The Lost Years by Kristina Wandzilak & Constance Curry

The Lost Years

By Kristina Wandzilak & Constance Curry

  • Release Date: 2006-12-19
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 151 Ratings
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Kristina, the second of four children, begins by telling how a little sip of vodka sipped secretly at a party her parents were giving, started her on a pathway to addiction. In that instant, alcohol became her pathway to comfort. Over the next 8 years she sinks further into addiction moving on to cocaine and methamphetamines. In telling her story, she gives a brutally honest description of her addiction and crimes until she nearly dies on the floor of a homeless shelter completely alone at the age of 21.
Adding a heart-wrenching counterpart, to each chapter of the book, Kristina's mother, Connie, gives a parent’s picture of what was happening throughout her child's experience. She describes her powerlessness to help her addicted daughter, the break-up of her unhappy marriage and how she comes to terms with her own co-dependency. She also describes the worst decision a mother ever has to make: to turn her oldest daughter out of her house, sending her onto the streets, in order to protect herself and her other children.
Then follows the remarkable story of Kristina's recovery as she spends months in rehab, her mother's 'tough love' and the years of acclimating herself to living a normal life. Ultimately, she reclaims herself, her place in her family and a new and loving relationship with her mother.
The Lost Years is a beautifully written memoir of survival and transformation that reminds us all that so much good can come from so much that is bad.
Endorsements for The Lost Years
'The Lost Years is one of the most important books on family addiction and recovery that I have come across in years. It allows the readers a rare, simultaneous look into the hearts and minds of both the co-dependent and the addict. Kristina and her mother take us through the suffering, turmoil and destruction of addiction right on through to forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. This book is invaluable to families, and I am proud to recommend The Lost Years.' John Bradshaw, best-selling author of Healing the Shame That Binds You and Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, and one of the leading authorities on co-dependency and family recovery
'This is the most important book I have read this year. I couldn't put it down.' Anne Lamott, best-selling author of Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Rosie, All New People, and Blue Shoe
'This book touches on both sides of addiction … the side of the addict and that of the enabler. We found the openness and insight very touching and heartwarming. Addiction goes beyond description. You are absolutely helpless. We know, we have been there. The only 'cure' is honesty, as this book beautifully demonstrates. Until one is absolutely honest with oneself there is no hope for either the addict or the enabler.' Cheri and Pat Summerall, former American football player and legendary sportscaster for CBS, Fox, ESPN, and his wife
'It is tough, honest and gritty. This is a powerful and amazing book. I could not put it down.' Michael Pritchard, PBS host, motivational speaker and child advocate.
'This is the most extraordinary memoir I have ever read. Kristina and her mother, Constance, have written a wrenching, starkly honest and emotionally moving account of addiction and recovery. It is a deeply inspirational story of pain, loss, acceptance and survival.' Dr. Stephanie Brown, psychologist specializing in addiction/recovery


  • Amazing & Insightful

    By DLary
    I couldn’t put the book down! I can identify with Kristina’s Mom—I’m her, in so many ways! I know & live the struggle...I am praying that her strength will be my strength one day! Thank you, for telling your story!!! ♥️🙏🏻♥️
  • Interesting point of view

    By Ekoorb319
    I have watched Addicted many times and often wondered about Kristina's story. This book gives an inside look at the damage and destruction that addiction has on a family. Kristina's mother Connie voices her heartache and struggle right along with her daughters life that has been sucked up by addiction. It's helps to understand what a parent is thinking and hear the blame and sorrow while this is happening to their child. Fortunately, they are both strong willed women and were able to pick up he pieces of their life and move forward, working hard And not giving up. Kristina is able to understand the mind of an addict (because she was one) and get real with them during an intervention. I was sad to see recently that her husband committed suicide, such a tragedy.
  • Powerful!

    By sarahsissy
    As the mother of two recovering addicts I found much needed hope in this book.
  • Well worth reading...

    By campingdogs
    Anyone with a friend or relative with an addiction, or anyone who HAS an addition, should take the time to read this book. The author is a brave and resourceful woman who has taken action by assisting others to fight their way out of the trap just as she did. I cannot imagine having to go through what she...and countless others...have. I read the book through in one session...could'nt put it down!
  • Inspiring!

    By donna-mama
    As the mother of an adult child struggling with addiction, Kristina & Constance's story gives me hope and courage to face our family disease with strength & compassion. Thank you!
  • My helpful bible

    By Designmax
    As a mother currently going thru addiction with my oldest daughter I was asked by her father to read this book. He has bought one for himself and my daughter as well Reading it has been difficult, emotional and often made me cry. But as I watched the transition this family made it does give me some hope. I learned to empathize with Kristina and therefore came to accept more about what my own daughter has been going thru. As a mother I can relate to the pain and angst. I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from this disease and pray our story will turn out as theirs did I.