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: How a Merchant Marine Officer Survived the Raging Storm of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

by Darryl Hagar

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4392-2269-0

A former Merchant Marine’s harrowing and ultimately inspiring tale of addiction, loss and spiritual redemption.

A native of Midcoast Maine, Hagar grew up in a home “full of happy memories” alongside four siblings and two doting parents. Then he hit his teens and discovered alcohol. The first time he got drunk, he felt “all warm inside, a little dizzy, and [he] started acting silly.” A few hours later, he woke up in a “dark room on the floor, vomiting.” From there, Hagar’s life spiraled downward faster than a sinking ship. Fond of booze and marijuana, he soon slipped easily into habitual cocaine use. At the same time, Hagar dedicated himself to the high seas, studying at the Maine Maritime Academy and sailing across the world on hulking supertankers. He served during two military conflicts and eventually made it to Asia. Meanwhile, he struggled to balance a promising career with burgeoning private strife. And what strife: Hagar visited prostitutes, became embroiled in more than a few brawls and in one bloody fight, swung around a loaded shotgun. Friends and family came in and out of his life, offering some consolation–in 1998, he decided to have a son with longtime lover, Jen, and Darryl Jr. was born a year later. But it was eventually Hagar who seized the captain’s wheel and pulled himself back on track. He fought his urges and turned to religion, taking his recovery one day at a time. “I just might be able to pull this off,” the author recalls thinking. “I might be able to help others get sober too.” Filled with illustrations and extensive personal documentation–including police reports and mugshots–the book isn’t easy to read, but the hope promised in the final chapters is reward enough. Hagar’s now a public speaker, and this book will likely help him reach a wider, appreciative audience.

A compelling account of painful addiction and steely resolve.