Can alcohol ruin the lives of those you love? Many live in isolation… and don’t even dare to speak out and say “my partner is al alcoholic”
Cheers is an anthology of true stories for those who live with, or care about, an alcoholic. It is also by alcoholics themselves.
Cheers reveals the human condition behind alcoholism. For a period of twelve years I myself have experienced the complexity of living with an alcohol-addicted partner. The secrecy surrounding alcoholism in society as a whole and the non-acceptance and judgemental comments from family, friends and outsiders have driven me to share my experience.
Not only have I interviewed partners, children, parents and friends of people with an alcohol problem, but also health workers in the field of addiction and alcoholics. I openly recount their stories, being it anonymously, revealing my own and their incredible stories of desperation and pain, but ultimately also of hope.
‘Cheers’ helps to raise awareness of the growing problem of alcohol abuse and provides information to those affected by the effects of alcoholism on the surroundings and the person in question, in order to find a way to cope with or, indeed, to discover a way out of this widespread disease.
Compassionately written, ‘Cheers’ also offers information about some of the many avenues of help currently available to those affected both directly and indirectly by alcoholism.
Why should you read Cheers?
Another book on the subject of alcoholism you may think. Not very interesting and certainly not applicable to you! In your mind you see the lonely beggar in front of the supermarket with a few cans of cheap beer. Dirty hair and clothes and a rough beard. There is sadness in his watery look in the eyes as he strokes the dog, who is the only living being left who loves him.
But did you know that alcoholism is common in all layers of society? Did you know that one alcoholic negatively affects the lives of at least six people? And that three out of five people are negatively affected by the effects of over-consumption of alcohol at some point in their lives? Do you know about the isolation, the sadness, the verbal and often physical abuse kept behind closed doors? It might be your neighbour, a colleague, a close friend or a relative who is keeping this secret. A person will often behave in an apparently normal manner when in your company. A façade used in a desperate attempt to save a marriage, a relationship, to protect a parent, a child or a partner or their own pride.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, keeping the identity of people safe. Have you ever wondered why they feel this need for anonymity?
There is a huge stigma attached to alcoholism and people who are either directly or indirectly suffering from it can find it difficult to come out of their isolation and seek help. They are often unaware that their experience is not unique and that there are many people just like them in a very similar situation. This isn’t restricted to a certain class of society. The problem does not discriminate and is affecting men and women and the lives of poor and rich, educated and uneducated alike.
Reading ‘Cheers’ will help you understand what people go through when they find themselves in a situation of alcohol abuse. It is likely to change your views and make you more aware of the dangers. Alcoholism can creep up on you or a loved one.
Cheers is written in a pleasant, holistic, easily accessible style and the real-life stories will take you into an intriguing world of isolation and pain, but also of hope and survival. Cheers will change your view and help you understand why alcoholism is such a difficult, but not impossible, problem to conquer.
Cheers is a book of hope and compassion. A must read!
Some reactions by readers:
- Gerda says:
What an important book is this that you have written! It shows so much insight in the complexity of the problem and so much understanding for the deep felt human feelings and emotions in each story, it makes this book really powerful and potent. What a great job!
- Cath says:
Been reading Cheers and it’s so confronting that I have to put it away after reading several stories.
For me it’s not only a book about alcohol, it’s a book about love, how far will we go for love. It’s a book about our limits and our weakness. I say ‘Our’because it can happen to anyone. I know, it happened to my brother. But luckily now he’s clean and I pray for him and others it will stay that way, because it’s a life long struggle. I hope your book reaches a lot of people, to help them overcome!
Cath. Love you and thanks for this great book.