“When addiction enters a home, recovery is necessary for the entire family.”  Jean Heaton, “Helping Families Recover from Addiction”

Cover, “Helping Families Recover from Addiction,” by Jean Heaton

I wish I had read this book 35 years ago, when addiction and alcoholism first thrust their ugly heads into our family.   Jean Heaton has written a wonderful book about how to use the 12 Steps, Catholic Teaching, and Ignatian Spirituality to recover from codependency:  addiction to controlling a family member’s addictive or alcoholic behavior.

The book is organized into 12 chapters.  Each chapter focuses on one of the 12 Steps, bringing biographical information about the author’s journey into recovery. For her, the journey began with Step 1, “We admitted we were powerless…..’  In other words, she could not manage or control her son’s addiction or her husband’s alcoholism.

Catholic teaching and Ignatian spirituality are her support and guide in this recovery journey.  As she journeys through each of the steps she tells how they help, so that we who have family members suffering from addiction can also use them for our own recovery.   At the end of each chapter there is a worksheet:   a psalm on which to meditate, lists to make and questions to ask yourself that will get you deeper into the Step, and finally a prayer appropriate for the Step.

As I said at the beginning this is a book I wish I had read 35 years ago, but I’m more than grateful  that I’ve been able to read it now. Let’s hope that it can reach all families afflicted by addiction and alcoholism.