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

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

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


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

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

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

Holidays can be challenging for those in recovery

Maintaining Recovery And Enjoy During the Holidays...

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

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

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

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

2.) You now have freedom from your past as we would use drugs, drink, or gamble to “Escape or Cope” from our past. Maybe you were abused as a child or suffered other traumas like I did. Perhaps you did things you swore you‚Äôd never do or tell anybody. Remember all the people you hurt? Once you commit to recovery, the horrors of the past lose their grip. And they don‚Äôt have to be the things that determine who you are now.

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

Be Your Best Holiday Self!

4.) It’s Ok to “NO” you don‚Äôt have to ‚Äúpeople please‚ÄĚ anymore. In sobriety you learn to use the word ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ and it will become your best friend. You don‚Äôt have to act because you feel pressured, anxious, or nervous. Instead, you can pause when you‚Äôre unsure, ask for guidance if you need to, and be able to say “NO” without any guilt. We know recovery boundaries are keys to our insanity too…Lol.

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

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

clumsy crafty happy | Patience quotes, Emerson quotes, Words

And lastly,

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

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

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

Navigating the Holidays - The Looking Glass Foundation

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

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

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

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon


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‚Äôt 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 + 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

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

“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:¬† http://nbcnews.to/13iX7IL¬† 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, GOD..is 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