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If I Die Before I Wake: A Memoir of Drinking and Recovery Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This inspirational memoir offers solace to readers, intimating that redemption is possible but not without enormous effort to overcome the siren song of alcohol." --L.M., Library Journal, Copyright 2010

About the Author

Barb Rogers became a professional costume designer after beginning her journey of recovery. She is the founder of Broadway Bazaar Costumes, and author of three books about costuming. She's the author of Keep It Simple & Sane: Freeing Yourself from Addictive Thinking, Twenty Five Words and Clutter Junkie No More. Barb lives in Yarnell, Arizona. Author website: www.BarbRogersinspirations.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573244716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573244718
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers, I have read much in this field. This book moved me deeply. She writes with such honesty and a beautiful style of prose. There are few books that I haven't skipped a few pages while reading, and believe me, I did not skip one word. Her struggles with recovery are not new, but her description of her struggles, how others helped her through the dark times and her journey to a Higher Power is so authentic, genuine and truly awe-inspiring. My relationship with a Higher Power has been deepened by this author and her book. I will be recommending this book to colleagues and peers alike. Thank you Barb Rogers for sharing your story and your gifts.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am an alcohol and drug counselor. I have been in this profession for years. I am always excited to read a new book about someone's recovery from alcohol and drugs. This is one of those great books that makes you stop and think about your own life. Barb R., the author; has been through a lot. Neglect, molestation, an unwanted pregnancy, numberous marriages, and deaths throughout her life. This is the story of her determination to become sober. Sober now for 20 + years, this story is inspirational to hear, and a must read for any woman considering recovery from alcohol and drugs.

As I was reading this book, I was consistently reminded of another memoir I have recently read; "Potato chips for breakfast." "Potato chips" deals more with severe family dysfunction that leads to abuse and dependence; while "If I die before I wake" deals more with the positives of recovery. Barb R. deals more with the positive support through AA she has received since deciding to take the first steps to recovery more so than the author of "Potato chips," who just discusses her recovery from alcohol or other drugs in the last chapter of the book (and spends more time discussing the horrors of her home life that led to her using in the first place).

My only fault with the book is that Barb jumps around in time a great deal. At the beginning of the book, she has suffered a signifigant loss that led to a very real relapse. Then the book jumps back in time to her childhood and teenage years, in which she was pregnant and abandoned by her new husband just after they were married. Then the book jumps back to the signifigant loss, and eventually meeting of someone who helps her get into AA and recover.
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Format: Paperback
Barb Rogers proves, that no matter what obstacles you face, you can get sober. Few people have been through the abuse, loss, and pain that she has been through. While I did feel my heart breaking many times as I read her story, she doesn't portray herself as a victim. She writes with such honesty, not only with her readers, but with herself. Barb successfully lays out her progress through AA, detailing the internal struggles that happen during recovery. This is an important book for anybody working toward sobriety. Barb shows us that life can turn around, that we can learn from the past and move forward, and that there is life after addiction! Way to go Barb!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"If I die before I wake" is the only prayer Barb Rogers could remember when asked in the midst of her despair. This personal memoir of the disease of addiction and then the steps of recover is a hopeful story. It is also a raw, personal, painful, horrifying trip to the very painful places that addiction can take a soul and illuminates so beautifully what it often takes to step out of that deadly place.

Rogers not only survived through the suicide of her mother, but took refuge in substance abuse to battle the emotional trauma she found herself in. This tale takes us through her spiral downward in addiction which included being homeless and the shattering truth of her son's tragic death.

And at the very end of her ability to topple further, she found a moment of grace and wound up at a twelve step meeting. Someone reached out to her and said "You won't ever have to be alone again." And recovery began.

I highly recommend this book. She accurately describes the horrors and effectively expresses the soul crunching losses she had experienced. And she still shares the hope. She still offers a step by step progression out of the darkest places one can go.
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Format: Paperback
As a 35 year plus recovering person, this book ripped at my heart and touched my soul. It is raw, gripping, and tells an honest and moving alcoholic who, after the loss of her son, commences a downward spiral into the rooms of AA.

Brought up in an alcoholic home, Barb weaves a tale of searching for love and meaning in her life. She marries six times, has three babies all of whom pass, and she blames herself for these horrors on the inside. This emotion precipitates a further dive into the depths of booze, pills, more lovers, more tragedies and a heightened desire to escape life. At a meeting one day, not believing in a Higher Power, an old timer tells her to "get down on your knees". She does not see the white light, or arrive at some giant spiritual awakening, but rather, finally feels a slow but steady change in herself; that alcohol and drugs are not the answer.

She discovers that the "beyond your wildest dreams" of which AA speaks can indeed become a reality when she marries the love of her life and is able to cope with health and other issues without picking up a drink. It is truly a raw and griping book. And I would say to any of you who have questions about AA, or are on the fence, come join us! But first read this book - your doubts will be assuaged. Highly recommended!
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