A spiritual interpretation of Alcoholics Anonymous’ Big Book.
In his debut, MacDougall brings readers the wit, wisdom and secrets he’s learned over the years as an alcoholic and a spiritual director at an addiction recovery center. Perhaps most important, he explores the connection among sobriety, spirituality and happiness, placing an emphasis on not just avoiding alcohol, but on creating a new life, since, as he says, “If we take an alcoholic and all we do for that alcoholic is remove the alcohol from the alcohol-ic, then what we have left is an ‘ic.’ ” He writes with honesty and humor about his own struggles with childhood violence, abuse and addiction, as well as the ups and downs of recovery and the immense power of Alcoholics Anonymous. He sees addiction as being ultimately self-centered and views AA’s emphasis on a higher power as a way to move beyond selfish thinking and into a new relationship with the self, others and reality. Personal anecdotes give readers new insight into AA’s Steps and Traditions, and he applies these to romantic relationships and personal growth in new and useful ways. The work serves as an original, readable primer for those unfamiliar with AA and a fresh take on spirituality in AA for those who may be struggling with it. MacDougall writes from a Christian standpoint, though he never pushes a particular belief system, and his broad view of faith may prove useful for those with a range of views about religion. His writing is clear and accessible without being dumbed down, and his respect and compassion for readers and for anyone struggling with addiction clearly shines through.
A heartfelt, worthwhile read for anyone who is struggling with or who knows someone struggling with addiction.