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Mark Matthews is a writer and loves to create stories in the genre of addiction horror.

“From an early age, books shaped who I was. Writers were heroes to emulate. I wanted to be Thoreau, I wanted to be Mark Twain. I wanted to be Jack Kerouac. There was something inside me that only stories could reach, music-only literature could play.

A similar reaction occurred when I had my first drink. The warm confidence, the blissful contentment. A union with God. All my curses lifted, all my deficits erased. It was love at first sip. Other drugs soon followed. I said “no” to nothing, “yes” to everything.”

You can read more about Mark’s recovery story and his work here and here.

Please welcome Mark Matthews for a return guest post. He has 25 years in recovery and is also a certified addictions counselor. Mark, is a gifted, engaging writer as well. He is now the author and contributing author of many well-received books, including Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, MILK-BLOOD, and Stray.

I am incredibly excited to announce that the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror has been released on Amazon. This is the second anthology of dark fiction I have edited, and the 6th book that features ‘addiction horror.

But why addiction horror?

Horror has the capacity to speak to trauma in a unique fashion. It’s a tone and technique as much as a genre. What better way to capture the epidemic of addiction, and the barren emotional and spiritual states that come with it, than through a work of horror.

Until you’ve had your mind and soul hijacked by addiction, it is difficult to comprehend. For, in the throes of a craving, the desire to obtain and use substances equals the life force for survival itself. Imagine yourself drowning and being told not to swim to the surface for air. Obsessions should be so mild.

As someone who has been in recovery for 25 years, and now works in the field of addiction treatment, it remains in my veins. When I pour out my heart, this is what spills upon the page. Writing about this is not a way to demonize the addict, but to have empathy for their burden

Through a fantastic list of diverse talents, Lullabies for Suffering aims to portray the affliction of addiction with honesty, empathy, and understanding. As Joe Hill so aptly noted, Horror isn’t about extreme sadism; it’s about extreme empathy. I should add that, as much as that term ‘trigger warning’ is overused, I feel it may be useful here. Some graphic depictions of drug use, as well as cutting, lie ahead, but always with an artful sense and bigger purpose.

The idea of addiction as not just a lullaby, but a lullaby for suffering, fits so well, for addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a nurturing parent. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmth of the womb. Nothing hurts and every dream is possible. But this dream turns into a terrible nightmare as the drugs turn on you and the suffering begins.

Hidden inside the hypnotizing tone of countless Lullabies for Suffering is something horrific that ends with tragedy for the child. When the bough breaks, the baby will fall and down will come baby.

The expression of love becomes one of terror. Sleep now loved one, but beware, for trouble awaits. It’s as if the lullaby is akin to the suffering of addiction that starts with such bliss but ends in fear.

Another theory about why lullabies so often end with such tragedy is that the darkness is not a message to the child at all. It is an avenue for the singer of the lullaby to express their fears at a time that is safe. We as parents send our child to sleep, in a near meditative state. It is at the safety of this moment that we express the inexpressible: our darkest and deepest fears. Then, with a child asleep and the singer unburdened, we are safe to move on.

These stories indeed include some of my darkest fears about the nature of substance abuse and its consequences. I do hope that it shines a light onto the unspoken fears of addiction and gives readers a deeper sense of understanding.

Upon closing the book, I hope readers can safely move on to a world free of such pain and suffering.

You can check out Lullabies for Suffering hereavailable in Kindle, Paperback, and Audiobook. 

Addiction HorrorMark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood, as well as the editor of Lullabies for Suffering and Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror. Matthews has run 13 marathons and has two running based books, The Jade Rabbit and Chasing the Dragon. He lives near Detroit with his wife and two daughters. Reach him at WickedRunPress@gmail.com

By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: How Addiction Horror is a Lullaby for Suffering
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/addiction-horror-lullaby-for-suiffering/
Published Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2020 19:53:57 +0000