GOOD-BYE HANGOVERS, HELLO LIFE: Self Help For Women by Jean Kirkpatrick


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It's refreshing to read of someone who cured herself of alcoholism without benefit of Alcoholics Anonymous. But because Kirkpatrick is such an unusual person and her experience unique, one wonders if her story and her recommendations can truly help many women al. coholics. She was twice an alcohol abuser. Her first cure at age 30 came through A.A.; her second through her own lonely efforts. Her relapse into alcohol abuse resulted from an attempt, as an A.A. member, to help a male alcoholic. He promptly moved in with her against her wishes just as she was completing her Ph.D., and proceeded to turn her life into a Living Hell. She joined him in many years of almost steady drinking, interspersed with periods of unsuccessful treatment in psychiatric institutions. It was not until he committed suicide that she was able to start once more on the road to recovery. This time around, she found A.A. to be ""too male-oriented."" She finally developed a method of recovery that worked for her and evidentally for some others. (She is founder of Women for Sobriety, a self-help system using her own techniques for recovery.) Her prescription involves meditation, a high-protein diet with vitamin and mineral supplements, self-analysis to determine the reasons for drinking, and numerous techniques to overcome negative feelings common to female alcoholics (loneliness, guilt, self-loathing). It also involves getting out in the world and doing something purposeful. She opposes excessive consumption of sweets, tea and coffee--an A.A. mainstay--because they can result in yet another addiction. She also recommends a 28-day stay in a detoxification clinic (even though she managed without it). A self-help book that is exactly as labelled. Could be a big boost for female alcoholics (maybe some males, too) uncomfortable with A.A.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1986
Publisher: Atheneum