Amy Dresner is author of My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean and a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor for the online addiction and recovery magazine TheFix.com. She’s also freelanced for the Good Men Project, The Frisky, Refinery29, and has been a regular contributor to Addiction.com and PsychologyToday.com, where she has her own addiction blog.
What do I do best?
I’m extraordinarily self-effacingly honest and stupidly brave. I also think I have the ability to make even the darkest situations amusing because that’s usually the only way to survive them. I’m know that people like my writing because it’s raw. I dare put down on the page those mortifying situations or thoughts that most people are too ashamed to admit.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Resilience. I should be dead a hundred times over. My father says “I’m unbreakable”.
What are my aspirations?
Personally, I’d like buy a little house, fall in love and get married again. Also since the writing and promotion of the book, my routines of meditation and working out have sort of fallen by the wayside. I’d like to pick those up again.
Business-wise my dream is to have a NYT best selling book, possibly have my memoir adapted into a movie or TV series. I’d also love to do some public speaking, especially to young people about addiction. I’m still a comic at heart and I think young people hear a message better when it’s served with a side of humor. I believe addiction is a very serious issue but I also think you can talk about it in a way that isn’t preachy.
I’d like to write another book, of course. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder.
And down the road I’d like to get involved with doing something for the addicted and mentally ill homeless population. I’m very aware that I could have ended up like that but for the generosity and loyalty of friends and family. Even if it’s just a truck that they can shower in, get medical help, a hair cut, new clothes. I’d like to help facilitate those that are interested to get into treatment, get off the streets, get on any necessary meds, rebuild their lives.
My Biggest Success?
Writing and having my memoir, “My Fair Junkie” published! It has been a dream of mine for years to write a book and I am so incredibly proud that I finally did it. I’m also thrilled and quite blown away by the reviews.
My Most Challenging Moment?
After I lost everything and was in sober living, dirt poor, on Medi-Cal Disability and sweeping the streets for court-ordered community labor, I felt quite sorry for myself. But then I had this epiphany that all of it could be the best thing that ever happened to me if I changed my attitude, accepted responsibility, and looked for the lessons. I had no idea at that point I would write a book about it at all.
“The worst thing that happens to you can be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.” –Will Rogers
“Self-pity is the most destructive of all narcotics”. -- Sebastian Horsley
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” –Chuck Palahniuk
“If you had the nerve to live it you should have the nerve to write it.” – Jerry Stahl
“The greater the test, the greater the reward.”– my father, Hal Dresner
“The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs. –Joan Didion
“We read to know that we are not alone.” – CS Lewis
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My dad because he’s almost 80 and never stops writing. He’s always working on something. It’s incredible. Plus he’s one of the funniest men I’ve ever known (but yes I’m biased).
Jerry Stahl, Augusten Burroughs, and all those writers in recovery who keep churning out books without having to burn their lives to the ground again to get material.
My author friend Michael Xavier who put out two books while he was extremely ill. Amazing discipline. He’s also been a mentor and very supportive of my work over the years.
Mishka Shubaly, best selling Kindle author and friend, who believed in me years before I got a book deal
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I love London. I lived there for 6 months years ago. It’s such a cool city and I adore the Brits.
I enjoy visiting New York but the energy is too frenetic for me to live there. Plus I have a terrible sense of direction so I’m always walking the wrong way.
I love San Francisco for it’s hippie artsy vibe and crazy characters but it’s also where I first got strung out on meth 20 years so it has a bit of a shadow for me still.
But honestly, I’m a total homebody now that I’ve been sober for a while.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I’m not a big gadget person. Obviously as a writer, I’m very attached to my laptop. I like tinted moisturizer, my 80’s Playboy sunglasses, comfortable shoes and t-shirts that look like they’ve been dug out of dumpster. I’m addicted to this weird caffeinated tea called Yerba Mate. And I also love my phone so I can stay in touch with my recovery tribe, sponsor, close friends and parents.
My Current Passions?
My new mustachioed kitten, Colonel Puff Puff.
Connecting with other writers in recovery.
Dispelling shame and stigma around addiction
Seeing my book “My Fair Junkie” in bookstores!