"I knew about drunk, but did not know anything about living sober. I hadn't really been sober for fifteen years. It wasn't enough that I stopped drinking. I had to learn how to live."
The journey from alcoholic insanity to sobriety--and the pivotal role of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in navigating that transition--is the focus of Last Call. Using powerful first-person narratives like the one above (composites of many anonymous speakers), psychotherapist Jack H. Hedblom provides compelling insights into the minds and hearts of addicted drinkers, from bizarre behavior and denial to the moment of "hitting bottom" and seeking change.
Hedblom covers the process of getting sober, from diagnosis to detox to sobriety. He focuses on the challenge of learning to live without drinking--a long-term goal, Hedblom asserts, that is best achieved by regular participation in AA.
Hedblom's vivid descriptions reveal AA meetings as gatherings of fellowship, compassion, tears, and laughter. In relating the history of the organization, he describes the role of sponsors, elaborates on the Twelve Steps and the Promises, emphasizes the importance of spiritual development in recovery, and refutes the common misconceptions that equate spirituality with organized religion.
Through the stories of people who have escaped the tyranny of alcoholism with the help of AA, Hedblom shows that the road to recovery is a journey of self-discovery, change, and hope.
Jack H. Hedblom, M.S.W., Ph.D., a psychotherapist with a private practice in Towson, Maryland, received his Ph.D. in sociology from the State University of New York and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland. He has held faculty positions at major universities in the United States and has worked in the fields of criminology, social deviance, and social psychology. He has published in these areas and on methods of social research, coauthoring Methods for the Social Sciences: A Handbook for Students and Non-Specialists and contributing chapters to colleagues' publications in social policy and penology. Dr. Hedblom's interest in social psychology and alcoholism grew from his work with veterans at the Baltimore VA Hospital.