Drunk-ish A memoir of loving and leaving alcohol

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

Book - 2024

"From the author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay, a hilariously candid and refreshingly honest account of Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's journey to breaking up with alcohol for good. When Stefanie Wilder-Taylor became a mother, being able to connect with other moms over drinks or enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day felt life-affirming. From liquor cabinet concoctions in high school to tequila shots in her early stand-up comedy days to grocery store wine in young motherhood, alcohol was the seasoning that could give almost any activity more flavor. A drink instantly took the edge off and made even the most difficult adversary (be it a tough crowd in a comedy club or a judgmental PTA mom) not just bearable but fun. As... the years go by, Stefanie wonders if her relationship with alcohol is different from other people's. Is everyone else struggling this hard to moderate? Is it even legal to watch The Bachelor without a glass of white wine? Having spent a lifetime grappling with the question of whether or not she is a "real" alcoholic, one evening brings Stefanie close to the edge of losing it all. Miraculously unscathed, she decides that she doesn't need to dive all the way down to a stereotypical rock bottom before deciding to stop drinking; if sobriety will improve her life, that's a good enough reason to quit. Stefanie's memoir is a tender and funny farewell letter to a beloved but toxic friend"--

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autobiographies (literary works)
New York : Gallery Books 2024.
Main Author
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (author)
First Gallery Books hardcover edition
Physical Description
270 pages ; 23 cm
  • 1. Motherhood: The Beginning of the End (Before Conception, After Delivery)
  • 2. Is This an Intervention?
  • 3. Sugar, We're Goin' Down
  • 4. I Remember My First Beer
  • 5. I Drink Because I'm a Comic
  • 6. Let's Play Twenty Questions
  • 7. DUI (Dating Under the Influence)
  • 8. Do I Have to Quit or Can I Just Cut Down?
  • 9. How I Almost Became a Lifetime Movie
  • 10. Asking for Help
  • 11. The "A" Word
  • 12. What's God Got to Do with It?
  • 13. A Year of Firsts
  • 14. Where Everybody Knows Your (First) Name
  • 15. Not Without My Xanax
  • 16. Sober Wife, Happy Life?
  • 17. The Moms on the Other Side of the Fence
  • 18. Outed
  • 19. Whac-A-Mole
  • 20. Tools of the Trade
  • 21. Sorry About Your Bachelorette Party
  • Epilogue: In the End, There Is Gratitude
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A mother drags herself kicking and screaming into sobriety in this raucous memoir from humorist Wilder-Taylor (Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay). Recapping her fraught relationships with booze and other addictive substances, from the candy she binged and purged as a teenager to the Xanax she scarfed to subdue postpartum anxiety, Wilder-Taylor writes that her reasons for drinking were manifold: to get over shyness, to soothe her stage fright before stand-up gigs, because drinking a little felt good enough to drink a lot. Waking up hungover one morning after driving home drunk from a friend's house with her toddlers in tow, she decided to quit alcohol and join Alcoholics Anonymous, which felt like "the world's dullest book club, because instead of reading the latest Oprah Winfrey discovery, the only book up for discussion was a boring one about people in the 1930s who couldn't quit drinking." Wilder-Taylor paints a vivid, self-skewering portrait of alcoholic delusion and dysfunction, from dubious rationalizations ("All of those studies say red wine has antioxidants in it that prevent heart disease. I mean, are you trying to have a heart attack?") to mortifying physical indignities (an explosive bout of drunk vomiting is described as "a July Fourth fireworks finale"). The results are funny, neurotic, and woozily uplifting. (Jan.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A sharp, self-deprecating look at overcoming addiction. In her latest book, Wilder-Taylor recounts her relationship with alcohol and her painful journey to sobriety. She previously wrote several books, including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour, about how alcohol helped her take the edge off the strains of being a new mother while juggling a career as a comedy writer. She admits that she had always drank too much, and with a wry eye on her own foibles, she explains how booze had become the center of her social and emotional life, even while she was hiding her level of consumption from her husband. The author offers plenty of funny jokes about her capacity for self-deception, while a part of her admitted that her drinking was sliding out of control. The turning point was when she realized she had driven home while falling-down drunk, with her children in the car. She started going to AA meetings and was, after a huge effort, able to quit. Giving up prescription drugs was another battle. Soon, a new round of addictions emerged, including candy, computer games, and even her cellphone. They were not as harmful as alcohol, but she knew that she needed to conquer them for her psychological peace. Once sober, she realized that many mothers of young children likewise drank too much. After she wrote about her battle with addiction on her blog she became a minor talk-show celebrity, although she had mixed feelings about it. All this could have easily turned into a melodramatic plea for sympathy, but Wilder-Taylor's willingness to make fun of herself makes Drunk-ish a brave, entertaining book, with much to say about living in our times. Wilder-Taylor's story of becoming sober after years of drunkenness is told with wit, intelligence, and engaging honesty. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.