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Stash: My Life in Hiding

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“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.

ISBN-13: 9781668005330

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 03-07-2023

Pages: 288

Product Dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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

Read an 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.