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Book Smart Marian Keyes admits she still attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

The bestselling author hasn’t had a drop of drink for 28 years after suffering with alcoholism and depression in her 20s, which led to a stint in rehab.

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Irish novelist Marian Keyes. Picture by Mark Condren

Irish novelist Marian Keyes. Picture by Mark Condren

Irish novelist Marian Keyes. Picture by Mark Condren

Marian Keyes has admitted she still attends Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.

The bestselling author hasn’t had a drop of drink for 28 years after suffering with alcoholism and depression in her 20s, which led to a stint in rehab.

“I still go to meetings. That’s why I don’t relapse,” she told RTÉ.

“As a recovering addict, addiction is mainstream. It’s not something that happens in the shadows, on the margins of life. The numbers of people addicted to alcohol, gambling, tablets, illegal drugs, food, whatever, there’s an awful lot of it.”

Speaking ahead of the 25th anniversary release of Rachel’s Holiday, which focuses on the eponymous heroine, a cocaine addict whose family pays for her to go to a rehabilitation clinic in Dublin, which she claims she’s only agreed to because it’s time to have a holiday.

She said that attitudes towards addiction have changed drastically since the book was first released.

“Back then, addiction was something regarded as very shameful in a woman, and that it should be kept secret," says the bubbly novelist, who made her own alcoholism public when her writing career took off in the mid-Nineties," she explained.

“I was so naïve. And so grateful I was no longer in the prison of addiction. I never felt it was something to be ashamed of. It meant that when people read the book, they were able to be more compassionate with themselves.

“So many people have contacted me to say they’ve got clean or sober from reading it, they stopped thinking of it as a moral failing and began to see it as it is, which is a condition that the person has no control over.

“Maybe a lot of people were shocked, but I never shocked myself,” she added.

“Over the years, people have asked about film or TV adaptations and it’s never really happened. I knew that if I started getting excited about it, I’d end up disappointed.

"And I was right. All I can do is write my books and whatever happens happens.”

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