Just the Way He Walked: A Mother’s Story of Healing and Hope is a story that I started writing in 1990 when I was in throes of my son Brian’s addiction to alcohol. As a means to coping with the wide range of feelings I was experiencing—terror, fear, guilt, shame, I turned to journaling to sort out it all out. In 2009, I began writing in earnest after taking ongoing an NAMW course with Linda Joy Myers. A few years later when I had a first draft of my memoir, an astute professional developmental editor advised me that I had two stories. This led to the publication of my first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse in 2014.
But the story of my heart—the one about being the mother of an alcoholic son while dealing with a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma kept nagging at me. I wrote vignettes and sent them to Brian. I knew I could not publish it without his endorsement. It opened up a dialogue which continued with many peaks and valleys until he finally gave me a wholehearted endorsement: “I finally see that this is your story, Mom and I’ve been very self-centered. Go for it.” This endorsement occurred two months before the book was published on 11/11/19.
Issues for Discussion:
- Writing about our children
- The healing power of memoir
- Journaling as a way to writing your memoir
- The importance of being connected to your purpose for publishing your story
- The importance of paying professional editors—developmental, copy editor and proof reader.
- Using beta readers
- Deciding on your route to publication
- Marketing your memoir
I left my husband Ed due to his heavy drinking when my children Leigh Ann and Brian were three-years -old and eighteen months., thinking that I was protecting my children from the ravages of alcohol abuse. However, when addiction claims my youngest child, Brian, I realize that the cycle of alcohol abuse is being repeated within my family.
How does a young mother deal with facing not one but two formidable enemies?
Follow my journey through my son’s addiction and learn about the insidious nature of addiction. I move thorough denial and desperation as I struggle to understand and gain some control over Brian’s downward spiral.
When cancer strikes I am forced to focus on myself and let go of my obsession with Brian’s addiction.
But how does a mother let go of her child? Does letting go have to mean giving up?
I hope my story will inspire others to never give up hope when faced with an addicted child.
No matter how far down into the abyss you may go, there’s always a chance for recovery.
Just the Way He Walked: A Mother’s Story of Hope and Healing offers readers insight into the impact of addiction on families and how they can learn from my story.
“I want to offer hope and guidance for my readers who need to find their own way through the challenges of loving an addicted child.”
The following themes are addressed:
- Alcoholism is a brain disease, not a moral failing.
- Alcoholism impacts the entire family. Everyone suffers.
- Parents need to arm themselves with resources, support and education to better understand the nature of the disease and how to handle their child.
- Spirituality is the cornerstone of recovery.
- Letting go does not have to mean giving up.
- Hope matters, even when all seems hopeless in the moment.
- When love is not enough to change your child, hope steps in.
Kathleen Pooler is a retired family nurse practitioner and author of the memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28, 2014, and the sequel, Just the Way He Walked: A Mother’s Story of Healing and Hope. She writes about how she tapped into her faith in God during her biggest obstacles and disappointments to transform and heal from life’s greatest challenges. She believes that every little bit of hope matters and
that we are all strengthened and enlightened when sharing our stories.
She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York and blogs weekly at Memoir Writer’s Journey @krpooler.com
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