I normally don’t read autobiographies because I’m obsessed with thriller and science fiction novels (hard to believe, I’m sure), but I recently “met” this author on Facebook and felt compelled to read his book, as he seemed like a kind-hearted and interesting person. It’s rare that I find someone I meet over social media intriguing and view as a potential friend. That’s likely because most of the messages I receive from strangers are spam or some bozo wanting to know if I’m single, but I digress. Andrew Mann’s life story, “Such Unfortunates” is not only gripping but heart-wrenching and inspiring.
Andrew’s life began in an upper-class town of Moorestown, New Jersey. His family had a million-dollar beach house, he attended college and even had the rare opportunity of driving a Ferrari around South Florida.
His life seemed normal on the outside, but the internal turmoil he was experiencing was a horrific ordeal.
Behind what seemed like an idyllic life was a nightmare of abuse, mental illness, and torment that no child should ever face. This led Andrew to suffer from pain, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
Searching for relief, he found solace in drugs and became quickly addicted to anything that would change the way he felt. His addiction to drugs took him to such extremes as working for the DEA while being high on drugs, multiple rehabs, jails, becoming homeless, and even to the point of being considered dead.
When all hope was lost, people he considers “angels” entered his life.
One person, in particular, refused to give up on him even when everyone told her this was the best option. Through her determination, he was able to find the strength to look inside and find the real reasons for his addiction.
Once he understood these reasons, he was finally able to figure out how to stay clean and successfully turned his life around.
I’d like to point out that being an artist is a very vulnerable pursuit. Even as a fiction writer, you are bearing a part of your soul to the world and opening yourself up to scrutiny. It’s as if to say “Here are my guts. Please rip them apart if you desire.” I think that quantifying your life story into written word and sharing it with everyone is one of the most vulnerable things an artist can do, and it takes courage. It also takes courage to speak about the atrocities you endured as a child and to heal and overcome them.
Andrew’s book will cause you to keep the pages turning as you wonder how anyone could have survived some of the things he did. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with addiction or who knows someone that is. Read it. You won’t regret it. Live long and continue to prosper, Andrew.