Chapter 18

Lucy was very impressed by what Mrs McGillicuddy told her about the St Mary Mead addiction community, and she thought it was time for her to talk about how to approach treating the problem. Jane was far too involved in worrying about who the body might be to notice how involved Lucy and Mrs McGillicuddy were in their conversations.

Lucy began with some general points. Mrs McGillicuddy had already begun to understand from the book that addiction was not some health problem which could be treated by a single
intervention. People did not recover because they had regular conversations with a therapist, took a medication, or went to AA meetings. Any of these approaches could have a part to play but they were not ‘the answer’. As the book revealed, recovery would be a process in which all kinds of life style issues would need to change, and which would involve not just, in this case Miss Marple, but her whole social world? The process was better understood as a ‘journey’. Strategies would need to change and develop as the journey took place. Some of the station stops on the journey could not be predicted in advance and so the well intentioned helper couldn’t assume that they would always be the most useful person at all stages. They could however stay around so that if the journey is broken at any stage and Miss Marple starts to get lost, they would be there to get her back on the train.

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