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Don't Give Up on Me: Shedding Light on Addiction with Darryl Strawberry Paperback – October 16, 2017
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Addiction is a *runaway train* based on a lost sense of self, one's identity, and lack of empathy for others. Painful memories cause a fear of living and a search for peace through drugs and alcohol. Darryl's feelings of being an ugly, unloved person were based on the terrible physical and mental abuse he suffered as a child.... This book tells the story of Darryl Strawberry and his long journey to recovery (12 years clean). *Don't Give Up On Me: Shedding Light on Addiction* has to be the model for all addicts who have to face their diseases, accept intervention and therapy, and seek out recovery facilities. --Arnold Pusar, PhD --Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, International Psychoanalyst
No one likes the problems we have in this country with the drug epidemic we are experiencing in the world today. I love Darryl's commitment to helping people have a better understanding of how to do deal with this overwhelming problem of addiction through this must-read book. --Brandon Steiner, CEO Steiner Sports
*Don't Give Up On Me* is a powerful book delivering the medical, psychological and personal understanding of addiction through Darryl Strawberry's own personal story. This is a MUST read! --Brian Kilmeade, Co-Anchor, Fox and Friends
About the Author
Shawn Powell has worked in professional sports since 1989 with three different sports franchises: New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and New Jersey Nets. His storied resume contains lead roles in Strength & Conditioning, Scouting, and the Front Office.
Powell's vast experience in professional sports has enhanced his passion for writing. His first two published books, *Classical Madness* and *August Moon*, were instrumental in jump-starting his writing career. Since 2006, Powell has become a screenwriter and ghostwriter. Powell's first two ghostwriting assignments gained critical acclaim in the Children's Literature genre.
In screenwriting, Powell has had numerous movie scripts optioned in the past eight years, and has been hired to write several sports-related screenplays.
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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.”
I heard Darryl's interview with Mike Francesa on NY sports radio and found him to be mature, emotional, and well spoken. You have to respect someone who's gone through all that and came out on top in his post-baseball career.
The book, however, is not written by him and filled with psychological assessment chapters explaining what Darryl did and why he reacted this was.
I bought this to hear Darryl in his own words, rather than a professional's analysis of his upbringing and reaction to this.