Jackie Steins Review of “A Sober Moms Guide To Recovery” By Rosemary O’Connor – Self-care & Celebrating Life

  People in the rooms will tell you to “Just don’t take the first drink and go to meetings.” They also say “We are not a glum lot.” Those are the first introductions to self-care and celebrating a life of sobriety.  It often takes a good while for both of those to become habit. Many of us come into recovery having really beaten ourselves to a pulp. Even the “functional” addicts, who still manage to get to their jobs every day, are not eating healthfully, getting deep sleep on a nightly basis or getting to the doctor and dentist regularly. How many of us drank or got high to relieve anxiety and fear? Once in the throes of our drug of choice, whatever had been bothering us was forgotten. Now, without our substance in our systems, we needed to learn ways to relax that didn’t involve alcohol or drugs. The… Continue reading

Jackie Steins Review of A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery By Rosemary O’Connor – Domestic Violence & Shame

It seems that each time my friend and I read a couple of chapters for my review, we see that the topics mesh effortlessly. I can’t imagine two more closely connected chapters than the topics of domestic abuse and violence and shame. We are reminded by Rosemary O’Connor, the author of this book, that domestic abuse and violence is not always what we see on reality television. Yes, there is often physical abuse, but more frequently there is significant emotional and psychological abuse. And why does it not reach the same level of reporting? Because the victims sit in shame and silence. Let’s not live in denial…abuse and violence can be perpetrated by both men and women. It might even be harder for a man to admit that he has been abused by his partner because society places even more shame in the face of machismo. We are starting to… Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery By Rosemary O’Connor – Communication is a Skill; Worry is an Unnecessary Evil – Review By Jackie Stein

The next two chapters of Rosemary O’Connor’s book, “A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery — Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Kids”, deal with very important topics for anyone in sobriety, but maybe more so for Moms than anyone else. Without good communication skills, our relationships with our kids can be severely damaged.  And if we are overwrought, our kids pick up on that and are severely affected. Being a Mom ain’t easy, but it is so worth it. One of the best things about 12 step programs is that we learn all the good and bad ways to communicate. I have often thought that the world would be a better place if everyone had a 12 step program. Communication is a vital part of working the steps. Before recovery, my communication skills were relegated to loud and raucous arguments or intense silence. I didn’t understand that… Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery By Rosemary O’Connor – Spirituality is for People who have already been to Hell – Review By Jackie Stein

In the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, a familiar refrain is that religion is for those who are afraid of Hell and spirituality is for people who have already been there. I am here to tell you that no truer words have been said. Most people who walk through the doors of AA or NA have been to Hell and back at least once and know first-hand what the depths of this disease can portend. We come to this program with many different hopes and dreams. Some are looking for a safe way to drink. Some are looking for a magic potion to take away the desire to drink. Almost all have come with a desire to feel better and failing that, to feel at all. When we get to Step Two, after having taken the step to acknowledge that we are powerless over the next drink and that our lives… Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery by Rosemary O’Connor – Laughter is the Best Medicine, Review By Jackie Stein

In Rosemary O’Connor’s chapter called “Joy and Laughter”, she talks about the lack of those things while in the midst of the disease, and how she found them again in recovery. Rosemary talks about a number of instances that reminded her of the power of laughter and joy in everyday life. One of the places that laughter exists but seemed out of place in early recovery was in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I, too, have vivid memories of my first few meetings in recovery. My pre-conceived notion was that I would be walking into a room full of middle-aged men, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and looking surly and serious. I expected to go into a church basement so filled with smoke it would be difficult to see the other people in the room. As I approached the church, I noticed that there were about a dozen people standing outside… Continue reading