Girl Walks Out of a Bar
by Lisa F. Smith


This is not an unusual story, but perhaps that is one of its strengths. It tells how Lisa Smith, a New York lawyer, became a high-functioning alcoholic, with an emphasis on “high”, who fooled not only colleagues but also family and friends about her reliance on drugs. However, after 10 years of addiction (mornings began with breakfast tipples and cocaine) she knew that if she didn’t stop, she would soon be dead: she was starting to excrete blood. So she took a week off work, on the pretext of needing a medical “procedure”, and checked in for a detox lockdown. Smith then backtracks to explain how she arrived at this low point, beginning with sneaking drinks, aged eight, at her parents’ parties and binge drinking while in her teens. Then came her blackout university years, a blink-and-it’s-over marriage, and waking up with strangers in her bed. Readers will come away understanding that “an addict is an addict”, whatever their vice.