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A Happier Hour Paperback – August 2, 2016
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From the Inside Flap
A blaze of sunlight snuck its way through a gap in the blinds, drilling directly into my eyelids, punishing me. Desperately, I held them closed. The pain arrived a split-second later; loud and brimming with intent, like a diva making her dramatic entrance. My skull felt like it was cracking from the inside, and every breath caused my body to tremble and ache. Even my hair hurt. Every strand of it throbbed in agony, sending a thumping SOS to my brain.
Slowly, carefully, I opened one eye. The pain intensified. I was still in last night's outfit, and judging by the way my eyelashes were stuck together, last night's makeup as well. What the hell.
I was so thirsty, I felt like I could drink all the water in all the oceans of the world. Thankfully, Dominic had placed a glass of water on my bedside table, although I knew I didn't deserve it. I gulped it greedily and was immediately hit with a wave of nausea.
I fell out of bed and scrambled through my handbag, as I'd done a thousand times before, desperately hoping I hadn't lost anything. In the pale morning light, I found my keys, my purse, my... Oh God. My phone was missing. I tried to piece together the night before. Did Dom simply put it somewhere for safekeeping? I scoured the apartment with bleary eyes. No such luck.
Taking a deep, shaky breath, I tip-toed back to our bedroom. I really didn't want to wake him, especially not with this news. A conversation we'd had a few weeks earlier played in my head, taunting me. "You need to put a security code on your phone," he lectured, "so that it's locked, if you ever lose it." Only, I hadn't quite gotten around to it yet.
I carefully climbed back into bed and tapped his shoulder.
"Call your parents," he sighed, after I told him the situation. "See if it's at the hotel."
I left him in bed, hoping he wasn't too mad. In the kitchen, I grabbed his phone and switched it on. My family were scheduled on an early morning flight to Bali, and I felt increasingly stressed out, hoping I wouldn't miss them before they left their hotel.
His phone flashed to life with a loud beep, signalling one voicemail message. I held my breath as it connected.
A few seconds later, I heard my Step-Dad's voice, "Hey Bec, we found your phone. We'll leave it with reception when we check out, okay. We'll see you in a couple of weeks. Love you."
I let out a huge sigh of relief, causing my body to shudder again. I poured myself another glass of water and attempted to drink the whole thing. My body accepted three-quarters of it before calling a strike.
I crept back into the bedroom. Maybe if Dom had gone back to sleep, he'd forget all about this.
"Well?" he asked.
"Yep, they found it," I whispered, crawling back into bed. "So I guess I'll drive out there later today."
He sighed again and climbed out of bed. I waited for him to say something, but he didn't. Instead, he headed for the shower, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The place I was most afraid to be.
I frantically tried to remember the events of the night before. My parents, sister, and her family, had managed to arrange an early check-in at a hotel near the airport. We'd originally planned to meet them there for dinner and drinks, but impatient to join the festivities, I asked my boss if I could leave at lunchtime, and scooted out the door. I sent Dom a text message, letting him know I was heading over earlier than planned, and he agreed to meet us there later. As always, my family popped the champagne the second I arrived.
And that's where my memory gets hazy. I vaguely remember Dom sending a text message to let me know he was still stuck at work, and "please don't drink too much." A blur of time passing. Two more bottles? Maybe three? Then Dom arriving and encouraging us to order dinner, urging me to "please eat something." But no doubt the damage was already done.
It was only now, in the cold light of morning, that I realised how ridiculous the whole scene must have looked. Dom and I had been living together for six months, and in love for a year. By all accounts, we were still in the honeymoon phase. Only, his patience with my drinking antics was wearing dangerously thin, and I knew it.
He returned from the shower and dressed in silence. He obviously wasn't ready to talk to me, so I figured it best to wait a while. Probably best to wash off the smell of alcohol first.
In the shower, I was still trembling. What kind of woman can't remember how she got home, and loses her phone, past the age of twenty-five? A big, old lush, that's who. Under the steaming hot water, I closed my eyes and held my breath, attempting to wash the hateful thoughts from my mind. It was no use. I wanted to collapse onto the shower floor and sob, but my body ached too much. Why the hell did I keep doing this to myself?
When I finally got out of the shower, Dom was gone.
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Original Review from 03/2019
You might be considering this book to learn if/how to be social and sober in our alcohol-centered culture. If so, this REVIEW is for you. I bought the book because I'd like to quit drinking, but after a VERY lame and solitary dry January, I worried that I'd lose my social life (ahem, the author's stated concern... see what I did there!). I wanted to read how someone else coped. This, however is not the point of the book. Do not read if you are looking to make a change in your life. I found it triggering without any substance.
First, the good. It was surely difficult to put these words to pen. Rebecca is likely a better health coach now that she's owned her truth, and sounds like she may be a good one given the momentum she claimed shortly after starting. Also, it's wonderful the author channeled her experience to build an online paid membership program called Sexy Sobriety. Bless her for bringing awareness to an important issue so that people know they aren't alone.
The bad: This book is more of a business book (how Rebecca started her business, Sexy Sobriety) than self-help. It reads like blog posts that were just... fluffed a bit. If this content lived online, we would've been served an opportunity to sign up for Sexy Sobriety at the end of every post. Uh, I mean chapter. "Have you been wasted a wedding and felt embarrassed for days? Click here to join Sexy Sobriety!" "Wait, don't go! Click now for the first month FREE!" etc.
This makes me feel as though the book is completely inauthentic. Also THIS makes me feel like the book is inauthentic (aka was written with intent to hawk the website): while the story is personal in nature, reader's don't come away feeling... anything...
This could've been a deeply personal story about an issue that resonates with many, with the reader walking away feeling inspired or moved or scared or happy or... well, anything! Nope. I got nada. In fact, I took a break to have a glass of wine at one point with my hubby because she just Kept. Talking. On. And. On. about her love of alcohol. (That was also when I contemplated quitting reading because I felt *completely triggered* but decided to honor Rebecca's story by persisting.)
I mean, maybe she doesn't want to give away all her tips because she wants us to pay for them through Sexy Sobriety, but DANG! -- if you're not going to share how-to's at least make us FEEL moved enough to want to seek out the change for ourselves!
Top international reviews
Superficial, it’s less memoir and more cheesy chic lit - and the overuse of the word ‘sweetie’ is stomach churning.
There are no little ‘pearls of wisdom’ nor solid ‘tried & tested’ suggestions for getting and staying sober - I guess the author is saving these for her ‘sexy sobriety’ membership site (and I also suspect this book is a thinly veiled disguise at plugging said membership site)
Please don’t waste your time or money - This Naked Mind and The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober will stand you in much better stead if you’re looking for practical advice on drinking less / quitting for good.
I’d give zero stars if Amazon would allow it.
Thank you x x x
Thank you x x x
The writer describes herself as a health coach and I feel she's using the book to promote her business.
Sorry to say but I wish I had bought something else instead.
Rebecca's story is a refreshingly positive and inspiring account of her relationship with alcohol which not only makes an enjoyable read, but may also completely change the way you think about sobriety!
I wanted to read a book that gave me hope, that alcohol isn't the life and soul of your life, and walking away, you walk to a life of sobriety that is transformational. Rebecca is honest, and could be writing about you or me.
I looked hard at my life style and from reading this book, and it confirmed I had too had made the right choice.
Thank you Rebecca
This is really a heroic tale of escape from alcohol abuse because heavy binge drinking was associated with nearly every aspect of the author’s otherwise productive, successful, adventurous and engaging life since she was 16. It had become a type of glue to her identity but as she also says, a traumatic ‘holding pattern’ on the things that would really make her happy going forward.
I like the way Rebecca weaves both the extraordinary challenges she faced in her liberation from alcohol with the really positive and practical insights into what worked for her in this ongoing journey.