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  • Writer's pictureFrederique Peeters


Author Sebastian Wocker standing in front of Waterstones with his new book, "The Joy of Addiction"
Author Sebastian Wocker

author of "the joy of addiction: confessions of a teenage wastrel," sebastian wocker, will be in the centre to talk about his new book on february 16th, 2023 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

sebastian's humour and honesty are just two of the reasons to visit the centre on the 16th of february and if you don't believe us then just check out what dame emma thompson had to say after reading basti's book:

'Like its author, this is funny, honest and in-your-face. A great and enlightening and helpful read for anyone who thinks: 'I only drink on weekends' makes them less of an addict. i include myself in that category.' — Dame Emma Thompson

and if the description of his book is any revelation, we are betting you will feel exactly the same way:

the joy of addiction is a stranger-than-fiction, tragicomedy about a teenager who hurtles into the abyss of drug and alcohol dependency. it is a true story with an unblinking insight into the mindset of an addict and an invaluable message of recovery. but why does a conscientious member of the 15th hampstead cub scouts, with six badges of merit on his scratchy little green jersey, turn into a no-good, thieving junkie? and can he ever be free from addiction, when its primary symptom is to convince the sufferer they don't have it?

so, we couldn't help ourselves and sent basti some questions in anticipation of the evening of february 16th.

what was the reason/inspiration behind writing your book?

I hurtled into the abyss of addiction, found recovery and felt it only fair to share that experience, strength and hope with others. if the book helps one addict get and stay clean, it has been worthwhile.

were there any periods during your addiction that stand out in memory?

too many to mention and not all of them got into the book. but i may share one or two corkers on the night.

what was your real turning point?

there were numerous rock bottoms, relapses and half-hearted attempts that led to my coming into recovery. but the most profound was when I lay there after a huge binge, like some dead stick insect at six in the morning thinking: 'this is it', I'm going to die; please god help me. then a cloud moved, the sun shone on my face — there was that rare window of opportunity and i decided there and then I really had no choice: I had to go to one of those ghastly 12 step meetings.

what has helped you stay on track?

12 step meetings, working and living by the spiritual principles of honesty, open mindedness and willingness, acceptance, surrender, positive peers — love and empathy shared with fellow recovering addicts: I'll elaborate on the night.

do you have any insights into the mindset of an addict?

oh yes, plenty. that's one of the main goals of The Joy of Addiction. to give family and friends a first hand insight into the mindset of the addict. one of them is glaringly obvious: 'i like this... i think i'll have some more... and some more... oh shit, where's the off-button?'

you are extremely funny in your delivery. did this sense of humour help you? has it always stayed with you?

well, another goal of the book is to 'laugh addicts into recovery' and/or give some light relief to friends and family members suffering the collateral damage of addiction. fortunately, recovery needn't be a somber affair. meetings can be a good laugh and i do believe that those addicts who can laugh at themselves and the absurdity of their using behaviours, stand a much better chance of getting and staying clean. part of working the 12 steps is to be able to look back at ones using without regret, shame or any negativity. yes it was tragic but it was also hilarious and it serves us well to embrace that.

'if you only read one book this year, you should really try reading a few more books, including Wocker's brilliant addiction memoir. you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wet your pants and wake up screaming. laugh out loud funny.' — Tony Parsons

and we believe, if you only come to one event this year, let it be an evening with sebastian wocker.

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