on November 20, 2012
Dear Reader, and undoubtedly, fellow traveler through the mists of addiction and the life of recovery; "Greetings" from a very lucky fellow.
Many years ago (circa. 1985) I met Bill Bluestein, who understood the difference between what passed for the 12-Step Program as OA practiced it then - and the 12 steps, as practiced in AA. In other words, he knew the true meaning of the steps, and why so very few people recovered in OA.
Thanks to Bill's understanding, I became one of the few people I have ever met, who became free of the compulsion/obsession (addction) with food.
Bottom Line: If you apply the 12 steps as AA outlines them, you can be freed of the compulsion with food. As we used to say: "Simple, but not easy."
I feel for Jan's writing, and appreciate the answer given here; and you can find 'my story' in "Maintenance", Bill Bluestein- IF you can find that book (I just did, on Amazon!- but it IS Out-of-print, yet still around.) Likewise, "Compulsive Overeater"- the first text Bill B. wrote- which IS still in print, and available via Amazon.
Please note: Bill's lovely wife's name was: Enid - and this book is written by Elizabeth L.; is someone else's sincere contribution. I'm not qualified to comment on it- but do know the power of Bluestein's solid gold understanding of 'the Steps.' If you read his book(s) and the 'Big Book' of AA, and the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions" of AA, know this; You can be set free from the hell of addiction. You Can Be Set Free. Blessings, and "Hello"s to anyone who goes back that far(!) - "Ha!" I've been blessed to be 'sober' with food since then! Ahhh- in Bluestein's "Maintenance" you'll find "Curt's Story"- that'd be 'lucky me.'
on April 19, 2011
In response to Jan's review, I was also intimately acquainted with Bill Bluestein, who she refers to as the author of this book. But Amazon indicates Elisabeth L., who is probably Bill's widow, as the author.
Bill Bluestein was my very good friend and beloved OA sponsor for many years. He was one of the most important and influential people in my life. I am a woman and when I met Bill, I was in my thirties and he was old enough to be my father. He was still married to his first wife at the time.
Bill had a reputation for being a womanizer, but he was always appropriate with me. I spent many, many hours alone with him, in his office, at his home, in his car, and together in restaurants. He never made a pass, or even said anything the least bit suggestive to me.
My experience of Bill is that he devoted countless hours and energy teaching me the proper interpretation of the 12 Steps of the AA program, helping me to learn and incorporate them into my life. He listened to my problems, did me favors when I was sick and couldn't make a living, and was always there for me as a true friend with love and guidance whenever I needed him. I owe so much of my current success and happiness to him, even though probably 20 years have passed since we lived in the same city.
We kept in touch, and I occasionally went to visit him. At a certain point, a mutual friend called and said Bill was involved in a big scandal as he had been seducing patients (he was a licensed psychologist and head of an Eating Disorder Unit) and women in Overeaters Anonymous.
I phoned him immediately. He copped to everything, told me he had a big problem and had checked himself into a sex addicts clinic. He spoke candidly to me, taking full responsibility for his actions, the way he always had regarding his past with drugs and food addiction.
Bill never pretended to be a person without problems -- he kept a sponsor of his own til the day he died. That was because he knew he needed one. Bill himself was kept locked in closets and physically abused as a child, and who knows what else, because he only spoke of it in reference to clearing away the wreckage of one's past, not to garner sympathy or excuse his life.
I am not trying to excuse any of Bill's actions here, but I have my own observations and thoughts on the matter. The people around Bill tended to put him on a pedestal. That I never did. To me, he was a flawed man, but one I loved and learned from. There were also plenty of times he gave me guidance and advice I thought was just plain wrong. I noted to myself he seemed kind of mixed up when it came to romantic relationships, and I always took his advice on that subject with a grain of salt. However, that being said, he did make one statement to me that altered the course of my life and gave me the courage to walk away from my drug addict boyfriend (whom I loved with my whole heart and soul), and that led to said boyfriend getting clean and sober, which I believe he still is today. What Bill said was, "if you really love that guy, you will quit being his enabler."
When the truth about his sexual misconduct came out, many of the people he had spent countless hours helping and being there for, asking nothing in return, were the quickest to turn on him. I am thinking of men now, even more than women, men I knew well because they were my friends and I heard first hand how angry they were. I believe this was on account of putting him on too high a pedestal and being too disillusioned when he fell.
For me, he was just another recovering compulsive personality and I continued to work my program and be there for him, without buying into any bull, but he wasn't offering any by the time we spoke. The program is about progress, not perfection.
Jan, it sounds like you were really very hurt by whatever happened. When the stories came out, and I heard some of them personally from some of the women involved, I realized one thing: these were all women who did not set appropriate boundaries with men to begin with. I always did -- he always got that vibe from me, and that's why he never got out of line with me.
I am not blaming the women here, but they had a part in it, they were weak and confused when it came to sex and relations with men, AS WAS BILL WHEN IT CAME TO SEX AND RELATIONS WITH WOMEN. Jan, Bill was a married man, so why were you even open to his advances? When he first flirted or said something suggestive to you, why didn't you stop it right there?
I realize you couldn't because you were vulnerable, just as Bill couldn't not put the moves on you, because in his own way he was vulnerable. Please work your program on this and start taking some responsibility where you have it, and that, I promise you, will be the start of your way out of the pain.
To the world: to this day, many years after his passing, I love Bill Bluestein and am grateful and priviliged to have had him in my life. To Amazon: though this is not strictly a review, since you went ahead and posted such personal vitriol in the guise of a review, please post this response. And I will say about the book: anything Bill has written or had a hand in on the topic of compulsive overeating and working the 12 step program, it's great stuff, it helped me turn my life around and become the person I always wanted to be. The 12 steps do that, and Bill taught me how to properly understand and practice them.
on October 11, 2003
I am Rose, of Rose's Story in this book. I was also a sexual victim of Bill Bluestein. Until now, have I never spoken out about the abuse perpetrated by the sociopath who wrote this book, Bill Bluestein. Even though it may be too late for my information to help anyone, I must take this opportunity to confront this demon from my past.
I won't go into the specific details of what happened with Bill B., except to say that he used the power of his position to leverage me into having sexual intercourse. If anyone is interested, there must be some way to get the story from me directly, as I will happily debrief to anyone genuinely interested.
I do want to set the record straight about my recovery. My problems with bulemia were far from over in 1985's (circa), when I wrote that autobiographical story. It took me 20 years of psychoanalysis, up to 3 times a week, for me to finally recover at the age of 50+.
My struggle for a healthy survival goes on. The Bill B's of this world will come and go. Bill is mostly the pathetic victim of himself, and though his words are certainly not gospel, they can prove useful. As with anything in life, this book should be taken with the understanding that you use what you can and discard the rest.
on July 17, 2000
I spent years going to OA meetings, diligently working the program and wondering why I was still a hopeless victim of food cravings.
If a child is running around screaming, having a tantrum, isn't that an indication that something is wrong? If your body is doing that, isn't something wrong with your body?
For a great book on eliminating food craving by eliminating the cause, read "Dr. Abravanel's Body Type Diet." It will set you free.
If you aren't well, read Dr. Hulda Clark's "The Cure for All Diseases". You will learn how to heal yourself. I overcame the chronic fatigue virus which I'd had for 8 years. Not only that, I have more energy and vitality than most people I know.
If you think, also, that you have deep psychological problems, read "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard. I used to wonder what was wrong with me that my life never got better in spite of years in therapy and my earnest efforts. I used to wonder why so many of the people in OA meetings were the same insane people, unable to live fully, year after year. I read Dianetics and laughed! It was the missing link to why psychology doesn't work. My husband and I did Dianetics and I truly became saner, happier and freer.