by: Johnnie Barleykorn
This is a great beginner's guide, and also helpful for someone who has tried and not succeeded, due to their lack of understanding and knowledge of 12-Step programs, which can be rather difficult to navigate.
Addiction is the enemy, an opponent, albeit a powerful one, but one that can readily be defeated. For almost 85 years, all over the world, people have been smashing and crushing their addictions through power obtained in a 12-Step program.
However, 12-Step programs can be confusing and difficult to navigate. You might encounter grumpy old-timers, or even worse, AA Nazis - and more. But don’t let anyone run you off! Learn how to stand steadfast and navigate AA/NA. If you are new, or have tried before and failed, do not despair. You can do it, just like millions before you have. These were people just like you -beaten down, discouraged, and maybe even hopeless.
The author was a chronic-relapser for more than a decade but now has over 17-years of sobriety. A little knowledge and guidance may be all you need to defeat your addiction once and for all. You are not a failure until you quit trying!
margaret duffy on Amazon wrote:
Mr. Barleykorn does a fantastic job of exposing and addressing the many faults and subtle taboos of the AA/NA (and other 12 step programs), while at the same time never minimizing their importance and ability to offer success in keeping alcoholics and addicts alive and free from bondage.
With the precision of a surgeon, the experience of a long time AA member, the sense of humor of a comedian, and true concern for all members (especially the newcomer) he does what's never (to the best of my knowledge) been done - to be completely honest about what REALLY goes on in and out of those meeting rooms.
Many newcomers come into AA/NA, etc. as a last ditch effort to save their lives, only to find out that many of those in the rooms are still quite sick, and some don't even care about those who are still suffering but prefer to wear the badge of their own sobriety date as an excuse to judge, ignore or belittle newcomers. He does not seek to discourage anyone from attending meetings; quite the contrary - he stresses the absolute necessity of doing just that, but at the same time prepares both newcomer and established members alike for the reality of obtaining and maintaining sobriety through a12 step program.
Some of the tales are hilarious, some pathetic, and some downright critical. But again; the redemption lies in his absolute serious approach to the deadly disease of addiction, and the hope and success a 12 step program offers one once his or her skin gets a little thicker, and they learn that people are the same wherever you go.
Think of it as the field manual for survival in the 12 step jungle. Don't panic, drop your weapons and run when the sh*t hits the fan; just hold your ground and maintain the steadfast courage that is often necessary to stick around a fellowship that, oddly enough, often lacks true 'fellows' but instead includes inflated egos and just plain mean people.
His basic message: DON'T LEAVE NO MATTER WHAT. Contribute what you can listen to those humble and honest members who DO truly care about other members, and when the inevitable jerk spouts off, just laugh inside and remember this - LOVE AND TOLERANCE IS OUR CODE: SOME ARE SICKER THAN OTHERS.
Once you get it, you will begin to grow spiritually and sobriety will become much more obtainable and sustainable.
For those who may be offended by this book, it offers this simple advice: Take a good look at yourself, make the necessary corrections, be kind and patient, and stick around. Even the Old-Timers still have much to learn. If you are offended by anything you read in this book, congratulations - you're probably making progress . . . . and remember; "It's Progress, Not Perfection"!
This is a great book and a quick, fun read that just might save your life or the life of someone you care about. And it's obviously written by someone who knows what they're talking about
Will Bonner on Amazon wrote:
This is an important book to read if you are struggling with addiction. It is so important for the addict to know what to expect as they travel through recovery. Mr. Barleycorn's portrayals and experiences in AA are realistic. I think this is a very important book for anyone in recovery or beginning recovery to read. Addicts don't always think about what there addiction is doing to their family especially their children.
Based on his own real life experiences in 12 step programs Johnnie Barleykorn provides very meaningful information about potential routes to recovery from addiction. He indicates some major reasons why these programs work for some people and don't work for others. He also explains why certain 12 step programs didn't work for him at first - until he made some changes in his thinking and expectations.
Barleykorn says that sponsors and others in a 12 step program can have a negative effect on a person's chance of a successful recovery. His personal stories with real life examples can help to make people aware of some of these potential recovery pitfalls and provide them with the tools that will increase their chances of a successful recovery.
I'm sure the stories and advice in this book can help a lot of people avoid the pitfalls and traps that he mentions - and they can also help them with recovery.
About the author
Johnnie Barelykorn is currently working as a probation officer and continues to do programs at work informing about the power of the 12-Step approach. Johnnie is still a single parent to his two children, who are currently entering adulthood. James is in college on the GI Bill, and Eileen has started a new career that she loves.
He celebrated 17 years of sobriety in the fall of 2018, but prior to learning to navigate a 12-Step program, he continually relapsed for more than a decade. Johnnie had a lot of experience with relapse, a lot, and unfortunately, due to stubbornness and hardheadedness, had to learn the hard way.
In addition, Mr. Barleykorn is licensed as a Certified Recovery Specialist and has recently begun training to become a SMART Recovery facilitator. 12-Step Survival Guide is his first book.