California Book Watch Review
Plenty of recovery-oriented books discuss the basics of how to get sober, but few take the next step: how to live a meaningful life once sobriety is achieved. One might think that this would be the easier part of the equation: actually, it’s not, and Full Recovery demonstrates that in fact many ‘recoveries’ from substance abuse don’t complete the process to achieve real resolution.
If this all sounds idealistic, be advised that author Brian McAlister has achieved extraordinary, real-life results from his Full Recovery Wellness Center in New Jersey, which holds a powerful record of long-term recovery from addictions largely because its programs focus on helping addicts with all aspects of their lives, from jobs and relationships to finances and fitness. Most similar-sounding programs focus on psychological insights and approaches and leave out some of the social factors that can differentiate a full recovery from one who is perpetually on the road to success without ever quite arriving at the goal.
Chapters offer a blend of psychological insight, philosophical and spiritual reflection, and specific tips on where the recovery process can bog down and what to do about it.
Thus, readers will find in Full Recovery discussions of such seemingly-disparate topics as how to handle and mitigate fears, how to question long-held beliefs for their ongoing effectiveness, how to use gratitude to shift one’s reality and how to perceive and choose a life-affirming project to cement one’s long-term success, and how to differentiate between solving problems and manipulating environment.
Each chapter offers another brick in the foundation leading to full recovery, and each chapter juxtaposes ideals with specifics from the author’s experiences and those around him: “When I go home at night, I sit in my hot tub and totally relax. Nine times out of ten, the answer to my challenge reveals itself in that setting. How does that happen? I believe it’s because when I am totally relaxed and at peace, my awareness expands. I am not talking to myself or keeping my own counsel. I am meditating and listening for the answer.”
Also included are keys on how the author arrived at all this wisdom (“I had come to the conclusion that by following suggestions from sober people, I was staying sober, too. I began to wonder, then, whether the same process would work in other areas of my life, such as finances.”) and how one concept or choice in one area of life (such as psychological insight) translates, often neatly, to other areas (such as financial security).
There’s no magic key to Full Recovery; but its particular brand of magic lies in its ability to lead semi-recovered addicts down the road of creating connections between more positive choices, habits and perspectives and integrating them into an overall life-affirming program reinforcing lasting changes.
Want to break heroin addiction? Alcoholism? Traits that continually lead to poor choices? Full Recovery documents this process more clearly and completely than competing titles on the market and is a top recommendation for any who have begun the process and need to take the next step.
Diane Donovan Editor, California Book Watch Dec. 11, 2015