DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — In the forthcoming memoir, “An Officer and A Junkie: From West Point to the Point of No Return” (ISBN: 0-7573-0639-6, HCI Books – $15.95 – March 2008) author and West Point graduate Michael Winder tells the powerful and fascinating true story of his drug-induced descent into literal madness – while serving as an officer in the United States Army. Winder offers readers a piercing glimpse into a world that few of us could ever imagine.
Winder’s autobiographical work offers a raw and uncensored look into the underbelly of substance abuse in two highly respected and rigorous academic and military environments: the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, and the United States Army. Readers experience a month-to-month account of Winder’s escalating abuse of prescription and illegal mind-altering substances – enough to eventually cloud his reality to the point where he came to believe he was the reincarnation of Mexican impressionist painter Frida Kahlo, and ultimately, The Messiah.
“I got to the point where I thought I was someone else. I was seeing things, hearing things, being tormented by voices that wanted me dead, literally being haunted by visions of blood and demons …some of the worst things that anyone could ever hear or see,” says Winder. “So although I suppose my story carries some voyeuristic interest, it is first and foremost a cautionary tale. I am deeply hopeful that reading about my experiences will help others avoid making some of the same mistakes I made.”
Winder’s story is brutally honest, intelligently written, and provides a wild, surreal, and raucous ride into the depths of hedonistic destruction. He describes a shocking and captivating drug-fueled existence that starts at West Point, continues as a commissioned Army officer, and doesn’t even stop him from being accepted to one of the country’s most prestigious law schools. But when the smoke finally clears, the terrible consequences of his excesses are revealed, and readers are permitted a rare glimpse into the horrible world of drug-induced psychosis. It is at the same time a sad story, a tale of warning, and a fascinating window into a dangerous and salacious world that thankfully most will never experience.
The West Point and military components are obviously unique to the story. In addition, the story has another significant component that separates itself from other books in its genre: it’s the first “documented memoir”. Unlike Basketball Diaries and other successful memoirs on addiction, “An Officer and A Junkie” actually includes source materials (e.g., officer evaluation reports, police reports, etc.) directly in the book. This lends a compelling realism to an already riveting tale of self-destruction and resurrection.
With episodic, straightforward narrative, Winder pulls no punches in his confessions of what he did (and did not do) both inside and outside military walls, revealing his innermost delusions and most shameful acts. He achieves his intent, namely to paint a revealing picture of how ruthless and insidious the disease of addiction can be.
Michael Winder is a speaker and writer and is in recovery from substance abuse. He resides in Westport, Connecticut.
Author website: www.michaelwinder.com
Video synopsis available at http://metacafe.com/watch/1078207/an_officer_and_a_junkie_synopsis/
Available online or in bookstores. To order directly from the publisher, contact:
Kim Weiss, (800) 851-9100 ext. 212, kimw @hcibooks.com, www.hci-online.com
Title: An Officer and A Junkie: From West Point to the Point of No Return
Author: Michael Winder
Publisher: HCI Books (Health Communications, Inc.)
Pubdate: March 2008
[tags]Health Communications Inc, HCI books[/tags]