My friend Heidi Heath Garwood is one special person. She has achieved over 4,000 days of recovery from alcohol addiction and her three short, inspirational books illustrated with her own photographs, tell her story and inspire others to follow her.
To order books, here’s the link:
I asked Heidi a few questions so you can get to know her too–and maybe pass on her inspiration to anyone you know who is struggling with recovery from an addiction.
1. What prompted you to write these books?
I am an alcoholic in recovery. I got sober 3 days before my 50th birthday and had been trying to get sober for many years. Not until I completely surrendered to God, was I able to stop drinking and stay sober. I didn’t start out to write a book. I was just trying to write down the many daily thoughts I was getting from others and from God on how to stay sober. One day I had so many thoughts, I started compiling them into short one-page writings with photos and the first book was born, “Free Beer Tomorrow,” then “Hair of the Dog,” Then the last book, “I’ll Have Mine Straight Up” —These books all wrote themselves while listening to God speak to me. I say “wrote themselves” because I don’t remember thinking I was writing a book. I just know I was compelled to write. My books deal with alcohol/addiction—some have a hard time believing in a “higher power.” The three books provide a “soft landing” into the concept of depending on God for help. The books are short messages about the journey from desperation to inspiration.
2. What is your hope and prayer for people who are suffering from alcohol addiction?
• Never give up hope for yourself or for your loved one.
You(they) can be sober if I can.
• Surrender to God is key—service to others is next.
• You don’t have to do it alone.
• Your addiction is not YOU. You can rise above this.
• I want to give back to others what was so freely given to me.
3. How has writing and sharing these books impacted your own recovery?
It has been an unbelievable journey to hear back from people how my books have impacted others or have been used as tools to tip somebody over to the side of finally getting into recovery. It keeps me sober knowing I stand in the gap for others in prayer and giving my books away. I think of it as a form of service to others.
Recently, Heidi and I shared the microphone on a local radio show talking about our books, writing and its impact on others, and how recovery helps one live God’s will one day at a time.
On air with Neil Pearlsberg in Santa Cruz, California
Heidi is offering a set of her three books to the first three people who leave a comment. Send me your address in a private email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will forward them to Heidi for mailing.
Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous, meeting and location times, and the 12 steps of the AA program, visit www.aa.org
And if you are suffering because of an alcoholic in your life, check out the companion programs for families: Al-anon and Alateen