- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: Hazelden Publishing (Sept. 30 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568382308
- ISBN-13: 978-1568382302
- Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1 x 21.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
First Year Sobriety: When All That Changes Is Everything Paperback – Sep 30 1998
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About the Author
Guy Kettelhack is an analyst-in-training at the Boston and New York Centers for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. He has written seven books on recovery. He lives in New York City.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One When All That Changes Is Everything: The First Ninety Days Here are four brief stories about a variety of people in the first stages of their recovery. You'll go first to a large urban hospital and meet a group of alcoholics and addicts in "detox," men and women used to hearing themselves called "hard cases." Then you'll meet Susan, a soft-spoken young woman in the Midwest who's had a hard time convincing her family (and sometimes herself) that she is an alcoholic. Next you'll meet Pablo, a streetwise twenty-year-old man from Detroit who's spent his life trying to be Superman. And Charles, a seventy-year-old newly sober gentleman from Boston who often finds himself feeling like a child. As different as these people may seem from one another, you may also get a glimmer of what unites them. And what may apply to you. We're in a brightly lit room in a New York hospital. About twenty-five people, more men than women, dressed in hospital-issued blue pajamas, sit around two long fold-out dining tables that have been pushed together. Miguel breaks the silence. "This place sucks," he says. A tough-looking guy in his mid-thirties, Miguel is full of submerged energy, like a volcano waiting to blow. He stares down at his hands clenched in his lap. His voice is so quiet he can barely be heard, but the people around the table who are listening (not everyone is) seem to be catching it. "I hate this place. I can't stand it. I want to run out of here every minute. I feel like I'm gonna explode if I don't get out of here." His glowering eyes lift to scan the room, then drop back down to his hands. "What the hell good is hanging around you bozos supposed to be doing for me?" Sam, a black man of greater bulk than Miguel but with a far more easygoing manner, responds, "Hey man. Stick around to play Monopoly with me. You're the only guy here as good as me at it." People laugh. Miguel is caught off guard. He lets out a long low whoosh of air, which seems to calm him down a little. "I know what Miguel means," says Theresa, a dark woman who tends to take charge of these sessions. "This sobriety is a bitch. I mean, what did we always do before? We got high. That was how we handled anything and everything. My feelings make me wanna bust out of my skin, too, sometimes. Sometimes all I wanna do is go out and cop and get high." Theresa frowns, then pounds the table with her right fist, which startles two or three men nodding off at the end of the table to her left. They look up at her in surprise. "But it doesn't frigging work anymore," she continues, "and we don't know what the hell else to do. So we're here to learn something. I mean, we're not here on vacation, man. Right?" A chorus of "Rights." "Jesus!" Theresa starts to laugh, turning again to Miguel. "I mean look at you, man! I saw you when you were out there. You were a mess. I couldn't understand a word you said, and now here we are, sitting around like all this was normal, talking like regular p
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The book is written in a language that alcoholics will understand and resonate with. It's filled with examples of how an alcoholic/addict thinks, feels, and acts like during those first fragile years. Read it and share it with other
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