Our February book selected by moderator Katie Allen is Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker
"For years, Holly Whitaker wore her workaholic-party-girl persona as a badge of honor, while privately feeling increasingly miserable. She believed that if she could just eat cleaner, save more money, and be more perfect, her life would finally snap into place. Yet all of her attempts to fix herself just added up to more chaos and the chaos added up to more pain and so she added more wine. When she finally had enough and started looking around for help, she was shocked to find that the only systems in place to support her quitting drinking were archaic, patriarchal, and ineffective for the unique needs of women. The Alcoholics Anonymous model focused on strict anonymity, making the ego the enemy, and surrendering power, voice, and agency to a male concept of God. But Holly instinctively knew that what she needed was a deeper understanding of her own identity, the courage to take control of her own life, and to be embraced by a supportive and vocal community. What's more, she could not ignore the ways that alcohol companies were targeting women, just as the tobacco industry had successfully done generations before. Holly became resolute--not only did she have to find her way out of her own addiction, she felt a calling to create something bigger, so that women anywhere on the drinking continuum might find their way as well. The result is her company, Tempest, which provides the education to address the root cause of addiction, the tools to break the cycle of addiction, and the community necessary to build a life free from alcohol. Written in a unique voice that is relatable, honest, and witty, Quit Like a Woman is a groundbreaking look at the insidious role alcohol plays in our lives. Holly offers up a clear-eyed recovery model that banishes the punitive approach to quitting espoused by male-centric programs like AA and provides a positive alternative to living our best lives without the crutch of intoxication. Holly details what makes us sick, keeps us out of our power, and what is possible when we remove alcohol and destroy our belief system around it.
Holly Whitaker is the founder and CEO of Tempest (formerly Hip Sobriety). With years of experience in the fields of healthcare and tech, she created an individualized recovery program in 2014 through a virtual platform that offers education, community, and support services. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat, Mary Katherine.
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