Happy Easter Recovery Friends & Warriors. Topics of Recovery Ramblings on a Special Day. Learning My God-Given Purpose In Life Through Life Lessons…

He died for our sins so we can have eternal life with Him. Have you accepted His free Gift of salvation? He loves you unconditionally… Have a Blessed Easter!

~Lydia Brady Grimes

May be an image of text that says 'He IS RISEN MATTHEW 28:6 +I十'

I have been sharing and writing for over 14+years as a form of advocacy but also as a healing process to share my past of how far I have come within my recovery journey thus far. And through my redemption of my HP (God), he continues to have me grow and overcome challenges too. It’s a view into a life and journey from a cunning disease and what addicted gambling looks like. There is the GOOD, the BAD, and the very UGLY when deep in our addictions.

Today, I enjoy sharing all the GOOD and within the present, in the moment, and have built a new beautiful life with my amazing husband who, BTW, stuck with me all these years of CHAOS. I think he would agree that the past 14+years have been the best thus far! I have the blessings and honor of helping others, being of recovery service, speaking about the pitfalls of problem gambling, and I am proof recovery works.

I enjoy sharing my experiences, strength, and HOPE to others so they know they are not alone with addicted gambling problems and they can recover. It wasn’t always this way. Even though my past doesn’t define who I am, those years were rough and heart-breaking when I look back to this past addicted woman I was.

Many who have never been touched by any addictions or lived with an addict may not comprehend how much chaos and devastation that goes on with an addict and the people around them become caught in the cross hairs. It’s why we share are stories of addiction and what it takes to recover. It can be tools to help those reaching out for help.

When it comes to my side of the family, I had not hurt anyone when I was gambling addict. I lived in a different state at the time. And we had many beautiful memories of the years when my family came to visit us, we made sure we did lots of fun things and take my parents to many places in Oregon and have experiences they other wise may never had. And healing I have learned that full healing will most likely take a lifetime for me. That is the roots and the issues that sometimes I feel I still have more work to do around the old pain and hurt.

And it is why I hold firm to my faith and belief in GOD.

See, my father recently passed away on Jan. 29th, 2021, of COVID, which was the same day I made 14th-years celebrating my recovery. He lived in Southern California in the home I was raised and where horrible memories of my past childhood still lay. When I first began my recovery journey, I wasn’t ready to dive into my past childhood trauma, abuse, and haunting memories. Most this began and resurfaced when I turned 30, I lost my brother-in-law to cancer. He was the real brother I never had, and I would tell him everything.

After Mike’s passing, it took me a few years to get over his death with a lot of therapy to even begin to process it. Shortly after, is when all the haunting pain and memories flooded back. I had to learn to process them and forgive and lay those haunting memories away. It was some of the roots and underlying issues of how I got sucked into gambling addiction. I was using gambling as a coping skill, an escape, and numbing the pain of my childhood trauma and abuse until I finally could not stuff away any longer.

Then in 2003, my mom passed away. By then, I had about nine months of recovery when I began writing and journaling. The next few years were pretty rough. We seem to think our parents will always be with us. Still, more painful memories, and I was not ready to share that part of my past. Now that my mom and dad have passed on, here I go again; it has again begun to surface slightly. Even when I started to write my book all of 2010 into early 2011 to see all that gambling addiction had taken from me, was when I began a deep dive into all the sexual trauma and abuse I’d endured.

One of the many amazing things about truly working through my childhood was the act of taking every single thought and terrible memory that held me captive; I began to watch Christ redeem them, helping me face them, and feel them. Without making excuses. Without placing or taking the blame. Finally, today the abuse and abuser no longer linger in the darkest parts of your mind controlling or tainting the memories. That is how God works in your life!

So, now with the passing of my dad, even though we had not spoken in almost 15-years, I was able to still forgive him for it, accept and respect his choice. It still stung, but I have the comfort of knowing God and (my mom) has told him the truth about all that I went through as a little girl, was telling the truth, and that if he knew? I’m pretty sure he would have protected me. He would have understood the WHY I also sought his unconditional love and validation. I have the comfort of knowing he is now with our father above and at peace with my mom.

I will continue to live and build a beautiful and amazing life within my recovery!

ME and my HUBBY, Tom xoxo


Amazing Memorial Weekend Book Review For My Memoir, “Addicted To Dimes” By Book Must!

Happy Memorial Weekend Reading and Review … By “Book To The Future.”


Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon


Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by [Townsend-Lyon, Catherine]


How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story.

It’s to easy these days to dismiss an addict without any real thought as to the contributing factors and the struggles they face each day when coping in a world that actively encourages habit-forming pursuits.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses or blame and does explore the complex history of the author’s case and painful past childhood where her roots began.

It’s challenging to read but that is how it is written and should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected devastating way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here. Not hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.

“Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth the right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.”

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies and people who partake, yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights, bells and whistles, and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money, a payoff, and glamour that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.

“At life’s lowest ebbs, the stigma of gambling addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances.”

There is some admirable support out there but there could be more for this specific disease. It’s to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual had to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run.  Addiction harms everybody, even in our communities as this author shares.

it’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the reader’s sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives. It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word, but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.

In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.

I highly suggest this one and her books can be picked up at Amazon both E-Book and Paperback … For more information about the author and recovery resources visit her informative blog  Catherine’s blog


About Book To The Future!

The About Bit



‘I felt a new About Bit was probably in order now that I seem to have shipwrecked myself on the rocky shores of the blogging community for good. Starting out, as I did back in the day as primarily a book blog now, I tend to write whatever wild winds of whimsy lead me too. A lot of that will be from The Philippines as that is where the said winds did blow me. Everyone calls me Ste J, I am an obsessive book creature, in fact, I spend more time between the (book) covers (I read in bed as well though) than I do with ‘real’ people. Which means I probably spend more time with you guys than anyone else. Feel privileged.

‘I have an urge to read as much as I can, in any genre and give my forthright and sometimes slightly obscure opinions on books and whatever other thing takes my fancy, such as life, or gnomes, although I haven’t done a gnome post yet…

‘Here you will find provided, an eclectic mix of stuff for your reading pleasure, when it comes to books, I intentionally do not reveal much plot, if you fancy reading it, you don’t want me coming along and telling you the butler did it or such like. Not that I’m saying he did do it, but he could have.

‘As a public service, I also read the rubbish books so you don’t have too, as well as delighting in finding the obscure to amuse you. I am also looking to review more authors who are self-publishing and attempting to vary the content more and grow this into something interesting. Feel free to look around and make yourself at home, there’s tea in the pot.

‘Recently I have taken to adding more posts on things not found in a book (or those infernal e-readers), so although I am primarily a book, I wish to keep it varied and hopefully bring you a more different and whimsical variety of posts.  Enjoy….

Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way – Christopher Hitchens


More New Book Reviews for My Book: ‘Addicted to Dimes’ . . .

” I am always Humbled and Grateful when others buy and take the time to read my book and have a Heart of Gratitude when they leave a book review as many have.  Thank You! ”




Good honest stuff! We need more stuff like this — more people telling it like it was and also telling it like it IS after getting free. To me, this author is helping. She offers hope for people hurting in a very broken world. Her sharing is the exact opposite of “looking-goodism” in which I spent so many years in bondage, and reading she had, well-defended by walls as thick as Jericho. This book proves that victory is possible, no matter how deep the darkness. And I say that’s a good thing!


5.0 out of 5 stars A story to be remembered

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) (Paperback)

Fascinating read. This author truly brings to light an issue that needs public awareness. She portrays her turbulent and painful childhood, what brought her to gambling, and all the heartache that went with it. She holds the reader’s rapt attention throughout her journey from the initial highs to the devastating lows, and finally to recovery and freedom. This book is one to be remembered.

5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Story of a Remarkable Life Journey….

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) (Kindle Edition)

Catherine Townsend-Lyon’s riveting story of her downfall into a life of addiction to gambling is a heart-wrenching read that ends with a great light of hope. It was hard to put this book down, so involved in wanting to know where it all went and landed in the end. Recommend this to anyone addicted to gambling, or any other addiction, as it offers the raw authentic story and hope for healing.


About My Book:


“How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn and read this remarkable and brave story.”

Available on Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble & WalMart Online!






Another Review of My Book, Addicted To Dimes . . .


” How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story. ”







Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses but does explore the complex history of the author’s case.
It’s challenging to read but that is how it should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here but hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.   Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth-right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies,  yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money and glamor that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.

At life’s lowest ebbs,the stigma of addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances. There is some admirable support out there but there could be more.  It is to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual has to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run. Addiction harms everybody.

It’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the readers sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives.  It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.  In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction, this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.
The books can be picked up at Amazon in e-book & paperback and for more information and an informative blog check out Catherine’s blog  . . .
I Highly Suggest This Book!

Sometimes Readers “Just Get It!” Book Reviews For “Addicted To Dimes.”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Readers, and New Friends!



It has been a while since my last personal share and thoughts with all my friends. I thought it would be a great time to some news and updates happening since my last post. I remember when about three or so years into my recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. I would think about my future after all I had been through with gambling and it’s ravishing over my life. I still remember clearly that day I began my writing journey, even though I was already a “Daily Journaler” I had read a newspaper article about the woman who had committed suicide at an Indian Casino hotel room about 40 miles North from my home.

Tears came down my cheeks not noticing as I read about this woman’s plight. I knew exactly how she felt when she had pulled that trigger. Yes, she killed herself because she could not stop gambling. And, yes, she was addicted and had a bad addiction relapse. It said in the paper article that she left a blood-spattered note behind the police found next to her lifeless body to her family. Still makes me sick to my stomach to this day that this woman felt “Suicide” was her only option for her to stop her gambling addiction.

This was the ignition to my needing to write down on paper, in black and white and between lines, all that gambling addiction had taken from me, and all the bad choices and consequences I bared because of those stupid choices I made. Finally taking accountability and ownership for all the “bad” I had done to others as well. That WAS MY beginning to really process and heal as I wrote for the next year into 6 spiral note books that became a book. All the rest was to it being picked up by a publisher was all the work of my Higher Power/God working in my LIFE ….

After my book released in paperback in late 2012? It has been no turning back! My Memoir and Life Story was out for all to read and know about. I tried to really give an in-depth view of this disease, and how it slowly progress’ in one’s life. I also wanted to give readers insights as to how, when we turn to any addiction to try to process our hurt and pain from many types of underlying unresolved or non-processed issues like death and grief, past childhood pain, abuse or sexual abuse. It can be from hundreds of other issues, but many of us do find out why we used addiction to try to cope, hide the pain, or escape and numb ourselves with gambling addiction, or with any addiction.t others may think of me, so I sat on the decision to publish for almost another year.

These were some of my goals for releasing my first book; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”  I wanted others to have HOPE, those still suffering and stuck in the never-ending “Cycle” of Gambling Addiction. Today? I feel I have accomplished this goal as many of my readers and book reviewers have been kind enough to share their thoughts by leaving fantastic book reviews. And?

I appreciate each and ever one of them GOOD or BAD. LOL. Blessed, all have been 4 and 5 stars on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. AND? Those readers understood my goals and mission of my book and my Recovery Blog  where I have continued sharing and journaling my recovery journey.

.( I am happy to announce I am now a recovery columnist at In Recovery Magazine ~ The Author’s Cafe ) 


Many readers also did “get it!” as to why and how I wrote and share my story in book form. So I wanted to share a few of my important book reviews that stand for the mission of why I chose to publish my Life and Memoir  . . .  If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling? Please, gift my book. Maybe it will help them see the light  . . .
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Addicted To Dimes ~ Book Reviews:

Agathe Kampen rated it ***** 5-Stars

“What a journey Catherine has been on. A wonderful read to learn how addicted gambling can turn very dangerous. Her writing style is unique in a way that she takes her readers through her life as if you both are just sitting in a coffee shop and her telling you here story, and about her life. What pain and agony she has been through with addicted gambling, childhood trauma, that led to some mental health challenges for Catherine, but more amazing is how she has helped many with this cunning addiction, support others with these same issues that have touched her life.

I truly hope she has a follow-up book to her Memoir, as she sets the example on how to do recovery right! And has a lot of good information for all that she shares through her book, and on her recovery blog as well! Besides being in recovery, Catherine is also fantastic writer and blogger. She dabbles in Book & Media marketing, and has done a great job for ME with my own book! It’s why I hired her. And it’s why I gave her book a 5 Stars!”

Author Agathe von Kampen

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on June 8, 2016 ….

“Once I started reading it I had to read it through to the end and now as I see dawn come into the sky I understand much more about the nature of addiction to gambling. It has changed me and made me feel more compassion for a friend who has a similar addiction.

This is a must read for anyone with a gambling addiction or has a family member or friend with this terrible medical condition, for indeed as the author makes clear it is a medical condition and not a failing. I ached for her brother Rob denied the truth of his parentage so many years. I bless that she found her husband Tom who stood by her through all the troubles she brought down on their marriage. Her dysfunctional family is clearly outlined in her writing. It’s a story that had to be told. I congratulate her on writing about the helplessness, compulsion, and despair of gambling.”  . . . .

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“The Cruelest lies are often told in Silence”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Arizona Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon makes her wiring debut in a book – ADDICTED TO DIMES – that is as much a memoir of her troubled life as it is coaching guide for people afflicted with addictions. While Catherine focuses on addiction “how-to gambling (her own malady form from which she has recovered), her writing is such that is helpful to all manner of addictions – the addict’s mindset, the highs and lows of addiction, and finding the path to recovery.

As is the case with author’s who elect to share personal experiences with the topic engaged, Catherine shares the childhood and early adulthood etiologies for developing her gambling addition, and she is unafraid to share the extended lows of coming to grips with addiction. Now year 9 1/2 in  recovery, she is active in the passion of working with other addicts in the addiction & recovery communities. Her blogging and personal appearances are a testimony to her desire to aid other addicts – advice from one who has “been there, done that” – such as her title as an Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger all about Gambling Addiction on “Addictionland” of Author & Founder, Cate Stevens, and now a “In Recovery Magazine” columnist as well, she does share hope to others.

In the Preface of her book, she states, ‘I truly hope by sharing my own story and experiences with my battle over this illness will inspire others to seek help, or catch you before you fall. Not one more person has to ever choose death as the final option to stop gambling. Don’t let shame destroy you and your family. THERE IS HELP AND SUPPORT.’

And from this supportive stance, Catherine details her childhood, the abuses she tolerated, the attempts at marriage – every secret is revealed in detail to show many underlying causes for which one may take a darker path than others  … Well done.

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Please visit my Amazon Author Page for all my book reviews and over on Goodreads as well!  All My Amazon Book Reviews


Many Blessings Everyone!  ~  Author, Catherine Lyon  XO

“Lets Talk War Stories of Addiction and The Criminal Consequences”

Hello and Welcome all Recovery Friends,



I wanted to write and share a little about the damages and consequences many of face when we were deep within our addictions. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his blog while he was there. And I can tell you, there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. Back in 2006,  I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do so. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone of course read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall.


He was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feeling and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but? I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.

I use them for my recovery to help others, share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling, alcohol, and other addictions, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for a ‘Home Business.’  Again, as you may know, I promote other authors with a small ‘Book & Social Media Promotions’ job for extra income. And here is why, which I know you all in recovery will understand.

In 2006, I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two years probation, and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution to this day. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.

BAM! Book promoting and authoring more recovery books came to mind! I’m not rich yet, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery.  It also raises your self-worth, confidence and gives you freedom from addiction!


We need to learn while in recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made within our addictions. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done, or you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides addiction.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Many choose treatment or rehab, depending on the type of addiction you are recovering from. Many turn to 12 step programs, or even to their church. Doesn’t matter what route you choose, just do it. We can change those bad habits and behaviors we tend to learn within addiction/ and replace them with awesome ones. It’s what I told my friend in his blog comment section. He feels he is becoming addicted to his cell, the internet, and social media sites.

So I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, and that is what helps ME stay in recovery. Sharing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take such a positive turn from the damage and devastation of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams.

So go ahead and take your freedom Back from Addiction Today!!
You are worth it!

May God Bless You Abundantly Friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
Author and Recovery Advocate

A Recovering Gamblers Thoughts & Ramblings . . .

“If you want recovery bad enough? Then you have to work it. It’s just that SIMPLE!”


Dan Forkell's photo.


“Recovery + God = Success! It’s Just That SIMPLE Recovery Friends! Can I Get An AMEN?” |

Many readers ask me this question all the time, “how does one make that first year in recovery?”
I tell them the very same answer I tell everyone who maybe struggling in recovery, you have to do the work in order to grasp a foothold in early recovery …


Drug Rehab Services 800-819-9973:

Yes, it is hard to look within ourselves in early treatment and pick out all the character defects, bad habits and behaviors we pick up in addiction, but know this, you can work through those defects to turn your life around for the better! I did it, and I know you can too! You can make the choice today to take your life back from the cycle of addiction. With some support, encouragement, and hard work anyone can ….

The 10 Most Inspirational Jamie Lee Curtis Quotes on Recovery | Duffy's Napa Valley Rehab

Just believe in a power greater than yourself to restore you .. .. ..


Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

 Product Details
( click to purchase on Amazon )

Happy 8th Year Recovery Birthday To ME! Yeah Baby! LUV RECOVERY!

YES, I know I’m a silly GIRL!
But I’m busting out with Happiness as Today is my 8th year in Recovery from Gambling Addiction and Alcohol Abuse!!



Wow time sure does fly by right? BUT, when we acknowledge that addiction has us beat, and we come to a point in our life to fight like hell to get our lives back? When you truly surrender and turn all the madness over to your Higher Power, you’ll be amazed at what one person can achieve!!


So I thought I would do a little something special today in Honor of Me Celebrating 8 years in Recovery!
If anyone comes to visit my post today through the weekend, and haven’t read my current book titled; Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat). . . then leave your name and Email in my comment section of this post, I will pick 3 winners from all the names left here from now Jan 29th, 2015 thru Sunday Feb 1st, 2015. . . then on Monday morning I will pick 3 names from the comment section list and share a blog post of the Winners!!

You’ll get your choice of the Kindle E-book free and gifted by Email, or a paperback gifted and mailed from Amazon. Your choice! So make sure you share, re-blog, or just give this post link out to all your friends and family so they can come by and enter too!


It’s just my way of saying, “Thank You”! to all who have helped support me in recovery, my book, and especially my recovery blog here. YOU are why I stay in recovery. Having over 300 wonderful blog followers in my corner, how could I not feel supported?

Since my book was released back in late May, 2013. . . it has been a crazy ride! Sharing my personal story and testimony of life, and sometimes how some of us take a path many never do, laying myself bare in book form can be very nerve-racking, but my book has surpassed all my goals I set for it. I have received many open doors, opportunities, and blessings by sharing my message of hope to others, and not to brag, but all 5 Star Amazon reviews doesn’t hurt.

I wanted others to see just how easy a person can become addicted to gambling. To give an inside look of the actual disease, and how it invades every part of your life when it happens. To be able to raise awareness of the expansion of gambling casinos in areas they have no business being in. The ever-expanding of State Lottery Gambling services now offered in most of our United States. And now gambling is also claiming our High School & College age young adults at an alarming rate! Just another area parents need to talk to their older kids about. Like drugs and booze wasn’t enough to warn them about, now gambling.

Gambling addiction is REAL. It is a DISEASE. Even problem gambling. To learn more about it, please visit my good friends at The National Council on Problem Gambling: http://www.ncpgambling.org/ or call 24 Hour Confidential National Helpline1-800-522-4700 They can help.
A in-depth resent article about Problem & Addicted Gambling is by: Elaine Meyer of Columbia University, titled;

Gambling With America’s …  “Gambling with America’s Health”? or http://the2x2project.org/

I hope you’ll help me CELEBRATE my Recovery Birthday! Leave your name and email in the comment section if you’d like to be in the running for a free copy of my book! And I hope you ALL know how I appreciate each and every one of my blog friends and followers here!
God Bless & Much Happiness!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author


“What Is It Like Being An Addict”? Some Holiday Recovery Encouragement! . . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,


I wanted to start my post by sharing my book of my own story of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. My current book out, “Addicted To Dime”, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat),

If you know anyone with a gambling problem, or maybe addicted to gambling, and you are not sure how to approach the subject? Then send them my book. They won’t look at gambling the same way after they finish reading my story. I actually had others tell me this in comments, and in all my 5 Star Amazon Reviews that were kindly left by readers. There may only be 13 reviews on Amazon, but they are very powerful and mean much to me!

So my neighbor Sean, yes, he is the one I have blogged about before. He is a drug addict. He knows I say this in the ‘correct context’ since being a former addict myself, just that mine wasn’t drugs. My drug was addicted compulsive gambling, and abuse of alcohol when I did gamble. So we were talking about the holidays being upon us, and how hard it can be trying to stay in recovery around the holiday time.

Now, I give Sean credit, and it is why I have not just cut him off as a friend, because Like me, I know all he may hear and learn in his continued fight to recover from drug addiction, I know that eventually, like me, it does start sticking and sinking into our heads.
And, . . .one day that big fat light bulb goes off over our heads!! And we say, NOW I GET IT!!
I know that is what happened to me after my 2nd suicide attempt, and working with an addiction specialist. BUT, . . . sadly not before I had committed a crime thanks to all the old behaviors and quick bad choice reactions when Life Difficulties come along.

I learned from that, that I had not finished all my work in taking my financial inventory, nor had I finished the work on all my bad habits I had used, and picked up when I was active in my gambling addiction. So I had more work to do. So when Sean and I were talking about Christmas’s past, when we had no money, no lights, no Christmas tress, no nothing, I told him I couldn’t count how many times I would be in a department store wandering the isles, just wishing I could by everyone gifts for Christmas, but I had gambled all our money, so I couldn’t. I can not tell you how many times I needed things for myself, and would walk up and down the isles just looking, looking at all the things I wish I could buy but couldn’t because I had gambled our money away, . . . again.


Sean was sharing how much he felt like shit having to go to detox for the week before this past Thanksgiving so he could be clean while visiting his parents in San Diego, CA and not be strung out from drugs.

Then when he got back from San Diego, he bought pain pills and was right back to it!!
THAT is how hard it is to stop being an addict!! Yes, we have to WANT to STOP, but as an addict myself, I do remember those days, months, and years of that BATTLE we have with ourselves, with the constant triggers and urges ALL the damn time. I think those feelings are a little like who and what “The Devil is”. All bad things of this world are and belong to Satan.

The constant battle gets worse once you start your recovery. The first year of recovery, I won’t lie to you all, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do in your lifetime if you’re any type of addict. Those who are know exactly what I’m talking about. The constant racing thoughts, the nagging little person in your head that keeps telling you, “you don’t have a problem, it’s everyone else telling YOU that you do”. Well I’m now smart enough to know, that’s the DISEASE talking. It takes control of our thoughts, which feelings and acts come from.


We can’t change what we refuse of our addiction to acknowledge . . .

We can not take that FIRST STEP unless we convince our mind, body, spirit, and soul we are truly powerless over our addictions. That they have the control over our life, and it’s useless to keep trying to control the addictions you have. I so remember all the times I sat behind a damn slot or video poker machine, and I just kept stuffing more and more money in them. And even if I won, I would be there even longer until I gambled my last dollar. So it doesn’t matter if you win money or lose it, the addiction is so strong that it takes over. You don’t stand a chance at controlling it. The disease makes you think you can, but it never happens!

I hated myself so much. I had NO idea who I was anymore. I was so disconnected from life, my husband, my friends and family. Even though both sides of our family lived in two different states at the time, I wouldn’t return calls, nothing. My heart and soul was so broken when I finally had to surrender to the fact that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had me beaten down so bad I was on my knees wanting to die. And that’s why I understand about what my neighbor, what Sean is going through. I’ve been there myself. I don’t want him to ‘Give Up’ before HIS MIRACLE happens like mine did.


When we learn to finally surrender and choose recovery, choose to have our lives back, then we start the journey of letting go. We can start to see things more clearly. Yes, mine was a very bumpy ride to long-term recovery, with relapses, a couple tries in gambling treatment, counseling & therapy, and many GA meetings, and lots of hard work on all my character defects, and much more.
But, then,  . . . we start to get it go. Learning to be brutally honest with yourself, and having faith in a “Power Greater Than Ourselves” will help you obtain that new miracle of life again.

I can not tell you how GOOD it feels to be free of all that garbage, feeling like a hostage to my former addictions. It truly is like a rebirth! NO, . . it was not easy, but SO worth all the work I did to have my life free of addiction. It’s really true that many blessings come from the many negatives and trials we go through in life. I can not count how many blessings have come to me since my full recovery. We need to look at in a personal light. Look at recovery as “investing in your own life ! in your self”. . .

And when you do break the chains of addiction, be your true self. You will learn to have an even better life in recovery then when you first became an addict! That’s the beauty of Recovery! Don’t be someone you’re not in recovery. Learn to be a better person then the one before, better than the one YOU became within addiction. It can be done. I know this because not only do I live in recovery almost 8 years, I have to live with mental/emotional disorders from my past addictions. And I am a childhood sex abuse survivor.

So having dual diagnosis and living in recovery can be challenging. Like everyday challenging. But I did it, and DO IT. It’s why I continue to share my recovery journey on a personal level. When My book released, my live really did become an open book. All my flaws, misdeeds, character defects and more where now open for all the world to judge. Yes,  . . . I said judge. WHY?


We judge because it’s sadly the world & society we live in. We judge because there is STIGMA still in this world around those who seem different. Who may have taken a different path then others.
And that is one of the most positive and powerful things about recovery. We learn not only to heal and love ourselves again, but we also learn to have care, understanding, and more compassion for others. That is another blessing that recovery has taught me. And that compassion is why I help others in or out of recovery.

Compassion, and helping others in recovery, or those who are reaching out for help to recover, being of recovery service to others keeps us in recovery. It’s just that simple!


I wish all of you in Recovery a Bet Free, Clean and Sober Holiday Season! And yes I do say, “Merry Christmas To All & Happy New Year”!!

Many Blessings,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon XoXo 🙂


“Radio Show Was Great, And Some Pondering Questions”…

Welcome Recovery Friends And New Visitors,

“So I had my “Guest Author Interview” yesterday on C.L. Gammon’s blog talk radio show, and I have to say it was interesting. For those who tuned in, sorry, I was a little nervous. I tried to stay on task in answering all the questions without babbling, but there was SO much information I wanted to share with all who tuned in about addicted gambling,  share websites for help and support, and the current expansion of gambling “Casino’s and State Lotteries.”


But one question that my host asked me towards the end of the broadcast, and really got me thinking the rest of the night after the show. One of the questions I do believe C.L. asked me was, as I wrote my book, and with the things we do in the worst of our gambling addiction, like pawn things, asking or borrowing money to gamble, and I even told him about my” legal woe’s” from when I stole from a person, he asked me, “does a person feel “Shame” for the negative things we did within our addiction?
I think what I told him is” Yes,”…..we do have shame and guilt for the poor choice’s we made at the time, the hurting of loved ones, friends, and family. I also said that it’s not like we wake up one day and say, “Gee, I think I’ll become an ADDICT and destroy my life today, hurt all those around me! Is an addiction a personal choice? Well, yes…..But we as addicts learn that our past unsavory deeds does not define us. It’s “not” who we are today in Recovery. We are taught and learn through treatment, and support groups, meetings and class’s, is to work through, come to acknowledge, then move past the negatives of our past. We learn through the 12-Steps when the time is right, to make amends with those people we had hurt like family, friends, co-workers, and even our past employers. Many are affected when were addicts.
Like I shared with C.L., of course I have remorse for the hurtful things I’d done, but in turn I had acknowledged, took ownership, and paid the consequences for my past actions. If we as addicts just stay and sit in the “Shame & Pity,” if we continue to be a victim of our past, then will never have a “Balanced, Healthy, and Successful Recovery.” Those things can cause you to Relapse. It has to be part of our recovery life plan, to daily take our “Personal inventory.” To be aware and change our character defects.That’s part of the hard work we put into our recovery. I also told my host that I wrote in my book all the bad things I’d done, because I want others to know just how cunning addicted gambling is, and I wanted others to be aware of the “ugly side” of gambling. I put all my “Dirt” for all to read so they can learn from the mistakes I made while addicted, because I don’t want another person to choose or think Suicide” is their only option to stop gambling! That should never be an option for ANY ADDICT.
After my interview on the C.L. Gammon’s blog talk radio interview, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/clgammon …I had received a few emails from listeners.
One person had tuned in and asked if I would in the future blog about the personal facts and experiences about my addiction. We in recovery call them “Gambling War Stories.” I thought that is a little of what I shared in my current book? But I do know what this person means. So maybe my next post will be about “A Bad Day At The Casino” or something along those lines. As I DO have many to share….
I “THANK” those of you who tuned in. I really appreciate the support, the emails, and your kind words. “Truly” it’s really all about helping others, raising awareness, and caring enough to just “Share” what I’ve been through to help others!
Thanks Again Friends! Gos Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)

“And The OSCAR Goes To?”~Recovery Relapse Prevention” Part 1

WELCOME Recovery Friends, Seekers and New Visitors,

My 2nd blog post of “Problem Gambling Awareness Week” is all things relapse prevention. Yes boys and girls it’s time to take notes and open your “Skills” tool box and fill it with a few more tips on how to stay away from the “Relapse”…..
For those of you who are new, I have “pledged” my gambling recovery blog here to “The National Council Of Problem Gambling” all month-long for Gambling Awareness Week. http://www.ncpgambling.org …
In yesterday’s blog post I spoke about the importance of Step one, (if you follow & work the 12 Steps) and how it truly is the first HONEST step to starting recovery. You need to be willing to admit YOU are an addict as that it IS half the battle of your work.

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

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

Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of treatment. In a study of many different addictions, approximately one/thirds of the patients relapsed within the first two weeks, sixty percent relapsed within the first three months, and sixty-seven within twelve months. (hunt et al., 1971).
 Most patients relapse within three months of leaving treatment. This is the period of highest risk. Members of Gamblers Anonymous must be willing to do almost anything to prevent relapse. They need to see themselves as clinging to an ice- covered cliff with their recovery support group holding the only rope. The most important thing they can do is go to meetings. Members who are working a daily program of recovery will not relapse. These behaviors are incompatible. Relapse is a process that begins long before making the first bet….
Now I think we can all agree that those are lousy odds of recovery when we first start out, or if you’re coming out of treatment. But I learned the hard way that IT’S TRUE. The 2nd most important thing after admitting you are Powerless over your addiction is to find a Treatment program. There are many websites that offer Good Treatment Options. A couple that come to mind are, My Addiction http://www.myaddiction.com  and http://gambling.supportgroups.com/ on support groups, set yourself up with a user & password and your enter a world of support, some Free treatment options for addicted gambling, and it’s confidential and anonymous! And also Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource too: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org …*Here is a little more from the relapse guide, and feel free to “Copy & Paste” the guide for yourself to use, and it can be used for all types of Addictions*:
The Relapse Prevention Exercise for Gamblers is prevention, and requires working a daily program of recovery. The member must take his or her personal inventory at the end of every day. If any of the relapse symptoms become clear, immediate action must be taken.
Members must develop written plans detailing the exact things they are going to do if they get into trouble. Other people need to check each member daily for relapse warning signs. This can be done by family members, a sponsor, or someone from the workplace. This is a good reason for members to go to daily meetings and hang around other recovering people. Often other people can see what members are unable to see for themselves. The member needs to identify high risk situations that may trigger relapse, and to develop coping skills to deal with each situation. the more a member can practice these skills, the better off he or she will be in recovery. In meetings, members need to discuss high risk situations and help each other develop relapse prevention plans….
Each member will be different, most relapses occur when patients are experiencing the following high risk situations:
Negative emotions: Particularly anger and frustration. This could also be negative emotions such as boredom, jealousy, depression, anxiety, ect..
Social pressure: Being in a social situation where people are gambling, or being directly encouraged to gamble by someone. Interpersonal conflict: This can be a conflict with the parent, spouse, child, boss, friend, ect.. Positive emotions: Something positive happens and the member want to celebrate. This can be a promotion, wedding, birth of a child, graduation, ect..
Here are some things YOU can do to be more aware and have a PLAN of action to keep YOU safe!;
“DON’T TEMPT yourself, test your personal control and use an Exercise Plan”!!Using the relapse exercise, members develop the skills necessary to deal with each of the high risk situations, then they practice the new skills until they become good at them. All members must role play gambling refusal situations, with an experienced member, until they can say no and feel relatively comfortable. They must examine and experience all their triggers, see through the first use, and learn how to deal with the euphoric recall.

Members must develop a plan for a slip. What are they going to do if they gamble again? Who are they going to contact? What are they going to say? This must be practiced again and again with other members.
The member must understand the behavior chain. They must also develop skills for changing their thoughts, feelings, and actions when they have problems. The members should know that gambling cravings will pass if they move away from the situation and use their new tools of recovery.

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

Listed below are the thirty-seven warning symptoms.
*Circle the ones that you have experienced before you gambled.*
1. Apprehension about well-being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking.
14. Feeling nothing can be solved.
15. Immature to be happy.
16. Periods of confusion.
17. Irritation with friends.
18. Easily angered.
19. Irregular eating habits.
21. Irregular sleeping habits.
22. Progressive loss of daily structure.
23. Periods of deep depression.
24. Irregular attendance at meeting.
25. Development of an “I don’t care” attitude.
26. Open rejection of help.
27. Dissatisfaction with life.
28. thoughts of social gambling.
29. Feeling of powerlessness or helplessness.
30. Self-pity
31. Conscious lying.
32. Complete loss of self-confidence.
33. Unreasonable resentments.
34. Discontinuing all treatment.
35. Start of controlled gambling.
36. Loss of control.
37. Overwhelming loneliness, frustration, anger, and tension.
NOW, here is the “Fun and interacting” part of my recovery blog! I hope you will make this list, then how about you all leave a comment what # warning sign is the most difficult for YOU, and how YOU would handle or what skills would you use to help get you through one of the 37 Warning Symptoms? And since there is a lot to “Relapse Prevention” and I want you to get the MOST out of my blog posts to aid your recovery from addicted gambling, let do this blog post as a 2 or 3 part exercise? So this concludes the 1st part of relapse prevention, and I’ll give you a couple of days to “Comment” your answers. I’ll blog post PART 2 on Wen March 5th mid day!
I think this will be a fun idea so we can ALL LEARN a little something new together! And again, please feel free to copy and paste the full guide workbook listed on my Resources Page List! Together WE CAN RECOVER! If your interested, my current book is out NOW as e-book on Amazon Kindle! “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485  My true story of my life battling compulsive gambling addiction, living with Undiagnosed Bipolar, my childhood trauma, dark family secrets and Recovery!

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