The last of my surmise is that Clarissa Dickson Wright is one of those whom folks in recovery call "a high-bottom drunk." She fell off of 20 stories but somehow hit hard on the eighth or tenth floor, so she didn't get hurt as badly as those who hurtle headlong all the way to the bottom. Good things that happened after she sobered up didn't simply fall into her lap nor did she create them from whole cloth. Always giving her credit for having the sense to seize opportunity when she stumbles upon it, some of those opportunities were dropped in her way by old friends from better days, friends who had always hoped for and (when the chance came) were quick to aid her recovery. Hats off to people like them and to Clarissa for giving credit where she knows it is due.
On a darker note, it seems to me as if Clarissa's 12-Step commitment to "rigorous personal honesty" is less than rigorous where matters other than alcohol are at issue. In Los Angeles,
". . . the three of us went to Nobu for dinner, where the Food Network had in error booked us seats at the sushi bar rather than at a table in the restaurant. ... I went to bat with a splendid tantrum in my best English vowels. A rather ordinary-looking man with stubble on his chin and unkempt hair came up and said we could have his table. On being seated Pat asked how we had got the table and I pointed out the man; ... her jaw dropped, since the man was none other than Robert de Niro, the owner of the restaurant. We thanked him profusely but . . . he wouldn't join us. De Niro had discovered and backed chef Matsuhisa, the creator of his new wave Japanese cuisine. There are now Nobu restaurants in New York, Paris, London, Aspen and even very bravely in Tokyo. I find his food incredibly exciting and whenever Pat offers to take me out to dinner in London I ask to go to Nobu."
There we see that TV star Clarissa can't bother being civil to "an ordinary-looking man with stubble on his chin and unkempt hair." But when that same man turns out to be Robert de Niro, Clarissa is ready, willing, and eager to kiss his butt from L.A. to Tokyo and back. Others will feel as they may but, personally, toadies make me hurl.