Why do you write?
Since living my life in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse for more than 8 years now, and even as a young teenager, I always had a diary. I also learned to journal through treatment, therapy, and later in life, in addiction treatment. I have always had some sort of diary or journal with me most of the time. I enjoyed writing, made up poems with a wish that someday they would become some famous words in a song. Just having dreams. Maybe even being a writer someday or a published author. Then things began to happen in my life that I would ask God many, many times
As a little girl, I had many dark secrets being held inside me for many years. It’s when some of my rage slowly began, but you’d never know it. My secrets of years from heavy-handed discipline, hurtful verbal abuse by my parents as a teen, sexually abused from age 7 to 11 years old. And not by one, but by two men, so-called friends of the family. And certain things that happen in a dysfunctional family that linger with you, an awful secret my parents kept from my brother, my sisters. and me for years until we found out later in as adults. I seemed to hang on to all of that, and stuffed it way deep inside me. Then adulthood comes calling. Life begins to happen. The job, the responsibilities, marriage, the bills, and the stress society puts on us. And you think your just another normal, average, everyday person like the rest of the people living in the world. Boy was I wrong.
One day, something happened. Something changed inside me A sort of shift. Not a particular event or anything, but just something inside you doesn’t quite feel right. Call it self-awareness? Oh no. When you bury hurt and pain for years? It builds and builds, and my storm was coming . . .
Then, you lose a very special person in your life to cancer. This starts a chain reaction in life. He was only 36 at the time of his passing, and he was like my brother I never had. And, . . he happened to be the only person I ever told what I went through as a little girl. Things no little girl should have to endure.
Now he was gone . . .
That set up that “Perfect Storm” in my life at the ripe young age of 30. And for the next 11 years or so I lost myself. I lost myself to a deep dark monster called gambling addiction. Now your most likely asking yourself about now, “what does all that have to do with writing?”. . . I’ll get to that shortly.
I was about 36 when it began around 1996. I started using gambling to “escape the old past haunts and pain knocking at my door.” I was also suffering undiagnosed mental and emotional health disorders. Went undiagnosed, as my psychiatrist says, since I was that little lost, hurt and isolated girl. Then the gambling addiction and alcohol abuse on top of all that pain years later? Lets just say it didn’t end very well. All of that story can be read in my current book titled, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”
My writing was of my saving grace. Even after all the bad I went through with my addictions, and there was a lot of bad, and yes, due to my poor choices, but I was a very sick person at the time. No, no excuses, just insights into an another addict. Another addict who has turned her life around for the better. But 2011 and a news article got me write, I wrote like crazy to see it all. All the bad, all the good, and even in my darkest of days, even after my 2 failed suicide attempts, the 2 hospital trips, and to the Mental/Addictions Crisis Center in 2002, and 2006.
WHY did I write?
Because I needed an outlet to purge all that old hurt, pain, shame, guilt, and so much more! Writing for me was like my bible. Yes, my 5 hand written notebooks were also my bible. Writing helped me to sort through it all, begin to heal, and to begin to start letting go, start to forgive, and begin long-term recovery and healing. Writing was my life line into my soul. It helped me to recover from this cunning addiction of gambling and alcohol abuse. Writing was again responsible for my 5 notebooks I hand wrote in for a year. Everything I went through with my addictions, which became a published book.
And the rest? GODS intervention, his doing and Miracle. He was the one who gave me a way to help others suffering from this and all addictions. He has given me my purpose in life, to help others. He was the one who gave me the gift to write. (And that doesn’t mean I’m a professional writer). . . It means I get to express my recovery, share my story and journey through the magic of written words. I can share what is in or in my heart at any given moment. That is what being a writer means to me and why.
Even today, it still brings tears to my eyes when I read those dark pages in my diary/journals after both suicide attempts. I was so angry the first time at God! I just wanted him to let me die already, so I wouldn’t hurt myself, and those around me any longer through my addiction. It wasn’t ME, it was the Sick Me! I didn’t have the strength to stop compulsively gambling, and was really tired of being sick and tired. The second suicide attempt? Well, that was all me. I had stopped taking my bipolar, depression, and PTSD medications. And in just a few short weeks, I spiraled out of control to another suicide attempt and mental break down. ~My world went Black for the second time~
To Be Continued . . . . *Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Writer*
“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~
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