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Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  305 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
A gripping first-hand story of personal triumph and recovery by a wealthy American housewife who appeared to have it all but who was, in reality, losing life's most important moments in an alcohol-induced haze.

Brenda Wilhelmson was like a lot of women in her neighborhood. She had a husband and two children. She was educated and made a good living as a writer. She had a vib
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Hazelden Publishing (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from the details regarding the use of illegal drugs (which was really difficult to read because the author admitted doing coke while her older son was just 2 years old) I thought this was really eye-opening. It amazes me that alcohol can have such a powerful grip over some people and I was happy to read the author's courageous battle; one that she won in more ways than one. While it's obvious that the book wouldn't be a cheerful read, I did find a lot of the moments to be really depressing ...more
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Brenda is my cousin and I'm so proud of her courage and completely honest approach in writing this book. She brings her authentic self to the table, for better and for worse. I loved the format of short journal entries and her concise, at times blunt, style. There were times I laughed, cringed, and cried. Even though it was hard for me to identify with her addiction struggles, she has inspired me to explore a new level of honesty with myself.
Abbi Dion
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"I felt depressed and went to a meeting. The guy who spoke said he drank because he didn't want to grow up. I can completely relate. Drinking allowed me to cut loose, feel free, forget my responsibilities. I still fondly remember feeling that way. I have to make myself remember the hangovers, the memory loss, the dangerous driving, the responsibilities staring me in the face when I sobered up. It's funny how easily I remember the good times and have to work at conjuring up the bad. I can love so ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book in a bookstore and it interested me. I hadn't seen a book written about a first hand account of someone trying to get sober. With shows like "Intervention" and "Celebrity Rehab" and the like, the whole subject of addiction and getting sober is fascinating. Wilhelmson explains the reason she wrote the book was because no other book she saw could answer her question, "Am I an Alcoholic?" Though she never really came out and said it, I think you get the sense that she understood tha ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a courageous book, and serves as a reminder that things are not always what they seem...I especially loved the descriptions Brenda gave to her Chicago suburb. these women in her life seem to have it all: wealth, material goods, and lavish lifestyles...but it's all a facade. Behind closed doors, her "friends" treat Brenda poorly and are horribly judgmental. Not only that, but they're wasted half the time, and in the end most of their marriages fail. It made me think about the woman and fr ...more
Amanda Callas
Fave lines
Resentments are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.

What I do today is important because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it.

I miss that warm happy feeling of not giving a shit and getting crazy.

The flaws that annoy you in others are flaws you have yourself.

I want to know who I am.

Bibi Rose
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I encountered this book while going through a period of reading recovery memoirs. What stuck out, to me, about this one was how cranky and negative it was towards the other people in the author's life. (Holy crap, would I hate to have been one of the friends she talks about here.) This strikes me as likely being realistic for the mindset of still-drinking or recently sober alcoholics, and that sense I can well believe that Wilhelmson drew most of the book from journals kept while she was drinkin ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
This is not a diary. If you are gonna write a fake diary (permissible) you at least have to remember to write without foresight into the future. Also I'd say Brenda is only 50% alcoholic so if you are looking to read about someone's absolute mess rock bottom, this isn't going to satisfy your craving. My other issue is that Brenda is about 2 smidges more self righteous than she paints herself...but that's ok, I have friends who are worse. All of these bad points aside, this book was still readabl ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This autobio is the story of how any person with alcoholic tendencies who is involved with a drinking social group courts danger. It reminded me of many people who walk a fine line between social drinker and alcoholic. The social pressures alcoholics face in many situations go unnoticed by non-alcoholics and the book made me aware of just how tenuous a position alcoholics maintain on a regular basis. Kudos to the author and continued success in sobriety.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars Bit slow at times, but great nuggets of relatable info and the ending was great. I am usually disappointed in memoirs bc nothing ever really happens and the story just kind of ends, but this one was different. I liked it and would recommend it to anyone struggling with alcohol (especially suburban stay-at-home moms) and anyone who wants some insight into the brain of someone struggling.
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure about this book, and it really is a 12 step book, but there were some really funny parts and endearing, it also makes very real what a person with alchol addiction must go through on a daily basis. I feel very informed and more understanding to people who go through this.
Sarah Anderson
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it
I bought this one on the Nook because it was so cheap and the budget was tight but I needed a new book. It started out rather dull, but was surprisingly good. This is written in journal form, which makes it a lot more interesting as you read her daily struggles.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Got a tad monotonous about 2/3 of the way through, but an OK read overall. Interesting to see how one's self control fluctuates and how important it really is to communicate with family and friends in order to keep peace of mind and control one's drinking urges.
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked the book. But it was boring at times. But I was very happy that the author was able to recover and enjoy life in the sober side.
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
It is an interesting look into the struggle to become sober and stay there. I do have some criticism for the book but I am going to leave it out for now.
lori stacy

was interesting to me because I am coming on a year of celebrating sobriety. Nice to hear another's story not alone in this
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
An enjoyable journey of the author's sobriety and embracing her new life. I found myself rooting for her!
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Honest diary of a woman who overcomes her drinking.
Cathy Peters
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked reading the day to day thoughts the author had while she tried to quit drinking. The story seemed real and I believe it will be a help for those battling alcoholism.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be shallow and somewhat boring. It seemed as if she spent most of the time talking about her friends and their dramas instead of really going deep into herself and her story.
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved the way Brenda writes and the short entries made me continue to read "just one more page". She was so honest and courageous in writing and I kept wanting to read more.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it

Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I love a good come-back story.
Deb Yarbrough
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good page turner! I enjoyed being on her journey of self-discovery.
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Local author.
Jaime Lowman
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very interesting.
Tania Lee
rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2012
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“accepting a situation doesn't mean you have to be okay with it. You can take steps to change things, but then you need to detach from the outcome & accept how things turn out. You keep doing your best & accept reality. If you keep getting upset over things you have no control over, you have no peace” 12 likes
“Resentments are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.” 10 likes
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