March 11, 2024 – Before publishing her memoir, Tracy Viola gave an advanced manuscript to six of her friends. She printed and bound the copies at Staples and saw “Pretty Wrecked: Confessions of a Teen Addict and Her Road to Recovery” physically laid out in front of her for the first time. The book details Viola’s struggle with active drug and alcohol addiction in her teenage years and her journey to overcome it as a young adult. Viola had written scraps of the memoir through diary entries while she went through drug and alcohol addiction from ages 15 to 19, but she formally began her writing journey about a year ago when she was 47. She ended up reliving many experiences she’d buried internally through the process. 

She would sit alone in her office, put headphones on and visualize herself going through the motions of her memories, recording her voice retelling experiences in present tense, as if she was transported back in time. 

After finishing a recording, Viola transcribed it onto a Microsoft Word document but changed the tenses to past. 

“That’s one of the ways as a writer I found I was able to elicit such detail and such feeling, almost like you’re walking with me in this situation,” Viola said. 

“Pretty Wrecked” is the product of Viola’s consciousness telling her to share her story to inspire others in similar situations.