A Special “Uplifting” For Those Like Me and Many Who Struggle With Depression By My Dear Friend Author, Tony Roberts of “Delight In Disorder”…

How Does God Feel About Mental Illness?

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last week, Tony began a subscriber survey that has thus far proven very fruitful. He learned more about who his readers are and what they are looking for when they visit Delight In Disorder… 

“Some of the most revealing content came from the comments provided in the “other” category. When asked what sort of posts would be most helpful, one reader replied: ”

“… how God feels about mental illness and why He allows it. I know cancer patients, for example, feel the same way, but you won’t hear anyone abandoning them. Instead they receive love, prayers, and casseroles. Living alone with a debilitating illness is so hard.”

This thoughtful response raises many profound questions. I want to carefully and prayerfully respond. Yet, please understand that I am not an expert theologian or a mental health professional. Instead, I am a believer in Christ who has lived with a mental illness for over 30 years. This doesn’t give me all the answers but helps me better understand the questions.

How does God feel about mental illness? Why does He allow it?

I feel much more confident answering the former question than the latter. The depth of God’s love for us surpasses any love we could have for each other. When we look to Jesus Christ and his feelings for us, God’s emotions are revealed. Jesus became furious at religious leaders who were excluding “imperfect” (sinners) from full participation in worship. Jesus went to outer regions to reach out to those dismissed as “demon possessed” and freed them from the captivity that caused them to be separated from the faith community. Like the Samaritan lifting the bleeding man out of the ditch and caring for him, Jesus cares for those who are hurting, both physically and emotionally.

So, why? I want to approach this more as a prayer than an accusation. Like when the prophets called on God, “How long, Lord. Will you forget me forever?” In my prayer life, I have come to understand God’s mysterious role in human suffering as something beyond my ability to understand, yet something I can fully trust. I believe God has a plan for me much greater than my mental illness in this life. As the Apostle Paul says, “for this slight momentary affliction is not worth comparing to the greater glory to come.” ( 2 Corinthians 4.17). Like a woman in the midst of agonizing labor, it is next to impossible to believe this in the moment, but when her child is born…. AMAZING!

Why don’t people respond to mental illness with love, prayers, and casseroles?

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I hear this from many both within the church and beyond. Mental illness can be a life-threatening illness, given the number of deaths by suicide. It is, however, viewed by many as an annoying condition that could be overcome with self-willed faith, maybe a few extra push-ups, and good old-fashioned elbow grease. I have heard people comment that they grow weary of caring for family members and friends with chronic mental illness. It never goes away.

It doesn’t have to be this way. When I was first diagnosed, I was serving as a pastor of a small congregation in Northeast PA. I spent over six weeks in the hospital, while my wife cared for our children at home, ages 3 & 1. The church rallied to provide child care, meals, rides. It was wonderful. I was given leave for recovery time and welcomed back when I was ready. Churches can be havens of refuge, but too often we are not.

Living alone with a debilitating illness is so hard.

Amen! Damn, right it is! And, one of the debilitating factors is that our mental illness coerces us to do the very things that do us the most harm and fail to do the things that could most help. It does us no good to lie in bed for hours on end, but there are days the thought of getting up seems to us like running a 3-minute mile. It would be helpful to go out and spend some time with other people, but there are days where the fear of doing something inappropriate is just too strong.

This past year, for various reasons, I tried to live alone in an attic apartment in an unfamiliar city. On Saturdays, I visited my children. Sundays I went to church. The rest of the week I was on my own. I was not able to make new friends. I tried support groups, meet-ups, readings, dating sites. People scared me or I scared them. In this climate, I had 7 episodes that required intervention. In just 18 months.

Thanks be to God and the loving support of my family, I now have an apartment in my sister’s basement. It provides me a wonderful living space of my own yet I am not alone.

I know such spaces are hard to come by for persons with mental illness.

I pray you find yours.

Tony R.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

My name is Tony Roberts. I am a Christian and I have a serious mental illness. Many of my friends who also have troubled minds wonder how it is I would hold onto faith after such an agonizing spiritual struggle with insanity.

Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ wonder how my mind can be so disturbed if I am a believer. I believe faith and medicine, prayer and pills, worship and therapy are God’s essential graces to promote healing.

So, I’m telling my story in the hope of sharing Good News with those who have unquiet minds and shattering stigma about mental illness within and beyond the faith community.

I hope you’ll join the conversation.

Tony Roberts, Author
Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission is on Amazon & Amazon Kindle


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Congrats To My Co-Writing Partner For Making The Front Cover & Featured Article At “In Recovery Magazine!”

Congrats To My Co-Writing Partner For Making The Front Cover & Featured Article At “In Recovery Magazine!”

 

“This week’s blog post of me and Vance’s co-writing of his Memoir is a Tribute to HIM since he made the July Front Cover of  “In Recovery Magazine”!!”

Yes, I did resign from the In Recovery Magazine in March in order to have more freedom to work on recovery projects and to co-write with Vance. It is where Vance and I originally met when I reached out to him to see if he’d like to do an article. Then our Cheif Editor at the time, Janet Hopkins decided she wanted to have him as a cover feature instead! And that was that. So in Honor of his issue just releasing, and Janet doing such a great job writing about Vance and his incredible recovery journey, we wanted to share it with all of YOU. It will be a condensed “taste” of what’s to come in his memoir.

 

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In Recovery Magazine Article

Lost and Found


My name is Vance Johnson, and I am an alcoholic.

My playbook began at an early age. I began to be involved in sports so I wouldn’t have to be at home. The family dynamic and chaos as I was a kid seemed less when I was winning and was the “little hero.” Sports became everything to me. As I got older it was my saving grace as I’d play and practice from 10 AM to 11 PM; I even had a key to the gym.

I was doing really well, often placing at the top in the state and even the country. I didn’t have a good relationship with my father and feared I might grow up to be like him, as he was part of the dysfunction within our Christian home. But that is another story in all for another day.

In my senior year, at the urging of my coach, I accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona. This gave me the chance to go to college and play sports while staying close to home. The following spring, I won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) long jump competition. I ranked second place in football my senior year and was one of the collegiate athletic conference top receivers. Through high school and college, I never smoked weed, drank or took drugs. Sports were my high.

After graduating in 1984, I went to the Olympic Trials in track and ended up as an alternate. I could have gone to the next Olympics, but instead, I decided to try out for professional football. I wanted to make some money! I entered the 1985 National Football League (NFL) draft and was picked up by the Denver Broncos in the second round. The stress was tremendous.

 

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My first year in the NFL, I started dating a woman. We had been dating for a short time when, after a bad game where I dropped a punt, she told me she was pregnant. On the way to practice with some teammates, we stopped at a liquor store. My friends bought tequila, and I decided to try it. That tequila had lead to daily drinking mixed with the pills I took for anxiety and down a road, I had no idea how to travel down.

My girlfriend and I got married in Vegas. At practice sometime later, I overheard the guys talking about my wife. I ran home screaming and yelling and pushed her into a closet door. She hit her head and fell down unconscious; I thought she was dead. I carried her into the bathroom and splashed water on her face. Even after she came too, I was still angry and began punching the walls, just like my father used to do. Our marriage ended not long after.

By this time, I was getting high and using whatever I could to cope, but I was careful not to get caught. My life was a wreck and getting worse. I’d sober up on my way to the weekend games. Sometimes I’d get pulled over, but I’d offer the cops tickets to the games and managed to skate by without an arrest.

My domestic problems were always related to drugs. Through the years, I was married and divorced several times. I was an absent father to my children. My finances were a mess; I was bouncing checks and falling behind on child support. I also went to jail after crashing into my wife’s car. Through all of this, I was call myself a God believer, but I sure didn’t act like one. Somehow, no one realized I was an addict, including me.

In 1996, a year after my career in football was over, I tried to commit suicide. There I was, driving down a highway, crazy high and hallucinating. By then I was using drugs to manage all the craziness in my head, but it wasn’t working. When I got home, I pulled off all my clothes and lay naked in my garage, paranoid and banging my head on the ground as I cut my wrists. I called my attorney for help and told him I was losing my mind. I was desperate; to this day, I don’t know how I survived.

After wearing out my welcome in Ft. Collins, Colorado, I moved to Grand Junction, leaving my kids with their various moms. In 2007, after my fifth divorce, I remarried and tried to settle down with my new wife and my three now-teenaged sons. Running from my addictions, I scaled down the drinking, opened a couple of businesses and started attending church with my family. Although I had already damaged so many lives, I continued womanizing, smoking weed, full of sin drinking and taking pills.

My oldest son, Vaughn, who would always say, “I want to be like you, Dad,” was attending college in Grand Junction. Having blown the engine in his car, he was working for me to earn money for the repairs. One morning, he decided to take his motorcycle up to Ft. Collins to visit his grandfather.

I had been in the bar drinking Patrón at my restaurant when my ex-wife called me. “I’m broken,” she said. “Our son is dead.” Vaughn had been hit and killed by a drunk driver who had run a stop sign. I fell to my knees. I drank the whole bottle of tequila, then another, and walked through the restaurant and out the front door. My father threatened to kill me because I was acting so crazy, so I threw him on the ground outside the restaurant. Life as I had known it was over. I was never again the same person…

 

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I used to think I would get through it, but now I don’t want to.”

 

I blamed my dad. I blamed myself for not fixing the car that Vaughn should have been driving. Over the following two years, I drank, smoked, took pills and had relations with anyone who wanted to be with me. Slowly, but surely, I was killing myself.

When 2012 rolled around, I was going through yet another divorce and hurting emotionally and physically. My bloodwork was off, so my mom took me to the hospital where I fell into a coma. I remained in an induced coma for 26 days. My pastor prayed over me, my daughter and sister said their goodbyes. No one thought I would make it.

There I was, 50 years old, tied to a hospital bed. I wondered if this was how it was all going to end. As I lay in that bed, I had visions of dark shadows walking in the room as if to take me with them when I passed from this world. They came every day, but they never took me with them. When I was finally released from the hospital, I thought I could go back and work like I did when I was young. I tried this for a while. Things began to turn around again.

One day, I went golfing with some friends and decided I could have a drink. From that moment, everything went downhill fast. I quickly graduated to weed, more alcohol, and pills to help me not drink so much. Before long, I was peeing in glasses and on myself; puking blood; and even drinking from glasses of pee, which I mistook for whiskey in my drunkenness.

In early 2014, I was drunk and driving down the road, crying and screaming to God to help me. I had no money, no kids, no relationships, nothing to leave behind. I reached out to the NFL. They called Randy Grimes, a former center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Randy had turned his life around and was working as an interventionist in North Palm Beach, Florida.

The NFL sent me to treatment. When I got there, I was surrounded by losers. I had assumed I’d be on a beach with other athletes talking about old times. It wasn’t like that.

One day, a voice in my head told me that I was sick, but I could get sober if I accepted the help being offered to me. I began seeing my peers in a different light. As they talked, I listened and began to understand my own underlying issues. I attended church and got into the Scriptures. I walked in His light and understood that I needed to become “sober-minded.”

 


“My journey was not just about becoming sober. I knew that I could not maintain my sobriety if I didn’t continue to learn about the disease and about my own spirit. When I left rehab, I stayed away from 
fame, the Broncos and everything that had destroyed my previous life. I went to meetings and really listened.”

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A treatment program offered me a job for $200 per week and a bus pass. At the same time, the Broncos offered me $2,000 per week to represent them around the country. I called my mother. “I’m not worried,” she said. “You’ll do the right thing.” I did. I got on the plane to Tampa for the $200 per week paycheck.

God gave me my true self back. I found my son Vaughn’s grave and promised him that I would never allow another young man to lose his life like I did.

Today, I speak around the country. I talk about my life, my children, what happened to me, and how things changed for me when I learned about my addiction. I tell people that they can change their lives, too.

Today, I am married, and I love my wife. We have amazing children, a twelve-year-old daughter, and an eight-year-old son. My wife comes first, then all my kids, then my job. God encapsulates all of it. Though sometimes things are tough, I never stop the journey. I attend meetings where there are newcomers. I’m involved in recovery every day – it’s my daily lifestyle.

I hope you will walk with me in this battle to end this addiction Epidemic…

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Today Vance is helping save lives from many addictions through his new venture of  “Vance Inspires”  as a motivational speaker, executive keynote, sober coach and escort, intervention services and more. He is also involved with the premier treatment options and rehabilitation services of  Futures of Palm Beach

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Vance Johnson is a certified sober coach, a sober escort, and interventionist. Off the football field, he is now reaching out throughout America and the world via social media to break the stigma and lead people to sobriety, one family at a time. He is also a speaker at churches, drug courts graduations, and high schools, and has been a guest on national TV shows including Oprah and Dr. OZ. Johnson is a member of the Mercer County Task Force which brings awareness of the pitfalls of addiction to surrounding high schools and town hall meetings in New Jersey through The Vance Project…

“Recovery + God = Success! It’s Just That SIMPLE Recovery Friends! Can I Get An AMEN?”

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In Your Past ADDICTION  . . . .


Thank Goodness for God’s Mercy & Forgiveness Right?

I usually don’t talk a lot about my “spiritual side,”  as I don’t want to offend or make my friends who visit uncomfortable. I think that needs to change. I do have feelings around this topic. Many feel a 12-Step Program is drenched in religion, or you have to belong to a church or thoughts along this line. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many also get so wrapped up in a 12-step program and think that’s all you need to recover.  That to is not true.  Each one of us come to recovery from different paths and many different addictions.  So, I feel we need to explore ALL options to be successful in long-tern recovery . . . .

Many times I thought to myself, the one thing I seemed to have been missing in my recovery, especially in early recovery was the “spiritual” side of myself.  When we first reach out for the insanity of addiction to stop, we come to seek recovery so broken and lost, when life seems very, very dark.  At least that is how it was for me.  For me, I had just come out of inpatient treatment and from an Addiction/Mental Crisis center after my 1st failed suicide attempt. So I surely was not feeling very “holy” at this time. Far from it.

I was feeling like God had turned his back on me. But that wasn’t the case at all, it was me who had turned my back on God. He would never have done that to one of his children. Many in recovery just don’t understand the love he has for all of us. If you begin to believe in his loving power over your life, you begin to learn that he was with you each step of the way. Be it within your addictions or in recovery,  he knew all before you even thought it or did it.  He see’s our path he has laid out before us.  No, it may not be perfect, or even a happy life all the time,  because we need to learn from the many trials within this path.  It is how we gain our “spiritual wisdom.”  It’s about open mind open heart as to believe in a power greater than ourselves to be restored.  My higher power just happens to be God, his son Jesus Christ, and The holy Spirit who ties us all together.
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And no, I never felt I had to attend someone else’s Church, some organized religion, or listen to some pastor or priest tell me my faults and character defects.  I believe that is NOT having a real true personal relationship with God, and his Son Jesus. My relationship with him is between me and God, his son and the holy spirit. When you have faith and hope given to you by God alone, you can believe he will perform many miracles & blessings in your life, and within your recovery journey. That is a major part of how I got to where I am today.  Without believing that he could restore me, and show me a better way of life, I knew I couldn’t lose in my recovery! And it is written in the gospel . . .

See, I was actually raised Catholic, but around 20 I became disillusioned with the rituals and confession. Why do I need to go into a box with a priest on the other side  of that box to confess my sins?  I can get on my knee’s and do that as part of my personal relationship with my GOD.  To repent and ask for forgiveness of my wrong doings.  I just became more and more uncomfortable with confession.  There are many other reasons, but this was the main one for me. I needed all the help I could get as I was again, so very broken when I came into recovery. We all are. I can tell you this. . . .

God has answered all my prayers when I was begging him to just stop the addiction triggers and urges, take those away? And I will do the rest and the work to be a success in my recovery . . . .

As we all know, God has his own time clock, and most times doesn’t always match ours! LOL.  It’s why many say, “in Gods time not ours.” So true, but still? He did hold up his end of the bargain.  He did take away the triggers and urges from me, as I began doing the my part of the work in my recovery.  He won’t ever let you down, it’s just in his time, not yours . . .

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So? How is your relationship with your Higher Power?

 

    $5.99 to buy

God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate XO

“How Many Times Have I Heard ~ In Gods Time Not Ours? Let Me Count Them”. . .

AMEN! Welcome All Recovery Friends & Hello New Visitors,

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Many of us in recovery, and especially in early recovery, we get to thinking that once we stop our addiction, and finally surrender all to our higher power that he just isn’t listening to us. We feel we are doing our part to not gamble, so why isn’t he doing his part by bringing me the blessings in recovery?

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Well I’m here to tell you that it just doesn’t work that way. We need to learn patients, it sure is what I have learned about this topic in my own 8 year and 6 month recovery journey. We are always looking for a quick fix, or we WANT things right now! But our higher power has his own time clock, and spreads those blessings out while you’re doing the appropriate recovery work that will make you live a better life in your recovery. And my journey is an example of that.

I remember being on my knees begging my HP to just PLEASE help with taking the Urges and Triggers away so I could at least get a foothold in my early recovery. It took a while, but prayer answered! I can not tell you all the wonderful things that has happened to me in recovery, and being blessed by my HP, who I call God and his son Jesus Christ. My current book was ALL GODS intervention! I wasn’t actually writing a book when I wrote 5 hand written notebooks of all I had been through with my gambling addiction.  And toward the end of my addiction I was drinking alcohol to excess.

I start my book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat” due to an article I read about a woman who shot herself while on a bad gambling relapse at a casino hotel. Another loss of precious life due to addicted gambling! It made me want to see all that I had been through, and all that was taken from me by my own addiction on paper. It was time for me to really SEE IT!

That was late 2010, and most of 2011 I was writing what gambling had done to my life. It was about 3 1/2 years into my recovery. The rest was all Gods Intervention from there. And on 50th birthday in 2012 I became a first time author. BIG Blessing #1.

And then? The flood gates opened to so many blessings from that point, I really honestly can not count all the blessings I have received. But I can tell you this much? I have a heart of gratitude each day. And I still can not believe the Miracles God has performed in life. Because 8 1/2 years ago I was a so broken and damaged laying in a hospital bed, then back over to an addiction/mental health crisis center for the second time from another failed suicide attempt.

Then I look at my life today? Wow!, is about all I can say. Now not to get off topic or anything, but I was watching a CNN 2 hour Special last night about Jim Jones and the story about Jonestown and the tragedy that took place there with 900 people poisoned due to the following of a man who turned out to think he was doing GODS work. So CNN talked with some who survived this awful event. When asked if they were still involved in a Church, or believed in God. Many all had similar answers to those questions. Many said they believe in God, and Jesus Christ, but they felt they didn’t need to belong to a church or be a part of any one organized religion. That they all were ‘spiritual’ people, and they have a personal relationship with God.

And you know what? I got it! I understood what they meant. I believe somewhere in the gospel it says, “when one or two come together in his name, that is a church.” You can be at home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere and talk about God, and all the wonderful blessings he gives in our lives. That to me is also spreading the word of the ‘gospel.’  That’s just my own personal opinions. But it is one of the areas in recovery that comes back alive when “you believe in a power greater than ourselves.”

Recovery from addicted compulsive gambling can be done! You just have to believe in yourself, and in your HP. We have to always keep those feelings on hopelessness, feeling empty, lost, escaping, and so much more we used gambling addiction to numb out all feelings from what ever your personal underlying issues are for using gambling for. Yes we can recover to without knowing why we turned to addicted gambling, but many of us learn some of the WHY’S in treatment and therapy. And that’s ok too. We come into recovery so broken and spiritually drained, because we have no self-worth within ourselves. Gambling stripped us naked of that during the worst of our addiction.

But with the many blessings you will receive in your recovery journey? It will out weigh all of that! So just keep hold of your recovery, and let GOD do the rest with the many blessings coming your way! Just be patient  .  .  .  .
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God Bless All!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

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My Recovery Thought Of The Day ~Take That Damn Happy Mask Off At The Door!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers!

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. The President Of America, The Holy Pope, and some other guy! My Point Made…

Thanks to my good recovery pal *Dave J* who is always sending me funny stuff to use along with my recovery posts!
But I think you get the idea from the picture above.  You can’t convince me that the ‘POPE’ really isn’t thinking that, but he puts on a brave face to make it look like he is enjoying this visit.

Well many times as I sit in a’ Gamblers Anonymous’ meeting, and I look around the room and see all these people with plastic ‘Smiles’ on their faces, when I know inside, some of these people in my meeting have just gambled away their rent money, mortgage payment, or even their whole PAYCHECK! But in our addiction, our diseased mind makes us put this ‘HAPPY MASK’ on to make it look like were just fine…

How many of you know what I’m talking about? We hide the turmoil and the rage we have going on inside us, the head spinning with all the ‘cycle’ garbage of hiding, lie, and sneaking of what we have done, the money spent and wasted because we where chasing our gambling loss, or some life disappointment came along and triggered us with anger that we used the excuse to go gamble to blow off some steam.  Am I hitting close to home yet?  We all have done it many times.  But here’s the catch, “Your NOT Fooling Anybody”!  WHY?  Because like myself, those of us who have long-term recovery can pick up on that mask you’re wearing as soon as you open your mouth to share.

Those of us who made the commitment to turn our lives over to a power greater than ourselves,  who took  STEP ONE to heart as we admitted to ourselves and to another that ‘Gambling Addiction & Alcohol’  had us whooped, we then begin our journey with hard work, working the steps, going to meetings, meeting other recovering gamblers and alcoholics, sharing unity and fellowship within the ‘rooms’, getting a sponsor, and making a good, early in recovery Relapse Prevention Guide!  We learned in treatment, rehab, or where ever you chose to go get your life back from addiction, and learned how to use tools and skills to become healthy and happy again.  Free from the bonds of addiction.|

That’s how you just get started! We need to stay diligent, and not get complacent in our recovery. Because I can tell you, that ‘Happy Fake Mask’ is only going to work for you for a short time. People can see through it.  Don’t wait until you get yourself in a crisis. Because when crisis hits?  There is only one option,  DEATH, and you are worth way more than that option!

We also have to learn to walk through all our fears of the unknown, as it’s OK to not know what will come tomorrow. As addicts we want everything ‘Right Now’, but I can tell you recovery won’t happen that way. Your going to really learn the meaning of having patients, and that’s where your Higher Power is going to be of most help to you.  Your going to go through feelings and emotions that will come out of no where, and all kinds,  but it’s OK. You need to do this in order to become stronger, not hide behind that damn mask anymore, and know it’s ok to have those up and down feelings. How long have you been escaping those hurts, pains, life disappointments, and using gambling,  drinking, drugs until you feel nothing but blackness?

HOW LONG?  Well, then it may take even longer to go through that wall of fear and unknown,  but YOU will be better for it in the long run.  So come on and take that dumb,  funny, and ridiculous ‘ FAKE HAPPY MASK OFF, and go fight to get your life back from addiction!  Your Worth It,  You Deserve It,  YOU GOT THIS! ODAAT…

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Happiness And Blessings,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

Today Is Double Guest Blog Post Thursday! Meet A Few Of My New Recovery Friends…

Welcome & Thanks For Visiting Today,

 

You all are in for an awesome treat as I have TWO Special Guests for ‘Double Guest Thursday”!
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My first blog ‘Guest Spotlight’ is a new friend I met on Twitter recently. She does amazing work to help others! We have a little in common as she helps teach, and mentor parents, single moms, and many more. She has had a rough childhood like many of us out here, and she is determined to help be the “Solution & Break The Cycle”….
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Many were raised to not speak of family problems outside our homes. Loads of deep, dark family secrets can destroy families, and not to mention the impact it has on the children.  It’s what happened to me. Some of us use addictions, or many other unhealthy habits and behaviors we learn from an unhealthy family dynamic, addiction, or other things that we need to change and interrupt so it’s not passed down to the next generation of our families. That’s just the tip of the iceberg that my caring friend ‘Athena Morberg’ tries to accomplish in a safe and caring enviroment. Her is a more about her, and how she helps others…

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About Athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

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Hi I’m Athena!
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I am an aspiring entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other single moms get FREE from limiting beliefs so they can build a business and life they enjoy while spending more time with their children.
I was a single mom for 17 years and I struggled almost every step of the way.
 
Back in the 90′s when I was a teenager raising my son, I didn’t have a CLUE and I definitely didn’t receive a lot of family support.
 
Looking back, I remember a couple of things very vividly:
 
1) I didn’t have the best example set for me through my immediate family {multiple divorces, drugs, alcohol, ongoing abuse in many areas, neglect, multiple step parents, etc…}
 
2) I was determined to break the cycle for my child someday!  
 
I also knew I lacked the valuable-life-changing resources I needed to be a great role model for my son… and that overwhelmed me… literally almost every day. {really}

WE  NEVER  “ARRIVE”
 
Fast forward and here I am with my very own website, podcast & internet radio show.  I mean…really?   {pinch me}
 
If I could talk to the 19-year-old Athena right now, I would tell her a lot of things…
 
Mostly, it would be on the topics of parenting, having faith, {those not-often-talked-about struggles in life} and I would definitely mention business, now that I have been in it for 21 years.  
 
I would say, “Athena, build a business for yourself – sooner rather than later…  now rather than years from now.”
 
“Find what you’re passionate about and find a way to do that. It will be a great example. And whatever you do…don’t give up!“.
 
Since I have been doing this for a couple of decades now, I have made thousands of mistakes, maybe more. The best part?  I am so happy to be able to share my 21 years of first-hand knowledge and experience with YOU: a fellow traveler… a mom just like me.  A powerful, amazing woman with the capacity to love greatly and make a huge impact in the life of your child.   Yes, you.    “But Athena, you don’t understand my upbringing… I’m not equipped to be amazing…”    Yes.  You.  Are.   It doesn’t matter if you had dysfunction and poor role models growing up.  It doesn’t matter if you had no role model. The level of dysfunction you experienced in your life is insignificant at this moment.  {Believe me, if you wanna talk about dysfunction and ridiculousness I could make your head spin…we could probably share stories for days.}  
 
What matters in NOW.  Right now.  You have taken the first step to secure that your child gets the life he or she deserves, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this website right now reading about how I can help you.  You have made a conscious choice to break the cycle and raise an incredible man or woman.  Good job mom! 
 
That is why I am here.  That is why I exist.  That is my purpose!  I am so passionate about helping YOU with your journey and I can’t wait to see a difference in your life and in the life of your child.  I finally found a way to do this for a living and I count my blessings more times than I can mention.
 
I consider it a privilege to work with single moms just like you. I want to stand beside you as you overcome your past struggles, hurts and disappointments.  I will be with you when you become the most amazing role model you can be.  The role model you were created to be.

Oh, by the way, I get it… you’re not really here for you… in fact you rarely do anything for  “you” , am I right?  You’re here for your kids.  I get it.  Been there.  And I also want you to know – that is more than ok, in fact it is fantastic!  I am so proud of you.  You are here because they deserve a chance.  Perhaps a chance that you were never given.  A chance at a healthy life and a bright future. Bravo mom!  This is a turning point for you, this is where your journey gets good.
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*Here is a little more from her clients she has helped in changing lives*

what others are saying about athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

“Athena’s obvious passion is encouraging single moms by helping them overcome their circumstances & build healthy, abundant lives for themselves and their families.”

 “I plan to continue with Athena, as I know she will be a large part of making my dreams come true.”

 “Athena’s enthusiastic and honest style puts me at ease every time I connect with her.”

I know for a fact, without Athena’s help in the beginning, I would not be where I am today.”

Athena’s energy, excitement, and ideas spurred me along”!

Athena is so encouraging.”

I always feel like Athena understands the vision I have for my life and my business. I have the utmost confidence that when she says she will do something, it will be done with perfection.”

As a business and personal development coach, Athena is improving our local economy, one business at a time.”

“Athena’s honest observation of my situation truly was spot on. Since our session, I’ve prayed wholeheartedly for God’s direction in my work life and my personal life.  For too long now, I’ve been stuck in a rut, with no knowledge or courage to get out.  Things are now starting to move and change.  I know life is going to pick up as I start being more aware of the opportunities that are coming my way!”

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In life we always need to remember it’s not about ‘Perfection,’ it’s about being a ‘Work In Progress’! So I encourage you to visit her helpful website if you have had a hard childhood, trauma, or just need help being a better parent, single or not. If your past trauma is knocking on your door? Then go see how Athena can help. I myself am a childhood sex abuse survivor, and went through things no little girl should ever go through by two family friends of my fathers. And it did come back to haunt me in my late 30’s through my mid 40’s.
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I wish I had known proper ways to process all of it when it did come back and bothered me. I got  tangled into an addicted gambling addiction and alcohol to try to ‘escape’ all those horrible memories. I used them both to cope, and that led to 2 failed attempted suicides. I felt it was MY fault for what happened to me some how. Not knowing any better that it wasn’t. My point is that we need to get help and process what we have been through in a healthy way. It’s why I share my story, and to let others have a voice, and know they are HEARD! I feel Athena does this a well through her helpful website!

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SUCCESS: you will never-ever forget this feeling

I have successfully transformed my parenting style and my lifestyle by focusing on the foundational principles I’ve learned in the bible. I have developed a specific method for my mentoring and coaching which focuses on 5 specific areas. I call it The ALOHA Method. Not because I live in Hawaii : ) ALOHA is an acronym for 5 areas of your parenting journey. It is powerful when implemented and has forever changed the lives of many parents & children. 
The lives of single mothers and their children have literally been transformed. Really.
I have not always lived this blessed-abundant life in Hawaii; my childhood and upbringing could make your head spin… To say I have an “underdog to overcomer” story would be an understatement. 
My testimony has encouraged thousands of women and given them hope during times of great discouragement and I am ready to encourage you….
Your can find, and connect with Athena Moberg on her website  http://athenamoberg.com and these other wonderful links!
http://about.me/AthenaMoberg/   Google+   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  and  Facebook ….
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My next guest is an interactive site all about ‘Shattering The Stigma About Addictions’ and raising awareness that ‘Addiction Is A Real Disease!
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We all know that stigma around those of us in recovery is still out there! So I wanted to help and share this important message from my new friends of, ‘The Truth About Addiction” http://thetruthaboutaddiction.org/end-the-stigma/
That addictions of all kinds are NOT a personal choice, but real diseases. Here is a little more about my recovery friends, and how you can help by  “Signing The Wall.”
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About and Contact Info

The truth about addiction is a community created to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism.

TTAA  is a community of people united to show the world that addiction is a disease. When we speak of addiction, we refer to anyone who was or is addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, gambling, shopping, love, sex, etc. Our sole purpose is to end the addiction stigma. We do not speak for any organization, diagnose or treat any illness, or recommend any treatment program. The truth is, addiction is a disease, not a choice or a crime. It’s a chronic, fatal illness affecting more than 23 million Americans. We stand together in peace and serenity, united in the knowledge that we suffer from a disease.

For more information, please email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com
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Sign the Wall to End the Stigma

Please join our mission to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism. Our goal is to have one million people sign our wall. Together we can show others that we are suffering from a disease, not a choice or a crime.

To participate, please fill out the contact form below or email your name and location and you will be added to our wall.

Addiction is a Disease

No matter what it is you’re addicted to – drugs, alcohol, food, etc. – you are suffering from a disease, not something to be ashamed of!

  • Addiction is a chronic illness that is fatal if left untreated.
  • No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic when they grow up.
  • It’s not a choice. It’s a disease.
  • Drugs and alcohol (or food, money, relationships, etc.) are solutions to the problem, not the problem. They are what we use to ease the symptoms of our disease.
  • Addiction begins long before drug and alcohol use.
Want to submit your thoughts? Email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com.
*SO PLEASE, if you our you know someone who has been touched by ADDICTION, then please visit their website today and SIGN THE WALL in that persons HONOR.*
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Together we can save & change lives one signature at a time!
I want to THANK both “Athena Moberg & The Truth About Addiction” for letting me ‘Share’ them with all of you today!
I’m a firm believer that we can’t have too much information and help at our disposal to guide us through a beautiful Life!
And since I have daily challenges being in recovery for a bit over 7yrs, living with mental illness, and learned to work through my own childhood traumatic past,I will continue to share my progress so others may know the is always  HOPE* with a little faith on the other side of despair…

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GOD BLESS ALL!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


AND STIGMA! …

 

 

*Happy Caturday* ~~ “Recovery Ramblins Is Back On Cyberspace” In Our New Home!

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

I know this will be a bit Cheeezy, but as my “FAV” WWE Wrestler Pal “THE ROCK” says, “FINALLY~~”Recovery Ramblins has come BACK to Cyberspace”! Well at least he IS easy on the EYES to look at!…..AM I RIGHT LADIES??…..LOL…

File:Dwayne Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg - Wikipedia ...                                 

My hubby and I are in our New home, the move went *Smooth*…..and I have to tell you how wonderful people have been here to us, and  to ME in ARIZONA! What I mean by this is, even though I’m KEENLY AWARE that I only have one published book out, and don’t really consider myself an established writer, I happened to bring some copies of my paperback with me, and almost every person I have come in contact with has wanted to BUY a copy from ME! The cable guy, the power guy who came to turn on my electric services, the woman who is manager her at the Apt complex, even the lady at “Sears” who sold us our new bed, and MORE!

So it’s now time to put all the *Drama* behind us! It’s a New Day!, with new goals and many blessings abound. My heart is filled with “Gratitude, Luv, Thankfulness, and  positive Possibilities!
This is what you receive in a Beautiful Life in Recovery…
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Photo via DeviantArt by ChimereOkorieMba http://fav.me/d4gnei6This is Very true!

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I’m grateful to all who take time out of your day, to stop by my “Little Recovery Blog” here to share your “Thoughts & Feelings” with me.  It means SO MUCH to me to know that I can help share my “Message” of *HOPE* with you, and to help others learn about “Addicted Compulsive Gambling,” the disease, and recovery. Also to share my life a little with you as to my “Daily Life Challenges” of living in recovery with Mental & Emotional illness & disorders as well.

At times, daily living can be difficult in recovery & dealing with mental health illness, but the support of all my friends here, my recovery friends, follow friends, and even all the New Visitors & seekers,  you help ME each day to have a “LIFE” worth “LIVING”! As I come upon my 7 year recovery birthday on, Jan 29th, 2014……I look back to where I was 7 years ago and think, WOW, God truly “Can & Does” still perform *MIRACLES* people!

So as my GOOD recovery friend “Sandy Swenson” says,…..”I carried around this BREW of  lies and fears until I started to WRITE”……”Only then did I start to “Let Go”!! “I was doing and saying the same things over and over”….”Nothing is going to change unless I MADE THE CHANGE,” The only thing I can change IS ME”!

That is true in my life experiences, and in my recovery from Compulsive Gambling. I learned in “Gamblers Anonymous” that I CAN NOT CHANGE…..”People, Places, or THINGS”…….only I can change ME.

That’s very simply put. When I learned to LET GO and LET GOD, only then did my life begin to change for the better. God won’t FORCE the change or path, he simply just puts it in FRONT of you. If your HEART IS OPEN, and your EARS & HEART can hear him, you’ll KNOW which path to take! God is never forceful, he is a truly “Kind and Spiritual” being. I’ve always believed he brings others in our lives, be it short or long-term, at the right moments in time for a reason. Either to help us, or challenge, he brings others to us for a purpose.

It wasn’t until I was on the “Edge of Darkness” that he saved me from my OWN stubborn ways of thinking I HAD CONTROL of my life. But as my failed attempts to leave this world behind me, GOD had other plans for this “Broken Down” SOUL. It wasn’t until then, that I was on my KNEES calling upon him for HELP &  Salvation! Not only did he SAVE me from my OWN death, he gave me, & SHOWED ME my Purpose in Life!


To help those who may not be able to help themselves from addicted gambling, and ALL types of addictions. To give *HOPE* to others. I WILL truly believe this until my last “BREATH” on this earth, and be told by “GOD” himself , if I was able to fulfill the purpose he had given me for my time here in this world…..

**GO ahead…..take a BITE out of LIFE!! **

So, TODAY I say,….”Go ahead and take a BIG BITE” out of LIFE! And now that it’s Fall, it TRULY is time to “Turn Over a New Leaf, & to Live & Love” all the blessings that are given to US each and everyday! I’m a very blessed woman because of ALL of my friends here who SUPPORT me in all ‘I DO” in Recovery, as well as being a Writer, Published Author, & Blogger, & Sponsor to others in recovery, For all this, I say,….*THANK YOU*!!

May God Bless you and yours!,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
of  “Addicted To Dimes”  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485