There is no need for Popularity on social media to become an ideal .

ESPECIALLY in The Recovery Arena on Facebook!!
A very disturbing trend happening with Recovery Advocates and many peddling their wears, who has the most “LIKES” for their videos and all on the backs of those SUFFERING FROM ADDICTIONS???

Catherine

Sweetu Rocks

What do you think What is perfection? How to be perfect? How to take this Perfection . ?

You know what Some People think about it . ? Perfection Means not just only having a job , Because some people think that perfection means wonderful personality with good looks . And What is the definition of perfection in people’s mind? is just like that – Some People think that perfection is the modern lifestyle of popular people . Some think that perfection means live in the big house and a lot of moneys . And some people thinks , that luxury cars collection is the name of perfection . More Different Thinking and more different ideas About the perfection in peoples mind .

We have seen Many people on social media and around . some of them are exhalent . Those some people having a Strong Body . Some of…

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Just My Gambling Recovery Ramblings About “Life Happens Unexpected.” So, Be Ready For It …

Just My Gambling Recovery Ramblings About “Life Happens Unexpected.” So, Be Ready For It …

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I have always been a believer that ‘God’ brings people and interactions with others in our lives at certain times on our journey called life while maintaining recovery from gambling addiction. It might be for a season or a lifetime. Either way, it happens for a reason.

Let me explain.

In 2013 we had to move from Southern Oregon to Arizona for my husband job and was offered a new supervisory position, but it was here in Arizona! See, we were struggling financially in Oregon as he was not getting 40 hours per workweek. He does now in Arizona. And believe or not, as an author I am still a penniless writer! LOL and by no means a rich recovering addict too! We got here and moved into the cheapest complex at the time and what we could afford.

We have been living in only in a 525 square foot apartment and have for the past six years. Now, the complex is getting ready to go under full reconstruction and chosen not to renew ANY current tenants leases as ours ends October 31st, 2019. We finally got our notice letting us know.

So now, ready or not, “NOT!,” we have to move by Nov. 1st, 2019 and are not in a full position financially to move! So far (and big thank you to my “Keys Family” and my friends Randy Grimes, and Kelly who owns ‘The Atlanta Water Gardens’ and my Best Friend Author, Kim Carter have all chipped in to help my hubby Tom and me with some financial gifts and support to help out. As it sure is expensive to come up with first and last months rent and rental fees and deposits …

So we are touring a few new places but need to raise $900 more for “Move-In – Pet Rent and Deposits “…


Many of you know my backstory of being a woman maintaining recovery and dually-diagnosed with mental health challenges, this could become a deeply stressful event for me, a possible source of “Relapse” mode.  Thankfully I have learned and gained experiences and so I have a solid “Relapse Prevention Plan” in place for life events such as this.  I have also learned through hard all my recovery work that a ‘Relapse’ would only make our situation worse!

Now since I am dually-diagnosed while maintaining my recovery,  I battle mental and emotional challenges with depression, mood disorder and the worst comes mostly from my agoraphobia disorder which makes it even tougher to be diligent and NOT complacent while in recovery.

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So, relapse is just not an option for me. Not to say I have not had any stress and fear over having to move. Well, I have.  Like fear of the UNKNOWN or will it be a safe environment for me.  But, again, RELAPSE is not an option as I know how quickly I would spiral and be right back where I was almost thirteen years ago, on the edge of a third suicide attempt.

Yes, I am being real and raw about where I have been in the thick of my gambling. I CHOOSE to not let the fear, stress, and trauma of having to move, the financial stressors, and the “unknown” get the best of me.

But back to my first point of “God Brings Others to Us”?

We looked at a beautiful complex and toured the townhome and complex. The girl who is helping us, Brenda, she told me she needs to buy my book for her mother. She proceeded to tell me her mom has lost everything due to her gambling problem. Now I cannot tell you all how many times I have had people tell me this. Many who find me from reading my column in “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” and then email me or reach out on my recovery blog and tell me. So and so has a bad gambling problem.

Of course, I told this wonderful girl that her mom is not alone and I can help give you some resources and?  She let me mail her mom my BOOK “Addicted To Dimes” right from Amazon to her mom’s address! I told her it may make her see she is not alone and many can get addicted or have a problem with gambling.

I also gave this amazing girl the numbers and website addresses to “The Arizona Office of Problem Gambling” and ‘The National Council on Problem Gambling’ Hotlines and a list of Gamblers Anonymous meeting places here in our area of Phoenix, AZ.  Again, I hope in sending my book to her mother, her mom can learn that she isn’t the “only one” who has or had a gambling problem and all that I went through will hopefully give her mom a nudge to get some help.

Know what continues to perplex me about this disease?  Why isn’t anyone talking openly about it? Why is it still such a taboo addiction?
It is why I advocate and share my experiences like here in “Keys” and in a variety ways to begin “the conversation” and bring gambling addiction, an addiction that requires no substances but as dangerous as all other addictions.

It is why one in five problem gamblers WILL attempt suicide as you dig yourself into such a “Hopeless and Financially” draining state that you can’t see any way out.  I still remember those days of my deep addiction and all the feelings of fear, shame, guilt, and feeling all alone and suffering in silence. No one needs to suffer from this addiction. And suicide is never the answer.  SUICIDE is only a permanent solution to a temporary problem from this addiction and cunning disease. And just like any other disease, it can be treated. We can learn how to live life in freedom from gambling addiction as I and many have.

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So back to having to my Life Event of having to move unexpectedly. Again, my recovery friends have been helping us reach our move-in goal to help raise the deposits and pet deposits to move. If you would like to help? Visit my dear friend Kim Herron’s, FB Fundraiser for us called Cat and Tom Lyon’s 911 Moving Fundraiser  … I and my husband Tom will appreciate any and all #donations and Blessings friends. We have found a new Townhome and Were Approved this past Friday …

I also hope anyone who has a problem with Gambling and READS this post will know that you are NOT ALONE and Recovery is possible. I and my blog here is to SUPPORT and HELP you recover! Reach out and EMAIL Cat anytime … lyonmedia@aol.com 💕🙌✨🐱‍ AND WE ARE GRATEFUL & Thankful Friends.
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I “CELEBRATE National Recovery Month” Along Side SAMHSA Each Year. Share Your Voice for Recovery…

Join the Voices for Recovery:  Together we are stronger.  National Recovery Month 2019 30th anniversary.

Connect with people in recovery by reviewing the personal stories of people recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders.


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Like myself and many of us across the country, people in recovery are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others in an effort to educate the public about treatment, how it works, for whom, and why. Dual diagnosis with those suffering also suffer mental health challenges and both are on the rise.

Since many stories and voices and the successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, OUR personal stories, or Voices for Recovery, provide a vehicle for people to share their recovery stories and an important tool for those looking to RECOVER!

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Here is more from SAMHSA on just how to share your voices at: RECOVERYMONTH.GOV

 

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives.

This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.

Now in its 30th year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

As part of the 30th anniversary, Recovery Month is introducing a new logo that signifies the true meaning and values of the Recovery Month observance. The new Recovery Month logo features an “r” symbol; representing r is for Recovery and the need to support the millions of individuals who are proudly living their lives in recovery, as well as their family members and loved ones.

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Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding of the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.

Recovery Month also highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective preventiontreatment, and recovery services for those in need.

Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2019 Recovery Month observance will focus on community members, first responders, the healthcare community, and youth and emerging leaders highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.

The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery. It reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect us all, and that we are all part of the solution. The observance will highlight inspiring stories to help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and personal growth. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.

SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations plan events and activities to increase awareness about mental and substance use disorders, treatment and recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free, and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.

Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website. Resources include logos, r is for Recovery symbolbanners, posters, and customizable flyers, posters, T-shirt designs, and one-pagertelevision and radio public service announcementsan event calendar to post and share your Recovery Month events or locate events in your community and social media outreach through FacebookTwitter, and YouTubeNote some materials are available in English and Spanish.

History

Over the years, Recovery Month has inspired millions of people to raise awareness about mental and substance use disorders, share their stories of recovery, and encourage others who are still in need of services and support.

Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field. The observance evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in 1998 when it expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include mental illness.


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Support Organizations

Currently, more than 200 federal, state, and local government entities, as well as nonprofit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders, comprise the Recovery Month Planning Partners. The Planning Partners collaborate and assist SAMHSA in the development, dissemination, and promotion of materials as well as independently hosting Recovery Month events and activities in their local communities.

Review the Recovery Month: 20 Years of Excellence and Achievement Timeline – 2009 (PDF | 357 KB), which showcases the many strides the treatment and recovery field has made and details the campaign’s success and evolution of Treatment Works! to National Recovery Month.
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My Book Now on Amazon!

“Find Your Own Path To Recovery” ~ By Mike of ‘OWN SOBRIETY’ Who Is My Special Recovery Guest …

“Find Your Own Path To Recovery” ~ By Mike of ‘OWN SOBRIETY’ Who Is My Special Recovery Guest …

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As I was deep within my gambling addiction 12+years ago, toward the end and 9 months before I entered treatment, I began to abuse alcohol as obviously my gambling addiction wasn’t “doing it” for me any longer. Not only did that make me more Stupid with Money and gambling but it made me spin more and more out of control and toward my first and not the last suicide attempt.

It is why I have educated myself about many addictions and not just advocate gambling addiction recovery. We know it is not about the “preferred addiction” that is the problem when we become addicts of any kind, it’s about how to interrupt the “cycle” and the poor habits and behaviors of any addiction, including gambling and alcohol.

Once you lose the “control” over any addiction, you are too far gone as an ADDICT.  More importantly, when you are ready to enter and maintain long-term recovery and reclaim your life back, as Mike shares in this guest article and to “Find Your Own Path To Recovery!”

Make sure you visit Mike and check out his website for more personal and informative articles and posts and his amazing “SOBER FRIENDS CLUB.”

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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When you first enter into recovery from substance abuse or addictive behavior, everyone will tell you how you should do it.  In the beginning, you should listen to them.  Do anything other than what you were doing in active addiction.  But, as time rolls on, you need to find your own path in recovery.  Through self-evaluation, research, and trial, you can find a path that is suitable for you.

Early in your recovery, I believe that it is important to listen to the advice of others who have been in your shoes or who are professionals in the field.  I started my most recent, and hopefully last journey to recovery in a medical detox facility.  I ended up being in there for eight days and it was during that time that I promised myself that I would do anything and everything that I could do to make this time work.  That meant listening to everything that I was told to do and taking advantage of every resource provided to me.

I literally made recovery my full-time job.  I wasn’t working at the time, I was too sick, and I wasn’t tied down in a relationship.  I had a place to stay at my parent’s house and took full advantage of the opportunity to just get better.  I’m a pretty energetic and self-motivated person so I put that strength to work for me in fully immersing myself in my recovery.  I knew a couple of things from my past attempts at recovery – that I could put together a few months of recovery and that I couldn’t do it by myself.  What that meant to me at the time was that I needed to go to AA meetings, which I didn’t like but was willing to do.  Through self-evaluation, research of my own, and trial, I eventually found what is now my own personal path.

The key here is that I did what I was told while doing my own evaluation and research at the same time.  The treatment center that I detoxed at offered me an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and recommended that I see a therapist along with going to AA or Celebrate Recovery meetings.  So, I took advantage of the IOP program and made an appointment with a therapist.  I completed the seven-week, 21 session IOP in conjunction with going to AA meetings and therapy.

During this time, I took it upon myself to begin researching addiction and the different treatment options available.  I searched the internet and connected with online support groups.  I found the book This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and read it in its entirety.  I discovered a support group that I had never heard of before called SMART Recovery which used self-empowering tools based in REBT and CBT therapies.  This jived with what I called “the intellectual approach” to recovery that is outlined in This Naked Mind and complemented what I was learning from my therapist.  I soon realized that there wasn’t a single path to recovery and that I could do what worked best for me as long as I was willing to put in the work and was honest with myself.

Self-evaluation is the hard part of this process. 
In early recovery, most of us aren’t equipped to be completely honest with ourselves and to look at ourselves objectively.  It took time in counseling to start trusting myself and having the confidence to say, “This isn’t going to work for me long-term.”  I knew that being required to go to AA meetings on a regular basis to stay sober wasn’t going to work for me.  The biggest motivator for my recovery was to address my anxiety and tremors that had become so severe that I could barely accomplish basic tasks like cooking or going out in public.  I am very introverted and the thought of having to go too rigid meetings was a big obstacle for me.

When I attended AA meetings at the beginning of my recovery, I would go with others I had met in detox and IOP and was mostly quiet.  The ability to do SMART Recovery meetings online and the less rigid structure and feel of the meetings were a game-changer for me.  When I read This Naked Mind, it spoke to me on every level.  I knew there was something to this self-empowering approach to recovery that I could get behind and eventually, with the help of my therapist, had the courage to stand up and say I’m going to do my recovery differently.  I know how I am and what is going to work best for me.  It took a little time to get there and figure it all out, but by staying true to myself I gave myself a chance at a happy, healthy, long-term recovery.

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Maybe AA is the path for you. 

Maybe you just want to add a little variety to your recovery.  Whatever the case, find where you stand and what you know you will actually do.  If you have a problem with a part of recovery, tell someone.  If you know what you are doing isn’t going to work, find a different way.  Just because it isn’t the popular method doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you.  Take it upon yourself to discover yourself.  Hit the internet and start finding out what other paths are available and what others are doing.

” Read books.  Ask questions.  Make connections.  Be curious.” 

Get excited about the opportunity to find yourself and improve yourself that recovery provides.  If it is boring or counter-intuitive to you, it probably won’t work long-term.  Get your legs under yourself a bit and then have the courage to do what is best for you.  You will find that there are tons of ways to practice recovery.  There are a lot of programs and paths out there.  Google things, ask questions in online groups, go to the bookstore.  Gain knowledge and find your own beliefs.  It’s 2019, we have minds of our own and a plethora of ways to find information and do research.  Take advantage of it.

Finally, try different things.  Go to a SMART Recovery meeting or a Refuge Recovery meeting.  Try therapists and see if you click with one.  If your treatment center offers programs, try them.  Keep trying new things to find what works for you and what doesn’t.  Eliminate excuses.  Keep a hold on the things that do work and let go of the rest.  It is your recovery and your life, you are entitled to think for yourself and be a bit selfish.  I promote mostly non-12-step approaches, but I did try them.  I have attended AA, NA, and 90 meetings in 90 days.  I have read a lot of the Big Book.  I have lived in a halfway house.  I have had a sponsor.  Those things weren’t comfortable for me so I kept on searching and trying other things.

The trial part of this process was the fun part for me.  I get excited about finding myself and improving myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always feel motivated to act but I do force myself to try.  If you take nothing else away from my message, just take the excitement of the journey.  Do you want a better life?  Do you want to achieve your goals and dreams?  Recovery enables you to accomplish all of that.  Find what gets you excited and pursue that relentlessly.  It all starts with getting yourself healthy and living a better life conducive to your goals.

Recovery is a vital part of achieving what you want to do.  If you can’t get excited about recovery on its own, then view it as a part of the larger goal you want to achieve.  Without recovery from your substance abuse or addictive behavior, do you have a shot at achieving that dream?  Incorporate your recovery into your excitement for achieving something bigger.
Have you found your own path to recovery?  What has worked for you and what hasn’t in your recovery?  What methods do you use?  Comment below or send me a message via social media to let me know how you are owning sobriety.  And as always, please like, comment, and share if you find this post useful or relevant to you.  I always appreciate your support Cat!

Love Y’all,
~Mike

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About OWN Sobriety and MIKE

OWN Sobriety is a blog and resource site, launched in August 2018, that is dedicated to a modern and holistic approach to recovery from addiction.  OWN Sobriety promotes understanding and exploration of ALL recovery programs.  It’s about finding the tools that work for each individual and making your recovery your own.

“Hi, I’m Mike.  A 35-year-old guy from someplace in a weirdly shaped state (it’s Indiana).  I used to drink lots of alcohol and pop benzos to deal with life.  Then, it became a problem.  So, I did it for a few more years just to be sure it was, in fact, a problem.   Now, I don’t.  This site is my platform for sharing my story, my journey, my thoughts and whatever other little quirks that spill out along the way.”

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OWN Sobriety

 

The Inevitable Mind-Body Connection

The Inevitable Mind-Body Connection

As I share more about my Mental Health challenges in an open and transparent way, so do many! If you have Mental Health challenges? Here is a new blog and friend I have met who does the same … and he is very knowledgable as his posts are informative like this new post! Guest Re-Blog …Cat

Positively Psychological

Why is it important to know that the mind and the body are interrelated? Why should I know about this in order to increase my overall health?

The anatomical and physiological knowledge of the human body has exploded in recent years with the implementation of the scientific method. Because of this, physicians are now able to specialize in several disciplines, including cardiology, gastroenterology, and pulmonology, among several others. People spend several years studying the human body overall and then spend an additional four to seven years in a residency to specialize in these organ systems, all because there is so much to learn just about these organ systems themselves.

There are also disciplines pertaining to the brain, which include psychiatry and neurology. These are no exception to the explosion of knowledge that has happened within the field of medicine and healthcare.

Even with this increased knowledge of how each component…

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My Author Interview By Terry of Author Shout. All About What I do and All About My Passions of Helping Others…

My Author Interview By Terry of Author Shout. All About What I do and All About My Passions of Helping Others…

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It’s not every day I happen to get invited for an Author Interview. I’m a wee bit shy since I do battle agoraphobia and I get a little nervous doing interviews. But since I have had so many new blog friends come to visit and follow along on both my recovery and my book blog, I thought I would take up the offer from Terry who owns Author Shout which is an amazing large reader site as Terry connects authors and readers together so readers can find many awesome new books.

The interview has been updated as my journey all began with one little book I published and grew from there! I hope all my new friends and followers will enjoy learning about “All The Hats I Wear” on my recovery and literary journey! And if you didn’t know?

My at-home business is promoting many fine authors and their books and can be seen on my other WordPress Book Blog of “Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den” and home of “Lyon Media Services”…
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Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a Best-Selling Author of The Kodel Publishing Group with her shocking debut memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”

Catherine’s Memoir is both an in-depth and raw look as she takes readers on a journey of many important topics that ‘touched’ her life, starting as a little girl into adulthood. Not a book on how to recover but an in-depth look of how events in one’s life, or past trauma and abuse, or even the ways of parental discipline can be some of the underlying factors to why some people may turn to an addiction later in adulthood as form of escape, numb hurt feelings, or just trying to cope with everyday life when not emotionally strong and haunting memories of it come calling…

She had taken a dark path, trying to elude that past childhood pain and traumatic events. She began using gambling as a coping skill and escapism into a “dream world” to forget, if only for a few hours the haunting memories of her childhood sexual abuse, parental verbal and physical abuse, and lived with undiagnosed mental/emotional illness for years. Shaping the “perfect storm, she became addicted to gambling with alcohol abuse right before entering treatment. So, something like gambling to be for fun and entertainment became her worst nightmare and almost took her life, twice!

Now maintaining recovery nearly thirteen years, Catherine has become well known in the addiction/recovery communities and is a loud advocate of gambling addiction, mental health, and why the expansion of Indian Casinos and State Lottery offerings needs to stop across America. Catherine’s featured in many mainstream media and recovery publications like Columbia University’s Media Release through the 2×2 Project “Gambling with America’s Health. Also was interviewed for “NAUTILUS & Time Magazine online article in September 2016.

She is a former writer and columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s-The Author’s Cafe”  and after it’s sale was hired as a freelance writer and columnist for Keys To Recovery newspaper. She is also an “Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger” for “Addictionland”   of Founder/Author, Cate Stevens along with other recovery experts like the late Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Tommy Rosen, and Arnie Wexler. She recently handled all the media and social media manager for “Big Jim’s Bike Ride Around America” until Jim Downs was forced off the ride due to serious medical issues after 4 months of biking over 5,000+ miles.

Catherine, aka., CAT lives just outside Phoenix, Arizona and So. Oregon. She is married to her husband for 29-years. She is a ‘Cat Lover’ and has three, Ms. Princess, Mr. Boots, and Simon-Peter. She has no choice but to be an avid reader for her business, but she loves cooking, gardening, swimming, and rafting. She owns and runs an online marketing business called: “Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions.
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“Best Day EVER Meeting This Former NFL Pro ‘Randy Grimes’ of the Tampa Buccaneers now Recovery Advocate. #NFLCares Program

>>>>>

Author Interview With Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Q. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.

Why did you write and disclose personal family experiences? Were you afraid of backlash or judgment from family and others?

A.  I feel that is what writing a memoir is all about. Since my book is about my life of many topics including gambling addiction and recovery and not a book of HOW to RECOVER, I wanted readers to have an inside view of how our family life growing up can later become some of the reason some may turn to addiction in the first place.

I, nor many people do not grow up in an “angelic” family dynamic. Some grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive situation. That was my experience, and later became added “fuel” to my gambling addiction. I wanted to “set the back story” so to speak so readers had an understanding of how many of us turn to addictions instead of knowing there are places we can get help like counseling or therapy when your “past comes back later in life haunting you.”

As far as any backlash, my family needs to understand this memoir is not about them, it about how I was affected by how I was raised and disciplined. I was also sexually abused as a little girl, and I stuffed that away for years without my parents knowing until adulthood. You will have to read my book to learn how all that turned out. So, you have to brave enough to share the good, the bad, and all the ugly if you are going to write a memoir without the worry of backlash. I am trying to help others through my book. For me, that is what I focused on and help others know they are not alone if this happened to them.

Q. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

A. Not really. My first book came very easy to me. And believe or not I hand wrote the memoir in 6 spiral notebooks. At that time, I was not writing a book, I was writing for myself to heal and to see all that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had taken from my life. The book part and becoming published happened a year later as “divine intervention” I say.

I then was invited to be part of a compilation book which published in December of 2017 titled “Ten The Hard Way.” And I have been working on my next book for a long while and will be about HOW to begin recovery and what to expect. The only weird thing? I love writing when it’s raining. But I am not an outline or draft type of writer. I just let the words flow out of me onto paper. More of a freelancer.

Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

A. I can thankfully say no to this question. One of the best pieces of advice I had received from another writer was, “write what you know.”

Unfortunately, I know much about gambling addiction, recovery, mental health challenges, and childhood trauma. All these topics have ‘touched’ my life and I advocate about passionately …

Q.  What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

A.  I would have to pass on what was told to me in the above answer “write what you know or I feel what you are passionate about.” If you love animals? Write an animal children’s book. If you have an open imagination? Write a thriller or mystery. An action or adventure story.

I am a writer and author “by accident,” Lol. So I feel funny giving other aspiring authors advice. I am a book promoter/marketer for many fine authors of all genres as well, so one piece of advice I can give to first-time authors?

Your book takes many hours, days, and months to promote. Book sales and book reviews will not happen overnight, so don’t give up or get discouraged. KEEP Writing and Promoting your books!


Q.  What are your current/future projects?

A.  I do have a couple of projects on am working on. My second book is almost complete and will be a follow up to my memoir and a helpful resource for starting recovery from gambling addiction on how to make their first year in recovery.

Another I have been working along time will be a stab at fiction! It is about a woman who is being chased by her “addiction demons” in recovery and takes a Lighthouse Keepers job on the North Oregon coast looking to start life over and for some solitude and serenity in her life. But her past comes calling! The rest you’ll have to read if I ever get it done! Lol.

Q.  Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

A.  I actually added in my current book with the reasons “how and why” I came to start writing in the first place. It was about the suicide of a woman at a hotel and casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon. I read about in our local newspaper. Reading it lit a fire in me to see all that my gambling addiction took from me. But, no spoilers here. LOL. You need to read my book titled; ‘Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat,’ which is now listed here on Author Shout, and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Again, I write what I know ….Lol.
Balance is a challenge for me to fit my own writing time in as I promote for other authors. It is why it has taken me two years to get my next books done and published. So except for the compilation book, I am still a “one book wonder” at this point. Again, I sure do write a lot for several recovery publications and my own blogs.

Q.  What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?

A.  I think we all know indie and self-published authors are changing the landscape of the “traditional” way authors get published these days. You no longer have to look to or be with a big publishing house anymore. Now, that is not to say they’re most likely are some self-published or indie books that may not be very appealing. (No offense to authors). As I have read a few myself and the authors are not writers, LOL.

However, there are awesome writers and authors producing some fantastic works and it is refreshing to see that all authors can now be noticed and praised for work well done! That is part of the change with being able to self-publish. I have promoted authors that were picked up and offered publishing contracts. So the traditional publishing houses are finding many good writers and authors. That is a great thing.

Q.  Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

A.  My current book was picked up by a publishing firm in So. Oregon where I used to live. But my publisher is a smaller independent publisher. I did, however, receive an awesome offer when it came to my royalty share. the Kodel Group are more like a “self-publish” helper. I had an editor and designer for my current book already, so they just did my format, typesetting, and upload through Amazon’s KDP Direct Publishing of my paperback and for my e-book.

Going this route was a more inexpensive way to publish. Nowadays most publishers won’t do any book promoting for authors unless you buy a publishing package, except they may send out a press release about the new book, so authors Beware …Be ready to set a budget to promote your books on your own. I do all my own book promoting throughout social media and PR releases through several PR services. Authors can promote for free at many book sites. There are many low-cost options to gain exposure, sales, and reviews. Just like doing advertising on “Author Shout” and others like awesomegang.com or bookgoodies.net …

Q.  Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?

A.  No. The only change or difference that I made was to my book cover. I have two different covers that are the same, but my e-book cover has different colors. I wanted my e-book cover to have more vibrant Las Vegas catching colors. That was about the only change.

Q.  What opportunities have been presented to as an author you in sharing those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)

A.  Being a person of long-term recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol for almost 13- years now, publishing my book was my way of helping others with the problems as I had and was the only way I knew how to help others. By sharing my story in many ways like media, radio, and podcasts shares to others HOPE that they can recover from this cunning and devastating illness.

Many blessings and doors have opened for me to share my voice and writing and to have a platform to help inform, educate, and raise awareness of addicted and problem gambling. I want those who have never been touched by this addiction have more understanding and empathy for those who suffer. The opportunities that have come from people seeing and reading my book are have been many!

Being a former recovery columnist for a premier magazine called; “In Recovery Magazine.” I did many amazing interviews and articles of many high profile people who share their recovery as well and many have become friends and supporters of mine. I am now a writer for a premiere recovery newspaper out of So. California called; “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” and I am still an expert gambling addiction and recovery blogger “Addictionland” a platform to raise awareness and educate the public about problem gambling. I have a few more, but I am ‘humbled and thankful’ for all the opportunities that have come my way. These offerings help keep me in recovery as well.

Q.  What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?

A.  Now this question is an easy answer! Lol.
Since I market, promote, and advertise books for many authors and my own book for living, authors can hire me for “done for you” set-up of social media places to be and a full-service plan that won’t break the bank here at “Lyon Media & Literary Services.”

I’ve been doing book promoting and marketing a long time and it doesn’t have to be costly. I do research often and keep up on the latest low-cost options and new media places too! I want to be able to help new authors learn ‘how and where’ to promote their books. Many of the sites to place book ads are free or you can do low-cost book ads or book promotions and giveaways.

There is no shortage of authors needing help as they continue to write more books, and why among other reasons why they hire me to promote their books.

My number one valuable tip? Layer your book ads when your book first releases. That way you will find and it will help build your readership through many book promo sites like Awesomegang.com or Bookgoodies.net . . . And Author Shout! Just a couple of my “go-to places.”

Q.  What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?

A.  My current book is a Memoir of my life with many topics discussed throughout which I mentioned above.

Q.  What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

A.  I carry a spiral notebook or my laptop with me everywhere I go!

Q.  Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?

A.
  Now that I am working on books two and three, I am trying to keep both within 300 to under 500 pages. I also let my editor worry about that! Lol.

Q.  How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

A.  Yes. My writing has evolved so much since I wrote my first book. I feel the more you write, the better you get. Now that I am writing more as a profession as well, I have taken some webinars and use writing software to make sure I continue to become a more seasoned writer.

I would hope to think writing my book and my recovery blog for my book and where I continue to write my recovery journey in many publications helps others. We just never know who our story will touch or help. I wanted others who still suffer or are stuck in the “cycle” of gambling addiction that ‘Suicide Is Not An Option to Stop Gambling Addiction.’

Again, like the woman I had read about in my local newspaper. And like my own two failed suicide attempts when I was deep in my addiction. Suicide is never the answer.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?

A.  Yes, I do feel a press release is very important and has value. Many first time authors can not afford mainstream advertising or hire a PR firm. So a press release sent out through PR websites is a stellar way to let people and literary media places know about your book and it’s release. I do them for my book promoting clients as some PR websites let you send a couple out for free.

A few I like and use are NPR, WEBPR.com, and NewswireToday.com are some good ones. I get some good results in books sales and book reviews.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are underrated, overrated, or don’t matter at all?

A.  Of course, there is value to book reviews for many reasons. Readers who shop for books, let us say on Amazon, they look and read reviews before they buy a book. I know as I do and I am an avid reader! Amazon emails me when someone reads a review I have placed and tells me it helped them decide to purchase.

Reviews on Amazon also helps your book’s rankings among other books in that genre. My book is still in the Top 100 in Paid Kindle E-books at #83 for Gambling Addiction Books. Rankings and tell us as authors how our books sell and compare to other books sold on Amazon. When a reader takes the time to write a review after they read my memoir, I use that as well if they leave suggestions to improve my craft as a writer.

Q.  What is your biggest fear about having a book published?

A.  This question goes back to how I answered your very First Question. I sat on my manuscript for almost a year because of fear. It is more difficult being afraid of how readers would react to my memoir as it is based on truth and is a real story and facts. I also had some fear about what my family would think even though I have been estranged from them for years. But I decided it wasn’t for or about them. My book was about healing and forgiveness for me and insight for readers.

Q.  What is the intended audience for your book?

A.  People in or reaching out to recover from gambling addiction, awareness of mental health, and those who had been sexually or physically abused, went through childhood trauma. Also for readers who want more understanding about these issues.

Q.  Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?

A.  The Internet has changed not only the landscape of how authors can easily promote their books throughout social media, but the Internet has also changed how people can find information to get help from addiction and recovery support.

As a book promoter as my in-home business, the Internet has allowed me to work from home and make an income as I still have mental health challenges with Agoraphobia, Depression, and Mood Disorder, the internet has changed the way we do many things for school, work, and not just the bookselling and publishing industry.

Q.  What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?

A.  Taking on paid writing jobs has boosted my self-confidence as a writer. That also helped me get the offer to be a columnist at “In Recovery Magazine.” And why I write for several other addiction/recovery publications. For me, it is two-fold. I become a better writer and I have great platforms to showcase my writing while helping others recover.

Q.  What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

A.  I really can’t answer this directly as my book was written very unconventionally. When I was writing at the time, I wasn’t writing a book. That all happened later on.
I do however recommend using some form of writing aide software which I do use.

Q.  Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

A.  All of the above. Especially for therapy and a recovery outlet.

Q.  Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?

A.  None. Seriously. I had none as it all poured out and I just kept writing it all in my notebooks!

Q.  Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

A.
  God created editors for a reason. Lol. My editor was Julie Hall. She works for our local newspaper in Grants Pass, Oregon. She isn’t an editor by profession. But she edits and proofreads for the newspaper. She had taken my six notebooks and performed “magic.” Then she sent the first 50 pages to a publisher friend of hers, and that is how my book made it to being published as Steve from The Kodel Group kept hounding me to publish as to help others!

Q.  What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

A.  For my recovery and helping others is what inspires me to write. If I can help others by sharing my story and experiences through words? That makes me happy. And what a living legacy to leave behind.

Q.  What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

A.  Since I do write a lot and for several publications, coming up with new topics to write about can be a challenge. Writing is very freeing to me. I enjoy it and hopefully continue writing and publishing more books to help others and for readers to also enjoy.

Q. Now lastly, If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?

A.  A message of HOPE to others who suffer from addiction of any kind. We can recover no matter how bad or how far addiction has taken you. We all have that tiny sliver of light given by our Higher Power within us to turn our lives around if we want it bad enough. I have learned that recovery is possible and it works if you are willing to work for it. I will be a “work in progress” until my last breath, but the life lessons learned and wisdom gained has been well worth the RIDE!

 

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Books by Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

      Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True

Connect with more from Catherine Townsend-Lyon …

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A Living Master Shares About The Road From Addiction Into Recovery. Special Featured Post By Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi …

A Living Master Shares About The Road From Addiction Into Recovery. Special Featured Post By Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi …

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I am honored to share a special recovery post written especially for my recovery blog, my recovery friends and visitors to enjoy. Some true wisdom shared from a very special mentor. It is not everyday one meets and has the honor of being friends with a Real Living Master of our generation and time.

I also have the pleasure of helping him promote and market his amazing book as well titled; “Find The Seeker! The Pathless Path to Fulfillment and Happiness.” Truly a must-read and has enhanced my own recovery path! And with their E-book on sale on Amazon for .99 cents? You have nothing to lose and spiritual freedom from addiction to gain.

It is co-authored by another dear friend and Genro’s pupil Clifford Stevens. They both reside in Austria and together have produced a very powerful and authentic practical guide that all who maintain recovery can surely learn a true path to authentic living, serenity, and feel at peace in “self.”

I hope you gain some wisdom by reading this special post. I highly recommend you visit and read Clifford Stevens blog posts of his “Weekly Wisdom.” It is uplifting and inspiring.

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Addiction and Zen
By Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi is one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author of the recent highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book “Find the Seeker!” He shares interesting and unique wisdom when those are looking for their way out of addictions and into a peace-filled life of serenity and happiness once again. Learning to reconnect and find our true “self” is just part of the recovery work needed to find the authentic person before addiction made life unbearable …

Why do people get addicted (for example to drugs)? What can a spiritual teaching such as Zen – which some people wrongly consider to be unworldly and distant – do to reduce consumption or even get people off their addiction?

The orientation of people to lead strong ego-centered lives is certainly one reason for addiction. So many of the political, economic and religious activities going on end up inflating people’s egos until they are blown up out of proportion.

This is aggravated by tendencies such as nationalistic and egocentric tendencies in many countries such as “America First” (to name just one example), the mania to do and achieve and the idea that “everything is possible” if only we apply ourselves and the stress to compress as many friends, experiences, successes, achievements into our lives as we can. And of course, we are constantly confronted with examples of supposedly high-performance, “successful” and “happy” individuals.

Thanks to these and many other trends, and also to the misconceptions forced upon us by our own egos, many people see themselves as small, inadequate, insignificant, weak, poor and needing support.

The moment a person attaches too much importance to his own “self,” he degrades what he really is. Without spiritual support, without engaging in a spiritual search and the insights gained from meditation, it is difficult to clearly see and understand that any “chemical” support (e.g. from alcohol, drugs, smoking etc.) actually ends up perpetuating, propping up and enhancing a person’s own ego and is thus a dead end or will lead to one.

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Image result for free images of booze drugs….

The addict tries to transform himself from the hero which he or she is not into a kind of “avatar” by chemical means like the Druids used to do with their concoction to instill the courage to fight and the idea of invincibility in their soldiers. Miraculix (from the Asterix series) is a good and funny example of this – but addiction to drugs or alcohol or whatever is not funny at all.

Hardly anyone at all can improve his or her situation on the basis of the addiction. On the contrary, the high costs which are sometimes involved may lead people to commit criminal deeds, or they end up in prison or in rehabilitation. The addicts may see their lives in this relative world as being obstructed and their paths as being obscured. Addiction is a burdensome illness which robs people of energy and may make it harder for people to find their way on a path leading them to be clean.

Spiritually oriented people – or those who are desperate enough or are tired of suffering – can turn to spirituality as a path, a guide, a tough way out which they must ultimately go through. However, it is clear that unfortunately, there are some addicts who do not manage to kick the habit in this life and lead a normal life – which is also an incredible burden on their relatives.

A spiritual path such as Zen – or others – will throw people back onto themselves and onto the bottom-line “cause” of their addiction. And in meditation, you will be fully confronted with yourself and your “self.” And in the search for your “self”, you will not find it. There is nothing to be found here, and the “results” of the meditation – which nobody, no Master or teacher, can adequately put into words – could prevent someone from continuing to fall prey to the addiction or be victimized by it or to become addicted in the first place.

The deep-seated realizations gained through meditation can help you – with a lightness of being – to kick the habit of addiction and begin a new life. Your “old” life is present, seemingly overwhelming due to all the adversity and hindrances, but the “new” one can mean redemption, salvation, as the Christians say, or “enlightenment” as the Buddhists say, and other spiritual paths have their own terms for this.

There is no way around meditation – unless you have the sudden insight – which does not happen often – in which everything suddenly becomes clear thanks to grace, and you are set right thanks to the goodness of the Universe. For this reason, we teach people in Zen to practice the natural and simple method of counting your breath in meditation – which you can learn and do without the need for any addiction.

Namaste
~Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

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ABOUT ZEN MASTER GENRO:

Gert Beirer, who was born in Austria in 1945, studied Zen, meditation, Kung-Fu, Qi Gong and acupuncture in Asia. He was given the name Genro (“Origin of Joy”) Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”) by Zen Master Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya Roshi. Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi was named Zen (Chan) Master by the Abbot and Grand Master Kun Kong at the Lingyin Temple (Shakyamuni Buddhism) in Hangzhou, with whom he studied 11 years, by Abbot and Zen Master Shi Chan Ming in Wuhan, Province Hubei, China, and was also named Shifu or “Spiritual Teacher” in 2009 by Shi Xue Feng, Abbot of the Ding Shan Temple in Germany.

After returning to Europe, Genro spent decades as a therapist and business consultant and has been heading the Qi Gong Master School in Austria for many years, practicing in accordance with the Wuhan-Yangsheng style. Genro Laoshi has lectured at universities, appeared on TV, held seminars on a variety of spiritual and self-help topics, taught Qi Gong courses and published articles and books on meditation, Zen, motivation and communication, storytelling, body-reading, sexual Kung-Fu, autohypnosis, and many more topics.

Visit his Q&A on his Official Website and Page.


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