16 August 2011

Book Review: Beautiful Boy

As described on the book jacket, Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff is a father's journey through his son's meth addiction. the book was intense. Maybe because I'm a mother now or maybe because drug addiction is so scary or maybe both.

I stayed awake at night thinking about Sheff's son, Nic, who became consumed by drugs as a teenager. By the time he was 21, Nic had been through rehab three times. THREE times! I think about my life at 21, which was just about as far away as a meth addict as someone could be. My worst offense with substance abuse was binge drinking.

Sheff's account of his personal struggle with his son's addiction is heartbreaking. He mostly blames himself. Part of me wanted to blame him too. Part of me wanted to blame friends. Part of me didn't know who to blame.

I work in the mental health field and I found myself struggling with "blame" as I read the book. In the end, it made just a little more compassionate and understanding about addiction in general. It's incredibly complicated and recovery is not as easy as just stopping. Sheff's son wrote a memoir about his own experience. I need to take a break from addiction, but Tweak is definitely on my must-read list.

Oh, and I organized a book club! Our first meeting is in late September, so I hope to be reading regularly again very soon!


Sarah said...

Hmmm...maybe a little intense for me right now but I think I'll put it on my list. I hope you have fun with your new book club! I joined a group a few years ago and love it!

Sara Struckman said...

Super intense. Maybe wait until Malin is out of the house - at 30 or so. Malin's getting big, by the way! Is it going really fast for you guys?