Erica C. Barnett is the author of Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery.
I speak with Erica about the cultural norms and social pressures behind her drinking, what she learned from each “failure” on the way to recovery, and how getting sober changed her life for the better.
1:00 – Social drinking vs. having a problem
2:30 – Are “addictive personalities” a real thing?
4:30 – The prevalence of alcohol use (and how it varies by region)
7:30 – When Erica realized that she had a problem
10:00 – Why sheer willpower and effort wasn’t enough to get sober
12:30 – Creating a new mental environment and healthier habits
15:00 – Learning from “failure” every time she tried to get sober
19:30 – Why there’s no single path to recovery and where Erica disagrees with the conventional wisdom on recovery
24:15 – CBT, mindfulness, therapy
27:00 – Sobriety vs. recovery and defining success for you
27:45 – How Erica’s life changed once she got sober
30:15 – Making amends… and why everyone should do it
34:00 – Additional benefits on friendship and relationships
35:45 – On whether Erica could have received the benefits without facing adversity
37:50 – When things started to get easier, building confidence, and returning to normal activities
40:30 – Possible next steps if you think you might need help
43:00 – How to help loved ones who are struggling with addiction
- Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery by Erica C. Barnett
- PubliCola, Erica’s blog on Seattle politics
- Erica’s on Twitter