Author(s): Liz Jamieson-Hastings
"The dressing gown was pink candlewick. Old brown vomit stains on the lapels tried to hide themselves in shame as I swept into the room, weaving my way towards the silver drinks tray with its Waterford crystal decanters of whisky and brandy. By the time I raised the decanter to toast the elite of Auckland, the dressing gown was flapping around my naked body like a spinnaker without its sheets."
That Liz Jamieson-Hastings is sane, sober and still standing is a miracle. At 21 she was a hopeless alcoholic; now she is a respected counsellor, decorated for her services to the community, which include substance abuse programmes in schools, prisons and even the US Navy.
Her inspirational story is one of privilege and social advantage preceding a spectacular fall from grace. Her battle against anorexia and alcohol should have killed her - her fight back to normality, only to watch her first husband succumb to cancer, should have sent her spiralling back into alcoholism. It didn't. She's still standing, and her amazing life exemplifies the incredible strength of the human spirit. Her lively, hard-hitting story includes strategies for fellow sufferers and their families.
First published March 2008.
Liz Jamieson-Hastings CNZM, JP works in schools and a variety of areas in the community throughout New Zealand, and lives with her husband on Waiheke Island. This is her first book.