First, We Make the Beast Beautiful (Hardcover)
A New Journey Through Anxiety
Dey Street Books, 9780062836786, 320pp.
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
May 2018 Indie Next List
— Kaitie Radel, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL
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The New York Times bestselling author of I Quit Sugar transforms cultural perceptions of the mental health issue of our age—anxiety—viewing this widespread condition not as a burdensome affliction but as a powerful spiritual teacher that can deepen our lives.
While reading psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison’s groundbreaking account of bipolar disorder An Unquiet Mind, Sarah Wilson discovered an ancient Chinese proverb that would change her life:
To conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful.
Wilson, a bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur, had spent years struggling with her own beast: chronic anxiety. And the words of this proverb would become the key to understanding her condition.
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful charts Wilson’s epic journey to make peace with her lifetime companion, and to learn to see it as a guide, rather than as an enemy. With intensive focus and investigatory skills, Wilson examines the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences. Pulling at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety, she unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission, and re-frames it as a divine journey—a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.
Practical and poetic, wise and funny, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad souls who dance with this condition to embrace it as a part of who they are, and to explore the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.
Praise For First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety…
“A witty, well-researched, and often insightful book about negotiating a new relationship to anxiety.”
“Sarah’s life mission is to help us all feel less lonely in our pain. These pages are filled with authenticity and clear direction for how to return to our spiritual truth.”
“A tremendously entertaining, wise, and effective book on how to walk through anxiety and reclaim life. Sarah’s battle and triumph over anxiety inspires and gives solutions that work. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful resides at the intersection of science and lived-experience. I know of nothing in the same league.”
“An affecting memoir of coping with anxiety over a busy lifetime. […] Those who endure anxiety will find Wilson’s thoughtful, often funny self-analysis to be just the right companion and affirmation.”
“Uplifting, earnest […] practical, and filled with delightful asides, this book will appeal to anxiety-prone readers, who will find much to calm them in these pages.”