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Brian Pennie shouldn’t be alive today. His drug addiction was so bad that he was deemed too much of a risk for detox. Determined to confront his demons, he went cold turkey at home. Discovered in a pool of blood, it didn’t exactly go to plan, but that’s where his life truly began.

On 8 October 2013, he was finally clean after 15 years of chronic heroin addiction, and something extraordinary happened: the world suddenly became beautiful.

Free of the anxiety and fear that had always plagued him, Brian was given a second chance at life, and he devoured every minute of it. Bit by bit he rebuilt his world and began to share what he learned with others. In this incredibly honest and inspirational book, Brian shares the story of how he turned a seemingly hopeless existence into a rich and rewarding life, showing that change is always possible, no matter how stuck we feel.


‘The first book in 5 years I haven’t been able to put down’ – Jennifer Zamparelli, 2FM.

‘It’s a hopeful tale’ – Oliver Callan, The Ryan Tubridy Show, RTÉ Radio 1.

‘We really enjoyed the book, Brian is a tremendous writer. It’s going to be a really important book for a lot of people.’ – Dermot and Dave, Today FM

‘Brian’s book provides hope that lives can be turned around.’ – The Mail on Sunday

‘Brian Pennie's memoir tells the story of addiction, recovery and redemption’ – Patrick Freyne, The Irish Times


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Publication Date

March 2020




Paperback, 320 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books


By Brian Pennie

Availability Status


Brian Pennie is a writer, corporate speaker, mental health advocate and lecturer in Trinity College and University College Dublin. In 2017 he graduated with a degree in psychology, winning several awards, including a fully funded PhD scholarship in Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience.

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