Grady Harp, Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer
Ted Adamson tells it from the gut. This is not like most of the' addict who sees the light at the end of the tunnel' books and movies that come across the market rather regularly - stories by famous stars and their struggle with addiction to prescription drugs, hard drugs, alcohol, food, sex, fame etc. Ted Adamson divides his story into two parts - the Down (descent into addiction) and the Up (the ultimate drug free life of change) and his technique of relating his life is well-focused and comprehensible. This is not a book to read expecting great, lyrical writing: this is a raw story that dilutes a bit as the second part wears thin.
The overall story is that of an abused child whose resentment for his mother's behavior resulted in his seeking escape. He takes us through his obsession with alcohol, heroin and an other drug he could find, obtaining the money for the drugs from friends and ultimately from repeated burglaries (from purse snatching to burglaries of drugstores, etc). Yes, he is arrested multiple times, placed in County Jail multiple times, placed in rehab centers of all descriptions, and escaped his periods of drying out only to return to alcohol and drugs. This may sound like familiar territory but the aspect of Adamson's book that makes it unique is the information he shares about the physical and mental and psychological abuse he received in these supposedly 'rehabilitation centers'. The experiences he endured turn the stomach if not prepared to read them. He also takes us through the pros and cons of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and is one of the first writers brave enough to reveal the weaknesses in these programs. 'First of all, let me start by saying that Alcoholics Anonymous does perform a service in our society. As someone who benefited somewhat form the existence of Alcoholics Anonymous, I do not wan t to appear and ingrate. Nevertheless, I believe it is important to be truthful. Over thirty years I have attended many hundreds of meetings of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.....However, my experience with both AA and NA is that the majority of people merely substitute their addiction to drugs or alcohol for an addiction to meetings, and the comforts and friendships they find there.' Where Adamson finds his 'cure' is in an authentic spiritual awakening that replaces both AA and NA.
'My sobriety continued. My involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous continued, but to a lesser extent. And my interest in Christianity continued and increased. After several years I began to think more clearly. As a result of my interest i Christianity, I also became interested in the pro-life movement. I become convinced of the horrible injustice that was occurring to the unborn child as well as my personal obligation as an aspiring Christian to do something.' Adamson took up 'sidewalk counseling' - standing around Family Planning Clinics talking girls out of abortion, is arrested now and then, but sticks with his 'new addiction' - pro-life and right wing Christianity. He ends his book by revealing that he finally accepts the concept that the reason for his problems has been his deep-seated resentment for his mother - and how he deals with that. Along the way he offers hi s concepts about alcoholism: 'The very experts in charge of treating alcoholics don't even understand it themselves. They falsely believe and teach that the alcoholic has a disease, and is somehow different bodily form other people. That is all complete nonsense.'
After a wild ride through the life of a true alcoholic and drug addict Adamson winds down his book emphasizing his religious zeal. It is at this point that the memoir challenges the reader's credibility in his story. But this is a transparent revelation of the jail and rehab and court system abuses as well and an examination of all the aspects of treatment for addiction. And this information is worth knowing and certainly worth reading about in the words of Ted Adamson. His life has been difficult but he seems to have found a religious plateau where he can stand firmly where he hopes to help others. Grady Harp, October 11
Java Davis of the Kindle Book Review
This review is from: Up From Down: A true story of recovery from addiction (Kindle Edition)
What I loved most about Ted Adamson's story is that he is honest about how many years it took for him to become a heroin addict and alcohol abuser, and how many years it took to feel genuinely recovered. Eventually, he is also equally honest about taking responsibility for his own destructive and unkind behaviors. The story takes us through a painful childhood, drug experimentation, burglary and purse-snatching, jail, and nascent rehab programs. Ted clearly explains the epiphanies he experienced as he worked through his recovery, and he is not shy about saying that it was his growing grounding in Christianity that ultimately saved him.
I'm not really spoiling the story for you. It is so well written that you would be depriving yourself if you pass on this book. Even though I disagree with many of the author's values, I found the story completely enthralling.
Two things did bother me. The first is that in the first few pages, there is a mention of a younger brother. He seems to drop off the face of the earth after that, no doubt to protect him from association with his wayward brother. The other pinprick is that there is a letter written to Ted on the final page. In my Kindle edition, the letter was so small as to be completely illegible, and changing the angle and bumping up the print size made no difference. I'm sure I missed something valuable.
I received this ebook for free in order to review it for the website www.thekindlebookreview.com. I am in no way affiliated with either the author or any releases of this title.
-- Java Davis (The Kindle Book Review)
Midwest Book Review
“Addiction can tear apart our lives. “Up From Down: A True Story of Recovery From Addiction” is a memoir from Ted Adamson as he discusses his battles with heroin addiction, as he his story with a no holds barred look at addicton and the damage it can do to our lives. Frank and honest, he hopes his story will ring true with other addicts and help them find their way through. “Up From Down” is an excellent and thoughtful memoir , not to be overlooked.”