After years of alcoholism and self-doubt, Mal Duane transformed herself into an Alpha Chick.
Now the Framingham resident has a book and message to share with women trapped by addiction, depression and failed relationships.
On Feb. 14, Duane launched “Alpha Chick: Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power’’ as a “personal Valentine’’ to women in need.
“I want to help others learn how to call our authentic voices, which give much clearer, truthful guidance about how to live our lives,’’ she said in her Salem End Road home.
“Alpha Chick’’ has shown strong sales, achieving a ranking around 41,000 on Amazon.com, which tracks 10 million titles.
Part coming-of-age tale, part self-help manual, Duane’s memoir recounts a story that might be all too familiar to women conditioned to feel they’d failed to meet society’s expectations.
Growing up in Chestnut Hill as a 6-foot tall, 100-pound “beanpole’’ who attracted bullies, she began drinking early and developed a crippling lack of self-esteem that poisoned relationships and led to a failed marriage.
“The exterior looked good. Inside, I was emotionally hollow,’’ Duane recalled. “After my marriage failed, I started to spiral downward.’’
Though professionally successful, she saw a psychiatrist for depression but found herself mixing medication with alcohol, compounding her problems.
“My private life was a train wreck. I felt I had no choice or options,’’ Duane remembered. “I found myself in a very dark place. I started looking at death.’’
On that day, Dec. 30, 1989, Duane had an “epiphany’’ that ended her drinking and changed her life.
She recalled, “A voice in my head told me, ‘You are going to survive. You are going to turn your life around. You have lessons to learn. You will need to master those lessons and teach them to others.’’’
She joined Alcoholics Anonymous and has never relapsed. She began a regimen of daily meditation which provides the chance to “sit still, shut out the monkey mind that’s constantly chasing me and decompress.’’
In her living room next to a tile mosaic that reads “Strength to Endure,’’ she’s fashioned a domestic temple where she communicates with “a higher spirit’’ that has guided her toward confidence and self-esteem.
In 2007, she began “Alpha Chick,’’ working through four drafts, sometimes writing eight hours a day.
Self-published by Alpha Chick Press, the 276-page book is divided into a mostly autobiographical first part and the second part which outlines the “Five Steps of the Alpha Chick Process.’’
Duane described an Alpha Chick as “a spiritual being who has worked to deepen her connection with and faith in the Divine Presence within in order to meet life’s challenges with purpose and strength.’’
She seems an unlikely candidate for a retelling of how an “ugly duckling’’ became an “awakened woman.’’
She started and ran a successful real estate business, Mal Duane MetroWest, which merged with Keller Williams to become Keller Williams MetroWest. Several years ago, she married a psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Pearlman.
In memory of a relative, she formed Holly’s Fund, which provides funding for a school in Mali, Africa, that educates 100 girls a year.
Duane said her own growth from “lost soul’’ to empowered woman is “living proof’’ of the message of “Alpha Chick.’’
“No one would have wanted to be in my shoes 25 years ago,’’ she said.” That what I hope the book will do.’’
Mal Duane is a Certified Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome devastating life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships.
Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a#1 Best Seller Recovery Book in Canada and
#11 Best Seller Recovery Book in the USA, and is available on Amazon.com.