Turnabout by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
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This is the story of the founder of Women for Sobriety and her struggle to quit drinking.  After many stops and starts she finally found a way to lasting sobriety and the "New Life" Program.  It is a story you will never forget and it is one you will read many times.  (Barricade Book Edition)

REVIEWS - What Members Have to Say:

Mellowmom:  It was my bible when I first got sober.  It is still my bible when I want to see what Jean wrote about a certain issue, especially when I wish to bring up that issue as an online chat topic.  The first part of the book is Jean’s story.  She describes in detail how badly she felt physically and still continued to drink bottles and bottles of booze, for years and years.  Even now, I cannot believe how much and how long she drank, and then went on to put together the incredible program that is now our blueprint for life.  Her story gave me hope that I, too, could come out of the fog and have a full, fruitful life.  (And I have.)  The latter part of the book is the program itself.  It details the Statements and how to use them in your life.  Each statement comes with an exercise that I completed during the first weeks of sobriety, keeping a notebook to document each one.  Most exercises need to be done with a sheet of paper and a pen.  If I had doubts about wanting to quit, they disappeared after I completed the first exercise, which included trying to remember happy times while drinking.  Those had been long ago by the time I came to read this book.

Yogini:  Turnabout was the first book I read by Jean; and, at first, I didn’t think it would be helpful because her story was so much more extreme than mine.  It made me think, heck, compared to her, I don’t have a problem.  But it worked on me quietly--when I’d feel discouraged, I’d think about Jean and how much more she overcame and I’d think for Pete’s sake, if she could do it, surely I can!  And I love the latter part of the book in which she describes how she began to formulate the program.  Hmmm.... I haven’t read it for a while, maybe it’s time.  The happy times while drinking exercise—that’s a hoot!  Happy and drinking?  No way!

Ruth Ann:  The first recovery book I read was Sober for Good (http://www.wfscatalog.org/Sober-For-Good-by-Anne-M-Fletcher-MS-Registered-Dietitian-BK137.htm), which lead me to WFS.  The second book I read was Turnabout.  It opened a familiar door.  It was a biography of a woman’s struggle with addiction, and her plan to conquer it.  A story with a happy ending.  Although no history or experience is the same, her struggle is ours and her happy ending can be ours as well.

TeddyBear:  I keep my copy of Turnabout right by my bed.  It is an invaluable tool for walking the straight and narrow of sobriety.  Come to think of it, my path thus far has been one of chasing many rabbits (not so straight but oh so much fun) and have experienced some very wide paths involving choices that have allowed me to live a very fulfilling life (not so narrow).

LauraMM77:  I JUST finished rereading Turnabout, not 5 minutes ago!  I keep it by my bedside and look through it often.  I am lucky to own an autographed hardback copy in which Jean wrote “Best Wishes--hope this book changes your life”.  Whenever I open it, I think to myself “It did, Jean, IT DID!”

Sujoe:  Turnabout is on my bedside table, too, and I am reading it again.  Out of all the books that I have read on alcoholism, this I really identified with; especially with her feelings about needing something other than the program of AA, even though she had success with them years before.  The “New Life” Statements just seemed to make so much sense and tells us how we have to change.  Being in the United Kingdom, when I was in treatment, there was no mention of any self-help groups other than AA.  I even told my alcohol nurse and counsellors about WFS.  I am so grateful that I came across the WFS site on the internet.

SuzyQ:  Turnabout is the type of book that I can read at different points in my sobriety and its meaning will be different to me, depending on where I am.....fantastic book....I highly recommend it!

Dougal:  Turnabout was also the very first book I read about my addiction.  Jean says it’s a book about despair and hope.  It sure is.  How she managed to realize that women needed a program molded and premised differently from a man’s treatment program while she was struggling to keep her life together and stay sober just amazes me.  Jean was the very first one healed using her own program.  How cool is that?  She wanted us to not wait for life to happen to us; but, to change our lives and live it.  I hope one little quote from the preface is ok because I love it.  We should have “dreams with a deadline.”  She believed that we were entitled, ENTITLED, to have good, sober happy lives.  This book was very tough for me to read because it’s very graphic in what happens to her.  But we need to know what she went through in order to appreciate how she could develop such a “New Life” Program.  It’s not a sad book.  It’s a book full of hope and a program that helps you get to where you want to be.

Toots:  Turnabout is the first of Jean’s books that I read.  It came in the Beginner’s Special package (http://www.wfscatalog.org/Beginners-Special-Bundle-BDL104TURN.htm).  I read it straight through, from cover to cover, the first time, and have since gone back and reread it a few times, at a slower pace to absorb certain things more thoroughly.  My copy of Turnabout is filled with bookmarks and notations.  The chapters I refer to the most are:

Chapter 2 - where she discusses in depth the woman alcoholic

Chapter 4 - rationalizations we use and fears we face

Chapter 9 - The Program and diary exercises

Chapter 10 - comparisons of WFS & AA, and the 13 Statements in depth

Shirley:  Turnabout and Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life are two books I plan to reread every year.  One of my co-moderator’s suggested this to begin with.  Each reading gives me a different insight and I pick them up more than once a year.  As my sobriety grows, my outlook changes, and change brings different interpretations to what is important to me at that moment in time.

  • Item #: BK101

Turnabout by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

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