While many books are written purely to entertain, Harriet Hunter seeks to help those dealing with alcoholism. Since she has been through it herself, she is able to provide an insider’s perspective for those looking to walk a higher path. Miracles of Recovery is due out later this year, but her website provides a lot of valuable information.
Since Miracles of Recovery was an outgrowth of your own experience with addiction and recovery, was it difficult for you to write?
No, quite the contrary. I’ve been writing (journaling) for years and writing each morning was natural, as a way to focus on one thought or a specific emotion.
The idea for Miracles of Recovery came to light after the death of my only child four years ago while overwhelmed with emotions. I realized I was already writing what I knew about, so for the first year, I never had to think about what I was going to write. Spiritual and emotional reflections were right before my eyes. It was after that first year I said to myself, “You realize you have a daily reader here, don’t you?”
It’s obvious that you’ve put a lot of work and caring into your website and blog as a service for those who are seeking help. How do you find time for it all?
I try to wake up before my two dogs, a golden retriever and an American bulldog, and I am driven. Losing a child, a husband and two brothers, three in the last four years, has a way of propelling me to “see each day as if it is my last.” I write as if squeezing as many hours most days as possible.
My dogs demand a lot of physical attention and in between, I have my home I care for, volunteer work, and outings with friends. And of course, my critique groups! Between these, including articles for submission, I try to write and edit at least five hours a day, but even this is not nearly enough.
Is there any one thing that you feel can help people most when they’re struggling with addiction?
The desire to change is an individual need that must come from the user, and no one else. Other than sharing with them what was so freely given to me, the responsibility for anyone who wants sobriety rests with the individual. If new to recovery, we can help to allay fears and provide insightful information and literature. This is a program of attraction, not promotion. Short of prayer, emotional support and encouragement while providing information about the AA program is about all we can do. We know manipulating, begging, jail, and loss of home and family isn’t enough at times to stop this terrible disease that demands it have all of us. Jails, institutions, and death are a typical outcome for those with addictions. Any life-altering requires dedication from the individual to go the distance. They have to want change above everything else.
Recovery allows those who care to, to share with others our experience, strength, and hope so they may identify and see they too, can have hope to maintain sobriety one day at a time. Miracles of change that have happened to me and millions of others occur every day in our meetings of recovery. Those returning to the program already know what to expect and find it easier, sometimes, than the newcomer to come back.
I have always believed information is power. My book, focused on the newcomer and relapse, is a holistic attempt to provide reminders and an “inside look” at what they can expect coming into Alcoholics Anonymous. It takes a small mustard seed of willingness to walk into the rooms, which is often the most difficult thing to do of all. The AA program of recovery, as with any 12-step program, is a one-day-at-a-time commitment to not drink.
When can we expect Miracles of Recovery to be released?
I hope to be ready before the close of 2018, the very latest.
What are your favorite books?
The Outlander series, Gone with the Wind, Prince of Tides and many others.
What’s your favorite time of day?
Early morning before the angels fly and my dogs awake!
Do you have other books in the works?
Yes, I’ve been preparing a sequel to Miracles of Recovery, which will focus on recovery as being a program of action, with exercises, tables and personal accounts from others on each of the 12-Steps as to how the program has changed their lives.
We know normal people never have to think they may have a problem with alcohol. If they wonder, then chances are good that they do. Please visit http://www.aa.org/ for more information, telephone numbers and meeting schedules in your area.
Harriet Hunter lives in Florida with her dogs and when she’s not writing, she can most often be found outdoors gardening, walking or helping others. Visit her at Harriethunter.org or on Facebook. You can also follow her on Twitter @Elizza6. For personal questions or information, contact her at Harriet@harriethunter.org.