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Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review - Rewriting Life Scripts

Book Review
Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Families of Addicts 
Rewriting Life Scripts - Transformational Recovery for Families and Addicts
by Liliane Desjardins, Nancy Oelklaus, Irene Watson

About the Author - Irene Watson
Irene Watson was born and raised in a tiny hamlet of Reno in the northern area of the province of Alberta in Canada. It was a farming community, mostly settled by immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and Poland during the early 1900s.

Irene is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, as well as mentoring and coaching authors. She is also a facilitator of transformative retreats and workshops and a Aftercare Coach for Higher Power Productions 4-day programs facilitated by Liliane Desjardins. 

Today, Irene lives beside Barton Creek in Austin, Texas with her husband Robert of 42 years, their Pomeranian, Tafton; their calico cat from a rescue shelter, Patches; and their cockatiel, Clement.

Book Description
In one sense, alcoholics and drug addicts are the fortunate ones. They have to learn a new way to live or risk death, incarceration, and loss of everything they hold dear.

But what about the other members of their family? Because so many of them believe that the addict is the problem, they do nothing about their own habits of mind and heart-and continue to live in resentment, anger, and fear, feeding their own stress level and shortening their lives in a way that's very different from the addict-yet, on another level, remarkably similar.

Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Families of Addicts contains information, explanation, and processes for change. Following the steps outlined in this book brings peace of mind, forgiveness, reconciliation, and the ability-truly-to live happily ever after.

This book is a project of the Higher Power Foundation to provide financial support grants for people who need recovery to attend spiritual and life training events. We are fortunate to have endorsements by William Cope Moyers and Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, University of Massachusetts Medical School/UMass Memorial Health Care System.


Our Book Review
When I first received this book to review I must admit the first thing that sprung to mind when I read the word addiction was drink and drugs, thanks to this book and Irene Watson's other book, The Sitting Swing, they have opened my eyes to what an addiction really is.  I now realise that an addiction can be anything behavioural, such as co-dependency, workaholism, sexual, to my initial thoughts of drink and drugs, it is what we do to hide from the pain that we do not want to deal with.

What everyone tends to forget about when the addicts starts receiving help, is that behind the addict and their problems there is a family who also needs help.   The addict, once they admit they need help, can receive various treatments to try and overcome their problem, but what happens to the family at this time and more importantly how do the family react and deal with the addict.  The family need help, not only on how to deal with this major issue in their lives but how to understand how the addiction could have started in the first place and how to help the addict on the recovery process, all of which cannot really be done until they have first cleared themselves of problems.  This book is here for them, written from years of research and clinical practice, and should be given to every addicts family as part of the whole recovery process. If an addicts family are unable deal with the issues, due to lack of knowledge, this could be the difference of of recovery and loosing their will to help themselves.

I have learnt so much from this book, I cannot put into words just how important I feel this is to read.  In life we tend to hang on to our old survival techniques to get us through the difficult patches, hiding from the problem or pain, thinking that this will make everything alright or that the problem will go away.  Unfortunately the way we do this hasn't helped with any problems in the past so why should it now.  We need to find the courage to face a problem, instead of going into denial, and realise that there are things in life that we cannot change or control, what will be will be, we need to let go of the problem and surrender ourselves to these old patterns and to channel that energy into improving our life instead, making us stronger. 

The book is a fantastic resource of help to all family members. It gives the reader a greater understanding of addictions and recovery, with great insight into the inner lives of addicts, how addictions affect family dynamics that can be carried into adult life.    It is full of stories to bring the reader closer to understanding the topic, success stories, questions and answers and even has some quote here and there.

The book is all about our current beliefs and acceptances as we were taught as we grew up and how we can rewrite these.   Our lesson in life should be to trust and enjoy every moment in life, believe in yourself and realise that nothing is perfect, we cannot control everything, To Love Life Again !!

For me the chapter on 'Making changes in your life first' was the most important, especially the Fear part, in fact I read and re-read this as it was quite an eye opener for me and I wanted to fully understand.  Most people have problems to deal with, I personally have spent the last few years suffering from depression due to major events that I did not want to deal with, my husband has been strongly by my side all of this time but had he had the opportunity of taking the time to read this wonderful book he would not be struggling with the after effects of it all now as I am recovering.  I am lucky enough to be at the latter stages of the book having taken what is classed as the 'paradigm shift' and have actually gone through some of thinking that is described, that is why I feel it is a vital part of any addict and addicts family to read.  Instead of taking years to recover and find the answers myself things could have been massively improved.  Extremely highly recommended.

One line in the book stood out for me and made so much sense -
'Love is the energy that heals feelings and the power that restores us to sanity'.

Our Rating


  1. This book looks like a real eye opener! I need to look into this! THank you so much!

  2. Thanks for the review! Sure does sound like a book that can be a huge help to many. And I agree, we all have problems/issues to work through. I went through a huge depression myself & didn't come through it until I worked through the past & issues. Thankfully, I also had a loving, supportive husband.

  3. Interesting review...and so very true. We can judge people, but we don't live in their shoes. Thank you!

  4. Thanks, Sharon. I will check this one out.

  5. This book sounds like an excellent resource of information and support for families in anguish!

  6. This book sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  7. This sounds like a good book and usually behind every addict there is an enabler that needs to be helped as well. I think this would be wonderful to read.


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