A number of memoirs detail struggles with addiction and recovery, but few address the process with the attention to detail and the process of falling and rising up as in Pain, Failure, and Misery Are the Stepping Stones to Success.

Eric McCoy decided years ago to turn his weaknesses into strengths, using them to build resiliency and success. It's all too easy to create this vision, but far more difficult to enact it in reality. While acknowledging that a "one size fits all" approach doesn't work for all (including the approaches outlined in this book), his purpose isn't to provide a panacea, but to detail the routes to solutions that may be individually undertaken and adjusted, and which ultimately lead to success.
Chapters thus encourage reader note-taking, reflection, modifications, and insights particular to each person on the same journey. By designing his lessons specifically for those struggling with substance abuse, McCoy creates a purposeful primer that incorporates not just his belief system and personal experiences, but research and lessons learned from his clients.

Politics, suicide, and criminal activities are all covered in the course of a candid survey that is far broader than autobiography, including social and political insights. From how legal systems operate and how substance abusers fit into them to pivotal life-changing moments and survival lessons embedded in counterculture encounters, McCoy follows the course of his addiction and recovery with an attention to how his inherent love of drugs conflicted with the results of their ingestion.
There are startling insights here, from what made the twelve-step program impossible for him, and its misperceptions which are difficult to ignore, to taking proactive measures to remain clean and sober and free from incarceration, programs, or the need for drugs.
At each step, McCoy reassesses his life as it is pulled in different directions by different programs, purposes, and influences.

The result is a memoir that also serves as a blueprint for other addicts looking to reassess their motives, choices, and overall perceptions of life. While it is not a blueprint to be followed step by step, Pain, Failure, and Misery Are the Stepping Stones to Success offers an encouraging perspective and approach that assesses options for overcoming addiction, serving as an inspirational workbook for others on the same journey to a different life. - D. Donovan. Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

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