The Open Mind: My Life, the Ronald Hampton Story
by Ronald Hampton

"This is my gift, not a documentary....Find your gift and you will find your piece of the puzzle in life and why you are living."

The author found his reason for living later in life. He was a slow learner in school and often disciplined physically by his mother. He once brought sleeping pills to school and shared them. To get needed credits to graduate, he joined the school band, pretending to play. A love of music took him into Greenwich Village where he met celebrities and heroin users. It was the age of acid trips, and he experimented. But alcohol was his chief drug until he was diagnosed with liver issues—not surprising since he and coworkers drank vodka every lunchtime. Serving in Vietnam gave him access to more drugs and exotic sex that dulled the reality of war. Back in the States, Hampton always had good money due to 30-plus years of seniority at his job. He could afford to buy drugs but kept getting evicted. He bunked at detox facilities, staying only until he could afford the next rental.

Hampton claims this book is all about trying to figure out what went wrong in his life. He hopes his life story will inspire others to seek help. Because “addiction is like a killer within,” no one can help a person unless they want to be helped. This confessional-style memoir is likely an attempt to cut what his church calls “soul ties” that bind an addict to the past. A reformed alcoholic needs to stay away from bars. So also must someone who has experienced deliverance by a higher power be willing to move on, forgive, and let go of those who have caused offenses. Kudos go to Hampton for his honesty and bravery with a touch of humor and braggadocio thrown in. Sharing this 99-page memoir with others, he offers the same hope he found in God.

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