September is also National Suicide Prevention Month…

September is also National Suicide Prevention Month…

IT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE & CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY! So Let’s Have The Conversation…

BUT PLEASE:

“Don’t refer to suicide as “successful,” “unsuccessful,” or a “failed attempt.” Use “died by suicide,” “completed suicide,” or “killed him/herself.”

“Most people who die by suicide exhibit warning signs. Refrain from describing a suicide as “inexplicable” or “without warning.”

“Don’t quote the suicide note or describe the method used and Report on suicide as a public health issue, not a crime.”

“The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255) connects the caller to a certified crisis center near where the call is placed.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

NSPL_Logo

Especially Our Vets! They Need Us Now More Than Ever!  https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/BeThere.aspx

Veteran Crisis Line & Military Crisis Line logo

Dial 1-800-273-8255, press 1        Text to 838255

You are not alone.  Help is available.

If you are a Veteran in crisis or know one who is, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to confidentially speak with a trained, caring VA responder and get connected to services that can make a difference. Chat online or text with a VA responder to receive anonymous support now. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals using TTY can call 1-800-799-4889.

Why I am I Sharing This? I am a Suicide Survivor and Someone Was There For Me. I am Here For You!

#BeThe1To

#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope… I AM!

Author. Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

The Line Between Use and Abuse

 

Once upon a time, the term “addiction” was reserved for dependence on mind-altering chemicals. However, now a dependence on anything from video games to shopping is termed “addiction.” It can be a confusing world when something that’s usually a healthy coping behavior (like going to the gym) can turn into a mental disorder.

Everyone needs an outlet. Somewhere to channel the stresses of life when they just get to be too much. And everyone needs a diversion. However, how do you determine where exactly your habit turns into an addiction? Where is the line between use and abuse?

Here are 5 questions that can help you get a better perspective on whether or not your coping mechanism has turned into something that can be harmful instead of helpful for your life.

 

Have you tried to stop numerous times and failed?

 

This is one of the most notable characteristics of addiction, but it can also be the most commonly misunderstood. Individuals are often dismayed when they find that even though they had resolved to change their behavior, they fail. However, this in and of itself isn’t a marker of addiction. After all, how many people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions? How many people start a diet that only lasts a few days? That doesn’t that they’re addicted to spending money or not working out or sneaking junk food. It might mean that they were ineffective in goal setting, or that they’re not sufficiently motivated to change behavior.

The big difference is when you resolve to change behavior because you ARE properly motivated. If you notice that your behavior is costing you too much, and still can’t seem to stop, you might be working with addiction rather than a bad habit. The next couple questions can help you clarify.

 

Use and Abuse 2

 

Is it hurting your health?

Often, people first start to consider addiction a problem because of a talk with a physician. When a certain behavior is hurting your body, it’s a cause for concern. Occasional use of something doesn’t have the same effects on your body as habitual use, one of the common stages of addiction. A doctor won’t refer you to an addiction professional for just a few drinks… unless you have liver disease and you still won’t stop drinking.

Usually, this measure only comes into play for addictions that have a direct effect on your physical health. This includes food disorders, adrenaline-seeking behavior, and exercise addiction. Often, we don’t see the signs that a doctor will. However, if you’re getting concerned about some of your own behaviors, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it, being completely upfront about what you’re doing so that they can determine whether it’s threatening your health.

Is it threatening your relationships?


There are some addictions that will never have a toll on our physical health, but they have a huge impact on our relationships. These additions might include pornography or gambling or online gaming. These types of addictions also don’t seem to have an “outer” looking appearance to a person like a drug addict or alcoholic. And the afflicted person has no idea how the addiction is damaging their health on the inside. Many have hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, or even becoming a diabetic without knowing.

Often, this is a tricky situation to sort out. You might feel like there’s nothing unusual or harmful about your behavior, but someone you love is concerned and wants you to change. It’s possible that sometimes your loved one is overreacting. But it’s also true that relationships require investment from both parties. If you’re unable to change your behavior in order to nurture those relationships that are most important to you, it might be a problem. Relationships and families depend on healthy boundaries that are made with love and followed with consideration.

Do you need more and more for the desired effect?


One of the first signs of any addiction
is that you need to escalate your usage in order to get the same desired effect. This is because your body is becoming slowly inured to the effects. So in order to experience the same hit of dopamine in the brain, you need to have more and more of the substance (or behavior.) This happens most notably with alcohol. Once the body is used to operating as normal with alcohol in the system, you need more and more in order to get drunk.

However, it can be the same with other substances or behaviors. If you find that you need more and more, that’s when things start to get dangerous, whether you’re shopping or adrenaline-seeking. This effect drives us to do things that we know could be harmful and cross boundaries we know we shouldn’t.

 

Use and Abuse 3

 

Do you feel ashamed after using?

This might be the most telling sign of an addiction. If you’re ashamed after a certain behavior, it’s a sign that you know that you need to change… and yet you’re not. Shame can be subtle, and hard to recognize in many of us. Shame might manifest itself as:

  • Anger
  • Despair
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Perfectionism in other aspects of your life
  • Numbing your feelings (often by indulging more often in the thing that makes you feel ashamed)

 

If you or a loved one are exhibiting these signs of addiction, reach out for help. Get help early before you become so thoroughly entrenched that it costs you valuable things in your life.


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Use links below to save image.

About The Author:

Christine is a professional writer and an avid reader who’s passionate about storytelling in all its forms. At any given moment, she’s in the middle of at least three books on anything from human psychology to ninjas. Although she’s a marathon swimmer and enjoys camping in the mountains, she believes there’s nothing better than a carton of ice cream and a Dawson’s Creek marathon.

 

“A Recovery Journey To Reach Contentment, Serenity, And A Little Spiritual Peace”….

Hello And Welcome MoonShiners, Recovery Seekers, And Visitors,

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yeah write weekly writing challenge #163 weekend moonshine grid

I remember when I first entered recovery. I was sitting in my first ‘Gamblers Anonymous’ meeting and was listening to others experiences, and the trusted servants that had long-term recovery away from the ‘Bet’ were very inspiring. They spoke about finally getting some, “Peace, Serenity, and some Contentment” in their lives, and in their recovery. So I began to wonder? What is it going to take for ME to reach those 3 ultimate goals?
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Well, those of you who know me know I tell it straight when it comes to my recovery, no sugar or cherries on top because it won’t help me or you. Part of the answer to reach contentment in recovery is? “You have to the work”….  It’s just that simple.

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philippians.

After being in a addictions/mental health crisis center for a total melt down, black out of my mind, I began an out-patient treatment program and weekly group. I also started making GA meetings too. Was I perfect at recovery in the beginning? “Hell No,” but the key was not “TO GIVE UP”!
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As we learn about the disease of compulsive addicted gambling, and alcohol abuse, eventually things that we learn start to sink in and make sense. It will also start to make you feel uncomfortable if you relapse, as these things we learn are in our thoughts, and start to interrupt our addiction. At least for me it did.

Truth is, it took me several times in and out of my gambling treatment program for a few years, attending GA meetings, all the while I’d get some months away from the BET, then relapse. But, I NEVER GAVE UP.
Most of that comes from shame, guilt, denial, control, or thinking we can do recovery on our own, with shear will power! SO HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU? It sure didn’t work out well for me, by 2006 I was back in crisis mode, then back in the crisis center for 21 days for the 2nd time, as I attempted SUICIDE for the 2nd time as well from a bad gambling binge & relapse….

See, the first crisis center stay, I found I was suffering from undiagnosed mental illness. Come to find out, I had been suffering with ‘Bipolar Manic Depression, and PTSD’ from the childhood sex abuse I endured as a little girl. I was using addicted gambling and alcohol when I gambled, to hide and escape from those ‘ugly’ past memories that started to come back and haunt me.
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It’s what I learned in treatment, and through my psychiatrist that was helping me with the bipolar &  my meds. I thought I was so damaged as a human being, and it was hard to accept the woman I became with mental disorders, gambling addiction, and past abuse. I was so, so broken in heart, spirit, mind, body and my soul was “Black”….
#ThoughtForTheDay - Keep It Real 100%
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Not to mention what I was putting my poor husband through with all this mess! But he really understood about, ‘Unconditional Love’ as he worked and stayed with me through all this madness and all the hurt I caused through my addictions. It’s very rare to find a man today with that type of commitment!!..(Sorry Guys).

But it’s true. He stayed and helped me every step of the way. Later in recovery I asked him why he didn’t just leave? His Answer?  “I knew that sweet girl I married those years ago was still in there somewhere.”  He chose to stay and work through all the hurt, pain, past damage, as now we know that together we can make it through any storm, any trial & tribulation that comes our way! Our marriage is so much stronger today than when we got married! He truly is, and will be ‘The Love Of My Life’ until our last breath on this earth. Even knowing about my past, my abuse, he accepted me for the woman I was, and I am today.
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Bring It On!

YEAH BABY!!
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So now we fast forward in my recovery 7 years and 4 months. Wow, has life been interesting!
When I was 4 years into my recovery, I read a little story in our newspaper about a woman who shot herself in her casino hotel room. Boy did that light a fire under me to write, and see all I had been through with my gambling addiction. Didn’t know one day it would be put into a book manuscript by an old friend of mine. Then when she was done, she emailed the first 50 pages to a friend of hers who is publisher, and BAM~POW!,…On my 50th birthday I became a first time published author! Again, that was 2012, and I have been writing, blogging, advocating, and being of recovery service to others ever
since.

WHAT? You ask if I’m aware of how blessed I am? You got it baby! I am a very blessed girl today, but it’s about getting the work done in recovery that will make things happen! We can’t have that ‘Peace, Serenity, and Contentment’ in recovery without doing the work. Now I know your asking what work are you talking about?

It’s the recovery work we get in our treatment programs, support meetings and working through the 12-Steps, and admitting to ourselves that addiction has us beat, and total surrender! Surrender the control you think you have over your addiction! Even if you don’t believe in a program due to thinking it’s a ‘religious’ program, which it’s not, you can still buy a 12-step book/guide to help you work through the “Why’s” of addiction. And the other most important thing to do is learning about how the “Cycle” of addiction can be broken down and interrupted. That’s a MUST.

See, in my published book, I tried to give insights as to why many of us turn to addiction. I share my life and addiction journey, and destruction of what I went through starting as that abused, hurt and damaged little girl that I was. Later in life, that gave me feelings of entitlement as a VICTIM. I used all the ‘negative’ things that happened to me as fuel for my addictions.

Even though it says in the 12-steps that, “we can recover not knowing why we gambled in the first place.”  But for me personally, I learned through treatment and therapy that my past childhood trauma, and the undiagnosed mental illness played a big role in my addiction. Because when those old feelings come back to haunt us, some of us don’t know there are places to go to get help instead of turning to addiction in the first place.
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So we need to know there is a lot of help out there for all types of addictions. I have many listed here on my recovery blog as ‘Recovery Resources’…. and I even have a fantastic ‘Relapse Prevention Guide” too! Relapse doesn’t have to be part of your recovery journey. But, everyone’s recovery path will be different. So choose what feels comfortable for you. Yes, it’s a powerful thing to listen to others testimonies and stories, but some things may work for some, but not for others. Spend time and research all the types of recovery help out there.

And recovery also doesn’t have to be costly either! There are many places that offer low-cost, or even free addiction help. I went through the ‘State of Oregon’s free treatment program, which included my 2 crisis center stays, and it was all paid for by the Oregon Lottery Fund. Pretty ironic right? Of course my point is this, it doesn’t matter where the help and treatment comes from, as long as you get the help you need. Most states may have a “Department of Health in your county, so check there first. They may offer free gambling, alcohol, or drug treatment programs paid by your state.
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Many say; “It takes a village” to get better! So good supportive people in your recovery life is a MUST! Pick your friends wisely. I know sometimes people may not be understanding or supportive, and they call that ‘STIGMA,’ don’t worry about that, you may even lose a few friends along the way, but it’s important to have supportive people in your recovery. You will meet good supportive friends in your 12-step meetings. But you may need to cut loose the one’s who are not ‘Bet free, Drug free, or Alcohol free’…

So do the work! Start those 12-Steps you have been putting off. I even have friends who have NO addiction, but they do the 12-steps to lead better lives. The steps were not written for JUST people in recovery. Many use them as principles of living. And in closing, I hope all who come and visit my blog, KNOW THIS,…. you are not alone. I will be here for all who come seeking recovery from not just ‘Addicted Gambling,’ but all Addictions. I sponsor many on the internet and from my home group in Gamblers Anonymous, http://www.gambleranonymous.org/  http://www.aa.org/  http://www.na.org/  http://wwwfoodaddictsanonymous.org/  http://saa-recovery.org/

And always remember…… recovery is not about Perfection ~ It’s Attitude!

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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“To Know The Woman I Am Today, You Need To Know The Little I Was”…
From My Book “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat)

 


Gambling Recovery Website of the Week~~Meet Mass. Council On Compulsive Gambling…

Here is MY PICK for my *Recovery Weekly Guest Website*…. http://www.masscompulsivegambling.org ….

The Mass. Council of Compulsive Gambling, Truly has all you need to know about the Disease and Addiction of Compulsive Gambling. Even for myself, being in Recovery for many years from this Addiction, the lingering effects still cling to me a little bit.
This is SUCH a Destructive illness and addiction, that it takes years to Financially Recover as well as recovering from the Actual Act of gambling. So I wanted to *SHARE* some of what MASS Council offers, and how they HELP MANY from addicted compulsive gambling……*Catherine*

About Us

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing the social, financial and emotional costs of problem gambling. For more information, click on Mass. Council Quick Facts .
Founded in 1983 by Thomas N. Cummings, the Council has been instrumental in bringing the issue of problem gambling to the attention of the public and policymakers, offering resources to problem gamblers, their loved ones and concerned members of the community.
Prior to 1987, there were no funded problem gambling services available in Massachusetts. Today, due largely to the efforts of Mr. Cummings and the Council, awareness of problem gambling has increased significantly, along with sources of help for those who need it.
To learn more about the History of the Council, Staff, Board of Directors, or for Directions to the office, please click the appropriate……


What is Problem Gambling?

The information on this site comes from recent studies within the problem gambling research field. For further details, please Contact the Council .
Virtually anyone – men or women, young or old, from every religion, race and socio-economic background – can be at risk for developing a gambling problem.
Research has estimated that approximately one half of 1%(0.42 to 0.6%) of the U.S. population have experienced pathological gambling in their lifetime, and 0.9 to 2.3% have experienced sub-clinical pathological gambling in their lifetimes. The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the state’s population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes…….

The most serious form of problem gambling is pathological gambling, the essential feature of which is “persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior that disrupts personal, family or vocational pursuits.”(American Psychiatric Association – DSM-IV)
Compulsive gambling can result in social, emotional and financial devastation, including loss of relationships, residence, emotional or physical health, and career or educational opportunities.
Some compulsive gamblers commit illegal acts to support their gambling or to pay off gambling-related debts. Some go to prison or are admitted to psychiatric institutions. It is not uncommon to hear about compulsive gamblers who attempt or commit suicide.
To learn more about the signs of problem gambling , the relationship between problem gambling and substance use or the prevalence of gambling please click the appropriate link…….

Unlike substance use disorders, where those under the influence may appear intoxicated or “high,” people experiencing problems with gambling usually do not exhibit easily recognizable signs. However, there are signs that may indicate someone is experiencing a gambling problem.

According to the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), the following are often signs of problem gambling:

  • The person gambles more than they intended
  • Other people are suggesting that the person might have a gambling problem
  • The person is feeling guilty about the way he or she gambles
  • The person wants to stop betting money and feels like they can’t
  • The person gambling is hiding betting slips, lottery tickets, gambling money or other signs of betting
  • There are arguments over how the person gambling is handling money
  • The person gambling is borrowing money and not repaying it
  • The person gambling is losing time from work or school due to betting money or gambling

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), also suggests that signs of problem gambling may include:

  • Preoccupation with gambling (reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next venture or thinking of ways in which to gamble)
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
  • Trying to control, cut down or stop gambling unsuccessfully
  • Feeling restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
  • Using gambling as a way to escape problems or bad moods (helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)
  • Returning to gamble after losing money gambling
  • Lying to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
  • Committing illegal acts, such as forgery, fraud, theft or embezzlement to finance gambling.
  • Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of gambling.

The three screening tools used most often to identify gambling problems are : The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) . The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), and The Massachusetts Gambling Screen (MAGS).

We understand the problem.
***So Please go visit there Website if YOU or SOMEONE you know may have a Gambling Problem…..THE FIRST STEP INTO RECOVERY IS ADMITTING TO YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, OR THAT GAMBLING IS EFFECTING YOUR LIFE IN ANY ONE AREA……
I DID, AND I GOT MY LIFE BACK!! AND YOU CAN TOO!

You can call them at 1-800-426-1234…..OR……Call the
National Council on Problem Gambling Worldwide Hotline 1-800-522-4700 As well!!
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER…..YOU ARE NOT ALONE ANYMORE!

GOD BLESS! *AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 MY STORY OF GAMBLING ADDICTION & RECOVERY