Janelle Hanchett’s memoir, I’m Just Happy To Be Here, chronicling her path through addiction and motherhood is not your average redemption story. If you are looking for a story of a mother who was saved by the first sight of her child, crying and healthy in her arms, this is not the book for you. For Hanchett, it would take many years of mothering before she would find the clarity she was looking for in an interesting place.
As a native Californian, raised on a steady diet of Grateful Dead music, Hanchett takes you on her journey from finding out she was pregnant with her first child, through a few trips to rehab, narrowly avoiding divorce, and right on through to her eighth year of sobriety (now ninth). Woven throughout with her love for the soulful Dead lyrics that accompanied her path, this story will grab you by the throat and hold you close until the final pages while hoping that this will be the chapter in which she gets it together. And once she does, you keep hoping she will keep it together, despite some devastating events.
The unflinching, and at times, raw, heart-wrenching look at the life of an alcoholic and addict trying to navigate the world, while also learning to be a mother and a wife, is an emotional journey in the shoes of someone who has reached her rock bottom and clawed her way back out. You will find yourself crying, laughing, sometimes judging, but ultimately rooting for her to find sobriety not only for herself, but for the lovely family she and husband, Mac, have created. If you want to read a real story, without any self-righteous “sober speak” and an account of the battle with addiction and alcoholism that will give you an, at times, humorous look at redemption while honestly admitting just how fucking hard it is to get and stay sober, I’m Just Happy To Be Here is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering will hit shelves on May 1, but is available for preorder at Amazon by clicking the title, and available for preorder at Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.