Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction

by David Sheff | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0618683356 Global Overview for this book
Registered by candieb of Austin, Texas USA on 3/2/2008
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Sunday, March 02, 2008
Synopsis

Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view—a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope. Before meth, Sheff's son Nic was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs, the denial (by both child and parents), the three A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the attempts at rehab, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for each other too, lest they become addicted to addiction. Meth is the fastest-growing drug in the United States, as well as the most addictive and the most dangerous—wreaking permanent brain damage faster than any other readily available drug. It has invaded every region and demographic in America. This book is the first that treats meth and its impact in depth. But it is not just about meth. Nic's addiction has wrought the same damage that any addiction will wreak. His story, and his father's, are those of any family that contains an addict—and one in three American families does.

Journal Entry 2 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Thursday, March 20, 2008
This book will haunt me for years to come. The author's fears, dreams, hopes, apathy, and downright horror jump off of the pages and eat away at your heart. I've always believed that if my child ended up like Nic, I would be able to walk away, but now... I just don't know. I could feel this man's pain, feel his love oozing from the text. I think what made it harder is believing that Nic was better again and again and again. I spent the last two or three chapters in and out of tears. Yes, I felt for Nic, but David is who I really wanted to reach out and hug, to offer to do something - anything - to ease his pain.

Oh, there were a few funny parts, and endearing. Nic truly seems like he's a good kid who has just screwed up royally. I am left wondering how Nic is doing TODAY though. I believe the story ended about 18 months ago, so I'm curious... what has happened since then?

It appears that Nic also wrote a book. I'll give it a read. I do hope Nic realizes what an amazing father he has and learns to deal with his demons. Hug your dad, Nic - he did for you what I'm not sure I could for my own children.

This was a wonderful book. It touched me deeply.

I've decided to send this out a ring to those I know... I hope you all enjoy it. If you would like to read Nic's book, please say so in the journal and I'll add you when I get that one.

Journal Entry 3 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Thursday, March 20, 2008
BOOKRING INFORMATION:

A - Once you receive the book, please read it, journal it, and PM the person next in line for their address within 30 days of receiving this book.

B - This is a book ring, meaning that I hope this book makes it back to me, so please pass it on. If you have any problems getting a response from a ring member, please PM me.

Participants:
1. xallroyx
2. oi-reader
3. msjoanna
4. GateGypsy
5. boomda181
6. rebeccaljames - OH - Ships US
7. Megi53 - VA - Ships Anywhere
8. Megi53 - please do with as you please


Journal Entry 4 by candieb at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, March 21, 2008

Released 12 yrs ago (3/21/2008 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Mailing out to the first one, X :) Enjoy!

Journal Entry 5 by xallroyx from Huntington Beach, California USA on Monday, March 24, 2008
Thanks so much for the book. I don't do rings much because I like to choose my reading. I really want to read this and will do so in the next week!!

Journal Entry 6 by xallroyx from Huntington Beach, California USA on Sunday, March 30, 2008
I came across this in a bookstore a few weeks ago and added it to my wishlist. Candie offered it up for a bookring so I had to join. One of the reasons I was drawn to it was because it was the story of addiction told through the lens of a parent. That Nic's drug of choice was crystal meth also enticed me. I believe this to be one of the devil of all drugs! This topic has been a part of my family for over 20 years and I could relate to a lot of David's story. I have had my own battles with alcoholism/addiction and so has my sister. She was a bit more far gone than I and now I can kind of see some of the things my parents had to go through when dealing with us. Every addict hits their own bottom and the turning point is different for everyone.
One of the things I really connected with was the effect of divorce on the child. David blames himself for Nic's addiction and it made me wonder if my parents did the same. Honestly, I don't think it helped and it took me a long time to realize that I blamed my mom for a lot of relationship problems I had that also was a part of my drinking.
Another thing this book helped me realize is that I can't do anything to help one of my best friends. He has been in and out of rehab for the past eight years. Like Nic, he even worked at a rehab and still relapsed. All I can do is pray. I hope David is taking care of himself and that Nic is doing well. I'll have to check out his book.

I will pm the next reader and send on!

Journal Entry 7 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Tuesday, April 22, 2008
arrived safely today. Will try to start over the upcoming weekend. Thanks for sharing :)

Journal Entry 8 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Monday, April 28, 2008
First thanks to candieb for sharing. I have to admit, I did not "love" this book. Perhaps I am a bit jaded because I see too many meth addicts (amongst other addicts as well) in my line of work. Nic seems like a good kid who's cries for help were dealt with by his parents in a way that was perhaps detrimental in his addiction. Every family deals with this topic differently when it arises, but I totally disagree with David's smoking a joint with his son, I also disagree with his always bailing Nic out until near the end of the book, I kept wondering about how many teenagers are out there who's families do not have health insurance to help pay for rehab. David's constant blaming himself for Nic's addiction also grated on me. He clearly stated more than once about Al-Anon's creed of you did not cause it...etc. on one page then kept second guessing himself on another. Repeatedly. It made me think that there were perhaps some underlying issues not brought up in the book that caused David to feel so guilty. I cannot speak from a parent's point of view, but coming from a family with a member who deals with addiction and as a person who sees people struggling with addiction issues every day I found myself asking what led Nic to turn to drugs in the first place.

I am looking forward to reading Tweak to discover the "other side of the story".

Am sending off to msjoanna tomorrow.

Journal Entry 9 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Wednesday, May 07, 2008
This has arrived with me. I have another of candieb's bookrings ahead of this, but will get to it shortly.

Journal Entry 10 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, May 19, 2008
This was clearly a difficult book to write and to share with the world, as well as with his actual family members. The author is an excellent writer who deals as honestly as he can with his own emotions and his own journey from disbelief and rationalization to release. Frequently, the book reminded me of The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Indeed, the author of this book actually quotes from Didion's work a couple of times. But the perspective of the similarities and differences between losing your child (permanently) to fatal illness and losing your child (sometimes, with permanence possible at any time) to additiction was a powerful and useful lens.

The author admits that he hasn't lived a model life, nor has he been a model father. On the one hand, I wanted him to take more responsibility for the difficulties his choices created for his son during his son's younger years. On the other hand, I think the author is correct that no one can really take the blame for his son's addictions and troubles. As the Al-Anon motto goes: he didn't cause it, he can't control it, and he can't cure it.

For me, it was also interesting to read a perspective on AA and other recovery programs that was both an insider and a skeptic. For those for whom these programs have worked, the programs become almost religious and sacred. From the outside, it's hard to evaluate. I was impressed with the author's ability to become a participant without becoming a true believer and to find benefit even without becoming a whole-hearted supporter of all recovery programs.

This will be in the mail to GateGypsy this afternoon.

Journal Entry 11 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Friday, May 30, 2008
This arrived in the mail today. Looking forward to reading it. I do have "a few" rings ahead of it, but I'll get to it ASAP. Thanks for sharing this! I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Journal Entry 12 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, January 05, 2010
This book is in the mail to Boomda181 today!

Journal Entry 13 by boomda181 on Saturday, January 16, 2010
Arrived in the mail this week. I will be taking it with me on a road trip, will journal more soon. Thanks GG for sending it my way.

Journal Entry 14 by boomda181 at Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (3/18/2010 UTC) at Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Although the topic was difficult to read as a parent, I truly enjoyed this candid book. I felt that David Sheff gave his truest account of what happened to his son. Thanks for allowing me an opportunity to read this book.

Journal Entry 15 by rebeccaljames at Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I received this book I believe in August and forgot to journal it. I am looking forward to reading it and will pass it along to the next person soon. Thank you for sharing.

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