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Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life

by Emily Lynn Paulson

““In Highlight Real, Emily Paulson has given women—not just those who struggle with alcohol but all women—a true gift. It is a page-turning, starkly honest account of a beautiful-on-the-outside life that was in truth a collision course of self-destruction. Highlight Real is the rare memoir that should be considered an instant classic in the addiction recovery genre.” – Lisa Smith, recovery advocate, lawyer and award-winning, bestselling author of Girl Walks Out of a BarA music prodigy, head of her class, and well-liked in school, Emily Paulson decided early that embellishment paved the road to success. As she grew up, she figured out how to make the picture look even better – with a successful husband, five beautiful children, and all the required accompanying accoutrements.
Then along came social media, where those pictures of the perfect life grew her a following of women who believed that everything about Emily was blessed and inspiring. But behind the filtered façade was a reality filled with trauma, addiction, and dysfunctional behavior. From disordered eating to breaking the law and nearly destroying her marriage, Emily had been running from her own trauma for years. Living a life shot through with more self-destruction than she could track, Emily knew things had to change when she woke up one morning and realized that she was barely participating in the picture she had so carefully crafted.

Highlight Real: Finding Honesty and Recovery Behind the Filtered Life is the true story of what happens when a so-called perfect mother and businesswoman is forced to find reckoning with her past and build a future based on the authenticity she has always sought. Searingly honest, heartbreaking and packed with uncountable did-she-actually-just-say-that moments, Highlight Real is a memoir of healing as well as a fully modern look at what happens when the filters fall off and real life emerges into the light.”

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