Wednesday, 22 April 2020

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful - Sarah Wilson

Publisher: Bantam Press

Published: 2018

Pages: 307

Firstly, while I loved this book, I’ll acknowledge it is not for everyone. If you don’t like it 50 pages in, you’ll probably never like it. The book is a combination of a memoir and tips and tricks for dealing with anxiety. It’s clear that Wilson has done a huge amount of research for the book (or for her life with anxiety in general), a lot of which includes cold-emailing people she’s read or heard about to pick their brains. It’s not structured linearly, Wilson dips into the different times in her life that helped illustrate the concept she’s talking about. There’s not a huge amount of structure at all really, the book is like a long conversation with a friend who says “listen…. this is everything I know”.

The main difference between how Wilson treats her anxiety and the way it’s viewed
by the medical community is that Wilson sees it as a personality trait to be embraced
and managed, rather than an illness to be treated. The book low-key felt like lists of
tips and tricks for forgetful people. Wilson doesn’t view anxiety as a thing to get rid of,
it’s just a personality trait that you have and can manage.

While I didn’t identify with everything Wilson has experiences, (and under no circumstances am
I even considering giving up sugar), there was plenty I did connect with. Basically what I took
away from this book is that we all need to start meditating.

This book isn’t for everyone, but I got a lot out of it.

Four Stars

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