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Before she succumbed to the ravages of manic depression in the 1990s, Alice Holstein had broken gender barriers as an Air Force Intelligence briefing officer during the Vietnam War, earned a doctorate in organization development and authored several books on system change and transpersonal psychology.

The 12 horrific years of suffering that followed are chronicled in her book “A Tough Grace: Mental Illness as a Spiritual Path.” Having redefined and rebuilt her life, she now works as a peer support specialist at the La Crosse Department of Veterans Affairs mental health clinic and is training to become a spiritual director.

Holstein will share her inspirational story during a special Campaign to Change Direction event from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market St. Cost to attend A Tough Grace: A Night with Author Alice Holstein is $10; to register, please visit or call 608-791-5295.

Holstein will be available to sign copies of her book after her talk. Deadline to register is Jan. 19.

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