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We Are the Luckiest

The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life
Written by: Laura McKowen
Narrated by: Laura McKowen
Length: 7 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We Are the Luckiest is a masterpiece. It’s the truest, most generous, honest, and helpful sobriety memoir I’ve read. It’s going to save lives.” (Glennon Doyle, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Love Warrior: A Memoir)

What could possibly be “lucky” about addiction? Absolutely nothing, thought Laura McKowen when drinking brought her to her knees. As she puts it, she “kicked and screamed . . . wishing for something - anything - else” to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky. 

But in the midst of early sobriety, when no longer able to anesthetize her pain and anxiety, she realized that she was actually the lucky one. Lucky to feel her feelings, live honestly, really be with her daughter, change her legacy. She recognized that “those of us who answer the invitation to wake up, whatever our invitation, are really the luckiest of all.” 

Here, in straight-talking chapters filled with personal stories, McKowen addresses issues such as facing facts, the question of AA, and other people’s drinking. Without sugarcoating the struggles of sobriety, she relentlessly emphasizes the many blessings of an honest life, one without secrets and debilitating shame.

©2020 Laura McKowen (P)2020 New World Library

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Simply wonderful

This book was given to me by my wife. It was beautiful, raw and inspiring. It is what my soul needed. I saw myself in the stories and found inspiration and encouragement to deepen my journey into sobriety.

I believe I will go back to this book again and again.

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Great Listen...Thought Provoking!

This was an overall great listen! For me, when a personal story is told, I like hearing it from the writer - Laura was spot on with her narration - fantastic job! What a journey to self-discovery! I think we all could take tidbits of information from this book and apply it to our own lives - not just in an addiction sense, but taking the time to discover who WE really are and what it is that WE want in life. Kudos to Laura!

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Changed my life

I have many alcohol related self help books in my audible library. This is now my favorite. It is easy to relate to, real and REALISTIC. it helped me confirm that it is OK to have set backs and it is OK not to just wake up and magically be sober. This is a process and this book made me feel like somebody finally understood what i was going through. LOVE IT! HIGHLY recommend for anyone facing similar situations.

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  • Keith Keller
  • 2020-01-31

Influencer Recovery, Part One



Laura McKowan’s new memoir, We Are the Luckiest, is one of two new books related to alcoholism released in sensationalistic fashion for the new year.

Observing the run-up and promotion on social media and online recovery communities, I perused Laura’s website, some blog postings, and her Facebook page, where she maintains a presence consistent with author platform. She seems to have a loyal following in the thousands, though the volume of real engagement is difficult to ascertain. What emerged was a picture of a woman with stable, albeit short-term sobriety (five years) who is carving out a career based on this. With a background in marketing, she offers various workshops ranging from an introductory 90 minute online course and weeks long courses on sobriety and “creativity” to a $4800 master class on writing a book. For many working in this realm of coaching or, I reluctantly use the term, thought leader space, the books they author are intended as a draw to their websites and various click funnels. I awaited the book, hoping for substance; I wanted to see something of value for people struggling with addiction, whether alcohol or other, and regardless of demographic..

Laura writes well, no argument. Her workshopped, expository style is rich in imagery, metaphors, and all the creative writing craft one would expect from someone of her background—working in Boston advertising agencies. That being said, the book is little more than a collection of thematically related blog post/journal entries. Other than a few references to events described earlier in the book, there is no unifying theme or case that she builds to a conclusion. If you’re looking for a how-to book on recovery or anything boldly innovative, this is not that book.

Laura shares her personal perspective on alcohol dependence, entering recovery, challenges in sobriety, and very limited experience with the traditional model of recovery (AA, NA, twelve steps). Her courageous sharing of some of her war stories is de rigueur, almost expected in the recovery world. She resides in an upscale town on Boston’s North Shore, far from the front lines of the addiction crisis both literally and figuratively. Primarily alcohol-focused, this tale of recovery in a bubble is scarcely relevant to the struggles of people in places like rural Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Oklahoma or the provinces of Canada. While this is Laura’s reality and her personal bottom, it is nevertheless a marketable version of addiction and recovery.

One valid issue Laura raises is the traditional model’s failings; AA has numerous flaws, and is simply not the right recovery vehicle for many. There is also much it gets right, and someone of Laura’s obvious abilities could have pulled more out of it, had she persisted. An enlightened explanation of the traditional model’s shortcomings, based on the experience of someone who fully engaged the process, would have greater benefit to readers than one-sided criticism. Yes, it’s far from perfect, but tell us how to get something out of it.

Laura has no clinical background, and the only reference to the science of addiction was borrowed from her BFF, Holly Whitaker (whose new book is the subject of Influencer Recovery Part Two). The neurobiology of addiction recovery should be handled in a layperson-friendly manner that takes account of the audience. Absent is the credibility that comes from training and therapeutic work in the field. Laura’s self-made program of recovery seems to consist of abstinence, yoga, readings, and a community of other recovery outliers. Vague references to mentors were made, and more detailed ideas about finding and receiving guidance would be helpful to readers.

To summarize, if you’re looking for authoritative, educated direction and insight into recovery from addiction here, it’s lacking. What this book represents is one individual’s monetization of her self-directed recovery. It offers value to a very small proportion of those attempting recovery from addiction, and that is valid. Everyone should have an individualized program of recovery attuned to their unique needs and circumstances. For a few, this is the shoe that will fit, but to be clear, this is the Kardashian-ification of recovery.

Disclosure: I’m a RN with extensive training and experience in holistic/energy practices, as well as science-based transformation/motivational techniques with 29 years personal recovery, emerging recovery expert and activist, and author of two books on recovery. I read and reviewed this book to keep abreast of developments. I’m sorry this is harsh, but this is recovery, and it’s too important to whitewash. It’s unfortunate that real experts and innovators who offer real solutions to the addiction crisis simply don’t have access to the same types of platform that sensationalists do. KK

13 people found this helpful

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  • Shrimp Ramen
  • 2020-01-07

Expansive, Forward Moving, Gentle

Incredibly tender and sweet renderings of navigating through unknown and tough experiences. Very realistic expectations of the time frames needed to wade through multi-layers of the onion of returning to the self. More validation and appreciation for how much chemical dependency overlaps with relationship dependencies (co-dependency) based on dynamics that got set up in early childhood. I was a big fan of McKowen's blog and both her podcasts previously, and look towards more of books being published. I binged on this title and will hopefully revisit it again for a slower listening a second time.

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  • S from PHX, AZ
  • 2020-01-09

Wow! An exceptional memoir

A masterpiece! I’ve read dozens of this genre and have to say this is the only one I listened to/read straight through.

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  • Ryan M.
  • 2020-01-08

Powerful story of recovery and learning self-love

Very well told. A peak behind the curtain detailing the emotional rollercoaster that is recovery. As someone in recovery, I would recommend Laura's story to anyone touched by addiction, especially if you are trying to better understand the struggle of someone you love.

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  • Jacquelynn Rankin
  • 2020-01-15

This book will save lives.

This book will save lives. Bravo 👏 Laura, your honesty will touch all who read or listen to this! ❤️

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  • Amy Drechsel
  • 2020-01-09

Encouraging

This is a great book for anyone who is sober or just considering sobriety. Laura has a beautiful way of writing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-08

Thank you

Raw, real, and penetratingly honest- an account without a candy coating but with hope and grit and grace. A nice little life indeed.

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  • T. Cooper
  • 2020-03-23

Inspired

Laura has a beautiful way of expressing herself and her experiences. I am grateful for her sharing.

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  • Carla Jagodzinski
  • 2020-03-10

Pleasantly happy to listen.

Seriously didn’t know what to expect. I have a stepson having addiction problems and my husband has quit drinking for years now for health reasons. Laura’s book helps me take a deep look inside the profound discovery of her “sweet little girl” and how the process of sobriety and the addition started and unfolded.
You won’t be disappointed!

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  • Andrea in Westchester
  • 2020-03-07

Devoured this book!

Thank you Laura for writing this book - it was gritty, riveting and impressive in a deeply meaningful way. Also appreciated thd philosophical/ spiritual aspects... Found you on the Minimalists - would love to see you do a podcast w Brene Brown - to talk about sobriety and authenticity.