Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nikki Sixx, The Heroin Diaries First, I have never tried heroin. I was offered it once as a teenager and turned it down flat. I come from a family who has many members who have succumbed to various alcohol and drug addictions. I have lost family members to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and others. I personally chose not to go down this road. I read this book attempting to possibly gain more insight into my loved ones who did use IV drugs. I got a bit of a better idea. More on me later most of you want a book review. The Heroin Diaries on one hand are very telling stories about drug addiction. Telling us about being strung out and vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time should not come across as glamorous to anyone. On the other hand I would have liked to have seen him really spell out his unique situation a little more. Yes, he actually died and was brought back to life twice. Yes, he did have multiple relapses and talks about how he had to deal with his personal emotional demons before he could STAY Straight. But one of the things he mentions (but not in as much detail as I would like to have seen) is how his rock stardom, and subsequent million dollar finances allowed him to do this. Nikki didn't have to physically steal from his family and friends to get his drugs. He burned through a million dollars in drugs (mostly heroin and cocaine) in one year. I would have loved one entry that stated, "If I wasn't an international rock star I would have lived on the street and stolen from everyone around me. I probably would have ended up dead long before my two failed attempts. I had so many people looking after me I didn't have to be responsible at all. They enabled me, and I had the money to do it. If you think this is glamorous, just think, instead of having the ability to spend a million dollars on drugs in one year, you'll burn every friend and family member you ever once loved. They will never trust you until your clean, and you will end up on the streets soaked in your own urine shooting drugs without anyone at your side dying and wishing you were dead." He did do a little of this with his stories concerning Ratt guitarist Robin Crosby. Robin lost his battle with heroin. Robin got AIDS from sharing needles with vagabond street junkies, and died homeless and broke. From being a millionaire with platinum records to dying homeless without shoes on the streets of Los Angelas. Those are the stories I would have love a little more of. Not all together Nikki's fault. He found a way through the heroin death trap. Many do not. My adopted father lost his brother to heroin that way. I got to watch my dad cry like a baby. I give Nikki a lot of credit for putting this in print to begin with. However, because some of the drug stories are in turn associated with the band "Motley Crue" I feel drug use was occasionally glamorized in the "rock Star" persona. I do feel he did a good job of showing the lonely aspect of drugs, the lying, the nights by yourself, the paranoia. All in all he did a good job. Last but not least I want to tell you about those who don't use drugs, alcohol, or have other addictions but are hurt by them. The little girl who's mother had an addiction and kept getting them evicted from every home they ever had. The anger that stems from that is great, and that little girl grew up to be a nurse but had to work to overcome her childhood. The little boy who watched his mother falling asleep drunk in a bowl of cheerios everyday when he came home from school. He saw the needle fall out of his uncles pocket with a spoon, and didn't understand why his brother had all those "cigarette burns" on his arms that were irregularly shaped (you know track marks). That little boy also grew up, became a nurse, and married the the little girl above. They both chose to go on a different path than the examples they saw growing up. But what they didn't quite understand, and that which would take them years to understand is the impact it had on them. One became angry and had to deal with those issues for years because of her childhood. The other learned to ignore everything as if it didn't exist. Imagine being a nurse a year out of school and getting your first heroin addict. Charge nurse tells you, "Typical infected abscess from injecting." You go in and introduce yourself, and you leave the room like, "What, typical what, that guy is just a normal dude." My coworkers looked at me like I was out of my mind. I had completely shut off seeing addiction in any form as a defense mechanism. Drug addicts around the home were normal when I was growing up. My uncles friend was a chiropractor before he lost his license and family to cocaine addiction. Last I heard, he lost his two new children (because his first wife divorced him and took his first child) he had with his new girlfriend (a heroin addict) because the kids came out addicted. Though he (the former chiropractor) is working at a pawn shop for minimum wage, living in a slum, and trying to avoid the dealers he owed money to. How glamorous is that? Unless your a rock star with a million dollars to spend on smack and blow you'll end up dead and it won't be glamorous.