John Seigenthaler, A Word on Words, NPT: “Folks, this is the craziest book I have ever read and I've read thousands. It is really funny. I laughed at her pathos and pain.”
David Wertheimer: M.S.W., M.DIV. — Seattle based psychotherapist, international lecturer, consultant and author. "Only when I'm High is not only funny but a work of remarkable power as it encourages other women (and men!) to identify the roles they have been assigned, the diagnoses they have been given, the oppression they experience and reject them all as they remake themselves on their own terms.”
Terry Huff, LCSW — Individual, Marriage, and Family Psychotherapy, Nashville, TN. "Only When I'm High is a memoir with a unique voice and paradoxical style. The voice of a Southern Belle, acknowledging the truths of her family, is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a naked Belle. Belles don't expose themselves and their families. And when they become liberated enough to do so, they pay a price. The narrator found her voice in a culture where women weren't supposed to have one. The consequence of finding her voice could have been a sad story. She experienced divorce, psychiatric hospitalization, and estrangement from her family. Sad would describe the fate of a true Belle, but Ms. Hamilton's defiant style and uncensored humor betrayed her roots.
Raised to be a Belle, paraded in pageants to be seen and not heard, the same life that made her crazy became the source of her liberation. It made her boldly oppositional. A dutiful husband helps her find a new home, a room with no view and an indefinite stay in a psychiatric hospital. The defiant patient, plausibly more normal than the doctors and administrator who capitalized on her illness, knew very well how to be at home in a dysfunctional family. She made her nest there and was comfortable confronting her confronters. The author, and former defiant patient, leaves the reader questioning who was really sick. The patient? The therapist? The administrator? The institution? The former spouse who took her there and found another lover?
The style of her writing parallels the style of her life, giving the reader more than a story. This book is an experience that can be felt in every paragraph. It is frenetic, introspective, self-effacing, irreverent and funny.
Rosemary's Southern Belle roots muffled her voice and amplified it, got her into trouble and got her out of it, shrunk her world and expanded it. She is far too bold, manic, assertive, liberal, self-deprecating and grandiose to be a true Belle. It is this paradox that makes the story attractive. It appeals to Southern Belles dying to be liberated and former Belles now living because they were.”
Thomas Manning, physicist — "Her book is an outstanding example of honesty, pain, and resolve that should inspire many. It has me. No doubt along the way her honesty has caused some to see themselves in a new light, others violently detesting what she has said, because she placed rumble strips on their runways. But what she writes is worth reading, whether the reader can accept reality or not."
Lacey Spivey, teacher — "I was amazed at how she combines the humor (black though it may be) and the pain. I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. I have read many books both profound and profane and never had those two emotions drawn out at the same time."
Maxx Silver, sales, North Dakota — "This book is a fantastic read, a great example of a person with the courage to be honest about her life. She invites the reader to take an intimate look at that emotional roller coaster we ride. Starting out with an obvious curse, that of being born a beauty, her early education was on the beauty pageant stage. It altered reality for her, affecting relations and eventually, marriage. Because of–or in spite of–her years in therapy, this heroine finds the answers to life on her own, discovering that what we have in common is much more interesting and beneficial than those things that divide us. Strangely enough, this book is not fiction. It is cold, hard life … stark reality … dealing with issues that can be found in any life, offering answers many of us are seeking. She has the ability to take you from crying one minute to laughing the next … but isn't that what life is?
You will love this book … and I suspect Troy Donahue did as well … even from the other side."
Al Martin, Manager, Stand up New York, New York, NY — “Rosemary is a comedian with heart. She writes it. She lives it. She performs it. Audiences love her."