The Cat Is Way out of the Bag
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The Cat Is Way out of the Bag


If I wrote down what was in my head when I was partying, it would have baffled even the most accomplished psychiatrists. I’m reasonably certain there isn’t even a mental condition discovered yet to describe my thought patterns at that time. And as I sit here recalling some of my escapades while under the influence, I shudder at the ridiculousness, frivolity and danger of it all and wonder how I never managed to get myself arrested and thrown in jail.

So Cat Marnell is a braver woman than I to record anything on paper while high. And she makes news for anything she does, even when it’s just hiring an 18-year-old to be her publicist. But what are we, as a society, doing here by paying attention to all this? This is a woman whose job, according to New York Magazine, is “to be fucked up.” With the unemployment rate as high as it is, this is now considered a job?

Enough with the Public Consumption

Tragic or not, the public’s perverse fascination with watching so-called celebrities commit slow suicide seems to have hit a crescendo. I get it, tragedy sells newspapers and magazines and reading about celebrities in recovery just doesn’t give us that same twisted satisfaction.

And look, we’re all participants here. I get to feel a little bit self-righteous because of the fact that I have chosen recovery over the hell of active addiction that seems to surround Cat Marnell’s life. The truth is, though it may sound Pollyanna-ish or just not remotely realistic to someone in active addiction, the buzz I get from being clean and sober and getting high on life far outweighs any temporary hit I got from the chemical substances I ingested.

High Fashion while High

So I get to feel better than the Cat Marnells of the world. I get to feel like I want to shake her and tell her to get a grip, knowing the whole time that there’s no reasoning with an active addict and especially not one who’s figured out how to making a living out of it. But what we’re glamorizing here doesn’t even make sense. In most of the articles I have read about Marnell, there’s a mention of some designer label or other that she is dressed in or carrying on her arm. But really, what’s the point of having all that if you’re going to spew vomit on the coat or pee your pants at the end of the night. And really, do you in fact give a crap what label your wearing when you’re chasing your next high? I could have been wearing a plastic bag and it wouldn’t have bothered me as long as I was making love to my glass of Jack Daniels.

Now, as a mother of two, my reaction to the news of Marnell’s new teen “hire” is this: the fast track to notoriety and fame is riddled with death traps and having your brain not fully formed (according to scientists, this doesn’t happen until the age of 20 for boys) while you’re being shown that active addiction is an acceptable—even desirable—way of life puts you in a very vulnerable position. Which leads me to: Alex Kazemi, can you please call your mother before we’re writing about two active addicts and not just one?

Photo courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City (Helen Gurley Brown Panel) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Nicola O’Hanlon is part of the blogging community for the recovery website You can see her blogs on She was born and still lives in Wexford, Ireland.