I am addicted to reading everything to do with alcoholism, drug addiction, self mutilation, and recovery of any sort. In spite of James Frey and the whole A million Little Lies controversy, I still love reading memoirs and can always find a little slice of my own life to relate to in them and try not to take it all too serious but I love to read them.
When my Prince started his program last year, he had to write an essay about how he ended up there and what his drug history was, etc. His essay was surprisingly articulate, for a kid who hadn't attended a class in high school even remotely sober in the last 3 years. It was chronological, clear and concise. I had suggested to him that he keep some type of journal detailing his journey regardless of the outcome and that perhaps we could try to combine his thoughts and my thoughts and put together a memoir of sorts from the perspective of a teenage boy with some input from his mother. A perspective I have rarely found in any bookstore and something I would have embraced. It seems all the success stories that are published and sometimes made into lifetime movies of the week come from a mother daughter perspective. Sort of giving me the impression that a lot of moms and sons don't have close open relationships and that men and boys can only recover on their own and that all of the work and time invested by the mother doesn't qualify for a movie of the week.
I know, I know I need to get down off the cross and not look for glory for saving my son. This is his disease, his recovery. But as a Mom, I just would have liked to have found something from a teenage boys perspective as well as commentary from the mom. I just think boys and girls are wired very differently and even their language is so different, I just think there is an audience for this out there. At least in my little corner of this disease.
So as usual, I am going on entirely too long before I actually get to my point. I have finally come across a book written by a mother and a son, about their family battle with binge drinking and alcoholism. It is called: From Binge to Blackout: A Mother and Son Struggle with Teen Drinking (Paperback) by Chris Volkmann, Toren Volkmann. I started this book last night, their journey begins a little later in life than the battle of my Prince and I. Toren Volkmann does not get into treatment for his disease until he is in his twenties. I am only a few chapters into this book and I have to say, so far, I was not overly impressed with the chapters written by the mother but the few chapters I have read so far written by the son are amazing.
I am not an alcoholic although alcoholism runs through my veins like blood. I do believe I have alcoholic tendencies. I love wine and am very aware when I have some to be sure I am in complete control. I worry myself sick over crossing the line and becoming another broken branch in the family tree. In the first chapter written by Toren, he explains his "awakening", or when he realized that alcohol had taken over his life. He describes in detail his withdrawal from it when he would go a certain amount of time without it, the pain of hi s addiction, how he realized he was not like others, and basically just his descent into his alcoholic abyss. The writing was ok. He is not winning a Pulitzer Prize anytime soon, however, his message is so powerful, so concise, so honest, I was just blown away. For the first time ever, I could almost feel what he, and my son, and the many millions of addicts out there are feeling. I could almost understand it. I am not minimizing any ones battle with this disease, but this was one of the first things I have ever read in such laymans terms that describe the pain and the suffering involved. It is something I need to know and understand. Something that has been missing for me for a very long time. I need to understand this. I need to know how it feels.
So, anyway, I just wanted to throw a shout out there to this family even though I am a mere 100 pages into their story. I feel privileged they allowed me to glance into their lives to see their pain, just like I do every day when I read the blogs of my fellow recovery peeps. So march on soldiers. I love and appreciate every single one of you. You have all profoundly touched my lives in some way and I guess I just thought it was about time I stopped whining about my own problems for a minute and let you all know that.
Peace to you all.