Stumbling Home: Life Before and After That Last Drink (Paperback)
Carol Weis bares herself (sometimes literally) in her debut memoir, where she unveils her two lives, before and after, in a collection of alternating chapters that divulge her change. In those chapters, you'll meet a desperate young woman riddled with anger and fear from childhood trauma and an equally desperate sober, single mom struggling to push those feelings aside to care for her young daughter.
Like many who abuse alcohol, the author grew up in a world where feelings were never discussed and were typically resolved by drinking. Her mother was hospitalized with tuberculosis for 18 months when Carol was three, and being passed around from family to family left a tenacious fear of abandonment that persisted through her often reckless life. Alcohol was the salve that soothed the wound and hid her shame. And for 25 years it ruled over her actions, while she treaded her way through the chaos it created.
Starting off on the night of her last drink, Stumbling Home quickly reveals the author's love-hate relationship with the legal drug, then brings the reader along on the sundry adventures she takes under the influence, interspersed with the challenges she faces after she quits, ultimately, on her quest to reinvent herself and find out who she really is.
"What a remarkable journey to wholeness. Carol Weis has written a gem of a memoir, with unfettered commitment to detail, humanity, humor, and most of all: honesty. I couldn't put it down."
-Jennifer Pastiloff, bestselling author of On Being Human
"Painful, honest, humorous, beautiful, and so relatable. Carol Weis artfully transports us through the incredible journey of her life, its different phases both enmeshed with and stitched together by alcohol, whether it was her own drinking or someone else's. Her complete liberation from alcohol offers hope and inspiration."
-Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment
About the Author
Carol Weis, who became a writer when she got sober, has been an actor, teacher, professional cook and baker, to name but a few things she’s done. Her writing has appeared online in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon, AARP, Good Housekeeping, ESPN, the Independent, OZY, Cosmo, The Fix, Ravishly, Today’s Parent, The Manifest-Station, and numerous other venues, and has been read as commentary on NPR. She’s also the author of a Simon & Schuster picture book and a chapbook of poetry about her divorce. Carol is a Jersey girl who lives in Massachusetts. carolweis.com
“What a remarkable journey to wholeness. Carol Weis has written a gem of a memoir, with unfettered commitment to detail, humanity, humor, and most of all: honesty. I couldn’t put it down.” —Jennifer Pastiloff, bestselling author, On Being Human
“Painful, honest, humorous, beautiful, and so relatable. Carol Weis artfully transports us through the incredible journey of her life, its different phases both enmeshed with and stitched together by alcohol, whether it was her own drinking or someone else’s. Her complete liberation from alcohol offers hope and inspiration.” —Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment
“Carol Weis’s Stumbling Home is a story of recovery, a reckoning of the relationships that complicate it, and an examination of the years that brought her to that last flute of champagne. A welcome addition to the addiction canon, Weis’s vivid narrative illuminates the experience of navigating alcoholism and recovery as a woman with clarity and piercing details.”
—Erin Khar, author of Strung Out
“Frank, searing, and ultimately hopeful, Stumbling Home is a page-turning story of alcoholism, relationships, and hard-won healing. Any reader whose life has been impacted by addiction will see themselves in these pages. I certainly did.”
—Kristi Coulter, author of Nothing Good Can Come from This
“Bravely confronting the fears and the feelings that go along with addiction, recovery, and just being human, Stumbling Home will resonate with so many of us. Carol Weis inspires while reminding us that we are never alone.”
—Lisa F. Smith, author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar
“Raw and naked, Carol Weis’s Stumbling Home makes clear the connection between childhood trauma and substance use, plus adult dysfunction.” —Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol
“In frank, lyrical prose and a nonlinear structure, Weis draws seemingly paradoxic parallels between her own alcoholism and recovery, single motherhood, and childhood trauma. In so doing, she demonstrates the myriad ways in which the expectations put upon women and girls shape our shared experiences and cultural conceptions of femininity and what it means to exist in a woman’s body.”
—Amy Long, author of Codependence