Knapp describes how she gradually became an alcoholic, drinking more and more, until she couldn't live without alcohol. She found drinking to be the most important relationship in her life; she loved how it made her feel, how it coped with her fears and worries. When family and friends spoke to her about her drinking, she made promises to them she couldn't keep. Finally one time while drunk she was carrying two children accross the street when she fell. She could have killed them. Three months later she checked into rehab and gave up drinking. She used the support of Alcoholics Anonymous to help her stay sober and to gradually learn how to love people, instead of alcohol. Her need for protection and for escape, which alcohol gave her, had to be replaced with an honest facing of problems and with social skills. This memoir also describes her struggling with anorexia.


Knapp was a high functioning alcoholic. Her public persona was healthy and sociable. Her drinking did not interfere with her work, but her personal life was a mess. She used drink to numb the pain, to put her to sleep. She led a double life, lying to everyone including herself about her problems. Like many alcoholics, she was a master of denial. "Denial," she writes, "is the disease of alcoholism." She was involved in destructive relationships and used alcohol as a reward for getting through the day, for a psychic retreat. Gradually she found that the more she drank, the less she felt protected. She wasn't solving problems or recognizing boundaries. She had no tolerance for frustration or anger. After "hitting bottom" she realized she wasn't drinking because she was unhappy, she was unhappy because she was drinking. She spent time in rehab and then went regularly to AA meetings where she found love and support from fellow alcoholics. Her stories from her own life and from those of other AA members are moving and thought-provoking.


Dial Press

Place Published

New York



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