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)
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From the Back Cover
On February 17, 1986, after years of addiction and self-destruction, Christopher Kennedy Lawford reached a turning point in his life, one that would mark the beginning of his long road to recovery. In his New York Times bestselling memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal, he chronicled his deep descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent hard-won journey back to sobriety, which he has maintained for more than twenty years. The Before and the After. But before and after what? What happened at that point in time to trigger the understanding within himself that he had to change? What finally forces any person to choose life over death?
The overwhelming response he received to his book impressed upon Lawford the number of people struggling to find their own way back from addiction and the need to share their stories. There was no easy way out for any of them. They all had to go through a moment of humility, vulnerability, and transformation and choose to take that first step of the journey. And each had their own intensely personal moment that signaled a Before and an After. The histories gathered here are the recollections of lives snatched back from the brink of a precipice so wide and deep it threatened to engulf them.
Every segment of society has been touched by addiction and its aftermath. Moments of Clarity collects stories from men and women, young and old, and across all barriers of celebrity, color, and class. Represented in these pages are the singer and the actress, the writer and the anchorman, the man from the movie screen and the woman who lives down the street. A myriad of different moments but all with the common understanding of where these men and women have been and where they must go. As they bravely share their stories, they shed light not only on their own experiences but also on the journey we all take as human beings, looking to make sense of our world.
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