Saturday, April 04, 2009

White Rabbit

Finished reading "Tweak", by Nic Sheff, this morning... and it left me totally depressed.... something that a walk on the wild beach couldn't quite displace. Not because the story isn't hopeful... because it is, in a way, in parts. And I didn't wish that I had not read it. But it struck too many chords--people I have known, people I knew, with the same kind of struggles, some of whom made it, and some of whom did not.

But I have now ordered his dad's book from Amazon, and have to read that side of the story too.

In black-and-white on the paper of the book, you see Nic's self-torture and the pain inflicted on others, and your stomach twists willing him not to do it again, but you don't know his reality, and his matter-of-fact telling of things that would be horrendous to most people have become so much a part of the years of his life covered by the book, that it's like hearing someone's war stories--you are so far removed from it, and safely so, that the reader becomes part voyeur, part judge.

I have seen reviews that say, "Tweak should be required reading for all teenagers and their parents", as if reading the book will stop anyone else ever going down the same path.

I don't know that I agree.

I remember reading "Go Ask Alice" when I was in my early teens, it being presented to us as a lesson in avoiding drink and drugs. Thinking, 'this is scary, but it's interesting too, in a bad way..."

If you think Tweak should be required reading, then make sure you also require the discussion afterwards. Don't imagine that one book can teach anyone the devastation that addiction can inflict--both on the addict themselves, and their friends and families. Just pray that your loved ones never have to go through it.

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