Title: 7 Years of Tears
Author: Cheryl Campbell
Publisher: Busybird Publishing
Year of Publication: 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the author
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At fourteen, Aidan had become quiet and withdrawn. He hung out late with an older group of boys and would return home with bloodshot eyes. Cheryl, his mother, questioned him and desperately wanted to believe him when he said nothing was wrong, but her worst fears were soon realised: Aidan was struggling with drug addiction.
Cheryl had to treat carefully. If she pushed Aidan too hard about getting help, he would storm out and disappear for days at a time. She became good at dodging conversations and storytelling, lying and crying behind closed doors. Aidan grew increasingly erratic and desperate, stealing from the family to feed his addiction. Just when Cheryl thought things couldn't get any worse, Aidan was struck down with a mystery illness that baffled doctors and almost cost Aidan the use of his hands and feet. Even after all that suffering Aidan returned to what he knew - drugs. His addiction spiralled out of control. Cheryl had to fend off drug dealers in the middle of the night. She knew she couldn't continue like this, weighed down by guilt, stress and hopelessness, but then Aidan made a life-changing decision regarding his future.
7 Years of Tears is the story of Cheryl's journey through her son's seven-year-long battle with addiction. It is a heart-wrenching memoir about a mother's unconditional love for her son and her determination to fight for his life.
Review:I'm not usually one to read memoirs and I don't tend to enjoy them much, but this was definitely an exception. Cheryl writes candidly about the experience of having a child on drugs. This memoir is very focused on her feelings and thought processes and her relationship with Aidan, and it makes for moving and compelling reading.
Cheryl's love for her son shines through the pages. Anyone going through similar within their own family will feel less alone for reading this book. Cheryl now works in a coaching capacity with mothers of drug addicts and the message here is very clear. She's been there, she got through it. You will too.
This is not a how-to guide to getting someone off drugs, it's simply Cheryl telling her story, in a real and engaging way, and if this is an issue that affects you, then check out her website, linked above.
I'm not giving this one a rating, as I don't think it's appropriate, but I do highly recommend it.