Reminder: This Blog Was “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here” and Now? “Bet Free Recovery Now”…Same Blog, Different Name and Link Address.

Reminder: This Blog Was “Gambling Recovery Can Start Here” and Now? “Bet Free Recovery Now”…Same Blog, Different Name and Link Address.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors!

Just as a reminder that my Recovery Blog is the same site and blog!

I just had to change the name as to change my link address to a new one due to having publishing issues with FACEBOOK with my posts … I’d been automatically posting for over 7-years and since they change their Community Policies and RULES CONSTANTLY, my posts were being not accepted.

SO: MY Old Link was


Even though I have added the NEW BLOG ADDRESS into SEO, my visits are low …Please share this on your recovery blog so we can let everyone know I AM STILL HERE! LOL.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
Advocate of Gambling Recovery
Writer & Columnist “Keys To Recovery


OK, Somebody Has To Do It . . . “Happy, Happy 6-YEAR Anniversary Recovery Blogging To ME!” Can Not Believe How Fast Time Can Fly When Advocating Recovery on WordPress!

OK, Somebody Has To Do It . . . “Happy, Happy 6-YEAR Anniversary Recovery Blogging To ME!” Can Not Believe How Fast Time Can Fly When Advocating Recovery on WordPress!


I NEED to THANK Each and Every One of my Recovery Friends, Supporters, and ALL NEW Visitors for helping make my BLOG a SUCCESS as it MEANINGFUL!

I also HOPE Helpful n able to Inform, Educate, & SHARE a Message of HOPE from Gambling Addiction and ALL ADDICTIONS!

We Deserve and ARE Worthy of Second Chances, WHY? Because RECOVERY WORKS and RECOVERY Is POSSIBLE~Catherine Lyon, Advocate




6 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with!

You registered on 6 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us.

Keep up the good recovery blogging.





“Best Day EVER Meeting This Former NFL Pro now Recovery Advocate. #NFLCares

For My New Recovery Followers. An Intro ~ Thanks for the 500 Follows!

For My New Recovery Followers. An Intro ~ Thanks for the 500 Follows!

Hello and Welcome All,

In honor of another ‘WordPress Trophy’ I have been bestowed, I thought I would celebrate with a share of my first article that was printed in a fantastic recovery newspaper publication this month! It is an introduction to a little about my addiction and recovery journey since I was new to their newspaper called; “Keys To Recovery.”

500 Follows!

Your current tally is 502.

And since I just marked 500 recovery followers here on WordPress, their maybe many of you who don’t know where I have been with addiction, and how I got here today in recovery. Of course, you could read my current book on  Amazon Kindle ~ “Addicted To Dimes”  for now only $3.10 per download as I just lowered the price to also celebrate!! It is my memoir, story of gambling addiction, dark family secrets, and more that can add “fuel” to anyone who uses addictions to chase away “old hurt and haunting pain” of their childhood trauma like I did.

So here is my first article in “Keys To Recovery’s” ~ “Quit To Win”  . . . .



My name is Catherine, and I am a recovering addicted gambler, ‘dual diagnosed,’meaning I live with mental health illness and disorders. I never let those “labels” define who I am today. Who am I? I am many things, a wife, sister, aunt, columnist, writer, mental health advocate, published author. I have lived life in recovery almost 10-years from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse.

My recovery journey started in 2002 after my first failed suicide attempt, and entered gambling addiction treatment, but still had slip ups. Then, in 2006 I ended up in a hospital again as the result of a second suicide attempt, and again back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 21-day stay.

The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my bipolar medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be “normal” like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well. I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I’d been off my medications, with no money left in my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone.

Of course, the victim pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the court system and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today. My point? You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your financial inventory. I had not done all of my financial work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my money choices and legal troubles told me I still needed to do more work. So, I did with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles had occurred, I worked hard with the specialist for a year, while I went through the legal mess I created.

Why am I sharing this?

Because our recovery stories are powerful tools to help and share “Hope” to those who still suffer. After this second suicide attempt and crisis stay, being a dual-diagnosed person, it can make obtaining recovery a bit more work, as I discovered. The negative habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking needed more correcting on my part. So I turned to the addiction specialist. So, what is compulsive gambling addiction?

It is when you lose control, lose control of the amount of money spent, time away from normal life, more risk without care of the consequences to people around you or one’s wellbeing. Well, that was my personal experience. There are many opinions, facts, and myths about gambling addiction. But, it is a real addiction, a real disease.

The scary fact is, we get the same rush and euphoric high as a drug addict or alcoholic without drinking something, smoking anything, popping a pill or shooting up. As an addict to gambling, we do this with manipulation of our brain and body chemicals. The habits of this addiction are just like all other addictions. But, I still had a hard time wrapping my mind around these facts. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery.

I was also given a “life-saving relapse prevention workbook” as well, which I have posted on a “ Relapse Prevention Guide” page on my Gambling Recovery blog titled; “Gambling Recovery Starts Here” for others to use. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come. I also learned that my higher power, God had bigger plans for me, a life purpose for me that involved reaching out to those looking to recover from this cunning progressive illness.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to use it to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood sexual trauma, and abuse. Also, what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, magazine columnist, writer or a blogger, but these are just a few of the blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

So, through my current book and my blog I have chosen not to be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easy one can become addicted. Raising awareness and education is most important to me, and my goal is to help those affected. To teach those who don’t understand this disease to learn more and hope they can have less stigma and more empathy.

Let me close with facts.

Currently, 1% of our population are now problem gamblers. And, out of the 16+million who are problem gamblers, Parents? Half this number is now your High School and College age children.

“It’s Now Time We Talk About Gambling Addiction the Disease, as We Can Recover.”

#            #          #

**So, I thank each of you have come to my recovery blog the last few years to be part of the discussion about gambling addiction and recovery. Everything I write, share, and post is to hopefully make others aware of this devastating disease or offer you a hand reached out if you are having problems with gambling. ALL know they can leave comments here and I will try and help any way I can. YOU have a voice here that will be heard.

You may also Email me anytime with your thoughts and questions too at: **

God Bless All!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon  XO  🙂

LIFE With Mental Health Issues ~ “It’s Not Because I Don’t Want To, It Is Because My Agoraphobia Won’t Let Me”!!!

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and Welcome All Visitors,


Today I wanted to share a little of my own mental/emotional health challenges thanks to seeing this image on a blog. But not just any blog. It’s a friend and new author, Rhonda Johnson’s blog. And her new book is now out.




So her new book just released titled; Memoirs of an Addict, Fact or Fiction . . . Now available on Amazon Books. . .

Now when I saw this chart above, it hit home for me of what I use to be, what I used to do myself due to my undiagnosed mental/emotional health issues besides just my gambling addiction. AND WHY?
Because I happen to be sent an email from one of my book promoting clients about a wonderful WordPress Event for those who are on, or who  use WP as their web or blog hosting site.
As far as I’m concerned, WordPress is the BEST hosting site to have a blog or website on.

So I read this email from my client, and it’s an all day Seminar/Workshop being help by WordPress, and top bloggers on WP currently, who will teaching all you need to know about WP. Everything about their services, dashboard, themes, and more! So I took a look at the email flyer and thought, this sure would be an awesome opportunity to learn all the in’s and outs of my hosting site. Then my bubble burst when I started thinking about how many people would be there, and it’s an all day event of workshops, a mixer one evening, and more.

Just thinking about all the people, I could feel an episode of fear of my disorder start to build, just like when I have an attack come on out of the blue from my Agoraphobia disorder I suffer from, and that I’m still in behavioral therapy for. And NO it’s not that I’m lazy and don’t want to go, but the huge fear and shame I have when an attack comes on while I’m out in public, and around many people I don’t know. It is SO debilitating, and makes me angry all at the same time. Yes, I’m working with a therapist to learn more tools and life skills, counseling , and take meds, but I’m not quite all there yet. Here is what and how Agoraphobia is bit different from  just regular panic disorder.

What Is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an intense fear and anxiety of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available. Agoraphobia usually involves fear of crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone.

The exact cause agoraphobia is unknown. Agoraphobia sometimes occurs when a person has had a panic attack and begins to fear situations that might lead to another panic attack.

With agoraphobia, you avoid places or situations because you do not feel safe in public places. The fear is worse when the place is crowded.

Symptoms of agoraphobia include:

  • Being afraid of spending time alone
  • Being afraid of places where escape might be hard
  • Being afraid of losing control in a public place
  • Depending on others
  • Feeling detached or separated from others
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling that the body is not real
  • Feeling that the environment is not real
  • Having an unusual temper or agitation
  • Staying in the house for long periods of time

Physical symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Choking
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Nausea or other stomach distress
  • Racing heart
  • Short of breath
  • Sweating


The goal of treatment is to help you feel and function better. The success of treatment usually depends in part on how severe the agoraphobia is.

Treatment approach combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with an antidepressant medication, which may include any of the following:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually the first choice of antidepressant.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another choice. Other antidepressants and some anti-seizure drugs may be used for more severe cases.
  • Other anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed. For example, your health care provider may recommend benzodiazepines when antidepressants do not help or before they take effect.

CBT involves 10 to 20 visits with a mental health professional over a number of weeks. CBT helps you change the thoughts that cause your condition. It may involve:

  • Understanding and controlling distorted feelings or views of stressful events or situations
  • Learning stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Relaxing, than imagining the things that cause the anxiety, working from the least fearful to the most fearful (called systematic desensitization and exposure therapy)

You may also be slowly exposed to the real-life situation that causes the fear to help you overcome it.  A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, enough rest, and good nutrition can also help be helpful.

Some persons with agoraphobia may:

  • Use alcohol or other drugs while trying to self-medicate
  • Be unable to function at work or in social situations
  • Feel isolated, lonely, depressed, or suicidal

Now I have had many,  but not all of the physical symptoms  when my disorder started in 2011. But, I went undiagnosed for years, just as I did the bipolar depression and PTSD. Yes, there are a lot of labels, but I can tell you that having these disorders can really disrupt many area’s of your life.  I remember one attack I had in early 2012 put me in the ER.

I woke up and felt this strange feelings come over me, and the pain and shortness of breath along with the trembling, I thought I was having a heart attack! My neighbor drove me to the ER and was there all day. They told my husband when he finally got to the hospital later that afternoon, that I had so much fear and pain? They had to give me 3 separate shots of morphine to get me calm and pain-free.

And yes, they did all sorts of tests, EKG, blood work and NOTHING. When my husband told the ER doctor some other symptoms and mental health issues, the doctor told him I may have had a severe panic attack. I feel that it could have come from a lot of the work, feelings, and overcoming fears in therapy, since I sought seeing a psychiatrist 6 months before this attack. And it is what my psychiatrist thought as well, so he added 2 more meds to what I was already on. Today, my attacks are not that severe, but I do still have them. So something must be working. And yes, I do not go out of my house sometimes for weeks at a time. But currently working on this very heavy with my new psychiatrist here in Arizona.

So, back to the Seminar by WordPress. I wish I could go, but I’m not quite there yet in treatment to chance it.  But I can tell you that I fight each day like hell to claim my life back from this awful mental health challenge! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. What I just want others to know about mental/emotional health problems, and those of us who suffer? Just because we may look alright, or look normal on the outer appearance? Doesn’t mean we are fully healthy in mind, body and spirit  . . . . “Lets Shatter Stigma Together”

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author, Advocate and Book Promoter