Just Some Gambling Recovery Updates~March Is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Welcome Recovery Friends And New Friends!

I thought I’d come share a few goings on with all of my recovery friends, and share a little of my past experiences of my own of addicted gambling….

I first have some exciting news to share! I have been invited by Award Winning Author, and Political Historian, CL Gammon to be his “Guest Author” on his radio show. It will take place here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/clgammon  on Saturday March 22nd 2014….6pm ET and 3pm PT. So please mark your calendars to join in the discussion. Will be talking about my current book, “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat) and about recovery from addicted compulsive gambling.

It will also be live stream podcast so you can Twitter questions & comments @clgammon and from his Facebook page too! http://www.facebook.com/cl.gammon.3   Or call in your questions here at (1-347-989-8948 ) My last radio show on “The Dr. Paolo Lake Show” of BC Canada was a huge surprise for me as we had many of my readers who called in to ask many questions. It’s really a lot of fun to speak, and get to hear all my wonderful recovery supporters! I look forward to hearing from you!

Many of us in recovery from addicted gambling, even long-term people like myself, are taught through “Gamblers Anonymous & Treatment Group,” that we can recover from this destructive and cunning disease without knowing the reasons how or why we crossed the line into uncontrolled addicted gambling. Well, for myself, I remember very clearly how I got started, or lets say “introduced” to a particular video poker game that had a LOT to do with me becoming hooked. I share it in my book.

It was back in 1996, right after we bought our very first and only home. My best friend Deb also came for a visit with my parents to So. Oregon. She feel in love with the area like I had, way back in 1987. So Jan of 1997 she moved up from So. Cal and moved in with my hubby and I until she got her own place. It was at this time my hubby was still in the construction trade, and most all the work he was doing for a contractor in town was out-of-town work. So he was gone a lot. My friend and I would go to this little Deli for lunch on Saturdays.

It was also around this time that the State Lottery of Oregon had introduced video poker machines in many places like Bars, Taverns, Eating places that served food & beverages, so they could have up to 6 machines in their business. So one day went to our usual place for lunch. I would play Keno while we ate. There seemed to be this little group of retired elderly guys that seemed to be there each time we went there for lunch. So we would chat with them. But one day was a little different. I went on the other side of the room where I watched one the guys on one of the video poker machines. He was winning lots of money on a game called, “Flush Fever”…..

We talked a bit, and I asked how much money did he start with to win what he accumulated in credits on hos machine he was playing. He had it up to $162.00. He said he put a $10 bill in and the machine just started paying. SO,….like a dumb, dumb, I sat on the open machine next to him and put in a $5 bill. He started to explain how the game worked, and before I knew it, I had turned MY $5 bucks into $80!
I thought to myself, “Wow! that was easy money”! So I cashed my ticket and went back to my machine and put a $10 dollar bill. I bumped my bet a little and I started winning again. Then the elderly man was done playing, cashed out his winnings and went to get his money from the cashier. I was still doing good on my game when the man can over and watched a moment.

Then something happened, the man leaned over and said in my ear something I NEVER FORGOT,……he said to me, “Cat, when your ahead with the lotteries money, always cash out and leave her with THIER MONEY, because I’d feel really bad if you got hooked on these machines.” You know, after that day, I never saw that man again. He’ll never know all the HELL I went through with addicted compulsive gambling. I not got HOOKED!, put it was a slow progression. But it did really almost killed me by 2002. That was the first time I attempted suicide, and was in a Mental Health & Addictions Crisis Center for 15 days via the hospital. Yup, I never did see that man again. And of course I don’t blame him any for showing me those video poker machines and games. I pretty sure I’d have gotten there all on my own.

When I started to journal in my early recovery, I remember writing about that day. It was the first thing I wrote about in my journals. Back then I thought to myself if that day, that man showing me the machines, and that game had any impact to how far gone I got in my addiction. No, not really. Because I started using gambling for all the wrong reasons. It was my “Escape” to cope with my past childhood trauma, life stress, and much more. I was the one who crossed that line, and all the poor choice’s I made when still deep in my addiction. Part of any addiction is how the cycle builds, and progress’s. The more you choose to continue the same thing over, and over expecting a different result, I just kept on loosing. Kept on chasing my loss and chasing the win all at the same time.

That was a long time ago. And sometimes our bottom really isn’t a bottom at all. Because even though I was not actively gambling, the past monetary damage I caused, and the poor habits & behaviors we learn in our addiction, I still got into legal trouble by stealing money from another person because of lack of money. If we don’t fully learn to change healthy ways to change those, we can still have problem when we panic and use them as coping skills or a quick fix to problems and financial pressures that still come along in recovery. Yes, I learned that Lesson the hard way with an arrest and charges pressed against. That was in 2006, and from all the unknown and stress, I ended up in Mental Health Crisis, I stopped taking my bipolar meds too! And I attempted a second suicide. Back to the damn hospital I went, and another 15 day stint in the crisis center. So Gambling Addiction with Mental illness had me at my last wits end!
That is when I started my long-term recovery. I did the Gamblers Anonymous 90 meetings in 90 days. I finally started my 12-Step program, and I met with and worked with a Addictions/Mental Crisis psychiatrist for a whole year, and thank goodness I did as I went through the criminal court/legal case.
I don’t think I’d be here today with out his help. I worked very hard in that year with him. I actually learned more in that one year then I did in treatment and out-patient therapy. With a little help and intervention from my Higher Power too! (God)….

My HP kept telling me that I was not finished here, that I had not served his Purpose for him putting me here on the earth. But today, I know my Life Purpose. It’s to help others who are still lost within that cunning cycle of gambling addiction. It’s what I try to do each day through my current book, and both my blogs. “To Share A Message Of Hope” to others who feel as lost and dark as I was back then. I feel like I come a LONG WAY BABY! Keep in your heart that “God” does still perform “Miracles”…….That’s what recovery is when we find it, A MIRACLE!
“I want people to understand, gambling is not a bad thing if you do IT within the framework of what it’s meant to be, which is for “Fun & Entertainment”…..
“Michael Jordan ~ Former NBA Star”

God Bless All,
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat) My Story…



This Week It’s All About Addicted Compulsive Gambling, The Disease & Caring People….

Hello Recovery Friends, Followers, & New Seekers,…

Photo: I cried the first time I read this, it was at my Uncle's funeral. I stood on the stage beside the pastor reading from the bible. It was a favorite passage of his and it was about love. Unconditional love. The type of love I'd never experienced or given. I couldn't fathom a love without conditions, or hurting words, or jealousy, or control.Today unconditional love is what I want to give. I need to lean on my higher power, because those of us clothed in human flesh often make mistakes. I don't love unconditionally all the time .... but I'm trying.



<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11056361/?claim=dp2ry9z5gp5″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

*There is a VERY SPECIAL reason why I shared these ABOVE, when I talk about an Awesome and Wonderful friend of mine. She not only is a Recovering Addicted Gambler like myself, But she has done a lot for women who have reached out for HELP & HOPE from this Cunning Disease! And it is why I want to Share with ALL of you WHO she IS, & WHAT she does for others.*

This week I’m also sticking to my Grass-Roots sharing of insights, Info, Tips, and Opinions on Recovery from Addicted Compulsive Gambling. Jan 29th, 2007….I will CELEBRATE 7 years in recovery from this Cunning, Progressive disease. And without all my Recovery friends and Supporters, I will not have made it without them!
Please meet my good friend….


Author, Marilyn Lancelot  http://www.GrippedByGambling.com
Here is more of who she is and what she does, her book, and a couple of Book Reviews as well….


Bookmark and Share

Gripped by Gambling   mslancelot@cox.net

Click on:  YouTube Video   for a glimpse into the addiction.  Also available in Kindle edition.

One weekend on my way home from work, the numbers on my odometer read 77,776.7 miles. Because the driveway to my house was circular, I could drive around until the odometer reached all 7’s. With each trip around the yard, the odometer added one tenth of a mile. With my heart pounding, I raced around the circle, spinning gravel into the air while my grand-kids waved from the front porch..When the odometer reached the magic number and rolled over to six sevens, I slammed on the brakes and ran into the house screaming, “Tommie, come quick and see what happened . . . there’s six sevens on the odometer, three for you and three for me.” I twirled around the kitchen and yelling, “Let’s hit the road! Right now!” Anything with seven in it was good luck, street signs, license plates, billboards and even adding page numbers in a book. But this sign was special because it had six of the lucky numbers….
Even as I drove down the streets in Yuma, I watched for cars with license plates with sevens in them, or if all the numbers in the license plate added up to a seven, it meant good luck. Or if there was a twenty-one in the number, I could divide it by three and then I had three sevens. I believed in lucky jewelry, especially my crystals and lucky clothes, like my red blouse…
If you wish to read the Women Helping Women Newsletter, the new link
is:  www.femalegamblers.info.    grippedbygambling.com/qualification.htm

*Marilyn has done some Generous work in many & most Arizona State *Women’s Prisons* & Women’s Correctional Institutes to bring Relief for women who are addicted gamblers serving time. Marilyn was successful in starting *Gamblers Anonymous Meetings* for these women to find Recovery while being incarcerated.*

( http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/  )..


*Her book “Gripped by Gambling” is also HER PERSONAL STORY of addicted compulsive gambling. On her website above, you can really get a look and get INSIGHT as how Women Gamble for many different reasons than Men. What this woman endured is an INSPIRATION to many of us! Here is my Review on her book, “Gripped by Gambling”*

*MY REVIEW ~~ By, Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon*…


I have to say the I was captivated by the info on this authors book to begin with. It said how a woman, in front of her family and grand kids had police and Federal police came to her home and took her away in hand cuffs!! WELL, that was all I needed to want to read her True Story and experience of late in Life and finding yourself in the middle of a full blown Compulsive Addicted Gambling Addiction! She shares her time and experience in Prison, and how NOW she helps many other women still in Prison, and they have Gamblers Anonymous meetings to help them all through the State of Arizona!..

This book is not ONLY a must read for others touched by Gambling Addiction, but for the Insights it holds about the Disease that the Public needs to be aware of!

Great Job Marilyn, and THANK YOU for your Friendship and Recovery Support! xxoo *Catherine*

Now here is one more REVIEW by I feel,  a Professional who understands about Addicted Compulsive Gambling from Amazon.com/books….

Don’s review is for: Gripped by Gambling (Paperback)….

A review by Don Hulen:

Finally! A book about a woman compulsive gambler, an Escape Gambler. Thank you Marilyn. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and that person is a woman or just plays slot machines you need to read this book. It is real. When I finally got a copy I read it from beginning to end. I am ADHD, and that is the first time in probably 30 years I have done that.

It isn’t about flipping coins when you were seven or eight, betting on the ponies, playing dice or the numbers. It isn’t about craps, poker or blackjack. Its a book about a woman who couldn’t stop gambling. I will say it again, couldn’t stop gambling. Every counselor who treats or pretends to treat Escape Compulsive gambling should read this book and have a copy in their library for required reading by patients. I have read many of the books written by problem/compulsive gamblers. I have read many of the articles written about problem gamblers…

The majority are about men who gambled huge amounts and seem to glorify their gambling. Marilyn has written about the pain, the real pain she caused her children, her grandchildren her lover and her sister, her victim as well as herself. Witting about these experiences while pointing the finger directly at yourself is a very difficult thing to do. I know, I can’t seem to do it.

I was there in the court room when they slapped the handcuffs on her and took her to prison while her children and grandchildren were crying. I was there when her boyfriend died. I was there when her son died. I was there when her grandson who is now in prison was the lead story on the news. I was there when her daughter finally got straight. I was there when she started a meeting for women (despite adverse consequences). I was there when some of us didn’t really accept women into our program but she insisted on coming and changed our program forever.

Its been over sixteen years since I met Marilyn, I thought I knew something about women gamblers, I didn’t know anything until I read her book….

Don Hulen, Executive Director, Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling

*I THANK you all for taking time out of your day to Stop By my *Little Recovery Blog*
And I look forward to your continued *Recovery Support* for ME and My Friends! *

Warm Regards,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon