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Leave the Light on


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About the Author

Jennifer Storm was born and raised near Allentown, PA and attended Northampton High School. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services and a Master's Degree in Organizational Management from The University of Phoenix. In August 2002, Ms. Storm joined Victim Witness Assistance Program as the organization's second Executive Director. Before joining VWAP, Ms. Storm was the first full-time director of the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, a nonprofit coalition dedicated to securing and defending fully inclusive civil rights for LGBT people in Pennsylvania. During her tenure at Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, Ms. Storm worked diligently on obtaining inclusive hate crime legislation.


Book Review by Suzanne K of "Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery" by Jennifer Storm. This is the second memoir by Jennifer Storm. Her first, Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America, depicted her haunting descent into addiction which occurred after she had been raped at age twelve. In Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery, Storm picks up where the first book left off. Even without reading her first memoir, readers will be captivated by Storm's account of life in recovery. Anyone who's been through treatment for addiction knows that recovery is a scary time. You worry about it when you're nearing the end of your treatment, and you worry constantly about it during the early days of your recovery. This happens regardless of what your drug or addictive behavior of choice is, how long you've been addicted before you seek and go through treatment, whether you've relapsed once or several times since treatment, who you are, where you live, how much money you have, how old you are, your sex, religious, political or any other type of affiliation. In short, recovery takes some getting used to.
And there's no better primer than reading Storm's tale of making it through the period of early recovery without losing her sanity. This is not to say that there weren't some tenuous moments. Whose recovery is smooth sailing, anyway? Not anyone that this writer has heard about. Truth to tell, however, Storm's account doesn't veer into details about protracted and numerous relapses. She does say that she did relapse at one point, but got back into treatment and subsequently was Keaable to maintain her sobriety. The fact that Storm survived her addiction and suicide attempt (she cut her wrists) is a testament to her underlying courage and determination to live. The memories of the rape, the guilt and shame and self-hatred that plagued her for years and she buried with alcohol and drugs took a lot of therapy and

Riding the Storm Out
Recovering lesbian describes her life in sobriety in Leave the Light On
By Liz Massey Many young adults hit a major turning point in their early 20s. For some, it stems from the reality of having to find that first job after college; for others, it's sparked by a realization that a relationship, or a career path, has turned out not to be all it seemed.
But for Jennifer Storm, age 22 arrived with a truth that rested on the edge of the razor she used to slash her wrists with during a suicide attempt: she was an alcoholic and drug addict and her life had become unmanageable. After 10 years of abusing alcohol and cocaine, Storm landed in a rehab facility after this desperate act and began a new chapter of her life.
'Rehab was the jolt that I needed to put it all into perspective, ' she said. 'It was absolutely critical it saved my life.'
Storm described the long, difficult road leading up to her stint in rehab in Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America, published in 2008. This year, she's back with a new memoir, Leave the Light On, which covers her post-rehab life, her early recovery experiences, and her emergence as a lesbian activist.
She said the impetus for this book came from feedback she received while as she toured the country several years ago promoting Blackout Girl.
'I had about 10 years of sobriety then, and people would ask me how I got to that point, ' she said. 'There are so many memoirs that cover the gritty details of addiction, and not nearly as many that talk about how to maintain sobriety.' Addiction began at age 12
Storm's latest book is unique in that it is one of the few recovery memoirs written by a young lesbian. Joe Amico, president of NALGAP: The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies, noted that he knew of almost no other autobiography that covered the same ground as Storm's.
'I am not aware of any o

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