nic sheff

nic sheff.png

intro’d to Nic via Travis Lupick‘s tweet about Zachary’s article (while reading fighting for space and seeing beautiful boy trailers et al):

‘@nic_sheff & @david_sheff on ‘Beautiful Boy’ and Telling #Addiction Stories Responsibly’ “It wasn’t about wanting to have fun…I was using because I was in a lot of pain, and I was reaching out to the drugs to try and feel better.” By @zachwritesstuff.
Original Tweet:

The Sheffs are gifted writers. David was an accomplished journalist before he wrote Beautiful Boy, writing features forRolling Stone and the New York Times Magazine. His instinct to investigate and research blends well with Nic’s brutally honest and emotionally raw descent into meth and heroin addiction. The film carefully entangles their worlds, mired in uncertainty.

nic: And in a way that would show, at least the reality for me, which was about relapse. It wasn’t about wanting to have fun and partying. I was using because I was in a lot of pain, and I was reaching out to the drugs to try and feel better. That was the only way I had learned to cope.

cope ing

david: I feel like you should never shut the door on anybody. There’s a message hammered in, like it was to me, for parents and I think it’s dangerous.

no strings.. harm reduction et al

david:  In my book, I asked the guy who runs a program for people who are homeless in San Francisco about success rates, and he told me, “Success for us means they haven’t died.”..The treatment system was a mess then and it’s not a whole lot better now.

nic: When I saw the movie for the first time they basically said I could see it in anyway that I was comfortable. I asked to see it by myself with one guy friend. The two of us went together, and the point in the movie when the dad is explaining to his little son what “everything” means, at that moment, we suddenly looked at each other and just burst into tears. We cried from there until the end of the movie. Was definitely a bonding experience.

david: As a journalist, that got us to the next stage in writing about it. We were blindsided. We didn’t think it could ever happen to us. Now, I’ve learned that it can happen to anybody and that felt like an important message to communicate.

david: The movie is only open in a few cities so far, but people are feeling that their experience is affirmed, and that they’re not alone.

david: If a movie about not doing drugs is playing in their school, they’re not going to be listening. But to go see a movie because of this amazing actor, suddenly they’re open to a conversation about drugs and addiction, what it looks and what it means. It’s an amazing, and unfortunate, coincidence that this all came together.

nic: It’s so hard to get someone to ask for help and agree to go into treatment. To have them be at that point where they’re ready to do it, and not have it available is unconscionable. We need to be focusing on getting people help..t

imagining a deep enough help/healing – for 7bn .. ie: almaas holes law.. maté basic needs

costello screen/service law


taking him in here first

6 min from 2009 – Author of Tweak, Nic Sheff speaks at the Branson School in Marin


it wasn’t like i was trying to be cool or fit in.. i really felt so intensely about everything and so overwhelmed by world.. i felt to diff from everyone else and isolated and wanted to badly to be somebody else.. when i first started smoking/swinging? pot i didn’t hate myself so much.. things were enjoyable..i could shut my mind off.. i felt it was the thing that was going to save me.. it was medicine for me.. i felt like i needed..

but smoking all day everyday.. in hs.. i wasn’t getting that same relief.. so started seeking harder and harder drugs.. when i found crystal meth.. if i’d been searching for something that was it.. i had so not wanted to be myself.. but when i was on crystal i didn’t want to be anybody but myself.. it was such an awesome feeling to not be afraid and not feel so alone and not despise myself.. it was totally amazing..

i spent the next 5 or 6 yrs chasing that high

chasing the scream

but spiraled quickly.. found myself homeless.. stealing from everybody.. basically destroying every relationship i had

unauthorized home less ness

i hit a number of bottoms..  went into the detox.. and i really never wanted anything as much as i wanted to die.. i’d destroyed chance to write this book.. every relationship.. i had not a penny.. i was begging the nurses to let me die

4 min – sounds like a bright eyes song

then detox in n mexico a turning point.. started to think.. i do really hate myself.. and i am so uncomfortable in my own skin.. so how do i learn to live w that.. how do i learn to accept myself for who i am.. in some ways .. finishing the book was all part of that.. because it was like.. this is who i am.. i’m not going to pretend i don’t have problems or that i’m not scared or insecure

i’m going to lay it all out there and try to sit with it.. and something changed.. and things always change.. that’s what i’ve learned is that if i can just sit with stuff long enough.. it will change.. sitting with it has helped me move on..


he and his dad 2014 – hour long video – David Sheff & Nic Sheff – Preventable and Treatable: A Family Portrait- Family Action Network


32 min – up until that point i’d always felt uncomfortable in my own skin.. ugly.. everyone else around me seemed like they had it so together.. i didn’t feel that way at all.. i felt scared.. the world felt really big/overwhelming and i didn’t know what i was doing.. when i started smoking pot i felt i was able.. to sit w myself..  so i started smoking all the time

35 min – first time i did meth.. i felt like if i’d been breast fed on this i’d been fine

almaas holes law (somewhere he used the words – missing pieces – can’t find it now)

52 min – on people thinking he’s all better/great.. and i am lucky.. but the years i put myself thru have had a lasting impact.. ie: how to deal w disappointment.. sober in late 20s early 30s.. ie: writing for tv show .. then show gets cancelled.. i didn’t know how to deal with it.. thought i’d be homeless again.. my wife would leave me.. et al.. that’s not a normal reaction to a tv show getting cancelled.. so it sucks.. my family has to deal with that.. it’s ongoing..


2 min vdieo from 2018? – Addiction and Family – Nic Sheff


i think at first my parents felt embarrassed.. didn’t want to be judged.. so i think they felt absolutely alone also

it seems like this really shameful thing.. but almost every single person is touched by addiction in some way.. i think people really are a lot more open minded and non judgmental than we give them credit for being



then when parents where trying to get help for me.. they felt very much alone then too.. didn’t know where to send me.. who to trust..


he and his dad 50 min – colorado health – 18CHS – Thursday Keynote – David and Nic Sheff


38 min – first smoke.. that moment.. was the feeling i felt i’d been missing.. i’d had such anxiety.. scared.. uncomfortable in own skin.. felt like everyone else had this instruction manual.. smoking made me not care about that..

40 min – thru hs i kept reaching out to drugs and alcohol to make myself feel better.. i felt if i asked for help.. no one would understand.. no one would have a solution..

we have to go deeper w a solution.. band aids are better.. but still killers

43 min – first time i did meth.. it was the person i wanted to be.. at least i thought

47 min – i think the reason i kept relapsing..i never really had anyone take a look at the underlying issues going on w me..not till years later.. that dr’s diagnosed me w bi polar.. and started taking meds for that.. it really helped.. it wasn’t the perfect solution.. but

imagine if we go deep enough.. for 7bn people.. almaas holes law


pic with beautiful boy movie actor

Two of my favorite people in the world. Also we definitely didn’t plan this. Haha

Original Tweet:

trailer: []

movie named after David Sheff‘s book (beautiful boy):

nic’s books – tweak – and high – on hold at library – thanks library..

notes/quotes: tweak


1 min video on beautiful boy (film): []

i think being able to see both sides of addiction will save a lot of lives


find/follow Nic:

link twitter

Tweak, We All Fall Down, Schizo. TV & film. 13 Reasons Why, The Killing, Recovery Road