I truly love this book and raved about it in a blog post just a few weeks ago. I wish this book was around when my wife and I first became aware of our son's addiction issues. I know it would've made a huge difference in how things went early on.
Beyond Addiction is based on CRAFT--Community Reinforcement and Family Training--the research-supported, evidence-based, clinically proven approach to helping families of substance abusers. As I wrote in that earlier blog post: "Some of the things you read in this book may surprise you, but trust me: it makes sense. Kindness, positive reinforcement and communication, limit-setting, and self-care can not only help you help someone change, it can help them want to change."
To give you an idea of just how chock full of useful information Beyond Addiction is, I will share something with you. When I read books like this, I always highlight passages that I find helpful and want to reference later. But when I got my copy of Beyond Addiction from the Center for Motivation and Change (CMC) and started reading it, I found myself highlighting so much material that it became a bit monotonous. So I went to Amazon.com and downloaded the Kindle version of the book so I could easily highlight stuff with my finger. If I hadn't done that, I probably would've burned through four or five highlighters before I was done reading the actual book.
So here's how this random drawing will work...
At the beginning of each week in April, I will post what I think is a thought-provoking or eye-opening excerpt from Beyond Addiction, just to give you a feel for what this landmark book is all about. To be eligible to win that week's copy of the book, all you need to do is send me an email via the "Contact Form" that appears in the column on the right-hand side of my blog (under the listing of "Most Popular Posts"). Just tell me you want to be in the drawing. At the end of the week (likely Sunday evening), I will put the names of all the people who have entered into a hat and choose a winner at random.
(Note: I understand that some of you may be reluctant to share your name and email address with me, but it's the only way I can get in touch with you to let you know if you've won. I assure you that I will not share your information with any individuals or organizations.)
Now, on to this week's excerpt from Beyond Addiction.
This excerpt comes from the "Start Where You Are" chapter in the "How to Cope" section of the book. It talks about acceptance.
"Awareness is paying attention to what is actually happening. Acceptance is being willing to stay with it while you sort out what you can change and what you can’t. Acceptance leads the way to making changes out of the raw material of how things actually are. Acceptance puts you in a stronger position to change the things you can. It is also how you come to terms with the things you cannot change.
"As you become more aware, it is natural to want to know what you can do about reality--particularly painful reality. Acceptance is an action. It is something you can do that leads to less suffering and, again paradoxically, to positive change.
"Acceptance does not mean approving, giving up, or detaching; it means recognizing things for what they are, no better but no worse either. We may not like the truth, but it’s true anyway. This is not meant to sound harsh. It’s to give you permission to stop fighting so much and show you to a calm place in the eye of the storm: acceptance is a little bit of peace within us no matter what else is going on. Consider how differently your blood pressure reacts to 'So, this is what’s happening . . .' as opposed to 'I CAN’T BELIEVE IT, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!' And this is a skill you can learn. The alternative--not accepting painful reality--adds avoidable suffering--hostility, resentment, and alienation--to unavoidable pain."
And a bit later on:
"Wishful thinking, avoidance, hostility, resentment, and other forms of nonacceptance are like quicksand from which you, and change, cannot move forward; the more you try, the more you sink in. Reality is the ground for change."
"You need awareness and acceptance because you can only do so much. They are skills that will help you know what needs to change, what you can do to support change, what you can change within yourself to have an impact, and what might be blocking change. Still, all of your skillful efforts may not result in the change you want, in the way that you want it. Accepting that only so much of the situation is in your control will help make the frustration and fear that come with awareness manageable.
"Everything that hasn’t changed, everything you hate, everything you want, everything you’re not sure about, and the hating and wanting themselves, along with ambivalence and confusion—acceptance puts the whole world in your hand. Openly assessing reality as it is right now can empower you to be humble about the complexity of life and free you from the burden of having to figure everything out. Acceptance is the way to live through something instead of being stuck in a constant fight against it. It’s a powerful first step indeed."
Words of wisdom, for sure. Having a loved one who is suffering from addiction is not easy. Beyond Addiction, I believe, can make it easier.
Thanks again to the CMC for sending me four copies of the book to give away. If you're interested in winning your own copy, shoot me an email. Good luck!
(Note: Excerpts from Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change are Copyright © 2014 by Psychological Motivation and Change Group, PLLC. All rights reserved.)
|What a great place to start.|