I was recently contacted to review Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and Cheat. I have a few confessions of my own before though.
My first confession is that I love to read, especially autobiographies about addiction. My second confession is that I’ve never read anything about a gambling addiction. My third and final confession is that one of my favorite movies of all time is The Lady Gambles with Barbara Stanwyck.
Here’s my review.
Catherine Townsend-Lyon’s first outing is a wonderful, heartfelt, raw, and at times emotional read. The 200+ page autobiography is gritty, from the heart and spans more than forty years of Catherine’s life. The writing is simplistic in its style as the author works though the struggles of her gambling addiction. The chapters are long but there are many sub-chapters which is another reason this book is difficult to put down.
There were times where I flinched from her brutal honesty of her addiction, her dysfunctional family, and her addiction behaviors even when not gambling, but responding to financial pressures. The perceived book’s promise of restorations falls short though, but that’s what addiction is. We don’t always get everything we want when we stop using alcohol, drugs, and in the case gambling. Catherine and her husband still struggle financially due to her addictive gambling behavior, but she handles those problems with a new set of tools today.
What I would have enjoyed reading were some of the journals from 1999 to present day while Catherine was in treatment. She describes them as ‘dark,’ and that’s where my curiosity goes. Catherine also writes how she cannot describe her emotions around episodes, and I think her journals would have given us that unique insight.
So, in short, I really liked this autobiography. Although I don’t have a gambling addiction, I am an addict who hopefully offers useful addiction advice. I see the similar behaviors in myself when I was using and even when I stopped and wasn’t using the tools to remain safe from my addiction. I would suffer needlessly, as has Catherine.
I suggest the read.