Apparently people can blackout when they are drinking; they can carry on a normal conversation, walk to and from places, even get into the car and drive, all without remembering any of it the next day. It is quite literally a blank in their memory, which they will never be able to retrieve, because of their excessive alcohol consumption. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget explains this phenomena, along with many other interesting facts about alcohol and its consumption.
So I’ve never been much of a drinker, in fact, whenever I used to get offered an alcoholic beverage, I would think to myself “I’d rather have a chocolate bar”, but in order to be accepted socially, I’ve learnt to enjoy a cocktail every once in a while. Being a book lover that hates wine is always a bit odd, especially at book launches, where boxed wine is a given (at least, the ones I’ve attended). However now that I’m a parent, I’m beginning to see the error of my ways. Wouldn’t it be nice to just take the edge off; have a bevvie that helps me think less/worry less about whether I’m nailing this parenting thing? Yes, I see many more gin and tonics in my future, now that I’m a mother. But I realize that my previous shunning of drinking is not the norm these days, especially when I was single and in my twenties. As Sarah Hepola points out in Blackout, many adult social engagements typically involve alcohol of some sort, and getting drunk is no longer something to be embarrassed about, in fact, it is the new norm, and the way that many people solidify friendships nowadays.
Blackout is the latest in a steady stream of memoirs about drinking problems, the most recent one I read and enjoyed was Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska. Reading memoirs about addictions you have never had a problem with is enjoyable for so many reasons, the main one being the fact that you can read it without any sort of guilt, smugly knowing that you are superior to the author in this one part of your life (but simultaneously being jealous of how brave they are for laying it all out there, and in such an elegant and well-written way). No, I don’t think I’m better than alcoholics, in fact, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to chocolate and sugar in general, but reading a memoir about an addiction you actually suffer from would be torture, I’m sure.
Anywho, another reason I really enjoyed this particular book was the author’s voice. She is FUNNY. Super funny, even when dealing with something as serious as alcoholism. But she doesn’t belittle the topic with her humor, in fact her insights into society and its acceptance of excessive drinking are fascinating, and she gets surprisingly honest when talking about her insecurities, which she believes eventually led to her addiction.
So,if you have a problem with drinking too much, you should probably read this book (although you won’t find it an enjoyable and interesting read like I did, regardless you should be seeking help any way you can). If you don’t have an addiction to alcohol, but you do have an addiction to anything (Oh Henry bars included), you should still read this book, because it’s good, and I said so.