A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery

    • 3.9 • 46 Ratings
    • $10.99
    • $10.99

Publisher Description

"Barnett's prose style is brassy and cleareyed, with echoes of Anne Lamott." --Beth Macy, The New York Times Book Review

"Emotionally devastating and self-aware, this cautionary tale about substance abuse is a worthy heir to Cat Marnell's How to Murder Your Life." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A startlingly frank memoir of one woman's struggles with alcoholism and recovery, with essential new insights into addiction and treatment

Erica C. Barnett had her first sip of alcohol when she was thirteen, and she quickly developed a taste for drinking to oblivion with her friends. In her late twenties, her addiction became inescapable. Volatile relationships, blackouts, and unsuccessful stints in detox defined her life, with the vodka bottles she hid throughout her apartment and offices acting as both her tormentors and closest friends.

By the time she was in her late thirties, Erica Barnett had run the gauntlet of alcoholism. She had recovered and relapsed time and again, but after each new program or detox center would find herself far from rehabilitated. "Rock bottom," Barnett writes, "is a lie." It is always possible, she learned, to go lower than your lowest point. She found that the terms other alcoholics used to describe the trajectory of their addiction--"rock bottom" and "moment of clarity"--and the mottos touted by Alcoholics Anonymous, such as "let go and let God" and "you're only as sick as your secrets"--didn't correspond to her experience and could actually be detrimental.

With remarkably brave and vulnerable writing, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America, the rise of alcoholism in American women in the last century, and the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. At a time when opioid addiction is a national epidemic and one in twelve Americans suffers from alcohol abuse disorder, Quitter is essential reading for our age and an ultimately hopeful story of Barnett's own hard-fought path to sobriety.

Biographies & Memoirs
July 7
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

gerrastick4504 ,

Excellent read!

Excellent read!

Digjazzalot ,

When alcohol takes over your life, over and over again.

A great read by an excellent writer, a journalist caught in a dreadful cycle of alcohol abuse and relapse. Erica does the important (and credible) job of convincing us that a new lens on recovery and relapse is in order —- and she argues none of the effective methods it might take to get sober, are mutually exclude. They’re not.

In fact, it’s likely that a multi-disciplinary, multi-platformed (i.e., AA, cognitive therapy, *and medication therapy, etc.) approach is needed to slay this terrible dragon, but it’s a dragon each person has to face on their own — and to each, their dimensions are often entirely unique, but very much the same.

*not all those in the addiction space agree with the use of medication(s) to address addiction issues, something o learned from the book.

drshort23 ,

A painfully realistic story of the jagged path of relapse and recovery

I just finished this book. And the parallels between Erica’s story and what I’ve witnessed, and am currently experiencing with a family member, is striking.

Get them to go treatment. 30 days later all will be fixed!! Not so much.

To the family member or friend watching a loved one fail spectacularly over and over, it’s so easy to think “why doesn’t she just stop. Clearly this is ruining her life.” Ericas story describes just how easy it is to fall back even after multiple professional treatments.