Monday, July 26, 2010

Addict at Ten

Addict at TenToday I woke up in a world of pain, but I needed to get Mia to swimming lessons, and then I had errands to run in Green Bay. Mia and I got ready to go, but when I went to start the van, the engine wouldn't turn over. The battery was dead. I called around asking for help, but it seemed like everyone I called was either out of town or at work. Mia was in tears over missing another day (she graciously offered to miss class on Thursday of last week because of my pain).

A little before noon, my stepdad, Jeff, came and got the van running again, and we headed off to Shopko. The pain was much better, so I felt up to doing the bit of shopping we needed. We're leaving for camping on Wednesday, and unfortunately, mice ate through all of our air mattresses, our raft, and Mia's beach toys, so I needed to pick up a new air mattress. There were also some great sales for school supplies, and I wanted to get a jump on that. Mia got two pair of shoes, including pink high tops, a new backpack (she's growing up, no Disney characters this year!), and two folders: a panda and iCarly. Plus, we got a great air mattress that I think will be perfect. She skipped out of the store, planning her first day of school outfit and certain that she is going to rock second grade.

We stopped for a late lunch at McDonald's, and to our surprise, the new Happy Meal prize is Littlest Pet Shop toys. Mia has a huge collection already, but she loves playing with them, so we both ordered Happy Meals so she could get two toys. By the time we got home, she was practically walking on air, and she decided that God had made the van break down so that she could have a really amazing afternoon (I didn't tell her that we would have gone to Green Bay even if she had made it to swimming lessons), and we talked about how we always need to trust that God is working for the best for us, even when all we can see is darkness around us.

Addict at Ten by Derek Steele is an inspiring story of overcoming terrible addictions. Derek Steele grew up in a house without affection or love. Forced to care for himself most of the time by his busy and distracted parents, he gets drunk for the first time at eight, discovers marijuana at nine, and as addicted to getting high by ten years old. That leads him down a road to harder and harder drugs from cocaine to crack, ecstasy, and more alcohol. He soon turns to theft and drug dealing to afford his habit and destroys what little relationship he had with his parents. When at the age of twenty, he crosses a drug dealer who then puts out a hit on Derek, and is about to go to prison, he has a sudden epiphany and sees the truth about the road he's been traveling and enters rehab to turn his life around. A twelve-step program introduces Derek to the Lord, and the story ends on a high note with the author married, a happy father of two, and wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Steele is unflinching in his look at his drug abuse, and the abuse he does to his body is terrifying. I've read other stories like this, but Steele offers something more in that it doesn't end with his recovery. Several years after being clean, he starts to falter and questions whether he needs to truly stay clean. He describes how his complacency almost lured him into re-addiction, but offers warning signs to stay strong. His story about overcoming addictions is inspiring and encouraging for anyone caught in addiction or who loves someone who is.

Thank you to Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for providing me with a copy of this book for review.