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Book review: The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – Catherine Gray

Raw, honest and inspiring – Catherine Gray’s book The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a best seller for a very good reason.

It was one of the first books I read when I decided to make the ‘radical’ choice to live an alcohol free life.

Catherine writes candidly about her darkest moments, her times of uncertainty during early sobriety and the joy she unexpectedly finds.

It is this vulnerability, and her extraordinary writing, that draws you in and helps you to really believe that sobriety could actually be not only an option, but a far superior lifestyle than a booze-fuelled one.

The book is also practical and she shares the tricks in her sobriety toolbox that have helped her stay on track.

While her drinking story is different to mine, there is the universal experiences that helped to reassure me that I was not the only one who has felt this way.

For example, her description of the first time she got drunk really resonated with me:

“I felt like I’d finally unzipped my ‘wrong’ skin and slipped into a slinky new one,” she writes. “It was like taking off chainmail and slipping into a heavenly silk gown.”

Yep – that sums it up perfectly.

She also delves into the science of alcohol and what it does to our brain and bodies.

With the combination of tales of her problem drinking days compared with her sober life, her no BS approach to it all and the inclusion of practical advice, it’s no wonder that this book is often recommended for those questioning their relationship with alcohol.

I’ve read it a couple of times – at different stages of my sobriety journey – and I’m sure it’s a book that I’ll continue to go back to for Catherine’s inspiration and her beautiful writing style.

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