“Full Recovery” from addiction to recovery-book review

Full Recovery 

The Recovering Person’s Guide to Unleashing Your Inner Power 

a book by Brian McAlister

“a spiritual journey of empowerment and self-discovery “

Brian McAlister is CEO of Full Recovery Wellness Center,  a substance use treatment center in Fairfield, New Jersey.

He is also the owner of MacSimum Publishing Co. , which published this book.

He has been sober since August 2, 1990.

The book starts with a disclaimer that it is “not intended as a substitute for any treatment program” and neither is this blog post.

GPS- Goals Produce Success 

Brian McAlister

Note: readers may support this blog by using the affiliate links in this post, at no extra charge; the graphics in this post are not found in the book

Addiction is a disease of selfishness and isolation.

Brian’s addiction to alcohol and drugs started as a teenager in the 1960s and continued into early adulthood when he lived an “outlaw biker lifestyle”. Despite having a loving wife and son, he wasted his days drinking and carousing, getting in trouble legally and financially, until a near fatal motorcycle accident jarred him into realizing that he was going nowhere. But he was not content with merely getting sober, he wanted a better life for his family. He wrote,

In hindsight, I was very lucky to have become an alcoholic because lessons learned in recovery have given me the tools to succeed in all areas of my life.”

Drugged driving is common amond fatal driving accidents.
credit- NIH, National Institute on Drug ABuse

Full Recovery Action Plan

Brian’s Full Recovery Action plan presents the same principles he used to turn his life from addict to entrepreneur to successful businessman. To take full advantage of the plan, readers need a notebook he says will become “your roadmap to success.” He closes each chapter with a “Let’s Review” list of main points followed by Action Plan exercises to complete and record in the notebook. 

His plan is simple and straightforward; it like the book has three parts-

  1. Exploration
  2. Motivation
  3. Perspiration

Into those three parts, he packs enormous resources – personal stories, history, addiction sttistics, life lessons, psychology, time management, work and business tips, and personal resilience.

Besides his own journey to sobriety, he uses personal examples from other former addicts (with their permission and names changed to protect privacy). He also relates anecdotes from well known successful people, including Ford, Edison, Lincoln, Einstein, Columbus, Eric Clapton, Sam Walton, Bill Gates-and Jesus. 

Substance use is difference in women and men; women develop disorder quicker, men have more severe disorder.
credit:NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Brian believes “full recovery” must be based on a “solid moral foundation”. Like with 12 Step addiction recovery programs, his is based on belief in a Higher Power. Brian’s belief is based in Christianity, thus his frequent references to God and Jesus, and liberal use of scriptures from the Bible. But he does not insist those who use his program adhere to Christianity, but need to believe in someone higher than themselves.

“To be truly sober, and not just abstinent, I had to change my belief from one of self-reliance to reliance on God.”

He encourages addicts to cultivate attitudes of faith, hope, abundance, and gratitude, while also practicing practical skills of planning, listening, communicating, goal setting, and learning. These are all developed by completing the Action Plan exercises regularly.

I’ve never been addicted to anything, at least not drugs or alcohol, but I enjoyed Brian’s book and believe the program he outlines can help anyone wanting to change their life in a positive way.

This version of Full Recovery was published in 2015.I read a complimentary digital version of this book for a NetGalley review. It was the 2010 edition titled Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety.

Additional resources on substance abuse,addiction, and sobriety

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts

Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Strategies to prevent drugges driving-designated driver, one driver take all keys, get a ride to parties.
credit:NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse

exploring the HEART of health and sobriety

Thanks for reading this blog post. You probably know someone who could benefit from Brian’s program. Please send this post and share to your social media feeds. I especially appreciate shares on the sites I’m not on currently.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

TOP REVIEWER -for NetGalley

Dr Aletha

reviewer for Net Galley

Friendship: A True Story of Adventure, Goodwill, and Endurance-book review

A chance meeting between Francis, an adolescent with big dreams, and Tom Johnson, Vietnam veteran and career pilot, changed the youth’s life forever in ways he had only dreamed of. Although he and Tom spent few years physically together, they never grew apart in friendship and love .

Friendship: A True Story of Adventure, Goodwill, and Endurance

is a memoir told by Francis Mandewah. But it is more than one man’s story; it is the account of two men’s lives which woven together created an adventure bigger than either one of them alone.

a chance meeting-Goodwill

A chance meeting between Francis, an adolescent with big dreams, and Tom Johnson, Vietnam veteran and career pilot, changed the youth’s life forever in ways he had only dreamed of. Although he and Tom spent few years physically together, they never grew apart in friendship and love .

“(I was) a poor boy who had known so much hardship. I was introduced to these men in an area where no other Africans were allowed. I was being treated with dignity and respect beyond anything I’d ever experienced before.

I felt a power greater than myself sweep over me. I knew that only God could be making all of this happen. This was supernatural, a genuine miracle. Surely God placed me on that corner at that time in the afternoon, selling my oranges so that Tom and I could meet.

At that very moment,  I truly felt the presence of Jesus. My life was changing.”

Francis, from his memoir

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is the country on the west coast of Africa made famous by the movie “BLOOD DIAMOND” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for five Academy Awards. That movie brought attention to a rebel war in West Africa in which “blood” diamonds, also known as “conflict” diamonds, were used to finance warlords and their activities.

But years before this war began, pilots like Tom were hired to fly diamonds out of the country, to be traded in London. The country was stable but the leadership corrupt. The diamond trade was not used to support the people of Sierra Leone; most lived in poverty as subsistence farmers. on rural farms.

Photo by Noureddine Belfethi on Pexels.com of the Sahara Desert

Leaving Africa-Adventure

With Tom’s financial sponsorship, Francis attended a Catholic school in Africa, eventually leaving his family in an isolated village in Sierra Leone to fulfill his dream of an education and a job in the United States. Along the way Francis had many harrowing experiences, including crossing the Sahara Desert where he almost died. His adventures and challenges continued in Italy and Greece, until he finally reached the United States.

“Tom’s friendship meant more than financial security. I had joined his family. Without Tom, a fatherless boy like me would have had to live out my days, impoverished and miserable in Sierra Leone, here was God sending me a brother, father, and a friend.”

Francis

We never learn Tom’s motivation for helping Francis, but Francis attributes Tom’s friendship and God’s help to all the good things that happened in his life.

Life in America-Endurance

Francis eventually earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and became an American citizen. He worked as a probation and parole agent and now as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counsellor. But even though he worked hard to give back to the country that has given him so much, he experienced racism on his job. Under duress, he made a serious error in judgement in his personal life, almost costing him his freedom.

Coming from Sierra Leone, I had a view of America as a place of unlimited possibility. I felt blessed by God when I landed a state job. I had to learn the hard way that life in America is complex.

Francis

Even when that new life didn’t turn out as perfectly as he hoped, Francis was grateful for the opportunities and considered them gifts from God.

I continue to work on forgiveness and struggle with regret from the past. I continue to believe and trust in God. And there are always bright spots waiting to be discovered.

Francis

My reaction to Friendship

Francis writes in a conversational style, so I felt he was right here talking to me. From his descriptions I “saw” his home country, and the places he visited. He does not hold back from transparently expressing his emotions, even the painful experiences he endured. The story line moves at a steady pace, propelling the reader into the next chapter.

My only regret about the book is not knowing more about Tom Johnson, but that is true to the story, as Francis didn’t know much about his personal life either. He only knew Tom offered him a chance that no one else had, or would have, and changed his life. He did not waste the opportunity but went farther than he imagined.

Francis’ story inspired and moved me so I recommend it to anyone who enjoys true life stories that are better than fiction. 

As a NetGalley reviewer, I received a digital copy of this book and agreed to write a review.

Francis Mandewah

In this video, Francis shares the story of how he was saved from death while crossing the dangerous Sahara Desert.

My own life story has shown me that hope is the most powerful weapon that we can arm ourselves with.

Francis Mandewah

exploring the HEART of health

I hope you will learn more about Francis Mandewah, I found his story remarkable and one worth sharing. I think his example of faith and endurance through hardship can inspire us all.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Medical stethoscope and heart on a textured background

Dr Aletha

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