Vivian Eisenecher is represented by the interviewer's Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.
Author of Recovering Me, Discovering Joy: Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness, Vivian Eisenecher has been an inspirational speaker, mentor, and writer since 1996. Using her experience, strength, and hope, she is committed to helping educate and enlighten the general public about the puzzling aspects of the addiction/recovery process and the strong correlation between anxiety, depression, and alcoholism. Vivian holds a marketing degree in Business Administration (magna cum laude). Her other published works include articles for The Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Woman’s World, Viewpoint, and JUST FINE: Unmasking Depression and Anxiety Disorders (due out in 2009). She is featured on the 2009 Faces of Recovery Calendar and is a Board of Director for A New Path (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing).
We interviewed her to find out more about her exciting new book, Recovering Me, Discovering Joy: Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness.
Thank you for this interview, Vivian. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I have been serious about writing ever since I finally achieved sobriety in 1994. I was a 24/7 drinker and so I knew that when I got sober, I would have to fill a whole bunch of time with something. And this had to be something constructive rather than destructive. I’ve always had a love for words especially learning new ones. I read Sophie’s Choice in the last rehab where I was confined. I loved William Styron’s writing style. I also identified with Sophie’s demons. I knew I had something important to communicate and so I just started stringing words together and I kept doing that over and over again. Writing truly helped me sort things out in my mind.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
After being sober for a year or two, I knew that I was going to be able to help others. Unfortunately, I did not put down my last drink until after I had caused a great deal of havoc and heartbreak particularly among the people closest to me. With that, came a tremendous amount of shame, guilt, and remorse. I was a good person and was successful in everything I pursued. So, I was dumbfounded every time I failed to stay sober. I finally realized that I had to understand why I drank before I could conquer my drinking problem. When my social anxiety and dysthymia (a chronic low-grade depression) were successfully treated, I didn’t need to self-medicate with alcohol anymore. It was as simple as that! It took my enjoyment of sobriety to keep me from returning to alcohol.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
In Recovering Me, Discovering Joy / Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness, the main theme is how to recover (from any ailment or condition) not to normal but to a better normal. After numerous attempts at sobriety, stints in more than three rehabs, followed by repeated relapses, I share the “secret” that finally brought me lasting recovery and profoundly changed my life. In an effort to improve the success rate of recovery and quite possibly save lives, one of my book’s main goals is to raise awareness about the profound correlation between depression, social anxiety, and alcoholism. I have struggled with these disorders and am in recovery from all three.
Recovering Me, Discovering Joy is an open and honest look at my inner struggles. It also talks about the positive nature of life’s problems if we stop and look for the potential in each. With a sense of humor and an uplifting spirit of gratitude, I suggest ways to live a more meaningful life. I offer a fresh look at enduring truths which we all tend to forget in our day-to-day fast-paced lives. By using stories from people in recovery, famous quotes and personal reflections, I reiterate the importance of faith in the healing process. It is my intent that my experience and resulting wisdom will provide the reader with keys to living a richer, easier and happier life.
What was the inspiration behind your book? Why did you feel a need to write it?
My quality of life has been so miraculously improved by my recovery from not only alcoholism but from depression and anxiety that I just knew that I’d be able to help others with similar issues. God gave me this profound understanding of the complexity of my illnesses and I needed to share this with others so that they could benefit.
What kind of research did you have to conduct to write your book?
Research was incredibly important to me. I had to validate what I thought to be true. I wanted to make sure that I was giving correct information about what I thought I had experienced. But by the time I started writing this book, I felt like an authority on alcoholism. I knew all the ins and outs. I had been in the trenches of full-blown alcoholism for over four years and then in recovery from it for another 14. So, I’ve seen the dark side of alcoholism and then the incredibly joyous side of recovery. I did do a thorough research on anxiety and depression because there are so many different kinds of each.
What message are you trying to convey with this book?
It’s a message of hope because sometimes that’s all we need to rise one more time after continually being beaten down. In Recovering Me, I offer a fresh and unique insight into alcoholism and substance abuse. In it, I explore why I continually relapsed into alcoholism. I talk about the provoking factors that fueled my alcoholism. And I not only know what drove my alcoholism but I also know what now encourages and what invigorates my sobriety.
I wrote Recovering Me because I’m obsessed with making the battle for others a little bit easier. When I finally was able to diagnose the why of my relapses, I felt vindicated. And the more I researched alcoholism the more my discoveries were validated. And I want to spread this encouraging news. Together we can chip away at society’s scourge by identifying solutions. I used to be part of the problem but today I’m very proud to be a part of the solution.
How do you deal with rejection?
Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I’m not here to make everybody like my message. I listen to what critics have to say and then I recover from it. I learn from it and I move forward.
Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?
I don’t fight it. I walk away from my computer. I get some exercise even if it’s just doing the dishes.
Do you blog?
I do blog. Please go to: http://recoveringme.com/in/category/blog
How do you deal with a bad review?
The same way I deal with rejection.
What’s next for you?
I feel that God has blessed me with a profound understanding of the complexity of mental illness and addiction. And I feel like it is important for me relay my experience, strength and hope to as many people as possible. I really want to amp up my speaking engagements so that more people can be inspired and encouraged.
Thank you for this interview, Vivian! Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
Yes. I want everybody to know that if any of you are wondering why you are going through what you’re going through today. I just have to tell you that there is always a silver lining. Always! No exceptions. This is my silver lining, right here, right now.
So, be sure and wait for that precious moment when you realize that everything you’ve been through is worth it. Nobody said life would be easy, God just promised it would be worth it.