Personal Stories


    • Allman, Gregg
      My Cross To Bear
      For the first time, the author, a rock music icon, and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock ‘n’ roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including his brief union with superstar Cher), the tragic death of brother Duane Allman, and life on the road in one of rock’s most legendary bands.





    • Carter, Nick
      Facing The Music : And Living To Talk About It
      The author shares his experiences as a member of the boy band Backstreet Boys, the health and substance abuse problems that followed, his road to recovery, and the untimely death of his younger sister, as well what he learned from it all.

    • Caruso, Amelia F W
      Its Not Gunna Be An Addiction : The Adolescent Journals Of Amelia F W Caruso 1989 2009
      Amy Caruso was a junior in the nursing program at Boston College and seemed to have everything going for her: brains, beauty, athleticism, career goals, a loving family, and many wonderful friends. But in November of 2009, she admitted she was addicted to heroin and voluntarily entered treatment. Five weeks later, she died from an overdose at the treatment facility on the day after Christmas, weeks shy of her 21st birthday. Amy Caruso left the world the incredible gift of her journals that she kept since middle school. She wrote powerfully about whether to begin using substances, her initiation, and the progression of her substance use disorder in the context of school, family, friends, boys, body image, and self-esteem. Amy’s mom edited the journals into It’s not gunna be an addiction so young readers can reflect on Amy’s own words about her choices and six-year struggle with her disease.

    • Clune, Michael W
      White Out : The Secret Life Of Heroin A Memoir
      “Then I see a white-topped vial. Wow. I stare at it. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. I know I’ve seen it ten thousand times before. I know it only leads to bad things. I know I’ve had it and touched it and used it and shaken the last particles of white from the thin deep bottom one thousand times. But there it is. And it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it.”. How do you describe an addiction in which the drug of choice creates a hole in your memory, a “white out,” so that every time you use it is the first time, new, fascinating, and vivid? This work is an In-depth look into the life and mind of a heroin addict. It is the author’s memoir, a telling of his own story that takes us straignt inside such an addiction, what he calls the memory disease.

    • Grimes, Martha
      Double Double : A Dual Memoir Of Alcoholism
      People who suffer from alcoholism as well as their families and friends know that while it is possible to get sober, there is no one “right” way to do this. Now, mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son Ken offer two points of view on their struggles. In alternating chapters, they share their stories–stories of drinking, recovery, relapse, friendship, travel, work, success, and failure. For Martha, it was about drinking martinis at home, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. For Ken, it was partying in bars and clubs. Each hit bottom. Martha spent time doing outpatient rehabilitation, once in 1990 and again two years later. Ken began twelve-step recovery. This candid memoir describes how different both the disease and the recovery can look in two different people–even two people who are mother and son.–From publisher description.


    • Helget, Nicole Lea
      The Summer Of Ordinary Ways
      “Practicing baseball with Dad, then watching him go after a cow with a pitchfork in a fit of rage. Playing chicken on the county road with semi trucks full of hogs. Flirting with the milkman. Chasing with your sisters after Wreck and Bump, mangy mutts who prowl farmsteads killing chickens and drinking fuel oil. Moonshine and dandelion wine. The ghost of a girl buried alive over a century ago. These unforgettable, sometimes hilarious images spill from a fierce and wondrous childhood into the pages of this memoir”–Jacket flap.


    • Itzkoff, Dave
      Cocaines Son : A Memoir
      Growing up, David understood his father to be a trusted ally and confidant, a man who always had some hard-won wisdom to share. But he was also a junkie. As David grew older, he fell into the same trap, until he and his father hit the road in search of their “morning after.”

    • Karr, Mary
      Lit : A Memoir
      Overview: The Liars’ Club brought to vivid, indelible life Mary Karr’s hardscrabble Texas childhood. Cherry, her account of her adolescence, “continued to set the literary standard for making the personal universal” (Entertainment Weekly). Now Lit follows the self-professed blackbelt sinner’s descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness-and to her astonishing resurrection. Karr’s longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood poet produces a son they adore. But she can’t outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in “The Mental Marriott,” with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith. Not since Saint Augustine cried, “Give me chastity, Lord-but not yet!” has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity. Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr’s relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up-as only Mary Karr can tell it. One of the New York Times Book Review’s Top 10 Books of 2009.

    • Kaufman, Alan
      Drunken Angel
      “Alan Kaufman recounts with unvarnished honesty the story of the alcoholism that took him to the brink of death, the PTSD that drove him to the edge of madness, and the love that brought him back. Son of a French Holocaust survivor, Kaufman was a drinker so mauled by his indulgences that it is a marvel that he hung on long enough to get into recovery. With his estranged daughter as inspiration, Kaufman cleaned himself up at age 40, taking full responsibility for nearly destroying himself, his work, and so many loved ones along the way. Kaufman minces no words as he looks back on a life pickled in self-pity, self-loathing, and guilt. Reading Drunken Angel is like watching an accident to see if any of the victims crawl away barely alive. Kaufman did, and here he delivers a lacerating, cautionary tale of a life wasted and reclaimed”–



    • Kennedy, Patrick J
      A Common Struggle : A Personal Journey Through The Past And Future Of Mental Illness And Addiction
      “Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman and youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, details his personal and political battle with mental illness and addiction, exploring mental health care’s history in the country alongside his and every family’s private struggles. On May 5, 2006, the New York Times ran two stories, ‘Patrick Kennedy Crashes Car into Capitol Barrier’ and then, several hours later, ‘Patrick Kennedy Says He’ll Seek Help for Addiction.’ It was the first time that the popular Rhode Island congressman had publicly disclosed his addiction to prescription painkillers, the true extent of his struggle with bipolar disorder and his plan to immediately seek treatment. That could have been the end of his career, but instead it was the beginning. Since then, Kennedy has become the nation’s leading advocate for mental health and substance abuse care, research and policy both in and out of Congress. And ever since passing the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act–and after the death of his father, leaving Congress–he has been changing the dialogue that surrounds all brain diseases. A Common Struggle weaves together Kennedy’s private and professional narratives, echoing Kennedy’s philosophy that for him, the personal is political and the political personal. Focusing on the years from his ‘coming out’ about suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction to the present day, the book examines Kennedy’s journey toward recovery and reflects on Americans’ propensity to treat mental illnesses as ‘family secrets.’ Beyond his own story, though, Kennedy creates a roadmap for equality in the mental health community, and outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health policy. Written with award-winning healthcare journalist and best-selling author Stephen Fried, A Common Struggle is both a cry for empathy and a call to action”–



    • Mikhitarian, Bud
      Many Faces One Voice : Secrets From The Anonymous People
      “A companion book to the award-winning film The Anonymous People. A compendium of insights that chronicles the intimate and inspiring stories of people in recovery from addiction who have exposed their secrets to light and are fighting to erase stigma and discrimination. The author was one of the key members of the documentary team that captured over 110 hours of interviews with celebrities, politicians, recovery leaders, and advocates. Their stories, brutally honest and often breathtaking, confront the paradox of anonymity and reveal the hope and power of recovery for individuals, families, and everyone. Many faces one voice is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of recovery in America.”–Back cover.



    • Moyers, William Cope
      Broken : My Story Of Addiction And Redemption
      The son of broadcaster Bill Moyers shares his personal battle with alcoholism and drug addiction, describing his privileged childhood, multiple relapses, and rise to a key player at the Hazelden Foundation, an addiction treatment center.

    • Murray, Liz
      Breaking Night : A Memoir Of Forgiveness Survival And My Journey From Homeless To Harvard
      Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. Taunted at school she skipped classes, winding up in a girls’ home and eventually, at fifteen, on the street. When Liz’s mother died of AIDS, she became determined to go back to school. This is the unforgettable and beautifully written story of how Liz, while homeless, squeezed four years of school into two, won a New York Times scholarship, and made it into Harvard. (Bestseller)


    • Nelson, Jessica Hendry
      If Only You People Could Follow Directions : A Memoir
      “In linked autobiographical essays, Nelson has reimagined the memoir with her thoroughly original voice, fearless writing, and hypnotic storytelling. At its center, the book is the story of three people: Nelson’s mother Susan, her brother Eric, and Jessica herself. These three characters are deeply bound to one another, not just by the usual ties of blood and family, but also by a mother’s drive to keep her children safe in the midst of chaos. The book begins with Nelson’s childhood in the suburbs of Philadelphia and chronicles her father’s addiction and death, her brother’s battle with drugs and mental illness, her own efforts to find and maintain stability, and her mother’s exquisite power, grief, and self-destruction in the face of such a complicated family dynamic.”–

    • Porpora, Kenny
      The Autumn Balloon : A Memoir
      “Every autumn, Kenny Porpora would watch his heartbroken mother scribble messages on balloons and release them into the sky above Long Island, one for each family member they’d lost to addiction. As the number of balloons grew, his mother fell deeper into alcoholism, drinking away her sorrows every night in front of the television, where her love of Regis Philbin provided a respite from the sadness around her. When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny’s mother absconded with him and his beloved dog and fled for the Arizona desert, joining her heroin-addicted brother on a quixotic search for a better life. What followed was an outlaw adolescence spent in constant upheaval surrounded by bizarre characters and drug-addicted souls. In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny convinced a college to take a chance on him, and turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life. Porpora’s memoir is the story of a deeply dysfunctional but loving family, and follows his life from the chaos of his youth to his triumphs in the Ivy League. At times darkly comic, at times elegiac, The Autumn Balloon is a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family, even under the most trying circumstances, and one that marks the debut of an exciting new writer”–

    • Putignano, Joe
      Acrobaddict
      Documents the author’s journey from Olympic gymnastics hopeful to homeless drug addict, his attempts at recovery, and his search for redemption.

    • Ruta, Domenica
      With Or Without You
      The author grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts, a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston where in the 17th century women were hanged as witches, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Kathi frequently kept her daughter home from school to watch such classics as the Godfather movies and everything by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. Despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. This is the story of the author’s unconventional coming of age, a chronicle of a misfit ’90s youth and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.

    • Sizemore, Tom
      By Some Miracle I Made It Out Of There : A Memoir
      An account of the acclaimed actor’s Hollywood career and struggles with methamphetamine addiction covers his Detroit background, his relationships with various co-stars, and his experiences as a father of twin boys.



    • Walls, Jeannette
      The Glass Castle : A Memoir
      Jeannette Walls tells the story about her childhood. She talks about living like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Retreating to the dismal West Virginia mining town–and the family– her father, Rex Walls, had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

    • Zailckas, Koren
      Smashed : Story Of A Drunken Girlhood
      From earliest experimentation to habitual excess to full-blown abuse, twenty-four-year-old Koren Zailckas leads us through her experience of a terrifying trend among young girls, exploring how binge drinking becomes routine, how it becomes “the usual.” With the stylistic freshness of a poet and the dramatic gifts of a novelist, Zailckas describes her first sip at fourteen, alcohol poisoning at sixteen, a blacked-out sexual experience at nineteen, total disorientation after waking up in an unfamiliar New York City apartment at twenty-two, when she realized she had to stop, and all the depression, rage, troubled friendships, and sputtering romantic connections in between.

 

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