WATCH – Drink in the inspiration –
Nov. 19, 2020 – Adam Chodak: The detox facility you initially went to was not a romanticized version of a detox facility, but it appeared to be the best fit for you at the time.
Lisa Smith: I totally agree with that. Detox was where I learned some humility about this whole thing. Like I’m not different than anyone else that has a substance abuse problem, no better, no worse and no one treated me other than a person who needed to get detoxed. I wasn’t getting a massage. I wasn’t getting great food or anything like that. It also showed me that if I ever went back, that’s the best I could hope for.
AC: You ended your week there and have stayed sober since. You’ve got AA meetings, but you didn’t need anything longer. How come?
LS: I always say that for me there were like 3 reasons why I’ve been fortunate enough not to relapse so far in 16 ½ years. One is that when I was in the hospital, it was the best thing for me, I got an actual correct mental health diagnosis and I got medication that worked first one I tried, both of those things are highly unusual so my brain chemistry caught up pretty quick. Second was I didn’t go back to a pile of wreckage. I had a job, I had supportive family and friends, I didn’t have to show up in court, I hadn’t been arrested. I got to go back and that was a huge help and, third, I was really really done. I was just exhausted and I was like you tell me what to do and I’ll do it.
AC: I think what was so impressive about your book was you didn’t just start when you started drinking, you took us back and said the roots of this existed in my childhood.
LS: I really believe that. I learned through talking to the psychiatrist with whom I spoke daily in the hospital I was in was that in the end of speaking to me for 4 days, he said, listen from everything I hear you have crossed the line from where you can drink safely, you’re going to have to not drink anymore, but I believe what you’ve been doing with drinking and with drugs is probably the same thing that when I go back to my childhood that I was doing as a child with eating. I believe you have a mental health disorder that has not been diagnosed or treated until now, I believe you have major depressive disorder and anxiety and you’ve been self-medicating since you were a kid with food then moved on to alcohol and drugs and now we’re going to address that chemical imbalance in your brain differently.