Saturday, 2 June 2012

Minus One: A Twelve Step Journey by Bridget Bufford

Twenty six year old Terry Manescu, is an alcoholic and also a drug user. Terry is at a point in her life where she knows she has to make changes. So, after a course of treatment, Terry moves in with her friend Angela. There are conditions though. Terry has to remain clean and sober and she has to pay her share of the household expenses. Angela helps terry get a job and it looks like Terry is on her way to sobriety.

Terry attends AA meetings, but somehow she doesn’t ‘get’ the concept of why she is attending. Terry thinks all the longer sober members are out to tell her what to do and rule her life. Terry isn’t having any of it though and inevitably makes mistakes.

However somewhere deep down, Terry knows this is the path she has to take. She has to admit once and for all she is powerless over alcohol and drugs and that the twelve step program will be her salvation. Only then will Terry realize that AA will not change the person she is, but the way she thinks.

Terry has always associated alcohol with her love life. The endless rounds of lesbian bars and women she met in them, played a huge part in her life over the years.

Terry has lost the love of her life due to a drunken rage. This seemed to be the catalyst in her life to get sober. But ultimately, Terry has to want to get sober. Can it be that Terry is finally getting what AA is all about?

Unfortunately along the way, Terry has to overcome other problems in her life. Will she be strong enough to avoid drinking again?

There is a wonderful cast of supporting characters. All with their own offerings throughout this book, making the journey we follow with Terry very interesting. These characters are so real, just like so many people I’ve met.

Terry’s brother tries to help her, he gives her a place to stay. But like most non alcoholics, has no idea of what Terry is going through or her struggles to remain sober. He seems to think that she won’t need to go to AA, she’s not an alcoholic and just needs to cut down on her drinking. This is all very confusing for Terry. Will Terry listen to her brother or AA?

Along the path to sobriety, Terry meets and tries to have a relationship with Holly. But quickly finds that Holly isn’t a lesbian. Will this be Terry’s downfall?

Terry has many obstacles to overcome, losing jobs, her family don’t really understand her, all these things could send Terry back to minus step one at any time. Will Terry be strong and listen to her sponsor?

We follow the highs and lows of Terry’s struggle to remain sober. She’s has to hit her rock bottom, her minus one step. Only then can she claw her way back from the bowels of hell caused by her addiction.

This is a wonderful, heart-breaking, yet heart-warming story of a young woman’s addictions to alcohol and some drug abuse. It is more than just another book about an alcoholic finding sobriety. This book is also the story of self discovery. A journey that anyone of us could take whether we suffer from an addiction or not. You don’t have to have an addiction for your life to spiral out of control. The concept of the twelve steps, or even just ‘the one day at a time’ AA teaches, could be used by each of us for many situations. Therefore, please don’t think this book isn’t for you to read because you are not an addict or family of an addict. There is something to be learned in here for each of us.

If you are an addict or think you maybe, this book will certainly give you an insight into some of the help that is available to you, wherever you live in the world. If you know someone who is an addict, a family member or friend, this book will help you understand more about their condition.

Having said this, Minus One: A Twelve Step Journey is a story full of love and hope and makes for an interesting and page turning read. From my own personal experience, Bridget Bufford has got this story spot on.

No comments:

Post a Comment