Drunk Mom: A Memoir

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An intense, complex and disturbing story, bravely and beautifully told. I read Drunk Mom with my jaw on the floor, which doesn’t happen to me that often.” —Lena Dunham

Three years after giving up drinking, Jowita Bydlowska found herself throwing back a glass of champagne like it was ginger ale. It was a special occasion: a party celebrating the birth of her first child. It also marked Bydlowska’s immediate, full-blown return to crippling alcoholism.

In the gritty and sometimes grimly comic tradition of the bestselling memoirs Lit by Mary Karr and Smashed by Koren Zailckas, Drunk Mom is Bydlowska’s account of the ways substance abuse took control of her life—the binges and blackouts, the humiliations, the extraordinary risk-taking—as well as her fight toward recovery as a young mother. This courageous memoir brilliantly shines a light on the twisted logic of an addicted mind and the powerful, transformative love of one’s child. Ultimately it gives hope, especially to those struggling in the same way.
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About the author

Jowita Bydlowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to Canada as a teenager. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Salon and the Huffington Post. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her son and his father.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
May 27, 2014
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780698156395
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Psychology / Psychopathology / Addiction
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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I crush up my pills and snort them like dust. They are my sugar. They are the sweetness in the days that have none. They drip through me like tupelo honey. Then they are gone. Then I need more. I always need more.
For all of my life I have needed more.

A precocious literary light, Elizabeth Wurtzel published her groundbreaking memoir of depression, Prozac Nation, at the tender age of twenty-six. A worldwide success, a cultural phenomenon, the book opened doors to a rarefied world about which Elizabeth had only dared to dream during her middle-class upbringing in New York City. But no success could staunch her continuous battle with depression. The terrible truth was that nothing had changed the emptiness inside Elizabeth. Her relationships universally failed; she was fired from every magazine job she held. Indeed, the absence of fulfillment in the wake of success became yet another seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
When her doctor prescribed Ritalin to boost the effects of her antidepression medication, Elizabeth jumped. And the Ritalin worked. And worked. And worked. Within weeks, she was grinding up the pills and snorting them for a greater effect. It reached the point where she couldn't go more than five minutes without a fix. It was Ritalin, and then cocaine, and then more Ritalin. In a harrowing account, Elizabeth Wurtzel contemplates what it means to be in love with something in your blood that takes over your body, becomes the life force within you -- and could ultimately kill you.
More, Now, Again is an astonishing and timely story of a new kind of addiction. But it is also a story of survival. Elizabeth Wurtzel hits rock bottom, gets clean, uses again, and finally gains control over her drug and her life. As honest as a confession and as heartfelt as a prayer, More, Now, Again recounts a courageous fight back to a life worth living.
In this powerful memoir of addiction, prison, and recovery, a reporter and a photographer tell their gripping story of falling in love, the heroin habit that drove them apart, and the unlikely way a criminal conviction brought them back together.

Books for a Better Life Award Finalist • LitHub Best Book of the Month

When Susan Stellin asked Graham MacIndoe to shoot her author photo for an upcoming travel book, she barely knew him except for a few weekends with mutual friends at a summer house in Montauk. He was a gregarious, divorced Scotsman who had recently gotten sober; she was an independent New Yorker who decided to take a chance on a rough-around-the-edges guy. But their relationship was soon tested when Susan discovered that Graham still had a drug habit he was hiding.

From their harrowing portrayal of the ravages of addiction to the stunning chain of events that led to Graham’s arrest and imprisonment at Rikers Island, Chancers unfolds in alternating chapters that offer two perspectives on a relationship that ultimately endures against long odds. Susan follows Graham down the rabbit hole of the American criminal justice system, determined to keep him from becoming another casualty of the war on drugs. Graham gives a stark, riveting description of his slide from brownstone Brooklyn to a prison cell, his gut-wrenching efforts to get clean, and his fight to avoid getting exiled far away from his son and the life he built over twenty years.

Beautifully written, brutally honest, yet filled with suspense and hope, Chancers will resonate with anyone who has been touched by the heartache of addiction, the nightmare of incarceration, or the tough choice of leaving or staying with someone who is struggling on the road to recovery. By sharing their story, Susan and Graham show the value of talking about topics many of us are too scared to address.

Praise for Chancers

“Stellin and MacIndoe, in entries sometimes akin to fighters in the ring, tell the story of their lives as MacIndoe rides a roller-coaster life of drug addiction and prison. . . . [Chancers] grabs in a voyeuristic way and propels page-turning to find out what happens next in a saga no soap opera could create.”—The Buffalo News

“Emotionally resonant and evenly structured, their tandem chronicle resists overly romanticizing their bittersweet interactions to focus on the dedication and devotion necessary to make their already-complicated relationship survive the fallout of critical hardships. An emotionally complex and intensely personal binary memoir of addiction and sustainable love.”—Kirkus Reviews
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