For My New Recovery Followers. An Intro ~ Thanks for the 500 Follows!

For My New Recovery Followers. An Intro ~ Thanks for the 500 Follows!

Hello and Welcome All,

In honor of another ‘WordPress Trophy’ I have been bestowed, I thought I would celebrate with a share of my first article that was printed in a fantastic recovery newspaper publication this month! It is an introduction to a little about my addiction and recovery journey since I was new to their newspaper called; “Keys To Recovery.”

500 Follows!

Your current tally is 502.

And since I just marked 500 recovery followers here on WordPress, their maybe many of you who don’t know where I have been with addiction, and how I got here today in recovery. Of course, you could read my current book on  Amazon Kindle ~ “Addicted To Dimes”  for now only $3.10 per download as I just lowered the price to also celebrate!! It is my memoir, story of gambling addiction, dark family secrets, and more that can add “fuel” to anyone who uses addictions to chase away “old hurt and haunting pain” of their childhood trauma like I did.

So here is my first article in “Keys To Recovery’s” ~ “Quit To Win”  . . . .



My name is Catherine, and I am a recovering addicted gambler, ‘dual diagnosed,’meaning I live with mental health illness and disorders. I never let those “labels” define who I am today. Who am I? I am many things, a wife, sister, aunt, columnist, writer, mental health advocate, published author. I have lived life in recovery almost 10-years from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse.

My recovery journey started in 2002 after my first failed suicide attempt, and entered gambling addiction treatment, but still had slip ups. Then, in 2006 I ended up in a hospital again as the result of a second suicide attempt, and again back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 21-day stay.

The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my bipolar medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be “normal” like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well. I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I’d been off my medications, with no money left in my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone.

Of course, the victim pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the court system and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today. My point? You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your financial inventory. I had not done all of my financial work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my money choices and legal troubles told me I still needed to do more work. So, I did with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles had occurred, I worked hard with the specialist for a year, while I went through the legal mess I created.

Why am I sharing this?

Because our recovery stories are powerful tools to help and share “Hope” to those who still suffer. After this second suicide attempt and crisis stay, being a dual-diagnosed person, it can make obtaining recovery a bit more work, as I discovered. The negative habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking needed more correcting on my part. So I turned to the addiction specialist. So, what is compulsive gambling addiction?

It is when you lose control, lose control of the amount of money spent, time away from normal life, more risk without care of the consequences to people around you or one’s wellbeing. Well, that was my personal experience. There are many opinions, facts, and myths about gambling addiction. But, it is a real addiction, a real disease.

The scary fact is, we get the same rush and euphoric high as a drug addict or alcoholic without drinking something, smoking anything, popping a pill or shooting up. As an addict to gambling, we do this with manipulation of our brain and body chemicals. The habits of this addiction are just like all other addictions. But, I still had a hard time wrapping my mind around these facts. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery.

I was also given a “life-saving relapse prevention workbook” as well, which I have posted on a “ Relapse Prevention Guide” page on my Gambling Recovery blog titled; “Gambling Recovery Starts Here” for others to use. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come. I also learned that my higher power, God had bigger plans for me, a life purpose for me that involved reaching out to those looking to recover from this cunning progressive illness.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to use it to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood sexual trauma, and abuse. Also, what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, magazine columnist, writer or a blogger, but these are just a few of the blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

So, through my current book and my blog I have chosen not to be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easy one can become addicted. Raising awareness and education is most important to me, and my goal is to help those affected. To teach those who don’t understand this disease to learn more and hope they can have less stigma and more empathy.

Let me close with facts.

Currently, 1% of our population are now problem gamblers. And, out of the 16+million who are problem gamblers, Parents? Half this number is now your High School and College age children.

“It’s Now Time We Talk About Gambling Addiction the Disease, as We Can Recover.”

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**So, I thank each of you have come to my recovery blog the last few years to be part of the discussion about gambling addiction and recovery. Everything I write, share, and post is to hopefully make others aware of this devastating disease or offer you a hand reached out if you are having problems with gambling. ALL know they can leave comments here and I will try and help any way I can. YOU have a voice here that will be heard.

You may also Email me anytime with your thoughts and questions too at: **

God Bless All!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon  XO  🙂


*Mental Health Awareness Week* ~~ How You Can Help

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, & New Pals,

Mental Health Awareness RibbonMental Health Awareness WEEK……*JOIN ME*

Here is a HOW I’M helping and celebrating *Mental Health Awareness Week* along side a Fantastic Research Program for the *Re-Development Guidelines of Early Intervention of Suicide Prevention* within the Mental Health Community Globally.

For myself, I’m just a regular woman, who became addicted to Compulsive Gambling, which brought out my Bipolar 2 illness to the fore front, as I’d been suffering many years undiagnosed. I always knew there was a little something wrong & different about me from others, but never could put my finger on it. And felt this way as a young girl. But then I had some traumatic events happen, as I was abused, and I am a sexual abuse survivor from the age of 9 to 12 years old.

It wasn’t until adulthood that I used gambling to hide all my feelings that resurfaced from my past, my emotional disorders, and more. That is how I ended up in a Mental/Addiction Crisis Center TWICE, Via the hospital. My first failed suicide attempt was from a very bad  Gambling Relapse and cutting on myself to get stress relief, but cut to far in my wrists in 2002. That’s when I got the diagnosed Bipolar 2 disorder with manic depression and anxiety…

I started on medications, and my life with mental illness began. My second attempt of suicide was in 2006, from stopping my medications for mental illness, as I was hung up on JUST WANTING to be NORMAL like the rest of the people in world! What ever the HELL NORMAL WAS. I got tired of people treating me differently because I had mental illness, even my own family. SO I Stopped taking my meds, then after a few weeks I got hopeless again in life and in recovery from my addiction, and took ALL my pills at ONCE,…..Needless to say, back in the Hospital I went, and almost didn’t make it. Then back into the Mental/addictions Crisis Center for another long stay. I detoxed, and started on all new Medications as the others stop working. I felt so low, helpless, and lost…

I share all of this, and about gambling addiction in my book, Addicted To Dimes,(Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)……
I started my book from a little girl, all the way through 2011 when I started writing my story down in notebooks, along with research and the many journals I’d been writing in since entering Long Term Recovery. I wanted others to understand, and give insight to a lot of ugly things about addiction, and Mental illness. NO, I don’t spell perfect,  or use correct punctuation, nor do I always form proper sentences,……that is what an Editor is for!….LOL

But I DO write from the *Heart and Soul,*  from my feelings and thoughts. My experience, of living in Recovery and having Mental illness, I feel make me qualified to be on this Panel of people who are helping the Website I’m about to *SHARE* with you.

The University Of Melbourne, Australia is doing Research and working on New Global Guidelines for Early Intervention on Suicide Prevention. It’s another way I can help those who have been taken from Loved Ones by Suicide, and to help PREVENT future loss of Life. Just like I try to educate others about Addicted Compulsive Gambling here on my Recovery Blog. In recovery, I have had to have Cognitive Behavior Therapy due to the Over use of my brain in my addiction. I know that my addiction also played a part of some other disorders I have that directly are tied to my years of gambling addiction.

Picture borrowed from: Copyright remains that of the original owner.


Here is a little more on what I’m involved in, THANKS to Anna Ross for inviting me to be a PANELIST, & part of this wonderful project! If you feel you’d like to help, Anna’s contact info will be listed within this Website I’m going to share. I’m sure she’d be happy to have your insight & Input.

“Click on this Link for Details”

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Population Mental Health Group

Calling for suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) experts and consumer advocates

Re-development of mental health first aid guidelines for suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and NSSI

Suicide and NSSI are mental health problems of considerable public concern as 4% of the Western population are estimated to engage in self-harming behaviours, and suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide. In an attempt to prevent both suicide and NSSI, the Population Mental Health Group are re-developing guidelines for members of the public providing first aid for people who are having suicidal thoughts or displaying suicidal behaviour, or engaging in NSSI. We want to ensure the guidelines remain consistent with the current recommendations and contain the most recent and appropriate helping actions.

We are calling for people to join our expert panel for who are considered to have an expert level of knowledge about suicide and/or NSSI through their experience as a mental health professional or as a mental health consumer advocate. If you have experienced suicidal thoughts, displayed suicidal behaviour or engaged in NSSI in the past, we would really appreciate your help with what we believe to be an extremely important and worth-while project…

The total time commitment for this project is estimated to be approximately 2-3 hours, with all contact made via the internet. Once developed, the guidelines will be freely available to download from the Mental Health First Aid website: More information about the project can be found by clicking this link.

If you would like to express interest in participating or have any questions about this project, please let us know by contacting Anna Ross (

Population Mental Health Group           › About us   › Group profile

Group profile

The aims of the Group are to:

  1. Conduct research on what actions members of the community can take to prevent and intervene early with mental disorders;
  2. Translate the findings from this research into practical interventions that empower the whole community to take action; and
  3. To train researchers in this area.

The Group has a close link with Mental Health First Aid International which is a not-for-profit agency translating research findings into practical action..




©AP/ Lee Thompson Young

© AP/ Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young suffered from bipolar disorder
Oct. 9, 2013, 8:58 AM EST


Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young was suffering from  bipolar disorder when he committed suicide in August, according to a coroner’s  report.

The body of “The Famous Jett Jackson” star was discovered at his Los Angeles  apartment. He was 29. Officials ruled he had taken his own life by shooting  himself in the head with a handgun, and now a report from the Los Angeles County  Coroner claims the actor had a history of mental health issues.

In the report, one witness statement reveals Young had “a history of bipolar  disorder.” The documents add, “He was known to take his medications as  prescribed. He is a social drinker and denies any narcotic abuse. [Witness] last  spoke with him Wednesday, 08/14/2013, and he appeared to be okay. She is not  aware of any financial problems and denies suicidal threats or attempts.”

*Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon* *LETS HELP SAVE LIVES*