Author: Lacy Enderson
Title: "Addiction: A Personal Story"
Publisher: Bennett Deane Publishing
It is not just the "unsaved" who become ensnared; all families are vulnerable.
The scourge of addiction has intruded into families one would least expect to be affected by drug and alcohol problems – and this includes some prominent Christian families and even some church leaders. As we have been keenly reminded in recent news, even those in high-profile, national positions in the evangelical community can fall prey to drug and sexual addiction.
Oftentimes, the best counseling one can receive is from those who have been in a similar situation, managed to get through it, and -- even though damaged by the experience – landed on their feet and reclaimed their lives.
"Addiction: A Personal Story" (Bennett Deane Publishing, September 2006), commendably written by Lacy Enderson who lived the horror of addiction and eventually conquered it, gives us a full account of an extremely difficult and painful journey. But this book shows that no matter how tough matters are, one can overcome – as has been proven by the author who would have been labeled as a "worst-case scenario."
In "Addiction," Enderson details her fears, struggles, uncontrolled anger, destructive rage, doubts and humiliations, along with the enormous guilt feelings that come from the addiction that controlled her life. Then there were the sometimes brutal body reactions (as it craves more and more) that demand surrender.
The author describes in lurid detail the degrading episodes that shamed her and caused so much pain, not only for herself but for her loved ones as well. Her struggle cost her two marriages when her drunken behavior drove her husbands to a breaking point and they walked out.
Since her recovery, however, she has been happily re-married for more than nine years. Her husband Richard is also a recovered addict, and they both have learned the principles of a good marriage.
Written as a daily devotional, each page leads off with a Scripture verse that was thoughtfully and carefully selected. Then there is an example about an episode in the author's life – the dumb things she did while under the influence, details of who she talked to, what encouraged her, how her cravings overtook her, or what she was thinking.
Each page also contains a "Thought to Meditate On." These thoughts, which are a wrap-up of each episode described, are very powerful and will sometimes jolt the reader. That is followed by "Thoughts and Revelations," which gives readers a place to write down what they are thinking as they read the page.
Offering Hope to the Hopeless
Never has any devotional work gripped this reviewer like "Addiction: A Personal Story." Each page gives bits and snippets of the author's life, which becomes more and more intriguing and compelling. You want to know what is coming next.
Indeed, I defy any reader to simply read the page for the day and put the book down until the next day. The reader will be drawn to read further and further as the story of Lacy Enderson unfolds. She takes the reader on the whole journey, disturbing as it is, but one that does end in victory after her desperate determination overruled her demanding cravings, including those associated with her addiction to cigarettes.
Sometimes the author is so candid and honest about her life, sharing such personal revelations, that the reader might hesitate to read further for fear of intruding upon her privacy. And there are times the reader will even feel a little uncomfortable.
Enderson wants her readers to know it all – how the alcoholic justifies drinking, the deceptions that become a part of the addict's life, how she learned to manipulate and control others, and of course, the excuses that she had down-pat. She is very frank about her failures, the disgraces she experienced, and how she fought her way back. In so doing, she offers hope to the hopeless.
Every emotion, every challenge the addict experiences is covered. There is no ducking any of it. This book will be an eye-opener for every addict who reads it – and they will read it if someone cares enough to provide a copy. It is a mirror of the life every addict lives.
The Foreword (penned by Trisha Lee) tells how to read and benefit from this book. And after the Introduction, the author shares how she used any excuse she could think of to justify her drinking habit, such as "Even Jesus drank wine." Then she follows that up with almost three pages of Scriptures to show how the Lord feels about alcoholism, and urges that those verses be read "on days when you try to convince yourself that one drink couldn't possibly hurt."
Be Patient ... Wait for the Miracle
It is to be noted that a big role in Enderson's success was the encouragement of some of her friends. And the reader who has a loved one going through a similar ordeal is encouraged to never give up on the one they care about. Often it takes several attempts over time to kick the habit.
As the author states on page 68, under the heading "Thought to Meditate On" – "The worst thing you can do is give up on them. With each failed attempt they move one step closer to victory. Don't give up before the miracle happens."
And to cheer on the addict to be victorious, she writes on page 9: "When we finally make the decision to quit drinking, God intervenes and breaks those chains of bondage to alcohol that hold us captive. He picks us up out of the dungeon of despair and puts us in a Royal Palace He created just for us. He called us to be priests and kings. Let us desire to live like one."
This very easy to read book is helpful in spotting warning signs of an addict or an about-to-be addict. This rich resource allows counselors to get into the head of the addicted which is essential for effective counseling – especially concerning the addicted.
As I read this book, I thought of the famous author Ernest Hemingway, who was also known for his uncontrolled binge drinking. He once said that there is one thing more that he would have liked to be able to do .. to go through life again – sober. He knew he had missed a lot.
Had "Addiction: A Personal Story" been available in his time, perhaps Hemingway would have been able to experience at least a sober second half of his life.
© 2006 AgapePress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.