...To me the question isn’t “why are we drinking less of something that kills us, assists in sexual predation and assault, shortens our life spans, ruins our memory, eats away at our self-esteem, causes cancer, etc. etc. etc.” — the question is “why is anyone still drinking this”? Holly Whitaker, author of Quit Like a Woman, interviewed by Female Founders Fund
Just in time for the New Year, Holly Whitaker‘s Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol is part memoir, part self help. She got sober at the age of 33.
As Whitaker explains on her website, she turned her life around after “discovering Allen Carr, who told me (in his book The Easy Way to Control Alcohol) that it wasn’t about not being able to drink again, but about never having to drink again.” In other words, “quitting drinking wasn’t a punishment or a sacrifice, it was a blessing, a benefit. In a matter of minutes, my entire perspective shifted because my thoughts shifted.”
The recovery program she founded, currently called Tempest, was formerly Hip Sobriety. As described by Female Founders Fund, Tempest’s mission is “to create a comprehensive digital platform for the treatment and support for the 90% of alcohol mis-users who are not considered ‘alcoholics,’ either by diagnosis or self-definition.”
Whereas previous name Hip Sobriety emphasized “only one facet of the journey,” Tempest is meant to symbolize “facing our storms.” Says Whitaker, “Here is where we stop running, start staying, and where we use the storm of our lives in order to build something from it. It is a call to action, a witness to our bravery, a reminder that everything we want starts here” ( from interview).
One thing Whitaker isn’t particularly fond of—for women’s sake—is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “which she calls a dated, white male–centric program focused on ego and goals” (Publishers Weekly).
More info from the Female Founders Fund interview:
…While there are different approaches of recovery from alcohol use disorder offered today — SMART recovery, Women For Sobriety, Refuge Recovery, medically assisted therapy — the substratum of the recovery world is AA (over 70% of rehabilitation centers are AA based). Almost every solution that someone trying to quit drinking will encounter is informed by Alcoholics Anonymous, which was created in 1935, and was based on one archetype — the white, upperclass, hetero, cis-gendered man.