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I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can Paperback – October 3, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Spellbinding seems too mild a word." -Detroit Free Press
"Gordon's story rings with authenticity." -Washington Post
"Not only a frightening account of the tortured journey of her mind and soul, but a beautiful story that is filled with life and hope..." -Philadelphia Bulletin

"The observer, the journalist in Ms. Gordon, was never asleep. . .one sees that the book is a genuine offering: it hides nothing, yet is not exploitive." -- Jill Robinson, The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

I don't think anyone involved in the publication of my memoir, including myself, ever imagined the impact that it would have on readers around the world. One totally unexpected and delightful bit of fall-out from the book's success is that the phrase "I'm Dancing as fast as Can" has become part of the national vocabulary and is used by people in their daily conversations as well as in print to describe individuals, countries, even corporations struggling to perform delicate balancing acts of one sort or another.
My own story involved a battle over physician prescribed drugs and digging my way out of the hidden pot holes in what was laughingly called, our mental health system.
Today the world has changed and yet in a way it hasn't. While there are still those who are chronically dependent on drugs "sanitized" by virtue of having been prescribed by physicians, there are new medications with fewer side affects. More people are using other methods like yoga and jogging to reduce the stress and anxiety in their lives.
There is an issue that remains as crucial today as it was almost thirty years ago. the transformations that are constantly challenging women, we keep changing our skins, shedding fur like animals in the spring, spiraling, growing, assuming new roles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries; 1 edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825306302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825306303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the Age of the Quick Fix, the Age of Prozac and other mind potions. Barbara Gordon's story of her addiction to Valium and striving towards recovery is a classic in the literature of addiction. From a successful career as an award-winning documentary film maker, becoming famous and rich, to having a personal relationship with "Eric," who supposably was trying to take her off Valium cold turkey with disastrous results, Barbara Gordon paints an honest and painful a portrait of addiction as you will ever read. Once the most prescribed drugs for anxiety and "Nerves" in the world, it is now potentially one of the most addictive and dangerous to get off of after taking it for a long time. This book changed my life, for I was addicted to Valium, not ever imagining how it would change my life, mostly for the worse. Barbara Gordon's struggle was heroic and her getting off the drug, finding her bearings, and heading on the road to recovery make inspiring reading and a cautionary tale, that pills do not cure everything, that the human spirit can survive deep terrors. Many books on drug addiction have come and gone, written by professionals as well as laymen, but I know of none more powerful, none that face the fear with such total honesty as Barbara Gordon's book. It should never be out of print and anyone contemplating taking the drug path to lower anxiety should read this book and have second thoughts. Barbara Gordon, like many true survivors, takes her readers to hell and back, and show us that there is hope, even after a journey into into the deepest darkness of the psyche. Highly recommended. One of the best books ever written about drug addiction of any kind.
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Format: Paperback
Hidden within the pages of this intense and absorbing first person account, are sincere and serious warnings for everyone living in our therapeutic culture. It warns of the false solutions offered by therapists who rely too heavily on medication. It warns of the dangers of relying on experts to provide healing rather than on self-responsibility. It warns of the dangers of emotional repression instead of expression. But the greatest warning may be that we all need to build and maintain networks of supportive and sensitive family and friends. In the end Gordon credits this resource as contributing the most to her healing.
Honored for 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller's list, this book is the story of Barbara Gordon's anxiety-induced slide into Valium addiction, her ill-advised and dangerous "cold-turkey" withdrawal, the psychosis and hospitalizations that followed the withdrawal, and her slow, painful, and persistent pathway back to functioning. Readers may find the first half of the book to be a bit repetitive as Gordon chronicles her destructive relationship with Eric, but the pathos and honesty expressed in her fight back to sanity while at Greenwood Hospital is gripping and compelling.
I am aware that there have been changes in state licensing standards for therapists since this book was written. I am aware that there have been many significant advances in the study of brain biology since this book was written. I hope that the therapeutic "industry" may be credited with significant advance since Gordon endured this mistreatment. Nonetheless, I recommend this book. It speaks with a distinctive voice warning that we all - treated and untreated, patient and therapist - must take personal responsibility for our mental health within a supportive social context of family and friends.
No one should ever have to repeat the experience Barbara Gordon had.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has personally been going through an absolutely hellish withdrawal from Valium over the past two years, I was hoping this book would provide a relatable story, one of struggle, hope, and recovery. But this book is more like a 330 page cathartic tale of a privileged woman's struggle with her "inner demons" from a past that is not all that atypical or wrought with trauma. I wanted to shake her and tell her that her wild depersonalization and neurological symptoms were caused by VALIUM WITHDRAWAL, not by the fact that her father was unavailable or her mother was too involved in her life (cry me a river). She drifts along throughout this book, buying in to the absolute nonsense being fed to her by the same psychiatric industry that got her hooked on pills, took her off cold turkey, and eventually landed her in a mental hospital. I was about to rip my hair out at the descriptions of the back-and-forth dialogues with her therapist, repeating cliches like "you have to trust yourself to love," all the while she is spending her time boozing it up with her friends or living off coffee and cigarettes in the psych ward. When she has a horrible wave, probably caused by all the alcohol she is consuming (or the natural course of benzo withdrawal), she is told that it's caused by her fear of being alone or by her inability to "trust herself," whatever the heck that means. Give me a break.

The psychiatric community is in the dark ages in 2011 when is comes to the dangers of Valium and other benzodiazepines so I can only imagine what things were like 30+ years ago. For this reason, I do have a lot of sympathy for Barbara Gordon and what she went through. However, this book is completely outdated and not very helpful to someone struggling with this horrid affliction today.
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