Today I received a copy of a book that back in 2018 I was handed by an American friend and asked if I would consider editing it for clarity of flow, spelling, and grammar. Yes, I can see the irony in asking a Brit to check an American’s spelling, but I am fluent in both British and American English on an editing level and since this book was a passion project, and for my friend’s advocacy work, I agreed, without question. I must admit, there’s also a part of me that loves being able to be one of the first to see new work before it’s available to the public. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. And in the case of this non-fiction collection of stories, I couldn’t wait to jump in and help.
The book has been edited a few more times since then. New content has been added, and other people’s eyes have been over it. But essentially, it’s still the same manuscript that I so lovingly spent a full twenty-four hours awake on editing. I can admit that now, almost two years later. I think had my friend known that I spent the first twenty-four hours of the approximately seventy-two I spent working on the book wide awake with coffee at my side, she might have had something to say about the matter.
Journeys is something I had heard about for a while before I was handed a copy. It’s a book that I knew was in the process of coming into existence, but I didn’t know would move me just as much as it did, or indeed has again. I had no idea that it would have the capability to motivate me even more than Claudia has, to do what I can to help her not-for-profit organisation, C Three Foundation. As always, after the introduction to The Sinclair Method (TSM) which occurs in part one of the book, the story collection starts with pure and unadulterated honesty from the woman who has collected the individual stories, or ‘journeys’ within, Claudia Christian, founder and CEO of C Three.
Claudia’s candidness when it comes to her battle with Alcohol Use Disorder never ceases to amaze or inspire me. I’ve known her several years now, and every time I hear her speak, every time I read her words about her journey, I learn a little more, and I find myself inspired all over again. The beauty of her telling her own TSM journey is that we see from the beginning that it isn’t all roses and sunshine. The Sinclair Method is only as successful as the ability of the person using it to remain compliant, and it’s not necessarily a one stop shop. For many, it can involve work that goes beyond just pharmacological extinction. This is something she emphasises in her own journey, and again in the FAQ section, and is emphasised by others describing their journeys within the book.
If you want to treat AUD successfully with TSM, you need to remain compliant. Compliance means taking naltrexone an hour before drinking (or nalmefene two hours before), compliance means taking that tablet before you start drinking, each and every time. It means waiting that hour (or two), not cutting it short. And it means doing so for the rest of your life. TSM has a 78% long term success rate. In my eyes that’s HUGE! Compliance ensures that success and it’s clear from the journeys in the book that compliance works.
Of course, that said, TSM doesn’t work for everyone. And we see that in the book as well. Maybe it’s down to the inability to comply with the method of treatment, or maybe it’s just that there is a percentage for whom the medication doesn’t work. For these people there are still options. There are still other programs of treatment. Some of those programs also go hand in hand with TSM.
But what strikes me about this effective treatment, what should strike everyone who picks up a copy of Journeys, who has picked up a copy of Babylon Confidential (Claudia’s autobiography), or watched One Little Pill (Claudia’s documentary) or her TEDEx talk, is that in a world where people are dying daily from a disease that causes so much pain and suffering, a disease that is still treated as if it were a failing of character, we have scientific proof that it isn’t. And there is an answer. An effective answer. One that can stop people from craving alcohol, help them rewire their brains, and let them lead a normal life.
This book is one that every AUD specialist needs to read. It’s one that should be read by everyone looking to find a treatment option that works for them. Loved ones need to read the stories inside and they need to see that there is hope, but that the journey isn’t necessarily an easy one. Because it’s only when we look at every option and every choice out there that we begin to see that recovery is possible and that the adage “once an addict, always an addict” isn’t necessarily correct.
I’m nine months into recovery myself at the time of writing this review. Whilst I’m not on TSM, I’m a firm believer in its ability to save lives. I’ve seen the proof. I have people in my life whose lives have been saved by the work of Dr David Sinclair. Which is why I will shout from the rooftops that people need to read this book if they want to fully explore all options available to them, their loved ones, and their patients. Because as C Three Foundation says regularly: Options Save Lives.
Journeys by Claudia Christian is available to buy now from Amazon and in limited autographed supply from C Three Foundation.