of July’ even as we are living in uncertain times and in the middle of a growing COVID-19 pandemic, still, it seems even with all the unrest happening and groups of protesters chanting about these lives and those lives matter. Has anyone stopped to think about the lives of those who are spending another 4th of July HOMELESS? Probably not.

Why is it that those who are less fortunate are the FIRST to be FORGOTTEN ABOUT? What is the first thing YOU THINK when you see a person a man or woman pushing a shopping cart with the only belongings they have? I know and so do many but you say it. But I will.

Did you know that many of those lives affected by having no place to call home and that there are a variety of homeless populations which includes families, adult men and women, mothers and their children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, individuals overcoming substance addictions, and some who are physically and mentally disabled? Don’t they deserve dignity?

DO THEY NOT Deserve help in areas of economic, emotional, and spiritual well-being in order to enhance their confidence and self-esteem and have a sense of personal pride? YES.

So I’m sharing a letter by one of my awesome friends who lives in Oxnard, CA., in Ventura County. He wrote and sent to some city council officials as he has been tirelessly speaking out and speaking up for those who are not The Least, The Lost, and The Homeless who feel Hopeless …They are human beings like all of us. So meet P W (Peter Robinson).

Peter also advocates through FAITH and knows that is a little unconventional and makes some officials uncomfortable but those who are homeless come from all walks of life, are part of our humanity, and they deserve to have hope for their future. Many times low self-esteem and shame stop them from speaking up or looking for help and services.

Maybe the stigma and labels need to be removed and not used. I’m guilty of it, but not purposely called them the homeless in an intentional negative way. And like other groups of people like protesters for “Black Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “Police Profiling & overuse of Force” well, those lives of people who have to live on the street or in a shelter and not always by their own doing, don’t their Lives Matter?

THEY SHOULD MATTER FIRST…

Here is part one of a two-part letter (email) P W wrote and emailed to many officials and a few newspapers and officials who run a shelter called “Mercy House”…I will share more of my thoughts tomorrow when I share PART TWO.

Please share your comments and thoughts with us!!

……
Homeless-Man

…….

To whom it may concern:

I’m very heartened to hear a rumor of a decision to purchase local motels and provide some housing for our most vulnerable residents. I’m writing today on behalf of the Mercy house shelters, in order that all facts are before the council and others as they deliberate future allocations of money and compassion.


A homeless shelter–the concept itself– is the most significant healing initiative there is, and the godliest and compassionate instinct a community can ever have.


By, literally, sheltering people from danger
, and hatred, and hunger, and fear, a homeless shelter provides an immeasurable contribution to a world in desperate need of warmth and compassion and directly saves lives each and every day.

The biggest ongoing and debilitating dangers to the homeless are hopelessness, depression, and suicidal instincts. The item that we lack most is competent mental health care or any at all.

It’s a thing that affects all poor people–dramatically lower levels of mental health care. We’re never even given a test for a diagnosis, the first step actual healers and doctors always take.

It’s the thing that keeps the gulf wide between the haves and the have-nots. I know because I’ve received treatment while in each condition. The homeless don’t recover because we don’t receive the tools necessary to do the job.

“Accountability”

The most abused and misunderstood term in the healing world. In the case of the homeless, by not providing any competent mental health care, then giving up when that person can’t complete the dozens of small tasks necessary to finding housing, we’re asking a person with a broken leg to walk on it until we’re satisfied or sleep outside on the ground. “Fill out these forms in a timely manner, or sleep outdoors.”

It is, bar none, the cruelest and most useless term in the language of the enemy. It’s because it has a fluid definition, and these standards are being applied arbitrarily, according to the lack of understanding inside one individual for another.

Personally, I’ve done my part long ago, submitted my paperwork correctly, and await the news that something might be available that I can look into. We have several folks in here with housing vouchers and nowhere to use them. We’re backed up with qualified applicants, and have been almost since the beginning.

We’ve all done our part and are fully ‘accountable’, by any definition of the word.

I was healed of this condition before I contracted the disease, so to speak, in an in-patient setting–so I function as someone out in the world. I have no vices or bad habits, I don’t break the law or steal or abuse anyone, I simply don’t have housing.


…..

image04-3

……
Those descriptors apply to most of the folks inside this shelter. We don’t fit the profile of who you hate, but we’ll suffer in exactly the same ways when local services are reduced or discontinued. The only difference between myself and most others out there is that I’ve had treatment for my conditions.

It’s why the Peer system is one of the few known successful methods of helping. Absent actual quality mental health care, peers–formerly homeless folks, now recovered and well-versed in the red tape production necessary to moving forward–are a necessary component in generating forward momentum.
 

“Mercy House at the Armory”
…….
Despite words to the contrary, from people with other agendas
, the Mercy House effort at the Armory in Oxnard has been an ongoing success. For each person here who is ‘taking advantage of or abusing the system and another flat-out misconception–there are four or five of us who are taking advantage of this opportunity to heal and grow and come up and out of this quicksand, this ongoing nightmare.

Those who sleep in here much of the day–very few of us, the majority older and disabled–have so much pain when they move around that not moving around seems the better choice, and all-day sleepers are submerged in depression and hopelessness, or recovering from recent horrible trauma.

Those who use meth are in a hopeless state, period. Bored to tears, no way to climb out, no potential positive outcome, no loving moment on the horizon… meth provides a way for folks to kill themselves without admitting that’s what they’re doing. In exchange for brief moments of euphoria, everyone who uses meth is utterly miserable, before and during, and the hangover and shame innate to the experience can last for weeks.

 

They have no hope because they’ve never been shown any reasons for hope.” 


….

.

The staff here has been brilliant beyond compare. There was no template for a pandemic for homeless shelters, and they’ve adjusted to changing and difficult situations on the fly, with grace and compassion. The leadership is rock-solid and has been since the beginning. Without naming everyone I’d like to, we have truly been blessed with gifted, dedicated healers in here, doing their work at a level far in excess of their compensation.

In my opinion, it makes the most sense now for Mercy House to take control of the Community Action Project, and all homelessness-related new initiatives in Ventura County. You’ve installed them in a position of frontline healing and real influence–let them do what they do. I have some fundraising ideas if that’s what is needed.

“Low-barrier concept.”

‘Low-barrier’ in a homeless shelter simply describes the process of checking in for the night–we don’t use a breathalyzer. Unfortunately, there is no breath test for meth, not that I would want those folks forced outdoors necessarily, either. Leaving people outside because they have a booze or drug issue is about as cruel as a thing can be, and there are very few in here who have those issues, anyway.


In fact, at this time, I’d say we have less than 30%
in here who use anything except marijuana, if that, which is an essential healing treatment for ADD, ADHD, and general depression, and is prescribed by doctors.

At this very moment, sitting on my bunk, I see teachers, engineers, managers, brainiacs. A black man who owned a fleet of taxis. I see a doctor, an architect, artists, and several musicians. A professional comic, a groundbreaking female mortgage broker, the founder of a local Animal Rescue biz. I can go on and on. No one in here is ordinary. Or anywhere, come to think of it.

When I talk to people who don’t know anything at all about homeless shelters, having never slept or worked inside of one, I’m often struck by their idea that it’s some kind of cushy ride. I assure you, it’s anything but that.
 

“An Experiment”
…..
As an experiment
, let’s take 100 of you indoors-dwellers, strangers to each other, and move you into one big room, double bunked.

Let’s make half of you physically challenged or full-on physically disabled, with walkers and canes and wheelchairs, as is our demographic. By necessity, we’ll use a building with limited bathroom accesses, and limited ADA facilities. Of the remaining population, all will have mental health conditions–some legally disabled, most undiagnosed and untreated.

How will you do, all alone with these strangers, with no place to hide your emotions? With no place to cry? I can tell you I’ve walked up on real tough guys, the hardest men you’ll ever meet, hidden down an alley, crying their eyes out for all they’ve lost. Men among men, weeping like children.


…..
Skid Row's Midnight Mission Now Has Overnight Shelter for Homeless ...

……

Ladies…how would you feel?
….
If you’re like most of my female roommates, you’ve had a long and successful work life, you’ve been an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re at minimum a former high-performer. You’ve raised children, and often buried some.

Now, you’re injured, legally disabled, and you’ve had every single thing taken from you. Money, property, jewelry, automobiles: your friends and family, men in general, have taken it all from you, then abandoned you to wolves.

You’ve been beaten, raped, and beaten some more. Respect, love, friendship, trust–all beaten out of you until you have nowhere else to turn, nowhere to go but outside.


Now, you’re standing in line in a homeless shelter waiting to use an ADA shower, everyone around you is immersed in their own suffocating crisis, and you’re wondering what went wrong. You have no place to store personal food–there just isn’t room for it here. There is one television tuned to a channel you may or may not like.


Welcome to their world–not “cushy”, but a far, far safer and better world than the one that lurks just outside the door. Outside, they don’t even let you use a bathroom. You have to walk for miles to urinate. There are no mirrors to fix your hair in. The outside world holds nothing but terror, hatred, and neglect. Outside, all those previous crimes, the beatings and rapes, against your precious heart and your mortal soul, continue unabated.

 

Try to imagine living without a door that you can close. That’s what a lack of sheltering really means, for a woman. If nothing more, let’s shelter the women of Ventura County, even if it’s in some giant tents. We cannot be so weak as to not be able to handle that. It’s impossible.

 

 

Thank you for reading. I stand ready to aid in any way I can.

With love and hope,

P. W. Robinson
Oxnard, Ca.

 

 

 

 

Sharing Some Informative News. Problem or Addicted Gambling Can Touch Anyone as it Did The Shooter of ‘The Worst Mass Shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. Now, a New Film of The Cover-Up… Money Machine.

Sharing Some Informative News. Problem or Addicted Gambling Can Touch Anyone as it Did The Shooter of ‘The Worst Mass Shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. Now, a New Film of The Cover-Up… Money Machine.

Welcome Friends and Inquiring Recovery Minds to Bet Free Recovery Now!

…..

It has been a long while since I have shared my own recovery ramblings and news, my thoughts about what is going on with those maintaining recovery, or for those looking for some help and hope from this insidious insane addiction.  Even in these uncertain times with the COVID-19 pandemic still alive and spreading, many people are finding it difficult to stay at home and still social distance.

I for one do not like isolation as I did a lot of that within my addiction and with my mental health challenges. I also feel people don’t do well being told they can’t go anywhere… Lol. That’s me! One of my character defects I’m still working on. Lol.

I happen to get an email with some interesting news from my friends and Les Bernal of the organization and foundation of Stop Predatory Gambling regarding a new film coming out about The Las Vegas Mass Shooting and how the MGM and others were covering the shooters gambling problems. Now, I know it has been almost 3-years since this tragic event and if you recall, I did a few blog posts after this event happened and can read this one– Was Problem Gambling a Factor?  Because my gut feelings about the same things I’m sharing from Les Bernal are of the same topics.

FROM: Stop Predatory Gambling

Hi Catherine,

I’m writing to strongly urge you to watch an important new film being released on July 3 and for you to encourage your family, friends, community members, and legislators to do the same.

The film is called Money Machine and it exposes the cover-up led by MGM Casinos and Las Vegas elected officials to hide the true motive behind mass shooter Stephen Paddock (his gambling addiction to video poker machines) which led him to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others during the Route 91 country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Casino in 2017.

I watched Money Machine when it was screened at the Cleveland Film Festival this past spring. It’s a powerful film that will lead people of goodwill, from all political stripes, to ask themselves and their local and state officials who promote the casino business in their region: Why do we allow such an evil, predatory, greed-driven scheme to operate in our communities with our government’s active endorsement and support?

Stop Predatory Gambling is not associated with the film in any way but we believe it merits serious public attention and action.

Money Machine was supposed to be released in theaters nationwide but because COVID has closed the cinemas, tickets can be purchased in advance of July 3 to watch the film online athttps://theatricalathome.com/products/money-machine
…..
You can watch the movie trailer to Money Machine at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lN2In-qfp8&t=20s

……
The link to the Facebook page for Money Machine can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MoneyMachinemovie

…..
Thanks for helping us get the word out.

Best,
Les Bernal
Stop Predatory Gambling
###########

It has received many awards and reviews are incredible…

Money Machine

…….
Money Machine

Director
Ramsey Denison
Producers
Doug Blush, Ramsey Denison
Cinematography
Evan Crane
Editing
Ramsey Denison
Print Source
Sin City Studios

…..

……..
“On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 concertgoers from his hotel room at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. In a matter of minutes, Paddock killed 58 people and wounded more than 400.

It was the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. Yet, just a couple of years later, Vegas seems to have forgotten it completely. Needless to say, mass shootings are not good for business, and it didn’t take long for the Vegas money machine to get to work making this one disappear.

In the aftermath of remarketing Las Vegas as a safe destination for tourists, many questionable practices were put into placeone of the most shocking being filing a lawsuit against the victims of this devastating tragedy.”


///////
On top of that, despite the popular #VegasStrong movement and nationwide fundraising, there’s still a huge question of where all that money went. An enthralling documentary about the dark side of the Las Vegas economy, MONEY MACHINE exposes Sin City’s darkest secrets… Including the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States of America. Director Ram Denison explores the aftermath of the attack, while also exhaustively documenting the LVPD’s odd response and investigation of the incident in the hard to watch, but excellent,
Money Machine.

He interviews survivors, private investigators, retired police officers, along with witnesses to piece together the events of that night. More importantly, Denison deep dives into how the politicians and cops allowed the city to return to normal as quickly as possible. For example, the memorial for the domestic terrorist attack is seven miles away from where it occurred. It is nestled in a small suburb, well hidden from downtown Las Vegas that dominates the public consciousness of the city…

Why would the site be so far away? Well, as the title Money Machine not so subtlety, money is the answer. Las Vegas casinos brought in over $25 billion in revenue annually. As investigative reporter Doug Poppa lays out in his 100+ articles about the attack and its aftermath, Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who refused to be interviewed for the documentary, bungled the investigation via improper timelines and refusal to publicly release all the evidence (including hiding that the first officer on the scene was too scared to engage the shooter) to keep the economy of the city alive. If people are too frightened to show up, how would the corporations that own the casinos make money?

Yes, that sounds like a conspiracy theory, and I don’t really prescribe to them, but the evidence here is overwhelming. Poppa is probably the most informative interviewee as to why the Mandalay Bay shooting has left the consciousness so quickly. The most heartbreaking interviewee is that of survivor Katherine Thornton.

She is convinced she heard another round of shots coming from a second location, but the official word is that there was only one shooter. But that does not explain how cab driver Cori Langdon recorded a second volley of shots being fired with her cellphone. That other burst was much closer to her and on a lower floor than the one Stephen Paddock was firing from.

I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to watch this film and learn the real story behind the worst mass shooting in our history and how it was being covered-up because raking in all those profits for casinos is what it’s all about for Las Vegas. Bad press and media are BAD 4 Business…


We Remember The Victims.

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Victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting - CNN.com

 


The Theatrical Trailer For MONEY MACHINE

 

 

Don’t Relapse Now During This Pandemic and Unrest Happening Around Us. Recovery Guest Featured Article…

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I had just received my digital magazine from one of the most informative recovery reads I enjoy and learn so much from called The Fix. When I saw this headline, I said to myself this one needs to be shared out. So, here I am sharing it with all of my recovery posses.

I am sharing it since we seem to be in this pandemic of COVID-19 and I feel, for a long while and we who maintain recovery from any addiction besides gambling don’t “DO” isolation very well. We need to have human contact and be with others. We crave that comradery with other like-minded folks who are also maintaining recovery so we know we are not alone and feel supported. So let’s read what The Fix says about NOT Relapsing Now.  ~Catherine Lyon, Advocate

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Don’t Relapse Now

By John Teufel 05/27/20

Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too?

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Make Your Own DIY Crochet Mask Covers | 8News

 

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Reader, I will make a deal with you. I will talk to you like an adult and say some uncomfortable things. I won’t be your sponsor and I won’t throw the Big Book at your face. But in exchange, you need to promise me you’ll read this to the end. No skips, no tag outs, no skimmy skims. Okay? Okay, great.

I understand the urge to relapse right now.
I’m feeling it too.

A lot of us have severely diminished responsibilities – my work has nearly dried up. I hate the Zoom meetings, which feel like impersonal shadow plays where I have to stare at my new fat face. All our other distractions that can’t be done from the couch have been canceled.

My normie friends are mixing up quarantinis before the 5 o’clock news starts. Most importantly, we are all being treated to a daily blast of death, inequity, and press conferences where a poorly tanned moron tells us to shoot up with bleach. It is so much. It is a daily mental weight that is difficult to bear even on the best days.

“If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response. It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response.

It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has paused, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? The other day I found myself telling a friend that I won’t be jobless, locked down, without the beach (my favorite distraction), and sober. In full Scarlett O’Hara mode, I declared, “Sorry, but I won’t do it!” It felt good to say, the way forbidden things sometimes do. Total, unapologetic narcissism has its pleasures.”

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How to stay safe if going to park or beach during Covid-19 pandemic

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I could probably get away with it, too. I could probably go on a few-days bender and maybe my boyfriend would figure it out (he is sharp but that is the diseased thinking!),  and no one else would. I could even keep my day count! Why not?!? This is the sort of self-dealing I’ve been doing. I am so good at it. I am the Clarence Darrow of fucking my own shit up.

But it is wrong. I know it’s wrong. If you are having similar thoughts, you probably know they are wrong too. Even now, with life halted and pain and injustice ascendant, there are reasons both practical and metaphysical that it is crucial for you and me to keep our sober time. Even if every word we ever heard at an AA meeting was false, even if the Big Book itself is a decades-long scam to sell us on religion.

Practically, you are going to regret it. You know you are! Sorry, but you do. You are going to be annoyed, at the very least, that you need to restart your day count, which yes, you eventually will be forced to do because you won’t be able to lie to your support network for that long. Whatever bender you have in mind is going to come to an end, in what will feel like the blink of an eye, and all you’ll have left is regret and likely, a terrible headache or worse. You also, of course, might take it too far and die.

If things get really bad, as they very well may, people are going to know what you did and that is going to suck for you. Your family and friends are already extremely stressed out right now (just like you!) – the last thing they need is to hear that you relapsed, in your tiny apartment in some faraway city, and no one can travel to you to make sure you get it together. Your mom is going to cry.

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For COVID-19 Patients, Breathing Easier Could Be as Simple as ...

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On that note, if you need hospital care because you overdose or can’t stop, great, you are taxing an already overtaxed healthcare system and exposing yourself to COVID-19 at the same time. From a million different standpoints, any decision to relapse right now is selfish, even if it feels like the only person being punished is you.

Okay, who cares, right? I hear that. When I was first trying to get sober and in a relapse cycle, other people’s problems were some theoretical concern that was a not-close second to my immediate ego gratification. I did not give a shit, and honestly, I didn’t care much if I died, either. What worked for me, though, was spite – not giving my enemies the pleasure of seeing me fall.

Spite could be helpful right now.

Picture Donald Trump, in all his 300 pounds of dense mass, standing over you as you take that first drink. “I was always right,” he says without laughing, as he never laughs, “You’re weak. Libs like you, weak, lazy.” Do you want Donald Trump to think he’s better than you? He doesn’t care! He even doesn’t wear a mask!

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Trump hits out at China and Democrats at latest rally | Financial ...

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Students Trump Arizona rally Phoenix Stock Photos (Exclusive ...

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Trump Border Visit, Phoenix Rally | Arizona Daily Independent(MASKS??? ZERO In Arizona)

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How about the maskless crowds at his rallies who are just begging states to let them kill themselves, and each other? Should these yahoos and sociopaths be allowed to feel morally superior to you? Or picture a little closer to home. Do you want your douchebag ex to hear that you fucked up again? No, you do not.

The time we’ve all spent cooped up indoors losing our gourds has been an achievement that can be measured in days and lives saved. We’ve been doing this for well over thirty days now. In New York and elsewhere, we’ve flattened the curve but not in many other states like Arizona.  Your sobriety is the same.

It’s not some fungible commodity that can be lent out and borrowed back at will – it has a character in itself composed in part of a temporal element. Your sobriety after you relapse is not the same as your sobriety before. When you give it up, you give up the effort, sacrifice, things you can never get back. That might not feel important now, but it will feel devastating later.

Look, I am not Mr. Lockdown. I eat loaves of bread as a snack. I stay up most nights until 5 AM and I sleep till 11. I bleached my hair. I play Nintendo Switch and try to get one or two productive hours into a day. My sheets smell like farts. All of this is fine! You do what it takes to make it to the next day. The people doing pilates every morning, learning a second language, making OnlyFans, whatever – they are fine, too.

And it’s even fine to hate them!

“One day at a time” is a relentless cliché in sobriety circles. But right now, it feels appropriate, as all of the stupid sayings eventually do. The world is a miserable place, maybe always, definitely right now. Don’t add to the misery by giving in to the demons you fought so hard to keep at bay.

Be strong, stay home, save lives, stay sober. Good luck.

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Alcohol addiction: “I walked out of rehab and into a pandemic” - Vox

Ryan Hampton Opens Up and Shares Much More Than His Book “The American Fix”…It’s His America’s Story of Drug Addiction and Recovery Being Played Out All Over America Today.


Published by Medium on June 18, 2020. Original article can be found here.

“Nobody should have to compromise themselves or hide to save their life.”
~Ryan Hampton, Author/Activist 

Back in the Closet: Surviving Homophobia, Heroin, and Rehab in an Intolerant World

by Ryan Hampton

At the peak of my heroin use in 2014, everyone knew something was wrong. My track marks, broken veins, dilated pupils and sunken cheeks told the whole world that I had a problem. My illness was obvious. What they didn’t know was my secret: I was gay, too.

By the time I reached my bottom, I had slowly come to terms with my identity as a gay man. My immediate family, my mother, and sisters knew. I was beginning to get comfortable with my sexual identity. I was even beginning — very cautiously — to see other men. I had one foot out of the closet. But I was still injected heroin multiple times a day.

My addiction consumed me, making me into a shadow of my former self. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ community misuses substances, compared to about 9 percent of the population as a whole. I was no exception. The double stigma of homosexuality and addiction made it hard to find help.

Who could I open up to? The people who accepted my identity rejected my substance use disorder, and the people who accepted my health issue rejected my identity. I was ashamed of myself, which only drove me deeper into my addiction. I felt stuck, and it was killing me.

Nobody seemed to care except my family. I couldn’t keep a job and bounced from couch to couch in Los Angeles, sleeping wherever I could. I used in public bathrooms and nodded off next to the toilet until someone rattled the door. I dragged my belongings around in a black plastic garbage bag. I ate at the homeless shelter, limp sandwiches that I could barely choke down. I barely felt human. Yet, my identity was there, even when I was completely checked out. I wish I could say that but at the bottom of my addiction, who I was didn’t matter.

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Coming Out – Fairbanks Youth Advocates

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Even
 in California, in a city where it was relatively safe to be out as a gay person, there was only one LGBTQ rehab that was available to me. Most of the programs were private-pay only, which meant they cost tens of thousands of dollars per month — completely inaccessible to someone like me who relied on public assistance.

The only public program that openly served the LGBTQ population was booked solid. Other public programs said they were queer-friendly, but I knew that wasn’t true; about 70 percent of the addiction treatment services noted as specialized for LGBTQ people were really no different from those provided to heterosexuals. This particular rehab was a good one, and I went there almost every day for their 12-step meetings, begging for help.

“Please,” I pleaded with the receptionist. “I just need a few weeks of treatment. I won’t even take up a whole thirty days.”

The program director, a gay man who was supportive and compassionate toward me, came behind the desk. “Let me see what we can do for you,” he said.

My heart lifted. Maybe he’d be able to get me a bed, maybe there was space in their program for me. Maybe, this time, I’d find help in a place that really understood me.

He pulled a hefty, ringed binder out of a filing cabinet and laid it on the desk with a thump. It was thicker than a Bible. Loose papers protruded from its edges. The black plastic edges cracked with wear. The director flipped it open, slowly turning one laminated page after another. Some of the pages were crumpled, as though they’d been through the wash. When he got to the very back, he clicked the button on his ballpoint pen.

“Give me your phone number and we’ll call you as soon as something is available,” he said.

“When will that be?” I asked. My eyes were burning.

“Hard to say,” he said. He wrote my name down. “When we have an open bed, we start calling these numbers, in the order therein. When somebody answers, we offer them the bed. If they say yes, it’s filled. If they say no, we call until we find a person who is ready for treatment.”

I eyed the binder. “There are hundreds of names before mine,” I said. “I could be dead tomorrow. I don’t have time to wait for help.”

He sighed and put the pen to the paper. “I know, Ryan. We’re doing what we can. Give me your number and keep coming to the meetings.”

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Sacramento's first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth opens

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Keeping a phone was a challenge, but I did it. I waited for that call every day, even when I was jiggling a syringe into my arm. I told myself that all I had to do was not die.

Through sheer luck, I did survive long enough to get into treatment. But after a few days, I was transferred to a different program — a program that wasn’t explicitly LGBTQ friendly. I’d had one toe out of the closet, and when I was transferred I went right back in and shut that closet door — again. I instinctively understood that if I was going to survive, stay healthy, and make it into recovery, I couldn’t be gay, too. Nobody could know.

The new program was divided by sex: girls and guys. It was like middle school, with teasing, flirting, scheming, and gossip passed between our separate dorms. I was the only gay person there. Even the counselors were straight. If I came out, I knew I risked being ostracized or bullied, treated like a sexual deviant, or being made to feel like an outsider. I couldn’t risk that.

Instead, I kept my mouth shut and pretended to get it when the other guys would talk about which female client they were going to hook up with, or how hot some movie star was. I knew better than to put my ‘two cents in’: one comment about Jennifer Lopez’s nice eyes or Angelina Jolie’s commitment to humanitarian aid would give me away. I was a man, but I wasn’t a straight man.

Hiding nearly caused me to relapse. Keeping a secret about myself, especially something of that magnitude, made me sick with anxiety. It was like walking around with a gut full of hard-boiled eggs. I was terrified that some gestures or words would give me away. Finally, when it was time to start one-on-one counseling, my mom called me.

“Son, you have to tell them,” she said.  She didn’t need to say what. We both knew.

During my first counseling session, I could barely sit in the chair. My legs twitched, and I must have looked like I was on amphetamines.

“Everything OK?” the counselor asked.

I picked at the back of my neck. “I’m fine,” I said.

She shrugged and looked down at my intake forms, trying to assess where to begin.

“Actually, I’m not OK,” I blurted. “I’m gay.”

Those two words — I’m gay — were the key to my freedom. The counselor just nodded. She didn’t mark it in my chart or ask me why I hadn’t said anything before. We proceeded, working together a few times a week.

Feeling accepted, and knowing that my identity was acknowledged made it possible for me to open up in counseling. I finally started sharing about the sexual trauma I’d endured as a very young person, my fear that I would never be able to openly date, and my worry that I would be excluded from the recovery community. I talked through those things, and though I didn’t come out to anyone else in treatment, that one admission was enough to break the ice.

I stayed mostly closeted for the next couple of years. I also stayed sober, transferring to a residential sober living that supported my recovery. My best friend Garrett knew, and while some guys teased us for being “boyfriends,” it was playful. We were inseparable, and enough of our female friends came over to visit that we could laugh off the insult.

Because to almost everyone, “gay” was less-than. It was a way to put others down. And even those passing, “just a joke” comments hurt me and made it harder for me to trust that I belonged in the recovery community.

However, time passed, and the stronger I felt about my recovery, the more confident I felt about the rest of my identity too. It took almost four years to say the words, “I’m a proud gay man in recovery.” But I did say them, and when I did, I knew I was finally healing from both my addiction and the trauma of my past. I wasn’t hiding anymore. I was out as a person in recovery and out as a gay man. If people didn’t like it, well, that was their problem — not mine.

Coming out in recovery was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and the best things too. I was willing to speak up and share my truth, even though it meant risking the community connections that kept me alive. Showing up for my recovery with all of me saved my life. It also introduced me to the love of my life, Sean, who I am marrying this November.


Ryan and Sean 💞

 

My only regret is that I felt I had to hide my self early in my recovery. Stigma, homophobia, and intolerance are still very real issues in the recovery community, both in treatment centers and in the support systems that help people get healthy again. I wonder how many LGBTQ people, unable or unwilling to stay closeted, were kicked out of the same program that I went to; how many of them left because they couldn’t stand being bullied or threatened by the other residents?

How many trans women were unable to find a treatment center that accepted them and offered trans-specific services and counseling? The odds are bleak for those of us who are already outsiders in a homophobic, intolerant society. My white privilege helped me keep one foot in the door, but that shouldn’t be a requirement to access life-saving care.

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We need the CARE Act to stop the opioid pandemic - STAT {Ryan Hampton is one of the most tireless advocates and activists I know Making Real Changes for recovery from addiction}

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“I know how lucky I am to have survived addiction; adding my identity to the mix makes me feel like I dodged lightning. Life on the other side of treatment, with years of recovery under my belt, is better than I could ever have imagined. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have this experience.”

I wish for others, who are like me and struggling to find their place in recovery, to know that they don’t belong in the closet either. The answer isn’t hiding; the answer is building a system that includes all of us. Every person who asks for help should have it, regardless of their identity or orientation, race, gender, or expression.

Navigating recovery is hard enough. When I brought my whole self to the table, I left the closet behind. I’m holding the door open, too — because nobody should have to compromise themselves or hide, in order to save their life.

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Ryan Hampton is an activist in recovery from heroin addiction and author of “American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It.” Organization foundedThe Voices Project  

Follow him on Twitter: @RyanForRecovery 
Follow him on Facebook
Visit his  Official Website To Learn More

Sharing Our History Courtesy of CNN… What to Know About Juneteenth. Time To Stop Racism and Police Violence.

Sharing Our History Courtesy of CNN… What to Know About Juneteenth. Time To Stop Racism and Police Violence.

Sharing Our History. It Matters to those of us maintaining and advocate recovery as black lives and all lives matter … WHEN we Are United As ONE! 💞✝✨👑

Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den

(CNN ) — Juneteenth could not be coming at a more fitting time.

It’s a holiday celebrated on 19 June to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.

Today, June 19, this holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. But 155 years after the news of their emancipation finally reached slaves in Galveston, Texas, the nation is still struggling with the issues of systemic racism and injustice just as it still is in 2020.
That struggle surfaced once again in the national debate and massive Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.

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