- Mental Health»
Sobriety Island, A Practical Review
My old high school chum, James Cressler and I hadn't seen one another for decades and still haven't, but through the wonders of the internet, we've been able to reconnect and discover that we have one very real, tangible love that binds us as friends. That is our love of Jesus Christ and seeking his Word in our lives. Our paths have been different over the years, Jim went off to the service at an early age, I settled in with a husband and children. The occasional thought back to high school days was all that was left of the relationships we both enjoyed with classmates, both like-minded and no so much like-minded.
Unfortunately both Jim and I had experiences with the evil that can be alcohol and drug abuse. Mine was born in a husband much older than I, who felt the need to drink, and drug, whenever possible. Our homelife was secondary, and became the brunt of many nights of booze and opiates. Our children suffered. I suffered. Abuse of the physical and psychological nature, was second nature, to the man everyone considered "a nice guy." Not many knew what went on in our household, and more often than not, if anyone did know, it was only because they were witness to the bruises, the black eyes, or the emotional scars I carried, all the while thinking they were well camoflaged.
I tried very hard to present a normal, unscathed household, where children ran and played happily, where there was a kiss at the door when he walked in from work. A household where our love for each other and for our children bound us to a higher calling, and our love of God and country bound us to each other in return. Instead, there was chaos. There was silence. There was booze.
As I began to read Jim's book, Sobriety Island, a flood of emotions came rushing back. And even though the book is written in sort of a fantasy setting, it touches on the strife and the stress that is created in real time, by the alcoholic life. The book is one in which, when I was finished reading it, I wished it was longer - it was such a joy to read that I didn't want to stop.
It was not the quintessential alcoholic's handbook, or the telling of tales of woe and guilt. It isn't the same old awakening, that many alcoholics will tell you they have, after a few years of sobriety. Instead, it is a story of victory, hope, and struggle - one that not just alcoholics experience, but also all those who love them and have tried to include them in their lives.
Jim is victorious in his pursuit of a writing career with this piece, only because it includes all the elements most readers endear - laughter, sorrow, a struggle, and a triumph. You won't be sorry you picked it up (or downloaded it on Kindle). It's an easy read with a feel good ending, that will allow you to integrate your own story, as you read along, yet see clearly his mission to reach out to all those who have encountered the demon that is abuse.
"So, Sobriety Island isn't nirvana where sobriety is served on a platter? The treatment staff made it seem like I could reach this cloud nine in three weeks."
We all laughed. It was funny because it was a ridiculous assumption. However, after three weeks of treatment, almost two days of after-care hell floating on the Sea of Booze, and experiencing everything and everybody on Sponsor Ship, I was beginning to have a spiritual awakening with an euphoric feeling of well-being. It was like having a new set of eyes and ears. I saw the Sponsor Ship when many of the others couldn't and it wasn't because they needed glasses. I was beginning to understand that there was another dimension that I had been blinded to. Now I could hear spiritual meanings that went right by me for years..."