On the Rocks: Memoir of a high-functioning alcoholic – Thando Pato

3rd August 2022

On the Rocks: Memoir of a high-functioning alcoholic – Thando Pato

Thando Pato

Thirty-nine-year-old Thando is living in total denial about her drinking.

On the surface her life looks aspirational – great job, apartment, snazzy car. But behind the façade she harbours a dark and shameful secret – she can’t control her drinking. To the outside world she looks like a woman who loves having fun, always with a glass of wine in her hand. But alone at home, she’s knocking back a bottle or two a night under the guise of ‘unwinding’.

It’s not until she takes a year long break from booze, that she's forced to confront her crippling anxiety and depression, which now have taken a toll on her high-powered career. She returns to drinking thinking that she can moderate until life takes a cruel twist and she’s diagnosed with breast cancer. For the next two years she chronicles her addiction as she spirals out of control before calling it quits just before lockdown in March 2020.

The road to recovery is brutal as she appears to be the only one sober in the midst of a pandemic.

Thando Pato is an experienced wordsmith, She cut her teeth in journalism as a features writer, writing for O, (Oprah Winfrey's magazine), Marie Claire, True Love, ELLE, and Sunday Times Lifestyle before changing direction and immersing herself in corporate communications. Thando is based in Johannesburg, where she lives and works full-time.

On the Rocks: Memoir of a high-functioning alcoholic is published by Melinda Ferguson Books, an imprint of NB Publishers