In A Decent Woman: If I Can Get Well, Everyone Can, Wynonna Saari tells her personal story of addiction, alcoholism, and bad decisions, and then how she hit rock bottom and changed her life. Today, Wynonna has a college degree, has been sober for fourteen years, and is a certified recovery coach who helps others set goals to change their lives for the better. Now she shares her story to give hope to others.
Early in the book, Wynonna describes the difficulties she faced and how she overcame addiction to find a better way. She states:
“If a girl like me, from the streets of the Detroit ghetto, can escape the demons of addiction and change her life from the hellish depths of alcoholism to the life of a middle-aged African American who enjoys the fruits of life in recovery. , then anyone can. Once I was a woman whose face always scratched the sole of someone else’s shoe, who was condemned by society, her family and friends, but I became a woman who regained her dignity through the principles of honesty, hard work, not giving up before a miracle happened, and have the mustard seed of faith. This faith was given to me as a gift by complete strangers who extended a helping hand. They offered me unconditional love without any expectations or conditions. They offered me the chance to go with them, to live a life of newfound freedoms and new hopes, and I did.”
Winona got the help she needed. In fact, she found many friends who supported her, from people in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to college classmates who were young enough to be her daughters. She found advocates to help care for her children, and she found people to take her to meetings and support her in many other ways. One of the most magical things about Winona’s story is how many people wanted to help her as soon as she was ready to accept help.
But before all that support came into her life, Wynonna was pretty much lost. Whenever good opportunities presented themselves, she tried to take advantage of them, but she also made bad decisions. A supportive high school counselor arranged for her to attend a high school on the other side of town to give her some freedom from her family and a better education. Wynonna seized the opportunity, but she became pregnant while still at school. After overcoming this obstacle, she stayed in school and graduated, but she also took a lot of drugs, buying crack on the streets of Detroit and partying on weekdays.
Wynonna eventually moved to California after realizing she needed a change of scenery, but the change didn’t change her behavior. She has had multiple relationships, is the mother of five, and has not always been able to take care of her children the way she now would like to, but fortunately, others have repeatedly stepped in to help her and her family when things went wrong. .
While I must admit that Winona’s behavior was wild and illogical at times, I also sympathized with her because she repeatedly tried to overcome her addictions. For a while she will stop drinking and taking drugs, but then something will make her return to her old habits. Her story is a series of dramatic experiences caused by drug and alcohol use, which prompted an A.A. member to remark good-naturedly upon hearing her story, “Where was Wynonna when I was drinking?” But while Wynonna had some fun, it was mostly rooted in her low self-esteem, which kept her from believing she could change.
In the end, Winona ended up in jail several times. At some point, she was arraigned on charges of shoplifting; after a dishonest police officer lied and gave information that was decided to be irrelevant to the trial, the judge decided that instead of dropping the case, he would start a new trial. Wynonna decided that instead of waiting for the trial, she would get on the bus and go home to Detroit. There, on the run from the law, she was lucky enough to be reunited with her father and grandparents and make up for lost time with them. Eventually, she began to recover, which led to her going to college and changing her life.
But even then, the universe wanted to test her. Her adult daughter has a serious illness that requires constant care. Rather than despair or start drinking again to deal with the situation, Wynonna stepped up and has been taking care of her daughter and grandchildren ever since.
Winona knows how difficult it can be to change your life once you’re on the path to addiction. She started drinking at eleven and doing drugs in high school. But she did it to hide the pain of her childhood. Because of this pain, she even tried to commit suicide at the age of twelve. She was so slapped by her stepfather that she saw stars as a child; her mother hit her with a baseball bat when she was a young woman. She heard the words “damn shame” so often that she thought it was her name. As she got older, even when she tried to change, people used the past against her and took things she said out of context. Fortunately, in the end she found people who understood and accepted her, and this allowed her to stop feeling condemned and judging herself; over time, she increased her self-esteem and began to appreciate herself and her abilities, until she came to the conclusion that she was a worthy woman.
Wynonna’s story is powerful, and as the book’s subtitle says, if after all she’s been through she can recover, then anyone can. In addition to sharing her impressive story, Wynonna ends each chapter with lessons she’s learned and questions for readers to think about so they can apply what they’ve learned to their own lives. The result is a powerful book of wisdom, healing and hope. You will be entertained by Winona’s wild antics, but you will also feel her pain, embrace her struggles, and shed tears of joy with her as she begins to recover. Then I hope you share this story with others who need hope in their own struggles.