Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A decent enough book, an autobiography of William Cope Moyers and his struggle with addiction. I have to confess, I didn't really "read" this, I skimmed it and picked up the juicy parts, if you will, much like I used to do with Stephen King novels in high school. And also, another confession, I did not really like Mr. Moyers very much at first. Parents decent enough, involved in his life, smart kid, good opportunities, etc., etc. Many times I wondered, okay dude, really, what's your beef? I also grew tired of always having to read the wonderfully supportive letters from the parents because in a way I felt like the letters were serving to support his whole complex of suffering too-perfect parents who created a lose-lose situation for him and ultimately belittled him into escape through his addiction since he could never be the perfect son they deserved. Like, see how perfect my dad is? See how much my mother cares for me? I had no choice, right? No one should be expected to handle this, right?

I don't think I need to express how disgusted I was when he left his wife, two year old and four month old for the crack house. . .

But then I read the second half, read more about his recovery and started to understand him more. Not like him more, but understand him, which I think is key to learning from his story. I have never been "in the trenches" with addiction, as Moyers liked to say, but I'm not a stranger to what it's done to other people. Reading his descriptions of how he felt when he used, how time stood still, how his euphoria overtook him and was all that mattered, and the ten strong orgasm feel of his first hit from the crack pipe was amazing and honest. I like honesty. I'm sure it was hard to tell many parts of this story, but he did it and did it well. I am happy he got himself well; maybe others can read about his story and make themselves well too.

A good passage:
"Sit in it," my counselor Richard Morgan told me, "Face it head on. Face the pain, the anger, the fear, loneliness, sadness, and shame. Don't hide. Face it without asking for an answer or a solution. Face it knowing the outcome is beyond your control and what matters is accepting that it hurts and the reason it hurts so much is because you can't do anything about it. It just is. Being human hurts.
     "Face it, and when you pray don't always expect God to say yes. God answers all prayers but sometimes the answer He gives us is no. Face the no, the negative, the emptiness and nothingness that is at the center, because facing it is the act of faith itself, and it is not something we ever complete but a daily struggle to find peace in the midst of the chaos, relief at the heart of the suffering."