THIS NAKED MIND: The myth-busting cult hit for anyone who wants to cut down their alcohol consumption.
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The book is clearly targeted at people who reached that point of realizing that they lost control, that they drink too much and find themselves unable to stop. She differentiates between the conscious and the unconscious mind, the first of which has these rational thoughts, the latter however being the one that keeps falling for it. Her book tries to break down the role of alcohol in society, in our lives, part by part changing your perception of the liquid.
Unfortunately for me it didn’t deliver as a whole. Firstly, I feel that the title is misleading; ‘control alcohol’ suggests it’s going to help a drinker to moderate intake, but in the end the author advocates giving alcohol up altogether. Because I came to the book as someone who drinks a bit too much but not way too much, hoping it might help reduce my intake from around 25 units a week to 14, I found this irksome. I didn't want to give up drinking and I still don't. Half way through This Naked Mind I realised I was reading a book where the content didn’t match the way it was pitched. Like Annie Grace, I am a writer and for many years worked in marketing, and whilst I can appreciate ‘control alcohol’ will appeal to a broader readership than a ‘give up alcohol’ message, I came away feeling I had been misled. The intro started out very open minded and fine; this is an experiment, draw your own conclusions, you don't have to stop drinking forever, no stigma, etc.It's up to you if you want to quit alcohol, moderate, or remain the same. C'mon, this information won't hurt you. It will help you. Anyway, there's still some really good shit in here and I admire Grace for getting sober and producing such a comprehensive and useful guide to sobriety. I will probably re-read at some point.
Pretending that alcohol is a physical flaw (like Alcoholics Anonymous) lets drinkers "off the hook" for recognizing that our mind is the actual problem of drinking I feel like she's trying to simplify issues that are way more complex based on what is true for her personally. Some of the science was interesting, some of the possibilities of the unconscious mind intrigued me, but the rest of the book can be summed up in one sentence: Alcohol is bad and the key to living sober is awareness and acceptance. I don't feel transformed by this knowledge. I knew cigarettes were bad and it didn't stop me from smoking for over 20 years. This book doesn't tell me what I really need to know: directions on how to get, stay, and live sober. If it should work on me subliminally, I'll retract my review and let you know. Over the last 5 years, I noticed that my professional life was going great! From getting a new job, making more money and having the ability to finally buy our first house.
In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness. Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind and the leader of this burgeoning addiction treatment movement, is an overachiever. She grew up in a log cabin without electricity, yet went on to become the youngest VP of a major multinational corporation. In spite of this, or in part because of it, she became an alcoholic. As an overachiever, she realized this was negatively impacting her life on many levels, and she set out to find out what was involved in quitting. I’ve been going through a similar set of questions personally, as I look at my life in my mid-sixties, and at things I want to change.