a million little pieces-james frey

“i heard that he exaggerated the truth and tried to pass it off as non-fiction”


bash said this to me as we passed farley mowatt‘s star on the canadian walk of fame. in retrospect, i think it’s better that i’m reading this one after the last testament because the parallels are quite strong. i can see how someone who has gone through this ordeal with the folks at AA wouldn’t believe in higher powers, and the scenes of his body’s treason during detox (including his no-anesthesia root canals) are a lot like the aftermath of having a tonne of falling shattered glass removed from one’s flesh and staying alive. i’m still Working on The riddle of capitalizing Seemingly random words, but i haven’t quite Cracked it yet. oh-and i love how he likens a letter from his lady to a drug deal-that’s how illicit love is to an addict….

“I have been to AA meetings and they have left me cold. I find the philosophy to be one of replacement. Replacement of one addiction with another addiction. Replacement of a chemical for a God and a Meeting. The Meetings themselves make me sick. Too much whining, too much complaining, too much blaming. Too much bullshit about Higher Powers. There is no Higher Power or any God who is responsible for what I do and for what I have done and for who I am. There is no Higher Power or any God who will cure me. There is no Meeting where any amount of whining, complaining and blaming is going to make me feel any better.” (70)

“He decided at that instant to turn his will over and place himself unreservedly under God’s care and direction. He never drank again, he developed the Twelve Steps and the concept of Alcoholics Anonymous, and he devoted his life to spreading the word. It is a touching story, and it is written more to convince than to tell. I am not convinced. No way, not at all. Not at all.” (71)

“I think God is something that People use to avoid reality. I think faith allows People to reject what is right in front of our eyes, which is that this thing, this life, this existence, this consciousness, or whatever word you want to use for it, is all we have, and all we’ll ever have. I think People have faith because they want and need to believe in something, whatever that something is, because life can be hard and depressing and brutal if you don’t.” (197)


One thought on “a million little pieces-james frey

  1. written on the body:

    “I am awake but I’m unable to move.
    My heart beats and it’s loud and I can see it.
    The bristles of the carpet dig into my face and I can hear them.
    The laugh track on the show booms and I can feel it.
    I am awake but I’m unable to move.” (14)

    “I can feel blood dripping from the wounds on my face and I can feel my heart beating and I can feel the weight of my life beginning to drop and I realize why dawn is called mourning.” (20)

    “Humans are said to seek only food, shelter, and sex. Humans are said to have only these as their primary urges. I have lived in a state where I went without all, sought none. I do now know what that makes me.” (107)

    “Although genetics and a genetic link may be undeniable, everything about us is genetic, and everything about our physical selves is predetermined by a genetic link. If an individual is fat but wants to be thin, it is not a genetic disease. If someone is stupid, but wants to be smart, it is not a genetic disease. If a drunk is a drunk, but doesn’t want to be a drunk anymore, it is not a genetic disease. Addiction is a decision. An individual wants something, whatever that something is, and makes a decision to get it. Once they have it, they make a decision to take it. If they take it too often, that process of decision making gets out of control, and if it gets too far out of control, it becomes an addiction. At that point the decision is a difficult one to make, but it is still a decision. Each and every time. A decision. String enough of those decisions together and you set a course and you set a standard of living. Addict or human. Genetics do not make that call. They are just an excuse. The allow People to say it wasn’t my fault I am genetically predisposed. It wasn’t my fault I was programmed from day one. It wasn’t my fault I didn’t have any say in the matter. Bullshit. Fuck that bullshit. There is always a decision. Take responsibility for it. Addict or human. It’s a fucking decision. Each and every time.” (258)

    “The life of an Addict is always the same. There is no excitement, no glamour, no fun. There are no good times, there is no joy, there happiness. There is no future and no escape. There is only obsession. An all-encompassing, fully enveloping, completely overwhelming obsession. To make light of it, brag about it, or revel in the mock glory of it is not in any way, shape, or form related to its truth, and that is all that matters, the truth. That this man is standing in front of me and everyone else in this room lying to us is heresy. The truth is all that matters. This is fucking heresy.” (159)

    “There is a sitcom about some witty New Yorkers who spend all their time in one Apartment. One of them men praises the show and he talks about how real it is. The only people I know who spend so much time in one Apartment usually have black plastic taped over the windows and guns in the closet and burn marks on their lips and fingers and huge locks on their doors. They are not witty people, though their paranoia can be amusing. I don’t see anything like that on this show, but it is supposedly very real. Maybe I don’t know what real is anymore.” (190)

    “I can imagine my obituary. The truth of my existence will be removed and replaced with imagined good. The reality of how I lived will be avoided and changed and phrases will be dropped in like Beloved Son, Loving Brother, Reliable Friend, Hardworking Student. People will change their view of me, from reckless Fuck-Up to helpless Martyr, from dangerous Fool to sad Victim, from addicted Asshole to unfortunate Child. They will say things like my God, what a waste. Oh, what he could have been. He had so much going for him, what happened? And it will be fucking false, every single word of it will be false.” (85-6)

    “I’m not gonna stay in a place where Assholes like you say that their Job is to help People, but when someone needs help most, you deny it to them because they believe in something different than you or need a different kind of help than what you think is right.
    Do what you need to do.
    I will, and I’m gonna stay clean doing it, if for no other reason than to be able to come back here and show your self-righteous ass that your way isn’t the only way.
    Good luck.
    Fuck you.” (307)

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