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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Drunk Mom: A Memoir

Because why wouldn't you want to pick up a memoir titled Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska?

Jowita seems to have it all: a loving and handsome boyfriend, a brand new beautiful bouncing baby boy, and happiness at her fingertips. The only problem with this is that Jowita is an alcoholic and she can't handle not living on the edge. She was sober for three and a half years before deciding to take that first sip at a bachelorette party--after all, a little won't hurt, right? Soon she finds herself spiraling downward into a dark abyss that will claim everything she loves and wants in life.

This book was absolutely captivating in its intense rawness and honesty about what addiction looks like from a young woman who seems to have it all. I am, first and foremost, astounded at Bydlowska's willingness to basically run naked through Central Park, which is what this memoir is. She lays it all out for us to read, rock bottom (sort of literal--read the book) and all. She tells us about feeding her child on bathroom floors, waking up in strange places with face indents, consciously lying to the people she loves knowing that they don't believe her but they will pretend to anyway. This takes a certain amount of cojones that I'm not sure I could have.

Bydlowska, however, remains up front about addiction the entire time. She in no way glamorizes her choices; this isn't a cinematic-grade beautiful film that shows us how things look when she is full-out drunk by making the camera spin. This is about as down and dirty as an addition memoir can get, and it's astounding in it's breadth and honesty. She tries to explain what happens in her mind when she needs to drink even though it doesn't make sense to anyone who isn't an addict. She explains why she hates AA yet it's ultimately the only thing that takes. She wants to be a stronger person but the pull in her brain won't let her.

I absolutely think this book is worth a read, particularly if you (as many do) have a hard time understanding why people can't "just quit." If only it were that easy, there wouldn't be so much time, effort, and research invested in why the relapse rate is so high. I found this account a way to try to make sense of this from a single person's perspective, and Bydlowska makes it clear that she can't guarantee tomorrow. She will try; addiction is tenuous at best.

Hard copy for purchase below.

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