Addictionland: Key Lessons from My Rollercoaster Ride to Freedom from Food, Drug, Alcohol, Cigarette and Unhealthy Relationship Addiction

In this memoir, an upper middle class girl voted best looking and most likely to succeed develops and overcomes multiple, life threatening addictions. Addicts struggling to get help because of the stigma of addiction will connect to these powerful vignettes.



modelAt the awkward age of eleven when my breasts were bumps instead of bodacious, I studied the models in Vogue and Elle magazine the same way a priest studies the scriptures. If there were articles of substance in the magazines, I didn’t read them. I was too obsessed with analyzing the women of perfection.

The flood of messages telling me I needed to be as beautiful, thin and exotic as these women compelled me to go to any length to control my weight. It was painful for me to compare my physique to the bodies of super models. My eyes darted back and forth from the thighs on the models to the thighs on my frame, and I hated myself for the difference. The girls in the magazine didn't have an ounce of fat on their bones. I squeezed my thigh.  My thigh resembled one of those turkey legs people devour at a county fair.

I memorized how Brooke Shields appeared in her Calvin Klein jeans. I fantasized what it would feel like to live inside her body. If only I had her hair or her eyes or her lips or her bushy eyebrows. If only I was thin like her. Life must be so easy for her. All the boys must want her. All the girls must want to be her. I will never be that skinny. I will never be that glamorous. I will never be enough.



I haven’t slept a wink. It’s 5 a.m.  A vast quantity of cocaine circulates in my bloodstream.  Birds chirp outside my window to wish me a good morning. I cover my ears. I have nothing to whistle about.

My party is over.  I am toxic-liver drunk. I am parched-mouth dry. I am buggy-eyed paranoid.  I am little-men-running-around-my-apartment delusional. I am hung over hard.

My friend dresses for work. She searches for her keys. She is sorry for leaving me. She will be fired if she doesn’t go. I wonder how she can be responsible at a time like this. 

How can she function?  I am barreled over by the reality of her departure. Oh my G-d, she is leaving me. What am I going to do? I am sick as a dog. Something is very wrong with me.



I know the need to take the edge off.  Things will never get better. Things will always be the same.  This is as good as it gets.

I know the self-talk.  I can stop whenever I want.  I’m not as bad as everyone else.  I don’t use every day. I have a job. I have a family.

I know the attempts to control.  I will cut down. I will cut back.  I will do less.

I know the impossible promises to keep. This will be the last time.  This will be the last one.  Never again, this is it!


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