Micki McWade - Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting on: A Twelve Step Guide to Divorce Recovery

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Getting Up, Getting Over and Getting On-A 12 Step Program

Nov 26, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy To Understand Steps For Recovery

Cons:none offhand

The Bottom Line: A Helpful 12 Step Book Worth Reading and Using


When most of us get married, we think everything is perfect-at least most of us like to think so. The stars are shining in our eyes, we tend to overlook or just not see any faults our potential mates might have. Some marriages work, but there are an overwhelming number of marriages that simply don’t work. No matter how happy we start out the reality is-people, times, and circumstances change. Sometimes for the better, but sometimes not.

When divorce happens it is very easy to get sucked into an abysmal void of hatred and bitterness. Things get nasty, people get hurt and lawyers get rich.

Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting On-A Twelve Step Guide to Divorce Recovery By Micki McWade is a simple and straightforward self help book aimed at helping those deal with a divorce do exactly this-Get Up, Get Over and Get On with their lives. The author takes the original Twelve Step program created by Alcoholics Anonymous and turns it into a 12 step program for recovering from and durring a divorce. She changes very little of the original wording of the 12 steps, but she set out very carefully and completely the steps one should or might take during a divorce.

I’ll start with this: If you are at all familiar with AA or Alonon or AlaTeen then you know a big part of the program is about God, or a higher spirit and letting God or a Higher Spirit/Being “take over” and help you recover. For this reason, I would say, not everyone is going to find what they need in this book-but for a lot of people, this book could be a nudge in the right direction.

The Book itself is broken into Three sections-or rather Two, with the second section divided into two parts. The first section is Pathways Toward Healing and covers the first three chapters: Understanding Divorce and the road to recovery, Exploring the Twelve Step Recovery Program and The Twelve Steps of Divorce Recovery.

The first part of the second section covers the 12 Steps of Divorce recovery in depth. Each one of the 12 steps is looked at; advice is given as well as ideas on how to achieve each step.

The second part of the second section covers Tools For Recovery, chapters 4-7. These cover How to Create a Support Group, Slogans and Quotes, Tools for the Journey and Walking with Others: Stories of the Journey

The book ends with the conclusion, resource list, Index and a bit about the author.

God, Grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference


This poem is a huge part of AA and the other programs like it. Letting go, and moving on is a huge part of recovering from anything-from addiction to divorce. Learning how to let go isn’t easy, and this book does help you get there.

A big part of the book, of following the steps is learning how to leave things up to God (or whatever). Recovery is learning how to let go of the bitterness and blame and think of better things, to work towards better goals.

The first step is the most important: We admitted we were powerless over others, that our lives had become unmanageable. We have no power over the other person in the divorce, they and they alone are responsible only for themselves. Often divorce becomes so bitter and nasty that the only ones who profit are the attorneys. Hating the other person accomplishes nothing, but like someone once told me-“Hate is a good way of letting someone live rent free in your brain”. Telling yourself-okay, I have no control over them, but I do over ME and letting go or at least moving past hate can be a healing experience.

In each step, McWade gives bountiful advice. She talks about how divorce affects children Do I realize that we are still a family---just redefined?” pg48 and Am I able to put the welfare of my children first without being vengeful or vindictive to their other parent?pg 48. She also discuses in length, dating again-and how to avoid the pitfalls that often come with trying to find someone new, too soon.

With each step, McWade gives ideas on how to “work” each step. For example in step two: .Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to wholeness Mcwade’s Ideas For Working Step Two are Keep and open mind and Allow the possibility of receiving love, and help to come from a power greater than yourself.

In chapter four, she gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create your own 12 step divorce group. All in all, it looks very much like an AA or Alateen meeting with the same covenants and ideals and for a lot of people, this type of group would work. I personally don’t feel 100% comfortable talking about my problems in large groups. As a teen my mother made me go to Alateen-and while I walked away from it with good things, I never felt comfortable.

Some of the steps in the book are ones I don’t feel 100% into doing, but in the long run-it’s okay. You take what you need and you often need what you take.

The final part, the stories of other’s journeys through divorce and separation is helpful and interesting. It’s the words of others who have gone through divorce, the pain and the recovery.

This book however I have felt very comfortable with and I have walked away with ideas and advice that will help me on my personal journey. Why am I reviewing this particular book? well one because it(the book as well as it’s companion book-Daily Meditations-for surviving a breakup separation or divorce) were free via Redlass’s review program-and two-most importantly-I’m in the middle of a divorce. After nearly 8 years of marriage, it’s over and honestly-I’m much happier now than I’ve been in a long time. I try very hard not to assign blame. I know what my faults were, I know where I made mistakes-and I am not responsible or at fault for the mistakes my ex-husband made or will make in the future. In the long run-I’m doing the best I can for ME and my children.

It’s impossible to be completely un-bitter. But clinging to the anger and bitter feelings will only create havoc in my family. It will only cause suffering for my children and for myself so I choose-and believe me it’s not easy, to deal with things in as calm a matter as I can and to move on. That doesn’t mean we don’t fight-we do, but we are trying to work things out for the best-I get what I need and want-and he gets his “freedom”. (okay so I’m still a bit bitter-that won’t change-it’s how I let the bitterness affect me that overall makes the difference).

Overall did I like this book? Yes, each step was discussed in depth, there is tons of worthwhile advice in the book. In Tools For The Journey-McWade talks about doing an excersize program, watching nutrition, making sure you get enough sleep etc… it’s easy to lose track of oneself, to become overly stressed and upset. This book does help me keep track of where I need to be and not get lost.

A couple end notes There is a second book-which I will also be reviewing, called Daily Mediations I would recommend the second book as a companion for the first, they work very well together.

The books are published by Champion Press, Ltd you can visit their website at http://www.championpress.com

You can also visit the Getting Up, Getting Over, and Getting On website at http://www.12stepdivorce.org

I chose not to list all 12 steps because 1-I don’t want to violate any copyright laws and 2-too much information. If this book interests you, pick it up and read it. If you know someone dealing with a divorce or a separation, this book would make a good gift from one friend to another.


Recommend this product? Yes

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