- Paperback: 306 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 18, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1533678111
- ISBN-13: 978-1533678119
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,451,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wholly Sober: How I stopped thinking about drinking and started loving my life Paperback – October 18, 2016
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For myself, as a woman who has 16 years , 3 months & 17 days sober from heroin without working a 12 Step program I felt a deep sense of resonance with Teresa’s book. I started using drugs and alcohol at 13. I was addicted to meth at age 16 and eventually graduated to heroin. I spent my 21st birthday in inpatient drug treatment. After rehab I went to a handful of meetings and didn’t feel like it was the place for me. At times I’ve wondered how I did it? Resilience? Stubbornness? Hope? I do know that addiction and problematic intoxication is isolating. And I know that many people find great recovery & profound community in 12 Step programs. But I never did. And although my life isn’t isolated my recovery sort of is. My 16 plus years clean from heroin and other hard drugs is so important to me. And not seeing this mirrored back in our word is isolating. I’ve learned to be cautious around 12 Step folks when talking recovery. I usually get some version of disbelief and a warning that without a program of recovery I’m going to end up using again. Reading this book was a great reminder that there are other ways.
I do go to meetings every once in a while. I do know, like any spiritual practice that when I ask and listen I will hear what I need to hear. So without fail I always hear something deeply meaningful & helpful in meetings. I also hear the incredible amount of suffering that women, in particular, experience. The amount of trauma, physical & sexual violence that women in the rooms have experienced is staggering. And I wonder…Had they not experienced these trauma or received appropriate nurturance & care from their families, communities & social institutions after the trauma would they have ever needed to use drugs or alcohol to medicate. My best guess is not.
So I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in exploring another path to your recovery. Teresa offers up to you her experience and her professional work in helping others as an option for you. And I can say from my own experience there is another way.
As someone who stopped drinking 18 years' ago, I thought I was one of the few or maybe the only one who had the same thoughts and feelings about being an alcoholic as well as the conventional method used to stop drinking. Just like so many, I bought into the myths about addiction - being powerless over alcohol, if you have a problem with alcohol then you're an alcoholic, a 12 step program is the only way to stop drinking and if you don't go to meetings you will drink again.
After excessive drinking on a daily basis then reaching a low point in my life with alcohol, I suddenly stopped for three months and was convinced that I needed 12 step meetings in order to stop drinking forever so I followed a 12 step program for a while. One day I realized that I didn't want to feel powerless over alcohol and it was about the choices I made, so I attended my last 12 step meeting eight years ago. Even though I didn't go through all 12 steps, I haven't had a drink or the desire to drink either. I honestly don't know if I am an "alcoholic" or not and I learned a lot from the 12 step program. All I know is from my own experience that there is another way.
From an early age, Teresa was bound by the chains of a life that most would never make it out of. Not only does she show through her wit and determination what she is capable of, her story is one of hope for others who wonder if there is light at the end of their own tunnel.
A must read for anyone who wants to be inspired for life.