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Kristina, the second of four children, begins by telling how a little sip of vodka sipped secretly at a party her parents were giving, started her on a pathway to addiction. In that instant, alcohol became her pathway to comfort. Over the next 8 years she sinks further into addiction moving on to cocaine and methamphetamines. In telling her story, she gives a brutally honest description of her addiction and crimes until she nearly dies on the floor of a homeless shelter completely alone at the age of 21.
Adding a heart-wrenching counterpart, to each chapter of the book, Kristina's mother, Connie, gives a parent’s picture of what was happening throughout her child's experience. She describes her powerlessness to help her addicted daughter, the break-up of her unhappy marriage and how she comes to terms with her own co-dependency. She also describes the worst decision a mother ever has to make: to turn her oldest daughter out of her house, sending her onto the streets, in order to protect herself and her other children.
Then follows the remarkable story of Kristina's recovery as she spends months in rehab, her mother's 'tough love' and the years of acclimating herself to living a normal life. Ultimately, she reclaims herself, her place in her family and a new and loving relationship with her mother.
The Lost Years is a beautifully written memoir of survival and transformation that reminds us all that so much good can come from so much that is bad.
Endorsements for The Lost Years
'The Lost Years is one of the most important books on family addiction and recovery that I have come across in years. It allows the readers a rare, simultaneous look into the hearts and minds of both the co-dependent and the addict. Kristina and her mother take us through the suffering, turmoil and destruction of addiction right on through to forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. This book is invaluable to families, and I am proud to recommend The Lost Years.' John Bradshaw, best-selling author of Healing the Shame That Binds You and Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, and one of the leading authorities on co-dependency and family recovery
'This is the most important book I have read this year. I couldn't put it down.' Anne Lamott, best-selling author of Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Rosie, All New People, and Blue Shoe
'This book touches on both sides of addiction … the side of the addict and that of the enabler. We found the openness and insight very touching and heartwarming. Addiction goes beyond description. You are absolutely helpless. We know, we have been there. The only 'cure' is honesty, as this book beautifully demonstrates. Until one is absolutely honest with oneself there is no hope for either the addict or the enabler.' Cheri and Pat Summerall, former American football player and legendary sportscaster for CBS, Fox, ESPN, and his wife
'It is tough, honest and gritty. This is a powerful and amazing book. I could not put it down.' Michael Pritchard, PBS host, motivational speaker and child advocate.
'This is the most extraordinary memoir I have ever read. Kristina and her mother, Constance, have written a wrenching, starkly honest and emotionally moving account of addiction and recovery. It is a deeply inspirational story of pain, loss, acceptance and survival.' Dr. Stephanie Brown, psychologist specializing in addiction/recovery