“Lets Talk War Stories of Addiction and The Criminal Consequences”

Hello and Welcome all Recovery Friends,

 

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I wanted to write and share a little about the damages and consequences many of face when we were deep within our addictions. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his blog while he was there. And I can tell you, there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. Back in 2006,  I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do so. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone of course read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall.

FREEDOM,  Are YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK.

He was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feeling and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but? I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.

I use them for my recovery to help others, share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling, alcohol, and other addictions, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for a ‘Home Business.’  Again, as you may know, I promote other authors with a small ‘Book & Social Media Promotions’ job for extra income. And here is why, which I know you all in recovery will understand.

In 2006, I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two years probation, and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution to this day. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.

BAM! Book promoting and authoring more recovery books came to mind! I’m not rich yet, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery.  It also raises your self-worth, confidence and gives you freedom from addiction!


 

We need to learn while in recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made within our addictions. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done, or you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides addiction.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Many choose treatment or rehab, depending on the type of addiction you are recovering from. Many turn to 12 step programs, or even to their church. Doesn’t matter what route you choose, just do it. We can change those bad habits and behaviors we tend to learn within addiction/ and replace them with awesome ones. It’s what I told my friend in his blog comment section. He feels he is becoming addicted to his cell, the internet, and social media sites.

So I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, and that is what helps ME stay in recovery. Sharing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take such a positive turn from the damage and devastation of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams.

So go ahead and take your freedom Back from Addiction Today!!
You are worth it!

May God Bless You Abundantly Friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
Author and Recovery Advocate

What Does Gambling Addiction Look Like? It Looks Like This – Can We Help & Support Him?

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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Addiction to gambling

Do you know what gambling addiction looks like? Do you know how it impacts your community? Did you know that 1% of our population has a gambling problem? Parents, did you know that problem and addicted gambling has now reached you high school and college bound young adults? Do you know what the symptoms are of a problem gambler? Here is an anonymous young man who recently reached out to me because gambling addiction is devastating his life.
And NO, addicted gambling is not by a persons choice to destroy their life.
It is a REAL DISEASE . . .

Anonymous Writes:

I am 32 to years old.  I am from — and that is also where I live now.
I was always popular, kind of a ladies man, I was athletic, and I was the first guy to leave the state of all my friends to be on my own right after college. However, I have since college struggled with depression. Since gambling addiction took over I:

– I have NEVER enjoyed any of the career opportunities that I have had.
– I have always been a poker player and now more of a complete degenerate gambler.
– I have been on several medications and none seem to fix this issue of depression.
– I have always been searching for the career that would make me happy and at peace.
– I have always been a drinker. I like to drink but I do not go over board I drink wine and about a bottle over the course of the day/night. This has been targeted as a problem to some therapists and others don’t seem to think it is.
When I have quite drinking for a few weeks I do not notice any difference.
I am still depressed and miserable. The longest I have quite for is about 20 days. on 2 or 3 separate occasions.

– I have never really felt that suicide is the answer but I can’t say I would ever do it. I actually highly doubt I would ever do such a thing. I do google it and think about it though when I am super depressed after a big loss.
– I am not normal with relationships. I feel that I grow very distant when things are starting to get serious.
I have a tendency to be turned off easily and get sick of women. Right now I have not had any relationships with a woman for months and months due to gambling and depression (staying inside).

I have been living with my parents for going on a year now in the basement. This house is dysfunctional with an alcoholic father and a mother who is sad she has to witness this. I also have a sister here. I have lost most of my friends for one reason or another. Either because I decided to never call them, or hang out due to feelings of shame for living here. And I do not like facing the public in my current state of living. I feel embarrassed and ashamed!

I lost my last job ( making about –k per year) in just 3 months. It was a horrible experience. The gambling has been out of control for a while but MUCH worse lately. I just have ripped through money like its nothing, pumping them into STUPID SLOT machines which is something I WOULD NEVER DO.  AND that also sickens me!!!!

I just know that the depression and gambling has reached new damaging heights. I cannot cope like this. I feel terrible. However, as soon as night-time comes along and I’m depressed and miserable, maybe buzzed off wine I talk myself into going back out to gamble again!! I am not sure if you heard stories like mine. I am not sure if you have heard people in as deep as me, with no job, no career, and no discovered passions dig out of this mess.
I am hoping you can tell me if you have seen it. However, I have tried so many therapists, nothing is working. It is the most frustrating thing in the world and I want out.

I guess what I want to know is. These are the thoughts I have had for years. I know there are generic answers like, ( stop drinking, stop gambling, seek help, find your passion, try a medication, think about what you liked to do as a kid)
HONESTLY NONE OF THESE WORK FOR ME!!! I Need Your Help!

I guess what I am looking for is :
– Have you seen stories similar to mine?
– What can I do about this mess?
– Why do I keep going back when I know its killing me?  – Can I one day have a happy life?  – It seems like I will never be gamble free… and its scary!

Thanks for listening to me go on and on…. you don’t even know me, but maybe you can save me? I would be forever indebted, and thankful!!!  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover please ask me.
Anonymous. . .

upset player suffering from gambling addiction

SO, . . . . My question to all of my blog friends and recovery friends who come to visit, WHAT would you say to this young man? Of course you know I sent him some information and support websites. But can you help me by sharing your thoughts as if you were talking to him in my comment section. I will make sure I forward ALL advice to him by email. I need to dig deep and ask for a little help from my friends here.

Thank You and God Bless,

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

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I Welcome Dustin John To My Recovery Blog Today And His Fantastic Blog~”My Sober Life”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome new Friends,

 

Many of us on this crazy journey of recovery come across some pretty amazing people. And my Guest Blogger is no different. We have met on many social media sites, and he too has been in recovery for a long awhile. When I first visited his blog, I was struck on how very open and candid Dustin was. I like that! Because in order for us to help others in recovery, or help those reaching out for a helping hand on how to even start the recovery journey, we need not ‘Sugar Coat’ recovery at all.

We need to be able to share our inner most feelings of all we have been through with addiction. We lay our hearts bare in order for others to know they are NOT alone, they CAN recover, and there are many of us IN recovery who can if they Live or Die from any type of addiction. And that’s what my good friend Dustin seems to always accomplish on his blog when sharing his own personal testimony of where he had been, to where he is today!

Here is a little more about “Dustin John”, and about his must visit blog tilted; “My Sober Life” at: http://www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

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sober from alcohol and other drugs since February 1, 2012 and I have been sober from heroin for over 5 years.
Dustin John –
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My Sober Life

My Soundingboard of Hope, Freedom and Happiness

 “I am 33 years old. For the better part of 13 years I was using heroin and other drugs. I have been sober since February 1, 2012. After seeing the devastation that addiction and alcoholism causes in families across the world, I wanted to share my story in hope that my past mistakes will help others who are plagued by addiction and alcoholism. Sobriety is possible and when it is truly found, peace and happiness will follow” …

A Bit Of Dustin’s Back Story:

At the age of 20, I was married before the ink had fully dried on my high school diploma. At the time, I thought I had the perfect life. I had a pretty wife, a steady growing credit score, a nice home with 2 cars, a great job and some financial stability. Having my life in order at such a young age gave me a sense of satisfaction a sense of wholeness and responsibility. I felt like I had reached the “American Dream” if such a thing ever existed. We even had the white picket fence in a neat little row against the freshly laid concrete sidewalk. I had installed new white stickers on our mailbox that advertised our union as a small new family. “The Johns’”
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Within the first year of my marriage, there was so much tension in our home you had to cut through it with a pair of pruning shears. It was constant, it was thick and it was very depressing. There was persistent arguing and squabbling over trivial matters, day in and day out. I was extremely young, naïve and inexperienced in the relationship field but I did the best I could in keeping our relationship afloat. It was like trying to scoop water out of the sinking Titanic- with a thimble. It finally dawned on me that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t be enough. I would never be able to make my partner happy.

I viewed my partner as my “life-long” companion where infidelities, lies, manipulation and divorce did not exist. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I knew my wife and I were finished. The endless fighting and verbal boxing matches had us at the breaking point. Her infidelities had driven in the final wedge. At that point, I had lost my ability to love her, or at least that is how it felt. I gave her a week to move out of our home.

The emptiness of my home mirrored my empty soul and I knew that being alone in that solitude wasn’t the best idea. After a few phone calls to friends, my home became a regular karaoke lounge with drunken hacky sack tournaments in the kitchen. I’m not sure why we thought alcohol and hacky sack went together because you would never get more than two kicks before someone would either fall over drunk, or kick the sack behind the stove which would usually end the game instantly. Regardless of our insanity it- coupled with drugs and alcohol, was helping to suppress my emotions.
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*And That is How The Cycle Of Addiction can begin…. This was a part of another extensive interview Dustin had done on another website titled; “Breaking The Cycles” and you can read the full interview, courtesy of  http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/2014/06/15/dustin-john-todays-face-of-addiction-recovery/
It’s another fantastic recovery blog. I wanted to share a little of Dustin’s interview from there, as it shows one of the reasons many of us turn to addiction in the first place. I can be from life trauma and events, or many other reasons, but we USE to try to cope or escape hurt, pain, life disappointments, loss, tragic events, and more.

Dustin and myself are no different. We may not have been raised to know there are much healthier ways to process life’s trials and events. Here is a perfect example from Dustin’s own blog, “My Sober Life” as to why I’m truly inspired by him deeply. I always feel that our Higher Power has had a huge part in my meeting Dustin.
It’s one of the blessings and rewards of life*!
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Get High or Get Higher Power?
Courtesy of Dustin John ….

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I have been wanting to do a blog on my version of God; or more accurately, my higher power for many weeks now but I kept putting it off. The topic is controversial to say the least- mainly if the status quo deity is put into question. Religion beliefs are often a topic in recovery and I feel that having an honest and open discussion is relevant and absolutely necessary in my own personal recovery. Some of you may disagree with my beliefs and that is perfectly fine. My goal is not to argue that my higher power is right or wrong or that any of my reader’s belief’s are incorrect. I am only explaining my experience and what works for me.

Many conversations in the rooms of AA/NA, give strong evidence that many addicts struggle with finding, keeping and believing in a God or any form of higher power. I want to explain my higher power so that others who are struggling can see that they are not alone in their struggles. I also want to explain how I finally found what I believe to be my higher power.

GROWING UP

I was raised in the LDS church as a young child. Up until my mid 20s, I believed in the Judeo-Christian ethical standards as well as a living, breathing deity who had a flowing white beard and had a homestead somewhere above the highest of clouds. After continually struggling to make even a single right turn into the driveway of virtue, I began to question what kind of Satan-spawn I had become. The harder I tried to do right by God, the further he faded from me. No coffee or caffeine? No hot drinks? No nicotine? No masturbation? God must have known me quite well. I was doomed right out of the placenta bursting gate.

THE CRUX

Despite my appalling past; homelessness, IV drug use, robbery, theft etc., I have always thought I was a decent and respectful human being. It may be difficult to believe that, and after reading that previous sentence, I think I may have threw up a little from the ridiculousness of my statement. Anyone who has been addicted to drugs I’m sure can relate. I knew I had done some really terrible things and for God and my sober self, that was a big problem.
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The thought of going to hell drove me to study religion and to study it passionately. Both sides. Both arguments and even other religions. So that is what I did. I studied Christian, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism. After studying these religions* and reading their doctrines, I began to study agnosticism and atheism. I knew I couldn’t make any accurate or true claims about anything if I didn’t understand both sides of the religious coin belief and non-belief.

THE SEARCH

After countless hours of work, I came to my own conclusion based on empirical evidence, logical consistency, and facts. I now consider myself to be an atheist. However, just because I do not believe that Gods or Deities’ exist, does not mean I do not have a higher power.

CRUX-BASED FINDINGS

When I first realized I was in fact, a strong atheist, I began to feel an emptiness. Like my life was missing something crucial. A pinging vibration of hollowness echoed throughout my body. “If I did not believe that Gods’ exist, how could I ever stay sober?” AA/NA taught me that to continue a happy and fulfilling sober lifestyle, I had to find a higher power!

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

I had heard in a meeting one time that someone was using a doorknob as their higher power but I felt more powerful than a doorknob. After-all, I could turn one and walk through a door so I knew the doorknob would not suffice as my higher power. I think the point of a higher power is choosing something that is more powerful than me and something I CAN’T control- unlike the turning of a doorknob. That is however, only my amateur opinion. If a doorknob works for someone as a HP, then grab hold of it!

FINDING MY HIGHER POWER

My HP had to be something much smarter than me, much stronger than me, something I could not control, something I do not understand, something that would keep me safe and something I COULD allow to run my life so I didn’t screw it up again. After pondering these strict and crucial requirements for my next potential higher power, I finally realized this higher power was right in front of me the entire time. It was with me throughout my entire life and it knew me much better than I knew myself. It is thousands of time stronger than me and it is thousands of times smarter than me. Its capabilities are known to be almost limitless.This amazing higher power I am describing is the subconscious mind.
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Actual X-ray of my big yellow-purple brain dots.
JUST SOME THOUGHTS

Being conscience of our unconscious mind is extremely helpful for living a successful life; even if you think having it (subconscious) as your higher power is ludicrous. For many years, I thought of my subconscious mind as an abstract concept and I never put much “thought” into it. Today, I work to provide a conduit of clear communication between my conscious and subconscious mind. A working relationship between the two is essential for my daily recovery. Having this deity-free higher power has continued to keep me sober and has help me understand so many things that used to baffle me.
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I welcome all troll-free comments but if any of my readers are having a hard time with God or a higher power, please feel free to comment. Also, I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this topic. I appreciate all my readers support. Thank you all!

Dustin J.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” –Andre Gide
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Now all my recovery buddy’s know that when I have a Blog Guest, I only ask 3 questions of them as to not put on any pressure! LOL. Dustin seems to handle any Just Fine! 🙂
So here is my 3 questions I asked of him, and how he answered them for us! …
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Q ~ Knowing you live life in recovery, how did you decide to write & blog about it and your journey?

Back in 2008, I asked my father if I should try and write a book about my addiction and what my family had been through. It was quite the tale and we had all learned a great deal by doing everything the wrong way for many years. My father knew that the amount of people suffering from the disease of addiction were legion so we began putting ink on paper.
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Because of numerous relapses between 2008-2012, the book was finally edited, re-drafted, edited, chopped, edited, rewritten and then we finalized the perfected manuscript in late 2013. From robberies at gunpoint to traveling across the western states’, wrecking stolen vehicles and hitchhiking with a murderous tow truck driver, my story leaves no stones unturned in my fight for survival. . Being held hostage by a crowd of burly chainsaw wielding psychopaths’, I somehow find my way out. A mysterious masked boy on a bus sees my life unfolding and tries to warn me of my fate years in advance.
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I wrote a chapter telling my story from the addicts perspective and my father wrote a chapter describing the same timeframe but from the family’s eye-view.  Luckily we finished the final manuscript just days before my father passed away.

“Every addict who is looking for long-term sobriety, myself included, have many multi-faceted triggers and emotions that will send us swerving off the sober path. We will all eventually have to learn to deal with death and we need to do it without drinking, drugging, or other self-destructive behaviors. Losing my father (age 59) was a devastating blow to my family. His death was untimely and it shook me to my core. I have yet to give in to my addiction over my father’s death and having an online sounding board has been a huge help for me. It has also given me the opportunity to share things that were not discussed in our book. I learn new things about addiction almost every day and being able to share those new thoughts and ideas make blogging a substantial recovery tool.”
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Q ~ Since your sobriety, what has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you?

would have to be marrying the woman of my dreams. We met playing Texas Hold’em online. When I first began chatting with her, I didn’t realize she lived almost 8,000 miles away. She is a blonde haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian from Finland who can swear at me in 4 different languages. She has never done any kind of drugs and that was new to me, weird and completely awesome. After a 2 year, really long distance relationship and a couple of trips back and forth to Finland, we began the never-ending pile of documents required for her citizenship. We were married June 9, 2012. She has been my guiding light, my rainstorm in the desert, my everything.
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Q ~  As far as your recovery, what was it that made you decide to get clean and sober?

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I honestly didn’t want to. I had to. That’s how powerless I am.  I love the feeling of using heroin and other drugs. The problem is I can’t do it anymore. I was standing on the reaper’s doorstep in 2006. I was facing a 1-10 year prison sentence and I was hoping drugs would take my life before I got caught by the authorities. I was completely worn out; homeless, running from the law, shooting heroin and cocaine into my arms many times a day, committing more and more horrendous crimes every day. I was not slowing down. My liver was failing, my bruised and battered veins were collapsing and I weighed 112 pounds (including the stolen lawn mower I was pushing).
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I was finally arrested in July of 2006. When all my court appearances had been settled, I was given 13 months in a maximum security facility and tens of thousands in fines and restitution. I had tried to get sober many times before this but I never could gather more than a few weeks of sobriety. Being housed with rapists, murderers and hard-core criminal’s for over a year was eye-opening to say the least. It wasn’t the career I had in mind and I knew I had to make some life-altering decisions from that point forward. I was truly willing to do whatever it took to stay sober.
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I was able to gather over two and a half years of sobriety after my sentencing. I had stopped attending meetings and working with other addicts. Within 6 months I had relapsed. I asked a judge to throw me back in jail so I could get sober again. He did of course (30 day sentence) and I have been sober since February 1, 2012. I have been clean from heroin for over five and a half years.
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I want to say “Thank You” to Dustin John for letting me share his Recovery & Sober Life today. He is a true inspiration to many of us recovery bloggers out here in Recoveryville!  Please take some time to go visit his blog and find a wealth of information, and honest sharing about how to “Stay Clean & Sober”!! I know he thinks I’m going to let him get away with mentioning “TEXAS’ EM” in his Guest Spot!! Bad, Bad, Boy DUSTIN! LOL…
You can contact with Dustin here:

To follow more of my story, information about addiction, and to stay tuned for my book hitting the shelves, please follow my blog at www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

You can also find me on Twitter at @DustinLJohn

Contact me by email  jdusty45@yahoo.com

“Thanks everyone for coming by and visiting! God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

 

 

WARNING: Relapse Is Really Hard On One’s Heart, And My Heart Is With Sean…

Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Visitors,

Today has been really hard on my heart when it comes to recovery. RELAPSE can be a mean ‘Bitch’ when she comes back around for you when you least expect it!…


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Sometimes our higher power gives us the opportunity to watch and learn what relapse looks like by watching others in their struggle to recover. It’s what I have been doing now for almost 3 weeks. My good friend Sean is in trouble! And it’s so heart breaking to watch. My friend, and next door neighbor has been on a drug relapse for about that length of time. I have talked with him, tried to help him, but I know I can not make the tough choice’s for him about his addiction or recovery. It breaks my heart that all I can do is watch him crumble.

He went down to visit his parents in San Diego about 3 weeks ago. When he got back, he seemed to go into a depression. I know and understand what that type of ‘separation depression’ looks like, because I’d get that way myself after a visit with friends and family down in So. Cal. So I understood what he was feeling.
We even talked about it. I shared with him what I would go through when everyone had left, and was gone.

The same would also happen when my family came to visit me and my husband in So. Oregon, and then go home after a week or so, I would get depressed. Even though my family is a bit dysfunctional, there still family….LOL. I to would feel the separation depression, and it would hit me hard. We have no children of our own, so it was especially hard when my nephews came with my parents to visit, it would be even harder to regroup after everyone was gone and by myself and hubby again. So I noticed the same with my friend Sean. Then he also started to slack off on going to his NA meetings, RED FLAG.  His son came over one day and had pot on him, and of course his son got Sean thinking that pot  is not a drug…. WTF? is what I was saying in my head to myself, another RED FLAG.

As we all know anything that is mood altering is a DRUG.
Sorry but, POT IS A DRUG. No amount of Medical Marijuana cards will change my mind about that! That it’s a herb, and not a drug. Yeah Right!
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So, Sean started to smoke it with his son. He told me he had smoked pot. And of course we had to AGREE to DISAGREE that pot is a drug. Well my friends, one thing WILL lead to another, and he got right back on the PILL PONY EXPRESS, buying and taking Oxycontin and other pain pills! As an addict in or out of recovery? One drug WILL lead you back on the “Cycle” of addiction.

Now some of you are wondering,…. WHAT? Why didn’t you help him more?
Well, he’s an addict that’s why. Oh, I have talked to him. But as all of us addicts in recovery know, he has to make the choice to get back into rehab, or back on track with his recovery himself. I can’t do that for him. All I can do is encourage him on how well he had done the last 121 days, and to say that NO ONE can take those days away from him. That now with those 121 days clean, proves to him he can do this!
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So, finally, just an hour ago, he came over and had tears in his eyes while he told me he has had enough. He was going to the hospital and then checking himself voluntarily into rehab to detox properly, and start over once again. We hugged, we cried together. I told him how proud I was of him. That the days he made, and work he’d done in those 121 days of recovery, all the meetings, all the “Celebrate Recovery” meetings too, has given him today the ‘Awareness’ of knowing he needs the professional help to recover. I know that he wouldn’t have done that otherwise.

Even though my DEMON was Addicted Compulsive Gambling, and Alcohol abuse when I gambled, addiction is addiction regardless the type. What is the definition of addition?

ad·dic·tion

: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)

: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something

Full Definition of ADDICTION

1 :  the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading>

2:  compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly :  persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful and repetitive.

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Change,… that’s what it takes to break the “Cycle” of any addiction. CHANGE. Change our diseased thoughts, thinking, habits, and addicted behaviors. BRAVE. To be brave enough to make those changes within ourselves to be healthy and happy without addiction through recovery. Courage. To have the courage to be aware that you’re dying within your addiction and/or relapse. It takes courage to admit your sick and you need help.
That is what I saw today in the eyes of my good friend and neighbor, Sean W.  Even through the tears, all I saw was a man saying, HELP ME, I NEED YOU, I NEED YOUR RECOVERY SUPPORT! And he knows I got his back!

I may not know a lot about DRUG addiction, but I know enough to see when someone is in pain, lost, and in a relapse. But again, all I could do is talk to him, be a good listener, and reaffirm to him the months he had, and he knows in his heart he can DO THIS!

See, since my husband and I had to relocate from Southern Oregon to here in Glendale, Arizona, I don’t have many friends here. I do have a good sponsor, she is a follow recovering gambler, and fellow author to, Marilyn Lancelot. But my neighbor & friend Sean, who lives next door moved in the month after we did here, and that’s about it as friends here. I do have a couple of girls in the complex that I talk to now and then, but I don’t get out much because of my damn Agoraphobia with Panic, and Bipolar Depression. I’m on the computer a lot! NO……. don’t worry, I’m not addicted to the internet or my computer!…LOL.

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One thing I do know, I’m glad I never chose drug addiction as my choice of  escapism from life, just gambling and alcohol. WHY? Because with my addictive, and obsessive personality? I most likely wouldn’t be here today writing this blog post. Addicted gambling & alcohol almost did me in by ‘SUICIDE TWICE’. It’s why I share it, as gambling addiction cost me so much more than money or material things I sold or pawned, it almost cost me my life. I have lost 4 friends in my Recovery Treatment Group and Gamblers Anonymous Group in So. Oregon. I don’t want to lose another friend due to addiction.

So as July 1st was “Addiction & Recovery Prayer Day”….. I ask all of my recovery friends, followers, liker’s, and new visitors,… PLEASE say a prayer for my friend Sean, he really needs them. I’m so grateful to have all my friends here on my blog. Because its times like this that I can come, write my feelings,  my thoughts, fears, worries, and triumphs to share with all of you here. I’m blessed to have all of you! Even if it’s just through Cyber-Space. It means so much to me to have a blog community of friends just, SOMEWHERE. And I have THE BEST! I hope you all know that…. Xo Xo

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Thanks all for your prayers for Sean, and thanks for reading my ramblings…

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Many Blessings & Happy 4th Of July!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of “Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

“Join Me Please For Addiction & Recovery Day Of Prayer” July 1st And Everyday…

Welcome Recovery Friends, Seeker’s, And New Visitors,

 

Please join in a day of  “Prayer For Those In Recovery” and those who struggle from Gambling, Drug, Alcohol, Porn, Sex, Food, and All Addictions on July 1st 1024, and everyday….

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Guideposts   http://www.guideposts.org/ourprayer/prayer-events/dop/2473295/pr?utm_source=DOP_Addiction_062914_1&utm_medium=Email
(Courtesy Of OurPrayer.org )

*Serenity Prayer*
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God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
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*The Complete Serenity Prayer*
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God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
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For so many people in desperate situations — seeking peace, strength, and wisdom — those simple words, whispered to a “God as they understand him,” have seen them through the darkest hours.
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They have come to believe that those qualities can come only from a power greater than themselves. And because they believe, they find the serenity, courage and wisdom they seek from somewhere outside themselves to face another situation, another step, and another day. Although literally millions of people — in and out of the recovery community — have been helped and strengthened by those few lines.
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*I know it saved my life from Gambling Addiction & Alcohol*….

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God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of Addicted To Dimes
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

 

“Once Upon A Time There Were 3 Sisters, Then Life,Trauma And Addictions Got In The Way”

Hello Recovery Friends, Seeker’s and Welcome New Friends,
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*Memories Of Rose, Catherine, and Angela ~Three Sisters*
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Once upon a time there were 3 Sisters, and life seemed to get in their way. That’s ME of course the “crazy” looking kitty, and my older & my younger sisters. Gee, where to begin?
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When I still lived at home in So. California, where the 3 sisters were raised, via New Jersey, due to our dad was career Air Force, we moved to CA in 1970. We were like many other sisters, except my younger sister wasn’t born until a few years after we got to CA. She happened to be that OOPS,  when dad got fixed, but never went back to see if the fix worked,…LOL.
As we began to grow and get older, we were like other sisters who played, fought, begged to follow “Big Sister” where ever, all those sorts of things sisters do until I went through some traumatic events as a young girl.
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I became different and more withdrawn. I became the true “black-sheep” of our family. My parents, nor my sisters never noticed, and when they did they made jokes, or made fun of me, along with my older brother. But of course we were all younger and they all had no idea what was happening to me. As I got into my teens, I started to feel more different. This can happen when one is sexually abused. I was threatened by my abusers not to say a word because my parents would say I was making it up, and wouldn’t believe me. That my parents would beat me, punish me for telling lies about them. Then the “Reward” after each inappropriate encounter,…candy, or ice cream, the arcade, then again more lies & threats. So I kept to myself, a lot, and my parents had no idea what was happening to me. I was a monster as a child. I remember my mom telling me this and other things about my childhood the few weeks we spoke in the hospital before she passed. Those and the good childhood memories, and the peace my mom & I made are what I carry in my heart today. When we learn to forgive in recovery? It can sometimes void out most of the “Bad,” but for me, childhood scars remained…
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So as grew up, my older sister was also “picked on” at times, as she had a difficult time keeping weight off, and I remember our neighbor kids calling her fat, or Crisco in a can, even my dad and brother. Many need to understand that these verbal words can leave scars. She was always the shy one of the three us. She was more a home body, quite, and only had a couple close girl friends. She never dated much through High School, and when she did meet the love of her life, she was married at 17, right out of High School. She began her life as a mom, wife, and worked part-time. I spent a lot of time with her and my brother-in-law Mike,  because I hated to be home. My mom was a heavy-handed disciplinarian, so I stayed with them a lot on the weekends. My younger sister was more a mama’s girl, and that went on into her adulthood, and seemed when my mom passed she took over the role of “Bad Behaviors” my mom had.  She lived with my parents on and off, mostly on, until she finally got married and moved to Long Beach with her husband in 2003, right before my mom passed.
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But in 1992 it seemed everything changed. My older sisters husband Mike was diagnosed with cancer. It was May, 1992 and he was gone by November, 1992.  It was really the first time we lost someone close in our family. My older sister would never be the same. Since then, it seemed our family declined from there. By then I had been through 2 short marriages and divorced, and had moved and been living in So. Oregon by then for a few years. My brother was also on his 3rd marriage, as my mom seemed to medal in all of them, and 2 of his ended in divorce, and a 3rd on the way after, and due to a huge argument after my moms wake at my brother’s house.  One thing that seemed to change was my relationship with my older sister.  See, when I flew home for her husbands funeral. I got there a few hours before the viewing that evening at the chapel. My brother-in-law had been in the hospital early the month before, so I drove down to spend time with him, knowing it most likely would be the last time I’d see him before he passed. Before going home after my visit, which I had a 931 mile drive ahead of me to Oregon, I went to the hospital the evening before and spent an hour or so with him. I loved him like my brother. We had a lot of wonderful times together.
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So we had a long talk that night before I went back to my sisters. I didn’t want to do it before I got on the road to head home, and be too emotional to drive.  So when I got to my sisters for the funeral, she was upstairs getting ready to go to the viewing. She says to me, “how come you didn’t go to see Mike at the hospital before you got on the freeway to go home”? he was asking for you.” I tried to explain to her that I had a long drive and didn’t want to get on the road all emotional and sad. And we all knew that he was on so much morphine, he may not of remembered right away that I had been there.
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She proceeded to chastise me about it, and laid a guilt trip on me that I should have stopped by. She really hurt my feelings, and proceeded to ignore me the rest of the night, and most my stay.  In that moment, I felt a “shift” between us. Our relationship has never been the same after that. She began to abuse “alcohol,”  and continued while my parents enabled her. My parents took on the “caregiver” role because she had 3 boys now to raise on her own. The problem with this was they didn’t understand that the more they helped her with everything,  the more they enabled her drinking behavior at the same time, as she racked up 5 DUI’s along the way. Today, she now lives with my dad, and continues to drink, and my dad thinks he’s helping her by not letting her go out to drink and drive.  My younger sister watching all this didn’t learn any lessons, and my mom also spoiled her, as did everything for her as well. Mistake!
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My younger sister also drinks too much, has an “anger” problem, and just seems mad at the world. She enjoys stirring the pot, gossiping,  and seems to have some kind of “drama” going on to function as a normal person. She accused me of not being around to help when my mom was sick those years before she passed, so I didn’t understand how stressful it was for her.
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Well, I did feel guilt about that but,…..was that not her CHOICE to be a constant caregiver? I lived 931 miles away? My older sister didn’t go over everyday to help, and she only lived 11 miles away. And by this time, no one was even talking to my brother either, so he was gossiped about, and blamed also. It was a real strange and uncomfortable feeling when I did go down to visit, it was like I was standing outside a clear bubble, and my family was on the inside with all this hurt, drama, and dysfunction going on inside that bubble, and I didn’t want any part of it. And when I didn’t take part in all the unhealthy habits and behaviors going on inside there, I was accused and told, “I thought I was better than them! YES, they really said that to me…WHAT?
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No, I wasn’t better than anyone, I just was learning in recovery treatment about setting “boundaries” because all that dysfunction had added fuel to my addictions when I was still active in them! HEY, someone had to try to STOP THE MADNESS, as I didn’t want all this to be passed down to the next generation of our family. My older sister had 3 boys, and my brother a young son as well, and they should not have to learn that “Grandma’s” behaviors were OK. No, no, no.
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So we fast forward to today. Not much has changed as far as I know. The last time I had spoken to my dad and two sisters was back in 2004. I did go home for Christmas 2003. Us girls and husbands tried to help my dad through the first holidays without mom, but after we got back to Oregon, I found my father, and my 2 sisters not only didn’t give my brother anything of my mom’s from all her jewelry to remember her by, or to pass down to his son, but my dad also put the remaining insurance policies he didn’t need of my moms into my sisters and I names, and nothing to my brother or his son. I spoke up about it, and the next thing I know, no one is calling me back or talking to me? That was April of 2004.
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So now 10 years have gone by since I have spoken to my father or older sister. The last time I spoke to my younger sister was when my book first came out. I have no idea how they found out about my book, but as nasty as my younger sister is, she called and left nasty, profane messages on my answering machine about me and how my book was a way to family bash them because they cut me out of the family. WOW! It had nothing to do with that or them! It was about how all the childhood stuff, the scars, and abuse effected my life. How my parents not believing the sex abuse, and how I felt betrayed by them when I did finally speak about what happened to me, which in turn influenced some of the poor choice’s I had made by using addictions to cope, hide, and escape all the hurt. And because we were not raised to know there was help by form of counseling or therapy. We were raised to NOT SPEAK of things like that outside the family. It would make our family “Look Bad.”
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And did I say yet that my younger sister has a potty mouth like a sailor? She then went to my recovery blog and tried to leave nasty comments there, but the joke was on her because I had to approve all comments before they are displayed. I honestly would have been happy to leave her “thoughts & feelings” in my comments as I always welcome all feedback about my book good or bad, so I know what area’s as a writer my readers want me to write about. But the comments were laced with so much profanity, I couldn’t. Not only does she drink a bit too much, she is hurtful and mean to others. I feel she is holding in so much hurt and pain from something, that she has anger issues.
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It’s really sad to me that my younger sister took those bad behaviors of my moms, and felt the only way to communicate with others was dripping lies,  causing drama, and all the use of profanity to feel like a normal person. I just don’t get that. My family also never got the “recovery concept” that people can heal and recover from addictions, and change to do better things in this world for others and ourselves. They also didn’t know how to handle me being diagnosed with “Mental illness” either in 2002, nor did my dad, again, not believe me about the childhood sexual abuse that happened to me by his friends. And we wonder why all of us kids acted out within addictions? My brother did the drug thing, then it became too much alcohol and anger issues as well. So I guess it’s easier for them to “pretend” I don’t exist then for them to have a little understanding, or a bit of compassion. I feel that’s on them not me, and they are the one’s missing out, not me. I had never been a bother or hurt any of them when I was addicted to gambling and alcohol. Again, I was in a whole other State away. So no amends needed there. I did however make amends to my mom for the years of our “rocky” relationship. But again, most of that my mom brought on because I didn’t “side” with her, so she would just cut you out and not talk to you.
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Does it hurt to have to see and think of your family this way? Yes, of course, even after all the abuse, hurt, pain,scars and being cut off from my family, I do still forgive them to be able to leave the past in the past. I have a beautiful life in recovery today, along with a wonderful husband who never gave up on me.  He accepts all of me just the way I am. He has always believed that the “girl” he married those 25+ years ago was still inside me somewhere. To me? That’s all that matters, and his love is good enough for me! That’s really all the family I need! And besides, my friends & recovery supporters too are my extended family and friends now. “LIFE IS VERY GOOD TODAY”….
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“Once Upon A Time,….There Were 3 Sisters….


*Something I Pray For Everyday*…
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God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

“It’s Time To Talk About It! Join Our Talk About Addiction & Recovery On Twitter”

Hello Recovery Friends, Seeker’s, and Welcome New Friends!

Just a reminder and this months #ADDICTIONCHAT SCHEDULE for MARCH is here!
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EVERYONE is WELCOME to come join me and many recovery friends, professionals, addiction specialists, for TWEETCHAT every WENSDAY NIGHT on TWITTER. It is an hour-long Q & A discussion about all types of addictions and recovery topics. Even if your NOT in recovery or have any addiction, it’s open to all who want to understand what addiction is all about and how it is effecting their “Communities”! We try to “Raise Awareness, Inform, Educate, and Share.”

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The times are as follows: 9pm ET,  6pm PT  and all you do to join in is go to http://www.tweetchat.com/Addictionchat  SIGN IN and your ready to go! It’s that easy. It’s a live stream. In the EVENT Live stream  is down, then just go to  (#hashtag)  #Addictionchat, click “All” and you’ll see everyone there. SO I HOPE you will come join the conversation, because it is time to “Talk About Addictions & Recovery”! That’s how *STIGMA* is shattered!
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God Bless Everyone!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂
http://www.gofundme.com/5zeqjo Come Support my Recovery!