We Can Learn Recovery From Addicted Gambling By Reading Others Stories. Guest Article By The MA., Council on Gaming & Health. Meet Scott.


Bottoming out for good. Scott’s story.

Apr 14, 2022 | https://macgh.org/8376-2/

A Great Resource for Those Living in Massachusetts


Here’s Scott’s story.

If you’ve ever been to Atlantic City, you know it’s an exciting place. High-rise hotels, famous nightclubs, and glitzy casinos line the boardwalk. As a young guy, Atlantic City had all the appeal of a fun spot to spend an evening and unwind.

At the casinos, these thrills were more enticing than I realized. That evening, I found myself glued to the gaming tables. I couldn’t get up and walk back to my room. I ended up gambling all night long.

When I visited Atlantic City, I’d been sober for about a year. Growing up, I had problems with drinking and drugs, but fortunately, the effects of these addictions hit me early and hard. I got into recovery programs and by all accounts, was doing well.

That night triggered another addiction that I’d fight for years: problem gambling.

Deep down, I knew that as a recovering alcoholic and drug user, finding and chasing other highs wasn’t a good idea. I swore to my girlfriend that I’d never gamble again.

Except I did. I started to chase, even sprint after the high of gambling. I started buying scratch tickets and visiting more casinos. And unlike my drinking or drug use, I didn’t seek recovery.

Several years later, I fell on tough times. That’s when my gambling got out of control. I didn’t have any close family or friends I could turn to, and instead, I turned to slot machines. I started going to casinos to play high-limit slot machines. Gambling became an escape and winning felt ecstatic. And like my night in Atlantic City, I found it harder and harder to walk away from the machines and the tables.


My life began to revolve around weekends at the casino. I drifted away from participating in 12-step recovery programs. I started spending money like it didn’t matter and racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. When I maxed out my credit cards, I sold personal possessions, trying to pay off the surging debts from each weekend’s worth of gambling. My relationships took a toll, too. I pushed many people away.

No wake-up call seemed to shake my habit. One day, I ended up hitting the slots and winning a huge jackpot but left the casino with only a few thousand in my pocket. Even refinancing my home to pay off my debts didn’t deter my gambling. The addiction had me by the throat, and I was powerless, unable to look past the upcoming weekend and my next bets.

The real jolt to the system was when I started thinking of doing something illegal to continue gambling. I realized I was helpless and hopeless. I was contemplating suicide.

Just 20 minutes later, one of my sisters called me. A friend of mine from one of the 12-step programs was worried about my wellbeing. He had called my family.

That was May 2008. I was in rough shape mentally and emotionally, but I got help. Through the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, I found a counselor. I’ve been fortunate to find some really important people in my life and got back on track with the 12-step programs for my addictions.

Since then, gambling has been a monkey on my shoulder. I’ve stayed as vigilant around gambling as I need to be around drinking or drugs. From the high highs to the low lows, I didn’t want to look at my gambling honestly until I reached a point of sheer desperation. When I got honest with myself, it became a weight lifted off my shoulders. My advice? Help yourself before you bottom out!

********* ********* ********** **********

If you or a loved one needs help and you live in the MA., Call Council’s Live-Chat or call the GamLine at
1-800-GAM-1234, 24/7. For everyone in the United States, visit The National Council on Problem Gambling
look up your State Here: https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/.

Or Call 24 Hour Confidential National Helpline
Call 1-800-522-4700
Chat ncpgambling.org/chat
Text 1-800-522-4700


I Support My Friends of The Mass. Council On Gaming and Health. Special Guest Article About Voluntary Self-Exclusion From Gambling Casinos.



Self-Exclusion or self-banning yourself from gambling and casinos can be a tricky thing to do. There has been much controversy over it. So does it really work for the gambler to ban themselves from the temptation to try and stop one from gambling? Well, I can only speak for myself that it didn’t work. But I was far too deep into full-blown addicted gambling.

If we have a positive mindset and attitude about self-exclusion and try it when we’re beginning to feel like gambling is becoming a problem and interfering in our daily lives? Then for those who are aware and looking to curb or nix this habit before it does become a full-blown addiction, it just may work for them.

I began to think more about this after I read this article I’m going to share with you by the fine folks of The Massachusetts Council On Gaming & Health. It made me see a different side to self-exclusion. I hope you can learn a little more after you give it a read. ~Advocate, Catherine Lyon


For some casino patrons, Voluntary Self-Exclusions are the real home run.

Apr 7, 2022 | Blog


For some casino patrons, ‘Voluntary Self-Exclusions’ is a real home run...


Knowing our limits is part of maintaining a safe, healthy lifestyle.
It’s what naturally encourages our bodies and minds to crave breaks. Whether powering off our laptop after a few hours of work or pausing to stretch when we get a muscle cramp exercising, breaks help us reassess and recharge. Even our favorites on the Sox and Celtics take timeouts to breathe and strategize their next play.


You may not know that you can take breaks from gambling activities, too. With Massachusetts sports betting legalization emerging as a real possibility, more Bay Staters could be at risk of developing a gambling disorder. About two percent of the population has a gambling disorder today. And up to 488,000 adults in Massachusetts are at-risk gamblers, meaning they show an increasing preoccupation with gambling.

As Opening Day kicks off this week, these statistics should serve as a vital reminder to policymakers. The passage of sports betting legislation without robust consumer protections such as Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) programs would prove to be a massive oversight and undermine our Commonwealth’s pro-public health reputation.

Gambling can be tough to see or sniff out, literally. Unlike some alcohol or drug use addictions, problem gambling or at-risk gambling can be easily concealed. However, keep a lookout for signs and symptoms. Perhaps you or someone you care about is placing higher bets to try to reach the same adrenaline rushes.

Others find themselves driving to the casino or instinctively pulling up a gambling app whenever they are down or stressed. Individuals are increasingly chasing sports betting thrills on flashy apps and websites. So be mindful of more-than-usual screen time. The sheer accessibility of sports betting poses concerns to public health — and a potentially greater need for self-exclusion programs.

Like anything in excess, gambling can wreak havoc on relationships, workplaces, finances, and your wellbeing. As a former competitive hockey player turned gaming services professional, I have seen countless sports bettors jeopardize their careers and families. And in working as a table games dealer for many years, I’ve seen what happens when gambling no longer feels like a game.

It isn’t only about the damage to your wallet. Even when they pay off their debts, individuals still have a gambling disorder. A break  — sometimes for a year, sometimes for good  — might be the best thing to do.

In my current role as a Senior GameSense Advisor, I have a unique opportunity to help patrons create limits around their gambling. Our team staffs info centers at the state casinos, educating patrons on responsible gambling. Conversations can range from understanding the odds in a game of craps to helping folks take a break and enroll in a Voluntary Self-Exclusion program.

By enrolling in VSE, participants voluntarily exclude themselves from the gaming floors of all Massachusetts casinos. Participants can choose how long they would like to exclude. And just like if Xander Bogaerts tried to belt a line drive between innings, any money wagered, lost, or won during VSE enrollment is forfeited and does not count. Like Bogaerts, you also get a coach. Trained staff, including GameSense Advisors like myself, conduct regular check-ins throughout the term and connect you to local resources.

Some patrons have shared that heading to a casino to enroll in a VSE poses too much of a temptation. That’s a valid point, and it’s one of the reasons why we created remote VSE enrollment, which is the first of its kind in the nation. Patrons can still self-exclude in person or through confidential, online platforms. The program has created hundreds of success stories: over 1,000 Bay Staters are enrolled in a VSE. This is solely because Massachusetts lawmakers prioritized public health in crafting the Expanded Gaming Act in 2011.

One of the Boston greats, Pedro Martinez, said, “If you’re healthy, you’re capable of doing everything.” VSEs serve as an innovative, critical resource and keep countless Bay Staters healthy and safe. As such, making sure that these resources are within reach for all should remain paramount in future sports gambling legislation.

The health of thousands of Bay Staters — and the health of gaming in Massachusetts  — is at stake.

**************************************

Ken Averill is a Senior GameSense Advisor with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health. He has over 24 years of experience in the gaming industry and previously worked as a table games dealer and operations manager. 

For gambling-related questions, chat with a member of the GameSense team 24/7 via LiveChat at MACGH.org by calling the GamLine at 1-800-GAM-1234.


An Introduction and Resource For Gambling Addiction to Recovery, Meet Dr. Louise Stanger, an Interventionist Who Shares Addicted Gambling is Very Treatable.


Article Courtesy of Dr. Louise Stanger who is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, BBS #4581) for over 35 years, and specializes in substance abuse disorders, process addictions, mental health disorders, sudden death, trauma, grief, and loss. She is a great resource and offers interventions and helps heal not just the addict, but the family as she focuses on strength-based solutions and invitational change.


Information Courtesy of Dr. Stanger.

Wanna make a bet?

Gambling Shatters Records, Takes Hold Of America

The gambling industry shattered records in 2021, taking in over $53 Billion. That’s a 21% increase over the previous record, set in 2019. With sports gambling now publicly embraced by and partnered with the major sports leagues, gambling is more popular and more acceptable than ever.

The Super Bowl had the highest TV rating of any sports media event in history. That one game alone was expected to bring in 31.4 million gamblers and $7.4 billion in bets. Is it a coincidence that the highest year in Super Bowl TV ratings happens during the same year that gambling is breaking records? To a lesser extent, this kind of gambling happens at every sports event, in every league, throughout the year.

Do you have a smartphone? Then you can gamble in real-time on just about any event (not just sports) you can think of. Quick access and instant results also come with another price (not just money lost). It reminds of me the video games that lure you into a new world and the only way to continue to advance in the game is to continue to play. If you set down the controller and stop playing, you lose ground in the competition. 

It is not only just sports enthusiasts who are addicted to gambling or feeding the industry’s record year in 2021. Casinos continue to lead all revenue sources, with large amounts of walk-in traffic. Seniors make up as much as 50% of casino visitors, and casinos prey on them in order to increase revenue. And continues into 2022!

What do Americans think of gambling? If you believe that people’s votes tell the story, then this ABCNews headline from the 2020 elections says it all: Jackpot! Expansion of gambling in the US wins big at polls

So, gambling will become more pervasive, more impulsive, and easier to access. This can lead many to an unhealthy relationship with gambling — ruining relationships, costing families their fortunes, and leading to other addictions. The link between gambling and substance abuse is well-known, and most casinos still offer a free drink (or many) while you play.

************************************************************************


If you know someone who is addicted to gambling, there is hope. It is a process addiction that can be addressed before it’s too late. I sure encourage you to visit Dr. Stanger’s website for more information and resources on she can help. You can take her “Gambling Self-Assessment Survey” while you visit and you may contact her on her site as well. An intervention is a great place to start if you have a loved one who has a gambling problem or needs serious help.
https://www.allaboutinterventions.com/test-yourself/gambling-self-assessment/


Here are a few additional stories you may want to take the time to read.
https://www.allaboutinterventions.com/2019/05/28/aging-in-the-time-of-the-silver-tsunami/
(https://www.allaboutinterventions.com/2018/07/06/video-game-addiction-in-the-communication-age/)


More About Dr. Stanger:

Dr. Louise is no stranger to adversity. Born on a fault line of trauma, she knows what it is like to grow up in a family beset with anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and death by suicide. She brings her own years of experience working with families in bespoke fashion as well as her ability to work alongside talented professionals to ensure you get the best possible care. In doing so she and her team are collaborative, strength-based, and invitational.

Dr. Louise Stanger received her doctorate in education from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University, and a BA in English Literature and Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Louise is an Ivy League Award winner (2019 Interventionist of the Year from DB Resources in London and McLean Hospital – an affiliate of Harvard), educated social worker, popular author, internationally renowned clinician, interventionist and speaker, and an expert on mental health, addiction, process disorders, and chronic pain. She gets to the heart of the matter in helping families because she’s passionate about bringing hope and healing to loved ones.

When you call, you won’t have to go through any intermediaries. She will pick up the phone and talk directly with you.

Dr. Louise developed and refined her invitational method of mental health and substance abuse interventions using the well-established research methodology of portraiture. She has performed thousands of family interventions throughout the United States and abroad.

She has received numerous awards for her years of dedication to the fields of intervention & recovery. In addition to her years of experience, Dr. Louise is a published author whose work covers a range of topics including mental health, substance abuse, and well-being, the opioid epidemic, marijuana, and other drugs, parenting, high wealth clients, finding happiness, spirituality, failure to launch, chronic pain and pain management, family and many more.

Her latest book titled Addiction in the Family: Helping Families Navigate Challenges, Emotions, and Recovery (2020) is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Her book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon. and The Definitive Guide to Addiction Intervention-A Collective Strategy is available on Amazon and University Bookstores.


Addiction in the Family: Helping Families Navigate Challenges, Emotions, and Recovery


Dr. Louise is also known for lively, informative, customized, and invigorating training for staff, families, and clients. Foundations Recovery Network’s Moments of Change Conference proclaimed Dr. Stanger the “Fan Favorite Speaker.” In addition, the San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the top 10 “Women Who Mean Business” and she was ranked as one of the top 10 Interventionists in the Country.

In 2017, she received the Dr. Joseph P. Galleta Spirit of Recovery Award and the DB Resources in London Journalism Award. In 2018, she was honored by the Forgiving Foundation and spoke in London on World Drug Day in June. She also received the 2018 Friendly House Excellence In Service Award.


Presented and Shared By Advocate/Author Catherine Townsend- Lyon – Let’s Raise Awareness!

Bet Free Recovery Now…





CHANGE…who you were deep in addiction TO who you want to be within RECOVERY. Now, that? THAT’S A Life Changer!

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created those problems,” and Earl Nightingale also said, “Don’t wait for change, you change!” This is great advice for those in early recovery. It has been solid advice I continue to follow to this day.

Some of this post may sound like rambling recovery thoughts, but they are my thoughts, and I want to share them with you.

Change. I remember how resentful and angry I felt in my early recovery journey. I would get pissed off when I was being told to change, and it seemed I was hounded about change all the time!

When I got told, I had to make changes within my inner-self to get better and begin the healing process. It was always like a song in my head saying, “keep making those changes, or change your thinking, change your life!”

OMG! Whatever!…lol.

But you know what?
It worked.

For example, I would hear others at GA meetings during our smoke break. They would chat about moving to a new location or a new state because they felt they would not have the problems with addicted gambling if only they lived somewhere else. HA!

I learned pretty quickly that is NOT the case, and you can change wherever you want to live, but your problems will go with you. If only beating addicted gambling was that easy.

You have to change your thinking and do the workaround CHANGE to change your life.

Believe it or not, most people never do much about changing their lives. Most people wish their lives away and talk boringly about things they will do, but lack of change and doing the work within recovery seems too much of a burden. That is also why relapse happens.

They feel doing the recovery work is too complex and much easier to continue down the same road with addiction and gambling.

 Again, this happens a lot in early recovery. I did this myself. Maybe I had not hit my “rock bottom.” Most times, it was several things that kept me gambling. Like stress, triggers, and those darn constant urges to gamble.

My poor husband got so tired of hearing me say, “why is it me that has to do all the changing? These people aren’t perfect!” (I was referring to my counselor and my treatment therapists.) And I had a group night, and all of them gave out homework.

Look, I’m not going to lie! All of this in the first few years into my recovery was hard work. As I began each night, I would journal. Then, I would make a list to help me be honest with myself, learning what I did right and what thinking or old behaviors I fell back on that day. While doing this, it aided me to be accountable and honest with myself and to change those areas that needed correcting. It helped me to accept those things I have no control over.

Soon, I began to change my negative thoughts and thinking…but I was learning self-validation instead of looking for it from others. When we practice these changes and work The Steps in our early years of maintaining recovery while doing the work, we begin to make healthier choices that will automatically come.

AND?
With all of the above?

That is what helps; you let go of the anger and resentments and know you are not the only one making CHANGES. Anyone who begins recovery will need to do the same work I have done, you will do, and it WILL be worth it. I have learned it was necessary while looking for true happiness, peace, and serenity while on this journey within recovery. Along the way, I found my worth and value in this LIFE.


It seemed the only way for me to CHANGE MY LIFE WITHIN RECOVERY was to CHANGE ME.




Special Webinar~News From Our Friends of Stop Predatory Gambling. Addressing The Huge Increase in Gambling Advertising Through Many Platforms. I’ve Registered & So Should You.

Special Webinar~News From Our Friends of Stop Predatory Gambling. Addressing The Huge Increase in Gambling Advertising Through Many Platforms. I’ve Registered & So Should You.



Invitation to “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Dangerous Threat to Public Health” panel discussion.


UPDATE: 02/05/22 ~ If you were unable to attend the event this past Wednesday, Feb. 2nd, 2022, you may now watch the video of what was discussed and much more!

Below is the link to watch yesterday’s important event “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Threat to Public Health” that featured Mark A. Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, and Harry Levant, Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling.

If you weren’t able to attend, it’s a must-watch Mark and Harry powerfully revealed the truth about what is really happening in our communities and across our country. After you watch it, I strongly urge you to share the video on your email list and your social media networks, inviting people to learn for themselves how serious the problem of predatory gambling has become.

I also strongly encourage you to share the video with every local, state, and federal official in your region, along with members of the local and state media.

The video is posted to our YouTube channel and can be watched here: https://youtu.be/12FtoYCE9jU


******* ******** *********


As the Super Bowl draws closer and gambling companies further intensify their ongoing barrage of sports gambling ads targeted at the American people, I’m writing to invite you to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 12pm Eastern time for a national video webinar on what you need to know about the massive wave of sports gambling advertising and promotions spreading across the U.S.
******* ******** *********


As the Super Bowl draws closer and gambling companies further intensify their ongoing barrage of sports gambling ads targeted at the American people, I’m writing to invite you to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 12pm Eastern time for a national video webinar on what you need to know about the massive wave of sports gambling advertising and promotions spreading across the U.S.

The event is for reporters, opinion leaders, public officials, and members of our national network to learn why sports gambling advertising and promotions are a dangerous threat to public health and the urgency for Congress to act.

The event is titled “America’s New Storm of Gambling Advertising: A Threat to Public Health” and the panel will feature Mark A. Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, and Harry Levant, Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling. Brief background about each speaker is below.


Les Bernal
Les Bernal, National Director


The panel will begin promptly at 12pm Eastern and end by 1:30pm Eastern. I will serve as moderator. The event is free.

REGISTER to attend the video event by CLICKING THIS LINK. 

After registering, you will receive an email in your inbox with the link to watch the webinar. The video link can be accessed by clicking the button “View the event” and also can be found under “Additional Information” at the bottom of this post

No More Gambling Advertising Platforms Used By Minors



About the Speakers:

Mark A. Gottlieb is the executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, where he is also a lecturer and clinical instructor. Mark has focused his research and advocacy on tobacco litigation as a public health strategy for most of his career. His article, “Casinos: An Addiction Industry in the Mold of Tobacco and Opioid Drugs” (co-authored with Daynard and Friedman) was recently published in the University of Illinois Law Review. You can read his article here.

Harry Levant is the Director of Education for Stop Predatory Gambling and a public health advocate from Philadelphia. A gambling addict in recovery who made his last bet on April 27, 2014, Levant is dedicating his professional work to helping people and families to overcome struggles with gambling addiction and other substance disorders. In his role as an advocate, Levant will graduate from La Salle University with a Master’s in Professional Counseling in May 2022.

He is a member of numerous professional organizations including Chi Sigma Iota National Honor Society for Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania. He also earned a law degree from Temple University Law School.

It is only because of the selfless financial generosity of our members that we are able to fund important events like this national webinar. If you support our mission to reveal the truth behind commercialize​d​ ​gambling operators to prevent more victim​s​, ​​please ​​become a member of our national network by making a gift of any size you can afford today.

Thank you.
Les Bernal
Stop Predatory Gambling


Stop Predatory Gambling

Who We Are —

– A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national network of citizens and organizations across the U.S. revealing the truth behind gambling operators to prevent more victims.

– By choosing to support Stop Predatory Gambling today, you’re taking an active role in efforts to protect your community and its children from the poverty, addiction, and human suffering caused by the greed of big gambling operators.

Please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, consisting of citizens of all political stripes with members from all 50 states.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org


“Bet Free Recovery Now”…Recovery Thoughts For a Coming New Year and After Thoughts of Christmas. Be of Recovery Service to Others.


Thoughts From A Recovering Gambling Addict For The Coming New Year and The After Holiday Season Ending. . .


WHAT WILL YOUR RECOVERY BOOK and PAGES SHARE?
Some of My Thoughts for The Next Weeks Into The New Year

The Holidays and The Incoming New Year

Sometimes, the holidays are filled with the joy we associate with that time of year. The season flows. Magic is in the air.

Sometimes, the holidays can be difficult and lonely.

Here are some ideas I’ve learned through personal experience, and practice, to help us get through difficult holidays:

Deal with feelings, but try not to dwell unduly on them. Put the holidays in perspective: A holiday is one day out of 365. We can get through any 24-hour period.

Get through the day, but be aware that there may be a post-holiday backlash. Sometimes, if we use our survival behaviors to get through the day, the feelings will catch up to us the next day. Deal with them too.

Get back on track as quickly as possible.

Love yourself, New Years Resolutions, Beachbody Health Bet, Melanie MItro |  Words, Inspirational quotes, Quotes to live by


Find and cherish the available love, even if it’s not exactly what we want. Is there someone we can give love to and receive love from? Recovering friends? Is there a family who would enjoy sharing their holiday with us? Don’t be a martyr – go. There may be those who would appreciate our offer to share our day with them.

We are not in the minority if we find ourselves experiencing a less-than-perfect holiday. How easy but untrue to tell ourselves the rest of the world is experiencing the best holiday, and we’re alone in conflict.

The beauty of Recovery is we can and get to choose to create our own holiday agenda. Buy yourself a present. Find someone to whom you can give. Unleash your loving, nurturing self and give in to the holiday spirit.

Maybe past holidays haven’t been terrific. Perhaps this year wasn’t perfect. Perhaps this next new year can be better, and the next one even a little better. Work toward a better life – one that meets your needs. Before long, you’ll have it.

“God, help me enjoy and cherish these holidays and the coming new year. If my situation is less than ideal, help me take what’s good and let go of the rest.”

70 Best New Year's Quotes - Inspirational New Year's Eve Messages

New Year Resolutions… have you been keeping yours? | The Wedding Teller


New year, do you: Loving yourself more in the new year
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate/Author/Mentor

My “Reflection For The Week.” Do My Contributions As An Advocate Give HOPE and Support To Others Within My Recovery?

My “Reflection For The Week.” Do My Contributions As An Advocate Give HOPE and Support To Others Within My Recovery?


“My Own GA Reflection for the Week”

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit, Aristotle.
By repeating my gambling acts, I became progressively more likely to do them again and again. By repeatedly attending meetings, talking with my Higher Power, sharing my feelings, and keeping connected with Gamblers Anonymous members between meetings, I become what I am doing: part of the GA Fellowship and being of service to others. If I continue to repeat these acts, I will become progressively more likely to do them again and again.”

Do I recognize that any small contribution I make at a meeting, in a blog post, or speaking event has a much greater return on investment than any bet I ever made, even my biggest hit?

Today I Pray
May the acts that I repeat today be according to the will of my Higher Power. May I understand that, although perfection is not my goal, progress is possible, and I can achieve excellence at what I am doing for my recovery? It can be attainable to help me rid myself of my self-destructive habits and replace them with ones that will aid my recovery and to continue to share hope and support with others.

Today I Will Remember,
Recovery is not an act; it is a habit through ACTIONS”. . .

Recovery Ramblings of Family, Loss, Childhood, Choices, and Some Other Stuff. By Advocate Catherine Townsend-Lyon.

Recovery Ramblings of Family, Loss, Childhood, Choices, and Some Other Stuff. By Advocate Catherine Townsend-Lyon.


It has been quite some time since my last honest personal share about my recovery journey. It has been too long since sharing my thoughts, feelings, and what has been lying in my heart. What I mean is some real random recovery ramblings of living life while maintaining my recovery. 

Maybe it is because the holiday season and a new year are approaching, and looking back over this last year, not realizing what and how much I dealt with some life events that I felt I handled ok, but there always seems to be some lingering feelings left. Thoughts constantly swirl in my mind and tug on my heart. Just when I think I have processed them and tried to move forward, here they come. 

See, I lost my father on Jan. 29th, 2021, as COVID took his life, and many who know me or my story had a very up-and-down relationship. He had not spoken to me in almost 15 1/2-years. My nephew informed me of his passing and told me that he died alone at the hospital in Southern Calif., where he had been amitted. Kaiser Hospital would not let anyone go in his room to be with him due to COVID rules, nor they didn’t bother to tell me until five weeks after his passing.

Then more drama over who was getting what that I didn’t care about any of that. I wasn’t going to get stuck in all the drama, especially since I had not talked to any of my family for years. I knew this day would come soon. Was this cruel or Karma that my father ended up passing away all alone? Just because he chose not to speak to me or have a relationship with one of his daughters? I hope not. Family, we don’t get to choose them. And my siblings?

Well, that’s my siblings for you. Need I say more?

My feelings were/are that they were the ones missing out. All the years I and my husband had lived in Oregon and through the years’ most of the family would come to visit, spend time with us, we’d have so much fun. Even after my mom passed in 2003, my dad came the following summer and we had a blast! We would also take my dad and nephews rafting, many 4th of July’s and Labor days, trips to the coast, Jetboat dinner rides on the Rogue River, and again many fantastic rafting trips. So many good memories.

And for all of it to end up like this?
 
It still breaks my heart today…
I choose to remember ALL the good memories!

Also, after my mom passed in 2003, we all could have stayed together and in each other’s lives. That didn’t last very long. There are four of us—my only older brother, my older sister, then me, and then my younger sister. So when we laid my mom to eternal rest, that was the last time all four of us siblings had been together. I have often said we don’t get to pick or choose the family we are born into; however, we can choose to have healthy boundaries and have done so when I began my recovery journey.

So those are some of the points I wanted to share. Recovery makes that possible. It gives us the freedom to start making better choices in our lives. I will add in their defense, when I was young, I became very hyper-sensitive to teasing and ridicule, but they had no clue what I had been through from the sexual trauma until I finally disclosed it to my parents at age 32. Then, the teasing got worse in adulthood when they learned I had been diagnosed with PTSD and a few other mental health disorders.

When we get to a point where we try to make amends with those, we may have hurt while being sick and deep within addiction; not everyone may be willing to accept it or willing to forgive. They might even take it, forgive you, but still not want a relationship. And that is truly their choice. We, then, need to accept that choice, as I had to take and honor my father’s choice some 15-years ago. So yes, it stung, but I moved on from it. 

There are times when we need to look back to connect what was to see how far we have grown within our recovery. For example, when I spent a year or so writing and journaling in early recovery, that was what ended up as a book—my memoirs of what gambling had taken from me. My fault for becoming an addict? YES, but more critical is the WHY and HOW I became addicted. (Available on Amazon Kindle)

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a LIAR & a CHEAT)

by Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“A heart-wrenching read that ends with a great light of hope. Read “Addicted to Dimes” now.” 

Written By Advocate Catherine Lyon


That is some of what those memoirs are and what my book truly is. It is not how to recover. That is what I’m working on now. The writing was healing for me, but it also helped me start to connect different events, the childhood trauma and abuse that happened as a little girl, and how it affected me going into adulthood. So I began to question my worth, my self-sabotage as if I wasn’t worth being loved, others being kind or treated well by others, including men. 

Today I chose life. I live each day to the best of my abilities. I use self-care and self-love. I continue to mentor others who reach out needing support, help, and some hope from this insidious addiction. It is my passion and honor to do so. I’ll close by saying to those who never give gambling a thought, but those who have a problem with it will understand this. Gambling is all about Risk and Chance. And those who gamble a lot as I did or become addicted and gamble all the time will know what I mean. So the more you bet, the higher your odds are of losing.

So, where do you think the catchphrase came from of “The House Always Wins?” 

And is why gambling addiction is so devastating…  

********** *** ************

Writers Note –This year, I have signed up with ‘The National Council on Problem Gambling’ for the new ‘Gift Responsible’ Lottery Campaign as a social media assistant and blogger for the council through the holiday season and share Awareness of Not Gifting Lottery Products to Children and Minors. I hope you will join me by using this image on all your social media platforms in support!

Lottery Campaign Image 2021 ~ National Council on Problem Gambling


Our Special Guest Post is by Author/Advocate Marilyn Davis of ‘From Addict 2 Advocate.’ Reading Gives Us Our Power Back. . .

Recovery Books: Just When You Need Them

 POSTED ON  BY MARILYNLDAVIS


Recovery Books That Lessen the Suffering Besides the Big Book marilyn l davis from addict 2 advocate
Post Courtesy of Marilyn Davis, Advocate, Author, & Writer



Books: The Way We’ve Always Learned

“I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.” – Emma Thompson

I’m old enough to remember when books, either from a library or book store, and where how we escaped, found comfort, got an education, or discovered ways to improve our lives. Books bring the world to us. 

Today, that world is smaller with online booksellers, reviewers, and sites dedicated to types of books. One of these is Shepherd.com. I enjoyed writing reviews on five books about addiction and recovery.  Each of those books helped me see that addiction has common themes. Yet, each of the authors admitted their addictions and found recovery in different ways. 

Easy Access to Information

It may just be me, but the first time I read Alcoholics Anonymous, or as we call it, The Big Book, I cried. There were so many passages that I could relate to in that first reading. I felt that the writers in 1939 were doing a “Letter to your future self – me.” 

When we find a book that resonates with us, we cherish it. The second, third, fourth, and fifth times I read the book while in treatment, I was shocked at how much I’d missed in a previous reading. I got out my trusty highlighter and started marking practically every page. I realized that meant that eventually, I would highlight every passage, so I stopped that practice. That was 33 years ago. 

Cherished Writing

I still have my original Big Book, tattered and worn with margin notes, highlighted passages, and phone numbers from people in treatment. It needs rebinding, but I’d lose those notes and numbers, and I don’t want to do that, so it stays together in its case when I’m not reading it. 

I still read it; antiquated and stilted language doesn’t matter. That’s why there’s another book, a dictionary for the seldom-used words. These 100 men and women who wrote The Big Book were the founders and pioneers who admitted their problems and gave us solutions. We can’t ask for more than that in any book. 

Inclusive Writing 

When we read a book and see ourselves on the pages, we pay attention. Sure, the names, places, ages, or genders might differ, but it’s us. How does an author do that – by relating feelings and thoughts, which transcend ages, genders, races, and places. 

I’ve gotten emails and messages from men who’ve read my book, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate, who’ve asked if we’re twins. Or the email from a twenty-year-old who could relate. Believe me, those are the best validation an author can get. To know that you’ve written an inclusive book. 

Books Help Us Understand Ourselves 

When I first got into recovery, I went weekly to the Unity Bookstore in Gainesville, GA. They had the largest selection on recovery, codependency, spirituality, and Native American beliefs. I’d “sacrifice” a steak to get a new book. 

Some of my earliest books were: 

The Recovery Book: Answers to All Your Questions About Addiction and Alcoholism and Finding Health and Happiness in Sobriety

 Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children…

Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction

The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents 

Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women 

Broken Toys Broken Dreams: Understanding and Healing Codependency, Compulsive Behaviors and Family


No, I’m not their spokesperson, nor do I get a commission for anything I’ve listed or from Thriftbooks; it’s about following through on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s second bit of advice, “For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

Any of these will help you in your recovery and perhaps lessen your suffering. Plus buying a used book makes economic sense. 

Reflections: Guideposts and Images for the Journey: 

Around the Year with Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings

Narcotics Anonymous book by Narcotics Anonymous

Rehab Works 

Healing the Shame that Binds You

The Road Less Traveled and Beyond

Facing Codependence

Now That You’re Sober

Addicted to Dimes ~ THIS ONE IS MY BOOK!


Famous Authors

Today’s books differ only slightly from my original listing. Today, we’ve got more people writing about addiction and recovery who don’t necessarily work in the field. Some are famous, and coming out and stating that they are addicts and alcoholics is commendable.  

Here’s a list of three I’ve read because I was a concert promotor and managed bands and maybe understand some of the temptations and availability of drugs backstage.  

Recovery book by Russell Brand 

Robert Downey Jr.: The Fall and Rise 

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood


When You’re Ready to Write About Your Recovery

I believe in diaries and journals. They help us record our thoughts and feelings and can be a way to discover patterns in our lives. Here are two journals that work: 

My Walk, My Journey, My Recovery: Drugs… book by Mama Cotton (thriftbooks.com)

The 12 Step Journal

And when you’re ready to write your story, consider getting Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook to help you remember, reflect, and write an excellent memoir about addiction and recovery to help someone else. 

Are you ready to lessen someone else’s suffering? Then consider a guest post. 

Marilyn Loves Guest Post Submissions For Her Website!



About Marilyn L. Davis

Marilyn L. Davis
Advocate, Marilyn L. Davis


Marilyn Davis is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist who opened and operated an award-winning residential facility between 1990 and 2011, called North House. She also facilitated men’s, women’s, and HIV-positive groups. 

She recently celebrated 32+ years of abstinence-based recovery.

Davis is the author of “Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System.” In 2008, Brenau University created the Marilyn Davis Community Service Learning Award. This ongoing award honors individuals working in recovery and mental health. In 2010, Marilyn received the Liberty Bell award. This award is given to non-judges and attorneys for contributions to the criminal justice system and communities.

Before the Blogs and Book

Before finding recovery in 1988, Davis was a desperate woman on drugs, managing bands at night, giving up her children, having her house foreclosed, and running to Georgia. After an intervention by Brenau University, she attended two 12-Step meetings a day. A chance encounter with a 74-year old Native American named Gray Hawk showed her that healing would include meetings and Steps. He had searched for her and wanted her to open a house of healing for other women. This encounter with Gray Hawk helped her realize that opening North House was her purpose.

She recently published her memoir, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate.

Writing and Recovery Heals the Heart

Davis is also Editor-in-Chief at twodropsofink.com, a literary blog, where she continues to encourage collaborative writing.

The site’s writers are poets, problem-solvers for writers, and bloggers. Prose and essays educate, entertain, and enchant readers with the written word. The writers represent different countries, viewpoints, and opinions from around the world.


Visit Marilyn Today!

Visit the author: WebsiteJoin Author’s NewsletterFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazonLinkedin






Special Announcement & New 2021 Holiday Campaign Shared By My Friends of The National Council on Problem Gambling . . .


Welcome Recovery Warriors, Friends, and Visitors!

If there is one topic I get a little passionate about, it is the topic of gambling and kids. Minors, those under the ages of 18.

Now, I am aware that all STATES have different gambling ages, most states the legal age is 21. There are a few like Oregon, where I used to live will let you gamble at age 18.

Here is my MAIN point, and why I wanted to share this special ‘Holiday Campaign’ and news by the National Council.

PARENTS NEED to understand you don’t buy or give Lottery Scratch Tickets to your children as a GIFT or Stocking Stuffer! Not only is it illegal? You are teaching your young kids to GAMBLE.

YES, I know, not everyone has or will have a problem with gambling, or when they get older. BUT? I feel if you start now and teach them to be responsible just as you council them about drugs, alcohol, or even smoking, you will help them in the long run.

Lottery tickets of any kind are not an appropriate thing to give to kids.

Let’s raise awareness together so we can save your kids from harm when they get older. If you know friends who do give Lottery Products to minors, let them know it can be as dangerous later on for them just as you talk and council your kids, again, about drugs and alcohol. Here are some of the warning signs of problem gambling below.

Stop by the council and read a few of the real stories by real families of how gambling had devastated them and learn more about the Gift Responsibly Campaign and how you can help… https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/programs/gift-responsibly-campaign-2021/

Thanks Everyone! ~Advocate Catherine Lyon



Article By The National Council on Problem Gambling


NEW NAME, NEW LOOK


FOR HOLIDAY 2021

Make a difference for your clients and customers – join your colleagues across the country and around the world in our responsible gambling campaign to raise awareness regarding the risks of underage lottery use. Lottery products are appropriate for gifting only to adults, from adults.

Research shows why: the earlier a person’s participation or even exposure to gambling in childhood, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems later in life. And gambling in childhood is frequently some kind of lottery product, given through lack of awareness by a well-meaning adult.

This public-private campaign was previously known as the Holiday Lottery Responsible Gambling Campaign. The name was changed in response to requests from lottery organizations and feedback from our global stakeholders.

The new name enables lotteries all over the world to participate. It avoids the word ‘holiday,’ which in many global cultures describes what American English-speakers might call ‘vacation.’ It provides flexibility to expand the responsible giving message for all the occasions where children and minor teens might receive lottery tickets as gifts throughout the year. And it is a short name, which is easier to use in social media and advertising.  

Whether or not it is legal for minors to participate in lottery games in your area, a responsible gambling message is always appropriate. The campaign continues to be endorsed and receives support from the World Lottery Association (WLA), European Lotteries (EL), and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).


Facebook/LinkedInInstagramTwitterGeneral

Facebook/LinkedInInstagramTwitterGeneral

Facebook/LinkedInInstagramTwitterGeneral


(*The images provided are free to use without license or restrictions, but we ask that you sign up as a participant before downloading them.*)

100% of Canadian and U.S. lotteries participated again last year in the campaign
along with numerous international lotteries, non-lottery organizations, and many NCPG members.

During December and the winter holidays season, participating lottery organizations may choose to engage in different levels of public engagement classified as Lottery level 1, 2 or 3. These levels are intended to assist lotteries in planning their participation as well as to provide metrics that can be used in acknowledgment programs by NCPG, NASPL, WLA, and other organizations. Non-lottery organizations are welcome to join the Campaign and are encouraged to partner with their state lottery (where applicable) to support this important message.

Participants are also encouraged to become NCPG members (either as individuals or organizations) in order to receive updates on the campaign and to broaden their knowledge in problem gambling and responsible gambling. As members, they may also nominate themselves or others for the annual NCPG National Award for this campaign.

The campaign is sponsored by NCPG and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.


LET’S ALL BE MORE RESPONSIBLE THIS HOLIDAY GIFTING SEASON WITH LOTTERY PRODUCTS!



ABOUT THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON PROBLEM GAMBLING

MISSION & VALUES

Purpose: To serve as the national advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling.

Vision: To improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.

Mission: To lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.

CORE VALUES

Neutrality: We do not take a position for or against legalized gambling.  We advocate solely for those affected by problem gambling.

Collaboration: We believe that our mission is best served by the collaborative action of a broad range of people and organizations.

Respect: We will treat all those affected by problem gambling and all stakeholders with respect.

Credibility: We will strive to be an objective, accurate and reliable source of information for all those concerned with problem gambling.



NCPG 2020 Statement:

Respect is one of our core values. Racism and bigotry are unacceptable. We stand united with Black communities throughout our country and share in their pain, anger and frustration. Recent events remind us of the need to address fundamental problems of systemic racial inequality.

As we deal with the devastating health and financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on people with gambling problems, we are preparing new strategies to be of greater service to people of color. We will listen and reach out even more to our stakeholders of color, to learn how our services can better address their needs. We will strive to make our work more accessible, break down barriers and increase our advocacy. We will continue to emphasize our organization’s core values, and to treat all people with respect — with actions as well as words.

HISTORY

The organization was founded in 1972 by Msgr. Joseph A. Dunne and Dr. Robert Custer, among others. From the outset the Council established two principles that remain in effect today: that the organization would be the advocate for problem gamblers and their families, and that it would take no position for or against legalized gambling. This stance is encompassed today in our vision and mission statements above. A history of the NCPG from 1972 to 1985 by Msgr. Dunne was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1.

NCPG was conceived as the national representative of the problem gambling field and is organized with 3 classes of members: state affiliate, corporate and individual. The NCPG concentrates efforts on the national level, while the state affiliates work at the state and local level.

Honoring My Dear Friend I Miss & She Has Left Us a Legacy of Recovery Self-Help Advice, Ms. Marilyn Fowler. . .

Three years ago I lost a very dear friend who was an avid advocate and a big support to me. She was an advocate of mental health, addiction, a fellow author, and had spent many years in the Jacksonville, FL., men and women’s jails & correctional system as a “Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist.” Her name was Marilyn Fowler. She was an amazing woman, strong, smart as a whip, and bursting with caring for others.

Marilyn and I worked together since 2014 as I helped her promote her books. I learned so much from her and she always would tell me; “when I leave earth, just know you will have a powerful angel in heaven watching over you, that’s me!” I loved her to pieces! I had started a new blog here on WordPress for her to share many self-help posts and has left us a beautiful legacy of life advice.

This post https://selfhelpbymarilyn.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/how-to-use-difficult-situations-to-enrich-your-life-journey/ I’ll be sharing is informative, and can help everyone maintaining recovery or may have mental health challenges like I do. I hope you will stop by her blog as we decided to leave it LIVE to continue to help others who happen to be lucky enough to stumble upon it.

I Miss You Marilyn, Mucho Mucho! ✨💝✝💖😇😇
*Cat*



About Marilyn Fowler Author & Advocate

Marilyn Fowler (Author of Silent Echoes)


I’m a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. My professional experience includes Mental Health Team Leader, then Director of Mental Health Services in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida; coordinating Mental Health Services in nursing homes, working on inpatient units, and in private practice for a number of years. I teach a class at the University of North Florida on The Influence of Childhood Messages on Adult Life, I belong to Chat Noir Writers Circle, and I write a self-help blog posts to help others live a better well balanced life!

My memoir, Silent Echoes, was published in 2010. My stories have appeared in several magazines and a book entitled When God Spoke To Me. I’m active in my church, and I believe that a sense of humor is a blessing to be used often. Life should be”…



How To Use Difficult Situations To Enrich Your Life Journey ~ By Marilyn Fowler



Imagine that when you wake up each morning a familiar feeling of dread reaches your mind, and your stomach immediately tightens with stress. You fold your hands over your chest and calm yourself enough to get up and go to a job where you have to face the monster who supervises you with criticism, insults, and anything his sick mind conjures up. You would have left long ago, but you love your work, and you keep thinking things will change. But they don’t. What would you do in such a situation?

On our journey through life, we each experience painful situations that hold us hostage with no visible way out. These situations can involve health, work, financial issues, damaging relationships, losses, various addictions, whatever causes us pain. We bring some on ourselves, and others invade our orderly world without explanation.

And we usually view each one as our all-powerful enemy. We may fight back, or leave the situation. Then another one is sure to come. And we move through life never really free to be who we are. Maybe we need to take a closer look and see what’s really happening.

“We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” ~Lee Iacocca


Obstacles in your life are not enemies. They’re opportunities to learn, overcome, and grow into more of the person you’re meant to be. Without these opportunities, you may never realize the depth of how wonderful you are.

At times, the road is painful, but if you meet each encounter with faith and determination, life can be rewarding and meaningful.

Years ago I worked as a Mental Health Therapist in a Psychiatrist’s office, and I suffered the same experience as in my opening example. I awoke each morning with dread about going to work. I went to my Minister for help, and she carefully listened, then said, “This man is probably one of the most important teachers you will ever have. Pay attention, learn and grow, and you will be guided to the next plateau in your life.” She was right. I saw myself and my situation with new vision, and I finally left for a new rewarding position, as a wiser and happier me.


“If you can learn from the worst times of your life, you’ll be ready to go into the best times of your life.”  ~Author Unknown


Methods For Change:

Meet each difficult situation as an opportunity with a willingness to learn and grow from it.

Analyze the situation and your response to it. You can learn a lot about yourself in the way you respond to a negative, even hurtful, situation in your life. The more you learn, the more powerful you become. And your situation’s power over you weakens.

“Keep asking yourself: What am I supposed to learn from this?” ~ Unknown


Go within and examine your attitude and feelings, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Do you feel stressed with worry, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, forsaken, etc.? How immersed are you in your feelings?
How clear is your mind?
Where is your focus…on the situation, your inner response, or both?
Do you view the situation as more than you can handle?
Can you call on your Higher Power for help? Question and learn.
You’re stronger than you think. 
Uncover your strengths, and let them shine.
Use denials and affirmations ie: “I deny that this situation has any power over me. I am strong and unbeatable.” This process will reinforce your power.

Create a plan to deal with your situation. Then choose techniques that would work best for you…confronting, accepting, or getting away from it. As you go along, monitor your situation and your response, and know you have a right to the life you want. And make it so. Each time you pass a hurdle, you can look back with a grateful heart to where you were, compared to where you are now.

And what you learn now will lift you to a higher place for future encounters.

I wish you happy discoveries on your journey.

Marilyn Fowler, Author, and Writer of   “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available on Amazon online…

Never Underestimate The Power of Divine Intervention…It Saved My Life & How I began The Path Within Long-Term Recovery.

Never Underestimate The Power of Divine Intervention…It Saved My Life & How I began The Path Within Long-Term Recovery.


There are certain situations that people find themselves, that it is only the hand of God that can bring them out. Divine intervention is the sudden movement of God upon your situation and challenges and when God is fighting for you as no one can harm you when under the covering of God…

~Unknown


Let me share how I work my recovery and some of my backstory, if you will, about my recovery journey within my faith.

Now, I’m not going to preach a ‘Sunday Gospel Sermon’ to you all… lol.

These are just some of my personal experiences of why I believe my recovery wouldn’t work doing so all by myself. I believe in a higher power greater and my higher power happens to be God and his Son, our Lord, and savior, Jesus Christ.

In November of 2002, my mother had passed, and then my best friend due to cancer, and my addiction at that time got so severe I tried suicide. My gambling addiction was raging out of control. My 40th birthday was in a week, and there I was, suffering in an addictions/mental health crisis center. I became one of the gambling addiction statistics OF 1 in 5 will try suicide.


Thankfully God stepped in and helped me when I could not help myself. I ended up at a Indian Casino for hours on a bad gambling binge when I was supposed to be at my best friend’s memorial service.


All of these events and loss was too much for me to handle!

See, I had turned my back on God when I became a gambling addict. Sounds kind of corny, but I would tell myself, “how can Jesus love me when I hate myself and deep into my addiction?” I felt he probably gave up on me anyway. I learned this was not true. But I kept on within my addiction and was deep in selfishness. I was lost, broken, and spiritually gone. Not knowing God had been with me every step of the way!


We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by GOD. HIS divine  intervention is always purposeful. | Quotes about god, Jesus peace, Trust  god



Within almost 30-days in this crisis center, I began a gambling treatment program. I was also diagnosed with several mental health disorders and started a medication treatment plan as well. I became a dually diagnosed person and beginning recovery. It was way more than I could handle or wrap my mind around at that time. I had a tough time accepting the fact that I had several mental disorders. And, yes, I did have another failed suicide in 2006, but that was all from my two of the medications I was on had stopped working. And, well, that is another post for another time.

Soon after my release from the crisis center, and while I was in the center, my husband started attended Church with his friends from work. It was where he drew his strength from as all this chaos I created with my addicted gambling. Faith helped me shed the guilt and pain of knowing what I put my husband through. Because now I had even MORE GUILT of scaring our families and my husband with my failed suicide! My husband kept going to Church and didn’t push me to go.

See, we were both raised Catholics, but a few years into our marriage, we stopped attending mass as we both felt disappointed about all the media and news coming out about the abuse of many children at the hands of priests. We also didn’t feel right or agree any longer about “giving confession ” as it felt like it was an intrusion of our relationship, our personal relationship with God.


I finally decided to go with him to Church and we attended Calvary Chapel in late December 2002. By August of 2003, we rededicated our lives and faith to Christ by being rebaptized, still living in Grants Pass, Oregon at that time, and within the Famous Rogue River.


This was a miracle for me as I had my husband on one side and the Pastor on the other. When they lifted me out of the water? I honestly felt feelings I had never had before. It was like all the bad in my life and within addiction had slipped away and replaced by what I felt: God’s love, grace, and mercy, and I haven’t looked back since!

Dyenamic Art Sea Turtle Wisdom Sea Turtle Gift Metal Sign Inspirational Sign 8x12 Indoor/Outdoor Aluminum Sign Beach Decor Home Decor Easy Hanging Made in USA
Dynamic Art


I still have and feel those same feelings today.

Without my faith in my higher power, GOD, I know that I would not be sharing this with you. I genuinely am a living, breathing, walking MIRACLE of God, his power greater than myself. It has enabled me to reach over 14+years maintaining my recovery path and counting.


Do I go to Church every Sunday?

No, because as God tells us in Matthew 18:20 – – “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”


So, long story short, never underestimate the power of your higher power. It is where all your MIRACLES within recovery come from!

~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate


Amazon.com: Out of a Mountain of Despair A Stone of Hope MLK Jr Poster | Dr  Martin Luther King Jr Inspirational Poster | 18-Inch by 12-Inch | HRD068 :  Office Products




Big Thank You To All My Recovery Visitors & Followers For Making This HAPPEN…BAM! A Thousand Followers and Counting!



1,000 Follows!
Bet Free Recovery Now Reached 1000 followers and my supporters!



Congratulations on getting 1,000 total followers on Bet Free Recovery Now Shares Hope, Support, & Resources From Problem Gambling & Recovery.!

Your current tally is 1,001.



This would never have happened without all my recovery friends, supporters, and the recovery COURIOUS! I hope I have been of help and a source of HOPE to those who visit that may have a Gambling Problem and looking for resources or just come to read some of my recovery experiences, strength, and hope!

I know recovery is not an easy road to travel, especially early recovery, but if I can help you in away, do not be afraid to reach out to me by email to lyonmedia@aol.com and I’ll be there for you!

Why is Gambling Addiction The Hardest Form of Addiction To Beat? Is It The Denial & Lying? Or Is It Really All Just Fun and Games?

There could be thousands of reasons why people adopt gambling, and even psychologists don’t know why people gamble? It started as fun for some persons, and for some, it was meant to escape their sorrows. But in the end, the result was always the same; Gambling Stops Being a Diversion and Becomes an Addiction. 


~Catherine Townsend-Lyon Author and Experienced Gambling Advocate of Recovery


Life is a gamble. | Casino quotes, Life is a gamble, Gambling
~Marc Alo


A while back I came across what looked like a new Gambling Addiction and Recovery blog that seemed to really never transpire. I happened to visit again and the same original first post was still up, but not much activity after. That is the “nature of the beast” when it comes to addicted gambling. It seems sometimes the addiction may win over just trying to “will it away” and it won’t work very well.

But then? EUREKA! More New Posts Began To Be Posted! And many of Uri’s posts are not only informative? They are very revealing to the facts that Gambling Addiction truly is the hardest addiction to KICK! So, my deepest hope for all who visit me will take some time and go visit Uri and read a few of his posts about his recovery journey.

He speaks very openly as he shares his gambling and his recovery hopes and challenges. One that is really difficult and will share a little of his post is about LYING to his partner. For me? That was all about being in DENIAL.

Denial is like lying to ourselves that we do have a gambling problem, and why true surrender is so hard to come to that place. So here is a little of Uri’s post about “LYING” to his partner, and then you can finish reading his new post… https://gambling-addictions.com/2021/06/05/why-i-cant-stop-lying/

~Catherine Lyon

A gambler is nothing but a man who makes his living out of hope | Picture  Quotes
~William Bolitho


“I am not upset that you lied to me; I am upset that from now on I can never believe you” ~Friedrich Nietzsche


After being more than 2 years free from gambling activities, I noticed that I still have a huge problem with lying to my partner. It became a habit and somehow I can’t stop lying to my partner. Someone once said to me that for as long as you lied to your partner, expect them not to believe you for the same time after you stop lying. It will hurt when they question you when you are telling the truth, you will be surprised because you never even thought to lie.

This advice helped me to think that did I achieve anything worthwhile by lying or cheating. I started thinking that what I am hiding from her? Why I am so insecure? Why my self-respect is at rock bottom? Why I am addicted to lying? Sooner I realized that lying is like a slippery dangerous slope with nothing good at the bottom but misery and empty life.

We all lie in different situations in our lives. We all have our reasons for lying, it may be to escape punishment in our childhood. When we grow up, we lie to get attention or sympathies and some even create stories to set friends against each other or get others in trouble. It is an expression of being afraid, what others will think, afraid of facing the reality. We want to show people that we are better than others and reflect the weakness of our character. This could be the result of low self-esteem, fear of rejection, desire to please, or any other nuanced reasons.


A liar justifies or makes stories to cover up something he has done wrong. To cover the first lie, another lie is required and this leads to an endless chain of lies. I had no idea about my case, why I was manipulating different situations to lie with my partner. Sooner I realized that I am a habitual liar, I tried to discover the root of my behavior, why I am doing and what I am avoiding. I thought that if I want to spend the rest of my life with my partner, I must avoid this habit of lying to restore the level of trust in our relationship. 

If you are constantly lying to your dear ones and you are not able to do anything about it, then you don’t want to change. You cannot change what has developed in you for years. If someone matters to you in your life then you have to be truthful or else you will end up losing not only that person but your importance, your respect and the likeness you were trying to create will go away in a moment and will never come back.

All the lies which are still covered can come crashing down on your head at any time. You will live in constant fear of the truth being discovered and expose you which creates a bad effect on your nerves. Stop living in dream world with a fake identity. Get out of your unreal world and start living in present rather than the past or future.

A person who often tells fibs will never have trustworthy friends and will not be loved by anyone. Life is not only judged by a rich lifestyle, fluent language ability, or branded clothes. It is measured by the number of faces who simile when they hear your name. Analyze your life and try to find how it has impacted your life and others around you. Somewhere or somehow it has broken a lot of innocent hearts or brought tears to the eyes of your loved ones.

Do you think you feel happy about it?

How To Stop Lying?

Start thinking, why you want to quit lying, think about the bad things associated with being a liar. I am not an expert by any means but you must ask yourself why you are lying? Why are you not comfortable with the truth? Learn to appreciate things you have in life and be satisfied with your family, friends, and your surroundings.

But what makes sense to me is that instead of trying “not to lie anymore” which is difficult to achieve in one day, try to focus on making little but sturdy progress. Think to yourself why you’re lying? Why are you not comfortable with the truth? Is it because you are not confident? Or on the other hand you fear reality?

You can’t change the past, the past is immutable. But as long as you understand that the time of yore was something that you’ve learned, and then it won’t haunt you as much.

Few imperative things to consider while struggling to come out of this habit:

  • Never give up! People have thrived in breaking the nastiest & most addictive habits, you can do the same!
  • Change is going on in little- often not noticeable steps. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t observe changes immediately, YOU ARE CHANGING!
  • There will be setbacks. There is no way to accomplish a goal without failing on the way. Remember: failing doesn’t mean to stop struggling and starting all over again; you rewired your brain by fighting your habit & it will become easier & easier until it will go away!

  • NOW I hope you’ll go and read “The Rest Of The Story” by Uri… https://gambling-addictions.com/2021/06/05/why-i-cant-stop-lying/


65 Recovery Humor Sobriety ideas | recovery humor, sobriety, sober life
Humor Soothes The Soul…



More Informative Articles and Posts:

https://www.beforeyoubet.org/10-common-lies-compulsive-gamblers-tell/

https://www.beforeyoubet.org/the-quiz/

https://gambling-addictions.com/2021/04/22/gamblings-impact-on-families/


Finally, We Are Coming Out COVID & That’s Great For My Mental Health. A Re-share Article That Is More Important Today. My Mental Health Matters & Yours Does Too…

Finally, We Are Coming Out COVID & That’s Great For My Mental Health. A Re-share Article That Is More Important Today. My Mental Health Matters & Yours Does Too…

The Mind Can Be a Scary Place 

Ever wonder what happens in the mind of Stephen King, or Stanley Kubrick? Or the thoughts in the mind of a serial killer? These are areas that most people would never venture into. It’s too scary. It’s too dangerous. But danger is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a reflection of our life experience, individual biases and perception. But as we all remain indoors, the confines of our own minds can be the greatest danger.

As people, our outward actions toward the world reflect our own mindset, individual biases, and our outlook on the world. If that outlook is positive, we tend to see the world in a positive light and consequently treat people and situations with that positivity. The converse is also true. If, because of our life experience or chemical imbalance, we have a negative or pessimistic world view, we view the world through that lens. It’s how we think, act, and speak. It attracts or detracts others to or from us. How do mental disorders alter that world view?

~Gravitate Online (Dot Com)


The Different Mental Disorders

For individuals dealing with depression or bipolar disorder, the mind can be a very scary place. Many people are undiagnosed with depression or anxiety. In the U.S. two-thirds of all cases of depression are undiagnosed. That means that they are not getting the proper help or medication to help them see the world without a dark shroud. Through their prism, they see the world in a dark, negative and suspicious way when in reality may not be the case.

Unfortunately, this mental strife can sometimes lead to drug abuse and addiction. Teenagers and young adults are especially susceptible to this unfortunate reality which is why proper mental health resources in their in-person or online education are imperative.

There are more types of depression than most people realize. According to https://www.healthline.com/these are some of the different depressive disorders:

Persistent depressive disorder

This is chronic low-level depression less severe than major depression and lasts two years or longer. This is accompanied by constant feelings of deep and dark sadness and hopelessness, as well as symptoms like indecisiveness, low energy and fatigue.

At times, this depression is spurred by aging. When family is out of the house, and estate planning decisions are to be made, it can have an effect on an individual’s sense of longevity. This, of course, is all part of a mental disorder that can have quite an effect on an individual’s day-to-day.


Bipolar disorder

Another type of depression is bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder. It involves the episode of a manic, a heightened state of being or over-energized mood. These episodes may be followed by episodes of dark deep depression. Huge swings from high to low and sometimes back again. It is the very manic highs paired with the low depressive state that determines the type of bipolar disorder is diagnosed.


Postpartum depression

As much as 80% of new mothers experience the “baby blues” following delivery. Symptoms include sadness, mood swings, depression, withdrawal, lack of appetite, and negative thoughts. According to the American Psychological Association, about 10 to 15 percent of U.S. women have a depressive episode within three months of childbirth. and fatigue and typically pass within a week or two.

This is caused by the fluctuation of hormones following childbirth, combined with lack of sleep, and the stresses of caring for an infant. If these symptoms stay longer than a couple weeks and escalate in severity, it may be a hint of a deeper issue.

Mental Health, Mental, Health, Broken, Head, Depression



Seasonal depression

Many experience feelings of depression when seasons change. This is known as seasonal affective disorder. Up to 5% of the U.S. population (16,500,000) experience seasonal depression every year. Seasonal affective disorder is typically initiated at the beginning of autumn and lasts throughout the winter, during the dark and cold months of the year.

Psychotic depression

If any of these depressive situations are accompanied by paranoia, hallucinations or delusions, it is an indication of a major issue known as psychotic depression. This condition is rare. A quarter of patients admitted to a hospital due to depression actually have psychotic depression. The extreme cases are incapacitated and may need to be admitted to long-term hospitalization.


Natural treatments

Many depression diagnoses are tied to an actual chemical imbalance in the brain and must be managed with medication. Some less severe conditions may be managed, at least in part, through more natural means.


These include the following:
Physical exercise. The endorphins released in the brain during physical exercise can have long term positive benefits for depression.

Healthy diet. Eating fresh, clean, healthy food can boost positive vibes in the body and can be a helpful step in battling depression.

Good sleep. The power of good sleep is beneficial for all people, especially those with depression.
Supplements. Natural remedies like fish oils and folic acid have been known to help individuals with depression. However, when using natural supplements check with your physician.


Positive mental thoughts

Fighting depression can be hard work. A lot of the work is mental, challenging your negative self-talk and changing how you think. Individuals with depression leap to the worst possible conclusions in many scenarios. Challenging those conclusions and replacing them with positive ones can help make depression just a little brighter.

Positive self-thoughts maybe act as the light switch that transforms a person’s negative outlook from continuous darkness into a much brighter view of reality. This can lead to a happier and more rewarding life.


Anxiety, Word Cloud, Word, Chronic, Ability, Persistent



Medications
Many Americans that suffer some form of depression, live perfectly normal and healthy lives with the help from the advances in pharmaceuticals. Working with a doctor to find the proper medication and dosage can change the life of an individual with depression.

We all strive to make the world a better place. But for some, this is more difficult because of internal personal turmoil. For people to treat others in a way that makes the world a better place, they need to feel that way about themselves. Helping those with a chemical imbalance to see the world through a brighter prism has exponential benefits to society. So, never be afraid to explore all your options.

By small means, great things are possible.~Catherine Lyon, Advocate


Visit my friends of SAMHSA for help and options for treatment, information, and much more!


SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration



Who We Are

Learn more about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
https://www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families.

Vision

To provide leadership and resources – programs, policies, information and data, funding, and personnel – advance mental and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services in order to improve individual, community, and public health.

Mission

SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 05/05/2021

******************************

Find Help and Treatment

The National Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential referrals and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, treatment, and recovery in English and Spanish.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline
800-662-HELP (4357)
TTY: 800-487-4889

For additional information on finding help and treatment options, visit www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment.

General Questions

For general questions about SAMHSA, including information about mental and substance use disorders:

SAMHSAInfo@samhsa.hhs.gov
877-SAMHSA-7 (726-4727)
TTY: 800-487-4889

I Was Excited To Be a Guest on an Amazing Podcast To Raise Awareness of Problem Gambling & My Mental Health on Grabbalicious. . .

I Was Excited To Be a Guest on an Amazing Podcast To Raise Awareness of Problem Gambling & My Mental Health on Grabbalicious. . .


Hello and Welcome Recovery Warriors, Friends, and All Visitors,

I have another ‘Special Event’ I am sharing with you! I did another podcast as a featured guest with my new friend and sweet girl, Nicole Burris who is the host of Grabbalicious. She shines the light on mental health and other important topics on her show. When she is not podcasting she enjoys trading into the foreign exchange markets and she is a video gamer. She resides in New York.

As she describes her podcast, you can listen to on Anchor.FM, Google Podcast, and on Spotify. So give her website a visit as she shares all the links to where you can listen to her episodes.
>>>>>>>Right Here on Milkshake! https://msha.ke/grabbalicious/ #grabbalicious

Miss Nicole Burris




“Tell the world what you’re made of with Grabbalicious”

“Hi, I’m Grabbalicious, and Nicole Burris… I have a podcast interviewing YouTubers, Podcasters’ and many other interesting people. I chat with them about mental health and the impact it has in daily lives.”
“Do you want to be a guest on my podcast?”

Follow and message me on my social media on Twitter @grabbalicious1 or on my Instagram
@GrabbaLicious

Courtesy of Nicole Burris ✨✨💄💋🎤🎙🖥💻💖



Now, without further ado, I hope you will enjoy and maybe learn something new about mental health and about recovery from problem gambling. If you know someone you care about has a gambling problem?

Please, re-share this on your blog or website and maybe if they listen to my story, it may give them HOPE that they are not alone, help is available, and they do not have to suffer in silence any longer…

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

# # # # # #



Just Click Link And Listen on Spotify!
https://open.spotify.com/episode/1gFf77U4R4GRVDKq6W01fy

Grabbalicious interview w/ Cat Lyon
INTRO

“This is such a great episode with a strong woman and advocate/author Cat Lyon!!
She’s such an inspiration to anyone who is going through anything. Follow her on her Twitter @LUV_Recovery and @kitcatlyon and you can find her on my Instagram. Cat is known to never give up on your dreams & Cat, you are a true definition of a survivor!
So, continue to shine you’re light on others”…


Advocate, Author, Writer, Catherine Lyon and
Her Hubby Tom



Merry Christmas Wishes To All My Recovery Supporters, Warriors, & Visitors. Thank You For All The Love & Support This Year…






MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED, HAPPY, SAFE, AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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


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

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

And?

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

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

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


Holidays can be challenging for those in recovery



Maintaining Recovery And Enjoy During the Holidays...

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

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

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



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


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


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



Be Your Best Holiday Self!

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


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


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


clumsy crafty happy | Patience quotes, Emerson quotes, Words


And lastly,

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

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

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

Navigating the Holidays - The Looking Glass Foundation


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

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

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

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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

Recovery Quotes & Addiction Quotes - iRecover

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

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

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

What can I do not to RELAPSE?

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

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

……

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

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

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

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

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

……
Relapse | Psychology Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Solid Advice Instead of Gambling Your Money Away …

…….
Gambling-Quotes-Double-Money

Reflections of Recovery as I Celebrate My 13th Year and After Rising From The Ashes of Addiction and Sharing a New Friends Story . . .

Reflections of Recovery as I Celebrate My 13th Year and After Rising From The Ashes of Addiction and Sharing a New Friends Story . . .

…..
Thirteen years ago I was within Total Darkness.
I was HOPELESS, Broken, and Shattered.
I was LOST and Never Thought I’d Wake Up From Hell.
I was Sick, an ADDICT and Filled With FEAR …

WHEN MY EYES FINALLY OPENED From My Second SUICIDE ATTEMPT …

I Was Still Frightened, Constant Pain, and LOST.  BUT THEN?
I Seen A Sliver Of GODS LIGHT, I GRAB ON TIGHT, and I BEGAN TO RISE FROM THE ASHES OF ADDICTION!

GOD Whispered In My EARI Bless You With HOPE…

…..
bc86454f831fc1a282daebc5713e9db4

……
So, as I celebrate my 13th Year Maintaining Recovery, I still hold on to HOPE. 
HOPE is what helps me have trust that all things are possible. Even RECOVERY.

Just as the definition of HOPE tells us:

HOPE – Noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
HOPE – Verb: want something to happen or be the case. A feeling of trust.

GOD has shown and given me the meaning of hope, of trust, and through his love, his forgiveness, and mercy, all the hard work of recovery, you begin to grow a new life from the ashes of addiction, learn to be able to break free from gambling addiction and start living my life within redemption, grace, humility and with a heart of Gratitude with all the blessings I have received and through each and everything I do today in both my personal and my professional life.

Today, as an ADVOCATE, author, writer, sponsor, speaker and passing on the given HOPE and share it through my Recovery Service to Others. Paying it forward to the lost, the least, and those suffering from any addiction but especially gambling addiction. I have broken free from the bondage of addiction and share what I have learned. Addiction never discriminates on who it will TOUCH. No one person is safe from addictions. We don’t wake up one day and say; “I think I’ll become an ADDICT and destroy my life.”

It doesn’t happen that way. Most times we learn through the process of treatment and recovery that there may be underlying issues and roots to how and why we turned to addiction. Many times we find it comes from trauma or tragic events in our life like childhood or teen years. And as I said earlier, NO ONE IS IMMUNED.

Just like a new recovery friend of mine, I will call him Lang. He was touched by addictions, homeless, and lost in that darkness I spoke of, as was set off by several traumatic events that happened to him as a young teen that shaped how most of his life had turned out until a year and a half ago, now maintaining sobriety. He shares the first part of his story and testimony like I did yesterday as I was invited and featured in the Ventura, CA., Newspaper of The Citizens Journal thanks to Lang.

So I hope you will take the time to give my Featured Story titled; An Addiction That Requires No Substances – This Is My Story a read for those who visit and don’t know where I came from. And? Below is Lang’s Story – Part One also in the Citizens Journal and has 8 parts total. If you are interested in reading his whole story after Part One? You can read all of Lang’s testimony beginning here within The Citizens Journal “Nobody Knows But Me.”
############
…..

BIO of Writer/Advocate Lang Martinez:

On July 25, 2018, I begged God if you save my life I will give it all back to you, ” I PROMISE” 

Because of the publication “Keys To Recovery,” I am working on a project with Catherine Townsend-Lyon Author/ Advocate and Writer called ” Nobody Knows But Me.”

You can also find my articles in the Citizens Journal. US of Ventura County, CA.

As the subject matter is sensitive, please connect with Randy Boyd of Courageous Healers Foundation for more insights into my full story, experiences, and healing:
Randy Boyd of Courageous Healers Foundation:
Email: info@courageoushealers.org

 

…….

 

Nobody Knows But Me: My story about being homeless on the streets of Oxnard- Part 1


…..
Lang Martinez

………

What caused me personally to become homeless living on the streets in Oxnard?

….
Methamphetamine use. Being homeless definitely taught me a whole new learning experience of self-perseverance and survival. Bottom line, trust no one but yourself!

…..

My number one priority in life while on the streets was to get my poison, my meth. You need money to buy that poison so how did I get the money? Speaking for myself, I’d commit what’s known as a “booster”, in other words, petty theft. If caught, petty theft in the eyes of the law is an arrest and a small stint in the county jail. With my past incarcerations, committing a felony could have sent me back to prison for a long time.

…..
For me, a man of 55, that would be a possible life sentence. I’d steal different kinds of merchandise, from supermarkets, department stores, etc. The items I stole would range from hygiene products, clothes, electronics, food, basically anything I could sell for money to feed my addiction. Being active on the streets in Oxnard, I learned how some business establishments would even buy your stolen items. Some stores would go as far as to personally tell you what items to steal for them and then pay you 20 to 30% of the actual value. Then they would turn around and sell the items and their store for full retail. This was my profession on the streets to supply my addiction.

……
My second priority on the streets was food, which I never went without. I learned by trial and error that stores like the Dollar Tree or the 99 Cent Store do not have security or surveillance cameras. There is always plenty of food at these stores to steal, so for me being hungry was never an issue. These stores also have socks and underwear. By stealing these items I didn’t have to worry about not having clean underwear or socks to wear on a daily basis.

…..
My third priority was to find a hidden spot where no one could find or see you including the police. Being hidden, you can do whatever you want and as most addicts do- get high! Being hidden is also a safety net from other homeless people on the streets in Oxnard. A homeless person will ultimately find any opportunity they can to steal everything you have, somehow, or someway. Remember what I said from the beginning, “trust no one but yourself”. Even though we are our own enemy, you still don’t trust anyone but yourself!

…..

Related image

………

My personal thoughts on the whole agenda of the recent conference “Humanizing the Homelessness in Oxnard“. First of all, I don’t believe that the city of Oxnard cared enough to really bring this over-arching, overdue problem to the public. Not that the people of Oxnard can’t see it for themselves, but really face it. People of Faith say, “there is hope for everyone.” My question and response to that: “what about them”? This all took place when college students picked an agenda to do their paper on.

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You don’t have to be educated or have a degree to allow yourself to have true feelings to care and make a difference. It was the students from CSUCI that cared enough to bring attention to this problem. The importance of people, good people, dying on the streets in Oxnard, CA.

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My point, it took college students on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 at 3 p.m. to make awareness of this and not the city of Oxnard.

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Editor’s note: The author told us he’s spent a total of about 6 years on the streets (non-contiguously) in LA and Oxnard and been in multiple recovery programs. He says he is clean now and taking one day at a time, trying to help local homeless people.

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Publisher’s notes:
Even though Oxnard’s efforts are falling short, they are trying, putting a higher priority on the homeless situation, increasing manpower and spending, hired a homeless guy, developed a strategy, looking for grants, etc.
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We were intrigued by Mr. Martinez’s story and inquired about his recovery status and activities, which will be in future articles in the Citizens Journal.  He sent us the statement below and asked us to rewrite it for him, but it’s just too good to edit much!  I was in tears as I read of his passion, sincerity, and pain. I also know that he is backing it up with action, so at least one more person is now added to his list . . .

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“George, I don’t know quite know how to write it, but I want to say it. That I’ve been sober 3x in 5 years and also worked in RECOVERY, But this time is different because I didn’t want to die like this knowing that Nobody would say anything good about me and all I wanted if I did die, was just one person to say something good about me.

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Everyone in my condition doesn’t want to die like this or live like this anymore and we do make promises to God if he would take us out of this misery. What is different about my promise to God this time? I said God, please don’t let me die like this! Please save me one more time and this time I will keep my promise. I will give it all back to you.

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George, you know what I’m saying, so you write it the way you want? Also, I don’t want to be referred to as a homeless person- I’m NOT anymore.  I trust you. I used to be homeless and all I’m doing is keeping my promise, George. You have to understand that I don’t ever want to go back to that life again and the only way I won’t is being on the STREETS telling them what my Lord and Savior did for me he can also do for you.
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I’m proof of God’s miracles.  Amen!  ~Lang

Mr. Martinez also pointed out this useful article on survival tips, but hopes and prays it won’t be necessary for people to utilize them.

 

New Recovery Blog Name, New Link Address, Same Helpful Posts, Resources, and Still On “BLOGLOVIN Baby!”

New Recovery Blog Name, New Link Address, Same Helpful Posts, Resources, and Still On “BLOGLOVIN Baby!”

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Hello Recovery Posse and Warriors,

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I wanted to let everyone know about my New Blog Name and New Blog Link Address and ask you to please come on over if you are on “BlogLovin” like I am and follow my blog and all my posts from my new Recovery Blog of “Bet Free Recovery Now!”

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My old WordPress blog link of “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here” is no longer Valid: https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com due to having some Facebook challenges with auto-posting of all that happens here on my blog. 🙄 And we all now how FB KEEPS making changes … 🤪

I wanted a fresh new link to my recovery blog as I will be releasing more books in 2020 and was time to leave “Addicted To Dimes” and Gain a Fresh new Recovery Perspective. Just as we do in our journey of recovery? We are always evolving and that means Positive Change and our recovery work is being consistently done!

I appreciate all my supporters who visit and my recovery friends who have been with me since I have started blogging my recovery and life journey here for almost 7-years now. Within all this time past, if I have helped or reached one person, one life saved from Gambling Addiction?

IT HAS BEEN WORTH IT!!

God Bless All,

~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author, Advocate, Columnist for
‘Keys To Recovery Newspaper’…

REMEMBER, “Never Give Up or Give IN!”

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I Enjoy Sharing Blog Friends Informative Posts. Meet “Oh My George”… ‘No Judgement’… Share Kindness.

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Before I share some of my friend who is in the UK,  and George Boyle’s blog post here about “judging others,” we all know in the addiction/recovery arena and in the literary arena we see people being unkind or judging others’ recovery choices, advocacy or when we have published our books readers or reviewers can be unkind. It may be in a comment on our blog or, again, in leaving a book review. We need to share and speak out when others have No Understanding or Empathy for others Mental and Emotional Challenges …

My mom raised me to be “KIND” wth my “WORDS” as always said: “If you can’t say something “kind” or “corrective”? Then Don’t Say Anything at ALL.”

I think everyone should go back to this motherly advice. Doesn’t it take less energy to be positive or kind than it does to be hurtful or negative? I think so.

So my hope is everyone who reads this post will absorb some of the lessons and feelings in this post. Again, “Kindness is Golden”…OH, And? “Never Judge a Book By It’s Cover Alone.”

~Catherine Lyon

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#NoJudgment … Mental Health Awareness … By George T. Boyle.

What do I mean by this?

I realize that within my blogs and possibly my book there are typos, there are grammar errors, etc.

And yet does this put you off from reading the content and understanding its meanings?

In some instances, it is enough of a reason for some people to not even open the book when its cover displays this.

Have you ever thought that maybe it may be the reason an author has done this to grab your attention to it, or maybe that the author or writer is so overwhelmed by other things that they will love someone to come and give support to the amazing content and work they are trying to achieve and the message I am putting out there to the world within my words in conscious thought flow.

We as humans often react in fear and give excuses in the words with people to actually engage with them in positive ways.

We create words and content which can push people away in the words we use, then we only react to the words we use, and then we only get the outcome we create from the words and thoughts we use to each other.

I love my amazing friend for prompting me to write this because all I hear in words at times are excuses for interaction which follows a reaction of no interaction then an action of no interaction or communication.

And I become frustrated at this and asked them what they are doing to themselves or to what sort of outcome they are looking for from life when they are only creating blocks in thought which are then being communicated in words, creating that action and reaction from the person creating the disempowering thought-forms.

I was having a bad day, as I was awaiting a tooth pulled out and it’s been creating enough distraction in thoughts as well as weird anxiety or energy that day,  so I reached out to my friend. This friend didn’t focus on the words I was expressing or wasn’t compassionate in response to say “hey, how can I make your day better?”

The communication went to crap because my friend wasn’t focusing on how to create a positive open communication with me and they then made a decision to close communication because they reacted with the excuse of judgment and words which were creating more stress and anxiety within me which created a conversation flow off of nothing and a ZERO outcome.

Why did this happen?

Because that person didn’t react towards the other person with compassion any empathy, and love, only with a thought flow and reaction and in words of blaming the other person for reaching out to them, and used words to close down the conversation and making ME the blame for having a bad mental health day.

So what can we do to ensure when someone says: “they’re having a bad day we can react in a way toward them with words that are focused on helping them get through that.

Rather than judging them for them contacting you, for someone trying to reach out to them because they were having a bad day, they weren’t coping well with there mental health that day and then making the conversation about you and how the person who had reached out for support was wrong for doing so at that moment. Just looking to ease the anxiety of the other person and open conversation to create love in the form of communication.

“The more we release the fear and judgment around our lives we end mental health because we react to each other with unconditional love and compassion.”

We don’t read a book by its cover alone …

We read of the content within it.

Yet if you are only looking for an excuse to judge a book my book by its cover? Then you are not really taking the time to read it, nor making the effort or focus to find out what is within it. Your only making an excuse in your own thoughts because that book created a negative thought about it as to open it up or delve inside and lose your fear in loving the book.

How can we reframe the way we think and react towards other people?

THE ANSWER Can be Found by going over to Visit George’s Blog and finishing reading how this Story Ends Right Here:   By George T. Boyle.

For many of us who have mental health challenges, we look to other avenues and platforms to share our experiences and day to day challenges with our mental health.  Some ways I and George accomplish this are through our books our writings and blog posts. Advocacy and sharing one’s story and experiences does help shatter stigma, and it lets others know who suffer that they are not alone. 

A Blast From My Past. My Days Writing For InRecovery Magazine! A Special Interview With Arnie Wexler a Gambling Recovery Expert, Advocate, and Author.

A Blast From My Past. My Days Writing For InRecovery Magazine! A Special Interview With Arnie Wexler a Gambling Recovery Expert, Advocate, and Author.


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An Article I Wrote All About Arnie Wexler for and Courtesy InRecovery Magazine and An Amazing Book You Need to READ . . .


THE AUTHOR’S CAFÉ ~ 
By Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Columnist
InRecovery – June 30, 2017

 

Awhile back, the Powerball lottery drawing was for an ungodly amount of money and went a couple of rounds without a winner. I was chatting with a dear friend and fellow author, Arnie Wexler. I call him “The Grandfather of Gambling Addiction Recovery,” as his last bet in the mad world of sports betting and horse track betting was back in the 70s.

He’s never looked back. Instead, he has helped scores of people return from the abyss of gambling addiction. He co-wrote a book titled, All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction with veteran sports journalist, Steve Jacobson, in which he shares how his gambling addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life.

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“Steve Jacobson is what’s known in baseball and journalism as a seasoned pro, a man of credibility, conscience, and caring. Arnie Wexler? There’s a reason why for the last 35 years, he has been the news media’s go-to guy on issues of addicted gambling: He has saved at least as many souls, including his own, as Mother Teresa.”
– Phil Mushnick, Sports Columnist, New York Post

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An advocate of gambling addiction recovery like me, Arnie has shared his expert advice on various media outlets and as a speaker for Fortune 500 corporations. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, 48 Hours, Crossfire and Oprah.

He is the past executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and is a certified compulsive gambling counselor and recovery coach. He and his wife set up the hotline 1-888-LAST-BET that continues to help addicted gamblers today. I’m happy to say he’s also a good friend and my #1 recovery supporter.

Now, back to our chat about the Powerball lottery. Arnie was telling me that many in his Gamblers Anonymous group (GA) either bought tickets for a chance to win or had others buy them tickets. I was also encountering this on my online GA meetings and gambling recovery chat rooms. We both agreed that either way the tickets were purchased, it was still gambling.

 

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See, Gamblers Anonymous defines gambling for the compulsive gambler as “Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether or not for money, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or ‘skill’ constitutes gambling.”

According to this definition, all forms of risk or chance such as raffle tickets, scratch tickets and flipping a coin are considered gambling; though many people don’t like to include lottery tickets in the list.

Addiction is addiction no matter what your gambling preference. Arnie and I were brokenhearted as we heard about all the people in long-term recovery who had bought tickets. Even this seemly innocent purchase could be dangerous for gamblers; gambling addiction has one of the highest suicide rates among addictions.

What is your take on this? Do you think buying a lottery ticket constitutes gambling?

How about those who had someone else buy tickets for them? Is that gambling?

Should they lose their recovery time over a Powerball lottery drawing?

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I know GA
is not the only way to recover; many of us decided to have professional treatment including rehab, recovery coaching and even one-on-one therapy aimed at helping addicted gamblers. After doing some online research, however, I discovered that most recovery sites advocate GA’s guidelines for persons in recovery from gambling. This disease cost me way more than the year’s of wasted money, it almost cost me my life twice from suicide.

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Even though they were failed suicide attempts, 1 in every 5 problem gamblers will try suicide. Gambling addiction now affects 2.9% of our population as problems with gambling. AND? Gambling Addiction is now the #1 addiction claiming lives by SUICIDE over drugs and alcohol combined. By Suicide. Google it if you don’t believe this FACT.


Lastly and finally, the word about addicted gambling is getting out and is a hot discussion all over social media – but the way Arnie and I see it?

If a recovering gambler has someone else buy tickets for them, they gambled. Gambling is gambling.   www.aswexler.com

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Arnie Wexler is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in the country, who has spent the last 30 years helping other compulsive gamblers to recover. He’s a certified compulsive gambling counselor, and he was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years. Arnie has appeared on many of America’s top television shows, including Oprah, Nightline, and 48 Hours.

 

He’s been quoted and profiled in literally hundreds of magazines and newspapers. He presents workshops and training sessions internationally. He has spoken to many gaming industry executives, Fortune 500 companies, legislative bodies, and on college campuses across the nation.

Since 1994, both Arnie and his wife Sheila have trained hundreds of professionals working in addiction treatment centers, including Sierra Tucson and Betty Ford Center. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel, and have written responsible gaming policies for major gaming companies.

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My Dear Friend Tony Kelly Makes a Difference With Gambling Awareness in The Uk. A Former Professional Soccer Player … His Story in The Daily Star

My Dear Friend Tony Kelly Makes a Difference With Gambling Awareness in The Uk. A Former Professional Soccer Player … His Story in The Daily Star

Happy Coming New Year and I Welcome You All!

Meet my very Special Guest, Article, and Story of My UK Friend and Loud Advocate -Tony Kelly …

I have been blessed to have many several former professional pro sports friends who maintain recovery like myself and Tony as we are Loud Advocates in sharing help and hope to others looking to recover too! Tony is one of those advocates in the UK and through his  Red Card organization.

Tony and I meet through social media and due to his book about his gambling addiction and recovery. It is an amazing book to read as he gives an in-depth look at how Sports Pro’s can and have become addicted or have a problem with gambling and with other types of addictions like my friends former NLF pro’s Randy Grimes and Vance Johnson and several others. We Do Recover! ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Advocate

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Tony Kelly’s amazing comeback, Man Utd in Valencia, Chelsea fans … JEREMY CROSS COLUMN …UK Daily Star 

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“TONY KELLY’S life once sunk so low that he plotted to rob a bank.”

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“Tony became the youngest ever player in the Bristol City first team at the age of 16 before being snapped up as a pro by Stoke City His career spanned from the highs of scoring a last-minute goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the 1991 League Cup to the lows of suffering from racial abuse.  Despite hanging up his boots in 1999, at the age of 35, his gambling demons were still a part of his life as nothing had prepared him for how to deal with his addiction.”

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Daily Star – Dec. 17th, 2018 – By Jeremy Cross

He sat down with his brother, of all people, to pick the branch he intended to steal from, the tools he would use (a knife) and what was the best time to strike.

And the reason for contemplating such utter madness? Gambling.

It had taken such a tight grip on him that he felt he had no other option but to take desperate steps to settle some of his debts.

Chances are he won’t be alone in having reached such a low point.

But what makes Kelly’s story particularly worth hearing, is that he has not only survived his addiction, but he is now using his experiences to educate others on the perils and dangers of a problem that is like cancer sweeping through society.

Last month, this column examined the role of gambling in sport and took to task golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for their vulgar head-to-head in Las Vegas.

That prompted Kelly to get in touch and this column makes no apology for returning to the subject.

He was once a professional footballer with a bright future. Alan Ball signed him for Stoke and he had the potential to have it all.

But instead, he blew it – $500,000 to be precise.

As well as the money, he also lost his partner and children, was forced to declare himself bankrupt in 2010 and was verging on suicidal.

In the end, his faith saved him and the devout Christian has used his second chance in life to become a power of good, steering youngsters away from the path he once trod.

Image result for copy free images UK former soccer player tony kelly

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With lottery funding, Kelly and his eight-strong team that includes addiction specialists, have been able to stage regular workshops for schools and other organizations across London, aimed at promoting gambling awareness and educating people about the dangers.

Earlier this month he met with Marc Etches, chief executive officer of ‘GambleAware’ to see if the two organizations could work in tandem to lobby the Government about the unacceptable levels of betting advertising in and around football.

He also took the trouble to voice his concerns with a leading betting firm and thought he had held constructive talks, but hasn’t heard a peep back from them since.

Kelly pulls no punches when it comes to talking about his problems and the potential ones facing those who think gambling is nothing more than a bit of fun.

He said:
“I was in denial. I felt like an embarrassment and didn’t know if there was any help out there for me.”

“Somehow I survived. The turning point was the plan to rob a bank and speaking with my brother and sister. Looking back now, it sounds absolutely crazy, but at the time I just thought ‘how the hell am I going to get out of this?’

“I guess I wasn’t meant to go down that road. I regained my faith, got christened, spoke to therapists, decided to write the book and then set-up the Project to stage the workshops.

“I feel lucky to be able to do this. People try to commit suicide because of gambling every single day. You feel so isolated and alone. These days the slogan is ‘when the fun stops, stop’, but people can’t stop. That’s the problem.”

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The point is that those today with problems like he once had are not alone.

Kelly speaks to kids as young as 11 and knows children and teenagers are the most vulnerable.

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Yavneh College

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He added: “Football stars are their heroes. But with all the advertising at grounds and on shirts, kids are being exposed to something. They have no idea of what the ramifications of gambling can be.

“They have sites right there on apps on their phones, while advertising isn’t regulated properly.

“All the promotion and advertising of gambling needs to be scaled down. There has to be a balance. It all boils down to awareness.”

Kelly has just applied for the second round of £10,000 funding from the Lottery, is hoping to get some financial backing from ‘GambleAware’ and has set his sights on taking his workshops around the UK.

As a reminder of where he’s come from, he still carries with him his bankruptcy files from when he stood ashamed in the High Court.

It was a long, dark tunnel but Kelly has transformed himself from a failure to an inspiration . . .

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Tesco

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For more details go to
 kellysredcardconsultancy.co.uk

Visit Our Page To Meet The Red Card Team!

September Is National Recovery Month. My Thoughts and a Wee Bit of Venting…

September Is National Recovery Month. My Thoughts and a Wee Bit of Venting…

As we celebrate National Recovery Month another year, not much has seemed to change regarding addiction. The opioid epidemic and alcoholism rates are still rising, just as more expansion has been rising with more gambling options being legalized like the one for legal online sports betting now in several states.

So how does recovery fit into this as we are losing more and more lives to all addictions every day? Why are we celebrating when it seems all addictions are getting out of control instead of better? I feel our Government needs to step up and take some part of the ownership and accountability of this problem as they don’t seem to be doing enough and just side kicking it to all the individual states in the US to handle it “on there own.”

“This to me and to many in the addiction and recovery arena and to me is just unacceptable” …

My good friend Ryan Hampton from ‘United to Face Addiction’ and ‘The Voices Project’ has worked tirelessly, including on Capitol Hill to get laws changed and put new laws and legislation on the books regarding opioid epidemic and treatment, rehabs, and sober living facilities. To force higher standards that will actually help those looking to recover. We need more longer-term after-care for those who reach out for recovery. Not just paid for and only a 28-day treatment stay. This DOES include gambling addiction and treatment where Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling lays out in this article …

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Is it wrong for the addiction/recovery community, parents, advocates, feel that our Government could be doing more? Is it not right for me if I was still an addict to ask for a longer treatment stay for free and not be in bondage of the Insurance Companies on how I chose to be free from any addiction? We all know most cannot afford addiction treatment is we have NO INSURANCE right? Even the cost alone if YOU HAVE INSURANCE is way too much for what we receive and WHY treatment is cut off by about the 28th to 30 days benchmark.

So how do we change this arena? Many advocates and those who work out in the field know this is an area in desperate need of changing. Lord knows I don’t have the answers but I will continue to advocate loudly for these and many more changes. I tip my hat off to those like Ryan, Les, and even my co-writing partner Vance who travel all over the US, even to our White House to advocate loudly for change.

Change in how addicts get treatment paid for or if they have no insurance, and to shatter Stigma around those who do because STIGMA can prevent addicts to reach out and get help. It’s why I advocate and share a wealth of HOPE … I will close with this FB Post by Vance Johnson who is a recovering addict, former NFL Pro, and what he had to say that hit home for me. I am so blessed to be writing his memoir with me and to have him as a dear friend.  ~Catherine Lyon

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Whatever you misdiagnose, whether illness, relationships, even politics, you miss treating.  This post is deep so stick with me.

Recently I’ve run into a ton backlash and opposition with my 4.5 years being clean.

From family to friends and in between, some are convinced that I’m not clean for the right reasons. Start with Religion… Some think this new walk that I walk in Christ delivering me from the bondage of addiction is “Fake News” and only a reason for my new supposed found fame. I was addicted to fame, and fame made me drink and use drugs.

When I lost that fame and status as a pro-NFL player and after walking away from the game, I drank and drugged myself into a coma. Let’s move to Politics.

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I grew up around democrats, became independent, and decided at one point that only Republicans are true believers in God. I’m not dogging politics, it’s needed…. but what you misdiagnose you miss treating! Whether politics or religion, most of it can be agenda driven and being agenda driven can make you interpret circumstances incorrectly.

In relationships, you may have got information about your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse, even your children that sheds a light on them that moves you directly into judgment. All because of your misdiagnoses and believing lies shaped in truth, that’s actually formed by an agenda.

Years of doubt, demonic interpretation has damaged your relationship. Although you see them never walk away from his or her commitment to love you, take care of your children and has never strayed.

Their devotion and walk in Christ echo their lifestyle. Don’t let religious or political prophecy become deluded or distorted by people saying they know what God is thinking.

In the Bible, Paul said lustfully pursue the gifts of the Spirit, especially that you may prophesy. I travel all over the country and share my testimony to thousands. I run into people all over, and the Spirit of God has led me to speak into people’s lives, and pray over them. I share the good news about what Christ has done for me in this new walk. I’ve seen miracles and lives touched while standing boldly redeemed and in conviction to Share Hope.

Thanks for letting go deep here, just wanted to share personal thoughts in this new transparent life I lead, to show myself approved in God’s eye, not man’s eyes… I encourage all of you to recognize what may be the spirit of deception.


You can think it’s a righteous stand while being “fed a lie.” No matter where the lie comes from.


Own your Faith, Own Your Sobriety.  ~Vance Johnson 


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