An inspiring story of resilience
MP Guy Lauzon signed copies of his book for the large crowd present during the launch of his autobiography at the Cornwall Mental Heath and Addictions Centre on Wed., July 12.      Sawyer Helmer photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
CORNWALL ­– SD&SG MP Guy Lauzon launched his autobiographical book at the Addiction and Mental Health Centre at the Cornwall Community Hospital on June 12. The book entitled From Lawbreaker to Lawmaker took Lauzon a little over a year to write and is a memoir of his life from humble beginnings, to his respected seat at Parliament.

Lauzon recounts in the book his 15-year struggle with alcoholism and how he overcame the odds to become one of the longest serving politicians of the Conservative party. Lauzon said during the launch that it is his hope the book will act as a beacon of hope to others suffering from addiction. All of the proceeds generated will be generously donated to the Addictions and Mental Health Centre in Cornwall.

During Lauzon’s address to the captivated audience at the launch, he found himself overwhelmed with emotion as he thanked his family, friends and God for his sobriety. Lauzon bravely admitted that were he not sober, he would likely not be around today.

Christine Penney, Vice-President of Community Programs for the CCH, opened the ceremony and expressed her gratitude towards Lauzon’s dedication to the Centre. “I think it demonstrates a selfless endeavour on his part. [Not only does he get to promote his book], but he is also taking the opportunity to shine the light on the services available at the centre,” said Penney.

In the provided press release Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO of the Hospital explained, “Today, it is widely recognized that one in five of us will experience an addiction or mental health issue in our lifetime. We also know that historically the attention and investments in the addiction and mental health sector has not kept up with the other health-care demands. While this is changing, we are pleased that Cornwall Community Hospital, together with our partners, have made decisions and investments to ensure that the needs of this population are met. We thank Mr. Lauzon for sharing his story with us here today!”

After years of Lauzon’s family and friends encouraging him to write the story of his life and success, the final decision was made “with the hope it might help others who suffer from the same disease. Alcoholism is a fatal disease, a cunning disease, a powerful disease. It’s also patient. I haven’t touched alcohol for 43 years but I can tell you if I had even one glass of beer, I would fall back into the depths of alcoholism. I wrote this book so others who suffer from the disease of alcoholism can learn from my mistakes. The message to anyone who reads this book, is hope. If an alcoholic, high school dropout like me can achieve sobriety and actually get elected to Parliament, just imagine what others could accomplish.”

In the press release Lauzon states, “I truly feel blessed to be able to share my story with all those who may be in a dark place and are seeking a way out. People need to realize that they are not alone in their struggles, that there are hundreds of people who understand what they are going through and are there to lend a hand and a shoulder.”

After the speeches finished up, Lauzon made himself available for book signings, while the Centre’s staff were giving tours of the new facility. Lauzon concluded, “If even one person reads this book and is inspired to do something about their drinking problem, then I think I have achieved my goal.”

According to Penney, the book is being sold on, in Cornwall at Backstrom’s Independent Grocer and The Christian Book Store, in Winchester at the Seaway Valley Pharmacy, in Chesterville at Flair with Fabrics, and in Morrisburg at Cardinal Flowers.