I just finished writing the first draft of my second book. I haven't talked about it much, it just is, and I weirdly assume that everyone around me knows of its existence.
So, what is it?
Sequel to Raised by Narcotics?
This book is about half the word count of Raised by Narcotics. If you were to take that book, and zoom in on my teen years, that's what this book is. A book about growing up in the opioid epidemic, and what that looked like for me while I was a teenager. An impressionable young girl/loner. But it's more than a memoir, although it is that too.
In some ways this book might be more important than the first one. Well, in different ways. I asked myself "Alyse, what do you wish you'd had when you were a teen?"
That question is much easier with retrospect. A question I can now answer in my 30's, but that was not a question I knew to ask as a teen, let alone answer, and that's the entire point.
I want to give teens a way to see their lives for what's actually happening, and give them some sense of control over what might feel like an inevitable fate inside of the opioid epidemic.
So, I wrote this new book. A much shorter book, and it's for teens.
I'm struggling with this one, though, because I wish it wasn't. This book really isn't for teens, or really shouldn't be. #facepalm
I can't undo what happened to me, and apparently I can't stop writing about it either. That's what trauma does to you. I just finished the second memoir I've ever written, and now I feel nervous and scared. Not nervous to have people read it, nervous that I won't know what to do with myself.
I've been coping with loss for nearly half of my life. Is this all I know?
The freshness of that grief is finally wearing off. It's been 8 years now since anyone has died, but I live in fear daily. It's not the last death I'll witness in my family. I wish I could control that, but because I can't, I write because I need to cope. I need to cope with not just my past, but my inevitable future as well. I need to cope daily because life is weird and makes no sense to me. It never has.
Can you imagine how scary that would be for a teenager to experience?
All of that instability? All of that worry, and wondering if what you have will still be there when you wake up in the morning? The anxiety, stress, and helplessness?
If you can, I'm so sorry for the life you've lived, but that's just it, right?
If you relate, you need help.
That's why I write. To give you what I never had. To give teens what I never had.
I deserved better. You deserve better now too.
It's easy to place blame, but the story isn't about blame anymore. It's not about who's doing wrong things, because I think everything is all wrong. It's all a mess. How can anyone think clearly through this mess and anxiety?
I dunno. We'll see how this turns out.
Sending it off to my editor tomorrow night. #crossyourfingers
This feels like an Instagram post: #opioidepidemic