Category Archives: Books

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin

The-Big-FixA featured speaker at the 2016 LifeRing Annual Conference in San Diego, Tracey Helton Mitchell is the author of The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin. From the lowest imaginable “bottom”, Tracey pulled herself out of addiction and off the streets to become a trained treatment provider as well as acclaimed author. She was recently a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross. From the book jacket:

Tracey Helton Mitchell is a recovering heroin addict. After completing rehab in 1998, she dedicated her life to the care and treatment of heroin users. Tracey entered school through an ex-offender’s program where she earned a bachelors of business administration and masters of public administration. In addition, she is a certified addiction specialist and supervisor. She was featured in the movie Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. She has also been featured by CNN, Anderson Cooper, Vice, The Huffington Post and The New York Times. Tracey lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.

Her book has been described as “A tale of one woman’s rise out of despair and enslavement to find self-reliance, joy, and hope.”
The author’s story of recovery is an inspiration to all who suffer from drug/alcohol addiction.
LifeRing has a few copies left from the San Diego event. For a limited time, we’re offering it for $20, a $4 saving from the list price. Click HERE to go to the order page.

Tracey spoke at the 2016 LifeRing Conference. Here is her presentation, link to the video.


“Empowering Your Sober Self” Translated Into Swedish!

Empowering Your Sober Self Swedish Edition!


We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that our friends over at LifeRing Sweden have translated our principle text, written by LifeRing founder Martin Nicholaus, “Empowering Your Sober Self”, into Swedish for their members! This is EYSS’s first translation into another language, and we can’t thank everyone involved in getting LifeRing well established in Sweden enough for all of the time and effort they’ve put into making it a great success.

Additionally, they’ve also translated “How Was Your Week?”, a helpful handbook for LifeRing convenors can use for their meetings, into Swedish – another first – and it should be headed for printing within the week.

We’re sending everyone in Sweden our heartiest congratulations and our best wishes for happy reading. 🙂



Counting Down to the LifeRing Annual Conference in 5…4…3…

LifeRing Logo Border


Hey again, everyone!

As mentioned in my last post, I just wanted to remind those of you exclusive blog readers who might still be considering it that our Annual Conference starts this Friday, June 3rd, in San Diego, you’re still invited, and it’s not too late to register to attend! Check out the information here, and hope to see you there!

Going or not going, it’s all good! Either way, here’s a link to an insightful interview I think you might enjoy from The Fix with Tracey Helton Mitchell, one of our featured speakers this year, about her take on long term recovery and her book published in March, “The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin”. In addition to discussing her own history with addiction and recovery, part of which includes using LifeRing, she now spends a great deal of her time helping others in their journeys toward long term recovery, as well, and I look forward to hearing her talk.

I’ll be headed to the conference with my DH (Dear Husband) and will faithfully report back here about how it all went down later this month (I’m now large and in charge of the LifeRing Quarterly Newsletter, which you’ll also be seeing later this month, as well), but I’ll be posting some “live updates” during the conference on Saturday on our Facebook page too, so feel free to check that out if you get a chance.

See you on the flip side! 🙂




LifeRinger Candice Shelby, Ph.D Publishes New Book!

Addiction Candice Shelby


Candice Shelby Ph.D, a longtime LifeRing convenor in Denver and presenter/speaker at numerous LifeRing conferences over the years, has published a new textbook, Addiction: A Philosophical Perspective”.

 In addition to being the author of this blog’s most commented upon post, “Addicts are NOT Powerless from January 2011 (apparently there’s been…disagreement from some readers about what that statements means), Shelby is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Denver and has been studying addiction from a philosophical perspective for several years.

As mentioned, she has given presentations at past LifeRing Annual Meetings in Denver, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa. She has also taught seminars in the Philosophy of Addiction and has presented papers nationally and internationally. This Spring, she will travel to Italy and China to teach classes on the Philosophy of Addiction.

 Shelby’s theory of addiction is unique because it does not reduce it to either a moral or a medical interpretation, but incorporates many perspectives, including the sociological, the scientific and the personal. Her book celebrates secular paths to recovery without disparaging the more religious approaches. It has received enthusiastic reviews by other philosophers who specialize in the study of addiction.

Needless to say, those of us* who know Candice are delighted at the publication of her book and are looking forward to the next one!

To read more about or purchase a copy of Shelby’s book, please visit her book page here on Amazon.

*Thanks to Kathleen Gargan, LifeRing Denver convenor and Board of Directors member, for the bulk of this post’s text and giving us the head’s up about the book!


How Was Your Week – version 2


How Was Your Week?

Bringing people together in recovery the LifeRing Way

A Convenor’s Handbook

How was your week? is the starter topic for most LifeRing meetings — an invitation to report on the person’s recovery work since the last meeting, and look forward to the challenges of the coming week.  This book describes the deeper healing processes that are at work beneath the surface of this simple format, and empowers the meeting facilitator to set these forces in motion and keep them on track.

How Was Your Week? is a handbook for the core members of the LifeRing network: the people who start and lead LifeRing meetings, or perform other services that keep the organization humming.  To “convene” means to bring people together.   Bringing people together in recovery the LifeRing way is what LifeRing meeting facilitators do, which is why they are known in the organization as “convenors.”

The book covers the basic model of the LifeRing recovery process: the division of the addicted mind into an addict self (A) and a sober self (S).  It outlines the fundamental process at work in LifeRing meetings: empowerment of the sober self.  It explains the proper role of the convenor in facilitating this process. It looks at the dynamics at work in the meeting room.   It discusses common issues and problems that may arise, and suggests methods of handling them.  The work also looks at the nuts and bolts of the meeting framework, such as door signs, signup sheets, passing the basket, and distributing literature. There is a chapter on the LifeRing process online in chat rooms and other web venues, and a chapter on the annual LifeRing Congress.

Discussion of the basic philosophy of LifeRing — the three S — is a major portion of the book. Chapters on Sobriety (Abstinence), Secularity, and Self-Help offer the deepest and most detailed analysis of these foundations in print.  A separate chapter introduces the basics of building a personal recovery program.  Although aimed primarily at the convenor, the book is accessible to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of what LifeRing is about.

A major chapter (Ch. 15) outlines the work involved in starting a new LifeRing meeting. Everything is covered here from the initial contacts to the final successful passing of the baton. This chapter is the indispensable guide for the pioneers who establish a LifeRing presence in new territory.

An excerpt from the book, consisting of the first two chapters plus Table of Contents and Index, is available for free download on this website at Selections from HWYW in pdf format.

To purchase How Was Your Week? online, please goto the LifeRing Bookstore.  Originally published in 2003, How Was Your Week? is now in its second edition (2015). This edition is updated, expanded, easier to read, and professionally printed and bound with a handsome full-color cover.