Saturday October 1st 2016

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Positive change in addiction recovery: Falling Up, A Memoir of Renewal (BOOK REVIEW)

By Lydia Magdeska

Life can be filled with moments that make you feel like you’re falling.

In her book, Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal, Dr. Louise Stanger shows us how to rise like a phoenix, even as life’s situations pull you down. So, how do you make real change in addiction recovery? Here, we review a book that inspires you to do just that. And we share with you some of the take home lessons that inspired us. Finally, we invite your questions, comments, and feedback at the end. We try to respond to all legitimate queries with a personal and prompt response.

Why check out Falling up?

CAVEAT: Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is not a how to book or a self-help manual. This is not a substitute for the advice of a health care professional, even though you may find very useful advice on moving on with your life. This is a heart-centered, personal memoir of someone who has seen a lot in a lifetime journey.

This is a book for all you courageous souls who get up each morning, put your awesome on, and say:

“I am, I can, I will.”

Dr. Louise Stanger has written many different articles (many of them academic), and now as she approaches a new decade in life (69 forever!), she has written this book to capture some highlights of her own life. More than that, she share them with us in the hopes that we use them as stepping stones to face the many challenges that we may face in our own lives.

According to her, one’s life is a series of episodes, and we go through many stages of who we are, and what we can become in our lives. So, capturing someone’s past and turning it into a positive for today is the key point to making changes. What are some of the key points that you can take home after reading this book?

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How to change positively in addiction recovery

“Recovery is becoming that person you were meant to be.”  

It’s being able to take care of yourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How can you make positive changes in your life? Dr. Stanger inspires us to:

1. Change Physically.

Find out what exercises best fit you. And, do them three times a week.

2. Change Emotionally.

Become able to set healthy boundaries, share your feelings, and honor yourself in healthy relationships.

3. Change Spiritually.

Be consistent with your values. When you say no, you mean no.

The moment of addiction recovery starts with the willingness to change. Start asking yourself these questions:

  • What are your fears and worries?
  • What has happened that makes your heart hurt so?
  • What has your loved one done (or not)?
  • What have you tried to do?

Write the answers down, say them out loud. Note that this is where the recovery starts – in between the spaces. Small changes bring huge ones.

Non-addicts: Nothing changes until something changes

According to Dr. Stanger (and we totally agree with her), the key to positive change in addiction recovery – or facing a loved one with addiction – is control.

“Addiction is the masked bandit that steals away control in the night and puts false capes of super power on as blinders to the truth that swirls around them.”

As a licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Stanger has dedicated her life’s work to making a difference in the lives of families who are facing with substance abuse and mental health disorders. She has seen and helped many families. Each family is different from one other, but we are all the same when a loved ones faces addiction treatment

Through her memoir, Dr. Stranger invites everyone in the system to change, to become a different person, to be freer. Hence, a loved one can get the help they need. So, what do you do?

According to Dr. Stanger, it’s time to let your loved one figure out how to earn a living, take care for their children, and how to make their bed. It is time for them to be present in the hands of professionals. Plus, you yourself need help to change and create healthy boundaries. Getting mad and finding fault with treatment provider(s) is not the answer; rather, join with them as a team.

It’s time to “hand over the keys” and TRUST treatment providers. So, family members:

  1. Stop
  2. Pause
  3. And Let The Professionals Do Their Job.

Closing thoughts

I must admit that I was captivated from the very beginning of her story. Powerful, deeply moving and very personal memoir! This book is definitely a must!

Q: Why buy it?
A: This life journal brings inspiration, and motivation to move on, and make a positive change in your life.

Caught up in hard childhood, experienced many trauma, Dr. Louise Stanger’s journey has not been easy, and it’s been one full of rights and  wrongs. You’ll follow her story loving her personality, daring you to reflect on your own story.

After reading Dr. Stanger’s memoir, I came to a conclusion that we are challenged to find healing and wellness for ourselves. We are challenged to find hope, strength to change and grow. Because according to Dr. Stanger, we all fall, and with strength and counseling action, the journey turns up again.

Wodering where you can find “Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal”? To buy, download and read the book, check this link: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Up-A-Memoir-Renewal/dp/0996761403

In addition, if you have any questions about this book, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We also welcome your feedback if you’ve read the book, and would like to comment and share your experiences.

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About the Author: Dr. Louise Stanger is a highly sought after interventionist, as well as lecturer, professor, clinician, and trainer. She is a published author and her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Journal of Alcohol Studies, Recovery View, Sober Way, and various other magazines and scholarly publications. In addition, the San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the top 10 “Women who Mean Business” and she was ranked as one of the top 10 Interventionists in the Country. She has served as faculty at San Diego State University School of Social Work and SDSU Interwork Institute as well as been the Director of Alcohol and other Drug Services at the University of San Diego.

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