The Addiction Manifesto
An honest, engrossing, and impassioned plea for readers with addictions to change their lives.
A memoir and a collection of true stories aim to inspire individuals with addictions to persevere in their journeys to recovery.
Weaver, an Army veteran, tells the story of his personal experiences of addiction, sobriety, relapses, and, finally, recovery with heartfelt sincerity. As a young man, he started indulging in recreational drinking. But then he began taking drugs, a habit that escalated over 20 years. Following an eight-month prison sentence, he relapsed. After graduating from his first recovery program, he relapsed again—on his very first night alone. It wasn’t until he had lost his job, home, and family and faced several felony charges that he got serious about recovery. He committed himself to stay sober and building a better life. Now a certified peer-support specialist and senior mentor for the Veterans Treatment Court, he hopes that sharing what he’s learned will inspire, motivate, and support others to make the same commitment. Often addressing the reader as “you,” the author emphasizes that recovery takes effort and that it’s much more than just sobriety. The three key elements are abstaining, working on changing behavior to become a better person, and leading a life worth living. Addiction is personified as a wily and powerful adversary that plays “Jedi mind tricks” to keep people hooked. He emphasizes the 12-step model but also recommends the Self-Management Recovery and Training approach for those who aren’t comfortable with the 12-step philosophy. The first half of the book focuses on the author’s insights in a series of chapters that read like pep talks. The writing is accessible and upbeat but pulls no punches in describing what it’s like to hit rock bottom repeatedly—and, as another recovering person puts it, find out it has a basement. The second half of the volume is devoted to a collection of brief addiction and recovery stories by two dozen contributors. While some of the material is repetitive, the message is clear and encouraging. More than 50 inspirational, meme-style quotations, such as “Recovery is an inside job,” are sprinkled throughout. For those contemplating getting sober or starting their recovery process, reading a few pages a day could be almost like having a personal cheerleader in their corners.
JR Weaver lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a veteran of the United States Army and now specializes in helping other veterans adapt and adjust to the civilian world while dealing with issues such as PTSD, depression, and substance abuse. Jerry was like many veterans, lost and confused after finishing his time in uniform. His life quickly spiraled out of control, and he was at the breaking point. It was during his recovery and regrowth period where Jerry discovered the healing power of writing. He began writing down his thoughts and processing feelings and has gone on to become a staunch advocate for veteran’s addiction and recovery