Cold Turkey

How to Quit Drinking by Not Drinking
Narrated by: Mishka Shubaly
Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,839 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling Kindle Singles author Mishka Shubaly comes Cold Turkey, a step by step roadmap for approaching the harrowing first month of sobriety. Himself 10 years sober, Shubaly addresses the slippery nature of alcoholism, and the messy, anxiety-ridden process of making the decision to stop drinking once and for all. 

For Shubaly, there is no one-size-fits-all plan. He refutes the notion that the one and only solution for those struggling are 12-step programs and provides a guide for those who want a different approach to getting sober. This is a how-to for those who are serious about taking their lives back, but are ready to define their sobriety on their own terms. 

In the process, Shubaly exposes - in brutal, up-close, and yes, even absurd and funny detail - what drove him to drink, how he put the bottle down, and the surprising life that awaited him when he did. Cold Turkey real, practical, and intimate advice for those struggling, straight from someone who has really been there. Sure, he understands that for the first three days, you might need to eat all the pizza and all the greasy Chinese food. But he also understands the urgent need to improve your life and habits little by little, day by day. Shubaly, no doubt, becomes the listener’s cheerleader. He wants anyone struggling to succeed. 

Ultimately, the takeaway is very simple; if Shubaly did it, you can too. And more than that, he’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

©2019 Mishka Shubaly (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Cold Turkey

"I hit bottom early. I hit bottom often."
An atypical and fruitful path to sobriety
The intersectionality of the process

  • Cold Turkey
  • "I hit bottom early. I hit bottom often."
  • Cold Turkey
  • An atypical and fruitful path to sobriety
  • Cold Turkey
  • The intersectionality of the process

About the Creator and Performer

Mishka Shubaly is the author of seven best-selling Kindle Singles and the memoir I Swear I'll Make It Up to You. He has traveled the world as a songwriter, storyteller, and comedian, sharing the stage with artists like Doug Stanhope, Richard Price, Ron White and Lydia Lunch. In 2001, he survived a shipwreck. In 2017, he was a clue on Jeopardy!. When not writing, recording, or touring, he teaches nonfiction at the Yale Writers' Workshop. In the spring of 2019, he celebrated ten years sober.

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Can’t handle this ignorance

This book goes beyond being just lame and self-congratulatory — this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that can be harmful. He takes HIS experience quitting alcohol and believes it applies across the board. It does not. It’s particularly alarming that he states point blank that DTs are what happens to “street level” drunks. Are you kidding me with this? Don’t encourage people whose bodies are dependent on alcohol to quit cold turkey without medical consult just because it went okay for YOU. I quit drinking when I was 26, and by that time I had done all the things you characterize as “street level,” AND I wasn’t homeless, I had two advanced degrees, a supportive network of family and friends and I was gainfully employed. I was still dehydrated, drinking around the clock, malnourished, etc. because those characterizations aren’t mutually exclusive and they’re not for for ‘homeless alcoholics’ — they are for ALCOHOLICS. Full stop.

And please, readers and listeners, believe me: DTs are dangerous. You CAN die, even if you’re not homeless like this guy claims. It’s laughable that he thinks that and really not funny that he says it in a format that will be communicated to a lot of people who may believe him. He says that because he didn’t, and he drank a lot, you probably won’t either. But I drank a lot too and I almost did die from DTs, so which one will it be? His experience, my experience, your neighbor’s experience — none of these are universal. Just be safe, and please recognize that this is just one guy’s opinion — and that opinion is not backed up by anything more substantial than his personal experience. His book would be a lot stronger and less nauseating if he were willing to recognize that other ways of getting sober aren’t more or less valuable than the way he did it. But here, nothing else is good - and his tunnel vision and inability to attribute value to any other programs are what discredit everything he says. People who aren’t smart enough to see outside their beliefs and their experience and see only one way of doing things aren’t smart enough to write books and shouldn’t be allowed to.

I truly can’t even believe this was published and that Amazon is offering it as one of its monthly Audible Originals.

I had to stop after the street level part - but it seems that he goes on to criticize AA. AA does not have to be anyone’s way - but it’s the most widely-successful program in the world for long-term sobriety. It’s not the only way to quit drinking, but it’s a good way. Don’t let this asshole make you think it isn’t.

81 people found this helpful

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One myopic story without foundation

This is an ignorant and arrogant author who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. When he said he knows about AA as much about addiction as Bill W he lost me. If he stays on this path he’l be drunk again. He said he’s been sober for a long time, two years. As a person in long-term recovery free of alcohol and other drugs for 39 years I’ve seen a bunch of guys like him that end up in the ditch., Saying AA doesn’t work and it ends up saving their life. Take it for what it’s worth and actually I wouldn’t even pick any of his stuff, it’s dangerous advice. AA has millions of success stories over 85 years. It works.

50 people found this helpful

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Leave out the rant on AA

Overall the book was okay. Like most writers, it's obvious Mishka likes to hear himself talk. Book was well written and flowed and anybody with a drinking challenge will relate to the feelings, guilt, struggles described, although after a while I felt like I was being strapped to a chair while he held court. That said, this is his personal story / audio book and I signed up to listen. My real complaint is the overdrawn rant on AA. I'm not a fanboy of AA, although describing it as a pyramid scheme full of sexual predators . . . please. I pressed the eject button when the book reached his homegrown recipe for how to stop drinking. I think it was the part that told me to over eat junk food as a means of finding sobriety. That was the signal that it was time to move onto another title.

31 people found this helpful

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Good story teller but misinformed

Shubaly is a good writer and story teller, even if his voice is a little rough. His message starts off good but nose dives into a tirade against 12-step programs that indicates a lack of understanding.

30 people found this helpful

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Great Stuff

Mishka offers an honest review of his path to sobriety which does not include AA. This is an authentic memoir about one man’s break up with the bottle.

26 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking

Definitely recommend listening to this if you are a victim of any type of substance abuse at all. The book is motivating but the author has such a narrow perspective on addiction.

The author seems to think alcohol and food/sugar is the only thing worth quitting. Hell, he even mentions doing lines of coke in place of alcohol just to shake it off and then later in the book mentions how having one addiction makes it easier to form more.
The author seems to flex a whole lot about himself throughout the entire book too.At first you can’t help but but get a nice warm feeling from how he overcame such a horrible lifestyle. Towards the end of the listen I was tired of listening to him repeat the things he was done.
The way the book was written was so casual I didn’t mind it all. The author talks like he’s you’re buddy at work talking about his crazy adventures. He is a very good narrator as well.
I’m not sure I would recommend coming up with excuses in the face of temptation like he recommends. It seems like being open about your reason of not wanting drink would make your cause stronger.

Overall the listen was good due to the fact of its way of making look within yourself. The author isn’t the most credible person and his advice isn’t always scientific, but I gained a renewed sense of introspection.

21 people found this helpful

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Garbage

The most ridiculous farce I've heard on getting sober. Author misses the point on just about everything.

20 people found this helpful

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Good luck

You got to be kidding. There is noting to this book it would be a ok book report.

19 people found this helpful

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  • RJ
  • 05-02-20

Alcoholics\Narcotics Anonymous or Alanon familiar?

Not far into the story but so far I have been enjoying it, connecting to parts and learning about why some of my family acted the way they did.
If you are interested in the topic, have a relative or even yourself, that has lived parts of their life with a drinking or drug problem. You will see them in a different way. Maybe in a brighter light...
Whether you're buying this book or using your free credit this month. Grab it up. You will come out of it with a more positive outlook on someone that battled an addiction though their life.

16 people found this helpful

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Make the time to inspire your change!

I have been trying to convince myself I don't have an alcohol substance abuse issue. After listening to straight forward honest words and a simple ask from Mishka. I am no longer avoiding the truth.

I listened to Cold Turkey between 3 walks in 28 hours. Make the time, you have the time. I'm inspired and accepted the challenge. Thanks Audible for sharing Mishka's story and inspiring me!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Gail
  • 05-12-20

straight talking , no bullshit.

easy to listen to and painted a picture of difficult yet honest and real journey

1 person found this helpful