‘Finding Sarah’ part self-help, part memoir

Sarah Ferguson has had a hard time finding herself. Best known as the Duchess of York, former wife of England’s Prince Andrew, Ferguson has faced a lifetime of ups and downs, culminating with a recent disastrous encounter with a journalist who caught her in a sting where it seemed she was selling access to the Royal Family.

It would seem impossible for Ferguson to return to any kind of normal life after this explosion of bad press. But she has chosen a different path, embarking on her own journey to discover why she seemed so intent on destroying her own life. From this exploration comes her book, “Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey to Find Herself.”

Ferguson turned to Oprah Winfrey for advice on how to straighten out the mess her life had become, and through Winfrey’s connections was able to meet with such counselors and advisers as Dr. Phil, Susie Orman and Martha Beck. These professionals were brought in to help Ferguson find out why she had such low self-esteem and why she seemed to have such struggles with what should have been the perfect life.

Ferguson, writing in her own voice, shares with readers her background, growing up in a dysfunctional family deeply affected by her mother leaving. Ferguson grew up thinking she had been the cause of her own abandonment, and it would be those self-destructive thoughts that would follow her into adulthood, influencing her decisions in many ways.

Ferguson documents her journey to becoming healthier and more in control of her life throughout this book, sharing diary entries and uplifting notes from friends and family that buoyed her along the way. Her journey is also followed in the series “Finding Sarah” that is currently being shown on Oprah’s OWN Network.

Unlike others in crisis, Ferguson never turned to drugs and alcohol to solve her problems. Ferguson relied on food and questionable actions to get her through her bad times, and she found that this could be just as devastating as if she was addicted — and in a way she was addicted, as Dr. Phil would tell her — she was addicted to approval. It was this discovery that would turn Ferguson’s life around and start her back on her way to being happy.

Part self-help book, part memoir, “Finding Sarah” not only offers an insight into Sarah Ferguson as a person, it also gives readers who might be on the same path a glimpse of how they too can turn their lives around to find happiness and productivity in much the same way as the Duchess.

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