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Manteca High grad inks book on her path to sobriety

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POSTED December 31, 2009 11:02 p.m.
Heather Castillo found therapy in writing.

A 1998 graduate of Manteca High, she recently completed her book, ‘I Now Pronounce You…Beer and Wife!’

Castillo, who also goes by Grant, is dealing with sobriety. Today, she considers herself quite fortunate just to tell of those adventures of being that same drunk girl who “performed graceful keg stands and cartwheels in miniskirts, crossed a freeway inebriated on foot.”

She had to confront painful and emotional issues in putting together the book, with the last few chapters being quite challenging.

“But it was crucial to the book,” Castillo said Thursday from her home in Sacramento. “(Those chapters) answered the question: What did I learn?”

In November, Castillo’s year-long effort was completed, with Kevis Sullivan of coachwriter.com publishing ‘I Now Pronounce You…Beer and Wife!’

 The book is priced at $14.95 and can be purchased online by clicking to her website, www.heathergrantsober.com.

“I did everything myself,” she said. “I did it without a job or money.”

Instead, Castillo had the support of those “50 people who believed in the book” and assistance from a freelance editor.

She also had to finish the project while dealing with some external issues.

Castillo was in a middle of custody battle for her son and received an eviction notice. She already lost her job, making it difficult to pay her utility bills.

“I was without electricity,” Castillo recalled.

Yet she got through it with the same determination used to deal with her battle with alcoholism.

“In writing those final chapters – it just flowed. As if it was meant to be,” said Castillo.

She grew up in Manteca, attending Shasta School and, of course, MHS. “I still have a lot of friends in town,” Castillo said.

She and her two siblings were raised by a single mom.

“We were poor,” Castillo said.

She wondered what contributed to her alcoholism. Was it the absence of her father? Or perhaps having the alcoholic stepfather?

Castillo noted her problems could be traced to her childhood. Once sober, she confronted her demons by putting everything into writing.

In time, she noticed that the volume of pages had turned into chapters. Castillo, who started the work in January 2008, was able to form a book from those pages.

The book, she said, is a memoir about “her adventures and her intimate relationship with alcohol and men.”

In the first three days of its release, Castillo sold 50 copies of ‘I Now Pronounce You…Beer and Wife!’

“I’m blessed to be able to share (my story) with the world,” she said.
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