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S1E5. Addiction, relapse, and recovery

Reinvented | S1 | Erica C. Barnett | Addiction, relapse, and recovery


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


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