I have been in therapy since I was five years old. I have been sober for the last four years. I am 26 years old as I write this now. And my entire life’s modus operandi has been about perseverance. I was the kid who needed a therapist or a counselor at every play date. My parents didn’t think I would have a bar mitzvah or go to college. I didn’t have friends over in high school or even have a single play date in middle school. I did have a bar mitzvah, and I went to Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, where I received a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in philosophy. I was the addict who smoked weed for two nights in a row like a crack head and thought nobody understood me and nobody could understand me because I was different. I was unique. I had friends but it was all centered around drugs and alcohol. My life was a ball of fear trying to break free and hoping to get others to like me.
When I got sober, I took time off from college. After a year of sobriety, I had an out-of-body experience meditating in a shrine. When I returned to college and used my experience to fuel my studies, I started from the ground up in philosophy and cognitive neuroscience, and wrote a thesis on “Executive Qualia and their Relation to Mysticism.”
Now, with this book, I utilize my experience as an individual with autism and as an addict who is sober and in recovery, to give back to the world with this collection of poetry, to become vulnerable.
I thought vulnerability was a weakness. But in truth it is a strength. The truth is I might be different and unique in my own special way, as is everyone, but there are others like me. And I hope they are reading these words, and I ask them to please be vulnerable within the margins.
- Joshua Corwin 2020
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