So welcome to my blog…

Now this young woman has “guts and is very BRAVE” to share her battle and recovery with Anorexia. Her recovery ‘bucket list’ is awesome too! A true Inspiration!

Author, Catherine Lyon

Embracing Authenticity

 

I’m Kirsty, 17 years old, I enjoy Art Jounaling, Sports, playing the Piano and Flute,  SHOPPING, going out and watching lots of films. Sound pretty normal, Huh?

Well now I’ll tell you a bit about my recent experiences…

Here i go….Late last year I got diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa.

Yes, yes I know what some of you are thinking, “she’s mad, mental, why don’t you just eat and stop being stupid”.

See this is the harsh stigma that surrounds what I can only explain as a cruel illness that suffocates its sufferers in guilt, shame and rigid routines.

Anyway I could sit here and explain to you what exactly it feels like to be controlled by Anorexia but instead I will just mention the damage it did to me.

On August 6th 2016 I got admitted to Luton and Dunstable children’s ward with a heart rate reaching as low…

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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”  . . . .

addicted

YOU CAN RECOVER FROM GAMBLING ADDICTION

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.”

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**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: LyonMedia@aol.com **

God Bless All!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon  XO  :-)

So Happy to be Writing for ‘Keys To Recovery News’! And Some Book Reviews, Poetry, and Author News.


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Hello, Recovery Friends and Visitors!

“I wanted to share some exciting news with everyone. I have been invited to be a regular article writer for a great Free Recovery publication called,  Keys To Recovery Newspaper! Why?”

They have a new featured column that just started this August 2016 titled; Quit to Win about Gambling Addiction. So needless to say I jumped on this opportunity to share my experiences, strength, and HOPE with others on this new platform.  It is refreshing to see that more sites are becoming increasingly aware of and about problem gambling and addicted gambling as another REAL addiction. My feelings are we just beginning to see the tide turn when it comes to this addiction.

I hear more and more of people sharing that even though their addiction maybe drugs or alcohol, they also started having gambling problems as way to try and make quick money by gambling to then go buy drugs or alcohol …..  My first article is now printed in the newspaper and hope you will go give it a read. YES, really it is free! So when you visit the site you can either download or open the most current issue FREE! They have so many awesome articles and information in each issue.

AND? They also read and review addiction and recovery books. Now many of you know my “day job” is Book Promotions. So I was thrilled to see that THREE of my authors I promote for books were chosen to be read and here are the Book Reviews! I want to Thank, Beth Dewey for choosing some of my fine authors and friends in recovery. Here we go!

RECLAIMING YOUR ADDICTED BRAIN – A Recovery GPS: How to find your path to Recovery and not get lost along the way.
Written by Irwin Morse and Roger Stark, Published
by Silver Star Publishing.

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Product Details

Review:

This is a book that clearly and concisely helps anyone, who is having difficulty following through consistently with their advancement in recovery from addiction. The information within this book enlightens each of us to see the manipulative power that our brains have to further the destructive personal conduct, which keeps us enslaved to our compulsive behaviors. Our minds try to refute the innate uniqueness which is in essence, us.

This inspiring book teaches the readers that they can ultimately put their minds under subjection by forming pristine neural pathways, from implementing a set of skills that help ensure that it will be accomplished. These skills are;  Awareness, Accountability, and Acceptance, these three in combination when truly utilized, are a force to be reckoned with. The authors explains how we can acquire the capability to not take things personally, we need to learn how to see life with a mental position “it is what it is”, and to be totally alright with that.

This is a must read for those who what to regain control over the negative impulses that governs our behaviors and attitudes.

Available at  Amazon Online  . . . . .
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Monkey Traps, Why Everyone Tries To Control Everything and How We Can Stop:

Written by Steve Hauptman. Published by Lioncrest Publishing.

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Product Details

Review: 

I loved this book before I even opened it. The Title said it all, and it tells me that Steve has not just written about the “problem” he is offering a “solution”.
Written on that back cover ~ “This book is about a problem disguised as a solution, an idea that shapes and drives us all: Control.” Again the problem is clearly identified.

The books begin’s explaining “The Monkey Trap,” then each chapter clearly explains the different types of control we think we have. Then he gives us solutions, plans, and steps to overcome the traps we live in. I like that towards the end of the book the chapters are titled, Acceptance, Trust, Faith, Practicing Surrender and so. Words I relate to. Each chapter is simple and easy to read and understand, and yet so deep it could change your life from the first moment you open the book and open your heart to a solution.

Easy to follow and easy to practice instructions. I give a heartfelt “5 Stars” for this book and I will be passing it on. Steve Hauptman is a Gestalt-trained, Buddhist-flavored therapist who has practiced on Long Island for twenty years. A leader of Interactive Therapy groups, he is also a cartoonist and creator of the blogs Monkeytraps: A blog about control, Monkey House (a forum for discussing control issues).
Also Available at  Amazon Online  . . . ..
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In the Sunlight of the Spirit: Spirituality Training Manual.

Written by Rev., Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D. Published by
KTC Publishing Phase IIC Coaching, LLC.

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Product Details

Review:

Rev., Dr. Kevin sent me a few different books for review, but what’s going on in my world right now I thought this would be the PERFECT book for me and after I finished it my intuition was right. The way Rev., Dr. Kevin approaches the topic of spirituality is quite simple and easy to read. As addicts we tend to complicate matters even with long term sobriety you still struggle with faith, but after reading this book and doing the work I walk away with a deeper connection to my higher power.

I love how he states “People who are spiritually fit tend to have better coping skills, stronger self-esteem, and more solid relationships.” That has totally been my experience in my journey of recovery. I totally recommend this workbook for anyone who wants to strengthen their relationship with their higher power and have a better understanding of the application of spirituality in their lives. A MUST READ!  Thank you, Rev., Dr. Kevin for keeping it simple. Available at Amazon Online  . . . .
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Now if you enjoy poetry? Let me show you the “softer side” of Author, Rev., Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin, a Best-Selling Poet as has just released two new Poetry Ebooks.

We Can a Collection of Poetry: A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery (We Can; A Collection of Poetry, A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery Book 1) by [Coughlin, Kevin] We Can 2: A Collection of Poetry; A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery (We Can; A Collection of Poetry, A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery) by [Coughlin, Kevin]

Both are now available on Amazon Kindle so just click the books! Here is a little of what’s inside!

Poetry Collection – Book One:

We Can a Collection of Poetry; A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery is the author’s fifth book. This work is the author’s second collection of poetry; his first was Tumbleweeds published by Feather Books in the United Kingdom in 2002. The author’s poetry reflects the struggles of life in addiction, recovery, and his experiences and in the lives of others that he witnessed over the last four decades. His hopes are that his poetry books and other addiction recovery books and manuals will help individuals and family members to get a deeper understanding of the disease of addiction, the solution to the problem, and the program of action that promotes change in the addicts.

Reverend Dr. Coughlin hopes to provide clarity, understanding, education, prevention, and awareness about addiction and recovery. This is the Author’s First book of poetry reflecting the struggles of addiction and the miracle of change in recovery. Rev. Dr. Coughlin has published hundreds of his poems in different publications in the United States and other countries, his poetry has been read on the radio in the United Kingdom, and he has received several poetry awards.

Poetry Collection – Book Two:

We Can 2; A Collection of Poetry, A Journey Through Addiction and Recovery by Best-Selling Author, Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D. is the second book in the We Can Poetry Series. Book One went to number seven on Amazon.com’s Top 100 Best-Seller list on the first day of release! This is the author’s sixth published book and third book of poetry. This new release reflects all different feelings, emotions, and life situations on the journey through addiction and recovery. There are some very emotional and deep poems about life, death, prison, Sept. 11th, war, love, friendship, addiction, and so much more.

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About The Author & Poet:

Reverend Coughlin is a Founder and the Director of New Beginning Ministry, a grassroots evidence-based, twelve-step residential addiction recovery program for adults. Rev. Coughlin has helped thousands of people to change their lives over the past nineteen plus years. He is a two-time World Champion and nine-time National Champion and State and National Record holder power lifter, he has championed many in his career. Most call him RevKev, they enjoy his lectures on addiction, recovery, and life. RevKev has been very successful with pastoral counseling and recovery coaching with both those addicted and their families.

Reverend Coughlin has trained many recovery professionals that have interned at the ministry. RevKev is considered an expert on addiction and recovery. Many have utilized him as a consultant. Rev.. Coughlin is a member in good standing of the A.A.C.C., The American Association of Christian Counselors, The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, and The National Council on Problem Gambling, NAADAC, USAPL, and IAM Minister’s Fellowship, and The Christian Coach’s Network. RevKev is also an internationally published poet and writer, mostly on Addiction and Christian subjects. To date, he has had over five hundred poems published. RevKev is also the founder, CEO and President of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC, the company operates structured assisted living homes for clients in recovery. RevKev is also a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach and Anger Management Specialist, a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach, a Nationally Certified Christian Recovery Coach and Family Recovery Coach, and a Nationally Certified Gambling Addiction Coach, Nationally Certified Case Manager, Life Coach, an International Master Addictions Coach, Sexual Addiction Coach, Life Recovery Coach and Trainer.

Rev. Coughlin is also a Nationally Certified and PA credentialed Interventionist. RevKev also works with The Addictions Academy in Miami, Florida designing recovery coaching courses and manuals and is an instructor for the Academy. RevKev volunteers his services with several organizations. RevKev continues to further his education with The Light University, NAADAC and the Christian Coach’s Network taking several courses and webinars, he is also in the process of becoming a Board certified Christian Family Counselor. The Reverend has a Doctorate in Christian Counseling and a Doctorate in Divinity (Honorary) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. He also has a BS and an MS in Christian Counseling. He is Board Certified with DIT Seminary in Christian Counseling with specializations in Grief, Substance Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Family, and Developmental. He is a licensed Domestic Violence Christian Advocate, a licensed clinical Christian counselor, an AACT-DCU Associate Professor. He is a best-selling author, you can find his books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

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An Amazon Review Book One: 5.0 out of 5 stars Be Ready To Be Inspired!, August 14, 2016

Author, Poet, Reverend, and Recovery Coach Kevin T Coughlin has put together a unique set of addiction/recovery poems for those who live life in recovery. Through his words, shared recovery experiences, and experiences shared with coaching many in recovery, he has poems in this book of genuine inspiration and in-depth creative emotions of what it is like to be an addict, and what it is like to have freedom in recovery.

Each one of his poems describes the pain and suffering one goes through and feels, the raw pain felt in his written words. But you find much HOPE within these his words to let recovery readers know you CAN make it out the other side. Kevin shares that no matter how far down we are, we can grab hold of that last shimmer, that last sliver of LIGHT, and pull ourselves out of the darkness into a new way of living in recovery.

That is just some of what you will read in these beautiful poems. What were my favorites? Many to choose from, but, “The Lost Children Die Alone” and “The Beach” are a few. All the poems in this collection are exceptional and shows many of us, including Author, Kevin Coughlin are creative, talented, and Can Recover! A Highly Suggested Read!


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Yes, RevKev has quite the Bio Right? I can tell you that he has helped many from addicts from many addictions. I can also tell you that I was “blessed” the day he walked into my life! I don’t have many “close” guy friends, but Kevin is always there and the first to be willing to help anyone. He has a big heart and a faith that can not be shaken.
And his poems are heartfelt and shares the good and the bad about our journey in recovery through “The Gift & Magic of Words.”  So go give a read to his Poem Book One  and be inspired in recovery!

Author & Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

 

 

 

 

My Recovery Guest Article of the Week. Trauma and Healing.

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Healing after Trauma ~ By Christine Hill

Trauma isn’t a new or unique story in the world today. In fact, some psychologists have stated that we have an epidemic of trauma in our society, without the tools to recover from it. Trauma can be any event in your life that sends you into an extreme state of stress, fear, and helplessness. It can be physical or mental abuse in the home, a cataclysmic natural disaster, or a chronic sickness.

In any case, the primary goal after trauma is to find a way to heal. For some, this comes naturally with time. For others, recovery is a difficult process for which they’ll need help. Unchecked, trauma can cause a multitude of disorders and harmful behaviors, from PTSD to schizophrenia to addiction and risk-taking behaviors.

Here are some ways to help patients recovering from trauma find healing and peace in their lives:

Step 1: Restabilize and Find Safety

The thing about trauma is that it makes us feel unsafe and helpless. A heightened stress response keeps triggering, sending us right back to that place where we felt threatened. The most important first step to take after trauma is to re-establish safety.

“Safety” will look differently for everyone. As children, we learn to rely on others to establish safety for us. However, sometimes that system breaks down, and as we grow, we become responsible for creating a safe place for ourselves.

The first step in recovering from trauma may consist of breaking from the traumatic event or situation that you’re in. This might mean a move. It might mean breaking from certain people or patterns in your life. It might even mean using certain help or resources available in order to leave and find a new place where you can be safe and rebuild.

Establish Healthy Patterns

Most recovering patients of trauma find safety in patterns in their lives. After feeling completely helpless and out of control, it’s comforting to have something that’s in your control. Practicing self-care also supports the body’s healthy systems, empowering you to counteract the effects of trauma. Some healthy patterns will include:

  • Getting proper sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Steering clear of substances that will alter your mental state
  • Exercise

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early in the morning


All of these things help to balance the hormones in your system which have been thrown off by extreme stress. True, it’s easier said than done. After trauma, night terrors can interrupt our sleep. We feel powerless to set up new healthy habits like exercise. And we reach for things that grant immediate comfort and numbness, which is why trauma and substance abuse are so often paired. However, substance abuse perpetuates the pattern of trauma, and continues to throw off our self-regulatory systems, which can prolong your recovery, and send you back into a mental state that will aggravate the harmful effects of trauma, instead of leading to a path of healing.

Connect with Others

Another cruel effect of trauma is that it often causes us to feel isolated. The separation between ourselves and everyone who hasn’t experienced the trauma can feel too great to overcome. It can be hard to reconnect with people who seem to expect you to be the same old person you were before the trauma entered your life, or you might fear having to confront the trauma and having to explain it to others.

However, studies have shown that people who reach out after trauma heal much faster. You have a choice about whether trauma will cripple you, or whether you will use it as an experience that enables you to help others. Here are some suggestions to get you going:

  • Join a survivor group. Talking with others who have experienced similar things will help you remember that you are not alone. Learning about the coping strategies that have helped them will give you ideas for things to try in your life. Reaching out and striving to problem-solve with others can motivate you to find creative solutions for your own problems.

 

  • Reconnect with people who care about you. The people in your life who love and care about you can be a touchstone of sanity and safety when everything feels out of control. If you’re lucky enough to have a few people who will fight for you, make time for you, patiently listen to you, and sacrifice for you, take advantage of that gift. Remember that you don’t have to talk about traumatic experiences that have shaken you. Take your time, and ask for what you need. Be patient with yourself and with others.

 

  • Volunteer. One of the best ways to recover from trauma is to look for the good. It’s reminding yourself that you still have the power to effect positive change – not just in yourself, but in those around you. Helping others gets us outside of ourselves and helps us to see things in a different way. It helps us make new connections and realize the power that we do have. Volunteering can be an opportunity to build new memories and experiences that can counter the memory and experience of trauma in our lives.


Reach out for Help

Visiting psychologist

Group of people visiting course of psychological therapy…

 

A difficult step for many trauma survivors is knowing when to reach out for professional help. Many of us feel we can overcome the problems by ourselves, or we fear the emotional impact of reliving traumatic events. However, trauma therapists are specially trained to help patients come to terms with the events in their past, to empower them to rewrite their own stories and find a way to make daily life more functional and more enriching.


If you are having a hard time connecting with others, functioning in society – whether that’s getting daily chores done, or holding down a job, getting a good night’s rest, or building healthy patterns in your life, a therapist can give you tools and perspective that you might need in order to rebuild after trauma.


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*Author Note: I want to thank Christine Hill for a wonderful article. Since I am a trauma and sex abuse survivor myself, I could have used this advice when I finally disclosed to my parents what had happened to me as a little girl. Would the outcome have been different for me to the way the way my parents reacted?

Knowing how my parents were? Most likely not, but it may have been less traumatic for me, how having to go through the process of explaining it to them. I hope this article will help those who are still holding on to any past pain. Please, it is time to let it go  .  .  .  

 

Modern Deadly Ambiguity: Mass Shootings, Guns and the Mentally Ill

A new blog friend of mine who happens to be ‘knowledgeable’ in the mental health field. I found this past blog post exceptional and wanted to share it. Especially with the continued mass shootings now all over the world and still in the US. By Dr. Frank …

Catherine Lyon, Author & Columnist for In Recovery Mag

Pen and Psychiatrist

The media is now filled with various statistics quoting the factoid that in over 200 days we have had over 200 mass shootings in the United States. Mass shootings are variously defined as a shooting incident in which three, or now more commonly the definition requires four victims by a perpetrator. The victims may be all in one site like the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting, or in more than one location where a shooter will shoot usually first members of his (recalling that most mass shooters are male), a spouse or estranges spouse or intimate partner, and then shoot members of the public at another location.

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Addiction and Recovery Through The Eyes of Hollywood In The Fix … Guest Article Share

Eric Roberts Discusses Addiction, Recovery, and Hollywood with The Fix . . .

 


By John Lavitt 07/22/16

“People who suffered a lot during childhood tend to ‘accidentally design’ lives that contain a good deal of similar suffering. That feels like home to them.”  It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the star.

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Academy Award-nominated actor Eric Roberts and the brother of actress Julia Roberts and father of actress Emma Roberts was known in his early days as one of Hollywood’s edgier characters both on and off the screen. In more recent years, however, Roberts, who was featured in both The Dark Knight and The Expendables, has become hard-working and prolific. He appeared in over 25 films and television series in 2016 alone.

Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, where his parents ran an acting school out of their home, Roberts embraced the family calling. His film career took hold in 1978 when he appeared in the cult favorite, King of the Gypsies, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. Then in June of 1981, Roberts was involved in a serious car accident which left him comatose for three days with a bruised brain, broken bones and much facial trauma. As a result of the facial trauma, there was a change in Roberts, both on the outside and the inside. Partying harder and abusing prescription drugs, he subsequently found himself playing villains and bad guys. This shift led to his breakout performance in Bob Fosse’sStar 80 in 1983.

In 1987, Roberts was arrested for harassing a woman and striking a police officer, both while under the influence of drugs. He pleaded guilty to harassment, but the other charges were later dropped. Upon marrying his wife Eliza in 1992, Roberts embraced a path of sobriety with occasional relapses. A later problem with medical marijuana dependency led to a featured appearance on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

On your personal website, you show the courage to express yourself beyond what a controlling publicist would want to hear, revealing in a series of quotations your views on addiction, anger, codependency, and more. Unlike so many celebrities, how did you find the personal conviction to speak your mind and what does it personally mean for you?

Thanks for checking the site so carefully. That really means a lot. I like to refer to that section as “Notes & Quotes.” I started it before blogs or Twitter or Facebook, and I guess that kind of free-flowing philosophizing is a little more common now that there are all those forums to do it in. It wasn’t common at the time. But I really do feel the need to share those thoughts and the things I learn.

On the quotes page of your website, you say about yourself, “For a while, the only thing that made him feel better was to feel bad.” Can you explain this idea for our readers who want more insight into such personal struggles? Why would feeling bad make anyone feel better?

I truly believe from observation that we are comfortable with what we’ve had most of in our lives. People who suffered a lot during childhood tend to “accidentally design” lives that contain a good deal of similar suffering. That feels like home to them.

In the section of your website on acting tricks, you say, “I like the idea of putting something comical into an intense drama, and being intense in absurd circumstances within a comedy.” When faced with life obstacles like addiction and negative emotional reactions like anger, how does comedy help soften the moment? Is being able to recognize the absurdity of modern life a way of staying sane and balanced?

Being alive means being able to laugh. Sometimes you have to find humor in difficult circumstances in order to put one foot in front of the next. Don’t you find that to be true? By seeing the absurdity, even in our goals and dreams, it sometimes helps us live with what we have, rather than comparing it all the time with what we wish we had. We can laugh without minimizing things. That’s a big lesson we all need to learn.

In the section on addiction, you say, “An addict is like a bad imitation of a human being … Addiction is the abdication of choice.” Can you expand on these ideas? What do you mean by “a bad imitation?” Many people would say addicts choose to do the drugs and abuse themselves. How do you explain this “abdication of choice?”

Addicts are not bad people, goodness knows. But being controlled by a compulsion often brings out the best and the worst in us. I think when you are in the throes of addiction, you are miles away from being able to exercise choice.

A great example would be a workaholic who is also a devoted mother. She may long to make the choice to spend valuable time with her kids. However, her compulsion about work—having to organize all her pencils by color, let’s say—keeps her from being able to make and act on the choice to be with her kids.

In the section on addiction, you say, “You’re employed by your addiction. And it’s an unregulated place to work. It’s not the doing of the drug—It’s the doing of the stuff you do to get the drug.” Can you explain what you mean by “unregulated?” How is an addict employed by their addiction?

You really feel enslaved. And it’s unregulated because you end up having no regard for other obligations. An example from my own past was when I was on my way to an important meeting for a movie, but I knew my pot dealer was coming over. I chose to wait for the dealer and ended up being late for the meeting. In other words, the addiction or dependency was calling the shots. That’s not a good way to live.


In a recent interview, you said, “I actually started acting at speech therapy because I had a terrible stutter as a kid. My parents found out that when I memorized stuff, I didn’t stutter. So it became speech therapy at first.” I actually grew up stuttering as well, and I must admit it was traumatic. When I first discovered alcohol and pot, it was like a revelation. It made me feel normal, and I did not have to worry so much about my stutter. It made me friends. Did you have a similar experience?

I had never thought of it that way, but yes! That’s a very interesting point.

In the movie Star 80, you played a truly unlikable character almost perfectly. As Paul Snider, the Svengali-like husband of Dorothy Stratten, the 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year and rising Hollywood star, you embraced the cruel and obsessive ugliness of the character. Roger Ebert later spoke of the Star 80Syndrome. He felt you deserved an Academy Award for the performance, but believed that, “Hollywood will not nominate an actor for portraying a creep, no matter how good the performance is.”

What was your relationship like with legendary director Bob Fosse? Star 80 was the last film he directed before his death. Did he drive you to work hard to bring forth such a performance?

I always loved reading Ebert. It’s very interesting to me that he said that. I think what he pointed out has proven to often be true. I relished playing that role and having the opportunity to be a part of telling that story.

I adored Bob Fosse and admired him beyond description. Our complex relationship was written about in Sam Wasson’s book, Fosse, about his life. (From an American Theatre review: “Wasson depicts the tortured director as ‘a bottomless wound of insatiability.’ So closely did Fosse relate to Dorothy Stratten’s psychopathic killer that he directed Eric Roberts to play the character as ‘me, if I wasn’t successful.’”)
I thought we were close, but we’d both have done better had we been sober.

Discussing the craziness of your early days in Hollywood, you said, “When I got into movies, they would send you to the prop truck and there would be lines of cocaine. Everybody—from the executives and producers to craft services—was high on that drug. Everybody was wrecked on the movie set. It was out of control, and I was a kid.” Are you happy that crazy side of Hollywood is now in your past? Is it still happening every now and then on movie sets? How did seeing such drug use by famous and powerful people you must have admired affect you?

I am so relieved that craziness is in the past. I’d likely be dead if it were not. I really don’t see that kind of excess on sets anymore. I do believe that prescription drugs are the danger now. And Red Bull. I have to admit that back in the day, it was depressing to see great talent that I truly admired taking those kinds of pointless risks.

In the section on codependency, you say, “A codependent feels their value is predicated upon a willingness to devalue themselves.” Given your insight into the entertainment industry, how is codependency expressed in Hollywood? As an actor, do you experience a particular brand of a codependent relationship with your agent, manager, publicist, and lawyer?

I think that was more prevalent in the older days of Hollywood during the studio system. I do know that some people are bullied by their reps. Agents should remember that they represent the actor’s best interest.

 

In the section on the human condition, you say, “With something so widespread as addiction, compulsion, self-destruction, low self-esteem, various abuses … Can we call it a disorder?” Do you believe our society is toxic at its core, and thus, produces damaged people? Or is being flawed and experiencing such difficulties just the normative state of being human?

I think we need a certain level of ambivalence about just how comfy life is…in order to accept our mortality. I know that sounds like a little much, but if life were pure joy, how would we accept it’s not being eternal? When you ponder it from that perspective, nature is genius.

You were estranged for several years from your sister, actress Julia Roberts. The source of the estrangement had mainly been your past drug use. In 2004, you toldPeople magazine that you had reconciled with Julia when you visited her in the hospital after she gave birth to her twins.

When Pretty Woman came out in 1990 and Julia, as you once said, “became the biggest star in the world,” was it hard for you as an actor to see the intensity of her sudden international celebrity eclipse your own? Would you say that her success potentially fueled your addiction at the time?

Julia’s twins are beautiful kids, and it’s a pleasure to be their uncle. It’s always important to repair family relationships. In terms of what happened in the past, I didn’t need my sister’s huge success to fuel my addiction. I did that fine on my own! At the same time, I have to admit that it did kind of blow my mind. Such success is always startling. It made me proud and thrilled and envious all at once.

In 2010, you appeared as a cast member in the fourth season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to treat your dependency on medical marijuana. Your wife Eliza and your stepson Keaton Simons appeared in episode 6 to discuss the effects of your addiction on their lives. I recently interviewed Dr. Drew, and he told me how overall, the show helped raise national awareness about recovery.

Despite this positive macrocosmic effect, did it have a constructive microcosmic effect on your own life? Would you do it again?

I would absolutely do it again, and I am very appreciative of the work that Dr. Drew did with us. It was life changing for all of us in a very good way.  By the way, John, thanks for these great questions. It’s clear to me that you put in the work, and I appreciate that as someone who does the same.


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Now, I have to my own little bit to this story. The article I enjoy as I have the pleasure of tweeting back and forth with Eric Roberts over on Twitter.  For awhile there I think he may have thought I was a”stalker” as I had begged and tweeting him to come join one Wed night for our #Addictionchat we have on Twitter.  He has replied a couple of times saying I should send a request to his wife’s TripleeeProductions, as she is his manager …  and yes, I have, but still no answer.
I do however enjoy watching Eric’s films and on TV. . . .  *Cat Lyon*

Dysconnected

I have to hand it to Author, Steve Hauptman and commend him for doing this. I have been told as well that “I am always working, always on the computer, never take a break.”

Do I have Internet Addiction? People tell me all the time that I need to take some time off, even though my book promo is an Online Business. I might have to follow his footsteps???

Catherine

Monkeytraps

unplug 4aThree days into vacation I know I have a problem.  Distracted, restless, unable to settle inside, too tired to work and too tense to relax.  And I can’t sleep.

The insomnia puzzles me.  I’ve gone sleepless when depressed or battling some particular anxiety, but I don’t feel depressed or anxious now.  I’m not sure how I feel.  Except maybe topheavy.  Like my head weighs too much.

I lie in bed for hours in the dark, twitching my legs every few minutes and thinking about everything and nothing.  I have no Off switch.

Then early the fourth morning, while ruminating about ruminating, a word pops into my mind:

Overstimulated.

That’s how I feel.  Like a wire buzzing with too much current.

What stimulation? I ask myself.

And myself answers:

Screens.

The hours spent reading and writing emails.  The blog posts, replies to comments, and replies to the replies.  All the posters…

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