Dont Give Up on Me: Shedding Light on Addiction with Darryl Strawberry by Shawn PowellDarryl Strawberry was a baseball player for the ages. He could flat out play. But addiction took him down and it took him down hard on a very public stage. And like many formerly addicted celebrities, Darryl is sharing his story.
Unlike most tales of celebrity addiction, however, this is a book less about celebrity and more about addiction and recovery. Darryl’s story is only the sub-plot. In addition to Darryl’s story, the book includes thoughtful and enlightening articles by a psychoanalyst, a neuropsychiatrist, a licensed clinical social worker, and an addiction specialist. Taken together, it provides the most complete medical and scientific insight into addiction that I have come across to date.
Some of it, of course, will sound familiar, but there is a distinction. “Addicts suffer from self-esteem issues, self-loathing, and an overwhelming lack of self-worth.” It’s all about escaping “underlying feelings of internal pain and conflict in their minds.”
And that makes sense to me. I’ve always struggled with the “addiction is a disease” narrative. It does make sense to me, however, that, as the experts here maintain, “Addiction is a brain disease.”
That, in turn, opens the door to a deeper understanding of the individuality of addiction, one of the reasons, in my mind, why the success rate of the 12 Steps program, of and by itself, is less than 10%. That’s not to take anything away from the great work of AA and other 12 Step programs, but it is to acknowledge that many addicts require more comprehensive treatment.
The money line for me, therefore, is, “Each individual possesses his own personal framework of addiction.” And, as a result, “The recovery process is unique to every individual.”
One personal insight. I am not an addiction specialist, but as a father and student of life I have always believed in the importance of managing our relationships and the situations we put ourselves in. I believe there are plenty of young men and women sitting in jail today who are not fundamentally different than you or me. They just put themselves, or found themselves, in situations that we have been fortunate enough to avoid.
Without denying the importance of personal accountability in any way, people can only make bad choices when the choice exists in the first place. And I take some exception with people who confidently proclaim that they would make the right choice in a similar situation. Humanity, in my experience, is a tale of vulnerability.
As for the writing itself, it is crisp and easy to follow. And while the author, Shawn Powell, acknowledges Strawberry’s talent, this is not a book of hero worship. This is really a book about the human tragedy of addiction. And, in the end, it is a book about understanding and recovery.
Addiction affects all of us directly and indirectly and it’s obviously not going away any time soon. I think it behooves us all to get better informed and this is the best compilation of insight and understanding that I’ve run across so far. It is a recommended read, therefore, for everyone.
And if someone you know is touched, “Please remember, there is no such thing as “tough love” without exhibiting true love when it is needed most.” Words to live by.
Darryl Strawberry’s Addiction Battle
Don't Give Up on Me: Shedding Light on Addiction with Darryl Strawberry
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My brain is broken Presented through the eyes of these specialists, "Don't Give Up On Me" goes beyond a simple memoir, offering hope and a path to healing. By shedding light on addiction, "Don't Give Up On Me" speaks to all people-from those who are still trapped in the depths of addiction to those who are currently in recovery, to caregivers, parents, friends, and therapists. This book also stresses the importance of good parenting--childhood feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, bullying, as well as emotional and physical pain, can sow the seeds of substance abuse at an early age. Whether the addiction is to alcohol, heroin, or other opiates, gambling, food, or sex--this book shares the hard truths and hopeful messages for anyone impacted by this deadly dilemma. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason.