no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

drinking and other love stories

Earlier this year, I read the book Drinking: A Love Story by Carolyn Knapp. I was wandering aimlessly around a bookstore and it kind of popped out at me. Initially I thought it would be a silly book to read, as it is basically a story of alcoholism and recovery and I am not and have never been an alcoholic, nor do I have that disease in my biological family. However, I have known a few drunks and addicts and I like those sorts of true-life-problem books because they tend to be universally applicable in some respects to anyone who has a problem. So your problem isn't drinking or depression or anorexia, well the odds are you have some other problem because everybody's got one.

I ended up enjoying the book a lot more than I thought I would. In addition to it making me rethink my relationship with alcohol (I do not want to put myself in the slightest danger of being dependent on it, and did not like some of the ways I was acting or people I was associating with when I drank), it contained a lot of truths about people and their escapes from their problems, and various trust issues, and how even basically good, loving, nondysfunctional families can have communications gaps and insecurity-producing features, and stuff about parental deaths (both of her parents died when she was in her 30s). I ended up putting colored flags on a lot of the pages in the book that contained passages I could relate to.

It's a very hopeful book. It was written when the author was in her late 30s and sober for the first time since she was very young. At the end she talks about the steps she is taking to try and figure out what she wants from life - does she want to marry her good and faithful guy friend, or change careers, or slow down the pace, or what.

Today I found out, while reading Vanity Fair of all stupid rags, something I hadn't known - that Carolyn Knapp died last summer, of cancer, at age 42. All the time I was reading about her life and looking at her picture on the back cover of the book, she was already dead.
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