Skip to Main Content

Stash

My Life in Hiding

LIST PRICE $27.99

About The Book

“An irresistibly delicious story.” —Holly Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author

A propulsive and vivid memoir—in the vein of Drinking: A Love Story and Somebody’s Daughter—about the journey to sobriety and self-love amidst addiction, privilege, racism, and self-sabotage from the host of the popular podcast The Only One in the Room.

After years of hiding her addiction from everyone—from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches—Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory.

She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take.

Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world. With its raw, finely crafted, and engaging prose, Stash is the story of just how badly the facade she created had to shatter before Laura could reconnect to her true self.

Excerpt

Prologue: Stash PROLOGUE Stash
For years I’ve prided myself on keeping it hidden.

I hide it in decoy pill bottles in our guest bathroom, I hide it in my coat pockets and my makeup bags. I hide it in the toes of my rain boots and two rows behind the vanilla extract in the kitchen cabinet. I keep copious, coded notes in journals and my Filofax, writing down dates and places. I keep the journals hidden in a rusty locked trunk in our attic.

Refill days are like the Fourth of July, or better yet, Christmas. The joy of driving out of the pharmacy parking lot with a full bottle! I sing along with Beyoncé or Gwen Stefani at the top of my lungs as I fly down Ventura Boulevard, smiling back at guys in their cars at stoplights.

Why not? Life is frickin’ dope right about now.

Got me lookin’ so crazy right now, your love’s got me lookin’ so crazy right now…

The moment just before I take the first one is always so sweet. I fish the bottle out of the bag and hold it lovingly in my hand before giving it a little shake.

The weight is good. Thank you, God.

I feel like the fact that I can tell how many pills are in a bottle just by weight is a rare skill set, but I’ve never quite figured out where it would be most useful—a carnival perhaps?

Give me a bottle, any bottle, and I’ll tell you how many pills are contained within.

I brace myself for the endorphin rush that I’ll get just after popping the childproof cap. It’s so instant and powerful that it reminds me of the brain freezes I used to get when eating snow cones too fast. At the same time, I am already fearing the moment my beloved bottle is empty again. And that moment seems to come sooner and sooner every time.

About The Author

Photograph by Cooper Urlich

Laura Cathcart Robbins is an author, freelance writer, speaker, and host of the popular podcast The Only One in the Room. She has been active for many years as a speaker and school trustee and is credited for creating The Buckley School’s nationally recognized committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Her recent articles in HuffPost and The Temper on the subjects of race, recovery, and divorce have garnered her worldwide acclaim. She is a 2022 TEDx Speaker, and an LA Moth StorySlam winner. Currently, she sits on the advisory boards of the San Diego Writer’s Festival and the Outliers HQ Podcast Festival. She lives in California. Follow her on Instagram @LauraCathcartRobbins and find out more at TheOnlyOnePod.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 7, 2023)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668005330

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

“Beyond being emotionally riveting, Stash ushers in a new way for us to talk and read about the paradoxes of addiction, race, family, class, and gender.”

Kiese Laymon, MacArthur Foundation 2022 Fellow and author of HeavyLong Division, and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

“An irresistibly delicious story you cannot stop feasting on, that will sit in your bones and write over your memory like it happened to you. You have to read this book.”

Holly Whittaker, New York Times bestselling author of Quit Like a Woman

“Robbins writes with unparalleled humor and compassion for everyone in her story, including herself, without glossing over the misdeeds that necessarily accompanied her addiction.  Readers will cheer Robbins as she slowly learns to trust others, and most triumphantly, trust the still, small voice inside her, urging her toward sobriety and freedom. Robbins' compelling story will inspire, awe, entertain, educate, and help so many readers.”

Christie Tate, New York Times bestselling author of Group

“The evolving Laura of Stash reveals herself to be at once loving, resentful, soft, spiky, generous, bitchy, big-hearted, petty... I rooted for her throughout. These apparent contradictions capture perfectly the shifting tectonic plates of personality that occur in a recovery done honestly - and done right. Brilliant."

Catherine Gray, bestselling author of The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

“I couldn’t put this book down! Stash is a page-turning story of secret addiction with equal doses of humor and pathos, taking us on a heart-racing ride towards recovery and redemption. This is memoir-writing at its best – revealing a hidden self with unabashed bravery. As a unicorn Black woman facing her demons against the backdrop of a high-end Hollywood life, Laura Cathcart Robbins has given us an iconic heroine, one we’ve never seen before. Lucky for us she decided to come clean.”

Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According to Fannie Davis

"Laura perfectly describes both the insatiable disease of addiction and the painful existence of living a lie. This is a book not just about saving your life from addiction but taking charge of your own happiness. Plus, Laura's wit and inner monologue are cleverly placed to connect us to her truth and journey."

Amber Valetta, supermodel, actress, and sustainability editor at Vogue UK

Stash is a marvel. In these pages I laughed, I cried, I fist-pumped in celebration. This debut proves that Laura is both beautifully human and a force. This is a must-read.”

Keah Brown, author of The Pretty One

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images