Problem Gambling 101. How It Progresses and Becomes Addicting. Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and My Experiences.

Problem Gambling 101. How It Progresses and Becomes Addicting. Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and My Experiences.

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If there is one thing I know, it’s about problem gambling on a personal level and how progressive this disease is, how it becomes a slow shift from being a once-in-a-while gambler to a full-blown obsessive out-of-control addicted freak! No lie here! And how it got me was having lots of time on my hands when I got off work when my husband was working out of town a lot. Being bored. And became my only fun and excitement in life at that time back in late 1996 and really ramped up all of 1997 and on.

It then progressed from there and my life wouldn’t be the same as it got UGLY for many years. All that can be read within my first book. It is the purpose of “Addicted To Dimes” and was written for.  It is the “HOW’S” of becoming a gambling addict. After two times through the gambling treatment program, two failed suicide attempts, and finally on the road maintaining recovery is when I learned some of the “ROOTS” to my addiction and at the end, before treatment, lead me to abuse alcohol because addicted gambling alone was becoming, “Not Enough.”

Being informed, educated, and knowledgable for me is important since I now advocate about this disease that cost me way more than money wasted. I tell my sponsees it almost took my life. Does that sound like gambling is just about FUN, Games, and Entertainment? Not to those who become addicted. So, courtesy of Wikipedia and “Gamblers Anonymous Site” — but in order for those to understand who have NO experience of or have not been “touched” by any addiction? …

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What Is Addiction?

Addiction is when the body or mind badly wants or needs something in order to work right. When you suffer addiction to something it is called being addicted or being an addict. People can be addicted to drugs, gambling, smoking, alcohol, coffee, and many other things.

When somebody is addicted to something, they can become sick if they do not get the thing they are addicted to. But taking more of the thing they are addicted to can also hurt their health. Some people who are addicts need to go to a doctor, hospital, or treatment to cure the addiction, so they no longer crave (want or need) …

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What Is Problem Gambling or Addicted Gambling?


Problem gambling
 is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.
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Other Names Ludomania, gambling addiction, compulsive gambling

 

A DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions. The term gambling addiction has long been used in the recovery movement.[1] Pathological gambling was long considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction.

However, data suggest a closer relationship between pathological gambling and substance use disorders than exists between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder, largely because the behaviors in problem gambling and most primary substance use disorders (i.e. those not resulting from a desire to “self-medication” for another condition such as depression) seek to activate the brain’s reward mechanisms while the behaviors characterizing obsessive-compulsive disorder are prompted by overactive and misplaced signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.

Problem gambling is an addictive behavior with a high comorbidity with alcohol problems. A common feature shared by people who suffer from gambling addiction is impulsivity. (Mine so happened to be for Escaping or Coping with old childhood trauma).
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Signs and symptoms

In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period:

  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
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  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
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  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
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  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)
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  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)
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  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
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  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
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  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling
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  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling

ALL of the above from my past addiction I experienced and got even MORE SEVERE! Did I use household money to gamble? YES. Did I gamble my paycheck in a few hours? YES. Did I steal and lie to get money to gamble? YES…AND MORE. It is a cunning sick addiction and disease. THEN CAME? Suicide attempts!

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Threats Sobriety 1 (1)
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Suicide Rates

The gambler who does not receive treatment for pathological gambling when in his or her desperation phase may contemplate SUICIDE. Problem gambling is often associated with increased Suicidal Ideation and attempts compared to the general population. 1 in 5 will try suicide. Early onset of problem gambling increases the lifetime risk of suicide. However, gambling-related suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling.

A 2010 Australian hospital study found that 17% of suicidal patients admitted to the Alfred Hospital’s emergency department were problem gamblers. In the United States, a report by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempt suicide. The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.

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2.6% of people living in the United States are now problem gamblers. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction. Studies have compared pathological gamblers to substance addicts, concluding that addicted gamblers display more physical symptoms during withdrawal. A myth needing known. Addicted gamblers DO go through a Detox and Withdrawal period. Deficiencies in serotonin might also contribute to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction.

Lastly, the Pathological Part of this ADDICTION:
Several psychological mechanisms are thought to be implicated in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. First, reward processing seems to be less sensitive to problem gamblers. Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives. Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissism, risk-seeking, sensation-seeking, and impulsivity.

Fourth, problem gamblers suffer from a number of cognitive biases, including the illusion of control, unrealistic optimism, overconfidence and the gambler’s fallacy, which is (the incorrect belief that a series of random events tends to self-correct so that the absolute frequencies of each of various outcomes balance each other out).

Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory. If you want more in-depth information about gambling addiction there is much more on Wikipedia here about problem and addicted gambling.

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May Was Mental Awareness Month. One Last Guest Post and Share By Tony Roberts. No Needs To Suffer Alone.

May Was Mental Awareness Month. One Last Guest Post and Share By Tony Roberts. No Needs To Suffer Alone.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NEEDS TO BE ALL YEAR

Mental Illness on The Streets
By Tony Roberts
Of
“Delight In Disorder Blog”

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Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  (Matthew 8:20)

 

Jesus understood what it is like to be without a home.  Yes, he was a Rabbi supported by the financial contributions of his followers, but he was also a wandering soul at the mercy of the hospitality or rejection of strangers. Masses moved from jubilant shouts of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!!” to vehement cries, “Crucify him!” From a divine perspective, the homelessness of Christ was part of his mission. But this certainly didn’t lessen his human suffering.

Jesus teaches us that if we want to follow him, we too will take up crosses such as he did. This has meant many things for Christians throughout the ages —  from verbal harassment to capital punishment, and everything in between. The Apostle Paul and his companions certainly knew sacrificial hardship. He writes:

 

To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.  (1 Corinthians 4.11)

 

Homelessness? Jesus gets it. Paul gets it. But does this offer any hope to any of the 150 million people in the world who are homeless today?

The first step to shining the light of Gospel hope is to better grasp the darkness. What causes a person to become homeless?  Marjorie Baldwin suggests it can be many things:

 

What is the underlying problem? There are numerous factors that may lead to homelessness (e.g. domestic violencesubstance abuse, unemployment), but one of the most important is untreated mental illness. Estimates suggest that, nationwide, one-third of homeless persons have a serious mental illness (SMI). In some places, the proportion of mentally ill among the homeless is even greater: 70% in Roanoke, Virginia (2007) and 67% in Colorado Springs (2009). [Torrey 2014; TAC 2015] Most homeless people with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment; many do not even know they are ill. (“Homeless, Mentally Ill, and Neglected”).

 

The vast number of homeless persons in the U.S. who have a mental illness is a travesty, an indictment on a nation who fooled itself into believing that the best way to treat brain-sick patients was to dope them up with psychotropics, kick them out of advanced hospitals and expect community-based homes to magically appear which would offer expert care medical, psychological, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and relational such that healing might happen.

It hasn’t.

That is the darkness. So where is the ray of hope? I’d like to shine three points of light.

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1.  Food 4 Souls is shining a light in the midst of homeless camps in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their vision is:

 

We exist to go out and serve our homeless community with unconditional love and acceptance by providing Hope in ChristMeeting Daily Needs andAligning Resources to those who are ready to move into a life beyond homelessness.

 

Community Relations Director Dawn Adams shared a story on an episode of the podcast Revealing Voices about “L.A.” she met sequestered at a far-end of one of the homeless camps. She called out for him, but he wouldn’t budge. She told him she would leave a meal and be back the following week.

The next week, she returned. Same thing. Call out. No response. Leave meal. Promise to be back.

This went on for some time. L.A. finally came out to meet her. He was still reserved but opened up more each week. Dawn came week after week. Month after month. Year after year. She said in time L.A. revealed estrangement, emotional wounds, spiritual scars. Dawn stressed that she is not a mental health expert, but she saw that L.A. got the help he needed. Dawn offered L.A. something beyond what his essential care providers could. She became his friend.

We asked if Dawn still sees L.A.. She smiled and answered yes. But not on the streets. He has an apartment of his own now. They meet for coffee at Starbucks.

 

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.  (Matthew 25:40)

 

2. Mental Illness Policy.org offers “unbiased information for policymakers and media.” In an age of relative truth and fake news, this is a very bold claim. Founder D.J. Jaffe provides here a vast clearinghouse of resources on mental illness past, present, and future. An advocate since 1980, it seems he has yet to lose any passion for drawing attention to the needs of those who are too often overlooked.

Jaffe’s articles and recommendations have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review, Forbes. He has appeared on national news broadcasts explaining issues surrounding mental illness and violence. Federal, state and local policymakers have solicited and relied on his scholarship. He is widely credited as the primary mover behind Kendra’s Law, New York state legislation that allows judges to mandate treatment for people with serious mental illness and a history of violence.

Jaffe is the author of Insane Consequences: How The Mental Health Industry Fails The Mentally Ill (Prometheus Books, 2017).

The thing I admire most about Jaffe and the reason I support Mental Illness.org is that he refuses to accept conventional myths that those of us with mental illness always know and can accomplish what is best for us. Hard experiential evidence and emerging scientific discoveries demonstrate that we are often our own worst enemies. Our minds betray us. We need rational laws and reasonable resources that protect us and others from our illness.

 

3.  Kennedy-Krieger Institute has a mission:

 

“To transform the lives of children with disorders of the brain through groundbreaking research, innovative treatments, and life-changing education.”

 

And their vision is:

 

“Discoveries of how the brain develops and functions are occurring at an accelerating pace. The Kennedy Krieger Institute leads the way in translating these scientific advances into new therapies and educational interventions, while providing an inspirational environment for training tomorrow’s leaders in the field. These successes benefit millions of children and families around the world.”

 

The reason I’m highlighting Kennedy-Krieger is simple. His name is Jacob.

Jacob was born with Down syndrome. Like many persons with this unique genetic profile, Jacob brought joy into the world and shared delight with everyone he met. He was the life of the party.

I say was because when he hit puberty, he collapsed. Literally. He went into a comatose-like state where all he would do is lie on the ground. He only got up to eat and void. His parents, Don and Joyce, were advised to take him to Kennedy-Krieger at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. There they met Dr. George Capone who, by his own admission, guessed what was going on.

Dr. Capone had heard of a study from the University of Missouri of 12 similar cases. They had gained approval for and administered experimental treatment. Out of the 12; five got better, five stayed the same, and three regressed.

Don asked Dr. Capone if he recommended the treatment and if so, could he provide it. Dr. Capone said he could not.  Don told me there was something calculated in his facial expression when he said, “I can not.” What did he mean? Don wondered.  I don’t recommend it? It’s not my specialty? Maybe even, Kennedy-Krieger has yet to approve it?

At any rate, it didn’t happen. Jacob would endure another 5 years of a state of catatonia where he seemed to be living in another world.

But that’s not the end of the story. Research on the treatment expanded, much conducted by Kennedy-Krieger and similar institutions. Many successes were reported, some dramatic. The treatment went from becoming experimental to being recommended. Even by Dr. Capone. Don and Joyce decided to give it a shot.

Jacob is now 18. His teachers say he is making amazing progress. His principal, who has known Jacob since kindergarten, says glimpses of his exuberant joy are back. Jacob is ready to launch into the world and share his delight with others.

 

Homelessness is not so much about a lack of housing as it is a lack of mental health care. We combat homeless when we become friends fight for better laws and support research for a cure.

Philosophical Rants #20: The Gambler’s Fallacy

Hello Recovery Friends,
Meet Peter! This is a very in-depth, interesting, and indormative post by him about “The Gambler’s Fallacy.” Take a visit and you’ll Get It!

*CAT*

Inverted logic

INTRODUCTION:

From the standpoint of logic, it seems quite salient that human thought is blighted with a plethora of logical fallacies.  Fallacies ranging from the misapplication or misleading heuristics to obdurate ratiocinations that blatantly rejects the established unassailable facts of reality. The spectrum of reasoning errors as you can imagine is quite vast. Hence why there is a multitude of various logical fallacies that are commonly discussed in the subdiscipline of Philosophy known as logic. The question then becomes why precisely we as humans are so incredibly susceptible to such faulty thinking?  While humankind is far from perfect it is awe inspiring how flawed our thinking is. The follies and pitfalls of human thought have a wide range of generally latent motives that act as the prime mover of such errors.  Not all intentional even at the subconscious level, but rather are the byproduct of the conflation or transposing different…

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

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

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

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

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

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BIG ACHIEVEMENT!

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6 Year Anniversary Achievement
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Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 6 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us.

Keep up the good recovery blogging.

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

Let’s Chat Recovery Lifestyle! Do You Just Live IN Recovery? Or Live an Amazing Life While Maintaining Recovery?

Let’s Chat Recovery Lifestyle! Do You Just Live IN Recovery? Or Live an Amazing Life While Maintaining Recovery?

Welcome Recovery Warriors, Supporters, and New Visitors,

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Now that summer is almost here; many get outdoors, plan vacations, and LIVE LIFE. So, how do you still put your gambling recovery first?

See, there was a time I could never do that. What I mean is, when I was still active in my gambling addiction, it seemed even in the summer or vacation time, it always had to have some form of “gambling venue” or option attached or nearby. How sick is that? It made me begin to think? How do others maintaining recovery from gambling put their recovery first and a balanced healthy Lifestyle?

I felt and have seen my own recovery go through phases as we begin to live life again while keeping mindful of our recovery journey. We don’t “LIVE IN Recovery; we “LIVE LIFE while maintaining it” …I hear too many people who only work 12-Step recovery programs, (no offense) that they only have friends within the 12-step program and leave all other friends behind or only do the 12-Step program activities. That, to me, is not living a well-balanced lifestyle or recovery.

And Those slogans? They never made any sense to me? “Meeting Make It!” No, they don’t. You need to do the work maintaining recovery and a whole lot more. Only attending meetings is NOT going to keep you Bet Free, Clean, and Sober. A few years back, I came across a fantastic article written about these topics and concerns that kind of made my points and made a lot of sense to me then!

I began to put my recovery first and learning to have a balanced lifestyle after reading this article at “The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation” Lifestyle Article.

Here are a few areas I’d like to ‘Share and Highlight’ as they are essential while we continue our life-long maintenance of recovery while living a beautiful lifestyle!

Some From Hazelden Article:

“For many addicts of all addictions, our lifestyle blocks our recovery. It is easy to see the problem when we have a terrible lifestyle: living with an abusive partner, hanging out with drug-dealing and drug-seeking friends, or going to bars or casinos to gamble with old friends or to prove that we can have a soft drink among all that alcohol.

Counselors and sponsors tell us that we must leave behind all negative influences to make recovery our highest priority and make Recovery First. But that doesn’t mean all your family, friends, job, and more. Yes, healing and mindful recovery have to come in first place, and yes, ahead of wife, kids, job, and other relationships that we treasure. Part of this decision is practical. If we put recovery in second (or lower) place, we will eventually lose our recovery, as well as whatever it was we put in the first place. ”

“There is also another way that lifestyle can interfere with recovery. Our mistake is taking a good, attractive lifestyle and recovery making it the center of our lives. We require our treatment and recovery goals to “fit into” our lifestyle, and not disrupt it.

“The more attractive our lifestyle, the more likely we are to COMPROMISE our recovery in search of a pleasant and comfortable way of life. Yes, it is a fine line and how complacency can sneak in. If our lifestyle is healthy, comfortable and well-rounded, we take that as a “given” fact of life and then try to accommodate our recovery without disrupting all that’s pleasurable about life” …

“In treatment, this shows up as an unwillingness to spend more than 28 days working on our recovery full time. Patients frequently say they’d love to have additional time here, but something about the home or workplace demands the highest priority instead. Many professionals feel, such as doctors and lawyers, say that they must return to their professional practice right away. Managers and directors swear that their companies could not live without them, and so the patients must get right back to work. Mistake.”

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Having FUN At A Speaking Event 4 Big Jim’s Ride, Phoenix, AZ!

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Look, I love many things in the “real world,” but what have I learned in my time of 12+yrs maintaining my recovery while living a life? “That I love the world of spirituality, sobriety, and being BET-FREE more.” It is no different than having a medical ailment or being a diabetic, as you learn to manage it as you continue living your life. But remember there is a period in early treatment and recovery that needs to be first in order to learn a healthy lifestyle while maintaining recovery.

And why I always suggest to my sponsees or friends who are “stuck and cannot move forward” to maybe work with a recovery life coach or if you are early into treatment and your recovery? Talk about it with your treatment counselor or therapist about “Lifestyle Balance,” so you can be on the right track living live the way it should be, balanced, healthy, FUN and active!

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ME, Hubby, and Mr. Randy Grimes, former NFL Pro in Purple and Dear Friend!

Childhood Abuse and Trauma Happens. It Happened To Me and It Is My Roots To Addiction … Special Guest Article.

Childhood Abuse and Trauma Happens. It Happened To Me and It Is My Roots To Addiction … Special Guest Article.

Baking Cookies; Confronting Abuse ~ by Amanda Ladwig…
{first published on October 2, 2018} ~ Delight In Disorder
Courtesy of  “Tony Roberts Blog”

 

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One of the many amazing things about truly working through childhood sexual abuse is the act of taking every single thought, and terrible memory captive and watching Christ redeem them. Facing them. Feeling them. Without making excuses. Without placing or taking the blame. The abuse and abuser no longer linger in the darkest parts of your mind controlling or tainting the memories you have.

They are front and center. Begging to be defeated. Every day, and sometimes minute-by-minute, there are battles fought to reclaim simple things, innocent objects, smells, and sounds. Things that may seem trivial to others represent a great victory. That being said, today I fought a battle and won. Today, I reclaimed what should have been a pleasant childhood memory. Today, I ate an Italian wedding cookie and enjoyed it. That won’t mean much to you, but to me, it is a significant victory.

As a little girl, trips to my aunt’s house happened only a couple of times per year. She always prepared special things to eat for our visits. However, we didn’t get to eat until I had spent some time with her brother. It was only then, after being a good girl and “spending time with my boyfriend,” as he referred to himself, that I would have access to my favorite cookies.  It didn’t take long before those cookies became like poison. For the mere smell of almond or amaretto to make me physically ill.

However, after 30 years of hiding all of the sordid details of my childhood. I believe the Holy Spirit, moving, convinced me it was time. Time to bury old demons and the only way I could do that was to reclaim the territory my enemy had taken so many years ago. Cookies.

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Loved One Depression 2

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My daughter and I baked them together. The house filled with the very familiar and slightly terrifying scent. As I paused before taking a bite, I reminded myself of where I was and the person I was with. I watched my daughter dance around singing about how good it was. I took in that very moment, and I took a bite.

It was wonderful. Not only did it taste good, but I felt strong. As if I was declaring to my abuser “No!  You may not have these cookies!  You defiled my innocence, but you may not steal my ability to enjoy a cookie!” My life is full of moments like that. Every day there is a battle fought and sometimes won. They often go unnoticed by the people closest to me. However, they are mighty victories.

My children will never know that this was an important day for me. That there was a time I considered Italian wedding cookies toxic and terrifying.  They will always enjoy the smell and taste, and hopefully, it will stir wonderful memories.

There are often things we carry from our childhood that restrain our ability to enjoy simple things. It destroys our ability to accept and receive the good things God intended for us to have. Love and intimacy are one of those things. Just as the smell of a particular type of cookie triggered a reaction of fear and shame, the idea of love can seem meant for destruction. Therefore, the very idea that God “loves” us terrifies us. Love to an abuse survivor often means manipulation and pain.

The first, time I heard the verse, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” my reaction was not joy or amazement. My reaction was suspicion. I wanted to know what He wanted from me. Surely, I now owed Him something, or it was a trick.

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It took me years to begin to understand that Christ chose me; He loves me not because He needs me for anything. He did not send His son to die for me in an attempt to guilt me into trusting Him or doing things for Him. He chose me and loves me because He is God. He is all sufficient.

I cannot reclaim my childhood. I still battle with depression and flashbacks. However, I can now, through Christ, reclaim how I react to things. I can choose feeling pleasure over feeling fear, and I can choose love over hate. I can choose these things because Christ has given me the power and ability. This is part of the freedom found in Christ.

Freedom to love.

Freedom to forgive.

Freedom to rejoice.

Freedom to enjoy a cookie.

I am Honored to Announce My New Author Interview With NF Reads. I Enjoy Writing.

“Tables Got Turned On CAT by NF Reads! I hope you go visit them and give the full interview a read as it as an HONOR to be Invited after all … Catherine

"Cat Lyon's Reading & Writing Den"

NF READS ~ NFReads.com | Interesting Articles. Inspiring Stories.

I was honored and had the pleasure of being invited for an in-depth author interview by NFReads.com about my craft of writing, about why I wrote my book, about recovery life, and some other intriguing questions. I included and shared some book marketing tips for authors in the interview and shared about my long-term recovery as well.

I hope you will take some time to visit and read the Full Interview!

Interview with Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)“Books can come by imagination with vibrant storylines and characters. Come in many genres and about real life, or sometimes they come by way of a little “Divine Intervention” like my book.”   ~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

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AND The Last Question Was?

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself?

Oh my. OK. I love dill pickle slices and mayo sandwiches. I am a cat…

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