We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction

We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction - Nic Sheff This book is a candid telling of what Nic Sheff did to try and stay sober. The hard road he took and about who helped and who became co-dependants with him. I was curious about this world as I kid to my mother that I would be the world's worst addict. I hate taking pills, even those that help me like my migraine medication. Personally, I hate that feeling of being out of control or being controlled by a substance, so this world is foreign to me. Yes, I have actually met addicts, even gone to school with some. The destruction I witness was one of an outsider but I could still see the path of destruction addiction wrought, just like a tornado. Now, I am sensitive to those that have lost to the recent tornadoes, but I have seen that same haunting look in loved ones who were left behind, hence the parallel.

This book opens the doors to what it might be like as an addict. We hear Nic's addict speak, justifications to others and especially himself as he knows the road he is on will lead back to addiction. We see programs that just didn't work for him. This part actually upset me. It seemed to me that the individual was ignored and that confusing messages were being played at the center he was trying to get sober. It actually made him a better con artist rather than gave him building blocks to work on to stay in sobriety. The counsellor's ego and their ill equipped programs were more important than getting at root problems and making sure there was nothing more chemically related going on within his brain. And as he points out 12 step programs aren't for everyone. However, what is great about Nic, is that he didn't like the 12 step program but still got use out of it. He found a sober community in which he could relate. So, only in that aspect, albeit an important one, he found solace in that program.

This book is slated for the YA crowd. I think that is important and it makes sense. It is a book that may relate to those just starting on their addiction journey. Perhaps they will find something that speaks to an at risk group and instead of turning to drugs, they can seek out better ways to mature normally instead of stunting their emotional growth. For example, addicts often feel that they are too sensitive for the world. Perhaps that is true, but it is also more true that they do not have the proper coping skills to deal with these strong emotions. So, by saying that I feel this is also important one for parents to read this as well, so they can have a grasp at what may be going on, get help themselves, and direct behavior appropriately without freaking out.

I give this book 3 stars. It is a hard book to read because you see him going down the same path over and over. However, that is the beauty in the book as well. It is a warning for kids to find out who they really are and find a community to support them even if their family doesn't. You can't do that numb.