I Welcome Tony Roberts. A Man of Faith, An Author, and more. My Weekend Spotlighted Recovery Guest Blog.

I Welcome Tony Roberts. A Man of Faith, An Author, and more. My Weekend Spotlighted Recovery Guest Blog.

“I have known Tony Roberts for quite some time. We first met here on WordPress where he first had his blog. He has a new website that is AMAZING and I started receiving his new email newsletter. I was so thrilled to see his new site and asked him if I could “Spotlight” his site here on my blog. He has been a great friend, recovery and mental health support to me.

He IS a man that stands in grace in his faith in the Lord, and I have been blessed by our friendship! So, meet Author, Tony Roberts and his book and website; “Delight in Disorder”…

 

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About Tony Roberts:

This is me with Grandma McPeak. She died less than a month after making this quilt for my grandson. She was the first Bible I ever read. Her life overflowed with Christ’s love, in all she said and did.

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I  first sensed a calling to be a writer at the age of nine when I composed my first poem, “Ode to My Pet Rock.”

I was born and raised in the Hoosier heartland just south of Indianapolis. I grew up worshiping high school basketball and once had the honor of playing in a televised “game of the week.”

I went to Hanover College (alma mater of both Mike Pence and Woody Harrelson – go figure). After many detours into sex, drugs, and more folk rock than roll, I wound up at a seminary and became a pastor. It was then that symptoms of depression and mania culminated in a psychotic episode that became pivotal in my life, for better and for worse.

After graduating from Hanover, I obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, I did ministry assignments at a state hospital for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as at a women’s prison, and an inner-city hospital.

I served two decades as a solo pastor. I then shifted to writing, speaking, and leading small groups. In March of 2014, I published my spiritual memoir, Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Having served in pastoral ministry and gone mad, it’s now my mission to bridge the gap between faith communities and the mental health world.

I now live to write and write to live in Rochester, New York. I also have a “delightful domain” on Lake Caroga, the gateway to the Adirondacks.  My greatest earthly delights are my four children and two grandchildren.

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“What makes Tony’s devotional so compelling is that bipolar disorder continues to periodically beat the crap out of him, and he still believes.”

– David Zucker, Mental Health Advocate, University Presbyterian in Seattle.

 

Product Details

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About Tony’s Book:

Delight in Disorder is the story of one pastor’s battle with bipolar disorder. This spiritual memoir is a house of meditations where faith and mental illness co-exist, at times fueling each other to dangerous distortion, at times feeding each other to fruitful gain. It offers hope for those often neglected and shunned. It also fosters compassion for believers towards those with troubled minds.

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One of My Favorite Blog Posts From His Site:

Enemies Sprouting Like Mushrooms

In The MessageEugene Peterson calls Psalm 3 – “A David Psalm, when he escaped for his life from Absalom, his Son.” The words that follow reveal a haunted poet king, surrounded and scared.

God! Look! Enemies past counting!

Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,

Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:

“Hah! No help for him from God!”(vv. 1-2)

David sees no escape from sure defeat, certain death. This does not keep him from crying out to God – in fact, it motivates him all the more to do so. He lifts up to God the torturing taunts of his enemies and then reminds himself just Who it is he’s talking to –

But you, God, shield me on all sides;

You ground my feet, you lift my head high;

With all my might I shout up to God;

His answers thunder from the holy mountain. (vv. 3-4)

No matter how insurmountable the odds, David believes and asserts that God’s defense is greater than human offense. God is able and willing to act mightily to answer the prayers of His children, like thunder from a mountain. This brings David tremendous peace of mind.

I stretch myself out. I sleep.

Then I’m up again – rested, tall and steady,

Fearless before the enemy mobs

Coming at me from all sides.  (vv. 5-6)

God’s answer to David’s plea for protection in battle is not to fight the battle for him, but to give him rest and courage to fight with confidence.

Some years back, on a youth mission trip to Washington D.C., we were “attacked by enemies” from all sides. One girl was displaying symptoms of an eating disorder. Another was on her hands and knees, compulsively cleaning the floor while others laughed at her. The boys were vying for attention from the girls and a few were “coupling off” – dangerously close to crossing sexual boundaries.

That night (actually early morning) when I finally went to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to take a walk. As I strolled the streets of the nation’s capital, I prayed to God out loud. Had someone seen me, they would have rightly assumed I was a stranger with a mental illness wandering the streets – but I don’t think they would have known I was praying.

When I got back to my room, I noticed my body relaxed, and my mind was at ease. I was able to sleep soundly for several hours and woke up feeling refreshed. The next day we had a team meeting for prayer and Bible study. It was the start of the best day of the trip – a day where we clearly saw God at work in the world within and around us.

God doesn’t often fight our battles for us. Instead, God gives us the strength and courage to face our battles with confidence and claim the victory for Christ.
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So please visit my friend Tony Roberts new website for some “Spiritual Up Lifting” as he shares his life, his recovery, mental health challenges and LOVE and Encouragement with all who visit there. You can buy his book here on Amazon!
Connect with Tony on Social Media:

Facebook
Twitter

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Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

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A Friend and Blog You Need To Spend Some Time Reading and Exploring By: Deborah Ann Palmer . . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Friends,


I love taking time out of my day to visit and explore the any blogs and the bloggers who own them, especially the followers who have been kind enough to stop by both my Recovery blog and my Book Promotions blog.
(My Book Promo Blog) https://anAuthorandWriterinProgress.wordpress.com

My dear friend Deborah has a wonderful blog that she shares all her fabulous talents. She shares poems, short stories, photo’s, and re-shares many of her favorite blogs she comes across. Deborah is a very special person. She works so hard, not only for herself, but she also takes care of her brother, Stephen. Now you can see this when you visit her blog. She is an advocate and activist when it come to her brother as he has disabled. So go for a visit to here blog and be inspired!
She has a loving heart, a strong spiritual faith and am so blessed to call her my friend, Deborah Ann Palmer . . .


http://dancingpalmtrees.com


Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit   Espiritu en Fuego — A Fiery Spirit Expressing Herself

Treasure in Broken Vessels

Treasure in Broken Vessels

The Many Noble Truths of the Buddha and Jesus Christ

“When I know the glass goblet is already broken every moment with it becomes precious.”Paraphrased from documentary film The Buddha”

2 Corinthians 4:7 (New King James Version)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, which the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Would I experience the Love of God more fully as an ascetic or renouncer? No I would focus only on what I was missing, not getting any closer to God but in total concentration of the absence of comfort or pleasure.  The more we try to mortify the flesh the more we see we cannot transcend the body while existing in this earthly realm.  Deprivation as practiced by some ascetics or mystics and prophets is not necessarily the best spiritual path for the average seeker.  Some austerity is necessary so that we are not consumed by the material world but to isolate and deny our very human bodies the daily necessities can open the door wider to a sense of failure or discouragement.  We must try to find  balance in our lives.  At one end is the ascetic, at the other end the hedonist/sensualist.  Most of us flow best in the middle ground with occasional visits to the polar ends.  Separated from our source we yearn to return.

As prophets and/or enlightened beings both the Buddha and Jesus had similar universal themes of overcoming temptation, a wilderness experience with the tempter, both mystics emerged triumphant.  Realization that the Kingdom of God is within us enabled these two very different men, who lived in different time periods, from different cultures, in different parts of the world to have similar spiritual revelations which now have millions of adherents worldwide.

Bliss or self-actualization comes with accepting our interconnectedness with the world, yet not being of the world.  Subconsciously we are all craving with a burning desire to become one with the Beloved.  This craving may lead us down several spiritual and secular pathways during our lifetimes before we achieve our own individual enlightment.  As a Christian I take refuge in the scriptural jewels offered to me within the Biblical scriptures, yet not discounting other belief systems or spiritual pathways.  As I explore many different faiths side by side with my own I find more similarities than differences.  Like my Buddhist sisters and brothers I find sanctuary in the Love of God, the teachings of Jesus, and various pastors, evangelists, or teachers who have a more extensive knowledge of the Bible than me, who can help me increase my understanding of scripture.  With that said as believers in any denomination we must study the scriptures for ourselves rightly dividing the word of truth so we are not carried away with doctrines of false prophets.  Beware those who misuse and misconstrue God’s Divine Word for their own personal profit and gain.

I can truly say the Bible speaks to me.  What does your holy scriptures say to you?  Like many of the faithful I find comfort in rites, rituals, ceremonies and sacraments of my church.  It’s familiar.  It’s comforting.  If suddenly I attended church one Sunday and everything was out of sequence I would definitely be uncomfortable, wonder what was going on and if I was in the right church.  However too much restrictive structure and adherence to doctrine and dogma can inhibit the spiritual growth of the congregation for this reason many people turn to secular and social organizations that offer morals, values and intellectual growth without the mythology.  Churches, social organizations and clubs also satisfy the need for companionship and fellowship.  As human beings we need to belong to a body of people with similar interests, goals and desires.  We desire a place to fit in and be accepted for who we are as individuals.  Churches, social organizations, clubs, guilds and professional organizations offer a type of safe space or sanctuary where we receive positive reinforcement that enables us to cope with the not so positive chapters in our lives.
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Donations and Freewill offerings can be made directly to my PayPal account deborah.palmer280@gmail.com

Beloved Transcended

Divine fragrant Lotus Rose petals fell upon the body of the ascended one and the veil was rent from top to bottom.  We his followers make pilgrimage to the Holy City in remembrance of Him.

Black Jesus

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Excerpt from the poem “One Whisper of the Beloved” by Rumi

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?
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Black Buddha

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 ….

deity-229216_1920.
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

 

 

 

“A Fantabulous Re-Blogg Share & Review Of My Book Addicted To Dimes” Yes, Another One!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & New Peekers,

 

Your all in for another treat! Last week was an awesome week for my book titled; Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions Of A Liar and a Cheat)!
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I have received another 2 5 Star Amazon Reviews, and one on GoodReads, and….TWO fantastic author write ups! I can not tell how rewarding it is to know my book is helping others in recovery, and raising awareness to shatter Stigma around those who choose to live life in recovery from any type of addiction. Also to shed insights on how childhood trauma & abuse, and living with mental illness in recovery looks like.
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Since my book released, it is a never ending job to promote a book so readers know the book is even out there! But for, the big pay off is knowing that it is helping others in recovery. It’s what my mission was, and still is. And when you have wonderful, supportive people you meet along the way in recovery, blogging, at many recovery websites I visit has been just an added blessing! And when they care to go out of their way to showcase just how much they enjoyed it.
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And that is what my good friend John from his awesome and helpful blog: “My Sober Life” has done. So I told him that his blog post about my book deserved more than just a little Re-Blogg, I wanted to show the whole post! And would appreciate any and all comments to him on the Fantabulous Job he did on writing and posting this about my book. So here is the blog post, and please, take some time to stop by his Recovery Blog too here!: http://jdusty45.wordpress.com  … HER WE GO!
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MY BOOK REVIEW ~ ADDICTED TO DIMES
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Come have a sit-down!
Come have a sit-down!
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I recently finished the book Addicted to DimesConfessions of a Liar and A Cheat, by Catherine Townsend-Lyon. Before I start talking about the contents of the book, I want to first mention why I was so interested in reading the book. I myself, have never cashed in my mortgage payment for a trash can full of shiny coins, but I don’t find that at all revolting. That did not actually happen in the book, I am just making a point. Being a recovering heroin addict, I wanted to look back at some of my own past “gambling spree’s” to see where my addiction may manifest in the gambling realm as well. Let’s take a look.
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Any gambling activities I have done have always been during vacation time. I haven’t been in a steady “betting environment” long enough to know if my excitement of placing a bet, my thrills and rushes I experience during gambling could lead into something much more sinister and dangerous. Like compulsive gambling. This book has made me look within myself, to be brutally honest with my past actions during my own gambling entertainment. A person with even a small seed of compulsive or addictive behavior should take the time to read this book. That goes for all of you who sleep with your IPhone. I use my phone as a pillow and somehow thought sticking needles full of heroin and cocaine into my arms was justifiable so, I think I fall under the “you better pay attention, this may benefit you jackass” category.

EVALUATE YOUR$ELF HONE$TLY
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If I lived in a state where slot machines were tucked in the corners of local gas stations or if I lived where casino’s were being built on every corner, could I become a compulsive gambler? Could you? If your addicted to your phone, could you become addicted to a bigger electronic box that shot out money? How many times have you lost more money than you allowed for your gambling entertainment? Have you ever told others that you “broke even” when you had actually lost money?

MY GAMBLING EXPERIENCE$
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I'm a natural!

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While sporting a large transparent sun visor and a bright and busy tropical button-up, I have had many serious conversations with Blazing Seven’s, Wheel of Fortune, and many other flashy slot machines. I’m sure I was rather tipsy to believe I was actually pulling off such an ensemble, but the real question is- Did I think talking to a steel electronic box would make any difference in the outcome of my net losses? Speaking to it like it was an old friend who owed me large sums of money. Asking it to “please please please pay out BIG!” The casino atmosphere with a shot of booze made the nonreciprocal conversations seem less ridiculous but none-the-less I would have better luck wooing a rapist.

$$$$JACKPOT!$$$$
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Of course there have been a couple times when I have won a couple mini progressive jackpots. One was for about $140 on a nickle slot and another for $80 on a penny slot. Oh, I forgot to mention- they were about 6 years apart. Those rare and exciting “you are now my slot machine for life” moments is what makes me think it is possible for me to win the 45 billion dollar Powerball. If I can win 80 dollars (after dropping $110 into the machine) then God must want me to win a significant sized chunk of the Powerball Millions! That is obviously a slight exaggeration and I have never played Powerball but during those winning times, it is easy for me to think luck is on my side. I would easily dismiss how many times the memorizing lights and sounds of the pig irons continually tricked me until they devoured the last remaining contents of my coin bucket. Before leaving for home, I would always put every last coin back into the machine’s greedy and hungry little coin holes. Luck may be on my side but it will come in the form of a lightning bolt.

BEATING THE HOUSE

When I was in jail from July 2006 to Aug 2007, I decided “hey, I have a little bit of free time- I’ll learn how to count cards!” I will be a card counting pro! I will morph into Rainman! Needless to say, I still suck at Blackjack and I have made some substantial sized bets considering my 3 digit bank account. I have yet to quit my day job working nights for a professional poker gig.
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Any time someone asked me how much money I had lost, I always had the same response; “I’m about even.” About even usually meant I have lost a couple hundred dollars. Of course their response was “Whoa! I’m even too!” In my head I was thinking, You’re full of shit.
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I live in Utah where gambling is illegal and if caught, you will likely burn in hell for all eternity or they will issue you a citation. I think the final say is left up to the judge but hopefully you get the citation. Maybe living in a state without slot machines or Keno is a good thing for someone like myself. I am the kind of person who would sell his car for gas money. Looking back at some of my past experiences with slot machines and poker tables, I think it is quite clear that I could easily become a compulsive gambler. Having this knowledge before-hand is a huge help and I owe it to Catherine’s book- Addicted to Dime’s. So let’s get to the meat and potato’s of my post.

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Everyone! Can I have your full undivided attention...
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THE REVIEW

Addicted to Dimes was not full of an agglomeration of impervious vernacular that couldn’t be axiomatic or that needed to be referenced with a dictionary. The book used very friendly words which unlike my previous sentence, was quite nice and free flowing. At just over 200 pages, It was a fairly quick read. The time-frame of the book covers Catherine’s early childhood up to the recent past, (approx 2012). The beginning of the book caught my attention right away. As she fleshes out each character in her childhood, I couldn’t help but get involved in her brutal and painful upbringing. As she gets older, the family dysfunction and abuse continues to be jaw-dropping and emotionally unjust- especially for Catherine. Because of the books quick and emotional start, I could not put the book down. I felt the book was told with honesty and raw vulnerability.

Writing a book that uncovers all your guilty admissions and character defects is nothing short of an extended, but story ridden Step 4. A fearless moral inventory. When most people write out their Step 4 and tell another person about it, they then destroy the damning evidence. Not Catherine- she printed off thousands of copies for all to read. I must give her credit where it is due. I am scared to death for the day my book makes it to the printing press. Telling the world all of my deepest darkest secrets sounds as fun as walking around Wal-Mart butt-naked on a Saturday afternoon.

The book chapters were different from many other books I’ve read and I really liked how it was laid out in more of a sub-chapter format. The sub-chapters were short and I have always been a fan who cheered on shorter chapters.
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There are a few times in the book where Catherine felt it was necessary to apologize for calling out (in the book- to the reader) her family for their terrible dysfunction. I didn’t think it was necessary just because I never once was on the side of her parents.The truth is her family structure was dysfunctional because of the parents. They are to blame for the abuse and the generational duplication of the dysfunction. That is not young Catherine’s fault, or her young siblings. I did not feel an apology was needed.
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As the book begins to progress into Catherine’s addiction, she does a great job describing how easy it becomes to justify your actions in addiction. I related so closely with that in my own drug addiction and even some of my gambling experiences. That really made me stop and evaluate myself. It was a very powerful piece in the book for me.
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Catherine’s story leads in to a key relationship which she is still in today. This relationship shows us that no matter how difficult life gets, the love that  binds relationships is essential for their ability to continue on. I thought the relationship dynamic was fascinating and well dialoged. I was hoping to eventually read more about this character’s background but it never came. It was probably left a bit on the thin side because it wouldn’t have been hugely relevant to her story. Maybe it was more of an interesting curiosity on my part.
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At the climax of the story, it resembles a tornado, a volcano, and a tsunami playing shuffleboard in a trailer park. With the majority of the book dialog being in retrospect, it made the climax of the story a little less intense but maybe that is okay because I forgot to blink on a number of occasions.
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Wrapping up the end of the book, I felt like Catherine still has some anger towards some of her past. Not just with her relationships, but her past situations as well. As an addict, I know for myself, anger, judgements, injustices, guilt and resentments are draining on my well-being so I hope she has resolved these issues and comes to terms with everything in her follow-up book.
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Catherine does a great job assisting readers in addiction help and assistance. Directing the readers to many different options for recovery. Where gambling is not seen by society as the big problem it is- like drug or alcohol addiction, she makes the case that that needs to change. The majority of cities around the world have some form of AA meeting or network of people but not so much for the problem gambler. Let’s help her spread the good love by recognizing the terrible stigma’s that seem so tightly wrapped around the neck of addiction. Let’s continue to speak the truth. Yell it from the rooftops!

“I would recommend this book to everyone. Recommending it only to potential problem gambler’s would be a vast under-reaching of readership for this amazing and helpful material. I give it 5 stars. Great job Catherine”!
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5-STAR-RATING-300x300

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AFTERTHOUGHTS

I believe that society needs to stop normalizing abusive childhoods and stop making excuses for parents and people who are abusive to innocent and dependent children. If you were physically or mentally abused as a child, you can not justify what your mother or father did by saying “my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had.” I am not speaking to only Catherine. We all need to know this. Saying our parents did the best they could is a cop-out excuse and justification for what ever abuse they did. If saying that means what they did is justified because they didn’t know any better, how the hell can a 3 or 4 year old know any better? Weren’t they acting and saying the only things you knew as an under developed and dependent 4 year old? We have unlimited excuses for the parents and have zero tolerance for the child. That is completely backwards from the way it should be. That is not a universal or even somewhat moral and it should not be used.
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We must teach our children universal principles. If we don’t want your children growing up to become compulsive gamblers, a heroin addicts, prostitutes, meth addicts, etc.; we need to quit teaching them principles from the book of hierarchy. “I am the parent therefore you will listen. I am bigger, stronger, more dominant.” That is surrendering to pecking order and power. If we want our children to not hit, steal, yell, argue, abuse, use violence, drugs and misbehave then we must teach them universal principles. We will never teach non-violence to our children by spanking or hitting them. We cannot teach respect by yelling at them. If the principle is moral and just for our children, it must be moral and just for us as the parent. We always want to be exceptions to the rule. Just like congressmen or governments. Making rules and laws but exempting ourselves from these rules. Hmm, I see a pattern here.
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There was a picture on Facebook the other day. It was of a man who was hitting a tiny kitten. It had over 1 million comments. In the comments it was clear that society was outraged at this man. Some were saying the man should be killed. Some were calling the man horrible and vulgar obscenities. The unanimous vote was that the man was hated, sick, deranged and needed large amounts of therapy at the least. Is it not sickening that we have more societal outrage and protective instincts towards cats than we do towards our children? Someone please explain to me how this happens. 60% of mother’s admit to spanking/hitting their children. Some as young as 7 months!
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    *GENETICS OR ENVIRONMENTAL*?medicine-163707_1280

Many people believe that addiction is a hereditary or genetic disease. “My father was an alcoholic therefore I will become an alcoholic”. There is a big difference between a predisposition that may trigger addiction and heredity. A predisposition to addiction can make a person more susceptible to addictive behaviors, however, there is strong evidence that addiction is being brought on by a child’s surrounding environment. I have blue eyes and a round nose because of genetics. That is something I cannot change.

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Believing that addiction is a genetic disease I would argue is a death sentence. It instantly removes all doubt and I might as well start shooting up heroin fresh out of the womb because it is my destiny. There is more money to be made with this approach to addictionplant-164500_1280 and there is strong arguments that backs this up. After-all, if society was to accept the environmental approach, they would have to actually do something. All of the unjust, unethical and immoral standards of hypocrisy would be ran through societies powerful ringer and we would have to stop hitting our children and teaching them such blatant hypocrisy. If we don’t want more drug addicted, alcoholic, compulsive gambling, mentally and emotionally unstable people in our society, then let’s just stop raising them. It’s really that simple.
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***How can I ever THANK Author, John Dustin for this fantastic in-depth book review and his after thoughts. I’m truly inspired by him as an author, but also his recovery. You really should go visit his helpful and candid blog. He is like me in that we don’t ‘Sugar Coat’ Recovery. That won’t help the person trying to get their life back from any ADDICTION. http://jdusty45.wordpress.com
Let him know “Catherine” sent you!****

May GOD BLESS you as much as he has Blessed me in my recovery!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon & Lyon Media & Book Promotions…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

Another Fabulous Blog Award ~~ YES…you can be Fabulous in Recovery!

HELLO RECOVERY FRIENDS, FOLLOWERS. AND NEW VISITORS…WELCOME!,

I have decided to TURN my AWARDS POST into an NEW Awards Page….WHY?
Because my Awesome Pals keep showing me LUV and Nominating me for More of them. I’m SO Blessed and Humbled by all The Awards & Nominations I receive.

WHY?…It makes me feel GOOD that others really are interested in what I Blog about, which at times can be DULL Subject Matter to read. I TRY  to put some humor into where I can, but I missed COMEDY SCHOOL!!

I do find that MYSELF, and Many others FEEL, the only way to *SHATTER the STIGMA* around others who suffer from ANY type of Addiction, or being a person in Recovery, And/Or,  someone who BATTLES ANY type of Mental and Emotional illness, or Disorder is to SPEAK OUT about these ISSUE’S!  SO I take these Awards Seriously. So I have a permanent page for All My *FABULOUS* Blog Awards!  And I’ve been Nominated AGAIN for Another,……. so Hang on to your HATS!!

**My Fabulous Blog Awards ~~ YES…you can be Fabulous in Recovery!**

**HERE is my Newest Blogger Award Nomination**

Well, even with all the *DRAMA OF EVICTION* going on around me……I try to still Help, Encourage, Reach-out, and still *Spread *HOPE* to others who may be still stuck on the *CYCLE* of Addicted Gambling, or ANY type of Addiction. I’ve been Posting of my own *Life Challenges* going on in my Life, and the ONLY thing that keeps me Grounded, and filled with Hope & Joy is to be of Recovery Service to others NO MATTER WHAT!

AND……A very Kind follower of my Blog has NOMINATED me for *The Inner Peace Award* I love HER Blog as well.  ANNA always Shows Courage, and helps MANY with her Sharing of her True Inner feelings of *HOPE* as well, and is not SHY about Speaking OUT and Speaking Up of Recovery, Mental health & many other disorders I, and others Suffer on a Daily Basis…….Please Meet Anna and Her Blog, “ROSE WITH THORNS~~Recovery HOPE for ALL”…….SO I THANK YOU ANNA from my Heart To Yours for My Nomination!!

About

silhouette of girl standing with her arms open to the sun

Opening My Heart to Hope

Aspergian, depressed, anxious, anorexic, past compulsive over-eater, PTSD sufferer, SIB inflictor, allergy sensitive, sleep struggler: I have had many labels placed on my in my life.  However, as a college student, I am finally beginning to see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.

My name is Anna Rose and the purpose of this blog is to help support and give hope to all of those struggling with any mental illness, learning disability, and hardship.  Also, those who support family or friends dealing with these issues can gain insight and ideas for caring for loved ones.

At my baptism  my mother brought a rose.  The priest told her that it was good that she brought “a real rose with thorns” because my life would be “beautiful but full of pain.”  Those words to a baby he barely knew have certainly come true.  Because of this as well as my name, roses have become an important symbol of my life and struggles.

Overall, this site is for everyone and everyone who needs a ray of light in the dark, understanding voice, and non- judgmental encouragement giver.

If you so choose, you can also follow me on these other sites.

***HERE ARE THE DETAILS AND THE RULES OF THIS BLOG AWARD & My PICKS who I’ve Nominated!***

1.) There is ONLY ONE RULE TO THIS AWARD!!….LOL…Nominate as Many Awesome Blogs you’d like that bring your Inner Peace, Hope, and Courage, as YOU pass it to others!…….HERE ARE ALL MY BLOGS & WEBSITE I NOMINATED……..
Inner Peace Award

1.) http://good2begone.wordpress.com
2.) http://jenniferbchaz.com
3.) http://www.gracepete.com
4.) http://www.gracepete.blogspot.com
5.) http://themiracleisaroundthecorner.wordpress.com
6.) http://bipolarforlife.me
7.) http://awaywithwordsblog.com
8.) http://sobergrace.wordpress.com
9.) http://Quarksire.wordpress.com
10.) http://runningonsober.com
11.) http://byebyeBeer.wordpress.com
12.) http://rossmurray1.wordpress.com
13.) http://humaninrecovery.wordpress.com
14.) http://mylifein24hours.wordpress.com
15.) http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com
16.) http://IwantmylifeBack.wordpress.com
17.) http://inspiredbythecomforter.com
18.) http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com
19.) http://cogitabunda.wordpress.com
20.) http://mm172001.wordpress.com 

**Lets Always remember what the good doctor Says, “You were not born to JUST fit in, You were born to Stand Out”!!** Dr. Seuss

ALL OF my nominated Blogs & Websites are very Worthy of this award. The Truly help bring INNER PEACE to me in one way, and they Inspire ME in my Recovery!!
SO go pay them a Visit and tell them Catherine sent you……. 🙂 🙂
**To see all my Nominations for Awards, check out *MY Fabulous Blog Awards Page**
May God Bless You My Friends!  *Author, Catherine Lyon* 🙂

 

*Home is where the Heart is*

Home is where there heart is! So Welcome everyone to my New Blog site Home!!  I’m so very excited to have a much better way to blog to all my friends, family, and new followers! My previous home was getting, lets say…a wee bit cramped!…Lol. I wanted to make it much easier on You & Me to follow my new blog posts, help me organize all my websites I enjoy visiting all ONE place!  Then maybe I’ll actually have more time to Blog posts, share recovery information, start hearty discussions, and a whole lot more! So WELCOME one & all to my New Home. I’d love to start with a BANG,  “I’m very Excited to announce my eBook for “Addicted To Dimes” has just been Released late last week for/on Amazon~Kindle. With many of my Recovery Friends in mind, it is awesomely priced at only $2.99 for a limited time.”  As we all know, Recovering Compulsive Gamblers are on a tight *Budget* that is why I tried to keep my eBook affordable, so those who can benefit the most from it can do so. The direct link to my new eBook is http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/ and of course the paperback version is also still available. I hope you’ll “Share” this with all you friends and family, while I continue to “Share” & give “HOPE” to others in recovery, through my New eBook & my New Blog site! I really hope you all know how much I truly appreciate your Recovery and Book Support! For my New Visitors, Thank you for taking the time to come visit my New Blog home, and hope you’ll follow me and my posts! * *Many Blessings to you all, Author Catherine Lyon**

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