Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety

( 9 )

Overview

The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober.

When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world. . .and how she...

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Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety

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Overview

The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober.

When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world. . .and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand. . .

"Wildly entertaining. . .An unabashed account of getting clean and getting a life." —Steve Geng

Sacha Z. Scoblic is a writer living in Washington, D.C. A former editor at The New Republic and Reader's Digest, she has written about everything from space camp to pulp fiction and was a contributor to The New York Times's online series "Proof: Alcohol and American Life." She currently blogs about addiction at TheFasterTimes.com. Her sobriety date is June 15, 2005.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"Throughout that entire first year of sobriety, I longed for some shorthand for everything I wanted to say: the confusing pride I felt about my past destructive life, the odd embarrassment I felt over my current redeemed one. I hadn't the faintest idea of how to have fun without drinking?. I was still discovering all sorts of terrible truths, like how parties without drinking were really just a lot of people standing in the same room and like how movies I once found funny were often riddled with stilted language and bad dirty jokes. And how, without my booze-fueled sense of rock-star self, I had no clue as to who I was—or whether or not I was any fun. I had lost my swagger." In her new post-addiction memoir, Sacha Z. Scoblic doesn't get that swagger back, but she recovers something much more valuable.

Kirkus Reviews

The affinity of writers to liquor is legendary, even a cliché. Departing from the usual, New York Times columnist Scoblic presents a memoir of her happy sobriety.

The author's coming-of-age story follows her life on the wagon now, as well as dates with old John Barleycorn in the past. She tells of losing her sobriety and yielding, in her youth, to the likes of Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan. The young drinker from a secure home in upstate New York began her tipsy ways in high school. She became a Columbia undergrad and law-school dropout working, in those days, for the New Republic and, later, during her more drunken days, for Reader's Digest. Scoblic saw herself as hip and cool, but despite toxic girlfriends and reckless guys, the parties were really miserable. Then, one clear day, she declared her independence from heraddiction to alcohol.The conversion to teetotalism included, as Scoblic reports, her own 12-step dance, some overeating, odd spending sprees and a bit of financial distress. As she climbed out of the bottle, she learned how to depart from corporate happy hours and how to deal with the real world, and she found understanding and supportive love and marriage. Whether she writes of being manhandled by Maker's Mark or offers her frank take on theological matters, Scoblic's testament to life on the wagon is pertinent and raffish, marked by considerable candor and humor.

A dryly witty, spirited memoir of an abandoned life of drink and what it might have cost.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806534299
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 370,038
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Raw, Humorous, Insightful Look at the First Year Post-Alcohol (and a Little Bit of Her Alcohol-Imbibing Days)

    It would be almost impossible to tell her story of the first year without alcohol without sharing what alcohol meant in her life, and Scoblic manages to weave the two together beautifully in this moving, sometimes funny, sometimes sobering (pun intended) memoir. She writes about how she relied on alcohol in multiple ways, and that when she took that crutch away, she was left with a lot of assumptions, about 12-step programs, about faith, about relapsing, that she had to reexamine. One of the most crucial parts, one that I related to, was the idea that faith and prayer are not just for believers. She writes about praying even though she doesn't actual believe, or isn't sure that she does, and that is a concept that was utterly new for me. From Unwasted: "I have found moments of prayer, as I snuggle into my white bed in my deep blue bedroom--like a woman floating on her own moon--when I get grateful about the man next to me, my little pooch, my groovy neighborhood, and our good health and lives, in which I can rediscover a sense of adventure about life and I can touch a small and wonder-filled current inside of me." This concept permeates the book.

    She includes extended fantasies about alternate worlds, from aliens to celebrities, where she might be "required" to drink, and these relapse fantasies, while fantastical, lend an important reality to the book. Scoblic did not simply hop, skip and jump into sobriety. She does not make it sound simple or easy, and doesn't gloss over the challenges of being at a heavy-drinking company retreat or at a party where her old ways can no longer guide her. Toward the end of the book, Scoblic writes, "Until sobriety, the idea that I was someone worthwhile and unique a priori had not occurred to me. And, as I looked toward the blank sober slate before me in the mirror, a thousand discarded personas on the floor, I began to sense that this one last transformation--that is, become myself, which is what everyone tells you to be from the start--was going to be an awful lot of fun. I was going to reinvent myself as me." By the actual end, as she writes about training for a marathon, a lifelong goal, I will admit that I cried. Scoblic does not pretend to have all the answers, but her vision of community, of strength and support, for running and sobriety, is an antidote to the loneliness she explores in the rest of the book, the loneliness and fear that alcohol momentarily removed from her. Her journey in exploring those dark spaces and discovering how to fill the gaps left by alcohol is touching, and should help give insight into alcoholism from a very poignant, personal perspective.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2014

    I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that humor goes a long way whe

    I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that humor goes a long way when dealing with painful emotions, including those stemming from alcoholism. Sacha Scoblic's writing is clever and witty without ever being preachy. I also relate to a previous reviewer who said that prayer and faith are not just for believers. This book is a breath of fresh air, and  the 'Relapse Fantasies' are so funny and creative. I will be re-reading this book whenever I'm in a rut and need to laugh and internally articulate my own feelings about this disease. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Read in 1 day...enough said

    Read in 1 day...enough said

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Great read

    For anyone in recovery, this book is a great reminder of why you quit. And a reminder now and then is a positive thing! The only part that seemed odd here was the authors occasional drinking fantasies. They did not quite fit with the rest of the text and seemed out of place. but over all, this was a great read and I recommend it to all.

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    Posted April 27, 2012

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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    Posted November 9, 2011

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