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!


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. ūüéćūüéĄūüéĄūüéĀ

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‚Äôre maintaining recovery and that means you‚Äôre 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‚Äôd 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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‚ÄĒone-day-at-a-time.

Be Your Best Holiday Self!

4.) It’s Ok to “NO” you don‚Äôt have to ‚Äúpeople please‚ÄĚ anymore. In sobriety you learn to use the word ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ and it will become your best friend. You don‚Äôt have to act because you feel pressured, anxious, or nervous. Instead, you can pause when you‚Äôre 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‚Äôve 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


So Refreshing To See Online Gambling Sites Being Aware of the Dangers of Addicted Gambling. . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors too!

I happen to be on my recovery Twitter today, and I was sent this awesome info-graphic by none other than an online gambling website!

Now at first I was a little suspicious, WHY?

Because I have gotten other things sent and shared with me from other gambling casino sites that were, lets say, not so very nice in the past. And even though I have always been clear¬†that I harbor no ill will towards these sites, nor to people who can gamble responsibly. Nor do I think gambling should be banned, that wouldn’t be fair to those who can¬†gamble like normal people.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were sharing a graph that they have on their site. It shows graphics and facts about problem and addicted gambling, and has good stats¬†on it as well. I was SO taken aback, and shared my¬†feelings¬†to the¬†website on Twitter, “it was very refreshing to see an online¬†gambling site¬†actually share well-balanced info about problem & addicted gambling,¬†SO much so, that I decided to share this with all of my recovery pals and visitors here on my recovery¬†blog.

And, . . .¬†since March is ¬†~¬†“Raising Awareness of Problem Gambling” Month, I thought it would be very appropriate to do so. I will mention that this is courtesy of “Vegas Slots Online,” but won’t give out the link address as we are recovering addicted gamblers. ūüôā

I’m sure Vegas Slots will understand. So here is the graph they shared, and I¬†hope it gives a wee bit more info about problem and addicted gambling. It seems maybe Advocacy is Working?
Here is what Vegas Slots had to share with me!

Psychology Of Gambling [Info-graphic]

 Psychology Of Gambling [Infographic]

Over the decades, many doctors have spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out why people like to gamble, whether it be on sports betting, casino games or lottery.

We here at Vegas Slots have compiled the following info-graphic to help explain the gambling industry as a whole, as well as why people gamble. Some of the interesting tidbits to be pulled out regarding gambling psychology are shown below and discussed further.

Access to gambling has never been as easy as it is in this current technological era with people playing casino games on their PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets, both at home and while on the move. With this we feel it is important to take a step back and try understand more how it affects us.

There are nearly eight times more land casinos in the United States than there are in France (the country with the second highest number of casinos in the world). This is due to the fact that gambling is a huge industry in the States, with casinos generating more than $37.83 billion in revenue during 2013.

More than half of the states in the country have commercial gaming businesses in operation, whether they are casinos, card rooms, or state sponsored lotteries. There are only two states in the union where gambling is completely outlawed: Utah and Hawaii.

The prevalence of gambling in the United States begs the question: ‚ÄúWhy do we like it so much?‚ÄĚ There are several answers to this, including the excitement that gambling presents, the high amount of optimism that Americans carry compared to most of the other countries in the world, the illusion of control, and the chance of winning (or reward).

Even though we like our gambling, there are some who have a hard time with the activity. Problem gambling is an issue that is prominent in all 50 states, but the issue is generally not well understood by the public. There are a series of myths attached to this disease, including what causes a problem gambler to play games of risk, how it affects their behavior, and that the disease isn’t even real at all. The attached info-graphic addresses these myths and explains the psychology behind problem gambling and how players can be helped.

The psychology of problem gambling is a very deep matter, which could be studied infinitely without completely understanding the whole issue. Still, we hope that the attached graphic helps to provide some insight as to some of the reasons why we gamble, and how it impacts a portion of our society. . . .
Psychology Of Gambling Infographic.
Well, . . .OK the link is on there, my bad! I do¬†want to ‘Thank’ again Vegas Slots for sharing this with us, and to thank them for being informed about problem & addicted gambling, and sharing it! It happens, and that many of us out here are in recovery from this addiction and disease. So they get 5 Stars from me! ūüôā¬† *****


“Until next time recovery friends!”

God Bless and Stay BET FREE.
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of Addicted To Dimes ~ My Story

How Do We Reach Life Freedom From Gambling Addiction?

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,


I felt this quote is fitting for the Freedom we experience in getting our lives back from compulsive addicted gambling. . .

So how do we claim our lives back from compulsive gambling addiction? How can we make that elusive first year in recovery without relapse? Well, every ones path is different, but this goal is the same for all of us!

Working through the 12-steps we¬†sometimes are not comfortable in our own¬†skin when we start to have those feelings of a Free¬†Life from gambling addiction.¬†For me it was very hard not to self sabotage myself after some months of being gamble free.¬†Instead of moving forward in recovery, some of us don’t know how, or we start to get complacent when we are finally feeling some relief in¬†the¬†areas in recovery¬†like,¬†our finances, less triggers and urges, and much more.
That¬†is the time we need to be prepared¬†so we don’t relapse just because we are starting to feel better, and our diseased thinking of this addiction makes us start to thinking and feel we really didn’t have a problem.¬†When we have finished step 1, and have surrendered, many may go back and think, “well I feel pretty good now, so maybe I can CONTROL my gambling,” . . .¬†.¬†NO, you can not.

The person starts taking little pieces of his/her surrender back, and thinks I can control this or that, and before you know it? You are sucked back in the cycle of the addiction again.

Does this sound familiar? I did myself in early recovery, and trying to make that elusive 1 year in recovery, but failed because I kept thinking when I was feeling good that I could control my gambling. Doesn’t work folks. Many of you know the experiences I’m talking about right?
So, here is one tool & skill you can use to help SEE your growth in your recovery, and may help you see how the cycle of addicted gambling and your weak spots to be prepared for so you don’t relapse or get off track.

Start a JOURNAL . . . If you write a little of how your day was, any triggers, urges, stress, and everything through your day and night, later you can look back and will be able to pin point where you need more help or support in your recovery.

It’s the same with working your 12-steps. We don’t work our steps and think, “OK, I’m done with that”. . . oh no, we have to keep going back and reworking our steps to actually see how far we have come, and also see the area’s we need more help and support. You really can go and look back through your step work and see your growth in recovery.

I can tell you that it’s an amazing feeling when you do this, and yourself can pin point your weak area’s which helps you gain self-awareness as well. Self awareness with your feelings to are very important to your recovery. We have learned in our addiction to gambling to either run, hide, stuff, escape or cope from uncomfortable feelings. Feelings of maybe hurt, pain, or like me, I was trying to escape the pain and haunts of my past childhood trauma and abuse.


So I used gambling to cope with my past childhood pain.¬†Trust me, any negative things that have happened to you, and you try to stuff them away? Sooner or later they will come to bother you later in life if you don’t get help, or¬†learn to process that and make peace with yourself. Yes, many people do turn to additions for many different reasons, but many times it’s because we are hurting from something inside, running from something, or just plain being immature. We don’t learn to grow up and be accountable and take ownership of our problems or stress in life.

The 12-steps will help you gain this and work through our human defects. Yes, we are only human after all, and no one person is perfect. ME? I will be “a work in progress” until my last breath in this world. So do yourself a favor, reclaim your life¬†back from gambling addiction. We can recover & were worth it!


May God Bless and Guide you in your Recovery Journey,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of Addicted To Dimes, My Story. . .


Sharing Some Recovery Friends, Facts, & Stats….

Hello Friends, Welcome New Visitors,

Sundays are my usual day that I¬†like to surf the web, check¬†on new websites of new friends I have met on maybe Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,¬†&¬†other recovery authors and such. I also do some research for my 2 books I’m currently trying in VAIN to finish. I came across an interesting “Article” on “USA Addiction Statistics of Addicted Gambling” and some of the percentages are SHOCKING, and some maybe off a bit. Here is a share of¬†a few¬†articles about addicted gambling facts & stats:

USA gambling addiction statistics

The biggest and the most powerful country always tends to have the biggest amount of both positive aspects in different life spheres and negative ones. Speaking about the gambling industry, everybody knows that it’s essence of such games that leads to negative consequences.

Affected Americans

According to American statistics of National Council, 3 million of adults are addicted to gambling. Another four to six part of Americans ~~ 13 million¬†are just the mere problem gamblers, who are in one step from being addicted.¬† Today half that number is now college age young adults & late teens. This is really lamentable to hear, but what to do, if the inhabitants don’t see the limit of consumption, that must be balanced and controlled by them. Another unpleasant fact is that 50% of addicted gamblers are women; yeah, these weak creatures are involved in the gambling sphere, maybe because of relationship ruination or some other factors.

It’s really hard to abstain from gambling, if you see the signs of it everywhere: on the shelves of the supermarket there are lots of gambling books, that promise to reveal all the secrets to you and make you a millionaire; on TV there are hundreds of different shows, that also try to make you go to the casinos; and even the video games are rated “E”, which means, that everybody has a possibility to play. In the USA gambling has just become a glamorize action that swells everybody’s status.

Such names as Joseph Hachem that succeeded to be a great poker winner in 2005; Chris “Moneymaker” that has beaten the World Series of Poker in 2004 and Jamie Gold that took $12 million¬† in the casino, make others believe that it’s quite possible, and the greed get its way.

  • The most innocent gambler has to remember that he has 5% of chances to risk something that will change his\her life.
  • In the USA there twice as more addicted gamblers, than cancer patients.
  • Americans that live within 50 miles near the casino, have the doubled rate of going there and becoming addicted.
  • Each compulsive gambler in the USA just costs the economy approximately $16, 000 per year.
  • 25% of addicted gamblers have tried to commit suicide, and Nevada has been the center for such attempts for the last 12 years.
  • Harvard research presents that 92% of 80 addicted gamblers tend to relapse.
  • Between 4% and 8% of American youngsters become addicted nowadays.
  • 672, 000 American college students and 35 millions of teens are addicted to gambling.

American lifestyle is really dangerously affected by gambling. It increases another negative statistics in the USA, such as crime, fraudulent, and it is known that in the USA the cases of bankruptcy are double, due to gambling. Split families, a number of divorce cases all the negative outcomes will keep increasing, if the society keeps accepting gambling addiction.

Addicted gamblers’ zone risk

All the addiction types in general, whether it is alcohol, a drug or something else presuppose the greatest control disorder, abnormal behavior and just mind distraction.

Gambling is a real drug for addicted players, who continue returning back to the casino every day and wasting all money there. And they don’t care about the spouses, that have already packed their luggage to leave, or children who don’t eat much because of money deficiency.

Identification of addicted gamblers:

  • Addiction is like a competition, where you have to pursue great effort sin order to receive the winning prize. Almost each addict will be helped by the relatives and friend sand a specialist who will be curing them. But how to detect this illness? If you want to test yourself, whether you are in the risk zone of gambling addiction, first of all, you have to admit it, because the main problem of all the gamblers that suffer from this disease is that they really reject to accept the fact of addiction. The identification of addiction phases and types will help the doctors to cure the person in the appropriate way.
  • Identify, whether you are or somebody else is addicted by means of passing the best and the most credible addiction test,¬† which will help you to sort out your hesitations, by answering the simple questions. And then, you’ll have to do the next steps to the right and opportune treatment.

Addiction signs and symptoms:

Addicts can feel the symptoms of problem gambling themselves: it’s like a general condition of soul and body in the defined moments of life that is really noticeable. Do you conceal the fact of gambling? Has it become uncontrollable? Do you realize that you have started borrowing money without returning it? That’s bad.

  • The surrounding people will definitely detect the addiction to gambling, if they notice several signs. Change in mood, gambling preoccupation, tolerance and withdrawal are the visible display of the addicted gamblers……

¬†*Here is the MOST INTERESTING Article of them ALL….WHY?¬† Because I have what my “psychiatrist” calls “Addiction Depression” &¬† is also where my Agoraphobia disorder¬†came from when¬†AFTER I went into Treatment &¬†into Recovery from my Gambling Addiction*….


Who is guilty? Addiction Depression

Just think a little bit, what the first was: is addiction the main cause of depression or vice versa – depression is the main reason of addiction? They are intertwined so much, that this issue is really intricate to be completely discerned.

Dual diagnosis

Everybody, who has encountered problem gambling  on his life way, has felt the devouring depression, which can lead to the most negative consequences. And this depression can also start the compulsive gambling addiction, being the main reason of it: for example, if the particular gambler had suffered too much, he/she decided to escape from the reality into the particular betting establishment.

Depression doesn’t always accompany each gambler in the gambling disease: during the winning stage, the players don’t feel depression or stress; on the contrary, they are very happy because they have, at last, found the quiet shelter, where they are valued and pleased.¬† During the losing stage of the addiction phases, the player begins to feel a nonstarter syndrome, quilt and remorse in “one pile”. Such depression causes negative consequences, concerning both financial and social problems; complications can destroy a person completely: his/her psychological, emotional backgrounds’ spring.

As it was stated above, depression may be the first factor, which has caused gambling addiction: individual could have been depressed before because of some affliction, which led him into the gambling abuse. But this frames are so slight, it’s really hard to differentiate both states. Just take a look: gambling addiction is isolating disorder of demoralization; depression has exactly the same characteristic. But for the right treatment, the first thing, that must be done, is still to figure out, which came first. In this case, everything depends on an addict – he/she must tell everything, what he/she felt, why he/she felt it, and what feelings are roaming in his/her head at the moment.

All the feelings of addiction depression are really horrifying:

  • Stress, chaos
  • Despondency
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Helplessness, along with hopelessness
  • Self-esteem disappearance
  • Devouring sadness
  • Thought of suicide

The list may be everlasting, because, unfortunately, there are lots of negative feelings and states, which people can experience. The ruining combination of addiction and depression is very hard to cure. In this battle, the first one, which must be battered, is depression.  Such dual diagnosis, as addiction depression, which has its gambling as its cause, must be treated only by a specialist and with the full recovery program.
***Yes, the beginning of Article 1 says that 50% of problem & addicted gamblers are WOMEN!¬† I was doomed in the very beginning of my gambling for just the¬†“FUN & ENTERTAINMENT”value. SADLY, on the issues of a CURE from Addicted Gambling?
There is NONE. WE LEARN in Gamblers Anonymous Meetings that: “Gambling addiction can NOT be CURED, but can be Arrested”~~~ In closing, let me SHARE with you a REAL WOMAN’S SHORT¬†STORY OF¬† HER ADDICTED GAMBLING EXPERIENCE. IT is a SHARE from my Good Friend & Author “Marilyn Lancelot’s” Website for Women Addicted Gamblers AT:

http://www.femalegamblers.info¬† *News & Support for Female Gamblers in Recovery* Here is a little about my good friend & Author, “Marilyn Lancelot”….

My name is Marilyn Lancelot and I am a recovering compulsive gambler. I visited my first casino in 1984 at the age of 53. For seven years, my boyfriend and I made the four-hour trek from Yuma, AZ to Laughlin, NV every¬†weekend. I learned early on how to lie to my family and friends and how to sign my employers’ name to company checks. I considered suicide and planned¬†it so it would like an accident.

Then one day the auditors discovered my embezzling. Horrified, I watched¬†seven police cars pull into my driveway to take me away in handcuffs. I lost my job, home, life savings, my retirement, and my freedom. I had progressed¬†from a Mrs. Cleaver type housewife to a Ma Barker type criminal. The judge¬†entenced me to two years in prison and I’ll be paying restitution to my former employer for many years.

Until the morning of my arrest, my family had no idea of my gambling addiction. I remembered a statement I heard in AA years ago: If I did not take care of my problem, society would. And society had. The closest GA meeting was in Phoenix so we moved there so I could attend GA. I told myself that if I got sentenced to prison, I would some day go back to Yuma and start a GA meeting.

I spent ten months in an Arizona State Prison where there were no GA¬†¬†¬†¬† meetings. I vowed that one day I would return to prison and start a GA¬†meeting. After my release, I watched new women struggle at the regular GA meetings, unable to identify with the card playing, sports betting male gamblers. One day another gal and I started a women’s meeting in my¬†¬†¬†¬† apartment and the women came and the women stayed. They felt comfortable at¬†the women’s group.

I returned to Yuma with GA friends and started a meeting there and also at¬†the Perryville prison. With the help of GA sisters, I publish a Women¬†Helping Women Newsletter on the Internet. I try to give back to GA what the¬†program has given me. I retired at the age of 72 and I’ve worked part-time¬†for several years after my retirement to re-pay my victim. I now have more¬†than sixteen years of recovery, “One Day at a Time”……

..ONE WOMAN’S STORY ~~ A Share From Marilyn’s Website….

I’m a newbie!¬†

I don’t have years or months free from my gambling addiction, but I am a gambling addict addicted to slots with 22 days of  freedom. I’m a 54-year-old female who had my first trip to a casino over 10 years ago to celebrate my brother in law’s birthday.
Wow, it was¬†exciting to say the least. Over the next 10 years or so my gambling trips increased and the amount of money spent also increased. I was told over and¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† over again in the casino by my husband that ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ have a big problem and¬†have become someone he does not recognize while in my gambling frenzy.

Of¬†course I say, ‚ÄúWell it‚Äôs no big deal.‚ÄĚ I brush it off in my own manipulating way and convince him all is well. I am in total denial, I¬†just can‚Äôt admit I have a problem, not me! I can quit anytime I want to.

So I tried and tried on my own so many times without any success. Today as I write this I have lost my health, my job of 11 yrs, our home, all of our money and most importantly I have pushed most if not all of my friends and  family away to make room for my addiction. None of my friends or family have any idea of why I have become so distant, I tell them it’s from being depressed which is a truth without the whole truth. It is a very lonely place to be.

After crying and hitting an all time low I finally prayed and asked God to¬†please help me. I searched the internet for a GA meeting place and found none in or around where I live. So I then sought reading material which included the books “Addicted To Dimes” by: Catherine Lyon, “Gripped By Gambling” by: Marilyn Lancelot,¬†and some GA¬†materials. Such powerful stories.

At the end of Marilyn Lancelot‚Äôs book ‚ÄúGripped By Gambling‚Äú it talked about her website “Women Helping Women” and¬† I looked it up . After reading stories and articles I put aside my way and¬†started to correspond with Marilyn and admitted I needed help. It is the best¬†decision I have ever made. These women have been here for me nonstop since my first email, with a loving support and a hope for better days ahead.¬†All I had to do was let go of my pride and ask.

I’m not stupid, I know a long hard job lay ahead of me, but I’m so ready to have the help. Thank you, God. And thank you Marilyn for reaching out and calling me personally with sweet words of encouragement, the women here, and the GA program for my 22 days. I have a hopeful beginning taking it one day at a       time. My goal here is to reach out to a newbie who may be hesitating like I did at first glance to ask for help. I’m so glad I did. We’re all newbie’s at one time.

God Bless you all and me. Linda in MI


*I can not tell all my friends here how much this letter TOUCHED MY HEART! I have no idea who this wonderful woman is, but to know she¬†took the time to read my book, is a true testament, and WHY I WROTE my book in the first place, TO HELP THOSE WHO SUFFER from this *CUNNING DISEASE* & WE never know……it can SAVE A LIFE! I was very much like the woman myself. When my Gambling addiction, at the end, had ME on MY OWN knees wanting to just die, and attempted it! I don’t EVER want another Human Life be taken AGAIN because of Addicted Compulsive Gambling Addiction..*

God Bless ALL, and THANK YOU for coming by!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon