“My Recovery Guest Author Interview Wrap Up From Peoples Internet Radio”!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Visitors,


I had been invited to Peoples Internet Radio by host, Stephen Roberts to join him this past Friday evening to talk about my current book, problem & addicted gambling, recovery, and a few more hot topics. And the interview was so awesome, we where on for just about 2 hours! And as promised, here is a wrap up of some of the topics we discussed, and recovery resources I had given out during the show.


I’d like to first say, Thank You again to my host,  Stephen Roberts for inviting me to his show. Well, I also kind of invited myself really. LOL. I say this because as some of you know, I do book & social media promoting for other authors. And, Stephen has had 2 of my clients on his show earlier. It’s actually how we met. He is such a great guy with a fun sense of humor.

A little about Peoples Internet Radio, Seeking Sovereign Solutions, http://peoplesinternetradio.com/ it is a movement for and by the people to take our country of America back! It is a place where podcasts are broadcast and heard by hosts who invite others to speak up, help inform, and to raise awareness of many issues facing our country. And one of those issues impacting our communities is the ever-expanding problems of Indian Casinos & State Lotteries. That was only one of the issues Stephen and I spoke about. We talked about my book, Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat), which is my personal story of life touched by childhood sex abuse, discipline abuse, living with mental and emotional illness and disorders, and gambling and alcohol addictions.


We also had people calling and typing in through Facebook, as my interview was live streamed on 3 different podcast links. We even had people commenting as far away from Ireland, Scotland, and United Kingdom! I do have to say a ‘Special’ shout out to “Jimmy & Sean” for your questions, and very kind comments during the show! I also explained my own personal devastation I caused with my gambling addiction in my life. Some don’t always agree with me about the why’s of someone choosing addiction in the first place.
My experience is that, like Jimmy mentioned in his comment, when in rehab or treatment, it seems the professionals just treat the symptoms, and not some of the underlying issues that may have led us to use addictions to cope with life challenges and traumatic life events.
From a relapse prevention point of view, those life events if we are not ready for them, can be a source of relapse. I know it was difficult for me in this area as well. The first failed suicide attempt in 2002 of mine,
from 2 life events that hit me hard was two people close to me passed away of cancer. Then my mom passed in 2003. So life, if not ready can cause a relapse. You need to have a plan in place.


When all that happened to me I went via the hospital to an addictions/mental health crisis center. That’s when my primary doctor, and the center psychiatrist found I had been suffering Bipolar 2 severe depression, PTSD, OCD, and mild anxiety mania. So in 2002 is when I was started on bipolar and anti-depressant meds.
So those were some of the underlying issues that compounded, and seem to set me up for some type of addictions to cope, escape and numb out from the grief, and from my past traumatic childhood.

Of course, as I discussed with Stephen that when you are raised in a household that you speak of things outside our home about anything that might bring shame to the family, and to not know there are healthy ways to get help and process past hurt and pain. Then many do use addiction to try to escape from it. To not feel those unpleasant feelings and emotions. So it wasn’t until I started work on processing my past pains, and working with an addiction specialist, who taught my also how to break down the cycle of my addiction. A cycle has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here is what it looks like.


See, will get Triggered by something that affects us in life. Could be life trauma, stress of a bad day at work, a financial crisis, for me it was Paydays. The build up would start a few days before a payday. Urges or cravings like on the chart. Then the Ritual comes into play. This maybe, again for me was trying to calculate how much money would be available to gamble with. What bills could I put off until the next payday. That type of diseased thinking. Sadly, when I crossed the line into uncontrolled addicted gambling, the bills never got paid, and the money would be gone. Then the actual act of using, or for was addicted, uncontrolled gambling. Then the last part of the cycle is the guilt, shame, self-loathing, remorse.

But the one difference with gambling is the constant lies, covering up what I’d done, find money to pay the debts that I should have with our paychecks and on and on. It’s exhausting! And until you learn in treatment, and in support group meetings those tools and skills to interrupt and break the cycle? You’ll keep using over and over wishing for a different outcome that never comes! Part of my experience of addiction did come from my past childhood abuse. And the verbal can cut deep into our mind and thoughts. Verbal, or psychological abuse can sink in when were children. Because our minds are like a sponge! It is also from my sex abusers as well. They threaten you so much that you start to believe you’re a bad girl, damaged, and if you tell, no one will believe you, that your telling lies.

I still to this day feel those feeling of those men telling me that, grooming me with treats, then turn around and threaten me with verbal trash! And like I said in my interview, even though Gamblers Anonymous tells us that we can recover without knowing the reasons why we became addicted gamblers, but through therapy, I know some of why I was using addicted gambling with alcohol. It was to not feel the pains of my childhood any longer.
Today, I’m not a victim any longer! I advocate, speak-up and speak-out about childhood abuse and trauma! As it’s the only way I know how to shatter the STIGMA around this devastating issues. I know that it wasn’t my fault what happened to me. So I now let others who endured the same, that they are not at fault either. All that I do to try and help others was given to me by my Father in Heaven. Another part of recovery is to learn from what we triumph over. We see our character defects, and learn to correct them to become better human beings..

Here are just a few facts I shared about gambling addiction on the radio show.1% of our population right now are Problem Gambler’s.
Out of the 16+million problem gamblers in just the United States, half this number are now your college bound young adults.  The Productivity Commission in  Australia reports, for every one problem gambler, they have a negative effect on 7 other people.Our government makes gambling legal for profits through Casinos and States Lottery.
And if you want to know what is being done about it in your State and communities besides raising crime rates, and more friends and loved ones becoming problem gamblers, then visit http://StopPredatoryGambling.org/in-your-state/

For help and information about problem gambling, visit the good people of The National Council on Problem Gambling, http://www.ncpgambling.org For warning signs & info please visit http://www.helpguide.org and  http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/hotlines/

There are more helpful ‘Recovery Resource’ pages here on my blog with more important websites and phone numbers. And finally, if you happened to miss the internet show? Here is the link you can hear the whole show at your own leisure. When you clink on the link, a little box will pop up and just hit the arrow to play it.
Just in case it doesn’t pop up, here is the full link address:

Hope Vs Heroin's photo.
In closing, this quote truly is important. No on person who becomes an addict just happens to wake up one day and tell themselves, “Gee, I think today I’ll choose to become an addict and destroy my life” …
Yes, life is full of positive wonders and possibilities, but life also can hurt, be painful to some of us.
NO, not excuses, just insights of how some can lose their way.

And yes, it is our choice on how we handle the rough patch’s. But remember, many people are not healthy, strong, or had positive role models, or a healthy family dynamic growing up. Like I explained to Stephen,
I have forgiven my parents, and have forgiven my sex abusers, and my siblings who too had hurt me, as my spiritual Father has taught me. You have to in order to take back your life. It’s also what I learned in treatment and therapy. I have learned many life lessons on this journey called life. Now my passion is to pass some of it to others.

Much Happiness and Blessings on your Recovery Journey,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of, “Addicted To Dimes” …



All Addictions Seem To Even Touch Our Children, Our Friends And Neighbors Too!

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, And New Visitors,


I have a wonderful ‘Guest Share’ for you all today, but first I have to share that I’m a bit sad for my next door neighbor. He just turned 45, and he fell off the “Drug” wagon. He had just gotten 97 days clean, and it only took for both his son’s to come by with drugs on them, and he relapsed. Not lapsed, he has relapsed, meaning he has done drugs since Thursday. He had worked so hard to get past the part in early recovery to start ‘feeling’ his emotions again. I know how hard it is in those early days of recovery, as the urges and triggers just seem to never end. But each day clean, sober, and away from the bet, makes those feelings start to get less and less.

The problem is, many will relapse within the first 90 days of leaving treatment. We forget to start using those New Life Skills and Tools that we learned in treatment right away. We don’t get that ‘First Step’, of total surrender done right away as our start of Step Work. It’s why we need to have a ‘Relapse Prevention plan’ ready to go when we leave treatment.

And a GOOD PHONE LIST to call someone when those triggers and urges hit us. And they will hit you, and test you! So all I can do for my neighbor is try to talk a little recovery sense to him when he is outside. But, I know ultimately it it’s him who needs to choose recovery. I can talk to him until I’m blue in the face. If he isn’t ready, then he isn’t ready, but I do worry for him.

And it’s why I also want to share a very good friend of mine, ‘Sandy Swenson’ and her blog. Her son is also a drug addict, and I truly learn a lot from her life trials of a mother coping with a son who is an addict. I’m so very inspired by Sandy, her courage and strength to go on living knowing her son is out there addicted. Again, we can not make or force someone we care and love for “CHOOSE RECOVERY”.  The addicted person has to do that for themselves to reclaim their life back!

Here is a little about my good friend ‘Sandy Swenson’, and more about her blog, and how she gives other moms and parents  insights on what it’s like having a child addicted to drugs.

Sandy Swenson

The Place Where Love And Addiction Meet • Mother of two sons, one of whom is an addict • Author • Open book ~ “Find Joy On Your Journey”
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” -Maya Angelou

There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.

-Bethesda Magazine

Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.
A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.

Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Here is more about Sandy’s Book and Mission.

The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story Of Her Son’s Addiction  ‘written by Sandy Swenson’

Sandy lives where love and addiction meet—a place where help enables and  hope hurts. When addiction steals her son, Sandy fights for his survival, trying to stay on the right side of an invisible line between helping him to live and helping him to die. By age 20, Joey overdoses, attempts suicide, quits college, survives a near-fatal car accident, does time behind bars, and is kicked out of rehab more than once. Increasingly manipulative, delusional, and hateful, the sweet Joey from childhood is lost to the addict wearing his face.
Working with an interventionist, a judge, and tracking Joey’s movements online, Sandy does what she can to save Joey from himself until it hurts more to hang on than it hurts to let go. Through Family Programs, Al-Anon, reading, and learning from her mistakes, Sandy discovers that sometimes love means doing nothing, and that Letting Go is not the same thing as giving up. She also learns that she needs to work on surviving her son’s addiction while coming to terms with the fact that he may not.
Years pass. Friends and family no longer ask about Joey; they no longer know what to say. Joey is not in recovery, but Sandy works on hers, trying to keep the poison that is consuming Joey from destroying the rest of her family and her life. She starts a program to teach young men living in a group home how to budget, grocery shop, and cook, hoping that someone will someday help her own son in some way that she cannot. As in the song she sang to him so many times, Sandy keeps Joey down in her heart to stay. There is a place in her life that is exactly his size. One she hopes he will someday want to fill.


Central Recovery Press — September 2014

Swenson Book Development

*Now what do I enjoy most about Sandy’s blog? Is her heart felt, insightful, and complete honesty of her blog posts. Here is one that ‘touched’ me so just the other day.*
☼ Before My Son Was An Addict, He Was A Child (Not A Monster): Addiction Can Happen To Anyone

Every addict was once a childBefore my son was an addict, he was a child.

My child.

But he could have been anyone’s child. He could have been (or might yet be) yours.

Until the troubles started, I never thought my child would become an addict. It never crossed my mind.Until one day it did.

Before my son was an addict, he liked to put stuffed animals on my pillow at night. He liked to fish and camp, was an Eagle Scout, wanted to be a marine biologist, and was awarded scholarships from several colleges. He also sometimes lied and said things that were mean and sulked and was crabby; in other words, Joey was perfectly normal.
There’s a widely held belief that addicts are bad people, but the truth is, addiction is not an issue for moral judgment. Addiction begins where dalliance becomes disease. It can happen to anyone who has taken a sip or puff or snort (which our culture entices every young person to do), or even a pill prescribed for pain. Even though my son has done some bad things while being an addict, my son is not a bad person. When addiction scooped up my child, it did so indiscriminately; Joey, at his core, is one of the least bad people I know.

Before my son was an addict, I used to judge the dusty addict on the corner very harshly. But now I know that being an addict isn’t something anyone would choose (not to be confused with someone who is using; there is great distinction between the two). Now I know that the addict on the corner has been my sweet child (and could someday be yours). I wish I hadn’t waited for the worst to happen before I opened my eyes and heart. Before I looked beneath the addict’s dust to the person he was meant to be. To the person my child could just as easily have become — and did.

Before my son was an addict,  he was a child.  Not a monster.

Addiction can happen to anyone…

See also: My Son’s Addiction Is A Tragic Disease, Not A Disgrace and Please Don’t Enable The Addict To Harm My Son
I want to say, “Thank You” to Sandy for letting me share her with all of you today. I’m certain if there are parents who come to visit my blog, and they are going through the same experience as Sandy, you will find some peace and understanding and support when you visit Sandy’s blog. As I always do say, go by and visit her blog, and let her know you found her by way of  *Catherine Lyon’s Recovery Blog* ~ Thanks everyone!
Much Happiness & Blessings All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of  “Addicted To Dimes”