Monday, May 26, 2008

Annals of Addiction: Malcolm McDowell


From The Harder They Fall

"My father was an alcoholic, so I never really drank much. I kept away from it, but I didn't realize that cocaine was really the same thing. Alcohol eventually started getting a little out of control, but in the form of 'fine wine.' That was my excuse....

"So I didn't consider wine a problem, but cocaine was a problem, and that got out of hand quite fast. It had a very bad effect on my marriage. The lies and deceit and everything that goes with addiction. I went from snorting it occasionally to now smoking it, doing freebase. Doing as much as I could. Finish a batch at four in the morning. Driving around the San Fernando Valley looking for some more of it. Driving while completely stoned, of course. How I was never in an accident, I just don't know....

"The using ended because I went down to the Betty Ford Center.... I didn't thank God at the time time, however. I felt I'd lost a great friend or mistress, that I'd lost the one thing that I could totally trust--all that bullshit! It wasn't until I started to work on myself at Betty Ford, which is a wonderful place as is any place that gets you sober....And, of course, it's hard work, recovery. Less and less hard as the years have gone by, but you know, the way we live our lives is all recovery in one sense or another. We go through a shattering experience like that, and everything we do in life from then on is in a way influenced by what we've been through."

Excerpted from:
The Harder They Fall, by Gary Stromberg and Jane Merrill. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Photo Credit: MTV News

2 comments:

Katharine said...

That's a great book. A really great book.

Dirk Hanson said...

I particularly liked his description of the feeling that he was saying goodbye to an old, trusted friend. That's how twisted up the logic gets.

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