After 57 years of living this story, I spent the last 4 years chronicling the lessons I’ve learned. Many of you shared these journeys with me. I’d be honored if you choose to read it, and I hope this narrative entertains, amuses, and inspires. Please freely share any impressions you may have, either through a private message or a post on the Parallel Universes Facebook page. Thank you for your friendship and ongoing support.
“So many adopted people battle with addiction. The consequences of relinquishment are generally unacknowledged in our society, and so wounded children become wounded adults with a desperate need to escape the pain they more often than not can’t even name. David B. Bohl names the pain and, in this naming, creates a new doorway of hope and opportunity for those who struggle to see another life, to see there is hope.” -Anne Heffron, author of You Don’t Look Adopted
In this poignant and powerful memoir, David B. Bohl reveals the inner turmoil and broad spectrum of warring emotions-shame, anger, triumph, shyness, pride-he experienced growing up as a “relinquished” boy. Adopted at birth by a prosperous family, Bohl battled throughout his earlier years to keep up a good front and surpass expectations as he tried desperately to fit in. An overachiever at everything he undertook, whether in sailing, academics, or life as a trader on the Chicago Exchange floor, he continued his search for happiness, often finding it in a bottle or pill, and ultimately becoming a raging and wealthy alcoholic.
Not until David marries and has children of his own does he feel compelled to search for his birth parents to discover if genetics played a role in the well-being of his offspring. “Baby Boy Bender,” as he was labeled in the adoption papers, had been born to a red-haired co-ed who struggled with alcoholism and an athlete who later died of a brain tumor.
After several severe seizures and frequent blackouts, it was time to make a drastic change and admit his addiction. Raised with no religious teachings, David struggled with traditional recovery fellowships and sought out secular supports, where he finally fit in. This support allowed him to learn the stark facts about mental health and addiction, as well as the monumental issues many “reliquishees” need to overcome to find peace and a quality of life they deserve.
Today, David is an independent addiction consultant who fully understands the challenges faced by so many who seek to escape from or drown their pain through external means. His story offers hope to those struggling with the reality of everyday life in today’s increasingly stressful world.
“Vulnerable is the new macho, exposing personal weakness, the new leadership. ‘Parallel Universes’ is a sincere, powerful and well-organized memoir of transformation, from overcompensation to authenticity. David B. Bohl leads with his own painful example and his own humble renewal. David may be a first-time author but he’s a seasoned communicator and a community builder … ‘Parallel Universes’ captures a zeitgeist of a movement away from the broken promises of baby boomer superficial success and an attention to personal and community wellness. This is a story for our time.” – Joe C, broadcaster/writer, author of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12-Step Life
“‘Parallel Universes’ is one man’s quest to find his truth and freedom in a life that didn’t feel real or right, no matter what. Unpacking secrets from his past, he recovers from trauma and addiction, but does not fit into any traditional box of healing. David B. Bohl invites us to discover that sobriety is not formulaic and that just because we don’t relate to a particular program or feel like we fit in somewhere, doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy incredible clarity and freedom. Bohl has turned his life into a “relentless pursuit of reality” and he may give many readers the courage to find their own way out of struggle. -Tama Kieves USA Today-featured visionary career catalyst, inspired success coach, and author of Thriving through Uncertainty
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Publication date: February 15, 2018