Stepping Stones

“Marilea Rabasa’s memoir will prove to be an eye-opener for many; and those who have known addiction may recognize its horrible descent into emotional and physical slavery. Read this book to meet a hero in search of her golden grail.”

– Denis Ledoux, memoirist and director of The Memoir Network

Award-winning Finalist in the Health: Addiction and Recovery category of the 2020 International Book Awards

Photos by Gene Dunne

Welcome to my oasis, the recovery of my spirit, where I have gratefully landed after many years of searching for peace in my life. “It’s a simple program, but it isn’t easy.” By accepting “what is” in our lives—without resistance—I have found a new freedom to embrace every day as a new beginning, a chance to start over, unburdened by the mistakes in my past nor worry about an uncertain future.

A lifelong substance user—food, pills, cigarettes, and alcohol—my solution to the stresses of everyday living almost always involved some form of overindulgence of an easily attainable substance, and for a short time I felt better. But over time the consequences mounted, and fortunately I found myself evolving into a woman capable of more self-reflection and discipline. Add to that a determination to let go of old habits and make changes, this has been a recipe for the renewal of my spirit that I am happy to be sharing with you on these pages.

The true blessing of my recovery program is that its embedded principles cover all aspects of my life. Letting go of any particular substance is just one step toward spiritual recovery. I have found after a number of years that following the guidelines of recovery enhances my life in all areas. As my confidence grows, my relationships tend to work better, and when there is (inevitable) conflict, the means to work through differences honestly and effectively seems more attainable. 

I envision a world where the shame and stigma of substance use disorder is replaced by understanding that it is a brain disease, compassion for those affected by it, and appropriate government intervention in support and treatment of it. My mission is to share my experience, strength and hope with all those affected by this illness. Substance use disorder has reached epidemic proportions in our society, even more so in this time of global pandemic. Many people, in their fear and isolation, are turning to easy solutions to escape the tedium of quarantine. And some solutions are addictive. But none of us is alone. By sharing with others, we can put an end to our isolation. It is my wish to share with you my journey toward wellness in all aspects of my life. As we touch each other’s lives in fellowship, our struggles seem smaller, and our hope for a happier life grows.

Thank you for visiting my site. I invite you to read my books on substance use recovery, my weekly blog, and some essays drawn from my life and travels..  Please comment so we can continue the conversation! And take a look at my Resources page. It is by no means all-inclusive, but it contains a number of books addressing a variety of issues that, unaddressed, can prevent us from living well and being the best we can be. 

I look forward to connecting with you. Please feel free to email me at marilea.rabasa@gmail.com with any questions or comments.  Come back again soon!


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery