Recently I attended a session at a writing conference which focused on ways to publicize and market a book. Since my first book was about to be published I was all ears. The workshop leader addressed marketing essentials. First and foremost a writer needs to determine her book’s value to readers. Don’t ask, “What is my book about?” ; instead ask, “What is my book’s value? Here’s what I wrote. “ My book seeks to help loved ones of alcoholics and addicts and survivors of suicide to not only recover, but to thrive.”
It’s estimated that there are between 25 to 30 million Americans with addictions to alcohol and drugs which means approximately 120 million family members are affected. That’s a huge demographic. For the most part, these 120 million strong have been a very quiet group. I believe that we remain silent because of the stigma associated with the disease, despite the fact that addiction is a brain disease and should be treated like other diseases. Do family members whose loved ones have cancer shy away from the topic? No. Consider how effectively The Susan G. Komen Organization, a global initiative advocates for a cure for cancer and better treatment options.
Like cancer, addiction affects family members big time. We suffer because of this disease. Although the details of our individual stories may differ, our backstory, labeled “co-dependency or enabling”, is the same. In our misguided attempts to stop the addict from using, we control, deny, manipulate, threaten, minimize, rationalize, rescue, nag, argue, plead and prod. None of that works, but lacking the tools and resources of recovery, we can’t break free from this crazy making. We’re caught in addiction’s insidious cycle, just as our loved ones are trapped in the downward spiral of their disease. We need to break free. One powerful way to do so is to share our stories, especially the good news of our recovery.
My story recounts a loving marriage challenged by the disease of alcoholism and ended with my husband’s tragic death. It describes my process of recovery where I faced my fears, released my demons, reclaimed my voice, and wrote my story. Stories can help us heal. I am grateful for the opportunity to share mine and hope that it will be of value to my readers.