A friend says with consistency, “I don’t know what I expected. I read the book and the movie totally messed it up and missed the point.”

I say with consistency, “I liked the movie. I didn’t read the book.”

I also say, “You do know what you expected. You expected, or at least you should expect by now, that you will not like any movie based upon a book that you read.”

It reminds me of some parents of adult peers. An expectation that if one peer can find a functional way to live life – and with the goal of success and joy of their choosing – then their adult peer child will do the same. I give a talk about my recovery journey, and there are times, maybe days later, maybe months later, where a parent attendee will say to me, “I don’t know what I expected. I hear all these huge success stories and my kid never gets any better.”

Don’t read the book. Or, read the book, enjoy it, and enjoy the movie as its own media entity.

Don’t attend peer presentations.  Or, attend peer presentations, and understand your child is a unique individual with their own symptoms, and accept that everyone has their own unique recovery journey.

My presentations aren’t meant as a motivational speaker “let’s fix your kid” seminar. What I want to convey is significant recovery is possible for some peers, and here’s my story.

I guess a bit of advice I can give to my movie-going friend and parents of adult peer children is “No expectations, no disappointments.” But that’s far too cynical and misanthropic for my liking.

So the real advice is remember the book is not the movie and the movie is not the book.

A much softer, allegorical approach in conversation with parents of adult peer children this is.

Oh, and unlike the book, I have my bad days, weeks, and months yet. Such is how the story goes.