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Reclaiming Your Life
Reclaiming Your Life

Reclaiming Your Life

The Gay Man's Guide to Recovery from Abuse, Addictions, and Self-Defeating Behavior


270 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: EPUB

EPUB, $8.99 (CA $11.99) (US $8.99)

Publication Date: April 2020

ISBN 9781625361882

Rights: WOR

Rik Isensee (Apr 2020)


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Reclaiming Your Life is a guide to healing from early abuse, homophobia, addictions, and other self-defeating behavior.Part I looks at how growing up gay in a homophobic culture is similar in many ways to growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive family, because of the secrecy, self-blame, and shame that often accompany the realization that we’re somehow different, but without much support for understanding what it means to feel attracted to the same sex.In addition, experiences of early physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can sometimes lead to the development of a “false self,” the internalization of negative messages, or the development of self-destructive behavior.Part II shows how gay men can recover from early abuse, internalized homophobia, and self-defeating behavior, such as alcohol and drug abuse, sexual compulsion, body image, and problems with food or debt.It offers chapters on how to counter internalized homophobic and other negative messages, expand the moment between impulse and action, and work through the feelings that are likely to arise when we stop using self-defeating behaviors to push our emotions away."No matter what kind of family you grew up in, you will find yourself in this book. All of our families are dysfunctional to some degree, and as gay men, we have to overcome our own homophobia and resulting shame. Rik Isensee writes in a style that is so readable and relevant, every gay/bi man can take something with him." —Jeffrey Chernin, Ph.D. "Members of a dysfunctional family interact abusively, and when the family is homophobic a gay member will likely be doubly abused. In the first half of this guide, Isensee capably outlines all aspects of growing up gay in a dysfunctional family. He includes homophobia, sexual abuse, stress, self- blame, shame, and self-destructive behavior. In the second half, he relates the ways a gay child can overcome the many hindrances to gaining self-respect through grieving, nurturing, and supporting. He ends with suggestions on how to react to homophobia and create a life without the guilt that a heterosexual society induces. Although the topic may seem a bit clinical, Isensee’s book is easy to read and even gay adolescents will want to consult it." —H. Robert Malinowsky, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Library Journal"Rik Isensee strikes a long-forgotten chord with his self-help book, Reclaiming Your Life, which gives strong psychological advice to gay men who have been through just about every situation imaginable. There are scenarios presented that will ring true for some readers, and Isensee offers his unique and insightful advice on each of them, giving the reader options to overcome overbearing feelings and/or situations that would cause others to commit drastic actions. This is an excellent book in the field of self-help, and once finished, provides an uplifting light at the end of the tunnel." —Illinois HIV Prevention, Region 6 Booklist

Author Biography

Rik Isensee, LCSW practices psychotherapy in San Francisco. He is the author of four other books for gay men: Love Between Men; Are You Ready?—The Gay Man's Guide to Thriving at Midlife; The God Squad, a spoof of the ex-gay movement; and Spank the Monkey—Reports from the Front Lines of Our Quirky Culture. Check out his website: