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Imagine a cup of real good coffee with a friend under oak trees, reflecting on life, both past and present. Every now and then you laugh so hard that the tears roll down your cheeks. But then there is also a time when you cry until you can’t breathe. In the end of your conversation, you discuss when the next cup of coffee will be, because this time was so memorable. This is how it felt working through Life Anon: A 12-step guide to life.

Life Anon is a practical guide on how to live life on life’s terms. Freddie uses his own journey as example of working through the Twelve Step program, on how to stop reacting to life in a kneejerk and hurtful way, to responding appropriately. It is relevant to every day’s challenges with life and our relationships.

I was privilege to work with Freddie through his first book, The First Layer: Work though the 12 steps in 21 days and now his second book, Life Anon: A 12-step guide to life. I am addicted to things like gambling, sex, or food. I was caught in a destructive life which had a negative influence on my family, my work, and my spiritual life. Working through these books honestly, with an open mind and a willingness to challenge myself and my thoughts, life became a blessing. I received the gift of serenity, internal peace, vulnerability, and faith. Will I experience life without challenges? No, but I have learned to respond with grace with everything and everyone that cross my path. My life is now a guest house, and I am looking forward to the new arrivals every morning. 

Have that cup of coffee with Life Anon: A 12-step guide to life.

Thanx Freddie

Drikus Mouton

Hi Freddie
I just have to tell you… my mother is now reading your book for the second time. The way she loves that book … she sits there and makes notes. She even asked me for a second copy to give to someone else. She thought it was important for this person to learn what she is learning. But, she is now working through her one again. She just LOVES is. Just wanted to let you know.”

LIfe Anonymous?? For people addicted to Life??

According to Richard Rohr*, a globally recognized teacher and writer,

“Most people’s initial level of free response is very limited. While thinking they are surely ‘doing their own thing, they are almost totally programmed, conditioned, and addicted to everybody else’s thing and everybody else’s wounding”.

“Substance addictions like alcohol and drugs are merely the most visible form of addiction, but actually we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and most especially, our patterned way of thinking, or how we process our reality”
We’re all familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization credited for the rehabilitation of millions of alcoholics worldwide for over 60 years.

Along the way, many other addictive disorders have (thankfully) been recognized: addiction to narcotics, overeating, Anorexia, sex/love addiction (more properly, an Intimacy disorder), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Codependency, anxiety, anger, to name but a few.

The approach all these 12-step programs follow, is to dig below the manifesting addictive behaviors to identify the so-called underlying character defects, ie the root causes of these addictive behaviors – typical examples being anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, fear, etc.

In doing so, recovering addicts come to realize that the same character defects which manifest in the presenting addictive behaviour, are also manifesting simultaneously in other life-related aberrant behaviours and that the 12-step principles of recovery can be applied in those areas also!

Building on Richard Rohr’s premise, LIfe Anon recognizes that everyone is addicted to something! …. that we ALL need help in one way or another.

Life Anon thus adapts the 12 step program to address these same principles (and steps) to LIfe in general.

In recognizing that we react (rather than respond) to circumstances in unhealthy ways we are able to change these behaviours.

LIfe Anon is a workbook, being a very practical guide to identifying our aberrant behaviours and finding ways to remedy them.

Just as the traditional 12-step program has been invaluable to me in my journey of recovery from a recognized addiction, I have likewise found LIfe Anon invaluable in recognizing and correcting life-related aberrant behaviours.

Highly recommended!

Franciscan Media

*Breathing Underwater, Spirituality and the 12 steps" 2011

“Life Anon is the most awesome book. I keep picking it up and reading different pages. I have read the whole book. I just go back now and re-read. Thank You Freddie. You are amazing”
Dianne Visser

“I just wanted you to know that I am so loving your book! It’s definitely one that you digest in the stages and share with those around you as you go along. So many wisdoms and things ponder upon. Thank-you so much for writing it.  It is definitely making a difference in the lives of many.”

Freddie van Rensburg’s “Life Anon” is on its way to becoming an integral part of the recovery revolution. It makes a life-altering process accessible to an entire sector of the population interested in personal growth and self-development but who would otherwise not be exposed to the 12 steps. The questions posed and manner in which the author explains the steps encourage curiosity and develop lasting insight. I remember – in the early years of my own personal recovery – thinking, “Everyone should work the steps!” and now, in a gentle, un-intrusive, respectful way, everyone can. Highly recommended.


“I bought Life Anon during a difficult part of my life’s journey. I was facing existential, career and relationship challenges. This book helped me greatly to center myself, take stock of what is needed and how I want to proceed forward.”


Anyone who wants to use The 12 Steps to heal their life would benefit greatly from working with this book. it’s so easy to understand with the author’s personal examples plus a scenario that runs throughout. The questions & example answers are clear, helpful, and manageable. Very user-friendly. Highly recommended.

Gigi Langer PhD, author of ”50 Ways to Worry Less Now

I have met Freddie who I call Sensei through Social Media (Twitter) on #RecoverPosse. I myself (Jonathan V) am an Alcoholic and Problem Gambler in Recovery. I was in touch with Sensei as he was Finishing Life Anon: A 12 Step Guide for Non-Addicts and purchased my copy in December 2019. I am not going to write a summary of the book. What I will tell you is that it has helped me understand myself both from a Sufferer and Non-Sufferer’s perspective. Sensei is one of me, one of us, a long-term addict in recovery (now a proud abstainer) who writes books, runs podcasts, coaches people and more. I cannot recommend this book enough. It has truly changed the way I view myself, addictions and recovery. If you are a sufferer yourself, or closed to someone who is a sufferer of addictions, this book will considerably help you. Buy It.
D. Vencatachellum

As the sister of an addict and the mother of sons, who tend to go out drinking and partying, I decided to read the book. I found it truly eye-opening and helpful. It revealed to me the reasons why people have these problems and what my contribution to their problems is.
In working through the book, I found the answers to problems and afflictions that I didn’t even realise I had.
It is an awesome book for anybody to work though if you have any family members with any addiction or even other mental problem.
CAN SINCERELY recommend it!
Aletta Koutsouvelis

This is a powerful guide for gifted yet also traumatized young ones who seek meaning and healing; being at risk to shortcut their search by escaping into addictive coping behavior.
This book offers a gentle and accessible process of embracing a loving and benevolent spiritual companionship. Life Anon is rich in hope and tangible guidance towards self- love and creative unfolding. A “Must Read’’ for Matric level High School students and all those concerned about family members and friends who struggle with anger and loneliness or aggression.
The author’s invitation to share in a healing process reverberates beautifully. His wisdom, compassion and loving care inspire and offer connectedness.
Elke Geising

According to the author, “Many of us suffer unnecessarily because of how we react to what happens to us in life. Life Anon adapts the spiritual programme of Alcoholics Anonymous for non-addicts. The author has compiled a step guide that will take you on a journey through the twelve steps from reacting hurtfully to responding appropriately to life.”

‘Know Thyself’ is an aphorism that arose out of the old Greek wisdom culture …. and it remains true to this day. To life a live of purpose is to live an examined life.

This book is not an easy read that will entertain you. It will make you question and explore your inner being…. and your place in the universe. It is a guide for those of you ready to start digging under the surface of your established way of thinking. As such it is a book that will keep giving. May it become your best helper.

Dr Denis Allard

Trauma Surgeon Cape Town South Africa

Excellent book Freddie. You kept it real, which is great for me. The personal paragraphs are excellent. Well written.

Gary from the UK

Another short, sweet, clear and concise review for Life Anon: “Just finished ‘Life Anon’ by Freddy van Rensburg. Can’t recommend it enough. It’s brilliant.” 


“Your book, “Life Anon, 12-step guide for non-addicts”, has been my life-saver over the last few lockdown weeks. Having completed Step 1 just before lockdown was announced, it has kept my perspective on track. I have accepted that I am powerless over life. Although lockdown has been difficult, my mindset has been that of accepting the present situation we all find ourselves in, plus that of gratitude for my personal situation in comparison to that of many millions of others. As this journey guides me from strength to strength, I remain grateful for the time and energy you have put into this book for all those people who are ready to move forward in their personal journeys of life.” 



Mental Reset: Twelve practical steps towards a more meaningful life

Addiction and specialist wellness counsellor Freddie van Rensburg offers practical tips and advice on how to regain control of your life in his latest book, Life Anon: A 12-step guide to life for non-addicts.

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