Drunk Mom

A Memoir
Narrated by: Meredith Mitchell
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (420 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A best seller in its native Canada, Drunk Mom is a gripping, brutally honest memoir of motherhood in the shadow of alcoholism.

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 best-selling 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.

©2013 Jowita Bydlowska (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A not very lovely story that I love anyway.

Jowita Bydlowska has crafted a heart-wrenching, up close, and personal portrait of the ugliness and helplessness of addiction. I related so closely to her struggles and self-loathing... why, I do not know. Maybe because her book reflects so vividly on the human condition and all its frailties and inconsistencies. Perhaps one doesn't need to be in the personal throes of addiction to still respect it and it's curiosities.

I am upset by negative reviews of Drunk Mom because I can't understand how anyone could read this book and not feel compassion for and celebrate the raw difficult truthfulness that Jowita successfully captured and shared with us. The book is not only a beautiful and bravely written memoire, but also a sober cautionary tale of how easy it is to sink. Thank you, Jowita, for your book.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Riveting

What made the experience of listening to Drunk Mom the most enjoyable?

Like watching a train wreck. It was obvious that she was heading for disaster but I had to watch it unfold.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The heroine and author. She is brutally honest about her shortcomings and, ultimately, her comeback.

Which character – as performed by Meredith Mitchell – was your favorite?

The author and her baby.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A train wreck.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this listen.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved This Book!

If you could sum up Drunk Mom in three words, what would they be?

Buy This Book! For anyone who has ever fought an addiction, loved someone who is an alcoholic/addict or if you've just ever wondered what the heck makes someone drink to the point where they have destroyed their lives, you have to read this book. The story is of a young, nursing mother whose alcoholism slowly progresses, as most addictions inevitably do until her life has become unmanageable. She is not a lover of AA and is quite opinionated about her attempts at recovery and the lengths she will go through to hide her disease. She prides herself on her ability to function and believes herself to be a good mom. A must read for anyone who works in this field, especially CPS. Well written and well narrated.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Realistic. No useless fluff.

Any additional comments?

I struggled while listening as it brought me closer to understanding the stops and starts of my own family members. Struggled, but necessarily so. I'll have a much more understanding heart when I now know that the goals that make quitting substances in my own mind, well worth the fight, just aren't reality for addicts. I really needed this story. I also know that that I can't expect others to be anything but what they are, and that my role is to be the supporter. To encourage them to never stop quitting.

2 people found this helpful

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A Frightening Glimpse in a Shattered Mirror

This book brought me to tears, occasionally accompanied by episodes of nausea. The characters that created words, words that created sentences, and sentences that created scenes full of emotions, actions, descriptions of feelings, and phrases frequently rang true to my own daily life. It was like seeing my life in a fractured mirror -- unpleasant, offensive, shocking and unnerving -- though not always to the same extremes as Jowita -- no rehab, no broken bones, no bike-riding in the snow.

This was an emotionally heavy book with the potential for deep self-reflection and it was terrifying. There were so many exact phrases that I have thought in my head and to hear them uttered aloud, knowing they were birthed from experiences similar to mine was simultaneously comforting and repulsive.

I listened to this book as if it were my own story, though as mentioned, with variations in the extreme situations. The narrator's voice perfected the experience and created the ideally blended presentation of sanity versus chaos, continuously enhancing the battle that is constantly roaring through the pages.

This is a necessary read or listen for any of those that can relate to the loss of control in the never-ending battle of addiction, for significant others who have tirelessly attempted to wield a sword against a loved one's demons, and for the shackled, powerless family members forced to witness the downward spiral. The raw insight and naked vulnerability was both horrifying and intriguing, thankfully wrapped in ribbons of hope for the author and ultimately, for me. Many thanks Jowita.

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating and charming in a raw way

I really enjoyed this book. Couldn't stop listening to it once she got to the drinking chapters. It is so relatable to my recovery. I appreciate her coming out with her raw story. No one can get clean until they are truly ready. Its an inspiration to those still out that they are not alone and recovery is possible.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Drunk Mom, Strangely Passive Dad...poor kid!

Would you listen to Drunk Mom again? Why?

Yes. I have to say that I admire the author's willingness to reveal herself, warts and all, in this book. There is something courageous here, even if not exactly admirable. She definitely lets the reader into the repetitive thought processes of the addict...there is a rinse, wash, repeat quality that non-addicts might find absolutely maddening. That said, if you have ever found yourself addicted to anything, this will all seem achingly familiar.

What other book might you compare Drunk Mom to and why?

Blackout by Sarah Hepola. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. These are books written by women, and are similar in terms of style/content/personal honesty.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to this more or less in one sitting. It definitely captured my attention..the author's self-destructive streak was fascinating, and there was an element of real danger to her drinking -- blackouts and all -- that made the whole thing compelling.

Any additional comments?

I was initially afraid to pick this one up because I thought it fell into that cutes-y and tiresome "Moms who drink cocktails in the middle of the day while their baby cries it out in the other room" genre. It doesn't. This is a complicated woman who drinks for reasons she can't quite understand. If you are prone to judging moms for their shortcomings, this one might drive you around the bend. If you like to think about the ways in which love can sometimes fail to transform us though, this is definitely a worthwhile listen. And FWIW, the narrator does a great job here...she embodies the author's voice and the tone of the work in a way that feels seamless.

1 person found this helpful

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Will make you take a good look at yourself

I loved this book. At times it made me question my own behavior. I will think about this book for a long time

1 person found this helpful

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Just can't get through it....

I have tried to listen to this several times and the monotone nature of the narrators voice lulls me into sleep. There's no change in the voice from chapter to chapter and it's difficult to follow. I keep waiting for the book to really go somewhere as well, but it's just depressing!!!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Riveting

Man oh man. Sooooo well written. Could not put it down. Fascinating. A total look at a addiction in a way I have never known or understood it before. I learned so much, I become totally obsessed with the characters.... I cannot say enough positive things about this book. Can't wait for her next book. Cannot wait.

1 person found this helpful