Ask a recovering alcoholic...(+ a book giveaway)

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Our "Ask a..." series continues today with Heather Kopp, a Christian alcoholic in recovery. 

Heather is an author, editor, and blogger at She’s published more than two-dozen non-fiction books. Her recovery memoir, Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk  (Hachette/Jericho) releases TODAY, May 7. 

As a long-time Christian, Heather never expected to become an out-of-control alcoholic who kept private stashes of booze all over the place—tucked behind books in her study, zipped into a special compartment in her oversized purse, at the back of her closet stuffed inside her boots. 

Even as her writing work and marriage teetered on the brink, she desperately hiding the true extent of her drinking from the rest of the world—her husband included. During the day she wrote about God and prayer and family. At night she’d locked herself in her bathroom to guzzle chardonnay.

For her, as for many Christians who struggle with addiction, overwhelming shame and confusion only made things worse. Why wasn’t her faith enough to save her? Why didn’t repentance, Bible reading and prayer work? Where was God? 

Meanwhile, her grown son descended into his own nightmare of drugs and alcohol. She feared for his life, yet she couldn’t stop drinking long enough to help him—or find a way out for herself.

Until the day everything changed. 

In Sober Mercies, Heather shares her journey into darkness…and back to the light again. Her story reveals the unique challenges and spiritual conundrums Christians face when they become ensnared in an addiction, and the redemption that’s possible when we finally reach the end of ourselves. 

I had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of Heather's book, and absolutely loved it. I was surprised by how little I knew about alcoholism, particularly how hard it can be for recovering alcoholics to be surrounded by social drinkers who aren't always sensitive to the challenges their friends in recovery face. I found Heather's chapters about her twelve-step group inspiring and challenging, a little picture of what the church is meant to be.  Heather's story--honestly and beautifully told--invites us all to the table, baggage in tow, to confront our shared brokenness, our shared hopes, and our shared need for community, forgiveness, and grace.


I wanted to introduce Heather's story to you, and she graciously agreed to be interviewed as part of our "Ask a..." series! 

You know the drill. If you have a question for Heather, leave it in the comment section. Be sure to utilize the "like" feature so we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to you. After 24-hours, I'll pose seven of the most popular questions to Heather and post her responses next week.

In addition, if you leave a question in the comment section, you will automatically be entered to win a free copy of Sober Mercies. Contests will run through the end of the day (May 7) at midnight, EST. I will choose three winners via

Ask away!

(You can check out every installment of our interview series—which includes “Ask an atheist,” “Ask a nun,” “Ask a pacifist,” “Ask a Calvinist,” “Ask a Muslim,” “Ask a gay Christian,” “Ask a Pentecostal” “Ask an environmentalist,” “Ask a funeral director,” "Ask a Liberation Theologian,"  "Ask Shane Claiborne," "Ask Jennifer Knapp," and  many more— here.) 


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