Michele was asked by the editors at SquareTwo.org to be a guest book reviewer for the Summer 2023 journal edition.
Click here to read her thoughtful review of this amazing work by Jacques Lusseyran.
Dr. Valerie Hudson Cassler, the senior editor for SquareTwo, an online journal devoted to LDS scholarship, reviewed
Respect the Path. You can find her review here.
"Michele Noel's unflinching courage in "Respect The Path" is inspiring our marriage and our individual lives. Michele motivates us to embrace the difficult journey, to work the steps now and work the steps daily. Michele helped us spot the traps of co-dependency we've been bogged down in, set and stick to boundaries, and celebrate the milestones of hope as we press toward healing our hearts. This book is a masterwork written by a sincere Christian who lives and teaches eternal truth."
- Michelle & Rich Radford
"Your book is incredible. I love the raw honesty and how it encourages me to stay accountable to myself. We will be forever grateful to God for answering our prayers by sending you and Chad to Gisborne to help us during such a difficult part of our life. The journey is not over, of course, but you blessed us with the tools and showed us that there is always hope."
- Valerie & Maui Aben
Gisborne, New Zealand
Respect the Path is a gritty, truth-telling companion book to any Addiction or Abuse Recovery effort for women. It is also a must-read for any woman who lives with or loves an addict and has suffered the abuses involved in that relationship. Generally focused on the broad diversity of the Christian community, Michele pushes back on the traditional Christian judgments about the ‘good or bad’ direction anyone’s path is currently taking. Working with women in at least one-thousand group and individual meetings has taught her that the most depraved addict or the most horribly abused woman can find healing for her mind and soul and health for her body. “The Recovery path is grueling, exhausting, powerful and glorious. Truth is, that gloriousness can only come from growth out of that deprivation. Every path is simply a valued, vital part of uncovering the magnificence which already existed within every woman. Work the path—Believe that your path has value, no matter what! Yet, valuing the path does not grant permission to stew in the juices of self-pity, blame, or self-righteous rationalizations. Rather, we dig deep for that dormant power of Queenship and go to work. We change ourselves and the world one day at a time.”
“Respecting the path requires us to open our minds to new concepts and ideas about how we think about what we are thinking about.” Michele has seen just as many lives brought to the brink of destruction by negative repetitive thinking patterns as by the ravages of any substance or behavioral addiction. Addiction patterns and negative thinking patterns can be overcome because the brain has a God-given healing power. God is in this work! She uses the term addiction in a broad, non-condemning sense because ownership and accountability are essential to healing and finding the joy of Recovery. The term addiction becomes our friend, our instructor—not our shame label and it certainly does not define who we are; merely the path we have trod. Her favorite self-title is Addict in Recovery.
Born to an alcoholic father and a fiercely controlling mother, Michele Noel absorbed addictive traits from both parents. Later, her parents developed firm testimonies of Christ and tried their best in spite of all to give their children a solid Christian foundation.
Michele’s path of addiction began slowly. She led a hopeful, service-oriented, and love-filled Christian life of being a devoted wife and mother, and faithfully serving within her congregations. Michele worked full-time, became an entrepreneur, and cared for her in-laws while her own parents lived with her. When debilitating migraines arrived on the scene, Michele found relief in pain killers. After a devastating car crash required serious pain meds, Michele found herself again relying on strong drugs to cope with her pain. Over time, the coping turned into full-blown, out-of-control addiction.
Michele managed to keep the saucers spinning for years, but not without cost. The pressures of diligence and diligently keeping up appearances—for God, family, and congregation—led her down a road of depressive breakdowns, perfectionism, dogmatic religious views, and her own private low-boil hell of substance abuse and blazing codependent behaviors for eighteen years.
As a typical rationalizing Christian addict, she was sure that she was different, that God understood the stresses she lived with, and that no one else knew her ugly secrets—none of which was true. Thoughts of suicide shocked her into a decision to accept reality and get clean. Clinging to her belief in Christ, for the next ten years she gave her all to going cold-turkey and white-knuckling through her life of abstinence. Still, the negative addictive thought patterns remained, and she knew she was not truly healed.
The following ten years consisted of life transforming experiences and three missions with her dear husband Chad for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all of which consisted of working in the Addiction Recovery Program on various levels. Michele continues to work the 12-Steps on a daily basis, and as her soul and body have found recovery, she candidly shares the personal life-saving insights which have taught and sustained her along her own God-given path.
Her dedication, hands-on education, and experience qualify Michele to write this authentic book about recovery from the standpoint of addict, facilitator, and group leader for over 1000 women’s groups. From living in the trenches of addiction and recovery, and her tenacious research on the topic of abuse recovery, her genuine struggle speaks to even the most hardened, troubled soul.
Michele’s beloved husband of nearly 52 years was diagnosed with bone cancer while they were serving their last mission together in Arizona. Only four months later, Chad passed away in early 2021. Together, they have five children, 35 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Michele continues to sponsor several women in their recovery paths in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Michele currently resides in Sandy, Utah. See michelenoelbooks.com