[Drunk Mom Read online] PDF By Jowita Bydlowska
Profoundly disturbing portrait of eal addiction Pay no attention to eviewers who say I liked the book but I didn t like her By that metric people wouldn t listen to Van Morrison or watch Russell Crowe actThere were moments in the first half of the book where I had to look away for a bit just too claustrophobic But can we fault the writer for doing her job and describing something in a way that makes us appreciate the horror on a visceral level I don t think soI wish her luck and a ton of empathy It s not over and it may never be over but at least she has done much of the heavy lifting And if you e thinking about eading the book wondering if you can learn something about your own situation You can And you and others in your life deserve to have you do this too I wish you luck and send you empathy as well The writing deserves 3 stars but the author as a human being barely deserves 1 star The story is sad and vividly told But I was actually disappointed in myself for eading it She is so narcissistic self indulgent and pretentiousand I think these traits would apply even sans her addiction issues I wanted to focus on the writing but I could not look beyond how much I dislike her Last week when I eceived an advanced copy of Drunk Mom I was a giddy kid on Christmas morning and at the same time antsy pantsy like on a first date I esisted eading Jowita Bydlowska s memoir at first because I knew the moment I crack Tricky one this When I first heard the buzz about this book I assumed it was being written by a woman in say her late 40s looking back on her life at a time when alcoholism and motherhood collided and written with hindsight eflection and a pretty clear indication of the kind of effect her actions had on her children So I was surprised to learn that it was actually written by Jowita Bydlowska a Toronto writer youn I love eading addiction memoirs They can be incredibly ewarding and I have ead some amazing ones by people like Sarah Hepola Kirsten Johnson and Carolyn Knapp This is not one of those books What this is is someone profiting off of child abuse You know that thing where people get drunk and then breast feed their infant Yeah that s child abuse You know that thing where people get blackout drunk and pass out on the floor while being the only person home with the baby Yeah that s child neglect You know that thing where you have an infant and a boyfriend and you decide to take a solo vacation to another city to get drunk and possibly sleep with another guy Well that s just being a shitty person And she proves it to us over and over that she is indeed a shitty person even when sober She has this bizarre idea of herself as bei This book was very hard to ead and I almost gave up on it many times Not because it was badly written or boring or I didn t like the characters but because the author was me Maybe I didn t experience everything she did but her crazy thoughts and crazy language was me It was a eminder and sometimes I need just thata Reminder This Memoir Was Tough To Get Through While Also This memoir was tough to get through while also a very fast ead It s tough because Jowita elapses after her baby is born and "It S So Hard To Read About A Parent Who "s so hard to ead about a parent who to balance her drinking with being a good mother because the deal with alcoholism is that yes sometimes you might be able to get drunk after the baby goes to sleep and nothing goes wrong but babies have needs 247 Jowita would breast feed every other day she d stay sober for a while to get the toxins out of her breast milk pumping the toxic milk out and supplementing his diet with formula But it s also a uick ead because while I wanted her to sober up again eading about the terrible decisions she made is like watching the TV show Shameless in the show the members of the Gallagher family exclusively make bad decisions so no matter how badly you ve screwed up your life it s never nearly as bad as them Or in the case of this memoir JowitaIt s sad when people die from drug andor alcohol abuse but it s one thing to do damage to yourself it s another thing entirely to bring a child into your mess Almost this entire memoir was about the months of her elapse she does go to of her elapse She does go to for three weeks but like almost everyone who goes to ehab she elapses yet again With most memoirs of someone who is addicted I feel empathy for the person but Jowita made it extremely difficult to like her If I ead it correctly she d only had a short time sober when she wrote this seven months and she didn t sound particularly. There are many alcoholic mothers Only one has told her storythree years after giving up alcohol Jowita Bydlowska found herself throwing back a glass of champagne like it was lemonade '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 eturn to alcoholism and all that entails for a new mother who is at first determined to keep her problem a secret Her trips to bottle shops 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 nappy 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 eally starts Jowita Bydlows.
Jowita Bydlowska × 6 summaryAccepts she needs help and wants it yet is hostile to "the idea of it even after AA has proven itself and saved her life and her elationship with her boyfriend and "idea of it even after AA has proven itself and saved her life and her elationship with her boyfriend and she still looks to it with a bit of open disdain citing the pledge at the end of each meeting as a silly itual but it gives the illusion that we e in this together before we go out into the world again outside of the twelve step walls She spends half her time viewing the system that has saved her life and will continue to do so as well as those dearest to her as a leash tied around her neck and not the solid ground beneath her feet Which again is part of the addiction andor disease So as I said dichotomousDrunk Mom is a case study in hitting absolute ock bottom and anteing up again epeating the process until that moment of clarity hits and the body and mind finally decide to wash out every pent up emotion and poison trapped inside chorusing it s time get your shit together and let s make things ight again It s not an easy book to want to ead and in spite of knowing things would turn out okay because after all she s around to write the tale it was often difficult to want to follow through or show sympathy towards a character who for much of the book seems like she might spit on you were you to express care or concern for her wellbeing And though I struggled throughout to know whether the author was ever trying to elicit a sympathetic esponse and continue to do so even after finishing the book I can t deny that Bydlowska s account of alcoholism addiction and borderline self annihilation is an eye opening and in some ways necessary experience wow and man i stayed up way way too late last night because i couldn t stop eading this book it s a tough ead at times which given the title one must expect eally but the thing bydlowska does amazingly well is convey the mindset of an addictedalcoholic person the frantic the chaotic the scheming the blacked out the e framing the behaviours she uses in planning to buy her alcohol drinking her booze dealing with the empty bottles lying to her boyfriend endangering her baby s life being aware of this guilty over it yet unable to do differentlywell it s amazing it s a warty story and while moments are sensational the opening scene has her finding a baggie of coke in a washroom stall at the ROM in toronto which she then proceeds to snort i never felt like bydlowska was purposefully trying to make anything out to be worse or bigger than it was her alcoholism was is ugly people around her suffered this book doesn t ask you to like her or feel empathy for her though i did feel empathy that is i think the point of this book is to open the minds of those who don t have addictionsaddictive personalities fwiw bydlowska is the partner of globe and mail columnist ussell smith Had to ead this for my last grad course Apparently my prof is friends with the author I think that makes it a conflict of interests to teach it in this course Almost 3 months ago I finished eading this book since then we had countless discussions on it in my course and I even did a presentation on one of the chapters which eceived positive feedbackYet I am still torn about this book On the one had I am impressed and in awe of the author s courage to share this dark time in her life with the public On the other hand I am deeply conflicted about what to think egarding her shared experiences More than once I was very clear about my opinion of the stories she shared They bring about strong eactions from the eader which is always a possibility when such dark subject matters are addressed But I couldn t shake the feeling that I had judged the author that I had condemned her and labelled her a drunk and that was the end it of itThis memoir has not only forced me to uestion the blurred lines between the amount of detail an author should share but it has also put me in a ather uncomfortable position to e examine the ole of the eaderMy main point of critiue is the writing style For all the details of her uestionable behaviour she shares the author adopts a ather impersonal writing style by keeping the eader at an arm s length from her deeper private thoughts and emotions It is a contradiction that keeps battling it out throughout the entire book and makes for an interesting eading experienceOverall I am still very conflicted about this book I cannot say if I would ecommend it It certainly makes for a complex study considering various points of viewElliotScribbles. Rah the Heart Is Deceitful Above All things and Harold's End 'Drunk Mom is a stunning harrowing ead Why harrowing Not just because of the dramatic story of a new mother at
The Edge Of Her Tether And Notedge of her tether And not because of Jowita Bydlowska's skill as a writer and the crisp original way she tells it What's most harrowing about Drunk Mom is that you can't stop eading it this the dark now told tale that lurks in the shadow of every seemingly normal family' Ian Brown author of the Boy in the Moon 'A brave brilliant and scathing self portrait Full of energy and insight If Frida Kahlo had been a writer she might have been compared to Jowita Bydlowska' Patricia Pearson author of A Brief History of Anxiety Yours and Mine 'Fearless and troubling and so very humane Bydlowska explodes the cutesy momoir genre You'll ead it in one sitting' Katrina Onstad author of Everybody Has Everythin. ,
Far on a path toward serenity and ecovery she basically said Will I elapse again Well that s what we addicts do Which is true but when you e eading about someone who claims being a mother is the most important thing in the world to her you sort of want to ead a uplifting story Oh in case you e wondering I m not a cocaine addictI prefer to drinkYou found me in the middle of my story and I happened to have just found a baggie of cocaine in that bathroomBut honestly I prefer drinkingI prefer drinking to anything in the world sex food sleep My child my lover anythingI love to drink Sometimes I think No I am drinkIt s like my blood Even before I get it I can feel it in my veins I m not being poetic I can actually feel it in my veinsIt s gold It "like little zaps of gold going through me charging me starting me upWhen I drink I fill with eal "little zaps of gold going through me charging me starting me upWhen I drink I fill with eal and become god likeSo I m not a cocaine addict I m a drunkI had been a drunk for a long time I stopped drinking for a time and then I started againIn case it wasn t clear from the above segment Jowita Bydlowska is an alcoholic That s not a dismissive statement but a descriptive one Drunk Mom a memoir spanning an unclear number of months in 2009 and 2010 is her open wound to the world a mostly accurate account of her elapse into alcoholism following the birth of her son and after three years of sobrietyThe book is structured as a series of episodes detailing the seemingly innocuous first glass of champagne to celebrate the birth of her son Frankie names changed to protect as much innocence as possible spiralling uickly out of control as she everts in terrifying fashion to old destructive dishonest habits The catch however is that her behaviour this time around threatens not only herself but her son as well She ecounts the times Frankie was left unchanged covered in his own filth because she was unconscious elsewhere the times she d fall asleep drunk somewhere public while out with him the many opportunities she took while out with her son to duck into liuor stores her time spent with child a mere mask for her actual wants and needsWhile there is a narrative through line to the events ecounted in Drunk Mom it often feels broken and a little disjointed which makes sense given the somewhat ungrounded nature of the author s memories during this period of time She is for lack of a better phrase the villain of her own tale a semi unreliable narrator who wants desperately to get it ight Her descriptive work is blunt a collection of straight azor cuts bleeding all over the page with little care to how messy or horrible it might look to the casual observer She can t be worried about something like that her concern is getting it out in any way possible documentary style harsh often without emotion Reading Drunk Mom was an unexpectedly emotional journey While I understand alcoholism to be a true addiction a disease in some ways though the term is sometimes ejected as it implies there is a cure a facet of "an s personality it was hard given the isk to "individual s personality it was hard given the isk to son not to feel at times angered or disgusted by Bydlowska s actions and the logic workarounds and lies upon lies she managed to concoct This is due in part to her personality which is minimized throughout She claims several times that she is numb locked inside of her self Intentional or not this is accentuated by her writing style which itself is sparse and staccato and without a sense of self behind the words More often than not the book felt as if narrated by a disembodied spirit that the only way for her to put it all on the page was to distance her self from it Granted that s an assumption and in many ways the drink itself IS her personality but there is a certain obvious amount of distance of handling the past with ubber gloves on so as not to be e infected by it The esult of this is a memoir that eads less like a confessional and a begrudging ecitation unfortunately limiting the amount of sympathy I felt for her and everyone involvedDespite all that when the author eflects on a possible sexual assault in Montreal or attempts to understand how it is she broke her toe and is unable to emember such things due to the severity of her blackouts it s hard not to feel frightened for her safety and for the longevity of any future sobriety achievedThere s a ather multi faceted dichotomous elationship between the author herself and everyone in her life she loves her family and hates them says they e good people and they e not she. Ka's memoir of her elapse into addiction is an extraordinary achievement the writing is aw and immediate It places you in the moment saddened and appalled but never able to look away With brutal honesty DRUNK MUM takes us through the binges and blackouts the self deception and less successful attempts to deceive others the humiliations and extraordinary isk taking She shines a light on the endless hunger of wanting just one drink and one again while dealing with motherhood anxiety depression and ehab Advance Praise for Drunk Mom 'Jowita is matter of fact funny fearless and irreverent as she lifts the veil to chronicle what it means to be a young mother when both baby and mother have their own bottles the shame and the inner voices as well as the joy and elief this book is for anyone who has ever struggled to make it through a day' Laura Albert aka Jt LeRoy author of Sa. ,