this is how-augusten borroughs

Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.

“like i grew up from tiny town-don’t eat the pine nuts, you’ll never fit into your shoes!”

as i listen to chris cleave talk about gold at the philly free library (talk about dreams coming true), i’m reminded of how seeing a writer live means that i’ll never read any further book s/he writes completely in “my” own voice-the one in my head that reads, or the one that reads aloud on occasion. because i got this is how a month after i heard augusten reading from it at harbourfront, i couldn’t help but “hear” it in his voice, and that is amazing. a year ago, i dated an alcoholic and had a hard time understanding the required mindset of AA. i’m glad to hear an addict have the same reservations about the program.

“So in a way, one exists within AA knowing they will at some point drink again because to not drink would be ‘perfection’ and to drink would be a ‘relapse’ and ‘part of recovery’. The price paid would be the number of days one was willing to lose.
All of this is a great deal spent in the company of alcohol, even if one isn’t consuming the stuff. Drinking alcohol with your mind isn’t freedom.
Talking about alcohol every day when you can’t drink isn’t going to work for everyone.
For this reason, AA strikes me not as the cure for alcoholism, but as the next best thing to drinking and the place to bide your time safely and without judgement until you do.
What has worked for me is to find something I wanted more than I wanted to drink, which was a fuck of a lot.
My view that the way to stop drinking is to stop drinking is laughably simplistic on the surface. It’s ‘Just say no.’
It’s also true. The way to stop drinking is to want sobriety more. And then when you feel like a craving, feel the craving until it passes. But don’t act on it-any more than you wouldn’t kill somebody you feel like killing when they cut you off in traffic.” (141)

hands down, this is the best self-help book i’ve ever read.


One thought on “this is how-augusten borroughs

  1. relationship matters:

    “To live in regret and change nothing else in your life is to miss the entire point.” (172)
    “Where there is willpower there is a Band-Aid that’s eventually going to fall off.” (35)

    “Self-Pity is the bestiality of emotions: it absolutely disgusts people.” (55)

    “Even when we lose a leg or an arm, there’s not less of us but more. Human experience weighs more than human tissue.” (114)

    “I”m of the belief that just being patient and letting ‘what’s meant to be, be’ is a crutch and an excuse. I believe such passive thinking is an active roadblock.” (19)

    “The desire to impress somebody when you first meet them is caused by a tiny, invisible, freelance divorce attorney who sits on your shoulder and tells you what to do.” (26)

    “Try to see the therapist as more like a hooker.
    People can relax and be honest around a hooker because they don’t consider the hooker to be their equal. The hooker poses no threat and can offer no redemption. Any redemption you experience in the presence of a hooker-or a good therapist-is redemption you earned and were not given.” (131)

    “Resentment is anger looking for payback. It’s also a high-interest earning emotion. Each new resentment is added to the ones from before. Long marriages have ended in ruin over tiny and insignificant grievances that were never properly aired and instead grew into a bitter barnacle of hatred.” (15)

    “The past doesn’t haunt us. We haunt the past. We allow our minds to focus in that direction. We open memories and examine them. We reexperience emotions we felt during the painful events we experienced because we are recalling them in as much detail as we can.
    We enter therapy and discuss our past. We formulate opinions about what happened. We create a rich, detailed world. In therapy or on our own, we focus our attention on something that no longer exists in order to understand or have perspective or acknowledge or own what has happened. And only after we decide this understanding or recognition has taken place do we stop worrying that particular tooth with our tongue.
    For years, I believed this was how to live.
    I was wrong. It’s how to stagnate.” (122-3)

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