Moments of Clarity


On February 17th, 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 the past 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 to choose to take that first step of the journey. 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. The stories collected here are from men and women, young and old, and they cross all barriers of celebrity, color and class. Represented in these pages are the singer and the astronaut, 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 they 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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3 Responses to “Moments of Clarity”

  1. I am facinated as to how you wrote a book on this subject. Personal transformation is an amazing phenomenon to say the least.

    Did you have to have every one who told their story sign a release?

  2. Dear “Chris,” I wanted 2 send a prolific letter 2 u but find myself tired & still wanting proper words…U do not know me, but pls suffice that I believe u represented the BEST of ur Uncle when u acknowledged ur Aunt Joan. Pls accept my condolence wholeheartedly, as I recently lost my Mother 2 cancer. How may I help further ur cause?

  3. Hello Mr. Lawford,
    Read your book a couple of times and have really enjoyed it. My daughter is a
    crystal meth addict, and has been in recovery for several years. (Safe Harbor, under Velvet’s amazing guidance) One of my son’s has had a pot issue and has struggled through the last ten years of his life. That has been my introduction to the world of addiction. I’ve been wanting to find a way to give back, and have started a web site and blog, I mentioned your book today and am looking forward to reading Symptoms of Withdrawal. Thank you, for your book gave me many new insights on what it takes for a person to find their moment of clarity. Cathy at

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