Today: February 21, 2017

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Book Review of Blackout Girl by Jennifer Storm From the very beginning of Jennifer’s drinking career, at the age of twelve, she was a blackout drinker. Upon waking up from the tallboy-induced blackout Jennifer asked herself for the first time, “Where the hell am I? How did I get here?” These two questions were asked again and again during the course of her teens and early twenties as a result of her unhealthy dependence on alcohol and drugs. And a new scar usually followed as a result of her decision to take the first drink. The blackouts, or shadowy recollections, were a welcome respite from the numerous tragedies that plagued Jennifer’s life –rape, death, assaults, violations, chaos, and confusion. Over the years, the black hole that could never be filled or erased continued to grow and the only cure – though temporary was the drink or the drug in its many forms. Jennifer grappled with her disease of never enough through alcoholism, drug addiction, an eating disorder, and self-mutilation. Without the necessary boundaries as a child, her life spiraled out of control and her family did the best that they could with what they had. It was by the grace of God, a father’s love, and a final attempt at snuffing out her life through a volatile mix of alcohol, crack cocaine, over-the-counter pills, and razor blades that gave Jennifer the gift of desperation which began her road to recovery. As an uncaring roommate left her bleeding and alone, it was a phone call to her parents that probably saved her life. As she opened her eyes she saw her bandaged wrists and finally heard the truth from the doctor, “You’re a very lucky girl to be alive.” And Jennifer believed this statement. This was when her perpetual fear gave way to hope. And the hope granted Jennifer the opportunity to begin the work necessary to enjoy the road to recovery. Years later, and a fully contributing member to society, God has positioned Jennifer to be of maximum usefulness because her relationship with Him is in order. Because she is able to simply “suit up and show up”, her life is a gift that she has the opportunity to share with others. And this new lease on life has allowed her to heal some of her scars while helping others walk through the healing process as well. Jennifer Storm is the Executive Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2002, Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Ms. Storm as a commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Her media appearances include frequent live and taped appearances on all major networks as a spokesperson for victims’ rights. She has been profiled and appeared in We, Women, Central Penn Business Journal, Rolling Stone, TIME, and many local and statewide newspapers. This is Ms. Storm’s first book.