There are no "Hooray You're in Rehab!" cards, that I know of. There should be. Swapping a life that's gone off the rails for one that's functional, fulfilling and disciplined should be a cause for celebration, not shame.
Which is why I was delighted when my friend Lise Schleicher, who owns BasketWorks in Northbrook, suggested creating a One Day At a Time Recovery gift basket around my new book, Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery, written with Sara Bader. She's been doing land-office business with her Chicago Reads basket featuring my Chicago memoir, You Were Never in Chicago, and was looking to do some brand extension. And yes, I sign the books for those who want me to.
Lise consulted with me designing her basket, and I suggested the sweets—sugar touches the part of the brain that booze wallops, and you tend to go through a lot of candy in the early days of rehab. Coffee of course. And the "One Day at a Time" sign because you need that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other determination to get through those arduous first months of recovery.
And the book, which has been out now for about two months.. It's still getting notice—just last week Newcity ran a perceptive review by lit editor Toni Nealie. I also taped a podcast that I thought went very well for the Poetry Foundation which should be up any day. And in a few weeks Sara and I will go into the studio to cut a segment with Scott Simon for "All Things Considered" on NPR.
With gift-giving season approaching, I wanted to spotlight Lise's new basket. I've used her company before, and can attest that she's prompt and the baskets are wildly appreciated. Particularly under these circumstances, when a person tends to feel alone, facing a life radically different from the life they've become accustomed to. They could use some support, and nothing says, "I'm with you" like a basket of goodies. I believe this sort of thing could catch on. It's a great idea.