Read Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas Online


Winner of the Books for a Better Life Award in the First Book category | Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, "I am an alcoholic," to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw. Now, in BETWEEN BREATHS, Vargas discusses her accounts of growWinner of the Books for a Better Life Award in the First Book category | Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, "I am an alcoholic," to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw. Now, in BETWEEN BREATHS, Vargas discusses her accounts of growing up with anxiety-which began suddenly at the age of six when her father served in Vietnam-and how she dealt with this anxiety as she came of age, to her eventually turning to alcohol for relief. She tells of how she found herself living in denial, about the extent of her addiction and keeping her dependency a secret for so long. She addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who had never found the right balance. Honest and hopeful, BETWEEN BREATHS is an inspiring read....

Title : Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781455559633
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction Reviews

  • Noelle
    2019-06-13 23:22

    Elizabeth has always been one of my favorite news people and I was shocked when I heard she had gone to rehab for alcoholism. She tells her story with bravery, honesty and vulnerability. It's hard to say you enjoyed a book where someone fell so many times but it was inspiring that she continued to pick herself back up. I wish her the best in the future.

  • Heather Fineisen
    2019-05-31 23:21

    Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes. This is a sound memoir on Vargas' alcohol addiction and treatment. It is well-written and informative but it seems as if Vargas is holding back. She is very careful and diplomatic in her treatment of others. This is not a gossipy read but a story of her battle with addiction. Helpful and relatable, she shows us addiction doesn't discriminate.

  • Ariel
    2019-06-21 05:18

    I always loved Elizabeth Vargas on 20/20. She always looks so poised and elegant. That is why it was such a shock when she had to take a break from TV to enter rehab, more than once. Her book chronicles her rise in the news world and her downward spiral when she chose to use alcohol to self medicate an anxiety disorder. I think her story highlights how difficult and stigmatizing it is to get mental help in this country. Instead of directly addressing her anxiety disorder it was easier for her to grab a bottle of wine in order to take the edge off. One bottle of wine turned into two until the day she almost died. The story is told in an interesting and straight forward way, much like a 20/20 episode that Elizabeth would host. I give her a lot of credit for putting out there some embarrassing situations in the hopes of helping others. Even at her lowest she seems to have more class than her cheating husband. I hope she has put her demons behind her and wish her the best as she moves forward in her recovery.

  • Ingrid
    2019-06-11 03:16

    Having grown up in a divorced, dysfunctional, sexually and emotionally abusive household, I know very well those feelings of wanting to escape, numb and hide- from those who were hurting me, not protecting me as they should have, for not seeing that I needed help, and from my own damaged self. That inability to say no when you are young, helpless and scared haunts you all throughout adulthood. We wind up unable today no to anything, living a lifetime of trying to, and failing, to please others to the point where we end up feeling mentally exhausted, unhappy, powerless, alone and afraid of being abandoned. So many women I've met feel this way because of some trauma in their childhood, or they grew up in a very dysfunctional family where the problems overshadowed any adults' ability to bond or connect with them enough to feel like they mattered, or that anyone cared. It's a lonely life that only gets worse the longer you hide or run away from it. Turning to any form of escape, especially addictive ones like alcohol, drugs and sex, are temporary fixes, but so destructive for everyone around us. It becomes your only way to escape who are and the life you never wanted. Until it starts killing you and those around you. Vargas writes, "We had all been brought to our knees by our inability to say no to something that was killing us.". I was never able to say no to my parents, or my abuser, the kids who tormented me growing up, to the unhealthy ways I tried to escape back then and they wound up nearly killing me as an adult. I present day, I am baffled that I was still unable to say no to the things that were ultimately destroying me- anger, resentment, denial, hiding, dishonesty and shame. I was unable to say not to drinking as a way out of anything painful. Vargas is brutally honest about all of her own struggles and battles with lack of self worth, fear of abandonment, perfectionism, personalizing every failure as her own, and terror of not measuring up to the vision people had of her and one she was desperately clinging onto for herself. It's a tough battle, not just overcoming addiction, but to "solve the mystery of why I kept going back to what was killing me". Facing your own failures is incredibly hard, especially when the people in your life who hurt you deeply aren't willing to face theirs. We can never change others, nor the outcomes of their lives, but we can take charge of our own actions to love, respect and accept ourselves so that we can do the same for the people in our lives who dared to care and love us. And we can accept that it's okay to ask for help, no one can truly do anything alone in this world. We aren't meant to...Great read! I come away inspired by this beautiful line, "You light up a room when you walk into it. Don't walk into it drunk." Have the courage to be present with whatever is on your journey in life.

  • Quinlanq
    2019-06-15 06:21

    I hate to say this because it's going to make me look like a jerk, but I felt that most of the book was whin-ey and "poor me". She told us endlessly about her experiences being bullied in elementary and middle schools but never gave a concrete example. She complained about not having time with her two children, but when given a promotion to co-anchor the evening news, she decided HERSELF that she did not want to give up her additional position on 20/20. If she really wanted to be with her kids, one would think she would make those difficult decisions and place her family above her career. She insisted she had to keep working to keep up her family's lifestyle; once again, I would downsize my house, car, etc., in a minute if it meant it would be beneficial to my kids and their upbringing.As for her alcoholism, I am married to an alcoholic and several of my family members are also alcoholics. She seemed to dwell more on the embarrassment of her drinking rather than what it was doing to her family and job or her intention to quit. I'm also worried that she may have written the book too soon. 2 years sober is not much in the world of an alcoholic. I also wish she would have told us more about what it was like to be a Latina in a white girl's world.

  • Jess Dollar
    2019-06-10 02:25

    Here is why I love memoirs: you get to learn from someone else's experience. You have someone else's life story to add to your own to help you make better choices. In the case of this book, I didn't necessarily see a path to making better choices but it helped me appreciate the choices I've already made. I know alcoholics and drug addicts intimately. They inhabit every corner of my family tree and have shaped my experiences since the day I was born. I may have many flaws and a collection of poor coping skills, but this book really made me grateful that I never went down the path of addiction. I'm just really fucking glad I didn't go there. The way Vargas described her experience, with three trips to rehab with her kids missing their mama, no "aha" moment where everything became better, and not much of a happy ending except for moving on as best she can, paints a brutally accurate picture of how messy addiction is. And I thank her for that. It takes guts to write an entire book about how much you have messed up and hurt people. I'm glad she did it so that today I can thank myself for never going there when so many people around me did.

  • Kayla Peebles
    2019-06-10 05:18

    I started this book under the impression that it was a different book I had been wanting to read. A few pages in, I realized my “mistake” but was too hooked to care. I’m a sucker for a memoir. Especially if I “know” the author but even if I don’t (which was the case for Elizabeth Vargas - I don’t watch the news much). Stepping into someone’s life and feeling their triumphs but, best of all, their failures is a welcome reminder that no one (including all the pretty/funny/intelligent/got-it-together people) have life figured it out. But, dammit, we give it our best shots, stumbling blindly through life, one day at a time. The timeline is correct; I finished the book in two days. It’s a ridiculously easy read. Although if I’m honest, I feel like there was something lacking. I can’t put my finger on what. The book was real, but not too real. Regardless, I am grateful she told her story. Normalizing addiction and anxiety issues will help give other people the courage to get help.

  • Anne Trinkle
    2019-05-31 02:07

    For someone who lost her marriage and precious years with her kids, this book does not talk much about her husband and kids and the effect her disease had on them. I have two alcoholic family members and I GET THE DISEASE! The thing that bothered me is I felt the news stories of that time in her life got more pages than her family did. I could care less about the politics of ABC!! I care about why her husband chose to divorce her!! And " waaaaa waaaa, I had to give up my Clarins face cream at rehab!!!!" Really? What matters to you? No respect at all for her attitude.The other thing is that she complains about her second treatment center ( the one in TN), and that she doesn't get better there. SO LEAVE and go back to the first treatment center!!! She talks about how Mark is mad at her. Uh yea, ya think he is angry when you have ignored his pleas for you to stop drinking?This woman makes $750,000 a year and could have chosen where to go to rehab. I'm glad she got treatment but so little is told about her LIFE, and so very much is told about all the news stories she covered. It was just not a well balanced story in my opinion. She may be AMAZING at her job at 20/20, but she is not an author. She sorely needed someone to tell her that this book was supposed to be about her DISEASE and her life and her family, not all the amazing news stories she covered. Her insecurities even affect her writing. I sound harsh, but for someone with her connections and intelligence, this book was just average.

  • Brittany
    2019-06-10 07:04

    The overarching theme of this book? Appearances, and the components thereof: gender, fame, poise, etc.) have no bearing on the disease of anxiety. And those who have debilitating anxiety will stop at nothing to relieve it. This book is appropriately raw and thoughtfully honest. It paints a messy picture that draws the reader in solidarity, and also serves as a warning to those living on the precipice of something similar. Vargas opens up and details how there's no partial way out when one deals with anxiety and self-medication, there's truly only full commitment to recovery or destruction. Thankfully, she chose the first option.

  • Katie Sumner
    2019-06-24 01:27

    Candid engrossing readThe twist in this addiction tale is twofold: first, the tale is told by Elizabeth Vargas and it holds the reader in a way other tales on addiction can't. It felt less like reading a book and more like sitting down with her and hearing firsthand what her experience was . That was worth the price of admission alone . The second gift from this book for me was hearing about her lifetime struggle with anxiety . I think a lot of us have that and it was refreshing to get her take on it . Highly recommended.

  • Ruthanne Davis
    2019-05-28 07:30

    An exceptional and totally honest biography by Elizabeth Vargas. From early childhood on, she has suffered from anxiety and fears of abandonment; in part, because her father was military and often away and in danger during Viet Nam. Add to that her mother had to work and they lived mostly in foreign countries where, at school, she was often bullied, being small in build and shy.The anxiety followed her into adulthood. And to choose the career of a nationally known t.v. reporter and host only added to her panic attacks.Alcohol, she soon learned, relieved the pressure and gave her a false, but useful, feeling of well-being. That is, until her drinking got out of control and effected her role as mother and wife and nearly resulted in her firing by ABC. Elizabeth gives much credit to the friends and co-workers who helped her. She also describes some of the painful process of repeatedly going through rehab, only to fail over and over again as she resumed her "normal" life once more.It takes a very brave individual to open up her mistakes to the public, something she first did on a powerful interview with George Stephanopolus. I have great respect because she did so in the hope that she could help others from making the same mistakes.There are few of us who have not had to deal with alcoholism in friends and relatives or, perhaps, even in our own lives. I highly recommend this insightful book to anyone in that category.

  • Meribeth
    2019-06-09 05:06

    I have always enjoyed watching Elizabeth’s reporting and I remember seeing her discuss her alcoholism on TV and being shocked. This must have been difficult to write and share so publicly as a reporter. This memoir was very well done, her honesty and ownership is admirable. I like her even more after listening to her book. Drinking alcohol is so commonplace socially as well as a common way to feel more comfortable/relaxed or calmer when under stress that it is easy to rationalize your drinking, especially if you drink less than others in your social circles.I feel like she withheld a few chapters from the book that were just too private to share which would have made the book 5*****.

  • Taylor
    2019-06-05 00:07

    Elizabeth Vargas, an American television journalist, recounts her lifelong struggle with anxiety and eventual addiction in this memoir. Her story begins in early childhood when she first began experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. Later, in her adult life, she turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism but eventually realized that this way of coping was creating more difficulties for her than the anxiety she was trying to manage. Much of the memoir focuses on her attempts at rehabilitation and the impact of her addiction on those around her. The author was very honest and candid in telling her story and has gained a great deal of insight throughout her journey. If I had difficulties reading about it at times, I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for Ms. Vargas to write. A brave woman indeed! Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  • Stefanie Onieal
    2019-06-08 05:10

    I chose this book from the few memoirs available for my Kindle at the library. One thing that struck me was when EV talked about the need to present a perfectly put together image to the world...even when one is falling apart inside. So many women in particular, struggle with this. I appreciate her honesty and I admire her courage in writing this book.

  • Sandy
    2019-05-26 04:32

    Just goes to show you never know what path people are walking or what struggles they are dealing with daily. I used to love watching her on 20/20, she was so elegant and well spoken. I had no idea that she struggled with anxiety and alcohol addiction, and hope she finds the peace she is so desperately looking for. For the most part, it was an easy and interesting read, if somewhat reserved.

  • Arlene
    2019-06-25 03:25

    This was an outstanding book by Elizabeth Vargas! I listened to it on audible and she did an amazing job narrating. It was honest and heart wrenching to hear her struggles with alcoholism. I highly recommend it, especially for anyone who knows someone with an addiction of some kind. Probably most of us do!

  • Kelley
    2019-06-01 23:12

    2.75 stars. This books started very well with Vargas describing her childhood and the panic attacks that plagued her. After that, the book pace slowed as it described her school years and career. I almost gave up on the book at that point, but I hung in there. The rest of the book describes her marriage and struggles with alcoholism. While the book was interesting, I felt like Vargas reported the details of her life without really exploring her internal struggles. I've read other memoirs that explored addiction more in-depth.I listened to the audio book version, and it was one of the few audio books that I did NOT like read by the author. She reads the story of her life like she reads the news. Her voice is very stilted and formal, and I was never able to adjust to it. I don't think I'd recommend this audio book unless you are a fan of Vargas already.

  • Mary
    2019-06-09 02:17

    When the news came out that Elizabeth Vargas was an alcoholic and in rehab, I remember being like "Huh! But she's such a fancy and well put together news anchor" which is totally a dumb a-hole thing to say. She has some intense drinking stories. Multiple times in the book my only response was "Jesus Christ."She really emphasizes the link between her addiction and mental health issues. Not to excuse her alcohol use, but to explain the need to self-medicate and the eventual need to find healthy ways to cope. Besides all the boozing, she has some really interesting journalism stories that also make it worth reading.I listened to the audiobook and I really enjoyed her delivery. She is a fancy news anchor, so she's has that talking thing going for her.

  • Christine Irvin
    2019-05-26 23:29

    This first-person account of Elizabeth Vargas' battle with alcohol is well worth reading. She lays it all on the line - the pain, the anxiety, the guilt, the shame - telling her story honestly, sharing her "dirty little secret" with the world. It's a touching story, once that is played out thousands of times every day by alcoholics around the world. But, what makes this story a bit different is the fact that Vargas is a well-known news anchor for ABC who managed to hide her alcoholism addiction from the world for many years.Now, her secret is out, and she tells the whole painful story of how she lost her marriage and almost lost both her job and her life.

  • Donna
    2019-05-27 04:25

    This is the autobiography of Elizabeth Vargas. I enjoyed this. It felt real and honest. It also felt well written. She talked about her anxiety and her addiction to alcohol. It was sad how desperate she was to keep this secret hush-hush. It didn't help with her recovery. What struck me the most was how positive she was when talking about others, especially those who caused her pain and heartache. She never unleashed back on to them in this book, and I'm glad. I always hate it when the finger pointing starts and the victim card is played. I love that she avoided that road and took full responsibility for actions.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-07 06:27

    Source: I own a copy of this book.Note: These are my personal opinions. I received no outside person comments or opinions.This was a very raw, emotional, and inspiring read for me. I too have an addiction to alcohol. When I am severely stressed or feel an immense amount of anxiety and panic, I will sometimes think after a particularly stressful day, "Man, I really need a drink."Vargas did not hold back. She is completely honest with herself and her struggle with alcoholism in this tell-all memoir. I found it extremely heartfelt and helpful. Her story is very relatable and I would recommend this book to people struggling with alcoholism.

  • Shelley Bastos
    2019-06-10 01:17

    Extraordinary!This is one of the best books I've ever read! It was honest and insightful....touching and I could almost feel the words on the page! I admire Ms. Vargas! I too have struggled with "demons" and have been reconnected with my Higher Power and am living life on life's terms! This book is a must read! Like Ms. Vargas says...if you're not struggling with alcoholism or addiction, you know someone who is!

  • Karen
    2019-06-01 07:11

    A very touching story. I couldn't stop reading it. I've enjoyed watching Elizabeth Vargas on various news shows reporting stories. I never knew she had a problem with alcohol and anxiety. I'm glad she didn't lose all she had in life to alcohol. She lost her husband but she still had her job, her two boys, family and friends through all of it. This had to have been a very difficult story to tell. Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your story.

  • Marcia Sleeper
    2019-05-30 01:19

    Revealing!A story about alcoholism told with openness, honesty, and humility. One that another alcoholic can identify with and one that friends and families can learn about the disease. Hopefully it will educate people and help to take away the shame and guilt of alcoholism. Well written.

  • Carol Leashefski
    2019-05-31 23:17

    Powerful and RawGreat writing by Elizabeth as well as honesty. It makes one understand the destruction addiction creates. One of the greatest insights she stated that addiction is a piece of something which happened in one's life. That is how I perceived it and it makes sense to me.

  • Kay Cirillo
    2019-05-28 01:15

    So honest and heartbreaking.

  • Anne-Marie
    2019-06-18 03:03

    Listened to on Audible. Excellent!

  • Wendy
    2019-06-19 01:17

    First off, I wish Elizabeth Vargas well in her recovery. If she used writing this book as an exercise to recognize her demons and make sense of it all, good for her. As for a reading experience, it’s not such a success. There is an uncomfortable surface dynamic to her narrative. The book reads like a crafted television feature story, full of oh wow moments but without the necessary ownership, depth, or backstory. The priorities of television seem to override most parts of her life, and the competition and perks of being a celebrity seem to be an underlying theme to her happiness. I’m not sure she has found her center. It appears her struggle, and that of her family, encompasses well over 8 years. That is a lot of heartache.

  • Kristine
    2019-06-02 23:28

    What I loved about this story was the raw vulnerability of Elizabeth’s story - her struggle with alcoholism was eye-opening to me. There were parts of her story where I could see like struggles with loved ones and how helpless you can be as a support system when the addict (at whatever the poison) is not ready to recognize the disease. I even found myself getting mad at her by the end, not understanding the full weight of the disease. What was really powerful for me was seeing what I have spent the past year studying in positive psychology having been one of the most impactful changes to her daily sobriety.

  • Noelle
    2019-05-28 04:24

    I have always enjoyed watching Elizabeth Vargas. She has such an electric personality that draws me in.Elizabeth was interviewed by Diane Sawyer after writing this book. It was a great interview that led me to wanting to read the book. I felt like Elizabeth was telling me her life story over a cup of coffee. It was an easy and enjoyable read. Interesting to see the things that happen behind the camera and shows that no one is immune to anxiety or addiction. As a trauma/addiction therapist I was disappointed that it took until her 4th time in rehab for someone to introduce the idea of meditation to help decrease her anxiety. As helpful as "The Center" in Tennessee was to Elizabeth; to me it sounded very punitive and shaming as a whole. Helping people find dignity and respect for themselves is part of the healing process, not treating them like kids.