Even after the wild success of his first memoir, “Running With Scissors,” in 2002, Augusten Burroughs is still plagued by catastrophe and drama. He has grappled with alcoholism, was sued by his foster family, flailed through a series of bad relationships and built a house only to see it destroyed by a flood. On the bright side, Burroughs continues to have plenty to write about. In his new book, “Lust and Wonder,” Burroughs chronicles his attempt, and spectacular failure, at having a normal life. He’ll chat about how that’s going — and his books — on Wednesday at Busboys and Poets.

How does your new memoir fit with your other books? 

It’s turned out to be the third book in a trilogy of memoirs. “Running With Scissors” describes my unusual life being raised by a crazy psychiatrist and how I get out of that. Then, lo and behold, I become a raging alcoholic in Manhattan working in advertising and then get sober, which is [2003’s] “Dry.” “Lust and Wonder” takes place during my sobriety, when I finally stopped drinking for good. I thought, once I dealt with my alcoholism, life should fall into place, but it didn’t. I made a lot of really bad choices when I was sober, choices that were just as bad as any I made when I was drunk.

What were the worst decisions you made while sober?

I was in a relationship for 10 years with someone I wasn’t compatible with. That was really difficult for me to write about, to be frank. It’s embarrassing, that I’d stay in a relationship with someone who was so obviously unhappy with me. That relationship, it should never have gone past a few dates. At the very longest, it should have stopped when we were walking back from the grocery store and I asked, “Are you as happy as I am?” and he said, “No, I’m not as happy as you are, no.” But I kept telling myself, “I can change. I can make him happy. He’ll learn to love me,” while, at the same time, adding another brick to the life that we built together.

Why did you stay in a bad relationship for so long?

It seems insane now, but at the time, I thought, “This is what normal people do.” I had such a weird, screwed-up childhood and then I was a raging alcoholic dating a crack addict from group therapy, so once I got sober, I decided, “I’m going to go and find someone who is very normal and sort of conservative and make it work.”

What finally made you realize it wasn’t going to work?

I realized that I was in love with someone else: Christopher, my literary agent. He had been there all along, but he was HIV-positive, and I was like, “Nope, not going there. I’ve lost someone to this disease before, and I’m not doing it again.” But how I felt about that changed. The fact is, he has been HIV-positive since the ’80s and has this incredible attitude about it. He’s a survivor, and that’s the one thing I value above all else. That’s something we have in common — we’re both survivors.

So is it happily ever for you and Christopher, and will that put a dent in your future writing?

My life has never really been “happily ever after.” I’ve always had conflict and disaster follow me around like a shadow, and I can’t really believe that will suddenly stop now that I’m happily living in Connecticut with three dogs. We’re just going to have to see. Sadie Dingfelder (Express)

Politics & Prose at Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW; Wed., 6:30 p.m., free.