Longing For The Spirit


I have been looking forward to writing this blog post for some time. Writing this means that I am nearing the finish line of a very long process – one that I have both loved and sometimes hated (it’s not all unicorns and bunnies, y’all!) but one in which I am excited about…and also a bit anxious about. If you’ve listened to the podcast, or follow me on social media, you know what I’m talking about. If not, then let me produce this feline out of this sack:

I’ve written a book and it’s coming out on Tuesday, November 14th!

TOMORROW.

The book is called Longing For The Spirit”, and essentially it’s a series of spiritual essays revolving around the human condition seen through the lens of recovery. And there’s plenty of humour there too, so don’t worry, I won’t get all ABC After School preachy on you. I precede the essays with some moments from my early life which I felt had impact on me and demonstrated the path to bringing alcohol into my life. These aren’t reasons why I became an alcoholic, but points in which perfectionism, obsession, low self-worth and fear all started to line the fabric of my being.

This isn’t a memoir. I want to make that clear. I think there are some fantastic ones out there (I just finished a great one and have another one on deck) but I didn’t feel that my message would find its way through that template. And to be honest, I don’t have those kind of stories. Sure, I have the embarrassing and painful moments that we have all had in our drinking careers. I’ve passed out in the wrong places, wet myself, said dreadful things, created scenes, drove drunk, etc. but they were moments in between the dread of existence and the need to check out. I was essentially a zombie. An angry, drunken zombie.

Been there done that. We all have our tire stories.

To line these moments up however, chronologically, to hold up as examples of how far my drinking went, didn’t feel authentic to the messages of faith and hope I wanted to convey. I didn’t feel the need to dramatize or play up the cringe-worthy bits of my alcoholism. They really weren’t that entertaining anyways. The point of this book was more to talk about the underlying feelings, fears, anger and all that stuff that made me want to pick up a drink when I was sober. And that’s the crux of it all – what is it that I quenched for when I felt dry? Speaking to and listening to hundreds and hundreds of alcoholics (and addicts) over the last six-and-a-half years, it is clear that we share much of the same issues that plague us even into recovery, which is where the real work of self-discovery and healing lies. We are works-in-progress, and I wanted to make that clear in this book.

Most of the essays were culled from this blog site you’re on right now. They were re-worked, buffed up, filled out, slimmed down, cut apart, rearranged and hammered at as needed. Many of the essays are new. They are arranged in pairs of spiritual assets and liabilities, to give the book some structure. I didn’t want this to just be a hornet’s nest of random blog posts bound together for the sake of tying them together. I really wanted this book to be a mosaic of moments, which when put together, would give the reader an idea of how my alcoholism manifested itself for me and some of the damage it caused, internally and externally.

I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people, namely recovery friends and/or writers, who really helped me along in the process, who heard my wailing from my writing corner, who gave me tons of practical advise, and also showed me by example what it means to persevere and grind it out. Writer extraordinaire Daniel Maurer honoured me by writing the foreword and it’s probably my favourite part of the book!

I’ve also been blessed to have some wonderful feedback on the book, written by folks I admire, and they can be found on the book website testimonial page.  The most recent was from author and recovery champ Amy Dresner, who wrote a fantastic and funny memoir, “My Fair Junkie” (check it out) who said:

“”Longing for the Spirit” is beautifully written, recounting without self-pity painful bits from his childhood. The book is also interwoven with bits of wisdom that are never preachy. He takes some classic, dare I say overused recovery ideas/lingo, and makes them fresh again, using amusing unique metaphors and giving basic ideas of gratitude and hope, a new spin and a new life. A must read for anybody struggling with addiction or in recovery.”

Please check it out, and if you can, I am hoping as many people will purchase on the release date! Which if you need a reminder is November 14th.

You can purchase it at Amazon.com and many of the affiliate Amazon sites, plus it is available at the Indigo and Barnes & Noble online stores. I will put direct links on the web page tomorrow.

If you want a personalized autographed copy, I will be offering that on my site, but I want to give fair warning: Canada Post is not kind to shipping books, and charges quite a bit when shipping from Canada, so unfortunately I have had to add additional charges to cover the basics. But on the other hand, you get to try to decipher my chicken scratch.

This might be easier to figure out than my own handwriting.  So good luck.

Thank you all for being here and the support you have given me over the years. Without you there would have been no Message In A Bottle, Buzzkill Pod and Longing For The Spirit. Tomorrow I release the book and it is no longer mine. It’s for everyone.

Click here for the website and further information. Also note that only the physical paperback is available right now – the digital ebook will be available at the beginning of the year!

Thank you and blessings

Paul

 

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations! Well done. 🙂

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you so much!

  2. WOO HOO!!!
    Can’t wait until tomorrow!!
    xoxo
    Wendy

  3. ainsobriety says:

    Exciting! I can’t wait!
    You must be very proud. That’s awesome.
    Anne

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you Anne! I have some butterflies for sure! I appreciate this 🙂

  4. mishedup says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is fantastic news, I’m proud of you bro, and will certainly grab a copy!

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Mish!!! I am honoured 🙂 I hope you are well!

  5. backdoc3 says:

    I can’t wait!!!! I am going to download it tomorrow.

    1. Paul S says:

      Ach! I forgot to mention (and will now edit it, thank you for doing this) – it will only be the physical copy until the new year! So sorry! But it will be available in January for ebook *hides under a desk*

  6. robertlfs says:

    Congratulations – I look forward to getting a copy.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you so very much Robert – I appreciate this, kind sir!

  7. This is beyond exciting, Paul! Beautiful cover art as well. Your journey sounds like mine — I’m about halfway finished with my book, and I don’t feel the need to dramatize the drinking. Your insight here will help me finish up the manuscript, knowing it’s OK not to fit the mold of other memoirs.
    I am VERY EXCITED to order your new book. ; )

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you so much!! Yes, the art is wonderful. I am getting lots of compliments on it, but I obviously can’t take credit for it!
      As for the dramatization of the drinking – for sure, no need for it, FOR ME. I have read and am reading memoirs which are fantastical, funny and downright cringe-worthy in many ways, and it works for the authors. It’s just not my jam, and that’s okay. Lots of room on Planet Recovery for all types. And that’s the great part of it!
      So yes, while my book is probably not like any out there in our literature, it’s my story, and how I want to show it is different. But follow your path! There is no “right” way to do it!

      Thanks again for this 🙂

  8. Paul! Well done on the book I’m so proud to know you..:) I am definitely buying the book and look forward to reading it. By the way… I have many many drinking stories but none involve a tire.

    1. Paul S says:

      Ha ha ha…you don’t have a tire story??? Oh my…lol. Well that’s okay. you’re still okay in my book.
      Thank you for the kind words…I really appreciate it! I also appreciate the kind support. It’s still surreal right now. It will calm down soon!
      Blesings
      Paul

  9. Laurie Works says:

    Paul, this is such wonderful news to come across. I’ve been very infrequent on WordPress as of late and also no longer consider myself in recovery, but it was such a lovely surprise to log in and come across this news this morning! I am absolutely thrilled for you. I always have loved reading your words and I’m so glad to know they are going to be published. And what a GREAT name for a book. Can’t wait to read!

    1. Paul S says:

      OMG…LAURIE!!! I saw this on my way home from work yesterday – I stopped to pick something up from the pharmacy and had to think back for a few moments, then it all flooded back to me! I am SO SO happy to see you! I hope life has been treating you well, my friend. I remember us having some great convos over the time we knew each other, and I always knew you were a resilient person, and you seem to be doing well, no? anyways, thanks for the kind words. I retired from the blog for a few years, then returned this year (I think it was?) Life takes us down different paths…isn’t that the fun part? So I am not around the way I used to be…too busy! but I have reconnected with some old friends, but have found a lot of wonderful new friends too.

      Anyways, please continue to take care of yourself. Drop by now and then!!

      Blessings
      Paul

  10. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when! Congrats, Paul, and so grateful to have been a part of your journey in this online space! 🙂

    1. Paul S says:

      Ha! Cat is out of the bag now, my friend! Thank you for this, DDG – can’t believe how long we’ve been at this – I feel like we’re oldtimers around here…lol!! Thanks and hope you are well!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations Paul! Love the title, love the cover and absolutely, positively love the author! 😉

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth!! The title…took me a while to get one I liked, but it fits, eh? Thank you for the kind words…*blush*

      1. Elizabeth says:

        I’m waiting for shipping confirmation from Amazon! Can’t wait. 😄

  12. Congratulations and good luck
    You are an amazing writer so I know it’ll be a smashing read
    Can’t wait to get a copy
    Well done
    Carrie

    1. Paul S says:

      Carrie! Nice to see you! thank you so much for the many kind words – I am honoured! Thanks again and hope you are well, my friend!

  13. saoirsek says:

    Absolutely brilliant, I look forward to getting a copy and reading it,

    1. Paul S says:

      Awww…thanks! I appreciate this! I hope you are well!

  14. Love this introduction. And a big congratulations to you! I love this book. Whoever chooses to read it will not be disappointed. It is a light Paul. A gift. As are you.

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