What I always thought
I never understood my brother’s addictions and even resented him at times for everything he put us through. “Beautiful Boy” by David Sheff gives a look into why addicts become addicted to their drug(s) of choice. I always just figured the addiction was something my brother could control; that all he had to do was stop being stupid by no longer using the drug. The book gives another view in the sense that addiction is actually a disease and the addict is just a victim. Although I do not agree with all aspects of the book. “Beautiful Boy” made me reflect on my own brothers addiction and how it is hard to fully understand, how sometimes there just isn’t enough help to fix the problem, and weather it is a disease or not there is always a victim.
I just couldn’t wrap my head around the reasons my brother let the drugs into his life and why he let them take control. Why would he throw everything away just to get high? The book presented a variety of ways to comprehend the reasons of an addicts actions. Each reasoning the book had stated that the addict had no control, yet I must admit I do not completely agree. I believe that my brother made the choice to start using the drugs, but loses the control to stop as time goes on. “Beautiful Boy” did indeed allow me to see my brother’s addiction in a different light; in a way that without it I probably would have never understood.
The help can be there, and I mean it can be full on pushed upon the addict, but still sometimes not work. The book made that apparent when all the therapy and rehab that Nik was given failed time after time. Like Nik, my brother came from a broken home, but still had a large support group of both parents and sisters. Although it didn’t matter what my parents did to try to prevent what seemed like the inevitable. He went through the court system and even did small time in juvy on many different occasions. Each time dropping him off we cried like David did when Nik was missing. Following the “Beautiful Boy” story is the fact that both Nik and my brother relapsed again and again after being given help.
Addiction may be a disease, it may also not be, but either way there is always a victim it can be the addict themselves or the loved ones around them. The addicts can be victims of their own self destruction. Yet, being a loved one and having to watch the addict is just as bad. Addicts I don’t think try to truly hurt those around them; it is just a result of everything that happens. I, like Daisy and Jasper, watched my brothers’ addiction with misunderstanding and sadness. We were victims to broken promises and long hours of worry. Nik and my brother were victims to their own desires making it so everyone around them also fell victim to the drug.
“Beautiful Boy”, well written and all, still may not connect with all that read it, this is not the case in my situation. I loved the fact that I could connect to David’s story and learn how to better understand my brother’s addiction. Not being a parent I don’t necessarily connect with David himself but more with the love to someone who has an issue with addiction. The story by Sheff is compatible with my own situation because even with a countless amount of support the drug continued to gain control of Nik and my brother. In both David Sheffs and my story everyone that is involved is a victim in one way or another. “Beautiful Boy” by David Sheff was not just another read it helped me come closer to my brother by understanding how his addiction has control of him.