Note from Louisa: This book sort of isn’t about me. I don’t imagine the resume of my life would interest anyone. What I am skilled at, though, is telling the emotional story of addictions I’ve struggled with – substance (alcohol/ cocaine), relationships (romantic obsession), and self-loathing (negative egotism) – vividly enough that readers who’ve lived through the same can relate. I also describe how I’ve recovered. Identifying with stories of others is, I think, key to recovery. As we gain more insight on the mental twists we’ve always believed to be ours alone, recognizing that we’re only human and acknowledging our wounds, we can all make progress toward freeing ourselves. If the book clicks for you, it’s really about us.
Written in the same voice as this blog, A Spiritual Evolution tells my story in depth; it’s about 500 pages and I hit bottom at the midpoint, with a long road of emotional detox ahead of me to find happiness. Lengthy, yes, but many readers have commented that they identified so often that the book felt like an extended AA meeting, one that they wanted never to end.
Overview: Told with the humor and wisdom of hindsight but interspersed with raw material from the author’s diary, A Spiritual Evolution opens with the self-harming disorder Louisa developed growing up in an alcoholic home and follows her desperate pursuit of okayness via the twin highs of drinking and infatuation that drove her to hit bottom at 34. Finally willing to listen, she learned from others how the 12 steps could enable her to tap an inner resource she calls (small-g) god that has led her through subsequent upheavals and losses toward happiness. Woven throughout is the account of her Near Death Experience and its continuing after-effects that, for Louisa, have erased all doubt of an active and powerful spirit world.
Reader reviews on Amazon for A Spiritual Evolution:
* * * * * This is an awesome book. I’ve recommended it to all my female friends in recovery. I’ve been sober 33 years and for me it’s brought new insight into trying to understand this insidious disease.
* * * * * Heaven sent. The brilliant honesty of A Spiritual Evolution touched and moved me. For me, affected by alcoholism and compulsive disorders, and by the miraculous recovery that comes with sincere 12-step work, this book is a gift.
* * * * * After reading just a few pages of Louisa’s story, I felt an immediate sense of relief that I’m not the only one, and I’m not just talking about alcoholism or Near Death Experience.
* * * * * This book is beautiful. Sort of a mix of “Running with Scissors” and “Eat, Pray Love.” Louisa exposes her life with raw, brutal, and unapologetic honestly – tapping into her amazing courage, unique and quirky personality, and often ironic sense of humor.
* * * * * Each time I open a chapter I find myself immersed in her journey… drawn in, as if I’m living these experiences right along with Louisa
* * * * * Excellent read. A courageous real life story. I was sad when it ended. Thank you, Louisa, for sharing.
* * * * * I learned much about addiction and now understand why AA and other 12 step programs have been successful, and what recovery actually means.