Choosing Life

One man’s journey through alcoholism and depression to wellness and self-discovery

Non-Fiction - Memoir
232 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2022
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Author Biography

Blue Andrews is a stay-at-home dad living across the lake from Seattle with his beautiful wife and four incredible children. Andrews' first career was in sales. He spent over fifteen years in the technology industry working for startups, some successful and some not, a mid-sized company, and IBM. He has a BA in Economics from the University of Washington and Certificates from Bellevue College in both Software Development and Database Development. Andrews grew up in Oregon and has also lived in Southern California and Atlanta as an adult. These days his favorite things to do are spending time with his family, exercising, listening to live music, and going on road trips.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Blue Andrews is a suicide survivor who managed to turn his life around. Choosing Life is a candid confession in which he details his descent into depression and alcoholism. He begins his story from his early junior year of high school in Kirkland, Washington. Once a high school football hero with a traditional Christian upbringing he degenerates due to losing belief in himself which causes him to lose his self-esteem. Questions arise in his mind about how the world measures a person's worth according to its particular standards. In 2010, he attempted to take his own life and came close to succeeding. He divides this book into two parts that he aptly entitles Up and Down. He wrote this book to assist him on the road toward healing and for those who care enough to listen.

As Blue Andrews says in his preface, stories like his are nothing new. Suicide is a global phenomenon that continues to plague society, and it commonly springs from depression. Even if Andrews’s story is familiar, it is still worth reading Choosing Life because every suicidal person’s circumstances are different. We can all learn something by increasing our awareness and helping those we know and hold dear who may be manifesting symptoms of depression and contemplating suicide. In this case, Andrews managed to figure himself out after making a careful assessment of his choices and decisions. He decided that he wanted to continue living, and his tale proves that we can help those who have a predisposition toward suicide. Andrews didn’t allow his life to end or fall apart because of things that were beyond his control. That is enough to inspire anyone to read about his triumph over torment.

Essien Asian

Blue Andrews just wanted to be accepted and live a normal life but that wasn't on the cards. A trip to a friend's party was the beginning of his descent into the chaos known as alcohol addiction. His dysfunctional family did not help matters much with his father paying no attention as his romance with the bottle blossomed. Years later as an adult, despite astronomical success in his chosen career, this did little to stem the tide, instead marking time for the drowning child within a man's body. Losing his anchors only served to accelerate the inevitable crash. Blue survived his battle with alcohol addiction, but at a steep cost. Choosing Life chronicles his spiral and ongoing resurrection.

Choosing Life is an alcoholic's guide to escaping alcoholism. Blue Andrews takes extra care when going into the details of his ordeal; he highlights certain low points in his life several times as if he wants you to note how those events influenced him. I found the role his father played in the origins of his problem particularly disturbing; no child should go through that. His account is clear and simple enough to follow and the warning signs he itemizes should be a helpful guide for others. I must warn you to keep tissues close when reading this as there are some very emotional sections in the book. This is an emotion-laden book with a thought-provoking message of encouragement to individuals dealing with not just alcohol addiction but any form of addiction. Blue Andrews shows us hope is ever present.

Jamie Michele

Choosing Life: One Man’s Journey Through Alcoholism and Depression to Wellness and Self-Discovery by Blue Andrews is a non-fiction memoir that takes a deep dive into the life of its author. Andrews begins with the backstory of his childhood and a move he resented his mother for when she and Andrews' father separated. Andrews was uprooted and felt lost, not entirely understanding what that truly meant until his mother is diagnosed with, and loses the battle against, breast cancer. Later, Andrews is back on his feet only to experience loss again, this time of his best friend and roommate, also to cancer. Andrews struggles to cope and turns to drink in an attempt to drown out his depression, even admitting to getting behind the wheel. He seeks psychiatric help but doesn't feel any specialists are a good fit. With his wife and children at home, Andrews loses hope completely. but he survives and gets treatment, and this is his story.

Choosing Life is a profoundly honest account of author Blue Andrews' experiences with displacement, loss, addiction, depression, suicide and recovery. There is a great deal of courage required to put oneself out there and it is commendable that Andrews has put his story on paper. From a literary standpoint, as someone who does not personally know or know of the author, even having experienced several of the same heartbreaking tragedies, I see Choosing Life as a wonderful legacy piece that future generations of Andrews' family will appreciate. It packages up slices of family history nicely and will also lend itself down the road as we learn more medically about the correlation between depression, alcoholism and genetics. I also think this book will be useful as a case study for professionals, or enjoyed by readers who have an interest in any of the aforementioned topics. Recommended.