Not as Prescribed: Recognizing and Facing Alcohol and Drug Misuse in Older Adults

By Harry Haroutunian, MD Drug misuse and addiction is one of the fastest growing and unrecognized health problems in the United States in older adults, which is defined as age fifty and older. AARP coordinated efforts with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to provide important information about substance misuse and addiction. Knowing the difference between normal signs of aging and misused drugs or addiction may help families identify drug misuse and abuse. Toxic combinations of prescription drugs, whether under a physician’s or several physicians’ care, can mimic aging or disguise addiction. The magnitude of this problem and the rationale why … Continue reading

The Miracle Power of Your Mind: The Joseph Murphy Treasury

By Joseph Murphy Readers familiar with Dr. Joseph Murphy’s name will be excited to learn that Tarcher Penguin published his collection in their recent Success Classics series. There they will find everything written—all 24 books from 1954-1963 and multiple pamphlets— by Murphy, the pioneer of success thinking. All collected in one very large volume. Murphy’s writing is uplifting and encouraging. He states, “I wish for every man who walks the earth what I wish for myself. The sincere wish of my heart is, therefore, peace, love, joy, abundance, and God’s blessing to all men everywhere.” The founder of the New … Continue reading

The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live With and Beyond Illness

By Judith Hannan Practical instructions are provided in three parts: first, a series of writing prompts; second, suggestions to change observations into story narration; and third, encouragement for individuals to write about their experience of illness and treatment. Included is information on clinical trials about the Medical Narrative and the therapeutic value to patients’ recovering from illness and how writing helps the healing process. Hannan wrote to deal with and get through her young daughter’s illness. She does that by doing what writers are advised to do—show, don’t tell. She encourages putting the words on the page, “Whether you are … Continue reading

Why Can’t I Meditate? How to Get Your Mindfulness Practice on Track

By Nigel Wellings Looking for an in-depth analysis of the practice of mindfulness and practical advice on how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine? Wellings, a practicing meditator himself, provides both. According to Wellings, mindfulness is, “Being consciously aware of what is happening inside of us and around us in the present moment, accepting what we experience without picking or choosing, without judgments about right or wrong, good or bad, and seeing things as they really are.” He interviewed over forty meditators and meditation teachers for examples and insights into how to begin, and when wavering, continue a mindfulness … Continue reading

Dear David: Dealing with My Son’s Addiction One Letter at a Time

By Martha Wegner After seven weeks of in-patient treatment, David walked away from treatment for the third time. He was homeless due to his addiction, again. Wegner dealt with the pain of his disappearance by writing letters to him (all ending with Love, Mom). She describes the pain of having a loved one living on the streets, unable to be contacted. Since her letters couldn’t be mailed to him she posted her journal on a blog. In one letter, she lists all of the events he missed due to his drug use. In another, she describes the experiences his drug … Continue reading

Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents

By Mary Widdifield and Elin Widdifield Langdon Street Press  This collection includes candid stories from parents who have loved and lived with a family member who has a mental illness. They report their experiences with heartbreaking honesty and provide important information and resources for other families in similar circumstances. The book is divided into three parts so readers can experience the process of seeking treatment, recovery, and coping with life. Included is a Parent Questionnaire to help understand and guide the journey. Some of their advice includes suggestions to help alleviate the pain of integrating mental illness into our daily … Continue reading

Living Long, Living Passionately, 75 (and Counting) Ways to Bring Peace and Purpose to Your Life

By Karen Casey Conari Press Casey reveals she’s “been on the planet writing books and facilitating workshops for nearly half of my seventy- five years.” She is recognized as a long-time recovery expert and shares her personal story and experience of recovery in a 12 Step program. She provides meditative essays and insights with follow-up questions for journaling. For example, “What have you passed on to a loved one that he or she may cherish?” In the section on Remembrances, Casey asks, “Whom do you remember clearly? And why? And whom do you hope will keep your spirit alive. And … Continue reading

Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture

By Laura H. Choate Oxford University Press Readers will appreciate this guidebook of encouragement and useful information. Choate’s decades of experience as a counselor educator and licensed professional counselor is evident in this resource of research on popular culture and the pressures facing our young girls and their parents. The first part of the book provides an explanation and description of the world we live in; it identifies the cultural standards and messages girls are surrounded by, such as your worth is based on your appearance, on getting attention and approval from others, or on your accomplishments. The second part … Continue reading

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow

By Karen Casey The long-awaited paperback edition from a beloved pioneer of the recovery movement.  “This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the quality of his thoughts and how being aware of them can bring positive change.”  Mary Porter, Science of Mind Organized around 12 very simple steps, Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow gives readers the tools to find within them the positive, peaceful response to every curve ball life throws at them. Available wherever books and ebooks are sold.  

Synchronicity: Empower Your Life with the Gift of Coincidence

By Chris Mackey Watkins Publishing A clinical psychologist with 35 years’ experience, Mackey includes personal and clinical experiences of coincidences and synchronicity. These include case studies and anecdotal reports from people who stated that they were “in synch” with life and Gallup poll results of people who self-identify as “spiritual but not religious.” He discusses the brain science behind their perceptions. Readers who are interested in positive psychology in treating mental illness, which was developed by Martin Seligman, will find extensive information on Mackey’s website. What gift of coincidence or synchronicity have you received lately?

Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy

By Mallika Chopra Harmony Books Are you ready to move from thought to action to outcome? Mallika Chopra tells her journey of a year spent “living with intent” and shares her hope and wisdom. As the busy founder of INTENT.com (a website and app), author, mother and wife, she learned firsthand how overwhelming stress can be. And she developed workable strategies and actions that can help inspire, motivate, and rebalance a busy life. “The journey really is the destination — if we slow down enough to pay attention. When we slow down to notice, the universe gives us the signs … Continue reading

The Gratitude Element: A New Look at the Serenity Prayer

By Mark T. Scannell Gasscann Publishers Although Scannell is no longer a Catholic priest, his interest in spirituality is clear. He describes the history and evolution of The Serenity Prayer, a prayer of petition, which has been used for years by religious and Twelve Step groups. He identifies the prayer’s different versions and the authors attributed to it. Scannell indicates his intent to add to the prayer by including gratitude in the last sentence: “I am grateful for the serenity, courage, and wisdom you have given me.” He discusses how resentments and feelings of entitlement can hold one back from … Continue reading

Straight Talk from Claudia Black: What Recovering Parents Should Tell Their Kids about Drugs and Alcohol

By Claudia Black, Ph.D. Hazelden Publishing Before you begin a discussion with your children on addiction, it may be helpful to clarify your motives and expectations, especially if you are talking about your drug/alcohol history and subsequent recovery. Black is known for her work with family systems and addictive disorders. She uses five recovering parents and their different stories in this book. She takes the reader through the process of discussing addiction and recovery, new ways of relating, and creating healthy family traditions. The last chapter describes how to speak to specific age groups. Remember, discussion is a process; not … Continue reading

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

By Elle Luna Workman Publishing In this colorful book, Luna describes the process she went through to get to her must, which is painting. Accented by her drawings and sketches, Luna provides her personal journey. This book is intended for artists; fortunately, all of us have an artist within. She describes the differences between should, what we feel we ought to do, and must, what we dream of doing. Mark Twain stated, “The two most important days in our life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Luna provides techniques to help the reader … Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery: Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Kids

By Rosemary O’Connor Hazelden Publishing O’Connor describes the many challenges of recovering from addiction while upholding the responsibilities of motherhood. She describes her own and others’ stories of use and abuse, and the guilt it brought. This is a guidebook for recovering women who have struggled with balancing their recovery and parenting. Included at the end of each chapter are “Sober Mom’s Tools” which include honest insights into her experiences and may be helpful to others. Some of her best takeaways include self-care, forgive yourself and others, and remembering, “My sobriety comes first.” Besides praying to your Higher Power, O’Connor … Continue reading

The Little Book of Love: Heart and Soul and The Little Book of Mindfulness: Focus. Slow Down. De-stress.

By Tiddy Rowan Quadrille These are really tiny books of knowledge, full of interesting thoughts and quotes. Both of these small books would make wonderful gifts for oneself or someone else.The Little Book of Mindfulness is a collection of over 150 mindful techniques and exercises to help one achieve calmness, joy, and happiness. Rowan suggests, “Be non-judgmental in your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. It is important sometimes to let things be, just as they are, and allow them to breathe without questioning or fixing.” The Little Book of Love is a collection about the topic of love, and the many … Continue reading