Recovering Me, Discovering Joy by Vivian Eisenecher


About the Book:

Recovering Me, Discovering Joy reveals how to recover (from any ailment or condition) not to normal but to a better normal. After numerous attempts at sobriety, stints in more than three rehabs, followed by repeated relapses, Vivian shares the “secret” that finally brought her lasting recovery and profoundly changed her life. In an effort to improve the success rate of recovery and quite possibly save lives, one of the book’s main goals is to raise awareness about the profound correlation between depression, social anxiety, and alcoholism. Vivian has struggled with these disorders and is in recovery from all three.

In addition, Recovering Me, Discovering Joy is a remarkably honest book of creative non-fiction about the positive nature of life’s problems. It is about the journey to know oneself. With a sense of humor and an uplifting spirit of gratitude, Vivian suggests ways to live a more meaningful life. She offers a fresh look at enduring truths which we all tend to forget in our day-to-day fast-paced lives. By using stories from people in recovery, famous quotes and personal reflections, she re-establishes the importance of faith in the healing process. Her experience, strength and hope provide the reader with keys to living a richer, easier and happier life.

Here's the interview I had with the author:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

In Recovering Me, Discovering Joy / Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness the main theme is how to recover (from any ailment or condition) not to normal but to a better normal. After numerous attempts at sobriety, stints in more than three rehabs, followed by repeated relapses, I share the "secret" that finally brought me lasting recovery and profoundly changed my life. In an effort to improve the success rate of recovery and quite possibly save lives, one of my book’s main goals is to raise awareness about the profound correlation between depression, social anxiety, and alcoholism. I have struggled with these disorders and am in recovery from all three.
Recovering Me, Discovering Joy is an open and honest look at my inner struggles. It also talks about the positive nature of life’s problems along this journey to know ourselves. With a sense of humor and an uplifting spirit of gratitude, I suggest ways to live a more meaningful life. I offer a fresh look at enduring truths which we all tend to forget in our day-to-day fast-paced lives. By using stories from people in recovery, famous quotes and personal reflections, I reiterate the importance of faith in the healing process. It is my intent that my experience and resulting wisdom will provide the reader with keys to living a richer, easier and happier life.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

I had a very difficult struggle with alcohol. But after years of losing the battle, I was finally able to grasp sobriety. I felt compelled to tell my story because so many in my situation either can’t or won’t come forward with their experience, strength and hope. Many alcoholics cling to their anonymity afraid to reveal their addiction to the general public. This is completely understandable because of the stigma that still surrounds substance abuse. I hope my revelations will help reduce this stigma.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

My miraculous recovery from not only alcoholism but also dysthymia and social phobia is the inspiration behind this book. When it became clear to me that I had conquered more than just an addiction, I realized that there had to be more people who had undiagnosed co-occurring disorders. Raising the awareness regarding the strong correlation between mental disorders and substance abuse became extremely important to me and writing a book became my avenue of expression.

Who is your biggest supporter?

After my husband grasped what I was doing, he became my biggest supporter. You see, I concealed my depression and anxiety so well that not even he knew the enormity of what I was dealing with. All he knew was that I had a big drinking problem.

Your biggest critic?

My biggest critic will always be me because I want to be the best I can be and so I’m always looking for ways I can improve. I push myself to do better and in so doing I will always find areas where I am deficient.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

Reducing the stigma of substance abuse and mental illness is my main focus. Because of the stigma, there is a tremendous amount of shame and guilt regarding these diseases. These negative emotions are unnecessary and they interfere with the recovery process.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

Today, I can take a first draft of a book and bring the finished product to market. What an incredible journey! This past year, I have learned about editing, proofreading, copyediting, finding a good and economical printer and typesetter. I have enjoyed networking with other writers. I have learned how to network on the internet. I have also learned about search engine optimization, blogging, internet marketing and building a good website. Many times, I felt too overwhelmed and would have to take a step back and say, "Wait a minute. I have to sit and digest this." And so I would just breathe…

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

Getting my book into the hands of the people who need it most.

What are some of your long term goals?

I feel that God has blessed me with a profound understanding of the complexity of mental illness and addiction. And I feel like it is important for me relay my experience, strength and hope to as many people as possible. I really want to amp up my speaking engagements so that more can be inspired by my story.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

There are many good substance abuse recovery books out there but mine deals with the underlying forces that fueled my alcoholism. Recovering Me addresses specific issues that kept me seeking alcohol’s release even when it was destroying my life. I’ve learned so much in recovery that I felt it was important to bring this recovery business mainstream. If the 12-step program can profoundly transform an alcoholic, surely it could help us to recover in other areas of our life. After all, we all recover from something on a daily basis. In my book I also talk about my husband and his incredible recovery from a massive stroke. While he was recovering, I would hear him mimicking 12 step program ideas and I knew they were helping him. It was then that I knew that the 12-steps could have universal applications.

Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?

Yes, I am a different person. After I first got sober, I figured that after a while I would just hit a status quo but I’ve found that I really enjoy growing and I try to work on myself on a daily basis. I try to do my best and hope that I can influence others to do the same. I try to promptly admit it when I am wrong and try to cut the people I meet a little slack knowing that they are being challenged by their own battles in life.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

That God is always in control even when it seems like He is not. We may not understand why something is happening and we may never know the why of it but it is all part of a much bigger plan. God is not limited by time and He is not limited by space, so how can I expect my pea brain to comprehend all that He is capable of doing. All I can do is trust and obey.

About the author:

Author of Recovering Me, Discovering Joy / Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness, Vivian Eisenecher has been an inspirational speaker, mentor and writer since 1996. Using her experience, strength and hope, she is committed to helping educate and enlighten the general public about the puzzling aspects of the addiction/recovery process and the strong correlation between anxiety, depression and alcoholism. Vivian holds a marketing degree in Business Administration (magna cum laude). Her other published works include articles for The Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Woman’s World, Viewpoint, and JUST FINE: Unmasking Depression and Anxiety Disorders (due out in 2009). She is featured on the 2009 Faces of Recovery Calendar and is a Board of Director for A New Path (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing).

You can visit Vivian Eisenecher's website at: http://www.recoveringme.com/.


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3 comments:

Dorothy Thompson said...

Wonderful interview and lovely woman! Thanks for hosting her today, Zensanity!

Cheryl said...

Excellent interview ladies. Best of luck to you, Vivian. You're doing a wonderful thing with this book.

Cheryl

Maggie Rose Crane said...

Vivian has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Growing up with an alcoholic father, I am struck by her insights around the underlying causes of alcoholism. I suspect many people drink to alleviate depression and anxiety. I wish I had known this when my father was alive. Perhaps it could have saved us all from so much pain.