Addiction

My Fears Made Manifest

Last week I received a request from one of the chaplains at the nearby hospital to visit a woman suffering from what may well be the last stages of alcoholism.  This was her fourth time in hospital in twelve months. I admit my heart sank. Although I am part of a fellowship that understands helping…

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"The Drinking Diaries"

I am very pleased to have an interview up on “The Drinking Diaries” site — which explores the relationship between women and alcohol.  You can read the interview by clicking here. I hope you find something useful in it.

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Listening for the words

I recently spent the weekend in silence and centering prayer at a retreat center run by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Cape May.  It’s a glorious place overlooking the dunes and sea.  I was there with some other folks who, like me, are trying to stay sober one day at a time. I had…

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Who are 'we'?

My new book, OUR DAILY BREAD, which will be out in September explores the idea of ‘us’ vs ‘them’.  Who do we consider members of our community, of our family, of our tribe? As many of you know, I spend a lot of time in church basement rooms with other people who want to stay…

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The Forgiveness Cure

I’m in the midst of editing my new novel, OUR DAILY BREAD, which will be released in the US in September.  It’s the story of what happens in a small town when, for generations, certain folks have been ostracized, pushed away and left to fend for themselves.  Considered Those People—beyond the pale, beyond redemption—they become…

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The addict's fractured mirror

Just now I am deep in research for my next book, which involves reading a lot of fairy tales.  One is “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson.  It is, in parts, rather treacly, but the central metaphor is a powerful metaphor for addiction.  In this tale a demon creates a mirror that distorts the…

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The Defiant Ones

…a while ago a young man trying to stay sober called me from another city and told me he was calling to “tell on himself,” meaning he needed to tell someone he was thinking of doing something he knew wasn’t in his best interests.

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I would have drunk pond scum

I was in England recently, where there is an ongoing debate about how much folks are drinking.  If you Google “binge drinking” and “UK” a depressingly long list of sites pop up.  The Brits are trying a number of things to curb the epidemic — physicians now ask their patients directly about their drinking habits,…

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Clearing out the mental/spiritual closet

Lent begins today, which is, in Christian tradition, the period leading up to Easter and is intended as a time of reflection, of going within to hear the small still voice, and to take stock of who we are, to face ourselves and not be afraid of our imperfections. On the Explore Faith website I…

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The Mundane & The Sublime

Now and then I get emails from writers who are also recovering alcoholics, asking me whether I found it difficult to write once I got sober. I tell them I did, but then writing’s always difficult.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it (and although some days it feels like everyone IS writing…

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