Dating recovering alcoholic women
Once, during a road trip with the college football team she became so intoxicated she mooned a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam in broad daylight.
“My first blackout was when I got drunk at 11 and there were a handful more before college,” Hepola, now 40, says. Between my 20s and 35, when I gave up booze for good, I’d guess 100 in total. Maybe more.” An editor at the news website Salon, Hepola published her memoir, Blackout, this week.Over four years at college she prided herself on being the cool girl who could drink any man under the table, and drank far more than any of her boyfriends.She had various boyfriends in high school and throughout most of college, but they couldn’t compete with alcohol.“It was like that moment where the hero in the comic finds their superpower,” she says. But when she started high school – and she and her friends discovered parties, sleepovers and began dipping into their parents’ drinks cabinets – her resolve faded.“Suddenly I could talk to boys.” The next morning, Kimberley quizzed her on the night’s escapades. Do you remember crying and saying everyone loved me more than you? University only provided more opportunities to drink, and the blackouts became more frequent.A report last month from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use, is the latest to show that around the world women who went to university are significantly more likely to drink, mainly because they were ingrained in the heavy-drinking culture of college, but that’s not the only reason.
“As more women have gone into professions, they have gone into more industries that have a drinking culture,” the OECD economist Mark Pearson explains.
• Polly Vernon: my (almost) alcohol-free life The first time Hepola got drunk was two weeks before her 12th birthday.
She tagged along to a party with her cousin Kimberley, 16, and an older crowd, where she drank bottle after bottle of beer, feeling cooler and more powerful with each sip.
Staggering into her Brooklyn apartment at 2am one night eight years ago, Sarah Hepola threw a pan of pasta on the hob, turned up the heat, flopped on to her sofa and passed out.
When she awoke, it was to the smell of smoke and the sound of her landlord’s son banging at the door brandishing a fire extinguisher.
Hepola’s southern twang is distinct and she considers each question carefully before answering.