... by Sarah Hepola. WHOA. This book sheds a beam of light on the inner turmoil of being an alcoholic and the ways that American society normalizes problematic drinking. It took Hepola decades to make the final decision to stop drinking; something she tried to do more than once throughout the years.
It's heartbreaking to read how her drinking impacted the dynamics of her relationships - and ended some of them. She lost whole nights to her alcohol induced blackouts. She lost years of not knowing who she was without alcohol or how to be a successful writer without blocking the self-doubt with booze. Hepola got caught in the slippery slope that is college binge drinking and was then able to mask the issue at jobs where happy hours were a normal part of building relationships and blowing off steam. Hepola has an interesting take on the way drinking intersects with gender. Women think it's a badge of honor to drink as much as the guys all while weighing 20-50 lbs less than them (she reminds us).
Women are particularly at risk for blacking out, she says: "I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless. But by the time I'd reached my mid-30's, I was scared all the time. Afraid of what I'd said and done in blackouts. Afraid I would have to stop. Afraid of a life without alcohol, because booze had been my trustiest tool."
This is a highly recommended read, especially for anyone who may be getting the nagging feeling that their drinking is a problem.