Embracing “Shock” Therapy to Bring Healing to Families of Addicts
By Chris Bertrand
Jacqui Brown wants to break down barriers, bulldoze the walls of silence, relegating that game face of “I’m OK; You’re OK” back to the closet. To that end, Brown, author of Recovery’s a Bitch. as if Menopause Alone Wasn’t Bad Enough! brings her raw, in your face and purposely unnerving style to your nearby Kindle, paperback and blog. By page three, she she has you asking yourself, “What the..?”
Then, you find you’re committed. Envision picking glass shards from your body after an explosion. You’re horrified. You can’t stop, but neither can you look away. It’s also unclear if leaving the shards in or taking them out will cause more pain, or even death. So you keep reading.
Yet, when all the bloody pieces are laid on the table, and the catharsis is done, you’re the better for it. Her nonstop rant has accomplished its goal. Brown has shouted and sworn all those words and the previously whispered behind the door concepts of teenage addiction, rehab and relapse out loud for long enough, that the inability to speak of it disappears.
A few years back, Brown, a stay at home mom with two children and a music producer husband, Paul Brown, were living a privileged So Cal life. Then the “devil” took up residence. Their teenage daughter became addicted to drugs.
Gallows humor and a game face sufficed for a while, as she made offhanded remarks to friends in carpool and at Starbucks about the latest extrication of their daughter from a nearby drug house and near death experiences.
When full blown menopause met the tornado of her daughter’s addiction, the Jacqui Brown perfect storm hit. The gloves came off. The game face was shoved in the closet, but thankfully the humor stayed.
Her critical message is that in order to recover, one must be willing to change. The Encarta Dictionary defines “recover” as “to regain something, to get back something previously lost” but also to “control or correct yourself, to return to a composed state.”
Brown decided she could change her life, and recover in both definitions of the word, from menopause, and from her daughter’s addiction. From the wild highs, lows and hormonal fluctuations of menopause, and from being completely and utterly responsible for her daughter’s every move, error, her ultimate happiness or unhappiness, even of her existence.
Jacqui Brown’s path to her own recovery involves an unfiltered, gut wrenching, guffaw-filled intimate look inside. The pain, the laughs, the sagging neckline and drooping breasts can be felt right through the pages written as though the reader were on the other end of a longwinded telephone conversation.
The result is feeling like you’ve lived it, and can perhaps learn from her journey. Brown’s passionate stream of consciousness book performs “shock” therapy without a medical license, but in full control of the ultimate trump
card, motherhood. The taboo topic of surviving a family member’s addiction has just been thrust into everyday conversation, brought into the bright light. by a mom. Thanks, mom!