"A refreshingly raw, contrasting perspective on the foolproof idea of motherhood." -- POPSUGAR
"By turns painful and funny... A searingly candid memoir." -- Kirkus
"Far from your cookie-cutter story of addiction . . . [I'm Just Happy to Be Here] describes Hanchett's journey to recovery and sobriety in imperfect and unconventional ways." -- Bustle
In this unflinching and wickedly funny memoir, Janelle Hanchett tells the story of finding her way home. And then, actually staying there. Drawing us into the wild, heartbreaking mind of the addict, Hanchett carries us from motherhood at 21 with a man she'd known three months to cubicles and whiskey-laden domesticity, from judging meth addicts in rehab to therapists who "seem to pull diagnoses out of large, expensive hats." With warmth, wit, and searing B.S. detectors turned mostly toward herself, Hanchett invites us to laugh when we probably shouldn't and to rejoice at the unconventional redemption she finds in desperation and in a misfit mentor who forces her to see the truth of herself.
A story of ego and forced humility, of fierce honesty and jagged love, of the kind of failure that forces us to re-create our lives, Hanchett writes with rare candor, scorching the "sanctity of motherhood," and leaving beauty in the ashes.
Renegade Mothering blog creator Hanchett offers a startling account of her struggles with alcohol and drug addiction in this raw and riveting memoir. Pregnant at 21, Hanchett married the father of her child, a 19-year-old slaughterhouse worker, and the two settled into his parents' ranch outside Davis, Calif. Hanchett, raised (for a time) as a Mormon, didn't do well with the church's rules and regulations; she was bored with life as a stay-at-home mother and suffered from postpartum depression. She couldn't shake her alcohol problem, despite seeking help, and she and her husband eventually became addicted to cocaine. Hanchett intersperses her account of these dark times with humor, calling out "Type II" moms who drink kale smoothies out of mason jars, or "Type III" PTA moms, around whom she can't "drop the F-bomb."After settling her kids with her divorced mother, the author briefly left her partner and moved into a trailer with another addict, eventually winding up in the hospital following a near-fatal overdose. Relentlessly battling her addiction, the author called on her love of family, as well as the sage advice of an "ex gutter drunk" she serendipitously encountered outside a meeting hall. Readers will cheer Hanchett toward her triumphant recovery.