Recovery: Freedom from Addictions - Russell Brand
Addiction is not a singular entity, reserved solely for alcohol or drugs: it is a complex mental state that, one way or another, haunts more people than anyone would care to realise. From drugs to sex, conflict to love, Brand addresses addiction as a whole in his book about overcoming our obsessive behaviours, once and for all.
Supported by reflections on his own experiences, Brand explains and applies the twelve-step process to overcoming addiction, not just in its present state, but as a mind-set that requires permanent alteration. Using a language more accessible to the unknowing reader, he summarises each step of the self-treatment process, acknowledging its difficulties and advising how to move on from them.
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I think it appropriate to begin by saying that this did not turn out to be the book that I thought it was. Whilst I was aware that it concerned specific areas of mental-health, previous knowledge of the author, coupled with experiences of reading other books on a similar topic, meant that I expected something of a satirical, auto-biographical discussion of mental health.
What I instead encountered was something really quite serious. Although each stage of the process was given a simpler, more comedic name, the actual content of each chapter was less amusing and more brutally honest, outlining some of the darkest and most honest truths behind our behaviours.
In some places, it made for uncomfortable reading, both because of the situations it described and because of the ways in which it provokes self-acknowledgement on the reader's part.
And that, really, is why this is such an excellent read. It is intense, technical and, in some parts, exhausting but it is equally challenging, honest and intelligent. It is nothing I expected and yet, something far more worthy of a reader's time.
Brand identifies the very darkest secrets of the human mind and challenges them to a level unlike anything I have previously read and, for that, Recovery: Freedom from Addictions, is something really, rather wonderful.
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