Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Boy

This truly was a wonderful book. I have to say I cried at least three times while reading it. It's definetly a breath of fresh air comapred to the other more technical books we've been reading on pain.
After finishing the book, I found myself asking, why did Nic do it in the first place? Something that David Scheff was trying to figure out the length of the book and probably for the rest of his life. Was it the need for a better high after pot, LSD, and ecstasy?
This book certainly explained a new level of addiction and pain to me. I learned that meth is worse than any other drug since it kills 90% of the brain's dopamine, which then makes it impossible to recreate the intial high of the drug: the addicts ultimate quest. Depression and anxiety are worse than ever and these things combined make recovery very difficult since the neurotoxicity of the drug makes it that the brain may never fully recover and addicts are unable and unwilling to participate in common treatments during stages of withdrawl, making addiction and relapse a destructive and on-going cycle.
How many times does an addict have to relapse to get it? After the numerous relapses Nic experiances I found myself distrusting of his promises just like his dad was. It's hard for me to imagine that he is actually clean right now, as we speak. Relapse is just another brick in the road, it seems. I certainly hope that the little something inside Nic, clicked and made him change so radically that it dulled out his desire to get high.
I found the quote from John Lennon "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" very interesting. How could Nic and David Scheff measure pain, when their belief was not God, but ethical principles? Pain has no measure.
I cried at the passages which described Nic as an innocent child, the best gift in David's life, with his arms wrapped around his father's neck, doing the many things they would do together. How did that child, turn into this lifeless addict. "Addiction is an equal opportunity affliction - affecting people without regard to thier economic circumstances, their education, their race, their geography, their IQ, or any other factor", David mentions. Nic was incredible and smart, with huge potential. This part of the book made me feel so helpless, uncertain, and unsafe. What if this were my child? There is no control over this situation. And yet it is impossible not to seek the blame in yourself. This must be the most excruciating thing a parent has to face. "It may be true that suffering builds character, but it also damages people". This experiance certainly left David and the entire family damaged. He, with a hole in his head, and the family seeking counceling including the children, simply innocent by-standers.
I am amazed at the fact that David, beyond the fact that he suffered and went through so much, has the courage and strength to say "I will take the worry in order to take waht has come through as the most important emotion after my hemhorrage". He accpets evil in order to participate in the miraculous. Even after everything Nic has caused he takes back the comment of wanting to erase Nic our of his memory, like in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. "There is much good, but to enjoy beauty, the love, one must bear the painful". I feel that we could all learn from David Scheff. That is a true love of life, at its purest.

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