Coming Clean: Diary of a painkiller addict

Hachette UK

'A brave, heartfelt and extraordinary book' Corinne Sweet, author of Overcoming Addiction, psychologist and broadcaster

What if the drugs that were meant to cure you slowly started to kill you?

After falling dangerously ill with acute-on-chronic pancreatitis, Cathryn Kemp left hospital with a repeat prescription for fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times stronger than heroin.

Within two years she was taking almost ten times the NHS maximum daily dose - all on prescription - and her life began to spiral out of control. Cathryn discovered she had just three months to live, unless she gave up the drug she clung to so desperately.

After selling everything she owned and checking into rehab, Cathryn was told by the doctors that recovery was highly unlikely. Yet to everyone's amazement, she proved them wrong.

Coming Clean is a poignant, vivid and honest memoir of a woman's struggle with, and subsequent victory over, her demons. It is a love story, a horror story, a survival story, and one that shows the very real dangers of the over-prescription of painkillers.

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About the author

Cathryn Kemp is a journalist and travel writer. She was a journalist for The People, News of the World, The Sunday Mirror and the Mirror for seven years before falling ill literally overnight in 2004. She has written several Lonely Planet books, including Romania and Moldov;, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; Eastern Europe, and Europe on a Shoestring.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette UK
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Published on
Feb 2, 2017
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780349415383
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Self-Help / Substance Abuse & Addictions / Alcohol
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Get cosy in front of the fire with this moving, heartwarming and inspiring true story. The perfect Christmas read!

*****

JAM BUTTIES AND A PAN OF SCOUSE is a gritty yet heart-warming memoir set against the backdrop of Liverpool's tightknit working-class docklands community. The story covers Maggie Clarke's upbringing in the tenements close to the docks, the River Mersey and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal: an area notorious for having the worst slums in Britain, yet the closest community as well.

At the tender age of 11, Maggie Clarke finds herself the matriarch of the family when her Irish mother runs off with another man. Leaving school at 14 to work at a local factory putting sticks into lollies, she is determined to make a better life for herself and her family - before starting her own family with her childhood sweetheart, who she marries at 19 after 'falling in the family way'. She has one night of married life with her husband before he is sent to India with the Navy and is devastated when she never hears from him again, presuming him a casualty of the war that is raging at home and abroad.

Another tragedy strikes when Maggie's brother Tommy is also claimed by the war, leaving her father inconsolable, but Maggie knows life has to go on and falls in love with Joseph, an Irish settler who she has 8 children with. But her happiness is short-lived as her first husband suddenly appears out of the blue demanding a divorce, and her new husband drinks away what little money they have, returning in fits of rage that leave Maggie and her children hungry and afraid. Many times she is only able to feed her brood by the kindness of neighbours putting a 'pan of scouse' on the range for her, or feeding her kids jam butties to help out.

Maggie's story sweeps across the changing face of Liverpool, from its squalid dock streets, the tenement blocks and cobbled roads to the decline of the docklands, new council housing, the rise of the Mersey beat, the Beatles and the energy and passion of a city that is home to a cast of colourful characters with the resilience to withstand the heartbreak and hardships that only the poorest can know.

A story of romance, love, family, friendship and laughter - the perfect read this Christmas!

We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.

This is PART 1 OF 3.


'We ain't got no drink, Pa.'
I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back.
'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!'
I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all.

Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe.

For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly.

The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home.

This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man.

And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.

This is PART 2 OF 3.


'We ain't got no drink, Pa.'
I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back.
'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!'
I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all.

Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe.

For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly.

The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home.

This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man.

And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.

This is PART 3 OF 3.


'We ain't got no drink, Pa.'
I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back.
'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!'
I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all.

Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe.

For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly.

The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home.

This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man.

And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

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