The Weight of Air: A Story of the Lies About Addiction and the Truth About Recovery Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
While his wife and two-year-old daughter watched TV in the living room, David Poses was in the kitchen, measuring the distance from his index finger to his armpit. He needed to be sure he could pull the trigger with a shotgun barrel in his mouth. Twenty-six inches. Thirty-two years old. More than a decade in a double life fueled by depression and heroin.
In his groundbreaking memoir, The Weight of Air, David chronicles his struggle to overcome mental illness and addiction. By age 19, he'd been through medical detox, inpatient rehab, 12-step programs, and a halfway house. He saw his drug use as a symptom of depression, but the experts insisted that addiction was the problem. Over the next 13 years, he went from one relapse to the next, drowning in guilt, shame, and secrets, until he finally found an evidence-based treatment that not only saved his life, but helped him thrive.
With grit, humor, and brutal honesty, David's story exposes the danger in traditional recovery models: They actually increase stigma and the risk of overdose, relapse, and death. As depression and addiction rates skyrocket and overdose fatalities surge, The Weight of Air is a scathing indictment of our failed response to the opioid crisis-and proof that success is possible.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 7 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 28, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #26,743 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#13 in Drug Dependency (Audible Books & Originals)
#63 in Biographies of Medical Professionals (Audible Books & Originals)
#140 in Drug Dependency Recovery
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It's impossible to rate someone's personal experience; so I'll say that "the lies about addiction" and "the truth about recovery" are pretty tall orders to fill also in their subjectivity, and struck me as click-bait-ish for a subtitle. Who is to say what is a lie and truth about recovery? As a God-centered person myself, I very much agree with the author that God is not a "one size fits all" for everyone (with drug addiction), but even less is science, which, basically, just describes what God has created i.e. science is limited to describing what already is or has occurred. The irony of fleeing from a drug treatment program not because you don't want help, but because the program is run by religious zealots who also have a false understanding of God is, to me, just as bad as suggesting life-long drug use to curb the side-effects of life-long drug use. In the end, really, man doesn't know. Some people are changed by God, some people succumb; some people are changed by other methods such as methadone. *P.S. I find it very odd, though commonplace, that the treatment counselors (in the book) who make "God" as a foundation for recovery refer to drug addiction as a "disease" rather than Satan. In either case, and because I do believe in God, the treatment base is pretty spot-on, because in God, never mind addiction, you are helpless. But when you pretend that you're not and have a choice, you suffer even more.
The real lie is people's unwillingness to forgive their parents, particularly their mothers, as it forces them to admit that their parents were wrong: the unfortunate thing is that the author, like many, had no problem admitting his father's wrongs and his anger toward him, but nothing about his mother, who *repeatedly cropped up, in my opinion, as a problem, contributing to this fairy tale lie of "everything being OK", playing favorites with her children, and, really, putting the hell of her relationship with her ex-husband on her children, even more so on the author's younger brother who was closer to his father. In effect, turning her children away from their father. Evil. The author talks about this very dysfunctional relationship between his parents and, thusly, being placed on heavy anti-depressant medication as early as 16. And so begins a life-long avoidance of pain, and an inability to really face the reality of God and overcome evil feelings re-created in us by parents and guardians in the home.
Like I said, I appreciate the perspective of this book, but it's a bit disingenuous to overlook all of the aforementioned to suggest a science-based model that just requires more drugs. Once the author was able to really tell the truth (to his family and friends)--at the end of the book, that's when the recovery began. The only way out is through, not away.
I give The Weight of Air 3 1/2 bubblegums.
When David was admitted to one of the top renowned rehab programs in the United States, he had been hospitalized for his addiction to Heroin. His father, who he barely had a relationship with, intervened in his care, it was evident he should have kept his (usual) distance. Poses explained to his counselors in rehab the level of “pain” (depression) had led to and resulted in his addiction. Poses quickly realized that the popular 12 Step Program used by the majority of American rehab programs at the time, would not really work for him. Poses illustrated the negative side of the rehab and insurance industry, and the failure of the (one size fits all) 12 Step Programs.
Two decades would pass of relapse, lost relationships and the inability to relate honestly to those who loved and cared about him most. The lies and deceit, rare well-paying jobs lost--where he could have used his talents and gifts to excel. Poses takes readers on his difficult and harrowing journey towards living his life without using drugs. The silence, stigma, and shame of addiction ceased when he began to honestly share his truth with others. This is an important book. Poses writing has been featured in several notable publications, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the NY Daily News. He lives in Hudson Valley, N.Y. with his wife and two children.
David is an awesome writer, and he’s also an activist who spreads awareness about harm reduction. Although this was a fantastic book, I really enjoyed the epilogue where David talks about his experience with how buprenorphine saved his life. If he ever gets a chance, I think he’d write an incredible book about harm reduction and how we can tackle the addiction crisis in the United States as well as in other parts of the world.