Meet Author, Poet, Doctor, Recovery Coach, and My Friend, Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.

“It is not often when you meet someone very special that you have so much in common with through the internet and through social media. And you are “blessed” the day they walked into your life. Well, that is how I feel about my dear friend Kevin Coughlin”….

 

No, we have not met face to face, yes, we live hundreds of miles apart that a phone call can fix and bring us together, and yes, we really are “kindred souls,” and he is my “brother from another mother.” LOL…LOL.

The first thing I learned about my buddy and #1 recovery supporter is that he truly cares for and about those who suffer from addictions. He also cares and has trained hundreds who also care and recovery coach addicts into recovery. Kevin has his hands into so many projects it mind boggling and he keeps publishing more books and poetry within all of it! The man must never SLEEP! (Below are two new Ebooks on Amazon!)

 

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Well, I happen to know he does suffer some with sleep apnea, so he seems to have more hours to spare than your average person. LOL. I’m in the “know” as we have become such close friends. The list of all HE IS and all HE DOES is crazy, but he does it out love and for others to have a beautiful life in recovery. Here now is just a tip of the iceberg of what Dr. Rev Kev is all ABOUT….. The short version, so please visit his helpful website at Rev Kevs Recovery World to learn more!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

My name is Reverend Dr., Provincial Superintendent Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D., most call me Rev. Kev. All that I have been, all that I am, and all that I ever will be is because of God’s grace. I am well trained. I am an International Certified Master Addictions Coach, I specialize in Drug & Alcohol abuse addiction recovery & family recovery coach, gambling addiction, Life coaching, Christian Coaching, Case Management, Prevention & Relapse Prevention, LAMA, Ethics, Spirituality, Sexual Addiction, Anger Management, Domestic Violence Advocacy, Interventionist & Life Recovery Coach, Licensed & Ordained Minister.

I am a Founder, and former Board Member & Spiritual Director of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a residential addiction recovery program. Over the past 19+ years, we have been blessed to help thousands of individuals and families to change their lives! I am often utilized as a consultant on addiction and recovery and considered an expert in the field. I have given thousands of workshops and lectures, training seminars, and retreats.

I have been an instructor at The Addictions Academy. I am The President and CEO of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC. I am a member in good standing in the AACC, ICCA, NAADAC, IAMMF, ECPG, NCPG, and AACT. I am an internationally published poet and a best-selling author, I am 9 time National Bench Press Champion and 2 time World Champion.

I have been blessed to be awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling, Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling, and Doctorates Degrees Ph.D., DCC, DDVCA, DLC, DD, and am Board Certified by DIT Seminary IN Christian counseling. I am an Associate Professor at Dayspring Christian University and a Board Member. I have been approved by the Board for a year of study to be consecrated a Bishop at the Florida Conference next year. I have a great deal of experience in volunteer recruitment, philanthropic, nonprofit, program development.

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Today, I love to write and to teach!

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You can see most of his published works by visiting his  Rev Kevs Library and again, above are the two latest books he has published along with this new one and all of them in e-books will soon be available in paperback! Here is more of what Rev. Kev is into with helping MANY in and reaching out to recover from addictions including gambling addiction and as a Recovery Coach!

 

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Here is what Readers and Book Reviewers are saying about many of his published works over on Amazon .com….

 

Some Amazon Reader Reviews:

5-STARS-Poetry:  “Meant for the recovery community, this book of poetry is really about all of life – tragedy, joy, comfort, chaos, disenfranchisement, the ennui of modern times, and love. Almost all readers will find something that will resonate with them within these pages. I was “gifted” this book, my first introduction to Rev. Dr. Kevin Coughlin.

I am so glad to find out about his work. This book is authentic; at times it is even raw and entirely sympathetic to the human condition. His brief inclusions of the canine condition gladdened my heart! I look forward to my next encounter with Rev. Kev’s work.”

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5-STARS-Relaspe Prevention book: “This is a great book for those needing to become familiar with addiction/recovery. It takes you step by step through different treatment programs and sets expectations when entering a drug rehab program. You’ll become familiar with the terms associated with the various types of addictions and how to manage/prevent relapses. It discusses triggers and how to deal with them.
If you have teens, this will give you and idea of how to recognize if they are using drugs. This alone makes it worth reading.”

 

100% ALL 5-Stars-Addictions What Parents Need To Know book:  “This book really brought insight to the dynamic between parents, grandparents and their children about the world of addiction and drugs. At times, for those who have never undergone such a thing, seem like a vast, imaginary world away…however, it is real and it is happening now. To so many of us and our loved ones. Mr. Coughlin draws upon his own experiences with addiction and the effects it had on him and his loved ones. It was an incredibly informative book, guide and I believe a lifesaver to those who are currently experiencing this with their loved ones and want to help. It helps the reader understand the causes, signs, and consequences that addiction has and explains in detail the different. Excellent, informative read!

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A “bird” to me he may be writing a Memoir as well, let’s hope this is a real rumor as I will be first in line to buy that! He has had a colorful life including addiction and recovery. He writes and freelances for many recovery publications like “Keys to Recovery Newspaper”, “In Recovery Magazine and The Sober World.”  He has written many coaching and training manuals for recovery coaching, training and much more!

Kevin has been on many radio and podcast shows and has an “upcoming events” page over on his website so you can catch the event he will be featured as this recovery guy is all over the place:  Recovery Events, Interventions and More …


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So make sure you connect with Dr. Rev. Kevin T Coughlin, Ph D., all over Social Media as well. Don’t be shy as Kevin is the most humbled nicest guy you will MEET. (No, he did NOT PAY me to write that! LOL) Please take some time to visit his website and see all his books. AND? Some of his New E-Book Release’s are promo priced right now. We know reading can enhance our own recovery. And Yes, Kevin is certified to coach for Gambling Addiction too!

Facebook  –  Twitter  –  And Facebook Again  –  And LinkedIn!

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Presented to by Author/Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Recovery Starts Here!

 

“My Recovery Spotlight of The Month is Carol of Yes2Sobriety and Sobriety is Freedom”. . . .

Please meet my new friend and recovery supporter ‘Carol’ of the website: YES2Sobriety as she is our Spotlighted Recovery Website of the Month!

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SOBRIETYISFREEDOM

AND ADDICTION IS THE PRISON

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ABOUT CAROL:

Hello, and THANK-YOU for visiting  yes2sobriety.com — sobriety is freedom.  I hope that yes2sobriety.com becomes the place where you go, to ask for help, advice, information or even just to vent about anything at all.  Also, a place of inspiration and hopefully, a place for you to inspire others with your personal story.

My name is Carol, and I am a recovering heroin addict.  I have been battling my addiction carolon and off for twenty years.  I tried any and everything to get and stay sober.  Now, that I am out of this hell that I created for myself, the HEROIN PRISON. I am so grateful that it can’t be put into words.  Breaking the chains that I was bound by for so many years is such a feeling of freedom, literally.  I also am extremely grateful for this website it has been a huge part in helping me, maintain my sobriety.

Recovery is no cake walk. If someone said it is then they are full of shit!!(Oh, sorry about the language but if that bothers you than you are on the wrong website.)  No matter how hard it gets, believes me, it’s  ALL Worth It!!! I am finally living life and loving it.  Instead of numbing my feelings and emotions I feel them and I love it!!!  There is nothing like a good laugh or cry to let you know you are alive. Like they say in NA or AA, My worst day sober is still better than my best day high. And, that is so friggin true. Today, I am finally willing to do whatever it takes to maintain my sobriety.

Today, I am extremely grateful not only for my life but the people in it.  Especially my teenage daughter who I am amazed by every day. I have a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and funny daughter.  That I can’t be more proud of.  Sometimes, I do wonder how in the hell did I get so lucky to have such an awesome kid.  She is my INSPIRATION.  My dream about being sober is now my reality.  I don’t deny that it takes hard work and dedication but so does being an addict. (Shit, that is a full-time job in itself)  It is all worth it though because of the fact that Sobriety is Freedom!!

Now, don’t you want to be free from whatever is keeping you down?  Whatever the addiction is, we all deserve happiness and by changing your lifestyle, that’s a start, and you are on your way to a new life filled with happiness.  Please, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email me, Carol, at yes2sobriety@gmail.com …

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When I visited Carol’s website in December, this post really struck a cord with me and touched my own recovery. Even though my journey is from gambling and alcohol addictions, we all know that addiction is addiction, and we all come from many types of addicted paths, BUT? We all have come from the Depths of HELL …

 

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NEVER GOING BACK, TO HELL

As I am sitting here and contemplating my life, the past, present, and future I am so grateful that I am not chasing that bag of dope anymore.  Now, in saying that do I think about it, you better believe I do and that’s just a part of addiction.  The difference for me today is I don’t act on my thoughts and that is a huge accomplishment for me.  In the past when I thought I did before I even had the chance to rethink my thought I was already onpast will stay there my way to cop (pick up my shit).

So, what I am saying is that it’s okay to think about it and it’s normal.  The part that is not okay is the doing it.  Now, I snap out of that thought pretty quick because I am literally so happy and content with my life that I am not doing anything to fuck that up. Because fucking up used to be my middle name.  I was an expert that I could do it in my sleep. 🙂 There’s a saying in I think NA/AA that goes like this my worst day sober is better than my best day high.  Now, I can honestly say that is so true.  My life is far from perfect and perfect it will never be, that’s not what I am looking for.

I just want to live peaceful no drama and limited stress.  And to be happy, I know it’s simple but I haven’t been truly happy for so long that I appreciate it immensely, you have no idea.  It’s not much but it’s all I need and I will not let my sobriety to ever be compromised.  It means too much to me and I will do whatever it takes to maintain it because I can say I am never going back to where I was.  Thanks for reading and please leave any comments or feedback below, I always love to read what you think.

 

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One area that Carol and I both agree on as far as recovery? She lives and works her life with three key important areas like I do, “Mind, Body, and Soul.” In order to live a real, honest and authentic recovery we need to do these three things Carol firmly believes IN:

RETRAIN YOUR  MIND

EXERCISE YOUR  BODY

NOURISH YOUR  SOUL

 

Please Connect with Carol on Social Media!

gofundme.com/carols-dream-2-drive
Facebook
Twitter

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***Presented By “Recovery Starts Here! ~ Author, Catherine Lyon”***

 

An Expert and Real Words About “Gambling Addiction” From Arnie Wexler, Author, Expert, and My Friend.

PLEASE, take a listen to this very important video of Arnie Wexler and his take on Gambling Addiction and about his book, gambling addiction. As Now We Kick Off Another “Betting Superbowl!!”  . . . . .

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“A Look at Problem Gambling Problem with Arnie Wexler a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and Author of  “All Bets Are OFF

 

 

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About The Book:

Arnie Wexler’s life as a gambler began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie, and started playing the stock market. His obsession with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down.

Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well.

Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on compulsive, problem, and underage gambling to more than 40,000 gaming employees and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition to running the toll-free, national helpline 888-LAST-BET, Sheila and Arnie are consultants to Recovery Road in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a Sunspire Health private residential treatment facility for adults with chemical dependency and problem gambling.

Steve Jacobson was a sports reporter and columnist for Newsday for more than forty years with a great interest in all aspects of sports. He co-authored a number of books with notable sports personalities. He was named by Associated Press among the top sports columnists and twice was nominated by Newsday for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Book by Arnie and Sheila Wexler
and Steve Jacobson.

Read about Arnie’s life of addiction and how it impacted his wife Sheila and their family.

Books can be ordered on Amazon.com

Watch the YouTube video of The Steve Malzberg show’s review of the book and interview of Arnie and Sheila.

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Courtesy and Visit Arnie’s Blog: WWW.ASWEXLER.COM

http://aswexler.com/2017/01/11/n-f-l-playoff-gamessuper-bowl-and-gambling/

Gamblers In Recovery? Take Your Holiday Financial Inventory Now! Guest Article By Northstar Alliance.

Happy Holidays Recovery Friends and Visitors!

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GUEST ARTICLE BY:  Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance


Financial Counselors Can Provide Exceptional Services to Recovering Gamblers and Their Families from The Devastation To Finances .  .  .  .

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“In addition to the social and emotional devastation of gambling addiction, which may include loss of relationships, residence, physical health and career opportunities, the damage exacted to one’s finances is significant.”

While therapists and groups such as Gambler’s Anonymous can help address the mental and psychological challenges from a gambling disorder, other experts can help gamblers rebuild their financial house.

Financial counselors can provide a variety of services to both the gambler and their family. By taking appropriate measures, counselors can help gamblers rebuild their credit and safeguard the assets of “affected others,” whose money the gambler may have accessed during their addiction.

Many compulsive gamblers have accumulated a seemingly insurmountable level of debt by the time they seek help. Financial counselors can work on their behalf to obtain special, lower interest rates from creditors to satisfy existing debt. Financial counselors can also consolidate debt so that the recovering gambler pays a single monthly payment, an option known as a debt management plan. While debt consolidation is a tool that’s available for anyone — gamblers and non-gamblers alike — it can be especially helpful for someone who has incurred debt from gambling addiction and requires a plan to start on a new path.

Recovering gamblers seeking financial relief should be wary of debt settlements, which are fundamentally different than debt management plans and which have been the subject of scrutiny from the Minnesota Attorney General. Debt settlement is a form of debt relief that is considered to be extremely dangerous by financial experts. The process, which involves the paying off of debt to a creditor after mutually agreeing to a sum less than what is owed, often leaves consumers with damaged credit scores and can sometimes lead to even deeper debt.

In addition to credit card assistance, financial counselors can also help with management of student loans and mortgages. HUD-certified financial counselors specialize in foreclosure prevention and can potentially help those who have lost much of their money from gambling by working with mortgage companies to make mortgage modifications. According to Cate Rysavy, senior director of Financial Services at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, people are able to avoid foreclosure 64 percent of the time when working with a housing counselor.

Financial counseling can also come to the aid of family members whose monies may have been stolen by the gambler or who may have unknowingly enabled the gambler by providing financial support. Counselors can provide protection to spouses by offering separate accounts for spouses and others to prevent access by the gambler.

A recovering gambler might also wish to engage a Power of Attorney (POA) to help control the disbursement of funds. By setting up a POA, a gambler can ensure there’s controlled access to monies and specify exactly how the funds are to be used. A POA is a formal contract that must be given great consideration. It can be canceled by revocation by the individual or a resignation by the POA, ( Power of Attorney ).

In addition to helping those in financial distress, financial counselors may also be the first to identify someone’s gambling problem. They may note frequent cash withdrawals from a casino or determine that something’s amiss with a client’s expenditures given their budget and income.

Ideally, financial counseling, when necessary, takes place at the same time as treatment for gambling addiction. “If someone’s not acknowledging their addiction and seeking treatment, financial counselors are not in a good position to help,” says Cate, who says the biggest concern when working with gamblers is the possibility of relapse. At Lutheran Social Service, counselors are encouraged to make the call for treatment or to GA while they’re still meeting with the problem gambler. See below for help with addiction debt help from gambling. . . . .

National Credit, Debt, and Finacial Services of Consumer Credit Counseling can be found here in your area:

Connect with an NFCC Certified Credit Counselor   800.388.2227

Consumer Credit Counseling: FREE Debt Help!  Call Us At: 866-464-5243

  1. Get a free credit counseling session
  2. Reduce your interest rates
  3. Prevent late and over the limit fees
  4. Pay off your debt in most cases within 5 years
  5. Consolidate your unsecured debt into one easy monthly payment


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Welcome to Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance

Who We Are!

Gambling, in all its various forms, has become increasingly prevalent in today’s society. In fact, 75 percent of Minnesotans have participated in a form of gambling in the last year. Most who gamble are able to enjoy it as a healthy form of recreation. Others, however, are unable to stop, even when their gambling habit empties their wallet and tugs at their soul. The Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance was formed to address the needs of Minnesotans whose gambling goes beyond normal recreation bounds.

The Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA), Minnesota’s affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling, is a non-profit, gambling-neutral organization dedicated to improving the lives of Minnesotans affected by problem gambling. We achieve this by increasing public awareness about the growing problem and compulsive gambling and advocating for support services and treatment for persons adversely affected by gambling.

Come Visit Us Today! We Can Help .  .  .  .

Another Holiday Guest Article. The Meyer Family Support Him As Media Spins His Gambling Addiction & Prison.

Happy Holidays and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

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So The Media Portrays a Father and Husband  Like THIS:

 

“Day of Reckoning for Crooked Accountant”

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“A Long Island accountant may spend up to 13 years in prison for stealing a total of nearly $800,000 from clients, including some victims who were ill or disabled.”

Scott Meyer, 48, of Seaford, is a former partner of the Johnson and Meyer accounting firm in Huntington. He was sentenced in Suffolk County court to serve four and one-third to 13 years in prison Tuesday. Meyer had pleaded guilty to 24 criminal counts, including grand larceny, in March.

“By carefully choosing his victims to prey on their vulnerabilities, he used his skill as an accountant to steal over $800 thousand dollars and kept the thefts undetected for over five years,” said Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota.” Following his conviction earlier this year, an attorney reportedly blamed Meyer’s behavior on a gambling addiction caused by a brain lesion.”

 

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So, the Meyer Family have come together to support Scott and his recovery from gambling addiction this holiday season with the fine folks and excellent resources of the National Council on Problem Gambling. It is why I chose them as my guest article. It’s important to know “the other side” of this story, not just what the news media spins.

They want to advocate that this can happen to anyone. That includes myself as I shared my criminal and consequences of my of my own “stupid thinking and choices” in my book. And yes, I paid high consequences like Scott but didn’t go to prison as he did. Here is what The Meyer Family want you to know about Scott, how many are supporting Scott in prison, and the folks of the national council are helping him and the family through this loss from addicted gambling and giving to them support through Holidays .  .  .  .

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THE MEYER FAMILY SHARES THEIR STORY TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT GAMBLING ADDICTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
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Kim Meyer and her five children live in a small Long Island community, in the home where she and her high school sweetheart/husband Scott built a full and happy life together over the last 27 years. They co-funded a business, Scott coached the kids’ sports teams, and both were involved in their community, schools, and church. Scott is now serving a 4½ – 13-year prison sentence for grand larceny and forgery, for using clients’ funds to chase more than $500,000 in gambling losses.

With New York state recently legalizing online gambling and preparing to build several new casinos in 2017, Kim has decided to go public with their private nightmare, to help raise awareness about gambling addiction and reduce the stigma that persists – lessons she and her family learned through painful personal experience.

Kim’s daughters created this video to raise awareness and let their dad know how much they love and support him.

As Kim tells it, Scott began gambling many years ago for fun, as the vast majority of people do without any negative consequences. For Scott, the fun quickly escalated to a problem. He exhibited symptoms of pathological gambling – symptoms that often go unnoticed by family and friends.

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“Unfortunately, gambling is rarely viewed as a disease in society, as drug and alcohol are,” says Kim. “Instead it is seen as a moral issue and a choice. The criminal justice system is ill informed and prosecutors refused to consider gambling addiction as the explanation for how a smart, loving, hard-working man could sabotage his life and that of his family.”

After Scott was arrested, his doctor recommended a neurological workup, complete with MRI’s. He was found to have bilateral white matter brain tumors, which cause behavioral and cognitive changes such as poor insight, lack of impulse control and poor judgment.

“Further proof that addiction is not a choice, not a character flaw, and not a moral issue,” Kim notes. “In spite of an addiction and underlying brain impairment, Scott went to jail. We are lost without him.”  Scott primarily gambled at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, and from 2008 to 2013, he lost in excess of $300,000 on slot machines there alone. No casino staff discussed his high losses and other behaviors with him or contacted his family. Instead, they continue to send him promotional mailings with special offers to draw him back.

“To be clear: I am in no way suggesting that Mohegan Sun is responsible for my husband’s gambling disorder, or his physical disability,” says Kim. “What I would like to see, however, is for casinos to use a very small amount of their profits to help raise awareness and to protect others by instituting some simple safeguards, such as:

  • Use casino reward card tracking systems, not just to make offers to entice gamblers to continue gambling, but to identify problem gamblers and reach out to them and their families;
  • Work with gaming industry leaders and state and national gambling prevention groups to create state certification programs that train casino employees to recognize problem gamblers, to identify people who are obviously in trouble, and to offer assistance. As a bartender is required to stop serving a problem drinker, so too should casino employees know when to intervene;
  • Take identified problem gamblers like Scott off their promotional mailing lists;
    Provide 1% – 2% of their profits to support organizations that offer treatment and other assistance for problem gamblers and their families.

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    In spite of extensive evidence of his medical problems and his addiction; being in treatment and rehabilitation for two years; having a new job with a boss willing to testify on his behalf; another judge who was an expert on gambling addiction willing to testify for him; and his steady paying off of bills and beginning to make restitution to his victims; the judge believed that Scott “should have simply stopped when he realized his gambling was a problem” and found him guilty. Kim continues to work with attorneys to get Scott released as soon as possible so he can continue his treatment and recovery, and continue paying back his debts.

    “Our family made the decision to share our story and to work side by side with the National Council on Problem Gambling, as well as the New York and Connecticut state councils in an effort to change things for the better. I have faith that together we can encourage gaming executives to increase their commitment to helping families like ours, and save others from this destruction. It’s a promise I’ve made to my children – that something good can come from this.”

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    Happy Holidays All ~ Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Columnist.

Thank You to ‘Keys To Recovery News’ for Printing My Holiday Article! I am Honored.

Hello and Happy Holidays Recovery Friends,

I am very Happy and Honored that the recovery publication “Keys To Recovery Newspaper”  a FREE recovery newspaper  by  way, has printed a Holiday Article I wrote about “Gambling Addiction and my Addiction Christmas’s Past” in their new Column titled; “QUIT To WIN” and I wanted to share it here with all of you.  We all know the holiday season can be tough many in recovery. So I want to remind them they are not alone. XO Cat

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“QUIT TO WIN”

LET’S QUIT TO WIN FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
By Author, Catherine Lyon

“Now that the holidays are upon us, those of us in recovery can have a tough time around the holiday time. I know I have in the past with self-sabotaging my Christmas season. How do you ask? Let me share a “war story of Christmas past.” We can learn and grow in recovery in when we safely look at the “Then & Now of Christmas’s Past”, as an addicted or problem gambler.”

Many of us in recovery advocate to show to others who still suffer from this cunning addiction the importance of sharing our experiences, strength and hope with others when we do tell some of our “war stories.” It does show how insidious this addiction is. It is one of the area’s I don’t feel is proper about 12-Step programs. They tell us not to share war stories as it could maybe trigger someone in a meeting. But, if we don’t learn from these mistakes or choices, how do we look back and find growth in our recovery? Yes, you can see growth by just doing the 12-steps, but many need more than that to recover fully. I know I did. I recall one Christmas that has to be my worst within my gambling addiction and will never forget. And it is why I make sure all holidays now are safe, happy and full of JOY. It was back in 2005.

Our home we had lived and worked very hard for, had to be sold through a short sale or we would have lost everything we put into it. But even then, it felt like we lost it as we are still paying on the balance that was not covered by the sale. It also caused me to make a few bad choices, residual addicted “thinking,: I had committed a crime, that big catastrophe! I wrote about it in my memoir, and I was reeling.

I stopped taking my bipolar meds, then took them all at once! I was so angry with myself, feeling so much shame, guilt, low self-worth and again suicidal because I knew it was because of my past gambling is how we got into this mess in the first place! Of course, no excuse’s, just insights. We were so financially broke. I remember being in JCPenney walking around aimlessly wishing I could buy this or that for the family for Christmas and again in Walmart. Luckily, all our family lived in other states than Oregon. So I had to do the same lame thing I had done for many past Christmas’s, just send a card.

It was tough already that we both had job loss, the very beginning of the economy and markets were getting ready to pop. We had a hard time finding good paying jobs, and I ended up back in an addiction/mental health crisis again with another breakdown right after the holidays. It was all too much! When I got released from the crisis center, I knew I had a lot more recovery inner work, which included financial inventory to take and work on. I had been doing well in my recovery and gamble free at the time, but something was nagging at me. See, you need to know that no matter what the addiction is, it’s always waiting for us.

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Like the holidays for instance and the point of this post, we can have a lot of temptations around us at this time of year. There are holiday parties for both personal and work related that can be stressful. We may have had fall outs due to the holidays, (thanks to our addictions and why we have step 9… make amends where ever possible) with friends and family. Many different reasons that can become a trigger or bring on urges. The stress of the season, lack of money for presents, a slew of things swirling around in our heads! The “cycle” if not broken or interrupted will keep you either in the addiction or just on edge waiting.

That is what I needed the second time around after coming out of the crisis. I chose to work with a gambling addiction and behavioral specialist. And he would not “cut me loose” until I could tell him how the “cycle” of addiction happens, and tell him the skills and tools to stop it which took me a year. Once I learned that and applied those skills and tools, I began the road to long-term recovery. So my point is everyone needs a relapse plan. A solid plan that will help you avoid these pitfalls. I had been given a workbook that I now have listed on my recovery resource pages, for all to come and use for their recovery from gambling.

It shows step by step what is needed to make a plan to prevent relapse for any occasion, like the holiday season, life events like a loss from death, a job loss and much more. These events and the holidays will come. So you need to prepare before not after they happen. Be prepared and use those tools taught and learned in treatment, or a 12-step program, maybe in therapy or however you choose, to reach out and start your recovery journey. And learn about “the cycle” of addiction. When you do, I guarantee you will have many, many ‘Happy Holiday Seasons’ to come!

“You Are Worth It In Recovery”

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon is the author of the book “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” Available at Amazon.com.

Catherine is a Columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s “The Author’s Cafe” where she interviews and writes about author’s and their books, films, and apps of recovery products. She has been featured in many articles about gambling addiction, most recent had been by “Columbia University” titled; Gambling with America’s Health and interviewed for a new article out soon by “Time Magazine.” Catherine lives in Arizona with her husband of 26 years and her three cats, Mr. Boots, Miss Princess, and Simon Peter. She is the owner of ” Cat Lyon’s Reading Den ” a “pay it forward” to help authors free of charge learn how where to promote their books.

Guest Holiday Article From ‘The Fix.’ Is A 12-Step Program All You Have In Your Life? By Katie MacBride

I am starting my New Recovery Holiday Article Share series with an interesting topic and question. As in many Gamblers Anonymous meetings I have attended, I have heard some say that they gave up all their friends and are only friends with their GA, AA, or NA pals that they meet. They only go to 12-step functions like dances, holiday parties and more.  I don’t know if that is a healthy and well-balanced recovery. DO YOU?  Does AA, GA, Na or others have to be your life?

We have had the talk here before if 12-Step Programs is the only way to recovery from addiction, and most said no not really.  Now please, I am not knocking the 12-steps at all. My experience was I attended to be with other like -minded people looking to recover and as support. So let’s read another perspective about this and share how you feel about this in my comments. I like to know what others in recovery have to say. So share your VOICE  .  .  .  .


Does AA Have to Be My Life?
By Katie MacBride of The Fix Magazine

Dear Katie,

“Have you ever heard someone in the rooms say that we live AA and visit life? My sponsor tells me that but sometimes I have a hard time with it because I don’t feel like I got sober just to go to AA all the time, I got sober so that I could live my life. But she seems to believe that you get sober through AA so you have to live the AA triangle all the time. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that because I think the point of AA is to bring the principles with you into how you handle your everyday life. Could you offer your opinion on that?”

Spend enough time in or around 12-step programs and you’ll have aphorisms coming out your ears. Many of these are useful—whether or not one is in a 12-step program or not. (I’m a big fan of HALT, even though I thought it was incredibly stupid when I first heard it—more on that here.)

I always think of Sandra Bullock in the movie 28 Days when she’s mocking her treatment counselor for telling her to take it “one day at a time.” She scoffs, “‘One day at a time,’ what is that? I mean like two, three days at a time is an option? I don’t need the Romper Room bullshit.”

All the “Romper Room bullshit” can be annoying as hell, especially when the person reciting it seems way too cheerful and peppy for somebody, not on drugs, a drinker, or addicted gambler. There’s a reason for those irritating sayings, though. When something happens that makes us consider drinking or using, we often don’t have time for lengthy, well-reasoned arguments about why it’s a bad idea.

If we’re lucky, we have time to get one annoyingly oversimplified and yet somehow appropriate saying between our ears. That one phrase has to be easily accessible through the fog of our craving and snap us back to reality. It has to remind us of what it was like when we were drinking and using, and why we work so hard to stay sober. It turns out those quippy little Romper Room quotes are great for that. I’m not familiar with the saying “live in AA and visit life,” but what I have heard—and am guessing your sponsor means—is “don’t put the life AA gave you in front of your AA life.”

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This, like many of the aphorisms, can seem both confusing and annoying. What is the difference between the life AA gave you and your AA life? Isn’t it all just…your life? Or, as you more eloquently put it, isn’t the “point of AA to bring the principles with you into how you handle your everyday life”? The short answer is yes. We get sober so we can live our lives. The tools that we learn in recovery, whether through a 12-step program or some other treatment program, are skills that you’ll take into the world with you as you go along in your everyday life.

Your sponsor (if I am understanding her correctly) is also right, in that you can’t get complacent about recovery. This is one of the biggest points of contention among those who dislike AA. It’s a cult, some folks will say, they make you go to meetings forever! They tell you to put AA before anything else! How can you live a normal life if you’re supposed to be focused on AA for the rest of it? These are the kind of claims that can make someone trying to figure out the new and complicated world of sobriety overwhelmed and completely freaked out. So let’s break down what it means.

Without getting into the disease controversy, or the “is AA, GA, or NA the best method” controversy, there is one thing about addiction and recovery that are unequivocally true:

If you want to no longer be actively addicted to something, you need to behave, and ultimately think, differently than you did when you were actively addicted. It sounds simple, but anyone who has tried to do it can attest to how difficult it is to accomplish. So the goal of any recovery program (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, AA, SMART Recovery) is to help an addict break their long established patterns of substance use.

It doesn’t end at just breaking the habits, though. Another thing you’ll hear people in recovery say is, “Getting sober is easy, staying sober is hard.” I don’t know that I’d ever call getting sober “easy,” but we often have more motivation to get sober than we do to stay sober. When I had ravaged my life as a result of my drinking, I had no choice but to build from ground zero up.

If I needed a reminder as to why I shouldn’t drink, all I had to do was look at the barren wasteland around me and the rubble beneath my feet. As I rebuilt my life, the barren wasteland changed into a vibrant city. My world was (and is) now comprised of people, places, and things and it’s tempting to become lost in that. There’s nothing wrong with living a full life outside your program of recovery, but there may be a danger becoming so preoccupied with it that you stop doing the WORK to maintain that recovery.

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People who undergo treatment for depression with a combination of therapy, medication, and exercise may not maintain that program with the same vigilance 10 years down the road as they did when they first entered treatment, but some ongoing maintenance will likely always be necessary.

The same is true for addiction. But addiction is a sneaky jerk, and alcohol and drug use are so commonplace that it’s not hard to forget that as addicts, we can’t use those things with impunity. I got sober at 23 years old and I can’t count the number of times I’ve wondered “maybe it was just a phase and I could drink ‘normally’ now,” even though I have literally no evidence to support that thought and abundant evidence to the contrary.

It’s also easy to get wrapped up in what being an addict/alcoholic means for the rest of your life. At the risk of tossing my own Romper Room slogan into the mix: try not to worry about it and take it…yep…one day at a time. Keep doing what’s working for you now. Remember what your life was like before sobriety and do what you need to do to hold on to your recovery.

The rest will work itself out.


Please visit Author, Katie MacBride over at The Fix Magazine and get all your questions answered about addiction and recovery.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author, and Columnist at “In Recovery Magazine’s The Author’s Cafe.”  My ebook is now on Sale at  Amazon Kindle Store  . . . .