Lighting Up by Susan Shapiro
How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life Except Sex

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

unrated

Synopsis

In the critically acclaimed Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Manhattan journalist Susan Shapiro revisited five self-destructive romances. In her hilarious, illuminating new memoir, Lighting Up, she rejects five self-destructive substances. This difficult quest for clean living starts with Shapiro’s shocking revelation that, at forty, her lengthiest, most emotionally satisfying relationship has been with cigarettes.

A two-pack-a-day smoker since the age of thirteen, Susan Shapiro quickly discovers that it’s impossible to be a writer, a nonsmoker, sane, and slender in the same year. The last time she tried to quit, she gained twenty-three pounds, couldn’t concentrate on work, and wanted to kill herself and her husband, Aaron, a TV comedy writer who hates her penchant for puffing away. Yet just as she’s about to choose her vice over her marriage vows, she stumbles upon a secret weapon.

Dr. Winters, “the James Bond of psychotherapy,” is a brilliant but unorthodox addiction specialist, a
former chain-smoker himself. Working his weird magic on her psyche, he unravels the roots of her twenty-seven-year compulsion, the same dangerous dependency that has haunted her doctor father, her grandfather, and a pair of eccentric aunts from opposite sides of the family, along with Freud and nearly one in four Americans. Dr. Winters teaches her how to embrace suffering, then proclaims that her months of panic, depression, insecurity, vulnerability, and wild mood swings win her the award for “the worst nicotine withdrawal in the history of the world.”

Shapiro finally does kick the habit–while losing weight and finding career and connubial bliss–only to discover that the second she’s let go of her long-term crutch, she’s already replaced it with another fixation. After banishing cigarettes, alcohol, dope, gum, and bread from her day-to-day existence, she conquers all her demons and survives deprivation overload. But relying religiously on Dr. Winters, she soon realizes that the only obsession she has left
to quit is him. . . .

Never has the battle to stem substance abuse been captured with such wit, sophisticated insight, and candor. Lighting Up is so compulsively readable, it’s addictive.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Susan Shapiro

See more books from this Author
Susan Shapiro became addicted to her shrink-Dr. Woolverton-when he helped her quit twenty-seven-year smoking and drinking habits and start writing successfully. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and People, and on Salon.com. She is the author of seven books, including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Speed Shrinking (currently optioned for films), and the memoir, Lighting Up, about her successful addiction therapy. She is a journalism professor who teaches the popular "instant gratification takes too long" writing method at the New School, New York University, and in private workshops and seminars. Visit her at www.susanshapiro.net. Dr. Frederick Woolverton is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in treating addiction patients for the past twenty-five years. He is the founder and director of the acclaimed Village Institute for Psychotherapy in New York City and in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was the former clinical director of the Baldwin Council Against Drug Abuse, has published numerous papers on substance abuse, and has created nationally adopted courses on the treatment of addictive disorders. His works have recently appeared in the New York Times and Psychology Today, and on AOL. Visit him at www.villageinstitute.com.
 
Published December 27, 2005 by Delta. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lighting Up

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

As a follow-up to her memoir Five Men Who Broke My Heart , Shapiro turns from romantic train wrecks to nicotine addiction.

Dec 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Lighting Up: How I Stopped Sm...

Reader Rating for Lighting Up
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 19 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×