David Sheff the father describes his and his family’s experience dealing with his son Nic who is addicted to the drug crystal methamphetamine. In telling his story David takes us down memory lane to the beginning of his life with his first wife who gives birth to his son Nic. From the beginning of the book I think that David blames himself for Nic’s addiction. Throughout the book David questions himself about some of the things that he did with Nic as a young child and when he was fully into his addiction.
Some key questions that came out was during the divorce proceedings was he being selfish in the fact that he wanted Nic to live with him or did he truly want this or was this just a way to get back at Nic’s mother because of the failure of their marriage. By his own admission and the fact that they had to let a court decide on who Nic would stay with I can only imagine that this was a very hard divorce for Nic to have to go through. Also in making this decision did David or Nic’s mother take into consideration what effect their fighting had on Nic?
When I was reading Beautiful Boy: a father’s journey into his son’s addiction, I was surprised to read that Nic had marijuana in his backpack. I felt that this was an important part of the story because it is Nic’s first introduction into drugs. Nic is unaware to the health problems that drugs will cause. When Nic purchases the marijuana he is completely oblivious to the problems that he is about to cause for himself and his family. Another point in the story that surprised me was when Nic says that he had
been using methamphetamine. I felt that this is important because it is Nic’s first use of the drug that nearly cost him his life. Nic’s choice to begin using this harmful drug is At this point in the story Nic illustrates the effects of using methamphetamine, “Ill, frail, and occasionally still rambling, he spends the next 3 days shivering as if feverish, curled up in bed, whimpering and crying. ” An occasion that I felt was crucial part of the story is Nic’s denial towards his addiction to methamphetamine.
Nic cannot disclaim his enslavement to methamphetamine because he has had to go to rehab on multiple occasions in which he later relapsed each time. felt that this is an important part of the story because if Nic realized that he was an addict he would have had to experience much less suffering. This lack of realization toward his sickness could have lead him to his undoing. Another meaningful part of the story is when Nic breaks into Vicki’s house. I believe this to be very important to the story because this impacts the trust between Nic and his family.
Another reason that this is an paramount part of the story is because when Nic steals from his mother’s house, I think that they may begin to realize that Nic may go to any expense to get the money he needs to purchase the drugs Another part of the story that I believe to be significant is when Nic, Vicki, and David and at the treatment center doing therapy. The part of the therapy that I found to be the most important is the art therapy. I believe the art therapy to be important because it allows each family member to completely show what they are feeling so the can work to get past it.
Nic’s drawing of the human heart that is connected to faces showing expressions of sorrow and rage represent Nic’s feelings about his experience about drugs. Vicki’s drawing of her on the balloon in the storm can be interpreted as her trying to get away from her problems with Nic. David’s painting is of a broken suitcase and a river with tributaries of tears. He also draws a the hole in his head from which the tears are coming from which represent pain, rage, and terror. The broken suitcase is spilling out David’s former self.
I believe that chapter 4 is one of the most important chapters. I think this because Nic is confronted about the marijuana, he admits to getting drunk on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe, and David and Karen have a talk with the teacher. That is why I think this is a significant In the book Beautiful Boy. One point in this chapter that I find to be significant is when Nic is confronted about the marijuana in his backpack. For example, his parents call him in for the first time out of many, for doing drugs: “Standing on the deck, I call to the boys.
They come over, Nic palming the ball, breathing hard… They look at the outstretched hand holding the marijuana. ”(53). I believe this is important because Jasper is seeing marijuana for the first time. They had no idea how big this was gonna get at the time. I believed this to be important because it is David’s first time that he has had to deal with Nic and drugs at all. Another point in this chapter that I found to have some significance is when Nic confesses to him and his friend from the city, Phillip getting drunk on a trip to Lake Tahoe.
“We got drunk. Once. Me and Philip. It was on the ski trip”(55). I found this to have some significance is because it is Nic’s first experience with any alcohol at all. Also, it is David’s first time to confront Nic about alcohol as a problem. The final part of the story that I found to have any importance is when Karen and David have a talk with the teacher of Nic’s 7th grade class. “I have noticed that Nic is being puylled by the students who the others see as cool… They’re the ones who sneak cigarettes and-I’m only guessing_probably smoke pot. They may.
But I don’t think you have to be overly concerned. It’s normal. Most kids try it”(57). I found this to be important because it is the first time that Karen and David Sheff get advice on the problem with Nic and drugs. What surprised me when I was reading this part of the chapter is was surprised when I read that the teacher said that it is just something that all kids go through. This surprised me because this lack of urgency caused Nic to begin his path of drugs to methamphetamine. Another chapter inn the story that I find significant is chapter 20.
When David suffers a brain hemorrhage. I found this to be of great importance to the story because his injury brings his family together when it is the most important I believe that this instant of family unity is astounding. Another reason that this is an important event in Nic’s life because if David were to pass away it would most likely end any hope of Nic’s recovery. This is because it is shown that Nic’s addiction to drugs is fueled by the pain of his parents divorce and the anger towards himself for continuing to abuse drugs. Also it shows how much his dad loves and misses him.
For example, when he is in the ICU David Sheff thinks,”Nic. Where is Nic? Where is Nic? Where is Nic? Where is Nic? I must call Nic”(239). David Sheff constantly thinks about Nic, but not as much as this. It effected me by telling me a description of what this poor man has been through with his “Beautiul Boy”, Nic. All the times he relapses, and taking him to rehab centers everywhere. Another example of David Sheff’s distress: the whole day he has been thinking about Nic’s phone number. Asking various nurses if he or she can call his son for him: “What is his telephone number?
Nic”(242). David Sheff is to distracted for even a mallet hitting his skull, to stop thinking about Nic. His whole life has been worrying about Nic ever since 7th grade. This has been about “a father’s journey through his son’s addiction”. It is a fascinating story, full of joy and misery. It will helps hundreds of others with their or a family members addiction. In the end, there will always be addicts and alcoholics, but there will always be a way to fix them, over a long time or short time, with your beautiful girl or boy.