Talking ‘Stash: My Life in Hiding’ with Laura Cathcart Robbins 

Podcasts, Sobriety

May 15, 2023

Laura Cathcart Robbins, the author of the excellent new quit lit memoir ‘Stash: My Life in Hiding’ joins me  today on the podcast. Laura’s story of recovery from a very secret and dangerous addiction is beautiful, heartbreaking, and brave. I’m so grateful she is here today to share it. 

Laura is a trailblazer in the Quit Lit space, as she is the first black author to release a high profile book on this topic. Let’s show the publishing world that we need more recovery stories from people of color by supporting this book – More stories like Laura’s need to be told! 

Get your copy of ‘Stash: My Life in Hiding’ here: https://amzn.to/3olXoBW (affiliated link)

Announcing the Sober Mom Life Cafe! For $15/month, join other sober moms inside the cafe for weekly meetings, bonus episodes, a Discord chat, a monthly book club and so much more! Learn all about it here: https://mykindofsweet.com/sober-mom-life-cafe/

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Talking ‘Stash: My Life in Hiding’ with Laura Cathcart Robbins

Suzanne (00:01.002)
I’m in Chicago, like on the North Shore of Chicago. Yeah. And you’re still in LA, right? OK. Yeah. You were?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:02.32)
Oh, you are in Chicago. Okay. I’m in LA, yeah, yeah. But I was born in Chicago. I was, my parents met at the University of Illinois.

Suzanne (00:14.266)
Okay, was that in the book? Okay, okay, because I do, I, yeah, I know. It’s like, where do you, yeah, like where do you start? Where do you stop, right? Oh my God, well, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:16.312)
No, it’s just too much.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:22.15)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:25.08)
Yeah, I might have actually put something like that in, but I don’t know. I don’t think it’s in the book. I don’t. Yeah. Remember. Yeah. Right.

Suzanne (00:31.614)
Okay, there’s a lot in, I’m sure it’s hard to keep track of too. You’re like, I don’t even know. Oh my God, Laura, thank you so much for coming on the Sober Mom Life podcast. Welcome. Yay, yes. You’re so welcome. Thanks for being here. I know, I was like, let’s just cut right to the point. Sober Mom Life, like that’s good. Anyone can search that. They can find us. That’s perfect.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:43.464)
This is the place for me, the Sober Mom Life Podcast. So thank you for having me.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (00:55.718)

Suzanne (00:59.478)
I’m so excited to talk about your book, Stash, My Life in Hiding. I have to tell you, so my best friend is also sober and she is, she’s a librarian, she’s like a bookstagrammer, she’s a very, like she reads insatiably, like just constantly. And recently my husband and I were in Palm Springs and she texted me and she was like, you have to read this book.

Suzanne (01:26.894)
right now. I was like, okay, well, I’m on vacation, so I’m going to listen to it. And I queued it up on my audible. And it was, you know, this, there’s a thing when I listen to books that something just happens, especially I was in Palm Springs for the first time, I was falling in love with the desert. And I had your book in my ear, as I was just exploring and walking and relaxing and waiting in the spa, you know, just so

Suzanne (01:54.57)
I was like falling in love with the desert and with you and your story all at the same time so it like elevated this experience for me and that’s why I reached out to you immediately. I was like I have to talk to you because it was it’s an incredible book and it was made even more incredible for me by that experience so thank you for that.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (02:14.512)
Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you for that. And thank your friend for recommending it. I’m so pleased. It’s, you know, this is how books gain traction is by word of mouth and people recommending them to their friends. And, you know, I can count the number of times I’ve had books recommended to me by my friends this year. And it’s been two.

Suzanne (02:28.125)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (02:42.524)
two people have recommended books to me this year. And so I take those recommendations very seriously. It’s like, OK, I need to go check this book out.

Suzanne (02:43.45)
Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Exactly. And like, it’s one of those things like when Katie speaks, I listen about books, like she knows books. And yo, totally.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (02:56.917)
Uh, yeah. You trust her.

Suzanne (03:02.102)
And she wasn’t wrong. I mean, your book is incredible. I think anyone listening to this, if you like Laura McCowen’s book, if you liked that, this is on that same level, but it’s also more special. Your book is really at the intersection of race, privilege, and addiction. And I heard you say when you were working on the book proposal, which I’m kind of in the middle of right now, which is like a

Laura Cathcart Robbins (03:04.94)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (03:24.314)

Suzanne (03:30.402)
beast and I’m like, oh my god, it’s horrible. The worst, and you have to find comps, right? So books that are comparable to yours, then you’re like, well, there’s not any. Yeah, yeah. Right, yeah, it needs to sell.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (03:33.064)
worst. Yes.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (03:42.964)
Mm-mm. And books that are comparable to mine that have done well, that’s the criteria, right? So that’s, yes, there are books that could be considered comparable to mine, but I needed something up. It’s a business, right? The publisher wants to know that they can sell it, so they want to see what else in this arena has sold, and then they can base their decision on that. And I just didn’t have any.

Suzanne (04:05.436)
Yeah. Yeah. And so what did that, what did you do with that? Did you say like, oh, holy shit, this is, it’s too much? Or was that like a challenge that you were like, no, I can take this on? I mean, obviously, you ended up taking it on wonderfully.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (04:23.308)
Yeah, I mean, I think that it was so much going on at the time. You know, I finished the manuscript, my agent was shopping it. It was summer of 2020. No, summer 2021. Summer 2021. And it was just like, I couldn’t believe, because I got the agent.

Suzanne (04:31.232)

Suzanne (04:41.186)
Mm. Okay.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (04:53.016)
um, through Holly Whitaker, who’s one of my absolute best friends. And she just, she read a few of my pages and then sent them to her agent who, on a Friday, who signed me then on Tuesday. So yeah, all of the kind of, you know, ramping up to get an agent, which is what I was doing, didn’t happen because it just happened like that. And then it was.

Suzanne (04:55.738)
Oh, love. Yeah. Oh my God. Amazing.

Suzanne (05:19.746)
Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (05:21.956)
you know, we’re bringing this out. I didn’t know how any of it worked. I didn’t know, you know, when I finally did meet with publishers, I thought I’d be pitching them my book. I didn’t realize that they wanted my book and they were pitching me, you know? Like I didn’t know the process. And so I was, you know, dismayed that I didn’t have comps, but I just hoped that the material itself would be strong enough.

Suzanne (05:36.006)
Right, yes. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Okay.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (05:51.868)
that I wouldn’t need them. I didn’t think about so much about the disparity. I was just really like, oh, I don’t have this element, but I wasn’t thinking about the unfairness of that element then. I didn’t think about that until later.

Suzanne (06:05.382)
OK. And when did that come into picture for you? When did that become clear that this story, that your story of a Black woman who is highly successful and married to this big time Hollywood executive, and it’s not the story that we’ve been told, right? And so when did that come into picture?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (06:29.35)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (06:32.133)

Suzanne (06:34.33)
Oh wait, this is, yeah, this, the disparity of it all.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (06:39.248)
You know, and you’re right, and thank you for bringing that up. It usually when we hear stories from women of color, particularly Latinx and black women, you know, those stories involve prostitution, homelessness, drug dens, you know, those types of things. And some of those stories are amazing. They’re thrilling. They’re fantastic. They’re deeply moving, but they’re not my story.

Suzanne (06:49.858)
Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (07:06.032)
You know, my story doesn’t include any of those things. And so what, when it started to pull into focus for me was during the pre-order campaign. And I’m looking at, like you mentioned Laura McCowen, who’s, we had the same pub day, March 7th. Yeah, and we’re both Laura’s and we actually did an event together because of that, which was fantastic. But I was just looking at,

Suzanne (07:21.53)
Yeah. You did. Oh wow. Oh good. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (07:34.524)
the roundups that were being written on the quit lit genre, which is the genre that I fall in, which is QUIT, like quit your job, and then literature, LIT. And I was like, wow, there are no black women in this category. Where are the black women? Because I wanted, I didn’t necessarily want me to be in there, but I thought I wanted to aspire to be in there.

Suzanne (07:48.106)
Yep. Right. You’re like, wait a second. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (08:04.412)
people that look like me in that category. And it’s all white women, you know, it just is. And, you know, my hope is that Stash, my life in hiding changes that game. And the only way that’ll happen though, is if people buy it, which is why I’m grateful to your friend for recommending it to you.

Suzanne (08:20.631)
Right. Yes. And like white women, white women, like we listen, that’s probably the most of my listenership. Like, and I have been since I finished your book, I have been like yelling it from the rooftops. I have a book club through my Patreon and our Facebook group. And I’m like, you guys, we’re doing this book, they know that you’re coming on here. And I’m like, yes, like this, I will continue.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (08:26.615)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (08:38.024)

Suzanne (08:48.898)
to just share this because, and that’s, it’s not because you’re black, but it’s because it’s an amazing story.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (08:57.48)
Thank you. And I think it could be both, right? Because there is a dearth. Yeah. There’s a void of these stories. I thirst for diversity in my reading. I don’t want to read one viewpoint all the time. One of my favorite books when I was really little was Golgol’s The Nose, one of my favorite stories rather. This is written by this Russian writer who

Suzanne (08:59.616)
Okay, good. Because I was like, how is that? Okay.

Suzanne (09:08.018)
Yes. Yes. Yeah. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (09:27.656)
but it spoke to me. It frightened me actually, but in a thrilling way. It moved me. I loved The Bluest Eye. I loved The Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I loved The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. Like I want a diversity of stories. So yes, please buy Stash My Life in Hiding because you think it’s a good story, but also buy it because it is a black woman story, because that’s important. And I’ll come to your book club, by the way, if you want me to.

Suzanne (09:32.232)
Yeah, they moved you, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my god, good. Because I-

Laura Cathcart Robbins (09:57.19)

Suzanne (09:57.662)
Of course I do. I was going to ask you. I’m bad at asking for things like that. Oh, good. OK, well, why don’t you just tell us about the book. For those who have not yet read it, what’s your kind of synopsis of it?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:00.173)
Yeah, I totally will.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:08.67)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:15.076)
So as many times as I’ve done this, I still don’t think I’m very good at it, but it’s hard.

Suzanne (10:19.2)
It’s so hard. Like I hate, I hate all of it. I hate bios. I hate synopsis. I’m like, I don’t have time to tell you in five minutes. Can I tell you in an hour? Because like it’s too much. Yeah. Right. Well, because there is a through line romance in there that I have to tell you just before you jump into this. I was like.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:23.533)
Yeah. Yes.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:28.512)
Right, right. And I don’t want to give too much away, but I want to make you know, it’s so it is hard, but just just

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:38.212)

Suzanne (10:43.026)
I think I was probably halfway through. And I was like, I can’t wait. I cannot wait any longer. I’m going on her Instagram, and I’m seeing what happened, because I need to know, because the little seeds are there, but I don’t know yet. And then I was like, OK, good. And I knew the ending. I’m not going to spoil it. But I was like, oh, thank God, because I really wanted that to happen. And yeah, so there is some, yeah, there is the romance thread and the mystery kind of, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (10:57.164)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (11:03.708)
Oh, that’s so sweet. That’s so sweet. Yes. Mm hmm. And thank you for that. I’ll let him know that that was relieving.

Suzanne (11:16.655)
Oh my god, yes! And I texted Katie and I was like, oh I’m so glad that she’s like, I know me too, I didn’t want to spoil it for you, but I’m so glad! Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (11:26.14)
That’s awesome. So the book is about a 10 month period in my life during the year 2008. And during that time, in the beginning of the book, I’m looking at ending my marriage. I’ve had a medical emergency that kind of prompts me to either end my drug abuse or my marriage. And I decide to look at the marriage and look at ending that.

Suzanne (11:49.947)
Mm-hmm. That definitely comes across too. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (11:54.632)
I have two boys that are little at that time and they are the loves of my life. They are still the loves of my life. Yeah, yeah. I mean, just like anything, anything, anything for them except for I had this addiction that was getting in the way of me doing anything, anything, anything for them. And that was, it was in direct conflict with my maternal instinct, which told me to do

Suzanne (12:16.252)
Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (12:22.992)
you know, nothing but protect them. And I was in a leadership position at my kid’s school. I was the parent association president. I had just been asked to join the board. And like you mentioned before, I lived this fairly high profile life in Hollywood. And on the outside, I looked like I had it down. Like it was admirable. Like I was…

Suzanne (12:48.865)
Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (12:52.048)
you know, throwing dinner parties, attending premieres, working out, playing tennis with the girls and still like picking up my kids and looking like the perfect mom, but I was just dying inside. And, and really at the end, all I was waiting for was bedtime so that I could knock myself out and get as loaded as I possibly could until morning. And, and then, you know, at, at the end, which is the part I write about, it’s, it starts to not just be morning anymore. It starts to be like chipping at it a little bit through the day and

Laura Cathcart Robbins (13:21.736)
getting really, really close to lethal for me at night because of the amount that I was taking and washing it down with warm vodka and then adding Benadryl into the mix. And so it’s the end of my marriage. It’s the love of my children. It’s me going into treatment and then still in this 10 month period looking at starting a new relationship.

Suzanne (13:29.951)

Suzanne (13:48.064)
Yeah. Yeah. It’s beautiful. Yeah. Yes. Mm-hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (13:48.828)
And so all those things happen. The way I tell the story is not typical for memoir. It’s written more like a novel. It’s just the only way I know how to write. Thank you. Thank you. It’s very sensorial. I just kind of drop you into my body, and you go on the ride with me. I don’t ever pop out and give you the perspective of 2020 Laura.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:16.912)
which is where I was when I wrote it, you know, I just stay in the year 2008. So.

Suzanne (14:18.795)
Right. Yes, you really did. When I’m in Palm Springs listening to it, I’m like, you really feel like you’re right there in it with you. To hear that that was, I don’t know if I knew it was only 10 months. That’s kind of blowing my mind. Because that’s… I mean, a lot happened in 10 months.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:27.037)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:31.15)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:35.236)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:41.668)
lot happening. Yeah, it starts in March and then the last kind of entry is December. Yeah.

Suzanne (14:48.614)
Oh wow, and that last, oh my god, that last, oh yes, just all of it, it does read like a novel because even from, till the last page when you’re just, you know, you’re just cheering you on and come on, go, go, go. Wow. So there’s so much to break down in all of this. I think that…

Laura Cathcart Robbins (14:52.18)
Thanks for watching!

Laura Cathcart Robbins (15:01.508)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Suzanne (15:11.694)
So I’m a child of divorce. My parents were divorced. Well, they were each divorced twice. So I think that the way divorce really is a big theme in your book. And I was thinking about it last night, because it’s kind of just the through line of you and your husband are trying to figure out what’s going on. No one really knows. Even he doesn’t know the extent of your pill use. And you’re going to choose.

Suzanne (15:41.198)
to protect your addiction as happens with addiction. It convinces us that we need to protect it. And at some point, it kind of switches. And it seems to me like the divorce almost saved your life.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (15:49.358)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (15:59.232)
Yeah, that’s very true.

Suzanne (16:00.39)
Which, right, which I realized last night, I was like, wait, I think the divorce saved her life because it was kind of this like, checking in point for you. And it was like, no, I can’t. It kept you once you were in rehab. And it kind of kept you on that because it was a bridge too far for you to have to go to court and fight. And you knew that that and so maybe without that touched.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (16:23.164)

Suzanne (16:28.13)
stone, it would it would have gone differently. I don’t know. What do you think about that? Right? Oh, yeah, because I don’t think we mentioned it was ambient, right? So that was your Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (16:33.676)
Yeah, I’ve thought about that as well. So I think if I didn’t have kids, I might’ve not had a sleeping issue and then I wouldn’t have gotten addicted to Ambien. Yeah, yeah. And that was my drug of choice. You know, I absolutely wouldn’t have gone to treatment if it weren’t for my kids. But maybe if I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t have need to go to treatment. So I don’t know. I don’t…

Suzanne (16:57.391)
Yeah. Yeah. Right. It’s so hard. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (17:03.48)
It’s so hard to say. My kids were the bedrock. They were the stake for me. The divorce was, there was a lot at stake because there was a lot of material stuff, but that wasn’t my priority. My priority was keeping, staying in my kids’ lives. And I didn’t wanna just stay in their lives. I wanted to stay in their lives the way that I was. I wanted to be the primary caregiver.

Suzanne (17:08.65)
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yes. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (17:34.24)
And so that changes the scope of things, especially with divorce, because what you’re looking at is a split of time between the two parents then, typically. And addiction or not, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want them going back and forth. I didn’t want them to divide their time. I didn’t know how that was going to be possible, but I didn’t want it. Yeah.

Suzanne (17:38.274)
Yes. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Right. And the way, I mean, the way that you and your ex-husband handled that, I think, is so admirable coming from someone who was, like I was, two weeks with my mom.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (18:02.802)

Suzanne (18:06.082)
two weeks with my dad every other weekend for 10 years of my life. That’s a very stressful and scary, yeah. And it’s just a scary way to live when you just don’t have a home. You’re never settled, you’re never grounded. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (18:08.68)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (18:12.956)
disruptive, right? Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (18:22.944)
Right. And that was, you know, and I love that families are doing so many different things with divorce now where they’re keeping a primary home and the parents go in and out instead of moving the kids back and forth, you know, and I just want to acknowledge that a lot of these scenarios come with privilege. Because, and I am very privileged to have been able to do what I did with my children and still do what I do. Like, I acknowledge that and I don’t want that to

Suzanne (18:40.938)
Yes, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s incredible. I think that, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (18:51.6)
I don’t want to sound tone deaf at all, but if it’s possible, a lot of families are doing in ways that really kind of protect the kids. And that’s amazing.

Suzanne (19:07.806)
you know, I’m 40, I’m almost 43. So yeah, this was in the 80s when it was just like, they’ll be fine, like just get divorced. It’s better if you guys aren’t fighting. And it’s like, well, it’s not, I mean, sure, but then don’t fight through the kids, right?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (19:11.94)
Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (19:22.376)
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, and that’s what, you know, it was so hard. You know, the scariest thing I’ve ever done on purpose was getting divorced. It really was. It was because that unknown, not as much for me, but for my kids. Like, will this destroy them? I know it’ll impact them. Will it damage them? And if it does damage them, to what degree? And…

Suzanne (19:38.022)
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Right. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (19:49.752)
and how can I mitigate that damage? You know, and I just didn’t know if any of that would be possible. Like my kids were little, their personalities were definitely there, but you know, the teenage years were yet to come and so much happens during those years. So many personality changes and people go dark, you know, in their teenage years. Depression comes in, anxiety. And so I just, you know, the…

Suzanne (20:01.022)
Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (20:18.168)
it wasn’t selfish to put myself first and get a divorce. Like that was what kept running through my head. Should I just stay and wait until they’re out of school, for their mental health? And I just, I kept going back and forth and so did my ex-husband. Like we went back and forth together. We just didn’t know.

Suzanne (20:29.915)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you just don’t, and that’s the hardest thing. And I think the thing about trauma is if, you know, there can be a traumatic event like a divorce.

Suzanne (20:53.714)
And that’s traumatic, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this trauma that’s stored, as long as you’re talking and talking about all of this stuff, as long as they’re not left to deal with it on their own. And your kids weren’t. I mean, you and your ex-husband, it seems, were very conscious about making this as loving as possible.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (21:13.988)
Oh yeah. I mean, absolutely. I’m so incredibly grateful. Like it was my wildest dream that the divorce could look like this and then that’s what it looked like. And I couldn’t even fix my mouth to say that that’s what I wanted because I knew it was ridiculous and yet that’s what happened.

Suzanne (21:23.35)

Suzanne (21:29.586)
Yeah, yeah Right, yeah Yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah

Laura Cathcart Robbins (21:41.48)
So we got to take care of our kids in a way that I think was the way they needed to be taken care of while we took care of ourselves. And in that way, we could also still take care of each other in the ways that we wanted to and not the ways we were obligated to.

Suzanne (21:58.166)
I mean, it’s such a testament to your love for each other and that it looks different as time goes on and that you can continue. It’s crazy to think that you can love through a divorce, but you definitely, I mean, that came through in the story so much that that’s what you did. Yeah. So I wanna talk about the hiding, of course. The book is called Stash.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:00.772)
Mm, yeah, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:10.884)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:13.939)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:17.66)
I’m so glad.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:24.125)

Suzanne (22:27.578)
And not only the hiding the pills and all of that, you go into detail about where they were hidden and you’re finding them and searching for them and the tampons and the, you know, all of this like hiding and protecting and all of that, but then also the hiding it from your husband and your friends and the world and just how lonely that is because I think even if it’s not

Laura Cathcart Robbins (22:49.138)

Suzanne (22:56.538)
Ambien or an addiction to Ambien or whatever it is. I think that all women Can see themselves in the story of of hiding Yeah Yeah

Laura Cathcart Robbins (23:07.62)
Yeah, yeah. I mean, so stash was, it has a double meaning. Obviously, I kept stashes around the house and all good addicts, I think, have had a stash at some point in their life of something. And not just substance addicts, I mean, not just drugs and alcohol, but like food, you know, like people have their stash of Halloween candy, you know, like shopping stashes. Yes, yes.

Suzanne (23:26.474)
Totally. Shopping. Yes. Shopping stashes. Like, yes. I mean, I’m in my closet. I’m not going to show you it, but there’s stashes. Ha ha ha. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (23:39.612)
So I think if we think hard, if people think hard, they can identify with the idea of having a stash of some kind. And for me, a stash was so comforting. I still like back stock. I have a pantry that has absolutely more than one of everything and usually more than that. And it gives me comfort. I feel secure when there’s a stash. And

Suzanne (23:58.642)

Suzanne (24:06.793)
Yeah. Yes.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (24:09.584)
So what I’ve learned is the stash just can’t be secret, right? That it can, so it can be a secret stash, which is what I had most of my life, even though it wasn’t drugs and alcohol all my life. I always had these secret stashes of stuff. And now I have stashes, but they’re not secret. But I also stashed away pieces of myself, starting from when my stepfather entered into my life when I was little.

Suzanne (24:23.567)
Yeah. Yeah. Mm. Mm-hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (24:39.472)
because me just being me rubbed him the wrong way. And I was five, six, seven, and so I learned to keep my house serene, I needed to edit myself because when I was myself, it was chaos.

Suzanne (24:54.856)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yes. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (25:00.564)
And it was violent chaos, not violent, physically violent toward me, but that yelling and the air of hostility and me being afraid to make the wrong move. And so that was a really powerful lesson for me not to be my whole self. I took that out into the world with me without even knowing it, I don’t think. I don’t think that I thought, oh, this is how I’m going to be at school.

Suzanne (25:19.91)
Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm. Hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (25:30.212)
I was also the only black kid in white spaces a lot. I was the only black one at my school for a while. And then I never had a black classmate at the Cambridge Montessori School. That was the second place we lived, and it was Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was okay. I still had a really fun childhood, but there is that, can I be my whole self in these environments and not be judged for it? And since I didn’t know the answer, I wasn’t.

Suzanne (25:52.366)
Right. And right, it comes back to that recognizing yourself in the room. Like you have the podcast, the only one in the room, right? And it’s like if you are, it’s like not being able to find a successful quit lit by a black author. And it’s like, well, if you’re not recognized.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (26:06.341)
Yes. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (26:13.648)
Right. Yes. Yeah.

Suzanne (26:18.09)
It’s scary to go first. I can’t imagine how scary it is to say, okay, well, I’m gonna show up as me, as fully me. I’m gonna be the one to like, to pave the way and be the trailblazer. That’s fucking scary.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (26:24.183)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (26:29.139)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (26:32.92)
It is, and I think that societal messages for women, or at least this is what I’ve gotten from society, is to not be too big, to not be too loud, to not make too much, don’t be noisy, not too high maintenance, but be a good woman, a good mother, so what does that look like? That looks like…

Suzanne (26:40.786)
Yeah. Yes. Not too high maintenance.

Suzanne (26:56.195)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (27:01.304)
you know, the people I’m watching, right? I don’t know what a good mom is. So I’m watching all the moms around me and I see who gets labeled good. And then who gets labeled as bad. So I’m not going to do anything those bad ones do, at least not in public. Yes. Yeah.

Suzanne (27:09.45)
Right. Yeah.

Suzanne (27:16.443)
That’s the thing. At least not in public, right? Because there’s no, there’s just no way to live up to that. They’re not even that. Right? Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (27:23.36)
No, no, right. But I’m going to do all the things that the good moms are doing in public. And I put air quotes around that for you who are listening. And it’s that, just the watching and waiting and then doing as I saw, that’s exhausting. You know, that role exhaustion, that good mom role exhaustion.

Suzanne (27:39.739)
Yeah. Yes. Oh, yes. Mm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (27:50.64)
Oh my goodness. So, you know, Ambien, which was given to me for a sleep problem originally when my kids were babies, like I remember, so like I’ll never ever forget, it felt like, and I think I had postpartum anxiety after my second son and it was undiagnosed and I felt like an alarm was ringing in my head all the time and I took that first pill, right?

Suzanne (28:07.006)
Yeah. Yeah, I had that too. That’s so, and you can’t live like that. I mean, you have to escape it somehow. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (28:19.661)
No, you can’t.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (28:24.024)
And so that pill, this alarm bell’s going, going, going, going, and then it’s silence. And I can breathe. And I could show up for my kids the way I wanted to show up. I could show up for my then husband the way I wanted to show up. I thought it was magic. And I really thought, well, this is how I’ll do it then. This is how I’ll be the good mom. Thank goodness for these. Thank goodness for the evening glass of wine.

Suzanne (28:37.163)
Yeah, it worked. Yeah. Right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (28:53.616)
that prepares me for the ambient I’m going to take, which sends me into this blissful eight-hour sleep. And so it was my solution.

Suzanne (29:06.29)
And this is that whole thing about the mommy wine culture and all of this stuff is, and I’m always on a tear, like all of my listeners know, and that’s what my book’s about. It’s about like an influencer’s take on the mommy wine culture is that it’s a lie, right? Like when we see influencers who are saying that, you know, like the perfect moms and the good moms, like,

Laura Cathcart Robbins (29:11.213)

Suzanne (29:34.058)
It’s just all a lie. No one is that good. No one is perfect. And also, the people who are saying, drink wine, this will help. I drink wine in the morning now because it helps. As a joke, that’s a lie. They’re not doing that. But their followers are. And then they’re struggling. And they’re struggling because they do need an escape from the relentlessness of motherhood. Because all of this pressure to be

Laura Cathcart Robbins (29:43.688)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (29:56.785)

Suzanne (30:03.766)
that good mom and that perfect, the PTA mom is, I mean, it’s exhausting and we’re set up to fail. Yeah, yes, yes. Oh, it’s the worst, it’s the worst.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (30:05.41)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (30:08.55)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (30:16.212)
Absolutely. And when we don’t fail, we’re exalted though. Like, you know, it’s like, look at her. I mean, thank goodness Instagram wasn’t around when this was happening because I would have not, I mean, I would have just been like, okay, I failed, I failed, I failed, I’m failing, I’m failing, you know what? And so I didn’t have social media, which I think, you know, was a blessing. But it was…

Suzanne (30:33.615)
Right! Yes! Yeah!

Laura Cathcart Robbins (30:43.92)
it was really hard to, and that’s why admitting that I was an addict was extremely difficult for me as a mom because that really meant not only had I failed as a woman, but I had failed as a mom, which I thought was the worst thing that one could do. But admitting that I needed to be in recovery was almost harder because I knew about people who had been in

Laura Cathcart Robbins (31:13.477)
had a problem and just stop.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (31:17.472)
and they didn’t need help in order to do so. And the fact that I couldn’t drink anymore, I needed to go to these meetings that…

Suzanne (31:26.87)
Which also, like I thought it was so odd that in the meeting she was like, well, you have to say you’re an alcoholic. And you’re like, well, but alcohol isn’t my thing. My thing is ambient. She’s like, doesn’t matter. We’re all alcoholics. And you’re like, what? Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (31:33.818)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (31:38.496)
Right. What? That is… Yeah, I was pissed when she said that. I was like, I don’t understand this at all. It just all felt very culty to me then anyway, so I was just like, whatever, this is just one more culty thing to add to the pile.

Suzanne (31:44.774)
Yeah, I don’t blame you. I’m like, what? Yeah. Right. Yeah. You’re like, fine, whatever. And that was before your shift, right? It was before your shift. Like, there was a clear shift of you protecting your addiction and trying to figure out

Laura Cathcart Robbins (32:02.47)

Suzanne (32:09.518)
how you can get out of there. Like you’re like, I gotta go. No, I’m not that. I don’t belong here. Like these people, right? And then there was a shift that happens when then you start just telling the truth to yourself and to everyone else. And that’s really when it felt, reading it felt like you became free. Started, yes, exactly.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (32:15.336)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (32:23.149)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (32:33.22)
Or at least started the journey toward freedom. Yeah, yeah. I think that I wasn’t free. I kept myself locked up for that first year of sobriety, I think. I really held out the idea, you know? Like maybe. Yes, yes.

Suzanne (32:46.302)
Talk about that. Yeah. So that goes beyond the book, right? OK. So, yeah, can you talk about that a little bit?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (32:57.06)
Yeah, so I live in Los Angeles, like we said. I live in the Valley in Los Angeles. I live in Studio City. And the meetings, the 12-step meetings, and I’m talking about 12-step recovery, here are just very white and really white. I’m almost, today I was in a meeting, there were two of us, but usually it’s just one.

Suzanne (33:15.047)
Yeah. Yeah. Wow. And does that just feel very lonely? I can imagine it doesn’t. Okay. Okay.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (33:23.152)
person that’s not white, like not even another black person, just like somebody else that isn’t white. And so not now it doesn’t, not now, but then it did. Then it did. And the other thing was that I didn’t mention about the way that I lived before I got sober was I really had isolated myself completely.

Suzanne (33:36.894)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (33:51.072)
I am a very, very prideful self-sufficient. I have been since I was five. I don’t want to ask anybody for help. And when I have to, I feel that shame of it, of the needing to ask. And so I had not asked my friends how to go through my divorce. I had not brought them with me on the journey of my addiction. I only presented what…

Suzanne (34:12.243)
Yeah. Yes. Mm. Mm hmm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (34:19.748)
what I thought would be acceptable, I guess. And I didn’t ask for help with any of that. So going into 12-step recovery, I also didn’t have anybody to say, is this normal? Did you feel like this? Like, it just, because I hadn’t asked anyone and I wouldn’t bring anybody with me. And so I really just judged it. And I’ll say, I hated it. I really did. I hate it being there.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (34:47.48)
And like you talked about with my divorce, my attorney was very prescriptive and gave me a… She was a shark or she is a shark, she’s still alive. But for me, she was definitely a shark, she was very prescriptive and she gave me a checklist of things that I needed to do for the divorce, which is funny because like there was this whole list of things I was doing for my marriage.

Suzanne (34:53.583)
Yeah, she was she was a shark wasn’t she was she yeah, okay Yeah

Suzanne (35:07.935)
Yeah, yeah. Right. Yes. The marriage, right. Yeah. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (35:15.824)
before that, this separate entity that wasn’t like for me or him, it was for the marriage and this checklist was for the divorce, you know, it wasn’t really for me. But like you said, it ended up actually saving my life, I think, where I had to go to meetings and go to therapy and get a sponsor and, you know, do all the things that one might think one does when one is serious about one’s recovery.

Suzanne (35:43.332)
Right, like the optics of it more. It’s like, okay, well, you need to be seen doing these things. So she’s like, I don’t care if it works, but just like we need to make sure it is known that you are doing these things. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (35:45.273)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (35:48.376)
Yes, exactly. No, right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (35:55.3)
Yes, exactly. And so that’s what I did and I hated it. And I never thought it was for me. I just didn’t think this was gonna be something that I would engage in. I’m not religious. I grew up without, I had never been in a house of worship until I was 17 and I went to a wedding. Like my parents were like hippies and atheists and.

Suzanne (36:07.834)
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (36:18.844)
I mean, not strong, I don’t even know if they were atheists, but we just didn’t discuss God, and God has discussed a lot in 12-Step Recovery. So I saw a lot of reasons to separate myself, my race, the religion, the kind of joiner attitude that everybody had, which I completely resented. And yeah, it’s just like I look around and they all be laughing at something really dumb. What is wrong with you?

Suzanne (36:29.299)
Yeah. Right. Right. Right. Like kind of dorky. Yes. You’re like, that’s not funny. Yes. Yeah. Wow. Wow.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (36:48.976)
But I did it. I did three meetings a day that whole first year. I went to a nine, a 10, 30, and a 12. And then that was after drop off and before I picked up my kids, unless I had a PTA thing on campus. And then I would schedule a meeting around that. But I basically went to three meetings a day. I did get a sponsor. I did go to therapy. And I think it was really the therapy that started to

Laura Cathcart Robbins (37:17.968)
Like if I picture myself as a glacier, I think she was the thing that started to thaw me. I think I started to thaw in therapy and then eventually I was thawing in the rooms, which was quite embarrassing. I didn’t wanna thaw in the rooms, in recovery rooms. Yeah, can I please just don’t look, look away. And you know, and then what happened was,

Suzanne (37:20.942)
Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Suzanne (37:33.289)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, like can I thaw by myself, please? Yeah, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (37:46.932)
A couple of things happened. The woman who I had sponsor me at round, I was getting ready to do my men’s. I was about 10 months sober. And she said she was really worried that I wasn’t praying and meditating. And I’m like, I’m not doing that. I don’t believe in either of those things, but it’s okay, I’ll just skip that step. It’s not a big deal. And she said, I really want you to try it. And we got into this whole thing and I was thinking about changing sponsors because I just really wasn’t gonna do that.

Suzanne (37:59.748)
Hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (38:15.556)
And I ended up doing it for whatever reason. I don’t know why, but I ended up trying that. And so that was around 11 months when I started saying, whatever the prayer was, it was probably just thank you. That might’ve been the prayer that I said. And then started an egg timer. Again, at the time, this was like early, early smartphones.

Suzanne (38:23.026)
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (38:40.56)
But I had an egg timer and I would set it for a minute and then I would just try to clear my mind and that never worked, but I would do it. And then when I turned a year sober, I took a cake. I only took one cake. That’s what we do out here in LA. We take cakes. They give you birthday cakes for your years of sobriety. And someone asked me to take her through the steps that day. And I was like, oh, you don’t want me? I don’t know anything about any of this.

Suzanne (38:59.114)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (39:08.412)
I’m just really here to check some boxes. And she’s like, oh no, I’ve been watching you and I want you. And so being the good whatever that I am, I decided I would go study the literature so that I could properly take this woman through the steps as they were laid out. And I ended up finding myself in bits and pieces in the literature, surprised by that, shocked by that.

Suzanne (39:14.67)
Wow. Wow. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (39:36.176)
And then working with her really just deepened my recovery. And then there was another one who came up and said the same thing, will you? And I sponsor 10 women now. I’ve sponsored more at times. But it’s a much different, I’m much different now. And a lot of it is because of my experience in the rooms of recovery.

Suzanne (39:44.646)
Wow. Wow. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (40:06.1)
But I think really what it is, is I just let go of all the baggage. I pictured myself coming in with like valets behind me with carts of luggage. Where should we set all these bags down, ma’am? And, you know, now I’m down to like a backpack and it’s not very heavy. And I’ve just literally unpacked everything. Not literally, but you know.

Suzanne (40:18.249)
Yeah, yeah, wheeling behind you. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Wow. I mean.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (40:33.452)
metaphorically unpacked everything and unburdened myself.

Suzanne (40:40.258)
How powerful is that? And it is, I think, so much, you know, all of my audience pretty much is moms. And when we talk about stopping drinking or feeling shame and guilt, that’s what I think about the baggage being, right, is the shame and the guilt that weighs us down of what we did when we were.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (41:02.195)

Suzanne (41:08.458)
addicted or when we were drinking and so much of that is tied up in motherhood because it’s like, okay, well, how does this affect our kids? And what did my kids see? And all of that shame and shame is so gross to feel that it can keep us stuck by not wanting to feel it. And so the fact that you got to unpack that and like you said, your glacier melted slowly and you acted as if you were, sure, fine, I’ll try meditating, but it’s not going to work.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (41:30.578)

Suzanne (41:37.166)
And then slowly, yes, slowly you began to unpack all that. How does that, how did that affect your boys? And so like, and what did they know when you were addicted and what did, because that’s always the question when I ask my audience, like, okay, what should I ask Laura? And they’re like, well, I wanna know like, what did her boys, what did they see when she was addicted? And how do you go back and then,

Laura Cathcart Robbins (42:00.613)

Suzanne (42:06.49)
heal that with them. Yeah. Yeah. Because they were

Laura Cathcart Robbins (42:10.492)
So it’s hard to know what they saw. When I told them, when my husband and I sat down and told them I was going away for 30 days, because I’d never been away from them, and I explained that I was taking too many of these pills and I needed to stop, they didn’t know what I was talking about. Like they were just, and they were like, but you don’t drink. Like you don’t, they were eight and nine.

Suzanne (42:35.266)
How old were they? Like, okay, yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (42:39.664)
But they never saw me drink. Like, I did most of my getting loaded after they were asleep. So what I think, if they were to look back on it now, I think they would notice that I was sleeping longer than some moms do in the morning, that I was difficult to wake up in the middle of the night. Like, they would notice those things. But I don’t think they really saw it as…

Laura Cathcart Robbins (43:07.128)
It’s like, I’m sorry, can you hear my dog barking? Okay.

Suzanne (43:09.088)
Yeah, but she’ll edit that out that’s fine. It’s either gonna be your dog or my three-year-old, so we’re good Three six and eight. Oh, yes, I know

Laura Cathcart Robbins (43:14.524)
Oh, right, right. Oh, you have a three year old. Oh, oh my goodness. I forgot what I was saying.

Suzanne (43:24.831)
Oh, that they probably didn’t see. Because, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (43:27.896)
Right, right. So they, I don’t know what they knew then. We asked them if they had any questions, the questions were all, they’re just like, mommy, don’t go. Don’t go. Please, can’t you do it here, whatever you’re going to do there, which was just heartbreaking. The most heartbreaking thing. And then when I got back, they were just so happy to have me back. They didn’t really seem to care what had happened there. The way they grew up,

Suzanne (43:37.594)
Yeah. Yeah. I know, like that’s the most heartbreaking thing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Wow, congrats. First of all, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (43:56.832)
after that. So, you know, I’ll be 15 years sober this summer. And thank you. For the last 14 years, Scott and I have had a meeting in my house every Saturday morning. And so what my boys grew up with was

Suzanne (44:12.205)
Wow, okay, that’s amazing. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (44:18.736)
you know, being in their pajamas in the kitchen, and there’s, you know, people from the meetings coming in and getting their coffee, and saying hello to them, and then going back, them hearing the opening and the closing prayers, them hearing the birthday songs, being dropped off with their friends, and, you know, stepping over a circle of people in the recovery meeting to get to my boy’s room so they could play Xbox. So…

Suzanne (44:42.889)
Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Hm-hmm. Oh, really? Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (44:46.984)
They grew up in a sober home, like that’s what they know. And so just really quickly, I mentioned my parents were hippies. They used to meditate. This is why I have such an aversion to meditating. They used to meditate in the middle of the day in the house. And it would be the Aum meditation. I was mortified, mortified that this was happening.

Suzanne (45:08.394)
Okay, yep. Yeah. Especially like if you had a friend over and then… Yes. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (45:14.372)
Well, that’s what it was. I was ashamed to bring friends over. And when I did, I like, please don’t meditate while they’re here. And I was afraid my boys were gonna feel that about our meetings. And so I had those talks with them and they’re like, mom, we don’t care. And they really didn’t. They would walk in, they would introduce their friends to people and they would go right to their rooms and do their thing. Like it wasn’t a big deal for them that their mom was sober and that she did this weird thing, which was, you know, to have all these people over every Saturday.

Suzanne (45:41.386)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (45:44.088)
And so they’ve grown up like that. Before I published the book, actually before it went to first pass, I think, I sat them down again. So now they’re 23 and 25. So they were 21 and 23 then and said, hey, this book is like, it’s everything that happened during that year I went to rehab. It’s the divorce.

Suzanne (46:08.102)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (46:10.16)
It’s leaving you guys, it’s going to rehab, it’s meeting Scott, it’s being the PTA president at your school, like it’s all the stuff that I did during that year. I said, I’m happy to read some of it to you, I’m happy to let you read it, but if just off the bat, there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with me putting in, I won’t. And they were just like nothing but supportive and they didn’t care.

Suzanne (46:19.742)

Suzanne (46:30.382)
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Aww. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (46:39.524)
They still haven’t read it. And I don’t think it’s because they’re afraid to read it. I just really don’t think they’re interested in reading the whole thing. But I’m doing all these author events. I’ve been on TV a few times and they get their friends together and they are sharing text threads. My mom’s like, they’re so supportive.

Suzanne (47:00.847)
Yeah, that’s so sweet. That’s amazing. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yes, they’re proud. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (47:03.448)
I was on the homepage of Oprah Daily last week because I had a, they published an excerpt from Stash. And, you know, my older one’s girlfriend sent me the congratulations right after I sent it to my kid, which meant he told her right away that, you know, like, this is what’s happening for them. They’re proud and they don’t seem to feel the shame or the stigma. Yeah.

Suzanne (47:30.455)
That’s amazing. I mean that shows that you don’t either. Yeah. Ugh. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (47:36.688)
I don’t, I don’t anymore. I don’t feel it at all. I mean, that’s actually not true. There are times when I have twinges of it. Like I saw a woman take a cake, celebration of anniversary cake the other year, the other year, the other day. Yeah, and she talked about how grateful was that her children had never seen her use her drink.

Suzanne (47:57.943)
It feels like a year, I’m sure. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (48:06.056)
And something like catches inside of me when I hear that. And I remember when I first came in, that kept me from sharing because I was one of the people who’s, who’s, you know, I didn’t get sober before my kids were born. I got sober after, um, and they were, they were little, but they weren’t that little. Like they weren’t like, you know, they could talk and they could walk and they had friends and they had activities. It was, it was different.

Suzanne (48:19.322)
Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and that little catch, like I know that and I’m sure every mom listening knows that, because I think that’s more common is that we don’t stop.

Suzanne (48:43.938)
or evaluate or excavate or do any of this shit until after we have kids. Because that’s, there’s, there’s such a big reason to do all of those things, you know? So after hiding for so long, how does it feel to have this out and to, I’m sure it’s one thing to sit and write in a quiet room and write your story, but how does it feel to talk to me you’ve never met about?

Laura Cathcart Robbins (48:50.33)

Laura Cathcart Robbins (48:54.279)
Oh yeah.

Suzanne (49:15.774)
about the deepest feelings and maybe the darkest time of your life. Oh, that’s so nice. Oh, so nice.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (49:22.14)
Definitely the hardest year of my life. You know, it’s strange. I feel, you know, I was, we have Sunday dinner every week at my house and my kids and their girlfriends come and my brother who lives here, who’s their age comes and my mom comes and my bonus daughters come whenever they’re in town. It’s really nice and.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (49:45.424)
It was after the book came out and I was talking to, again, the same girlfriend, my oldest son’s girlfriend, and she said the same thing, how does it feel having this out in the world? And I pointed to my son and I said, it’s a lot like him. Like, you know, I devoted all this time to him. I poured out my love into him. I did everything I could to be the best for him.

Suzanne (49:55.067)
Yeah Hmm Hmm

Laura Cathcart Robbins (50:10.232)
And now, you know, he’s 25. He’s had an apartment for years. He’s out in the world doing his thing. I get reports back. Your son is amazing. He’s a chef. Your son made the most amazing meal for our family. Like, he does stuff like that. And I get these brilliant reports back that make me feel all warm and glowy and like I did good, you know? And that’s kind of how it feels with the book. Like, I don’t feel as connected to it.

Suzanne (50:16.66)
Yeah. Oh, nice. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (50:37.4)
now that it’s out there, but I love the reports back and it makes me feel warm and glowy, but I kind of feel like the book is out there doing its thing. And I’m still in that really great, quiet room where I write. The other thing is that I realized how private of a person I am.

Suzanne (50:45.11)
Yes, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (50:59.408)
And I thought I was just a secret person, but I really am a private person, which seems really like in contradiction to this very vulnerable, intimate book that I wrote. But you’ll notice there are things I didn’t write about. Like I didn’t tell my ex-husband’s story. I didn’t tell my kid’s story. I tried not to tell Scott’s story. I tried to really treat our love story.

Suzanne (51:14.227)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (51:25.78)
um, gingerly and not get into the details of it. I really just wanted to tell my story. And those are things like, I still don’t talk about my ex husband publicly because he’s a really private person too. I try not to tell my kids stories because, um, they’re not private people, but just because I think it’s their story to tell. And I, I really value my privacy, which is something that I discovered and I’m okay with that, I think that’s fine. I just can’t.

Suzanne (51:45.367)
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Right.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (51:54.536)
For me, I just can’t have secrets anymore. And that’s the thing, someone needs to know. If I’m ashamed of something or I’m embarrassed or my instinct is to keep it to myself, I need to get that instinct out of the way so I can make my intuition or like, you know, like seek out the guidance of my intuition. And sometimes I can only do that if another person’s eyes are on whatever I’m dealing with.

Suzanne (52:15.007)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, man, that makes so much sense. Oh, my God. Well, you told your story beautifully. I can’t thank you enough for this book. I I

Laura Cathcart Robbins (52:24.88)
I get that perspective.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (52:29.51)

Suzanne (52:36.638)
I loved it. I actually, you know, I listened to it. And then I ordered the hard copy because I’m like, I’m going to read it again. I need to underline. I’m an underliner. I’m a highlighter. I need to go through it. Yeah, right? Then you can really soak it in. Just thank you so much. And now, you know, you were the first one to go. And we’re going to show the publishing world that we need more Black voices in this space and Black women in Quitlet, who, yes, like you are the trailblazer.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (52:44.916)
I’m an underliner too, yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (52:59.644)
Thank you. Yes.

Suzanne (53:06.502)
And I’m just, yeah, it’s amazing. Yeah. Yes. Yeah, thank you.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (53:07.025)
Love it.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (53:09.512)
Thank you. Thank you so much for that. And I am happy to be the trailblazer because hopefully it means that more people are going to follow me through and we can populate these virtual shelves with books from all different perspectives. And I…

Laura Cathcart Robbins (53:28.496)
I just really appreciate you reaching out and bringing me on the show. I love what you’re doing. Like I said, when we got on, this is the podcast for me. I am a sober mom. I’m so proud of that. And you know, what an amazing thing I did, right? For myself and for my children. So. Yeah.

Suzanne (53:36.659)
Yeah. Yeah. Incredible. Yeah. The most, the bravest, the strongest, the most, I mean, worth everything, right? The most valuable, the most, the most everything. Yes. Oh my God. Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (53:52.484)
Yes, yes, the most important thing I’ve ever done.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (53:58.808)
Yes. Yeah.

Laura Cathcart Robbins (54:02.376)
Thank you, Suzanne. Please, I’ll come. That’s what I’ve been doing, is zooming into book club.

Suzanne (54:03.166)
And I’m gonna take you up on that book club. I’m gonna… Okay, good!

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