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'Hope for Alcoholics, Addicts and Inmates' by Gary L

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Gary L’s inspirational account describes the disease of alcoholism through the lens of personal experience and Alcoholics Anonymous in "Hope for Alcohol, Addicts and Inmates.” It’s a story of addiction, surrender, personal responsibility and spiritual insight that could only be learned when Gary hit rock bottom and came to the "end of himself."

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Today he compares those initial days and weeks of recovery to walking through a confusing, complicated maze still in the grips of alcoholism and stinkin' thinkin. ' Now he attributes his "one-day-at-a-time" recovery to the help of God, his wife Patsy and Alcoholics Anonymous.Yet it's more than Gary's story, it's also how God used Gary's sobriety and recovery experiences in the life of Matt, a prison inmate who wanted to "change his life."

While Alcoholics Anonymous discourages alcoholics from giving advice they are encouraged to share their "experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic." A mentor sponsor support relationship AA founder Bill Wilson found very important to sobriety.

When a friend Gary wrote to in prison asked him to share his story with a fellow inmate Gary saw it as a mentoring opportunity and agreed. Those letters, now in this book, share Gary's "spiritually awakening message" about sobriety, recovery and the 12-step program, the heart and backbone of Alcoholics Anonymous.

His letters to Matt include reassuring daily entries, inspirational quotes and scripture verses with space to capture thoughts and feelings in a "thirty-day spiritual journal." Completed journal entries reveal recovery from alcoholism happens mentally, physically and spiritually.

Gary's sobriety began March 2, 1971 and continues today. He remembers who he once was, yet focuses on "who he's becoming," even though he has many years of sobriety behind him. He believes the process of "becoming" won't end until he meets his Creator. An approach he teaches others in his roles as "Christian minister and spiritual counselor."

Gary’s realistic account takes readers through the rocky waters of recovery as Gary learned to live one day at a time with the help of God, his wife and AA. A critical aspect of recovery taught by my professor, mentor and dear friend Father Royce in my undergraduate and graduate work in psychology and the addictions at Seattle University.

Trained in the Jesuit traditions, Father Royce is considered the father of alcohol studies. He "taught... the nation's first standard college course on alcoholism in 1950 that became the Seattle University addiction studies program in 1973... the first in the nation."

Gary’s breadth of personal and professional experience makes this book an excellent choice for anyone struggling with addiction in themselves or a loved one. For more information contact Gary: or visit his website: Hope.

'Hope for Alcoholics, Addicts and Inmates' by Gary L., Inspiring Voices, 304 Pages, 978-1462404575, $19.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" Feb 2014

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