More About the Author
My bloodline can be traced back to 1620 Polish and Russian alcoholic nobility. Our family historian laughed as he reported on the long line of law suits, disinheritances, and loss of a significant portion of our lands, northwest Belarus. He said he could see that I came by my alcoholism legitimately. Well, the fact that my mother and father are both alcoholic was enough to convince me. You see, I didn't go looking for addiction, it came for me.
It came from my heritage; it came from Mom and Dad; it came from my culture (part of the hippie era and burn your bra crowd); it came from my search for God (could I find God in LSD or a bottle?).
And the same can be said for recovery. I didn't go searching for it, it came for me. It came from my Mother (who had found sobriety 6 weeks before she took me to a 12 Step program); it came from my desperation (hippie 'free love' wasn't working out too well); it came from my search for God (could God be found in the 12 Steps because I didn't find Him/Her in LSD or that bottle?).Â
After setting down speed and demon rum at 21, (well we didn't drink rum, our Polish ancestry had us all drinking beer, so let's say I set down the Beelzebub beer) I had no choice but to dedicate my life to working with young addicts and women in recovery. Hazelden published my first two books Day by Day and Young, Sober, & Free which became recovery classics under their oversight.
However, I don't actually "write" recovery books per se, I take notes at 12 Step meetings and compile what clean and sober members say. These words of wisdom from the old timers, from our sponsors, from circuit speakers, from you and me are turned into our recovery books. That is also how the Pocket Sponsor evolved, the best (and only) 24/7 recovery support book. That is how Sitting in Pictures, a vision meditation book, was put together. These books are "written" from the collective wisdom of thousands of us in recovery since 1936 when Bill and Bob started AA.
In addition to the recovery titles published by Hazelden, Simon and Schuster, Harper and Row, and Day By Day, my research has been published in five peer-reviewed, professional/scholarly journals, making my work world-recognized. I am a staunch advocate and activist for young people and their parents during the addiction recovery process. Along with my brother Michael Marshall, PhD, we created a program for teaching parents how to stop enabling and become sober coaches for their kids. This successful program is outlined in the workbook Sober Coaching Your Toxic Teen.
I eventually stopped the bra burning stuff and turned my attention to learning self-respect by setting boundaries on how I allow others to treat me. A book co-authored with Dr. Marshall, Respect-Me Rules, addresses verbal and emotional abuse--it is revolutionary in teaching both men and women to stop emotional abuse through the basics of self-respect.Â
Not picking up a drink or drug since 1969 and practicing the principles of recovery have made all this possible: obtaining a Human Services degree in Drugs and Alcohol, working in Moscow at an addiction clinic (yes, that's Russia), becoming a published researcher, writing recovery books published in the US and Europe, contributing to the healing process for young addicts and their families, and even becoming a small publisher. Notwithstanding the Beelzebub beginnings, I am so proud of what God has allowed me to give and to do in service to my fellows. Thank you, all of you, who read this, read my books, use my research, and hire me to speak at conventions and train counselors around the world. Recovery from addiction is not only my profession and my advocation, it is the very foundation upon which my life is built. I am so very grateful to YOU for sharing it with me.