Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review - A Million Little Pieces

Ok, in this book I got as close as I want to get to understanding the mind set of a drug addict.  Unfortunately in my life I have been around an alcoholic and a drug addict. Far too many times, I wondered what was going on in their mind as they created chaos around them.  I could see the effect of their behaviors, but I could never understand their perspective. This book, A Million Little Pieces, gave me some insights into what may have been going on in their mind.  Written by James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, is his own experience in survival.  The book encompasses his life during drug rehab at age 23.  It retells his break from addiction and intertwines a forbidden love affair.  Can you recover while you break all the rules?

The jagged writing and repeated, contorted phrases help to bring you into his shattered world. The knotted scribbles between book sections mirror the confused life his addiction has created. The story will repulse you, sicken you, and scare you. However, the fact that the author is writing this book after recovering is an inspiration to anyone dealing with addiction.  I'm not sure that an addict could have come from a deeper, darker place and have survived.

If you do read this book, be sure to read the very end where James reports on updates of the other characters.  It tells you more about the reality of recovery than one may wish to know. In my cases, one ultimately died after developing a terminal illness that has heavy drinking as a contributory factor, and the other seems to be in a balanced place today, but goes through cycle after cycle of continued abuse.  We can only hope and pray that he will continue to fight the monster like James Frey has.

 Note: In my experience, unlike James', AA is a very important part of recovery and even if the addict doesn't want to participate, loved ones can and should. Al-Anon and Alateen can help you set boundaries and  save you from a parallel destruction.

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