Book published today proves alcoholics can recover and drink responsibly

From: Fame Publicity Services
Published: Mon May 30 2005

A NEW book "Phoenix in a Bottle" published today will prove that alcoholism is not a disease or illness, but a self-harming behaviour problem rooted in childhood, which alcoholics can correct and be able to drink responsibly again if and when they so wish.

The authors are former alcoholics Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald, a married couple from Ayrshire in Scotland.

Lilian and Murdoch’s lives were devastated by alcoholism, but they have now recovered so completely that they now not only lead normal lives again, but are also able to drink in a perfectly sociable manner once more.

That goes against the teaching of Alcoholics Anonymous, and of many alcoholism treatment centres throughout the world. But Lilian (61) and Murdoch (58) believe that lifelong sobriety is not the solution to alcoholism, as this only treats the symptoms and not the causes of the problem, and is merely a damage limitation exercise.

The couple argue that alcoholism, in common with other self-harming disorders like bulimia, anorexia and self-mutilation, often stems from problems experienced in childhood. And if these problems can be identified and properly addressed, then the problem behaviour can be cured.

Ten years ago the couple had hit rock bottom, sleeping rough for two weeks on the streets of Cambridge, where a quarter of a century previously as an undergraduate Murdoch had received an honours degree in English Literature at Magdalene College. They had moved to Cambridge from Ayr with the idea of Murdoch doing research for a doctorate, but had reverted to their old habits, started binge drinking, and been thrown out of their lodgings.

After a fortnight, and when they were just about at the end of their tether, two nurses on their way home after a Saturday night out took pity on Lilian and Murdoch, bought them a cup of tea and found them a place in a homeless hostel.

They spent the next twelve months there getting to the roots of their alcoholism. They tried AA one last time, before concluding that it was a quasi-religious cult whose ideas on alcoholism were inadequate and outdated.

Instead, by reading psychology, they decided that the causes of their alcoholic behaviour lay in problems experienced during childhood. And that once these problems were realised and addressed, there was no longer any need for escape through alcoholism, and they could even drink normally like other people again.

Ten years after selling newspapers from a stand in Market Square, Cambridge, so that he and Lilian could get back on their feet financially, Murdoch is now a freelance business and financial journalist, and also runs his own public relations consultancy.

And in order to pass on the benefits of their experience to others who still have problems with alcohol, the couple have written their book "Phoenix in a Bottle".

Eminent American addiction expert Dr Stanton Peele PhD has read the book, and commented:

"Phoenix in a Bottle is a modern version of The Days of Wine and Roses, and tells the true story of how two people who entered a period of desperate drinking stayed with one another in a close loving relationship, and emerged from their alcoholism able to drink responsibly again.

"Both a wonderful love story and a challenge to conventional wisdom about how people can recover from drinking problems, Phoenix in a Bottle gives people hope, and helps them to confront their own demons - alcohol or otherwise."

"Phoenix in a Bottle" by Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald is published today by Melrose Books price £16.99. It is available through good bookshops or online direct from the publishers by logging on to

It is also available from

ISBN: 1905226144

Web address to buy "Phoenix in a Bottle":

Lilian and Murdoch’s website:


Ross Hilton
Commissioning Editor
Melrose Books
St Thomas’ Place
ELY, Cambridgeshire
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1353 646608
Fax: +44 (0)1353 646602

Issued by Fame Publicity Services.

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