Thursday, September 12, 2013

Praying For Your Addicted Loved One by Sharron K Cosby

A quick glance at the cryptic and intriguing title and the raw image of a pensive, weary young  beatnik man slumped down with a tourniquet on his exposed forearm on the cover of the new book, Praying For Your Addicted Loved One 90 in 90 by Sharron K Cosby is certain to draw in readers seeking relief.  The subtitle "90 in 90" is the only coded hint that this book is a personal 90 day devotional: 90 entries to be read over the course of 90 days. It seems reminiscent of a self help slogan.  The simple subtitle and the graphic image of a drug user against a cloudy, stormy backdrop is a dramatic image- very distinct from the peaceful nature scenery often depicted on the covers of other devotional and self help books.

This book boldly depicts the image of co-dependency and dysfunctional relationships with the slumped young man who is obviously addicted to something bad.  One can imagine that a distraught mother, an embittered sister or maybe even an enabling codependent girlfriend, might be able to relate and read this book in the hopes of seeking help for her loved one and herself.  On the other hand this specific cover might alienate an older segment of readers such as older middle aged and elderly men and women who abuse alcohol, prescription drugs or suffer from eating disorders, gambling or compulsive shopping.  In this case a more sanitized, serene cover might be more appropriate in drawing in a more varied audience with a wider variety of familial addictive behaviors. While it is true that one should never judge a book by its cover, this book's cover is so notable as to draw attention.  I believe many readers will make their decision about the relevancy of this book to their particular situation based on its cover.

The daily devotions themselves are simple and short- two pages maximum- which is perfect for those who are short on patience,  mental resources and time, and are in desperate need of a quick burst of mental refreshment.  It is a fact that it is the loved ones of an addict that suffer the most in silence.  It is usually these loved ones and family that suffer from shame and isolation as well as  codependency issues and enabling related issues.   Each day has its own theme- or recovery step, and related biblical verse to address the unique problems these families face. There is a short excerpt that follows based on an anecdote, the author's experience, observation or biblical story. The author offers valuable practical advise in dealing with family members with problems.  For example in one entry, Cosby shares how certain responses such as nagging actually perpetuate the illness, and the addiction by reinforcing a low self esteem and anger. She also covers relationships with other family members as well- which are often neglected. These nuggets of practical info can be found throughout the book.  Many are based on her personal experiences of what worked and what did not.

This book serves as a hybrid- between a devotional and journal.  There is short prayer and a blank page of journaling space to answer the reflection questions at the end of each day's devotion. A problem with addictions are the shame and secrecy- this book challenges the reader to confront it and bring it out into the open.  This book has a twofold purpose- to heal the co-dependent victim in a dysfunctional relationship of the hurts and pains associated with the addiction of a loved one and to strengthen one's spiritual faith in the process.  The overall theme is to offer hope and also redemption- recovery, based on God's promises for redemption and healing. 

As a blogger for litfuse publicity, I received this book published by Recovery publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

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