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Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery

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The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With six weeks of his most recent rehab behind him he returns to New York and attends two or three meetings each day. It is in these refuges that he befriends essential allies including Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With six weeks of his most recent rehab behind him he returns to New York and attends two or three meetings each day. It is in these refuges that he befriends essential allies including Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery and relapse, and the seemingly unshakably sober Asa. At first, the support is not enough: Clegg relapses with only three days left. Written with uncompromised immediacy, Ninety Days begins where Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man ends-and tells the wrenching story of Clegg's battle to reclaim his life. As any recovering addict knows, hitting rock bottom is just the beginning.


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The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With six weeks of his most recent rehab behind him he returns to New York and attends two or three meetings each day. It is in these refuges that he befriends essential allies including Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With six weeks of his most recent rehab behind him he returns to New York and attends two or three meetings each day. It is in these refuges that he befriends essential allies including Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery and relapse, and the seemingly unshakably sober Asa. At first, the support is not enough: Clegg relapses with only three days left. Written with uncompromised immediacy, Ninety Days begins where Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man ends-and tells the wrenching story of Clegg's battle to reclaim his life. As any recovering addict knows, hitting rock bottom is just the beginning.

30 review for Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    This is the book James Frey wishes he'd written

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Santana

    Holy f*ck, what a tremendously readable story of stumbling, recovery, collapse, loss, redemption, confusion, and self-discovery. I've read so many books about addiction, but this one is the first to take me inside the state and the sorrow of it. Bill Clegg's writing is nothing less than fearless, even as it's wrapped in his own fear. This is the kind of book you don't just read, you inhale its pages. Clegg's sense of pacing is superb, and he finds this wonderful balance between detailing his con Holy f*ck, what a tremendously readable story of stumbling, recovery, collapse, loss, redemption, confusion, and self-discovery. I've read so many books about addiction, but this one is the first to take me inside the state and the sorrow of it. Bill Clegg's writing is nothing less than fearless, even as it's wrapped in his own fear. This is the kind of book you don't just read, you inhale its pages. Clegg's sense of pacing is superb, and he finds this wonderful balance between detailing his condition, the drugs, his friends, his losses, and gathering a larger sense of perspective on his life that's a joy to read. I've never suffered the kind of addiction he has lived with and lived through, yet the writing is so strong, so honest that it allows anyone, even an outsider like myself, to feel something of the turmoil of that state. By what magic does he conjure this immediacy with a reader? I don't exactly know, but I can't imagine anyone not being gripped by his writing and his story. Despite my knowing Bill slightly in his pre-recovery days, I never understood him nor liked him much. Yet here I was reading his book, rooting for him and sharing a little of his love for his friends in the AA program ("the rooms", as he calls it). It's powerful stuff. It's meaningful and memorable and wise. Get a copy and breathe it in. You won't be disappointed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Perhaps inevitably, this feels very subdued compared to Clegg’s flashy account of the heights of his drug addiction (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man). It’s not a satisfyingly tidy story of getting clean and staying clean; it’s full of setbacks, stupid mistakes, and willful backsliding. In narcotics support groups you’re said to be cured when you’ve gone 90 days without using. At the start of each meeting, you go around the circle and each person says aloud how many days clean they have. Som Perhaps inevitably, this feels very subdued compared to Clegg’s flashy account of the heights of his drug addiction (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man). It’s not a satisfyingly tidy story of getting clean and staying clean; it’s full of setbacks, stupid mistakes, and willful backsliding. In narcotics support groups you’re said to be cured when you’ve gone 90 days without using. At the start of each meeting, you go around the circle and each person says aloud how many days clean they have. Sometimes, for Clegg, it’s a respectable 50-something. But sometimes it’s just one day, and the cycle starts over. This involves some repetition, and there are lots of references to friends and lovers, both past and present, that I had trouble keeping straight. Still, if you’re a fan of Clegg’s other books or have a particular interest in addiction recovery, this is worth reading. Favorite passage: “Five and a half years and then one day. For me, there are no finish lines. No recovered, just recovering. My sobriety, that delicate state that can, for years at a time, feel unshakable, is completely dependent on my connection to other alcoholics and addicts, my seeking their help and my offering it.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    George K. Ilsley

    A true roller coaster ride of a read. Fast and thrilling. Those moments when the addict decides to pick up still remain mysterious. In this memoir they seem to happen at any time, for no real reason. I did find myself worrying about Benny, the long suffering cat who did not seem to like his "owner" very much. I wonder what this cat's story would be if he wrote a book? Poor old lonesome Benny.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ilyssa Wesche

    WARNING RANT AHEAD: I am hopping mad about this book (sorry Julie!) This should be edited down to be the epilogue of the paperback edition of his last book (which I also read, and wasn't crazy about, but liked more than this.) $24.95 for a 150-ish hardcover? 5 pages of which, for example, are about a walk in the effing rain? REALLY, Little Brown? Ever hear of a little thing called PAPERBACK ORIGINAL? Listen, I get that addiction is a horrible, wrenching, soul-sucking disease. Reviewing memoirs is WARNING RANT AHEAD: I am hopping mad about this book (sorry Julie!) This should be edited down to be the epilogue of the paperback edition of his last book (which I also read, and wasn't crazy about, but liked more than this.) $24.95 for a 150-ish hardcover? 5 pages of which, for example, are about a walk in the effing rain? REALLY, Little Brown? Ever hear of a little thing called PAPERBACK ORIGINAL? Listen, I get that addiction is a horrible, wrenching, soul-sucking disease. Reviewing memoirs is tricky - even little Goodreads reviews for my own self. There's a line between critiquing a book and the person, and I am only talking about the former. The bottom line is Bill Clegg, like anyone, should be commended for getting sober, for continuing to go back to meetings, for sharing his story with other addicts, and for his honesty. And I recognize some of my fury is just some old baggage I've been carrying around. Some of my ire is jealousy. I feel the same way I always feel when addicts are commended for getting up and going to work at the 7-11 and coming home and cleaning their bathroom. Oh yay you, you did great today! Except that's called being a grown person. Everyone needs a little recovery time, but most of us aren't lucky enough to get a year of not working and living in their own apartment in the city, while a rich friend brings food over every week. But mostly I'm angry because this isn't a book, it's a diary. Publishing it seems to feed into Clegg's terminal uniqueness. If he were anything other than a literary agent there's no way in hell this follow-up memoir would be published at all. Lousy business decisions like this make the whole publishing world look bad! Day 1-12: Out of rehab, still terminally unique, barely holding on Day 13: Relapse Rinse, repeat, interject a couple of stories about fellow addicts Day 5,411: Epilogue where he FINALLY seems to get it. The epilogue is the only redeeming factor. Anytime an addict says "Day 1 for the last time", you know it isn't the last time. I felt a sense of relief in Bangkok. Next time, maybe a nice article in the NYT would be sufficient.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abeck01

    This book fills in a lot of the blanks from "Portrait of the Young Man as an Addict." Clegg clearly withheld a great deal of information from his first book, making his rehab and recovery seem much more easy than it really was. I was extremely angry at him as I read this new book and realized how he had misrepresented his recovery in the prior work, but I guess once in denial, always in denial. Yes,he does try to make up for that here, and his descriptions and representations of himself are quit This book fills in a lot of the blanks from "Portrait of the Young Man as an Addict." Clegg clearly withheld a great deal of information from his first book, making his rehab and recovery seem much more easy than it really was. I was extremely angry at him as I read this new book and realized how he had misrepresented his recovery in the prior work, but I guess once in denial, always in denial. Yes,he does try to make up for that here, and his descriptions and representations of himself are quite harrowing. One leaves the book with a much clearer understanding of just how difficult it is to remain on the recovery path, that it takes a lot of determination and commitment, and just how easy it is to go off the path. One also gets a greater appreciation for the one day at a time philosophy, which enables a reader to be less judgmental, but leaves room for feelings of exasperation. I also wondered how much of this book he had to write in order to fill in more of his story before his former partner Ira Sachs released his film "Keep the Lights On," which essentially is the story of their relationship told from Ira's point of view. Since Ira's film goes beyond Bill's initial rehab and into their relationship post-release, I think Bill felt he had to account for more of his behavior that may or may not have been covered in Sach's fictional yet clearly autobiographical film. I also wish that Clegg had included in his new book the reactions of people around him to his first book, not only his partner's reaction, but some of the people he met in rehab, his family, etc., to see if they confronted him over this portrayal of himself and his recovery process and whether they felt he had been completely honest. But Clegg doesn't go there, which seems to be a major omission from this newest work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric Rickert

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I live for a good memoir, but in the words of Nicki Minaj, "I don't know, mane." A memoir versus a personal narrative requires a lot of reflection, right? NINETY DAYS (NINETY DAZE) is a beach read: there's no causation, there's zero analysis, there are tons of mildly interesting characters who all circle around some kind of addiction. It's like the TRUE BLOOD series without anything supernatural, and less homoerotic. He smoked a lot of crack, wrecked his life, destroyed his career, drained his ba I live for a good memoir, but in the words of Nicki Minaj, "I don't know, mane." A memoir versus a personal narrative requires a lot of reflection, right? NINETY DAYS (NINETY DAZE) is a beach read: there's no causation, there's zero analysis, there are tons of mildly interesting characters who all circle around some kind of addiction. It's like the TRUE BLOOD series without anything supernatural, and less homoerotic. He smoked a lot of crack, wrecked his life, destroyed his career, drained his bank account, fixed himself, moved back to NYC, and spends the rest of the 200 pages in a kind of Groundhog Day of addiction and abstinence, like Bill Murray is Bill Clegg and Andie MacDowell is a crack pipe. And I get that addiction is cyclical; it's hard to break any kind of cycle. And then there's the question of his boo's. I particularly disliked his treatment of Asa. The fact that he brings him up again and again after Clegg flatly dismisses his romantic advances feels really mean-spirited. And I'm sure Clegg himself would say he's emblematic of addiction, in that a person must always keep it in mind because it's always right around the corner, but I think Clegg's biography alone speaks volumes to that. Just cut him out of the narrative after you're finished using him as a basic driving device. Asa will now forever know that his story was made public; even if his name is changed, that stain will never be erased. Props for exorcising the demons and helping people by airing your dirty laundry. Rah rah, I guess. Being sober is the coolest thing in the world. I felt the need to take a shower after finishing this, and it had nothing to do with the crank.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Talk about a time when I did NOT need a good cry, but finished this book and had one anyway. Bill Clegg is so talented.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Allizabeth Collins

    Description: Ninety Days is the true story of Bill Clegg's recovery - crack addicted to clean and sober. This memoir is the follow-up to his first book , Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, and begins where it left off - after seventy-three days of rehab. Review: A raw and highly emotional look into the life of a once prominent businessman and his strenuous journey to sobriety, Ninety days is an intense, yet simply-written, look into recovery from addiction. It feels like I am reading Clegg's j Description: Ninety Days is the true story of Bill Clegg's recovery - crack addicted to clean and sober. This memoir is the follow-up to his first book , Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, and begins where it left off - after seventy-three days of rehab. Review: A raw and highly emotional look into the life of a once prominent businessman and his strenuous journey to sobriety, Ninety days is an intense, yet simply-written, look into recovery from addiction. It feels like I am reading Clegg's journal, and the entries have a lot of impact. His writing style is honest and full of poignant prose, his ordeal a glimpse into a torment of the human condition. The interactions and dialogue are well-written, but the sections about his relapse(s) are some of the most engrossing. I am very moved by his story, however, I feel like Ninety Days should be read after Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, because it feels sort of incomplete alone. Recommended for those who have struggled with their own addictive behaviors and/or readers interested in the drug rehabilitation process; also appropriate for older teens. Rating: Bounty's Out (3/5) *** I received this book from the author (Little, Brown and Company) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eris

    After reading his story of going down in flames in "Portrait of an Addict", I was curious to see how the recovery process went for him. If you are an addict or know an addict, the path is predictable but still painful in all of the relapses, moments of personal blindness, the pain and the fury. Halfway through this, I found myself itching - while I think this recovery memoir can be useful to many who are new to recovery, those who are at risk of being set off by trigger memories should avoid thi After reading his story of going down in flames in "Portrait of an Addict", I was curious to see how the recovery process went for him. If you are an addict or know an addict, the path is predictable but still painful in all of the relapses, moments of personal blindness, the pain and the fury. Halfway through this, I found myself itching - while I think this recovery memoir can be useful to many who are new to recovery, those who are at risk of being set off by trigger memories should avoid this until they have some time and distance from their worst days. Those who have gone through the recovery process, or who are going through it, might find this a useful book to give friends to help explain what they are going through... This is not "every man's tale", this is a tale, though, of many men (and women). Those who bob their way to rock bottom rather than hitting it once and coming back for air permanently. Bill was brave in his writing, even in the face of saying things that do not endear his character to the reader. It feels honest, and that is the hardest part of the recovery process - facing the world in your naked truth.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    Ninety days? Seems like ninety years of groundhog day as Clegg tried to piece together three months of time that benchmark a solid toehold on sobriety. Clegg was finally able to write this account of his many failed attempts at rehab, of quitting binges with crack and vodka, of pissing off his sober friends while burning bridge after bridge and crack pipe after crack pipe. It's nothing short of miraculous that Clegg had a single human being to turn to after his dissolute spiraling antics or even Ninety days? Seems like ninety years of groundhog day as Clegg tried to piece together three months of time that benchmark a solid toehold on sobriety. Clegg was finally able to write this account of his many failed attempts at rehab, of quitting binges with crack and vodka, of pissing off his sober friends while burning bridge after bridge and crack pipe after crack pipe. It's nothing short of miraculous that Clegg had a single human being to turn to after his dissolute spiraling antics or even remember enough of his early sober days to write it down. Even *I* almost lost patience with this drug-alog. But, as with many other addicts, when Clegg is good he's very good; His portrayals of other addicts and drunks, also struggling to build a life out of their own messy wreckage, betray an astute compassion, a preternatural ability to connect with other humans in distress, a certain charm and charisma. And this gift for friendship could very well explain Clegg's survival despite his strangely persistent impulse to self-annihilate. As we consider resurrections in the month of April, this odyssey is apropos.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emily M

    This follow-up memoir lacks the unmistakable intensity of its first volume, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir, and I think my appreciation of that first book has at least slightly colored my impression of the second. Still, though, this small book is worth reading. At the end of Portrait, there is a sense of triumph over addiction, which I felt hungry for after reading page after page of Clegg's shocking experiences as a crack addict. But this book reminds you that recovery from addi This follow-up memoir lacks the unmistakable intensity of its first volume, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir, and I think my appreciation of that first book has at least slightly colored my impression of the second. Still, though, this small book is worth reading. At the end of Portrait, there is a sense of triumph over addiction, which I felt hungry for after reading page after page of Clegg's shocking experiences as a crack addict. But this book reminds you that recovery from addiction is not a straight upward line, but a series of hills and valleys that waffle interminably. Portrait scares you straight. Ninety Days reminds you that nobody is ever fully recovered, and that perhaps that truth can be just as scary.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    A compelling look at addiction and relapse. Clegg is a skilled writer and it was a fast read. Still as person in recovery I cringed at some of more brutal moments and sometimes wanted to shake Clegg. The drama of relapse makes for a juicy read and as a literary agent Clegg knows how to push the more tragic parts of his story over talking about a solution. Nevertheless, it's a wholly accurate portrayal of life in recovery and he's a terrific writer. I'm just not sure I can say I "loved it." UPDATE A compelling look at addiction and relapse. Clegg is a skilled writer and it was a fast read. Still as person in recovery I cringed at some of more brutal moments and sometimes wanted to shake Clegg. The drama of relapse makes for a juicy read and as a literary agent Clegg knows how to push the more tragic parts of his story over talking about a solution. Nevertheless, it's a wholly accurate portrayal of life in recovery and he's a terrific writer. I'm just not sure I can say I "loved it." UPDATE: After I read this book, it stayed with me for days. I couldn't get it out of my head or stop talking about it. The longer I was away from it I realized, maybe I did love it. So it got upgraded to 4 stars from 3 juts for staying on my mind.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Georgette

    I did this backwards- I read this before his first book. Bare bones, raw, gritty, and unabashedly honest, Bill Clegg doesn't sugarcoat anything. No denials about the fact that he relapses multiple times, to his friends who are in the same boat, to the sponsor who nothing seems to faze until the very end, to the family and friends who have given up on him succeeding, there is no stone left unturned. A great book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audra

    Wow. I read this book in one sitting. It was exhausting. If you've ever wondered what an addict goes through on the roller coaster ride to recover, read this book. Raw and heartbreaking, I just want to meet Bill Clegg and give him a hug.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deborah-Ruth

    Ninety Days is one alcoholic/addict's journey into sobriety trying to reach 90 days without drinking and using. The story begins when Bill Clegg finishes a residential treatment program. At this point in his life, he has lost everything - his romantic relationship with his partner Noah, his budding professional career at a literary agency, and strained many other friendships. After he graduates from treatment, he reluctantly begins attending 12 Step meetings three times a day and meeting with a Ninety Days is one alcoholic/addict's journey into sobriety trying to reach 90 days without drinking and using. The story begins when Bill Clegg finishes a residential treatment program. At this point in his life, he has lost everything - his romantic relationship with his partner Noah, his budding professional career at a literary agency, and strained many other friendships. After he graduates from treatment, he reluctantly begins attending 12 Step meetings three times a day and meeting with a sponsor. His story is a truthful encounter of victory and relapse. It takes him many tries before he can make the initial 3 months. Eventually, however, he does triumph and makes it to nearly 6 years until one fateful day in a hotel room when he relapses again. His story is painfully real and honest showing the powerful effects of addiction and how easy it is to succumb to pressure. He reminds us that pride is our greatest enemy because one controlled by the disease of addiction, it doesn't matter "how much time" someone has put in or what is happening in their life, relapse is always just one step away. I really appreciated Clegg's journey and I encourage anyone to read this book who is struggling with an addiction of any kind or who has a close friend or family member who is. It's a great reminder to be non-judgmental, patient, understanding, and to "do the work."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Russio

    A compelling, frustrating and ultimately uplifting memoir of Bill Clegg’s battle against himself to get clean and sober. This is a road not travelled for me but one that everyone who enjoys a drink or some drugs recreationally will have considered, swerved or courted at some time/s or other. I read the novel Bill Clegg wrote after this, so knew I would enjoy his writing (which is short-paragraphed and engaging). As an agent he knows how to write. One thing that did surprise/irk me was the sums in A compelling, frustrating and ultimately uplifting memoir of Bill Clegg’s battle against himself to get clean and sober. This is a road not travelled for me but one that everyone who enjoys a drink or some drugs recreationally will have considered, swerved or courted at some time/s or other. I read the novel Bill Clegg wrote after this, so knew I would enjoy his writing (which is short-paragraphed and engaging). As an agent he knows how to write. One thing that did surprise/irk me was the sums involved in his New York habit - I am sure he would agree in the awful waste of his intake, although you have to be able to get it, to be able to blow it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    This is my favorite book about drug addiction / recovery that I've EVER read (and believe me, I've read quite a few!) There was one part that was slightly triggering, but I think the author knew exactly when to back off, and it didn't deter me from finishing this marvelous book. If you are an addict, or even if you aren't, you will come away from reading this book a little wiser about the struggle of staying clean. Clegg doesn't glorify or exaggerate his descriptions. This is a true-to-life port This is my favorite book about drug addiction / recovery that I've EVER read (and believe me, I've read quite a few!) There was one part that was slightly triggering, but I think the author knew exactly when to back off, and it didn't deter me from finishing this marvelous book. If you are an addict, or even if you aren't, you will come away from reading this book a little wiser about the struggle of staying clean. Clegg doesn't glorify or exaggerate his descriptions. This is a true-to-life portrayal of the situation that one finds himself in when it becomes time to finally haul himself out of the pit and rebuild his life again once addiction has tried, unsuccessfully, to claim his life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gigi S.

    I read this in a combination book with his memoirs of drug addiction, so it was nice to have the flow on from the horrific stories of crack cocaine addiction to the struggles of recovery. This was a lot more straightforward and felt a lot more 'how to' than the first (for obvious reasons), but it still engaged with his past and was beautifully written. I was engrossed the entire time, and I loved learning about some of the smaller aspects of drug recovery. I felt angry, shocked, sad and sympathe I read this in a combination book with his memoirs of drug addiction, so it was nice to have the flow on from the horrific stories of crack cocaine addiction to the struggles of recovery. This was a lot more straightforward and felt a lot more 'how to' than the first (for obvious reasons), but it still engaged with his past and was beautifully written. I was engrossed the entire time, and I loved learning about some of the smaller aspects of drug recovery. I felt angry, shocked, sad and sympathetic all at once, it was really a great and worthwhile read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Bill Clegg is a literary agent whose debut novel was long listed for the Man Booker Prize but before that, he was a crack head who was desperately trying to put 90 days of sobriety together - and mostly failing. He credits meetings and his fellow recovering addicts for his ultimate success and the stories in the book are illustrative of the strength of those relationships and the lure of addiction.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Albanese

    Bill Clegg's honesty is very appealing. Reading this makes me realise a few things about drug addiction. It is really really hard to give up drugs once you are addicted to them. The support of fellow addicts is paramount. Humans can convince themselves of any twisted type of reality if it suits them. I'm so glad the Bill Clegg managed to kick his addiction and go on to share his experiences. Keep writing Mr Clegg, you're really good at it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    It seems to me like this book was initially the last part of clegg’s “portrait of the addict as a young man” and then for some reason it was decided that it should become its own book. It just seemed awkward and disjointed. It read like it was written hurriedly, like: ok I need to wrap this story up real quick.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Szatkowski

    If you're looking for the next Pulitzer Prize winner, this is not it. And that is OK. What you will get is an insight into one person's addiction, relapse, and work to maintain sobriety. Perhaps its best contribution is allowing the reader an insight into addictive thinking. And clearly you see the result and destruction that addiction brings in its wake.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Summers

    Sample quote: "The meeting begins. As the basket is passed and people toss in their bills, I raise my hand and say that I have eight days, and as I do I know that eventually, not today, and probably not tonight, but at some point soon, I will pick up. ... I will use again, this much I know."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Harley

    Good book; nothing I would discuss with friends & encourage them to read, but I wanted to find out how it ended. Good book; nothing I would discuss with friends & encourage them to read, but I wanted to find out how it ended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Recovery memoir

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Awesome, brutally honest and inspiring

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    Nice prose. Repetitive. Nowhere near as driving or engaging as his other addiction book. Clegg remains a bit unsympathetic for some reason.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Abi-Esber

    read in 2 days. loved it!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Dunn

    There is no prize for beating an addiction, there is no finish line. Like life itself, it's a work in progress. You can't have it all. You have to choose, do you want your addiction or do you want life. You can't have both. You get to a point where you're sick and tired of being sick and tired. I never understood the AA philosophy until I read this book. I was reluctant to look at it because of it's emphasis on God or a higher power. I never liked the line "I accept I am powerless over drugs and a There is no prize for beating an addiction, there is no finish line. Like life itself, it's a work in progress. You can't have it all. You have to choose, do you want your addiction or do you want life. You can't have both. You get to a point where you're sick and tired of being sick and tired. I never understood the AA philosophy until I read this book. I was reluctant to look at it because of it's emphasis on God or a higher power. I never liked the line "I accept I am powerless over drugs and alcohol" as the only way I could see to get sober was to take back the power from drugs and alcohol. But what this book really illustrated for me was the community aspect, how people can help each other, talk to each other, look out for each other. When you're at your lowest point you have someone in the same situation and the two of you are stronger together. I don't know that I've ever relied on someone like that, that I have ever let my guard down enough to need someone else. With this book I hope to have made a step in that direction, to be able to trust. I bought signed copies of the physical books and the ebooks for both of Clegg's book before reading a word. He is attractive, gay, powerful, someone I want to be. And you read the harrowing account, and it reminds me that we are all the same, all human. Everyone has plusses and minuses. Clegg has looks and power and fame and he also has a desire to throw it all away, to kill himself, to smoke crack. He has lied and cheated and stolen from those closest to him. So many thoughts came out of this book, it's hard to summarize. I had to stop reading frequently to think. Clegg mentions in this book feeling like there was a primer, a set of rules to live by and that he feels he's the only one who never got the memo. I've felt like that my whole life. This book has helped me to not put other people on a pedestal above myself, that they are not better, just different. We all bring something to the table. This book has helped me realize that kicking the addiction is not the end of the process. There is a bigger picture, where you take the shame and the guilt and the reasons that led to the addiction and you get a chance, in the light of day, to see them. I have not treated myself well, and I accept that, and now I am ready to try harder. I have held on to guilt and shame and I am ready to release them and let something else fill that space in my life. I have held myself back, been afraid, hidden in drugs and alcohol, hidden in myself, hurt myself. I see this now. I will not beat myself up for it, but will acknowledge these feelings and use them to help me be stronger, and braver and better in future. And to be myself. Thank you, Bill Clegg, for sharing your journey. I wish us both luck.

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