4 Years Worth of Gambling Addiction Advocating and Sharing My Story Here on WordPress To Help Many From This Cunning Real Addiction!

Hello Friends & New Ones,

For this week’s post, I wanted to share a special person in life who, like me, shares her “wisdom” and experiences from addiction. She had book promoted for me and we have become like Mom and Daughter! I support her in recovery and she is also an author and writer too. Please meet my dear friend, Catherine.

Marilyn Fowler, Author

"Holiday Recovery Starts Here~A Bet Free, Sober, & Clean Blog~Sharing Hope in Recovery One Day at a Time"

48c7b912078841_562570a5bad0cMy Story I Shared At “HEROES In Recovery” Shattering Stigma and More…

“My name is Catherine and I am dual diagnosed living with mental health challenges and in recovery from gambling addiction 10 years now!

My recovery journey started in 2006. I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had worked through…

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Spring Is Rebirth & In Life…With HOPE.

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha

When you woke up this morning, did you hear a little voice inside say, “Congratulations, You have a new day to reawaken to your true self, create new experiences and add joy to the already familiar ones?” Oh, you didn’t hear that voice? Well, that’s what we’re told every morning, but most of us just feel a push to get up and get moving. And we miss a spectacular chance to experience a rebirth in our life.

Everything in the universe moves in cycles, and each cycle offers some kind of rebirth. Many are subtle and go unnoticed, but each brings a change of some kind. The moon tells the oceans when to ebb and flow, the seasons tell us when to sow and reap, and darkness tells us when days end and nights begin. Over time, we see our body’s external changes, but seldom aware of the many internal changes happening every day.

“Spring is far more than just a changing of seasons; it’s a rebirth of the spirit.”  ~Toni Sorenson

My favorite time for rebirth comes each spring. That’s when trees turn green, flowers burst forth from buds, bears come out of their caves, butterflies emerge from their cocoons, and newness of life is everywhere. If you pay attention, you can feel your spirit longing for rebirth.


In the cold of winter, I anticipate springtime when my azaleas will bloom. They run the length of my driveway, and about 12 feet high. Every year when I see their rebirth, I feel this in myself like we’re part of each other in God’s great universe. And I have hope in my heart for another year. But this year I found them invaded by a stubborn fungus.

I had to get them sprayed, and I was concerned they may not come out this time. But those beautiful plants overcame the fungus, fought for their rebirth, and burst forth in all their glory. How could I have doubted their ability to survive another year…and how can I doubt my own? Nature is a great reminder of how much more we are than our human awareness tells us.

Yes, nature is beautiful in the spring with rebirth everywhere. But do you ever think about rebirth within yourself, or are you content to continue living in the old script you’ve written for your life? We may have dreams of how we’d like to change our script, but much of the time those dreams fade away, and our springs come and go as they always have without our awareness of their message.


“We must let go of the life we had planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”  ~Joseph Campbell

Rebirth doesn’t require
drastic measures to occur, but sometimes this is what it takes to get our attention. Suppose you made your life plans, and you’ve got your heels dug in. You may defiantly shout to the world, “Nothin’s gonna change my mind.” And that’s when something blows in like a Florida hurricane, and your plans go out the window. It may be an illness, a sudden divorce, a job loss, any unexpected situation. And you fight to stay on track until you’re too tired to look anywhere except inside. And there you find your forgotten self. You experience a rebirth.

“Re-Birth…when the old you is leaving and the new you is awakening because you have started to remember who you really are.”  ~Kelly Martin

Within each of us is a light so bright you can write a whole new script for yourself and experience rebirth with those visions and dreams you may have allowed to go unfulfilled. Get in touch with that inner light through developing conscious awareness with daily prayer and meditation. Listen to your heart and be willing to know more of who you really are. It’s springtime. Think about what rebirth within would mean to you. Then embrace your rebirth and blossom in your own way. You are truly beautiful.

 wish you a journey filled with wonderful awakenings.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer


(Click Books to Purchase on Amazon)

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Is Your Goal Setting Journey Successful…And If Not, Why?

It’s hard for our minds to stay in the present, and we tend to want a better future. So we set goals. We’re taught this principle with slogans like, “Going for the goal; success is measured by reaching goals; without goals, attempts at success are futile; etc.” Although there are many skeptics about setting goals, we’re a goal setting nation from individuals to large organizations.

According to the World Book Encyclopedia, a “goal is a thing for which an effort is made” or a “thing wanted.” Things you want generally fall into 3 categorieshaving, doing, or being something. Examples: I want to have a patio behind my house, or I want to learn French, or I want to be 10 pounds lighter. Each one suggests a goal. But we’re all different and reaching the goal may or may not involve a specific plan to get there. Some people need prodding, and others don’t. Some of us would not get out of bed each morning without goals for the day, and some of us cringe at having to function with pre-set goals.

“No one knows how far his strengths go until he has tried them.”  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goals may be small achievements or life changing, but they all offer an opportunity to learn and grow. And goal setting probably produces rewards more often than not. But it can also go the other way. When successful, it provides a sense of motivation and purpose, with focus, passion, direction, improved self-esteem, and something to look forward to. But for some people, setting goals can be limiting, and may do more harm than good. It can create a sense of ‘I should’, self-doubt, pressure to succeed and fear of failure, too much living in the future and neglecting the present, and feeling unworthy and depressed if they do fail to reach their goals.

“Determine What you want and Why you want it. Once you understand what’s important, you can utilize your Passions and achieve anything.”  ~Brooke Griffin

One size doesn’t fit all, so it’s wise to choose an approach in which you feel comfortable; detailed planning, tentative planning, available doors as you move along, or any method that feels right for you. Whatever your method, get a clear vision of what you want to achieve, why you want it, and how much you’re willing to go through to get it. Then begin creating your process to get there.

I set goals for myself, but I’m not one to map out a way to get there. In my forties, I wanted to work in the Mental Health Field, but had no money for necessary education. I had no idea how I could accomplish such a goal, but I had to do it. So I quit my job, moved to another city, stayed with friends, got another job, and enrolled in school on a loan and later a stipend. While in school, I reached out to some wonderful people for help, I volunteered at seminars for free admission and volunteered at a Mental Health Center to gain experience. And eventually, I had the degrees and training I needed for many happy years doing work I loved. Nothing planned…just opened one door at a time, and reached my initial goal.

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”   ~Unknown

If you have a goal and choose to plan ahead, go easy on yourself, and keep your demands reasonable. And to minimize stress, set realistic, flexible standards within your capabilities. Include whatever you will need in each step toward your goal, and list resources for help along the way. Allow for any unforeseen situations that may occur, and be ready to alter your course if needed. Keeping your eye on the goal will keep you motivated. And monitoring the process as you move through it will furnish valuable insight if in the end, you need a second attempt. Don’t give up!

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining where we are.”  ~Oprah

Do you want to make a change in your life, but scared to take a step forward? Well, choose your goal, and ask someone you trust to stand by you through the change process so you don’t feel alone in a threatening world. Be understanding and patient with yourself. And if you fall back, don’t criticize. You’re stronger than you think, and you can make it. And it could make a difference in your life. Move forward into freedom.

I wish you much sunshine on your journey…

Marilyn Fowler,  Author/Writer of  SILENT ECHOES  ~  Visit Me On Amazon

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Dealing With Your Insecurities To Be More Of Who You Really Are.

Hello Friends, Readers, and New Visitors,

Just want to say I hope you are enjoying your long Thanksgiving Weekend with many blessings, good food, and with family and friends. Here is a little something I wrote and packed full of much wisdom! Happy Thanksgiving Weekend XO .  .  .

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” ~Marilyn Monroe

Everyone is insecure to some degree, although most insecurities don’t cause extreme discomfort. Our insecurities can involve fears that we won’t measure up in certain areas of our life, fears that we don’t belong, we lack certain abilities, status, or education, and it seems like everything we do is a mess. So we cover up our personal insecurity the best we can and end up living a fairly normal life…at least what’s termed ‘normal’ by all those folks who don’t appear insecure.

But there are those who suffer through life with a damaged sense of self, feeling incapable, unimportant, and unacceptable. Their fears branch out to all areas of their life and impair their ability to function in rewarding ways. They can become isolated, avoiding social contacts, taking jobs that don’t require interaction with others, and missing out on their full life potential. Insecurity can also manifest as arrogance, jealousy, bigotry, etc. And as a means of escape, some may even turn to alcohol or drugs.

So what causes someone to feel insecure and fearful in particular situations? We’re all born with certain traits, and some children are more vulnerable than others. Insecurity is unique to each person, so we manifest our insecurity in different ways and degrees. And we develop an inner voice at an early age that conveys positive and negative messages to us throughout life.

If our inner child hears things like, “You’re a loser, ugly, can’t do anything right, why are you so stupid, etc, we believe what we hear and form critical messages that produce insecurity. Other contributing factors are rejection, a need to be perfect, forms of abandonment, bullying, etc. Then when we goof up as adults, that critical inner voice says, “See? I told you so.”

“Tell that negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.”  ~Ann Bradford

We try to deal with our fears and get on with life. But situations we run into trigger our insecurity. We can feel fine until we encounter such things as loss of a job, lack of money, personal mistakes, speaking in front of others, social situations, even being late for appointments…anything that arouses our critical voice. “It’s your fault; you should have known better; they’ll think you’re stupid; you’re just not competent, etc.” Then those scared feelings take over, and we believe those things about our self.



You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Whenever my church Minister went out of town, I used to present the lesson (sermon), and I pushed through with heart pounding and knees shaking. Then I devised a new approach. I began by telling the whole congregation I was very nervous but would do the best I could. Wow. I cleared the air, and they were understanding. Now I didn’t have to stumble over words, lose my thoughts, pause and regroup, and appear incompetent. Now I relaxed and enjoyed the experience.

I may feel insecure about one thing, while you might feel insecure about something else. We’re all different. And once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. If you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. You can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when___? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because___. Ask questions you feel would help you, and ponder over any answers you get.

“Don’t let your insecurities ruin the beauty you were born with.” Unknown   

Whether or not you get the answers you need, practice doing what you’re afraid to do, and use denials and affirmations. I deny that childhood experience has any power over me. Because in truth, I affirm I was born whole and wonderful (any words you want), and that’s who and what I am. Take a deep breath and say, “That was a long time ago. Things are different now.” And make them different. You may or may not totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold over you. And you can be more of who you really are.

I wish you freedom to be your wonderful self.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer

(My Books Are on Amazon – Just Click Them)

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How To Turn Fear Into Courage And Make It Work For You.



Do you have a dream…something you want to be, do, or have, but you can’t move past the fear gnawing in your belly? We all go through times of fear. Some may be small daily issues when we’re not sure what to expect, like forgetting an appointment or having the boss over for dinner. Or major ones that almost immobilize you, like job loss, divorce, illness, returning to school, etc. You conjure up what-ifs in your mind, and fear can destroy you. But it can also open doors for outcomes you want in your life when you find the courage to move ahead.

Ten years ago I was dealing with a health challenge, but my search for a cause brought no answers. And fear of the unknown took over my life. Then I had a totally unrelated car wreck and spent 2 months in a nursing home for rehab. Really bad experience, but I learned a valuable lesson about fear from a Psychologist in the nursing home. And fear became a catalyst for courage I didn’t know I had.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ~ William G. T. Shedd

You can live with fear and the regrets that follow, or you can choose to take command, replace the fear with courage, and live the life you’re meant to live. There are steps you can take to address each situation. But first you need to know yourself well enough to understand what you’re afraid of.

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

Explore and clarify your fears in 3 areas:
1. Being. Are you afraid to express who you really are? Afraid others will judge you negatively, not accept you? You’ll feel awkward, not measure up? What would you risk being yourself?
2. Doing. When situations arise, do you jump right in or hold back, afraid you’re incompetent, you’ll make a mistake, or fail? What about the unexpected or unknown? What would hold you back from taking a chance on something you really wanted?
3. Having. Do you have any fear of having what you want? Are your dreams too lofty, out of your reach, you couldn’t handle having them, or you don’t deserve them? And what would people say about you? You’re selfish?
Think of the stories you’ve written about yourself. Explore your beliefs and feelings, and identify your fears. Then you can tame them as they arise in different situations and be free of the fear burden.

We consider fear our enemy, and our first impulse is to push it down somewhere hoping it will disappear. But your fear is about a belief you’ve created in your mind (one of those stories you tell yourself about being, doing, and having) that’s holding you back from a more rich, rewarding experience in your life. And you need to examine it and make necessary changes. Norman Vincent Peale says, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” So it’s wise to embrace fear as something that’s there to help you and allow your courage to spring forth.

“The beautiful thing about fear is, when you run to it, it runs away.” ~ Robin Sharma

Now it’s time to talk to your fear and, using denials and affirmations, talk to the situation that’s causing your fear. Repeat several times.

1. Fear: Thank you, fear, for helping me see what I need to do. Now I no longer need you, so I let you go.

2. Denial: Describe your situation, and say, “You are no more than a fly on a horse’s rump, (or something like that) and I deny that you have any negative power over me or my life.”

3. Affirmations: I declare and affirm my clear mind and the courage to face this situation. I am strong and determined, and free to be who I am, to do what is mine to do, and to have peace and goodness in my life. I release all fearful thoughts and move forward.

In your denials and affirmations, use your own words, and allow this method to restore the courage you were born with. This method works, and it gives you tools you need when fear invades your life.

I wish you ease in saying goodbye to fear.

Marilyn Fowler, Author & Self-Help Writer

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I’m a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. However, retirement is not for me, so I stay busy. I belong to a writer’s group and am active in my church. E-mail me at: NonnieFW@aol.com  . . .


Gators Are At It Again! Poor Marilyn.

Hello and Welcome Visitors!

I am Author, Catherine Lyon of ‘Lyon Book Promotions’ . . .
Now you know something is a rye if I am writing a blog post today for my dear friend Marilyn right?



Well it seems she was lucky last time to be saved by TARZAN, as the last time her computer broke, it sent her swimming with some Florida alligators! But it seems instead of  the gators eyeing Marilyn for lunch? They had a eye on her computer and actually ATE IT!




And that of course would make any computer crash too! And I hope like I’m sure all of you are just waiting for her and her computer to come back.
I really miss her wonderful wisdom, advice and self-help posts!


( It seems to always take a woman to do a MAN’s Job!)

So I gave a call to ‘Florida’s Best Woman Alligator Hunter’ and she found the gator that got Marilyn’s friggin computer and tried eating it for lunch! So all is well again.

The computer is that “THE GUY” computer shop, you know, the guy! And hopefully have it back by next weeks post . . .  HOORAY!
I’m not that great as a “Fill In” … LOL.


SO Until Next Week Friends! Go grab a copy of both her books to keep you going 🙂

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( click books to buy on Amazon! )



The Road To Freedom After Divorce …

As we go through life, we’re joined by others on our journey. Some stay with us, while others, sometimes through divorce, may leave or remain in a different capacity. But each one is there for a purpose. I’ve heard it said we come together for a blessing, but sometimes that blessing comes from learning a painful lesson. Divorce and the major life change can bring that blessing as one grows through it.

Maybe you’re dealing with divorce or know someone who is. Or divorce is somewhere in your past. If so, you know how it turns life upside down and makes you question what was real or what was just a dream you thought was real. It makes you question yourself and who you thought you were. And you don’t know the answers. You just know it hurts, and you’re not sure of your next step when it’s over.

“You must let suffering speak, if you want to hear the truth.” ~ Cornel West.

Mine was one of confusion. I wanted the divorce, but felt no joy when I received it. I’d like to share an excerpt from my book, Silent Echoes, about my reaction when I received my divorce papers. “One afternoon I was getting ready for work and watching for the mailman to bring my final divorce decree, ready to celebrate my freedom and put the past behind me. The divorce papers came, but afforded no comfort. I walked down the hall toward my bedroom and read the return address, Clerk of the Circuit Court. A strange feeling gnawed at my stomach. Where was the joy? My hands shook as I removed the legal papers and read words I didn’t understand, but knowing it said the marriage was over. I felt my body slide to the floor, suddenly consumed with sadness and confusion. My tired back rested against the wall. I mourned what I’d imagined as a child but never found with my husband. What happened? Why had it been such a mess? How could we have failed so miserably? I put my head on my knees and watched my tears sink down into the dark green carpet.”

Time brought survival, but I still had much to learn, working through one turbulent experience after another in pursuit of freedom to express my true self. We all move at our own pace on our journey, and each experience is like peeling an onion, one layer at a time toward freedom.

“You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unimaginable.” ~ Christina Rasmussen

If you are experiencing a divorce:  Internal and external issues create a need for inner and outer recovery work. And you may feel like you’ve been socked in the belly and can’t get up. So right now make a determined intention, commitment, to recovery. And write down your recovery statement.

Then find someone who can help you through all that’s yours to do–someone who can help you restore your strength and confidence with understanding, validation, and compassion. Without guilt or judgment, own up to anything you could have done different in the marriage, but know that failed marriage is not who you are. You are still the special person as you were created. Look within for anything you need to release–anger, confusion, guilt, shame, sadness, fear, etc. And let them go. Wayne Dyer offers good advice. “Initiate a habit of choosing thoughts and ideas that support feeling good and powerful, and that elevate you to a higher level of consciousness.”

Work on putting new things in your life that inspire you. My niece became a Radiology Tech, and is now very happy working in a children’s hospital. She says that without her divorce, she would not have realized this blessing in her life. Be patient with yourself, and keep your eye on the future. That’s where your blessings appear.

If you know someone in divorce:  Be there and help them with the above strategies for transition to freedom, healing, and positive change. And you will receive a blessing too.

I wish you freedom to be who you are.

Marilyn Fowler, Author

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