Book Review and Interview Share. Meet USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck…

Book Review and Interview Share. Meet USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck…

‘ I turned back to the half-finished note I had written to her. My heart breaking and the tears flowing. I set the notepad down, reached into the truck’s console, grabbed my pistol. Loaded it. Put it to my head and pulled the trigger.’

That was then, today USRA Series Champion Racer and New Author, Justin Peck has come a long way from those dark days of the unknown….  One of my perks if you will, of working and being an “Author’s Cafe” Columnist for “In Recovery Magazine” is I get to meet a lot of wonderful new authors and enjoy reading their books. And Justin Peck is one of them. I can not tell how much his story moved me to the core of my being. I knew the pain, darkness, and hopelessness he felt when he pulled that trigger.

I also know the impact it has on our spouse and family as I had my own two failed suicide attempts. And I know how much Justin’s book is going to help all who suffer from mental health disorders and challenges I and many live with every day.

Let’s learn more about Justin Peck and about his fantastic Memoir, his story….and as he says;  “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!  Moderation is for those who don’t believe in their abilities.”    ~ Justin Peck
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ABOUT THE MEMOIR:

Bulletproof by Justin Peck gives insight to a life full of pain, struggle and the perseverance required to overcome it all. Not only is it an inspiration for those suffering from mental illness, his story has the power to motivate anyone looking for a light at the end of the dark tunnel that everyday life sometimes seems to be. As he shares experiences of learning to deal with the challenge of bipolar disorder, you’ll find the strength and courage to live and enjoy life a little more each day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & RACER ~ Courtesy of PRNewswire:

Top Motorsports driver and team owner of Race Pro Technologies, Justin Peck #49 has published his life story, titled “Bulletproof.” Telling his tale of addiction, literally beating death and overcoming mental illness while learning to use it to his advantage, Justin Peck is an inspiration to so many who may not be able to see hope or light at the end of their dark tunnel. The metamorphosis of a mental health condition has catapulted Justin Peck into a champion on the track and in life. “Bulletproof” lays out the trials and tribulations of the painful, yet powerful transition that taught him how to free his mind. Transparent and raw, Justin shares examples of courage, defeat, and lives to tell how he rose above it to beat the beast.

Justin Peck has accomplished so much since becoming #Bulletproof.  From becoming an off-road USRA champion, owner to Race Pro Technologies team, founder/owner of Gear 49 Motorsports Nutrition, loving father, upholding legislation and so much more, he has since taken this opportunity to speak across the country and bring awareness to the challenges facing those with mental illness.

“Bulletproof” speaks to anyone plagued by addiction, bi-polar disorder or mental health issues, and suicidal tendencies just like Justin. It can help guide friends and families of suffering loved ones, athletes and people mentally crumbling on the inside, but play a strong face on the outside, or anyone stuck in life needing a splash of inspirational boot camp.

Since that day he drove to the top of a mountain, put a pistol to his temple and pulled the trigger – but the bullet refused to fire, which drove him to have a wake-up call and a call to action to change and save not only his life but also others.

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Since reading Justin’s book, I have been more inspired to share more of my own challenges and story about “the mental health” side of myself. So I thank Justin for the motivation as HE IS now my Mental Health CHAMP! Her is my 5-Star Amazon book review and a few others so you know this ONE is a must read and WORTH your time to do so!
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BOOK REVIEWS FOR  “BULLETPROOF, A Memoir” now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and here on Justin’s Author Website.

February 13, 2017 – By  Catherine Lyon

5.0 out of 5 stars5-Stars ~ “Off Road Race Champ #49 and Now Mental Health Champion Advocate

I was thrilled to receive an early copy for an honest review of Justin Peck’s Memoir by his publisher/agent.

What an amazing story Justin has shared of his life battling challenges of bipolar and mental health. He truly is doing a service to our cause of shattering the “Stigma” around those who suffer and are learning their way to have a normal happy life despite the effects.

I do know the level of “hopelessness” Justin felt when he pulled the trigger to END the “madness” as I have had my own two failed suicide attempts as I went undiagnosed with bipolar, manic depression and agoraphobia for years. So when reading Justin’s story, I could relate. His book proves that no matter who you are, successful or not, mental health can touch and affect anyone and has NO boundaries and can claim anyone.

An exceptionally well-written memoir and well worth the time to read! Thank you, Justin, for sharing your story and not being afraid of “stigma” in order to help others. This book will do it and what a legacy to leave behind.

“In Recovery Magazine” Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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on February 11, 2017

Format: 5-Stars on Amazon Kindle Edition

“This is definitely a page turner. Justin has truly lived a full and fascinating life. I am glad that more and more people are bringing attention to mental illness. Hopefully, someday there will be less stigma associated with mental illness.”

 

on February 2, 2017
Format: 5-STARS Amazon Kindle Edition

“This book takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. Whether you personally struggle with any form of depression or mental health issues, I would guarantee you know someone that does and on some level, you will relate to the stories told.”

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Here is some of an in-depth interview with Justin and his book Courtesy of  “The Huffington Post”  – Kimberly Jesika, Contributor

I saw in your story where you put a gun to your head. What were you going through at the time that brought you to that place?

I had a pretty rough few months before the gun.  I had just come off of a tremendously manic phase in which I created another new company and was going non-stop.  I felt the depressive state coming and tried super hard to fight it, but as it always does, it got the best of me.  I remember waking up that morning like I typically did, kissing my wife and kids before I left for the day.  I was reeling inside with despair, but I had no one to communicate that with.  I knew that this was the beginning of a phase that I didn’t want to fight again, and when I saw the opportunity to end it, I tried.

I had an aunt with Bipolar disorder growing up, sadly she did not get over hers and died at 32 after turning the corner trying to get her life back. How did you know you had Bipolar?

I knew I had some disorder from the age of 13, but back then, there was little known about Bipolar- disorder.  It really wasn’t until I tried to take my life that I realized I needed help from a professional because I knew that it would only be in time before I tried again.  After I pulled the trigger, the rush of adrenaline and emotion immediately pulled me out of the despair (for the moment) and it was then I realized that there is always a way out.  If I could control my adrenaline or get more of it, then I could escape the despair.  Now, that works to a point, and I have fought extremely hard my entire life to find that perfect balance. I still contend, but things have got substantially better.

Please go by The Huffington Post for the rest of this AMAZING Interview with Justin Peck here:  “The Huffington Post”  – Kimberly Jesika, Contributor
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Check out this YouTube Video and listen to Justin Live!

 

*Now go connect with Justin on Social Media and tell him Cat sent YOU! *

On Facebook
Now on Instagram
On Twitter too!

 

** Presented By Author/Columnist, Catherine Lyon **

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

“The Gateways are… A Gateway, a bridge, an opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise!  What you get from this are Tools, Inspiration, and time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”   ~Dr. Jane Galloway, Author

When I first heard of Author, Jane Galloway, and her new book, I read the passage above within the book’s description and I immediately thought about how broken, dark and empty I was when I first came into recovery. It was like stepping out of the darkness and into the light of spiritual freedom. Now, half way through reading Jane’s book, that is what you learn and so much more in this book. Here is more about her book…

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About The Book:


Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.

Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing on what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit tool kit.

As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.”

The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all. Her book published September 2016 by Sacred Stories Publishing, is a beautiful companion guide for a lifetime of mind, body and spirit strength-based healing while using the “reflections on the principles of 12-step spirituality.” Her book is available on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and Sacredstoriespublishing.com in both E-book and Paperback.

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About The Author:

Jane is a multifaceted, dynamic woman who has over 30+ years of experience with working, living, teaching and practicing the 12-Steps. A Claremont School of Theology Doctor of Ministry, Jane has extensive experience serving as a minister, community leader, keynote speaker, and strong advocate of the Arts. In addition to her accomplished career as a stage and screen actor, Jane has emerged as a thought leader of the 12-Step spiritual revolution, with the publishing of “The Gateways.” Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of all she does for so many who are looking to recover in wellness, not illness, in heart, soul, mind, body and spirit.

Working and living on both coasts, Jane is the Founder of T.R.I.B.E a model dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through ‘radical expression of Art,’ Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond, with a passion for creating bridges between cultures.

Jane is also a painter, designer, and gardener and loves the Southern California climate for growing lavender, flowering cactus, fruit trees and more. A lot of her inspiration comes from working in nature and seeing how things grow in the right soil….a wonderful metaphor for life. Her heart and passions include empowering women, advocating for recovery from childhood trauma, and getting “The Arts” to children.
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Now let us meet Dr. Jane Galloway ~ Founder and Leader of a Spiritual Community in Los Angeles, and T.R.I.B.E.

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What is TRIBE?

It Is: Transformation/Realization/Inspiration/Belonging/Expression.
From California to the urban center and launched in New York City, it has expanded as an umbrella for social practice art beyond one city.

Jane is a visionary leader dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through radical expressions of Art, Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond. Her passion is creating bridges between cultures, and also connecting people to their own deepest calling.

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“All of the years on my path have come together in this new and unique endeavor of integrating art, the spiritual path, emotional health, creativity, and purpose. We are birthing this T.R.I.B.E. in Harlem, where deeply culture- transforming ventures have found fertile ground for more than a century. We are not gentrifiers, but rather grateful appreciators of the presence of the wisdom of the ancestors, who are present here.”

Jane states she has come to believe that artists are uniquely positioned to speak the world into a new reality. “We are all capable of being Artists by Intention, whatever our profession, creating the conditions for people to TRANSFORM- First themselves and then the world.”

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Gatherings can include performance, visual art, and film combined with depth teachings from wisdom texts, psychology, art theory, and literature. These elements, along with meditation and dynamic conversation with the participating artists, combine to create the conditions for dramatic and ongoing awakening and renewed purpose.

Jane is a life-long artist; painter, writer, singer, designer, actor, director, producer. During a thirty year award winning career as an actor, she starred on and off Broadway, in regional and European theater, film and television, founded an Arts Education Nonprofit, h’ARTworks, in Southern CA, has also worked as a Drama Therapist, and college professor. She has also received professional awards and civic commendations for her work as a minister, community leader, and arts activist.

In the darkest days of the AIDS Epidemic, Jane followed a calling to pursue Higher Education and Ministry, to try to be a part of the solution in a more direct way. She was awarded both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Ministry from Claremont School of Theology in CA and became an ordained Minister through the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She studied under the brilliant New Thought philosopher Eric Butterworth in NYC for ten years.

In her ministry, Dr. Galloway utilizes depth teachings from world religions, indigenous wisdom, and New Thought teachings, combined with art and cross-cultural conversation to inspire a universal realization of Oneness.

You can connect with Author, Dr. Jame Galloway on social media and visit her website today:

Jane’s Website
T.R.I.B.E.
On Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads Author

 



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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Product Details          Product Details

 

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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!

 

Another Review of My Book, Addicted To Dimes . . .

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” How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story. ”

 

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BOOK REVIEW FOR ~ BY BOOK TO THE FUTURE:

Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times up to today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses but does explore the complex history of the author’s case.
It’s challenging to read but that is how it should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here but hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.   Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forth-right range of observations to a dysfunctional past.

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies,  yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights and noises drawing people into a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money and glamor that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.

At life’s lowest ebbs,the stigma of addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances. There is some admirable support out there but there could be more.  It is to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual has to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run. Addiction harms everybody.

It’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the readers sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives.  It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.  In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction, this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.
The books can be picked up at Amazon in e-book & paperback and for more information and an informative blog check out Catherine’s blog  . . .
I Highly Suggest This Book!

Accept Me . . . Is It To Much To Ask For? “Flash Back Recovery Post Day!” Happy Thanksgiving All :)


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My Mental/Emotional Disorders, Recovery, or Childhood sex abuse & trauma survivor is not my label . . .

So please, don’t put me into a box labeled mental case or freak. And most definitely don’t treat me like I am different from others. Don’t set me into a category at all. I’m not a thing, I am human being. Don’t you see me? I am of flesh and blood like you.
I have feelings, a heart and a soul. I have a spirit no longer broken, not a victim of my disabilities. I am and will be a “work in progress” for a lifetime.

So don’t talk about my mental illness as if I’m not standing right in front of you. Learn to have more understanding, be educated about addictions, the cycle, recovery, and be informed not judge.

Don’t look through me, look at me. Have some compassion for those who battle with these issue’s, who have the courage to do so, and to take back their lives from addiction, and learning themselves to handle and face daily mental illness challenges, and overcome trauma and addictions.
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“Kindness is a Choice”, . . . as it is written in our Gospel/Bible to love one another no matter the faults or sins. To help one another. That includes those of us who may have taken a wrong detour in life for part of our journey, of God’s plan for us. I am human just like you. Life is a lifetime of choices. Yes, some may not make the right ones at times, but who asks this if it’s right or wrong? Is it our world and society we live in who asks? Is it our creator who lets us know when our choices are not correct, not you or someone else need not judge me, as it is not your job to do so, it is God’s.

I want my voice be heard among the roof tops that I am here, I am real and not my faults or wrong choices. I will be loud. I am not a person to be stigmatized by words, your words, harsh and negative from your mouths. No, I have feelings, I can hurt just like you. I am not my disease, my disorders, my situation, tragic as it has been in the past. I am of love and kindness. Of caring and sharing hope.

Am I Perfect? No, nor will I ever be.


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But I do know now the love and compassion I have for others is very real. You may not hear it, but you will feel it.
I am not my past, I am my future. I am and feel destined for great things, some of which have already come into my life. I live each day in this one moment in time.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Yes, I may live my life in recovery with mental disabilities and past trauma, but that is what I also have overcome.

No I may not be normal, hell normal is over rated, but at least I am happy about who I have become in recovery! No one person, place, or thing can steal my joy, my sparkle, nor my life that I have reconstructed from ash and devastation.

So please, accept me for WHO I AM TODAY, not my disease, my illness, wrong choices, or my past.

Is This To Much to ASK? . . . .

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Sharing My Wonderful Recovery Friend Sandy Swenson. Seeing Addiction from a Mothers Point of View.

“A Re-Share of a Heart Breaking Mother Who’s Son is an Addict, my Good Friend and Advocate Sandy Swenson” . . . .

The Joey Song by Sandy Swenson

The Joey Song  by Sandy Swenson . . .
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Sandy Swenson

One hug.

Once a year.

I hold you tight, my son. Probably too tight, but I need the strength of my love to soak into your soul, and my arms must absorb the love I know you have for me. I memorize this moment.

As you grew from boy to man, child to addict, I had to let go of the things I could not change and the things that weren’t mine to control (after trying for so long to change and control them). I had to let go before the ugly words and behaviors slithering in on the underbelly of addiction did irreparable damage to the relationship that had once been so good. Or killed the boy I was trying to save.

My love is all I have left to give you.

(That, and one too-tight hug for each of the past seven April’s.)

I hold you tight, my son. Wrapping you in my arms, I feel the power of our dusty bond. A silent exchange of hope and strength and eternalness, of a love that has been bruised but never broken. I kiss your cheek, leaving a lip-sticky mom mark, and now, again, I must let you go. I open my arms — empty but now full — arms which will keep you snug and close to my heart, until next time. Next year.

In letting go of you, Joey, I’m holding on tight to so much.

In letting go of you, I’m letting you know that I believe in you. I believe you will find your way back.

One hug.

Once a year.

I’m keeping your place warm.

Letting Go is NOT the same thing as giving up .  .  .
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Enter to win one of ten signed copies of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/135217-the-joey-song-a-mother-s-story-of-her-son-s-addiction
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About My Beautiful Friend, Sandy Swenson:

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”  -Maya Angelou

“There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.”
-Bethesda Magazine

 

Her new Book Now on Amazon
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AmazonBarnes and Noble
CLICK HERE TO READ AN  EXCERPT

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Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.

A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.

As a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, Sandy created the Bistro Boyz – a program in which she and a team of Bistro Galz meet weekly with young men from the National Center for Children and Families’ Greentree Adolescent Program to plan menus, budget, grocery shop, cook, and share meals together. In 2012, the National Center for Children and Families awarded the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocacy.
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In both 2011 and 2012 the Maryland Federation of Women’s Clubs awarded the Bistro Boyz program the Advocates for Children Award. And, in 2013 the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs — the largest philanthropic women’s organization in the world — nominated the Bistro Boyz program for their International Advocates for Children Award to be awarded in June.

Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Austin, Texas.

**I hope you will stop by and visit Sandy at her helpful blog, as she pours her heart onto the posts she shares there. I can tell you that all she has been through with having a son who is an addict, she never gives up HOPE**
http://www.sandyswenson.com

GOD BLESS ALL!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Recovery Advocate

Personal Blogs
blog links

Putting A Face Behind Addicted Compulsive Gambling. Meet Adnan Alisic & His New Book “ARIZONA DREAM”. .

A true story straight out of the News Headlines about an Addicted Gambler ~ Lets put faces behind Gambling Addiction the Disease. . .
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“Not only is a group of men charged in the theft of $2 million cash from an armored truck at an East Valley casino, but they could also be accused of stealing from some Hollywood scripts. A FBI search warrant affidavit and federal indictment records provide new details of the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick that some movie buffs might find familiar.”

Attempted Casino Arizona robbery like a Hollywood movie” ~ said the Associated Press ~

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The attempted robbery of $2 million from a casino on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a real-life incident, according to newly released court documents.

Officials are charging Ismar K, Adnan Alisic, Bakil, and Daniel M{ not wanting to use the others charged – full names}, with conspiracy, interference with commerce by threats, violence and robbery, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence in the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick, according to their indictment and a FBI search warrant affidavit outlined.

Adnan Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other. Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
The men’s gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

On the night of the attempted robbery, Bakir M and Daniel M parked a white van across the street from the casino and then got into a Lexus to watch the robbery. After ramming their green van into an armored car, K and Alisic jumped out and sprayed one of the guards with pepper spray. The two grabbed bags of money and fled to the first manhole cover. They set off a smoke grenade, but couldn’t raise the manhole cover.
So, the group fled. . . .

So these were the news headlines and in newspapers of The Associated Press, The Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune newspapers in Arizona back in July & October 2006.

Now fast forward to today.

What really happened that day back in July 2006? Most importantly, why did this crime take place? What happened to those who were arrested? Well as many of you know, I’m not a news reporter or even a professional writer. I’m just another face behind this disease! And I share what I feel strongly about, and my passion for recovery from this addiction.

I can give however give you an answer from one of the men that was involved and caught, taken into custody, charged, prosecuted, and is still in a federal prison today.
He reached out to me recently by email, asking if I could help him promote his new book about his story of addicted gambling, and of course I said, “YES”. . .

So please meet Adnan Alisic. Now a writer, and new author of his explosive debut book titled; Arizona Dream: A true story of a real life “Ocean’s Eleven” and
currently he is in Adams County Correctional Institution, a Federal Prison in Natchez, Mississippi. His release date is not until 2021, but this is where his book was written.

Like me, Adnan is another face behind gambling addiction. These are some of his thoughts, words, feelings looking back, and taking not only ownership for what he has done, but also accountability for the poor choices we all make when entangled in the depths of HELL called addicted gambling. It’s a very cunning and devastating disease.

We all come from different paths, and many, many different stories of addiction to gambling.
Some stories are more sensationalized then others, but the public needs to know about the faces behind this addiction and their stories.

So here is more of Adnan’s story, back story, and about his new shocking reveals in his debut book release of “Arizona Dream: a true story of a “real life ocean’s eleven” now available on Amazon books and Barnes and Noble online.

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Product Details

Arizona Dream: A true story of a real-life “Ocean’s Eleven”

Haunted by the demons from his past, Adnan Alisic escapes Bosnia and comes to Phoenix, Arizona, where he starts a new life. Fueled by ambition on and drive, he starts a successful car dealership, settles down, and lives the American Dream.

Tortured by his past, he seeks relief in gambling and loses everything. After being tossed out of the casino, Adnan vows to get back at them.

Forced by the gambling debt and driven by the revenge against the casino, he plans an elaborate casino heist. After discovering the tunnel running under the casino, he devises an intricate scheme to get his money back and pay off the debt.

From ethnic cleansing and mass killings in Bosnia, to gambling and underground tunnels in Arizona, you will read Arizona Dream until l the last page where you’ll find the real reason and motivation behind the heist. . . .

“In likable, plain-spoken, and insightful prose, full of lush and vivid detail, Adnan Alisic reflects on the suspenseful twists and turns of his one-of-a-kind life path. From the first page to the last, I was completely riveted. This is one hell of a book.”  – Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is an Idiot, and creator of FOUND Magazine. . .

About The Author Adnan Alisic, and how his book came to light:

Entangled in a gambling addiction, he was forced to execute this sensational casino heist. He is currently serving seventeen-and-a-half years in federal prison in Mississippi.

“Haunted by the atrocities of war, a Bosnian refugee pursuing the elusive American dream finds himself committing the heist of the century.”

Ališic’s debut memoir, composed entirely in prison, begins in the mid-1990s: “This is my story as I remember it,” he writes in the foreword-and if even half of it is true, it’s enough adventure for 10 lifetimes. The author escaped the clutches of ruthless Serbian militants following Yugoslavia’s breakup, relocated to Phoenix and achieved success selling used cars. But the only thing more rewarding than making money was spending it, and with the help of the nearby Casino Arizona, Ališic did just that. What should have been merely recreational begins to invade him in a way he could never have imagined.

Helpless against gambling’s siren song, his small empire crumbled as his company’s profits fueled his habit. Although the finer details of his business operations tend to be long-winded, even extraneous, they underscore just how easily the blackjack table ripped away what took so long to build. As his desperation increased, Ališic’s financiers threatened to sue; his unsupervised employees embezzled from the company coffers; and his cherished girlfriend, Selma, left him – his world falling apart.

“Last night, I gambled away a 2002 Mustang,” he confides. “I realized that the more I was going there, the more I craved it. Not because I wanted to be there. Not because I liked it. But because I knew I wasn’t a loser, and I wanted to even the score.” In this case, evening the score meant boosting $2 million from Casino Arizona. Yet his self-styled description of his story as a “real-life Ocean’s Eleven” sells the reality short.

Far from the devil-may-care attitude of those films, his memoir reveals the scheme as the remarkably human outcome of a life marked by anguish and the hope of redemption. A series of harrowing flashbacks to Bosnia-illegally selling cigarettes in Prijedor, leaping into a sewage canal while outrunning a barrage of bullets, witnessing a massacre, being tortured nearly to death-transforms Ališic into a hero worthy of anyone’s admiration.

Here is what others are saying about Adnan’s book:

“A riveting read from beginning to end, “Arizona Dream” is an expertly written, true-life tale that reads like a thriller novel, documenting author Adnan Ališić as an extraordinary storyteller. This is the stuff from which Hollywood blockbuster movies are made.”
– Midwest Book Review

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So as I wrote earlier, Adnan happen to reach out to me by email. He wanted to know if I could help promote his book for him. At first I was wondering if this a spam email or joke. But as I read his email, it was clear he to was another victim of gambling addiction the disease. Another face behind this cunning addiction. It didn’t occur to me that Adnan was emailing me from federal prison. So I wrote him back with a few questions, and shared a little of my story with him.
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So I did some research to see what I could find about his story, as I now live in Arizona temporary myself. There are many news reports from the Arizona Republic newspaper here in Phoenix, AZ. And a few from the Associated Press. Of course, being a recovering addicted gambler myself, I wasn’t real surprised about what these 4 men, including Adnan had done.

I knew how Adnan felt about feeling taken for a ride by Indian Casinos, and for me, State Lottery. I also felt the same way he did when sitting in a cold jail cell waiting to be booked and processed for my crime. The reality of what you did hits you like a ton of bricks! All because of the strain of financial devastation, and overwhelming gambling debts. And this part of the work we do in recovery is sometimes missed, or not enough work done in taking our financial inventory.

And as Adnan said in his own words to me in his email; “In the beginning there were quite a few reporters who wanted to talk to me — but at that time I refused to talk to them, and as you know, the media only reported whatever was available from police reports and court records, so this is the time for the public to know the full story and put a face behind a compulsive gambler.”

And Adnan is right! media and news reports always seem to spin things to make more out of a story. And it is way past the time to talk about this. Not just his story, but the stories behind the faces of those who have been destroyed by this insidious addiction. It’s really not about the money, or the crazy shit we do all for the love of our addiction, or the financial aftermath of it all.

It’s about what it does to the human condition. It takes every part of us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We allow this addiction to invade our thinking, thoughts, actions, and choices when we are so invaded by addictions.
All addictions do that.

But through hard work in recovery, we can get better, recover, and be better than we were before addicted gambling consumed us. I know Adnan still has many miles to walk, but at least he now has the ability to see what his errors and choices have cost him, and he has taken accountability for them. Having your freedom taken away is a hard thing to process.

Having to relearn awareness of our feelings about ourselves is very important in recovery, because we have learned to escape from feeling anything. We become comfortably numb.
So I choose to be of recovery service to Adnan. WHY?
His Story Needs To Be Heard. . . .

Because like myself, he to was brave enough to write and publish his personal story about his addicted gambling addiction, the disease. I commend him, and all those who do. That is how we can continue to raise awareness, shatter the stigma, educate and inform others of this addiction!

If you’d like to support Adnan in recovery, buy his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-Real-life-Oceans-Eleven-ebook/dp/B00OZ0S9WC  {Now an e-book promo price .99 cents}

Send him an email of support here:  alisic.adnan6@gmail.com
Visit his website: www.arizonadreambook.com
Follow him on FB: https://facebook.com/Arizonadream

And I will keep you posted on how he is doing to here in future blog posts.

God Bless Recovery Friends,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂
http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-real-life-Oceans-Eleven/dp/B00OZ0S9WC