woman wearing red shirt drinking
plastic cup with pink flowers
ISBN: 978-1250280589
Published: 1/3/2023
Page Count: 288
Part memoir and part social critique, Drinking Games is about how one woman drank and lived― and how, for her, the last drink was just the beginning. On paper, Sarah Levy’s life was on track. She was 28, living in New York City, working a great job, and socializing every weekend. But Sarah had a secret: her relationship with alcohol was becoming toxic. And only she could save herself. Drinking Games explores the role alcohol…

This was the perfect book to start out with January 2023.  Some of you may know that this is my first time participating in “Dry January.”  I fortunately do not suffer from alcoholism, but my life has been touched by close family members who will always live with this disease.  I decided to abstain from drinking for a healthy start in the new year, but also to connect on some level with those who never can have just one drink.  I have to say even though I do not consider myself as having an addiction, restricting myself from any food or drink that I enjoy is quite the challenge.  Yet of course, being slightly competitive in nature, I am up for this challenge and actually excited to play around in the kitchen to explore different Mocktail recipes!

It saddens me that not everyone can start and stop drinking as easily as I can.  My curiosity led me to listen on Libro.fm to Sarah Levy’s memoir, Drinking Games.  Levy, brings readers into her chaotic world during her drinking years and shares her internal turmoil during her sobriety.  Levy’s shared experiences of blacking out, emergency room visits and waking up In undesirable places, saddened me for her, and for those I’ve heard similar stories from.  This also hit me on another level, that of a mother.  Levy shares a little bit about her parents, but not much.  I kept thinking about raising my youngest and how I can prevent this life path from becoming hers.  Parenting is scary and Levy touches on this slightly as she wonders about if she will ever be a sober parent, herself.

Throughout the book, Levy jumps back and forth between her memories surrounding her drunkenness and her sober years.  At times it was challenging to know where we were at in her timeline, pre or post sobriety.  This didn’t really steal away from the story, but felt intentional because it is similar to following the conversation of someone who drinks.  I also find the title of this memoir intriguing.  Drinking games can be fun entertainment, and the highlight of some parties, but for this book, it makes me think about the games we play with ourselves. 

Levy shares about her self-discovery once she was sober and the very common issues alcoholics and non-alcoholics face, especially for millennials.  Once sober, Levy had to face herself, which it was easier to replace her addicted behavior with other obsessive ones.  She fixated on eating habits, social media habits and really any aspect of outward appearances.  Where she and many of us, she reminds us, need to come to peace from within, which is the only way to win at this game we play with our minds.

Although, this memoir evokes some not so happy memories of my own, I found Levy’s story hopeful for those who suffer an addiction to alcohol.  I would recommend this book for readers wanting to safely from a distance, walk in the shoes of an alcoholic woman.          

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