Symptoms of Withdrawal

Symptoms of WithdrawalBorn into enormous privilege as well as burdened by gut-wrenching family tragedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford now shares his life story, offering a rare glimpse into the private worlds of the rich and famous of both Washington politics and the Hollywood elite. A triumphantly inspiring memoir, the first from a Kennedy family member since Rose Kennedy’s 1974 autobiography, Lawford’s Symptoms of Withdrawal tells the bittersweet truth about life inside America’s greatest family legacy.

As the firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, sister to John F. Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford grew up with presidents and movie stars as close relatives and personal friends.

Lawford recalls Marilyn Monroe teaching him to dance the twist in his living room when he was still a toddler, being awakened late at night by his uncle Jack to hear him announce his candidacy for president, being perched atop a high-roller craps table in Las Vegas while Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack swapped jokes and threw dice, and other treasured memories of his youth as part of America’s royal family.

In spite of this seemingly idyllic childhood, Lawford’s early life was marked by the traumatic assassinations of his beloved uncles Jack and Bobby, and he soon succumbed to the burgeoning drug scene of the 1970s during his teen years. With compelling realism mixed with equal doses of self-deprecating wit, youthful bravado, and hard-earned humility, Symptoms of Withdrawal chronicles Lawford’s deep and long descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent formidable path back to the sobriety he has preserved for the past twenty years.

Symptoms of Withdrawal is a poignantly honest portrayal of Lawford’s life as a Kennedy, a journey overflowing with hilarious insider anecdotes, heartbreaking accounts of Lawford’s addictions to narcoticsas well as to celebrity and, ultimately, the redemption he found by asserting his own independence.

In this groundbreakingly courageous and exceptionally well-written memoir, Lawford steps forward to rise above the buried pain that first led to his addiction, and today lives mindfully by his time-tested mantra: “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Symptoms of Withdrawal keeps no secrets and is a compelling testament to the power of truth.


10 Responses to “Symptoms of Withdrawal”

  1. Hello Christopher, I would like to let you know that it was a great book and it really showed the true side of you and your family i would like to tell you how sad i feel that you and your sisters are without parents because i feel you pain but i lost my Mom & Dad very young and i just recently lost my younger Brother who like me he too was a fan of yours

  2. Hello Mr. Lawford, I finished your book this morning. I always looked forward to getting back to it and read. I was sad when I finished it because I just wanted it to go on. Your life, although very interesting to me because of your heritage, must have been something. You communicated all aspects of your life so well. It really made me understand how it must have been to be in your shoes…a member of the Kennedy family, and the son of a famous actor. You have been through so much, and it seems you have truly learned so much and are now giving back in a way that will only help our society…especially the younger people of this world.

    Is there any way you can send me a photograph? Thanks again for sharing so much with all of us.

  3. I really enjoyed your book!! Have you had any feedback from any of your family members about it? I was surprised that you did not know what DOM stood for at the end of one of your Dad’s notes. My male English relatives use that from time to time – it means “Dirty Old Man” – or so they tell me. Good luck!

  4. Dear Mr. Lawford,

    Just finished your book late last night. Very inspiring and honest. My mother died at 50 from alcoholism (I was in 2nd grade). Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. write another book on recovery, it is needed

  6. Mr. Lawford, I finished your book, Symptoms of Withdrawel yesterday, the same day Teddy passed away. I must say it made a profound impact on me. It was well written, insightful, interesting, and made me appreciate and understand the Kennedy family more. You did an excellent job, and I am sure your entire family is proud of you and the book. I felt a connection as well, as my family has a bit of fame to it that none of the grandkids will ever live up to, and we also have some functioning addicts. The book is helping me understand my brothers addictions, and will help me in helping him recover one day hopefully. I hope he finds the contentment in life you seem to have found, and I am so happy you are finally at peace with yourself. I look forward to your next book, and many more to come – keep up the good work.

  7. In recovery myself and able to identify on a smaller scale how the story of someone’s life can be interpreted and judged by others, I am happy to say it is the only book I have read regarding any Kennedy’s. I understand the value of telling one’s story and from hearing the story from the person who has lived it, rather than rumor and gossip.

    I am in the middle of the book and loving all of the honesty. Because it’s YOUR honesty, YOUR story… be told by no one else.

    Thank you so much for giving back.

  8. Mr. Lawford, your book is one that i couldn’t put down. It was very funny in some parts and sad on others. I love that you were close to your cousins as I am very close to mine also. Good luck in everything you do and hope your children look at you as we the public do, with admiration.

  9. […] fortune to sit with Larry King on his television show twice. The first time talking about my memoir Symptoms of Withdrawal for an hour and the second time talking with a panel talking about the disease of addiction. The […]

  10. […] fortune to sit with Larry King on his television show twice. The first time talking about my memoir Symptoms of Withdrawal for an hour and the second time talking with a panel talking about the disease of addiction. The […]

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