A popular blogger’s tragicomic account of how early motherhood and marriage propelled her into a cycle of drug and alcohol addiction from which she narrowly escaped.
Hanchett, the creator of the Renegade Mothering blog, was a senior in college when she discovered that she was pregnant by Mac, a 19-year-old rancher’s son she had been dating for three months. Feeling she had let down a family that believed she would “do something impressive in life,” the author gave birth to a baby girl, married Mac, and settled into uneasy domesticity, which she made more manageable by “remain[ing] drunk about 40 percent of my waking hours.” Eventually diagnosed with postpartum depression, she tried to ease the tedium and isolation of stay-at-home life by taking a job as a receptionist. Instead, she found herself drinking more heavily and fighting with Mac, who drank in codependent solidarity with her. She left Mac and then returned and became pregnant again, vowing to make her family life work. Instead, she and Mac continued drinking and doing drugs together. After a psychiatrist diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder, Hanchett began what would become an ongoing search for a “rehab that would cure me.” But she found no relief. Her clinic stays became islands of temporary sobriety in a life that seemed to become increasingly dedicated to self-destruction. Her body and marriage on the verge of irrevocable collapse, the author unexpectedly found salvation in the counsel of a fellow recovering alcoholic she named “Good News Jack.” His brutal honesty forced Hanchett to realize that in order to rebuild her life, she had to let go of reason and put her faith in “the pulse holding the stars…[and] the thing that makes me alive beyond breath.” By turns painful and funny, the book explores the pressures of modern motherhood while chronicling one woman’s journey toward acceptance of her own limitations and imperfections.
A searingly candid memoir.