Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska
|May 27, 2013||Posted by Andrea Scott under Health, Memoir, Non-fiction|
Published by Doubleday Canada
Reviewed by Andrea Scott
I was excited to receive this book and couldn’t wait to read it. I generally like memoirs and Drunk Mom did not disappoint. This book provides a very raw and honest look at a young mother who is struggling with alcoholism. Bydlowska does not sugar-coat things, she gives us all the details however ugly they may be.
I love how this book is written. It feels like the reader is inside the author’s head. Most the dialogue is Bydlowska’s own inner voice. Drunk Mom provides a candid look inside the author’s life at one of her lowest times. She shows us how bad it can get. We see her waking up bruised and battered with no recollection of how she got that way. We see how every waking minute of her life revolves around trips to the liquor store and hiding evidence of her drinking. We learn how complicated life gets when you live a lie and how relationships can be damaged and destroyed.
One of my favorite chapters is called Archaelogy and in it she lists all the reasons why she drinks. She blames it on being a first-born child, being an immigrant, a sickly child, on books she has read and rock stars she idolized, on a dog she lost, on past relationships, on getting pregnant. In essence, she’s a drunk because she’s a drunk. There is no specific reason why and even if there was, I’m not sure it would matter. This story is about being an addict and the very rocky road of addiction and recovery.
I loved almost everything about this book; the grittiness, the honesty, the despair and the hope. There was always a glimmer of hope even in the darkest parts of the story. While I felt that the reader was given a pretty open look into the author’s psyche I found myself wanting to know more about the her boyfriend and her sister. How did they feel about her drinking? How did it affect them? How do they keep living with and loving an addict?
The book ends with the author’s recovery and her discovery that it’s not necessarily a happy ending. Neither the happiness nor the ending comes easily. There is no magic wand that gets waved when an addict gets sober. And in reality, sobriety is as much a beginning as it is an ending. I’m looking forward to her next story.
To learn more about Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska, click here.