As someone who has battled substance abuse, I was curious as to how a book could help the reader “overcome” addiction in a matter of 30 days or less. This undertaking, in Right Now Enough is Enough, by Peter Andrew Sacco, is an especially large one, given that so many loyal AA, NA, and other 12-step program participants think that real recovery includes meetings and definitive “must do’s” in order to stay substance free. But Sacco surprised me, in a good way.
I did not read the foreword or the praise-filled blurbs in the front of the book before reading it myself, as I did not want to be swayed one way or another. Instead, I tried to dive in with a somewhat skeptical yet mostly open mind, with the knowledge of my own many failed attempts to adhere to or complete a 12-step program successfully. But when I laid the book down, after soaking up every word and working through every exercise, I thought, Finally! Someone gets it.
Sacco, an adjunct professor of psychology, pulls back all of the recovery/12-step jargon and red tape, and gets down to the bare bones of what is a “must” in order to experience freedom from addictions and habits that control one’s life. He details the core issues that have to be addressed and gives practical, real-life applications that can be implemented immediately. His plan does require an attitude of desire for a better life and a belief in a higher power, whatever or whoever that may be for you. Most important, he gives a real sense of hope, instead of a long list of tasks to complete. He suggests that choosing which aspects of recovery programs work for you, rather than making oneself abide by every single instructed step, can lead to greater success.
This is crucial when speaking to people who have tried and failed before and want only to be successful in kicking the monster called addiction. Hope is rare in the addict’s world. And sometimes a to-do list of meetings (30 meetings in 30 days for the first month) filled with people one doesn’t know or trust can be overwhelming. It may even be the first step towards another failure if an addict isn’t ready socially or emotionally to jump into a public forum.
I am a recovering addict myself. I spent numerous years living with an overwhelming feeling of failure in regard to my attempts to get substance free. I spun my wheels, so to speak, trying to do what I was told and trying to complete the steps I was advised to complete. Unfortunately, I had neither the maturity nor the appropriate knowledge of a higher power required to make a full recovery. And the failure that occurred time and time again prevented me from realizing that I was capable to succeed in this area.
The author begins his book by explaining the foundation of his plan—the one that can supposedly help one overcome addiction and bad habits in 30 days or less. Sacco posits that three things will need to be addressed in order for true health and recovery to be attained. Together, they form the psycho-social-spiritual. Respectively, they are mental health and well-being (psycho), social well-being (social), and belief in God, a higher power, or the universe (spiritual). He shows how all three work independently, as well as how they become dependent on one another.
He breaks the book into three sections as well. The first contains the components of what an addiction is and why it continues to exist and fester. In the second, he discusses how we, individually, may contribute to the manifestation of an addiction. And third, he presents 30 days of “intentions” to work into one’s daily life. He purposely chooses the word “intentions,” as opposed to “affirmations,” he tells us. His careful choice here is to encourage “active choosing” and “powerfully expecting” outcomes. This is based on his belief that “active choosing” engages the mind to learn on one’s own terms and not be at the whim of whatever garbage flows in. And the act of “powerfully expecting” is believing something will come to pass. It demonstrates our confidence in our own beliefs and abilities, he says.
Sacco, a former private practitioner in the areas of relationships, criminal psychology, addictions and mental health, writes in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner that is easy to understand, even if one is not very fluent in psychology terminology. He acknowledges that everyone is different and that not all types of therapies or treatments work for everyone. Some of the more popular therapies for addiction are biased, however, requiring a commitment to the so-called full process. For some, this can be a recipe for failure. The message conveyed in this book is that you can take it all or take just the parts you need, depending on where you are psychologically, socially, and spiritually. It is a buffet of options—and, ultimately, your rate of success begins and ends with you.
After reading the book, I am no longer a skeptic. I believe this is a process that can and does work. Reading it, you will begin to understand how your past and the negatives associated with it can be what keep you stuck in the mud of misery. You will also come to understand and learn about sweet acceptance. And in the middle of all of this, you will find what you have been looking for: peace of mind.
Right Now Enough is Enough!: Overcoming Addictions and Bad Habits for Good in 30 Days or Less!
Booklocker.com, January, 2013
Paperback, 254 pages