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36
4.9 out of 5 stars
Why You Drink and How to Stop: A Journey to Freedom
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2014
Having removed alcohol from my life completely I have been amazed at the difference (fast, positive & lasting) I have noticed, and I've become very interested in the subject of alcoholism and addiction generally.

I am already an admirer of plain-speaking anti-alcohol advocates such as Jason Vale, and I read Veronica Valli's book with interest. There are a wide range of titles to choose from when researching alcoholism and I have recommended Jason Vale's book many times and will continue to do so. However Veronica Valli also adds a great deal with `Why you drink and how to stop' and the reason for this lies in the first part of the title.

While Jason Vale's book pragmatically discusses overcoming desire to drink and dispelling many of the alcohol myths, Veronica Valli goes to the deep-rooted psychological reasons as to why an addict picks up a bottle (or anything else) in the first place.

Veronica addresses the emptiness inside that certain people will attempt to fill with addiction (of all varieties) and her book uses compassion, clinical study and her own candid experiences of addiction recovery to help people understand why they are seeking oblivion in alcohol or other substances.

Quite a lot of space in the book is set aside to discussing the more spiritual side to recovery that is necessary for people seeking peace outside of addiction. This spirituality that Veronica is discussing is not religious, but an exploration of our inner existence. This explores important aspects such as self-worth and esteem; the concept of shame and displacement; and the roles of fear and denial in the establishment and growth of addiction.

Veronica also provides sensible advice for those struggling to deal with an alcoholic in their life - giving them ideas and insight for how to help their loved ones.

I learned a tremendous amount from this book about myself and has given me food for thought on the way I think about myself, and what I can do to enrich the spiritual side of my life.

For anyone tackling an addiction to alcohol (and even for those who have not drank a drop in years), I think there are two books they should read - Jason Vale's `Kick the Drink Easily' is one, and Veronica Valli's `Why you drink and how to stop' is the other.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
Over the past 8 years I have been fascinated with the alcoholic mind and read every book there is relating to the addiction but this book is by far the most Inspiring and informative. This book is a must. The chapters on the disease of alcoholism go into great detail and being an alcoholic myself, it has helped me understand and learn more about my own illness. It clearly states the problem we have within ourselves and talks a lot about the solution, which has been the most beneficial to me and my recovery. All in all I would recommend this book to anyone, even if they don't have an addiction problem as its truly inspiring and would benefit anyone wanting to better their life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2014
The author shares and reveals her personal experiences and intuitive insight on what it is that drives alcoholism. In clear, precise and specific language, she provides invaluable insight into what the problem is and what the problem isn't. Furthermore, she points to a solution to the problem encompassing two fundamental premises - one is either growing or dying and that no change means no change !
Valli takes you on a journey through the recovery process where with examples, anecdotes and personal stories, the author encompasses the most integral component of recovery - that of one of having a healthy relationship with yourself based on self-love, self-esteem and integrity.
Finally a crucial component to this book is a section devoted entirely to relationships - how to recognise unhealthy aspects of a relationship such as co-dependent behaviours - and furthermore, again through personal stories and experiences of the author and others, how to become the best possible version of yourself.
Valli deals with the problem of alcoholism and its solution in such a precise, logical and user friendly way, that one can only be left with greater insight and more importantly, hope, that there is a solution !
I shall definitely be using "Why you drink and how to stop" as one of my reference sources in my work as an addiction therapist and counsellor.
Jeff van Reenen, MSc Addiction & Psychology (London Southbank University) Member FDAP (Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2014
I recommend Why You Drink and How to Stop to anyone who is worried about their own drinking, or that of someone close to them. I read this book with excitement, acknowledgement and not a little, `yes, that's me'. The book's subtitle, `Journey to Freedom' says it all.

The word `freedom', like `love', is a much used, misunderstood and even abused word, but not in this book. Here, outlined in clear language, are the reasons for so much unhappiness, for which drinking abnormally is but one symptom. Here, the pathways to a real, sustainable happiness and self-love/self-esteem are laid out for anyone to follow - anyone who has `had enough' not just of their drinking, but of how they feel about themselves, others, even life. Anyone who is willing to change, to turn on the light and look in the mirror. Anyone who wants to take back their life.

Read this book. The author describes how each and every one of us can become imprisoned, not just the problem drinker, and most importantly she clearly maps out a solution. Discover what freedom to be who you are means. I am a recovered alcoholic...I have been there. I am finally free, not just from alcohol, but from all the thinking that kept me imprisoned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2014
What a fascinating insight into why some drink/drug/shop/eat to excess and others don't. This made so much sense after just the first chapter. Have read and reviewed many books on this subject, but many seem to address the benefits of not drinking (lifted mood, no hangovers, weight loss, more money etc) but have not addressed the complex issue of why so many find it difficult, even after feeling the benefits of a period of abstinence, to return to bottle. I always shied away from the psychological side, feeling it was a rather dark side of the issue, afraid I would be exposed as a sad helpless case who could never get well, which made me choose the 'fluffier' books telling me it would be easy to stop because alcohol is a rotten fermented poison that will make me a bit poorly, and I will look and feel better if I stop. Well, none of those books actually worked for me, and now I know why. Veronica is a very skilled and insightful psychologist and writer, who really 'gets the spot' - and without without any deep psychobabble which is never helpful. This book will get to real reasons why you drink - or whatever chosen 'comfort' is - and once you've done that you will feel understood and realise you are not alone in this misery, THEN move on to the 'benefits of not drinking' lightweight books to remind you of other plusses.( Money well spent and arrived in two days) Give it a go, don't fear some dismal dark trawl through your soul because of the psychology - you will feel comforted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2013
As the child of an alcoholic, a nurse who has worked on an alcoholic liver disease ward and someone who has experienced alcohol dependency this book is a brilliant resource. I knew from experience the way an alcoholic thought but had not come across a book that had explained this. This book does plus so much more. If you are worried about some who drinks or are concerned about your own drinking then this book is an absolute must as an aid to understanding them or yourself better and as a tool to help you move on in the recovery process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2014
I read this book last summer, at a time of real difficulty in my sobriety. I had been "in recovery" for 7 and a half years but a combination of factors saw me at a really low ebb, having difficulty seeing how my recovery programme was helping and frankly, what the point was in carrying on with life.
This book reminded me of what it was really like when I was drinking, why I had to stop, and what I needed to do to stay sober and enjoy life. More importantly it does it with a knowing, no-nonsense but loving tone - kind of like having a big sister at your fingertips who really knows what she's talking about and won't let you get away with "half measures" in your recovery from drinking and from your own behaviour, thought processes and habits.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who's struggling with an unmanageable life and who regularly faces the question, "what's wrong with me?"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2014
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It really makes you feel that someone cares about you as an individual. At last a book written by someone who has been there and got out the other side. It was like having a really sensible best friend to talk to and pull you through the other side.
If you are like me, 'need' a couple of glasses of wine or more - every day - and want to be able to choose whether to do so or not - this is the book for you! I read the book slowly and carefully - the first half is the real key. For the first week I had a drink every day, but only 2 glasses. The 2nd week I managed one day without a drink. The third week I had none. Now the fourth week and 4 days in to it I've had none. Good luck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2015
Great read . Read as many as you need to read in your journey to staying sober . These authors are here to help you and I ..Good luck to YOU ..the reader of this review ! you're here reading this because you know you have a problem as do I , so go for it , we're all rooting for you XX
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on 1 February 2014
Recently Addiction Therapist, Life Coach and Recovered Alcoholic Veronica Valli released her first book “Why You Drink And How To Stop: Journey To Freedom”. It’s a nice, easy read at just 150 pages and includes not just excerpts from Veronica’s own experiences with alcohol, but many other accounts from people who have drank alcoholically and now lead successful, alcohol-free lives.

What I really like about this book is how gentle Veronica’s approach is. She is very kind in her explanations for the various reasons people become alcoholics. You never get any sense of judgement from her at all. A feeling of peace and calm emanate from her words, something I’m sure must make her an excellent therapist.

There are two parts I really love about this book; I think Veronica gives the best explanation for Peer Pressure in drinking I have ever heard in my life. It’s sheer brilliance and worth buying the book for this alone. I also love her theory on the art of listening. Alcoholics are terrible listeners, people in recovery generally even worse. Veronica describes listening as an art to master and a gift to give another. It’s one of the most original ways of looking at this issue in recovery I’ve ever seen. Again well worth getting this book for this chapter alone.

What makes “Why You Drink And How To Stop” so different from other recovery publications is that it is an accessible read for anyone, not just those struggling with alcohol abuse issues. Anyone who is interested in pursuing spiritual discovery will most definitely be interested in Veronica’s explanation of Alcoholism as a disease of the spirit. It could most definitely be utilised by a broader spectrum of people than most recovery books.

The layout of the book is really interesting in and of itself. Each chapter has the feel of a mini-therapy session, ending with Veronica posing a question that leads succinctly to an answer in the following one. This makes it very easy to either read all in one go, or do a chapter a night making note of your discoveries as you progress. It’s definitely more interactive than most recovery books I’ve read.

For the sake of total disclosure I want to point out that I know Veronica. This has no bearing on how I view her as an author. It does enable me to see that the book has been edited with incredibly good balance because as an end product Veronica’s voice as an author is still very clear, not drowned out in an effort to please a target demographic rather than speak her own truth.

I would definitely recommend giving “Why You Drink And How To Stop” a read. Whether you feel you have an alcohol problem, or are more interested in the concept of spiritual recovery, you will definitely gain from Veronica’s insights.
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