A combination memoir and motivational manual focuses on dealing with drinking.
This unconventional and irreverent guide from Australian media personality Compton (Unedited, 2017) begins with a disarmingly simple observation. People need not be out-of-control alcoholics to have unhealthy relationships with drinking and simply not know how to extricate themselves from their situations. This was Compton’s own story. When she became a successful Australian radio and television presenter, she found that her life suddenly included large amounts of alcohol. “I mean, my job was to host parties a lot of the time…or schmooze with clients and sales people, or go overseas and hang out at music festivals,” she writes. “There really wasn’t a time when I wasn’t in a situation that didn’t have a significant amount of free booze as its fuel.” Such passages crop up throughout the book, and they illustrate the winning tone of frank discussion Compton has chosen to address the subject (and also exemplify, alas, how often she gets into arm-wrestling contests with her own prose—and loses). In movingly direct chapters the author describes a world in which she found it impossible to go to a social event like a party or a wedding and refrain from drinking. She found herself dreading such occasions because she was certain she’d drink and didn’t want to—a situation she refers to as “the definition of being stuck.” She takes her readers through the same list of “red flags” that first alerted her to her own problem. Using the supportive-but-sarcastic tones of a wise older sister, she consistently offers hope by identifying directly with her audience. “We can deal with emotions, trauma, circumstances, brilliance, blessings and bad hair days without alcohol,” she asserts. “I know this is possible because I do it, every day.” Compton’s insistence that self-care is the key to self-control will make this the recovery handbook many of her readers have been searching for.
A funny and ultimately powerful affirmation of the joys of alcohol-free living.