Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Some Good Ole Ramblings of Gambling Recovery & Faith Floating Around in My Head…

Welcome Recovery Warriors, Friends, and Visitors,

It’s has been a crazy beginning to a new decade within a new year and where our world is heading and nearing August of 2020. So much has happened in just about all realms and issues facing our country today and has been mind-boggling …From politics to pandemic to recovery to employment to furloughed to loss of life to my mental health to no funerals to OMG!!!

I think you get the picture as to what I’m feeling and trying to say. It has affected me to the point of no return or finding solace. So I find it when I am writing. I can’t watch the news much as it raises my already high-level anxiety and I had to stop reading all the news articles on the internet because it does the same and I get even more depressed when I continue to hear more people have died from this virus that should still be here with us today.

I can go on and on. However, it has changed my life and maintaining recovery in perspective, and in order to learn and know what truly is important in my life. We are not promised a tomorrow and why I choose to maintain my recovery through faith and keep HOPE ALIVE for others and myself.

That brings me to a little writing I saw by an unknown author that reads:

Is Religion a Form of Recovery?

“Religion is not my personal choice but I have seen people recover thru only this method, Religion as it is just a form of prayers to a higher power whether it be Allah, God or Yahweh. And contrary to popular belief, you can’t just use anything as your higher power, a higher power needs to be caring, loving, and have your best interest at heart, oh, and more powerful than you.

That is a true description of “a power greater than yourself.” No matter which one you choose, you have to pray your way out of your current predicaments like addiction.
And the tricky part isn’t just you not using, (drugs, booze, gambling) the tricky shit is changing everything about your life and for some of us, we need a step-by-step guide cuz after you been walking into the woods for several years in a row and unless you have a map, we’re just going to wander around in the woods forever. Now, this may good for some people it is not good for me.

Unless you immerse yourself in this particular culture. I sincerely never had any luck getting clean and sober this way. So give this a try and get back to me, I mean don’t get me wrong, all of us in recovery regardless of what we use to stay clean, sober, gamble free, no self- harm, just addiction-free and alive, do you have to have some type of higher power? And, thanks to the great many of us who choose to call this higher power God, because, without him, recovery is just too much for us alone to learn.
You need to rely on God when nothing else seems to work.

As a matter of fact, even before things fail us completely, we need to reach out to our higher power, ask for help, ask that our shortcomings be removed, ask that are character defects be removed and let God be able to show the newcomers in our perspective program how are reliance upon him has helped us out. No matter what you use to get there as far as treatment, rehab and such. And always try to remember;


When we put our problems in God's hands, He puts peace in our ...

After reading that, I began to think about all the choices we have of the path and journey we choose to begin and gain recovery from any addiction. Treatment can be what we or how we choose it. It might become the way how successful we grab a hold of long-term recovery. For myself, I could not do RECOVERY alone. My higher power has always been GOD. After that? I needed any and all to gain recovery from gambling addiction.

And, yes, there are those reading this may think, why religion? For me, it is not about religion, nor if I was raised with or in religion. Organized religion in my own opinion is NOT what God intended. Yes, we are all born God’s children and with ‘free will.’ I feel organized regions (labels) or the type of religion like Catholics, Mormon, Lutheran, and so on, gets in the way of having a real personal one-on-one relationship with our savior as God intended.

I know that was, you God | Inspirational words, Inspirational ...

The holy spirit? That keeps us all connected through heart, soul, and is how you feel God and his son Christ in our lives. Again, just my own beliefs. Especially when we look around what is going on in our world, our country and right outside our doors. One thing I hope many will learn while this pandemic is happening. It has made recovery and managing my mental health more challenging and turned a little upside down.

Most of everything is now virtual and online. That is where I get support for my recovery, I continue to write articles and blog posts here. I write for ‘Keys to Recovery’ newspaper for the column they gave me called “Quit to Win and it’s a geat FREE recovery resource and has amazing articles and more.

I continue to sponsor and mentor others new to gambling recovery as well. I do Gamblers Anonymous meeting online and much more. I feel what has been imperative to my recovery is doing at least one thing to maintain it each day.

Lastly, I think what truly helps is I am mindful to all within faith. And that keeps my grounded and makes sure I am helping others along my journey…So I think I’ll continue to maintain my recovery through FAITH. ~Catherine Lyon



Recovery Thoughts About a Little of Everything …Family, Support, and Of Course, Gambling Addiction.

Recovery Thoughts About a Little of Everything …Family, Support, and Of Course, Gambling Addiction.

 Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Visitors Happy 4th of July Week!

First I want to start by saying it has been too damn HOT here. It is the worst time of year to be living in Arizona lol. And why it’s called “The Valley of The Sun.”

We will be hitting 110 today. That is even too frigging hot to sit by the pool unless you want to get a Burn Up Suntan …Lol. Maybe I would like it more if I was 25 again but at 55 and taking meds, I just can’t tolerate the the heat like I used to.

It’s why I can not wait to move back to Oregon next year on the coast. 

So, I have been having some “happy times” flashbacks lately as we get closer to the 4th of July. Have no idea why or where it’s coming from. The Fourth was always an interesting day and evening around the “Townsend Family” home as we would always have a BBQ and light fireworks. This is when I still lived at or near home in So. Cal. We would do fireworks for my nephews as they were young at the time, and the adults would act a little cray-cray right along with them! Their dad, Mike, (my brother-in-law who we lost in 1992 to cancer) was a hoot! He was crazy about fireworks! Those were the “good old days.”

But as the dysfunctional family that we were many times, alcohol abuse seemed to ramp up closer to the evening after dinner. Waiting for it to get dark, we’d let the little ones do sparklers and Mike would dazzle my mom with some spinning flower bloom fireworks. My mom got a kick at of those! One time Mike put the flowering blooms and lit a couple in my parents’ mailbox so they would fly out, spin, and they hit the ground. LOL! That didn’t work out well as it blew up the mailbox so Mike had to buy my dad a new one and help dad put up. Lol.

Yes, there were many fun times to be had through the years. Now, remember, this was way before addiction had ever touched my life. But as we had fun, the alcohol consumed by Mike, Dad, my sisters and brother, the end always seemed to end up in some sort of argument and fight as my mom didn’t drink, but she loved to chime in and piss them off by verbally making fun or yelling at them that they were a bunch of Fu_  ing idiots! Then my dad and brother would get mad at her and we’d be off RUNNING!!


Image result for free images families at 4th of july


It seemed almost all our family gatherings would end up this way. Day trips, camping trips. Sad really. No one in my family who drank alcohol had NO Control over it or when knowing when to stop drinking. This went on for many years. Today, my two sisters I feel are alcoholics, but they would say different. My oldest sister after Mike passed even racked up some DUI’S from drinking alcohol and driving. Which brings me to family, support, and fast forward to today. When my mom passed in 2003, my brother decided to open his new home and have relatives and friends come over to celebrate my mom’s life after the funeral.

And, again, early afternoon the alcohol began to flow. He had a pool, so many of us went swimming, and in the evening we hung out in the hot tub into the late evening they were still drinking. We were down to myself, my husband, my dad, brother and his wife, one sister and her hubby, and my older sister (single) and her boys now grown. Well, my sisters began to get a little rude and lippy and my brother chimed in. I and my hubby knew it was time to go, and we took my dad with us. Not till the next morning, we found out there were a few words spewed, pushing and things got a bit physical and the police were called.

Long story short, my brother and his wife divorced a few weeks later. My dad stopped talking to my brother. We just buried my mother and again our family is torn apart. This was a habit and behavior my mother carried on for years. If you didn’t do what she said or what she wanted, she would cut you out and stop talking to you. Life is to short for this and I would tell her so.

But she would just come at me verbally with things like “why do you think you are better than we are? or what makes you so special, I’m still your mother and can say whatever I want and like it.” Yes, my mom did NOT Like It when I set my boundaries. I guess I should back up a little. She knew how to get under my skin when I first began recovery.


Tackle Childhood Trauma 1


When I was a little girl born in New Jersey and lived until 6 1/2 then we moved to So. CA. My mom was a heavy-handed disciplinarian when my dad was gone overseas in Vietnam while stilling living in Jersey. Now, this is hindsight and connecting the dots and learning from the years of therapy and counseling in treatment that brought many old hurtful memories of my childhood back in order to process it, let go and forgive myself.

Growing up through the years, my mom and dad said many hurtful things to me and for some reason they lingered and just stuck inside me. When I got to my teens, I never could understand why she was like this to me. As I look back, since I was the baby of the family at the time, my daddy used called me his “little monster.” A nickname that later in adulthood hit me like a brick when my mom told me about these outbursts I’d have when I was little.

She was never like this or treated my older brother or older sister like she did me. She would say I told lies, I was an ugly tomboy, I didn’t love her or our family, I can’t be their kid and must have been switched at birth in the hospital and I can go on. I can remember times I would through tantrums I would not remember afterwards, she’d lock me in my room and I’d go crazy pulling out my drawers, clothes, pull the curtains down and then? …when it was over I would lay on the floor watching their feet walk back and forth between the space of the door and floor as they passed my locked door.

I think my mom just didn’t know what was wrong or how to control me when these came on. AND? It’s why I had agreed in 2002 with my Primary Doctor and Psychiatrist when first diagnosed with severe depression, mild bipolar and mania, anxiety after my first suicide attempt. I went undiagnosed for years until adulthood! And why I feel the way my parents raised us seemed to seep down into me so deeply.

I know this because as I grew into adulthood and finally disclosed all of what happened to me as a child when we first moved to So. Cal. I was sexually abused by not one, but two men from 8 to 11 years old. At age 30, in 1992 I was having a break down about all of it right after Mike died of cancer. That was before gambling addiction, but my first of many attempts at therapy for help. In order to begin the process of healing, as my therapist told me, “I had to disclose all to my parents, it’s time.” I told my parents and I felt abused all over again as they denied it, my mom very defensively said “I was making it up. My mom said she would have known if that was happening to me or happening in her house.”

My point in sharing all this? The good memories and the BAD? Since at this point I never got to finish my therapy with the therapist because I was embarrassed and ashamed of how my family took all of what I shared about, not only the sex abuse but also how those memories of the verbal and physical abuse by my parents hurt me as well.  It was then that more something changed with relationships with my dad, two sisters and brother became strained.

I think they all thought I was nuts or something. My mothers’ answer was, and her comments to me stayed with me and ended up giving me my “entitlement feelings” and added fuel to my gambling addiction when I later got entangled, abused alcohol, and crossed the line into addicted gambling. She told me:

“I don’t know why these things are bothering you when they don’t seem to bother my kids?”

I was speechless and kept hearing that in my head for many more years to come. Now, of course, here we are today and my all my siblings have had problems with broken marriages (my brother) drugs, alcohol, anger problems and nothing bothered her other children as I had become an addicted gambler. Today I now know most of my underlying issues and roots to why I turned to gambling addiction. Most of the above shared because I walked away from my first attempt of therapy racked with guilt and shame, I used gambling to ‘cope, numb out, hide, not feel, and get my anger out as I was enraged and destroying my life in the process.

“I wasn’t “getting back” or hurting them, I was sabotaging and hurting myself and my husband.”


20171208_171651(My nephew Mark Lake and his beautiful family)


I am happy to share that a few weeks before my mother passed away in August of 2003, I was able to call her twice a day every day until my dad moved her into nursing and rehabilitation after she became ill and off life support as she began to recoup. The family said there was no phone in her room so I could not call her anymore.

My mother and I talked about so many things before she passed. We made amends, she had apologized that she wasn’t there for me when all that was happening to me and for all of it, even my feelings around the verbal and physical abuse. She said “we were not born with a book or guide to how to raise kids.” She and my dad did their best, as she also spoke of how she was raised and learned some of it from her father.
I sure understand this still today …

Again, some points to as to why I am sharing these memories:

Many of us do have underlying pain and old haunting or issues that come from many different areas that need to be addressed. They need to be processed so we don’t use Addiction to try to cope or just try to not feel and forget. We stuff it down deep. It will at some point come back. As many are raised to know seeking out help is OK. There is nothing wrong with sharing how you feel, be it in therapy, counseling, and even in treatment, they know learning those roots and unprocessed events can help addicts be more successful maintaining recovery.

PARENTS: Be wise about how you discipline your kids. Children just want to be and need to be heard. They do want to communicate with parents without fear. I felt this way about always about the thought of talking to my own dad! You may still tell no, but please listen and talk with your kids, teens, and young adults. I feel if you don’t, if a child is being bullied, teens experimenting with drugs or alcohol, this also opens the door to what we are seeing now with too many SUICIDES.

As a trauma and child sex abuse survivor,  we have to learn it was NOT OUR FAULT that these terrible things happened to us. We need to process this and learn to forgive ourselves and begin the process of healing. We lose so much self-worth as a human being when we don’t. It could lead us to addiction, to self-medicate, and again, contemplate suicide.

For The Public: We need to come together and have more compassion and empathy for others who struggle with addictions, mental illness, and recovery. We never know one’s story. It is time to come together and learn how you can help shatter STIGMA around all the topics I shared about. Did the past pains hurt more because I had undiagnosed mental health issues which made my feelings more heightened?  Most likely. We need to help teach the public how to stop making us feel like victims filled with guilt, shame, or made to feel embarrassed or different when we disclose our feelings. Just because some are not as normal or as emotionally strong as other people, doesn’t make us different.

Well any of this sharing help stop addiction? Maybe or maybe not. But I can sure try by sharing my memories, truths, and my life story as I did in my memoir.  It is one of the ways for me to advocate and help raise awareness, help educate and hopefully to begin to shatter stigma. Thanks for taking time to read my journey and memories!



Image result for copy free images about fourth of july in sober


Image result for copy free images about fourth of july in sober


A Special “Uplifting” For Those Like Me and Many Who Struggle With Depression By My Dear Friend Author, Tony Roberts of “Delight In Disorder”…

How Does God Feel About Mental Illness?



last week, Tony began a subscriber survey that has thus far proven very fruitful. He learned more about who his readers are and what they are looking for when they visit Delight In Disorder… 

“Some of the most revealing content came from the comments provided in the “other” category. When asked what sort of posts would be most helpful, one reader replied: ”

“… how God feels about mental illness and why He allows it. I know cancer patients, for example, feel the same way, but you won’t hear anyone abandoning them. Instead they receive love, prayers, and casseroles. Living alone with a debilitating illness is so hard.”

This thoughtful response raises many profound questions. I want to carefully and prayerfully respond. Yet, please understand that I am not an expert theologian or a mental health professional. Instead, I am a believer in Christ who has lived with a mental illness for over 30 years. This doesn’t give me all the answers but helps me better understand the questions.

How does God feel about mental illness? Why does He allow it?

I feel much more confident answering the former question than the latter. The depth of God’s love for us surpasses any love we could have for each other. When we look to Jesus Christ and his feelings for us, God’s emotions are revealed. Jesus became furious at religious leaders who were excluding “imperfect” (sinners) from full participation in worship. Jesus went to outer regions to reach out to those dismissed as “demon possessed” and freed them from the captivity that caused them to be separated from the faith community. Like the Samaritan lifting the bleeding man out of the ditch and caring for him, Jesus cares for those who are hurting, both physically and emotionally.

So, why? I want to approach this more as a prayer than an accusation. Like when the prophets called on God, “How long, Lord. Will you forget me forever?” In my prayer life, I have come to understand God’s mysterious role in human suffering as something beyond my ability to understand, yet something I can fully trust. I believe God has a plan for me much greater than my mental illness in this life. As the Apostle Paul says, “for this slight momentary affliction is not worth comparing to the greater glory to come.” ( 2 Corinthians 4.17). Like a woman in the midst of agonizing labor, it is next to impossible to believe this in the moment, but when her child is born…. AMAZING!

Why don’t people respond to mental illness with love, prayers, and casseroles?

Image result for copyfree image quote about mental illness and faith

I hear this from many both within the church and beyond. Mental illness can be a life-threatening illness, given the number of deaths by suicide. It is, however, viewed by many as an annoying condition that could be overcome with self-willed faith, maybe a few extra push-ups, and good old-fashioned elbow grease. I have heard people comment that they grow weary of caring for family members and friends with chronic mental illness. It never goes away.

It doesn’t have to be this way. When I was first diagnosed, I was serving as a pastor of a small congregation in Northeast PA. I spent over six weeks in the hospital, while my wife cared for our children at home, ages 3 & 1. The church rallied to provide child care, meals, rides. It was wonderful. I was given leave for recovery time and welcomed back when I was ready. Churches can be havens of refuge, but too often we are not.

Living alone with a debilitating illness is so hard.

Amen! Damn, right it is! And, one of the debilitating factors is that our mental illness coerces us to do the very things that do us the most harm and fail to do the things that could most help. It does us no good to lie in bed for hours on end, but there are days the thought of getting up seems to us like running a 3-minute mile. It would be helpful to go out and spend some time with other people, but there are days where the fear of doing something inappropriate is just too strong.

This past year, for various reasons, I tried to live alone in an attic apartment in an unfamiliar city. On Saturdays, I visited my children. Sundays I went to church. The rest of the week I was on my own. I was not able to make new friends. I tried support groups, meet-ups, readings, dating sites. People scared me or I scared them. In this climate, I had 7 episodes that required intervention. In just 18 months.

Thanks be to God and the loving support of my family, I now have an apartment in my sister’s basement. It provides me a wonderful living space of my own yet I am not alone.

I know such spaces are hard to come by for persons with mental illness.

I pray you find yours.

Tony R.



My name is Tony Roberts. I am a Christian and I have a serious mental illness. Many of my friends who also have troubled minds wonder how it is I would hold onto faith after such an agonizing spiritual struggle with insanity.

Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ wonder how my mind can be so disturbed if I am a believer. I believe faith and medicine, prayer and pills, worship and therapy are God’s essential graces to promote healing.

So, I’m telling my story in the hope of sharing Good News with those who have unquiet minds and shattering stigma about mental illness within and beyond the faith community.

I hope you’ll join the conversation.

Tony Roberts, Author
Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission is on Amazon & Amazon Kindle

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

GodVine's photo.
In Your Past ADDICTION  . . . .

Thank Goodness for God’s Mercy & Forgiveness Right?

I usually don’t talk a lot about my “spiritual side,”  as I don’t want to offend or make my friends who visit uncomfortable. I think that needs to change. I do have feelings around this topic. Many feel a 12-Step Program is drenched in religion, or you have to belong to a church or thoughts along this line. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many also get so wrapped up in a 12-step program and think that’s all you need to recover.  That to is not true.  Each one of us come to recovery from different paths and many different addictions.  So, I feel we need to explore ALL options to be successful in long-tern recovery . . . .

Many times I thought to myself, the one thing I seemed to have been missing in my recovery, especially in early recovery was the “spiritual” side of myself.  When we first reach out for the insanity of addiction to stop, we come to seek recovery so broken and lost, when life seems very, very dark.  At least that is how it was for me.  For me, I had just come out of inpatient treatment and from an Addiction/Mental Crisis center after my 1st failed suicide attempt. So I surely was not feeling very “holy” at this time. Far from it.

I was feeling like God had turned his back on me. But that wasn’t the case at all, it was me who had turned my back on God. He would never have done that to one of his children. Many in recovery just don’t understand the love he has for all of us. If you begin to believe in his loving power over your life, you begin to learn that he was with you each step of the way. Be it within your addictions or in recovery,  he knew all before you even thought it or did it.  He see’s our path he has laid out before us.  No, it may not be perfect, or even a happy life all the time,  because we need to learn from the many trials within this path.  It is how we gain our “spiritual wisdom.”  It’s about open mind open heart as to believe in a power greater than ourselves to be restored.  My higher power just happens to be God, his son Jesus Christ, and The holy Spirit who ties us all together.


And no, I never felt I had to attend someone else’s Church, some organized religion, or listen to some pastor or priest tell me my faults and character defects.  I believe that is NOT having a real true personal relationship with God, and his Son Jesus. My relationship with him is between me and God, his son and the holy spirit. When you have faith and hope given to you by God alone, you can believe he will perform many miracles & blessings in your life, and within your recovery journey. That is a major part of how I got to where I am today.  Without believing that he could restore me, and show me a better way of life, I knew I couldn’t lose in my recovery! And it is written in the gospel . . .

See, I was actually raised Catholic, but around 20 I became disillusioned with the rituals and confession. Why do I need to go into a box with a priest on the other side  of that box to confess my sins?  I can get on my knee’s and do that as part of my personal relationship with my GOD.  To repent and ask for forgiveness of my wrong doings.  I just became more and more uncomfortable with confession.  There are many other reasons, but this was the main one for me. I needed all the help I could get as I was again, so very broken when I came into recovery. We all are. I can tell you this. . . .

God has answered all my prayers when I was begging him to just stop the addiction triggers and urges, take those away? And I will do the rest and the work to be a success in my recovery . . . .

As we all know, God has his own time clock, and most times doesn’t always match ours! LOL.  It’s why many say, “in Gods time not ours.” So true, but still? He did hold up his end of the bargain.  He did take away the triggers and urges from me, as I began doing the my part of the work in my recovery.  He won’t ever let you down, it’s just in his time, not yours . . .


So? How is your relationship with your Higher Power?


    $5.99 to buy

God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate XO

“How Many Times Have I Heard ~ In Gods Time Not Ours? Let Me Count Them”. . .

AMEN! Welcome All Recovery Friends & Hello New Visitors,

Many of us in recovery, and especially in early recovery, we get to thinking that once we stop our addiction, and finally surrender all to our higher power that he just isn’t listening to us. We feel we are doing our part to not gamble, so why isn’t he doing his part by bringing me the blessings in recovery?

Well I’m here to tell you that it just doesn’t work that way. We need to learn patients, it sure is what I have learned about this topic in my own 8 year and 6 month recovery journey. We are always looking for a quick fix, or we WANT things right now! But our higher power has his own time clock, and spreads those blessings out while you’re doing the appropriate recovery work that will make you live a better life in your recovery. And my journey is an example of that.

I remember being on my knees begging my HP to just PLEASE help with taking the Urges and Triggers away so I could at least get a foothold in my early recovery. It took a while, but prayer answered! I can not tell you all the wonderful things that has happened to me in recovery, and being blessed by my HP, who I call God and his son Jesus Christ. My current book was ALL GODS intervention! I wasn’t actually writing a book when I wrote 5 hand written notebooks of all I had been through with my gambling addiction.  And toward the end of my addiction I was drinking alcohol to excess.

I start my book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat” due to an article I read about a woman who shot herself while on a bad gambling relapse at a casino hotel. Another loss of precious life due to addicted gambling! It made me want to see all that I had been through, and all that was taken from me by my own addiction on paper. It was time for me to really SEE IT!

That was late 2010, and most of 2011 I was writing what gambling had done to my life. It was about 3 1/2 years into my recovery. The rest was all Gods Intervention from there. And on 50th birthday in 2012 I became a first time author. BIG Blessing #1.

And then? The flood gates opened to so many blessings from that point, I really honestly can not count all the blessings I have received. But I can tell you this much? I have a heart of gratitude each day. And I still can not believe the Miracles God has performed in life. Because 8 1/2 years ago I was a so broken and damaged laying in a hospital bed, then back over to an addiction/mental health crisis center for the second time from another failed suicide attempt.

Then I look at my life today? Wow!, is about all I can say. Now not to get off topic or anything, but I was watching a CNN 2 hour Special last night about Jim Jones and the story about Jonestown and the tragedy that took place there with 900 people poisoned due to the following of a man who turned out to think he was doing GODS work. So CNN talked with some who survived this awful event. When asked if they were still involved in a Church, or believed in God. Many all had similar answers to those questions. Many said they believe in God, and Jesus Christ, but they felt they didn’t need to belong to a church or be a part of any one organized religion. That they all were ‘spiritual’ people, and they have a personal relationship with God.

And you know what? I got it! I understood what they meant. I believe somewhere in the gospel it says, “when one or two come together in his name, that is a church.” You can be at home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere and talk about God, and all the wonderful blessings he gives in our lives. That to me is also spreading the word of the ‘gospel.’  That’s just my own personal opinions. But it is one of the areas in recovery that comes back alive when “you believe in a power greater than ourselves.”

Recovery from addicted compulsive gambling can be done! You just have to believe in yourself, and in your HP. We have to always keep those feelings on hopelessness, feeling empty, lost, escaping, and so much more we used gambling addiction to numb out all feelings from what ever your personal underlying issues are for using gambling for. Yes we can recover to without knowing why we turned to addicted gambling, but many of us learn some of the WHY’S in treatment and therapy. And that’s ok too. We come into recovery so broken and spiritually drained, because we have no self-worth within ourselves. Gambling stripped us naked of that during the worst of our addiction.

But with the many blessings you will receive in your recovery journey? It will out weigh all of that! So just keep hold of your recovery, and let GOD do the rest with the many blessings coming your way! Just be patient  .  .  .  .

God Bless All!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

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My Recovery Thought Of The Day ~Take That Damn Happy Mask Off At The Door!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers!


. The President Of America, The Holy Pope, and some other guy! My Point Made…

Thanks to my good recovery pal *Dave J* who is always sending me funny stuff to use along with my recovery posts!
But I think you get the idea from the picture above.  You can’t convince me that the ‘POPE’ really isn’t thinking that, but he puts on a brave face to make it look like he is enjoying this visit.

Well many times as I sit in a’ Gamblers Anonymous’ meeting, and I look around the room and see all these people with plastic ‘Smiles’ on their faces, when I know inside, some of these people in my meeting have just gambled away their rent money, mortgage payment, or even their whole PAYCHECK! But in our addiction, our diseased mind makes us put this ‘HAPPY MASK’ on to make it look like were just fine…

How many of you know what I’m talking about? We hide the turmoil and the rage we have going on inside us, the head spinning with all the ‘cycle’ garbage of hiding, lie, and sneaking of what we have done, the money spent and wasted because we where chasing our gambling loss, or some life disappointment came along and triggered us with anger that we used the excuse to go gamble to blow off some steam.  Am I hitting close to home yet?  We all have done it many times.  But here’s the catch, “Your NOT Fooling Anybody”!  WHY?  Because like myself, those of us who have long-term recovery can pick up on that mask you’re wearing as soon as you open your mouth to share.

Those of us who made the commitment to turn our lives over to a power greater than ourselves,  who took  STEP ONE to heart as we admitted to ourselves and to another that ‘Gambling Addiction & Alcohol’  had us whooped, we then begin our journey with hard work, working the steps, going to meetings, meeting other recovering gamblers and alcoholics, sharing unity and fellowship within the ‘rooms’, getting a sponsor, and making a good, early in recovery Relapse Prevention Guide!  We learned in treatment, rehab, or where ever you chose to go get your life back from addiction, and learned how to use tools and skills to become healthy and happy again.  Free from the bonds of addiction.|

That’s how you just get started! We need to stay diligent, and not get complacent in our recovery. Because I can tell you, that ‘Happy Fake Mask’ is only going to work for you for a short time. People can see through it.  Don’t wait until you get yourself in a crisis. Because when crisis hits?  There is only one option,  DEATH, and you are worth way more than that option!

We also have to learn to walk through all our fears of the unknown, as it’s OK to not know what will come tomorrow. As addicts we want everything ‘Right Now’, but I can tell you recovery won’t happen that way. Your going to really learn the meaning of having patients, and that’s where your Higher Power is going to be of most help to you.  Your going to go through feelings and emotions that will come out of no where, and all kinds,  but it’s OK. You need to do this in order to become stronger, not hide behind that damn mask anymore, and know it’s ok to have those up and down feelings. How long have you been escaping those hurts, pains, life disappointments, and using gambling,  drinking, drugs until you feel nothing but blackness?

HOW LONG?  Well, then it may take even longer to go through that wall of fear and unknown,  but YOU will be better for it in the long run.  So come on and take that dumb,  funny, and ridiculous ‘ FAKE HAPPY MASK OFF, and go fight to get your life back from addiction!  Your Worth It,  You Deserve It,  YOU GOT THIS! ODAAT…


Happiness And Blessings,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Today Is Double Guest Blog Post Thursday! Meet A Few Of My New Recovery Friends…

Welcome & Thanks For Visiting Today,


You all are in for an awesome treat as I have TWO Special Guests for ‘Double Guest Thursday”!

My first blog ‘Guest Spotlight’ is a new friend I met on Twitter recently. She does amazing work to help others! We have a little in common as she helps teach, and mentor parents, single moms, and many more. She has had a rough childhood like many of us out here, and she is determined to help be the “Solution & Break The Cycle”….
Many were raised to not speak of family problems outside our homes. Loads of deep, dark family secrets can destroy families, and not to mention the impact it has on the children.  It’s what happened to me. Some of us use addictions, or many other unhealthy habits and behaviors we learn from an unhealthy family dynamic, addiction, or other things that we need to change and interrupt so it’s not passed down to the next generation of our families. That’s just the tip of the iceberg that my caring friend ‘Athena Morberg’ tries to accomplish in a safe and caring enviroment. Her is a more about her, and how she helps others…


Athena-Moberg-2014-I-am-here-to-support-you .


About Athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”



Hi I’m Athena!
I am an aspiring entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other single moms get FREE from limiting beliefs so they can build a business and life they enjoy while spending more time with their children.
I was a single mom for 17 years and I struggled almost every step of the way.
Back in the 90′s when I was a teenager raising my son, I didn’t have a CLUE and I definitely didn’t receive a lot of family support.
Looking back, I remember a couple of things very vividly:
1) I didn’t have the best example set for me through my immediate family {multiple divorces, drugs, alcohol, ongoing abuse in many areas, neglect, multiple step parents, etc…}
2) I was determined to break the cycle for my child someday!  
I also knew I lacked the valuable-life-changing resources I needed to be a great role model for my son… and that overwhelmed me… literally almost every day. {really}

Fast forward and here I am with my very own website, podcast & internet radio show.  I mean…really?   {pinch me}
If I could talk to the 19-year-old Athena right now, I would tell her a lot of things…
Mostly, it would be on the topics of parenting, having faith, {those not-often-talked-about struggles in life} and I would definitely mention business, now that I have been in it for 21 years.  
I would say, “Athena, build a business for yourself – sooner rather than later…  now rather than years from now.”
“Find what you’re passionate about and find a way to do that. It will be a great example. And whatever you do…don’t give up!“.
Since I have been doing this for a couple of decades now, I have made thousands of mistakes, maybe more. The best part?  I am so happy to be able to share my 21 years of first-hand knowledge and experience with YOU: a fellow traveler… a mom just like me.  A powerful, amazing woman with the capacity to love greatly and make a huge impact in the life of your child.   Yes, you.    “But Athena, you don’t understand my upbringing… I’m not equipped to be amazing…”    Yes.  You.  Are.   It doesn’t matter if you had dysfunction and poor role models growing up.  It doesn’t matter if you had no role model. The level of dysfunction you experienced in your life is insignificant at this moment.  {Believe me, if you wanna talk about dysfunction and ridiculousness I could make your head spin…we could probably share stories for days.}  
What matters in NOW.  Right now.  You have taken the first step to secure that your child gets the life he or she deserves, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this website right now reading about how I can help you.  You have made a conscious choice to break the cycle and raise an incredible man or woman.  Good job mom! 
That is why I am here.  That is why I exist.  That is my purpose!  I am so passionate about helping YOU with your journey and I can’t wait to see a difference in your life and in the life of your child.  I finally found a way to do this for a living and I count my blessings more times than I can mention.
I consider it a privilege to work with single moms just like you. I want to stand beside you as you overcome your past struggles, hurts and disappointments.  I will be with you when you become the most amazing role model you can be.  The role model you were created to be.

Oh, by the way, I get it… you’re not really here for you… in fact you rarely do anything for  “you” , am I right?  You’re here for your kids.  I get it.  Been there.  And I also want you to know – that is more than ok, in fact it is fantastic!  I am so proud of you.  You are here because they deserve a chance.  Perhaps a chance that you were never given.  A chance at a healthy life and a bright future. Bravo mom!  This is a turning point for you, this is where your journey gets good.

*Here is a little more from her clients she has helped in changing lives*

what others are saying about athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”


“Athena’s obvious passion is encouraging single moms by helping them overcome their circumstances & build healthy, abundant lives for themselves and their families.”

 “I plan to continue with Athena, as I know she will be a large part of making my dreams come true.”

 “Athena’s enthusiastic and honest style puts me at ease every time I connect with her.”

I know for a fact, without Athena’s help in the beginning, I would not be where I am today.”

Athena’s energy, excitement, and ideas spurred me along”!

Athena is so encouraging.”

I always feel like Athena understands the vision I have for my life and my business. I have the utmost confidence that when she says she will do something, it will be done with perfection.”

As a business and personal development coach, Athena is improving our local economy, one business at a time.”

“Athena’s honest observation of my situation truly was spot on. Since our session, I’ve prayed wholeheartedly for God’s direction in my work life and my personal life.  For too long now, I’ve been stuck in a rut, with no knowledge or courage to get out.  Things are now starting to move and change.  I know life is going to pick up as I start being more aware of the opportunities that are coming my way!”

In life we always need to remember it’s not about ‘Perfection,’ it’s about being a ‘Work In Progress’! So I encourage you to visit her helpful website if you have had a hard childhood, trauma, or just need help being a better parent, single or not. If your past trauma is knocking on your door? Then go see how Athena can help. I myself am a childhood sex abuse survivor, and went through things no little girl should ever go through by two family friends of my fathers. And it did come back to haunt me in my late 30’s through my mid 40’s.
I wish I had known proper ways to process all of it when it did come back and bothered me. I got  tangled into an addicted gambling addiction and alcohol to try to ‘escape’ all those horrible memories. I used them both to cope, and that led to 2 failed attempted suicides. I felt it was MY fault for what happened to me some how. Not knowing any better that it wasn’t. My point is that we need to get help and process what we have been through in a healthy way. It’s why I share my story, and to let others have a voice, and know they are HEARD! I feel Athena does this a well through her helpful website!


SUCCESS: you will never-ever forget this feeling

I have successfully transformed my parenting style and my lifestyle by focusing on the foundational principles I’ve learned in the bible. I have developed a specific method for my mentoring and coaching which focuses on 5 specific areas. I call it The ALOHA Method. Not because I live in Hawaii : ) ALOHA is an acronym for 5 areas of your parenting journey. It is powerful when implemented and has forever changed the lives of many parents & children. 
The lives of single mothers and their children have literally been transformed. Really.
I have not always lived this blessed-abundant life in Hawaii; my childhood and upbringing could make your head spin… To say I have an “underdog to overcomer” story would be an understatement. 
My testimony has encouraged thousands of women and given them hope during times of great discouragement and I am ready to encourage you….
Your can find, and connect with Athena Moberg on her website and these other wonderful links!   Google+   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  and  Facebook ….

My next guest is an interactive site all about ‘Shattering The Stigma About Addictions’ and raising awareness that ‘Addiction Is A Real Disease!
We all know that stigma around those of us in recovery is still out there! So I wanted to help and share this important message from my new friends of, ‘The Truth About Addiction”
That addictions of all kinds are NOT a personal choice, but real diseases. Here is a little more about my recovery friends, and how you can help by  “Signing The Wall.”

About and Contact Info

The truth about addiction is a community created to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism.

TTAA  is a community of people united to show the world that addiction is a disease. When we speak of addiction, we refer to anyone who was or is addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, gambling, shopping, love, sex, etc. Our sole purpose is to end the addiction stigma. We do not speak for any organization, diagnose or treat any illness, or recommend any treatment program. The truth is, addiction is a disease, not a choice or a crime. It’s a chronic, fatal illness affecting more than 23 million Americans. We stand together in peace and serenity, united in the knowledge that we suffer from a disease.

For more information, please email

Sign the Wall to End the Stigma

Please join our mission to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism. Our goal is to have one million people sign our wall. Together we can show others that we are suffering from a disease, not a choice or a crime.

To participate, please fill out the contact form below or email your name and location and you will be added to our wall.

Addiction is a Disease

No matter what it is you’re addicted to – drugs, alcohol, food, etc. – you are suffering from a disease, not something to be ashamed of!

  • Addiction is a chronic illness that is fatal if left untreated.
  • No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic when they grow up.
  • It’s not a choice. It’s a disease.
  • Drugs and alcohol (or food, money, relationships, etc.) are solutions to the problem, not the problem. They are what we use to ease the symptoms of our disease.
  • Addiction begins long before drug and alcohol use.
Want to submit your thoughts? Email
*SO PLEASE, if you our you know someone who has been touched by ADDICTION, then please visit their website today and SIGN THE WALL in that persons HONOR.*
Together we can save & change lives one signature at a time!
I want to THANK both “Athena Moberg & The Truth About Addiction” for letting me ‘Share’ them with all of you today!
I’m a firm believer that we can’t have too much information and help at our disposal to guide us through a beautiful Life!
And since I have daily challenges being in recovery for a bit over 7yrs, living with mental illness, and learned to work through my own childhood traumatic past,I will continue to share my progress so others may know the is always  HOPE* with a little faith on the other side of despair…

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon




*Happy Caturday* ~~ “Recovery Ramblins Is Back On Cyberspace” In Our New Home!

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

I know this will be a bit Cheeezy, but as my “FAV” WWE Wrestler Pal “THE ROCK” says, “FINALLY~~”Recovery Ramblins has come BACK to Cyberspace”! Well at least he IS easy on the EYES to look at!…..AM I RIGHT LADIES??…..LOL…

File:Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg - Wikipedia ...                                 

My hubby and I are in our New home, the move went *Smooth*…..and I have to tell you how wonderful people have been here to us, and  to ME in ARIZONA! What I mean by this is, even though I’m KEENLY AWARE that I only have one published book out, and don’t really consider myself an established writer, I happened to bring some copies of my paperback with me, and almost every person I have come in contact with has wanted to BUY a copy from ME! The cable guy, the power guy who came to turn on my electric services, the woman who is manager her at the Apt complex, even the lady at “Sears” who sold us our new bed, and MORE!

So it’s now time to put all the *Drama* behind us! It’s a New Day!, with new goals and many blessings abound. My heart is filled with “Gratitude, Luv, Thankfulness, and  positive Possibilities!
This is what you receive in a Beautiful Life in Recovery…

Photo via DeviantArt by ChimereOkorieMba is Very true!

I’m grateful to all who take time out of your day, to stop by my “Little Recovery Blog” here to share your “Thoughts & Feelings” with me.  It means SO MUCH to me to know that I can help share my “Message” of *HOPE* with you, and to help others learn about “Addicted Compulsive Gambling,” the disease, and recovery. Also to share my life a little with you as to my “Daily Life Challenges” of living in recovery with Mental & Emotional illness & disorders as well.

At times, daily living can be difficult in recovery & dealing with mental health illness, but the support of all my friends here, my recovery friends, follow friends, and even all the New Visitors & seekers,  you help ME each day to have a “LIFE” worth “LIVING”! As I come upon my 7 year recovery birthday on, Jan 29th, 2014……I look back to where I was 7 years ago and think, WOW, God truly “Can & Does” still perform *MIRACLES* people!

So as my GOOD recovery friend “Sandy Swenson” says,…..”I carried around this BREW of  lies and fears until I started to WRITE”……”Only then did I start to “Let Go”!! “I was doing and saying the same things over and over”….”Nothing is going to change unless I MADE THE CHANGE,” The only thing I can change IS ME”!

That is true in my life experiences, and in my recovery from Compulsive Gambling. I learned in “Gamblers Anonymous” that I CAN NOT CHANGE…..”People, Places, or THINGS”…….only I can change ME.

That’s very simply put. When I learned to LET GO and LET GOD, only then did my life begin to change for the better. God won’t FORCE the change or path, he simply just puts it in FRONT of you. If your HEART IS OPEN, and your EARS & HEART can hear him, you’ll KNOW which path to take! God is never forceful, he is a truly “Kind and Spiritual” being. I’ve always believed he brings others in our lives, be it short or long-term, at the right moments in time for a reason. Either to help us, or challenge, he brings others to us for a purpose.

It wasn’t until I was on the “Edge of Darkness” that he saved me from my OWN stubborn ways of thinking I HAD CONTROL of my life. But as my failed attempts to leave this world behind me, GOD had other plans for this “Broken Down” SOUL. It wasn’t until then, that I was on my KNEES calling upon him for HELP &  Salvation! Not only did he SAVE me from my OWN death, he gave me, & SHOWED ME my Purpose in Life!

To help those who may not be able to help themselves from addicted gambling, and ALL types of addictions. To give *HOPE* to others. I WILL truly believe this until my last “BREATH” on this earth, and be told by “GOD” himself , if I was able to fulfill the purpose he had given me for my time here in this world…..

**GO ahead…..take a BITE out of LIFE!! **

So, TODAY I say,….”Go ahead and take a BIG BITE” out of LIFE! And now that it’s Fall, it TRULY is time to “Turn Over a New Leaf, & to Live & Love” all the blessings that are given to US each and everyday! I’m a very blessed woman because of ALL of my friends here who SUPPORT me in all ‘I DO” in Recovery, as well as being a Writer, Published Author, & Blogger, & Sponsor to others in recovery, For all this, I say,….*THANK YOU*!!

May God Bless you and yours!,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
of  “Addicted To Dimes”

“Trayvon’s Mother, “A Lesson Learned”….Our GOD works through US to make Positive Changes in the World


Speaking at the National Urban League’s conference in Philadelphia, Sybrina Fulton says, “Please use my story. Please use my tragedy to say to yourself we cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child.”

Matt Rourke / AP

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, holds up a card with a photo of her son as she speaks at the National Urban League’s annual conference, on July 26, in Philadelphia……..

**This is TRULY a video that needs to be WATCHED by all. We should take the advice of Trayvon’s mother in this video:  She had stated that GOD was using her to MAKE a Difference!  I MYSELF believe that to be true…….Since being in Recovery, I to feel the same way as Trayvon’s mom, SYBRINA. I to know that my Higher Power, using ME, and working THROUGH ME to be able to help others still suffering Heart break, Shame, Guilt, and carry those *Feelings* of,  NO WAY OUT from any type of addiction.

It is why I wrote my book…..I know….I sound like a broken record at times, but I got the call to write my story from *FEELINGS*……feelings over reading another Story of a woman who also didn’t know how to stop her Gambling addiction, a newspaper article, and she WAS successful in killing herself over ADDICTION!! IT BROKE MY HEART as I read it. I felt her PAIN, and the Emptiness, the black-hole that seems to suck us down deeper and deeper…….

Into the world of *HOPELESSNESS* VOID, Blackness. Your mind can not hear, your eyes do not comprehend what is happening to yourself, and you look in the Mirror….you see nothing! That is how I felt. I was worth nothing, I became a Liar, Thief, Selfish, Criminal, a Shell of JUST another body. The pain, and ugliness I felt about myself. I was riddled with so much guilt, shame, and my thoughts and thinking became diseased with blackness, dark, hurtful. I’d cut on myself, which was just a precursor to wanting to slit my wrists and leave this world.

But, even after 2 hospital stays, 2 entries in a Addictions/Mental Crisis center, what is the MOST unbelievable to me, even TODAY….is my Loving HUSBAND!! He stayed with me the whole time, never gave up on me, and either did my *Higher Power*~~GOD……Yes, from where I was….GOD DOES STILL PERFORM *MIRACLES* People!!  I’m ONE!!

Now that I got a bit off track…..your wondering what this has to do with Trayvon’s Mother??

It has to do with listening to Trayvon’s mothers WORDS in this video. SHE SPEAKS from the Heart, and it is TRUTH and EXPERIENCE that she is speaking OF. We ALL have that tiny whisper of a voice from the Lord that keeps telling us Daily……Please, just Open your Hearts to him, and he will then open your EYES and Your Ears in acceptance of him. Because THROUGH HIM all things in Life are Possible and Blessings Abound!!

Have you heard him whisper in your ear today?? Did he talk to your heart??  Trayvon’s mom must have heard him a long time ago,  and she lets the lord work through her as she said, and will ENDURE everything she has been through with her son’s death. THAT is just ONE of the many Blessings bestowed upon us when we let god work his Magic In & Through our lives……….



God Bless My Friends,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon