Often it takes many tries to find out what level of support you need to navigate life without drinking as a way to cope with life and what framework of recovery works for you.
My guest today is Erica C. Barnett, the Seattle author of the bookQuitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse and Recovery.
Erica’s experience with drinking and quitting drinking illustrates that it often takes a lot of trying to know what works for you. And that being able to move from relying on drinking pretty heavily as your main coping mechanism to not drinking and being able to sustain that often takes a number of tries.
I loved my conversation with Erica and we covereda lotof ground.
We talked about the good and the bad in drinking, quitting drinking and life in recovery.
Plus Erica shared a ton about the ins and outs of the world of outpatient + inpatient treatment and detox facilities, which I knew very little about before our conversation.
In this episode, Erica and I chat about
How awesome it is that we’re now able (with a few years distance from quitting drinking) to laugh at ‘all of it’ (our drinking, the situations we got into, the things we screwed up, the times we tried to stop drinking and failed, our paths to sobriety and everything in between)
The rapid increase in women binge drinking and drinking daily during the 2020 quarantine and COVID pandemic and the relentless messaging in our society encouraging (and pressuring) women to drink everyday
How fucked up it is that our society first encourages and trivializes women’s reliance on wine as “cute” or “funny” and then blames women for becoming addicted to an addictive substance
Why despite the fact that alcohol use disorders are more common than opioid addiction and kill more people, alcohol is positioned as an almost entirely fun and harmless substance
Why relapse is more often than not a part of recovery yet relapse is treated as a personal failure rather than a near-inevitability
The differences between the many paths to recovery including cognitive behavioral therapy, 12 step programs, online alcohol-free groups, inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, medically supervised detox services, sober coaching and everything in between
The judgement surrounding addiction and how it can be harmful to recovering addicts.
The treatment industry and how it relies on repeat customers to keep it profitable and thriving - as well as Erica’s personal experiences (what worked and what didn’t) at various treatment centers
About Erica C. Barnett
Erica is a longtime political journalist and the author of a great book, Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse and Recovery. She founded and edits the website PublicCola.com, which covers local news and politics in Seattle.