Recovery Guest Article By Author, Alek Sabin

“Why do others judge or make others who live life in recovery feel shame?  Does it come from having no understanding?  Could it be from lack of empathy for others?  Shame can stop others from getting help from addiction due to STIGMA. That is what our Featured Article is about today.”

 

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                  The Ways We Shame People

Perhaps to a great detriment, people have a strong tendency to shame other people for a variety of reasons. This type of behavior isn’t exactly healthy, and can often lead to a variety of problems for the individuals who are being shamed, as well as for those who do the shaming. While shame can be a natural feeling that is experienced when we do something wrong, trying to influence human behavior by leaning too heavily on shame can have more adverse effects than positive ones. Despite this simple truth, however, there are a variety of things that people are frequently shamed for in our modern society. The reality, though, is that there are often much better ways to approach many of these issues in a way to accomplish change. In that spirit, here is some information about the ways that people are shamed…

Addiction

Addiction is a huge, imminent threat to millions of people around the world, as well as our country. It is currently an epidemic that is breaking apart countless lives. Reasonably, many in society are terrified of this reality and react to it by attempting to shame those who suffer from addiction, in the hopes that they might retract their current ways. However, addiction is a mental disease that cannot be broken by simply shaming someone. Indeed, this type of behavior will usually only serve to push those who suffer from addiction further into the fold and out of the arms of those who want to love and help them. This is, perhaps, one of the most destructive examples of shame in the modern world, and one that we must do away with if we are to have an honest conversation about addiction. For more information about this important topic, check out this informative article here.

Sex

While there are certainly many negative behaviors that can be involved around sex (which would probably be classified as sex addiction, and fall under the category above), there is also a great tendency to put shame on those who have different feelings about sexual activity than we do. This makes sense, to a degree. To many people, sex is a very intimate and sacred bond. However, the simple truth is that there are many people in today’s culture who don’t have those same associations. By placing shame on people who practice sexual habits outside of a more traditional view (assuming they’re consensual), we are creating a disruptive cultural divide that is splitting up communities. Rather, than using shame to attack people who engage in sexual activity, we should be attempting to educate people on dangers that might be involved in these activities, but without the shame.

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Body type

Body shaming is a practice that is so commonly engaged in, that many people who think of themselves as very reasonable, accepting individuals likely still do it, even without realizing it. This is something that is experienced with people who are either over-, or under-weight. Unless there is an imminent health concern, nobody should feel obligated to radically change their body type, simply because other people have notions of what they should look like. The truth is, if it doesn’t affect someone else, then they really shouldn’t care what you look like. An individual’s body image is something that should be left to themselves, or, perhaps, their partner. Otherwise, it is usually just a case of someone sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

Shaming is often a distraction

When people engage in activity that involves shaming someone else, it usually isn’t actually about the other person, but a personal struggle that this particular individual is going through. Shaming other people is a very negative coping mechanism for those who are dealing with their own personal battles. At times, it may seem like shaming is a valid way for that person to make themselves feel better, but this isn’t a fulfilling way to live life.

Shame is often counterproductive

The ironic thing about shaming other people is that it usually yields the opposite effect of inspiring them to make a change. It is a stressful experience to be shamed, and it often only pushes people further into the negative behavior that they are being shamed for. An example of this is addiction where addicts will continue to turn to substances to escape from this perceived shame.

By Author, Alek Sabin  . . . .

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I wanted to close this article with a little of my own experience of how others shamed me. When working at a community center as part of a past poor choice I made within my gambling addiction, let’s say I had a wee bit of trouble with the law.

As part of my court sentence, I had to complete many hours of community service. I was working at the Senior Center one day, and I was working in the kitchen with a couple of other girls from my correctional jail center. There were a couple of old ladies who came in to start working; one lady turned to the other woman who just got there. The woman asked another where she should put her purse and sweater until they were ready to go home?

One lady told her, “Well, you better put it in a safe place because we have criminals working with us from the jail today.” And she said it loud enough and acted like us “criminals” were not standing right there while she said it! Like we were going to steal things out of their purse’s WOW! Talk about making us feel SHAME. 

I can honestly say that was the first time the full force of what I had done within my addiction came to slap me in the face. Yes, I had made one bad mistake in my life. But I was taking accountability and ownership for what I had done. But the comment she made didn’t sting any less.
I felt this woman didn’t know ME. To me, that is what ignorance, stigma, and judgment of others looked liked   . . .

I thank Alex again for this wonderful guest article today!
Author, Catherine Lyon

 

 

“My After Thoughts – Honoring Bobby H. & His Sister Ronda Hatefi, This Past Weekends National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling – My Story”

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends & New Visitors,

 




“It was a big weekend for Raising Awareness of Predatory Gambling! I blogged from morning until night with several posts I hope helped some or all who came to visit my recovery blog this past weekend”…

There were many events that took place all over the United States and around the world to ‘Honor The Memory’ of Ronda’s brother Bobby Hafemann who in 1995 to his life by suicide related to his problems with gambling. Bobby was only 28 years old.
Ronda commemorates Bobby’s birthday every year on September 29 through Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She also chairs the Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee.

But this year, my good friends and the fine folks of  Stop Predatory Gambling  helped to honor Bobby and his sister with the very First National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling this past weekend! Sept 26th & 27th 2015. Now since I suffer Agoraphobia, I took to my blog and social media and blogged about “All Things Gambling Addiction & Recovery!” I also wanted to thank Ronda, as I put my last post up late last night, and shared throughout social media, she had some nice words and re-shared my post links on her Facebook page.

So, I thought I would do one more post as an after event wrap up by sharing some of my book with all that shares when I learned, shown and became addicted to The Oregon Lottery Video Poker & Slot Machines. I stopped going to the Indian casinos. All I had to do was walk up the street to gamble on the machines that were through the Oregon Lottery. Access is a BIG factor with problem and addicted gamblers. And these machines are everywhere throughout the state. So is the part from my current book/memoir of how I learned about the Oregon Lottery .. .. .
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Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.


( Click to purchase from Amazon )

“After a visit to Oregon with my parents, my best friend, Debbie, who had lived next door to me in California for many years, decided to move to Oregon. She stayed with us until she got settled at her new job. About the same time, the state of Oregon passed a bill to allow video poker machines in places that served food, such as bars, taverns and delis. The lottery already had Keno games online. For my addiction, that was a downfall for me when I started compulsively gambling later on. It was so accessible.”

If you live in Oregon, you know what I mean. If you think about it, gambling is socially accepted. It’s pretty much everywhere you go – even in our children’s schools, with raffles, casino fundraisers, in our churches with bingo, and at our gas stations, markets and grocery stores with Megabucks, Powerball, Mega-millions drawings and scratch-off tickets. So, for an addicted gambler, it seems action really is everywhere, and when you’re addicted, you have no self-control. You feel as though you’re constantly teetering on a high wire.

When the video poker machines were approved by the state, the machines also popped up everywhere. Why drive to Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe, or go to an Indian casino, when you can go up the street to gamble? In the town where I live, there were little sandwich delis opening up around town and, as long as they served food and soft drinks, they could have up to six poker machines in their stores. They also sold beer, wine coolers and the cheapest cigarettes in town. They offered all types of lottery services and games.

As my husband continued working out-of-town for the next several months, and with my friend Debbie staying with me, she and I would often go have lunch at one of these deli’s. Around the same time, she and I would take weekend trips to the Indian casino, or go to the deli for lunch a lot more often. As that year went by, I also noticed I’d spend a little more money than I should have. I believe it was because of the easy access to gambling, and too much time on my hands. Was I addicted at this point? Hardly. That would soon change, though. As I look back now, I was experiencing a few “red flags” of addiction, but not recognizing them.

I remember having built-up feelings of excitement before I went, knowing I’d get to gamble if we went to lunch, or if we were going to the casino. The only thing I did was play Keno if we went to lunch at our local deli. I had never played the new video poker machines there, which were operated by the state lottery. One day, in early 1998, Deb and I went to have our usual lunch at the deli on a Saturday. We started talking three retired gentlemen, who were also having lunch and playing Keno while they ate. One of them finished his lunch and was on the other side of the deli playing one of the video poker machines, so I walked over to watch him play. He was winning. He had about $ 140 worth of credits on his machine. I asked him how much of that money did he start with. He said only $ 10. Well, you don’t have to tell a person who works in a bank how much profit he’d made so far.

Flush Fever

He was playing a game called “Flush Fever,” and explained how the game worked. I think that’s the day my life changed. The machine next to him was open, so I sat next to him and put in only $ 5 and won $ 45. I thought, ‘Wow, that sure was easy money.’ So I cashed out my ticket, sat back down next to him and played again. I started with $ 10 – it was a quarter game, so I increased my bet to 75 cents a hand. The machine started paying again. See, it’s the allure of the game and thinking you’re winning every time you play. That’s why winning, for an addicted gambler, is bad. It will keep a person’s ass on that chair gambling.

As I was playing, the guy next to me got up and was getting ready to leave. For as long as I’m alive, I will always remember what happened next: He leaned over my shoulder and said to me, “When you’re ahead, always cash out, and know when to leave with THEIR money, because I’d really hate myself if you got hooked on these machines.” Oh, if only I had listened to his sage wisdom.

“I still look back, all these years later, and remember what that man said to me. He never knew how that day changed my life, because I never saw him there again.” .. .. ..
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“Before I write about the woman I am, you need to know the little girl I was.”

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“This book is dedicated to my loving husband of 22 years. (Now 26 years this Sept 29th!) Tom, without you, your unconditional love for me and support throughout the years of my gambling addiction and recovery, I never would have made it back to reality. You have made me a better person for not just giving up on me, and for always knowing the true woman you married all those years ago. We both know now that no matter what life throws at us, we can weather any storm that comes our way. We deserve to have peace and serenity for the rest of our days together.”

“I also dedicate this book to all those who suffer from this illness, or those who may be afflicted with this insidious, insane addiction. Know that there is help out there, and hope, if you choose recovery. This illness is treatable, and there is life after gambling addiction. Our path to recovery may be rocky or difficult at times, but know you’re not alone.”

“There are others out there suffering from this destructive addiction.”

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate 🙂 XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its National Recovery Month All September Long On My Recovery Blog!

* HAPPY NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH RECOVERY FRIENDS & VISITORS!*

RecoveryMonth2015
Celebrate National Recovery Month!!

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I Welcome everyone to “Gambling Recovery Starts Here!”

These are just some of the wonderful Events I have planned, or have accomplished in HONOR of National Recovery Month September 2015!

Sharing our voices and story is a powerful tool to help those who are fresh in recovery, but it also reminds those in long-term recovery to always be ‘diligent and non-complacent’ in our own recoveries. It is now time for collective voice and faces of recovery join together for a common good. That is to help ‘Raise Awareness, Educate and Inform the public about addictions, and that recovery HAPPENS.’  And to share how we can change the landscape of Stigma and Understanding in this country around those of us who live life in Recovery!

So here are a few things I will be doing this Month and into the first week of October to celebrate! So I hope you will join me and share your voices with me here in my comment section all month-long!
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List of Events & Happenings I’m Doing! What are you doing?

Now I kicked off the month with a fabulous Recovery/Christian Blog Talk Radio Guest Interview! My host, Dale Garrett was a wonderful interviewer, and we talk about a lot of addiction and recovery areas. My show was appropriately called:  THE EYEWITNESS: WHO SAY’S GOD DOSEN’T PERFORM MIRACLES IN RECOVERY?

Now, if you click on the link above, it will take you to the show that was recorded, and you can listen at your leisure. Dale is the Author of his own book, written his own memoir to share his story of drug addiction and recovery.

He truly has been to HELL and back, and his book is appropriately called:“My 7 Seconds In Hell” and I can tell you his story is very powerful. So I thank Dale Garrett for having me on his show, and he will be in “The Hot Seat” next himself on September 11th 2015!
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LIKE A POENIX FROM THE ASHES . . .

Event for God Allows U Turns There”s Life After drug”s · Hosted by Dale Garrett

The link for this upcoming show: Sept 11th Dale Garrett Interview ~ God Allows U Turns
Another way to Celebrate National Recovery Month? Read Dales Book!
 

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Product Details

Auto-delivered wirelessly ~ Go download yours Today!

About The Book:
Ever wonder what would happen if a meth lab blew up with you in it? Wonder no more…the following is a true account of a meth lab gone bad where he was severely burned from the waist up and sent to prison. Anyone fighting addictions involving meth should read this. There is hope. Inside see the hope that he found and you can too. . .
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Another Event that happened all month in August to Kick Off My Celebration . . .

Was done by my Dear Friend and Fellow Author and Recovery Coach, Melissa Killeen of  Recovery Coach New York City  She was kind enough to share excerpts from my current book titled; Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat. She has a done a fabulous 4 part blog series about me and my book on her wonderful website/blog.

So if you’d like to visit and read it? Just click on her link above and read her blog. I THANK her as well for the opportunity she provided to share a little of my book! Catherine will feature segments of her book “Addicted to Dimes” in this  … Continue reading
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Now my next project is in the works with the Fine Folks of  HEROES In Recovery” As I was invited to share my voice and story of gambling addiction with alcohol abuse, and how I am recovering now over 8 1/2 years. They provide a platform for anyone who would like to share their stories and testimonies of addiction and recovery. They have some pretty amazing people and voices over on their website here: Heroes In Recovery ~ Celebrating Recovery

My story will be added to the other 977 voices in recovery soon!! So keep a watch out as I will share the link ALL over Social Media to keep raising awareness of Recovery! Here is a little about what they DO!

WHAT IS HEROES IN RECOVERY?

Heroes in Recovery celebrates the heroic efforts of those who seek the addiction and mental health help they need without feeling ashamed or isolated. This grassroots movement is intended to remove the social stigma and to connect those in recovery through sharing our stories and engaging in community together.
MY STORY NOW RELEASED HERE

Heroes in Recovery has a simple mission: to eliminate the social stigma that keeps individuals with addiction and mental health issues from seeking help, to share stories of recovery  for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration, and to create an engaged sober community that empowers people to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives.

We’re holding events across the country, seeking to inspire a sense of community wherever we can. One of our main events is our series of Heroes 6K races – not 5K, but 6K – to create awareness about the need for treatment and to support those who are in recovery. We chose a 6K to symbolize the extra effort it takes to sustain recovery and so that each kilometer would represent one of the six letters in the word “HEROES.”  Our inaugural 6K was held in 2011 on a race course in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., during the month of September (National Recovery Month). Since then, we have had a number of successful races across the country, and the number of races— and participants— continues to grow!

The Heroes movement has begun with strong momentum, but it still needs your help. We’re asking people in recovery to share their stories with us so that others who are struggling can realize that there’s life on the other side of drugs and alcohol . . . .

AND, since I am ‘dual diagnosed’ myself, their mission I stand behind as they do fantastic work for many us!
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Now my next event is one very close to my HEART, and happens the last weekend in September.

It’s in conjunction with my wonderful friends over at “Stop Predatory Gambling”….
Les Bernal has set up a weekend just for a man from my home state of Oregon who committed Suicide because he became addicted to gambling of the Video Poker & Slot Style machines OK’d and sponsored by the Oregon State Lottery, and it is a Legal Gambling racket of many States & Federal Government. And while I had lived in So. Oregon for over 25 years, I too got hooked on those video/slot machines the State of Oregon is profiting from . . . .

About This Event & More Info: National Day Of Action ~ Stop Predatory Gambling

National Day of Action

Sat. 9/26/15 & Sun. 9/27/15 ~ ~ In Memory of Bobby Hafemann

“To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling on Sat. Sept. 26 and Sun. Sept. 27. We will publicize how this public policy is dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributing to the unfairness and inequality in our country.

Bobby Hafemann took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines. Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government. 

Bobby’s sister, Ronda Hatefi, has organized an annual day in her state for the last twenty years to remember her brother and all of those citizens who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.

To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling . , .

Bobby Hafemann of Oregon took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines.Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government.

Bobby’s sister, Ronda Hatefi, has organized an annual day in her state for the last twenty years to remember her brother and all of those citizens who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.

To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling. We will publicize how this public policy is dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributing to the unfairness and inequality in our country.

Planning for more than 100 actions is underway in 20 different states across America as well Australia..

Our Purpose: There will be at least 100 separate actions across the United States on the weekend of 9/26-9/27 to call attention to the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, Melynda Litchfield and Jenise Brown who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.
Our Message: Predatory gambling cheats and damages all of us– even those citizens who don’t gamble.

Your Role: Please commit two hours on the weekend of 9/26-9/27 to participate locally in some way.

Possible Actions Include: The “action” can be anything you (or your group) want it to be. It could be a prayer vigil, a sign-holding visibility with homemade signs, participating in a “Freedom Players” event at a regional casino (or at a local restaurant/tavern with video gambling machines) The ideas are limitless.”

**Well I know I will! I’m going to be blogging on both days here on my Gambling Recovery Blog. But not going to reveal just yet what I will blogging about.**

BE A PART OF IT AND LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

 

Really? It Does Good Things?” I have never seen that happen much in Oregon.  As the Oregon Lottery says, profits are to go to schools and keep our parks clean and open? But many were still closing, and many schools programs cut or taken out all together.” Don’t drink the KOOLAID people! Someone is NOT telling the truth?

And I say this all the time, I have no ill will to those who can gamble normally, and for the entertainment of it, nor do I think gambling needs to be banned. What I do think should happen is the expansion of both Indian Casinos and State Lottery need to stop or slow way down. Look, do the math, we know they don’t make money or profits from the “once a month Bing player”. . . . they are making profits of those who are problem or addicted gamblers. It’s that simple.

And like for myself, no person being strung out, financially and emotionally devastated from this addiction should EVER have to contemplate SUICIDE to stop gambling addiction. Sadly, Bobby did.
And so did I try twice!  For some Higher Power had a hand in both my suicide attempts to fail. And I believe it is because of what I do today,  as I try and help those still sucked on the cunning “cycle” of the disease of addicted gambling.  I am to be of recovery service to other recovering addicts. To write, blog and share my experience with others to help shatter the stigma.
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Now another event that is still in the works, is another fabulous recovery platform and internet radio show that I have been invited to be a recovery guest on. This special guy, “O” I met just last month, and you know I keep telling you all  that GOD always brings people in our lives at just the right times!
Well my friend “Omar Pinto” just call him “O” a fantastic recovery podcaster has been kind enough to connect with me,  and will be taping an interview together to be aired for later this month! Here is a wee bit about “O” and The SHAIR Podcast ~

Omar Pinto

Omar Pinto
About – The SHAIR Podcast  ~  Addiction and Recovery Stories: The SHAIR Podcast
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Hi there, my name’s Omar but everybody calls me “O”. I am the host and founder of The SHAIR Podcast.”SHAIR pronounced “share”, spelled S-H-A-I-R, is an acronym for “Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery”. It’s a podcast where we bring you amazing life changing success stories from addicts and alcoholics all over the world who share their inspiring journey of recovery and we will release a brand new episode every Tuesday on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.
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The episodes will last between an hour and an hour and a half. During each episode, recovering addicts and alcoholics will share their stories with us, their battles against drugs and alcohol, the wreckage it caused in their lives, when they hit rock bottom, and finally their journey into recovery up until today. My hope is that these stories will inspire millions to stay clean and sober . . . .Just take a listen to one of his fantastic interviews ~ The SHAIR Podcast – Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery.Click on any of the EPISODES below to LISTEN NOW!029: Randy H. “The Monkey on My Back” now 15 years sober, takes us through 20 years of drug dealing, addiction and alcoholism.

028: Amber Leone Murphy “Can’t Keep a Sober Girl Down” (August 25, 2015) now 9 years
sober shares with us her 10 year battle with alcoholism . . . .
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Now my last event I will be par-taking will be in the 1st week of October to round out my celebrating National Recovery Month.  And it IS about time the government hears many voices of addiction and recovery. Time to step up funding to these areas as well as mental health services. So who better to pull this off?  10.04.15 UNITE to FACE ADDICTION That is Who!

Facing Addiction

And I may not be able to make it to Washington DC, but I can submit my story and will also be blogging both days as well. I was invited by one of the “Community Outreach Founders, Michael King”  and The Unite to Face Addiction team. I know this rally is going to make huge waves on our State Capitol!! Here is what this movement is for, and a little about Michael King .. .. ..

Who We Are

The UNITE to Face Addiction rally is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state, and local non-profit organizations.

Vision 

Bring together the best resources in the field in order to reduce the human and social costs of addiction, every year, until this public health crisis is eliminated.

Mission

  • Build a grassroots constituency to give the millions affected by addiction a voice
  • “Rebrand addiction” to create the understanding, empathy, outrage and demand urgently needed to advance solutions
  • Increase access to effective prevention, treatment and recovery programs
  • Translate scientific innovation into useful tools and services
  • Advocate for governments to implement evidence-based policies and regulatory practices to end addiction
  • Widely share the proof of long-term recovery

Michael King Photo

Michael King (VA and West Coast At-Large) lives in Seattle, WA and has spent over a decade working on political campaigns, ranging from state and local races in the Pacific Northwest as well as US Senate and Presidential campaigns.  He has an extensive background in field organization, communications and campaign management, and is the proud father of two young children.

Founding Board of Directors

  • John Silverman, Chairman: Owner, SilverSEAL Corporation – New York, NY
  • Todd Hollander, Vice Chairman: Private Investor – New York, NY
  • Terry Meyerhoff Rubenstein, Secretary: Director, Meyerhoff Family Office – Baltimore, MD
  • Charles E. Johnson: Managing Director, TANO Capital – San Francisco, CA
  • Janet Zagorin: Client Services Officer, Sidley Austin LLP – New York, NY
  • Robin Kiam Aviv: Non-Profit Advisor – New York, NY
  • R. Steven Hicks: Chairman, Capstar Partners – Austin, TX
  • Stacie Mathewson: Founder, The Stacie Mathewson Foundation – Reno, NV

Facing Addiction Leadership Staff

  • Jim Hood: Co-Founder & Post-Event Organization Director
  • Greg Williams: Co-Founder & UNITE to Face Addiction Campaign Director
  • Johan Sorensen: Chief Strategy Officer
  • Dara Meyer: Event Director

Some of the FUN Events going on while in DC!

 

HORIZONTAL_Website CTA
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1 Photo Credit Zack Whitford     Sheryl

johnny    FRAY0077.PRESS.8x10MAIN
“Just to name a few of the Fine Entertainers That Support Recovery & Will be Performing!”
And of course a whole host of Recovery Events planned all weekend, so I urge you to go check out their ‘other events tab’ to see all the recovery education workshops, meetings and more by various addiction and recovery organizations by clicking on the link!
All And Other Events At Facing Addiction Rally 
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So, **HAPPY NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH FRIENDS**

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate ~ Lets Gather As ONE!!

“This One is for The Ladies of Recovery” . . .

Female group is doing yoga exercises in a fitness club

Female group is doing yoga exercises in a fitness club


I  welcome all here to my recovery blog & journey!
I have been graced by another featured article by a wonderful recovery writer, Alyssa Craig. I enjoy having her on my blog. She is an exceptional writer that has her pulse on the heart of writing about recovery way better than I.

I’m always happy to share recovery writers and authors anytime here on my blog. You can send me requests anytime to my Email at: LyonMedia@aol.com  and when I have openings, I’d be happy to featured yours.

 

    What Women in Recovery Really Need
  Author: Alyssa Craig

For a long time, individuals in addiction recovery received the same treatment regardless of gender. Studies and programs were eventually developed to fit the needs of men and while women also benefited from these programs, there were certainly missing pieces to their own treatment. Gender specific addiction recovery treatment now helps to address problems women uniquely face in order to give them the best chance of a successful recovery. It is important to understand these benefits and what women require in recovery when deciding between treatment options.

The reasons abuse begins varies between women and men. Women are greatly influenced by the relationships they have with others. This means if they have a family member or a significant other participating in the addictive behavior, they are more likely to begin use.  As mentioned here, women are also more likely to self-medicate when faced with emotional and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and PTSD following trauma (both current or earlier). Women are also more likely than men to become addicted, and the introduction of addictive substances and behaviors puts them in quick danger of dependence.
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Once women do enter a recovery program, addressing these initial struggles can best be done when surrounded by others facing the same problems. It has been found, for both genders, individuals in recovery are more likely to engage in open communication in group therapy sessions when they are only with their own gender. For women, this can be especially important, because many women in recovery have a history of trauma, making the removal of men an important part of the recovery equation.

Betsy Firth, a clinical psychologist at an addiction recovery center says, “Women tend to be hyper-focused on external issues while in treatment, the number one being focused on men and how they view the women, how they can get their attention/approval. Removing the men from the mix allows the women to focus inward on what they need for their recovery. At the same time, many women have been in abusive or violent relationships and can get easily triggered by exposure to men while we are asking them to be open and vulnerable.”

Allowing women to attend recovery solely with other women allows them to feel safe from harmful situations they may have faced and find healing, without facing potential triggers. As women have a greater chance of relapse than men, it is of the utmost importance to put them in a position where they will be more likely to succeed. It is recommended when an individual (male or female) leaves recovery, they avoid forming new romantic relationships for at least one year. This gives the individual, especially a woman, the chance to recover without the pressures described by Firth.

 

Women who suffer from emotional or mental disorders, as described above, also have the need to overcome personal barriers of shame, address the stigma of addiction, and acknowledge fears they may be experiencing – such as loss of child custody, loss of employment, or an inability to fulfill their responsibilities. Relapse is much more likely when a woman has not developed sufficient coping mechanisms for these struggles and other issues such as lack of self-worth. Attending a gender specific treatment center ensures these issues specific to women are addressed and the women leave with the coping skills and support they need.

Because women do put so much weight on their relationships, a treatment center should encourage the removal of toxic associations and help each woman surround herself with a positive support system. In addition to the support given both during treatment and in after-care, a woman needs to have family and friends who will be supportive of the changes she is making. Often continuing to attend group meetings provided in after-care helps to provide some of this support, as each woman can continue to receive support from peers who can truly empathize.

Gender specific treatment has proven to be very successful for those women who participate in it. Drugabuse.gov reported in December 2014 that women are more likely to be employed 12 months after treatment admission if they attended a gender specific treatment center. With the focus on addressing triggers and the initial reasons for use, along with providing the support system women need to rely on, gender specific recovery is a top choice for women striving for recovery.

 


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 Lets Celebrate ALL Women In Recovery!

God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author of “Addicted To Dimes”. . .
*Article Courtesy of Author, Alyssa Craig*

“Sometimes In Recovery A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”. . . Time To Shatter STIGMA

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,

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'If you or a loved one needs HELP, please call 1.800.815.6308 or visit www.AddictsToday.com. Recovery not only changes, but SAVES lives!! <3'
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YES,. . . . It’s Just That Simple! Please Don’t Judge Me or Others Who Live In Recovery From Gambling Addiction!

It’s Time To SHATTER STIGMA . . . #NOSHAME #DONTJUDGEME #IAMNOTMYPAST

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Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A

An Important Blog Share From My Good Friends At NAMI, Helping Others With Mental Health & Suicide Prevention. . .

Hello Recovery Friends, Blog Friends, and Welcome New Visitors,

SuicidePrevention Pictures
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I happen to receive the monthly newsletter from my helpful friends at The National Alliance on Mental Illness. And as many of my friends here know, I battle several mental and emotional disorders myself. And for me the topic of Suicide is a hard subject for me because of my own 2 failed suicides. Yes, I’m blessed and have a heart filled of Gratitude to still be here, but the flip side to this is being able to feel others pain when I read about others and suicide.

To me it is such a senseless loss of precious life. We are all born with such great abilities to soar in life, but sadly the society we live in today can make that an everyday challenge. Even the high stress levels of many jobs can bare to much for some of us. That’s why it’s important to me to start sharing my own mental illness, to be share that part of my life, and to share with others so they don’t feel so alone. And NAMI does a wonderful job at sharing information about how to prevent suicide, as it can be a difficult subject to also talk to your teens about. So I wanted to share this blog article they have on their website. It just may help save lives. . . .

Suicide Prevention: Can We Talk?
By Jacqueline Feldman, M.D., NAMI Associate Medical Director

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Of all the topics in mental health, one of the most difficult to consider is suicide. People contemplating it often do not speak directly of it. Families are surprised, stunned, mortified, angry, and devastated in the face of it. Non-mental health professionals may feel uncomfortable asking about anything related to it.  And mental health professionals feel helpless, as we are terrible at discretely predicting and preventing it. There are tragedies, and there is fear; suicide is at the crossroads when these two meet. . .

As I review scientific articles, and program after program, the despair continues. In spite of more folks talking about it, more people training to identify it, and more programs put in place to prevent it, suicide continues.So what do we know? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the third leading cause of death for those aged 15-24. More than 800,000 around the globe die each year; many more attempt it. The figures boggle the mind, and challenge us all: how can we possibly intervene?

Many of us know to watch for warning signs—a history of loss (social support, job, resources, health), prior attempts, family history, recent violence; changing appearance or behavior like plummeting grades or productivity, tearfulness, negativism, social isolation, drugs and alcohol); we’re not so good at communicating our concern or finding help.

Programs like Typical or Troubled from the American Psychiatric Foundation and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) to name just two of the many that have been developed, frequently focus on training sentinels—folks in a position to observe people at risk—to heighten awareness of those with potential for suicide, and help find relief and support for the person in need. And yet, still we struggle.

On January 9, an article was published in Lancet looking at the results of 3 different kinds of suicide prevention training on over 11,000 students in Europe: QPR, where teachers act as sentinels; ProfScreen, where mental health professionals provide screening, and the Youth Aware of Mental Health Program, which trains the students themselves. This program used “lectures, role-playing, and education about mental health and suicide risk” with students. At 12 months, there was a significant reduction of suicide attempts, and of severe suicidal ideation, compared to the other control groups. It has been suggested that perhaps this program was more effective because it offers interventions “before there are outward signs of risk, and doesn’t stigmatize individual students.” It’s an interesting idea: going to the at-risk population itself, giving them the education, and empowering them to make different choices.

The CDC suggests the key to reducing suicides is to reduce risk and increase resilience. We cannot begin to reduce risk or abolish stigma or enhance resilience if we cannot even talk about the topic. We need a structured national conversation, an engaged public, an engaged media, engaged policy makers, and engaged legislators.

How about a president who starts by mentioning the “dignity and worth of every citizen… (including) Americans with mental illness” in his State of the Union speech? (He did, last week!) How about asking every pediatrician and every primary care doc and every pastor and preacher (heck, place signs in every bus stop, subway, and grocery store for that matter) to educate each family to store firearms locked and unloaded, with ammunition locked separately, if a household member is at high risk for suicide? How about widespread movements to have the public certified in suicide prevention like so many of us are certified in CPR? How about offering NAMI Ending the Silence to every 9th grader to let them know about the warning signs of a mental health condition and what they can do? The list is endless.

“I know we all care. I’m ready to start talking, and doing; how about you?”

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If you know someone who may need help? Please share this phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255  24/7 . . .
No Shame. . .  No Labels. . . Not Alone Anymore. . .  God Bless All!

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A

Today Is The Last Day Of “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” Are You A Problem Gambler?

How does one know if they have a Gambling Problem?


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One of the best ways you can find if you’re a “Problem Gambler” is to visit http://www.gamblersanonymous.org and take the “20 Questions Quiz”…

Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions…

Please answer the following questions.

1. Did you ever lose time from work due to gambling?

__________yes__________ no

2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

__________yes__________ no

3. Did gambling affect your reputation?

__________yes__________ no

4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

__________yes__________ no

5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

__________yes__________ no

6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

__________yes__________ no

7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?

__________yes__________ no

8. After a win, did you ever have a strong urge to return and win more?

__________yes__________ no

9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?

__________yes__________ no

10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?

__________yes__________ no

11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?

__________yes__________ no

12. Were you reluctant to use gambling money for normal expenditures?

__________yes__________ no

13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?

__________yes__________ no

14. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?

__________yes__________ no

15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?

__________yes__________ no

16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?

__________yes__________ no

17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?

__________yes__________ no

18. Do arguments, disappointments, or frustration create within you an urge to gamble?

__________yes__________ no

19. Did you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?

__________yes__________ no

20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

__________yes__________ no

 

*Most compulsive (problem) gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

If client answers “yes” to at least seven of the 20 questions, the client may have a gambling problem.*
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WHAT IS PROBLEM GAMING?
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Here is the definition of ‘Problem Gambling’ by the helpful friends Of “The National Council Of Problem Gambling” http://www.ncpgambling.org/
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Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term “Problem Gambling” includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as “Pathological”, or “Compulsive” Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
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Please note the statistics below are generally estimates on a national basis, and in most cases are based on compilations of various state or regional studies. Therefore, these figures should be taken as broad generalizations, and not specific scientific findings. It is the purpose of the NCPG to encourage the development of more and better research on this issue and to be able to provide the public, government, industry and decision makers with this type of information. Additional information may be found in the literature and links on our Resources page. For information specific to a state, contact our State Affiliate council members. To find a National Certified Gambling Counselor (NCGC), please search our counselor database.
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Pathological Gambling Criteria:

 10 Questions About Gambling Behavior

1. You have often gambled longer than you had planned.
2. You have often gambled until your last dollar was gone.
3. Thoughts of gambling have caused you to lose sleep.
4. You have used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid.
5. You have made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling.
6. You have broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling.
7. You have borrowed money to finance your gambling.
8. You have felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses.
9. You have been remorseful after gambling.
10. You have gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations.
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AGAIN: If you or someone you know answers “Yes” to any of these questions, consider seeking help from a professional regarding this gambling behavior by calling the National Problem Gambling Help-Line Network (800.522.4700) toll-free and confidential throughout the U.S…..

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Besides my OWN VOICE of the dangers of problem and addicted gambling, here are a few more “Real Voices” of those who have had gambling problems. Our stories can be “Powerful” to help others who may suffer and need to reach out for HELP!
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In order to get beyond the statistics and provide a more personal and individual picture of this issue, this section features the stories of individuals who have been affected by problem gambling, including problem gamblers and their family members, friends, colleagues and employers; treatment providers; advocates; and any others….
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Roger is a gambling addict. Once he starts gambling, his repeated experience is that he can’t stop. His addiction takes over. He cannot gamble sensibly. He is a compulsive gambler, an addict.

His gambling problems do not begin with a  bookmaker or in a casino. His gambling addiction is part of him. He has a compulsive nature.

He is highly talented. In the rag trade, he had made a million by the age of 25. He had a trophy wife, a fine home, a posh car and loads a money to spend on ‘toys’, the ‘must have’ trinkets that made him feel special.

Roulette WheelBut then he discovered casinos and bookmakers and his gambling problem took off. He tried to control his betting but his stakes increased. He was soon clearly addicted to gambling, and possibly to alcohol and cigarette smoking as well, although he would not admit it. He complained that he was stressed.

Playing poker online started to take over from other gambling experiences. He hoped he would be safe, out of the clutches of the bookies and croupiers, but the amount he lost grew with each game. His problems increased.

He lost the support of his wife when he emptied their joint account at the bank. It had been intended to be used for school fees and holidays.
He then gambled with cash taken from his work. But soon he would lose more than he could earn. So he began to steal. As an addicted gambler who had lost control, he could not stop.
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Sheila was an alcoholic for many years and had discovered Alcoholics Anonymous. She met other addicts who also dealt with other addictions through similar anonymous groups. She began to see that anything can be addictive. Using a drug or alcohol, primarily to change feelings, was no less dangerous than eating excessively or using obsessive sex or other compulsive relationships.

 

online gamblingShe began to gamble on the Internet, just an occasional punt here or there. But, for her, a card was a drug. She went from two bets a week to two bets a day and then, later, to twenty bets a day. She knew that this was problem gambling. Now she recoganized that she was a problem gambler.

 

She had legal problems when she couldn’t pay her bills and she got further into debt.

 

Like any other addict, she was eventually in so much pain, emotionally, financially and socially, that she asked for counciling. She wanted advice on how she could learn to gamble, or drink or use other addictive substances, sensibly.

 

I explained that there was no way back. She had crossed the line. She felt under attack and said that all she wanted was to be able to have the occasional tipple or flutter. I said that her own experience showed that this had not been possible in the past and was unlikely to be possible in the future.

 

Her parents allowed her to borrow money so she could get the help she needed, or she would continue to switch one addiction for another……

*These are just a couple of stories from those who became addicted to gambling. It’s truly why I published my book of my own story od addicted gambling. So others can know that you can recover from this “destructive disease.” There is NO SHAME in asking for help! Your first step is just picking up the phone and call for help. That’s really HALF the BATTLE of your RECOVERY!*
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*National Gambling Help Line ~ 1-800-522-4700
*National Suicide Hotline ~ 1-800-273-8255
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May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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REMEMBER, It’s Not about “Perfection” in Recovery….it’s about “Progress”!! ODAAT Recovery Friends…

 

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