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Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption Paperback – August 28, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Moyers, the son of prominent author, media figure and LBJ adviser Bill Moyers, recounts his heartbreaking struggle with alcohol and cocaine during the '80s and early '90s. Moyers covered his tracks through bold-faced denial until he spiraled out of control and landed in the first of four rehab stints. Moyers's early chapters, detailing his formative years and progression toward addiction, are somewhat plodding. But once embarking on his treatment journey, Moyers deftly tackles the complexities of sobriety, especially acceptance of those broken situations and relationships that cannot be fixed. Audie Awardwinning narrator Brick brings an appropriate blend of pathos and grit to the very formidable task at hand, giving compelling voice to a tale of substance abuse without descending into a maudlin soap opera confessional. Brick proves especially masterful in recreating the delicate nuances of the father-son dialogues, as the elder Moyers struggles to convey both unconditional love toward his troubled grown child and unequivocal nonacceptance for that same young man's destructive patterns of behavior.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"William Cope Moyers's lucid, measured tale of his own plunge into crack-addled hell [is] frightening in its very realism." -USA Today
"A memoir of a terrible disease and one man's spiritual journey through it . . . that should be read by those who have friends or family members caught in addiction." -The Indianapolis Star
Top customer reviews
Look elsewhere if you want objective information about what works in recovery. Look elsewhere if you want to sort out scientific fact about addiction from 12-step myths and conventional wisdom.
--Ouch! it pains me to say that because I thoroughly enjoyed the book and liked the author. Full-disclosure: I am a therapist and I have seen people recover from addiction and stay sober for years with out the 12-steps. So, I am kind of biased. My opinions about what works to treat addiction notwithstanding, it is a great read.
O.K. you can breathe now. You need oxygen to survive. Before you started reading this, you weren't even thinking about breathing. But as you held your breath, your need for oxygen started bumping it's way up your list of priorities until finally you could think of nothing else. Breathe or die. That's what it feels like to be addicted to drugs.
But if you want a more in-depth explanation of what drug addiction and recovery is like, then you should read Broken, a memoir written by William Cope Moyers with Katherine Ketcham. You may already be familiar with Moyers' father, Bill Moyers, who was an executive assistant for Lyndon Baines Johnson and deputy director of the Peace Corps for President Kennedy, besides being one of the country's top journalists.
Broken is one of the most enlightening and inspiring addiction/recovery memoirs I've read. It's opened my eyes to the fact that no one is immune form this disease. You couldn't ask for a better childhood and family than Moyers' own. Yet he still became a crack addict. A home with good morals and values will not protect a kid from future drug addiction, contrary to what many people believe.
But what did cause Moyers to become a drug addict? If you look at it from the nature/nurture perspective, he was told when he was young that he was just like his Uncle James, who died from addiction at thirty-eight. As for nurture, he set the seemingly impossible goal of attaining greater success than his over-achieving father by the age of thirty. When his goal was not met, he became frustrated and found that drugs relieved his inner-turmoil.
It took a failed marriage and four trips through treatment for Boyers to finally start truly recovering. One statement he makes about his recovery jarred me because it has been so true in my own life: "I had no idea, not even a clue, that before I could defeat my addiction I would have to destroy myself."
Moyers is now an advocate for treatment for addicts and alcoholics and is the vice president of external affairs at Hazelden, his treatment Alma Mater. The most powerful part of his story is his battle with skin cancer after recovery and how he compares society's treatment of one disease with the other. If you have any doubts that addiction is a disease, then you should know that the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the World Health Organization all consider alcoholism and addiction a disease. Yet no one is wearing ribbons for this disease that afflicts millions. Victims of cancer, heart disease and diabetes don't have to worry about being stigmatized, shamed and humiliated. They don't have to haggle with their insurance companies for adequate coverage even though these diseases can also be caused or exacerbated by the behavior of the sufferer who may continue eating an unhealthy diet or not exercising. How much more successful would drug treatment be if we treated the addict with the same outpouring of compassion, support and sympathy that we do with these other diseases?
Mr. Moyers is a huge inspiration to me and to others who suffer from this illness. Broken is a superbly written book and a courageous effort that could only have been achieved by digging much deeper than most are willing to go. Broken has given me hope, inspiration and life-saving information, and it will for you too if you or someone you love is suffering from this disease.
David Allan Reeves
Author of "Running Away From Me"