Monday, September 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska

Drunk MumThree years after giving up drink, Jowita Bydlowska found herself throwing back a glass of champagne like it was ginger ale. "It's a special occasion," she said to her boyfriend. And indeed it was. It was a party celebrating the birth of their first child. It also marked Jowita's immediate, full-blown return to alcoholism and all that entails for a new mother who is at first determined to keep her problem a secret. 

Her trips to liquor stores are in-and-out missions. Perhaps she's being paranoid, but she thinks people tend to notice the stroller. Walking home, she stays behind buildings, in alleyways, taking discreet sips from a bottle she's stored in the diaper bag. She know she's become a villain: a mother who drinks; a mother who endangers her child. She drinks to forget this. And then the trouble really starts.

Jowita Bydlowska's memoir of her relapse into addiction is an extraordinary achievement. The writing is raw and immediate. It places you in the moment--saddened, appalled, nerve-wracked, but never able to look away or stop turning the pages. With brutal honesty, Bydlowska takes us through the binges and blackouts, the self-deception and less successful attempts to deceive others, the humiliations and extraordinary risk-taking. She shines a light on the endless hunger of wanting just one more drink, and one more again, while dealing with motherhood, anxiety, depression--and rehab.

Her struggle to regain her sobriety is recorded in the same unsentimental, unsparing, sometimes grimly comic way. But the happy outcome is evidenced by the existence of this brilliant book: she has lived to tell the tale - goodreads

(Received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Confession: I love reading memoirs of people I have no idea who they are. I guess I am just nosey.  I find it so compelling to read someone elses' story, especially one like this that takes some guts to write. 

On that note; Drunk Mom is a great read. Its brutally honest, at times cringe worthy, but that is what makes it special.

I'm not a mom, or a drunk. But I do love myself a glass of wine. And some of the descriptions she gives, also ring true to me (and I'm sure to any other social drinker). I found it very interesting to see exactly how far people go to hide something. Hiding beer in diaper bags, going out of your way to throw the empty bottles out.  You know your doing something wrong when you go though that length. 

A kudos and a slap in the face to her boyfriend.  He is either very very dumb or very very passive.  If I was in his position, I would have walked out countless times, but he gets a high five for being there for their son. 

This memoir also shows how much it is the persons choice and want in order to become sober. All of a sudden something switched in Jowita's mind that she needed to, and more importantly, wanted to become sober. She said she was attending meetings before, but was never 100% into stopping drinking. So of course she relapsed. 

My only concern about this memoir, is that it was written only a short while after Jowita is sober (again). I hope that by writing this memoir was therapeutic to her and allows her to stay on the sober train, if not for herself, for her son.

For a memoir, go read this. Its very enlightening, and I couldn't put the book down until I scrolled all the way to the end. Plus the cover is pretty awesome. 

“There's this parallel, perhaps less conscious desire, which is to numb myself to the world. To deal with the world tomorrow. Living is difficult. Dying is difficult.” 

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