Lisa Smith was a bright, young lawyer at a prestigious firm in NYC in the early nineties when alcoholism started to take over her life. What was once a way of escaping her insecurity and negativity became a means of coping with the anxiety and stress of an impossible workload. Girl Walks Out of a Bar is Smith's darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story of her formative years, the decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery. Smith describes how her spiraling circumstances conspired with her predisposition to depression and self-medication, nurturing an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. Girl Walks Out of a Bar is a candid portrait of alcoholism through the lens of gritty New York realism. Beneath the façade of success lies the reality of addiction.
At the onset of this gripping memoir, Smith readies for another day in the fast-paced world of Manhattan law, but after a few glasses of wine and hits of cocaine, she has an unexpected epiphany: if she continues to abuse her body with drugs and alcohol, she is likely to wind up dead. After a decade of using, Smith makes an impromptu decision to call her doctor and ask for admission to a detox program; by the end of the day she's in a locked-down facility with a commitment to stay for a week. The following chapters review Smith's evolution from a sweet Jewish girl from New Jersey, prone to compulsive eating, to a legal marketer at a Midtown law firm, where she routinely drinks and takes drugs while turning in stellar work. Even her friends (a caring but party-hard group) and family are unaware of the extent of her problem. Smith openly shares the lies, secrecy, depression, and isolation that define a life only made "livable" by alcohol. Her raw depiction unveils the pressures of her job (20% of lawyers have substance abuse problems, she reports) as well as the personal costs of addiction, including divorce, ill health, and self-loathing. Readers will root for this extraordinary woman as she travels the path to recovery, healing, and triumph over addiction; her riveting story will inspire both those who have been there and those who have not.
Hard to put down.
Funny while posing the truth of addiction.
Behind the dark curtains …
Lisa gives us a view into the life of an addict, and she invites us into her circle of friends. As a former New Yorker, a woman in a high stress career, and a former hard parting type, Lisa’s story is familiar. There are nuggets of wisdom here that will benefit anyone who is trying to live a healthy life.