Some would call it human nature, but perhaps it is more accurately described as a human weakness. I’m referring to our common desire to sugar-coat the truth, making things appear better than they are. People in recovery know what I am talking about. To everyone except a select few, the years of active addiction are often described as “not that bad,” at least compared to other people who could be mentioned. When asked about their recovery today, the most frequent response is “great,” or “my life could not be better.” Denial, the most obvious symptom of addiction, can easily become the mask behind which we hide the truth. Life is hard, imperfect, and there are always struggles – which does not mean that it isn’t wonderful and precious.
Recently I received a book mailed to me by the publisher: Sober Mercies by Heather Kopp. The subtitle is “How love caught up with a Christian drunk.” I set the book aside, fearing that it would be like some others I have read that provide a bit of personal sharing and then launch into a sermon that is far too long and much too self-righteous. A few nights ago I picked up the book, ready to give it a quick scan before confining it to an obscure corner of my library. Boy, was I wrong!
I spent the next day with this beautiful little book and want to recommend it to everyone in recovery — or hoping to find the road to recovery. Heather Kopp does not make her story pretty, she does not make herself look like a saint who by some accident lost her way, and she does not pretend that she has all of the answers. What she offers is an honest description of a journey through addiction into recovery. Along the way, Heather embraced true humility, and is brave enough to share her thought, fears, failings and faults with her readers. Through this honesty she helps us reflect on the important questions that must be tackled by everyone seeking lasting sobriety. The book is filled with wisdom, but we see it in Heather’s growth and healing, not through lecturing or a presumption that she has discovered “the cure.”
Heather Kopp is a Christian and she speaks about her faith. The book discusses the importance of discovering and trusting a “higher power.” The reader is able to share in Heather’s struggle to understand who God is and how he intervenes in her life. As the story unfolds, we see God travel from Heather’s head to her heart.
I encourage you to buy this book. Read it and share it with others who are in need of recovery, or who have begun the journey and want to see it to the end. Because this story is REAL it has great power. Let it touch you as it touched me.