Friday, July 18, 2014

Blame it on the Alcohol

Happy Friday folks! I hope that you're feeling as great as you read and look today. 

As promised, I read Drunk Mom, a memoir about Polish writer, Jowita Bydlowska's 2009-2010 relapse with alcohol addiction and let me just get right down to it.... her memoir almost drove me to have a pity drink for her while reading it before I realized that it would do neither one of us any good, (did I mention that I hate hangovers) so I chose to write this review instead. Plus I think this is the safer choice in this situation.

For those of you that don't know, I randomly purchased Drunk Mom while visiting one of my favorite places nearly 2 weeks ago (yeah you guessed it) Barnes & Noble. Now I usually don't peruse through the books in the addiction section while I'm there; but they just so happened to be right across from the relationship books (I bought Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus during the same shopping trip). After reading a random page in Drunk Mom and being semi-intrigued, I decided to buy it.

Since I've never read an addiction book before reading Drunk Mom, my expectations of it were pretty normal. I expected it to focus on the drama that a careless, drunk of a mother causes in her life and in the lives of those around her; while failing to properly care for her own children because she's too busy drinking. Well, if Bydlowska was nothing else, she was definitely a drunk who happened to be a mom.

Bydlowska refers to herself as a "blackout drunk" in her memoir. Home-girl was drunk just about every second of the day during the first year of her son's life. It was so bad that she literally took the time out to Google the window period a breastfeeding mother should wait after consuming alcohol. This didn't do her much good since she was usually either drunk or blacked out, which meant that she almost always ended up pumping her breast milk down the drain and giving her son formula instead; but kudos to her for at least doing her research!

Bydlowska's memoir brings readers face-to-face with the physical, emotional, and even spiritual warfare addicts go through. Her experiences are real and raw; yet painfully sad too. Sad because after reading just the first few chapters, you realize how painfully hard it is for her to ignore her unquenchable thirst for alcohol let alone accept just how much her addiction was affecting her overall well-being and safety. There were moments when I felt like I was watching her entire relapse occur right before my very eyes, especially when she described how she frequently dumped bags of empty wine and vodka bottles on the streets while pushing her son in his stroller during one of their many outings. On the other hand, there were moments when I wanted to literally curse her out for being so careless and reckless; but I couldn't even fix my mouth to fuss at the pages of her book probably because deep, down inside I know that I have no way of understanding just how hard it is to break an addiction, so all I could do was continue to read and hope that the pages wouldn't lead up to some life-shattering tragedy.

However, once I finished the book, my mind drew a blank because I honestly couldn't settle on whether or not I was going to give this book a positive or negative review. I commend Bydlowska for sharing her story because it really gives non-addicts like me some insight on how addicts view and cope with their addiction(s). Unfortunately, I'm just not sure how many readers will appreciate this memoir, particularly those who can't directly or even indirectly relate to what it is like to have or know someone suffering with an addiction. What I failed to mention earlier is that I personally know an alcoholic, which is another reason why this book peaked my interest; and now that I have read it, I feel a little more knowledgeable about addictions.

Thank you for giving me a different perspective Jowita. 

Should you Open or Close this book? Open it ONLY if you're genuinely interested in the subject; if not, keep it CLOSED.
Would I read another book by this author? Yeah. I think she's a good writer.
What will I read next? I'm not sure yet. I just participated in a spontaneous book swap with a friend and she gave me a ton of books to read. Follow me on Twitter @ open_close_book to see what I decide to read next.

What do/did you think of this book? 
Do you think that it gives readers a better perspective on alcohol addiction?

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