9780618683352

Beautiful Boy

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780618683352

  • ISBN10:

    0618683356

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-02-26
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff's journey through his son Nic's addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic. Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

Author Biography

DAVID SHEFF’s books include Game Over, China Dawn, and All We Are Saying. His many articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, Fortune, and elsewhere. His piece for the New York Times Magazine, “My Addicted Son,” won an award from the American Psychological Association for “Outstanding Contribution to Advancing the Understanding of Addiction.” Sheff and his family live in Inverness, California.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Stay up latep. 17
His drug of choicep. 105
Whateverp. 123
If onlyp. 171
Never any knowingp. 235
Epiloguep. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 319
Resourcesp. 321
Creditsp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Introduction It hurts so bad that I cannot save him, protect him, keep him out of harm's way, shield him from pain. What good are fathers if not for these things? - Thomas Lynch, "The Way We Are" "Howdy Pop, God, I miss you guys so much. I can't wait to see you all. Only one more day!!! Woo-hoo." Nic is emailing from college on the evening before he arrives home for summer vacation. Jasper and Daisy, our eight- and five-year- olds, are sitting at the kitchen table cutting, pasting, and coloring notes and welcome- home banners for his homecoming. They have not seen their big brother in six months. In the morning, when it's time to leave for the airport, I go outside to round them up. Daisy, wet and muddy, is perched on a branch high up in a maple tree. Jasper stands below her. "You give me that back or else!" he warns. "No," she responds. "It's mine." There is bold defiance in her eyes, but then, when he starts to climb up the tree, she throws down the Gandalf doll he's after. "It's time to go get Nic," I say, and they dash past me into the house, chanting, "Nicky Nicky Nicky." We drive the hour and a half to the airport. When we reach the terminal, Jasper yells, "There's Nic." He points. "There!" Nic, an army green duffel bag slung over his shoulder, leans against a NO PARKING sign on the curb outside United baggage claim. Lanky thin in a faded red T-shirt and his girlfriend's cardigan, sagging jeans that ride below his bony hips, and red Converse All-Stars, when he sees us, his face brightens and he waves. The kids both want to sit next to him and so, after throwing his bags into the way back, he climbs over Jasper and buckles in between them. In turn he clasps each of their heads between the palms of his hands and kisses their cheeks. "It's so good to see you," he says. "I missed you little boinkers. Like crazy." To us up front, he adds, "You, too, Pops and Mama." As I drive away from the airport, Nic describes his flight. "It was the worst," he says. "I was stuck next to a lady who wouldn't stop talking. She had platinum hair with peaks like on lemon meringue pie. Cruella De Vil horn-rimmed eyeglasses and prune lips and thick pink face powder." "Cruella De Vil?" Jasper asks. He is wide-eyed. Nic nods. "Just like her. Her eyelashes were long and false - purple, and she wore this perfume: Eau de Stinky." He holds his nose. "Yech." The kids are rapt. We drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. A river of thick fog pours below us and wraps around the Marin Headlands. Jasper asks, "Nic, are you coming to Step-Up?" referring to his and Daisy's upcoming graduation celebration. The kids are stepping up from second grade to third and kindergarten to first grade. "Wouldn't miss it for all the tea in China," Nic responds. Daisy asks, "Nic, do you remember that girl Daniela? She fell off the climbing structure and broke her toe." "Ouch." "She has a cast," Jasper adds. "A cast on her toe?" Nic asks. "It must be teeny." Jasper gravely reports, "They will cut it off with a hacksaw." "Her toe?" They all giggle. After a while, Nic tells them, "I have something for you kiddos. In my suitcase." "Presents!" "When we get home," he responds. They beg him to tell them what, but he shakes his head. "No way, Jose. It's a surprise." I can see the three of them in the rearview mirror. Jasper and Daisy have smooth olive complexions. Nic's w

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