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

How Does God Feel About Mental Illness?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living alone with a debilitating illness is so hard.

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

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

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

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

I pray you find yours.

Tony R.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

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

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

I hope you’ll join the conversation.

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


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So What Is Vance Up To? Our Book Is At The Half Way Point!

So What Is Vance Up To? Our Book Is At The Half Way Point!

“It seems my dear friend and writing partner has been traveling all over to speak and meeting closely with the Gov. of New Jersey for advocating some State Legislation on the reduction of opioid prescriptions from surgeons. “Also about the need to change perceptions and increase the types of other rehabilitation options and treatment, specifically long-term treatment, and the need for more facilities for the uninsured and Medicaid. New Jersey like other states need these changes as well as in and outpatient programs and facilities…but especially my state and the city of Trenton.”

AND?

“Inmates with substance-use disorders will soon be moving into the refurbished Mid-State Correctional Facility to participate in New Jersey’s first “treatment prison,” a clinically driven program that Governor Christie hopes will be seen as a national model.”  I am so proud of the work Vance is doing.

I can not express enough and while co-writing with Vance, how seasoned a writer his is becoming. I hope this is a little of my help. Lol.  I can surely prove this fact by sharing some of Vance’s “Fantastic Facebook Posts from His Heart.” He is so passionate about the work he does to help another recover, reach out to families of addicts and support them, and so much more. It is why his new venture of “Vance Inspires” has taken off!

Vance has traveled all over the country this past summer and early fall to many schools, churches, and speaking engagements and events along with his other employer, “Futures of Palm Beach.” He attended a few recovery vigils and so many more events! It is hard to keep up and get him to one place to continue our book. For me, that’s ok as I know how important his work, voice, and sharing his testimony is for Vance. And why I do the same, just not on the same level as he. I like the work I do throughout social media and by email and phone. SOMEONE needs to be there to answer those!! I also enjoy the quiet solitude of writing. We can help others in so many ways like Vance and I do.

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It is how we “pass it on” to those still suffering. It’s what “GOD” has called us to do, our true purpose on this earth. I am the one truly “blessed” to have met and now co-writing with this amazing man. A brother in “Christ” and a person who inspires each day. I do learn so much from Vance and hope he learns from me as well. My husband Tom and I are so happy to have met him, his beautiful wife and kids. It also shows you don’t have to meet a people face to face to cultivate a new faithful friendship.

Especially an intimate one as I learn all about Vance’s life. It has been a “magical writing journey” so far.  It takes confidence, trust, and vulnerability on Vance’s part to entrust to me all his deep dark trials. He knows I am his “GateKeeper,” trusted confidant, writer, and I am very protective of him as he knows.  I am honored to be able to share some of his life. Just not the deep secrets, you’ll need to read the book when released for those! LOL.

So here are a few FB posts Vance has shared lately and about what he is working on and where he has been…



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“The devil tried to destroy your mind, but God is about to give you a Mind Blowing Miracle! #WatchGod.”  Connect with Vance Here On Facebook!

Governor Christie and I spoke about breaking stigma when it comes to how most Americans view addicts. We talked about how no one really chooses to grow up and be an addict. Addiction does not discriminate, the enemy doesn’t care if you are black, white, Indian or Asian. Tall, short, skinny or chunky. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, famous or not. If you breathe? there is something waiting to make itself more important than everything you say or you love in this world like a Mom, Dad, your kids or marriage, and yes, it can happen even behind bars. The devil is trying to take you out, so wake-up!

Paul in the Bible called himself “the chief of all sinners” and I was the chief of deception because of the lies satan poured into my head from childhood. As you follow my page, you’ve read the papers, so you know my history…there is no way I just woke up and decided to stop, I needed help. God himself heard my cry, and after treatment, listening to people who traveled the road of recovery, I now know why he freed me from the bondage.

We’ve got a big God people, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. After an in-depth conversation with the Governor of New Jersey, he invited me to speak at Mid-state Correctional Facility. Inmates with substance-use disorders will soon be moving into the refurbished Mid-State Correctional Facility to participate in New Jersey’s first “treatment prison,” a clinically driven program that Governor Christie hopes will be seen as a national model.

And there is sobriety in that!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com

November 2 at 12:00pm · Trenton, NJ 

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LOL…LOL! YES, Vance has a sense of Humor and always a “Method 2 HIS Humor Madness!”

I originally posted here on FB that I would be going live just before I meet with Governor Chris Christie, and his security said “NO” so I told him I had to take his photo to show my FB family who made the decision?

Shhhhh, I’m going to ask The Governor once the meeting starts! — at the NJ Government State Offices Dept.!!

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My employer, Futures was kind enough to make me a business football card on the right, showcasing the new and improved sober Vance Johnson. On the left is the new Maxx Sports Entertainment Super Bowl XXI football card coming out soon. A limited 250 were signed. I hope to get both out to those who are football fans and collect cards, as well as those who know someone looking for HOPE.

I loved being an NFL receiver, especially catching those bullets from John Elway in the 80’s and 90’s. Now my it’s about catching lives by offering HOPE to those who seek sobriety.

And there is sobriety in That!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com

 

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Vance knows who drives his Journey and Has His Spiritual Wheel…


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This Post is Why I am Enjoying This Co-writing Journey With Vance”…

Yesterday I flew into Aspen Colorado to help who I will call a former neighbor make a decision to go to rehab. During the height of my addiction, I lived in Westbank, only 15 minutes away from him. On our descent into the Colorado Valley I could see the mountains getting closer and closer, then we disappeared into the clouds, parallel to the mountain tops, I had no idea what was ahead. I never thought I would learn what true faith was at 15 thousand feet descending into and between mountain peaks with no visibility. On occasion, there would be a small opening, snow, and treetops, enough to take a breath only to hold it again. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Now can you see what faith is? I got a clear view of what the Book of Hebrews says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”…a calm came over me as I yielded to that inner voice, “this is what FAITH is.”

The wind blowing the plane you could almost feel the wings flapping, we started to turn left, then to the right. I had an idea where we were but I felt safe as we bounced across the sky. I thought about how blind I had been before I really knew Christ and all the obstacles in my life that somehow I lived through. I knew he was in charge. I guess that’s what the song means, “Jesus take the wheel”….I actually recorded that last 10 minutes as we dropped, turned, and then bounced between the mountain tops. 7 minutes into our descent we dropped beneath the clouds. I was looking at the Roaring Fork River and could see the ripples going over the rocks. Houses, huge estates, horses, and cars driving up Valley.

When we landed I went to the Avis car rental where I had promised the young lady I spoke with the day before, after learning her cousin was possibly named after me, Vance. I gave her two football cards and signed them to Vance from Vance Johnson.


I’m not deceived anymore, one day at a time.
Later that night I got an inbox from Forrest Ball, the pilot that flew the plane, thanking me from the crew. I shared with him most of what you just read and told him he was Peyton Manning to me, flying that plane like he did, making plays. It was the first time I’ve been on the western slope of Colorado sober in 17 years.

And there is sobriety in That!!!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com


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Not only did this post of Vance’s on FB “touch my heart” but it showed me the beautiful spirit he has and the growth in his writing! Great Job Buddy! I hope you all enjoying being a wee bot caught up in our co-writing journey of Vance’s Memoir. YES, our writing challenges are Time and getting him in one place long enough to write. LOL!  But he knows like do THE WAIT for all of our readers will be Worth It! XOXO…I am his writer “Gate Keeper” of Recovery Secrets…

God Bless All,
Author/Writer/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Let’s Learn The Value of “Interventions” From Expert, Randy Grimes.

Let’s Learn The Value of “Interventions” From Expert, Randy Grimes.

“My wife reached out to the NFL and got me help from my drug addictions. From all I had done with pain medications and then some, I found the benzos were the hardest to beat because of the seizures and my own fear.  Now, us once broken people get to go out and help other broken people. That is what I get to do today maintaining recovery”…  ~Randy Grimes

I’d like all my recovery friends and recovery readers to meet a wonderful man who has been to hell and back with addictions. I welcome Randy Grimes!  Yes, you may know him as an 80’s former college football star at Baylor University of Texas and in 1983 to 1992  the drafted into The NFL after for The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But one thing Randy knows when that is all over?  He and many professional players are left with many injuries, surgeries, and suffering much pain after their career is over.  They also try to find in their lives, “What’s Next?”  When football is over, they go on a journey looking for “now what.”  Randy found his calling and feels his new journey is now started along with his bride, Lydia to help families and those afflicted know there is Hope & Help from ALL Addictions.

 
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Randy knows GOD had him go through the negative to learn lessons, wisdom, and faith to set him up for all the positive he is doing today.  He is now an interventionist, a speaker, and shares his experiences along with Kevin Dixon both of  Intervention Now & Behavioral Health of Palm Beach. Randy and Lydia, his wife, continue to share their experience with addiction and recovery using their knowledge and experiences healing to help not only athletes but any family struggling with their journey to recovery.

The work Randy does is a true inspiration to many like myself and to many of my recovery friends like Vance Johnson, Kristin Walker, Marilyn Davis, Dr. Kevin Coughlin just to name a few. It is always a “breath of fresh air” when “God” brings certain people in our lives for however long or short and I am a firm believer for a purpose.

“We as advocates doing outreach see at times other advocates doing work but sometimes not from the heart, for a true calling,  just for an agenda.  Randy is NOT one of those people. He is open-minded, big-hearted and truly cares about those suffering or dying from drug addiction and tries to reach them and their families with HOPE and HELP. As he says; “The time is NOW, not tomorrow, or wait to try something else first. Stop ignoring what is right in front of you.”  Here is more of an in-depth look at the work Randy and Kevin do at Intervention Now.

 

Call us at our 24-hour toll-free number  1-(855) 943-5766

 

About Us

Intervention Now provides comprehensive intervention services to individuals who are struggling with a loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse. Our mission is to help you repair your relationship with your loved one and get them the help they need to get better in a dignified, compassionate and professional manner. Our professionals will work with you every step of the way to help ensure a calm, rational and productive dialogue in the pursuit of a positive end result to your loved one’s intervention.

Sensitive, Experienced, Professional Interventionists

Our interventionists understand the emotional and psychological turmoil that drugs and alcohol can inflict. Many of our team members are, themselves, survivors of substance abuse and addiction, whose loved ones had contacted us and we successfully organized an intervention on their behalf. Throughout our extensive years of experience, we’ve helped numerous individuals reconnect with their loved ones who were previously trapped in a holding pattern of drug or alcohol dependency.

Our successful proven combination of emotional guidance, logistical assistance and an objective voice help to ensure the intervention process goes smoothly. Intervention Now is well acquainted with the fragile and sensitive nature of addiction, particularly regarding relationships, and will attempt to facilitate an honest, respectful and supportive process that will guide your loved one toward their treatment and recovery.

Addiction Will Not Wait For Anyone. Our Team of Experts are here 24/7 for you!

The moment you realize that time may be running out for you’re loved one is the moment you will contact us to get help. Our team of experts are standing by 24/7 to get you’re loved one the help they need to get better. We hold your hand through every step of the intervention process and organize everything you will need to hold a successful intervention for your loved one. We recognize that this might not be an easy decision for you, and it is human nature to want to delay and not deal with a problem and keep putting it off until tomorrow. Just remember that sometimes tomorrow never comes for our loved ones.

That’s why we offer round-the-clock support and will answer your call no matter what time of day you choose to contact us. Once you’ve made the decision that an intervention is necessary for your loved one, it’s critical that you act sooner rather than later. Delaying only strengthens the hold that addiction has on your loved one. There’s never a wrong time to call. If someone you care about needs an intervention for any kind of substance abuse, allow us to assist you in getting them the help they need.

The one thing you can’t afford to do is wait. Call us now at 855-9-HELPNOW (855-943-5766) so we can help you organize an intervention now and rescue someone you love from drugs and alcohol.

 

The Time To Stop the cycle of addiction is Now!
We are here 24/7 to help guide your family, answer your questions and set up a potentially lifesaving intervention for your loved one.

 

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More About Randy:

Randy is a BRI-1 Interventionist & Certified Recovery Coach

As a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Randy Grimes had spent many years battling an addiction to painkillers that he had developed while trying to treat career-related injuries. He now uses his inspiring story of recovery to help victims of drug and alcohol abuse through his work as an Interventionist at InterventionNow.com.

Randy has been an exemplary ambassador for the Intervention industry and is a quality example of the power of professional treatment. He has helped numerous families find balance and peace of mind by getting their addicted loved ones the help they need for their drug and alcohol addiction. He enjoys speaking and speaks with others like Vance Johnson, also a former NFL pro for the Denver Broncos, as Randy was instrumental in an intervention and getting Vance the help he needed from addiction as well as many other pro athletes.

 

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I have been blessed many times over in my own recovery journey with GOD’S precious gifts of keeping me connected with supportive and real “recovery warriors” like these two guys! When we get our long-term sobriety in check? It is a blessing and an honor to be able to help others still suffering from addictions. And, meeting new advocates, coaches, interventionists, and new recovery friends like Randy is just “The Icing on My Recovery Cake!” Lol!

As Randy mentioned to my dear friend Kristin Walker, Host of everythingEHR ~ Mental Health News Radio “It seems we always hear the negative side about treatment, rehab and other places and not enough about all the Positive hard work they do to help people from addictions as so many are losing their battle and family losing loved ones.” You can hear the full Guest Interview with Randy on Kristin’s Show as it is a powerful and informative intimate testimony by Randy…So click on the blue link and give this interview with Randy a listen.

 

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I want to personally thank Randy for allowing me to share just a wee bit of all he does along with his wife, Lydia. We need some many more warriors out here sharing a message of Hope, Faith, Healing and Sharing Help to those looking to claim their lives back from the enemy and the bonds of addiction!

Author/Recovery Writer, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 
CAT ~ “Your Recovery Starts Here!”

 

 

Guest Article By PsychCentral That Hits Home For Me…

Guest Article By PsychCentral That Hits Home For Me…

Helping Others Can Heal the Brain.
By World of Psychology & By

The greatest show in Las Vegas history must be the recent outpouring of the best of humanity. The courage shown by professional rescuers and regular citizens reaching out to help, and even risking their lives to do so, leaves many of us wondering what would we do and what can we do to help others.

Making a positive difference in someone’s life doesn’t take a life-threatening effort. Simple kindnesses can go a long way for someone struggling. I was lucky enough to receive such help this summer.

I blew out my ankle. Really blew it out. As I enjoyed a walk with my husband, on slightly uneven pavement my foot slid off the side of my two-inch platform sandal. Three bones broke and the ankle dislocated.

A 30-something couple immediately rushed to help as I sat crying and cursing on the ground, ankle deformed. The woman shielded me with her bike from any traffic in the alley close to where I crumpled. Her husband ran to get ice. My husband ran to get the car several blocks away.

This caring couple stayed with me while he was gone. I asked the woman if she was in the medical field, as she seemed so calm talking with me in my panicked state. She was not. The iceman cometh and brought immediate relief. They reassuringly talked with me about the time a car hit him and noted how he was OK now.

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Another young stranger warmly put his hand on my back, asking if there was anything he could do. I thanked him but declined. His smile and thoughtfulness remain etched in my mind, even though he may have thought he did nothing of importance. But as a psychotherapist, I know neuroscience tells us that looking into someone’s eyes in an attuned way or a gentle touch from a safe person actually helps regulate and calm the nervous system.

My husband arrived and he and the Iceman helped me up from the concrete to hop to the car. In the ER doctors expertly popped my ankle back into place. A subsequent surgery left me cocooning at home for seven weeks unable to bear weight on the foot.

I cannot thank those strangers enough for their concern. I don’t know how I could have made it alone sitting on the curb, ankle protruding waiting for my husband to fetch the car. I also don’t know what I would have done had I not had my loving husband to care for me in the moment and ensuing months of recovery.

When we have a traumatic event, something positive in that experience, such as the demonstrated concern of another human being, aids healing. The positive helps eclipse the negative. When I think back to that scary, life-changing fall, I also think of the kindness shown and feel gratitude. How many of us walk around shielded, not reaching out to others due to whatever fears or hesitancies hold us back?

Helping My Partner Understand Bipolar Disorder

Yet our brains are wired for connection. Having someone help us at a time of distress with as little as a kind word or caring facial expression, helps our brains heal from trauma. Our brains seek safety and we neurologically change for the better in its presence. When I watched Las Vegas video, I knew that although the helpers couldn’t cure the trauma, they were definitely aiding the healing.

The ultimate calming presence, Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers fame said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” How important this lesson is as we watch the aftermath of mass shootings, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and hate rallies. I know the helpers in these scenes are providing greatly needed brain healing mental health services, whether they know it or not.

In these days of daily distressing news, we can ask ourselves how can we each set an intention to help others every day even in small ways. Such acts of kindness toward others have been clinically shown to improve one’s own level of happiness and I believe help our whole world.

What better time than now for such intentions?

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My Spotlight With Writer, Kristin Walker of Mental Health News Radio and More…


I am happy to welcome, Kristin Walker to Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den’s “Writer Spotlight.” My name Catherine Lyon, Author, and owner of this Den!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

 

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Tell us your name and a little of what you do?

Kristin Sunanta Walker is my full name. I am the CEO of a behavioral health technology consulting firm, #everythingEHR and host/CEO of a podcast network Mental Health News Radio Network.


Where are you from? 
Huntington Beach, California but I now live in Asheville North Carolina


Tell us more about you? Like your education, family life. Etc.

My education is called the school of hard knocks. Severe and undiagnosed ADHD kept me from being any good at regular school. I also had depression and complex PTSD so I channeled all my energy into work. I started working full-time when I was 15. I am divorced but my best friend is my ex-husband who is also the father of our only child.


Do you have any latest news?

We have a book coming out with my podcast network in the Spring of 2018 called #mentalhealthified which is a compilation of many of the guests and podcasters on our network and their journey with addiction and mental wellness.


Are you a writer?

Yes. I have been writing since I was a teenager but not publicly until about five years ago. I have a book www.emotionalimpotence.com that is being written. Many of the essays are published in other author’s books. I’ll be completing it at the end of next year with many authors writing chapters about personality disorders.

When and why did you begin writing?

I needed to use my voice and I’m a horrid singer. I mean …. Feral cats show up to yowl if I sing, Lol, but I have plenty to get out. Writing and speaking became my outlet.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Sexual abuse at the hands of my biological father and getting entangled with a psychopath in my early forties.

 

How did you come up with the title?

Emotional Impotence was born of dealing with people who objectify other human beings, believe they are their property and have little to no empathy other than for themselves. To me, that is the epitome of being emotionally impotent. I want a book with many professionals and survivors that can explain how much damage these kinds of relationships can do to a person with empathy, especially those of us who have more empathy than others.

The second book “#mentalhealthified” is a hashtag we use for our podcast network. We want everyone in the world to feel positive about their mental well-being. We want them to get “#mentalhealthified.”

Do you have a specific writing style? More an Essay Style.


How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Chapters I write will be about me and my life. The other chapters are written by clinicians, patients, advocates, etc. about their lives.

 

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Yes. I do travel a lot for business. I visit behavioral health agencies to consult with them about their electronic health record technology. I also go to more mental health conferences than I care to admit. We do live podcasts from these venues.

Who designed the covers?

Dan Cropper who is our graphic designer and web developer. We are still working out the graphics so the covers are not ready yet.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That mental/psychological abuse is just as, if not more, detrimental to your mental health than other types of abuse. No one should be stigmatized for struggling with mental health issues which include addiction.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer?

Hands down Alice Walker – been around a long time. Her writing makes the words you think with more beautiful.  Johnnie Calloway – Simple and to the point writing style that packs a powerful punch.  And, of course, you Cat!

Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?

Andrea Schneider. She is a therapist in Southern California. She is also an author and her blog articles about psychological abuse saved my life.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope! But they are still in creation so I am sure they will change a lot before publishing date. We are now in the process of getting the red-line edits and pulling our hair out and dealing with the gut punch from editors.

 

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

That I can actually do this….And that I don’t have to do it alone. I am so much of a collaborator that I really wanted to publish books with multiple authors. So I am grateful that I have a huge number of people around the globe that are authors and wanted to be a part of my books.


If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I can’t even fathom, Lol…

Any advice for other writers?

Be nice to your editor. They are actually trying to help you.

Share one thing about you that will surprise readers?

I can stick my entire fist in my mouth, Lol! Made me real popular in High School. Kidding. I was a saint in High School but I can stick my entire fist in my mouth. Dentists love me.


Will you write another book? 
MANY…


What are you reading now?  
Weed, Inc. by Ben Cort…


Do you remember the first book you read? 
Garfield comic books.

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

The Dalai Lama which sounds so ridiculous. I literally just want to be in his energy space for 2 minutes and soak him in. The man oozes peace, contentment, and resilience.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

Podcasting. Writing. Traveling. Hanging with my friends at their houses until they beg me to leave. They are tired but man do we have intense, life-altering conversations while I am there.


Favorite Music?  It’s all over the map but I do love the 80’s.

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Telepathically communicate.


What do you want to be written on your
headstone as part of your Legacy?

If there is any bird shit on this headstone, leave it. It means wherever I am, I don’t care about this crazy thing called; “being a human being anymore.” Thank God.

 

Do you have a blog or website where readers can visit for updates, events or updates? www.mentalhealthnewsradio.com * Mental Health News on Blog Talk Radio

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Kristin, I sure thank you for sharing with me, my readers and friends! I always say God brings people into our lives at the right time and I am blessed he brought you into MINE!

Now friends, please connect with Kristin on Social Media and do go listen to her show as they are educational and informative. I will be on soon as we just taped a show together! I will let you know WHEN!

 

Kristin Sunanta Walker

 

Listen to Kristin Sunanta Walker who is CEO, everythingEHR, and CEO, MHNR Network. The host of Mental Health News Radio Links!

 

 

Please Connect With Kristin on Social Media! –  LinkedIn  –  Facebook  –  And Twitter

What Exactly Does a National Emergency Mean for Addiction? By, Alek Sabin

What Exactly Does a National Emergency Mean for Addiction? By, Alek Sabin

Recently, the Trump administration announced that the opioid epidemic and the addiction that it has caused is a national emergency that was going to require government attention. This declaration is an enormous deal in the continuing fight to reduce the effects of addiction that have spread over the country and has disproportionately affected our elderly, as well as the millennials that are supposed to be joining the workforce. However, it’s important to take a step back and look at what a declaration of a national emergency means and what exactly it changes. Here are some things to keep in mind, in the months and years ahead…


“There are two different national emergency laws that could be used.”

First of all, it’s important to note that Trump hasn’t actually made an official declaration of a national emergency through the legal system, but has said that he is going to do so. At the moment, the administration says it is exploring options about how it is going to go about declaring the emergency.

There are two laws that it must decide between when making the declaration: the Stafford Act or the Public Health Service Act. A declaration made under The Stafford Act would open up funding that is used for natural disasters and other such relief funds, while the Public Health Service Act would utilize medical resources that are at the government’s disposal. Either way, money and personnel would be deployed to different areas in need.

 

“More funding would be opened up”


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Either way, one of the major differences that an official declaration of a national emergency would mean is that more funding would be opened up to fight addiction around the country. This would especially benefit rural areas, which are horribly underfunded, at the moment, when it comes to fighting addiction.

For example, even though rates of substance abuse are similar between rural and urban areas, the overdose and chronic addiction rates are drastically higher in rural areas, due to the fact that urban areas benefit from more concentrated resources to focus on treatment. A national emergency fund would allow rural areas with more tools to prevent substance abuse is areas that have been alienated, thus far.

 

“Just a declaration alone brings greater awareness.”

 

Interestingly enough, one of the biggest benefits of declaring a national emergency has actually already been set in motion before Trump has even officially taken any other meaningful action. Just making a declaration that he is planning to make a declaration brings a great deal of awareness to the addiction situation in our country, as there are over 140 Americans that die every day, due to fatal drug overdoses.

“A national emergency combats the stigma of addiction.”

In a similar vein to the awareness that such a declaration brings, talking about the addiction epidemic as a national emergency also does a great deal to make this more of a health issue, rather than a moral one. Sadly, there is still a major stigma that surrounds addiction and substance abuse, which stems from a misunderstanding of the medical nature of addiction as a behavioral disease. A declaration of a national emergency does a great deal to combat that stigma and rallies the country around solving a problem that we have neglected to address for years.

“Lower drug prices could follow.”

One of the major points of the declaration that was brought up by Trump is that the administration plans to use its powers of national emergency to negotiate lower prices on lifesaving overdose drugs like naloxone. While it is uncertain how the administration could do this, and there isn’t outlined plan on how they would, what they can do to open up access is to waive restrictions on doctors who can prescribe drugs that fight the effects of addiction and eliminating limits on how many people doctors who specialize in addiction are able to treat.

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“A real fix must spread to the pharmaceutical industry.”

 

While a national emergency is a great step in the right direction, we can’t continue to fight a problem like addiction without first acknowledging the root of the problem. The opioid epidemic didn’t come from nowhere, and the nefarious truth about this situation is that it originated in the very medical system that is meant to keep our population healthy. Most people who are addicted to prescription opioids and harder opiates, like heroin, got these drugs legally, and for a good reason, in the first place.

Until we can eliminate our pharmaceutical industry’s addiction on prescribing prescription opioid painkillers that they know contain a high risk of addiction, we won’t be able to stem the continuing cycle of addiction. Hopefully, the national emergency causes the government to look at the cause, and not just the effect.

~Article Courtesy of Author, Alek Sabin

My Recovery Spotlight on Author & Advocate, Marilyn Lancelot a Recovering Gambler Like Me…

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What can I say more about this beautiful friend of mine who was responsible for getting gamblers anonymous meetings into Arizona’s Womens prisons and correctional facilities? Marilyn has been maintaining a long-term “Bet Free” lifestyle” and she makes it look easy. She is also my sponsor while I am temporarily living in the Phoenix, AZ area for now. Marilyn calls me each week or so like clockwork, and I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life!

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I came across a wonderful in-depth Guest Interview she did not too long ago on and courtesy of  EnCOGNITIVE.com  … I love Marilyn to pieces as we don’t often meet true supportive friends every day like her. I am excited to mention her and I will be on an upcoming coming radio show together on Mental Health News Radio Network With – Kristin Walker! Our topic will be on ” Switching Addictions” which is also the title of Marilyn’s 2nd book. Her first is a MUST READ Titled; “Gripped By Gambling” a memoir that you won’t believe and is EYE OPENING. So let’s meet and learn more about Marilyn Lancelot…

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Product Details

GRIPPED BY GAMBLING  (A book that will have you in tears and then laughter. A story told with the painful truth about the addiction of gambling and how I found recovery.)

Interview with a Recovering Compulsive Gambler.

“My name is Marilyn Lancelot and I am a recovering compulsive gambler. I visited my first casino in 1984 at the age of 53. For seven years, my boyfriend and I made the four-hour trek from Yuma, AZ to Laughlin, NV every weekend. I learned early on how to lie to my family and friends and how to sign my employers’ name to company checks. I considered suicide and planned it so it would like an accident.

Then one day the auditors discovered my embezzling. Horrified, I watched seven police cars pull into my driveway to take me away in handcuffs. I lost my job, home, life savings, my retirement, and my freedom. I had progressed from a Mrs. Cleaver type housewife to a Ma Barker type criminal.”


Questions and Answers:

Under what circumstance did you first gamble?

As a young girl, I remember playing cards with family and betting twenty-five cents a hand. I thought it very boring and everyone got drunk and argued. I went to dog and horse races and thought they were too slow. I remember vividly the first time I gambled in a casino. I visited Las Vegas with my husband but only played the twenty-five cent slot machines. It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I spent a weekend at a bowling tournament in Reno, NV and that’s when I became addicted.

Did you win the first time you gambled?

The weekend in Reno was what many refer to as beginner’s luck. I just couldn’t lose. I felt I was destined to become a professional gambler and could earn a living in the casinos.

After the first time you gambled, when did you come back again?

When I got home from the bowling tournament I told my boyfriend what an incredible weekend I had and we must drive to Laughlin the following week. We did drive the 4½ hours to the casinos and 4 ½ hours home for the next seven years.

Was it internal or external pressure that made you want to quit?

I didn’t want to quit even though the gambling was killing me, physically, emotionally, and financially. There was no external pressure because of no-one, not even my family knew of my addiction. It was my money and I could do whatever I wanted to and when I wanted to.

What would you say was the lowest point in your gambling life?

Some of the lowest periods in my gambling were the times when I wanted to die; when my credit cards were maxed out, when I began embezzling money from my employer, and when I realized I couldn’t do anything about my gambling. But the very lowest was when the police came and took me away in handcuffs for a crime I committed to support my habit.

What were your game or games of choice?

My game of choice was the slot machine. No other form of gambling gave me the hypnotic feeling of escaping as the slot machines did.

Did you have rituals you went through each time you gambled?

My rituals for my weekend at the casino were to wear my lucky shirt, my lucky jewelry, and to follow the same path around the casino floor each weekend. I thought any changes would spoil my luck.

Why do you think it’s hard for compulsive gamblers to understand that money can’t be made through gambling? What is their mindset, do you think?

It was difficult for me to understand that money couldn’t be made through gambling because once in a while I did win and everyone around me won so my turn would come again. I believed I could win all my losses back if I just tried harder. I even bought books on how to gamble successfully. I had to continue to gamble until I hit the big jackpot.

Besides the money, what would you say was the worst thing you lost because of gambling?

I think the worst loss was my loss of the seven years I gambled. For those years I was a zombie and didn’t have time for my family. My mind was not on my job during the week because all I could think about was the weekend.

There is a theory that addictions run in families. Was there anyone in your immediate family who had an addiction problem?

My parents both had drinking problems so if addictive, compulsive behavior is hereditary, then I believe my poor coping skills came from my parents. I don’t blame anyone but myself for my addictions. My five children all became addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Poor coping skills have been contributed to addictions. Can you share with us what coping skills you’ve learned that have helped you? Then specifically how you cope with:

Anger: When I feel angry about something or someone, I stop and analyze my feelings (after months and years of practicing, it becomes second nature) and decide if I should really be upset by the situation or just move past the issue. Like driving down the freeway, if I slow down and allow someone to cut in front of me, I can’t be angry because I allowed that person the courtesy.

Rejection: Feelings of rejection go back many years even before I attended my first 12-step program. If I truly love someone and they abandon me or say cruel things to me, I tell myself, that because I love that person, I will allow them to do with their lives what they want to do. And there again is my decision to allow. If I think they may be on a self-destructive path, I will share my thoughts with them and then allow them to do as they wish. I have learned that I cannot control anyone, not even myself sometimes.

Insecurity: I am not bothered by insecurities today. There was a time when I suffered deeply from an inferiority complex. Today I don’t, I feel that I’m as good a person as I’m supposed to be and I hope people will accept me as I am.

The past: I have forgiven myself for the damage I caused in the past and the mistakes I’ve made. I will never forget them, they’re part of who I am today but I don’t punish myself for my past.

Frustration: If I feel frustration coming on, I do a quick analysis of my surroundings and what’s bothering me. I recite the Serenity Prayer and if I can do something about the problem, I will try and if I can’t, I will accept the consequences.

Or other emotions and events?

Jealousy sometimes pops its ugly head over my shoulder but with a little thought exercise, I can usually make a decision that will show me I have nothing to fear or envy.

Prior to gambling addiction, did you have another addiction? Or did you have another addiction while you were gambling?

I’ve always had addictive patterns in my life. I have had eating problems, I’ve gone through a period where I was a workaholic, I’m a recovering alcoholic and now a recovering compulsive gambler. I know today that if anything feels good, tastes good, or looks good, I have to be aware of the dangers of another addiction.

What would you say is the worst addiction? And why?

I think overeating must be the tougest addiction to cope with. With all other addictions, the person gives up the drug, habit, etc. completely, but with an eating addiction, the person has to modify their habits and continue to stay in the problem but with control.

Almost half of compulsive gamblers are now women. What do you think is contributing to this increase?

I think more women are becoming compulsive gamblers because we are more independent today, we make decisions, earn money, and many of the women are single parents with more responsibilities. Gambling is around every corner, the little store on the corner sells lottery tickets and the churches have bingo. Women feel safe in casinos and the casinos in our backyards and if we can’t drive there, the casino will send a bus to your neighborhood and give you a ride.

There are many theories as to why people develop a gambling problem. They range from social, environmental, biological, cognitive, and spiritual. In your experience, what contributed most to your problem? What theory or theories do you think affect most people?

I guess I don’t look for the reasons why I gambled, I’m just grateful that I found a way to stop. It really doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, young or old, college graduate or high school drop-out, the gambling addiction is not prejudiced.

If you could draw up a plan to help someone to quit gambling, what would that plan look like in detail?

If I could draw up a plan for someone to quit gambling, I would follow the 12 steps of Gamblers Anonymous. I would encourage them to attend meetings, find a sponsor, and make an appointment to see a gambling counselor.

How do you feel about the gambling industry as a whole? Do you think they have the right to operate as a business and it’s caveat emptor (buyer beware) for the consumers?

I have no opinion on the gambling industry as a whole. I just know it’s not for me.

The gambling industry is expanding as a whole. Do you think more people will become addicted to gambling because of this?

Yes, I think the gambling industry is expanding and more people will become addicted. They can’t avoid it with the clever advertising the casinos provide. The casinos are beautiful and the gamblers are treated royally.

How do you feel about poker? Seeing that it’s all over the place now. Do you feel that celebrities playing in poker tournaments is setting a bad example to young people?

I’m sure the poker tournaments on television will tempt many viewers to take that trip to a casino and test their skill. It could be a trigger for some.

You’ve credited Gamblers Anonymous as being instrumental in your recovery. Can you share with us your experiences in the program– the people you’ve met, your most memorable moments and low-points while in the program?

Gamblers Anonymous saved my life. When I was at the lowest point in my addiction and attended my first GA meeting, I knew this was where I belonged. I knew the other members couldn’t do it for me but I couldn’t do it without them. But I do feel there are many other ways to get help and treatment.

Do you agree with the Gamblers Anonymous program that people are “powerless” over gambling?

I know that I was powerless over gambling because I tried so many times to stop driving to the casinos and I just couldn’t stop. Each weekend on the ride home, I’d cry to myself, “I’m never coming back, this is so stupid.” And half-way home I’d be planning my next trip.

Did any friend or family member attempt to understand your problem? Or did you try to hide it from them?

I don’t think any of my friends nor my family would have understood my gambling addiction. They weren’t aware of my problem because I kept it hidden so well. I even rented a post office box so credit card bills wouldn’t be sent to my home.

Do you remember how many bottoms you hit?

What was the worst or most memorable one? Every morning when I woke up and every weekend on my way home from the casino, was a bottom. The most frightening one was when the seven police cars came to my home and took me away in handcuffs.

Did suicide ever cross your mind in the midst of the addiction?

I thought of suicide many times. When I drove alone in my car I thought one quick turn of the wheel and I’d hit a wall or an 18-wheeler and that would be the end of my gambling.

How did gambling make you feel? What were you hoping to get out of it?

While I gambled, I always thought gambling made me feel good. Some nights I sat on the stool at the casino and didn’t care whether I won or lost, I just wanted to keep playing. The money didn’t seem real.

How many times did you try quitting before you succeeded?

I think I quit every weekend for the seven years I gambled compulsively. That only lasted for ten miles down the road when we left the casino and then I would be planning my next trip. I’d wear a different shirt and I wouldn’t wear that dumb bracelet because that’s what gave me the bad luck.

What were the reactions of your family and friends when you were gambling?

My family and friends never knew the amount of money I lost or won. A compulsive gambler becomes very clever with lies and covering up all their gambling problems. We just can’t let anyone know what we’re doing, they make try to make us quit and I wasn’t ready to quit.

Does the thought of gambling creep into your mind sometimes?

I’m happy to say that gambling doesn’t have a place in my thoughts. I’ve been told that I’m not responsible for the first thought that comes into my head but I am responsible for what I do with it after that. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t gambled since I attended my first meeting more than 16 years ago but I know that if I made that first bet, I’d be off and running again. And this time I would probably die.

Do you have any regrets?

I have regrets. I regret the harm I did to my employer and I’m sorry for not being there for my family. I’ve forgiven myself but I’ll never forget what I’ve done. You can process it so it doesn’t haunt you every day.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to quit?

If someone wants to quit, they’re half-way there. The desire to stop is the biggest step a compulsive gambler can make. If we don’t have the desire, we can’t quit…

My book GRIPPED BY GAMBLING may be purchased through Amazon.com and other on-line bookstores. The blog here by Author, Catherine Lyon has some good advice and resources I hope people who may have a gambling problem stay and look around while they are here and share with friends and family…

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Marilyn Lancelot

Again, I want to thank EnCOGNITIVE.com  for letting me share this fantastic and informative interview with Marilyn Lancelot. She has published two more important books since Gripped By Gambling. You can visit her on Amazon for all her books here: Amazon Author Page