March 29, 2023
Dear Memoir Lovers,
I have got one hell of a book for you. Be prepared to feel all the feels with this one. Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, Stash: My Life in Hiding, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety. Page by page, she details her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol. I love how there is some distance between when Robbins’ addiction was in full swing and when her memoir was published. I truly enjoy following her on social media and seeing how joyful her life is now.
A huge thank you to the publisher for the gifted finished copy and to CAREBLACKAGE for all the gorgeous self-care products that not only amplify Black voices but highlight Black-owned brands.
Robbin’s daily life was an exhausting, infinite loop of chasing the “high” secretly. The lengths she went to stay high, all while crafting new ways to conceal her addiction, BLEW MY MIND. She gives us the ultimate peek into what it looks like to top off liquor bottles with water, hide Ambien in her designer shoes, and function as a wife, mother, and active member of society while under a dark stationary cloud of Ambien. I must add that Robbins took copious amounts of notes on the whereabouts of all her hidden pills, how much she drank, which liquor bottles were diluted with water and how much, and then some because she could not rely on her drug-fueled mind to recall this stuff in a time of need. Her maternal need to share custody of her kids with their father and keep taking pills was a brutal battle consumed with guilt and paranoia that broke my heart. Her anguish DOMINATED the pages, and it felt like she was being forced to solve a puzzle without any solution.
I did a combination of reading and listening to Stash. Listening to a memoir read by the author brings their story to life in the most authentic way and is always a win for me. Reading the physical copy allows me to highlight and take notes, which is very important. However, no matter how you devour this book (and believe me…you will devour it quickly), Robbins’ writing is profound— exposing her innermost thoughts with evocative imagery. She deep dives into a murky sea of survival with significant vulnerability. By sharing her story and trek to sobriety, she shines the light on race, privilege, and motherhood in the eyes of addiction. I can not urge you enough to read this memoir.
*I received an advance reader of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!
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