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American Drug Addict: a memoir

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My name is Brett. I'm a college educated man who once was a husband of 26 years with two children, three businesses, and a large home with an actual white picket fence. I'm also a drug addict. And I have a tale to tell. My story has everything: sex, death, pain, atheism, God, jail, marriage, divorce, heresy, homosexuality, physics, traffic fatalities, computer science, vid My name is Brett. I'm a college educated man who once was a husband of 26 years with two children, three businesses, and a large home with an actual white picket fence. I'm also a drug addict. And I have a tale to tell. My story has everything: sex, death, pain, atheism, God, jail, marriage, divorce, heresy, homosexuality, physics, traffic fatalities, computer science, video games, cinnamon toothpicks, Barry Manilow, Nine Inch Nails, pornography, breasts, used tampons, strippers, venereal disease, abortion, prostitutes, AIDS, racism, suicide, infidelity, public nudity, anti-Semitism, marijuana, alcohol, pawn shops, drug dealers, needles, acid, ecstasy, crack, heroin, pain pills, withdrawal, interventions, rehabs, product tampering, road rage, vandalism, elderly abuse, grave desecration, arson, identity theft, burglary, armed robbery, and murder. But more importantly, it's about the despair of addiction and the absolute certainty that it can be overcome. Recovery is not simply abstinence, but a process of growing up. I spent my entire life searching for the key to long-term sobriety. I would like to share with you what I have learned


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My name is Brett. I'm a college educated man who once was a husband of 26 years with two children, three businesses, and a large home with an actual white picket fence. I'm also a drug addict. And I have a tale to tell. My story has everything: sex, death, pain, atheism, God, jail, marriage, divorce, heresy, homosexuality, physics, traffic fatalities, computer science, vid My name is Brett. I'm a college educated man who once was a husband of 26 years with two children, three businesses, and a large home with an actual white picket fence. I'm also a drug addict. And I have a tale to tell. My story has everything: sex, death, pain, atheism, God, jail, marriage, divorce, heresy, homosexuality, physics, traffic fatalities, computer science, video games, cinnamon toothpicks, Barry Manilow, Nine Inch Nails, pornography, breasts, used tampons, strippers, venereal disease, abortion, prostitutes, AIDS, racism, suicide, infidelity, public nudity, anti-Semitism, marijuana, alcohol, pawn shops, drug dealers, needles, acid, ecstasy, crack, heroin, pain pills, withdrawal, interventions, rehabs, product tampering, road rage, vandalism, elderly abuse, grave desecration, arson, identity theft, burglary, armed robbery, and murder. But more importantly, it's about the despair of addiction and the absolute certainty that it can be overcome. Recovery is not simply abstinence, but a process of growing up. I spent my entire life searching for the key to long-term sobriety. I would like to share with you what I have learned

30 review for American Drug Addict: a memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.P. Willson

    In many respects I wanted to give this book 1 star, on the flip-side of the coin I also wanted to give it 5 stars. The reason I have gone middle of the road is because, if in fact you are an addict in recovery, you need to read this book. If you are not-then do not, it will depress the hell out of you unnecessarily. As a recovering alcoholic there is much in this depiction of addiction and supposed recovery I do disagree with. For instance this line- "alcohol is a drug, and alcoholics are drug a In many respects I wanted to give this book 1 star, on the flip-side of the coin I also wanted to give it 5 stars. The reason I have gone middle of the road is because, if in fact you are an addict in recovery, you need to read this book. If you are not-then do not, it will depress the hell out of you unnecessarily. As a recovering alcoholic there is much in this depiction of addiction and supposed recovery I do disagree with. For instance this line- "alcohol is a drug, and alcoholics are drug addicts." While I do agree alcohol is indeed a drug, an alcoholic and a drug addict are two completely different "animals." They are not one in the same. Yes a person can be addicted to both drugs and alcohol simultaneously, yet that is where the similarities end. Both in the addiction and the recovery. This may sound like an oxymoron yet I can assure you there is a huge difference. Having said that , there are so many points in this book that made me take a damn good hard look at my own recovery as compared to this mans concept of such. The authors interpretation of the twelve steps, although somewhat skewed in my interpretation is a sound one, yet again- every single person in recovery will have their own interpretation of what the meanings of those steps are. I found this book very offensive on so many levels, yet I also have used it for my own gain as a reassurance of my own resolve within my continued recovery process and would definitely recommend it to anyone in the process of recovery. Be forewarned though, I was "triggered" many times while reading this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claire Zidich

    As someone who had lived with a drug addict for many years in my early 20’s I always gravitate towards books like this. To try and understand and perhaps open my mind further to how their behaviour becomes so destructive. It’s hard to read how drugs can trump everything but at the same time it offers relief in a way that there was nothing else I could have done to help the person I lived with. The book itself was brilliant, well written, fast paced and entertaining while also being miserable and As someone who had lived with a drug addict for many years in my early 20’s I always gravitate towards books like this. To try and understand and perhaps open my mind further to how their behaviour becomes so destructive. It’s hard to read how drugs can trump everything but at the same time it offers relief in a way that there was nothing else I could have done to help the person I lived with. The book itself was brilliant, well written, fast paced and entertaining while also being miserable and frustrating. Hah! It’s hard not to hate drug addicts who lie, steal, cheat and cause their loved ones immeasurable pain, but books like this go a long way to understanding why they do it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maryshell

    Strange Book... The book kept my interest, although it seemed unusual to read a humorous book about addiction and recovery. In my opinion, Douglas romanticized his drug use, and practically bragged about it, throughout the entire book, as if those were the "old glory days". Yet, those addiction filled days are not at all that far in the past and only ended due to his incarceration, which he referred to as a "vacation". The book was written to kill time during a prison sentence, and the ending con Strange Book... The book kept my interest, although it seemed unusual to read a humorous book about addiction and recovery. In my opinion, Douglas romanticized his drug use, and practically bragged about it, throughout the entire book, as if those were the "old glory days". Yet, those addiction filled days are not at all that far in the past and only ended due to his incarceration, which he referred to as a "vacation". The book was written to kill time during a prison sentence, and the ending concludes upon his release. He spouted off a lot of addiction and recovery jargon, but nothing leads me to believe he's actually in recovery or truly comprehends what it even means to be in recovery. What makes this time any different? What it seems like to me is that he needed a paycheck after his release, so he wrote a book. I also found him to be a racist with a huge ego.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Merrill Frazier

    if you think your story is worth telling, consider investing in an editor. i couldn't slog through last 2/3 because of grammar and punctuation issues. don't waste your money. if you think your story is worth telling, consider investing in an editor. i couldn't slog through last 2/3 because of grammar and punctuation issues. don't waste your money.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Burns

    Interesting read about an addict's life. My only heartburn about it is that the author attempts to present himself as a typical suburban guy who just happened to fall into the clutches of drug use. He compares himself to the killer in American Psycho, stating that he doesn't fit the profile of the "typical" addict. He then goes on to talk about snorting cocaine for the first time at 12, smoking pot every single day throughout his teens and 20s, suffering a near fatal substance abuse related acci Interesting read about an addict's life. My only heartburn about it is that the author attempts to present himself as a typical suburban guy who just happened to fall into the clutches of drug use. He compares himself to the killer in American Psycho, stating that he doesn't fit the profile of the "typical" addict. He then goes on to talk about snorting cocaine for the first time at 12, smoking pot every single day throughout his teens and 20s, suffering a near fatal substance abuse related accident prior to turning 21, selling drugs throughout middle school and high school, and graduating to IV drug use before being able to legally drink. He is able to maintain some facade of normal life because he lives off of the pawn shop businesses his parents opened. I give the guy a huge amount of credit for overcoming such a devastating addiction, but this was not a sudden addiction that crept up on an established middle aged man. I wish him the best in sobriety. I'm grateful that he chose to share his story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Honesty is best. Ive always read self help and addiction memiors. While sitting in court, awaiting my lawyer, this book popped up on my 'related' reads. Since it was 3 bucks, shit, why not? I recently found myself hit my current rock bottom and started AA, so without reading too much into what it was about I downloaded it. 3 days prior I had conversations with friends of religious aspects of AA, and how that would inevitably push me out of it but that for now it was OK... this book sums up alot Honesty is best. Ive always read self help and addiction memiors. While sitting in court, awaiting my lawyer, this book popped up on my 'related' reads. Since it was 3 bucks, shit, why not? I recently found myself hit my current rock bottom and started AA, so without reading too much into what it was about I downloaded it. 3 days prior I had conversations with friends of religious aspects of AA, and how that would inevitably push me out of it but that for now it was OK... this book sums up alot of how I was dealing to cope with that shit. This man took an incredibly sad journey through life, but came out with the right way of thinking. Great book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Brett is a total dirtbag. This book was written by a drug addict in recovery. It is a jaw-dropping story chock-full of people who cared about him whom he mercilessly screwed over (including his parents, children, wife, and best friend) and tale after tale of why Brett should be dead. This book is not uplifting. It’s a very ugly look at the daily life of a drug addict with honest insight into why people stay in that lifestyle. This guy loved drugs, and everything that went hand-in-hand with being Brett is a total dirtbag. This book was written by a drug addict in recovery. It is a jaw-dropping story chock-full of people who cared about him whom he mercilessly screwed over (including his parents, children, wife, and best friend) and tale after tale of why Brett should be dead. This book is not uplifting. It’s a very ugly look at the daily life of a drug addict with honest insight into why people stay in that lifestyle. This guy loved drugs, and everything that went hand-in-hand with being an addict. You will lose all respect for Brett. He does a lot of evil, underhanded shit and some of it caught up with him. There are soul-searching moments and revelations that will make you hopeful that Brett does have some humanity left, and there are some very funny moments. My favorite line in the book is when Brett attempts Step 4 of the 12 Steps for the first time and only comes up with a page. His sponsor, Don, a grumpy older guy with no time for bullshit looks at it and says, “You’ve only got one page? You’re fucked up.” Then there is the rest of the book where Brett comes off as a narcissistic, self-indulgent, elitist asshole who lies incessantly and makes it hard for you to feel any empathy for him at all. The redeeming qualities of the book are that it includes an excellent description of having a sense of gratitude for everything as your higher power for those who are atheistic or agnostic, and Brett’s bottom line—if he can recover from addiction, anyone can. This book is a wild ride. I’d give this book two stars for the bits where the author brags at length about his sexual exploits and intelligence in screwing over other people. He gets a one-star rating for being a sexist and racist pig. I’d give him four stars his actual story, which is well-written. I am 100% certain he only wrote this book to make money, so I sincerely hope he’s using his profits to pay back his children and his parents.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shanny

    This book is horrible. The author is deplorable and someone any normal person would not want to be around.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Crickett Lancaster

    Harrowing and brave. This book trashes a lot of stereotypes about who addicts are, and that's important if we as a society ever want to stop judging and truly help people. There's a lot of unflinching reporting of awful things here, a thorough inventory if you will, and sometimes it seems a little voyeuristic to read. Brett Douglas is also sometimes very funny, though, and the gallows humour shows the self-awareness that he's gained on his journey. Also, this may seem superfluous, but I appreciat Harrowing and brave. This book trashes a lot of stereotypes about who addicts are, and that's important if we as a society ever want to stop judging and truly help people. There's a lot of unflinching reporting of awful things here, a thorough inventory if you will, and sometimes it seems a little voyeuristic to read. Brett Douglas is also sometimes very funny, though, and the gallows humour shows the self-awareness that he's gained on his journey. Also, this may seem superfluous, but I appreciate the musical selections he's chosen.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I can’t tell you how many times, while reading this book, I thought, “This guy is a total a**hole!” It is a long vomiting confession of all his a**hole ways and actions. The person he wrote about (which is supposedly in his past) is quite deplorable and I wanted to stop reading it many times. It doesn’t get better... but he ends it clean, so hopefully he redeems his life and lives right. It’s awful to know people like he and Paula are raising kids out there. Damn. Another reviewer said the book wa I can’t tell you how many times, while reading this book, I thought, “This guy is a total a**hole!” It is a long vomiting confession of all his a**hole ways and actions. The person he wrote about (which is supposedly in his past) is quite deplorable and I wanted to stop reading it many times. It doesn’t get better... but he ends it clean, so hopefully he redeems his life and lives right. It’s awful to know people like he and Paula are raising kids out there. Damn. Another reviewer said the book was triggering- I agree -it will bring up emotion for sure!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I was too disgusted by the author to get much out of the book. Also didn’t like the narration for some reason. Author rhapsodizes about women’s breasts. Thinks it’s hilarious when his girlfriend yells the n-word in a neighborhood of African-Americans. Disparages a Jewish man while under the influence. And explains that when he uses the term “faggot” he doesn’t mean homosexuals (in fact brags about how many gay friends he has.) Here’s an idea: don’t use the term at all. I thought the author was a I was too disgusted by the author to get much out of the book. Also didn’t like the narration for some reason. Author rhapsodizes about women’s breasts. Thinks it’s hilarious when his girlfriend yells the n-word in a neighborhood of African-Americans. Disparages a Jewish man while under the influence. And explains that when he uses the term “faggot” he doesn’t mean homosexuals (in fact brags about how many gay friends he has.) Here’s an idea: don’t use the term at all. I thought the author was a sexist bigot who thought far too well of himself. I’m getting my credit back from Audible.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elisha Whiteley

    Recommended for everyone This book was written so well. I love Brett's sense of humor as he looks back at the tragedy that had become his life all the while waiting for his happily ever after. As the Grateful Dead once said "once in awhile you get shone the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right! " I pray that he has stayed the course and will reach many other lost souls looking for there happily ever after! Recommended for everyone This book was written so well. I love Brett's sense of humor as he looks back at the tragedy that had become his life all the while waiting for his happily ever after. As the Grateful Dead once said "once in awhile you get shone the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right! " I pray that he has stayed the course and will reach many other lost souls looking for there happily ever after!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Misty Connor

    Brutality honest memoir on drug addiction As they say you gotta hit rock bottom before you wake the f#ck up. Well for Brett it seems he hit a few times. This book is a good read for all the people who don't understand a drug addicts struggles. They may have a little better understanding and learn from his addiction. As for Brett Douglas one day at a time. Everyday is a new day. Brutality honest memoir on drug addiction As they say you gotta hit rock bottom before you wake the f#ck up. Well for Brett it seems he hit a few times. This book is a good read for all the people who don't understand a drug addicts struggles. They may have a little better understanding and learn from his addiction. As for Brett Douglas one day at a time. Everyday is a new day.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Zimmer

    Despite the grisly allure of listening to a confessional tell-all of this sort, this memoir lacks humility and true self-reflection. He is a braggart, and his writing is riddled with misogynistic and bigoted statements that made it impossible for me to commiserate with the consequences of the s***storm that he brings onto himself at every turn. Still, I listened through to the end, so if you're twisted like me and enjoy reading about human trainwrecks, there's that. Despite the grisly allure of listening to a confessional tell-all of this sort, this memoir lacks humility and true self-reflection. He is a braggart, and his writing is riddled with misogynistic and bigoted statements that made it impossible for me to commiserate with the consequences of the s***storm that he brings onto himself at every turn. Still, I listened through to the end, so if you're twisted like me and enjoy reading about human trainwrecks, there's that.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David John

    where can i start? i had a lot of mixed feelings throughout the entirity of this book. First off I just want to to say that this review is not intended to show any sort of disrespect to the author, none what so ever. That is something i want to emphasis on. The book......was tough, a very tough read and at some stages very tough to believe. I'm not calling him a liar, not at all, just very hard to believe that someone can go through all that and still some how come out the over end. During the f where can i start? i had a lot of mixed feelings throughout the entirity of this book. First off I just want to to say that this review is not intended to show any sort of disrespect to the author, none what so ever. That is something i want to emphasis on. The book......was tough, a very tough read and at some stages very tough to believe. I'm not calling him a liar, not at all, just very hard to believe that someone can go through all that and still some how come out the over end. During the first half of the story (before he had reached 21) I absolutley hated this book, I think I updated my progress with the exact words, I also took an instant disliking to the authur, I have no idea why, I assumed he had an underlying pride abiut the things he had done, the things he had stolen, the things he had done to people but i kind of get it now, now that i have taken time to actually sit down and have a long hard think about what I as a reader just went through, what he went through. I've had my go round on the drug merry-go-round and I hit a point where I had to go away for a few weeks so I could go "cold turkey" and I think I was subconsciously comparing my expeirences with his experiences and wondering why and how his life got to the point where it had got when mine had not? Totally the wrong thing to do, I then stopped reading the book and decided to take on a different perspective, see it as a lesson rather than a comparison inwhich there could be no winners. I then listened to it on audio format, which I found mysef shouting at my speakers, wanting him to be able to hear me shout "just divorce her", "why?", "how can you still be alive?"...... I guess my personal eperiences with drugs is what motivated me to read and listen to this book, I wanted to hear other peoples stories about their experiences and their struggles and how they managed to get through it and over it and find some sort of cheat sheet in case there was ever a day where I found myself unable to say "no" and fall back into that ever seductive lure of a recreational passtime that suddenly becomes a damaging lifestyle, but this book felt different, it felt more of a lesson on how not to fall from grace and find that everything you have worked hard for is suddenly lost and taken from you, not by others but taken from yourself by yourself. I also found it very hard to put this review together, to find words that could not only do this story justice but also to emphasis on how important it is for these stories to exist, it may be a memoir for the author but for me, its become an essnetial life lesson, something that I need at times, a reaason to keep on saying "no" and carry on living rather than being a slave to a substance and thinking thats all there is in life. This story has made me realise that there is more to life and that there is an existence without drugs. If you want to read or listen to something real, very real, something that afflicts a very large majority of individuals no matter their creed then this is most likely the boook for you. If youlike books that make you angry, shout, laugh (something I did more than I actually should of), shocked, disgusted, sick, cry, the whole spectrum of human emoiton then this is most definitly the book for you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shadira

    Seared into the pages of American Drug Addict is an ugly, in-your-face confessional for our times, from a broken man at the end of his rope. While in jail, Brett Douglas procured some prison paper, picked up a golf pencil, and began to write. With brutal, unflinching candor befitting his circumstance, he lay bare his tattered soul. The same soul he thought he’d sold long ago. And so begins a 385-page, fearless moral self-inventory, which some may recognize as the fourth of AA’s twelve steps. Well Seared into the pages of American Drug Addict is an ugly, in-your-face confessional for our times, from a broken man at the end of his rope. While in jail, Brett Douglas procured some prison paper, picked up a golf pencil, and began to write. With brutal, unflinching candor befitting his circumstance, he lay bare his tattered soul. The same soul he thought he’d sold long ago. And so begins a 385-page, fearless moral self-inventory, which some may recognize as the fourth of AA’s twelve steps. Well-written, raw and visceral, Douglas’s memoir serves as a gripping reminder of addiction’s insidious allure and how precious—and precarious—is our humanity, warts and all. As life begins for the author, we feel the love both from and for his grandparents, ‘Meemaw’ and ‘Pawpaw,’ who played leading roles in his childhood. It’s right there, in full view of his family’s dysfunction that defiles the soil where addiction’s dirty seeds take root. Brett’s a nice kid most of the time. A bit rowdy, he’s a part-time punk and occasional a-hole. But the die is not cast. It could go either way. Weighing his options at the cusp of independence, a teenage Brett sees the world through a lens blurred by innocence and marred during childhood. He’s successful enough to afford drugs and indulge his desires, but too cocksure to indulge his ignorance. Lacking the maturity to perceive the potential he squanders daily, his long, downward spiral begins as youthful adventure. Experimentation gives way to escape, and we see the snare silently sprung long before a naïve Brett is aware of the trap he set for himself. Exhilarated by the rush and the risk, drug use infects his identity: One of the most candid and heart wrenching books I have read on the disease of addiction. Brett is painfully honest in describing the hellish life that goes along with addiction. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling, as well as anyone who has a loved one caught in the grips of drug or alcohol abuse. I loved the style of writing and the brutal honesty in this book. I'm glad the book ended the way it did, because from the grim lows the autobiography described, it could have easily ended a different way. Kudos to Brett

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melly

    So I finished this book a couple weeks ago but have been unable to write a review till now. It was simply too raw, too traumatizing of a read. I know that makes me sound like a sniveling weakling, calling reading a book traumatizing, but it genuinely was. I needed time to decompress before writing a review. Perhaps because it happened in my hometown - and though I shouldn't be, I was shocked this sort of thing was happening here...where I live. Not to mention I have never read a book where it see So I finished this book a couple weeks ago but have been unable to write a review till now. It was simply too raw, too traumatizing of a read. I know that makes me sound like a sniveling weakling, calling reading a book traumatizing, but it genuinely was. I needed time to decompress before writing a review. Perhaps because it happened in my hometown - and though I shouldn't be, I was shocked this sort of thing was happening here...where I live. Not to mention I have never read a book where it seemed the author tried SO HARD to make me dislike him that he succeeded. No doubt he is a very nice man - but all through this book I found myself disliking him more and more - and then questioning that dislike. I have read memoirs written by drug addicts and their families before. I have never read anything so raw and so terribly honest and horribly personal before. Everyone should read this book. Everyone. I don't care what you do for a living. I don't care if your 19 or 90. I don't care if you are an addict or not. Everyone needs to read this book. I wish I could give more than five stars. This book impacted me deep - in a way few books do. I am so grateful the author made it out of his addiction alive - and I hope he is still clean and sober. I hope his relationships continue to heal. I wish the very, very best for him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    S. Church

    It was very difficult to assign any star-rating to this book. It's someone's story and it's a horribly painful one. But I guess I would give it 3.5 stars. I think that my appreciation for this memoir was influenced by my familiarity with stories of addiction and in my opinion, it's probable that someone who has had less exposure to this kind of life or story will not get as much out of it. Not being an addict myself, I don't think I will ever understand the torment and despair that addicts exper It was very difficult to assign any star-rating to this book. It's someone's story and it's a horribly painful one. But I guess I would give it 3.5 stars. I think that my appreciation for this memoir was influenced by my familiarity with stories of addiction and in my opinion, it's probable that someone who has had less exposure to this kind of life or story will not get as much out of it. Not being an addict myself, I don't think I will ever understand the torment and despair that addicts experience (for which I am grateful). Addiction is a topic that is very close to me though, as I grew up with an addicted parent (who just celebrated nine years clean this month). I think that some parts of the book could be triggering, depending on the reader (whether an addict or not), but I think that many people in recovery would relate to this story and could get some hope from it. As for me, it helped me to better understand and empathize with the feelings that my recovering parent experienced in active addiction—the shame, the desire to die, the feelings of worthlessness. This book is definitely not for everybody, but anyone who can hear this story and keep an open heart will probably learn something.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber Schroer

    I thought it was predictable and boring . It felt like he was trying to too hard to make it "different"; maybe to those still learning about the opiate epidemic might be entertained by this seemingly normal , middle class man's struggle with drug addiction because he doesn't fit the stereo type of an addict, but most Amwricans are realizing anyone can suffer from addiction - especially opiates. So, I guess, I felt like he came across as "special" in his plight and almost like he exploited his ex I thought it was predictable and boring . It felt like he was trying to too hard to make it "different"; maybe to those still learning about the opiate epidemic might be entertained by this seemingly normal , middle class man's struggle with drug addiction because he doesn't fit the stereo type of an addict, but most Amwricans are realizing anyone can suffer from addiction - especially opiates. So, I guess, I felt like he came across as "special" in his plight and almost like he exploited his experience and was able to capitalize off it while 99% of former addicts - many who are just like him - will not have the luxury of turning the worst time of their life into their "winning ticket" by being "interesting enough" to write a best-seller chronicling his troubles. But I didn't come to this book with all those false preconceptions- I know that addiction doesn't ever look like any one thing and that people can still have a "life", spouse, kids, nice things etc and be addicts at the same time. Wealth doesn't buy immunity from addiction and I'm pretty sure most Americans know this now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    So I’ll start with this...I’m an addiction memoir hound. I absolutely devour them. I, myself, am not an addict but without divulging too much, I very much empathize with the addict as well as their loved ones. With that said, I have only one issue with Brett’s account of his story. At the very beginning, he made it clear that his mother was the only person who supported him and/or was there for him through the entirety of his addiction battle. He even went as far as to say his wife and children So I’ll start with this...I’m an addiction memoir hound. I absolutely devour them. I, myself, am not an addict but without divulging too much, I very much empathize with the addict as well as their loved ones. With that said, I have only one issue with Brett’s account of his story. At the very beginning, he made it clear that his mother was the only person who supported him and/or was there for him through the entirety of his addiction battle. He even went as far as to say his wife and children had abandoned him while his mother did not. I typically would never, because it’s not my story to recount, but as I read on I noticed that his kids were adults when they’d finally had enough, AND that their moving onward and out was legitimately a matter of safety. He even described showing up at their door at 4am when he should’ve been in the hospital...but they abandoned you? I think that’s a really harsh assumption of their genuinely mature and realistic choices to survive. I can’t imagine they did it to abandon him, rather than moving out to survive...but I digress. Of course this is how an addict who’s emotional development ceased upon addiction status so I do understand his genuine perspective....but still.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Meyer

    I love reading the other reviews and how so many people are judging his journey. No one gets to pick or tell you the right way. What matters is that you get to the way that keeps you sober, that second, that minute, that hour, that day. Very well done. I appreciate the humor he has of himself and his choices. We all can hopefully laugh at ourselves. But the honesty of his story is what matters most. I can see someone thinking he glamorizes using. At the time, there is that sensation, that is all I love reading the other reviews and how so many people are judging his journey. No one gets to pick or tell you the right way. What matters is that you get to the way that keeps you sober, that second, that minute, that hour, that day. Very well done. I appreciate the humor he has of himself and his choices. We all can hopefully laugh at ourselves. But the honesty of his story is what matters most. I can see someone thinking he glamorizes using. At the time, there is that sensation, that is all apart of the drug, the use, the justification. I think it’s a brilliant and honest story that I am thankful he shared and the reality of what happens, but the peace that comes with being sober. With not necessarily knowing what the actual next ‘thing’ is in your life, but knowing that being sober and a belief in something greater than you will get you where you need to be. Thanks, Brett

  22. 5 out of 5

    felix

    This is difficult to review. On one hand, it is obvious Douglas struggled with addiction in an incredibly serious way, and has been able to confront and expose this with brutal honesty. But I just cannot get past the fact he is not, or at least does not portray himself to be, a very thoughtful and reflective person. He does not give any thought to where or why his addiction arose other than sheer hedonism - he just liked feeling good, being high. He didn’t analyse his deeply middle-class roots a This is difficult to review. On one hand, it is obvious Douglas struggled with addiction in an incredibly serious way, and has been able to confront and expose this with brutal honesty. But I just cannot get past the fact he is not, or at least does not portray himself to be, a very thoughtful and reflective person. He does not give any thought to where or why his addiction arose other than sheer hedonism - he just liked feeling good, being high. He didn’t analyse his deeply middle-class roots and the privilege of him being a white drug addict, and the ability to ‘bounce back’ after imprisonment, or whilst in the thick of addiction. I admire his ability to be brutally honest, but think this could’ve done with some more hard thinking.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kampff

    Chasing peace! Futile without GOD! At first, this book started sounding like a boasting memoir. I was ready to stop reading! The things done for fun as kids were deplorable. Where were the parents. No consequences gives kids a sense of no morals or consequences. Too bad it took all that to realize how special you are. Makes me sorry for all the lonely souls out there. I was one of them once. I was my worst enemy. Without learning obedience and learning to love myself, I would have never found PEAC Chasing peace! Futile without GOD! At first, this book started sounding like a boasting memoir. I was ready to stop reading! The things done for fun as kids were deplorable. Where were the parents. No consequences gives kids a sense of no morals or consequences. Too bad it took all that to realize how special you are. Makes me sorry for all the lonely souls out there. I was one of them once. I was my worst enemy. Without learning obedience and learning to love myself, I would have never found PEACE!! God's biggest gift! Amen to you and your family! I know your candor was not easy. My deepest blessing and joy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Amazing truth I really didn’t know what I was getting into by reading this memoir. As I tuned into the stories he was telling I saw how I could truly relate to some of them. I also was a crazy party teenager into early college. Then this story continues and I found myself looking into what could have easily been my path, or what I know has been the path some people I knew and loved took unfortunately. This is a story told with unbridled grit. He lays everything out there, latter of factly, whethe Amazing truth I really didn’t know what I was getting into by reading this memoir. As I tuned into the stories he was telling I saw how I could truly relate to some of them. I also was a crazy party teenager into early college. Then this story continues and I found myself looking into what could have easily been my path, or what I know has been the path some people I knew and loved took unfortunately. This is a story told with unbridled grit. He lays everything out there, latter of factly, whether the reader likes it or not. It was a journey to read his story and I’m glad I did.

  25. 5 out of 5

    tracie andrews

    Clean vs Sober I am a member of the "No Matter What" club and have nearly 27 years of recovery. Why someone with substance abuse issues chooses AA over NA boggles my mind. Happy you found a program that works for you but the pamphlet that helped me choose NA is "Problems Other Than Alcohol." It keeps my level of honesty true about the nature of my disease. Thankful for AA which NA is based but identifying as sober instead of clean is not on the level. Drug addicts in recovery are clean. Alcoholic Clean vs Sober I am a member of the "No Matter What" club and have nearly 27 years of recovery. Why someone with substance abuse issues chooses AA over NA boggles my mind. Happy you found a program that works for you but the pamphlet that helped me choose NA is "Problems Other Than Alcohol." It keeps my level of honesty true about the nature of my disease. Thankful for AA which NA is based but identifying as sober instead of clean is not on the level. Drug addicts in recovery are clean. Alcoholics in recovery are sober. Read the literature and your recovery will be that much more meaningful. One Day At A Time xoxo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Horowitz

    I really like this book for all of the details the author included. I’m a question asker by nature so having details in any book is satisfying. I give the author credit for being so open and honest about life choices many people wouldn’t admit to experiencing even to the most intimate companion(s)s. Had he spoke more about how his children behaved during their early childhood, I would absolutely give this book 5 stars. It kind of felt like the children were more like cats than kids. There, requi I really like this book for all of the details the author included. I’m a question asker by nature so having details in any book is satisfying. I give the author credit for being so open and honest about life choices many people wouldn’t admit to experiencing even to the most intimate companion(s)s. Had he spoke more about how his children behaved during their early childhood, I would absolutely give this book 5 stars. It kind of felt like the children were more like cats than kids. There, require little attention, aloof. Perhaps he purposefully withheld this portion of his/their lives out of respect for his children. If you enjoy autobiographies, I would recommend this!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing in this memoir is like an open wound: raw and painful. At times it's almost a little unbelievable, and I found myself asking if the author hadn't exaggerated just a little bit for effect, since it's not really clear how he could have sustained a massive habit like he describes and lived to tell about it. Or even how he remembered many of the details. It is also at times very funny. He claims at the end to be writing the whole thing from jail with a procured pencil, generally not allo The writing in this memoir is like an open wound: raw and painful. At times it's almost a little unbelievable, and I found myself asking if the author hadn't exaggerated just a little bit for effect, since it's not really clear how he could have sustained a massive habit like he describes and lived to tell about it. Or even how he remembered many of the details. It is also at times very funny. He claims at the end to be writing the whole thing from jail with a procured pencil, generally not allowed in jail, which IMO casts some doubt over the whole thing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Flaherty

    A nightmare of a life. This was the truest description of drug abuse that I have ever read. The highs, the lows, the anger, the lack of self-esteem, the self loathing, etc, etc. All the things you've heard about drug addiction is in this story. In addition, the relationships he has with his mother, his children and his wife and how they have all been affected by drugs and how they all made their way through it. The saddest part is that he can't predict his life for tomorrow. A nightmare of a life. This was the truest description of drug abuse that I have ever read. The highs, the lows, the anger, the lack of self-esteem, the self loathing, etc, etc. All the things you've heard about drug addiction is in this story. In addition, the relationships he has with his mother, his children and his wife and how they have all been affected by drugs and how they all made their way through it. The saddest part is that he can't predict his life for tomorrow.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    I read this book in one day even though I found it what I thought to be repetitive. Then it dawned on me......this man has been using since the age of 12 and has just now became sober so of course it was “repetitive”. It was unsettling to learn that a person can ingest so many drugs and still continue to function and not drop dead. It broke my heart for his children and I hope what they have been through does not turn them to drugs or alcohol. Best of Luck Brett as you continue your journey.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Anthony

    Living life on life's terms! I am a nurse in a woman's treatment center and married to a wonderful man who has been clean and sober for almost 34 years. Nothing I read here isn't anything I haven't heard before but it was still an amazing book! I am a grateful member of Al-anon and love to be able to get the perspective of how an addict sees life. I always say that an addict's personality traits and an al-anon's personality traits are 2 sides of the same sword. Congratulations to Brett on his rec Living life on life's terms! I am a nurse in a woman's treatment center and married to a wonderful man who has been clean and sober for almost 34 years. Nothing I read here isn't anything I haven't heard before but it was still an amazing book! I am a grateful member of Al-anon and love to be able to get the perspective of how an addict sees life. I always say that an addict's personality traits and an al-anon's personality traits are 2 sides of the same sword. Congratulations to Brett on his recovery and on this book. This is the 12th step in action...giving back!

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