Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore by Rachael Brownell
I feel like my choice to receive this ARC, and consequently read it, might need a little bit of background story.
Since I mentioned previously that I’m not so into self-help books, my reading this may seem strange. However, alcoholism is something that runs in my family and I decided I wanted to read something that would maybe help me get some insight into the addictions no one wants to talk about, but we all know exist.
For the record, I myself do not have a problem with alcohol (and no, this isn’t denial on my part, hehehe), but I also am very aware that I could. Statistically speaking, children of alcoholics or drug addicts have a much higher risk of becoming addicts themselves. And lucky me, both of my parents are at the very least alcoholics.
Because of my desire to have a better life than the one I feel they have had, I made a decision to not be a drinker at all for a really long time. As I’ve gotten older, I have occasionally had a drink, but have always had limitations because I can feel the alcoholism in me. I know that I am constantly one bad day away from it, and fortunately I have remained stubborn enough to avoid alcohol on bad days. But this also means I avoid it on good days, and have to make a point to make no easily opened alcohol in my house when I’m alone.
Anyway, I tell you all this because I want to make it clear that this book was a very personal experience for me. I read it in less than 24 hours, and really if I added it up, I would say I just spent a couple of hours total reading the book. I’m not sure if it really was that easy of a read, or if I was just so interested in the subject matter that I found it difficult to put down.
I was near tears on pretty much every page of this book, and I honestly think that if I had been by myself while reading the majority of it, I would have been bawling. The stories the author told, especially of what happened in her childhood, are ones I am so familiar with. The feeling of needing to take care of a parent is one I can very much identify with, and something I continually wish children didn’t have to experience.
I was impressed by the authors ability to rehash her drinking to write this book. I’m sure it’s hard enough to get sober, let alone go through the process of telling the world about it afterwards. She is someone I wish I knew, so I could help her down her path of sobriety and watch her progress as she continues to get her sobriety “birthday” chips.
One of my favorite parts was when she was able to start thinking she maybe had a problem with drinking. It was a relief to see that it didn’t take a really horrific experience to get her to this point. No DUI’s, losing of jobs or family members, no trips to detox. That in itself says something positive about her, I think.
I wish that my mother had been able to see these problems in herself when I was five. I’m envious that the authors children are going to be able to grow up with memories of their mother sober, rather than the ones I and countless other adults now have. Wishing obviously doesn’t change anything, so all I can really say is I’m very proud of the author for being able to do this.
I also really liked that the author never mentions specifically what 12-step program she joined. Because I am familiar with them, I recognize it and could name it, but I’m of the opinion that there is no right or wrong program. Whatever gets you sober and keeps you there is right, that’s all that matters.
For me, the moral of this story is that everything takes hard work, there aren’t always perfect endings, but once you make the decision to overcome addiction it becomes much easier. I genuinely hope all the addicts in my life get to the point where they can finally see their problem and want to change it. That change can only come from within, and all I can do for them is continue to hope they will some day reach the point where the author did, and see that just *maybe* they might have a problem with alcohol, or whatever their substance of choice is.
Read this book if: You are a child of an addict, think you may have a problem with alcohol, or are in recovery…especially if you feel like you’re going to backslide. If you don’t have a problem yourself, I can’t promise this book will change your life, but hopefully it will help you understand the people in your life who do have these issues. And be prepared to cry.