Riverview woman shares hope with families of addicts
RIVERVIEW - Riverview resident Sharron K. Cosby shares her experience and hope with others in three upcoming books. Short stories will be published in "You'll Get through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times," a Max Lucado/Salvation Army partnership book, due to be released on Sept. 3, and "Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!: 101 Joyful Stories about the Love, Fun, and Wonder of the Holidays" on Oct. 8. Cosby's new devotional book, "Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90," will be released Sept. 30 at www.amazon.com. "It's geared toward the families of addicts," said Cheryl Johnston, president of the Brandon Christian Writers group of which Cosby is a member.Early in their recovery, addicts - regardless of their life-controlling behaviors or addictions, including alcoholism, drugs, gambling, sex, pornography, food or self-harm - are asked to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. "While they're doing that, the family can read something that will help them be more supportive or less enabling," Johnston said. The Salvation Army, for whose Florida Divisional Headquarters Cosby is legacy/legal department director, has always been involved in "addictions work, (treating) the victim in a respectful and redemptive manner, with a strong reliance on the Almighty," said Commissioner William A. Roberts, national commander of the Salvation Army, who wrote the book's foreword. This respectful, faith-based outlook permeates Cosby's writing, which stems from personal experience with an addict in the family and the hope she receives from God and the Bible. She desires to help others traveling a similar road. Cosby was inspired by Jeremiah 30:1, which says, "The Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.'" "When I read that verse on Oct. 8, 2009, I felt compelled to write about God's faithfulness through the many years of chaos in our family," she said. "The overarching theme of the book is hope. Living with an addict is filled with hopelessness and helplessness, and what I got from Jeremiah 30 and 31 is hope in a God who restores." When Cosby's family troubles began 15 years ago, she felt alone. "I was embarrassed that my children were misbehaving as they were," she said. "I didn't want my family members and church and work friends to know what was going on. I was so ashamed." She sought to understand what was happening. A book like "Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90" would have told her she wasn't the only parent facing such trials, she said. For additional information, contact Cosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at P. O. Box 2123, Riverview, FL 33568. Send stories of current events to Barbara Routen at Neighbors@tampabay.rr.com.