Choosing Life: One man’s journey through alcoholism and depression to wellness and self-discovery
Choosing Life by Blue Andrews is a memoir that describes in detail the struggles Blue has gone through in his life. In his preface, he clearly states that he wrote the book for himself to help in his recovery and growth, and he published the book for someone who is like him or someone who cares about someone like him. Blue wrote his book as a method of therapy but realized that it could also help others to realize that they are not alone. The emotional struggles that Blue endured are real and, for many, would be life-ending. For Blue, however, getting a second chance at life was in the cards.
I really liked how the book was organized into two parts: Part I-Down and Part II-Up. Within these parts, Part I addresses everything that took Blue downhill, from the passing of his good friends and mother to drinking to learning that he was very depressed. Part II tells the reader the different steps Blue was able to take in order to make the decision to choose life.
Reading this book, it’s easy to understand how Blue ended up being depressed. His parents were only eighteen and nineteen when they became pregnant with Blue, and his father was abusive. It was so painful to see Blue’s mother go through cancer treatments while trying to raise Blue and his brother. At a certain point, Blue was raising his teenage self. His competitive spirit did not help because he wanted to be good at something and realized early on that he was good at drinking. Grades dropped, and Blue stopped playing sports. It was only downhill from there. I often felt so sad for Blue while reading this book.
Blue ends up meeting his amazing wife Sandy in Egypt, and they end up having two children (and then twins later on). One would think that Blue was on the up and up. However, feeling like a failure pulls Blue back into a depressive state, and he ends up hitting rock bottom. From there, Blue’s story really picks up. The support that he gets from his wife and close friends and family is immense and truly integral to his healing and recovery. Dealing with grief is a big step. I kept thinking to myself how much of a saint his wife must be. What an amazing woman to stick by Blue’s side through all of it.
This book is beautifully written, and I know that it will help others who are struggling with their inner demons. I recommend it to adults of all ages who are either experiencing hardship or know someone who is. Inspiring, honest, and uplifting, Choosing Life is a wonderful book.
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