Motherhood. We all have a vision in mind of what it’s supposed to look like: warm, nurturing, saccharine, even beatific. Even the messier versions we allow — frazzled new parent anxiety, daylight zombies — still position the mother as with-it and in control. But what about the mothers who are anything but in control? What about the mothers who have an addiction in control of them?
Jowita Bydlowska is the author of a searing memoir, Drunk Mom, about her 11-month relapse into alcoholism after her son’s birth. A sober alcoholic, Bydlowska toasted her son’s birth with a glass of champagne. Then she began drinking regularly in the overwhelming new days of parenthood. At first her relapse was easy to hide, especially home alone on maternity leave with a newborn. But soon, the addiction metastasized into full-blown alcoholism once again, causing her to make dangerous decisions about her own and her baby’s safety and shrouding her relationship with her baby’s father in lies. When she finally makes it to rehab, the reader is relieved everyone is still alive.
Drunk Mom, which will be published in America on May 27th, is a discomforting read. It’s bare-naked honesty about addiction and families will make a lot of people uncomfortable, especially those with idealized versions of what motherhood and womanhood “should” mean. It’s by far one of the best memoirs that I’ve ever read (and yes, I’m including Wild in that) both for it’s candor and bravery and for her narration. I understand addiction all the better with once-again-sober Jowita Bydlowska as the Charon to this Hades, our guide to the underworld.
I called Bydlowska in Canada where she lives with her now-five-year-old son.
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I’m such a sucker for any article or video that’s called, “What (Fill In The Blank) Is Like Around The World!” You can fill in that blank with pretty much anything and I will click and read and enjoy and share that shit on Facebook. Case in point: this video tour of common breakfast foods around the world. To follow it up, those clever foodies have a new video out that showcases the preferred drunk foods from countries around the world. After watching it, I have a new life goal: get drunk in the Czech Republic, if only to enjoy a fried mozzarella sandwich afterwards. Sweet mother of god, that thing looks SO good. Which meals are making your beer-soaked tastebuds tingle? That was a gross sentence, sorry, but seriously, tell me which one looks best to you! [YouTube]
In high school, I fell for a guy named Opie. That was not his given name but a nickname he had acquired along the way. I would have asked from where it had come, but I never found the necessary strength to even talk to him, let alone inquire about the particulars of his life. I was a 16-year-old magenta-haired dork who hung around the art studios both before and after school. I was in no position to start conversations with Kurt Cobain look-a-likes who rocked the same greasy locks and dresses that only the ’90s permitted without too many batted eyelashes.
Opie embodied that “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” mentality that I craved in a partner. I longed for a tortured soul, someone who was messed up enough that only drugs and alcohol seemed like the cure for the ailments in their world. In my naïve brain, I was the one who could save them, me and only me. From what I heard, after he left school, Opie got a girl pregnant and had his fair share of struggles with substance abuse. As for where he is now, I have no idea. Like I said, it was the ’90s, heroin chic was in the air and in the pages of Vogue, drug use was glamorized, and in all my sheltered cluelessness about the world, a death that resulted from substance abuse was a badge of a life lived to the extreme. I roll my eyes now at how both ridiculous and insulting that thought is to those who know the very dark side of drug and alcohol addiction, both personally and as an outsider looking in at a loved one. Keep reading »
Stupid people getting drunk is about to get stupider: powdered alcohol is on the way. A company called Palcohol was inspired to create powdered booze that can then be added to other liquids in order to make drinks. Powdered rum and powdered vodka are standalone versions or you could try powdered Cosmopolitan, powdered Mojito, powdered Lemondrop or the “Powderita,” a powdered Margarita. That totally sounds like some NASA shit right there. The inventor of Palcohol said he came up with the idea because he didn’t want to have to carry heavy bottles of booze around. But so far, Palcohol is staying mum on how they do it: “If we told you, we’d have to shoot you. We are in the process of patenting it and it is currently patent pending.” And despite earlier jokes that brought negative media attention, they also do not recommend snorting the powdered booze. Something tells me that will not stop some people from doing it anyway. But you can add them to sauces or or guacamole for a little extra kick. As tempting as a powdered Mojito sounds, I think I’ll pass on this one. [Palcohol via SB Nation]
Here are a bunch of other stupid ways to get drunk or high that WE TOTALLY DO NOT CONDONE YOU TRYING, you hear?
[Image of a mojito via Shutterstock]
All the nightlife, hold the hangover.
That’s the pitch behind a growing number of alcohol-free bars springing up in the U.K. Skyy News reports that the increasing popularity of the establishments, often funded by anti-alcoholism charities, could signal a change in attitude amongst English youth. Read more on Huffington Post…
After 10 years together, my husband and I are pregnant. Or I’m pregnant. It sounds too cutesy to say we, but it’s not happening to me alone. At the same time, I notice it’s only my alcohol intake that has dropped off dramatically.
Whatever the terminology, we got pregnant easily. Almost on a whim, we embarked on the birth control-free road thinking nature would give us a while to get used to the idea.
It didn’t. Keep reading »