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Moments of clarity : voices from the front lines of addiction and recovery
Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Adult Nonfiction HV5801 .L29 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The epiphanies in these engrossing oral histories, gathered by Lawford (Symptoms of Withdrawal), of addiction and recovery run the gamut, from bouts of raving trauma and degradation to subtle promptings from a still, small voice. Drummer Dallas Taylor's moment of clarity came when he stabbed himself in the stomach after freebasing with a homeless guy. For memoirist Susan Cheever, it was watching her daughter drink milk. For actor Richard Dreyfuss, it was realizing that the little girl who appeared to him in a vision at a cocaine-fueled orgy was his unborn daughter. Lawford (who is Peter Lawford's son and a Kennedy cousin) weights the selection of these confessionals toward entertainment-industry acquaintances who speak with a thick Hollywood accent (one of Jamie Lee Curtis's moments came when her Brazilian shaman called her on her pill-popping). For them, the 12-step recovery movement is more religion than therapy. The addicts' journeys uniformly proceed through a "surrender" of the will, prayer on bended knee and entry into the loving congregation of the meeting; their struggle is really a spiritual one to purge themselves of selfishness and egotism and connect with God, or "whatever." Well, religions spread for a reason: these laceratingly honest stories of depravity and redemption show how the 12-step creed addresses human failings. (Jan. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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