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"I knew about drunk, but did not know anything about living sober. I hadn't really been sober for fifteen years. It wasn't enough that I stopped drinking. I had to learn how to live."
The journey from alcoholic insanity to sobriety -- and the pivotal role of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in navigating that transition -- is the focus of this book. Last Call offers perspectives on how and why AA is the most effective alcoholism treatment program in the world.
Through powerful first-person narratives like the one above -- composites of many anonymous speakers -- psychotherapist Jack H. Hedblom provides compelling insights into the minds and hearts of addicted drinkers, from bizarre behavior and denial to the moment of "hitting bottom" and seeking change.
Hedblom covers the process of getting sober, from diagnosis to detox to sobriety. Of particular focus is the long-term challenge of learning to live sober, in which recovering alcoholics learn to solve problems and live life without alcohol. In meeting this long-term challenge, Hedblom asserts, regular participation in AA reaps the greatest benefits.
Hedblom's vivid descriptions reveal AA meetings as gatherings of fellowship, compassion, tears, and laughter. He relates the history of AA, describes the role of sponsors, and elaborates the Twelve Steps and the Promises. He emphasizes the importance of spiritual development in recovery and refutes the common misconceptions that equate spirituality with organized religion.
By relating the stories of people who have escaped the tyranny of alcoholism with the help of AA, Hedblom reveals the road to recovery as a journey of self-discovery, change, and hope.