Coming Clean: A true story of love, addiction and recovery
by Liz Fraser
Synopsis: In this wrenching debut memoir of love, family, and addiction, Liz Fraser tells her story of watching a partner unravel from alcoholism and working to rebuild a life together.
“My name is Liz, and I am the partner of an alcoholic.”
This is the story of two people in love, who packed up their lives and drove a thousand miles across Europe in a transit van to the magical island of Venice, to start their new lives and dreams together and raise their baby girl there. They left behind everything they didn’t need. But they also brought something terrible with them: alcoholism.
In the summer of 2019, Liz Fraser watched her husband fall into a catastrophic vortex of depression, alcoholism and self-destruction, which, unbeknownst to her, had been slowly bubbling and building for years. She was suddenly left alone with their baby, in a foreign country, renovating a house, and paying all the family bills along with his enormous drink-related costs. She worked when she could with no childcare or support, all while slowly losing her mind from shock, exhaustion, and heartbreak.
It was a long and lonely time before she met others who live, or have lived, with alcoholism or other substance abuse, whether a spouse, a partner, a child or friend, and found enormous relief in talking about it with people who could understand. In Coming Clean, Liz tells her story–of life with an alcoholic at his darkest moments, and the uncertain journey through recovery as her husband nears six months of sobriety. With this raw, wrenching memoir, she gives a voice and offers hope to everyone watching a loved one struggle with substance abuse with the crucial reminder: you are not alone.
My thoughts: I liked this book and empathized with the author. It tells the story of her meeting and falling in love with Mike who enjoys drinking. Liz is totally unaware about alcoholism, having never been around it or learned anything about what is involved. They have a daughter together and Liz sees Mike struggling with jobs, depression and anxiety. His drinking gets out of hand more and more, so they decide to move from the UK to Venice, Italy for a new start. At first Mike does great, but after a while he starts a major slide downward and Liz finds herself lonely and stressed by events. A fascinating memoir showing what addiction to alcohol is like to live with in a partner. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Liz Fraser, and the publisher.
Publisher: Green Tree – 211 pages
Publication: Nov 30th, 2021
My rating: 5/5 STARS
About the author: Liz Fraser is a writer and broadcaster on all aspects of modern family life. The author of five books, she has written for the Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Grazia, Glamour, Marie Claire, Red and Runner’s World among others and appears frequently on TV and radio. She has a psychology degree from Cambridge University and speaks openly about her struggles with various mental health issues. Liz has four children spanning twenty years, and lives in Oxford.