First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

A New Journey Through Anxiety
Narrated by: Sarah Wilson
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (342 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling 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 reframes 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.

©2017 Sarah Wilson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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Brilliant

What a profound book this was for me. An awesome look at anxiety and mood disorders in general. I bought 3 hardcopies. 1 for myself so I can go through to highlights and make notes in the margins, and 2 for gifts.

4 people found this helpful

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highly recommend!

This was the best book I have read in a long time. Sarah is not only brilliant, but also so very brave. Her book is painfully honest at times... yet she continues to show up for the readers in an authentic way. She is right: more transparent conversations like these need to be happening!

3 people found this helpful

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Clear understanding of anxiety!

Sarah fully explains anxiety in a way anyone can relate to and understand. This books doesn't just clarify what it is, but also how to live with anxiety. If you or someone you love has anxiety, I strongly recommend this book!

1 person found this helpful

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Highly recommend!

I read this hoping to find insights and tools to use, as I am dealing with more and more anxiety. I want to get a handle on it before it becomes too big a "beast." I also wanted to learn more, as I have a family member whose anxiety has affected her life greatly, and has become paralyzing at times. This book gets five stars on both counts. Sarah Wilson has done the research and lived it, providing valuable insights into the what, why, and how to work with managing anxiety. I'll take this information with me and use what I've learned to "roll up my sleeves and do the work" to better my life, and to see others with anxiety with more compassion and instead of being totally bewildered by their actions, know how to help them tame their beasts. I consider this a must read for anyone battling anxiety or who knows someone who is.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful memoir of anxiety as lived experience

Cannot recommend this book highly enough. As a lifelong anxious woman, I appreciate her perspective that we aren't broken or defective. We are in fact beautiful in our difference.

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Loved it.

Well researched information and very insightful overall. Sarah delivers her own personal account in an honest and open manner. Her meticulous research lends to a great and educational book.

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Amazing!!!! Very helpful.

Amazing book. Can’t recommend it enough. The way she describes anxiety and what to do about it is like I have never heard it before.

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Brave honesty

Thank you for your literary research. Thank you for sharing your meetings of the minds. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your persistence. Congratulations

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Great Listen!

Thank you Sarah for sharing your story! A perfect book to listen to on my walks home. Your story encouraged me to see my mental illness in a whole new way 🙏

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Thank You!!!

Thank You for helping me on my journey towards being Whole. Bless you on your continued journey.