A Million Little Pieces
A Million Little Pieces is a partially-fabricated memoir by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a Twelve Steps-oriented treatment center.
from James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, John Murray (Publishers), London, 2003, ISBN 0-7195-6102-7
- I look at Hank and he nods and I nod and for a brief second I feel strong. Not strong enough to face myself, but strong enough to keep going.
- page 43
- More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to be close to someone. More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to feel as if I wasn't alone.
- page 80
- I don't believe she's in Heaven and I don't believe she's in a better place. She's dead and when we're dead, we're gone. There are no blinding lights, there is no happy music, there are no angels waiting to greet us. St. Peter is not at the Pearly Gates with a big fat fucking book, our friends and Realitives are not holding a seat for us at a divine dinner table, we do not get a tour of Heaven. We're dead and that is it. No more.
- page 82
- I don't want to be alone. I have never wanted to be alone. I fucking hate it. I hate that I have no one to talk to, I hate that I have no one to call, I hate that I have no one to hold my hand, hug me, tell me everything is going to be all right....I hate that I have no one to share my hopes and my dreams with, I hate that I have no longer have any hopes or dreams, I hate that I have no one to tell me to hold on, that I can find them again. I hate that when I scream, and I scream bloody murder, that I am screaming into emptiness. I hate that there is no one to hear my scream and that there is no one to help me learn how to stop screaming.
- page 79
- Where the fuck did they make you, Kid?
What's that mean?
Where does someone like you come from?
I've lived a lot of places.
Why do you care?
I don't want to make friends here.
I don't like good-byes.
You gotta say them though.
No, you don't.
- page 89
- Life is hard, Kid, you gotta be harder. You gotta take it on and fight for it and be a fucking man about how you live it. If you're too much of a pussy to do that, then maybe you should leave, 'cause you're dead already.
- page 107
- What I know is that I can trust his eyes because what lives in them, lives in me.
- page 108
- He starts to break and seeing him start to break makes me start to break and I don't want that. He steps forward and puts his arms around me and he hugs me and I hug him and it feels good and strong and pure and real. This is my Brother, my Blood, the only thing in this World created from which I am created from, the Person in this World who knows me best, the Person who would miss me most if I was gone. That he cared enough to come here and that he cares anough to nealy break in front of me means something, but in the end, I know that it means only so much.
- page 133
- ...he lost the most important thing a human being can lose, which was his dignity. I know a bit about the loss of dignity. I know that when you take away a man's dignity there is a hole, a deep black hole filled with despair, humiliation and self-hatred, filled with emptiness, shame and disgrace, filled with loss and isolation and Hell. It's a deep, dark, horrible fucking hole, and that hole is where people like me live our sad-ass, fucked-up, dignity-free, inhuman lives, and where we die, alone, miserable, wasted and forgotten.
- page 184
- As I said before Kid, you walk out of here, and I'm having you brought back. As many times as it takes, I will have you brought the fuck back. You can go ahead and test me on that if you want, but I suggest you no. The smart thing would be to take my advice. I may be a coke Addict and a fellow Patient and a Fuck-Up of the First Order, but I am giving you good advice. Be smart, be strong, be proud, live honorably and with dignity and just hold on.
- page 194
- In the face of surviving long enough to survive in the long term, there is no goal that comes to mind that means anything to me. I could write Survive, but I would rather hold that word in my heart than write it on some fucking board.
- page 199
- I don't want safety or support. I want there to be me and whatever I have to face, be it alcohol or drugs or something else. I want there to be a figth because I know how to fight. There will be a winner of that fight. If it's me, I walk away and I have beat the shit that I didn't think I could ever beat and I move on with my life. If it's not me, at least I get it over with.
- page 206
- I would like to be soft and warm. I would be terrified to be that way. I could be hurt if I were soft and warm. I could be hurt by something other than myself. It is harder to be soft than it is to be hard. I could be hurt by something other than myself.
- page 239
- I don't blame you for this and I don't think there's anything you could have done to stop it. I am what I am, which is an Alcoholic and a Drug Addict and a Criminal, and I am whats I am because I made myself so. You did the best you could with me, and you loved me the best you could, and that's all I could have ever asked for from you. I have no excuses for what I've done or for who I am or for what I put you though all these years.
- page 251
- Take the risk and do whatever you can do and try not to get caught. If you do get caught, do it again.
- page 284
- The Addicts and Alcoholics give straight, simple answers. We ask no questions. Unlike the Family Members, we already know the answers. We fuck up your lives. We ruin every single one of your days. We are your worst nightmare. You don't know what to do with us. You're at the end of your rope. You don't know what to do. You're at the end of your fucking rope. You don't know what to do.
- page 260
- Addiction is a decision. An individual wants something, whatever that something is, and makes a desicion to get it. Once they have it, they make a desicion to take it. If they take it too often, that process of decision making gets out of control, and if it gets far out of control, it becomes an addiction. At that point the decision is a difficult one to make, but it is still a decision. Do I or don't I. Am I going to take or am I not going to waste my life or am I going to say no and try and stay sober and be a decent Person. It is a decision. Each and every time. A decision. String enough of those decisions together and you set a course and you set a standard of living. Addict or human. Genetics do not make that call. They are just an excuse. They allow people to say it wasn't my fault I am genetically predisposed. It wasn't my fault I was programmed from day one. It wasn't my fault I didn't have any say in the matter. Bullshit. Fuck that bullshit. There is always a decision. Take responcibility for it. Addict or human. It's a fucking decision. Each and every time.
- page 291
- I think it's bullshit. People don't want to accept the responsibility for their own weakness so they place the blame on something that they're not responsible for, like a disease or genetics. As far as studies go, I could prove I was from Mars if you gave me enough time and enough resources.
- page 302
- Sometimes skulls are thick. Sometimes hearts are vacant. Sometimes words don't work.
- page 384
- All of us started out normal. All of us started out as functioning human beings with the potential to do almost anything we wanted, but somewhere along the paths of our lives we got lost. Though we are here at this Clinic trying to find our way back, we all know that most of us will never get there. Things like the fight allow us to dream, and take us away from here, and allow us to imagine what the normal World must be like and how normal people must live in it.
- page 332
- I don't know if I lost the courage to kill myself, or gained the strength not to, but I didn't do it. I kept living and drinking and doing drugs and fucking up. Eventually I ended up here.
- page 406
- It's when I'm standing six feet away from you and not being able to find the words to tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you that I want to just scream to the whole room that I’m still in love with you. It’s when I’m sitting alone with the phone in my hand dialing your number and hanging up that I would trade a thousand tomorrows for just one yesterday. Then I could just call you to tell you goodnight. It’s when I am really sad about something and need someone to talk to that I realize you’re the only one who really knew me at all. It’s when I cry myself to sleep at night and it hits me how much I would give to hold you at that very moment. It’s when I think about you that I realize no one else in the world is meant for me.
- I was weak and pathetic and I couldn't control myself. An explanation, especially a bullshit one, doesn't alter the circumstances. I need to change, I have to change, and at this point, change is my only option, unless I am ready to die. All that matters is that I make myself something else and someone else for the future.
- If you think you're making that choice, you're wrong. Your choices are made by the shit that controls you and the shit you can't quit. You walk out of here and that is going to kill you and that's fucking wrong.
Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe not my ass. How about walking back in and being a fucking man? How about walking back in and putting up a fucking fight? How about walking back in and doing what's decent and right and honorable and showing a little pride, just a little bit of fucking pride?