The Lost Years by Constance Curry
Surviving a Mother and Daughter's Worst Nightmare

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The Lost Years is a deeply profound read. For parents feeling helpless in confronting a loved one’s addiction, for those on the road to recovery, and those of us who won our personal battles, this is an intensely inspirational and emotional story.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

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
 

About Constance Curry

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Kristina Wandzilak has worked in the chemical dependency field since 1994, as a counselor and interventionist. She has been specializing in intervention since 1998 and opened the doors of Full Circle Intervention with the vision of bringing respectful intervention to families in need. Traveling through out the United Sates and internationally, Kristina and Full Circle Intervention are well known for successful, compassionate intervention work. She has been a topic speaker at national conferences, college campuses and numerous conventions. Kristina studied addiction at UC Berkeley Extension and the University of Phoenix. She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her loving husband and two beautiful children, close to her mom, brother and sisters and their new families. Constance Curry has been in co-dependency recovery for many years. She has studied and tried to understand the disorder that took over her life and the lives of those she loved most. She has been on various educational speaker panels for practicing therapists and teachers talking on the intricate subject of addiction and family recovery. Connie started the first womens golf tournament to raise money for the childrens center at the Family Service Agency. The money raised was used to provide private therapy for children in need. Connie lives in Northern California, always staying close to her four children and is a devoted grandmother to her three young grandchildren.
 
Published December 19, 2006 by Jeffers Press. 280 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

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Reviewed by Eva Sturtz on Jun 25 2014

The Lost Years is a deeply profound read. For parents feeling helpless in confronting a loved one’s addiction, for those on the road to recovery, and those of us who won our personal battles, this is an intensely inspirational and emotional story.

Read Full Review of The Lost Years: Surviving a M... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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