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Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,417 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Lisa Smith was a bright young lawyer at a prestigious law firm in NYC when alcoholism and drug addiction took over her life. What was once a way she escaped her insecurity and negativity as a teenager became a means of coping with the anxiety and stress of an impossible workload.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Smith’s formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse,
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by SelectBooks
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  3,417 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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J.L.   Sutton
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lisa K. Smith's Girl Walks Out of a Bar is an engaging memoir about addiction spiraling out of control as well as taking charge of that addiction. Stories from functional alcoholics, who seemingly invent a life around their addiction which has nothing to do with the life everyone else sees them leading, fascinate me. They reveal ways we all construct identity and how we present ourselves and see the world. For addicts, seeking help challenges their identity. What does it take for someone to face ...more
Theresa Alan
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I finished this book (as an ebook), I was a shocked by how many I-was-an-addict-who-got-sober stories that were recommended to me (“If you liked this book, here are fifty more similar books . . .) I like these stories of successful people who lost everything and then claw their way back up to success. In Lisa Smith’s story, she almost lost everything but caught herself before that happened, which is amazing considering that she says she didn’t go a day without drinking for ten years. The dr ...more
Peter Monn
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I've read tons of recovery memoirs and I have to say it wasn't my favorite. That being said, the story was well written and compelling and my best friend loved it but I just didn't connect with the writer. Check out my full review on my booktube channel ...more
Andrea Conley
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eye opening first hand account of the horrors of addiction. You never know the types of battles that others are fighting...
Carrie Young
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Long drawn out story of a privileged woman with supportive family and friends, a high paying job and the ability to seemingly come out on top, despite dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Mike Keren
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mike by: When Words Count
Shelves: memoir
Full disclosure: I learned of this book because it was the winner of the pitch Week Competition at When Words Count Writer's Retreat, a contest which I currently have a book competing in. I anxiously awaited its release and began trading it as soon as I finished the book I had open when it was released.

This is an excellent book. Few writers have been able to capture the experience of addiction as eloquently and as vividly as Smith has done in these pages. Augusten Burroughs in Dry is the only ot
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved Girl Walks Out of a Bar! From the first sentence of the book, I couldn't put down Lisa Smith's compelling and incredibly honest memoir, giving a "behind the scenes" view into addiction in high-pressure corporate law. She keeps nothing from the reader, taking you with her on the roller coaster of highs and lows on her journey from addiction into recovery. You'll be rooting for her all the way!
One of my favorite shows on television is "Intervention." I do love watching these types of shows because unlike some folks, I don't use them to feel better about my own life, but because I truly love to see it when someone is able to turn his life around and be the best person he can be. I am always so thrilled when at the end of an episode, it shows that the person has been sober for the last 6 months, and I especially love the follow-ups during the show itself that feature recovering addicts ...more
Philip Mann
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book, looking over the author`s shoulder as she sinks into a serious drinking problem, you want to tap her on the shoulder and ask," Why are you doing this, why?" At one point she admits to drinking two bottles of wine a day, by a random count. Plus cocaine. And she still manages to hold down a job as a high-flying lawyer. Yet every activity in her life, from a trip to the grocery store, to how to cover up her breath in an elevator, all of it revolves around drinking.
And one morni
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just couldn't quite finish it. I kept trying with this book, picking it up again and again, but nothing about it could hold my attention. After reading my fair share of drug and alcohol abuse related memoirs, I found absolutely nothing special, memorable, or intriguing here. I give it two stars because there wasn't anything particularly terrible about the writing or the purpose, nothing offensive or obnoxious, only that nothing kept me interested. I couldn't connect with the author. I'm not sure ...more
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible, owned
I'd give this one a 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed the story and really getting into the mind of an alcoholic and substance abuser. It was shocking to realize how so many things we do in life are JUST on that edge of pushing into the land of addiction. And that line is different for everyone I think. I connected with the protagonist in more ways than I would like to admit to be honest. So I applaud the book for helping me to hold a mirror up to myself and see some things that may sometimes be going on. ...more
Lisa Baggerman
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm a bit of an addiction memoir aficionado for whatever reason. While her story made for fascinating reading, I found a lot of her story kind of superficial in its insights. I also thought the writing was a little unpolished.

All that said, I did devour it in four days, and looked forward to reading it every night. So it's possible I'm just extra picky about my addiction memoirs.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The main thing I came away with having read this book is amazement at how much abuse a body can withstand. Reading this book was like rubbernecking at a horrible auto accident. Unfortunately the recovery description, coming very late in the book was glossed over and seemed rushed. However, it is amazing that she was able to quit without relapsing, given the level of her addiction.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for memoirs of addiction, being in recovery myself. Others might not give it 5 stars. But whenever I'm sneaking in time to read at work and just can't put a book down I feel obligated to give it 5 stars
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-written memoir of a successful, driven attorney's descent into substance abuse. For audiobooks I prefer memoirs, and I seem to gravitate toward celebrity, addiction, or messed up family situations (polygamy, living in the wild, etc.) Evidently I like to hear about lives very far afield from mine. The thing that really struck me with this one is something that is quite obvious. Being an addict is incredibly boring. I cannot imagine that endless obsession, the constant planning and plotting. ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun memoir to listen to - tough subject, but Lisa tells her story in a funny and touching way.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Could not put it down!
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-s, memoirs
Very entertaining! I was very entertained of a very common tale of drunkenness. She certainly lived it & fortunately came out the other side! ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the writing in parts 1 & 2 is perhaps lacking reflection, overall it was an entertaining albeit scary read. Lisa Smith is a lawyer who lives on the edge for years, always partying a bit harder and longer than is best. She reaches a breaking point after living at least a year, waking up and needing to guzzle vodka and/or snort cocaine to keep her hands from shaking and make it to her next opportunity to drink and finally checks herself into a hospital in New York where she can spend a we ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Recovery memoirs are amazing. I find it incredibly inspiring to read the stories of people who have come out on the other side of addiction—these people are warriors, and having insight into the battles they face helps me, at least I hope so, be a better and more supportive person to people who struggle with addiction or who are in recovery. There’s a balance in recovery memoirs, I’ve found, of describing the hell before recovery vs describing the struggle during and after recovery. This memoir ...more
Tomungo X
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an eye opener, how subtle things can be, partying, to self doubt, to finding happiness, with self, finding acceptance, then substance- is needed to satisfy all those aspects. And then dependence happens.

Anyways reading helps how addiction happens and what the dangers are that happen, however, our main protaganist, luckily happens to get through the darkness and has strength to get out of it.
Girl Walks Out of a Bar is the second alcoholism/addiction/recovery memoir I've read this year. I wanted to know more the first few years of her sobriety, especially about how her friendships changed after recovery. This memoir made me wonder if any of the people I interact in daily life are drunk/high as Smith often was during her workday, daytime family gatherings, etc. Both memoirs have made me feel thankful that alcohol is something that I can take or leave.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the hauntingly accurate description of the insanity before admitting herself into detox to the interior mental struggle she faced over coming to terms with her addiction (and some graphic depictions of the obsession of drinking/using), the most engaging and compelling (and identifiable) book on alcoholism.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an interesting journey. Having witnessed addiction firsthand it was a remarkable feat that Lisa managed to overcome. Making a three-day stint in detox as something that worked for her long-term. Impressive and smart woman, who has made an amazing life for herself. Be proud of all you've done, even those darker moments, because they brought you to where you are today.
Lindsay Nixon
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
For those familiar with "speaker" AA meetings, this is a long one of those with a girlfriend to friend funny-seriousness. I applaud the author for sharing her experience, strength and hope with rigorous honesty. May we all be so truthful and fearless!

This is her story of what her life was like before she was sober, with a brief description of her time in detox and the first few weeks afterward. The bulk is her describing the level of drinking and cocaine use that led her to rehab.

I want to be c
Jessica Woodruff
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great memoir-that read like a young adult fiction novel. Really enjoyed it and the way the author didn't hold anything back. Good look into addiction and how skilled individuals can become at hiding the disease from loved ones.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
A very well written depiction of the life and daily trials of an addict. Whipped through the book in a day.
Mariel Zambelli
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. What a great story of struggle and conquering demons. I felt like I was on the the ride with Lisa every step of the way. Would totally recommend... this was the best memoir I have ever read.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sobering account of what it is like to be a functional addict and alcoholic and hope for recovery.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly engrossing, and I really appreciated the author’s raw honesty.
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Lisa Smith is a writer and a lawyer in New York City. Sober for more than ten years, she is passionate about breaking the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction.

Lisa's writing has been published in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, After Party Magazine, and She is on the Board of Directors of the NY Writers Coalition and The Writers Room in Greenwich Village.

Before working for mo

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