Having No Filter Provides for a Wild Ride
A filter prevents dust, debris or other particles from passing into the area outside of itself. In our minds, a filter acts as a guard, preventing our sometimes brash, sometimes inappropriate front-line voice from blurting out at inopportune times. While a filter may protect us, it can also hinder us in those occasions when we need to be most expressive, not only for ourselves, but for the people who need to hear what we have to say.
Thankfully, Amy Dresner has no filters in her memoir My Fair Junkie. Instead, she ruthlessly spills her experiences with drug and sex addiction and the developmental challenges that come with (and often undermine) the two, onto the page.
While she takes the reader with her through the streets of L.A. and the rooms of a sober living house, she reflects on these experiences (and the quirky, oddball people she met along the way) with astute observations that cut to the heart of the matter.
A Keen Sense of Self Awareness
She recounts the issues beneath her multi-drug addicted self with butt naked honesty: “I was afraid people would see that I was irreparably broken, ugly, unlovable.” These type of gems leave the readers who are in recovery with invaluable insights into the workings of an addicted mind.
She portrays her sex addiction in such a way that although drug and alcohol free at times, the reader questions whether or not she is truly sober (because searching desperately for the next fuckboy to satisfy a void in the heart doesn’t represent healthy sound thinking after all). Her self awareness of these issues is nothing short of impressive:
“I’m aware that my sex addiction is my newest incarnation of my alcoholism.”
Amy brings to light the fact that negative behavior can still follow us long after the drinks and drugs are eliminated, and that it’s necessary for us to dive within and find compassion for ourselves so we can continue to grow. In recovery, to be aware of this fact is of paramount importance.
“Despite having almost two years sober, I am still innately attracted to things that are bad for me.”
Amy’s uninhibited delivery of experiences that most would deem absolutely shameful, embarrassing and degrading, has the potential to offer hope to many who are still recoiling in fear of sharing their own stories. It’s as if by sharing her story without guilt, and with confidence in the transformed person she has since become, her voice is indirectly saying to others, “Hey! You! It’s okay to share your story. It’s your fucking story! Own it!”
Having written a memoir myself (not yet published), I can attest to the fact, that sharing our stories, (through writing or speaking) is a surefire way to learn more about underlying behavior patterns and heal on deeper levels.
In My Fair Junkie, Amy Dresner pulls off the seemingly impossible act of conveying tales of debauchery with humor, wisdom and unfiltered class. If you find yourself in need of a shock, a laugh and a few ah-ha moments, crack My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean open and enjoy the ride. And if you strap in, please come back and share your thoughts!
Amy Dresner can be found on Instagram @amydresner. You can find her in the recovery community, and in the non-recovery community, doing interviews on podcasts, sharing her experiences and shedding light on the shadows that lurk on the inside. My Fair Junkie can be bought on Amazon, here.
Jacob O’Cain is a recovering drug addict and teaches ESL to kids in China. He’s the author of The Addict with a Thousand Faces (not yet published) and believes we are all on the hero’s journey. He is actively looking to connect with people in the recovery community. Send him a message on Instagram @jacob_ocain or contact him through www.jacobocain.com.