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SICK: A riveting memoir about drug dealing, addiction, and surviving abuse. Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 219 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 672 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Recovered Publishing (February 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007A3RE4A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

In a nut shell, I'm an egomaniac with an inferiority complex constantly seeking humility... a life long battle that coincides with my daily reprieve from addiction contingent upon the maintenance of my my spiritual condition. I do not take myself too seriously, on a good day anyways.

Why I Wrote SICK.

After years of debauchery, addiction, bad choices, and confusion I found recovery and began a life consistent with someone who would be considered a productive member of society. This was painfully weird for me at first and still is a bit awkward. In pursuit of a legal means to support my son, I went back to school and attained a few degrees. The most intense being a Masters Degree in Financial Economics. Soon it was time to get a job. The idea of working was also painfully weird for me but by that time in my recovery I had seen it done by others. One of my first interviews was with Sovereign Bank. They showed me the cube in which I would be working. It was a solitary dark space with high confining walls around it. I cried all the way home.

I did find work in a reputable investment company in a cube that was a little less dark with walls a little less high. It was, however, positioned down a back cold alleyway filled with stale air. Despite this I commence to assimilate into the corporate environment working my tale off learning as much as I could as fast as I could, accomplishing a lot. My boss was a tall well connected man. Before long his deep rooted low opinion of woman was unmistakable. A smart man, his detrimental belittling and minimizing of my abilities were subtle, never saying or doing anything that could be outwardly pined as sexist. This wore on my spirit and had residual effects on how my all men colleagues treated me. Finally this culminated into my boss deciding to demote me from a salary to hourly employee without reason. He said it came down from corporate but the other two men who were my equals were not affected and remained salary. I thought to myself, no matter how much money I make for this company, and I had made a lot, I'm never going to get anywhere under this man. So I began to write.

My story is one of addiction and survival of domestic violence and abuse. Through pain I've grown and recovered with hope to clear a path in some small way for other women to come up behind me. This is why I choose to tell my story. While the escapades and criminal activity may be interesting to some, the real story is the little bits of awakening woven in here and there, about the insidious devastation of abuse. My desperate attempts to understand how a human being can so deeply hurt the one they say they love were sometime futile but sometimes revealing. It's just sick.

The other day a friend of mine stuck in the cycle of abuse referenced a part of my book where I made an attempt to break the cycle. She said this gave her strength to make an attempt to break the cycle in her life. That was it. That was all I had hoped for by writing this book. Just one person was enough for me. So anything else that happens with this book is icing on the cake!

Being in recovery I have had the opportunity to work on the situation with my boss and the resentments I've carried. At first my thought led to questions like, how could this be happening to me? Hadn't I been through enough? Didn't I deserve to be treated equally and be judged on my merits? Later my work turned towards things like, where could I have stuck up for my self more. I believe we attract what we have in our lives and there was something about me that attracted one more sexist man into my life. The process of writing my book has helped me get rid of that last little bit of victim I was holding on to. Deep into my writing my boss was replaced with a women who, although only my boss for a short period of time, empowered me. The fact that she demoted my prior boss and took away all of his direct reports was nice too. Today I have a fair respectful male boss. But the truth of it all is that from my despair came the strength and determination to follow my dream of telling my story and empowering women who experience abuse.

If you've read my book, stay tuned, I'm busy writing the rest of the story for you. You won't believe what happens next...

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the grateful dead.


domestic violence.


Jen Smith was a drug addicted hippie-type chick that followed Grateful Dead tours all over the country. At the opening of this memoir, we find Jen to be this fiercely independent business woman taking ownership of her brand even though it was illegal. Jen was known for growing high grade marijuana. She also kicked her heroin addiction cold turkey. While hanging out with friends after a Grateful Dead show, Jen met Greg. Greg was her ticket onto a very bumpy rollercoaster ride.

Greg was a drug dealer and an ex-con. Jen and Greg quickly became an item. Jen became a drug mule for him. Jen and Greg began to move large amount of drugs for a Mexican named Jose. Their business expanded. The money was pouring in. Jen and Greg were partying and taking all kinds of drugs like cocaine, crystal meth, pills, crack, and ecstasy. Greg soon became more and more jealous, controlling, and manipulative. Greg's behaviour soon birthed into severe emotional, physical, and vebal abuse. Jen got pregnant. Jerry Garcia died. Buddy was born. Greg got worse. Jen drank more alcohol and took more drugs. Jen never once went back to heroin.

There were often times throughout this book that I had to remind myself that it was not fiction. They got away with so much. There was always money but never peace. I wanted to just reach my hand into my kindle and remove poor Buddy from this story. He was not neglected or abused physically but he endured emotional hardships right along with his mother. Greg was so unpredictable that Jen's main focus was keeping Buddy safe which left little time for nurturing.
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By B.Mace on August 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book just went on and on and on and on..... !!! Every time I thought she was going to share something incredible... it was just a tease. Important events were glossed over but every detail of a hotel room was shared. It was frustrating to watch her go back to this evil man again and again -- and even worse... leave her precious son in that environment. The ending was completely lackluster. What happened NEXT!?! Did she survive abuse? Did she get off drugs? Did she stop dealing? I feel like I was left with all questions and no answers - and that I suffered to get to that point!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a truly engaging story with its shocking details of a world in which drugs rule. It grabs you from the beginning with brutual honesty and courage. SICK
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Wonderful story about a groupie of the band Grateful Dead that followed the music and the drug filled life almost into the abyss with Jerry. A captivating and moving true story about the pain and entrapment of life in addiction and hope for freedom from bondage. Must read!!!!
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I have to say this book brought out emotions in me to the point where I laughed giggled, laughed aloud and finally cried and cried some more.

"Sick" is a look back at the last vestiges of the hippie movement in the 80's. When people were still following The Grateful Dead around and being a "deadhead" was a bit of a mystic. The drugs and alcohol flowed freely at the concerts and there wasn't anything you couldn't buy from someone out of the back of their VW Van. Well, there was something you couldn't buy...sobriety. That is the one thing that has to be earned in pain, suffering and determination.

This is one woman's journey from her early days growing and selling marijuana to her heroin addiction and her spiral into an abusive relationship. It is painful, sad, frightening in its look into physical and emotional abuse and emotionally draining to read. But it is worth reading.

This is not a book that follows the rules of writing. You won't find perfectly constructed sentences and a plot that moves from point A to point B in any kind of a structured line. It is sometimes confusing as people move in and out of the storyline without explanation of any kind. Nor does every character in some way advance the story. Dialogue sometimes runs together without regard for the rules and there are times you do have to go back a bit to figure out who exactly is speaking. It is written in the first person but occasionally slips to the third and once or twice to the second.

But still this is worth reading. More than worth is worthy of being read. It is absolutely compelling. I will read this again and recommend it to anyone who wants a story that captivates while telling the truth in a bold and open manner.

Jen, thank you for telling us your story.

Karen Bryant Doering
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Format: Kindle Edition
The subtitle of SICK by Jen Smith is "A riveting memoir about drug dealing, addiction, and understanding abuse." All true. The story is a compelling chronicle about Jen's life as a Deadhead. It's an unapologetic portrayal of a life centered around drugs: taking them, selling them, enjoying the money earned from them. It's also an account of her descent into a relationship of terrifying abuse. And a story of how she pulled herself out of it without losing herself in it or her son.

There's a lot to digest in her journey, from the innocent beginnings to the consuming dependence, despair, and fear. At times she seems in over her head; at other times, she relishes the lifestyle and takes great pride in her business skills; and many times, the addictions take over with frightening focus and urgency. Her story allows us to see and understand how her partner slowly began to control her life, until her finances, her social life, her movements in the world, her very existence, are no longer her own.

I appreciated how directly Ms. Smith told the story, as if she were sitting across the kitchen table, just talking. Not all characters contribute to a traditional "story arc" and sometimes the events ramble across time and dialog drops off. Though an edit pass might have caught some of these issues, the stream of consciousness writing contributes to the immediacy of the memoir.

SICK a difficult memoir to read; there were times when I had to put the book down and take a break. But Ms. Smith's story will draw you in and you'll find yourself rooting for her as she makes her way out.
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