Tag: addiction

Book Review: Worth the Risk (Jamie Beck).

Worth the Risk

–  Jamie Beck.

Worth the Risk by Jamie Beck is the third novel of the St. James series. A few months ago, I had read the second novel of the series but I have never read the first one. Not reading the first book didn’t throw me off the plot of this book but I missed some background. This is a story about Jackson and Gabby who fall for each other against all odds.

Jackson decides to take a break from his life and spend six weeks healing in Vermont. Jackson lost his mom a while ago and then his brother moved away; he feels abandoned by his family. He has secrets of his own and adding to that the secrets he knows his brother is hiding from him which starts taking a toll on him. He uses alcohol as a way to escape and somewhere along the line it becomes a habit. Jackson rents a room at a home in Vermont where he is going to spend time recovering. Gabby is his landlord.

Gabby has had it rough. She is a young single mother, her mother left her when she was young and her dad is overprotective. Gabby is down to earth and sweet, she is mature for her age. I liked the way the rapport between Jackson and Gabby developed; it happened organically. Gabby’s mother leaves them because she was addicted to drugs which started with painkillers after an injury. In a way, she carries the guilt and baggage of her mother’s actions.

Jackson is a nice guy who has made bad choices over the last couple of years and he is introspective. He knows that he is an issue with alcohol use and is trying hard to overcome his addiction. Gabby and Jackson are immediately attracted to each other but keep things friendly between them as long as they can. Jackson is honest about his issues with Gabby but her father worries that she is making the same decisions that he made in regards to Gabby’s mother; Gabby is conscious about it too. Gabby’s ex, her son’s father Noah who did the bare minimum to support her over the years suddenly starts taking an interest her.

The main conflict in the story I felt was the struggle of Gabby to try and not compare Jackson with her mom and for Jackson, it is not to let his past overwhelm him. Growing up with a mother with a drug issue, you can sympathize with Gabby when it comes to her reservations but still, she takes a leap of faith. Both characters are flawed, one more than the other. The good part is that they are not oblivious to each other’s problems and how it could affect their relationship. Jackson and Gabby don’t have it easy which is realistic and keeps the story grounded. In the end, both are trying to overcome their obstacles and make it work with each other.

I liked Jackson and Gabby’s characters and their love story was cute and complicated. The writing and pace of the story are engaging, I could barely put it down and finished it in a day. Worth the Risk is an engaging and enjoyable book to read, I loved it.

*Click on the image above to get your own copy.

Alcoholism

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“There is not a drug on Earth that can make life meaningful,” said Sarah Kane. No human being is perfect, everyone has flaws. Some flaws a person can live with but some destroy you and others around you. Every other person has demons he or she faces every day. There are some things which not only haunt you but also affect everyone around you in a way you can’t fix. ‘Man is a social animal’ he craves for human contact and when it’s not there he turns to other things. Alcoholism is such form of substance abuse which destroys your life before you even realize it. Alcoholism is a medical condition caused by too much regular drinking. It disrupts many aspects of the victim’s life but in most cases, the user is not bothered about anything than their necessary intake of alcohol. Often people are in denial about their drinking problem giving excuses like, “I ‘m a social drinker” but in truth, they need some sort of help.

People don’t consider alcoholism as a form of addiction. It is just as dangerous as other addictions if not more. Alcohol addiction is tricky and it is difficult for one to admit they have an addiction issue. A lot of health issues arise due to regular over-consumption of alcohol like heart problems, in men it can also cause erectile dysfunction, shaky hands, swollen liver and kidneys, low blood pressure or hypoglycemia to name a few. It also leaves an impact on the psychological temperament of a person. Many alcoholics have anger issues and at times are violent which lands them in trouble with the law. Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease. Similar to all addictions alcoholism also takes place in stages and can be most effectively eradicated if found early.

In the beginning, addiction is maintained by pleasure. But the intensity of this pleasure slowly decreases and then addiction is only maintained by the avoidance of pain. Alcoholism is the disease that makes you too self-involved to realize the mayhem they create and they do not even care about the people they hurt. A person who is an alcoholic can’t even hold on to a job, relationships are turbulent and all these factors not necessarily true for all; usually contribute to the downfall of the user. Alcoholism at times is due to loneliness or a sense of failure in career or relationships. Alcohol makes them forget about all the miseries of life and can even provide with a false sense of empowerment. They should realize that everyone in life has problems some bigger than the others but not all of them start drinking away their problems. The one thing these users don’t realize is how much their addiction takes a toll on their families and people closest to them. It is not easy to watch the person they love and care drown in a wide ocean they can’t swim back from alone. Every action has a consequence and it not only the user but it also affects others around them who have absolutely no part in it. It is most difficult for any person to accept that they have an addiction. Denial is a part of human psychology which protects us from fear of our flaws.  The most important thing is to make them understand that the addiction is taking over their life. They need to know their family and friends are ready to help them and won’t abandon them. This is only the first step on the long road ahead to complete recovery. Alcoholism is a condition where one drinks too much and drinking habits have disrupted other aspects of one’s life though they are not exactly alcohol dependent. Even without dependence some may have symptoms of alcoholism. Many institutions now a day provide with facilities and guidance about alcoholism. The cases of domestic violence or criminal activities are often caused by too much drinking and many users face problems with the law. One frequently loses control of his senses when intoxicated and says or does things he would never do when sober. By seeking help all these problems are taken care of. There are ways in which alcoholism is tackled and some techniques have been more useful than others. For example self-help groups, support groups, counseling, rehabilitation program etc are a few treatments most patients opt for. The therapists and the doctors work together and form suitable plans depending on individual cases. The full support of the family and friends helps the user be psychologically sound during the treatment. If the condition is prolonged, the more difficult the process of recovery becomes. So, it is essential for family and friends to help the person who might have an alcohol problem. As anything else in life getting over an addiction is not easy but there is a chance of full recovery.

Many people who are in the early stage of alcohol dependence get agitated when family and friends comment on their habits. They feel their drinking is not harming anyone so it shouldn’t be an issue but this is not the case. The most affected by this apart from the user are their families. It is not easy for anyone to see someone they care about behave in a self-destructive manner. If kids are brought up in such an environment it leaves psychological scars which stay long into adulthood. Alcoholism can also be genetically acquired thus, leaving your off-springs in the danger of alcohol dependence as well. The stress and mental agony this addiction inflicts upon your loved ones may even turn in resentment towards the user. There have been many cases where a person succumbed to alcoholism was divorced by his wife and doesn’t get to see their kids except on a few occasion usually under supervision. Alcoholism doesn’t save you from loneliness it pushes you towards it especially if you don’t stop it first. In some cases the user completely recovers from his addiction living a long and happy life with his loved ones. Sobriety gives them a clear picture of the things they had been missing out when they were in the haze of alcohol and this gives them the strength to fight the temptation of drinking. People who have been sober for sometime do relapse but with the right methods this can be stopped from happening. It may seem unreal but it does happen more frequently than we realize.