Former Beauty Editor turned author, Cat Marnell, has written a memoir of her life, her career, and her addiction. Her words paint a picture and pull you into her story so that you feel as if you are on the journey with her. She speaks of her career as a beauty editor for the now defunct Lucky magazine, as well as the other well-known magazines that bore her name.
“How to Murder Your Life” tells the story of how Marnell spent her days desperately trying to fit into a world she so admired, and her nights trying to escape that same world with a destructive lifestyle. It was a lifestyle that would soon claim the career she had strived so hard to build. She had worked her way up from intern to beauty editor for well-known publications.
Marnell wrote health articles and offered beauty tips teaching women how to look and feel their best. Only she failed to take her own advice. Having dubbed herself the “amphetamine queen,” she spent years spiraling downward with her addiction to prescription drugs among other things. Her journey with drugs began as a teenager.
After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, her psychiatrist father gave her Ritalin. She confessed she manipulated him in order to gain access to even more drugs including Zoloft and whatever else she could get her hands on. She admits to stealing samples of antidepressants from her father’s office who apparently had no idea she was well on her way to becoming an addict.
However, she is quick to defend her father advising, “My father is a good man, and a good dad, and so ethical and I manipulated him for years.”
As for her addiction, she has come to terms with it and has even embraced it. She calls it, “as human an experience as anything, like heartbreak. It’s like any relationship, a marriage, a divorce, it’s a relationship and it’s human.”
Many would agree. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 2.4 million Americans have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons within the past year. They note the issue affects many Americans, especially youth, older adults, and women in particular. With so many people suffering from the effects of drug use and abuse, and the stigma that goes along with it, it is no wonder Marnell has chosen to embrace her addiction. She is still a user, but intends to tell her story to hopefully help others on their journey.
What can we do as a society to help people we know and love that may be abusing prescription drugs? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter: @lcarterwriter.