A DP Challenge Accepted ~ I Blog For Recovery!


“I Blog to share my Recovery Story”

Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots  I Accept!

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and writing styles.

It is how I became, and found my true “Passion” of being a writer & blogger. It started with a little newspaper article I read in my local paper one morning, which brought tears to my eyes. It was a about a woman who had committed suicide. She was found in a “Casino Hotel room” about 40 miles from my home. I myself had been there many times. A note was found next to her body that simply said, “please tell my family I’m sorry, I couldn’t stop gambling.” As I read this powerful article, I felt this woman’s pain deep in my “SOUL’….I could have been her. I almost WAS her!

See,  I to almost committed suicide. Having TWO failed attempts, needless to say my higher power was not finished with me yet. I felt such “Hopelessness.”
I felt I could never be successful in obtaining recovery. This “Powerful” little newspaper article all those years ago, and that woman’s story is how I became a published author. I wrote and published my personal story of my addiction, childhood trauma, abuse, and finally recovery. It’s now why I’m a blogger.
I blog to continue my recovery journey, as I also “Advocate” for those who still suffer from this “Cunning Disease”! I share what I went through with my own gambling addiction, and how I “STAY” in recovery.

WHY?……Because you never know who maybe reading my blog posts, or may
have read my book, as it just might “SAVE A LIFE,” as my Mission & Hope is
not one more person need feel DEATH is their only OPTION to STOP!


Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)

“Please Join Me In Fighting *STIGMA*~ For People with Mental Illness & in Addiction Recovery”


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


AS a member of NAMI, and a woman with, Bipolar 2 disorder, Panic with Agoraphobia, Manic Depression problems, Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and in Recovery from addiction…..I KNOW ABOUT “STIGMA,” Which even runs Ramped in my Family. They choose to IGNORE what Mental Illness is about.

I KNOW how others suffer from the many Mental & Emotional Disorders,…..how we are at times TREATED by the Public as “FREAKS” or be called “POSTAL”…..”NOT NORMAL”……”SLOW”……”STUPID”…….and more. Also the Stigma about having to take Medications, in which I was once called a Drug Addict! This to me is very SAD, as I thought this Country had gotten WAY BEYOND THIS POINT???……”GUESS NOT”….”Just Sayin”….

I KNOW what it’s like to be FIRED from JOB’S,……because I was to SLOW, or wasn’t Concentrating good enough, or not UNDERSTANDING DIRECTIVE well.  AND let me tell you, after having a 19+year  CAREER IN “BANKING & FINANCE”…..At least I KNOW I’m a HARD WORKING EMPLOYEE, but I gave UP looking for Part-Time work.

WHY?…..WHY are people still SO in the “DARK” about others who suffer from MENTAL & EMOTIONAL illness?

I COULD go on and on about my HISTORY of others not WANTING to understand MY & OTHERS DAILY LIFE CHALLENGES with Mental Disorders…….WHY do others have to be so CRUEL at times, or CHOOSE to not have Empathy, Compassion, or understanding for those who suffer. DO THEY think we wanted to have these DISORDERS?…..I know I wish I didn’t, but I had to accept MY MENTAL DISABILITIES & CHALLENGES, and CHOOSE TO ADVOCATE FOR THOSE’S WHO CAN NOT, and I MAKE EACH DAY THE BEST I CAN.


Every year during the first full week of October, we observe Mental Illness Awareness Week and break new ground in the fight against stigma as we broaden the national conversation on mental health.   Throughout the week, as always, NAMI will be working hard to change attitudes through outreach, education and advocacy.   With your gift today, you too can make a difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.   It’s time.mental_illness_awareness_week

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 6-12, 2013

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

MIAW coincides with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (Oct. 8) and National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 10.)

Graphics and Print Files

Donate Today to support MIAW



NAMI, the acronym for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a grass roots, self help, support and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of families who have relatives with a brain disorder (mental illness). This includes the families of persons diagnosed with a mental illness, relatives and friends, mental health professionals, and all who share NAMI’s vision and mission.

NAMI South Bay is an affiliate of National and State NAMI. NAMI South Bay serves the general area from El Segundo on the north to Palos Verdes on the south; from the Beach Cities on the west to Carson/Wilmington on the east. NAMI South Bay has regular monthly meetings with a Caring and Sharing Support Group and Speaker Sessions, Family to Family and Familia de Familia Programs, Peer to Peer and Connections Programs (ongoing support group for persons with a mental illness). NAMI South Bay supports other programs such as NARSAD, dedicated to the service of persons with a mental illness and their families. Also, NAMI South Bay participates in the NAMI Los Angeles County Walk. Please consider joining and participating in NAMI South Bay.

*THERE WEBSITE http://namisouthbay.com ***liebster
*THANK YOU  to ANNMARIE for Nominating me for *The LIEBSTER Award* for my Post here on *Mental Health Awareness Week*


DeBorah Palmer  http://dancingpalmtrees.com  Jenn: http://pamhi.wordpress.com    http://gedicreativeminds.wordpress.com  Lizzie: http://runningnakedwithscissors.com  ANNMARIE OF: http://sweetwildflower.wordpress.com  Angela of: http://crowarrowinc.wordpress.com Also:George Boyle of http://GediCreativeMinds.wordpress.com

Alcoholism…..Really? Are you really that Surprised?

Hello Recovery Friends and Followers,

WELL IT SEEMS *IRON MIKE TYSON* Wasn’t being very TRUTHFULL…..Really? Are any of you who have battled any ADDICTION really Surprised? I know a bit about over indulging in a wee to many Cocktails, and I do know about the “CYCLE” of addiction and RELAPSE, since I’ve been there myself, and Struggle with Mental illness.

As the MEDIA likes to drag all the facts out, and ADD a few tasty treats of their own to beef up a story, it is SAD, but I’m sorry to inform all that *IRON MIKE* is human, his nobody special then any other person trying and battling to STAY SOBER & in Recovery like the rest of us! He is a man just like many other men who have had many tragic events in his LIFE lately, and sometimes those OLD Familiar diseased Feelings & Thoughts come to us when we are WEAK and we partake of them when we just can’t take anymore of what LIFE IS GIVING US……….

NO, it’s not excuses for his behaviors, and NO, I’m not trying to be CRUEL when a Man is DOWN, not at all.!…..It’s trying to give INSIGHT  from experience of Addiction, Recovery, and Relapse.

It is showing that when someone has NO PRIVACEY, media and cameras in your face, when you lose a young daughter,  as it is not NATURAL to bury or out live your own child, and Diagnosed with Bipolar,  I’m saying that no matter how FAMOUS, or NOT so much, we are all HUMAN. You see, we WHO were once Addicted have learned the ART of Denial, Blame, and Excuses. And we have MASTERED the ART of Manipulation to a TEE. So it is not surprising to me or others who have been touched by addiction.**



Mike Tyson opened up in an interview on the TODAY show, saying “I won’t survive if I don’t get help.”(Photo: Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images)

**In his first interview since declaring himself a “vicious alcoholic” on the “verge of dying,” former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson opened up about his battles staying sober.

“I won’t survive if I don’t get help,” Tyson told Matt Lauer on the TODAY show during a sit-down interview in Las Vegas that Lauer described as “candid, confusing and revealing.”

“When I start drinking and I relapse, I think of dying,” Tyson said. “I’m in a real dark mood, I think of dying. And I don’t know if I want to be around no more.”

Tyson surprised the media last week when he used a press conference touting his return as a boxing promoter to confess his battles with addiction.

“I want to change my life, I want to live a different life now,” he said at the time. “I want to live my sober life. I don’t want to die.”

Six days after, Tyson told Lauer he’s been sober 12 days.

“It’s a real challenge,” Tyson said of his fight to stay clean. “I don’t know if I like this sober guy. It’s hard for me to live normal. Straight is hard.”

Tyson, who has an upcoming memoir, HBO special and Fox Sports 1 documentary series, told Lauer he’s been fighting demons in his head since he was born.

“Yeah, it is kinda strange and scary,” Tyson said. “I was born that way.”

Though Tyson has been making amends in his life, he still won’t apologize for the 1991 incident with Desiree Washington that led to a three-year prison sentence for rape.

“I’ve done nothing,” Tyson said. “I really didn’t do anything to her. I didn’t rape her, I didn’t beat her, I didn’t do anything to her. I’m not going to make amends.”

Lauer asked Tyson about whether all his failures will help him succeed in his fight to conquer his addictions.

“100 percent,” Tyson said. “No one’s failed more than I did. No one’s seen more than I’ve seen. I’m the king of the barbarians. There’s no one who can surpass me in the pain I’ve endured.” **



Mike Tyson Portrait.jpg

Mike Tyson: ‘I’m a bad guy sometimes.”

Mike Tyson said he’s been lying about being sober and is on the verge of death because of alcoholism.

During a startling news conference at the Turning Stone Resort in New York, Tyson said he hasn’t had any alcohol or drugs for six days, which for him is “a miracle,” and he seemed to plea for forgiveness for being “a bad guy.”

Tyson has lived an alternately crushing and soaring life. By the age of 16, his mother was dead and his father was locked up. Boxing trainer Cus D’Amato took him in and Tyson became “Iron” Mike, the most feared boxer in the world.

That all imploded when he was convicted of rape in 1992. When he got out of prison, he recovered as a boxer to the point he fought Evander Holyfield twice, in two of the biggest fights of all time. Holyfield won the first fight by TKO, and the second one was the night a desperate Tyson took a bite of Holyfield’s ear, establishing him as one of the craziest guys in sports.

Tyson’s boxing career slowly and sadly eroded, and he began stacking pounds on top of pounds of fat. He weighed 380 pounds at one point. He’s 5-foot-10. All that boxing money was going out as soon as it was coming in, and Tyson soon found himself broke, disgraced and addicted.

And then, miraculously, Tyson became one of the most beloved characters in pop culture. He started getting acting roles, and he did well in them. His turn as himself in “The Hangover” was wonderful. He did a one-man Broadway show, turned into a film by Spike Lee that will air on HBO. Tyson appeared on FOX Sports Live during its first week and next month will be seen on FOX Sports 1 in the documentary series “Being: Mike Tyson”.

All in all, it has looked like the manifestation of a full comeback. Not as Iron Mike, but as our charmingly screwed-up cousin.

Tyson’s candor and self-awareness have served him well in his post-boxing life, but every now and then it seems like Tyson wants to remind everybody that he’s still a deeply hurt, deeply troubled person. On top of his aforementioned troubles, he’s endured two broken marriages and the death of a 4-year-old daughter, and has been diagnosed as bi-polar.

“I’m a bad guy sometimes,” he said. “I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven. So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.”

It is not surprising to see Tyson unload all that weight during a news conference that I’m sure was expected to be sort of silly and whimsical. This was at a casino. But Tyson always has had a tendency to drop his baggage in the middle of the lobby. His many confessions have tended to come straight out of nowhere, which is probably a big part of the reason people like him now. He does not appear to be orchestrating some kind of thing in the media.

Some people have grandparents like this, who without any context will blurt out some old secret and then just move on like nothing happened. There’s a lot of that in Tyson’s public appearances over the years..

It has endeared him to a public that once considered him a lowlife, but it sounds like Tyson is having a hard time trusting that.

Tyson described a recent conflict and how he resolved it. He was vague about the conflict, but not how he felt about it.

”I hate myself,” he said. “I’m trying to kill myself. I hate myself a lot. But I made myself proud of myself, and I don’t do that much.”

**SO, no matter how the media spins a story, I just see a Man who was a Great Boxer in his time, was touched by Addiction, and struggled like myself as an Undiagnosed Bipolar & Emotional problems for years until we were properly diagnosed, and trying to live our life
like everyone else.
I’m sure Iron Mike would tell you that yes,……he had FAME, Money, wives, children, a rough and abusive childhood like many of us endured, but nothing will fill that black hole in our HEARTS, not addiction, drugs, alcohol, gambling, living the high life, because eventually you will be left as a shell of a person who has nothing left, when you let ADDICTION run your or interfere in your LIFE! It will destroy and WIN every time….**

I wish Mike and his family all the BEST that Sober Life gives. That, and the Love of Christ in your Life can work MIRACLES!…..I’m One! God Bless Everyone!

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

DEAR MOM, It’s been 10 years……


I still have days where I catch myself picking up the phone to call you……..then I remember I can’t.
I know YOU already know how much I enjoyed our nightly talks when you were still in the Hospital, before being taken to the Rehab/nursing facility, where you passed……

WE talked about Everything, even you sharing with me how you managed as a young adult to leave home at an early age, because there were So many siblings to care for. We talked a lot about how you raised your own children the ONLY way you knew how, and it meant a lot to me when you told me how Sorry you were for being a heavy disciplinary mom, and that YOU learned how from YOUR father, how he physically disciplined you and your siblings in the same way. I also know you understood that I didn’t hold any of that against you, or my father. Also knowing years later, what I KNOW NOW about my Mental and Emotional illness’ of un-diagnosed Bi-Polar ll, Depression and Panic with Agoraphobia, I’m sure I was TRULY your *LITTLE MONSTER CHILD* you used to call me.

Not knowing about all that, and how the times were very different back in the 1960’s & 1970’s, you didn’t KNOW what WE now know TODAY about these disorders, but it made me feel loved to know you were sorry for what also happened to me as a LITTLE GIRL. YOU know it was not your fault, Nor was it mine, these things of abuse by a family friend happened to many, and I BELIEVED YOU when you said, that if you knew it was happening, you would have stopped and protected me from this,…….I’m sure I was not an easy child to manage which you said had continued into my teen and adulthood. I’m sorry for all I put you & dad through.

I also felt after we talked through the situation around Robert, and Cecil, that I KNOW you would have done things differently, and that you understood how all your children ended up having different problems in our own lives because of all the habits & behaviors of not being HONEST with others, and each other.

I will always hold in my HEART and in my Memories all the fun times we had as a Family!!
YOU also made me laugh at the stories you shared with me of You, and my Aunts of the fun times, and of the Wee Bit of trouble you girls got into!!! I will also treasure the thoughts you shared with me of how you and dad met, the memories of living a Military Life, loving dad for who he was and what he stood for. Talks of YOUR feelings of Life in General. Those are the FEELINGS that made ME feel SO connected to you as a Mother.

The GOOD times we had in So. California, especially when we first moved there. We talked of the Water Fights we all had when You & Dad lay in the summer sun, buckets of water being thrown, and running around the outside of the house to catch and soak one of us with a pail of water!!

All the camping trips we took, the SUNDAY FAMILY DAY for a Drive to Solvang, Santa Barbara, or LA to visit Aunt Joan for the day, or a trip to Aunt Anna’s for the day to Palm Springs, swimming, playing, eating, and Playing cards till late!! Man, those were the GOOD DAYS…….

I still remember the first time we rolled into TOWN in Palm Springs, you yelling out the car window, saying funny jokes about the men walking on Palm Canyon Drive with their Shorts, WHITE SOCKS and Sandals or Black dress shoes!! NOW THAT WAS FUNNY!!

All the first few Christmas’s we had at Aunt Anna’s, You all cooking an Italian feast for us, The little Mariachi players Uncle Frank had at the house in Palm Springs, and all my cousins where all there. So much Fun. You and I even talked about the earliest Wedding I remember being at as a little girl was one of Aunt Rose’s kids got married and what Beautiful wedding it was.

We then shared and remembered all of your children growing up and with Rose first marring Mike, one by one your own family had Conformations, Communions, High School Graduations, Weddings, and So Much More life experiences…….

Then Rose giving your 3 Beautiful grandson’s, and Robert with One. AND I can tell you if you were still here with us how PROUD you’d be of all 4 of your Grandsons, with Mark making you a Great Grandmother, NOW, with TWINS coming, HOW I wish you could be here to EXPERIENCE this NEW JOY COMING SOON!!  I will Kiss, Hug, and Pinch their cheeks FOR YOU MOM when they GET HERE!!…..Oh with tears in my eyes, what joy this will be!!

MOM, as far as all Negative that has happened to ME, Rose, Rob, well….that is PAST, and you already have seen from HEAVEN HOW that has ALL PLAYED OUT……SO, will leave it there……
I know you know how hard I’ve worked to get MY life back, can’t Speak for my siblings, but I know you would have said to me, “HOW Proud you are that I got back on the RIGHT Track in Life……
Maybe if you had been here still, it could have been different, but YOU of all MOM’S would know that Life is not easy, How Family Secrets can destroy a family, and I know you are up there seeing all the Discord & Broken apart your own Family is right now. I’m sure YOUR HEART hurts of all this. I can say for myself, and for Tom, we do miss our family greatly, but in turn, we have accepted their wish and have moved on in our Lives together.

It is SAD when a Family looks from the outside that all is well, but many are not fooled by outward appearances that can sneak out. Doesn’t really matter to me mom, WE HAVE all the Good times and wonderful memories we SHARED as a FAMILY, even if we are all not Together!

Relax, breathe, let go, and live in the moment!

THE BEST MOMENTS for Tom & I are the one’s we shared HERE with us in So. Oregon!!
The very last summer you were here, August, 2002 was rocky AND FABULOUS! We went to Wildlife Images, had fun watching the Boat Races on the Rogue River, other times when the family came to visit us, we had lots of FUN at our County Fair!

The most *SPECIAL* was the trip you came up and we all went to the Roseburg Fair and seen *WILLIE NELSON* and Lil and here family met us there, and he PLAYED FOR OVER 2 HOURS!! THEN, of course our FAMILY TRADITION of getting *Umpqua Ice Cream* for the drive home to our house.
The nephews swimming in the pool, the BBQ CHICKEN dinner DAD & TOM almost caught our HOUSE ON FIRE!!..LOL..LOL….THOSE are the Moments I and Tom will cherish forever.

And yes, your Son-in law still miss’s YOU very much!! The Heart of GOLD you had when it came to TOM. You ALWAYS BUYING him MORE than he needed, but he Loved you for it, as he understood your *LOVE LANGUAGE* better than I. YOU were always RIGHT that I was BLESSED when Tom came into my LIFE……and I still am. I know you have seen all we have been through these last  24 years together, but we weathered the STORMS, and we are still together. THAT is ONE thing that was a CONSTANT in your Marriage to DAD that gives me the Example to follow…….
HAS IT BEEN ROCKY??? Of course, ARE THINGS PERFECT?…..NO, but we have each other, and we do the BEST we can each day just like you and DAD did!!

WERE ALL Your, and Dad’s CHOICE’s THE BEST???…..No, Maybe not, but that is what is called “LIFE EXPERIENCE”…….Like you once told me, LIFE does not come with a *RULE* book of how to live your life, or how to RAISE your Kids, WE do the BEST we CAN…….

I know you already know, what I’ve been through personally since your passing mom, another stay in a Crisis Center, my failed attempts to leave this world, my addiction, my legal troubles, and now my Years of Recovery,……..I know that tiny little light that shines in the Brightest Star at night that I see is YOU!…….You SHINING BRIGHT and telling me that all will be well, and TAKE the guide of THE LORD,  then all will be OK………

SO, MOM……Your *Little Monster* still loves you MORE TODAY then when you were still here, and I wish that could be different, but it is what it is, and we BOTH ARE BLESSED for the time we got to Talk things through, and make PEACE before you left us, that TOO is what brings ME Comfort each day……..To know your not in pain any longer, and you are home with the LORD.

I’ll always Love You Much,
Your Daughter, Catherine Townsend-Lyon  xxxooo…..DEAR MOM, I Miss You…….

“True friends are families which you can select.” -Audrey Hepburn
Today, make someone smile!