“No matter what happens, you don’t have to pick up a drink or drug today.”
These words tend to strike fear in the hearts of many alcoholics and addicts who are new to recovery, because just one day without booze or drugs may as well be an eternity. It can seem like an impossible task to get through twenty-four hours, never mind a week or a month – so just how do we get that proverbial monkey off our backs?
This book is full of suggestions that can work for anyone who is new to recovery or trying to get clean and sober again. The author has drawn on her own experiences and those of others in early recovery to determine the ‘Fifty Things Every Alcoholic and Addict Should Know,’ including:The First Thirty Days – What to expect and how to get through it,Things to Avoid – Protecting your recovery and coping with stress, Relapse – Warning signs and tools for moving forward again, Family – How to include them and rebuild relationships, Dating in Recovery – The not so good, the bad and the ugly, Dry Drunk – How not to be one, Twelve Step Programs – How they work and what you should know
‘Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down’ was a phrase my Dad used all the time, even writing it on birthday and holiday cards before he signed his name. Back then, I didn’t realize it was a well known saying that had been around for years. I just figured that, for whatever reason, my Dad just thought that people were bastards.
Apparently, one of the most notable people to use the expression was an American, General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, who adopted it during the Second World War in order to rally his troops against the enemy. Although my Dad was never a soldier and didn’t fight in any war, he certainly had his share of demons to battle. His number one enemy was ‘King Alcohol’. Everything – and everyone – took a backseat to drinking. And unfortunately, even though at times he tried, this was a fight my Dad would never win.
Dad never did get sober, dying suddenly at age 60. He just dropped dead one day in the middle of the street. He didn’t have any money in his pocket, or any form of identification. In fact, the only thing the coroner passed along to us (once he’d been able to locate our family) was a set of keys and an unopened bottle of scotch. The irony of this was not lost on my sister and I as we unceremoniously opened the bottle. We hated scotch, but it was the right thing to do – dad would have wanted it that way. Or at least, that’s what our alcoholic minds told us.
You see, my Dad was an alcoholic, my sister is an alcoholic and I’m an alcoholic. And that’s just my immediate family – the tip of proverbial iceberg. We are part of a lineage that has an unfortunate legacy with booze and drugs. Our family tree on both sides is littered with alcoholics and addicts. In other words, we produce addicts like the Kennedy clan produces politicians.
Not Your Typical Recovery Book
“If you have a substance abuse problem and want to quit or are new to sobriety and don’t know what to expect, read this book. It’s different, down to earth and a very easy read. 'Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down’ is not your typical recovery book.” – Tom Chenault, Radio Talk Show Host and Recovering Alcoholic